Re:Newscientist Article on Memetics -- Memetics & NLP

Chris Lofting (
Sat, 31 Jul 1999 02:12:03 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re:Newscientist Article on Memetics -- Memetics & NLP
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 02:12:03 +1000

Paul (et al) .. how 'up' are you on NLP? (NeuroLinguisticProgramming) The
use of embedded commands? (Erickson hypnosis -- incorporated into NLP to
create light trances in people and so ease the establishment of rapport...
this gets into the 'wave' concept where you elicit resonance and use the
resonance to get your message across...)

I have been investigating NLP for over 20 years and if you can get the New
Agers out of the way there are a lot of interesting patterns (read
'algorithms') created that at times work very well.

What seems to be behind these 'successes' is the emphasis on structured
dichotomies, by this I mean that the determination of a pattern (a strategy)
is based on the analysis of different dichotomies and the layering of these
dichotomies, there is the implicit recognition that context sets the theme
for all that emerges and so you need to put things in the 'correct' order to
get a consistant result -- i.e. an algorithm.

This is taken down to the sensory level where steps are made-up from the
sensory set (Modalities -- Representational Systems i.e. Visual, Auditory,
Kinesthetic, Gustatory, Olfactory) These are refined by consideration of
internal or external processes and so on.

To refine these you move to the sub-modalities which consist of playing with
dichotomies -- e.g. a visual representation can be modified by going through
manipulation of brightness, colour, contrast etc etc)

(one interesting observation -- people having extra-marital affairs seem to
refer to the 'other' person in the affair using gustatory terms)

Once an algorithm has been created so it can be taught and this includes
teaching using embedded commands.

If you do this in ANY discipline you will get 'results'.

There is a lot of 'showbiz' in some of the courses and I have seen some
courses on business/selling use NLP techniques without the knowledge of the
participants -- which to me is a 'problem'.

I was wondering how come Blackmore et al do not seem to reference NLP in
that it is a good example of memetics at work; perhaps it is the fringe bias
or business bias. I think we need to ignore these biases and look at the
content and what is BEHIND the concept for there you will find
dichotomisation at work and so why people find meaning in NLP, just as
people find meaning in ANY discipline that has dichotomy-based roots.

The driving forces that influenced the originators (Bandler/Grinder) for the
original work (Structure of Magic Vol I and II) were Gregory Bateson, Edward
Hall (both Anthrapologists), Fritz Pearls (Gestalt Psych) Virginia Satir
(Family Psych) plus some General Semantics (Korzybski).

Here are some references (there are a lot more. NLP has developed strongly
since 1975 and the information gathering/disseminating techniques are
useful - The Meta Model and the Erickson Model):

Heller, S., & Steele, T.,(1987) "Monsters and Magical Sticks" Falcon
Bandler & Grinder (1975) "The Structure of Magic" Scientific Books.
Bandler & Grinder (1977) "The Structure of Magic Volume II" Scientific
Bandler & Grinder (1975) "Patterns I - Hypnotic Techniques of M.Erickson"
Meta Publications
Bandler & Grinder (1977) "Patterns II" Meta Publications
Bandler & Grinder (1979) "Frogs into Princes" Meta Publications.
Bandler & MacDonald (1988) "An Insider's Guide To Sub-Modalities" Meta
Nadel,Haims, & Stempson (1990) "Sixth Sense" Prentice Hall Press.
Cameron-Bandler & Lebeau (1986) "The Emotional Hostage" FuturePace.
Dilts,R., (1983) "Applications of NLP" Meta Publications.
Dilts (1983) "Roots of NLP" Meta Publications.
Dilts (1990) "Changing Belief Systems with NLP" Meta Publications.
Dilts.R.,Hallbom,T.,& Smith,S., (1990) "Beliefs: Pathways to Health and
Well-Being" Metamorphous Press.
Dilts (1991) "Tools for Dreamers" Meta Publications.
Jacobson,S., (1983) "Meta-Cation" Meta Publications.
Jacobson,S., (1986) "Meta-Cation Volume II" Meta Publications.
Jacobson,S., (1986) "Meta-Cation Volume III" Meta Publications.
James,T., & Woodsmall,W., (1988) "Time Line Therapy and the Basis of
Personality" Meta Publications.
James,T., (1989) "The Secret of Creating Your Future" Advanced Neuro

best regards,


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