Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Ivy League Exorcist Poster

Ivy league exorcist cult film movie poster
Troy Davis writes: Behold the new official poster for Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story. I did the the original poster, a hasty job done on MS Paint. We needed a better poster that could be blown up (for use as a prop in CultJam Production's next film) so we enlisted the aid of Bryan Gasaway, a graphic design major at West Liberty University. Great job, Bryan! The post is on the IMDb page for Ivy League Exorcist.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Public Policy Polling Poll: Most Republicans believe in demonic possession

Read about the poll in this article by Laura Gottesdiener in; the article discusses Bobby Jindal's Brown University exorcism as well as Delaware GOP Senate candidate and alleged former witch Christine O’Donnell.

Friday, August 31, 2012

CultJam Productions is working on a new short film

I just wanted to let fans of Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story know that we aren't a one-trick pony. We are hard at work creating another short film. More details soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Decontextualization, Memetics, Semiotics, and The Ivy League Exorcist Chick Tract Parody

satan's spiritual structure mimetics semiotics
2016 UPDATE: Check out our comic book "Donald Trump Is The Antichrist" and other comix and films.

Troy Davis writes:

In July, members of CultJam Productions passed out the promotional Chick tract parody titled "A Demon-Hunting Veep" (read it here and also read the most current version of the comic book), at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. The tract looks like a Chick Publications creation and has a message that might lead many readers to believe it is the work of fundamentalists.  Our intention was to evoke curiosity so that the reader would be motivated to watch our film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story.

We didn't realize until a few days ago that the tract--or at least a decontextualized segment of the tract--became viral online during Comic-Con. On July 17, someone with the handle "DJ" posted a page of the tract along with ample breasts to the online image board MyBroadband (the image to the right). DJ apparently thought our tract was on the level and juxtaposed the boobs to show his contempt for our facetious list of satanic activities. Unfortunately, DJ didn't list the name of the tract or the name of the film so readers were led to believe it was a real fundy tract (though we made the list from activities that fundies often link to the devil). In essence, the meme lacked what Richard Dawkins calls copying-fidelity; a fragment of our work was recontextualized in a way that led to confusion. The image was quickly picked up by some major blogs (the Huffington Post's Andres Jauregui did a post on it as did Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder).

When I found out about this a few days ago, I emailed bloggers about the confusion and many updated their posts to acknowledge the true context and motives of the creators of the work (e.g., Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder's post is here). This caused the properly contextualized and complete meme-set to go viral again. What a long, strange trip it's been. The panel continues to be posted on forums such as Reddit and Twitter.

The List: This is the list of components of Satan's Spiritual Structure and "doorways to demonic possession": Eastern religions, yoga, Freemasonry, Illuminati groups, New Age religions, Church of Satan, Scientology, Rosicruscianism, Astrology, Tarot cards, Ouija boards, Remote viewing, Palmistry, Voodoo, Earth Worship, Wicca, Cyberpunk culture, Divination, Meditation, Vegetariansim, Lycanthropy, Postmodernism, Backmasking, Astral-projection, Necromancy, Rebirthing, Kabbalah, LOTR, Fire walking, Levitation, alt 'comix,' Vampirism, Trilateralism, Marihuana & Pot parties, LSD/shrooms, Video games, Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons, Halloween, Fornication, Skull & Bones, Rock music, Heavy metal, Burning man, Twilight films, Raves & XTC, and Goth culture.

UPDATE:  I wrote more theoretical insights on the CultJam Productions blog. Also, there is an updated tract. Also, CultJam has a comic book that lampoons Tom Cruise Scientology, and Galactic Overlord Xenu; it's called "Cock-Tale: A Modern Tijuana Bible."

JUNE 2013 UPDATE:  We have a new blog post of E.W. Jackson and yoga here (and right below it is our new Chick tract parody).  Also, watch the online film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story.  Like Bluto said, "Don't cost nothin'."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Intertexuality in Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story

Troy Davis writes: I'm a big fan of recontextualization, the taking of symbols from other realms and placing them into other contexts When I wrote Ivy League Exorcist, I kept this in mind and sought to decontextualize cultural symbols and reintroduce them into cinematic form. For instance, I had the possessed Susan character scream at the assembled Christian group, "For fuck's sake, you're the lamest bunch of whiny-ass titty-babies." The term "whiny-ass titty-baby" (WATB) was developed in the left-of-center blogosphere in the earlier 2000's; it is used to refer "to right-wingers who routinely bully others but whine vociferously at the mildest criticism directed their way." Of course, Susan's use is anarchronistic (the film takes place a decade before the term was coined and even before the blogosphere existed) but the point was to take a multi-media approach to art.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ivy League Exorcist in the Media

Troy Davis writes: Ivy League Exorcist: the Bobby Jindal Story has online been online for a little over two weeks and it has received a great deal of media coverage:
  • Gannett reporter Mike Hasten reported on the film
  • Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Michelle Millhollen got the priceless comment from Governor Jindal's communications director Kyle Plotkin: “That movie is insane. It’s just plain absurd.”
  • WGNO, New Orleans' ABC affiliate did a news story on Ivy League Exorcist. Watch it here.
  • Richard von Busack, the film review of the San Jose weekly newspaper Metroactive has a thoughtful review, calling the film, "a sharp, shocker of a movie...worthy of John Waters." An abbreviated review appears in the North Bay Bohemian.
  • Associated Press reporter Melinda Deslatte wrote that "the story Jindal wrote nearly 20 years ago has inspired more than one YouTube video."
  • The New Orleans Times-Picayune John Maginnis wrote, "'Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare,' which Jindal wrote for New Oxford Review in 1994, has spawned scores of news stories, columns, radio and TV commentaries, even a few YouTube videos (the governor's press secretary called one 'insane')."
  • The New Orleans Defender had a small article on the controversy: ". . . a California team called CultJam Productions recreated the [exorcism] episode, and took the liberty of inserting foul language and fart jokes."

    Update: The Huffington Post's Andres Jauregui and Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder, who originally wrote posts about a page photographed from our promotional tract, cite our film. More on this phenomenon here.
Blogs have had some interesting coverage of the film's debut:
  • Rebecca Schoenkopf, writer for the influential Washington DC blog Wonkette, was amused by the film.
  • The humor blog Jesus' General liked the film.
  • Peter Jacobs of IvyGate, the Ivy League blog, has kind words for the film: "Add a fantastic little article Jindal wrote in 1994 for the New Oxford Review detailing the exorcism titled “Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare,” and you have something that has little to do with politics, but everything to do with how people view this rising Republican. . .Take for example, Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story, probably the best 11-minute film you will watch all day. Trust us. It is a “comedic” adaptation of Jindal’s article made for $300 by a group of filmmakers in California. Again, trust us."
  • BayouBuzz picked up the story.
  • Unreasonable Faith picked up the story.
  • An Atheistic blog from the Czech Republic has a story.
  • wrote about the film.
  • VN Made has a story.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My So-Called Radio Interview by Troy Davis

This morning I was a "guest" on the Denny Schaffer's morning drive radio show on WRNO 99.5 FM in New Orleans.  Before my ten minute talk with Schaffer, I didn't hold any illusions that it was going to be a serious attempt to have a serious discussion with me about the film. WRNO's nickname is "Rush Radio" (referring to Rush Limbaugh).  I figured he would try to bait me and I was right.  You can listen to the interview here (starts at 17:20).  I wanted to discuss cinematic elements of the film but had a hard time getting past his badgering and interupting (e.g., when I mentioned mumblecore, Schaffer's response was,  "does that mean low budget piece of crap?").  My hopes of discussing pastiche, irony, and intertextuality went unfulfilled.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ivy League Exorcist featured in Metroactive, the Silicon Valley's weekly alternative newspaper

The article, by Richard von Busack, gives a lot of information about the film and about the people behind CultJam Productions.  We at CultJam Productions are flattered that Mr. Von Busack called Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story, "a short shocker. . . worthy of John Waters."
ivy league exorcist bobby jindal

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Original Press Release for Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story



The members of the film collective CultJam Productions released the short film, Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story, on its website ( on July 17, 2012.

The film’s writer and producer Troy Davis explained the reasons for the online release: “Initially, I and other members of CultJam Productions wanted to do a more traditional release of the film, taking Ivy League Exorcist to the film festival circuit.   However, in recent months, with all the buzz about whether presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney would pick Jindal as his running mate, we decided to make the film accessible to everyone.”

The film is a dramatization of the bizarre events that took place in a Brown University classroom in 1990.  Jindal and members of a student Christian group were holding a prayer vigil for a fellow member who had been diagnosed with skin cancer when the afflicted woman suddenly collapsed on the floor, convulsed, and showed sudden and drastic personality changes that Jindal and the other students interpreted as demonic possession.  The group performed a makeshift exorcism on the woman. 

Jindal wrote about the incident in a conservative Catholic journal The New Oxford Review in 1994; the title of the article was “Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare.”  Davis got the idea of doing a short film about the incident after he read the New Oxford Review piece in the summer of 2011: “After I finished reading the article,” recounted Davis, “my first thought was, ‘Wow, this is totally surreal!’ My second thought was that of a filmmaker, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to do a reenactment of the exorcism in the form of a mumblecore-style film?’”

Eventually Davis saw the subversive media potential of the film: “On the one hand,”  Davis quipped, “using a cinema vérité or mumblecore cinematography style, the film would have a documentary feel to it. I was convinced that some people viewing the film would be convinced that it was a documentary of the actual events—I’m reminded of a recent survey indicating that many people didn’t realize that Stephen Colbert’s TV show persona is satirical in nature.  We decided to introduce some over-the-top elements into the film, not just for shock value or cheap laughs, but to test the naïveté of the audience—were they in on the gag?”

Davis noted that the members of CultJam Productions, a film collective, were uniquely suited for the odd nature of the film: “In the nineties, I discovered postmodernism, media hacking, and cyberpunk culture; these aren’t just theories, they were and continue to be a way of life.  Mario Glaviano, the director, and Francesca Stonum, the co-DP and editor, are graduates of the film program at San Diego State University when they were protégés of postmodernist and cyberpunk theorist Larry McCaffery. Our approaches are complementary. It also helped that our assistant director, Mark Schwab, is a veteran of the mumblecore film movement and whose experiments in improvisation and the do-it-yourself ethic have been landing him accolades in underground film festivals.  The result was praxis, a merging of theory and practice.  The finished product is the essence of outsider art.”

CultJam Productions did a guerilla-style promotion of the film at Comic-Con in San Diego last week.  Davis noted, “We created a mini-comic book promoting the film that mimicked the style of the inflammatory fundamentalist Jack Chick comic book tracts (it can be seen here: .   We handed them out to the conventioneers and most thought we were crazy religionists but some of the more discerning people appreciated the irony and the fact that they were in on the joke. The film and the media campaign are intended to have a deconditioning effect, that is, it is intended to jolt people out of ordinary modes of thinking.  This film is very postmodern in that it employs pastiche, intertextuality, and blends highbrow and lowbrow elements.  I wouldn’t even call this film a satire because, except for a few gags, we pretty much played the events straight.  What is absurd is the actual event from 1990.”

Members of CultJam Productions are concerned that people will think the film is an attempt to influence politics.  “People who think this is a hit job on Jindal don’t get the point,” Davis said, “The college years are a time for people to do stupid things. If anything, I think that with Jindal, unlike Barack Obama who was doing coke in college, at least his heart was in the right place. He meant well. I think there are some deeper issues, nonpolitical ones, that the film addresses.  We will deal with them in the near future”

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jack Chick Parody Tract Used to Promote Ivy League Exorcist at Comic-Con International

This is an version of the Jack T. Chick tract parody created during the summer of 2012 to promote CultJam Productions' online short film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story (which can be viewed here). Ivy League Exorcist is an absurdist deadpan comedy that lampoons the actual exorcism that Louisiana governor and 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal performed as a Brown University undergraduate. Richard von Busack of Metro Silicon Valley called the film "a sharp shocker . . . worthy of John Waters." The film has also been covered in the London Daily Telegraph, the Huffington Post, Boing Boing, Wonkette, and the Louisiana media. Here is a list of media outlets that covered us. Bobby Jindal's people were less impressed; Governor Jindal's spokesman called the film "insane" and "absurd."

 This is the revised Summer 2012 version of the tract which was created to promote the film when Bobby Jindal was being strongly considered as a running mate by presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney. An updated version was created for the 2016 presidential race (there's also a version created for Chick tract fans).  Also, check out our online mini-comic lampooning Scientology. In addition, there's a 2016 Chick tract parody "Trump Is The Antichrist" that pokes fun at both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

 More updates and links after the tract. Also check out CultJam Productions' blog.
jack chick tract parody jack t chick parody comic chick tract satire pastiche postmodern detournement media hack postmodern comix situationist satan's spiritual structure satire doorways to demonic possession jack chick tract parody

What was funny about the whole thing was that some real fundamentalists showed up and we passed out our comix tracts near them. The fundies thought we were on their team! Model Jessie Hail has a YouTube video where she flouts the fundies; I am behind the guys with signs passing out faux Chick tracts to unsuspecting Comic-Con attendees:


Some readers have noticed that the Chick parody tract “A Demon-Hunting Veep” has elements of various Chick tracts.  Chick tract enthusiasts know that the cover and premise of the tract are derived from “A Demon’s Nightmare” (one of the demons is based on the demon in “A Demon’s Nightmare?” and the other demon is based on the protagonist of the eponymous “Stinky”).  Page one has the title characters from “Gladys” and “That Crazy Guy!” burning in the fire and brimstone of Hell.  Page three has silhouettes based on images from “The Story Teller,”Fire Starter?” “Party Girl,” “Fallen,” “The Great Escape,” and “Last Rites.”  Page four has Don (the band member from “Angels” who was into vampirism) and the pompous professor from “Big Daddy?” experiencing the eternal fires of damnation.  Page five has supposedly satanic symbols from various Chick tracts and comic books—notably “The Last Generation.”  Also on page five, the note that it isn’t necessary to burn the tract is a paraphrase of a line from “Spellbound.” The reference to “Satan’s Spiritual Structure” is taken from “Angel of Light.” 

JUNE 2013 UPDATE: Welcome Boing Boing readers; Cory Doctorow mentioned us in his post!  Read the entire Chick tract parody below as well as our updated Chick tract parody.  The tract was used to promote our mumblecore-style deadpan comedy film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story (watch the film online here).  Read a theoretical discussion of memetics and semiotics regarding the way that the decontextualized portion of the tract became a meme. Check out our cool movie poster (it's a mashup of the movie posters for The Exorcist and Danger: Diabolik).  Also, if you like the film, could you give us a rating on our IMDb page because Jindal partisans slammed the film with the IMDb ratings.  Thanks.

AUGUST 2012 UPDATE: Welcome Boing Boing readers! Read the Chick comic tract parody below and watch the short film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story on YouTube. Also, check out our production company web site. The site has a cool Ivy League Exorcist movie poster. We at CultJam Productions have some other film projects in the pipeline, so if you would like e-mail notifications of future flm releases or if you want to give CultJam Productions your feedback, contact us at Also, to go to the front page of the blog, click here.

Here is the parody of a Jack T. Chick tract that we gave out at Comic-Con last week. Click on a page to enlarge. AUGUST UPDATE: Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan to be his running mate so the tract is a little dated now but still enjoyable.

UPDATE 3:  CultJam Productions created a new Chick tract parody called "Ivy League Exorcist."  This new tract takes the basic idea of the tract below and adds new gags and the kind of things that Chick tract fans love.
UPDATE 4: Click here an even newer version of the comic book with cameo appearances by Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Osama bin Laden, and Sid Vicious. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Movie Poster for Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story

TROY DAVIS WROTE: This is the official movie poster. It is a mashup between the poster for the film The Exorcist and the poster for the 1968 film Danger:Diabolik. One of my friends said it was the best independent film poster he's seen.
Ivy league exorcist jindal movie poster