Few experiences in my life that have evoked more emotion from me than seeing Zeitgeist for the first time. I experienced a combination of anger, shock, sadness, and guilt. Throughout the film I was constantly forced to consider the sinister side of our American institutions and accept the fact that the individuals in control of these institutions have their best interests at heart, not ours. The person to thank for this experience is the creator of the film, Peter Joseph. Since the initial release of Zeitgeist in June 2007, Joseph has released another film and also established the Zeitgeist movement to question current social structure and to unify, rather than divide people. Zeitgeist is broken down into three segments. In the first section, the foundations of the Christian religion are considered. The take-home message is that Jesus is an astrotheological hybrid of many previous gods that share a common set of characteristics and this allowed for the widespread acceptance of Jesus by pagan religions. The most profound point made is that Christianity is incredibly similar to the religion of ancient Egypt and Jesus is essentially a plagiarism of the Egyptian sun god, Horus. Personally, being an atheist and having some prior knowledge of the subject, this part of the film did not astound me. However, I encourage viewers to pay attention to the explanations of the astrological nature of Jesus’ birth and the phenomena known as the precession of equinoxes.
The second segment addresses the conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks. This section is comprised of selections from a documentary called Loose Change, devoted entirely to investigating the truth behind 9/11. This portion of the film did shock me. There were consistent accounts of very odd things which happened immediately prior to the attacks. Further, there is strong scientific evidence that the collapse of the towers occurred in a manner suggesting the use of explosives. The most intriguing evidence for this type of destruction is presented in the collapse of WTC 7, which occurred several hours after the towers collapsed and had only sustained fire damage. It was difficult to hear the victims’ personal accounts and not begin to question the official government reports about 9/11. The final portion of the film focuses on the implementation of the Federal Reserve system. It explains how the Fed loans currency at interest which results in the automatic indebtedness of people in the U.S. In addition, it is suggested that the entrance of the U.S. into the major wars of the 20th century was brought on by the (in)actions of our government, and our involvement in these conflicts resulted in enormous profits for U.S. defense contractors.
Lastly, the legality of the federal income tax is questioned. The true impact of the film comes at the end when many of the overall themes are tied together. Very simply, the message of the film is that the institutions of religion, mass-media, and government are in place to steer the thoughts and actions of the population as a whole. These institutions transform us into a population of dumb, unquestioning, obedient individuals; this situation is ideal for the plans of these institutions to be carried out on a large scale with very little resistance. By the end of the film I was truly overwhelmed. I realized that I was indeed a product of the system, blindly accepting the judgment and actions of these institutions who only have themselves in mind. I began doing research and finding other films and evidence confirming that the wool had indeed been pulled over my and many others eyes. The most efficient way I knew to assuage the guilt of my ignorance was to show Zeitgeist to as many people as I could. I became a small DVD factory, carrying them in my backpack to give to my friends and telling them about my experience. The goal was not to get people to believe everything presented in Zeitgeist, but simply to make them question the events and institutions that have shaped their lives. That is still my goal in presenting this to you now.