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This post is a specific breakdown of the ashram’s claims about Edward J Primeau’s testimony and analysis. For the article about the alleged video “morphing” itself see here. For a quick analysis of SUN TV ex-COO Hansraj Saxena’s “confession” that it was morphed, see here.

Followers of Nithyananda are repeatedly claiming that the Nithyananda – Ranjitha sleaze sex video was morphed.

To support their claim they have paid an “expert” in the US by the name of Edward J. Primeau to provide his assessment. He provided his client, the Nithyananda Life Bliss Foundation, a report. He has also subsequently made a video statement that is published on the Nithyananda Truth (sic) Youtube channel. This guy really provides a great service to his clients!

However, any discerning person will immediately see flaws in his “testimony”.

Primeau, seemingly not a competent forensic investigator

First, he declares that he has obtained the video from Life Bliss Foundation. An organization of the accused, Swami Nithyananda, this presents numerous subsequent conflicts of interest. Mr. Primeau is analyzing a video that has come from an entity with a vested interest in proving the video fake, and who are also experienced in video editing.

Mr. Primeau then goes on to contradict the entire basis of his analysis when he says:

When I am brought in to examine a piece of video evidence prior to testifying in court, I have access to the complete original video, as it was recorded, the equipment that was used to make the video, as well as the audio portion of the video, so that I can determine whether or not the video is real and true. The video that  was provided by the Life Bliss Foundation has several anomalies that I would like to point out.”.

The Nithyananda representative in the video asked him whether there were any signs of alteration or tampering in the video he examined. The answer from Mr. Primeau indicated the possible red flags were: some flickering to the left of the TV set and that there is no audio, thus he cannot conduct a voice identification.

I have looked at the excerpt of the video he examined myself and the “flickering” looks like a device with red and green LED lights. The flickering is restricted to that small object and it is consistent. To use this as any possible evidence for a morphed video shows gross bias… or a lack of analysis expertise.  Mr. Primeau is using the lack of audio as the primary basis to claim that the characters in the video were morphed into it. A professional making such an argument would immediately call his ability for forensic video analysis into question.

I actually wondered why he seemed so annoyed that the video did not have an audio track as video analysis can certainly be performed without audio tracks. Even an amateur forensic expert who has ever examined CCTV footage or cheap nanny cams would be familiar with these kinds of cases. This was cleared up after going through his resume which clearly shows his experience is based mainly on audio analysis. For Mr. Primeau to even take on such a job of solely video analysis is questionable at best. However, to then assess the video as contentious, simply because the copy he received did not have audio, would indicate he was not impartial in his resulting poor assessment. The natural conclusion is that being given a video and being paid to do an assessment of it by the Life Bliss Foundation is an obvious conflict of interest he is fully aware of.

So let’s consider what a real expert in video forensics has said about Mr. Primeau’s analysis. Note particularly these points made by Dr. P. Chandra Sekharan:

  • Ending comments that Mr. Primeau and the CSFL have examined two different materials
  • Mr. Primeau’s opinion is farfetched
  • Mr. Primeau could not have had access to the original tape
  • Mr. Primeau has exceeded his limit (as a so-called forensic examiner)
  • Mr. Primeau made inferences, and a (real) expert cannot make inferences
  • Mr. Primeau has passed judgment by recommending that “the video to be excluded from any factual relevance to the events that appear to be happening”.
  • Even Mr. Primeau has said, “It is mostly the defense that is guilty of wasting money and complicating a case”.
  • And Mr. Primeau has said: “Many times the video evidence being submitted in litigation is good as a standalone exhibit and a video forensic expert is not needed”

As early as Dec 2, 2011, Dr. P. Chandra Sekharan, who has actual credentials in forensic video analysis, said of Edward J Primeau’s Report on Nithyananda tape:

“The noted Indian Forensic Expert Padma Bhushan Prof Dr P Chandra Sekharan has commented that “the expert opinion of the American Audio Forensic Expert Edward J Primeau on Nithyananda tape is farfetched in as much as he could not have had access to the original tape. The original video in tape was made by Nithyananda’s driver Lenin Karuppan aka Dharmananda. This tape only can technically be called original or genuine. All the other copies made out in compact discs (CD) are only duplicates and many multi generated CDs were prepared from the first generation CD. The electronic gadgets the experts use to examine these CDs will certainly show signs of editing and other inherent defects of reproduction. Edward was right in saying that the video he had examined (obviously in CDs) are not genuine and authentic. (Ed: Just for clarification, Dr P Chandra Sekharan is saying that the copies cannot be called original or genuine, but it does not mean that the original is morphed because of this obvious fact.)

“But he (Ed: Mr Primeau) has exceeded his limit and passed judgement by saying that ‘the video to be excluded from any factual relevance to the events that appear to be happening’. Wherefrom then the events appear? From wilderness! An expert cannot make inferences.”

In fact according to Edward’s very own words, I quote “Many times the video evidence being submitted in litigation is good as a standalone exhibit and a video forensic expert is not needed. It is mostly the defense that is guilty of wasting money and complicating a case”.

It is indeed very sure that the American ‘Expert’ as well as our CFSL have examined two different evidence materials and not the same one in this case.

Mr. Primeau’s statement is not based on evidence. Instead on the absence of an audio track on the file received from Life Bliss Foundation.

He passed judgment without evidence and stated a mere conjecture: “I think the reason the audio track was left off of this video is that the characters in the video were not all together at the same time and audio would have revealed that”.

Well, I have great news for those wanting the truth. The source files provided long ago to the Indian CID and FSL have been.

Findings have come back that the video is, in fact, authentic and that the man in the video is indeed Paramahamsa Nithyananda (as he calls himself).

This despite repeated false claims by Nithyananda’s followers that the video has been morphed, actual experts have found it not to be morphed.

Back to Mr. Primeau and his self-contradicting statements. In his video, on YouTube, he makes the following statement thus showing that any comments he has allegedly made regarding the video must be complete without foundation:

The only way to determine if that [tampering of the video to create events that did not occur] is true or not, is to have access to and be able to examine the original, the equipment that created the original as well as the original digital file.

As Mr. Primeau admits that:

  1. The only way to determine tampering is to have access to original video media and equipment that created it
  2. He does not have access to either the original video media, not the equipment that created it

So how can Mr. Primeau ethically make any valid assessment of the file he received from Life Bliss Foundation as to whether the original video that he has no access to, had any tampering?

To give you just some background, Dr. P Chandra Sekharan:

  • is President of Forensics International
  • Has 55 years experience as the foremost forensic expert in India
  • His experience includes consultancy, teaching, research, and training in the field of forensic sciences
  • and has also appeared as Expert Witness for Prosecution, Defence as well as Court witness in India, UK, Singapore, and Colombo
  • Is also the first and only Forensic Scientist thus far to receive the second higher civilian award “Padma Bhushan” from the President of India during the millennium year [2000]
  • And is the only forensic scientist who was awarded ‘Emeritus Fellowship’ by the University Grant Commission (UGC), Government of India
  • And is a Fellow of  the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute

Cabinet Secretariat, New Delhi and Head of the Counter-Terrorism Division of R & AW, Mr. B Raman said of Prof Dr. P. Chandra Sekharan that

Prof Dr P. Chandra Sekharan is the ‘legendary Forensic Science Expert’

Journalist Shekhar H Hooli has provided a news article “Swami Nithyananda and Ranjitha sex video tape: Forensic dept confirms both are present in clip”.

I will provide some excerpts for discussion but the full article may be sourced at Ibtimes-swami Nithyananda and Ranjitha both present in sex video clip according to latest forensics.

The controversial footage showing the two in a compromising position…Soon after the video got leaked, Swami Nithyananda was absconding and five days later he appeared before the judicial magistrate court…He spent 53 days in jail before he was released on bail….Both Swami Nithyananda and actress Ranjitha had vehemently denied that they were part of the video.