The project has already inspired protests at its premiere at the Toronto film festival earlier this month, and US satirist Bill Maher and director Larry Charles have been accused of misleading participants. Maher has conceded that several sleights of hand were necessary to persuade people to perform. 'It was simple: We never, ever, used my name. We never told anybody it was me who was going to do the interviews. We even had a fake title for the film. We called it A Spiritual Journey. It didn't work everywhere. We went to Salt Lake City, but no one would let us film there at all.' Going further in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Maher described the type of audience he hoped to provoke: 'Any religious person. The point is to question what is usually made to be unquestionable in this country. Normally if you say the word "faith", the debate is over - no matter what incredibly nonsensical, destructive, ridiculous tenet comes out of your mouth. I could say, "My faith is the tooth fairy and Klingons are coming". But I'm not going to play by those rules.' The determination to offend is not limited to the US market. A specially commissioned international poster, unveiled this month, depicts three monkeys as a rabbi, the Pope and an imam.[Guardian UK]
Borat helmsman Larry Charles says he intends to "destroy" organized religion with his newest flick, Religulous, starring Bill Maher. "I don't think 'debunk" is the right word,' he says. "I want to destroy more than debunk, just destroy the whole system." Maher chimed in: "I was raised a Catholic. But by the time I became an adult, scientific thought and rational evidence led me to believe otherwise. You know, when I was a kid and got a cavity I had mercury drilled into my teeth. Then, when I got older, they drilled it out-you can do the same with religion." Such mavericks! The fact that it's a Borat-style "documentary" in which dumbasses are strung up by their own words has dumbasses everywhere complaining even before it hits theaters.