Dear Leader jetted off to Milan for a ribbon yanking even last weekend. It was certainly supposed to have happened PRIOR to the IAS event and couldn’t get done in time. Ah well. It will be good to have something for the New Year’s event.
And he got to spend a week shopping for some new shoes at John Lobb.
With the constant news from the Hurricane Leah, things have been backed up. I didn’t want this to wait too long and tomorrow is Thursday Funnies and Friday is Regraded Being, so letting this see the light of day.
One of our Italian Special Correspondents sent in this report.
They took considerable time to put this together, so I am reprinting it as they sent it to me in their excellent english.
So last Saturday was the Milano Opening.
We didn’t go but I did ask around for the attendance figure.
I found one article that says there were 2000 people which included a video:
I then asked a friend who’s in the SO and he told me it was more than 7000.
Another guy who’s ex-SO told us the attendance was 6000, and that this was for sure.
We decided to see what the official site would say. Eventually they reported 8000 attendees. An interesting point to note here is that the first Idle Org in Italy was Rome, which was reported to have 6000 attendees. The next one was Padova, which was reported to have 7000. It’s only logical due to the unprecedented expansion, that Milano would have 8000 attendees. 🙂
Then we started compare the pictures. The official pictures are obviously photoshopped.
- In the first article I sent you, you can see about 2000 people.
- If you look the place up with google maps you can get an estimate of the space. We calculated almost 4000 square meters, which would hold around 4000 people, if you consider that there were 1500 seats. From the pictures you can also see that there are sections of the parking lot not used for attendees.
- There is one official picture that is a “long shot.” It shows a huge crowd of people. If you look at the stage, you will notice that it’s very small. You will also notice that the building itself lacks depth, which indicates the shot was not actually taken from this angle.
If you look at this picture from an Italian newspaper, you will notice it’s taken from an almost direct angle, from a building behind the parking lot. You can see here that the stage is much bigger, meaning that it was taken much closer. This would mean that the official picture above is taken so far back that they would have to have been behind the building there the newspaper took the shot.
There were a lot of other shots indicating photoshop such as the lack of depth to the side of the side of the building, and the fact that there are people where there is a fence in reality:
And here is a shot of how it looks in the real world.
There are others, if you want them, just let me know.
There is just one more that I really want to share. I was going through the pictures, and I stopped because I recognised the girl in this picture with the red shirt.
I then went to the NEXT picture in the slideshow, and lo and behold, there she is again, right in the front left. Although it appears as though she changed the color of her shirt! Maybe they thought people wouldn’t realise she was in both pictures.
I think the above is enough evidence that there were definitely not 8000 attendees. We believe they are only saying this to perpetuate their original lie at the Rome opening.
Everything in scientology is phony. There is little doubt that this is the biggest scientology org in Europe. It has been for many years. But even if they managed to scrape together half the number they claim, it is still a poor show when you know this is the entire population of scientologists in Italy and people from all over Europe were pressed to attend “to support Chairman of the Board.”
Not the straight up and vertical, 50X greater expansion in the last few years than in the entire 50 years previously bs they churn out.
And believe it or not, they keep sending me anonymous emails with links to the scientology.org website page with Re: lines like “There were more people than you thought” and “Another magnificent Grand Opening”…
They are pathetic and rather sad.
In all fairness, the shots of the building followed by the ‘real building’ are just slightly different camera angles–their shot being more to the left which cuts out the right side of the building. You can tell by the position of the pine tree near the building. I say this not because I think for a minute there were any more people there than the paper reported, but because if we’re going to take this things apart, it needs to be done accurately, not by wrong assumptions.
Chris Thompson says
In the last picture the guy with the hat … remember the spy that followed Marty at the Berlin wall in 2011? That is “Utzi Butzi 007” from OSA Switzerland.
And first man to the right of him is Captain AOSH EU, Bernd Körtl
I too have gotten gmails with same links messages. They are really hurting.
The GAT 3 PR Course is sure to handle it. Can I confirm you for the soon to be announced event?
Another photography trick is the use of wide-angle lenses. Where a tele-photo will “squeeze together” things that are far and things close, making them look close together, a wide-angle does the opposite – it makes things that are just a little further look as if they are very far away.
There are certain distortions that show up. In a baseball game, when the tv shows a shot from the centerfield camera, the 60′ distance from the pitcher to the batter will look shorter than a normal eye would see. This is why the sizes of the pitcher and batter will sometimes look out of proportion. Your eye says the batter should look a certain amount smaller than the pitcher, but he doesn’t on the screen.
The opposite can be seen on the 3rd bldg pic (top of the article pic excluded). The facade of the building looks distorted. This is not how your eye would see the bldg in real life. It would look more like the 4th pic.This distortion is from the wide-angle lens. It is used to make the far end of the crowd look as if it is much further away than it really is.
“Gorillavee in spreading his entheta about events that are truly helping mankind is but another in a long line of disaffected and disingenuous apostates who have nothing better to do than nitpick. His comments are inappropriate and stupid. We’re glad he’s not affiliated with us in any way.” – Church Spokesperson
Volunteer Ministers (@VistaPrintScams) says
“…for a ribbon yanking even last weekend…”
That wasn’t the only thing he yanked that weekend.
Sherman the German says
Just listened to a radio show on the way home from work. The two hosts were discussing the Shelly Miscavige case and asked the question if the Scientology was a Church or a Cult……the second caller was a Scientologist and he objected to the fact that the hosts mentioned it is expensive to be a Scientologist……..he said that he was a member since 1997 and over the years he spent a total of $ 200 on courses………he admitted that he was a doing some volunteer work at the Church…….I wished the Radio host would have asked him about bis Freeloader debt. Currently there is a lot of Media coverage on Scientology in Australia……never used to be the case…….love it.
roger gonnet says
As always, crime cult leader asks its brainwashed shooters to put pretty girls just near the view, so, people won’t see the remaining of the treacheries !!
Trap Door Coir (@TrapDoorCoir) says
The place is so strange in real life. It looks like a business building.
Here’s the google streetview: https://goo.gl/NOkGu5
That young woman must be OT X.
She has simply cloned herself at will!
Nevertheless I am surprised that there are still so many fools applauding essentially what is a semi-criminal activity of getting the public to directly buy an Org that then does not belong to them, and diverting their money into a real estate scam instead of services, yet alone their scurrilous, fictitious and scam-based membership fees to IAS – and being made to feel criminal if they don’t! Or did they come to see the Mafia Godfather that started the crime family known as IAS and Ideal Orgs? I heard that Milan were perhaps the most rebellious of the bigger Orgs so perhaps the Godfather was making sure that they stay on board with the team, so to speak.
Missed out in not using the phrase “COBFather” – damn!
There’s some photoshopping going on but most of what the correspondent is pointing out is lens distortion. The event photogs tend to use ultra wide lenses to get as many people in the picture as possible and to give it that dramatic feel.
They did delete a lamp at the top right of the building but I don’t see evidence of people being added. The one girl with different color shirt is not convincing – it may not even be the same person or she changed shirts (and jacket) for whatever reason.
The higher res photos from the Scn website don’t show shooping artifacts. They fiddled with contrast, saturation, etc but not much else. The local Milano papers have their own crowd shots for comparison. Given the parking lot area and checking with Google maps, I would estimate the attendance was between 2500 and 4000 max, certainly not 8000.
I was one of the people who took pictures at the Portland Ideal Org opening. I know exactly what they did.
They use wide-angle rectilinear lenses. It has the characteristic of wide angle, but you can see stretching in the edges – especially the corners – which can be corrected by software (as opposed to fisheye, which is a bit harder to correct). It has the effect of making areas look larger and farther away. For example, have you ever taken an action shot with a 35mm camera and have your focal point look small and really far away? This is more like 16-10mm, depending on the shot; even wider. You can also see the slant in the building verticals, which indicates whether they were taking a pic from higher than plane or lower.
It’s a hack job. I called this at the Portland opening when I called out the cherry-picker with a wide-angle as showing that the space looks larger than it is.
Smoke and mirrors, but in a well-established method of inflating size via photography. Any photographer could spot this.
In Portland, they may have started with wide-angle rectilinear lenses, but they carried on by pasting chunks of crowd where there were lines of shrubbery or empty intersection.
It was the same deal in Cambridge, and other locations.
In Portland they undoubtedly inserted balloons and other artifacts. The copy paste is absolutely clear as the same digital insertion occurs multiple times.
In pictures 1 and 3, the technique that was used is called homography. They took a picture of the building from the front and projected it according to a plan in the crowd picture.
This explains why there is no depth to the building, and the weird deformation and flattening of the bows.
It’s a technique which is suitable to insert images on screens or panels in the target image, but not very much to insert 3D objects. To do that you need to work a bit more, and you need software quite a bit more complicated to use than photoshop.
Sherman the German says
OT…….nice report in the Herald Sun (Melbourne Newspaper) about Shelley Miscavige.
Steve Friedl says
Wow, what a bunch of unbelieving haters. HOW DO YOU KNOW THE GIRL DOESN’T HAVE A TWIN?
Don’t you “twin” in Rondroidism for TRs or whatever? You’re transparent OSA.
Chris Thompson says
I get it Steve. You are joking. Time for silvererieann to come out of the closet. No more reason to be fearful of showing your face or identity, at least not around here.
Ahhh, I love to see the fancy buildings festooned with swags and bows….they all remind me that the Flag building had a terrible time getting their swags to stay on the building. It kept falling down. Whatever they did to finally work, I have no idea. But, it tore the plaster off of the building—leaving an unsightly mess. They patched it up–but the new plaster doesn’t match. You can easily see where each piece was stuck on the building. Cracks me up every time I drive by. Great piece, Mike.
8000 attended if you count the body thetans…
Leslie Bates says
Shouldn’t be 40K body thetans?
Lol! What an astute observation, Zola!
Ella R says
Added: some of the later images used by the cult have used to trick photography rather than photoshopping – not sure which technique was used here, but something very obviously fishy
Murray Luther says
Alexa traffic ranking today for the Milano org website: global: 9,013,993 / local: no data. In cyberspace, this org is in virtual oblivion and will likely remain there.
Ella R says
See the people in the cult’s shot in hte back rows taking pictures with smartphones. If the cult’s picture was real, they could only be taking a picture of the backs of peoples heads, and really, why would you? No, these people were taking pictures of the jumbotrons so would have to have been close enough that they could pick up a reasonable image in a smart phone. Another photo shop fail.
Good catch. Move forward and to your right about 8-10 rows to find the same people taking the same shots only blurred out (I focused on balding guy in blue suit with landscape phone). They shooped people IN FRONT of the crowd, not behind, and the crowd photo was shot with a wide angle lens to make the stage look further away which is why they had to drop the building in there out of proportion and looking like a strong wind would blow over the props holding it up from behind.
Is it just me or in the last photo, does the girl in the shopped blue shirt on the ledt, and the woman with the red kimono next to her look like they are laughing and looking at a blank space where a person should be? Also the blonde woman behind kimono girl also seems to be distracted by that same blank space.
Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter says
I wouldn’t have noticed that myself, but I think you are right. It looks like someone was shopped out.
I’m playing guessing games here, but it looks like whoever was shopped out was the height of the woman in the shopped shirt, or shorter.
Cleared Out says
There is some huge, unprecedented scientology expansion going on, and this is real!
Leah’s new book is the number 3 bestseller on Amazon right now.
Now thats straight up and vertical!
“And he got to spend a week shopping for some new shoes at John Lobb.” Lol! And yet, many a true word spoken in jest!
“With the constant news from the Hurricane Leah, things have been backed up.” Well put. If you don’t mind, Mike, I’m going to adopt this catch phrase. Brilliant!
These two remarks gave me my first good laugh of the day.
Richard D says
Dawn – Great point! I’m sure Mike is allowing Hurricane Leah to be public domain! lol
Richard D says
Dawn – Attribution given to Mike at the top Tony Ortega’s blog today! “Hurricane Leah” is now retired from from the list of official hurricane names. For use by SPs only.
It’s #2 right now — 7:05AM EST —
I’m not quite 1/2 way through — with MANY laugh out loud moments, impressed with her candor of her OWN transgressions … laughed at her confession of stealing donuts or whatever when she was in the SO at Flag and later when trying to get on to the upper OT levels having to pay — 40K for that sin 🙂
It’s going to go to number 1 for sure — and then have some lasting time at number 1
Go Leah — class f***ing act — which she says A LOT
Richard D says
If anyone wants a joyous read, go read the comments at Amazon.
Jens TINGLEFF says
In particular the one star review which is marked as not at all helpful (at the very end) and for which the reviewer takes on the commentors.
Jens TINGLEFF says
.. and numbers one, two and three in “$cientology” on Amazon. Pushing DMSMH down to number 13. Hu hu.
Very cool that Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book is at the top of the non-Leah books. Apparently we’re keen on Miscavige family related books. Good.
Please send this link to Dave and company. You’re welcome!
The Oracle says
Regraded Being says
Great work Italy! I still cringe knowing that not too long ago I would look at a photo like one of these or read a statistic provided by the church and accecpt it as truth. I’d often feel disappointed at the same time because these images also served to show that scientology was expanding everywhere except where I was.
On the other hand…. imagine someone who was actually at the Milan activity looking at these pictures. They now have to go through some very contorted mental acrobatics in order to dub-in these images over the ones they made themselves.
I also wonder, what thoughts are going through the heads of the guys who are doing the photoshop work and putting these publications together. Artistic work isn’t really fun if you’re only focused on the product. That’s like filling in a coloring book, a lot of fun till you master it. If these guys are really into what they’re doing they’ve gotta be asking themselves ” Who the hell is gonna buy into this crap?” Maybe thay’s why the end up doing substandard work. I’ll bet if you gave them free rein to do a photoshop image of how they really viewed the church’s expansion they would come up with the most beautiful, desolate, barren landscape imaginable. Just lookin at it would bring one to tears after being overwhelmed by the sensation og being absolutely alone and exposed.
Sorry gang…….. just finished reading Leah’s book and am still feeling a bit pensive.
Photoshop sounds like a good subject for one of your comic strips.
At this rate, Mike is going to have to dedicate a weekly post to the Photoshop Funnies.
Viva our Italian correspondent!
Sneaky Little Phuq says
I’m not a photoshop expert, but there are major issues in this photo that are hidden in plain sight, such as but not limited to:
1. Who is the questionable girl in the new blue/ formerly read shirt even talking to!? There is nobody standing where her and the dark-haired girl next to her are facing towards. BT much…?
2. Billy Sheehan has a time-machine! Center of the pic, Billy S. has come forward, with his hat from 1985-ish, to how how Slappy has done in 30 years are surprisingly, 1985 Billy S looks like he will go back to 1985 and say that the future of Xenotolgy is bright!
3. Billy approves of curly headed gilr about to take a sip of the grape kool-aid
4. Guy in plaid shirt in background looking hypnotized needs to be brought to present time
5. Standard Sea Org “door p[patrol” at back center and left side of the shot
6. Lady with blue scarf is so bored after Chairman of the Bored spoke, she has to hold her face up
7. Far right, bald head, how the heck did Alex Gibney get into the room, wow!!!
Pathetic and sad indeed. Does no one in Dave’s circle understand that most people understand Photoshop?
If you look closely at the girl on the far left in the bottom picture, her hand has an unnatural outline – what they did was CHANGE the color of her shirt using a mask and fill with dark blue. They figured it would be harder to spot her if her shirt was a different color. The mask was so inexpertly done, they ended up trimming a frame around her hand.
Whoever publishes these photos needs to be told they are fake.
Robert Almblad says
False report = Doubt
Everyone working on puffing up (deceiving) attendance at these events knows things are going south. Reporting vs Falsifying … anyone can tell the difference…even robots!
Alex de Valera says
“They are pathetic and rather sad” Yes they are, but they cannot stop truth and they are going down, down, down surely and with more and more momentum.
Mike you are amazing with your up to date info and sources. Well done.
In the interior shots you can see from the lighting of the people is inconsistent. Most if not all have been photoshopped, When I see this I think of those North Korean photoshop pics with those ships and hovercrafts coming towards the shoreline from a few years back. What a joke. Keep up your amazing work Mike.
Of course it’s shooped! But at least they’ve stopped beheading people. Hi Arnie.
BTW. I have 100 children and they all live on Venus.
PSST… Scientology. .. is this how it works?
Obviously photo-shopped. Compare the third and fourth pictures (above). Look at the “Real” (Getty Images) photo. Notice how there is a surveillance camera located near the upper right-hand corner of the building. Now scroll up and look at the photo-shopped version. Poof ! The camera is gone! They chopped off the far right-hand side of the building along with the black metal fence/barrier to make room for the photo-shopped scilon’s. Pathetic.
Sneaky Little Phuq says
For a wog(3232), I bet you were good at those newspaper games where you have to find 10 things different on the picture on the right versus the picture on the left! JK of course, you have very good awareness to have picked these points out, BUT did you spot Alex Gibney…?! No, I did! 🙂
And no one has mentioned the dancing bear.
In addition to the clever analysis proving photoshop, there’s the photo itself which looks as phony as Sharknado.
How dare you insult my lord and savior Sharknado?!
Chris Thompson says
OMG Scilon Sharknado Event!
Pleeeeeez someone with shoop skills, shoop in Tara Reid to one of these photos!
Old Surfer Dude says
Another Magnificent Grand Opening…or…Another Magnificent Grand Failure (of EPIC proportions).
Hey Davy! We can actually see what you’re doing! Kind of strange where people show up in the pictures with different clothes on each time. If I could only figure that out……
Maybe they’re twins. Twin clams.