5 reasons why “predictive programming” is psychologically implausible

If you think that popular culture – movies, TV, and music – have been kind of samey lately, you’re not alone. Peter Suderman at Slate has proposed that most summer blockbusters follow the same basic formula laid out in a screenwriting book from 2005. Others, though, think that this problem goes back much further, and reflects a sinister conspiracy to indoctrinate the public into accepting a totalitarian future.

This is a conspiracy theory called “predictive programming.” It’s the brainchild of a man by the name of Alan Watt, and has been popularised by luminaries of conspiracism like Alex Jones and David Icke, among many others. Here’s how it works.

What is predictive programming?

Imagine that you’re part of a sinister conspiracy to do a particular thing in the future – let’s say that you’re planning to install GPS trackers in people’s heads in order to cement the government’s control over the population. You’re all set to go: the implanting centres are fully staffed and your bulk order of GPS receivers has come in from FoxConn. But you’re worried about how people will react – will they accept the implants? Will they balk at the legal requirement and take to the streets, risking an overthrow of the totalitarian system you’ve worked so hard to build? What’s a conspirator to do?

This is where predictive programming comes in. According to the theory, you can lay the psychological groundwork for the implantation program by planting images in popular media. For instance, you could sponsor a re-release of the original Total Recall, a film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger has a tracking bug implanted in his head. You could get a puppet TV network to release a new sci-fi TV show depicting a future where everyone has a brain implant. Through this media campaign, people will come to accept brain implants as an inevitability. When the time comes, they will accept them without question.

“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.” – Alan Watt

This is why the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen featured the attempted destruction of the Twin Towers, why a map in The Dark Knight Rises had a location marked “Sandy Hook,” and why Family Guy had a joke about the Boston Marathon. According to predictive programming theorists, these were all planted within the media in order to prepare the public for these events – events that were planned well in advance by the Powers That Be. When the events happened, people shrugged and went on with their daily lives rather than reacting to them as they otherwise would have.

But it’s not all bad news for the sheeple. By finding common themes in popular culture, we can figure out what they’re planning next. For instance, look at how many science fiction films feature a dystopian future with an evil, totalitarian government – Logan’s Run, Robocop, Starship Troopers, V for Vendetta, Minority Report, The Hunger Games, and so on. This is no coincidence: it’s predictive programming. The conspirators are preparing the world for a totalitarian government takeover.

So that’s the theory of predictive programming. At its heart, it’s a psychological claim. So is it psychologically plausible? I argue that the answer is no. First, social learning theory shows that context is important when presenting something that’s meant to be a model for future behaviour. Second, the supposed outcomes of predicting programming seem to have nothing to do with the methods used. Third, the mechanisms by which predictive programming are supposed to work don’t make nearly as much sense as they seem to. Fourth, neurolinguistic programming, the most commonly cited psychological justification for why predictive programming could be expected to work, has been thoroughly discredited by research. Finally, predictive programming is not very good at actual predictions.

1. Conflict with social learning theory.

A major component of predictive programming theory is the idea that if someone sees something that they’ve seen depicted in fiction, they react to it with resigned indifference and maybe a half-hearted protest. According to this view, the mere portrayal of some social condition in fiction programs people with the idea that it is inevitable and should not be resisted.

To understand why this is implausible, consider one of the most famous psychological experiments of all time: Albert Bandura’s “Bobo Doll” experiments. In this series of studies, Bandura and his team recruited two groups of children. In one group, each child was shown a short film of an adult hitting an inflatable clown doll; in the other group, the adult in the film ignored the Bobo doll. After watching whatever film they were assigned to, each child was then put into a room with a variety of toys, including a Bobo doll. The children who had been shown the aggressive video overwhelmingly mimicked the adult and beat up the doll, while the other group left the doll alone.

What does this mean for predictive programming? It completely debunks the idea that simply portraying something will elicit the same reaction regardless of context. Watching the hero hit the Bobo doll makes us want to do the same. The children’s reaction was driven not by the simple presence of the doll, but by the adult model’s reaction to it. It’s relevant that in nearly every film which is supposedly carrying out predictive programming in aid of some dystopian future government, the dystopian society is seen as evil and resistance is seen as a moral imperative. 

Consider The Hunger Games, a film about a teenage girl rebelling against the totalitarian government that rules the shattered remnants of North America with an iron fist, described by Alex Jones as “one hundred percent predictive programming.” The filmmakers try to make us sympathise with the heroine, her friends, and the downtrodden masses in their fight for freedom. The idea that this would make people less likely to resist a totalitarian government is both baseless and counterintuitive. It flies in the face of half a decade of research on social learning and how we model our own behaviour after the behaviour of others around us. If you were trying to institute an evil world government, would you really want to put it out there that people who fight against evil world governments are the heroes? You could use the same reasoning to say that the Ku Klux Klan hagiography Birth of a Nation was really a way of preparing the world for racial integration and mixed marriages. Portrayal is not endorsement, and attitudes are determined in a more complex way than simple presence versus absence.

One more example. The cheesy 70s sci-fi classic Logan’s Run depicts a dystopian future where people are ceremonially executed upon reaching the age of 30. It’s a favourite of predictive programming theorists who think that it presages a world of enforced population control, even though the world is portrayed as cruel and unjust and the hero of the film ultimately destroys the totalitarian society in question. What’s more, a Google search for “logan’s run” + “obamacare” returns over 110,000 results. Far from accepting the film’s future as an inevitability, people use Logan’s Run as a way to resist that future, to give context to their fears about euthanasia and end-of-life care. This is the opposite of what one would expect to happen if predictive programming were a legitimate phenomenon.

2. Poorly defined purposes.

Sometimes the supposed point of predictive programming is not to program some sort of large social change like the institution of a totalitarian government, but instead to manage the impact of a particular event. A good example of this is the various lists of popular media “references” to 9/11 before the event – depictions of the Twin Towers exploding, and so on. One article from last year discusses the idea that Independence Day was in fact predictive programming for 9/11 – America having iconic buildings blown up by an alien enemy, a heroic president who fights back with force of arms, Will Smith flying a UFO, and so on. As with the other examples above, predictive programming prevented people from reacting to 9/11; instead, they just accepted it as inevitable and moved on.

An article on InfoWars talks about how the appearance of a 9/11-type government plot in the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen was a way of discrediting the 9/11 truth movement before it began:

The show was used to subconsciously manipulate people to believe that if these events did actually happen, it would be like a film, not a part of reality, therefore we should not worry too much. Anyone who would dare to say that the Government were responsible for such terrorist attacks would immediately be branded a “lunatic conspiracy theorist, like those guys from the X-Files.” 

But there’s a contradiction here. On the one hand, showing the public a fictional 9/11-type event as an external attack is meant to make them more likely to believe that this is the case. On the other hand, showing them a fictional 9/11-type event as an inside job makes them less likely to believe that this is the case. You can’t have it both ways. Besides, if the point of both of these was to simply stop people from having any reaction at all to 9/11, interpretation aside, then all this programming certainly didn’t do a very good job.

Sometimes the motives are said to be even more obscure. The words “Sandy Hook” appear on a map in a scene in The Dark Knight Rises, for instance. But what would be the purpose of this? Even if you buy that predictive programming in the “prepare the public for social change” sense works, it strains belief to the breaking point to think that a brief appearance of the name of a town in a popular film would somehow prevent people from reacting to a tragedy that takes place there. Moreover, this would contradict all of the Sandy Hook conspiracy theories that allege that the shooting never took place and was a staged hoax meant to provoke a reaction from gun-control advocates. Mind-controlling people not to react to it would be totally counterproductive. So what would be the point?

This is where things get a little weird. Alan Watt, when writing about the reasons for predictive programming, said that “legally, they must tell you what they’re doing. And they do – all the time.” James Farganne reasons that the conspirators’ “own belief system seems to mandate that they notify their victims.” At this point, claims about predictive programming cease to be psychological so it’d be off-topic to deal with them in any sort of rigorous way.

3. Implausible psychological mechanisms.

The basic idea of predictive programming is that seeing something portrayed in popular media will prevent people from reacting to the same event when it happens in their own lives. Rather than resisting it, they will accept it and move on. This is something that people are not aware of – they are persuaded unconsciously, subliminally, without their knowledge or consent.

In fact, there has been a good amount of psychological research on subliminal persuasion. For instance, Karremans, Stroebe, and Klaus (2006) showed that subliminally showing people the name of a drink will increase the chance that they’ll pick that drink when presented with a choice – but only if they’re thirsty. However, this body of research conflicts with the idea of predictive programming on a number of counts. For instance, the core idea of predictive programming is that showing people things in fiction will prevent them from reacting to them in real life, and that the tone of the portrayal doesn’t matter. However, subliminal priming research shows the importance of positive or negative emotions – for instance, Sweeny, Grabowecky, Suzuki, and Paller (2009) showed people a series of surprised-looking faces. Unbeknownst to the participants in the study, they were also subliminally shown fearful, happy, or neutral faces along with the surprised ones. Participants remembered the surprised faces better, and rated them more positively, when they were matched with subliminal happy faces. This study, and others like it, make it implausible that portraying something in a positive or negative light doesn’t affect how it’s perceived.

Then again, things like the government in The Hunger Games and the age-based euthanasia in Logan’s Run are hardly subliminal – they’re major plot points. It’s questionable whether they would have “subliminal” effects at all. So if predictive programming doesn’t work subliminally, how is it supposed to work? One possible candidate is the “mere exposure” effect – showing people a pleasant or neutral stimulus repeatedly will lead them to like it more and more over time. This is a well-established effect in psychology, and works even when the stimuli are not consciously perceived. However, and importantly for predictive programming, this doesn’t work for negative stimuli. In fact, Perlman and Oskamp (1970) showed that repeatedly showing people in negative settings makes participants’ evaluations of those people harsher – they became more and more disliked over time. This is a knockout blow for the idea that repeatedly presenting a type of government or social policy in a negative light would somehow prevent people from feeling bad about it. In fact, based on what we know about the mere exposure effect, it would make things worse.

4. Pseudoscientific underpinnings.

Many of the people who traffic in predictive programming cite neurolinguistic programming (NLP) as a scientific-sounding basis for claims about its effects, or even use the two terms interchangeably – in the sense of “OMG look at this NLP / PREDICTIVE PROGRAMMING in the new James Bond movie!!” NLP, at least originally, was a generally well-specified psychological theory that made specific predictions. Other than the idea that both of them are supposed to do vaguely spooky things to your brain, however, there’s no clear link between NLP and predictive programming.

But let’s imagine that there is some consistent, NLP-based justification for predictive programming as a theory. The problem with this is that despite its popularity on the Internet, NLP has been systematically discredited as a theory of thought and behaviour – while it makes fairly straightforward predictions about counselling, learning, and eye movement, for instance, these ideas simply don’t pan out when examined empirically (see Sharpley, 1987, and Sturt et al., 2012, for reviews). There is simply no consistent evidence that NLP works – its predictions haven’t panned out after decades of testing. Proposing that predictive programming is consistent with NLP principles doesn’t do the former any favours. Building a theory of mind control on NLP is like building a castle on top of quicksand.

5. Lack of predictive validity.

But what’s the track record of predictive programming itself as a theory? As expressed by Alan Watt, predictive programming is a relatively straightforward theory. Seeing something portrayed in fiction makes people more likely to shrug and accept it when it comes along in real life. While Watt and other proponents mostly apply it to large social changes and world events, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t apply equally to things on a smaller scale – getting fired from your job, having your partner cheat on you, getting bilked out of money, and so on. These are predictions that are easily amenable to empirical research, and I’d very much like to do a study on this subject sometime to see if the predictions of the theory stand up.

However, there is already a track record of predictions in the theory’s traditional domains. Despite the name, predictive programming has not done very well when it comes to actually predicting things. In theory, you’re supposed to be able to see what They are up to by looking at what’s going on in popular media. This is meant to give an idea of what the conspirators are psychologically preparing the population for. Indeed, after some event like 9/11, people will inevitably go back and find things in the media that seem to match up. But efforts to go the other way – to predict things in advance based on what’s in the media – fall completely flat.

Three examples come immediately to mind: the Simpsons clock fiasco, the Comet Elenin panic, and the London Olympics false-flag-that-wasn’t. The Simpsons clock fiasco happened a couple of years ago when an episode of the long-running TV show featured a giant clock exploding and landing next to a sleeping Homer Simpson, who subsequently wakes up, yawns, stretches, and walks off camera. Predictive programming enthusiasts made much of the position of the hands on the clock (supposedly indicating a date), the way Homer stretched when he got up from his hammock (“obvious masonic hand gestures”, opined one Youtube commenter), the importance of clock faces in Project Monarch, the nuclear-looking explosion, and so on. Of course, none of the predictions of doom came to pass. The Comet Elenin panic was an even weirder example, where a set of coincidences led predictive programming enthusiasts to believe that the film Deep Impact was made in order to condition people to accept an extinction-level impact from the eponymous comet. The comet disintegrated while passing through the solar system in August 2011 and killed absolutely nobody. Finally, pretty much everyone who was into predictive programming thought that there would be a false-flag attack of some kind at the 2012 Olympics in London (particularly Ian R. Crane) – but the Olympics in general, went off without a hitch.

The “predictive” element of predictive programming is really retrodictive – it can’t be used to predict in advance what’s going to happen, any more than flipping a coin or reading bird entrails. There are a couple of possible reasons for this – either the conspirators are putting out fake “programming” in order to throw people off the trail (which decreases the chance that there’s any signal getting through all the noise), the programming is so arcane that it’s impossible to pick it out except after the fact (which makes it less plausible that it’s having any prospective effect on us), or the apparent cases of predictive programming are nothing more than the result of hunting for vague resemblances after the fact.


Clearly there are a lot of reasons to believe that predictive programming probably doesn’t work: it runs counter to one of the foundational experiments in social psychology, its effects and aims are vague and poorly defined, it doesn’t agree with decades of psychological research on mere exposure and subliminal persuasion, its “scientific” justification is completely unsupported by research, and the predictions made by its advocates simply don’t pan out.

However, predictive programming is amenable to research. There’s nothing stopping someone from putting it to the test – I would like to do this myself at some point. Get two groups of participants, like in the Bobo Doll study. While one group watches neutral videos, the other watches a series of videos where people get cheated out of things: a gambler loses money in a rigged poker game, a business deal with a corrupt politician goes bad, a bank wrongly forecloses on a mortgage and puts a family out on the streets. The participants are then put in an economic game scenario where someone else behaves unfairly, and they have the opportunity to punish them. If predictive programming works, the people who were exposed to fictional depictions of cheating should be less likely to punish the other person – rather than resisting, they’ll simply accept what happens. How do you think this experiment would turn out?

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103 Responses to 5 reasons why “predictive programming” is psychologically implausible

  1. Jeremy Christopher says:

    Predictive programming is a weird term, that has been skewed to support conspiracy theorists.
    In reality, if you watch a movie or show (media), you have a reaction to that media. There are tons of reactions you can have to any type of media, the averaged reaction to that media IS and should be considered the collective output of that media.

    If the media creator creates media that influences the viewer the way the media creator had intended, then they are successful; if not, then unsuccessful.

    What we need to define is the effect media has on its viewers. I’m not quite sure what term we need to use, since many similar terms relate to different aspects of social programming and not simply the absorption of media and its effects, like “Elicitation” or “social hacking”.

    Predictive programming can be a valid motive, whether successful or unsuccessful. Unfortunately, there isn’t much technology available for media creators or viewers to learn how to use these tools or to subvert them, yet many people are affected by types of media programming, like Fox news, and don’t have the tools to consciously avoid feeling any fear from them.

    In other words, this is a better topic when you get rid of the conspiracy elements and teach people how to acknowledge social programming in media.

    • Mike Wood says:

      Yeah, the usage of media as propaganda and more generally a tool for persuasion is very well-established – the term you’re looking for is probably “media influence,” which is a highly research-active area in experimental psychology. This post shouldn’t be interpreted as saying that people’s opinions, beliefs, and behaviours aren’t shaped by what they see on TV or in the movies – clearly they are, to some extent. The question is how, and predictive programming in particular does not seem like a likely mechanism.

  2. William says:

    I disagree entirely with your belief that predictive programming does not work. You are giving the general public more credit than they deserve. This tactic is also used by corporations in pay negotiations with unions. News is leaked to the employees that a 2.5% pay rise is the absolute maximum when in fact the company can afford 5%. Following lengthy negotiations the unions accept 3% and everyone is happy.

    • Mike Wood says:

      Your example is a negotiation tactic, the sort of thing that is very well-studied in economics and in the psychology of persuasion. It is sneaky, for sure, but it has nothing to do with predictive programming. Leaking a lowball figure is supraliminal, involves presenting something as fact, and influences an ongoing and overt event. Predictive programming is supposed to be a subliminal induction of compliance or acquiescence to secretly planned future events through mere exposure in fiction.

      This is a common misunderstanding – a lot of people, like yourself, lump together any psychological influence under the umbrella term “predictive programming.” But the psychology of influence and compliance is a highly developed and well-established field. Predictive programming, as fomulated by Alan Watt, Alex Jones, et al., is unsupported by any evidence and flatly contradicted by a great deal of empirical research.

      • I don’t recall you citing a “great deal of empirical research” which contradicts predictive programming in your article. I am quite interested in the subject (I will be hosting a radio show about predictive programming this Friday night) so I would greatly appreciate you sharing any of the research you referenced above. Thanks!!

      • Mike Wood says:

        Sure, though as I said in the original post, the research that contradicts ideas of predictive programming does so pretty obliquely. It’s never mentioned in the psychological research literature because it’s not really a psychological concept – it’s something that internet cranks pretty much thought up out of nowhere. To a psychologist it seems like a completely bizarre idea. Here are a few references that are relevant to it probably being bunk, though.

        -Sweeny, T., Suzuki, S., Grabowecky, M., & Paller, K. A. (2013). Detecting and categorizing fleeting emotions in faces. Emotion, 13(1), 76-91. [Referred to above – people are sensitive to the context in which something is presented, and that shapes their subsequent perceptions – it’s not a question of mere exposure]
        -Pratt, T.C., Cullen, F.T., Sellers, C.S., et al. (2010). The empirical status of social learning theory: A meta-analysis. Justice Quarterly, 27(6), 765-802. [Again, as mentioned above, the idea that people, particularly children, mimic role models rather than engaging in passive acceptance of everything they see]
        -Pretty much the entire literature on cultivation theory and mean-world syndrome. A fairly consistent finding is that habitually watching TV shows about crime and violence increases people’s fear of both and makes them think the world is a more dangerous place than it actually is. Yet contrary to how predictive programming ideas allege that exposure to ideas of dystopian society induce passive acceptance of such a society, portrayals of a dangerous society don’t induce passive acquiescence to danger – instead, people are more fearful and take measures to avoid violence and crime. Couple of examples, in addition to the older stuff like Gerbner & Gross, 1976 and Shrum, Wyer, & O’Guinn, 1998:
        –Schoeder, L.M. (2006). Cultivation and the elaboration likelihood model: A test of the learning and construction and availability heuristic models. Communication Studies, 56(3), 227-242.
        –Van Mierlo, J., & Van den Bulck, J. (2004). Benchmarking the cultivation approach to video game effects: A comparison of the correlates of TV viewing and game play. Journal of Addolescence, 27(1), 97-111.
        –Cohen, J., & Weirmann, G. (2000). Cultivation revisited: Some genres have some effects on some viewers. Communication Reports, 13(2), 99-114.

        -Finally, work on transportation theory indicates that fictional narratives are likely to change people’s beliefs explicitly in the direction of the narrative – at the most basic level, viewers sympathize with the protagonists and dislike the villains. There’s no indication that people acquiesce to things portrayed as evil, like Hunger Games style dystopian governments. There’s a lot of research on this but a good example is:
        –Green, M.C., &7 Brock, T.C. (2000). The role of transportation in the persuasiveness of public narratives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(5), 701-721.

        Now, all of this bears on the inducing-passive-acceptance definition of predictive programming. It’s a slippery enough term that people can redefine it pretty freely, so that the same term is used to describe exposing people to a theme or idea to normalize it and subliminally priming people with numbers in order to invest them with some sort of significance (these are completely different and in many ways opposite concepts, and to give them the same name is frankly bizarre and seems to muddy the waters considerably). There is a substantial gap between the psychological effect of a major theme in a work of fiction and the psychological effect of a number shown in the corner of one shot of a 90-minute Hollywood blockbuster.

        The latter is probably negligible. Compare something like the Batman Sandy Hook “reference” to recent efforts to replicate some of the seminal experiments in unconscious priming, like the Bargh elderly walking experiment. The experiment goes like this: people have to do a word-unscrambling task, and the words they unscramble are either age-related (cane, elderly, ancient, wise) or neutral (ball, table, building, orange). They then immediately leave the lab and walk to the elevator, and a research assistant watches them The original finding was that people would walk slower after being primed with these age-related words. However, there’s been an effort to replicate this experiment in recent years, and the results have been very unconvincing – see, for instance, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029081 . If the immediate effects of strong, uncompromised subliminal manipulations like this are so slippery, there’s no hope for much of an effect from a number or name in the corner of a shot of a movie that someone saw years ago.

        Finally, I carried out a study last year on predictive programming with a student sample. Need to do some followups so haven’t published it yet, but briefly, I asked people to check off each movie from a list of dystopian movies they’ve seen, then asked them some questions about a possible future of dystopian government. There was no correlation between number of dystopian movies seen and judgement of the likelihood that a totalitarian government would come to power, support of such a government, or willingness to take passive or active measures to resist it.

  3. Truth wins says:

    So advertisements don’t work and people don’t cry at the end of Old Yeller, this article is bunk. Of course there’s predictive programming.

    • Mike Wood says:

      It seems like you’re arguing either 1) predictive programming is just an umbrella term for any kind of media influence, including advertising and empathy for fictional characters, or 2) predictive programming, in the more limited sense of “Logan’s Run psychologically prepares the world for mass euthanasia,” makes sense because it’s similar to other techniques of influence that are known to work.

      Argument 1 stretches the definition of predictive programming to a pretty severe extent, and is not in line with Alan Watt’s definition listed above – and, as far as I can tell, he’s the one who coined the term, or at least popularised it. It doesn’t make sense if you look at the words themselves – what does crying at Old Yeller “predict”? It also is not an argument for the efficacy of the more limited kind of predictive programming that is discussed in the post, it’s just playing with definitions. Are you less likely to cry if your own dog dies after you see Old Yeller? That doesn’t follow at all.

      Argument 2 also doesn’t make sense to me. Of course people can be influenced by media – and there is a considerable body of research on what kind of influence is effective and what is not. Thinking up a possible technique of influence does not guarantee its effectiveness. As I covered in this post, given what we know about effective and ineffective methods of influence and persuasion, an attempt at predictive programming along the lines of Logan’s Run or The Hunger Games would be likely to backfire spectacularly.

      In fact, this same argument could be used to support the opposite of predictive programming. For example, let’s say that I claim that Logan’s Run will make people resist any attempt at legalising euthanasia, because it portrays it as evil. After all, advertising works, and people cry at Old Yeller, so why wouldn’t they adopt this view as their own?

      The fact is, these other techniques of influence have little bearing on whether predictive programming works as it’s claimed to. It rests on a completely different set of assumptions which are uniformly either unsupported or flatly contradicted by the available research evidence.

  4. zooropa says:

    If one can, one should watch the first episode of kids show “The Aquabats” called “ManAnt”.

    That absolutely confirms PP is in play.
    How effective it is would be a seperate argument.

  5. hybridrogue1 says:

    Having worked in the film industry for more than 20 years as a designer and special effects artist, I am of the opinion that films are made primarily to make money. Most films dealing with speculative fiction or as the genre is commonly referred to; “science fiction”; these movies are geared towards making the last blockbuster over again. So I am agnostic as to the assertions of “predictive programming” – it may be attempted, but I am not sure I could point to anything specific and claim that is what the impetus for the film actually is. The Loan Gunman is a curious example however, especially as to the plot of the pilot episode, and the subsequent event on 9/11.
    I have never been one to truck with Coincidence Theory, so there may be something to this one.

    Dystopia has always been a fascinating topic, ever since the stories of Revelations in the Bible.
    Scary stories are some of the most popular of those sitting around the campfire, and likely have been since man has been capable of making a campfire.

    There is certainly propaganda in cinema, it is practically ubiquitous with the medium. Dark Thirty Zero is one of the most blatant of recent films. The anti-Japanese and anti-German propaganda films of the WWII era are part of the history of propaganda in cinema. Islamophobia is rampant and blatant in modern film.

    So I would be more concerned about the effects of conditioning by such propaganda films more than the idea of ‘predictive programming’.

    I would say however that the “experiment with the bobo doll” doesn’t make a convincing case one way or the other to me – other than that children mimic the violent behaviors of adults. Isn’t that the way the West was Won?

    • Mike Wood says:

      Propaganda’s certainly a valid concern. I think that in many ways, predictive programming is kind of a distraction from legitimate propaganda. In fact, propaganda is another good reason why predictive programming is implausible – take Cold War movies like Red Dawn or Invasion USA that depict the Soviet Union invading America. It seems pretty obvious that these are propagandistic movies meant to fire up the troops, put people on their guard, and generally make the Reds seem like the baddest guys around. But look what happens when you apply the logic of predictive programming. It doesn’t matter that the Russians are the bad guys, or that the heroes are valiant Americans defending their homeland, mom, apple pie, stars and stripes forever, semper fi, and so on. What matters is the simple fact that these films depict a Soviet invasion of America. Therefore, if people go and watch Red Dawn, they are more likely to roll over and accept such an invasion as a natural and normal thing. This means that Red Dawn is meant to subliminally prepare the populace for a Communist takeover: it is secretly Communist propaganda. It’s an utterly ridiculous conclusion, yet it follows straightforwardly from the notion that depiction is (subliminal) endorsement. Predictive programming is horrendously superficial. It doesn’t just ignore subtext, it ignores the majority of text as well.

      The bobo doll experiment is a general way of referencing the field of social influence and social learning – it’s the most famous component of a much larger body of research literature. Of course this experiment applies mostly to children, but it demonstrates the general principle that people take cues from others’ actions and reactions in the world, rather than simply from the presence or absence of a particular thing.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        Mr. Wood,
        I think you are missing the link of the false Left/Right paradigm of the Hegelian Dialectic. Such an idea of “Red Dawn is meant to subliminally prepare the populace for a Communist takeover: it is secretly Communist propaganda.” is not really “an utterly ridiculous conclusion.”

        First of all what is “Communism”? Not the lollipop mainstream definition taught at university and on bumper-sticker quips. I think you should spend some time reading Antony Sutton, especially his ‘Wall Street’ series that leads up to ‘Skull and Bones’.
        This is real scholarship fully backed up with footnotes. It will turn the world you think you know on its head. Not a pleasant thought is it? Few are willing to face such information honestly when they have so much invested in their current point of view.

        “people take cues from others’ actions and reactions in the world, rather than simply from the presence or absence of a particular thing.”

        I guess the term ‘self-evident’ was lost with the memory of the Declaration of Independence. Being an Amerikan, I still recall that “ancient relic”…

      • Mike this guy wants you to think that the left and the right and even centrist views are controlled by the same power elite. In other words in his mind the skull and bones are managing the political parties of his country to give a false image of choice. However, he fails to remember that his country is only one of hundreds, hundreds that don’t get along politically, that don’t see eye to eye with one another on thousands of different morals, subjects and resources.

        There’s a massive problem with his beliefs, since clearly all of the varying political parties across the world would need to be puppeted by the same power structure behind the scenes. Since America will soon no longer be a serious power player in the global economic marketplace, and Eastern countries will dominate the foreseeable horizon, this would mean that the skull and bones [an American ivy league private club] have little power if they did have any in the first place, which is very unlikely. How then does the belief that the skull and bones fit into the reality that America is becoming a weakened member of the global community. I am hazarding a guess that this guy would want us to believe that everything the skull and bones does, even their complete mistakes and loss of global power are intentional, and are a false presentation of their loss of power.

        He probably wants us to believe they have total unbreakable power across the world, like some nightmarish spiderweb in a dark dystopian story.

        He also seems to be forgetting that ivy league schools produce some of the best academic minds, and provide networks for people to get into upper tier positions. Some of which will be nepotism, some will be head hunted by corporate and governmental bodies, and some of which will be legitimately deserved job offers. Of course ivy league schools will produce the highest level officials, they’re not going to picked from community colleges with poor academic results.

      • hybridrogue1 says:


        ConspiracyKiller hasn’t the slightest idea what he is talking about.

        The US is merely the garrison state of a global power already in existence.
        Sutton didn’t just write the Skull and Bones book. Anyone who wants to understand Sutton has to actually read Sutton, and not just his final book out of context of all the others that put it in perspective.

        No, in my mind I do not imagine that Skull and Bones are managing anything but a small part in the larger affair. The real ‘power behind the throne’ is global-economic.

        I’m afraid that your Killer-Guy doesn’t understand the first thing about the architecture of modern political power. And believing as he does, that the world is run by happenstance reveals the naivete of a six year old child.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        So Killer-guy,

        Why is it you have to butt-in and squeeze yourself in-between any dialog I am having on this blog? Don’t you think that Mike can think for himself? Do you fancy yourself the “court adviser” – a captain of practical matters that needs to explain them to the mere psychological theorists here?

        Your arrogance exceeds your knowledge tenfold.

      • I just wanted you to say some more stupid shit on here for kicks.

      • Mike Wood says:

        Hybridrogue1, apparently not everyone finds it self-evident that portrayal is not endorsement (or, for that matter, brainwashing). That was the entire point of this post: people like Alan Watt and Alex Jones appear to be convinced that this is so, and their ideas have some currency, however silly they might appear to be.

        I’m not going to get into a debate about the geopolitics of international communism here. Suffice it to say that persuasion doesn’t operate in the Platonic realm; it works on people’s existing flawed and subjective conceptions of the world. If you like, you can substitute “the lollipop mainstream idea of what is Communist” for “Communist” in that sentence. It’s a silly conclusion however you slice it. You might argue that Red Dawn reinforces the left/right, communist/capitalist dichotomy that you see as invalid, but that’s a separate issue from predictive programming as conceived by the likes of Watt and Jones, which is what this post is about.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        I see Mr Woods, your topic is tight and there are no tributaries that feed these waters that have any bearing on what flows under your particular view from the bridge.
        And just so, I take my leave into the wider world with a panoramic view.
        Thank you for your time and limited scope.

      • Mike Wood says:


        I have a lot of views, but not all of them are relevant everywhere. I’m sure we could turn every post on this blog into an argument about international finance or the Trilateral Commission or what have you. Wanting to stay on topic every now and then is not a sign of narrowmindedness, much like resorting to passive-aggressive parting shots when someone doesn’t take your derail bait is not a sign of a mature mind.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        Mike, let’s face it, “passive-aggressive” is self contradiction and Orwellian. What is really meant is ‘covert-aggressive’. I have noticed how “psychological language” is full of such linguistic jabberwocky.

        I have not met a single one of you “anti-conspiracists” willing to get down to the nitty gritty and speak to empirical data and facts. It is all this subjective theorizing based on cloistered indoctrination. A very peculiar situation when it is the “conspiracists” who are being framed here as those who have empty substance-less positions.

        It is blatant and prima facea, and would not stand in even high school debate class.
        It would fly well in ‘Politics’ though – wouldn’t it?

        Your use of, “mature”? It is like piss calling lemonade yellow.

      • Mike Wood says:

        I’m in the business of empirical data and facts. This post is generally well-supported by existing research, I think, and I’m in the process of running a large-scale study on the efficacy of predictive programming right now. I haven’t seen any data from you that bears on the subject, but by all means post away if you have it.

        Anyway, I thought you had already dramatically flounced off? You seem to have contradicted your earlier post. How… Orwellian. *spooky organ music*

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        “Spooky organ music” hahaha… I like your sense of humor Mike…

        I will be very interested in reading the parameters and conclusions of your “empirical study” of predictive programming.

        Sorry my “flounce” bounced back… but you did make a further comment at September 2, 2014 at 1:03 am, which seemed to invite another response.

        If you have a bobo doll, just pretend it’s me and have a go at it. And I will de-Orwell myself and leave the last word for you.

      • “and leave the last word for you.”

        Yet another contradictory post.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        I offered the last word in this line to Mr Wood, not the fool ‘conspiracykiller’, who in fact has chosen a contradiction for his moniker, and is too stupid to realize such.

        It would be those who are conspiracy theorists who seek to expose and thus extinguish and kill the conspiracy. So if this killer guy had any sense he would have chosen to call himself ‘conspiricistkiller’. And how long this ‘genius’ has waddled around this blog displaying just how “clever” he is, I do not know. But his own namesake proves he is not clever at all, but so witless he names himself backwards.

      • Translation: “wah wah wah, must get the last word in even though I said I would leave it to Mike”

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        “wah wah wah”~Killer guy

        Is a covert cipher finally admitting those aliens didn’t use lube during his anal probing.
        Sorry dude, hope those nightmares end one day.

      • The one who believes aliens are real out of us both is you, I think they’re a silly fantasy. It looks like you misunderstood my asking your fellow conspiraloon elsewhere on the blog about his paranoia of aliens. He makes alien posts on his whacky blog if you’d had the sense to check.

        I feel sorry for the internet having to host the madness of people like you.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        “He makes alien posts on his whacky blog if you’d had the sense to check.”~Killerguy

        You made the remark to Verity2, who doesn’t have a blog.
        So unless you have a URL to said blog you are a liar.

        As per “aliens” – the established astrophysics community itself posits the likelihood of extraterrestrial life in the universe. It is far from “whacky” therefore to believe in the probability of alien lifeforms.

        Personally I find the “alien abduction” meme to be hyperbole and bullshit. I think the idea of an ancient breed of ‘Reptilians’ controlling the fate of planet Earth preposterous. And I find your insinuations that those who study the systemic nature of modern politics and who posit that a National Security State is in itself a conspiratorial structure, are akin to those who claim “Elvis is still alive”, “that aliens rule the world by proxy agreements with human governments”… and etc, etc; is disingenuous hogshit.

        And it is that disingenuous attitude that brought you to make that original slur against Veritable1. It is the same sort of disingenuous crap as calling someone “a tin-hatted grassy knoll conspiratard”, and all the other twerpy little quips you wise as ‘anti-conspiracists’ are so fond of spewing from the ass of your trousers.

        You killerguy, are a low level ignorant twit lacking the capacity for real debate, thus you haunt this site and quiver at the prospect of a real debate in a venue not under the protection of your pschotwat masters here.

        The blog site to go to is Truth and Shadows – come and get one in the yarbols if you got any yarbols you eunuch jellybelly thou.

      • veritable1.wordpress

        They posted the following: Alien Agenda Unfolding Freeman Perspective

        I believe that suffices for evidence they have a blog, and that they posted alien bullshit on it.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        veritable1.wordpress – does not lead to a blog killerguy. It is an unclaimed name for the WordPress system. Simple fact.

        ‘Alien Agenda Unfolding Freeman Perspective’ is a video, or movie that anyone might find a curiosity. Your “belief” that any mention of that in some blog somewhere translates into buying the alien agenda bullshit is pure assumption on your part…and again Veritable1 has no website – WordPress nor any other.

        I have discussed this subject with Veri, whom I know very well. He is agnostic on the subject, as am I. One cannot come to conclusions on any topic without learning something of it. I came to the conclusion that the Roswell event was simply a high altitude weather balloon – just as the military claimed from the very beginning.

        You are attempting to slur both Veri and myself with absolutely no proofs to your allegations whatsoever. One more time bonehead; there is no Veritable1 website. You are plucking turds out of your own ass.

      • Try typing .com after it you internet noob.

        ha ha.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        Have you checked out http://www.conspiracykiller.com yet????

        It is a web address, is it this page’s conspiracykiller? No the domain name is for sale.
        Just about any domain name you can think of is available or for sale.

        Only an ignorant twit doesn’t grasp how the internet works by now.

      • Your buddys name on this very blog even links to his wordpress blog haha, I don’t know how dumb you actually have to be to deny they even have a wordpress blog.

      • hybridrogue1 says:


        Indeed. Killerguy, he does have this website. I never knew it existed.
        I still wouldn’t put any eggs in this basket – like I said, Veri and I have discussed the alien thing, the Bluebeam theory etc. He is agnostic, but curious.

      • So after all your ranting and name calling you were utterly wrong.

        Time for me to move on, and probably time for you to check facts before slinging mud.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        Yes killerguy, a simple mistake because he never mentioned it to me.

        But you can blow it up into a big deal because there isn’t much else to grasp onto for you.

        Again, if you ever want to try out a real debate about real substantive issues, come on over to Truth and Shadows – bring your own plate for us to hand your ass back to you on.


      • hybridrogue1 says:

        “Someone stole my old handle obviously, I’m flattered. I don’t follow any of the UFO stuff, it’s a subject I reserve judgement on. My little quip went straight over Conspiratard’s head in his little try at a put down on me. He’s too easy but then what do you expect from a dumb fuck.”~Veritable2

        I just got this message in an email. Now I remember he changed his web-name when I got a new gravitar… the little red airplane – he’s a pilot.

      • So his handle on here [which he self created] links to a wordpress that isn’t his. And he’s calling me a dumb fuck. Anyway done with you. Seriously I’m past caring about your paranoid worldview.

      • hybridrogue1 says:


        Check it out killer guy … my pal does not have a website. You are the one who is wrong. How’bout that? But you were sure ready to make a big deal out of a hill of beans, weren’t you. Why yes you were…Lol

        You are right about one thing though – this site is a waste of time.

      • hybridrogue1 says:


        WordPress sets aside a web domain for anyone posting on WordPress blogs, whether the web domain is claimed and used by that blogger or not.

        You were “utterly wrong” — yes YOU were, and now you don’t care about our “paranoia”. .. ??.. Hahahahahaha, precious blather killer…
        Thanks for the lollipops bonehead.

  6. Davi says:

    I think an alternative explanation is that there are a finite number of masonic/satanic symbols/numbers and these are used repeatedly in movies/TV shows. So placing 9:11 on a clock in movies is not to get people used to accepting 9/11 in the future but is used because it has some meaning to occultists. Although I think the illuminati rely heavily on psychological research and certainly use it to control people, not everything they do is scientific. They seem to place high value on prophetic statements in the Bible.

  7. dan says:

    I thought the entertainment industry is run by the Pentagram and the Military Industrial complex. Paperclip scientist trained our military. Everything we see and hear is NLP. We are all brainwashed but don’t even realize it. There’s over a thousand think tank groups constantly trying to change behavior. I laugh every time some one mentions Orwell. Who do you think Orwell worked for? Huxley, Wells?????Propaganda specialists.

    • hybridrogue1 says:

      “Who do you think Orwell worked for? Huxley, Wells?????Propaganda specialists.”~dan

      Wells was a Fabian Socialist and the historical ties are well known and certain. He realized he had been chumped later in life and was bitter and jaded, wrote profusely about how evil the planned New World Order is at the core of it.

      I see Orwell and Huxley in an entirely different light. Orwell taught too much too deep and offered it to the population. He explained it all too well for it not to be taken as a warning.
      I am a “propaganda specialist” myself. I know propaganda, I know the means and methods of intelligence. All persuasive argument is ‘propaganda’ – it is just a rhetorical tool, like a gun or any other weapon it can be used for aggression or for self defense.

      You also say “We are all brainwashed but don’t even realize it,” quite a self-contradictory statement. If “we” includes you, and the construction verifies that is what you intend, then how is it you know “we are all brainwashed”… but, you in fact “realize it” enough to remark on it?

      As far as indoctrination and conditioning – yes we are born into that system, a particularly high-tech version of it. But there is always a certain percentage of a given population that has too much natural insight, too much of an alert imagination. is too insightful and adept at pattern recognition – in a word too ‘intuitive’ to be caught in such a web.
      I was 11 or 12 years old when I first began to question what “the adults” were up to. I thought they were all crazy.

      Well, hot damn, whattaya know? They are.

      This is a pathological society built on the paradigm of militarism, war, aggression and violence. Officially this is the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ and ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ is the grand strategy.
      That a ‘National Security State’ is a systemic conspiracy is obvious to anyone who grasps the architecture of political power. And the Public Relation Regime is their most effective tool of all. {the pen is indeed mightier than the sword}.

      Aldous Huxley was sincere as well. His family, in particular his brother were part of the agenda for the New World Order – but guilt by association, even family association is error when a mans life-work tells a different story.

  8. hybridrogue1 says:

    “Everywhere and at all times groups, organizations and leaders meet in closed meetings, before going ‘public’. A minority of policymakers or advocates meet, debate and outline procedures and devise tactics to secure decisions at the ‘official’ meeting. This common practice takes place when any vital decisions are to be taken whether it is at local school boards or in White House meetings. To label the account of small groups of public officials meeting and taking vital decisions in ‘closed’ public meetings (where agendas, procedures and decisions are made prior to formal ‘open’ public meetings) as ‘conspiracy theorizing’ is to deny the normal way in which politics operate. In a word, the ‘conspiracy’ labelers are either ignorant of the most elementary procedures of politics or they are conscious of their role in covering up the abuses of power of today’s state terror merchants.”~Prof. James Petras

  9. veritytwo says:

    Just to give you a heads up “killer conspiratard” not too unlike you, “ufotard” doesn’t have enough brains to come up with his own handle. You should confer with your other brother Darryl before you venture out too far. He’s the smarter one between you.

  10. Mr. Wood,

    As someone trained in the field of psychology of social behavior, I would be extremely curious to hear your thoughts about a person, Mr. ConspiracyKiller, who seems to have assumed the job of being the guard dog for your blog. And, he seems to be a very well trained one at that.

    Since you seem to be operating in the academic and scientific realms, I can only assume that he has not been given his “job” by any of the four contributors of this site. But his knee-jerk comments trying to swat every fly that flies by seem to get zero attention or reaction on your part, which, in turn, gives the reader the impression that his function on these pages is approved by you to a certain extent.

    If he is indeed assigned such a mission, I think it’d be fair to expect that it is declared as such in some shape or form. But, if he is not, I feel he is doing a great disservice to your level headed (biased, but level headed nonetheless) academic blog which could easily be a place for some serious and multi faceted discussions that could be educational both for you and the readers.

    Kind regards.

    • Why not post it a fourth time for shotgun effect ?

    • Mike Wood says:

      I don’t moderate comments very much, so pretty much anyone can post as long as they’re not spammers selling rattan furniture and steam showers (which seems to be 90% of the spam we get, for some reason). That includes people discussing things amongst themselves in the comments. If I inserted myself into every blog comment slapfight that comes up, I think I’d have much less free time than I do. And I certainly don’t care enough about blog comments that I’d send someone on a top secret mission to argue for me.

      • Thank you for your reply.

        I have no desire to take an antagonistic tone towards you, but your disinterest in the comments is somewhat peculiar considering the fact that you have conducted and penned an extensive study on the general behavior and psychology of “conspiracists” and “conventionalists” who post comments online.

        Thanks again.

      • Mike Wood says:

        Yes, I’m generally interested in online communication as a window into social psychology. That doesn’t mean I’ll use my spare time to engage with every blog comment. I assume you wouldn’t find it unusual if a biologist who studies trees could walk through the park without carefully inspecting every tree along the way.

      • You are right.. It is unreasonable to expect you to “engage with every blog comment”. And I did not, and would not demand or expect that you do.

        But, if I go with your biologist example… This certainly is not some “park”, but more like your private garden. In that context, yes, I would expect a biologist who studies trees to pay at least some attention to the trees in his/her own garden.

        Especially if the sign at the entrance reads: Mike Wood, Dendrologist.

      • Mike Wood says:

        Well, obviously I pay some attention to the comments here, or I wouldn’t be replying to you or your friend hybridrogue. If someone asks a direct question that makes sense I’ll usually reply. But that’s out of courtesy to the commenter, rather than out of some broader concern for the blog comment ecosystem – I don’t find it necessary to moderate heavily or to involve myself in conversations between other commenters.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        I suppose from this conversation between Lilaleo and Mike Wood, that the killerguy is a weed that popped up on his own, and not something Mike planted in his garden on purpose.
        Something I actually presumed in the first place. The killerguy just found some soil to his liking and sprouted, thorns and all.

  11. I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever wprk
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  12. touchstone says:

    The power elite are occultists, that is beyond doubt. It’s also beyond doubt that popular culture is permeated with occult imagery and themes, explicitly and implicitly. If you don’t accept either of those two premises, it’s because you haven’t done enough research on the subjects.

  13. Bryan says:

    I find it interesting that you state NLP “has been thoroughly discredited by research”, and cite a recent review by Sturt, which does conclude, “there is little evidence that NLP interventions improve health-related outcomes.” But then it continues, “This conclusion reflects the limited quantity and quality of NLP research, rather than robust evidence of no effect.”

    The authors concluded that it wasn’t researched enough – NOT that the weight of experimental evidence discredits it, as you claim. These are two VERY different things.

    They state, “There is currently insufficient evidence to support the allocation of NHS resources to NLP activities outside of research purposes.” Here they again acknowledge that the state of research is incomplete, and imply that more research is best.

    They also note, “it is possible that the controversy surrounding NLP may lead to a publication bias against studies that find a positive effect in favour of NLP,” and this is certainly a factor as well. YOUR bias is clearly showing.

    • Mike Wood says:

      If Sturt was the only paper I’d referred to, you might have a point. However, in the same sentence I also cited a 1987 review by Sharpley, which reviewed evidence regarding the basic tenets of NLP theory (such as it is) in addition to the specific clinical applications that Sturt focussed on in his later review. Sharpley found the evidence against NLP far more convincing, perhaps because it’s easier to run an experiment debunking the existence of preferred representational systems than to do notoriously woolly, expensive, and longwinded clinical research. Sturt’s paper was published 25 years after Sharpley’s – 25 years in which no reliable body of evidence for NLP emerged. That’s not for lack of money – NLP is big business in the corporate world.

      As for the publication bias? Sturt specifically wrote that passage to contrast with the standard type of publication bias, which any first-year psychology student could tell you is against null results (i.e. finding no relationship between variables). That sort of bias is omnipresent, and it’s not at all clear that this hypothetical anti-NLP bias among journal editors and reviewers would be strong enough to counteract it if it did exist. Sturt certainly wasn’t very sure about it – what’s your basis for saying that it’s “certainly a factor”? If a journal asked me to review a paper that supported some NLP principle, I’d evaluate it on its merits and recommend publication if the study was decently conducted. Psychologists may not like NLP much, but that’s true for the same reason that we don’t like the myth that humans only use 10% of our brains. There’s simply no basis for believing it, and the best available evidence is against it.

      • Bryan says:

        Hey, I was not notified of your reply.

        First of all, a number of studies do support the effectiveness of NLP – for example –


        As for studies that found no effectiveness, bear in mind that NLP has been studied for numerous clinical outcomes, and found to be ineffective *in some of those particular situations*. For example, it was proposed by some as a possible lie detector test based on eye movements, which has been found to be false. This is no way undermines the positive results that have been found in certain contexts. For comparison, take a widely-used drug that is tested for use in another disease condition and found to be ineffective. This doesn’t mean that the literature doesn’t agree on the effectiveness of the drug in the original context.

        Also, NLPt, neurolinguistic psychotherapy, is recognised by the European Association for Psychotherapy, as well as national psychotherapeutic associations.


        While it IS true that disconfirmation (modus tollens) is a widespread problem, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Are you familiar with John Ioannidis’ paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False?” Really interesting paper, but in a nutshell, many commonly used medical procedures are in reality no more supported by robust, well-conducted studies than NLP, but they are simply not questioned, or deemed “too big to fail”. So this, to me, points to a scientifically unacceptable double standard.

        “There is increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims [6–8].”


      • NLPt is just as NLP suspected on pseudo-scientific methods

        Barry L. Beyerstein: Brainscams: Neuro Mythologies of the New Age . International Journal of Mental Health 19 (3), pp 27-36

      • Mike Wood says:

        Well, you’ve cited two papers there – I can’t find the full text of the second review, so no idea what their evidence says. However, the Stipancic study uses a waitlist control group, which is a poor control for a variety of obvious reasons. It was actually included in the Witkowski systematic review, and Witkowski pointed out this flaw in the design as well – crappy study design is extremely common in NLP, something which was also pointed out by Sharpley and Sturt. This sort of thing is a relatively common problem in clinical research, and in fact the clinical research is a few degrees removed from any possible application to the issue at hand anyway – in terms of predictive programming I think the foundational principles of NLP, as reviewed by Sharpley and in part by Witkowski, are more relevant than the clinical evidence anyway.

        The European Association for Psychotherapy isn’t an organisation that I’m familiar with, but a lot of professional psychotherapy associations don’t have evidence-based practice as a foundational principle. They also endorse “bioenergetic therapy,” a long-discredited therapy based on Wilhelm Reich’s fully bogus theories of orgone energy, which is a kind of oversexed elan vital, so that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

        I’m extremely familiar with Ioannidis’s paper and the issues it presents for psychology and other sciences – in fact, I’m an active member of the Open Science Initiative, which seeks to address some of these problems through promoting responsible statistics, pre-registration of studies, and open availability of raw data. I recently finished up an initial study on the efficacy of predictive programming for which I preregistered the methods, hypotheses, sample size, and basic planned analyses. So I’m highly aware of the issues surrounding publication biases and researcher degrees of freedom, as I think any psychologist publishing in the current climate should be.

        I think you’re quite misinformed about psychology, though, if you don’t think that major bodies of research are heavily questioned – there’s been a great deal of controversy in the field in the past few years about a couple of large bodies of research that seem intuitively dubious on a Ioannidis-type basis; specifically, the implicit priming literature (especially John Bargh’s stuff) and embodied social cognition (witness the recent shitstorm over a failed replication of Simone Schnall’s research) have come under a lot of fire, and a major journal (Psychological Science) has had to revamp its editorial policies because it was so well-known as a hive of scum, villainy, and probable false positives. There’s a major incentive to topple some of these previously well-established findings, and quite a few people have had significant career boosts from calling out sloppy research – to name a few off the top of my head, there’s Daniel Lakens, Uri Simonsohn, Greg Francis, and of course Ioannidis himself. This meme that scientific fields are so hidebound that they can’t tolerate any dissent is simply and demonstrably wrongheaded. If there were compelling evidence for NLP, it would have little trouble finding purchase in the current climate.

        The lack of acceptance of NLP within the mainstream psychological community isn’t because of tradition, closed-mindedness, or double standards – it’s because research on NLP tends to be poorly conducted, and generally produces negative results on the rare occasion when the methods are decent. That’s the same standard that any psychological research has to meet, and to demand that psychologists conclude otherwise in this case reads like nothing so much as special pleading to attempt to rescue a preferred hypothesis from the scientific dustbin.

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  15. Pingback: What is Predictive Programming? | Conspiracy Theory Digest

  16. Obeyance DeKat says:

    Suggestive programming and predictive programming are not the same. The example of the bobo doll you gave, is an example of suggestive programming. “See man hit doll, you should too!” Or… “Celebrity drinks pepsi! You should too!” Thats suggestive, not predictive. Predictive programming is a bit more complicated that that. Its a conditioning to social changes, getting people used to things to come… Like the proverbial “Frog in a pot”. Slowly the water is turned up, and the frog is none the wiser… till the frog is cooked.

    This is not limited to the entertainment industry though. Programming is the nomenclature that is tied to the entertainment industry. Predictive/Suggestive programming in the real world would be considered Predictive/Suggestive conditioning. Which is all a sub genera of “brainwashing”.

    Examples of both can be found throughout our government, done over the years. For instance… When Eric Holder said “One thing that I think is clear with young people, and with adults as well, is that we just have to be repetitive about this…We need to do this every day of the week and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”. He continued on about how they did this with Cigarettes successfully. The same can be said with just about every agenda that has been had by the controlling powers in things that the general public was totally against. Thats an example of mixed Suggestive and Predictive programming, and the way they did it are examples of how it works.

    Not sure why people dont understand these things and why people go out of their way to try and disprove them. Possibly the people trying to disprove or “Debunk” are part of a disinformation campaign, which is another example of coercive persuasion, xǐ năo(Chinese- Wash the brain) or “Brainwashing” if you will.

    • Obeyance DeKat says:

      Also, the use of dystopian movies like that, isnt a directly a suggestive or predictive programing use in the fact that it makes you prepared for anything… Things like that are more for disinformation. As for the ability to say “Oh, you just watch to many movies lol!” to someone that is talking about how their country is going into a dystopia or tyranny. Just like when G.W. Bush said “let us not give in to outrageous conspiracy theories” made everyone start really outlashing people with different views than what the government says. “I really feel like they went into Iraq for oil reasons and not WMDs…” “Oh you silly conspiracy theorist… you’re all the same! Batshit crazy! LOL” When in reality… a lot of the “conspiracy theorist” speak a lot of truth and are sometimes able to see through the programming and conditioning. Not to say that lizard men from outerspace that live inside our hollow earth and control our government is a legitimate ideology… but perhaps if it seems like it could be plausible, more attention should be given to it and not so brashly “debunked” right off the bat because it sounds to fantastical to be really true.

    • Mike Wood says:

      Social learning (the Bobo doll example) is indeed different from what predictive programming theorists say predictive programming is – it works on a totally different mechanism. The point is that a dystopian film with a hero resisting an oppressive totalitarian government would encourage resistance on the basis of social learning. This would work at complete cross purposes to whatever spooky predictive programming thing would presumably be happening at the same time.

      If I’m one of those “people who don’t understand these things” then I’m in the same boat as Alan Watt, Alex Jones, David Icke, and probably 90% of the other people who write about predictive programming on the internet. As far as I can tell the term was coined by Watt to describe exactly this. The thing is, predictive programming isn’t even an established thing. It’s not a term that appears in any published psychological research. As I noted in the post there is no clear definition – even you only describe it in the most vague terms, and there’s no clear psychological reason why it would work; it seems like people just kind of assume that it would, or define it so broadly that it loses all meaning.

      Also thanks for accusing me of being a disinfo agent. It’s been too long since I had someone pull that one out. (Follow me on Twitter @disinfoagent !)

      • Niels says:

        Hi Mr. Wood,

        An interesting article, but I think you have missed the point a few times. I’ve looked into what is said to be predictive programming a lot and it’s not to make people afraid of something or feel a particular emotion, or even to emulate. The main purpose is to make it seem inevitable or a natural evolution of society. Unfortunately thousands of youtube-detectives have destroyed all credibility of ideas and theories that once had merit, with combing through cartoons frame by frame looking for a clock that signals eleven minutes to nine and other rubbish.

        For instance when you say: “The point is that a dystopian film with a hero resisting an oppressive totalitarian government would encourage resistance on the basis of social learning”. Yes and no. There are of course many other factors involved here, of which the most important one is that most people aren’t heroes but scared cowards who will do everything possible to let others clean up the mess. The main message of these torrents of dystopian movies and novels is that it is inevitable and that it’s entertaining too. People identify with the hero but that doesn’t mean they think they all of a sudden can start to jump from rooftop to rooftop too. They won’t start to see themselves as superman all of a sudden, in fact they will feel smaller than ever before, and they will expect the One hero to come when the time gets really tough. It’s not so very different as it was done in the olden days of the Abrahamic religions.

        The decision to unite the world and make humanity one single organism was decided somewhere between 100 and 150 years ago already—maybe much earlier—and they only have introduced piecemeal the tools to implement this. Most of those tools had even not been invented yet, or at least not been made public. The field of science-fiction is in fact designed / invented as a tool for what some call predictive programming, which is nothing more than projecting your stated end-goal into the minds of the masses. Many scientists have wondered how all those SF prophets could be so on the mark every time, and said “we finally have caught up with what wrote 40 years ago”, because that’s exactly why it was written.

        So normalizing things that are planned and things that once were deemed crazy through fictional stories, because those are easy to digest and those bypass the ‘censor’ in the brain, as Plato called it in The Republic. It’s irrelevant what emotion people get from it, as long as it etches itself in the brain. So much later as the shit does come to pass, people already are familiar with the concept and hence they acquiescence much easier. Not because they are afraid, but because they think it’s inevitable. They have been immersed in anticipation for it all their lives. So in this way it’s the opposite of propaganda, because propaganda is meant to arouse action, predictive programming [by lack of a better term] is meant to arouse complacency.

        If you for instance watch the series Futurescape, which is the slickest propaganda -series I have ever seen. Goebbels rolls in his grave. It makes it all look cool, easy and most importantly: inevitable.

        But never forget: decades before the internet was given to us its real reason was already known to the top of the social engineers. They want to wipe out the reasoning and thinking capabilities of the rest of humanity and make the world a full perpetuum mobile without any biological molecule in existence anymore. That’s Progress, you know….

      • Paceride says:

        Niels “the most important one is that most people aren’t heroes but scared cowards who will do everything possible to let others clean up the mess. ”

        Really, you don’t give people much credit do you?

  17. velocidade says:

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.

  18. y0d4a says:

    well all what i can say, predictive programming affect unconscious population with no critical thinking (and they are the majority).
    Just look school system how successfully removing critical thinking from class.
    Critical thinking is only weapon against it!

    And “every” “government” don`t want too much intelligent people (just enough so they can control them)…

    little off topic, just look marketing what doing to people… before war was with arms, after that was cold weapons, after fire weapons and we come to nuclear weapons (which is not “useful”), now psychological warfare is main weapon for war.
    If you don`t believe in predictive programming, then investigate army techniques like false flag etc.

    we live in world where sociopaths are on good way to “get” us all…

    google some terms from: https://twitter.com/Y0da4a

  19. Mike says:

    Strangely enough, total recall which you mentioned, starts off in a town called newtown

    • Paceride says:

      I’ve seen the movie multiple times and did not know that. Does that mean predictive programming is b.s.? Or it just doesn’t work on me?

  20. thisis aloadofcrap says:

    disinfo bullshit

  21. Taa says:

    Alan Watt, Alex Jones and David Icke are part of the controlled opposition. Predictive programming isn’t what they say it is. Thoughts create reality, this is well known by the wise. For example, a dystopian future becomes more likely, the more people imagine it.

  22. redpill says:

    “This last assumption in particular has garnered much criticism. After all, it seems reasonable to assume that if a protagonist was shown rebelling against a future dystopia, the viewer would emulate the protagonist’s behavior and rebel against it too. Encouraging resistance and rebellion would of course defeat the point of predictive programming.

    However, it could be argued that this line of thinking is giving the general public too much credit. For example, in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, he couldn’t have painted a more chilling vision of the Big Brother surveillance state. He warned us of an impending totalitarian nightmare where people were watched and monitored during every waking (and sleeping) moment. He also depicted the protagonist, Winston, going to great lengths to subvert the control system he found himself trapped in.

    Yet here we are in an undeniably creepy 2015 and any meaningful resistance seems to be strangely absent. We might occasionally mutter “this is bloody Orwellian” when surveillance measures are increased, but before you know it we’re back in front of our smart TVs (telescreens), playing with our smartphones and fiddling with our smart meters.”

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  29. Niels says:

    Some other reactions:

    You wrote: “Imagine that you’re part of a sinister conspiracy to do a particular thing in the future – let’s say that you’re planning to install GPS trackers in people’s heads in order to cement the government’s control over the population. You’re all set to go: the implanting centres are fully staffed and your bulk order of GPS receivers has come in from FoxConn. But you’re worried about how people will react – will they accept the implants? Will they balk at the legal requirement and take to the streets, risking an overthrow of the totalitarian system you’ve worked so hard to build? What’s a conspirator to do?”

    What’s in fact the real reality is that micro-chipping humanity was already decided before anyone had heard about the things, even before they existed. It’s the reason WHY they have been invented in the first place. Well, the real reason is instigating the next step in human evolution and for that to happen humanity has to be discarded in the process. The same group who has invented all this technology—radio, TV, telephone, etc.—also wrote that when the world state is implemented most of humanity will be wiped out.

    It’s not a sinister conspiracy, but an open conspiracy, and they indeed publish most of what they are going to do upfront. And many people at the top proceed and acquiesce with this because they hope to be spared as soon as it reaches its completion. The fact that you people don’t know of books where they admit this is because you never looked for them. Most are not listed at the regular literature lists at universities. The only thing you come up with are silly studies of some nobodies with a Ph.D., but who have had no influence on world affairs whatsoever. Equating stupid studies where children will or won’t hit a “bobo doll” with real-world things on a global scale, that’s a far sillier stance than what the tinfoilers argue, I’d say.

    You wrote: “If you were trying to institute an evil world government, would you really want to put it out there that people who fight against evil world governments are the heroes?”

    Why not? That’s how you can pick out the few who will resist upfront. As long as most people have no clue what they really are facing, the ‘conspirators’ have nothing to be afraid of, because they can play all parties off against each other. The process in fact thrives on revolt and violence. That’s why they always arm all sides and fund all sides. Through violence the repressive laws can be crammed through much easier. As long as the revolt is guided by their social engineers there is no problem. Without struggle there is no change and hence no Progress. Therefore perpetual agitation and violence is arranged for.

    If you read for instance The Impact Of Science On Society and The Scientific Outlook by Bertrand Russell you will find admissions of quite a lot. He was a Philosopher King in Plato’s and Bacon’s [and thus Hermes’] ideal, and what he wrote has far most weight than all the clowns you list here. Those books are project-plans written for the higher echelons of social engineers instead of confused 8-page studies with small sample-sizes, non-conclusive conclusions and 50 references to similar flawed studies. Even Noam Chomsky called Russell “by any standard…one of the leading intellectual figures of the twentieth century”.

    You wrote: “Clearly there are a lot of reasons to believe that predictive programming probably doesn’t work”

    That’s because you don’t understand what was once meant with it and fell for the counterintelligence crap that has been put all over YouTube. Of course people accept things easier when they are already familiar with a concept, instead of something totally new. You don’t need studies to prove this, just a working brain.

    Within ten years—maybe five—millions of people will stand in line to get their microchip. And it has cost a helluva mind-job for the social engineers to achieve this. There isn’t a life-form on Earth that wouldn’t resists being chipped, but humanity will ask for it, long for it and will cheer and laugh all the way till the real reason an ‘internet kill switch’ exists begins to dawn on them.

  30. Leah says:

    Info wars and Alex Jones, heck most “big named conspiracy theorists” are usually full of a little truth with a bunch of garbage. It’s a no wonder why people are so stand off from the idea of a ‘conspiracy theorists’ with propaganda like that.

  31. XXLTinFoilSombrero says:

    A bunch of disinfo BS! Proven by several people posting on here. NOT ONE mention of Back to the Future on here! I could understand a few things being coincidence in the movies, but the ABSOLUTE FACT that so many references to that horrible date forever etched into our minds doesn’t bother you? It doesn’t make you think at all?

    I feel very, very, very, very, very sorry for any of you people and your level of intelligence and common sense reasoning that you can’t see right in front of your eyes, the (again) absolute FACT that we live on a fixed, flat plain. WE DO NOT live on a spinning ball, flying across the universe! It has been proven over and over again! Theory of Gravity you say? AGAIN, proven wrong by many! The numbers simply do not add up. In fact, the numbers were made up. Please keep believing the NASA garbage people, set us back even further.

    Thank you Mr. Wood for erasing/not posting my comment!

  32. Paceride says:

    I did laugh out loud at the “LEGALLY they must tell you what they’re going to do”. Legally? Please.

    Who even SAW The Lone Gunman? I never heard of it. I’ve never seen the Hunger Games or many of the examples here. Conspiracy theorists think all the “sheep” are sitting with glazed eyes in front of the TV 24/7, watching all these shows which the conspiracy theorists themselves seem to know more about that I do.

  33. EddyCorp says:

    Predictive programming is not used to “lay groundwork” so people are more accepting or brush it off. “According to the theory, you can lay the psychological groundwork for the implantation program by planting images in popular media.”

    Predictive Programming is used to plant seeds into the subconscious, the best seeds being the ones you never noticed in the program. It is used subtly so as to not have the conscious challenge the idea. The REASON they do this is because they beleive that it, what we think subconsciously, directly affects the real world. The advantage of putting a portal (tv, internet, etc) into someone’s living room, or hand, gives you direct access to the grid that defines reality on Earth. It’s not “magic”, its not something that actually changes the rules in the universe. This cannot and will never be empiricaly proven, but they beleive it works… somehow. Putting 9/11 in movies before sept 11 2001 wasnt so people wouldnt freak out when it happened, it was to actually ‘fullfil the prophecy that it built in the subconscious of millions of people’.

    Someone who pictures himself victorious has much better odds than the one who pictures himself defeated, before the battle even occurs. Its not scientific, but that is what predictive programming is, it has everything to do with conscious/subconscious forces that humans havent even begun to scratch the surface (at least outside of the military industrial complex).

    You are looking at it from the wrong angle.

    as Taa said a few posts up:
    “Thoughts create reality, this is well known by the wise. For example, a dystopian future becomes more likely, the more people imagine it.” -or have seeds growing in their subconscious about it.

  34. No says:

    I disagree with your conclusion. You didn’t actually do any research! ..you literally just formed an opinion and, then, gathered evidence to support your claim. Nothing more.. Stop pretending like you got a clue!

    You cite a lot of fluff.. *yawn* If you seriously think the media does NOT psychological condition public to accept changes, YOU CANNOT THINK!

    ..you pretend like it’s just some obscure Alex Jones types.. Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” is 1. By an elite academic and 2. Old news

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  40. Boudicea says:

    “…showing people the name of a drink will increase the chance that they’ll pick that drink when presented with a choice, but only if they’re thirsty.”

    One of two “scientific” studies cited.

    These are thirsty times folks.

    And such fine choices we are “presented” with!

    Its so nice to have a choice, isnt it?

    And we are all behaving predictably.

    The artical is the finest piece of obfuscation i have seen in a long tume.

    Bobo the clown, indeed.

  41. luke parker says:

    I have proof this video I posted exposed the preprogramed television and freemason controlling television sorry the audio bad but I was only trying to catch the last part were suppose to fit into your life not the other way around https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMjXFZilpas

  42. nic says:

    Hi Mike, many thanks to put up this article I am now quite convinced that predictive programming is somehow real. Sometimes one has to listen to opposite opinions in order to understand his/her own, that is why I truly respect you on how you approach the issue, even if I do not agree.(The weekness of the theory of flat earth for example is excactly because a great number of flat-earthers are not taking the issue seriously and they only listen to themself without collaborating with globe-earthers and vice-versa in order to find a solution. How easy would it be for example to fly a private plane going on a straight line for a long distance not maintaining altitude and seeing if you end up in space?).

    I am also quite convinced at this stage of the existence of an “elite” with or without the existence and the actuation of predictive programming.

    However I have few observation to make and one question, this is specifically referring to the noumeros predictions in movies wich have specific references to the future but not the ones they portrait a general futuristic situation, such as apocaliptic events or the enslavery of the human race by the machines.
    One in particular is “Back to the Future 2” where the reference to the 9/11 events is too obvious.
    My rational brain can only explain this in 6 different ways which are not mutally esclusive:

    1) The future is already written and some good people from the “elite” (including Robert Zemeckis)knows how to travel in time and wants to gives as some clues/advice, the bad ones do not want us to know and take advantages from it.
    2) The future is not fully written but the powerfull “elite” is doing its best with predictive programming and then they adjust things by deciding what is going to happen in the real world .
    4) The “elite” is a bunch of nuts that watch movies and makes things happen in a later reality stage based on subtle messages that they watch previously.
    5) There is no boundary between reality and media perpetuated subconscous and we really live in the Matrix
    6) The future is not written at all of this events in movies are just a coincidence and the “elite ” just do what they want to do because we don’t care and we don’t vote and even if we vote we do not have a choice.

    Based on this points I would like to ask you and also to all the participants which one of this is more likely to be “real” and if there are some more.
    I do not want to start any discussion about the validity of the theory of predictive programming because I already understdood its principle and how it works. I only would like to listen to some of your opinions about this particular movie(BTTF2) which for me has changed the way I watch this type of films from now on.

    Many thanks and keep alive this discussion because it is only with critical approach that we can change how things works in this world(flat or round, moving or stationary)

  43. latraviat1 says:

    Referring to over the top actor´s Alex Jones´s infowars website immediately makes this blog suspicious.
    Predictive Programming does work. The masses get prepared for the future the elite has in store for them and they´ve started doing it way back in 1945.
    Big Brother for example is about convincing the sheeple that total surveillance is ok and nothing bad. The masses get a chance to get accustomed to their future lifestyle on TV first ……before it gets real.
    I am a celebrity get me out of here is the same thing. Total surveillance day and night but with an evil twist – to survive the celebs are forced to do and eat things that are atrocious. People in this evil tv show do it for money whereas in the future the sheeple will have to do stuff like that in the real world if they want to survive. This “show” is about torturing people. The so called elite seems
    to do it for fun……and the viewers who watch this garbage have already been accustomed to abnormal treatment of human beings and seem to tolerate it and even like it so when the government will torture people in real life no one will bother.
    These are just two examples of predictive programming which give us a glimpse of what lies ahead of us and what the so called elite has in store for us.
    More “fun” stuff from Hollyweird – The Hunger Games, The Game (Michael Douglas), Surviving the Game (a black man gets hunted)), Death Race 2000, The Running Man (game show contestants), Hard Target (homeless people hunted for sport), Gymkata (gymnasts hunted for sport in a game) etc. etc.
    Do you see the pattern? People are fighting for their lives and the so called elite sees sheeple trying to survive as just a funny entertaining game because to them life is worth nothing – it´s all just collateral damage.
    These are just a few examples and a few themes of predective programming surrounding us day and night on all media through music, entertainment on tv, Hollyweird movies, news broadcasting, newspaper, internet, art, education system etc.etc.
    Predictive Programming or Predictive Grooming is very real. And no matter how often you try to dismiss it as a conspiracy theory – a word which is used to discredit the truth – you won´t convince people with a brain. Unfortunately there will be quite a few braindead idiots who believe you and all the “activists” trying to move people away from the truth.
    The braindead haven´t even realized that a a first step towards hunger games has already taken place / takes place in reality – Food Speculation! Food Speculators are behind record food prices and people die from hunger while banks make a killiing. And – as always – it´s the world´s poorest who pay.
    Coming to your neck of the woods soon…………………………..

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