In the previous chapter of Messenger Shiva, we started to look how the burgeoning online video community in the late 2000’s began to offer a new avenue of expression for the esoterically-minded among us. Before then, one relied mostly on videotapes and DVDs for documentaries and video commentary on these fringe subjects.
But the growth of platforms like YouTube not only made a lot of the older stuff more available…it empowered people to produce their own new content. And two of the most influential videos of the mid-Aughts—especially in terms of 9/11 research—were Loose Change (2005) and Zeitgeist (2007).
This is not a post advocating for the accuracy of these videos. But it is important to understand just how much of a seismic impact they had on the public.
I. LOOSE CHANGE
One of the most vivid memories I have about Loose Change (do a YouTube search because the film is continuously removed, and then re-uploaded, from the platform) an independently-produced documentary by Dylan Avery, was not from the film itself but from the culture surrounding it. A man on a message board was so taken by the movie—he considered it so vitally important that American citizens receive this information—that he said he made DVD copies of it to distribute for free to everyone he came across. You know, essentially like religious tracts.
And people reacted to Loose Change in a near-religious way. It blew their fucking minds; many have never seen anything like that before, literally just saying that the government was a bunch of liars. It goes through many of the basic points of 9/11, disputing the “official” facts. Avery had initially started the project as a screenplay for a fictional movie about the event; but he later felt he had so much “evidence” to challenge that official story, he decided to make it into a documentary instead.
(Note: I’ll be basing my comments on Loose Change 2nd Edition Recut. There are later versions involving extra material—as well as I think Alex Jones—that I haven’t seen.)
One of the key elements of Loose Change—something that is also in abundance in the Jake Kotze synchromysticism videos we discussed in the previous installment—is the use of a modern soundtrack of hip-hop and electronica riffs. (Remember that “Matrix” 9/11 video I referenced in Messenger Shiva Part 2, with “Clubbed To Death” by Rob Dougan.)
This music, coupled with news footage, stock images, and quotes, gave videos like Loose Change a real type of immediacy and vitalness and sense of drama that could turn anything into something possibly conspiratorial or sinister. And it set a trend that so many other videos—including Zeitgeist—would use to great effect.
In terms of the content of Loose Change itself…this isn’t a post to hash out every point. Basically, the documentary believed that 9/11 was an “inside job”—used as a justification to get us into war in the Middle East, and used to make any number of interested parties wealthy though insurance payouts and “put” options on airlines. Special attention was paid to things like the details of the World Trade Center building collapse, the phone calls from Flight 93, and the identity of the the hijackers (some of whom were postulated to still be alive).
If we push the veracity of all the info from Loose Change aside and just consider the visceral impact of the film itself…my God, it is so compelling and convincing.
And the thing is, if you copy that movie’s format…you could make a film about anything, any crackpot theory you have, and make it sound and look compelling and convincing. (And people do it now ALL the time.)
But when a public feels disempowered…when the information given to them on a highly important issue is incomplete or clearly partially wrong (either through ineptitude or purposeful obfuscation)…when people watch their savings be wiped out because of illness or bank foreclosure or Wall Street malfeasance…when people are scared about their future, and rightfully so…they are going to turn to *whatever* info they can get!
And my personal opinion about 9/11, and the possible involvement by the immediate U.S. government (which I would classify as Bush Jr., and etc), is similar to the one I have about Marilyn Monroe’s death. There’s a theory that Robert Kennedy & crew got to Marilyn’s apartment right after she died, but before the official investigation began. And they got in there to remove anything that would be embarrassing to the President. They didn’t order a “hit” on Marilyn; but they clearly knew that they had inappropriate relations with her, told her national security stuff they weren’t supposed to say, shared common acquaintances with corrupt backgrounds with her, etc. They were basically pulling a “cover up” not because they did the actual deed themselves…but because their tangential connection to the entire thing made them look really fucking bad.
Some of the stuff in the Avery documentary is not entirely accurate. But other stuff touches upon things that still to this day—no matter how many debunkings have been performed on Loose Change—just don’t add up. If 75% of your official story is accurate, but you are being stubborn about that last 25 for whatever assortment of reasons…it taints everything.
But what do I know?
INTERLUDE: “WHY DO PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO THAT CONSPIRACY STUFF ANYWAY?”
As I explained in the first part of Messenger Shiva: while 9/11 still haunted me, I never specifically sought out to do “research” on it. I was seeking more of a “catharsis.” And I was also seeking a reason why my life was currently sucking ass.
At the time I encountered Loose Change, I was preparing legal action against my former company. This activity forced me to face the idea of “conspiracy” on a very real, personal scale.
Truth, Justice, and the American Way…and lies, intimidation, and a whole LOT of cover-ups.
This was the fertile ground from which I viewed Loose Change in the comfort of my own home. I had been told my entire life to trust Authority; that if I trusted Authority, I would have some sort of protection and reward.
And that did not happen.
So why do people entertain such fanciful conspiracy theories as Flat Earth,“Paul Is Dead,” and the more extreme 9/11 scenarios?
I would suggest that at least some of those True Believers have experienced these far more commonplace, ubiquitous, “minor,” and very real conspiracies in their own personal lives.
Further: if people want to “challenge” these fanciful, possibly “dangerous” conspiracy theories, they would be much better served to divine the underlying reasons why people believe in them, rather than to just censor them completely off the mainstream internet.
But what do I know?
Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist took the “ball” that Loose Change started and just ran with it…ran with it far, far, FAR afield, wrapping 9/11 trutherism into a larger “megatheory” that owed a bit to David Icke (who we looked at in Part 2) but also to the theorist Jordan Maxwell. Maxwell had written and lectured on a bunch of straight-up conspiracy stuff but was also interested in “astro-theology”—the idea that a lot of traditional religion was in reality wrapped up with things like observing heavenly bodies and harvest seasons.
What was astro-theology doing in a documentary about 9/11? After a recent re-viewing, I’m still not 100% sure. (though there is a larger statement the film is making, which we will get into).
Zeitgeist starts with a Maxwell quote, and then just dives into its theory that a) Jesus Christ was really the “sun”—hence, the Son (sun) of God and b) that Him, Horus, and other gods are all really the same figure. This is known as the Jesus Myth Hypothesis, and one of the biggest authors at the time to push this theory, outside of Maxwell, was Acharya S.
So what Zeitgeist in the first part of the film is trying to say is: Jesus and most of traditional religion is a big fat lie used to control the masses.
Now we JUMP! to part 2 of the documentary, which is about 9/11. This is a VERY (very) big, disjointed jump, along the lines of Icke material. It’s disorienting…but with the modern musical score and snappy editing/visuals, we quickly get into it anyway. And a lot of this stuff is already covered in Loose Change, so there is some overlap.
Part 3 of Zeitgeist is about the Federal Reserve, a “cabal of international bankers” (oh boy…) a series of world events said to be orchestrated by said bankers, and a warning that we are all going to end up in the New World Order and “chipped.”
The overarching message is: “you have been lied to.” Jesus is a lie, 9/11 was a lie, money is a lie, and everything is fucked.
Zeitgeist was notable because before this movie, many of these “New World Order” documentaries and theories were very much tied into Biblical stuff. The N.W.O. were the “satanists,” basically, agents of the Anti-Christ: persecuting Christians and fulfilling the prophecies in the Book of Revelation.
But Zeitgeist starts out with: “Jesus was a fraud.”
And that’s a BIG shift, paving the way for conspiracy theorists who were also either flat-out atheists or part of alternative religions.
Personally, while I found the comparative religion aspect of Zeitgeist interesting, I feel it sort of leaves a lot of stuff out and just goes for: “Jesus was supposed to represent the Sun and the 12 Apostles were the 12 signs of the zodiac and it was all bullshit and that’s it.”
The rest of the documentary contains info that’s been covered in other places…but the point is the way this info was presented. And that jarring juxtaposition between “Jesus is a fraud” and “9/11 was an inside job” is a big part of that.
Now, anything that purports to be the Truth that is essentially telling you “you are being lied to about everything and exploited”…that’s pretty suspect, right? That’s pretty unhealthy and negative. It promotes paranoia.
But again, I have to ask…what if in your own personal life, you have been lied to about everything and exploited?
In 2005, my former company, faced with a long chronology written by me of various malfeasances, offered me a settlement. I refused to sign the NDA for the big payout, much to my lawyer’s consternation. I explained to her that I needed to tell people the Truth.
She asked me if I could just dig a hole in the ground and just speak my Truth into there and bury it.