Posted on 10 May 2013

Misinformation: Vatican and Lucifer

There was another strange phone call today. Somebody was apparently just recently hurt by a misinformation which has been circulating on the web for two or three years. This calumny claims that the Vatican astronomers named some instrument or telescope “Lucifer”.

vatican-obsrtry

It is fairly clearly a typical case of degradation of information. The truth of the matter is that the Vatican Observatory is a member of the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) consortium, together with a number of other institutions from Europe and the USA. The MGIO comprises a large number of stake holders, most of whom have nothing to do with the Vatican Observatory or its telescope.

Jim Bakker and Tom Horn, co-author of Exo-Vaticana

Jim Bakker and Tom Horn, co-author of Exo-Vaticana

How does this work? It is quite similar to share holders in a company. Supposing you had a six percent share in a company, while Mr XYZ had a four percent share. What could you do if Mr XYZ decided to name his pet hamster “Demon”?

One of the stake holders in the MGIO is a group of European institutes who built an infrared camera and spectroscope, and named it “Lucifer”. So what happened? First, somebody reported that an instrument called “Lucifer” was installed on Mt Graham. Then somebody remarked that Mt Graham also hosts the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, and that it is somewhat amusing that Mt Graham has both Vatican and Lucifer. Then the information somehow degraded and the slur was born: Vatican astronomers are supposedly friends with Lucifer…

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Where is the misinformation coming from?

Remember Jim Bakker?

Remember Jim Bakker?

“Heritage USA and Bakker were immersed in scandal, which led to the eventual downfall of both. Bakker was discovered to have paid off then church secretary Jessica Hahn to cover up a sexual encounter and was later convicted on federal fraud charges.

“Bakker was released from prison in 1994.

“In addition to his religious message, [Jim] Bakker’s current ministry also focuses on selling products, including vitamins, ‘Bread of Life,’ and Jim’s Favorite Soynut Butter.”

Source: Charlotte Observer. Jim Bakker back in Fort Mill, broadcasts from old PTL studio

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/28/3883718/jim-bakker-back-in-fort-mill-broadcasts.html

petrus-romanus

Source: http://www.vaticanobservatory.org/VO-NEWS/index.php/recent-news/vatican-observatory-main/vatican-observatory/item/153-vatican-lucifer.html

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