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Altering Pictures: Not a New Practice For L. Ron Hubbard Followers


Altered Photos

The Washington Post reported this week on the strangely altered photos provided by Scientology of the recent event in Los Angeles. "The Church of Scientology insists that more than 14,000 of its faithful packed the Los Angeles Sports Arena for a millennial celebration of Scientology's first 50 years and the 'triumph of spirituality over materialism.' To bolster that claim, the church's PR operation posted four panoramic color photographs of the Dec. 28 event--for use by the news media--on the Scientology Web site. But then Arlington resident Arnaldo Lerma entered the picture, reports The Post's Richard Leiby. "The 49-year-old Lerma -- an ex-Scientologist who has tangled repeatedly with church officials since he quit 23 years ago -- immediately thought he spotted something fishy: He says the crowd scenes were doctored extensively. (bold emphasis added.)

[Lisa's note: The pictures on have been doctored extensively too!] 

In one shot he found repeated images of some attendees--apparently added to fill empty seats. The touch-up work left one doppelganger parishioner with no head. In another shot, a bald man who had been replicated magically grew hair. "On Friday, Lerma shared his discovery with the media and posted his findings on an online Scientology discussion group, and on New Year's Day the church removed two photos altogether and considerably cropped the remaining two. Yesterday, when Leiby asked church spokeswoman Janet Weiland for an explanation, she said there was no intent to inflate the head count. 'That was just a goof when they put it up on the Web,' she said. 'It was later corrected.' She maintained that the celebration was 'absolutely packed ... there wasn't an empty seat.' "Lerma vehemently disagreed. 'It wasn't a mistake -- we think it took many hours of work,' he said. 'They didn't just clone people; they squished their heads and drew hair on them. It's only a goof because we noticed it.' 

[See Scientology's altered photos: Scientology Press Release Lies and Scientology's Funny Photos.]

 Later, Scientology's Weiland phoned Leiby back to offer further explanation. 'Someone made an independent decision over the holidays to fill in a hole around the camera crew for aesthetic reasons, and when we found out about this, the photos were pulled,' Weiland said. 'That wasn't okay.'" From the French newspaper Liberation on January 7th: "On december 28th, into the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, the church of Scientology invited its most convinced adepts to an immense rout. Three hours long, it was a feast to the glory of the cult founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Speaking: the present super chief, David Miscavige himself. Coming there, some 30 french people or more.

 Two days after the event, scientology sent a press release. And it published four photos on one of its websites. But the same evening, an American internetizen, Arnaldo Lerma, 49, ex executive in the cult turned critic, received a hint from inside Scientology. The published shots on Internet by scientology could be somewhat strange. Arnaldo Lerma checks them. And he finds here and there, a women appearing twice in the crowd. There, a man has been cloned three times, and has lost his head through a wrongly done copy and paste. "Then, as usual, the fast reacting cult acts immediately and suppresses the images from its website. The other critics of scientology and internetizens have already taken the coup: this manhandling symbolizes so well the 'Cult's Lies'. Cut shots helping, some indicate as well that this is no new practice for L. Ron Hubbard followers. "Karin Pouw has no other argument than the following to explain why those manipulated shots have been chosen then publicized: 'They were the first to be developed'." Message-ID: Message-ID: 856qh1$27pl$


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