John Hogue: Really bad prophet

2002, Oct 1st | Emner: Predictions

by Claus Larsen

John Hogue is a self-anointed prophet, born in 1955 in Hollywood, CA. He has a high-school degree, but claims to have read enough of his own to “become a Rhodes Scholar”. He, of course, could not be bothered with the dumbing-down process of academia.

In fact, he is not very fond of education at all. History antagonizes him especially. Apparently all history teachers do is teach kids that war is good, and that it should be continued. He must have had a very nasty history teacher in High School!

Instead, he sees himself as a “rogue scholar” (pun, get it, haha!). He likes to imagine that his ideas will “disturb people’s sleep”. He calls everybody (himself included) idiots. In a personal way, he may be on to something.

He abandoned a promising career as a singer to become a prophet. He has appeared on numerous TV shows. He also calls radio shows.

1000 for 2000: Startling predictions for the new millennium from prophets ancient and modern.

“Startling” is a bit of a stretch. This useless book contains one thousand vapor-like prophecies, from Nostradamus, the Bible, Edgar Cayce, Ruth Montgomery and John Hogue himself. Each prophecy can be interpreted any way you like – especially in retrospect.

Aside from writing prolifically about prophets, John Hogue also tries his hand at the old entrails-reading scam. He leans heavily towards the school of Nostradamus, but with a true New Ager’s idealistic optimism: Either the world will go under or it will become a paradise.

Contradictions in predictions

A true prophet must get his information from somewhere. Sightings, trances, travels to the spirit world, channelings. The methods vary greatly, albeit always sufficiently vague, but always relies on some form of supernatural force that only the prophet can tap into.

There is, however, an underlying contradiction in predicting the future: It can – apparently – be changed. The future is not predetermined – and this we know because the prophets themselves say so.

How do we know this?

Hogue says:“…I sincerely hope that some of my predictions…will turn out to be wrong, especially those that warn of dangers to the future leaders of the United States.”

Why have hope when you can see what actually will happen? Don’t you know, John?

If the future can be predicted, then the future has to be predetermined. But if the future can be changed (e.g. when prophecies don’t come true), then the future can not predetermined. Ergo, the future can not be predicted.

So, what’s the use for prophets?

“Real” prophets don’t bother with predicting the pranks of celebrities and royalty. They go for the apocalyptical stuff. Yet, nobody predicted the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon. What good are prophets if they can’t see events like that coming?

Maybe the truth is much simpler: That the future is impossible to predict. And that prophets are similar to hot-air balloons…

The Failed Prophet of Presidential Elections

In the book, Hogue proudly states that since 1968 (when he was 13), he has been 100% correct about his US presidential premonitions.

He will have to change that tune after offering these ten prophecies on the Precidency (numbers refer to the prophecies in the book):

“726: President Clinton will complete his final term, despite all attempts to unseat him. (1993)”

True. Safe bet. Only one president out of 43 (Nixon) has ever been unseated. And when not even Warren G. Harding was unseated, it would seem likely that Clinton, whose most devastating fault seems to be an uncontrollable libido, would stay in office. As it turned out, he did.

“727: By 2050, historians and public alike will view President Clinton as one of the three most important presidents of the 20th century (the other two being Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard Nixon). People in the mid-twenty-first century will view Clinton’s sexual scandals with less cultural intolerance. They will focus more on his initiatives in foreign and economic policy that paved the way for a new era in international unity in the coming fifty years. (1992)”

Undetermined until 2050.

“728: Arizona Republican Senator John McCain has the best chance to defeat Democrat Al Gore in 2000. However, the Republican party will suffer defeat once again, because it may choose another George Bush and a Dole as its candidates – to be exact, George W. Bush and a woman vice-presidential candidate like Elizabeth Dole or Senator Kaye Baily Hutchinson of Texas. (1998)”

False. John McCain eventually supported republican George W. Bush, when he couldn’t muster enough support for his own candidacy. The Republicans won the election. Bush chose Dick Cheney as his VP.

“729: The Republican party will be a casualty of millenial fever. The right-wing fundamentalists in that party will split it apart over religious extremist views. (1994)”

Unfalsifiable. What does “millenial fever” mean? When does this fever stop? In 2010? In a hundred – maybe a thousand years? Never? How many fundamentalists will have to leave, in order to call it a “split”?

“730: The next president will die in office, most likely in his first term. (1994)”

False, if “next” means the re-elected Clinton, who left office in excellent health.
Undetermined until 2004/2008, if it means Bush.

Let’s give Hogue the benefit of the doubt and say this one is Undetermined.

“731: The next president will not be assassinated. He will succumb to health problems, perhaps heart trouble, or he will die in some air accident. (1994)”

Undetermined until 2004/2008. However, Dick Cheney has had several heart surgeries, but he is “only” Vice President. Bush will have to die before Cheney becomes President.

“732: It pains me to say it, but I believe that the president will be Al Gore. Although he may suffer an untimely death while in office, I can say that he will be remembered as a visionary leader, compared by some to President Kennedy. Like Kennedy, he will launch a national race – not the Space Race, but a race to make America ecologically responsible before it is too late. (1992)”

False. Gore was Clinton’s running mate in 1994 and lost in 2000. Predicting that Gore would have launched an ecological race is obvious to anyone who knows he published “Earth in the Balance” – in 1992!

“733: President Gore will have a woman as his vice president. (1992)”

False. Gore chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate, and as far as the record shows, Lieberman is male.

“734: A woman will be president much sooner than anyone expects. She will not be elected, but will become president upon the death of the president elected in 2000. (1994)”

False. That would require George W. Bush to have a female Vice President, and as far as the record shows, Dick Cheney is male.

“735: Hillary Clinton will be a president of the United States before 2010. (1998)”

Undetermined. However, Hillary Clinton has publically stated that she will not seek the Oval Office.

It seems like John Hogue will have to change his boasts. Out of the five that could be determined now, four were wrong. Four are undetermined. One is unfalsifiable. Not 100% accuracy anymore.

Postlude

Prophets make a living out of predicting catastrophes, but when catastrophes do happen, no prophet saw them coming, the terror attacks on the World Trade Center very much a case in point. Prophets have a credibility problem, now more than ever.

John Hogue’s homepage

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