Conspiracy Watch: Obama, Hypnotist in Chief

You are getting verrry hopeful.

Illustration: Peter Hoey

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


the conspiracy: Barack Obama is not just an unusually eloquent speaker; he is an expert in mass hypnosis (hopenosis?). By tapping into the sinister techniques of neuro-linguistic programming, the president subliminally convinced Americans to elect him—and who knows what he’ll make us do next? Among his “trance induction” tricks: “extra slow speech, rhythm, tonalities, vagueness, visual imagery, metaphor, and raising of emotion.” And his “O” logo was even designed to look like a crystal ball.

the conspiracy theorists: The Obama-as-brainwasher-in-chief theory was first presented in an unsigned 67-page document posted on an Arizona libertarian’s website last October. It was picked up by conservative blogs, message boards, and Rush Limbaugh, who told listeners that “a bunch of surgeons and doctors” had diagnosed Obama’s “hypnotic effect.” “The people most susceptible to neuro-linguistic programming are young people and highly educated people,” he explained. “I find it interesting, too, that many Jewish voters are supporting Obama…Maybe it is hypnosis.”

meanwhile, back on earth: We elected a president who uses rhythm, tonality, and visual imagery in his speeches? My God, what have we done? Does that mean that red-staters are immune to his awesome mesmerizing powers? And why can’t he use self-hypnosis to quit smoking?

Kookiness Rating: Tin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat SmallTin Foil Hat Small (1=maybe they’re on to something, 5=break out the tinfoil hat!)

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate