Richard Bandler

by Bob Walsh

Richard Bandler is one of the undercover geniuses of our times. And thus, just rattling down a “born on that and that day in that and that town” wouldn’t do him any justice.

He is the co-founder of the field of Neurolinguistic Programming (together with John Grinder), but it is pretty safe to say that, had there be no Bandler, there would have been no NLP, while… had there be no Grinder, there probably still would be an NLP today.

He personally helped hundreds of thousands of people to live a more fulfilled life. Many people think of him as the “Midas of Psychology” – King Midas, everything he touched turned into gold. Richard Bandler, every client he worked with ended up with a much happier and more fulfilled life.

But more important than his one-on-one sessions are his teaching skills, and the millions of people he helped, by teaching others what he does to succeed with clients.

But Richard Bandler ain’t no saint

I don’t want to go over the top here – Richard surely has a lot of flaws, made a lot of mistakes, and if you know him personally, you will probably wonder: “How did THAT guy accomplish all THIS?! How come that someone who helped so many other people to lead better lifes has so many issues himself?”

A couple of years ago, he had a major ego-greed attack too, wanting to “protect” the term NLP. While on one hand that is understandable – it was his life’s work, and all kinds of people started to abuse the term “NLP” for all kinds of mumbo-jumbo… on the other hand, he also has to accept that NLP is not just his accomplishment. (And I’m not talking about John Grinder here). Lots of people have contributed to the techniques and methods that later became NLP – and Bandler himself says that NLP basically is “taking what works and copying it”. He “stole” from Frank Farelli; Milton H. Erickson, Virginia Satir and countless other successful people. Now, he “stole” in the best way possible, stealing their skills and methods that even they themselves oftentimes weren’t consciously aware of and teaching them to others. And he never claimed to be the inventor. Yet, wanting to protect it now legally wasn’t the wisest choice. And from what I heard, he lost millions of millions of dollars in the legal works.

But that is not to diminish his accomplishments.

You really can’t predict much about Richard Bandler – while sometimes it might look like he’s going to retire (or die) soon, he sometimes comes back full-tilt-boogie and throws sand in the face of all the naysayers.

Recently, he published his first books in years and had a whole promotion machinery behind it, probably with some help from his colleague Paul McKenna, one of Englands most famous hypnotists, of whom I personally don’t think very high. His right-hand-man Michael Breen on the other hand is a wicked smart hypnotist who does a lot of the “warm up” in audiences and basically does most of the hard “hypnotic” work for Paul.

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Chet Payne October 19, 2010 at 1:28 am

I have learned a lot from Bandler.

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