The Da Vinci Code
About Campus Crusade for Christ's
opposition to the movie
This is part of the front cover of a pamphlet that Campus
Crusade for Christ volunteers are distributing in theatres where The Da
Vinci Code is being shown. Their website has a range of resources that attempt
to expose errors (from a conservative Christian perspective) in the Da Vinci
Code book and movie. See:
Cineplex Odeon Corporation "....leases
or has a joint venture interest in 129 theatres with 1,269 screens and is
the largest motion picture exhibitor in Canada." 1 On
2006-MAY-17, they cancelled an in-theatre
advertising campaign by Campus Crusade for Christ Canada (CCCC). The CCCC had
spent $63,000 (in U.S. dollars) to create a ten second ad that referred
viewers to its website at http://www.DiscussDaVinci.com.
2 The agreement to show the ad
before the Da Vinci movie in 65 Cineplex cinemas in Ontario and Western Canada unraveled
two days before the Da Vinci Code was released. An article in the Toronto Star
allegedly triggered the Cineplex decision. 3 Rick Westhead wrote:
"North America's largest evangelical group, Campus Crusade, has
mobilized a small army of volunteers from Toronto to Vancouver willing
to stalk movie-goers in the line outside cinemas. They plan to hand out
biblical tracts debunking the movie's claim that Jesus had a child with
Mary Magdalene and that the Catholic lay organization Opus Dei has
covered up the scandalous affair for more than 2,000 years."
Braden Douglas, a marketing specialist for CCC said:
"In the past, many Christian groups just said, 'Here's the way we
think, and that's the way it is.' But times have changed. Talking about
Christian issues takes communicating with people in means they
understand and enjoy. In today's culture, this happens to be media and
He notes that religious advertising in Canada is in its infancy. He
attributes this to the lack of trust in Canada towards organized religion.
He quoted two well established numbers: "In the U.S., 40 per cent of
people still go to church. In Canada, it's 19 per
cent." Actually, there is a major difference between what people say
they do and what they actually do. When church-going noses are counted,
more accurate estimates of regular church attendance are 20% and 10%.
Kenneth Wong, a marketing professor at Queen's University in Kingston,
"It's simple, they want it to work. The definition of insanity is when
you do the same thing over and over and expect to get different results,
and the church's traditional methods just weren't working. What's
happened is that there are people in the church now who are saying,
'marketing doesn't make us a cult. We're not looking to strip people of
their worldly assets. We're just talking about good communication'."
Diane Rajh, a Cineplex ad salesperson, allegedly sent an E-mail to CCCC
saying, in part:
"With the knowledge that this organization plans to 'stalk' our
moviegoers outside of our theatres handing out unapproved material
concerning a film we are presenting, we cannot lend support to this activity
by running this campaign."
Brian Hutchinson of the National Post wrote:
"Campus Crusade distributed cards and brochures that promote its Da Vinci
Code Web site; the material reached as many as 30,000 individuals and
churches across Canada. While the brochures contain a brief gospel message
at the bottom, 'they are not what most people would consider as biblical
tracts,' Mr. Douglas noted."
" 'Ten students in Montreal said they might go out to a few theatres and
hand out the material,' he added. '"A handful of students in Calgary
said they might as well. This is not some massive army we have assembled'."
"Reached at her office in Toronto, Cineplex spokeswoman Pat Marshall said it
was not, in fact, her company's view that Campus Crusade planned to harass
moviegoers. The e-mail that Cineplex sent to the organization was a
'mistake.' Ms. Rajh, she added, 'is misinformed'."
"Cineplex's decision to drop the brief spot was made because the company
'does not show any religious advertising at all,' Ms. Marshall explained,
even if it promotes a film the company is showing in its theatres. The
contract with Campus Crusade was made in error. 'It slipped though the
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Corporate Information, Cineplex Entertainment, at:
"Cineplex won't show Christian group's ads," The Toronto Star,
Rick Westhead, "Evangelicals hope to break the Code. Evangelicals hone
media savvy to counter Da Vinci 'heresy'," The Toronto Star, 2006-MAR-16,
Brian Hutchinson, "Christian ad about Code gets pulled," National
Post, 2006-MAY-19, at: