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Scientology Crime Syndicate

Millenium Event photos in Int. Scn. News #12
NoScieno <noscieno@aol.com>
2 Mar 2000

Arnie, you're going to love this.

The highlight in this issue is the New Years Event held at the LA Sports Arena, for which the main press kit photo was botched up so badly.

They did *not* use the event3ls.jpg shot that was so mercilessly dissected here on a.r.s. and on Arnie's site, but one similar to it. It appears to have been taken from a position slightly closer (one or two section-widths?) to the front of the arena, at almost the same time.

Several interesting observations here. First of all, even though they got caught at it, they couldn't resist doctoring this one as well, which is completely astounding.

Second, they did an even worse job of it, which is perhaps not so astounding. It's a mess, to put it bluntly. Many unaltered figures, particularly in the front-main-floor area, correspond to those seen in the first try (by the color of their clothing and so on) but a whole new batch of people have been pasted in to the lower-center area where all the duplicates were spotted. The bald guy and his twin with the bad toupee, the Man With No Head, et al, have all been consigned to the Memory Hole. In their place is an indistinct mass of figures that contains some very peculiar dark blobs where certain individuals have seemingly been made "unpersons." The five or six men in matching red suits (the Jive aces?) are still identifiable behind the camera platform but behind them things get quite muddy. It's as though people had been copied from other places in the arena - or perhaps from entirely different image files, re-sized appropriate to their new location, and altered sufficient not to be identified as duplicates. Some even appear to have been created from scratch. There are odd-looking "black holes" in the rear of the arena as well, but this effect can also be seen in event3ls.

The most blatant evidence of image editing having been done on a large scale is the fact that almost the entire image has been treated to a blurring effect. If you look to the far right of the image though, you will see a Canadian flag more sharply rendered than any other object. By contrast, some elements in the lower center area have characteristics of overcompressed or overworked digital images so extreme that they have degenerated into purplish-blue globs of noise.

The scene has also been "squeezed" horizontally and somewhat cropped to fit on the three-page foldout. A few other noteworthy features are: The large lighting gantry suspended over the center of the arena has been excised, and the images on all the wide-format TV screens (which in this shot appear closer to 3x4 NTSC proportion) have been crudely smudged out. For some reason they decided to airbrush in "beams" coming from two of the overhead lights in the array of floods nearest to the stage, as though the arena were filled with smoke or haze, and odder still these beams point directly at locations where the picture has been botched the worst.

The cover shot for this magazine is <ahem> clearly cropped from event1ls.jpg, and stands unaltered in <cough> *sharp* contrast to the abysmal disaster to that which one is treated overleaf.

Kudos Arnie and fellow digital image-dissectors, take a bow. This embarrassing footnote (click-BLAM!) in $cientology's PR Follies has culminated in the ugliest photo I've ever seen the churgh publish. Bar none.

Incidentally, the text claims an attendance by 13,400 to the event, "the largest gathering of Scientologists ever."

Elsewhere in the magazine, the obligatory essay by LRH is entitled "Philosophy wins after 2000 years." A few phrases that jump out of the page at me, out of context, are: a jab at Christianity, "The decline of Christianity is marked by modern cynicism about Hell where one burns an eternity and a Heaven where one plays a harp forever." He claims that "[Scientology's] truths are of the order of 'is this black?' 'Is this white?' You can see for yourself something is black if it's black and that something is white when it's white. No tricks of logic are needed to prove any point and Scientologists only ask people to look for themselves." And this gem: "When you yourself hold the truth, the shadows by which you are bound tend to slither away." So true, El Rum, so true.

The next article gives the first dozen or so paragraphs of DM's speech to the multitudes (or reasonable multitudinous facsimile) regarding Scientology's "monumental story." He compares it to the first fifty years of Christianity, imagining early Christians huddled in "subterranian catacombs, speaking in hushed voices and poring over various in-progress versions of the Bible." You can practically smell the disparagement and smug superiority in his voice.

That sets up for the next article, based on the remainder of DM's epic presentation. We are treated to a thumbnail sketch of $cientology's first 50 years. As is their habit, they even lie about things they don't have to - for example the claim is made that 37 million people died during World War One, and 55 million in WW-II. Actually, some 15 million and 22 million respectively are the true figures, civilian and military deaths. Surely that's horrible enough, without exaggeration? Don't they realize that some people actually know these facts?

Blah-da-yah-da, on it goes, spinning a dark yarn of $cientology's struggles against an ominous conspiracy of psychs, who had "found themselves seriously scorched by the spark they had failed to extinguish in 1950. It had become a powerful flame, and had inflicted a blow they would never forgive."

There is an interesting collage of old photographs and questionable newspaper clippings. Purportedly, the September 26 issue of the New York "Daily Compass" showcases Dianetics on it's front page in an article by one Sid Kline, along with such important news as "Model pays [$1] traffic fine for husband." Boy, someone should look this paper up.

LRH is shown performing what appears to be something like "TR-Patticake- Baker-Man," and there's a photo of U.S. Marshals carting off e-meters to a dark van (err, wasn't there some drug called "dianazine" in some of those boxes, clams?), a measure of how loudly "the SPs were howling." DM speaks theatrically of the 1950s - "Bigger and better bombs. Cold War psychiatry generating terror. And a population living in the shadow of a mushroom cloud."

On through the 1950s, the text mentions how "past lives were outlawed across western civilization," and how LRH continued to make "advancements in the face of, and over the ramparts of, any and all opposition...."

That's the theme throughout the piece - LRH thwarting one powerful enemy after another, until '"January 24, 1986," said Mr Miscavige, "that's what LRH left us - the full legacy of his knowledge and total freedom!"'

In the '90s "expansion was straight up," DM says, and, "We were happy. The enemy was not." Blah-da-yah-da, like I said.

A few other features are an announcement of the Ceremonies and Sermons book, and the freshly promoted Sunday "repair the ravages of the week" with Group Processing Service, as a result of which "successes [are] pouring in from every corner of the globe. There's a story about the three-day "millenium convention" that took place during the last week of December, announcing 1999 as "the year we began 'going global.'" What, again? They had a huge "org board" for the attendees to pin up their names under a dozen or so of the major front groups. Just as a rough eyeball estimate from the picture, it looks like there are something like 500 or more slips among the various categories visible - from perhaps 30 each under the Sea Org and Criminon headings; 70 - 80 for Class V orgs, narCONon, and FSM; a hundred each for "I-HELP" and Applied Scholastics; 40 - 50 each for SMI, WISE, and TWTH.

The rest of the mag is pretty much the standard fare for $cientology litterature (sic), exhortations to take this or that service, open a mission, join staff, get academy-trained, go OT, etc. The "Matters of RTC Concern" list is reproduced, and an update is given on the SP Building, showing the idle crane, partially completed foundation pillars with rebar sticking out, and a couple of workers carrying a piece of 8x mesh - you'd think they could mock up something more resembling a serious construction crew.

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