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Can you reopen this question?

IMO it can be reopened. It is not asking people to watch and comment on a 50-minute video ... it's asking people to reference any official explanations (i.e. more authoritative than the conspiracy theories, more detailed/specific than this reference, and preferably covering some of the details that are mentioned in the reference conspiracy-theory videos and in the now-edited version of the question): which, I think is clear and on-topic.

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    I also think that the question can be reopened in its current shape. I've done some research, and if it's reopened, I can provide an answer to it with translations from references that explain the backstory of the event, its public reception, and an explanation of some of the key elements by the director. – Schmuddi Jul 2 '17 at 16:08
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Title

My first reaction on seeing the title 'Is there explanation other than “Satanic ritual” for the Gotthard Base Tunnel Opening Ceremony?' was that the form of the question in the title is not suitable for Stack Exchange.

Yes, there are plenty of other explanations: Aliens. Drugs. Cultural gaps. Mass hypnosis. Illuminati. Parody. Prank. People not knowing art when they see it.

The question is, is it Satanic? But when I went to make that change, I found @ChrisW had just changed it in the opposite direction. I don't want to get in an edit war. Hence this note here.

We don't review art

Asking here what the underlying themes are for "The Great Gatbsy" is off-topic. Even if someone says F. Scott Fitzgerald includes satanic symbolism. It is a question of opinion and personal interpretation, not something that can be answered empirically.

It is the same for this performance art. Interpreting the themes and motivations of artists may be an interesting discussion, but it doesn't require scientific skepticism.

(Even quoting the artist about their motivations isn't going to answer these types of question.)

What is the claim?

I note that there is no extracted quotes of the claim. This is a concern because it means there is a risk of us tackling strawmen. I went to fix that.

  • I looked at the Huffington Post article. It does not make the claim.

  • I sat through the first five minutes of the first video. I got as far as seeing some guy who saw some performance art, and didn't like it, and was posting a review.

  • I sat through the first three minutes of the second video. The closest I got to an actual claim was that there are Illuminati symbolism. Note: Illuminati ≠ Satanic, and referring to satanic symbols (or symbols that have cultural associations with Satanism) doesn't make it a satanic religious practice.

  • I sat through 30 seconds of the last video. I assume the claims came later. I had already committed far too much time to a poor question, and I stopped.

The question should be edited to quote an actual, specific, claim that someone believes.

Vagueness

The question was originally closed by Sklivvz as too vague. He's still right. When does a figure with wings become an angel? When does an angel symbolise something satanic? When does a performance with satanic themes become a satanic ritual?

  • Here's a link from "Vigilant Citizen" who conclude that the "opening ceremony of the Gotthard Base Tunnel turned a great feat of engineering into a religious ceremony dedicated to Baphomet while somewhat ridiculing the workers who sacrificed their lives and the masses who will travel through the tunnel." vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/… – Schmuddi Jul 2 '17 at 16:54
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    … This one by LifeSite is titled "Europe’s top leaders watch bizarre satanic ceremony opening world’s longest tunnel" lifesitenews.com/blogs/… and describes it as follows: "Similar in some respects to the ceremonies which launch the Olympic Games, the extravagant performances, one inside for dignitaries and another outside, included the devil emerging and adored by scantily clad figures repeatedly prostrating themselves before him." –Would these two claims be sufficient? – Schmuddi Jul 2 '17 at 16:57
  • Just for the sake of it, here's another by "TruNews" that contains the link to CERN mentioned in the question: trunews.com/article/… It starts out with "On June 1st, 2016, Switzerland unveiled the world’s longest and deepest railroad tunnel with a deeply occultist, satanic ceremony." and ends in wonder: "There has still been no explanation to the weird opening, or as to why a government funded project chose to use so much ancient pagan religious symbolism." – Schmuddi Jul 2 '17 at 17:02
  • Yes, there are plenty of other explanations: Aliens. I thought it was implied by the site's rules that it can only be looking for answers which reference a more credible/official/authoritative source than the references mentioned in the OP. That said, if you did have a Swiss government release saying it was aliens, or a quote from the producer or choreographer saying it was drug-inspired, then those references would be on-topic IMO. But perhaps you're also saying there's no notable claim that it's anything but an artistic performance (where "no notable claim" would be a reason for closing). – ChrisW Jul 2 '17 at 17:44
  • "We don't review art". What about the Denver airport murals? While that old question was posted as an existence question (is this really there?) instead of an art review question, similar existence questions about purported bizarre opening rituals seem apropos and could similarly leave interpretation of the artwork to its creator(s). – Paul Jul 2 '17 at 18:02
  • @Paul: That question, at its heart, asks "Do these murals exist in Denver airport?", not "What is the motivation?" To the degree it asks for motivation, let's fix it. – Oddthinking Jul 2 '17 at 19:01
  • @ChrisW: I agree, to an extent. When people ask "Is there scientific evidence that X is true" in the title, I tend to simplify it to "Is X?" Why isn't this question simply "Was [the performance] a Satanic ritual?" (This addresses only my first point.) – Oddthinking Jul 2 '17 at 19:05
  • It was "Was the Gotthard Base Tunnel Opening Ceremony a Satanic ritual?" before my edit and I don't mind if you prefer to revert to the original title. I changed the title because Sklivvz commented, What specifically makes it "satanic"? and closed it as unclear. I accepted the OP's saying that people are claiming it's satanic and, without wanting to explain those claims, thought it easier to just ask for whatever the official explanation is. – ChrisW Jul 2 '17 at 19:20
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    @Schmuddi: I'm confused. Is the claim that it was a religious ritual dedicated to Baphomet, to Satan, the Illuminati, or just an extravagant performance as part of a ceremony like the Olympics that referenced "so much ancient pagan religious symbolism."? – Oddthinking Jul 2 '17 at 19:56
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    @Oddthinking I'm confused. If there was a public story about me going onto the streets yelling "Hail Satan" and proving that I was getting government money for it, would you consider "Why is the government paying sgf to be a Satanist" off-topic because what I'm doing is a work of art? No, because the fact that what I'm doing is a work of art (assuming that it is that, which seems the likeliest explanation) is the answer to the question, not a premise of the question. – sgf Jul 2 '17 at 20:19
  • As the original OP of the question, I would just like to say that we do have an answer ready. I just heard lots of strange stuff on this ceremony and wanted to know what the official position was because there must be one. I now have someone willing to provide it. If there is a way the question can be further edited to make it on-topic and ok for receiving this answer then please let me know. – user35244 Jul 2 '17 at 20:22
  • But given that an answer is ready I feel it kind of changes the situation a little as it's more about putting the answer and marking as solved rather opening to question to look further into it. Couldn't we at least reopen it for the answer and then if you really want close it as off-topic again? I really don't mind what editing is done to the question, just so that it is compatible with the site policy and can have that answer posted. – user35244 Jul 2 '17 at 20:22
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    Apparently this question is not considered salvageable. I don't fully grasp why: it's basically asking if the opening ceremony was a satanic ritual, which is a claim made by several people. This claim can easily (perhaps trivially) be falsified by means of research that is similar to what seems to be acceptable e.g. for questions concerning historical events or alleged quotations by famous people. The answer would not have to be any more subjective, interpretative or speculative than answers to those questions, and it certainly wouldn't have to be an art review. But I accept your decision. – Schmuddi Jul 3 '17 at 5:24
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    @Sklivvz I don't care what it looks like, and it doesn't matter what we know about a mass. I thought there were claims (which we don't need to understand or agree with) that it was satanic, and that a more-authoritative statement that it was something else (i.e. that there's an explanation for it other than "it's a satanic ritual") would be a clear and sufficient answer. – ChrisW Jul 3 '17 at 22:34
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    @ChrisW how would you suggest we determine what is Satanic(tm) or no? I can think of only 2 ways: (a) the form of the act corresponds to a well known satanic ritual or (b) the intent of the authors was for it to be satanic. Certainly not (c) a handy wavey suggestion from an "authority" that it is satanic. In case (a), we need some specific pointers as to what in the act is meant to be satanic; case (b) is off topic for the site. – Sklivvz Jul 4 '17 at 7:00

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