Should you dare to do so, a search in Google for that term will bring up a lot of blather on conspiracy theory fora as well as dismissive articles like the one at Wikipedia. Go into videos, however, and all of a sudden you get a lot of people making videos about how Person A used Symbol B in this movie to signify that Gozer the Gozarian is actually Cthulhu and when the Stars Are Right you will be eaten last- or some such thing or another. (These sorts of videos, on the other hand, are better taken as good stuff to review when looking for a hook on your own fiction or game design projects; Crazytown is great for that.) As is usually the case, most of the claims of this sort of thing are lacking in substantive evidence or other support that would work in that manner; this does not mean that there isn't something going on.
The reason that I don't dismiss predictive programming altogether comes from the history of Public Relations. It is well known that the best way to predict the future is to create it, just as the best way to handle the opposition is to control it yourself, so it is no surprise to find that before a major event occurs there is often signs of mass psychological preparation prior to the fact. This is intended to shape the public's conception of the event, narrowing the range of discourse for the purpose of channeling it towards a desired conclusion- one that conforms to the actual goal intended. This is part of the process of "manufacturing consent" that Noam Chomsky and Bernard Herman described in their book of the same name, and it encompasses what those two described.
Now, while there are plenty of people who get into the aliens and the demons and all of that, we need none of this to comprehend why predictive programming is a plausible concept. We know that psychology is a thing. We know that applied psychology, in the form of propaganda, is also a thing and that both public and private actors employ propaganda to increase support for their actions and decrease support for unwanted alternatives. We have the example of the Gulf of Tonkin incident as a known historical example of in-the-moment propaganda that worked. All that predictive programming contends is that this exact same applied psychology is applied on a longer time-scale, and targets the sub-conscious mind far more often through using mental processes that bypass conscious thought and therefore critical analysis (i.e. defeats mental self-defense habits) through the exploitation of what happens when the mind of an individual shifts modes during the viewing of a film or television program.
The symbolism matter is very simple to comprehend. Symbols are short-hand within a culture, which is why culture matters (and why some symbols produce different reactions in various places). A symbol can instantaneously communicate a very dense and complex idea, assuming that both sender and recipient share a common comprehension of that symbol's meaning. That communication can happen without being consciously aware of it, which is why the makers of videos talking about predictive programming spend so much time emphasizing symbols that the film and TV makers chose not to direct a viewer's conscious attention to but instead let it slide by in the background or hide in plain sight by incorporating into a costume or backdrop. Don't think so? Then why is Darth Vader presented as a Black Knight with a skull-shaped helm wielding a blood-red sword? Because Western culture associates all of those symbols--individually and collectively--with death, brutality, evil and tyranny; you know as soon as he enters the scene in the original Star Wars film--before he says a word, before you even know his name (another symbol, by the way)--what he is about. That symbolism does in less than a second what otherwise would take up to a minute of precious screentime to establish.
The flipside, as mentioned above, is that the power is dependent upon the culture. Miscommunication can and does occur when the parties interpret the same symbol differently, which is why the more credible claims rely less on symbols that are specific to a culture or sub-culture and instead rely on symbols that are dominant world-wide if not universal or on claims that the intended audience is smaller than what the media product actually reaches. (e.g. all of the claims of 9/11 programming also claim that the intended audience is strictly American, and not the much larger audience that the media products cited actually reached).
Okay, we have plausible explanations regarding why it's possible to exist and how symbolism plays into it. The really bothersome part of predictive programming is the "why" aspect. The common claims are that--and, for purely illustrative purposes, I will refer to "they" as the Illuminati; don't take this as me claiming that this is the party responsible, because I'm not--the Illuminati do have some ethics that constrain their behavior and thus their operations. With respect to predictive programming, the ethic is that of obtaining consent from the party they seek to do unto; the idea is that we must be told what they intend to do before they do it, and if we do not state our objections then they must abstain until either they give up or they get consent- but how they tell us is up to them, and using predictive programming to get it amounts to a mass gaslighting of the population into going along with their scheme. The Illuminati, therefore, technically obtains consent and therefore skirts by Natural Law (so it's claimed) since we subconsciously receive their message and thereafter remain silent; silence is consent, so they proceed.
Like I said, this is bothersome. It's a claim that is hard to verify because it's a claim that relies itself on esoteric knowledge of legal theory as well as how symbolism works and (contrary to the claim) expects us to accept a fraudulent claim that deliberately manipulating what information another receives and must act upon before they decide whether or not to consent to something is not itself a violation of that individual's sovereignty. (Why is is fraudulent? Because the party that materially benefits from the consent is ensuring that the consenting party cannot possibly deny it by denying the fullest possible extension of information; it is as if this were a trial, and one party deliberately manipulated the discovery process to get the desired judgement by crippling the opposing party's ability to act on the full extent of knowledge about the facts of the case- you can, and lawyers do, go to prison for that.) "If we knew that beforehand, we would never have gone along with it." is the test to apply; why do you think that information manipulation is properly classifed as "warfare"? Because that is what it truly is; an act of war upon a targeted enemy.
There is a more sensible way to see it. Most of the governments, and corporations, comprehend that if they don't have some popular support that they'll lose what power and influence that they have and become vulnerable to being depose or destroyed. Those in power want to stay there, and they are on record as conspiring to manipulate public opinion in grotesque and inhuman ways to make this happen. (Operation: Northwoods almost happened, and that was just to fake a Cuban threat so that the U.S. could undo Castro's revolution; as it is, elements of that plan have been recycled into the schemes that created the American police state of permanent warfare against terrorists that are largely self-created.) Since--as noted above--the best way to handle opposition as well as an unpredictable future is to control the former and create the latter, using the former to achieve the latter is a short hop to make, and that is the most reasonable way to see what predictive programming is (said means to said end), how it's done and why it's done. In short, predictive programming is used to create the desired public opinion about events that are yet to occur in the same way that gerrymandering creates the voters for a politician's success years before that election happens; it's a perversion of a known process for corrupt ends, and once you know that it exists it ceases to work upon you. This is why it is getting harder and harder for authoritarian schemes to get through, and thus more and more open corruption is employed instead; a lot of us are indeed seeing through this bullshit and calling them on it.
Let's bring this home now.
- ...totally is a real thing that happens.
- ...an example of propaganda applied in a long-form format.
- ...a psychological process, using known techniques from advertising, marketing and public relations.
- ...intended to shape mass perception of an event well before the fact.
- ...intended to channel popular opinion of that event towards an end decided upon well before the fact.
- ...relies on the use of symbolism--including language--to efficiently communicate on a sub-conscious level what the sender wants the recipient to think about the event, with language such as "...it seemed like a movie" to trigger that programming.
- ...has bothersome ethics involved, reflecting the corrupt culture of an oligarchy afraid of losing its place in the world and thus should be seen as the method of a desperate dominator group shoring up their base.
- ...is, like all illusions, fragile and shatters once you apply the power of a properly-developed consciousness to it; once you see it, you cannot unsee it and future applications fail against you.
- ...can be used against them in turn, and some in the media world have done just that- and have for many years. The effects are now manifesting.