Thursday, December 24, 2015

Vatican G-Spot Conference a Hoax (Or Was It?)

Is it just the Bear, or does this look familiar?
UPDATE 1: The Vatican is now claiming that the 1st World Congress of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynecology (ESAG) being hosted at the Patristic Institute's conference facilities was all a hoax. All references to the venue have been scrubbed from the ESAG website. However, the Bear thinks the graphic on their PDF looks familiar. Merely an iconic image from Rome, or a fingerprint from a plan that got scratched by the Vatican in the face of ridicule? There is quite a bit here to ponder.

UPDATE 2: BREAKING -- ESAG calls Vatican hoax claim untrue, threatens legal action.

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Maureen Mullarkey has written that the Vatican G-Spot Conference is a hoax. You can read the details at her "Studio Matters" blog, in the Bear's opinion always an essential daily blog stop anyway. (Permanently linked in the right-hand column.)

The Bear thinks she may be a little hard on herself. After all, why wouldn't there be a Vatican G-Spot Conference? They rented out space to Porsche, after all. In any case, it was too fat a pony for the Bear to resist going after, too. Overall, the bloggers still understand this pontificate better than the legacy media.

We've earned our "fake but accurate" moment, if anyone recalls the the Bush National Guard hoax.

So, the good news is that the Vatican has not descended to shilling for G-Spot enhancement.

The bad news is that now the Bear will never discover the untapped potential of his G-Spot. Assuming  Bears have one.

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UPDATE 3: Oakes Spaulding of Mahound's Paradise raises a good point in the comments section. Was it really a hoax? (He has done the best work on this, whereas the Bear originally played it for laughs.)

At one time the European Society of Aesthetic Surgery (ESAG) definitely advertised the venue for its "1st World Congress" as the Patristic Institute. The Patristic Institute, under the curial Congregation of Catholic Education, does generally advertise its conference facilities, so there is nothing inherently improbable about the Institute hosting the conference.

However, all references to the Institute as a venue have been scrubbed from the (quite slick) ESAG website. (The site features discussions of a wide variety of feminine enhancement procedures, so viewer discretion advised.) The venue for the ESAG conference is now listed only as "Rome, Italy."

As preserved at Mahound's Paradise, the original promotional material said:
The social event will take place in the Vatican City, participants will have the chance to visit the entire city of the Vatican and reach places not everybody can. Delegates will have the chance to attend the general audience of Pope Francisco, the Mass and to visit the Vatican gardens.
All that's gone now, except for the image of St. Peter's basilica prominently featured on their promotional PDF.

The Bear has inquired of ESAG, but doubts they will feel obligated to reply. [But see.]

Gynogate?

Based on the above, the Bear would not call this a hoax, but a rare triumph of common sense at the Vatican, marred by a coverup. If this is the case, this is a far bigger deal than the original conference story because the Patristic Institute, which is supervised by a curial congregation, would be caught in an outright lie. Worse, it would show a willingness to damage the credibility of a respected blogger by saying that she had been gulled, and had reported untrustworthy information.

As Oakes asks, was ESAG's website hacked? Who were the hoaxers? (An odd target, thinks the Bear.) Why would ESAG scrub all references to the Institute without comment? On the other hand, the Bear can imagine all sorts of reasons for ESAG to keep quiet if the Vatican backed out.

The whole thing looks like ESAG secured a respectable venue for their unusual conference which the Vatican later realized was generating the kind of PR it didn't need. ESAG was disinvited. ESAG is now searching for an alternative venue in Rome.

On the other hand, the experienced journalist Maureen Mullarkey is the one who received the letter from the Patristic Institute. For whatever reasons, she accepted the claim of hoax and apologized.

So, what do you think? Do you buy the improbable hoax claim? Or do you think that's a cover story for a lapse in judgment? The Bear admits that much of this is speculation. However, the hoax claim smells fishy. And there's still that image of St. Peter's on their PDF, which perhaps they neglected to alter.

If the Bear's instincts are right, it isn't Maureen Mullarkey that owes an apology. Somebody needs to apologize to her.

10 comments:

  1. Not to dig myself a deeper hole (I blogged on it too) but I'm skeptical about the "hoax". I trust Maureen Mullarkey but the only evidence she cites for it being a hoax is a statement from the Institute. For my story on the conference I linked DIRECTLY to a blurb on the ESAG site. That blurb is now gone, but that would also be consistent with the conference being moved due to bad publicity. If it was a hoax, who were the hoaxers? And how did they hack the ESAG site? Or is the very existence of the ESAG a hoax? But if that's the case, why did they leave their (fake) site up but edit out the blurb on the Vatican conference?

    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points, Oakes. Could it have been in the works and then scratched when the Vatican was becoming a laughingstock? (Since when has that stopped them, though?) What would that say about the credibility of the Institute? It is, after all, under the Conference for Catholic Education, part of the Curia. Wouldn't the buck stop there?

      Or maybe the feminine enhancement practitioners jumped the gun and advertised it before it was finally approved? If it was advertised on their site they certainly created a lot of buzz (which is good for the G-Spot industry, not to mention all the women now clamoring for the previously unknown O-Spot).

      I tend to agree with you. This doesn't look like a hoax. It looks like a dumb idea scratched and a subsequent coverup. If that is the case, the Institute, which is under the Curia, is actively misleading people and making bloggers who ran with the story look bad.

      Delete
    2. I've looked a bit more. ESAG exists. There are a number of verifiable current mentions and links listing the venue for the event as the Institute. So either the Institute cancelled or someone at ESAG thought the venue had been (or would be) booked. In a statement, Lombardi (!) denied there was a current association. He didn't deny that there might have been an original booking.

      Delete
    3. Now what we really need is a statement beforehand from the Institute, which the Bear has been unable to find. That would be the smoking gun.

      Delete
  2. Well thank God for that. Sadly, it was believable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, this is the Gaslighting Papacy, after all. Who would honestly be surprised if this had been a real thing?

    I sleep easy knowing that the Bear would only use his G-Spot for good, were he ever called upon to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The UK papers covered it. It wasn't just Maureen. It may have indeed been a bad idea floated and retracted once things hit the fan.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My insights into the Vatican are zilch. But this looks like a booked gig that got too much press and was cancelled.
    Nothing from these Vatican heads would surprise me anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  6. G-spots? Climate and climax change? The Vatican appears to have a quite worldly mission lately.

    ReplyDelete

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