PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM THE CREATOR OF THE“ZEITGEIST FILM SERIES”, PETER JOSEPH:
RE: THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ASSOCIATION CREATED BETWEEN “ZEITGEIST” AND THE TUCSON MURDERS.
It has come to my attention that various mainstream news organizations are
beginning to run an association between my 2007 performance piece/film,
“Zeitgeist: The Movie” and the tragic murders conducted by an extremely
troubled young man in Tucson, Arizona. They are also slowly beginning to
bleed the obvious line between my 2007 documentary work, my film series as
a whole and The Zeitgeist Movement, which I am the founder. Frankly, I find
this isolating, growing association tremendously irresponsible on the part
of ABC, NBC and their affiliates - further reflecting the disingenuous
nature of the American media establishment today.
It appears to have begun with a comment on NBC news referencing my film
along with other “influential” films as well, such as Richard Kelly's
film “Donnie Darko” and then spreading to ABC News where it singled out
"Zeitgeist: The Movie" and the Series itself, stating:
“Osler pointed to an online documentary series called "Zeitgeist" as a
possible influence on the man. The series rails on currency-based economics.
"I really think that this 'Zeitgeist' documentary had a profound impact on
Jared's mindset and how he viewed that world that he lives in," Osler
The most immediate issue to point out is that the former friend of Loughner, Zack Osler, who states the association on camera, is noted to have been out of contact with Loughner for two years. Yes, two years. So, for ABC to amplify a comment by a person who had not even been in contact with Loughner for such a long period of time is irresponsible and speculative journalism. ABC implies that my film was somehow an inspiration in real time even though, again, this testimony is based on interactions occurring two years prior. Needless to say, the disposition for such a horrible act of violence by anyone simply cannot be accurately assumed by behavior from 2 years prior, regardless.
When we reflect on the history of seemingly random violence or other forms
of highly offensive, irrational, aberrant behavior, we see a common pattern
of reaction from the public and media in their attempt to explain such
extreme acts. Rather than deeply examining the Bio-Psycho-Social nature of
human social development and the vast spectrum of influences that create
and morph each of us in unique and sometimes detrimental ways, they take
the easy way out. The first thing they do is simply ignore all modern
scientific, social understandings of what generates human motivation in
both positive and negative regard, for to do so can only call into question
the social system itself and hence the “zeitgeist” (meaning:
spirit/intellectual climate of the time/culture) at large.
Generally speaking, it is historically accurate to say that the Mainstream
Media simply isn't in the business of challenging the Status Quo. The
limits of debate are firmly set. Virtually all ideas, persons or groups who
have succeeded in changing the world for the better, later to be hailed as
heros in the public mind, started out being condemned by those in the
Mainstream Media who latch on to the dominant world view of the time. Even
Martin Luther King Jr., a peaceful, loving, wonder of a man who contributed
more to our social progress than likely any humanitarian in the US history,
was followed by the CIA and publicly humiliated as a “Communist” which
he even had to defend in front of a Congressional Committee. In fact, you
can rest assured that if King were alive in the current paradigm today and
seeking an equal form of justice - he would be given the name:
So, again, rather than taking the scientific view, the Mainstream Media
often seeks out or implies one point of blame and runs with it. After all,
it is much easier, presentable and more simplistic for the public to think
that the troubling reality of seemingly random acts of mass murder is the
result of a “singular influence” and hence the logic goes that if that
one influence is removed, then the world will be back in balance. This
gives the public a false resolve and position of focus in an otherwise
ambiguous, complex world of social and biologic influences. And as far as
the scapegoat itself, very often any group, media or dataset that is
counter-culture or even hints at wishing to challenge the status quo, is a
magnet for such blame.
For example, musical groups of a counter-culture nature have been a
favorite scapegoat for acts of murder/violence historically. In 1990, the
rock band Judas Priest was actually taken to court for their “role” in
the self-inflicted gunshot wounds in 1985 of 20-year old James Vance and
18-year old Raymond Belknap in Reno, Nevada. In 2008, the band Slipknot was
publicly tied/blamed to a high-school murder in South Africa. Even the
Beatles song “Helter-skelter” was associated to the murders incited by
Charles Manson. It goes on and on... and, frankly, it's simply pathetic -
avoiding the true nature of the problem - which is the Socio-Economic
Make no mistake: The Social System is to blame for the rampage of Jared
Loughner – not some famous online documentary which is known as the most
viewed documentary of all time in internet history. Are the other 200
million people who have seen the film also preparing for murder sprees? I
In my new film: "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward", I feature a prominent Harvard
Criminal Psychologist by the name of Dr. James Gilligan who headed the
Centre for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School for many years.
In his life work of personally engaging with the most dangerous, violent
offenders the US system produces, he found some basic trends. The most
common is the social issue of “shame”. Our socio-economic system
inherently breeds social division and there is a natural demeaning of
others generated as a result. It is a scientific fact that mass murderers
and those who many just dismiss as “evil” today, are the product of
years of being shamed, humiliated and demeaned. Their acts of violence is a
reaction from these highly oppressive feelings and the real resolve to such
acts can only come from removing the real source of such emotional hurt.
You will notice that most other countries don't come close to the level of
violence we see in the United States. The US is the capital of violence
with 30-300 times more acts of violence than any other country. We have
produced more serial killers in America than all other countries combined.
Why? You will notice the Mainstream never asks this question.
If anyone would like to understand why more and more people in the modern
world end up like Jared Loughner and why these patterns are only going to
get worse as time goes on in this system, I suggest the book “Violence”
by Harvard Criminal Psychologist Dr. Gilligan.
In conclusion, let it be stated that the Zeitgeist Film Series is about
critical thought regarding various social issues which challenge many
erroneous notions held as fact in the modern culture. It also explicitly
promotes non-violence, human unity and prosperous human development based
on truth and science.
Anyone who wishes to really understand the works can view them for free
online at zeitgeistmovie.com and my new film, which will detail how a new,
humane social system can work, will be 315 theaters in 60 countries and 30
language starting Jan 15th 2011. www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com