The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) has launched an investigation into a video filmed at night on its Geneva campus depicting a mock ritual human sacrifice.
The video, which circulated online, shows several individuals in black cloaks gathering in a main square at Europe’s top physics lab, in what appears to be a re-enactment of an occult ceremony.
The video includes the staged “stabbing” of a woman. It is filmed from the perspective of a secret viewer watching from a window above who, as the ceremony reaches its climax, lets out a string of expletives and flees with the camera still running.
The ceremony appears to have been staged in front of a statue of the Hindu deity Shiva that is on permanent display at the complex, home of the Large Hadron Collider.
“These scenes were filmed on our premises but without official permission or knowledge,” a Cern spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse in an email.
“Cern does not condone this type of spoof, which can give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work.”
The “investigation” under way was an “internal matter”, she said.
The video has raised questions about security on Cern’s campus.
“Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds” is a quote used by Robert Oppenheimer about the power of the atom. It is originally attributed to Shiva in the Bhagavad Gita.
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