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Dr. Warren Throckmorton Christian Blog and Commentary

Wichita church target of Borat-like hoax

  • Dr. Warren Throckmorton
    Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at ewthrockmorton@gcc.edu.
  • 2008 Mar 19
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On Monday night, I received a phone call from a friend who described a surreal event in a Wichita, KS church. My friend heard from another friend on the scene that a group of people posing as a film production company had attempted to disrupt an Easter play at the Central Community Church in Wichita.

A local television station - KAKE - investigated and filed a written and video report documenting the activities of the Longman Parke Production company out of Los Angeles. Here are some excerpts:

Several locations in Kansas are targeted by a film crew claiming to be making a film about culture in America. But their actions have people across the state wondering whether they’ve been part of a “Borat”-like prank.

Pastor Greg Smith of Central Community Church says they were contacted by the film crew and were told they were working on a film to be shown in Europe. Smith agreed to let them film the Easter play being performed at the church.

However, at some point, Smith knew something was not right. In security camera footage from the church, you can see crew members making preparations to cover the security cameras before attempting to pull off their prank.

The production crew also targeted the airport and another church.

The film crew also visited Mid-Continent Airport. Officials there are reviewing its media policies after the so-called German documentary film crew made a scene inside the main terminal on Friday.

“We were lied to,” says Assistant Airport Director Brad Christopher. “We were duped.”

Authorities say the film crew was not who they said they were. Last month, the group contacted Wichita airport officials about shooting part of their documentary on American culture at Mid-Continent. They arrived Friday and were shown around. Airport employees say they seemed professional.

That is, until the cameras came on and the clothes came off.

Witnesses say it almost looked like pornography. In the middle of the terminal, the film crew began stripping down. They were escorted out of the airport by police, and told to leave…

The crew also made its way to Topeka and contacted another church as well as our sister station, WIBW. One of the reporters there became suspicious after a member of the crew asked if she had seen the movie “Borat.”

I called the phone number the production company gave to the church. A woman answered who hung up on my as soon as I asked about the Central Community Church.  My contact said the men stripped down to thongs at the Wichita airport before they were taken away. The KAKE website has video of the airport story as well.

Churches beware of such tactics with Good Friday and Easter services coming up.