The Lanier Verbatim Memory System | Part One: Intro & Part Two: How It Works

Gary Lanier has developed a memory system that will enable you to memorize verbatim almost anything! Watch as he demonstrates the power of the memory system, using the Bible verse Revelation 19:7. Followed by Part Two: How It Works. For more information log on to

[Moderator note: some of the comments weren’t able to be migrated, but Gary’s additional comments have been preserved below.]

I’ll talk about how I use the Book and Chapter number to establish what I call a Memory Environment later. It’s my work space for creating memories for all 260 chapters in the New Testament.

Maybe the following will give you an idea as to how this memory system works:

The verse number is the hub within the Memory Environment that holds each word in the verse. By the way, every word in the verse has a tangible alternate word. To me it’s sorta like learning another language. I keep a notebook of alternate words and continually add to it.

As I mentioned in the video, the TITLE (first word) in Revelation 19:7 is LET. Each letter in it (L-E-T) represents a person I know or is well known (movie star, politician, scientist, etc).

F-A-C-E Helper
I also know 4 visual facts about each person where I can hang a WORD SUB on each:

  1. F eature - physical that stands out
  2. A bode - Where they live
  3. C areer - What they do (Doctor, Wife, Student)
  4. E vent - Some memorable event in their life

Generally, each visual fact of these people works as a peg/hook for one word/alternate in the verse.

So, if you know the TITLE, you know the people that are associated with the verse and also their order of entry.

I begin by using Ladies (Louise, Elizabeth & Teresa). Then, the guys come in to finish the verse (Larry, Ernie, & Tom).

Unlike competitive memorization, this system is designed for long term memory. So, when the words in a verse are encoded, they stay there.

This is just a nutshell view that’s missing a few bolts, but maybe you can fill-in the missing parts.

It’s the memory that allows us to experience the good times over and over again.

Happy Memorization!

Having said all of this I’m sort of winging it, going through a memory route, creating a main image for a block of text, the main image then links to the rest of the sentence.

Gary: the STRUCTURE (building, house, etc) in the Part Two video, is sorta like the main image to me, along with the AC’s (Alpha Characters), that actually are the pegs for the SUB WORDS). Each AC is the caretaker of 4 SUB WORDS, which I consider to be a BLOCK, CHUNK, or CLUSTER of text.

The important thing is finding something that works for you.

I continually work on SUBSTITUTE WORDS as if they are a foreign language. Then, as I see the SUB in the VERBATIM SYS, I act as a translator.

The S-S-S Memory Principle in Part 2 (second video), gives me an orderly way to remember the:

  1. Book and Chapter reference (address)
  2. Verse, sentence or even a paragraph reference
  3. Content in the verse, sentence or paragraph

Though I use the Bible to demonstrate the power of this system, it will work for just about anything that requires remembering words in and out of context.

The Memory Environment is a familiar:

STREET that is positioned in front of a familiar
SIDEWALK that is positioned in front of a familiar
STRUCTURE (building)

The STREET is the Peg that holds the Book and Chapter number
The SIDEWALK is the Peg that holds the Verse (or sentence, or paragraph) number or location
The STRUCTURE (usually a building or house) is the object that is made up of 4 Peg positions (locations) that hold the CONTENT of the Verse.

In a larger sense, the entire STREET, entire SIDEWALK, and every STRUCTURE associated with them can contain an enormous amount of sequenced data that is mnemonically encoded (tangitized).


After watching the Lanier Verbatim Memory System Videos, maybe the following will make more sense.

Verbatim Approach to Memorizing Sentences & Paragraphs

By using what I call a Memory Environment, that is basically a picture backdrop, that represents the overall subject matter, I can mnemonically memorize word sequences by the use of image pegs or hooks.

Though this approach seems somewhat common, a unique addition that has been very helpful to me, is the use of Alpha Characters. They work like mini-journeys (4 locations each). Their sequence is derived from the first word or two of each sentence, which I call the Sentence TITLE.

Example: If the sentence begins with the WORD “AND,” the Alpha Characters used are 3 familiar Ladies whose names start with A, N, & D. Each Lady holds 4 words, 12 words all together. If the sentence is longer, add the MEN whose names start with A, N, & D. That gives 12 more words…and so on. If that’s not enough, simply add a word to the TITLE.

One other thing, every word in each sentence has a SUBSTITUTE or SYMBOL. That’s what gives the verbatim possibility.


I developed this system pretty much for my own use. I have ADD tendencies, along with a bit of dyslexia and Asperger Syndrome. Everything I do takes total focus and concentration. If I don’t have a definite way to start or begin a task and a precise road map to follow step by step, I stay in a constant state of chaos and total disorganization. That is why this system is so detailed. I would not recommend it to anyone unless they are desperate and have exhausted every other means of

Now, in answer to your questions, the answer is YES, but with practice, review and a life style of renewing. But to me that’s not so bad when I consider that I can memorize verbatim, when I could not before.

Though I have a memory position for every word in a verse, that is not necessary (but for me it is). A person could select fewer key words that would trigger the context of the verse. Then with a few repeats, all the THE’S, AND’S, BUT’S ect would fall in place.

I think a lot of people know many verses but the big problem is where to find them. To solve that problem I just keep the Book and Chapter image in an assigned location. Then, all the verses for that chapter stay in that same environment.

For auditory review and practice, after I’ve gone through my verbatim process, I often use my thumb and four fingers to keep me on track. The THUMB cues the TITLE, and each finger represents a position (1, 2, 3 or 4) where the Substitute Words are. That way I always know where I am on that particular verse. As I go over it a time or two, I may pick up the speed. After awhile I’m oblivious to the verbatim process because I’m speaking faster than my mind can keep up with all the detail of the Alpha Characters and Word Substitutes. But still my fingers can keep up. If I stop in the middle of a long verse, whatever position the designated finger is in, reveals the Alpha Character and Word Substitute images. Then, if the finger position and word sub match the word I just spoke, chances are I’m right on target.

Hope this helps,
gary lanier

"Speeches" would be the title. Would you use two different people whose first name began with the letter E?"

Right answer number #1 is YES! I have 3 Lady Alpha Characters that start with E, though only 2 are needed in your example. Keeping them in alphabetical order, in my minds eye, will cue me as to who starts and finishes. None of them look alike… so that keeps confusion down to a minimum.

Another way to handle this is by using the letter E once. Simply skip the repeats and go to the next Alpha Character. For me, I like the multiple same letter characters (no more than 3 per letter).

Hope this helps,

I establish a memory environment first.

The New Testament has 27 books and 260 Chapters. I have a key word for every book and chapter. For example: James Chapter one is JeT. The J stands for the book of James and the T sound (Major System) for chapter 1.

But if I can’t find a word to sub for both book and chapter, I simply use two words.

This system works great for me whether it’s for verbatim or general content (fewer images, objects). Often one image triggers the whole line of words.

As to recall, I do it in groups of 4 words. I start at the top of the image and read like a clock. In my mind’s eye I can zoom in for detail and zoom out to see the entire image.

I just added a much more detailed PART TWO. Maybe that will give more insight as to how I do it.

YOU SAID #1 : Do you always use one title word for each verse or do you sometimes combine verses?

ME #1 : I use one TITLE for ONE Bible Verse.

If the Bible verse is long, for example Revelation 20:4, the longest verse in the New Testament (70 words NKJV), the verse TITLE will need more words. In my case, I used the first 3 words as my TITLE… AND I SAW. Each letter in the TITLE lets me know which Alpha Characters to use.

The fact that verse 4 is an even number, lets me I know that I will start with my Male Alpha Characters.

Ladies start first on the odd numbers. So, verse #1 in Revelation 20, begins with Teresa (my cousin) because the verse is an odd number and the TITLE is the word, THEN. Thus, T is Teresa.

YOU SAID #2 : It seems like it would be difficult to come up with over a thousand different people and their FACE in that quantity.

ME #2 : You are right! I’m sure I couldn’t do that. I have a few over 26 in each of my Alpha Character Modes. But what I can do is use my ALPHA CHARACTERS over, and over and over again. The key is to establish different Memory Environments for each Bible Chapter in conjunction with the TITLE and Verse number.Then, focus on mentally staying in that Environment as I go through the verbatim process.

YOU SAID #3 : Also what if verses start with the same word, how do you avoid confusion?

ME #3: That is a GREAT QUESTION! Luke, chapter 1 has 80 verses (more than any other NT Chapter). Twenty Two of those verses begin with the word, AND.

9 of the 22 are odd numbers, so they begin with the Lady Alpha Characters, while 13 verses are even numbers (Male Alpha Characters).

So, what can I do to help make things less confusing?

1 ) In chapters where there are several verses that begin on the same WORD, come up with a few more Alpha Characters for each letter in the TITLE.

Example: If the TITLE is AND, I could use ANNA (my granddaughter), Andrea (friend), Anita (my sister-in-law). If you know several that have the same name, that’s OK.

2 ) Associate each of the Alpha Characters with the mnemonic Verse number (1 is Tie in the Major System that I use) in the memory associations.
3 ) Again, make sure you stay in the Memory Environment of the CHAPTER.

I’m sorry, this is way too long and it’s on the brink of sounding too complicated when it is basically SIMPLE. But when Simplicities are added together, they can appear to be Complex. Below is my email. Feel free to use it.

[email protected]