The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Zeitgeist: 9/11 ‘Was an Inside Job’ Also: It Won a ‘Progressive’ Film Award and Is Based on ‘New Age’ Sources

Posted on | January 17, 2011 | 12 Comments

For the benefit of David Dayen, the liberal blogger who claimed that the 2007 film Zeigeist is “right wing,” here is a screen-cap from the movie:

The 911 Truth

Criminal Elements within the US Government
staged a “False Flag” Terror Attack on its own
citizens, in order to manipulate public
perception into supporting its agenda.
They have been doing this for years.

911 was an Inside Job.

Click here to see the video (this part comes at 1:47 of the clip). And this is what gets me about fact-challenged dishonest dilberts like David Dayen: They can’t be bothered to do any actual reporting or research.

No, that would be beneath them.

Instead, it’s much easier to avoid that grubby work and take someone’s else’s word about what’s in Zeitgeist:

[T]he rhetoric on the far, far right played a role in amping up the paranoia of a mentally unbalanced man. In fact, one of the shooter’s friends focused on a movie that echoes many of the themes on the fringe right as extremely important to shaping Loughner’s worldview. . . .

C’mon: Whose “fringe” asserts that 9/11 was an “Inside Job”? When Zeitgeist was produced in 2007, who was hectoring us about “criminal elements in the US Government”?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m more than happy to give David Dayen enough rope to hang himself. And I’m grateful that a contributor to a leading liberal blog has granted my premise, namely that Zeigeist was “extremely important to shaping Loughner’s worldview.”

But David Dayen just grabbed that “rhetoric of the far, far right” stuff out of thin air — he took somebody else’s word for it. Whereas I, by contrast, dug in on this subject last Wednesday and bulldogged it. Thursday, I embedded the whole thing in a single post and — after the Google Video version that had been online for three years suddenly got taken down — spent more than an hour yesterday re-embedding the YouTube version.

Here I’m going to imitate Al Gore’s famous tobacco rant: I’ve watched Zeitgeist, I’ve studied Zeitgeist, I’m a fair way down the road to being a freaking expert on Zeitgeist, and dumbass David Dayen is not going to get away with telling me that it’s “right wing.”

Don’t take my word about this, though. Let’s ask progressive leaders what they think about Zeigeist:

Artivist Flim Festival
Founded in 2003 as a 501c3 charitable organization, the ARTIVIST FILM FESTIVAL is the only festival dedicated to raising awareness for International Human Rights, Children’s Advocacy, Environmental Preservation, and Animal Advocacy through Film. . . .ARTIVIST is a leader in the Progressive and Green movement, and has received public endorsements from various global leaders and organizations including the UNITED NATIONS and Claes Nobel of the Nobel Peace Prize Family.

Got that? Here is an organization that proclaims itself “a leader in the Progressive and Green movement” — endorsed by the United Nations, no less! — and guess who won their Best Feature award in 2007?

See? You don’t have to take my word about the political orientation of Zeitgeist. (Strange coincidence: Guess who else has been recognized by the Artivist Festival? Alyssa Milano! Maybe David Dayen wants to lump her in with the “far, far right,” but . . . well, never mind.) The fans of Zeitgeist are proud to proclaim their allegiances and ideology, as for example the “activist atheist” forum that celebrated that 2007 award for Zeitgeist. Let David Dayen show me the right-wing site that was celebrating the success of Zeitgeist in 2007, and I’ll buy him a beer. But he can produce nothing of the sort, because Zeitgeist isn’t right-wing.

Jordan Maxwell and the Kook Connection

OK, so what about that anti-Federal Reserve stuff in the third part of Zeitgeist? Where does that stuff come from?

David Dayen associates it with the John Birch Society, but he guesses wrong. The actual source on which Zeitgeist filmmaker Peter Joseph Merola relies is anti-Masonic conspiracy theorist Jordan Maxwell. And it is Maxwell whose ideas tie together the seemingly disparate themes in Zeitgeist — the anti-Christian theme of Part I and the anti-banking theme of Part III.

How do I know this?

Because Merola has posted a PDF “Companion Source Guide” for his movie. If you’ll search for “Maxwell,” you’ll see that Maxwell is cited on page 66 (associating the Christian cross with the Zodiac) and page 74 (making a millennial claim about the “Age of Aquarius”). On page 98, we find that the source for these citations is a 2000 book, That Old-Time Religion: The Story of Religious Foundations, by Maxwell, Paul Tice and Alan Snow (with a chapter by Gerald Massey). Here is one Amazon reviewer’s 5-star rave about that book:

This book proves that just about everything in Christianity actually came from Egypt and other ancient cultures and religions. . . . Christianity is a pagan sun religion.

Which is a lie, of course, but my point is that this concept is shared by Maxwell and New Age author D.M. Murdock (a/k/a Achyra S), the primary adviser on Part I of Zeitgeist. Both Maxwell and Murdock evidently derive their ideas from Massey, a 19th-century autodidact. Of the other co-authors of That Old-Time Religion, Tice is a prolific writer/editor of New Age books, including The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ: Natural Genesis and Typology of Equinoctial Christolatry and Vril or Vital Magnetism: Secret Doctrine of Ancient Atlantis, Egypt, Chaldea and Greece; and Snow is an author of children’s fiction.

So Maxwell appears as a source in Part I of Zeitgeist, then re-appears in Part III, as explained on pages 218-219 of the “Companion Resource Guide,” where Maxwell is cited as source for the quote, “They do not want you to think too much. . . . You had better wake up and understand that there are people guiding your life, and you don’t even know it.”

Freemasons: They’re Everywhere!

The source is Maxwell’s 2003 book, Matrix of Power: How the World Has Been Controlled By Powerful People Without Your Knowledge.  Let’s quote a couple of the five-star reviews, shall we?

This Book exposes it all, from Illuminated-Freemasonry to the Illuminati and the nefarious dealings of the Vatican and the Jesuit order. Make no mistake about it, if you want a clear understanding as to why the world is in entropy. This book delivers the goods. . . .

This is a great little book that delves into astro-theology as well as occult conspiracies in the western world. . . .

Hmmm. The Illuminati, Jesuits, “astro-theology” and “occult conspiracies” — I’m pretty sure that stuff is in the Republican Party platform, aren’t you? Maxwell turned his book into a series of online videos. Let’s look at one segment of that, shall we?

Hmmm. Adam Weishaupt, Novus Ordo Seclorum, “many, many connections between Freemasons in government, Freemasons in banking . . . operating and working together.”

Yeah, I’m sure you remember when Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck said that at the big Tea Party rally, right? Actually, no.

Despite David Dayen’s fantasy of Zeitgeist as a “right-wing” phenomenon, it’s actually a bird of a quite different feather. What the influence of Jordan Maxwell and D.M. Murdock on Zeitgeist demonstrates is how much of what we call “New Age” is actually just recycled Old Kookery — anti-Freemason stuff and Gerald Massey’s faux-Egyptology.

Yet we will gladly take David Dayen’s word that Zeitgeist was “extremely important to shaping Loughner’s worldview,” and we’ll take the word of the New York Times as to what effect that had on Loughner:

“His anger would well up at the sight of
President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he
considered to be the nefarious designs of government.”

Tone down the rhetoric, indeed!

UPDATE: Michael J. Altman at Religious Dispatches discusses Zeitgeist and the “metaphysical esotericism” of Maxwell’s views:

The film’s bright glimpses of a shared humanity are overcome by the dark narratives of conspiracy, manipulation, and control. The film’s spirituality and its conspiracy rely on the same esoteric worldview, however. In such a view the world is full of special, secret knowledge—about the meaning of the Bible, cabals of bankers, and the relationship between the Bush and Bin Laden families—that is only available to a select few.
But in the end, the knowledge about conspiracies seem more powerful. It’s more tempting, or maybe more pleasurable, to know the truth about wars fought to satiate elite bankers, religions invented to manipulate the masses, and tragedies staged for political power than to know the truth about a shared human essence. The conspiracy always feels more immanent than the spirituality.

It is a fear-based and fear-mongering movie. It is not the sort of movie you’d want to show to a young man descending into paranoid schizophrenia.


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