Walt Ruloff: The Man Who Bankrolled “Expelled”

THE LAST time we wrote about Walt Ruloff, the financial backer for Expelled, Ben Stein’s “documentary,” was here: Ben Stein’s “Expelled” — A Canadian Conspiracy.

Now we’ve found an article about Ruloff and “Expelled” in the Vancouver Sun, a major daily paper in British Columbia: No Apologies Allowed: Producer defends anti-Darwin movie. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

It’s hard to reconcile such a presentable, intelligent and Christian man with such an incendiary movie. Walt Ruloff, a 44-year-old Canadian high-tech mogul, was explaining why he came up with the idea to finance Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

Where’s the reconciliation problem? A man is what he does. Let’s read on:

Despite the documentary’s roots in Christianity, Ruloff explained how Expelled’s front man became Jewish comedian-commentator Ben Stein, who was once Richard Nixon’s speechwriter and is now a freelance conservative columnist for The New York Times.

Roots in Christianity? Jeepers, all this time we thought it was a film about science. We’re shocked! Here’s more:

The documentary links such scientists [who champion Charles Darwin's theory of evolution] to Nazis. The reaction was what one would expect. “We wanted to generate anger,” Ruloff said. “We always knew we’d get extreme anger on the one side and extreme support on the other. We also think we got extreme interest in the middle.”

He wanted to generate anger? How very clever of Ruloff to think he might accomplish that by alleging links to Nazis. Moving along:

Ruloff seemed to revel in being dismissed by the mainstream. Despite his financial wealth, he sees himself as a cultural outsider. On this idyllic island near Vancouver, where he and his family have lived for 13 years, Ruloff described the delight Expelled’s filmmakers had in capitalizing on the hostile review in The New York Times and elsewhere.

Ah, the pain of martyrdom, while living on an “idyllic island.” We continue:

As a result of Expelled being painted as too politically incorrect for the liberal elite, Ruloff said the film has so far earned $8 million. Expelled’s website claims it is the “number-one documentary of 2008.”

Two factual errors there. The film didn’t “earn” $8 million; that was the gross box office receipts. It’s doubtful that the film earned anything, after production costs, distribution costs, and advertising.

As for being “the #1 Documentary of 2008,” this website lists 585 documentaries released since 1982, with the highest-grossing at the top, and the lowest at the end. Expelled is number 12, with a gross of $7,720,487 (documentaries aren’t big at the box office). But looking at those listed above it, we are surprised to see one other film released in 2008, Religulous, which has a gross of $13,011,160, and it’s ranked as number 7. Therefore, in 2008, Religulous is number 1, and Expelled is number 2.

If you want a full set of data regarding Expelled, visit this site, although that’s described as domestic (presumably US) data. You can add a bit more revenue for Canada.

Okay, having cleared up some — shall we say — misstatements, let’s read some more:

Proponents of intelligent design (ID) generally argue a divine intelligence has a hand in forming the universe, though arguments vary on how that’s done. Some critics claim ID is a front for creationism. But Ruloff emphasized he is not a creationist. He does not believe the Bible’s Book of Genesis accurately describes God fashioning the universe in six days about 6,000 years ago. Instead, Ruloff said he believes in an “old Earth.”

Okay, we believe him. We believe everyone associated with that movie. He’s not a creationist. Right. One more excerpt:

Still, I asked Ruloff whether he thought Expelled might have done more harm than good for the cause of blending science and religion — or of advancing ID, which Expelled never precisely defines.

[...]

Ruloff says the film is accomplishing its goals, nevertheless. “What we really wanted to do was give scientists more courage. Science is in such lockdown. The only way we can give scientists courage is if we deal with the issue head-on — in kind of an American style.”

[...]

Whatever the case, Ruloff does not hide that he “absolutely” agrees with many points Expelled makes linking Darwinism to abortion and eugenics and death camps. Darwinism does so, he said, because it does not accept “the sanctity of life.”

There’s no point in taking the time to contradict that nonsense. We’ve said it all before. Anyway, it’s a long article and there’s much more that we haven’t excerpted. Click over to the Vancouver Sun and take a look.

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