As the pro-intelligent design documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" launches full throttle into over 1,000 theaters this Friday, its producers are no doubt feeling a strong sense of anticipation and anxiety.
The film, which explores the existence of what it claims is an elitist scientific establishment dedicated to Darwinism and the silencing of all its critics, has generated fierce reactions and attacks from the moment of its conception, according to producers.
In a series of incidents last month, producers grappled with what they described as both an intentional bootleg distribution campaign designed to wash away the film's value, and the "crashing" of a pre-screening by two vocal atheist scientists.
And after the most recent wave of attacks – an accusation of copyright infringement and a series of elaborate attacks on the internet – producers have cried of an intentional campaign to discredit and destroy the film.
Despite the attacks, however, Executive Producer Walt Ruloff said that he would not be deterred by what he described as groups of zealot-like scientists unwilling to allow for civil debates on Darwinism.
"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," he said, according to a statement.
Logan Craft, chairman and executive producer of the film, also gave an upbeat commentary, adding that the production team would not be silenced.
"Opponents of our film are attempting to interfere with its important message," he said.
"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," he added.
"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," starring actor and former presidential speech writer Ben Stein, is an in-depth investigation of teachers, professors, and researchers who are mocked and threatened with expulsion by an elitist scientific establishment that punishes the scientific proponents of intelligent design because they reject some of the claims of Darwin's theory of evolution.