A technique claimed to be used in some rock music (especially
heavy metal) in order to convey secret, destructive messages.
Some conservative Evangelical Christians have claimed
that various words and sentences in rock music songs indicate
Satanic messages when played backwards. Reversed rituals are
a traditional aspect of black magic spells.
The belief in backward masking rests largely on an understanding
of subliminal perception, the ability of the brain to
take in and store information quite apart from any conscious
realization that the information is being received. While a certain
amount of subliminal learning seems possible, the idea of
backward masking carries the idea to an extreme by suggesting
that the brain can receive a coded message and unscramble it.
While many Evangelicals believe that Satanism is a real force
among contemporary youth, only a few have paid attention to
the highly dubious claims concerning backward masking.
Aranza, Jacob. Backward Masking Unmasked. Shreveport, La.
Huntington House, 1983.