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Flavius Vanillus edited from on Wikipedia from 7 November 2005 - 2 April 2006 [1] . His contributions are interesting and important because they show clear signs of scientific education, a clear grasp of the thinking behind the scientific method and its connection with the Wikipedia principles concerning Neutral Point of View. Nonetheless he was banned from Wikipedia on 2 April 2006.

What follows is an introduction summarising the dispute that led to Flavius being banned, followed by a transcript of most but not all of his contributions. The transcript is long, but is worth reading for the wit and style, and scientific accuracy with which Flavius makes his case. It is also instructive as to why a qualified scientist was banned from Wikipedia, and why those with a commercial interest in a pseudoscientific product (Neurolinguistic programming) continued to edit and expand the article unhindered, in a way that now takes it far from any scientific point of view.

Contents

Introduction

Neurolinguistic Programming

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) began as an alternative school of psychotherapy in California, USA, during the mid-seventies. It was initiated by John Grinder, a linguistic professor, Richard Bandler a BA in Philosophy and Psychology, at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). It is now marketed as a powerful method or technique of personal development offering unlimited potential and rapid improvement in the way a person thinks, behaves or feels [2]. It is supposed to work by copying or "modelling" the behaviour and thinking styles of particularly effective and successful people in business, coaching, education, sales, therapy, sport, and personal development.

Detractors argue that it is a hotch–potch of theories, some of which are based on legitimate science, but which have no connection with NLP, others of which are completely unscientific, including hypnosis, psychotherapy and unconscious thinking, mixed up into a messy soup of new age thinking. For example, the psycholinguist Levelt (1995) passed devastating judgment on NLP: It is not informed about the literature, it starts from insights that have been rendered out of date long ago, its key concepts are not apprehended or are a mere fabrication, or are conclusions are based upon wrong presumptions. NLP theory and practice have nothing to do with neuroscientific insights, nor with linguistics, nor with informatics and theory of programming. NLP is not interested in the question as to how neurological processes take place, neither in serious research.

(Professor WJM Levelt is an eminent scholar and psycholinguist. He is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Levelt's publications number in the hundreds and he is cited thousands of times according to Google scholar).

Promotion of NLP in Wikipedia

Flavius lost his battle against some powerful forces within the Wikipedia administration. First, an administrator called FT2, who enjoys a large following in Wikipedia, and is now leader of the all-powerful 'Arbitration Committee'. FT2 wrote all of the original NLP articles on Wikipedia, and has defended them against many scientific opponents and sceptics, succeeding in getting many of the blocked or banned. FT2 is also trained in NLP (having trained for what is called the "Master Practitioner" under Robert Dilts and Judith Delozier in 1998, in Stanta Cruz, where NLP all began [3]). FT2 was assisted by another administrator, 'Woohookitty', who worked closely with him on the case (and who administered the final ban).

Flavius' main editorial opponent was a user called Comaze, real name Scott Coleman, who runs an NLP company called Comaze.com in Australia, and who also has some connection with a company called Inspiritive, run by Chris and Jules Collingwood [4], who are invoked by Coleman at one point, saying he was 'authorised' to speak for them.

The argument is heated and bitter. Comaze says "In this discussion my interest in NLP is purely from a Neutral Point of View". Flavius replies, "No, it definitely isn't NPOV. You are a promoter and advocate and you have a zeal that is almost religious. NLP is basically a "snake oil" business. The advocacy that you are engaged in is especially unethical because NLP isn't free, it costs big bucks. Not only is their insuffcient evidence of the efficacy of NLP there is substantial evidence that it doesn't work. It is unethical to charge people AU$100.00/hour for treatment that doesn't work or AU$5000.00 for a melange of ritual, pop-psychology, brain myths, B-grade philosophy and anecdotes".

NLP and pseudoscience

Flavius offers some very helpful arguments as to why NLP is a pseudoscience. He says that the notions of 'falsifiability' and 'disconfirmation' are central to the program of science. But NLP makes many unfalsifiable claims, and it has little if any predictive power. NLP practice is divorced from the practice of empirical verification, its theorising is not substantiated with reference to empirical evidence, it doesn't exploit the body of knowledge of established disciplines and its theoretical basis is actively denied to exist by many proponents.

Another characteristic of pseudoscience is that its research program is degenerating. A research program is deemed 'progressive' if it at least sometimes produces new predictions that are confirmed, and 'degenerating' if it fails to lead to new and confirmed predictions. In a progressive research program theoretical predictions successfully anticipate new data. In a degenerating research program the data precedes the theory, there is data "in search of a theory", and post hoc explanations abound. He cites the example of the addition of the notion of meta-programs to NLP, specifically to 'cognitive strategies'. When it was discovered that individuals with identical strategies presented fundamental differences the notion of meta-programs was postulated to prevent the falsification of the 'cognitive stragetgies' theory.

NLP is also 'personalised' by its assocation with Richard Bandler and John Grinder and a handful of other individuals, and by its fanatical and cult-like following - another characteristic that positions it as pseudoscience, New Age and cult-like, and which is also to be found in Scientology, Silva Mind Control, est and other psycho-cults.

Against the argument that NLP does not pretend to be scientific, Flavius points out that its proponents, particular Bandler and Grinder, do pretend that it is scientific. Why do Bandler and Grindertalk about neurology. Why do they present their own theories regarding learning, memory, thinking, mental illness, emotion, consciousness, neurology, motivation, language and perception, that are largely inconsistent with the findings of scientific disciplines that cover these domains? If Bandler and Grinder are positing theories in an area that is the province of science then they are preseneting NLP as something scientific. There is an "NLP theory of schizophrenia". NLP is therefore competing with scientifically based fields (neuropsychiatry, neuropharmacology, genetics, psychiatry) in providing understanding and treatment of schizophrenia. Mental illness treatment is the province of science. Hence NLP is presenting itself as a scientific field.

Replying to the argument that NLP is more like mysticism or religion, he argues that NLP makes claims and posits explanations regarding learning, memory, thinking, mental illness, motivation, neurology and physiology, and so its domain is the same as that of science. NLP is offering competing theories and therapies to established scientific disciplines. By contrast, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is exclusively concerned with theology, it is entirely a religious matter and is hence entirely outside of the scope of scientific inquiry. During the 14th century when the Roman Church did stray outside its proper domain of discourse and opine on matters of astronomy and medicine -- subjects of science -- it was plainly in error. The Roman Catholic Church was not offering a legitimate Christian perspective on astronomy or medicine. What the NLP industry is doing is akin to the medieval Christian Church competing with science on matters outside of its authority.

Abuse of NPOV

A crucial part of the dispute (misunderstanding of which clearly lead to Flavius being banned) is whether the NPOV policy requires that each side of the dispute has an equal say in the article. Flavius has a clear understanding of what this policy is. It does not require, for example, that all sides of a dispute get equally represented by Wikipedia - the policy WP:WEIGHT has much to say on this. But Flavius is bullied by a succession of editors. For example, FT2 argues that 'An encyclopedia is a collation of multiple perspectives and views'. Flavius replies that if so, equal coverage should be given to the view that the Earth is flat. "That is not to say that there are not people that contend that the Earth is flat ... or that the Earth is hollow ... or that the earth was colonised by space aliens. If what you were contending were true we would find the Wikipedia Earth article giving coverage to not only every nutty idea about the earth but equal coverage to every nutty idea and the scientific view". FT2 replies "There is a lot to say about earth. There probably isn't much to say about it being round, either. Its shape is noted in passing, and gets little space regardless". Flavius wittily retorts "That is incorrect. The implications of the Earth being flat are profound and widespread." This did not endear him to such an important person.

Another editor tries to make the same point, arguing (wrongly) that Wikipedia should not suggest that only one side is 'correct'. "Please familiarize yourself with wikipedia's policy on Neutral Point of View. It says, for example, to fairly represent all sides of a dispute by not making articles state, imply, or insinuate that only one side is correct. [13]. What you continue to call "neutrally attributed sources" has absolutely nothing to do with "Neutral Point Of View policy". (User:FuelWagon|FuelWagon). Flavius replies, correctly, that the neutrality policy requires that weight to be given to authoritative, and particularly properly peer-reviewed sources. He mentions MEDLINE, which indexes journals as they carry weight or not, as determined by a specially-employed panel of experts. He points out

There are less than 10 studies that are written up in MEDLINE indexed journals that make favourable conclusions regarding NLP (or some part thereof) (refer to my MEDLINE search). Further, these studies are offset by the 7 or so studies in MEDLINE that contain no obvious methodological flaws and make unfavourable conclusions regarding NLP (or some part therof) and the studies themselves contain obvious methodological deficiencies (see my MEDLINE search). Further to that there are numerous books -- authored by scientists -- that are cited in the NLP article (eg. Singer (1999), Lilienfeld (2003)) that arrive at a negative evalutaion of NLP. What is there left to weigh as assess? Anecdote? Testimonials? Unpublished research results? Research results published in Anchor Point and obscure journals that for all we know were founded and edited by some fruitcake? Articles in obscure journals that pseudoscience topics routinely? I'm eager to know. The consensus of scientific and clinical opinion is that NLP is bunkum.

An administrator argues that Flavius is not being constructive. "I'm not getting into the specifics of NLP, because I don't know, and I don't care. But we have to conform with NPOV, and right now it's not happening. Domination of this article will lead only to revert wars like the one that got this page locked. This is what we're trying to avoid here. Instead of being defensive, we need to be constructive and reach a compromise here. Flavius correctly replies that this is nonsense.

Swatjester, NPOV conformity doesn't entail passing bullshit off as fact and privileging pseudocience such that it speaks as loud as science in the article. If it did then the half of the Earth article would be devoted to flat-earth theory. flavius 05:21, 6 February 2006 (UTC) [80]

Flavius' position perfectly reflects Wikipedia's neutrality policy. He argues that

  1. The view that NLP is efficacious and theoretically sound is a minority view not unlike "flat earth" theory. Hence it should be treated in the NLP article and in Wikipedia generally as a minority view.
  2. The scientists cited in the article are representative of the majority view of psychologists, psychiatrists, linguists, neurologists, nueropsychologists and sociologists and hence should be presented as such.
  3. The few (3-5) scientists that do support and promote NLP are a minority, they are espousing a minority view and should be presented as such.
  4. The view that NLP is pseudoscientific, New Age and cult-like is the majority view of psychologists, psychiatrists, linguists, neurologists, neuropsychologists and sociologists and should be presented as such.
  5. The texts cited in criticism of NLP are authroritative and many are peer-reviewed.

He correctly identifies the source of the conflict as the unwillingness of pro-NLP editors to have NLP represented as a minority view, or to have the view that NLP is ineffective and withour theoretical basis presented as the majority view.

The extensive, expansive and heated discussion occured because these positions were argued for by each side in an attempt to establish the righness of their position regarding the representativess and authority of the sources not the righness or wrongness of NLP. The bulk of the conflict turns around the application WP:UNDUE, NPOV:Pseudoscience, and NPOV:Giving "equal validity". The real issues have not been addressed by any mediators, arbitrarors and mentors and addressing these would not be "more of the same". It is well within your remit to adjudicate these matters. Have I explained myself clearly? Do you understand?

Flavius is entirely correct, but the problem with Wikipedia is that administrators are merely policemen, not lawyers or judges, and have no understanding whatever of the content disputes. They require only a limited concept of 'civility', which Flavius could not understand.

The ban

Here is the final post that leads to Flavius being banned.

I'm not being uncivil and attacking others. Why is it preferable to email you rather than post my concerns in the discussion? I don't like the furtive intrigue implicit in privately communicating to the mentors. Discussion should be open and free restricted only by the law. I'm mindful that I don't libel anyone and that's enough for my government and my conscience. Your notion of "civility" is alien to me -- it's very PC notion and Australia isn't a PC nation (sure there are pockets of it on certain univeristy campuses and government bureaucracies but it's not a national character). I'm not from the USA so I'm not imbued with the Victorian/Protestant Puritanism that you appear to be appealing to. That isn't a personal attack -- it is a matter of fact, pointing out a fact that may be unpalatable isn't a personal attack. Also, why can't I put what I like -- so long as it isn't libellous -- on "my talk" page.
So what if I've been blocked six times? You're the one performing the blocking it's not like your're referring to the decisions of some independent third-party, court of the land or moral authority. Your notion of a personal attack doesn't match up with mine -- it's as simple as that. I don't understand what you are having trouble understanding ("What I don't understand is"). This is an aesthetic dispute and your definition of a "personal attack" is loose and flexible. I can't read your mind or predict the future, I don't know in advance what you will deem a "personal attack" and it isn't as if I'm calling people motherfuckers or child pornographers. Libel is well-defined so I know when I'd be libelling someone. A "personal attack" in my aesthetic judgement consists of calling someone a dickhead, a fuckwit, a moron, a rapist, paedophile, con-artist, racist epithet and so on. Stating that someone is being hypocritical and then proceeding to provide an exlanation of how someone is being hypocritical isn't a personal attack. Certainly, it's not "nice" but neither are articles on bestiality, paedophilia, coprophilia, and redneck American racists[33].
Who will be the arbiter of whether I "belong here"? I've been complying with your blocks without any fuss. There is no way to keep a determined person off Wikipedia and I haven't resorted to any of these means (which are entirely legal, easy and unstoppable) so I don't understand why you are antagonising and threatening me. flavius 12:21, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Memorable quotes

  • "Whenever I encounter a modern textbook, dictionary or encyclopedia on linguistics, psycohlinguistics, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, or neurology I always look up 'Neurolinguistic Programming' and I am yet to find an entry. "
  • "That is incorrect. The implications of the Earth being flat are profound and widespread. "
  • "You are pretending that no research scientist is aware of the literature cited by FT2 and that new ground will potentially be broken on Wikipedia. This won't happen for at least two reasons: literature reviews have already been conducted and their conclusions are that NLP is unsupported scientificlly; and Wikipedia is not the place for original research (even if it is doomed to be still-born). Expanding the citations is not a violation of Wikipedia policy. My point in expanding what I could was to show that the journals cited are marginal, not credible, not reputable and hence unreliable. It says much about the marginality of the citations that I couldn't expand some of them at all. FT2 has collected what is largely a bunch of junk research."

References and links

Comments on FT2's sourcing (13 November 2005)

"I quickly reviewed FT2's truncated abstracts and citations and I offer the following observations: (a) at least some are not sourced from reputable, peer-reviewed journals; and (b) most of the summaries are replete with vague and imprecise quantificational language (eg. "most helpful", "positive correlation" (magnitude?), "partially positive effects", "strongly related", "marked improvement", "positive reduction", "deeper trance", "substantially", "very helpful", "enormous changes", "very many of the people" etc.). The use of such vague language is evidence of methodological defect. I have reviewed some of the cited literature and I too am of the view that NLP is largely -- if not entirely -- without substance, ineffective (beyond non-specific factors) and without any scientific basis. flavius 08:37, 13 November 2005 (UTC) [5]

Greg, Headley's stance is consistent with the preponderance of scientific evidence and the consensus of scientific opinion. All of the literature reviews on NLP that I have seen (and that are quoted in the article) arrive at the position that Headley is advancing. We are treading well-worn paths and performing our own literature review or meta-analyses is entirely inconsistent with Wikipedia policy. My point to FT2 was that if (s)he is going to cite research s(he) should provide full, well-formed citations. Nothing more. I apologise if my response in any way indicated that the "jury was still out" on NLP. I refer you to this exhaustive literature review on EMDR because (a) it is online; (b) EMDR is often claimed by the NLP community as being derived from NLP; (c) NLP (specifically VK dissociation) is mentioned; (d) it is illustrative of how pseudoscience and bunkum becomes institutionalised; (e) you will find many of the NLP proponents tactics regarding unfavourable scientific review coming also from EMDR proponents; and (d) it clearly explains the problem of substantiation and evidence regarding therapeutic interventions. See [here. flavius 08:55, 13 November 2005 (UTC) [6]

Dialogue with Boward on NLP and pseudoscience

At one point an anonymous editor from an IP address interjects a series of arguments on behalf of NLP, signing it 'WH Bowart'. The evidence suggests the signature is genuine, and that the anon IP is Walter Bowart, a luminary of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, founder and editor of the first underground newspaper in New York City, the East Village Other, author of the book Operation Mind Control, and leading light of the New Age movement. Bowart's post is addressed with inline commentary by Flavius.

(Boward) - 'The "Syntax" system derived from "eye patterning" movements is more of a science than anything found in the sheeple herding "sciences" of sociology or behavioral psychology or so many other supposed "sciences."'

This is problematic for several reasons: (1) it is nothing more than a bold assertion. Do you have any evidence -- in the form of peer reviewed research reults -- that demonstrates the validity of NLPs eye accessing cues theory? (2) it appears that you are operating from an idiosyncratic (and self-serving) definition of 'science'; (3) there is no such field as 'behavioral psychology'. Psychology is -- by definition -- the study of behavior so the phrase behavioral psychology' is redundant not unlike 'brain neurology'.

It looks like the "skeptics" (mismatchers in NLP lingo) got hold of this page,

This is troubling. It is a form of ad hominem and it is redolent of the Scientology notion of 'Suppressive Person' in terms of function i.e. automatically discounting all criticism and defining an "out group".

and we all know that most scientists who've had breakthrough ideas are not skeptics.' '

This is another bold assertion without any substantiation. From my reading of the history of science this is an entirely false assertion. The common trait of all of the great scientists is scpeticism i.e. a tendency to question everything and not accept it as true without due evidence and explanation. Albert Einstein's general relativity can be understood as an outgrowth of a sceptical disposition towards Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation. The work of Galileo Galilei represents a scepticsm and challenge of the Aristotlian concpeption of the natural world. Nicolaeus Copernicus heliocentric theory of the solar system was a direct challenge to the Ptolemaic geocentric view. When James Clark Maxwell formulated his now famous (eponymous) equations he corrected Ampere's law. In formulating the germ theory Louis Pasteur challenged the prevailing notion of spontaneous generation. I can list many more such examples. All of the preceding scientists were highly sceptical else they would not have been prompted to demonstrate the inadequacy of an existing theory via argumentation and/or experimentation. Can you demonstrate -- with reference to actual examples of scientific discovery -- that this is not the case?

The top scientists are visionaries (matchers in NLP lingo.)' '

No, not necessarily. Michael Faraday -- for example -- was a great scientist though he was not visionary. Faraday was distinguished as a brilliant scientist by his inquisitive nature and ability to devise ingenious experiments to test his hypotheses. 'Vision' is less associated with science and more with echnology. Scientists generally don't labour with a clear and specific conception of the future in mind. Also, this 'matcher'/'mismatcher' dichotomy is intellectually (and epistemologically) bankrupt. The universe is not that simple.

They have an idea, then they try to prove that it works.' '

No, that is how pseudoscientists operate. Scientists formulate a hypothesis and then design an experiment to attempt to falsify that hypothesis. This is a truism amongst scientists. If I formulated the hypothesis that 'all swans are white' I wouldn't test that by seeking white swans. Instead I'd seek black swans. Finding white swans would not have the intended effect of proving my hypothesis.

If a scientist maintains a skeptical point of view they will most likely not be inclined to think outside the box, they will most likely not come up with the new ideas needed for innovation and change.

In the absence of scpeticism science would stagnate. Scientists publish their results and methodology for the purpose of critical review and reproduction. Other scientists attempt to reproduce published results -- and thereby grow the body of scientific knowledge -- because they are of a scpetical disposition, they do not blindly accept the results of a novel piece of research. Can you cite any advances in science that took place as a result of uncritical accpetance of a result?

The strongest argument that NLP is a science is (after looking at the NLP system) one looks at the neurological studies done by Karl Pribram and others at UCLA. Add to this the MRI studies done with sufferers of "multiple personality disorder", now called "dissociative Identity Disorder." Pribram's findings about the behavior of the brain, when it "switches" from one personality to another, matches the NLP model which preceded Pribram's finding and the MRI results.

This in no way establishes NLP as a science. Also, it appears that you are operating from an impoverished map of the universe. You appear to be conflating 'science' with 'technology'. Also, the concepts that define the traditional demarcation between science and pseudoscience are derived from the works of Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos. Central to the meaning of science are the characteristics of 'falsifiability' and 'disconfirmation'. Lakatos also distinguised science by its 'progressive research program'. NLP makes many unfalsifiable claims, it has little if any predictive power, and its research program is degenerating therefore it is pseudoscience. (I can elaborate on this matter if necessary).

The editors of this fine free encyclopedia (a People's Encyclopedia -- what a concept) might find a way to filter out the disinformation and misinformation which flows from nay-sayers, debunkers, and cover artists.

This attitude is symptomatic of a degenerating research program (which is a characteristic of pseudoscience). A research program is deemed 'progressive' if it at least sometimes produces new predictions that are confirmed. It is deemed as degenerating if it fails to lead to new and confirmed predictions. That is to say, in a progressive research program theoretical predictions successfully anticipate new data. In a degenarting research program the data precedes the theory, there is data "in search of a theory", post hoc explanations abound. An example of this is the addition of the notion of meta-programs to NLP, specifically to 'cognitive strategies'. When it was discovered that individuals with identical strategies presented fundamental differences the notion of meta-programs was postulated to prevent the falsification of the 'cognitive stragetgies' theory (see [7]).

( NLP has deep roots in the cryptocracy's MKUltra programs. I am lumping them together under the MKU umbrella, rather than name all the programs that spanned 70 years or so.)

The roots of NLP are well documented, refer to [8] and Grinder's 'Whispering in the Wind'. I'm quite familiar with NLP and its history, there is no evidence for your wild claim.

Once you understand that NLP is a super form of hypnosis ( modeled by Grinder and Bandler, in part, upon the practices of Milton H. Erickson, a scientist, a psychiatrist, a hypnotherapist, and a brilliant mind, great wit, and generous friend) is one of many names for an emerging science, one that comes out of the clinics where people are being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (the VA gives drugs only), and the pandemic of disorders that (study your Marshall McLuhan) may be the result of technological influences.

The above sentence is unparseable, i.e. it is ungrammatical. Also, many of the 'misnmatchers'/sceptics such as myself have had NLP training and are familiar with the primary NLP works (Magic I&II, Patterns I&II, Tranceformations and 'Frogs into Princes').

One of the foremost specialists in psychiatry exclaimed, upon meeting me for the first time at a conference in Santa Barbara: "This country has gone mad..." I was amazed that he recognized this, not because of any lack of intelligence on his part, but because of his conditioning in medical school. When I thought about it, I remembered that he had been educated, and had practiced for many years, in a foreign country and therefore could think outside the AMA box.

A paragraph earlier you characterised Milton Erickson as a "brilliant" mind. Erickson was educated in the North American University system, gained a degree in medicine and a post-graduate qualification in pscychiatry. He also practiced. How is it that your suspicion does not extend to Erickson. Similarly, both Grinder and Bandler were educated in North American universities. Also, the "subtext" of the above is that your behavior prompted the foremost specialist[s] in psychiatry" to exclain "This country has gone mad". David Icke (the man that believes that amongst others George Bush, Bill and Hilary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, Bob Hope and Kris Kristofferson are shape shifting reptiles) wasn't part of this conference was he? Who was this unnamed 'foremost specialist[s] in psychiatry'?

When you think about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals, you realize that it's largely a sorting mechanism, tagging a variety of transitory conditions with a variety of names, and having the bias of attempting to find pharmaceutical treatments with drugs for symptoms, masking the cause of the symptom, making life hard on clients and health care providers, and easy on the insurance companies who are represented on the panels which decide what will and will not go into any particular edition. (For example, compare the DSM-III with the DSM- IV.)

How is chronic depression "transitory"? The symptoms and phenomenology of mental illnesses such as depression, paranoid-schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobia are largely consistent within the same person and between different people (and even different cultures) and they are clustered consistently. You appear to be alluding to the common NLP "article of faith" that menatal illness is a nominalisation (in a somewhat incoherent manner). There is no evidence that mental illness is merely a nominalisation.

Recently, for the first time, a science journal has published a series of articles in which a number of leading practitioners agreed that the abuse of a child has profound affects upon the mental health of the adult they grow up to be. For thirty or forty years, this fact was obvious to the clinicians and therapists and only now has it come out because of the "collapse of the ((mental)) health system". At the last minute, apparently, it's time to get real. If this single idea gets more support, and after the usual years of nattering and peer reviews find it indeed true, then things will have to change. The first thing that might change for the better is the American judicial system which holds that the plea "not guilty by reason of insanity" is a form of malingering. The Shrinks sold out all of the accused in the 1970's and the prisons have filled up with "criminals" suffering from one of the many disorders and psychoses found in that three-lettered big book.

What science journal? Can you provide a citation?

For those who want to debunk NLP as "non-scientific" ask them to describe the science in advanced physics.

NLP isn't merely unscientific, it doesn't work any better than placebo. What topic in advanced physics do you want an explanation of?

Note that most of the verbage in a science that gave us the nuclear age was, and is still, largely only theoretical.

The fact that the nuclear age actually exists and has artifacts (eg. nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, medical imaging, radiotherapy, atomic clocks, radiocarbon dating, geiger counters) makes it plain that nuclear physics is not 'largely only theoretical'.

As are most of the other cutting-edge and rapidly emerging sciences.

NLP is neither scientific (according to the criteria of falsifiability, disconfirmation and progressive research program) nor is it cutting-edge (it is based on linguistic, psychological and neurological theories from the 1970s, when Bandler was studying at university).

And this is a "hard science", not a "soft science" like most of the other disiplines we call science which are not much more than huge collections of theoretical exercises.

It's not science. You've yet to establish NLP as a science let alone a 'hard science'.

My criteria is, "does it work?" when applied in the clinic, and can it be repeated by others with predictable results. If the answer is yes, then it's probably a science (a form of academic politics). If it doesn't work, one stops trying to use it, and goes on to something else. And that's why we don't hear much about some of the "human development" studies.

How do you know that when NLP "works" in the clinic you aren't merely witnessing the effect of non-specific factors?

For those who use the pet phase "cult", I ask them only to stop shooting themselves in the foot with that word. Go look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and find out it means merely "a small group." And we know that all science is emerging from a "cult" -- a small group of people -- because the general public, largely semi-literate and poorly educated can't even handle their native language, let alone the jargon that attempts to clarify the esoteric meanings of many scientific insights.

The word cult has a distinct meaning when used by cult experts such as Lifton, Singer and Hassan. Your post could readily be characterised as semi-literate, uninformed and delusional.

I think that all this "by-pass charge" ( a useful cult term) about NLP comes from people who are threatened by the concepts (I call them the Golden Lies) of NLP which start with "You create your own reality." Now, let's see them argue with that phrase... I hope I have another page to reply.

I don't think so. Many people -- including myself -- that are critical of NLP commenced its study without any preconceptions and biases and parted with many thousands of dollars attending seminars and purchasing video/audio tapes. A younger -- more naive -- version of me was drawn by the promises and claims of NLP only to find after many years and many dollars that the emperor has no clothes and that I had been duped. I never felt "threatened" or challenged by any aspect of NLP. I found that it doesn't work (the expensive way) and I had the courage to admit I had been deceived and swindled out of my money and proceeded to extricate myself from the NLP 'community'. Many NLPers assume that its not working because they haven't understood something and keep returning to seminars and buying more tapes and books hoping that it will eventually click. My investigations -- after I grieved my loss of time and money and resolved the implications to my self-identity if being taken for a ride -- confirmed my suspicions. flavius 03:03, 15 November 2005 (UTC) [9]

Use of authoritative sources (Medline)

If a medical journal is not indexed by Medline then it is obscure and without reputation. This explains the imprecise language I mentioned earlier. I conjecture that most (80%+) of your citations are either not indexed by Medline, methodologically flawed or mispresented. flavius 04:45, 15 November 2005 (UTC) [10]

The characterisation of NLP as "intellectually fraudulent pseudoscience" is the mainstream scientific evaluation of NLP. I expanded some FT2s brief citations into full citations. Most of the one's I expanded refer to obscure journals that aren't even indexed by Medline. Some are so obscure that I couldn't expand them and did an author/keyword search on Medline and failed to locate them. To "evaluate the research fairly so we can make a great article" would constitute original research, which is contrary to Wikipedia policy. Literature reviews have been performed and they arrive at the view that NLP is "intellectually fraudulent pseudoscience". flavius 04:54, 15 November 2005 (UTC) [11]


[to 203.217.56.137]. As DaveRight below states you seem to have missed the point. You can look at the research that FT2 cited by all means. Understand though that specialists -- people that know more about the constituent topics (linguistics, neurology, psychopathology, trauma etc.) than you or I -- have reviewed the literature (at least that published in reputable journals) and concluded that it is bunkum. You are pretending that no research scientist is aware of the literature cited by FT2 and that new ground will potentially be broken on Wikipedia. This won't happen for at least two reasons: literature reviews have already been conducted and their conclusions are that NLP is unsupported scientificlly; and Wikipedia is not the place for original research (even if it is doomed to be still-born). Expanding the citations is not a violation of Wikipedia policy. My point in expanding what I could was to show that the journals cited are marginal, not credible, not reputable and hence unreliable. It says much about the marginality of the citations that I couldn't expand some of them at all. FT2 has collected what is largely a bunch of junk research. flavius 09:37, 15 November 2005 (UTC) [12]

GregA: Studia Psychologica -- the journal in which Drenth (2000) is published is/was indexed by Medline. The issue at hand is the credibility of the journals that published the research cited by FT2. I proposed the widely accepted heuristic of referring to whether the publication in question is or was indexed by Medline. Additionally we can check whether a given author has any publications in Medline indexed journals and we can use 'Google Scholar' to determine how many times a piece of research is cited by other researchers. I contend that you will find that most of FT2s citations are seldom cited and that the authors of the papers cited have few or no published papers in any journal indexed by Medline. I don't have the time to perform all this work and to be frank I'm not sure what the result will be if it is completed. Even at this stage it is plain that the preponderance of evidence and the consensus of expert opinion is that NLP is scientifically unsupported, of dubious value at best and outright fraudulent at worst. The brutal fact is there isn't a body of results drawn from single-blind studies with matched controls that find that an NLP intervention is more effective than placebo that has been published in reputable journals, favourably reviewed by experts and reproduced by others. This is the 'elephant in the living room' that you, FT2, Comaze et al are doing your best to ignore. My concern is that the pro-NLP participants in this discussion have abandoned the basic premises of rational discourse and are instead engaging in 'religious wars'. The NLP artcile as it currently stands is neutral, it presents the claims of NLP proponents and the critical review which challenges those claims. The problem appears to be the unfavourable reviews by experts and the highlighting of the absence of evidence is unacceptable for those whose livelihood is connected to the practice of NLP. This is understandable but it is unacceptable. flavius 01:55, 16 November 2005 (UTC) [13]

GregA. So are you suggesting that the massive commercial edifice of NLP sits securely on seven studies -- that although published in reputable journals -- have obvious flaws, that I, a non-expert can point out. I'm beginning to think that you're not really serious about this matter. I've answered all of your questions (and some) yet you steadfastly refuse to yield even though you have no basis for maintaining your position. I'll repeat my line of argument. If a journal is not indexed by Medline its most likely not even worth citing. If it is indexed by Medline it is worth citing and critiquing. I have offered a short critique of those NLP-related papers that are indexed by Medline. This is entirely consistent with my stated position. Unfortunately -- for you, FT2, Comaze, the crackpot conspiracy theorist and NLP -- all of the NLP related studies that report a result in favor of NLP have one or more major flaws. We really needn't proceed any further, this alone confirms the report in the critical texts cited in the article that NLP is without scientific foundation. However, we can proceed further and make an even stronger case against NLP. There are studies published in reputable journals that don't support the core NLP theory of representational systems. We can go further yet. We know from the need to postulate meta-programs that another pillar of NLP theory -- cognitive strategies -- is invalid, lacking predictive or explanatory power. We can go even further. Neurology and linguistics -- two professional fields that are not tied to psychology and psychiatry and hence cannot be slandered with the usual Church of Scientology style propaganda -- reject NLP theory completely. Whenever I encounter a modern textbook, dictionary or encyclopedia on linguistics, psycohlinguistics, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, or neurology I always look up 'Neurolinguistic Programming' and I am yet to find an entry. NLP theory -- which makes many claims about psycholingustics and neurology -- has absolutely no currency in modern neurology or linguistics. Before you ask, I'm not going to give you a list of neurology and linguistics that do not mention NLP. Further, NLP has all of the characteristics of a pseudoscience (most notably it proposes unfalsifiable hypothesis, its theories have no predictive power and its research program is degenerating). Also, the burden of proof rests on the shoulders of NLP proponents not its critics. flavius 10:30, 16 November 2005 (UTC) [14]

Beginning of personal remarks

[15] (Personal remarks stuff begins)

Please familiarize yourself with wikipedia's policy on Neutral Point of View. It says, for example, to fairly represent all sides of a dispute by not making articles state, imply, or insinuate that only one side is correct. [16]. What you continue to call "neutrally attributed sources" has absolutely nothing to do with "Neutral Point Of View policy". (User:FuelWagon|FuelWagon) 03:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

This is turning towards the surreal. Hasn't this already been resolved? If MEDLINE doesn't index a particular journal then that journal -- and its constituent artcles -- carry little weight. MEDLINE employs an expert panel of scientists that decide what journals to index and which to exclude (refer the link I provided earlier). There are less than 10 studies that are written up in MEDLINE indexed journals that make favourable conclusions regarding NLP (or some part thereof) (refer to my MEDLINE search). Further, these studies are offset by the 7 or so studies in MEDLINE that contain no obvious methodological flaws and make unfavourable conclusions regarding NLP (or some part therof) and the studies themselves contain obvious methodological deficiencies (see my MEDLINE search). Further to that there are numerous books -- authored by scientists -- that are cited in the NLP article (eg. Singer (1999), Lilienfeld (2003)) that arrive at a negative evalutaion of NLP. What is there left to weigh as assess? Anecdote? Testimonials? Unpublished research results? Research results published in Anchor Point and obscure journals that for all we know were founded and edited by some fruitcake? Articles in obscure journals that pseudoscience topics routinely? I'm eager to know. The consensus of scientific and clinical opinion is that NLP is bunkum. (User:Flavius vanillus|flavius) 03:59, 17 November 2005 (UTC) [17]

The irony of the situation -- which clearly escapes you, Comaze and FT2 -- is that NLP master practitioners invariably promote themselves as experts in persuasion and belief modification. Where then are the persuasion skills and belief modification techniques? Why can't you magically disolve all objections? Surely you three NLP super beings can shift the beliefs of a simpleton like me. The inability of you, Comaze and FT2 to persuade in this instance is itself a demonstration of the ineffectiveness of NLP. In the process of attempting to persuade others of the efficacy of NLP -- and in failing abysmally -- you have inadvertantly demonstrated its ineffectiveness. Delicious irony. flavius 11:42, 17 November 2005 (UTC) [18]

I'll start this off:
"In the therapeutic garden a host of pseudo-scientific horsefeathers can be found...what brings some of these therapeutic approaches into the category of pseudo-science is the claim that their presumptions are predicated on scientific understanding and scientific evidence. Often we see that these therapies are presented and justified by such scientific pretensions. Again, I will illustrate this by discussing a fairly recent and popular movement known by the name NLP, an acronym which stands for neuro-linguistic programming" Drenth, J.D. (2003) Growing anti-intellectualism in Europe; a menace to science. Studia Psychologica, 2003, 45, 5-13 (reproduced in [19])
PJD Drenth is Professor (Emeritus) of the Department of Work and Organizational Psychology at Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam) (see [20]). Professor Drenth's published works are cited by approximately 180 other works (see [21]).
Drenth (2003) paraphrases Levelt, W.J.M. (1995). Hoedt u voor neuro-linguistische programmering [Beware of neuro-linguistic programming]. Intermediair, 17/11:
"The psycholinguist Levelt (1995) passed devastating judgment on NLP: It is not informed about the literature, it starts from insights that have been rendered out of date long ago, concepts are not apprehended or are a mere fabrication, conclusions are based upon wrong presumptions. NLP theory and practice have nothing to do with neuroscientific insights, nor with linguistics, nor with informatics and theory of programming. NLP is not interested in the question as to how neurological processes take place, neither in serious research."
WJM Levelt is a preeminent scholar and psycholinguist. Professor Levelt is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (see [22]). Professor Levelt's publications number in the hundreds (see [23]) and he is cited thousands of times (see [24]).(User:Flavius vanillus|flavius) 10:00, 19 November 2005 (UTC) [25]

Dialogue with FT2

FT2: Writing for an encyclopedia is not the same as writing for an academic paper. It's more like writing the bibliography for an academic paper. We aren't trying to decide what is "true" and what isn't. To be honest, we don't care what "the truth" is, in that sense, because it's not what an encyclopedia is. An encyclopedia is a collation of multiple perspectives and views. It's more like the bibliography of a paper (listing all kinds of sources so long as they bear on the topic) than the paper and its conclusion itself. Every view of note is in there, represented neutrally. Theres no decision to make, few opinions to form, other than to observe which views seem to be more or less common views of note, and to understand each (and its sources) well enough to document. We care that we document each view fully and with understanding. That is the "truth" we work to here. That, and that alone. Our truth is the truth of the bibliography, and the measure is, have we represented collectively in summary the multiple sources of note. Drawing conclusions from all of them is a use of an encyclopedia, not the work of encyclopaedists. FT2 01:18, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Flavius: This is an erroeneous and objectionable view which does not reflect the content of artcicles on Wikipedia that are concerned with scientific matters. Consider Wikipedia's article on Earth. Coverage of "fruitcake" theories such as the earth being flat or hollow is reduced to a solitary sentence: 'In the past there were varying levels of belief in a flat Earth because of this'. Thus in an article of many hundreds of words, the view that the Earth is flat -- because it is unsupported by science -- is merely mentioned in passing. That is not to say that there are not people that contend that the Earth is flat (see [26]), or that the Earth is hollow (see [27]), or that the earth was colonised by space aliens (see [28]). If what you were contending were true we would find the Wikipedia Earth article giving coverage to not only every nutty idea about the earth but equal coverage to every nutty idea and the scientific view. The Flat Earth Society's conception of the Earth as flat and the Hollow Earth advocates view that the Earth has a habitable hollow core would stand as peers to the scientific view that earth is spherical and solid. If your reading of Wikipedia policy is sound then it would be appropriate for you to explain the absence of pseudoscientific theories from the Earth article (for example). You aren't advocating Wikipedia policy but instead a post-modernist worldview with its associated epistemological relativism, eclecticism and the zealotry about not "privileging" one view above another. If your and FuelWagon's editorial intention -- which is dissociated from Wikipedia policy and content -- were fulfilled, the usefulness, reliability and credibility of Wikipedia would be severely damaged. A cursory survey of Wikipedia content makes it evident that Wikipedia does indeed privilege science above pseudoscience, superstition, speculation and conjecture. This is true irrespective of the quantity of people advocating a non-scientific view or the passion with which they advocate their non-scientfic views. The consensus of scientific opinion is that NLP is empirically unsupported, theoretically unsound and pseudoscientific. (User:Flavius vanillus|flavius) 02:57, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: The reasons that flat earth is not heavily represented here is as best I can work out: It is not a widely held view

Flavius: Neither is NLP relative to the worldwide population of psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, linguists, philosophers, and computer scientists. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: Unlike psychology, it is a view that can be proven or disproven rather than opinioned.

Flavius: Modern psychology is experimental psychology not armchair (or barstool in the case of Bandler and Grinder) theorising. Matters of psychology are no more "opinioned" than matters of geology. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: There is a lot to say about earth. There probably isn't much to say about it being round, either. Its shape is noted in passing, and gets little space regardless.

Flavius: That is incorrect. The implications of the Earth being flat are profound and widespread. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: Wikipedia privileges notable views, not just the one most notable view.

Flavius: On matters of science (versus religion or aesthetics) there is only one notable view, namely that of the scientific community. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: Wikipedia describes each honestly in its own light, regardless of which one may be thought true.

Flavius: "Fruit Loop" opinions are typically distinguished by a qualification that there is no evidence to support the view. They are not erected upon stilts and marched around in a surreal parade. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: Wikipedia lists evidence where appropriate but it does not advocate.

Flavius: I see no demands for advocacy from the critical editors. The problem here appears to be that you would like the actual position of numerous prominent (and in some cases preeminent eg. Levelt) scientists regarding NLP censored or placed on equal footing with the baseless opinions of NLP promoters. This is perverse. The NLP article would achieve NPOV by reflecting the status of NLP amongst scientists and clinicians. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: In addition, The word "objectionable" is personal opinion and not of value here.

Flavius: No it isn't. In so far as your editorial intentions conflict with NPOV policy then they are objectionable. flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

FT2: Wikipedia has its own perspective. It's not post modern or relative. It's called NPOV and while you edit here, it's the water you and I both swim in. Read it carefully, again -- all of it. Especially the bits about writing for the enemy.

Flavius: Last, did you do as I suggested long ago and look up how genuine pseudosciences such as Homeopathy are represented in Wikipedia? I think you should. Try to understand why they are written as they are. What of the Homeopathy article? How did you distinguish Homeopathy as a "genuine pseudoscience" and NLP -- by implication -- as non-genuine psuedoscience? Using what criteria? Drenth and Levelt both regard NLP as a pseudoscience. Don't you think Levelt -- the director of the Max Planck Institute of Psycholingusitics -- can distinguish genuine science from bunkum? flavius 03:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC) [29]

More explanation of authorative sourcing

I have given the matter of journal coverage vis-a-vis MEDLINE some more thought. MEDLINE indexes 4,800 journals covering biomedical and life sciences (these categories subsume the behavioral sciences) (see [30]). The American Psychological Association's index of behavioral science journals -- Psychological Abstracts (print version)/PsychINFO (online version) -- covers 1,995 behavioral science journals alone. Thus PscyhInfo has a broader coverage of behavioral sciences research than MEDLINE. Also it appears that MEDLINEs indexing of a journal is not complete (I suspect that a quota is allocated for behavioral science journals and certain journals fall in and out of coverage). For example, Studia Pscyologica and the Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis are indexed by MEDLINE but not in a complete fashion. There are NLP related papers in both journals that are not indexed. Unfortunately, for the proNLP camp this is bad news as the research not indexed by MEDLINE but indexed by other reputable services (such as PsychINFO) provides even more research finding that don't support NLP. For example:

"Though it claims neuroscience in its pedigree, NLP's outmoded view of the relationship between cognitive style and brain function ultimately boils down to crude analogies. NLP basks in effusive testimonials, but the National Research Council could unearth no hard evidence in its favor, or even a succinct statement of its underlying theory." (Beyerstein, BL. (1990). Brainscams: Neuromythologies of the New Age. International Journal of Mental health, 19 (3), 27-36.)
". . . N.L.P. Theory is not well articulated, its terminology, premises and assumptions are ambiguous or poorly specified. As the analysis in this article has shown, a basic reason for the theory's inadequacies are due to its borrowings from theories that are theoretically antagonistic to each other. . . . The conclusions from reviewing the literature are that as a theory, it is undeveloped and incoherent and that its techniques offer nothing new." (Baddeley, M. (1989). Neurolinguistic programming: The academic verdict so far. Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, 10 (2), 73-81.)
This study compared NLP techniques such as pacing, metaphor, and phonemic devices to two much simpler non-NLP control conditions: a direct-information condition and a placebic information-only condition. No differences in attitudes were found among the conditions, but the non-NLP direct-information control condition demonstrated significantly more persuasion in behavioral measures, resulting in the opposite of what NLP practitioners would predict. (Dixon, PN; Parr GD; Yarbrough D; and Rathael M. (1986). Neurolinguistic Programming as a Persuasive Communication Technique. The Journal of Social Psychology, 126(4), 545-550.)
Huge intercorrelations (hovering around r=.7) between subject performance in different sensory modes resulted, which is the only possible outcome that wasn't predicted by NLP. (Fromme DK & Daniel J (1984). Neurolinguistic Programming Examined. Journal of Counseling Psychology 31 (3) 387-390.)
"The basic tenents of NLP have failed to be reliably verified in almost 86% of the controlled studies . . . the inquirer in this field may be forgiven for accepting the conclusion of Elich et al, (1985), 'NLP has achieved something akin to a cult status when it may be nothing more than another psychological fad' (p.625)." (Sharpley, C. F. (1987). Research findings on neurolingusitic programming: Nonsupportive data or an untestable theory? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 34 (1), 103-107.)

(Citations sourced from [31].) Shortly -- probably next weekend -- I shall conduct a search on PsychINFO for more papers. flavius 12:28, 20 November 2005 (UTC) [32]

On Grinder

Further to my previous remark, Grinder appears to be haunted by the academic trends and fashions in the humanities that were dominant at the time he was lecturing at UC Santa Cruz. Structuralism was the dominant school of thought/mode of analysis in the humanities in the 70s (when Grinder was teaching) in partcular in lingusitics (which is what Grinder lectured in). The influence of Structuralism on NLP is evident. The notion of "pure NLP" versus "applications/patterns" is very Structuralist. Unfortunately the concepts of Structuralism (along with the concepts of many other disciplines and schools of thought) were pilfered by B&G to give NLP a thin veneer of conceptual sophistication and apparently deep intellectual antecedent. B&Gs use of Structuralist theory is as superficial and simplistic as their use of Transformational Grammar, Automata Theory and epistemological theory. The distinction between (pure) NLP and NLP patterns is mere marketing. flavius 03:52, 22 November 2005 (UTC) [33]

On the essential nature of NLP

Your remark appears to presuppose that there is an "essence" of NLP. There is no such thing. NLP is not covered by any form of standards body, it is factionalised and each "school" takes on some aspects of the character of its proponent. In Lakatos' terms its research program is degenerating, i.e. it has data looking for a theory, so theories are grafted based on the peculiar interests of the proponent. NLP is what is taught as NLP in books, seminars, tapes and websites. This is self-referential but NLP has no clearly defined scope and limits nor fundamental principles that all proponents agree upon (consider Meta programs for example). flavius 04:39, 22 November 2005 (UTC) [34]

Comaze, the notion that the Meta-Model and Milton Model are predicated on automata theory -- I think (since you've asked me) -- is nonsense. B&G knew that most of the readers of Magic and Patterns won't have had any exposure to computer science theory and discrete mathematics so they put it in their as a means of "blinding their readers with (pseudo-)science". The automata theory adds nothing to their presentation so I can't conceive of any reason -- other than semiotic trickery -- to include it. I defer my opinion to experts that know more about linguistics than I do. NLP has had no impact on linguistic theory or psycholinguistics. Levelt -- a preeminent psycholinguist -- regards NLP to be total bunkum. Also, there is nothing "pure" about the Meta-Model or the Milton Model they are both techniques. As models they are lacking because they are incorrect (i.e. the map has no relation to the territory). The Meta-Model and the Milton model are merely a collection of speech idioms used by two clinicians. flavius 04:12, 22 November 2005 (UTC) [35]

Why Bertrand Russell had nothing to do with NLP

Comaze, you do like to drop names but unfortunately your name dropping is entirely affectatious and without substance. Are you saying that (heaven forbid) Bertrand Russell (who wasn't a Logical Positivist by the way, Russell is termed an "analytic philosopher" by other philosophers) was somehow implicated in the NLP granfalloon (even though he died in 1970)! Bertrand Russell's entire life work is fundamentally at odds with the project of NLP. NLP promotes a form of idealism which Russell rejected absolutely. Russell was a epistemological realist. Russell was vehemently opposed to mystification and obscurantism (two features of NLP) and he was a string supporter of the scientific method and the project of science. Grinder does what he has always done in "Whispering in the Wind", he name drops in a manner like you do. Russell's Theory of Types in Whispering serves the same semiotic role as Automata Theory in Magic I&II. It is intended to give Grinder's second-rate (amateur) philosophising a semblance of depth to non-philosophers. Also, the material in Whispering regarding the putative unreliability of the human senses is lifted from the first chapter of Russell's "Problems of Philosophy" ([36]). "Problems of Philosophy" is used as a first year/first semester undergraduate introduction to philosophy. Russell's argument presented in the first chapter (and by implication Grinder's in Whispering) is easily refuted by most undergraduate students. Russell himself came to reject his notion of intermediate sense data. It appears though that Dr Grinder's (amateur) philosophical investigations did not extend beyond the first year/first semsester level. flavius 00:37, 24 November 2005 (UTC) [37]

Definition and purpose of NLP

GregA. Even the original goals of NLP are unclear. The only thing that I can find that unites all schools of NLP is the theory (and it is a theory) that memory and experience is encoded neurologically in terms of the Representational Systems (VAKOG) and their submodalities. Many of the other facets of NLP (PRS, cognitive strategies, submodality based patterns eg. Swish, eye accessing cues, sensory predicates) flow out of this central theory. This central theory remains untouched (and unchallenged) in Grinder's New Code and in Bandler's "Technologies" (NHR, DHE, NS). It is also present in Dilt's and James' conception of NLP. Stipulating that "NLP" refers to that NLP that existed between 1972-1979 (as Comaze has done) is entirely arbitrary. NLP is a post-modernist pastiche. As per post-modernism NLP is what people say is NLP. There is no set of scope defining principles within NLP that allow one to differentiate NLP from non-NLP. NLPs scope and limits are undefined. This is consistent with its categorisation as a pseudoscience by numerous experts. NLP practice is divorced from the practice of empirical verification, its theorising is not substantiated with reference to empirical evidence, it doesn't exploit the body of knowledge of established disciplines and its theoretical basis is actively denied to exist by many proponents. All of the means of discipline demarcation won't work. Grinder's pontification in Whispering, in his corerspondence to Hall regarding NeuroSemantics, and on the Whispering forum regarding what is and isn't NLP is vacuous and predicated entirely on his authority. Grinder attempts by mere fiat to define NLP. flavius 01:11, 24 November 2005 (UTC) [38]

Comaze. I don't think its appropriate to describe NLP in terms of "epistemology". NLP is not a branch of epistemology (I've yet to find any reference to NLP in any epistemology text). Further, it does not have an epistomology. Grinder makes allusions to epistemological concepts but this is far from having an epistemology. NLP "modelling" cannot be justifiably characterised as an epistomology. It is a methodology with a set of epistemological assumptions and it is neither a unique method of inquiry or theory of knowledge. flavius 02:43, 25 November 2005 (UTC) [39]

If Grinder had anything serious to say about epistemology his name would appear in epistemology texts. I can find no such reference. What exactly is Grinder's contribution to epistemology? From my reading of Whispering he appears to be appealing to Representationalism or Idealism (which one is unclear). flavius 09:22, 26 November 2005 (UTC) [40]

Comaze. Just because Bandler, Grinder and Bateson all lived on the Alba Road commune doesn't entail that NLP contains a serious treatment of Bateson's "cybernetic epistemology" or that Bateson's "cybernetic epistemology" is theoretically sound and philisopsophically mature. Bateson's exprimental epistemology ("cybernetic epistemology") has no currency amongst contemporary epistemologists and it isn't even taught in undergraduate philosophy curricula. It isn't taken seriously as a contribution to epistemology. General Systems Theory -- which is one of its influences -- is dead. Bateson's Double-Bind Theory of Schizophrenia has been thoroughly refuted. NLP is conceptually and philosophically discordant and incoherent, this is what Levelt (1995) has written on. On the one hand NLP (superficially) incorporates a Structuralist orientation and terminology (Transformational Grammar, General Systems Theory, Cybernetics, "pattern", "content", "Overarching Framework", Meta-language etc.) and on the other hand it attempts to incorporate an entirely incompatible Post-Structuralst (Post-Modern) orientation and terminology ("the map is not the territory", "the territory is not even the territory" (Whispering), "nominalization", "reality" mediated by language, eclecticism, intuition as a legitimate method of inquiry, no privileged worldview etc.). NLP is not based on Batesonian Cybernetic Epistemology any more than it is based on Chomskyan Transformational Grammar. Most of the elements that NLP claims as its intellectual antecedents are irreconcilable. NLP theory doesn't work -- this is what Levelt and Drenth tell us. Bandler and Grinder's reference to Chomsky, Bateson, von Bertalanffy, Turing etc is just name dropping, that isn't just my opinion. An indicator that Grinder is not serious (and if he isn't serious at this stage of his life he most likely never will be) about epistemology is the imperialism evident in Whispering. Epistemology is literally thousands of years old, it is one of the most important branches of philosophy and it "belongs" to the community of philosophers (they do it the best and they are its custodians). Yet Grinder -- in true pseudoscientist fashion -- ignores our philosophical heritage. He doesn't use any standard philosophical nomenclature, he describes well-known (amongst philosophers) epistemological theories without bothering to label them as per the philosophy lexicon, and he doesn't justify his ostensibly novel theorising in terms of the existing epistemological literature and how his actvity relates to the existing field of epistemology. At the risk of offending you, my advice to you is to read some undergraduate texts on epistemology and perhaps social theory (if the Structuralist/Post-Structuralist tensions within NLP theory are not apparent to you). flavius 11:50, 26 November 2005 (UTC) [41]

Comaze. I'll be frank with you. I can't take any of this seriously (and I'm in good company). Neither Grinder nor DeLozier have any philosophical maturity or sophistication. The stated project to reconcile Empiricism with Rationalism (in Turtles) reeks of the same imperialism that runs through Whispering. Furthermore, Grinder and Delozier have reduced Empiricism and Ratioanlism and the debate to caricature and parody. This is the sort of the thing Levelt was referring to when he writes of the absence of seriousness. The Empiricist/Rationalist debate has been running for hundreds of years and it has spawned much literature. This literature is part of our intellectual heritage. Where then is Grinder, DeLozier, Bostic-St Caires survey of this mountain of literature? Do they even mention the most salient philosophical positions in relation to the debate? Do they position their contribution in relation to all of the authors that have gone before them? The answer to all of these rhetorical questions is no. For this reason Grinder and his women can't be taken seriously as philosophers (and for the same reason psychologists, linguists, therapist). flavius 12:04, 26 November 2005 (UTC) [42]

Flavius, You present a very strong argument, I need some time to check my sources, review and respond point by point. Firstly, can you comment on Grinder's argument that NLP modeling uses discrete mathematics, "discrete analysis of individual systems" and that this type of mathematics excludes the use of probability. I think that this may be the argument that you have overlooked. --Comaze 03:58, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

No, I havevn't overlooked that, I didn't mention it because it is a plain matter that discrete systems are analysed probabilistically in several fields. Can you give me a reference where Grinder presents that argument so that I can respond to it directly? If Grinder were correct then the branch of electronics engineering/computer systems engineering of computer system performance analysis would not exist. Computer systems are exemplars of discrete systems and yes discrete and finite math is used to analyse, model, verify and describe some of their behaviour but continuous and probabilistic methods are used to analyse, model, verify and describe other aspects of their behavior. Virtual memory system performance and CPU cache performance -- for example -- is determined using probabilistic methods. The probability distribution called the Poisson Distribution lets us answer such questions as 'What is the likelihood that web server X will receive 100 concurrent requests at time T?'. Probabilistic methods are used to determine the probability of contention within a computer system for a resource. Expected time to failure of components and systems is derived from probabilitic methods. Queuing Theory is used analyse computer network performance, this method is probabilistic and continuous. Queuing Theory is also used to predict computer system performance. I can give more examples if you want/need them. NLP modeling doesn't use discrete maths, it merely expresses banalities as formalisms (predicate logic, automata theory, syntax diagrams, set theory) borrowed from discrete maths to present the aura of depth and sophistication. flavius 06:49, 7 December 2005 (UTC) [43]

On the need for expert knowledge in encyclopedias

I think an RfC could be helpful in soliciting the input of people with more diverse interests -- not least of all, those who are disinterested in this topic. Until there is a quorum of editors contributing to the article who are not identified with the either the pro- or anti-NLP positions, I wouldn't expect improvement in the quality of the article or the civility of the discussion around it. Thanks, Shunpiker 05:17, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Shunpiker, have you ever gone to a bookstore in search of a non-fiction book on topic X, deliberately looking for book that states on the back-cover blurb "John Smith has no expertise in X or special interest he just wrote this book to pass some idle hours he had last summer."? If you found such a book and you wanted to know about X why would you read it? Who would publish such a book? In all of the encyclopedias I have (general and specialist) each of the constituent articles on a topic is authored by one or more topic experts. Why would anyone want to read an article written by a dilettante? An encyplopedia that is comprised of the superficial knowledge of dilettanti is useless for reference purposes. Your editorial philosophy is harmful to the credibility of Wikipedia. The damning reviews of Wikipedia in 'The Register' were at least partly made with reference to the thoughtless egalitarianism that you are advocating. Anyone that is disinterested in a topic shouldn't be writing about it or even reviewing articles about that topic. The only people that should alter the content of the article (as opposed to the form) should be either "pro" or "anti" -- they should have a position. Having an opinion is not indicative of knowledge but knowledge leads to the assuming of an opinion. Having an opinion per se is not a vice and not everyone can make a worthwhile (content) contribution to any article. flavius 09:01, 8 December 2005 (UTC) [44]

Is NLP pseudoscience?

Hi GregA. An assertion that NLP is not a pseudoscience does not constitute a refutation. Similarly, the assertion that "NLP is more an art than a science" is not a refutation of anything, it is an assertion, a declaration or decree. The statement that "NLP is an epistemology (rather than a science)" is meaningless and even if it were meaningful it would amount to no more than another assertion. There is no refutation of the criticisms levelled against NLP. I re-read Ch. 3 of Whispering and Grinder's attempt to answer criticisms regarding method and verification are insincere and still-born. Either Grinder doesn't understand the criticisms or chooses not to. A refutation of Grinder's position on method and verification would require a lengthy essay to cover because it is replete with so many fallacies, assertions, suppressed premises, hidden metaphysical baggage, misunderstandings and sophistry. There are no genuine pro-science NLPers -- that is an entirely mythical beast. Grinder, Dilts and Hall have scientific pretensions and they ignore or misunderstand fundamental issues of method that define scientific inquiry.

The "muddle" that you describe is the thoroughly post-modern flavor of NLP. NLP has nothing to do with science, inquiry, verification, consistency, evidence and reality and it never will. Post-modernists don't refute arguments or present evidence to the contrary. Instead they declare that reality, truth, and objectivity are fictions and that all "discourses" are equal, that subjectivity is all we have and need. This is the very ethos of NLP, it runs through all of the early NLP texts and even in Whispering. There is no NLP refutation of critique because the very legitimacy of the activity of critique is disputed. NLPers don't think there is any case to answer. Fictionalism stripped of the need for empirical test -- or in Grinder's case redefined such that subjectivity is made equivalent to empirical test -- is the epistemological basis of NLP. This is the license for untrammeled speculation, overvaluation of subjective experience, disregard of intellectual heritage and cult-like insularity. flavius 04:30, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Camridge's take on NLPs proper classification. NLP isn't a science and it isn't based on science. NLP isn't an art in that it neither produces aesthetic works (eg. sculpture) nor is it a skill based on a mixture of knowledge (assumptions and falsities don't comprise knowledge) and experience (eg. cookery). It isn't a craft (eg. carpentry) because it doesn't involve manual dexterity. It can't be conceived of as a skill because it doesn't work (the evidence tells us this). If someone claimed that he could fly by flapping his arms we wouldn't deem that person as posessing the skill to fly. It can't be classified as a technology because by definition technology is applied science, it is the application of science to the resolution of practical problems. Since NLP is not based on science it can't be a technology.

Is it an epistemology? This question implies an unconventional understanding of the word epistemology. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the scope, limits, nature and basis of human knowledge. Saying "an epistemology" implies that there are a multitude of epistemologies. There are a multitude of epistemological theories (eg. Realism, Constructivism, Instrumentalism, Idealism, Representationalism) but there is only one epistemology, i.e. the branch of philosophy. So NLP can't be "an epistemology" in the same sense that something can't be "an archeology" (when we say "an archeology of Egypt" we are not referring to some special species of Egyptian archeology we are referring to archeological knowledge pertaining to Egypt). Is there an epistemological theory embedded within NLP? Yes, certainly (see my earlier discussion on this) but this is unremarkable. There is an epistemological theory embedded even in everyday experience (eg. the inductive logic we employ when we say "lemons are sour"). Saying "NLP is an epistemology" is a linguistic trick that enables NLPers to smuggle in specific epistemological theory whilst maintaining the pretence that they "don't do theory" and simultaneously avoiding the need for justification of the details of those specific epistemological theories.

Within specific sciences and branches of technology the word "model" has a well-defined meaning even though usage of the term may vary between various disciplines (eg. a structural engineers notion of a model is different from a physicists). Outside of these technical contexts the term model is ambiguous. What exactly does it mean to say that "NLP is a model"? NLP is not predictive. NLP is not concerned with explanation. NLP is not a simulation. NLP does not engage in hypothesis testing (such that it yields limited gerneralisations en route to producing laws). All of the standard understandings of "model" have been exhausted. Hence NLP can't be described as a model. By a process of elimination the only domain of human experience that we have left is religiosity. Tye (1994) argues that NLP produces a "psycho shaman effect" (p.4) which is described as a combination of "cognitive dissonance, placebo effect, and therapist charisma" (p.5). Thus the NLP practitioner/therapist is like a shaman.

The aspects of religiosity within NLP extend further than this. It is essentially faith based, tenets are validated in the same way as many religions, namely, with reference solely to subjective experience. NLP promotes the notion of unlimited personal possibility and potential: all that separates me from Albert Einstein (a figure often mentioned but usually misunderstood in NLP literature and seminars) is that we have different "strategies" i.e. sequences of sensory based represnetations. NLP also promotes the idea that all behavior is learnt (this notion is incidentally inconsistent with Chomskyan linguistics). Taken together these two premises form a conception of "human nature" -- this too is a facet of religiosity. The ethical system of the quasi-religion is supplied by the notion of ecology. The techniques of NLP -- having being demonstrated to have no real effect -- comprise ritual and ceremony. Deification is distributed between the "all powerfull unconscious" (the source of all power) and the upper echelons of the training industry pyramid (who as shamans know the secrets of the unconscious).

The demons of NLP are suggestions, linguistic ambiguities and embedded commands that threaten to enter our unconscious mind and manifest some harmful reality (see [[45]]). NLP supplies the incantations and rituals necessary to repel or exorcise these demons. NLP defines sinful behavior: Meta-Model violations or failure to honour the presuppositions attracts censure. The most dramatic ritual is of course the Fast Phobia Cure, this is NLPs equivalent of Christian charismatic healing or perhaps an exorcism. flavius 17:32, 9 December 2005 (UTC) [46]

The need for empirical approach

No so. I appreciate the distinction NLP modelling and NLP applications. The distinction doesn't help you, it doesn't magically erase the need for empirical test, make existing emprical tests invalid or irrelevant nor does it make any meta-theoretic critique misplaced. Both NLP modelling and NLP applications are laden with theory and they both have generated hypothesis many of which can be (and have been tested). There is no confusion in my head between theory and technique, judging from your remarks any confusion belongs to you. Engineering is not a science it is applied science, engineering uses science. Chemical engineering is based on chemistry and physics, electrical engineering is based largely on physics, civil engineering is also based largely on physics. Architecture is not an art, it is a design discipline that draws on art and engineering (structural, civil, materials). Yes, counselling can use NLP i.e. NLP application, as can sales, teaching, coaching etc. Where exactly did I suggest or imply otherwise. I'm the one that added Grinder's distinction between NLP applications and NLP modelling in the article. I also contributed the foundational assumptions -- which relate to NLP modelling -- section. Rather than offer me advice about what I need to learn why don't you read more closely? My concern with fictionalism relates to NLP modelling or "INVESTIGATION" as you put it. My remarks concerning empirical testing above are with reference to NLP applications or the "ART" as you put it. The article itself is cognizant of this distinction. The empirical studies cited in the article discredit various NLP applications. It would be sufficinet merely by demonstrating the ineffectiveness of NLP applications to demonstrate that NLP modelling (the source of these applications or patterns) is also ineffective. This would be a form of "black-box" inquiry. However, the article is making steps towards including research that demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the NLP modelling itself. flavius 06:12, 15 December 2005 (UTC) [47]

Quarrelling with cranks

I don't comprehend the significance of your apparently random capitalisation. When you randomnly capitalise and mis-spell you come across as unhinged. I don't need to explain your claim anymore than I need to explain the existence of gnomes. The use of NLP in the US Army is a figment of your imagination or the imagination of one of your NLP mentors. The US Army conducted extensive research into a range of human performance technologies that may be of use to the army. NLP was included in the investigation. The researchers even interviewed Bandler. The US Army unequivocally rejected NLP on the grounds that there is no evidence that it works. Refer Druckman, D. & Swets, J. (1988). Enhancing Human Performance. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. and Swets, J. & Bjork R. (1990) Enhancing human performance. An evaluation of "new age" techniques considered by the U.S. Army. Psychological Science, 1,, 85-96. The apparent efficacy of NLP techniques on stage, in seminars and in some clinical situations is explained by a "psycho shaman effect" proposed by Tye (1994): "the psycho shaman effect is a collection of already-existing, well understood and accepted ideas. Specifically, it has three components: cognitive dissonance, placebo effect and therapist charisma". It is you that is exhibiting religious fervour. There is no evidence that NLP works yet you fervently announce your faith. "I argue that the proof is evident for anyone is open enough to making the observation", you say. Well this isn't an argument it's an assertion, it's a verbalisation of your emoting. What are we to do with it? If the "proof is evident" then why is it that NLP has failed most empirical testing it has been subjected to? Are you suggesting that Sharpley (1997), Swets & Bjork (1990), Dixon et al (1986), Baddeley (1989), Ellich et al (1985) and Melvin & Miller (1988) would have obtained confirmatory results if only they were more "open"? How so? One of the weaknesses of human reasoning is that it is vulnerable to a confirmation bias (Gilovich, 1993): you will look for and overvalue what confirms your beliefs and simultaneously ignore and undervalue anything that contradicts those beliefs. You can't prove that all swans are white simply by seeking white swans. You must instead seek black swans. Are you then looking only for the white swans of NLP? Confirmation is not the basis of knowledge acquisition, falsification is. If I find 100 smokers that are older than 80 years have I demonstrated that smoking will enable you to live beyond the average life expectancy? Your logic would suggest so. flavius 11:23, 15 December 2005 (UTC) [48]

Akulkis/Aaron, you are ill-informed about science in general and psychology in particular. Freudian psychoanalysis is dead in both psychology and psychiatry in the English-speaking world and it has been so for many years. Since the 1960s clinical psychology has been dominated by the cognitive and behavioral therapies, neither of which are concerned with patient history and are typically delivered as several 45-minute sessions including progress tracking and follow-up. Academic and research psychology also has had little connection with Freudian psychoanalysis since the 1950s. Modern psychology is "Experimental Psychology" as advanced by Hans Eysenck and Cyril Burt. Freudian psychoanalysis has a stronger association with psychiatry and its heavy influence upon psychiatry continued until the late 1970s when advances were made in neurology and pharmacology. Since that time pscyhiatry has been moving towards a bilogical model of mental illness discarding its psychoanalytic roots. Most psychiatrists today have a biological orientation in the treatment of mental illness. Your concept of psychology and psychiatry is outdated by at least 30 years. NLP -- like all of the other fringe therapies of the era such Gestalt, Primal Scream, TA -- was a response to the "shrink culture" in the North America of the 1960s and 1970s. That is the context of Bandler's tired pun "Sickman Fraud" and his assuming of a german accented English when he talks about psychology and psychiatry in his early seminars. Unfortunately Bandler is stuck somewhere in the 1970s and even in his recent seminars he still talks as if Freudian psychoanalysis is the dominant model of mind within psychology and psychiatry. Uneducated people like you then pick up on this and repeat it as you are doing. Some of NLPs hypothesis are testable and those that have been tested have been found false and useless. That is the brutal truth you are vehemently opposing using anecdote. flavius 05:36, 16 December 2005 (UTC) [49]

That was me Comaze before I created an account, I point that out below for the sake of transparency. In one of his seminars Bandler claimed he submitted a doctoral thesis at the USF and was an awarded a PhD from their. He said that we had difficulty finding where to submit his dissertation because he had cut soe many classes. This sent alarm bells ringing in my head -- any one that knows anything about postgraduate study knows that the amount of classes fall the higher you progress. There are classes when you undertsake a PhD, there are only occassional meetings with your supervisor. So I wrote an email to the USF Alumni Society to ask them if a they had ever awarded a doctorate -- honorary or earned -- to a Richard Wayne Bandler. The officer replied that they had no such record. I then went to Proquest\UMI dissertation index -- I found Grinder, he did submit a thesis titled "On Deletion Phenomena" IIRC and he was awarded a doctorate. Bandler does not appear in the Proquest\UMI dissertation index. The email counts as original research and although I can supply the response complete with headers to anyone that's interested it's not suitable for Wikipedia verification puproses. A link to the Proquest\UMI dissertation index -- which I have included in the Bandler article -- should be ok. If Bandler has a doctorate it is neither from a North American university nor is it earned. I could no detail about Bandler's honrary doctorate except rumour that t came from a Continetal European university. Any attempt to solicit detail on alt.psychology.nlp is met with an avalanche of abusive replies. Attempting to verify any of Bandler's claims is strictly verboten -- the worshippers don't like their idols being tarnished. Regarding Bandler's undergraduate and graduate qualification IIRC he attempted to submit the manuscript of Magic I to the psychology department of USC as his master's thesis. It was rejected because it wasn't entirely his work. He re-worked it and submitted it and was awarded an MA in "Theoretical Psychology". The marketing angle that B&G pursued in promoting NLP wasn't compatible with one of the inventors being a psychology graduate since NLP was touted as a revolutionary breakthrough something altogether different that came from outside of psychology by two people that supposedly knew nothing of the fields. In his early seminars I have heard Bandler refer to himself as a physicist, an information scientist, a computer programmer, and a mathematician. In "Bandler Doing Bandler" I think he's an "information scientist", in one of his NHR recordings he's physicist (with a special interest in optics, which is the leadin to his pontifications about holographic memoey) and in one of his DHE recordings (IIRC) he's a computer programmer. Can we remove the reference to him as being a mathematician, he is no such thing and their is no evidence that he even took a single unit in math at university. flavius 04:13, 17 December 2005 (UTC) [50]

Incivility and personal attacks by Flavius vanillus

9) Flavius_vanillus (talk · contribs) has violated Wikipedia:Civility [59] [60], see User_talk:Flavius_vanillus#avoid_personal_remarks. See also [61] [62] [63]

Comment by Arbitrators: A lot of newsnet type spamming too Fred Bauder 15:47, 21 December 2005 (UTC) Your stuff is funny, yes, I enjoy watching Ann Coulter myself, but acting that way is beyond the bounds of Wikipedia. Usenet type spamming is discussing an issue rather than how to write the article. Fred Bauder 00:52, 23 December 2005 (UTC) Comment by parties:

FLAVIUS: What precisely is "newsnet type spamming"? flavius 13:46, 22 December 2005 (UTC) In my defence I'll point out that my incivilities and personal attacks are witty :o) flavius 13:46, 22 December 2005 (UTC) The matter of incivility, discourtesy and personal attacks is a pretext for being obstructionist. With the exception of Aaron "Kookla" Kulkis the offending remarks by all parties are anodyne. flavius 13:52, 22 December 2005 (UTC) Fred, you state that "Usenet type spamming is discussing an issue rather than how to write the article". No it isn't. Discussing and issue is just that: discussing and issue and it is a prerequisite to composing an article where there is any contention. Spamming has nothing to do with discussion. Both Usenet and the discussion pages are intended for discussion. Save the term spamming for its proper use, viz. the posting of unsolicited commercial bulk messages. Debating an issue in the discussion area -- even if the discussion has become removed temporarily from the central dispute -- is eminently preferable to unilateral editing which will usually be reverted. Where a zealot or disordered individual appears on the discussion page and/or makes unilateral, uninformed and promotional edits it is necessary -- however tedious -- to squash each assertion, factoid, falsity and flawed argument. To do otherwise would be to practice a form censorship and thereby legitimise corruption of the article made on the pretext of voicing "the truth". Rational discourse with suitable evidence and argument attempts to move a dispute into a justiciable framework and introduce objectivity in place of emoting and subjectivity. I contend that discussing an issue -- and presenting evidence and argument -- has been more effective in connection with this article than all of the arbitrartion thus far. flavius 07:09, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

COMAZE: In defense of flavius, I think this editor has made some valuable contributions to the article and discussion on both sides of the debate. The occasional personal remark or incivility was out of character. --Comaze 00:46, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


Is NLP a cult?

Dejakitty, I agree "the purpose of Wikipedia is to inform, not indoctrinate". Consistent with that objective, any expert opinion which characterises NLP as a psycho-cult, cult-like, business cult should be included in the article. To do otherwise would be to allow the article to serve as a PR piece for the NLP industry/cult. This would amount to advocacy and promotion. Advocacy and promotion disguised as education is inimical to the the credibility of Wikipedia. HeadleyDown isn't making an "accustaion", he is reporting expert opinion. You are again correct, "[a]ccusation of cultism is a serious charge and should not be taken lightly", that is why the expert opinion of cult authorties such as Singer should be reported. Like HeadleyDown I too do not comprehend your equation of cults with conspiracy or global organisation. Cults may be conspiratorial and globally organised but they need not be. None of the models of cults that I am familiar with require conspiracy or global organsiation for identification. Lifton (1981) identifies cults using three criteria:

Charismatic leadership
Thought reform
Exploitation (sexual, economic, other) of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie

Lifton is an authority on cults, unfortunately he hasn't taken an interest in NLP. By Lifton's criteria, NLP is a cult -- not one large global cult -- but a multitude of small cults each with their own leadership and peculiarities. The OR prohibition prevents us from including Lifton's criteria. However, other authorities have taken an interest in NLP and have concluded that it is a cult. Any person with their critical faculties switched-on that attends a Bandler NLP or DHE seminar will arrive at the same conclusion. Consider a typical Bandler seminar: you pay US$3000-5000 to attend, Bandler enters stage with triumphalist music playing, he assumes his center stage seat where he delivers what is essentially a sermon (the shaman/high-priest talks, the disciples listen -- no questions asked), the flock learns a bunch of techniques that don't work, Bandler fictionalises his biography (claiming to have a doctorate, claiming to be a physicist, computer scientist, holographer, information scientists, claims he was in a band, claims he worked for the CIA... ostensibly for the purpose of state elicitation) and denigrates any ideas and individuals that compete in the commercial and intellectual markets with him (I've yet to hear a Bandler seminar where he doesn't denigrate psychology and psychiatry and indoctrinate his students against these professions). Cogntive dissonance and social pressure prevent any expression of dissatisfaction. I have a report from a person that attended a DHE seminar that a short-sighted person attended. Bandler claimed that using DHE and making the student "hallucinate" a pair of spectacles the student would be cured of his mypoia. After Bandler performed his shamanistic ritual on the student the student exclaimed his cure. Contrary to expectations the student spent the rest of the seminar squinting and bumping into furniture. The myopic student didn't put his spectacles back on. My reporter tells me that the myopic student probably feared the censure he would be subjected to as a "non-believer". At the end of the seminar when he left the hall he promptly put his spectacles back on. This anecdote illustrates several psychological forces and ploys that you'll find in many cult gatherings. I provie this only for your education. My conclusions and those of HeadleyDown are irrelevant -- it is the conclusions of experts that matter and that is what's being reported. flavius 02:37, 2 January 2006 (UTC) [51]

Dejakitty, it is your conception of cult that is flawed. Your notion of a cult is a caricature with little relationship to the research of social psychologists and psychitarists on the topic. Part of your dissatisfaction with the edits stems from your self-referential cogitations: "I usually think of highly secretively non-mainstream religion organization, with a tendency to mind control and brainwash people". You are not a recognised authority on cults (such as Lifton and Singer) so what you think a cult is, is irrelevant and forms no basis for accusations of bias and polemic against editors. Pre-empting all of the banal criticisms (such as yours regarding the definition of a cult) can be easily accomplished (because these criticisms don't stand up to critical scrutiny) but would come at the cost of brevity. Your admonition about considering the "potential biasis" of authors is specious and stinks of bad faith.

There are numerous probelems with your admonition: (i) a declaration of an authors potential bias is OR; (ii) stating that an author may have a potential bias is at best conjecture; (iii) it reveals a double-standard on your part in that you demonstrate no concern for flagging "potential biasis" from NLP promoters; (iv) the notion of a potential X is informationally bankrupt, why not say the author is a potential liar, potential genius, potential saint, potential murderer, potential rapist (as per Andrea Dworkin Lesbian-Separatist propaganda), potential homosexual, there are no boundaries regarding ascribing potential qualities to people without any evidence, knock yourself out. Why aren't NLP promoters potential cult leaders? Everyone has influences on their beliefs that come from family, friends, religion, personal experience, temperament, age, gender and so on. An influence is not a bias. It is entirely possible to be influenced without being biased. If you have a bias in favour of NLP then it suggests that your accpetance of NLP is not based on evidence, reason and education but on emotion, faith and/or pecuniary interest. Anything that you contribute from a position of bias would be unable to withstand any critical scrutiny and it wouldn't originate from the conclusions of topic experts (neurologists, psychiatrists, linguists, psychologists and philosophers). Reporting the consensus of expert opinion on the topic of NLP may proceed from a position of personal influence (eg. in my case I spent many thousands of dollars on NLP training and media and much time that proved worthless) without being biased. Bias would be demonstrated by failing to report methodologically sound research that demonstrates the efficacy of NLP or the integrity of its underlying theory. There is no such research. I have sought it on PubMed and PsycInfo and I have checked Bolstadt's list of NLP research. The experts quoted in the article have been entirely fair.

Again my OR is irrelevant, I offer it only for your education. Experts such as Sharpley have performed exhaustive literature reviews and have even answered criticisms (which have subsequently gone unanswered). Prima facie the experts exhbit no bias (sure they have influences as we all do) -- the process of peer review would have flushed this out (refer to the dialogue between Sharpley (1984 and 1987) and Einspruch and Forman (1985)). Your concern with bias is misplaced. NLP is fundamentally a commercial enterprise. NLP Practitoner training is more expensive than even the most expensive private university in my part of the world (in terms of (tuition fee)/(service hours), service hours includes lectures, tutorials, one-on-one consultation, assignment grading, examination). NLP promoters trademark and copyright their every fart and burp and sell them as seminars, DVDs and CDs at exhorbiant rates (eg. Bandler's "State of the Art"). Contrast this with scientific research where not only are the latest research results available freely at academic libraries but for the cost of a typical NLP DVD set you can get an annual online subscription to a publishers entire catalogue of journals on a particular topic. Who is most likely to be biased: a salaried obscure academic whose findings can be found in a library at no cost or a charismatic, entrepreunarial NLP promoter that trademarks nelogisms and copyrights banality (with no research cost to recover) and sells them at rates higher than our learning institutions teach substantive disciplines such as civil engineering? flavius 03:48, 2 January 2006 (UTC)[52]

Dejakitty, you're starting to distinguish yourself as a deluded zealot. Your statememnt above to HeadleyDown is unpersuasive and can only be understood as a lame attempt at being provocative. The accusation of hyper-emotionality is without substance and is an exemplar of Ad Hominem. HeadleyDown's emotionality even if it were evident would be irrelevant. An editors contribution is assessed on its own merits without (irrelevant) reference to their biography. You've conflated the notion of care with the notion of emotionality which you have in turn conflated with bias. In NLP terms you have formed a complex equivalence: care = emotionality = bias. All editors have some interest in the topic they contribute to, this is a truism. Whether they have a bias -- and if they did it would not necessairly be any grounds for censure -- can not be inferred from the amount of research engaged in or the volume of edits. Bias would be indicated by the quality of the edits. Insofar as NLP doesn't work All NLP trainers "rip off" their clients. No NLP trainer can deliver what NLP promises. The problem is less to do with the trainers and more to do with the subject -- it is a content problem not a form problem ;-) Your assertion regarding HeadleyDown seeking "catharsis" is without substance. In NLP terms it's another Meta Model violation, perhaps the gravest of NLP sins: the mind read. Since you have committed two Meta Model violations you should cleanse yourself of your NLP sins by suffering through Bandler and La Valle's "Persuasion Engineering". flavius 05:05, 3 January 2006 (UTC) [53]

Defence of NLP section

Hi Jens. Advocating the insertion of a "Defence of NLP" section implies that there is a body of evidence in support of NLP theory and practice that (a) the cited scientists are unaware of or have ignored; and/or (b) the article editors are unaware of or have ignored. No such evidence exists. As HeadleyDown rightly puts its, any defence would be pseudoscientific and non-scientific. Regarding updated techniques (and any techniques as yet not formulated) the onus of proof rests with the claimant, there is no "line of credit of credibility" that NLP proponents can draw on such that a hypothesis is assumed valid by default. Regarding the definition of NLP this is largely a non-issue since most of the cited literature is concerned with specific techniques or "patterns" (in NLP jargon). On he matter of eye accessing cues Bandler and Grinder differ considerably on this matter. When Bandler was interviewed by representatives of the US Army's study on human performance improvement technologies (reported in Druckman & Swets and Swets and Bjorkman) he downplayed the significance of PRS and eye accessing cues and accepted that the eye accessing cues hypothesis is probably mistaken. Grinder, on the other hand, presents a wounded defence of eye accessing cues in Whispering. Grinder re-affirms the hypothesis not only in Whispering but also on his now closed forum and mounts a naive methodological and epistemological critique of eye accessing cues research. Furthermore, you will still find the PRS and eye accessing cues in most NLP books and courses. flavius 04:05, 6 January 2006 (UTC) [54]

Comments by Headley Down

Comments by HeadleyDown Downlen presents yet another inconclusive paper. To explain Dowlen's paper will take more than a few paras, and the results will be the same: NLP is scientifically unsupported. HeadleyDown 02:44, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Comments by Flavius Thanks for the reference Comaze. I read the paper and it doesn't present anything new or conclusive. I don't think its inclusion will add balance as it is inconclusive. The only noteworthy conclusions were the following: "In outlining the development of NLP all articles, with the exception of Milne, stress the involvement of Bandler and Grinder. It is interesting to note the degree to which NLP is personalized in connection with these two individuals, with far less emphasis being accorded to either the origins of NLP or its subsequent development by others" (p.3); "[t]he extent to which NLP is personalized in connection with the originators Bandler and Grinder is apparent, and the absence of any substantial acknowledgement of the theoretical underpinnings comes through" (p.4); and "[o]ther features are striking about the research. Firstly the relative lack of it, compared to the almost cult following that NLP has achieved, mainly in the USA but latterly in the UK. There appears to have been an absence of research into NLP in the UK. There are however a great many articles and books written by those who use NLP and clearly believe it to be of great value in their work." (p.6) Dowlen identifies those traits of NLP that position it as pseudoscience, New Age and cult-like. These traits -- viz. personalisation of NLP in connection with B&G, failure to fully acknowledge derivative aspects of NLP theory and practice, incongruity between fanatical following and dearth of supportive evidence and empahsis on promotion over investigation -- are connected and are to be found in Scientology, Silva Mind Control, est and other psycho-cults. flavius 04:03, 7 January 2006 (UTC) [55]

Alleged Frogs Quote

I've skim (re-)read all of Frogs (what a tedious book) and am unable to locate the quote attributed to that text in the article: "However, Richard Bandler and John Grinder have also stated that "NLP is not a science... we are not scientists" (Frogs into Princes, 1979 REF PAGE)". I did find "We are not psychologists, and we're also not theologians and theoreticians." (p.7) Can someone else confirm my results. Personally I can not imagine B&G uttering something as modest as "NLP is not a science...we are not scientists" especially since Bandler in his pompous seminar sermonising has claimed to be a scientist of one form or another (physicist, information scientist, computer scientist, linguist). flavius 12:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC) [56]

NLP principles article

NLP Principles article - just another attempt at promotion NLP is a fringe and psuedoscientific subject. At one time or other, desperate fanatics have written extra articles on NLP bits and pieces because they were not allowed to promote on this article. Everything can be dealt with on this article. NLP is not rocket science. The principles are explained very well on this article already. HeadleyDown 02:06, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes I mentioned in its discussion section that it has already been merged and should be deleted. However, I don't mind if we give the NLPbrains some more months to pour more zealous sweat into it. Then we can delete it anyway:) Cheers DaveRight 03:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

So that's what FT2 has been busy with. How devious! I was really hoping for the "Bells and Whistles" display of NLP persuasion technology from FT2 and GregA (I was especially hoping for hypnotic metaphor and language and the "sleight of mouth" patterns, commonly misspelled "slight of mouth" by many NLPers, presumably those that haven't mastered the NLP spelling strategy) rather than a quiet exit and the creation of a parallel NLP article. flavius 04:00, 9 January 2006 (UTC) [57]

On management science

On Comaze's prompting and in the spirit of co-operation I have re-read Dowlen (1996) with a view to determining if the paper can contribute anything to the article regarding NLP "history, epistemology, background, research and usefulness in various management applications" [58]. [59]

Dowlen (1996) is neither a literature review, meta-analysis, report of original research or theoretical analysis. It does contain some literature review but it is by no means an attempt to comprehensively review all of the available literature on a topic as per Sharpley (1987). Dowlen's paper is a chatty, largely uncritical (most of the criticisms do not originate from Dowlen but from the authors whose research he reviews) discussion piece. Dowlen is concerned with management learning, i.e. the process of training and developing managers, and the potential relevance of NLP to this field.

Dowlen states one of his two main aims as "to investigate aspects of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) that might contribute to management learning" (p.27) However, Dowlen's criteria for evaluation are vague. It appears that Dowlen's logic is

P1. Management learning requires communication and learning skills.
P2. NLP appears to provide communication and learning skills.
C. NLP may be useful to management learning.

That is the extent of Dowlen's investigative framework, specific criteria regarding communication and learning skills are not specified.

Dowlen establishes P1 with reference to some of the management learning literaure. Fair enough. P2 is arrived at via (a) attendance of a two-day NLP seminar; (b) administering an NLP learning and thinking styles questionnaire to his colleagues and himself; (c) reviewing some of the management learning literature on NLP; and (d) reviewing some of the research evidence on NLP.

Methods (a) and (b) are of little evidentiary value. There is no conceivable reason why Dowlen's subjective report is more authoritative than anyone elses. The only seminar content that Dowlen expresses any criticism of is anchoring: 'I was personally less convinced about the "anchoring" technique.'(p.28) Why he was "less convinced" Dowlen doesn't tell us, his criteria remain obscure. After his two day training Dowlen administered to his "team" and himself a questionaiire named the "Neurolinguistic communication profile" which claims to determine preferred sensory modality for learning and communicating and preferred thinking style (serial and parallel processing, terms taken from IT). Assessment of the test involved a discussion (presumably over tea and biscuits).

Methods (c) and (d) involved what can only be described as a "half-arsed" literature review. Dowlen's reviews are selective and his selection criteria are not revealed.

On bullshit

In On Bullshit -- in which Princeton Univeristy philosophy professor Harry G. Frankfurt provides a (serious) philosophical analysis of the notion of bullshit -- the author makes a distinction between the liar and the bullshitter. According to Frankfurt, "the fact that about himself that the liar hides is that he is attempting to lead us away from a correct apprehension of reality; we are not to know that he wants us to believe somthing he supposes to be false. The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth value of his statements are of no central interest to him; what we are not to understand is that his intention is neither to report the truth nor to conceal it. This does not mean that his speech is anarchically impulsive, but that the motive guiding and controlling it is unconcerned with how the things about which he speaks truly are." (pp.54-5, italics added) Dowlen thus is a bullshitter and his paper is bullshit. It isn't a serious study. If Dowlen revealed the content of his paper over dinner I'd find his conversation interesting and engaging and the degree of rigour would have been appropriate. As a published investigation of NLP vis-a-vis management learning it cannot be taken seriously. Bullshit can't be fruitfully critiqued whereas a lie can. More from Frankfurt, '[t]elling a lie is an act with a sharp focus. It is designed to insert a particular falsehood at a specific point in a set or system of beliefs, in order to avoid the consequences of having that point occupied by the truth. This requires a degree of craftmanship, in which the teller of the lie submits to objective constraints imposed by what he takes to be the truth...On the other hand, a person who undertakes to bullshit his way through has much more freedom. His focus is panoramic rather than particular...it is more expansive and independent, with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the "bullshit artist" (pp.51-53) Dowlen is then a "bullshit artist"'. Dowlen is a management consultant -- a role bullshit artists gravitate towards -- and he is employed at the UK Social Services Department, which like all large bureaucracies, is a bullshitter's stronghold. A perfect match. Bullshitting is the management consultants stock-in-trade. flavius 10:45, 10 January 2006 (UTC) [60]

Is NLP a theory?

Comaze, I've discussed the matter of theory vis-a-vis NLP more than I would have liked in an (apparently vain) attempt to demonstrate to you that the claim to being atheoretical is false and is merely a philosophically naive means of evading justification and substantiation. NLP is theory laden both implicitly and explicitly. I remind you that you are yet to answer my criticisms which you concede are significant and substantive. I listened to the recent Bandler MP3 and the Grinder Quicktime that you referred me to and in both of those interviews B&G communicate more than one theory in their explanantions of NLP and modeling. For example, they both contend that all behavior is learnt, that poor performance and mental disease is learnt and that the remedy is more learning (Grinder is more concerned with excellence than disease but the message is the same). For those that are interested the media are to be found at www.nlpmp3.com (Bandler interview) and www.inspiritive.com.au (Grinder interview). Both are recent interviews and provide useful checkpoints of confirmation that the critical content of the article is "on track". The usual pattern of B&G is that they will happily enunciate theories about mental illness, performance, neurology, cognition, memory, ethics and everything else but when they are met with contradiction they retreat into the "we don't do theory" defence. It is also noteworthy that in the interview Bandler claims that advances in neurochemistry and neurology confirm NLPs implicit theories of learning, memory and cognition. Beyerstein and Levelt's criticisms thus remain especially relevant. The amount of shit pouring out of Bandler's mouth in that interview is disgusting. Both B&G explicitly reference naive pop-neurology brain lateralization ideas in their interviews. flavius 05:36, 12 January 2006 (UTC) [61]

Anchoring (Discussion with Comaze)

I disagree. Anchoring is just classical/Pavlovian conditioning (B&G explicitly state this much in Frogs I'll provide the page ref later) and it is unrelated to NLPs core, i.e. its information processing "model" of mind and that model's central notion of memory and experience being encoded in terms of sensory information. Although anchoring is widely and consistently taught by many trainers it is actually peripheral to NLP: it is content (a "pattern") and its teaching or explanation doesn't communicate anything of what distinguishes NLP. flavius 22:56, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Anchoring is a different feast to Pavlovian conditioning --- each has its own unique criteria and the use is also unique. I'll provide page numbers as evidence. --Comaze 10:15, 10 January 2006 (UTC)  ::::Anchoring is a different feast to Pavlovian conditioning --- each has its own unique criteria and the use is also unique. I'll provide page numbers as evidence. --Comaze 10:15, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
In its basic form anchoring is a form of classical conditioning and B&G concede that much (see page 84 of Frogs). The more fanciful "enhancements" of anchoring such as "sliding anchors", "stacking anchors" and "collapsing anchors", I agree are not classical conditioning they are rituals just like the "Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram"[62]. flavius 08:18, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, we cannot include every ritual NLP has. BAGEL is the core tennet according to the main group of developers and according to the scientists who measured it. HeadleyDown 02:19, 10 January 2006 (UTC) Yes, we cannot include every ritual NLP has. BAGEL is the core tennet according to the main group of developers and according to the scientists who measured it. HeadleyDown 02:19, 10 January 2006 (UTC) [63]

"Mindless NLP drone"

Dejakitty, it is undisputable that you've contributed nothing to the article or the discussion that precedes the article. You are a trivial distraction attempting to spread your "brainwashing" to others with the usual banal NLP psycho-cult agitprop that I've heard and read many times before. That you are a mindless NLP drone is evident in the banality that you offer in defence of NLP -- you mouth the same words as the NLP herd, you have no mind of your own. Structurally, your behaviour is indistinguishable from that of Scientologists, only the specific details differ. Also none of your bullshit NLP persuasion and rapport skills will work here, they only work in seminars and amongst the NLP herd that is willing to participate in the idiotic ritual. Like all NLP zealots -- despite your self-delusions about magically changing beliefs and persuading -- you couldn't shift a belief or persuade someone if your life depended on it. Who of any of the pro-NLP editors have demonstrated "exquisite communication skills", "belief changing linguistic wizardry" or "power persuasion"? Comaze? GregA? FT2? You? The distinguishing trait of all of the pro-NLP editors thus far is insipidity of intellect and of writing. Unable to make your "patterns" work like they do in seminars you -- and your cohorts -- resort to evasion or plainly malicious and devious conduct. Your involvement will not "push this page forward". Rather, it will drag it down. If you want to advance the NLP article then go away. flavius 14:41, 12 January 2006 (UTC) [64]

Is NLP pseudoscience?

Comaze, you are mis-representing a fundamental tenet of NLP. The NLP conception of behaviour admits of no biological or genetic factors. Bandler has stated in at least one seminar that I've heard that even schizophrenia is learnt, that schizophrenics nuerochemistry is aberrant because their thinking causes them to produce "those chemicals". In the same seminar Bandler claims that he cured schizophrenics through dialysis, that the dialysis unit removed the "toxic chemicals" from the blood of the schizophrenic thereby effecting a cure. Bandler added that the relapses are due to persistent thinking patterns that produce the "toxic chemicals" (IIRC this was at one of the Indian seminars that he did in the 1990s.) There is nowhere in the NLP "model" to place biological and genetic influences upon behaviour. It is an NLP dogma that all behaviour is learnt. Propagating this dogma has immense pecuniary value in that NLP proponents can attract desperate people. Also it is utter bullshit that if someone can do something then anyone can learn it and it is not merely presented as a useful belief, it is presented by Bandler and Grinder as factual. AFAIK the only cognitive function that has been demonstrated to be localised within a region of the brain is language. There is no evidence that I am aware of for any other localisation of function. How do you use contralateralization? Grinder and Bostic St Clair live in a hermetically sealed bubble of self-delusion and narcissism into which criticism can not penetrate. Beyerstein is an authority on neuropsychology and Levelt is an authority on psycholinguistics and linguistics. Have Grinder and Bostic St Clair acknowledged Beyerstein and Levelt's criticisms and answered them? How could this proposed collaboration possibly work given that the consesnus of scientific opinion has judged NLP to be false, ineffective and pseudoscientific? Why would genuine scientists collaborate with pseudoscientists? On the one hand Bandler and Grinder contend that bodies of knowledge and experts that dispute the value and effectiveness of NLP are worthless and that NLP has all the answers (this attitude is evident is Whispering, on the Whispering forum and in Bandler's seminars and interviews) yet they want to be seen to be associated with these bodies of knowledge and experts that they disparage when it suits them. flavius 15:13, 12 January 2006 (UTC) [65]

B&G may not explicitly state that "NLP is a science" (Bandler may have said this in one of his rambling monologues, I'd have to suffer through the CDs and DVDs I haven't yet binned to find out) but NLP has most of the trappings of pseudoscience. No, NLP is indeed not a science but its proponents -- inluding B&G -- pretend that it is scientific. Why do B&G talk about neurology if NLP lacks even the pretence of being scientific (as you are contending)? NLP is competing with scientific disciplines for "mindshare" and "cultural space". B&G present their own theories regarding learning, memory, thinking, mental illness, emotion, consciousness, neurology, motivation, language and perception that are largely inconsistent with the findings of scientific disciplines that cover these domains. If B&G are positing theories in an area that is the province of science then they are preseneting NLP as something scientific. Transformational Grammar is dead and Bateson's double-bind theory of schizophrenia was discredited decades ago. You mention "NLP theory of schizophrenia". NLP then is competing with scientifically based fields (neuropsychiatry, neuropharmacology, genetics, psychiatry) in providing understanding and treatment of schizophrenia. Mental illness treatment is the province of science. Hence NLP is presenting itself as a scientific field. Beyerstein is cited by Tye and Levelt is cited by Drenth. Also Levelt is a monument in psycholinguistics, as the director of the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics his professional opinion counts for much. If Levelt says that NLP is unininformed about linguistics you can be very confident that NLP is uninformed about linguistics. You mention one unanswered paper, I can cite 20 or so unanswered papers. It matters not that certains professionals learn and/or practice NLP. Many professionals -- even psychiatrists -- are Scientologists. What of it? Couldn't we parameterise "we have people from all around the world including those studying psychiatry, cognitive science, golf coaching, business, presentation skills, business management, IT, engineering -- the majority of participants use X as an adjunct to their existing roles in life, based on feedback setting well-formed outcomes was the most useful" and let X be one of {Scientology, Silva Mind Control Method, Huna, Magick, EST, Tensegrity, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Breatharianism, Knowledge (Prem Rawat), Shamanism} and still have a true statement? The vital point is that "feedback [from] setting well-formed outcomes [which] was the most useful" does not count as evidence for efficacy. Subjective report is no basis upon which to make statements about the universe. Your criterion fails to honour the notions of actual efficacy (versus apparent efficacy) and it is unconcerned with truth. Throughout the history of medicine all of the bogus therapies such as blood-letting met your criterion of "feedback [from] setting well-formed outcomes [which] was the most useful" for their practitioners. George Washington was convinced that blood-letting had curative properties (most likely because of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy) else he wouldn't have been such an enthusisatic practitioner and exponent. It was blood-letting that eventually killed Washington. Unfortunately for Washington the universe was indifferent to his subjective assessments of utility. flavius 02:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC) [66]

I told you to go away, Dejakitty. Your asinine post above demonstrates that you should have followed my suggestion. The more you write the more credibility you lose. You've managed to confirm my assessment of the NLP-proponents thus far as intellectually insipid. Have you decided to fill the now vacant position of the "Aaron Kulkis Chair of Solipsistic Inquiry"? Aaron did heaps towards advancing the interest of NLP didn't he? Also, for your education "NLP practice and principles are completely wrong, then NLP presuppositions are completely wrong" is an assertion. You haven't demonstrated that this is the case. If that is your conclusion then you will need to supply the premises:

P1 "NLP practice and principles are completely wrong"
P2
P3
...
Pn
C "NLP presuppositions are completely wrong"

No-one actually stated that "NLP practice and principles are completely wrong". What has been stated is that when NLP practice has been tested it has been found to be largely ineffective, that there is no evidence to support the claims of the efficacy of NLP and that NLP theory is inconsistent with understandings obtained from neurology, psychiatry, genetics, linguistics, psycholinguistics, social psychology, cognitive psychology and psychopathology. It is logically possible for NLP patterns/practice to be ineffective and the presuppositions to be true and it is also logically possible that the NLP patterns/practice to be true and the presuppositions to be false. The two can be refuted independently of each other. You appear to lack basic clear-thinking skills and your English composition skills are appalling. As a persuader you suck because you can't formulate a sound argument and your ill-formed arguments are poorly presented. For example, "This is what I think given that NLP is completely wrong. Since dejakitty is completely wrong, so it is wrong for dejakitty to say NLP is completely wrong". Even if it were true that "NLP is completely wrong" it is not possible to deduce from that premise that "dejakitty is completely wrong". This is the structure of your reasoning:

P1. X is A. "...given that NLP is completely wrong"
C. Y is A. "Since dejakitty is completely wrong"
P1. Y is A "...dejakitty is completely wrong"
C. Z is A "...it is wrong for dejakitty to say NLP is completely wrong"

These aren't arguments they are just assertions. A deductive argument needs at least two premises and the two premises must overlap in subject, eg.

P1. An inability to reason effectively is a trait of gullible people.
P2. Dejakitty is unable to reason effectively.
C. Dejakitty is a gullible person.

Most of your post is ungrammatical to the point of being unparseable and incomprehensible: 'Therefore this is just dejakitty's completely weak attempt brainwashing HeadleyDown, Flavius to response back with keywords like scientology, brainwash, NLP-fanatics, go-away, pseudoscience, devious conduct, zealots, mindless drone etc, since it is wrong to say that "You are in charge of your mind and therefore your results."' Exquisite communication. Also, since when did behavioral flexibility entail believing unsubstantiated claims? flavius 03:37, 13 January 2006 (UTC) [67]

NLP use by professionals

Comaze, I would like to put this issue to bed (forever) so I'll respond to each of your points.

There are published POVs (including in PubMed) that back up the view that people use NLP as an adjunct to their existing qualifications and businesses.

So what? Since when was the point that people (attempt to) use NLP ever in contention? Similarly, when and where was it disputed that various (misguided) professionals (attempt to) use NLP in the context of their professions? What does this prove? Are you suggesting that because Mr Salesman claims that his success is due to NLP does that establish the efficacy of NLP? When John Travolta tells us "I have been a successful actor for more than twenty years and Scientology has played a major role in that success. I have a wonderful child and a great marriage because I apply L. Ron Hubbard’s technology to this area of my life" [68] does this count as evidence that Dianetics works and that Scientology is a life-enhancing "technology"? Is it not possible that John Travolta is mistaken or that he is delusional?

My personal experiences with NLP are opinion and my comment was stated as such -- It was not presented as fact so I don't appreicate you accusing me of logical fallacy -- I know the difference.

Your thinking on this matter is entirely unclear, you are guilty of numerous failings of reasoning:

  1. You repeatedly attempt to minimise the relevance of criticisim by arbitrarily narrowing the scope of NLP on an ad hoc basis. When something looks really bad for NLP you claim that the criticised aspect isn't really NLP.
  2. You blindly repeat the bloviations of Grinder regarding the alleged intellectual antecedents of NLP without being able to demonstrate a substantive connection between NLP and automata theory, genetic algorithms, Russell's Theory of Types etc. When pressed on this matter you conveniently ignore the promptings.
  3. You ignore that numerous aspects of NLP have been throughly discredited: Bateson's "double-bind" theory of schizophrenia, TG, eye accessing cues, PRS, human mind as tabula rasa, (all) mental illness as learnt etc.
  4. You mouth Grinders (naive) pontifications about epistemology without understanding what you are parroting or the implications of what you are parroting. Even if NLP were based on "cybernetic epistemology" and fictionalism was sound the burden of rigorous empirical testing remains. "NLP can cure depression" is a falsifiable and testable hypothesis. Whether NLP can or can't cure depression is a statement about the universe. The best method devised for testing hypothesis about the universe is the scientific method. Irrespective of how the NLP treatment for depression was arrived we still have the problem of "Does NLP work better than placebo in treating depression?". There is no escaping this problem.
I personally have no interest in therapy, spirituality, mysticism, religion or cults. I have a great deal of interest in logic and mathematics.

You may have a great deal of interest in logic and mathematics but you apparently have little understanding. Russell's theory of types is dead, you don't appear to understand inferential statistics or inductive logic.

In this discussion my interest in NLP is purely from a Neutral Point of View.

No, it definitely isn't NPOV. You are a promoter and advocate and you have a zeal that is almost religious. NLP is basically a "snake oil" business. The advocacy that you are engaged in is especially unethical because NLP isn't free, it costs big bucks. Not only is their insuffcient evidence of the efficacy of NLP there is substantial evidence that it doesn't work. It is unethical to charge people AU$100.00/hour for treatment that doesn't work or AU$5000.00 for a melange of ritual, pop-psychology, brain myths, B-grade philosophy and anecdotes.

I'll check out Drenth and Levelt, but initial keyword search of the Beyerstein refs shows no results for NLP or neurolinguistic programming. Does Beyerstein actually research NLP, if so, do you have the paper? If the only connection to Beyerstein is via Drenth, then it needs to be presented in the article in this manner.

That you haven't investigated Drenth or Levelt yet is indicative of your bad faith, they have been in the article for months. Beyerstein is a physiological psychologist and psychopharmacologist and he pans NLP in his paper Beyerstein, B.L. (1990). Brainscams: Neuromythologies of the new age. International Journal of Mental Health, 19, 27-36. Beyerstein is cited by Drenth (IIRC) and Tye. Levelt also shit-canned NLP. What is your response? Are Beyerstein and Levelt ignorant dickheads that don't know what they are talking about? Does Grinder know more about psycholinguistics than Levelt (an acknowledged worldwide authority on the subject)? Does Grinder know more about Beyerstein (a recognised expert on the biological bases of behaviour)? The whole world is wrong expect Grinder, Malloy and Tossey?

Let's enforce some academic standards here. The infighting is sounds like what is happening between various factions in psychology -- some psychology factions want adopt methods of hard science -- good luck.

Are you suggesting that human behavior can't be studied experimentally? If you are then you have a "tough brief". Social psychology has yielded many useful and valid results using an experimental approach. Are you familiar with at least the classical papers in social psychology such as Milgram (1963), Darley & Latané (1968), Nisbett & Bellows (1977), Festinger & Carlsmith (1959)? There is contention within psychology (in some areas) and psycho-cults prosper because we know very little about the brain. NLP is parasitic on our (comparative) ignorance regarding the brain. Physics -- the field that defines "hard science" -- was once a branch of philosophy. During this pre-mathematical and pre-experimental phase there was much dispute amongst "natural philosophers" about the fundamental concepts in introductory physics. It was not the nature of the subject matter that produced this contention it was instead the ignorance of the physicists of the time. The hypotheses of eccentrics versus epicycles is no longer an issue of contention amongst astronomers, chemists no longer argue about "phlogiston", and physicians are no divided about the role of the heart. This is the pattern in the history of science. The psychology of the future will be much more biological in orientation than it currently is, it will be better informed about neurophysiology and genetics. Also, you are overstating the division within psychology and misunderstanding th trends within psychology. I don't know of a University in Australia whose department of psychology doesn't teach experimental psychology. Furthermore, all of the psychology departments are heavily influenced by physiology. The trend in psychology is towards biological psychology. Psychology syllabi are throughly infused with statistical methods and research design (it is impossible to get a major in psychology without studying statistics). Psychology has rid itself of its pseudoscientific heritage -- psychoanalysis (Freud) and analytical psychology (Jung) are pretty much dead. There are no major debates about method within psychology. Modern psychology is experimental psychology. flavius 11:07, 13 January 2006 (UTC) [69]

What was "Occum's Razor"?

I concur with flavius. If you don't have multiple citations for each assertion the case against NLP will look weak and will create an impression of inconclusiveness. QED. It's a bit shakey how many of the citations will actually make the notability grade all by themselves. If we were to apply Occums Razor to conclusions based on simple citation standards we'd end up having to rewrite the entire article proclaiming the inconclusiveness of skeptic concerns. Perhaps we'd even have to concede skepticism to a smaller section of the article? Again... QED. Peace. Metta Bubble 05:42, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

If there are citations to substantiate a statement it is not an assertion it is a conclusion. I don't think you know what Occam's Razor is. Occam's Razor is the principle of parsimony, it is concerned with choosing explanations. The idea of applying Occam's Razor "to conclusions based on simple citation standards" is literally meaningless. Q.E.D. is an acronym for "quod erat demonstrandum". You haven't demonstrated anything other than your ignorance. Tacking QED onto your assertions (yes assertions not conclusions) doesn't substantiate them, only argument and evidence can do that. By what idiot logic did you arrive at the statement that "we'd end up having to rewrite the entire article proclaiming the inconclusiveness of skeptic concerns"? Did "Occums Razor" (sic) take you there? Occums Razor must be different then from Occam's Razor. Is Occums Razor the principle of promoting pseudoscience by deleting critical references? QED. Peace. Occums Razor. flavius 11:28, 13 January 2006 (UTC) [70]

What is a 'model'?

In the section Foundational Assumptions I can see the clear academic sourcing for the statement " person's experience of the world is processed and organized in terms of the five senses". The trouble is, in modern science, even the most basic models of human beings assume at least nine senses -- and some more than 20. Might this be worth a minor change? See Senses.

Coricus 18:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Coricus, that's a good point but the section is intended to provide a non-normative account of NLPs foundational assumption. All of the NLP literature and seminars that I have experienced identify only five senses. The submodality lists provided at most NLP seminars are divided into visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory and the emphasis is generally on the first three. I've yet to encounter otherwise. In terms of providing an accurate account of NLPs position the assumption is correct. In terms of modern science it is plainly wrong. My guess would be that a NLPer would reduce all of the other senses into kinesthetic submodalities. In any event, most of the assumptions are either logically and/or empirically questionable, the unsoundness is not confined to that one principle you have identified. We can't say this as this would be OR, we are obliged to source an expert that specifically critiques the NLP foundational assumptions. If you can find an expert statement that specifically challenges this foundational assumption of NLP then we can add this as a further criticism of NLP. NLP is much more flawed in its detail than the NLP-specific research indicates (on both conceptual and empirical grounds) but because the scientific research into NLP stopped in the 1990s and because Wikipedia policy specifically prohibits OR much of the criticism -- derived from discoveries in neurology, psychiatry, psychology, genetics and psycholinguitsics -- will have to go unstated until an expert covers the matter (which is unlikely since NLP is considered dead and discredited anyway). flavius 23:00, 15 January 2006 (UTC) [71]

When it comes down to it, isn't NLP just another model? --jVirus 23:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

The term "model" is ambiguous in conventional English usage. In science the term model finds two common uses: (a) to describe a hypothesis that has been demonstrated to be true under a well-defined set of circumstances eg. Hooke's Law of Elasticity is in fact a model because it holds for only some materials under certain loading conditions; and (b) a simulation (in software, sets of equations, in miniature etc), eg. an albegraic epidemological model of the spread of HIV. NLP meets neither definition. Calling NLP a model elevates it epistemologically beyond where it should be (determined with reference to explanatory power, predictive power and efficacy). NLP is a hodge-podege of conjecture, speculation, mysticism, obscurantism, outdated and/or oversimplified science and ritual. flavius 00:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC) [72]

"TG has developed through a number of versions, each succeeding the other. In his 1957 book Syntactic Structures, Chomsky provided only a partial sketch of a very simple type of transformational grammar. This proved to be inadequate, and, in his 1965 book Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Chomsky proposed a very different, and much more complete, version. This version is variously known as the Aspects model or as the Standard Theory. All textbooks of TG published before 1980 (and a few of those published more recently) present what is essentially the Standard Theory, sometimes with a few additions from later work. Around 1968 the Standard Theory came under attack from a group of younger linguists who hoped to equate deep structure, previously a purely syntactic level of representation, with the semantic structure of a sentence (its meaning). This programme, called Generative Semantics, led to the positing of ever more abstract underlying structures for sentences; it proved unworkable, and it finally collapsed. Around the same time, two mathematical linguists demonstrated that standard TG was so enormously powerful that it could, in principle, describe anything which could be described at all—a potentially catastrophic result, since the whole point of a theory of grammar is to tell us what is possible in languages and what is not possible. Yet these Peters—Ritchie results suggested that TG was placing no constraints at all on what the grammar of a human language could be like. Chomsky responded to all this in the early 1970s by introducing a number of changes to his framework; the result became known as the Extended Standard Theory, or EST. By the late 1970s further changes had led to a radically different version dubbed the Revised Extended Standard Theory, or REST. Among the major innovations of the REST were the introduction of traces, invisible flags marking the former positions of elements which had been moved, a reduction in the number of distinct transformations from dozens to just two, and a switch of attention away from the transformations themselves to the constraints which applied to them. But Chomsky continued to develop his ideas, and in 1981 he published Lectures on Government and Binding; this book swept away much of the apparatus of the earlier transformational theories in favour of a dramatically different, and far more complex, approach called Government-andBinding Theory, or GB. GB retains exactly one transformation, and, in spite of the obvious continuity between the new framework and its predecessors, the name 'transformational grammar' is not usually applied to GB or to its even more recent successor, the Minimalist Programme. Hence, for purposes of linguistic research, transformational grammar may now be regarded as dead, though its influence has been enormous, and its successors are maximally prominent. (from pp. 320-1 Trask, R. L. (1999) Key Concepts in Language and Linguistics, Routledge)

See also "My carefully considered and well earned aversion to Noam Chomsky"[73] and [74] flavius 13:48, 16 January 2006 (UTC) [75]

Avoid personal remarks Flavius. Please take care to avoid personal attacks against Wikipedia users -- in reference to your comments:

"Again you are parading your ignorance." [7] "... you would like to pretend ..." [8] "Your notion of argument is aberrant. You are typing gibberish." [9] "[your argument] betrays a lack of interest in how things actually are." [10] Peace. Metta Bubble 01:11, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Cynicism. flavius 05:05, 17 January 2006 (UTC) [76]

NLP featured article candidate

FEATURED ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Experts on NLP

Comaze, I think you're being mischevious (again). Edwards' position is widely held, for this reason it is not necessary (and misleding) to attribute it specifically to him. It is apparent that you are attempting to create the illusion of isolation and idiosyncracy, painting Edwards' view as the lonely voice of a eccentric contrarian. As HeadleyDown correctly points out, that view is shared by many experts, it is the consensus view. We don't need a third party opinion on this. The easy solution (if we are to accept your view that there is a problem) is to rephrase the statement so that it bears no resemblance to Edwards' whilst retaining the content and embellishing it with the numerous references that argue the same point. Clearly, you and GregA are unwilling to accept NLPs status as marginalia in the history of ideas. You and GregA reject all negative expert opinion regarding NLP wholesale. This is fanatical, cultish and irrational behaviour. Yours and GregA's position is fundamentally emotive and disconnected from reality (yes John Grinder there is a reality) that is why your dispute is non-justiciable. It is a matter of fact that a minority of universities and colleges teach NLP. It is a matter of fact that a minority of psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and pastors practice NLP. It is a matter of fact that a minority of all professionals (in all categories) use NLP. It is a matter of fact that a minority of the human population have had training in NLP. It is a matter of fact that most topic experts (psychologists, psychiatrists, linguists, philosophers and neurologists) that have researched NLP have concluded against it. It is a matter of fact that most topic experts (psychologists, psychiatrists, linguists, philosophers and neurologists) have either not heard of NLP or if they have regard it as bunkum. It is a matter of fact that NLP was written off in the early 1990s as not worthy of any further research. It is a matter of fact that NLP often appears amongst a constellation of New Age concerns in trainings, books, therapies and personal interests. NLP is not an "epistemology", it hasn't got anything to do with philosophy, maths or logic, it isn't applied psychology, it isn't science, it isn't art, it isn't craft, it isn't a "bridge between empriricism and rationalism", it isn't the study of subjective experience, it isn't a means of accelerated learning, it isn't the tip of an emerging paradigm shift. It's just a great big steaming pile of Californian New Age, Human Potential horse shit that has become big business. flavius 03:40, 27 January 2006 (UTC) [77]

Dianetics and NLP

The above article text mentioned by Akulkis does not seem too problematic to me, as the engram is much different in NLP than in neurology. The Scientology associations do seem a little over the top. The research and reviews alone will do here, and we have plenty of them. BTW, lets try to avoid personal attacks, even against other people who use them.Voice of AllT|@|ESP 13:14, 30 January 2006 (UTC) (UTC)

Should we remove the unnecessary repeats of Dianetics/scientology? --Comaze 00:59, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Hold your horses. I'm currently (re-)reading Dianetics and you'll be suprised about the similarities between Dianetics and NLP. Dianetics contains an explicit understanding of sensorially encoded memory, the characteristics of those encodings in terms of their sense-specific qualities (ie. submodalities), "reverie" (i.e. light trance), the notion of a "time track" (not unlike the NLP time line), an explicit appeal to instrumentalist epistemology, an explicit understanding of associated/dissociated memory, it's replete with IT metaphors and jargon (just like NLP) and the auditing process itself bears numerous similarites to VK dissociation, Time Line Therapy, submodality attenuation and collapsing anchors. Lee Lady conjectures the role of CoS as a template for B&G:

For a while, Bandler and Grinder thought that they could turn NLP into a product which could be promoted to the general public for a lot of money. I'm sure that they must have had the examples of L. Ron Hubbard and Werner Erhard in mind. (You have to remember that at this point they had no academic position and were living on the edge of poverty. But of course this sort of attitude certainly didn't endear them to the academic world.)[78]

Lady's conjecture is not unusual. Hubbard and Erhardt served as pioneers for the New Age/Human Potential industry. It was my intention to detail these many parallels in this subsection of the discussion page in an effeort to put the myth that NLP has nothing to do with Dianetics to bed. flavius 02:00, 31 January 2006 (UTC) [79]

New Paper Published in Peer-Reviewed Highly Regarded Journal Critical of NLP

Devilly, Grant J. (2005) "Power Therapies and possible threats to the science of psychology and psychiatry". Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2005; 39:437-445

ABSTRACT

Objective: Advocates of new therapies frequently make bold claims regarding therapeutic effectiveness, particularly in response to disorders which have been traditionally treatment-refractory. This paper reviews a collection of new therapies collectively self-termed 'The Power Therapies', outlining their proposed procedures and the evidence for and against their use. These therapies are then put to the test for pseudoscientific practice.

Method: Therapies were included which self-describe themselves as 'Power Therapies'. Published work searches were conducted on each therapy using Medline and PsychInfo databases for randomized controlled trials assessing their efficacy, except for the case of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has more randomized controlled studies conducted on its efficacy than any other treatment for trauma and thus, previous meta-analyses were evaluated.

Results and conclusions: It is concluded that these new therapies have offered no new scientifically valid theories of action, show only non-specific efficacy, show no evidence that they offer substantive improvements to extant psychiatric care, yet display many characteristics consistent with pseudoscience.

This paper is significant for several reasons:

  1. It represents an answer to Figley's hyperbole on his Traumatic Stress Forum.
  2. The existing criticisms and conclusions regarding NLP are re-iterated (this convergence is important in evaluating earlier research -- pro and con).
  3. NLP is characterised as pseudoscience and essentially a commercial venture.
  4. NLP's status as settled and not worthy of further research is reiterated and it is demonstrated that research has shifted towards the newer "Power Therapies" (EFT, TFT, EMDR, TAT and TIR), which are incidentally advocated and practised by many NLPers.
  5. It is concerned with efficacy, i.e. NLP (and the other Power Therapies) are assessed on their own terms.
  6. It is recent.
  7. It is in a mainstream professional journal.

This vindicates the position of the critical camp (myself, HeadleyDown, Camridge, DaveRight et al) and it shows the position of Comaze and GreagA to be untenable and fundamentally disocciated from reality.

This vindication should have an emboldening and encouraging effect on those that have struggled against the relentless spray of propaganda and the surreal "alternate world landscaping" efforts of GregA and Comaze on behalf of Inspiritive [80] and Grinder.

I will re-read the paper and add the paper as a reference.

PS:- For your amusement see [81]. It's telling of the status enjoyed by the "Power Therapies" (including NLP) that they are being lampooned in this manner. flavius 15:14, 31 January 2006 (UTC) [82]

Headly, please stop trying to dominate this talk page. Your last several edits have been demanding and confrontational, and ignoring users with differing opinions does nothing to help the further development of this page. Please try to edit constructively and join this mediation, for the good of the article. Swatjester 01:44, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I will not dominate. Science WILL. HeadleyDown 02:47, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Swatjester, this isn't a matter of aesthetics, we're not arguing about the "greatest band in the world". NLP makes specific claims about learning, memory, cognition, mental illness and neurology. These aren't unclaimed subject domains that are up for grabs. Scientific method is the best method that we have for learning about the universe and its inhabitants and scientific knowledge is the most accurate knowledge we have about the universe and its inhabitants (with regards to non-religious and non-ethical concerns). Until science is displaced by NLP as the means for investigating reality then the scientific view should prevail. This is non-negotiable. NLP is not peer of science and whereas science has a well-established method of inquiry, NLPs is entirely conjectural and because of the invalidity of the techniques it has generated most likely flawed. We're not going to be served a plate of shit and told its a delicious chicken dinner. flavius 04:13, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm not getting into the specifics of NLP, because I don't know, and I don't care. But we have to conform with NPOV, and right now it's not happening. Domination of this article will lead only to revert wars like the one that got this page locked. This is what we're trying to avoid here. Instead of being defensive, we need to be constructive and reach a compromise here. Swatjester 04:31, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Oi mate! Swatjester I don't believe you have been here long enough to know. Headley is not dictating. He has consistently been the most cooperative, constructive, anti-propaganda editor on this article. He seems to be enforcing the "spirit" of NPOV policy better than you. The nonpromotional editors are constructive and cooperative. Now we have gained your attention, I think it is time to continue improving the article from its already advanced form - With NLP fanatics under a tighter state of apprehension. DaveRight 04:42, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Swatjester, NPOV conformity doesn't entail passing bullshit off as fact and privileging pseudocience such that it speaks as loud as science in the article. If it did then the half of the Earth article would be devoted to flat-earth theory. flavius 05:21, 6 February 2006 (UTC) [83]

F1/F2 transforms

Comaze, I find your list of items disheartening in that my efforts towards educating you -- privately and publicly -- have been in vain.

  • Your first and fourth items are inconsistent and you inadvertantly demonstrate that there is no NLP "mainstream". The notions of "first access", "F1/F2 transforms" occur only in the writings and seminars of Grinder and his disciples. Google scholar is only an indicator of how frequently a text is referenced by other texts it doesn't indicate credibility or authority.
  • The "acaedmic journals" and "highly-cited works" demolish NLP and you've been attempting to censor these references from the outset.
  • There is a plain connection between NLP and Dianetics and the engram concept does appear in NLP literature. Hence their inclusion is justified.
  • Combining "Classic Code" jargon with "New Code" jargon will confuse people that come to the article with no prior knowledge of NLP.
  • I don't think that the internecine conflicts of pseudoscients are worthy of inclusion within the article. Bandler contends on his nlpmp3.com interview that he is the one and only source of NLP knowledge. Shall we include this also? The arguments between pseudoscientists are gibberish and its inevitable that they will be at each other's throats because they're all crap merchants competing for clients.
  • Grouping "similar critics" isn't a conventional way to present expert opinion and some experts present multiple varied criticisms. Criticism should be grouped by theme not the background of the critic. There is no sense in grouping according to your arbitary categories.
  • I don't support confining criticism to sub-sections because this would open up a space for zealots to write advertising copy for NLP.
  • The criticism pertains to those aspects of NLP that all schools share in common. There is no element that has been shown to be flawed that has been discarded. They all teach eye-accessing cues and PRS and matching and mirroring and there is no support for any of these techniques and principles.
  • The response in Whispering mis-represents the research. Grinder claims that half of the research is supportive of eye accessing cues and half is non-supportive: "Indeed, eye movements have been the subject of dozens of Master's and Doctoral studies in US and European universities over the last quarter of a century. Given the failure on the part of the researchers' to appreciate the methodological point we are developing here, these studies are typically flawed with about half of them demonstrating the validity of the eye movements and about half suggesting that there is no such pattern" (Ch. 3, Pt. I). This is a lie. Sharply (1984) states that "although there are several specific findings that provide support for NLP, the majority are either nonsupportive (17/29) or uncertainn (3/29), with only nine of these findings (i.e., less than one third) in support of NLP on this issue of PRS and its use" (p.246) Grinder's response also betrays a profound ignorance of inferential statistics and scientific method. For reasons of moral turpitude, misinformation, and pedagogy Grinder and St Clair's "response" should not be included. NLP survives in an atmosphere of lies and deceit -- the role of Wikipedia is not to maintain NLP by sustaining the lies. For the sake of the integrity of Wikipedia and the moral imperative to not spread lies and deceit I strongly object to the inclusion of Grinder's "response".
  • This epistemology stuff from Grinder is sophistry. flavius 13:54, 9 February 2006 (UTC) [84]

"Principles of NLP" argument

The raison d'etre of this article is to subvert editorial efforts towards NPOV and scientific rigour. The content of the article overlaps with the NLP article -- minus any critical opinion -- and it is not far removed from an instructional manual on NLP. The sprawling NLP sub-articles should be pruned back. Despite marketing propaganda that suggests otherwise, NLP is simple and it can be covered in one article. NLP isn't an academic subject, it's a commercial product and it has been discredited by scientific experimentation and review. Hence there should be no NLP project. flavius 09:44, 13 February 2006 (UTC) [85]

I had a look over the articles subsumed by the NLP Wikiproject[86] and the project is out of control. The constituent articles are biased, promotional and reminiscent of the content of alt.psychology.nlp. They are distinctively unencyclopedia and should all be deleted. flavius 09:56, 13 February 2006 (UTC) [87]

Consider the article Double_bind. It alone sets schizophrenia public education back 50 years. It fails to mention that Bateson's so-called "double-bind" theory of schizophrenia was thoroughly discredited more than 20 years ago. Although we have much to learn about schizophrenia we know much more about the illness than when Bateson contrived his theory. I repeat -- these articles should be deleted. flavius 10:08, 13 February 2006 (UTC) [88]

Review Anchor_(NLP). Look at the evidence supplied for the efficacy of anchoring: an article which relays hearsay evidence. Please. These articles are unsubstantiated -- compare the copious referencing in the main NLP article with these articles. flavius 10:16, 13 February 2006 (UTC) [89]

How about this one Life_line? Does an article get worse than this? It's just New age mumbo-jumbo. flavius 10:18, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

NLP vs religion

Matabubble. Your analogy is incomprehensible unless you are proposing that NLP is a religion. Given that NLP makes claims and posits explanations regarding learning, memory, thinking, mental illness, motivation, neurology and physiology its "domain" (as you put it) is the same as that of science. NLP is offering competing theories and therapies to established scientific disciplines. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is exclusively concerned with theology, it is entirely a religious matter and is hence entirely outside of the scope of scientific inquiry. During the 14th century when the Roman Church did stray outside its proper domain of discourse and opine on matters of astronomy and medicine -- subjects of science -- it was plainly in error. The Roman Catholic Church was not offering a legitimate Christian perspective on astronomy or medicine. What the NLP industry is doing is akin to the medieval Christian Church competing with science on matters outside of its authority. If your reasoning were sound then it would be sensible to discuss phrenology, treappaning, blood-letting and powdered mummy as if they were effective forms of diagnosis and therapy and couch any criticism exclusively in terms of "A scientific perspective of Phrenology...". No such thing occurs, a plurarlity of views concerning the validity of phrenology or the efficacy of powdered mummy as a panacea is not possible since these are issues that can be resolved with empirical investigation and they either work or they don't work.

Any hypothesis that is falsifiable is amenable to scientific testing. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not a falsifiable hypothesis -- we can not define a priori what conditions would demonstrate its falsity. Such is not the case with PRS, eye accessing cues, matching, mirroring, persuasion, embedded commands, indirect suggestiion, fast phobia cure, VK dissociation, anchoring and reframing. All of these aspects of NLP contain implicit and falsifiable hypotheses. Hence a scientific perspective is the most authoritative perspective on these topics. The onus is on you to demonstrate that NLP is sui generis and hence incapable of investigation employing well-proven methods. I see no such justification. You have done nothing more than asserted that NLP is somehow beyond the realm of scientific inquiry. A prima facie disproval of your contention comes in the form of the extant scientific research into NLP. Furthermore, these papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The review process would have flushed out any issues of misapplication of paradigm or methodological error. The only peer criticism regarding any of the NLP research came in the form of one solitary paper in response to Sharpley (1984). Sharpley rebutted all of the criticisms presented by Einspruch. You are attempting to evade the negative conclusions regarding NLP in a most philosophically naive fashion. You are obliged -- by Wikipedia principles -- to present evidence that the scientific scrutiny of NLP is inappropriate -- your assertions are insufficient. I know of no such evidence and you have presented none.

Experimental psychologists do in fact study subjective experience -- their method is distinguished from any NLP approach in that it is objective. Subjective experince can and is studied objectively. What then is it that makes NLP sui generis and hence beyond scientific examination? More importantly from a Wikipedia perspective -- because we are not free to perform OR or include unverifiable material -- who is it that presents a cogent argument and evidence that all of the scientific research into NLP is invalid? Who is it that demonstrates that NLP is not amenable to scientific investigation? flavius 02:14, 14 February 2006 (UTC) [90]

Headley. I copncur with your concerns and add my concerns. I'm especially concerned with the misinformation contained in the articles regarding the nature of science and the treatment of mental illness that runs counter to fact and government and non-government advocacy campaigns that have been run in most of the English-speaking world over the last decade. In Australia, the Federal and State governments have spent much public funds on advocacy campaigns aimed at encouraging young people (especially girls) to study science and engineering. There is a science museum in the state in which I live that aims to motivate children to become interested and excited about science. The post-modern assertion -- besides being mere assertion -- that there are a plurality of truths and a plurality of sciences, i.e. that truth and fact are socially contructed is socially harmful, in that it discourages the study of science by young people and is mind destroying. There have been many government and non-government campaigns aimed at educating the general public about depression and schizophrenia and the Schizophrenia Fellowship (now called the Mental Health Fellowship) ran several campaigns aimed at dispelling the myths surrounding Schizophrenia. Bateson's double-bind theory of schizophrenia is a myth, it has been disproven (I can supply references). Like Hubbard, Bateson aims to blame schizophrenia on bad parenting: contradictory communications instead of attempted abortions using coat hangers. I implore the mediators, mentors and arbitrators to delete these sprawling -- largely unwatched -- sub-articles. If this be too aggressive a request then please insist on substantiation from verifiable sources. Wikipedia shouldn't be promoting pseudoscience in connection with mental illness, an issue already associated with myths and stigma and it shouldn't be denigrating science -- the engine of the largest economies -- by spreading post-modern nonsense about the topic. flavius 02:47, 14 February 2006 (UTC) [91]

"Wikipedia talk pages are not for long, rambling debates over issues in the abstract"

Please focus on discussing specifics of article content. Wikipedia talk pages are not for long, rambling debates over issues in the abstract. · Katefan0(scribble)/poll 03:08, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Katefan0. I am focussing on the specifics of the article content -- the issue at hand is the relevance of scientific literature to the sprawling NLP articles. Exchanging assertions will not achieve anything. Is that what you are advocating in the name of specificity? I fail to see how a technical matter can be answered without recourse to explanation. Given that I specifically mention a catalogue of NLP techniques and two researchers I'm struggling to comprehend where the specificity and concreteness is lacking in my response. The false analogy between theology and NLP required answering since this was the justification for the exclusion of relevant literature. Would you have preferred, "No it isn't" as a response? Headley and I have raised several substantive issues concerning evidence or the lack thereof provided for the claims in the NLP articles. I'm at a loss how to understand how perfunctory chastisement -- which a bot can be programmed to perform -- will resolve the matters of contention or produce a worthwhile article. flavius 05:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

It's simple. If you aren't using this talk page to directly discuss proposed changes (or recent changes) to the article itself, then you aren't using this talk page correctly. Focus on the article itself. If you'd like to discuss whether it is proper to include a discrete source, go ahead. But the abstract ideas need to stop. I've also refactored some of your comments. Please be more careful how you address other editors going forward. · Katefan0(scribble)/poll 11:48, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

That would be my point as well. Focus on the article. Since my mentorship began, the main problem I've seen here and on the other NLP related articles is that again, we're not looking for a discussion about the merits of NLP here. We want to make a good Wikipedia article. Long, rambling looks at what NLP means isn't our purpose. If you want to have that kind of discussion, I'd recommend a message board, not an encyclopedia. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 13:58, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

"Your revulsion towards "abstract ideas" is your problem, not mine"

Katefan0 and Woohookitty. I can't say that I understand what you are trying to tell me and I suspect that it may be incomprehensible. You assert, "If you aren't using this talk page to directly discuss proposed changes (or recent changes) to the article itself, then you aren't using this talk page correctly". Isn't requesting the deletion of the articles or requesting that at least substantiating the claims contained therein doing just that? I am addressing the concern of preparing a "good Wikipedia article". Verifiability of content is a pillar of Wikpipedia. I have pointed out where this is lacking in the "NLP Project". Your revulsion towards "abstract ideas" is your problem, not mine. Justification and rebuttal will often entail use of "abstract ideas". Perhaps neither of you are suited for mediation, arbitration and mentorship regarding the article? flavius 08:29, 15 February 2006 (UTC) [92]

You have been blocked for an hour

Please be civil

For this comment. PLEASE be civil. If you have a problem with how we are doing things, then email us privately and we'll deal with it. We're not perfect. But paragraph long attacks against anyone including the mentors will not be tolerated. Heed Camridge's advice. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:46, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

And I am not revulsed by abstraction. You are completely misreading the purpose of the mentors here. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:53, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I did restore most of what you said. Criticizing us is ok if you feel like we are not doing something correctly. But some of what you said clearly crossed the line into incivility. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:56, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

You don't even have grasp of the basic points

"We're not perfect". No shit. You don't even have a grasp of the basic points of contention regarding the NLP article. All three of you have a set of generic brand tinned responses that you re-heat and serve up as haute cuisine. Then you have the audacity to become indignant when this is pointed out to you. Clearly you don't understand the technical matters that are germane to the topic of NLP and are either unwilling or unable to adjudicate over the actual points of contention between the editors. In lieu of addressing the real editorial problems you and your buddies have chosen to trade platitudes and cliches and pat each other on the back for your flaccid contributions. Please. flavius 10:11, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi Flavius. Actually, I reckon being blocked is a clear triumph of beurocracy over fact. Never mind the beurocracy, and well done:) But I could do with your input on the article sometime, and the current beurocracy seems to be combatting the more irritating nags of the past to some degree. We are going to have to be quite impersonal about things after all. I'm sure the facts will be the winners here. Cheers Camridge 03:13, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

No, the method I favour has not been tried. I did not state that you don't "understand the concepts involved in NLP". I wrote "You don't even have a grasp of the basic points of contention regarding the NLP article" and that is the crux of the problem of your contribution thus far. Furthermore, none of you have grasped my principal position so I'll repeat it. Nowhere have I asked for or sought a statement as to the truth of the matter or "which side is best" nor have I attempted to arrive at the truth on the discussion page. Most -- perhaps all -- of the contention on the NLP article concerns (a) designating the view that NLP "works" as a minority view and disposing of it as per Wikipedia policy on minority views; (b) the representativenss of the authors critical of NLP as representative of the majority (scientific) view; and (c) the citability of sources on both sides of the divide. These are the core issues that produced the edit wars and these are the issues which you are not helping to resolve. All you've managed to do is slow down the edits. We will then arrive at the same old place but it will just take longer. You three need to indepedently investigate these matters and adjudicate on them. I will attempt to distil the debate (and I am happy if parties from either camp correct me). Note that this has nothing to do with righness and wrongness and truth it is do with a whether a situation meets the terms of certain Wikipedia policies.

Contra NLP

  1. The view that NLP is efficacious and theoretically sound is a minority view not unlike "flat earth" theory. Hence it should be treated in the NLP article and in Wikipedia generally as a minority view.
  2. The scientists cited in the article are representative of the majority view of psychologists, psychiatrists, linguists, neurologists, nueropsychologists and sociologists and hence should be presented as such.
  3. The few (3-5) scientists that do support and promote NLP are a minority, they are espousing a minority view and should be presented as such.
  4. The view that NLP is pseudoscientific, New Age and cult-like is the majority view of psychologists, psychiatrists, linguists, neurologists, neuropsychologists and sociologists and should be presented as such.
  5. The texts cited in criticism of NLP are authroritative and many are peer-reviewed.

Pro NLP The obverse of the above points.

The conflict arises because

  1. The pro-NLP editors are unwilling to have NLP presented as a minority view.
  2. The pro-NLP editors are unwilling to have the view that NLP is ineffective and withour theoretical basis presented as the majority view.
  3. The few scientists that do support NLP and promote its use are too much weight and space relative to their individual (academic) stature and numerical number.
  4. The pro-NLP editors argue that the scathing critiques (eg. from Leelt, Drenth, Carroll, Eisner, Singer) are not majority representative views but are instead the views of a minority of extremists.

The extensive, expansive and heated discussion occured because these psoitions were argued for by each side in an attempt to establish the righness of their position regarding the representativess and authority of the sources not the righness or wrongness of NLP. The bulk of the conflict turns around the application WP:NPOVUW, NPOV:Pseudoscience, and NPOV:Giving "equal validity". The real issues have not been addressed by any mediators, arbitrarors and mentors and addressing these would not be "more of the same". It is well within your remit to adjudicate these matters. Have I explained myself clearly? Do you understand? flavius 03:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC) [93]

NLP is a useful tool if you know how to use it. Some havent learned how to use it or had ineffective teachers and thus blaming it. Before you learn NLP, check if people who have attended a seminar are getting result before signing up to that trainer. I know price can vary, 1 could look really cheap, I recommend paying someone well who is getting results. If at all learn from the creator of it or his well known disciples. Feb 23, 2006(JM)

Can you please add your remarks to the bottom of this section rather than at the top. Something is useful only if it works. NLP doesn't work hence it is not useful. There is no evidence that any aspect of NLP works. I'm not making that up. There is not one randomised control experiment that demonstrates the efficacy of any aspect of NLP. Asking people about "results" is simply obtaining anecdotal evidence. Who cares for anecdotal evidence? Humans have a great capacity for kidding themselves. How would you know that (a) you are getting results; and (b) if you are getting results, that you can attribute those to NLP? The creator. There were two creators Bandler and Grinder. You must be a Bandlerite. I have zero respect for Bandler -- just look at the guy: fat, toothless, diabetic, former cocaine addict, former alcoholic, implicated in murder, bankrupted twice, lost his insane litigations regarding NLP as his intellectual property. Bandler has also fictionalised his biography and been dishonest about his accomplishments. Bandler has a BA in Psychology and Philosophy and an MA in Psychology. He isn't a mathematician or an engineers. I'd rather give my money to be vagrant. flavius 06:13, 25 February 2006 (UTC) [94]

Scott Coleman admits being Comaze

Hello Comaze. Concerning your action on behalf of the interests of the NLP company of the Collingwoods: In an effort to reduce the likelihood of conflict being provoked, and for the sake of continuing the improvement on the NLP workshop article, I have posted a message to KatefanO on this matter. [95]. Camridge 03:50, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

In an email Comaze (Scott Coleman of comaze.com) explained to me that he was "authorised" to speak on behalf of the Collingwoods. Thus Comaze is a mouthpiece and lapdog of the Collingwoods -- the owners of an NLP training and consultancy organisation. flavius 14:08, 25 February 2006 (UTC) [96]
See here for Chris and Jules Collingwood's website [MyWikiBiz].

Flavius gets blocked for 24 hours

If calling someone a "lapdog" isn't uncivil, I don't think anything is

For this. If calling someone a "lapdog" isn't uncivil, I don't think anything is. Please stop. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 01:58, 26 February 2006 (UTC) For this. If calling someone a "lapdog" isn't uncivil, I don't think anything is. Please stop. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 01:58, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

How about sycophant, forelock tugger, or flunky

How about sycophant, forelock tugger, or flunky? Are these acceptable? Also, I'm on my own talk page -- save defamation -- don't I have the choice of adjectives? flavius 04:55, 26 February 2006 (UTC) [97]

The block has now been extended to 48 hours

No. The civility requirements don't end with the NLP article. The block has now been extended to 48 hours for the words you used. If you use more, it'll just be extended further, so I'd suggest that you stop now. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:13, 26 February 2006 (UTC) Surely not! Would marionette or drone be indicative of incivility? At this time I'm unable to think of any other synonyms, similes or anlogies that convey the idea of subservience and sycophancy. Describing a behaviour as sycophantic and subservient isn't necessarily uncivil. Surely, there are behaviours that are sycophantic and subservient and the application of these adjectives to these instances is a matter of fidelity. If I had described Comaze as a shithead, dickhead, arsehole or prick that would be uncivil because these are expletives that mean nothing more than "objectionable person". The phrase arse licker is accurate but that is taboo and uncivil. What about a ventriloquist dummy metaphor? Surely that's not uncivil. The comedic content alone would negate any potential incivility, eg. "Can Chris Collingwood drink a glass of water whilst Scott Coleman (Comaze) counts to 10?", "Can John Grinder drink a glass of water whilst Chris Collingwood counts to 10?". A Pinocchio/Geppetto metaphor would also work but I wouldn't want to imply that anyone was lying about NLP -- heaven forbid. flavius 15:10, 26 February 2006 (UTC) Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Flavius_vanillus"

Yes, it is necessarily uncivil. "Comment on content, not on contributors" is clear and unambiguous direction, given for a very good reason, which you've now blatantly violated several times. Your block is now at a week. · Katefan0(scribble)/poll 15:15, 26 February 2006 (UTC) We'll have to agree to disagree on this matter. I know I should care about the block -- and I have tried to care about it -- but for some reason I don't. flavius 05:47, 27 February 2006 (UTC) Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Flavius_vanillus"

FT2 opens a workshop

boring workshop which no one contributed to

In which flavius complains of advertising in Wikipedia

Please place your commentary at the end of the page in the future. It doesn't only cover his law suits. Also covered is his co-creation of NLP and creation of DHE, NHR and PE. It is contrary to Wikipedia policy to include lins to "[s]ites that primarily exist to sell products or services." WP:EL The external links I have removed are -- with respect to Bandler -- not "pro-his viewpoint", they are advertisements. The seminar reviews I removed are product testimonials -- they are advertisements. There are no negative reviews on that site. Surely, there are people that have walked away from Bandler seminars disappointed (I personally know of several such cases). Where are these negative reviews? Most of the people that "like him" eg. Paul McKenna, Paul Breen, John La Valle, Nick Kemp etc. and write hagiographies are commercial partners, they have a commercial interest in promoting Bandler. My actions are entirely consistent with the article growing in a fair and balanced manner. My concern is with preventing the article from becomng an advertisement for Bandler. Bandler's biography is rather dull and uninteresting -- the only interesting features are his fuck-ups such as his divorce, two declarations of bankruptcy, the split with Grinder, the cocaine habit, the alcoholism, the nutty lawsuits and being tried for the murder of a BDSM hooker. The banality of Bandler's life is most probably why he makes up so much shit about himself -- to make himself sound interesting. Bandler has no life outside of NLP -- it's been his life since university (even his MA was in "Theoretical Psychology"). Grinder -- on the other hand -- was in the Army and he taught linguistics for many years. Bandler's "trainings and work" is his business -- its how he makes money, nothing more. If Bandler had actually made some great discovery (eg. polio vaccine) or achieved some great feat (eg. saving millions of people from hunger) then we'd be able to include it in the article. Unfortunately (for Bandler) his life has been a series of screw-ups and has revolved largely around a few banal ideas that he and Grinder had in the early 1970s. The man himself is a screw-up: he's obese, diabetic and toothless. Can someone that is unable to "master" dental hygiene and diet be sanely represented as an authority on mental and physical health and self-control? flavius 08:44, 15 March 2006 (UTC) [98]

Oversighted block remark

Flavious said something here

Error From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Jump to: navigation, search The database did not find the text of a page that it should have found, named "Talk:Neuro-linguistic programming/Workshop" (Diff: 46437550, 46451011). This is usually caused by following an outdated diff or history link to a page that has been deleted. If this is not the case, you may have found a bug in the software. Please report this to an administrator, making note of the URL. Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Neuro-linguistic_programming/Workshop"

Flavius blocked for 2 weeks

You have been blocked for 2 weeks For this. This is your 6th block, Flavius. Any further disruption is going to lead to an indefinite block. Last chance. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 12:57, 1 April 2006 (UTC) [99]

Flavius: What is wrong with that edit? How is it disruptive? flavius 13:01, 1 April 2006 (UTC) Admin: It is a personal attack from start to finish. I had to remove the entire thing because I couldn't even refactor it to something keepable. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 13:11, 1 April 2006 (UTC) Flavius: The whole thing? Even the bit where I refer to Wikipedia policy? The third point could be construed as a personal attack but the first two aren't. Can you at least reinstate the first two points? flavius 13:38, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

In which Flavius gets banned

On what evidence does Corballis make these claims? ---=-C-=- 08:57, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, it's not your place to "peer review" Corballis. You are not his peer and even if your were your assessment of Corballis and his conclusion is entirely irrelevant. Corballis is a topic expert and that is his conclusion. Quoting Corballis is entirely consistent with all Wikipedia policies -- it is not encumbent on me to defend Corballis or for you to attempt a critique. Mind Myths is a collection of essays published by a large publisher, Corballis is a profesor at the University of Auckland and is an expert in cognitive neuroscience[32]. Corballis has a special interest in brain lateralisation and language evolotion. End of story nothing more need be said.

This isn't a personal attack. Can you tell me how this constitutes a personal attack? flavius 13:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Secondly, as the mentors have repeatedly stated it is not our job to determine the truth, our function as editors is to report expert opinion. You and Greg have often as a last resort when you've no other recourse left attempt to engage an expert in debate using the Wikipedia editor (in this case me) as a proxy. I've no interest in debating you on behalf of Corballis -- I don't have to and it's a waste of my time, it will come to nothing. Neither is this. This is a reference to Wikipedia policy and a historical breaches of this policy by GregA and Comaze. flavius 13:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Thirdly, you haven't arrived at your devotion to NLP via reason and your fetish can't be altered using reason. You're not operating within the a domain in which evidence has any value or even meaning. On what evidence does Grinder make any of his claims? Given that you've spent a substantial amount of time and keystrokes debasing the very concept of evidence -- "NLP has its own standard of evidence", "NLP has its own epistemology" -- what exactly does it mean when you ask, "On what evidence does Corballis make these claims?". Aren't you expressing a double-standard and dare I say hypocrisy? On the one hand you devalue the notion of evidence by appealing to epistemological relativism and now you are asking for "evidence". If Grinder can define his own terms of evidence -- if epistemological relativism is a valid philosophical position -- then you question is illegitimate and meaningless. Post-modernity and its attendant epistemological, ethical and aesthetic relatvism is "egalitarian", it is an "equal opprotunity" worldview. If Grinder can appeal to a "another epistemology" then so too can Corballis, so too can I, so too can HeadleyDown, so too can Levelt, so too can Beyerstein. The post-modern position is not available only to Grinder. Decide where you sit on this matter don't embrace or reject scientific realism as it suits you. This dithering reeks of bad faith. flavius 12:42, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Parts of this could be regarded as a personal attack. This refactoring isn't in any way an attack:

Thirdly, on what evidence does Grinder make any of his claims? Given that you've spent a substantial amount of time and keystrokes debasing the very concept of evidence -- "NLP has its own standard of evidence", "NLP has its own epistemology" -- what exactly does it mean when you ask, "On what evidence does Corballis make these claims?". Aren't you expressing a double-standard and dare I say hypocrisy? On the one hand you devalue the notion of evidence by appealing to epistemological relativism and now you are asking for "evidence". If Grinder can define his own terms of evidence -- if epistemological relativism is a valid philosophical position -- then you question is illegitimate and meaningless. Post-modernity and its attendant epistemological, ethical and aesthetic relatvism is "egalitarian", it is an "equal opprotunity" worldview. If Grinder can appeal to a "another epistemology" then so too can Corballis, so too can I, so too can HeadleyDown, so too can Levelt, so too can Beyerstein. flavius 13:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Comaze's question represents an attempt (not necessaily malicious) to lead the discussion into a debate about truth vis-a-vis NLP which you have been discouraging. A re-iteration of the ground rules can't be considered a personal attack. flavius 13:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Right. So it's the *mentors* job to call him on it. Personal. Less see. Accusing him of hypocrisy. Secondly, you assume bad faith by assuming that he came to NLP not be reasoning. Thirdly, you accused him of bad faith. And there are other examples I could cite but I am not going to. I will make another attempt to refactor your comments. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:58, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Btw, if you want to see the right way to respond to Comaze's question, look at HeadleyDown's response. It's questioning but it's civil and polite. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:59, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

The "right way" is the efficacious way. I'm not seeing the progress I hoped for since the mentors involvement. GregA, Comaze and Mettabubble are in effect asserting P and not P and this is having the effect of stalling editorial progress. In order to insert pro-NLP material -- that doesn't meet the conventional standards of evidence -- we are bombarded with appeals to epistemological relatvism expressed in the form of "NLP has its own epistemology" and "NLP has its own standard of evidence". In order to obstruct inclusion of material critical of NLP the epistemological relativism is (temporarily) discarded and scientific realism is (temporarily) embraced and we are asked for conventional evidence and the discourse becomes meaningful only in the context of scientific realism (i.e. notions of "experimental evidence", "peer review", "reputablity" and science are appealed to). This is nonsensical and it is holding back the article. This switching of weltenschaung as it suits is confusing the discussions. It is not logically possible to simulatenously appeal to epistemological relativism and scientific realism. It is self-contradictory -- it is the same as proposing P and not P.

If this contradiction is allowed to seep into the article it will produce a confusing article that will resemble a piece of Dadaist art more than an encyclopedic article. If NLP is to be justified in terms of appeals to epistemological relativism and other post-modern tenets (as at least two NLP proponents that I know of do) then no critical material can be questioned on evidentiary grounds (since to do so implies an epistemological objectivism). Similarly, if the evidentiary standard of scientific realism is to be applied to critical NLP litertaure the it should also be applied to pro-NLP literature. This is non-negotiable. If NLP has its own epistemology and standard of evidence then so too can everyone else. The post-modern notion of the plurality of truths demands that my claims are no less privileged than anyone elses. If Grinder can appeal to his own epistemology, standard of evidence and notion of truth then so too can Corballis, Singer, Levelt, Beyerstein, Drenth, et al.

The upshot of this is that if an author is going to justify their claims by appealing to epistemological/moral/aesthetic relativism they must extend that privilege to other also. Comaze and GregA seem to think that Grinder has some special pass to the Universe where he can define his own standard of evidence and conception of truth yet anyone that criticises him must confine themselves to the rigours of scientific realism. If a an NLP critical view is to be scrutinised with reference to scientific realist concepts -- in particular, the notion of objective experimental evidence -- then so too must the NLP promotional views. If the NLP promotional views are to be admitted on epistemological relativist terms then so to must NLP critical views. I accused Comaze of hypocrisy because he asks, "On what evidence does Corballis make these claims?" yet he won't entertain the question "On what evidence does Grinder make these claims?". How can it be that Corballis needs evidence yet Grinder doesn't? flavius 02:51, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Stop attacking others. With the next attack, you will be blocked indefinitely. I would suggest serving your 2 weeks in peace. Once again, you are being incivil and attacking others. Suggesting that the pro-NLP side is stalling and obstruction would be personal attacks. What I don't understand is. You have 2 basic options. It's simple. You can either A) email comments like this to the mentors and we will look into them or B) Do what HeadleyDown is doing, which is write out what you want, look at what we consider blockable and then remove the blockable comments. This isn't hard. We're not asking for much. So you have problems with how the pro side is handling things. Fine. Then email us on it and we will see what we can do. Instead, you put it here and it comes off as a personal attack and as assuming bad faith. And flavius, you've been blocked 6 times. You should know the policy on attacks by now and what we consider attacks. If you don't know, then I don't think you ever will in which case you don't belong here. This is your last chance. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:00, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not being uncivil and attacking others. Why is it preferable to email you rather than post my concerns in the discussion? I don't like the furtive intrigue implicit in privately communicating to the mentors. Discussion should be open and free restricted only by the law. I'm mindful that I don't libel anyone and that's enough for my government and my conscience. Your notion of "civility" is alien to me -- it's very PC notion and Australia isn't a PC nation (sure there are pockets of it on certain univeristy campuses and government bureaucracies but it's not a national character). I'm not from the USA so I'm not imbued with the Victorian/Protestant Puritanism that you appear to be appealing to. That isn't a personal attack -- it is a matter of fact, pointing out a fact that may be unpalatable isn't a personal attack. Also, why can't I put what I like -- so long as it isn't libellous -- on "my talk" page. So what if I've been blocked six times? You're the one performing the blocking it's not like your're referring to the decisions of some independent third-party, court of the land or moral authority. Your notion of a personal attack doesn't match up with mine -- it's as simple as that. I don't understand what you are having trouble understanding ("What I don't understand is"). This is an aesthetic dispute and your definition of a "personal attack" is loose and flexible. I can't read your mind or predict the future, I don't know in advance what you will deem a "personal attack" and it isn't as if I'm calling people motherfuckers or child pornographers. Libel is well-defined so I know when I'd be libelling someone. A "personal attack" in my aesthetic judgement consists of calling someone a dickhead, a fuckwit, a moron, a rapist, paedophile, con-artist, racist epithet and so on. Stating that someone is being hypocritical and then proceeding to provide an exlanation of how someone is being hypocritical isn't a personal attack. Certainly, it's not "nice" but neither are articles on bestiality, paedophilia, coprophilia, and redneck American racists[33]. Who will be the arbiter of whether I "belong here"? I've been complying with your blocks without any fuss. There is no way to keep a determined person off Wikipedia and I haven't resorted to any of these means (which are entirely legal, easy and unstoppable) so I don't understand why you are antagonising and threatening me. flavius 12:21, 2 April 2006 (UTC) [100]

FLAVIUS IS BANNED

Reincarnations

I'm the person that once posted as Flavius Vanillus. I haven't looked at the NLP article in many months let alone edited it. Contrary to the unsubstantiated view being self-righteously promoted by FT2 I and Headley Down are two distinct people. I actually "met" Headley Down when (s)he introduced him/herself on My Page when I opened the Flavius Vanillus account. Furthermore, I do not and did not belong to any sceptics forum or society. There was/is no anti-NLP cabal. I've never posted to Wikipedia using two co-existent online identities. Certainly, Headley Down used many sock puppets -- and I discovered this only just before the "authorities" did so via my own stylistic comparisons (you can find my early discussion page posts where I raise my suspicion about Headley Down). I did correspond with Headley Down just as I corresponded with Comaze (to validate my identity I'll remind Scott (Comaze) that in a private email I directed him to an error in the 'Contact Us' mark-up on his business site). We exchanged references and discussed our frustrations but there was no conspiracy. I feel compelled to post because FT2 is indulging in conspiratorial fantasy and is negating the value of mine and Headley Down's contributions to the article. My editing style was conservative in that I didn't commit anything to the article unless I could substantiate it. I was also ready to discard those edits when I could see that some of them comprised OR. For the record I'm a male IT professional based in Australia, Headley Down is/was a PhD student from Hong Kong. An IP address check would have shown that I am not Headley Down. Although I am posting through a private proxy at the moment I never did so when I was editing the article. A mod. can verify that as Flavius I consistently edited from an well-known Australian ISP address block. Instead of due dilligence FT2 merely assumed that there was only one person presenting an NLP-critical view. Excluding Headley Downes socks there were at least four people at one point presenting an NLP-critical view. I've noticed also that FT2 is automatically accusing everyone that offers a critical view of being Headley Down. I've no intention of editing the NLP article (even though I could easily do so with the abundance of closed/private HTTP proxy servers around the world) and I ask only that this post remain in the discussion page to offset the self-righteous propaganda that FT2 has been spreading.

On reflection it was a case of "too many cooks" and this did not serve the interests of producing a good article. The problem now is that in the absence of any critical opinion (or its relgation to the sidelines) the article risks becoming a promotional "puff piece" for the NLP industry. I'm not offering myself as the antidote nor am I campaigning for the return of Headley Down. That notwithstanding both I and Headley and his/her many personas helped to "keep the bastards honest" (to quote the late Don Chipp). In my view Comaze and GregA were the best of the pro-NLP editors even though I feel that their commercial interests in NLP are skewing some of their views (but this is normal, we all have biases). Having Comaze and GregA edit the article doesn't alarm me. In my experience both had some understanding and appreciation of the notion of evidence and were quite clear thinkers. I don't feel I can extend the same assessment to FT2. FT2 carries an idelogical stench whereever (s)he seems to go in "Wikipedia World". There is a clear advocacy and promotion in FT2s edits. Furthermore, the promotion and advocacy is unsophisticated and lazy in the sense that it is apparently exlusively based on Google. FT2's edits are replete with unsubstantiated opinion -- the "NLP and Science" article is a particularly egregious example of this tendency, it is a mass of unsubstantiated verbiage.

This is statement of the obvious (I know) but you'll only achieve stability in the article if it succeeds in carefully treading the tight-rope of neutrality. I can now see we did push too hard on some issues (eg. NLP and magick) and this was counter-productive and wasteful of time and energy. However, the pro-NLP editors were no less culpable in different ways. There was (and remains) a tendency to present disguised forms of the argument from ignorance, i.e. there is no scientific evidence against hypothesis H so we'll act as if there evidence for H else we'll argue that the conventional concept of evidence is irrelevant. This brings me to the other persistent problem about "epistemology". Grinder's idiosyncratic conception of "epistemology" should be presented as just that, namely Grinders view. Also if Grinder has an an argument to support his take on "epistemology" then it should be referenced. If he has no such argument in defence of his "epistemology" then that too should be stated. The notion that a hypothesis can be epistemologically "promoted" by arguing that it originated from a proto-science, that it is a "model", that it is a "pragmatic model" that can't be wrong or right or that is based on a pardigm shift is mere sophistry.

64.46.47.242 04:22, 16 December 2006 (UTC) The editor formerly known an Flavius ;-)

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Flavius vanillus banned user wikipedia Neuro-linguistic programming NLP flat earth hollow earth FT2