After screening Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of The Christ," the Anti-Defamation League issued a scathing press release Thursday stating that the film will foster anti-Semitism.
But sources close to Gibson's production company told NewsMax's James Hirsen that the ADL, which was hostile to the film before anyone had even viewed it, has never been invited to screen it.
How, then, was the ADL able to see the movie?
In their press release, ADL National Director Abrahama Foxman and another ADL official said they saw the film while attending a "religious gathering" in Orlando, Fla., called the Beyond All Limits Conference.
As it turned out, Hirsen informs us, the religious conference is organized by the Global Pastors Network.
Sources at Icon Productions were surprised to learn that the uninvited ADL officials had registered for the Christian conference under the name "The Church of Truth."
Soon after seeing the film, the ADL issued a strongly worded statement that calls Gibson's picture a "painful portrayal" and a "commercial crusade to the church community."
Despite the hoopla, a number of Christian leaders who have seen the film found it remarkably consistent with Gospel accounts of Jesus' last hours and in no way condemnatory of Jewish people.
America's most influential minister, the Rev. Billy Graham, gave a glowing review of the movie.
"I have often wondered what it must have been like to be a bystander during those last hours before Jesus' death," Graham said.
"After watching 'The Passion of The Christ,' I feel as if I have actually been there.
"I was moved to tears. I doubt if there has ever been a more graphic and moving presentation of Jesus' death and resurrection – which Christians believe are the most important events in human history.
"The film is faithful to the Bible's teaching that we are all responsible for Jesus' death, because we have all sinned. It is our sins that caused His death, not any particular group."
"No one who views this film's compelling imagery will ever be the same," Graham said