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Is subliminal communication real? 
And can you use it to "rewrite" the subconscious scripts governing your life, making changes elegantly, without effort?

...That appears to be the promise of the research of Eldon Taylor, Ph.D.  He outlines his research as well as others in the book, "Subliminal Communications".  I just got done reading the book.  Below are the cliff notes I took from the book.  Keep in mind these are just notes from the book, they are not my words or opinion.  Reviewing them will give you a quick snap-shot of the book.

Subliminal Communications
Emperors new clothes or panacea
By Eldon Taylor, Ph.D.
(The cliff notes)

Author's background

Dr. Eldon Taylor is a criminologist specializing in forensic hypnosis and the detection of deception.  He conducted some of the first subliminal research with prison inmates.


Thoughts are things and create, however many driving thoughts are rooted deep in the subconscious mind.

To make a change we need to get the subconscious working for us.

Is subliminal communication a pathway to the subconscious?  The evidence shows that subliminal communication is real.  The question is how do we best use it.


Becker "black box":  Dr. Becker patented a "black box" that mixed spoken words with music at levels sub audible to the conscious mind.

The box was initially tested in department stores with the messages "I am honest".  Claims of dramatic reductions in inventory shrinkage were reported.


How might subliminals work?  How they may sell?

  • Repression mechanism:  Simply says we see what we want/expect to see and filter out the rest.

  • Repeated experiments have demonstrated that the conscious mind is not a necessary part of information processing.  Freud, "the most complicated achievements of thought are possible without the assistance of consciousness."

  • Research confirms an increase in brainwave activity of music with an subliminal imbedded verses the same music without the subliminal.  This implies the subconscious mind was processing the imbedded subliminal.

  • Robert Chapman at the University of Rochester:  Demonstrated that words grouped according to connotation (example Beautiful v. Crime) elicited distinct gross EEG patterns.  Moreover the patterns were substantially similar between different subjects.

  • Data suggest 2 levels of perception, conscious and unconscious.  Human activity can be affected by subliminally perceived material in at least 8 areas: conscious perception, dreams, drives, emotions, memory, perceptual defenses, value norm anchor points, and verbal behavior.

  • The question is no longer whether subliminal communication exists but rather how it works.


Offers list of reports of success removing warts, bust enlargement, stop nail-biting, weight loss, improved memory, healing, insomnia and more using various subliminal tapes.

Subliminals may re-enforce a "true belief".  Once established in the mind the body follows suit.

The Clinical Data

Dichotic approach:   Conscious verbal dialog suggesting one thing and the subliminal re-enforces that message.  Example: A verbal dialog suggesting it's O.k. to feel good about yourself along with a audio subliminal saying, "I do feel good about myself". 

He suggests this approach gets much better results then without the subliminal message.

Associative memory through subliminals:  Example Dr. Bruce Ledford projected violent and erotic images while lecturing at a candle power at the subliminal level.  Test results indicated the experimental group a significant increase in memory relevant to the material presented over a control group who viewed only a blank screen behind Ledford's lectern.

Perceptual defenses:   Mind protects us from shocking or deeply traumatic material.

Value norm anchor point: A personally / culturally accepted position between good and bad, right and wrong, success and failure, approval and rejection etc.

Studies suggest subliminally perceived data can move these anchor points around.  (Basis of for changing someone's financial thermostat etc.)

Author experimented with a subliminal message of the 23 rd Psalm while conducting interrogations.  He observed striking differences in the length of the interrogations and the nature of the confessions.  Others seemed to notice the same when they ran the experiment.

Subliminals have been found to influence skin temperature, galvanic skin response, heartbeat -- in fact, most of our physiological processes. 

Subliminal Technology

All senses can be appealed to subliminally but the 2 most common are sight and sound.

Subliminal video stimuli are create in 1 of 3 ways.

  1. Slide insertions

  2. Candlepower ratio levels

  3. Tachistoscope projection

Slide insertion is an insertion of a message every 1 per 14 to 28 frames.

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Candlepower ratios are simply lowering the wattage output to produce light slightly above that of the room.

Tachistoscope projection is accomplished by flashing messages every 5 seconds or so at a speed of 1/3000 th of a second.

Candlepower method is said to be more effective because the message is continuous.

Audio subliminals:  Many companies are trying to stuff too many subliminals in one tape, only distorting them too much for the subconscious to perceive.

Audio subliminal techniques

  • Professor Becker's "black box", psychoacoustical concealment, white-sound masking, and back-masking, or metacontrast.

  • Becker's "black box": Averages the volume of the music and then processes spoken words slightly beneath the music volume.

  • Psychoacoustical concealment:   Harmonize voice frequency with the primary sound output.  Example, the voice is made to sound like and instrument or "pink" or "grey" sound.
  • White sound mixing:   Same as psychoacoustical concealment, except the difference is that white sound contains all audible sound frequencies.  The message is matched to the sound or lowered slightly below the white noise sound background (usually the sound of ocean surf).

  • Back-masking or metacontrast :  Audio track of the message is played backwards and overlaid on the music track.  Nature of our language is such that a single word often contains opposites.  Example: sin in sincere, con in confidence.  Eros and live backward are evil and sore.  Which is perceived by the subconscious if played backward?

Scientific findings

Dr. Norman Dixon, Author of Preconscious Processing.  Dr. Lloyd Silverman of New York University.

Dr. Dixon research - asserts consciousness is not the same as information processing.

  • There are 2 systems of processing.  The conscious is only aware of one of them (subconscious the other).

  • Pre-conscious processing is thought to be responsible for many mental task attributed to the conscious.

Dr. Lloyd Silverman:

  • Researched subliminals for more then 20 years.

  • Researched symbiotic fantasies ("mommy and I are one" and "it's okay to do better then daddy")

  • Everything from learning ability to dart-throwing skills have been improved as a result of being exposed to these subliminals.

  • His hypothesis.

  • Conflict originating in the unconscious as a result of opposing wishes gives rise to adaptive behavior.  The more unresolved the conflict the more deviant the behavior.

  • Reports schizophrenic symptoms were exacerbated by approximately 70 percent using "psychoactivating subliminals".

  • Used the "mommy message" in weight-loss class successfully.

  • Did a control test with "mommy message".  Test subjects didn't know what message was, but consented to test.  He used the California Achievement Reading Test to measure results.  "Significantly higher scores were achieved by the group viewed the subliminal "mommy" message.  Also improved behavior to improved class grades in arithmetic were reported.

  • Dr. Kenneth Parke or Queen's College in and experiment with law students found the "mommy" message improved academic performance in general.  The control group did not see the same gains.  A month later tests showed those given the subliminal had higher retention of the learning-enhanced material.

  • Other "mommy messages" variants proved less effective ("Daddy and I are one", and "the professor and I are one").

  • Dr. Sima Ariam tested "Mommy" message on students in Tel Aviv.  He proved the message effect was cross-cultural.

  • Key message in the "mommy" message is "one".. Power appears to come from the "oneness metaphor."

  • Dr. Thomas Budzynski and his wife, Lawrence Doche-Budzynski repeated "mommy" experiment using masked audio subliminals. No fancy equipment, just the message spoken clearly, then masked with ocean wave sounds.

  • Protocol involved listening for 20 minutes each day.

  • Experiment was double blind

  • After 4 weeks tests indicate clear gains in those receiving subliminals.

  • After 90 days a residual gain remained measurable.

  • Dr. T.F. Pettigrew (South Africa)

  • Conducted experiments based on brain lateralization experiments. (Each eye of subject is views different pictures. Example:  1 eye shown white face, another a black face).

  • Found that South Africans were able to assemble the 2 images and see a face.  Native Africans were unable to bring a fusion in the 2 images and see a face. (Gives credence to the "blocking" aspects of perception. we see what we expect to see.)

  • Author conduced and experiment with Utah prison inmates.  Experiment was double blind and designed to raise the inmates self-esteem.

  • Used audiotapes using ocean waves to mask the subliminal.

  • Project ran into unforeseen and unexpected cirmstances, but nevertheless statistically meaningful data was assembled.

  • Test group received a measurable gain in the 3 areas the messages were tailored to address.

  • Twice as many participants dropped out of the placebo group as dropped out of the test group. (Experiment was on a volunteer basis).

  • Recent study suggests personality types integrate subliminally perceived suggestion more readily.  These types are referred to as "high psi hitters".

Unanswered Questions

  • The covert nature of subliminal messages opens the door for abuse.

  • "Black slide" or "black frame" technique (every 32 frame is black.)
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  • Produces a 45 beats per minute pulsations only perceived subliminally. 

  • Induces a trance state.

  • Opens the mind up to be more easily suggestible.

  • The question of whether subliminals should be speed up and multi-tracked.

  • How much does the subconscious perceive when these techniques are used?

  • Evidence suggests subliminal communication should be delivered slowly and methodically.

  • Back-masking studies suggest that back-masked messages are received primarily by the right hemisphere of the brain, thereby appealing more directly to the emotional side.

  • Subconscious cerebration:  It is thought the subconscious is able to "tumble" words together.  For this reason it is critical words in the subliminal are positive. "I find 10 cigarettes a day more then enough for me," may tumble around and become "more then ten cigarettes."

  • No aversive approaches should be used.  Instead message must focus on the positive factors.

  • Should be first person. "I this" and "I that" or egoless.

  • The way we take in information: Visual, audio, kinesthetic.  It's important your subliminals address the unique way you take in information.

  • The forgiveness set. I forgive myself, I forgive all others, I am forgiven

  • Sex of the voice in the subliminal script.

  • Some feminist reported to experience reverse effects of a weight-loss program with a male voice.  Researcher attributes this response toe the male voice to the strong resentment held by some female subject to male authority figures.

  • Dichotic "whole-brain" programming:  The process of using a different subliminal message in each hemisphere.

  • Dr. Budzynski:  Presented to one ear the message "It's okay to feel good" (directed to the major hemisphere), and "I do feel good" (directed to the minor hemisphere).  Messages are delivered through headphones.
  • Other considerations:  primary carrier of the subliminal message.
  • music, nature sounds
  • Advertisers have found a pattern of 72 beats per minute increases suggestibility.

  • M-field theory:  Learning a subject occurs more rapidly when the subject matter has been previously learned by other groups or individuals.  The ease of learning is directly proportional to the number of people who have already learned it (Jung's collective unconscious).

  • Author speculates that "intention" of the person creating the subliminal tape can in fact be recorded along with the subliminal messages.

  • Can more then one subliminal program be used ad once?  Yes, if they are compatible and compliment each other.

  • How often should subliminal tapes be used?  You can't overdose on positive suggestions.

  • Best time to listen to tapes? Bedtime or during driving times or while watching television.(when no conscious effort is necessary).

  • How soon to expect results?  Most report results within a week or two.  All should be aware of gains or adverse reactions within sixty days if the program is solidly conceived and produced.

The Homemade Subliminal Program

(This section is now obsolete with the advent of even the most basic computer audio editing)


Are individual biocomputer is programming dismal realities despite our conscious kicking and struggling.  Most of us are raised to believe we couldn't, wouldn't, and shouldn't even try.

Subliminal communications offers a way to rewrite and rebalance the language existing in the biocomputer.

Today you can be what you think you are, not what others thought you might be.  You can become the product of your own creation.

"Personal empowerment comes through self-awareness."


Related links...

Subliminal Communication by Eldon Taylor - Book Review

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