Is NLP manipulation, mind control or brainwashing?

It’s a questions I’m often asked.  Is NLP manipulative?  Can someone with NLP training make you do things without realising or against your will?

I cycled past a petrol/gas station today with a big poster – showing a hot dog and two ripe fresh tomatoes.  Were the advertisers trying to manipulate me into thinking that a hot dog is healthy just because it had a couple of tomatoes beside it?  Most definitely.  Can they get one over on me that easy?  Of course not.

So is NLP manipulative?  Is it a form of brain washing?  Is it mind control?  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.

To manipulate means to handle or control something, typically in a skilful manner.  NLP is manipulative if you take it in terms of it creating change in yourself and in others.  It is mind control as it teaches you how to change your thinking.  And it is brain washing as it can create permanent change.

So if you were to take a problem and manipulate it into disappearing, then yes, you can say NLP is manipulative.   But is creating positive change a bad thing?!

NLP is a tool.  An extremely powerful tool.  And like any tool it can be used by someone with or without ethics, empathy and integrity.   The tool itself is never the one manipulating.  It’s the person using it.

Can NLP be used by unethical people to manipulate others to do things that they may not have wished to do?  Yes in some circumstances a very skilled person could potentially do that.

But remember, you come across a variety of unethical people trying to manipulate you every day in the form of politicians, advertisers, sales people etc etc.  Do you fall for every attempt they make to manipulate you?  I thought not.

Many NLPers have heard this kind of story numerous times… “I once had a manager who frequently got what he wanted.  He used to tell people he was using NLP on us all the time.  I couldn’t trust him”.

As Richard Bandler himself has said on multiple occasions “NLP doesn’t exist!”… There is no living thing and no entity called NLP.  NLP is made up of people who simply take and apply the techniques and patterns of NLP in some context.

The important part is that those techniques and patterns are a DO WITH process and not a DO TO process.  It’s about getting your conscious and unconscious minds to work together to create change in yourself.  Or it’s about two people working together with ethics and integrity to create change in one of them.

So is NLP manipulative?  It all depends on how you want to look at it…

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© Jacqui Gatehouse and GATEHOUSE THIRTEEN, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and GATEHOUSE THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


7 responses to “Is NLP manipulation, mind control or brainwashing?

  1. Love it Jacqui – thank you especially for the DO WITH and not DO TO bit.
    Have a great weekend.

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