Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Public statement from Peter Joseph about the recent shootings in AZ.



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 America 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 said.”

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: “Terrorist”.

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 biological 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 Environment itself.

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 think not.

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 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 and my new film, which will detail how a new, humane social system can work, will be in 315 theaters in 60 countries and 30 languages starting Jan 15th 2011.

I am also in contact with my legal team and considering legal action against ABC.

-Peter Joseph

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