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Date Posted: 15:52:09 12/23/03 Tue
Author: Ex-NLP Person
Subject: The Truth About NLP

I wanted to write a piece on what I have gleaned from the study of "Neurolinguistic Programming," hereafter refered to as "NLP." My first encounter with it was when I went to a Tony Robbins "Firewalk Seminar" in 1984. After going through the seminar and walking over the hot coals, I thought that my life would be totally transformed, and that the hundreds of dollars I spent would be worth it; even though I could not really afford the money I had just blown on the seminar. Needless to say, when everything wore off and nothing changed, I really felt ripped-off. At first I attributed it to my own ignorance, in not being sufficiently knowledgeable on the subject of NLP. So I spent some time reading Tony Robbins' book: "Unlimited Power," as well as studying the works of Bandler and Grinder, such as "Trance-Formations" and "Frogs Into Princes." I will say at the outset, that NLP is a very complicated subject, the mastery of which is well outside the range of average intelligence. I have studied it off-and-on since 1984, and I cannot say that I have mastered it by any means. However, I have studied it long enough to know what NLP is, and what it can and cannot do. I am disgusted by the claims made by NLP practitioners as to its "theraputic" and "transformational power," to "get all you want out of life," and all this, these claims are absolute bunk. NLP has no value as a form of therapy whatsoever, in that it was not designed for that purpose. NLP on the other hand, is a "Persuasion Psychology" based on neuro-scientific, behavioral, and hypnotic models, and in this sense it is very powerful. With NLP you can manipulate anyone into anything, and its use of neurosensory models combined with hypnotic techniques can create very powerful; yet temporary effects. But since NLP uses transformational grammer in relation to sensory feedback (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic) to elicit both influence and trance-states, its effects are incredibly powerful from the standpoint of inducing powerful short-term experiences, as well as gaining undue influence. And this is what its for. Bandler and Grinder rant and rave about having invented NLP, and it is possible that Bandler at least may have had a hand in its development. Its real origins begin with Col. John Alexander of the US Defense Department. NLP was developed as a tool of PSYOPs, or psychological warfare, designed to gain influence over people, (even enemies) rapidly and effectively. It could even be considered a form of short-term "brainwashing," for quick logistical purposes. The most powerful aspects of NLP come from the hypnotic models of Milton Erickson that it uses. Erickson was probably the greatest clinical hypnotist in the world. It would not be possible to get into all of the models of NLP here, because it is a complex subject. But some of the ones that are most powerful, are taken from Erickson's hypnotic systems based on an illusion of choice, that effects the unconscious mind, no matter what the conscious mind decides. e.g. "Would you like to read this whole article as you continue to do whatever it is you are doing?" This implies that whether you continue whatever it is you are doing, that you will read the whole article either way. Since I do not know what you are doing, I cannot incorporate it, if I did I would. e.g. "Did you know that you can find this article to be interesting?" This implies that you will find this article to be interesting on an unconscious level, whether you know it consciously or not. These are called "Pre-suppositions," and NLP uses these Ericksonian modes, along with many others. You have "Binds:" "Forget to remember to forget to try in vain to find this article interesting." If you try in vain to find this article interesting, that means you will find it to be boring, yet you won't, because I told you to forget the whole sentence. You have VAK's where people define their sensory models that you can use to influence them. e.g. I ask: "What makes you feel generous today?" He answers: "Well I picture an idea, *visual internal,* and say to myself, *auditory digital* that seeing you, *visual external* makes me want to help you out." I say: "Great, well imagine this scenario: *visual internal* when you hear what I have to say you will tell yourself, *auditory digital* that you can see obviously right in front of you, *visual external* that loaning me money is a good idea right now." This is called "eliciting a strategy." This person's neuro-associations for being generous were modeled and then used against him. This is one example about how NLP can be abused. But don't get tempted to misuse it, because people get temporarily "faked-out," but then they wise up later and get very mad. You have other things like "Submodalities:" e.g. Do people match or mis-match data? Do they move toward things or away from things?" Do they "sort by self?" i.e. understand the world on their own, or "sort by others?" i.e. understand the world based on how society tells them that it is. Are they Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic in their orientation? Do they feel what they express, or do they talk fast like they are seeing everything they are saying." You also have ambiguities: "They sure are feeling people!" This could mean that they are empathetic people, or literally touching people. Ambiguous terms that imply both nouns and adjectives are taken as commands at the unconscious level. NLP modes are exhaustive, I cannot get into too many of them here. But the idea is that NLP is actually a science of coercion, for the short term. It does this by using the neuro-sensory analogs of language to produce trance or effect persuasion in some form. From the standpoint of therapy in the long term it is useless, in that it deals only with "mental process", and not with "mental content". Only by effecting the contents and the qualitative aspects of the psyche can any change be produced, and doing this is very difficult, if not impossible in many cases. NLP is too nominalized in a "one-size-fits-all," kind of way. "Process therapy" deals only with externals; and even if it produces profound states of trance or influence, it only brushes the surface and does not change what needs to be changed deep inside the psyche. That is why NLP has been likened to chinese food; It is a great meal, but you get hungry again in a few hours. Tony Robbin's offshoot systems, along with Bandler and Grinder's variations are all pretty much the same stuff. NLP could not keep Bandler from having a substance abuse problem in the 1980's. NLP could not save Tony Robbins' marriage. "Physican heal thyself!" If your goal is to ruthlessly manipulate people and deal with the bad karma and enemies, then NLP is worth every dime. If your goal is to heal yourself and change your life, then take a walk on the beach, or engage in some introspection on your own. With NLP, you will just be pissing away your money that could be better spent elsewhere.

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