SES schools worldwide

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Postby a different guest » Wed May 25, 2005 4:20 am

ADG - do you see it as a problem that gender difference theories in education are seeing boys and girls being offered different ways of learning? "Different" doesn't have to mean "worse" or "less-respected" in our regular secular schools;


Firstly the schools that tend to flog the "different ways of learning" idea re the sexes tend to be the single sex posh private schools. The boys only schools have a bit of a hard time with this as the popular beleif is that while girls learn better in single sex environments, boys do better in co-ed. So you then have the ridiculous situation where many parents send their girl to an all girls school and use other peoples daughters for their son's co-educational needs. *rolls eyes*

Now further research into this popular notion has recently shown that it is basically not true. As far as I am concerned co-ed is best for BOTH girls and boys.

As for teaching styles - again it comes down to the child, not what's in their pants. I know what style of teaching suits my children best. At primary level at least (given the school has more than one class for each grade) I have been able to write to the school and (while I cannot request a specific teacher), I can certainly ask that my child be put into a class with a teacher with a "such and such" teaching style as this would *insert education jargo here* and "deliver the best educational outcomes" for my child.

What concerns me about the SES schools is that they stick to very defined gender lines where boys play cricket and girls play netball and never the twain meet. And looking at the children's work posted on the schools site you see this AGAIN in their academic work. Girls write poems describing flowers and boys write strident declarative pieces about destiny or some such. At the british school a subject called "Art of Hospitality" is mandatory for high school girls, but is only offered as a summer extra-currricular for boys.

So you see where I am concerned about equity of access issues.



As for the allegations of "grooming" those girls to be wives for older SES males...well, that just sounds repugnant. If it was said that the girls were taught about the running of a household and all that being a stay-at-home wife entails, and ALSO had it put to them that a husband attending SES would be nifty...it doesn't sound so bad. Could you direct me to the relevant posts?


It sounds JUST as bad to me Bella.
These posts have come up here and there. Here's some I found in one thread herehttp://www.whyaretheydead.net/phpBB ... c&start=60 but there have been others.
edit to ad: if the link isn't working it's page 5 of the thread called "just discovered this! From expupil of girls school"

This first is from the bottom of a long posts of Shouts - which actually alludes to another thread where the conversation first started.
-St.James School has usually tolerated sexual relations between male staff and 6th Form girls - throughout it's history.

-Additionally, for many years it used to be the policy of the Governors of St James to provide the girl pupils in it's care to male staff, using the format of balls and dinner-parties, for the purposes of sex and/or relationships; having groomed them from the age of 13, to prefer older men.


I think many of the posts about this aspect of the StJ girls school may have been from Shout - so do a search for Shout's posts via the memberlist. However he's not the only one to have claimed it and if you see Daska's post below Shout's (they are the last two on that page I gave you) she does tend to confirm the theory.

as does this from TS in page 3 of the same thread
Re: Grooming -yes- yuck! At 16 a dinner was organised with older men from the SES. I didnt get it immediatley even though there was an exact number of these weasels to match the girls, Someone asked why one man who we knew wasn't there and the answer as if it was obvious-'Hes married'. One girl got drunk and found herself in the back of a car ( consentually whilst very pissed) then I got asked out by this man in his 30's who was our chaperone in our school holiday in Italy.

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Postby bella » Wed May 25, 2005 5:23 am

It seems daska's post confirms that the girls were encouraged to live a more cloistered existence than the boys, and that her sister expected to marry someone in the SES and have babies. I'm not surprised at this - women are viewed as needing protection, and being happiest when they're a wife and mother. As for encouraging girls to marry within the SES, I don't really view that as being particularly different from Christians wanting their children to marry other Christians, or Jews feeling the same. The SES supports a set of spiritual and lifestyle beliefs, and people with strongly held spiritual beliefs are often happier with a partner who shares them. Speaking as someone whose husband isn't a member of the school, having very different views on those issues can sometimes be difficult - I can see why folks might think it's easiest to match your partner's spiritual leanings, and I don't think it carries any sinister over- or undertones. The idea that men should ideally be older than their female partners is as old as the hills, so I don't really have a problem with that either - the repugnancy for me would be in the "grooming" of very young girls for arranged marriages to much older men, and I haven't personally encountered that.

Shout's descriptions are interesting, to be sure - I recall scandals from my school days about students sleeping with teachers, too. The fact that Shout presents it as being unspoken school policy is something I'm not qualified to comment on, but I wouldn't be deciding based on second-hand accounts from a few girls who attended the school. I guess I find it pretty absurd, actually. I'll do that search for Shout's posts and see if he backs it up any more convincingly anywhere else.

Cheers for the link and the quotes - I appreciate it.

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Postby Matthew » Wed May 25, 2005 11:03 am

Hi Bella, were you also aware that all the SES children's school governors are male? And, so far as I'm aware, always have been.

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Postby a different guest » Wed May 25, 2005 11:10 am

I'm not surprised at this - women are viewed as needing protection, and being happiest when they're a wife and mother


And this view doesn't offend you?

Keep in mind that, statistically, as women are increasingly educated they are more and more likley to either limit the number of children they have, or not have kids at all. So let's keep their education minimal so they are DELIRIOUSLY happy being barefoot and preggars in the kitchen.

I don't really view that as being particularly different from Christians wanting their children to marry other Christians, or Jews feeling the same.


ahh, but the SES is NOT a religion. According to your own post there is no set beleif set in stone.

It's not a case of brainwashing, because the idea is for you to talk, and the tutor to listen and ask questions - not lecture you about what your ideas should be.



The idea that men should ideally be older than their female partners is as old as the hills


and the incidence of it is "as old as the hills" too. In this country the average age difference is 2 years, and increasingly the wives are older than the husbands.

How on earth can a relationship EVER be on an equal footing when the girl is 18 and fresh out of school and the man is 30?

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Postby bella » Wed May 25, 2005 3:41 pm

Hi Matthew,

I don't know if I was aware of the fact that the Governors are male, but again, it doesn't surprise me. Do you support/confirm Shout's views about institutionalised "grooming" and school-sanctioned sexual impropriety?

ADG,

And this view doesn't offend you?


I'm just not that easily offended. I'm fairly confident in my sense of who I am, and views of what I should be doing don't really register too harshly with me as an indictment on my character, you know?. That said, I do think I'd be pretty happy if my husband worked full-time and I was at home. That's not the situation now, and that's fine too. I just don't think it's such a big deal, and it has never been presented to me as a big deal, e.g. "stay at home and have babies or leave the school/suffer the onerous consequences." I do think that teenage girls are going to take this on board much more keenly and literally than I am, though - whether this gets seen as a problem depends on your own view of the validity of gender roles. If, as you do, someone sees it as an offence to women in general to suggest that they'd be happier in the home, I can see why it would be a source of concern. The SOP's opinion on the value of running a household isn't quite so dismissive as modern society's, btw.

What's this about keeping their education minimal? Do you mean a lack of emphasis on "hard" science or mathematics, or other traditionally hardcore academic subjects at the girls' schools? Or is that in reference to the comment about girls' education needing to minimise the "burden" on their parents?

ahh, but the SES is NOT a religion. According to your own post there is no set beleif set in stone.


Not sure where you're going with this. The SES supports a set of spiritual beliefs based on a number of sources. It's not a recognised religion as such, but it does support a belief system and lifestyle - that's where the comparison to Christianity and Judaism comes in, as far as finding a partner who is "compatible" with the way you view the world and the way you want to spend your life, as it relates to spiritual stuff. It's not like wanting your partner to have the same favourite colour - it's a big deal to many parents with spiritual beliefs.

Re the 18 y.o. and the 30 y.o. - it really doesn't seem that much of a stretch for me. The difference in age doesn't bother me so much as the methods suggested by Shout - setting up high-school girls with the expectation that they will enter into sexual relationships with "older" SES men selected for them is the part that made me sit up and take notice. I was thinking 16 y.o. girls feting and sexually accommodating 50 y.o. men at the direction of their school superiors - having read the posts in question, well, I'm not convinced. Building a whole picture based on snippets of information presented out of context can be misleading, I suppose.

The idea that men should ideally be older than their female partners is as old as the hills

and the incidence of it is "as old as the hills" too.


I think a girlfriend (not in the SOP) mentioned it as a guiding principle to me about a week and a half ago. :) Stats aside, surely you can't argue that this is a new notion evilly conjured up by old SES men wanting nubile teenage flesh. "Girls mature faster than boys", and all that.

To sum it up - my experience in the adult school has been that SOP ideals of family life and gender relations are presented from time to time (nowhere near as frequently as you probably think), but it's pretty much left in the lap of the individual until such time as there is seen to be a major conflict, e.g. sexual relations between tutor and student, etc. My experience is also that people either peacefully co-exist with these ideals and view them as just that - ideals, or they abide by them scrupulously, or they leave the school in "offence". I'm not personally aware of anyone being "kicked out" or being made to live out these ideals against their will.

You quoted me on the brainwashing thing and then left it open - did you have something you were going to add there, or was that a supporting quote for the religion bit? In any case, my statement there was in reference to the usefulness of a semi-formal situation where you can express your thoughts, ideas and feelings about various stuff and have it paraphrased back to you by someone at least trying to be more objective, or have relevant questions asked of you to clarify for yourself what you're thinking or saying.

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Postby NYC » Wed May 25, 2005 7:28 pm

Hi Bella,
teenage girls and men in their 30s don't sound like such a great match to me. Even if the marriage does work, these women likely look forward to an exceptionally long widowhood.

But "grooming" sounds even more odious when the girls involved are unwilling participants. Here is a post from "sescaped" on the "Gender discrimination" thread.

sescaped writes
"Would like to add a few more colourful experiences on this topic that demonstrate how the ses stjames attitude towards women creates potentially vulnerable situations for its pupils.

When i was 15 I told my tutor at SES that there was an older man that I found attractive (happened to be the only man in the whole of SES who had ever taken time to be nice to me). I talked to my tutor in (what i believed at the time) was confidence - i wanted her advice and just to talk about it with someone (yes - i know it was foolish!). Within a week my father had been called in for a meeting with one of the top men in SES who had suggested to him that a meeting was set up in order to get me and the man I had mentioned together with a view to potential marriage. Luckily my father was completely horrified by the suggestion and point blank refused to take it any further. Here is an example of how a school girl crush could have turned into a lifetime nightmare.

Example 2 is a little different but in many ways more sinister and involves an older man (he was 33) outside the SES. When I was 17/18 an older brother of one of the teachers came to give us a talk. A few months after the talk I recieved a letter from him saying that he had noticed me during the talk and thought i was attractive and would like to take me out. For a start he should never have been able to access my address through the school just because his sister was a teacher. I agreed to go out with him for a meal - and we met up a few times subsequently - I did not find him at all attractive, he took me round to see his friends in order to show off that he had managed to get such a young girl, he also constantly tried to get me to have sex with him saying that many women had been very grateful to him for the experience!! Needless to say I was backing away very quickly at this point! What happened next is, I think, completely out of order. As we were coming to the end of our time at St J we had to have a leaving ball (the girls had to organise / pay for / cook for this event and then ask a man to go with them). I had not yet decided who to ask to the ball when I recieved a phone call from the same older man WHO I HAD NOT ASKED AND NEVER INTENDED TO ASK saying that of course he would go to the ball with me. My own form teacher had taken it upon herself (without consulting me) to invite him for me through his sister.

I have since heard rumours that I am not the only st j girl that this same man got involved with in this way - he told me that he found the mysterious, untouchable , innocent aspect of st James girls facsinating and attractive.

In actual fact this whole episode makes me laugh now - but that does not alter the fact that through the school I was put in a position that made it difficult for me to distance myself from this man."


On a different matter --- Bella, I am heartened to hear that you think the woman who told me the dress code "does not concern you at your level" was in the wrong. I do understand that not every individual in an org will exhibit the best understanding of the group's ideals at all times -- however, I think this attitude is very much a part of the School's ideology, and it is a part of the philosophy which leads to abuse.

There is a difference between someone being your junior, and someone being your inferior. Too many people in this org treat their juniors as inferiors. I base this on direct observation and personal experience.

The problems at St James, I think, will also be shown to be too widespread to be merely the result of a few bad actors. Something is wrong with the way the system is organized.

NYC

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Postby daska » Thu May 26, 2005 12:55 am

what a strange feeling to find myself being discussed in someone elses conversation - I feel like I'm earwigging!

re governors - I went to have a look at that school websites because I thought Mary Pickering was a governor but I can't find a single mention of who they currently are.

re grooming - Lots of girls have married SES men (including some teachers, youth group and senior men) who were older than them - I went to some of the weddings. It certainly wasn't disapproved of and I don't even remember any comments being made about it being inappropriate, they were very much along the line of 'isn't she lucky'. Not all the marriages have worked but that's hardly uncommon, just because you grow up and marry in SES doesn't mean you're immune to social trends and other pressures. Arranged marriages certainly happened and as far as I am aware were not successful, and I think I would be right in saying that at least two of the men involved in these moved on to even younger girls for their second marriages which have lasted far longer.

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Postby a different guest » Thu May 26, 2005 2:56 am

sorry Daska - didn't mean to make you feel strange. :)

Bella
The SOP's opinion on the value of running a household isn't quite so dismissive as modern society's, btw.

I would argue back that the tide has turned on that one re modern societys "view" - certainly when children are small. However it is the stated preference of many "at home" women (in Australia) to at least work part-time as children get older. This is born out by workforce participation stats. The reasons for this preference are not necessarily financial.

You also have to look at the growing number of SAHFs (stay at home fathers) in this country. You don't have to be female to nurture children and run a household.


What's this about keeping their education minimal? Do you mean a lack of emphasis on "hard" science or mathematics, or other traditionally hardcore academic subjects at the girls' schools?


Mainly that yes - bit hard to become a doctor (which is SURELY a "female" occupation - or should women only be nurses?) when your A levels are in tea-making. :)


It's not a recognised religion as such, but it does support a belief system and lifestyle


But students only know that when they are ALREADY deeply enmeshed.
Stats aside, surely you can't argue that this is a new notion evilly conjured up by old SES men wanting nubile teenage flesh


I'm not saying its a "new notion" at all, but an OLD notion that modern society has moved away from - probably due to the fact that women are increasingly better educated and are looking for equal partnerships in their marriage - not father substitutes.

or was that a supporting quote for the religion bit?

just supporting

As you can proably see from reading some of the old threads I am FAR less sanguine about the SES than I was after our much earlier discussions. Particularly as some of the "pro" posters that have occasionally visited these boards have been so off the wall weird.

I'm glad you're back Bella.

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Postby mgormez » Fri May 27, 2005 4:16 am

a different guest wrote:I'm glad you're back Bella.


Me too. Welcome back Bella.
Mike Gormez

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Postby bella » Fri May 27, 2005 1:23 pm

*Group hug* - OK, not too close, you might catch something. ;)

Too many people in this org treat their juniors as inferiors.


NYC, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Often, out of necessity (especially in a young school like mine), people are given positions of responsibility without being able to deal with it effectively. They learn on the job, basically - and they can't learn unless people let them know that what they're doing or saying is alienating and inappropriate. Even if the response you get is standoffish at the time, constructive (and calm) criticism always hits its mark on some level. I do tend to try to look past the personalities I'm dealing with when they're particularly "difficult", but I do speak up if someone carelessly causes offence. Often, they need to know. Call it "office politics" if you like, but the hierarchical system in SOP causes problems there just as it does in the workplace or other institutions. The difference is that students at the SOP are supposed to be working on responding to the need of the situation, not reacting to the personality with which they're faced. Easier said than done 80% of the time, but the effort is made, and it actually does help. The SOP is also quite a bit more formalised than some other hierarchical situations (in an effort to pay respect to what's being taught and the passage of information), so people do sometimes have the tendency to "take it on" a bit more than they would in other circumstances.

If I didn't think there was value in what I was being taught, I wouldn't have bothered looking past the personalities of some of the more difficult members to the essential parts of the philosophy. It would be great if everyone who was put on the registration desk, or put in front of a group to tutor, or put on a tea team, was screened by an extensive Q&A session on a pass/fail; genuine/snooty basis, but it ain't gonna happen. ;) I like what I'm doing there, so I'm more than happy to forgive personality clashes as a necessary evil in a multi-layered organisation. Some others might not - that's all good, too. But I do sometimes think that giving responsibility to people unprepared or inexperienced in dealing compassionately and genuinely with people who DON'T have that same responsibility is an issue that could be looked at a bit more. Sometimes, though, there really is no choice. Other times, people just make mistakes - those people who were snarky to someone about the dress code might turn around and respond caringly and genuinely to someone else about another issue. Everyone really is a work in progress, and the formality displayed in most aspects of SOP life leads to higher expectations of good behaviour, all the time - this is a double-edged sword, as we can plainly see.

Sescaped's account of events sounds pretty meddlesome to me. I do think it inappropriate to try to arrange a ball date for a student without their knowledge, or to interfere in the other ways mentioned. I do know, though, that if you believe something is the key to happiness, you're going to try to "give" it to as many people as possible. Setting her up probably seemed like a kind and considerate action to those doing the setting-up at the time, even though it probably seemed inordinately threatening and bizarre to sescaped.

ADG,


It's not a recognised religion as such, but it does support a belief system and lifestyle



But students only know that when they are ALREADY deeply enmeshed.


Not so deeply enmeshed. I think I mentioned last year that the part 1 "introductory" courses now talk about the meditation introduced later on, and there does seem to be a greater transparency of what you can expect from SOP. The websites I've looked at for various schools mention meditation being offered too, as well as aims of "Self-realization, awareness, inner peace", etc. You'd have to be kind of dense to be expecting a series of thick lectures on philosophical theory. Epistemology, maybe, but not hardcore academia. Personally speaking, I think it took about two terms (7 months or so) before I really got a handle on where this was going - and I mean really. Other people know it's not for them after an hour: I gave two refunds on enrolment fees on Wednesday night, after half an evening. ADG, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about an introductory evening, and the transparency or otherwise of the org's spiritual basis after you've been to one. Heh, that's not a dare or proselytism, just a comment.

I'm not saying its a "new notion" at all, but an OLD notion that modern society has moved away from - probably due to the fact that women are increasingly better educated and are looking for equal partnerships in their marriage


I have no doubt that's the case.

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Postby Alban » Fri May 27, 2005 7:17 pm

bella wrote:...Sescaped's account of events sounds pretty meddlesome to me. I do think it inappropriate to try to arrange a ball date for a student without their knowledge, or to interfere in the other ways mentioned. I do know, though, that if you believe something is the key to happiness, you're going to try to "give" it to as many people as possible. Setting her up probably seemed like a kind and considerate action to those doing the setting-up at the time, even though it probably seemed inordinately threatening and bizarre to sescaped...


Sorry Bella, but I take issue with this. There is a code of conduct that MUST be adhered to when you have respsonsibility for teenage children and if you can't follow it then you should not be given responsibility for those children. The fact that the practice was (and probably still is) encouraged by the SES shows that they have no handle on reality, and are prepared to screw around with peoples lives just so they can propagate their version of the truth.

It stinks!

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Postby bella » Sat May 28, 2005 2:47 am

Yep, I did say I thought it inappropriate. I'm not going to go into hyperbole about it because I don't know all the facts, and because hyperbole is kinda tiring, you know? Plus my mouth gets all foamy.

My speculation on the person or person's intentions at the time was not meant to excuse their behaviour with sescaped, but to present a slightly different aspect to the one of ruthless manipulator/s. I'm sorry if it appeared to you that I was condoning or excusing that behaviour. "Screwing around with people's lives" seems to be a recurrent feature in quite a few high schools - I wonder (idly) if there is a message board somewhere dealing with all those people who went to Catholic boarding schools. It's difficult sometimes, with things I read here, to work out which parts are descriptions of cruel stuff that happens everywhere, but happens to have occurred at the SES schools, and which are particular to the SES because of its nature.

This (the female students being "paired up" without their knowledge or consent) is an area I'm particularly interested in, so I do appreciate the information being brought up in this thread and others.

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Postby Alban » Sat May 28, 2005 11:18 am

I agree that this sort of indoctrination is not limited to SES schools, you are right that some catholic schools have been guilty of the same (I dare say other religions too). There have been a couple of high-profile cases in this country where teachers at such schools have been prosecuted for inappropriate behaviour (primarily sexual misconduct, from memory).

I do get the feeling though that the catholic church has cleaned it act up when it comes to education, but in comparrison, I'm getting the feeling that the SES are attempting to excuse and sweep-under-the-carpet it's own history rather than confronting it head-on. This while it continues with as much of the same that it can get away with. It may not be illegal but it is inappropriate.

Just for the record, I do not wish to destroy the schools, I just want to see wide-scale reform.

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Postby a different guest » Mon May 30, 2005 12:27 am

bella wrote:This (the female students being "paired up" without their knowledge or consent) is an area I'm particularly interested in,.


Why the particular interest Bella?


do get the feeling though that the catholic church has cleaned it act up


Furthermore, while the Catholic Church were guilty of covering up the abuse for many years, it must be said that the abuse was very much AGAINST the Church's own teachings. Celibate priests having sex with little boys is quite obviously NOT a core beleif of the Church.

On the other hand I would argue that the practices and beleifs of the SES played a central role in CREATING a system where children would be abused.

I'm going to make another thread about what may and may not have changed since the 1980s - but going from a reading of The Secret Cult consider the following and how this would then relate to a school situation based on the ethos of the SES of the 70s/80s.

The removal of children from parental care was condoned and encouraged. MClaren thought the worst people to bring up children were their parents.

Personality was considered false and served as a barrier to "realisation", so it should be eleminated.

Feelings are not true and also "negative" - so should be suppressed.

Compassion was totally absent.

Only by a life of deprivation (tho it was not advertised as such, but was the essential outcome of living life by "The Measure") could one get close to the Absolute.

Strong beleif in a caste type system with those outside the SES inferior, and then levels of inferiority/superiority depending on where you were in the hierarchy.

Put all those central beliefs and practices together and add a diet that in NO WAY is nutritionally sound (4 pieces of uncooked food) and stir in a great dollop of sleep deprivation (max 8 hours for kids under 12, 5 hours for those older and adults) and I don't see how you would create anything other than an institution where abuse is rife.

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Postby mgormez » Mon May 30, 2005 2:26 am

a different guest wrote:The removal of children from parental care was condoned and encouraged. MClaren thought the worst people to bring up children were their parents.


I know this is a SES board, by Xenu, so many of these control mechanisms come back in other cults. L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame worked his closest ring of workers so hard they had to be ordered by him to put their own kids in bed and not drop them off in the hall of the nursery.

Further he said that urges towards family are unwanted urges of lesser beings which should be gotten rid off. http://whyaretheydead.net/childabuse/stacy-family.htm

a different guest wrote:Compassion was totally absent.


Like in "Never need praise, approval or sympathy" ?

That's from 'The Code of Honor' of the scientologists.

The only one who demanded praise was the cult leader himself who decreed that every room of the buildings need his image or statue. He died in 1986 and to this day, every day, they are cheering and clapping to his image.


Ps. Promise I'll better my life and not mix the two cults again. It is just so remarkable how often they overlap.
Mike Gormez


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