Jacque Fresco’s archived lectures – promised, but where are they?

An article on preserving the legacy of Jacque Fresco turned into an investigation into the cloudy stories of money and corruption at The Venus Project.

Some of Jacque Fresco’s most memorable lectures for me are his recordings from the 70’s where he covered more topics – I could see the enthusiasm, the belief in a better future, and the desire to use technology to solve problems as quickly as possible. As Jacque got older, he became calmer and more deliberate, repeating calibrated examples and phrases, but it was during those years that his main ideas and suggestions were shaped. That’s why I want to tell you about such an important topic as “transcription and preserving his legacy”.

Earlier I wrote an article about why The Man of Tomorrow, a biographical movie about Jacque Fresco authored by Nathanael Dinwiddie, was not released. And it would seem that one failed project is not proof of his incompetence or irresponsibility in other areas. It wasn’t until I started delving more into Nate’s other projects as a newly minted director that I realized he was treating them the same way he did his Jacque Fresco film project, devouring the reputation and popularity of The Venus Project, which he may well have already permanently destroyed.

The materials we’re talking about

The legacy of Jacque Fresco

Not only do I realize the importance of access to these materials, but young Nate does as well. So in 2011, Nathanael Dinwiddie began researching the biography and work of Jacque Fresco, and now “His Life’s Work,” this research, aimed to create an organized archive, produce a film called “The Man of Tomorrow,” and digitize and transcribe all available materials:

  • 616 audiocassettes
  • 1879 videotapes
  • 195 promotional documents
  • 5500 design sketches
  • 200 schematic designs
  • 400 handmade scale models.
  • 297 books
  • 85 hard disks
  • 113 floppy disks
  • Hundreds of CDs
  • Thousands of photographs and negatives
  • thousands of text documents

And so, from 2014 through 2020, 125 volunteers worked to convert his 864 lectures into transcripts. They managed to transcribe about 14% of them. Wow! That’s a hundred lectures. Where are all those lectures?


I was able to find a fraction of all the materials, about 10 lectures, that were handled by volunteers and are now in the store on the website. Of these, only 1 is free, but you still have to leave personal information to access it – the others sell for $3-5-7 each, depending on the format (plain text, plain audio, white screen video with running captions, and audio). The Venus Project’s YouTube channel offers 2-minute clips of these hour-long lectures, prompting you to buy the full version.

I’ve only listened to a small fraction of the recordings, which has been in the public domain for a very long time – and these, again, are just snippets of hour-long lectures where you have to pay for the full ones.

20 “classic lectures from the 70s” will cost you $160.

In order to launch the full-fledged transcription phase, the newly formed Board of Directors decided to raise money in 2019. Crowdfunding was successful, resulting in a total of 105 thousand dollars (55,068 from supporters and another 50 thousand dollars from the SOUL team), thus starting the “intensive” work on the transcription of the materials.

This is not only mentioned on the crowdfunding page, but also in the video (see above). Where next to Roxanne is practically the first time Nate appears in public. He, as an archivist by profession, had to take care of this professionally.

Doubling the amount

For the transcribing itself 25 thousand dollars from the collected amount was allocated. The money was used to hire transcribers from the Fiverr website.

Note that only $25k of that is allocated to transcription

Plans and deadlines

Now comes the fun part! The Venus Project organization has always had big problems in this, and the new directors have taken it to a whole new level! In 2020, an incredibly important video is released about upcoming plans, stating that the transcription project that money was raised for in 2019 will be finished in 2022. But wait, it’s 2024.

Hidden video

The original video about the plans was hidden… I wonder why.

We still have a copy of it, you can view it. This is the first time we have heard that “the board of directors have made a decision” and they have promised us:

  • T-shirts
  • lecture transcript
  • a book of 200 Jacques quotes
  • printed 3d building molds on sale
  • website improvement
  • better training for the teams
  • A separate museum site where Jacque Fresco will be exiled and where you can buy a subscription to listen to his lectures, now known as the Jacque Fresco Foundation
  • A podcast from Nate with guest experts

And then on to further plans, with no dates assigned. Publication of a book-collection of selected excerpts from transcriptions, a series of books of selected works, a series of books of collected works sorted by date, whatever that means. Promising critical reviews. Literature reviews. A transdisciplinary research program – I wonder if this is about that pseudoscientific energy research center in Peru we were promised recently? A virtual simulator. Science fiction and a new research center.

Fortuitously, I had two comments left, which I saved just before the video was moved from only by link status to private.

Iwould think The Venus Project to be less capitalistic to sell a t-shirt in the first 20 seconds

Actually, there were a lot of comments under the video with criticism, which I didn’t save. I was interested in specific comments, but not in emotions, for example, like this one.

I left the movement due to inactivity and delution of the message after Jacques death. Sad not much has changed….

Finalizing the transcription work?

In early 2024, the Venus Project’s website publishes a report article “Honoring the Legacy of Jacque Fresco: Transcriptions of His Visionary Lectures Completed” stating clear enough that the transcription of the lectures has been completed. The signed author of the article, Roxanne, writes that they encountered multiple challenges. Of course they have? How could they not!

The article was published on January 27, 2024, 2 weeks after the massive criticism of Designing the Future, as well as an unprecedented discussion of all the failures of The Venus Project. Nate himself was directly involved in these discussions. One of the points of criticism was the lack of reporting and real results from crowdfunding.

Discussion in “The Death of Jacques Fresco’s The Venus Project” document on Discord server.

While writing this article, I couldn’t get rid of the thought that I didn’t understand the figures given in various sources at all. On the crowdfunding page, 747 lectures were announced. In the reporting article, a figure of 864 lectures (1800 hours) is given. The Jacque Fresco Foundation website lists 840 lectures. Pretty strange for an archivist where everything should be clearly counted.

By the way, for a number of other crowdfunding claims, I couldn’t find any information. Maybe someone knows more and will share?

The report supposedly explained the details of the delay. Seems pretty lame to me though.

Sure, but why couldn’t you ask for a little more money to hire a professional studio, where the sum is estimated to be higher, but the result would be of higher quality? At least for the selected lectures. Or why criticize the choice of people for transcription for whom English is a foreign language.

On the other hand, one could have gone the other way: involving a community that has done excellent translations before, that is completely on the subject, that knows the nuances of Jacques’s speech. At the same time, it is not clear why the material is kept unpublished, with no access for others. Why not publish the material when it’s ready, thereby filling the budget with money from YouTube monetization. Over 13 years, doing it this way, the amount of material could be significant. Is this technically challenging? – No. Well, about 30 lectures have simply become a product on the website, available to very few people.

The lost Jacque Fresco and the original The Venus Project

So far, the Jacque Fresco Foundation has not published a single lecture or material on its website, even with the promised paid subscription. Well, the directors sent Jacque to the Jacques Fresco Museum, but that’s just lip service – where to really look for him now? Where to listen to lectures? Who is even working on that? Or if they decided to retire the original ” The Venus Project” – where can you read the original program, accomplishments, explanations, FAQs? – Nowhere.

All of this, including Jacque and the original The Venus Project, has been removed from The Venus Project’s resources without providing any platform, any chance to utilize all of the developments and achievements of the original course for those who wish to continue. The directors are now using the name, resources, and the platforms for a completely different direction, without even explaining the details of what is happening. And since Jacques’ lectures, original films and books are the main “assets” of The Venus Project organization, we, and others, are threatened with copyright for further use and promotion, burying all these ideas, and Jacques himself, in an even deeper grave. This, I’m sorry to say, already looks like a goal, not an oversight.

After Nathanael Dinwiddie crossed the doorstep of the archive, no one is allowed to use it, no one is allowed to listen/work on it, create a movie, a video, a review – not even us, with a million and a half subscribers YouTube channel of thematic content, promoting Jacque Fresco’s original ideas, and a more than a decade of our collaboration. Contrary to all the good statements about preserving the legacy of Jacque Fresco – it looks the exact opposite.

Under perpetual development.

It’s been almost half a year since the Jan. 27 article claiming the end of transcription. Could it not have been possible to put up at least some of the material? Maybe the transcription project, in fact, is not yet complete, and this was purely a formalized message of “leave us alone”, “here’s the report”?

With such success, it was possible to announce the completion of the transcription even in 2019. After all, the publication is a separate project! Do we need to raise crowdfunding for that too?

The article was prepared in co-authorship with Yevhen Sliuzko.