Re: Flavors of NLP (was Re: Totally logical?)

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Thu, 27 Nov 1997 03:24:50 -0800

Thanks for the cite and interesting excerpts.

I would not dispute that Grinder & Bandler were doing work that was not
closely controlled when compared to, say, the RPK work currently being
facilitated via John Walker's "Hotbits" site at

I am unaware of any research of that rigor into Ericksonian hypnosis or
Satir's family therapy, for that matter; yet both fields are respected in
some reputable quarters, and both informed some of Grinder & Bandler's
pursuits of "modelling excellence". I don't think all their work is
prudently rejected out-of-hand; nor should every claim made by every person
claiming to be doing NLP be swallowed whole.

Two things: you wrote:

>NeuroLinguistic Programming is perhaps the best known, a kind of New Age
>hot-tub behaviourism

1) I've heard things that could be interpreted as such, but I wonder what
you drew that capsule summary from? Could it have been a narrow
interpretation of such heuristics as "The meaning of a communication is the
response you get"? Or just the technique-y style of certain
practitioners/promoters? Please tell me more, if you can. :)

>Still, the Committee did recommend
>follow-ups on several lines: accelerated learning, biofeedback, and
>NeuroLinguistic Programming - even though it found `no scientific evidence
>that neurolinguistic programming is an effective strategy for exerting

2) This phrasing makes me think of adversary-manipulation psyops, rather
than general officer training.

Re: NLP *and* psi: If it depends on the skill of the operator, it's not
engineering, at best it's art. And one of the signs of pathological science
is appeals to things like the skill of the operator,
just-noticeable-differences, etc. So it's a slippery slope with interesting
terrain, not a simple thing like a magic (MKULTRA?) bullet to the brain.

>Damien Broderick

(NOTE: Robotlike replies to the above address will fail;
*noncommercial* communications are welcome; kindly
substitute a hyphen for the asterisk in the above address.
Sorry for any inconvenience.)