Introduction: James Jaeger is a Telly Award-winning filmmaker (FIAT EMPIRE) with over 25 years experience writing, directing and editing feature motion pictures, documentaries, TV commercials and multiple-camera live events. In late 1981, Mr. Jaeger founded Matrixx Productions to continue goals set forth by Lee Garmes and Academy Artists, Inc. and the Independent Screen Producers Association (predecessor to the AFMA), of which Mr. Jaeger is a founding member. In 2007 Matrixx Productions partnered with Cornerstone Entertainment and produced FIAT EMPIRE featuring Rep. Ron Paul and Dr. Edwin Vieira. The documentary about the Federal Reserve System, garnered a Telly Award and became the top documentary on the Internet for six months. Matrixx Productions, now a division of Matrixx Entertainment Corporation, continues to develop documentaries and features. Currently in production is ORIGINAL INTENT (with Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan) and TESLA (based on the life story of Nikola Tesla).
Daily Bell: You have emerged as one of the more important figures in the freedom movement from a media standpoint. Can you please give us some background on yourself and how your thinking and professional work has evolved?
Jaeger: I came from a medical family. My father was a psychiatrist (who hated cameras) and my grandfather was a neurosurgeon (who loved cameras). Thus by thirteen I knew I wanted to make movies. So I got a Double 8 movie camera and began shooting narrative dramas around the neighborhood. Later I went to The Haverford School and University of Pennsylvania, both of which had no film school, so I moved to Hollywood and got into the industry. Lee Garmes, who shot over 100 of the classics including GONE WITH THE WIND, took a liking to me, hired me and introduced me around the Academy of Motion Pictures, ASC and the DGA. I edited Lee's last movie before he died and then began working with Barry Mahon, Errol Flynn's former manager. Barry taught me producing, production management and how to shoot down airplanes in World War II. I worked for his company on a number of features for CBS and Columbia Pictures and then worked on about ten other independent features, a PBS documentary about acting coach Lee Strasberg and a bunch of CNN shoots for about eleven years.
In 1981 me and some associates formed Matrixx Productions and I got to produce and direct some of my pet projects. After that, I have no idea how my thinking evolved. I guess it evolved by absorbing counter-efforts from the environment (just like an omeba) and reading. I like to read non-fiction, mostly science and technology with accent on physics and cosmology. I also am interested in AI (artificial intelligence) and epistemology and wrote a book on philosophy which you can read at www.mecfilms.com/teardrop if you have suicidal tendencies. I also wrote five books on motion picture production and management all at www.moviepubs.net.
Daily Bell: How is your current media work on freedom being received?
Jaeger: In 2006 I wrote and directed FIAT EMPIRE – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution after taking a hobby-type interest in banking starting around 1974. It's up at www.FiatEmpire.tv if anyone wants to see it. Since I was never more than a D-student in History, I never saw any point to history until I realized that most of history (which is usually written by the victors) can be explained by following the money that funds wars (why it's written by the victors). This was made clear to me by Ed Griffin in his book, THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND, Gary Allen in his book called NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY and L. Ron Hubbard (who I got to know personally because my father was a shrink) in his taped Journal of 1969. So, through these means I was able to better-understand the mass of blackness known as politics and what fuels it: international bankers that use fiat money and fractional reserve banking to create money out of thin air.
After FIAT EMPIRE was released, I was quite surprised to see it hit #1 on Google Video four times, win a Telly and get downloaded about 5 million times over four years. I had no idea anyone would be interested in what the Founders had to say about Article I and all my friends had no idea that I was so interested in Fiat cars. When I interviewed Ron Paul for FIAT EMPIRE it was well before his presidential run. I had been studying congressmen on C-Span for years, and it seemed he was one of the few that made any sense. I interviewed Dr. Paul again for my current film, ORIGINAL INTENT – How Negative Influences are Destroying the U.S. Republic. This film hasn't been released yet, as we have to wait and see whether Sundance Film Festival will accept it. I have no idea how they or people will receive this doc. In addition to Ron Paul, I interviewed G. Edward Griffin, Ted Baehr, Edwin Vieira and Pat Buchanan for the film. All but Pat Buchanan were in FIAT EMPIRE and they brought some incredible insights to the surface, exploring both the far left (cultural Marxism) and far right (corporate fascism) and how they are damaging the Republic envisioned by the Founders. So I hope Democrat and Republican Americans are ready to examine their partisan tendencies and realize that the RepubliCrats (aka the DemGOPs) are one and the same party, and in no way, represent the real political spectrum, as we explore in ORIGINAL INTENT.
Daily Bell: What are the main threats to freedom and civil society today?
Jaeger: The main threat to freedom, more appropriately known as LIBERTY, is the collectivist mentality that Ed Griffin has warned us about endlessly. The collectivist mentality says the GROUP is all and the INDIVIDUAL is subordinate. The problem with this philosophy is this: if society seeks to strengthen the GROUP (the collective) it will weaken the constituent members of the group, ipso facto. If society seeks to strengthen the INDIVIDUAL, it will strengthen the GROUP, ipso facto. Why? Because the group is made up of individuals and is thus only as strong as its individuals. A group is an emergent property of individuals. Unfortunately the elite that operate governments and the corporatocracy don't think this way. They milk energy from individuals (taxes, interest and premiums) so as to build a collective they dominate, always taking money from some to give to others; always taxing and printing money to fund wars and the ever-growing police state that keeps them in power.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet a transformative device?
Jaeger: Any system that increases communication between individuals is a transformative device.
Daily Bell: Will the Internet be censored and diminished?
Jaeger: Not if the technical people refuse to sell out. The world is made possible and actually RUN by the scientists and technical people (although they don't fully realize it, yet). All others are relatively derivative, if not insignificant. It is the scientists and technical people that build the weapons that allow certain psychopaths to take power. When the scientists and technologists say no, civilization packs up and the politicians, lawyers and studio-exes are back in the wilderness fighting wolves and bears. The Internet has allowed the scientists and technologists to start to realize this and it's a discussion we have endlessly that the MIND-X at www.kurzweilai.net. The MIND-X is the most important discussion going on in the Internet at this time as we are discussing the fate of humanity in light of SAI (strong AI). The fate of humanity will be determined in the next 20 years as AI emerges to supersede human intelligence in what we are calling the Singularity. All other considerations and discussions are insignificant, even politics, economics and religion. When AI emerges, it is not clear politics, economics and/or religion will continue to exist; it is not even clear whether homo sapiens will continue to exist. But for now we can amuse ourselves with other fun games, such as money and politics and movies all that sort of trivia.
Daily Bell: Is Hollywood as anti-freedom as it sometimes seems?
Jaeger: By Hollywood I am going to assume you are referring to the seven MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] studio/distributors. This oligopoly dominates over 90 percent of the market and influences much of the mass media. The studios are dominated by a very narrow control group known as "traditional management."
Traditional management, comprised of an exact demographic I dare not utter, has retained power for almost 100 years using unethical, predatory and often illegal means according to my "film reform" partner, entertainment securities attorney, John Cones. This "Club" operates on what's known as a cultural Marxist agenda and it injects this agenda into about 10% of its annual output, in my opinion. Slowly, the culture in America has thus been evolved from one based on free-market individualism under a republican form of government TO a state-managed collective under a socialist form of government.
Daily Bell: Why is socialism such an important value despite its lack of success?
Jaeger: Because the MPAA studio/distributors are managed by people that view the collective as all and the individual as subordinate. Also the studios support the government agenda of endless expansion because they consider themselves in the elite that will dominate the New World Order.
Daily Bell: Can you be more specific about this government/entertainment nexus?
Jaeger: The government hands out the licenses for broadcast spectra. Need I say more? Hollywood and government form part of the revolving door. Politics is entertainment and entertainment is politics. We now have movie stars becoming president and governors and governors becoming talk show hosts and celebrities. Is a politician thus anymore than a psychopath with an actor's ego? See www.jaegerresearchinstitute.org/menu5.htm
Daily Bell: In your opinion is it merely coincidence (or something more) that many TV and movies feature "law and order" themes, etc? If it is not coincidence, what is the point?
Jaeger: The movie industry cooperates with the government in providing the "crime does not pay" theme. Hey, Hitler used movies too. What's new? The U.S. government, as an emergent property, doesn't care about advancing "democracy" around the world. The multinational corporations who have lobbied and purchased Congress basically care about expansion into new markets and they expect the U.S. military will make the world safe for that expansion. Thus Congress configures laws to suit the corporatocracy and the corporatocracy forms trans-national organizations and treaties to facilitate the management of the global free trade zone they are trying to establish.
Daily Bell: So Bluntly put, Hollywood Inc. is a kind of propaganda factory for a certain world view.
Jaeger: Yes, Hollywood is one of the cultural institutions Marcuse suggested be infiltrated in the "long march through the institutions" as planned out in his book, The Prison Notebooks.
Daily Bell: How have you survived in Hollywood?
Jaeger: I have not survived in Hollywood. Hollywood blackballed me and my films starting around 1998 when entertainment securities attorney, John Cones, and I formed the Film Industry Reform Movement. See www.homevideo.net/FIRM. Even my long-time friends and associates, such as Paul Haggis (director CRASH), Anson Downes (John Travolta's head of development) and Philip Steuer (producer CHRONICLES OF NARNIA) won't communicate with me any longer. An association with me threatens their careers even though I gave Philip his first production manager job on a feature film and Anson Downes his first role in a movie.
Daily Bell: What is it that is inside you that makes you different from so many others in the industry?
Jaeger: I am an eighth-generation American and members of my family served in the first Continental Congress. One ancestor, Francis Lightfoot Lee of Virginia, signed the Declaration of Independence.
Daily Bell: What is the future of movies and Hollywood? Some – like Coppola – seem to doubt the commercial viability of Hollywood style movies going forward. Agree? Disagree?
Jaeger: Hollywood's days are probably numbered. Hollywood, once based on the studio-system, is now based on the star-system. That means movies don't get "set up" (funded) until a "name talent" (a star actor or director) "officially attaches" (signs up for the project). Thus, the stars, under the management of basically the three major agencies (CAA, Morris and ICM), call the majority of the shots — hence the STAR-system. But the star system may be on its way out because soon stars will be able to be animated in photo-realistic computer applications.
Daily Bell: So the future belongs to animation?
Jaeger: Not only will new stars be created and animated into features with sets and people completely indistinguishable from real sets and people (even better than FINAL FANTASY), but pirates will animate the major stars and put THEM into their pirated movies and sell them all over the global markets. By the time the authorities at the MPAA catch the pirates, they will have taken in hundreds of millions and be able to hire lawyers and tie up the studios in international litigation for years, if not decades. The studios will thus be in a position of having to prove negatives, that it is NOT the real Tom Cruise that appears in the various pirated pictures. Tom Cruise, and other names, will often have to fly all over the world doing endless court trials rather than enjoying spew from their sycophants back home. The whole star-system will eventually crumble into a pile of burnt bagels.
Daily Bell: Is the Hollywood commercial movie model in some sense dead – and what does that portend for American media?
Jaeger: The music, game and porn industries are now bigger than the "commercial" Hollywood feature industry. That's some stiff competition.
Daily Bell: Where is the freedom movement headed in America?
Jaeger: The "freedom movement" is currently defined by Ron Paul's CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY (www.campaignforliberty.org), such based on libertarian political philosophy, the Austrian school of economics, the insights to fiat money as explicated by G. Edward Griffin and Edwin Vieira in their respective works and most of all the hundreds of millions of hard-working American citizens in the middle-class that are fed up with the IRS, the Federal Reserve System, the IMF/WORLD BANK, the UN, NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, the Counsel on Foreign Relations and soon the GOP and the Democratic party. In other words, the plutocracy that meets in DAVOS every year is getting on their nerves. The Ron Paul Revolution is thus a freight train full of CHANGE headed straight towards Wall Street and K-Street so the 1-percenters better take cover. At the end of ORIGINAL INTENT we make three suggestions on what all Americans can do to board the freight train. See clips at www.OriginalIntent.us.
Daily Bell: Is the freedom movement being co-opted by the "conservative" movement?
Jaeger: They are trying, but I don't think the American people are going to bite. More and more middle class Americans realize that the Democrats and Republicans are BOTH heavily influenced by the CFR-infested Globalist Agenda, and it was this Agenda that shut down their domestic manufacturing base and has relegated them to unemployment lines and Walmart check-out lines. I predict at some point they will defect and "go indi" enmasse. They will realize that, unless the Sarah Palin's of the world are talking about FIAT money, shutting down the Fed, and abolishing the IRS — they are FAKES. Sarah Palin does NOT talk about any of this like Ron Paul does, nor do any of the other DemGOP fakes. Fake "conservatives" showed their colors on the way they treated Ron Paul last year. There's no way patriotic Americans can forget how FOX News and Sean Hannity snubbed them when their own polls showed that Ron Paul won three (3) distinct times. The so-called conservatives are thus traitors to their country because most of them supported "free" trade and NAFTA, globalization and the corporate fascists that have invaded Congress. Also, have any of them read or applied Robert Zubrin's book, ENERGY VICTORY. Of course not. The Republican party therefore deserves to die. Same thing with the cultural Marxist-infested Democratic party. Both of these parties are traitors to the U.S. Republic envisioned by the Framers.
Daily Bell: How would you characterize the forces arrayed against freedom. Is it disparate or some sort of organized, global conspiracy?
Jaeger: Anyone who subscribes totally to either the CONSPIRACY theory of history or the ACCIDENTAL theory of history is probably mental. The forces that are arrayed against the Ron Paul Revolution can be summed up in basically three letters: CFR. Just read the four magazines they publish each year under the title of FOREIGN AFFAIRS magazine. The Counsel on Foreign Relations (CFR) forms the nucleus of an "open conspiracy" (a non-deliberative eco-political club, not unlike the club that dominates the MPAA studio/distributors) that networks with its various members to consolidate and advance the Globalist Agenda. The Globalist Agenda, (aka the New World Order, Globalization and "Free" Trade) is nothing less than a world collective, as discussed earlier.
Daily Bell: Are you hopeful about the future of freedom in America?
Jaeger: You mean liberty? There is no such thing as freedom unless you take yourself to intergalactic space. Liberty is what we mean when some of us say "freedom." Liberty means having a certain amount of freedom but with responsibility. Freedom without responsibility is chaos and entropy. Freedom means I can kill, rape, and steal with no one restraining me. That's true freedom and its only available in intergalactic space or some planet with other such "freedom-loving" beings. But if I have liberty, that means I attenuate my freedom to "doing unto others as I would have them do unto myself." That's the idea on this world. No?
Daily Bell: Aren't those ideals of liberty that you describe, the ones the US was founded on?
Jaeger: The U.S. Constitution has adopted certain traditional values to promote this idea, values that were found in the Christian Bible, and stipulated a government that is supposed to serve We the People and protect liberties. Not provide all manner of dialectic materialist needs and wants. Unfortunately, due to FIAT money and a host of other failures to follow the US Constitution, we now have a government that's attempting to do just this, and in doing such, go the way of all other oligarchies down through time. This can be reversed if certain provisions of the Constitution are better-applied, such as Article III, Section 2 and the Second Amendment and other provisions are reinstated, such as the 17th Amendment and the original Commerce Clause. ORIGINAL INTENT goes into these matters.
Daily Bell: What are some of your plans, going forward?
Jaeger: We are waiting to see if Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival will accept ORIGINAL INTENT. They tell us in December. There are 9,000 applications each year, so if they accept it, they will want to have the world premiere at the festival in Utah in January of 2010. That would be exciting and do much to revive my pessimism about Hollywood (although I don't think Robert Redford wants to be associated too much with Hollywood, hence the reason he, and people like George Lucas, don't base themselves there). If Sundance accepts ORIGINAL INTENT we will thus not be able to release it until after the festival on January 10, 2010. If they do NOT accept ORIGINAL INTENT, we will release it immediately, both as a DVD at www.OriginalIntent.us and on Google Video and YouTube.
Daily Bell: Can you please provide our readers with some of your more important films and documentaries and tell them where they can find them?
Jaeger: My current feature project is called TESLA – The Poet of Electricity. I have been working on this project since about 1985. The research into Tesla's life and story development took from 1985 to 2001. I then flew out to LA and met with Mike Medavoy, Merv Griffin and Dean Zanuck and asked all of them to fund development of the screenplay. They all said no, so MEC funded the screenplay and it got done, written by myself; the first 30 pages available at www.mecfilms.com/tesla. I, and my producing partner, have been taking this screenplay (now informally packaged with three minor name stars) all over Hollywood. DreamWorks, MGM and Sony are interested in the project however they won't "set it up" unless I get a name director "officially attached". So, now we have it sitting with several name directors, but none of them will officially attach unless it's "set up." While waiting for all the Hollywood bullshit to dissolve (or move down the tube), I make documentary films.
All of my documentaries are up at the HOMEVIDEO NETWORK at www.homevideo.net.
I have not done very many important documentaries except for maybe FIAT EMPIRE and ORIGINAL INTENT. OI took 2 years and 4 months so I hope someone likes it. We begged rich people to help us but they only donated about $5,000 of the $75,000 production budget so I funded the balance out of my personal (food) money and money from Matrixx Entertainment stockholders. (http://www.mecfilms.com). Of course, when rich people (i.e., accredited investors) fail to fund my movies, the Hollywood studio/distributors blackball or spit on me, and the consolidated TV media ignores me, I KNOW I'm probably headed in the right direction. The interesting question is what direction is Robert Redford and his Sundance Festival headed?
Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us. It was an honor to speak with you.
Jaeger: You're welcome.
We are blessed with another great interview in James Jaeger's no-holds-barred take on Hollywood – which may get him into more trouble with the Hollywood establishment, not that he apparently cares. Much of the interview speaks for itself, so we will just focus on one specific area. That area is computer animation.
It seems to us that as various kinds of communication technologies become more sophisticated, inevitably those technologies will be become more available outside of the professions. This has happened to the Internet, which has democratized news-gathering and reporting. In time, animation technology will democratize entertainment as well, making it easy (or easier) for anyone to produce films with fairly high-level graphics.
The ability to control communication is important for the powers-that-be, and it is just this ability that is most at risk as technology surges forward. One can make the case that laws and regulations will be put in place to ensure that only certain entities are allowed to use the new technologies. But people forget that laws are responsive to technology, not the other way round, and that laws are only enforced when a crime is detected.
The war on drugs has not proven especially effective – people still use massive quantities of drugs. Prostitution exists around the world despite Western efforts to eradicate it. Copyright infringement continues as well, because copyright law has not been updated to acknowledge the effects of the Internet. Laws are always price-fixes of a sort (in the sense that the market itself is far more efficient at dealing with most issues, lawful and unlawful, then government actions). Certainly laws that are not in line with human behavior – and seek to eradicate other than what is truly harmful and hurtful – are not usually very effective.
We have no doubt that further laws will be brought to bear on the Internet and the burgeoning communications technologies of the future. But these laws will only create massive gray and black markets. The information will still be uncontrollable, in the larger sense, and the creativity and imagination that marks the human spirit will be undimmed.
Tomorrow's "war on information" will make the "war on drugs" look like a warm-up in our opinion. But it likely will be even less effective. This is a big problem for those who wish to control information going forward. It is a reason why this communication revolution is likely even more profound than others that went before, and will have impacts, beneficial and otherwise, for a long time to come.