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In this article Michael Hall of NLP / Neuro-Semantics discusses the Ford Kavanaugh controversy from an NLP perspective. A time to use the NLP Meta Model - NLP Mind Lines - Robert Dilts Sleight of Mouth and NLP Peace Mapping Models.
An article by L. Michael Hall 2018 Neurons #44 Oct. 8, 2018
An amazing thing happened this past week. An accuser made accusations against a man with a sterling record as a legal scholar and a judge for 12 years on the Washington DC Circuit. Yet in the end, the accusations themselves proved to be un-substantiated and un-corroborated by any evidence or any witness. What I then found quite amazing is that— when asked if she was believable— a great percentage of the American population said yes. Many Republicans also said yes and went further, they said that “her testimony was credible.”
Now assuming that they were not just “being nice,” and that they really meant that, how could testimony be “credible” when there’s no evidence and no witness would corroborate it? How could most people say that they believe a witness who accuses a person of a hideous crime when there’s no evidence in the slightest? How does that work? What do we or should we base credibility upon?
In the words of the scores of people who were interviewed by the media— “it was an emotional testimony.” And yes indeed it was. But— and here is the big but— is “an emotional testimony” the same thing as or equal to “credibility?” Is the degree of your child’s emotional intensity when wanting something or complaining about something equal to and the same thing as the validity of his cry? Is it true that because he is emotional and really, truly wants something?
What we have here is what NLP called a “complex equivalence.” One thing is equated to another thing. Here we have externally a strong emotional statement, expression, state, etc. Here also we have another thing, an internal concept— credibility, validity, truthfulness, etc. Then when we put these together into a sentence and equate them, we have a belief statement. The EB (external behavior) is now equal to (=) the IS (internal state) (see Mind-Lines, 2005).
∙ If something is expressed or stated emotionally, then it is true, valid, and credible.
∙ If an accuser is emotional (sincerely and intensely), then the accusation must be true.
∙ I have to believe someone (validity, credibility), if that person goes into an emotional state.
Of course, the linguistic framing here that creates this belief is pseudo-logical. It creates a false-to-fact belief, a limiting belief, and a statement of low-level primitive thinking pattern. The fact is that the emotionality of a statement does not necessarily make it true or valid. But of course, in an Age of Emotion (namely this age!), a non-critical thinking statement like that seems for most people easy to believe. Yet what are people saying, really saying, when they believe that? They are saying—
∙ If she’s emotional, her testimony is credible.
∙ If she’s just stating facts and not dramatically feeling it as she says it, her testimony is not credible.
∙ To be credible, a person must go into state, re-experience things and if it is a negative experience, the voice must crack, and the person must look like and sound like a victim.
Let’s now step back for a moment and consider all of this. Upon what should we base “credibility” on?
∙ What facts, evidence, information, etc. justifies us to believe someone when they testify to some event?
∙ Is their emotions and emotional state a sufficient or even a necessary fact to the truthfulness of their statement?
∙ Is their emotion and emotional expression, in itself, information or evidence to the reality of the event?
If you think the answer to these questions is “yes,” then go visit a mental ward. There you will find many highly emotional people with very intense emotional testimonies! Some will testify very emotionally about aliens taking them into spaceships and scanning their bodies or performing operations on them. Yet does that make them credible?
In medieval times, people testified very emotionally that some woman was a witch and that testimony was sufficient evidence for them to condemn her and burn her at the stake. For those a little bit more enlightened, they first interrogated her using painful devices to eek out a confession, and then they burned her.
The fact is emotions, emotional states, and emotional testimonies do not, in and of themselves provide credibility. Actors who have learned the acting method have learned how to turn on and turn off, at their command, all sorts of emotional states— states that are real to them and that can induce others into strong emotional states. To the extent that you might need a strong emotional state to be able to function or perform well in a given area, that’s what NLP can teach you to do. Tony Robbins is highly skilled in this area as the thousands who attend his “Date with Destiny” program can testify to.
Credibility should go to facts. What is the evidence that such and such an event occurred? Who will testify under oath to corroborate the testimony? If nobody can say, “Yes I remember being there and seeing or hearing that,” then is there any evidence, any facts that can establish the credibility of a report? For a modern, scientific attitude about things— we look for facts and assume that a person is innocent unless there are facts that indicate otherwise. This has been the basis of jurisprudence in modern societies for hundreds of years in spite of emotional testimonies.
___ © Author L. Michael Hall, Co-founder of Neuro Semantics.
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