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The Zeitgeist Movement
TZM logo.png
Abbreviation TZM
Formation 2008
Type Advocacy group
Region served
Key people
Peter Joseph

The Zeitgeist Movement is a non-profit organization established in the United States in 2008 by Peter Joseph.[1][2] The organization advocates a transformation of society and its economic system to a non-monetary system based on resource allocation and environmentalism.[3][4][5]



In 2007 Peter Joseph produced and self-financed a live performance art piece which ran for six nights in lower Manhattan that he entitled "Zeitgeist". According to Joseph in an interview in 2012, he was surprised after a version he made of this performance (Zeitgeist: The Movie), the first film in the Zeitgeist film series, went viral on social media with millions of views.[6]

The Zeitgeist Movement was formed in 2008[7] by Joseph shortly after the late 2008 release of Zeitgeist: Addendum, the second film in the 'Zeitgeist' film series.[8][9] The ideas were based on the Venus Project, a societal model created by social engineer Jacque Fresco.[8][10] In the Venus Project, machines control government and industry and safeguard resources using an artificial intelligence "earthwide autonomic sensor system", a super-brain connected to all human knowledge.[11]

In its first year, the movement described itself as "the activist arm of the Venus Project."[12] In April 2011, partnership between the two groups ended in an apparent power struggle, with Joseph commenting, "Without [the Zeitgeist Movement], [the Venus Project] doesn’t exist – it has nothing but ideas and has no viable method to bring it to light."[8] In an interview, Fresco said that although the Zeitgeist Movement wanted to act as the 'activist arm' of Venus project, Joseph never clarified what that would entail, and Fresco's ideas of how to change society were not followed. As a result, Fresco withdrew participation in the Zeitgeist Movement.[13]

The group is critical of market capitalism, describing it as structurally corrupt and wasteful of resources. According to The Daily Telegraph, the group dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading, and embraces sustainable ecology and scientific administration of society.[14][15][16][17][18]

The first Zeitgeist documentary which predates the organization Zeitgeist movement, borrowed from the works of Eustace Mullins, Lyndon LaRouche, and Austin radio host Alex Jones. Much of its footage was taken directly from Alex Jones documentaries,[19]such as his documentary Terrorstorm.[20]

VC Reporter's Shane Cohn summarized the movement's charter as: "Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system".[9]

Origin of movement

Near the end of Zeitgeist: Addendum, a 'call to action in the form of joining "The Zeitgeist Movement" was put forward. In 2009, months after the release of Addendum the first formal "Zeitgeist Day" (ZDAY) occurred in New York City.'[21]

The Zeitgeist Movement book

In January 2014, the group self-published a book, The Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing A New Train Of Thought, composed of eighteen essays on psychology, economics, and scientific theory written by the 'TZM Lecture Team' and edited by Ben McLeish, Matt Berkowitz, and Peter Joseph.[22]

The book describes the name of the group in this way:

"The term "zeitgeist" is defined as the "general intellectual, moral and cultural climate of an era." The term "movement" simply implies "motion" or change. Therefore, The Zeitgeist Movement is an organization that urges change in the dominant intellectual, moral and cultural climate of the time."[22]


The group holds two annual events: Z-Day (or Zeitgeist Day), an "educational forum"[23] held in March, and an art event called Zeitgeist Media Festival.[11] The second Z-Day took place in Manhattan in 2009 and included lectures by Peter Joseph and Jacque Fresco. The organizers said that local chapters also held sister events on the same day.[23] The Zeitgeist Media Festival was first held in 2011. Its third annual event took place on August 4, 2013 at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub in Los Angeles, California.[11][24]

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the organization's second annual event sold out Manhattan Community College in New York with 900 people who paid $10 apiece to attend. The event's organizers said that 450 connected events in 70 countries around the globe also took place.[25]


An article in the Journal of Contemporary Religion describes the movement as an example of a "conspirituality", a synthesis of New Age spirituality and conspiracy theory.[26]

Michelle Goldberg of Tablet Magazine called the movement "the world's first Internet-based apocalyptic cult, with members who parrot the party line with cheerful, rote fidelity." In her opinion, the movement is "devoted to a kind of sci-fi planetary communism", and the 2007 documentary that "sparked" the movement was "steeped in far-right, isolationist, and covertly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."[27]

Alan Feuer of The New York Times said the movement was like "a utopian presentation of a money-free and computer-driven vision of the future, a wholesale reimagination of civilization, as if Karl Marx and Carl Sagan had hired John Lennon from his "Imagine" days to do no less than redesign the underlying structures of planetary life."[23]

See also


  1. ^ "TZM NPO 501(c)3". ZMCA. 
  2. ^ "The Zeitgeist Movement - TZM 2.0 - 501c3 Non-Profit Status". Dot Sub. 
  3. ^ "The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future". Huffington Post. 
  4. ^ "The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future". Foreword Reviews. 
  5. ^ "What is the Zeitgeist Movement and Who is Peter Joseph?". 
  6. ^ "PODCAST #173 - Peter Joseph, Brian Redban". The Joe Rogan Experience. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "TZM - Mission Statement". Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Gore, Jeff (October 12, 2011). "The view from Venus Jacque Fresco designed a society without politics, poverty and war. Will it ever leave the drawing board?". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Cohn, Shane. "New world re-order". VCReporter. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Jacque Fresco - Social Engineer - Legendado Português". dotsub. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c "Zeitgeist Media Festival 2012: A celebration to be shared with the entire Earth". Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ Interview of Fresco Retrieved May-3-2016
  14. ^ McElroy, Danien. June 17, 2012. Forest boy 'inspired by Zeitgeist movement'. The Telegraph. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  15. ^ Resnick, Jan (February 25, 2009). "The Zeitgeist Movement". Psychotherapy in Australia. 15 (2). ISSN 1323-0921. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ Quotations and citations in this Wikipedia article are based on the translation from Hebrew to English of The Filmmaker Who Helped Recruit Millions for the Global Protests of the Bottom 99%, original Hebrew article by Asher Schechter, TheMarker (Israel), January 19, 2012.
  17. ^ Quotations and citations in this Wikipedia article are based on the translation from Hebrew to English of Imagine, original Hebrew article by Tzaela Kotler, Globes (Israel), March 18, 2010.
  18. ^ Swan, Rhonda (April 30, 2009). "A dream worth having". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on August 30, 2009. 
  19. ^ Retrieved July-10-2016
  20. ^ Retrieved July-July-18-2016
  21. ^ Retrieved July-31-2016
  22. ^ a b TZM Lecture Team (2014). McLeish, Ben; Berkowitz, Matt; Joseph, Peter, eds. The Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing a New Train of Thought (PDF) (1st ed.). ISBN 978-1495303197. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 12, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c Alan Feuer (March 17, 2009). "They've Seen the Future and Dislike the Present". The New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  24. ^ Martin, Abby. "RT - Breaking the Set". 
  25. ^ Feuer, Alan (2009-03-16). "Peter Joseph and Jacque Fresco Critique the Monetary Economy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  26. ^ Ward, Charlotte; Voas, David (2011). "The Emergence of Conspirituality". Journal of Contemporary Religion. 26 (1): 109. doi:10.1080/13537903.2011.539846. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (February 2, 2011). "Brave New World". Tablet. Retrieved April 15, 2015.