Could it be… Satan?

Here’s something I wrote in 1998 or 1999 or so.

I’ve always been kind of fascinated with how these little backmasking scares appear to come in cycles, particularly when there’s some perceived “moral crisis” in the country. As priest confessors, Grand Inquisitors, Puritans from Salem, Kenneth Starr and Manoling Morato illustrate, those most obsessed with sex (or Satan) are the same ones who’ve taken it upon themselves to ferret sex and Satan out.[1] Too much time on their hands, I’d say, when there are genuine social concerns to address.

Granted, subliminal images in advertising and films are fairly well-documented. There were rumors in the ’60s (during the Cold War, a good panicky time) that there were subliminal advertisements underneath the Muzak played in supermarkets to encourage shoppers to buy certain products. But to lead someone to worship Lucifer??? Give me a break. It’s a very anti-humanist view of people for Christian pastors to adopt, I’d say, taking the metaphor of “their flock” too seriously…

One of the guys in my high school was utterly obsessed over backmasking and the connection between rock ‘n’ roll and Satan that he ultimately wrote a 100-page paper for a Social Science class about it. Essentially the guy, fueled by his newfound born-again Christian fundamentalist faith, combed through back issues of Creem and Kerrang! or whatever and picked out various anti-Christian/anti-status quo quotes, of which there were many. The local Catholic church was so impressed with his research that they invited him to give a two-part lecture at the local auditorium. [2]

In any case, the highlight of his presentation was the result of painstaking backmasking; Cool Edit didn’t exist then, so he must have cracked open all those tapes and physically turned the loops over. Unbelievable! Anyhow, everyone was given a handout with all the evil lyrics they were supposed to hear, thus setting the stage for a more receptive audience.[3]

First up was Depeche Mode’s “Master and Servant” — the part in the beginning where the vocals go “It’s a lie / it’s a lie” was supposed to sound like “God is cheap / God is dead.” “Turn me on dead man,” from “Revolution No. 9,” was reinterpreted as a reference to Satan. Anyhow, he went through a whole range of songs — Tears For Fears’ “Shout,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and “Hotel California” (boy did he have a field day with that one), but I can’t remember the exact words we were supposed to hear. Most famously was the “Start to smoke marijuana” phrase supposedly heard during Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust.” (This was “clearest” during the chorus “breakdown” just before the end, when Freddie Mercury kept reciting “Another one bites the dust” over handclaps.) Though the backmasker couldn’t exactly explain the significance of the backwards message in Prince’s “Darling Nikki” (off the album “Purple Rain”) — it went something like “God is coming soon” — so Enrique (our backmasker’s name) chose to focus on the sexual lyrics instead.

Actually, the highlight for me was when he showed huge slides of black metal album covers. The look on the nuns’ faces was priceless.

[1] Satan and sex happen to some of the constant bugaboos in urban folklore, e.g. the supposed giant phallus on “The Little Mermaid” poster, the supposed “666” in the Procter and Gamble logo, etc.

[2] This happened to be a particularly urban folklore-fertile period (1988 or so) in the Philippines as well, which saw the country in the grip of a Satanism scare. Church groups were handing out flyers on “How to Spot a Satanist” — the anarchy symbol, the pentagram, 666, etc. The same flyers would warn of punks with mohawk haircuts defacing grave stones *and* distributing LSD-laced stickers to school kids (a nice conflation of urban myths right there). Needless to say, everyone distributed by the Twisted Red Cross label were highly suspect…

[3] (Obviously the way it works is through the power of suggestion: if you’re consciously looking out for “evil” lyrics, then garbled vocals will sound like what you want them to sound. The brain, in an attempt to find coherence in distortion, automatically tries to isolate and combine phonemes without the presence of a template — and if that same template (with all the evil lyrics) is already presented to you, then hey! it works.)

2 replies on “Could it be… Satan?”

I agree with your first paragraph; people who moralize are the same ones who are inmoral in their private lives. Grand Inquisitors are worst people than the ones they intend to save from hell. Many closet homosexuals are daily/hourly giving advice on morals to others, critisizing all, because they are afraid they may be critisized – unahan na lang! They are afraid to be transparent and guard their closet homosexualism with the utmost care; and that’s precisely what makes them a bunch of schizo-paranoids. But what is the role of Society? …precisely to expose them so they can be normal fellas at last.

What does God think about… Homosexualism?

First, homosexuality is described in the Bible as a sin. In the Old Testament, it was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:13), and was included in the list of sexual practices that were to be avoided (Leviticus 18:22). One school of thought that has arisen is that a person who has homosexual tendencies, or is actively practicing, was born that way. The only part of this theory that is true is that, yes, we all were born in sin, and, left to our own devices, we will eventually practice what we were born with, and that is sin. In other words, I do not believe that a person who is gay is that way because of genes or character traits over which they have absolutely no control.

On the other hand, we recognize that, if it is a sin, then it is something that God expects us to deal with and correct. We mentioned that in the Old Testament it was an action that was punishable by death, so, if you didn’t want your life to end so abruptly, don’t commit the act. The law would be impossible to keep if we couldn’t control what it condemned.

In the New Testament, Paul spoke about God’s displeasure against those who practice homosexuality in Romans 1:24-27. Here again, the will of the transgressor is involved; those who are practicing sin refuse to acknowledge God and His Word; they reap the consequence of their own choices.

If we look at I Corinthians 6:9-11, we notice that the persons practicing the list of sins given will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If you look at the list closely, the list is of those who are practicing these actions, i.e., adulterers, fornicators, etc. However, Paul goes on in verse 11 to say, “And some of you were like that, but now you are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by God’s Spirit.” That verse says to me that there is forgiveness, cleansing, and salvation for anyone from any of the categories mentioned. This means that homosexuality is a sin, but no greater than any other sin, and, as a sin, it can be forgiven, and the person delivered from the chain of sin and habit that binds them, just as it is possible to be freed from and forgiven of any other sin. BUT the real issue is whether a person wants to be delivered, or not. God is on the side of the person who is endeavoring to follow Him!

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