When major events impact millions, and even billions, of people, there will, inevitably, be a wide range of opinions put forth to explain the crisis. From political explanations to religious testimony, thinkers from all walks of life seek to deconstruct those events which alter the lives of the masses.
When it comes to what I will call the “conspiracy research community”, one theory often proposed as an explanation to the chaos of our world is known as predictive programming. When searching for specific definitions of this theory you find derogatory analyses, true believers, and the curious.
According to a researcher at Ohio University:
“Predictive Programming is theory that the government or other higher-ups are using fictional movies or books as a mass mind control tool to make the population more accepting of planned future events. This was described by researcher Alan Watt who defines Predictive programming as “Predictive programming is a subtle form of psychological conditioning provided by the media to acquaint the public with planned societal changes to be implemented by our leaders. If and when these changes are put through, the public will already be familiarized with them and will accept them as natural progressions, thus lessening possible public resistance and commotion.”
Essentially, the idea is that operations being conducted by a hidden elite are shown to the public in advance via popular media such as books and films. These clues and references are meant to “soften” the public to the ideas presented. By introducing concepts that seem fantastic and then constantly reintroducing the concepts they appear more likely, or at the least, acceptable.
The belief is that the “predictive programming” in media can speak to the subconscious in a way that causes the public to passively accept the events when they unfold in real life, rather than offering resistance or opposition.
The Ohio University writer states, “I found that most commonly people believe the government creates a problem so the population will look to the government for a solution. However, because the government planned for the crisis the government will offer a solution that has been planned long before the crisis ever happened.” What they are describing is often known as “problem-reaction-solution”.
The TV show The Simpsons is often a source for such predictive programming claims. Various episodes show Donald Trump running for president, and references to September 11, 2001. For example, The Simpsons 1997 episode titled “The City of New York vs Homer Simpson” features the Simpson family visiting Manhattan where the World Trade Center factors heavily into the story. In one often-touted scene, Lisa holds a brochure for a $9 bus fare with the World Trade Center shown in the background. Together the $9 and the twin towers make 9/11, a reference to the 9/11 attacks.
In 2010, Bill Oakley, an executive producer on the show at the time, told The New York Observer, “$9 was picked as a comically cheap fare,” he said. “And I will grant that it’s eerie, given that it’s on the only episode of any series ever that had an entire act of World Trade Center jokes.”
Another example of this alleged predictive programming comes from the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen, a short-lived spinoff of the popular The X-Files. The pilot for The Lone Gunmen — which aired aired six months before the September 11th attacks — includes a plot where a hijacked plane is aimed at the World Trade Center. The terrorist attack is averted in the end and the towers are not hit.
Here is a sample of the dialogue from one scene of The Lone Gunmen pilot:
“Your saying our government plans to commit a terrorist act against a domestic airline – ”
“There you go, indicting the entire government as usual. A faction, a small faction.”
“For what possible gain?”
“The Cold War is over, John, but with no clear enemy to stockpile against, the arms market is flat. But bring down a fully loaded 727 into the middle of New York City and you’ll find a dozen tin-pot dictators all over the world just clamoring to take responsibility and begging to be smart bombed.”
The lazy response to claims of predictive programming is to dismiss them as the workings of a paranoid, tinfoil-hat-wearing “conspiracy theorist”. Numerous theories have been proposed to explain predictive programming.
Some researchers dismiss the claims as simple coincidences. The Simpsons has been on air for 30-plus years now and some of their thousands of episodes are bound to reflect reality at some point, they say. Others contend that there are some eerie examples of art “predicting” reality, but they believe theorists are suffering from Pareidolia, the phenomenon of seeing patterns in random stimuli. Those who are looking for patterns are more likely to see them because of this, as well as confirmation bias.
Revelation of the Method
Another theory which has been proposed by believers of predictive programming is the idea that these so-called elites must show the public their plans for one reason or another. This theory has come to be known as “Revelation of the Method”. The first person who appears to have popularized the use of this term was researcher James Shelby Downard.
Downard’s claim to infamy came as a result of his writing the controversial essay King-Kill 33, which accuses a network of Freemasons of being involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In subsequent writings, Downard further explored his ideas around revelation of the method. In Sorcery, Sex, Assassination, and the Science of Symbolism, he writes, “acts concerning the assassination are on ice and will be be revealed in the future in the so-called ‘Revelation of the Method.’”
He continues, “this method and process of Masonic machinations is summed up in the principle of the “Making Manifest of All That is Hidden.”
Michael A. Hoffman II, was a student and friend of Downard and continued to write about the concept. Writing in the book Apocalypse Culture, Hoffman says,
“We come to the current unfoldment in ‘Must Be,’ an alchemic term Mr. Downard translates as ‘the Revelation of the Method.’ This alludes to the process wherein murderous deeds and hair-raising conspiracies involving wars, revolutions, decapitations and every manner of horror-show are first buried beneath a cloak of secrecy and Harpocrates’ hushed- finger, and then, when finally accomplished and secured, slowly revealed to the un- suspecting populace who watch in deep-frozen apathy as the hidden history is unveiled.”
In an interview with radio program Guns and Butter, Hoffman stated:
“The Revelation of the Method actually comes from my mentor, James Shelby Downard. I met him in Saint Petersburg, Florida in the mid-1970s and he was a very unusual man. He walked the razor edge between genius and eccentricity, but he had a mind where he was able to see and detect patterns. And also, he had an historian’s mind in terms of the research that he did, and he was the one that set me on this path of the Revelation of the Method. He also called it ‘Must Be’ or ‘The Making Manifest of All that is Hidden.'”
Some researchers of the so-called “Revelation of the Method” also believe there is a spiritual or religious element of the practice. They believe that by sharing clues or foreknowledge of their plans, the elitists somehow absolve themselves of wrong doing in the eyes of their Creator.
This bring us full circle to COVID-19 and claims of predictive programming in various media which foreshadowed the claims of a worldwide pandemic, and the subsequent authoritarian measures.
For example, the 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz talks about a deadly virus used as a biological weapon named Wuhan-400. There’s also the 2011 film Contagion with a story of a deadly pandemic involving a virus originating from a bat and social distancing.
In an interview with The Washington Post, screenwriter Scott Z. Burns said,
“It is sad, and it is frustrating… It is also surreal to me that people from all over the world write to me asking how I knew it would involve a bat or how I knew the term ‘social distancing.’ I didn’t have a crystal ball — I had access to great expertise. So, if people find the movie to be accurate, it should give them confidence in the public health experts who are out there right now trying to guide us.”
“In 2024 a pandemic ravages the world and its cities. Centering on a handful of people as they navigate the obstacles currently hindering society: disease, martial law, quarantine, and vigilantes.”
The wikipedia description further outlines the similarities to what would unfold in 2020 and 2021:
“By 2024, the COVID-19 Coronavirus has been mutated into COVID-23 and the world is in its fourth Quarantine year. In the United States, the nation’s government is converted into a fascist police state and the people are required to take temperature checks on their cell phones while those infected with COVID-23 are taken from their homes against their will and forced into quarantine camps, also known as ‘Q-Zones’ or concentration camps, where some fight back against the brutal restrictions. In these camps, the infected are left to die or forcibly get better.”
While it’s odd enough that a film came out in 2020 “inspired” by the COVID-19 event, it’s even more unnerving knowing the film included scenes of “immunity passports” using cell phones, forced quarantines and lockdowns of the vast majority of the population, and even a black market for the digital passports.
The timing of the filming is also a bit difficult to understand considering the fact that most of the world was experiencing lockdowns. The film makers claim they had their first call about the project on March 14, 2020, around the time the world was learning about the COVID-19 situation. They claim by June, major actors like Demi Moore had been cast in their roles, with production beginning in Los Angeles on July 8, 2020.
By August 3, 2020, the film wrapped, making it the first film to be shot in L.A. during lockdown. While the public was forced to stay inside, and work from home, Hollywood actors and a crew of 40 people were allowed to continue working on their film. The film was eventually released on December 11, 2020 and has received very poor reviews.
If there is any predictive programming in Songbird, it might relate to events yet to come. For example, the movie takes place in 2024, with a virus known as COVID-23 rampaging the planet.
What does this mean for our future? Should we live in fear of what might come?
In the film’s version of events, things do not end well. While the young couple in love manages to acquire black-market passports and escape to somewhere more free, the rest of their family and friends remain prisoners of their governments. The rest of the people shown in the film continue to live in the bio-fascist tyrannical nightmare.
Whether predictive programming is true, or simply a matter of coincidence and confirmation bias, we should not allow ourselves to live in fear. However, we should do everything in our power to make sure these fantasy worlds do not become our reality.