Does Barack Obama Plan to Hypnotize His Television Audience?

  • Posted on: 29 October 2008
  • By: mokshalom

As a hypnotherapist, I find the rumblings around the Internet about Obama trying to "hypnotize the masses" using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to be quite interesting. The idea that a political candidate might use hypnotic mind control techniques in a campaign is not really that bizarre. After all, advertising agencies use these techniques all the time, and self-help guru Tony Robbins uses this stuff shamelessly. (Did you ever see Shallow Hal? That movie was a bit over the top and not too realistic, but it did serve as a good fable about the power of the mind.) We are constantly under a barrage of hypnotic attacks by people who are trying to sell us something, whether it's hairspray or a political idea.

So it's actually not that far-fetched that Obama would use these techniques to his advantage. Worried Obama opponents are urging people to boycott Obama's televised infomercials as a way to protect against any possible brainwashing by Obama. Are these cries a bit paranoid or is there any reason to be concerned?

Yes and no.

First, let me state that I am not an expert in NLP. What I do know about hypnosis, however, is that it only works if you are really open to it and you want it to work. I could hypnotize you to stop smoking, but if you really don't want to quit, you won't. Sometimes, clients quit for a brief period of time but then pick up the habit again. Repetition is very important when trying to create a new habit or mindset. Based on my experience, one half-hour infomercial probably won't turn Americans into "Obamazombies" ready to vote for him despite their previous intentions, but it could have a reinforcing effect on those who have been exposed to Obama's NLP techniques over time. It could also sway some undecideds.

It is interesting to note that a friend of mine, who is a moderate planning to vote for McCain, watched the last presidential debate and found herself strangely confused. She suddenly felt herself sympathetic to Obama despite her strong stance against him. She was feeling quite uncomfortable about it.

I wasn't watching that debate for subliminal hypnotic messages, but there was something I saw in Obama that I shared with my friend. Obama reminded me of certain men I've dated, who are attractive and charming and tell you exactly what you want to hear, but when push comes to shove, they don't follow through (or worse). Obama lied outright in the debate when he claimed he did not launch his career in Bill Ayers's living room. But he was so smooth about it, many people will believe the lie...just like a woman wants to believe a man who says he wasn't cheating when he was.

I can certainly see Obama's appeal, and he's very seductive, but I have read his underlying energy and know that what's underneath does not match the external magnetism.

As I explained this, I told her that I heard Obama was using hypnotic techniques in his speech patterns.

With this to chew on, she seemed to come out from under a spell, as if she were waking up from a daze.

Thus, I do believe Obama has the capacity to "mesmerize" people. ("Mesmerism" was the beginning of modern-day hypnosis.) Whether it's through his powerful magnetic energy or NLP, Obama does have the ability to persuade. This does not mean he is sincere or a good man, so it is important to be doubly cautious and skeptical around an individual such as this. The ability to mesmerize people can be used for good or such, it is good to be alert and deconstruct the messages that are given to us by those trying to sell us on something.

So should you watch the Obama infomercial? What if he tries to program you? Well, here's my recommendation. If you do choose to watch the infomercial, be on the lookout for repetitive words and phrases, and what NLP calls "anchoring." To "anchor" means to associate a powerful feeling or emotion with a specific "anchor" such as a hand gesture, smell, or word.

Some have suggested that Obama is trying to "anchor" an association to vote for him with the action of putting the fingertip and thumb together (as if you were picking up a pen or something to mark a ballot with).

If you are concerned about getting programmed against your will, but still want to watch the infomercial, you can negate the effects of anchoring by consciously associating a different feeling and idea with the anchor. I.e., to anchor in your support for John McCain, you could put your finger and thumb together, generate feelings of excitement, and say to yourself over and over again: "I am voting for McCain! Hurrah!"

I'd actually recommend experimenting with anchoring more long-term, useful things with this gesture, such as "I am releasing any negative emotions I am now feeling" or "I am reminding myself to take a deep breath right now." Or, if you want to stop smoking, you could anchor in "I am a non-smoker."

For more information on anchoring and NLP, see this introductory blog post:

17 Examples of Classic and Everyday NLP Anchors


"What I do know about hypnosis, however, is that it only works if you are really open to it and you want it to work."

I think there are so many people out there who want a change so, if he is using these techniques, it'll affect them. Reminds me of a line from "The American President": "People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference."

Stop drinking sand!!

Night closed my windows and
The sky became a crystal house
The crystal windows glowed

From The Plough of Time, Ferlinghetti

It is well known that Obama is not just a simple guy who managed to be elected President of United States of America. I have also heard that he is good at hypnotizing with NLP. Only blind people probably can't see his level of professionalism when it comes to talking to his audience (to his list). I even find it quite impressive.

Richard Seperato
How to Hypnotize Someone for Beginners Blog

With all due respect to the Feelgoodgirl, but she makes an underlying assumption that is misleading.

NLP is NOT some evil hypnotic technique. It is simply a way to improve effectiveness of communication (more generaly, a way to improve the efficiency of using ones mind). Nothing more, nothing less. The idea that somebody
can convince you to vote for him by hypnotising you over TV is ridiculous.

Obama is indeed a master of NLP:
He uses a simple language that appeals to visual, audio and kinesthetic audience members;
His ideas are broad and general, always positive
He uses social proof in an a masterfull way
He paces and leads gracefully
He has a posture and voice of a leader ("anchoring")

(I am sure I missed something)

But is he A MANIPULATOR because he mastered this communication skills so well?
Or is he simply somebody who has perfect skills for a job a PRESIDENT OF USA?

I don't think hypnosis or NLP are "evil" techniques, but certainly such techniques can be abused towards evil ends. We are "hypnotized" daily by the media and by television. There's a reason why corporations spend so much money on advertising - it gets us to buy their products.

We're brainwashed daily by the media. We're brainwashed to consume, to focus on shallow things, to worry about our looks over our souls, to focus on the external over the internal.

The last thing we need is to be brainwashed by our government.

Thus, I do not take mastery of NLP or mass hypnosis techniques as an overall "positive" when it comes to our elected leaders. While you might trust a politician to use his extreme popularity, powers of persuasion, and propaganda techniques to only do good with such power, I certainly don't. I suggest that we as conscious spiritual beings need to be very cautious and discerning, especially with our elected leaders.

It's easy to get swept up in the fervor, but if we want to be truly empowered citizens we need to be informed on more than just raw emotion. Otherwise, should the wrong persuasive leader come into power some day, we could end up like Nazi Germany, swept up in a mass hysteria based on a popular delusion of a man as a messiah.

Understanding how NLP and hypnosis works helps us to use it consciously for positive means, and not just fall prey to it when the next slick marketer or unscrupulous politician comes along.

The way you put NLP and mass hypnosis together in the same sentence, tells me that you don't make much distinction between the two.

I am not an expert on mass hypnosis. I am not even sure I know what that phrase means; and we'll have to start a separate thread for you to convince me that any kind of hypnosis can be harnessed by an individual to such an extent as to win a US election.

NLP is a set of communication skills - as simple as that statement is. I'll give you one example, although it is a very simple one and it doesn't do justice neither to Obama nor to NLP.

In one of the debates with Hillary, Obama was asked about his connections with Louis Farakon, a black nationalist who praised him on the local radio and newspapers. Instead of endlessly justifying himself, he simply answered:

"I can't help it if someone says I am a good guy."

(This is pacing - everybody can relate to such a simple statement)

Then he went on about a need for new politics without mudslinging and empty accusations.

(This is leading - once he paced audience, he takes them along the new path)

I am a college instructor and I observe the power of verbal and nonverbal communication on an everyday basis.
This job also helps me appreciate how difficult it is to master NLP techniques. When someone gains the level of skill that Obama has, it deserves the utmost respect, rather then disdain.

> It's easy to get swept up in the fervor, but if we want to be truly empowered
> citizens we need to be informed on more than just raw emotion. Otherwise,
> should the wrong persuasive leader come into power some day, we could end up
> like Nazi Germany, swept up in a mass hysteria based on a popular delusion of
> a man as a messiah.

Don't you think that has already happened? :-) I don't have any other explanation for George W. Bush getting elected in 2004. Germans went over the top after the 1918 defeat, we went over the top after the 9/11 attacks (You think I am exaggerating? Ask Iraqis)

You might completely disagree with me on the interpretation of these events. This is another example of the power of NLP. You and I see the same reality, and yet, our filters/lenses are so different that we give it diametrically opposite meaning.

"When someone gains the level of skill that Obama has, it deserves the utmost respect, rather then disdain."

I don't think someone should automatically be respected for being a good salesman...a slick used car salesman can also sell you a lemon by mastering NLP. And we need to be aware when politicians use these techniques to manipulate our opinions and emotions. In the case of the lemon, we've just lost some money. In the case of a government, we could lose a lot more.

I'm not making any judgment specifically here on whether Obama will use his NLP for good or bad. But I will say his use of NLP makes me more wary personally, not more trusting, and I think that's a healthy skepticism we need of our elected leaders.

As for NLP not being hypnosis...they are definitely related, and the use of anchoring in NLP is something that is also done in hypnosis. NLP often utilizes hypnotic techniques during a waking state. As such, certain NLP techniques can indeed be considered a form of hypnosis.

As for this:
"I don't have any other explanation for George W. Bush getting elected in 2004. Germans went over the top after the 1918 defeat, we went over the top after the 9/11 attacks"

We're a bit over the top right now with the anti-Bush reaction causing an equal and opposite reaction in elevating Obama as a savior for all of Bush's supposed ills. If this type of teeter-totter continues, we'll be back to another reactionary conservative government after the Obama administration is finished. I'm more moderate and would like to see a stop to the see-saw, where we have the elevation of one side as the other side is denigrated. The Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same corporate-paid coin in my view, and until we can get past these petty partisan politics we truly will never see real change.

Being aware of how both sides try to manipulate you is important in staying spiritually clear, I think. To me, it's all a ruse to distract from the bigger issue of big money running things. We get distracted by ridiculous striations of red vs. blue. Well, guess what? I am neither red nor blue - I am purple!

But that's for another thread.

Thanks for your comments.

>I don't think someone should automatically be respected for being a good salesman...

I couldn't disagree more. Selling ideas is what politics is all about. As a matter of fact, this is how we rate
politicians - how good they are in selling governing ideas to us (public) and to their peers (fellow statesmen).

>a slick used car salesman can also sell you a lemon by mastering NLP.

Ah... the age-old argument: should we protect people from being sold lemons. The consensus on this one is clear: as soon as you try, you are already well on your way towards totalitarianism.

Or as Winston Churchil put it:
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Thanks for your response.

"Ah... the age-old argument: should we protect people from being sold lemons."

Missed the point...there was nothing in what I said that suggested we ban used car salesmen. But we actually do have lemon laws in America, and it still feels pretty free to me! So I'm not sure how you made the leap from used car salesman to totalitarianism....scratching my head on that one...

But since you've brought it up...history has shown that totalitarian regimes are often begun by charismatic leaders who consciously or unconsciously use hypnotic techniques to mesmerize their audience and sell them on things they might not otherwise go for. How else do you explain how average Germans committed a holocaust?

This is why I will say again that conscious spiritual people need to be mindful of manipulation, even if you think it's coming from a good man. If America ever fell to a charismatic leader, it would precisely be someone young, attractive, and seemingly good like Obama. That's exactly how those guys appear quite often. I'm not saying Obama wants to be dictator, but I certainly wouldn't glorify him for using NLP tricks, nor do I personally like that sort of approach when it comes to politics.

Healthy skepticism is what we need in politics, and that seems to be missing with some Obama supporters...probably because of the NLP. Now it'd be interesting to find out why some people get all enraptured by him and others do not, from an NLP perspective. He personally does nothing for me, nor does he for many friends of mine, and we're not Republicans. I even have a very liberal touchy feely positive thinking friend whose response after he first saw on Obama on TV was..."What's the big deal? He's so boring and uninspiring! I'd heard what a great speaker he is, but I just don't see it." Was this perhaps because his first introduction to Obama was his Saddleback appearance, which was perhaps not as scripted as his speeches?

So if you have insights on that, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

This administration is going to be like being drunk on a date. The people who've been hijacked by him won't realize they've been screwed until the next morning. They just thought they were having a good time.

I'd like to share this comment that I read here ( ) and also check out


Comment by Northwest rain | 2009-01-24 19:31:33

I am astounded at the amount of psychological manipulation being used by camp Obama.

My degrees are in Behavioral Science — group dynamics — Sociology etc. I’m trained as a group facilitator — although I no longer work in this field.

When I started to listen to what Obama was saying and HOW he was speaking — red flags started to go up. He is using classic psychological manipulation.

And then the caucus in Feb. last year — I saw manipulative psychological techniques being used by trained Obama agitators.

As the primary season progressed I observed more psychological manipulation — unified messages from the media.

I don’t know how many people are involved in the psychological manipulation — it is more intense than the advertising industries uses — it is almost black op psy warfare intense.

Others here at NQ have mentioned the est and “human potential”

Obama is a very controlling personality type — he is one of the most extreme Narcissistic to reach this level. And he is being back by unknowns — professional psychological manipulation.

Everything I’ve seen requires intensive experimental knowledge of MASS psychological manipulative techniques. Obama himself is far too lazy to do this sort of research — and it is at least graduate level competence to even understand the research and know the literature.

I suspect that Rush and others are well aware of what is happening — or they can guess — because they are using crude tools to manipulate the masses. But if they call Obama out on what they are really seeing — perhaps they will expose the techniques they themselves have been using???

There’s a book called SNAPPING — which explains some of the indoctrination methods used by cults — which is helpful for laypersons to understand what and how camp Obama operates.

Snapping: America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman

Available through — good used prices!!

The best way to beat the psy ops techniques being used — IS to listen to both sides and QUESTION AND VERIFY — do NOT just believe.

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