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Expelled poster

“EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed” producers file lawsuit and expose other efforts to suppress their free speech movie opening in over 1,000 theaters this Friday

Premise Media says they are ready to challenge the unfounded copyright infringement claims asserted recently by representatives of XVIVO, LLC concerning original animation Premise Media created for the documentary, “EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed.” XVIVO demands that Premise Media remove the infringing segment from all copies of the “Expelled” film prior to its scheduled commercial release on or before April 18, 2008.

Premise Media states,

Claims that we have used any animation in an unauthorized manner are simply false. Premise Media created the animation that illustrates cellular activity used in our film.

On April 14, 2008, Premise Media reportedly filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking declaratory judgment that there is no copyright or other infringement. Premise Media also seeks its attorneys fees in responding to the XVIVO claims.

According to Premise,

The suit results from unfounded claims recently made by representatives of XVIVO. These claims have received wide distribution as part of an ongoing campaign attempting to discredit the film and its producers.

Premise Media has also learned of grass root efforts that are underway to try to influence the ranking of internet searches regarding EXPELLED by those wanting to learn about the film. Their stated goal is an attempt to counter-site those searchers to other websites that criticize the themes in the movie.

Executive Producer and Premise Chairman Logan Craft said,

We are not surprised that opponents of our film are attempting to interfere with its important message. As the movie documents, similar tactics are being used across the country against many of the researchers, scientists, and professors who want to engage in free debate within science but have inadequate resources to challenge the Establishment. However, we do have the platform to confront the thought police, and we will work tirelessly to open the doors of free speech and inquiry.

Executive Producer Walt Ruloff noted that,

Logan Craft of Premise Media. Copyright, Premise Media.
Executive Producer Walt Ruloff of Premise Media. Copyright, Premise Media.

EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed opens in over 1,000 theaters nationwide this Friday, April 18th. It is interesting that these efforts are made less than ten days before the movie debuts and involve those who continually seek to thwart open debate.

While bullying tactics may work against some individuals who are trying to explore the origins of life, it will not work against us. We certainly will not allow a small group of self-appointed gatekeepers to infringe our rights of free speech and our obligation to expose them for what they are – namely, intellectual thugs unwilling to accept any dissent from Darwinian orthodoxy.

Ben Stein.
Ben Stein

Ben Stein, the star of the movie, also makes it clear that no one will shut him up.

I came to this project unsure what I would find. I am now amazed at the intolerance of many academic elites. I feel that it is my mission to speak out on behalf of targeted dissenters and fight for their freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry.

Even before its April 18 release nationwide, Ben Steins movie has triggered heated reactions from both sides of the debate between religion and science.

Atheists are crashing EXPELLED screenings and conference calls; critics are slamming it; and leaders are raving about it. EXPELLED screenings for legislators in Florida and Missouri are causing political firestorms and driving Academic Freedom bills that challenge Darwinism.

The controversy has made Expelled one of the most talked about movies of 2008.

  • The EXPELLED controversy was rated #1 blog on the Internet (3/24/08).
  • EXPELLED rated #6 on Yahoos Top Searches (4/8/08)
  • EXPELLED made the front cover of the New York Times (10/27/07)
  • According to Premise Media, nearly 2 million visitors have come to the EXPELLED Movie site recently.

Logan Craft said,

The reaction to EXPELLED is threatening to ignite a new cold war between religion and scienceand the implications are enormous. The atheists are going ballistic over our little movie. I want to remind them: Its just a movie. Relax!

Early pre-screenings of the film have been met with both rave reviews and harsh criticisms. Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called it powerful and fabulous while critic Roger Friedman called it sloppy and not just a little boring. The Orlando Sentinels Roger Moore said its not particularly funny, while MovieGuide called it wry, funny, and well crafted. And in the blogosphere where EXPELLED is creating the most buzz, bloggers like Bryan Swaggerty are calling Ben Stein an idiot, while others like John Villareal are praising Stein as a genius.

Craft remarked,

Its amazing to see the totally opposite reactions to EXPELLED. At most of our pre-screenings, audiences are giving standing ovations. But others are calling it pathetic. We think it has more to do with ones worldview, than with the film itself.

According to one prominent U.S. movie theater chain, people are even sending e-mails to boycott EXPELLED. An e-mail which the theater chain forwarded to the producers of EXPELLED read, I urge the management of this theater company to consider rejecting the highly controversial film EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed [as it] undermines science in our nations schools.

Pastor Jerry Johnston of First Family Church in Kansas City, who is hosting multiple screenings of EXPELLED, noted,

This is the first time since Passion of the Christ that weve become really engaged. We think the debate about the origin of life isn’t settled yet, despite whats being taught in our public schools. This is more than a movie, its a cause.

Johnston says he will explore the topic in a four-week sermon series in conjunction with the release of EXPELLED. Similarly, according to Premise Media, the conservative Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) has urged its thousands of member schools to use EXPELLED as a springboard for discussion.

Producer Walt Ruloff explained,

Many of our atheist friends are deeply angered by our film, and we can’t figure out why. This is America, and we should all be ready for a little debate. My hope is that instead of trying to shut down the movie, theyll join the debate. Let the conversation begin.

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