SES blog / bulletin board

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
Abel Holzing
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SES blog / bulletin board

Postby Abel Holzing » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:07 pm

A few members of the SES have set up a discussion blog, discussing SES-internal matters in a very public way. The blog is approx. one year old, and it claims that it has been approved by Lambie, the leader of the school. According to the latest post, the format is currently being changed to that of a message board.

blog address: http://kaiwalya.blogspot.com
message board address: http://kaiwalya.hyperboards.com
Last edited by Abel Holzing on Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Goblinboy
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Postby Goblinboy » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:46 am

Thanks Abel.

I think I recognise Kevin's voice from these forums. Good to see what he and others are trying to do.

Some interesting material - worth a look.

Miscellaneous observation - one-time contributor to these fora and St James teacher Katherine Watson is no longer a member of the SES. http://kaiwalya.blogspot.com/2007/01/from-katharine-watson.html.
Last edited by Goblinboy on Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:07 am

Wow - I wish I'd known about it sooner. Some of my exact thoughts have been voiced very clearly. Particularly by Kevin and Laura.

I found some of Son of Moses more political/culturally-oriented posts rather offensive but that's neither here nor there in the context of the other school discussions there.

Thanks for sharing it Abel!

Matthew
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Postby Matthew » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:33 am

If this gives SES members a forum to question, challenge or debate material which is proffered as 'The Truth', then it must surely be a good thing.

There's also a note that mentions it has been set up partly in response to this forum:
The "whyaretheydead" message board had forced St James and the School into positive action.

A positive step too that they can now publicly question "How should the School speak of itself?":
http://kaiwalya.hyperboards.com/index.p ... topic_id=4

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:19 pm

Well this is a very interesting development and I applaud Kevin for setting it up.

I haven't read much of the blog yet but have glimpsed at it and will try and read more as I hope that it will go some way to answering some of the questions I have. I'm also tempted to sign up and join the new forum to pose questions to which I have answers. I guess one thing that is not clear is to whom this new forum is open to.

The main reason I welcome this site is it just might offer people off the street who are thinking about joining the organisation the sorts of subject matters and the type of answers that they can expect.

I am intrigued by Kevin's welcome message which contains the following statement regarding "criticism" to be regarded as a principle in the forum.

Kevin from welcome message on kaiwalya.hyperboards.com wrote:4. Don't Criticise
A principle of the School is that one should not criticise others. We can speak the truth pleasantly, and not speak pleasant untruths.


I suspect that what the above statement is intended to mean is that participants should behave in a civilised manner towards each other. Also that participants when raising issues should be careful in the manner that they do so, so as not to cause insult or injury to other participants. And that participants should not be deliberately provocative in what they raise.

However I think there is an irony to the choice of words that has been used here and it is perfectly possible to interpret that statement as do not criticise the philosophy or people in the organisation. Given my experience of the SES and St James, they are organisations that believe that they have a monopoly on the truth and are highly dogmatic organisations that don't take kindly to being criticised but is an organisation that seems unable to act in the face of criticism.

I hope that the site manages to become one that allows the SES to start to reconsider how it engages with the world and population at large and can clarify the message that it is intending to send. I hope that there will be plenty of informative and lively discussions about the beliefs and values that the organisation promotes. I guess I hope that it helps the organisation step out from the shadows of the criticism and deceit that many currently label it with. I hope this happens for all those who are still in it and for all those who have been hurt in some way by the organisation. None of this will happen though unless the organisation does allow itself to be criticised and face that criticism and where necessary change in light of that criticism. The danger is that this site becomes an SES members only forum where no real discussion takes place and it becomes a self serving general back slapping arena that helps the organisation isolate itself further than it already has.

Bonsai

chittani
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Ahem

Postby chittani » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:42 pm

Hello everyone, Kevin here.

I was a tad concerned when someone told me that this had been posted here, but what you've all written makes me feel better about it. My own belief has always been that the vast majority of the people on here are just trying to move on, and to effect positive change in the meanwhile. I hope that people will respect what I and others are trying to do and not read things into it that aren't there.

Bonsai, I can see why you say what you do, but I think that if you read through a few of the blog posts you will find that it is no way toothless or uncritical. As you say, I'm just trying to establish an environment that is reasonably safe for people to speak. Also, the blog & forum should not be a place where individuals get attacked in person.

As for your other concern about the site becoming

an SES members only forum where no real discussion takes place and it becomes a self serving general back slapping arena that helps the organisation isolate itself further than it already has.


there are a number of issues here.

When I set up the blog in April last year it was because I felt it was ridiculous that the only place for an honest discussion of the SES was on THIS bulletin board. Whatever the strengths and benefits of WATD, its existence is a symptom of larger problems within the SES. That's to say, if we had dealt with the issues raised by The Secret Cult way back when, there would have been no need for "cult-busting". As it is, obviously we do need it.

So the idea of the blog was to create a place where people who are members of the School er, diaspora, who are not blind to its flaws but who don't think it is an evil cult beyond redemption could communicate with each other. I didn't want to keep anyone out - and you and the others that have posted here today would be very welcome - but I also wanted to keep things low-key, and I couldn't see how that would be possible if SOME people from WATD were to participate.

There are some people who appear to hate the School and everything about it and, while I can usually understand where they are coming from, I don't think that is a basis for constructive dialogue.

The forum was only started yesterday, and it's an attempt to broaden the conversation out. That could include anyone here who has been a member of the School, or perhaps just of St James. Anyone who hasn't got direct experience will probably find it too dull and may not have anything original to contribute.

I would just like to say that if anyone does want to participate, we are prepared to welcome you with open arms so long as you're happy to observe the principles as set out. If you don't I'm afraid I have to do the police dog bit, because if the forum does become aggressive or harmful then I am responsible for that. Ultimately if it turns sour I will just delete it, and I think most of you will agree that would be a shame.

Abel, Matthew, Goblinboy, Free Thinker - thank you also for thoughtful, non-kneejerk reactions.

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:16 pm

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for posting here to tell us more about it. I was going to contact you because I am interested in joining the board. I read through quite a few of the blog posts although I didn't have time for all of them. And I was quite heartened at much of what I saw. The post about the younger members asking for change and getting it and the senior members saying that change hadn't happened before because it wasn't asked for really spoke to me. When I was still a member, we did ask for and get some change. But in general, the atmosphere was very oppressive and most of the time it seemed like change would never occur so there was no point is asking. Believe me, I tried.

Anyhow, I'd love to talk to some of the current members to see how things are going, and to share some of my experiences and suggestions. I would never rejoin now but despite the major problems I had there, there was also a lot of good and good people there, and I'd be happy to be part of making the school a better place for those who still attend.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:52 pm

Hi FT

You would be really welcome.

The regular members are from a wide spread of ages and views and, as you might have seen from the blog, we do not represent a united front or a single position. It's an evolving situation and I hope it continues in that way.

By the way, with reference to your earlier post, there were some more recent blog comments from Son of Moses that I think most of us found very moving and admirable.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:00 pm

Abel,

In response to your opening post, I wouldn't want to give the impression that this is "approved" by the leadership of the SES. I suppose it is the difference between a personal liking for something and an official stamp of approval.

The blog doesn't have any official status and that's the way we like it. And I don't know what he thinks about the new forum.

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:38 pm

Great! I joined the new board and have posted already. I did an intro post in the "outed" thread. It's very brief, but I'm happy to elaborate and perhaps I'll link to a few threads here where I've already written a lot.


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