Get your tin foil hats. Mike asked me what I think about the movie Zeitgeist, and I finally got it watched. It’s really three loosely related films packaged into one two hour conspiracy extravaganza. The basic plots:

  1. Jesus was not a real person, and the story of his life is plagiarized from previous pagan religions.
  2. The World Trade Center was destroyed by the US Government using planes and controlled demolition explosives planted beforehand.
  3. The world’s central banks are a scam perpetuated by bankers to enrich themselves.

Since it’s about the zeitgeist, there are already other popular movies about each part, but here they’re grouped together with an overall theme of a shadowy international ruling elite that uses religion, wars, and financial crises to keep the masses under control. Taken individually, I tend to believe there is a little truth in each of them. It’s also a well made movie, and there’s a lot to like with commentary by George Carlin and Bill Hicks and some scenes from The Network laced in.

However, the implied claim that there is some kind of evil semi-secret brotherhood orchestrating it all from a master plan seems pretty silly to me. I believe there’s a ruling class. It’s made up of the heads of multinational corporations and wealthy individuals. I just have trouble believing there’s a master plan.

Part 1

Similar to The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth, which I love. However, Zeitgeist makes very specific claims about where each part of the Christian story maps to prior religions. I don’t have a clue if those specific claims are factual, and don’t have enough interest to sort it out. The idea that religions evolve and new religions are influenced by those that came before seems obvious, though.

Part 3

Appears to be based on The Money Masters, which I like. Zeitgeist also mentions the North American Union and the amero coin, which have been bouncing around the internet lately. I’m interested and suspicious, but I have no insight into how much is true.

Part 2

I’m as angry about how the neocon crazies have used 9/11/01 to advance their agenda as anybody, but I’m calling bullshit on this part. It seems like a shortened version of Loose Change. It’s got the same feel. It’s got similar music. In fact, there is footage from Loose Change in it. And I think that, like Loose Change, Zeitgeist’s portrayal of what happened on 9-11 doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

The Viewer Guide

Promise me that if you watch Zeitgeist or Loose Change that you’ll also check out the Loose Change Viewer Guide. Mark Roberts analyzed the entire Loose Change transcript line by line and in my view, debunked it.

The Viewer Guide looked like a lot to read at first, but as soon as I started I got sucked in. I started with the claim (by both Zeitgeist and Loose Change) that the government’s official story is that Flight 77 was vaporized when it hit the Pentagon, and therefore, no 757 parts were found – indicating that it might have been a missile. The movie transcript has black text with a white background. Roberts’ comments (green text with a tan background) are woven in:

THAT is what the internet is for. I’d love to read something similar for the central bank conspiracy theory. I’d love to read something similar about everything.

In Mike’s email he commented that he liked the way the film maker prodded viewers to think for themselves. I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the time or drive that Mark Roberts had to research the facts, and based on the failings of Part 2, I don’t think we can trust Zeitgeist as reliable source of information.

It’s successful in capturing the current conspiracy furor, but I think it needs to be watched critically. The good news is, Zietgeist’s anonymous film maker(s) just uploaded a transcript for Part 1 with links to source information. They say the same thing will be posted for Parts 2 and 3 soon.

Bonus Reviews

I’m also not particularly impressed with Zeitgeist, the reunited Smashing Pumpkins effort, or Google Zeitgeist.