turntableIf you’ve ever heard an entire point of a sermon based on playing six seconds of a rock and roll records backwards, you have probably been a fundamentalist. Fundies are convinced that demonic messages are being secretly coded into…just about everything.

In the 1980’s various fundamentalists became convinced that subliminal messages were being hidden in rock music songs via “backmasking.” This inevitably led to a rush on pastors and youth leaders buying up record players that could play backwards, for use as sermon illustrations.

Of course, other than a few publicity stunts nobody has actually ever proved that there is backmasking in songs, nor that recording messages backwards into music has any effect on the listeners. Fundamentalists, however, are so convinced of the truth that they don’t allow themselves to be confused by the facts.

They also bear the dubious distinction of being the only people who have ever spent more time listening to rock music in played in reverse than played forward.

7 thoughts on “BackMasking”

  1. Then there’s that old joke: “What do you get when you play country western music backward?”

    You get your wife back, your truck back, your dog back….

    1. If you play an old Rock LP backwards, you will get the message “You are ****ing up your record needle, ha ha ha!”

    2. Plus the other one that Howcum it’s only Fundy preachers who have these counter-clockwise record players? And do they now make “backward CD [layers”? 😛

  2. I was watching “Did You See That?” on NBC’s Dateline last night, and they played a backmasked song to the studio audience. I immediately knew is was backmasked. (Probably my sensibilities to this are heightened by hanging around here!) The song: Stairway to Heaven.

    The audience didn’t get it, which shows even more clearly how quintessentially fundy a practice this is.

  3. This was inevitably paired with a talk about how back in the 50’s they did research that proved that subliminal messages made people “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Pepsi” which BTW Snopes debunks as utter nonsense.

  4. I know this post was from years ago, but I never let backmasking pass by without quoting someone I read years ago: “It’s amazing how many English words played backwards sound like ‘Satan.’ “

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