Old video of group chanting in Croatia falsely shared as White House

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
September 6 2023

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Old video of group chanting in Croatia falsely shared as White House


The Verdict False

This video is from a Rudram chanting event organized by the Veda Union in Croatia in March 2018. It has no connection to the White House.

Claim ID 48748307


What's the claim?

A video circulating on social media claims that a "Sri Rudram Stotra" recital was held at the White House in the U.S. In the viral video, people dressed in traditional Indian clothing are seated with their hands folded around a table decorated in a religious manner. Several members of the group can be seen reciting Vedic mantras, led primarily by another group of people sitting on the floor, while an audience looks on.

The caption of the viral video states, “'Shri Rudram Stotram' was recited at the White House in America. It is impossible to imagine that Americans can pronounce it so cleanly. Is it a great pride?"Sri Rudram Stotram" was recited by Jeffrey Arhardt at the White House Close your eyes and listen quietly.Very awesome video." The archives can be found here and here

The video is being shared with a claim that it shows the Vedic hymns being recited in the White House. (Source: X)

However, the video originates from Croatia and has no connection to the White House.

What do the visuals show?

By conducting a reverse image search using the video's keyframes, we found the same video uploaded to YouTube in April 2018 with the description, "Shri Rudram and Chamakam performed by 400+ Europeans in Croatia. The European Veda association would be performing this across many places in Europe for world peace."

(Source: YouTube)

The Veda Union is a network dedicated to uniting Veda chanting groups from across Europe, fostering connections between Veda chanting groups and organizations throughout Europe. The Veda Union website documents that between March 3 and 4, 2018, the organization orchestrated 11 recitations of the "Sri Rudram Camakam" hymns across Europe, ending with a Rudram chanting event in Zagreb, Croatia.

Pictures of the Croatia event published on the website matched the visuals in the viral video. 

Comparison between the viral video and an image posted by the Veda Union website. (Source: X/ Veda Union/ Altered by Logically Facts)

Does the video show ‘Jeffrey Arhardt’?

Social media posts have alleged that a "Jeffrey Arhardt" performed the recitation of the Sri Rudram Stotram at the White House. We could find no evidence of a "Jeffrey Arhardt" in connection to either the White House or the Veda Union. 

However, it should be noted that while there are a few online videos featuring a singer named Jeffrey Erhard singing Sri Rudram and Shiva Bhajans, there is no indication of any association between Erhard and the Veda Union. Additionally, the viral video does not feature "Arhardt" or Erhard but the founders of the Veda Union, Vojko Kercan from Slovenia and Branimir Gonan from Croatia.

Releases by the Veda Union of events in 2012 and 2010 featured visuals of the Veda Union's co-founders, Kercan and Gonan.

The images of the Veda Union’s founders, Vojko Kercan and Branimir Gonan on the union’s website. (Source: Veda Union)

Both Kercan and Gonan are visible in the viral video, further proving that this was an event in Zagreb in 2011 and has no link to the White House.

Screenshot of the viral video showing the Veda Union’s founders, Branimir Gonan and Vojko Kercan. (Source: X/Altered by Logically Facts)

The verdict

A video of the Rudram 11 event, organized by the European Veda Union in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2018, is being inaccurately circulated as a recital of the 'Sri Rudram Stotra' occurring at the White House in the U.S. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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