Lee Lady wrote:
The comments that follow are by Charles Duncan and are taken from an article originally posted by him on the ILink network Psychology conference, in reply to a copy of Lee Lady's article posted on the same conference.
The overall thrust of Lee Lady's comments seem right in line with what I know of this period. There is a book out now about the early days. But I haven't seen it yet. When I do, I may come back with additional details from yet someone else's perspective.
Most of my remarks are taken from stories I have heard from Richard Bandler, John Grinder and Robert Dilts.
LL>What Grinder noticed was that Bandler in his group was applying certain
LL>principles of linguistics -- what I think of as being General Semantics
LL>(although Bandler & Ginder never use that term).
John says it took a while for them to reach this conclusion. But, I agree, given John's background, it was natural for him to notice and more importantly to try to explain things in terms of linguistics.
LL>Bandler and Grinder then decided to observe groups run by Fritz Perls
Fritz was dead by this time. In fact it was Richard who while working for Science and Behavior Books managed to talk them into letting him finish Fritz's last book. To do this he had access to Perls' papers and many video and audio tapes.
It is one of Richard's great talents to be able to pick up on patterns etc. so he was soon able to do what Fritz did. He was even able to run groups etc. and get change like Fritz did. He - like most before he and John came up with a way of studying and teaching processes like this - was not near as successful in teaching others to do what he did.
It was this frustration that in part had him ask Grinder to help him to figure out what he was doing [the meta patterns] so he could Teach his skills to others.
LL>and Virginia Satir, and they
After much work, Grinder was able to do what Richard did using Gestalt techniques. [this is straight from John]
He [John] left for Africa for more language studies right after this. That same summer, Richard was hired by S & B books to go to British Columbia where Satir was teaching a month long course in her techniques. His job was to audio tape her for later transcription and [I think] for a book by her.
Virginia wanted people to learn and to be able to do what she did so eloquently... But she was frustrated by the fact that people tended to imitate her external behaviors and so didn't get the same results [with different clients/problems].
Richard - at one point [bored one supposes] went to the stage and astounded one and all by being able to duplicate for Virginia her methods in such a way that he got the same type of rapid results.
That fall he and John got back together [and with the language and training skills they had already built] was able to teach John how to ``do Virginia'' in short order.
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Their first book grew out of these experiments and experiences.
LL>confirmed that Perls and Satir were using the same linguistic patterns.
I think it was John who noticed this of course. But again it was something that grew over a period of several years.
LL>(They also noticed that Virginia Satir would speak to some clients in
LL>primarily visual terms, to others in auditory language, using more
LL>kinesthetically oriented language with still others. Satir had been
LL>unaware that she was doing this.)
This came later. In fact John being a strong visual, always assumed the world was like him. And he was astonished when one night Richard in popping off to him, commented on how some people spoke as if they were seeing pictures. [Richard then was almost totally auditory].
Out of this grew all kinds of things. They began to pair people with slips of colored paper [reds with reds and reds with blues] early on to see what would happen... They found that r/r established great rapport easily -- while mismatched colors [rep systems folks] had difficulty in understanding each other.
LL>They wrote up their findings in The Structure of Magic, vol. 1 (Meta
LL>Press, 1975), which most people find the most unreadable of all the NLP
LL>books. The linguistic patterns described in this book now seem to be a
LL>core part of most programs in clinical psychology, although apparently
LL>credit is seldom given to Bandler and Grinder.
One: it still is dense with information and implications for change and growth.
Two: what is little known is that Richard wrote all the linguistic parts and John the therapy parts. It was for them the test that they had each really integrated the information fully.
LL>Some of the NLP group traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to participate in Milton
LL>Erickson's seminars and observe his work with clients. Erickson's work
LL>gave Bandler and Grinder ideas that took them far beyond what they had
LL>learned from Perls and Satir.
They were sent on this quest by Richard's neighbor, Gregory Bateson. Dilts was in Phoenix and joined up with R&G there.
LL>Undoubtedly I've got the chronology somewhat mixed up here. But from what
It would appear to be pretty close based on what I know...
LL>Basically the Santa Cruz group broke up because people couldn't deal with
LL>Bandler's personality any more, especially his heavy use of cocaine. More
LL>recently, Bandler was involved in the murder of a professional dominatrix
LL>(for which he was acquitted). Last year, Mother Jones ran an article
Richard was evidently not just a genius but a real AH to be around. And much of that had to do with his drug taking. [mostly alcohol and cocaine]
As to the murder charges -- I personally don't think Richard did it, but by his own admissions he did act incredibly stupid at this time. [For example - he didn't call the police] Since then Richard has been almost reborn. He still drinks, but a lot less than before. His other drug use has stopped or been reduced significantly too. He is much more interested in making sure that NLP is respected and used for good, and not used to hurt other people. He has gotten married again and seems quite content. In fact he is now quite the doting father to his [step] children.
***End of Duncan's comments on Lady's article***