Saturday, October 17, 2009

Has SCAG Been Channeling Criswell All Along?

SCAG, as an organization that claims to be the planning herald of tomorrow, prides itself on being able to issue great prophecies about Southern California's future. And, once having proclaimed what that future will be, then proceeds with issuing demands to cities regarding what they need to do about it. This magic process is known as "growth visioning." And it seems that SCAG's requirements almost always involve cities having to rewrite their General Plans to allow for extremely large amounts of new housing. All to accommodate the millions of new residents that they've prophesied will somehow suddenly appear.

But, and as we saw at last week's City Council meeting with SCAG's widely ridiculed "2012 Regional Transportation Plan," a report that revealed predictions about growth in Sierra Madre based on some of the worst math this side of the 4th grade, this growth visioning thing can be dicey. And yesterday, in our post regarding Lynne Plambeck's observations about Santa Clarita, we saw how SCAG's strange assumptions were shown to be wildly inaccurate there as well.

And then there is this. In April of 2006 the Metro Investment Report, using SCAG's vaunted "Growth Visioning" methodology, made these prophetic observations about vast population growth and an accompanying job boom in Riverside County:

Southern California is growing very quickly. Sixteen million people now live in the six-county SCAG region. About six million more will join us in the next couple of decades, and that growth is dispersed all over the Southland. Riverside County will double in the next 20 years or so, and some forecast that by the year 2040 up to 4.5 million people may live there ... In just the last decade the SCAG region added about a half million jobs and almost 2 million people, and we've built about 400,000 homes to accommodate them. But we needed about 630,000 to accommodate that population to avoid severe overcrowding. If you think long-term, and long-term isn't that far away; it's just two decades - we need to add 2 million homes.

Ah yes. The mighty crystal ball of SCAG saw massive population growth that would require the building of vast quantities new homes in Riverside County and elsewhere. But as anyone who knows the fate of all those previous SCAG inspired and now derelict housing projects throughout the Inland Empire can tell you, this additional construction would have become part of the economic disaster as well, not only for those banks who would have irresponsibly invested in it, but also the taxpayers who'd be forced to bail them out. The population explosion didn't happen, the jobs boom turned out to be something quite the opposite, and a lot of the houses built in anticipation of these prophesied events now stand empty and unwanted. Monuments to SCAG's failed soothsaying abilities.

So I had been trying to recall the name of a famous seer who started out making bold predictions that at first seemed somewhat plausible, but as time went on turned out to be wildly inaccurate. Kind of like SCAG. But I couldn't think of any such prophet to save myself. But then fate intervened and, by chance, the great visionary was revealed to me.

I had stopped down at the Sierra Madre Public Library a couple of weeks back to see what they were pushing at their big book sale. There was some good stuff there, and I bought a few books. Something to add to the already immense pulp pile in my garage. But one book in particular caught my eye. "Criswell Predicts: Your future from now to the year 2000!" Published in 1968, it is filled with stunning predictions of fantastic future events, all of which would have taken place during a 31 year span ending in August 18, 1999. That being the day Criswell predicted would mark the end of the world.

So who exactly was Criswell? Apparently he was a famous 1960s futurist, one that appeared often on The Tonight Show and Jack Paar's numerous TV specials. Here is some of the information I found about him on Wikipedia:

Criswell's predictions were nationally syndicated. Additionally, the psychic appeared on the television show Criswell Predicts on then KLAC Channel 13 (now KCOP-13) in Los Angeles, as well as being recorded for syndication in other television markets ... Criswell authored several books of predictions, including 1968's "Criswell Predicts: From Now to the Year 2000." In this book, the author claimed that Denver would be struck by a ray from space that would cause all metal to adopt the qualities of rubber, leading to horrific accidents at amusement parks. He also predicted an putbreak of mass cannibalism and the end of Planet Earth.

Rubber rays from outer space, mass cannibalism, and the end of life as we've known it? All by 1999? Talk about your "growth visioning." Surely this is the man that inspired SCAG to make its decidedly similar bold predictions about the future!

In the interest of looking back across the span of years that Criswell leavened with his many notable predictions, we've decided to highlight a few. All to help further your edification and appreciation of this man's incredible visionary powers. And in many ways these predictions are as accurate and dependable as those the prophets at SCAG send our way. An organization whose methods have made them the Criswell of our time.

Here are a few tells from his 1968 opus, Criswell Predicts:

Birth Control (page 10): I predict that birth control will no longer be a major problem in the United States. Placed in the water system of the country, in every city, regardless of size, will be chemicals that will act as contraceptives for the entire populace. In addition to this, the electricity that comes into each home will have certain ionic particles that prevent conception.

Television Education (page 13): I predict education will be given children through the television screen, no personal teachers, but there will a warden on duty to see that one hundred percent interest is sustained. Later education-memory pills will help give you all the education you can possibly use.

California Earthquakes (page 16): I predict that the strongest earthquake in the history of the U.S. will virtually wipe out the city of San Francisco on April 7, 1975. A huge fault, familiar to all geologists, will give way, and the earth will split open from north of San Francisco to Los Angeles. Damage in Los Angeles will be less than in San Francisco.

Castro Assassination (page 20): I predict the assassination of Fidel Castro by a woman on August 9, 1970.

Ronald Reagan (page 35): I predict that Ronald Reagan will not seek re-election as Governor of California.

Interplanetary (page 37): Las Vegas, Nevada, March 10, 1990: The very first Interplanetary Convention will be held in the new Convention Center on the famed Strip with colony citizens of Mars, Venus, Neptune and the Moon in full representation.

Facelifting (page 42): I predict that by 1980 you will be able to lift your own face in your own home for only $5.00. A new chemical that will be developed in our Veterans Hospital for battle scar tissue will soon be available to the public. You will buy it by the jar, put it on your face, and in three days look half your age.

The End (page 95): The world as we know it will cease to exist, as I have stated previously, on August 18, 1999. A study of all the prophets - Nostradamus, St. Odile, Mother Shipton, the Bible - indicates that we will cease to exist before the year 2000! Not one of these prophets even took the trouble to predict beyond the year 2000! And if you and I meet each other on the street that fateful day, August 18, 1999, and we chat about what we will do on the morrow, we will open our mouths to speak, and no words will come out, for we have no future ... you and I will suddenly run out of time!

So there you are. A tradition of prophesy carried forth into the latter half of the 2oth century by Criswell, then brought into our time by SCAG. Now you might say that Criswell's predictions were even too nuts for the '60s, and nobody could possibly have given them much creedence. But you know what? Criswell Predicts sold over a million copies and was widely discussed in its time. And SCAG? Entire cities have been uprooted and rebuilt based on its equally suspect prophesies. Which just goes to show the need many have to believe in such things.

Criswell still has his believers, and they defend their hero by proclaiming that it isn't that he was wrong, it's just that the rest of us weren't right. Such apologia being similar to the strategies SCAG's defenders use, you know? Because the Southern California Association of Governments certainly could make their predictions of the future stick if only we the fallible would just do what they tell us to.


  1. Hale Bopp City PlannerOctober 17, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    The population increases SCAG predicted are still going to happen. They're being brought here by comets.

  2. Maybe Hasan has a magic 8 ball?

  3. The future cannot be predicted. Reason: it hasn't happened yet. One can make an educated guess, based on probabilities or past performances, but you can't know for certain.

    SCAG is no more than a GYPSY fortune teller or cheap Tabloid. Their "guesses" aren't even based on accurate math, as Zimmerman pointed out.

    I believe in the Heisenberg Principle.

    Here's the Wic definition of: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle:

    "In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known", and they go on to explain.

    Now if you believe this, as I do, I just changed your future! Next time you read in the GLOBE or some other tabloid, the world is going to end in'll think "what a bunch of BS" LOL

  4. I know that the ways of educated guesses are a special talent of Old K's, so thanks for the comments.
    About the world ending? Is it 1,000s of times or 10,000s of times in recorded history that people have had to grapple with waking up the morning after the world didn't end. Or in the case of the groups like Heaven's Gate, or Koresh in Waco, or Jonestown, not waking up at all.
    There is a lot of momentum building for the 2012 prediction, and it is a great confluence that the Scagians have focused on that date. So here's my take on a new Contemporary Apocalyptic Movement in America:
    The current majority in the Californian state government and their servants in SCAG are actually organizations of aliens sent from a region outside of our solar system in order to carry out the destruction of life on Earth as we know it. Their chief tool in this battle? Uber density, running out of water, driving people into desperate conflict with one another in riotous end days. The end of civilization, brought to us by greed.

  5. It's not just prediction, it's the way developers push major public planning policy, being implemented in the Pasadena region, which has established itself nationally. The planning method is called the Congress for New Urbanism which is locally represented by Stefanos Polyzoides. Google: Charter of the New Urbanism

    An early example of this development is Celebration, Fl with Disney,_Florida

    New Urbanism is ugraded in Seaside, FL

    Essay by Andres Duany

    It's a very viable recognition that the sprawl of roof farms is unsustainable. Now the model is dense and transit-oriented. It's being misused by SCAG to keep development going everywhere at all costs to everyone as well as the environment. Private profit, public burden.

  6. Interesting prediction, Day.
    I don't think they will succeed in the long run, they will destroy themselves out of self-hatred before they get all of us!
    But then again, no one, not you, nor I, can predict the future.

    The dirts do sort of remind one of the POD PEOPLE. Hmmmmmmm, you may be right, Day.

  7. An excellent web site for many dates the world did/will end.

  8. Hi tattlers,, Sir Eric, I think the prophet SCAG
    uses is John Landis, Raising the Roof 1997-2020 a book that is also known as the SCAG bible.

    There is a website, several in fact,, but one as Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Development. I remember on of your commentors stating they are using.. was it USC students to compile the figures...?

    Of course I personally feel all developers and politicians that support them have been taken over by evil alien walk ins.

    Fight the good fight Sir Eric

  9. 10:47

    interesting link.
    they forgot algore.

  10. Anybody know how much of tax money goes to SCAG? With both the state and federal government running up debt like there really is no tomorrow, I'd be curious how much they're spending on this useless dog of an agency. If its over $5 we're getting robbed.

  11. That's a great question 12:29!

    Sir Eric? Do you know the answer?

  12. 12:29, didn't our mayor point out that 81% of SCAG's bucks come from the federal government?

  13. MaryAnn did say that, though it appears that SCAG's biggest concern is carry Sacramento's water. Kind of confusing. Why would the Federal government care so much about RHNA numbers and SB 375 enforcement?

  14. *Anybody* can put an org together and go after Federal grants that are designated for specific purposes. That's the whole problem with "outsourcing" government to the private sector. Sacramento/SCAG just jumped on it because the whole state fiscal structure relies on huge growth to pay for all the costs to run things in Sacramento. Prop 13 revenue steering wasn't enough...


    Go check out the latest NEUROBLAST.
    DON WATTS.......OUCH!
    Hey, Buchanan, Joffe, Stockley and Torres.....YOU MAY NOT WANT TO WATCH THIS AGAIN.

    Don't worry, Don, you'll not go down in history as the councilmember who voted for a bunch of McMansions and ruined our hillsides! However, the above mentioned councilmember and former councilmembers will!

    Thanks, Neuroblast staff, as usually, another hit video!

  16. The youtube should be up and playing 24/7 with Heather Allen, and Don Watts on a huge weather free, plastic covered screen at Kersting Ct from Jan through the election. PERFECT!!

  17. Hey, our councilmeetings are better than reality TV.

  18. Portion of them are, 5:49. Don't forget that you're watching clips sans Buchanan....

  19. LOL
    Hell, Anon 2, Neuroblast's reseach staff would fall asleep taping them! They would be too long!

    Some of his comments were pretty amazing.

  20. Watts really nailed Buchanan. Wish we could have watched his face as Watts told the audience he didn't want to have to leave town for betraying the residents!

  21. Buchanan is useless. BIA delivery boy.

  22. Buchanan and Mosca are hired guns for the energy/development industries. Neither one of them could give a rat's ass about Sierra Madre's residents or it's future.
    The need to get back control of the city council so they can fast track the agenda of special interests in Sacramento.
    They'll run a few candidates in the next election, probably 3 or 4, because they have to be worried about Mosca's chances of re-election in Sierra Madre. So, they'll put up some individuals who "seem" like model citizens, but will be puppets for special interest. Shirtless Pete and Tom Janzen come to mind.
    Don't be fooled. These are more plants, and we have the evidence to prove it.
    Don't let these dirts get back the CC.....we can and will continue to win, but we need the residents to be watchful.

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  27. This thread needs to lock up.
    Last few posts are inappropriate and posters are skating on thin ice.

  28. Whomever: that isn't how we do it here. Pretty much the kind of thing that killed the Foothill Cities blog. Here we just delete it.

  29. Fair enough. It is your blog to do with as you please. I am sure deleting posts without comments rather than trying to wring an expalantion or apology from the offending parties is the best way to go. Some bloggers could learn a lot from your drama free approach.

  30. Some folks just like to endlessly flame each other. I don't want to see that here. That's where chaos lies. I do all I can to keep this blog from falling into that abyss. If anyone has a problem with it, they're free to start their own blog. I never intended for this one to be the only one in town, anyway.

  31. 9:51

    I thought I was clear with my 9:20 post.
    I know Sir Eric allows and welcomes legitimate debate.
    He doesn't allow personal remarks/flames.
    This isn't the Cumquat and Sir Eric's memory is correct, flames are what took down the Foothill Cities Blog.
    Ain't gonna happen here.

  32. I thought FC Blog died from lack of interest, the publishers just stopped making the effort.

  33. Yeah, maybe. But the brutal flame wars that broke out there fatally damaged the FC Blog, and in my opinion the publishers realized the game was up and lost interest. Their aim was to turn the FC blog into an important regional resource, but because they were unwilling to do the necessary maintenance on things like comments, the project blew up.

  34. Good theory, but I like the other one. Todd Ruiz is Centinel, and when he left for Africa it fell apart. I don't think they cared if it was a zoo or not.

  35. Gawd unless Ktodd didn't sleep, (Vampyre?) I seriously doubt he was behind FCBlog. He was writing on the PSN and doing under the dome, I don't think he was enough of a masochist to take on more internet tom foolery.

    Still not convinced? Consider the original source of that theory.


  36. Writing for the PSN and its Only The Dumb blog is what, 4 articles a week, and short ones at that. Unless Sahara Todd was in the throes of severe narcolepsy he could have done that with his eyes closed.

  37. Interesting article in Sunday' LA Times. It seems the next shoe in the developer vs environment is brewing over the LA River Plans. The "Roski Effect" is going to become the weapon of choice for roughshod tactics of Developers. It may be appropriate that a NFL Stadium be built in Diamond Bar, but that should follow an environmental impact review and then approved. Our resources are under siege; Diamond Bar, Sierra Madre hillsides, 710 extention, La River all will be subjected to the "Roski Effect" since that door has been opened. A new tool now in the hands of a few wealthy individuals. And you can bet there are developers right now puting the new tool to work in their planning.

  38. SB 375 also removes CEQA reviews when it involves anything to do with building in a so-called transportation corridor. But just wait'll Ed Roski, Bart Doyle, and the rest of the bandits get to rewrite the California state constitution. Believe me, they have big plans.

  39. Commercial real estate will be the next "shoe to drop".....toxic loans in the billions.
    Developers will be in trouble and many will go the way of Dorn Platz.

  40. Nothing in today's Loony Views News about our little SGVCOG regime change. More proof that Choosey Susie is willing to take Sierra Madre's money, but not report its news.

  41. Does anyone know where Dorn Platz and Galletly are? Did they still owe the city money from 1 Carter? Are they the ones who bought the Heflin estate? I am really hoping they went down the tubes but they were so greasy they will probably pop back up, just hopefully not in SM.

  42. Greetings all,
    Neuroblast Films here. I would like to thank all my viewers for all of the support. I have a question for all of you. What can we do to encourage the person, or persons responsible for dimming the lights on the podium during public comment time. If you take the time to review several mettings you will see a pattern of lights dimming on anti-Mosca discourse and are turned up bright during the Mosca support comments. It is also evident when Heather Allen is under lights that quickly dim when she attacks Mosca's lies, then gets brighter and slowly dims. It seems the light guy was caught off guard. Who is he? Why are the slow growthers condemed to being the shadow people? I believe it is to lessen the effect of our citizens.

  43. hmmmmm, hadn't noticed that, Dave.
    We'll check it out.
    Your videos are great, and anyone who watches them, gets the message, dim lights and all.

  44. Thanks Neuroblast for all that you do!!! I watched several yesterday and noticed it as well. In fact, thought I might comment on how dark all the faces were and looked to be surreal. And yes, looks to be the shadow people and you can bet your film, it is done on purpose, to discredit you and the citizens who have the courage to come forth against the status quo.

  45. NuroBlast Great call when I made a few remarks on 1 Carter & Stonehouse I noticed a man on the right side of the Council Seats in an anti room observing the podium. I just noticed not thinking much of it...but now I know what he was doing. or think I might. I don't know for sure if that is where the light controls are located...all hell should break loose for a cynical attempt at "who knows someone's weird agenda"

    TreeLady. You can bet both have alredy lined up the next developer with a pipeline to a bank with a disguised agenda. They never really lose.

  46. Since were there another point on video taping. This activity is a marvelous form of communication. I felt in my remarks I could address the residents as well as the Council, (the real objective). When talking the Council Members and Administrative Staff are full frontal viewed with a close up their faces. And well lighted.

    Why not position the camera that focuses on the speaker podium at speaker level (instead of the rafters looking down) with instructions to the video taper to bring in the spseaker well lit with facial expressions in view. Somebody must have figured this all out and sandbaged the citizen discourse.

  47. Cost/Benefit analysisOctober 18, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    Treelady, Greg Galletly (his business name, Dorn Platz - that's just Greg) went bankrupt, again. He did own Crater, Stonehouse and was very involved in the Ambassador West project in Pasadena, where, surprise! he was in a legal tussle with Harvest Rock Church. He also had a commercial mall venture in Altadena called Lincoln Crossing, and there are lawsuits there too I think. Capital Source foreclosed on him on the Crater & Stonehouse properties.
    So would bankruptcy strip him of those holdings? Don't know, but I do remember it was reported publicly at our council meeting to Rob Stockly, John Buchanan, Tanya Torres and Enid Joffee that Galletly had more than 10 bankruptcies and over 100 lawsuits behind him. Guess the numbers would need to be changed now.

  48. Our Town, great suggestion. The angle of the camera on the community speakers, the lighting, the overall effect, has always been awful.

  49. C/B analysis, you know who could explain to the community what has happened to Galletly? None other than Joe Mosca, who was a bankruptcy specialist, right?

  50. Joe was a bankruptcy specialist. Nowadays he writes press releases about charity flower shows and cookie sales for Sempra Energy. Quite a decline in professional status if you think about it.