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  • October 21st, 2009:

  • I send an email to Peter Joseph requesting an on-camera interview...

  • ...No Response

  • November 3rd, 2009:

  • I send another email to Peter Joseph...

  • Response!

  • Response! (November 10th)

  • "Charles, I am very busy at this time... I will be in and out of town this month.

  • Try me in early Dec. thx, Peter"

  • December 1st, 2009:

  • December 1st, 2009: I send another email to Peter Joseph requesting the interview...

  • ...(waiting)

  • December 5th: "...fine- I'll give you 2 hrs. I'm in Bushwick..." P

  • Who is Peter Joseph?

  • A Mini-Doc by Charles Robinson

  • www.whoispeterjoseph.com

  • Background

  • My name is Peter Joseph. I live in Brooklyn, New York. I'm 31 years old.

  • I am an independant film maker and I suppose the de facto founder of an organisation called;

  • "The Zeitgeist Movement"

  • As far as my background, I was born to what I consider to be a middle class family.

  • My father was a... is now a retired postal employee,

  • and my mother is a retired Child Protective Services employee.

  • In fact, a lot of my social dispositions on society I think might come from

  • the experiences I had listening to the stories coming from my mother.

  • I started getting interested in music I think at about eight or nine.

  • I seemed to fall into a love of percussion and drums and rhythm.

  • I was very lucky to be accepted to a school in North Carolina,

  • an art school in a university,

  • which allowed me to grow up in a very different upbringing

  • than I think most people grow up into

  • in a rural town in a place in the south such as North Carolina.

  • And I was exposed to a lot of different cultures, a lot of different interests,

  • a lot of things that you wouldn't find in a typical highschool, say, in the south.

  • I was exposed to a large variety of people

  • and artistic and creative people, specifically,

  • which I think imprinted on me, so to speak,

  • and I continue those trends today.

  • Music and percussion are coupled straight into my identity.

  • People say to me: "Well, you know, you work with this social organisation,

  • but yet, you're just a musician". You know, "just a musician".

  • There is the credentialism tendency that comes up a lot

  • with anyone that talks about the issues that we talk about in the movement

  • or that have been talked about in the films.

  • And, we can talk about that a little bit later as well.

  • But, what I'd like to say is that, I look at music now as a form of meditation.

  • It's something that's an outlet, it maintains my balance.

  • So I continue to practice in a very personal sense,

  • it's not that I go out and perform that much anymore,

  • I don't have time to anymore.

  • After my second year of college, I dropped out

  • realizing that the debt that I was accruing was absolutely not worth it.

  • Even then I knew there was something wrong with going to school,

  • getting a ridiculous amount of debt, $80 to $100,000

  • and then being thrown into the work force,

  • automatically in a position of indentured servitude, if you will.

  • Automatically having to give yourself to the system because you're already in so much debt.

  • My original interest was to be a solo classical marimbist,

  • a laughable concept when I think about it now,

  • but we all have our bouts of naivety as we grow.

  • Once music became difficult for me to pursue as a career choice,

  • I started to get into video and editing, and I got a job in New York,

  • many jobs in New York, doing various freelance video editing,

  • shooting, whatever related to video work, film work.

  • You have to do whatever pays you in this society,

  • and I couldn't really find the niche to make money in music so, I ended up in advertising.

  • I always had a problem with people telling me what to do in the labor force,

  • and I did not like advertising, obviously.

  • I did not like the nonsensical manipulation of peoples' perceptions so corporations can sell their crap.

  • So I began to pursue work in the financial arena.

  • I began to do day trading, pattern training.

  • I was moderately succesful. I never had a big capital base, which you really do have to have.

  • I pulled some change out of the market,

  • and I continued to do it on and off for many, many years.

  • I don't do it anymore because I despise the market system.

  • The way I justified this was it was the only job I could come up with,

  • that didn't have a boss or a client, so it represented freedom to me.

  • Granted, trading the stock market has absolutely no social relevance,

  • it contributes nothing to society.

  • You could blow up Wall Street tomorrow and it wouldn't make a damn difference to anything

  • in regard to the natural order of affairs on this planet.

  • So at that stage in my life, I just wanted a way out.

  • I wanted to not have to deal with being a slave to the corporate system anymore.

  • So anyway, that's when I started first investigating economics,

  • and we can... I'm sure you have other questions about that, so I'll stop there.

  • Zeitgeist began as a public performance,

  • an attempt at a vaudevillian concept.

  • What I did was I set up two screens,

  • and I had a huge percussion setup in the middle where I performed,

  • with the videos that were on the two screens.

  • Some of the equipment you see here was used.

  • I've actually sold off most of my equipment.

  • But regardless... I think I have some photographs I can give you.

  • There's only a few that actually were captured, believe it or not, at the original event.

  • I wish I had documented the original event,

  • because people keep asking me about it.

  • But never the less, it started off as a creative work,

  • a variation on an early vaudevillian concept.

  • Film and live music. Live performance.

  • And once it was over, you know there was a...

  • it was a free event. I did it for six nights, I believe.

  • And people came, I advertised it like crazy.

  • I spent thousands and thousands of dollars.

  • I did it mainly because I had been stuck in the corporate reality,

  • and I just wanted to do something for myself to make myself feel better

  • about a world that's going to shit, essentially.

  • A world that's being dominated by finance, a world that's sick and distorted,

  • through religious processes, financial oligarchs.

  • It was just an expression, it was in fact a very angry, but solemn expression.

  • I never expected it to turn out to be what it was, at all.

  • After it was over, I just found myself in a little bit more debt.

  • And I took the work which, by the way, I had no clearance for,

  • I didn't clear any of the aspects with it.

  • But, since the internet is what it is, tossed it up online to see what would happen.

  • Maybe some people would like it, they'd download it, I'd get some feedback.

  • Whatever.

  • What happened completely blew my mind.

  • I posted it on one website, and from there, a chain reaction occured, and I...

  • It's pretty much all history from that point on, I couldn't even tell you how it unfolded.

  • All I know is that,

  • I got wind of the fact that it was getting a tremendous amount of hits,

  • and talked about a lot, so I built a website for it:

  • www.zeitgeistmovie.com

  • And I just had it up there for free.Then I realized that people wanted it on DVD.

  • Like ok, I guess I should try to do that.

  • So I was forced into a very difficult position of getting clearance from all the participants involved,

  • which was very difficult, by the way because,

  • everyone saw dollar-signs,

  • because it's an internet film that's getting millions of views.

  • So I had to pay out a lot of money to a set number of people to get it going.

  • But there were also people that were just happy to see this information get out there,

  • and didn't have any problems with me doing

  • what I call a "non-commercial distribution".

  • A $5 DVD, for it to be released, in some capacity.

  • From there I got an email from an organization called the Artivist Film Festival.

  • And, to my amazement, they wanted to show the film in their festival,

  • which was a packed audience, sold out audience.

  • At this stage it was still utterly bewildering to me.

  • This was the same organization of course that showed Zeitgeist: Addendum the next year.

  • "In a world where media is often used to keep us a little dumbed down

  • more than anything else, as far as my opinion is concerned."

  • (Applause)

  • I've often said, art without conscience is meaningless,

  • and I think action without conscience is futile.

  • So, I think it's so great to have a festival that represents these types of ideas.

  • As far as the film itself,

  • I guess all I can really say is that the whole point of the film

  • is for people to start looking at the very fundamental root causes

  • of all of these problems that we see in society.

  • So, that's a general run down of what happened.

  • The Zeitgeist Movement.

  • The Zeitgeist movement was a very difficult decision for me.

  • I could have just made Zeitgeist: Addendum like other socially conscious film makers do

  • in the sense that I could have just said: "Oh, well here's a bunch of stuff,

  • here's a bunch of problems. Hey, here are some possible solutions.

  • Take what you will with it, and just roll with it and see what happens."

  • I really was on the fence about putting at the very end;

  • "Join the movement www.thezeitgeistmovement.com"

  • And 6) Join the movement.

  • Go to thezeitgeistmovement.com and help us create

  • the largest mass movement for social change the world has ever seen.

  • I knew that the moment that it became something more than just a film phenomenon,

  • that my life would likely change dramatically, which it has.

  • Zeitgeist: Addendum was sparked out of people emailing me saying,

  • "Well, what do we do about all of these cultural problems?

  • What do we do about a corrupt banking system?

  • What do we do about people that are locked into establishment social programs, if you will?"

  • I consider the trains of thought and mind to be a program.

  • I consider society itself to be a program that's running.

  • And the programing locks people into a specific frame of reference.

  • How do we deal with these issues?

  • How do we do, what do we do?

  • And Zeitgeist: Addendum was an attempt at answering that question.

  • After Zeitgeist 1 was released, it got into the hands of Jacque and Roxanne.

  • And after reading Jacques book, which they sent me,

  • I realized that this was really important information.

  • I realized that, even I was backwards on a lot of issues that needed to be corrected.

  • And in order to get society in line,

  • we have to think about the fundamental problems.

  • This was something that I was attempting to do in part, I had a notion of,

  • but it wasn't until I met Jacque Fresco that the lense became focused.

  • It was like all these things that I sort of had an inkling of,

  • Jacque's experience, life experience, what he had talked about for so long,

  • just focused me in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned.

  • So I made a whole section with him in Zeitgeist: Addendum,

  • and that's how it took off.

  • ATTACKS

  • Anyone that chooses to challenge establishment orthodoxy,

  • traditional world views, not to mention the system that we live in,

  • sets themself up for vehement attacks.

  • I'm well aware of this.

  • If you look back at the history of anyone that has chosen to challenge the establishment,

  • it's a very dark history.

  • There are a great number of people out there that know that something is wrong.

  • But, they do not understand the source of that wrongness,

  • because they are in the box of indoctrination.

  • Socrates. Socrates never speculated on the slavery that was existing during his time.

  • That was normality to him.

  • This goes with every type of political philosopher that's ever existed,

  • whether it's Carl Marx, whether it's Plato.

  • They're all locked into an established paradigm,

  • and their thought processes can only go so far.

  • And this includes, probably, myself.

  • People are locked into a box.

  • They see the box around them,

  • they see the leaks and the holes and the cracks and they go up to the cracks

  • and they try to fix them; they try to patch the holes.

  • But they don't stop to think that maybe there's something wrong with the box, itself.

  • Maybe the integrity of the box that they exist in is inherently invalid, it's inherently void.

  • The economic system that we live in is a parasitic paradigm,

  • that is only going to lead to self-destruction.

  • But people don't see that.

  • So if you attack the economic system for what it actually is, everyones' feathers go up.

  • Everyone says: "Well, wait a minute. This is the world we all live.

  • We live in a profit-based, labor-for-income world, cyclical consumption.

  • This is what we're used to.

  • We understand we have division of classes."

  • You know, they throw in human nature,

  • they throw in everything that will try to make it seem like it's apart of the natural order of reality

  • when, in fact, it's not.

  • If I was to summarize the attacks that typically happen towards myself and the people I work with,

  • the first one would be credentialism.

  • Credentialism is an annotation for the priesthood of those in the know.

  • Now, bear in mind, this is a gradient of relevance.

  • Obviously, I'm not going to go to a doctor, if I can help it,

  • that has absolutely no credentials in the surgery that I might need performed.

  • They require instruction and experience to do so.

  • But when it comes to the other side of the spectrum.

  • When it comes to the simple analysis of information.

  • When it comes to the analysis of history.

  • When it comes to economics, because it is a contrived system,

  • and has no basis in anything else in general operations.

  • It's not based on laws of physics;

  • it's not based on any aspect of scientific law that has any relationship to planetary operation.

  • Then, suddenly, it becomes very relevant to speculate as to what these things actually mean to society.

  • It's a double-edged sword when you get a Masters, Bachelors, PhD in a particular medium