I just finished installing a new wiki for anyone interested in the phenomena of backmasking. It’s called Wikiback. It’s the first wiki I’ve ever setup, but I’m hoping it will be a benefit to those looking for more information.

It hasn’t got a lot on it yet, but anyone interested in adding backmasking information is welcome to edit it.

Update: I decided to delete wikiback from my website because the code was too hard to maintain and was being constantly edited by spam bots.


Lost Backwards Message

The creators of the TV show Lost are often filling the shows with clues for the audience to figure out what the show is all about. I’ve never been able to follow the show—I guess that’s what happens if you try to jump in halfway through a season—but fans of the show may find this interesting.

In the scene where Karl is strapped to a chair in Room 23, there is a backwards message embedded in the audio. It’s pretty clear (at least in the reversed clip) and the person/people that made the clip wrote what it is your going to hear on the top of the clip, so no sense in saving it until after you’ve watched the video; the message, spoken by a woman, repeats the phrase, “Only fools are enslaved by time and space”.

Here is the scene forward and reverse:

And here is the same scene reversed with subtitle prompts:

I can’t vouch for the fact that the audio hasn’t been adjusted in any extra way (besides reversal).

Update: I checked the audio myself and it appears to be a legitimate reversal, though the audio was more clear in this version than in the version I flipped myself, but it was still there. (link to lost-s03e07-reversed-clip.mp3)


Backmasking on The Paul & Jan Crouch Show

Youtube has a copy of the backmasking episode of The Paul & Jan Crouch Show. Paul Jr. plays clips from Rock and Roll music both forward and backward. Much like the examples on my backmasking page, the examples are hard to decipher until the listener is primed as to what he or she should be hearing.

Part 1
Update: The videos have been pulled — see below for a new YouTube video.

The next part focuses on the album artwork and the symbols and general symbolism that musicians apparently use to promote a satanic agenda. It also talks about famous satanist Aleister Crowley.

Part 2
Update: The videos have been pulled

Part 3 focuses on backmasking and gives examples of both intentional and unintentional messages within Rock music.

Part 3
Update: The videos have been pulled

Part four has more examples of backmasking and a little misdirection about what some psychologists believe about the human subconscious.

There’s actually two dangers, as far as backward masking. One is, yeah, I know a lot of kids play their albums backwards—more for a joke, but they get these messages. What’s even scarier and it’s still a little controversial, but I do have some documentation from psychologists that believe the subconscious mind is probably the most incredible computer ever—you know, God did a great job when he invented our self sub conscious. That’s why we don’t have to breath at night when we are sleeping, our subconscious takes over, that’s when it’s the most active and anything that’s stored in our subconscious forward can be recalled backwards just as easily and this again, backwards masking is a form or subliminal suggestion.

Part 4 continues with more examples and then ends with Stairway to Heaven. Paul Jr. takes a more extensive look at the song than just the little section I have posted on my page.

Part 4
Update: The videos have been pulled

Part 5 continues with Stairway to Heaven. The lyrics that Paul Jr. describes are slightly different than the ones I hear and as a result, the ones he tells them to listen for, are the ones they hear.

Part 5
Update: The videos have been pulled

I’m not trying to setup a straw man argument, but I found it interesting to learn that years later Paul Crouch Sr. would find himself in his own scandal involving a settlement to a former employee who accused Paul of sexually harassing him. (Wikipedia entry on Paul Crouch).
Update: Here’s another copy of one part of the video:

backmasking meta

One Red Paperclip

One Red Paperclip is a site about one man’s successful attempt at trading one red paperclip for something bigger and better until, 14 trades later, he had a house. File under, “why didn’t I think of that?”

Coincidentally, because of the One Red Paperclip guy’s challenge to CBC’s The Hour, the show went to Yahk, BC and on the way they did a couple of shows in Calgary. It was one of those Calgary episodes that I was on.

backmasking religion

Michael Mills and Beatles Forever

Otis F. Odder is reviving his 365 Days project on the WFMU Beware of the Blog! He opens it with the complete recordings of the Michael Mills Satanic Messages Radio Show and the complete Beatles Forever recordings.

Previously: Michael Mills and the original 365 days project (at that time it was available only in excerpted form).


That’s Me, on Greek TV

I did a phone interview about backmasking and subliminal messages this morning for a reporter at Alter Channel (Wikipedia’s entry), based in Athens, Greece. She said the show will air sometime next month.

backmasking education psychology

Subliminal Messages Psychology Materials

I occasionally get requests for materials for psychology classrooms based on the backmasking section of my website. I usually don’t send out materials, but I have been known to make exceptions, especially for professors of post secondary institutions.

I should point out that if you are teaching psychology, you may be interested in material intended for classroom demonstrations by writing John Vokey or Don Read at

Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4 Canada

and requesting University of Lethbridge, Department of Psychology, Technical Report No. 85. A blank cassette tape should be enclosed if classroom demonstrations are desired.

I imagine a blank CD would also work or maybe an empty USB thumb drive, but I would ask them first just to be safe.

backmasking psychology religion

Jay-Z and his Unconscious Influence

I came across a video clip of a preacher speaking out against the Hip Hop artist Jay-Z. Proponents of the evils of backmasking, like this preacher, argue that the effects of listening to music with backward messages are manifested in an unconscious manner on the listener’s subsequent behaviour.

He states that:

the heavy metal folks used to do that and they would put the backwards masked messages in your music and they’d say that your subconscious is smart enough—that right brain was smart enough to decode and flip that message so by the time it got to your left brain you understood it and you didn’t even know you understood it. You just acted it out. Because they have the song called Another One Bites the Dust — Queen. Played it backwards it said, I like to smoke marijuana. Yeah, and then they interviewed kids and kids say when they listen to it they just wanna get high, they just want to smoke weed and they had no idea that that message was being reversed in their mind and causing them to want to do that.”

I’d like to point out that contrary to this preacher’s claims, studies have shown that it is, in fact, impossible for the subconscious mind to “decode and flip that message”.

In volume 40, No. 11 of American Psychologist (November 1985), psychologist professors John R. Vokey and J. Don Read address the possibility of unconscious influence within reversed audio.

The proponents of backmasking argue that the effects of greatest concern are not the consciously perceived meanings of backward messages but rather those effects arising from unconscious or subliminal apprehension of the (forward) meaning of the material. Consequently, we also used tasks that required less in the way of conscious apprehension of meaning. We reasoned that if some subconscious mechanism existed for the interpretation of backward messages and their influence upon behaviour, then this mechanism should allow decisions to be made about content without necessarily revealing that content.

Their series of properly controlled scientific experiments included:

  • Identifying whether a backward message when played forward was a statement or a question – 52.1% accuracy (50% expected on the basis of random assignment)
  • whether they believed two sentences had the same meaning with only changes in the active or passive voice or whether the two sentences had different meanings — 44.81% accuracy (50% expected on the basis of random assignment)
  • identifying a series of sentences into whether or not they would make sense if heard in the forward direction – 45.2% accuracy (50% expected on the basis of random assignment)
  • categorizing statements of the sort, “Jesus loves me, this I know” into one of five content categories: nursery rhymes, Christian, satanic, pornographic, and advertising. 19.4% accuracy (20% expected on the basis of random assignment)

Upon the completion of their experiments Vokey and Read concluded, “we could find no evidence that our listeners were influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the content of backward messages.”

I’m not one to deny that it does SOUND like Jay-Z has an anti-religious message in the reverse clip. It’s my belief that if such a message is intentional, its purpose is to gain publicity for his album. By pointing it out, this video has actually done a favour for Jay-Z. The prudent thing to do would be to ignore such obvious attention grabbing tactics. Nevertheless preachers like this one continue to disseminate the false claim that backwards messages within music can influence those listening. I think it’s because that message draws big crowds and allows the preachers to more easily sell copies of their sermons on DVDs.

[Jay-Z Subliminal Message – YouTube]

(Thanks Cody)


Break on Through

I added a new clip from Break on Through, by The Doors, to my backmasking page for your subliminal viewing pleasure.

As far as I’m aware, I’m the first to have “discovered” this particular clip—though looking in this song was a suggestion by someone who emailed me. Like most of the songs on my backmasking page, I don’t think this is at all intentional, but of course that doesn’t mean we can’t get a good laugh out of it.

I’ve got another one I’m thinking of adding in the next little while, so in the meantime go tell your friends—at long last there is an update.


G4 Attack of the Show

Feeling mighty bored this evening, I decided to watch the premiere episode of G4 Attack of the Show on YouTube. As coincidence would have it, the very first segment they had on the very first episode was about my backmasking website. One of the guys could see how cool it is, the other guy, well, not so much.