Predictive programming is a conspiracy theory which posits that public media (such as films, television, news casts, etc.) include subtle hints at certain events in advance of the actual events, so that when the events occur, the public believes the events are real, rather than staged. Alan Watt explains the phenomenon this way:
Things or ideas which would otherwise be seen as bizarre, vulgar, undesirable or impossible are inserted into films in the realm of fantasy. When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins.
In one example, David Icke points to the presence of the words “Sandy Hook” on a map featured for only a few frames in the 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. Other conspiracists have pointed to the many depictions of the destruction of the World Trade Center in films as a form of predictive programming, preparing the public for the actual September 11 attacks. Such theories presume that the media companies that produce these films have one or two persons working for them who have so called ‘inside information‘ through their ties with other members of similar organisations.