Did Barack Obama hypnotize the nation during his Denver acceptance speech?

As you may have heard, Barack Obama recently became the president of the United States. However, his enemies continue to portray him as a smooth but dangerous character whose rhetorical skills mask evil motives. In this recently posted video, for instance, Obama is accused of using "the techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis," to put America under his spell -- and his Invesco Field speech during August's Democratic National Convention is used to illustrate this point.

"A fundamental tool of 'conversational hypnosis' is pacing and leading -- a way for the hypnotist to bypass the listener's critical faculty by associating repeated statements that are unquestionably accurate with the message he wants to convey," states the text that accompanies the clip. "In his Denver acceptance speech, Obama used the phrases 'Thats why I stand here tonight,' 'Now is the time' and 'This moment' 14 times. Paces are connected to the lead by words such as 'and,' 'as,' 'because' or 'that is why.' For example, 'We need change' (who could disagree?) and 'That is why I will be your next President.'" And what other famous person used a similar approach to public speaking? Why, Adolf Hitler, of course.

Not buying this theory? After watching the footage above, you probably won't, either -- but that's because you're in a trance. Snap out of it!

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts