Hierarchy of the NLP Cult.
Neurolinguistic Programming

Hierarchy of the NLP Cult.

As with most cults the founder is the leader, Richard Bandler fills this position in NLP. A rigorous hierarchy is in place underneath him. NLP Practitioner is the entry level to the cult. To work your way up the ladder you will need to pay thousands for courses and seminars where a certificate will be handed out at the end to confirm your new status in the cult. Junior members look up to their superiors and obey their every command.

Cult members will proudly display their status even on their CV. This often takes the form of many letters after their name.

This post is too funny not to republish in full in case it disappears.


Scamming The Public

The Cunning Ways of The Hypnotists and NLP Types

Here follows a brief introduction to some of the ways hypnotists and NLPers use to impress the public. For the average member of the public, choosing a therapist is a fairly random process. Therapists know that the public are naive to the regulations and qualifications systems, and so will exploit a number of techniques to impress upon potential clients the following:

1. The level of qualification

2. The authentic lineage/connection to someone famous or influential

3. Official recognition and regulation

4. Level of expertise

Let's look at these in closer detail. You will of course find some of these methods exploited to the hilt on my own website as I too attempt to compete for the next client. You should also note a degree of recursion built into this page because it is itself an attempt to create the "honest guy" impression and is thus aimed to impress upon the reader that the author is himself the "real deal".

Level of Qualification

Most common is the use of letters after ones name and this is possibly the most suspect of all methods.

For example, I could use:

Andrew T. Austin, BHR (Dip. Hyp), GHSC, MPNLP, BGC. Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Practitioner of NLP

Let's translate this. "BHR" refers to the name of a training company - no longer in existance - that offered a "diploma" in hypnosis. The course was itself excellent and the trainers all skilled clinicians, however the use of the letters after the name is dubious. To use the initials of a training company is common and of course inevitably misleading - you might as well use the initials of your primary school!

As for "diploma" you can come to my house for a chat - bring biscuits - and I'll give you a "diploma". I'll print it off from my MS Publisher program. Anyone can give a diploma to anyone. The name "diploma" when not used in conjunction with a recognised higher education qualification is of course worthless.

GHSC means nothing more than I'm listed with the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council. To enlist on this register the listee simply needs to provide proof of training and proof of insurance. The listee signs an agreement of standards and ethics. All well and good so far. However, what the hypnotist then does is to use the letters after their name as though it denotes a qualification!

You sign the forms and send off the cheque -but it isn't a qualification.

It is also common to see the phrase, "Member of The....." where the person inserts the name of the registration body. Remember the school register?

It is a list of names.

"Membership" suggests that the register is something more - an official regulatory body, perhaps?

MPNLP translates as, "Master Practitioner of NLP" - sounds impressive right? Given how many people just read a book or two, do a weekend course at the local college and call themselves "Therapists" or "Practitioners of NLP/Hypnotherapy" the potential client has a right to be highly suspicious. I know of some highly dubious NLP "trainers" dishing out certification left, right and centre so that many "master practitioner" certificates are utterly without value.

BGC simply refers to "Bloody Good Chap".

Authentic Lineage/Connection to Someone Famous or Influential

Everyone I know who practice martial arts seems to do this too. The emphasis is to provide proof of a descendancy of your master from Bruce Lee, no matter how tenuous this link may be.

In NLP circles the tendency is the same. For example, I can write that, "I am trained with some of the worlds best, The Amazing Brando, Waldo The Incredible, and Binky The Clown..." and so forth. I can write this truthfully, but in a way that can mislead. I can omit to mention that I was one of 400 people in the room, or that I only turned up to register on the first day and again on the last day in order to collect the certificate.

I could word it as though I am friends or on intimate terms with the trainer.

The other trick is to place suitable quotes from famous people on the page. This works to create associations in the mind of the reader. I do this a lot and it works well - people associate me with those people from whom I liberally quote and also creates the impression that I know them.

Official Recognition and Regulation

This is a neat trick and one that works well. Scroll down a bit - you'll see I've added a logo for "NHS Direct." I have nothing to do with NHS Direct at all and, as far as I am aware, NHS Direct has nothing to do with hypnotherapy or NLP. Using a public logo in this way creates the impression that I am somehow connected with the organisation. I am not. However, when I combine it with the fact that I am able to take NHS referrals the cunning use of the logo implies that I am somehow connected to the NHS.

I am able to take NHS referrals but only in exactly the same way as any cleaning company is able to take a contract to clean the wards.

A business arrangement is not clinical approval.

Look at this logo carefully.

You'll see it reads: "The British Board of NLP - Approved Training - BBNLP Dedicated to Excellence"

You will find a large number of practitioners and people offering courses who will tell you that they are "approved by the BBNLP" or "accredited by the BBNLP" and so on. This method is very simple - create a website purporting to be something "official", create the logo, then display the logo on your webpage.

If you are stuck for ideas, how about these that I made up:

National Hypnotherapy Helpdesk

British Federation of NLP Practitioners

Global Organisation of NLP Trainers

National Board for Experimental Hypnosis

British Clinical Hypnosis Group

European Center for Clinical Hypnosis Studies and Personality Research

And of course ones I didn't make up:

Global Organisation of NLP

Planetary Organisation of NLP

Intergalactic Federation of NLP

There are dozens of "bodies" or "organisations" - usually one man bands such as Dodgy Dave's Official Certification Body - that offer "accreditation." So, if you seek authenticity, check carefully who exactly is behind these organisations. Some are legitimate, others just take the money and issue the logo...

Level of Expertise

This one is a hoot.

"Hypnotherapist with over ten years clinical experience as a hospital nurse...."

"World class training in one of Britain's premiere training establishments..."

"25 years of excellence in human resources training and attention to detail...."

The best way to achieve this is to award yourself grandiose titles. For example, at the time of writing, I am technically the "Director" of my own limited company. It was an attempt at a tax break that failed - all the money saved is being given to the accountant who is resolving my administrative failings. But I'm not going to tell you that. No, instead I am going to tell you:

"With over 10 years of experience in hospital based critical care and 15 years experience in devising primary mental health care systems, Andrew T. Austin is now the Chief Director of Scammasters International Ltd, a newly formed company delivering the highest quality training in the UK."

Of course, the other bit I don't tell you is that the "devising primary mental health care systems" probably consisted of little more than attending team briefings and printing off the care plans and that those two periods of time (10 years and 15 years) actually ran concurrently.

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