Closer To Truth is a long journey to explore the “big questions” that have long vexed me, and I invite those with similar passions to join with me. Closer To Truth has become a diverse community, with a core commonality. I’ve come to see that there is a small subset of humanity whose members seem singularly fascinated by, if not obsessed with, our kinds of big questions. It thrills me that people of all nationalities, ethnicities, races, ages, genders, and religions are unified in our desire to discern fundamental reality, all of us fervent in our pursuit of the same big questions.
To strengthen our growing community, and to provide you with even greater access to global thinkers, Closer To Truth is launching a new, free membership subscription. As a Closer To Truth member, you’ll watch full broadcast episodes before they premiere; join exclusive live interviews with top thinkers (and submit your own questions); create custom video playlists; receive email newsletters; and participate in discussion threads. You’ll join a community passionate to explore fundamental questions, to empower our curiosity, and to exercise critical thinking.
Over the years, many have asked about the origins of Closer To Truth. I’d like to share with our community the inside story.
The seed of what would germinate into Closer To Truth was an idea, in 1988, for a TV series on “when truth may change” exploring areas of human inquiry where new knowledge was disrupting old paradigms. The demands of life prevented my doing anything with the idea until 1996 when I tried to create a TV series called MindQuest. It went nowhere, but it did spawn a subtitle: “The Closest You’ll Get to Truth.”
Then, a year later at a small PBS station known as KOCE-TV in Orange County, California, the new president, Mel Rogers, decided to take a chance on this strange pitch from a TV unknown… but he didn’t much like my title. Pushing me to find something better, he asked what the show was all about and I repeated the subtitle, “The Closest You’ll Get to Truth.”
“How about the subtitle as the title?” Mel responded. “Closest To The Truth?”
I jumped up and exclaimed, “Not closest, closer. And no ‘the,’ just ‘truth’—Closer To Truth.” (The absence of ‘the’ in Closer To Truth exemplifies how we think and what we are. We also capitalize ‘To,’ emphasizing the process.)
In our first season, we produced 28 roundtable episodes that were broadcast in 2000, and another 15 such episodes broadcast in 2003. But it was not until 2006, when I began working with award-winning filmmaker Peter Getzels (an anthropologist by training who loves our content), that a radically new Closer To Truth began to take its current form, first broadcast in 2008.
Since then, Peter and I have produced 257 Closer To Truth episodes (20 seasons). Seasons 21-26 are in production, including Scientific Breakthroughs (physics and biology), Deception, Music and the Brain, Mathematical Breakthroughs, Philosophy of Biology, Art Seeking Understanding, Global Philosophy of Religion, and Eastern Traditions and the Big Questions.
In addition, we have over 5,000 Closer To Truth web videos of one-on-one discussions with leading scientists and philosophers, with hundreds more in planning.
For co-creator/producer/director Peter Getzels and me, Closer To Truth is our adventure of a lifetime and we feel privileged to share our work with Closer To Truth’s friends, visitors, and, now, members.
We do not claim to always know truth. Our pledge is that we try to always get closer.