Banner lermanet.com - Exposing the con | www.lermanet.com

The Washington Post


January 4, 2000, The Washington Post
THE RELIABLE SOURCE (column)
By Lloyd Grove


Scientology's Funny Photos

The Church of Scientology insists that more than 14,000 of it's faithful packed the Los Angeles Sports Arena for a millenia celibration 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, and today owns an audio-video and computer business, immediately thought he spotted something fishy. He says the crowd scenes were doctored extensively. In one shot he found repeated images of some attendess---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 photons 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 - who left the church after what he describes as an unsanctioned romantic involvement with one of church founder L. Ron Hubbard's daughters 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" Later Scientology's Weiland phoned Leiby back to offer futher 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." (Lerma's analysis of the offending photos, complete with helpful diagrams, can be found at http://www.lermanet.com)

Church PR operatives also said in a press release that President Clinton was "among those sending congratulations" on the church's "half-century of spiritual leadership. "That much is true. In a Dec. 22 letter of "warm greetings" Clinton expressed gratitude to the Scientologists for "all your efforts to promote [religious freedom] and to build just communities United in understanding, compassion and mutual respect."

END-


Man with No Head photo analysis page ONE
Man with No Head photo analysis page TWO
Image of original article, and from Liberation [france], and others

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." [Voltaire]

Listen to recent radio show about Scientology by Arnaldo Lerma here on the AUDIO page

The Xenu Story on South Park last fall is TRUE! Proof HERE

Harrasment of Activists and Ex-members who speak out continues.LINK

.

Home | F.A.Q.'s | Legal | News | Contact us | Search this site