'Out In The Silence' Filmmaker Lies, Then Refuses to Answer Questions

Filmmaker stifled anyone who had a different opinion

COUDERSPORT – Folks I’m sad to say, but this one deserves a full blown commentary.

I attended the show at the Coudersport Public Library tonight and I am absolutely appalled at the behavior displayed, not only by the filmmakers, but by some of the pro-gay activists that attended the film.

First, the filmmaker and his cohorts decided to wage a publicity stunt via fake news releases. They claimed that the library had been ‘threatened’ and that local churches and the Tea Party ‘promised a large protest’, and spread such lies throughout the media, insinuating that members of local churches and the Tea Party were going to turn out in violent protest. That was far from the truth.

Keturah Cappadonia, a librarian that was at the show, told me that the library had received emails, phone calls, and personal appearances, but everyone was courteous. When I asked her about threats or any protests, she said there were, “none that I know of”.

Not one person turned out to picket, demonstrate or protest, as there never were any plans to do so, contrary to statements made by Wilson.

In one part of the movie Wilson states, “People like Dianne (from the American Family Association) use misinformation to promote fear”. This is exactly what Joe Wilson and his producers did to the town of Coudersport.

The movie also declares, “A good strategy is to pit one minority against another” in reference to comparing black Americans to the GLBT community. Joe Wilson metaphorically standing on local area Christian’s backs to make himself appear taller is exactly that. Wilson also leveraged the fact that people view the Tea Party as bigots, and used false reports of threats to pit one minority (GLBT community) group against another (Tea Party).

As a repercussion of Mr. Wilson and his producers committing such a publicity stunt, headlines around Pennsylvania now read, ‘Will Coudersport Turn Gay’, ‘Coudersport – Backwoods Hicks Hate Gays’, and my favorite, ‘Ignorant Potter County Ted Haggard Tea Baggers’.

The makers of this film created a most unnecessary controversy in our local community, and all for publicity sake.

They also contacted law enforcement and staged quite a show with a police presence to up the hype even further. You can see that multiple policemen were at the library in the photo below. What a great way to spend tax dollars and use law enforcement.

I had already seen the movie today, as I watched it on Hulu, but I did stay inside the library for a good portion of the screening.

The audience seemed to enjoy the movie and got quite a few laughs, such as when filmmaker Joe Wilson made the remark,  “If you are not a white man ready to do the ‘missionary position'”; insinuating that all heterosexuals engage in such ‘strict’ activities only, and that anyone who doesn’t must be abnormal. At least that is his perspective of heterosexuals.

The audience also got quite a chuckle when a woman said her son got ‘gypped’, which in fact is a racial reference towards a minority group, Gypsies, who really do happen to be real people.

The movie itself is riddled with profanity, and sadly enough the one young man giving testimony in the film himself could easily be accused of promoting violence and hate with statements such as, “dude I might be a faggot, but I’m more of a man than you be” and “I am admitting that if you say another word I’m going to take your teeth out”.

Sadly it is a one-sided tale told by the young man, with no rebuttal from other the side. This is in stark contrast from the so-called ‘objective’ film that was supposed to air both sides of the saga.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania AFA (American Family Association) also say that the movie is based on lies, and that the filmmakers have a history of stirring up controversy to promote their agenda.

This isn’t the first time that Wilson and Dean have used fear tactics and false reports to the police to cast themselves into the role of victims and garner sympathy. According to information at the AFA website, the filmmakers have made false reports to law enforcement officials in the past, such as when they contacted the Oil City police and insinuated that the AFA was ‘threatening’ them. The AFA also says that the filmmakers have completely misconstrued statements and letters from the AFA to play the victims. They also say that after reading the letters on their website,

It will be quite clear that the intention of this documentary is to demean all those who do not ‘celebrate’ the homosexual lifestyle.

Once the film was over Joe Wilson and his fellow speaker said they would take questions, but they seemed extremely reluctant to acknowledge that I was even there, as Wilson had overheard earlier that I was from CoudyNews.com.

The first gentleman to speak was a Christian who said, “I love all people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with their lifestyle”. Once those words were uttered most of the crowd turned on the poor old gentleman. Joe Wilson immediately began dismissing what the man had to say, and believe it or not, waved his hands at the man in a gesture of ‘who gives a crap’.

The man attempted to continue speaking, and said, “I live here and I feel I am entitled to speak, please let me finish”, but neither the crowd nor Joe Wilson would allow it. He was heckled into silence.

One gay activist said, “How are we supposed to have a discussion when we have to listen to this crap from this man”, in reference to the man who was silenced. He then said, “Someone remove that man”.

Apparently, only those who agreed with Wilson, and did not care about the lies he spread during the course of the previous week, were allotted the opportunity to ‘open a dialog’, as the filmmakers stated was the intention of the screening. All others….”Someone remove that man”.

It took some time, and a few gay activists speaking before I finally was loud enough to get the attention of Joe Wilson, who as I said before, was quite reluctant to acknowledge my existence.

I stated the facts surrounding the misinformation that Joe Wilson had printed on his website concerning reports of threats and large protests, and I explained that the information was taken as fact and distributed as a news release by himself, which then created a massive amount of controversy in our small town and gave Coudersport a black eye.

I asked Joe Wilson, “is it true that you publicized incorrect, misleading, and manipulative information in an attempt to promote and publicize your movie and further your agenda”?

He responded by saying, “I don’t have a website”. A complete and utter lie.

I pulled a copy of his website with the article out of my notebook, as I had printed it before the show and asked again, “Mr. Wilson, is this not your website, with your picture, and your signature and profile called ‘Out In Silence’.

Wilson said, “no”. Once I pressed further he finally admitted that it was his website, but “it’s not called ‘Out In Silence’, it’s called ‘Out In The Silence'”. A mere technicality that Wilson attempted to stand on to deny that he printed the false information.

When I attempted to press further, he waved me off, and called on another questioner. I insisted on finishing my statement and getting a real response from Wilson, but he and his fellow speaker simply ignored me.

Next a woman asked, “Whose decision should it be to say whether or not gay is ok. Should it be yours or should it be mine. What makes you an authority on the matter, and how am I to know what to teach my children.”

She was quickly engaged by a clearly upset woman who took offense to the question, saying, “It’s my decision, why can’t we as human beings have compassion for one another.”

The woman who originally asked the question was quickly silenced by the crowd.

A little while later a woman said, “I read on Solomons Words about the bigotry and the threats against you guys, and…”, to which I lost a bit of self composure and quickly explained to the crowd that the information on Solomons Words was not only false, but it came from Joe Wilson himself.

I then attempted to question Wilson again, and demanded that he answer my question that he so blatantly dismissed.

One man, who had earlier seemed quite peaceful and had actually allowed me to step in front of him to ask my question, began asking me why I was so argumentative. He was visibly offended by the fact that I had confronted Wilson about the lies and false news release.

I asked the man, “If you published information and someone else twisted it and inserted lies to stir up controversy for their benefit and cast you into a negative light, would you take offense?”

Sadly, I was then heckled out of the library.

A large woman stood up and began shouting at me, “Who gives a crap about your website”.

I explained that CoudyNews.com received 1,700 unique visitors yesterday, so people DO care.

It was quite obvious that most of the crowd had turned on me and it was time to beat feet.

For a film that was supposed to promote open opinions, free speech, and which was supposedly screened to promote open dialog, it sure was the complete opposite.

The filmmakers and crowd had no desire whatsoever to hear anything they did not agree with. The minute that anyone began a dialog that did not run parallel with their agenda, they were shot down and stifled.

Talk about bigotry!

I can tell you one thing, I was certainly the minority at the screening, and the filmmaker and crowd let me know so.

The film depicts a young gay male that was heckled by crowds at school for his sexual preference. I can tell you that this crowd exhibited the same type of behavior that they accuse others of.

I am completely appalled.

I walked out of the screening with one last statement, “You are doing exactly to me right now what you are accusing others of doing to you”.

A little bit of research will quickly show that the producers of this film have a checkered past of spreading lies and false information to promote their film.

While I do not necessarily disagree with the ‘message’ of the film, I certainly disagree with the tactics and propaganda that the makers of this film have employed.

I went to this show with absolutely no bias towards gay people (and still I have none). In fact, I was hoping that after speaking with Joe Wilson I could come to terms with why he published such false information, but that clearly did not happen.

If the makers of the film really did want to increase awareness and acceptance of their lifestyle, and not profit from a so-called ‘documentary’, then they surely would not have acted in the fashion they have.

I am appalled at the behavior displayed this evening, and saddened that our community has been labeled as ‘back-woods bigots’ and ‘close-minded rednecks’ because of this man’s personal agenda.

Note: The library staff was more than courteous during the event.


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21 Comments

  1. What Coudersport witnessed during the screening of Out in the Silence Wednesday night, is just a sampling of what the Oil City/Franklin area endured during the years of filming this so-called documentary. Even now Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer ‘drop by’ occasionally or write a letter to the editor to keep the controversy going.

  2. Susan says:

    Mr. Hallman thank you for taking the time to go to the viewing of this film. I am sure it was not easy for you after what had taken place prior to the screening. I agree Joe Wilson is a liar and has his own agenda. I also get a feeling he is the one full of hate against others, it shows in his actions and words.

    I hope someone smartens up and looks into his activities before he goes across America stirring up trouble among small towns. People like this, gay or straight should not be promoting any issue in America if they can not do it with honesty and integrity.

    The filmmakers got their point across, created a scenario that did not exists for their own hateful purpose. It is to bad, if this is not dealt with, they will continue this behavior at every screening!

    Enough is enough……….. But where does this end? Where did freedom of religion and freedom of ideas, thoughts and beliefs go?

    I wanted to share a example of how this Country is PUSHING the gay agenda.

    Augusta University Student Told To Change Beliefs On Gays Through Re-Education Camp-Style Brainwashing Or Be Expelled…. click link to read more.

    http://patdollard.com/2010/07/georgia-student-told-to-change-beliefs-on-gays-through-re-education-camp-style-courses-or-be-expelled/

  3. James Hipps says:

    LOL! This posting is a joke right? Everything you’ve said is EXACTLY what members of the religious right have been doing to the LGBT community for decades. How dare you paint yourself as a victim. You’re so full of white and straight privilege you don’t even see it.

    Even if what you wrote in the post was true, then the only thing I could say is good, it’s about time you people who want to push your religious ideology (which is a choice mind you) down the throats of everyone else got a taste of your own distasteful medicine!

    Cry a river…then build a boat to drift down it…and away! This isn’t ‘your’ America, it belongs to everyone…yes, even people of color!

    You’re an undereducated and bitter piece of work!

    EDITOR’S RESPONSE:
    Let me begin by saying wow!

    First, I am not a Christian, but of course you cast that stereotype upon me as it is so convenient to make me look like a bigot that way.

    Second, I have no bias towards those of any skin color or sexual orientation (except pedophiles).

    In fact, I believe that homosexuals should be free to do whatever they choose with their lives. It is not my place to judge or dictate how they live. However, the same should hold true for me, and I feel that you should respect my choices in regards to my life.

    Third, let me tell you about my ‘white privilege’ as you call it. I was raised poor, with an alcoholic father. I suffered bullying and torment from the time I was in kindergarten until the time I was in fifth grade. In the fourth grade my arm was broken in a ‘fight’ with a bully. Why? Because I had red hair, my parents were poor and we had accents in the little town that we moved to. So, spare me the victim lecture. I know all too well what it is like to be the outcast, to be ridiculed and bullied for being different.

    You are a hypocrite Mr. Hipps, just as Joe Wilson is. Those at the screening last night exhibited hateful and ridiculing tactics to silence me, and all because they felt that because I confronted Joe Wilson on his lies that I must somehow be anti-gay or a bigot.

    Also, please stop using people of color to make your arguments. I really don’t see how a person’s color has anything whatsoever to do with this. Also, just to let you know, my second to last girlfriend was black. I also have gay friends who visit my home regularly.

    The fact of the matter is that you are guilty of exactly that which you accuse others of. You use fear, labels, and stereotypes to further your personal agenda, and you certainly do have an agenda.

    You somehow justify the actions of your fellow activists last night because you feel that Christians have treated you that way in the past.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right Mr. Hipps.

    And for you to come on here and make assumptions about my religious affiliation and sexual orientation proves how hypocritical you are.

    Perhaps when you and people such as Joe Wilson stop using misinformation, fake news releases, and stereotypes it will actually be possible to have a truly ‘open dialog’ about the homosexual issue.

    Also, what I wrote in my post is nothing but the truth.

    Joe Wilson took an article on CoudyNews.com, added lies to it and then distributed it as a ‘news release’.

    That alone calls into question the objectiveness of the filmmaker in a ‘documentary’.

    What does it say about a film producer who files false police reports to up the hype surrounding a movie he produced.

    Please get your facts straight, drop the assumptions and accusations and stop projecting your stereotypes upon me before you come back.

    As for the controversy that Mr. Wilson has stirred up in MY hometown, I believe that we are all glad it is over and we are ready to move past it.

    I will not continue to play into your baiting.

  4. Susan says:

    Shame on Wilson & Dean for creating a publicity stunt that damaged Coudersport and its fine residents, both gay & straight. The police had no way of knowing that the reports they received were lies, but it was a very effective and free way to advertise. Another example of big city rascals using theatrics to infect small town America with their disease of intolerance. Hopefully Coudereans will realize that they were “had” and band together against the next Wilson & Dean. There WILL be more. Keep up the good work, CoudyNews.

  5. Anonymous says:

    James Hipps, I am a Christian and I never shoved anything down your throat or anyone else’s. How dare you be so narrow minded that you would lump all Christians together? It is to bad that those who claim to be so open minded, are the very ones who are closed minded! The very ones who claim that they are unfairly judged, do most of the judging in America.

    I just don’t get your double standard? I really don’t!

    What is your real issue? It seems to me that you are the one who needs to do some homework to educate yourself!

  6. Robert says:

    This is Mr. Hipps website.

    http://www.gayagenda.com/

    Why not just live your life and be happy? I feel the gay community tries to separate themselves and put themselves in the spotlight. Why, I really don’t know.

    Mr. Hipps, you want equality but you clearly show diversity! How long and how wide are you planning on drawing that line?

  7. me says:

    Honestly.. who cares.. really.. you can like who you wanna like and everyone else can like whoever they want to.. i just dont understand why this BIG of deal has to be made over something sooooo small.. Get a life people!!! 🙂

  8. admin says:

    @ 7:51

    The ‘BIG deal’ came as the result of false reports by the filmmaker Joe Wilson. Wilson made it a big deal, as any filmmaker wants a ‘big deal’ to publicize his film. It seems Wilson is no exception.

    He cast Coudersport into a statewide spotlight, and by doing so made our community look very bad to outsiders.

    I believe this is why people care. This article really has little to do with being homosexual, it’s about the events and false news releases leading up to and surrounding the screening of the film.

    thx 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    i think you are a totally joke. you should really find something better to do with you life or tell the truth about what you are writing about.

  10. admin says:

    @ 8:03

    You’ll need to leave your name next time if you expect me to approve another comment such as that.

    I will not allow this site to become host to anonymous character assassinations.

    Now, please point out one mis-truth in this article.

  11. Terry Wankel says:

    Mr. Wilson’s own site showed how much that he could twist the truth and add lies to it to sensationalize the event for his own benefit. He linked to a CoudyNews article and said that the article showed that there were attacks, and going to be attacks against him, but nothing in the CoudyNews article said any such thing. Watch when this hits Smethport, and Emporium, 2 more small towns in which this man can call the police and claim that there have been threats when there weren’t any, raise controversy, and further his own agenda.
    Gay or straight, black or white, lying and smearing one group (or town) to further your own cause only sets your cause back even further, sometimes to irreparable distances. Maybe Wilson should think about that before he tries his smear campaign again.
    As for not letting anyone else comment, shame on them. Instead of dismissing those with other views, shouldn’t they have been trying to convince them otherwise? They’d rather dismiss him because in actuality, they want more rights than anyone else, not equal rights.
    I fully support those who choose to live the gay lifestyle, but I will not support the actions of sensationalists and liars.
    For those who are calling this article stupid, calling CoudyNews a joke, and those saying to remove a man who has a different opinion, what would you have felt if the same was done to you? Should someone else’s opinion have kept you from seeing the movie? Should their opinion have silenced your own? Should you be considered a joke because you don’t agree with every bit of information fed to you? Hypocrites is what we call groups that engage in activity such as this.

  12. admin says:

    Thank you Terry! 🙂

  13. Duke Mantee says:

    @Robert- Thanks for posting the link http://www.gayagenda.com/ and exposing James Hipps. The web is a great resource, makes it very hard to misrepresent yourself.

    Two articles on Hipps’ website speak volumes and are worth a look-see:

    In the first homosexuals scoff at the idea that homosexual couplings are just about sex:

    http://www.gayagenda.com/2010/07/its-only-about-sex-nothing-more-nothing-less/

    Further down the list we find an article that explores homosexual coupling amongst various species of animals including the claim that some animals even make and use their own sex toys:

    QUOTE:
    “Yes, sex toys, as in dildos and masturbation aids, but instead of visiting a sex store or going on-line, they just make their requirements themselves.”

    http://www.gayagenda.com/2010/07/animals-gay-straight-use-sex-toys-too/

    Goes to show there is no need to make stuff up about these folks, they hang themselves with their own words. The sanitized imagery they portray in their propaganda is a far cry from reality.

  14. Duke Mantee says:

    @Terry Wankel- good points but you need to look deeper. Yes, Smethport and Emporium are small towns. But they are also COUNTY SEATS. This is not mere happenstance.

    Look at Wilson’s website:
    http://wpsu.org/outinthesilence/screenings_index
    Note the rest of the screenings that have taken place or are scheduled. All but one or two of those ‘small towns’ just happen to be COUNTY SEATS (the seat of County Government) too.

    This propaganda and the false negative publicity they generate around it are designed to soften up public opinion amongst the gullible populace and the legislators. This is a prelude to when, not far in the future, Stephen A Glassman through his operatives in the homosexual activist community, petitions the County government to enact a protective ordinance for homosexuals and transgenders.

    They are in the final stages of getting one in Doylestown and have just laid the groundwork in Lower Merion Township (Montgomery County) and Radnor Township (Delaware County) They are working feverishly in Lancaster County too.

    So don’t breathe a sigh of relief that this event has come and gone for Coudersport. It has only just begun for you guys. I have no problem with homosexuals going about their business either. But when you see the manipulative propaganda they employ and the lies they use to hype it up, you cannot help but question their sincerity and what their total mission really is.

  15. deb says:

    I wonder if ppl would be so outspoken if the issue were fornicators and adulterers….

  16. Joan says:

    So, when do you think people are going to see the truth?

    Will they forever remain blind to the fact these two guys are liars and they will go on doing this as they move across Pennsylvania?

    Duke and Terry, thank you for being open and honest.

    This is has been very frustrating, listening to others who just rush into opening their mouths and jumping on the hate bandwagon.

    I have never heard so many self centered opinions in my life as I have this past week and all in one little town.

    I bet the two guys who started all the lies are loving every bit of it. But then maybe they are pathological liars and believe what they lie about! They might see it different, see it backwards or even inside out! Heck they might just see a double rainbow.

    Those of us with our eyes wide open can see just what is going on.

    They will not stop as long as gullible people “follow” them and puff them up. They just have NO sense at all!

    I’m sorry but the trail of lies continues and it makes me sick, when it is RIGHT there in front of everyone eyes. People are so blind.

    I also want to mention, there are many cowards in this area too. Those who are scared to stand up for what is right, God help you when the Lord returns!

  17. Joan says:

    Oh and James Hipps-
    your comments are not worth the time to read them, you hateful mean person!

  18. Ted says:

    It’s a shame that your own prejudice keeps you from appreciating the message of hope and love which runs all through “Out in the Silence.”

    I do hope you haven’t passed on your intolerance to your children — leaving them a legacy of hate would be a terrible thing.

    Editor’s Response:
    Ted, please point out one instance where I have said I am prejudiced against anyone. I have clearly stated my personal position on the matter.

    What really is a shame is that people such as yourself feel so strongly about the ‘message’ that ‘Out In The Silence’ delivers, that you turn a blind eye to the lies and propaganda used to promote it. You feel so strongly about the message that you care not of the messenger’s tactics.

    Joe Wilson has blatantly lied numerous times. Heck he even lied straight to my face in front of everyone at the screening. When I asked him about the lies he published on his website, his response was, “we don’t have a website”. Five minutes later he told the crowd, “You can find the information on our website”.

    Why did no one report that? Because the other media knows that doing such would not be popular.

    I don’t care what your message or cause is, spreading lies and making false reports is no way to promote it.

    As for my reporting, I will report the truth regardless of whether or not it is popular.

    The leader of the Tea Party apologized for involving the Tea Party in the matter. I think it’s time that Wilson owned up to his actions and also apologized.

  19. Michael McClure says:

    After attending a recent screening of this film in Altoona, Pennsylvania, I felt led to do some research on people and events relayed in it, which led me to this website and article. I honestly don’t know what to make of the events reported by the editor, but I can say that I am shocked and appalled if they are true. As a gay man myself, I believe that the best tool we have against bias is education–not perpetrating the same kind of intolerance that we purport to oppose. Stereotypes do nothing to resolve conflict, and intolerance on either side is simply destructive. You have my sincerest sympathy for what you endured, as I have been there myself many times. I sincerely hope there will come a day when issues like this can be resolved in a TRUE open dialogue (on both sides), and we can finally come to a place where we agree to “live and let live”.

    Editor’s Response:
    Thank you Michael, I completely agree with you 100%.

  20. Kim Thomas says:

    Saw the documentary in Altoona, Pa, at the Altoona Campus of Penn State. I am the mother of a gay son. I went to see what today’s Mother of a gay son went through and what her son endured as well. I must say I was disappointed to see much has not changed (my son is 31) in the last few years. You all can argue who said what and who did what but I have to say I was so hurt that the hate and bigotry is still going on today. What is wrong with us?!! I am a Christian and I hurt so much for those among us that need our love and the love Christ spoke of and exhibited so well but are deemed “unworthy” by our religious leaders and those among us who speak “for us”. My God, My God, why has’t thou forsaken us? Who among you is sinless? Who among you is pure enough to cast the first stone? Where is the relationship that Christ had with “sinners”? I may be just another backwoods Mom who cares about her child and yours but I hope the posts here aren’t the only thoughts and feelings of other “Christian” people. If so, God help us. Feel free to email me with any responses. God Bless you all.

  21. Scott says:

    Weatern PA, a place I used to be so proud of. As a child, I grew up in Ambridge, but my parents left in 83 because of the poor job conditions. Many years later, my heart still lies in the Burgh…However, when I look back at the place I was born, there is a deep hatred that lies inside so many who still live there. I’m a straight, married, white, educated male who works hard for my family. It amazes me that people like Diane Gramley have such a big stage and loud voice that hopefully only speaks for a small few. Deep down inside, I know everyone doesn’t hate as much as she does in the state I love…do they? It saddens me. Documentary movies are one of the only true voices left to tell real stories of the issues at hand in our country. I am glad we have strong people willing to show us the struggle those who are not like me face day in and day out. Western PA should be ashamed if this is how we truly feel and treat others we disagree with!

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