Yesterday we heard about claims that Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed employed deception in interviews with Intelligent Design opponents. Today, the other broiling controversy:
As for publicity, the filmmakers are apparently relying on bribery to promote their propaganda. Gotta spend money to make money, right? Schools will be “paid” according to the number of ticket stubs they collect. You’d think that a creationist propaganda movie would have other publicity options at Christian fundamentalist schools. But apparently, nothing is a sin when you’re doing the work of God. Bribery, brainwashing, crusading … it’s all for the greater good.
Aaron Elias, New University Online, University of California, Irvine
The charge is that the film’s producers are bribing Christian schools to bring their students to see it. L. Ron Brown (The Frame Problem) echoes:
Producers of the Intelligent Design propaganda film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed are trying to bribe Christian schools in America to facilitate or even force their students to go see their movie.
It’s a marketing tactic. Schools that purchase large blocks of tickets for their students will receive donations from the production company.
Does anybody remember the Golden Compass movie? Its producers tried to market it through an “Amazing Student Sweepstakes (pdf)” and by trying to persuade teachers to make the related books required reading. Sure, I raised a big complaint about that. It was not, however, that it was so horrible to try to market a film through schools, or to use monetary incentives. My complaint was just that it was wrong–on Constitutional grounds–to make required reading of materials that were so markedly hostile toward religion.
So what’s the problem with Expelled? It’s “propaganda,” says Aaron Elias, “brainwashing, crusading … ” The problem, in other words, is that Aaron Elias and L. Ron Brown disagree with the movie’s message. Which they haven’t even seen yet. What if the movie makes its case successfully? Maybe that’s the real fear.
Next in this series: How ID proponents ought to deal with the pre-controversy, and prepare for the real controversy when the movie appears.
Expelled: Then What?