I have personal problem with NLP – I have reasons to belive NLP is braiwashing my girlfriend and putting her in danger

Feb 9, 2013


Discussion by: Merlin Dewize
Dear Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science,

I was
born in Poland and remember seeing Pope John Paul II when 3 years
old. I am now 26 and one of my goals in life is to be an objective
thinker as I think its the only right way forward in today’s confused world.

Early
in my teens I noticed something was very wrong with the way I think,
even though I had the privilege of growing up on a farm and not
attending church because my mother is agnostic and she wanted me
to make up my own mind about religion. Even today, Agnosticism is rare in Poland.
This agnosticism has remained in me until my late teens so I haven’t
begun to question this confusion in my mind until I was about 17 when I picked up a book about Buddhism and The Four Noble Truths.

When
moved to England at the age of 16 I attended English schools which
focus their education on the Self as opposed to the Authority and on
Evidence Based Reasoning as opposed to Religious Ethics. Gradually, my mind began to go into conflict with itself as I was beginning adapt and perhaps started to shed my previous skin to form a new. A metamorthosis from spiritual to scientific took place inside my mind and that was painful. During this period I have suffered from anxiety because adjusting to a new way of thinking is almost like looking at the environment and myself from a new perspective and that was an
overwhelmingly surreal experience.

Shortly before I graduated University with a degree
in Architecture, I understood I was programmed by mystical / religious beliefs and even though I am not religious or mystical now, some
residue from the contamination with these mystical principles and ethics and ways of processing information still remained. This had a negative
impact on my mind when I transitioned to adulthood.

Luckily
my anxiety had resided because I taught myself to control my thought
process and now I know myself well enough to identify what is the
mystical part and what is the enlightened part in me. I can now live an
enlightened life and nothing can be better but I understand not all are
as lucky as me and I’d like to know how to help those around me who I
care about. I dont want to put them thorugh the same pain i suffered transitioning from irrational thought to rational thought but i want to give them a choice.

Metaphorically speaking, this mystical environment
had created many knots inside my young mind which I will always struggle
to control and undo but I believe that eventually I will get there. Almost
every day I try to think about how to help my mind adapt. I use
Aristotle’s approach by memorizing and finding the ’causes’ in my
childhood when my ‘actions’ seem irrational. After I look back on them and
analyzed my behavior – I try to question myself every time I do things on the basis of belief
rather than reason, in any common human situation. I identify with
Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion. This book helped me get on my feet
after my anxiety and panic attacks and it helped me see the barriers to objective thinking.

My questions are regarding
NLP – neurological linguistic programming. What does Richard Dawkins
Foundation for Reason and Science think about NLP?

I know that
this is a pseudoscience focused around providing people with hypnosis and self-hypnosis used to change the self. I am educating
myself about this more but struggle to find a way to put together an
antidote for those who I care about and want to make aware the
implications of taking such a course and allowing some unscientific methods mess with the minds of my friends.

This new age pseudoscience affects my personal
life, I have lost my first girlfriend to  Creationism, my second
girlfriend to Christianity, and now my third current girlfriend, which I really
really would like to keep, I am about to loose to NLP! My girlfriend begun working for an NLP school in Poland and she has also told me that she receives free training from them and already told me of a few techniques they used on her to treat he of some phisical problems she suffered from. I think its all placebo but I’m curious what the foundation would think about this. Ever since she started working there she has been loosing touch with me and I believe NLP is to blame. She also gets aggressive when I speak critically of religion and that NLP is a money making cult. I was recently forced to give her the choice so she makes her own mind up but I don’t think my arguments are strong enough or perhaps she is already deeply indocrinated by the group. She told me she recently welcomed John Grinder in Poland – he is one of the leaders. It apeared to me he is the master who is in controm of the leaders who govern the school she works at.

What arguments
should I use to make her more aware of the dangers and consequences of
following this nonsense? How can I enlighten her so she has a standing
chance to make her own mind up about what she really wants from life and what is the right way to live it? I understand that for her its a job but I want her to understand the implications of getting involved in hypnosis and I’m afraid this may hurt her.

I am sure I am not the first or the last to have similar problems with this new age pseudosciences NLP.

any thoughts and help will be much appreciated.

Merlin Dewize

52 comments on “I have personal problem with NLP – I have reasons to belive NLP is braiwashing my girlfriend and putting her in danger

  • 1
    CentralFire says:

    NLP is not a science or a cult. It’s a way of a very efficient communication. But the thing with NLP from my experience is that it is also a subject of worship of liars and other people with very spoiled manipulative views on life. So I have gladly and intentionally lost all of my NLP loving friends, but I also respect NLP and use it in marketing and advertising and also to establish effective communication with people. NLP is like a litmus test for morons. It makes them visible. So just loose that girl and stop hunting for easily accessible and absent minded life partners that finish in MLM, churches, drugs, astrology and all kinds of other crazy stuff. They will parasite on you and ruin your life.

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  • 2
    adiroth says:

    Scientific reviews of NLP show it contains numerous factual errors, and fails to produce the results asserted by proponents. According to Devilly, NLP has had a decline in prevalence since the 1970s. Criticisms go beyond lack of empirical evidence for effectiveness, saying NLP exhibits pseudoscientific characteristics, title, concepts and terminology. NLP serves as an example of pseudoscience for facilitating the teaching of scientific literacy at the professional and university level. NLP also appears on peer reviewed expert-consensus based lists of discredited interventions. In research designed to identify the “quack factor” in modern mental health practice, Norcross et al. (2006) list NLP as possibly or probably discredited for treatment of behavioural problems. Norcross et al. (2010) list NLP in the top ten most discredited interventions, and Glasner-Edwards and Rawson (2010) list NLP as “certainly discredited.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming

    Looks dodgy.

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  • 3
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    NLP is not a cult. Cults use NLP. This is because it works. That’s like saying ‘brainwashing is a cult’. It doesn’t make sense. Brainwashing exists and is very effective. If you are going to help your friend and yourself, you will need accurate information off of which to base feelings and actions.

    It sounds like you have been introduced to the concept by charlatans, those seeking to enslave others and profit like cult leaders. They have built it up into something to worship, a way to salvation. That’s what you reject, not the practice of NLP. As CentralFire said, it is a means of effective communication, and that’s all. I use it therapeutically and to deescalate people having violent delusions. It’s very effective at certain things and can do a lot to help people, and I also know it is used to scam people out of their money, especially with health claims. NLP ‘therapists’ are often relying on the placebo effect and amount to little more than witch doctors. From my experience, those making the biggest claims about NLP know the least about it.

    Darren Brown debunks a lot of myths, scams, and pseudo science. He is an NLP practitioner and has a lot of content online. I recommend studying his work, watching a few videos, so you can distinguish the scam from the legitimate practice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=befugtgikMg

    also this is a good one

    The way you describe these schools is disturbing, as I am familiar with them. NLP is an academic subject, not a lifestyle. It is a practice, a tool for therapists, a way to untie the knots in someone’s mind, or a parlor trick to entertain people. Some of my most effective NLP sessions were nothing more than questions, like a Socratic interview. If a person has a talent for helping others with their problems, it can enhance the results, but it’s not a therapy in itself. It involves a range of topics, and this is alluring. NLP literature involves neurology, biology, learning theory, linguistics, logic, psychology, but an NLP “Master” might not know anything about any of these subjects. These NLP ‘schools’ tend to attract people seeking to quell an emotional desire to be scientists or doctors, to feel smart, important, or powerful.

    Placebo effect verifies the power of the mind over matters that we typically concretize. Realizing this is very inspirational to people. There are many cults that rise out of this observation, and you have your own observations of the profundity of mental change. It’s compelling, isn’t it?

    best of luck

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  • 4
    Mr Blue Sky says:

    Hi Merlin, I knew a chap who was persuaded to change his dietary habits. An attempt using NLP by a counsellor was necessary for him as he had little will power to convince himself without this crutch. Some people allow themselves to be led but they feel better when another has control if they believe they will benefit. Sounds like a faith issue to me so I would avoid it as my mind responds best to me based on evidence. Check what her aim is and why is she subjected to it?

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  • 5
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #3 by This Is Not A Meme:

    Thanks for commenting This Is Not A Meme. I have now seen the documentary: Richard Dawkins, The Enemies of Reason, 2007 and the interview with Darren Brown was indeed interesting. But what I was looking for in the documentary was the conversation Richard Dawkins had with Nicholas Humphreys about evolutionary origins of the placebo effect. It seemed to have been cut out from the original documentary but I managed to find it anyway.
    Dawkins & Humphreys
    it concluded at the end that the awareness of the process stops it from working? perhaps we get intelligent enough to help ourselves by other means?

    I had a similar experience before. I had a period in my early 20s when I still believed some metaphysical powers could heal me and make me happier, attractive strong, healthy and leave a good and lasting impression on others and whatever I wished happened. But later I realized it was only my own perception of reality playing tricks on my body, and my environment and others. It was still me who did all that but it was programmed into my schedule when i did wishful thinking and meditation. This ‘ability’ came to pass and things begun to fall apart when i read some material by Ayn Rand the objectivist philosopher and it was incredibly tough to let go of this nice and dreamy way of living, but of course it was a hoax and I had to let go. This caused a lot of trouble in my life and at the time I couldn’t understand because I was convinced my ‘powers’ stopped working due to some metaphysical change in the universe. Its funny looking back at it now.

    Later I realized it was the synthesis of new information which enabled me to see passed this human-wide delusion but that somehow stopped the mechanism of self healing, success, prosperity and whatever else I wished for just didn’t happen. Perhaps my belief system had changed so much I just couldn’t persuade myself to believe in things which aren’t things. I still wish for those real things like sunshine and money but now that my reality is grounded in reason and not the spiritual i also knew i had to get it by other physical means.

    Because I went through this metamorphosis and I am pretty sure any one who has enough intelligence can also do it, I might as well wait a while to see if my girlfriend has the same enlightening moment in which the illusion that good things are happening because help belief system is based in spiritual and not in reason. Of course I have broken up with her because I know this might never happen and I cannot make her change her belief system. What troubles me is that her childhood wasn’t as natural and free as mine and she is more susceptible to authority and her parents are church goers so I’m a little less hopeful she will switch the the self and the objective like I did. Maybe I was lucky? Maybe she was parasitic or saw in me the authority that will guide her in life but i want her to guide her own life. Thanks CentralFire you also thinks that may have happened.

    Compelling indeed

    best of luck to you too

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  • 6
    QuestioningKat says:

    During this period I have suffered from anxiety because adjusting to a new way of thinking is almost like looking at the environment and myself from a new perspective and that was an overwhelmingly surreal experience.

    I have done this a few times. I am glad you mentioned this because no one else here has brought this up. After the stresses of creating a new perspective and views and sorting through which thoughts are incorrect, the final result is truly surreal. You start to see the world in a new perspective filtered through those thoughts. My previous church was New Thought which is very similar to New Age. It is interesting how when I got rid of old negative Christian views, I saw life filtered through those lenses. Everything seemed to make “sense.” I could watch people and see the “truth” behind what was really going on. Yet, I had a nagging feeling that something didn’t add up. (Many people also had this feeling, but they would keep looking within the philosophy rather than outside of it to find answers.) Now that I am an atheist, I see life through an atheist lens and everything now makes sense. This initially was frightening to me because I questioned whether I actually was seeing truth or just had on a new pair of colored glasses. I took years to sort through each detail and questioned reality. The difference is that my previous filters of perception were based in lack of evidence. The sources of the information came from cherry picked ideas and books with circular reasoning. The perception came from belief in ideas that lacked evidence and could not be tested and confirmed. With atheist views I realized I could question them and question the source and then the source of the source and I could get a confirmed answer grounded in reality. But yes, when I see people blatantly using logical fallacies, biases, or acting in ways that conflict with reality, it is surreal.

    At my former church, this one man would occasionally bother me about taking a workshop with him for NLP. You will find that New Thought and New Age is fertile ground for con artists to sell their wares and wacky ideas. The deepok Chopras, Wayne Dyer, and Louis Hays of the world would target these churches and similar people for lectures and a way to make a profit. Most all are in it for profit. They are not shy about making money because they view prosperity and making money as a spiritual act.They claim to be acting lovingly, but you generally don’t ever see them again.

    To completely understand the New Age views, it takes time because it is confusing and layered with lots of BS. Most people never get to understand this perception of “reality” because it is so complex and parts are in conflict with reality. The positive aspects about New Agey stuff is that it focuses on self-help and getting rid of negative views and limiting ideas about one’s own behavior. At times, their approach is psychologically valid and worthwhile, while at other times it is a load of BS. In general, the activities of many workshops are loving, positive, empowering, and help the person move through difficult aspects of their life. On the negative side, views are not entirely truthful or based in reality, someone is profiting from this pseudoservice. Depending on the workshop or view, ideas can get very unreal.

    Here is my take on NPL and your girlfriend. You’re not going to stop her from doing this. She views your concern as you trying to limit or control her. Any criticism or challenges will not be welcome. The one workshop will not hurt her, but will likely lead to others. The best you could do is read up on the views she is involved with to better understand her views and not question them or give her lots of space. (I’d like to say find an atheist girlfriend, but I realize this is unrealistic for you.) You could also share your ideas with her. Pick something she is not strongly attached to and start a conversation. Maybe something found in the news. Tear down the fallacy. Maybe there is an astrology section in the newspaper? Just a thought. Also you say she works for them. Is this some sort of volunteering situation or paid? If you don’t know find out? Plenty of these programs seek free help under the guise of working for a bigger worldwide cause (Landmark Forum) Yet the top people, are paid very well. They advertise through word-of-mouth rather than actual advertising (saves money for the big people at top and uses lower and mid-ranged skilled volunteers as free helpers.) Good luck I think your fighting a battle that you cannot win.

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  • 7
    QuestioningKat says:

    This caused a lot of trouble in my life and at the time I couldn’t understand because I was convinced my ‘powers’ stopped working due to some metaphysical change in the universe. Its funny looking back at it now. Later I realized it was the synthesis of new information which enabled me to see passed this human-wide delusion but that somehow stopped the mechanism of self healing, success, prosperity and whatever else I wished for just didn’t happen.

    Merlin Dewise, I know this feeling. Fortunately, I was the one who set up situations to try out the metaphysical ideas. (They collapsed!) Nice post.

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  • 8
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

    Thanks for your support. I guess I am making this break up easier for myself on this forum. Something I didn’t do the last two times. Fortunately, now I understand I don’t have answers to all human problems. Atheist girlfriend sounds like a good plan but i think i’ll stay single for the time-being.

    Your story is interesting too !

    Thanks for commenting QuestioningKat

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  • 9
    Tyler Durden says:

    I know that this is a pseudoscience focused around providing people with hypnosis and self-hypnosis used to change the self.

    NLP is a pseudoscience also focused around easy answers, and uncritical thinking.

    It’s a total pseudoscience that plays on the back of psychology, but without the actual research and scientific findings. When Bandler & Grinder first put it together, they were refused the “psychology” label by the APA, hence the “P” stands for Programming; with the “Neuro” attempting to give it some scientific credence.

    The NLP title itself is pure word-salad, and the “practitioners” completely unqualified to give advice, therapy or analysis. I have a close friend who’s deeply involved, he’s a major woo-head; I also attended a NLP day-course in London with him, and it has that “cult” factor about it.

    The biggest criticism I would make is that it has no critical or falsification elements to it – all about easy answers to very complex questions.

    The best way to help your girlfriend is to ensure she questions everything, thinks for herself, and does not rely on one source for answers to life’s complex issues.

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  • 10
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #9 by Tyler Durden:
    Thanks a lot Tyler Durden,

    Your comment is to the point and I agree about what you say. We should all look for wisdom within and always question what others say right down to the nitty gritty. That’s why the church always angered me so much, it had harmonic music, colorful stained glass windows which told pretty and terrifying stories. It was hypnosis which instils itself within the young uncritical mind forever. At its nitty gritty scale it spoke about heaven and hell as the two main governing sides as if the world couldn’t be any simpler.

    No wonder people get hurt by religion, it provides them with a false perception of reality, half truths about life and misinforms them rather them gives them tools to unravel knowledge deeper, strengthen curiosity and explore the entirety of life with their independent use of mind.

    Your right, she ought to know these implications better and critically evaluate all she is given on that plate of hers. She has to learn to refuse information and not just try anything that looks pretty or sounds nice or has a wow factor or something all the other sheep feed themselves on. She like all of us must learn to identify ourselves as individuals and always critically judge those who claim to be like us and understand our situation and whatever it is they claim to know better. They could be some mystic trying to usurp values from us for all we know.

    Good advice, I will mention something along these lines to her when she asks for help, I Know I cant force anything onto her without her free will.

    Do you know any more about this John Grinder ? Is there any articles written about him which might discredit him and his organization? Maybe I could translate them as I know NLP is new in Poland which gives them the advantage of the language barrier – certain critical material may have not yet been translated so people are unaware. Would appreciate help.

    My assumption is that this is the reason why he has moved abroad, an opposition has not yet developed in foreign languages. So although english speaking countries are not falling for it, abroad they are still cashing in on it.

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  • 11
    QuestioningKat says:

    I guess I am making this break up easier for myself on this forum.

    Please do not do this because of anything I(we) say. As mentioned in #4, find out her reasons for doing this. Maybe you can see past your different philosophical differences. This is something we cannot judge.

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  • 12
    Owlglass says:

    NLP is rather an example of an “alternative” (nonsense) kind of way of connecting a number of facts. For example, a theory where some deity takes another hostage as a reason for the day and night cycle is obvously nonsense, but we still see day and night. In much the same way, there are a couple of things in psychology that do work, and Derren Brown uses them, like hypnosis, snap inductions and other techniques. There is also autosuggestion, and it does work. NLP is then the deity story to these day and night cycles. Also see David Deutsch’s TED Talk.

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  • 13
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #11 by QuestioningKat:

    Oh no, of course not. I have strong individual decisions and hardly anyone here can influence me to change my point of view. Only my personal will and convictions grounded in evidence and reason can influence me now. What I meant was that by talking about this makes me grow in awareness of who my girlfriend and I may be as separate individuals.

    Being in a relationship with someone sometimes makes it hard to critically evaluate that other part because you are part of them and they are part of you. We love them for who they are and by that we accept many things without really thinking. Maybe that is a bit what unconditional love is. Aristotle had a funny way of calling love, he said it was one soul divided into two beings.We all understand now that he was between because he was the fathers of science and he still believed in the soul and maybe some gods too but that doesn’t matter. What matters is his great contribution to humanity and his eloquent way of explaining love 🙂

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  • 14
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #12 by Owlglass:

    Thanks for commenting Owlglass – nice nick by the way.

    I have just listened to David Deutsch’s TED Talk. I have seen this talk when it came out but it was pleasant to hear him again.

    He spoke about progress of science through the means of reason and how ancient dogmas may have played a role in our evolution of scientific thought.

    Simply put, he said people begun to test ancient dogmas until they arrived at an explanation of the truth which was hard misinterpret in any other way but exactly that which it claimed, David Deutsch ended the talk by saying ‘ The TRUTH consists of hard to find assertions about reality, It is the most important FACT about the physical world. It is a fact that is itself unseen yet impossible to vary.’

    So could we assume that NLP feeds its clients with statements like, the carrot has human rights because it shares half of the human genome, or all knowledge derives from he senses, or that we can heal our body by focusing on specific words which have a completely separate meaning to the pain we actually experience?

    Perhaps that is why clients of NLP may be in danger. The fact that they are fed with half truths and nonsense about reality not based on a long chain of theoretical reasoning and interpretation is harmful to them, as it promotes a sort of laziness of the brain and makes them addicted to believing that what they think is reality and reality is what they believe. Crazy!

    This is to anyone here who can contribute. Does NLP manipulate its audience by words and other communication methods, providing the audience with what it wants to here, so they payout a lump sum of money for the course training. Does this lead to further reasoning disorders in them? Does it not provide the audience with any actual critical reasoning skills, which can then solve their actual problems in life but without the use of hocus pokus BS?

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  • 16
    Del1981 says:

    NLP is the study of excellence: you observe an outstanding behavior or skill in a human being and ask how can you duplicate or model that? It could be a successful athlete or businessperson or a specific behavior like someone quitting smoking. You ask questions to gain an insight into their beliefs, the mental strategy they are using: are they using internal dialogue? how? Is it a picture in their mind or a movie? Is there any auditory clues? As a result you form a strategy that you can communicate to other human beings, hence accelerated learning.
    I don’t claim to be an expert but in all the NLP media I’ve looked at I can’t recall any promotion/discussion regarding a Supernatural Dictator. It is not a religion. Co-founder Richard Bandler, though I don’t know him personally, I do recall him making fun of religion in at least one presentation I heard; therefore I’m confident he is an atheist.
    I don’t recall it claiming to be a science either, as human communication is obviously subjective, consequently scientific methods don’t lend to it very well. It’s not academic either – you go out and do it rather than sit and talk and write about it all day getting nowhere fast. Its foundation was actually hypnosis and was called NLP because people tend to get scared when you mention trance-like states.
    I’ve watched NLP DVDs on how to quit smoking, reduce road rage, and try to sell products/services better. Paul McKenna is an NLP practitioner who is often on TV with his diet / self-improvement strategies; Derren Brown trained with Co-Founder John Grinder and uses it for entertainment. Considering it started in the mid-1970s its growth has been great.
    The only problem with NLP is that it is a huge intellectual challenge: to model the skills that have taken decades for experts to learn from experience is not easy. Not many people can do it.
    If you are as open-minded, reasonable as you claim to be perhaps you could read a basic introduction book regarding NLP and make a decision on whether it is something you can use in your life. To read on here that it is a money grabbing cult is frankly ridiculous.

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  • 17
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #16 by Del1981:

    Thanks for commenting Del1981.

    Its good to have someone pro NLP comment. It gives more depth to the conversation. I’m glad you were provoked by the things I said. Meanwhile, you are right, I am trying to research NLP in order to understand it better and some of my statements will sound controversial and I do not always want to say what I think because if I do, it will probably be a good enough answer and there will be no more need to explore deeper into this subject. So for the time-being I will express less advanced thoughts in order to collect more info on the subject.

    I still think that NLP is only ‘a money grabbing cult’ since people convince themselves its something to make money on. Both the trainers and the audience are believers. NLP claims to have the solutions to the problems of stagnation in the human potential. I do not have evidence of any of today’s geniuses or noble prize winners to recommend NLP publicly! NLP promotes itself through great dead people. I wonder what they would have to say if they were alive today, would they approve that that is exactly how they became great?

    Yes, I am aware NLP applies the remarks of great figures of our past and present, such as Einstein, Lincoln, athletes like Michael Jordan and other people who have achieved some excellence in certain parts of life. I don’t think following in the footsteps of such authoritative figures is such a good thing for the individual because following a specific aspect in life will ultimately lead to unhappiness in other parts of life. And any following of any authority from the past will lead to problems sooner or later because we cant apply the thinking of the past to today. One ought to search for answers objectively and within science and not mindlessly follow fancy quotes by people who were labeled GREAT but in the past that is. NLP doesn’t provide tools for a balanced life today in which all aspects of today’s life are taken care of. Only dedicated and disciplined reasoning and objective thinking can achieve this. Ask yourself is you can survive today using the way of thinking of the Neanderthal? Its the same to suggest. Can you use the way of thinking of your great grand parents to achieve what they achieved. Fact is, you cant because times have changed. You can use the way of thinking of some great figures. but first you have to ask yourself the question in what sense is someone labeled great? It is because what he said? Or, is it the process which which he arrived at the solution. Research it and you will find objectivity and scientific reasoning is essence.

    I do have a theory about how they achieved their greatness but I do not think copying them will necessarily help people out with their own problems. Yes, at some level the sharing and preservation of human information and experience is a human thing and we do that consciously and subconsciously but its completely another thing to feed your mind with commands, which don’t really apply to you or the times you live. Attaching oneself to these ‘ hypnotic commands’ will in consequence cause the real you to fade and perhaps you lose a part of the individual who you are and that may or may not have devastating consequences for you and those around you.

    Essentially you end up becoming someone your not, living in times long passed, you end up living a lie and you defend this lie. Perhaps none of us see reality for what it actually is. I’m convinced a minute few do but imitating them externally wont help much if your not imitating their internal attitudes mixed with your own unique convictions about reality. I think that only a few from those great people from our past saw reality more accurately than we perhaps ever will because they used objective reasoning and somehow found themselves within a place or space which is less contaminated with subjective dogmas..

    Of course, stopping smoking is hard for some and if one has the support from a group of friends then its a lot easier but sometimes people hate themselves so much they want to be someone completely different, instead of learning to accept and learning to live as best as they really can with their own set of truths. I used to smoke and stopped because I added up the facts and it just wasn’t worth doing it any more. Smoking is a good example because there is the addiction part to it, and the same addiction exists in subjective thinking. In the end, once you add up the facts you become free of subjective thought process and that’s when you begin to see the reality you live in with objective eyes. With objective eyes, you can also make this place a lot better for yourself and your family and friends. by thinking subjectively, you only fuel this nonsense and enable it to carry on destroying the planet and in the long term diminishing human potential. You allow the wheel to carry on spining

    I am in defense of the individual and in defense of uniqueness and allowing people to evolve their reasoning skills instead of disabling them by subjective thought because we live in different times than those of Alexander the Great.

    I trust that, in everyone of us is a solution to our own problems, all we need is time, scientific discipline and the will to improve our mental skills. I believe that that is how those few great individuals did it!

    Right now, in today’s times helping people achieve this awareness and independence in thinking is perhaps more beneficial in the long run that focusing on imitating others and the ways of the past.

    Einstein also said that you will not solve a problem using the same thought process which created it!

    People really need to think for themselves and not allow their minds to be consumed by ideas about life which aren’t necessarily compatible to their time, place, situation, culture, global challenges. And the uniqueness and individuality which they still hopefully have may be our only cure from the delusions we allow ourselves to control our best resource – the free thinking mind.

    I believe this diversity and uniqueness of all individuals is in actuality the only and real wealth of humanity. This imitation in society must stop because it limits human potential. An I label NLP as a easy solution which causes more harm in the long run than it claims to solve.

    I just want my girlfriend to find ways to believe in her independent mind because in it lie solutions to futures problems and I would like her to see that half solutions uttered by man from past don’t work in the long run for humanity because her one and only fact is the state of the planet and humanity today. And by the objective looks of it its on a downhill ride, diminishing human potential and destroying the earth which we still haven’t yet fully understood.

    I defend all the scientists and reason using individuals who contribute a great deal to providing humanity and and earth with solutions for the future. I convinced subjective thought which NLP promotes through imitation of the past instead of questioning the present is only used in the dark realm to abuse control and diminish human potential. That is why i am convinced of the ‘cult’ aspect in this industry,

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  • 18
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #17 by Merlin Dewize:

    “People really need to think for themselves and not allow their minds to be consumed by ideas about life which aren’t necessarily compatible to their time, place, situation, culture, global challenges. And the uniqueness and individuality which they still hopefully have may be our only cure from the delusions we allow ourselves to control our best resource – the free thinking mind.”

    For those who find my opinion frustratingly confusing, please watch the movie The Fountainhead, 1949

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  • 19
    DocWebster says:

    Any attempt to change the will of another is an act of violence. Ghandi said that, or something substantially like that and it’s probably the only thing he ever got totally right. Love isn’t about changing the other person to make them more comfortable for you, I tried it and it ended with court dates and a bunch of other crap you just don’t want to be a part of. If you can’t bring yourself to respect this person for who they are all the time then keep looking, you won’t die without her but I guarantee either one or both of you will wish you were if you continue the relationship on it’s present trajectory.

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  • 20
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #19 by DocWebster:
    Right. thanks for commenting.

    I noticed this comment was directed at my situation but nevertheless it was a valid contribution which touched on something important about NLP

    I agree with you totally but I don’t want to change my girlfriend, its her life and her choices and I’m more like an observer now.

    Would you be willing to share your story in more depth as to the circumstances which put you in trouble for trying to change someone? What happened exactly, how did you want to change that someone? If Gandhi said that, its one of few things he got right about human rights. We cannot impose our way of thinking onto others by the means of force but can we impose change on someone by the means of hypnosis if they themselves will us to? Are these separate ideas or is there no difference?

    This does question the validity of hypnotherapy – can hypnotherapy change someone irreversible; change his character so that its unrecognizable? If there are any, what are the side-effects of hypnosis?

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  • 21
    DocWebster says:

    In reply to #20 by Merlin Dewize:

    In reply to #19 by DocWebster:
    Right. thanks for commenting.

    I noticed this comment was directed at my situation but nevertheless it was a valid contribution which touched on something important about NLP

    I agree with you totally but I don’t want to change my girlfriend, its her life and her choices and I’m more like an observer now.

    Would you be willing to share your story in more depth as to the circumstances which put you in trouble for trying to change someone? What happened exactly, how did you want to change that someone? If Gandhi said that, its one of few things he got right about human rights. We cannot impose our way of thinking onto others by the means of force but can we impose change on someone by the means of hypnosis if they themselves will us to? Are these separate ideas or is there no difference?

    This does question the validity of hypnotherapy – can hypnotherapy change someone irreversible; change his character so that its unrecognizable? If there are any, what are the side-effects of hypnosis?

    As far as my own legal troubles, it was mostly power and control. I was raised to respect intimidation, my father was a sullen bully. There was never an issue with alcohol or drugs in my upbringing, the damage was much more complicated. I saw my father treat my mother in cruel ways but with a humorous tinge to it that made her more the butt of a joke than a perceived victim of abuse. She in turn took out her frustrations on her 2 oldest sons in much the same manner, first with practical jokes and later attempting to force us in to religious faith. I started right up with my ex before we even got married. I pulled rotten little pranks on her and poo pooed her complaints as just a sign that she needed to buy or rent a sense of humor. It took me a long time to recognize the true intimidation in this “joking behaviour”, it didn’t happen until well after being incarcerated for hitting my ex during an argument. I did it in front of our 2 daughters which raised it to the level of a felony. I wanted to win the argument even though I had no idea what it was about. I suppose for her it was six years of crap and then one final shovelful while I just liked yelling her down. It was good sport in my mind until she wouldn’t let me win, and I had to win, so I hit her. One shocking development to come out of that incident was my realization that women really don’t stand a chance in this culture. I was widely lauded as a hero for finally getting out from under my “Old Lady’s” thumb, and “Hope she learned her lesson”. These were not men saying this, These were women who were customers of mine. The men weren’t nearly so supportive but neither did I get any sense of disapproval. When I mentioned all these things in my court ordered anger management class I couldn’t even get the supervisor of the class to give me any straight answers much less any of the other “inmates” as we liked to call ourselves. I stumbled upon a large ugly truth that nobody wanted to ponder, we actually train our society to accept the denigration of women as necessary. As for what I was using my intimidation tactics to actually alter in the will of my ex, I really can’t remember what exactly I was looking for. I just wanted something I wasn’t getting and trying to figure it out using another person as a science experiment is inconvenient for that person, they tend to rebel at a certain point. At that point the intimidation starts, then the road to jail. In a burst of wisdom I figured out what I was lacking, self acceptance. Unfortunately I should have had this epiphany when I was young and unattached. You just have to be comfortable, in a deeply personal way, with yourself and what you believe, before you engage in a relationship with another human being. I can remember being constantly certain that my ex was intentionally trying to make me miserable, on purpose, and I resented the hell out of that. While I was certainly making her life a bundle of misery, on purpose, but with enough rationalization that I could confidently assert to myself that I deserved everything I thought she owed me (Even the stuff I just expected her to read my mind about).

    As far as whether there is a difference between just intimidating a person into altering their will or if you ask permission to do it, and receive that permission. I guess it falls under the same line of thought as sex. There are certain forms that require one party to lose almost all control of their participation in the sexual act, BDSM being the most obvious. When the bottom submits to whatever restraint and play that goes on they must be confident that no matter how out of control the top makes the situation seem, it can instantly become controlled at the bottom’s whim, regardless of the top’s wishes. Thinking logically about it, the nomenclature could be turned around and actually reflect the situation much more accurately. With hypnosis there is permission and control taken but there’s no safety word, once the subject is hypnotized they lose all control save for any conditions laid out previously. The giving of permission would seem to make the argument cut and dried but going back to the bottom, where does permission stop? With a conscious bottom you have a firsthand judge of that permission and a realtime monitor. With a hypnotic subject there can’t be a conscious, first-person monitor of permission by design, only a proxy. It all comes down to trusting the ethics of the proxy. It’s much like trusting the ethics of a top but without that all important first-person, realtime monitoring of permission by the subject. Without that I would have to say that all attempts to change the will of another through hypnosis, even with permission, are ethically muddy at best.

    As an aside, the ex and I are great friends and even work together because we make an awesome team. We talk about what our marriage was comfortably with no taboos. She even jokes that her present, and soon to be former, husband is same s**t different day.

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  • 22
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #21 by DocWebster:
    All i can add to that is that life gets confusing in relationships. I think its because no personality is quiet the same or perhaps our personalities grow and evolve. And I agree, a mind must first settle down to the level of being rigid enough to accept itself and be able to take on any test in life and survive. Getting into a relationship with a mind which cant survive life in a relationship will ultimately lead to confusion. In young relationships, there is so much we attach ourselves to in each other but when time passes and changes come, we find it difficult to adapt to this new person and we get confused because this undermines the core beliefs and the representation of the person we are with.

    Perhaps people should not think of the personality as a static thing but accept its as a living, growing and evolving thing.

    After all we all want to improve in life and make ourselves the way we want ourselves to be, but how do we want ourselves to be also changes with time and circumstances and again we want ourselves to become different and this goes on until we finally begin to settle. That’s a theory because I haven’t yet even begun to settle with my mind but i know people who’s minds are settled and rigid and that gives me proof.

    Maybe that’s the angel I should speak to my girlfriend about. The fact that we haven’t really given any thought or room to these sort of changes within our relationship perhaps is the cause of many problems.

    Here arises the question, does she actually need NLP to produce these new changes in her mind / personality in order to become who she wants to become. Maybe that’s the question I need to ask my girlfriend. And who does she want to become and how does she envision her personality and how does this new personality affect me? Perhaps i am doing the right thing stepping away from her so she has the space to adjust herself to the new she in peace. I will just get confused and distract her and get her confused about herself.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Interesting example of imitation of abuse passed on through the generations of the family. And your description of ‘the experiment’, I had a similar experience with my previous ex. She was a bit of an experiment too because i always thought I needed to guide her which in other words meant I wanted to change her. I too have realized change only comes from within and no one can force it. But repetitive violence, abuse, bullying can also change a person, or make him inherit the same personality traits in a way, which he/she then will pass onto others.

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  • If This Is Not A Meme, is correct in his assessment of this NLP thing (i couldn’t tell you iv’e never heard heard of it). Then a possible last ditch effort to save the relationship may consist of letting her know it can have real effects, but could be a hell of allot more dangerous than she might realize. And that she should be informed enough to realize when it’s being used to help people, or to out right scam them (herself most importantly).

    At least that way, it won’t come across as confrontational, like you telling her her beliefs are a bunch of woo or something, and might lead her to some real information on the subject.

    Of course this approach could backfire, in that she may stumble upon crap info, and be overly confident in her ability to spot a scam and wind up in a whole whack of trouble herself.

    I don’t know if this might help or anything, I’m just sorta mumbling away at my keyboard.

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  • 24
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #23 by Urn:
    Whatever shall be, shall be. I’m not that concerned. Just want her to be alright. If its her own belief system that she trusts, so be it. I cannot make her think objectively if she chooses not to. At the end of the day its a choice which does raise compatibility issues between us both and if these issues turn out to cause conflict then that’s why i am taking a precautionary break. Better to think things through than to go down a road with someone who is also going in the same direction. If its not me, then it better be someone who she will understand and get along with. All I can do is warn her about the delusion of subjective reality but the choice is hers not mine because i have already decided to live a truthful life. Its something she must get her head around by her independent efforts. If i intervene then its like preventing nature from happening. If she doesn’t reach an independent and enlightened point of view then what shall be, shall be.

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  • Merlin, this is an interesting topic, and more from me on it later hopefully, but I’m pretty sceptical about Rand’s views. You might also like to find out a bit about how her life worked out. IMO it is both possible and necessary to have some elements of mysticism in one’s life and experience without being irrational. The rational mind is very valuable (though it can rationalize as well as reason), and rational considerations should be paramount, but it is only a small part of the whole mind.

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  • 26
    Merlin Dewize says:

    PERSON – not sure why you think having some elements of mysticism in life is necessary, and it you are skeptical of Ayn Rands views – what is it exactly that you are skeptical about and why? How did her life tun out in your mind? A small part of the whole mind? Does this suggest you can comprehend this mind in its entirety, measure its volume or capacity? Or do you accept Platonistic view that we cant know everything so the best thing that comes to mind, feels right or someone else says is probably true?

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  • 27
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #1 by CentralFire:

    NLP is not a science or a cult. It’s a way of a very efficient communication. But the thing with NLP from my experience is that it is also a subject of worship of liars and other people with very spoiled manipulative views on life. So I have gladly and intentionally lost all of my NLP loving friends…

    Thanks, you are spot on – girl is gone now, feel a lot happier, noticed she was not contributing to growth but actually contributing to loss of growth. I also found a great quote which from now on will guide my relationship actions. Found it in Neo-Tech manuscript and it goes like this ‘Do not judge me on your feelings, wishes, imagination, or what others say. Judge me by what you know about my character, deeds and actions. And I will always grant you the same.’ The Neo-Tech teachings also spoke about life-lifting capacity – that some have it and others don’t – something worth looking out for. So from what I understood from all this is that a healthy relationship should (among many things) be in actuality an environment that helps people discover and fulfill their own unrealized capacities and potential.

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  • In reply to #8 by Merlin Dewize:

    In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

    Thanks for your support. I guess I am making this break up easier for myself on this forum. Something I didn’t do the last two times. Fortunately, now I understand I don’t have answers to all human problems. Atheist girlfriend sounds like a good plan but i think i’…

    I realise that a lot of time has passed since this post, but good luck in finding an atheist girlfriend. They’re rather thin on the ground. 😉

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  • 29
    TaraHanrahan says:

    “I am sure I am not the first or the last to have similar problems with this new age pseudosciences NLP.”

    NLP is not New Age. They are totally separate things.

    “I think its all placebo but I’m curious what the foundation would think about this.”

    NLP has cured people of things like phobias. Just because something works in a psychosomatic way does not mean it doesn’t work, or that it isn’t useful.

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  • 30
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #29 by TaraHanrahan:

    “I am sure I am not the first or the last to have similar problems with this new age pseudosciences NLP.”

    NLP is not New Age. They are totally separate things.

    “I think its all placebo but I’m curious what the foundation would think about this.”

    NLP has cured people of things like phobias. Just b…

    I always do a double take when this topic comes up. In the AI world NLP just refers to Natural Language Processing, getting computers to understand language as it’s spoken by humans. It’s an extremely difficult and interesting problem but not with any sinister applications as the NLP people are referring to here.

    As for the NLP you are talking about it’s pseudoscience. We had some good discussions on pseudoscience a while back on a different topic, one of the key points is that a treatment (e.g. Freudian analysis) can still provide value even if the underlying theory is pseudoscience, primarily due to the placebo effect which can provide very real benefits. So I believe you that people have benefited from NLP just as I know people can get benefits from talking to a Freudian therapist but in neither case is the underlying theory any more valid than astrology or homeopathy.

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  • Pity that I’ve only just come across this thread, I would have liked to hear more about it back in Feb when it was first posted.

    NLP has come to my attention via a couple of sources. Needless to say, I researched the topic because I’m not easily parted from my money, as well as the fact that it sounded like an offshoot of Scientology ( or at least employs the same methods of delivery).

    It would appear that they use the contents of Norman Doige’s book, “The Brain That Changes Itself” to validate their claims. The whole enterprise sounds as if there is the germ of an idea somewhere in the theory behind it, but it has not been subjected any critical analysis or provided any evidence for the efficacy of the program. Would I be right in that assumption?

    I’m disappointed to read that Derren Brown is involved in NLP. I haven’t followed the links supplied, though I plan to do so when I get a chance. I greatly admire DB and I appreciate the fact that he shines a light on the con tricks employed by those pedalling various types of woo.

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  • 32
    Merlin Dewize says:

    That’s right. Guess I will have to wait until one comes along.

    In reply to #28 by Nitya:

    In reply to #8 by Merlin Dewize:

    In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

    Thanks for your support. I guess I am making this break up easier for myself on this forum. Something I didn’t do the last two times. Fortunately, now I understand I don’t have answers to all human problems. Atheist girlfriend soun…

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  • 33
    Sceptic says:

    Dear Friend, I would recommend doing some serious study before assigning derogative labels.

    NLP is neither science nor pseudo-science… it is just a technique and approach used to model human behavior, so that its structure can be unpacked and modified if useful.

    Modelling did not start with NLP, for hundreds of years (maybe even longer) – whether consciously or not – human brains were learning and developing their skills by modelling the behavior of other brains and bodies.

    More currently, modelling is used in the context of any serious social endeavors, like management, politics and propaganda, social engineering, mass media, marketing, not to speak of religious institutions (global, formal and smaller). The uses may be ethical or not, and it depends on the intention of the actors, see standard arguments in the context of using knives, guns, science and nuclear power (both can be used to enhance life and health or kill it.)

    What about taking responsibility for some serious study of the subject instead of easy copout by assigning meaningless labels like “new age,” “cult” or “pseudo-science.” You can do better than that. You may start here: nlpuniversitypress.com by Robert Dilts, it offers a cogent and non-biased introduction to the domain.

    Regards.

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  • 34
    Arundel says:

    These sorts of pseudo-sciences are quite common.

    One of the first in this genre was dianetics (a fairly laughable collection of pseudo-neurology tweaks now used in the religion of scientology). Intentionally or not, the label neuro-linguistic programming becomes a catch all attribution device for its purveyors to gain cred among the unwary. In fact its like the term “God” in that respect. Whenever anyone gets some sort of benefit from the common or garden sort of goal setting taught in NLP courses, for example, there might be a good result, and praise be “NLP really is really powerful”.

    Of course the miracle claims of NLPers are often as wild as they come, and there are always lots of sneaky sub or getout clauses (well NLP moves in mysterious ways, who are you to question the power of neurology, etc)

    Its extremely comforting. I would approach deconversion from neuro-linguistic programming much the same as I would from the faith virus. Just stay open and ask “how do you know?” questions, and perhaps engage the subject in a bit of research and re-attribution to real causes (cognitive bias, the ever-unreliable and misleading placebo, and sometimes real psychological effects explainable by proper evidence based psychology, not NLP or dianetics).

    Ridicule works well too. I bought into NLP back in the 1980s when I was a teenager after reading a Tony Robbins book, and mentioned it in the pub to my mates. Well that experience deconverted me pretty bloody fast already.

    Cheers
    A

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  • 35
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #33 by Sceptic:
    quoting

    Dear Friend, I would recommend doing some serious study before assigning derogative labels.

    Modelling did not start with NLP,

    Read carefully… Look, i’m not your friend and i think that the concept of modelling is unclear and you are not being considerate of my situation hence not adding anything of value. Secondly I think you are being bias with the comments you make – you defend NLP, for what reason i dont know!. You yourself seem to be convinced – in a non-sceptical way about manipulations by NLP to the brain and larger picture in sosiety – that it has some value to humanity. I think not! Its a lot of garbage scientifically unsound and only used to distort reality and get people to pay for training which will not give them any value whatsoever but only steal and delude them further by giving them half truths and mystical way of thinking. What i think of modelling – it is a way to distort reality and make people believe in things not true to the extent where they follow a feeling instead of a establishing a logical, reality oriented thought process which in turn will help them exist in this world with more flexibility and informed values based on fact and not some half truths and ‘make believed’ ideas etc.

    please give me a source of information which is not in the field but knows a lot about it and has a degree in science – Like perhaps Richard Dawkins… perhaps he would have something to say to you and agrue with you in a more scientific way than me.

    I am here to understand more about this field as a sceptic of its value in general and a sceptic of NLP being good to any one of us – i think and you have not altered my mind, modelled me into thinking that there is something of value in NLP.

    Pattern recognition is a behaviour you ought to look into. Humans have evolved this ability greatly and it allowed them to understand the changing world around them more clearly. not some modelling by mimicking behaviour of others – that is the problem with this world people are constantly copying others – so tell me how is that betterment of humanity is we only repeat ourselves?

    Pattern recognition on the other hand helps us solve problems and helps us evolve our thinking process into a more scientific, questioning things like NLP and its credibility as a helpful tool in the human life.

    You can continue to model your life by mimicking others if it suites you. Good luck with that Sceptic. Oh, and find me a credible unbiased source to consider, i will not consider reading someone who is an established authority in the field, he will defend it with further lies and half truths pseudo-scientific statements. You have authorities and they tell you what to think therefore you too are completely useless to me unless you provide me with something of value. So fare nothing…. I hope you have more to say

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  • 36
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #34 by Arundel:
    Nice comment, unlike some. You really think, unlike some. And you recognise patterns, unlike some. Thanks for the imput, thumbs up. If you have more to say feel free to add to this and expand, i would love to heare more should you find more to add.

    Cheers

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  • 37
    Moderator says:

    Moderators’ message

    Just a reminder that, while disagreement is welcome, we do ask that it be expressed without rudeness or aggression towards those you may disagree with, please.

    Thank you.

    The mods

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  • Hi Merlin,

    It has been over a year since your original post. Do you still have the same girlfriend? I think it would be hard to maintain a relationship unless either you or she were to modify your views somewhat.

    Over the last twelve months I’ve watched several You Tube clips (seemingly harmless) and picked the brains of one NLP instructor. The instruction aspect seems to involve a degree of bullying or hectoring, though this probably depends on the personal style of the instructor. I couldn’t stand it myself, but horses for courses I suppose.

    Is there a similarity to Scientology, in your opinion? From my angle it looks like brain washing. The subject knowingly allows another (with limited training) to stick with them until they alter their manner of thinking. It could work out well, but it could go disastrously wrong. It would be a cold day in hell when I’d let someone mess with my brain like that!

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  • 40
    Merlin Dewize says:

    Hi Nitya,

    Agree. I too think its a game of cat a mouse. If your giving into instructions which were given to you by someone else then your admitting to slavery, i some form of following. There is an authority and then there is a follower. Sounds very much like a cult as the authority is not giving you tools and information about reality but i actuality this authority is giving instructions and making choices for you which you would probably disagree with if you had your own reasoning process undisturbed by emotions, by mystical ideologies or by halh truths given by people you consider an authority. In my opinion you are your own authority and you can judge the world by your own means. Obviously that requires a lot of scientific discipline, a certain degree in reasoning and a view which has not been compromised by ideas which distort reality.

    I am not with this girl. Shortly before i confronted her and asked her to consider my view she went very quiet. Later i found out that she fell in love with one of her colleagues from work, another NLP trainer. Its very sad and i do hope she makes it in life. Its sad because before she started that job she was open, curious and creative but now she is just another cog in the machine which cons people into giving away their hard earned values something she admitted was happening when i asked her about NLP and her company. There is a leader there who and i have heard of things which have happened which really made me question the sense of being with her and putting up with her being brainwashed. I didn’t want to leave her because i love her but i worried this might deepen and i was right it did. When she wakes I hope I am the first person she calls. I will try to support her, because i know that waking from a delusion and such abuse is a very difficult process. until that happens i am doubtful about NLP and i am also doubtful she will wake at all. metaphorically she is in a coma and thats the sad thing about NLPers – so much potential wasted. You can warn people, you can suggest tools to them and give information and reason but they still fall for it like animals fall for sugar.

    Best thing is to step back from NLPers and let them do their thing as they wish, its their choice and if their mind is weak then so be it, but for me it was sad that so suddenly my ex just vanished from my life.

    I did everything by the book of what is possible, morally correct and logical but she couldn’t break free. As if her mind just wasnt getting anything else than that which seemed more colourful than reality. I hope that her happiness has risen and she will never regret this choice. As for me i will continue to ask questions and try to understand this system and make my views and findings visible. It might save a perfectly healthy relationship from dissolving.

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  • In reply to #40 by Merlin Dewize:

    Sounds very much like a cult as the authority is not giving you tools and information about reality but i actuality this authority is giving instructions and making choices for you which you would probably disagree with if you had your own reasoning process undisturbed by emotions, by mystical ideologies or by halh truths given by people you consider an authority. In my opinion you are your own authority and you can judge the world by your own means.

    There’s a correct way of imparting information (let’s call it education), and then there’s coercion. It seems to me that NLP falls into the latter category. I should qualify my opinions though, as I’ve never attended one of their sessions and I’m not likely to do so.

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  • 42
    Merlin Dewize says:

    In reply to #41 by Nitya:

    Its a form of coercion but not exactly. The subjects do still need to make an informed choice. Something has to be wrong in the life for a subject to be considering help. I think that NLP is very popular in Poland as the people are used to hierarchy and degradation of individuality and creativity by politicians, priests, most school teachers, parents who are mindlessly passing on what was inflicted on them, and clever mastics who are intelligent enough to understand coercive and manipulative tactics. People understand or are programmed to follow the trail of information which is a pattern they recognise or are attuned to. Its like Radio Maria is not just an actual radio station but also a frequency which resonates inside people who have been trained since childhood and coerced into following these patterns. Its a multiple generation problem which has many layers and levels. no wonder its so hard for poles to break free from their strong views. And not just poles but many religious, political, ideological groups. Only some scientist who developed a questioning everything habit know there is little sense in doing that as no values come from it. Anyway, coming back to NLP this age old degradation and multilayer manipulation is sought after by trainers in weaker subjects who are much easier to be manipulated into the system. An NLP organisation wouldn’t employ anyone who they didn’t think could be manipulated or had strong curiosity or views about scientific approach. That would not be beneficial to them. Another thing is that they would obviously like it if they had someone who has a brain structure attuned with the patterns which they promote. This way it would sound convincing to the client that NLP actually works. Truth is a brainwashed person is giving you an opinion – not a sane, rational and logical person – he would say actually if you believe you are this perfect quality of someone and you practice smiling the way he does then you might fool yourself into thinking your him and perhaps you could achieve what he does by this, but remember to pay for our complex training programme as that will give you the powers and tools to achieve what you desire, now pay a fortune and worship us.

    I think i havent revisited this topic for long as its just a waste of time this NLP nonsense.

    Nitya, what is your perspective, is there anything in NLP you find a little bit positive? Besides what’s your situation, how, why did you become involved / interested in this discussion? Please share?

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  • 43
    Merlin Dewize says:

    Clever mistics – those could be the media and pseudo-scientific con artists etc. People who live of other people’s value production until it is freely given to them – freely but with little effort from the mystics, little manipulations and ‘advice’

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  • In reply to #42 by Merlin Dewize:

    . .Nitya, what is your perspective, is there anything in NLP you find a little bit positive? Besides what’s your situation, how, why did you become involved / interested in this discussion? Please share?

    I read the book ” The Brain that Changes Itself” a few years ago and was greatly impressed because I thought of the possible applications for stroke victims etc. More recently, the term NLP was introduced to me by a supporter. I found the subject matter interesting because it reminded me of the contents of the book by Doige. I felt compelled to find out as much as I could re this subject. This involved much reading on the internet, You Tube snippets of advice and as much information as I could get (without paying) by word of mouth. My overall impressions could be completely wrong, but it seemed that a method of delivery very similar to Scientology was being employed. I know that followers are encouraged to buy highly priced instruction packages. As you mentioned, I think the sort of people who readily embrace this style of program may have an underlying problem before they start.

    So ….in short, I don’t know of anyone adversely affected by the procedure apart from the fact that they have parted with a great deal of money, but I would consider that I know enough to avoid being sucked in myself.

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  • Quite frankly, I am shocked at the number of delusional comments, misconceptions, misperceptions and inaccuracies which have been posted on this thread. Most people who have commented clearly haven’t got a clue what they are talking about and obviously don’t have a working knowledge of any of the topics they have posted about. Most people who have commented are clearly adhering to their own preconceived notions of reality based on their own experience and that itself is basic human psychology. I am in shock because that is not something I would expect to see on a website such as this.

    NLP is not a cult or a pseudoscience or a psycho-religion or quasi-religion or a myth. It is nothing of the sort, although it has been labelled as pseudoscience by mainstream establishments and various psychologists just as many other credible topics have too and the reason for this is because it can be incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands, just like hypnosis can. In fact, hypnosis (especially Ericksonian hypnosis) is a large part of NLP – there are attempts to discredit it because it can be used so effectively for mind control purposes on a subject without their awareness and yes, mind control is very real – Derren Brown has already been mentioned here and he is probably the UK’s most prominent figure in the field of mind control (and I am the 2nd!). He uses NLP all the time without ever mentioning it or telling anyone that he’s using it and it is hugely successful when he does use it, although he himself attempted to discredit it in his book and the reason he did so was misdirection – he doesn’t want people knowing how he achieves what he does.

    Most of us have seen Derren Brown hypnotize people or control their thoughts simply by communicating with them and he does it without a typical hypnotic induction (i.e. putting the to sleep) and guess how he does it? By using Ericksonian hypnosis which is probably the largest part of NLP and no, the subjects do not know he is using it. Everything contained in NLP is based on already previously existing confirmed, verifiable and scientifically proven psychological phenomena which already existed and were known and proven before NLP even came on to the scene in the 1970’s. It’s basically a compilation of techniques, tools and information taken from various aspects of applied psychology. It was, however, turned into somewhat of a money-making pyramid scheme by it’s founders which was then promoted by people like Tony Robbins. The reason NLP did not receive accreditation and became labelled as pseudoscience is because of it’s capacity for exploitation (i.e. charlatans and sociopaths could learn it and then use it to manipulate you, just as Derren Brown does with his subjects).

    It is not New Age mumbo jumbo or pseudoscience and it does not heavily rely on the placebo effect (although the placebo effect goes much deeper than most psychologists are willing to admit). NLP is entirely based on already known and proven psychological principles. Saying that NLP is a cult or a pseudoscience or a myth is effectively no different to saying that psychology itself is a cult or pseudoscience or myth. NLP can actually be hugely beneficial in a number of positive ways and can improve literally every part of your life when used properly and it’s not just placebo. It can be used for personal and professional success, to give up smoking, to overcome phobias, to remove bad habits or compulsions, to develop self-confidence, for accelerated learning, to communicate more effectively, etc, etc etc. It’s actually one of the most beneficial tools known to man and that’s because the subconscious mind is the most powerful thing in the known universe. If you want to improve your life, then do it with NLP!
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  • I learned and mastered every part of NLP successfully without ever paying as much as a single penny to anybody… and NLP is nothing whatsoever like Scientology in any way, shape or form. The problem is that there are too many con artists out there selling their own bullsh*t as NLP when it isn’t really NLP.
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  • Cite some peer reviewed and published scientific papers to support your argument. Without that, yours is just another …

    I am shocked at the number of delusional comments, misconceptions, misperceptions and inaccuracies which have been posted on this thread.

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  • No, it isn’t. The fact that you would make such a reply in the first place proves and reinforces my point. I’ve spent my entire life studying, researching and experimenting with psychology, psychiatry and the human mind. Considering how vast a topic NLP is, asking me to cite sources is kind of childish and pathetic when you (should) know that there are plenty of peer-reviewed psychological papers which support all the fundamental principles behind NLP. In fact, there are literally thousands of them or are you too incompetent to realize that or to even bother looking for yourself? Do you know anything about psychology? Additionally, being peer-reviewed means nothing. There are also plenty of peer-reviewed papers about parapsychological phenomena but if I posted them you wouldn’t believe them anyway because you don’t believe in the paranormal. Like I said, this just reinforces what I said about people adhering to their own preconceived notions of reality (confirmation bias) and you are a perfect example of that. Thanks for proving my point! Why not try thinking for yourself instead of believing whatever “official” mainstream science tells you? Oh yeah, because you need some kind of authority to tell you what to believe (and so we come back to mind control and NLP and how you are now admitting to willingly accept information from an authoritive source – i.e. you’re exposing your suggestibility to authority which is a prime example of how people are controlled and manipulated in the first place – you are allowing your beliefs to be decided by someone in a position of authority. Again, that is EXACTLY how NLP works and you just proved that too!).
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  • You will note Marc that the name of this web page is the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Note those last two words.

    Reason…. and Science

    asking me to cite sources is kind of childish and pathetic

    Nope. It’s science. Your piece reads exactly the same way as a defender of Scientology, or the Anti Vaxer nutters. Given this topic dates back to 2013, I doubt any of the regular contributors will bother to demolish you.

    I’ve spent my entire life studying, researching and experimenting
    with psychology, psychiatry and the human mind.

    Prove it. Citation needed.

    Yawn… Nothing to see folks. Just more of the irrational of the world, proving that the irrational are still irrational.
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  • NLP – neurological linguistic programming

    Wiki / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming#Scientific_criticism / uses jargon to impress readers.

    This being the first time I’ve viewed this discussion, and heard of NLP for that matter, I agree with above assessment. RDF website is the vehicle of which to fine-tooth comb / filter presented claims.

    *Note how careful Lawrence Krauss is, from ‘gravitational waves’ article here (and elsewhere) by using qualifiers until the observation is proved positive or negative.
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  • Hello, sorry to hear that, i believe nlp  can  be used badly ,to help your girlfriend you have to think as her and the leader.. you have to  make  her use critical thinking but never directly point to the leader he already told her that she would find people  against etc and if you do  the leader will  probably  know and will use it to his favour ..  always think she thinks she   found something special she will never would want to let it go so very slow hints  here and there to help her… it might take long.. Report abuse

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