I agree with much of what Steve Salerno said above, but some parts need more refinement.
One of the things which has been mentioned in this thread many times, is that those who SELL these advanced persuasion techniques EXAGGERATE what they can do, so they can charge more money for it.
Its the scammers, scamming the wannabe scammers.
That is why one should never purchase any of their products.
But there are many people who DENY they even use persuasion tech at all.
For example, Byron Katie and her people DENY she uses any type of persuasion techniques at all. They say she is just an idiot savant who spoke with a cockroach and attained enlightenment in a roach motel.
Then why are people on their knees before her in a parking lot?
Why are people working for her for-profit company for no pay, for years?
Why are people even paying their own way, to work for her?
Why are people turning over their wedding rings to her, and making massive "gifts"?
Its all being engineered into people by an expert persuader. Its not happening by magic, try to persuade people to do those types of things, its not easy.
As far as the Ericksonian Handshake, I also agree with that. Most people who try to do it, make it backfire, as they do it so poorly. Milton Erickson could do it of course. and there are people who get away with doing it, and have modified it into some other physical signal, like touching someone's shoulder in a specific way as a cue.
For example, in this thread, Byron Katie appears to have done a version of it to Carol Skolnick, and it worked. [forum.culteducation.com
So only very few highly skilled people can pull that stuff off, and they customize it.
And if it doesn't work, they try something else.
Also, as far as sparking aggression in the subject, one can see that Byron Katie deals with that immediately. She is constantly working metaphors about the aggression people may feel toward her, and is trying to Turn-it-around on themselves, and passify them, and turn them into metaphorical plant vases, etc.
That last part of Steve Salerno's comments are trickier though.
Its true that SOME of the techniques being used by these folks are not effective, and in reality what is probably working is the charisma, and forceful personality of the Guru, as well as the many social influence techniques they use, and many other LGAT seminar techniques.
For example, the book by Cialdini on Influence [www.culteducation.com
] Byron Katie uses all of these techniques.
NLP is full of exaggeration and lies, that is certain. That is so the NLP Master Trainers, can charge a kings ransom to "train" people. Ask Stever Robbins what his daily rate is to conduct NLP Training...
But NLP also has some very advanced and effective modeling techniques, which work to copy whatever works. So they have taken effective persuaders, and copied all of their techniques.
One point I disagree is that these techniques are being used on "gullible buyers".
Its not that they are gullible, which carries a negative stereotype. Its that they don't have the experience and training dealing with people who are expert salespeople and persuaders.
As mentioned, Byron Katie deliberately TARGETS this demographic, and steers far away from the audience who is trained and has experience in these areas. She targets people who may be "too nice" and who are interested in so-called NonDual "ideas", and who also happen to have a lot of pain in their lives, often from trauma like childhood rape and abuse, and severe depression.
These people are DELIBERATELY targeted in her marketing, they target people who are in desperate pain, and are looking for a way out.
So its not helpful to label these folks as gullible buyers for example, as many of these folks have posted in this thread, and have written their stories in public and private. They are generally Suggestible and imaginative, and far too trusting of these Guru's who are strangers.
Once they have learned what is going on, and how its being done, then they respond differently.
So its just a matter of not having specific training in how the LGAT seminar persuasion game works.
Also, its important to not over-emphasize the perversion of the Erickonsian and NLP techiques. As mentioned in this thread many many times. At most, this is maybe 10%-20% of what Byron Katie does. But its the thing that no one knows much about.
Her deceptive and tricky "4 Questions" might be another 10% of what she does.
All of the LGAT style social influence, and standard sales and marketing techniques make up a lot of the rest.
Another distraction techniques that these Persuaders use, its to say that the advanced techniques don't work. Maybe they don't in some cases. But they also serve to distract the more advanced customers, and they also make the Guru feel more powerful, which give the Guru more confidence, which gives them more charisma, which people follow.
So its very complex.
The point of pointing out their techniques, is to show people EXACTLY what they are doing.
They have DENIED they use any of the techniques right in this thread. So showing exactly how they are using them, shows they are lying.
Lastly as far as Nested Loops, they do work. What are they, minus the fancy terms? They are dozens of interlocking Stories, with subtle language, that refer back to eachother. Many of the stories get left open and unresolved, and the Stories have various meanings embedded in them.
Byron Katie, everything she does, everything, can be seen as a series of Nested Loops. Its all her Stories, interwoven with eachother, that is basically all she does.
Human mythology, oral history, ancient stories like Gilgamesh, and religion could be seen as the supreme nested loops. That is how human belief systems seem to be put together.
If you learn how to modify human beliefs systematically, you can make people do almost anything.
That is real.
These New Wage LGAT Guru's don't become multimillionaires and live in their palaces for nothing.
Its not easy or simple to do what Byron Katie does to a group of people. Anyone could try to run their own LGAT seminar, and see how easy it is, it isn't. Its extremely complex and difficult, and takes many years of practice. Its probably about 100x more complex than mere public speaking.