Brad Meltzer's Decoded
Brad Meltzer's 2012 episode of Decoded is full of inaccurate and misleading information.

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Brad Meltzer's information is grossly inaccurate.

Brad Meltzer claims on his show Decoded that there are prophecies of apocalypse for 2012. But is it true?

Problems and inaccuracies in the episode

  • The show frequently brings up nine "ancient" Hopi prophecies. The alleged prophecies were first published in 1959[1], and there is no evidence that they are genuinely older than this.
  • Meltzer claims that "almost every religion" agrees that "the world will end." In fact, many religions do not posit an apocalyptic scenario at all (eg, ancient Greek religion), and many posit more of a rebirth than an annihilation as his wording suggests (eg, Norse religion, certain Hindu sects).
  • Meltzer claims that "Hopi," literally translated, means "peaceful people." In fact, "Hopi" is short for Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, which means "peaceful people," or "peaceful little ones." [2]
  • The fact that they're interviewing a white "expert" (Gary A. David) on the Hopi people rather than an actual Hopi person should raise a red flag. A look at his website reveals that he is involved in all manner of New Age nonsense, which calls his credibility into serious question.
  • Meltzer says "the nine signs, when translated…" The nine signs have never been written down in anything but English, so they never would have needed any translating in the first place.
  • David says that the Maya had a "specific date, December 21st 2012." First, the Mayans probably didn't even invent the calendar they used (see the Mayan Calendar page), and there is no evidence that this date had any special significance to the Maya (see the Mayan Predictions page).
  • The Hopis' real prophecies do not tie in with 2012. See the Hopi page for more.
  • The Hopi man who explains the meaning of the Prophecy Rock mentions the possibility of a shift in the Earth's axis causing disaster. This cannot happen; see the Rotational Pole Shift page.
  • Meltzer goes the even the Bible says… route, specifically pointing to Revelation. However, Revelation describes a very specific cosmology and eschatology; you cannot honestly claim that it and the apocalyptic predictions of other religions are predicting the "same thing" aside from an escalation of disasters. It's a bit like trying to claim that Star Wars and Star Trek tell the exact same story because they both have spaceships and aliens in them.
  • Meltzer says that scientists have confirmed an increase in seismic activity. This is false; see the earthquakes page. (Note that there may be short-term increases in seismic activity, but the average number of earthquakes is still the same.)
  • The episode segues into Nostradamus and his alleged ability to correctly foretell the future. While many people claim that Nostradamus has correctly predicted the future, his quatrains are so vague and cryptic that it's fairly easy to read whatever you want to see into them. See the Nostradamus page for more details.
  • Meltzer implies that a literal blue star could hit the Earth in accordance with the Hopi prophecy. This is beyond ridiculous - we're talking about an object that would be much larger than our own planet (and most probably our own sun), and if such an object was traveling toward Earth it would be visible for millennia before it came even close. Supermassive objects cannot just fly in out of the black of space in a few years' time. Period.
  • Maryann Tobin claims that oil spills are "written about very vividly" in Revelation and recites Revelation 8:8-11. However, according to Revelation, all of the green grass in the world is burned up before the prediction she cites takes place - and this obviously hasn't happened. In other words, Maryann is cherrypicking the Bible - taking what fits her views and ignoring the rest.
  • The show reiterates how various prophecies and predictions agree with each other. But is it really that significant? The vast majority of disasters that these prophecies and predictions have in common, from meteorites to fish die-offs, are all catastrophic events that humanity has faced in the past in different times and places. It's not hard to imagine that ancient people figured that if the world should end, this would be the way it would go. Plus, for people who had no idea how big the world really was, after a local disaster it must have seemed that the world really did go through a cycle of death and rebirth. Why shouldn't they assume it would happen again someday?
  • It's implied that Web.Bot can accurately predict the future. It cannot - see the Web.Bot page for more information. In short, the reason Web.Bot "predicts" something will happen on December 21st, 2012 is because people are putting 2012-related information on the Internet.

The truly disturbing part of this episode…

Throughout the show, a low-pitched and fast-paced beat is constantly playing. Low sounds tend to evoke a fear response, and fast-paced beats tend to increase one's heart-rate. In other words, the background music is probably designed to put viewers into a fearful and anxious state.


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