The Ghost of Dave Dobson

The last time I saw Dave Dobson was in the nursing home in Friday Harbor located on his beloved San Juan Island. Dave had retired to the San Juan Islands but I pulled him out of retirement to begin doing Fun Shops again. He was one of the most amazing and incongruent teachers I ever met. Amazing because of the keen insights he had on human nature and helping people evolve. And incongruent because of his fear that someone was going to rip him off and steal his life’s work. At times Dave would roar “Rip me off dammit. Just use my stuff.” And at other times, he would accuse people of stealing his teachings. And after a lifetime of teaching, he made sure no one else would be able to do his work. He left behind no writings other than a book I had transcribed for him as a birthday present. His Fun Shops recordings aren’t very useful to people who can’t see the non-verbals Dave was using. And the video recordings Dave hoarded will probably never see the light of day and even if they did – Dave forbade anyone from ever explaining his work. That’s why 20 years from now, no one will have heard of Dave Dobson – one of the greatest hypnotists who ever lived. On the other hand, there is a legacy of teachings of Milton Erickson. Maybe some of the people teaching Ericksonian hypnosis got it wrong. Maybe they are mis-teaching what Milton tried to give over. But Milton spent a life time making sure his techniques and content got out there....

Accidentally Meeting An NLP Master

I went to London to attend an NLP workshop.  While I was there, I mentioned to a friend that I was having a problem with my legs cramping during yoga. I had tried many different treatments including massage, acupressure, herbs, vitamins, and foot work but I was still painfully cramping in yoga.  He asked, “Harlan. Don’t you live in Boca?  Why don’t you see Joe X?” I never heard of Joe X and he was impossible to find online. Eventually I tracked him down and discovered this guy was the real deal. He’s an NLP trainer and bodyworker with an international following.  And it turns out, his office is directly across the street from mine. Within a session or two, my problem was GONE!  But I’ve continued to go to Joe and learn from him about what he does.   There’s a funny thing about working with Joe.  While he’s working on you, he starts to talk kind of funny and my eyes close and out I go. Joe is doing classical conversational hypnosis.  There is no formal trance.  Just ordinary conversation and out I go. Of course, I’m not the only one who notices this.  When Richard Bandler had a recent stroke, he told the hospital the only person he would let work on him was Joe.  Hmmm. I wonder why. Now Joe has no products explaining what he does or how he does it but I’m sure I’ll get one out of his sooner or later.  But I’d like you to take away one thing I learned from him. When I work with Joe, he works on only...

What’s Wrong With NLP Training

Warning: This post is not for the faint at heart. NLP was founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.  The two of them co-taught in seminars across the United States (and the world).  At one point, they even did a show on the Las Vegas strip. As personalities, the two could hardly be more dissimilar.  Bandler was the PT Barnum showman.  He regaled the audience with stories during the trainings.  Grinder was the professor.  He taught techniques and was in love with the structure of change. Bandler developed a pattern he still uses today.  He tells wild stories to induce certain emotional states.  He chains these states together.  And he uses nested loops to conceal these chains from prying eyes. Grinder is still the professor.  He lectures the audience on the structure of change.  Currently, he is teaching the “New Code” of NLP. The lesser lights in the NLP world included Leslie Cameron (Bandler), Judy DeLozier, David Gordon, Robert Dilts, Stephen Lankton, Stephen Gilligan, Steve and Connirea Andreas, and many more.  They were very talented teachers who created high quality trainings. Somewhere along the line, a new model of training arose in the “Bandler camp”. In this model, people were no long “Instructed” in NLP.  The presenter got on the stage and “did NLP” without offering any instruction.  He would tell wild stories, elicit and install states, tell nested loops and in the end, the audience “got the material” on a deep level. The problem was, the attendees couldn’t do any of the things they learned.  That’s because they learned it on an “unconscious” level. I’m here to tell...

Using Questions In Your Copy

For years I’ve been a pioneer. I’ve told people, don’t use questions in your copy. Why? Because when you use a question, you force the person to think about the answer. And when they think about the answer, they aren’t with you on your page of copy. For example: “Are you really satisfied with your lifestyle? Do you wish you could do something about it?” Now those questions force the person to go inside their head and leave your copy. And if you ask the wrong question… they may never return to your copy. But what if there was a right way of asking questions in copy? And what if this was a breakthrough technique – never before revealed – that could actually produce a change in the reader just by his answers in his head to your copy? Let me make this clear. The WRONG question and you lose them for good. The RIGHT questions and you own them. And it works in copy. And it works in sales. And it works in personal change work. What I’m about to reveal will blow you away. Stay...