T.D.A. Lingo and The Dormant Brain Research and Development
T.D. Lingo's story by Neil Slade (c) 2011
"My story unfolds with me as a spearhead infantry scout for
General Patton's army in World War II. The war was horrible on the
front lines. My group was one of the first to arrive at Hitler's
death camps to liberate the remaining survivors. After I got back
home to the U.S. I went to the University of Chicago, and earned my
bachelor and masters degrees in behavioral science, and almost
completed my Ph.D. My experiences during the war drove me to ask but
one question: "Why must I kill my brother?" To this, my school and
professors had no answer. But one professor's advice was "If there
is an answer to this question, it's up here," pointing to his own gray head. "The answer has got to be in the human brain, but the
research hasn't yet been done in academe. You're going to have to
build your own research center if you are going to solve that riddle."
"So, I dropped out of my Ph.D. program and started to figure out how to
put my own research facility together. I didn't have any money, but
I could tell a good story! So, I figured, if there was a fortune to
be made in a hurry, maybe I could do it in show business...Turns out
I was right...I bought this mountain and built this place with a
guitar, three chords, and nine folk songs."
"I started out playing the local joints around Denver, and eventually
I landed a spot on Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life TV show
in Hollywood. I wore these old buckskins and I played the part of a
backwoods mountain man to perfection. It was during that appearance
that a New York producer spotted me. He must have said "I know a
good phony when I see one, and that son of a bitch is a great one!"
They flew me out to New York City and signed me to do a summer
replacement show on NBC. My show was a weekly one where the "new"
fad of folk singing (in the late 50's) was featured. People like Burl Ives and
Woody Guthrie showed up as guests, and performed with me. What a time we
had...and I got paid $2000 an hour to do it!
On the last show, I looked straight into the camera and asked the million
viewers who were watching, "If anybody out there has a mountain to sell,
call me." And sure enough, somebody called me up right from Colorado. At
the end of the summer, I took my money, two grocery sacks full, and ran! I gave
one to the IRS and I bought this place, Laughing Coyote Mountain, with the
other. I started to axe timber and build log cabin labs. That was in 1957. No
sterile formaldehyde bleak lab walls for me...give me fresh air and the
beautiful sounds of the forest to think clearly!"
Revolutionary Sarah in
front of Lingo's Home.
"For the next 30 years I dedicated myself totally to exploring
behavior from the perspective of the human brain. My staff and I
looked at every available bit of scientific research and
philosophic/religious literature on the subject. We ran our own
short and long term experiments with 309 test subjects. Now, up
here, this environment of rugged mountain wilderness provides a
total focus into the self that never can be replicated in any city,
with all the noise and distractions.
Up here, there's no
electricity, no TV, or movies, no four lane highways to get away
from it all. You ARE away from it all!
Up here, you face yourself, your mind, and your brain. The brain
lab still doesn't have electrical power lines, or even running water. It's just
you, the hand water pump, a wood stove, and your central nervous system. Our
lab's records grew voluminous. These log structures were crammed full of file
cabinets. The books line the walls from the stone floors to the ceiling rafters,
18 feet up. In the end, we discovered the mechanisms to release startling new
intelligence, creativity, and pleasure, inside each and every human brain. And
all our findings are supported and corroborated with foundation findings by
scientists elsewhere." - T.D. Lingo
to the Lab
2007-2009 by Neil Slade
Some people are curious as to my connection with
Lingo, and why his biographical material and work was found almost
exclusively at my site from 1997-2007. Here's the scoop and the story:
1970's at the height of flower power and self-exploration, Lingo drew a
large audience from seekers across the nation, drawing people who were
looking beyond the mere materialism of the 1950's and 1960's. The brain
lab was a busy busy place, with students and staff continually flowing
through, enthusiasm blooming. Along comes the 1980's, and out went
self-exploration and in came disco dancing. Alas, I was of the later
generation, but not a dancer.
By the time I began frequenting the lab in
1982, most of the former staff had dropped out and instead gone back to
"business as usual". Clear evidence of this is the complete
lack of color photographs published by anyone, save myself and the
photos Lingo took of me helping him collect firewood around 1987 See
Brain Lab Photo
Tour. The few other black and white photos of Lingo that exist were
taken from the mid 1970's and earlier, showing Lingo as a much younger
fellow. Surprisingly, when we did the photo shoot above, Lingo refused
to have his picture taken, and instead insisted on documenting my own
work and taking the photos himself using my camera. I attribute this to
his generosity in passing on the "baton of brain fame" to me, rather
than stepping into the spotlight again himself.
I saw little if any of the former brain
lab participants through the 1980's, and instead worked with Lingo to
get city folk involved to start their own brain communities and support
groups on the flat lands, and I worked to promote the lab's work through
the mass media.
Each year form 1983 onward I helped Lingo collect
firewood each winter, as shown by the photos above, and recruited
friends as I could to help, such as Sky and Eileen W., Glenda H.,
Fred P., Broz R. (privacy respected online, although these are some of
my best friends), and others who can testify to this work.
From 1983 onward, Lingo and I did ongoing numerous
public appearances together. These are a matter of public record as are
the press releases and media stories covering the public events that I
did highlighting Brain Self-Control and Education. Westword Newspaper
alone eventually ran four separate full page stories on my work over a
period of several years, in addition to full page stories in the Denver
Post, Rocky Mountain News, as well as appearances on each of Denver's
major television stations with Brain Self-Control as the focus.
There is no evidence of anyone else working with Lingo in this
consistent and actualized manner from 1983-1993. Our sole efforts
together to this degree are reflected in the public record and in written and dated
correspondence from this period, of which I retain the originals as well
as samples of Lingo's correspondence with others from the last decade
of his life.
Let's look at the actual public record- here
is a small sample:
Best Living Tribute to T.D. Lingo-
Neil Slade & the Brain Revolutionaries:
Story Clip 1 (1999)
Newspaper Clip 2
Newspaper Clip 3
Newspaper Clip 4
Newspaper Clip 5
http://www.westword.com/1998-07-02/news/think/1 ( 1998)
"Think!" Page 1
http://www.westword.com/1998-07-02/news/think/2 Page 2
Specifically, my work with Lingo for the last eleven years of the lab's
existence was to take the
brain lab's findings, which had previously been mostly done on the
facility, and to take it into the schools, hospitals, and set up study
groups in town (Denver), as well as to refine the written materials, and
make them more accessible to the mainstream.
It was my goal to become
an independent brain education entity using the vast experience and
knowledge that Lingo imparted to me. I further understood the need to
evolve and fine tune to my own experience, adding my own special
abilities and knowledge in music along with my college education and
post graduate experience.
Throughout the 1980's I worked in the public
schools and all of Denver's major psychiatric facilities teaching basic
brain self-control methods defined at the lab but taught in my own
customized way. I regularly ran therapeutic workshops at West Pines
Psychiatric Hospital, Ft. Logan Mental Health Center, Denver General
Psychiatric Ward, Mt. Airy Psychiatric Hospital, Children's Hospital of
Denver, Denver Head Injury Clinic, and other public and private
In an unprecedented original "Mind Music"
program, I was employed by the principal of a Denver Public Elementary
School to teach all 600 students and their teachers how to self-activate
advanced levels of creativity, intelligence, and cooperative trust
behavior by learning "brain basics". We had the kids learn,
illustrate, and teach each other brain anatomy and function. The program
eventually led to teachers singing to their students and students
dancing in the classroom.
In 1989 I published my Frontal Lobes
Handbook (later revised into the Frontal
Lobes Supercharge), which has found its way into public libraries
and university and hospital libraries. Lingo took an active part
in helping edit portions of this book, and I give him full credit for
helping me to learn an effective writing style.
In October 1992, on my last physical visit to the
mountain, Lingo was at
hand when Sarah R. and I discussed the future of our brain rock band,
Revolutionaries". We spoke and planned the possibilities of
a traveling brain "medicine show" for which Lingo had written
and submitted pages and pages of scripts for my consideration
previously. Soon thereafter in the mail I received correspondence that
included this amusing theme song for our group:
All the while,
Lingo and I planned and presented radio and television appearances,
wrote scripts, as well as continued to court the media. Although Lingo
had corresponded with thousands of individuals across the globe, as well
as had vast numbers of students and subjects come through his brain and
behavior facility, his concepts and discoveries had as yet escaped
Lingo had a cancer scare requiring hospital tests and a cab ride from a
student, but this was seventeen years earlier in 1978. He had shown no
major health problems since then, but suddenly, in 1993, Lingo died of an
defect, a major burst blood vessel in the chest.
This came as a surprise to me since he had shown no illness or premonition of
coming health problems whatsoever. No one had seen Lingo for months,
including any of the old former staff, and my visit the previous late
fall may have very well been the last one from an outsider up to the lab. (And no one presented such
obvious information such as a recent visit for any reason at his funeral
service held soon after). My last physical contact with him had been the
previous October with Sarah and Nathan R. (shown above), as these
friends and I helped with wood gathering as was the yearly tradition.
His mind remained strikingly observant and totally
lucid to the end, as testified in his last correspondence to me, as well
to another former student.
In Sept. 2009 one letter was
shared that suggested that he had felt abandoned by other older staff members.
He shared this in a single terse and unambiguous statement as little as a week
after sending me a ten page glowing and optimistic letter of thanks
looking towards the future. It should be clear that such sentiments were
not expressed or sent to any other individuals at this time. Such a
statement may have well been only intended for the eyes of this one
person in whom Lingo may have felt particularly disappointed at the end
of his life.
Several times I recall Lingo
being asked, "What happens after staff and students "transcend" and pop
their frontal lobes?" His answer, "They disappear. I never see them
always literally true, and I have had contact even to this day
with many former students and staff who have fond memories of their
experience, and I have many letters in my basement from Lingo expressing
his positive outlook.
In my case, in his final days,
he did not share any of
his personal health concerns with me, perhaps not to distract me from
the ongoing positive thrust of my work in the public domain, perhaps not
to disturb the lasting optimistic and positive image that I had kept in
my mind all of the years, especially during the winter and early spring
He completely spared me of
general negative feelings about
others shown in the single letter show below. None the less, in this
correspondence, perhaps only meant for R's eyes, he states that as a whole,
he felt (at least at this moment) that the old BINC (Brain In Nature
Course) staff had abandoned and
failed their life mission to continue The Brain Revolution.
(It should be noted that I was
never a part of the earlier generation BINC (Brain In Nature Course), and I worked totally
independently with Lingo during the last decade through to 1993.)
In regards to poverty, Lingo willingly took a vow
of poverty so as to continue his work. He was not attached to material
things and lived simply, remarkably in the wilderness even without
running water and electricity. Throughout his life was proud that he did
not get caught up in the accumulation of property and the debt generated
by such, and that he spent his energies elsewhere.
Below, a portion of a letter from Feb 1993 to "R"
resigning from "The Brain Revolution" because of school sports program
coaching (see Dec. 92 letter bottom of page):
No such feelings were ever expressed towards me,
but rather the opposite, from which he never strayed.
This letter to me, from the same period, Jan.
1993 (The entire letter is shown at the bottom of this page):
(The complete 10 page letter of above can be seen at the
bottom of this page)
When the Rocky Mountain News ran the multiple
page story about Lingo and his work, they asked me to take the reporter
and photographer and give them the guided tour of the brain lab.
picture can be seen sitting on Lingo's bunk bed in the news spread, and
to no surprise, there is no mention nor proof of any former staff or
students- because they had all left Lingo on his own for the most part,
years before. I did not have to suggest or convince anyone at the Rocky
Mountain News about who to call for Lingo's eulogy.
In the presence of two witnesses, Sarah and Nathan R., Lingo had in
October of 1992 expressed his intention that I carry on his work in
addition to inheriting the physical property of the lab upon his
retirement or death. Unfortunately, his
demise was so sudden, he had never filled out the proper paper work nor
a proper will. The funny thing was, one of my
best friends Rachel M., had a VERY strange premonition about this, and
repeatedly told me in November, "Get it in writing, now."
I never pressed him for this, and it may have been
a mistake, or it may have spared me legal battles with his surviving
blood relatives. I will choose to believe it the latter.
Although absurd claims of a "living will" continue
to be made, the only document referred to was written in distress by
Lingo in 1978 when he believed he had cancer. This was never pursued
because in actuality, it was an impossible claim given the delivered
article of evidence: A casual mention of an idea in a letter never
followed up on, despite given another fifteen years to do so! He in fact never willed
anything to anyone at any time. Although
he had ample time to create a will, all letters and correspondence
indicate he was thoroughly disappointed with the original staff by 1993.
The only note left on the cover of his Do-It-Yourself Will Kit was this:
"(blank) em all." You fill in the
Thus, when Lingo died, his brother obtained rights to
the property per default. (Many years later, Lingo's biological son was
discovered living in a hospital and under the care of Lingo's stepson.
It wasn't long before the biological son died, at which point all of the
land was put up for sale by developers, and parceled into a half dozen
lots, all intersected by a new dirt road that cut through the pristine
250 acre wilderness after the turn of the century.)
in the only surviving legal and relevant legal document was Harmony
A. (name omitted here for privacy), a former staff member from the early 1970's, who was
named officially the
brain lab's corporate vice president. Hence, she rose the legal position
of president of the non-profit Adventure Trails School, Lingo's legal
educational entity, upon his death.
and I returned to the mountain together after the funeral services, and
collected all of Lingo's papers from the lab together. She insured that I retain originals
of everything for my own continuing work, besides her own copies. (In
additional to Lingo's library of original manuscripts, I was awarded a
couple of personal items through the family's lawyer, Richard H.. This
included one of Lingo's guitars and his famous brain in a jar.)***
Shortly thereafter, she
appointed additional corporate officers (post Lingo's death) who
had been for the most part absent from the scene for over a decade.
Together, this spanking new self-formed legal establishment
finally came to an arrangement with Lingo's estate in their attempt to gain custody of all of his intellectual property, i.e. his writings. It
should be noted that I had already had a great percentage of these in my
possession from ten years of work with Lingo.
invited, I declined to become a corporate board member, and preferred to
continue working independently without ties or constraints to any other
participants (truly as Lingo himself had done) and as I had done all
along. The new corporate board
members hadn't really been on the scene during all of the years I had
been working with Lingo at least since 1982, and I didn't see
any point in creating an artificial partnership in Lingo's absence. Any legal
entitlement to any of Lingo's works ended abruptly when the corporation
failed to fulfill the legal requirements of their corporate status.
(It was easy enough to do- but this newly created group didn't manage
one meeting a year together on a consistent basis.)
Within only a couple of short years, the newly formed corporate board
disintegrated and lost all of its legal status. In contrast, my own work
grew in momentum, as it had been while Lingo was alive and while we
worked together over the previous 11 years.
I do not downplay the unquestionably significant
role that others played in the Brain Lab before I arrived, but rather
clarify that my role beginning in 1982 was to fill a more or less
permanent void left as others departed the mountain for the most part,
never to return again in any significant role.
In 1995 I created a web
site dedicated to my brain and music work, "The Amazing Brain
Adventure", and it has now reached millions across the globe with
an average of well over 2200 visitors a day (April 2005). I've written
and published an additional 5 books, along with
20 audio and music CDs, and two films- one of which has inspired an
autobiographical film to be released as a major motion picture in 2011.
I've been a
guest on internationally broadcast radio and TV news and talk shows
(link for list) , including
CBS news (Canadian), noted PBS host
Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove's program, as well as Art Bell's Coast To Coast
program discussing brain self-control and new ideas and
methods which I developed in my own work since 1993.
There was no presence on the web speaking of the Brain Lab and Lingo besides my own
web site until December 2005, nine full
years after I had created my own site in 1996 dedicated to The Brain
Lab, Lingo, and Brain Self-Control- and this is borne out by the Internet
No one really cared enough to even mention his name on
their site- until I started popularizing Lingo and the Brain Lab on an
international stage via my regular appearances on Art Bell's Coast To
Coast Radio show in 1997. And then- it still took another 8 years
for even one other person to start catching on that maybe Lingo and the
Lab were worth writing about online. Of course- everyone wants to join
in on a winning formula, and take credit for being a part. Jump on
Another former student (L.G.) spent a total of six
weeks in Lingos BINC course and was given the harmless job as camp cook.
The worst he could do would be to burn the potatoes. Now in the
self-help business, at one point he notoriously claimed copyright to one
of Lingo's later manuscripts while nobody was looking, but was
eventually discovered. He once claimed owning "The only known copy of
this workbook". Huh?
Turns out, key missing parts of this manuscript which
he never had himself, came directly from me at his request. He very conveniently forgot
that it was in fact myself who supplied
him with missing chapters to the manuscript.
The correct history is that Lingo himself had refused a partnership with
this individual in his previous attempt to gain control of the manuscript. The posthumous publishing attempt was
by the Lingo estate as being undesirable and was completely refused.
Of course, once this character was caught red
handed-- well, you can imagine vitriol he concocted with his reptile
brain. Although you might find these comments in a dank online sewer
someplace, no legit webmaster will post it.
In my archives I have some amusing and enlightening
personal letters from Lingo expressing his opinion of such former
students, but alas, we see enough dirt in pop culture these days and I
see no point in dipping deep into the mud of others, besides the few
references on this page.
Is there evidence anywhere of a single other
person besides myself working with Lingo from 1979 onward? Helping him
with classes? Publicity? Publishing? Press clips?
Nope. Zero. Make your own call.
It should, most importantly be noted, that Lingo
consciously and deliberately ABANDONED the publication of both earlier works as being obsolete (pre-
Self Transcendence Workbook I papers and books), as well as the later STW II.
I repeat, Lingo rejected
his own early creative works and found that manuscripts BEFORE and AFTER
the 1980 Self-Transcended Workbook HINDERED, rather than helped the
general public in regards to learning Brain Self
Control. So be it.
I agree with
Lingo 100%: These less than perfect papers easily take people away from what we both found WORKS BEST. No
sense in dragging through the old unperfected experiments. Lewis
Carroll wrote two great
books- Alice and Through the Looking Glass. His long
winded Meant-To-Be-Opus Sylvie and Bruno (i.e. STW II and
others), is universally regarded as not worth one's time.
last decade of his life, Lingo made only one book available, and that
was the 42 lesson STW Version I, that I continue to release with
permission of his estate, and with previous knowledge of the single
person to which Lingo granted legal custody of his work, Harmony A.
I consider this to be his absolute best written work, concise, to the
point, and relatively simple to grasp (though certainly NOT the first
book I recommend reading on the subject of Brain Self Control- for that,
I've created other books that I feel work far better). As for Lingo's
own manuscripts, nothing else outside the STW-I works nearly as well, and in fact, the other material can
confuse people, and make matters worse.
Lingo got it as right as he ever would in STW-I and in a few
choice essays that I've reproduced and annotated in Cosmic
Conversations. For me, these are the cream of the crop, these
are his magnum opus. The rest-- passing interest, and at this point in
history, less than useful in my 30 years of teaching experience
Although of historical interest, I always found
that Lingo's other writings were hard to interpret and were not as
effective in conveying his personal core teachings, methods and direct
one-on-one vibe, as it were. This was exactly the reason I wrote, with his blessing
and help, The Frontal Lobes Handbook- expanded with additional original
material in 1997 into the Frontal Lobes Supercharge.
Lingo had 35 years to make his books a success,
including STW I. They did not accomplish or achieve his goals of
widespread Brain Self-Control Education. In Lingo's own words, I "stand on
the shoulders, of those who came before me". I've worked hard to complete
that he set as a goal- making Brain Self-Control a concept that vast
numbers people can understand and utilize. These days, roughly 100,000
people a month visit my 2000 URLs web sites.
I do not try to polish a piece of coal into a
mirror, and I do not try to make something work that did not work for
the general public for 35 years. I tried to learned from Lingo's
mistakes, and I believe I've improved upon a method of communication of
these basic concepts of brain function, brain behavior, brain education,
and brain self-control.
Never the less, although personally and historically I owe a debt
of gratitude to Lingo for a decade of friendship and work together, the bulk of my work
is original, and I make no attempt to solely capitalize (financially or
otherwise) on the work of others.
I continue the
educational aspect of Lingo's work which I did in partnership with him
from 1982-1993, continued distribution of the original
Self-Transcendence Workbook with the full knowledge and with permission of the Lingo
estate, who further left in my legal possession both T.D. Lingo's
guitar, his brain in a jar, and the Lingo Library archives.
No other papers have been granted permission of
publication by the Lingo Estate Any other manuscripts that may turn up
elsewhere have been released against the express wishes of the sole
legal copyright holders, i.e. The Lingo Family, and such claims of
"Creative Commons" in regards to such are patently false and misleading.
The motivation for re-writing history, for re-writing one's place in
history, is self-evident in the documents provided here.
There is only one truth, and that is obtained by
examining all of the evidence, the public record, and all of the
Examination of this one truth is the only way to
profit from our experiences.
In time if others lay claim to their own
self-importance in the story of Lingo and the Brain Lab, regardless of
the inaccuracy of their reporting and their convenient amnesia, well,
success is always Xeroxed and siphoned. There will always be those who
hallucinate. They will reap what they have sewn. To see my efforts of promoting
Lingo's work alongside my own copycatted after so long a time, riding
upon some convenient fibs and twisting of history, comes as
absolutely no surprise to me at all. I will not be the last to speak of T.D. Lingo,
or to claim to be a part of this story.
I was certainly only a little tiny piece of the
WHO did what is not nearly as important as what
WAS, what IS, and what YOU are doing now.
Names are not terribly important in the end.
NOW-- The question you all have at this
"IS THIS WHAT BRAIN SELF-CONTROL LOOKS LIKE?!?!?!?
It depends on who's brain you are looking at, what
that brain is doing, and
What universe that brain is in.
We all will play our own role, and we all will
play different roles, each important to the play.
As Lingo himself put it many times...
"Your way is not my way, and my way is certainly not your way..."
That's why this stuff is called Brain SELF-Control.
Take what you can from the story-- and make it
work for you as my friends and I have so delightfully done.
Please continue by examining photos of a few
more examples of actual correspondence shown below:
December, 2007, revised September 2009
Back to The Brain Lab
Back to The Library From Another Dimension
Back to Neil's Amazing Brain Music Adventure
From Oct. 1992 Meeting regarding youth oriented Brain
Music which I had begun with two of my advanced students:
Lingo's Own Press Release Sent Fall 1989:
Typical Business Correspondence regarding media relations:
1987 Discussion of Brain Study Group dropout rate,
and media strategy:
Self-Explanatory- Typical Ongoing Problems
Motivating Others Into Action, to "R" (nickname Thunder---"):
Copy to me, from Lingo to "R", Christmas 1992 regarding
his resignation from the program:
Below is the last letter I ever wrote to Lingo dated
5/5/93, and discusses wrapping up production for my Brain Revolutionaries CD
project, to continue to promote via music, my brain education for the masses via
music and public performances. See his enthusiastic and positive outlook
January 1993 letters to me above.
When I met others on the mountain for his funeral service,
I was given back the letter and told it was found next to his bed in the cabin
where he had been found.
By 1989, I had fully integrated the idea of the Brain
Revolution into my own life, and my own career- the two were one and the same.
The Brain Revolutionaries
was the next step in sharing Brain Self-Control with the waiting public at
large, and released our album shortly there after.
The Amazing Brain Music Adventure went online in 1996-
and all those dedicated and involved have kept looking forward ever since.
Lingo's last correspondence to me, late January 1993,
complete, shown below.