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Archive for August, 2012

PMemory 3.0

Here is an example of the techniques from the much-vaunted PMemory 3.0 from Ruslan’s new forum:

1. Effortless FCs creation.

Instead of doing the FC routine covered in lessons just see/observe “05” as rich, colorful, detailed and large. When you see it clearly and effortlessly do the same for the image of the Airplane. then do both at the same time but seeing them effortlessly as one and the same. Let your mind accept them both as one, accept the meaning of those 2 images as one the same. Be relax, its not about pushing or making happen, its about allowing it to happen. Make sure your body is relaxed, and when its done you should be fully relaxed and effortlessly see those 2 images at the same time as one (in what ever way it will end up) and you see it as one, and you know that these images are just one, you just see it this way and know it so. Make sure your body is affected and relaxed, so you dont end up in the situation when in your head you are visualizing but pushing against it with the body.

Instead of forcing neurons to establish a reflect connection we relax them so they can connect themselves.

Let me know how it works out for you. you can also combine this method with the old method described in the course.

2. Effortless Attention.

Make a dot around half inch size or choose little object of some kind. put it in front of you around 3-4 feet away from you.

Exercise 1:
Focus on the dot and your goal to be focused on it without interruption for 10 minutes. Do it with force/effort but make sure it is appropriate, it is not about just creating effort, its about being supper focused on the object with directed force.

Exercise 2:
Do the same exercise but do it effortlessly. Just observe the dot and relax as much as you can and be comfortable. Being relaxed, comfortable, effortless yet focused. do this for 15 minutes.

True Effortless memorization can happen only in silent, effortless space, when instead of forcing images to connect you allow them to connect themselves.

3. Effortless visualization.

seeing and observing effortlessly an image you choose. without pushing it to appear and without you putting effort to see it and be visualized. and letting the details show up and the image you are looking at becomes more real and rich. feel it if you can (dont force it, if it feels like something then let it be. feeling should come up it self.) if you cant feel it then it doesnt matter, it will come later and its not necessary at this time. Just be aware of the sensation the image you are looking at creates in you. Hear it if you can, but dont try to hear it and dont try to force yourself to hear it. If it shows up great, if not then dont worry about it. The more sensations are involved the better.
Do this exercise for 10 minutes. Any image will work.

4. Void Technique.

Before you begin your lessons you need to calm down your mind, so your thoughts are not racing and dont interfere with the tasks we need to do and you dont waste energy on unrelated stuff and this energy is not used against you.
The idea is simple. Mental thoughts are illusions, they dont really exist. They exist as an experience but they dont really have any power over you unless you give them the power. I will get back to this topic later. For now all you need to do is:
1. Relax in your chair.
2. Now, close your eyes, and try to find at least 1 though in your head.
(dont read further, just do it for 1 minute)

3. Relax in to the void and emptiness. Relax all of yourself into it.
Be in this space for 30 minutes before each lesson. Its a great idea also to finish your training day with that.

If it didnt work:
I didnt say – think about something. I said – try to find at least 1 thought in your head.

Both I and the student who alerted me to this think it’s just PMemory techniques blended with meditation. What do you think?

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I received an email recently telling such a strange story about this organization that I decided to post it on the blog. I wished to comment in places, but rather than interrupt the continuity of the message, I have added them as footnotes.

Dear [real name],

I have managed to track you down as a former Instructor at the A.I., and although you are obviously not obligated to share with me your experiences with that organization if you have no wish to do so, I feel that writing this message has helped me make up my own mind about it. I had some very strange email exchanges with the director there [referred to hereinafter as “SA”]. Perhaps some part of this story may speak to your own experiences?

I had actually heard about this organization through a business contact of mine many years ago, but did not seek to follow this up and find out about the course at the time. I finally decided to introduce myself through the online “Contact” form on their website a few weeks ago, to find out exactly what this “state of the art” equipment was and the training course that went along with it. After some time elapsed with no reply, I was wondering whether perhaps I wasn’t going to get one, since the site itself looked like it hadn’t been updated in living memory, but finally, with some story of a server crash causing a delay in receiving my message, I received a reply.

The site seemed to position SA with other personal development gurus such as Tony Buzan, Edward de Bono and Ned Hermann, and although I may be mistaken I think I remember seeing this organization mentioned in at least one of Tony Buzan’s books. I asked SA about the matter of Tony Buzan endorsing his work, and his reply was along the lines that they are friends and do not teach together. While I would have liked to see a stronger business (as opposed to personal) endorsement from Mr Buzan, this wasn’t terribly important to me at this point. (1)

I mentioned that I was a neuropsychologist working with children with learning difficulties, and SA sent me various links to pages on his site about curing dyslexia and reference to an alleged double-blind study using his equipment and techniques. I haven’t been able to independently verify these claims or this double-blind study. (2)

I asked about the EEG equipment they were using, and commented that the illustrations seemed to be showing an old DOS system. SA said that they had spent $200,000 over the past five years attempting to upgrade the system but there was a problem where Windows disrupts the timing of the sound part of the system when it does its periodic housekeeping. When I queried this, mentioning that I had seen other light and sound systems that seemed to work perfectly well in Windows, such as the Neuroprogrammer software from Transparent Corp.

As I originally came from a legal background I was most curious as to why SA didn’t seem to have a Swiss, European or any other patent, especially given his claims that the equipment is unique. His response was that there was no point in doing so, as EEG’s have existed for 50 years and flashing lights are used in discos! For someone who claims to have invented or developed cutting-edge technology, this is a very strange attitude to have toward one’s own intellectual property. Anyone involved in R&D will know that one’s IP is their most valuable asset and I wondered why he would have such a flippant approach toward the intellectual rights to equipment that allegedly cost so much to develop. (3)

SA claims to have an IQ that is “off the top and still rising” and I informed him that this quote had caught my eye, as I have never seen anyone get a perfect score on any of the most commonly-used clinical tests. I expressed curiosity at seeing the psychometrician’s score report. SA sidestepped this neatly by saying he doubted he could reproduce at age 73 the result of a test that was taken in 1986. Apart from the fact that clinical testing takes age into consideration, I wasn’t asking him to reproduce the result – I was merely expressing my interest in the original score report. Of course, that was a pure indulgement of my curiosity and SA doesn’t have to show me or anyone else if he doesn’t wish to, but then he went on to say that over the last few months he had trained four other clients with a maximum Wechsler score (the most commonly-used clinical IQ test). Given the theoretical statistical rarity of such a result, I wonder how he is finding and attracting such clients? I also mentioned that as a neuropsychologist I am obviously familiar with the questions and answers to all the major tests; therefore there would be little purpose to be served by taking the Wechsler test myself before taking the training. I was under the impression that SA absolutely insists on this. (4)

Strangely, although his office is ostensibly based in Switzerland, and this location suited me for the training as I travel to either Switzerland or elsewhere in Continental Europe on average once a year, he kept insisting that the course took place in Edinburgh. (5)

He finished his first email with a whole lot of stuff about telephone and Skype interviews “to determine whether or not we can help you achieve your goal”. I made it very clear to him in my next email that what I wanted out of the training was the exact service advertised on his website, that I was unclear what else there was to be “sure” about, and was the service available to a paying client or not? I told him I hadn’t been interviewed by a tutor since applying to take my undergraduate degree. I am sure Universities get all sorts of young whippersnappers who are full of their own big ideas, but for a professional of my age this felt very strange, and I felt that I was being checked out, or perhaps some kind of reverse psychology was being used to make me feel I had passed some kind of selection process to be allowed on the course.

After another week, I received another email from SA stating that he had given careful thought to my questions and was going to break three rules for me regarding the course: Firstly, that a telephone/Skype interview would no longer be required, “as it seems to important to you that we only meet on the first day of the course”. I didn’t consider it “important” at all, but simply felt the way it was requested was rather strange, and I had already mentioned I was travelling at the time, and felt it would be easier to make calls that were likely to become lengthy once I was back in my office. (6)

Secondly, that the normal client requirement to purchase a Brain Wave I [the EEG system used on the course] was waived, since I had found “superior equipment” (Neuroprogrammer and the David Paradise machine). These are light and sound systems, and do not include an EEG. Since, as I understood it, the training course was to train the person in the use of the Brain Wave I, I didn’t see the purpose in taking the training course if I was then going to have to source equipment from elsewhere. (7)

The final “requirement” that was waived was that I didn’t have to do an IQ test, and that there was “no mention on the website about an IQ test being required”. (8)

At this juncture, especially in view of the second point above, I started to feel I was getting nowhere with my enquiries with SA and was being treated quite unprofessionally. I thought that before I gave up entirely I would enquire into the possibility that another instructor would deal with me in a less evasive and defensive fashion. There was obviously something about me asking about other instructors that SA didn’t like as he sent a very rude email accusing me of being a “front” for a person in Asia, and saying, “You do not exist on the internet, very interesting for one who claims to be so famous and important.”

Well, I have never claimed to be famous and important, since my forename and surname are both very common in the English-speaking world, I wonder how SA could manage to determine so conclusively that none of the myriads of individuals with the same name (or variants of it) on social media and professional networking sites are me! Furthermore, I did not at any point mention where in the world I am now based, neither did I mention what the name of my company is.

In his final email to me SA said he had spent 14 hours replying to my emails – I wonder how he could have spent so much time, since the replies he sent me were not THAT long! This would suggest that he must have spent the majority of that time surfing the Internet trying to find out other information about me. Frankly, I find that rather creepy and  not something I would normally expect the organizers or lecturer of a training course to do in response to a potential client’s enquiry. (9)

No wonder SA finally exploded in his email when I asked about other instructors – it seems they have all resigned apart from those in Greece, Indonesia and Brazil. I presume they, and you, had good reasons for doing so. (10)

Kind regards,
[etc.]

My comments are as follows:

(1) Re Tony Buzan: It is true that SA and Tony Buzan have been friends for a very long time. Probably their longstanding friendship is the only reason why this organization has ever been mentioned in Tony Buzan’s books (I think there is a brief one-line mention in “Use Your Head” and an article written by SA in one volume of “Synapsia”, the journal of TB’s (now defunct?) Brain Club). However, I have since seen copy correspondence from TB’s office denouncing any professional involvement with SA or Alphalearning.

(2) I have not been able to locate a “Dr. Paulo Faria (Neuropsychologist)” the supposed author of this double-blind study, and I should have thought that the originator of this story would have been better placed to trace him even than I, given his profession. Since the Brain Wave 1 system was compared in an unflattering light against the DAVID Paradise machine from Mind Alive Inc., I sent the link to the “double blind study” to Dave Siever for whatever actions he saw fit, and he didn’t consider it even worthwhile wasting his time on.

(3) The problems with the software upgrade and the lack of a patent are because SA did not develop the Brain Wave 1 or the light/sound system in the first place. This machine was developed by a Netherlands company, Mind Media B.V., in the 1990s and this model of EEG is actually called the Brain Tracer. SA purchased a quantity of machines, relabelled them with his own company logo, and sold them on as his own invention. Erwin Hartsuiker, the owner of Mind Media, is aware of this but took no action since his company now sells more up-to-date technology. You can buy more sophisticated EEGs with more channels from this same company, such as the Nexus, all of which come with modern Windows-based software.

(4) The statistical rarity of such a score is actually about 1/31,560, according to the IQ Percentile and Rarity Chart. I am fairly active in High IQ land, and I can think of a handful of individuals who I know or am fairly certain have hit the ceiling of this test. So SA has trained all of them over the last few months? Unlikely.

(5) He doesn’t have an office in Switzerland. He was deported from Switzerland for working without a work permit. If you call the World Trade Center in Lugano they will only refer you to his phone number in Scotland. He operates from his house in Edinburgh, and books hotel conference suites in Edinburgh to run the course.

(6) I’m surprised that SA didn’t turn him down right at this point, unless it was a ploy to see just how far the writer would go along with all this. SA likes to screen enquirers because he can’t be bothered to deal with people who ask too many questions or challenge his information. I bit my tongue for most of the duration in order to sneak under his radar and find out what he was actually teaching.

(7) SA stated flat out to me that these other systems didn’t work. He even said to me that if I were to try out a DAVID machine, the rhythmic tones and flashing lights would do so much permanent physical damage that my IQ would probably drop from wherever it is now to about 110. I didn’t tell him that I was a longstanding user of Neuroprogrammer, the DAVID Paradise, and other entrainment products. He was so anxious that I shouldn’t go to Dave Siever’s training seminar in October last year that I made a point of enrolling on it to find out why. Dave Siever, quite unlike SA, was friendly, courteous, willing to answer all types of questions about both equipment and neuroscience, and highly knowledgeable about the various neuromodulation technologies currently available. Having met both couples, given the choice between the Adam’s and the Siever’s, I know who I would rather go to dinner with.

(8) When I initially spoke to SA on the phone, he concluded it by insisting I get an IQ test done – “yesterday”. He said we would only speak further once he saw the score report. There might not indeed be anything on his website that suggests an IQ test is a mandatory requirement to take the course, but SA will certainly insist on the phone that enquirers get one done. He is absolutely obsessed by people’s IQ levels, which is why I knew that when he saw mine, that would be sure to get his attention.

However, despite insisting upon seeing applicants’ IQ test reports he has very little knowledge to interpret them. I wouldn’t call myself an expert – far from it – but hanging out in IQ Land does enable a person to glean a few psychometric basics, such as what the ceilings are on the most popularly-used tests and how the standard distribution (bell curve) works. SA said his full-scale WAIS IQ from 1986 was 186, with the index scores all being 178. The WAIS-R (the version of the WAIS that would have been used in 1986) doesn’t go that high – its ceiling is 150. When I queried this with him, he said, “It was because of my age.” He didn’t seem to know (or hoped that I didn’t know) that the test is normed per age bracket, so that the maximum score is still the maximum score, whatever the person’s age.

Tony Buzan also disputes SA’s claim that TB estimated his IQ as “the joint sixth highest of all time”, along with Leonardo da Vinci. I can also find no reference to a “world IQ championship”, unless it is the one mentioned somewhere by the Worldwide Brain Club as having attracted three participants one year, and didn’t take place that many times before it was cancelled due to lack of contestants. (I can’t find the link right now.)

(9) Correct – SA researches applicants extensively on the Internet. He even said to me, “I know more about you than you know yourself,” and then proceeded to lie and said he had paid a P.I. to conduct background checks. He doesn’t use P.I.’s otherwise the investigator would have found the writer of this message (or the identity behind the writer).

(10) Also correct – these are the only remaining instructors that I am aware of. I wasn’t going to stick around someone who took a know-best attitude to my philosophical beliefs and technical experience, drank vodka like it was water and had some “interesting” views on sexual ethics and its effect on the brain, mind and spirit. I also had no interest in auras and alchemy, which SA found infintely more interesting than hard neuroscience.

SA knew nothing about certain subjects he claimed to have read books on, and in which I used to teach courses. When I tried to demonstrate certain techniques to him regarding those subjects, he behaved as if he “already knew” and it became all about him and his advanced knowledge, instead of being about me demonstrating the subject matter to him.

None of this is to be construed that light/sound entrainment or EEG biofeedback do not work, because they certainly do. However, I believe that SA doesn’t consider these elements of the course to be the major thrust of what he is teaching, otherwise he would have invested considerably in ensuring his technology and information on scientific knowledge within the field covered on the course are kept up-to-date.

In a future post, I shall compare SA and his organization’s activities to the key characteristics that most cults have in common, and what he actually believes in.

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