NLP & Quackery

Some of you might be interested in the email reply I received from the RANDI FOUNDATION who investigates quackery and the paranormal.

I thought I’d run the idea past them to guage their reaction. I guess now I’ll have to scrub the million dollar challenge!


Dear sir,

the prize is not given out for quackery but for those items we listed under. In other words it is like saying that a prize is given out for some dogs but not all dogs.

Some NLP is quackery, in my personal opinion a large amount of what is out there but not all of it.

We give a prize out for paranormal abilities by individuals. There are some we do not offer the prize to, like demons and possession. Please look at the official claimant form for more details so you can be clear on this.

Unfortunately NLP would not fall under something we would test especially since it does not fall under under the paranormal. (my added emphasis – Steve)

Thanks for your inquiry.

Challenge desk.
On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 9:58 PM, D.J. Grothe <> wrote:

D.J. Grothe


James Randi Educational Foundation

Ofc: (323) 229-7771
Fax: (703) 226-3785
James Randi Educational Foundation
For Good Reason | Promoting critical thinking and skepticism about the central beliefs of society.
DJGrothe (DJGrothe) on Twitter

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Steve Cowie"
Date: August 5, 2010 1:25:34 PM PDT
To: <>
Subject: Supernatural Claims
Reply-To: "steve cowie"

Dear Mr Randi,
I notice that on your website you have the following quote:

Most notably, the organization offers a prize of one million U.S. dollars (seriously!) to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria.

This includes but is not limited to such quackery as:
Communicating with the Dead and/or "Channeling."
Violations of Newton’s Laws (Perpetual Motion Devices).
The Existence of Ghosts.
Faith Healing.
Psychic Surgery.
Therapeutic Touch.
Precognition & Prophecy.
The Existence of Auras.

Could you tell me whether you regard Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) counts as quackery and could you send me details of the scientific testing criteria for the above mentioned test?
Kind regards,

NLP & Quackery

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