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YouTube Neckbeard Exposes Anita Sarkeesian's Secret Plan to Hypnotize the World By Using The Verb "To Be"

I'm totally not hypnotizing you.
I’m totally not hypnotizing you.

Is Anita Sarkeesian secretly trying to hypnotize us all with her videos? Like, literally hypnotize us, in the “now you’re a chicken” sense?

That’s the central insinuation of an inadvertently hilarious video by YouTube blabber Jordan Owen, one of the guys behind that Sarkeesian Effect “documentary” that’s allegedly in the process of being made.

Owen’s video isn’t a particularly new one – he put it out in January – but it’s been recently resurrected by the good folks at A Voice for Men, who reposted it earlier this week, saying that it offered “very thoughtful, erudite” criticism of Sarkeesian that’s “particularly enlightening and full of information a lot of people don’t know.”

So that’s a good enough excuse for me to talk about it. Also, did I mention that the video is hilarious?

In the video, a weirdly soft-spoken Owen – he sounds as if he’s recording in the living room of his parents’ house and trying desperately not to wake anyone up – breathlessly announces that he’s going to help to “elucidate” an important piece of information that will fill in a hole in the alleged puzzle that is Anita Sarkeesian.

Owen points out that Sarkeesian apparently once worked for a guy named Bart Baggett, a huckster and self-proclaimed handwriting expert who also dabbles in Neurolinguistic Programing, or NLP, a questionable form of hypnosis based around the idea that you can hypnotize people, possibly against their will, in the course of normal conversation by embedding secret commands into the words you choose.

Ross Jeffries in his glory days
Ross Jeffries in his glory days

NLP , while largely discredited in scientific circles, has long been popular with pickup artists, who would of course love to be able to hypnotize women into doing their bidding. It was central to the ridiculous “speed seduction” techniques that a guy named Ross Jeffries began teaching in the 1990s.

Jeffries’ most mockable claim: that if a wannabe Casanova works the phrase “below me” into conversation with a Hot Babe, she will subconsciously hear the phrase as a command to “blow me” and will suddenly feel a desire to do just that.

While this particular bit of speed seduction lore has fallen by the wayside due to its sheer and obvious silliness, there’s a lot of NLP still embedded, as it were, in PUA techniques even today.

So what does this have to do with Anita Sarkeesian? Well, according to Owen, the devilish Ms. Sarkeesian is embedding secret hypnotic commands into her fundraising videos in an attempt to control our brains and empty our wallets.

Owen drags out a pdf he found by Baggett called “The Secrets to Creating Chemistry,” which Owen seems to think Sarkeesian is using as her super seekrit mind control manual.

One of Baggett’s techniques, Owen tells us ominously, is something called “Adverb/Adjective Presupposition,” which is basically a trick to supposedly get your listeners to agree with your premises by … using adverbs before verbs and adjectives before nouns. Devious indeed!

Owen quotes one of Baggett’s examples, evidently intended to show how you can successfully use Adverb/Adjective Presupposition to con a Hot Babe into bed with you:

Have you asked yourself if the unlimited potential of our relationship is what is making you so happy?

Another one I found in Baggett’s manual:

Have you naturally discovered how attractive you are becoming?

If even one single woman ever had sex with a guy who said either of these things to her first I will eat my cats. This is why people laugh at NLP.

Owen plays back a sentence from Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter video, which he thinks provide clear evidence that she’s using Baggett’s word voodoo in order to hypnotize us all. Be careful, lest you yourself become hypnotized just by reading this! Here’s Sarkeesian:

Have you ever noticed that, with a few notable exceptions, basically all female characters in video games fall into a small handful of clichés and stereotypes?

Huh. That’s actually tru ….. OH NO I HAVE BEEN HYPNOTIZED!

Owen devotes the rest of his video to uncovering more alleged evidence of Sarkeesian’s alleged use of Baggett’s alleged techniques, winding up with what he describes as “perhaps Anita’s most subtle and insidious use of these techniques” – that is, her alleged use of “embedded language.”

The phrase “embedded language” doesn’t actually mean anything, as fazr as I can tell, and Baggett doesn’t use it in his manual. Owen seems to mean what Baggett calls “magic words” – words intended to get your target all excited about you – and “embedded commands” – secret commands you can work into your conversation.

In any case, Owen posts assorted screenshots of Baggett’s lists of “magic words” and “embedded commands” and then – dun dun DUUUH! – demonstrates that Sarkeesian in fact uses lots of these words in her Kickstarter video!

This would be a smoking gun, except for one little problem: the words on Baggett’s lists are some of the most commonly used words in the English language. It would be pretty much impossible to communicate without them (or their counterparts in other languages).

Here are some the evil “embedded” words Owen finds in Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter video:

Look

Show

Imagine

Talk

Say

Understand

Decide

Some

All

Many

Most

When

After

Was

Ok, ok, I’m going to have to stop for a moment to acknowledge this last one.

JORDAN OWEN LITERALLY THINKS ANITA SARKEESIAN IS TRYING TO HYPNOTIZE US BY USING THE PAST TENSE OF THE VERB “TO BE.”

A few more of the evil voodoo words and phrases she uses:

Through

Down

On

Imagine

“In addition to”

“Have you ever”

I have a question: Have you ever watched a video so incredibly obtuse that you begin to wonder how humankind ever made it out of the caves in the first place?

Because I just did.

Owen ends his video with some comments that are far more manipulative than anything Anita Sarkeesian has ever said probably, ever, in her whole life:

Remember that the techniques Anita used in her video are those of the seduction gurus.

Wait, isn’t that use of the word “remember” an EMBEDDED COMMAND basically ordering us to accept his interpretation of what Sarkeesian was saying?

If you condemn the behavior in the form of men trying to manipulate women into the sack, then you must condemn Anita’s behavior as well because, while she is not a feminist, nor is she a gamer, nor is she a legitimate academic, she is, from a technical standpoint, a pickup artist.

Don’t PRESUPPOSITION me bro!

If Jordan Owen were the main character in Bioshock, I would ask him: Would you kindly develop a tiny shred of self-awareness?

If you’ve played Bioshock, you would know that this was an extremely clever reference to (SPOILER ALERT) a key plot point.

Crap, I inadvertently tried to hypnotize you with PRESUPPOSITIONAL WORD VOODOO in that last sentence.

Sorry! I’ll just stop right now, before I accidentally raise hundreds of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter.

Well, in a second. First, here’s a diagram from Baggett’s manual that I find sort of hilariously baroque:

bagget

And here’s Owen’s ridiculous video:

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not shaved in several days, and I also have some videos up on YouTube (including this one of Owen’s Anton LaVey-looking pal David Aurini), so technically I am also a YouTube Neckbeard.

CREDIT: Thanks to Brooked for the meme graphic up top, and to Hellboy to alerting me to the existence of Owen’s delightful video in the first place.

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strivingally
7 years ago

If Anita Sarkeesian is the Hypnotoad, would that make Zoe Quinn or Leigh Alexander the brain slugs?

http://www.dreamwidth.org/userpic/219792/138463

kinchski
7 years ago

“Very thoughtful, erudite” — those words, I don’t think they mean what AVFM think they mean…

greyskye
greyskye
7 years ago

The reason I don’t comment often is because I almost always am left speechless when I read these posts and have nothing clever left to say.

Now I know it’s because David is just hypnotizing me with words in sentences to be a chicken.

Thank goodness it’s Friday, I have a whole yard to scratch.

beegees
beegees
7 years ago

You know, I just ate a pound of shrooms and dropped some acid and started listening to Anita’s documentaries and OMG IF YOU LISTEN TO THEM BACKWARDS they tell you to kill all men!!!!11!!!!!!!

OMG!!!!!!!!

strivingally
7 years ago

I’m just guessing randomly, but maybe they think using overly flowery language overloads the speech processor so the person doesn’t fully process what you say, and the question makes you more likely to say “yes,” which then causes you to retroactively think you were approving what was said?

There’s a lot of stuff written over the years about how framing a question in a particular way makes a certain answer more likely, and most of it isn’t controversial. There’s also some research referred to in books I’ve read recently that basically says people will often change their thoughts and feelings to match their behaviour (a kind of CBT in reverse, if you will). If you put the two together I guess you could argue (very tenuously) that you can sway people into acting a certain way with the right combination of words, and then their beliefs and thinking will line up behind that.

Trying to somehow claim that A.S. is brainwashing people into doing her bidding because she uses verbs and adverbs is drawing a preeeeeeeetty long bow though. But then again, I would say that because HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD.

greyskye
greyskye
7 years ago

Oh actually I do have something to add… having just listened to the first couple of minutes of the video (can’t be bothered to listen to more), the pitch and drone of Jordan’s voice is the same as those self hypnosis tapes you get. I wonder about his REAL purpose was in making these videos, since he clearly knows some stuff about the shady world of home-brew hypnotists.

I would posit that he’s actually attempting some audio hypnotism techniques of his own through the video in order to further his obvious agenda.

But that’s probably giving him way too much credence.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

It is possible to manipulate people’s responses on surveys by ordering the questions in a particular way. It’s one of the vexing problems for people who want to do surveys and collect usable data. For instance, you get very different responses on “do you support gay marriage” questions if you precede that question with one about gay men, versus the response you get if you precede it with a question about gay women. Priming someone with thoughts of gay women makes the response to “do you support gay marriage” much more positive than if you prime them first with thoughts of gay men.

I have seen exactly zero evidence that Anita Sarkeesian is doing anything remotely like that, and I would be interested in Owen’s evidence if he believes otherwise. That would require him to have some knowledge about how this kind of thing works, though, not merely a wild-hair conspiracy theory, so I won’t hold my breath.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

I’m kinda surprise Owen hasn’t tried playing Anita’s videos backwards and looked for back-masking. Or looked for hidden image frames. Or maybe he has, and the time and effort took it’s toll and that’s why he was so frustrated and worn out in that one video.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Highly social primates can be influenced by a complex set of sounds created for communication? Why, I am shocked, shocked.

I thought they made those noises because they sounded funny.

Bina
7 years ago

I’m kinda surprise Owen hasn’t tried playing Anita’s videos backwards and looked for back-masking. Or looked for hidden image frames. Or maybe he has, and the time and effort took it’s toll and that’s why he was so frustrated and worn out in that one video.

Amazing that they probably would go to such lengths, and yet not make the tiny effort it takes to admit they got nothin’, cut their losses, and move on.

Cult-think is truly a helluva drug.

Taffer
Taffer
7 years ago

Oh yeah, Anita!

katz
7 years ago

Just wait till you see what happens if you sync up Anita’s videos to The Wizard of Oz.

theladyzombie
7 years ago

He did the same shit over Gail Dines. He fixates on someone he doesn’t like and assigns all manner of sinister motivations to them. In other words, he builds a huge strawman, then shoves Nicolas Cage into it and burns it as a sacrifice to his Libertarian gods.

I mean, if Anita Sarkeesian made a video that’s basically her saying, “Ice cream is great! I especially love ‘Death by Chocolate,'” he’d made an hour long video about how she was a shill for Perry’s Ice Cream and how she wants all lactose intolerant people to spend a week sitting on the toilet. Then he’d prove it by analyzing her skin tone and how you never see a toilet in any of her videos and how he has it on good authority that she really prefers sorbet.

Jordan needs to ‘Go Galt’ already and get out of everyone’s hair.

Chevrolet
Chevrolet
7 years ago

I wish someone would edit those kitchen timer pings into Jordan Owens’ video every time he used a secret embedded word. Or do it to a Paul Elam video, or just any ordinary conversation two people are having. There’s no way it would happen less frequently than it does in Sarkeesian’s video.

vaiyt
7 years ago

If you condemn the behavior in the form of men trying to manipulate women into the sack, then you must condemn Anita’s behavior as well because, while she is not a feminist, nor is she a gamer, nor is she a legitimate academic, she is, from a technical standpoint, a pickup artist.

Jordan, you just told your audience that they should find Anita’s techniques fine since they think manipulating women is cool.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

In other news, Anita Sarkeesian linked this webcomic on her twitter:

http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic/page-1

I’m only starting it, but it is quite fun so far.

I thought some other people here might be interested.

HJ
HJ
7 years ago

Today she’s a hypnotist – tomorrow she’s a witch!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g&w=640&h=390%5D

katz
7 years ago

Besides, why would we need to use neurolinguistic programming when we’ve already embedded all men with Ceti eels?

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Can someone please explain to these guys that normal English grammatical construction is, in fact:
– verb before adverb: she ran quickly OR adverb before verb: that clock is always slow.

– adjective before noun: the big, blue sky; the ginger kitten

The adjective before noun construction may be reasonably peculiar to English. I believe the construction is noun before adjective in French, and also in Maori.

It’s almost like he’s not a linguist. Did he pass primary school English?

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Did WordPress eat my last comment? I think it did.

magnesium
magnesium
7 years ago

I think he might be confusing feminists with Bene Gesserits.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

It was about the latest in misandry news. The remains of Philip II of Macedonia were found. They were accompanied by the remains of a woman warrior in her thirties. http://www.archaeology.org/news/2595-141010-greece-vergina-philip-ii

Oh the horror and misandry! A feeeemale soldier who’s past the wall hitting age? Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Tessa
Tessa
7 years ago

Hrm… This does explain why I donate money to her every time I hear a bell. Now I just have to figure out the chicken clucking thing.

weirwoodtreehugger

I’m guessing Owen also believes in chemtrails, FEMA death camps and the secret bunker under the Denver airport. Also, Kubrick definitely used symbolism to confess to being involved in faking the moon landing in the Shining. BENGHAAAZZZZIII!!!!!#

Just so you know, the bunker is totally real. I’ve been there. They have snacks. The others are fake, though.

Did you notice David has “imagine” twice on the list above? I bet there’s some sinister hypnotic reason.

vaiyt
7 years ago

I believe the construction is noun before adjective in French, and also in Maori.

Portuguese and Italian too.

Jef Withonef
7 years ago

Hey David,

For what it’s worth I am a registered hypnotherapist in Texas, and while Owen is six pounds of prat in a five pound bag, he’s not totally outside the realm of hypnotism. I can’t imagine any hypnotist playing the “Have you naturally discovered how attractive you are becoming?” card because it’s not therapeutic. A more healthy approach would be “You discover, maybe for the first time, how beautiful and wonderful you are.”

You’ll notice that the sense of agency shifts from the perception of others to the perception of the subject themselves. Which is, of course, the opposite of what these idiots want. Empowering the psyches of women? What horrible things might they do with such a thing?

Thankfully, the idea that what Sarkeesian is doing is “hypnosis” in the strict definition of the term is laughable. She’s about as hypnotic on a brain wave level as any engaging TV program, but that’s the extent of her “powers”. There are many cues to look for in a hypnotic speech, and Sarkeesian hits few of them, and those almost certainly by accident. Yes, she uses question form to engage the subconscious, but it’s no more sinister than a commercial.

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