May 14, 2008
Zeitgeist, the Movie
Zeitgeist, the movie
History is a funny thing. It never quite recreates the complex human interactions that often accidentally bring about situations so much grander and larger than any one individual they defy explanation. When this happens, we tend to blame either divine intervention in daily affairs or the complex machinations of an evil conspiracy. The link above will take you to an online-only movie which runs for 122 minutes. The movie has three distinct parts separated by titles delineating each part. In the first part the creator of the movie demonstrates how Christianity is derived from the ancient Egyptian beliefs surrounding the sun god Horus. In the second part the creator runs down all the many reasons why so many people remain convinced that the events of 9/11 were carefully staged to convince the American people their government needed to invade two countries in the Middle East. The final part carefully lays out how a select group of families with long ties to banking and finance are behind a massive conspiracy to bring about a One World Government under their direct control. Real-world fact and fanciful interpretation are carefully interwoven to present a modern-day version of an ancient conspiracy theory.
You see, throughout human history many groups have been blamed for events that result in war, depression, drought, famine, and even natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. When we do not blame a conspiracy, we blame god, or satan, or sometimes, science. Some evil groups frequently named in these conspiracy theories are Jews, Satanists, Masons, the Illuminati, Lawyers, and always, Bankers. It makes me wonder why anyone would want to be a banker. They sure do get a lot of bad press.
In the case of the movie Zeitgeist, many of the facts presented in Part One are indeed, 100% accurate. Many qualities assigned to ancient deities are also assigned to Christ. The modern Christian religion is in fact the product of a political and religious consolidation by a group of powerful Roman families in 300-320 C.E. There is considerable evidence that the rituals and rites practiced by pre-Constantine Christians and post-Constantine Christians are dramatically different. Three hundred years later, Islam in its turn also gained prominence as a religious reaction to the political and economic clout being wielded by both Jews and Christians in the early part of the 7th Century C.E. As it grew in importance Islam became both the basis for consolidation of political power and the justification for elimination of powerful mercantilist families. Seven centuries after Mohammed, Protestantism came about in Europe as a mixed political/religious reaction to the all-encompassing power of the Catholic Church. When viewed through the lens of history, it is not surprising that modern day Muslims, Christians, and Jews treat each other with such suspicion. Our shared history has been long, bloodied, and always controversial. Throughout it all, religion only gained in popularity when it walked hand in hand with political movements as well.
The modern world is no different, really. Ronald Reagan and George Bush both came to power riding on the back of Evangelical Christianity. Now that Republican political power is waning, interest in Christianity is waning as well. Is it perhaps the death of Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell, the two masterminds of the sweeping Evangelical revival of the 1980's, that is contributing to the loss of legitimacy for both Evangelical Christianity and the Republican party? No, not really. In all truth, it is the bumbling mismanagement of George Bush and Dick Cheney that is eroding the influence of both the party itself and the power base that brought them into office. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
For what it's worth, most of the ideas the maker of Zeitgeist attributes to Horus in 3500 B.C.E. are also alluded to in sculpture and clay tablets dating as far back as 4000 B.C.E. During that era in ancient Sumer those qualities are ascribed to a variety of gods. If the religion of Horus represents the same kind of consolidation as evidenced by Judeo-Christian history, then his dating of the religion of Horus might be off by as much as a thousand years. Could most of the hieroglyphic displays he uses as evidence perhaps be more reliably dated to 3000 B.C.E. or even 2500 B.C.E.? Maybe. It is well worth noting that the lack of organic material in panels used to create ancient Egyptian carvings such as those presented in the movie complicates accurate dating. An error of five hundred years might seem small when discussing thousand year blocks of history, but keep in mind that 500 years ago the most powerful civilization in the world was the Chinese Empire.
Despite their use by a very active modern religion with millions of followers, both the Old and New Testaments are in fact genuine literary documents with real literary histories that can be traced back to the very roots of human civilization. My own research has focused on Sumer, which wrote it's law code and flood myth a thousand years before the Egyptians. Parallels in religious belief such as those mentioned in the movie hold true all the way back to ancient Sumer. As far as I can determine, ever since the first cities became divorced from direct dependence on agricultural wealth and became defined by crafting, bureaucratic governments, and economies centered on massive construction projects, there have been two different religious impulses that have competed for human attention: "party like there's no tomorrow" versus "work hard, live right, and you will be rewarded".
Today's world, philosophically, is little changed from ideas carved into clay tablets as far back as 4000 B.C.E. Different window dressing, but the core ideas are unchanged. Half of us are still seeking utopia while the other half works hard to prove how much better they are in the here and now. It is no surprise that the hardworkers usually wind up in charge. Likewise, people have looked up at the stars for as long as they have looked up at anything and always their imaginations and intellect have found ample inspiration among those bright, shiny, distant lights.
The second and third parts of the movie are much more difficult for me to critique. I don't have access to the knowledge needed to answer the movie's accusations, let alone the documentation. As far as I can tell, just as in the first part, the facts presented by the movie are indeed, real. The movie's interpretation of those facts, on the other hand, represents considerable exaggeration.
The second part of the movie claims WTC was destroyed as the result of a conspiracy to launch American into war. This conspiracy, which claims the WTC and Pentagon were destroyed by construction demolitions rather than the actions of terrorists flying planes loaded with fuel, is an idea I have encountered before. I am not 100% convinced of it's reality, but it does go a long way toward explaining a number of anomalies that are either lightly dismissed or completely overlooked in official reports. I have also found it very, very odd that the wing of the Pentagon that fell on 9/11 was the same wing that was mostly empty because it was in the final stages of being refurbished and reconditioned. The lack of wreckage in both Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon has always bothered me, however, there was little wreckage at the WTC site and I am 100% certain it was hit by two planes (even if the crashes were just cover fodder for a massive demolition). Personally, I'm still convinced there were three planes and three teams of hijackers. Regardless of anything else history eventually brings to light, it will still have to account for the missing planes and the 600 some odd people on board them. Several of those passengers were people I knew through my activities on the internet. There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who knows them about when and where they died.
I am also 100% certain of these facts as well:
George W. Bush would have gone down in history as a useless president if it were not for 9/11.
Dick Cheney and Karl Rove both made a small fortune off the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The C.I.A. trained and financed Osama Bin-Laden and helped him create Al-Qaeda.
If all that also means that 9/11 was in fact some kind of horrible conspiracy that sacrificed American lives in order to further the agenda of a small group of wealthy families... Well, that both saddens me and does not surprise me in the least.
The last third of the film contains massive documentation that I cannot verify, but that does not mean it is false. And the conclusion that "love conquers all" plays right into the hands of those who may or may not be behind the drive to create a unified world.
For the record, there is no doubt in my mind that sooner or later we will have a single global government funded by a single global economy. Whether we arrive at that point peacefully or through massive wars and endless manipulation is the only thing that remains to be seen. At one time I had hoped we could evolve there naturally and peacefully, but I have to admit, it does indeed appear that people in positions of power and influence have grown impatient and are determined to drive us there centuries before we are ready.
Hindsight is always 20/20, although even hindsight can be deluded into seeing connections that did not exist. History is the product of individual decisions made by thousands, and sometimes millions, of individual people. The point where those decisions cross and interact is the point we designate as either important or irrelevant when later on we come back and try to trace the events that created a certain condition. Our designation of that point in time will either raise it to pivotal importance (Pearl Harbor, 9/11), or dismiss it entirely and leave it to languish in the footnotes of history (Eleanor Roosevelt may have often made decisions for her husband when he was too sick to lead the nation).
Do people in power seek to retain and expand that power? Of course they do! Does this mean the world is run by a secret organization through undocumented back room deals and carefully staged covert operations? Probably not. After all, even if they tried, someone somewhere would have to follow their orders and carry out the covert operations they used while never once betraying the enormous trust endowed upon them by the secret ruling elite. That kind of secrecy is simply not possible. We humans like to brag too much to ever stay silent when we have a hand in molding the direction of our world.
Here then, are a variety of links more concerned with fact than fancy:
Official website of the Federal Reserve Bank Governors
Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt
Biography of John D. Rockefeller
Brief History of Ancient Sumer
Brief History of Ancient Egypt
Timeline of Constantine’s Rise to Power