After throwing it to the wayside, however, I became convinced that understanding NLP is crucial simply so that people can resist its use.
“Neuro-linguistic programming” is a marketing term for a “science” that two Californians—Richard Bandler and John Grinder—came up with in the 1970s.
Bandler was a stoner student at UC Santa Cruz (just like I later was in the 00s), then a mecca for psychedelics, hippies and radical thinking (now a mecca for Silicon Valley hopefuls).
It’s also somewhat of a pernicious, devilish force in the world—nearly in the business of influencing people has studied at least some of its techniques.
Masters of it are notorious for having a Rasputin-like ability to trick people in incredible ways—most of all themselves.
Grinder was at the time an associate professor in linguistics at the university (he had previously served as a Captain in the US Special Forces and in the intelligence community, not that this, you know, is important… Together, they worked at modeling the techniques of Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt therapy), family therapist Virginia Satir and, most importantly, the preternaturally gifted hypnotherapist Milton Erickson.Bandler and Grinder sought to reject much of what they saw as the ineffectiveness of talk therapy and cut straight to the heart of what techniques actually worked to produce behavioral change.