Posted by: faithful | September 17, 2016

gregory bateson and the counter culture


Gregory Bateson and the Counter-Culture

Because of his duplicity in proclaiming spiritual benefits of “magic mushrooms” as psychoactive drugs, while simultaneously accepting CIA funding for his exploits, the newspaperman and banker Gordon Wasson could be considered a “Lifetime Actor” — that is, a person who cultivated a public image which was completely the opposite of his true agenda.

Another possible “Lifetime Actor” was the famous humanist Gregory Bateson. Bateson was an early supporter and teacher at Esalen, an organization devoted to personal growth, meditation, massage, Gestalt, yoga, psychology, ecology, spirituality, and organic food. Yet although Bateson cultivated this image during the Cold War period, he had earlier been a major participant in the creation of ‘Weaponized Anthropology’ for the OSS to control ‘inferior peoples’.

 The ‘weaponized Anthropology’ Bateson developed during WW2 was documented by Dr. David H. Price in his article, “Gregory Bateson and the OSS: World War II and Bateson’s Assessment of Applied Anthropology,” as well as his book Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of Anthropology in the Second World War.

Price found that during the second world war, the OSS (direct institutional predecessor to the CIA) employed over two-dozen anthropologists including Gregory Bateson. By 1947, as many as three-fourths of professional anthropologists were “working in some war-related governmental capacity”, either full or part-time. In fact, what we know as the science of “applied” anthropology was a government project that began in the OSS to determine how to control civilian populations.

It is an established fact that these anthropologists were developing social science that could be used against civilian populations. As shown below, what has not been understood is that this science was used by the CIA against the American people in the creation of the 1960’s counter culture.

Schismogenesis and black propaganda

Price noted that “Bateson spent much of his wartime duty designing and carrying out ‘black propaganda’ radio broadcasts from remote, secret locations in Burma and Thailand, and also worked in China, India, and Ceylon.” Bateson was ideally qualified to pursue this work, since his earlier anthropological research was on the subject of “schismogenesis”, which is to say, the study of how societies become divisive and dysfunctional.

As Christian Hubert explains:

In his first major anthropological study, Bateson studied the Iatmul tribe in New Guinea. From his fieldwork, he concluded that an Iatmul village is nearly perpetually threatened by fission of the community because it is characteristic that intense and growing rivalries occur between two groups. It puzzled Bateson that usually the community does not disintegrate. He found that one elaborate event heading off a blowup is the elaborate “Naven” ceremony which entails tranvestism and buffoonery.

The nature of the ‘black propaganda’ Bateson developed during WWII needs to be completely understood by citizens because it was the basis for the present ‘mind control’ operations the government uses against them.  As Price wrote: “In this work Bateson applied the principles of his theory of schismogenesis to help foster disorder among the enemy.” Black propaganda is false information that purports to be from a source on one side of a conflict, but is actually from the opposing side.

The fact that the source of the propaganda must be credible is the basis of what we have named the ‘lifetime actor’ above. This is clear in the case of Wasson given above as certainly the public’s willingness to repeat his purported use of psychedelic drugs would have been tempered if it were aware that his journeys to Mexico were an MK Ultra project intended to determine how the government could control the minds of its citizens.

Bateson presented a narrative in which he claimed to be concerned over whether or not anthropologists would use their knowledge as a weapon. In 1942, he wrote that the war:

is now a life-or-death struggle over the role which the social sciences shall play in the ordering of human relationships. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that this war is ideologically about just this – the role of the social sciences. Are we to reserve the techniques and the right to manipulate peoples as the privilege of a few planning, goal-oriented and power hungry individuals to whom the instrumentality of science makes a natural appeal? Now that we have techniques, are we in cold blood, going to treat people as things?” (Bateson 1942, as quoted in Price.)

Taken in context, Bateson’s concern in this warning was that the Nazis would be the ones who would be applying social sciences towards evil ends. However, Price discovered that Bateson had no dilemma whatsoever in “treating people as things”. By using the FOIA, Price was able to discover a paper written by Bateson that was “not with the OSS archives, but the Central Intelligence Agency – the institution that did take over for the OSS at the war’s end.”

Bateson’s 1944 position paper below illuminates the “Black Propaganda” type of intelligence work he carried out for the OSS. 
As we cannot improve on Price’s analysis, we quote his text below.

Bateson’s primary concern in this OSS position paper was to advance the position that American diplomatic and intelligence policy makers should keep an

eye on longer range planning, we are here to promote such a state of affairs in [South Asia] that twenty years hence we may be able to rely on effective allies in this area (Bateson 1944:1).

He begins by arguing that “it will actually pay the Americans to influence the British towards a more flexible and more effective colonial policy” (1944:2). In this paper, Bateson envisions that the post-war period will mostly look and function like it had in the pre-war period. He identifies two significant “faults in the pre-war colonial system” (1944:2). Bateson wants to strive for a new and improved colonial system, and starts by asking if it is possible to: “diagnose remediable faults in the British and Dutch colonial systems and can we present our diagnosis to the British and the Dutch in such a way that the system will be improved?” (Bateson 1944).

These “two weaknesses of the imperial system” (1944:5) are labeled the “lack of communication upwards from the native population to the white [population]” (1944:2), and the British failure in the area of the “delegation of authority” (1944:4). Each of these two points are discussed separately below.

(1) Lack of communication upward

In discussing how British colonialists traditionally received information from “natives” he notes that, “In the late 19th century and up to 1914 it was customary in British colonial governments to conduct monumental surveys of language, population, religion, caste, [and] village industries” (1944:2). He argues that, while these efforts were often flawed in their methodology and results, at least under this system “every District Commissioner was compelled to go and interview people in the native communities” (1944:2). At a minimum, this traditional system forced colonial managers to undertake some level of participant-observational contact with native populations. Despite the awkwardness and artificial pitfalls of these meetings, Bateson argues that colonial managers did acquire

some vivid awareness of what native life is about. He might not be able to convey this awareness in his books but he learned to feel with his elbows the trend of native thought. (1944:2)

Bateson points out that after the First World War colonial managers abandoned these personal meetings with native populations, instead favoring more distant statistical approaches – and British managers suffered from this loss of first-hand interactive knowledge.

Next, Bateson discusses the past importance of information which colonialists gathered through intimate contact with their local mistresses. He notes that the strategic uses of these relationships have been relegated to the past due to a variety of factors.

With the improvement of transportation, the discovery of quinine, the development of sanitation, mosquito control and public health measures generally, it has become increasingly easy for the white man to have his white wife and even children with him in the colonies. The presence of large numbers of white women relieves the official from the pinch of loneliness which formerly drove him to the native woman and at the same time the white women not unnaturally use their influence to build up strong moral sanctions against the taking of native mistresses – even to the point of ostracizing the guilty officials. As a result the more durable and more educative type of relationship with the native women has been reduced to a minimum and only the casual, impermanent – and educational[ly] useless – types of relationship persist. (Bateson 1944:3)

In these passages, Bateson clarifies that the extent to which past British colonial authorities in India had established groundup communication networks – including those with their indigenous mistresses – helped them to understand and control some of the features of Indian village life. The loss of these relationships between colonizer and colonized is noted in the context of loss of information, with the clear implication being that post-war colonial authorities would be wise to re-introduce some variety of such “ground-up” communication networks.

2) The British delegation of authority: colonial codependency and paternalizing the white man’s burden

Next, Bateson discusses the overall British failure to delegate authority among the Indian population by drawing on startling imagery of Paternal-British-Colonialists and their Child-likeIndian Subjects. He begins by conjuring up caricatures of American and British differences in parenting dynamics to analyze the shortcomings of the British rule in India. He argues that the British could improve their colonial system by acting less like rigid British parents, and more like nurturing American parents. We are told that in Upper and Middle Class British households, parents “think of themselves as models who the children should watch and imitate,” while in America, many of the parents come from alien cultures, so they are more content to watch their children and to learn from their offspring who achieve great things in this world they (the parents) imperfectly understand. Bateson stretches this comparison even further by noting that “the American family thus constitutes, in itself, a “weaning machine” (1944:4). In diametrical opposition to this is the codependent

English family [which] does not contain this machinery for making the child independent and it is necessary in England to achieve this end by the use of an entirely separate institution-the boarding school. The English child must be drastically separated from his parents’ influence in order to let him grow and achieve initiative and independence. (1944:4)

Bateson’s analysis is arguing that the British would be more effective colonialists if they would become less like British parents and more like American parents. Though he does note the presence of indigenous anti-colonialist movements, he does not recommend moving towards dismantling the colonial system at war’s end. Instead, he offers advice on how to improve it functionally – that is, to reinforce its longevity. Bateson clarifies that the U.S. should not side with the growing liberation movement and he advises that “we ought not to think of altering the imperial institutions but rather of altering the attitudes and insights of those who administer these institutions” (1944:5). 
This is in some sense a culture and personality based analysis of the differences in British colonial and American neo-colonial approaches to the administration of global patron/client relationships. Bateson is advocating that the longevity of the British presence in India would be strengthened in the postwar period if British administrators would but change the “personality” of the administrative bureaucracy.

Bateson’s recommendations

In the paper’s conclusion, Bateson recommends that after the war the OSS should take four steps – to take advantage of these above mentioned “two weaknesses of the imperial system” (i.e., the lack of communication upward and the British delegation of authority). It is not exactly clear to what end these “two weaknesses” are to be put, but it is clear that they are not to be exploited as a means of ending the foreign-colonial rule of the Indian people.

Bateson recommends that: First, the OSS should gather as much intelligence as possible from British sources – while the wartime alliance is in place; Second, they need to undertake detailed analysis of pop culture – especially in terms of content analysis of Indian popular films – as a way of gauging popular sentiment; Third, and most importantly, America must learn from Russia’s successes in conquering ethnic minorities by praising and co-opting aspects of their culture – on this point he specifically suggests that it might be possible to co-opt some components similar to the symbolic capital that Gandhi has used so successfully; and finally, Bateson suggests that the postwar OSS be sure to continue with its wartime education programs for colonialist authorities. Of course, the OSS was disbanded at the end of war. Or more accurately, it was transformed into the Central Intelligence Agency – the agency which kept the copy of Bateson’s report until I gained a copy of it under the Freedom of Information Act ….

Bateson’s comments on point three reveal much about the tone of his wartime OSS work and are reproduced in full below:

(3) The most significant experiment which has yet been conducted in the adjustment of relations between “superior” and “inferior” peoples is the Russian handling of their Asiatic tribes in Siberia. The findings of this experiment support very strongly the conclusion that it is very important to foster spectatorship among the superiors and exhibitionism among the inferiors. In outline, what the Russians have done is to stimulate the native peoples to undertake a native revival while they themselves admire the resulting dance festivals and other exhibitions of native culture, literature, poetry, music and so on. And the same attitude of spectatorship is then naturally extended to native achievements in production or organization. In contrast to this, where the white man thinks of himself as a model and encourages the native people to watch him in order to find out how things should be done, we find that in the end nativistic cults spring up among the native people. The system gets overweighed until some compensatory machinery is developed and then the revival of native arts, literature, etc., becomes a weapon for use against the white man (Phenomena, comparable to Ghandi’s spinning wheel may be observed in Ireland and elsewhere). If, on the other hand, the dominant people themselves stimulate native revivalism, then the system as a whole is much more stable, and the nativism cannot be used against the dominant people.

OSS can and should do nothing in the direction of stimulating native revivals but we might move gently towards making the British and the Dutch more aware of the importance of processes of this kind (Bateson 1944:6-7).

Dr. Price was unable, of course, to recognize the importance of Bateson’s recommendation above concerning an archaic revival in controlling populations because he was unaware that the government had created the ‘psychedelic counterculture’. However, every citizen should study the concluding quote from Bateson carefully. Bateson’s recommendation can certainly be understood as having led directly what the psychedelic drug guru Terence McKenna described as the ‘archaic revival’. In other words, the counter culture in the 1960’s was created by using ‘black propaganda’ to bring about an archaic revival of America’s youth and thereby make them easier to control, as had been determined by the secret anthropological experiments that Bateson somehow knew about.

The documents obtained through the FOIA reveal a clear and sinister trajectory. That anthropologic science that was developed to enslave Russia’s Asiatic tribes by bringing about a Native Revival was used against the American people. Bateson brought his science with him when he helped developed the MK Ultra program which then created the counter culture based upon the elements that the Russians had used to enslave the Asiatic tribes – the Shaman, psychedelic drugs, ‘trance music’ and dance were combined with the archaic appearances of the music idols to convey the message that the feudal past was where a young person should head — rather than a future with the technology and thinking power that might threaten the oligarchs.

Bateson, the CIA, and MK Ultra

Following the war (as Price explains), Bateson claimed to have become “uneasy” with his wartime role as an OSS operative and black propagandist, as he cultivated relationships within the human-potential movement. However, there are reasons to doubt Bateson’s sincerity in this regard.

First, let us note that Gregory Bateson played a significant role in the creation of the CIA. After the war Truman wished that the OSS be disbanded. Its head, William Donovan, wrote to Truman’s budget director, and presented him with a rationale that the organization be not only kept in existence but expanded. At least part of this rationale was written by Gregory Bateson. In an article at the CIA website entitled “The Birth of Central Intelligence”, Arthur Darling states that Bateson argued as follows:

…the bomb would shift the balance of warlike and peaceful methods of international pressure. It would be powerless, he said, against subversive practices, guerrilla tactics, social and economic manipulation, diplomatic forces, and propaganda either black or white. The nations would therefore resort to those indirect methods of warfare. The importance of the kind of work the Foreign Economic Administration, the Office of War Information, and the Office of Strategic Services had been doing would thus be infinitely greater than it had ever been. The country could not rely upon the Army and Navy alone for defense. There should be a third agency to combine the functions and employ the weapons of clandestine operations, economic controls, and psychological pressures.

In spite of Donovan’s protest, Truman disbanded the OSS in 1945. However, in 1947, Bateson and Donovan’s recommendations emerged victorious, and the various US intelligence agencies (including those that had been split off from the former OSS) were re-assembled as the new Central Intelligence Agency. Given Bateson’s argument for its existence, it is no surprise that it immediately began to perfect the science of social control. One project in this vein had the name MK Ultra and funded (among other criminal activities) Wasson’s above-mentioned trip to harvest magic mushrooms.

The claim that the US government’s interest in LSD began with MK Ultra (which was started in 1953) is incorrect. The US Navy’s Medical Research Institute had been experimenting with psychedelics in their CHATTER program under the direction of Charles Savage, whose research report from 1951 was revealed by an FOIA request. The MK Ultra project, however, represented a considerable broadening of this earlier interest. On the Senate floor in 1977, Senator Ted Kennedy said:

The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to “unwitting subjects in social situations.” At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.

Bateson apparently maintained at least a casual involvement in the CIA’s ongoing drug research and promotion activities, as explained by John Marks in “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate“:

[CIA contractor] Harold Abramson apparently got a great kick out of getting his learned friends high on LSD. He first turned on Frank Fremont-Smith, head of the Macy Foundation which passed CIA money to Abramson. In this cozy little world where everyone knew everybody, Fremont-Smith organized the conferences that spread the word about LSD to the academic hinterlands. Abramson also gave Gregory Bateson, Margaret Mead’s former husband, his first LSD. In 1959 Bateson, in turn, helped arrange for a beat poet friend of his named Allen Ginsberg to take the drug at a research program located off the Stanford campus. No stranger to the hallucinogenic effects of peyote, Ginsberg reacted badly to what he describes as “the closed little doctor’s room full of instruments,” where he took the drug. Although he was allowed to listen to records of his choice (he chose a Gertrude Stein reading, a Tibetan mandala, and Wagner), Ginsberg felt he “was being connected to Big Brother’s brain.” He says that the experience resulted in “a slight paranoia that hung on all my acid experiences through the mid-1960s until I learned from meditation how to disperse that.”Anthropologist and philosopher Gregory Bateson then worked at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto. From 1959 on, Dr. Leo Hollister was testing LSD at that same hospital. Hollister says he entered the hallucinogenic field reluctantly because of the “unscientific” work of the early LSD researchers. He refers specifically to most of the people who attended Macy conferences. Thus, hoping to improve on CIA and military-funded work, Hollister tried drugs out on student volunteers, including a certain Ken Kesey, in 1960. Kesey said he was a jock who had only been drunk once before, but on three successive Tuesdays, he tried different psychedelics. “Six weeks later I’d bought my first ounce of grass,” Kesey later wrote, adding, “Six months later I had a job at that hospital as a psychiatric aide.” Out of that experience, using drugs while he wrote, Kesey turned out One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He went on to become the counterculture’s second most famous LSD visionary, spreading the creed throughout the land, as Tom Wolfe would chronicle in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

It is also very interesting that for his postwar research, Bateson chose topics which were of crucial interest to another of MK Ultra’s goals, which was to use drugs and hypnosis to create dissociative personalities. Bateson’s interest in double binds and the development of schizophrenia was perfectly analogous to this MK Ultra agenda. As noted by the Swiss journal “Current Concerns“, in its comments accompanying a reproduction of Price’s article about Bateson:

Metalog technology, future workshops and pseudo appreciation of “more indigenous” cultures

The American Gregory Bateson, highly-praised guru of the European future workshop scene, once developed models of communication theory for use in the military, in a circle of “chosen ones”, the Palo Alto group. Their civilian waste-products have today seeped into everyday-life vocabulary, as for instance the terms “metacommunication” and “double bind”. The term “metalog”, which the strategists of the “future workshops” use, originates in Bateson’s work and means something as harmless as the fact that the contents of a discussion are always to be connected with the form of the discussion. 
Among other things Bateson was active in the research and therapy of schizophrenia. He demonstrated the conditions in which human beings can become schizophrenic, i.e. mentally confused, so that they slip off into a psychosis and are no longer able to master their lives. In the mainstream literature on Bateson, his work is highly praised as being to the benefit of people, in particular to those who acquired a form of psychological disorder. It was not the work in the Californian Esalen institute that made him an esoteric, but it deepened his knowledge of group dynamics and large group control, the mainstream media report about him. So far, so good.

Research into schizophrenia – what for?

If one reads, however, the accompanying text of David H. Price on Bateson’s activities for the OSS (predecessor of the CIA) during World War II and his suggestions, how the colonial peoples are to be subjugated even after the war in a more effective way than the British and the Dutch had ever done it, some doubt arises on the integrity of the psychological researcher Bateson. Was it not interesting for the military to use the results of schizophrenia research in order to shatter the minds of prisoners of war and drive them mad, in order to be able to rebuild their personality again – or do so with whole subpopulations in “enemy nations”, or even in the[ir] own country? Bateson used his anthropological knowledge not only to the advantage of but also directed against human beings. We therefore have to assume that during the Cold War and probably still today power strategists use the findings of his schizophrenia and/or disorder research to direct them against human beings.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Finally, as we also noted recently elsewhere at this website, Bateson was also involved in the development of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), another important technology for propaganda.

Bateson had established a scholarly relationship with hypnotist Milton Erickson as early as 1932. …Bateson would have been fascinated with  Erickson’s research, which involved the idea that hypnotically effective trance states could be established in the course of ordinary life activities such as reading, talking to a therapist, or watching motion pictures, especially if intense and traumatic emotional states could be evoked by the experience. During such trance states, Erickson believed, the subconscious mind of the the target could be accessed by means of hypnotic suggestion….

This idea was later taken up by Bateson proteges Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who commercialized it as the system of “Neuro-Linguistic Programming”, described in their 1975 work “The Structure of Magic“. They drew on Noam Chomsky’s theory of transformational grammar to explain that the subliminal messages could be formed within a deep linguistic structure lurking beneath the surface interpretation.

While we cannot demonstrate a direct relationship between Bateson and the CIA during the postwar period (that is, after the termination of Bateson’s contract with the OSS), nevertheless the pattern of his research interests creates a reasonable doubt that Bateson never deviated from his agenda to promote ‘superior’ people in their quest to subjugate the ‘inferior’ ones.

Following the war Bateson headquarters was at the Palo Alto VA hospital were the CIA developed the MK Ultra project, which had earlier sent Gordon Wasson to Mexico and began the psychedelic drug movement. Also in Palo Alto, the CIA-funded drug research program introduced the individuals who would later lead America’s youth off a cliff to LSD – Alan Ginsberg, the Grateful Dead member Robert Hunter and novelist Ken Keasy.

Thus, when we see the visual images of the ‘rock idols’ that helped to create counter culture we can now understand their purpose. Below is a photograph of David Crosby, a member of the Byrds whose 1966 hit ‘Eight Miles High’ virtually created the LSD-inspired ‘acid rock’ genre. He is sitting congenially next to his father, Annapolis graduate and former OSS member (and Oscar-winning cinematographer?!), Floyd Crosby. A picture is worth a thousand words:



Posted by: faithful | September 16, 2016

nlp: dealing with difficult people

  • Identify a specific person that you have difficulty with.
  • Identify a specific type of situation that has happened a number of times in the past and is likely to happen again in the future.
  • Check for ecology of exploring this to improve the situation.
  • Set up lst, 2nd and meta positions. As a rule of thumb, the meta position should be twice as far away as the 1st position is from 2nd position. Set up the meta position as the ‘anthropologist’ position in which you are completely detached from the situation of those two people over there. If it helps, imagine a plexiglass screen between meta position and 1st and 2nd.
  • From meta position notice the behaviours of the people in 1st and 2nd. Ensure you are looking from your own eyes and ears. Describe the behaviours of each with an adjective (eg. defensive, angry, etc). Use third person personal pronouns e.g. he, she, they. ( From 1st position fully associated (using your own eyes and ears) describe what is going on for you. Your thoughts, feelings, beliefs about the situation and yourself. What is your good intent, and what would that get for you? Use first person personal pronouns e.g. I, me, we, us.
  • From meta position notice any ‘news of difference’ in the situation now that you have more information about your own situation in it.
  • From 2nd position fully associated (step inside the person’s skin and adopt their facial expression and use their mannerisms. Imagine what is going on for you (them). (If in doubt, guess). Describe your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about the situation, yourself and the person in the other chair. What is your good intent and what would that get for you?
  • From meta position review the situation again and notice any news of difference. Establish what the person in first position could do differently now they have a different understanding of the situation. Generate ideas for new and different behaviour that would be ecological in the situation. (If necessary revisit any of the positions to gather extra information.)
  • From 1st position ask yourself ‘Can I do this new behaviour?’ Make any necessary adjustments and when ready. Future pace.
Posted by: faithful | September 16, 2016

nlp: representational systems

Knowing how human experience is constructed can be extremely useful in communication. Our inner subjective experience is structured in terms of our senses. When we think, or process information internally, we “re-present” the information in terms of the sensory systems that are our only contact with the ‘outside world’:

seeing Visual
hearing Auditory
feeling Kinaesthetic
smelling Olfactory
tasting Gustatory

It is possible to access any experience in any one, or any combination, of these five representation Systems (abbreviated to: V, A, K, 0 and G).

Eye Accessing Cues

People move their eyes in systematic directions depending on which representational system they are accessing. These movements are called eye accessing cues. The picture shows the kind of processing most people do when they move their eyes in a particular direction. Remember that this model is a stereotype, and always calibrate to the individual. (NB a small percentage of the population, including about half of all left-handers, are reversed – i.e. their eye movements are the mirror image of those shown.)

Imagine this picture superimposed over the eyes of the person you are looking at.

Visual constructed seeing new or different images, eg a pink elephant.
Auditory constructed hearing new or different sounds, eg the sound of your name backwards.
Kinesthetic emotional feelings, proprioception (feeling muscle movement), tactile sensations (sense of touch).
Visual remembered seeing images seen before, eg your face.
Auditory remembered. remembering sounds heard before: eg your doorbell.
Auditory dialogue sometimes called auditory digital, talking to oneself, eg “say something to your self that you often say”.
Visual the blank stare ahead, either constructed or remembered.


VAK questionnaire


Most people use a combination of learning styles but often find there is one particular style which suits them best.


Visual learning style

Visual learners prefer learning resources which can been ‘seen’. If you are a visual learner make sure you look at all the available study materials, you will find diagrams, charts and graphs, diagrams, maps, video, notes and flashcards useful. Make sure you can see clearly in class. Try seeing or picturing words and ideas in your head and try associating words and ideas with pictures. Draw cartoons or doodles. Write everything down in note form so you have a quick reference guide for the information you need to learn.


Auditory learning style

Auditory learners prefer learning resources which can be ‘heard’. If you are an auditory learner you may find it useful to use audio tapes. Read your notes out loud and record them, then play them back and listen to them. Make sure you can hear clearly in class. After you have read through what you need to learn try summarising it and then saying it out loud. Play your tape quietly when you go to bed. Pair up with someone else who prefers an auditory style of learning and read out both your own and each other’s notes.


Kinaesthetic learning style

Kinaesthetic learners prefer learning resources which are ‘hands-on’. They like to be actively involved. Writing several sets of notes can help you with facts which need to be learned. Make study sheets, draw diagrams and try to put the information into table format. Tracing the words with your finger and speaking them out loud may be useful. Sing or rap your notes and dance around to the rhythm, either on your own or with a friend. If it is possible then make a model of something to help you learn about a topic.


Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic responses

Visual learners will often use and respond to phrases like:

  • That looks right
  • I get the picture
  • I’m still in the dark over this
  • What is your view
  • I see that now
Auditory learners will often use and respond to phrases like:

  • Does that sound ok?
  • Listen
  • I hear what you are saying
  • That’s music to my years
  • That ring’s a bell
Kinaesthetic learners will often use and respond to phrases like:

  • How does that grab you?
  • Can you relate to that?
  • That doesn’t feel right
  • It’s difficult to handle that
  • Given me a concrete example


Posted by: faithful | September 16, 2016

nlp: rapport


Establishing rapport creates an environment of trust, confidence and participation.

Remember:  “if you ain’t got rapport, you ain’t got nothing…”.

Mastery of rapport skills – allows you to get on with anyone anywhere
– greatly increases your confidence and effectiveness – makes it easier
for others to communicate with you.

General points about rapport skills:

The dance of rapport is what we do naturally.

It allows you to join the other person in their Model of the World.

Rapport needs flexibility of thought and behaviour

Notice what happens when people get on well. They tend to match.

Notice the opposite, when people are in disagreement, they mismatch.

Notice when you are not getting on well with someone and try matching.

Make it easy for others to communicate with you by practising rapport.

Notice how you feel when you are matching different people.

Ask yourself, “How will I know when it is time to get in rapport?”.

Experience the world as others do:

Rapport makes them and their experiences/difficulties/joys much
more understandable. We get all sorts of information from body and
voice that is not there in the words.

Notice when you are uncomfortable matching – use that as an
opportunity to stretch yourself, choose that as homework/practice,
seek out people who behave in that way to develop your own flexibility.

Liking the other person is not a prerequisite for rapport. Mutual
confidence in competence for the task in hand is. If credibility
for the task in hand cannot be established, consider changing the
task or person.

The Three Skills

To produce any result you want you need only master the following
three skills:

Outcomes – know what you want, or be willing to make it up.

Awareness of feedback – Sensory Acuity – notice the results that
you are getting.

Flexibility of thought and behaviour – keep changing what you are
doing, Using feedback, to guide you until you achieve the results
that you want.

The rest of NLP gives more practical skills on every aspect of this
powerful model.

Posted by: faithful | September 16, 2016

nlp treatment paradigms


Some NLP treatment paradigms

(See Steve Lankton’s Practical Magic for full details of the first 3)

Collapsing anchors (for connecting fresh resources)

  1. Retrieve the unwanted experience / memory, with full visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and language associations (VAKL). Anchor it to a physical stimulus, e.g. a touch on one hand.
  2. Retrieve necessary resources from another context, with equally vivid VAKL. Anchor them to a different stimulus.
  3. Return to ‘problem state’. ‘Fire’ both anchors, and hold them. Invite patient to allow problem state to unfold “to a new and good conclusion”. Watch for signs of activity followed by rest, e.g. breathing patterns, rapid eye movements, ideomotor cues.
  4. ‘Future pace’ – imagine in detail how the future will be now that the problem has been overcome.

Dissociation paradigm (for disturbing experiences)

  1. Retrieve experience of security in the here and now, with full VAKL, and anchor it.
  2. Keep the security constant, and “see and hear” only that disturbing experience “over there”.
  3. Tell the patient “Let a part of yourself float over there, and just watch and learn”.
  4. Re-run the experience you wish to dissociate, while activating the ‘security’ anchor. Allow time.
  5. Re-integrate first the ‘security’ part, then the ‘ over there observer’.
  6. ‘Future pace’ (mental rehearsal of the problem-free future), while holding ‘security’ anchor.

Phobia paradigm

  1. Retrieve the fearful experience, and anchor it.
  2. Hold the anchor, and search chronologically back through memories of the problem, from current to earliest.
  3. Interrupt.
  4. Retrieve memories / images of resources needed for change, inventing them if necessary. Anchor the resources.
  5. Return chronologically back through the history, from earliest to most recent, keeping the ‘resources’ anchor constant. Allow time.
  6. Future pace, and test.

Bereavement paradigm

  1. Visualise a black-and-white image of the lost person.
  2. Turn up an imaginary ‘colour control’, until the image is in full colour. Indicate when complete.
  3. Transform the ‘still’ photograph into a moving video or film, in which the lost person is in full colour and active. Allow time, and indicate when complete.
  4. When patient is comfortable with the moving coloured imagery, retrieve peace and calm. Anchor it.
  5. Future pace, inviting patient to activate the ‘peace’ anchor to introduce comfort if necessary.
Posted by: faithful | September 15, 2016

nlp: behavior generation


The New Behaviour Generator is a strategy for generating change in your own behaviour. You can use it for generating completely new behaviours – something you have never done before – or for making modifications and changes to a behaviour you already have, and are now less than satisfied with. This process allows you to systematically build up an internal representation in the three main sensory systems of the specific behaviour you want. It works because the unconscious mind has no way of telling the difference between a ‘real’ event, and something you imagine vividly.

  1. Identify the new behaviour you want, or the change you want in an old one.
  2. Describe to yourself the behaviour you want, ask yourself “How would I look and how would I sound if I were doing that behaviour?”
  3. In your imagination watch yourself* producing just the behaviour you want in the particular context you want it; if there are any other people involved, become aware of their response; notice how you look and sound and how they look and sound.
  4. If there is any aspect that you are less than satisfied with, go back to Step 3 and run it through again with whatever changes are necessary to make it more satisfying.
  5. Once you are satisfied with your own performance, step inside that image of yourself in your imagination, and run it through as though you are there, now, doing it. As you go through the motions, pay particular attention both to your feelings and to the response of any other people around you.
  6. If you want to change anything, go back to Step 3 and change your own behaviour, then step back in and check how it feels.
  7. When you are happy with your imagined performance and the feelings that accompany it, ask yourself “What signal will I see, hear or feel, internally or externally, which will let me know that it is time to use this new behaviour?”
  8. Imagine the signal happening, and imagine yourself doing your new behaviour. When you’ve done that, become aware of your feelings of satisfaction.

The New Behaviour Generator is a self-help tool to assist in your personal and professional development. Like all skills, the more you use this process the faster and easier it becomes. You are aiming at using it automatically, and/or unconsciously as a tool for continually regenerating your own behaviours. Anytime that you have an experience that is less than satisfactory, immediately take a few seconds and run it through the new behaviour generator. The more you do this, the faster you move towards being the person you really want to be.

When you take yourself through each of these steps, the outcome you choose will usually be well-formed and ecologically sound. It is worth reminding yourself of the well-formedness conditions for achieving outcomes until you know them

* If you cannot see yourself doing it, watch a model doing it first. A model in this context means either someone else that you know, or a fictional character from a book, film or TV programme. Any representation is better than none!

Posted by: faithful | September 15, 2016

resource states: nlp

This is a generic process for creating and summoning any resourceful state of physiology at will. It is also known as Resource anchoring. To learn how to set anchors:

  1. Identify a difficult situation in which you would like to be more resourceful.
  2. Identify the resource you want in this situation (eg: confidence, humour, courage etc.), and your best example of having experienced the desired state from your own life (in a situation unrelated to the difficult situation). If you have no such memories, identify someone else who has the desired quality, either in real life or as a fictional character.
  3. Access your chosen resource memory fully associated (V & A) until the desired feeling (K) is experienced. If you use another person for your resource, 2nd position them and ‘as if’ until the desired feeling (K) is experienced. Break state.
  4. Choose three ‘anchors’ that will become connected, or associated to the resource.
    Visual find a visual image which evokes the feeling of confidence, eg the scene when you did feel confident or a symbolic image of your choice.
    Auditory find a word or phrase and tonality which you can say to yourself that evokes the feeling, eg “I’m feeling confident!”
    Kinaesthetic make a gesture, eg clench fist squeeze fingers, etc
  5. Re-access your chosen resource memory as in step 3. As the desired feeling is increasing, connect your YAK anchors before it reaches peak. Break state.
  6. Repeat step 5 a few times. Then test, by simply firing the anchors and noticing how much the desired resource is felt. It is important during the test to not actively try to bring back the resource memory itself but to simply fire the anchors and notice what happens. If necessary, repeat step 5 again.
  7. Finally, decide what would let you know it would be time to fire the anchor(s). You may like to think of a time in the future when you would have had the old response, and rehearse what happens when you associate into the future event, and then fire your anchor(s).
Posted by: faithful | September 15, 2016

nlp: operating principles


The art and science of NLP consists of many skills and a set of operating principles and assumptions. The operating principles, whilst not being the “truth”, do provide a potent context for acting effectively and creating results.

  1. We do not operate directly on the world. We create maps from our sensory experiences, then operate and communicate from our maps. However, the map is not the territory. Most human problems are caused by the maps in our heads. It is easier to change the map than the territory.
  2. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got, so if what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else! It is easier to change your own behaviour than other people’s.
  3. There is no failure, only feedback; no mistakes, only results, no errors, only learning. Every experience may be viewed as an unprecedented opportunity to learn.
  4. The individual with the greatest flexibility of thought and behaviour can (and generally will) control the outcome of any interaction. Excellence comes from having many choices. Wisdom comes from having multiple perspectives.
  5. It is not what happens to you that makes the difference; it’s what you do with what happens to you.
  6. You cannot not communicate; you can only choose to do so unconsciously, or to be conscious of the effects you create. 93% of communication is non-verbal.
  7. The meaning of your communication is the response you get, which may be different to the one you intended. There is no such thing as a resistant person, only an inflexible communicator.
  8. There is a positive intention behind all human behaviour. To believe otherwise is to create it so. With others, seek the positive intention. With yourself, remember that you are not your behaviour. There is a distinction between self, intention and behaviour .
  9. All human beings share the same neurology, so what’s possible for one is possible for anyone. The only question is, “How specifically?” If anyone else has ever done it, then it is possible for me to learn how to do it .
  10. Memory and imagination use the same neurological circuits and potentially have the same impact. Each of us already has, or can create the resources we need.

NB:  None of this is true; it does, however, have profound consequences…

Posted by: faithful | September 14, 2016

nlp: the rules for being human

  1. You Will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You Will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error experimentation. The ‘failed’ experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that that ultimately ‘works’.
  4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned
  6. ‘There’ is no better than ‘Here’. Wherever you are in life is ‘Here’. From any ‘Here’ there will always be a ‘There’ that looks better. However, this is an illusion. When your ‘There’ has become a ‘Here’, you will simply obtain another ‘There’ that will, again look better than ‘Here’.
  7. As without so within. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. You were born with the most sophisticated nervous system that 4 thousand million years of biological evolution has been able to create. However you were not born with an instruction manual. This course is an attempt to remedy this and these skills will enable you to find the answers to life’s questions which lie inside.
  10. You will forget all this.
Posted by: faithful | September 14, 2016

nlp: the meta-model

Bandler and Grinder’s ‘meta-model’

A model of how people make models of the world

Language is our most fundamental model-making tool – the symbolic representation of experience. In building up their personalised models of the world, people use three basic processes – generalisation, deletion and distortion.

Generalisation – inferring from the particular to the general; assuming one example stands for all others of its class, Generalizations lead to false assumptions.

Deletion – oversimplifying; omitting important specific details. Deletions lead to ‘blind spots’.

Distortion – changing what is real into what we wish was real. Distortions lead to misrepresentations, misunderstandings and fantasies.

Language also uses the processes of generalisation, deletion and distortion. What we say out loud is a short `form – a ‘surface structure’ – of a much more complex set of perceptions and beliefs – the ‘deep structure’.

The ‘Meta-Model’ is a tool-kit for retrieving deep structure from surface structure. It also suggests responses for re-structuring the various types of generalizations, deletions and distortions.

Using the meta-model to bring about change

Gathering Information – uncovering and exploring specific portions of the speaker’s experience which are missing from the surface structure or distorted within it.

Expanding Limits – defining and expanding the boundaries and limitations of the speaker’s assumptive world, thereby generating more perceptive and behavioural choices.

Changing meanings – reworking the meaning and significance of the speaker’s relationship with himself, those around him, and with the world in general.

The signs of maladaptive modelling

  1. Gathering information
    • Referential index – leaving out or disguising the identity of the things or people involved. E.g. using the passive rather than active voice of verbs; using vague non-specific words or pronouns (‘it’, ‘them’, ‘one’, ‘people’, ‘everybody’).
      Response – Ask “Who / What / When / Where precisely? Spell it out in detail.”
    • Nominalisations – making an abstract noun out of what is actually an action, a ‘thing’ out of a process. E.g. ‘decision’, ‘trust’, ‘situation’, ‘relationship’. “If you couldn’t put it in a wheel-barrow, it’s a nominalisation.” Nominalisations are ways of distancing oneself from involvement or acknowledging one’s own responsibility, and avoiding saying “I choose / do / feel.”
      Response – Change the noun back into a verb, with subject and object, e.g. “Who has decided what? In this ‘situation’, who is doing what to whom?”
    • Unspecified verbs – using a verb (or verbal phrase) with low informational content where another one would have supplied specific details. E.g. “Show some affection”, “Respect me as a person”, “You just don’t understand”.
      Response – Ask “How, exactly? What, specifically, is wanted?”
  2. Expanding Limits
    • Modal operators – words that imply fixed rules and boundaries restricting the speaker’s freedom of choice, or boundaries than he dare not transgress for fear of catastrophe. E.g. ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘ought’, ‘can’t’.
      Response – Ask “What stops you? What would happen if you did? Could you stand it?”
    • Universal quantifiers – Paralysis-inducing words that imply absolute and permanent truth. E.g. ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘all’, ‘everybody’, ‘nothing’.
      Response – Ask “Never ever? Absolutely every single person? No exceptions at all?”
  3. Changing Meanings
    • Mind reading – presuming to know what someone else is thinking or feeling without checking it out with them. E.g. “I know you won’t admit it …”, “I could tell his attitude”, or “If you really cared, I wouldn’t have to ask.”
      Response – Ask “How can you tell? Have you checked? Why not check ‘now?”
    • Cause and effect – the belief that one person’s actions are the sole cause of another’s reaction, denying them any choice over their response. E.g. “You make me mad!”, or “If you don’t do this, I’ll never forgive you.”
      Response – ask “How, exactly, does the cause and effect work. What other responses or connections are possible?”
    • Lost performative – Personal judgments, values or beliefs expressed in such a way as to imply absolute correctness, as opposed to being merely those of the speaker. E.g.
      Response – Ask “According to whom? Who says so?”


  • Richard Bandler & John Grinder: Frogs Into Princes. 1979, Real People Press.
    A transcript of an NLP training workshop. Easy to read, captures something of the authors’ charismatic teaching style. A good ‘first read’.
  • Richard Bandler & John Grinder: ReFraming – NLP and the transformation of meaning. 1982, Real People Press.
    Similar to the above, but a bit more advanced, with more clinical applications included.
  • Richard Bandler & John Grinder The Structure of Magic, Vols. I (1975) & II (1976). Science and Behavior Books.
    Rather drier than the above, but a more systematic analysis of the verbal patterns studied in NLP. Acknowledges NLP’s debt to the hypnotic methods of Milton H. . Erickson.
  • Steve Lankton: Practical magic – a translation of basic NLP into clinical psychotherapy. 1980, Meta Publications.
    Written with the starry-eyed perspective of a new recruit to the ranks of NLP-ers, but very readable – and full of practical clinical tips and suggestions, many of them directly transferable to a General Practice setting.
  • Byron Lewis & R. Frank Pucelik: Magic Demystified – a pragmatic guide to communication and change. 1982, Metamorphous Press.
    An alternative ‘first book’, with a more concise account of the theory than the Bandler and Grinder books.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »