These are excerpts from an article by Bruce Felts and published in the NLP Network News Vol. I No. 4
We wish to thank Bob Sandidge, of The New IQ (formerly NLP Network News) and Richard Bandler for their permission to reprint this interview on-line.
The New IQ PO Box 333 Dundee, IL 60118 Ph: 1-708-428-6000 Fax: 1-708-428-9290
NNN: What is the difference between NLP and Design Human Engineering?
RB: Well, structurally they're different. When I first started out I broke things down into small pieces, to make them learnable and then I put those pieces together into formulas.
One of the models that I built was called strategy elicitation which is something that people confuse with modeling to no end. They go out and elicit a strategy and they think they are modeling but they don't ask the question, "Where did the strategy eliciation model come from?" There are constraints inside this model since it was built by reducing things down. The strategy elicitation model is always looking for the most finite way of accomplishing a result. This model is based on sequential elicitation and simultaneous installation.
The flip side of that is Design Human Engineering, where you put the big pieces together and build bigger chunks. It also operates on a very different model of instantaneous elicitation and sequential installation so in essence the model is the opposite structurally, but it uses a lot of the same elements. It also answers the question about how well these little pieces fit together because you're simultaneously working with things like multiple timelines and building strategies which are instead of sequential single strategies, there are multisimultaneous strategies. It sort of knocks out of the box some of the more archaic things.
One of the things I've tried to do over the years is to always take the best things that we already do and build on them. In my opinion, evolution has to become a conscious process, although some of it will always be unconscious.
NNN: What's your opinion about the current state of affairs in the NLP community?
RB: Most people's primary concern about NLP has to do with marketing rights rather than the technology itself. There is a real difference between the techniques that the technology developed and the methodology for producing them. Like the Submodalities I created. The model is a good one for people who want to whip up techniques but there is a methodology that produces that set of algorithms. Submodalities itself is a set of algorithms with 64 nonlinear variables. When you ask most "master practitioners" about that their eyes go crossed and smoke comes out of their ears and they look like a cartoon character.
The set of algorithms used in Design Human Engineering is as different in nature as geometry is from calculus. DHE is a completely different animal. There really are two major thrusts of Design Human Engineering. One is that we are not trying to map down, we are trying to map up. This is a big chunk. This is not for people who do not do well with big steps. NLP is good for people who need little steps, or one step at a time. Design Human Engineering is for people who like big pieces and big strokes. It also grounds itself very firmly in becoming a high tech hypnosis. It also requires that we be adventurous.
Tesla is a good example of what we do in DHE. He would build a reality which he wanted to create in his mind. He then brought to this self created reality a set of accurate measuring tools, the operative term here is tools. Part of the thing that we are trying to do is make it so that there is a bridge between those realities so that when people do instantaneous elicitation, they have a set of very precise positive hallucinations. They can adjust it so that they know where they are and where they want to go. They can also precisely open up new ranges and choices. This is not for the domain of the belief limited. This is not for people who like to talk the talk. This is for people who like to run the walk.
For me, one of the nice things is that it really opens up the domain which is outside of words and pictures. We are looking for not just motivation but for the kinds of things I found in the best of people like Nichola Tesla, Virginia Satir, Gregory Bateson, and Moshe Feldenkrais. Their energy could almost reach out when you touched it like static electricity and it would buzz all around the sides.
NLP and DHE have different purposes. Design Human Engineering is more about entering the domain of Tesla. NLP is a very generative design field but it has an almost remedial quality to it that is kind of flat. This is like the flip side of it. NLP was built out of things like elegance. We wanted to build very elegant models so that they could be used precisely. In Design Human Engineering, we wanted to build precise measuring tools so that we can create wantonly. That's the primary difference. The other thing that we really have been doing is mapping the motor cortex and its relationship with the endocrine system.
NNN: I recall hearing a story about Tesla challenging someone to build a machine in physical reality and Tesla would construct the same machine in his mind.
RB: It was actually an electric motor and they started the motor on the outside exactly when he started it in his head and they stopped the motor after a certain period of time. Tesla disassembled the one in his head, measured it with his tools in his head and the wear and tear was exactly the same as the one in physical reality. He made sure that everything he built inside his head would rigorously fit the outside world which is one of the things that the study of psychology has attempted to accomplish. They just didn't realize it required tools to accomplish their goal.
Your mother may look at you a certain way and say something that you interpreted as "mother hates me." In reality, it was just your mother screwing her face up to make pictures. What growing up is all about is trying to get things on the inside of your head to match the outside.
Most people will always be off one way or the other and especially when it comes to the kinds of things such as controlling your emotions, your future or your level of motivation.
NNN: In your book Time For A Change I was fascinated by the chapter entitled "Slow Time Pattern: Questions and Answers."
RB: Time distortion, even by a hypnotist, strangely enough, has been treated as a very esoteric phenomenon. That strikes me as ridiculous because people go to the bank and they're waiting in line for twenty-five minutes and they look at their watch and two minutes has gone by or they go to a party and they're having a great time and five hours fly by. This is a learned phenomena. It's not going on in the real world. The world has not actually changed time but all this transpires in people's minds. People haven't learned to harness these things. I am a very fortunate person. I get on an airplane to fly to London and I close my eyes and open them and I'm in London because I happen to feel the only way to fly is to be unconscious, not only unconscious but in a state of time distortion.
People haven't learned enough to alter their own states, being able to slow time down is incredibly important. I was hired to do a job for a baseball team once. They had the novel idea that if they had an approach to training, their players might get better. In the field of baseball, it's mostly practice or go hit some balls. It's not as methodical as some other sports where they measure the impact of the punch down to the tenth of an ounce or something. The first thing I did was to get a guy who could hit the ball really well and find out what he did. If you watch baseball players, they walk up to the plate and go into an altered state otherwise they wouldn't keep looking out at nothing, dilating their pupils and waving their bat where there is no ball. It's funny to listen to these guys, whether they went to college or not. They describe their experience so much better than if they had training in NLP. It's amazing. I asked them what the difference was between a good day and a bad day and they would tell me that on good days they're really seeing the ball. Then I ask them, "What do mean by "seeing the ball?" They reply, "Well, it's moving slower and bigger." It's not bigger or slower, but for them it looks that way. It's not that you are actually moving faster, it's just that your internal world speeds up so much that the rate that the outside world is moving allows you to affect it profoundly.
Any person in the field of Design Human Engineering or NLP has to operate in slow time as far as I'm concerned. If your world isn't moving a hundred times faster than your client, then you're not going to see the other person's patterns. You won't have the time to observe them or replay their behavior to detect their patterns. People who claim to teach NLP can't do installation because their world is not moving fast enough.
NNN: Can we expect any other new books in the near future?
RB: The other book I have ... is called The Adventures of Anybody which is a very hypnotic fairytale. It's designed for adults to read to children to change the adults. It's really designed to be read out loud and if you like Milton Patterns, this makes Milton Patterns look like nothing. I worked on it on and off for twenty years and it's . . . out. It's illustrated and it's the perfect way to learn language patterns without having to go to a class.
NNN: You have a . . . book on Design Human Engineering?
RB: I'm writing that . . . and we're half done with it. I'm also writing a book on applied neurodynamics but at the moment I write a little of this and a little of that. We have our own newsletter that I've been writing a lot of stuff for. The major thing I'm working on is called, "The Brief History of NLP". I decided that there was a little bit too much "changed history". So I'm writing an accurate history of NLP which can be documented. When you think about it, nobody else could write this history since I was the only one there in the beginning.
NNN: I would appreciate your thoughts on the business of certification.
RB: Let me answer your question this way. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is the name of the expression of my ideas. I spent twenty-five years, millions of dollars and untold hours developing models because I wanted people to use them. Sometime ago, a group of people got together and told me that they wanted to form a little organization so that they could network with each other and do things. They didn't say that what they wanted to do was to undermine the expression that I had made to the public.
When I started certification, even some of the people doing certification now, laughed at me. Some of them refused to participate in it. What these people are doing is offering certificates and confusing the public. The name of that is fraud. Where I come from we call it stealing. Stealing is wrong. Everybody wants to make it a legal issue. It's a moral issue. What right do these people have to offer certificates about my work without my permission? That seems to me to be wrong. If these certificates were not about Meta Model, the Milton Model, strategy elicitation, Metaprograms, all models which I made up and which they can't even explain . . . They have no idea of the foundation of these models and now they are out there annointing each other as trainers. They talk about marketing. I'm talking about right and wrong. I think that some people, especially the people that have attended their trainings, later realize that these people did not make up these things. The models that I created do not belong to them, this information is not in the public domain. This is my life's work and to steal someone's life's work while they're still alive is horrible.
The situation is just wrong and that's all there is to it. And the real loser in this is the public because I have no idea if these people, who are teaching and passing credentials around left and right, are presenting my work.
Think about this. Out of the licensees that I do have, Tony Robbins is one of them, yet he can use his own words. He doesn't confuse the public about what's his and what's mine and he remains a licensee. That is someone who has some ethics, some morals, and yet everybody says he's immoral.
NNN: Why do you feel the network was formed?
RB: The people who initially formed the network for only one reason: so that they could avoid dealing having to deal with me. Some of these people, who are giving away certificates, haven't had state-of-the-art training in fifteen years. There are models I developed that we don't use anymore. We don't use reframing because it's an antiquated model. There is no need for it. It's inelegant and doesn't do a very good job but these people say, "if you don't do reframing, you're not a neuro-linguistic programmer". Well the truth is that if you have to recapitulate my personal history and include my mistakes, I haven't done anyone a service. The point is for people to take the best of what we have right now and to be able to provide the public with that information.
Books like Using Your Brain For a Change and Frogs into Princes have saved people a lot of money. I mean there are people who read Frogs into Princes and got out of three or four years of therapy and took a vacation. But now I receive letters from someone who says I went to a practitioner course from so and so and I've never heard of them. How could somebody offer my work for certification and I have never heard of them? I could understand if I were dead, but I'm still a young man.
These people don't want to learn the best of the state-of-the-art, they just want a quick way to make some bucks and milk the public out of some money. One thing you can tell people, that they can always call us and we will find someone as close by as possible that they can trust. This is not saying that some of these people are not good but I have no way of knowing whether they or good or not.
These people that are out there with their ethics and their networking should get down and find out where their limits are in their own model and step through them and then we'll talk. They were the ones that wandered off by themselves to begin with. The Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming has been here all along. The Society was the first organization, it's the largest and it's the strongest. We primarily provide a reference base for clients and issue certificates that are representative of who it is that we consider to be competent.
By the way, accreditation was not started as a marketing phenomena. It was started as a way for people to push themselves to the limits. The first time I gave a credential test it was to get people to try things that I didn't think they would try. I knew that it was installed in them and that they knew how to do it but I didn't think that they would do it when they left. Even now, I don't have tests. I have tournaments to get people to try, not to get them to go through and do written metamodels, which by the way is absolutely ludicrous.
NNN: What motivates Richard Bandler to continue to do the work that he does?
RB: People have forgotten that the reason I do this and the reason that most of the people I work with do this is because it feels right. It's not because we couldn't make money doing something else, but that it feels really right. We designed our training to make it so that you're not flying by the seat of your pants and when you are flying by the seat of your pants, you'll know what to do about it.
I have seen people who have come into my trainings who have been "rigorously trained by other people" and they don't even make it through the first sentence in the right direction. They don't watch, they don't listen, and they don't know how to get things amplified to know how easy it is to know what to do. They are not taught by these trainers that you can't do this work without being first concerned with your own internal state.
NNN: You mentioned earlier that some people seem more interested in marketing than in the quality of their training.
RB: I keep telling people, it's not how much money you spend on your brochure, it's how well you do the job. There are famous surgeons that don't do a very good job. I'm always interested in talking to anyone who is an expert on anything but I also want to talk to their clients. Take Feldenkrais, for example. You heard nothing but good things from his ex-clients but these other people don't want to tell you the names of their ex-clients.
NNN: What, then, is wrong with the way other trainings are conducted?
RB: The problem is that they don't install the right strategies. This is not the way most people make it out. Most people go in and learn these questions and do them by rote over and over again and then they are supposed to instinctively know how to ask the right questions. It's funny that even the people that have the strategies installed in them and can do it, but they can't teach it. This is one of the reasons why for the past (over) twenty years I have conducted a trainers training. Primarily the trainers training is installing in people the how in teaching this information at the right level. It amazes me that with all of the brainstorming and networking these people continue to distort my material.
NNN: Were you surprised by how NLP has grown into an international phenomena?
RB: I set out to do really a few small things for myself and this whole thing has blustered into a major international thing. Just the fact that people in Germany are arguing over the same things we've been talking about, pleases me to no end, even if half of them are stealing from me and half of them are not stealing from me. I never thought NLP would leave the little town of San Francisco in the first place.
NNN: A lot of people have a certain impression of you as the wild man in NLP.
RB: That was the impression painted by who? I was the guy in the laboratory. They were the ones telling stories. I can be wild because I will do what it takes to get things done, and because I don't really like to be pestered. The fact is that I have more behavioral flexibility than they do. They always talk about me being intimidating. Then the question would be intimidating whom and when? I don't intimidate anyone who doesn't steal from me or pester me for no reason, or worse, yet, try to fool around with someone I'm using as a demonstration subject, which I find to be the most immoral thing a person can do in a group.
NNN: Someone once told me that not only does Richard care about people but he sometimes cares too much.
RB: That sounds like a therapeutic thing to say. Care too much for what or for whom? Well, if I'm as ruthless as them, I could be a multi-millionaire. I have spent my time developing things. Worse, yet, I've spent my money developing things rather than giving it to them. I care too much about what I'm doing. I like my work. I have the best job in the whole world. I get to learn what every expert does and most of the time I get paid for it. I get to increase the quality of my life internally to degrees that they will never even suspect. Part of the thing that really intimidates them is that I enjoy life so much. They know how to talk about it but they don't know how to do it.
NNN: Maybe it's your sense of freedom that intimidates them.
RB: When you say "freedom" to me it doesn't feel that way. I have to do what I do. It's not just a choice. They don't know where these things come from because they haven't spent the time to learn how to do this. Going to a few courses where I teach people techniques doesn't teach you what I do. NLP has made an immense difference, as far as I can tell. To some degree NLP is in every school system, and every major corporation. That's pretty good for a (45) year old kid. So why don't they stop talking about me and get down and start doing something themselves. They are trying to steal what they don't know and confusing the public in the process.
NNN: I recently interviewed Tom Peters and he felt the information age was making a transition into the age of creativity, especially in business.
RB: Well I would agree with that. Information will be the currency of the future. The one thing that distinguishes who is going to enter this age and who isn't is their ability to still have the sense of wonder. We don't even know how electricity works, yet!! We haven't explored sound or electromagnetic spectrum. There are worlds upon worlds out there. This is the age to become an adventurer. There is more knowledge to be discovered. The one thing I'd like to tell people is that God's work isn't done, yet. This could not be the peak perfection of His work. The evolution isn't over. We are the experience that the universe is having.