Thursday, July 06, 2006

Several years back I used to go to spiritual revival weekends through my church's youth group. During these cermonies I remember experiencing a swell of joy, I would raise my hand and sway my arm with everyone around me, I would repeat the prayers the pastor said and I would sing the praise and worship songs with the rest of the crowd. Never did I collapse from being "slain in the spirit" like some others who approached the alter, but I always felt my hair stand on end and I gained a sense of weightlessness by the end of the service. I left there a changed man. That was until a few years passed and I became aware that this was not unique to Pentecostal Christianity. Examples of the same feelings and behaviors can be found in other religions including Hinduism and Voodoo.

This is when I learned about the subtle techniques not only Preachers, but Politicians, the Military and even Opera Singers implement.
Not too many know of these tricks or why they work, so, here's an extensive list of them.

Some of my favorites are:

  • The "Voice Roll" Technique: used by hypnotists, this is a rhythmic speech pattern - a favorite of lawyers during closing arguments - which lulls an audience into a trance. The rate the words are usually delivered is between 45 to 60 beats per minute and sounds monotonous, almost as though the speaker is talking in time to a metronome.
  • Embedded Commands: watch politicans use this one. They will emphasize certain words or phrases by motioning with their left hand because it has been proven the left hand appeals to the right brain, the hemisphere of the brain more sucseptible to subliminal suggestion.
  • Interspersal Technique: with this trick a combination of verbal emphasis and forced visualization is employed. Take this phrase - "Senator Johnson is assisting local authorities to clear up the stupid mistakes of companies contributing to the nuclear waste problems." Although the sentence may be factual when the right words are stressed Senator Johnson can be made to look idiotic.
Source: The Battle for your Mind: Persuasion and Brainwashing Techniques Being Used On The Public Today by Dick Sutphen

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