Scientology sucks at photoshop

As Scientology's numbers and influence decline, the company religion is desperate to maintain appearances. Mark 'Wise Beard Man' Bunker managed to get shots and videos of this weekend's gala opening in Portland (despite a keystone kops runaround from the Portland cops, whom Scientology suborned to chase independent press away from the event), along with other, less public Scientology skeptics. They estimated the crowd at 450-750; the Church put it closer to 2,500, and to prove it, they photoshopped a bunch of stock-art people overtop of a line of rented trees.

Scientology Sunday Funnies: Portland Is Now Cleared, On to the Rest of Earth! UPDATE: PHOTOSHOPPING!


  1. I dunno, I thought it was a pretty good photoshop job. I wouldn’t have caught on if it wasn’t pointed out to me. And I’ve seen some pixels in my day.

    1.  Check the lower left corner of the cult ‘photo’ – it looks like a masking fail to me:

  2. …overtop of a line of rented trees.

    When you have to pay even the trees to show up, you know you’re in trouble. Brings a whole new meaning to astroturfing (or possibly restores the original meaning).

    1. They paid for the trees, and then they shooped them out. Were those trees union, because I think they’d have a grievance.

    1. Really, you try feeding your design/publishing team nothing but beans and rice for the last ten years, and you see what you get (other than scurvy.)

  3. Meanwhile, actually religious people like the Dalai Lama draw thousands of people to their events to the point that the Chinese are probably photoshopping out people from the crowds in his events. 

    1. We need a photoshop transfer system: crowds can be photoshopped out of Tibetan Buddhist events and into Scientologist events.

  4. Sounds to me like he might have a case for something like obstruction of justice, filing false charges, or lying to the police. 

    1. They apparently got the whole several-block area permitted as a film shoot. This gives them a fair amount of authority (if a company has permits and is shooting the next Avengers movie down the block from you, they’re allowed to stop you from moseying over and trying to get into the shot with Robert Downey Jr, etcetera). Of course, there’s the question of whether such permits were appropriate.

  5. And that 450 aren’t looky-loos from the general public, but clams bused in from the surrounding state(s).

    Fascinating in local Pacific Northwest UFO cult news, but the Nation of Islam has started hovering around the Seattle Scientology office downtown. Since Farrakhan has started making their members get Dianetics and regular audits, I guess they’ve slowly been getting more in-line with each other. I’m sure he knows what a racist piece of shit Hubbard was, but power/money/control is their god.

  6. I’m not so sure that picture is photoshopped. I think it may, instead, be a panorama view. That would explain the distorted perception of the size of the crowd.
    Look at this zoomed-in shot ( ) The people on the right look blurrier, but that is consistent with panorama. The confetti concentrated there also looks starkly different than the rest of the crowd, but take a look at 1:30-1:40 of Jefferson Hawkins’ video. It shows the confetti concentrated in exactly that area. Also, in the broader picture ( ), notice that many balloons are caught in the trees and some others on the right side (in the area of the alleged photoshop) are rising just above the trees. That is exactly what the video shows at about 1:40.
    Now, look at the clear, overhead picture ( ) If you look very closely, you can see two people (males, I think) in blue shirts standing beside each other on the near-side about halfway between the stage and the back of the area. There appear to be about 3-4 people between them and the trees, though it is difficult to see if there are others who might be hidden by the trees.
    Now look at the alleged photoshop. ( ) Two people in blue shirts standing next to each other with about 3, 4 or (generously) 5 people between them and the edge. And if you look (very, very closely) at the video, right after the confetti comes down, you will be able to make out two people in blue shirts who appear to be holding their arms up, clapping and turning slightly, just like the blue-shirts in the video.
    If you look REALLY closely — zoom in — you will see two people standing beside them, one wearing a dark (black, gray?) shirt, the other wearing a white shirt. Those two are also visible in the legitimate picture by omnom. ( )
    Bottom line: While I couldn’t say that NO photoshopping has been done to this picture, I’m pretty sure that the near side was not photoshopped to look larger. It’s just a panorama picture.

    1. So where are the trees? And why are those people on the right a slightly smaller scale then those actually in the picture. Nice try.

  7. That’s kind of a miracle, right? 450 miraculously turned into 2500?  Wow! Holy Xenus with a side order of space bugs!

  8. I like how they explain “Ideal Organization (Ideal Org)” — in case you’ve never heard the abbreviation “org” before.

    Scientology is perpetrated by members of a Confidence Game (Con Artists or Grifters).

    1. It is a hypnotic technique. It’s used widely throughout LRH’s Scientology writings.

      1. If that’s the purpose, it seems to work. I wondered the same thing when I was reading the transcript of Bradley Manning’s statement at trial. I wasn’t sure if he was speaking in pedantic military jargon with each abbreviation spelled out, or if the transcript was edited to explicate the jargon. I worry for anybody who uses that much jargon, unaware or unconcerned that it sounds like word salad to laymen. Maybe he was just being extra careful because he wanted it on the record, in detail, in the official terms. Ultra doubleplus whuck.

  9. Your “source”, the Daily Mail pulled their article. It was false, and that was easy to see to anyone who knows how to do wide angle shots. Shame on you for your shoddy research and your willingness to discriminate minorities.
    Yes, it means, the photo was NOT manipulated. With a little research you could have prevented lying to the world. For example, check the original high resolution photo:

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