I've known about PR (The PhotoReading Whole Mind System) for a few years. I bought the book in 2001. I think I had very unrealistic expectations about it (a big part of that was their marketing I think) so I never stuck with it. They claimed that "you actually 'mentally photograph' the page at 25,000 words a minute." I seriously thought one would be able to flip through pages and have full conscious recall at 25,000 WPM. This is not so with Photoreading. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.
I'd already been thinking about getting back into it for a while when I saw Steve's recommendation (and discount, thanks!) so I went ahead and purchased the deluxe course (arguably way overpriced at $500, but much better with discount). Hrm...intention manifestation?
I've gone through all eight CDs and have used the techniques on a few books. Personally, I haven't had a major life altering experience, nor have I discovered anything magical about the process. I think a person could get really hyped up by their marketing and be severely disappointed like I was. Perhaps this is why their book receives such binary reviews - people seem to either love it or hate it. They find it useful for them or they think it's a scam, perhaps because they are marketed into having very unrealistic expectations.
I think one could learn all they need out of the book. These techniques are really not all that complex. I did receive value from the course but I didn't learn much more than what I had learned in the book five years ago. What clicked for me was the realization that I would have feelings of confusion and frustration in learning this material and applying it but that was OK. I realized that was normal and that I just needed to stick with it. Again, I think I had unrealistic expectations which I've finally let go. The section in the book on the stages of learning is what really made this whole thing click for me (pages 124 - 125). I don't know why, but after I understood this it all made sense.
I think most people would agree that "read" means "to examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed characters, words, or sentences)." I think that's the definition that most people would use. In the PR system, one certainly does not "read" at 25,000 WPM (using the above definition). I think this is rather shameful marketing slant used to make the product sound far more magical and appealing than it really is (isn't that the purpose of marketing?).
In reality, The Photoreading Whole Mind System is simply a set of skills that are meant to help improve efficiency in absorbing new ideas that are contained in written materials. You learn to absorb exactly what you need in far less time than you would with cover to cover reading. Learning and applying these skills are not easy though! At least they weren't for me.
Overall I think Learning Strategies' products are outstanding. It's just a shame how snakey their marketing appears. I get more junk from them than from anywhere else. But I figure their marketing tactics must really work for them or else they wouldn't use them.