Early this morning I ran across this fabulous press release/blog post from the always fun Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).* I present excerpts of it here for you with only minimal additional commentary:
Is Barack Obama a brilliant orator, captivating millions through his eloquence? Or is he deliberately using the techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis developed by Milton Erickson, M.D.? [links added]
And I thought it was bad when they were just calling him a socialist. Okay, for those who are wondering, NLP is not at present empirically supported but did provide part of the background for the excellent novel Snow Crash.
Techniques of trance induction include extra slow speech, rhythm, tonalities, vagueness, visual imagery, metaphor, and raising of emotion. Hypnotists often have patients count. In a speech after the primaries closed, Obama said: “Sixteen months have passed (paused)…Thousands (pause) of miles…(pause)…Millions of voices….”
Hypnotists call this a distraction technique: sending the dominant hemisphere on an assignment involving linguistic processes, thus opening the nondominant hemisphere to suggestion.
So, what, political candidates are supposed to gear their speeches to those who can’t count and think at the same time? And as a side note, did anyone actually count anything in response to those statements?
Obama’s logo is noteworthy. It is always there, a small one in the middle of the podium, providing a point of visual fixation. Unlike other presidential logos, one looks through it, not at it. It might just be the letter “O,” but it also resembles a crystal ball, a favorite of hypnotists.
Oh my god! Obama is secretly an Oprah fan! It all makes sense now!
I can’t even be mad at them, this is so stupid.
* For those who aren't familiar with the good folks at the AAPS, they're a hard right-wing alternative to the American Medical Association. They're famous for their spirited opposition to all forms of abortion, their assertion that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doesn't cause global warming, and their belief that HIV does not cause AIDS. Also, they claimed that illegal immigrants are spreading leprosy and they employ Andrew Schlafly of Conservapedia as a legal representative.