Predictive Programming

by Dahria Beaver

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 first described and proposed 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.” (Wood) Then it was popularized by Alex Jones and David Icke. The most notable cases of predictive programing are the examples found in the Simpsons, The Dark Night Rises, The Hunger Games, and the oldest being from Futility. Information can be found on blog posts and many conspiracy theorists have either made videos on it or have spoken on the subject.

People who believe in this theory are mostly conspiracy theorists who think there will be a totalitarian government takeover, or on the more mild side, theorists who believe tragic events are an inside job or completely fake. David Icke proposed that the Sandy Hook shooting was predicted in the Dark Night Rises because Sandy Hook is shown on the map in one of the scenes. (Wood) While I was looking for more information on the motives behind the government participating in predictive programming 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. Alan Watt, along with many others, believe a desired outcome is created through the power of suggestion in media. (Wood) This theory is still very popular today because any huge event can be seemingly traced back to cartoon or movie that was fortunate enough to predict it.

Predictive programming at its core is a tactic to reduce resistance by introducing concepts that seem far fetched and continuously reintroducing them to make these concepts appear more likely or at the very least acceptable. As always there is a reason why movies and television are used as the common vessel. When watching something a person typically perceives it as entertainment and their theoretical guard will be lowered and the subliminal messages will be directly go to the subconscious. It also is used as a sort of self fulfilling prophecy because once an expectation is created then when these events start to happen the population may seem more likely to accept the fate. There is also a control of imagination because the most commonly used tool in predictive programming is science fiction, by creating these stories the author can create boundaries of imagination and slowly show what may happen. (The Coincidence Theorist) As mentioned before one example of this is Futility. This is a book from 1898 that shared the story of a fictional ship named Titan that was deemed unsinkable and ended up crashing into an iceberg. With a similar description and fate this novel is seen as outlining the fate of the Titanic to create an acceptance among people for when the Titanic truly sank.

Predictive Programming is not a seamless theory because there are several contradictions when considering the possibility of subliminal messaging. Firstly, there is a conflict with the social learning theory. In the most popular experiment showing the social learning theory children either hit or ignored a clown doll depending what behavior they saw being exhibited by an adult. In predictive programming it is said that by portraying a message a reaction is assured regardless of the context, but in the experiment the children didn’t have a reaction to the doll other than the one exhibited by the adult. (Wood) Secondly, there are a few purposes for predictive programming and not all of them have to deal with tyranny. Some are meant to lessen the blow of an event like 9/11, or as mentioned previously, the Sandy Hook shootings. The contradiction raises when thinking about why the government would want to warn us or prepare us for Sandy Hook. The whole point of Sandy Hook conspiracies is to doubt the event even happened so the government could create a conversation of gun-control. This would defeat the purpose of staging it if the government was trying to ensure a small or inexistent response. (Wood). Lastly, Alan Watts is very successful in explaining how an event was predicted by looking back at what was in movies or cartoons before the event but predictive programming is not actually successful in predicting what may happen in the future based on current media. (Wood) For example the Simpsons are credited with predicting 9/11, the ebola virus, Trump’s presidency, and many others. In a particular episode Lisa is seen holding a magazine that advertises nine dollar bus fares to New York City but the price is placed by a silhouette of the twin towers. Therefore, the cover is depicting 9/11 and is involved in predictive programming. These instances of prediction from the Simpsons has only surfaced along with the theory, but there are no new prediction being reported from the Simpsons. With a majority being from the 1990’s or early 2000s. Showing that the accuracy of predicting the future is still fifty-fifty and left to chance.

There are several cognitive contributions that can be attributed to predictive programming. A lot of the evidence presented by theorists are highly likely to be coincidences. Some are eerie and seem to be a sure thing but they could be resulting from Pareidolia. Pareidolia is seeing patterns in random stimuli and as theorists are looking through evidence for their belief they may begin to use a confirmation bias and see a patten that does not actually exist. Interestingly enough pseudoscience may play a role in the appeal of this theory. A lot of the basis of predictive programming can be attributed to the idea of neurolinguistic programming but after empirical testing there is no evidence that neurolinguistic programming even works. More importantly there is no link between the two. As mentioned before, predictive programming is meant to soften the blow of a traumatic event and create less of a reaction and a tendency to accept. However, there are studies that show how stimulus is presented is very important to the outcome. A study in 2009 showed that portraying something in a negative or positive way will impact how it is perceived. (Wood) This eliminates the idea of predictive programming being completely subliminal but it does introduce the idea of the mere exposure effect. By showing a positive or neutral stimulus repeatedly there is a tendency for a person to like that stimulus more and more overtime. These finding are both a problem for predictive programming because through the mere exposure effect people would have an even worse reaction to any negatives being presented. (Wood)

The mass majority of believers in this theory are conspiracy theorists. Alan Watt is a researcher who first described the phenomena but it was made popular by David Icke and Alex Jones. What they proposed as evidence seems very believable, and with a lot of exposure and good explanations, predictive programming seems to convincing not to be real. Conspiracy theorists mainly latch on to this idea because as theorists they already have a sense of disdain towards the government and beliefs of long held deceit within the higher ups. These two factors play into why many believe predictive programing is real, because most times when a person believes in one conspiracy theory they believe in others.

Predictive programming is a seemingly real phenomena but it is built up by facts that aren’t truly facts and perpetuated by a self proclaimed researcher and social media. With such easy access to all of the evidence and the tendency to not trust the government the patterns presented as evidence make predictive programming look like a real and unstoppable issue. There are inconsistencies that have been shown but for the most part the belief in predictive programming grows each time new “evidence” is presented.


“Predictive Programming.” Predictive Programming – RationalWiki, Predictive_programming.

Valentini, John. “Imagining 9/11.” Scribd, Scribd, Imagining-9-11.

“Behind The Scenes of Predictive Programming: The Lying Wonders of Hollywood’s ‘Prophets.’”, 20 Oct. 2016, 2016/10/20/brought-to-you-by-lying-wonders-predictive-programming-6-future-events-thatthe-simpsons-foreshadowed-and-the-elite-made-happen/.

“TCT.” The Coincidence Theorist, TCT Http:// Uploads/2014/11/Logo-testing2-300×137.Png, 29 Mar. 2016, predictive-programming/predictive-programming-creepy-media-foreshadowing-or-harmlesscoincidence-2/.

“Mind Blowing Examples of Predictive Programming in Cartoons.” The Ghost Diaries Mind Blowing Examples of Predictive Programming in Cartoons Comments, mind-blowing-examples-of-predictive-programming-in-cartoons/.

Phil, Dutch. “The Conditioning of Humans.” The Conditioning of Humans – Predictive Programming in Movies, sociopol_mediacontrol66.htm.

Schwarz, Rob. “Predictive Programming: Who Controls the Future?” Stranger Dimensions, Stranger Dimensions, 15 July 2017,

8 thoughts on “Predictive Programming

  1. Dahria, you always go above and beyond! Incredibly thorough and informative. Reading this made me think of the simpsons episodes that align with true events. What I had to remind myself is that for every episode they got it right, there are hundreds that are far fetched and never come to fruition. However, i can’t lie about how convincing it can be!

  2. This was such an intriguing post! I have not heard of this exact theory, but I have most definitely heard of several instances of things like the Simpsons predicting things from 9/11 to who is gonna win the Superbowl game. It is a very enticing topic and seems pretty reasonable and believable. I can see how this would have a lot of believers. It is eerie to think about. Predictive Programming could be a way to stop such adverse reactions to things in the future.

  3. This is one of the more interesting conspiracies I have heard of, and one that is a bit convincing, i have heard of instances when cartoons like The Simpsons or Johnny Bravo predicted 9/11, but i did not expect there to be so many of these coincidences. You wrote about this topic and great detail and I appreciate the fact that you put in videos as well.

  4. I like how you criticize the predictive programming. the Inconsistency of the pseudoscience and the not built up by true facts as well as the media’s function are all analyzed. That’s why personally when I watched a country’s news (e.g:CNN ), I usually go to another country’s media(BBC).

  5. I have never heard of this before and I think it is so interesting! I feel like I have time and time again seen on twitter how a cartoon or a tv show predicting certain real life catastrophes. I think confirmation bias does come into play here where we only notice the times that fictional tv does happen to randomly predict certain events, but not every other time the show airs where they don’t predict something.

  6. I found this post interesting to read because I did not know about this belief and I found it cool to learn about. I really liked how you pointed out the social learning theory and how it might back this belief. I definitely think the media influences society in a multitude of ways, as explained by the media paradox. I know certain trends, such as the kinds and descriptions of alien abductions and sightings can change based off the media’s interpretation of these things. I can definitely see how the media and social learning played a role with the predictive programming beliefs as well.

  7. This was very informative and something I had not heard of before. This is a very interesting belief. All I could think about while reading this was movies such as The Hunger Games or really any movie that shows a futuristic society. Do these believers think that this is also a sign of our future? Are we going to be sending off kids to fight each other to the death like in The Hunger Games?

  8. I’ve never heard of this before and wow it’s kind of amazing! With the popular media today, like Hunger Games, I can see why people really believe in this stuff! A lot of people have a mistrust in the government and I feel like conspiracy theories like this are usually why. I will agree sometimes the government can be sketchy, but I don’t think (at least I hope not) that the government could even pull this off. This is a very interesting topic, I’m so glad I read it!

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