By the way, does the phrase "gober ~~~ sans broncher" mean "swallow ~~~ hook, line, and sinker"? The exact meaning of "sans broncher" eludes me.
Gober is used for animals who swallow a prey without chewing, especially for frogs eating flies. Figuratively, it means to accept something without thinking, generally by being too naive. It is quite common in French, with or without sans broncher.
Je lui ai raconté n'importe quoi et il a tout gobé (sans broncher) ?
Sans broncher means that someone surprisingly does not react to a situation where most people would. Note that it is surprising for the person who uses "sans broncher". So if I say:
Il s'est fait pourrir par le prof mais il n'a pas bronché.
(He's been roasted by the teacher but he stayed surprisingly calm.)
it means that I was surprised that he could stay so calm in that situation.
So gober... sans broncher means that someone naively believed a bunch of lies and that the person speaking is surprised it was that easy.