As often comes up, we have TZM supporters interested in putting energy into a local project such as: a sustainable intentional community, a form of tech-farming, or off-grid initiatives to feed a local community, etc. The information provided here is to reiterate what has already been discussed in prior meetings regarding these projects and non-profit status in the U.S.
Just so you are aware, if you, or any TZM chapter member, or a coordinator plans to create a Non Profit Organization this is NOT A ZEITGEIST MOVEMENT ORGANIZATION! It is a LOCAL ORGANIZATION managed by those individuals. TZM administrators/supporters take no responsibility for the management of any such local projects. While we think these projects offer fantastic experiences for you to participate in locally, these are not global RBE projects or organizations.
You can certainly get involved in these as an individual if you feel so inclined. But, we need to clarify this often because so many people want to use the Movement’s momentum and resources and mailing lists to support alternate initiatives and it takes focus away from our actual movement causes (to address systemic root causes) so outside projects/communities/agendas NEED TO BE SEPARATE from what you discuss in meetings and activist events for TZM. The projects can be mentioned in forum posts or meetings, but NOT listed on the agenda at meetings or as a main focus of the chapter website. Meetings for any such efforts are separate and distinct from TZM meetings and detailed information on these projects should be on some other non-TZM website.
It is best not to confuse what The Zeitgeist Movement advocates with the many causes & initiative out there, as it is a global system via systems approach to resource management and the addressing root-causes to persistent problems through scientific unfolding. If you are engaged in project that is focused on something else, please remember to clarify to all members that it is a side project only and not an official chapter initiative.
You may ask: Isn’t my idea relative to what we promote and if so, then why can’t these be TZM projects?
Sure, some ideas & projects may be related to some key points of what we advocate. But for us to adopt these initiatives then nothing would stop someone from raising funds via a chapter mailing list or meetings to build, say, a robot that does the housework of chapter members in the name of technology replacing human labor? Or starting an business that builds windmills to get people off the grid? Or funding a lab to test scientific hypotheses related to human behavior?
Hopefully you can see the necessity to keep things relevant.
All these great projects require significant time, energy and funding to accomplish. If chapters break off into these different focuses we lose the unified direction, energy and resources that could have gotten us ALL to an RBE that much quicker. It ultimately detracts from the Movement’s efforts and delays the progress we could have made in the dominant value sets.
If you have a great idea that is scientific, sustainable, humanitarian, a breakthrough in technology like we’ve never seen, etc- we applaud you. But please, take responsibility for your own project. If you have the passion to think it up and talk it up then it can be assumed you also have the passion to do your own legwork to get funding and promote it yourself in your community without taking focus and resources away from TZM awareness initiatives.
If anyone in your chapter is interested in participating in Intentional Communities already in existence (imagine that: some sustainable, green communities already exist in many locations and then you wouldn’t need to raise $ to build your own), here is an online directory on how to find them so you can get involved: www.ic.org
These sources give a place to direct people who are so enthusiastic that they can’t even imagine any RBE-type city unless they have their hands on the technology in action, or they are worried about how to provide for their kids if the economy collapses and the electricity goes off, etc. (Yes, please…teach these folks how to grow a garden, to make rainwater into clean drinking water, to tell their electric company to F-off by getting off-grid, and to get to know their neighbors in person and not just from Facebook updates to alleviate some stress they have about the state of the world.) It’s just that we acknowledge these as patchwork projects conducted by concerned individuals in local communities learning how to take care of their own, and not as “Zeitgeist Movement” causes, so we can keep our focus in a unified, global systems direction and make progress sooner than later.
Also, it is important to note that often the very people who critique the movement for being only “awareness” focused instead of “building a city” focused, OR they critique the movement as a manipulated effort to support the NPO, are almost always touting this stance because they personally approached TZM to support their OWN NPO city project and we did not change course to accommodate their project as a new focus of the movement. If you investigate the critic’s personal goals, you will find that their critical stance is actually a ‘sour grapes’ reaction to a thwarted agenda of their own. The question I like to pose to them is: If “awareness” is not all that crucial to success in this direction, then why are you so passionately targeting a group that is awareness focused? Can’t you simply build your city and show us all what we’re missing? What is/was your initial interest in TZM to begin with if you have all the answers and the better way to bring an RBE? The ironic answers usually lie in a desire to have their personal project benefit from our ongoing awareness efforts, though they will probably not readily admit this.
Also, if a Chapter Coordinator and/or supporter in your chapter pressures you to start any project or non-profit org that resembles an intentional community, know that they are operating completely independent of TZM. You may wish to recommend a web search on the resources below to see if they have interest in current, similar projects: