Some time ago a friend of mine, a philosophy student who tends to call himself Timmy, was attending a course on starting your own company. As a part of that course, there was an introduction to NLP, neurolinguistic programming, this was meant to be a tool for them to keep focused on finishing the task they had previously taken on. The method was simply to focus on the positive benefits you’d get from succeeding in this task so that you’d make sure you actually did succeed. We discussed this in some detail over coffee and we agreed that this could be a dangerous tool in the right hands since you could convince yourself to do almost anything with this method.
Then some time later, I read “The Game” by Neil Strauss, a book more or less describing two years of the author’s life while trying to learn confidence with women (OK, to learn “to pick up chicks”). Some of the more perverse techniques described in the book are certain speed dating techniques using NLP and hypnosis. I’m certain that using those methods to get laid is not too far from rape, it certainly couldn’t be classified as voluntarily. Not only that, he also mentions having two meetings with Tom Cruise who in the hands of the scientology movement has also learnt techniques to singlemindedly focus on any given task at any time, like NLP more or less.
Then earlier today, I get an email from a local Yoga-institution, the yoga room, and it turns out that one of their instructors in addition to being a skilled yoga-practitioner, a health- and fitnessinstructor, is also a trained NLP-coach and has been trained as a prison guard. I have actually met this person once and I would say she was completely mad. I was working in a café and she wanted to change the recipe of what I was making (almost to the extent that it was pointless to serve), didn’t have enough money to pay with and was generally annoying from the moment she sat down to the moment she left.