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UPDATE: Ben Stein did not acquire the rights to the Killers or John Lennon

So apparently HuffPo blogger James Boyce was too quick to assume that Ben Stein had acquired the rights to The Killers and John Lennon tracks for his apparently not so intelligently designed documentary Expelled, and the blogosphere, including us here at Prefix, were only too willing to oblige. In truth, the moderaters of the the Killers' message board insisted that the band had never given the rights for the song "All these Things That I Have Done," which would leave you to believe that they didn't bother to get the rights for "Imagine" either. At, commenter Josh Timonen made the following argument:
"Either 'Expelled' has a disproportionately-large music budget (for how bad of a film it is), or they are using songs they haven't paid for in their Director's Cut private screenings (that may be changed before the official nationwide release). John Lennon's "Imagine" is played (original version) over B&W scenes of what looked like communist China, with a parade of soldiers. I remember a shot of Stalin saluting somewhere in here as well. The part of the song played was of course "...and no religion too...", implying that no religion equals communist China. Does Yoko know about this? I doubt she'd be pleased."

Stealing music for the film would not be out of line for the tactics Stein has used for the film, which included luring prominent scientists for interviews under false prentenses, and, ironically enough, expelling liberal biologist blogger PZ Myers from a screening of Expelled! (but still allowing Richard Dawkins to attend). All in all, with the financial hit the film is expected to take, society will be winning quite a bit of Ben Stein's money.


(The Playlist

Flight of the Conchords, Green River, Iron and Wine, Kinski, Mudhoney, Pissed Jeans, Wolf Parade - Sub Pop announces acts for twentieth anniversary festival Amazon MP3 or iTunes: the debate rages on
The Killers
Yoko Ono

But this guy actually does believe in Intelligent Design? No update on that, right?


He does, unless there's some sort of conpsiracy:

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Ethan/nirvana-corporate-rock-whoresjpg.jpg EStan

I think Prefix should give a prize to the original commenter (on the original post) that corrected the obviously false story (with a little thing called reason). Also, good to see you guys correcting your own errors. Honestly. And that comment from Telephone should win comment of the year. Um. That is all. Heh.

Josh H.

Good, anyone who puts out this kind of trash deserves what they get.


Ben Stein, meet the Lennon estate's legal team...

/site_media/uploads/images/users/jimallen/HowardTheDuck.gif jimallen

Here's even more info on all the craziness associated with this "documentary"...

Expelled Exposed

I love the tagline:
"Flunked, Not Expelled: What Ben Stein isn't telling you about Intelligent Design"


As far as I can tell, the film did get permission from the Killer's record label, though as far as I know, you are required to get permission from the artists as well.


Yawn. Time for bed. The newsflash: Liberals mad at Creationist Jew is old news.

William Wallace

I guess the producers took the


John Lennon also said "if you go carryin' pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow".


-- The part of the song played was of course "...and no religion too...", implying that no religion equals communist China.

The Killers' song "All These Things That I've Done" was used at the end of the film. The part of the song used was the bridge with the lyrics "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier". --

This looks to me like "fair use." And use of these songs does not imply endorsement of the movie by the copyright holders, even if the copyright holders sold or licensed the songs to the movie's producers or gave them permission for free use.

Larry Fafarman

I'm going to laugh when all these attacks against "Expelled" - i.e. accusations of plagiarism and stealing music - come to naught. I'm also going to laugh when this movie doesn't bomb like the haters of free speech have been predicting it will.

Jinx McHue (dsmvwld)

Ben Stein is not guilty of the things you allege, hayseed. The producers of the film might be but Ben Stein is simply the public face of the film. Also, making noise about four words from the song (if Timonen's representation is correct) is much ado about nothing.

Robert O'Brien

Jinx - Perhaps a good publicity stunt for the movie would be for all the creationists behind this movie (and in general) to hold their breath until science accepts Creationism/ID as valid and evidence-based ('evidence based' being a description of what smart people would refer to as 'science'). No cheating!


How about not knocking the film until you've seen it? I expect that from you when you review music... so you don't like the premise- Lord knows Richard Dawkins doesn't- but come on.


Wow, I am impressed. Three of the weirdest internet creationists have all posted; William Wallace, Larry Fafarman, Robert O'Brien.

Gary Hurd

Two more Creationist Internet Trolls and Captain Planet will be ready for action.

What's less surprising is that, per usual, Larry, Mel and Bobby have nothing intelligent to say.

This movie is DOA Jinx. Don't hold your breath, you'll die (yes, it's obvious, but no less so than the fact that ID is also DOA).


The ID/Creationist movement has never been honest in their activities... you'd think that outright lying (and copyright violation) for God wouldn't happen when good Christians are involved. Obviously, the Discovery Institute and the producer's of the film "Expelled" have a few major moral and ethical problems to explain to all of us.
If you can trust their motive or methods, you sure can't trust their message.


So far, the producers of Expelled have managed to accomplish something that even Ed Wood couldn't do. They've produced a movie that as gotten a single-digit Tomatometer rating (see for details)


Okay, new update. This is getting so strange... here is what the head administrator over at the official Killers forum just posted:


"I just spoke to the band's manager, and adding to the confusion was the fact that they did authorize a project months ago with this request:

'The film is a satirical documentary with an estimated running time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, exploring academic freedom in public schools and government institutions with actor, comedian, economist, Ben Stein as the spokesperson.'

What they authorized was a documentary about 'academic freedom in schools', not the film that the producers produced.

They contacted the producers of the film to ask that the song be removed but it is too late. Unfortunately it was misrepresented to them when the request came through to use it. Add this band to a long line of people who were misled by the producers of this film."


This has got to be the funniest story of the year. There are lies, damn lies and eventually you get expelled.

I can't 'imagine' no religion. What would the world have to ridicule? Republicans?


Ben Stein has been blowing so much money, I can't keep his banner off my podcast site ( I get a kick out of the irony, but I wish he'd just go away already.

Exquisite Truth

Looks to be a very intersting film... I'm hoping to catch it when it comes here to Australia

Regarding the comment posted on the 'Killers' forum - from the trailer ( this _is_ obviously a "satirical documentary", and obviously explores academic freedom...

You know, satire and freedom work for people you don't agree with too.

S. Chauhan

For those interested, no one asked for, and therefore no one received, permission from my publisher nor me for use of "Spirit in the Sky" in this movie. Maybe Yoko Ono's attorney would like to contact me at

Norman Greenbaum

Norman Greenbaum

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