SES then and now - what has changed?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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a different guest
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SES then and now - what has changed?

Postby a different guest » Mon May 30, 2005 12:36 am

I understand that the SES has modified some of it's teachings and practices. From reading The Secret Cult a few things really leapt out at me. Have some of these things been modified since the 80s?

Babies - to be weaned by 4 or 6 weeks from the breast. Not put on formula but to drink unpasturised cows milk.

Health - medical science is "evil". Sickness and ill health is caused by being spiritually wrong (or something like that).

Diet - eat only 4 diff foods at a meal (all uncooked).

Sleep - only 5 hours per night for adults. 8 for children.

Emotions - to be suppressed. Children are not allowed to cry.

Personality - to be eliminated.

Clothes - only natural fibres to be worn. Women must wear long skirts. Men to wear suits.

Women - must obey men. The house is to be cleaned daily. Modern appliances and cleaning products are to be eschewed. Although inferior to men, they also have a subtle and mysterious superiority without which men could not function - so women must provided "good substance" for men.

Sex - should only have it off to have babies.

Other people - not in the SES. They are the outer darkness and should be avoided.

Incompetance - by putting a person in charge of an area which they have no expertise in they can learn about their quirks and failings.

Humouring - practied by seniors where they are grilled on their personailty etc. by a more senior member.

daska
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Postby daska » Mon May 30, 2005 5:37 pm

Diet - Interestingly, this is a relatively new thing for SES, when my dad joined they still had full roast meals. But compared to current UK state schools the diet really wasn't that unhealthy, just unpalatable. bread for carbs, cheese or nuts for protein and fat, fresh salad and fruit - anyone want to argue that chicken nuggets and chips every day is better for anybody? The Day Schools do now serve hot dinners - soups, pasta dishes, vege curries etc.

4 items - it was never to my knowlege restricted to uncooked foods. Our staple carbohydrate was bread! Four foods yes, and that didn't help when the daily menu was boring and static, there was very little variety but there was plenty of it. The only reason to go hungry was that you had to wait to be offered foods, you weren't allowed to help yourself, so if you didn't get on with the people next to you at table during a 'silent' meal it might be some time before you got anything on your plate...

Unpasturised milk - Yes, uncooked milk was the norm but they can't serve that now because the laws governing distribution of it have changed. It does taste quite different.

Meat - I have, I promise, seen meat being served in the Day Schools, and this was back in the bad old days - it was an unusual situation I admit, the girl who got this special treatment was on the lamb and pears exclusion diet due to ill health but hopefully this might help to show that not everyone was unreasonable all the time.

I sound like I'm trying to defend the schools here but I'm not - meal times were miserable and boring - especially when you knew you'd get exactly the same when you got home. But I don't see any advantage in propagating misunderstandings such as the four uncooked foods myth.

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Postby a different guest » Tue May 31, 2005 3:15 am

But I don't see any advantage in propagating misunderstandings such as the four uncooked foods myth.


But you haven't mentioned any cooked food Daska. You mention bread, cheese, nuts, fruit and salad. But I do agree this is FAR healthier than chicken nuggets etc. We've had on tv here a Jamie Oliver show about school lunches and trying to make them healthy (all on, what is it? 37p?). I think the show has rated quite highly even tho here we don't have "school lunches" - the health or otherwise of the school lunch all depends on what the parent has put in the kids lunchbox. :)

And my mind boggles at what sort of "health problem" would mean you could only eat pears and lamb. Doesn't sound very scientific at all.

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bella
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Postby bella » Tue May 31, 2005 6:00 am

Er, bread is cooked. :)

Stay tuned for an incredibly long-winded post coming up when I get this assignment finished - I know you'll be on the edge of your seats.

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Postby daska » Tue May 31, 2005 6:23 am

OK, the diet I've outlined is what we were served in the day schools in the UK . Lamb and pears is, as far as I'm aware a pretty standard exclusion diet - i.e a base from which you start to add other foods when trying to establish which are the problem ones - these two food stuffs being the ones people are least likely to be allergic to or intolerant of. SES dinners when I was there which was exactly the time when secret cult came out were cooked - the worst was stuffed marrows, the best was baked bananas. What you were implying was that nothing was cooked and the meal wasn't nutritionally sound which is incorrect - it wasn't all raw veg, with no fat and no protein. OK, there is an argument about whether you need meat in your diet but putting that aside it wasn't unhealthy. There was a preponderence of dairy foods but you could eat nuts instead. Yes, totally agree with you, a good filling hot meal on a cold day is wonderful, but all the major food groups were present and there was no shortage of food - it was just unimaginative, boring, static and vile.

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Postby a different guest » Tue May 31, 2005 6:28 am

it was just unimaginative, boring, static and vile.


Isn't that what english "cusine" is anyway?

*grins and runs*

seriously tho - thanks for clarification. :)

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Postby Free Thinker » Tue May 31, 2005 6:34 am

ADG - When you are trying to figure out what food allergies you have, you typically go on what is called an "elimination diet" where you start with very few foods that almost no one has an allergy too (lamb and pears being two of them, rice is another) and then gradually add back in other foods until you can see which you react to and which you don't. I had multiple food allergies as a child and teen and had to do this.

Oh, Daska just addressed this.. Oh well!

Well, having been to the SoPP in the states, my experience is a little different.

Babies - My father told me that the school's policy was weaning at around 4 months. In fact, when I was an infant, and my parents were just figuring out which foods I was allergic to by my mother going on an elmination diet, I was exclusively breastfed, and extended into toddlerhood (something I am totally in favor of) and another woman in the SoPP who had a baby my age acted as wet nurse to BF me while my mother relactated (she had started to wean me around 5 months before realizing how severe my allergies were.)

Health - No one said medical science was evil but it was implied that "karma' brought on health problems. Whatever!

Diet - We had a very varied diet (not 4 foods) but it was always raw. I have no problem with that, and in fact the meals I ate on retreats are one of my fond memories of being a member! On Youth Group retreats, we cooked foods (we even ordered in Pizza) and occasionally on adult retreats we also cooked. I remember a delicious blueberry pie and grilled cheese.

Sleep - only 5 hours per night for adults. 8 for children. Still stands. It took me a while to figure out that the reason I kept falling asleep during retreat meetings and classes was because I was so FREAKIN' tired!!!

Emotions - Children were allowed to cry plenty but the emotions being surpressed thing is certainly taught thought various "strategies" like "not this, not this" and letting go of the "veil of Maya".

Personality - definitely a focus on letting go of the Ego to the point that the personality is also let go of.

Clothes - Women still wear long skirts and men suits to class although obviously more casual clothes for working. Nothing like scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees in a long skirt, though!

Women - Nothing about cleaning but definitely an emphasis on cleaning by hand - although while I was still a member, they got a dishwasher at Walkill. Definitely a "defer to the husband" teaching.

Sex - nothing about procreation only but NO premarital sex.

Other people - not in the SES. - You don't discuss SES stuff with them because "they wouldn't understand. Encourage them to come and find out for themselves." a nice, classic, cult teaching.

Incompetance - I never came across this but there was definitely an emphasis on being able to "let go of the ego" by having lots of people correct you all the time.

Humouring - never heard of this!

Edited to correct information about my diet as an infant, as stated later on in the thread.
Last edited by Free Thinker on Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby a different guest » Tue May 31, 2005 6:46 am

Glad they changed their minds about the breastfeeding - and I'm so with you on the "extended" thing that I don't think of it as "extended" at all! WHO recomends BF for min two years.

However I should add that the old rule regarding BF was not just something I read in the book, but was confirmed on these boards some time ago as well.

Edit to add: Freethinker the SES did your mum a dis-service by using wet nurses. Lactation is a demand/supply thing - so in order to relactate you need your child sucking YOUR breasts, not someone elses. Yes the child might go hungry a day or two (tho sucking will keep them content) but to build up supply you NEED the child sucking.

Despite the SES's more "touchy/feely" approach to breastfeeding, could this not also be an example of removing the child the parent? At the very least it shows a remarkable NON-understanding of the simple mechanics of milk supply.

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Diet

Postby erikdr » Tue May 31, 2005 11:33 am

Diet - We had a very varied diet (not 4 foods) but it was always raw. I have no problem with that, and in fact the meals I ate on retreats are one of my fond memories of being a member! On Youth Group retreats, we cooked foods (we even ordered in Pizza) and occasionally on adult retreats we also cooked. I remember a delicious blueberry pie and grilled cheese.


Well, to our NY friend:

Depends on the situation and the group actually. On our Dutch youth group retreats it was all raw, but for the odd extra gift from the Van Ooijen house nearby where sometimes a liberal old lady helped a bit.

BUT...
My strongest memory from the only Walkill weekend retreat I did (during my 6-week expat stay in Manhattan, in which I changed the thrice-a-week Amsterdam schedule for a twice-a-week Upper East Side schedule) there also was cold food. And it was not that warm outside, a snowy February.

With the groupmate I traveled with immediately down the retreat hill we went into a McDrive to pick up some hot stuff. And guess what: we saw, in the same queue, at least 4-5 other cars from SPP members having the same interpretation of 'retreat atmosphere'. :crazyeyes:
With folded palms,

<Erik>

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Postby Pink womble » Tue May 31, 2005 4:32 pm

Sorry, just read the ADG's initial list and cannot stop laughing. I feel a bit bad because these beliefs have fucked up some people's lives, but when you read it like that, the sheer ridiculousness comes across in all its glory!

Erik, your Mcexperience sounds true for the UK too. Stopping at a service station on the way back from a weekend was always interesting!

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Postby Free Thinker » Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:01 pm

a different guest wrote:Glad they changed their minds about the breastfeeding - and I'm so with you on the "extended" thing that I don't think of it as "extended" at all! WHO recomends BF for min two years.

However I should add that the old rule regarding BF was not just something I read in the book, but was confirmed on these boards some time ago as well.

Edit to add: Freethinker the SES did your mum a dis-service by using wet nurses. Lactation is a demand/supply thing - so in order to relactate you need your child sucking YOUR breasts, not someone elses. Yes the child might go hungry a day or two (tho sucking will keep them content) but to build up supply you NEED the child sucking.

Despite the SES's more "touchy/feely" approach to breastfeeding, could this not also be an example of removing the child the parent? At the very least it shows a remarkable NON-understanding of the simple mechanics of milk supply.


ADG - While I agree with what you are saying, I also disagree. I agree that: "extended nursing" is just common sense and I will certainly be doing it with my future children (as long as they don't decide to self-wean sooner.) I agree about lactation being a supply and demand thing.

However, I disagree that the SES did my mother a disservice or that the wetnurse thing was a way of removing me from my mother. In her case, it would have been much longer than a "day or two" of hunger for me, and I was already getting to be what we call FTT (failure to thrive) from the allergies. I also drank donated milk from La Leche League as well as from my mother's friend. Whenever I was trying to breastfeed from my own mother, she had to use a Lactaid device which was very uncomfortable and she went through many weeks of having sore, uncomfortable breasts and a screaming unhappy baby (when I was covered with eczema). I was also allergic to the varies types of formulas that were then available (now there are a lot more for very allergic babies) and could only take breastmilk. If we hadn't had milk donated and wetnurses, I probably would have died during the time it took her to relactate. Thank goodness she was able to, and once she cut out my allergens from her own diet, I began to thrive. Also, while I was with the wetnurse, my mother was there, too. She didn't just drop me off and go somewhere else.

ETA: Fixing incorrect information about the breastfeeding.
Last edited by Free Thinker on Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby a different guest » Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:56 pm

FT - sorry if my comment (which was only meant as a querying possibility) caused any offence. I sure do admire your mum's dedication and tenacity.

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Postby Free Thinker » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:03 pm

ADG - No offence was taken. I admire her dedication as well. I just wanted to give the SES credit where credit is due no matter how many other criticisms I have of it.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:04 am

Glad no offence was taken. :)

I await Bella to post to see what has changed. I'm interested to know if the "measure" is required at all times or only practiced when on retreat. Ditto the diet - tho it DOES seem stopping at Macca's (or whatever fast food outlet was handy) is common AFTER residentials. If the SES are still requiring people have their marriages approved - what happens if you join when you are ALREADY married?

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Postby erikdr » Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:10 pm

If the SES are still requiring people have their marriages approved - what happens if you join when you are ALREADY married


That depended (and depends) strongly on the approach of the partner towards your SES activities.
To give two extremes:
'Happy to loose you 3 evenings a week and quite a few weekends' (either because sympathetic to SES too or bored of you 0X )
--> SES loves the partner too.

'Claiming you enter a dangerous cult, forcing you to sleep on sofa every night after returning'

--> SES states that partner is evil, satanic, and in the end would even approve of an informal divorce!

So far my halfpenny, based on a few cases I used to know...
With folded palms,



<Erik>


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