The 'Tale Of The 50 women' stories from the 70's

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
Jo-Anne Morgan
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23 pm

Sheila Rosenberg

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:48 pm

Has anyone else read 'Sheila Rosenberg: A Renaissance Lady'? It encapsulates in one volume everything the SES stands for and provides the context for this website for anyone who has not come into contact with the SES. I think it should be required reading for unsuspecting parents who send their children to the day schools. If you read the schools' websites, having read that book, you can get glimpses of the same approach and ideas.

There are some breathtaking sentiments in SR's lecture on 'Philosophy and Feminism' e.g. the Trade Union Movement and the Women's Movement will ultimately fail because they have a destructive and negative basis, namely 'down with the boss'; women cannot be trusted to make any sort of rational decision unless they have been in the SES for 50 years working on their buddhi; it's a surprise that there are women in business and politics because of the aforementioned inability to make rational decisions; it's a pity about the demise of that 'enlightened' law whereby women were not held responsible for crimes they committed (apart from murder), their husband was held responsible instead; women striving for independence is unnatural and part and parcel of the base materialism of the age. This lecture was given in 1990!

And there's much much more. There's a chapter on the saint St Vedast and it refers to St Vedast school as 'providing a pioneering but sound education for those boys and girls under their care'.

In the words of Sheila Rosenberg, may I stop there?

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

Postby Alban » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:51 pm

I'm suprised you were able to read it - I would not have been able to manage it.

Reading time is precious enough as it is - no point in reading something that will just make me angry.

Alban

Jo-Anne Morgan
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Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:17 pm

Well, to be honest, it didn't really make me angry. On one level it's kind of funny because it's so ridiculous.

On another level, I feel incredibly sorry for all those young SES wives and mothers struggling to fit in with this kind of crap and failing miserably. The irony is that the main pedlar of this nonsense was an independent woman who had never had a husband or children so was completely clueless. 5 minutes of being married with kids would have stopped her right in her exalted tracks I'm sure.

The other feeling was almost relief because whenever we tried to question our tutors in the SES about this stuff we could never get a straight answer. They made us feel as if we were imagining it.

I know it's all been on this website but to an extent I didn't really believe it could have been that bad. I thought the SES was flawed but essentially harmless. I don't believe that now. I think the level of brainwashing and manipulation they attempt is quite scary. The conviction they all have is chilling. I wouldn't go back in a million years.

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

Postby Alban » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:59 pm

I guess it wouldn't make me so angry if it was just a bunch of delusional adults - but alas, that is not the case...another bunch adults, ill-informed or delusional themselves, entrust their children to them!

I fully agree about SR spouting a load of crap about something she knows nothing about, but lets face it - nothing new there (LMcL, ND...etc). I would love to hear her views after a good dose of motherhood...but that's never going to happen is it!

Alban

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bonsai
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Location: London

Postby bonsai » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:46 am

Jo-Anne Morgan wrote: I thought the SES was flawed but essentially harmless. I don't believe that now. I think the level of brainwashing and manipulation they attempt is quite scary. The conviction they all have is chilling. I wouldn't go back in a million years.


Well said Jo-Anne. I have to say the more I look at the organisation the more I see just how insideous and manipulating it is. Having seen and begun to understand the grip they have over people, it's really sad to look at my parents and see them hopelessly entrapped in this organisation and telling me that they are willingly there.

The strange thing is that being reasonable is not enough to see. I would suggest that my father is probably one of the most reasonable men I know (except for whatever possessed him to inflict this cultish doctrine on his kids) and yet he cannot be reasoned with when it comes to this and cannot see the flaws in his own rational.

Bonsai

daska
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Location: UK

Postby daska » Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:12 pm

bonsai wrote:I would suggest that my father is probably one of the most reasonable men I know (except for whatever possessed him to inflict this cultish doctrine on his kids) and yet he cannot be reasoned with when it comes to this and cannot see the flaws in his own rational.
Bonsai


ditto... as were many of the other parents I can remember, but even some of those that have left still spout the same old crap because they can no longer think for themselves. my mum even had the gall to tell me that the school had the solution to being angry about what had happened in the past - live in the present! Unfortunately, their version is not what I would describe as living in the present because for me that means acknowledging the past and dealing with it and accepting personal responsiblity for your actions/inactions. No. Their version of living in the present is to ignore the past, deny it and hope it goes away.

Jo-Anne Morgan
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23 pm

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:03 pm

Alban wrote:I guess it wouldn't make me so angry if it was just a bunch of delusional adults - but alas, that is not the case...another bunch adults, ill-informed or delusional themselves, entrust their children to them!


I know, that's the worst of it. Current pupils have been on here saying how wonderful the schools are now. Clearly they've cleaned up their act. They had to by law and also they would never have attracted enough pupils in this day and age. But the core beliefs haven't gone away. That's blindingly obvious from the websites. Leadership for the boys and non-competitiveness and hospitality for the girls.

bonsai wrote:Having seen and begun to understand the grip they have over people, it's really sad to look at my parents and see them hopelessly entrapped in this organisation and telling me that they are willingly there.


Yes I've seen that with some of the people I know. Particularly the women, intelligent rational women. But the organisation does get a hold over you and it's difficult to pull away, even after only a relatively short time. I missed it like crazy when I stopped going. And I don't even know why because by the end, every session I attended left me angry at their material and their methods.

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

Postby Alban » Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:01 pm

daska wrote:...my mum even had the gall to tell me that the school had the solution to being angry about what had happened in the past - live in the present! ...


How to excuse your own abominal actions in 3 simple words!

"Live in the present" - sheesh - they live in a McLaren-authored Discworld, held up by four elephants - Debenham, Boddy, Lambie and Rosenberg...(I like to think of us here as a collective Mort).

Alban

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a different guest
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Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:47 am

Alban wrote:How to excuse your own abominal actions in 3 simple words!

"Live in the present" - sheesh -


Actually it's 4.
You can give me 'pedant of the week' award if you like :)

But yes, 'sheesh' :|
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

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

Postby Alban » Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:55 am

Yeah, I blame it on my education!

Alban

rachelS
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Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:30 pm

Postby rachelS » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:00 am

Hi Everyone. I haven't been on the site for a while. I seemed to lose it somehow and then got busy. But I manged to find it again and have to say how much the stories resonated with me. - that is the poor man with epilepsy and the 50 women and the piece of paper. I loved the laundry story. Very typical.

Leon, I couldn't have put it better. You explain it very well.

I remember to my shame, many times being in a room of ladies where one lady was being pulled to bits and we sat there and did nothing to support her. We mistakenly thought that only her "ahankara" was being dismantled and that 'true self' couldn't be damaged.

The egos of some of the tutors were wonders to behold. One theory that abounded at the time was that 'people in school" were more sensitive physically than 'man asleep'. This might be demonstrated in a number of ways such as have acutely aware senses. One story of a Head of a New Zealand branch of the school illustrates this. Certain pots were supposed to be used for making tea and others for making coffee. But sometimes people got them mixed up and used the coffee pot for tea or the other way round. Mr W, prided himself on his exquisite sensitivity, ( a sign of spiritual progress) and would say in a very smug voice, " This tea has been made in a coffee pot!" The underling who made it would have to humbly apologise, offer to make another one etc. One day he was brought a cup and announced loudly to the assembled company of underlings. "This tea's been made in a coffee cup. I can taste coffee! "
One of the underlings, said in a larconic kiwi voice, "That's probably because it's actually coffee you're drinking!"

I would have loved to have seen his face!

Leontius
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:13 pm

Postby Leontius » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:21 pm

Hi Rachel,

I've been researching St James and the SES for some time now. My mum and dad were utterly enmeshed in the philosophy school and I was sent to the day school. I'm beginning to understand the causes of some of my experiences at St James and time after time the threads lead to the London SES. But it's very difficult to find anyone who was in authority at the time prepared to give a wholehearted explanation - even off the record - of general practices and specific events that I and my friends clearly remember. Most are ashamed and embarrassed by what they allowed to happen to themselves and the kids in their care. And to misquote Lyndon Johnson, those still inside the tent pissing out are much much less forthcoming than those outside the tent pissing in. So people like you, Rachel, are invaluable to people like me.

Right now I'm looking into the universally acknowledged culture of bullying that exists in the SES, with a particular focus on the misogynist bullying. My mum was a victim of one of those public humiliation exercises that you recall. She was left to hang by her friends (the whole of the XYZ-Ladies), including Laura Hyde (senior tutor) and Donald Lambie (leader-in-waiting) while McClaren tore into her. They all sat and watched his filibustering character assassination of my mum while she wept in the face of such naked aggression. Utterly spineless. If that man were alive today!

I wonder if you could elaborate on the groupthink that allowed events like this one to occur. You mentioned that you drew on the notion of a practical dichotomy between the ahankara and the true self in order to pretend that it was acceptable for you to tolerate such behaviour. Were you alone in that? Did you and others talk about this type of bullying and explain it in this way? Was this justification widespread? What do you think would have happened if you had challenged this type of behaviour? What do you now think caused such weakness?

I really hope you feel able to respond to these questions and comment further on the culture of bullying that permeated the organisation.

With respect,

Leontius

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Sam Hyde
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Location: St James boys school
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Postby Sam Hyde » Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:37 am

only 30 years out of date :agrue:
thats old now, like me, only 4 weeks to go!!!!!
"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education"

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a different guest
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Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:52 am

Sam Hyde wrote:only 30 years out of date :agrue:


Showing your caring, sensitive side again I see Sam.
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

Leontius
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:13 pm

Postby Leontius » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:58 pm

Sam,

Good to hear from you. Hope you're doing well at Reading. Things probably have improved but I take your silence on the substance of my post as a formal admission of its accuracy. I'm not trying to pick a fight but I won't be filibustered away by lazy rhetoric and reactionary hysteria. I'm just trying to understand why our parents behaved the way they did for so many years. I realise you must support and defend your mum, as I do mine, but try to remember that it's our parents' responsibility - the real ones and those in loco - to give account of their behaviour.

To that end, you must concede that it is valid to attempt to understand why they corporately embarked on a social experiment like the creation of St. James and why it went so ruinously wrong for so many people. The roots of that lie, I believe, in what they all got up to when they secreted themselves away to the country. That is where, by degrees, perspective was lost and personal autonomy eroded. And the 'progress' made during those residentials was cemented by the perpetual 'duties' which kept your mum and dad and mine too out at Sarum Chase, Chepstow etc. for too many nights per week.

Anyway, if you have any ideas about why they, our parents and teachers, allowed themselves to become so submissive to the organisation, or why or how they allowed the consequences of that weakness to impinge upon our well-being then speak up with courage and confidence.

Don't get nasty, because we both care too much about the people involved to batter them further by indulging personal vendettas that may arise from exchanges on this site. All the incidents must come out in due course; trust that our parents and teachers are big enough to stand up to it. I won't abuse what I know and nor should you. Any ideas?

Regards,

Dan Goldschmied


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