anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: carol21 ()
Date: February 08, 2016 09:47PM

New here. someone on another forum where I had asked the same question suggested this forum.

my friend has been is NVC for years - off and on .
recently she has been very involved.
I don't think this is a cult in the sense that they kidnap people, or demand large sums of money.
But they have a philosophical/psychological approach which seems cult-like to me.

So I'd like to know if anyone else thinks so.

They have their own language. Their own way of speaking. so when my friend talks to me, instead of the natural conversation we used to have, her side of the conversation is stilted, contrived, inauthentic, scripted.
And she got absolutely furious with me when I told her I do not want to engage in this manner of "communication" with her.

nvc is supposed to encourage empathy, but to me it does just the opposite.

I'm really not sure if it is that my friend is taking some good principles and inexpertly applying them, or if the goal of the nvc is to separate practitioners from "non-NVC" people. Because if that is the goal, it is working.

Thank you in advance for any comments or feed-back.

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Did you get the hand-puppets?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2016 06:48AM

Google "non violent communication" "cult"


Here is an earlier thread here with some discussion between persons who came to the conclusion that NVC and "compassionate communication' work only with mature persons who have all their cards out on the table, no hidden agendas.

One concern was that internalizing the principles of compassionate communication/nonviolent communication is that it might set some of us up to be easy prey for con artists, psychopaths and bullies.


Here's something to ponder: Roberts Rules of Order can be found in books and online. No need to hire a trained Roberts Rules of Order facilitator. Ditto for other simple methods of this kind. Simple rules, can be learned quickly, no need to hire an expert.

I am not saying one should use Robert's Rules of Order. What I am saying is that it is worth asking if there are simple, user friendly methods of running meetings that do not require bringining in an expert and learning a bunch of new terminology.

(And do not entail use of hand puppets, or hearing the founder's name mentioned again and yet again.)

NVC requires an NVC facilitator and creates a cottage industry. The facilitator gets to be the expert and the rest of us need the expert. So it keeps NVC and its personnel in business.

As long as NVC admirers can enjoy socializing with non NVC people, all is good.

Would be nice to know where Rosenberg got his doctoral title.

Here are some different perspectives.


(excerpt)o I come to what I believe is a very important question: Where does someone's authority come from? More specifially, where does Marshall Rosenberg's authority or knowledge come from? Are they the same? Or are they different? Does his authority come only from his knowledge?

Marshall has a lot of invaluable experience. There is no questioning that. Yet I am reminded of the kings who claimed to get their authority from God. I am not saying Marshall makes this claim, but he comes too close to it for my comfort, and I believe for the comfort of many people who are neither religious nor "spititual." And when I read that he says things like this about what he calls "Beloved Divine Energy" I also feel worried that he is narrowing the audience for his ideas:

"And the Energy spoke to me, and it said, “You just do what you can to connect. Bring your energy in. Connect and help the other people connect and let me take care of the rest.”

And I worry that people will use this kind of statement as evidence it is a "self-improvement cult" as one person has already labeled it. I will also say that when I often feel preached to when Marshall speaks. I know that "preached to" would not be a feeling in NVC language, but I will use it to make another point briefly. That point is that Marshall states, with what appears to be a lot of authority, that such words are not really feelings, but rather evaluations or thoughts. I, however, am not so sure. I find that I don't agree with Marshall on all of his definitions of feelings and neeeds, but that is a topic for a complete article. I discuss it somewhat in this article on cause and effect, but incompletely, or let's say not to my satisfaction, so I plan to write more about it.

Now let me jump to the organization called CNVC. As I see it, CNVC now is a "central bank", let's say, of NVC "knowledge." Or at least it seems they want to be that. When I say "they," I don't even know who I am talking about specifically. And that is a bit of a worry to me. I don't know if "they" care about or value me. But I do know that "they" have aligned themselves with the US legal system. When I say aligned I mean they have chosen to rely on the US legal rules about contracts and copyrights, which are, of course, backed up by the full power of the US government -- a power which personally frightens me a great deal. I say CNVC is relying upon the power of the US government because of my reading of the CNVC agreement, or contract, with their "Certified Trainers."

Here is an excerpt:

If, after reasonable attempts, the parties are unable to resolve the dispute as provided above, than [sic] the parties agree to the right to enforce this Agreement though the courts in the State of New Mexico, United States or the Federal courts sitting therein.

CNVC is also the "central bank" of what I will call NVC money. What I mean by "NVC money" is money made from training people on how to use NVC ideas. I am over-simplifying a bit, but I trust the reader will be able to get my main ideas. CNVC is either requesting or requiring the greater of 10% of a trainer's annual revenue, or $300 US dollars per year. See full excerpt below.

What worries me is that trainers around the world are sending some of their money to a central place. That money is then, it seems to me, used as a goverment would use taxes, i.e. both to help and control its citizens or members. The worry, of course, is how much of the former is done and how much of the latter.

Another concern I have is what will happen when Marshall dies? Marshall is by no doubt a visionary. I fear, though, that he is also a bit charismatic. I fear some are "converted" to become his "followers" in a way which is uncomfortably close to how one religion converts members to another.

More specifially, I fear that Marshall's ideas could become too much of a "system" - a concern I have noticed is shared by others. Still more specifically, I fear that there are those who will try to apply his "system" without deeply understanding what I will call the "big picture." The big picture as I sense it, is hard for me to describe, but I will try to put it in my words.

It has to do with more than non-violence. It has to do with more than empathy. It is more than conflict resolution. It is more than a new or improved form of communication. I believe it is entirely possible, for example, to have improved communication in the same culture of domination. For example, if we consider that the US courts could become involved in NVC matters, the belief in improved communication is unlikely to have much real impact. The fact that CNVC would include this clause is a major warning bell to me that someone has not fully understood Marshall's ideas, or someone thing else has gone wrong somewhere along the way.

I also plan to write more about this part of the quote from John...

NVC is seen by many who know about it as a subculture, or even a cult by some. To whatever degree NVC is associated with certain beliefs it will be rejected by those who don’t share them.

For the rest of the article, go here:




Non Violent Communication is a scam as practiced by new-agism. Many in
the Northwest Permaculture Community are being victimized and deluded by
the NVC Scam because they have been brainwashed to think that heated and
even angry discussion is somehow "destructive" or "dangerous" and that
we should express narcissistic needs and wants instead of moving in the
passion of truth during discussion. NVC is a utopian lie that assumes
others give a damn about your wants and needs when most people can't and
never will unless you show them PASSION which the new agers falsely
label as "violence."

One dictionary definition of VIOLENCE is: "of, pertaining to, or
constituting a distortion of meaning or fact."

Yet the masters of "Non-Violent Communication" use NVC to distort
meaning and fact by drawing attention away from principles and facts to
personalities and feelings, relegating conversation to discussion of
fantasy, and distorting fact by mislabeling "conversation" as
"communication" when they are two very different things.


NVC is really a coercive method of mislabeling passionate opposition as
"violent" to prevent honest passion from entering a discussion, while
the attacker appears to be calm, labeling the appearance of calm, rather
than truth, as the hallmark of "communication." This keeps deceitful
manipulators in control of a conversation with subtle techniques of
attack in which they label honest opposition as angry, violent, etc. to
draw attention away from or distort facts. It is part of the moral
relativism that allows the crafty to define or defy the moral ground
through subtle coercion.

The pusher of NVC likes to apply his rhetoric to attack anyone he
disagrees with by labeling the oppostion as angry, rather than
discussing the facts at hand. It's a happy exercise in delusional
thinking and maintaining self-delusion and focus on one's own wants and
needs at any cost, regardless of whom is hurt or abused by dishonesty.

NVC is part of the new-age cult of personality that deals with someone's
personality rather than his character. Yet any unprincipled salesman can
put on a nice personality before he sells you a stolen car or a lemon.
You may feel all warm and fuzzy about the sale until sometime down the
road the cops stop you at gunpoint or the lemon breaks down and strands
you in the Mohave Desert.

Such is the way of NVC. The manipulator leaves you holding his mental
disease in a parched mental wasteland.

An outline addresses the scam of NVC:

This person reports that her employer made attendance at an NVC training mandatory.



{ 2005 01 26 }
This Here Giraffe, Laughed

Giraffe. Listen with giraffe ears.Jackal ears.

How being trained in non violent communication can make you violent.

My office has a Training Budget and a Training Committee. Sometimes the Training Committee takes money from the Training Budget and invests it in an educational program for the rest of us. If our boss thinks it’s a worthwhile program, she is apt to make the program mandatory. Whether this is a good idea or not really depends on the source of the program. If it’s in-house, chances are that you’ll survive with your sanity intact. It is not, let me assure you, because your colleagues are wiser or more fascinating than outside trainers. It is because your colleagues fear you. They know that if they put on a training session that is stupid or boring or offensive – they know that you will be vengeful. You will be less likely to help them out with inconvenient work requests. You will be less likely to ask them to lunch. You will push their food to the very back of the office fridge – right underneath the spot where the freezer leaks. This is why in-house trainings – although not always fabulous – have a good chance of being bearable.

The training program we experienced the other day was from Outside.

It was an all-day training program in Non-Violent Communication. Let me say that again. ALL DAY. Ok. Moving on. So, our boss made the training mandatory. Mandatory. Enforced attendance at an all day training session on non-violent communication. Obviously she was testing us by inciting very-violent communication urges.

Non-violent communication is apparently a technique that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg. I mention Marshall only because our trainer mentioned Marshall. Every. Two. Minutes. “Marshall says…” “I once saw Marshall do this…” “When Marshall developed this program…” “Several times a year I go home to the mothership to rub Marshall’s butt…” Cult. The place is obviously a cult. Mass weddings and the ATF are only a compound away for Marshall, I fear.

The training was your basic non-confrontational stuff about problem-solving. Except it lasted ALL DAY. Perhaps I’ve mentioned that before. Anyway, it was pretty much like the training I had in college when I was a hall advisor – you know, “When you play your music loudly after midnight it makes me feel frustrated because I have an early class and I need to get sleep, so would you be willing to turn the music down after 11pm?” Blah blah blahdeedah. Heard it before. But – everyone can probably stand to have a refresher in that stuff now and then. I figured I’d probably pick up at least one new thing that I could use.

The trainer himself was a mild-mannered-looking guy (although he did have that therapist look that says he’s accommodating to the world and then a tyrant at home). He walked through the steps of Marshall’s “technique” in a painfully slow manner. He told illustrative (and tedious) stories about getting his son to take out the trash. He forced us to tell him what kind of emotions we might have in difficult situations. And then. And then he pulled out the hand puppets. Let me say that again. HAND PUPPETS. Specifically, he pulled out a giraffe puppet and a jackal puppet. When speaking to someone about a problem, you have to speak as though you are a giraffe: gently, patiently, and with empathy. Do not speak harshly, judgmentally, and with antagonism, i.e., like a jackal. He repeated this point several times. Not because we were unable to understand the point, I think, but because we were dazed by the fact that there was a grown man in the middle of the room doing a puppet show.

After the lunch break we all came back. Hoping against hope that there would be no more puppets. Alas. Not only were there puppets again, but in the middle of his discussion about how to empathize with the other person, we were told to “listen with giraffe ears.” And that’s when he put on the fuzzy giraffe-ear headband. A couple of minutes after that he exchanged it for a fuzzy jackal-ear headband. He must have said something in between, but, frankly, I couldn’t hear anything because I was in shock. Do you know how hard it is to take someone seriously when he is wearing a fuzzy animal-ear headband? Does he really think that we will be able to communicate at all, much less non-violently, while envisioning ourselves with giraffe ears? Is this part of the cult initiation? Does Marshall have a giraffe fetish? Does he like to play Jackals and Giraffes in the bedroom with his many cult wives? What the hell is happening?!

I don’t remember much else from the training session. Trauma will do that to a person, you know. Although I half-considered wearing a cat-ear headband to the office this morning. To signify that from now on I’ll be listening with the ears of an animal that ignores everything you say.

[Flaming Lips lyrics = 1]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2016 07:09AM by corboy.

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Re: Did you get the hand-puppets?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 15, 2017 09:16AM


(small example from a discussion)


With respect to things that make it like a cult, some people have already mentioned how NVC people have their own language. In this post I expand on that. In another post I will write about how it is a defensive, closed group.

So as far as jargon, I got really tired, for example, of the following things I heard over and over:

From Rosenberg in particular:

"what's alive in you"
"what would make make life more wonderful"

From Rosenberg and followers

requests, demands, strategies, willing

From followers

be present, presence, make space, hold space open


Here is an example of how Rosenberg talks, writes:

Our training in Nonviolent Communication helps participates gain skill in expressing two things: (1) what’s alive in you right now, and (2) what would make life more wonderful. You learn how to say just that without any criticism or demand. Just say what’s alive in you, how you are in other words, and what would make life wonderful. And no matter what other people say, hear only what’s alive in them and what would make life wonderful.

A Conversation With Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Read more: []


There are a few things I have seen about NVC which are similar to cults, or religions. Actually, these can be talked about individually. So I will say a few words about the religious aspect after I talk about how it is stagnant, closed and defensive.

By stagnant, defensive and closed what I mean is that I saw these things:

Rosenberg is the only guru. What he said seems to be almost written in stone.

Typically, when I have questioned or challenged things, the NVC people have gotten defensive. This has happened in three countries now: the USA, Portugal and now Brazil. Dominic Barter in Brazil has been an exception for the most part.

Also, nothing ever seems to be verified scientifically.

More specifically about how it has become like a religion, at least in Brazil are the following problems:

Since Rosenberg is dead now people have to "interpret" what he said. They can do this in pretty much way they want.

In Brazil there are a lot of people offering their services as trainers and facilitators. Most charge, of course. Dominic is again the exception, working only for donations for the past 15 or 20 years or so as I understand it.

Like religious leaders, the trainers seemed to be competing for followers and market share, each with their own "brand" of NVC. They will each say or imply that their version of NVC is the "right" or "true" one. This was a bit like someone trying to say what a "real" Christian or Muslim or Jew is.

I also saw some people almost give away their brains and indepedence to some of the trainers or practice group facilitators. I am exaggerating a bit, of course. But it did scare me a little.

I also saw a similarity to relgion or spirituality in the sense that it seemed people were being sold a set of beliefs that helped them feel better. One parent was told, for example, that he didn't really cause someone else to feel hurt by things he had said or done in a practice group. This helped him feel less guilty. Instead of apologizing to the person, he basically blamed her and said "She chose" this and "she chose" that. When I said I was afraid he would mess up his child by doing that kind of thing (as I see many parents do), he got very defensive, which I guess is understandable,

Also, in general, I did not see many critical thinkers, atheists or skeptics. I did not see many people looking for many cause and effect relationships, such as the relationship between various types of abuse, including emotional and psychological, and its effects.

Many people seemed to prefer to believe that we nearly always cause our own pain and unhappiness by the way we "hear" or interpret things. Therefore if we chose to hear things in a different way, or not hear them at all, we can be instantly happier.

Another problem related to cause and effect or responsibility is that th majority of trainers follow Rosenberg in saying that it is not ok to say something like "I feel judged." They say we are "evaluating" what others are doing when we say this.

So they seem to create the illusion that people don't really actually judge us - or ignore or neglect us. It is all just the way we hear or interpret or perceive said or done to us.

They have a list of "banned" words (my term), like judged, ignored, neglected and invalidated. And they have a very short list of suggested "acceptable" feelings and needs.

Feeling important, or in control, are not real needs, according to NVC websites, books etc.

For me, though, it is very obvious that many of us, if not all, to one degree or another, need, at time at least, to feel important and/or in control.

We also do judge and invalidate each other. So over-all they seem to be twisting reality to suit their beliefs.

Read more: []


Here is a good example of what bothers me about what Rosenberg taught. Is is an article where a guy is talking about how "heard criticism" when his wife said something.

I am curious what others have to say about it.



Read more: []

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Re: anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: cryst-oh ()
Date: November 14, 2017 04:56AM

How can one tell if a person is part of NVC without being told?

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