Zeitgeist – The Movie, 2007 – My Spin On It
I was asked my opinion of this movie which is displayed on You-Tube. So here it goes.
The Merriam – Webster online Dictionary defines the word Zeitgeist as: The general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.
Zeitgeist – The Movie 2007, is clearly more of an attempt to influence rather than report the general intellectual, moral and cultural climate of our era.
I would like to make the point that I see a lot of factual details in this movie. But I am very wary of all the speculation or down right lies that are carried along with the facts. The whole packaged deal is portrayed as “obvious truth.” I learned along time ago about sorting out irrelevant facts. So first let me tell a story from my childhood.
During my years of elementary school, my lunch hour was usually spent standing in a school cafeteria lunch line. The school cafeteria provided lunch for four different elementary schools, the Jr. High, and the High School. So the lunch line usually came out of the basement cafeteria, up the stairway, down the school halls, and then outside and down the sidewalk in front of the school.
It usually took most of the lunch hour, standing in line waiting for lunch. There was always a lot of talking, horseplay, and even fighting in the lunch line. I preferred to just blend in the crowd and eaves drop on all the conversations going on.
One day I listened to a boy I knew to be what I later termed a “Know it all”. He was standing right in front of me, poking fun of the boy who was right in front of him.
The boy being made fun of was mentally retarded. “Know it all” told him that he was a retard. He said he could tell that he was a retard because he had a zit behind his ear.
“Know it all” then started looking at some of us by standers. He then said to me, “You’re a retard too”. He then pointed to my ear. I touched my ear and sure enough, I could feel a small zit right behind my ear down by the ear lobe.
I was surprised. I hadn’t noticed it before. This started me thinking, “Had it been there my whole life? Was it just starting? Would that mean I was just now becoming retarded?” It was a small zit. “Did this mean that I was only a little retarded?” I did notice that the zit behind the retarded boy’s ear was quite large. And he was obviously retarded. I kept thinking to myself, “That zit behind my ear would explain all those dumb things I had done”. I no longer paid any attention to my heckler. I was deep in thought about my newly discovered miss fortune.
It was a few days latter as my zit behind the ear was going away that I started to wonder, “How did he know all that stuff about zits and mental retardation anyway?”
It finally sank in to my brain that he was using an ear relevant fact. That is, that zit behind my ear was only relevant to my ear.
However, he had succeeded in convincing me of a lie by pointing out a fact that I hadn’t realized before. Even though it was not related to the point he was trying to make.
In the years since the zit behind the ear incident, I’ve learned to recognize irrelevant facts as such. I’ve found that irrelevant facts are used everywhere. They are used to explain why we should have small families, how we descended from apes, why it is beneficial to drink & smoke, and etc. Nevertheless, the fact remains, when a truth is told with a lie, that lie is still a lie.
Now as I, as everyone is, am bombarded in all forms of the media with information which is presented as fact, I watch for “The zit behind the ear” facts (facts that I hadn’t realized before). And when I see them, I can more easily see the lies those facts are trying to hide.
The message of the movie is clearly intended to open the eyes of the American Christian public, to see a great conspiracy which has duped us all.
Their position –
They make the case that there is no god, or higher power that created the universe. They declare that a select few who really know the truth use religious myths to gain power and control over the general population of the world.
My response –
First of all, I would like to say that for a movie which is presented by “Intellectuals” who are trying to make an “Intellectual” out of me by winning me over to their way of thinking through their reasoning, I found it extremely tacky to play the voice of a stand up comic routine making fun of the way religion is always asking for money.
I am paraphrasing because I only watched the movie once (several weeks ago) but the comic says something like, “God is all powerful… but he’s always asking for money… can never get enough money… can do everything else but he can’t seem to manage his money… always broke.”
This attack on my Christian values ignores the Christian belief that God did create Heaven and Earth, and all things that are on Earth including me. If God did create all, then when I tithe, I am only giving back a small portion of what already belongs to God. I am indebted to him even for the air that I breathe.
That stand up comic wouldn’t have gotten any laughs if he was trying to make fun of a landlord in the same way. “He comes back every month for more rent… he never seems to get enough… that landlord must not be able to manage his money…”
All the while, they make no mention and give no credit for all the good church related donations do in the world. The amount of dollars spent on church related charities everywhere from a small local church helping the neighbor in need, to the many rescue missions to famine struck third world countries is immeasurable.
Their position –
They made the case that all religions are based on astrology and the zodiac. I listened to the narrator make the case that ancient man studied the sun and stars thousands of years before the dawn of Christianity. And that these myths and legends were the basis for the story of Jesus Christ and his Earthly ministry thousands of years later.
My response –
I wondered, If God Created the stars of the sky, and the rotation of the sun, and everything else astronomical, as I believe he did as the creator of Heaven and Earth, then it was he that placed those symbols in the heavens millions of years before he came as the Savior of the World. Symbolism is a great teaching tool. I believe that even the stars in the night sky testified to ancient man of Jesus Christ’s promised coming. And to modern man, it is a testimony that the creator of heaven and earth did come to save all who wanted saving.
Their position –
They make the claim that Jesus Christ couldn’t have been a real religious figure two thousand years ago because of the similarities this story has to the much older stories such as the Egyptian Sun God, Horus, and Greece’s Dionysus.
My response –
Again, I am wondering if my belief that God created all things, and that his prophets, such as Isaiah, told of what was going to happen… that they told of a Promised Messiah… then who is copying whom?
I have seen this same pattern of trying to discredit a story many times before. Anti-Mormon writers use this same tactic. Only the Zeitgeist writers used as their source, writings published by the secular humanists organizations such as American Atheist Press, and Prometheus books. They scavenged thorough volumes of literature, searching for any simile, any story or legend from anywhere that has any similarities. And then they claim that the Christian era is simply a literary copy of what they found. They say “he’s got this little detail from here and that little detail from there…” until they have buried the religion under attack with their carefully puzzled together fables. This they call proof that the story is false.
I’d like to give an example which I think illustrates what they try to do and how flawed the reasoning can be. Using this same reasoning, I can prove that John F. Kennedy didn’t really exist. That he is just a fabrication of modern literature. You see, so many key details of John F. Kennedy’s life were just copies of an earlier President of the United States that he was obviously just made up as part of American Folklore. Here is the proof.
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946
Lincoln failed to win the Vice Presidential nomination in 1856.
Kennedy failed to win the Vice Presidential nomination in 1956.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
Lincoln defeated Stephen Douglas who was born in 1813.
Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon who was born in 1913.
Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost children while in the White House.
Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.
Lincoln‘s secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.
Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners.
Both Presidents had Vice Presidents named Johnson.
Lincoln‘s Vice President was called Andrew Johnson who served in the House of Representatives in 1847.
Kennedy’s Vice President was called Lyndon Johnson who served in the House of Representatives in1947.
Both successors (their Vice Presidents) were named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
Both assassins were known by the three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Lincoln was shot at the theatre called "Ford."
Kennedy was shot in a car named "Lincoln", made by Ford.
Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.
Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
Using this same argument, in a few hundred years, our great grandchildren could “prove” that John F. Kennedy never really existed. I’m not taking the time to really research this out like the big boys have. I have many other things that are much more important to me to spend my time on. But if I spent the time, I believe that I could find documents from the past and use the same line of reasoning to “Prove” that the secular humanists who have produced Zeitgeist never really existed either.
Their position –
They purport that religion is only a tool, used by the few who know and control, to rage war, death and destruction. This gives them the power to increase their control and increase their wealth.
My response –
They claim that religion feigns peace while raging war. But it ignores the billions of peaceful acts of kindness and help which has been inspired by religion throughout the centuries. Of course, the effects of faith and any thing spiritual is not even mentioned in the movie. No mention is made of the many studies which show that patients who have religious faith have an advantage in recovery from sickness than those without faith. No mention is made that religious faith inspires people to live better, happier lives than they might without their faith. No mention is made about the millions of people who are inspired to be kinder to their neighbors because their faith.
Aside from the academics of understanding everything related to religion, to its origin, and its place in society. I feel an undeniable spiritual connection to a higher power… to God. I am a better person because of this connection. I am a happier person because of this connection.
Their position –
It is their position that those select few who control the world’s money system, have used financial crises such as the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the many wars including The Great War, WWII, Vietnam, and our present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to amass their financial fortunes and to take away our personal freedoms and rights.
My response –
As I watched this movie, much of it was not new to me. I am very familiar with the conspiracy theory boldly declared in the 1970’s through the John Birch Society, and Gary Allen’s book, “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.”
There is one man from my hometown that I watched with interest as he took every precept taught by the “John Birchers” to heart. He declared the income tax illegal and refused to pay or file the tax forms. He wouldn’t have a bank account or anything else that the IRS might track or seize. Life was conducted by cash only for him. I wondered how much of his life he spent looking over his shoulder, trying to hide his livelihood from the government and those conspirators he despised. I always thought that it was ironic that this man’s day to day freedom seemed to be more restricted because of his passion to preserve his freedom.
Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that at least some of what they purport is true. I am disgusted with what some of our trusted politicians have done in the past to propel us into war. One example is what “Washington” knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor, They knew what was coming but did nothing. It was a chance to get into the European war with the whole country’s support.
The more I learn and know about these kinds of politics the more I’m disgusted with them. But I also know that there is nothing new here. The same kind of treachery has been going on throughout the ages. That is a big reason why I am not at all excited to find “Royalty” in my genealogical research. Back in the dark ages, it was kill or be killed. Clans formed for protection. The petty kings were those who were most aggressive at conquering a territory. The bigger kingdoms were formed by those who were even more power hungry (and more cunning). They were also the most skilled at war and treachery.
I see some similarities today. But I do think that we are better off today then my ancestors were. I am watching the conspiracy theory with interest. I don’t know what more I can do.
It’s like global warming. I know about it, but I don’t know what more I can do about it. I don’t think anyone living in a developed country tries harder to consume less, use less energy resources, and impact the earth less with waste than I do. But unlike Al Gore and all the Hollywood types who have jumped on the band wagon, I have lived my whole life this way, long before anyone said we were heating up our planet. I can’t see that living like my “John Bircher” friend did, will help me or their cause.
Their position –
And finally, as part of this great conspiracy, they claim that the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001 were devised by those who really control the US government as a means of setting up our “war on terror” which our nation is now waging. They say this also set the stage to further erode the balance of our constitutional freedoms in the name of stopping all terrorists.
My response –
I started this blog with a personal story, so I think I’ll end with one as well. I think this story illustrates how I feel about their claim that our government actually set up the 9-11 attacks.
Anyone who has read many of my past blogs already knows that I was born in the egg business and have been actively involved in the egg business for almost all of my life. My dad was an early innovator who bought a yesteryear chicken farm and transformed it into an early version of what the egg business is today.
I know more about the development of the egg industry than I can find in any series of books to read about it. Very few people who are still in the egg business have made a living from it as long as I have. Obviously included in this life long study and knowledge of the egg industry is a deep and long understanding of how eggs are marketed throughout the nation (actually even throughout the world).
So this story takes me back to many years ago. My beautiful wife and I had been introduced to a nutrition program. This company selling these food supplements and vitamins had their experts going around promoting their product and teaching all about the importance of food supplements and nutrition in general.
As part of this instruction we learned many interesting and helpful tidbits of information. I was taking it all in, listening to every detail. “This product will help you if you have this condition, or that product will help with that condition.” We had a large three ring binder with even more information.
I was on the fast track becoming a nutrition expert myself. And then it happened. The lady conducting a certain segment of this training started giving off statistics about how bad the food we buy in the stores really is for us. In this stage of her presentation, she made the statement that “On average, fresh shell eggs in the store are 6 months old.”
As she continued to carry on with her rant about how much nutrition is lost because fresh food isn’t really fresh, I zoned out. She had made a big deal of eggs as the example, stating it several different ways, so I knew she had meant what she had said.
I knew that on average back then eggs in the store were less than thirty days old. (Now it’s even less.) Even when they tried to cold store eggs by heavily oiling them and keeping them just above freezing, what you got after 90 days was so bad that it was almost never tried, especially in the retail markets.
I didn’t hear anything else that woman said. I didn’t care anymore. She had lost her credibility with me. She had stated as a fact, something that I knew to be false. This was something that either she either knew was a gross exaggeration or she wasn’t the expert that she purported to be. So now I didn’t trust anything else she would have to tell me.
That’s the way I feel about what was presented in this movie about a 9-11 conspiracy. They have lost credibility with me so I don’t trust the other “facts” that I don’t have inside information on. I heard enough miss information in the religion segment, like when they said, “Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary on December 25th.” Any student of early Christianity clearly understands that we celebrate Christmas on an ancient pagan holiday, and it’s not considered to be the actual date of his birth. But this little detail was very important to the point they were making. They knew better… this is a lie they are passing off on to us. I don’t trust them. And so I can’t believe the message because the messenger has no credibility with me. So I’ll have to get my 9-11 conspiracy theories from another source.