How well does SES live up to its own aims?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
David in Watford
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How well does SES live up to its own aims?

Postby David in Watford » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:15 pm

Good day to all.
Can someone post a copy of the aims part of the SES constitution for me please? I suspect that the aims are laudable, but the implementation flawed.

Tom Grubb
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Postby Tom Grubb » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:45 pm

The SES has a constitution?

David in Watford
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Postby David in Watford » Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:21 am

I thought that all charitable trusts needed a "constitution" of some sort. Your question Tom, made me doubt this so, searching the web, I found this web page:

http://www.charitiesdirect.com/CharityD ... orgid=6375

On this, the aims are said to be:

"To promote the study of the natural laws governing the relations between men in society, and the customs and practices by which communities are governed, and all studies related thereto."

I wonder if these are still the stated aims

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:13 am

Is there someone here with some finance background? For a "charity" that only has 21 employees, the admin costs seem very high (17.5% of total expenditure & 22.13% of total income).

I clicked a couple of other charities at random - admin costs were in the 1%-3% range, despite my random sample charities having from 300 to 6000 employees.

Was I just lucky on my random samples? Or are the figures weird?


ETA: by 'random' I meant I randomly clicked on charities that I had heard of and thought of as 'reputable'.
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:30 am

The SES's details with the charity commission can be found at

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/re ... gno=313115

Here the organisation's purpose is defined as

TO PROMOTE THE STUDY OF NATURAL LAWS GOVERNING THE RELATIONS BETWEEN MEN IN SOCIETY AND ALL STUDIES RELATED THERETO AND TO PROMOTE THE STUDY OF THE LAW, CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES BY WHICH COMMUNITIES ARE GOVERNED AND ALL STUDIES RELATED THERETO TO ADVANCE FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT EDUCATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IN PARTICULAR BY ESTABLISHING OR MAINTAINING OR ASSISTING ONE OR MORE SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN.


I assume here the schools for children include St James.

Bonsai

ross nolan
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"men" again

Postby ross nolan » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:56 pm

Better be quick..... there is that gosh darn word again "Men" ...as in "between men.." etc -- damned sexist bastards !!!!!!

Seriously though, I have contacted the charities commission and asked if the bona fides of the SES have been checked lately (and auditted) -- like who is the recipient of any 'charity'? -- the criteria for continued registration-ability are set out . (got a reply after about two weeks - they do not do updates ..)

What is needed is some local stalwart prepared to act as 'straw man' in effect -- someone close to the action who can initiate a complaint and has "standing' in the legal sense (locus standi) ie has been affected, gyped,duped,defrauded,misled etc etc and can be the nominee for the purposes of an investigation (probably neccesary but not certain - I would like to hand over to a reliable person ) Any likelyhood that misconduct within a notional charity will adverseley affect the public perception (and tightness of pursestrings ) of charities in general is sufficient to trigger action . -- that should be the best 'thin end of the wedge ' to get things started .

Taking offers.
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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:58 pm

I thought I would just post something else in this thread and answer with my view of the question that this thread poses.

There was a distinct start to my own soul searching last year about the SES and St James. I was demonstrating at Art in Action and at the demonstrators dinner the subject of the SES and what it is came up. It is fair to say that very few demonstrators have any idea. Me and my big mouth spouts up that I know something about the SES because I went to St James and as I was telling them things (generally trying to be balanced in what I said and not trying to paint the negative picture that I feel) it struck me that actually this organisation must appear very weird from the outside and that I have no idea of what someone who knows nothing about it might find or judge it to be.

So after A in A I decided to go on a search to find out what the SES was and what someone from the outside would find. It was a troubling search because it started to stir up so much especially when I stumbled across this forum and the whole foundations of my life began to be shaken.

Basically what I found was very little that was out to describe the SES in any way that represents my experience of being in it, both as a foundation group member or as a pupil of St James. As an aside it is my experience of St James that the philosophy was so prevelant during my school life as to be unable to distinguish it as being different to the SES and when I did join a foundation group I found nothing different that I wasn't already exposed to in philosophy lessons or assemblies at school.

Finally three months into my search I acquired a copy of the Secret Cult and read it. I read it hoping to find a description of the SES that no longer applied but sadly here was the first description of the SES that came close to the experiences that I had. This book may have been written in 1985 but it described the organisation that I was a part of and that I left in 1993.

The Secret Cult asks the question about what is the purpose of the SES and comes up with an answer that it is a self serving organisation seeking its own power.

To be honest I am still left with this question and the more and more that I look the less I understand its purpose.

When I looked this morning at the Charity Commissions website to find the aims or constitution of the SES, I was alarmed to find the phrase "AND IN PARTICULAR BY ESTABLISHING OR MAINTAINING OR ASSISTING ONE OR MORE SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN."
In the recent statements from the governors following the Townend inquiry and in the Channel 4 news report St James and the SES ask us to disassociate the two organisations and that whilst staff at St James may bring their beliefs to the job they do there is no control exercised by one organisation on the other. Yet here in the purpose of the SES is its obligation to maintain schools such as St James.

The more I look at the SES, the more purposeless it appears. As an organisation it seems to fail to be able to define, in language that is understandable to the wider public, what it is.

There are people I know where SES beliefs have supplanted the beliefs of the religious traditions in which they were brought up, yet the SES is not a religion (so it says) There are those who attend SES to search for truth and that the SES is an ongoing inquiry for truth. There are people who attend because they have found friends there and they feel socially accepted. Then there are people who's whole life is absorbed in the SES and who work entirely under its influence.

I can not judge whether or not the SES lives up to its aims because I don't know what the aims are.

Bonsai

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:22 pm

I would agree, Bonsai, that the School could be a lot clearer about its aims but I don't recognise that it is self-serving. If it was I wouldn't be interested. If it was, there would be no Art in Action. Do not the demonstrators feel looked after in ways they could hardly expect? I was involved in Art in Action for many years, organising a marquee, and demonstrators could hardly believe their good fortune in being attended to, and served in the way they were. The same goes for the general public at A in A. Service is a key word and action in SES and that service is the bedrock of all contact with the world. No - the School is not self-serving.
About the Charity Commission and its rules - I don't know too much about this but I do know that any organisation seeking charitable status includes in its brief as many activities or purposes as it wishes to have the freedom to fulfil. It follows then that the School does not have an 'obligation' to maintain schools for children, but it does have the freedom to do so. Hope this helps.

Tom Grubb
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Postby Tom Grubb » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:31 pm

David in Watford wrote:I thought that all charitable trusts needed a "constitution" of some sort. Your question Tom, made me doubt this so, searching the web, I found this web page:

http://www.charitiesdirect.com/CharityD ... orgid=6375

On this, the aims are said to be:

"To promote the study of the natural laws governing the relations between men in society, and the customs and practices by which communities are governed, and all studies related thereto."

Good point, David. I was thinking of a constitution in the political sense, i.e. a set of fundamental laws and limits.

ross nolan
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aims etc

Postby ross nolan » Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:29 pm

Taking the 'how well does it live up to it's aims?' at face value or at least the published 'syllabus' for the public introduction course I once (see archives ) drew attention to one telling example;namely the" Chief Seattle Speech", that may not be familiar to new readers so will summarize here.

This is significant in relation to the oft repeated injunction to "neither reject nor accept the teachings" and the overall 'love of wisdom' and paramount importance of 'truth' as THE aim extoled by the organization.

Briefly, a few weeks into the intro course the tutor read out the moving 'recorded' speech of the great chief Seattle of the North West American Indians -- the speech is an incredibly eloquent and poignant statement of, capitulation, really by the wise old leader of his tribe who,whilst concedeing the inevitability of the white man triumphing over the red man by sheer numbers and his better technology nonetheless makes his 'last stand' on the highest moral ground and witheringly tears down the total lack of any sensitivities to the natural world, to feelings for his ancestors and his history,to any conception of finer or more spiritual things of all kinds and finally ,although conceding the fate of his people ,leaves no doubt that the 'savage' and primitive red man is truly the noble one while the white man is seen as being rapacious, crude, brutal and pretty much without any truly human or 'civilized' qualities.

It is a truly moving and humbling 'epistle' that causes most people reading it to feel collective shame for their unthinking destruction of a pristine environment and truly wise native culture - in fact a far truer civilization than their own .

The wording itself is memorable for it's deep understanding and both economy of expression but wide ranging use of revealing metaphor and ,given that it was recorded from an unscripted speech given on his feet by the chief even more astounding (and humbling)

It alludes to the 'white man trampling on the graves of his forebears, his iron horse raping the peace of the land, his wanton slaughter of the buffalo ' and much much more that so clearly shows the brutishness, even if superficially clever, of the souless whiteman and everything he stands for.

That is the point of the lesson and the SES use of this famous recorded 'last testament' of the noble savage (the concept of the unsullied wisdom from the oldest pre technological sources also runs through the reverence for the Gita and ancient ,therefore uncorrupted, Vedic writings and other 'pure' Eastern teachings )

The subject of the lesson being taught was to do with 'the nature of truth' in general -- 'the spirit of enquiry' in particular .

In only the second week's 'lesson' the clear example of the inferiority of Western and 'academic' ways was left in no doubt by the 'quotation' of how Nan-in ,a "Japanese master" during the Meiji era 'received' a university professor and commenced to pour tea into his outstretched cup ,not stopping when it was full but continuing until it spilled and overflowed -- the 'professor' was thus shown how valueless his own 'opinions and speculations' were since,like the cup, his head would have to be emptied before it too could be filled with (oriental) wisdom.

Getting the drift here ?

In fact there WAS NO 'recorded' speech by Chief Seattle that so belittled and humbled the white barbarians --- let alone that the 'iron horse' had not made it's way over the Cascade range or anywhere near the Pacific Northwest at that time, nor did Chief Seattle ever lay eyes on a Buffalo -- they were a thousand miles away on the great plains .

Having "transgressed" by quietly suggesting to the tutor that the tenor, composition and general nature of the Great Chief Seattle speech did not SEEM likely to be genuine when read out, and having researched the 'speech' before the next class, -- in fact proving that,as suspected, it was entirely fabricated (in about 1970 by an Irish scriptwriter for a TV series- from memory - that did not proceed-- check the many independent web sources yourself please ) and giving the' tutor ' the documentary evidence to conclusively prove it's falsity he proceeded to hand out copies to eager 'students' who were so clearly happy to have such an example to confirm their contempt for their own culture .

It made no difference to the tutor to have been shown the actual untruth of his so pivotal example of the innate superiority of the ancient ways and wisdom over the decadent and despicable west /male/technological/rational /modern etc alternative.

It made a difference to ME in that no longer could any "benefit of the doubt" be extended ,nor was the trend of the 'teachings' any longer ambiguous or open to other interpretation -- this was clearly an anti western and anti intellectual agenda and if truth got in the way then it would be ignored.

How does this square with " SES living up to it's aims "?

(This example is after only a couple of 2hr 'classes' -- God only knows how much of this dogma is passed on after YEARS of inculcation -- even from just the first 24 weeks a dozen equally illuminating examples of straight out humbug could be given -- this is totally without the overlay of physical and mental abuse of children it it's care or the 'side effects' on families and the wreckage of mental torment, psychological damage and so much more )

Can the SES appoint somone to state what it IS trying to acheive and perhaps a "defender of the faith" or possibly better a "devil's advocate" so that any of the specific criticisms of the body could be addressed on this forum -- if it is capable of defence this open forum would provide the ideal way to silence the critics .
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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:27 pm

bonsai wrote:Basically what I found was very little that was out to describe the SES in any way that represents my experience of being in it, both as a foundation group member or as a pupil of St James. As an aside it is my experience of St James that the philosophy was so prevelant during my school life as to be unable to distinguish it as being different to the SES and when I did join a foundation group I found nothing different that I wasn't already exposed to in philosophy lessons or assemblies at school.

Finally three months into my search I acquired a copy of the Secret Cult and read it. I read it hoping to find a description of the SES that no longer applied but sadly here was the first description of the SES that came close to the experiences that I had. This book may have been written in 1985 but it described the organisation that I was a part of and that I left in 1993.

The Secret Cult asks the question about what is the purpose of the SES and comes up with an answer that it is a self serving organisation seeking its own power.

To be honest I am still left with this question and the more and more that I look the less I understand its purpose.

When I looked this morning at the Charity Commissions website to find the aims or constitution of the SES, I was alarmed to find the phrase "AND IN PARTICULAR BY ESTABLISHING OR MAINTAINING OR ASSISTING ONE OR MORE SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN."
In the recent statements from the governors following the Townend inquiry and in the Channel 4 news report St James and the SES ask us to disassociate the two organisations and that whilst staff at St James may bring their beliefs to the job they do there is no control exercised by one organisation on the other. Yet here in the purpose of the SES is its obligation to maintain schools such as St James.

The more I look at the SES, the more purposeless it appears. As an organisation it seems to fail to be able to define, in language that is understandable to the wider public, what it is.

There are people I know where SES beliefs have supplanted the beliefs of the religious traditions in which they were brought up, yet the SES is not a religion (so it says) There are those who attend SES to search for truth and that the SES is an ongoing inquiry for truth. There are people who attend because they have found friends there and they feel socially accepted. Then there are people who's whole life is absorbed in the SES and who work entirely under its influence.

I can not judge whether or not the SES lives up to its aims because I don't know what the aims are.

Bonsai


Bonsai

I have stubmled on this thread during one of my sporadic visits to this forum and congratulate you for raising a fascinating issue that seems to encompass so much that is problematic with St James and the SES.

The purpose of the SES throughout its history appears to have shifted focus many times. Initially a group of intelligent people wishing to study the economics and social politics of their time (1930's post Depression). When the eastern mysticism was introduced in the 1960's the study of economics, land ownership etc.. was gradually devalued by the then leader Leon 'Big Mac' MacLaren. The next big event came in the mid 1970's with the formation of St James and later St Vedast - against the wishes of Big Mac it should be noted. Insistent parents created the schools and pestered Big Mac for guidance although his heart was never in it - cue 'The Secret Cult' of 1983 and Big Mac reacted with an "I told you so attitude". result: St Vedast closes but St James expands and grows.

In the meantime the SES remains devoted to the development of a complex esoteric knowledge hierarchy - although strangely those with knowledge AND money rise faster up the hierarchy. Philosophy material is rewritten by Raz and becomes the basis of Part 1 and St James classroom tuition. Study of economics now relegated to small obscure cliques.

1992 sees Big Mac resigned to his role as 'Governor' of St James and passing judgement on a case of sexual antics between 2 pupils in Sixth form. Liaison had occurred outside school hours and outside shcool premisis yet the meddling hand of the unelected 'shadow governance' passed judgement despite objections from 'real' governors.

1995 Miss Caldwell's successor is appointed by the 'shadow governor', now Lambie, without consultation, let alone sanction, of the full elected governing body.

1996 Imminent move of Boys' school to Twickenham - predominantly a white middle-class suburb. Report commissioned by Lambie and governors to assess the perception of St James by the public and its operating structure. The conclusions of its author were not what Lambie wanted to hear and it was supressed.

Obviously there are some minor changes to the facade of the schools but there remains a dependence on the incestuous relationship between St James and the SES. Governors are still all committed SES members and Lambie is still the 'shadow governor'.

Are we going to see any significant change in the structure of the school governance in the proposed 'reshuffle' at the end of this term? - I doubt it.

Will any non-SES members/sympathisers be appointed as governors? - I doubt it.

Will we see the establishment of a PTA? - I doubt it

If my doubts are confirmed - what then? Will St James and the SES continue its usual practice of struthious arrogance or is there a genuine desire to address the problems that it currently faces? I would be delighted if they took the correct and honourable course of action, I am however extremely doubtful that they have the courage to admit their mistakes or the vision to embrace the necessary changes for the benefit of all.

The (in)action of the SES speaks volumes to me about its purpose - to remain insular without engaging with the real world. Although the real world to them is something entirely different and in fact the world is only an illusion that distracts us from the real world. If that sounds confusing - it is meant to and to find out the Truth of it you will have to join the SES, I'm afraid.

The SES is an EXTREMELY wealthy organisation that could be conducting research of the highest level into genuine issues and problems that face society. The social economics of LLoyd George were an inspiration in the 1930's and are still relevant (maybe more so) today. Rather than engage in this kind of activity the SES continues to massage its own ego with self-satisfying events such as AinA.

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Postby bonsai » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:01 pm

Snowman wrote:Obviously there are some minor changes to the facade of the schools but there remains a dependence on the incestuous relationship between St James and the SES. Governors are still all committed SES members and Lambie is still the 'shadow governor'.

Are we going to see any significant change in the structure of the school governance in the proposed 'reshuffle' at the end of this term? - I doubt it.

Will any non-SES members/sympathisers be appointed as governors? - I doubt it.

Will we see the establishment of a PTA? - I doubt it


Snowman,

I hold perhaps a little more hope than you on this issue. I think there are plenty of indicators to suggest that the outcomes could be more positive than many of us cynics expect.

The fact is that everything that has happened in terms of the inquiry and the statements (semi apologies) that we have received so far has been entirely unprecedented in the history of the organisations.

I suspect that there is a more open opportunity for anyone to question things going on in both organisations right now than there ever has been. I hope that both organisations also recognise that unless they take this opportunity to address all these issues properly the criticisms of them will not go away.

Snowman wrote:If my doubts are confirmed - what then? Will St James and the SES continue its usual practice of struthious arrogance or is there a genuine desire to address the problems that it currently faces? I would be delighted if they took the correct and honourable course of action, I am however extremely doubtful that they have the courage to admit their mistakes or the vision to embrace the necessary changes for the benefit of all.


I fully accept your cynicism and I suffer from it often too. For us that have been through the St James education for the majority of school careers, the injuries and deceptions have been lived a lifetime.

I too hope that both St James and the SES have the courage to take the honourable course of action.

For St James to break away from the SES requires the openess of the teaching staff at the school to recognise the impact of what they are doing on the pupils themselves. I spoke to someone recently who said "Most boys leave St James absolutely hating the philosophy". The job for the staff is to ask the question, "Why?"

Then the Governors have to have the convictions to take their legal responsibilities for the schools seriously and make a decision themselves, which they themselves can stand by. It's no use referring to the SES or Lambie for guidance, the governors must make their own decision for what they believe, or can best determine is in the best interest of St James and the pupils under their care. Whatever the source of real decision making about what happens in the schools, the governors must recognise that they themselves are personally responsible for it and may be held to account. Lambie, MacLaren and the SES can not be held to account for what happens at St James because they have no legal responsibility.

Snowman wrote:The (in)action of the SES speaks volumes to me about its purpose - to remain insular without engaging with the real world. Although the real world to them is something entirely different and in fact the world is only an illusion that distracts us from the real world. If that sounds confusing - it is meant to and to find out the Truth of it you will have to join the SES, I'm afraid.


The inaction over resignations (or sackings) is the only thing that really surprises me. The fact that a number of key peoples positions are entirely untennable in the light of Mr Townend's report does indicate to me that the arrogance, self righteousness and the power trips are going to take more than we imagine to dislodge.

I think we need to allow both organisations some time to adjust and review such that they do have the chance to make the right decision instead of hasty ones. At the same time the organisations would do well to admit that they are reviewing things (hopefully seriously) in the light of last years require to allow us who want to see the necessary changes so badly can have the patience to wait for them.

Snowman wrote:The SES is an EXTREMELY wealthy organisation that could be conducting research of the highest level into genuine issues and problems that face society. The social economics of LLoyd George were an inspiration in the 1930's and are still relevant (maybe more so) today. Rather than engage in this kind of activity the SES continues to massage its own ego with self-satisfying events such as AinA.


The SES could be a lot of things but it has a lot of history to shed before it can be. My conclusions more recently about what the SES is that whatever the honourable intentions of Andrew MacLaren, the group was hijacked by an extremely egotistical man Leon MacLaren who created an organisation purely for his own personal spiritual satisfactions.

Bonsai

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Postby Free » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:49 pm

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Postby sugarloaf » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:09 pm

Bonsai wrote about the governors:
The inaction over resignations (or sackings) is the only thing that really surprises me. The fact that a number of key peoples positions are entirely untennable in the light of Mr Townend's report does indicate to me that the arrogance, self righteousness and the power trips are going to take more than we imagine to dislodge.

I agree. I don't think theres anyone that could argue that these people - who clearly have responsibility for what went on - ought to be removed from their posts.

Whether they resign, or are allowed to retire quetly when the governors review is announced at the end of term, I think will be a significant reflection on where st James/SES stands.

Sadly I'd put my money on the latter, which means that even if the schools have realised that something went very very wrong, they refuse to admit it. (that alone should raise some serious questions about whats going on at the school today)
Its this arrogance and conceit that I think angers so many people, as it in effect renders any apology utterly worthless.

You cant say you're sorry, and then act in a way that shows youre not

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Postby Free » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:26 pm

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