Friday, February 10, 2006

"Hey, don't I know you from that Tony Robbins seminar...?"

Here's a link to an intriguing--albeit, to me, frustratingly nonspecific--article on some of neuro-linguistic programming's more sinister latter-day applications in the area of dating and seduction. NLP, of course, was (and remains) the core regimen behind Tony Robbins' phenomenal emergence onto the national stage back in the mid-80s.

It's no secret that some of this stuff--to the extent it works--can be put to questionable uses. That's how the seminar gurus put you "in a buying frame of mind" in the first place. You think it's accidental that they spend so much time getting their audiences nodding and smiling and chanting the same hypnotic mantras in unison? Their hope is that at the next break you'll flock to the product tables like robotic sheep and load up on all those (costly) ancillary materials. Now, this doesn't work on everyone--as is true of hypnosis itself. But if it's going to work at all, the effects are that much more pronounced in a large-group dynamic.

Why do you suppose so many of these gurus cling to the seminar format, despite its obvious logistical inconveniences and its relative inefficiency at reaching the largest possible audience...?

1 comment:

cameron burgess said...

techniques don't kill people,
people kill people

calling into question a technique on the basis of its possible applications is not a sound refutation of the technique itself

after all, do we call into question the study and application of brain surgery based upon the possible application of a 'hannibal the cannibal' who performs a live dissection of a victims brain based upon his understandings of such principles?

an extreme example? what about this -
the total number of road fatalities in the US alone in 2002 was close to 43 000 [see http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0855866.html]. But, instead of making it more difficult to get and keep one's license or [heaven forbid] banning motor vehicles altogether, we make them SAFER!!?

so let's ban motor vehicle use because some people don't know how to drive or drive when under the influence.

now there's a radical [and completely nonsensical] idea

[i could go on about america's maxim 'guns don't kill people, people kill people' and how useful that has proven to be, but that would just be labouring the point].