I take it back: Glenn Beck is not a Clown

Nor, is he nuts. He is rather, an adept at the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) technique called “Sleight of Mouth“. He may be the BEST at it that I have seen.
What is “Sleight of Mouth” you ask? it’s verbal shell game/three card monty designed to confuse you, then hypnotize you and then, reframe your world. The technique was created as a means of eliciting therapeutic change in thinking by Robert Dilts, and in the video, you can see its misuse.

While the narrator doesn’t use “sleight of mouth” or “Conversational Hypnosis” or the rest of the language of NLP, it’s quite clear that’s what Beck is using.

From another video is this transcript of a discussion of the therapeutic use of Conversational Hypnosis:

Doug: Well, it’s interesting. I use it in a whole variety of ways. I used to be sales manager for Robbins Research so I used it for sales, obviously.

I use it all the time in therapy with people because people are needing to be persuaded that: (a) there is a different way, that (b) that they can do it, and (c) that they can do it now.

So sleight of mouth helps me to persuade them of that before we even get started. A lot of times the therapy is almost done before we do any specific therapeutic interactions for changing their phobia or changing their allergy response or what ever it might be; it’s almost done before we start because I’ve done so much sleight of mouth.

Michael: Can you give an example — without going into full details?

Doug: No (laughing) I would have to really stop and think. Well just an example with weight loss clients. I do a lot of that because when people think of you as a hypnotherapist, they think ‘smoking’ or ‘weight loss.’

Many times people who come into a weight loss session will have been on diets many times before and they have this notion that they have tried and failed before, so that means they can’t do it. And that’s just a belief system. If this, then that. It’s just a perfectly stated belief system.

So my first job is to convince them that it can be done. So I will say something to them like, “the fact that you’ve been on diets before and that hasn’t worked, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, it means that the diet doesn’t work.” And I talk about all the times that diets don’t work and why they don’t work and convince them of that. Then they are open to the idea that something else could work.

I want to reiterate, that this is not simply a therapeutic technique.

Beck is also using another technique called “Conversational Hypnosis”: