PJ Steps down

In somewhat unfortunate news, Peter Joseph, the creator of the Zeitgeist film trilogy and The Zeitgeist Movement is stepping down as the public figurehead of The Zeitgeist Movement.

He announced this in response to a post on the International Forum (3rd post on the 2nd page). The in which Jacque Fresco (most say misguidedly) condemns Peter Joseph and says that The Zeitgeist Movement doesn’t know anything and have no plan.

Update : There’s been an interview with Roxanne Meadows regarding The Venus Projects perspective

Video of Jacque which triggered the stepdown

PJ’s post :

So, in consideration of this, with respect to Jacque – I will no longer be actively publicly representing TZM or TVP.
I could address his hasty statements directly, but I am not going to do that to myself as it’s simply sad.

This falls on the heels of a level of personal exhaustion and general life frustration which requires personal time anyway.

I will continue to orient a radio show rotation of new speakers, content and help with event days and the many other project based issues in the background… I will also continue to personally finance the global movement’s work…but I want everyone to know that I am removing myself as a forefront spokesman… a figure I never wanted to be, in fact. A position which has neg affected my personal and mental health a great deal, to be frank.

So, this is good grounds to see how many out there can lift themselves to high levels of communication. I have also informed TVP that all major press will be turned over to them so they can make sure “their” message is “accurate”… as apparently mine isn’t.

At the end of the day, let it be known that I don’t care about TZM or TVP or “Jacque Fresco” or “Peter Joseph” as entities to be perpetuated.

I care about a new, working social system only and I will not stop with that pursuit in the long run.

Michael’s Perspective

Personally I feel that Jacque’s comments regarding Peter Joseph and The Zeitgeist Movement are incorrect. PJ has always indicated that the RBE concept was created by Jacque. Yes, he took a less direct approach in explaining the RBE concept in his latest work, Zeitgeist Moving Forward. But that was so the information could reach a wider audience with it’s more subtle approach.

It was Peter Joseph’s film Zeitgeist Addendum which initially got myself and a large number of people interested in The Venus Project and the Resource Based Economy concept, and lead to myself creating a local chapter and this very website. Whilst I’d previously looked at The Venus Project’s website, without a proper introduction to it, I very quickly jumped onto something else, however with the explanation of how bad the current economic system is and the explanation of the RBE, I became very interested and have spent the last 2.5+ years investigating and learning pretty much everything ZM related and more.

I’ve listened to the 50+ hours of Blogtalk radio, watched the many many hours of online video, read the books, listened to audio-books, and more. I’ve met Jaqcue and Roxanne in person and have done lots of research into various areas I had questions about, such as human behaviour, and intrinsic motivation. The Zeitgeist Movement has helped open up my eyes to whole new ways of learning about and understanding reality. However, having listened to such vast quantities of Jacques talks, after a while you hear him repeat himself and no longer learn any new concepts or important points. You understand the concepts and can explain them to people from a variety of perspectives and in a number of different methods. More importantly, when combined with newer research, such as the amazing content coming out of TED talks plus the latest in science, the concepts which Jacque is advocating will be implemented in a different way than his proposals. We are the ones who will updated the designs and plans and actually action them. Jacque put together a number of different ideas to create a new economic paradigm which has such potential that just the hope it generates is amazingly motivating, but it wasn’t until Peter Joseph that the words of Jacque could be put in a way that the existing community could understand. PJ has done a great job, but when trying to access the next segment of society, it will likely require other communication figureheads to explain the ideas in different ways.

I will remark that it seems like the Zeitgeist Movement has reached a milestone point. Peter is stepping down as the figurehead of TZM at the same time I happen to be stepping down as the primary co-ordinator for the South Australian ZM chapter. Both of us have created a community which is self sustaining and growing. Whilst we will still be involved in the movement, it will be in different ways than before.

For those that know about the growth of a standard company, it usually goes through 4 main steps. In the startup phase, the leader is doer/Decision Maker, in the Initial Growth phase the leader is the Delegator/Direction Setter, in the Rapid Growth phase the leader is the Team Builder, Coach, Planner and Communicator, then in the Continuous Growth phase they are the Strategic Innovator, Change Catalyst, Organisation Builder and Chief of Culture.

Now, the Zeitgeist Movement is not a standard company, it is based much more on the starfish decentralised model of governance, plus some of the constellation model. However the main point I’m trying to get across is that the movement is changing, evolving, growing and adapting. We are becoming more decentralised and there is also a growing body of people suggesting that the conspiracy theory taint of the movement will adversely affect it’s ability to grow to the required levels.

Admittedly branding and advertising has a noticeable effect. As an example, in blind taste tests of Pepsi versus Coke-Cola, most people will prefer Pepsi, however if you are drinking out of the actual cans and not generic, unlabeled cups (so know you are drinking Coke), then because of the branding, people will rate Coke-Cola higher. This effect is stronger than just that, with people taking a placebo which is said to increase cognitive ability (e.g doing puzzle problems).

RBE Transition Future

There’s a few likely options for the future of the RBE transition :

  • The Zeitgeist Movement stays the same
  • The Zeitgeist Movement rebrands itself
  • Another organisation becomes the spearhead for the next part of the transition
  • A group of organisations appear and focus on different areas.
  • A hybrid of the above options

PJ and The Zeitgeist Movement has done a lot of work to try and shake the conspiracy theory basis from which it’s initial seeds were formed and some people now being introduced to the movement complain about the highly technical language used. Having seen a number of organisations with similar tenants to the ZM and Venus Project which are promoting either a RBE directly, or something every similar, it’s likely that there will be a hybrid of the future options.

The ZM will undergo a bit of a rebranding, but will likely focus mainly on spreading information and changing peoples mindset, but there will also be a number of groups which are branded and focused in different ways.

Some similar groups I know about are :

  • http://rbefoundation.com/ — The Resource Based Economy Foundation : The first real direct offshoot from the ZM. Has a more resource gathering approach
  • http://www.tromsite.com/ — The Reality of Me : A collection of various videos which together make 12 hours worth of documentaries which are based around the Venus Project and RBE. Uses a lot of ZM content.
  • http://www.freeworldcharter.org/ — A recent addition which has a bit more of a political focus
  • http://humanitytest.org/ — Humanity Test. Somewhat similar to the Free world charter, but doesn’t seem to be directly based on the Venus Project ideas.

As you can see and guess, some groups will be more political, others with a focus on small test villages, or advanced science research, others on gathering the resources required to make a research city , and others may be about explaining the concepts but in ways that are more appropriate to their select target audience.

An example is that I recently received a call from someone who watched Zeitgeist Addendum at Zday last year (2010) and whilst the main points interested them, they were put off by the evolutionary instead of creationist point of view. Being a fundamentalist Christian they naturally had issues with the way the movie portrayed the core concepts. Whilst I had to bite my lip in order to not get into a religious debate (my stance is that people should have understanding instead of beliefs). The transition to a RBE is not religious nor political, it is about changing our definition of success, it is about changing our defaults, it is about changing how we value the world.

Note : When I talk about the RBE transition, I understand that the end result will not be exactly how The Venus Project envisages, it’s likely to be a lot more varied.


Primary Links :

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • PDF
  • RSS
    • Karin McGregor
    • April 17th, 2011

    Nicely put Michael – I think people would be misguided in changing their attitude to the movement as a reaction to this. Instead we should see the movement as being at the core, and not its founder/s – a movement needs to be able to survive due to the will of all its supporters, and not simply that of its founder. Here’s to the next step in moving forward – and rest assured that there is enough willpower to keep ZMSA going without you in the foreground, despite how sorely you will be missed (the same goes for PJ regarding the movement). 😀

    • Tamara Otello
    • April 18th, 2011

    Yes Michael, I agree with you that PJ’s stepping down is a developmental milestone for the movement. It may be experienced as a shock by many, but growing pains are always painful for individuals, groups and organizations alike, yet we cannot avoid them if we want to “Move Forward”.
    What saddens me though that Jaques does not appear to recognize that PJ has tirelessly championed both TVP and RBE, and has in my opinion, gone to great length to acknowledge and honour their source and origin. Whilst I greatly admire Jacque’s genius as an inventor and visionary, I would hazard a guess that his blunt and at times abrasive personal communication style may be partially responsible for not finding the support and resources to put his grand vision to the test.
    May be having lived close to a Century brings its own challenges.
    For myself, had it not been for Peter Joseph’s movies, I would never have heard about RBE or JF., so for me Peter is an absolute champion; one who opened my eyes and heart as to how it all hangs together and in which direction we need to move if we want to go beyond poverty, war and environmental degradation.
    And now to you Michael! You also are a champion, having put so much time and resources in starting and maintaining the SA chapter. Having laid a strong foundation, you can now take a well deserved break in the knowledge that the important task of disseminating TZM and RBE information will continue.

    With much gratitude and heartfelt regards from Tamara

    • Adam
    • April 19th, 2011

    This pisses me off. I watched the video last night. Jacque seems to be old, angry, and immature. He should have called Peter and talked to him about the issues in person rather than saying shit like that on camera to interviewers. What a moron. If it wasn’t for TZM i.e. if it wasn’t for Peter Joseph himself, no one would have even heard of the Venus Project.

    Jacque’s ego and immature comments could do serious damage to the movement. Divided we fail.

  1. Peter, I want to share a few words with best intentions and in a best manner I am able to about this situation between Jacque and you – btw, I intend to support both TZM and TVP further on, seeing this as divergence in the approach to more or less same ideas. I have heard this meeting recorded with Roxane, where most TZM participants take a constructive approach to find out more specific details about the discrepancy between TZM and TVP, while Roxane persists in not providing them. But, I think I see why TVP has such standpoint (I will try to explain this partly based on my engineering experience): many good projects had failed in the past lacking integrity which means strict systematic approach, consistency, discipline (project organisation can be more or less “peer-to-peer-like”, without mixed network or classic hierarchical approach and without unnecessary or any authority figures at all) and even some level of formalism (e.g. needed at least to achieve common project language in order to avoid losing time on misunderstandings, different mistakes and different standards, etc). I think that this kind of integrity TVP is protecting and addressing to, more than about matter of intellectual or author rights. I have participated in many business IT-related projects in an environment where many hastily trained ego-driven managers and their poltroons drove years and years of back-breaking work of many engineers and other creative people to eternal nil, just because management followed what they thought was the best understanding of ideas of project goals and basic ideas (or even blueprints) better than their workers who produced those ideas, goals, products, documents, whatever. You tell that TVP hasn’t done anything to materialize their ideas in 30 years until TZM brought them to public in just few years – I agree (I am not comparing biographies). I think you did more in practice about the social aspect as an artists than Fresco did, but he is a more practical engineering-oriented mind. But it is not egoistic if one protects it’s standpoint, life’s work for the better of all in its true meaning, its internal consistency or integrity if you will. And it sounds very bad to me if someone calls everyone against egoism (Ego is the source of both good and bad in human being, inevitable component of human nature), and then moans about being hurt by somebody’s words or actions (it is Ego that is hurt, in the end). I can only suppose what is the complete background of this disagreement on both sides, but I can also hope that you will both find at least this situation as the beginning of a next level of development of your ideas as we all know them (maybe that was the true reason). You both need to attract far more key figures and important names than you have at the moment – like popular scientists, intellectuals, engineers, real artists, not just celebrities, and that all will be much harder without some level of coordination and mutual support. Maybe TZM can elect some of its appreciated members to become directly involved in TVP, and vice versa ?

  1. No trackbacks yet.