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Subliminal Messages

By Charbel Tadros
Posted June 2007

What are they? How do they work?

Where can we find them?

A)What are Subliminal Messages?

           In order to explain subliminal messages effectively, we must have some knowledge of hypnosis. Hypnosis is not what most people think. It is not being under the complete control of the hypnotherapist[1]. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of the everyday life. You get yourself into a hypnotic state at least a dozen times every day. It is a state of numbness in the brain which allows it to absorb as much info as possible for a short amount of time.

          To make it easier, we shall compare the human brain during the hypnotic state to a computer. A computer contains a certain chip called RAM or Random Access Memory. This type of memory allows the computer to store a certain amount of information for a limited amount of time. As soon as the computer is turned off, everything recorded on this chip is automatically deleted. During the hypnotic state, the brain functions in a similar way to the RAM chip. For example, when you’re watching a certain movie on TV, your brain enters a hypnotic state. It isolates itself from the outer world and concentrates on absorbing as much as it can from the movie. At a certain point of time during the movie, you know that the hero of the movie is in a certain situation, but you don’t remember exactly why. The RAM memory inside your brain has stored enough information to allow you to understand the movie up to a certain point, but it has deleted all the rest of the unnecessary details.

          This was a brief description of a hypnotic state. You are in a hypnotic state whenever you’re thinking hard or concentrating on something. During such a state, the person is more exposed to external influence out of his control. During hypnosis, the hypnotherapist gets the patient to a hypnotic state through a method called “suggestive”. The therapist merely “suggests” certain ideas while insuring a relaxing environment. These ideas are aimed at taking the patient to a state of very deep relaxation. The suggested ideas could be about a certain relaxing place such as a beach of a mountain.

        As soon as the patient is in the deep relaxation state, the therapist starts exercising external influence also by “suggesting” things that need to be done or said. Through this, the therapist exposes the patient’s unconscious mind to extract information from it. After finding out the needed information to heal the patient, the hypnotherapist awakes him and tells him about his problems while consciously “suggesting” solutions.

          Although the patient is under the control of the hypnotherapist, he is still awake and knows what is happening outside of him. However, the patient merely chooses not to react or stop himself from submitting to the therapist’s will. But, if the things demanded by the therapist are considered, by the patient, morally unsafe, the patient can refuse to do them by waking himself from the hypnotic state just like turning off the TV.

          However, there is another aspect to hypnosis. Since it can be used to extract information from the subconscious mind[2], it can also be used to import information to it. And this is the most fundamental principle of the subliminal messages.       

          “In the late 1950s and early 1960s, dozens of the psychiatric patients at the Allan Memorial Institute of Montreal, fell under the care of Dr. Ewen Cameron, a man with some radical ideas about how the human mind is wired, and how it might be therapeutically rewired by a skilled psychiatrist such as himself. Cameron believed the roots of mental illness lay in faulty thought patterns patients developed over time. He reckoned patients could be “depatterned” through the ceaseless repetition of a key word or phrase – a technique he called “psychic driving.” Confining the patients to “sleep rooms” in the institute, Cameron “implanted” a carefully chosen “driving message” (usually a negative message, followed by an affirming message) into their heads via speakers or earphones.”[3]

“Upon their release [the patients], most had no memory of receiving treatment. In some cases, patients who had listened to hundreds of thousands of repetitions of their driving message could not repeat that message back even once. […] these people were simply missing a chunk of their lives.”[4]

          Later on, Dr. Ewen Cameron’s project was shut down because it was termed “immoral”. However, after him, others started working on related projects and most of the discovered that a harmless, but well felt, electric shock could produce better effects.

 B) How Do Subliminal Messages Work?

           An electric shock can cause a very temporary breach of the conscious mind. This breach, even though it is a few milliseconds in length, is more than enough time to allow a small message to bypass the conscious mind and straight to the subconscious mind. The conscious mind does not notice it but the subconscious records it. Over time, it becomes a part of the subconscious mind and a part of the patient’s life.

          After being subjected to such an experiment where the message “You don’t have confidence in yourself” has been repeated over and over again, the patients lost all confidence in themselves and calculated their every movement. Simply put, they lost all confidence in themselves.

          The advertising agencies found in subliminal messages an unavoidable opportunity. If they could incorporate such messages into their ads, they could increase sales greatly. However, they couldn’t use electric shock to record the message they want in the consumers’ subconscious minds. Unfortunately, they found a better way that would cause a breach in the consumers’ subconscious minds. The method they discovered is called “shock advertising”. In this method, the consumer watching the advertising is subjected to two opposite messages at the same time. As an example, we will use cigarettes advertisements on a billboard. Haven’t you noticed that the message by the ministry of health usually displayed at the bottom of the billboard has been growing in space? It now takes more that 15% of a billboard. In the beginning, ad agencies were against it, but, later on, they recognized its true potential. Effectively, since this warning has been introduced, sales of cigarettes increased instead of decreasing.

          In the above add, we get two opposing messages. The first one is the picture itself describing a nice free life in nature. The second one which is the health warning is in the bottom of the ad. These two messages cause shock in the consumer’s mind especially if he/she smokes. The shock results a breach allowing the message written on the picture to enter the mind: “Come to where the flavour is. Come to Marlboro Country.” There we go, the trick is complete. Would you notice the message written on the picture if you were driving past this billboard? You wouldn’t read the warning in the bottom but you’ve probably read it thousands of times before, and you already know what it is about.

C) Where can we find subliminal messages?

          In addition to the example above, you’d be surprised that subliminal messages are with us all day long. You can find them wherever you go. You can find them on the streets, on TV, at the movies, on the internet, at the supermarket, even in children’s schoolbooks. But the worst place where subliminal messages can be hidden is in songs. Ever wondered why the youth nowadays are becoming more and more rebellious? Listen to some rap music and the answer will hit you in the face. More than 75% of young people nowadays listen to rap music. A few years back, subliminal messages where hidden in rock songs.

          There’s an incident where two adolescents who were huge fans of a singer called “Judas’s Priest” committed suicide. These two teens used to listen to his song all day long. His songs were mostly about depressing thoughts. After the boys had committed suicide, a team of researchers dissected the song and found a hidden message inside it: “DO IT.” Fortunately, all his songs were banned after the incident.

          Like all types of music, rock got slowly out of the fashion and few people listen to them nowadays. On the other hand, rap music became the music of the decade. As the number of teens who listen to rap music grew, Satan worshippers[5] who want to spread chaos, found a fertile place to plant subliminal messages. They also found that subliminal messages are more effective if they’re not hidden. So, they made the subliminal messages part of the song itself. Below are the lyrics of a song for the rapper EMINEM. The song is entitled: Without Me. The subliminal messages are highlighted and explained in the footnotes.

Without Me[6]
Written by M Mathers/ J Bass

Obie Trice
Real name no gimmicks

Two trailer park girls go round the outside
Round the outside, round the outside
Two trailer park girls go round the outside
Round the outside, round the outside[7]

Guess who's back, back again
Shady's back,
tell a friend[8]
Guess who's back, guess who's back
Guess who's back. guess who's back
Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back

I created a monster, 'cos nobody wants to[9]
See Marshall no more they want Shady[10]
I'm chopped liver
Well if you want Shady, then this is what I'll give ya
A little bit of me mixed with some hard liquor
Some vodka that will jumpstart my heart quicker
Then a shock when I get
shocked[11] at the hospital
By the Doctor when I'm
not cooperating[12]
When I'm rocking the table while he's operating
Hey, you waited this long to stop debating
'Cos I'm back, I'm on the rag and ovulating
I know that you got a job Ms. Cheney
But your husband's heart problem is complicated
So the FCC won't let me be
Or let me be me so let me see
They tried to shut me down on MTV[13]
But it feels so empty without me

So, come on and dip, bum on your lips
Jump back jiggle a hip and wiggle a bit
And get ready, 'cos this is about to get heavy
I just settled all my lawsuits, you Debbie

Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody just follow me[15]
'Cos we need a little
'Cos it feels so empty without me
Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody just follow me
'Cos we need a little controversy
it feels so empty without me

Little hellions kids feeling rebellious[17]
Embarrassed, their parents still listen to
start feeling like prisoners helpless[19]
'Til someone comes along on a mission and yells "bitch"
A visionary, vision is scary, could
start a revolution[20]
Pollutin' the airwaves a rebel
So let me just revel and bask
In the fact that I got everyone kissing my ass
And it's a disaster such a
For you to see so damn much of my ass you ask for me
Well I'm back fix your bent antennae[22]
Tune it in and then I'm gonna enter into
The front of your skin like a splinter
The centre of attention back for the winter
I'm interesting, the best thing since
Infesting in your kids ears and nesting

A tisk-it a task-it,
I go tit for tat with anybody who's talking this and that
Chris Kirkpatrick, you can get your ass kicked
Worse than them little Limp Bizkit
And Moby, you can get stomped by Obie
You 36 year old bald headed Stan me
You don't know me, you're too old
Let it go it's over, nobody listens to techno
Now let's go, just give me a signal
I'll be there with a whole list full of new insults[24]
I've been dope, suspenseful with a pencil
Ever since Prince turned himself into a symbol
But sometimes man it just seems
Everybody only wants to discuss me
So this must mean
I'm disgusting[25]
But it's just me I'm just obscene
Though I'm not the first
king of controversy[26]
I am the worst thing since
Elvis Presley[27]
To do
Black Music[28] so selfishly
And use it to get myself wealthy

Hey, there's a concept that works
20 million other white rappers emerge
But no matter how many fish in the sea
It will be
so empty without me[29]
Testing "Attention Please"
Feel the tension soon as someone mentions me
Here's my 10 cents my 2 cents is free
nuisance[30], who sent, you sent for me


[1] A hypnotherapist is a psychiatrist who uses hypnosis as a method of healing his patients.

[2] Another name for the unconscious mind.

[3] Adbusters magazine, volume 5, issue 20, winter 1998, Soul Shock the erosion of empathy by Bruce Grierson, P18.

[4] Same reference as above.

[5] Advertising agencies do try to put subliminal messages advertising themselves in songs but not much. On the other hand, music is a very powerful weapon of destruction. Satan worshippers benefit more from songs than advertising agencies.

[6] If the whole song lyrics are read, the song has no definite meaning. It is merely a group of words and phrases attached to a catchy tune and seeded with subliminal messages.

[7] In the song, “Go round the outside” sounds like “Go rowdy outside”. Rowdy means disorderly. Also, it is repeated many times one after the other exactly like the experiments of “psychic driving”. 

[8] A straight order given by the rapper himself.

[9] Here’s an example of shock advertising. Nobody wants to create a monster and yet, he did. Two opposing messages.

[10] Shady is the nickname of the rapper whose real name is Marshall. Here’s the message resulting from the shock before. the message can be understood as “ you don’t want to be yourself.”

[11] The word shock itself introduces a feeling of shock in the listener. All words that can shock listeners are highlighted in red.

[12] Shock result: don’t cooperate.

[13] This message tells the listener that his music is so bad that they didn’t allow it on MTV. However, the listener will be more curious.

[14] This makes the listener really feel empty without the song. This creates an urge to listen

[15] This is a call for the listener to idolize the rapper.

[16] This word being a shock word creates controversy. It is repeated many times.

[17] We are in almost the middle of the song. The leader having listened so far is already in the hypnotic state so the rapper can get his most important message.

[18] This will be explained later.

[19] This introduces the feeling of helplessness like in prisons.

[20] This is a call to start a revolution. Notice that the messages are becoming stronger.

[21] The usual shock messages.

[22] Translation: I’m going to make you understand the truth.

[23] Another shock message.

[24] Young people nowadays are very interested in the newest insults.

[25] Also another shock message.

[26] And another one.

[27] In reference 18: the rapper introduced a hatred for Elvis Presley. Now, because teens are into worst stuff, he says that he’s worst than Elvis.

[28] Black Music is a music known to be played by Satan’s Worshippers.

[29] Another introduction to the emptiness feeling.

[30] And another shock message.


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