Who was Leon MacLaren?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Who was Leon MacLaren?

Postby Goblinboy » Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:29 am

So, who was Leon MacLaren? Monster, messiah or just a man? It’s hard to form a coherent view from the disparate sources available - views seem extremely polarised. Do you have any insights to share?

The SOP / SES states exhorts its students to study the lives of notable people (see the preamble to the study guide for primary school children at http://www.johncolet.nsw.edu.au/texts.html). MacLaren seems worth examination, if for no other reason than to gain a better understanding of the SOP / SES and its take on truth.

Peter Washington’s book Madam Blavatsky’s Baboon characterises him as a self-styled master in the Theosophical sense, who included himself in the select SES “inner circle of mankind”, which includes familiar figures such as Christ and Krishna, and one or two less recognised figures such as MacLaren himself.

I can only share glimpses from a time when I was close to a member of the SOP. I recall a visit by MacLaren to a resort where an SOP residential was taking place, very late in his life. A substantial property was leased for his accommodation. It was stripped of its furnishings, and scoured clean. The furniture was then replaced with “fine” items of furniture and other domestic comforts. A hunched old man was fleetingly sighted. There was a palpable sense of awe from the Residential participants.

He apparently smoked a great deal, and enjoyed red wine – not sure what part these habits played in the pursuit of truth, but they were very popular practices among SOP members when I encountered them. Rooms filled with smoke and good wine – the former seemingly intent on destroying the enjoyment of the latter.

My SOP friends told me that his death was accompanied by earthquakes and other remarkable natural phenomena. However, I can’t find any out of the ordinary seismic activity records to support this.

He was named after Leonardo Da Vinci – a curious choice, given that the original Leonardo never called himself “Da Vinci”. Like Leonardo, he doesn’t appear to have married or had relationships with women, but whether he shared his namesake’s homosexuality is not apparent.

His view of women was unusual, to say the least. An excerpt from Hounam and Hogg's Secret Cult:

'All women feel guilty,' (MacLaren) said. With much trepidation I ventured to argue. 'I don't understand,' I said. 'I don't feel guilty.' Oh yes you do,' he assured me. 'You just don't realize it yet because you're too young. All women feel guilty because of Eve's sin in taking the apple. And so they should. All women are guilty, and the only true aim of their lives must be to purge that guilt.
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/9169/SES/secret01.html '

What had caused him to form such a judgement?

His view of children and how to educate them is similarly alarming, if the experiences recounted by the ex-pupils of St Vedast on this site are in any way accurate.

Interested to hear other views.
Last edited by Goblinboy on Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Meikl » Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:25 pm

Scary bloke. Yellow eyes like a goat. Atmosphere of Secret Masonic London Clubs. Heard him yelling once, you could hear him through the whole house
"Do you call this service ?!!". Probably found a fly in his decanter.
One of the few times I ever had a human conversation with our own Big Master. We agreed that MacLaren terrified us both. He reminds me of one of the dark Jack-the-Ripper freemasons in Victorian London.
He wrote music which was supposed to have magical effects. Among other things he set one of the Vedas to music - I think it was the Rig-Veda. We once had to sit through a recording of it. "Pin your faith to natural knowledge - stumble through the darkness of the blind". It sent me to sleep.Strange dreams as I remember. Nobody was allowed to clap.
Someone I used to know said he had seen MacLaren walking on water - "It`s all just a matter of attention, the attention must be between the water and the soles of the feet".
I once had to serve him his tea. All I can remember of the occasion is calling him "Sir" and getting away without being shouted at.


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Location: London

Postby Alban » Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:39 pm

I had a one-to-one with him when I was about 11 years old. I can't remember much apart from the fact that he had a glass of red wine in his paw and he asked me loads of questions to which I gave stock answers...along the lines of "what do you want to learn"...."the truth" yada yada!.

As far as his sexuality, I heard from a number of sources that he had a bunch of "elite" women who tended his every needs. How far that went was open to much speculation, but needless to say they were all extremely attractive, young, naieve and as such very accomodating lasses. I for one would love to hear from one of those "elite", so ascertain exactly what went on.

As for proclaiming himself to be one of the inner circle....well wasn't one of the oft-quoted sayings in the SES along the lines of "Only a fool claims he is wise".

I guess all the lemmings needed someone to look up to.


Postby Rachael » Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:52 am

I knew him over the last fifteen years of his life. Yes, he did smoke and drink but gave up smoking a few years before he died. I didn't feel there was anything sinister about him. He spoke well, without notes and his talks were beautifully constructed, I remember.
There was a lot of hype surrounding him from his most ardent followers but I never heard him make any claims about being in the inner circle, or a special being etc.
When he died there was an electrical storm in England at the time and David Boddy, was reported to have said that the 'gods were applauding the passing of a great soul" This is hearsay so I don't know if it's true. I thought it was a really silly comment at the time but people wanted to believe it. People want a god to worship!
I never heard any rumours concerning Mr Maclaren regarding sex. Yes, he was served by young women, some of whom were my friends, and no one reported anything out of place.


Don't be fooled

Postby StJ79-93 » Tue Sep 21, 2004 6:12 pm

Leon MacLaren was incredibly skilful at manipulating people. He recognised weaknesses in their emotional makeup and exploited those weaknesses to exert control over them.

He manipulated men and women in equal measure but he had slightly more respect for men. His skilful rhetoric and perceptive observation of character enabled him to lure people into thinking that he was right about everything. In thinking that he was right right in all matters it was easy for people to make the leap to believing that he was spiritually enlightened - because the framework of the philosophy made it so.

A dangerous man who created a rift so deep in my family that is now irreparable.

I never trusted him yet I knew him for years because i was surrounded by his influence from the day that I was born and even now after he is long dead. My instinct served me well as events were brought to my attention that confirmed he was a cruel and manipulative man. This on top of the damaging 14 years spent at St James school.

I don't think that he will be resting in peace at the moment - yet still as a Christian (now) I pray that God has mercy on his soul.


Who was Leon McLaren?

Postby Christoph » Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:46 pm

I only encoutered him the once - late in his life, when he came to the Midlands to address the School there for the first time (the late Tom Gerry, who ran the Midlands School, always kept 'Sir' at arms length and wouldn't let him near us). He tottered in on sticks, sat and talked, answered questions, and smoked a lot. He had a very resonant and memorable voice, spoke slowly and deliberately, but other wise seemed perfectly normal, even mentioning Tommy Handley and ITMA at one point!

I would say that he was not any kind of messiah or saint, just a very 'awake' man who was acutely conscious of the human condition and all its failings and, from what I hear, played on this in his younger years. I found him to be far from sinister, but then I never 'served' under him in the London School, which might have changed my views somewhat.

I have every sympathy with those who have been bruised by encounters with him. He didn't seem to have a sensitivity to frailty or weakness, unlike his teacher, the Sankaracarya. But whatever the facts about Mr McLaren, the SES is not, and never was, about him. And that is the biggest illusion perpetuated by The Secret Cult book. I've managed to enjoy (yes, enjoy!) twenty years in School without encountering a McLaren cult. Though I would say there are a few servile people who attach themselves to anyone who gives out an aura of power....

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