Four Christs & NLP

As an undergraduate, I remember a social-psych professor raving about a book called The Three Christs of Ypsilanti (1964) by Milton Rokeach. Ypsilanti is a small town between Ann Arbor and Detroit on I-94 (that road probably did not exist in ’64). Rokeach was a hot-shot professor at U of M in Ann Arbor. Ypsilanti State Hospital was home of a bunch of people who had been declared insane for one reason or another.

Three of the inmates all claimed to be Jesus Christ. Rokeach got the idea of bringing all three together in a sort of group therpay program. He figured that when confronted with each other’s delusion, it would force them back to reality. Not so. To cut to the chase, the three Christs came together in what amounted to a “mastermind group” to help each other further their delusions along. So much for group therapy.

And before I get hate mail from the psych dudes and dudettes, let me acknowledge that it is a classic. It is well worth reading — and my recollection is that it reads more like a novel than an accademic tome.

Fast forward a decade or so and shift west 2200 miles or so to another mental institution in CA. Here they have only one “Christ” at the moment. Richard Bandler gets called in for a consult–this was the hot-n-heavy times after the Time Magazine cover for the two modest saviors of therapy.

On his first visit, Bandler interviews “Christ” for a few minutes and tells him he will see him later. A few days later, Bandler returns dressed as a blue collar worker. He was wearing a tool belt and dragging two huge boards. When he came into the room, he did not even acknowledge “Christ.” Bandler set about working on the boards and measuring “Christ’s” height and wing span.

Of course, “Christ” is becoming more and more curious and keeps asking questions, which Bandler ignores. Finally, displaying a fair amount of annoyance, Bandler turns to him and says more than asks, “I’m busy. I have to get this done. So you are Jesus Christ, right?”

“Christ” responds, “Yes.”

Bandler says, “Okay, it seems to me we have a destiny awaiting us. You are Jesus Christ. I am a Jew. Easter is just around the corner. I have to get this thing put together to fulfill my part of our destiny.”

At this point, “Christ” decided he was not really Jesus. He was just Joe the Plumber or whatever he had been before being committed. Bandler was more committed to his delusion than he was.

My point is not to poke fun at the mentally ill. When you are working with other people, you can try to force them into your world (group therapy approach) or you can climb inside their world and work from there. That is what you learn to do in NLP. It is a far more effective approach–sanity or lack thereof is not an issue. This principle cuts across all levels of society.

My whole Basic NLP class is available on CDs. It is a great way to learn these skills at your own pace in the privacy of your home, office or car.


Deep Mind, Some Mind, Never Mind

I was talking to my coach the other day — sure, I have one, doesn’t everyone?  I was telling her of my fascination with the subconscious mind, and how strange it is sometimes. We had been working on a problem that had plagued me for a long time, but until she guided me through some simple exercises, I had never gotten to the root of it. Once I got to the root (via timeline  regression), it was obvious that as a 2-year-old, I had totally misunderstood a conversation my Dad was having with my Mom.

Now, keep in mind this was something that my subconscious had “ranted and raved” about for those 58 intervening years. Unknowingly, I had organized a big chunk of my life around this silly incident. But once the examined in broad daylight by the conscious mind, the subconscious saw the absurdity of it. Basically, the response of the subconscious was something to the effect of “Oh, never mind.” In an instant, I reorganized that whole aspect of my life. Ah, the power of NLP!

Anyway, I was telling my coach how this reminded me of a character from the early days of Saturday Night Live, Emily Latella (Gilda Radner). She would come on the fake news as a citizen presenting an “Op Ed” piece.  She would rant and rave until Chevy Chase or Jane Curtain would turn to her and say something like, “Emily, The Boston Patriots are a football team, not a militia squad.” Emily would go from rage to reflection in a split second, ponder things for a second or two, and then say, “Oh, never mind.”

The web being what it is, I found a couple of clips with Emily in them. They are posted on my web site at Stop by and have a look at them. Some of the best comedy bits ever done on TV, IMHO.

And they give you some real insight into the functioning of the subconscious mind. They also give you an idea of why many of the NLP techniques work so darn fast. It seems like magic, but the truth of the matter is that your subconscious mind is like a character from SNL. (And so is my subconscious, and everyones.) That is why they are posted on the page describing my NLP Class. NLP happens in the real world.

I’m Peter O’Dell, and you are not — it is a gag from SNL — you gray beards will get it, youngsters should look for the DVDs from the early seasons.

NLP Training Is As NLP Training Does

Sorry, I just felt a little “Gumpish” tonight. Sometimes you just cannot see the forest for the trees. Things that are obvious to everyone else are hidden right in front of you. I just purchased a program from another trainer to help me get past that”stuck” feeling I have been having. It is a great little program, but there is nothing in it that I did not already know. Except, I could not see any of it until I put myself through his program. I am happy I did. It was just what I needed, and it was money well spent.

A student from one of my recent NLP Trainings came in for her FREE session this week–for a long time now, I have offered a FREE session after the training as a bonus to get people to sign up for the class. The idea is this: okay, you have the “book learning” from the class, now come in and experience how it is used in the real world. You can see the details at <;

I am constantly amazed at how few people take me up on the offer. It is not like they are unhappy with the class–97% of my students are delighted with the class. Of course, there was this one gal who went nuts because I do not use PowerPoint. We had a long “discussion” after the class. In talking to her, it was obvious that she had totally missed the meaning of the class. Even if I had been using PowerPoint, she would have missed it. In her mind, Learning only happens in the frontal lobe of the brain. She truly believes her conscious mind is running the show. Oh, well. Some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree.

So, why don’t more students take me up on the offer? I think they got what they needed during the class. It is some sort of corollary for the “Wounded Healer Syndrome.” Most of us got into this stuff basically to fix ourselves. We justify that we are taking a training program (an NLP Class) or any other because we are going to learn something to help our clients. But deep down the real motivation is to learn something to fix ourselves. And that sure happens inside an NLP Class–at least, it does in mine.

Every technique is demo’d, then the students brake up into groups and “do” each other. So, I see a lot of people experiencing tremendous personal growth in the four days they are with me. They end up making huge changes in their lives. And they get an NLP certification to boot. So, I think they are more than content with “just taking” the class. I am satisfied with the program I downloaded last night. I don’t feel like I need to go back to that trainer, even though he probably has a lot more to offer me. I got what I was looking for.

Once in a while, you get the student that is like a sponge–they want to soak up everything. That is how I was. And that is how my student who came in this week is. How does this stuff work? What can I do with it? Are there any real limits to where I can go?

Life is like a box of . . . . .