Spoilers: 'Dark Knight Rises' plot shares scary similarities with old Glenn Beck monologues

Have you seen the Dark Knight Rises yet? If so, feel free to continue reading. If you've missed it - stop reading this right now, bookmark the page, buy yourself a ticket, go see it, be amazed, and then come back and read this.

One last time: This article contains spoilers for 'The Dark Knight Rises'...do not continue if you haven't seen the movie....

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Ok, now for those of you who have seen the movie and are big Glenn fans, you may have noticed some scenes that could have been pulled from old 'Glenn Beck' shows where he was warning about the dangers of the 'Occupy' movement. And while Glenn certainly doesn't think the screenwriters were ripping off his ideas, they certainly seemed to understand the dangers of a socialist movement that turns violent (which history shows they usually do).

"I went and I watched Batman and I have to tell you, I would like a royalty check, please.  Because if it's not almost every monologue we've done in the last three years.  I mean, these guys have ‑‑ whoever wrote this movie has either really ‑‑ really knows what's going on in the world and sees the world a similar way, or they have read The Coming Insurrection.  Because everything that I say is coming is happening in this movie except it's, you know, done with a guy with a mask in a bat outfit," Glenn said.

For example, in the movie the villain, Bane, targeted the rich and the wealthy of Gotham City with rhetoric similar to that of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He continuously refers to them as corrupt liars who are oppressing normal citizens, and in several pivotal scenes escalated that rhetoric to violence.

Early in the film, Bane and his band of mercenaries target the Gotham Stock Exchange (with portions filmed on Wall Street), and brutally assault a trader on the floor while accusing the finance workers as being the real criminals.

GPD Special Operative: This is a stock exchange. There's no money for you to steal.

Bane: Then what are you people doing here?

Even Catwoman, who wavers back and forth between hero and villain over the course of the film, delivers lines that could have been lifted from the Occupy talking points. At a fundraiser, she tells Bruce Wayne/Batman: "You think this can last? There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."

But it's when the violence really ramps up halfway through the film that a moviegoer could see scenes literally lifted from Glenn's head. As the movie gets closer to it's final act, Bane traps the police underground, breaks open the cities prisons, and orders the citizens of Gotham to take control of their city. The rich are dragged out of their homes - the exteriors of which appear to be from affluent New York City neighborhoods - and are killed in the street or taken before kangaroo courts where they have already been found guilty. Bodies are hung in the streets as warnings not to oppose the revolution. The police are called corrupt and the prisons are emptied. The top comes down, the bottom rises up, and everything is turned inside out. The system collapses, and something sinister rises in its place.  It's as if the Occupy philosophy were violently forced into reality, with the wealthy and influential forced into hiding as Bane and his goons enforce their own version of order.

And there is one man who saw that as a possible violent phase of the "Occupy" movement.

"Capitalists, if you think that you can play footsies with these people, you're wrong.  They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you.  They will do it.  They're not messing around," Glenn said back in October. " If you're wealthy, they will kill you for what you have."

"Once you start going for hate ‑‑ and this is what Marxists always do.  They always pit people against each other classes," he said.

At the time, Glenn compared the rising Occupy movement, and its philosophy of class warfare, with other movements with Marxist influence such as the French Revolution, the Soviet Union, and Mao.

The filmmakers of Dark Knight Rises have even said that the class warfare themes were heavily influenced by A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens's novel on the French Revolution. And while the ideas started to form before the "Occupy" movement, the impact those themes have today are clearly heightened due to the events of the past year.

Dark Knight screenwriter Jonathan Nolan wrote:

“Chris and David [Goyer] started developing the story in 2008 right after the second film came out,” he says. “Before the recession. Before Occupy Wall Street or any of that. Rather than being influenced by that, I was looking to old good books and good movies. Good literature for inspiration… What I always felt like we needed to do in a third film was, for lack of a better term, go there. All of these films have threatened to turn Gotham inside out and to collapse it on itself. None of them have actually achieved that until this film. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ was, to me, one of the most harrowing portrait of a relatable, recognizable civilization that completely folded to pieces with the terrors in Paris in France in that period. It’s hard to imagine that things can go that badly wrong.”

Who was it that wanted to turn things inside out? This guy:

Top down. Bottom up. Inside out. That was Van Jones's strategy.

But Glenn predicts that were the events of 'Dark Knight Rises' to actually happen in America, it would be Jones playing the role of Bane.

"But there's a point where (Bane) gives the Van Jones speech that we've talked about a million times. He talks about oppression. And they have taken this land. Bane's not for America. He's not for Gotham. He's saying, 'They've taken this great city and they have ‑‑ and they've turned it into a land of oppression, and I'm going to free you. And this is a symbol of the oppression,' and he points, and behind him is the prison. It's like Guantanamo basically. It's all prisons," Glenn said.

"Van Jones, I'm telling you Van Jones will be the guy that gives the Bane speech. He will. If allowed, he will give the Bane speech in front of a prison, and he'll open up the gates. And he'll say, 'These guys, they were oppressed. Let them be free. You're free. The city is about to be yours again.' And he opens them up," Glenn said.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

RELATED: Time to reverse course: America is being corrupted by its own power

Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?