Church tower in pond

Psychics, mediums, and premonition

Our intuition processes more information than we realise. Sometimes this seems like magic. For example, when you drive your car, you may suddenly discover that you travelled a long distance without being aware of it. This is more likely to happen when you are a frequent driver. Research has demonstrated that many abilities can be trained to the point that they become a subconscious process. An important domain of our intuition is social information. Most humans intuitively read body language and facial expressions and adapt their actions to the clues other people give while not being aware of it. It may be that mediums are so good at asking the right questions to influence people’s minds and reading people’s body language and facial expressions that they appear psychic.

A medium named Char appeared regularly on Dutch television between 2002 and 2010. She did readings and claimed to contact the dead. Sometimes she appeared to retrieve specific information that only the person receiving the reading and the deceased person could have known. In 2008 journalists from the Dutch television programme Zembla investigated her performances. People wanted to hear that their deceased loved ones were doing fine, and guess what, they were always doing fine up there somewhere.

Zembla claimed that the best parts of the readings were shown so that her performance on television appeared better than it was in reality. Char was often wrong but many of these situations weren’t aired. Also James Randi weighed in. Randi is sceptical of paranormal claims. He argued that much of the information she retrieved was extracted from the people receiving the reading. It was Zembla’s intent to expose Char as a fraud so it wasn’t fair journalism. The episode of Zembla is on YouTube. It is in Dutch with some parts in English.

Now it happens to be that the name Char equals the first four characters of the word charlatan. Notice the word characters in the previous sentence because this word starts with the same four characters. Interestingly, I am discussing Char’s character, so this is indeed a funny coincidence. Yet, I still remember quite a few guesses she made that defy conventional explanation, and left the people receiving the reading dumbfounded. It seemed impossible to extract this information from the persons receiving the reading. Zembla didn’t address these cases. If these had been incidents of fraud, for example, if there had been actors involved in the programme, Zembla would have mentioned it.

So what to think of these unexplained cases? Can mediums sometimes make better guesses than chance allows for? If we assume this universe to be a simulation running a script then it must be possible. A so-called gift can just be a sequence of coincidences that aren’t really coincidences because of the script. And this can make a medium believe that he or she has a gift. An incident in my life showed how a premonition can come true. It can’t be explained in a conventional way. On 9 February 2009 Western Europe was hit by a heavy storm of the kind that happens only once in a decade or so. I predicted such a storm on this exact date two months earlier. Only I feared that it would strike the Netherlands while it ended up in Northern France, a miss of 400 kilometres (250 miles). But that is still remarkable and beyond mere chance.

I made the prediction on 19 December 2008 on an internet message board:
https://www.maroc.nl/forums/het-nieuws-van-de-dag/260485-9-februari-2009-de-duistere-zijde-de-maan-1-print.html

It is in Dutch so I made a translation that can be found here:
http://www.naturalmoney.org/feb9darkside.html

On 9 February 2009 the Airport of Paris had to be closed because of the storm:
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2009/feb/09/paris-airports-closure

How the prediction came to be is a peculiar story. In the autumn of 2008 I had a psychosis in which it appeared that God is a lady I once met on the campus of the University of Twente. What happened could highlight how mediums can sometimes make predictions that defy conventional explanation. Somehow I did get a hunch that a super storm might strike the Netherlands on 9 February 2009 and that large parts of the Netherlands would be flooded. The hunch was triggered by an article on an alternative news website about a programme called the webbot that allegedly had made accurate predictions in the past. In the autumn of 2008 the webbot predicted that in the first half of 2009 large areas of land would be permanently flooded. The article did not mention any specifics about the location but the word ‘permanently’ suggests that the area is below sea level. That narrowed it down to the Netherlands.

The date of 9 February came up as I believed it to be the birthday of the lady who appeared to be God during the psychosis. After the hunch materialised, more so-called clues came in confirming the suggestion. For instance, a blogger on the website Sargasso.nl had written on 2 September 2008 (2/9) about a storm that would strike the Netherlands on 9 February 2009 (9/2) and that large parts of the Netherlands would be flooded. The numerical coincidence of the dates was also a bit peculiar, and that scared me. A flooding of the Netherlands would put millions of lives in danger. This is the link to the article in Dutch (you might need Google translate to read it):
http://sargasso.nl/wat-als-het-toch-fout-gaat/

The article features some cool graphics showing parts of the Netherlands being flooded on 9 February 2009. It was intended as a what if scenario, not as a prediction, but as I already suspected that an epic storm would hit the Netherlands on this specific date, I saw this as an eerie warning sign. And I didn’t come across the website or the information before I had the premonition. I found it as a result of looking for clues confirming my suspicion.

On 13 December 2008 my son Rob and I went to Enschede and we visited the campus of the University of Twente were I lived as a student and where I had met the lady. Rob didn’t know of my premonition because I hadn’t discussed it with him. On the campus was a work of art, a church tower in a pond that refers to flooded land (see featured image). It was evening and it was dark. The moon was shining. There was a thin layer of ice on the pond. Suddenly Rob told me that he saw the coastline of the Netherlands reflected in the moonlight on the ice surface. I couldn’t see this at first but Rob kept on pointing at the ice until I saw the coastline too. The Dutch coastline has a shape that is unlikely to be mimicked by some random accident.

Lage Landen album cover
Album cover of Lage Landen of Boudewijn de Groot

This freaked me out as the church tower in the pond refers to flooded land while the storm could threaten the coastline of the Netherlands. There would be a lunar eclipse on 9 February 2009. That was an eerie coincidence. There were a few more coincidences that pushed me into making the prediction. For instance, there is an album from Boudewijn de Groot named Lage Landen (Low Countries). The 11th track named Lage Landen is about a super storm hitting the Netherlands. The song suggests that the storm will hit on a Monday while 9 February 2009 was a Monday. Monday is the day dedicated to the Moon (Moon-day). This is another peculiar coincidence because of the lunar eclipse and the coastline of the Netherlands being reflected in the moonlight.

There is some interesting numerology in it. The song being the 11th track lasting 5:55 minutes is a peculiar coincidence (see picture). The date 9 February 2009 refers to 11:11. The date 9 February 2009 can be rewritten as 9-2-2009 while 9 + 2 = 11 and 2 + 0 + 0 + 9 = 11. Many people see 11:11 on clocks and I did too. When I first came to the campus during the introduction weeks, I stayed at Calslaan 9-2. This was the most notorious residence hall on the campus by far. The combination of this address being a reference to 9 February, it being the most notorious residence hall, the campus being the place where I met the lady who appears to be God, and her birthday being 9 February, makes this coincidence remarkable.

I issued the warning a few days later on 18 December 2008 even though it seemed nearly certain that it would be ignored. Normally I don’t have predictive powers but this prediction was far more accurate than chance allows for. As a prediction it was pretty useless nonetheless. Luckily I wasn’t taken seriously. Imagine that people had been evacuated because of this. That is why I don’t venture into making more predictions. At least the incident sheds some light on why mediums can be more accurate than chance allows for, while they make many misses at the same time.

Featured image: Church tower in pond on the campus of the University of Twente. Source Unknown. [copyright]

Khadijah, mother of the believers

Mother of the Believers was the title given to the wives of Muhammad but it best suits Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She was a wealthy merchant and a widow. She was also Muhammad’s employer. Muhammad was twenty-five and Khadijah was forty when she proposed to him. The marriage between Khadijah and Muhammad was both happy and monogamous. When he was without her on his journeys, Muhammad never felt a desire for other women. They had six children of which four daughters survived. Only after the death of Khadijah Muhammad re-married but he didn’t have children with his later wives.

This post is part of a series called God Is A Woman And Jesus Was Her Husband. It is advised to read the other articles first in the order suggested below:

After receiving his first revelation from what appeared to be the Archangel Gabriel Muhammad returned home to Khadijah in a state of terror. He told her what happened. She comforted him and supported him from then on. Khadijah’s moral support made Muhammad believe in his mission and her financial support for the early Muslim community was indispensable for the survival of Islam. Apart from a wife Khadijah was like a mother to Muhammad, which might be very similar to the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus as well as Eve and Adam. She may have been Muhammad’s boss in more than one way as she may have been an avatar of God.

Evidence in the Quran for God being a woman is hard to find but the Quran claims that God is the greatest schemer1 and capable of deception.2 The existence of different religions and theological disputes are part of the plan, the Quran claims. Jesus is called Son of Mary in the Quran3 while Christians call him Son of God. This is remarkable because the name of God may have been Mary, a secret only God could know.

Sura 74 of the Quran is named The Hidden Secret or The Cloaked One. It is claimed that the number 19 is related to a hidden secret. The Arabic name for Sura 74 can both be translated to a hidden secret as well as a man wearing a cloak. The man wearing a cloak is Muhammad. The number 19 seems to refer to the number of angels guarding hell.4 But what could be the hidden secret? Explanations of Islamic scholars on the matter aren’t very convincing. Curiously, Sura 19 is named Mary. The hidden secret may be that God was a woman named Mary. The cloak may refer to God appearing to be a man while secretly being a woman.

Featured image: top small written Arab phrase “Umm ul Muminin”(Mother of the believers) then in centre Big written “Khadijah” and bottom small written Arab honoric (phrase or salawat) “Radhi allahu anha”.

1. for instance, Quran 3:54 [link], 7:99 [link], 8:30 [link], 10:21 [link], 13:42 [link]
2. for instance, Quran 4:88 [link], 5:41 [link], 11:34 [link], 14:4 [link]
3. for instance, Quran 2:87 [link], Quran 4:171 [link], Quran 61:6 [link]
4. Quran 74:31 [link]

Toujours pas d'attentats en France. Charlie Hebdo

Aftermath of the 11 September terror attacks

The above cartoon from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s new year’s edition of 2015 eerily foreshadows the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo that was to happen a few days later. Most of the editors were killed. Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director, drew a cartoon pointing at the possibility of a terrorist attack in January 2015. In English, the title reads: “No attacks yet in France.” The man then says “Wait! We have until the end of January to send you New Year wishes.”1

Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh assassinations

There are 911 days between two recent political killings in the Netherlands. This is remarkable as both incidents are related to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. On 6 May 2002 the Dutch populist politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by a left-wing extremist. Fortuyn gained momentum after the attacks of 11 September 2001 because of his stance against Islam and immigration.2

On 2 November 2004 the Dutch film producer Theo Van Gogh was killed by an Islamic fanatic for insulting the prophet Muhammad. The last film Van Gogh completed before his death, 06/05, was about the assassination of Pim Fortuyn.3 The date 2 November can be rewritten as 11/2 (American notation), while 112 is the European emergency telephone number. This is remarkable in combination with the 911 days between both assassinations.

On 2 November 2011, the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Paris, shortly after the prophet Mohammed featured on its cover.4 This date being the same as the date of the assassination of Theo Van Gogh made the Dutch website Geenstijl.nl declare 2 November to be the most humourless day in the history of Islam.5

On the same day photographs of Umar Patek and his wife appeared in the news. The mastermind behind the attacks in Bali in 2002 posed with his wife for the camera during a reconstruction of his actions in Jakarta.6 The other perpetrators of the Bali bombings had already been executed on 9 November 2008.7 The date 9 November can be rewritten to 9/11 (European notation).

Madrid train bombings of 2004

On 11 March 2004 the Madrid train bombings took place. It was the largest terrorist attack after 11 September 2001. There were 912 calendar days between 11 September 2001 and 11 March 2004. Due to the different time zones Spain and the United States are in, the number of full days between the events was 911. In the Madrid train bombings 191 people were killed,8 a number that has the same digits as 911.

7 July 2005 London suicide bombings

The number seven appears to be behind the London suicide bombings of 7 July 2005. 7 July can be rewritten as 7/7, while the numbers of 2005 added up make 7, making three sevens or 7-7-7. The number of people killed, including the four suicide bombers was 56,9 also a multiple of seven. Two weeks later (which is 2 times 7 days) on 21 July 2005, another attack on London was staged,10 while 21 is three times seven or three sevens.

During the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 343 FNDY personnel were killed while 7 x 7 x 7 = 343.11 On 11 September 2001 the North American Aerospace Defense Command was conducting a military exercise named Global Guardian. One of the scenarios being simulated was a hijacking of planes.12 The London Police completed a terror training exercise which envisaged an attack on London’s transport network just days before the 7/7 terrorist attacks.13

Benghazi attack and China riots

On 11 September 2012, exactly 11 years after 11 September 2001, the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked. The ambassador and three others were killed. After the attacks riots broke out in a number of Islamic countries and angry people violated a number of Western embassies.14

On that day President Barack Obama was exactly 18,666 days old while 18 = 6 + 6 + 6. He was born on 4 August 1961. It just happens to be that 4 August is the 216th day of the year while 216 = 6 * 6 * 6. This is curious as many people considered President Obama to be the Antichrist.15 In this respect it is also remarkable that Satan’s character in History Channel’s Bible series resembled President Obama.16

Also on 11 September 2012, a territorial dispute between China and Japan over a group of islands in the East China Sea intensified. Anti-Japanese riots broke out in China and protesters gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing.17 Japan’s ambassador-designate to China then fell ill and died in a Tokyo hospital a few days later.18

The coincidence is peculiar for a few reasons. It was 11 years after 11 September 2001 so this is an 11:11 related coincidence as 9 + 1 + 1 = 11. In both incidents there was violence near embassies. And in both instances an ambassador died. The relation with Obama 666 is also remarkable as he was born on the 216th day of the year. But that’s not all what happened on that day.

The Hague and Eindhoven public transport accidents

On 11 September 2012 a collision of trams 9 and 11 near the Hollands Spoor Station in The Hague in the Netherlands caused 36 people to be wounded.19 A few days before 11 September 2012, a report came into the news that Al-Qaeda had recruited two Somali men to carry out a suicide attack in The Hague.20

Also on 11 September 2012, a major bus accident took place in Eindhoven, causing 27 wounded,21 while 27 = 9 + 9 + 9 and 999 is the emergency telephone number in Great Britain and Ireland. The bus accident in Eindhoven happened 11 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, while two emergency landings happened in one day on Eindhoven Airport on 11 September 2010, exactly 9 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001,22 producing a 9:11 related coincidence. As 36 = 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 and 27 = 9 + 9 + 9, the numbers of wounded people in both accidents are also interesting.

Some other tidbits

Exactly ten years after the attacks, on 11 September 2011, a blogger using undisclosed sources noted that the estimated death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan amounted to 911,911. An interesting number, he added.23

On 8 August 2012, about 100 firemen responded to what the FDNY called an equipment fire likely sparked by welding on the 88th floor of 1 World Trade Center that was being built.24 The date, 8 August (8/8), and 88th floor make an 11:11 related coincidence. It is also related to the World Trade Center and emergency services.

On 11 September 2015, a powerful storm toppled a construction crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, killing 111 people. It is remarkable that the crane fell over on 11 September and that it was operated by the Saudi Binladin Group, founded by the father of Osama Bin Laden, while most hijackers of the 11 September 2001 attacks came from Saudi Arabia. An engineer for the Binladin Group said the accident was an act of God.25

The 22 March 2016 Brussels bombings consisted of two attacks. The first bombing targeted the desk of American Airlines on the Brussels’ airport. American Airlines was one of the airlines used for the attacks of 11 September 2001. The second bombing was exactly at 9:11 AM.26 The perpetrators probably did not plan this as the bombings have been executed hastily after the Belgian police caught the mastermind of the Paris terrorist attacks a few days earlier.

Featured image: Toujours pas d’attentats en France. Stéphane Charbonnier. Charlie Hebdo (2015). [Copyright]

1. Murdered French Cartoonist Charb Predicted Attack In Chilling Cartoon. Huffington Post Canada (2015). [link]
2. Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn assassinated. The Guardian (2002). [link]
3. Life of slain Dutch film-maker. BBC (2004). [link]
4. French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo attacked in Paris. BBC (2011). [link]
5. Tijdschrift Charlie Hebdo vangt Moslim-molotov. Van Rossem. Geenstijl (2011). [link]
6. The bomber and his bride: Chilling smile of Al Qaeda mastermind behind Bali bombings as he is paraded with his wife. Wil Longbottom. Mail Online (2011). [link]
7. 2002 Bali bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
8. 2004 Madrid train bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
9. 7 July 2005 London bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
10. 21 July 2005 London bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
11. September 11 attacks. Wikipedia. [link]
12. Global Guardian. Wikipedia. [link]
13. Counter-terrorist training exercise days before 7/7 was ‘entirely a coincidence’. Mail Online (2011). [link]
14. 2012 Benghazi attack. Wikipedia. [link]
15. Poll: 13% think Obama is the anti-Christ; 29% believe in aliens. Ruth Brown. USA Today (2013). [link]
16. ‘The Bible’ producers: Satan/Obama? ‘Utter nonsense’. Ann Oldenburg. USA Today (2013). [link]
17. Senkaku islands dispute escalates as China sends out patrol ships. Associated Press (2012). [link]
18. Japan’s ambassador-designate to China dies in Tokyo – ministry. Reuters (2012). [link]
19. Tientallen gewonden door aanrijding trams in Den Haag. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
20. ‘Den Haag doelwit van al-Qaeda’. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
21. Gewonden door aanrijding passagiersbus in Eindhoven. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
22. Twee noodlandingen in korte tijd op Eindhoven Airport. Ronald. Travel.blog.nl (2010). [link]
23. Humbug. Dan Dailey. Wandervogel Diary (2011). [link]
24. FDNY Responds to Fire Report at WTC. Katherine Creag. NBC New York (2012). [link]
25. Mecca crane collapse. Wikipedia. [link]
26. Strikes Claimed by ISIS Shut Brussels and Shake European Security. Alissa J. Rubin, Aurelien Breeden and Anita Raghavan. New York Times (2016). [link]

World Trade Center on 11 September 2001

11 September coincidences

An obscure fact

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 were the first major geopolitical event in the age of Internet. Internet made it possible for conspiracy theories to spread more easily. And 9/11 proved to be a real treasure trove if you have a suspicious mind. Nowadays 9/11 conspiracy theories are a bit outdated like those on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Most people moved on and crazier theories emerged. That obscured a remarkable fact. No other event in history has ever been riddled with so many peculiar coincidences.

The perpetrators were either Illuminati, Jews or Freemasons, at least that was conspiracy theorists want us to believe. But perhaps they simply weren’t paranoid enough. Osama Bin Laden thought he was executing the will of God. And he probably was right. What may strike you about these coincidences is that many of them could have happened accidentally but that the combination of these incidents might be too improbable to be just coincidence.

The Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989. Hence, the hallmark events of the end of communism and the war on terror were on 11/9 and 9/11 (American notation). This is significant as the cold war as well as the war on terror were amongst the most important geopolitical developments after World War II. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was already predicted ten years earlier. That may not be a coincidence either.

Emergency

The US emergency services telephone number is 911 while the date 11 September is more commonly known as 9/11. The emergency services played a major role on this day. Starting with 11 September, the remainder of the year lasts 112 days. And 112 is the emergency telephone number of the European Union.

On 11 September 2002, exactly one year after the 9/11 attacks, the winning numbers drawn in the New York State Lottery were 9-1-1.1 Because there were two such draws, the odds of randomly drawing these numbers was around one in 500.

The total number of FDNY personnel killed was 343,2 which is 7 x 7 x 7. On 7 July 2005 (7/7/7 considering that 2+0+0+5=7), the terrorist attacks in London took place.

The flight number that has seen the most accidents is 191. Five planes with that flight number have crashed. The best known accident of this series is the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 on 25 May 1979.3 The digits of 191 are the same as those of 911. This made the author of an article on this issue refrain from using JetBlue Flight 191. Five years later JetBlue Flight 191 had to make an emergency landing.

Popular culture

In popular culture references to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center appeared before they happened. This is not as remarkable as it may seem. The destruction of the World Trade Center was a common theme in popular culture as the building was an iconic symbol representing Capitalism. Terrorists already attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. Despite that, some of these references are quite spooky.

What is Al-Qaeda?
What is Al-Qaeda? Vice Magazine (1994).

A Vice Magazine article from 1994 shows Beavis & Butthead dressed as Al Qaeda operatives flying two planes near the Twin Towers.4

Close up of Neo's passport in The Matrix
Neo’s passport in The Matrix. Warner Bros (1999).

There is a reference to the date 11 September 2001 in the 1999 film The Matrix. About 17 minutes into the film, a file folder is shown containing an image of the passport of the main character Neo. The expiry date of the passport is 11 September 2001.5 This is remarkable because the coincidences surrounding the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 demonstrate that this universe could be a virtual reality like The Matrix.

The 2000 computer game Deus Ex had the Twin Towers missing in the New York skyline because of memory constraints. In the game’s fiction the towers were destroyed by terrorists. An interesting coincidence is the name of the game referencing to God coming out of nowhere to interfere with the plot (Deus Ex Magina). The initials of the main character are JC, the same as Jesus Christ. Somewhere in the game, JC wakes up in a secret mansion of the Illuminati. If JC chooses the right options, he will discover the code to a blast door. Behind it is an artificial intelligence called Morpheus.6

In July 2001 the band I Am the World Trade Center released the album Out of the Loop. The 11th track on their album is titled September.7 That makes an advance reference to 11 September combined with World Trade Center in 2001.

Cover for Party Music. The Coup.
Cover for Party Music. The Coup (2001).

The rap duo The Coup had put out an advance graphic of their late 2001 album Party Music months before 9/11. It depicted explosions in the Twin Towers near the points hit by the planes. The detonation device held by MC Boots Riley is labelled Covert Labs. Pam the Funkstress was holding conductor’s batons.5

Cover for Live Scenes from New York
Cover for Live Scenes from New York. Dream Theater (2001).

The album Live Scenes From New York from the rock group Dream Theater was released on 11 September 2001. The album cover shows a burning Big Apple with the city of New York in the background.4 Issuing an album named Live Scenes From New York featuring a burning apple representing New York on 11 September 2001 is an eerie coincidence.

simpsons911
The Simpsons. 20th Century Fox (1997).

An 1997 episode of The Simpsons about a trip to New York showed a guidebook with the number nine, followed by the Twin Towers, making a reference to 9/11.4

In March 2001 Fox TV network in the United States aired a pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen about a plan by rogue elements in the United States government to hijack a jet aircraft by remote control and crash it into the World Trade Center in order to justify an increase on military spending and a war on terror.5

Trade Center Defender
Trade Center Defender (2001).

Early 2001 the simulator game Trade Center Defender came out. Players had to gun down planes that were heading towards the Twin Towers.4

Predictions

Linda and Terry Jamison, known as The Psychic Twins predicted in 1999 that there would be terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and federal buildings in South Carolina or Georgia in 2002.8 The prediction itself was of dubious quality but it was made on 2 November (11/2 American notation) while 112 is the European emergency services telephone number. It is also remarkable that Linda and Terry Jamison were identical twins as the Twin Towers were identical too.

The BBC was more accurate by predicting the destruction of the Twin Towers as well as building seven, even though the BBC never intended to make these predictions. A BBC Scotland article from 5 April 2001 was headlined ‘Twin towers to be demolished’. The twin towers referred to the two chimneys at Kincardine Power Station, but the choice of words is remarkable to say the least.5

On 11 September 2001 a British television reporter for BBC reported that World Trade Center building seven had collapsed. His words were accompanied by subtitles. Building seven was still standing and it collapsed 26 minutes after the reported news.9 The BBC ‘predicted’ both the collapse of building 7 and the destruction of the Twin Towers, which makes a pair of closely related peculiar coincidences.

New World Order

On 11 September 1990, exactly 11 years before 11 September 2001, President George Bush Sr. held a speech that is remarkable for a few reasons. An important theme was Saddam Hussein as the first Gulf War was about to begin.9 The attacks of 11 September 2001 have been used to start the Second Gulf War against Iraq against Saddam Hussein by another President named George Bush.

George Bush Sr. stated that the developments presented an opportunity for a New World Order of cooperation between nations to emerge.10 One year later, on 11 September 1991, he made similar statements. These dates both being 11 September is remarkable as is the recurring conflict between Saddam Hussein and two Presidents named George Bush. It is another pair of closely related peculiar coincidences.

In September 2000 a group of neoconservatives published a study named Rebuilding America’s Defences. It stated that it would be difficult to rebuild the military unless some catastrophic event like a new Pearl Harbor would occur.11

A few months before 11 September 2001, the plans for a secret operation named Operation Northwoods were declassified. These plans were drafted by America’s top military leaders in the early 1960s. They included hijacking planes and orchestrating violent terrorism inside U.S. cities to provoke a war with Cuba.12

On 11 September 2001 the North American Aerospace Defense Command was conducting a military exercise named Global Guardian. One of the scenarios being simulated was a hijacking of planes.13

On 11 September 2001 the official Bin Ladin family’s website domain http://www.saudi-binladin-group.com expired.14 On the same day a defence contractor, the Carlyle Group, was hosting a business conference in Washington DC. One of Osama Bin Laden’s brothers was an honoured guest. The Bush and Bin Laden families were both involved in the Carlyle Group. Members of the Bin Laden family were secretly flown out of the United States shortly after the attacks when air travel was still shut down.15

Numerology, 11 and 11:11

Bloggers on the Internet noticed coincidences surrounding the attacks of 11 September 2001 that they believed to be spooky. A number of places, items, and persons had names consisting of eleven letters. Emails have circulated, urging us to be scared because Afghanistan and George W. Bush have eleven letters like some other words that can be linked to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. These things are really cool if you’re a numerologist, otherwise you may find it nonsense.

The US emergency telephone number 911 can be compressed to 11 as 9 + 1 + 1 = 11. The European emergency telephone number is 112 is also intriguing. First 112 = 56 + 56, which can been seen as a reference to 11:11 as 5 + 6 = 11. Furthermore,  2 = 1 + 1. So 112 can be seen as a reference to 11:11 in this way too. Also 112 + 911 = 1023, which is 1111111111 binary. Many countries have emergency telephone number 999 and 112 + 999 = 1111.

Two out of three flights hitting their target on 11 September 2001 were from American Airlines.16 American Airlines uses the characters AA for its flight codes. When the characters of the flight codes are transformed to digits, using the scheme A=1, B=2, C=3, they both resolve to 11, making an 11:11 reference. Both American Airlines flights had a flight number that is a multiple of 11 (11 and 77), making another 11:11 reference.

The Twin Towers both had 110 floors,17 which is an 11:11 reference. Both towers had 99 elevators17 (according to several sources; Wikipedia states it is 95), which is another 11:11 reference. After 99 days of burning, NYC declared the WTC fires were extinguished. This was on 19 December 2001.18

The Twin Towers standing side by side looked like the number 11. Adding the digits of each Airplane’s flight numbers yields: Flight #11 = 11, Flight #93 = 12 (9 + 3 = 12), Flight #175 = 13 (1 + 7 + 5 = 13) and Flight #77 = 14 ( 7 + 7 = 14). Flight AA11 had 11 crew members, consisting of 2 pilots and 9 flight attendants. The numbers of passengers on the planes including the hijackers were 92, 65, 64 and 44,16 while 9 + 2 = 11, 6 + 5 = 11 and 44 is a multiple of 11, while 4 + 4 = 8, 8 * 8 = 64 and 64 – 44 = 9 + 11.

On  29 November 2011 American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.19 29 November 2011 can be read as 29/11/11 or 29/11/2011, while 2 + 9 = 11 and 20 = 9 + 11. Filing for Chapter 11 on this date is remarkable because American Airlines flights were used for the terrorist attacks and because AA in the flight code can be translated to 11.

This is not all

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, a lot more peculiar coincidences happened. That will be a separate story. Another separate story can be dedicated to coincidences in my life related to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. These will be published later.

Featured image: Plumes of smoke billow from the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks. Michael Foran (11 September 2001). Public Domain.

Other images: What is Al-Qaeda? Vice Magazine (1994). Close up of Neo’s passport in The Matrix. Warner Bros (1999). Cover for Party Music. The Coup (2001). Cover for Live Scenes from New York. Dream Theater (2001). Trade Center Defender (2001). [copyright info]

1. Thousands Had Winning 9-1-1 Numbers. Sue Chan. CBS (11 September 2002). [link]
2. September 11 attacks. Wikipedia. [link]
3. The World’s Riskiest Flight. Justin Heckert. Esquire (2012). [link]
4. 15 Bizarre Signs In Popular Culture That ‘Predicted’ The 9/11 Attacks Before They Actually Happened. Nishant Raj (2016). [link]
5. The Matrix Prophetic Film 911 coincidence. U2r2h Blog (2008). [link]
6. How Deus Ex Predicted the Future. Richard Wordsworth. Kotaku.com (2014). [link]
7. Out of the Loop (I Am the World Trade Center album). Wikipedia. [link]
8. Linda and Terry Jamison. Wikipedia. [link]
9. Controversy and conspiracies III. Mike Rudin. BBC (2008). [link]
10. Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Persian Gulf Crisis and the Federal Budget Deficit. George Bush (11 September 1990) [link]
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19. American Airlines files for Chapter 11 protection. BBC (2011). [link]

Free money for everyone?

Everyone should be rich

“No whining, everyone should be rich, vote Opposition Party, together for ourselves.” The Opposition Party was a fictional political party in the Netherlands run by two dubious characters. The creators of the fiction, Van Kooten and De Bie, intended to mock populist politicians. If the Opposition Party had been for real, the party would have fetched a few seats in parliament in 1981. Why isn’t everyone rich? Maybe it is because poor people haven’t enough money.

Perhaps everyone should get money for free so that no-one is poor. This is a universal basic income. Nowadays most people make money by doing a job. That is because without their work nothing will be done and nothing will be made. This has been true for as long as humans exist. On the other hand, there are many more people than needed for all the work that needs to be done, at least if everyone works forty hours per week. This has also been true for as long as humans exist.

Pointless jobs

In the past most people worked only a few hours per day on average. This changed with the advent of factories. Idleness became frowned upon and the elite promoted the belief that everyone has a duty to work, even when there is no work. But many people do jobs that do not contribute to making products or services people need and also do not contribute to society. And a pointless job can make you unhappy.

What is even more troubling is that people with useless jobs use finite resources to execute their jobs. They may drive to their office that is either heated or airconditioned. If performing pointless job consumes raw materials and energy that are in limited supply, and also pollutes the environment, there is a compelling reason to axe it. And that may require giving people money to remain idle. The anthropologist David Graeber estimates that at least a third of all jobs are pointless.1

There is no good measure as to determine which jobs are pointless and which are not. For instance, one might think of the job of a receptionist at a publisher. The receptionist had nothing to do, except for taking up an occasional telephone call. Another employee could easily have done this alongside his or her tasks, but without a receptionist no-one would take the publisher seriously. Graeber contends that when people who do the job themselves think it is pointless, this is the best indication of the job being pointless.1

A game of Monopoly

In our current economic system, wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated. The super rich have increased their share of global wealth. Whether or not it was at the expense of the rest is a matter of intense political debate. Nevertheless, to keep the economy going and to forestall a catastrophic global economic collapse, there may no be no other option than to make the rich hand out money to the poor. This can happen in two ways: negative interest rates on debts and a redistribution of income, for instance via a universal basic income.

One can think of the capitalist economy as a game of Monopoly. If you have played Monopoly more than once, you may have observed that at first players build capital in the form of houses and hotels. You can get rich by making the right investments. There is also an element of luck involved. The game ends when most players are bankrupt. It is possible to extend the game by letting the rest borrow money from the winners. The winners can now enjoy being rich while the rest can stay in the game. Of course, the rest can never repay their debts. The players could stop pretending and let the winners hand out money to the rest so that the game can continue. That might happen via a negative interest rate on debts or taxing the rich and giving this money to the rest.

monopoly1935

The alternative would be to start from square one, or more precisely, removing all the houses and the hotels, and start a new game. That might be fun for a game but in the real economy this would be a horrendous disaster. Imagine all the houses, roads, and factories gone. There would be nothing to buy and everyone would be poor. Economists figured this out long ago. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes thought that the state should borrow money from the winners and spend it so that the others would be employed and have some money to spend so that the game could continue.2

Keynes’ plan did get a lot of attention and that’s why he is so famous. Other economists weren’t so pleased. Governments could now justify lavish spending by borrowing money from the rich to spend it on public works or lower taxes, leaving a debt to be paid by future generations. Keynes also advised governments to reduce spending when the economy is doing well,2 but this rarely happened. And if there is no starting from square one, the rich are getting richer, while the rest isn’t getting ahead. Furthermore, the state borrowing money from the winners makes things worse as interest must be paid. In this way the others end up paying taxes to pay interest to the rich. This could become a huge problem in the long run. But Keynes wasn’t interested in the long run. “In the long run we’re all dead,” Keynes said. Now the long run has arrived and Keynes is dead.

The game of Monopoly has a bank too. The bank is a magical source of money. Every time you finish a round, a fixed sum of is given to you. That is great for a game. If it wasn’t for this everlasting fountain of money, the game would have ended after a few rounds. Giving free money to everyone is often called a universal basic income. It can help to keep the economy going. Adding money to the real economy can make money worth less. If people have more money, prices often go up as there is more money to buy the same stuff. For example, if everyone craves for that latest model mobile phone, producers can raise prices, unless people run out of money and can’t buy them. In a game of Monopoly the prices of rents are fixed, but the prices of Streets may rise. If you want to buy a street from another player when there is a lot of money in the game, you often pay more. The rich are bidding up prices of streets. In the real economy something similar happens. Inflation is low but prices of assets like stocks and real estate are rising.

Realising our full potential?

Proponents of a universal basic income tell us that it will all be fine and dandy and that we will be free to realise our dreams. If you always wanted to become a blogger or a vlogger, you can become one when there is a universal basic income because you don’t have to work for a living. The opponents of a universal basic income paint a dismal picture of people sinking into an abyss of idleness filled with writing blogs nobody wants to read and making videos nobody wants to see. A job can make you feel useful. And there must be a compelling reason to do unattractive jobs, otherwise they won’t be done, they argue. Many countries already have benefits for people without a job. In these countries the unattractive low paying jobs are often done by immigrants who don’t have access to those benefits.

Machines taking over?

In the future machines may become better than humans at most jobs. Until very recently only simple tasks have been taken over by machines. This already put a lot of people out of work. The surplus of workers could be employed in the government and the service sector. Computers in the future can do much more. Self driving cars will replace human drivers and cause fewer accidents. Robots can care for the elderly, and this could be an improvement as robots don’t have moods. Computers will be better at diagnosing diseases and operating them.

Few professions appear safe from the coming onslaught. Economists tell us that robots will create many new jobs for humans, for example programming and maintaining them, but that may be wishful thinking. There is however one big problem blocking progress, or our descend into the abyss of idleness if you like. If people lose their jobs they also lose their incomes so that they don’t have the money to spend on the products and services the machines produce.

Perhaps the market will be able to deal with the issue so that there will still be jobs, but we can’t know for sure. It is also possible that the economy will collapse because there are fewer jobs. Progress may halt if the economy can’t operate with fewer jobs. Without jobs people have no money so that humans may need to keep on doing jobs machines can do better. If there is an income guaranteed that is sufficient to live off, the economy may not need these jobs. In that case there will also be less need for minimum wages because of the income guarantee. In this way people could do a job cheaper than machines if they really like to do it. And so humans can still care for the elderly in the future while robots do the heavy lifting. And that may be good because when humans do their jobs because they like to do them, and not because they need the money, they can have better moods too.

That sounds great. Perhaps it will work out this way. A universal basic income can improve the bargaining position of workers. It might lead to the following situation:

  • unattractive jobs that machines can do will be done by machines;
  • unattractive jobs that machines can’t do will be paid well;
  • attractive jobs that machines can do will be paid poorly as there will be volunteers;
  • attractive jobs that machines can’t do will be done by humans, but it is hard to predict how these jobs will be paid.

Obstacles on the way

Implementing a guaranteed income may not be easy. There will be obstacles on the way. Some of them may be hard to predict as they will emerge once the income guarantee has been introduced. A few questions can be raised already. For instance, does an income guarantee make people fill their time with idleness or does it give them the possibility to realise their potential? It is plausible that both will happen.

Many people believe that the income guarantee should come in the form of a universal basic income that replaces existing welfare schemes. It would reduce the amount of bureaucracy as the administration would be relatively simple compared to existing schemes. Existing social security schemes redistribute money to those who lack sufficient means of existence. A universal basic income is given to everyone, including the people who don’t need it.

A universal basic income could easily become expensive and would require higher taxes. This would not please tax payers and it could lead to tax evasion. And why should the rich receive a universal basic income too? An alternative is a guaranteed income that is to be settled with the income tax. People with low incomes would receive income tax instead of paying it. If the income guarantee is € 1,000 and the income tax is 50%, the scheme works as follows:

gross income
income tax
net income
€ 0
– € 1,000
€ 1,000
€ 1,000
– € 500
€ 1,500
€ 2,000
€ 0
€ 2,000
€ 3,000
€ 500
€ 2,500
€ 4,000
€ 1,000
€ 3,000
€ 5,000
€ 1,500
€ 3,500

If machines are to replace human labour, other sources of taxing may have to replace the income tax to fund the income guarantee, but it is still uncertain to what extent that will happen and how long that will take. How a guaranteed income can be paid for remains a puzzle and the answer to that question may emerge over time. It will not work if the wealthy don’t pay for it. Like in the game of Monopoly the winners need to hand over money to the others to stay in the game. This can happen via taxes on wealth or in the markets for money and capital via negative interest rates.

Negative interest rates can make the wealthy hand over money to the middle class via mortgages and loans as well as to governments via government debt. This is because debtors don’t pay interest but receive it. In this way the middle class has more money to spend while governments have more money to give to the poor. Negative interest rates might happen because the wealthy have trouble finding profitable investments and making these investments profitable might require them handing over money to the rest so that the rest has money to spend on the products and services made by the corporations owned by the wealthy. How a financial system with negative interest rates might work out is explained in the section about Natural Money.

Featured image: De Tegenpartij poster. Van Kooten and De Bie (1981). [copyright info]

Other image: Monopoly game.

1. Bullshit Jobs. David Graeber (2018). Simon & Schuster.
2. General Theory of Employment, Money and Interest. John Maynard Keynes (1936). Palgrave Macmillan.