Knute Berger, an editor at Seattle Weekly wrote a scathing review of the so-called "indie film" titled "What the #$*! Do We Know?" starring Oscar winner, Marlee Matlin as a bewildered woman searching for her place within the universe.
Some critics have called the movie little more than a "infomercial" promoting "New Age" guru J.Z. Knight, a former housewife from Tacoma who got rich selling seminars, tapes and books to her students.
And it has been reported that the three principal filmmakers responsible for the project are all "students of Ramtha."
FYI-"Ramtha" is the 35,000-year-old disembodied spirit from the lost continent of Atlantis Ms. Knight allegedly channels to enlighten her faithful followers.
Despite the documentary-like format, which includes talking heads holding forth about string-theory and physics, ultimately the film is about philosophy. That is, the beliefs of J.Z. Knight and her so-called "Ramtha School of Enlightenment."
However, Mr. Berger wasn't taken in.
Instead the reporter questioned both the honesty and integrity of the film project.
The newspaperman noted the slick computer animation and "Disney-style" of the movie, which he said was "imbued with a kind of mystical...significance," but commented that "the presentation was very odd."
Berger pointed out that the film was potentially misleading through the way experts were not clearly identified until the final credits. And noted that some had less than stellar backgrounds, such as a "Catholic priest who left the church under a cloud of sex-abuse allegations."
Berger described Knight as a "New Age cult leader" and noted that others said that she "talked like the love child of Zsa Zsa Gabor and William Shatner."
He also repeated skeptical criticism about how Ms. Knight "couldn't maintain her Ramtha accent" and some sniping about her "bad plastic surgery."
Ultimately the reporter found that the film had "a stealth agenda."
He also wasn't happy with Seattle Weekly either, noting that the newspaper should have "at the very least [cited]...the controversial Knight connection to the film" within its listings. And he advised that the filmmakers "should be up front about what it is."
Knute Berger summed up his report surmising that the producers of the movie wanted to pitch religion, but that they "should do so without a disguise." He then noted that misleading people seems to be "exactly how cults work." And that "they recruit by pretending to be something they're not."
Note: This is a review of an article run within Seattle Weekly (March 9, 2005) titled "Who the #$*! Are They? How I was suckered by a 35,000-year-old entity" by Knute Berger.