Conspiracy Watch: Obama, Hypnotist in Chief

You are getting verrry hopeful.

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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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!)

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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