NLP Net Richard Bandler

NOTE: For a number of years Anne and Bob published NLP Network News which morphed into The New IQ.These are excerpts from an article by Bruce Felts and published in the NLP Network News Vol. I No. 4 We wish to thank Richard Bandler for his permission to reprint this interview on-line.

Bandler Unplugged

NLP Net:
What is the difference between NLP and Design Human Engineering?
Richard: 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 elicitation 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 multi-simultaneous 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.

NLP Net: What’s your opinion about the current state of affairs in the NLP

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.

NLP Net: 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.

Richard: 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

NLP Net: In your book Time For A Change I was fascinated by the chapter
entitled Slow Time Pattern: Questions and Answers.

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: Can we expect any other new books in the near future?

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: You have a . . . book on Design Human Engineering?

Richard: 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

NLP Net: I would appreciate your thoughts on the business of certification.

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 anointing 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.

NLP Net: Why do you feel the network was formed?

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: What motivates Richard Bandler to continue to do the work that he

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.

NLP Net: You mentioned earlier that some people seem more interested in
marketing than in the quality of their training.

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: What, then, is wrong with the way other trainings are conducted?

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.

NLP Net: Were you surprised by how NLP has grown into an international

Richard: 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

NLP Net: A lot of people have a certain impression of you as the wild man
in NLP.

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: Someone once told me that not only does Richard care about people
but he sometimes cares too much.

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: Maybe it’s your sense of freedom that intimidates them.

Richard: 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.

NLP Net: I recently interviewed Tom Peters and he felt the information age
was making a transition into the age of creativity, especially in

Richard: 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.