Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: Carlos B ()
Date: July 13, 2009 07:43PM

Quote
The Anticult
yeah, just dropped that in there. Its not something that can be explained in a few words.
There are all sorts of "meta-levels" and meta-patterns they get into in NLP.

In one way, it can be the difference between "content" and meta-level processes being done at the same time.
So the content can be anything, as in any subject on earth, like a subject in a class.

But the Meta-level, might be the processes/structure that are occuring that have nothing to do with that content, like the social influence techniques being used.

Just a note to anyone reading, please do not buy anything from anyone in the NLP field, there are too many rip-off artists at work. The library has books, and that is enough to start.


Search Google for these:

nlp meta-level

nlp meta-patterns

Well, I did the search on nlp meta-level and arrived at an article called "Meta NLP - Taking NLP to the next level." It's just mystification, empty psycho-babble. Of course some NLP techniques may work sometimes on some people but I defy anyone to come up with anything in NLP that's either new or innovatory. NLP culled some techniques and insights from a variety of existing sources, cobbled them together with a philosphy and obscure jargon and then began selling courses. If you get below the language it's all extremely superficial - and I would add that respectable social scientists often dress up simplistic theories in grand language in order to give the theory an air of profundity.

As far as manipulation techniques go there's nothing new under the sun. There's nothing too mysterious about how a second hand car salesman sells his cars or how someone can be sexually seduced. What has changed is that these age old techniques are now being used on a large scale by an unscrupulous industry that claims to promote mental health and spiritual well-being - the pick up and seduction stuff being a particularly objectionable part of this.

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: sparrow ()
Date: July 13, 2009 08:13PM

Hi derren84

My original point in posting this was to point out that:

A) Certain people in the seduction community, who are successful in using these techniques, are behaving in a way that is at best abusive and disrespectful towards their victims, and at worst quite possibly criminal.

B) Certain people in the seduction community are taking advantage of damaged, insecure people (in selling them all the courses etc) and are also quite worryingly using techniques that alter the beliefs and values of those people in a very negative way.

I understand from your posts that you do not believe in NLP. Thats your opinion and fine, but as I mentioned in my original post NLP is merely one of the techniques used by the seduction community.


However to go slightly off topic in defence of NLP (not necessarily the way it is sold or marketted!) What do we mean when we talk about NLP ? NLP by its very nature is a collection of techniques taken from various sources.

Some of those sources are placed well and truly in the realm of Psychotherapy. (Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, Milton Erickson etc)

Some from linguistics (Chomsky)

Some from systems thinking (Gregory Bateson, Korzybski)

and so it goes on.............

One of the offshoots of NLP known as SHE (Shamanic Human Engineering) takes its material from Amazonian Shamanism!

I think the point I am making is that when someone says "NLP is BS" I would ask "which part of NLP exactly ?"

The various influences that make up NLP all have their own scientific references and you could spend many lifetimes trawling through the data on Gestalt Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Family Centered therapy etc etc.

However thats not all. NLP is now used for so many different areas. Health, Psychotherapy, Sport, Training, Management, Sales, Education.........etc. All of these areas have their own anecdotal and scientific literature...

So yes some of this "NLP stuff" will attract scientific studies that do not support some of the original NLP ideas such as the (Heap (1988)) analysis of Primary Representational Systems and eye accessing cues etc...

There is indeed a problem that there needs to be a lot more scientific investigation of NLP techniques (in all the fields it has been used in). But just because one of the small elements of the original model has had one study that "does not support the hypothesis" does that for a second mean that another study wont come along that supports the original idea? or that the rest of it is not sound ?

You see this in all areas of science but particularly social sciences all the time.

The bottom line is there is not enough evidence either way

I have found that in internet forum discussions, people very often are good at getting on Google and then linking to other sites and Wikkipedia etc.

The problem is that they often dont have the experience or education to be able to critically evaluate what they are looking at.

In the academic world there is an old saying "publish or perish" If you are a professor at a university you would be expected to produce a critically acclaimed article now and again to add to the PR machine of your faculty. If you dont then your tenure might well be at risk.

Its well known in the academic world that if you can't come up with any original research yourself then the next best thing is to attack the work of others.

Often the material of "fringe" science is a soft target for this. A lot of people think that NLP as a body of ideas makes some sort of claim to be "scientific" this is a big missunderstanding. I can see why people might think this because the name sounds scientific (I believe in fact Bandler and Grinder came up with the name while drunk one night trying to think of a catchy title!) and unfortunately there are many books called things like "NLP the new science of XYZ" however in reality it is a collection of presuppositions, attitudes and techniques that come from other sources. Any study of NLP can only really study one small part or technique at a time and then apply the findings to that one small part.

Otherwise it is a bit like saying "An attempt to produce cold fusion failed, therefore all science is BS"

To really evaluate a "study" you need sound training in experimental design, research methods, statistical analysis etc. A lot of people who quote or link to other material on forums like this do not have this.

You would need to read the entire original journal article and look critically at the design.

Is it measuring what it says it is ? Is there a decent sample size ? are all variables accounted for ? what is the raw data ? has it been analysed using the correct statistical analysis ?

Even then when a study is published you will get the sceptical publications that only publish one type of study and the rival publications that publish the other type. It ultimately comes down to academics saying "my peer reviewed journal is better than your peer reviewed journal" a kind of Skeptical Enquirer vs European Journal of Parapsycholgy scenario.


So taking this in to account and admitting that there needs to be more research in to NLP use in various fields, there is a useful database of NLP studies at:

[www.nlp.de]

Some very much support the effectiveness of NLP some dont. As I said more reserach should be done but the anecdotal evidence would suggest that a lot of NLP is very effective indeed.


Back on topic:

By saying that you believed the seduction material to be mere marketting hype

[even if you dont give credit to the parts that come from NLP (even though some parts that make up NLP often have sound scientific foundations)]

you are almost saying that this doesnt happen and it doesnt work.

I would suggest you read around the subject of how peoples beliefs and values and behaviour can be changed by these types of technique (which after all is surely one of the underlying presuppositions of the RR forums)

A good starting point would be:

Geary, B.B. (1992). "Seeding In Hypnosis". Unpublished Doctoral
Dissertation, Arizona State University, Tempe.

Gregory, W.L., Cialdini, R.B., & Carpenter, K.M. (1982). "Self-relevant
Scenarios As Mediators Of Liklihood Estimates And Compliance: Does
Imagining It Make It So?" Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology,
43, 89-99.

Kihlstrom, J.F. (1987). "The Cognitive Unconscious". Science, 237,
(4821), 1445-1452.

Kunst-Wilson, W.R., & Zajonc, R.B. (1980). "Affective Discrimination Of
Stimuli That Cannot Be Recognized". Science, 207, 537-558.

Sherman, S.J. (1988). "Ericksonian Psychotherapy And Social Psychology".
In J.K. Zeig & S.R. Lankton (Eds.), "Developing Ericksonian Therapy". New
York: Brunner/Mazel.

LaRue, A. & Olejnick, A.B. (1980). "Cognitive Priming Of Principled Moral
Thought". Personality And Social Psychology Bulletin, 6, 413-416.

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: sparrow ()
Date: July 13, 2009 08:55PM

"Meta" as used by the NLP community (comes from the greek word) usually means something that is "beyond" or "adjacent" to something else.

In NLP a lot of jargon uses the word meta:

Meta communication
Meta model
Meta mirror
Meta programme

etc....

A lot of companies that sell NLP training use the word in their title or material to link to some of the early theories that gained NLP it s early popularity.
So Google will throw up a lot of strange results.

In terms of manipulation (er sorry I mean "influence" !) what is really being referred to here is that communication occurs on many levels.

George A Miller in his famous paper "the magic number seven plus or minus two" 1956 pointed out that our conscious mind can really only track seven or so major bits of information.

The unconscious however can take in almost everything your senses can detect. Your beliefs, values, conditioning and other factors act as a filter as to what is perceived consciously and what slips under the radar in to the unconscious.

Albert Mehrabian in 1971 did a piece of research that suggested that, when communicating about feelings and attitudes, communication can be broken down in to:

Words account for 7%
Tone of voice accounts for 38%
Body language accounts for 55%

Other later studies have changed these figures up or down, however the basic message is that a skilled NLP practitioner may be saying one thing with the words they choose but another with voice tone and another with body language. (including complicated gestures and touches that are actually based more on Pavlovian conditioning such as physical or spatial anchoring) (I noticed Byron Katie in some youtube clips trying that really badly!)

Then there are other techniques such as the use of metaphor and storytelling that communicate symbolically with the unconscious.

Some of these complicated language patterns, that can be used, are nicely summarised in the book "Mind Lines" by L Michael Hall and Bobby G Bodenhamer

Others can be found in "words that change minds" by Shelle Rose Charvet

So yes Anticult is quite correct there is a hell of a lot of stuff going on in NLP beyond the eye movement stuff.

I would agree there is nothing new in NLP but what NLP has done is take the good bits from everything it can find, organise it in to a rapidly teachable and learnable model and then put practitioners out there in vast numbers.

With regard to the seduction topic there has always been the odd sex addicted sociopath out there. They probably developed their techniques by trial and error over a lifetime and their techniques died with them. However now they write books, run seminars and share these techniques with others who would probably never have thought of them in the first place!

Thats kind of worrying

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: Carlos B ()
Date: July 13, 2009 10:44PM

Quote
sparrow
"Meta" as used by the NLP community (comes from the greek word) usually means something that is "beyond" or "adjacent" to something else.

In NLP a lot of jargon uses the word meta:

Meta communication
Meta model
Meta mirror
Meta programme

etc....

In terms of manipulation (er sorry I mean "influence" !) what is really being referred to here is that communication occurs on many levels.

Other later studies have changed these figures up or down, however the basic message is that a skilled NLP practitioner may be saying one thing with the words they choose but another with voice tone and another with body language. (including complicated gestures and touches that are actually based more on Pavlovian conditioning such as physical or spatial anchoring) (I noticed Byron Katie in some youtube clips trying that really badly!)

Sparrow - I don't have too much time now but really, "communication occurs on many levels" - why didn't I think of that? You say one thing with words, another with voice tone, another with body language etc - it's called human communication for God's sake.

My problem here is that when you write this stuff you seem to believe you're saying something beyond what's routinely understood in everyday life.

Also NLP took the "best bits" from other disciplines - this is often referred to as plagiarism. And just how do you define the 'best bits' and why should we believe you? Please explain this concretely without all the meta-jargon nonsense.

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: July 13, 2009 10:58PM

'However now they write books, run seminars and share these techniques with others who would probably never have thought of them in the first place!

Thats kind of worrying'


Hi Sparrow,
(Incidentally I noted a 'Freudian slip', if you believe in the freudian concept the 'unconscious', in your addressing deren84 as derren84 ;-) )

I read a few of the first NLP books in the 80's and have a few of Michael L Hall's unread on my bookshelves. I concluded, with this cursory reading, that NLP does not hold up as a unified system but some of the various ideas cobbled from other sources do bear scrutiny.

For this to be any practical use in a one-to-one situation, it would require a person skilled at cold reading and hypnosis and a correct and subtle reading of the fears, vulnerabilities and resistances of the 'target'. The very qualities that a skilled interpersonal psychologist develops over time and constant practice. It also requires an openesss to be influenced on the part of the 'target.'

Although Derren Brown's demonstrations of these skills are impressive, I think it important to remember that they are quite elaborately staged, with a base level of intention to be entertaining and that there must be considerable screening and testing beforehand to find the most suggestible subject for the proposed dramatic staging. DB also uses a fair bit of traditional smoke and mirrors magicianship when such tricks will add to the drama.

I think it quite difficult to construct such an elaborate environment in noisy bar or social gathering, so while a skilled person has an undeniable advantage, it is by no means a done deal that he has a fool-proof method to gain his ends.

An awful lot depends on the credulity of the 'target.'
It has been pointed out in other places that NLP is quite cult-like in that the sysytem is sold to those pre-qualified to believe in it as a system, using NLP techniques of influence to sell to these proto-practitioners--see Anticults constant warnings of the meta-level influence patterns being constantly run by the trainers and authors.

Personally, as in therapy, I believe that the effectiveness of these skills on a one-to-one basis lies in the relationship of trust developed between practitioner and 'target' (for want of a better word)

I had a friend, a keen amateur NLPer, do a time-line technique on me.
It was remarkably effective but I mulled over it afterward and concluded that it was a simple cognitive trick of changing perception aided by self-hypnosis. A lot of the trust during the process that I felt toward the NLPer came from my pre-existing familiarity with his voice and prior knowledge that he was unlikely to intend me harm. The trust, in fact, allowed me to lower any resistance I might otherwise have had.
I am not averse to the changing of my perceptions when it is of my choosing or of the efficacy of hypnosis in helping this process along. But for this to be at all ethical, the ultimate control must be in the hands of the 'target.'

Searching critical evaluation of my own wants and needs and a healthy appreciation of commonplace everyday power games has to be part of any approach to being at ease in a world where these techniques are in use.

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 14, 2009 12:13AM

Quote
sparrow
"Meta" as used by the NLP community (comes from the greek word) usually means something that is "beyond" or "adjacent" to something else.
...
In terms of manipulation (er sorry I mean "influence" !) what is really being referred to here is that communication occurs on many levels.
...
Other later studies have changed these figures up or down, however the basic message is that a skilled NLP practitioner may be saying one thing with the words they choose but another with voice tone and another with body language. (including complicated gestures and touches that are actually based more on Pavlovian conditioning such as physical or spatial anchoring) (I noticed Byron Katie in some youtube clips trying that really badly!)

Then there are other techniques such as the use of metaphor and storytelling that communicate symbolically with the unconscious.

sparrow,
thx for the detailed info.

Its true that Byron Katie tries some of these techniques in an obvious and clumsy way, as anyone trained can see in seconds. Of course, 99.9% of her audience has never even HEARD about any of those techniques. They are distracted by the "content", and literally don't see her methods, including the Byron Katie "head-cock" method, right before she gives a suggestion, and her verbal techniques.

One other thing about the Meta-stuff. Also, some of the NLPers, or most of them, also do meta-level techniques they don't write about. Of course, some of the "bad" NLPers used that to extract large fees.
And some others, like Richard Bandler, SAY they are doing some hidden techniques, but probably aren't.
Yes, its tricky stuff.

Also, for Carlos...I am not defending NLP in anyway. As I have said many times, NLP is not a "thing" is really just a processes for copying other things. But frankly, to be blunt, NLP is dead, long ago.

That is why there are now all sorts of other things, like DHE, and 19 other things, often done for marketing reasons.
That is also why some old NLPers, like Stever Robbins, are moving into the Byron Katie system, and things like that. The new method seems to be to try to totally conceal the techniques inside a "spiritual" system, on an audience with no experience in these areas. Trojan Horse.


Lastly, Ross Jeffries mentioned at the top, was notorious long ago, for NOT being able to get a date out of the yellow pages, but was able to sell his stuff to "nerds", and make good money.
But looking at some of the current Pickup Guru stuff, they ALSO are using a lot of Social Influence techniques. That is of more concern, as those are easier to learn, and probably would work better anyway. Things like scarcity, withdrawing attention, reverse psychology stuff, social proof, and all the other stuff they are pitching.

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: sparrow ()
Date: July 14, 2009 12:35AM

Quote
Carlos B
Sparrow - I don't have too much time now but really, "communication occurs on many levels" - why didn't I think of that? You say one thing with words, another with voice tone, another with body language etc - it's called human communication for God's sake.

Carlos Im not quite sure what your point is here. Of course its human communication, that was the point I was making.

(although of course we wouldn't know just to what degree these different elements have an effect without the psychological studies would we?)

Its like I'm saying "a psychological study has shown/suggested X "

(psychology is "the science of mind and behaviour")

And you then say "thats just mind and behaviour" erm.............................Yes!


With reference to NLP, most people are trained at school to think about what they say, not necessarily how they say it. NLP merely teaches something that psychologists have known for a long time and asks the practitioner to be aware of those parts of communication that we do not normally focus on.

NLP is difficult to define, for the reasons allready discussed, however one common definition is "the study of the structure of subjective human experience" yes it is about whats routinely experienced in everyday life, thats the whole point!

Probably the largest group of people who make this distinction about communication routinely are the drama/acting community. There are some large similarities in fact between elements of NLP training and Stanislavski's approach to acting.

The only difference between the NLP practitioner and the average person in the street is that the NLP practitioner will have been trained to use voice tone and body language consciously, to have a specific effect, whereas the average person in the street's body language and voice tone will often be on autopilot and be outside of their conscious awareness. A lot of NLP training is learning to pay attention to your own and others behaviour far more intently than normal.


Quote
Carlos B
My problem here is that when you write this stuff you seem to believe you're saying something beyond what's routinely understood in everyday life. .

Routinely understood by who ? There are a lot of things in life that are well understood by specialists in many areas. This does not mean they are routinely understood by Joe public. I am sure that there are a lot of people on this forum who did not fully appreciate the difference in effect between body language vs voice tone and the meaning of the words themselves.

Using Byron Katie as an example, there is a lot of discussion about "what does she mean when she says.............." Of course once you have this understanding about different levels of communication you realise that a lot of the effect she has is not the meaning of the mindless sentence, its the strange hypnotic voice tone, the rhythm, pauses, cadence, timing, the forced eye contact, the repetative gestures etc.....


Quote
Carlos B
Also NLP took the "best bits" from other disciplines - this is often referred to as plagiarism. And just how do you define the 'best bits' and why should we believe you? Please explain this concretely without all the meta-jargon nonsense.

Yup happy to.

One of the first ideas in NLP was called "modelling" if that jargon is too difficult for you to understand, think of it as copying in minute detail a behaviour or skill in terms of exterior behaviour and what is going on in the mind. of the person you are modelling.

What you do here is find someone who is excellent at something, and find out what they are doing internally (subjectively) and externally in terms of their behaviour. You then remove the pieces of this to see what bits are strictly necessary until you have the bare bones model of the behaviour or skill that you are looking at. The test is then whether you can teach that back to someone, and whether that new person can achieve comparable results.

This is actually quite a skill in itself. In business a similar skill is "benchmarking"

To simplify this massively you take the attitude "whos really good at this" and watch what they are doing, then you say "what out of what they are doing is necessary" then "can we now do this as well as they can" when applying the "model"

This was done extensively with the psychotherapeutic techniques that NLP is founded on, which is why you get a bit of hypnotherapy a bit of Gestalt a bit of family centered therapy etc etc.

Take what works, throw out the rest.

This is quite similar to the way the Japanese work in the electronics industry. Take an idea, streamline it, improve it, add other ideas from elsewhere and come up with a better product.

(yes modelling does have its flaws and areas where it does not work but most of the time its extremely useful)

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: Carlos B ()
Date: July 14, 2009 01:12AM

Quote
sparrow
One of the first ideas in NLP was called "modelling" if that jargon is too difficult for you to understand, think of it as copying in minute detail a behaviour or skill in terms of exterior behaviour and what is going on in the mind. of the person you are modelling.

What you do here is find someone who is excellent at something, and find out what they are doing internally (subjectively) and externally in terms of their behaviour. You then remove the pieces of this to see what bits are strictly necessary until you have the bare bones model of the behaviour or skill that you are looking at. The test is then whether you can teach that back to someone, and whether that new person can achieve comparable results.

This is actually quite a skill in itself. In business a similar skill is "benchmarking"

To simplify this massively you take the attitude "whos really good at this" and watch what they are doing, then you say "what out of what they are doing is necessary" then "can we now do this as well as they can" when applying the "model"

This was done extensively with the psychotherapeutic techniques that NLP is founded on, which is why you get a bit of hypnotherapy a bit of Gestalt a bit of family centered therapy etc etc.

Take what works, throw out the rest.

This is quite similar to the way the Japanese work in the electronics industry. Take an idea, streamline it, improve it, add other ideas from elsewhere and come up with a better product.

(yes modelling does have its flaws and areas where it does not work but most of the time its extremely useful)[/quote


Right, so this is where you get to be like Einstein - by modelling his behaviour and becoming a great mathematician. Grow up sparrow and please realise you are talking to adults.

I am not a specialist and most of what you are rambling about is just so familiar because it's either common sense or available in a multitude of pop-psychology books.

Also - sparrow, please tell us how long your NLP course lasted - just how many weeks did you need to get your qualification?

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: sparrow ()
Date: July 14, 2009 01:59AM

Quote
Carlos B
(yes modelling does have its flaws and areas where it does not work but most of the time its extremely useful)

Right, so this is where you get to be like Einstein - by modelling his behaviour and becoming a great mathematician. Grow up sparrow and please realise you are talking to adults.

I am not a specialist and most of what you are rambling about is just so familiar because it's either common sense or available in a multitude of pop-psychology books.

Also - sparrow, please tell us how long your NLP course lasted - just how many weeks did you need to get your qualification?

Carlos there is no need to be offensive or patronising. You asked me to explain what I meant by "keeping the good bits" I have succinctly explained the theory behind NLP modelling and how NLP developed in terms of its various historical influences.

If you dont like NLP then fine, thats your opinion. I personally do not like the way it has gone in terms of marketting, dumbing down the training and the vastly inflated pricing for training these days.

I also clearly stated that modelling has its flaws. (as in your quote above) Your Einstein example would be a good example as his genius was a product of probably genetic intelligence and his extensive education.

However in fairness part of the NLP modelling process involves accurately deciding whether or not you have the resources to perform the behaviour. Because the model does not work with certain types of skill does not mean that it is not extremely effective for other skills.

What for you might be common sense may not be for everybody on this forum. I suspect there are people from all walks of life on here with vast differences in their level of understanding of this material and their level of education.

After my three year full time degree in Psychology from a top British university, I then took a three year part time course in Psychotherapy that included many different techniques CBT, REBT, Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt, Hypnotherapy, and a few others. It also included a sound grounding in anatomy / physiology and the diagnosis of mental and certain types of physical illness. We trained quite closely with a number of medical doctors so that we knew when to refer a patient on to a Psychiatrist etc

My NLP training consisted of 21 client contact hours over a six month period for practitioner and the same amount of time again for master practitioner. I then did further training to be a NLP psychotherapist (NLP psychotherapy is fully recognised by the UKCP) and indeed, have after this then done what amounts to many months of further NLP training over the last 15 years or so.

Having now practiced as a therapist for 15 years (including working on occasion for the National Health Service) I think my comments on the use and misuse of these techniques have a certain amount of validity.

So Carlos appart from generally attacking something without giving any references to back up your assertations, behaving in a rather bullying fashion and being quite offensive, do you want to thrill us with your extensive experience and qualifications in this area ?

I dont mind at all people disagreeing with me , particularly if they can back up what they are talking about with something, (whether that is personal experience or a scientific reference that they actually understand.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2009 02:10AM by sparrow.

Re: "The Game" "Pickup Artists" and "The Seduction Community"
Posted by: sparrow ()
Date: July 14, 2009 02:24AM

Quote
Stoic

Hi Sparrow,
(Incidentally I noted a 'Freudian slip', if you believe in the freudian concept the 'unconscious', in your addressing deren84 as derren84 ;-) ) .

Ha! Yes indeed :-)

Quote
Stoic
I read a few of the first NLP books in the 80's and have a few of Michael L Hall's unread on my bookshelves. I concluded, with this cursory reading, that NLP does not hold up as a unified system but some of the various ideas cobbled from other sources do bear scrutiny.

For this to be any practical use in a one-to-one situation, it would require a person skilled at cold reading and hypnosis and a correct and subtle reading of the fears, vulnerabilities and resistances of the 'target'. The very qualities that a skilled interpersonal psychologist develops over time and constant practice. It also requires an openesss to be influenced on the part of the 'target.'

Although Derren Brown's demonstrations of these skills are impressive, I think it important to remember that they are quite elaborately staged, with a base level of intention to be entertaining and that there must be considerable screening and testing beforehand to find the most suggestible subject for the proposed dramatic staging. DB also uses a fair bit of traditional smoke and mirrors magicianship when such tricks will add to the drama.

I think it quite difficult to construct such an elaborate environment in noisy bar or social gathering, so while a skilled person has an undeniable advantage, it is by no means a done deal that he has a fool-proof method to gain his ends.

An awful lot depends on the credulity of the 'target.'
It has been pointed out in other places that NLP is quite cult-like in that the sysytem is sold to those pre-qualified to believe in it as a system, using NLP techniques of influence to sell to these proto-practitioners--see Anticults constant warnings of the meta-level influence patterns being constantly run by the trainers and authors.

Personally, as in therapy, I believe that the effectiveness of these skills on a one-to-one basis lies in the relationship of trust developed between practitioner and 'target' (for want of a better word)

I had a friend, a keen amateur NLPer, do a time-line technique on me.
It was remarkably effective but I mulled over it afterward and concluded that it was a simple cognitive trick of changing perception aided by self-hypnosis. A lot of the trust during the process that I felt toward the NLPer came from my pre-existing familiarity with his voice and prior knowledge that he was unlikely to intend me harm. The trust, in fact, allowed me to lower any resistance I might otherwise have had.
I am not averse to the changing of my perceptions when it is of my choosing or of the efficacy of hypnosis in helping this process along. But for this to be at all ethical, the ultimate control must be in the hands of the 'target.'

Searching critical evaluation of my own wants and needs and a healthy appreciation of commonplace everyday power games has to be part of any approach to being at ease in a world where these techniques are in use.

Yes I think you have some very good points there Stoic.

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