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Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
Alban
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Location: London

Postby Alban » Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:01 pm

andrewhogg wrote:... I am still intrigued by how such a group of "eminently respectable" people could have got things so badly wrong!


I guess it's a combination of a number of factors. Firstly, people feel that they need to believe in a greater power (the basis for all religions), then once they've started to swallow the doctrine and seen others behaving in the same way, they start to modify their own behaviour. Following that they start to feel superior to the rest of society because they have "risen above" the melee of ordinary life and have reached a higher plane, and finally they become the role model for others just starting out in the organisation.

Not everyone in the SES is like that, but those that reach the higher echelons of the organisation have invariably swallowed the doctrine hook line and sinker and have essentially closed their minds to anything non-SES related. The trouble is, they believe it so whole-heartedly that they cannot see the huge chasm that has opened up between their new SES life and reality of the life that everybody else leads.

Belief does strange things to people. It has been shown countless times throughout history how relatively weak-willed people can be manipulated into performing acts that no person in their right minds would do. In this respect the SES is minor-league, but when Leon McLaren was alive, I wouldn't have minded betting that there would be no shortage of volunteers willing to lay down their life for him.

Essentially, there are those people who want to be lead and don't feel complete unless they have devoted their life to something they feel is more important than life itself. Personally, I feel that this is a defective gene in the human race - but there's not a lot we can do about it, we just have to make sure that their fanaticism doesn't effect others.

Free
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Postby Free » Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:36 pm

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concerned-parent
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getting things wrong

Postby concerned-parent » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:27 pm

People are responsible to no-one but themselves and their god when it comes to a spiritual path. If a man feels a need for this, then he has the absolute right to decide for himself that this is the most important thing for him and to put it first before everything else. To dedicate his life to it, to give it all his effort and money -whatever. Personally I would say a person who also ignores his obligations to his family has a strange god indeed, but it is childish to descry another man's belief, to claim that it is wrong that he even has a belief, as I see happening on other threads in this forum. Then it is merely one belief versus another; and men go to war over such stupidity.

For me, the most shocking thing I have read in this forum was the account of the boy who was caned for not going to his philosophy group (youth group?) the previous evening. For me, this in a nutshell demonstrates what is awry with the SES. When people forget that their spiritual path is their own personal, private search between themselves and their god, when they start thinking instead that it is something for 'giving' to other people, people who perhaps need 'helping', 'showing the higher truth' and 'keeping on the right path', then something is dead inside them. Inside it is dead with no questions anymore, just answers and formula, and on the outside there is fervour and belief, and wanting to save others or even the world. Inside they are dead, and therefore there can be no understanding or compassion for the true inner life or the suffering of anyone, not even a child.

dan
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:39 pm

To Andrew Hogg

Postby dan » Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:50 pm

Hello Andrew Hogg, welcome to this forum.

I only read your book 'secret cult' about a year ago and it helped me add perspective to my experience of the SES, an organisation under whose spectre my childhood was unhappily affected.

In my opinion your book has made you and Mr Hounam something approaching 'folk heroes' amongst those who, like me, suffered at SES hands but were for many years unable to verbalise or express their complaints.

I was one of many who was repeatedly physically and mentally abused at St Vedast-now-St James by SES-controlled teachers. For me, Matthew Woolf's open letter to the st J governors, details my wishes too for the future of these schools.

Schools should provide safety and education not cultish-indoctrination or access to cult recruitment.

I look forward to your next publication
Last edited by dan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dan

mm-
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Re: getting things wrong

Postby mm- » Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:25 pm

concerned-parent wrote:.

For me, the most shocking thing I have read in this forum was the account of the boy who was caned for not going to his philosophy group (youth group?) the previous evening.


Without wanting to sound insensitive to those people that have suffered at the hands of the teachers at St Vedast and St James, I have to say that as a parent today, with children at St James, I am more concerned with the emotional and psychological abuse that many have gone through in the past and that which may still exist at the school today. Corporal punishment does not exist in the schools today or at least I am unaware of it, if it does. However, it has come to my attention of an incident of a young child being smacked with a ruler on the hand by an assistant teacher in the past month. From what I hear apologies and the promise of this never happening again were given and lo and behold everything carries on as normal. Having read 'The Secret Cult', corporal punishment may have been abolished, but not much else has. The book written all of those years ago bears startling similarities to the schools and their ethos today.

It goes without saying that one should follow the spiritual path that one chooses out of their own free will, this is not the case for those attending the schools today. It is clear that children are being forced fed ideas and thoughts in a drip drip fashion. Most of those children are unaware of this as this to them is normal schooling, they know nothing else. Unfortunately many parents themselves are unaware of the teaching behind the schools and what these teachers stand for and believe in. Many I am sure know nothing of the SES and its manipulation and tight reign on the school, its head teachers, teachers and so on. What is the effect on our children today? What will the effect be ten years from now?

More often than not the parent asking legitimate questions about their childs education is treated with indifference or made to feel inferior and ignorant. Parents of the junior school were not even told about the inquiry until a few days before the report was published. Farcical meetings then took place two weeks later at which only a handful of parents showed up. These meetings were given by the junior school headmaster and one of the governors. Those parents that had the courage to stand up and ask pertinent questions were quickly put in their place by the comments of those SES members obviously deliberately placed there to stand up for the school. Needless to say no questions asked about some of the more negative aspects of the SES were answered, and the headmaster for all he was worth was at times condescending and at worst totally ignorant of the anger and legitimate concerns that some parents had. Meanwhile at the back sat the deputy headmaster taking notes...(God knows what for).

As a parent I feel totally confused, scared, angry, sad at the lack of morality and truth at the schools today. What do these schools stand for? Everyone is frightened to talk to anyone else for the fear that they may be an SES member. Meetings take place secretly between parents in order to find out the truth. What is the truth though? What exactly is the purpose of the SES and the St James schools?, Is it a cult? Is it some form of hybrid religion? Are the schools really being investigated by the authorities? The answers to these questions when posed to the school headmaster is a resounding NO.

Everyone drops their children off in the mornings and picks them up with big smiles plastered over their faces...seemingly nothing is wrong, every thing continues as normal. But behind the facade lies a deadly and corrupt enemy.


quote error fixed - mike

Planet
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Re: getting things wrong

Postby Planet » Sun Feb 12, 2006 9:59 pm

concerned-parent wrote:]People are responsible to no-one but themselves and their god when it comes to a spiritual path.


Never a truer word said. Unfortunately in the former headmaster?s case it appears that the end view was invariably his view or the spiritual path was his path.

The line between SES and the St james school was never clear in the early days. In the headmasters view if you were outside the school gates you represented his school and as such your behavior outside school was his responsibility as well when it suited him. This extended well into SES activities in some cases in terms of alleged crimes and punishments.

As to the "secret cult" book I bought a copy as a child when it came out as I was curious as to what was it all about. It made me think about things happening around me. I don't necessarily agree with all in the book but I'm thankful it made me question some things in life at the time. My mother who was in the SES at the time found the book and it has never been seen again.
Incidentally she still believes I had a "wonderful education". I'm not sure I want to spoil that view now. As a child whose parents worked to bits to pay the fees it wasn?t easy as a child to tell them something was wrong or things happened that shouldn?t have at the time.

Today its difficult to make a judgement whats changed but certainly lots has. In terms of what school is best for which child depends a lot on the child. Not every school is right for every child. Some will flourish at St James and some will not.
But the best thing for parents is always to talk to their children and more importantly always at least listen to them.

sugarloaf
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Postby sugarloaf » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:49 pm

Parents of the junior school were not even told about the inquiry until a few days before the report was published. Farcical meetings then took place two weeks later at which only a handful of parents showed up. These meetings were given by the junior school headmaster and one of the governors. Those parents that had the courage to stand up and ask pertinent questions were quickly put in their place by the comments of those SES members obviously deliberately placed there to stand up for the school. Needless to say no questions asked about some of the more negative aspects of the SES were answered, and the headmaster for all he was worth was at times condescending and at worst totally ignorant of the anger and legitimate concerns that some parents had. Meanwhile at the back sat the deputy headmaster taking notes...(God knows what for).


If you?ve read secret cult you might have noticed some uncanny similarities with the meetings called with parents in 1983 (to be folowed by outright refusal to make the changes parents called for)

More often than not the parent asking legitimate questions about their childs education is treated with indifference or made to feel inferior and ignorant.


As a parent I feel totally confused, scared, angry, sad at the lack of morality and truth at the schools today. What do these schools stand for? Everyone is frightened to talk to anyone else for the fear that they may be an SES member. Meetings take place secretly between parents in order to find out the truth. What is the truth though? What exactly is the purpose of the SES and the St James schools?, Is it a cult? Is it some form of hybrid religion? Are the schools really being investigated by the authorities?


Are we really talking about a childrens school in London ? in the 21st century?!

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:02 am

Everyone is frightened to talk to anyone else for the fear that they may be an SES member.


If they are still going to form the SES parents will be well dressed, with the women generally in longish skirts. The word "prim" comes to mind.

If you find a parent dressed in tracky dacks, runners and a faded t-shirt they are probably safe to talk to. :)

sugarloaf
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Postby sugarloaf » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:04 am

Everyone is frightened to talk to anyone else for the fear that they may be an SES member. Meetings take place secretly between parents in order to find out the truth.


I can understand how sensitive this is, with children still at the school. why not just pass the address of this bulletin board around? members of the SES will just ingnore it - those who have fears, questions, suspicions or insecurities can ask questions and converse here, safe in the knowledge that they are anonymous.

The SES always hated computers and IT - they allow freedom of information and true democracy - an anathema to them.

ross nolan
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welcome

Postby ross nolan » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:03 pm

Andrew Hogg -- welcome indeed to this forum that might not have existed were it not for "Secret Cult" having been published (not overlooking Mike Gormez initiative and hard work in actually creating the website and opening the bulletin board) -- it is that significant in terms of opening the eyes of people who have had a 'glancing contact' and thought 'something is amiss here, but what ?' and who might,otherwise, have just shrugged their shoulders and walked away to leave the SES(SOP here) to get on with their nefarious activity . I was told of this website by a fellow pupil (from the UK) who was also a 'problem student' (adult night 'school') and he procured "Secret Cult' only after the first 12 week semester had finished - then the "AHA " moment on reading it.

The SOP tried to con me and that makes it personal -- they have also conned the local council and even gotten themselves ensconced in the halls of the Royal Society headquarters here (like having the flat Earth society in a university) This I will bring to an end.

A welcome is also due to your "partner in crime" Peter Hounam who has also joined the forum -- how about teaming up for "Secret Cult - the end"?

The reference to the SES 'infiltrating the halls of power' seems to have been a bit overlooked -- understandable when many old wounds from the pupils of St James are being re opened (and having salt rubbed in ) but I wonder if this aspect of the cult is worthy of being looked more closely at 20 years on (?) -- I was researching the connection with the ,voluminous, writings of Erasmus (of Rotterdam) and SES schooling 'policy' mainly since the local,Melbourne school is named Erasmus and I had become aware of some untoward aspects of it when, out of the blue, the most powerful legal figure in New South Wales , chief judge James Spigelman, in the midst of an address (widely reported) on the dropping standards of civil behaviour in modern society quoted Erasmus' 16th Century tome "On Civility for Boys" --- all very SES ish and making one wonder if there is any influence .......

There has been revelation of Freemasons exerting power in the (corrupt) NSW police force and an organization targetting wealthy and influential upper and middle class citizens with notions of 're forming' society and somehow re establishing the glories of ancient Greece,Pericles etc( plus the grabbag of other Eastern mystical wisdom ) like the SES/SOP might well be seeking to gain some political or civic control .
(they have certainly infiltrated the council and Royal Society )

I suppose your involvement in supporting victims of torture (including brainwashing I would imagine) might have some resonance with the earlier investigation into the SES mind control methods -- I personally think the maltreatment of the school's children was built in to the 'syllabus' as it is inherent in the reccomendations for schooling espoused by Erasmus as one of their 'guiding lights' (see the website on the "Origins" thread if you wish) This means that the SES deliberately focussed the Terms of Reference for the enquiry to look for "rogue" teachers or 'abherrent' behaviour that it could both claim ignorance of and disown so avoiding culpability . (and legal liability for compensation if sought) Whilst many torturers and war criminals take the so called Nuremberg defence and say "I was only following orders" the SES teachers have conspicuously not taken this path but have 'copped it sweet' as individuals even though it seems obvious they were carrying out the wishes and methods of their superiors .. protecting the real guilty party, the SES, at their own cost seems to have deflected any attention .(perhaps they fear bad karma if they don't take the rap )



Lastly ,I (and I think others) would like to hear your opinion on the Townend enquiry, it's conduct , findings and what you think it might acheive (if anything) . and perhaps, what course of action would be best from here ? (media, legal action, other ...)

Regards, Ross N
Skeptic

andrewhogg
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Postby andrewhogg » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:01 am

Ross, there is a lot in your post that requires a thoughtful answer. I would like a little longer to think, therefore, before posting a reply.However, re the connection between my investigation with Peter Hounam into the SES and my present employment I would hazard the following. At what stage in the pursuit of a belief/religion/ support for a political system/ philopsophy/ideology or way of life do you decide that the "others" - those that you deem your enemies, deserve to be at best excomunicated, and at worst, persecuted?I spend a lot of my working life wondering why human beings are so ready to impose their will, violently, on others. I have no uniform answer. At a global level, you can explain it by saying it is a battle for resources. At a regional level nationalisms also come into play. At an individual level, the exercise of power, for many that wield it, is enjoyable. A recognition of the danger that imbues should surely be explicit and implicit in the modus operandi of any organsition seeking to tell people how to live their lives.

Andrew Hogg
Andrew Hogg

leon
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Postby leon » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:04 am

andrewhogg wrote:
A recognition of the danger that imbues should surely be explicit and implicit in the modus operandi of any organsition seeking to tell people how to live their lives.

Andrew Hogg


Or individual, as in the case of those who have zero tolerance for any organisation or persons who believe in anything that is outside what they consider to be the general consensus and push forward their own views and agendas, believing them to be "right". Why is it wrong for St James to teach Hinduism but OK for a state funded school to do so? Why is it wrong to teach Advaita but OK for state Catholic and Jewish schools to teach Transubstantiation, the Torah or the Resurrection? We live in a democracy, and some people want to send their children to faith based schools. As long as they are transparent and open and not harming children, what's the problem?

It's worth remembering that SES was a hotch potch without a single original idea of it's own, it's shortsighted to demonise Hinduism or Platonism because it was haphazardly plundered. I have found some of the recent posts regarding 'Indian' religion frankly xenophobic. Reminds me of the dismissive intolerance shown to modern philosophers by SES tutors.

AntonR
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Welcome to a new member

Postby AntonR » Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:05 am

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:21 am

The School?s doctrine says that evil will rise to prevent the ?truth? from manifesting in the world. ... That is why the members of the School, such as this, are special and have been chosen for the ?work? (this is the line Gurdjieff gives). However, not everyone will be up to the task and will leave. These people who have been awakened will go back to sleep and become instruments of the ?evil? which will try to destroy the School.


So the ex-students complaining about abuse are 'asleep' (despite the best efforts of the school) and are now "instruments of evil" trying to "destroy the School".

Sadly, that explains a lot, particularly some of the more recent posts here.

andrewhogg
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Postby andrewhogg » Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:29 am

Actually Anthony our thanks were due to the two of you. It took a lot of courage to make the break you did and then go public. Your testimonies were among the most powerful indictments of the movement we received. Even today, Celia's in particular makes distressing reading. Clearly the SES is determined to try to protect the reputation of its children's schools - hence the Townend enquiry. It would be interesting to know, however, whether its core beliefs have been adapted or modified since MacLaren's death. Has it ever claimed as much?

Andrew Hogg
Andrew Hogg


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