Article: 20341 of alt.self-improve
From: (Thomas Wong)
Newsgroups: alt.self-improve
Subject: alt.self-improve FAQ (part 1)
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 22:24:39 GMT
Organization: NetGate Communications

Archive-name: self-impr-faq/part1

alt.self-improve FAQ
Version 2.7 (3-15-1997)


This document is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions from the alt.self-improve newsgroup. It is created by the editors for public use.

The information here is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not reflect the opinions of the editors or their associates. This FAQ may be freely distributed provided this disclaimer is included with all copies. All contributions and suggestions for improvement are welcomed. Please direct all your inquiries to the editors:

Loren Larsen

Thomas Wong

This FAQ is posted on the 17th of every month. A how-to-find-the-FAQ article is posted on the 7th and 27th of every month. It's also available on the World Wide Web at and via FTP from /part [1,2] (version 2.0).

Changes since version 2.6
- Removal of Tad James Section
- Revision of Marshall Sylver

Changes since version 2.5
- Update on speed-reading and photo-reading information
- Update on NLP information
- Addition of a section on Design Human Engineering (DHE)
- Updates to resource links

Changes since version 2.4
- Personal Power II Update
- Section E "Hot Topics of the Month" is now "Sample Hot Topics for 1996"
- Removal of Kevin Trudeau's lawsuit story
- Addition of some new resource links

Changes since version 2.3
- More on NLP Resources

Changes since version 2.2
- More on "Anti-Cult Movements"
- More on "NLP"
- $500,000 Psychic Challenge by The Amazing Randi
- Addition of "Success Vs Money"
- New links in "Resources and References"

Introduction to alt.self-improve

The alt.self-improve group provides a forum for discussing strategies, techniques, and principles for self-improvement. The table of contents gives a good overview of the breadth of topics discussed. This FAQ has been created to provide a single document that contains a sort of history of what has been discussed in the newsgroup. New readers may find the answers to many of their questions already answered in this document. We have attempted to categorize questions by topic for easy access, but many issues don't fit neatly into a single category. The contents of this document are collected by the editors from past postings in alt.self-improve, personal e-mail correspondence, and outside sources. All suggestions and contributions are welcome. The newsgroup is not intended for commercial uses or promotion of, commercial products; however, you may submit information for inclusion in the "References and Resources" section. Only those companies whose products, seminars, or books are discussed in this newsgroup will be accepted.

This document is constantly being revised and improved. Most of the materials collected so far has been summarized based on past postings to the newsgroup. Therefore, there may be errors due to the source or the deletion of certain information. Also, some of the information presented may be biased toward the interests and perspectives of the editors. Hopefully both of these errors and bias can be eliminated with your feedback. Please help to expand and perfect this document by contributing your knowledge.

Quoted articles are acknowledged by placing the poster's name in parentheses, e.g. (From: Information which is not explicitly acknowledged has been compiled by the editors from a variety of sources including past postings, external sources, and reader responses to the editors.

We are considering different methods of compactly recording comments from a wide variety of sources. One suggestion is to create a rating system for books, seminars, etc. For example if you have attended a particular speed reading course or a Tony Robbins seminar, send us your opinion by rating it on a scale of 1-10. The average could be used as opposed to a huge collection of personal responses. Any other suggestions are welcome.


A/ Self-Improvement Methods
   1. Career
      - Information Management
      - Sales and Negotiation
      - Time Management
   2. Emotional
      - Morris Acting / Method Acting
      - NLP
   3. Financial
      - Savings and Investment
      - Real Estate
      - Get-Rich-Quick Scams
      - Success Vs Money
   4. Mental
      - Accelerated Learning
      - Creativity Enhancement
      - Hypnosis
      - Meditation
      - Memory Systems
      - Mind Machines
      - Speed Reading
      - Beyond Speed Reading
      - Virus of the Mind
   5. Physical
      - Baldness Cures and Consequences
      - Body Work
      - Eye Sight Improvement
      - Health Food
      - Voice Work
   6. Relationship / Social
      - Men and Women
   7. Spiritual
      - Religion and Self-Esteem
      - Magic and Pseudo-Paranormal Phenomena

B/ Established Disciplines
   1. Anti-Cult Movements
   2. Design Human Engineering (DHE) (TM)
   3. Est
   4. Landmark (The Forum)
   5. Life-Long Learning Association
   6. Lifespring
   7. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
   8. The People's Network
   9. Scientology / Dianetics

C/ Popular People and Media
   1. Richard Bandler & John Grinder
   2. Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People, etc.)
   3. Anthony Robbins
   4. Marshall Sylver

D/ References and Resources
   1. Resource List
   2. Software Packages
   3. Reader Ratings of Books/Audiotapes/Seminars
   4. Who's Who Listing of Professionals in alt.self-improve

E/ Sample Hot Topics for 1996


A/ Self-Improvement Methods

1. Career

- Information Management (reprinted from Sharing Ideas)

"Put a World of Information at Your Fingertips"

Bill Gates's mission to "put a world of information at your fingertips" is taking on a new meaning as he ventures into TV broadcasting. His recent partnership with NBC promises to create a new cable channel called MSNBC by fall 1996. Microsoft will pay $220 million over five years to own half of this cable channel. The formation of this cable channel suggests the construction of a new phase on the "Information Superhighway."

The world is moving fast into the "Information Age." Part of the communication that we do every day will be involved in exchanging information.
Those who are in business will need to be able to gather and provide information on consumer trends, economic data, legal issues, financial sources, networking opportunities, and many other things to succeed in your venture.

Lack of a piece of important information can cost you time and money.
The ability to manage information is equally important to an engineer, a musician, a real estate agent, a nurse, or a teacher. Just think back on your own experiences and on those of people you know. How often have you erred or made a poor decision because you didn't have the right information in advance?
Perhaps you've wasted time driving in the wrong direction because you thought you could find the destination. Perhaps you're being passed over for a promotion because you don't seem to "know much," according to your boss.

While many have little awareness of information's vital role, they often simultaneously suffer from a feeling of information overload. Reports, books, mailings, and memos seem overwhelming. Implementation of the "Information Superhighway" further adds massive information data.

Some may think that this is a problem of too much information, but in reality, it is due a lack of information consciousness and of the ability to find and manage the appropriate information effectively. The solution is to increase information awareness. Ask specific questions to identify and find the most useful and relevant information.

This information-gathering process has been eased in recent years by advances in computer technology and high-speed communication. One way to think about using data retrieval, whether online or off, is to compare it to a shopping mall. Within the information mall, there are many specialty stores, such as databases, periodicals, books, news sources, government documents, microfilm, and data on people and organizations. Each store offers unique information, so you must learn to choose selectively when researching.

The ideal way to manage information is to become an information specialist who is thoroughly familiar with the hundreds of sources of information. This may not be practical or necessary for now. Nevertheless, you should be able to utilize the following six basic reference sources of information in the U.S.:
-1- Libraries and Educational Institutions
-2- Online and CD-ROM Databases
-3- U.S. Government
-4- Nonprofit Associations
-5- Street-Smart Directories
-6- Commercial Services

* Good books to read on this subject are:
  "Information Anxiety" by Richard Saul Wurman
  "Managing the Information Age" by Michael McCarthy
  "The Art of Being Well-Informed" by Andrew Garvin
  "The Road Ahead" by Bill Gates
  "Trends Tracking" by Gerald Celente
  "Techno Trends" by Daniel Burrus
  "Megatrends 2000" and "Megatrends Asia" by John Naisbitt
  "Clicking" by Faith Popcorn

* Stanford University and InReference provides excellent references
  on the Internet at The content includes
  6+ month archive of more than 13,000 newsgroups and publicly-accessible
  lists. Send an email to if you don't have web access.

- Sales and Negotiation
(Modified from:

You have touched on a subject that is very important to me. Negotiation and NLP are so closely linked that they almost become one subject.
The "ethical outcomes" and "win-win" approaches that both require naturally complement each other. I have done much training in negotiation, but am self- trained in NLP techniques, concentrating more on the results I can achieve, than the technical reasons as to how it works.

Some effective negotiation techniques are those explained in "Getting to Yes" by Roger Fisher and William Ury, and the follow-up books by the same authors, who work with the Harvard Negotiation Project. Simple guidelines, no "aren't I smart" techniques, and an easy set of principles to remember. Because they are based on relationships and long term outcomes, using NLP to build rapport can only aid the process.

Another well-known source is Karrass's Negotiation Seminars which are being advertised in airline magazines. His book is called "Negotiation to Close." You might also want to read "Getting What You Want" by Kare Anderson and listen to "The Win-Win Negotiator" by Ross Reck & Brian Long and "The Secrets of Power Negotiating" by Roger Dawson. These books and tapes are available at your local bookstores.

Lastly, for intercultural negotiation with Asians, read "Understanding the Asian Mind Game" and "Thick Face, Black Heart" by Chin-Ning Chu. Both books are #1 best-sellers in Asia.


- Time Management

One book that has been highly recommended by a number of readers is "Time Power" by Charles Hobbs. The books helps you explore your belief systems and work towards achieving "congruence" so that your fundamental beliefs, goals, and actions are as free from conflict or contradiction as possible.

Some other suggestions are:
"How to Get Control of your Time and Your Life" by Alan Lakein
"Getting Organized" by Stephanie Winston
"Overcoming Procrastination" by Albert Ellis
"Executive Time Management" by H. Reynolds and Mary Trammel
"The Organized Executive" by Stephanie Winston

Although some of these cater to business folks, if you grasp the principle ideas, then you should be able to apply them to any situation.

Alan Lakein's six simple but powerful ideas are helpful:
1. List goals
2. Make a Daily To-Do list
3. Start with the A priorities, not the C's
4. Ask yourself "What is the Best use of my time right now?"
5. Handle each piece of paper only once.
6. Do it now!!!

You really don't need anything else except your own motivation.
Happy Reading!
(From: (Jeff Hughes))

Q. Is there time management software available?
A. One program for time management is ASCEND 4.0 for Windows. This
   product is from Franklin Quest. A 60-day evaluation copy is
   available on CompuServe. Enter "GO FRANKLIN". The filename is
   ASCNEV.EXE (Jerry Buchheit) writes:
   "I would like to recommend the Day-Planner by Franklin Quest.
   The organization of it allows me to maintain a wealth of information
   in ONE place. I used to be 'organized' with several methods -
   computer based one at work, a small notebook pocket one for
   portability, a larger notebook one for space, and a calendar
   type for appointments. I found I was 'thrashing' - organizing
   without really being organized for productivity. Now that I have
   placed all of my information in ONE location, I have facts and data
   at my fingertips.  I am much more organized and, I hope, productive."

2. Emotional

Have you ever wondered how you can manage your emotions from this minute to
the next? I have, and I think the answer is a combination of Method Acting/
Morris Acting and NLP techniques.

- Morris Acting / Method Acting
Method Acting is a controversial approach developed by a Russian called Stanislavsky. It takes years to master this approach at the famous Actor's Studio in New York because there's no structure to it. Actors who did master this approach through massive exercises had the ability to create magical reality on stage. Some of these actors include Marilyn Monroe, Marlo Brando, James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, and Brandon Lee.

Bill Moyers describes the benefits of Method Acting in his book and public television series: "Healing and the Mind." A more comprehensive work is done by Dale Anderson, the President of Medical Speakers Association. He describes the concepts and benefits of Method Acting and acting in general in his 1995 book, "Act Now". Unfortunately, he doesn't teach you how to practice Method Acting.

What Eric Morris did to Method Acting was what Richard Bandler did to Erickson Hypnosis. He found/created a structure to practice Method Acting and then expanded on it. I first witnessed his most impressive work at his 5-day acting Jamboree in 1994. It was the most exhilarating and meaningful experience I've ever had, not to mention the high quality of his students. All of them are warm and caring and have learned to be self-accepting and non-judgemental about others. A few of his former students are Jack Nicholson, Melanie Griffith, Terri Garr, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Morris Acting can be divided into two parts: (1) Instrumental work and (2) Craft work. Instrumental work is about dealing with yourself. He has developed hundreds of exercises to eliminate your emotional blocks and conditioned responses to achieve an authentic being state. I've heard a lot of advice on "be yourself" but no one except Eric Morris really teaches you how to "be your authentic self" by removing excessive social obligations and family conditioning. Craft work is about managing your emotional states, and there are twenty-seven choice approaches.

Examples of Choice Approaches:
  (1) Sense Memory - Training your five senses to memorize an experience so
      that you can re-create the experience later by recalling the senses.
      Self-directed sensory responses (external state)
          --> mental hallucination (internal state)
  (2) Imaginary Monologue - Talk to someone meaningful in your life about
      meaningful things to get yourself affected in the way you want.
  (3) Sub-Personalities - Find, elicit, and use the different selves that you
      have: a pusher, a critic, a parent, a lover, etc. Not the same as NLP
  (4) External - Model the essence of people, animals, and inanimate objects.
      Have you seen "Wolf" played by Jack Nicholson. It's that real.

Eric's work is summarized in his four books: (1) Being and Doing, (2) No Acting Please, (3) Irreverent Acting, and (4) Acting from the Ultimate Consciousness. You can get these books from your local bookstore.
NLP emphasizes the use of submodalities, anchoring, and association/ dissociation to deal with your emotions. These patterns work well when you are open and emotionally available.

The phobia cure pattern is the trademark of NLP. The principle behind this pattern is to detach yourself from a fearful experience by using multiple dissociations. A simple dissociate state is when you can see yourself or a just-like-you person in your experience. In other words, you take an "observer" position as if you're watching a movie of yourself. The next step might involve playing with the submodalities of your experience. For example, you can move the picture of your fear 20 feet from where it used to be, turn it upside down, tune it into black and white, put sweet music into it, and etc.

Another NLP pattern is called "collapsing anchors". An anchor is a conditioned physiological response to a stimulus. For example, you respond to a stop sign by stopping because it's an anchor that triggers your reflex to step on the brake. To collapse an emotional anchor, you access another strong emotion simultaneously so that you diffuse the other anchor.
* In my opinion, the differences between acting and NLP are:
(1) Acting is about experiencing and accepting emotions so that you become comfortable with who you are and how you feel. NLP, on the other hand, takes a problem solving approach, and its outcome is to move from a "present state" to a "desired state." NLP asks you to identify the right state for a certain task, such as that associated with doing math or playing golf, so that you can become a peak performer.

(2) Acting focuses on accessing information, while NLP works to process the accessed information. For example, doing an imaginary monologue with a dead uncle is a choice approach (acting). How you manipulate the sensory responses--the sounds that you hear, pictures that you see, the feelings in your body--is NLP.

3. Financial Management

- Savings and Investment

The most well known source of information about personal finance information is probably Charles Givens. He gives seminars around the country and is the author of the best-selling books, "Wealth Without Risk" and "Financial Self- Defense." He is also the founder of the "Charles J. Givens Organization" which is supposedly the largest organization of its type in the world, that is dissiminator of personal finance information and advice. His organization was recently sued in Iowa for giving misleading financial advice. See Newsweek (May 17, 1993) for more details. The whole thing was later settled out of court for a large amount of money.

Charles Givens has also reportedly lied about the story he often tells of losing and regaining his millionaire fortune three times. He also claims that he made his riches in real estates. Some critics argue that he made more money by selling his organization memberships ($500 and $1,000) and from his get-rich-quick real estate and business investment programs.  has taken his real estate seminar and feels that it's worth the money. However, he feels that everything else is overpriced and oversold. The comprehensive real estate investor program, for example, is priced at $10,000.

To be fair, a significant number of people have benefited from his books.
As an example, had two minor rental car accidents over the last four years and he suffered no financial losses even though he never bought any of the rental car insurances. The key is to choose the right information and adapt it to your personal situation. Givens's books can help you save money, but no readers of this group have reported gaining great wealth from following his advice.

* Other resources for financial management:
(a) One excellent place to look is in the misc.invest FAQ.

(b) A good book to read is called "Your Money Or Your Life" by Joseph Dominguez and Vicki Robin. This book takes a "holistic" approach to financial success, meaning that it treats finances as an integral part of your entire life, not one separable part that can be talked about separately. It discusses attitudes toward money, spiritual feelings about money, whether how you are making money is consistent with your values, etc.

(3) Another book recommended by a Canadian reader is "The Wealthy Barber".

(4) Another great book is "4 Laws of Debt-Free Prosperity" by Blaine Harris and Charles Coonradt.  The book tells through a parable set of skills, rules, and ideas for not only getting out of debt but building wealth for yourself that will last.  It's great fun to read and gives sound advice.

- Real Estate

Robert Allen gives a lot of street-smart advice in his book, "Nothing Down."
Basically, it's about how to buy properties by negotiating with the buyers for everything except cash payment (unless you can buy the properties at a wholesale price). The key is to find a "motivated seller."

In real estate, the key to a good buy is its location. It's much better to buy the worst property in a good neighborhood than to buy the best property in a poor neighborhood. The value of a property depends on its neighborhood.

In short, Robert has some solid advice for seasoned investors as well as first-time home buyers. Good use of his book can save you lots of $$$.

- Get-Rich-Quick Scams

Here's a humorous article posted by Michael Nugent ( to counteract the spread of get-rich-quick chain letters.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make Money Fast !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 !!!!!!!!!!!!!! This really does work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just send All Your Possessions to the person at the top of the list below and add your own name to the bottom of the list. It's that simple!!! Then send this post to 5 other people!!! Within less than a very short time you will have all of the possessions of 5 other people: 5 houses, 5 cars, 20 or so computers, some food, and other goodies. This is all legal!!! Very soon after that 25 different people will have sent you everything that they own!!! And then you can do the sums. It works. You will get all of the possessions of 125 people from different cultures and backgrounds, then over 600 people, and then over 3000 people!!! You will be RICH BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS!!! You will be HAPPY EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE and you will have sex more often than poor people who do not get involved with this fully legal scheme!!! So send me all of your possessions NOW. This instant or you will die a horrible death with maggotty things eating your inside as you fry from the inside out in a very hot microwave oven!!! It's really that simple--and it really works!!!

Yes. I'M CONVINCED! What do I do now?

Just send all your possessions to the first person on this list then add your name to the bottom and move each other name up one place. Then just wait by your mailbox TO BECOME RICH!!!

1. Michael Nugent at my address
2. Mick Nugent c/o Michael Nugent
3. Mike Nugent c/o Mick Nugent
4. Mikey Nugent c/o Mike Nugent
5. Mr. M Nugent c/o Mikey Nugent

- Success Vs Money

Many self-help programs (especially of the "infomercial" type) seem to confuse success with wealth. There is considerable evidence that, regardless of what you want the money for, it's actually easier to go for it directly instead of going to all the trouble of getting rich first. People who concentrate on the money tend to forget why they wanted it in the first place (they aren't necessarily unhappy, but they aren't the same person anymore).

I highly recommend the book "The Seven Laws of Money" by Michael Phillips. Among other things, he points out that most people have the financial means to accomplish specific goals that may seem to be out of reach, *if* they're willing to make sacrifices in other areas of their lives. When he points this out to people (using their own financial statements), they can't use lack of money as an excuse anymore, and they're forced to re-evaluate their goals.

The current edition is a pocket-sized paperback from Shambala Press (they publish those little books you see by the checkout counter in bookstores). It looks a bit like Mao's "little red book", except that it's green :-). The earlier edition from 1974 had some additional commentary by other people that's not in the current one.

[The First Law is "Money will come when you are doing the right thing". Marsha Sinetar later rephrased this in her book "Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow". Note the underlying assumption that "what you love" is actually "the right thing".
This comes from the Zen concept of "right livelihood", which is discussed in a number of popular "career" books.]

4. Mental

- Accelerated Learning

Accelerated learning is a technique that was pioneered by a Bulgarian psychologist named Lozanov during the 1950's/60's. A typical session involves two stages: learning while in deep relaxation, and consolidating through play.

In the first stage of a session, pupils are seated (or sit on cushions) in a comfortable room and are encouraged to relax, get themselves into a positive frame of mind and visualize a time when they experienced real joy at successfully learning something.

Once everyone is relaxed, the teacher will start some music. The best music has been found to be Baroque music, by composers like Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, at a tempo of about sixty beats per minute (60bpm). The students are asked to breath in time to the music to increase their relaxation - a common method is to breath in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds and pause, in time with the music.

The teacher then reads the material to be learned, again in time with the music, and varying the tone and volume of his/her voice. If the material is, for example, the basic vocabulary of German, the teacher will read an English word, followed four seconds later by the German equivalent. The idea is the material will "imprint" itself on the minds of the students, with little conscious effort by them.

The second stage involves revising the material through play, the idea again is to make the session as relaxed and enjoyable as possible.

The editors have no experience of the techniques themselves, so we cannot say if they are of any value. Reports of the technique have varied from wild claims of learning 2000+ foreign words in a day, to murmurs of disappointment from people who found the sessions boring and repetitive. Many people have commented that people who are good auditory learners seem to have more success than those who are good visual learners, so Anthony Robbins fans might want to check this out.

The only audio material being produced at the moment (as far as we know) is by Colin Rose, who has also written a book on the subject (called, strangely enough, "Accelerated Learning"). You also might want to dig out a copy of "Superlearning" by Maria Ostrand, which describes the history of Accelerated Learning in detail and gives a complete guide to doing it yourself.

* In recent years, whole-brain learning has emerged as an alternative to Lozanov's concept of accelerated learning. Here's an introduction of whole- brain learning from "Beginner's Mind."

Dr. Roger Sperry was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on the "split-brain theory" in 1981. According to his study, the brain has two hemispheres with different but overlapping qualitative functions. The left and right hemispheres share and communicate their information through a nerve bundle called the corpus callosum. According to this theory, the left hemisphere digitizes the content and organizes the logic while the right hemisphere handles emotional impressions and responses. The left hemisphere is basically "fact friendly," while the right hemisphere is more "idea friendly." This distribution of mental functions brings about some qualities that are specifically associated with each hemisphere.

Qualities Associated with the Left and Right Hemispheres

Left Hemisphere                    Right Hemisphere

Right body control                                Left body control
Logic                         Feelings
Rules                                    Imagination
Vertical                               Lateral
Language                                      Music
Sequences                     Randomness/Spontaneity
A great deal of human behavior is asymmetrical. Laterality is demonstrated whenever an action demands more from one side of the body than the other.
Every time you wink, shake a fist, or kick a dog, you tend to favor one side more than the other. What you can do to heighten your whole-brain usage is to activate the nondominant parts of your body. You may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but the payoff will be worthwhile.

Leonardo da Vinci, a great historic inventor, recognized the value of stimulating his nondominant hemisphere for creative problem solving. He wrote with his nondominant hand to come up with unconventional ideas. To test this out, think of a conflict that you've had recently. Then write down five words to describe that situation using your dominant hand (for most people, this is your right hand). Relax and focus on your rate of breathing for one minute.
Then write down another five words using your other hand. Check to see if there are any similarities and differences between them. For some people, it may be easier to draw or make sketches to describe the situation. Try it both ways and see which way gives you a better response.

Your hands are only one of your body parts that you can use to help stimulate a fresh perspective. Exercising other nondominant parts of your body will greatly enhance the whole experience. Next time, when you're watching a movie, sit on the side of the theater that you would normally avoid. If you like to wink with your right eye, try using your left eye. Dr. Robert-Michael Kaplan, an eye vision fitness trainer and author of Seeing Beyond 20/20, has also suggested wearing an eye patch over your dominant eye. Do this for a few hours a day to improve your overall vision. It will teach you about seeing instead of just looking at things.

You can also selectively stimulate the hemispheres of your brain by alternating breathing across your nostrils. Pay attention to your breathing right now to find out which nostril is being used more than the other. You can close off one nostril and breath, then close off the other and breath. It requires a greater effort to breathe through the nondominant nostril. Research has shown that you will favor one nostril over the other for about ninety minutes and then switch to the other side. When you selectively use the nondominant nostril, you stimulate the less active hemisphere of your brain. This change is particularly useful when you need to switch your way of thinking from the analytical to intuitive, or from random association to structured thinking.

Both Zygon and the Learning Strategies use a combination of accelerated learning and whole-brain learning techniques in their popular audio tapes.
Betty Edwards, author of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", used art to elicit the power of your other brain. Finally, accelerated and whole-brain learning techniques have been applied extensively in many self-improvement disciplines, from Design Human Engineering to speed reading.

- Creativity Enhancement

The best books to start in creativity enhancement are "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants" by Roger von Oech and "What A Great Idea!" by Charles Thompson.
Roger will introduce you to the four stages of creativity, namely EXPLORER, ARTIST, JUDGE, and WARRIOR. Charles will teach you techniques used by the world's most creative people, such as Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats. Yoshiro is the inventor of the digital watch, the floppy disk, and the CD. Known as the Edison of Japan, he has over 2,300 patents, more than double the 1093 held by Thomas Edison.

Charles also emphasizes the importance of a creativity-friendly environment.
You can make the lightning, background noise, temperature work for you instead of against you. He also suggests that you find those places and times where you are most free to come out with ideas. These can be when you're exercising, listening to a church sermon, falling asleep, waking up, commuting to work, looking out the window, or sitting on the toilet!

* For those in science, you'll love "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" by Richard Feynman. Richard was the most wacky character in physics: he cracked the safe containing atomic bomb secrets in the 40s, got his Nobel prize because of his PLAYFUL CURIOSITY in calculating the relationship between the rotation and up-and-down wobbling of a plate, and identified the cause for Challenger space shuttle explosion by dropping a rubber bend into a glass of ice water.

* Another well-known speaker in this area is Edward deBono, who has coined the term "lateral thinking" and written half a dozen of books on it. The basic idea of lateral thinking is that instead of moving directly and automatically from a goal to a solution, the mind searches in many different directions to find a solution. It involves avoiding solving problems in the most familiar or obvious way. His books are quite readable and enjoyable. Personally, the editor finds that there are too many exercises and not enough substance for real world applications.

* Other good books are:
  "99% Inspiration" by Bryan Mattimore (excellent new approaches in creativity)
  "108 Ways to Get a Bright Idea" by Arthur VanGundy (practical techniques)
  "Breakthroughs" by P. Nayak and M. Ketteringham (dull writing, good cases)
  "Crackpot or Genius" by Francis Feynolds (about physical inventions)
  "Creativity in Business" by Michael Ray and Rochelle Meyers (new age)
  "Future Edge" by Joel Arthur Barker (about shifting paradigms)
  "Idea Power" by Arthur VanGundy (excellent software references)
  "It Only Takes One" by John Emmerling (one specific approach: S.T.R.I.K.E.)
  "What's the Big Idea?" by George Lois (about great ads like Xerox's Monkey)

* Mindmapping. This is a specific creativity enhancement technique developed by Tony Buzan for "associatively" recording ideas on paper. Most notetaking methods on paper are linear; that is you start at the top of the page and record information in the order presented from top to bottom. Buzan recognized that this isn't consistent with the way the human mind works, which is "associately" by creating associations between items that are not necessarily related to some predefined order. A mindmap works by beginning at the center of the page with a main idea and work outward producing a growing and organized structure composed of keywords and images. Complete sentences or even phrases are not allowed because they're redundant and inefficient. Mindmaps are useful in organizing information, taking notes, outlining talks or written material, brainstorming for creating new ideas and seeing new connections between things.

They require a more active involvement in taking notes because the location of the next item must be decided upon based on what is already there. Traditional "verbatim" approaches simply state that "what will come will follow what has come." Mind maps are easier to remember and easier to review because each one is visually different and because no two will have the exact same structures, colors, clusters, symbols, etc. Mindmapping is described by Tony Buzan in "The Mind Map Book" as well as several of his other books. Another good book is called "Mindmapping" by Joyce Wycoff. There's also several software for mind mapping. A good one is "Inspiration."

- Hypnosis

Hypnosis is used by many different forms of therapy. Self-hypnosis is also possible and many people report positive experiences with hypnosis.
This topic is not often discussed in much detail in alt.self-improve.

Hypnosis can be used in many ways for self-improvement. It can allow the mind to utilize its resources in new ways and to change behavior and create new desired behaviors. To learn more about hypnosis, read the newsgroup "alt.hypnosis," which has a very good FAQ. There is also web site at describing hypnosis training by Tad James as well as dozens of hypnosis scripts. (See References and Resources for more info).

NLP also utilizes hypnosis in various ways. An excellent book on hypnosis is "Trance-formations" by John Grinder and Richard Bandler.

- Meditation

Many people in this group have had some experience with meditation. Some reported very good results, while others didn't. The topic is not often discussed in detail in alt.self-improve although it does seem relevant. A better place might be "alt.meditation."

- Memory Systems

(Contributed by:

Quite often the question comes up regarding memory systems. One has either read a book, or has seen an infomercial concerning it. Do they work and are they worth the money?

A quick bit of history. Recorded history concerning memory systems is documented to about 500 B.C. There are indications that these were in existence as early as 1500 B.C., but only fragments exist supporting this claim. The ancient orators used these systems to help deliver their famous speeches.

In modern times we have books, audio cassettes, and video recordings all teaching memory systems. One cannot really compare one system to another.
All have some good features to them. All are taught by people who have been in the business or have studied it. Most of the systems utilize a principle called mnemonics. Simply stated, this means assisting the human memory by artificially adding mental pictures or images attached to the item to be retained in our mind.

These systems do work, but you have to put in some time and effort to learn the basics. Once you do this, you will find the systems learned will be invaluable to you for the rest of your life.

Virtually anything you wish to remember can be memorized by utilizing these systems. They are not a waste of your time. Often the question of cost is raised. The books cost a few dollars while the book + audio/video combinations are much more expensive. Usually this is in the area today of $200 - $300 or more. Obviously the utilization of the audio/video is more effective due to the learning principles involved. Our retention is greater and our learning time is shortened. Books, on the other hand, are less expensive, but take a bit longer to learn from. An on-site seminar is the best possible way to learn these systems.

Books on the retail market by Harry Lorayne and Tony Buzan are among the best available, although others are equally effective.

One of the best background texts I have ever run across is by Kenneth Higbee of Brigham Young University. He is the only one that has done the homework in this business although others are now coming on line with more current study findings. His book is titled "Your Memory - How it Works and How to Improve it."

- Mind Machines

Mind machines are devices used for relaxation or to attempt to alter brain states. These devices are usually worn on the head and use light or sound effects. The scientific validity of their effectiveness has been debated in the group with no conclusive answers.

One positive comment is from (Lydia Polk): "I bought a Theta Technologies Voyager XL since they dropped the price from $350 to $200.
It works as claimed. It comes with 50 built-in sessions and an additional 25.
I use it primarily to get into delta sleep. But you can buy audio tapes that are designed to work with it and download session paramaters into the machine. You can get tapes for all kinds of self-improvement."

Another popular supplier is Zygon which ads have appeared in Airline magazines and TV infomercials. Their machines and tapes are fun to use, but their claims are way out of line. They don't match up to their promises.

* Editors' Note: The best reference on this subject is "Mega Brain Power" by Michael Hutchison. It has a complete review on just about every device on the market. Some of these devices are:
(1) Biofeedback: Mind Pyramid, EEG Devices, Mind Mirror III,     NeuroSearch 24, Brain Tracer, GSR Systems, Antense EMG System.
(2) Light Power: Ott Full Spectrum Light System, Color Receptivity Trainer,     Relaxmate.
(3) Light & Sound: David Paradise, Photosonix Galaxy, Mastermind DLS.
(4) Electric Power: Alpha Stim 100, Nustar.
(5) Motion: Integrated Motion System, Symmetron Chair.y (6) Senses: Vibrasound, Genesis, Prosonic Induction, Discovery Sound Bed.
(7) Many more, including Richard Bandler's Neurosonic Tapes.

- Speed Reading

The most famous speed reading method is called "Evelyn Wood's Reading Dynamics".  You can learn this method through a number mediums including seminars, books, cassette tapes, or computer software (1-800-447-READ). A book is also available called "The Evelyn Wood 7 Day Reading & Learning Program", ISBN 0380 715775, $4.99.

Most speed reading courses focus on a number of similar principles. One major impediment to speed reading is subvocalizing (saying words to yourself while reading). The motion of the eye is another key factor. Instead of reading just one word at a time, you are taught to pick up phrases, sentences, lines, or groups of lines in a single glance (depending on the method being taught).
In order to increase comprehension, some methods try to make the user more active in the reading process by having the user take notes in a specific way, ask questions before and after reading, etc. (Jim Whitaker) writes: "Speed Reading Made EZ"
(1) Sit down at a well lit table and sit up straight.
(2) Take a hardcover book with big-easy-to-read print; preferably not a novel,
    but some kind of no-brainer non-fiction works best.
(3) Take your finger or a pen and underline the words as you read them.
    Get used to pacing with your finger for a few minutes.
(4) Now speed up. Simply move your finger faster than you can sound out
    the words. You may not be able to understand what you read at all.
    In fact, if you think you can comprehend what you are reading, speed up
    till you simply see a blur of words that you recognize. If you are having
    problems and keeps sounding out the words compulsively--hum a tune.
    This disables your brain's capacity or habit for verbalizing words.
(5) Aim your eyes above the line of text you are reading, as if you were
    trying to read "between the lines". This makes it easy to focus your

    attention on groups of words rather than your eye stopping on individual
    words, which slows you down. At first you are not aiming to understand;
    you are trying to train your brain to accept that it can see and know what
    phrases of words mean simply by looking at them.
(6) Practice this exercise for no more than 15 minutes at a sitting, no more
    than one sitting per day, usually after your morning wake-up ritual when
    you are at your prime. If you try to push too hard or too fast, your brain
    hardware will resist you.
(7) After 8 or so sessions, your brain will start to abandon trying to
    comprehend what you read as "sounds" and instead will visually grab words
    and process them in parallel, instead of one at a time. Typical reading
    speeds at this point in time are around 800 to 1500 words per minute.
(8) The ultimate key to speed reading is realizing that your brain is learning
    to process words with the process of seeing them in groups, then
    processing their meaning. We are taught to read by seeing words, sounding
    them out, and then using our spoken speech hardware to comprehend what we
    read. The brain doesn't need this slow speech step.
(9) After a number of sessions in which you are comfortable with this
    technique, get rid of the finger and use a small brown index card with
    three black semicircular dots along one edge on it. The black dots tell
    you where to position your eyes as you read across the page. Take this
    card, and drag it down the page, scanning each line 123 123 123 123 with
    your eyes fixating either on the dots or above the text lines. With your
    finger out of the way, you can pick up some serious speed. As with before,
    don't expect perfect comprehension right away.
(10) Lose the card. Get in the habit of just scanning with your eyes.
    (If I'm tired, sometimes I still pull out the card. It's a great crutch.)

There are more techniques for speed than just these. I used to crank along at 30K WPM. This 10 step plan is good for about 3K WPM or sometimes a little more.
The fantastic rates come from learning to scan in text essentially out of order, grabbing entire paragraphs as your eyes pop around them almost at random.

As you read, try to ask questions to yourself about what is going on, or who the material is suitable for, or something to allow you to "correlate" it.
If you are not reading with need or potential purpose in mind, your brain won't remember it. In fact, your brain will not even process it. It will just see words flying by. The purpose of studying for an exam just doesn't cut it.
You have to try to imagine using the material in the real world, or sifting it for "junk" or planning something to do with it, and considering what effect what you are reading will have on your plan or your needs. In short, your brain will slowly get in the habit of "asking questions" at lightning speeds. It won't even bother to sound these questions out or formulate them--just instantly come up with them and compare them relative to the material being read.

The success of speed reading varies from individual to individual and is likely dependent on commitment and practice. The average reader reads about 350 words/minute. After speed reading training, speeds of 500-2000 words/minute are possible. It is difficult to measure exactly how this effects comprehension. I am not currently aware of scientific studies that show the effectiveness of speed reading programs.

- Beyond Speed Reading

There are a few companies that are teaching techniques that claim to go beyond photo-reading.  The basic premise is that books can be photographed, a page at time, say at 1 second per page.  So a 360 page book would take 6 minutes...
It is usually stated that although after processing a book in this manner you won't have much conscious knowledge of what you read, it has been processed unconsciously.

One technique taught by Learning Stategies Corporation is called Photo-reading.
The Photo-reading process involves learning how to mentally photograph the printed page and techniques for accessing what has been processed.  Many people have reported in this newsgroup great success with Photo-reading, including
that they are able to read much more much faster, that reading has come fun again, and that they comprehend far more of what they read.

Learning Strategies Corporation publishes a book called "Photo-reading" by Paul Scheele.  The book is short and simple and uniquely designed to allow you to learn the Photo-reading process very very quickly.  It can be ordered by calling LSC at 1-800-735-8273.  They also have available a home study course which includes a course manual and audio cassettes, and live trainings in the method are available around the world.

Another similar approach is called Subliminal Photography and is taught by Subliminal Dynamics (  There approach is somewhat similar although they have been more secretive about the process they teach.
Recently though, they have begun offering a home study course so people can learn their process without attending a course.  For more information see their web page.

- Virus of the Mind

This work by Richard Brodie (, the inventor of Microsoft Word, is about the science of memetics, a controversial new field that transcends psychology, biology, anthropology, and cognitive science. A working definition of meme is that it's a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds.

A virus of the mind is something out in the world that infects people with memes. Those memes, in turn, influence the infected people's behavior so that they help perpetuate and spread the virus.

If you currently believe in any concepts or subcultures or dogmas that meet these requirements: (1) a method of penetration, (2) a way of reproducing itself faithfully, and (3) a means to spread itself to other minds, and you didn't consciously choose to program yourself with these memes, you are inflected with a mind virus.

(1) Penetration
    - Repetition
      Hearing a similar message repeatedly on television.
      Being in a group where something is read constantly.
      Hearing a point of view repeatedly, e.g. gun control.
    - Cognitive Dissonance
      Going through an initiation or test.
      Taking a confrontational or uncomfortable seminar that gives
      a sense of relief at the end.
      Reaching some goal or reward after a struggle or being told that you
      are not good enough.
    - Trojan Horse
      Listening to a concept that mostly seems right, but has a few components
      that kind of rub you the wrong way.
      Hearing appeals to help children, resolve a crisis, feed hunger.
      Being presented opportunities to get more sex or money by adopting
      new beliefs.

(2) Faithful Reproduction
    - By instilling a belief that tradition is important. The way things
      have been said and done in the past is the way they ought to be done.
    - By saying that a set of memes is the Truth.
    - By setting up a structure that rewards copying and punishes modification
(the Army?)

(3) Spreading
    - Programming you with a meme to get the words out before it's too late,
      pushing your windows of opportunity buttons.
    - Programming you with a meme to the effect that this will help children.
    - Programming you to evengelize the virus: passing the favor, enrollment.

Richard suggests that you practice Zen to disinfect yourself from mind viruses.
Zen practitioners learn to take in what their senses perceive and dissolve
the artificial distinction-memes of human ideas and concepts.

Article: 20342 of alt.self-improve
From: (Thomas Wong)
Newsgroups: alt.self-improve
Subject: alt.self-improve FAQ (part 2)
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 22:25:33 GMT
Organization: NetGate Communications

Archive-name: self-impr-faq/part2

5. Physical

- Baldness Cures and Consequences

Does baldness need to be cured? The answer is up to you, if you're losing your hair. It depends on your self-concept, on how happy you are with the way you look now, and how happy you'll be with the way you will look once your pattern expands to its ultimate stage. You might get some hints on this by looking at pictures of your maternal grandfather in his later years; in any case, debates concerning the actual hereditary links of male-pattern baldness, while of scholarly interest, are mostly unhelpful to individuals and thus beyond the scope of this FAQ.

Bald can be Beautiful. Star Trek's Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) provides an excellent example of a person who, by a happy combination of personality and physiognomy, has managed to be handsome and quite sexy while still being bald.  St. Anthony, while not sexy, was good looking too, despite his bald crown. Your case may be a different story. It all depends on how you want to look.

Combing to cover. The solution, adopted by some, of combing hair over bald spots is probably counterproductive. In other words, the larger your spot, the better you might look if you just accepted its presence and had your hair styled so that the spot was not being hidden.

Vitamins. Severe nutrient deficiencies and extreme stress will shock your body from head to foot. If the foods you eat contain neither inositol nor any B vitamins, you may die sooner than you ought to. But, sad to say, if you have an otherwise normal diet and start popping inositol and B vitamins, your hair will still fall out.

Subliminal Suggestion Tapes and the Power of Mind. The person who made a tape designed to trick your mind into keeping hair on your head was full-cap bald when he produced the tape and is full-cap bald to this very day. Not even Krishna consciousness will help you grow hair. Do you have any idea of the number of bald swamis who have been sighted in Wyoming alone? Those who still dwell in the physical body are still bald.

Ram Dass and Wayne Dyer, very wise bald sages both, have used their wisdom to talk themselves out of esteeming hair, needing hair, or wanting hair. In fact, many holy beings float so high that they realize that hair is the least of their or anyone else's needs, that it's just more material stuff destined to collect in a porcelain sink, another illusion trying to convince you it's real, just one more set of material attachments from which we all, eventually, seek liberation.  And they're absolutely right.

Serious Solutions. If you still don't believe that bald can be beautiful (on you) and if you have $$$, then here are some alternatives.

(1) Timing is everything. The sooner you start taking some decisive action before your baldness pattern reaches its limits, the smoother your transition from a "balding" person to one with an apparently full head of hair will be.
This, of course, should be obvious. If your hair is just now starting to thin, very few people other than you and those very intimately involved with you will either notice or care if you start to make changes. If you make an abrupt transition, some people will ask you what you've done to your hair.

(2) Spray-On Hair in a Can. Don't laugh. This stuff really works--but only if you just have a small spot to cover. Forget it if you don't have any hair that can be combed over your spot and still look natural; in that case, it will just look like you painted your head! Cost: $5.00 per can at some retail stores; $19.95 plus 4.95 shipping and handling (for a larger can) when sold on late-night infomercials. Several brands are available. The one called Instant Hair Plus is a good one. Advantage: If you just have a small spot, this stuff has you covered. Its odd texture somehow creates the appearance of full hair, but only when mixed with a sufficient amount of your own thinning hair.
Disadvantage: The powder might come off on your pillow, shirt, and hands.
Get used to ring-around-the-collar. The better types come off only when mixed with water and soap. You need to apply for spray every day, or after you wash your hair. Spray-on hair is hardly a long-lasting solution, only a stop-gap measure. Eventually, you won't have enough real hair to make it work.

(3) Wigs. Hairpieces of various sizes, qualities, and shapes are rarely called wigs by companies like Hair Club For Men, Hairmakers, etc., but they're selling nothing other than wigs. They call their wigs "systems" or "pieces". Pick the euphemism you prefer. They sew--with a needle and thread--the hairpiece to your existing hair, which is first prepared by making a braid in your own hair along the sides. Other techniques involve attaching the piece to your braid by means of clips. The clips allow you to remove the piece whenever you desire; when the thing's sewn to your head, it's terribly difficult to get off without assistance, but in most cases you wouldn't want to do that anyway and so that doesn't create a problem. Cost: From $700 to $1500 for an initial hairpiece plus about $60 every 5 weeks for a haircut and servicing. If you can afford it, you should eventually get two pieces, so one can be worn while the other is being repaired every few months. Normal monthly servicing-with-haircut takes about an hour of concentrated effort from a specialized hairstylist, who therefore deserves at least a $10 tip.

It is possible to get a hairpiece that not only covers your baldness but also makes you look great. You get used to having it on after a few weeks; then it almost seems normal. Practically no one will know you're wearing it, especially if you start before you really need one, and if you return regularly to have your piece serviced. Remember, most people don't think nearly as much about your appearance as you do. However, a wig is always a wig. It's not a part of you; it's a prosthesis of sorts. You grow, but it doesn't. Your natural hair replenishes itself. The hair on your piece will get old faster than you do, fade, and even fall out. From time to time, therefore, you will need to have your piece dyed professionally as part of your monthly servicing and to have lost hairs replaced strand by strand, or clump by clump ($25 or so). You should attend to these details meticulously every few months. There's nothing worse than a balding or faded wig!

Some companies claim to permanently "cure" baldness by actually attaching what are no more than wigs or hairpieces to your scalp, not your existing hair.
Cost: Whatever it is, it's a horrid waste of money.

(4) Minoxidil (Rogaine). This product of the Upjohn company is widely advertised as the only approved cure for baldness. Cost: ? (a) Advantage: Scientific studies have proven that this drug works to restore growing hair for many people, especially those who start early and especially those with loss only in the crown. Apply a bit twice a day, and eventually and slowly, hair comes back. (b) Disadvantage: Your hair grows back, but painfully slowly.
If you stop using the drug, the hair falls out again. For many people the gains are not aesthetically significant. Sure, there's more hair or peach fuzz there, but you still look bald. The cost is relatively high, and you can never stop buying it.

(5) Hair Transplants and Baldness Reduction Procedures. This is the ultimate solution. It is the only one that, when it works, works permanently, such that you don't need to do it again! There is nothing like your own growing, regenerating hair. Cost: $8,000 (for just a bald crown) to $40,000 (for full-cap bald). (a) Advantage: If you have the bucks to spend, well spend them here. A doctor will take hairs from the sides or back of your scalp and install them onto your bald or balding areas. These transplanted hairs are the ones with strict genetic instructions to stay with you until your last breath. No more hairpiece servicing, no more bottles of drugs or colored hairspray to buy, just your own hair. Sound good? Read on. (b) Disadvantage: The prices listed are actually rather realistic, if you're going to get pleasing results. You wouldn't need to spend all of that money all at once, however. Each procedure will cost from $900 to $2000. Your results will depend on the skill and caring of your surgeons. Experience counts a lot.

And once you have all the hair you've ever wanted, read again that hair is an illusion like all the others. True, it's less of an illusion now that it's sprouting abundantly above your brain. But it's all just a bunch of material stuff, and none of it has much to do with who you really are. Or does it?
Your body might be an illusion, but that doesn't mean it has to be an unsightly, dreadful illusion. Why not let your illusion touch your highest ideal, if that's what you truly want to do.

- Body Work

Bodywork uses physical movement and touch therapy to foster health and well-being. Many practitioners also incorporate a variety of medical, psychological, and spiritual approaches. Bodywork certifications are very comprehensive. A Feldenkrais practitioner, for example, may need four years of training before certification can be given.

Some well-known disciplines are:
(1) The Alexander Technique. This is best for people who have to hold their bodies in a certain way for a long time, such as musicians and typists.
It's also about how to optimize your posture in walking and running. The key to Alexander is the head position and how it functions with the rest of the body. Watch the standing posture of a normal five-year-old kid then compare it with that of a forty-year-old overweighted person. Alexander can help that older person restores his natural posture.

(2) Feldenkrais. Its sessions involve being gently guided through basic movement patterns which provide the foundation for improving balance and freedom of movement. With hands-on feedback you begin to recognize habitual patterns of movement which are restricting or hurting you. You are then introduced to small, effortless movement options which are more effective and efficient.

(3) Rolfing. It's a system of body restructuring and movement education. In a hands-on series of deep tissue manipulations (can be very painful for some people), Rolfing releases chronic tensions and habitual holding patterns. It helps to strengthen and open up your restricted body parts.

(4) Various forms of messages. These are done for relaxation and energizing your body. However, they are not the same as other bodywork disciplines.

- Eye Sight Improvement

(1) Biofeedback

The Bates method is probably the most well-known. It's is a set of vision improvement techniques originally developed by William H. Bates, MD, back in the 1910's and 1920's. Many people have expanded on the techniques since then.
There are at least a dozen books in print.

The basic theory is that we develop excess tension in the muscles in and around the eyes, and it is this tension which causes poor vision. The vision improvement techniques are designed to relax the muscles in the eyes and to allow us to see better. There are 3 basic techniques for relaxing the eyes:

-1- "Sunning" is shining a bright light on your closed eyes. Use as bright a light as you can stand without squinting. Concentrate on relaxing the eyes while you do this. Eventually you will be able to increase the intensity of the light and use the sun as your light source. This technique is done for 5 to 20 minutes (no more than 5 minutes facing the sun). It is best if you can follow your sunning with palming.

-2- "Palming" is covering your eyes with your cupped palms. Try to cut off all light from your eyes. Relax and think of something pleasant. Do this technique for at least 5 minutes. You can do this as much as you like. The record is 20 hours. Twenty minutes a day is good.

-3- The "long standing swing" is standing in the middle of a room and turning back and forth from 90 degrees left to 90 degrees right. Turn your head with your body and keep the eyes looking forward. Start with the eyes lifted and looking at the line where the wall meets the ceiling, and lower your gaze with each pass. Do not try to focus on everything that passes in front of your eyes; just let your gaze fall where it will. Start with 30 swings, and work your way up to 100 swings. This should take no more than 4 minutes.

All the techniques should be done with the eyes relaxed. If you feel tension around your eyes and you can't relax it, stop the technique.

There are other techniques to correct vision defects like astigmatism and poor left-right fusion. Two good books to read are "Do You Really Need Eyeglasses" by Marilyn B. Rosanes-Berrett and "Seeing Beyond 20/20" by Robert-Michael Kaplan.

There is some empirical evidence to support the Bates method, and there's a limited amount of experimental evidence. Bates documented many successes, and each of the other books documents many successes. There are reports of patients who were brought to 20/20 vision and had astigmatism corrected.

Lastly, check out Alex Eulenberg's (

(2) Surgical

Radial Keratotomy (RK) and Automated Lamellar Keratotomy (ALK) are the most widely used surgical procedures to instantly improve your eyesight.

-1- RK. It's for the correction of nearsightedness and astigmatism and works best for low diopters, say under -6.00, to achieve the best result. RK attempts to correct vision by surgically altering the shape of the cornea. Tiny incisions are made around the center of the cornea (in radial spike patterns), causing the cornea to flatten to a more normal shape. This allows the light rays to focus on the retina to produce a sharp image. RK is done by hand.

-2- ALK. This is an alternative and is usually recommended for higher diopters, say above -6.00. Instead of making incisions on the surface of the cornea as RK does, ALK attempts to flip open the surface layer of the cornea and shave the top tissues inside through the use of an automated microkeratome, an instrument capable of shavings within 10 microns of accuracy (that means it can slice a human hair into 5 equal pieces). Often, both RK and ALK are used (separately) to achieve the maximum correction.

* Editor Thomas's Note: I had ALK done on my left eye in Houston, Texas in 1994. My vision improved from -8.50 to -2.00. I paid $2,000 and the whole surgery lasted only twenty minutes and I could see better instantly. The overall vision was blurry for a few months, especially at night time. When I looked at a street light at night, I saw multiple images (up to four at one point) as my eye was healing. Now (15 months later), I've no trouble seeing in the daylight, but at night, my left eye (-2.00) is not as sharp as my right eye (-4.50). Overall,
I'm happy with the procedure because it's a big improvement for me. My advice to those who are interested in either RK or ALK is to find the most experienced doctor and talked to as many as his/her patients as possible about their recovery. RK or ALK does not have a 100% rate.

- Health Food

You may have noticed the mental lethargy that tends to set in after eating a large starchy meal. Carbohydrates have been found to raise brain chemicals that retard the firing of neurons and promote relaxation. That is fine if you plan on taking a nap, but not if you want to engage in a challenging mental activity. A better meal for mental performance might favor a chicken salad over French fries, according to several mental researches.

Another diet effect on brain activity is when you find yourself lightheaded and unable to concentrate after skipping a meal. You're experiencing a temporary case of hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. The brain is highly susceptible to changes in the blood glucose level, because it tends to consume nutrients quickly and stores very little fuel. Would it be better then if we ate a lot of sugary and starchy foods? The answer is no. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrate can foul up the delicate mechanism that keeps the blood glucose level in balance.

The mind-altering effects of foods are subtle, and because of that we tend to overlook them. Studies have confirmed some of these effects, particularly those that follow a meal or an overnight fast. If you learn to recognize your reactions to certain foods, you can consciously plan your menus and meal times to favor mental work or to settle the mind for a nap. Since not everyone reacts in the same way to the nutritional effects of a particular food, you will have to attend to your own experience. Do a survey to find out when your mind is particularly sharp or sluggish, and note what was on your plate for the past meal or two. Just as athletes watch their diets for the sake of peak performance when training, you can learn to alter your diet for the sake of optimum mental output.

Dietary inadequacy of vitamins and minerals can alter general health and brain metabolism, although the exact effect of these inadequacies is still unclear. Your thinking power and emotional well-being can be adversely altered if some of the essential nutrients are missing. Use your common sense and eat according to your own needs. Cut down your consumption of alcoholic beverages, caffeinated foods, red meat, canned or preserved food, excess dairy products, and junk food. Instead, increase salads, freshly prepared foods, and fruit juice consumption in your diet.

In order to comprehend how to eat food well, you must understand, at the simplist level, how the body metabolizes macronutrients -- ie: fats, sugars, and proteins (from, Jim Whitaker).

CARBOHYDRATES (aka glucose sugar):

A Carbohydrate is simply a long or short chain chemical built up out of sugars.  These sugar chains are composed of Glucose, Sucrose, Fructose, and Galactose.  The body uses Glucose.

Foods made of carbohydrates include primarily vegetables, fruits, grains, and milk sugars.

Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system into glucose sugar, which then enters the blood stream.  Various forms of carbohydrates break down into glucose faster than others.  The primary factors governing the absorbtion speed of sugars are fat content, fiber content, and complexity of the sugars.  Fructose sugar takes a long time to break down into the bodies favored glucose.  Anything made of glucose chains (such as grains) gets broken down almost instantly in the stomach acids.

The primary consumers of glucose are the brain (which burns it in vast quantities), and the muscles.  Muscles absorb glucose and don't release stored glucose into the blood stream -- glucose absorbed by a muscle can only be burned by that cell that absorbed it.  The liver has a small approximately 80 milliliter reserve store of glucose which it can release into the blood stream when levels get too low - which doesn't last very long.

The primary regulator of blood sugar is insulin.  Insulin is secreted by the pancreas which, when it sees a high rate of insulin absorption into the body will boost the insulin level to a level comensurate with that rate.  If you eat something like straight glucose sugar, your body will expect that rate of glucose absorbtion to continue.  Your insulin level will rise to meet that challenge, telling fat cells to absorb this excess glucose for the next hour or more.  If you cease your blood glucose absorption at that initial rate, you no longer have an adequate level of glucose in your blood to keep up with the insulin level -- and your fat cells suck you dry of brain fuel and you get sleepy, bleary, fuzzy headed, angry, lose dexterity etc.

>From this, it is rather obvious that the goal of keeping your brain clear, and your muscles primed with glucose involves maintaining your blood sugar levels.  In order to insure insulin levels stay low, to keep blood sugar levels reasonable -- you have to eat carbohydrates that get converted into glucose SLOWLY.  Bread, pasta, rice, wheat, and other grains are made of long glucose chains that turn into instant glucose in the stomach.  Starchy foods such as potatoes and bananas are nasty too.  Almost all fruit juices are bereft of the fiber content that buffers their absorption, making them problematical as well.  On the good side, you will find grapefruit, cantelope, green leafy vegetables, most legumes and most fruits.

Some people have a remarkable natural ability to buffer this glucose overload naturally, as if their intenstines were made of fat or something and they can eat pasta all day long -- but more commonly it turns into glucose, gets dumped quickly into the bloodstream, and insulin slams on the brakes.  If you are one of those people, you need to take care of your carbohydrates.

Most of your body is made up of protiens.  Just take one look at a peice of meat.  Does it look like it was put together out of glucose chains from broken down carbohydrates?  NO!  You MUST eat protien in your diet to maintain your body.  The USDA now recommends a diet with a calorie breakdown of 70% carbohydrate, 15% fat, and 15% protein.  That is an insulin overload, and protein starved.

The primary regulator of fat in the blood is glucagon, sort of the counterpart of insulin.  It signals fat cells to "release the grease" so that the body can use the grease for fuel.  Glucagon is stiumlated by protein intake.  It is inhibited by Insulin levels.  If you eat foods that stimulate insulin and not glucagon, you cannot lose fat -- your body thinks it has enough fuel (glucose) to run on when it sees elevated Insulin levels and gets absolutely resolute about not releasing fat.

Too much protein (more than 28 grams) at a meal or too much sugar at a meal will crash your insulin levels.  Your body will start storing the aminos from your protein as fats.  Misery.

When you balance protiens and carbohydrates correctly, you will get fats and sugars in your bloodstream without complications created by insulin and glucagon levels.  The first time I fixed my diet, my pain threshhold jumped by a factor of at least 100, and I could carry large heavy objects for long distances without breaking a sweat, getting winded, or even really noticing the muscle twangs three minutes after I put the load down.

In Doctor Barry Sears book, "Entering the Zone" he advocates a balance of 9 calories of carbohydrates to 7 calories of protein to 1.5 grams of fat as the ideal diet.  Optimum seems to vary from person to person.  (I work best at 10.5 cal:7 cal:2 gm).
He also advocates limiting protein to a strict formula based on lean body weight.  It is pointless to include it here, because there is too much involved to support it.  While sticking to his diet seems a little impractical for most people in the long term, it is my opinion that knowing what he has to say probably improve your life.  It did for the Stanford Swimming team in 1992.  Those on his diet brought back 8 Olympic Gold Medals from Barcelona.

Fats are the most efficient fuel the body has.  While you are sitting there, your body warmth is maintained by fat, not by carbohydrates.
You NEED fat in your system to keep you alive.

I have seen dramatic videos of capallaries clogged by fats, with the platelets unable to get through because they stick together, carrying the fat on the outside of their bodies like glue.  I swore off fat in my diet at that moment.  However, THAT is fat overload.  That was an idiot probably eating two ounces of lard or something.  It is not what I am talking about here.  Here we are talking about 5 grams or so with your typical meal -- 5-10 olives.

Fat calories in your diet will stimulate your body to use fat.

If you add fats to your diet, they slow down the absorbtion of carbohydrates into the body and help control insulin levels.  Eating fats does not make you fat.  You actually have to eat fat to stimulate fat release from your body and fat metabolism.

Most of the modern weight loss (they don't call themselves fat lot diets... there is a reason for that) diets are absolutely flat wrong when they say to boost the carbohydrates (insulin and hence fat accumulation) and lower protein and fat.  All they do is tear down muscle tissue, screw up body chemistry and finally strip fat down when the body is haggard and desperate.  With that kind of starvation situation, people wonder why the body has a memory and people gain weight back?  It has to prepare for next winter's famine, expecting it to be a little bit worse next time around.

You guessed it -- a half a cup of Fat Laden Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is healthier for your body than a peice of bread or plate of pasta.
Why?  Because the fat controls the release of sucrose sugar into the body.  Sucrose sugar takes time to break down into glucose.  You get a nice long protracted, insulin damping high (as long as you include protein in the same sitting...).  The Fat provides efficient fuel, floating around in the bloodstream.  Pasta just puts an instant hike to your insulin and throws your body chemistry out of balance.  Don't go out of your way to make Ice Cream a staple of your diet -- but I hope I have made my point.

In "Your Body Knows Best", the author suggests that you design your eating around three factors: your ancestry eating patterns, your blood type, and how fast you consume your food (fast or slow burner). Type O, for example, is the oldest and would do well with a higher protein and fat intake. The message is that no one diet can fit everyone. You are an unique individual and your nutrition needs are subjective to your own body chemistry.

1. Dr Barry Sears Phd, "Enter The Zone".
2. "Your Body Knows Best", Ann Louise Gittleman.

6. Relationship / Social

- Men and Women

Three of the best work are done by Dr. Deborah Tanen, Dr. Lillian Glass, and John Grey.

(1) Dr. Deborah Tanen. Read her book, "That's Not What I meant". In it she describes the subjective, meta conversation styles of men and women. Dr. Tanen emphasizes that because of our unique conditioning and upbringing, what is consider as appropriate to one person may be offensive to another.
A good example is your speaking rate or volume. People may perceive you or interpret your message wrong if your rate or volume differs greatly from their own. This is a linguistic approach.

(2) Dr. Lillian Glass. Her book, "He Said, She Said", listed the differences of men and women and how they affect their communication with each other.
She provided a lot of techniques to help each other communicate better.
This is a communication approach.

(3) John Grey. Best known for his book, "Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus". He took a more psychological approach to help men and women relate to each other. For example, he described men's emotions as "cave dwellers" and women's emotions as "wave surfers."

7. Spiritual

- Religion and Self-Esteem (from Craig Davis,

Historically, religion has been used to give members of a governed population a sense of disconnections from God. The idea that you have to go to the priest, rabbi, imam, etc. for spiritual communion means that you don't have the capacity within yourself to connect directly with higher power. And of course, there's the Christian notion that everyone is a born sinner.

This is unfortunate, because our spirituality is an important part of ourselves and our lives. And it can take a lot of time and effort for us to get to the point where we really trust ourselves enough to look within for guidance. This doesn't mean that we never seek the advice or expertise or another. It means that we don't give all of our power away.

If there really is such a thing as sin, then it's our refusal to accept the good in ourselves. It's our unwillingness to see that we are directly connected to God as God's creations. Often when we make mistakes, we look at it as proof that we are dirty or sinful or spiritually inferior. We don't realize that making mistakes is the opportunity to learn and grow into our greater potential.

- Magic and Pseudo-Paranormal Phenomena

James Randi (the Amazing Randi) is best known for his work in this area. He has challenged the spoon-bending hype of Uri Geller, exposed the scams of many self-acclaimed psychics, and caught the fraud of the famous faith healer Peter Popoff. Just like in the Steve Martin's recent movie "Leap of Faith," Popoff used electronic devices to make him appear as having God's power. He collected as much as $6 million/year from his TV ministry at one point, but after Randi played Peter's tapes on "The Tonight Show" in 1986, Peter's contributions dried up and he filed for bankruptcy.

Randi uses his training in magic to detect the tricks being used. Frequently, psychics are victims of their false beliefs. His book, "Flim-Flam: Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and other Delusions" is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the under-informed side of paranormal phenomena. His other books include "The Faith Healer", "The Mask of Nostradamus", and "An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural".
These books can be ordered from Skeptics Magazine at (818) 794-1301.

* $500,000 Psychi Challenge
The former $10,000 psychic challenge (for the past 10-20 years) offered by Randi has now been increased to half a million dollars through a brilliant fund-raising pledge campaign by Randi on the Internet, where participants pledge a mininum of $1,000 but only pay if claimants can prove they have psychic powers under scientific conditions. Contact Randi by fax at 305-370-1129 or email at

B/ Established Disciplines

1. Anti-Cult Movements

(1) Beware of therapy cults masquerading as self help groups. (From:, Richard Price). Here're some resources:

UK: FUSS (Families Under Scientology Stress), BM Box 3506, London WC1N 3XX

This group organized demonstrations against Scientology on the 12th and 13th of July. They are campaigning for recommendations in the Foster Report (1971) to be put in place (Sir John wanted a Psychological Practices Act to protect people from unscrupulous, unethical purveyors of "therapy")

UK: Cult Information Center, BCM Cults, London WC1N 3XX, 0181 6513322

These people give lectures, media interviews, research assistance and support for cult victims and their families. They also produce an excellent "Cults on Campus" leaflet. CIC is a registered charity (no. 1012914).

US: American Family Foundation, P.O. Box 2265, Bonita Springs, FL 33959.     (212) 533-5420.

US: Cult Awareness Network, 2421 West Pratt Blvd, Suite 1173, Chicago, IL 60645.     (312) 267-7777

US: reFocus (recovering Former Cultists Support), P.O. Box 2180, Flagler Beach,     FL 32136. (904) 439-7541.

US: Stop Abuse By Counsellors, P.O. Box 68292, Seattle, Washington 98168.     (206) 243 2723

US: False Memory Syndrome Foundation, 3401 Market Street-suite 130,     Philadelphia, PA 19104. (215) 387-1865.

US: Read the newsgroup "".

(2) "How to avoid cults" (edited from:, Tilman Hausherr).

When you feel alone, isolated or lonely, when you feel totally overwhelmed by a decision you need to make and find yourself wishing that someone would just tell you what to do, when you feel like the world used to make sense and now everything's falling apart around you, YOU'RE VULNERABLE.

When you're hurting (or even when you're not), beware of people with answers to life's problems; Beware of religious groups of people who pressure you because they know what's right for you; No one has the right to pressure you about a religious decision. Beware of religious friends who claim to know you and your needs better than your family and old friends; Religious groups should not degrade or exclude outside friendships.

Beware of people who are excessively or inappropriately flattering or friendly.
Relationships of real love are not instant; a group which surrounds you with immediate concern may be practicing "love-bombing", a form of deceptive recruitment. (Just say "NO")

Beware of groups that recruit through guilt. Guilt produced by others is rarely a productive emotion. Beware of invitations to isolated weekend workshops which have nebulous goals; There is no reason to be vague unless there is something to hide.

A cult group is usually characterized by some of the followings:
- A leader who claims divinity or an extraordinary relationship with God.
- A leader who is the sole judge of a member's actions or faith.
- Totalitarian governance and totalistic control over members' lifestyles.
- Exclusivity and isolation.
- Development of unhealthy emotional dependence.
- Prohibition of critical analysis and independent thinking.
- Utilization of methods of ego-destruction and mind control.
- Exploitation of a member's finances.
- Exploitative conditions which discourage the full use of one's abilities.
- Discouragement of free and independent pursuit of education.

You should also know the two basic principles of mind control ("brainwashing"):
-1- If you can get a person to behave the way you want relatively, you can get
    that person to believe what you want. Small requests are the most dangerous.
    For example, if you want someone on the street to give you money, your
    chance is better if you can get them to stop walking and offer a bill for
    change, and then ask for an extra quarter or two.
-2- Sudden, drastic changes in a situation (issue or environment) can lead to
    heightened sensitivity to suggestion and to drastic changes in attitude
    and beliefs. Maintain support when you are going through some emotional
    experiences (death of a loved one, financial crisis, moving to a new place,
    etc.). Your past resources are safer at these moments.

In any event, your defense to a cult is to SAY NO and THINK IT OVER, then REACH OUT TO SOMEONE YOU TRUST! For example, you can talk to a trusted friend, your college professor that knows you well, a parent, a therapist, a pastor, or a consultant.

Some cult groups attempt, through pressure, to lure an individual to a belief which she or he does not already practice. Observe the group's responses to you and how you feel. If you are sometimes uncomfortable, or find any three of the following statements true about a group with which you are involved, you should seek advice from a trusted person, outside of this group, and reconsider your involvement.

-1- The group seems to be perfect. Everyone agrees and follows all orders     cheerfully.
-2- The group claims to have "all the answers" to your problems.
-3- You are asked to recruit new members soon after joining.
-4- You begin to feel guilty and ashamed, unworthy as a person.
-5- The group encourages you to put their meetings and activities before all
    other commitments, including studying or working.&127;
-6- The group speaks in a derogatory way about your past affiliation.
-7- Your parents and friends are defined as unable to understand and help you.
-8- Doubts and questions are seen as signs of weak faith. You are shunned if
    you persist in these doubts.
-9- Males are believed to have more rights and abilities than females.
10- You are invited on an activity with the group, but they refuse to give you
    an overview of the purpose, theme, or activities before you go.

An excellent book that explores this subject in details is "Combatting Cult
Mind Control
by Steven Hassan. In it, several mind programming and identity
change techniques are discussed. Steven also teaches you how to identify
cult organizations and protect yourself from them.

One fascinating subject that he brings out is the obvious manifestation of "subpersonalities." Cult members seem to become someone else when they access their programmed beliefs either by talking about them or by practicing the programmed behaviors. Often, parts of them know that something was wrong but these parts are too weak to combat the stronger subpersonality. Many of them showed the subpersonalities conflict described by authors Hal Stone & Sidra Winkelman in "Embracing Our Selves--The Voice Dialogue Manual".

To help your friends or your loved ones get out of a cult, Steve suggests that you get professional help and use these eight steps:
(1) Build rapport and trust.
(2) Use goal-oriented communications.
(3) Develop models of identity.
(4) Access the pre-cult identity.
(5) Get them to look at reality from many different perspectives.
(6) Side-step the thought-stopping process by giving information     in an indirect way.
(7) Visualize a happy future to undo phobia indoctrination.
(8) Offer the cult member concrete definitions of mind control and     characteristics of a destructive cult.

2. Design Human Engineering(TM) (DHE)

Disclaimer: The following is written by the editors for informational purposes only based on the information we have received via the internet.  Neither of us a certified in DHE or have attended an actual DHE training.

DHE(TM) is a creation of Richard Bandler that goes beyond his first and most famous creation, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).  DHE goes beyond NLP in several ways.  While NLP was about modelling excellence, DHE emphasizes designing from scratch while still utilizing many of the models of NLP.

DHE also seems to correct some of the flaws in how NLP has been applied NLP.
For example, much of NLP embraced the idea of parts, that people composed of parts and many NLP techniques attempt to utilize parts or integrate parts.
DHE ignores the parts metaphor completely and focuses on human beings as complete holistic systems.

Another difference between DHE and NLP is that there are no "DHE techniques."
While many NLP practitioners do there work by applying a set of techniques they ignore the more important elements of sensory acuity, calibration and rely solely on the hope that the technique they've chosen will be appropriate with the person they happen to be working with (or themselves).

Another major difference is that while NLP tended to focus on remedial changes that "fixed" problems people had, often by examining the past.  DHE takes the attitude that the past is really not the important and that you can design right now whatever you want for yourself.  Changes in DHE are generative and future looking, the purpose being to take responsibility for your own personal evolution.

Many NLP techniques were primarily visual and often ignored the other sensory systems.  DHE makes elegant use of all sensory systems.

Another major difference between DHE and NLP is that there are very few DHE trainers (unlike the swarm of NLP trainers out there).  Again, this is probably Richard Bandler's way of keeping a level of quality to DHE, something he lost control of with NLP.

DHE is hard to describe, and that is probably partly by design because NLP was taught in small chunks, once people understood those chunks they often jumped right into closure and stopped learning and stopping paying attention.
DHE is really best experienced.  There are only 3 people that we know of that ever offer DHE trainings:

John LaValle (
Richard Bandler ( or
Rex Steven Sikes (

If you can't attend a training, there are the following material that are specifically about DHE:
Design Human Engineering (16 tape set edited Richard Bandler seminar, recorded 1992)
Magical States (12 tape unedited 2 day introduction to DHE at IDEA seminars in Milwakee Wisconsin, recorded 1994)
Introduction to DHE video with Rex Steven Sikes (approx. 1 hr. video introducing DHE)

The following books are somewhat related to DHE:
"Persuasion Engineering" (Richard Bandler and John LaValle)
"Time for A Change" (Richard Bandler)

Also, available on the internet is some material discussing DHE.  Carolyn Sikes has written an article entitled: "What is DHE?" available at  Also, there is a web site dedicated to the writings of Carmine Baffa in which he frequently mentions his own experience with DHE (

2. Est

Est (Erhard Seminars Training) was started by Werner Erhard and was one of the most popular and influential self-improvement movements of the 1970's.
It's no longer taught in its original form, but a number of     groups have evolved from Est and their current teachings borrow heavily from the original Est. The most prominent is Landmark Education which offers The Forum.

According to Charles Jackson (, a good book to read about Est and the roots of Forum is "Outrageous Betrayal - The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from Est to Exile" by Steven Pressman.

3. Landmark (The Forum)

(Editor note: The following two questions about The Forum are from an email conversation between Loren and an alt.self-improve reader, Rex Ballard).

Q. The promises of Est are basically the same as every other self    improvement program ever devised. How does it work? Why does it    get results where others fail?

A. Transformation - the "fruit" of a "self-help" program, comes, not
   from telling or talking to, but from the inquiry. Transformation
   comes as the result of a conversation for fulfilling a possibility.
   It is much like learning to ride a bicycle, I can tell you how to
   ride a bicycle: "grab the handlebars, push off, and pedal". But it
   is only in the inquiry that one actually discovers balance. Without
   the experience of balance, there is no riding a bicycle. Without the
   inquiry, the distinctions are just "interesting information".

From the inquiry, the participant can expect a breakthrough - the fulfillment of possibilities that would not otherwise happen. A major alteration in relationships, confidence, effectiveness, or decision making that they may have been putting up with, resisting, or trying to change for years with no significant effect.

Landmark offers free introductory seminars nearly every day at their various centers and sites throughout the country. In these seminars, the introduction leader will explain some of the key distinctions of the Forum. Many people who never do the Forum still end up taking on their lives in a new way out of going to a 3 hour introduction. About 1/3 will register for the Forum itself which lasts 3 days and an evening, usually Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 AM to 11 PM or 1 AM (If there are a bunch of Lawyers in the room, plan on a long night friday). By the end of each night, you will not be tired until you want to be. Tuesday night, you return to complete the homework. The course is actually 5 days, but two of them are "laboratory" days. In the 3 day program, a highly trained leader leads an inquiry in a room with 100-200 successful people who are highly committed to having a breakthrough. The leader will describe a distinction and then ask people to share their experience. In a room of 150+ people, there are several who want to share. As that person shares, the Forum leader asks questions, soon the whole room is seeing how this conversation can impact their lives. By the end of the conversation, everyone in the room not only has an insight, but also sees an opening for action at the first opportunity.
Q. Can you provide any details about the process that occurs at a seminar?
   My understanding is that in the early days of Est, participants were not
   allowed to give out details of what went on at the seminars. Is that still
   the case in Landmark Education?

A. I could give you detailed descriptions of the entire Forum, but it wouldn't
   really make a difference. The process is actually a series of distinctions
   that create the foundation for other distinctions. The structure is such
   that an inquiry that would normally take 20 years (I had been DOING the
   12 steps for 10 years and was astonished by Saturday Morning) is conducted
   with the intended result in 3 days. Sunday afternoon seems like a course in
   advanced Zen. By Sunday night, there is what I call (personal opinion here
   - not Landmark's) a spiritual awakening.

The key distinctions of Landmark based on that we have a past consisting of what happened, and our interpretations/opinions/feelings/judgments about what happened. For example, what happened is that the first girl I ever dated through a cup full of soda pop in my face and 50 people laughed. What I made it mean was that I was ugly and unattractive. The problem is that I didn't separate the two. I now interacted with all women, for the next 26 years as if I was Short, Fat, Bald, Cross-eyed, with Polka-dot zit and scab covered skin. In fact, by the time I was 18, I was 6'1" tall, 155 to 180 pounds, a professional dancer, model, and actor, and going to a school with 900 women and 5 heterosexual men (another 20 were gay). I had men pursuing me every day. I was about as tall dark and handsome as a man could get, but when it came to asking a woman for a date, I was ugly and unattractive. Of course, this communicated to the women in the form of avoiding romantic intimacy, only having arms-length friendships. I actually became a bit disgusting, not bathing for days, not grooming, wearing big, baggy overalls, and acting like a sex pervert (more evidence to be ugly). I even married a woman who I was not attracted so that I wouldn't be hurt when she discovered that I was ugly and unattractive, it took her 9 years to finally agree with me, (she married a man 10 years younger than me, a Tom Sellek type). In the Forum, I realized that all this woman did was throw a glass of pop at someone who, at that time, was not well liked by most of her friends. She may have been trying to impress them, she may have been insulted by my being late, she may not have liked the ring I gave her

(that she asked me to give her).

This brings up the other major distinction. Psychology tells us that we are the way we are because of our past. This was a better model than the one that preceded it which was "Circular" (as the seasons come and go, we just suffer through whatever comes). At Landmark, we say that we are the way we are because of the Future we are living into. If I told you that I talked to your boss and he was going to have to let you go, you would act and think a certain way (looking for another job, fear, anxiety). If I just handed you a winning lottery ticket, for which the number was announced an hour ago, you would live very differently (what color shoes go with a black Mercedes) even though you hadn't received a penny of the money yet.

Why it LOOKS as if we are given by the past is that we keep putting the past into our future. Every time I would go to ask a woman to dance, every other rejection by women would be right there with me, I eventually never got more than two steps toward the woman I wanted. That night, I saw that I was not a bad looking guy, and went to a dance and danced with several women (who were astonished and pleased that I asked them to dance). One of them told me that women thought I was stuck-up and a snob because I was so aloof.

Which brings up a third key distinction of the Forum. Though the inquiry may be useful, and the insights may be interesting, even exciting, there is little value in any of that unless there is an opening for immediate action. We have many reasons for not doing what we really want to do, but that is not the same as doing something worthwhile. In the Forum, we look to see what actions are worthy of taking (expressing love to another person, parents, spouses, children...) and take appropriate actions even when it may not be "convenient." We can call someone at 1:00 A.M. to tell them someone died, but we can't call them to tell someone we love them, even though this may be the first time we've said it in many years).

In the introduction seminars, guests reach the end in one of four places. They are ready to register, they know that they never want to do the Forum (very rarely), they have something they need to work out (time, money, babysitters). They have something intangible: "I just need to think about it", "I need to check this out" something that is usually familiar, these are usually the ones who want to be more decisive.

The time and money can be worked out, but for the maximum value out of the Forum (the Forum begins when you register), one of the most powerful distinctions is to register that night, not knowing how it's going to work out, but committed to having it work out. Those are the people who not only end up being able to say how their own lives go, but can actually become leaders in their community and simply cause things to happen when no one knows if it will work out.

If you were madly in love with your wife, and I threw your wedding ring over a brick wall and told you that if you didn't give it back it would be delivered to your wife by a beautiful blonde, you would find a way to get over the wall to save your marriage. Most people come to the introduction with something at stake, they want to save/revitalize a relationship with their spouse, kids they love, parents they haven't spoken to, bosses they hate, or jobs they dread. Everything else is just great though.

The weird thing about the Forum is that when I did the Forum, EVERYONE ELSE CHANGED. My boss was nicer, I was promoted and my coworkers wanted to work for me, my girlfriend wanted me back, my ex-wife wanted to talk to me when I came to see the kids, her husband even invited me to spend Christmas with them. I even had more time and money to spend on things I wanted.

What each person gets out of the Forum is different. Part of the application to do the Forum is that you have to specify 3 things that you want to get out of the Forum. These are things that wouldn't happen anyway, and that you do not presently know how to do.

4. Life-Long Learning Association

This association is a source of self improvement products. It sends you the product of the month (usually a 6 audio or video seminar) or you can choose an alternate selection if the program doesn't suit your interests. You also get a subscription to the world premiere audio magazine "Inside Edge" which covers current trends in development, etc. and a subscription to "The Destiny Report" newsletter. The above is sent to you monthly for U$50. The association was set up to make LLL affordable on the monthly basis which it is required for results. The retail of what you get is close to $100.  A good portion of the product comes from Nightingale-Conant, a company it recently merged with. See the References and Resources section for contact information if you are interested.

Article: 20343 of alt.self-improve
From: (Thomas Wong)
Newsgroups: alt.self-improve
Subject: alt.self-improve FAQ (part 3)
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 22:27:06 GMT
Organization: NetGate Communications

Archive-name: self-impr-faq/part3

5. Lifespring

(From, Josh Glazenburg-Diamond)

"I am a graduate of the entire Lifespring program--I took the trainings back in 1990, and found them to be incredibly valuable.I work as an investment analyst at a major bank in New York City.

I came into the Lifespring trainings looking for breakthroughs in my career and in personal relationships (esp. with women), and all I can say is that since then I have more than tripled my income, and gotten married to a truly wonderful and beautiful woman (amongst other things). We just bought a co-op, and will be having our first child next year. My wife has also done the trainings, as have several of my friends and co-workers.

Lifespring, EST, and a few other such trainings all have a common lineage.
The basis was a research program at Stanford University back in the early 70's.
This spawned an organization called Mind Dynamics, which later split up into Lifespring, EST, and the others. EST eventually mutated into Warner-Earhardt and then Landmark Education--with a program now called The Forum. Lifespring kept its name, but has undergone continuous modernization as new techniques in personal growth have emerged. There are now Basic and Advanced trainings, as well as several other workshops and programs.

The Lifespring trainings are an opportunity to uncover and redesign the underlying assumptions out of which you live your life such that you experience a profound shift in your ability to relate to yourself and others, empowering you to fully engage your heartfelt commitments with freedom and passion.

Participants often invite friends to a guest event--a free evening designed to allow you to learn about what the training is and how it can support you.
It provides a small preview of the training experience. At the end of the evening you are given an opportunity to enroll in the training. At the moment I believe that the tuition in New York City $495, with a 100% money back guarantee. It may be lower elsewhere (it was when I took the trainings).

I would say that it is worth attending. You can leave at any time, and there is no obligation to pay if you just attend the guest event.

Oh, BTW, people who enroll their friends in the trainings do not get any rewards for it (no tupperware or toaster-ovens). Mostly people bring guests to these evenings because they see some breakthrough possible for them--not like something is broken, but like a higher possibility exists--maybe something that had not been thought of before. Often our friends see things that we do not. Your friend probably sees some possibility for you in the training, and that is why they have invited you. I say take the chance and go for it."

6. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

(From, Stever):

NLP was developed in the mid-70s by John Grinder, a professor at U.C. Santa Cruz and Richard Bandler, a graduate student.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, as most people use the term, is a set of models of how communication impacts and is impacted by subjective experience.
It's more a collection of tools than any overarching theory. NLP is heavily pragmatic: if a tool works, it's included in the model, even if there's no theory to back it up. None of the current NLP developers have done research to "prove" their models correct. The party line is "pretend it works, try it, and notice the results you get. If you don't get the result you want, try something else."

Much of early NLP was based on the work of Virginia Satir, a family therapist; Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy; Gregory Bateson, anthropologist; and Milton Erickson, hypnotist. It was Erickson's work that formed the foundation for a lot of NLP, thus the tight connection with hypnosis. Bandler and Grinder's book "Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volume I" is one of the best books I've ever read on how language influences mental states.

NLP consists of a number of models, and then techniques based on those models.
The major models usually associated with NLP are: (a) Sensory acuity and physiology: thinking is tied closely to physiology. People's thought processes change their physiological state. Sufficiently sensitive sensory acuity will help communicators fine-tune their communication to a person in ways over and above mere linguistics.

(b) The "meta-model." A set of linguistic challenges for uncovering the "deep structure" underneath someone's "surface structure" sentences.
[Sorry for the transformational grammar lingo.]

(c) Representational systems. These actually appeared in Erickson's work and the work of others, though Bandler and Grinder took them much further.
Different people seem to represent knowledge in different sensory modalities.
Their language reveals their representation. Often, communication difficulties are little more than two people speaking in incompatible representation systems.

For example, the "same" sentence might be expressed differently by different people: Auditory - "I really hear what you're saying." Visual - "I see what you mean." Kinesthetic - "I've got a handle on that."

(d) The "Milton-model." This is a set of linguistic patterns Milton Erickson used to induce trance and other states in people. It is the inverse of the meta-model; it teaches you how to be artfully vague, which is what you use to do therapeutic hypnosis with someone.

(e) Eye accessing cues. When people access different representational systems, their eyes move in certain ways. Lots of research has been done on accessing cues. Most of it has "proven" they don't exist. My thesis was on accessing cues and concluded the same thing. My real conclusion was that a person is too complex a black box to test this effectively. Also, eyes move in ways that are NOT related to information accessing. While I can visually tell the difference between an "accessing cue" and a non-accessing movement, I can't quantify the difference enough to base research on it.

(f) Submodalities. The STRUCTURE of internal representations determines your response to the content. For example, picture someone you really like. Make the colors more intense, as if you were turning up the color knob on a TV. Now turn the color down, until it's black and white. For most people, high color intensifies the feeling, and B&W neutralizes it. The degree of color, part of&127; the STRUCTURE of the representation, affects the intensity of your feelings about the content.

(g) Metaprograms. These are aspects about how people process information and make decisions. For example, some people are motivated TOWARDS GOALS, while others are motivated AWAY FROM non-goals. TOWARDS or AWAY-FROM tells how they respond to their world; which one a person prefers in a given context will dramatically change how the person behaves.

NLP has several techniques for diagnosing and intervening in certain situations. They have a phobia cure, a way to de-traumatize past traumas, ways to identify and integrate conflicting belief systems that keep you from doing the things you want, etc.

I first read about NLP in 1978, and thought it sounded great, but couldn't possibly work. The founders made lots of claims about one-session cures, which seemed implausible. [Fourteen years later, I still think they overexaggerate at times, but I *have* seen two or three session results that rival traditional therapists' results over months.]

In 1984 I took an introductory workshop and discovered, much to my surprise, that it worked well. After messing someone up to the point where he almost needed hospitalization, I decided to be trained in it fully, so as not to repeat the mistake.

I find it works scarily well. So well that even someone with poor training in it can do a lot of damage. There was no quality control in the field, and a lot of people go around teaching NLP who know very little about it.
Performing NLP techniques is a skill. Probably only one in ten NLP Practitioners are in the top 10% of NLP skill level, and maybe even fewer than that (:-).

ONE WAY an NLP therapist might approach a client session is by understanding the cognitive structure of how a client creates a problem. They then help figure out the cognitive structure of an area of life where the client deals satisfactorily. Then they would teach the client to use the good strategy in the problem situation.

For example: a friend of mine was obsessed with her ex-boyfriend. She was in such fear of him that she would fly into hysterics at the thought of him.
Cognitively, she made a big, bright movie of him physically harassing her, with a soundtrack of him whining and lecturing her. The soundtrack seemed to come from around her left ear, and was in the boyfriend's voice.

She had another ex-boyfriend who she was fine about. Cognitively, his picture was small, framed, and in the distance. The soundtrack was her voice talking about how nice he had been, and how the relationship was firmly in the past.

The work I did with her involved representing the problem boyfriend with a small, framed picture. We removed the soundtrack of his voice, and added her narration, instead. The result: she stopped obsessing about her ex, and went on with her life, able to deal with him.

Some people have run into NLP-trained people (including Tony Robbin's) who annoyingly mimic body posture to distraction, in an attempt to gain "rapport."
They were poorly trained. Go out in public; watch couples; watch good friends.
They walk in synchronization. They move in synchronization. They NATURALLY mirror each other's movements. NLP just noticed this, and says "if you don't have rapport, here's one thing to pay attention to."

A common question is "Does knowing what's being done make it less effective?"
I've found that knowing what someone is doing lets me barricade against certain things, but there are definite cases where knowledge is not sufficient to keep it from working. I was once in a group dynamics experiment where an outsider watched our group and pointed out to us how we kept getting stuck, because of certain behavioral loops we were in. EVEN WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE, we were unable to break the loops without incredible effort. And then our efforts to break the loops fell into the same loops.  Certain aspects of NLP are like this: if someone is matching your representational systems and doing it well, even if you are aware of it, they'll still communicate better to you, as long as they're not incongruent about it.

madnix! (Ron Bean)

NLP began by studying therapists who were highly effective, and observing what they actually did, as opposed to what they said they were doing--often they did things they weren't consciously aware of, or couldn't explain adequately. For lack of any other explanation, it appeared to be "magic".

The major discovery seems to have been that people don't all think the same way. Many therapists find a technique that works for several of their patients and try to generalize it to everyone, and then wonder why some patients are "resistant".
NLP says the patient is not resistant, the therapist is! If it's not working, try something else.

NLP practitioners start by asking the person a lot of questions about how their particular thought processes work (the "submodalities"), and also observing their non-verbal responses. Then they can suggest specific changes in the person's thinking that will have the desired effect.

This is very much like a post-hypnotic suggestion, except that the person is not hypnotized (in the usual sense). It seems to me that a hypnotist prepares a person's mind to accept a suggestion, while NLP prepares the suggestion to fit the person's mind.

The other thing that impressed me is that they never assume they know everything that's going on inside someone's head. When someone seems to be 'cured', they have the person project themselves into the future and ask "does any part of you object to the change?" There may be a "secondary gain" in certain situations that the initial "cure" didn't address. If there's an objection, they can deal with it right away, rather than waiting for the person to "fail" and fall back into the unwanted behavior (they call this an "ecology check"). Bandler's early training as a mathematician shows through in his precise use of language, and his insistance on checking his work.

NLP Practitioners also use other techniques that are borrowed from various types of therapy, but they are not unique to NLP.

Recommended books:
-1- "Using Your Brain--for a CHANGE" by Richard Bandler.
-2- "Frogs into Princes" by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
-3- "Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson," I & II, by
     Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
-4- "TRANCE-formations" by Grinder and Bandler.
-5- "An Introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming" by Joseph O'Connor.
-6- "NLP: The New Technology of Achievement" by NLP Comprehensive Training Team.
-7- "Heart of the Mind" by Connirae & Steve Andreas.
-8- "Core Transformation" by Connirae and Tamera Andreas.
-9- "Unlimited Power" by Anthony Robbins.
10- "Beliefs" by Robert Dilts.
11- "Persuasion Engineering" by Richard Bandler and John La Valle.
12- "Time For A Change" by Richard Bandler

For more information, read the alt.psychology.nlp newsgroup.

The largest NLP training organization seems to be Advanced Neuro Dynamics (AND) run by Tad James. They offer trainings in NLP, Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy, and Huna; their World Wide Web site has some very good introductory material on NLP, hypnosis.  IDEA Seminars ( is another training organization run by Rex and Carolyn Sikes. They perform NLP, DHE, and other trainings. Rex is one of the first people certified as a DHE trainer and Rex and Carolyn are the creators of the excellent "Attitude Activator" tape. The NLP and DHE page ( run by Stever Robbins also has some excellent information including pointers to nearly all NLP related sites on the web and a listing of all the major training organizations.

(Editors note -Loren-: A note on NLP trainers, the range of quality between trainers is awesome. I recommend checking out a wide range of trainers before making a decision, and be wary of those trainers who haven't taken recent trainings because NLP is always changing. Also I recommend challenging your trainer, ask very hard questions, you might even consider being rude, and see how the trainer handles your challenge. If a prospective trainer isn't able to respond resourcefully to your challenge, consider going elsewhere. From personal experience I can highly recommend Carmine Baffa ( who teaches more in one day than most other trainers I've seen teach in...well ever.  Carolyn Sikes has written a great guide to researching NLP trainings at

7. The People's Network

The following is an article (advertisement) submitted by Paul Boudreau (email:, phone: 800-261-8044) that describes the purpose and vision of TPN.

The Company

The Peoples Network is a youthful, privately owned, debt free, over  five year brain child of Jeff Olson and Eric Worre (NSA, Quorum, Texas Instruments, etc.).  The company pre-launch was September 1994 and satellite program began airing February 1995.  The official  launch was on 20 July in Dallas TX at TPN's first international conference at Reunion Arena.  The Peoples Network (TPN) was heralded by John Milton Fogg on AOL, as well as, by Scott DeGarmo of Entrepreneur Magazine.  TPN is based, and programming is  broadcast from the Dallas Communication Center, in Dallas, TX.  This is third largest film production studio in the United Sates and is the birthplace of JFK (Stone), Leap of Faith, Robot Cop II, and more.

The Products

TPN's original product is nearly 200+ hours per month of satellite programming focused on self-education and personal/professional development.  The company has already attracted over 50 of the top minds and coaches in every area of life mastery (business and finance, motivation and inspiration, family and relationships, communications and sales, health and wellness, fitness and effectiveness, etc.).

Industry leaders including Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Bruce Jenner, Keith Klein, Denies Austin, Michael Gerber, Paul Pilzer, Mark Hansen, etc.
have all aligned themselves with the vision of TPN.  In addition to these top minds in several personal development fields via satellite, TPN involves its end consumers and representatives with these giants through the sales and promotions of live training and seminar events!  TPN is a company with a long-term perspective.

TPN's Peoples Direct distribution alliance includes a direct sales arm of Simon & Schuster Books (Books Plus - expected soon), Music Direct with Jimmy Bowen of Capital and Liberty Records, The People's Nutrition and Personal Care, hundreds of faculty products with TPN's Faculty Direct (CD-ROM software to training audios, to motivation videos, and print material).  A New York based magazine with commisionable subscriptions and passive sales is expected soon.

TPN's nutritional products are designed to provide people with the complete, balanced nutrition that is missing in their diet.  The foundation of the system (Phase4+) is actually manufactured by a pharmaceutical company with the expertise of nutritionists, herbalists, enzymologists, and other health professionals.  This product has many of the "sizzle" items such at 3 kinds of Pycnogenol, OptiZinc, ChromeMate, and Super Protein.  Other nutrition products include  Keith Klein's Opti*Meal replacement drinks designed for men and women.  "Super Green" foods in Smoothie drink mixes (Sport, Smart,  Energy, and Immune Smoothies), Inter-Cleanse (colon cleanser), Di-Gest (digestive enzymes), and Re-Shape (a whole food diet system).   TPN's Peoples Nutrition has been the perfect addition to meeting the goal of "Supporting the Never Ending Quest for the Best Within You."

This is a sample of just one of the product divisions in TPN.  TPN currently has over 300 products; however, this is just the beginning in matching the goal to be the largest distributor of products, goods, and services that maintain the values of personal development.

The Support

TPN has turned training into a profit center.  TPN's training division combines every aspect of training:  personal training, home study, group training, audio & video training, live events and seminars all to provide an on-going, high performance training program at a distributors personal pace.  The Executive Training Program ($295 wholesale) includes three video tapes, 14 audio tapes, a training  transcript and work book, and a "business building tool box."

Perhaps the most significant support tool (outside the large array of four-color brochures, prospecting video & audio cassettes, etc.) is the satellite itself.  TPN has leveraged this device for informing the field affiliates with weekly corporate communications and weekly satellite business opportunity briefings.  Frequent training is aired on a separate channel in addition to the training by being a product of the product ensures.

Most of the training and support tools have bonus volume and comissionable aspects.  This is truly a system where you can earn while you learn.


Distributors initially earn a retail profit of 15-33% depending on the items and division.  Bonus volume is not less than 70%.  Quick start cash bonuses of up to $2000 are paid for entering the leadership position (a matrix-like organization of 12 people - 3 with 3).  $1000 training bonuses are paid for helping others enter leadership.  Finally, 5-10% commission are paid on up to 7 generations of leadership.

There are no group volume requirements.  Positions are based on structure/volume.  Positions cannot be lost and there are no break aways.
There are no sales quotas and $50 in personal sales volume qualifies a distributor for bonuses in each division.

TPN is a product-driven company.  TPN has taken something that has  always been a secondary product (frequently not a profit center) in  MLM -- training and personal development and allowed it to become  the primary product.  TPN further, in the spirit of successful internal consumption / product driven companies, has introduced nutritional, personal car, and other products to the marketplace that just make  sense for our distributors and customers.

Costs/Benefits Analysis

The new Executive 2000 program has an initial start-up cost of near $1,000.  This is a true representation of the total costs, distributor fees, product, tax, and shipping.  Participation in E-2000 is not required; however, it makes the most sense.  There is a $1,000 incentive package with audio tapes, Regional and International Conference tickets, and MasterMind Leadership Event tickets for the new distributor.  Further, this method qualifies you automatically for the maximum bonuses and commissions in every division each and every  month in a convenient and efficient way.  I was so impressed with the E-2000 program I converted from my original involvement the day I saw the program.

8. Scientology/Dianetics

The Church of Scientology (originally called Dianetics) was founded by L.
Ron Hubbard. The probable goal of someone in CoS is to become a "clear".
A "clear" is someone who is free of all "engrams". An engram is a trace left by a traumatic experience that limits your happiness. The major book on CoS is called "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard. For more information about Dianetics and CoS, check out a separate newsgroup called, alt.religion.scientology. It should also be mentioned as a word of caution that many consider Scientology to be a cult and that a number of ex-members report the Church using intimidation and control tactics while they were members and after they left the Church.

There is a Scientology Orientation Seminar which you can sign up for at your local Church of Scientology (cost $15.00). You can also call 1-800-334-LIFE for more information.

There are two Web pages specifically for critics of Scientology in the UK:
-1- Martin Poulter,
-2- Steve A,

For information on the darker side of Scientology see the following Web pages.
-3- Electronic Frontier Foundation,
-4- Skeptic Magazine,

For general information on Scientology:

-1- Dave Touretzky
-2- FACTNet      
-3- FACTNet archives
-4- Bob "Sloth" Bingham
-5- Tilman Hausherr
-6- Modemac      
-7- David Dennis 
-8- Daniel Tobias
-9- Jerod Pore   

Misc Infomation:

-1-, "The Total Freedom Trap:
Scientology, Dianetics, and L.Ron Hubbard"
by Jon Atack History of the CoS
and its founder;  Origins and evolution of doctrine and practice;
Organizational structure of CoS and subsidiaries.

-2-, "Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" Time Magazine cover article, May 6, 1991.

-3-, "The Road To Xenu" by Margery Wakefield. First-person accounts of security checks, bullbaiting, living conditions of Sea Org children, the OT3 "wall of fire", being put in an Ethics condition, the RPF, having to disconnect from her father.

-4-, "Social Control Within Scientology" by FACTnet director Bob Penny. Ever wonder how people get trapped by a cult like Scientology? A companion to Wakefield's "Road to Xenu", this book by an ex-Scientologist explains the mechanisms, explicit and subtle, by which Scientology subverts the independence of its members.

C/ Popular People and Media

1. Richard Bandler & John Grinder

Richard Bandler along with John Grinder, are the co-founders of Neuro- linguistic Programming (NLP). Richard is the creative driving force behind the development of NLP and the new field called Design Human Engineering (DHE) which has evolved from NLP. In 1988 Richard was arrested for murdering a dominatrix and was later acquitted. He is currently teaching advanced NLP and hypnosis trainings.

2. Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People, etc.)

Stephen Covey is the author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" which has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for the past several years. The subtitle of 7 Habits is "Restoring the Character Ethic". This sums up how Covey's work is different from many other approaches. While at Harvard doing his MBA he researched a large portion of the self improvement literature going back as far as the 18th century. What he noticed was that early on the work focused on character traits and principles and that long term success depended upon this. Early this century, the focus shifted to what he calls the "personality ethic" which became the dominant theme in success literature.
In the personality ethic, success is viewed as a function of personality, public image, attitude, skills, and techniques. If you learned the right techniques and could impress the right people and you would be successful.
Much of Covey's work is focused on restoring the character ethic as the principle focus, skills and techniques can only be successful in the long term if they are built upon a strong character ethic.

Covey received his PhD from Brigham Young University where he spent many years as a professor in the School of Management. He is also the founder of the Covey Leadership Center and the nonprofit Institute for Principle-Centered Leadership. Stephen and his center are widely sought by major corporations as speakers and consultants. In addition to his 7 Habits he has authored, "How to Succeed with People", "Principle-Centered Leadership", "First Things First". In addition to his business writing Covey is also very popular among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for writing books dealing with religious and spiritual topics. Some of these books are, "Spiritual Roots of Human Relations", "The Divine Center", and "Marriage and Family Insights".

3. Anthony Robbins

(Editor Loren's Note: The following comments on Tony Robbins are based on personal recollections of past discussion in the group and personal experiences, additional contributions are as always more than welcome).

Anthony Robbins is one of the most prolific self-improvement personalities currently around. He is probably best known for his infomercials pitching his 24 cassette self improvement program called "Personal Power". He is the author of two bestselling books, "Unlimited Power" and "Awaken the Giant Within". He started his public speaking career giving seminars with Harvey and Marilyn Diamond on physical health. Soon they parted company and Tony began offering seminars on a fairly new subject called Neuro-linguistic Programming. After a very short training, he began to aggressively promote himself at the "foremost NLP practitioner in the world".

For a short time he was a business partner with John Grinder who helped invent NLP.  He began going on television shows like Sally Jesse Raphael and cure people of serious phobias right there on the spot.  Soon he was asked to write a book and put together a series of tapes based on the live seminars he was giving all around the United States. His infomercial soon followed, which made him very famous.  Tony is now involved in running at least 8 companies from financial planning to a Fijiian resort to his self-improvement seminar company.  In recent years his schedule has reduced the number of live seminars he does around the country, but he still does an average of 5-6 seminars a month.

Tony's programs vary tremendously and have a large scope. His material varies from changing your values and beliefs to managing your emotional states.
One simple technique he teaches is called "Morning/Evening Questions".
The idea is that when you wake up in the morning, you ask yourself questions that will put you into a peak state and focus you on the positive, exciting, truly motivating aspects of your life. For example you might ask, "What am I really excited about in my life?" or "What am I really grateful for in my life?" or "What could I accomplish today that would really make life better for myself and those around me?" Tony's philosophies focus on contribution and creating value for others as an integral part of creating success for yourself. If you create more value for those around you than anyone else and do it with a sense of fun and enjoyment, how can you fail to be happy and successful?

Does the Personal Power tape program (as seen on TV) really work? As anyone who reads alt.self-improve for very long, you will find that there are many, many Tony Robbins enthusiasts in the group. This question is one of the most frequently asked. In general when this question is raised, a wide variety of answers are naturally given ranging from "Personal Power totally turned my life around" to "It's a good program and I got a lot out of it" to "it didn't help me very much." I've heard very few really negative responses. The program is fairly costly: ~$179. Success in this like anything depends very much on one's commitment to follow through and apply what you learn.

Is attending a live seminar worth the money? Attending one of Tony Robbins live seminars, as almost any who has been will tell you, is a fairly amazing experience. Tony is a vibrant, energetic, and very entertaining speaker.
His shortest seminar lasts on the order of 10-12 hours (Strategic Influence, cost ~$179) to the 9-Day Mastery Program (cost, ~$5000). His seminars are very high energy and there can be anywhere from 250 - 3000 people attending a single seminar. In spite of the large attendance Tony seems to make the seminars very personal and interactive. Not everyone who goes feel that it changed their life or that it was an amazing experience (especially those who shell out $,5000).
General comments are usually very positive and I seriously doubt that Tony has lectured to any non-capacity crowds in the past few years. I have heard several people say that the Mastery program was not worth $5000. Most people seem to feel that seminars such as "Unlimited Power Weekend" and "Strategic Influence" are fun experiences if not wonderful investments.

Tony's popular Personal Power tapes was updated as Personal Power II in 1996.
However, according several users of this group, most of the contents were the same as the first version. Some said there was a 5% change.

For information on how to contact Tony Robbins' company see References and Resources.

4. Marshall Sylver

Marshall Sylver is the creator of the self-improvement kit "Passion, Profit & Power". It was rolled out in June of 1994. Both the Jordan Whitney and IMS reports (The main companies that track Infomercials and their success) listed Mr. Sylvers product as the #1 Infomercial for many weeks in 1994, and was in the top 20 for 1995. After the release of the infomercial, Publishers Simon & Schuster approached Mr. Sylver to write a book along the same lines as the product. It was released in 1995, with paperback released in 1996.

What is the general opinion of Marshall Sylver's Program "Power, Passion, Profit"? Nearly all the comments recently have been quite negative about this program, but the number of people who have actually listened and those that have only seen the infomercial is hard to determine. Here are some assorted comments from people who HAVE listened to the tapes:

-1- Joe Slattery writes:

His tapes sound like you're listening to "Eight hours of cliches on how to get off your butt." His examples reduce his discussion to incorporate the rare ten-year old who wants Passion, Profit and Power."

His section on "Passion", although he says his comments apply to all relationships, really apply 75-80% to troubled love lives. If you've listened to Tony Robbins as much as I have, you can't help but notice the virtual quotes. (Like "the quality of your life is the quality of your communication", even though that isn't Tony's quote either.)

What I did like--he dares to discuss the possibility that being a nice guy
is part of life long success in all areas of life.

-2- (Ajop) writes:

Yes there are some universal truths that Mr. Sylver covers that others do.
Why? because they are true and need to be said. Heck, a lot of Tony's book is based on Bandler and Grinder, which is based on Erickson. Take all the good
things of the world and time transform them into an understandable straight to the point program that gets to the subconscious of people's minds and creates the change people want, and you have Passion, Profit & Power.

D/ Reference and Resources

1. Resource List

The following listing of information has not been fully verified.
Please advise the editors if you know of any mistakes or updates.

Accelerated Learning Association
50 Aylesbury Road
Aston Clinton, Aylesbury
Bucks, England
Director: Colin Rose

Advanced Neurodynamics (Tad James)       1-800-800-MIND (6463) [Orders]
1-808-941-2021 [Information]

Australian Institute of NLP
P.O. Box 1
University of Queensland
St. Lucia, QLD 406707 369 2821

Buzan Centre (USA)(407) 881-0188
Buzan Centre (UK)(0202) 534572

Church of Scientology, 1-800-334-LIFE
CoCo Systems Ltd., (UK) 0494 434464 (from the UK) +44 494 434464 (from elsewhere)

Est, 1-415-882-6300 (San Francisco), 1-408-522-9600 (Sacramento)
Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics, 1-800-447-READ, Fax: 939-1680

Franklin Quest, 1-800-654-1776, 1-800-977-1776

Guthy-Renker, 1-800-274-4910

IDEA Seminars (Rex Sikes), 1-414-335-9700, 1-800-739-7453, (414) 355-4777 (FAX)

Jim Rohn International, 1-800-929-0434

Landmark Education, 1-415-882-6300, 1-916-648-1060, 1-408-522-9600
Learning Strategies Corporation (Photo-reading) 1-800-735-8273
Life Long Learning Association, 1-519-725-2152

Marshall Sylver, 1-800-92-POWER

NLP Books Etc. 1-800-783-1184 (Colorado)
NLP Comprehensive, 1-800-233-1657
NLP Meta Publications, 1-415-464-0254, Fax: 664-8044
New Jersey NLP Institute, 1-800-35-NLPNJ, 1-201-770-1084
New York Training Institute for NLP, 1-212-473-2852
New York Milton H. Erickson Society, 1-212-628-0287, 505-6141 (Mailing list)
Nightingale-Conant, 1-800-323-5552

Option Institute, 1-413-229-2100

People's Network, The, 1-800-799-2713, 004-422-2122 x590 (FAX)

Robbins Research International (US), 1-800-445-8183
Robbins Research International (UK), 0044 71 376 0808

Seminar Software, 1-214-361-4227

Theta Technologies, 1-800-395-9148 (order), 1-206-222-6962 (customer service)
Timeworks, 1-708-558-1300, 1-800-323-7744 (order)

* Internet Web Sites

Advanced Neuro Dynamics Web Page (Tad James),
American Society of Training and Development,
Big Dreams (hypertext personal/business success newsletter),
Cooper, Dr. Morton,
Covey Leadership Center,,
Creativity Web Page,
Forum Graduate Association,
Hypnosis Information,
IDHEA seminars,
Institute of HeartMath,
Leading Edge Communications,
Marketing for Success & TPN,
Mind Gear,
Mind Media,
Mind Tools, ( )
NLP and DHE,
NLP Seminars Group,
Option Institue, The (Happiness is a Choice),
Psychology Self-Help Resources,
Richard Bandler, The First Institute of NLP and DHE,
Stanford University News & Information Services,
SelfGrowth Homepage,
Stellar Business,
SuccessQuest (Magazine for Entrepreneurs), free, email to "MAALLEN@DELPHI.COM"
Self Esteem Mailing list,
The People Network,
Time-Line Therapy,
Tony Robbins (free book info),
Thought of the Day Mailing List,
Trance-Action Consultants,

2. Software Packages

(1) (From a reader)

"One of the best selling software packages of all time was Mind Prober, by Human Edge Software. I was quite surprised not to see it mentioned in your list of self-improvement aids. Human Edge is now out of business, but there are a few amazing software packages currently out there that cover each of the areas you have mentioned: learning and intelligence, motivation, and sales and negotiation.

The best of these are grounded heavily in strongly validated research in social and behavioral science. I know that Neuralytic Systems of Redwood City has put out a brain-builder called IQ smarts that assesses one's strengths in areas of Analytical (Abstract/Symbolic), Creative (Lateral/Associative), and Practical (Problem Solving/Memory) Intelligence. It then selects a series of exercises that bring stronger areas to bear on weaker ones.

I believe that Human Edge had also put out products called Negotiation Advisor, Sales Advisor, and Motivation Advisor. Whoever bought them out may still own the rights to these packages. Those products generate a frightfully accurate assessment of the personalities of both individuals involved in a negotiation and generate a report with incredibly specific strategies for dealing with the other person.

I have all of these on my shelves. Being interactive and adaptive, I have found software to be much more effective than broad global strategies. Software can provide very individualized solutions that a book or a set of tapes can not.

(2) (From, RobertS108)

Dr. Delgado has released a 3 hour audio CD covering many of his health strategies (Tony Robbins quotes from Delgado extensively in his Living Health audio program). The CD covers: exercise, nutrition, life extension, and disease elimination. This is available from Seminar Software.

3. Reader Ratings of Books/Audiotapes/Seminars

The question frequently comes up about "What do people think of product X?"
This appendix will try to create a fast way of viewing the general opinion.
Obviously no product can be summarized with a single number and hopefully this won't discourage questions and discussion, just provide a more concise way of capturing the general view. You can vote for a book, audiotape, seminar that you have experience with by sending me a list with your vote.  The easiest way is to just cut out the list below and put your vote out to the side. If you are posting a book review, including a rating on a scale of 1-10 and they'be added to this list automatically.

Books     Average/Voters
-----     --------------
As a Man Thinketh (Allen)  9.25/2
Three Magic Words (Anderson)  4.0/1
Frogs into Princes (Bandler, Grinder)  9.5/1
Persuasion Engineering (Bandler, LaValle) 8.5/1
Structure of Magic (vol. 1) (Bandler, Grinder)  8.75/2
Structure of Magic (vol. 2) (Bandler, Grinder)  4.0/1
Time for A Change (Bandler) 9.5/1
Trance-Formations (Bandler, Grinder) 10.0/1
Use Your Brain For a Change (Bandler, Grinder)  9.0/1
The Magic of Rapport (Michael Brooks)  8.5/1
Procrastination (Burka, Yuen)  5.0/1
Genius (Buzan)  5.5/1
Make The Most of Your Mind (Buzan)  7.25/2
Speed Reading (Buzan)  6.25/2

Use Both Sides of Your Brain (Buzan)  6.5/1
Use Your Perfect Memory (Buzan)  7.0/1
The Artist's Way (Cameron and Bryan)  10.0/1
How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie)  6.8/7
Wealthy Barber, The (Chilton)
Creating Affluence (Chopra)  9.5/1
Perfect Health (Chopra)  6.0/2
Quantum Healing (Chopra)  7.5/2
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Cialdini)  10.0/1
Richest Man in Babylon (Clason)  9.0/1
You Can Negotiate Anything (Cohen)
First Things First (Covey, Merill, Merill)  9.47/3
7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey)  8.57/7
Principle Centered Leadership (Covey)  7.5/1
DeBono's Thinking Course (de Bono)  9.5/1
I Am Right You are Wrong (de Bono)  7.5/1
Lateral Thinking (deBono)  7.83/3
Use of Lateral Thinking (deBono)  7.0/1
Fit for Life (Diamond, Diamond)  6.75/2
Fit for Life II: Living Health (Diamond, Diamond)  6.75/2
Strategies of Genius vol. 1 (Dilts) 7.0/1
Strategies of Genius vol. 2 (Dilts) 8.0/1
Strategies of Genius vol. 3 (Dilts) 8.5/1

Your Money or Your Life (Dominguez and Robin)  8.0/2
Gifts From Eykis (Dyer)
No More Holiday Blues (Dyer)
Pulling Your Own Strings (Dyer)  6.0/1
Real Magic (Dyer)
Sky's The Limit (Dyer)
Your Erroneous Zones (Dyer)  6.0/2
You'll See It When You Believe It (Dyer)  6.0/1
Overcoming Procrastination (Ellis)
The Evelyn Wood 7 Day Speed Reading and Learning Program (Frank)
Man's Search For Meaning (Frankl)  8.33/4
Creative Visualization (Gawain)  6.5/2
Financial Self Defense (Givens)
Super Self: Doubling Your Personal Effectivenss (Givens) 10.0/1
Wealth Without Risk (Givens)  7.0/1
How to Audition for Film and TV (Renee Harmon)  8.0/1
You Can Heal Your Life (Hay)  5.0/1
Choices (Helmstetter)  8.5/1
Master Keys to Riches (N. Hill)  9.5/1
Think and Grow Rich (N. Hill)  8.2/6
Time Power (Hobbs)
Dianetics (Hubbard)  4.0/3
Mega Brain (Michael Hutchinson)  6.0/1
Mega Brain Power (Michael Hutchinson)  8.0/1
The Lost Secrets of Ancient Hawaiian Huna (Tad James)
Secret of Creating Your Future (Tad James)  4.0/1
Time Line Therapy and the Basis of Personality (Tad James)
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (Jeffers)  8.5/1
Survival: A Manual on Manipulating (William Jones)  8.0/1
Happiness is a Choice (Barry Neil Kaufman)  10.0/2
To Love is to Be Happy With (Barry Neil Kaufman)  10.0/2
Breakthrough Rapid Reading (Kump)
How to Take Control of Your Time and Your Life (Lakein)  8.75/2
Profiles of Genuis (Jean Landrum)
Mastery (Leonard)  8.0/1
Thinking Better (Lewis, Greene)
Psycho-Cybernetics (Maltz)  7.88/4
Greatest Salesman in the World (Mandino)  6.33/4
Greatest Reaches of Human Nature (Maslow)  9.0/1
Mastering the Information Age (McCarthy)  9.0/1
Always at Ease (McCullough)  2.0/1
Time Management for Unmanageable People (McGee-Cooper,Trammel)
Life 101 (Peter McWilliams)  9.0/1
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior (Dan Millman)  8.5/1
Unlimited Selling Power (Donald Moine and Kenneth Lloyd) 9.0/1
The Power of Positive Thinking (Peale)  8.0/1
The Road Less Traveled (Peck)  8.75/2
Age of Propaganda (Pratkanis and Aronson) 7.0/1
Outrageous Betrayal: Werner Erhand's Dark Journey from est
to Exile (Stephen Pressman)
Don't Shoot the Dog (Pryor)  7.0/1
Executive Time Management (Reynolds, Trammel)
Magic of Rapport (Jerry Richardson)  9.0/1
Awaken the Giant Within (A. Robbins)  8.13/4
Giant Steps (A. Robbins)  7.5/1
Unlimited Power (A. Robbins)  9.0/5
Do You Really Need Eyeglasses (Rosanes-Berrett)
Overcoming Indecisiveness (Rubin)  8.5/1
Wishcraft (Sher)
I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was (Sher)  5.0/1
10 Natural Laws of Time and Life Management (Hyrum Smith)
Accelerating (R. Sterling)
Maximum Achievement (Brian Tracy)
Hope and Help for Your Nerves (Claire Weeks)
Getting Organized (Winston)
Secrets of Closing the Sale (Ziglar)
See You At the Top (Ziglar)  8.0/1
Don't Just Do Something, Sit There!  8.0/1

Audio Tape Programs     Average/Voters
-------------------     --------------
Neurosonics (Bandler) 9.0/1
Magical States (Bandler) 8.0/1
Design Human Engineering (Bandler) 9.5/1
Succeeding Through Inner Strength (Nathaniel Branden)
Power of Persuasion (Roger Dawson)
Basic NLP Practioner Training (Tad James) 9.5/1
NLP Master Practitioner Training (Tad James) 7.0/1
Personal Power (Anthony Robbins)  9.0/2
PowerTalk (Anthony Robbins)  10.0/1
Unlimited Power (Anthony Robbins)  9.0/1
Power, Passion, Profit (Marshall Sylver)
Action Strategies for Personal Achievement (Brian Tracy)
Psychology of Achievement (Brian Tracy)  6.0/1
Psychology of Winning (Dennis Waitley)  6.5/2

Seminars     Average/Voters
--------     --------------
The Forum  8.2/3
Lifespring Basic  9.0/1
Lifespring Advanced  8.0/1
Breakthrough to Inner and Outer Influence (Tad James)

Huna Introduction: The Lost Secrets of the Ancient Hawaii (Tad James)
Secret of Creating Your Future (Tad James)
Time Line Therapy Training (Tad James) 8.0/1
Mastery (A. Robbins)
Date With Destiny (A. Robbins)
Strategic Influence (A. Robbins)  9.5/1
Unlimited Power Weekend (A. Robbins)  10.0/1

4. Who's Who Listing of Professionals in alt.self-improve

Listed here is a guide of professionals in alt.self-improve who offer various information, services, and products. You may correspond with them directly.
Please use your judgment when using these professionals. You shall not hold the editors responsible for your actions.

If you want to be included in this listing, please submit the following
information to
- Your name.
- Your e-mail address.
- Your expertise (limited to 25 words).
- What you want to offer (either free or for a fee, limited to 50 words).

(1) Kelly Baquet (
* My background is primarily the entertainment industry, but my true love has always been personal development. I heard the most amazing tape called "Dead Doctors Don't Lie."  Entertaining.  Informative. Provocative.
When I realized that tons of other people will reactive EXACTLY like I did when THEY hear the tape....the next step was easy. A home-based business, using this tape to do the "hard" part.  E-mail for a free copy of the tape & details.

(2) Paul Stephen Boudreau, Jr. (
* Purdue University degree in Physics and Psychology. Several years of experience in industry and social work. Several years of experience in Multilevel Marketing or Network Marketing. Currently working towards NLP certification. * To the readers of alt.self-improve, I would say: "Consider being a part of the home-seminar revolution." Think of getting all the value of the top minds in your home. No more travel, no more complex schedules, etc. TPN brings 240+ hours per month of self/professional development programing for 50 cents/hour. In addition TPN can open up new profit centers for you as a home-based business.

(3) Robert-Michael Kaplan (Beyond_20/
* O.D. and M.Ed. Author of "Seeing Beyond 20/20" and "The Power Behind Your Eyes." * I educate and assist individuals in eye sight improvement training.

My Vision Fitness programs utilize "natural vision" methods and they are available as workshops, private consultations, and retreats. Email me for details. Phone: (604) 885-7118, Fax: (604) 885-0608.

(4) Aaron Lewis (
* Memory, memory techniques and learning; language learning; and occasionally my physics degree. * I have written an article on memory which is as good as any commercial product and is freely distributable (i.e. FREE!). Email me, and I'll send you a copy. I hope to find a space for it and various other memory-related materials on the WWW before long; in the mean time, I welcome your inquiry about the above subjects!

(5) Paul "the soarING" Siegel (
* Writer, seminar leader and counselor on developing a grand personal vision.
Author of DESIGN YOUR FUTURE: Live Your Vision in the Ever-Changing Learning Society. * I'm offering: (a) FREE - a Vision Palette, a questionnaire to help you define yourself so you could paint a true vision. (b) FREE - a chance to be a part of a learning community on self-development. Just tune into: . (c)HALF-PRICE - My book, DESIGN YOUR FUTURE. Phone: 1-800-706-8474.

(6) David Riklan and Michelle Weintraub (
* Self Inprovement Online is the most complete guide to information about personal growth, self-improvement, self-help, human enhancement, self- actualization, self-awareness, and personal power on the Internet. It has links to companies, organizations, magazines, and other resources. Visit .

(7) Rex Steven Sikes (
* We are a full service NLP and DHE training institute. We run the full gamet training programs and carry audio, video and book product. We also teach my developments in the fields of DHE and NLP, as well as my developments with accelerated learning known as Mind Design(tm). Email: to receive a free product catalog and training guide.
Homepage: .

(8) David Smith (
* I moderate a closed mailing list for graduates of the Landmark Forum. Those interested should e-mail me for an application. Thanks.

E/ Sample Hot Topics for 1996

Memorizing Body Movements
Speed Seduction Retards
Landmark Brainwashing
Speed Reading
Time-Line Therapy
Self-Help Methods & Strategies
Concentration Improvement Help?
Public Speaking
The 7 Habits
Happiness from an NLP Perspective&127;
Goals Vs Principles
Feeling Guilty When Asking a Woman Out
Missing the Key
Hostile People Die Early
Power Talk
Weekly Word of Wisdom
Partner with Mark V. Hansen
Scientology and John Travolta
Seeking Suggested Books for Reading
Tony Robbins Info Sought
Religous Respect
Self-Improvement Newsgroups?
Kevin Hogan: "The Psychology of Persuasion"
73855 Perceptions from Only Your Name
Personal Power I Versus Personal Power II
Baby Boomers in Mid-Life Crisis
Speed Reading Books
What Pascal Forgot (NLP)
Howard Berg's Mega Reading
Scientific Proof (NLP)
Audio or Books
Jesus, CEO
Happiness = Mentally Ill?
Power Metaphors
Yoshiro Nakamats
Interviews with Grinder & Bandler
The Nature of Reality
Books on Family
Any Good Books on Confidence & Self-Esteem?
Concentration/Focus Exercises
Zygon's Supermind
Best & Worst Pickup Lines
Any Good Books on Confidence & Self-Esteem?
Carlton Sheets
EN Quotations #1
Advice on the Advice Given Here
Improve Growth Rate?
Personal Organizer
Conquering Cancer or Any Disease
Meaning of Life

The End.