Flavors of NLP (was Re: Totally logical?)

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*lib.org)
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 20:29:35 -0800

Having studied with one of the founders of the thing called NLP, and having
observed various practitioners at close hand, permit me to say that there
are downsides present for some practitioners. And some of these
practitioners are high-vis. :\

In my view, the work being done by the Andreases shows significant value.

Richard Bandler, and Tony Robbins, to cite two high-vis people, seem to be
focused on getting the word out, and possibly on getting wealth (not that I
find fault with that per se), and may be less attuned to or concerned with
possible developing personality cults. They may also be aiming for "80-20"
results. Buttonhole me sometime face-to-face; I've got some droll stories
to relate.

The last seminars I had with John Grinder and Judith Ann Delozier (as best
I can recall, around 1990-1991) were very rewarding. At that time, their
area of concern and approach to models/metamodels was varieties of focused
attention. I think you would have enjoyed it had you been present, Anders.
And the resistance those two had to cults of personality was obvious.

On the third tentacle, there has been a tendency for extravagant claims to
be made. I believe that some branch of the US military did some
investigation into the utility of some published/promoted NLP techniques,
but I doubt their applications and investigative methodology would satisfy


At 12:00 AM 11/26/97 +0100, you wrote:
>"Ramez Naam (Exchange)" <ramezn@EXCHANGE.MICROSOFT.com> writes:
>> One technology that claims to allow humans to "rescript" themselves is
>> Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). A good book on NLP is "NLP: The New
>> Technology of Achievment", by the NLP Comprehensive training team,
>> edited by Steve Andreas.
>> Caveat: I've been experimenting with NLP on myself for the past few
>> months, so my objectivity is quite possibly blurred. However I must say
>> that I find it both very interesting in the abstract, and very effective
>> when put to use.
>I'm a bit ambivalent about NLP. I have not yet read up heavily on it,
>but what I have read and tried seems to suggest that is mainly a large
>toolbox of more or less different tools with no real underlying Big
>Theory. That is of course not necessary as long as the tools work, and
>some certainly do. But at the same time I notice the tendency for
>"believers" of NLP to believe a little bit too strongly in it for my
>taste - it seems to have some memetic "cult potential" (I do not
>suggest it is a real cult, just that it somehow promotes a cohesion
>among NLPers and their beliefs that I find unhealthy for critical
>thinking and strict empirical testing). Since I also recognize that
>this may just be my prejudices talking, I get even more ambivalent.
>Are there any outside examinations of the efficiacy of NLP methods?
>Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
>asa@nada.kth.se http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/
>GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y