As hypnotherapists, we perhaps more than any other group focus on the existence and influence of the subconscious mind. Many professional groups still scoff at the idea of the duality of consciousness, dismissing it as a fantasy, or worse yet a scam. As evidence we offer the richness of dreams, the revealing nature of handwriting analysis, or even ideomotor response using pendulums or other devises. But dreams and handwriting analysis are subject to interpretation, and ideomotor response easily controlled or influenced by the conscious mind. What if there was proof? Proof of a duality of consciousness that was undeniable and plain as the word on a page.
Now as we sit perched on the eve of a new millennium, an Australian named David John Oates offers what may prove to be the most undeniable evidence for the existence of a subconscious mind and the most historic breakthrough ever in human communication. He calls it “Reverse Speech Technology” and cites 16 years of research documenting the phenomenon. Simply put, Oates’s “reverse speech” claims that humans exhibit “bi-level” communication, that is to say forwards and backwards simultaneously. According to Oates, clear understandable reverse speech is occurring in bursts every 6 to 10 seconds continually during our forward communication.
Furthermore, this reverse speech serves as a direct subconscious commentary on the forward speech communication. If you are lying in your forward statements, your reverse speech is revealing the truth. If you are leaving out information, your reverse speech is filling in the gaps. If you’re unsure of how you feel about what you are saying, your reverse speech will provide your emotional truth. According to Oates, “where the lie detector ends, reverse speech begins.” Going beyond whether statements are possibly true or untrue, reverse speech will reveal where the bodies are buried and the mistress’s name.
Sound too good to be true? As researcher of the subconscious mind the answer is yes, yes, yes. As members of the human race, however, it does make one a little nervous. Are we really ready for that kind of honesty. How might the availability of such a technology change society? Must a generation still mourning the loss of safe sex now have to deal with the end of safe communication too? Who is this guy Oates and how valid are these claims of “Reverse Speech” anyway?
To answer these questions we invited David John Oates to speak and present his claims at our February 1999 monthly conference. His presentation was incredible. It was fun, honest, entertaining and most importantly left one stunned with the potential ramification of his claims. If David John Oates is right, and his body of evidence is impressive, society will never be the same.
Oates began his research in 1984, intrigued with the occurrence of backwards masking in rock and roll records. Backwards masking is a recording technique for purposely embedding backwards messages into music. While searching for these intended messages Oates says he stumbled onto his discovery of many messages, unintentionally embedded in the words of the music. He then quickly began studying all kinds of recorded speech looking for backwards messages. One of his earliest discoveries was in the famous recording of Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Oates reverses this statement for the audience using computer software to reveal that this sentence played backwards says “man will space walk.”
Excited by this discovery Oates next turned to the famous live recording of the television announcer commentary while witnessing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Forwards the announcer says “There has been a shooting.” Backwards the statement appears to say “he’s shot bad, stop, look up.” Oates’ laptop seems filled to the brim with endless supplies of such interesting examples and evidence supporting his reverse speech theory. Such examples, says Oates demonstrate “congruent” reverse speech communication. More intriguing, however, are Oates’ examples of incongruent communication. As evidence of this phenomenon he stuns the audience into an eerie silence by playing a recording of a Patsy Ramsey being interviewed about the death of her daughter, Jon Benet. In the interview Ramsey says forwards “at least two people on the face of this earth know who did this, the killer and someone they may have confided in.” Played backwards you can hear the statement “I’m that person.”
Suddenly it hits you that this is freaky. Is the mind really capable of executing a separate, simultaneous running dialog in reverse, totally outside of our conscious awareness? And if so, is this not the strongest most undeniable evidence of a subconscious mind ever discovered? Could this voice be a window into a world of knowledge and insight inside ourselves, the untapped power of our brains never before known? These and many other questions flood the mind as Oates continues to pour out a never ending stream of reverse speech dialog examples.
Ever the entertainer Oates quickly rescues the mood of the room from the Ramsey example by playing a recorded sample of President Clinton’s famous denial speech. Forwards, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Backwards, “I hate to say yes.” Next follows a sample recording of a sales person trying to sell Oates on his services as an expert marketer, backwards, however, is words say the truth loud and clear “I am so full of shit.” The audience, now rolling in the isles with nervous laughter, can’t help but get hooked. What power. An uncontrollable truth hidden behind every statement and available for all to hear who know how to listen in reverse. Imagine, every politician unable to censor what he really means, unable to conceal what he doesn’t want you to know.
But is it really true? How can the mind execute this reverse speech? Oates dyslexics as evidence that the mind does have the capacity to reverse letters and words. Oates explains it’s not the words that are being reversed but the sounds. Two people reading the same statements are producing two unique reverse dialogs.
Oates further states his case by doing reverse speech research with his twin girls. Starting at birth Oates was able to begin documenting reverse speech single words sentences at 4 months of age. He plays us a recording of his four month old baby making a what sounds like common baby gibberish. Yet played in reverse it yields the surprisingly clear impression of the baby saying “hello.” At 7 months of age he began documenting two word sentences in reverse speech. As he holds a small recorder up to the baby’s face the baby makes a common baby gibberish sound. Yet in reverse you can definitely hear the baby say “what’s that.” At 13 months of age Oates records the gibberish of his daughter as she reaches for a cup. Reversed it yields the sentence “David, help me.”
Child development researcher Piaget believed that an infant’s comprehension far exceeded their production. Could Oates be providing concrete evidence for this by establishing that infants develop reverse speech before they develop forward speech? It seems that evidence for reverse speech could blow open the doors for so many different areas of research that it is hard to comprehend.
One area of research that interests Oates is how much reverse speech might contribute to intuition between individuals. Oates believes that some individuals may be more adept at subconsciously hearing the reverse speech of others. Oates cites examples of parents who believe they can understand the gibberish of their infants, or couples who intuitively know what the other partner is about to say or do. Oates believes these experiences may be due to reverse speech communication between the two.
Oates dreams of developing a team of reverse speech researchers. He has even gone as far as getting the U.S. Department of Labor to recently approve the occupational title of “Reverse Speech Analyst and Practitioner” and has listed it in the category of Clinical Medical Services. Oates sees future trained and certified practitioners applying the science and techniques of reverse speech to the fields of forensics, therapy, and the study of human communication and behavior.
Oates’s two hour presentation on Reverse Speech (Video #53) is now available in our rental library, but this is just a taste. I for one certainly want to know more about the potential of reverse speech. Is it real? Oates recorded examples are certainly intriguing, but, perhaps one needs to have their own experience and discovery with reverse speech for such a fantastic idea it to become completely accepted.