Zeitgeist: The Movie

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A Conspiracy of American Proportions

Apr 12, 2008 (Updated Apr 16, 2008)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

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Pros:Entertaining compilation of Conspiracy theories. Excellent cinemeatography and sound editing.

Cons:Quoting sources would help the case. Boring opening some footage bounces around - unfocused

The Bottom Line: Zeitgeist is an interesting conspiracy theory about 9/11 and the FED but, if you don't bother to do the research into its claims, it really doesn't matter.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

“Zeitgeist is a German expression meaning "the spirit (Geist) of the time (Zeit)". Typically, the term is used to denote the intellectual and cultural climate of an era.”

Zeitgeist the Movie (produced and written by Peter Joseph) is a "film" designed similarly to the newest wave of internet media which relies heavily on audio, video and sound clips - as if it was put together in Garageband or Powerpoint.
It is basically a conspiracy theory compilation that presents the loudest of "evidence" amassing on the internet surrounding the apparent oddities of 9/11 and the past,present, and future of America’s financial markets.

The problem with a movie of this sort is its sourcing. If I were to put together a powerpoint presentation about the solar system using distances that I guessed – and then showed it to someone who knew nothing about astronomy – they would take this all to be true. Only then, by doing their own scientific research could they prove/disprove the claims I’ve made on paper. Research and testing is the key to making or breaking theories.

That is not to say that Zeitgeist is “false”…it seems to be a compilation of theory based on reasonable evidence. Unfortunately it would be very difficult to do research into its validity – and even more difficult due to its lack of sourcing.

The main mistake that the producer of Zeitgeist (and Michael Moore) make in their films is their negligence in adding a citation of all the information they are throwing out. Moore adds citations and quotes to his website for viewers to check, but Joseph doesn’t have this. Simply zooming into newspaper headlines and showing pictures of handshakes between our overlords, is visually stimulating – but, without a citation for date and time, it can be hard to accept. The movie also loves to throw quotes in your face from familiar people such as presidents and well known financial men.

If you are going to claim that 3 months before 9/11 Dick Cheney was given control of Norad orders - or that on 9/11 "he was in charge of Norad from the White Houses' command bunker" - you should be ready to state your sources and evidence, otherwise you are leaving yourself wide open for criticism.

The Movie is divided into three parts

Part 1: The Greatest Story Ever Told
Part 2: The 9/11 Conspiracy
Part 3: The Men behind the money and the curtain.

The second and third are directly related while the first could be considered irrelevant to the rest of the film because the latter two are a highly tangled web of familiar names of billionaires to commonly held beliefs of financial and international conspiracy theories.
I will begin by mentioning the 2nd and 3rd portions since they are the most thrilling.

PART 2: The World Trade Center Conspiracy Theory

How exactly did the World Trade Center’s steel infrastructure collapse in less than 11 seconds?

Any person with a background in physics would probably explain that this simply isn’t possible because the “pancaking” of the floors would require each floor to transfer its gravitational potential energy to the subsequent floor before that floor could break free of the steel frame – and even then – the central steel beams would have resisted the collapse until their weight threshold had been surpassed. A collapse should have taken more than 20 seconds in reality, yet, the WTC fell at what has been commonly referred to as “freefall speed”.

Zeitgeist’s answer is obviously: “ demolition charges” – more exactly – “thermate” which is a mixture of thermite and sulfur that can approach the temperatures high enough to destroy steel in the amount of time it would have taken to bring the building down in this “controlled demolition style”. Then the movie goes on to show pictures of steel beams that should have been able to withstand the strike from the plane but for some reason – have clean cut marks in them.

Why exactly wasn’t their huge devastation at the Pentagon – the so called “physical evidence” of a plane impacting the building – instead, just a burning hole leftover?

Zeitgeist’s only answer for this is a reminder that the pilot flying this plane would have had to been a “flying ace” capable of a 270 degree turn at hundreds of MPH”. The film is quick to remind us that the Feds snatched up any tape that would have showed clearly what hit the pentagon and released video footage that was completely inconclusive only after they’d held it”.

Unless you are strongly scientific, and willing to bother to examine video evidence, most of this information will simply sound ludicrous, but, if it is true that the WTC disaster was a conspiracy, Zeitgeist basically suggests that it is the duty of American citizens to question the government and do their own investigation.

This film claims that 9/11 was a “pre-text” to give the Bush Administration a reason to get into Iraq – and that if it wasn’t a conspiracy, it would be “an exception” because, as it claims, America has entered every war it could- under such circumstances - starting from the sinking of the Lusitania” to Pearl Harbor to The Gulf of Tonkin incident (which the movie flatly states “never happened”)

After the 9/11 conspiracies run, Zeitgeist takes the time to offer us definitions on Terrorism:

#1 A method for a person to use violence to achieve a political agenda and #2 a method used by governments to further its own agenda.

But why would our government want to instill fear in Americans and present us with images of Arabs with AK-47's?

Well, Zeigeist claims it is a way for the government to gain "social cohesion" of Americans, regardless our ethnicity or race to keep us on the same page they want us to be on.

Thrown in for good measure - the name: James Baath - close friend of the Bush family and closer friend of the Bin Ladin family meant to reconnect the Bushes with the Bin Ladins. And lets not leave out Prescott Bush who allegedly had ties to Nazi Germany - huh? where did this come from?
Lets get back on topic movie !


I felt that Zeigeist missed out on a good chance to capitalize on the destruction of World Trade 7 by not using stock footage of Larry Silverstein saying "pull it" (read: blow the buildings) which would have helped the "controlled demolition theory".


As a 25 year resident of New York, I can actually attest to the "secrecy" of the destruction of WT7. The problem is, the world's eyes were glued to the collapse of Towers 1 & 2. I knew absolutely nothing about WT7 until much later - almost the next day.

Here's a valid question: How did the collapse of towers 1 & 2 destroy WTC 7 - which collapsed in the same manner of 1 & 2, considering WT7 wasn't hit with an airplane and didn't have a huge amount of wreckage on top of it?

I may not be a "rocket scientist" but from what I do know as a science/technology teacher(M.S. in Science Education holder), working on a PhD, alot of what I saw on 9/11 resembled alot of what I saw when they proffessionaly demolish buildings such as Vegas casinos.

WT7 is actually a more important part of the puzzle because there is no reason it should have collapsed. If the government was interested at all in quelling the conspiracy theories, they should have allowed civilian scientists to examine: a) the amount of wreckage left at the pentagon; b) the wreckage of Flight 93, c) the chemical content of the debris of WT7.
More importantly, I have yet to hear actual firemen or police mentioning what they saw at the scene. From what I have heard, firemen have testified that there were "explosions" in the buildings before their collapse and (in the movie) that some of them encountered pools of liquid hot steel as if they were in a foundry.

That certainly doesn't help the debunkers of the conspiracy theories.


PART 3: The Federal Reserve

Part 3 of Zeitgeist was the most interesting part in my opinion because it actually pushed me to bother to investigate the legality of both the Federal Reserve and Income Tax – as well as looking closely at our current economy.

The 3rd act starts by explaining that the 13 colonies of America sought to break away from England for many reasons but, mostly because King George III of England outlawed the currency the colonies produced for themselves to avoid borrowing money from the central bank of England.

The movie then goes on to draw parallels between the rich men of the country, such as Rockefeller, Warburg and JP Morgan, and the desire to figure out ways to create a central banking system that would make them richer and consolidate their power over the banks. Their solution was the “margin loan” which basically allowed investors to get rich quick on small investments. However, the margin loan could be called in at any time. Allegedly, the big wigs backed out of the market quietly and suddenly the loans were called which lead to panic and runs on the bank which bankrupted many and allowed them to purchase banks and entire corporations for pennies on the dollar.

Zeitgeist depicts the Federal Reserve as an unconstitutional and unaccountable organization that loans money to the government at interest.
This creates National Debt (since each dollar has debt attached to it). War then becomes one of the most important things that can happen because it forces the nation to take out even more money from the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve also controls interest rates and the money supply which is what gives the money value. Since the Fed must print more money to replenish the money the Nation spends, it can only lead to more debt

“This was the central banking design that the founding fathers sought to avoid”

Fast Forward to 2008 where the subprime housing market has caused the downfall and devaluation of many banks and corporations (i.e. Bear Sterns, Countrywide, Indy Mac, etc). I worked in the subprime housing market, and it seems to me that it would be quite odd for huge loans to be offered by banks to people with shoddy credit or in “no income verifictions”. But why would the banks do this? Well, Zeitgeist claims that this is a repeat of the great depression and its being used as a means of consolidating power for the rich and ultimately devaluing the dollar.

But, Why?

Well, Zeitgeist claims that ultimately, what the powers that be want is a consolidated currency called the “Amero” (like the Euro) which would take them one step closer to a single world currency.

Zeitgeist claims that the powers above us want to unify the world under their control so that they stay ridiculously rich and so we stay working under them. And how far is that from the truth? Corporate CEO’s earn my yearly salary in a month with multi- million dollar bonuses. In fact, according to this movie, I work ׂ months out of the year” to afford the income tax that not only goes to pay the interest on the money being loaned by the Fed, but it is completely unconstitutional because it is an “un-aportioned tax”. Which was never ratified as an amendment.

(note: if any Epinions user can find a part of the constitution that claims income taxes are legal, I’d appreciate it)

So who exactly is Alan Greenspan? Who is Ben Bernake? Who elected them?

I haven’t a clue.

But, Zeitgeist’s intent is to reassure you that there are rich men out there with plans for you - notably, your financial enslavement and your enslavement via biometric security chips. Keep in mind, while people are calling the “chip” the sign of the beast and rejecting it, President Bush’s patriot act and other acts passed while we slept have ensured that soon, we will all be forced to carry the “REAL ID Card” which will basically contain our digitized profiles and be used to track us.

Also keep in mind that, while we slept, President Bush pushed to give the Federal Reserve more power – notably, the ability to use SWAT teams on monetary institutions that aren’t performing up to code.


Part I evaluates the historical accuracy of the Bible. The film analyzes the “Jesus myth hypothesis”, which argues that the historical Jesus Christ, is a literary and astrological hybrid, and that the Bible is based on astrological principles documented by numerous ancient civilizations.

Some people who are highly religious, will cut the movie off right here and won’t bother to watch anymore of the movie. It makes very little sense to begin a film that is going to be speaking about financial and militaristic conspiracies in America by debating Jesus’ existence. In fact, it feels desperate – as if the film is reaching.

I felt that this part of the movie dragged on and wasn’t as interesting as Part 2 and 3. It could have been left out entirely. But, that is not to say that it may not have some merit. In History classes, I was taught that Easter isn’t of Christian origin – rather, it was a Pagan celebration of the goddess Eostra. I was also taught that Christmas in Winter was most likely not the time Jesus would have been born – and that the holiday was a Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice mixed with numerous symbols from different cultures and religions (such as the Christmas Tree).

Whether its true or not, I don’t really care enough about this religious info to research it.

Overall, Zeitgeist the Movie, is an excellently filmed, excellently narrated conspiracy theory blunderbuss. It is filmed in the same editorial caricature style of Fahrenheit 9/11 and should not by any means be considered a documentary.

What I did like most about it was the accusation that Americans are basically being zombified by cable television and that the powers are intentionally allowing our schools to deteriorate so that they will have no opposition to their plans.
Of course, when you turn off American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars and you take a long hard look at the politicians and the state of America’s financial markets, you have to wonder, what exactly is going on? Is Zeitgeists accusations of Americans being dumb, lazy and apathetic true?

Years ago, if someone claimed the government would be chipping people, we’d think they were crazy. Now we have RFID chips in our passports.
Years ago, if someone claimed that the government would be more similar to the Star Chamber we’d say they were wrong. Now, we have the Patriot act, Guantanamo Bay and Bush’s attempt to legalize torture.
I found Zeitgeist a very entertaining, and very interesting look at the current world. Its up to you, however, if you choose to accept, ignore or bother to verify/ invalidate its claims.

Do you care enough to do the research?

WATCH THE ENTIRE MOVIE ON YOUTUBE Judge for yourself – do some research.


The information presented here is more than enough to raise suspicion but far less than would be needed for an indictment.

...and you can forget about an impeachment.

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV

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