TRANSCRIPT Oh No, Ross and Carrie!: Ross and Carrie Become Conscious (Part 6): Backmasking Edition

Ross and Carrie explore Reverse Speech, an unusual psychological philosophy created by David John Oates wherein a recording is played backward in order to learn the speaker’s subconscious thoughts. Plus they find hidden messages in Oates’ OWN speech!

Podcast: Oh No, Ross and Carrie!

Episode number: 240

Transcript

music

“Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Theme Song” by Brian Keith Dalton. A jaunty, upbeat instrumental.

carrie poppy

Hello! Welcome to Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, the show where we don’t just report on [says “fringe science” with the audio played backwards], spirituality, and claims of the paranormal, but take part ourselves.

ross blocher

Yep! When they make the claims [says “we show up so you don’t have to” with the audio played backwards]. I’m Ross Blocher.

carrie

And I’m Carrie Poppy. We are back at the Conscious Life Expo—

ross

[With some amusement] Huh, right.

carrie

—our favorite place.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] And it’s Sunday. We were there two days: Saturday and Sunday. You were there pretty much all day Sunday. I was editing an episode of this show.

carrie

Thank you.

ross

You’re welcome. And so, in the evening, I raced down to the LAX area and particularly wanted to go to a lecture that you had said, “Ross, you gotta go to this one.” It’s David John Oates.

carrie

Yes.

ross

Also known as David Oates. He was going to be giving a talk called, “Reverse Speech: Seeing Truth Within.”

carrie

Now, this sounded good to me. I met him on the exhibitor floor.

ross

Yes.

carrie

Just walking by his table. And he did not have a very happening table. It was just him, some books, and people were just kinda walking on by. You know those tables where the person just looks like, “Talk to me,” and you don’t want to make eye contact with them?

ross

Right. Especially after you’ve made eye contact with other people.

carrie

[Quietly, with some vocal fry] Yeaahhh.

ross

Accidentally bought their books. [Carrie laughs.] You start to put a little bit of a wall.

carrie

And they don’t have anything…they don’t have anything at the table to sort of interact with, without having to interact with them.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

And so it’s a real, like, “Ooh, once this door is open, I’m locked in,” situation.

ross

[Chuckles] Yeah, exactly.

carrie

That was him. But he made eye contact with me. I came over, and I saw the title of his book. So, he had a few books for sale there. The one that caught my eye was called Reverse Speech: Hidden Messages in Human Communication. So I held that up in my pretty little hands and I said, “Okay, interesting. So this says to me—let me see if I can guess what your philosophy is here.”

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

“Is it that when we talk, you can record it and play it backwards and there are sort of hidden messages in it?” And he said, [imitates a surprised, higher-pitched voice] “Oh! Yes! That’s it!

ross

[Chuckles] “You got it."

carrie

And I went, “Oh! Thank you [chuckles].”

ross

“Bye-bye!”

carrie

[Laughs] Yeah! “That doesn’t sound likely. Goodbye.” Noo. I said, “Oh, wow, fascinating. And you’ve been able to verify this?” And he said, “Oh, yes, yes. Very verified.” [Ross chuckles affirmatively.] “Uh, lots of science behind it.” And I said, “Cool, cool. Are you giving a talk?” And he said, “Yeah, I’m giving a talk tomorrow.” And I said, “Oh, shoot. I don’t think I’m going to be here in the evening tomorrow. My friend is. So, I’ll encourage him to go. And, um, if he likes it, maybe we’ll buy the book.” And I thought, “That’ll kind of get me out of it.”

ross

There you go. Yeah. Well-deferred.

carrie

And it did.

carrie

Yeah. So, he’s like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. Oh, it’s really good. This is one you don’t want to miss.” And I said, “Ah, I really don’t. I really don’t want to miss it, but—“

ross

[Chuckles] Correct.

carrie

“—I think I—“

ross

I will.

carrie

[Chuckles] Right.

ross

But I won’t want to.

carrie

[Chuckles] “But I think my friend will like it, too.” He’s like, “Okay.” And I made good on that.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

‘Cause you were the friend.

ross

You sent me as your delegate.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

He has other books. Uh, Unveiling the Truth: The Secrets of Reverse Speech.

carrie

Oo-oo-oh.

ross

I'm sure that’s much different than the other book. [Carrie chuckles very quietly.] It’s Only a Metaphor: The Story of Reverse Speech.

carrie

Hmm!

ross

He—I sense a theme here. A New Theory About Language. And, as you were mentioning, Reverse Speech: Voices from the Unconscious. There might be others as well, but those come up for me. Yeah, I had—I had also seen his booth and I kept the same kind of distance. [Carrie chuckles empathetically.] I—I—I took photos, at least, so I could kind of look in more detail later without someone expectantly looking at me. Is that him in my photo?

carrie

Yeah. Mm-hmm.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Okay. Couldn’t be sure if that was him or some other—uh, gentleman in his sixties with kind of thinning, white hair. Yeah, he’s from Australia; we’ll talk a little about that. Yeah, there—there’s a big blue banner for reverse speech. “Voices From the Unconscious.” And a sign advertising that you can hear the voice of your spirit for, uh $50 for—

carrie

Oooh!

ross

—a three-minute recording.

carrie

Oh, wow. I kind of wish I’d done that.

ross

Uh, there’s also—uh, he has some services. You can sign up for eight private sessions with him, to have your voice analyzed.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Uh, and also you can sign up to be a practitioner. You can learn his method—

carrie

Oh, yeah.

ross

—and put up a shingle.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

You know, start advertising your abilities as a reverse speech analyst. And, uh, today’s price: a mere $3,495 for that.

carrie

Oh! A steal. A steal on someone’s part.

ross

I had—I had looked this up elsewhere. To get the personal, eight-session, private, uh, meeting with him—or—or even over the phone—it was $1,997.

carrie

Ooh! Gosh.

ross

Which—interesting—for less than double that, you yourself can become a practitioner.

carrie

Oh, true.

ross

Also, that just seems like a highly specific amount. $1,997?

carrie

Yeah.

ross

And I wonder if there’s any relation to the year—

carrie

1997?

ross

—which will come up a little later.

carrie

Oh, that’s—yeah. Good thinking.

ross

Something just to pin in your mind.

carrie

Interesting. That is interesting.

ross

So, we knew he was there at the Conscious Life Expo. And, yeah. Seems like people were pretty excited about this. He doesn’t come to the US too often. And the description of his talk was, “This will be a detailed study of reverse speech. Examining some of the common patterns by listening to the speak reversals of famous people and examining some unsolved political mysteries.”

carrie

[Quietly] Oo-oo-oh.

ross

“We will then explore the deeper into the workings of the unconscious mind, examining the structures of personality and behavior. Then, of most significance, we will look at what reverse speech teaches us about the human soul, and how it may well provide tangible proof of the spiritual realms within.”

carrie

Wow.

ross

“David John Oates is the founder of reverse speech, a field—“

carrie

Now, is he the discoverer?

ross

[Chuckles briefly] According to his personal website, davidoates.com, which is not currently active—but if you look at old versions of it—he is the discoverer and founder—

carrie

Ah!

ross

—of reverse speech.

carrie

You can’t be one without the other.

ross

Ah. We love—we love a combo.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Discoverer and founder.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

It’s terrible when they split it up. Like, one person discovers it and then someone else founds it.

carrie

Oh. Definitely.

ross

[Makes a mock disgusted sound.] The quick, uh, byline here, “David John Oates is the founder of reverse speech: a field he had actively pursued for 35 years now.” I—I’m not fixing their grammar. “He has written seven books on reverse speech and maintains an active lecture and media schedule. He works as therapist in Adelaide, Australia, using reverse speech techniques. Visit David Oates in booth 404—“ not just an internet error code—uh, ”in the International Ballroom.” So, yeah. Going back to his biography, here, uh, he was born in Australia—rural Australia, 1955. Son of a Methodist minister.

carrie

Oh, interesting. Okay.

ross

So, it seems like he had kind of spent his early life sort of working with the church, doing youth work. [Carrie makes an interested sound.] And he had a severe speech stutter, he said.

carrie

Oh, okay. Not noticeable now.

ross

Right. So, aparently this method, and the work he’s done, he claims has helped him—

carrie

Ah, okay.

ross

—remove the stutt—and, from having listened to him for well over an hour, I never would have guessed that he had a stutter.

carrie

Interesting.

ross

So, I guess, back in the eighties, he was in his mid-20’s. He was working with a halfway house. He heard people talking about back masking.

carrie

Yeaahh.

ross

Which was such a big topic at the time.

carrie

What year did you say this was?

ross

’84.

carrie

84. Okay, yeah. So, we still had records, which is an integral part of the back-masking phenomenon.

ross

Right! A technology where it was much easier just to say, “Let’s play this the other direction.”

carrie

Yep.

ross

You know, “Let’s hear the, you know, ‘Paul is dead.’ “

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Or, Led Zeppelin, famously. Many other albums were known for having these not-so-hidden messages. Or, very oftentimes, messages that maybe the Christian Right had maybe latched onto and said, “Oh, look, they’re singing about Satan!”

carrie

Right. “Surely this teaches us something about the psychology of the singer and not the psychology of the listener!”

ross

[Laughs.] Uh, so, at first he thought that was all kind of bunk. But he started listening to it and got more obsessed with it and thought, “Oh, there’s really something here!”

carrie

Yeah.

ross

And the way he tells the story is that one day he just kind of woke up. He’d had sort of this vivid dream and he had the words, “reverse speech” in his mind.

carrie

Oh, cool.

ross

And this was 1987.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So, yeah. So, much like Doc Brown slipping and hitting his head on the toilet—

carrie

Mmm.

ross

—and then having the image of the flux capacitor—

carrie

Two years later.

ross

David John Oates had this—[chuckles] uh, right—with reverse speech. So he made it his life’s work ever since then. And it remains today. And, uh, so he developed this whole theory. And I love that his website says that, uh, “David has been compared to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Nikola Tesla—“

carrie

[Mocking astonishment] Oh, my God! By whom?!

ross

[Chuckles] It doesn’t say.

carre

[Flatly, disappointed.] Oh.

ross

“And his work described as being of Nobel caliber.”

carrie

[Mocking astonishment again] Oh, my God! By whom?!

ross

Probably him.

carrie

[Flat again] Oh.

ross

“With far-reaching ramifications in such fields as law enforcement— [Carrie gasps.] —business, and psychology.”

carrie

[Mocking astonishment again] Oh, my God! By whom?!

ross

Is a very good question.

carrie

Hm.

ross

You know, I'm sure there's plenty people ready and willing to sing his praises.

carrie

Sure.

ross

Uh, so, I wandered in to the—the ballroom up on the second floor. This was a free lecture.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Niiice.

ross

So, I didn’t have to pay 40 bucks for this one, or 110. And it was one of the smaller rooms I’d been in. There were maybe 50 chairs. And, at first, there were—I don’t know—maybe like 15 people.

carrie

Oh, wow. Teeny.

ross

Yeah, it was—it was a little empty. And it was Sunday, later in the day— [Carrie makes a knowing sound.] —other people were already packing up, putting away their UFO paintings— [Carrie laughs.] —and all of their gems and boxes. It felt like this whole thing as winding down. But, here we were in the—

carrie

[Chuckles] I’m picturing you walking in backwards [chuckles some more].

ross

[Bursts out laughing, heartily] Why did I think of that?! That would have been amazing! [Sighs] Oh, man. Uh, I got in there and—and over time, more people did drift in. So, I’d say by the end of the talk, there were…maybe, like, around 30 people in the room. And I think you’ll love this, Carrie—one of the people in the front row was a gentleman with a bright green parrot on his neck.

carrie

Whoa!

ross

So, the whole talk—

carrie

You’re not wrong. You’re showing me a photo and— [Ross laughs] —that parrot is there.

ross

Yep.

carrie

Wow. Huh.

ross

And walking around on his neck, nibbling on his ear.

carrie

Alright.

ross

Yep.

carrie

Pooping on his shoulder.

ross

No one ever asked, no one questioned it.

carrie

Huh!

ross

He was very engaged with the whole talk.

carrie

The parrot?

ross

The man, but—

carrie

Oh, okay.

ross

You know what? I won’t rule out the parrot.

carrie

Hm. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. We should get that parrot on tape, play it backwards, see what he’s saying.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] I’m all for it. Yeah, it was a interesting, mixed crowd. I’d say mostly women. Mostly people—I’d say fifties or older. He was, uh, wearing white pants and sneakers. Had a leather jacket over just—you know, like a regular kind of polo-shirt-type shirt.

carrie

Black leather or brown leather?

ross

Black leather.

carrie

Black leather.

ross

But immediately he started getting into playing some sample audio.

carrie

Yeeahhh, buddy.

ross

And that’s—that’s why we’re there, right?

carrie

Yes, please.

ross

And so, the very first person that he profiled was Joe Biden.

carrie

Oh, wow! Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

ross

Yeah, presumptive nominee. At the time, uh, February—

carrie

February.

ross

—February 9th. So, it wasn’t a done deal at that time.

carrie

Far from it.

ross

But, uh, he had, uh, a quote from Joe Biden talking about a friend’s neighbor’s daughter, I think it was? It—

carrie

[Uncertain] Okay.

ross

Some—some young woman that he probably didn’t even know personally.

carrie

Okay.

clip

Joe Biden (Recording from David John Oates’s talk at the Conscious Life Expo): All of the sudden, found out when they had a talented daughter—who was a good athlete—how ferociously supportive they became of Title IX. Not a joke.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So, he—he says that—

carrie

Cool.

ross

—but David—

carrie

Oh.

ross

—has taken this quote, and he’s played it backwards—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—and he’s found a little segment where Joe says, “The lust that I handle.”

clip

[Reversed recording of Joe Biden played at David John Oates’s talk. It is repeated twice, slowed and so pitch also lowered each time.]

carrie

_[Distressed and tired_] Oh, God. Okay.

ross

See? He’s known for being touchy-feely, Joe Biden.

carrie

Oh, is that what David said?

ross

Yeah, that’s—David introduced it that way—

carrie

Oh, cool.

ross

—and then he paid that off. Everyone said, “Ah, see, see? Joe Biden, he’s known for being a little touchy-feely. And—“

carrie

Oh, wow.

ross

“—he’s talk—he’s talking about some young girl he probably doesn’t even know. But he had to handle lust.”

carrie

Yikes. That is an accusation about—around Joe Biden. It’s interesting, though, because—I know we’ll talk about this later—but David John has a little bit of a history of bringing up this particular accusation against people as well.

ross

Mm-hmm. Yes, this will come up a few times. We’ll—we’ll talk more about how he does this and kind of his approach. But—but essentially, he’ll listen to a whole phrase—listen to it backwards—and he’ll find within that just this little snippet.

carrie

Tiny bit of audio.

ross

And maybe it’s a whole word. Maybe it’s two words. Maybe it’s half of one word and then continued on through another word and then half of a third word. You know, something like that.

carrie

Right.

ross

So, it’s very much just like, “Wherever I could grab it.” And so one important thing I was thinking of is like, “Okay, which part of the audio are you grabbing?” ‘Cause he played a much longer phrase from Joe Biden.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

So, what Joe Biden was saying was:

clip

Joe Biden (Recording from David John Oates’s talk): When they had a talen—

ross

"When they had a talen—“ Short for, “When they had a talented,” but I first heard it as, “Well, they had to tell ‘em.”

carrie

Mmm.

ross

But it works about just the same. ”They had to tell ‘em.”

clip

Ross: [Backwards] They had to tell ‘em.

ross

So—

carrie

Mmm! So that’s you?

ross

That’s me saying—

carrie

Saying, “The lust that I handled—“

ross

[Chuckling] Right.

carrie

And then you reversed it. And it said, “I had to tell them.”

ross

Right. Well, I tried to do it the other way around. “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.” And then play it around, in my best Joe Biden.

clip

Ross: [Imitating Joe Biden] “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.” Ross: [Backwards] “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.”

carrie

That was you?!

ross

Yeah. Ready?

carrie

That was really good Joe Bi—wait, was that really?

ross

Yeah, that was me.

carrie

No way!

ross

That was me trying to do a better version of the first one. Ready?

carrie

That—

clip

Ross: [Imitating Joe Biden] “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.” Ross: [Backwards] “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.”

carrie

That—I thought that really was Joe Biden!

ross

Hey! Okay. Alright, my Joe Biden’s getting better.

carrie

Do it—do it again.

ross

Okay, alright. So it’ll be me forwards and then backwards, sounding a little more like, “The lust that I handled.”

clip

Ross: [Imitating Joe Biden] “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.” Ross: [Backwards] “Uh, I had to tell ‘em.”

carrie

That’s you?!

ross

That’s me!

carrie

You could just be playing me Joe Biden right now [chuckles]!

ross

Okay. Alright. Well, thanks.

carrie

What the fuck is happening?!

ross

This will come up. You know, is that something that you can do?

carrie

Oh, good point. ‘Cause, yeah, are there any other times in this universe that people say the phrase, “I had to tell ‘em.”

ross

Right.

carrie

Perhaps.

ross

[Chuckles] Perhaps. [Carrie laughs, smothered.] So, uh, we’ll get into this theory in just a bit. Uh, but then he played the next one—also from Joe Biden—where he was talking to a military group, and he was telling them:

clip

Joe Biden (Recording from David John Oates’s talk): You’re the most capable warriors in the history of the world. There has never, never, never, never been a fighting force as capable as you are.

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

So then he had listened to it backwards, and he had heard Joe Biden tell this fine, fighting military force, “You’re a chicken!”

carrie

Oo-oh-hh.

clip

[Reversed recording of Joe Biden played at David John Oates’s talk. It is repeated twice, slowed and so pitch also lowered each time.]

ross

Okay, so, again I had to go in and look and figure out, “Okay, which part did he grab.” It was Joe Biden saying, “In the history.”

clip

Joe Biden (Recording from David John Oates’s talk): In the history.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So, the implication is, “Sure, he’s telling all these fine military folks that they’re great and honored, but he’s actually calling them chickens.”

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

“That’s wh—that’s what’s really in his head.”

carrie

I believe it.

ross

And here’s me saying the same thing:

clip

Ross: [Imitating Joe Biden] In the history. Ross: [Audio played backwards] In the history.

ross

“You’re a chicken.” You know.

carrie

Oh, I didn’t hear—okay, can I hear it backwards again?

clip

Ross: [Audio played backwards] In the history.

carrie

[Dubiously] Hmm.

ross

The sounds are there. It doesn’t sound like “You’re a chicken,“ but—

carrie

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

ross

You know, the—the basic pho—

carrie

The bones are there. Mm-hmm.

ross

—phonemes are there—right—that would form those sounds. So that was his, uh, leading example.

carrie

I don't know if our listeners are having the same experience that I am. But I’m trying to think about David Oates’s claims right now and just thinking about what a—[breaks into laughter]—good Joe Biden you can do.

ross

Why, thank you. [Carrie makes a sound of deep affirmation.] Okay. Alright. I’ll have to develop that.

carrie

It could be—

ross

It may become very relevant.

carrie

[Ross makes a couple of affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] Yeah, if he becomes president and then he has a heart attack while in office because he’s sleeping with his mistress, and then the goes into a coma, and they need to pull someone to pretend to be Joe Biden to pretend to be a replacement until they get him back into consciousness. And then they pull you because you’re such a good impressionist. And then—impressionist?

ross

Impersonator?

carrie

Im—impersonator, and then—but you might be a good impressionist painter, as well. And then, you and his wife, Sigourney Weaver, fall in love, you could implement a policy in the United States that would be the greatest jobs program since FDR.

ross

How did Sigourney Weaver get pulled into this?

crosstalk

Carrie: It’s—it's the plot of a movie called, “_Dav_e.” Ross: The movie Dave? I love that movie! That’s a great movie! Carrie: [Laughing] It’s so good! 1993! Ross: Yeah, that is. Aw. Alri— Carrie: What’s happening right now?

ross

Hey—hey, I’m, uh, I’m all for that plan. If the government needs to use me in that capacity, I am available. [Carrie laughs.] This podcast may not be released as often if that happens.

carrie

Yeah, if it just becomes me all the time, you should suspect that Ross has replaced Joe Biden.

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross speaking a short phrase.]

carrie

Or whoever the president is.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] So, it gives us a little window here where he says he listens to the whole thing in context. Context is important, and most of it will be gibberish. But little phrases will jump out. And they'll just sound like real, natural English language. So, he will lis—

carrie

If—if English is the language you know.

ross

Right. And that will come up later. But he says that, you know, it feels very much different. And that on average, he sees one of these phrases jumping out every 15 to 20 seconds.

carrie

Ooohh. I'm gonna check that against my notes, ‘cause I just recently did this with a bit of audio.

ross

Ahh. Oh, interesting! Oh, okay.

carrie

Uh, let's see. It's looks like…ooh, I—it looks like I was a little more frequent than that. [Ross makes a curious, interested sound.] Hm. Okay, so, let's see. 12 seconds, 42 seconds—

ross

Okay.

carrie

—then 30, then about a minute, then 10 seconds. I mean, real spotty, I guess

ross

Okay. It sounds like it's averaging out. Yeah, and now that I've listened to many interviews with him, I've heard him say a range. Like, 10 years ago, he was saying every 30 seconds—

carrie

Mm.

ross

—but he says, like, in certain types of conversation, like people who have a lot of rapport, who know each other well?

carrie

Mm. Mm-hmm.

ross

It’s closer to, like, every five seconds.

carrie

Oh, w-ow. Hm.

ross

Yeah, and we’ll talk about other ways that, uh, you might be able to increase that hit rate. But, I guess that’s his, kind of, just normal speech. Every 15 seconds or so—15, 20 seconds—you should expect to hear something jump out.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

So, then he plays, uh, another clip of audio for us—

clip

[Reversed audio of a baritone voice speaks an unintelligible phrase, repeated twice and slowed down each time.]

ross

—and says, “Hey, did you all get that?” And we all say, “[Makes uncertain mumbling sounds] I don’t know.” [Chuckles] I said, “I love you, Satan?” [Ross chuckles and Carrie laughs briefly.] Which is appropriate, since Satan is my overlord and constant companion—

carrie

Yes. That’s correct.

ross

—as we’ve established on the show. And he said, “No, no. Close. It’s, ‘I love each day [chuckles].’

carrie

[Laughs loudly] That is close.

ross

He says, “Well, it takes some time to develop your ear.” ‘Cause the audience wasn’t getting it. The one time he didn’t prime us—

carrie

[Amused] Uh-huh.

ross

—as he had with those previous ones—

carrie

Oh, right.

ross

—we didn’t—[breaks off, laughing]—hear what he was playing for us.

carrie

You—you got close, though. Can we hear that one?

ross

Okay, so, now that I’ve spoiled it, here. Let me play it for you.

clip

[Reversed audio of a baritone voice speaks an unintelligible phrase, repeated twice and slowed down each time.]

carrie

It sounds like, “God is gay.”

ross

Okay.

carrie

What did—what’s it supposed to be?

ross

“I love each day.”

carrie

[Disbelieving] I love each day?”

ross

Which, you could make a bunch of different things—

carrie

No, that was very clearly, “God is gay.”

ross

And this wasn’t Joe Biden. This was some other speaker.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Here he had thought he’d found this really powerful reversal.

carrie

III just think that we learned that God is gay. And I say, “Good for God!”

ross

[Carrie makes a few affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] And as you may have noticed, he plays it at three different speeds. So, he’ll play it at 100% speed, which is usually harder to distinguish. But then he’ll [imitates slowed audio] slow it down. [Resumes regular tone] And then he’ll [imitates a more dramatic slowed tone] slow it down. ‘Cause then you can really hear, you know,—

carrie

And you can really imbue meaning in something that’s not there.

ross

[Dramatically slow and low-pitched] I love Satan.”

carrie

Yes.

ross

Yeah, it makes it very easy then to enunciate those phonemes and exaggerate them. Already you’re—you’re getting a glimpse of how subjective this is.

carrie

Yeah. And how random. Like, that sounds to me like the middle of someone’s sentence where they said—

ross

Yup.

carrie

“It’s no wonder that [makes babbling sounds].” You know, when it was a totally irrelevant part of their talk.

ross

And David John Oates admits that. He says, “One of the criticisms I’ve gotten is that this is subjective or that I’m priming people. But if this was all imagination, how could multiple people hear the same thing?”

carrie

[Exhales with a plosive] Well, eas—

ross

Yeah, it’s—

carrie

—quite easily?

ross

So, yeah, what he’s alluding to hear is that he’s played these many times before without telling people, and they’ve heard the same thing. Or people he’s trained or what have you. And he thinks that there’s enough congruity there that he can say, “Oh, look, you know, we’ve gotten independent confirmation. That this isn't just me coming up with this phrase.”

carrie

Yeah. I mean, bless his soul. I see why he thinks that. But that’s exactly what teaching someone a language is. We say, “Hey, look for these sounds.”

ross

Yes. And—

carrie

That’s it. That’s the whole idea.

ross

Right! And—and we’re really good, too, at taking things that sound pretty jumbled—and even slurred speech or muted speech or muffled speech or all kinds of things that can happen to make something indistinct—and our brains to a really good job of converting that into English for you and I.

carrie

Right.

ross

Or whatever language you’ve learned, for another language speaker.

carrie

Finding signal in that noise.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

The most extreme example of that, of course, is the electronic voice phenomenon.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

Which we’ve run into with ghost hunting and stuff of that nature, where they’ll set up a tape recorder in a quiet room, ask the quote-unquote “ghost” a question, maybe say, “What’s your favorite holiday?” [speaks softly] and then be very quiet. [Ross chuckles softly.] [Resumes regular tone.] And then later you replay it, and just the tape recorder will pick up tiny sounds in the room. Maybe it’s someone kicking their foot against the floor. Something you didn’t even notice in the moment—

ross

Right.

carrie

—tape recorder picks it up. If you’re looking for a human voice, that sound becomes a human voice saying words.

ross

And they’ll even reverse that audio, sometimes—

carrie

[Interested] Mmm, cool.

ross

—in EVP analysis. And they’ll—they’ll boost the heck out of it.

carrie

Right.

ross

So something that was really faint, they’ll make it super loud. So that gurgling sound from your stomach—which was [imitates a stomach gurgle]—they’ll make it louder, change the speed on it, reverse it. And all of the sudden, you know, that sound is saying, like, [imitates a shaky ghost voice] “Get out!”

carrie

Right. [Ross chuckles briefly.] Or, “Christmas.”

ross

So, he introduces us to these major categories of reversals. One is the congruent reversal. Uh, and that’s when the same message is communicated both forward and backward.

carrie

Okay. I guess that would signal you’re not having any sort of internal conflict.

ross

Right.

carrie

Your subconscious is in agreement with your conscious.

ross

Exactly.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Whereas an incongruent reversal is when you're saying something forward, but then when you play it backwards you get that contradicting message—

carrie

Mmm.

ross

[takes on a mock accusing tone] that gives lie to your false words

carrie

Okay. So, here you might be lying or you might be sort of in denial—

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

—or having some sort of [whispers] battle within thyself.

ross

Exactly. And then he introduced us to another concept, which is the lead reversal. So that’s when you’re having a conversation with someone, and some of their back-masked audio reveals a truth that will become more relevant later on in the conversation.

carrie

Oh, God. Okay.

ross

[Chuckles] Yeah. You—you see the, uh, potential problem here.

carrie

I guess. I don’t even know if I could articulate it. I guess the problem is that makes no sense [laughs]?

ross

[Chuckles] Right. Yes. Yeah, there—there’s an arrow of causality problem here.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

But somehow that early on you just happen to find a good, reversed, little snippet of audio that then becomes more relevant later on. And, “Shoot, I wish it was said in that context, but it wasn’t, so we’re—“

carrie

“But it—so I’ve decided it doesn’t matter.”

ross

So, we’re gonna say that subconsciously, they knew where this conversation was going and revealed their—

carrie

Wow.

ross

—their inner mindset.

carrie

I guess you could make that argument if it were, say, audio tape of someone’s confession or someone’s—you know, if—if you had audio tape of OJ talking about Nicole Brown Simpson and, you know, you’re thinking, “Oh, well this whole time he’s probably thinking, like, ‘Shit, this is a lie—‘“

ross

[Quietly] Oh, yeah.

carrie

“‘—I have to organize this as I speak! I need to make it sound like the truth.’” Then, maybe.

ross

Yeah. Uh, so his example of that was—he played audio of an Australian Aboriginal saying, “I have an older sister.” That was—

carrie

[Confused] Okay.

ross

That was the reversed speech. And—

carrie

[Laughing] That was a pretty banal thing to announce, but okay.

ross

Again, David Oates is from Australia. So, I had a hard time understanding his accent—

carrie

Oh, sure.

ross

—which made all of this more difficult.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Yeah, so I guess the nature of this particular interview was that later on, the man mentioned that he learned that he had a sister he didn't know of before.

carrie

Ahhhh.

ross

So, there we go. He was already thinking about his sister, but before he’d brought it up in the conversation and made that reveal—

carrie

Oh, wow.

ross

—that he had another sister—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—he’d already said in reverse.

carrie

Amazing.

ross

Which no one would have ever been able to detect until the age of recording and playing things backwards.

carrie

And he found out during that conversation that he had a sister?

ross

No. He hadn’t revealed it to the interviewer yet.

carrie

Oh, I see.

ross

So, this was just, uh, showing that his mind was already there before—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—they’d gotten to that point in the conversation.

carrie

Okay. Alright.

ross

There’s many other applications you could use this for. For example, let’s say you’re doing business and you’re thinking of making a deal with somebody. Maybe you should check out their audio. So he said, “Here was someone that I was going to do business with in Australia, and I listened to the audio backwards, and the guy said, ‘I am so full of shit.’”

carrie

Oh, my God. That guy dodged such a bullet [laughs].

ross

[Laughing] Seriously! Yeah, the bullet was dodged not in the direction John Oates was thinking.

carrie

Oh, my God. Like, what a nightmare it would be to work with someone who’s just constantly pulling this stuff.

ross

Can you imagine?!

carrie

Oh, my God. But, okay, sorry. What did he say backwards? “I’m full of shit?”

ross

“I am so full of shit.”

carrie

Alright.

ross

So, he didn’t do business with that man.

carrie

And that man? Donald Trump [chuckles].

ross

[Laughs] Funny, ‘cause, uh, the forward version of the audio sounded like a super-nice, competent person.

carrie

Awww.

ross

Yep.

carrie

Poor guy.

ross

But, uh, he probably should be glad it went the way it did.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

So again, we’ve got every 15 to 20 seconds, you’re gonna hear something. And he was surprised that it had taken everybody so long, you know, to come up with this.

carrie

Sure.

ross

“And it just took someone like me,—“

carrie

Aww.

ross

—he very humbly said, uh, “to come along.” He said at the time he woke up with that reverse speech phrase in his head and he went to his computer—which was a Commodore 64 at the time—

carrie

Wow.

ross

—and he wrote his theorem. And his the—

carrie

Oh, it’s like a download.

ross

Yeah! You’re right. You’re describing exactly what people describe as kind of alien downloads.The revelation was that language is by level. And forward, we construct it as a conscious method, but at the same time, our subconscious is creating that backwards message.

carrie

Mm-kay.

ross

The reverse speech comes from the right brain.

carrie

Okay.

ross

And the normal language processing happens in the left brain.

carrie

This is true or this is what David John Oates says?

ross

The latter.

carrie

Okay. Got it. [Ross chuckles.] ‘Cause my understanding of the whole left-brain, right-brain things is that it’s not nearly as clean as people make that out to be.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Right. And, yeah, you can point to certain functions that do predominantly take place in one hemisphere or one area of the brain. You do have like that Broca region of the brain, you know, that handles a lot of the heavy lifting on language processing. Uh, but, yeah, I think in this—at this point he’d just gone to the simple kind of left-brain, right-brain dichotomy.  Uh—

carrie

Right. The right-brain people love to draw; the left-brain people hate art. Whatever.

ross

Right, yeah. That kind of—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—generalization is…mm, nonsense.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Right.

ross

As far as I’ve heard.

carrie

Uh, yeah, I mean all you have to do is look at people who have brain damage and see if this ads up and, ta-da.

ross

Yeah. Right, exactly. Yeah.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] And I—I don’t want to over-generalize any of that about the brain. That the important point was just that things are not located in little neat, clean regions. They—there are networks that stretch across the brain, and they’re slightly different for everybody. And they’re highly complex. So, I—

carrie

And every part needs every other part. [In a nasally voice] It’s like a familyyy.

ross

We’re all the body of Chriiist. [Carrie chuckles.] Uh, shortly after he came up with this theory, he got a new research opportunity—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—in the form of twin daughters.

carrie

Oohhh! Oh, my God. This guy thinks like us. I would be delighted if I had identical twins.

ross

Yeah, they’re fraternal twins.

carrie

Think of all the stuff—oh!

ross

But at least now he—

carrie

Fudge.

ross

—he had some language-learners in the house—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—uh, that he could record all the time [chuckles softly] and—

carrie

[Makes a disgusted noise] I'm so disappointed in him, for not having identical twins while he was having twins.

ross

Yeah, shame on you, David Oates.

carrie

Yeah! Think it through.

ross

So, uh, he had a very early recording of one of his daughters at four months of age squirming and making, you know, little grunting noises. But he played it backwards and he heard a, “Hello.”

carrie

[Chuckling] Oh, my God, her first word [laughs]!

ross

[Laughing] Oh-ho! That is, uh, so backwards from how most people experience their first word.

carrie

Oh, man. Yeah, imagine growing up and your parent being like, “You know what your first word was? It was, ‘Hello.’ Well actually it was, ‘Gaga googoo, but I taped it, played it backwards.” [Ross laughs.] I think I’d feel like that moment had been stolen from me.

ross

[Laughs heartily] 100%! [Carrie chuckles.] “But what was my real first word?” “Oh, I don’t know.”

carrie

“Uh, it didn’t matter at that point.” [Both laugh.] “I think it was something, like, ostentatious. I don’t know.”

ross

So, then he had another recording and this was of, uh, either the same daughter or the other one, uh, a bit older. But she was struggling with a cup. And making noises like [groans]. She was frustrated.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

And when he played it backwards, she was saying, “Help meeeeD-avid.”

carrie

Oh, wow!

ross

Yeah, calling him by his first name, no less.

carrie

And did he? Or was he like, “I’m busy recording you.”

ross

[Chuckles] “Yeah, uh, hold on. Let me put down this, uh, recorder.” Yeah, that part of the story he didn’t tell. But someone in the audience was saying, like, “I’m sorry, wait. I didn’t hear the ‘me’ part.” [Carrie makes an interested sound.] And he said, “Oh, well it was, ‘Help meeeeDavid!’” [Both snicker.] Like, alright. We got a lot of wiggle room here—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—in terms of duration and where you cut it. Oh, goodness. But, there we go. She was talking to him.

carrie

And she knows your name’s David. Amazing.

ross

Pretty impressive. The subconscious. Never underestimate it, Carrie.

carrie

I won’t. Never overestimate it, David.

ross

As a result of this observation, he adjusted his theory to show that backwards speech develops before forwards speech.

carrie

Ahhh, sure? Sure?

ross

That’s one way to resolve that observation.

carrie

Okay…[chuckles].

ross

Alright, well, not sensing any problems with that.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Let’s move along. And he said, “Well, that’s not out of line with a number of other developmental theories about, kind of, you know, what’s going on in the brain— [Carrie groans softly.] —before conscious speech, uh, arrives.”

carrie

[Groans more loudly] Ugh. That’s not wrong. [Ross chuckles.] But therein lies the problem. I don’t know how to disentangle this for you.

ross

Yeah. Yeah, indeed. Uh, there was another audio clip of, uh, one of his daughters in the bathtub saying something about ducks when she was a little older, maybe playing with some ducks. Uh, but he had heard the reverse speech, “Love to be your friend.”

carre

Wo-o-ow.

ross

[Makes a high-pitched, noncommittal sound.] Okay.

carrie

[Matches Ross’s tone.] Okay.

ross

Yeah, this is all very exciting.

carrie

Was she saying that to the ducks or him?

ross

That, we don’t know.

carrie

Mmm.

ross

That, we don’t know.

carrie

If you are one of David John Oates’s daughters, and you’re listening to this, I would love to talk to you.

ross

Oh, yes.

carrie

Please contact us.

ross

Okay, so here’s where we get into a whole different area of application. You probably might have sensed that this was coming.

carrie

Your eyes have become heavy. Your soul has become dark. Your left brain is lighting up with sadness. What’s up?

ross

[Chuckles briefly] Alright, so we had a very poignant example.

carrie

Oh, no.

ross

He said that a woman had contacted him ten years ago, and that she had a handicapped child—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—who wasn’t able to speak to her.

carrie

Okay.

ross

But was able to make sounds.

carrie

Okay.

ross

And so he recorded some of those sounds and he played back one of them for her where—

carrie

[Quietly] Ohhh.

ross

—the child was saying, “Mommyyy looove you.”

carrie

[Still quiet, sadly] Aw. Okay.

ross

And it made her cry.

carrie

Aww. Well, that’s nice, I guess. Yeah. So this is a lot like facilitated communication.

ross

[In a low, serious tone.] Exactly.

carrie

[Ross makes some affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] So, facilitated communication is this pseudoscience concept where a person without verbal ability speaks though a handler, basically. So, someone with advanced autism—something like that—has a companion who sort of interprets that person with a disability for their family.

ross

And many different ways this can happen. So, maybe the person with the speech inability taps on something in a certain cadence. Or they look a certain way. Or they kind of put their hand on the facilitator’s hand somehow.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

And there’s—the motion or the feedback is being guided by—it’s going through the facilitator.

carrie

Whenever this is blinded, it does not hold water at all. Uh, it turns out, you know, probably most of these facilitators are well-intentioned.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

Um, I’m sure not all, but probably most. But—yeah, we get this feedback loop where we’re convincing ourselves that what we’re saying is true. And, uh, so, really you're just getting what that facilitator thinks that person is saying.

ross

Right. Very often it seems to be what that facilitator seems to think that family member wants to hear.

carrie

Wants to hear, sure. Or there was that one case of the facilitator falling in love with her charge, and then saying that the—

ross

[Makes a sound of recognition, then whispers] Oh, right.

carrie

—that he was in love with her. Which—who knows—may have been true. But we have no evidence for that being true.

ross

Aye-yae-yae.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Oh, life is complicated.

carrie

Ugh. Phew, boy.

ross

So, here we go. Already an example of it being used for that kind of application.

carrie

I hope he didn’t charge that person $1500.

ross

[In a strained voice] Oh, me too.

carrie

Now, you mentioned he said something along the lines of, “It took someone like me to come along to discover this.”

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

What is a “someone like him?” Does he have any background that would make you think he’s an expert on this sort of thing?

ross

Uh, up to the point that he started this, I would say, “No.” He wa—just worked in youth ministry—

carrie

Oh, right.

ross

—as far as I could tell. Now, he’s—

carrie

Though, obviously he’d had speech language therapy himself.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Okay.

ross

That’s true. I’m not sure to what extent. ‘Cause I think he still had the stutter at the time.

carrie

Okay,

ross

Uh, now he’s a certified hypnotherapist and trainer—

carrie

O-kay.

ross

—for whatever that would be worth. I mean, I don’t doubt it [chuckles].

carrie

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

ross

I—I don’t doubt that he has hypnotherapy, uh, training certification.

carrie

Yeah, that’s it’s own ball of wax. Um, okay.

ross

But, yeah. I think that’s about the—the level of—I—I you know, I think when he said that, he just meant that, you know, “Hey I just happened to think about this at the right time, at the right place and be a—“

carrie

Right. “A maverick like me.”

ross

“—be able to use technology and look at all of these different inputs and synthesize—“

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

—you know, a new idea from them.”

carrie

The—which is not saying that that doesn't happen.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

That happens. But the next step is actually subjecting yourself to testing and seeing if you’re right.

ross

That would be good.

carrie

Yeah, has he done that?

ross

Not in the way we would imagine that testing should look like.

carrie

Oka—oooh, I’m interested to hear.

ross

Yeah, so I—I would say he would point to the testing of just years of years of continuing this practice.

carrie

Ah.

ross

And his own evaulation of how successful it is.

carrie

Ah, right.

ross

Which has gotten increasingly complex as, uh, you shall see.

carrie

The Rythmia standard of, “This many people say it’s good, so how can it not be good?”

ross

There you go.

carrie

Mmkay. Got it.

ross

So he mentioned another criticism that has been thrown at him, that his is all just a coincidence of sound.

carrie

[Interested] Mm.

ross

[Carrie makes several affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Which seems like legitimate criticism because, yeah. Sounds are sounds, and if you play them backwards, they’re slightly different sounds. And our language is made out of a lot of different sounds that sound similar, and some of them reverse. Some of them are little mini palindromes. You know, “mom,” [chuckles] plays the same backwards and forwards and the—and some turn into recognizable things when you turn them backwards. But he said, “The trouble with that criticism is that we find it more than just now and then. Every 10 or 15 seconds is a lot.”

carrie

No, it’s not.

ross

And, depends. How attuned are you to finding things—

carrie

Sure.

ross

And wha—what are your criteria for what constitutes an actual hit? Or, like, an actual piece of speech?

carrie

And every 15 seconds, if each clip is like 2 seconds long—‘cause these all—these have all been really short phrases.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

So, that would be like 8 seconds for every 60? That’s not that much.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] That’s interesting. Yeah. It’s not a constant dialogue. So, you can’t just play the audio back and just hear sentences spoken that are completely at odds with what's being heard forwards. So, it says something about the subconscious that it speaks in these weird, little squeaked-out phrases. Which—as we hear more examples—will become increasingly tortured.

carrie

Oh, okay. Cool.

ross

So, next he plays some audio from George Bush. He jumps to the other side of the aisle for us.

carrie

Ooh. Which of the fine George Bush’s—

ross

Oh, yes.

carrie

—in our history are we talking about?

ross

G. W.

carrie

Ah-ha.

ross

Okay. Let me play this little section for you real quick.

clip

George W. Bush (Recording from David John Oates’s lecture): I’ll answer a couple of questions.

carrie

“I’ll answer a couple questions.”

ross

Good. That’s the forward audio.

carrie

Kay.

ross

Okay?

clip

George W. Bush (Reversed recording from David John Oates’s lecture): I’ll answer a couple of questions. George W. Bush: [Reversed audio is slowed and lowered] I’ll answer a couple of questions. George W. Bush: [Reversed audio is slowed and lowered further] I’ll answer a couple of questions.

carrie

“The fucker’s handled?” That’s what I hear.

ross

So, the way that, uh, David Oates had interpreted this, Bush was saying, “Choke the fuckers now.”

carrie

Oh, wow! Okay. Alright. I’m getting the hang of this! Alright!

ross

You got the “fuckers” part, yeah. Good job.

carrie

[Chuckles briefly] So, why would he be saying that instead of, “I’ll take a couple questions?”

ross

Oh, yeah [chuckles]. Bush was saying, “I look forward to working with the members of congress. I’ll take a few questions.”

carrie

[Laughs loudly] Oh, that’s fun.

ross

And just that little section gets grabbed and reversed. [Through clenched teeth] “Choke the fuckers now.”

carrie

Great.

clip

George W. Bush (Recording from David John Oates’s lecture): I look forward to working with the members of Congress to get it done. I’ll answer a couple of questions starting with [inaudible] the AP. Speaker 1: Thank you, [inaudible].

ross

Uh, so here’s me:

clip

Ross: [Imitating George W. Bush] I’ll answer a couple ques— Ross: [Audio reversed] I’ll answer a couple ques—

carrie

Oh, yeah. I—I—

ross

Yeah?

carrie

“Choke—“can I hear it again?

clip

Ross: [Imitating George W. Bush] I’ll answer a couple ques— Ross: [Audio reversed] I’ll answer a couple ques—

carrie

“Shuck…the fucker’s nail.”

ross

[Laughs] Yes, and he said—

carrie

Okay, yeah.

ross

—the—the basic sounds are there.

carrie

Yeah, definitely.

ross

They’re—the K’s, the N’s—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—you know, the—they're in the right area.

carrie

Yeah. For sure.

ross

I just—I don’t have the same cadence. And—

carrie

Yeah! For sure, yes.

ross

—it—there’s so many little subtleties to speech. But, yeah, it’s there. And I think the fact that I can kind of reproduce it—

carrie

Yep. Says something.

ross

—says a lot.

carrie

Yeah. It makes me want to do a runner of, “I’ll take a couple questions.” People have to say that all the time.

ross

Yeah. So, presumably if we heard Barack Obama or—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—Hillary Clinton saying the exact same thing, it would sound similar in reverse.

carrie

Yeah. Or David Oates, after one of his talks.

ross

Right! That would be interesting to listen to in reverse, wouldn’t it?

carrie

Yeah, yeah.

ross

Next he played a quote from Bob Dole as he was retiring from the Senate

clip

Bob Dole (Recording from David John Oates’s talk): He’s not laying claim to the office he holds. It lays claim to you. Your obligation is to bring to it the gifts you can of labor and honesty. And then to depart with grace.

ross

He played it backwards, and the quote was:

clip

[Reversed audio of a Bob Dole speaking an unintelligible phrase, repeated once and slowed down the second time.

ross

“It’s an honor.”

carrie

Oh, wow.

ross

So [chuckles] alright. There we go.

carrie

Okay.

ross

He's just—he was being sincere in that moment.

carrie

Okay.

ross

This is reminding me also very much of our lie detection.

carrie

Mmm. Mm-hmm.

ross

We did that kind of audio-based lie detection analysis—

carrie

With my good friend John Ronson.

ross

Yeah, and it was a very much the same thing, where he would take the responses and he would listen for certain peaks and those would show that, uh, I was nervous. And if I was nervous, I was lying. And that’s how we found out that Satan is my overlord and constant companion.

carrie

[Chuckles] Mm-hmm. Still true.

ross

Uh, well, constant, right?

carrie

Yeah.

ross

So, yeah, uh, definitely a—a similar practice to that, as well. And I’ve gotta say, just like with EVP’s, they’ll have, like, the class one, two and three—

carrie

Ah, right. Mm-hmm.

ross

I’d say very much the same for these. Some of them, you’re like, “Oh, yeah. I hear it.”

carrie

Yeah.

ross

And other ones, you’re like, “Wait. Oh, now that you say—okay. Okay. Play it again? Okay. Yeah, I hear it.”

carrie

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ross

And then other ones, you're like, “Alright.”

carrie

“We’re stretching.”

ross

“Yeah, we’re totally stretching.”

carrie

And an A, of course, should be that it took no priming, or any context. I—I keep thinking with all of these, it would be really important to not know who the speaker is, if you wanted to get a pure analysis.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Just knowing that it’s Bob Dole in this particular context, where he’s saying goodbye, that’s gonna make me think in terms of things like, [imitates Bob Dole’s voice] “It’s been an honor—“

ross

Right.

carrie

“—I love you all.” Or, “I hated you all. I want you all to die.”

ross

[Carrie makes a few affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Exactly, yeah. And that would add an—an element of blinding to the process because I think right now you also have an additional layer of, “I’m David John Oates. This is Bob Dole. What do I think of Bob Dole? I think he’s an honorable person. What am I listening for now in this audio? Oh, look, he said:”

clip

[Reversed audio of Bob Dole speaking an unintelligible phrase]

carrie

Right.

ross

[Amused] Hm, what do you know? What a good guy.”

carrie

Though I did see on David John Oates’s website that he claims when he first listened to the moon landing audio that he was attempting to prove the moon landing was real—

ross

Okay.

carrie

—but then listened to so many of them—they all had these , uh, messages of fakery—that he become won over to the position that we did not actually go to the moon.

ross

[Surprised] Oh, Really?

carrie

That’s what he says.

ross

I didn’t know it lead there. So, the moon quote was a good example of a congruent reversal—

carrie

Mm, okay.

ross

—I would say. Because he took the famous audio of Neil Armstrong saying…

carrie

“Small step for man.”

ross

“One small step for man.”

carrie

“One…great leap for mankind.” Something like that.

ross

“One giant leap for mankind.”

carrie

Giant.

clip

Neil Armstrong (Lunar landing recording): That’s one small step for man. One [beat] giant leap for mankind.

ross

So David Oates reversed this:

clip

Neil Armstrong (Recording played at David John Oates’s talk): Small step for man.

ross

And heard this:

clip

Neil Armstrong (Reversed recording played at David John Oates’s talk): Small step for man.

ross

“Man will spacewalk.” Whoa. Boring. And there’s a lot of controversy over whether he actually said, “One small step for a man—“

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

—which would make more sense.

carrie

Hmm.

ross

“One giant leap for mankind.”

carrie

Oh, I see what you’re saying. Uh-huh.

ross

Cause if you're saying, “One small step for man, that’s just one of those—“

carrie

That’s the same as mankind.

ross

Exactly.

carrie

Got it.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] And so I—I think the consideration on that little debate is that he just forgot to say, “a man.” And at first he admitted to that. And I think later on, he tried to say, [High-pitched voice] “Oh, no I said it. I was just—“ [Returns to regular tone] You know, “‘One small step for a man.’”

carrie

I admit it sounds prettier without the “A.”

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Yeah, that’s true. Kind of poetic.  But, it’s one of those things where you stop and think about it for a bit, and you’re like, “Wait a second. You forgot an important part of the sentence there.” So, it’s just one of those normal human mistakes. Oops. Anyways. That’s—that’s neither here nor there.

carrie

That reminds me of the poem, “What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”

ross

Oh, yeah. Langston Hughes?

carrie

Yeah, so in high school, during one of our drama reviews, someone was supposed to say that poem. And the very first line is, "What happens to a dream deferred?” And very near the end, she says, “it shrivels up like a raisin in the sun.” [Chuckling] She got onstage and she said, “What happens to a raisin in the sun?”

ross

[Laughing sympathetically] Oh, no!

carrie

And you just saw her face—

ross

Yep. Mm—aww [laughing]!

carrie

—just shrink. Just, “What do I do [laughs heartily]?”

ross

[Still laughing] And then you saw in her face exactly what happens to a raisin in the sun!

carrie

Pretty much! [Both sigh with laughter.] Poor thing.

ross

Oh, no.

carrie

And she heard it. So then she kept going, and at some point—she was trying to still make it work. She didn’t start over. And when she got to the part—

ross

Oh, no!

carrie

—about a raisin in the sun, she said, “Does it shrivel up, like [exaggerated emphasis] a raisin in the sun?”

ross

[Laughs] Aw.

carrie

[Laughing] Like that?”

ross

Hey, alright. I like that.

carrie

Trying so hard to play it off.

ross

[Sighs with laughter] Oh.

carrie

Bless her.

ross

I know I’ve done things like that.

carrie

Oh, for sure.

ross

Brains are funny things.

carrie

Mm-hmm. During The Vagina Monologues, I said, “penis,” instead of vagina” one time.

ross

[Excited] Oh, yeah?

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Nice. [Both chuckle.] Well, that’s relevant to this next one. He played audio from a woman that he had interviewed, and she’s talking about her love life. “Oh, I still want him. Oh, I get pulled to the bad guy.” And he played that audio backwards, and she said, “I want men.”

carrie

[Laughs loudly.] Okay.

ross

Alright. I guess that’s congruent.

carrie

Fine.

ross

That doesn’t tell me too much. In the interview, uh, we’ll—we’ll talk more about this later, but George Kappas from the Hypnosis Motivation institute— [Carrie makes an interested, affirming sound.] —who you may remember if you listen to our mental bank ledger epsidodes—

carrie

Or our hypnotherapy episodes.

ross

[Carrie makes a few affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Yeah, but we specifically got a class from him for the mental bank ledger. But I—a fun and interesting character. He’s really taken with Davide John Oates. And this whole idea, this system, he thinks it’s great. So, he had him a few times on their HMI TV, where they talk to different people about various aspects of hypnotherapy. And George Kappas had an example of when he went and tried to do this, after he got so excited by David Oates’s, uh, thesis here. He grabbed a random take when he was talking to someone and trying to convince them of this. And they played back one of their instructors leading a class. And he said that she came in in the morning and just said, “Hi everybody. So great to have you here on a Saturday. Thanks for coming in.” But they played that back and one of the phrases said, “I want penis.”

crarie

[Laughing] Oh-ho-ho no-oh-oh! This is, uh, not something you want your male employer— [Ross bursts out laughing.] —fixating on.

ross

Right. Right*

carrie

Uh…did he tell her that?

ross

No. Well, she—

carrie

Goood.

ross

He said that she already wasn’t working there anymore.

carrie

[Dubious and amused] O…kay.

ross

He didn’t describe what the situation was.

carrie

Sure.

ross

You know, but he said, uh, “Oh, my goodness, this is just so funny.”

carrie

If you are David Oates’s daughters or John Kappas’s former employees, get in touch. Tell us what’s up.

ross

[Stuttering] Sometime before 2010, when that interview happened. Oh, goodness. And then—to be fair—I think David Oates had just played a quote from Barack Obama. Or maybe he was just about to. But Barack Obama was talking about something completely different, uh, but then when he reversed him, instead of talking about the Middle East situation, he was saying, “I’m gonna need sex soon.” Or something like that.

carrie

[Making scoffing sounds, then, under her breath] God.

ross

[As Ross speaks, Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds.] And—and it was funny, ‘cause you could tell that David Oates was a little down on Barack Obama, and George Kappas was very much, “Don’t tell me anything negative about Obama—”

carrie

Oh, interesting.

ross

“—I love him.” And then after that reveal of Obama thinking about sex in his subconscious, George said, “Oh! Well, I’ve seen Michelle. I can imagine why.”

carrie

Oh! Sure.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Sure.

ross

[Ross chuckles] Anyways. So going back to, uh, the talk here at the Conscious Life Expo, now it’s time to look at Hillary, of course.

carrie

Of course. Uh, Hillary who?

ross

Clinton.

carrie

Oh! Hillary Clinton.

ross

Yes.

carrie

Okay. Mm-hmm.

ross

Okay, so he had a clip of her on the campaign trail talking about Donald Trump, saying:

clip

Hillary Clinton (Recording from David John Oates’s talk):And you know what? It also matters when he makes fun of people with disabilities. [Scattered boos from the crowd.] Calls women pigs.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Okay.

carrie

I don’t need any, um, underlying message there. That’s a good overlying message.

ross

So, again, he didn’t tell us in the moment, but I had to figure out that this little section is pulled from when she says, “When he makes fun o—“ and then the “of” is cut off in the middle—

carrie

Oh, okay.

ross

“But when he makes fun o—“ So, here, I’ll play it for you.

clip

Hillary Clinton (Recording from David John Oates’s talk): When he makes fun o—

ross

Mkay, so that’s forward. [Carrie makes an affirming sound.] And it’s gonna be followed by the reverse.

clip

Hillary Clinton (Recording from David John Oates’s talk): When he makes fun o— Hillary Clinton: [Audio reversed] When he makes fun o— Hillary Clinton: [Reversed audio is slowed and lowered] When he makes fun o— Hillary Clinton: [Reversed audio is slowed and lowered further] When he makes fun o—

carrie

“And I’ll scam you.”

ross

You got it.

carrie

[Sarcastically] Oh, yeah. Good one.

ross

Alright, here’s me—Yeah, and then I would say, “Yeah, that’s—I guess that qualifies as an A—”

carrie

Okay, yeah. Mm-hmm.

ross

“—‘cause you got it.” So here’s me saying a similar thing.

clip

Ross**: [Imitating Hillary Clinton] When he makes fun o— Ross:** [Audio reversed] When he makes fun o—

carrie

[High-pitched, considering] Yeah. Okay.

ross

Alright, yeah? The—again, the sounds are there—

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

I just don’t have exactly Hillary Clinton’s speech patterns.

carrie

That sounded like, “Enough skin on you.”

ross

Oh, interesting.

carrie

Or—yeah.

ross

Hmm. Okay. Uh, I think we’ve already established that Carrie is much better at this than I am.

carrie

[Chuckles] It—well. I don’t know if this is a point of pride, but yes.

ross

At—at least at mak—At least making that leap to say, “Okay. What are the sounds that I’m hearing here and how could they form an English sentence?”

carrie

Right.

ross

Whereas my brain will just be like, “Nah. That’s not a thing.”

carrie

Sure. Your brain is actually correcting toward the truth?

ross

Well, I—I wish I could do what you’re doing right now.

carrie

[Quietly, humble] Oh, well, thanks. [Back to regular tone] This is kind of like when people tell us that they get sleep paralysis and we’re both like, [in a strained voice] “Oh! I really wish I could do—“ [Ross makes an unintelligible noise of frustrated desire, matching Carrie’s tone.] And they’re like, “No. It’s terrible. You don’t want—“ “Yeah, no, no, no! But it b—[intentionally stutters, then breaks off, laughing].

ross

Yeah! But I wish I could choose to do it! [Chuckles] Yeah, exactly.” Not all the time, just on control, under my schedule.

carrie

Right. “Cool, but this is terrible for me. It—“ “Oohh, I’m sorry.”

ross

[Chuckles briefly] Yeah, so this when I first raised my hand and said, “So have you done this with Trump himself?”

carrie

Oh, yeah! Mm-hmm.

ross

And he said, “You know what? I was just about to play Trump.”

carrie

Alright!

ross

[Inaudible] Just making sure.” “I—you know I go for both sides of the aisle here.”

carrie

Good, good, good.

ross

“Every—everybody’s fair game.” Uh, and he said, “Ah, Trump’s an interesting character.” [Amused] So, as he’s saying this, his phone starts ringing with the doorbell sound, “[imitating a two-tone doorbell] doo-doo.” [Carrie laughs briefly.] “Doo-doo.” He looks at it, and he says, “Oh, someone’s at my front door.” Presumably in Australia.

carrie

Whoa. [Dubiously] Okay.

ross

Yeah. And his phone is notifying him that they’re pressing the button.

carrie

Okay. Wait, what time was this talk?

ross

This was 6:00 PM on a Sunday.

carrie

How f—they’re like 10 hours ahead? 11 hours ahead?

ross

Well, let’s do this. Okay, so let’s see. We’ll add two hours to whatever comes up, so—

carrie

An early morning visit.

ross

Oh! That would be close to, uh, 10:00 AM.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Okay.

carrie

A little early, but okay.

ross

This person was so persistent. So, at first he can’t figure out how to, like, make it stop. [Carrie snorts with laughter.] So the next few examples, like, for a minute—[chuckling] the phone is just in the background, going, “[imitates the notification sound] Doo-doo. Doo-doo. Do-do, do-do, do-do, do-do, do-do, do-do.” [Both laughing.] And he can’t stop it. And he doesn’t throw his phone away or anything. It’s just—

carrie

Oh, man.

ross

It’s just kind of funny.

carrie

Delight. Yeah, like, turn it off. Turn it on silent.

ross

[Chuckles] Yeah. Um, I guess—you know, you’re off giving a presentation. All of your shortcuts on your phone are out of your brain.

carrie

Sure.

ross

You know, it’s like a dream deferred [snorts with laughter].

carrie

It’s exactly like that, yeah.

ross

So he plays a quote from Trump, “[Imitates Donald Trump] And once you get jobs back—instead of them going to India and Mexico—“

clip

Donald Trump (Recording from David John Oates’s Talk): And once you get jobs back—instead of having them going to India and having them go—I mean, Mexico—

ross

He plays this backwards—the Mexico section. And let’s see if you can hear this.

clip

[Reversed audio from Donald Trump, as played in the recording at David John Oates’s talk. The phrase is unintelligible. It is repeated once, slowed down and lowered in pitch.]

carrie

“I’ll discount you?”

clip

[Reversed audio at regular speed, from Donald Trump, as played in the recording at David John Oates’s talk. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

“I love to scam you?”

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Yeah. I think you’re right. He was just trying to provide a corollary to the Hillary talk where Trump now is saying, “I’ll scam you.” But I think, actually, you’re, “I’ll discount you,” is a better use of that sound. And now that you say that, I can hear—

cilp

[Reversed audio at regular speed, from Donald Trump, as played in the recording at David John Oates’s talk. The phrase is unintelligible.]

ross

“I’ll discount you.” Yep.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Again, priming: pretty powerful.

carrie

Also, “I’ll discount you,” could mean, “I will write you off,” or, “I will give you a discount.” One’s positive and one’s negative.

ross

Mmm. Oh, maybe—

carrie

Now what do we do?

ross

—Mexico should pay for the wall—

carrie

[Laughing quietly] Oh, right.

ross

—but he’ll give them a discount.

carrie

[Laughing] It’s like a rebate situation.

ross

“I’ll discount you.” Alright.

carrie

[Sighs deeply] Ughh I hate him.

ross

Me, too. Yeah, I—here—here’s me again.

clip

Ross: [Imitating Donald Trump] Mexico [Carrie laughs] Ross: [Audio reversed] Mexico. Mexico.

carrie

[Chuckles, then imitates Ross’s reversed speech.]

ross

[Chuckles, then imitates his own reversed speech a couple times.] You gotta watch out for those [made-up word from his reversed speech]. [Carrie laughs.] “Waffle scam?”

carrie

Yeah, “waffle scam.” Okay.

ross

Maybe that’s it. Like, stay away from any waffle restaurants.

carrie

Makes sense.

ross

Uh, then he plays another one from Trump, saying that Trump’s actually really good at this. “You know, like, he knows how to use this to his advantage.”

carrie

Okay.

ross

Where—and—and this is an interesting question that comes up in various interviews with David John Oates, which is just, “How much can you actually control this?”

carrie

Oh, right. Yeah.

ross

Presumably, not at all.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

This is just a window to your subconscious, and you can be trying to lay on the flattery or say whatever you want, but your subconscious is going to say whatever your real truth and present understanding is.

carrie

What if someone else wrote the words you’re saying? What if you have a speech writer, or you’re reading a play? What happens then?

ross

This would be good to clarify with him. My thought its that even then, you should have your own internal subconscious encoded—

carrie

Right.

ross

[Carrie makes affirming sounds a few times as Ross speaks.] —backwards. And this is weird, too. You know, ‘cause you have just the recording medium of either a tape, back in the day, or now a digital audio recording. And we know pretty well what it’s doing to sample the vibrations that are hitting the recorder itself and making digital impressions at a certain sample rate, at a certain frequency range. But somehow it seems like there is a little bit of a dualism here, where there’s some extra piece of information that’s going in the backwards playback that’s somehow not present in the forward playback. Which I reject out of hand, because scientifically, I don’t think that makes any sense, either for our hearing or for a digital recording method. So, somehow he seems to think that Trump knows how to use this to his advantage? I’m not sure what the implication of that is.

carrie

Yeah, ‘cause if there’s something that’s just added by your delivery, your spirit, whatever, then it should be there no matter what words you’re saying. Which, then would mean that your recordings of you saying the same thing should not sound the same.

ross

Correct.

carrie

So, you kinda—it has to be either or.

ross

Right. Yeah. So that would be—I think—one way to kind of falsify this, is to take other instances of that same politician saying the same thing.

carrie

Yeah. Mmm. Mm-hm.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Does it sound different? Was Barack Obama not thinking about sex in this other time that he said the same thing about the Middle East?

carrie

Right. Right, right, right.

ross

Yeah. It’s a good question.

carrie

Or other people saying the same thing, too. Yeah.

ross

And—and there’s some other attendant claims here. Like, that when you say these things, people presumably aren’t recording them and playing them backwards. And yet, somehow, they are aware of that intent coming through the words. They can hear this subconscious intent—

carrie

Right.

ross

—and it’s affecting their voting choices, even.

carrie

Oohhh. Oh, okay. I didn’t realize that. Okay.

ross

Because the thing that he said that Trump was so good at doing—so, maybe Trump just had the right thoughts in his subconscious, but he was often using the word, “America.” And he was the only candidate to do that, to have “America” show up. Uh, so there was one—

carrie

Backwards.

ross

Ex—right. Yes.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Uh, so there was one quote he had of Donald Trump saying, “[imitates Donald Trump] Thank you. Thank you very much.” [Carrie chuckles softly.] And when he played it backwards, Trump was saying, “America, wake up.”

clip

[Reversed recording from David John Oates’s talk of Donald Trump. The phrase is unintelligible. The phrase is repeated once, slowed down and lowered in pitch.]

carrie

[Sarcastically] Oh, wow.

ross

[Sarcastically] Wow.

carrie

And then we did.

ross

_[Chuckling] “_And so,” David John Oates said, “this is why he won. His reversals were very pro-America.”

carrie

[Mock realization] Ahhh. Okay.

ross

So then there was another quote from Trump saying, “Hillary,” and then he said something, something “e-mail.” It was about her e-mails.

carrie

Mm-hmm. [Deadpan] Oh, was there something with her e-mails? I don’t think I heard about that.

ross

Ahh…oh, shit. I can’t remember.

carrie

Yeah, okay. Hmm.

ross

Yeah. Whatever it was, it must have been inconsequential.

carrie

Yeah, it sounds like it.

clip

[Reversed recording from David John Oates’s talk of Donald Trump. The phrase is unintelligible. The phrase is repeated once, slowed down and lowered in pitch.]

carrie

“Hillary something e-mail.”

ross

Yeah. “Hillary, let’s see this e-mail.”

carrie

Okay. Ohh, “Let’s see this e-mail.”

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Where—are you impressed?

carrie

No.

ross

That’s a B minus—

carrie

At best.

ross

—C plus, more likely.

carrie

Yeah. Ugh.

ross

And—[chuckles]—again, uh, I think this is telling us far more about David Oates—

carrie

The listener, yeah.

ross

—than it is about any of these people.

carrie

[Ross makes a couple of emphatic affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] Absolutely. And if David Oates spoke a second language, he’d be picking up words in that language. Uh, we hard-wire our brains to look for certain sounds, and we call them, “languages.”

ross

Yeah, so that’s a question that I did ask him a little while later. I said, “Does this map onto other languages?” And he said, “Well, I only speak one language, but yeah, I’ve had people that I’ve trained do this with French, Spanish, and German, and they’ve been found in all those languages—“

carrie

When the speaker was originally speaking those languages? Or when the listener speaks both and—

ross

When the speaker was originally speaking that language and the listener happened to also speak that language.

carrie

Oh, okay. But I’m curious—like, if a Spanish speaker listened to Clinton on reverse, if they would hear things in Spanish. I would think so.

ross

I would imagine so, as well.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

I’m pretty sure this crosses language boundaries. Uh, very often, you know, when we listened to something being said in another language, we can say, “Oh, it sounds like they’re saying this!”

carrie

Totally, yeah.

ross

“Oh, it sounds like they’re saying this kind of phrase that wouldn’t make sense in English, but—“

carrie

‘Cause by and large we all use the same sounds. There are a few that languages will lean on more than others—

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

—but mostly we’ve got a few sounds that the human mouth can do.

ross

So then he asserts after the Hillary example, “Ah, I think it’s weirder to say that there’s nothing here than to say that there is something here.”

carrie

[Mock interest] Oh, wooowww.

ross

Yeah, so he’s kind of really saying, “Oh, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”

carrie

Right. Right.

ross

You know, it’s kind of that same thing.

carrie

I don't think there’s nothing there. I think there’s something very fascinating about the human brain going on here.

ross

And he’s got 35 years of research behind him.

carrie

[Mock impressed] Oh my goodness.

ross

And so this reminds me of that phrase, “practice makes perfect.”

carrie

Mm. Mm-hmm.

ross

And I remember one teacher telling me, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.” [Carrie makes an intrigued sound.] “And if you just keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’ll just keep doing that.”

carrie

Oh, wow.

ross

[Carrie makes several affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] “Maybe you’ll do it efficiently or well. But it needs to be practice plus some kind of correction, some effort to actively be improving.” It kind of related to that whole 10,000 hour idea that, yeah, you need to try at something for years on end to achieve mastery, but it can’t just be repeating the same thing you know. You have to constantly be evaluating and improving and testing new things and trying them out and subsi—“What if I do this instead?” So, sure, 35 years of research would be really good if it were that type of research, where you’re getting the feedback of others and looking for the flaws. He estimated that he’s done hundreds of thousands of these analyses.

carrie

Oh, wow. Okay.

ross

And says, “Ah, probably have like a million reversals just here on my computer.”

carrie

Wow.

ross

Yeah. He collects ‘em.

carrie

How could you have a lot of something without it being real? You couldn’t. QED.

ross

Exactly. You get it. You get it, Carrie.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

ross

Uh, someone in the audience said, “Well, what about, uh, the State of the Union?” ‘Cause that had just happened. “What about the obvious lies there? Have you listened to that one?” [Carrie makes a curious sound. She makes a few affirming sounds as Ross continues.] And, uh, David John Oates said, “[Imitating David John Oates’s deeper voice] Oh, I haven’t, uh, had a chance to listen to that yet.” [Resumes regular tone] Another woman asked, “Do some words always sound the same?” And th—that was a good question. He said, “Yeah, there’s like 50 or so, and I call them ‘constant reversals.’”

carrie

Okay.

ross

So—

carrie

Mom. Kayak.

ross

—for example, like, every time someone says—[Ross laughs and Carrie joins in.] Yeah, all those palindromes, like, “Go hang a salami on the lasagna hog.” [Both laugh heartily.] “Draw, oh Cesar. Erase a coward.” So, he said that the word relationship always comes back as, “This is shallow.”

carrie

Oh, wo-owww.

ross

Interesting.

carrie

Well, that tells you something! Not every relationship can be shallow, so what does that mean to you, David John?

ross

Similarly, “motion,” means “show me.”

carrie

[Quietly, dubiously] Okay.

ross

 “A president,” comes back as, “We deserve this.”

carrie

Okay! What do you make of this, Dave?!

ross

But—well, kind of to his credit—

carrie

Okay.

ross

For those examples, he said, “Yeah, for those 50-whatever examples, uh, I tell my students to ignore those, move past those. Because, yeah, they are constant.”

carrie

Kayy. Okayyy. But why doesn’t that teach you some larger principle?

ross

[Sighs] Right. In your 35 years, in one of those years or months or days, you should have said, “Oh, wait a second. Yeah, what does that say about other parts of language?”

carrie

Yeahh.

ross

“Just that the way they’re enunciated can affect our ability to hear certain phrases, either said or not said.”

carrie

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

ross

"And sometimes—yeah. They—they’ll appear for everybody and sometimes just for one person and sometimes every time that person speaks and sometimes only once.” Let’s analyse that a little more.

carrie

Uh-huh, uh-huh.

ross

Just a little more.

carrie

Yeah, I would think those 50 words are the ones that just don’t differentiate that much between the different dialects of spoken English.

ross

[Carrie makes a few affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] You know what? And I bet there’s a cool study that could be made from that. Just looking at, how do consonants play forwards and backwards, and vowel sounds? And, you know, what do we do with that? I’m—I’m not sure why that wouldn’t really justify someone’s effort in looking into that. But—

carrie

But I think it would be interesting, though. Like, I am thinking about, you know, obviously, “kayak” backwards is not, “kayak.” Uh, yeah, I don’t know. I’d be kind of interested to see that study. Linguists, I can’t wait for your e-mails.

ross

[Carrie makes several affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Yeah, it’s funny. ‘Cause as you’re saying all of this, like, I want to play back what you just said backwards and I’ll be able to do that later when I’m monkeying with this file in Audition. But I think—and this will come up more—I think this is a big saving grace here. Is that this kind of analysis is hard to do. You can’t do it in real time. And—and it takes time to reverse it and play it. And in that interview with George Kappas, George was asking good questions. And one of them was, “How long does it take to do this analysis?” And it seemed like it was roughly, like, a four-to-one ratio, where he would take a half hour of audio, and it would take him two hours to analyze. And I’m kind of glad it takes so long to do that, because otherwise I think you’d have a lot of people, like, harassing their—their girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancé, saying, “Okay. You said you weren’t out anywhere last night, but I recorded you—“

carrie

[Chuckles briefly] And played it backward.”

ross

“—And you said, ‘The girl; I have her.’”

carrie

Yeah—[breaks off, laughing heartily]. There would be so much of that. [Ross laughs.] Uh, yeah. It  almost feels like there’s an implicit dare in here. Like, “I dare you to put as much time to this as I have.” And you know who took that dare? Ross and Carrie. [Ross laughs loudly.]

ross

[Catching his breath] Ah, yeah—exactly.

carrie

“No problem, sir. We’ve done it.”

ross

You said, “I know Philip.” Who’s Philp? Tell me. Who is Philip?

carrie

Yeah. “I don’t know.” “Well, your subconscious does.” [Ross guffaws.] I’ll tell you what, listeners. After this episode is up, for mmm…two days. I am going to reverse it and put the entire, uh— [Ross laughs.] —the entire file as a reverse video on Youtube.

ross

Ooh, I like it.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

That’s fun.

carrie

And then you can all try to pull little things we said that are secret statements.

ross

But, by all means, do not tell your significant other about the iReverseSpeech app.

carrie

[Yelling] Oh nooo—[breaks off, laughing]! Oh, Ross has pulled something up on his phone. Oh, shit. That’s me.

ross

That’s—that’s what you just said, backwards.

clip

[Reversed audio of Carrie speaking; phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

Was that, “He’s opening it on his phone?”

ross

Wait, we can slow down the speed. Okay.

carrie

Can you play it forwards? See what it was?

clip

Carrie (recording on Ross’s phone): Pulled something up on his phone. [Ross giggles.]

carrie

“Pulled something up on his phone.”

ross

Okay, now we’re gonna play it backwards.

clip

Carrie (recording on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed and slowed, so the pitch is lowered] Pulled something up on his phone.

carrie

It sounds like I’m singing. [Sings unintelligible syllables.]

ross

Alright, uh—

carrie

[Singing] The city, pretty. [Speaking] I don’t know.

ross

Okay. We will discard that recording. I—

carrie

III gotta get this app. How much is it?

ross

Uh, it’s actually—it’s free.

carrie

Alright!

ross

With in-app purchases. But, so far it’s—it’s worked—

carrie

Uh, what's it called?

ross

iReverseSpeech.

carrie

Well, I’m gonna use this forever.

ross

Okay, Carrie. Say, “Kayak.”

carrie

[Loudly, distinctly.] Kayak.

clip

Carrie (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed and slowed, so lowered in pitch] Kayak. [Ross chuckles.]

carrie

Okay.

clip

Carrie (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed, original speed] Kayak.

carrie

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Very close.

ross

Oh, yeah. Alright. Alright, wait. Let’s try it. Now, I’m having fun. [Loudly, distinctly] Mom.

clip

Ross (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross's phone): [Audio reversed, original speed] Mom.

ross

Hey!

carrie

Okay, how about—

ross

Yeah, that one’s—oh, oh I see. If I want to save, I’ve got to, um, upgrade for $5. Okay.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So, new recording.

carrie

So in Oregon, there’s a town called Yreka —

ross

Yeah.

carrie

—which is “bakery” backwards. And so there was a bakery there called, “Yreka Bakery.” So, I’m gonna say that.

ross

Oh, I love it. Okay.

carrie

Mkay. [Loudly, distinctly] Yreka Bakery.

clip

Carrie (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed, original speed] Yreka Bakery.

carrie

Ooh, no. Okay, that, ah—that one doesn’t work.

clip

Carrie (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed, slowed so that pitch is lowered] Yreka Bakery.

ross

Your payback eerie owl.

carrie

[Chuckles] Oh, an owl!

ross

[Chuckles] I’ll do this for, um—my grandparents lived in Ukiah, which is “haiku” backwards.

carrie

Nice.

ross

[Distinctly] Ukiah, haiku.

clip

Ross (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross's phone): [Audio reversed, original speed] Ukiah, haiku.

ross

[Chuckles] Nope.

carrie

Wow.

ross

[Ross imitates the reversed recording of him saying “Ukiah, haiku.”] Alright, well that was fun. So—[laughs].

carrie

Yeah, I'm gonna keep doing them. [Distinctly] I am married to Cara Blocher.

ross

That’s a lie, and I hope your reversed speech reveals the lie to be a lie.

clip

Carrie (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed, original speed] I am married to Cara Blocher.

carrie

Nothing.

ross

I heard “Barack” in there.

carrie

Oh!

ross

Carrie (Recording on iReverseSpeech on Ross’s phone): [Audio reversed, original speed] I am married to Cara Blocher.

carrie

Oh, yeah. Not like, “Barack Obama,” but like, [attempts to mimic the audio with a Yiddish pronunciation] “Barach.”

ross

[Imitates Carrie’s pronunciation] Barach.

carrie

Like the, uh—

ross

[Imitates another reversed phrase.]

carrie

[Uncertainly] Yeah.

ross

I don't know if we’ll be able to make this show anymore, now, because we’ll be too busy recording—[breaks off, laughing] playing audio back.

carrie

[Chuckling] On this app.

ross

On this app. You know what, it’s actually pretty fine. I highly recommend this app. Five stars.

carie

Yeah.

ross

[Chuckling] So—

carrie

Is this David’s app?

ross

Yes.

carrie

Oh, good for him.

ross

Yeah. So, uh, all those in-app purchases go to him.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

So he played a few more Trump clips. Uh, Trump was talking about Obama. The reverse speech said [in a lower voice], “And he’s a fucking asshole.”

carrie

Whoa. Rude.

ross

Yeah. And then Trump was talking about the wall. And, uh, then, backwards, it said, “Will not deal with us.” So, there you go.

carrie

Mm. Okay.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

So he knew ahead of time that his little, “Mexico will pay for this” ruse was a ruse?

ross

They won’t deal with us. Exactly, yeah.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So, someone asked for him to clarify, “Are you aware of this, as you’re forming these sentences?” David said, “Nope. It’s subconscious. Uh, though, you’re aware of the sentiment, if you’re tuned into your own emotions.”

carrie

Sure. Okay.

ross

I asked if there’s any difference in analyzing audio from hypnosis— [Carrie makes an interested sound.] --because presumably, you're already speaking from the subconscious then.

carrie

Right.

ross

And, ooh, he lit up. “Oh, that’s such a great question. Yes. So, uh, it’s very clear in hypnosis, because it’s coming from the right brain.” [Carrie makes a drawn out understanding sound.] Um, so, yeah. So, he says the hit rate will be a little higher, and usually it’s, like, higher quality matches, essentially.

carrie

Okay.

ross

He said also in casual conversation. People who know each other well; it’s more frequent there also. This was kind of fun. He played a TV evangelist—he didn’t have the name of the evangelist. Would have like to have known that.

clip

[Reversed audio recording of unidentified TV evangelist speaking, from David John Oates’s talk. Phrase is unintelligible. The recording is repeated once, slowed down so pitch is lowered.]

ross

“My advice is rancid.”

carrie

[Laughs loudly] That’s pretty good.

ross

Yeah, the audience like that one, too. And then I asked him if he’d ever listened to any great spiritual leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ghandi.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Oh, yeah.

ross

Uh, ‘cause I thought, “Well, that would be interesting. Do they say things that are—re—revealing some deep, seedy thing?” Uh, he was able to pull up one of MLK pretty quickly where, uh, he was saying, “When all of God’s children—“ and then he reversed that and it said, “The Lord, he does believe.” And David took that to mean that Martin Luther King, Jr. was thinking that God believes in all of us. So it was a very nice, positive message.

carrie

Mkay. Sure.

ross

Again, we have yet another layer of subjectivity. Taking those words that he hears—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—and then interpreting what they were actually meaning from MLK’s subconscious.

carrie

Right, right. I think MLK—I mean, he was a wonderful writer, so I assume he wrote his own speeches—

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

—but again, he was a person surrounded by a movement, and could have very well written this in advance and—

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Yeah. Exact—but I guess the message there is, even if you’re reading a phone book—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—somehow your subconscious is gonna come across.

carrie

Right. I doubt that.

ross

Me, too. Uh, but, yeah. He said, “Oh, yeah. Martin Luther King, Jr., uh, has some really beautiful reversals.” So he said, uh, that he uses this in his own personal therapy that he does with people—

carrie

[Dryly] Cool.

ross

Um, but—but also with law enforcement.

carrie

Oh, boy.

ross

Here we go again!

carrie

Okay. This is one of our favourite things.

ross

[Chuckling] Uh-huh.

carrie

[Ross makes a few affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] So, here’s what done happens, you guys. Someone who has a paranormal claim—like psychic powers, for example—will say, “I work with law enforcement all the time. I help them on missing children cases. I help them solve crimes.” And it turns out you call in your little…hunches into the police station, and the person on the other end of the line says to themselves, “Well, I’m supposed to write down every single thing that comes in—“ [Ross chuckles.] “—Alright.” And they write it down, and they go, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. Thank you so much.” And then, uh, person A regards that as having been deeply involved in said investigation. That seems to be the story, usually.

ross

And not only is that the usual story, that is exactly the narrative that David John Oates has played into.

carrie

[Mock happy] Oh, good!

ross

[Matching Carrie’s tone] Yeah, so—

carrie

Let's hear about it.

ross

So he tells us that he—

carrie

But backwards [chuckles]. [Ross imitates backwards speech.] Whoa, really?

ross

Yeah [chuckles]. That would be fun, to kind of memorize certain phrases in reverse

carrie

Totally. I've been thinking about that.

ross

Yeah, we should do that just so we can create—

carrie

That quote’s not from Barack Obama. That quote’s from [attempt to pronounce Barack Obama’s name backwards.] [Ross chuckles.] I’m not good at this, apparently. Kcarab.

ross

Alright, let’s try this.

carrie

Amabo ckarab.

ross

[Distinctly] It’s nice to meet you.

clip

Ross (Reversed recording from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): It’s nice to meet you.

ross

Aw, that’s hard to say. [Makes a soft, disgruntled sound.]

carrie

Yeah. You gotta pick something shorter.

ross

And you have to get possessed by a devil.

carrie

Uh…[chuckles briefly]. Okay. How about—

ross

Hello.

carrie

[Enunciating carefully] Hello. [Regular tone and diction.] I don’t know why I sounded that much like a robot in that.

ross

[Laughing] You totalyl did.

carrie

[Laughs] I should be one of those, like, driving directions people. Okay.

clip

Carrie (Reversed recording from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone):: Hello.

carrie

[Imitates her reversed speech from the clip.] “Well-ah.”

ross

[Imitates Carrie’s reversed speech from the clip.] “Well-ah.”

carrie

[Imitates her reversed speech from the clip.] “Well-ah.”

ross

Okay, so let's try this now, where I record that—me saying—

carrie

“Well-ah?”

ross

Your—your—yeah, “Well-ah.”

carrie

I like it.

ross

[Loudly, clearly, in a focused monotone] Well-ah.

clip

Ross (Reversed recording from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): Well-ah.

ross

Hey [chuckles]! Alright!

carrie

Okay! Okay, but I was a little different. So, I’m going to now say what you said. So, s—do it again?

clip

Ross (Reversed recording from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): Well-ah.

ross

Should I play the forward version?

carrie

No, I think I should keep trying t—

ross

You—you're gonna play the reverse version?

carrie

Yeah, I'm trying to—

clip

Ross (Reversed recording from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): Well-ah.

carrie

—build levels of nonsense here.

ross

This is like getting a translation off of Google translate and then feeding back into Google translate.

carrie

Exactly. That's exactly what I’m trying to do.

ross

Okay.

carrie

Okay, wait. How do I—how do you clear it?

ross

Oh, just say “record new.” And then it will have you discard.

carrie

Got it.

ross

Or it’ll try to upsell you if you save—

carrie

Got it. [In a sharp, nasal imitation of the most recent reversed recording from Ross.]

clip

[Reversed recording of Carrie speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

Kay. Now you do that.

ross

[Ross imitates the reversed recording Carrie has just played.]

clip

[Reversed recording of what Ross has just said from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

ross

[Laughing] That was pretty—

carrie

[Laughing] That was just a great game.

ross

—That was pretty good.

carrie

[Exaggerated, mimicking the last recording played] Hello.

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

[As Ross laughs] Okay, so now you do this one.

ross

I like this one.

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.] [Ross and Carrie laugh.]

carrie

Okay, I'm going to do it again, alright?

ross

Alright.

carrie

[In a very exaggeratedly distorted, nasally voice, mimicking the last recording played] Hello. [Ross guffaws, leaning away from the mic. Carrie laughs.] Okay, and then you do this.

clip

Carrie (Reversed recording from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): Hello.

ross

[Imitates the reversed recording, laughing heartily.]

clip

[Reversed recording of what Ross has just said from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

[Laughing heavily, inaudible phrase] Okay.

ross

[Laughing heartily] Wait, what just happened? Wait, that sounded like you!

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

[Catching her breath] Yeah, a little bit.

ross

[Crying from laughter, catching his breath] What?!

carrie

Okay.

ross

This is so weird!

carrie

Okay. Can I hear it one more time?

ross

Okay.

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

[Imitating the clip that just played, high-pitched, pinched sound, vowels holding an “r” sound] Hello. [Ross and Carrie are laughing heavily, both speaking when they can catch their breath.] Okay.

ross

This is so dumb.

carrie

Okay.

clip

[Reversed recording of Carrie speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

ross

[Catching his breath, he imitates the recording of Carrie that just played.]

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross speaking from the iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone. The phrase is unintelligible.]

carrie

[Still laughing] Okay, see, now we’ve lost it.

ross

Alright, there we—

carrie

We’ve lost the, “hello.”

ross

There we go. Phew. Phew [laughs]!

carrie

Oh, man. What a good game. You’re all in quarantine. This is what you can do in your homes. [Both burst into guffaws.]

ross

Neighbors are like, “Oh, no. They’ve finally cracked up.

carrie

[Laughing, then catching her breath.] Oh, God. Alright.

ross

Yeah, so. Law enforcement.

carrie

Oh, yeah [laughs]. Law enforcement, yeah.

ross

He says he worked with the police department in Dallas for several months—

carrie

Oh, gosh.

ross

—un—until he says he—he recorded an officer and played back  their audio and found them saying, “Last week I bought snow.”

carrie

[Laughing] Oh!

ross

Or, as we know, “[in a pinched, distorted voice, imitating a reversed recording] Last week I bought snow.”

carrie

Uh, “Last week I bought snow?”

ross

Meaning, ah, cocaine, I’m guessing.

carrie

Oh! I—I—I’m so wholesome. [Ross laughs loudly.] I just pictured this person buying actual snow and bringing it to Texas—

ross

Texas—people in Texas shouldn’t be buying snow!

carrie

Yeah--it's jut gonna melt, you guys.

ross

It's upsetting the natural—

carrie

[Singing, belts] In summer!

ross

It’s upsetting the natural order. [Ross sighs with laugher.]

carrie

It's a bad idea! Oh, man.

ross

Then he said that he contributed to the JonBenét Ramsey case.

carrie

Oh, no.

ross

Yeah, so we remember this from when we were young. There was a young beauty pageant winner—

carrie

Yeah. Very young. Like, under 10.

ross

Yeah. And—super sad case. And—

carrie

But she was—she was murdered. Her parents were suspected. I think it’s not still totally known.

ross

Right. So David has figured out that it was the mother, because—

carrie

Okay. Great.

ross

—uh, he had audio of the mother saying, “Only two people know who killed her. The killer and someone they confided in.” But in reverse speech, she said, “I am that person.”

carrie

God. This is so damaging.

ross

And, uh, there was another quote of hers saying, like, “Oh, I can’t believe we know anyone who would be that vicious.” And then in reverse, she says, “I’m the only one.”

carrie

[Sighs in disgust] God. What kind of evidence is that?

ross

Which is also what Tigger says all the time [laughs].

carrie

[Chuckles] Yes. Or, um, Highlander. Um— [Both laugh heartily.]

ross

[Through his laughter] There can only be one. That’s clev—very good.

carrie

That there can be only one.

ross

Very good, Carrie.

carrie

Thank you. Thank you. My terrible ex-boyfriend was very into Highlander.

ross

Oh, nice.  Okay.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I don’t know.

ross

Um, that's funny. My current wife is, uh, very into Highlander.

carrie

[Snorts with laughter] Your current wife.

ross

Yeah. My first wife.

carrie

Right. The wife who might die this year?

ross

Yeah. If our gentleman psychic—

carrie

Is—

ross

--had anything to say about it.

carrie

Right, right. Fingers crossed. That she doesn’t.

ross

Elsewhere, JonBenét Ramsey’s mother in reverse speech, said, “I struck her head.” You know, so he’d—

carrie

God.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] —amassed all of this, uh, quote-unquote “evidence.” But, yeah, law enforcement great application. We looked into one of his other claims. Uh, uh, Carrie found a great news article. Because he says that he assisted in the Waco standoff. So, uh, when David Koresh was the—the leader of the Branch Davidians, there was this huge, uh, standoff between that cult and the government, uh, in the nineties. And, uh, yeah. Terrible situation. They had stockpiled weapons. And so he says that he had gone in and he had found all of this interesting information that was used by the FBI—“

carrie

When you say, “gone in,” you don’t mean to the compound?

ross

No, but just gone in as a—as a consultant.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Uh, this from a 1993, in The Philadelphia Inquirer—ooh, it was on Pi Day, March 14th.

carrie

Nice.

ross

This is so great. Robin Clark, the, uh, the writer of this article, says, “Anyone thinking of hopping down here to lend a hand in negotiations with David Koresh, the FBI has a message for you. Stay home.” Quote—

carrie

[Laughs] Safer at home.

ross

“‘[Chuckling] We—we’ve had probably hundreds of requests to help resolve the 15-day-old standoff. Some claiming direct access to God, others looking for a ticket to stardom,’ FBI spokesman said last week. One caller enquired about Koresh’s birthday, August 17th, 1959, saying she wanted to work out the cult leader’s astrological chart. Another offer came from David Oates, the founder of Reverse Speech International in Wylie, Texas. Oates told The Dallas Morning News that he had recorded Koresh’s 58-minute religious message broadcast March 2nd, and listened to it backward for subconscious clues to the cult leader’s state of mind. In one instance—“

carrie

[Quietly] Thank goodness.

ross

“—when Koresh said, ‘We know he gave counsel to the seven churches of Asia,’ Oates said he uncovered this reverse speech message: ‘Let me warn you.’”

carrie

[Stuttering] Dot dot dot?

ross

[Chuckles] Yep, that's it.

carrie

That's it [stutters]?

ross

Ok—but—“At another point in the rambling sermon, Oates said Koresh subconsciously showed his vulnerability, saying in reverse speech, ‘[lightly mimicking distorted tone of reversed clips] I fought no one. Don't want to kill. I feel afraid.’” I feel okay saying it in that cadence, ‘cause that’s usually what the reverse audio sounds like.

carrie

Sure. Well, how—how—how—I—why would that even be useful even if those things were accurate? That tells you nothing.

ross

Correct. And listen for this—

carrie

Kor-eshed.

ross

[Chuckles] Oooh. Listen for this beautiful, beautiful brush-off. “Oates said he offered to share his backtalk analysis with federal negotiators. They haven't gotten back to him yet.” [Both chuckle.] And that was it! That was his involvement—

carrie

Oh, man.

ross

—in the Waco standoff.

carrie

Man.

ross

Unsolicited advice.

carrie

You know what’s interesting, though? My FOIA-loving brain is getting going here. Since it was the FBI that was engaging with Waco—

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

—they would have been the ones to collect anything that he sent to them, which means it would be accessible via a FOIA request, which I will now put in.

ross

Good. Okay.

carrie

Cause I want to see if, uh—I want to see if they actually collect it and kept it. I’m writing a note for myself.

ross

I think it should be called, “the FOIAFC,” for “Freedom of Information Act for Carrie.” [Carrie laughs briefly.] ‘Cause I think you probably are one of the most frequent requesters.

carrie

[In satisfaction] Ugh. I love a FOIA. [Ross chuckles.] I just love it.

ross

This actually will come up a little later. Uh, some information that came from a FOIA about, uh, David Oates’s claims.

carrie

Oh, right. Okay.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Got it. It’s in my notes. It’s happening, people.

ross

So, he referenced other times that he’s helped law enforcement. He said that he once identified a murder weapon.

carrie

[Chuckles briefly] “There it is.”

ross

[Chuckling] Yeah—or, he—

carrie

“That’s a gun.”

ross

He listened to—I guess they were, uh, talking to a suspect, and when he played it backwards, uh, he got something about it being in the cellar. And he said, “Yeah, they got a warrant and they went and they found it in the cellar.”

carrie

Ah.

ross

I’m sure that’s exactly how that went down.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

There was, uh, an interview with a man denying that he killed the woman, but in reverse, the man said, “Yes, I hit hard.” [Carrie chuckles.][Imitating the distortion of a reversed audio clip] Yes, I hit hard.”

carrie

God. This is devastating for those people, though. Like—

ross

I know!

carrie

Ugh.

ross

The—this is the problem with, like, the psychics who swarm in after something horrible happens, because ostensibly, on the surface, they’re there to help. They’re there to comfort.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

They’re there to give restitution and resolution. But if it’s not real, you’re just wasting their time and messing with their memories.

carrie

Yeah. Uh-huh. And—

ross

And that’s malicious and gross.

carrie

And accusing someone of a crime they may not have committed.

ross

Yeah, right!

carrie

About—of—of their loved one!

ross

[Carrie makes a few affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] And inputting this innuendo that is completely useless, but we as humans, we can’t just treat that neutrally. When someone tells us, like, “Oh, he said, ‘I hit hard,’” that’s now in our heads. Even if he’s completely innocent, now when we see him, that's in our heads. Thanks, David Oates!

carrie

That forms a little pathway. Yeah.

ross

Yeah! Right, exactly. A few neutrons just got connected, and they won’t get unconnected. Good job.

carrie

Right. It’s like—it’s like if you pull out a picture of a vast landscape, and I say, “Look at all the pink things—“ even if before you didn't notice there was much pink in it—

ross

[Chuckling] Yeah.

carrie

—every time you look at that now, you're going to be like, “Oh, yeah. Oh, look at that. Oh, yeah. All the pink things.”

ross

Yeah. Yeah. These things get tainted. And that’s why negative associations with words catch on and ruin those words.

carrie

Uh-huh. Yeah.

ross

[Carrie makes several affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] So—like, a word can mean a positive thing and a negative thing. Or a symbol [chuckles]. You know. And as soon as we have that negative association, well, now it’s just tainted. You got to move on and pick a different word or phrase or symbol or something. And that’s why I think this kind of advice can be less than neutral. It can actually be unhelpful. ‘Cause it just kind of slightly rewires everyone’s brain in the wrong direction. Or maybe the right direction. But, if so, it’s just by chance. That’s no good. Getting off of my soap box.

carrie

[Chuckles] Well, this talk sounds delightful, but a little exhausting.

ross

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

carrie

Do you have anything for me that’s delightful and restorative?

ross

You know what? I’ve got just the thing for you. It’s a game called, “Best Fiends.”

carrie

Oh, Best Fiends, you say?

ross

Yeah! It’s a free download on the Google Play store.

carrie

A download, like from aliens?

ross

A lot like that, but—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—on your phone.

carrie

[Disappointed] Oh.

ross

No, no, no. This is better—

carrie

[Makes some indistinguishable high-pitched sounds] Okay, I’m listening.

ross

This is better than an alien delivering—look at that, I just got my 12-day completion in my series. Every day, I log in, get my gifts.

carrie

Oh, wow.

ross

Oh! Cindy B. sent me a surprise gift. Okay. I’m sending one back to her.

carrie

Is Cindy B. someone you know in real life?

ross

Yes.

carrie

Ah! Hi, Cindy.

ross

It’s somebody—well, a Facebook connection.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So, uh, you know, ever now and then, Carrie—

carrie

Ooh, it’s so pretty.

ross

Carrie checks in on my progress to see how I’ve been advancing through the world of, uh, Best Fiends. I’m in the Willow Woods right now, around level 848. The important thing is that I passed up Becca. [Carrie makes a couple of knowing, affirming sounds.] She is back at level 844. I am sorry, Becca. Good luck catching me. Uh, but yeah. Best fiends is a lot of fun. Uh, so you—you travel through this world. There’s multiple levels. And each level has a puzzle to it.

carrie

Hey!

ross

Uh, so, like, if I jump into level 848, now—

carrie

Look at those little friends.

ross

Yeah! These are my friends. So, I’ve got, uh, a great crew here. I’ve got Roo, I’ve got Bam, I’ve got Gene, Terry, and Woody. They’re all pretty—[knowing, proud voice] uh, you know, pretty advanced.

carrie

Okay!

ross

I do like to say so myself. Uh, but I’ve got others as well, for each color category. Anyways, in this one I’ve got to clear 90 of the green leaves. And 90 of the yellow flowers, but also help 6 of these chicks hatch. Do you see these eggs up here? [Carrie makes an interested, affirming sound.] I’ve got to make sure they get safely to the bottom, and successfully hatch, so—

carrie

[Thoughtfully] Okay. Pretty fun.

ross

A lot of good fun. And it changes with every level—it usually takes me a couple times. ‘Cause they’re tricky.

carrie

Okay.

ross

They—they take some thinking. There’s an element of randomness. You don’t know what you’re gonna get each level.

carrie

A good tricky.

ross

Good tricky. That’s right. So, it keeps my brain active. And, uh, you know, I can play it while, uh, watching my son watch Titanic for the first time.

carrie

Or while going to the Conscious Life Expo? Did you do this in between talks?

ross

You know what? Probably during that laser talk I haven’t mentioned.

carrie

Oh, okay. Interesting. Well, Best Fiends is a unique and exciting puzzle experience that updates monthly with new levels and events so it never gets old. Best Fiends has thousands of levels already, with new levels, events, and characters added every month. It’s hours of fun right at your fingertips, and you can even play offline.

ross

Which is really cool. And there’s over a hundred million downloads and tons of five-star reviews, so don’t take it just from me. Take it from them. Best Fiends is a must-play.

carrie

Download Best Fiends free on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

ross

That’s “friends” without the R. Best Fiends!

carrie

That would make you, “Oss.” And me “Caiee”

ross

Best Caie [snorts with laughter]!

carrie

Sounds like a fun ritual. One of my rituals, of course, is caring for my teeth.

ross

Aw, that’s a great ritual. How do you do that Carrie? Give me a pro tip on—

carrie

Mm.

ross

—taking care of your teeth.

carrie

Uh, thank you for asking. One of my pro tips is to use a very good tool. Something that will be sleek, slim, fit in a bag so I’ll be able to carry it everywhere. ‘Cause when you think about it, the most important thing about your dental hygiene—

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

—is the accessibility of the tools.

ross

Well, I hope—at least, from your description—I hope you’ve heard of Quip.

carrie

I have. I actually have.

ross

Is that what you were leading up to?

carrie

Yes. Yes!

ross

Oh, my goodn—well, we are so on the same wavelength, here.

carrie

I know. It’s like one mind. Quip, the makers of the Quip electric toothbrush, want you to know that no matter what brand you use, if you have good habits, you’re good!

ross

That means brushing for two minutes twice a day. Flossing regularly

carrie

Mm-hmm. And Quip makes it simple. Their electric toothbrush has sensitive sonic vibrations with a built-in timer. And they have these 30-second pulses that guide a full, even clean.

ross

Plus, Quip delivers fresh brush heads, floss, and toothpastes refills every three months with free shipping.

carrie

So go to getquip.com/ohno right now for your first refill free.

ross

Spelled, “Get Q-U-I-P.com/ohno"

carrie

Quip! The good habits company.

ross

So, next he moves on to therapy.

carrie

Oh, good.

ross

[With put-on joviality] This is his main source of income!

carrie

O-kay.

ross

He works over the phone. And we’ve already said we’re looking at 2,000 bucks for—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—an eight-part session.

carrie

God.

ross

And he says most of his clients are in the States. So, he’s still—

carrie

Oh, intersting!

ross

—living in Australia, but he’s, like, still fairly popular in the US.

carrie

Intersting. So—

ross

Still—

carrie

—he couldn’t be offering licensed therapy here, then?

ross

I bet not.

carrie

Yeah, interesting.

ross

That’s a very good point.

carrie

Maybe he’s not claiming to be that sort of therapist, though.

ross

Oh, maybe. Yeah. Maybe, if it’s fully under the guise of reverse speech.

carrie

Mm-hmm. If it’s like, “I’m credentialed by my own agency I founded.”

ross

[Chuckles] Right.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Like in the Simpsons episode about the monkey trial in Springfield—

carrie

Mm.

ross

—you get the—the guy who comes up on the stand, and he says, “[imitates a Simpsons character voice] I have a degree in truthology from Christian Tech [giggles].”

carrie

Aw. Adorable.

ross

Okay, so here we go. Little bit of insight into David John Oates.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Here’s how our problems work. [Carrie chuckles.] So, we all create our own problems. We create our own reality.

carrie

Uh-oh.

ross

So the more you don’t take responsibility, the more problems you have.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Alright?

carrie

Uh, that’s—okay. I mean, that can be partly true. Is largely untrue.

ross

He’ll unpack this a little more.

carrie

Okay,

ross

But we’re getting a certain vibe from, uh—

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

--from this guy.

carrie

We’re getting a Tony Robbins thing going on.

ross

So, uh, he plays a clip of a man talking about his relationship. And, you know, it all sounds positive. But then when you play it backwards, the guy says, “I must muck it.”

carrie

I thought “relationship” always said a particular thing backwards, and it was, like, “unstable” or something.

ross

Oh, but the—the man’s just saying general things about his relationship.

carrie

Oh, okay. Okay.

ross

And—so, playing it back somewhere in the midst of all of the soup of words, he found the phrase, “I must muck it.”

carrie

[Sarcastically] Okay. Wow.

ross

Yeah. Which I like because David John Oates does not shy from pulling in little Australian turns of phrase.

carrie

I was just thinking that. Like, I mean, I know what that means, but it sounds, uh, just slightly uncanny—

ross

Right.

carrie

—to American ears.

ross

Yeah.  Would this guy say—in his conscious brain and speech—“Oh, I’m going to muck this up.”

carrie

Right.

ross

And, “I’m gonna muck it.” It—

carrie

Yeah, you might, but you’d be like, “Oh, Tony always says that,” you know?

ross

Ri—exactly, yeah.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

It almost sounds like an LHR-ism. Like something that’s—

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

—clearly either out of date or just from a different, uh, vocabulary, you know

carrie

Totally.

ross

[In a deeper, pinched voice] “You’re gonna muck up these three states if you don’t get your 70% retrieval.”

carrie

Right.

ross

[Carrie makes a few understanding, affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Uh, so I threw in a question at this point. I asked about the quality of the recording itself and what kind of software he uses to manipulate it. So, as soon as I mentioned the quality of the recording, he said, “Oh, very important. Yeah, yeah. We want to make sure we get the best quality audio possible.” Alright. Uh, but he didn’t really directly address the software question. ‘Cause I wanted to know, you know—obviously every time he’s playing these, he’s slowing them down. Naturally, a pitch shift is happening. He’s not correcting for it. And so he didn’t go into that other than to give a quick little plug for his iReverseSpeech app.

carrie

A very good app, I must say.

ross

Yep, get that. Yeah. Though I’m sure he’s using, you know, some sort of audio editing software—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—and I’m sure he has got his own little methods, but he didn’t, uh, want to elaborate on that. Oh, okay, here we go.

carrie

Oh, no [chuckles nervously].

ross

So, he plays an interview of a woman in an abusive relationship.

carrie

Okay, this is going to be good, and he’s gonna say a nice thing that makes us all feel good. I can’t wait.

ross

So he finds hidden in her speech—

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

—she says, “Make him abuse me.”

carrie

Oh, God!

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of distressed affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] “She obviously denied, after I told her this, that she wanted him, or was trying to make him abuse her. But at some level, we create our own reality, and we want it to happen.”

carrie

Huh! So. We know about something pretty bad that happened in David John Oates’s life.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

And I wonder if wanted to make it happen.

ross

[Chuckles] He must have. He creates his own reality.

carrie

I guess so. We’ll talk about that in a bit.

ross

Yyeeeep. Another woman said that she wanted grief.

carrie

[Snorts with derisive laughter] Okay.

ross

And that’s why she was having all these relationship problems. So here we go. Direct quote from David Oates, “[In a mock jovial tone] If you're in poverty, it's because at some level, you’ve created it!”

carrie

Oh, cool, cool, cool. This is like law of attraction shit.

ross

Mm-hmm. Same if you’ve had a series of bad relationships. “I helped my clients discover these hidden thoughts. I love working with clients and helping them find these things and change them.”

carrie

Oh, I’m sure they love working with you, David. Yeah, ugh. Oh, God. I always hate this thing. It comes up so often, especially in self-help stuff.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Because it’s obviously gonna speak to some people. It’s obviously true that your brain can get in the way. It can.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

That doesn’t mean that that is the solution to every problem you've got.

ross

And sometimes you know the right thing to do, and you’re just working at cross-purposes with yourself.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Sure, that’s part of being human.

carrie

And—and sometimes people manipulate people and you get the shitty end of the stick, or you were born in a less privileged position and that affects you your whole life.

ross

Yeah. That’s the broader context.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

I—I think with this little, simple philosophy, he’s ignoring that, yeah, there’s these external factors that you don’t have control over.

carrie

Right.

ross

And it's really shitty to tell someone who’s struggling with that and doesn’t have control of the situation, “Oh, yeah, you’re just making this for yourself.”

carrie

Right. Yeah, it seems like there’s that, you know—what do they call that? Prayer?

ross

Oh, right. Uh, I like that one.

carrie

The, uh, serenity prayer.

ross

Yeah, it—

carre

“Teach me to change the things I can and, uh—“

ross

Reinhold Niebuhr.

carrie

I’m gonna not say it right.

ross

“Give me the grace to accept the things—“

carrie

“I cannot change—“

ross

Right.

carrie

“—courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I think that’s really lovely, because that’s—

ross

Yeah!

carrie

—it also cushions you from other people’s impressions of which things you need to change. Like, everyone’s ratio’s gonna be different.  Yeah.

ross

I actually think that’s really powerful wisdom.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Like, that’s a prayer I can give full thumbs-up to. I—

carrie

Yeeaah. Good prayer.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Um, but, what is not nice is to come from the other end and say, “Hey, I’ve got this tapped-in knowledge of the subconscious of these—these truths and they’re telling me that you’re actually the cause of this, so you can control it, uh, all of it. And you’re not.”

carrie

Yeah. Makes me want to record him and play it backwards and be like, “Well, actually, during our session, I heard you say this.”

ross

[With attitude] Mm-hmm.

carrie

[Imitating Ross’s tone] Mm-hmm.

ross

So, he played back another woman who’s talking about how her business is really going to catapult, buuut when played backwards, she said, “I go with slum.”

carrie

What. No one even talks like that.

ross

[Laughs] Exactly. That’s not a—

carrie

Ugh. What does that mean. That doesn’t mean anything.

ross

That’s not a thing.

carrie

“I go with with slum?”

ross

“I go with slum.”

carrie

Ooohh, God.

ross

Somebody in the audience was saying, “Wait, what? What was that?” [Chuckles] He played it again. Like, “Wait, what is she saying?” [Ross and Carrie chuckle.] So, C-plus at best.

carrie

Yeah. I may give that a minus.

ross

There was a  woman next to me the whole time, and as we were hearing him play these things and ask him questions, you know, I would do that thing where I look over like, “You hearing what I’m hearing?”

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

And she would look over at me like, “This is amazing, right?” [Carrie laughs.] So we—we had kind of a disconnect going. But, uh, at one point she asked whether this can be used for someone’s spiritual journey. And he said—

carrie

Ah. I’m gonna guess, “Yes.”

ross

[Chuckles] Yeah—[mock surprise] how did you know?

carrie

[Sarcastically] Ooh, okay.

ross

Amazing.

carrie

That would be great, though, if he was like, “Not really.”

ross

[Giggles] He said, “Yeah. With 30% of my clients, we do look at the spiritual. And, uh, this method is really good for identifying emotions, like grief and jealousy. And you can even use reverse speech to pinpoint the moment, or series of moments in your life that affected you.” Uh, which remind—

carrie

Like the time track?

ross

Exactly!

carrie

Oh, my God.

ross

Reminded me of Scientology. This ties into so many things!

carrie

Scientology really did a number on everybody.

ross

I’m glad L. Ron Hubbard hadn’t heard of this, or this is what they’d be doing in auditing.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Boy, talk about keeping Scientologists busy. You could have them just listen to these—

carrie

Oh, definitely.

ross

—things in reverse for hours.

carrie

But, because LRH wasn’t the one to come up with it, they never will.

ross

It took somebody like, hm, John Oates. [Carrie chuckles.] So, uh, he played one woman backwards, She had been confiding with him about other things, but he heard her say, “I’ve been molested.”

carrie

Okay. And did she confirm that that was true?

ross

Yeah. So, he said that when she told her this, she broke down in tears and said— [Carrie makes a sympathetic sound.] —“I haven’t told anybody this. I wasn’t going to tell you. Uh, yeah, it was my brother.” And, uh, and so there we go. He had made a breakthrough and he had identified what was causing all of these other things for her.

carrie

Okay. So, two things could have happened there. One is that he made a lucky guess, and it’s an unfortunately common crime.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

Uh, the other is that he has completely forgotten the order of operations, as people often do, and is remembering this now, as—

ross

Oh!

carrie

—“I came up with this independently, and she verified it later,” instead of, “She said something about it earlier. I kinda forgot. I couldn’t really remember the details. Then I heard it in the thing. They she reminded me that yes, she had told me about this before.” Which is usually how these things end up.

ross

That’s a good point. Either one is shitty.

carrie

Mm-hmm. [Chuckles briefly] That’s right.

ross

Uh, and so he said it took him 20 years to develop. He records the clients for 30 minutes. I guess they have a conversation. He tries to lay out questions that he thinks will give him stuff to work with, essentially. So, he analyzes that. And then he calls the clients back, and—

carrie

Oh, so it’s double-blinded.

ross

I’d love to hear him define double-blind. Maybe he could. So then he calls them back and he reveals kind of what he found out. And sort of gets their reaction, what he thinks they might be able to do to fix it. And so then he can analyse that second conversation and see what came across.

carrie

Interesting.

ross

So their answers usually come in metaphor.

carrie

Oh! Okay.

ross

Here we have another big part of David John Oates’s—

carrie

Oh, interesting.

ross

—process. And that is the metaphor.

carrie

Okay, kind of a Jesus figure.

ross

For example, he was talking to this one man who had business problems. In the second session, the guy was talking about how, “You know what? Maybe I should make some new pamphlets. That’s something I could do for my business.” And in reverse, the man said, “[mimicking the vocal tone in reversed audio clips] See the whirlwind to shoot this devil out.”

carrie

[Chuckling, softly] What? No. What [laughs]?

ross

[Laughing] Normally, this is where you and I might say, “Well, alright, we heard something.”

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

“We—we worked real hard and we heard, “[mimicking a distorted vocal tone] See the whirlwind and shoot this devil out.”

carrie

That—-yeah. I wouldn’t have even tried to make that something.

ross

But, it turns out—

carrie

It—it is very Nostradamus-y.

ross

You got it.

carrie

Oh, good!

ross

Yep, yep. We’re—

carrie

Okay.!

ross

We’re travelling straight into Nostradamus land [makes a bubbly, sci-fi effect sound].

carrie

[Amused] Oh, no.

ross

So, David has a dictionary of metaphors which you can find online.

carrie

Okayyy.

ross

With, like, 1,000 metaphors that he has discovered from all of these sessions.

carrie

Oh, he made the dictionary?

ross

Sure, yeah.

carrie

Oh, sure. Okay.

ross

[Laughing] Yeah. Yeah, where do you think he got it? Aleister Crowley? He might as well have.

carrie

I mean, there are those dream dictionaries. I thought maybe it was one of those.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Oh, yeah, yeah. Okay, no. There’s this whole vocabulary of words and phrases that are these Jungian archetypes that everybody refers to. And many of them are religious. You know, like the Garden of Eden. Eve, Adam, those sorts of things will play in all the time.

carrie

Good hypothesis. Can’t wait for you to test it.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of dubious, affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] So, “devil” is negative traumatic emotions that are holding you down. A whirlwind is our life force or aura. I tried playing the word, “whirlwind” a few times and reversing it. I think any time someone says “new” or “newer,”there’s a good chance you’re gonna get “whirl—

carrie

Ohhh, yeah. That makes sense.

ross

—[In distorted tone] “whirlwind.” Uh, “wolf” is a big one. “Wolf” shows up all the time.

carrie

I’m guessing that’s, like, “liar,” or something?

ross

That’s the part of our personality that is the hunter and protector of the psyche.

carrie

[Surprised] Oh! Okay, it’s a good thing. Okay.

ross

The prime motivator behind behavior.

carrie

[Quietly] Okay.

ross

So, yeah. So the wolf kind of plays multiple roles. But, yeah, that gets said all the time.

carrie

[Loudly, distinctly] Wolf.

ross

Yeah, anytime you say something like, “full.”

clip

Carrie (Reversed audio recording from iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): Wolf.

ross

Yep.

carrie

Oh, yeah. Okay.

ross

Oh, yeah. “I was full of pizza last night.” “Oh, the wolf has gotten in!”

carrie

[Chuckling] “The wolf has protected thou!”

ross

[Laughs briefly] Uh, Lancelot is another one—

carrie

Lancelot?!

ross

Goddess.

carrie

I—okay, well—[stuttering]. [In a sing-song voice] Lancelot. [Resumes regular tone] Why do I sound like that?

ross

[Laughing] I don’t—yeah, you sound very Siri-like.

carrie

Lady on Google Voice.

clip

Carrie (Reversed audio recording from iReverseSpeech app on Ross’s phone): Lancelot.

carrie

[Imitates her reversed recording.]

ross

Yeah, if I had a dime for every time I said, “[imitates Carrie’s reversed recording],”…I’d have a dime. [Carrie laughs.] He said that 70%-80% of language that people use in reverse speech is in metaphor.

carrie

Oohhh. Wow.

ross

Yeaahh. So, once— [Carrie groans.] So, once you start understanding his language of metaphor, some of these posted reverse speech snippets that he’s finding make more sense.

carrie

Okay.

ross

I looked through the metaphor dictionary, and it included, like, “grey” for the alien—

carrie

Oh, sure.

ross

—‘cause that does come up sometimes. But also Australian terms like [Australian accent] “bloke” and “sheila.”

carrie

Oh, sure.

ross

“Poppy” was in there!

carrie

Oh! What does that mean?

ross

It says, “See ‘flower,’ ‘opium,’ meaning ‘unknown, part of a new developing flower group of metaphors.’” Also opium is made from poppies.

carrie

True. [Ross laughs.] Okay. I’m done.

ross

Alright, that was it for “poppy.” “Owl—”

carrie

Oh! What’s an owl represent?

ross

—has an entry. “Owl is kn(owl)edge”

carrie

[Very drawn out, as Ross continues] Ohhhh.

ross

“—from conscious mind, whereas wisdom is from the unconscious mind.” [Carrie makes an affirming sound.] “Knowledge that one has reasoned with the intellect. Earthly wisdom. The part that intellectually reasons and understands.” That’s “owl.”

carrie

Mm. Okay.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] S—so, you know, “[Distorted tone] Owl throws wolf in lake,” you know, will have some very specific meaning about how, “[intense, kind of spaced-out tone] your worldly knowledge has thrown out your motivation to the metaphorical lake,” you know, there’s—so now you’ve just freed him to make his own metaphorical interpretation.

carrie

Right, right, right, Okay.

ross

You know, which he already pulled quite subjectively from your reversed speech. [Groans loudly] And he said, “Yeah, my dictionary has over 1,000 metaphors, and I’ll find lots more.” [Chuckles] He’s not done yet.

carrie

This guy could have been Jesus in another time.

ross

Yeah! Totally.

carrie

Jesus’s responses to questions are so wild. “Hey, should—should we go down this path?” “[Soft, slightly muffled voice] There once was a man. And the man…didn’t know what he should do for a living. And he went to the store and he bought six fish, and later one of those fish became a man.” What?!

ross

What?

carrie

Seems like that’s all of Jesus’s conversations.

ross

Yeah! And then what happens is 35 years later, somebody kind of remembers what you said, maybe?

carrie

[Chuckling, quietly] Yeah.

ross

And they finally decide to write it down. They get it a little wrong, but it’s still nice and vague.

carrie

Right.

ross

And then everybody attaches huge significance to it, and now you’ve got a religion.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Liar, lunatic, lord, lost in translation. [Carrie laughs pointedly.] So, he started going into this, and he talks about how one of his students had financial problems. But she had said, “Eve is damaged.” And so— [Carrie makes a realizing sound.] —Eve is the spiritually matured, emotional, stable, strong woman. We need to fix that. [Carrie makes an understanding sound.] That will take care of your financial problems. Oh, yeah. That was an actual example. “See the wolf fallen in the lake.” The wolf is his motivation, and it’s drowning in his emotions. We need to deal with that.

carrie

[Quietly] Okay. [Regular tone] How do we deal with that?

ross

Oh.

carrie

Does this actually have any instructive quality?

ross

Well, now he does another layer of, “Oh—“

carrie

Oh, you need more of him?

ross

Yeah [chuckles].

carrie

Okay.

ross

To talk about your emotions and how you deal with them.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Well and he said, “What am I gonna do with this guy? Send him to Tony Robbins?”

carrie

Ah!

ross

“That won’t work. Because I’ve done Tony Robbins’s reversals.”

carrie

Oh-oo-hh!

ross

Yeah, so on that page `I sent you, there’s this amazing page that has—

carrie

Yes.

ross

—just tons of reversal examples.

carrie

Yes, they’re very good.

ross

And, you know what? I’ll give him credit. On these pages—where he does list out the audio—every time, he’ll play the clip—the broader clip—and then he’ll just play back the reversed snippet. And then he’ll do it at a slower speed and then an even slower speed. But, I’ll give him credit for this. At least on the text below, he’ll use brackets to show the part of the speech that he reversed.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

I appreciate that.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

That's a least a little nod to the fact that, “Yeah, I grabbed some weird, random part of this sentence—“

carrie

Yep.

ross

So we got…Tony Robbins saying, “liar.” “Satan, your horse? [Snorts with laughter.]

carrie

[Amused] ‘Kay.

ross

“Her bell. I break it.”

carrie

Oh, no.

ross

“I want our money. Buying it.”

carrie

It would be funny to hear him interpret, “Her bell. I break it,” ‘Cause I’m sure he’d go off on some long parable—

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

—and then you could be like, “Oh, no. He literally broke a bell I had. I had a bell on my living room table, and he broke it.

ross

[Laughs] Right. Oh, well, then, yes. Now it’s true, literally.

carrie

Then it—oh, okay. Then that’s—then that’s true.

ross

“I'm a terrible—“ and then F-word that is a slur.

carrie

Oh, F slur. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

ross

Okay? There’s aaa fair amount of that in the reversals. I’ve seen the N-word—

carrie

Wow.

ross

--in some of his reversals. Yeah. It’s like, “David how much do you want to reveal of what’s—“

carrie

Oh, wow.

ross

“—floating around in your head.”

carrie

Now—ooh, yeah, that’s rough. Okay, sorry. This is just settling in.

ross

Okay.

carrie

Okay, so the N-word ones, are they within the speech of a Black person?

ross

I don't believe so.

carrie

Okay, so—

ross

At least the—the one I remember seeing.

carrie

Okay, so he is implying then that that person is racist, rather then that—

ross

Yeah.

carrie

—someone is harboring, like a self-hatred.

ross

Yes.

carrie

But, of course, this just reveals that he has the N-word floating around in his head and it’s easily grabbable.

ross

Right.

carrie

I see. Okay, cool.

ross

Correct.

carrie

And then—so sorry, still catching up. With the F-slur…[chuckles uncomfortably] uh, I guess—so, Tony Robbins, as far as I know, has had all female partners, at least publicly.

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

Um, so the implication here would be that he’s closeted gay and hates himself?

ross

I guess so.

carrie

I guess? Okay.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

But again, David has the F-slur floating around in his head. It’s easily grabbable. Got it.

ross

Tony Robbins also said, “I rape on the Rome.”

carrie

Jesus.

ross

And here “Rome” is meaning Italy, meaning “great civilization level,” something like that [chuckles].

carrie

What?

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Ugh. You can't just drop these things like—they’re fucking bombs. He just, like, walks away.

ross

III know!

carrie

Yeah. [Makes a disgusted sound.]

ross

And some of these just don’t make sense. Like, these are the ones that you should just leave out ‘cause they’re no good. Like, “Fake getting Nixon.”

carrie

Okay, what?

ross

Yeah. “I’ll mess with Lucifer.” Okay [chuckles].

carrie

Okay. Who said that?

ross

Those are all Tony Robbins.

carrie

Oh, okay.

ross

So on this page, there's multiple—[breaks off, laughing, then inaudible short phrase]—of Tony Robbins.

carrie

Okay. Cool.

ross

Here's how it works in the therapy. So it’s called, “the meta walk,” which is, of course, a combination of “metaphor” and?

carrie

Walk?

ross

“Walkabout.”

carrie

Really?

ross

[Laughing heartily] Yes.

carrie

The Scientology term?

ross

No, no, no. That’s the, “take a walk.”

carrie

[Chuckling] Oh, you’re right.

ross

“[In an Australian accent] A walkabout,” [resumes regular tone] is, you know, like, in Australia. You know, you go for a walkabout.

carrie

Oh, you go for a walkabout.

ross

Like in, uh, Crocodile Dundee, you know. “[In an Australian accent] Walkabout Creek.”

carrie

Oh, okay. No, I had never heard that.

ross

Oh, okay. Ah, you haven’t seen Crocodile Dundee?

carrie

[In the negative] Mm-mm. I don’t think so.

ross

Oh, that’s pretty fun! I don’t know if this a big guilty pleasure I’m revealing here. But I like Crocodile Dundee

carrie

Oh, okay.

ross

Pretty heartwarming films. Little backwards, in terms of the gender relationships.

carrie

Got it.

ross

Be forewarned. So, we’re going back to this earlier case where he had this guy, and he didn’t know what to do with him, other than give him his own therapy. You know, he can’t—

carrie

Okay.

ross

—give him to Tony Robbins. But in his reverse speech, he said, “See the wolf fallen in the lake.”

carrie

Okay.

ross

So now he’s saying, “We have to literally help him get a wolf out of a lake.”

carrie

Oh, so this one is not a metaphor?

ross

[Chuckling] Okay, this is where I’m confused.

carrie

Okay.

ross

So—so maybe the metaphor is metaphorical, but now he’s saying to solve this, he’s saying we need to get a literal wolf out of a literal lake? I don’t know!

carrie

I mean, I kind of like this.

ross

Yea—I know! But—

carrie

That this would be the fix.

ross

I—I’m guessing the better explanation here is that he doesn’t know what the word, “literally,” means.

carrie

Ohhh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. That’s what it is.

ross

_[Laughing] Y_eah.

carrie

That’s what it is. Okay. And now we sound like pedants—

ross

Right.

carrie

—but we really just knew the meaning of the word.

ross

But he said, “So we have to get him a wolf and a lake and literally take the wolf out of the lake.”

carrie

Ahhh…

ross

I mean…

carrie

Yeah! It’s not our fault! It’s not our fault!

ross

[Laughing] But do you really have a wolf [sighs]?

carrie

Okay. I mean, dogs can drown. So if he wants to go trying to find and help dogs in the water, I’m all for it.

ross

So this is where someone from the audience said, “Ah, this is like neural feedback!” and David said, “Exactly [laughs with a plosive burst].”

carrie

[Laughing] Okay.

ross

Which is a whole other can of worms for another investigation.

carrie

Also, I think they meant neurolinguistic programming.

ross

NLP played a lot into this.

carrie

Okay.

ross

In fact, David even mentions it regularly, that he’ll use little NLP things. But neural feedback is another whole, like—

carrie

It is.

ross

Yeah, it—

carrie

It just—I don’t see the connection to that one. But maybe—

ross

Monitoring people’s brain signals, and—

carrie

Right.

ross

—and trying to feedback into that and counter their brain signals. It—it’s kind of similar.

carrie

Okay.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

I’m not seeing that one, but I’m sure it’s there.

ross

So, we do two meta walks, and then, uh, hypnosis journeys—essentially, that’s what that is—one week apart. And, uh then there’s pre-vision. “The clients see images, uh, before I suggest them.” So sometimes—a—again it’s just like the pre-speech, you know, where they’ll say something that reveals that they’re already aware of what, later on, he’s gonna give them as imagery to work through.

carrie

Oh, okay?

ross

So, again, he’s speaking to their subconscious. Their subconscious knows what’s going on. But this is just for their verification. He’s so tuned in that he knows what their subconscious knows. And they verify it for him.

carrie

And a more cynical person might way, “Well, all they have to do, then, is supply you with the image, and you just have to say, ‘That’s exactly what I was gonna say.’”

ross

Well, and even worse, he’s pulling their verification from their reverse speech.

carrie

[Sighs] Oh, for God’s sake.

ross

[Laughs] Meaning, he is the judge, jury, and executioner

carrie

Yeah. Jes-us.

ross

He’s doing all the therapy on his own. But he says, “I’m just feeding back what they’ve told me. So, pre-vision really makes sense.” So, then, their third recording is going to be a post-trance tape. And so he’ll ask them, “How are you feeling now?” And so then he can analyze that to see have they recovered? [Carrie makes a thoughtful sound.] And that’s when you’ll find additional little snippets that can tell him that, uh, things have gone well. For example, he plays a client saying, “[in a distorted tone] I have potential now.” And another women—

carrie

[Chuckles] Not before.

ross

Another woman saying, “[In a distorted tone] Spirit in the goddess in center.”

carrie

“Spirit in the goddess in center?”

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

Mm-hmm. ‘Kay

ross

There we go. See. It worked. Another guy said, “[In a distorted tone] Healing that wolf.” Don’t you love that? Like, you pay $2,000 to this guy.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

You have all these sessions. And he finds you in the third recording saying, “Healing that wolf,” out of your half hour.

carrie

And he’s like, “You’re done.”

ross

He's like, “I did it.”

carrie

Yep.

ross

“You’re welcome.”

carrie

God.

ross

So, now we’re getting towards the end, and he says, “Oh, we’ve barely talked about the spiritual piece. I only got like 20 minutes. How am I going to do this? Well, you know, I’ll do my best.” Um, but this where a woman from the audience says, “Uh, quick question. Have you worked with physical problems, like migraines and stuff?”

carrie

Oh, hey!

ross

Hey, hey!

carrie

Yeah, tell me about that, David.

ross

“Okay, so, let me just say that a lot of physical issues have psychological cause.”

carrie

Okay, that’s…not untrue.

ross

“And if you can—if you can fix that psychological cause, you can fix the physical one.”

carrie

That is sometimes true.

ross

“I can’t say any more, or I’ll get in trouble.”

carrie

[Dubious] Okay…

ross

“But you can read between the lines.”

carrie

No, I cannot. I don’t—[breaks off, laughing]. Where were you going?

ross

Essentially—

carrie

Oh, boy.

ross

—he was saying, “Yeah, I can help with physical cases. But I can’t claim that here in this rooom—“

carrie

Right. I see.

ross

“—that I can fix your physical problems.”

carrie

[Ross makes a couple of affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] That's really bizarre, because she started with such a easy thing to make that claim about. Like, migraines can be stress-induced. They, you know, doing calming exercises and CBT and stuff often helps people, depending on what the cause of their migraine was. So, he could have just gone with that. I want to be his publicist and tell him how to do this better.

ross

Uh, he played another successful recording of a woman saying, “[Distorted tone] Living in the earth with joy.”

carrie

Aww. Well, that’s nice.

ross

Yeah, good!

carrie

That’s another one where I want to be like, “No, I have a friend named Joy, and we live in a cave together.” [Ross laughs.] “It’s not metaphorical.”

ross

“In the earth. With our wolf.” [Carrie laughs.] Uh, so this is where he made a reference—and this is my first time being exposed to him. I’d—I’d seen his booth, snapped a couple pictures, but I didn’t really know anything about this guy. And so, this is where he alluded very quickly, "For those of you who know my history, you’ll know that I—I was chased out of the United States. But we won’t get into that.”

carrie

O-kie do-kie.

ross

And there’s laughter from some people in the audience. Like, “Okay, you people know what he’s talking about. What is this?”

carrie

[Laughs] So, Marco Lightman from This American Life one time gave a storytelling talk that I went to.

ross

[Laughs] Okay.

carrie

And the biggest thing I took from it was, “Never drop a bomb if the story’s not about the bomb.” And I feel like—

ross

This is a Checkhov’s gun situation. You know, you introduce the gun in the first act, and it never goes off.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Yeah, you—if you want to do that intentionally, you can, but know that the rule is there for a reason and know why you’re breaking it.

ross

Indeed. So he drops that bomb.

carie

Mm-hmm.

ross

And—and he also makes it clear he doesn’t want to talk about that today. [Carrie snorts with laughter.] But—and he says, “It was very nasty. And then my son died not long after that.”

carrie

Oh, shit.

ross

And I was in a very bad way.

carrie

Sure.

ross

So, he was setting this up to tell a little bit about therapy that one of his students had done on him.

carrie

Hmm.

ross

So, he says he doesn’t do this to himself.

carrie

Okay.

ross

[Carrie makes a few affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Again, you kind of have, like, Jerry Mungadze. You know, where he’ll paint his own brain, he’ll color it in with the crayons and then he’ll do the reading. At—at least David Oates had the presence of mind to say, “I don’t do this to myself because it’s so subjective. I feel like I know too much about the process and myself that I wouldn’t be objective.”

carrie

Though I’m guessing he’d still refrain from saying certain words that he’s used to seeing in reverse, but.

ross

Interesting. Oh, that’s a good point. I wonder if he would a—avoid certain phrases—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—as a result. But he said that he’ll talk to his own therapist. And so he played a recording of himself after his son had died. His reverse speech said, “[In a distorted tone] My soul give the pain.”

carrie

Aww.

ross

 I know. And he said, “Listen to how tortured I sound, and—“

carrie

Aww.

ross

“—that’s just how powerful this reverse speech can be, that it can, you know, convey such emotion.”

carrie

Aw, poor dude. Obviously, he was looking for answers in that moment. That doesn’t add to our collection of information at all. Of course he was in pain.

ross

Yeah. Yeah. Then he said that he just finished a book about soul and spirit and clarified that reverse speech doesn’t endorse any particular religion.

carrie

M-kay.

ross

He played a reverse speech saying, “It’s the voice in heaven.” Okay, good. [Carrie chuckles softly.] Um, so reverse speech is the voice of the soul. It taps into everything you are and everything you long to be. So, he’s trying to keep it very non-denominational so anybody can use it.

carrie

Mm-hmm. Keep that net wide, Dave.

ross

Uh, someone asked him, “Have you gotten any opposition?”

carrie

[Intersted] Mm-hmm!

ross

Is—uh, he laughed at that. And he said, “Oh, yeah. Many times. Three arson house fires in America.”

carrie

Whoa.

ross

“Several lawsuits trying to shut me down.”

carrie

Oh,.

ross

“I’ve had lynch mobs outside my home.”

carrie

Oh, my God.

ross

"That’s why I had to leave America.”

carrie

Huh.

ross

Apparently, one of the audience members, she knew this all fairly well, and she said, “Ah, you—if anyone deserves a medal of honor, it’s you for what you’ve had to deal with.”

carrie

Gosh. Okay. Uh—

ross

Let’s make her president. [Carrie laughs.] ‘Cause Rush Limbaugh already got his medal of honor. David John Oates should get one.

carrie

Oh, my goodness. Okay.

ross

[Carrie makes affirming sounds a few times as Ross speaks.] So, yeah, let’s dive into this a bit. Had to look all this up afterward. And Carrie and I have read quite a bit surrounding these various pieces of his story. All of which unfurled and happened, like, in the late nineties, early—

carrie

Mm-hmm. Somewhere between, like ’95 and 2000.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Yeah. And so this was all when the internet was fresh and new and many links are now dead. We made ample use of the Wayback Machine from archive.org. Thank you archive.org. Everybody contribute to them financially. But, yeah, what were we able to find out?

carrie

Uh, my primary tool was actually newspapers.com.

ross

Oh, yeah.

carrie

Um, but, yeah. I—I mean, the story is murky. And it’s not really told by the people in it, which has drawbacks and plusses. But, it seems like legendary radioman Art Bell—

ross

Of Coast to Coast fame!

carrie

[Ross makes a few affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] Of Coast to Coast, RIP. He used to have this call-in radio show that was very popular, that was all about paranormal claims. He was more on the sort of believing end of things. And a guy named Robert A. M. Stevens called into Art Bell’s show to say, “Hey, Art, I know you’re really into UFO’s. I’m from an area of the country where there’s been a lot of sightings. Uh, I do actually believe that there are UFO’s and that aliens exist, but I don’t love this whole narrative people are building around NASA. I have a good relationship with NASA. I’m pretty in with them. And, uh, I can just tell you from my own experience, they're not trying to cover anything up. They’re the good guys.” And he had sort of a list of what he considered evidence of his positions. Art Bell, who was [chuckles] quite a character, uh, apparently hung up on him. Uh, you know, which really incensed this guy. So then he ended up going on David John Oates’s radio show.

ross

Yeah, perhaps the David John Oates Reverse Speech Show, that ran for three years.

carrie

Yeah. Probably. Uh, went on that. Told the same story, but now had—if I’m understanding everything correctly—had gotten a little, uh, hot under the collar about Art Bell in general.

ross

Yes.

carrie

[Ross makes a couple of affirming sounds as Carrie speaks.] And so now was adding additional claims about Art Bell. So he—he was, uh, calling him names. Accusing him of having been involved in child pornography, for which there is scant evidence. Well, really, no evidence. The FBI actually raided his house to look for it before that, and found none.

ross

And selling pornography in general.

carrie

Right. So then Art Bell ended up suing both of these characters

ross

Mm-hmm. And it should be said that Oates had been on Art Bell’s show many times. He was a regular contributor. But—and this is—this is a little hazy. Like, when did they first have their falling out? But—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Apparently at some point, Oates had made some claim that he had a bunch of incontrovertible reverse speech evidence, but he wasn’t really coming forth with it. And so Art Bell sort of kicked him off earlier.

carrie

Hmm. Hmm, that feels familiar.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] And so that made David Oates a little bitter. But, yeah, then they had this other show, and they were then, um, making all these claims. One of them was—at least, Stevens was. And, uh, so yeah, the lawsuit was what? $60 million?

carrie

Oh, gosh. I don’t know. So, I was able to find the final judgement notice, which did find—this was in Nevada—it found in favor of Bell. So I suspect that that is when Oates fled the country, just to make it harder to collect on his debt.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

But I don’t know that, and—

ross

We don’t know what the final judgement was?

carrie

Yeah, that’s not—that’s not available completely either.

ross

All of this is very fractional and taken from, like, pieces of news reporting and internet forums, where people are talking about this. So—so we don’t claim to have any kind of solid knowledge about—

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

—the exact timeline here about how all this broke down. But those seem to be the—the players and the pieces.

carrie

Yeah. I think everything I just said was at least backed up with news sources, but—

ross

M-kay.

carrie

Yeah, so obviously this was a big, messy thing. And then David would subsequently mention in interviews and things that his—at least one of his houses had burned down in a mysterious way. That—I—he seemed to be implying was somehow tied into this narrative?

ross

Yeah, so he writes about that on his site, and—so this is in 1997—he had—

carrie

1997. There it is. Yeah.

ross

Right, just like the cost for the therapy session. Interesting. Uh, so he had—he had been receiving various threats from people after this whole fallout. So, he has these little pieces of information. Like, “Oh, a client came over to my house and she smelled a really strong flower smell outside, so we investigated that. And another person said that he had seen these two guys that had, like, fluid canisters of some sort. But while I was in this therapy session, somebody noticed that the house was now on fire. So we all had to—“

carrie

Oh!

ross

“We all had to get outside. And we called the fire department. And—but the fire department—even though they’re just minutes away—they took 45 minutes to show up. And, uh, you know—“

carrie

Hmm.

ross

“The—the house was burned quite a bit. Except, thankfully, most of my records were kept. The tapes and my recordings. Which is good, ‘cause those were irreplaceable. But then, apparently, a few days later, men were spotted coming back and setting another fire, and trying to complete the job, essentially.” Yeah, so there were multiple arson attempts. And he said, “Oh, I provided—

carrie

According to him, yeah.

ross

“—I provided all this evidence, and even, like, recordings. And—and the police refused to investigate.” So he felt the whole system was against him.

carrie

Gosh. Yeah. Horrifying if true.

ross

Right, and then he had all these other stories about how earlier he had been investigating the JFK assassination—

carrie

Oh, wow. Okay

ross

And after he had revealed a little bit of the information that he had gotten out of that, saying that Oswald was a patsy and he didn’t fire the kill shot. Uh, that he had a drive-by shooting that threatened his life. Uh, that the FBI had turned on him. So, there’s just—there’s so many weird little claims in all this. Another thing we reference with the Freedom of Information Act—at some point, the CIA had posted on their website that “Yeah, we had this material we were looking at from David John Oates,” and it turns out it was one of his books, and they had published a PDF that just had some of the introductory material, but not the whole book. Uh, but David John Oates now uses this as sort of a verification. Like, “Ah, look. I’m validated. I did speak.” Ah, which—

carrie

Right, which I don’t think that’s even corroborated directly.

ross

Yeah. Not necessarily, at least from that piece of evidence. But it could mean that they looked at it—

carrie

Yeah.

ross

—for whatever reason.

carie

Someone made a photocopy of that.

ross

And maybe he did come and speak at some point.

carrie

Maybe.

ross

But, um, that document—as it was released—it tied to, like the Stargate program. This is all very interesting and a very big rabbit hole to fall down into on the internet.

carrie

Goodness.

ross

Spend many hours reading stuff.

carrie

Yeah, the FOIA reading room I highly recommend. That’s basically—if someone submits a FOIA for a public figure, and the FBI or CIA deems, “Oh, yeah. We’re gonna get a lot of requests about this person, and we don’t want to field them all and we’re comfortable with this information just being very readily available,” they put it in the FOIA reading room. And so any previous FOIA’s for, like, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, those are probably going to be in the FOIA reading room. Go look! Spend your entire quarantine reading the FOIA reading room.

ross

There you go. And then getting back to Art Bell. During all of this—I think kind of why he had claimed the millions of dollars in damages is because all of this was upsetting him so much that he had left the show for a while and that lost him income. [Carrie makes an interested sound.] And I think you’d found that early on, he had run like a—a video dating service.

carrie

Oh, Art. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

ross

And—and that’s perhaps what was confused as being somehow tied to pornography that—

carrie

That seems to be right. Yeah.

ross

Would have had nothing to do with it. So—

carrie

Yeah, I believe that was AP reporting that found that.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] So, uh, there you go. You had David John Oates moving to Australia to escape this situation or just to seek peace. In that interview with George Kappas, he just says, “Oh, yeah, my children were of high school age, and I wanted them to go to high school back in Australia. So that’s why we moved back there.” So many different versions of this story. Very confusing.

carrie

Ordinarily, I am inclined to come to a person’s defense in that sort of inconsistency, and say, “Well, we all do that with stories, right?” Like, there are usually many reasons why we do a thing. There are many ways to look at in in hindsight. With this, where it’s like, “Mm, did I go back to Australia because my kids have finished high school or because there were lynch mobs outside my house?”

ross

[Chuckles softly] Right.

carrie

I'm less inclined to go to their defense.

ross

Indeed.

carrie

Mm.

ross

Anyways, he—he said enough in this Conscious Life Expo talk that made it seem like, “Wow, okay. Sounds like the US holds a lot of past for you.”

carrie

Mm-hmm. Sure.

ross

“And you fled for, like 20 years. What is—“

carrie

Oh, is that right? 20 years?

ross

Yeah.

carrie

So, he just got back a few years ago, then.

ross

Well, I think—just like for this talk—he came to come visit and give this talk. He’s still—

carrie

And Art Bell just died two years ago.

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Ah, right.

ross

The—though the George Kappas interview, uh, that happened here in LA in 2010, so—

carrie

Okay. Okay.

ross

—at least he’s visited in the inerim.

carrie

Uh-huh. Right, right, right.

ross

Uh, but yeah, I—I just came away from that meeting going, “Whoa, I want to know what happened here.”

carrie

Yeah. No kidding. And it took some digging to find. A lot of this stuff has been scrubbed, for sure.

ross

[Carrie makes a few thoughtful, affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] So, uh, so yeah. That’s when he kind of talked a little bit about the—the persecution that he’s experienced and that he’s been away for 20 years. And, uh, people were asking questions about whether intelligence agencies used this information and this method, whether they've spent maybe millions of dollars even advancing it beyond his own ability. And, uh, he wasn't able to comment on that. You know, he said, “Well, I don’t know if they have, but I would imagine so.” He said, “And I did, uh, work for the FBI during the, uh the Waco siege.” We know how that actually worked out. And he talked about giving talks at the CIA. On the George Kappas interview they had asked him about—I guess early on he had said, “Oh, we want to build kind of an AI-driven, uh, way of making this faster. Having a computer go through and listen to the reverse speech and identify things that sound like words so we can very quickly get to them. Which would be cool. But, at least, at that point—ten years ago—he said, “No, we haven’t made any progress on that.” So. Yeah, he talked about a analyst that had trained under him working for the Dallas police, but she was forbidden to use reverse speech. And it—

carrie

[Chuckles] I wonder what their forbidding looked like. “Alice! Focus. Come on.”

ross

[Chuckles] Right.

carrie

This isn't useful.

ross

Exactly, yeah. There’s always these two different versions of the stories. You know, he says, “Oh, well, the FBI was embarrassed, you know, and wanted to cover this up. That this is—had been used, because of what it found.” But more likely it was just them saying, “Stop doing this.”

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

“This is a waste of everybody’s time.”

carrie

Right.

ross

But, you know. Everybody spins stories the way they need to.

ross

Hey, Carrie?

carrie

Yeah, Ross, is it?

ross

Oh, all of this reverse speech makes me want to hear some other podcast.

carrie

Just something that’s forward?

ross

Y—yeah. I just want to play it forward. What do you got?

carrie

[Chuckles] Oh, man. There’s so much good stuff to play forward instead of backward. But in particular, I recommend this MaxFun show right here:

promo

[Radio interference followed by laidback music with a snare drum beat. A phone rings as the DJ speaks.] Radio DJ: Welcome back to Fireside Chat on KMAX. With me in-studio to take your calls is the dopest duo on the West Coast, Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes. [Click.] Go ahead, caller. Caller: Hey. Uh, I'm looking for a music podcast that’s insightful and thoughtful, but like, also helps me discover artists and albums that I’ve never heard of. Morgan Rhodes: Yeah, man. Sounds like you need to listen to Heat Rocks. Every week, myself, and I’m Morgan Rhodes, and my co-host here, Oliver Wang, talk to influential guests about a canonical album that has changed their lives. Oliver Wang: Guests like Moby, Open Mike Eagle, talk about albums by Prince, Joni Mitchell, and so much more. Caller: Yooo! What’s that show called again? Morgan: Heat Rocks. Deep dives into hot records. Oliver: Every Thursday on Maximum Fun. [Music suddenly gives way to static and a dial tone.]

ross

Oh, man. That’s a good MaxFun show. Thank you.

carrie

Mm-hmm. You can play it backwards if you want.

ross

Thank you for sharing it with me.

carrie

You’re so welcome.

ross

So, uh, so toward the end he really emphasized that he’s just looking for more students to do this with him. He wants—

carrie

Aww.

ross

—more people. And he said there’s only, like, you know, a dozen people around the world who are really trained to do this and do this for an income source. And he’d like for there to be more than that. He—he claimed that as his biggest disappointment, that it just hasn’t spread more.

carrie

Aw, buddy.

ross

Yeah, and the George Kappas interview, George was saying, like, “Well, why isn’t this a bigger thing? Why aren’t you doing, like, all of these, uh, analyses of celebrities? It’s seems like—“

carrie

Yeah.

ross

“—after every Oscars, we should be hearing your—your takedown. What Lindsey Lohan said,” You know, or—

carrie

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

ross

—or whatever it may be. And David is, “Ah, yeah, I don’t know. I—I’m working really hard trying to get this out there. It’s just—“

carrie

Aw, yeah.

ross

“—not taking off.” And it’s like, you feel a little bad for him, and then you remember what this is.

carrie

[Chuckles pointedly] Aaand you can still feel bad for him. Yeah, I—I recognize in Kappas—when he was giving the, uh, intro for David John, I was like, “Oh, man, I know this feeling. Of, like, something just really lit up for you—“

ross

Mm-hmm.

carrie

“—and you're realizing, like, it just doesn’t do it for other people. This isn't giving them what it’s giving me, and why not?” You’re looking around the room, “Wha—but—eh—Goofy Movie’s so good! Why are we not all in on this together?” You know?

ross

[Chuckles] Yeah, and I think—again, the saving grace is that reverse speech analysis takes so long—

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

—it’s not easy. And I think a—my little theory here—I think most people—when they’re getting into something like this—they’re looking for an easy calling card that gives them authority and credibility and people listening to them and loving them. And I—and I think this just takes a little too much work.

carrie

Yeah! And a little too much technological savvy.

ross

He says he makes good money from this. Uh, but he wants more people to get started. So please, yeah, take that $3500 course. I notice that— [Carrie chuckles.] —at Christmas he had a discount. You could get it for $2800, um—

carrie

Oh, damn. Did you get it for Cara?

ross

Uh, I didn’t.

carrie

“Merry Christmas!”

ross

[Chuckles] “I love you! But if you play it backwards, I’m saying something like, ‘I’m a bad husband.’” [Carrie chuckles.] So, uh, so, yeah. He’s almost desperate at that point. Like, “Please, consider taking this training. It’s such a powerful technology.” And, uh, you know, he said it’s much easier now with computers being what they are. There's a lot of tools out there. “I used to make these $200 machines,” that he used to sell that were tape recorders that had a playback functionality in reverse, essentially.

carrie

Aww. Okay. Fair.

ross

Uh, so yeah. So now, at least, it’s all digital. There was a woman in the audience who just said, “Can you tell us anything about the future of the world. I’m a little worried right now—“

carrie

Oh.

ross

And D—David said—

carrie

Big question.

ross

“I have great belief in the potential of the human race. We’re going to make it. We’re on the cusp of a huge spiritual renewal.”

carrie

[Singsong] Ohhh, we’re always on that cusp!

ross

[Matching Carrie’s tone] How many times do we hear that? [Speaking again] He believes that reverse speech will be a big part of it. [Carrie snorts quietly with laughter.] And, uh, everyone got up, gave him a standing ovation.

carrie

Wooww.

ross

 Yeah. People were clapping for him, and he’s like, “Oh. Thank you. Oh, man. I’m just—I’m a bit overwhelmed. Well—“

carrie

Aww.

ross

“—come see me at my booth.”

carrie

That’s so sweet.

ross

And that was our talk.

carrie

DJO! [Ross chuckles.] Well, I went through that same talk that you listened to with him and George Kappas?

ross

Yeah?

carrie

And I played it backwards for myself—

ross

Yeah!

carrie

—to see what I could find in—in David John Oates’s speech.

ross

What did you get?

carrie

Okay, I’ve got a few. So, I’m gonna give you the timestamp where I heard it backwards. So that’s obviously starting from the end. You know what I’m saying?

ross

Okay, s—I’ve got it cued up. Okay. Let’s see what David Oates says in reverse. What you got?

carrie

Okay. Uh, let’s go to 3:57. Ooh, this feels like defending your life, and they’d be like, “[In a lower, older, Southern accent] Let’s go to age 26, day 42.”

ross

3:57?

carrie

Yep.

clip

[Reversed recording of David John Oates speaking in a talk with George Kappas.]

ross

“Time that—timed out?”

clip

[Reversed recording of David John Oates speaking in a talk with George Kappas.]

carrie

Okay.

ross

[Distorted tone] “Timed out.”

carrie

I hear, “Find them.”

clip

[Reversed recording of David John Oates speaking in a talk with George Kappas.]

ross

[Robotic tone] Find them.” Okay.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

Yeah. Alright.

carrie

What is that forwards? I haven’t heard any of it forwards. [Laughing] I haven’t heard this whole talk forwards.

ross

[Laughs loudly] I love that you only listened to it backwards.

carrie

[Laughing] Eh, what’s the use?

ross

[Sighs with laughter.] Let me be forward with you. [Carrie chuckles.] Oh, you know what? Oh, I’m sorry. I was doing this with my whole talk. Never mind. I was in the wrong—wrong audio file.

carrie

And we still heard, “Find them?”

ross

[Chuckling] It was pretty close.

crosstalk

Carrie: Wait, what? Ross: Yeah! Yeah! Carrie: We were in the wrong? Wait— Ross: That was a very unintentional test of this system. Carrie: What? What?! That was the wrong file? Ross: That was the wrong file. Carrie: What was the file? Ross: That was my recording of his talk at Conscious Life Expo. Carrie: What the fuck?!

ross

[Laughs loudly, briefly] Okay, that’s weird. Okay.

carrie

That [beat] is discrediting in and of itself. QED.

ross

Okay. So—

carrie

The experiment is over.

ross

3:57?

carrie

Yeah?

ross

Okay. Alright [chuckling]. Let’s go to four—

carrie

From the end.

ross

Whaaat? Okay. Ready?

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates talking in a talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Yep. [Laughs] That’s—

carrie

Oh, my God!

ross

[Laughing] We were able to make both of those work just fine then!

carrie

[Laughing] Oh, my God!

ross

Okay, here we go.

carrie

Unintentional test.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates talking in a talk with George Kappas.]

ross

[Distorted tone] Fi-ind them.”

carrie

Yeah.

ross

Okay, so let’s see how—

carrie

[Chuckles] Oh, my God.

ross

Wow, okay. What was that forwards?

clip

David John Oates (Recording of an interview with George Kappas): But now, of course, we have reverse speech. Which—

ross

[Chuckles, then imitating an Australian accent] But now, of course, we have reverse speech!”

carrie

Okay. “[Robotic voice] Find them!”

ross

Okay. What’s the next one?

carrie

Kay.

ross

What’s the next one?

carrie

Uh, 4:05.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates talking in an interview with George Kappas.]

carrie

Right there, yeah.

ross

Oh, okay.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

[In an affected tone] This is not nice.”

carrie

Oh, yeah, okay! I have, “Who is this? This is not nice.”

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

carrie

“Who is this? It’s not nice!”

ross

Yeah, you’re right. “Who is this? It’s not nice.” Okay, what is he actually saying?

carrie

Kay.

clip

David John Oates (Recording from talk with George Kappas): [Laughter] The unconscious is still going to betr—

ross

Ohh, “the unconscious is still going to betray—“

clip

David John Oates (Recording from talk with George Kappas): [Laughter] The unconscious is still going to betr—

ross

Okay.

carrie

Hmm.

ross

Who is this? This is not nice. So, maybe he doesn’t like that interview as much as he says he does.

carrie

Oohhhh. Or he doesn’t like his subconscious.

ross

Right. Okay.

carrie

Okay, um…4:47.

ross

[Singing] 4:47

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas. The volume is increased as it plays.]

carrie

You’re way past it now.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

“So, we all know what he believes.”

carrie

Oh! “We all know what he believes.”

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

“We all know what he believes.”

carrie

Okay. Yeah, yeah. ‘Kay. [Murmuring] We all…

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas plays softly in the background.]

carrie

Here’s what I heard.

ross

“We all know what you believe,” maybe

carrie

Okay. I hear, “Nasty little knife Hillary.”

ross

Whoa!

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

I hear the “nasty” for sure.

carrie

Yep.

ross

Yeah, I could even see mine combining with that. “Nasty little—I know what you believe.”

carrie

Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I thought—when you said that he has this dictionary of metaphors, I thought, “Oh, cool. I’ll look up knife.” And I just did. And it’s not in there.

ross

Oh!

carrie

Knife?!

ross

Yet to be added, I guess. [Carrie makes a blowing sound of disbelief.] Alright, let’s see what he was actually saying.

clip

David John Oates (Recording from talk with George Kappas): —mind and finding out what’s really going on, and really trans—

ross

“Finding out what’s really going on.”

carrie

Okay…

ross

Yeah, we found out what’s really going on.

carrie

[Accusing tone.] Mm-hmm.

ross

[Matching Carrie’s tone.] David, if that’s your real name.

carrie

You have secrets.

ross

Okay, what’s—what’s next.

carrie

Uh, 5:13.

ross

[Singing] 5:13

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas, repeated once at the same speed.]

ross

Something, something, “next illusion hobosec [chuckles].”

carrie

I hear, “This makes me lose it all the time.”

ross

See, this is why I can’t do this. Okay.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Oh, “This makes me lose it all the time.” [Slightly under his breath, jokingly] Or, you know, “It makes me lose a hobosep” Okay. Now what was he actually saying?

clip

David John Oates (Recording from talk with George Kappas): Barack Obama are very revealing as to, uh, as to what his real intentions are—

carrie

Ahhh!

ross

“As to what his real intentions are.”

carrie

Uh-huh. He doesn’t like Barack.

ross

Mm-kay. Okay.

carrie

Okay. And then 5:20.

ross

[Chuckles briefly] 5:20 [chuckles pointedly].

carrie

Nope. [Both laugh.] You’re close.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Whoa, that sounds like something. Okay, let’s see here.

carrie

This one’s a C at best [chuckles]. But I’ve got something.

ross

Okay.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas. It repeats more quietly in the background as Ross speaks.]

ross

“I see the res—“ [Carrie chuckles.] “I—I see the red. I see the red. Or went off as the shit—[quietly, to himself] or went off as the shit—“ [Carrie giggles.] “I see the red, or went off as the shit that goes off when zombie nee-sht.” [Chuckles] That’s all I got.

carrie

Uh, okay, well we both landed on zombies. That’s nice.

ross

I heard “zombie,” yep.

carrie

Okay, I have, “If Hillary went off and went chased along by zombies.”

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Yeah, I’ll buy that for a vowel.

carrie

Yeah? Okay [laughs]. Wi—what is it really?

clip

David Oates (Recording from a talk with George Kappas): The [inaudible] politicians and find out what they really think—.

carrie

[Gasps, then loudly] Oh, my God!

ross

Hey, politicians! “Find out what they’re really thinking.” Hillary and zombies.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas plays quietly in the background as Carrie speaks.]

carrie

[Gasps] What they’re really thinking is, “She’s being chased by zombies.” M’kay, that’s a good one.

ross

M’kay, okay. Yeah, good.

carrie

Okay, 5:30

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

carrie

There.

ross

Wow. Okay, that sounds powerful. Alright. [Carrie giggles.] Now, I do feel like I would be qualified to do this. Like, I have the idiotic attention to detail and audio editing skills required.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

But I’m not buying in the premise.

carrie

Mm.

ross

So, sorry David.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

But I—but I don’t have the ability to hear. I don’t have the ear.

carrie

Together we could do it.

ross

Yeah. Alright.

carrie

Screw this business.

ross

Yeah—should we do this instead?

carrie

[Chuckling] S—sure.

ross

Okay. Bye, everybody! [Carrie laughs.] Alright.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Wow, okay.

carrie

It's near the end. It’s that “[vocalizes to indicate the rhythm of speech].”

ross

Sockin’ in the Sahara s…

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

“Her shade…”

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

What do you got?

carrie

I just have the phase, “I would love to help.”

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Oh, yeah! “Her shade I would love to help.” Okay.

carrie

[Inaudible] and what’s that really?

clip

[Reversed audio recording of Ross from his phone.]

ross

Nons, reverse.

clip

David Oates (Recording from a talk with George Kappas): [inaudible] by the ready, a show host. And then, of course, she—

carrie

Hm. Nothing. Cool

ross

Yeah.

carrie

Okay, I hear the name of a TV show at 5:59.

ross

Ohh, okay!

carrie

See if you can spot it.

ross

[Distorted tone] How I Met Your Mother.” [Both laugh.] [Ross starts to make another distorted sound.]

carrie

It would be funny to see with the American versus Australia thing, I wonder if he’d hear that and be like, “So this is about—“

ross

Oh, yeah, yeah.

carrie

[Hushed tone, continues as she’s quoting] How you’re—a father explains to you—“

ross

“[Distorted tone] Jeopardy.”

carrie

“You—“

ross

Oh! So, uh, you’re—

carrie

“You’re in Jeopardy—“ [Ross laughs.] _“—_and you’re experiencing, like a lot of discord.”

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas, repeated once.]

ross

So, “A little bit, but one day you—you’ll survive soon.”

carrie

Ohhh!

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

“A little bit, but, you know, one day you’ll survive Zoom.”

carrie

“One day you’ll survive Zoom.” Oh, he’s predicting the—

ross

Ye—Yeah. He knew about the coronavirus situation, that we’re all going to be out on Zoom calls all day long, every day.

carrie

And—but, we’ll survive it. I hear, “The Wonder Years.

ross

Oh!

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Oh, yeah. Now that you say it, I am primed. [Carrie laughs.]

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

"But you know, Wonder Years.” Yeah, okay. Let’s see what he was actually saying in there. [High-pitched voice] Forward, dear, forward.

clip

David Oates (Recording from a talk with George Kappas): Was, uh, obviously, uh, not wanting the people—

ross

Ah,” obviously not wanting the people to—“

carrie

To something.

ross

The Wonder Years.

carrie

Hmm.

ross

[Sings to the tune of “With a Little Help from my Friends,” off the album With a Little Help from my Friends by Joe Cocker] What would you do if I listened to your audio backwards? [Carrie chuckles.] Would you stand up and walk out with a wolf into a la-a-ake.

carrie

[Makes a dismissive blowing sound] Let’s go to 8:39.

ross

[Continues singing] Lend me your ears and I’ll play the song backwards. And I’ll try not to sing backwards out of key-ey-ey. Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.” [Carrie imitates a trumpet.] I love Joe Cocker. Uh, okay, here goes.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Oh, here we have the “not nice” again. Okay. [Carrie makes an interested sound.]

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

carrie

Yeah.

ross

“Ipso physician,” um…”Not—“ [Carrie chuckles quietly.]

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

“Not nice. A week’s finally so ipso a physician.”

carrie

Ooh! Close. Okay. [Ross laughs.] I have—well, I wasn’t counting that “not nice” part—

ross

Okay.

carrie

—but now I hear that. So, “Not nice. A week to find the kids will be sufficient.”

ross

Whoooa. That sounds way more ominous.

carrie

Mm-hmm.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Yeah. I’ll buy it.

carrie

Yeah? Okay. Cool.

ross

Alright, well, what—what’s he saying? Let’s see.

carrie

He has kidnapped some children.

clip

David Oates (Recording from a talk with George Kappas): It shows reverse speech can often give us the uncon—

ross

Okay, “So it shows reverse speech can often give us the unconscious.”

carrie

[Pointedly] Mm-hmm.

ross

Yep.

carrie

Uh-huh!

ross

[Increasing in volume] About the kids. Where—where are the children?!

carrie

[In an accusing tone.] Where are the children?

ross

Where are you keeping them, David John Oates—

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

—from 10 years ago?

carrie

[Laughs] Oh, Gosh.

ross

They're not children anymore, probably.

carrie

Yeah. Okay. Now that we realize his dark side—

ross

Yes?

carrie

—how about 8:42?

ross

How about 8:42?

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Okay, “Close your eye hole. What you’re looking at is shit.” [Carrie laughs.] Ready?

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

carrie

[Chuckling] Sure.

ross

[Laughing] Okay, what do you hear?

carrie

I have, “We have all these little kids who are looking out for me. Shit!” [Both laugh heartily.]

ross

Okay.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Sure!

carrie

Ah! [Both laugh.]

ross

Okay, what's he actually say?

clip

David Oates (Recording from a talk with George Kappas): Issue of psychological issues over how—

carrie

 [Amused, doubting] Hmmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmm-hmm!

ross

Oh, you're telling me about issues—psychological issues or behavioral issues? Where are the children, David?

carrie

[Chuckling] Where are the children? [Ross laughs.] Uh, this would not be funny if true. We’re just very confident it’s not. Okay. Last one. This one is Kappas. And it’s at 11:36.

ross

Yesss.

cilp

[Reversed audio of George Kappas from talk with David John Oates.]

ross

"She served me for eight. Yeah, that’s a nick.”

carrie

Ohh, very interesting [chuckles].

clip

[Reversed audio of George Kappas from talk with David John Oates.]

carrie

Okay. I have, “Served me right, sitting here.”

clip

[Reversed audio of George Kappas from talk with David John Oates.]

ross

Alright, yeah.

carrie

Yeah.

ross

I definitely heard the, “Serve…me…right,” yeah. Okay, now what—

carrie

Yeah. So he’s like, “Oh, I’m sitting next to this guy.”

clip

George Kappas (Recording of his talk with David John Oates): And this idea of reverse speech—

ross

[Chuckles briefly] “And this idea of reverse speech.”

carrie

Yep.

ross

Okay.

carrie

I skipped a couple, but, like, there was one where I think he says, “You know atheists. Yes, I’m an atheist.”

ross

Oh, really?

carrie

Mm-hmm. You want to hear that one?

ross

Yeah. Where’s it at?

carrie

Okay. 10:57

ross

[Singing] 10:57

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

ross

Oh. 100%. David John Oates is an atheist.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

crosstalk

Ross and Carrie:[Imitating the recording, with different levels of distortion] Yes, I am an atheist.” Ross: He’s a drunk atheist. Carrie: He’s also—he’s drunk. His subconscious is drunk. [Ross bursts into laughter.] Ross: He said— [Carrie makes slurring sounds.] Ross: You’re an atheist and a drunk! Carrie: Yup. Ross: At the same time.

clip

[Reversed audio of David John Oates from talk with George Kappas.]

carrie

[Slurring] Yes, I’m an atheist.

ross

Yep. Well, we have proof positive, right there. [Carrie chuckles.] Okay, and what is he saying in reality? But, I mean, he should be held accountable for this—

carrie

Yeah! These are—these are the things he uses against other people.

ross

Not that there’s anything wrong with being an atheist.

carrie

[Emphatically] Oh, true.

ross

Or even a drunk atheist, for a short time.

carrie

[Chuckling] Uh, sure.

clip

David John Oates (Recording of his talk with George Kappas): The name “reverse speech” refers to hidden messages in our speech. The theory is that as we’re speaking—

ross

Yeah, no kidding

carrie

Mm-hmm.

ross

No kidding.

carrie

Mm-hmm!

ross

Wow. Well, all of this reminds me of the, uh, song from Weird Al Yankovic, “I Remember Larry.”

music

“I Remember Larry” off the album Bad Hair Day by Weird Al Yankovic. Song plays for several seconds and then quickly fades out.

ross

So, Weird Al put that into the song. His voice was backwards, but the music was forwards.

carrie

Ohhh. Oh, got it, got it.

ross

So, here it is backwards.

music

“I Remember Larry” off the album Bad Hair Day by Weird Al Yankovic plays backwards. Music plays for several seconds and then quickly fades out.

ross

“Wow, you must have a lot of free time on your hands.”

carrie

Uh-huh.

ross

Which I think is the message of reverse speech.

carrie

[Laughs] Ah, that’s funny.

ross

Good ol' Weird Al.

carrie

There’s also, of course, the famous Joan Baez song, “Play me Backwards,” that was about, um—

ross

Oh, right!

carrie

—repressed memories being recovered—

ross

[Gasps] That's right!

carrie

—and back masking and the Satanic Panic. Oh, yeah.

ross

Oh, yeah. She just went off the deep end there for a little bit, huh?

carrie

For a sec, yeah.

ross

Yeah. Okay. But welcome back.

carrie

But, we all—yeah—we all do. It’s a good lesson in—I mean, even Gloria Steinem kind of bought into that. And I think of her as one of he smartest people alive.

ross

Yeah, wow.

carrie

You know, it’s a good lesson. There aren’t just like, you know, dummies and smart people. We all have beliefs that, uh, we need other people to help us correct.

ross

[Carrie makes a couple of thoughtful, affirming sounds as Ross speaks.] Absolutely. And any of us are capable of getting caught up in these weird little flights of fancy. In these ideas, and, uh, we should listen when a lot of sane people around us are not buying into that, or—or even speaking against it. That should be a warning flag for us to say, “Okay. Let’s take a look at this idea. How well do I actually know this?”

carrie

How will I test it?

ross

Yeah. How will I test it, and how can I remove myself from it personally so that my analysis of this idea doesn’t impact my sense of myself as a person.

carrie

Mm. Mm-hmm. Because the actual test here is of my ability to let go.

ross

Indeed.

carrie

Yeah. Hypotheses are powerful. But they are step one. I’m Carrie Poppy.

ross

Notable, quotable.

carrie

Mm-hnm.

ross

But when I reverse that, oh man are you gonna say something different, Carrie. [Carrie laughs.] Yeah, I like the idea of this whole episode being in reverse.

carrie

Oh, yeah. I’m gonna do it.

ross

[Carrie makes several affirming sounds while Ross speaks. And, um, oh, my goodness. This is such—again—a rabbit hole. We could share so much stuff. Chiefly amongst them, all of these reversals that you can find on the website. So if you go to reversespeech.com/reversals , you’ll find a long list of analyses that have been done of all kinds of interesting world figures, speakers. So, for example, Cardinal George Pell, uh, who was involved in that, uh, molestation case brought against the Catholic church. He was, um, Australian—oh, go figure, Australian—cardinal who the Vatican was kind of protecting for a long time, and then finally he got prosecuted for his role in knowing this abuse that was going on and covering it up. Clips that show he says: “We’re not the love.” “Mine was a sin.” “Do we help your guilt?” “Guilt was near the heart.”

carrie

It would be interesting to see how he would have analysed these before theoe stories broke.

ross

Right. Yeah, are they—

carrie

Presumably very differently.

ross

—are they predictive?

carrie

Right.

ross

Or, once you know exactly what you’re looking for, do you find interesting stuff. “Soon, you’ll feel the strap.” “Youth with abuse.” “Saw the guilt.” “The guy will be arrested.”

carrie

Oh. That’s a good one.

ross

“Damn misery cock define ugly day [snorts with laughter].”

carrie

[Deadpan] What.

ross

[Laughing] Oh, you gotta play that one.

carrie

That's not even useful.

clip

[Reversed recording of George Pell from David John Oates’s website.]

carie

That’s nothing.

ross

“Damn misery cock define ugly day.”

carrie

God.

ross

He also said, “I then might feel them up.”

carrie

Oh, goodness.

ross

So—so, uh, boy. Just all of this incisive insight into, uh, the OJ Simpson parole board.

carrie

Ooookay.

ross

“President Donald Trump,” he shows up quite a bit. Um, “Mark Zuckerberg testifying before congress.” A lot of Barack Obama as well. Uh, Tim Kaine. Donald Rumsfeld. “Steve Jobs reverse speech analysis.” Okay, wait, I gotta look. What is Steve Jobs say? “Evil shadow want it.”

carrie

Whoaaa.

ross

“Want to throw that by you. The sizzle.”

carrie

[Laughing] He wants to go to Sizzler.

ross

“Whirlwind I loot.”

carrie

Oh, whirlwind is something, right?

ross

Yeah, the significance right from the metaphors.

carrie

“He knows the demon, and it shows this.” “There’s grief when you panic.” “You surround the wolf eagle.”

clip

[Reversed recording of Steve Jobs from David John Oates’s website.]

carrie

Hey, okay. [Distinctly, slowly] You surround the wolf eagle.

clip

Carrie (Reverse recording from the iReverseSpeech app on a phone): You surround the wolf eagle. [Someone snorts with laughter.]

ross

Here you can see the culmination of years of study, three decades. And look at all he useful information that can be gleaned from, say, Bill Gates! “But I was nice in city.” [Both laugh.] “United States, did I need their fun?”

carrie

What?

ross

“You must do our way.” [Chuckles] And he clarifies, “An insistent that things be done Microsoft’s way.” “We now fuck you.”

carrie

Oh!

ross

Yeah, let’s hear that one.

carrie

I was just about to say these are boring. Until you got to, “We will fuck you.”

clip

Bill Gates (Recording from David John Oates’s website): Well, for a year we kept finding bugs un—until finally the—the company said, “No, no, no. You have to pay for this.” [Short, reversed sample from the above Bill Gates recording, repeated twice, slowed and pitch lowered each time.]

ross

[Imitating distorted sound of reversed audio] We now—[resumes regular tone] it helps—its helps when you slow it down.

carrie

Yeah, I hear it.

ross

[Imitating distorted audio sound] We now fuck you.” [Regular tone] He also says, “I’m a fart.” [Carrie snorts quietly with laughter.] Oh. Another gay slur.

carrie

Gosh.

ross

M-kay.

carrie

I feel like David is giving us a little peek into at least his hangups.

ross

[Thoughtfully] Yeahhh.

carrie

Uh, I mean, and I might be being charitable there. I’m not sure. But, at least the—you know, the grab bag of concerns—

ross

Mm-hmm. Yeah, just—

carrie

—possibly prejudices—

ross

What is he listening for? What does he hear, you know?

carrie

Yeah.

ross

It says a certain thing. Oh, yeah, we’ve got an Oprah Winfrey. We’ve got Edward Snowden. Hours of fun on this website.

carrie

Hm. Well, you’re right. The human brain is wild. And it draws connections where there sometimes are not connections. And that served us very well, a very long time ago. [Ross chuckles.] I’m Carrie Poppy. [Ross sighs with laughter.]

clip

[Reversed recording of Carrie and Ross on the iReverseSpeech app on a phone.]

ross

And you can support us on social media at facebook.com/onrac.

carrie

Or on Twitter @OhNoPodcast.

ross

Or at MaximumFun if you want to contribute financially, you can slash join or slash donate. And listen at the end, uh, for this awesome rendition of our theme song by listener Thea Horowitz.

carrie

It’s pretty great.

ross

It’s [initiates distorted audio] fantastic.

carie

And remember:

clip

[Reversed recording of Ross saying a short phrase.]

music

“Listen to Me Backwards” off the album Play Me Backwards by Joan Baez. Music fades out after about 15 seconds. You don’t have to play me backwards To get the meaning of my verse You don’t have to die and go to hell To feel the devil’s curse

music

Cover of “Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Theme Song,” originally by Brian Keith Dalton and performed here by Thea Horowitz. Played entirely on violin, and given a music-hall style.

promo

Music: Upbeat, simple electronic music. Janet Varney: Hi! I'm Janet Varney, and like many of you—brand new sentient robots excluded—I used to be a teenager. In fact, just about all of my friends were, too! Including folks like comedian Danielle Radford. [Into interview.] Danielle Radford: And of course all of us, you—you take on that theatre accent, and our teacher would say, "No, that isn't how people talk!" Janet: Right?! Danielle: "Don't do the super theatre kid accent; it's the worst!" But so, when I was doing theatre in high school, of course I immediately was talking about [pseudo-British accent] being in the theatre. Janet: [Laughing] Uh-huh? [Both laugh.] [Out of interview.] Janet: So join me every week on the JV Club podcast, where I speak with my favorite women artists, innovators, and humans as we reminisce about the past and how it led us to becoming who we are. Find it every Thursday on Maximum Fun. [Music ends.]

music

A cheerful guitar chord.

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org

speaker 2

Comedy and Culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

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—Audience supported.