Welcome

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.

Have you been a member of SES?

Yes
34
72%
No
13
28%
 
Total votes: 47

mgormez
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Welcome

Postby mgormez » Thu Feb 06, 2003 12:51 pm

Hello, my name is Mike Gormez and I made the site about the School of Economic Science.

Though the site consists of just a few pages, the response to it was above average and I was pleased that visitors would leave a message in the guest book. However that guest book is inadequate for a discussion. So that's why I have opened this place.

Some points:

- At some time we had to close off the anonymous posting option thanks to abuse. So now you need to register with an email address.

- I've made a shortcut to this part of the forum http://ses.whyaretheydead.net


- If you wonder about the domain name of this site and how the forum ended up on it, the answer is simply that I first had the domain before I ever though of adding a forum, let alone a forum on SES (and schools). The domain name is not related to SES and affiliates. The SES part was just a tiny corner of a larger forum and I have not foreseen that the little SES corner would grow to become the largest subject on it. So there. As to how the penguin fits into all of this, I gave an answer here: http://www.whyaretheydead.net/phpBB2/vi ... highlight=


- Always keep in mind that the whole world can read what you say. That has many advangages like being heard and reconnecting with old friends of many years ago but also that you have to mind what you say. Don't say things you can't backup and would feel silly about later or even put you and me in harms way.

Anyway, I hope it will be a civil and friendly place, albeit perhaps with opposite viewpoints.

Thanks for reading!
Last edited by mgormez on Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:43 am, edited 7 times in total.
Mike Gormez

emma

ses membership

Postby emma » Sun May 18, 2003 12:48 am

In reply to the poll, I have been a member. Thanks for the forum site, I have been looking for something like this for ages. I keep visiting to check if someone has posted something, so hi to anyone else who's doing the same. I'd really like to make contact with some people who have had similar experiences to me.

mgormez
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Re: ses membership

Postby mgormez » Tue May 20, 2003 12:25 pm

emma wrote:In reply to the poll, I have been a member. Thanks for the forum site, I have been looking for something like this for ages. I keep visiting to check if someone has posted something, so hi to anyone else who's doing the same. I'd really like to make contact with some people who have had similar experiences to me.


Hi Emma, welcome! It is a quiet here. I hope someone else will 'dare' to post her too. As you've probably guess I've never been a member but made this forum because the guestbook got too cramped with large message. But so far everybody has cold feet. Shame.

So perhaps we can kick it of. How long were you a member and in hindsight, what did you found left the biggest impression?

Best
Mike Gormez

emma

Postby emma » Sun May 25, 2003 5:40 am

I was a member from early childhood (i don't remember how young) until the age of 17. My parents were both in the School, but my mother left when I was 17. My father is still heavily involved however. I resisted being in the school throughout my childhood, but was sent away to a youth residential at the age of 16. It was for 10 days in an isolated house which we were not allowed to leave, and for the first couple of days I resisted the rules and was my usual self, but overnight in a process even I don't understand fully now, I was transformed into a totally obedient supporter of the school.

It was almost like I was able to suspend all my disbelief and questioning - I still remembered my previous attitudes and still knew intellectually that they were right, but they ceased to matter. The best analogy I can draw here is to Orwell's concept of 'doublethink', something I would not previously have believed to be possible. I became totally committed to the school, but this soon faded after leaving the intensive environment of the residential and returning to normal life. I went on another residential about a year later.

It was a few months after that when it began to really sink in how much I had been (in a word I hesitate to use but for which I can find no real substitute) brainwashed. This realisation prompted a strong reaction in me against the school and perhaps due to the fact that I was now older than when I had last pressed the issue with my father, was able to exert a strong enough mixture of defiance and persuasion to make him allow me, albeit very reluctantly, to leave the school.

He even got the leader of the school in my city to phone me up personally to try and blackmail me into remaining in the school (saying he (the leader) would not allow me to go on residential again to the city where I had previously been at the residentials to see all the friends I had made there). This was of course ineffective considering I had no wish to go on another residential. So I've finally left, and have been out about a year.

A girl I met at the residential and I both independently decided to leave the school, and we have corresponded and supported one another in the year or so since. But it is a very isolating experience, because while I had friends outside the school I was always too ashamed to tell them of my experiences, I suppose out of some desire to protect my family and myself and avoid looking like a fool. No one who has not been in the school can really understand what it is like to grow up so immersed in the school environment and norms your whole life.

People within the school of course wouldn't understand and would disapprove, and so there is no one at all you can talk to unless you can connect with others who have also left. While I do think the school has some positive effects, I am totally opposed to its general principles of rigid social conservatism and total obedience to authority.

One major problem for people leaving is that you don't have any real standard of normality, because you are so used to being different from the rest of society that you don't know whether you, the school or the normal world is right in its version of what is correct and normal.

Thank you very much for this forum, I hope it gets going more so that others in my situation have someone to connect with and some yardstick of other?s actions through which to test and measure their own.



[text divided in paragraphs by mike for easier reading]

mgormez
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Postby mgormez » Wed Jun 04, 2003 1:57 pm

Emma, I'll get back at you but I am kinda busy/stressed out on the moment. Please don't think that I haven't read your story.

Best
Mike Gormez

Helen

Philosphy School in Brussels

Postby Helen » Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:42 pm

Thanks for this site. I married a man who was a member of the Philosophy Scool in Brussels. I was very interested and attended a course. However, after about a year I decided I couldn't bear it (I like to argue) and I left. I was visited by Mrs Schoup who told me it was a wife's duty to follow her husband. I saw very little of my husband (and we had a small baby) because when he wasn't at work he was cleaning toilets, going on courses, etc etc. We had a lot of arguments about whther it was a cult or not. When we moved to England, he gave it up, but he became depressed and suicidal. We were eventually divorced.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:04 pm

Hi, I recently found out about SES by accident due to an assignment set at uni to research a local garden of historic interest - (i study landscape architecture). I live close to Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire and so decided to base my project there. A few days ago i went to visit the gardens and was shown round the whole complex including inside the house. I was shocked to see a load of students 'floating' around and remember being struck by how placid they looked and noticed that the girls all seemed to wear floaty skirts (i thought they looked a bit like trendy hippies) There were black boards with hindi writing on, strange music being played on their musical instruments, half finished murials on the walls which i was told were hindu symbols- such as the tree of life, people congregating in rooms aparently in some sort of prayer/meditation. My other observation was that these people obviously had a lot of money- they have built and renevated buildings to a high standard for accomodation.
I was interested by what all this stood for and my research on the internet led me to this site. Could the house you mention be Waterperry, Emma? It has been owned by the School of Economic Science since 1971 although when i phoned the london office to find out about what the students were doing at waterperry they seemed reluctant to give me any information. Stranger and stranger...
Helen

zebedee

Just left SES Philosophy group

Postby zebedee » Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:09 pm

Hello! Is anyone out there?

I recently declined to join the 2nd year of Philosophy in Action as the courses are called down our way, due to being totally put off them by articles such as yours Mike. This is not a criticism by the way. It took your article and the "Course or Cult" one to make me aware of how far I had been drawn into the School already without any sense of anything untoward. I have to say my own experience was at no time negative however I am amazed at how easily I had let go of all my initial scepticism. It was a most disturbing time for me - I really thought I had found something wonderful to believe in. . . but all I've read since (I bought and read "Secret Cult" and looked on the web for other stuff too) makes me sure that I was being led up the garden path. I'd be interested for any feedback from others who may have recent experiences of a similar nature.

[/code]

Guest

Does anyone have IM or live in toronto or anything?

Postby Guest » Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:31 pm

Yes hello,

I have been in the Toronto School of Philosophy for about 7 years and myself and my friend are just taking the opposite approach to it now. If anyone has an instant messanger or anything or email or lives in toronto please contact me. My email address is mei_ei@yahoo.ca.

My friend and I have been coming up with some pretty crazy ideas and theories about life and the school in general. It would be nice to reason with other peopel and gain insight from former members and such.

Thank you

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 02, 2004 3:57 am

I am not a member but have family members who are. I have long thought of the SES as a cult. When the family members first started with the SES (they are a married couple) the wife told me how it wasn't a religion but about the philosophy for all religions. She also said many people dropped out but those who had old enough souls and were spiritual enough would go on to study more.

This immediatly rang alarm bells with me. The have been going for many years now and have become more and more secretive about what it is all about. They have kids and the oldest is now going to a school by the SES. I am very worried for the children.

I have been doing some net searching and have come across quite a few sites about the SES. This one was interesting http://www.andypryke.com/university/cults/school_of_economic_science.html as was this one
http://www.esatclear.ie/~dialogueireland/ses1.htm

Although on the one hand the SES does not appear to be a dangerous cult (no mass suicides), I don't think it is particularly benign either - particularly regarding the role of women and also how members are discouraged from fraternising with people outside the sect.

Has anyone got any more information they can offer me?

Also mike (is it mike?) i think you need to make this board's existence a little more obvous on your webpage - I had visited your site about 4 times before I noticed it. Also there is no link from the main page to Wendy's translated statement - I found the url for that via another site.

mgormez
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Postby mgormez » Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:50 pm

Anonymous wrote:Also mike (is it mike?) i think you need to make this board's existence a little more obvous on your webpage - I had visited your site about 4 times before I noticed it. Also there is no link from the main page to Wendy's translated statement - I found the url for that via another site.


Yeah, it's Mike :fadein:

Okay, I will make the a more prominent link to this board. But I have to disagree with a link to Wendy's story. It is on the page like this "An interview for a collage magazine afaik, with Dutch ex-member Wendy Diekstra "

I'll add to it that it is translated into English for more clarity.


Something I have on my to-do-list is asking the publishers whether I could web the entire 'Secret Cult' book. If someone has contacts with them, please let me know if we could make this so.
Mike Gormez

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:57 pm

I was a member for longer than I care to think, and was bought up with the whole SES way-of-life thing (see the thread on St Vedast).

My general take on the whole thing is that the basic principles on which the organisation are based are fairly sound, but as with most religions / cults / sects etc, it is the human interpretation of these basic principles which has screwed the whole thing up.

There is no doubting that some people need to have an ideology to follow and a group of people to be part of, and that is up to them. As long as it doesn't affect anyone else then that's fine. If they want to wear ankle-length skirts, get up at the crack of dawn and spend a heap of time meditating and chanting then fine.

We start getting into a grey area when it comes to leaving, especially a way down the line. There is mental pressure exerted on the "student" from peers and "tutors", but whereas in some cases this may make it appear that people are being pushed down a route that they don't want to go, in other cases it could just be seen as making every attempt to keep the membership income coming in.

If I had to give advice to anyone thinking of joining the SES, it would be - keep an open mind about what's going on and every so often, stand back and ask yourself "is this what I really want". Similarly, don't lose touch with influences / friends outside the SES, as to a certain extent, they will be your own yardstick.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:03 am

Alban wrote: Similarly, don't lose touch with influences / friends outside the SES, as to a certain extent, they will be your own yardstick.


I've read on other sites that friendships outside the SES are discouraged. That people without the same beleif system are "coarse" and than members should concentrate on the "fine" (like Mozart for example :)).

How true is that and if true, how does one maintain the "influences/friends" outside the SES?

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:21 am

Yes, it is true - there are a lot of things that are "encouraged" or "discouraged"....but everyone is their own master.

If you feel you must do something that you would prefer not to do, such as cutting out certain friends then you must ask yourself why you feel that you must do it. If it is to conform, then what are you conforming to? I think this "pressure" is seen by some as the reason for it's "cult" label.

Personally, I would suggest that if you get rid of all your external friends, then you will only receive a biased view when you come to question other areas of their teaching.

I always found this particular edict to be contrary to the success of the school. I am not religeous, but to my knowledge, Christ is never purported to have said..."Here's the truth.....but keep it to yourself mate". Even the swami (or whatever his title should be) from whom a great deal of this material eminates, makes his teaching freely available to all who seek it. You have to ask yourself what it is they are seeking to keep from the rest of the world.

It is also worth remembering at all times that YOU are paying THEM money to hear their particular brand of philosophy.

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dottydolittle
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:32 pm

Postby dottydolittle » Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:35 pm

Anonymous wrote:I've read on other sites that friendships outside the SES are discouraged. That people without the same beleif system are "coarse" and than members should concentrate on the "fine" (like Mozart for example :)).

How true is that and if true, how does one maintain the "influences/friends" outside the SES?



I don't think it is like that at all! That cannot be true at all! I feel totally out of place with those who do not share the same interest as me. The SES deals with fine details of various philosophy, morals etc etc...

I find it slightly harder to make conversation with those who talk about money and cars and designer lables, hair and makeup all the time than those who discuss the meaning of life, god, who are we, our purpose from time to time.

I am sure they do n ot discourage the frienship out of the SES, it's more that they encourage the freindship inside the SES.


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