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John Grinder's Statement
to Bandler's Lawsuit
In the early 1970s, Richard Bandler and I created a methodology called
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which has enjoyed success in its rapid
dispersion world wide. I have in all my public and private statements
about Bandler's contribution to NLP behaved congruent with my own ethics
and the facts as I have experienced them. More specifically, I have
continuously said, and will continue to say, that the creation of this
marvelous creature, the opening of that wondrous door we all refer loosely
to as NLP, was a product of an outstanding team effort by myself and
Further, it is clear to me that neither Bandler or I could have
individually opened that door, thereby creating the opportunities for those
hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been enriched by the
choices which NLP in the hands of an ethical and well trained person can
provide, in individual lives, in families, in businesses and in communities.
This I recognize and shall always maintain. These recent legal actions by
Bandler are not congruent with my understanding of the spirit of NLP which
I carried during its creation and continue to carry to this day. Better that
the collaboration which Bandler and I achieved in the act of creating NLP
serve as the cooperative metaphor in place of what is occurring now.
In July 1996 Bandler filed an action against me and in the spring of this
year he filed an additional action against myself and some other prominent
members of the NLP community. These actions are unwarranted and without
foundation. These legal actions require a vigorous and costly defense
(independent of whether these allegations have merit). In considering how
to respond to these actions, I am faced with two choices:
(1) to simply demonstrate the absurdity of the contentions contained within
the legal actions, thereby defeating Bandler's attack on me.
(2) to secure from the court a positive and unambiguous ruling which would
- confirm that NLP is within the public domain and not the property of any
individual or group
- enjoin Bandler from pursuing any legal actions against any other member
of the community based on some alleged proprietary rights
I cannot speak to the intentions which Bandler carries in initiating and
pursuing these legal actions. I can, however, speak to the consequences.
If Bandler were to succeed in establishing the claims which are put forward
in these legal actions, the consequences would be essentially that he would
"own NLP." Such a ruling would permit him to determine who could publicly
use NLP and what fee they would be required to pay to him for various such
My inclination is to pursue the stronger course and lay to rest once and
for all the false and inappropriate claims Bandler has made. By so doing,
I understand that I would be volunteering to represent members of the NLP
community who share the perceptions I listed above. My intention is to
clarify and stabilize a context in which the development of NLP can
continue with the creative contributions of those well intended individuals
in the NLP community who wish to make such contributions without fear of
legal or personal reprisal. Such a context would be far more congruent
with the implicit values of NLP as I understand them than the situation as
it presently obtains.
I and most of the co-defendants listed in the second law suit have joined
in a common and coordinated defense to achieve the outcomes listed above.
The principal manner in which you as members of the NLP community can
support is financial, both directly from you and by soliciting support from
other members of the NLP community stated with whom you have contact and
who share these perceptions and values. The estimated costs of mounting a
successful defense in these cases and securing the rulings listed above run
from $50,000 to $250,000.
All contributions to an NLP Legal Defense Fund should be sent to either:
Dr. John Grinder
170 F Alamo Plaza, # 368
Alamo, CA 94507
Fax: (510) 552-0972
Dr. John Grinder
% Richard Klein, Esq.
9053 Soquel Drive, Suite B
Aptos, CA 95003
Fax: (408) 688-1695
Any unused funds will be returned on a pro rated basis to the community
members who have contributed. Records will be kept of all contributions to
facilitate refunding of unused funds, if any.
Can I count on your support in contributing and soliciting other members of
the NLP community to support this essential effort?
Co-creator of Neuro Linguistic Programming
18 June 1997
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