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Viral prank

Hoax sacrifice video prompts CERN investigation

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The administration at the Switzerland-based European Organization for Nuclear Research – or CERN – has opened an internal investigation into a video parody of a human sacrifice that was filmed on the grounds of the laboratory and published online.

The video, which has been viewed more than 90,000 times since it was published last week, shows several hooded figures taking part in a mock stabbing of a woman who is lying on the ground. It seems to depict a ritual human sacrifice and was filmed on the CERN grounds in front of a statue of the Hindu god Shiva.

“This video was filmed on our property but without the permission of our institution,” a CERN spokesperson told AFP, adding that “[CERN] does not endorse this kind of hoax, which may cause misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work”.

Although clearly a hoax meant as a joke, the video was quickly picked up by conspiracy-oriented websites which claimed that ritual sacrifices are performed at CERN.

“CERN hosts thousands of researchers from all over the world every year, and some let their sense of humour go too far,” the spokesperson said, stressing that the investigation is an “internal” matter. The Geneva police told AFP that no complaint had been filed by CERN. 

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