Peter Joseph (creator of Zeitgeist) believes that I'm mentally ill because I disagree with him. You can read all about it on his forums (linked from this forum post), with a blog-based rebuttal here. You better not disagree with him, or you'll be labeled insane next. Perhaps I'm crazy for pointing out his forum post?
Zeitgeist, The Movie is a film that was released on Google Video in the spring of 2007 and was created by Peter Joseph. Essentially the video covers three areas of Interest: Part I, entitled "The Greatest Story Ever Told" evaluates Christian beliefs and asserts that it was all taken from pre-existing myths, primarily Egyptian mythology. In Part II, entitled "All The World's a Stage" it goes on to talk about how the US Government knew about the attacks on September 11th, 2001 before hand and that it was a large conspiracy and cover up -- essentially an it was an inside job. Lastly we are told in Part III, entitled "Don't Mind The Men Behind The Curtain", that powerful bankers and world leaders are conspiring for world domination and consolidation of power.
<- On the left side you can navigate each part (put here because some people did not notice)
This video has recently (early 2008 now) spread through the Internet like wild fire. I cannot go to a forum on the Internet without someone mentioning how this is the "truth" and it has "opened [their] eyes". Nearly always, they also claim that they know these things are true because of their "own research". The interesting part of all this is, you rarely see any engineers, scientists, or anyone else making such claims.
I decided to sit down and watch the film, I honestly began watching it thinking it may have some interesting information. When it was all over, I realized that many things were completely wrong, misquoted, or had already been disproven by many other people long ago. The problem was that when I tried to Google more information about it, nobody had made a complete guide discussing all the inaccuracies of the film. So, here I am. If you don't want to read the whole site, you can read my conclusion page for a general overview -- be sure to read the actual analysis for sourced information.
The movie rarely cites sources, and when it does, it fails to provide page numbers, dates, and other information. Sourced information listed on their web site is primarily from books which are sometimes hard to obtain -- trust me, I tried -- making fact checking near impossible. So, in my work, I am going to source all my claims and exactly where I find them. If it is in a book, I will do my best to find an online version of the book, and if I cannot, I will link to where the book can be purchased. For the most part, however, I wanted to use web sites and online information so it is easier for everyone to read -- I have received several complaints about this, somehow a book is more authoritative than a web site, I'm not sure where that logic comes from considering the crazy books that are in circulation these days.
I am not naïve, and you should not be either; the information here will be considered controversial to many of those who see Zeitgeist, the movie as the truth. That said, do not be surprised if they refuse to believe anything written in these pages. I personally have tried to show people before, generally they reply "you shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet" (ironic, isn't it?) and/or that they "just have an open mind". Note that these are not answers to the skeptics' questions, these are just ways to avoid facing something that disproves what they believe. Readers have also reported that conspiracy theorists who read my site, if they have one problem with anything on it, they automatically throw out the whole thing without reading the site in its entirety.
One of the biggest rebuttals I receive is that the film "isn't meant to be true, just to open your mind to other possibilities." The problem with this logic is that there are better ways to show someone alternative view points other than blatantly lying to them. Most importantly, most people that like this movie do believe it, they don't see it as just some metaphorical mind-opening experience. My question to these people who refute me this way is this: if I am wrong and/or lying on my web site, then why aren't I also just trying to open peoples minds? Why am I the liar? Is it because I don't make outrageous and impossible claims about the world and believe you to be an idiot?
They say I have "missed the entire point of the film", but have I really? If the film is lying to me about everything, then what is the point? It can't be to open my mind, that really doesn't make sense, because if that is the case, all liars are really just trying to open your mind. The film's web site makes a big deal that if you find anything incorrect, then it wasn't supposed to be correct -- however, I imagine if you do believe something in it, they'll tell you that it's true as well.
Good luck to anyone using this information to try to talk sense into someone.
The movie talks about things such as "the sun was worshipped by the ancients" and I do not dispute this. Information that has been widely known for countless years I will not mention. My goal is to only debate the new ideas they put forth that challenge older ones.
That said, a lot of people claim that "I do not believe everything in the movie, but this thing seems true to me, so you should watch it." Just because something of substance might be found, does not make it a good / factual movie. For example, if I have a pie, and I fill it with dirt and put a slice of apple in it, it does not make it an apple pie -- though some would claim so. If I can't find any information in the film to be true, I will say so, however sometimes people who criticize me say that if I "can't prove it isn't true, then it must be true". I'm sorry, that isn't how science works.
In these pages I will state their claim intended and in a slightly different color, and below it I will have a sourced rebuttal. I may also separate them into sections to make it easier to find things, these will be noted by larger headers. I also want to avoid explaining things more than once, so a large section may not have every problem brought forth, but these problems are instead addressed later.