My Response to Sceptics

By Cathy Read

In this essay, I will respond to an article of Reverse Speech entitled “ZetaTalk: Reverse Speech”. It was found on the website “Zeta Talk” and its internet address is It was published on January 15, 1997, and does not identify the author.

The article begins by boldly stating that “there is no such phenomenon as Reverse Speech, and all such discoveries are just imagination.” They do not give any evidence of proof of this claim. I also have a problem with the “and all such discoveries are just imagination”. That is a sweeping generalization. How do they know, how can they prove, that “all” such discoveries are false? They do not even specify what they mean by “such discoveries”. These discoveries can cover anything.

After this shameful example of sloppy reasoning, we find this statement “The human body is not designed to speak intelligibly in a reverse manner, simultaneous to forward speech spoken at a different speed.” If the author had done any kind of research on the topic, he would have learned that reversals come from the mind, not the body. Reversals are not formed by the letters of the words, but by the sounds of the speech.

It is obvious that the author did no research on this topic. He is jumping to conclusions. If you are going to judge something and come to a reliable conclusion about it, you must at least investigate!

Next we find the statement “The human mind perceives rolling forward and does not reply backwards, and simply is not geared that way because nature does not play things backwards. EEG (brain wave) testing that was done in 1988 showed that the brain definitely responds to backward messages. Brain activity alters significantly when Reverse Speech occurs. Different parts of the brain respond to different reversals depending on the subject.

Also, the fact that some people can speak both forwards and backwards at speed of text proves that the brain can have the ability to speak backwards. Speaking at speed of text means to take a page of material and read it at normal speed while articulating the words correctly.

His statement that the mind “does not reply backwards” is hard to assess as it makes no real sense. David Oates has never claimed that the mind “replays backwards.” HE claims that we occasionally speak in reverse at the same time as we speak forwards. That is not replaying.

The article then goes on to say that “nature does not play things backwards.” That is not true. Hummingbirds fly both forwards and backwards. The human eye is wired backward. Images on your retina are reverse. Your retina “sees” everything backwards, and your brain reorients you. This image reversal is an adaptive advantage providing us with tremendous peripheral vision and the ability to view objects much larger than just a few millimeters. Without this reversal, we would have a very limited view of our world, so say Dr. Randall Wong, M.D., a retina specialist on his website

Nature Magazine has an article entitled “Proteins that read DNA backwards” (

It is known in physics, that light can exert a backwards torque on matter.

So there are backwards things in nature. They are, as the eye doctor says, “an adaptive advantage”.

The author goes on to say that humans evolved to deal with sights and sounds around them, not with an artificial phenomenon. Reverse Speech theory states that it is a natural phenomenon present at birth in all people. God, or nature, depending upon your belief system, gave us this faculty to help us.

The author then goes on in a confusing and badly written way to tell us that Reverse Speech is being used to avoid the fear of being tempted by the devil. How this can be so I can’t figure out.

Then he says that the attention Reverse Speech is getting is because of advances in modern electronics. This is partly true, as Reverse Speech was discovered because of a broken tape player. Also, the electronics make is much easier to deal with. But that does not negate the reality of Reverse Speech. It does not void the fact that if one bothered to listen to tapes and see for oneself if it was true, one would actually hear reversals.

Next the author says that Reverse Speech has gotten a rush of attention that “will not last”. This article was written in 1997, and Reverse Speech is currently gaining popularity and becoming more appreciated. He does not consider that it is getting attention because it is real. He does not read the testimonials from people from all walks of life, including professionals of all stripes, who say it is real and it has helped them.

After this, the author states that any conversation played backwards at various speeds will sound vaguely like a recognizable speech phrase. Not so. It will sound like gibberish. This statement ignores research testing that shows the people have heard clear, distinct phrases in the gibberish. And that these phrases usually relate to the forward speech. No rational, unbiased person can call this coincidence.

The most common argument against Reverse Speech is that if you listen to gibberish long enough, you will eventually hear, or think you hear, words and phrases within it. Self-delusion, wishful thinking, the power of suggestion, seeing the face of Jesus in wood is what is implied. The author compares it to seeing things in clouds.

After this, the articles says that people will latch on something, (like Reverse Speech) as a way to understand what they know intuitively, but can’t fully grasp. And that often people are simply looking for a “source”.

Again, this ignores 32 years of research proving the reality of it, and many positive client testimonials. The author ends the article saying that we should listen with an open heart and mind to the “underlying message”, which may have a great deal of truth to it while implying that Reverse Speech is nonsense used by weak minded people to explain things they cannot understand. When I read the last argument, I thought of the Oregon State Police, who allow their cadets to study Reverse Speech for credit. I wonder if they are weak people.

This biased, mindless article remind of two famous quotes I have heard. The first is originally attributed to William Paley:

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against
all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance –
that principle is contempt prior to investigation
~William Paley~


The second famous quote was attributed to Stuart Chase. Although it was written to apply to a belief or non-belief in God, I feel that the second part can be applied to any subject, especially Reverse Speech:

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe,
no proof is possible.
~Stuart Chase~


These two quotes sum up the authors arguments. He has so much contempt for the subject of Reverse Speech, he will not even look into it. Very often people’s perceptions of reality are compulsively filtered through the screening mesh of what they want and do not want to be true. Either it is true or it is not true, and one needs to adjust their perception accordingly.

The facts that some academics and some scientists don’t want to deal with this subject is meaningless. They have been wrong before. History is full of examples of experts who were wrong in a big way. Not all that long ago, it was commonly believed that the earth was flat and that tomatoes were poisonous. New ideas are frequently discarded without examination. OR feared. In the middle ages, television would have been considered the work of the devil. Today it is just annoying!

Reverse Speech, still in its infancy, will grow and become accepted as a fact and a part of life. It will be taught in schools and will make the world a better place. It will force us to be honest with ourselves and with other people. What the anonymous author of this article thinks does not matter.