Backwards speech - I'm skeptical

I just stumbled onto this website and I recall hearing something about this phenomenon on the radio a few years ago. I was highly skeptical then and remain so now. I suspect the people who support this are experiencing confirmation bias and nothing more, but I’m just wondering what anybody else thinks?

.em pihsroW .nataS ma I.

Almost all cases of backmasking are of the “I heard it once I was told what to listen for” variety. If I needed a real-life reason to dismiss this idea, that would be it. If you recorded a conversation and played it in reverse, you’d hear some things that sounded like words and maybe a few phrases. But it requires so much interpreting and is usually so muddy that I can’t believe anyone thinks people really communicate this way.

There are plenty of real examples of this stuff in music. But it’s almost always a joke at the expense of people who are so obsessed with this stuff that they played their records backward.

Human pattern-seeking behavior. If you don’t know what the examples are “supposed” to say when reversed, they sound like complete gibberish.

Go to Listen to all the backwards recordings without looking at the supposed backwards messages. Then look at the backwards messages the second time you play them. See how many you could understand without reading the backwards messages first.

Absolute claptrap and nonsense; for many, many reasons, but chiefly:

WHY would human speech do this?

And the fact that the hidden messages the reverse speech guy claims to find are at best stilted and garbled and at worst, completely nonsensical. So even if it works, it doesn’t work.

Aus. Dopers who like watching weird stuff on SBS may have seen Speaking in Tongues which is a religious talk show kind of thing hosted by John Safran(Mondays 9pm, SBS). They had a bloke on a few weeks ago who was a proponent of reverse speech. He played a few samples which somehow “proved” that the Prime Minister was a racist or something like that.

As already noted, if you didn’t read the subtitles the reverse speech was just gibberish.

!htarw ylohnu yM rednu gnimaercs eid ro ,nataS pihsrow dna nwod woB !smrow gnillevins uoy ,yllaer ,oN.

That’s so weird… suddenly I feel like bowling until dawn, and wishing that Santa would dye silkscreened underwear for BrainGlutton.

That is weird. I have this sudden impulse to sing “row, row, row your boat” while treating BrainGlutton’s warts.


Cool link. While most of them are a stretch, the Eminem one sounds like it could have been intentional, and I’m certain the Pink Floyd and Weird Al ones were intentional. There’s also a bit of backward talking on Butthole Surfer’s “Pepper” (if that’s the name, I haven’t heard it in a long time) but it’s just the chorus in reverse.