Expelled! The Movie Rip-off and the Event at Biola

This is where I was supposed to be telling you what I thought about the film Expelled after having paid (yes I know, “boo, hiss”) $10 to Biola university for a ticket to “Expelled! The Movie and the Event“.

Here is their description of the event:

The Movie and the Event
with Ben Stein

Intelligent Design: What happens when a group of scientists get terminated for thinking it is reasonable to believe in ID? Actor Ben Stein makes a funny and thought-provoking movie about it. Join us for an exclusive backstage film pass and hear from Stein himself as well as a panel of experts.

The Movie and the event”, “backstage film pass“, sounds like you might actually see the movie right? Wrong! Instead all you get for your ten clams and your forty minute drive (one way) is essentially a commercial for the movie with a few clips and a lot of ID babble from Stephen C. Meyer, Ben (Mad Dog) Stein, and three or four also spokes.

Addenda (3-29): A couple of analogies I thought of regarding this being a “backstage film pass”. Imagine getting a backstage pass to a concert where you get to “go backstage” but the band doesn’t play. Or for the rednecks out there, imagine getting a pit-pass but there’s no race going on. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it? (End)

Meyer and me

Needless to say I am a bit peeved about this.

It gets “better” though. After listening to Stein practically foam at the mouth (he almost seemed like he had a pulse for a minute there) about the horrible injustices supposedly documented in his film and a bunch of stuff about God—despite the fact that one of the clips from the film was one of the Discovery Institute muckety-mucks prattling on about how they want to talk about science and that it’s the “people with no argument” who keep bringing up the “red-herring” of religion—the night was topped off with Stein receiving the Orwellianly titled “Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth” for 2008. All of this to no less than three standing ovations from the crowd.

Along for the ride with me was Dr. Wilfred Elders (Prof. of Geology Emeritus UC Riverside), and Dr. Jim Hofmann (Liberal Studies Dept. Cal State Fullerton) and his wife, I’ll let them speak for themselves as to what they thought about the evening in the comments if they wish.

Good times…

I’m sure more about this disappointment will come out later (I have an audio recording) but it’s late and that’s it for now.


15 thoughts on “Expelled! The Movie Rip-off and the Event at Biola

  1. Ha! Meyer looks /so/ confused!

    Bit surprised you were willing to give them $10, though.

    Sounds as though they originally intended to show the movie, then changed their minds much closer to the event time. With the number of screenings being canceled, I have to wonder if they’re running back to the editor’s suite. Possible reasons, anyone? My list of possibilities, in escalating order of probability:

    – “Late breaking news: we won Florida! Take that, sciencism! Take that, public education! God:1, Facts:3. We’re makin’ a comeback.”

    – Stein: “I’m humbly glad my narrative was able to make all the difference in Florida.”

    – Copyright licenses were denied. Or weren’t even applied for. Some songs and 3D movies of the inner workings of cells are being removed.

    – “Hey, we’ve started getting very bad, very detailed reviews. Let’s mix up scene order in editing, and claim our negative “reviewers” didn’t even see the movie and fabricated their entire moviegoing experiences!”

    – “Sure, it’s ad hom, but is it ad hom /enough/? Get me more footage of Nazis–I want to see those Jews /really/ suffering. Stein? The head-in-hands bit was great, but could you shed a tear, for Gods’ sakes?”

    – “Do you think we can blame Darwin for aggression in the animal kingdom?”

    – “Can we maybe paint some red eyes over Dawkins? Add some flashes of lightning in the background whenever he completes a sentence?”

    – Late breaking news: God has been found!

    – Fact checking.


  2. Answered an invitation, didn’t you? That’s what you get for not “crashing” a “private” screening, and going right in the front door instead of “skulking around”! ;) That’ll learn ya.

    Seriously, I think Falterer has it right about them changing their minds to screen it – but what could yet more editing possibly do? This overlong music video has been shaved down like an Easter ham! Gee, more editing – it’s beginning to sound like their own critique of natural selection, *ahem* when they say that all it does is take away information…

    Re: the three standing o’s. Remember that famous Bette Davis line about curtain calls: “From now on it’s not applause – just something to do until the aisles clear.” :) I wish you could have been with us on a more eventful Thursday night screening.


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  4. Response to Jammer – March 28, 2008
    Meyer use to teach at the college I attended (not science by the way) the guy is a JOKE!

    I’ve always wondered whether he was worth the money (SU? or SPU?) paid him. Is he still there? What did he try to teach? Did he constantly interject ID’ism into his classes (he was poly sci, wasn’t he?)?


  5. Eh, audio of Steinian ranting would still be cool.

    Did you know that Stein was heavily involved in that kooky right-wing conspiracy theory about Bill Clinton supposedly killing tons of people in Arkansas? He even wrote the forward to one of the main books.

    As I blogged a ways back, maybe instead of “From Darwin to Hitler” they should have called Expelled “Ben Stein: From One Kooky Conspiracy Theory to Another”


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  7. Bad: Eh, audio of Steinian ranting would still be cool.

    I’ll be working on a place to put the audio for people to download.

    Bad: Did you know that Stein was heavily involved in that kooky right-wing conspiracy theory about Bill Clinton supposedly killing tons of people in Arkansas? He even wrote the forward to one of the main books.

    No I didn’t. I was vaguely aware of Stein being involved in conservative issues but nothing about the details.


  8. There seems to be something up lately, where they simply can’t show the movie, so I think you paid for something that was essentially canceled. Far be it for me to expect them to return the money…


  9. This isn’t even the first time Ben Stein has fronted the idea that when liberals start huffing that crazy “truth” thing, God kills millions of innocent people. Quoting Wikipedia (it’s OK, it’s GFDL’ed!):

    After Mark Felt’s identity as Deep Throat was revealed, Stein stated that Richard Nixon would have prevented the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge if he had not been forced to resign. Stein said “If there is such a thing as kharma, if there is such a thing as justice in this life or the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide”.

    Source: The American Spectator (why am I not surprised?) – http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8242

    I guess Ford was too busy inventing the WIN button to take care of it later, or Nixon forgot to leave a note on the Oval Office fridge: “Don’t forget to prevent the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge!”


  10. Stein is a sellout to the Red Sea Pedestrian cause. I will never watch Ferris Bueller’s again because of his traitorous ways. He knows that Christ was not the Messiah. The only reason he did this propaganda bit is cuz he got paid. Well some things are more sacred than the almighty dollar Ben, your dignity for one.


  11. Troy, thanks for writing about this. I suspect that they chickened out about screening the movie – but couldn’t they have sent you an e-mail?

    On the Expelled Web site, the movie dates are back up but the contact info is still TBA. That way they can screen audience members and decide whom to admit, which is outside the scope of their privacy policy, if I read that page correctly.


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