Wednesday, December 14, 2005

hceepS esreveR fo elcariM ehT ("Lets revere for an idiot")

The headlining guest on this week's Speaking in Tongues was David Oates, the inventor and purveyor of Reverse Speech.

Even though EoR often has trouble putting words together in the normal order, apparently he's also sending subliminal messages in reverse as well without any difficulty whatsoever. In a variant of EVP (the art of holding pointless conversations with the dead by listening to white noise), reversing a person's speech reveals the True Meaning behind their statements.

A number of examples were given and, as far as EoR could determine, the process involves:

  • Take a lengthy recording

  • Reverse it

  • Excerpt any short fragment that sounds vaguely recognisable as words

  • 'Interpret' this

It's the 'interpretation' stage that EoR found most interesting. Since most reverse speech produces random and surreal statements (as well as a lot of noise), Mr Oates helpfully explained how these meaningless phrases actually Revealed All.

The bemused and disbelieving look that never seemed to leave Father Maguire's face said it all.

EoR has done something similar as an easy way to interpret foreign languages (forwards only - his brain would hurt if he tried it in reverse). Don't bother translating the meaning of the words, just imagine what English words they sound similar to. For example, "Mesdames et Messieurs" is, in English, "My dams are measured." The interpretation of this is that, clearly, terrorist forces are planning an attack on a dam somewhere and caution is urged. Of course, it could all just be bullshit but why admit it when there's so much money to be raked in from the gullible and the deluded? $A125 for a five minute session. That's $A1,500 an hour! At only seven hours a day, and assuming a 40 week year, this means Mr Oates has valued his services at over $A2,000,000 a year! But Mr Oates is not motivated by money. Oh no. He has A Vision:

To promote the TRUTH for the benefit of all and to help remove fear and uncertainty that exists in society that is detrimental to humanities evolution. To move closer to love and to help mankind to all live a fully conscious life of harmony. To help uncap humanities latent abilities and to find our destiny as a species.

and A Mission to boot:

To create a synergistic network of business people dedicated to the promotion of truth and higher states of consciousness through a unique Reverse Speech process, unlike any other the world has yet seen. To adopt a C.A.N.I. model of Constant and Never Ending Improvement of business practices through a win - win situation of all those involved. To explore and face the boundaries of truth and to learn from it.

EoR respectfully requests that he "face the boundaries of truth" but suspects the money rolling in will override that.

This technique is so accurate and infallible, that some 'researchers' apply one loony theory to prove the validity of another loony theory:

Eve Frances Lorgen calls the phenomenon "the truth detector of the millennium" and says that it might place the polygraph as a lie detector. Lorgen uses reverse speech as an investigative and therapeutic tool for UFO abductees.

It has also revealed repressed memories of child sexual abuse.

If you don't believe in this, just read the IRS Court Battle case. The reverse voices prognosticated that "The girl will win" and "That boasts that we've won". And, believe it or not:

Jose's wife is free with 2 years probation. That is not totally a win as the first reversal on this page predicted, but it is close. Jose [...] is in jail now and doing an appeal through an attorney.

"Not totally a win"? The woman was found guilty and sentenced! The husband was jailed! That's about as far from a "win" as you can get (EoR is tempted to call it a "reverse judgement" but wouldn't dare). EoR can't work out whether all these Reverse Speech practitioners are totally deluded to their own failures, or whether they're all just greedy to keep the money coming in.

Scarily, Mr Oates (for a practitioner of woo, EoR is disappointed that he hasn't created any fake organisations to join so he can put lots of silly letters after his name - not even a mail order PhD) recommends diagnosing your health problems with this weirdness, detecting fraudulent insurance claims, or solving criminal trials with it (come back Alison Dubois - all is forgiven).

David has been compared to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Nicola Tesla and his work described as being of Nobel calibre with far reaching ramifications is such fields as law and psychology.

EoR suspects Mr Oates, with his amazing lack of any published research, independent validation, and theoretical flimsiness, is as likely to win a Nobel prize as Bozo the Clown. In fact, EoR would back Bozo any day.

Of course, the legal disclaimer that those undergoing this witchcraft have to sign makes it quite clear that the whole thing's a con yielding no information whatsoever:
I understand that the process is inexact and subject to interpretation by the individual analyzing the tape, and such interpretation, in both the reversals identified and in their interpretation, can be inaccurate. I understand that the words documented as speech reversals can have different meanings from those commonly associated with those particular words.

You can easily become a certified Reverse Speech Practitioner over only six weekends for only $A2,864 (minimum). Training for further levels costs $A1,975 and $A2,370. A total of only $A7,209! EoR wonders how much it would cost if it actually worked. Or you could buy a cheap microphone, use some free software, and do it yourself without the excessive financial donation to Mr Oates.

Strangely, some people seem to think this is just rubbish.

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