People are asking me to tell them more about the movie, Expelled. I can’t! I was thrown out!
Let me clarify a few things. This was a private screening with no admission charge, and you had to reserve seats ahead of time; you also had to sign a promise that you wouldn’t record the movie while you were there, and they were checking ID. Everyone in my family reserved seats under our own names, myself included. There was no attempt to “sneak in”, although apparently the producer, Mark Mathis, accused me of doing so in the Q&A afterwards (Mathis, of course, is a contemptible liar). We followed the procedures they set up, every step of the way, and were completely above board in all our dealings.
Mark Mathis was there at the screening, and apparently spotted me and gave instructions to the guard to throw me out. I asked the guard why I was being evicted, and he explained directly that the producer had given him that instruction.
They were well within their rights to exclude anyone. When I was told I would not be allowed in and threatened with arrest, I told the security guard that I would not cause any trouble. I stopped to talk with my family when they came over with a theater manager to evict me; again, I left peacefully. Apparently, the guards were talking about carrying out further measures when they saw me standing outside the theater, and speculated that I was going to harass other attendees. This was not true; I’d just had to leave my friends and family behind, and all I really wanted to do was tell them where I’d be. The last thing I wanted to do was spend two hours hanging around a movie theater.
This account is a complete fabrication. I was not disturbing anyone, was not trying to make a scene, and was only standing quietly in line. When I was taken aside by the guard, it was a complete surprise.
I was the only person evicted. The people I was with, which included my wife, my daughter Skatje, her boyfriend Collin, Richard Dawkins, and the entire staff of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, were overlooked. I was the lucky one.
Afterwards, we went out to eat and have a beer or two, which is why I didn’t give you all a more complete summary right away. We laughed over the movie, which I hear is not only boring and poorly made, but is ludicrous in its dishonesty. Apparently, a standard tactic is to do lots of fast cuts between biologists like me or Dawkins or Eugenie Scott and shots of Nazi atrocities. It’s all very ham-handed. The audience apparently ate it up, though. Figures. Christians have a growing reputation for their appreciation of dishonesty.
There are plans afoot for rebuttals. It’s hard to come up with much motivation to do so after discovering how bad this movie is, but yeah, both NCSE and the RDF will be doing something. Dawkins is going to mention it at least briefly in his talk tomorrow. He may write up a review, too, although I don’t think he considers it a high priority (did I mention what a piece of dreck this movie is?).
The RDF crew are a fine bunch of people and we had a good time after the crappy movie. Which I have not seen. Apparently, I’ve been given a fair amount of time in the movie, too.
This outcome so far has been absolutely perfect, as far as I’m concerned. The hypocrisy of the Expelled makers has been exposed by their expulsion of one of the people they filmed (final lovely irony: I’m also thanked for my contributions in the credits), they’ve revealed their incompetence by throwing me out when Richard Dawkins was right next to me, and I didn’t have to waste two hours on a bad movie.
I’ve also got a story to tell: when the creationists saw me and Dawkins in a lineup, I am the one that had them so frightened that they had to call for the guards. I feel mighty.