International Forecaster Weekly

The Boldest Prediction Yet for September 2015

The unprecedented volatility and tremendous upswings and downswings we are seeing right now is a reflection of the fundamental systemic imbalances that we have been warning about for years now...

James Corbett | August 29, 2015

Alright, can we make a deal? If the world doesn't actually end on September 23rd can everyone agree to stop sending me emails every time a new prediction emerges about the "absolute 100% guaranteed for certain" date that everything is going to collapse?

    Oh, who am I kidding? People will continue to be fascinated with these predictions of the end times no matter how many times they come and go without event.

    Remember when the probability of a terror attack (or WWIII!) was "extremely high" on June 6, 2006 because...6/6/6? Or when the "next 9/11" was absolutely going to happen in the summer of 2007 because some retired Army captain took the Bush regime's ginned up fear mongering at face value?

    Or when we were all supposed to be afraid of a false flag on January 21st (or 22nd) of 2009 because Colin Powell said there was going to be an event "we don't even know about yet" at that time?

    Or when the internet was absolutely certain there was going to be a nuclear false flag on June 21st, 2009 because of a cartoon in the Telegraph?

    Or when there was going to be an attack on the Sears (Willis) Tower on June 10, 2011 because there was an emergency drill going on that day.

    Or when the economy was going to collapse on July 20, 2014 because "G is the 7the letter of the alphabet and this might be a reference to 7/20/2014"?

    Or when the world was going to end on December 21, 2012?

    Or when we were going to collide with Nibiru on...well, pick a date. There's a new warning of the end of the world at the hands of Nibiru pretty much every month now.

    You get the idea. But maybe you don't. These are just the warnings that come to mind off the top of my head, but I assure you I have seen dozens more, each time with a precise date on which this cataclysm is "absolutely going to happen" because of some convoluted reasoning process that can be quite convincing when you get caught up in it. Heck, people in the comment section on my own website have made precise and detailed predictions based on numerological and other clues...that also failed to come true.

    I'm not pointing fingers here. I, too, participated in these prediction games in my younger years...and I, too, was utterly wrong. Mea culpa.

    But there comes a point when we have to learn the lesson: no one has the magic decoder ring for predicting the next big terror attack or the next big market crash. Unless you are involved in planning the event, you don't know when it's going to happen.

    Why do I bring this up? Because the next big prediction hype has arrived. It's the Shemitah (or shemittah or shmita). Haven't heard of it yet? Long story short, the Shemitah is a Biblical concept supposedly given to Moses by God, who told him that when the Jews arrived in the Holy Land they should give the land a sabbath in the seventh year just as they observe the sabbath every seventh day. In this year the land would be allowed to lie fallow and no planting or harvesting would be done. Also, the Shemitah year culminates in a forgiveness of all debt...except for debt owed by foreigners, of course. Furthermore, at the end of the seventh of these 7-year cycles (i.e. every 50 years) there is a "Jubilee" in which, in addition to lack of farm work, all land reverts to its original owner and all slaves are set free.

    And guess what? We're in the midst of the Shemitah year right now! And in fact this Shemitah will bring to an end the seventh 7-year cycle, meaning this will also be a Jubilee year! Sounds great, huh?

    Well, not according to Jonathan Cahn. He's a Messianic Rabbi who wrote a bestselling novel called The Harbinger that raised this idea of the Shemitah and how it applies to modern day America. In his interpretation the Shemitah is only a blessing in times when people are God-fearing. When they go wayward, the Shemitah instead becomes a curse. And lo and behold, if you look back in history you can find a series of disasters besetting America at Shemitah.

  •  In 2008, Shemitah's culmination (Elul 29) fell on September 29th. On that day the Dow plummeted 777 points, the largest one day drop in Dow history.
  • Elul 29 of the previous Shemitah fell on September 17, 2001. That was the day the stock markets re-opened after September 11th. The result? The largest one day point drop in Dow history up to that point.
  • The 1994 Shemitah? A bond market rout.
  • The 1987 Shemitah? Black Monday and the largest one day percentage drop in the Dow in history.
  • 1973 was the year the Twin Towers were constructed. It was also the year of Roe v. Wade.
  • 1945? The WWII victory parades coincided with the end of Shemitah.
  • 1937-1938? The early stages of what was to become WWII. Also, another stock market drop.
  • 1930-1931? The early stages of The Great Depression.
  • 1917-1918? The entry of America into WWI? Also, the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    As I would hope my astute readers would notice, this list of events (oft cited by the Shemitah 2015 crowd) is the most blatantly cherry-picked example of confirmation bias one can imagine. Sometimes the bad event is on the precise day of the end of Shemitah, sometimes within weeks or months, and sometimes it's smeared across the whole year. Sometimes the event is quite specific, other times unbelievably vague. Sometimes it is economic, sometimes political, sometimes judicial. Sometimes it has to do with the construction of buildings. Really, anything of significance that happens anywhere within a Shemitah year is used to "prove" the rule. Oh, and all those Shemitah years (1952, 1959, 1966, etc.) where nothing at all is mentioned? Well, just don't worry about them.

    But this doesn't stop people from predicting that something horrible is going to happen...some time. Around Shemitah. I guess. And maybe it will be financial. Or geopolitical. Or maybe it has to do with the Pope. Perhaps. But be afraid (and buy my book!).

    The very vagueness of the non-prediction is enough to let you know that it's b.s., but just to underline the point, people can't even agree on how to calculate Elul 29. Some say it's September 13th. Others insist it's September 11th. Some say the calamity will happen on Elul 29. Others say it will happen on the first trading day after Elul 29 (i.e. September 14th). Others claim the dates converge on September 15th. Others insist it will be on September 23rd. A few think we'll hold out till September 28th. Most just smear it out over that date range and say "some time in September." But bad news for those who are hoping there's time left; there's even a contingent claiming it's already happened.

    Yes, but what is going to happen, exactly? A market crash? Of course. Global government? You bet. A "massive apocalyptic climate event"? Sure, why not. An asteroid impact? Well, duh. The Cubs winning the World Series?...No, sadly no one is predicting that.

    It seems like we have our end-of-days bases covered here. Pretty much any major news story occurring anywhere in the month of September is going to be proof enough for the proponents of this theory to say they were right all along. In fact (and this may be surprising to the more rational minds out there), even if absolutely nothing noteworthy at all happens in September there will still be true believers who hold on to their beliefs.

    A landmark study in 1956 examined members of a doomsday cult who believed the west coast of the United States was going to be washed away in a flood, but flying saucers would take the cult members away before it happened. When the predicted date came and went without a flood or any alien craft, the members were actually strengthened in their beliefs. They had done such good work spreading God's message through their cult that God had decided to spare the earth. The same thing happened to the Harold Camping crew in 2011. The 2012 cult changed their tune as the date approached so that "the end of the world" became "the end of the world as we know it" and then "the beginning of the end of the world" and finally "the beginning of a change in the universe that you might not notice yet but it started on December 21, 2012 and will grow from here." See? They were right all along.

    OK, now let's get serious. We are living through an exceptionally volatile moment, both economically and geopolitically. The incredible drama we saw in the global markets over the past week is by no means over yet. The unprecedented volatility and tremendous upswings and downswings we are seeing right now is a reflection of the fundamental systemic imbalances that we have been warning about for years now, and the post-Lehman QE liquidity bubble is showing signs of strain. At the same time, more and more pieces of evidence are lining up to show that a fall invasion of Syria by NATO forces is looking like a real possibility, and this would almost certainly lead to wider regional (if not global) conflict. There are tensions in the Asia-Pacific. There is the still-simmering turmoil in Europe, both economically and now over the immigration issue. There are any number of reasons that we should be concerned about the direction the world is headed.

    We should absolutely be participating in all of the actions that will help to get ourselves off of the systems of control that make this instability possible: exploring alternative and complementary currencies, moving our money out of the big banks, forming community organizations and building up our neighborhoods, engaging in guerrilla gardening and going down to the local farmer's markets, participating in boycotts and buycotts, making and consuming and supporting alternative media, engaging in agorism, working toward decentralization of power economically and politically and judicially. But we should be doing these things because this is the only way forward for humanity, not because of any vague, mystical non-prediction of some sort of calamity that may or may not happen in some arbitrary date range. Yes, be prepared. No, do not wait for "the big day" or spend all your time arguing with people over whether it's the 11th or 13th or 15th or 23rd or 28th.

    However, since I know humans are humans, there are two things I can safely predict: come October, there will be some new prediction of some new cataclysm on some new date, and my inbox will be full of people warning me about it. Since none of this will really change anyone's mind on anything, let's just appease everyone, shall we? As we all know, no one can predict anything with total certainty, right? So let me make a bold prediction just so we know it certainly won't come true.

    I hereby predict that all of the pink erasers on the planet will mysteriously vanish on September 11th, a UFO will appear over the White House on September 13th, the Dow will drop precisely 6,666 points on September 15th, an ominous image of an easter bunny will appear on the moon on September 22nd, chocolate will rain from the sky on September 23rd, and the earth will spontaneously combust on September 28th. Trust me, I did some numerology on this.

    And now, since absolutely none of this will come true, I will accept your thanks in one month's time.