I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

177. The Jerks' Fascination with NLP

The Jerks' Fascination with NLP

Some time ago I was in contact with someone, who seems to be a bit too much fascinated and interested in NLP.    Then I was wondering, what he got from it and I suspected, that he hoped to improve his skill to manipulate people. 
When then googling for scientific information on NLP, I somehow overlooked something, that now I got aware of, when reading that book on how to abuse women mentioned in entry 175
Since NLP was mentioned in that book, I google for 'NLP seduction', and I got 221.000 results. 
All of a sudden, I understood:   That guy did not study NLP just with a vague hope to gain influence over people, he wanted to become a pick-up and seduction artist, but of course he did not admit that to me.   If there were no other reasons, why I am not in contact with him anymore, attempting to become a pick-up artist is by itself already a good reason to call it good riddance.   

1.  Parts of NLP are as scientific as snake oil.

But I also superficially read two NLP books, which that guy had recommended to me, one by Bandler, the other by Hall/Bodenhamer.

It is obvious, why NLP has so much attraction for emotional morons, jerks and especially for those who wish to become pick-up and seduction artists. 

- It follows an egocentric approach, where every unpleasant or painful impact upon others is considered as collateral damage, when applying NLP on persons, whose consent was not ascertained first.

- It claims to lead to big and fast results with little effort.

- It promises self-improvement, but that means the power of manipulation, not to become a more ethical person. It promises purely selfish benefits to be gained from others, not to become more likable, lovable, bearable, pleasant to others.

- It is based on an asymmetrical situation. The powerful superior practitioner modifies an inferior submissive or ignorant and unsuspiciously trusting target. This fits his need and presumption and insolence to dominate.

- It is a compilation of many simple tricks, easily to memorize for someone with a good memory for small modules of information but trouble with complex interconnections and theories. There is no abstract, deeper theory, just little chunks of tricks to memorize like a shopping list.

- NLP is a mixture of pseudoscience and banalities. But those are banalities only in the perception of mature people, but could have had some surprising novelty for an emotional moron.

- As a cult, that has been compared to Scientology, it lives by selling the illusion of fast success in the form of selling expensive seminaries, books, courses to the gullible. By encouraging self-overestimation, they earn money and keep their disciples.    

2.   Richard Bandler's book has the title 'Get The Life You Want'.   That already tells, for whom it was written. Not for serious skeptical people, but for the easily gullible ones, who are willing to spend money on improbable claims. It sounds like a TV commercial encouraging people to consume products on credit.

I have often wondered, what a lifelong exposure to TV-commercial has on gullible people.  If someone hears countless times, how easy it is to solve any problem by just buying something, if all such claims are simplified and exaggerated, can this change the baseline of what appears reasonable?  Having seen hundreds of thousands of commercials during a lifetime, could this habituation to commercials desensitize people so much, that they do not perceive anymore, how absurd it is to expect to get the life they want from one book?

Reading that book, and reading between the lines, I got more and more aware of the background: Bandler's advice is written for persons, who are self-centered, having only shallow emotions directly connected with the strife for selfish well-being. Bandler's advice was meant to be suitable to all average people, not to a limited target group, so obviously Bandler considers everybody to be like this. I started to suspect, that Bandler was thinking, the whole world were like himself. Most of the book could have been included into a training program for jerks. I would retitle the book: 'How to be a successful jerk.'

So I googled Bandler, and bingo, he was called a sociopath, and he sounds quite narcissistic in some descriptions. No wonder, that such a book and author appeal so much to superficial people, who want an easy life.   A pill is a fast remedy against any ailment, an NLP trick is a fast remedy against any person resisting to be used and abused.

According to Bandler's book 'Get The Life You Want', people are supposed to trick themselves into changing unpleasant feelings without evaluating the cause. It is exactly, what exploitative sociopaths expect from their victims: They should not rebel, protest, they should accept, whatever is done to them, repress their natural emotions and trick themselves into not suffering.   But the jerk does not only expect this, he uses his NLP tricks for his attempt to manipulate and coerce the victims into acquiescence. 

3.  The book 'Figuring out People' by Hall and Bodenhamer also was interesting to read.  It is partly pseudoscience and partly big words for common sense and banalities, that any psychology student learns in the first year.  Bandler's book is worthless on the first glimpse, Hall and Bodenhamer succeed to appear scientific on a superficial level.

Reading Hall and Bodenhamer, I had the strong impression to read a guidebook, a cooking book for emotional morons.   It was all there, simple, easily memorable recipes suitable for persons with weak central coherence, easily to follow for people, who take everything literal and have problems with too much abstraction, completely egocentric perspective, a list of simple, mostly dichotomous items, easy to memorize and mentally apply item by item.

But it is even worse than that, the NLP authors are encouraging ruthless dishonesty, when they tell people to act and be fake and pretend any behavior for the purpose of eliciting information from human lab rats. They tell people to get information from others while hiding themselves behind pretensions. On page 203, I found the whole inhuman essence of the book: "So we first pace, then we lead." How much more cynical can someone be in teaching others to become jerks? No healthy person wants to be lead, so who leads but the ruthless, the amoral, the sociopath who happen to be accidentally in a position to use advantages to gain power. What a role model, when someone uses his prestige as a doctor to encourage people to be jerks? Bandler's diagnosis as a sociopath is known, but I wonder, how much Hall and Bodenhamer also are sociopaths or at least narcissists.

That guy called Michael Hall his mentor. The belief in NLP being unshakable by scientific evidence makes Hall appear more like a guru of a cult than a scientific mentor.   I do not doubt, that Hall is extremely clever, but he is ruthlessly making money with methods based on an unethical paradigm.
I doubt that Hall feels the least moral responsibility for the effect on emotional morons by his books.    Many people fall into a mental trap, that who is clever has also high ethics. Hall obviously has none, but for the gullible emotional morons, Hall's being clever leads to the erroneous assumption that Hall is morally qualified to be an ethical guru.   When an alleged ethical guru teaches the methods to be a successful jerk, this appears to justify to be a jerk.

One thing is certain:  If ever again anybody talks favorably about NLP, this is a huge red flag for me.   Decent, mature and educated people do not fall for that stuff.