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FIRE Featured in Acclaimed Documentary on Academic Freedom

PHILADELPHIA, December 2, 2004—A new documentary film from director Evan Coyne Maloney, “Brainwashing 101,” features FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Greg Lukianoff speaking about the climate of repression on America’s campuses.  Available for free online viewing or DVD purchase at, “Brainwashing 101” is a humorous yet disturbing look at political correctness run amok at our nation’s colleges and universities.


“We are proud and delighted to be included in this film, which touches on so many of the problems in higher education that FIRE struggles against every day,” said FIRE President David French.  “Evan Maloney’s efforts to bring more attention to campus repression are welcome and sorely needed.”


“Brainwashing 101” debuted to rave reviews at the American Film Festival in Dallas and drew critical acclaim at the Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles.  The 46-minute film also highlights FIRE’s long, and eventually victorious, battle with California Polytechnic State University that arose after Cal Poly attempted to punish a student, Steven Hinkle, for hanging fliers advertising a College Republicans event.  The film includes interviews with Hinkle and Professor Laura Freberg, who fought to protect Hinkle’s rights along with FIRE.  Read more about the Cal Poly case here.

The film shows Maloney being ejected from Cal Poly by campus police after he attempted to interview the university president about the Hinkle case. Maloney had previously been told by a Cal Poly public relations officer that he could film anywhere on campus.

“Cal Poly students called the police on Steve Hinkle for hanging fliers, and administrators called the police on Evan Maloney for asking questions about Steve Hinkle.  This film demonstrates how college administrators, who often claim to value openness and free expression above all else, too often practice intolerance and suppression,” commented FIRE’s Lukianoff.

Maloney also travels to the University of Tennessee and to Bucknell University, his alma mater. At Bucknell, students lament the lack of free speech on campus while juxtaposed with an economics professor who says that at Bucknell, “If you’re offended by [speech], that’s implicitly considered harassment.”  Bucknell administrators recently proved their hostility to the film by sending police to stop Maloney from screening the film—and taking more footage—on Bucknell’s campus.

“Brainwashing 101” is directed by Evan Coyne Maloney and produced by Stuart E. Browning and Blaine Greenberg.  It is a production of On The Fence Films LLC, and is a prelude to a feature length film that will be released in 2005.  Find out more about the film at

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities.  FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at


On The Fence Films LLC (Stuart Browning): 305-673-2296;

David French, President, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

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