Zeitgeist astrology debunked

The star in the east is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which, on December 24th, aligns with the 3 brightest stars in Orion's Belt. These 3 bright stars are called today what they were called in ancient times: The Three Kings. The Three Kings and the brightest star, Sirius, all point to the place of the sunrise on December 25th.

This is why the Three Kings "follow" the star in the east, in order to locate the sunrise -- the birth of the sun. Aside from the fact he was not actually born on December 25th, much less winter, there is no evidence of anything stated above. You can go back and check records of the sky over Bethlehem on December 24th adjusting for the calendar change, that would actually be the 12th of December [ 29 ].

These stars do not line up at all, and they are not even in the sky before or at sunrise, in fact the last time they occur in the sky is 5 hours before sun up. This date was checked with all the years Jesus may have been born, 4 BC through 1 AD and there is no evidence of the above stated [ 30 ]. There is no evidence of the three stars on Orion's Belt being called the "Three Kings" outside of certain Christian legends, and surely not in history [ 31 ].

In fact, the Bible does not say how many wise men or "kings" there are, it only lists the gifts received [ 39 ]. Virgo in Latin means virgin. The ancient glyph for Virgo is the altered "m". This is why Mary along with other virgin mothers, such as Adonis's mother Myrrha, or Buddha's mother Maya begin with an M. Virgo is also referred to as the House of Bread, and the representation of Virgo is a virgin holding a sheaf of wheat.

This House of Bread and its symbol of wheat represents August and September, the time of harvest. In turn, Bethlehem, in fact, literally translates to "house of bread". Bethlehem is thus a reference to the constellation Virgo, a place in the sky, not on Earth. Since when is the Virgin Mary the constellation Virgo?

I fail to see why such a connection has been made. Indeed, Virgo means virgin in Latin, but it also means "young girl" and "maiden", as they really didn't have a word that meant both "young girl" and "girl who hasn't had sex yet" [ 33 ]. The film claims connections between the names, but a problem arises in the mere fact that not every language on earth is written with the Roman Alphabet the one English uses. It claims the symbol for Virgo is an altered M but later contradicts this claim with the following , while it may look like an M, it is actually depicting the arms of a maiden holding a sheaf of wheat [ 34 ].

It goes on to say that like other virgin mothers such as Myrrha and Maya they begin with an M. The main problem with this is that Myrrha was not a virgin, as Adonis was conceived after Myrrha had committed incest with her father King Theias [ 35 ]. Maya was also not a virgin, she had been married for 20 years, but did not conceive until a night where she had a dream about an elephant sleeping by her side [ 36 ].

So, while they may start with similar sounds, except for Myrrha, for thousands of years they were not written with the Latin or Greek letter M. As such, because the Virgo symbol resembles the letter M, this does not mean it is related to M, and therefore no real connection can be made this way. By far one of the strangest claims is that Virgo is also referred to as the "house of bread".

I went through several astrology books, searched the Internet, and I cannot find a source for such a claim. Bethlehem does indeed mean "house of bread" in Hebrew[ 38 ], however seeing how Virgo is not referred to as the "house of bread", there is no real connection here. It seems as though a large jump was made in order to claim "Virgin Mary" means "Virgo" and of course following their claim that Virgo is also "House of Bread", Bethlehem is really a reference to that. The film maker cannot seem to make up his mind as to whether Virgo really means Mary or Bethlehem.

Regardless of this, Bethlehem is a real place and it was at that time as well, therefore a claim that it is "a place in the sky, not on Earth" coupled with the other evidence, holds no water. There is another very interesting phenomenon that occurs around December 25th, or the winter solstice. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, the days become shorter and colder.

From the perspective of the northern hemisphere, the sun appears to move south and get smaller and more scarce. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients. It was the death of the Sun. By December 22nd, the Sun's demise was fully realized, for the Sun, having moved south continually for 6 months, makes it to it's lowest point in the sky. Here a curious thing occurs: the Sun stops moving south, at least perceivably, for 3 days. During this 3 day pause, the Sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross, or Crux, constellation.

And after this time on December 25th, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth, and Spring. And thus it was said: the Sun died on the cross, was dead for 3 days, only to be resurrected or born again. This is why Jesus and numerous other Sun Gods share the crucifixion, 3-day death, and resurrection concept. It is the Sun's transition period before it shifts its direction back into the Northern Hemisphere, bringing Spring, and thus salvation.

Saying the winter solstice occurs around "December 25th" obviously is implying that somehow that day is special.

I will clarify the situation by saying it occurs December 21st or 22nd, not the 25th [ 40 ]. Each day the sun changes position in the sky slightly, though it does not stop in the sky for three days; though the film maker it adds the word "perceivably" [ 41 ][ 42 ]. The reason they use such language is obviously to imply that there is some kind of connection with Jesus who wasn't born on December 25th as I have shown , the other gods listed before same applies here , and "three days". It is also impossible that the Southern Cross could be involved, considering the Southern Cross can only be seen via the Southern Hemisphere [ ] and Bethlehem is in the Northern Hemisphere[ ].

The film maker goes on to attempt to draw connections between death of the sun, a crucifixion, being dead three days, and coming back to life. The problem, again, none of the other gods aside from Jesus were crucified. This could be an attempt to make a connection between Jesus, the crucifixion, and the other gods; however this attempt does not work because of what I have already shown.

The reason the cross represents Christianity and by extension Jesus, has little to do with the sun "resid[ing] in the vicinity of the southern cross" and more to do with the fact Jesus was crucified by Romans on a cross [ 43 ]. The evidence shows, there is no connection between Jesus, sun gods, the crucifixions, three day deaths, and resurrections. However, they did not celebrate the resurrection of the Sun until the spring equinox, or Easter. This is because at the spring equinox, the Sun officially overpowers the evil darkness, as daytime thereafter becomes longer in duration than night, and the revitalizing conditions of spring emerge.

Like mentioned above when discussing the birth date of Jesus, the day of Easter was intentionally put on a pagan holiday. Just like with Christmas, this was done to help more easily convert observers of pagan religions to Christianity, this is no secret [ 44 ]. Again, here we see the film maker attempting to make a very vague connection between the sun and Jesus, but with the mountain of evidence in the other hand, he is fighting uphill. Now, probably the most obvious of all the astrological symbolism around Jesus regards the 12 disciples.

They are simply the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which Jesus, being the Sun, travels about with. On what evidence are such claims based?

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Zeitgeist (film series) - Wikipedia

Many traveling Rabbis in ancient Israel had disciples -- 12 was probably selected for Jesus because there are 12 Jewish tribes [ 46 ], and not because of the zodiac. In fact, the number 12 is replete throughout the Bible. This text has more to do with astrology than anything else. Yes 12 is, but also the numbers 3, 6, 7, and 20 are considered holy and are repeated throughout the Bible. Coming back to the cross of the Zodiac, the figurative life of the Sun, this was not just an artistic expression or tool to track the Sun's movements. It was also a Pagan spiritual symbol, the shorthand of which looked like this.

This is not a symbol of Christianity. It is a Pagan adaptation of the cross of the Zodiac. This is why Jesus in early occult art is always shown with his head on the cross, for Jesus is the Sun, the Sun of God, the Light of the World, the Risen Savior, who will "come again," as it does every morning, the Glory of God who defends against the works of darkness, as he is "born again" every morning, and can be seen "coming in the clouds", "up in Heaven", with his "Crown of Thorns," or, sun rays. The history of the cross has very little to do with the zodiac, and therefore using a term such as "cross of the zodiac" is highly inaccurate at best.

The cross is one of the world's oldest symbols and is in every known culture from the Neolithic era and on. Therefore it is quite obvious why pagans would use such a symbol. Making a claim such as "this is not a symbol of Christianity" is also very inaccurate. This is a very recognized symbol of Christianity, primarily because Jesus was crucified on a cross. Just because pagans used it before Christianity, does not mean that it is automatically not a Christian symbol -- especially when it has been used for two thousand years [ 46 ][ 47 ][ 48 ]. The film claims "this is why Jesus in early occult art is always shown with his head on the cross", this is not the case.

While it may be sometimes a cross of sorts, it is not the sun, rather it is a halo. Halos were very common for deities and other holy people around the 3rd and 6th centuries. Many other gods and just regular holy people that have no connection to the sun can be seen with similar details [ 49 ][ 50 ]. After it makes the claims I have already debunked, the film maker attempts again to make connections between Jesus, the sun, and so forth, primarily by talking about good conquering evil and using "darkness" to literally mean "darkness", instead of evil.

Now, of the many astrological-astronomical metaphors in the Bible, one of the most important has to do with the ages. Throughout the scripture there are numerous references to the "Age. The ancient Egyptians along with cultures long before them recognized that approximately every years the sunrise on the morning of the spring equinox would occur at a different sign of the Zodiac. This has to do with a slow angular wobble that the Earth maintains as it rotates on it's axis.

It is called a precession because the constellations go backwards, rather than through the normal yearly cycle. The amount of time that it takes for the precession to go through all 12 signs is roughly 25, years. This is also called the "Great Year," and ancient societies were very aware of this. They referred to each year period as an "age. From b. Now that the film maker has lead the watcher into a certain mindset, it is time to kick it up a notch.

The film maker claims there are many "astrological-astronomical metaphors" in the Bible, but provides no evidence to back this up. He then goes on to talk about how age is really a metaphor for the astrological ages such as Aries and Pisces. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest such, and we will discuss this further in a bit. It makes various claims about the zodiac and the length of ages, while these claims are not necessarily inaccurate, they prove very little when discussing the Bible.

Now, the Bible reflects, broadly speaking, a symbolic movement through 3 ages, while foreshadowing a 4th. In the Old Testament when Moses comes down Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, he is very upset to see his people worshiping a golden bull calf. In fact, he shattered the stone tablets and instructed his people to kill each other in order to purify themselves. Most Biblical scholars would attribute this anger to the fact that the Israelites were worshiping a false idol, or something to that effect.

This is why Jews even today still blow the Ram's horn. Moses represents the new Age of Aries, and upon the new age, everyone must shed the old age. Other deities mark these transitions as well, a pre-Christian god who kills the bull, in the same symbology. The film maker discusses that Moses came down from Mount Sinai with this 10 commandments and smashed them because he saw his people worshipping a bull, but in reality that bull was Taurus.

According to the film, Moses represents the new age of Aries, and that's why Moses was angry. It goes on to say that because Moses represents Aries the ram, that is why Jews blow the ram's horn. It is far more likely that the reason Jews use the ram's horn is because they raised sheep, and a horn can be easily made into an instrument [ 51 ]. These claims cannot be substantiated with history either, primarily because the movie says the age Aries was from BC to 1 AD, however the earliest dates given by scholars for Exodus does not place it until over years after the Age began [ 52 ], a little late for Moses to start a new age and get angry that nobody else had caught on.

Fish symbolism is very abundant in the New Testament. Jesus feeds 5, people with bread and "2 fish. And I think we've all seen the Jesus-fish on the backs of people's cars. Little do they know what it actually means. Also, Jesus' assumed birth date is essentially the start of this age. Just like with Moses we run into various problems with the claims stated in the film. The Age of Pisces is represented by two fish, but the film maker chooses his words carefully.

He gleefully mentions that Jesus fed 5, people with 2 fish, but he chooses not to mention the amount of bread. The passage in the Bible says "We only have five loaves of bread and two fish". It also is not out of the ordinary that fish is mentioned, it was a very common food staple in the region. Therefore, if someone were to have food, it would have probably been bread and fish. It goes on to say that the fish symbol on the back of people's cars is actually a pagan astrological symbol for the "Sun's Kingdom during the Age of Pisces".

However, the true meaning behind the fish does not fit the parallel with the zodiac they are trying to make. At Luke when Jesus is asked by his disciples where the next passover will be after he is gone , Jesus replied: "Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water The man bearing a pitcher of water is Aquarius, the water-bearer, who is always pictured as a man pouring out a pitcher of water.

The film talks about a passage in the Bible and claims it is "by far one of the most revealing of all the astrological references. While the reply from Jesus is correct, the question the disciples ask is not. The film maker claims that the man bearing the pitcher that Jesus is talking about, actually symbolizes the Age of Aquarius. Luke is accurately quoted [ 55 ], but let's take a closer look at the disciples' question. Like states the following: "Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed [ 56 ].

As stated above, the disciples are not asking about where the next Passover will be, but rather where they would be eating that night. Aside from that though, the symbolism put forth by the movie is also inaccurate. The movie describes Aquarius as "always pictured as a man pouring out a pitcher of water", however in the passage from the Bible, the man is not pouring the water, but carrying it. If is the symbolic reference that the movie claims, why is the symbolism incorrect? Now, we have all heard about the end times and the end of the world. Apart from the cartoonish depictions in the Book of Revelation, the main source of this idea comes from Matthew , where Jesus says "I will be with you even to the end of the world.

The actual word being used is "aeon", which means "age. The entire concept of end times and the end of the world is a misinterpreted astrological allegory. Let's tell that to the approximately million people in America who believe the end of the world is coming. The movie makes claims that the King James Version of the Bible has many mistranslations, such as the word "world" is really "aeon" which means "age".

If the King James Version is so incorrect, why are they using it? The only possible reason would be to make a more general attack on the reliability of the translation or so that they can spin words and "mistranslations" however they please. So, essentially it is communicating the general idea correctly "even to the end of the world", "even to the end of eternity".

I think it is interesting how the film maker dismisses the Book of Revelation as "cartoonish depictions", even though it contains the majority of the end time predictions. It is no doubt because he could not draw a parallel between the zodiac and Revelation, only with Matthew All of the film maker's Biblical arguments work this way, he selects what agrees with him, but ignores everything else. The film maker also claims that Matthew 28 is the "main source" for Christian knowledge of the end times. Passages in Matthew 24 [ 61 ], 2nd Thessalonians 2 [ 62 ], the book of Daniel [ ], and of course Revelation [ 63a ] are far better sources, but they do not contain the parallels that the film maker wanted to make, so they are ignored.

Let's not forget that the King James Bible has 31, verses in it[ 63b ], and yet only a few are about the astrological connections between Jesus, God, the Zodiac, and so forth? If the book is an astrological document, one would figure there'd be more.

Part 1 of Zeitgeist the movie: Jesus is a Myth

Furthermore, the character of Jesus, a literary and astrological hybrid, is most explicitly a plagiarization of the Egyptian Sun-god Horus. For example, inscribed about years ago , on the walls of the Temple of Luxor in Egypt are images of the enunciation, the immaculate conception, the birth, and the adoration of Horus. The images begin with Thaw announcing to the virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus, then Nef the holy ghost impregnating the virgin, and then the virgin birth and the adoration. This is exactly the story of Jesus' miracle conception.

In fact, the literary similarities between Jesus and the Egyption religion are staggering. As I debunked earlier in the Jesus section of this page, I showed that Horus and Jesus had very little in common. I also debunked the ideas of Horus's life revolving around virgin birth, crucifixion, and resurrection. The stories may have a few similarities, but such conclusions could be drawn between most gods, even ones completely unrelated. Therefore, the above paragraph is absolutely false. And the plagiarism is continuous. The story of Noah and Noah's Ark is taken directly from tradition.

The concept of a Great Flood is ubiquitous throughout the ancient world, with over different cited claims in different periods and times. However, one need look no further for a pre-Christian source than the Epic of Gilgamesh, written in b. This story talks of a Great Flood commanded by God, an Ark with saved animals upon it, and even the release and return of a dove, all held in common with the biblical story, among many other similarities.

Indeed, there are many similarities between the story of the Ark and various flood stories that have appeared in nearly every culture and religion in history. I do not deny the similarities here, by all accounts the story of the ark is probably heavily influenced from a Babylonian tale or a direct copy. This, however, does not imply anything, other than the idea of the entire world flooding and one man saving all animals is a popular story. If the Bible is on trial for plagiarism of the story of the Ark, why doesn't the film maker mention the other stories as forgeries?

And then there is the plagiarized story of Moses. Upon Moses' birth, it is said that he was placed in a reed basket and set adrift in a river in order to avoid infanticide. He was later rescued by a daughter of royalty and raised by her as a Prince. This baby in a basket story was lifted directly from the myth of Sargon of Akkad of around b. Sargon was born, placed in a reed basket in order to avoid infanticide, and set adrift in a river. He was in turn rescued and raised by Akki, a royal mid-wife. Like most claims made by the movie, it could apply to many others. In fact, the story is similar, but it is not directly lifted.

The similarities are that Sargon was put in a basket and thrown into a river and raised by someone else, but that is where the similarities stop -- unless Sargon being a gardener is the same as Moses becoming a prince. However, the idea of a Law being passed from God to a prophet on a mountain is also a very old motif.

Moses is just a law giver in a long line of law givers in mythological history. In India, Manou was the great law giver. While in Egypt there was Mises, who carried stone tablets and upon them the laws of god were written. I imagine a lot of ancient people used tablets to write laws, considering they couldn't get poster board and markers at their local Walgreen's. The fact of the matter is that Moses probably got the laws from his father in law Jethro, a priest of Midian [ 65 ].

What the Book of the Dead phrased "I have not stolen" became "Thou shall not steal," "I have not killed" became "Thou shall not kill," "I have not told lies" became "Thou shall not bare false witness" and so forth. In fact, the Egyptian religion is likely the primary foundational basis for the Judeo-Christian theology. Baptism, afterlife, final judgment, virgin birth and resurrection, crucifixion, the ark of the covenant, circumcision, saviors, holy communion, the great flood, Easter, Christmas, Passover, and many many more, are all attributes of Egyptian ideas, long predating Christianity and Judaism.

This is an interesting claim, considering even the video shows there are over 40 "commandments" before it fades to the next shot. I think it goes without saying that nearly any moral code would speak against murder, stealing, and lying. It highlights the "original" commandments that the Ten Commandments are copied from, but it skips over many others, such as number 15 "I have not laid waste to ploughed land" and number 35 "I have not cursed the king". As you can see, only the matches are talked about, and the others are completely ignored.

This could be applied to nearly any religion with a written and set moral code, not just the Ten Commandments. The above was edited out of the final version of the movie. As shown by all the evidence we have talked about, Egyptian religion is not even close to a likely basis for Judeo-Christian theology.

Baptism, afterlife, and final judgment exist in nearly all religions, as to miracle births, resurrections, various festivals, and so forth. As I noted there is no evidence of crucifixion in Egyptian mythology, or much else. While there may be a few similarities between Egyptian mythology and Judeo-Christian beliefs, there are far more inconsistencies. Justin Martyr, one of the first Christian historians and defenders, wrote: "When we say that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into Heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those who you esteem Sons of Jupiter.

However, Justin had a solution. As far as he was concerned, the Devil did it. The Devil had the foresight to come before Christ, and create these characteristics in the Pagan world. Despite all the other evidence that the film maker has put forth, he still feels the need to offer more evidence. Unfortunately for the movie these quotes are taken out of context and do not communicate what the film maker is trying to say they do.

I had to track down where he took these quotes and I found them in Chapters 21 and 22 of the First Apology. If you read these chapters you will find that he is not saying these gods are the same as Jesus, lived and died in similar ways, rather he is saying that even though they are both gods and are held highly by the people, he will prove Jesus is superior [ 66 ].

When he says "we propound nothing different", he is not saying the stories the same, because as you have seen, there are no gods that died in exactly the same way as Jesus. Rather he is basically saying "we're not saying your gods aren't great, but ours is better". Thanks to the person who actually emailed me about it instead of whining on a forum that I don't read and pretending that my not correcting it was a part of a vast conspiracy.

Thank you, Eric M. The Bible is nothing more than an astro-theological literary fold hybrid, just like nearly all religious myths before it. In fact, the aspect of transference, of one character's attributes to a new character, can be found within the book itself. In the Old Testament there's the story of Joseph.

Joseph was a prototype for Jesus. Joseph was born of a miracle birth, Jesus was born of a miracle birth. Joseph was of 12 brothers, Jesus had 12 disciples. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver, Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Brother "Judah" suggests the sale of Joseph, disciple "Judas" suggests the sale of Jesus. Joseph began his work at the age of 30, Jesus began his work at the age of The parallels go on and on.

Firstly, I doubt the connection between Joseph and Jesus. Joseph was not born of a miracle birth, the bible essentially alludes to the fact that Jacob, his father, was in his 70s or perhaps a little older [ 67 ]. This is hardly a miracle birth, as even artist Pablo Picasso had children into his early 70s [ 68 ]. Men can create children until the day the die, so it is hardly a miracle birth. Consider, for example, his allegation that the reason Jesus was said to have 12 disciples is because there are 12 signs of the Zodiac: Now, probably the most obvious of all the astrological symbolism around Jesus regards the 12 disciples.

They are simply the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which Jesus, being the Sun, travels about with. More likely the number was chosen to parallel the 12 tribes of Israel, not the Zodiac signs. And it is doubtful that the tribes of Israel themselves had any zodiacal reference attached to them. The evidence suggests instead that the 12 tribes were based on the 12 months of the year, since the ancient Israelites established a tribe confederacy in which each tribe maintained the priestly sanctuary for one month of the year.

Simeon was probably a small and insignificant rural region of Judah that was afforded tribal status in order to provide support for the sanctuary. But more importantly, the history of the crucifix has very little to do with the Zodiac.

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Christians adopted it as the symbol of their religion because the man they revere as their savior is traditionally believed to have died on a Roman cross. If Jesus had been beaten to death with a club, one could imagine that the Christians to this day would have adopted the iconography of a club to symbolize their faith. Peter Joseph has simply taken the easy path of making false connections in order to prove something that conforms to and serves his agendas.

It was also a Pagan spiritual symbol. This [the familiar cross with vertices within a circle] is not a symbol of Christianity. It is a Pagan adaptation of the cross of the Zodiac. Many early occult depictions of Jesus showed 31 Ibid, p. In fact, between the third and sixth centuries CE, halos were commonly featured in the representations of deities and other holy people. Many such religiously-venerated figures, who shared similar character details, can be seen in ancient art that have no connection to the sun whatsoever. The evidence from anthropology actually indicates otherwise.

The cross is one of the oldest known symbols, dating from as early as the Neolithic era, and was used by every known culture since that era for a variety of reasons. The cross-shaped sign in its earliest known form was represented as a crossing of two lines at right angles, in many cases forming an X that would be used to mark burial sites. This ancient Egyptian cross form, featuring a loop that circles on the top, symbolized eternal life and fertility and often appeared as a sign in the hands of the goddess Sekhmet.


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The man bearing a pitcher of water is Aquarius, the water-bearer, who is always pictured as a man pouring out a pitcher of water. While the reply from Jesus in Luke is quoted correctly here,35 the question asked by the disciples is not. When we look at the actual context in which the disciples asked their question, we find that Joseph has misused this verse to promote a misleading claim. Even if Joseph represented the context correctly, the symbolism put forth by the film is inaccurate as well.

Joseph claims, for example, that Matthew 28 is one of the primary sources for Christian understandings of end-times doctrines: Now, we have all heard about the end times and the end of the world. The entire concept of end times and the end of the world is a misinterpreted astrological allegory.

Passages in Matthew 24,37 the second chapter of Second Thessalonians,38 the Book of Daniel,39 and of course Revelation40 are far better and more in-depth sources. But it is clear that the misrepresentation and selective reasoning present in Zeitgeist is required in order to prop up a case that the Bible is an astrological document.

The King James Bible contains a total of 31, verses. As such, Peter Joseph appears more interested in levying a general attack on the reliability of the King James translation so that he can then spin the passages he has cherry-picked however he chooses. Miller and Robert V. The film is correct in stating that the New Testament Gospels are mostly fiction, and there is no question that some elements and concepts in Christianity were indeed inspired by earlier influential mythologies. Some pagan material did make its way into the Christ myth, and this was even acknowledged by early Christian church fathers in their writings.

This is borne out by the following quote from the early Christian apologist Justin Martyr CE : And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.

Nor is there any historical evidence to suggest that the architects of Christianity were consciously orchestrating a vast and organized conspiracy to politically control the lives of people. This latter argument is presented in the conclusion to Part I, where Joseph says, The reality is, Jesus was the Solar Deity of the Gnostic Christian sect, and like all other Pagan gods, he was a mythical figure. It was the political establishment that sought to historize the Jesus figure for social control. By A. It was during this meeting that the politically motivated Christian Doctrines were established and thus began a long history of Christian bloodshed and spiritual fraud.

But this does not mean that the conversion of Constantine I to Christianity was not genuine. Moreover, Constantine did not make Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire. He was primarily responsible for ending the state-sanctioned persecution of Christians when he issued the Edict of Milan in CE, which legalized Christianity but did not make it the official religion.

Gnosticism was not the only form of Christianity that existed prior to the Council of Nicaea, as Joseph implies. There was a wide variety of differing view about Jesus floating around the Empire, all vying for attention and legitimization. And of course there was a host of Christian mystery cults, including Gnosticism. It was not, as Joseph seems to believe, a shadowy affair where plots were hatched in secret to politically control the Empire. This was a time when radical scholars and pseudo-historian played fast and loose with methods that were only just beginning to be used by researchers in the fledgling field of biblical criticism.


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  • At the time Zeitgeist appeared on the Internet, the arguments of the old radical scholars were beginning to trickle back into popular culture. For example, popular social critic and political commentator Bill Maher has adopted some of the arguments used by Joseph and Acharya S. For example, many of the connections drawn by Joseph between Jesus and Horus in Zeitgeist were also drawn by Maher in his documentary film Religulous. These factually-dubious themes appear to be the only aspect of these films for which Maher and Flemming did not investigate claims as closely as they should have.

    This demonstrates the need for even skeptics of the supernatural to be careful of the sources on which we base our arguments and criticism. The opposite is the case for Zeitgeist; some few points are correct, but the overwhelming majority of its claims are either blatantly inaccurate or highly tenuous. Debunking Christianity as a credible belief system is not difficult, and fabricating damning evidence against its historicity is completely unnecessary to the task.

    Building a sloppy case to the effect that Christianity was wholly plagiarized from earlier pagan religion and mythology is not only a waste of time that could have been spent doing legitimate research, but it also gives honest and reputable skeptics of Christianity and the Bible a bad name. Films like Zeitgeist have the unfortunate effect of giving Christian apologists an excuse to paint all critics of biblical faith as poor researchers whose prejudice trumps any solidly-grounded critique they present.

    One good example that can be cited is the origin of Christmas, which was not celebrated for the first few centuries after the Christian church was formed. Being the good missionaries that they were, Christians appropriated that festival, keeping the aspects of gift- giving and general merrymaking, but changing it to be about the birth of Christ instead of Mithra. However, Peter Joseph and his muse Acharya S have greatly exaggerated the extent to which Christianity stole elements from earlier faiths.

    And even if Christianity did steal as many concepts as Zeitgeist would have us believe, it is fallacious to conclude that a religion whose tenets feature concepts such as recurring life and death must have been taken from an earlier religion simply because the latter also featured the same concepts. To build a special case for Christianity being a fraud consciously perpetrated upon the masses, based solely on the existence of similarities in past religions, is illogical. But what makes Zeitgeist one of the most dishonest documentaries ever produced is the manner in which it presents its arguments, over and above the actual content itself.

    As we have seen, the film makes direct claims to the effect that Christianity stole its central tenets and storylines from the ancient Egyptians. Yes, Christianity was influenced to some small degree by Egyptian religion, but there are far more inconsistencies than there are similarities. And the similarities exist only to the extent that the ideas and concepts incorporated by Christianity were ubiquitous throughout Mesopotamia and surrounding regions.

    Moreover, when religious scholars and anthropologists encounter concepts or philosophies in one religion that are more or less exactly the same as or at least similar to those found in two or more pre-dating cultures, tracing the source of influence is often a matter of asking which culture or civilization was closer to the centers in which the newer religion first developed and flourished. If Christianity borrowed elements from any earlier culture or religious system, it was the Babylonians, from whom the concepts of monotheism, the dualism of good and evil, angels and demons, a worldwide flood, and others were borrowed.

    It should come as no surprise that similar worldviews would be fostered and developed by a culture that shared the same social and political problems and challenges as its surrounding cultures. It is not anomalous for a culture to independently develop ideas and concepts that flourish in other cultures, for example to conceive of supernatural reasons for why the sun shines.

    There is certainly no need to posit the existence of a vast conspiracy to control gullible masses. But not all true ideas are necessarily original, and not all original ideas are inherently more valuable or informative than their derivatives. My aim here is simply to distinguish truth from falsehood. I have shown that the essential arguments presented in the first part of Zeitgeist are factually wrong. But I have no personal stake in this matter. If the various disparate claims contained in Zeitgeist are proven to be true by some startling and revolutionary archaeological discovery, my immediate response would be to update the present critique.

    This contrasts sharply with the strawman skeptic conjured up in the imaginations of conspiracy theory enthusiasts, who seem to be labor under the false impression that skeptics who take the time and effort to debunk conspiracy theories are doing so because they have something to gain personally from the exercise. Specifically, Part II deals with issues relating to General Ahmed and Mohammed Atta, the financing of the attacks, the hijacker passport, the claim that some hijackers were found alive after the attacks, the allegedly fake Osama bin Laden video, the Carlyle Group, the Pentagon and others.

    Every one of the major claims made here has been thoroughly debunked by many researchers, so I will limit this present analysis to the most persistent and popular of the arguments that appear in Zeitgeist. Part II, on the other hand, contains many sound bites and media clips and very little else. Joseph would have done well to leave this part out of the film altogether, or at least to cover the subject more concisely in Part III. First-time viewers of Zeitgeist are liable to get a strong sense that they have been thrown violently out of one documentary and treated to another when they view as far as Part II.

    This section of the film does a great disservice to critical thinkers everywhere, particularly atheists. In doing this, the typical Truther hopes to establish what they imagine constitutes a default case for other closely-related conspiracy theories. But let us first dispense with the arguments made in Zeitgeist Part II that are most easily refuted, and in fact had been shown conclusively to be false long before Joseph made his movie. Some of the most egregious mistakes are logical ones.

    For example, Part II begins by playing several media clips in which witnesses and first responders to the WTC attacks say they heard a series of explosions while the attack was underway. The implication made here is that since several people heard explosions, there must have been explosives involved. Not only is this inaccurate, it is also an example of extremely bad logic. As I was talking to a supervisor. An explosion so hard that it pushed us upwards! And it came from the basement between the B2 level and the B3 level. The impact of the plane on the top.

    No one should expect to hear just a single loud sound and nothing else. Other mistakes in the film have to do with factual inaccuracies that nobody would make who had first taken the time to conduct the most cursory of research before committing their fallacies to film. Presumably, the implication being made here is that the plane was shot out of the sky, not deliberately crashed by hijackers on board.

    This is apparently another debris site. Why would debris be located six miles away? Could it have been blown that far away? Seems highly unlikely. This wind, combined with the blast generated by the heat of the crashing plane, would easily have carried debris from the crash the short distance to the lake. The satellite photo below shows the close proximity of the lake to the crash site. Never mind the fact that the destruction of Building 7 has been thoroughly and carefully analyzed in peer-reviewed studies that are freely available to anyone who has an interest in finding out what took place.

    Peter Joseph has just presumed to educate us poor, ignorant half- wits on the esoteric secrets that he has uncovered. You know, kink in the middle and then that building just comes straight down almost at free fall speed. The heat bowed the columns inward, eventually causing the building to collapse.

    For one thing, loud explosions are characteristic of controlled demolitions. WTC 7 made no loud noise as it fell. For another, massive buildings do not simply fall over as small buildings might. However, the manner in which both WTC 7 and the Twin Towers fell is exactly what we would expect to see in uncontrolled collapses caused by intense heat from jet fuel. The loss of strength in even a single steel column of WTC 7 did not even need to be substantial although it was in order for the weight of the upper floors to lose their support.

    They are never symmetrical. The buildings were equipped with several large diesel storage tanks that served as back-up generators. Along with everything else in the building that was flammable rugs, curtains, furniture, paper, etc. It is also worth pointing out that nobody was inside WTC 7 when it fell, and no casualties resulted from that particular collapse. Therefore, why does it matter whether the building was purposefully demolished or not?

    What would be the point of blowing up an empty building? Clearing up this point will demonstrate that WTC 7 is far less of a mystery than Zeitgeist makes it out to be. However, eyewitness testimony from several independent sources indicates conclusively that the claim is simply false. The damage captured in this photograph is consistent with many eyewitness testimonies, both from firemen working on or near the site and from the general public, who were quite certain that the building was going to collapse based simply on their observations.

    More vivid photographs of the damage sustained by Building 7 are shown below. No photograph evidence supports the claimed presence of molten metal in the World Trade Center basements. This is more than sufficient to warp and sag steel. As we noted above, jet fuel was not the only thing burning in the building. Rugs, curtains, furniture, paper and other combustible material intensified the inferno that was initially catalyzed by the jet fuel.

    The result was a pile of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel in the basement area. What do they say about the molten metal? They say nothing. Now wait a minute. This is important evidence! WTC 7 was not a target, and so is not afforded as much discussion in the report. The products are molten iron and aluminum oxide, which goes off primarily as a dust.

    You know those enormous dust clouds? You can imagine when you assemble these chemicals on a large scale. The film throws a great deal of information relating to this at the viewer in rapid succession: No seats, no luggage, no bodies. Nothing but bricks and limestone. Flight 77 had two Rolls-Royce engines made of steel and titanium alloy and weighed six tons each. It is scientifically impossible [that] 12 tons of steel and titanium was vaporized by jet fuel.

    So what kind of fire can vaporize aluminum and tempered steel, and yet leave human bodies intact? The entire lawn was covered with dirt and gravel, so that any remaining forensic evidence was literally covered up. The videos from security cameras [on the nearby CITGO gas station and Sheraton Hotel], which would show what really hit the Pentagon, were immediately confiscated by agents of the FBI, and the Department of Justice has to this day refused to release them.

    If these videos would prove that the Pentagon was really hit by a , most of us would assume the government would release them. One such piece of video footage clearly shows a plane in the background on the right hand side seconds before impact. The notions that there was no downed plane at the Pentagon and that the official explanation was vaporization of the plane upon impact are false. Hundreds of photographs are available on the Internet documenting the wreckage.

    Of course, denying that a plane crashed into the Pentagon requires one to also deny the undeniable, namely the fact that human remains were seen at the site. This means material was naturally left over from the inferno. Identification of the bodies, including fingerprinting and DNA analysis, was difficult but it was done. Of course, the conspiracy theorists have made an art form of rationalizing all these explanations away. Nothing is preventing them from looking at the many photographs of the plane wreckage or reading the many accounts by eyewitnesses who saw the plane crash into the Pentagon.

    But their foregone conclusion allows them to argue with a straight face that the pieces of the plane were planted on the site by government agents and that all the eyewitnesses were paid-off government shills. At this point, the conspiracy theory mindset becomes so far-fetched that it collapses under its own weight, especially considering the sheer number of people who would have to be in on the conspiracy. A crucial component of the scientific method is the criterion of falsifiability. The Zeitgeist Movement is clearly an example of a faith-based movement, not a scientifically-based one, and Peter Joseph has become a religious cult leader.

    It is a matter of record that he habitually censors dissenting opinion. Inherent in the conspiracy-theory mindset is a glaring self-contradiction. According to the paranoid mindset, the people spearheading and carrying out the conspiracy wield incredible resources and are masterfully clever, while simultaneously displaying incomprehensible stupidity.

    How is it that those evil geniuses conspiring against us have access to such great and unimaginable power, influence and cleverness, yet commit countless stupid mistakes and blunders that make it obvious to pattern-seeking amateurs that a conspiracy is in play? If he was really on to something, Alex Jones would not have survived to say most of what he has said over the years. Had Peter Joseph taken this self-contradiction into consideration, he may not have included a media clip that is shown in Zeitgeist in which then-president George W.

    The Pagan Copycat Theory (Zeitgeist Debunked)

    Bush is speaking at a press conference. A cover-up to mask administrative stupidity is plausible, while a cover-up to mask a massive inside terrorist job is highly implausible. After being seized by a SWAT team and taken to the White House for questioning, Bush shoots the truth representative in the head, and proceeds to describe the method by which they pulled off the attacks. It contained very little commentary from Joseph and had no apparent connection to anything that was discussed in Part I. At the end of Part II, we finally learn what the whole point of this middle portion of the film is supposed to be.

    Is it too late to grab a tinfoil hat? Two money-related theses are argued in Part III. One is that all debt in the United States is created by a seemingly never-ending money supply that the Federal Reserve produces out of nothing. The second is that the federal income tax was created not only as a means of paying off this debt, but also as a means of enslaving people to perpetual debt.

    The subject of war is also explored. Joseph argues that World Wars I and II and the Vietnam conflict were provoked by central banking interests for monetary gain. Much of the content in the third part of Zeitgeist originates from two primary sources. The first is the various anti-government militia movements that cropped up in the late s and throughout the s. The other source, ironically enough, is evangelical Christianity. Beginning around the late s, such ominous and dystopian right-wing predictions managed to grow beyond fringe status and achieve wide circulation, as evangelicals and fundamentalists came out of the woodwork to preach their expectations that a One World government was imminent.

    Even before the political rise of the Religious Right in the s, the neo-conservative movement of the Sixties and Seventies spawned a culture of paranoid anti-government activists. Today this community enjoys a stronger public voice than they had in earlier decades, thanks in large part to the Internet. Zeitgeist is just one such voice clamoring for attention. It turns out they are the rich and powerful banking magnates of Wall Street, the giants in the world of Big Finance. In the following quote from the film, Joseph sets the scene by essentially poisoning the well, portraying central banks as a scheme by the rich and powerful to enslave the populace to perpetual debt: A central bank is an institution that produces the currency of an entire nation.

    Based on historical precedent, two specific powers are inherent in central banking practice: the control of interest rates and the control of the money supply, or inflation. Then, through the use of increasing and decreasing the supply of money, the central bank regulates the value of the currency being issued. It is critical to understand that the entire structure of this system can only produce one thing in the long run: debt. The main justification for having a central bank has to do with practical economics and is actually far less sinister than Joseph makes it out to be.

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    The main catalyst for the creation of a centralized bank in America was the Bank Panic of Zeitgeist touches briefly on this event: [. Morgan knew this would cause mass hysteria, which would affect other banks as well, and it did. The public, in fear of losing their deposits, immediately began mass withdrawals.

    Consequently the banks were forced to call in their loans, causing the recipients to sell their products, and thus a spiral of bankruptcies, repossessions, and turmoil emerged. No, J. Morgan was not responsible for inciting the Panic of The panic kicked into full gear on Monday, October 21 when the National Bank of Commerce announced that it would no longer clear any checks from Knickerbocker, leading to depositors making a run on the bank to withdraw their funds.

    The threat of imminent insolvency was not a fabrication or a rumor. Morgan, J. Rockefeller, and other household 74 J. Tallman and Jon R. Bruner and Sean D. But there is no evidence to suggest that Morgan ever published fraudulent rumors of about banks going bankrupt. In fact, the opposite is true. Morgan, along with an informal team of trust company executives he organized, attempted to halt the Panic of and rescue the economy.

    He purchased large amounts of falling stock from financially-sound companies in order to stabilize the market. But it did make clear that the country simply could no longer do without a central bank. A man of the stature and probity of J. Morgan might be able to avert financial calamity in the future, but there was no guarantee that there would be such a man available. Because of the heavy volume of trading, brokerage offices were hours late in reporting prices on their ticker tapes and mass chaos ruled the day on Wall Street. A consortium of leading bankers, among them the heads of Morgan Bank and Chase National Bank, decided to stem the selling frenzy by infusing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Stock Exchange.

    They enlisted Richard Whitney, acting president of the Exchange, to act as their intermediary. Whitney went to the U. Steel trading post and purchased 10, shares of U. Steel at a price well above their market value. But unlike the solution, it was only temporary. It would not be convenient for Joseph to inform his viewers that the big names in the world of early twentieth-century finance tried their best to save crashing markets, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so successfully. The Morgans and Rockefellers of the world stood to lose just as much as the depositing layman if the market crumbled.

    Rockefeller, Bernhard Barrack, and other insiders quietly exited the market, and on October 24th, , the New York financiers who furnished the margin loans started calling them in en masse. These banking insiders did not withdraw their money before the crash happened. They took their money out and left the market during the crash, which makes practical sense.

    They did all they could to rescue the market but it still began to collapse around them. Virtually all conspiracy theories surrounding the passing of the Federal Reserve Act in would have people believe that very few individuals knew about the act, and that it was passed under very secretive circumstances by only a handful of people. Zeitgeist is no exception. The narrator states, After this bill [the Federal Reserve Act] was constructed, it was then handed over to their political front man, Senator Nelson Aldrich, to push through Congress. And in with heavy political sponsorship by the bankers, Woodrow Wilson became President, having already agreed to sign the Federal Reserve Act in exchange for campaign support.

    And two days before Christmas when most of Congress was at home with their families, the Federal Reserve Act was voted in, and Wilson in turn made it law. This is a gross distortion of the facts. The Act then passed the Senate vote the following day, 43 yeas to 25 nays, with 27 not voting. The film claims that in later years Woodrow Wilson regretted signing the Federal Reserve Act into law. In support of this claim, the film quotes passages from two speeches written by Wilson. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.

    They are hardly statements of regret about passing the Federal Reserve Act into law, because he said these things before the Federal Reserve Act even existed. McFadden and Lindbergh both strongly opposed the Act and attempted to establish an impeachment case against those primarily responsible for creating it. Very few of the many people who express admiration for these two 81 U. House Report no. McFadden was an extremely shady individual who believed that the Jews not only controlled the American economy, but that they were also responsible for a number of major economic upheavals and changes, especially in the United States.

    Congress took it to a vote, and the impeachment resolution was defeated to 8. Only eight people in Congress voted with McFadden and Lindbergh. Historically speaking, opposition to the Federal Reserve was rooted in anti-Semitism. Of course, most people who want to see the Federal Reserve eliminated in the present day are not anti-Semites. The problem is that most of them do not realize that anti-Semitic motivations are what drove the initial oppositions to the Federal Reserve Act.

    And to portray figures like Louis McFadden as heroes for freedom, as Zeitgeist does, is to display an ignorance of history. The many conspiracy theories that this fear has inspired, including those concerning the Rothschild family, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission, virtually all stem from a fear of banking in general, an anxiety that is experienced even by rational, common-sense individuals who have their head on straight.

    The film argues that money comes from nothing and has no basis. This is incorrect; while there is no physical thing one can point to and identify as the basis for money, the monetary concept itself has a well-grounded foundation, albeit a needlessly complex one. It is also easy to sympathize with the desire to end the private status of the Federal Reserve, and it is legitimate to ask why anyone should trust a private industry to uphold and protect the best interests of the people.

    However, to suggest that the Federal Reserve and central banks in general are evil entities that are out to intentionally harm and enslave us is an unwarranted and unfounded conclusion with no basis in reality. Moreover, people who harbor paranoid notions of iron-fisted government control tend to grossly underestimate the power of the democratic process wielded by the people.

    There is an obvious psychological reason for this fear. For example, the United States was treated to heavy doses of neoliberalism as a result of democratically electing Ronald Reagan to the office of president. We are to some degree still experiencing the effects of this political philosophy today, particularly in the maximization of the disproportional influence of the private business sector in outlining the economic priorities of the state. This development can ultimately be traced to the will of the people, not to a conspiracy on the part of a shadowy and elite class of bankers who control us like puppets.

    Rather than placing the blame on the individual we elected or taking responsibility for electing him or her, we tend to instinctively blame other people outside our sphere of influence. The irrational mindset inherent in this attitude is that we as a people never vote wrong, so a conspiracy must therefore be taking place against our 88 For a detailed explanation of the basis for money, see Edward L.

    TZM members strongly advocate for abandoning the current fiat-based economic model and replacing it with a resource-based economy. In order to do this, they needed to acquire the remaining gold in the system. So, under the pretense of helping to end the depression came the gold seizure. Under threat of imprisonment for 10 years, everyone in America was required to turn in all gold bullion to the Treasury, essentially robbing the public of what little wealth they had left.

    At the end of , the Gold Standard was abolished. If you look at a dollar bill from before , it says it is redeemable in gold.

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    If you look at a dollar bill today, it says it is legal tender, which means it is backed by absolutely nothing. It is worthless paper. The only thing that gives our money value is how much of it is in circulation. Therefore the power to regulate the money supply is also the power to regulate its value, which is also the power to bring entire economies and societies to its knees. Peter Joseph has a poor understanding of what a fiat-based economy is.

    In a fiat-based economy, the value of money is not determined by the amount of money in circulation. It needs no prophet to tell you that when the people find that they can get their money — that they can get it when they want it for all legitimate purposes — the phantom of fear will soon be laid.