Inheritence and wills: SES source of wealth

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
Witness
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Inheritence and wills: SES source of wealth

Postby Witness » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:11 am

I've started this post for discussion about SES members leaving cash and/or capital to the SES. I would also like to know if SES members are being encouraged, or coerced, into making SES an heir in wills. Friends and family of SES members could ask around.

Much has been said about SES' low membership fees, which seem to indicate the brainwashing isn't about financial gain, but more about psychological power over devotees.

But after taking another look at 'Secret Cult' and hearing stories about people leaving half of everything they have to the SES, it strikes me that there may be a link between the brainwashing and the wealth SES have.

If anyone knows how SES built up its big real estate portfolio, that would also be good to know. Were Waterperry, Nanpanton, Sarum Chase and SES's other expensive addresses gained thanks to the donations and legacies of devoted members?

How much is your husband/wife/brother/sister/father/mother/friend leaving to SES in their will? And who told them to do it?

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:02 pm

Nanpanton, I understand, was left as a legacy.

Bonsai

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:35 am

I don't know of anyone coerced into donating/willing, in my experience. And I don't know of anyone who would tell me what they were willing and how much. Most people consider that very confidential info until after they die.

In the US, the buildings in NY were purchased and I believe the Canadian house used for residentials was donated by the Foxes, who have a lot of $$$.

ConcernedMum
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Postby ConcernedMum » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:34 am

"Knowing the quality and character of the house, they could not bear to think of it falling into neglect as had happened to so many other mansions in the hands of the Land Commission. The Mitchells managed the house as a study centre, accommodating archaeologists studying the Newgrange complex and other sites, and other charities and institutions. Among these groups was the School of Philosophy and Economic Science. Approaching retirement, the Mitchells wished to see the house in good hands, and this coincided with the school’s need for a residential study centre. A purchase on favourable terms was arranged and donations for this purpose came from the membership of the school". www.townleyhall.ie/history.pdf[url]

Hi Witness
This is the history of Townley Hall which is now owned by the School of Philosophy and Economic Science in Ireland. Funny you should ask as only recently I had a conversation with someone, who had a connection in who had been very involved with the Irish School of Philosophy and Economic Science group in the 1980s. Apparently there was quite a lot of pressure then on attendees to donate money towards the purchase of Townley Hall.

Putting people under severe pressure is clearly not right, but the house has been very well maintained since which I guess a lot of these type of houses in Ireland fell into disrepair.

Anyway this person reported that when their connection left the School of Philosophy, their former friends were instructed not to talk to them. Amazing how people can hold such delusions that they can classify awful behaviour as spiritually superior! Laughable really.
Last edited by ConcernedMum on Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

daska
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Postby daska » Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:32 am

Dad put a bequest in his will. Mum pointed out that she had no intention of predeceasing him and this would leave her struggling financially. Dad still firmly believes that he 'ought' to leave a substantial donation to the SES when he dies.

Mum won, which in my view is entirely right as they're not exactly loaded, but it does indicate that there is pressure on members, explicit or otherwise, to carry on donating after their death.

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Merry
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Postby Merry » Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:01 am

In 27 years I was not once, in any way whatsoever, coerced into giving or promising money to the school. Nor did I hear of anyone else having that experience. I'm sorry to say this is one thread that does not have any legs to it and you'll need to look for another line of attack.

daska
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Postby daska » Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:42 am

I don't agree. Try taking it out of context.

Over the last few years there have been lots of instances reported in the press about predominantly Muslim issues over dress codes - in schools, offices, hairdressing establishments...! Legally, and according to the Muslim council, there is no imperative for the people concerned to insist on wearing the clothes they claim are demanded by their chosen religion. There are suitable dress codes agreed. Yet, the people themselves firmly believe that they HAVE to wear these items of clothing. Why do they still believe that? Because their particular leader won't disabuse them, or because they feel that there are other pressures that can't be openly voiced. I remember seeing an interview with a couple of men whose mum insisted on wearing the burkha - "she's always worn it, it's her choice to carry on wearing it". But guessing her age at 60+ (judging age of sons at 45-50ish) how easy is it for her to move from 'having' to wear it, to truly believing that it is no longer necessary unless she is explicitly told that she must NOT wear it?

The SES have never, in my experience, believed that family commitments override anything they want. To the point that my dad felt he had to ask for permission to come to my wedding and couldn't just inform them that he couldn't attend on that day! So I believe there is still a pressure. Largely because no-one has explicitly said "We expect you to put your family first, if you do leave us a bequest it must only be if your family can afford it".

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:11 pm

Merry wrote:In 27 years I was not once, in any way whatsoever, coerced into giving or promising money to the school. Nor did I hear of anyone else having that experience. I'm sorry to say this is one thread that does not have any legs to it and you'll need to look for another line of attack.


Merry, I think it is here that the SES as an organisation entirely fails to recognise its influence. Whilst nothing it seems to proactively advocate might be classed as direct coercion, it does have a level of hold and influence over its members and followers that puts their lives and priorities out of balance. It is because of this, more than anything that this organisation finds itself classed as a cult.

Whether or not a tutor suggests to a student that they should leave money or assets in a will to the SES, does not mean that undue indirect pressure has been placed on the student and that they do not feel an influence of the organisation when it comes to making such decisions.

As an oldboy of St James, I cannot describe to you the pressure that the school and the SES exerted over me on certain decisions, even though at the same time I was being told that I had the freedom to choose. Meditation and joining a foundation group together with the decision as to which university I should go to are examples of this. I certainly hold a high degree of respect for my fellow class mates who were able to decide against these choices when the tide of guidance from the school and the peer pressure of everyone else doing it was flowing the other way. I also envy the support of parents that these kids had and that was something I could never depend on as my parents were too engrossed in the SES themselves.

St James and the SES are entirely ignorant to the influence that they have or the need to address these pressures. No SES member should ever have to stop and think about putting the needs of their own family before their own attendance of group or residentials. Yet there are plenty of examples where this is the case. Given these examples, and daska quotes one above, it is not unreasonable to question the moral basis with which gifts are bequeathed to the organisation.

Yes every religion, every cultish organisation and even political parties are in danger of and probably have examples of over influencing their memberships for the selfish ends of the organisation. However this does not excuse the SES especially when its party line is simply one of ignore and if it can't ignore then deny responsibility.

Bonsai

chittani
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Postby chittani » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:40 am

My experience has been the same as Merry. A couple of years ago the new Treasurer of the School spoke to a gathering about charitable donations and bequests. Obviously his job is to raise money, and in the politest possible way that was what he was doing, but he admitted that such donations had "fallen off a cliff" in recent times.

The School is not these days in an obvious need in terms of buildings or whatever. That, for me, explains why there is no pressure or even much encouragement to donate, and why very few people actually do.

I'm sorry, but that is the dull truth. This is old stuff that has had no validity since the 1970s.

daska
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Postby daska » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:20 pm

Hmmm... Were either Merry or Chittani members in the 70s??? I'm not sure either of them are old enough... Take it as a positive stroke guys, I'm not calling you babies, but you're not exactly geriatric are you?????

I'm talking recent events, within the last 3 years.

Younger members are more able to take on board the changes, hence my analogy of the 60+ yr old woman in her Burka.

Witness
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evidence

Postby Witness » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:27 pm

An SES member has shown me their will. They leave a sizable proportion to SES. That is their choice, as it is to spend around 7 hours a week meditating the SES way, plus around 9 hours a week in SES classes, plus many weekends and a few weeks each year on SES retreat, plus punctuating every family meal with an SES 'pause' that creates a barrier between them and their non-SES family, not to mention the SES clothes, the SES posture, the SES linguistic clichés ( "Live in the Present" "Drop it" "Use your full attention" "I'm on the path to the absolute" "I've met a Fully Realized Being, have you?") and the SES fake smile when they are really screaming inside.

This person speaks of SES peer pressure to chose an SES partner, SES peer pressure to sacrifice time, and SES peer pressure to put SES before everything else in their lives, e.g. putting an abusive SES partner before the happiness of their own child. This person suffers from depression and frequent mental and emotional confusion. They've revealed their 'secret' SES mantra, they have admitted SES teaching is 'bullshit' but they also say it is their world, and they cannot leave it. Scary stuff for a loved-one to hear.

My conclusion is that the donation in the will is the result of living under constant SES peer pressure that is extremely persuasive. Coercion seems to be unnecessary for SES if it already controls a person's life.

daska
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Postby daska » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:12 pm

It's a bit like a casino's defence that the customer chooses to bankrupt their family by putting every penny in the slot machine...

...but casinos are obliged to take measures to identify and prevent their 'customers' from getting to that point.

NYCGirl

Re: Inheritence and wills: SES source of wealth

Postby NYCGirl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:41 am

Free Thinker (and others - but I think FT may find this particularly interesting) -

I know I am responding to an old post, but I had a bit of knowledge to add on the NYC properties. FT may well be right that in general they were purchased for $$ (although I wonder where this $$ came from). However, the School used to own a brownstone on 95th street between Central Park West and Columbus, and the story there was a bit more complicated. The brownstone had a number of apartments in it, and some of the residents, all School members, actually purchased parts of the building - perhaps one or more apartments (I am not sure exactly how this worked - probably in a condo or coop sort of arrangement). I am not sure if all the residents did this or just the ones who could afford it. Anyway, the tenants eventually all contributed/donated their ownership rights in the property to the School. One resident in the building, a single man I believe, ultimately left the School and subsequently sued the School, sometime in the 70s, on the grounds that he was brainwashed into turning his apartment over to the School. I suspect there is a way to locate the legal brief or the court's ruling on the case in public records, although I'm not sure how far the case actually went, if it was settled, etc.

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Postby Free » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:51 am

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Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Free Thinker
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Re: Inheritence and wills: SES source of wealth

Postby Free Thinker » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:18 pm

I did find both of those posts quite interesting. I'll have to ask some family members more about those issues. I had no idea that some of the tenants owned shares of the buildings. The school certainly had good lawyers when they crafted the contracts. When it sold the property on 95th street, it went for a cool $4 million. I don't know if the school had any mortgages, etc. on the property but it certainly didn't cost them anywhere near that when they originally purchased it. Then the building on 80th street was sold a few years later. I'm not sure how much that one sold for but I'd imagine it went for even more given the neighborhood.

These are the first instances of what I'd consider actual scamming that I've ever heard about the school.

I love the idea that those higher up in the school, presumably closer on their way to realization, find it necessary to cheat newer members out of their property. As if amassing high valued real estate somehow gets you closer to Atman.

As for the case settled out of court, whether he was a cunning man or not, the school just gave up other people's money in the suit and I can't feel very bad about that except that when they sold the buildings, they should have given back a portion to the families who initially bought in.

I'm glad to hear that Ms. Dillingham was given an annuity in lieu of property rights rather than nothing at all. I would very much like to hear more information on what really happened with her rather than the "nervous breakdown" explanation I was given at the time. Anyone with more info is welcome to send me a private message as I'm sure it's a rather sticky situation.


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