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The idea of reverse speech claims that a recording of ordinary human speech, played backwards, can be interpreted as having completely different words. These words apparently reveal emotions or beliefs that the speaker intended to keep hidden.
An Ozzie con-man by the name of David John Oates is a major supporter of the idea of reverse speech. Because Oates believes that the technique shows what people truly believe, he thinks that it has value in psychological evaluation. Still more amazing, some people believe him. Oates sometimes gets access to the mass media and some punters apparently cough up actual money for his equipment and instructions.
- Bill Clinton says, forwards, "I try to articulate my position as clearly as possible." Backwards, this becomes "She's a fun girl to kiss."
How amazingly revealing
- A radio commentator at the scene of the JFK assassination, and before the facts were actually known, says in reverse "He's shot bad. Hold it. Try and look up."
- Sandra Bernhard, talking about a night with some pals, says in reverse "They pulled out the grass."
The merchandise of reverse speech
- Reverse-play tape recorders - $225 (no longer available)
- iReverseSpeech iPhone app - $4.99
- Reverse speech software - $179.95
- Reverse speech Metawalk series - "14 individual generic Metawalks taking you through the major metaphors of the unconscious mind, enhancing your natural abilities and clearing away sabotages to mental, emotional, and financial health" – $495.00
- Signed copies of Oates's book - $29.95
- Complete training course - $1,495
- Oates' official website
- Shirley, John. "Reverse Speech". The Skeptical Believer. http://www.darkecho.com/skepticalbeliever/reverse.html. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
- Byrne, Tom; Matthew Normand (2000). "The Demon-Haunted Sentence: A Skeptical Analysis of Reverse Speech". Skeptical Inquirer. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/demon-haunted_sentence_a_skeptical_analysis_of_reverse_speech1/. Retrieved 2010-09-27.