By Robert Ross


P.O. Box 1037
Bonsall, CA 92003
(619) 732-3097
Reverse Speech Home Page

In the Nov/Dec issue of Awareness magazine, "Reverse Speech" was featured in the San Diego Healthy Living section. The article not only generated interest among the readers but also intrigued this writer enough to want to learn more.

The Nov/Dec issue described the work of David John Oates, founder of Reverse Speech, who began researching the concept of reverse speech in 1984. At the time he was trying to disprove the idea that there are messages in rock and roll songs when played backwards. What he eventually came to discover was that hidden in the sounds of human speech exists a separate covert form of communication that can only be heard if human speech is recorded and played backwards. By 1987, after extensive full-time research, he had verified that not only did backward phrases exist in music, but they also occurred in all forms of human speech. Mr. Oates stated that "If human speech is recorded and played backwards, once every five or ten seconds, very clear and precise English phrases can be heard mixed in the normal gibberish of reversed audio."

The Nov/Dec article went on to describe Mr. Oates' research findings in the area of metaphors and the functions of the unconscious mind. "The real power of Reverse Speech comes in the form of metaphors. Approximately ninety percent of all language in reverse speaks in pictures and images. At times, the language can get extremely metaphoric and mythological with references to Camelot and Babylon, ancient gods, and monsters and dragons" stated Mr. Oates. His research led him to believe that Reverse Speech metaphors represent the actual thought processes and structures of deep consciousness. They describe the actions of behavior in pictures and images as, and sometimes before, such behavior plays itself out in the physical world.

As a hypnotherapist, Mr. Oates uses Reverse Speech daily with his clients and finds that a one half-hour tape recording will usually give the precise reason and cause of any person's behavior. Again, according to Mr. Oates "this information alone would often take months, if not years, to uncover using conventional therapy. Knowing the cause of someone's behavior, I can now begin to alter that behavior by rewriting the metaphoric structures of the unconscious. This is where the Reverse Speech technology really shines!"

Ordinary, as a writer, I would have left it at that, but . . . I must admit, I'm the curious type, so my next step was to set up an interview and "mini therapy" session with Mr. Oates (one of the "perks" of being a journalist). I was curious to know what I was saying "in reverse" while talking in "forward motion."

Bonsall is located between Los Angeles and San Diego, off of Highway 15. It's where Mr. Oates has chosen to make his home and office. A good choice as it's actually quite beautiful, with trees, rolling hills and plenty of open land.

After brief introductions, we were off to the therapy room. Questions were asked and recorded on a small hand held tape recorder. Soon I was in the swing of things. Mr. Oates would ask me a question, for example "how is your marriage?" (yes, we did cut to chase!) and I would respond (somewhat nervously at times). After each question, my response was played back in reverse, while Mr. Oates and I listened for "reversals". The five minute therapy session lasted close to an hour . . . a fascinating hour at that. Some of the reversals were clearer then others, and Mr. Oates (after thousands of hours of experience) was able to point out reversals that the untrained ear would have missed. In fact, to the question "how is your marriage", I was dumb struck by the accuracy of what Mr. Oates heard in the reversal to that question. After our session, I was presented with an audio tape and Mr. Oates' new book (both are available to the public).

For those interested in becoming a Reverse Speech Analyst , there is a twelve month training course which begins January 25. The classes are held one weekend per month for twelve months. The job title of Reverse Speech Analyst is now recognized by the Department of Labor. And if you'd like to learn more about this fascinating area of work, there is a new book on Reverse Speech, published by Promotion Publishing (800-231-1776) entitled Reverse Speech, by David John Oates. For more information on the course, books and audio tapes, please call (619) 732-3097 or visit the Reverse Speech Web site

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