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Russell Nash
09-03-2009, 12:38 AM
from Quotes - THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK (http://www.ligotti.net/quotes.php)

and using this webpage Type Mirror :: Free Fun Text Tools = [ReverseText] (http://www.typemirror.com/reverse.php)

I reversed a paragraph from Ligotti's "The Sect of the Idiot"

".rettam on fo saw efil ym ,noisserpxe eht fo gninaem tsednuoforp eht nI .dedne. . .ylpmis ro deretla ylbirroh eb thgim tnemom yna ta tlef I hcihw ,ecnetsixe ym detroppus gnihton maerd eht nI .ssenkcalb yci na otni dna thgil fo tnemele sti fo tuo dellup hself fo derhs latnedicni na ,mood fo ten gnigderd taerg emos ni derans gnieb htiw denetaerht ,eb ton dluohs I ecalp a ni thguac eussit gnivil fo lecrap tnevelerri na naht erom on saw I .srorret elbaemannu fo ecruos eht saw taht ,redro neila tsav a dima ssensselemoh citsatnaf fo gnileef siht ,esrevinu maerd ym fo sngised eht morf ssenetomer yrev siht saw ti dnA"

Result: I didn't find anything strange, other than nonsense. Following the ideas I got from this other webpage Stairway to Heaven Backwards (http://jeffmilner.com/backmasking.htm)

I reversed audio files of an average voice reading Ligotti's quotes. And, again, nothing.

What I cannot understand is how come people say that they even found Satan being mentioned in Bible's paragraphs when read backwards. Does it have any sense? Is it another urban legend? How come it works with certain songs but not with Ligotti's audio files?

Jeff Coleman
09-03-2009, 03:31 AM
Alberto,

These are just a few thoughts I had after reading this post. I don't know if I have any true insight into this phenomenon, but...

I have had experiences with reverse speech when on psychedelic drugs. At least, it seemed like that at the time. I think I was insane, and I suspect people who read messages in reversed text are probably insane, but there is something interesting about it.

Hard to put my finger on it.

I think some people find something wrong about reversed speech. Something that could be considered satanic, in a certain manner of speaking. People who are religious might go an extra step and find literal satanic messages in reversed text.

It could be said that Satan is the reverse image of God's creation. Satan can be seen as the unmaker of creation, rather than the destroyer, if you play it backwards.

"In the beginning was the Word."

But what if Satan reversed the initial word? It would unmake itself as well.

There are some people who believe that if you play a recording backwards, particularly a recording of a politician giving a speech or something similar, you can hear what they were really saying. By the same reasoning, if you play God's words in reverse, it might reveal that he is a demon.

I should say that I don't believe in God or the Devil, but I think it can sometimes be useful to put things in religious terms.

Russell Nash
09-03-2009, 01:10 PM
What I don't understand is what "satanic" means, or what or who "Satan" is. Is he a male fallen angel? If so, do angels have sex? If he is a fallen angel, wasn't he smart enough to understand that no one could fight God, and win? Or, is it possible to win? What do you win? These questions make me think that to assign a satanic interpretation to this phenomena is wrong. I reversed many songs, in Spanish and English, and heard nothing, obviously someone has to tell you that "ysyudaydfuoiday" means "Satan loves you". Otherwise, no one would hear it.

But, it makes me wonder, sometimes when I vacuum my carpet at home, I hear someone is calling me, or talking, but nobody is around. My guess is that this phenomena is another futile effort to find patterns in random noises. But, maybe I'm wrong.

Jeff Coleman
09-04-2009, 12:03 AM
Alberto,

I think your guess is probably quite accurate. I think people are probably just looking for patterns in random sound.

My first thought after reading your initial post, was that many people probably find something wrong, something that should not quite be, about reversed text and speech. Especially reversed speech, which has the extra element of sounding eerie.

Then I thought, if a person believes in Satan as a literal entity, then they might go that extra step beyond vague unease, and try to pick out specific messages. I think there is something intriguing about this subject, but I suspect that people who try to find messages in reversed speech/texts are looking at it the wrong way. Looking at it backwards, maybe.

The definition of Satan, going with the same theme, could be something like "that which should not be".

A common definition seems to be something like "that which opposes God's creation".

Going by what I wrote in my previous post, Satan as the unmaker, Some of my own wishes could be seen as satanic.

I sometimes wish to unmake my own birth, and subsequent existence. That could be seen as opposing the "will" of God or Nature. It would also seem like I would have to unmake all the causes that created me, which would be everything. And that would be impossible. At least it seems that way.

I recently thought of an alternative explanation of Satan's reason for opposing God. It is usually seen as jealousy, but it could be grief.

You could say that the angel, with its hightened perception, experiences excruciating suffering at the knowledge of its own finitude, the fact that it can never be anything other than itself, and seeks to unmake the whole of creation to erase its own existence.

Anyway, I find the backwards speech/text thing intriguing, but I don't put much stock in it besides the imaginative possibilities. Last night I wrote a comment trying to describe the fascination in non-religious terms, but my computer decided it was time to restart itself without telling me first, so I lost it. Maybe for the best.

On a lighter note, I was reminded of a Bill Hicks routine about people looking for satanic messages by playing records backwards. There's a video of it at youtube. I'm not going to post it here, because I am not sure of the board rules regarding profanity. It can be found by searching "Bill Hicks Satan in music" at youtube. There is a line from the video that goes something like "if you are playing records backwards looking for hidden satanic messages, then you ARE Satan. You need look no further."

Russell Nash
09-04-2009, 01:27 AM
From a Biblical viewpoint, the first time the Evil one is ever mentioned is on Genesis 3:1, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field..." However, the story of how such being began to exist is mentioned much later, in the Bible, and was written (or created) much later in time. Isaiah 14: 12-13, "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God..." Imagine how many people lived and died after the Book of Genesis was written and before Isaiah wrote his prophesies, without knowing why the Evil one was fighting God. Have you ever wondered why did we have to wait till Isaiah to know this story? Why wasn't it written from the beginning, in the first books? Strange, right? It even defies logic. Why didn't whoever write the Genesis also wrote the story of the fallen angel? What do you think?

Some scholars, probably more fantasists than scholars, believed that (even though not said) the best location in the book of Genesis for the beginning of such angel is between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Let's read both: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Then "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." One may ask, why such a perfect God would create the earth without form and void? It doesn't make sense. Some fantasists re-write the story of Genesis by saying that God created the earth in perfect condition, then there was a war in Heaven, and finally, and as a result, the earth was without form and void. Some even believe that Revelation 12:4, "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." would have to be placed sometime between these two verses. That 1/3 of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion against God, and that Satan even tried to stop God creating men, from "stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child".

For an atheist, like me, this is nonsense. However, there are many questions that anybody with something inside his head would ask. What did Satan want to do? To be more than God...? How can it be possible? And if this is not possible, Satan, the right hand of God didn't know? Why did God choose such idiot to be his right hand? He was smart but not smart enough? Does anybody believe that? A very smart angel that is at the same time the most stupid one? Something smells wrong. For me, Good and Evil are just abstractions, they don't exist outside the human mind. Galaxies devour galaxies, so what? Atoms annihilate atoms, so what? There is no moral values in Nature. But, the religious viewpoint is much more interesting. There is Good and Evil, and we fight each other, we don't know why, but we fight. Some people worship Satan, the most stupid angel, and some other people worship God, the perfect being who created such a stupid angel. Does it make sense? No.

I know about this phenomena, reverse text/songs, for 25 years now. I don't understand it. Why someone would bother to spend hours and hours to compose satanic messages that our minds cannot even grasp? Let's say that "Stairway to Heaven" has a satanic message, so what? My mind is unable to grasp it. In consequence, it doesn't exist. Or perhaps if someone talks to you backwards you understand anything? No.

I like to read about these urban legends, they make my life less boring.

alogos
09-04-2009, 02:15 PM
What I don't understand is what "satanic" means, or what or who "Satan" is. Is he a male fallen angel? If so, do angels have sex?

I can give you a Catholic answer but since this is an issue dealing strictly with the supernatural I don't know how satisfying the answer might be, since it will necessarily be outside the bounds of the phenomenological, the empirical or scientifically demonstrable, because it relies solely on revelation.

But yes he is a fallen "angel", to the extent that we call all fallen spiritual beings angels.

No angels have no sex, they are not physical beings so they would not have to eat, grow and reproduce like we do, they do not even have to submit to time or physics as we do, in fact if you accept a Thomistic approach to angelogy, every individual angel is its own class of angel.

The word angel refers to their title not their nature. Angels are merely spiritual beings, the show up in salvation history as messengers of God, so we call them angels from the greek. They don’t exist in the physical world but they can interact with it mostly, through influence, suggestion. But is it neither impossible, for angels or fallen angels (demons) to interact with the world physically -as seen in the bible when God sends an angel to wrestle fro Jacob or to wipe out an army – or in demonic possession. How this happens is trickier, we say that spiritual being (if so permitted by God) can assume any appearance in this physical world, even to satisfy the strictest scientific inquiry, but in the end it is only in an interactive appearance. How this works is itself a mystery but something akin to transubstantiation, where the appearance remains the same, even to the most vigorous scientific inquiry but the substance is itself changed, here I imagine the substance remains the same but the appearance change . But you’d need to speak to a better theologian than a layman like myself to explain the nuts and bolts of it though.

If he is a fallen angel, wasn't he smart enough to understand that no one could fight God, and win? Or, is it possible to win?

No, if you would permit me to stick to a Thomistic interpretation on angelogy - angels do not "understand" as we do – since we are limited to logic. We make observations and build up a logical argument before we come to understand something. Angelic thinking is much more like intuitive instantaneous comprehensive understanding. The closest comparison I can make is to someone like Tesla who would visualize, design, run simulations of his ideas - all in his head before actually setting anything to paper or building any proto-types.

However what distinguishes the intelligence from one angel to another is how much of God’s plan they understand. Their intelligence is qualitatively exactly the same, since they all understand truth and are subject to it it is how much of God's bigger plan they understand that determines different levels of "intelligence" among angels. It is generally accepted that Lucifer (light bearer or morning star) or Satan (the accuser) was a seraphim. Again this part is pure revelation but in scripture we hear of nine orders of angels. The lower three you can say have dominion over human affairs, the next three have dominion over abstractions such as justice powers, and the highest three orders of angels spend eternity contemplating God, those who are closest to God are the Seraphim (again this is not what they are rather this is their title) which means the burnt ones, because they are so near to God that they are literally burning from his glory. These angels who are nearest to God best understand his plan and out of all them Lucifer understood His Plan the best. And yes he understood perfectly well that he could not defeat God, and being so near to God he understood God’ plan better than anybody, better and than you or me - and you know what? He didn’t like it. And even though he knew he couldn’t defeat God, he was that much more opposed to it that he was concerned about winning.

We don’t fully understand what he didn’t care about God’s plan, the Muslim say that it was the fact that he would have to serve man, Milton and collectively we've come to assume Christianity as a whole, thought that it was that he did not like the fact that he would not be equal to God.

What ever it was it was enough for him to say screw the consequences.

“What do you win?

That is the question isn’t it? Why does the devil commit evil, why does God permit suffering, well the latter scripture tells us is the cost of sinning, that because of sin, suffering is brought into the world. But why does God allow evil, some of it can be explained by the fact that God thought free will was a valuable enough good, that even though free will necessitated the possibility of evil, that it was worth the cost. He Himself was not unwilling to pay the price for sin with his own body, and through that mystery permits us take part in that sacrifice, since we as members of the Church are told that we are literally through baptism also members of the body of Chirst.

However this answer is still not enough for some people, so I refer then to Job who posed that very question to God, and God replies to Job was, “where were you when I laid the foundations of the universe?” a line that always give me a chuckle in the way it points out the obvious paradoxical nature of a creature limited by the finitude of creation, demanding answers from a Creator whose, reasoning and nature lie outside anything the creature has ever known, quantitatively and qualitatively. Mostly though I do think that the devil understood full well that he had nothing to win, and that there would quite literally be hell to pay.

But intelligence is not the same as wisdom. And intellectually understanding that something is the smarter or better choice does not mean that it is a choice we will make. That was Plato's mistake, it actually turns out that even the non ignorant do evil deeds, in fact most of the time it is much more like what Paul say, that we know what is wrong but do it anyways.

Come on Alberto have you never done something you knew was bad for you, you knew would cause you nothing but trouble and did it anyways?

In general, we all understand that smoking or eating greasy food will kill us, that affairs ruin marriages, that corruption if discovered will ruin careers. And yet people do these things all the time. Why does every pedophile on “To Catch a predator” so up, knowing what will happen to them if they are caught? Some are just stupid, some do it because they think they can get away with it, some know they can’t get away with it but do it for the thrill of it anyways. But others, I suspect from my own spitefulness, do it even if they know that they can’t get away with it.

I think with the devil, he does it fully knowing no good will come of it, but it his choice and he does it anyways and that is why he is particularly and singularly evil.

The closest I can come to articulate how such a mind can think is to quote Mary Shelly, when the creature fulminates, “if I cannot inspire love, let me inspire bitter hate.”

What I’m saying is that intelligence has nothing to do with this choice, and something closer to pure, unadulterated spite maybe more the motivator.

Have you ever wondered why did we have to wait till Isaiah to know this story? Why wasn't it written from the beginning, in the first books? Strange, right? It even defies logic. Why didn't whoever write the Genesis also wrote the story of the fallen angel? What do you think?

I think it has to do with the fact that genesis is the story of creation or rather it relevant aspects. That this physical world was created out of nothingness, by God. That He created man to be a steward in his garden, that he infused him with a soul, (the Hebrew word for breath and soul being the same), that he did not mean for man to be alone, and that through the temptation of the devil one woman, disobeyed God, and then her and her husband gave birth to a race of people who would be marked with concupiscence to sin, and would have to suffer and die because of it. Etc etc

Now I know you may not accept any of that but objectively speaking it is a story about the physical world or Cosmos. The physical universe as we can see it an understand it. But there is a spiritual world, the God figure himself is a spiritual being. And while he interacts with people in the world, he is necessarily also outside of it. This is also why God will always necessarily be outside the realm of the sciences, and the phenomenological. But that’s it, we get the story of the creation of THIS world, not was happened outside of it. It says nothing about what God was doing before.

And logically it couldn’t because we would have no reference to understand that. For example we ask what happens before creation, what happens at the end of time – well time is a part of creation, it does not exist in the spiritual realm, whatever that maybe. Such a question does not even make sense on its face, it’s like asking what comes after infinity or what was there before the was anything, you can’t even form the question in a logical manner. What is the spiritual realm? How can we describe it in anything but physical terms – terms that are wholly not up to the task.

But then again your exegesis is flawed because even the line of Isaiah is not how the creature came into being, but how he fell.

There is so much more going on in the spiritual world than what we’ll ever be able to know in this world alone, since from the beginning God already knew everything and was setting up everything. But necessarily not all of it would be understandable much less enumerated, much less recounted in the story told figuratively about the creation of THIS world.

Some fantasists re-write the story of Genesis by saying that God created the earth in perfect condition, then there was a war in Heaven, and finally, and as a result, the earth was without form and void.

I think we can ignore such “fantasist” altogether they are trying to make something fit that doesn’t. Remember John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the word and word was with God, and the Word was God…though him all things were made, without Him nothing was made…” God didn’t create creation and then creation fell, and then he had to save creation and become man. God created creation for Christ and through Christ, so all of that was going on long before God made the heavens and the earth. So long before he created the heavens there was already at least two person of the triune God in relation to one another, why is this not mention in genesis? Because genesis is about the Creation of time and the world, and not what lies outside it or before it.

The Fall of the devil happened before the creation of the earth, that is why you already see him influencing and interacting with the world, not by terrifying people, but by a simple suggestion.

I think you get a better sense of this in the first book of Milton’s Paradise Lost, but that is far from a divinely inspired worked. Although I do think it is and inspired work.

What did Satan want to do?

This is a question we will never know an answer to. Although I have my suspicions that it is a kind of madness, which we can begin to approximately understand when we ourselves give in to temptation. It is a kamikaze self-destructive endeavor that results in nothing and yet we are drawn to it.

Like a junky, who’s addicted to no particular drug, all the addiction, and drive, and self destruction, but not even something like a physical release or pleasure. It is a peace in frenzy and a solace in despair – that has nothing to do with logic and nothing to do with the smarter choice or amelioration or even preservation of one’s situation.

It is a self destructive, pointless all-consuming vortex, if you will recall my Vortex of nothingness post.

It is madness, but a madness that is personal and intelligent and filled with spite and venom and hate towards you.

Now in a previous post you admitted that you can not understand a madman. And it is true, we need to be a little mad to understand the mad.

This fallen angel, this Evil one, is himself a little mad

How can a mere human intelligence, once it has gone mad be beyond your ability to understand, but an angelic one, infinitely smarter than you, who has for all intents and purposes gone mad, as we understand it, and yet has not lost any of its wit, cunning or intelligence somehow be simple or comprehensible enough for you to understand?

Believe me I understand the fascination, but it maybe one of those things that you may just have to accept as mysterious.

Why did God choose such idiot to be his right hand?

Jesus would choose Peter and Judas, knowing full well that they would betray and deny him. The ways of God in the sense are mysterious. And even if you don’t believe in Christianity you got to admire that they didn’t try to cover up the fact that the first pope was a oafish man, who actually even denied Jesus, and that their most fervent apostle actually went around persecuting Christians before his conversion.

He was smart but not smart enough?

Intelligence doesn’t figure into it. You can be very intelligent and evil just look at the Nazi scientist and scientist from the Japanese WWII unit 731, whom we gave asylum to despite their horrendously evil deeds, in exchange for the knowledge they gleaned.

Good and Evil are just abstractions, they don't exist outside the human mind. Galaxies devour galaxies, so what? Atoms annihilate atoms, so what? There is no moral values in Nature.

I guess – don’t really subscribe to strict materialism so I can’t say that can’t touch on that without starting a bigger fight, But even if they exist only in the human mind, shouldn’t we as human beings be bound to them.

I mean language is an abstraction that exist only the human mind should we do away that too?

Animals can communicate, but they can’t tell a story, or create a clever anagram, or use grammar and diction to make point more clearly, should we do way with that, or the sciences or mathematics or art? Simply because they are abstractions that exists in the human mind, that serve no real purpose in universe without purpose?

These questions make me think that to assign a satanic interpretation to this phenomena is wrong. I reversed many songs, in Spanish and English, and heard nothing, obviously someone has to tell you that "ysyudaydfuoiday" means "Satan loves you". Otherwise, no one would hear it.

LOL, yeah I think your right there, its fun when people tell you these things though, especially as an urban legend, or round the campfire as it were.

But, it makes me wonder, sometimes when I vacuum my carpet at home, I hear someone is calling me, or talking, but nobody is around. My guess is that this phenomena is another futile effort to find patterns in random noises. But, maybe I'm wrong. I think that combined with an active desire on the listener of backwards messages (and EVP more recently) to WANT to hear something is where that stuff mostly comes from.

I don't understand it. Why someone would bother to spend hours and hours to compose satanic messages that our minds cannot even grasp?

I heard that the Stairway to Heaven Line that supposed to say “to my sweet Satin” was actually put in by a sound designer as a lark, because he was playing around with a vinyl and though that when the sound was played backwards it was nearly indistinguishable from the pops hiss and other noise of old consumer grade vinyl players. So he embedded the phrase “my sweaty satin” to poke fun at one of the singer profuse sweating.

But who knows that may have an urban legend about the urban legend.

Probably just for fun.

Why do poets write acrostics?

It thinks it’s mostly out of boredom and fun.

The sound designer palindrome as it were,

PS: Sorry about the formatting issues, my work computer is figitty sometimes.

Russell Nash
09-04-2009, 02:46 PM
"...an urban legend about the urban legend."

Amazing! Long ago, I wanted to try this "thought experiment" with my friends. I never did, though. The idea was simple: to tell a story, but not real, just to one of my friends, telling him to tell the others, without mentioning my name. Then wait some time, till it comes back, and one of those friends tells me the story, finally back to me again, without him knowing that it started with me. I wanted to compare how much "noise" (introducing a technical term) was added by the "medium" (people to whom the story was told). I believed, although I didn't try it, that we all do that, adding new comments to stories that were told to us, and that we, as new narrators, told others. At the end, it doesn't really matter what the original story was but the fact that we are telling stories, communicating ideas.

In this case, I proved my point. First, we cannot be certain that the song was purposely composed to have a satanic message embedded on it. Second, we cannot either be certain of the legend about the legend. I found this to be amazing, I mean, the strange way we distort information.

alogos
09-04-2009, 04:16 PM
Amazing! Long ago, I wanted to try this "thought experiment" with my friends. I never did, though. The idea was simple: to tell a story, but not real, just to one of my friends, telling him to tell the others, without mentioning my name. Then wait some time, till it comes back, and one of those friends tells me the story, finally back to me again, without him knowing that it started with me.

Hehe - what would have happened if the story you made up, came back to you exactly as you told it to the very detail BUT it was a well documented REAL event that happened after you made it up?

If you read "what if our world is their heaven" an interview with PKD, this is pretty much what happened to him. (Well in his case I think he actually went a little mad) but definitely a very Ligottian situation.

I wanted to compare how much "noise" (introducing a technical term) was added by the "medium" (people to whom the story was told). I believed, although I didn't try it, that we all do that, adding new comments to stories that were told to us, and that we, as new narrators, told others.At the end, it doesn't really matter what the original story was but the fact that we are telling stories, communicating ideas.

Marshall McLuhan would be proud I think:)

I mean, the strange way we distort information.

LOL, I know I did about the vinyl bit being the eureka moment.

Russell Nash
09-04-2009, 07:38 PM
Good and Evil are just abstractions, they don't exist outside the human mind. Galaxies devour galaxies, so what? Atoms annihilate atoms, so what? There is no moral values in Nature.

I guess – don’t really subscribe to strict materialism so I can’t say that can’t touch on that without starting a bigger fight, But even if they exist only in the human mind, shouldn’t we as human beings be bound to them.

The best example I could find to prove that Good and Evil don't exist comes from the news. Michael Bryant's case.

Michael Bryant: The story none of us can stop talking about - The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/michael-bryant-the-story-none-of-us-can-stop-talking-about/article1274909/)

[...] (from Wikipedia)

"The Liberals won a majority government in the 2003 election, and Bryant was appointed Ontario Attorney General."

"On September 1, 2009, Bryant was taken into police custody after an altercation with cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard that resulted in Sheppard's death. Bryant was later charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death with respect to the incident. Witness reports indicated that Bryant's black convertible car and Sheppard were involved in a "minor collision" that led to an argument. During the argument, Bryant drove away, and Sheppard grabbed onto the side of Bryant's vehicle while it was moving. Some witnesses said that it appeared as though Bryant was attempting to knock Sheppard off the car by brushing against trees and mailboxes on the wrong side of the street."

"On September 2, 2009, Bryant resigned as CEO of Invest Toronto, stating that he was innocent of the allegations against him but that the arrest would act as a distraction for the corporation."

__


Bryant who sent so many people, directly or indirectly, to jail, now faces a possible jail term. He knew very well what Good and Evil were before the accident. If one asks him now, "What are Good and Evil?" He would probably say that he is innocent, although he killed a man, a very poor and probably drunk man. However, and after having preferential treatment by police officers, he said to the press that he made "no comments". Why not? If he is innocent, tell the truth. Now, he even hired a very expensive lawyer "to invent" the truth. At this point, nobody cares whether he is innocent or guilty, he has money and can afford a good lawyer to write what Good and Evil are.

In short, Good and Evil, are just human conventions. If a lawyer proves he is innocent, then he is. If not, he isn't.

The second example is a mother or father who defends his son, even though it is proved that he committed a crime. Does anybody really care what Good and Evil are?

G. S. Carnivals
09-04-2009, 09:39 PM
"...an urban legend about the urban legend."

Amazing! Long ago, I wanted to try this "thought experiment" with my friends. I never did, though. The idea was simple: to tell a story, but not real, just to one of my friends, telling him to tell the others, without mentioning my name. Then wait some time, till it comes back, and one of those friends tells me the story, finally back to me again, without him knowing that it started with me. I wanted to compare how much "noise" (introducing a technical term) was added by the "medium" (people to whom the story was told). I believed, although I didn't try it, that we all do that, adding new comments to stories that were told to us, and that we, as new narrators, told others. At the end, it doesn't really matter what the original story was but the fact that we are telling stories, communicating ideas.
Absolutely, Alberto. I have found that jokes evolve as they are passed from person to person. The kernel is there, but...

Russell Nash
09-05-2009, 07:16 AM
"...an urban legend about the urban legend."

Amazing! Long ago, I wanted to try this "thought experiment" with my friends. I never did, though. The idea was simple: to tell a story, but not real, just to one of my friends, telling him to tell the others, without mentioning my name. Then wait some time, till it comes back, and one of those friends tells me the story, finally back to me again, without him knowing that it started with me. I wanted to compare how much "noise" (introducing a technical term) was added by the "medium" (people to whom the story was told). I believed, although I didn't try it, that we all do that, adding new comments to stories that were told to us, and that we, as new narrators, told others. At the end, it doesn't really matter what the original story was but the fact that we are telling stories, communicating ideas.
Absolutely, Alberto. I have found that jokes evolve as they are passed from person to person. The kernel is there, but...

In the Royal Trust Tower, aka Tower 2, in Toronto, years ago, a tenant on the 24th floor, pushed one of the street glass windows, in his office, with his shoulder, it gave in, and he fell down, and died. This urban legend was verified by one of the cleaners, who worked more than 15 years in that high rise building, for the cleaning company, although none of the securities guards verified it. I always heard this urban legend from different mouths, some people didn't know it was T2, some said it was T1 or T3, or even another building in the area, some didn't know the number of the floor, some said they knew it happened in one of high rise floors, without specifying which one, some even said that they actually saw the body of the dead man on the plaza, and one day I remember that two men in one of the elevators, but in another tower, were talking about the incident, just saying that it happened years ago, in one of the towers, on one of the floors, saying that it was the result of a bet, the tenant trying to prove that these windows are secure. Is it true, false? I don't know. It is one of the urban legends I heard in Toronto.

Based on that legend, I started to circulate this other legend (created by me): on the 3rd floor of the Toronto Dominion Tower, aka Tower 1, someone reported to have heard footsteps, at night, going up or down by the emergency stairs, some also reported to have found broken glass at night, when the floor was empty with the exception of the cleaners, and / or security guard, and that the ghost of a woman was seen moving swiftly (didn't say which color was her dress), disappearing through a wall. I started this rumor about 2 to 3 years ago. According to the same cleaner, some cleaning ladies refused to work on that floor, for unspecified reasons, he confessed that there was a rumor that someone had seen a lady dressed in white, with a white face, at night, moving through the hallways, or rumors of mugs with warm coffee in the kitchen, when at that hour the floor is empty, he also said that some ladies said that they heard someone laughing, or found broken glass on the carpet, just a few fragments, although nothing else, no cups, no mugs, or stains on the carpets that cannot be removed with cleaning products. Strange, because I started this rumor. Imagine if I go back one of these days and ask one of the security guards about this new urban legend.

I had forgot about it, and our TLO member "alogos" reminded me that urban legends based on urban legends do exist, indeed.

gveranon
09-05-2009, 12:54 PM
In the Royal Trust Tower, aka Tower 2, in Toronto, years ago, a tenant on the 24th floor, pushed one of the street glass windows, in his office, with his shoulder, it gave in, and he fell down, and died. This urban legend was verified by one of the cleaners, who worked more than 15 years in that high rise building, for the cleaning company, although none of the securities guards verified it. I always heard this urban legend from different mouths, some people didn't know it was T2, some said it was T1 or T3, or even another building in the area, some didn't know the number of the floor, some said they knew it happened in one of high rise floors, without specifying which one, some even said that they actually saw the body of the dead man on the plaza, and one day I remember that two men in one of the elevators, but in another tower, were talking about the incident, just saying that it happened years ago, in one of the towers, on one of the floors, saying that it was the result of a bet, the tenant trying to prove that these windows are secure. Is it true, false? I don't know. It is one of the urban legends I heard in Toronto.



Alberto, that one is true! I remember seeing this listed in the "Darwin Awards" several years ago. Here is a Wikipedia article on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Hoy

The New Nonsense
09-05-2009, 02:56 PM
I think the backwards text/reverse speech thing and its relation to things "Satanic" got its start with the Black Mass which involves saying the Lord's prayer in reverse. In the late 18th and early 19th century there were a few of pseudo-Satanic groups running around (see J.K. Huysman's La Bas). Some of these felt that if the Lord's prayer was holy, then surely if one says it backwards it must be unholy. The logic doesn't really hold water, but that's what they believed. Of course, many of these types just got off on being blasphemous and counter-culture. After all, Rock 'n Roll hadn't been invented.

As far as playing music backwards, like the famous Judas Priest case, it's mostly just a phenomenon called "matrixing" where the brain forces itself to find recognizable patterns in random sounds and images, like seeing faces in the patterns of tree bark, or the image of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. I've had plenty of people come up to me with supposed EVP recordings (Electronic Voice Phenomena), or voices of the dead. They swear they can make out words. I don't doubt they do. But when I hear it, it just sounds like noise and static

That said, there are a few bands (usually metal bands) who intentionally write songs so that if one plays it backwards it will say various phrases. But of course this is more like a novelty and recorded long after all the "Devil lyrics" headlines. Art imitates life and so on.

Russell Nash
09-05-2009, 03:36 PM
The main problem here is to determine scientifically whether or not music played backwards really works, other than to call it "satanic".

Thought experiment: “We need a famous and rich person, like Madonna. We let her listen to a song that has purposely this legend embedded on it, when being played backwards: "write me a cheque for a million dollars". She would listen to this song only once a day, if by the end of, let's say, one month, she writes me a cheque for that amount, then it works, and I would openly say: yes, it works, but if not, well, obvious answer.”

From this thought experiment one may deduce that whether or not satanic messages are embedded on a song, the important question is: 1) Does it work? 2) Is our brain capable of understanding backwards messages? 3) Or, if the answer is yes; do we ultimately have free will, to do whatever we want? 4) Or because there is a message embedded on the song, we will follow whatever it says, like brainless robots?

alogos
09-09-2009, 07:04 PM
Hey, I had a busy holiday weekend, and unfortunately the conversation has reverted to the original topic, however I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t at least respond to this comment – so sorry for reverting to an off topic

The best example I could find to prove that Good and Evil don't exist comes from the news. Michael Bryant's case.
That is a very tragic case and pray for everyone involved in that case even the erstwhile Attorney General.

However I am not sure that I follow your argument.

It seems to me that you are conflating good and evil with justice and injustice, and that somehow, through a logic just beyond me that the lack of justice in a specific case means that there is no good or evil on the whole.

Perhaps this has to do with how people use the words “good” and “evil” as rhetorical pawns – and perhaps it has to do with blatant cases of hypocrisy. I suppose it is easy when facing these difficult and ugly realities of life, to turn to cynicism and give up on good and evil all together as even just concepts.

A protracted argument on the nature of good an evil is a much, much longer discussion, however in retort to your example, and not as an absolute proof might I make this suggestion.

Why are you appalled by the story of Michael Bryant?

I know why I am.

I believe in good and evil. And I see that he is using his power and influence to literally get away with murder; he is compounding and evil committed by perpetuating it with more evil.

While I myself am not perfect, I do feel a duty and an affinity to promoting the good. So to see such an egregious transgression of the good is a scandal for me and something that objectively can be judged by and demands to be decried by me.

But if there is no good and no evil – why should we even care what this man does to the innocent or does with his power and authority. If there is no good and no evil why should we be appalled by anything at all? Why should we judge philanthropic, selfless and generous service as admirable and whole sale-unadulterated-hate-induced genocide as repulsive? If there is no good or evil why should we care or take offense.

I’ll do you one better if there is no good or evil why should we prevent an “evil thing” from happening?

Here let’s make this personal, if a man wants to kill and rape your daughter, and it is within your power to stop it, why should you? If there is no objective good there is no answer to that question.

If you take, a position that good is relative, well then unless you nuance that with a majority or something you still have a problem because by what authority do you impose your good over someone else’s good, hey this madman might think killing and raping is in his interest a good. And even if you take the latter course you actually find yourself in another quandary, because who are we then to say that genocide, when the majority of a population agrees to it is a bad thing?

My point is that regardless of how he talks about it, regardless of whether or not he get’s away with it or whether or not a lawyer successfully defends him, he is still wrong and multiplying his wrong doings by not taking responsibility.

And I point to your own outrage to evidence that he is wrong.

;)

As the late Bishop Sheen used to say, “A lie is a lie, even if everyone believes it. And the truth is the truth even if no one believes it.”

But I also have other sources - I have a God who is THE ultimate Good, and by knowing what the Good is, I know what is good, so that conversely I can know what the Bad is and begin to decipher what is bad in specific situations. Incidentally it was the opposite the opposite journey that has affirmed the faith in me.

However even if you aren’t theistic, there is Natural Law, but that has fallen out of favor since a lot of things people like to do actually turn out to be objectively bad, and people don’t like to hear that, so it is easier to say that there is no good and no evil, but then bitch when we perceive an evil or “wrong” thing – and they kind of align nicely with what most religions say is bad too.

The second example is a mother or father who defends his son, even though it is proved that he committed a crime. Does anybody really care what Good and Evil are?

Hmmm. Now here is a more interesting question. Clearly I don’t think that a parent wanting to protect and defend even a guilty child necessarily precludes that they reject objective good and evil in the abstract, per-se.

Remember the Platonic fallacy of equating evil with ignorance. That is to say that simply knowing something is the right thing means that we will follow through and do the right thing. Clearly this is false. I think this is equally untrue also of just admiring and believing in the Good, that this belief and invested interest in the good does not necessarily mean we always follow through.

We believe in the Good, and we promote the Good, but do we at every instance act in accordance to the Good?

Well lamentably, at least in my case – no.

I think it says somewhere in the bible that the righteous man sins seven times a day. And most of us are not even quite that righteous.

That said, that is only assuming that defending a guilty son is a bad thing.

I am reminded of a scene from Blow, where the drug dealing Johnny Depp sees his father, played by Ray Liotta, and all of his crimes are known, and still the father, in his stern way still shows that he loves his child, with a wordless embrace.

Like the love of the father embracing the prodigal son, depicted in eastern iconography as The Running God.

Well that is a very powerful thing - that kind of love.

One of the greatest saints of the Catholic Church is St. Augustine of Hippo, who was a great sinner and a man of the world. For years, for years his sainted mother (mind the pun) St. Monica, not only defended her wayward son, but prayed ceaselessly for him. We Catholics (and Augustine himself) credit that praying for his conversion more than anything else.

As a human being I would hope that even when I #### up severely and it is my entirely my fault that my family does not give up on me.

As a Catholic I would hope that my mother in heaven, seeing my flaws and weaknesses and failures as a catholic, does not give up on me. I would hope that she advocates on my behalf to her son, that if it be according to His will, that my sins will be forgiven me.

After all we Christians believe that our God incarnated as man specifically to advocate for us, and allow us be redeemed despite the fact that we are all of us sinners, or rather because of it.

However, lest I leave myself open for criticism I can say that there are limits. The good father embraces the prodigal son when he returns, but allows him to leave with his inheritance. Likewise God himself permits the unrepentant to dwell for eternity in the hell of their choosing, if they choose not to repent.

Is there a point when a parent might actually be uncharitable by defending and permitting a guilty child? Yes.

But not being a parent myself I have not given much thought to the subject. But I suspect it has to do with whether by nurturing and protecting you are encouraging your child to the good or empowering them to the evil.

There I’ve said my peace on the matter sorry for hijacking the thread.

I know decidedly, un-Ligottian, but I figure enjoying ligotti as a story teller a commentator is one thing, embracing his worldview is always gonna be just slightly past my perview.


The main problem here is to determine scientifically whether or not music played backwards really works,
As for the efficacy of reverse messages, I suspect that it’s tied into the efficacy of subliminal messages as whole. Who knows depending on the message you might get some response engineered properly, targeted at a suggestible population, especially one that is sleep deprived, food deprived, or in a fevered, eh I don’t know maybe.

I can imagine someone in a gulag or something possibly falling victim to such subliminal messages.

I don’t know the answers to 1 or 2, but if I'd had to guess I'd say that 3 or 4 are almost entirely out of the question, I could only imagine something like this working if the will is already in some way shape or form impaired.

Russell Nash
09-09-2009, 09:56 PM
The best example I could find to prove that Good and Evil don't exist comes from the news. Michael Bryant's case.
That is a very tragic case and pray for everyone involved in that case even the erstwhile Attorney General.

However I am not sure that I follow your argument.

It seems to me that you are conflating good and evil with justice and injustice, and that somehow, through a logic just beyond me that the lack of justice in a specific case means that there is no good or evil on the whole.

Perhaps this has to do with how people use the words “good” and “evil” as rhetorical pawns – and perhaps it has to do with blatant cases of hypocrisy. I suppose it is easy when facing these difficult and ugly realities of life, to turn to cynicism and give up on good and evil all together as even just concepts.

If Good and Evil are crystal clear concepts, why does a person like him depend on expensive lawyers to prove his innocence? I wasn't talking about justice or injustice.

Besides, define "Good" and "Evil" for me, please.

But if there is no good and no evil – why should we even care what this man does to the innocent or does with his power and authority. If there is no good and no evil why should we be appalled by anything at all? Why should we judge philanthropic, selfless and generous service as admirable and whole sale-unadulterated-hate-induced genocide as repulsive? If there is no good or evil why should we care or take offense.

I'm not appalled at all. What are Good and Evil but mere concepts, devoid of any substance if we have killed the idea of God? Beware, was it a good idea to have killed the idea of God after all? Weren't we much happier when God existed? There was some kind of consolation.

Unfortunately, it is the kind of consolation that children have. The world is nice and beautiful, with Santa Claus bringing you presents for Christmas... if we behave good, of course.

I’ll do you one better if there is no good or evil why should we prevent an “evil thing” from happening?

We are confusing Good and Evil, and legal and illegal. What Bryant did wasn't evil at all; but it was probably illegal.

But I also have other sources - I have a God who is THE ultimate Good...

I was exactly like you before. If I tell you that I am GOD, your GOD, the everlasting GOD, the God of your fathers, and that I require from you a small sacrifice. Would you do it, for me, for GOD, your GOD...? Then, I tell you what I want: sell everything you own (include your much cherised books by Ligotti), and give it to the poor. Quit your job, and come, follow me. Or perhaps you love more your worldly life? I read the Bible many times, many more than it is advisable. Show me that you believe in what you preach.

The main problem here is to determine scientifically whether or not music played backwards really works,As for the efficacy of reverse messages, I suspect that it’s tied into the efficacy of subliminal messages as whole.

Let's say that backward messages work. What is a satanic message? Examples:

1) "I love Satan". Is it a satanic message? Why? Didn't Christ said "love your enemies"? What better proof of Christian love than to love your best enemy?

2) "Kill your neighbor". Is it a satanic message? Why? I'm trying to find a PC game for my 5 year-old kid without violence, and I cannot find it. Most PC games spread satanic messages openly. Backward messages lost completely their goal. Be honest, in the last video games you played, how many people did you kill? Didn't you enjoy killing them? Isn't it satanic?

3) "You have to worship Satan". Is it a satanic message? Well, maybe. But, I would say that my deceased mother tried to convert me back to Christianity for 20 years and she couldn't. Do you suppose that someone by expressing an opinion like that one is going to make me change my mind? I already read Anton LaVey's book, "The Satanic Bible". You want my opinion: if this is the best satanists have to offer, I'd rather be a nihilist till the end of my life.

The Black Ferris
09-10-2009, 03:41 PM
Coming in late on the conversation, let me say that it is difficult for me to not view ANY story I am "told" as some sort of metaphor.
I am in constant contemplation of the nature of such things, but maybe from a different angle. I have a lot of questions myself. This is bound to be chaotic.
How many of us wish we could go backwards in time to undo something that we did?
Why is my mind a pattern perciever/maker?
Is it due to my limitation of perception?
What is the meaning of my perceptions if my organs of perception are limited?
Why does backward speech or music sound so darn cool?
Why are God, The Devil or Nothing the popular choices?
Do I have to choose one of those?
Would I damn my own child to an eternity of hell if he defied me, only because I knew I was right and he was wrong?
Is Lucifer (the metaphor of Lucifer) the "good guy" or the "bad guy"?
If he is the spirit of rebellion, what is he rebelling against? (what've ya got?)
Is he rebelling against the plan of "God", the very nature of the universe? What is this plan?
If the uncreated void were the true God, or his realm, than are the ideas of form, substance, limits a rebellion? What of life?
Who is the limiter of limitless potential?
I think a fine definition for Good and Evil is the perception of either polar function of a dualistic universe.
But why dualistic? Why such a limited choice when it comes to something as seemingly open as free will?
Is life not the "true" rebel in a cold universe that doesn't support it aside from tiny island masses?
And even with life, we have death to end it.
Lucifer is often compared to Prometheus, stealing the fire from heaven and giving it to the people of the Earth. Also to Hephaestus, teaching mankind the working of metals with said fire.
And perhaps "stolen" because we were not ready for it. Now captured fire runs the world. We watch the flame and many forget to live. The captured flame leads us to ways that are deemed "Satanic".
No Graven Images? What kind of a world is that? and what does "graven" mean?
If limitless potential were God, would not "creation", the limiting of potential, be deemed Satanic? What would the metaphor of the stolen fire mean then?
Us?
What if the poles were reversed?
"Our children make so much noise," said Kingu to Tiamat. "Can we not just kill them and get back to sleep?"
Or perhaps Lucifer saw that his potential had been limited, that he could only ever be exactly what he was and cursed it. Who could blame him for wanting to exceed his limitations and perhaps, somehow, become independent of such a tyrant as his maker. Perhaps "stealing" something that he felt he was due. Or to further the cause.
"And what hand dare steal the fire?"
What wonders can a child learn, but what its parent has taught it? Is there more?
Often we do "evil" to test our limitations. What are the consequences? I think most of us weigh the consequence against the evil. We are not opposed to doing evil, we are opposed to its results. And all within a human construct.
But I don't think it matters whether good or evil exists, or even if there is any difference between them. What is important to know is that each human being has hir own concepts of what those things are, and, most of us, think we're on the good side most of the time.

Advertisers think subliminals work. They are more sophisticated these days than simple backwards masking, which ultimately, as previously stated, has gone the way of the novelty.
I love novelties.

The Black Ferris
09-10-2009, 03:47 PM
“'Show me the worst,' I said, eyeing the undersized door before us.

The situation here was as transparent as the others. Only this time it wasn't pet leopards, pathetic clowns, or paranoid shadows. It was, in fact, two new characters: a wicked witch and her assistant in the form of an enchanted puppet. The clumsy little creature, due to an incorrigibly mischievous temperament, had behaved badly. Now the witch was in the process, which she had down to perfection, of putting him back in line. She swept across the room, her dark dress swirling like a maelstrom, her hideous face sunken into an abundant hood. Behind her a stained-glass window shone with all the excommunicated tints of corruption. By the light of this infernal rainbow of wrinkled cellophane, she collared her naughty assistant and chained him hands and feet to a formidable-looking stone wall, which buckled aluminum-like when he collapsed against it. She angled down her hooded face and whispered into his wooden ear.

'Do you know what I do with little puppets who've been bad?' she inquired. 'Do you?'

The puppet trembled a bit and would have beamed bright with perspiration had he been made of flesh and not wood.

'I'll tell you what I do,' the witch continued half-sweetly. 'I make them touch the fire. I burn them from the legs up.'

Then, surprisingly, the puppet smiled.

'And what will you do,' the puppet asked, 'with all those old dresses, gloves, veils, and capes when I'm gone? What will you do in your low-rent castle with no one to stare, his brow of glittering silver, into the windows of your dreams?'

Perhaps the puppet was perspiring after all, for his brow was now glistening with tiny flecks of starlight.”
Thomas Ligotti - “Eye of the Lynx” (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=2182)

The Black Ferris
09-10-2009, 03:59 PM
“Imagine all of creation as a mere mask for the foulest evil, an absolute evil whose reality is mitigated only by our blindness to it, an evil at the heart of things, existing 'inside each star and the voids between them--within blood and bone--through all souls and spirits', and so forth.”
Thomas Ligotti - “Nethescurial” (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=660)

Mr. D.
09-10-2009, 09:47 PM
"Turn me on, dead man."

Russell Nash
09-10-2009, 09:48 PM
What is the meaning of my perceptions if my organs of perception are limited?

Why are God, The Devil or Nothing the popular choices?

Is Lucifer (the metaphor of Lucifer) the "good guy" or the "bad guy"?
If he is the spirit of rebellion, what is he rebelling against? (what've ya got?)
Is he rebelling against the plan of "God", the very nature of the universe? What is this plan?

But why dualistic? Why such a limited choice when it comes to something as seemingly open as free will?

Lucifer is often compared to Prometheus, stealing the fire from heaven and giving it to the people of the Earth. Also to Hephaestus, teaching mankind the working of metals with said fire.

"Our children make so much noise," said Kingu to Tiamat. "Can we not just kill them and get back to sleep?"

But I don't think it matters whether good or evil exists, or even if there is any difference between them. What is important to know is that each human being has his own concepts of what those things are, and, most of us, think we're on the good side most of the time.

1) I have no answer for the first question. Is there any?

2) I have sinned today. Do I say I "freely" sinned? Or, f@#$, I have sinned because I was tempted by Satan? It is always easier to blame someone else, than to accept that I did what I wanted to do willingly. However, answering your question, yes, there are other options, but, too long to explain here.

3) Lucifer was the only way, and ad hoc explanation, that Christianity had to explain the presence of Evil on this world. If not, who is responsible for our pain and suffering? God.........?

4) When the first 5 books of the Bible were written, God had no Lucifer. His opponents were other gods. Judaism probably copied the idea of Lucifer from Zarathustra. Isaiah (writer of the famous passage of Satan as a fallen angel) was said to be born in the 8th century BC, and Zarathustra, according to scholars, 10th to 11th century BC. See, my point, Lucifer was an idea most probably copied from other religion. It doesn't appear in the book of Genesis. We do have, Nephilim, sons of God, whoever they were, taking wives from the sons of Man, but no Lucifer. In fact, it is God, not Lucifer, who destroys humanity. However, with Christianity, it is not God anymore but Satan who is blamed for all the Evil on this world. He is mentioned in the book of Job, though. But there is not much agreement whether the first passages of the book are authentic or later additions. Besides, when Isaiah mentions Lucifer, he refers the word to (I think) a Babylonian king, and not to Satan.

5) This is probably what God (according to Scriptures) thought about Satan.

6) I agree.

Russell Nash
09-10-2009, 09:50 PM
"Turn me on, dead man."

Do you really hear that? I hear: "turn it on, mom", meaning: "mom, turn the radio on, I want to listen to The Beatles".

The Black Ferris
09-13-2009, 01:14 PM
“'There are certain fields of forces that are everywhere. And these forces, for reasons unknown to me as yet, are potentiated in some places more than others. Do you understand? The attic is not haunting your head--your head is haunting the attic. Some heads are more haunted than others, whether they are haunted by ghosts or by gods or by creatures from outer space. These are not real things. Nonetheless, they are indicative of real forces, animating and even creative forces, which your head only conceives to be some kind of spook or who knows what.'”
Thomas Ligotti - “Purity” (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=937)

alogos
09-14-2009, 06:56 PM
Sorry, starting to get into busy season at work and will be appearing less and less on these forums for a while. But I have been foaming at the mouth to get back into it. So without further ado…

If Good and Evil are crystal clear concepts, why does a person like him depend on expensive lawyers to prove his innocence? I wasn't talking about justice or injustice.
I didn’t say that they were crystal clear, just that they were objective, meaning that they don’t depend on the subjective. Is it always easy to know in every case and in every circumstance what the right thing to do is? For us mere humans – of course not that would require some kind of omniscience. When every choice is difficult and the outcomes of the decisions are what will ultimately determine the “rightness” or “wrongness” of our actions, but those outcomes are completely unknowable, well we just have to do the best we can and hope for the best.

Why does he need a lawyer? Simple he’s not interested in justice or the Right thing to do – he is a man who wants to avoid prison time and he needs a lawyer to do that.

Innocence in this sense is not innocence in an absolute sense, but in a legal sense. It might help not to think of him as actually innocent, just legally innocent.

You know like OJ

;)
Besides, define "Good" and "Evil" for me, please.

He-he. I know you’d like that and I don’t mean to be rude but all the same I will refrain from doing so. I hope this doesn’t seem like I’m avoiding a question but the truth of the matter is that definitions are elastic, words and the meaning of words are easily distorted and twisted. I’d be afraid that by defining good and evil the discussion will end up as a war of semantics- going back and forth defining and redefining even the words I used in my definition till I end up with such a convoluted answer that will take pages and pages to explain and that we will all the same not be able to agree upon.

At any rate it is more nuanced than that.

I forget if I said you can know what good and evil is but I do believe you can. It’s just that the word know is so limiting in English, as if there is only one kind of knowledge. If I said that you can know what good and evil is, perhaps I should have said that you can intuit what good and evil is.

I can draw pretty effectively, but I can’t really explain what my “method” or my “style” is, I just try with every drawing to do the best I can to recreate or create the idea in my mind.

I have been doing Judo for a few years and I can grab someone and feel what I need to do to be able to throw them, but I can not for the life of me articulate what it is I that I am doing.

These are types of knowledge that I have that I can’t quite articulate. And other people maybe better able to articulate how the mechanics of what I am doing work but unless someone else has drawn or thrown someone, in a very real sense they practically speaking a different language.

I think that “knowing” what good and evil is something like that. You train your conscience and you fight temptations and something unfortunately you succumb to them and through experience and engaging that “struggle/agony” you come to gain an understanding of the natures of good and evil.

I know that’s not very useful since western education likes to stress the idea of context-independent learning, that everything you need to know can be articulated and expressed in words in a book, unfortunately, some types of knowledge are very context heavy.

In other words, I may not be able to define good and evil for you, but I would hope that as I work on promoting the good I get better at recognizing the good and discerning it from the evil in any given situation. Will I be a hundred percent right in every situation, no. But hopefully I’ll be right more times than wrong.

My eternity depends on it

;)

Unfortunately, it is the kind of consolation that children have. The world is nice and beautiful, with Santa Claus bringing you presents for Christmas... if we behave good, of course.
It is always easier to blame someone else, than to accept that I did what I wanted to do willingly.

This is something a lot of atheist and agnostics say, but I also believe in Hell and a final judgment and whatever the devil may have tempted me to do, I always had the choice to succumb to or resist temptation, and I realize that at judgment I wil stand in judgment not the devil – his judgment has already been cast.. And when you stand before God for your judgment, you will not be able to hire a high powered attorney to argue your case, in fact you will not be able to argue your case, all the justification that you tell yourself when you do something you know is bad, will not be there to protect you, you will only be able to say yes, as God enumerates everything you did that was an offense to God, and everything you did that was pleasing to him. And then he wil pass his judgment and say either heaven or hell. And if you make it to heaven, but are in imperfect there is still purgatory. (I know protestants mostly don’t believe in this but nothing that is not perfect can enter heaven and most people aren’t perfect, so either they need to be purified somehow or heavens going to be a lonely place)

How could the knowledge of this and the knowledge of my own imperfections and failing really be all that comforting, to anyone but the most self-righteous and/or self-delusional?

If anything it makes me count the costs with everything I do, since as God himself says, even the vines that have been grafted to his vine (a image of the baptized and believing Christians) will be cut off and thrown into the fires, if they bear no fruit.

However I don’t despair because in the words of our new pope, we been given “the hope of salvation” that I might be saved. And I have recourse to God’s mercy as well, if I can humble myself to own my failings and seek that mercy.

We are confusing Good and Evil, and legal and illegal. What Bryant did wasn't evil at all; but it was probably illegal

Eh po-tay-toe, po-tat-o. Could be illegal and Evil, no need the one should exclude the other, in fact I think the hope is for them to line up as much as possible.

I was exactly like you before. If I tell you that I am GOD, your GOD, the everlasting GOD, the God of your fathers, and that I require from you a small sacrifice. Would you do it, for me, for GOD, your GOD...? Then, I tell you what I want: sell everything you own (include your much cherished books by Ligotti), and give it to the poor. Quit your job, and come, follow me. Or perhaps you love more your worldly life? I read the Bible many times, many more than it is advisable. Show me that you believe in what you preach.

Oh yeah in a heart beat. I have a great love for Christian mysticism and orthodox asceticism. And have contemplated very seriously on the desire to become an anchorite in the desert cell somewhere, living off of bread and water and wildlife. But as my spiritual director has helped me discern this comes more from my anti-socialism and desire to flee the world than any genuine call from God.

Like I said I’m still fairly young, I have college debts that I would love to flee from as well, but humbly accepting my lot and trying to live as closely to God’s commandment is what I have discerned God wants from me for now.

The idea of poverty for God is almost a romantic one for me that I have the discipline to follow through with.

But as my spiritual director advises me, it is not us who choose God, but God who chooses us. We each have a role to play in the economy of God’s plan and while we all remember the three years of Christ’s ministry we forget that for thirty years he was a non-descript faithful Jew. We all remember the last fifty years of Mother Theresa’s ministry but forget that she was completely unknown for forty.

For now I am content building my relationship with God, so that we he calls me to my vocation I am in place where I can hear it.

And as a matter of course I do actually engage in some volunteer work, and I observe fast and try to live as simply as I can and give what I can where I can.

But I tell you what Alberto if I ever do discern a call to poverty you will be the first to get my Ligotti collection – be it ever so humble. :)


Why? Didn't Christ said "love your enemies"?

I would say that a satanic message, in the context of our discussion and to the extent that they exist, is a message to do wrong.

Since I have not defined wrong for you, for the sake of simplicity lets call it doing the contrary of God’s will.

The phrase I love Satan, in context, has the implication of loving Satan instead of or rather than God. I imagine few Satanist saying I love God, and because of God’s mercy I love (agape) Satan. So right then and there it becomes satanic.

When asked what was the great commandment, Jesus said love God above all things – Then to love your neighbor as yourself.

That "as yourself" is also important in the discussion of loving your neighbor and therefore your enemey. You are definitely not supposed to love yourself more than God, so you cannot love your enemy (neighbor) to the exclusion of God.

You are also supposed to be honest with yourself, which is why you have to be humble. You are not supposed to love your sins and failings, but humbly accept your shortcomings take ownership of them and submit to the mercy of God. You are not supposed to say I am a sinner, but love me as I am, you are supposed to say Lord I know I am a sinner, but help to overcome my sinful ways. God does not want us to remain in sin, and we should want our selves to remain in sin nor our neighbors or enemies to remain in sin.

That is the kind of love you are supposed to have for yourself and for your neighbor and for your enemies. The problem with the devil is that he is “perfect” (from the latin per facio, done through, made completely) he is not lacking any knowledge and will not change and will never repent his sin, he is who is a sinner who refuse to remit his sin, therefore he will never turn away from his sin. Therefore he cannot be loved.

Also you sense something of the platonic principle that it is better to endure a wrong than to commit one in this message, when you are suffering, respond with love.

Love your enemies also recalls the Lord prayer, where we pray that our sins be forgiven as we forgive others, in other words a reinforcement of the principle that the measure by which we measure others is the measure by which we will be measured. So in that sense we want to love and show mercy to our enemies, because that is what we can expect God will show us.

I’m not sure I answered this one to my own satisfaction so if you can help me discover my flaws I would be happy to give it another go.

"Kill your neighbor". Is it a satanic message?

Yeah, although for me I’m guiltier of books and movies than videogames.

I used to have a collection of rare horror movies, I kept in a shoe box, I used to call it my porn stash, it had movies like cannibal holocaust, the Men behind the Sun, the films of Takashi Miike, the Last House on the Left, Irreversible, Cutting Moments, the Necromantik movies, Nachoes Cerda Aftermath, plus a plethora of mondo films and more of the vilest #### committed to film. Movie of utter depravity and inhumanity, often times movies that I bought for a single harrowing scene, or an utterly soulless moment.

That little collection of mine was very demonic.

I’ve gotten rid since, because I sense they were affecting me more than I was ever aware of consciously. But it was a hard decision for me.

Yeah I think these things get under your skin more than you realize. Even if it doesn’t become an addiction like it did with me.

"You have to worship Satan". Is it a satanic message?

It is satanic to the extent that it effects a change in you. If it is satanic it is so to the extent that someone worships Satan to the exclusion of God.

Now the extent that nihilism has you “worship” a no-god it would also be also be satanic.

To the extant that Satan worshiping opens you to the supernatural which eventually leads you to the acceptance of God, to the rejection of Satan - eh who know is might be good be a good thing then. I am reminded here of the story of St. Christopher who was a fierce warrior and wanted to fight for the strongest king. I forget who he fought under but one day he saw, the king cross himself, and St. Christopher asked him why, and the King said to protect me from the Devil, and Saint Christopher left him to serve the devil who was clearly stronger than his king because his king fear the devil, but then one day he saw the devil flee from the cross, and realizing that the devil fearing the crucified Jesus, was weaker than Christ, St. Christopher abandoned the Devil, and began searching for Christ. Take that Hagiography as just a story if you like but it serves as an example of worshiping Satan in a miss guided effort actually bearing good fruit..

Even Nihilism, to the extent that you reject the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of those around you and brings you closer to the truth, who knows even that may not be so bad either

Christianity had to explain the presence of Evil on this world. If not, who is responsible for our pain and suffering? God.........?
However, with Christianity, it is not God anymore but Satan who is blamed for all the Evil on this world

I guess we ought to distinguish from actual evil and potential evil. I guess its fair to say that God created the potential for evil, in that had he not created anything, then all would have been God, and there would have been no evil, but as soon as he created something and there was something other than Himself it did have the potential to be evil.

But when He looked upon creation He said it was good.

Imagine if you will a scalpel. With a scalpel you can do much good, you can heal the injured and fix the sick. The scalpel is good. But with a scalpel you can also kill a man. The scalpel has the potential for evil. So long as it is being used for the purpose it was intended it is fair to say the scalpel is good, because much good is coming out of it. But the scalpel can become bad the moment it is pressed to your jugular.

Likewise creation to the extent that it did or does what God intended it to is good, but as soon as we begin to stray from God’s intention the potential evil of creation becomes evident. We can say the Devil is the cause of Evil in the sense that he is the first to commit evil, and his elevated understanding of God’s plan makes him the most culpable or perfectly evil person. But evil is present in this world because we choose it over God’s will.

Pain, death and suffering the bible tells us, are the wages, or the cost of sin. Our personal sin in the original sin of our progenitors in the garden.

When the first 5 books of the Bible were written, God had no Lucifer

When the first 5 books of the Bible were written, God MENTIONED no Lucifer. He also mentions no Jesus either, yet John 1:1 begins in the BEGINNING was the word. Again I stress just because he wasn't mentioned doesn't mean he didn't exist.

Judaism probably copied the idea of Lucifer from Zarathustra.

I could see the parallelism, but I can also see the parallelisms between the devil and say Dracula. However, despite the parallels they are distinct, and if both are reflections of the archetype of evil you would expect there to be similarities.

Now I am no expert in Gnosticism in general or Zoroastrianism in particular, but my understanding is that their Demiurge, is a false god who creates a false reality to keep us from realizing that reality is not real. By most Christian variations of Gnosticism the Christian God is actually the demiurge and Jesus came to reveal the “truth” of Gnosticism. Gnostic Gospels tend to be at odd with canonical ones, since in canonical texts Jesus through the hypostatic union is actually of the same essence and nature of God the Father, in other words they are not different. The demiurge then of Gnostic texts is not one that would acknowledge the power of the True God. Why then is it that in the canonical texts, during the period of the messianic secret of Jesus’ ministry – the period in which he kept the nature of His divinity secret – were demoniacs and possessed people, constantly proclaiming the divine nature of Jesus. “We know who you are, Son of Man” they would say, and Jesus would tell them to be silent and they were silent.

Does this sound like the same demiurge of Gnosticism that would do anything to hide and obscure the truth?

I guess what I’m saying is they may superficially similar but essentially quite different. In a gnostic text the serpent in the garden would be more akin to what they call a "beside-helper" and God the Creator the Demiurge, two totally different takes - I would imagine but correct me if I am wrong anyone.

We do have, Nephilim

Actually nephilim only appear in apocryphal or non canonical texts that I’m aware of, medieval theologians, living in the age of bestiary sermons, agreeing with early Chruch and Desert Fathers, mostly agreed that “the sons of God” interpretively translated in some English bibles as nephilim, actually refer to the Good sons of Adam an Eve that were conceived before original sin who eventually intermarried with those sons and daughters conceived after sin entered into the world. In the other words they are referred to as Giants and sons of God, because they where righteous without the stain of original sin however they intermarried with the normal human sinners (daughters of man), and though their sons were of “great renown,” eventually there were no more “sons of God” or men without the stain of original sin.

I may have gotten the details wrong since I just remember the gist of some of those sermons I’ve read - they kind of blend into one another after a while.

Anyways like most of angelogy it is mostly speculation but fun speculation.

Besides, when Isaiah mentions Lucifer, he refers the word to (I think) a Babylonian king, and not to Satan

Uggh I’d have to look that up, I think the word is Helel (light-bearer) in Hebrew and not Satan (accuser), but I was always better with Greek and Latin, so New Testament and the vulgate are where I could do this better. For sure the vulgate translation was Lucifer from Lux and Fero, meaning light-bearer, I’ve seen it translated as Morningstar, so it may actually be refer to astronomical body - an actual morning star, I can also imagine the original word meaning shining one or brightest one or something like that and therefore being an apt title for a king, while also being apt for the highest of angels.

It would contextually be similar to the title of seraphim and it could also have been a regal title. But I’ve never seen it translated as “King Helel, how fallen…” so if it is referring to a Babylonian King it would be by title only, but the whole speech is in the context of kings and men of power so it would be expected.

I know this is a hard thing to accept without faith but even though it was written by different hands and the different influences and styles of different scribes can be discerned in the bible, as a person of faith we do ultimately believe that the bible has a single Author, being the Holy Spirit, who chose to reveal things gradually. Because of this many of the types that appear in the old testament don’t reach their full expressions until the new testament and prophetic sayings in the old testament would not be fully decipherable until the New Testament.

In other words, I am perfectly OK with the line in Isaiah referring to a Babylonian King and prophetically describing the reality of the Devil as well. Again I am not necessarily a context-independent -thinker everything does not need to be explicitly in the text and nowhere else.

Anton LaVey reads like watered down Ayn Rand, who herself reads like watered down Nietzsche who at least was a formidable intelligence in his prime. I imagine a genuine satanist, might have something intellectually better to offer. Like we've discussed before the Devil is definitely not dumb, I would presume that his followers necessarily would be. They are just fallen in some way.

alogos
09-14-2009, 07:18 PM
The Black Ferris

That was a lot of questions: I picked the ones I felt I could best answer, and in the interest of answering as many as I could kept my answers brief, something superanlly difficult for me :)we can take it from there if you feel I didn’t address the most important ones.

Why are God, The Devil or Nothing the popular choices?

They are the most obvious.

Do I have to choose one of those?

Nope.

If he is the spirit of rebellion, what is he rebelling against?

Like I said an angel is a type in and of itself. So what if he is not the spirit of rebellion, but the merely the spirit of comprehending that God’s will does not necessarily have to be our own, and then wanting to promote one’s will over God’s not a direct rebellion but an incidental one maybe?

What is this plan?

You may have to ask God that one, if you accept Scripture as the word of God, it has something to do with men as stewards (gardeners) for creation, but we failed it and brought sin and suffering into the world, so another part of His plan had to do with redeeming man from this fall, and we as his servants and “members of His body” are to collaborate with him torestore the temporal order. And generally speaking, union with this God and glorification of man kind though this redemption and union is part of it. Further than that – well us faithful and men of good will are still trying to make sense of the details and practical aspects.

If the uncreated void were the true God, or his realm, than are the ideas of form, substance, limits a rebellion? What of life?
Who is the limiter of limitless potential?

Not sure I understand this question – I feel confused over the terms “uncreated void” and “limitless potential” these are terms I would not use use, if you would be so kind as to redefine these for me I can give it another go.

But why dualistic? Why such a limited choice when it comes to something as seemingly open as free will?

Never thought of this question but I would say, since there is only one creator, there can be only what he creates and something other – a pseudo- creation that’s not really creation at all, but just something that had the appearance of substance but isn’t really, the medieval phrase “ape of God” springs to mind, that is to say that whatever the devil or Evil does is a poor imitation or perversion or distortion of God’s creation. But I’ll just throw it out there and see if it sticks. I wouldn’t stick to dualistic in all cases, especially when they are limiting in the abstract, so Point out any of these limitations and I can give it another go. But I don’t foresee these as being problematic since there can be may types of “other” that are grouped together because they are not of God.

Lucifer is often compared to Prometheus

I’d say this first great lie. Because I don’t think the devil really has any power beyond what God has given him, his “creation” his “kingdom” are “other” or alien from creation as we know it but it is also somehow illusory. I think this is why evil men, Hitler for example, have a tendency to overplay their hand, why pride goes before the fall.. The devil may say “I have another way” – but it is a way that cannot hold., it is a way that falls apart and is ultimately self destructive. In that sense he is not like Prometheus.

No Graven Images?

Graven images generally refer to images or statues that are worshiped as themselves having supernatural power or images of deities that are prayed to other than God. Images and statues that serve to turn our attention and imagination towards God, are not said to be Graven, to the consternation of Muslims, protestants and Iconoclasts, at two separate councils. Hence icons in the Eastern orthodox tradition, and statuary and painting in the Western lung of the Church.

Of course these are to be distinct from actual sacred objects that God actually has sacramentally imbued with power, for instance the ark of the covenant actually if touch by unclean hands would actually strike the person dead, even if the carriage holding the ark toppled the ark out and a well- meaning Jew were to reach out and touch it. That happened in the Old Testament. Or the bronze snake that Moses fashioned in Numbers, that would heal of snake venom and spider poison all those bitten who would look upon it. Or we, Eucharistic adoration that we Catholics venerate, these are things that God has sacramentally and of his own discretion given a miraculous character.

If limitless potential were God, would not "creation", the limiting of potential

Again not terms I would use, since logically only God would be “limitless potential” every thing that is therefore created can be created for a specific purpose (or limit in your terminology) and the created thing would be allowed to reach its potential. So what you see as limiting potential I would see as reaching, I guess, a fullness of potential. If I had to define satanic it would opposed to God’s will, so I would not see “the limiting of potential” as satanic so long as it is within God’s will. For example I don’t bemoan that my dog will never be able to write me a great and moving ode.

…he could only ever be exactly what he was and cursed it….

May very well be, we don’t exactly know why he fell or rebelled or what ever phrase we feel most comfortable with, we just know that it was contrary to God’s will and that it had to do with choosing his own will over God’s but the reality of such a thing for a spiritual being well I guess its just speculation. Your interpretation of it may be understandable, we may relate, but our affective and subjective response has no bearing in the objective rightness or wrongness of the situation.

However in Philipians Paul tells us that Jesus, himself, who was in the form of God did not see equality with God a thing to be sought, instead He humbled Himself and made Himself a servant. This is the way God thinks and this is the example He sets. So even if emotionally we can resonate with the Devil’s sense of injury we are told that this is not how we should be thinking.

Is there more?

I’d say the objective experience of evil has at least shown that there is “other”
– though I would hesitate to call it more. There is a “power” to it, there is even a “pleasure” to it (though I prefer the term succor, because its not so much pleasure or nourishment as much as something that can for a while at least “sustain” – for example how vengeance can keep someone from giving in otherwise unbearable situation) but whether not it is really more than what God has to offer or merely a perversion of it - is in dispute in my mind.

Often we do "evil" to test our limitations.

I can relate. G K Chesterton once said that there are two ways to go home, to stay home or to go so far away from your house that you eventually circle back. Is there something we can learn from committing evil? Yeah, I think its true in my case, and I think its true in the case of the prodigal son. Jesus himself says, that there is more rejoicing in heaven for a “lost one” who has made his way back, than over one who never left. There is a redemptive to quality to suffering, and opportunity to please God with how we handle difficult situation.

We are not opposed to doing evil, we are opposed to its results.

Maybe, we’re only humans. But we could be saints… in which case it would not even be a case of opposing evil as much as an enthusiasm for doing the Good.

most of us, think we're on the good side most of the time…

Call it Catholic guilt if you like, but for at least some of us not all the time. :)

But I don't think it matters whether good or evil exists

I think this question becomes more important as we suffer an evil against us. Our response to evil, our laws to prevent evil, all of these things depend on some common sense of the Good, if there is no objective good then why even hold pretensions to it. Why do we have cops enforcing the prevention of other people following their own ideas of good, committing the evil of killing us for there ends?

Let me stress that I do believe in an objective truth, and therefore am all for enforcing it. But if you don’t at least on the one hand, in principle have the courage of your conviction and become a nihilist in the political and anarchist sense of the word as well, on the other hand on as a matter of practical concern, at least admit that a shared common good, is better for everyone.

Very Apt quotes otherwise, I guess I’m not totally un-Ligottian. I think one of the reasons the idea of evil or the devil have not matured with the rest of our thinking. Admittedly one of the reasons that Ligotti appeals so much to me personally is that he captures a vision of well if not evil exactly per-se that "other" things that fills us with such dread and trembling, and that vision of the unknowable inexpressible other rings so true to me.

Russell Nash
09-15-2009, 11:00 AM
Alogos:

1) If reverse text exists, and it's so powerful, why is it not used by religion as well? Why doesn't religions use the same powerful method to transmit their beliefs? For example: "I love you God" but embedded backwards.

2) Why is it that satanic messages have to be embedded backwards? Why not through direct speech? For example: I offer my soul up for sale, Satan, are you there? Buy it. My price: i) 50 million dollars in a Swiss bank, ii) an island in the Caribbean Sea, close to either Depp or Branson, if possible. Or isn't my soul important for Satan that he doesn't want to buy it? What is 50 million for such supernatural being?

alogos
09-15-2009, 12:42 PM
Alogos:

1) If reverse text exists, and it's so powerful, why is it not used by religion as well? Why doesn't religions use the same powerful method to transmit their beliefs? For example: "I love you God" but embedded backwards.

I'm not sure that Reverse Texts exist and if they do that they have any influence. Unless as I mentioned previously you have already done much to break a persons will. Most cults, will control your diet, and give you high starchy food, they will force you to cut all ties with friends and family, they will control the time that you go to sleep and try to micromanage every aspect of your life. In a gulag or concentration camp your dignity and self worth can be broken down, you can be forced to do as your told, to keep laboring and toiling against your will.

Guess what these techniques have been proven effective on numbers of average everyday people. If religions, wanted to force themselves upon people, why settle for something subtle like reverse text why not send out the troops and begin the brain washing?

Some may argue that's what missionaries do, but I think that is an unfair assessment by people who have never gone through the difficult choices that missionaries had to go through in few numbers and in hostile territories. Am I saying every missionary was a saint, and did the right thing in every occasion - no. What I'm saying is that contrary to popular belief, religion or Christianity did not as a rule convert by the sword- with some tragic exceptions, The proselytizing of the Eastern orthodox comes most shamefully to mind.

The point is that the Church does not want to force it's followers to do as they say. That would be interfering with the free will of others.

And any ethicist will tell you a decision that is forced on someone is not a choice at all.

Religion, at least the Christian aspect of it that I am familiar with is interesting in helping people choose God, by preserving the truth that God has revealed about Himself, and preserving the sacraments that He left as a means to sanctification. It is often depicted as "fighting a culture" and this is because certain worldviews are mutually exclusive and permitting one world view really does preclude inclusion of the other - for example most dramatically communism precluded the possibility of Religion to the wholesale martyrdom of countless Russian Orthodox. So in safe-guarding the truth that she has been entrusted the church will not back down from engaging the world.

However this is not because she is "imposing" her views on others. It is because she is standing for the truth - in season and out of it.

That said even though I'm not inclined to believe in backward text I don't dismiss them off hand either, I mean - hypnosis sounds pretty unbelievable on its face too, but in certain people hypnosis quite effectively affects a persons will with nothing more than a sounds and suggestions. you brought up the question of whether or not a mind can even recognize a message in reverse. And yet as an engineer you should know that the human mind can do a thing no computer can do. Well palindromes, being the lover of word-play that I am, actually seems an apt comparison - its the same sort of sideways thinking, thinking of a sentence not as we phonetically hear them in our heads but thinking of a sentence as graphically depicted by letters and somehow maintaining the logic and structural beauty in both.

To wit a biblical palindrome:

Madam in Eden, I am Adam.

How do people come up with these things? The few awkward palindromes I've come up with in the past were after much hard work and effort, but there was a man by the name of Derek Chin, who wrote an OOP book called Zo's Palindrome. This guy wrote palindromes off the top of his head. How does someone do a thing like that? And what about true idiot savants that just have a facility in the brain to do astronomical calculations in their minds at leas as fast as a calculator if not to the nano second. What I'm saying is that while not inclined to the belief in reverse text or subliminal messaging I am not entirely prepared to dismiss off hand the mind's ability to hear, interpret and respond to such messages all together.

Mostly do I think it is a sound engineers lark - just a way of embedding an in-joke into something,

Like Easter eggs in DVDs

2) Why is it that satanic messages have to be embedded backwards?
I don't think that reverse text are necessarily satanic. If I given that impression I apologize. I saw two threads of questioning being posed 1- does reverse text work and 2- is there a satan? I've spent more time answering the latter than the former, because I think it is the more interesting of the two.

Put more simply my response has been: is there a devil? YES. Does Reverse Text work? Probably not but possibly. Can reverse Text be satanic? Logical yes. Are all reverse text Satanic? No.

In response to your latest question, would the devil use reverse text. Well, lets put it this way while fully respecting the intelligence and power of a creature such as the devil, and fully aware of the strength or power of his tools, Fear, addiction, shame, hate violence et al, I think that for all that the devil is at a disadvantage, The Book of Revelations says that only about one third of the angels in heaven fell, it says that the Dragon or the Devil was defeated by Michael - an arch angel. Since we are mostly not familiar with angelogies and hierarchies suffice it to say that seraphims, what Lucifer is generally accepted as, is the highest class of angels, and arch angels are among the lowest. I can go on but the point is that the Devil and the demons are out numbered, out gunned, out-witted and facing an utterly unconquerable foe. I'd imagine such a being would not be above using anything at his disposal.

However does he use this often?

Probably not. There are, I believe extraordinary manifestations of the demonic - possession, obsession and infestation (and potentially demonic messages hidden anywhere) - just as I do believe in extraordinary manifestations of angels - Jacob, the Annunciation etc, but I believe the ordinary interaction with the angelic and physical, temporal creation is merely suggestion. Moments of inspiration, little thoughts that enter our waking minds and offer us the suggestion to choice to do Good or do Evil. The Desert Fathers called these suggestions logisme - meaning "little words."

I think that is the primary way the devil does his work in the world, suggest to normal people that they do bad things.

Russell Nash
09-15-2009, 01:02 PM
The point is that the Church does not want to force it's followers to do as they say. That would be interfering with the free will of others.

Well, in this case, I have to disagree. Because no one can "freely" decide to do something when he knows that either Heaven or Hell are awaiting after he dies. That is coercion, "you can choose, but if you don't follow us, you go to Hell". Where is the free will here?

God (of course, if he exists) should say: "whether or not you follow me, you die, and there is no afterlife". Then, let's see how many would follow his way of life. Although, personally, Heaven and Hell, for me, are both the same. And if they exist, of course, I would choose Hell. And I'll let the good fellows go up (Heaven is up, right?) and enjoy Heaven, while millions suffer in Hell. Good fellows, right?

alogos
09-15-2009, 02:15 PM
This reminds me of a question the Black Ferris Asked that I neglected to address

“Would I damn my own child to an eternity of hell if he defied me, only because I knew I was right and he was wrong?

I think this is a common misconception of heaven and hell. The Catechism of the Catholic Church would define heaven as merely being in the presence of God, Hell would be defined as the absence of God. The "other" place. Jesus and Visionaries use the imagery of the cursed valley of Gehenna or Hinon, of fire and brimstone to illustrate the reality that where there is no God there is suffering. I imagine the reality is actually much, much worse.

I don't think it’s too hard to imagine why, cage up the meanest vilest men in this world in a prison, all of them wanting to do their own thing, all of them wanting to be the number one and then let them loose and see how quickly things degenerate. And those are only human being they don't have the intellect, will, or power of demons.

Have you ever received something that was exactly what you asked for but not what you wanted?

I think hell is the ultimate version of that.

You want to be “free” to do as you like here is “another place” where God is willing to give you just that. But you are “free” completely from God, and so you will have to fend for yourself, except there are much stronger, smarter powerful beings in there too and they are angry and hate-filled, and you very well will be the object of their scorn, because what else do they have to do. Misery loving company and all that.

Hell is a sad reality and a consequence of our decisions. It isn't so much: pick this or that, as much as it is that the “other than heaven” is hell, you can speculate that there are different types or levels or cantos of hell, but it all really just the “not heaven”. You don't have to be dead to experience hell, where there is no God, there is hell. It may not be the anguish of fire and brimstone, but it is the anguish of meaningless, of loneliness, of dread and anxiety.

Just as where there is love there is God.

You may think its coercion, but the Church is herself not free to make up their own take on morality. Outside of the Catholic Church I don't even know of any person that claims public and open infallibility. But even in the Catholic Church rules for application of infallibility are so specific, and they don't cover new ideas they just affirm and consolidate traditionally held revelations from Christ himself as handed down in scripture and tradtion. I guess you can say that a good Catholic is bound to the Church, but the Church herself is bound to Christ. A good Catholic is really bound to what Jesus said, the church is just there because it granted the grace of keeping the deposit of faith free from teaching error. In other words they are there to ensure that how we interpret the will of God is in line with what He revealed during his public ministry. And she is also there to administer the sacraments He left behind as a vehicle for His salvation.

However we Catholics have a different understanding of freedom. We do not see the “freedom” or choice to do wrong as a “freedom” we actually see it as a form of slavery, because you are bound by your appetites and desires, and drives. We see all sin, but especially the Mortal ones as being mortal not because of their gravity but because of the damage they do to YOUR conscience and will. The bad deed becomes the bad habit, the bad habit becomes the bad lifestyle and so on.

The Church is witness to the truth of this reality, and it says don’t this or don’t do that, not because she is a control freak, but because she understands human nature, she has been given that charism, and is trying to help her flock from making bad mistakes. Even if you disagree with the church you can admit that the last seven of the commandments are at least good advice, no?

God (of course, if he exists) should say: "whether or not you follow me, you die, and there is no afterlife".
He wouldn’t say that because there is an afterlife and he wouldn’t lie.

But he does say that if you follow his path you will suffer. You will endure taunts and teases, and you will have to carry your own cross. He doesn’t exclude his own beloved mother from this. “Sword would pierce her heart as well” and at every step of the his own crucifixion she is present and not spared any of the anguish or sorrow. Jesus tells the rich man who asked him what he must do to give up all he had, give the proceeds to the poor and follow him. He told his followers that no servant is greater than their master, and that if they would persecute him, they will us persecute his followers. He tells Peter that whereas before he would dress himself and go where he please, but that after Christ’s crucifixion for all intents and purposes his own life is over. He presents with a life of service for others and makes no compunction about it.

Long is the road and hard is the way that leads to heaven.

And I think that should be equally off putting

Of course it is hard not because it has to be but because of our own concupiscence to sin, it is not a necessity just a reality.

And I'll let the good fellows go up (Heaven is up, right?) and enjoy Heaven, while millions suffer in Hell. Good fellows, right?.
Firstly the “up” point is facetious and beneath you. And actually hopefully in heaven you would continue to do what you were supposed to do on earth, that is restore the temporal order. You see if you are in heaven, you are righteous, and the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Why do Catholics pray to saints? Because we believe that we are in communion with them, through the mystical body of Christ. Our prayers to them they turn around and pray of God, and if it is in his will he answers. Since we do believe prayer is efficacious you are still doing real and practical good.

Personally I’d like to think that we will be able to continue to contemplate and work on what I contemplate and work on in this living world.

PS; to all disinterested parties I apologize for the heavy religious overtones, but I feel they came up naturally in the course of the discussion.

PPS: does anyone else have a problem thanking a post that they've quoted?

Russell Nash
09-15-2009, 04:04 PM
THE MERCY OF THE DIVINE JUDGMENT.

St. Lewis the king having sent Ivo bishop of Chartres on an embassy, the bishop met a woman on the way, sad, fantastic, and melancholic, with fire in one hand, and water in the other. He asked what those symbols meant. She answered, "My purpose is with fire to burn Paradise, and with my water to quench the flames of hell, that men may serve God without the incentives of hope and fear, and purely for the love of God."

Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Taylor)

alogos
09-16-2009, 05:36 PM
This talk of reverse text actually reminds me of a recent phenomenon that has sprung up online.

Some conspiracy theorists are espousing the idea that there are “reptilian shape-shifting aliens” among us, no joke - and they have the video proof. And in fact the youtube poster who originated the video seems to be of the same religious ilk that 20 or 30 years ago would have sworn up and down on the satanic secret message were imbedded in rock and roll music.

You can see some of the videos here:

YouTube - BEST SHAPESHIFTING EVIDENCE TO DATE

YouTube - BEST EVIDENCE OF SHAPESHIFTING.proof of hoax.. NOT !!!

Of course like all novelties the idea has taken off and more and more people have posted their own video “proofs” – some ridiculously and badly doctored, some just post of there own mad ravings.

Like most reverse texts or reverse messages, in my opinion this is people seeing into something what is not there.

My explanation comes from my amateur love of videography – so it is by no means expert. But essentially most video nowadays is some sort of mpeg variation, .ts, .vob, .avi, .mp4, vc1, avc etc. All of these codec are what as known as being GOP in their structure. What this means is that rather than actually encrypting every frame of video, the video will encode one frame, and for the next 15 or so frames use complex algorithms to describe how each succeeding frame is different from the one before it, thus compressing the size of the video file.

Depending on how much a video is compressed there will be artifacts or anomalies in the video due to an overly simplified encryption – this will manifest as color banding, macro-blocking, video noise etc. The distortions in these videos are not inconsistent with what you’d see in badly compressed macro blocking.

Now since, only about one of every sixteen or so frames is actually “complete” in any given modern video signal, this means two separate machines receiving the same signal can actually produce to slightly different images for most of the duration, albeit similar enough not to be noticed by the naked eye.

I think that is why two different posters can post the “same” video and have it appear like an “alien” in one but not the other.

So what do you think Alberto, will people one day be comparing videos, looking for proof of the satanic or supernatural as well?

Just a vision of the reverse texts of the future.

PS: interesting to note that even the fundamentalist poster who started these videos, Gillamr1, suggest aliens, not the devil.

Have we as a people supplanted our favorite baddie?

Russell Nash
09-16-2009, 07:10 PM
Depending on how much a video is compressed there will be artifacts or anomalies in the video due to an overly simplified encryption – this will manifest as color banding, macro-blocking, video noise etc. The distortions in these videos are not inconsistent with what you’d see in badly compressed macro blocking.

I think that is why two different posters can post the “same” video and have it appear like an “alien” in one but not the other.

So what do you think Alberto, will people one day be comparing videos, looking for proof of the satanic or supernatural as well?

PS: interesting to note that even the fundamentalist poster who started these videos, Gillamr1, suggest aliens, not the devil.


1) The second paragraph answers your first one. What we saw is just a distortion due to the way that this video was digitally compressed.

2) I'm afraid that by being "scientist" by nature, I have to disregard as false anything that cannot be proved. Not only Satan, and supernatural phenomena, but also "dark matter". Although it may exist, I doubt it.

3) If alien life exists, I'll look forward to meeting some aliens. Question: Do these aliens have original sin according to your religious views? If so, did Christ die in other worlds as well, like in Bradbury's story? What do you think?

Mr. D.
09-17-2009, 01:21 AM
I've been busy at work and haven't had a chance to answer your question from the previous page. In the 1960s there was a major period of Beatles hysteria. A rumor went around that there were clues in the Beatles records (Not tapes or cds. This was 1968 or so) that, when properly decoded, would show the way to a secret land where only Beatles' fans could go. There was a minor cottage industry for a while where a lot of peopel actually opened up their turntables and got them to play backwards so that all of the clues could be found. On the Beatles' song "Revolution Number 9" there is one section where I think John repeats the phrase "number 9". Someone told me that if I reversed it he would say "turn me on, dead man." Now I had to hear that one for myself. I got an aquaintnace to reverse his turnable (I didn't want to risk my own)and we listened to the song backwards. It doesn't do anything for the song but we did hear John saying something like "turn me on. dead man." It actually sounded a lot more like "nurn me on ned man." However, people believe what they want. Playing the song correctly there is also a section where John is supposed to say "I buried Paul." To me it sounded like "I very tall", but then a diehard Pepperlander would say something like, "Paul's dead. That's why they have him walking barefoot on the "Abbey Road" album. Then I would ask something like, "Well, if he's dead how can they have him walking across Abbey Road, barefoot or not. And that's when things generally took an ugly turn. But, if you play that particular song backwards it does sound like John is saying something like "Turn me on, dead man." It was enough for the faithful. I hope that they got to Pepperland.

Russell Nash
09-17-2009, 02:04 AM
When I was 16, or 17, I don't remember well now, 1983 or 1984, a Catholic magazine published an article on satanic messages embedded on rock 'n roll songs. In fact, I didn't know much English, and because the article quoted some Spanish written songs, my friends and I, were decided to find out. We got a tape recorder that luckily (for us, not for the owner) played backwards. We played tapes all day long and trust me, we couldn't make out anything. These ones were Spanish songs, and Spanish is my first language. In Spanish "Satan " is "Satanás", and the word reversed is "sanatas". This combination of letters is rarely seen in Spanish, so how come someone can make "Satanás" appear in reversed text if "sanatas" in direct speech is hardly seen? When someone sings, the voice can be modulated to stress some letters or avoid singing others, yes, but then reverse text seems almost impossible. From Wikipedia (backmasking): "Audio engineer Evan Olcott claims that messages by artists including Queen and Led Zeppelin are coincidental phonetic reversals, in which the spoken or sung phonemes form new combinations of words when listened to backwards. Olcott states that "Actually engineering or planning a phonetic reversal is next to impossible, and even more difficult when trying to design it with words that fit into a song.""

alogos
09-25-2009, 07:28 PM
1) The second paragraph answers your first one. What we saw is just a distortion due to the way that this video was digitally compressed.

I agree my point was just with any media once you get to those fringes of how it is supposed to be used, you naturally get distortion and that these distortions, being so far from the pale often get interpreted as supernatural phenomena. When photography was discovered it didn't take to long for photos of "protoplasm" or ghost essences to begin popping up, Issues like double exposure, blurriness due to slow film, or even just lens distortions sudden were pounced upon proof of the supernatural. when people started playing with their record players they began to hear satanic voices apparently in their kids rock and roll. when tape recorders became popular it became popular pretty quickly to use them to record ESP, and capture your own private proof of ghosts. Now with video, you have MPEG distortions being used as proof of an alien invasion.

I do happen to believe in the supernatural. But I think that by its very nature it wouldn't be measurable, recordable or caught on tape, because if it could be it would be natural not supernatural.

I think it is actually a fun urban legend. And as such I was wondering if anyone here could anticipate what the next urban legend in the next media will be. Or even just has a curiousity about it.

2) I'm afraid that by being "scientist" by nature, I have to disregard as false anything that cannot be proved.

I wonder if that's really true. What about something like love? Is it just pheromones? Are you telling me that if you lost your nose you would loose you ability to love? If not then what is love? How about individuality? Can you really say that two people are actually really different? Yes they grew up differently, but can you prove to me scientifically that experience has any material impact on a person to the extant that it creates a person that is different from someone else who is physically similar? They may "act" differently, but how can we know scientifically that there is any meaning to how a person acts. Or we can go the Wittgenstein route and say that unless something exist communally it can't really be said to exist at all - therfore anything individual is not really relevant (I know I'm distorting Wittgenstein there). These are all rhetorical questions, and as such a little facetious. The answers are obvious, of course I am different from the person next to me. I'm saying we take more for granted than we realize. I mean how do we even know that the solipsist are right? That there is no one else but you and your imagination?

3) If alien life exists, I'll look forward to meeting some aliens. Question: Do these aliens have original sin according to your religious views? If so, did Christ die in other worlds as well, like in Bradbury's story? What do you think?
He-he, speaking of facetious... I will answer your questions though. Basically I don't believe that evolution explains to me how inanimate material becomes organic life - even Darwin himself began first with the cell, and used his theory to explain the diversity of life from there. I'm not sure that life would spring up anywhere else. Much less that independently random evolution would develop in such a way that there is another sentient species out there. But if there another sentient species, the question becomes do they have free will? Do they admire beauty and art? Are all those intangibles that distinguish man from animals present in these aliens. If so, then despite the genetic difference I'd probably have to consider them "human" - if they are human then no Jesus wouldn't have to die again for their sins, One sacrifice would be enough. I mean we didn't expect Jesus to die for the indigenous people of the Americas, simply because they lived in another part of the world, I imagine the same would hold true for "humans" who lived in another part of the universe. The vastness of space is further than the expanse of the ocean but only quantitatively not qualitatively.

Out of curiosity though what it the Bradbury story you are referring to?

Russell Nash
09-25-2009, 10:11 PM
I do happen to believe in the supernatural. But I think that by its very nature it wouldn't be measurable, recordable or caught on tape, because if it could be it would be natural not supernatural.

How do you describe something supernatural? What's your definition? Is the word paranormal equivalent to supernatural, for you?

2) I'm afraid that by being "scientist" by nature, I have to disregard as false anything that cannot be proved.

I wonder if that's really true. What about something like love? Is it just pheromones? Are you telling me that if you lost your nose you would loose you ability to love? If not then what is love? How about individuality? Can you really say that two people are actually really different? Yes they grew up differently, but can you prove to me scientifically that experience has any material impact on a person to the extant that it creates a person that is different from someone else who is physically similar? They may "act" differently, but how can we know scientifically that there is any meaning to how a person acts. Or we can go the Wittgenstein route and say that unless something exist communally it can't really be said to exist at all - therfore anything individual is not really relevant (I know I'm distorting Wittgenstein there). These are all rhetorical questions, and as such a little facetious. The answers are obvious, of course I am different from the person next to me. I'm saying we take more for granted than we realize. I mean how do we even know that the solipsist are right? That there is no one else but you and your imagination?

Love...? I think my wife is not reading this: "love is a chemical reaction." The rest is a byproduct of our corrupted civilization.

Thought experiment 1: A man loves a woman, but how deep is that love? Is it so deep that if the woman asks the man not to have sex in their lifetime he would accept?

Thought experiment 2: A straight man talks to a person, on the other side of a wall, but never sees what is on the other side because he talks by typing words on a keyboard, and receives words on a screen typed by the other person behind the wall. Than man, along the years, realizes that he cannot live without that person, on the other side of the wall, he loves that person. But after years and years of longing, he discovers that that person is another man. Would this straight man love that person now that he knows that it is another man?

Unfortunately for any religious person, this is true. Unless something is proved, it is a hypothesis. It may exist, it may not.

3) If alien life exists, I'll look forward to meeting some aliens. Question: Do these aliens have original sin according to your religious views? If so, did Christ die in other worlds as well, like in Bradbury's story? What do you think?

He-he, speaking of facetious... I will answer your questions though. Basically I don't believe that evolution explains to me how inanimate material becomes organic life - even Darwin himself began first with the cell, and used his theory to explain the diversity of life from there. I'm not sure that life would spring up anywhere else. Much less that independently random evolution would develop in such a way that there is another sentient species out there. But if there another sentient species, the question becomes do they have free will? Do they admire beauty and art? Are all those intangibles that distinguish man from animals present in these aliens. If so, then despite the genetic difference I'd probably have to consider them "human" - if they are human then no Jesus wouldn't have to die again for their sins, One sacrifice would be enough. I mean we didn't expect Jesus to die for the indigenous people of the Americas, simply because they lived in another part of the world, I imagine the same would hold true for "humans" who lived in another part of the universe. The vastness of space is further than the expanse of the ocean but only quantitatively not qualitatively.

Out of curiosity though what it the Bradbury story you are referring to?

The Illustrated Man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From "The Ilustrated Man", 1951, story "The Man". Probably published before when he was 28.

"The Man" — A group of space explorers land on a planet to find the population living in a healthy state of bliss. Upon investigation, they discover that an enigmatic visitor came to them. Further description leads the two spacemen to believe that this man is Jesus (though he is never named, leaving room for other religious personas). One decides to spend the rest of his days on the planet, living and rejoicing in the wake of the man's glory. The other continues in his spaceship, "chasing 'him' always a step behind, never fast enough to catch up to him, constantly trying to achieve the unachievable." Other members of the crew decide to stay on the planet to learn from the contented citizens, and are rewarded by the discovery that "he" is still on the planet.

alogos
09-28-2009, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the short story surprised I forgot about it.


Unfortunately for any religious person, this is true. Unless something is proved, it is a hypothesis. It may exist, it may not

I think this is a very insightful point, and I think St. Paul himself defines faith, as trust in things not seen, or something to that effect.

Of course for the skeptic there is that gnawing possibility.

It MAY exist.

I've answered you thought experiments by PM since I feel I kidnapped the discussion and don't want to deviate too much.

But in the interest of the discussion I wanted to include this word that has been on the tip of my tongue for our discussion of reverse text themselves, and not for our discussion of the supernatural claims.

Pareidolia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russell Nash
09-28-2009, 03:20 PM
Unfortunately for any religious person, this is true. Unless something is proved, it is a hypothesis. It may exist, it may not

I think this is a very insightful point, and I think St. Paul himself defines faith, as trust in things not seen, or something to that effect.

St. Paul?

You may be interested in this website,

The Apostle Paul. Rabbi Saul Could it all be a fabrication? (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/paul.htm)

Alogos, by now, you may have realized that reverse text, aka satanic message, has no influence on me. If it exists, and if Satan also exists, and if he is behind "reverse text", it would surprise me that God chose such fellow as his most beautiful, and intelligent angel. I already offered my soul up for sale, and he didn't contact me yet. I can lower my offer to $ 500,000, and if he doesn't have paper money, I can take gold, emeralds, whatever he used to tempt others before. What do you think? He is not interesting in buying my soul? It seems strange that such fellow, with such power, over many worlds, cannot pay such small amount to me. Don't blame me if I think that Satan doesn't exist. Regarding St. Paul, I think that there is enough evidence to support the idea that he never existed.