I came across this article by chance and I’m posting it here as somewhat of a neutral party who’s fascinated what goes on behind the scenes of Christian productions. It’s hard to get this kind of information because for one, the mainstream media usually doesn’t care and two, Christians are admonished not to gossip about each other. According to RaptureReady.com, Peter Lalonde has a big end times ego. If you don’t know who Peter LaLonde is he has a long history of involvement in Biblical prophecy and now is into producing entertainment with those same themes. He is co-founder of Cloud Ten Pictures, one of the most successful Christian media companies that has put out the Left Behind series, The Apocalypse series, and a host of other film projects.
Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready says this about him:
I’ve met Lalonde several times at prophecy conferences, and every time I see him at one of these meetings he leaves me with a bad impression. When dealing with people at his book table, he displayed a very haughty spirit. The main job of a prophecy speaker is to serve the public. Lalonde repeatedly acted as if the public was there to service his ego.
I know of two end time authors who can testified that Lalonde seems to think itis a privilege to be able to speak with him. I almost laughed myself silly when one of his employees contacted me about promoting one of Cloud Ten’s movies on the Rapture Ready site. As an incentive, I was offered the opportunity to talk to Mr. Big himself via instant message email. They would have better luck trying to bribe me with a box of Twinkies. I had to decline the offer. I would have been too nervous to correspond with such a powerful man.
By this description, Peter LaLonde sounds like what we would expect from a movie producer. Egos are heavily present amongst people rolling in cash due to successful ticket and DVD sales. In the secular world Hollywood egos stomp all over people BUT they (and their movies) get stomped on as well by late night comedians, commentators and even cartoonists. It often can work like a checks and balance so that the ego is knocked down every time it inflates too much. It doesn’t always work (look at Donald Trump) but even for the sake of people who consume LaLonde’s products it keeps their expectations realistic (Left Behind is futuristic fiction, not the word of the Bible). So who in the Christian media is going to deflate Cloud Ten Pictures by parodying their products? Well, no one any time soon most likely.
And by parody, I don’t mean parodying God, I mean parodying the product. Piss-poor products are pushed all the time by TV Evangelists and Christian network owners and in my religious phase I was always disappointed to see Christians celebrities I respected appear on these networks like TBN as if there was nothing wrong with them–legitimizing them at the same time as they rip off Christian followers both financially and intellectually.
Rapture Ready is also critical of the Biblical teachings in Left Behind: “Lalonde repeatedly sacrifices Bible truth for a smooth flowery presentation.” Without the checks and balances of parody in the Christian market I foresee a market that could possibly stagnant because it’s hard to judge when the audience is sick of the product. Sales are a good indicator of interest, but do Christians settle for limited choices and talk themselves into thinking a movie is good when it is really subpar? I’ve seen comments on Christian entertainment sites on movies that I know are bad. I like bad movies, myself, but I do admit when they’re bad. Without parody, it may be harder for Christians to gauge what is bad in their genre and what rises above it.
It is it possible for Christians to parody Left Behind and make the parody gospel-oriented? I think so. I find it hard to believe Christians all march in step with their choices in entertainment and there has to be an emerging minority that hates Left Behind movies or at least dislikes them a little. …Or maybe I’m speculating too much. Or maybe parodies do exist that I’m not aware of?
In regards to Peter LaLonde, for all we know the author of this criticism, Todd Strandberg, is the one with an ego and is just envious of Peter’s success. Hard to say. I just found his comments interesting.