Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Zeitgeist: The Movie

Last night I attended an event at which one of the attendees promoted "Zeitgeist: The Movie." I was prompted to finally watch this piece of pernicious nonsense back in January when a commenter at this blog made reference to it, and I forced myself to sit through the whole thing. The movie is in three segments--the first is on the origins of Christianity, in which it argues that Jesus was a myth derived from Egyptian myth, based on the work of Acharya S. The second is 9/11 conspiracy theory. The third is an argument that the U.S. Federal Reserve is a scam. It's almost entirely garbage, dependent on crackpot sources.

I posted a series of comments about the movie as I watched it, but I'll summarize those here and add a bit more.

The first part argues that Christianity is derived from Egyptian myth, primarily by pointing out parallels between them. The arguments are apparently derived from the self-published "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold" by Acharya S (Dorothy M. Murdock) and perhaps also from Tom Harpur's The Pagan Christ, both works of pseudoscholarship based on the work of other pseudoscholars like 18th century archaeologist Godfrey Higgins, 19th century amateur Egyptologist and poet Gerald Massey, and Alvin Boyd Kuhn, a high school language teacher and promoter of Theosophy) and entirely ignores actual work in Egyptology. For example, the film draws a list of comparisons between Horus and Jesus that is just fabricated--Horus wasn't born of a virgin, he was the child of Isis and Osiris, though Isis was impregnated by Osiris through some magic after he was dead. There have been parallels drawn between Isis and Mary that are more plausible (especially in iconography), but the movie exaggerates them, too, and fails to note the considerable areas of dissimilarity. A quick look at the Wikipedia entries on Horus and Isis is sufficient to show that the comparison is strained. The significance of a December 25 birthdate is nonexistent--Christianity did acquire attributes of pagan religions later in its history, and it has clearly been a syncretistic religion, but while this is evidence of falsehood in Christian traditions, it is not a clue to its origin.

For accurate information about Christianity and the formation of the Christian tradition, virtually any mainstream academic work will be more reliable. There has been a lot discovered since the work of 19th century Theosophists, both in the form of document manuscripts and archaeology, that sheds light on the early history of Christianity. In discussions at the James Randi Educational Foundation Forums, poster GreNME wrote:
Oh, those people were mostly made of of the beginnings of the Theosophist movements (Blavatsky and the like) or people with similar stated motivations but not the same organizational structure (like Graves). Yeah, Dorothy [Murdock] cites regularly enough from these people (especially Graves and Massey), but the thrust or crux of her writing tends to be more similar to those like Allegro-- taking the message into a realm of New-Age-y attempts to center on mid-20th-century discoveries about the mystery schools.

That's why I mentioned Ehrman, by the way. I had the opportunity to send him a question on the topic of the "out of Egypt" mystery school centric literature coming out about by those like Dorothy, and his response was essentially that people who stick to that thin and shallow an interpretation of the mystery schools really don't understand the materials they're trying to work with in the first place.

I've read a few very well-worded academic arguments against a historical Jesus, but none of them rely on the mystery schools, Egyptian mythology, Krishna, or Mithras. They tend to focus on the culture of the region at the time and the unreliability of the few Roman authors who are used by apologists today. For me, all said and done, I don't much care because I'm not a Christian anyway. It's only reliably traceable back to Paul anyway, in my opinion.
So read some Bart Ehrman for a more accurate picture. The best case I've read for Jesus being a myth is in the books of G.A. Wells, though I'm not inclined to buy it. (Earl Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle has also been recommended as a strong case for Jesus being mythical, but I've not read it.) I think the Arabic text of Josephus' reference to Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews provides strong evidence that Josephus did refer to a historical Jesus and that his text was altered by later Christian interpolation rather than an insertion completely made up out of whole cloth.

Some of the same kind of errors (via dependence on sources like Harpur and Kersey Graves) that are in "Zeitgeist" are also in Brian Flemming's "The God Who Wasn't There," for which you an find a nice fair-minded critique, along with responses from Flemming and Richard Carrier, in "God Who Wasn't There: an Analysis."

The second part is standard 9/11 conspiracy theory that has been refuted in previous posts at this blog. It completely ignores radical Islam and the actual events that led up to September 11, 2001, and like all such conspiracy theories, completely fails to provide a coherent explanation that incorporates the level of detail in the 9/11 Commission Report. That report is a flawed document, to be sure, but it is still far, far more comprehensive, detailed, and accurately sourced than anything the 9/11 truthers put out. The right way to investigate 9/11 is to start with the 9/11 Commission Report, with accounts of the movements and actions of the 19 terrorists, and going back farther to the 1993 WTC bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman and the Alkifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, the murder of Emir Shalabi, the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane by El-Sayyid Nosair, the killing of Rashad Khalifa in Tucson in 1990 and the role of James Williams and Wadih el-Hage (secretary for Osama bin Laden in Sudan), and so on.

The U.S. government's connection is that it funded the mujahideen insurgents in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, and then walked away after the Soviets were defeated, allowing rich Saudis to step in. There's no question that "blowback" has played a major role, and I'll also agree that the Bush Administration has hugely exploited the 9/11 attacks to its advantage and to expand presidential power (as the PBS Frontline on "Cheney's Law" documents, which I highly recommend watching and you can see online).

The right way to investigate 9/11 is to stick to reliable sources and accounts that attempt to be as comprehensive as possible, not bullshit stories made by collecting a few bits of data from unreliable sources and constructing elaborate fantasies of speculation. Some reliable sources I recommend are Gerald Posner's Why America Slept, James Bamford's A Pretext for War, and James Mann's Rise of the Vulcans. Specifically on 9/11 conspiracy theory, read the book of critiques published by Popular Mechanics and visit websites like 911myths.com and Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theories.

Instead, Zeitgeist relies on crackpots like Michael Ruppert and Ted Gunderson, both former police officers who have a long history of promoting nonsensical conspiracy theories. Ruppert is best known for his claims to have found that the CIA was peddling drugs (itself a plausible claim, even if not well substantiated by him) while he was a narcotics detective for the LAPD; after being removed from the force in 1978, he has gone on to argue for Peak Oil and 9/11 conspiracy theory. In 2006, after facing charges of sexual harassment from a former employee whom he admits he paraded around the office in his underwear in front of, he fled to Venezuela, then moved to Canada, and then to New York and Los Angeles. Gunderson spouted nonsense about satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and has endorsed the accuracy of phony psychic Sylvia Browne, as well as promoting wild claims of child sexual abuse by "some of America's leading politicians" including George W. Bush, which makes him sound like the crazy mind-control sex slave claimants, "Brice Taylor" (Susan Ford), Cathy O'Brien, and Kola Boof (the last of whom makes the sex slave claims without the mind control claims).

The film provides no good sources for any of its claims, and seems to contradict itself. It claims there's no evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to the attacks (despite the fact that we have people like al Qaeda member Ramzi Binalshibh, who attempted to enter the U.S. to enter a flight school but was denied a visa, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, head of al Qaeda's media committee and main plotter of the attacks, in custody), yet turns around and suggests that there's something suspicious about the Bush family connections to the bin Laden family and that two members of the bin Laden family lived in Falls Church, Virginia "right next to CIA Headquarters." Why would that connection be relevant or suspicious if Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with it?

Osama bin Laden's father had 55 children and 22 wives, and there are currently about 600 bin Laden family members--most appear to be law-abiding citizens who have disowned Osama. The two Falls Church residents, however, were two of Osama's sons, Abdallah and Omar, the latter of whom was a member of al Qaeda.

The charge of the FBI being told to "back off" from bin Laden investigations from the White House is now known to have been approved by counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, not exactly a fan of George W. Bush, whose testimony on the issue has been somewhat inconsistent. While Clarke originally claimed the plan came from top officials in the White House and was approved in consultation with the FBI, he subsequently said that he took personal responsibility for the decision to allow the bin Laden family members to leave the U.S., and that he didn't think it was a mistake, and that he'd do it again.

The third section of the movie is about the U.S. Federal Reserve, which appears to be derived from John Birch Society propaganda, with a bonus argument that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution and thus federal income tax is invalid. It argues that the Panic of 1907 was caused by (rather than, as was actually the case, ended by) J.P. Morgan, and makes no mention of the Knickerbocker Trust. It argues that the Federal Reserve Act was put into effect by a conspiracy of international bankers and the Rockefellers through Sen. Nelson Aldrich, and claims that the Federal Reserve is entirely private. But the Fed's head and board of governors is appointed by the president, which isn't mentioned by the film. Wikipedia gets theFed's legal status right, it's part of the federal government but with a fair degree of independence so that politicians can't directly manipulate monetary policy. Its status is accurately described in Bill Woolsey's October 2004 article in Liberty magazine, "Who Owns the Fed?". A number of other Federal Reserve conspiracy claims are debunked here.

It then goes off into tax evader craziness, claiming that the 16th Amendment wasn't properly ratified, but without actually discussing the evidence. That argument is made in William J. Benson and Martin J. Beckman's book The Law That Never Was, which documents errors in the ratification documents, such as typos, alternate capitalization, alternate pluralization, etc. Courts have ruled that Benson's argument doesn't work and that his selling his book as part of a tax evasion defense package constitutes fraud, and he's served time in jail for tax evasion.

As an aside, while reviewing the above I came across an even more interesting argument against income tax (not in Zeitgeist) discussed by Cecil Adams in his "Straight Dope" column. The argument states that the 16th Amendment is invalid because Ohio was not a state at the time of ratification, and William H. Taft, who was president, was therefore not legally president since he was not a U.S. Citizen. Everybody thought Ohio was made a state in 1803, but in 1953 when Ohio was preparing for its 150th anniversary of statehood, they found that Congress had defined its boundaries and approved its constitution, but failed to admit it to statehood. Ohio made an appeal for statehood (delivering it to Congress by horseback) and Congress passed a resolution granting it retroactively. Cecil Adams' description and commentary about it is worth reading.

Tax protestor claims more generally are refuted at this GWU law professor's website, and a nice case study refutation is Sheldon Richman's three-part "Beware Income-Tax Casuistry."

"Zeitgeist: The Movie" was apparently put out by "GMP, LLC", which is a company based in Port Chester, NY registered to a James Coyman, who has been claimed to be the person behind the pseudonym "Peter Joseph" credited for the writing, producing, directing, and editing of the film. Other documents online associate GMP, LLC with John Giura, former vice chairman of north Chicago company CGI Holding Corporation (now Think Partnership, Inc., traded on AmEx under the symbol THK), a company with a subsidiary, WebSourced, Inc., which is "a leader in search engine marketing (see www.keywordranking.com) and on-line dating (see www.Cherish.com)." A John Giura has directed a music video for the Nashville, TN band Clem Snide, and a John P. Giura from New York City directed a 20-min short film called "Inside Trip" shown at the 2002 Maryland Film Festival, as well as some other videos found online attributed to him and his JPG Studio in NYC. The short festival film stars former Olympic wrestler John P. Giura, who has apparently lived in Oak Park, IL and New York City. In 1986, a John Giura of Oak Park, IL who was a partner in the firm of Stein, Roe, and Farnham, was charged by the SEC for participation in a complex "kickback and payoff" scheme which victimized Teamster union pension funds in upstate New York. It's not clear which, if any, of these is associated with the GMP, LLC that put out Zeitgeist. [See update below.]

There is a movie at Google Video titled "Zeitgeist Refuted" that appears to be itself filled with bad arguments promoting Christianity. Though I've only watched a small part of it, it doesn't seem to actually respond to the claims of "Zeitgeist: The Movie."

Other responses to "Zeitgeist: The Movie" include:

The criticism section of the Wikipedia article on "Zeitgeist: The Movie"
The Web Skeptic wiki entry on "Zeitgeist: The Movie"
The site "Zeitgeist, the movie Debunked"
Jay Kinney's review of "Zeitgeist" at boingboing
Tim Callahan's, "The Greatest Story Ever Garbled," a debunking of part I of "Zeitgeist" for Skeptic magazine's e-skeptic newsletter

Henry Makow's site, which amusingly takes issue with part one but swallows whole the nonsense in parts two and three and concludes that Zeitgeist is itself the product of a conspiracy, is worth a laugh.

UPDATE (August 6, 2009): I decided to add to the main post the text of my comment from October 30, 2008 below, about "Zeitgeist Addendum":

I watched a little bit (the first 30 minutes) of the "Zeitgeist Addendum," which looks to be largely derived from "Money is Debt," another video floating around the Internet. I skimmed through much of the rest.

It's somewhat more accurate than the previous parts, but has the same flaws as "Money is Debt," most seriously in its discussion of interest. The creators of both films do not seem to understand the time-value of money, or that the expansion of the money supply doesn't create problems so long as non-monetary wealth is also expanding. No matter what you use as money, there will always be a system of credit that rides on top of it, of the sort that has been contracting rapidly in the current financial crisis. (This contraction has been *increasing* the value of the U.S. dollar this year.)

The idea that money creates slavery and that if we just got rid of fractional reserve banking, nobody would be forced to work for a living is a bit ridiculous.

Looks like part 2 of the film is based on John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hitman, which is a book I've read. His book was entertaining, but mostly unbelievable, and he's not a credible source. Note that he claims that we all have the shamanic ability to shapeshift and become invisible, for example.

Some of the stuff he talks about is correct, such as U.S. intervention using the CIA in the Middle East and South America, the history of which is told in Tim Weiner's book Legacy of Ashes.

In part III, the film suggests that we only need money because of scarcity, and that scarcity is a fiction. But scarcity isn't a fiction, scarcity exists because there is no limit to what people can want and desire--there can be scarcity even when a resource is abundant.

My impression is that the "Addendum" is just as bogus as the first three parts--it's largely lifted from other sources, and those sources are unreliable.

UPDATE (January 5, 2010): Better speculation by salvorhardin at Democratic Underground says that "Peter Joseph" is Peter J. Merola. This appears to be a correct identification if the Animation World Network's announcement of a multimedia event from May 29-June 3, 2007 is accurate:
ZEITGIEST is a unique and ambitious multimedia, musical event by P.J. Merola. This event is free and not for profit. It runs from May 29 - June 3, 2007 at 8:00-9:30 pm.

ZEITGEIST is an abstract, aesthetic exploration of personal belief and social myth -- told through a multimedia work of live solo percussion, stereo video displays and electronic music. Using animation, live performance, drama, humor, and narrative, ZEITGEIST attempts to bring its audience to a place that most likely counters what they believe as true.

Please visit http://www.zeitgeistnyc.com for a video preview and to make reservations.


The "GMP" is then "Gentle Machine Productions," as reported here. Gentle Machine Productions released a CD GMP001 titled "J.S. Bach on the Marimba," arranged by P.J. Merola, with P.J. Merola playing the marimba.

The Village Voice ran a story in 2004 about P.J. Merola and his brother Eric.

125 comments:

Hume's Ghost said...

I applaud you. I tried watching the whole thing and couldn't. I'll forward this post onto the commenter who had prompted me to attempt to watch it in the first place (I had to respond that it was bunk but that I had not the inclination to spend the time necessary to respond to the film obviously progandistic claims.)

Danica said...

I was fine with your Blog Post until you reiterated a commonly told "lie" on African author Kola Boof.

She has NEVER claimed that she was a "sex slave." The U.S. Media invented that b.s. story and when Peter Bergen attacked her autobiography, it turned out that his information was INCORRECT and Ms. Boof's information was spot on accurate.

I offer a link to Ms. Boof's statement regarding the slex slave story:

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=68443

I also would like you to explain the recent accusation by a member of Sudan's parliament, Gamal Quttub Ibrahaim, who claims that Kola Boof is legally married to Osama Bin Laden and had a child by him in Sudan.

Apparently there is more to this story than any of us know, but as a Black woman, I greatly resent the tepid white males no-it-alls who scoff at this woman's award winning memoir. I read her book and like most people who've read her incredibly detailed book, a book that dares to name names, I believe that there is something to her story.

Has she told lies, exaggerated a few things and hidden parts of the truth? Yes, I think so.

But I don't think your dismissal of a credible African literary writer like Kola Boof is wise or professional and I don't see what she possibly has to gain by all the controversial comments she makes.

The fact that she is now one of the heads of a major Sudanese organization backed by the South Sudan government also sends up red flags about your comments.

I and many educated intelligent black women like me are far more interested in what Kola Boof has to say about Osama Bin Laden than what men like yourself have to say mainly because of your prejudice and arrogance.

Danica Bradley

Jim Lippard said...

Danica: Kola Boof apparently objects to the term "sex slave." If you read the post I linked to with her name, you would have seen that I did report that "The publisher of Boof's book has been contacting bloggers who refer to Boof as a "sex slave," stating that she was bin Laden's mistress." That's the same content as the statement from Nafisa Goma that you link to.

Yet Boof does claim that she was bin Laden's mistress *against her will*, and was forced to have sex with other al Qaeda members.

How is the distinction you are trying to draw any more than splitting hairs? Is your only objection to the term "sex slave"?

You say that "she told lies, exaggerated a few things and hidden parts of the truth." In my book, that severely damages her credibility. In my post about her, I specifically documented some of her fabrications, including the fact that two of the al Qaeda members she says she was forced to have sex with were long dead at the time she describes. Apparently she now says she had sex with the grandchildren of those men, who had the same names.

I have no explanation for the claim you say was made by Gamal Quttub Ibrahim, nor do I have any evidence that he has made such a claim.

She was apparently appointed national chairwoman of the U.S. organization of the Sudan Sensitization Peace Project (SSPP), as you mention.

I don't see how that has any bearing on what I've said.

Can you point to any credible documentation that supports any of Kola Boof's claims about being forced to be Osama bin Laden's mistress in Morocco--or even any evidence that bin Laden was in Morocco in 1996, let alone a fan of smoking pot, being obsessed with Whitney Houston, and forcing her to dance naked to Van Halen? If you can, I will be glad to consider it.

Danica said...

My understanding Jim is that in Arab Culture, "sex slaves" are raised from birth for that position and are not to look their master in the eye, not to share his bedroom, not to share meals with him, not to hold conversations, touch his hair, etc.

Don't forget that by your definition, many WIVES in the Arab world would be classified as "sex slaves" also.

Boof doesn't understand why Americans keep insisting she was a slave, because she had a maid and shopped using bin Ladens credit card in Milan.

In her autobiography, she starts off a struggling whore/actress who is raped by him then tries to manipulate Bin laden as a 'sugar daddy' and clearly begins to run La Maison Arabe. Event hough she's not allowed to leave, she is in charge of the guards who are guarding her.


The owner of the place, (Prince ""whateverhisname) makes an appearance in the book and has confirmed for the Pentagon that Ms. Boof lived there with Bin laden.

Why has he not sued Kola Boof if she's lying on him?

In her autobiography she writes that FOUR young men claimed to be the grandsons of those Arab guys you mentioned. She does not say that they ARE definitively. They conducted a gang rape that I just don't see her making up.

Bin Laden's attraction to her was that she's over 6 feet tall, is "infibulated' in her private area, speaks Arabic, is black and can shoot a duck better than he can.

You would have to be a woman reading her accounts of these rapes to understand why so many women believe her.

What makes it all the more believable is that she tells very embarrassing things about herself.
There are other sexual incidents in the book where she clearly shows that "SHE" was a user of men (for their money) and did sexual acts to survive.

There's a second gang bang in the book by SPLA members from Sudan, her fellow soldiers and she covers it up to protect the men, because she feels the cause of Sudan liberation is more important than the soldiers forcing a train on her.

The book in no way portrays her
as an 'angel' and yet she wrote it!

She ran away from her American adoptive parents at 16 and became a mistress to white man in Virgina, had an abortion and got with another white man which is how she got back to North Africa.

I just don't understand why she made herself look so bad in the book.

It comes off as extremely honest.

Jim Lippard said...

Danica:

I don't buy your reasoning for why you believe it. Portraying oneself in a negative light doesn't make James Frey's fraudulent autobiography, A Million Little Pieces, true, nor does it provide any logical or evidential support for Cathy O'Brien's book, nor Brice Taylor's, nor Lauren Stratford's. Describing oneself in horrible situations seems quite *common* in hoax biographies. The stories you describe make it sound *just like* that last set of bogus autobiographies, which is why my original post suggested that it belonged in the same genre.

What would make her account plausible would be the inclusion of verifiable details that other people or other documentation could substantiate. It requires *external* verification, not just internal coherence. Is there any expert or credible witness who supports the details or even the plausibility of her story? From what I've seen, the reaction has been entirely the opposite, which is why her story does not appear in the Wikipedia article on Osama bin Laden, and even her own Wikipedia page has been deleted.

Jim Lippard said...

"The owner of the place, (Prince ""whateverhisname) makes an appearance in the book and has confirmed for the Pentagon that Ms. Boof lived there with Bin laden.

Why has he not sued Kola Boof if she's lying on him?"

The first point you make would count as external evidence in support of her story, if it can be substantiated. Can it?

The second point doesn't necessarily prove anything. The "sue or its true" defense is a very weak one. Any choice to file a lawsuit involves weighing costs and benefits, and if the costs outweigh the benefits, only a fool would sue. Conversely, it has been common of late for certain wealthy Saudis to file libel lawsuits in the UK to stop the publication of true allegations against them. So a lawsuit or the lack thereof wouldn't prove anything one way or the other, though the evidence brought forth in such a lawsuit might.

Jim Lippard said...

"Don't forget that by your definition, many WIVES in the Arab world would be classified as "sex slaves" also."

If they do not consent, you are correct--I would consider them to be slaves, sex slaves, rape victims, and oppressed. The Arab world's treatment of women is immoral.

Licht2202 said...

1st off, the 1st part of the zeitgeist movie is completely fictional and made up. It all stems from Ms Murdock, who calls herself Acharya S, which means guru or teacher. There are 100s of references you can search out that discredit her work, but for starters you can check out the following links:

www.answeringinfidels.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHHCzQffIUc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DKN_Vw0kDo

www.thedevineevidence.com/jesus_similarities.html

www.tektonics.org/copycat/copycathub.html

www.kingdavid8.com/Copycat/Home.html

video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7572663630528394775

www.preventingtruthdecay.org/zeitgeistpartone.shtml

I only need to point out a few facts, which basically make the whole first part of the movie fall apart:

* Jesus was not born on December 25th! This date was assigned by the Roman Catholic Church and is widely known to NOT be the actual date that he was born, and by the way neither were most of the gods that were mentioned in zeitgeist, part 1, not that it would matter anyways since that’s not even when Jesus was born. The only relevance December 25th holds is in Pagan traditions.

* Not one of the gods presented in the zeitgeist movie was ever born of a virgin or crucified. Crucification wasn’t even invented, first of all, until the Roman Empire came into place. Hmm… I guess someone forgot to learn about history… I guess Ms. Murdock and zeitgeist like to dream up their own history when it comes to religion.

* As far as astrology goes, the borders between the constellations are completely 100% modern convention of the International Astronomical Union for the purpose of mapping, and therefore never had any astrological significance in ancient times.

* The Bible absolutely condones the worship of stars, moon, or sun and states that people were to be put to death for such an act in the Old Testament. So it makes absolutely no sense to say that Jesus was a sun god either or that such an act was the theme of the Bible!

* There are plenty of sources outside the bible that point to Jesus actually living and being crucified… There is more physical evidence for Jesus living than any other person in history

* On a final note, all the verses Ms. Murdock quotes in the bible as reference to her claims actually discredit her. One verse she speaks of in the Bible isn’t even there. All other verses she quotes either condone the act of worshiping anything other than God or plainly have nothing to do with what Ms. Murdock states!

I could write more, but what’s the point. If you actually want to learn something, you need to research it yourself to learn something factual and come to your own conclusions based on reality and not someone’s imagination.

Jim Lippard said...

licht2202: "I could write more, but what’s the point. If you actually want to learn something, you need to research it yourself to learn something factual and come to your own conclusions based on reality and not someone’s imagination."

Perhaps you should have read what I wrote before ranting--I agree that Zeitgeist is nonsense, from end to end.

Some of your sources, however, themselves lack credibility--they are criticizing the nonsense in Zeitgeist in order to argue for their own nonsense. Tektonics.org, for instance, is run by the dishonest Robert Turkel.

Licht2202 said...

Thanks for the info, will check it!

Just trying to help get the word out that the first part of the movie is completely asinine.

Licht

Jim Lippard said...

Licht: Parts two and three are no better than part one. It's all crap. Why only focus on part one?

Licht2202 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Licht2202 said...

I just found most of the stuff in part one to be bogus, which pretty much set me off. I've watched the entire thing, but haven't had time to go into any errors in the 2nd and 3rd parts. I'm just focusing on part one of the movie at this time because I found most of the errors in this part of the movie, which contained what I find to be the most absurd lies and twisted information I've ever seen and I feel the need to point out this absurdity as best I can. I'll move on the other parts as time permits. I've started a blog on part one, and am adding to it little by little.

zeitgeistmoviepart1.blogspot.com

By the way, how did you make your blog searchable in Google?

iantv said...

I have no problem believing our government could take advantage of it's citizens. Through out history it's happened. Just look at what our government did to black men when they wanted to study the effect of untreated syphilis. Or giving pregnant american indian women doses of radiation telling them they were taking vitamins, just to see the effects on fetuses. I'm not saying it happened the way they say in the movie but it's believable and if you don't think so you're being ignorant. Second, The fed must be controlled, our country is printing money at a record pace and it will destroy our economy very soon. Again not the first time in history. Iran wants to trade oil in euros and this will kill the dollar that is why we will end up at war with Iran soon enough. The only ways to save our economy are to force people to take the dollar or to stop printing money and become fiscally responsible. Going back to the gold standard would be a great first step and then change our trade deficit to something more equal. But no politician will ask americans to become less child like and curtail their consumerism.

iantv said...

Oh one more thing. I'm just wondering if you believe in fairy tales like god and jesus because if you do we have nothing to talk about. I only debate with rational people.

Jim Lippard said...

iantv: You gave some real examples of government abuses that I could enumerate many more of. But if you think going back to the gold standard is a good idea, you need to take a look at these disadvantages. In my opinion, we'd be better off with free banking, but we are pretty close to such an environment given how easy it is becoming to choose alternative currencies.

I also have a problem with this statement of yours: "I'm not saying it happened the way they say in the movie but it's believable and if you don't think so you're being ignorant." I strongly disagree. The 9/11 conspiracy theory section of "Zeitgeist: The Movie" is not remotely plausible--it's transparent nonsense, for the reasons I gave in this post. Did you bother reading it?

In your second comment, you write: "I'm just wondering if you believe in fairy tales like god and jesus because if you do we have nothing to talk about. I only debate with rational people."

Given the content of your first comment and your inability to tell whether or not I'm an atheist, I question whether you are yourself a rational person. The posts on this blog are tagged with labels. One of them is "atheism," which has 66 posts, and could provide a clue. You can also find another clue by Googling "Jim Lippard" and finding my publication record, or looking in Google Groups and seeing posts I made for years on alt.atheism and alt.atheism.moderated.

Yet, I also disagree with your judgment that anyone who believes in gods or Jesus is irrational and unworthy of interaction. That's more of an expression of bigotry than of intelligence.

Dave said...

Jim,

Thank you for your blog. I respect your intelligence and your ability to cite what you believe to be true with evidence. I have heard/read nearly all of the theories presented in Zeitgeist prior to seeing this movie and have always been skeptical. There is one aspect of the movie you did not comment on, and it is the one that i am most interested and concerned with; the chip.
What is your take on the use of the chip, its probability of being implemented, practical uses of, and potential immoral or beneficial results?
I appreciate the fact that your belief in atheism doesn't seem to obscure our open mindedness when looking for the truth. I am a believer in Christ, and have some concerns about the chip. In some ways i welcome it, because i am looking forward to the second coming, but i worry about the social and "freedom" implications of it as well.

What are your thoughts?

Dave

Jim Lippard said...

Dave: I assume you mean implantable RFID chips of the sort that are commonly used for pets and have also had preliminary approval from the FDA for use in humans, where the primary planned use seems to be for hospital patients. If it just contains a number that is correlatable with hospital data, I don't see that particular use as much different from an ID bracelet, unless it's easily readable from a distance and left in the body after discharge. I am not a fan of government-assigned numbers that follow you around and are used to correlate information about you across multiple databases, but that also has to be weighed against the right of private companies and individuals to collect easily available information. I'm also not a fan of a single federal ID. I think it's a mistake to put lots of weight and power into a single form of identification credential. Jim Harper's book, Identity Crisis: How Identification is Overused and Misunderstood, is one I highly recommend.

Jay said...

About as well done an analysis/debunking as I have seen. Thanks for this. Unfortunately I spent an hour sending an email to my misguided cousin who urged 100 of hear friends to SEE THIS MOVIE, explaining to her that she should read The End of Faith by Sam Harris if she's interested in cogent arguments against the effects of organized religion, or some other "reasoned" criticisms of the 9/11 commission process or of our monetary system (not to mention the blatant factual innacuracies throughout the rest of the movie).
Thanks again.

Jim Lippard said...

Thanks, Jay. I hope your email to your cousin is effective!

Jim Lippard said...

Looks like the Wikipedia link I cited in my July 23, 2008 comment has changed. It is now here.

Bryan Braning said...

Sadly the maker of this blog is the exact type of person deplicted in the Zeitgeist film. I feel for you and the rest of country who lack true awareness.

Have you studied in depth the claims in the film prior to denouncing it and labeling it as nonsense?

Do your research and the truth found is staggering.

Jim Lippard said...

Bryan:

It doesn't sound like you bothered to read anything in this post. I backed up my points with supporting arguments and evidence. Perhaps you'd care to point out any errors on my part?

Openmind said...

All you people who don't believe that the New World Order is well on its way need to pull your heads out of the sand.

Jim Lippard said...

Openmind: What do you mean by "New World Order"?

Openmind said...

By "New World Order" I mean. International bank aka the only bank, The Neo-Conservatives finally getting power and doing what they want in the open, domination of world markets into a monopoly. Marshal law and finally the vanishing of the Dollar only to be replace by the Amero, yes, just like europe got all their money replaced by the Euro.

Einzige said...

I think the chances that there's ever going to be only one bank in the world are so vanishingly small that they are essentially zero.

Jim Lippard said...

"By "New World Order" I mean. International bank aka the only bank, The Neo-Conservatives finally getting power and doing what they want in the open, domination of world markets into a monopoly. Marshal law and finally the vanishing of the Dollar only to be replace by the Amero, yes, just like europe got all their money replaced by the Euro."

Einzige has already correctly observed that the chance of a single world central bank is pretty much zero.

I'll also note that the neo-cons *have* had power in the U.S. for the last eight years and it looks very likely that they are about to lose the presidency, your statement about "domination of world markets into a monopoly" requires some explication as to what you mean, but also sounds like something vanishingly unlikely to occur. Martial law, I could see some possibilities in the U.S., but again think it's pretty unlikely. Creation of a North American Union is semi-plausible as an economic zone for free trade, but is vanishingly unlikely as a political entity. Given the differences between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, I think a single currency for the region is also vanishingly unlikely.

I don't get the impression that you have any understanding of banking, currencies, free trade agreements, or much else.

oobernimrod said...

litch2202:

I would like to refer you to the work of Alexander Gurshtein in respone to your comment about the constellations being something of modern times. It would seem that is not the accepted view of the academic community on the matter.

As for the rest of the comments on this blog, i just watched the Zeitgeist movie a few days ago and i plan to investigate more thuroughly before attempting to comment.

However, before ever watching the movie, based purly on the historical facts in reguards to all religions of the world. I did, and still do, believe that religion was meerly an attempt for primitive cultures to explain things around them they did not understand. Over time this evolved into orginizations used to influence and control larger populations, wage wars, and persecute people with different ideas then the established way of thinking.

I believe that it is a nessisary step in human evolution to cast aside the greatest divider of us as nothing more then ancient superstitions.

j said...

The Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation. Please check the LSU Libraries as well as Gov US to see that they are not under the jurisdiction of any governmental body.

Instead they are an "Independent" organization. The only question I pose is that,

"Couldn't a private bank controlling the money supply of a supposedly free country have their own personal and secret agenda?"

Politicians like Ron Paul and Daniel Kucinich (Republican & Democrat) party members have brought this subject matter to the attention of congress. Please just youtube "Ron Paul Congress" or "Ron Paul and Bernanke" and you will find plenty of videos.

I am not saying that since a politician says it, it must be true, far from that. But please conduct accurate research about the FEDS.

In a more recent development, Bush's $700B bailout plan was opposed by both congressmen mentioned above as well as many others in Congress. It seems to have had a nil effect since the markets slid more than 200 points on the day it was signed and have continued on their downward trend.

It is criminal to back the debt that greedy money hungry organizations knew was considered "Bad Debt" before their predatory lending and borrowing practices were initiated by American Tax dollars.

Maybe, if the 700B would have gone to those in financial duress, they could have paid their mortgages and monthly payments ensuring that the banks would receive their payments and giving the credit market some much needed liquidity.

The FED loaning the US Gov another 700B, backed by taxpayer money does nothing more than transfer the burden from the rich business owners to the poor and middle class who seem to be constantly exploited throughout history.

It also could be a strange coincidence that this bailout was orchestrated only once Goldman Saachs had lost more than 40% of its share value and fears were arising about their liquidity and a looming bank run. Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury is the former CEO of Goldman’s, not more than 3 years ago.

I do believe that there are special interests at heart in the FEDS as well as the media since there was a wide media blackout on Ron Paul’s campaign who had the record for most donations in a single day at Approx 6M (this was during the preliminary stages). He won virtually every debate that he was in (by public polling through internet) yet the web-pages were mysteriously not available after the debates. The last comment I am also accounting for my personal experience as well as others documented.

I think I have given you guys enough to try to rip me apart, so enjoy and I look forward to your responses. But before you do respond, please take a look yourself into some of the things which I stated. I’ll leave you with a quote from a movie I watched a little while ago.
V for Vendetta; while it was an entertaining FICTIONAL movie, I did enjoy one specific quote which definitely brings out the fear tactics of the American Gov’t as of late with the passing of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act as well as Bush’s Wire Tapping. Please also do some research into these two laws, specifically the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act:
1) How it was passed and what time and Day
2) What the Act Outlines for your Civil Liberties
3) The fact that the government can do whatever they please as long as they deem you a potential threat to national security: send you to Guantanamo, restrict your right to trial, refuse to notify you of the charges you are being held on/tried for.... just to name a few
BUT PLEASE DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.... Look for yourself.

Now the quote:
“The citizens of a country should not be afraid of the government; the government should be afraid of its citizens”

Let’s not forget who votes the president in......

j said...

The Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation. Please check the LSU Libraries as well as Gov US to see that they are not under the jurisdiction of any governmental body.

Instead they are an "Independent" organization. The only question I pose is that,

"Couldn't a private bank controlling the money supply of a supposedly free country have their own personal and secret agenda?"

Politicians like Ron Paul and Daniel Kucinich (Republican & Democrat) party members have brought this subject matter to the attention of congress. Please just youtube "Ron Paul Congress" or "Ron Paul and Bernanke" and you will find plenty of videos.

I am not saying that since a politician says it, it must be true, far from that. But please conduct accurate research about the FEDS.

In a more recent development, Bush's $700B bailout plan was opposed by both congressmen mentioned above as well as many others in Congress. It seems to have had a nil effect since the markets slid more than 200 points on the day it was signed and have continued on their downward trend.

It is criminal to back the debt that greedy money hungry organizations knew was considered "Bad Debt" before their predatory lending and borrowing practices were initiated by American Tax dollars.

Maybe, if the 700B would have gone to those in financial duress, they could have paid their mortgages and monthly payments ensuring that the banks would receive their payments and giving the credit market some much needed liquidity.

The FED loaning the US Gov another 700B, backed by taxpayer money does nothing more than transfer the burden from the rich business owners to the poor and middle class who seem to be constantly exploited throughout history.

It also could be a strange coincidence that this bailout was orchestrated only once Goldman Saachs had lost more than 40% of its share value and fears were arising about their liquidity and a looming bank run. Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury is the former CEO of Goldman’s, not more than 3 years ago.

I do believe that there are special interests at heart in the FEDS as well as the media since there was a wide media blackout on Ron Paul’s campaign who had the record for most donations in a single day at Approx 6M (this was during the preliminary stages). He won virtually every debate that he was in (by public polling through internet) yet the web-pages were mysteriously not available after the debates. The last comment I am also accounting for my personal experience as well as others documented.

I think I have given you guys enough to try to rip me apart, so enjoy and I look forward to your responses. But before you do respond, please take a look yourself into some of the things which I stated. I’ll leave you with a quote from a movie I watched a little while ago.
V for Vendetta; while it was an entertaining FICTIONAL movie, I did enjoy one specific quote which definitely brings out the fear tactics of the American Gov’t as of late with the passing of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act as well as Bush’s Wire Tapping. Please also do some research into these two laws, specifically the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act:
1) How it was passed and what time and Day
2) What the Act Outlines for your Civil Liberties
3) The fact that the government can do whatever they please as long as they deem you a potential threat to national security: send you to Guantanamo, restrict your right to trial, refuse to notify you of the charges you are being held on/tried for.... just to name a few
BUT PLEASE DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.... Look for yourself.

Now the quote:
“The citizens of a country should not be afraid of the government; the government should be afraid of its citizens”

Let’s not forget who votes the president in......

Jim Lippard said...

"Please check the LSU Libraries as well as Gov US to see that they are not under the jurisdiction of any governmental body."

Sure they are. The Fed was created by act of Congress, its president and board of governors are appointed by the President, and they have to comply with laws and regulations, and are subject to rulings of the federal court system.

They are independent in their actions in the same way to a somewhat greater extent than other governmental agencies to the extent that banks get to elect the members of the regional boards of directors. That independence is intended to prevent political manipulation of monetary policy.

It's not a secret, it's documented at the Fed's website.

*All* organizations face the problem of the individuals running them looking out for their own interests.

Jim Lippard said...

BTW, the bailout bill hasn't really been used yet. In any case, today was an up day for financials.

I share your concerns about the USA PATRIOT Act, how it was passed, and how it has been used by the Bush administration.

Openmind said...

Then what HELL are they waiting FOR, total destruction?!

Jim Lippard said...

I think banks have been hesitant to sell distressed assets for fear of revealing their weakness. Citibank was going to buy Wachovia with government help, when Wells Fargo stepped in to buy them with their own money, which made Citibank look weak (I suspect they are the weakest of the largest U.S. banks, with Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo in better shape).

It now appears that the government is going to take one of Nouriel Roubini's pieces of advice and inject capital into the banks by purchasing preferred shares of their stock.

Neel Kashkari has been appointed as "bailout czar" at the Treasury Department. Great name.

raven said...

Mr. Jim.

You completely lost any credibility with me by citing The Bible and Wikipedia and inexorable sources of information.

All these skeptics and debunkers that I've come across so far are missing the main point of Zeitgeist. It's only real point is to ask you to question things around you (not excluding the "factual" contents of the film!), and to have the courage to not blindly accept things as they are, just because they are.

I would really like to see you "debunk" the last sentence I just wrote.

Einzige said...

It's only real point is to ask you to question things around you (not excluding the "factual" contents of the film!), and to have the courage to not blindly accept things as they are, just because they are.

If that's its only real point, then why does it use such a roundabout way to accomplish that? You'd think that the film's makers would have tried a different tack (like, say, using reputable sources, verifiable facts, and valid logical argumentation).

And, if things "are...because they are", as you say, then wouldn't accepting that mean facing reality, and not accepting that mean deluding oneself? Are you suggesting the latter?

Jim Lippard said...

Raven: I think Einzige has sufficiently addressed your last point. I agree with him--"Zeitgeist" clearly expects us to believe what it's arguing for, it's not Robert Anton Wilson-style guerilla ontology where you can't be sure what he actually believes.

You say I lost credibility with you by citing the Bible and Wikipedia. I think it can be perfectly legitimate to cite either of those sources (recognizing their respective weaknesses), but in fact I never made a single citation to the Bible in the original post. What does that say about your credibility?

raven said...

Jim:

Apologies, my mistake, it was someone else's post I mistook as yours.

raven said...

Einzige:

If that's its only real point, then why does it use such a roundabout way to accomplish that? You'd think that the film's makers would have tried a different tack (like, say, using reputable sources, verifiable facts, and valid logical argumentation).

Actually, it's not roundabout at all ... its message is actually very direct. It appeals immediately to the senses, and very deliberately so. It is nearly impossible for a viewer not to be affected by it on a visceral level, whether or not they subscribe to the ideas presented therein. Its appeal to logic (roundabout) is secondary to its emotional appeal to the senses (direct).

I am surmising that the reason it was presented this way was in order to reach the largest possible audience. It's representation of "facts" may be insulting to some of us that possess critical thinking skills, but remember that a huge portion of people on earth do not possess these qualities -- even those that think that they do actually do not - it assumes most people have chosen to be imprisoned, if you will, by current pervasive ideologies. Which makes sense, since that’s a main message of this film. So, right or wrong, they have to be appealed to on a more base level.

That said, I am fully aware that this film is the very definition of propaganda. It has all the features that skeptics look for when doing their “debunking”: dramatic musical score, vivid and disturbing imagery, simple yet forceful language and symbols. When the average person hears the word "propaganda", their first image is probably going to be of Hitler or some such horrid thing, but take a look around you. Most people are influenced by propaganda every minute of day in the form of advertising, public relations, politics, Hollywood, ad nauseam. Take it a step further and you could even say that every belief or opinion you have expressed without inexorable fact (whatever that is) to back it up is, in effect, propaganda. Expressing a view on abortion, religion, the birth of the universe, and so on could be eschewed as propaganda by its very definition.

Human nature hasn't progressed all that much since the Third Reich, if at all; people are certainly not beyond being swayed by a mass "mob" mentality, no matter how much they may protest to the contrary. Maybe even more swayed these days; again, look at advertising, politics, fashion, et al.

Especially during a time like the present, when a lot of people are scared shitless.

The ethics involved in using such propaganda methods to deliver a message is, of course, up for debate. Manipulative? Maybe. Ethically grey? Perhaps. However, it seems you have to speak to people in the language that they are used to being spoken to in order for them to listen, and that language just happens to be the language of propaganda. Emotion and effect trumps logic in these matters, especially when you are trying to mobilize the masses, not just feed them information. Appeals made primarily to logic might cause a person to respond with a "Huh, well, that's interesting" and then quickly forget about it in a day or two. Without strong emotional appeal the potential of reaching and actually mobilizing a large diverse population is close to nil.

If I was the filmmaker for this movie, would I present it the way Peter Joseph did? Probably not. I would try and do a better job factually backing up what I say. Only I am not sure how easy it would be know or judge which sources are reputable, or if anyone would agree as to what are reputable sources, especially when you are attacking the very basis of what hold a culture together, however precariously. I mean, come on, most people think MSNBC or FOX news or Wikipedia are reputable sources of information. Many people view the Bible as a reputable source of fact, while others view it as a manipulation of sacred texts for the political gain of King James. Yet even if I could manage to be factually correct, whatever that means, maybe I wouldn't have the visceral talent employed in Zeitgeist and therefore would not have nearly the same potentially mobilizing effect or distribution. To make something both completely 100% factually correct AND have the emotional impact would be quite the feat, and I welcome anyone out there to take on that challenge. Yet there will always be someone out there with the need to dispute it’s validity.

So, in short, facts and logic has its limits when you are trying to appeal to the core of human nature, and to the very core of an entrenched culture.

Besides, who says everything that's of value in this world must be backed up by logic and reason and “facts” anyway? Certainly not anyone who is religious. Certainly not anyone who enjoys a piece of music. Certainly not anyone who has ever been in love.

All said, I choose to view Zeitgeist more as a piece of art than a documentary. It takes a view of truth and shapes it, manipulates it, bends its light through prism, distills a primordial essence out of it and onto a tangible medium in an attempt to allow the unseeable be seen, however imperfectly represented. Just like the terror in Edvard Munch's "The Scream" or Monet's "Waterlillies" or any worthwhile piece of abstract expressionism or music or whatever you choose. To show things in a new light, nevermind the colors or mediums employed in such a task.

The only difference is that this film is based just enough in reality to perhaps make one desire action, unlike a painting or a symphony.

The film is FAR from perfect, but it’s SOMETHING. It’s up to you what you get out of it, like anything in life. You may say Peter Joseph is a crackpot or whatever, but does that make his overall message unworthy of consideration?

And, if things "are...because they are", as you say, then wouldn't accepting that mean facing reality, and not accepting that mean deluding oneself? Are you suggesting the latter?

All the great movers and shakers stepped outside of empirical reality and into the realm of possibility. This is how someone once came up with the idea that the earth is not flat, and does not stand still. Some people call it genius.

Einzige said...

Raven:

...does that make his overall message unworthy of consideration?

By coming off as completely baseless and ridiculous, Zeitgeist fails utterly in the purpose you claim for it.

I'm all for questioning the party line (you'll see that as a theme throughout both this blog and mine), but doing it in a way that is so easily dismissible seems at cross-purposes to that goal. It may even make people more secure in their complacency.

All the great movers and shakers stepped outside of empirical reality and into the realm of possibility.

That's just wrong. The great thinkers examined empirical reality and recognized, unafraid, where theory and facts did not coincide. They then came up with testable, falsifiable models that attempted to fit the facts.

A round earth came out of recognizing things like shadow lengths on the same day in different places.

Newtonian classical mechanics was superseded by Einstein's theory because of Newton's failed predictions for the planet's elliptical orbits.

Quantum theory arose out of observation of the strange behavior of the electron.

Notice the common thread?

Billy T said...

The movie isnt all true but most of it is. Unofrtunately everyone looks to stay negative instead of focusing on the ways to fix the problems we have made. I would argue that most of you havent even been to college, or have even done the research on any of the movie. I would say you have read it all and agreed with what you read. Religion is a fat joke. Get over it. Fucking Retards.

Schtacky said...

Billy T: To whom are you referring with the "Fucking Retards" comment?

Have you actually read anything that's posted on this blog?

If you had, I am sure that you would have realized that the posters almost totally concern themselves with skeptical inquiry and observation.

I will leave your petulant comment regarding having attended college alone since it's clearly an ignorant statement.

Perhaps you should read up on the blog and in particular this entry before posting again?

The readers of this blog will almost certainly love to engage in discussion with you should you be able to come up with any decent talking points.

Take care!

Einzige said...

Billy T wrote:

The movie isnt all true but most of it is.

Which parts are true?

Or--if it's a shorter list--which parts are not true?

Jim Lippard said...

raven: "You may say Peter Joseph is a crackpot or whatever, but does that make his overall message unworthy of consideration?"

Even if I try to give credence to your interpretation, the message seems to be "it's acceptable to question authority by using completely unsubstantiated bullshit. There are no standards of evidence that matter."

In which case the overall message is, indeed, unworthy of consideration.

Jim Lippard said...

billyt: "The movie isnt all true but most of it is."

I'd say, to the contrary, that every major point of the movie is false. There are some true statements scattered about within it, used to make bad arguments to false conclusions.

"Unofrtunately everyone looks to stay negative instead of focusing on the ways to fix the problems we have made."

Which problems are you referring to?

"I would argue that most of you havent even been to college, or have even done the research on any of the movie."

On what basis? I look forward to you actually producing such an argument, it should be quite funny.

Lady Caritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lady Caritas said...

I am trying to get through the movie but its really awful :(

Regularly i listen to alexjones but for the past few days ive been goofing off so i didnt know he interviewed peter joseph, the person who made zeitgeist. He was referring to the interview here and there so i had to hear it for myself, unlike the movie, the interview is hilarious.
http://justgetthere.us/blog/archives/Alex-Jones-Heated-Interview-with-Peter-Joseph-of-Zeitgeist.html

I saw zeitgeist 1 and immediately it looked like something to shatter the truth movement and bring bout mystery and confusion.

The guy basically uses a lot of logical fallacies, neurolinguistic programming and dialectic tecniques to sell you on his refried utopia, which he may actually believe in. Its a process, at one time in my life i would have totally agreed with him, but after seriously looking through the religious texts i have lying around Quran, Torah, Bible, Mahabarata, the gita, egyptian book of the dead, herodotus, kebra nagast, im sorry, his stuff does not line up.

Someone mentioned the mayan calendar thing too, and seriously on Dec 31, the only thing that starts over is the calendar- if that calendar measures anything it could be the sunspots which have died down recently, its worth investigating.

Like it says in Zen, you dont have a teacher for the teacher you have a teacher for yourself, one day you will need to leave your teacher, kill the buddha, if you cant throw it into the fire you arent there yet, if your awakening is dependant on zeitgeist you are going to stay asleep, he is not all wrong, he just isnt the source.

You have to be willing to accept that there may not be some fantastical, science fiction reality just around the corner, the truth could be everything as it is, messy religions, dogma ect. would that be good enough?

If he has not actually read the writings of the people who have said this stuff before he isnt going to see it. Everything he is advocating for involves setting up a Guardian Class, such as the one from plato's republic who will decide how much each person gets, never once does he address who is going to decide who has to do the back breaking work and who is going to put food on the shelves of the "grocery store" where "nobody steals" because we dont need to - seriously, the interview is a lot better than the movie.

the utopian stuff he is talking about sets off esoteric nukes, the refrences to "nature" creeped me out judging from all my other studies and the regular theme of religious consolodation so that they are easier to discard, "intellegent management of the earth's resources" by whom?

nearly everything he said was ripped off from various independant researchers from all over the web he is selling new age garbage, the theosophical garbage that gave us hitler's germany, look into The Occult History of the Third Reich Adolf Hitler, its not as spooky as it sounds, there are lots of interviews and videos and more about the actual ceremonies that took place, details which need to be known so we know what it looks like if its ever attempted again. Im not accusing him of being a Hitler type, im just saying knowing how BS starts is key to stopping it in its tracks.

there is no "evil" "its all a matter of digree"

alex jones "Do you believe evil exists?"
peter joseph "absolutely not, because baised on the definition of evil its basically a religious conotation, it cant, it doesnt mean anything, its an empty distinction, if i was to re-define i would say evil is abhorent behavior...."

he actually says "im a whore just like everyone else in this system" after he accused alex of being manipulating for pricing videos at $29.99 instead of $30

Its just so funny that this guy is selling the same thing from plato's republic, when you read that book a few times you realize that the only way it works is if every other system is destroyed, there is an enormous amount of deception.

He is a crook trying using the truth movement to make some money, he wants to re-educate the religious people, recondition people, most of his money stuff was cut & paste from the video "The money masters" which is also on google, he also does that same thing bush does by saying "i want to talk to your audience" and "ladies and gentlemen...." this compares to bush's speech to "the iraqi people" before the invasion, and his recent speeches to the iranian people, not their leader whom we cant talk to.

After world war 2 it was all about "nations" now its all about disolving the "state" and being "one" or UN (one in french, hint hint) who is going to decide about the food? Look up codex alimentarius
http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/index_en.jsp# a World Health Organization which is "harmonizing" all our world standards so that we have the same amount of rat turds in our corn flakes as they do in Japan

Religio means to bind, they want to be bound to god, for god's sake, let them!

When the muslims have their holiday when they eat lots of good food when the sun sets, i am so there, when the christians have christmas i am getting gifts for all the kiddies, frankly the nativity scene is cool, jews have lots of holidays with special foods, hindus has more gods than i have fingers, they all probably have birthdays or something, is it possible we can have like happy parvati day or something.

This guy is selling ancient snake oil, its kinda funny and more sad- I dont expect people to feel the way i do about 9/11 yeah im a truther, and i dont appreciate this LLC carpetbagger giving us problems with his cut & paste of other people's work, thats why his stuff is easily knocked down because its not meant to stand up to criticism, so he dont think jesus was real, well heck, the romans used to nail people to crosses for petty crimes, the story is about a guy who got nailed up there for making banker/currency exchange guys mad.

Christianity actually supports his money ideas, its kinda hilarious, he pissed off a group that he could have had.
______________________________
By the way, GET OFF THE KOLA BOOF issue, to the woman earlier, i understand why you felt you needed to say what you did but i get really annoyed by anyone who comes in and right off the bat kicks the "tepid white male" leave him alone.

He isnt going to walk in her shoes any lifetime soon so stop expecting him to have your level of sensitivity to whatever her issue is, this is a blog, we are allowed to have our own opinions and if you know something to be mis-stated send a personal e-mail to him so he can look into it further dont bring this catfight here about this issue, its just crass and beneath you, that woman is not representative of ANY black woman I know or would associate with.

If you want to be her cheering section be my guest, but you dont get to sit here and act like your opinion is representative of any black woman other than yourself, you dont speak for me, i am a black female from the south side of chicago, born and raised with folks from arkansas who didnt get here on a carnival cruise.

So no, you dont get to call him predjudiced, GET OFF IT, even with a light research into that woman smells like chocolate covered paris hilton - now lets get back to the actual issue and off the juices & berries talk.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Big said...

Just watched the movie. The astronomical/astrological information in the first part is a total bullshit - just take a look at star map. Sirius is always aligned with the 3 stars of the Orion, not only on December 25. The stars cannot point to the Sun on December 25, because the Sun is on the opposite side of the ecliptic in winter. Finally, the Southern Cross constellation is far far away from the ecliptic, so the Sun cannot come even close to it.

Big said...

Oh, I forgot: thank you for your blog, Jim.

docsensi said...

Thanks for the insight on the movie. I guess like many one becomes a bit frantic after watching stuff like this and it feels good to know that things aren't as bad even though they are pretty bad. I just finished seeing the zeitgeist addendum it is available in google video and on their website www.thezeitgeistmovement.com. it was a bit more convincing than the movei and also had a more positive tone towards the end. I'd like to hear your take on this one if possible. Blogging and extracting real unbiased news and views from the internet s new to me any suggestions as to where one might find these good sources? thanks again great day to you......

Jim Lippard said...

I watched a little bit (the first 30 minutes) of the "Zeitgeist Addendum," which looks to be largely derived from "Money is Debt," another video floating around the Internet. I skimmed through much of the rest.

It's somewhat more accurate than the previous parts, but has the same flaws as "Money is Debt," most seriously in its discussion of interest. The creators of both films do not seem to understand the time-value of money, or that the expansion of the money supply doesn't create problems so long as non-monetary wealth is also expanding. No matter what you use as money, there will always be a system of credit that rides on top of it, of the sort that has been contracting rapidly in the current financial crisis. (This contraction has been *increasing* the value of the U.S. dollar this year.)

The idea that money creates slavery and that if we just got rid of fractional reserve banking, nobody would be forced to work for a living is a bit ridiculous.

Looks like part 2 of the film is based on John Perkins' _Confessons of an Economic Hitman_, which is a book I've read. His book was entertaining, but mostly unbelievable, and he's not a credible source. Note that he claims that we all have the shamanic ability to shapeshift and become invisible, for example.

Some of the stuff he talks about is correct, such as U.S. intervention using the CIA in the Middle East and South America, the history of which is told in Tim Weiner's book Legacy of Ashes.

In part III, the film suggests that we only need money because of scarcity, and that scarcity is a fiction. But scarcity isn't a fiction, scarcity exists because there is no limit to what people can want and desire--there can be scarcity even when a resource is abundant.

My impression is that the "Addendum" is just as bogus as the first three parts--it's largely lifted from other sources, and those sources are unreliable.

Einzige said...

Re: "scarcity is a fiction" ...

If that were true, there'd be no such thing as evolution.

The notion is utterly absurd.

Damon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Lippard said...

The previous deleted comment was from Damon, who quoted an entire gigantic comment from raven just to add this "me too":

"This was the best comment I have found here regarding the Zeitguist Move (first one not the new one Addendium which some people have been confussed by)

Hat's off to Raven. Logic and fact do have there limits. And can even be blinding to the more organic ways of understanding things."

Damon: You're welcome to comment here, and my intent is not to censor you, but please don't repost large comments to add a short comment that does nothing more than agree.

Einzige said...

Damon apparently stopped reading after that.

Neither he nor Raven have addressed our criticisms of Raven's position, the main points of which are:

1) Logic and standards of evidence do matter.
2) Empirical reality is not ignored by "movers and shakers" - at least ones who aren't bullshit artists.

If you reject those two points then you open yourself up to believing whatever message is most effective emotionally--which is the only way I can interpret the meaning behind "the organic way of understanding things." That's a dangerous path to take.

zapstrung said...

I randomly came across the final segment of the Zeitgeist movie (The Federal Reserve, etc..) while surfing through YouTube. My initial reaction to the 3rd movie segment was of paranoia, immediately followed by a lot of questions. Thankfully, I am not naïve enough to believe everything posted on YouTube (sadly, I think millions of people are), so I immediately did a Google search on Zeitgeist and came across this blog.

Lippard, your rebuttal to the arguments in the 3rd segment of Zeitgeist are excellent and the format here allows for a far more intelligent debate than one will ever experience or view on YouTube’s comments pages.

I would like to comment on what seemed to be the underlining thesis of Zeitgeist; the idea that there are a few elite groups or individuals that have been conspiring throughout the ages to divide the human race in order to scare it into complete submission under one banking system…which would somehow transform into a one world government. I am not going to explain the obvious contradiction inherent in such a global domination strategy.

Instead, I would like to point out that the film wraps up its arguments in the end with some kind of new-age montage which promotes an idealistic concept of man being inherently one, interconnected, social fabric that is tied into a singular reality. This conclusion is an interesting choice considering the many arguments Zeitgeist made against the FED, the NAU, global banking, etc, were based on the idea that globalization is a negative result. These arguments completely contradict the conclusion…at least philosophically. A one world government should be celebrated by new age idealists who believe that mankind has been plagued by division. If world unity is something one desires, shouldn’t unified governments, economies, and society also be desired?

The FED and the NAU have or will become threats because they unify governments, economies, and cultures…not because they divide them. Zeitgeist argues that the FED and NAU are a threat because they divide and isolate by bringing government and economies in unison…what?!?

I doubt the makers of Zeitgeist believe in capitalism, but true capitalism is the real solution to these issues because it pivots individuals and organizations against themselves so there is diversity and free choice. Freedom is not achieved though a unified-quasi-world-order (the ideal proposed in Zeitgeist’s conclusion), but rather a division of governments, ideas, and beliefs.

All of this is simply to point out that not only are Zeitgeist’s factual arguments sketchy and inconsistent, its general ideals and philosophical perspectives are inconsistent.

john said...

Come on. Give Zeitgeist some credit. Or did you prejudge it before the first scene?

This website is only strong on namecalling, not fact producing.

I'd love to think all of Zeitgeist is fake, but until I see the volume of disparaging and convincing, opposite evidence equal to Zeitgeist's, I'd say Zeitgeist wins the debate easily. Zeitgeist's material is extremely convincing on the surface when you think, look and listen. Your argument is superficial as heck! And yes, reread your section on emotion: your caught up in the same error yourself.

I sense a lot more emotion behind your claims than facts, unfortunately.

It's hard to imagine, though I'm trying hard, that our government is as harmless, innnocent, and naive as this website suggests. What a pleasant world you must live in!

And I don't care who made the film. One wise person said, "Analyze the message, not the messenger."

Jim Lippard said...

John: I watched the whole thing. It's impossible not to prejudge the film before seeing the whole thing, because it makes bogus claims from end to end. What claims did you find persuasive?

You write: "It's hard to imagine, though I'm trying hard, that our government is as harmless, innnocent, and naive as this website suggests."

How did you come to the conclusion that this blog suggests that the U.S. government is harmless, innocent, or naive? I think your examination of this blog was much less extensive than my examination of "Zeitgeist."

Einzige said...

John, your comment is a string of bald assertions unsupported by facts or argument, so it's not difficult to understand why you found Zeitgeist to be persuasive.

Joshy said...

Jim, I read the links you posted on the federal reserve portion of the film. Perhaps the only portion of the film that would be backed by large amounts of historical information, timelines, and records.

You stated that it is clearly bogus, without really reading in depth the details of what exactly the federal reserve system is.

After reading the same links you posted, I feel that the system is ripe for corruption. Ripe. It seems to me that there are simply people out there who feel that their government can do no wrong.

If American history has shown anything, namely contemporary history, is that there is nothing but corruption, at the highest levels.

You honestly don't think that politicians can be bought? The main argument against the conspiracy theorists is that the federal reserve board of governors is appointed by the public.

Yet, the president and his cabinet, aka cronies, picks these posts. Last time I checked that is not a democracy picking appointments, more like a potential post bought at the right price.

A notable point you don't mention in your blogs is the historical regret many politicians had against the federal reserve. Why it seems that clear logic fails in our country and that people who bring these points up are instantly labeled as trying to spread a form of propoganda. Even if it is to benefit society at a larger level.

All I know is this, an evil is spreading across the world, invading every aspect of society, seperating people, and cutting them off to now only communicate coldly across the electronic distances that seperate us now.

You are too quick to dismiss. Far too quick for me to consider you a true American patriot.

i25xi80 said...

It would seem most of you have only researched as far as the established academia has provided for you as "established fact", and doing your own in depth investigation of the material presented is too consuming of your time or whatever, so you are the product of the "mindset" this movie is warning you about.

If you want to see through the veil of Globalism / One World Government agenda, (yes it's real) then you will have to mature beyond the ego that is holding you down to some popular party affiliation or "my side versus your side", my side has more money, or published more books, or better friends, or been around the world more times, or has been studying it longer, or a better education, or what ever other criteria you may think makes ones opinion better than the next. You must dig deeper than they do and separate the opinions from the facts, and then form your own concepts based on those facts.

Three areas of concentration for me when researching sociological phenomena, (such is civilization) power, money and history, these variables should not be ignored.

Sorry Jim, but you have a lot more work to do!

Jim Lippard said...

Joshy:

You write that "You stated that it is clearly bogus, without really reading in depth the details of what exactly the federal reserve system is." On what do you base this statement about what I've *read*?

"You honestly don't think that politicians can be bought?" Where do you get that? Try doing a Google search on "site:lippard.blogspot.com Dirty politician". Please don't attribute positions to me that I don't hold.

"The main argument against the conspiracy theorists is that the federal reserve board of governors is appointed by the public."

No, the main argument against the claim that the Fed is not part of the government is that the president appoints the Fed chairman and board of governors.

"Yet, the president and his cabinet, aka cronies, picks these posts. Last time I checked that is not a democracy picking appointments, more like a potential post bought at the right price."

The United States is a *representative* democracy. Many positions in government are appointed rather than directly elected. Of course there is opportunity for cronyism and the purchase of positions--look at Gov. Blagojevich in Illinois.

"A notable point you don't mention in your blogs is the historical regret many politicians had against the federal reserve." I know of one such quote, it appears in Zeitgeist, and is bogus. The quotation was constructed from multiple Wilson statements and one complete fabrication, and was made in a context that had nothing to do with the Federal Reserve. Thanks for prompting me to debunk another one of Zeitgeist's fabrications.

i25xi80: You make a number of assertions, but you provide zero supporting evidence. Come back again when you have some.

Michael said...

I have read every comment on this page and it seems that both sides are more than willing to go back and forth with "supporting facts and evidence". I don't claim to have extensive knowledge of any of the facts either in the movie or on this blog; and I think if someone asserts that through hours and hours of "research" they do know "the truth", they are exactly the kind of ignorant and self-centered person that Zeitgeist attempts to overcome. Of course not everything in Zeitgeist is true; no one knows the truth. There is always someone bigger and more powerful than you censoring and editing what you can say and see.

But don't be so stubborn and self-centered that you ignore the message of the film, and it's addendum. Humans are a part of nature and the planet just as plants and water; we are all interconnected and rely on each other; we are part of a much bigger system. But the government and corporate jerk-offs are so obsessed with power and money that the well-being of the world and its people are of little to no importance. They use the unfortunate people on this planet to harvest and manufacture piles and piles of worthless crap; then they spend billions of dollars on advertising, movies, etc. to brainwash us into thinking we need it! And because our education system is so ridiculous (not due to lack of intelligent, caring teachers, but becuase of the governement's intention to have us lazy and stupid), very few of us can see that there is so much more that is important, and that Wal-Mart is not a great place to shop but an evil entity raping and pillaging the people of this plane, including you!

Why are there so many children dying of curable disease? Why are there people starving every day when the big CEO's are sitting on billions, that they can never spend?

It's no longer a question of right or left, educated or not, it's a matter of human concern, rights, and sense of true purpose. If everyone spent as much time being kind, doing good, and spreading knowledge, wealth, and good fortune, as they do scheming ways to get rich, the whole planet would be a better place.

We have a lot to learn from each other, and disputing "facts and evidence" is a waste of time. You will not find the truth online, in your bible or in your library.

Einzige said...

Something tells me, Michael, that a response to your post will be met with silence, but I guess I'll do it anyway...

"...if someone asserts that through hours and hours of "research" they do know "the truth", they are exactly the kind of ignorant and self-centered person that Zeitgeist attempts to overcome.

Are you saying that Zeitgeist isn't itself making truth claims--one's based on many hours' "research"--or are you saying that the makers of Zeitgeist don't know what's true? Is Zeitgeist attempting to overcome itself?

"Of course not everything in Zeitgeist is true; no one knows the truth."

On what basis do you make that claim, if "facts and evidence" are as worthless as you imply? How do you know which parts are true and which aren't?

"But don't be so stubborn and self-centered that you ignore the message of the film, and it's addendum."

Presumably you've summarized "the message" of the film in the remainder of your post. However, if we were to ask 100 random people what they thought Zeitgeist's message was, I seriously doubt any of them would come up with the same one you've given. I fail to see how any of it is even remotely relevant to the question of whether or not bombs were planted in the twin towers.

Jim Lippard said...

Michael: I disagree with your claim that no one can know what is true. I think we can distinguish truth from falsehood, and while in many or most instances we may have less than complete certainty, we can still tell what's well supported and what's nonsense. Zeitgeist is full of a lot of the latter. It's not that not everything in Zeitgeist is true, it's that every major substantive claim that it makes is supported with claims that are not true. This makes Zeitgeist virtually worthless, though I can think of two ways it provides value. First, it provides a good set of relatively easy critical thinking exercises. Second, it provides an excellent litmus test for identifying people who fail those exercises.

JohnB said...

Jim - I appreciate your efforts and approach to defending your thoughts and positions using facts.

I just wanted to mention something I have noticed. I have a friend that is so into Zeitgeist it is starting to affect everything he does. He is so devoted to the cause and message and blindly agrees with every word. His devotion and support of Zeitgeist makes him aggressive and harsh in his attempts to defend it. All driven by pure emotion.

What is Ironic to me is that his devotion to the message and absolute belief in it reminds of those that are so deeply devoted to their religion.

I find it interesting how a film that this so anti-religion has a cult or religious following. I am not religious myself, so maybe I just don't understanding giving myself so deeply to something. Or maybe Zeitgeist is just a new form of religion and those following it are no different than the religious fanatics they try so hard to discredit. The basics are all there. Believing in a set of philosophies and trying to carry out the message within the philosophies while denouncing all theories that do not agree.

Jim Lippard said...

JohnB: Thanks!

I've seen similar sorts of single-mindedness among other sorts of conspiracy theorists. I think there's a social status-seeking aspect that's also common to religion--to be part of an elite in-group with the truth, while the rest of the world is too blind to see it. Communities of conspiracy theorists also provide an amateur, home-grown institution of debate and discussion that's a sort of pseudo-academic community, open to the common man without any formal training--you just need to watch Zeitgeist and read a few web pages. But in practice I think you're right that it works more like religion than science, since there's usually no real engagement with critics. (Though this happens sometimes within science, as well.)

Jerry said...

Jim, thanks for this blog entry. My son has hounded me for a week to watch the film, which I finally did. I found it nonsense but very effective. I've referred him to your site and others as the starting point to deprogram him :-)

Jim Lippard said...

Jerry: You're very welcome. I hope your son is willing to put the claims of Zeitgeist to critical scrutiny.

bodhi said...

Try watching the movie next time with your eyes open and your mind engaged....
then step outside and look around.
I leave you with a quote:
"When the pickpocket met the Buddha, all he saw was the Buddha's pockets."

Jim Lippard said...

Bodhi: That's a little bit vague. Do you think there's something that Zeitgeist is substantially correct about? If so, what?

Marmalade said...

I have no grand opinion about he other parts of Zeitgeist, but I'm fascinated by the perspective on mythicism and astrotheology.

I've read Acharya S and other similar authors. It convinces me, but I'm not going to defend any of it simply because it would just lead to pointless argument.

If you want to learn more, there are many detailed books about the topic out there. I'd recommend reading for yourself and making up your own mind. Watching a single video like Zeitgeist or reading the comments of critics is good, but it is better to go the source of the scholarship.

Jim Lippard said...

Marmalade: But it's important to go to sources of well-supported scholarship that's been through peer review and debate, and assess the claims in the light of that evidence. Acharya S's work seems to be at best pseudo-scholarship on the fringes, which makes claims that are falsified by the best evidence.

Peter said...

Hi everyone!

I'm from Hungary. I saw Zeitgeist yesterday, and I'm very bitter about the first part of it. I'm catholic and a little bit nervous. WHO can make a film like this, and try to squelch christianity and say Jesus never exists??? I don't want to see the second and third parts after these...

If you have hungarian friends or anyone who speaks hungarian fluently see this website in hungarian about the first part of the film.
http://www.halado.hu/zeitgeist.pdf

Marmalade said...

I'd recommend going to primary sources and decide for yourself. I judge a scholar by their scholarship and the scholar's references. Acharya uses primary sources and many reputable sources. Check them out and learn for yourself rather than bowing down to someone else's opinion.

Even so, Acharya's training is fairly wide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acharya_S

"According to her website, Acharya is classically educated in archaeology, history, mythology, and languages. Her formal training includes a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin and Marshall College. She also attended the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in Greece.

Acharya served briefly as a fellow of The Council for Secular Humanism’s Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER)."

http://truthbeknown.com/author.htm

“…she speaks, reads and/or writes English, Greek, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and a smattering of other languages to varying degrees.” (and she taught herself to read hieroglyphics for her book Christ in Egypt so that she could compare how earlier scholars had translated them.)

If that still isn't good enough, here are some other scholars whose work supports the mythicist theory: Arthur Drews, Earl Doherty, Harold Liedner, Robert Price, Thomas Thompson, George Wells, Randel Helms, Alan Dundes, Erid Hornung, Richard Carrier.

Jim Lippard said...

Marmalade: You left out G.A. Wells.

My argument isn't that there is no scholarly support for mythicism, though that is clearly a minority position. Richard Carrier is at work on a new book that will look at the evidence that favors historicity and the evidence that favors myth, and it looks like it will be a good book. That would be a much better book to read than Acharya S's, I believe.

Marmalade said...

Your argument may not be "that there is no scholarly support for mythicism", but you seem to present yourself as being more critical of it than not.

I usually don't care about what people say about Acharya, but I happen to be reading her latest book right now. I feel compelled to respond to blogs sometimes because I've noticed an inverse relationship between how much someone knows about Acharya's work and how accepting they are of it.

R.M. Price is a very respectable scholar who was originally critical of Acharya, but changed his mind. He has even written a foreword to one of her books. Price, along with Doherty, has written positive reviews of her books and have cited her in their own work.

Carrier and Acharya have a dispute about the Luxor inscription (which she writes about in Christ In Egypt). In case you want to explore the Luxor debate, here is the view of Acharya:

http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/luxor.html

And the view of Doherty (scroll down):

http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/supp13D.htm

But for some reason Carrier hasn't responded to Acharya's published criticism. I've heard that, despite his criticisms, he hasn't read any of Acharya's books.

I'd love to read a book by him where he actually engages Acharya's arguments and evidence. He is a mythicist as far as I understand, but I don't know his theories beyond reading some of his blogs. I'm going to be watching closely Carrier's and Price's participation in the Jesus Project.

By the way, mythicism isn't limited to seeking support from 19th century sources or mid 20th century scholarship about the mystery schools. It's just mainstream New Testament studies is behind the times (hopefully the Jesus Project will remedy this). The idea that cultures borrow from eachother and share common motifs isn't controversial in other fields outside of New Testament studies.

- If you look at modern Egyptology, you'll find many of the parallels (so much in fact that Acharya wrote a nearly 600 pg book about just the Egyptian connections, about 40 pgs being bibliography). And, in the first half of the book I've read so far, she doesn't say much about mystery schools.

- If you want to find even more mainstream evidence for mythicism, then you'll need to look at comparative mythologists who can be found in many fields besides religious studies (folklore, anthropology, history, linguistics). Folklore is interesting. I've read about explanations of how fictional stories arise very quickly without an original historical figure, and also how quickly folklore can come to be considered history. None of this necessitates borrowing from other cultures.

- Further evidence (related to astrotheology) can be found in archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy (which mostly can be found in the fields of archaeology and ethnology).

Websites, Wikipedia and Encyclopedias aren't the best sources of info beyond generalities. I agree this same criticism applies to popular media such as Zeitgeist. This is why one should read the actual work of scholars (which includes Acharya).

Jim Lippard said...

You are correct that I am more critical of the mythicist position. The most comprehensive mythicist arguments I've read are those of G.A. Wells, and I don't find them compelling. I look forward to reading Carrier's book, but I don't have plans to read others on the topic at the moment; ultimately, it's not a topic of great concern to me.

My main critique of Zeitgeist and Acharya S. is its dependence upon Theosophical pseudo-scholarship about Egyptian myth from Massey, Kuhn, et al., and I haven't seen anything from you to allay that concern. Has Acharya S. published anything in a professional journal of Egyptology, or has her work been positively reviewed by anyone in that field? Does she have any relevant credentials in the field? If not, why should her work be given any weight?

lebohang said...

hi, i am currently studying architecture and thus having to watch the film, there is some questions left unanswered by the u.s. gov. in the manner in which the buildings fell(especially building 7. In terms of 9/11, i quite agree with the movie based on my research and understanding on structures and i think the gov must make an enquiry about this matter.

Jim Lippard said...

lebohang: What questions do you think are unanswered about the WTC building collapses?

Have you read, e.g., Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theories and Controlled Demolition's commentary on WTC7? Or 9/11 Myth's commentary on WTC7?

Jim Lippard said...

BTW, there WAS a governmental inquiry on the building collapses, which yielded a lengthy NIST report and NIST website. Have you read it?

Ktisophilos said...

Proof that burning fuel can soften steel until it bends and a structure collapses. Where has this video been the past 7½ years? 11-9 conspiracists beware!

Discovery Channel Videos: Destroyed in Seconds: Tanker Truck Inferno

Billy said...

One of the biggest problems I have with Zeitgeist debunker claims is they often make even more unfounded claims than the movie itself.

I'm only bothering to post to this blog because it seems to have at least some indication that claims should be supported by evidence.

While I'm no deep scholar on world religions or Christianity, a few things jump out at me.

Jesus was either a real man or a fabricated myth. Jesus was not the son of god. There is simply no scientifically provable evidence for the existence of god, much less that he had a son named jesus, and that the way to heaven is by accepting jesus as your personal savior. All of that is completely fabricated BS.

If Jesus was a fabricated myth, then the claims of Zeitgeist part 1, while possibly exaggerated or stretched for comparison (i.e. the Horus comparison), aren't too far off at least in one sense. If he was a myth, then undoubtedly stories of his life were grabbed from various older mythologies from other belief systems or stories.

If Jesus was real, then why is there so little written about him outside of the bible? Far more is known about Archimedes, Plato, Pythagoras, etc even though they lived long before Jesus. ACTUAL writings from those men can be found, and references of their books and sayings can be found in many other author's writings.

If Jesus is real, then what mythology supports his otherwise quite mortal existence? Is it possible for a human virgin birth outside of artificial insemination? Is there really evidence that he brought back to life a dead man? Did he really feed thousands of people with 2 fish and a few loaves of bread? Did he really walk on water? Did he rise from the dead? The unequivocal answer to all of those questions (and thousands of others) is a resounding NO. So while it may be cute and quaint to debunk Zeitgeist part 1, its rather disingenuous in the scheme of things since BILLIONS of people buy into the real propaganda device, the bible, the Koran, and the associated religious structures that back up those religions. That 50 million people may have watched zeitgeist and a few percent of them believe it wholely, puts it as far less of an insult to reality than the major religions themselves, for which billions of people are believers.

The astronomy portions of zeitgeist part 1 are very accurate, with only a couple of minor distortions. For example as a poster above noted, Orion's belt and Sirius are always in the same line, not only at Dec 25th. The zodiac has been known in roughly its present form for thousands of years. The definitions of 'age' are completely correct, and are correctly attributed to the 26,000 year wobble that the earth has on its axis... something ancient peoples were very aware of. The sun had premiere importance to every single culture on earth, with the moon being very important as well. The planets were also important, and the stars through which the planets passed were also important .... the stars in the zodiac. Most world cultures DID personify/anthropomorphise the stars in terms of worldly things they were familiar with.
(continued)

Billy said...

(continuing from above)

The Dec 25th birthdate is given a lot of importance by the movie and by the debunkers. The whole point is that eventually the church designated dec 25th as the date of the birth of christ, even if that wasn't the 'real' birthdate. Why would the church do this? Why so close to the winter solstice? If it was merely a choice of convenience, what does that say about the rest of the information told by the Church regarding christianity? Is it all a choice of convenience as well?

http://christianity.about.com/od/faqhelpdesk/qt/whyeasterchange.htm
"Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox." This statement was true prior to 325 AD; however, over the course of history (beginning in 325 AD with the Council of Nicea), the Western Church decided to established a more standardized system for determining the date of Easter.

Interestingly easter was historically determined by 2 astronomical events ... the vernal equinox (important for planting crops), and the first full moon afterwards (unimportant except for performing tasks at night). So even if you discount Dec 25th as the birthdate of Christ because thats not what it 'originally was', you have to simultaneously ignore that easter is fundamentally tied into 2 astronomical events because thats what it 'originally was'.

Zeitgeist part 1 may be riddled with innaccuracies and falacies. But why are the debunkers wasting their time on Zeitgeist instead of debunking the bible, the Church, and the vast majority of the world's religions? Surely several billion people believing in magic and invisible all-powerful beings is more dangerous to the sanity of the human condition than a few hundred thousand people lured into belief by an internet movie.

Billy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Lippard said...

Billy:

I deleted your duplicate post, which appeared to be the same as part one of the two parts.

There are lots of good critiques of Christianity, and it clearly is a syncretistic religion, picking up elements of other religions even today. But Zeitgeist isn't one of them.

You ask why pick on Zeitgeist rather than the Bible--I ask, why choose one or the other, rather than both? I believe we should always be willing to criticize misinformation and error, even if--and perhaps especially if--it is used to promote an idea we otherwise agree with.

Jim Lippard said...

Billy: You began by saying "One of the biggest problems I have with Zeitgeist debunker claims is they often make even more unfounded claims than the movie itself."

Please provide evidence to support this assertion. If you're talking about religious defenders of the Bible responding to part 1 of the film, I find that within the realm of plausibility, but Zeitgeist makes an awful lot of unfounded claims in a short space of time...

Billy said...

Mr. Lippard,

As I indicated, yours is one of the ONLY debunkings I have seen with any real meat behind it. So that comment of mine was not directed at your site, but at all of the other 1,000 "debunking" sites which are less credible than the film itself.

I only ran into your blog yesterday (because of this topic) and took a liking to most of your blog entries, so I may continue to peruse this blog. I see that you in fact do take on lots of topics, so I agree, lets take on ALL of the pseudo-information out there.

:)

Jim Lippard said...

Billy: Thanks for the clarification and the compliment.

Vincent Harrison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Lippard said...

Comment from Vincent Harrison (profile http://www.blogger.com/profile/02571004784757870370):

Wow, I just have to say something here - this blog reads like the trash put out by Christian extremist keith "truth" on youtube. Bringing up Blavatsky (cited only once in ZG) and theosophy (wisdom of god) and all the trash talk about 18th/19th century writers like Gerald Massey who, if you knew his work, was actually quite peer reviewed by some of the most highly credentialed Egyptologists of his day.

Citing "GreNME" alone is enough to ruin all credibility here - a guy who goes around maliciously trashing ZG and Acharya S at every opportunity posting what he thinks is her real name in every internet forum possible enabling stalkers (like what you've done here). Even though she has never used that name. And even worse is this blog is cited by Richard Carrier - which is how I found it.

I notice you posted that crap from Tim Callahan but failed to post Acharya's/Murdock's response to it demonstrating his utter lack of knowledge on these issues. Her response should be included in Skeptic magazines next issue. I hope people contact them and demand it.

Skeptic Mangles ZEITGEIST
(and Religious History) (link http://stellarhousepublishing.com/skeptic-zeitgeist.html)

All one has to do is read the Q & A at the Zeitgeist website to see how ZG came into existence:

"Zeitgeist came into existence as a personal project which was shown in New York as a free public awareness expression. After the event was over, "The Movie" was tossed online with little thought given to a public response. Within a month, the film was getting record views. Months later, the "Final Edition" was completed. In total, the views for "Zeitgeist, The Movie" have exceeded 50,000,000 on Google video alone. Considering the other posts in different formats, along with public screenings, it is estimated that the total world views are well over 100 Million."

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/q&a.htm

So it was never intended to be a scholarly documentary in the 1st place.

Richard Carrier's criticisms of Acharya S/Murdock's work has been quite egregious & sloppy for example:

"However, in "skimming" Brunner's text, as he puts it, Carrier has mistakenly dealt with the substantially different Hatshepsut text (Brunner's "IV D"), demonstrating an egregious error in garbling the cycles, when in fact we are specifically interested in the Luxor narrative (IV L)....."

Luxor (link http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/luxor.html)

But nobody has the balls chew Carrier out for this poor research. It's like it's okay to bash and smear Acharya S/Murdock no matter how inaccurate your claims are. He should be held to the fire for that. Her work is far better than he claims - that's probably because he has never actually read anything by her. Her book "Christ in Egypt" in the best book on the subject I've ever seen. She also makes the best case for the mythicist position I've ever seen too. Those who attack her have much to answer for and owe her an apology for all the malicious smears. She's had positive feed back from Earl Doherty, Dr. Price and many others.

Christ in Egypt; The Horus-Jesus Connection (link http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/christinegypt.html)

Jim Lippard said...

Vincent: Massey and the "Egyptologists of his day" couldn't even read hieroglyphics.

D.M. Murdock is currently posting on Examiner.com under her own name as a "Freethought Examiner," and her bio says that she's Acharya S. Are you just complaining that we've pointed out that the "D" stands for "Dorothy"?

BTW, her bio there also states, without qualification, that her work was used in Zeitgeist--apparently she is proud of her connection to a shoddy piece of work.

You state that Doherty and Price have "given her positive feedback," but you don't quote it and they aren't referenced at the link you give, which is a promotional website.

I remain unaware of any positive reviews of her work by anyone with any credentials in the field, nor of any evidence that she has any credentials in the field or is even able to read hieroglyphics herself.

If you know of any such evidence, let me know.

By the way, I see that you are an Internet marketer who does search engine optimization. I suspect that you posted your comment with multiple links to sites promoting Acharya S works because you've been hired to do so. I'm not a big fan of that, so I've deleted and reposted your comment with the links visible, but not live. For anyone wanting to follow those links, sorry about the inconvenience.

Vincent Harrison said...

Thanks Jim Lippard for demonstrating your pure hatred of Acharya/ Murdock & utter fear that someone might actually read a link to her site. Are you really so afraid that others will notice all the smears and lies thrown her way are just that? Rest assured that I'm not an "Internet marketer" - I tried it and moved on. I have absolutely no idea where you got the notion that I do "search engine optimization" and your assumption that I've been hired by her is utterly bogus - just more of the same inaccurate garbage you keep posting on your site. Did you ever consider that I may actually own her books and know for fact that the trash being thrown her way is inaccurate or completely false? Just because one tries to set the record straight doesn't mean they've been hired to do so. This type of treatment towards other freethinkers is an embarrassment for all freethinkers. Who needs intellectual enemies when so-called "freethinkers" are so willing to cannibalize their own? It's despicable.

jim "Massey and the "Egyptologists of his day" couldn't even read hieroglyphics."

Actually:

"Massey was fortunate enough to live during an exciting time when Egyptology was in its heyday, with the discovery in 1799 of the Rosetta Stone and the subsequent decipherment of hieroglyphs in 1822 by Champollion..." - Christ in Egypt (CIE) 13

Massey's work was peer reviewed by some of the most highly credentialed Egyptologists of his day which is detailed in CIE beginning on page 13. The notion that Egyptologists couldn't read hieroglyphs during Massey's day is false as Champollion's decipherment of hieroglyphs in 1822 was 6 years prior the Massey's BIRTH! You seemed to know absolutely nothing about the subject, but here you are blabbering with a bunch of inaccuracies and lies. You really need to stop, because as you are WRONG about Massey and about my occupation, you are wrong about Acharya's work - you haven't even read it, have you? Just repeating trash from a bunch of Christian fundamentalists, without ever going to the source - what great scholarship! And Richard Carrier links to this absolute crap? How utterly embarrassing. You should all be raked over the coals for this disgusting tripe.

Jim "Are you just complaining that we've pointed out that the "D" stands for "Dorothy"?"

Does it really? And you know this how? It has never come from her because she has never used that name. You got it from malicious people like GrenMe whose real name is John Lieske

Jim "BTW, her bio there also states, without qualification, that her work was used in Zeitgeist--apparently she is proud of her connection to a shoddy piece of work"

More false assumptions - she only vouches for what came from her own work in part 1 and nothing else. You say it's "shoddy," when it's quite obvious you don't know the subject matter very well - and in your own incredibly SHODDY rubbish here you haven't studied her work but are just parroting others who also don't know what they're talking about - good job!

Jim "I remain unaware of any positive reviews of her work by anyone with any credentials in the field, nor of any evidence that she has any credentials in the field or is even able to read hieroglyphics herself."

Thanks for admitting that you don't know her work at all, haven't been following it, and haven't read the book that specifically deals with claims in Zeitgeist, i.e., "Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection." Your comments above reflect your utter ignorance of her work, and here you are pretending to know all about it. Talk about SHODDY WORK!

It looks like I'll have to make two posts...CONTINUED

Vincent Harrison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Lippard said...

Vincent's part two, with active links replaced with references:

Continued 2

Jim "You state that Doherty and Price have "given her positive feedback," but you don't quote it and they aren't referenced at the link you give, which is a promotional website."

It's not hard to find:

Starting here with Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ (http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/whowasjesus1.html) you'll see a number of credentialed folks giving their thoughts on that book such as, Dr. Price (who wrote the FOREWORD):

"I've known people with triple Ph.D's who haven't come close to the scholarship here...I think I've read every popular alternative theory about Jesus that has come down the pike--with Who Was Jesus I was very impressed.
- Pastor David Bruce, M.Div

Robert H. Eisenman, Ph.D and,

"Thirty years ago, when in divinity school, I might have had second thoughts about becoming an Episcopal priest if a book like D. M. Murdock's Who Was Jesus? had been available to me.

Murdock's book, probably the best of this genre - written with clarity, precision, and conviction - unpacks most of the nonsense and mythology surrounding the ancient Hebrew figure called Jesus and presents a compelling picture of a mythological amalgam to counter most of the misinformation and wishful-thinking that passes for Christian apologetics today.

- Bob Semes, Retired university professor of History and Religion Founder and Executive Director of The Jefferson Center

At her Companion Guide to ZEITGEIST, Part 1 (http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/zeitgeist.html) there's a comment by Robert Schoch, Ph.D.

"We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book will help bring that about."

- Earl Doherty, in a review of Acharya's "Christ Conspiracy"
http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/BkrvTCC.htm

And much more.

The fact remains that what you've posted in your blog that supposedly debunks Zeitgeist part 1 is trash, demonstrably so, and Acharya's response to the Callahan article is a prime example:

Skeptic Mangles ZEITGEIST
(and Religious History)

The hatred and knee-jerk reactions to Acharya/Murdock's work needs to stop. It just smells of jealousy.

Jim Lippard said...

Vincent: I don't see that you've responded with any of the evidence I said I was unaware of (the "field" I referred to was Egyptology). Schoch has some highly controversial theories about the Sphinx, but isn't an Egyptologist, he's a geologist/geophysicist. It's interesting that some of those quotes--like Doherty's--look rather non-committal about the quality of her work.

Murdock has a Bachelor's of Liberal Arts in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin and Marshall College. Does she have any peer-reviewed publications in any relevant field? Has she presented her work to any professional conferences of her peers?

It doesn't appear that you've actually responded to any of the points at issue.

Jim Lippard said...

Vincent: Let's be clear--this is a review of Zeitgeist, not Acharya S's work, which I haven't read and have no inclination to do so based on what I've seen about her online, including from you and her own websites. The "shoddy work" referred to was Zeitgeist--which is indeed shoddy. Much of Acharya S's response to Tim Callahan is a complaint that he reviewed the "wrong version" of Zeitgeist, which appears to be a concession that many of his points were correct criticisms of that version.

I got the idea that you were an Internet Marketer from your own Blogger profile, which you've now deleted.

I accept your correction of my mistake about Massey's time vs. hieroglyphics; however, he, Higgins, and Kuhn, like Harpur and Murdock, were all amateurs whose work is not seen as credible by experts in Egyptology. (Cf. this critique of Harpur--the last comment is also worth reading.)

Xavier Frost said...

I am not agreeing with anyone but i will say...

I think it is hysterical that anyone can say Zeitgeist has no proof to back it up but christianity has proof someone walked on water, made water into wine, died and came back from the dead, show me the evidence besides a book..

All knowledge is taken second hand, passed from 1 person to the next orally or written. Unless you were actually there, no one can account for the truth.

There for it is based on faith.. which is not scientific at all. Sources can be bent, broken and misinterpreted.

That goes for both Zeitgeist and Christianity.

The main point everyone is miss is that something is wrong in our government and you if you are totally happy being spied on and losing your liberties then thats fine.. but not me

I dont know anything about banking so i wont even go ito that but

Now if someone wants to argue 911...I was there working at the pentagon.. lets have it out..

I worked in it for months moving things from the slice that was hit by the "plane" into a new slice. We installed all the Fiber Optical systems in it.

The one that was hit was empty and under construction.. do you know what the odds are of that..

6am Sept 11th my crew was called and told not to go to the Pentagon but to report to the Regan national trade center for now reason..there was no work there..

Tell me why my government contract would tell me that when we didnt know it was going to happen..

As for the world trade centers..NO Building has ever collapsed due to a fire.. EVER.. all you have to do..go see for youself..

You can go buy steel from any local manufacturer.. then.. i want you to ask them how hot it has to be to melt it.. which is 3000 degrees..

Then tell me why here: http://www.ae911truth.org/ architects and Engineers are arguing that it is impossible

Or even better yet go find one.. go to a local building engineer and ask is it possible for those 3 buildings..dont forget building 7 to collapse due to fire..

Jim Lippard said...

Xavier:

"I think it is hysterical that anyone can say Zeitgeist has no proof to back it up but christianity has proof someone walked on water, made water into wine, died and came back from the dead, show me the evidence besides a book.."

No one here is making that argument.

"All knowledge is taken second hand, passed from 1 person to the next orally or written. Unless you were actually there, no one can account for the truth."

No, that doesn't follow. First-hand evidence is not the only way to obtain truth, and sometimes people farther removed from events are in a better position to determine the truth than eyewitnesses. Eyewitness evidence is actually often poor evidence.

[...]

"The main point everyone is miss is that something is wrong in our government and you if you are totally happy being spied on and losing your liberties then thats fine.. but not me"

A legitimate concern, but not one that provides any support for Zeitgeist's particular claims.

[...]

"The one that was hit was empty and under construction.. do you know what the odds are of that.."

Empty--no, since people were killed in it. The odds? What do you think the odds were?

"6am Sept 11th my crew was called and told not to go to the Pentagon but to report to the Regan national trade center for now reason..there was no work there..

Tell me why my government contract would tell me that when we didnt know it was going to happen.."

You didn't bother asking to find out why there was no work? You think the best explanation is that a government conspiracy that killed thousands of people wanted for some reason to spare a few contractors?

"As for the world trade centers..NO Building has ever collapsed due to a fire.. EVER.. all you have to do..go see for youself.."

Definitely not true. There's even a 1988 book titled _Collapse of Burning Buildings: A Guide to Fireground Safety_. The NIST reports on the WTC building collapses have already been cited previously in the comments.

"You can go buy steel from any local manufacturer.. then.. i want you to ask them how hot it has to be to melt it.. which is 3000 degrees.."

And then ask how hot it has to be to *weaken* it, which is all that's necessary.

"Then tell me why here: http://www.ae911truth.org/ architects and Engineers are arguing that it is impossible"

Lack of proper investigation, poor reasoning, and the same reasons that people deny the Holocaust, evolution, and the efficacy of vaccinations. I see a lot of people on there claiming it had to have been an explosive demolition--where are the explosive demolition experts who think it looked like an explosive demolition?

"Or even better yet go find one.. go to a local building engineer and ask is it possible for those 3 buildings..dont forget building 7 to collapse due to fire.."

Top experts' opinions are represented in the NIST reports.

Jim Lippard said...

Robert M. Price's opinion of Acharya S.'s work doesn't seem that favorable. He wrote a quite negative review of _The Christ Conspiracy_ that he has, for some reason, removed from his website, but which is available via the Internet archive.

A few quotes:

"We hope our scholarly arguments will be evaluated on their own merits. And so it causes us chagrin to be lumped together with certain writers with whom we share the Christ Myth but little else. For instance, recently I was interviewed on local television on the subject of my book Deconstructing Jesus. The host recommended the book to viewers along with Earl Doherty’s masterful The Jesus Puzzle and Acharya S’s The Christ Conspiracy, a work utterly unknown to me. I got a copy and read it for myself, and immediately I cringed, realizing that skeptics and freethinkers might, as apparently the television host did, regard my book and The Christ Conspiracy as interchangeable polemical weapons. The latter would confirm my suspicion that such people are no more discriminating than their mirror-opposites, the fundamentalist apologists, and are interested in any book, any argument, well- or ill-founded, that appears useful in the service of one’s (religious or antireligious) cause."

"It will surprise no one that a book which uses words like “plagiarize” and “pilfer” to describe biblical borrowings from ancient mythology and castigates all the early Christian theologians as “psychotics” pure and simple will turn out to be sophomoric. That is not to say it does not offer the reader a wealth of fascinating information, but this is all second-hand."

"Murdock’s book, a rehash of points from these books, shares their faults as well as their virtues. Writing at second hand, she is too quick to state as bald-faced fact what turn out to be, once one chases down her sources, either wild speculations or complex inferences from a chain of complicated data open to many interpretations. And sometimes she swallows their fanciful etymologies like so many shiny goldfish at a frat party. Worse yet, she just goofs here and there and betrays a lack of ability to weigh evidential claims."

"We sometimes feel, in these pages, to be lost in a forest of false cognates. Can it be true, for instance, that “Solomon” is a trilingual synthesis of words for “the sun”? Sol from Latin, Om from Sanskrit, On from Ethiopic. This conceit she derives from John Hazelrigg. Elsewhere she endorses a contradictory theory, from the same writer, that Solomon is instead derived from Suleyman (=universal emperor), a Persian title. It is symptomatic of the “kettle logic” that permeates this book: any argument is good, whether or not consistent with the others in the arsenal, as long as they are all aimed at the same target."

(1/2)

Jim Lippard said...

(2/2):

"Murdock is quite correct in alleging that originally the Satan figure of the Bible was not a villain (no secret to anyone familiar with mainstream biblical studies; she writes as if there is only fundamentalism to deal with). But to support this point she notes that “In Dutch, a Lucifer is a match, a purely utilitarian object that brings light and fire” (p. 229), as if this were relevant linguistic evidence."

"Were the Druids really Buddhists? Godfrey Higgins thought so. He was a nineteenth century occultist who in his double volume Anacalypsis: The Saitic Isis ventured his own counterpart to Madame Blavatsky’s two two-parters, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, compendia of esoterica and wild etymology. Here and in another work, The Celtic Druids, he makes this identification, highly dubious to say the least, but apodictically laid down by Ms. Murdock."

"She seems to be impatient of scholarly niceties like evidence and inference."

"Unlike Malina, however, Murdock seems to uphold astrology as the true faith, long obscured by Christian belief. In fact, though much of the book would have read the same had it been written by an old-time Rationalist, even a village atheist, what we have here is really a case of what might be called “Aquarian skepticism.” Orthodox Christianity is chopped down so that other trees may stand higher."

"But it gets much, much weirder even than that. One begins looking for Rod Serling, if one has not already, when we start, in the last chapters, reading bits and pieces drawn from James Churchward, promoter of the imaginary lost continent of Mu, Charles Berlitz, apologist for sunken Atlantis, Zechariah Sitchen, advocate of flying saucers in ancient Akkadia, and of course all that stuff about the maps of the ancient sea kings. We have already seen how Murdock quotes theosophical scholars who sketch in all of world mythology as the cradle of Christian mythology. Murdock agrees, and her theory, derived from various pyramidologists and other occultists, is that there was a highly advanced worldwide culture millions of years ago, and that their religion and mythology spread all over the world, surviving not only in the form of Krishna crucifixes but even of Pygmy and South Sea Islander versions of Adam and Eve, Noah, etc."

And the conclusion:

"The Christ Conspiracy is a random bag of (mainly recycled) eccentricities, some few of them worth considering, most dangerously shaky, many outright looney. If one has the time, it is fun trying to sort them out. But no one whose disquiet with traditional Christian faith is based on solid fact or credible theorizing will want to recommend this book, much less appeal to it as justification for one’s own doubts."

Vincent Harrison said...

Jim Lippard "Robert M. Price's opinion of Acharya S.'s work doesn't seem that favorable. He wrote a quite negative review of _The Christ Conspiracy_ that he has, for some reason, removed from his website, but which is available via the Internet archive."

Thanks for proving my point once again, bringing up that old review which was removed by Dr. Price himself years ago because he no longer stands by it is just the same dishonest vitriol against Acharya/Murdock I've been talking about. It's disingenuous to keep posting that trash. He's written the foreword to her book WWJ and written positive reviews of her works since then. All you're doing is demonstrating your own level of utter dishonesty you are willing to stoop to smear.

Here's Dr. Prices review of "Suns of God" making comments such as:

"I know Acharya has given me many new questions and much to think about. That was true of her first book and equally true of this one. I do not mind acknowledging her as my teacher as well."

"I must confess I never heard of this important essay until I read Acharya's own discussion of it! I owe her that, too."

Or here:

Bone-Box No Proof of Jesus

"(NB: This article was published in a three-part series in the magazine Secular Nation, at the suggestion of Dr. Robert Price, who called the series "fine articles." Secular Nation had never published a three-part article before.)"
http://www.truthbeknown.com/ossuary.htm

Or here is a radio show Dr. Price & Acharya did together on the Infidel Guy Show

"Acharya S and Dr. Bob Price - Examining the Historicity of The Bible"
http://infidelguy.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=175503

"Dr. Robert Price and Acharya S on Infidel Guy"
http://tbknews.blogspot.com/2006/08/dr-robert-price-and-acharya-s-on.html

And the concept that Dr. Price has written the foreword to her book "Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ" seems impossible for you to grasp.

Dr. Price has demonstrated his maturity by getting over his jealousy of Acharya/Murdock. Maybe it's time you do the same.

Jim Lippard, what exactly are your qualifications and credentials? What languages do you read, write &/or speak? Where is your inerrant scholarly masterpiece?

Vincent Harrison said...

p.s. I asked for your qualifications & credentials - I know you have a Ph D. I was obviously asking for your relevant qualifications & credentials you have in the subject of religion and languages.

Jim "I don't see that you've responded with any of the evidence I said I was unaware of..."

Yes, I did. I gave you quotes from Dr. Price, Doherty and others highly respected and credentialed. If you went to the link to her book "Christ in Egypt" you'd see the list of highly respected Egyptologists utilized. The book, CIE is still fairly new and is nearly 600 pages with over 2,400 footnote/citations and over 900 bibliographical references so, reviews for such a scholarly work take time.
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/christinegypt.html

Jim "Let's be clear--this is a review of Zeitgeist, not Acharya S's work, which I haven't read and have no inclination to"

Yes, I know this is about Zeitgeist but the smears and inaccuracies concerning Acharya/Murdock are so pathetic that they needed to be addressed.

Jim "Much of Acharya S's response to Tim Callahan is a complaint that he reviewed the "wrong version" of Zeitgeist"

LOL, that's all huh? Geeez, how low can ya go? She demonstrated his ignorance on these issues quite handily.

Skeptic Mangles ZEITGEIST
(and Religious History)
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/skeptic-zeitgeist.html

Thanks for this link there are some interesting articles there
http://www.examiner.com/x-17009-Freethought-Examiner

Jim "The "shoddy work" referred to was Zeitgeist--which is indeed shoddy."

I've never even attempted to vouch for all of Zeitgeist - it's not necessary. The knee-jerk reactions to it are the issues of those having those knee-jerk reactions. The creator of Zeitgeist didn't take the movie as serious as you do. You & others who have such strong reactions are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

All one has to do is read the Q & A at the Zeitgeist website to see how ZG came into existence:

"Zeitgeist came into existence as a personal project which was shown in New York as a free public awareness expression. After the event was over, "The Movie" was tossed online with little thought given to a public response. Within a month, the film was getting record views. Months later, the "Final Edition" was completed. In total, the views for "Zeitgeist, The Movie" have exceeded 50,000,000 on Google video alone. Considering the other posts in different formats, along with public screenings, it is estimated that the total world views are well over 100 Million."

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/q&a.htm

Nevertheless, the trash thrown Acharya's way is dishonest and unnecessary. It speaks more about the jealousy and misogyny than it does her work. As pointed out in a review by David Mills author of of Atheist Universe:

"D.M. Murdock/Acharya S, like all authors on controversial subjects, has many critics. But they all share one commonality: They don't know what they're talking about. Murdock understands many languages and has a breadth of knowledge her critics cannot match. This fact irks the uninformed. Having given a fair hearing to some of her online detractors and their "rebuttal" videos, I have detected not only a lack of knowledge on the part of her critics, but also, in some cases, a thinly disguised misogyny."
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/david-mills-wwj.html

CONTINUED...

Vincent Harrison said...

Continued 2 ...

As a freethinker, I enjoy Carrier's arguments against theism but I just have to reiterate my utter disgust with Richard Carrier and his attitude toward Acharya/Murdock's work - he claims to be so interested in historical accuracy regarding these religious issues yet he constantly inaccurately portrays Acharya/Murdock's work even though he's never actually read it - and nobody holds his feet to the fire for it. He inspires others like Rook/tom to smear her without ever actually reading her work as well. Now you (Jim Lippard) are doing the same - what kind of sloppy influence is Carrier having here? I've lost trust and respect for Carrier because of this intellectual dishonesty. He really needs to pay for all this - Carrier owes Acharya/Murdock an apology.

Acharya/ Murdock has never said a single bad thing about Carrier or Rook/tom or anybody else even though they (and others) constantly smear her and misrepresent her work. I find the fact none of you have the integrity and character to hold them responsible for it utterly despicable. It's like as long as it's Acharya/Murdock it's okay to trash, smear, libel and defame her and be as intellectually dishonest, inaccurate and sloppy as you want to be. It's all just RAMPANT with jealousy and misogyny. You're all so brave dishonestly piling-on a single female who's works none of you have ever read. How intellectually dishonest can you possibly be? it's just cannibalism.

Jim Lippard said...

There may well be merit to Murdock's work--I haven't read it and am relying on the opinions of others. I'll have to ask Price about why he took down that review--it seems to make some pretty damning points about what that book actually says. Does she think there's merit to astrology's validity, or just that astrology is important for understanding what ancient cultures believed? The latter is plausible, while the former is not.

You still haven't provided any evidence of support from Egyptologists, nor rejoinders to the specific points of criticism made in the original post of part 1 of Zeitgeist, other than to say that its reliance on Murdock's work is not a reason to fault it.

I'm willing to accept that Christianity took some elements from Egyptian myth (as it did from multiple religions and myths, as did Judaism before it), though I'm somewhat skeptical that Egyptian was the primary source, as Harpur and Murdock appear to be arguing, and the specific parallel to Horus looks

My credentials on this subject aren't particularly relevant, since I've not claimed to be an expert in the field--I'm not. I have taken courses in Latin, ancient (Homeric) Greek, formation of the Christian tradition, and ancient Greek philosophy.

BTW, I do not yet have a Ph.D., though I am in a Ph.D. program. Part of my area of study is looking at how we determine what are reliable sources of information on the Internet, which I think is a matter of fallible heuristics which can generally do a pretty good job of evaluation.

Vincent Harrison said...

Jim "Does she think there's merit to astrology's validity, or just that astrology is important for understanding what ancient cultures believed?"

Her work is actually more about astronomy than astrology. Here's an article titled,
Astrotheology of the Ancients
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/astrotheology.html

Jim "You still haven't provided any evidence of support from Egyptologists, nor rejoinders to the specific points of criticism made in the original post of part 1 of Zeitgeist, other than to say that its reliance on Murdock's work is not a reason to fault it."

The "rejoinder" would be a 600 page book with nearly 2,400 footnotes/citations and over 900 bibliographical expert/scholarly references from a large variety of backgrounds specifically because the issues are so contentious, called "Christ in Egypt: The Horus Jesus Connection" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_ZmsRUmuWU&feature=channel_page

She now has 5 books totaling over 2,100 pages of text, over 300 images, over 5,700 footnotes/citations to over 1,600 bibliographical references.

And I shared the link providing a list of highly respected Egyptologists utilized in CIE. You're free to canvas Egyptologists at your own expense or you can donate the money to send them all a copy of CIE. Or at least shoot them an e-mail asking them to review the book.

Nevertheless, It's time for people to stop repeating the smears and lies of others who also haven't read the work of Acharya S/Murdock. They're simply too lazy to do the research for themselves. If one hasn't studied her work then they're simply not qualified to pass authoritative judgments. Those opinions are lacking integrity and are in fact intellectually dishonest. This type of despicable behavior is as depraved as religious fanatics. Again, it's an utter embarrassment to all freethinkers everywhere.

Here's a general response to ZG1 criticisms
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_9ZyddjaM4&feature=related

http://tbknews.blogspot.com/2008/04/zeitgeist-refuted-not.html

And, of course, the response to that crappy Callahan article:

Skeptic Mangles ZEITGEIST
(and Religious History)
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/skeptic-zeitgeist.html

Here are the FAQ's at her forum
http://forums.truthbeknown.com/viewtopic.php?t=1149&start=0

Jim "I'm willing to accept that Christianity took some elements from Egyptian myth (as it did from multiple religions and myths, as did Judaism before it), though I'm somewhat skeptical that Egyptian was the primary source, as Harpur and Murdock appear to be arguing, and the specific parallel to Horus looks"

"Over a century ago, renowned British Egyptologist Sir Dr. E.A. Wallis Budge (1857-1934), a Keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum, as well as a confessed Christian, remarked that a study tracing the "influence of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and mythology on Christianity" would "fill a comparatively large volume." Since Dr. Budge's time, for a variety of reasons, including the seemingly irreconcilable academic gap between historians and theologians, no one has taken up the call to produce such a volume—until now...."

- Christ in Egypt, Preface
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/ciepreface.html

Jim "My credentials on this subject aren't particularly relevant, since I've not claimed to be an expert in the field--I'm not. I have taken courses in Latin, ancient (Homeric) Greek, formation of the Christian tradition, and ancient Greek philosophy."

Okay, so you're not any kind of authority on any of these issues concerning religion. With your experience, to whatever degree, in Latin and Greek, you should be able to appreciate the level of her scholarship even more so.
http://www.truthbeknown.com/author.htm

Jim "I do not yet have a Ph.D., though I am in a Ph.D. program..."

All the best to you on that.

peace

Jim Lippard said...

Vincent: I think you misunderstood me on one point. I wasn't asking for evidence that she cites legitimate authorities in Egyptology, but rather evidence that her work is considered credible by legitimate authorities in Egyptology. The former can be answered by the sort of evidence you referenced, but not the latter.

Question said...

hi jim and everyone. i am totally new to this. i just watched the second zeitgeist and i think the fairest comment to make is that it is thought-provoking. i've read through your comments jim and i've also read through all the posts made thereafter. my first impression is that i'm totally out of my league in the 'facts' department here. i hesitated posting my comments for fear of being intellectually bashed! the common theme seems to be facts facts facts facts. ok, that's commendable in one sense. but in another sense, in looking so heavily into the external facts we miss the more important internal facts. the only 'fact' i can be certain of is the following: i am unhappy. most of the people i know are either unhappy or unaware that they are unhappy. it's not the times that i am with my friends that i am unhappy its the other 95% of the time that i am economically forced to do things i would never naturally do. most of the jobs are so specialized that we must literally numb our minds and souls in order to adhere to our career responsibilities. it seems to me that something is inherently wrong with the system. you don't have to be a genius to look around and see that crime and greedy nature is born of the inequality of the system. what would an intellectually gifted person like yourself recommend we do to ensure the improved happiness of the masses? because it seems to me that nothing is more practical than happiness. my question i guess is of a philosophical nature which digresses from the nature of this thread but i don't feel that that makes it irrelevant. my 'ignorant' economic question (inspired by the zietgeist film) is the following: what purpose does the FED serve? i understand that money must be printed and fed into the market in order to keep up with the increase of production but i don't understand why it needs to be introduced into the market as a debt to be repaid. i'm sure you will give me a simple answer and it will be much appreciated. Will.

Jim Lippard said...

Question: What makes people happy and what conditions and actions improve happiness is a long-standing philosophical question, and one that I don't think Zeitgeist offers any assistance in answering. There has been a lot of recent research in psychology on happiness, including a few popular books, like Daniel Gilbert's _Stumbling on Happiness_. A book on my to-read list is Jennifer Michael Hecht's _The Happiness Myth_.

As to your question about what the Fed is for--the U.S. monetary system is one of centralized, reserve banking, and the Fed is the central banking system. It's supposed to keep the monetary system stable by actions to influence interest rates, such as setting their own lending rate and putting more money into the banking system, act as lender of last resort in cases of bank panics or failures, and provide oversight and regulation on the banking system. The Wikipedia page on the Fed is pretty thorough, as is its page on central banks in general. Most developed countries have a similar central banking system; European countries that have joined the euro have the European Central Bank which serves a similar function. Historically, other modes of banking have existed, such as free banking.

Jason G said...

Nice work Jim.
Carry on.

paul said...

Funny thing about zeitgeist fans and fans of the venus project, is they generally have a complete lack of knowledge of the objectives of the movement itself.

Likewise they tend to simply quote the rhetoric of the movement and the movie like a public relations mouthpiece or an advertising campaign or even a news broadcast.

Anyone with any experience from within the movement [like i have, ive been there since it started]would wonder why there is no evidence provided from the venus project after 30 years of existance, let alone any solid proof, simulated data, or verified scientific papers.

It has to be asked why have we not had any free thinkers produce backing evidence to their claims in this 3 decade span ?

The reason, which any experienced researcher will find is this, there are none, and the venus project does not want to actually build any cities.

Dont believe me?

Ask the spokes people for the zeitgeist movement, check the venus project objectives, ask the venus project leaders themselves and you will see.

No the movement would rather focus its attention on a world wide publicity campaign to get people interested in an idea that isnt even built on solid ground.

They would prefer its members to willingly advertise it, and volunteer to work

The fact that the venus project only wants to "educate", and i use that term very loosely, people about a rbe and the city is very telling.

The website [venus project] only requires 3d designers, artists, movie producers, script writers and other media people, even though they are asking people to do this for free.

People dont question why they arent proving the idea, but they are happy they are advertising it.

And people dont even bother to question why there is no timeline given for these efforts, why they cant build it now, even though Jacque himself states it is possible to prove his rbe now.

Likewise most people are not even aware the two owners have trademarked the rbe so noone can use the idea without their consent, they also hold judge and jury over the projects objectives, not letting experts get the thing going.

the objectives are:

phase 1 of the project advertise and recruit, spread awareness of the venus project and an rbe..even if it isnt supported by facts/eveidence or anyone but the members and leaders

phase 2 create movies and advertising campaigns to recruit more members, yet more adverts/propaganda and infomercials discussing an unproven idea.

phase 3 build a test site/city [wouldnt this be a lovely idea]

phase 4 build a theme park, or technology museum, selling the ideas that the rbe is the way to save earth.

If you are a real scientist I would not bother since you will b placed into a data base and have little input into the movement or its obectives, until after their advertising campaign to recruit the entire human species.

The best thing you can do if you area scientist is this:

Attempt to validate or invalidate the value of an rbe, attempt to do things yourself and get this seemingly cultish movement off the ground or off the radar.

Likewise if you have any resources and finances, send them their way they clearly need them to validate their huge claims.

Likewise if you are a bone fide researcher, watch this movements forum carefully, as right now the members are showing many signs that are stated in Robert Jay Lifton's Eight Point Model of Thought Reform.

Ben said...

What evidence is there that the John Perkins who teaches Animal Totemism is the same John Perkins who wrote COAEH?

Did you just follow the Amazon link? Or is there a biography I can verify this on?

Jim Lippard said...

Ben: It's on Perkins' own website.

Vincent Harrison said...

Ahh, it appears Acharya's book Christ in Egypt is getting strong reviews from highly respected scholars. Here are just a couple:

Christ in Egypt: Reviewed by Dr. Robert M. Price
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/murdock_christ_egypt.htm

Professor of Archaeology endorses 'Christ in Egypt'
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=262:archaeologist-endorses-christ-in-egypt&catid=47:astrotheology

---------

One problem I have with Zeitgeist is that it doesn't address Islam in any meaningful way. I found this blog by someone who was banned by the Zeitgeist forum for criticizing Islam.

Muslims use Zeitgeist for Islamic Advantage
http://news.stv.tv/scotland/143646-terror-dvd-student-jailed-for-six-months/


Does the Zeitgeist Movement support Islam?
http://zeitgeistmovementsupportsislam.blogspot.com

anticultist said...

Information about the alleged identity of Peter Joseph from the zeitgeist movement.

http://anticultist.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/who-is-peter-joseph/

Seriously said...

"I greatly resent the tepid white males no-it-alls who scoff at this woman's award winning memoir."
"You would have to be a woman reading her accounts of these rapes to understand why so many women believe her."

Danica, as a mixed woman, it seems sexist and racist in itself to use gender and race as reasons to dismiss or support a persons credibility. Yes, the Caucasian male has become an archetype for arrogance and mistrust in our world, but that has very little to do with facts or a human being's credibility (or dis-credibility). Please, if you are concerned about sexism and racism, take the necessary steps to remove sexism and racism from your own consciousness.

man with desire said...

This article refutes and disproves claims of Zeitgeist movie, from the part of Christianity:

http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/zeitgeist_movie.html

I suggest to read the article!

anopilgrim said...

I started reading this review with interest but I realised the writer is more biased and unreliable than what he is attacking: The work of mainstream biblical scholars like Elaine Pagels confirms the zeitgeist thesis. This is recent research based on recent discoveries of primary sources like the Nag Hammadi scriptures, not wacky theosophical poetic pseudo knowledge as the writer here seems determined to frame it.

So I stopped reading the review. Maybe I'll come back.

Jim Lippard said...

anopilgrim: It would be nice to see some specifics about how I am "more biased and unreliable than what [I am] attacking" as well as how Elaine Pagels work or the Nag Hammadi works confirm anything in Zeitgeist. I've read Pagels' _The Gnostic Gospels_, James M. Robinson's _The Nag Hammadi Library_, and Willis Barnstone's _The Other Bible_, but off the top of my head I don't recall anything in those works that confirms Zeitgeist arguments about Christianity being inspired by Egyptian myth.

Can you back up your assertions? I have all of the referenced works in my library, so please point me to what you're talking about.

erthluva said...

Part 1 on religion of the original Zeitgeist movie has been completely substantiated by professional scholars. All the anti-Zeitgeist part 1 "debunkings" and "refutations" have been addressed and rendered obsolete. The anti-Zeitgeist part 1 critics will have to start all over. The new sourcebook below addresses the criticisms of the original sources in Zeitgeist part 1.

The New Zeitgeist Part 1 Sourcebook (2010)
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/zeitgeistsourcebook.pdf

Rebuttal to Dr. Chris Forbes concerning 'Zeitgeist, Part 1'
http://truthbeknown.com/chrisforbeszeitgeist.html

Other criticisms are addressed here
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=19

Enjoy the Mythicist Position video and be sure to read the links in the info box too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKW9sbJ3v2w

Jim Lippard said...

I'm still skeptical about "Acharya S." She should really publish her work in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

erthluva said...

Acharya S has been peer reviewed as well as published in scholarly Journals

http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3411

Marmalade said...

Jim Lippard said...
"I'm still skeptical about "Acharya S." She should really publish her work in peer-reviewed scholarly journals."

erthluva said...
"Acharya S has been peer reviewed as well as published in scholarly Journals"
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3411

So, now you no longer have any rational justification for further skepticism. Does that mean this discussion is finally concluded?

Unknown said...

I so far find your post show you truly skeptical and logical. I would like your opinion on ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD. I would more specifically like your take on the statements Dr. Robert Sapolsky and Dr. Gábor Máté make, more so then any other part of the film. Next in interest would be you actually meeting Jacque Fresco and posting your findings of his intellect, knowledge, and honesty after such discussion.