Expelled gone missing from Santa Clara

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Expelled has gone missing in Santa Clara

After all the religious spin put onto the ejection of PZ Myers while allowing Richard Dawkins into last night’s showing of “Expelled”, I decided that I wanted to see for myself just how easy it was to get an invite to the movie.

There seems to be some controversy about tickets - with one side saying that Dr. Myers didn’t have a ticket and was acting the bully, and the other side saying that tickets weren’t required, that a simple sign up was all that was required.

So I went over to the Expelled RSVP site, and signed up. BAM! I got an instant return email saying that I was golden, with a seat reserved for me. I could now attend the Santa Clara event next week Friday merely by checking my ID against a list at the door.

Simple as that, just sign up, just as PZ explained

I told my friends about this, and started thinking… there’s really no way to tell that I’m not just some average guy, and not the co-founder of an Atheist / Skeptic organization. I put “none” both in the organization and the title blocks of the registration.

My friend Richard, co-founder of CVAAS, went that extra mile and registered under our organization’s name.

But it was all for naught, I’m afraid. I’ve just received an email notifying me that the Santa Clara showing of “Expelled” has been canceled “due to technical issues”. A quick peek at the Expelled RSVP site shows that Santa Clara has been removed from the list of screenings.

Ah well, I really didn’t want to drive to the San Jose area, three hours away through bad traffic to see a movie which has been described by those I trust as ‘deceitful’ at best, and ‘boring’ at worst. Now I have an excuse to not go. I guess I’ll wait for it to come out on DVD, then dig it out of the Wal-mart bargain bin. It should be there right next to “Battlefield Earth”.

As Wesley Elsberry has shown, anyone can get invited and will receive a confirmation email

Dear Wesley Elsberry,

This is a confirmation of your RSVP for the free “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” movie screening. Venue information is below.

[…]

Number of seats reserved: 1

YOUR NAME WILL BE ON A LIST AT THE DOOR. NO TICKET IS NEEDED. IDs WILL BE CHECKED.

NO BAGS, CELL PHONES OR RECORDING DEVICES WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE THEATER. PLEASE LEAVE THEM IN YOUR CAR.

More information about “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” can be found at http://expelledthemovie.com; http://g\ etexpelled.com

Sincerely, Motive Entertainement

If you need to cancel or make an important change to an existing RSVP, please email [Enable javascript to see this email address.]. Be sure to reference the screening city, date, and time in your email.

32 Comments

Spilling the beans

March 11, the site reported

You are invited to a FREE PRIVATE SCREENING of Ben Stein’s upcoming, history-making film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Opening in theaters April 2008).

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed follows Ben Stein on his journey around the globe where he discovers that scientists, educators and philosophers are being persecuted in a modern day witch hunt because they dare to go against the theory of evolution. These pillars of education are being fired, ridiculed and ostracized for merely challenging Darwin’s theory; proposing that life on this planet could be a part of some intelligent design and not random chance.

This movie provides a rare opportunity to educate everyone on issues that deeply affect our families, schools, churches, courts and the progress of science and medicine. This film truly has the potential to have a positive impact on our society.

The private screening details are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time: 7:00PM

Location: AMC Lowes Streets of Woodfield 20, 601 N. Martingale Rd., Suite 185, Schaumburg, IL 60173

RSVP: http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/[…]ial/expelled

Please let us know if you are able to attend. You can RSVP now and provide us with how many guests you’d like to bring with you to this screening.

More from the person who initially reported

“I just happened to be standing directly in line behind Dawkins’ academic colleague. Management of the movie theatre saw a man apparently hustling and bothering several invited attendees, apparently trying to disrupt the viewing or sneak in. Management then approached the man, asked him if he had a ticket, and when he confirmed that he didn’t, they then escorted him off the premises.”

But later admits

“And since I was literally 3 feet away from Myers when he was “expelled,” I heard every word. It was obvious he was being kicked out by theatre management because he was not invited nor was he on the pre-submitted list. He didn’t cause a disruption per se; he was kindly escorted out.”

Seems to me that the Expelled people messed up by using the same RSVP site which invited anyone to be reused for a private viewing. Nothing on the site suggested that one had to be invited before, a simple registration code could have reduced the embarassment to the organizers.

Well, Geez, did anyone expect the guys responsible for Expelled to tell the truth? The sad thing is that even their supporters probably think that they are lying.

Apparently the Harvard video, in which they have done a voice over, is used in Expelled. The same one that Dembski was caught using.

Expelled from Seattle? Darn, I was hoping to fly out there and catch a double feature with Michael Medved’s grainy home video of Bigfoot.

Seriously, I’m not yet convinced that this latest scam won’t sell to most nonscientists. Even if the movie is a flop, conspiracy junkies and science-haters will spread the feel-good sound bites.

The irony is that I know first hand what it’s like to be “expelled” by mainstream science for having an unorthodox idea. The “conspiracy” that “expelled” me in 1981 was the data that simply did not support my pet hypothesis. I even felt some bitterness toward mainstream science. But unlike the anti-evolution whiners I took personal responsibility instead of demanding special treatment.

Just for the record, a friend of mine went to the viewing last Tuesday at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. He did not RSVP for tiks. He just showed up and they let him in. It was that simple…no fuss, no subterfuge.

I think these freebie viewings will be their only hope of getting enough asses in the seats!

Just for the heck of it I tried to see if and where Expelled was playing here in central NJ once I read about PZ’s experience. Amazingly, the link was and still is down - at least for me. Bummer. Must be all us ungodly great unwashed here in lbral joisey.

I don’t think it is certain that the Harvard/XVIVO animation is the exact one used in the film. There is a similar animation associated with the “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” IDC flick. At least, I haven’t heard of someone who could make a positive differentiation between the two opine on which one is used in “Expelled”. While PZ could make that identification on sight, he wasn’t the person admitted to the screening.

It wouldn’t greatly surprise me if the Harvard/XVIVO animation were being used, but I don’t think that we should be making a strong claim about this based on what we’ve heard so far.

There’s plenty of blatantly wrong stuff in “Expelled” to kick them about. Let’s not give them something easy to get all huffy over.

The Expelled people are like those kids who post info about their keg party on Myspace and then are totally surprised when the cops show up and bust them for underage drinking. They don’t seem to understand that if they make a website with a form for signing up for one of these screenings, everyone with web access can use the form.

PvM:Seems to me that the Expelled people messed up by using the same RSVP site which invited anyone to be reused for a private viewing. Nothing on the site suggested that one had to be invited before, a simple registration code could have reduced the embarassment to the organizers.

Are you saying the page wasn’t designed very intelligently? Or are you, in fact, saying that reusing old bits that had one function in a new, novel way doesn’t work? ARE YOU, PvM, SIDING WITH BEHE’S REBUTTALS IN DEFENSE OF IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY???? ;)

Hmmm, South Carolina isn’t even on the RSVP pages: Movies, Special or Events. That’s exactly counter to my expectations. I guess there are still a few surprises left in the ol’ ID movement after all.

Now what kind of a movie do you need an invitation to? What kind of a movie has free screenings? What kind of hypocrite expells people from a movie called Expelled?

Sounds to me like these guys have something to hide. Sounds to me like they are trying to prevent anyone who knows anything from seeing the movie. Sounds to me like they know that they are going to get sued for something and just want to get as much mileage out of the movie as they can before someone catches on.

What do they think is going to happen when they finally release the movie? Do they really think that their propaganda will not create a backlash that will give scientists the opportunity to explain the real issues? Are they just trying to delay the inevitable?

Or maybe they are just trying to create demand by turning people away. Now why would they be so desperate to create a demand?

Hats off to the evil Darwinist conspiracy. A masterful use and manipulation of negative publicity. It has had a negative impact on the prescreening and ID advocates like Dembski have responded appropriately with invectives. It was risky move playing on the producers fears and their recognition of PZ Meyers and not Richard Dawkins was an added bonus. When PZ Meyers was recognized the proper approach would have been for the producer to have his party introduced to the crowd as participants in the movie and escorted into the theater and seated in the front, treat them like honored guests. This would have blunted initial problems. So instead of the expected negative reviews from evolutionary and science blogs, negative national attention has been drawn to the movie. The back peddling and spin from the producer trying to recover from his error is costing more than simple dealing openly and honestly from the beginning.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

David Stanton Wrote:

What do they think is going to happen when they finally release the movie? Do they really think that their propaganda will not create a backlash that will give scientists the opportunity to explain the real issues?

While they might be more worried than before about the movie being a flop, I don’t think that money was ever the chief motive. When it comes to negative reaction from mainstream science, however, pseudoscience almost can never lose. I think they want the negative reaction of scientists, which often tend to be self-defeating, either in terms of bad-mouthing religion or by just sounding defensive. While PZ Myers has been quite restrained in his reaction, they are certainly counting on some of his fans to be less restrained. Then they can pull the usual “hysterical ‘Darwinists’” garbage.

Bruce Thompson, GQ Wrote:

The back peddling and spin from the producer trying to recover from his error is costing more than simple dealing openly and honestly from the beginning.

I admit to being more cynical than most, but do you really think that the magnet-wearing, “no chemicals” juice-chugging, horoscope reading crowd is going to think that the “big bad nerd conspiracy” won this round?

After all the free screenings to sympathetic audiences - who’s left to actually buy a ticket?

Can you just imagine the movie going crowd actually choosing to watch this? The only people interested are the committed creationists (who have now seen it) and the committed atheists (who would rather not transfer any of their hard earned shekels to the likes of Mathis & Stein)

I don’t think it is certain that the Harvard/XVIVO animation is the exact one used in the film. There is a similar animation associated with the “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” IDC flick. At least, I haven’t heard of someone who could make a positive differentiation between the two opine on which one is used in “Expelled”. While PZ could make that identification on sight, he wasn’t the person admitted to the screening.

PZ has made that identification:

… on a DVD that they were giving away at a table at the screening*. …

*By the way, another interesting thing is on the DVD. They’ve got excerpts from the Inner Life video. Creationists are certainly drawn to stealing that work, aren’t they?

Ah, I hadn’t seen that. Thanks for the information.

I think they want the negative reaction of scientists, which often tend to be self-defeating, either in terms of bad-mouthing religion or by just sounding defensive.

Case in point, I read the phrase “lying for Jesus” several times in the past 24 hours. I’d be surprised if some of the scammers haven’t already tried to spin it as “Hysterical, confused ‘Darwinists’ want you to think that a nice Jewish boy like Ben Stein is lying for Jesus.”

Bottom line: Pseudoscience can afford to be sloppy, we can’t.

Frank J said: I admit to being more cynical than most, but do you really think that the magnet-wearing, “no chemicals” juice-chugging, horoscope reading crowd is going to think that the “big bad nerd conspiracy” won this round?

Good advertising involves being kind to your detractors. In this very public situation the best way to defuse the perceived threat was to face it head on. There is reality and perception, dealing with perception is much more difficult and an open, honest, and friendly attitude is always best.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Bruce Thompson, GQ Wrote:

Good advertising involves being kind to your detractors.

In general yes, but as I say above, pseudoscience has more freedom than most. Take the “Head On” commercials. First came the obnoxious repetition, then the follow up commercials that made fun of them. The chutzpah rivals Dembski’s.

Don’t pay to see this movie.

See it for free.

It is just a propaganda movie, another From Darwin to Hitler. Enough people have seen it to know that it isn’t very good.

It is destined to be shown at fundie churches, the various Xian TV stations, and to go to DVD, YouTube, and BitTorrent sooner rather than later.

As propaganda, whether they make money or not is not important to them. And I wouldn’t want my money going to these clowns.

raven Wrote:

As propaganda, whether they make money or not is not important to them. And I wouldn’t want my money going to these clowns.

It’s first and foremost a sound bite war, and has been for years. Far more important than not giving them money is to not give them quotes to mine. And to keep the focus on their lack of an alternative theory and cover-up of the failures and contradictions in past attempts at alternatives to evolution.

Here’s a sound bite: They weren’t expelled, they flunked.

I don’t think that we should be making a strong claim about this based on what we’ve heard so far.

Modulo the fact that we now can blame PZ (ahh, political blame games) for an eventual faulty identification, I tend to agree. That goes towards conspiracy theories (such as the movie itself begging to be “EXPELLED” for any trivial reason to pervert later) as well. They should certainly be discussed but should have the usual qualifiers to discourage spin aside from the usual empty creo quote mining.

Anyway, I’m a bit surprised and annoyed that there hasn’t been a video “wedge” leak yet. Maybe the producers don’t think well on their feet, but they may be good at covering their asse(t)s.

Seems to me that the Expelled people messed up by using the same RSVP site which invited anyone to be reused for a private viewing. Nothing on the site suggested that one had to be invited before, a simple registration code could have reduced the embarassment to the organizers.

What is the evidence that the viewing was ever private? It seems far more likely that the viewing only became “private” after the fact when they needed an excuse for expelling Dr. Myers. After all, they admitted without challenge many other people who registered through the same site.

wamba:

I don’t think it is certain that the Harvard/XVIVO animation is the exact one used in the film. There is a similar animation associated with the “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” IDC flick. At least, I haven’t heard of someone who could make a positive differentiation between the two opine on which one is used in “Expelled”. While PZ could make that identification on sight, he wasn’t the person admitted to the screening.

PZ has made that identification:

… on a DVD that they were giving away at a table at the screening*. …

*By the way, another interesting thing is on the DVD. They’ve got excerpts from the Inner Life video. Creationists are certainly drawn to stealing that work, aren’t they?

I’m kind of ignorant of the legalities involved, but would this make the Expelled producers the target of a copyright lawsuit? If so, would suing them for copyright infringement be a good thing?

I admit to being more cynical than most, but do you really think that the magnet-wearing, “no chemicals” juice-chugging, horoscope reading crowd is going to think that the “big bad nerd conspiracy” won this round?

This is not a description of ID supporters. Massively wrong demographic. ID is mainly for Rush Limbaugh listeners. Santa Fe is not a hotbed of IDism.

I often use the example of “new age” silliness to illustrate the fact that ID is far worse than typical non-scientific beliefs. First of all, what you describe here is mainly non-authoritarian - no-one is trying to force astrology into public schools. Nor, for that matter, to use the same example, does astrology even deny mainstream science - it merely adds a layer of nonsense on top of it. (Astrology is popular across the entire political spectrum, I might add.)

(I might add that fruit and vegetable consumption, in the form of juice or otherwise, has health benefits, and a fair number of chemical compounds that were once in common use have been shown to have very legitimate negative health or environmental effects. Unlike the views of ID crackpots, a fair number of ideas once associated with “hippies” have turned out to have a core of validity.)

I don’t mean to nitpick - but it’s important to distinguish between fellow citizens who respect one’s rights even if they hold differing views, versus those who seek to violate others’ rights, overtly lie about scientific reality, and promote overtly anti-scientific public policy. I have no problem with the former, in general, and major problems with the latter.

And it does matter whether or not an anti-scientific view is associated with authoritarian politics (whether economically left wing authoritarian or economically right wing authoritarian is irrelevant, of course). Naturally, an irrational idea that is associated with the belief that it can and should be imposed by violent force is more dangerous than an irrational idea that is not.

Harold,

Fundamentalist “dittoheads” do not need “Expelled” to convince them that “Darwinism” is both wrong and evil. The producers are also targeting the “jury’s still out” segment that considers itself to be open-minded (though usually to the point of their brains falling out). That includes the ~20% that claims to accept evolution (or what they think is evolution) yet has been sold on “it’s only fair to teach the controversy.”

I have met a lot of people far to the left of me who will uncritically swallow anything negative said about scientists, including the usual sound bites against evolution and “evolutionists.” And at the same time, uncritically swallow any feel-good sound bites by “alternatives,” including how they are “expelled” by the “orthodoxy.”

Sure, many natural and synthetic compounds are toxic, but that’s not the point. People, including creationsts, tend to uncritically believe any “no chemicals” hype without the slighest clue of relative risk, or how well the product was tested.

For what it’s worth, I had also been planning to go to the Santa Clara screening. (I live less than two miles away.) After seeing the invitation on their public website, I RSVPed according to instructions on 3/13/08, received an email confirmation the same day, and received another email reminder on 3/17. Then on 3/20, shortly after the PZ incident, I got the following email:

From: Jessica Coleman
Subject: Your RSVP for Expelled

Mark,

I was checking and I do not have you on our invite list, so I’m not sure how you received an invitation to the Expelled screening. Please be aware that only those on our invite list will be allowed into the screening, regardless of whether the RSVP system let them through. Thank you for your understanding and I hope you will see the film when it opens in theaters on April 18th.

Sincerely,

Jessica

Somehow, I doubt the “sincerely.”

I got another email the next day saying that the screening had been cancelled. Still, I am going to use that email to proudly claim that I also have had the honor of being expelled from “Expelled.”

Frank J -

This thread is dead, but anyway, with the constant caveat that our disagreements are superficial and our agreements deep, here’s why you’re mildly wrong in your comments above.

For full disclosure, let me tell what my political beliefs are. I am an extreme moderate who basically believes that the US should adopt progressive policies that are already working well in Canada and Australia, and who strongly supports full human rights for everyone. For that reason I am labelled as a “liberal”, or even more laughably, “leftist”, by the US media. (*But generally regarded as a moderate in person, in any part of the country I have lived in, by most people, including many conservatives*.) Many of the beliefs which I was considered a “whacko” for holding twenty years ago, such as strong support for full rights for my gay fellow citizens and strong support for a rational health care system, are now quite “mainstream”.

My brother is in the arts, and I have always had an interest in that area, so I have had my share of tussles with opponents of animal research or extreme advocates of “alternative medicine” nonsense.

However, only one type of person is a systemic threat to science, and that type of person is an authoritarian. I don’t care if some guy believes in UFOs flown by spiritual creatures, the healing power of crystal/astrology-based medicine, or the like, as long as he doesn’t try to force his views on me.

Authoritarians gravitate to the most extreme version of the “winning” side. Soviet authoritarians were ardent communists. In the current US millieu, however, authoritarian personalities are attracted to the religious right and its associated party like iron filings to a powerful magnet.

Evolution denial in public schools is only one star in an obnoxious constellation. Climate change denial, HIV denial, “moral” opposition to contraception and protection from STDs, compromising the Hubble telescope (the obvious unstated reason, in my view, is because it bothers YECers), and more, are all concentrated on the right of the political spectrum.

Someday an authoritarian movement with egalitarian economic policies may arise, and then we may have to worry about “the left”, but for now it’s a non-issue.

Fundamentalist “dittoheads” do not need “Expelled” to convince them that “Darwinism” is both wrong and evil.

Nevertheless, there’s good money in repeating it to them over and over again.

The producers are also targeting the “jury’s still out” segment that considers itself to be open-minded (though usually to the point of their brains falling out). That includes the ~20% that claims to accept evolution (or what they think is evolution) yet has been sold on “it’s only fair to teach the controversy.”

You’d think that’s what they’d do, and it’s what they’d do if their sincere highest motivation was to spread the word, but Frank, obviously, it isn’t what they’re doing. Ben Stein, a well-known right winger, is the narrator, and the film is being targeted at right wing church groups. They’re pretty overtly using a strategy that will associate the film with the “religious”/Limbaugh right, thus maximizing revenues. It maximizes revenues because “true believers” will go to see it out of loyalty and for the constant reinforcement it takes to maintain their cognitive dissonance at a tolerable level. A bad, boring, documentary won’t attract anyone else.

Various people in every country receive the home loans from various banks, just because that’s easy and fast.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 21, 2008 10:59 PM.

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