The Subliminal Programming Story

By Dick Sutphen

On the back of my Only Subliminal tape packages, I explain that for subliminals to be effective, you must be favorably disposed to the programming goal. Even then, I consider subliminals to be support programming. Yes, they certainly work if properly applied, but they don't have the mind-programming power of tapes like our Video Hypnosis or the RX17 audio line. This is why we primarily use the technology in association with altered-state programming. In Video Hypnosis two kinds of subliminals are built into the programming. The Track 2 / Side B of the RX17 tapes are subliminal suggestions hidden behind the music.

Having stated that disclaimer, let me share some background on subliminal programming.

The first known use of subliminal suggestions took place in the 1950s, when a Fort Lee, NJ theater owner flashed the words "Drink Coca-Cola" over Kim Novak's alluring face during a six-week run of the movie Picnic. The concept was the brainchild of James Vicary -- a New York market researcher. Lobby sales of Coke increased 58 percent and popcorn sales climbed 18 percent.

No sooner did word of the subliminal experiment leak out than Congressmen were calling for investigations and the Women's Christian Temperance Union decried the threat to American youth if breweries were to exploit the technology.

But the public paid little attention to subliminal programming until the early 80s when Time magazine ran a story called "Secret Voices -- Messages that Manipulate." The story tells how would-be shoplifters often have a change of heart that isn't due to honesty, but to a "little black box," -- an electronic conscience. Behind the background music played in stores, there's a subliminal anti-theft message, "I am honest, I will not steal," being played 9,000 times an hour.

Time quote: "About 50 department stores in the U.S. and Canada have installed the device to reduce shoplifting and employee theft. One undisclosed East Coast chain is said to have cut the number of thefts by 37%, for a savings of $600,000, during a nine-month trial. The device also seems to be catching on with other businesses. In Toronto, a real estate office uses a black box to inspire sales personnel ('I love real estate. I will prospect for new listings for clients each and every day')."

The article goes on to explain that black-box inventor Hal C. Becker is using the technique to inspire professional hockey and football teams. "The box is also being used by psychologists to help people lose weight, stop smoking and overcome phobias like the fear of flying."

Two months after the Time article, The Wall Street Journal ran a story offering many examples of successful subliminal use, including this mention: "At McDonagh Medical Clinic in Gladstone, MO, patients waiting for a special type of intravenous therapy that takes up to four hours are told subliminally not to be anxious. Fainting spells used to be a problem for some awaiting treatment, but clinic administrator W.D. Johnson says there haven't been any since the messages began."

Several years later, Omni magazine ran a report titled "In Through The Out Door" by Eric Lander. The following is a quote: "What about using subliminal commands to render someone a willing slave? Fortunately, it can't be done. A subliminal message is a subtle instrument. For it to have any effect, the individual must first be favorably disposed to thinking or behaving in the proposed way. For example, you can't get a confirmed Datsun buyer to switch to a Cadillac, but he might be persuaded it's time for a new Datsun."

When the Gulf War began, one of the first people the Army shipped to the war zone was a silent-subliminal specialist. As he told me, "Iraq soldiers were bombarded with subliminal messages urging them to give up and surrender."

In 1994, Newsweek ran an article titled, "A Subliminal Dr. Strangelove." It goes on to explain how the FBI Counter-Terrorism Center met with a "long-haired Russian Dr. Strangelove called Igor Smirnov." Igor was consulted about running subliminal messages behind the phone calls while negotiating with David Koresh during the Waco Branch Davidian crisis. Although the FBI claims not to have used the technology, they did meet with this representative from Moscow's Institute of Psycho-Correction.

Personally, I've often experienced how powerful subliminal suggestions can be if used in accordance with my own desires. As just one example: If I play "writer's" subliminals for several hours during the day while I'm working, I'm almost assured of awakening about 4 AM, my head filled with ideas that I have to commit to paper before I can fall back to sleep. This doesn't happen if I only play them about an hour a day. With excessive use, it's as if the cumulative volume of the suggestions has to surface in a dramatic way. And I have no idea if others have experienced anything similar. I have, however, received hundreds of testimonial letters from customers who claim some amazing results.

We know both the government and advertising agencies think subliminals have mind-programming power. With that in mind, realize that there is no law on the books outlawing the use of audio or video subliminals on radio, TV, or the Internet. Maybe that explains why you've been buying some of the things you do.

Obviously, controversy over the value and morality of this technology will continue for a long time to come.