A reality check

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
chittani
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:03 pm

A reality check

Postby chittani » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:50 am

Let us agree that at the time of the publication of The Secret Cult in the mid-80s, its authors made many good points. The SES was, if not a cult, then certainly cult-like in its behaviour. Members were encouraged to see themselves as special and on the path of Truth, and to regard their membership of the SES as more important than their families, their jobs or their non-SES friends. The day schools it had set up were staffed by many people whose inexperience as teachers was paralleled by their conviction that what they were doing was utterly right, and its governance was negligent. Some of the pupils of those schools, especially in the 1970s, were certainly treated badly.

The leader of the SES, Leon MacLaren went to his teacher in India, His Holiness Sri Shantananda Saraswati, and raised the question of The Secret Cult. Whatever may have been in his mind about it, Shantananda replied, in a memorable phrase, that it should be regarded as "a shot across the bows from the universe" - a warning that all was not right, and that it should be taken seriously.

I joined the SES in 1987, just after all of this, although I was unaware of any of it. When I went to university in 1989 I joined a new Youth Group which had just been set up and for the next three years attended a rigorous programme of 'residentials' (18 weekends per year, plus at least one full week!). In many ways the old ideas were still in place, but in others, things were changing. Ours was the last Youth Group that completed the programme, and after that it faded out - young people were no longer interested in this kind of commitment. There were many in the SES who blamed the times and falling moral standards, but it was obvious to me that it was the SES that was failing to renew itself. The warning shot of The Secret Cult had been heard, but there was no real understanding of what to do about it.

It took some years after the death of Leon MacLaren in 1994 for change to really begin to take hold. My son started at St James in 1997, and my daughter in 1999. Corporal punishment was no longer used at that time, but discipline was still fairly strong. Six years later we decided to move out of London, and experienced quite a bit of subtle pressure not to take this step. Even so, we felt that it was the right thing to do, and I must say we have never looked back. Educationally my children were three years ahead of their peers at the local primary school. When it came to secondary education, we eventually chose the independent route. We sent my son to a school that is in every way different to St James - chaotic, relaxed and not at all into sport - and he has flourished. We sent my daughter to a girls' school that is pretty much St James without the philosophy - and she has also flourished.

All of this time I have been a member of the SES, and over the years my discontent with the old ways grew. As early as 1990 I could see the need for more balance between individual expression and corporate discipline. I think I would have left, but in 1999 I came across Mr Jaiswal, the man who translated the conversations with the Shankaracharya, and from him I got the idea that there was another way. I went to see him and he asked what I had liked about the talk I had heard him give. I replied that it was a vision of a philosophy that did not depend on dogmatic assertion but on reason and creativity, and in which every individual had a contribution to make. He was really delighted with that. He told me that the new leader Mr Lambie was a different sort of man to Mr MacLaren - not so forceful, but very gentle. This had not always been evident to everyone, as initially Mr Lambie had tried to imitate his teacher, but as time has gone by it has been shown to be true. Although Jaiswal was in his 70s, what I took from him was that there was hope for the organization in which I had learned so much and - let's be honest - enjoyed so much.

Changes took place slowly, but by about 2003 there was a definite transformation visible. No longer were SES members required to put their 'School' commitments ahead of anything. Groups were rearranged in order to make it easier for families, and there was no longer the same use of censure or punishment when someone did not obey an instruction.

At about this time, it was also evident that there were a lot of issues from the past that had not been addressed. This message forum allowed the former pupils of St Vedast and St James to bring this vividly home. Battles between the reforming and hardline factions within the School must have taken place, which resulted in the establishment of the Inquiry under James Townend, an independent QC. Although this was attacked by some as a whitewash, its findings were hard-hitting and gave the critics of St James plenty of ammunition. It also provided the opportunity for the ex-pupils of St James who had remained in the SES - my contemporaries - to speak. On one unforgettable occasion two years ago I marvelled as one after another they stood up to tell it how it was to the SES leader. At another occasion, at which I was not present, they did the same for Mr Debenham, much to his shock and surprise.

Speaking as an outsider to this, it appears to me that while there are many within the organization that would like to address the issues of the past fully, there are others who are unable to do so. In between these two groups, there are a lot of people who are not sure of what should be done.

Looking back, it is undeniable that virtually all of the major issues are now over 20 years old. As someone who experienced the tail end of the severe discipline of the old SES, and whose children went through the tail end of old style St James, I can say with some certainty that the issues that were rightly highlighted by Hounam and Hogg in their book are over. There are some people who should in all conscience be apologising for what they did. There are others who should perhaps if justice were done have been punished. But people are not - and this is the key point - suffering new injuries.

We have had current pupils of St James posting on here - and they are pretty much happy with their school, and frankly would like to be left in peace. We have had current SES members - and again, we are pretty much happy with what is going on and WE would certaintly like to be left in peace. Whatever you suffered, I didn't do it. We have had parents of St James (or affiliated schools) pupils on here, and their concerns are pretty much at the level of complaints I hear from parents at other schools - and there is nothing as bad as my friend whose daughter has just developed anorexia after two years of bullying at a state secondary.

A question in my mind while posting on here has always been whether the suffering of students at St James or St Vedast was worse than what I experienced at sink schools in Ireland, where 80% of the parents were unemployed. The thing about that is, I had ten years of misery, but I have no Organization to blame for it. It was just the way things were. Was their childhood worse than my classmates who used to arrive at school with purple bruises over half their faces, and who lived in houses with water dripping down the walls? It is probably a stupid question.

Yes, some people owe you an apology. Maybe you'll get it, or maybe not, but maybe you would be better to stop badgering pensioners. There would be more dignity in it.

Let me be clear - I have nothing but regret and disgust at what was done to people in the name of Truth, and I will say that to anyone in or out of the SES. But my own opinion is that you are now doing more damage than good - damage to current pupils at St James who have to live with this old stuff, damage to people like me who are trying to do some good in the world, and probably damage to yourselves as well. The longer you carry on, the more it becomes a matter of revenge.

I won't say to you 'move on', but it's time to stop.

ConcernedMum
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Location: Ireland

Postby ConcernedMum » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:47 pm

Thank you for sharing your story Chittani. It was nice to hear it. I was wondering about how to respond. It seems futile to respond point by point, because to me, if you really read what has been written on this board, then you wouldn't be saying what you are saying, and if you have read the recent comments on this board, and you don't see that, how can any additional words convince you that there are ongoing issues, and that, among other reasons for this board's existence, its justice and not revenge thats the goal.

And then, in the funny way that the universe works, tonight I got my answer. I'm currently reading the Wishing Chair stories by Enid Blyton to my son. A bolt from the dark from Enid Blyton, why whoodve thunk it?

So, hope you all are sitting comfortably.....
The stories begin when Mollie and Peter go to buy their mother a birthday present and from that lovely impulse, they discover the most extraordinary thing - a chair that can fly and grant wishes! The wishing chair takes them on some marvellous adventures - to a castle where they narrowly escape from a giant and rescue Chinky, the pixie, to the Land of Dreams, and to a disappearing island!

In tonight's adventure, the wishing chair took Mollie, Peter and Chinky to a big castle built on a cloud.......

"The chair flew to the castle. There was a big front door standing open. The chair flew inside. "Goodness!" said Mollie, in alarm. "This isn't very polite. We ought to have knocked!" The chair came to rest in a big kitchen. A small goblin, with pointed ears, green eyes, and bony legs and arms, was sitting in a chair reading a paper. When the wishing chair flew in with Chinky, Mollie and Peter in it, he jumped up in astonishment. The children and Chinky got out of the chair. "Good morning", said Chinky. "I'm so sorry to come in like this - but our chair didn't wait to knock." The goblin bowed politely. "It doesn't matter at all!" he said. "What a marvellous chair you have, and how pleased I am to see you! Pray sit down and let me give you some lemonade!" They all sat down on stools. The goblin rushed to a cupboard and brought out a big jug of lemonade. "It is so nice to see such pleasant visitors," said the goblin, putting a glass of lemonade before each of them. "And now, will you have biscuits?"

"Thank you," said Mollie and Peter and Chinky. They felt that it was kind of the goblin to welcome them - but they didn't like him at all. He seemed
much too polite!

"Another glass of lemonade?" asked the goblin, taking Chinky's empty glass. "Oh do! It is a pleasure, I assure you, to have you here! Another biscuit, little girl? I make them myself, and only save them for special visitors."
"But we aren't very special," said Peter, thinking that the goblin was really silly to say such things.
"Oh yes, you are very special," said the goblin, smiling politely at them all. "So good of you to come and see an ugly little goblin like me!"
"But we didn't mean to come and see you," said Mollie truthfully. Chinky frowned at her. He didn't want to her to offend the goblin. He did not trust him at all. He wanted to get away as soon as he could.
"Well," said Chinky, finishing his biscuit, "it is kind of you to have welcomed us like this. But now we must go."
"Good-bye and thank you" said the polite goblin. He shook hands with each of them and bowed very low. The turned to go to the wishing chair.

And then they had a most terrible shock! The wishing-chair was not there! It was gone. "I say! Where's the wishing-chair?" shouted Chinky. "Goblin, where's our chair?" "Oh, pixie, how should I know?" said the goblin. "Haven't I been looking after you every minute? It must have flown away when you were not looking."
"Well, its funny if it has," said Chinky. "We should have seen it, or at least felt the wind of its wings flapping. I don't believe you, goblin. You have done something with our chair- your servants have taken it away! Tell me quickly, or I will punish you!"

"Punish me!" said the goblin. "And how would you do that, pray? You had better be careful, pixie - how are you going to away from my castle without a wishing-chair? I live here by myself in the clouds!"
"Be careful, Chinky," said Peter. "Don't make him angry. Goodness knows how we'd escape from here if he didn't help us!" Mollie looked frightened. The little goblin smiled at her politely, and said, "Don't be afraid, pretty little girl. I will treat you as an honoured guest for as long as you like to stay with me in my castle."
"We don't want to stay with you at all," said Chinky "We want our wishing-chair! What have you DONE with it?"

But he could get no answer from the polite goblin. It was most tiresome. What in the world were they to do?

Chinky suddenly lost his temper. He rushed at the goblin to catch him and shake him. The goblin looked scared. He turned to run and sped out of the big kitchen and into the hall. Chinky ran after him. Mollie and Peter looked at one another. "Chinky will get us all into trouble," said Mollie. "He really is a silly-billy. If he makes the goblin angry, he certainly won't help us to get away. I suppose that naughty wishing-chair flew away home." "I'm quite sure it didn't," said Peter. "I know I would have seen it moving". The goblin came running into the room followed by Chinky. "Catch him, catch him!" yelled Chinky. Peter tried to - but the goblin was like an eel. he dodged this way, he dodged that way - and then a funny thing happened. Peter fell over something that wasn't there!

He crashed right into something and fell over, bang! And yet, when he looked, there was nothing at all to fall over! He felt very much astonished. He sat up and stared round. "What did I fall over?" he said. Chinky stopped chasing the goblin and ran to him. He put out his arms and felt round about in the air by Peter - and his hands closed on something hard - that couldn't be seen!

"Oh!" he yelled joyfully, 'it's the wishing-chair! That deceitful goblin made it invisible, so that we couldn't see it, even though it was really here! And he meant to help us home all right - and as soon as we had gone he meant to use our wishing-chair for himself, and we'd never know!" "Then it hasn't flown away!" cried Mollie, running over and feeling it too. "Oh, goody, goody! We can get into it and go home even if we can't see what we're sitting on! Get up, Peter, and let's fly off before that nasty little polite goblin does any more spells!"

They all sat in the chair they couldn't see. "Home, wishing-chair, home!" cried Chinky. The invisible chair rose in the air and flew out of the door. The goblin ran to the door and bowed. "So pleased to have seen you!" he called politely.

"Nasty little polite creature!" said Chinky. "My goodness - we nearly lost the chair, children! Now we've got to find a way of making it visible again. It's no fun having a chair and not knowing if it's really there or not! I don't like feeling I'm sitting on nothing! I like to see what I'm sitting on!"
End of story.

I want my son to learn manners, but i wouldn't send him to the polite goblin in his castle in the clouds to learn them. Who knows what else would be made unseen. And Chittani, just to be clear, I'm not personalising it to you. The tendency to make invisible/not see seems to me to be particularly strong in those involved with the School. And I think Enid agrees that thats not a good environment for children - or pixies.

chittani
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:03 pm

Postby chittani » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:13 pm

Concerned Mum,

So rather than giving a response, you instead copy out pages of Enid Blyton. Was it therapeutic?

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:37 pm

Chittani,

Your story is most interesting and thank you for sharing. It is clear from your experiences that you have some understanding of what we have experienced and what is wrong with the school. I am delighted that you can tell us a bit about how it has changed as an organisation too and personally I really welcome that.

I am all too aware that the school has changed. I have seen these changes and the effects on my parents and the family and these are welcome. My difficulty is that I do not believe that these changes have come about for the right reasons. If the reasons for all this change were right then I believe that they would have no issue in highlighting the problems for which these changes are being brought in to cure.

It is, however, my belief that the School has changed for the sheer fact of its survival. It has had to change and become more liberal simply to avoid its membership dwindling together with that fact that the internet, particularly, makes the criticism difficult to simply avoid.

I have no particular gripe with any individual in the school. I think plenty of them are weird though, including my own parents. In the school are lots of nice people, well meaning people. I think plenty are misguided and looking for a crutch in life and reassurance of purpose, which sadly many believe they have found and have come to depend on. I believe both MacLaren and many of those who help set up the days schools were genuine in their attempt to provide an education that was intended to be the best. Sadly as the old addage goes "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and both the SES and the day schools have, at times, seriously failed to look after the welfare of its members and pupils.

Until the school truely accepts the valid criticisms that have been levelled at it and is prepared to be open and honest about its past and the changes it has made then these criticisms will continue to hurt it.

St James and its governors chose a course of action to address the concerns of the complainants. Yet it has failed so far in actually carrying that action through. I know that no process instituted here will be perfect but it is important that it is carried through if for no other purpose than to be symbolic and to show that they are genuinely trying.

I notice on the SES website (http://www.schooleconomicscience.org/in ... age=issues) on the page about issues it says:

In one way or another, criticisms levelled at the School have often arisen from a misunderstanding of the philosophical point regarding ‘egoism’. This expression is frequently interpreted as meaning ‘individuality’, with the consequence that the idea of overcoming egoism is taken to mean eliminating individual expression. But this is not what it really implies. It is rather a question of seeing in experience how self-limiting ideas, and selfish desires pursued without regard for the welfare of others, block the expansion of freedom in the individual and create disharmony and division between individuals and communities. When understood in this way, it becomes obvious that efforts to rise above egoism bring about greater freedom for the individual to express his or her unique nature more fully, and in a way that embraces and fosters the welfare of all.


Sadly I do not trust (and I admit that I probably never will) that they understand that last sentence about welfare for all. My experiences up until I left school is that both St James and the SES have some pretty ignorant views about what are self limiting ideas and selfish desires. Also, whilst they might recognise some limiting selfish desires of individuals, they are completely oblivious to the selfish desires and motivations of the organisations and the severe detrimental effects that these have had on the ordinary innocent human beings. On top of it, they fail to recognise the devisiveness of their philisophical beliefs. This is especially true in St James as of very recently when my last sibling left.

Whilst there has been change, I have seen very little that alters my view that St James and the SES are dangerous, self motivated organisations. After all they have taught me more about intolerance than the converse.

Chittani, your post has been the first to highlight a really welcome change in the SES. Notably you say:

Chittani wrote:Changes took place slowly, but by about 2003 there was a definite transformation visible. No longer were SES members required to put their 'School' commitments ahead of anything. Groups were rearranged in order to make it easier for families, and there was no longer the same use of censure or punishment when someone did not obey an instruction.


I wish that the leadership of both organisations would choose to speak more authoratitively about the changes and the reasons for those changes. Cynically, I do not believe that these changes have been made because they believe them to be morally right.

I continue to watch in the hope that I might be proved wrong.

Trust can be restored and it would be a start for St James to continue and complete the reconciliation process that it started and ensure that those seeking reconciliation meetings with their former teachers actually get them.

Bonsai

daska
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Postby daska » Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:51 pm

I had to take some time to think about this one because I felt I understood why concerned mum posted the Enid Blyton story but I couldn't explain it. Bonsai has helped clarify my thoughts as to how I feel.

I can accept that the schools have changed, I've seen it with my own eyes. I can accept that the SES has changed because some people in the SES truly believe it has and say so. I can accept that these changes are good. But they don't feel 'heart-felt'. They feel superficial. They remind me of a conversation I once heard between a marketing guy and a food technician working out the minimum cheese as a percentage of weight they had to add before they could advertise a product as now being made of real cheese...

As per my previous FACTUAL 'observations' about the current state of SES as it affects those who I can observe closely, it doesn't seem that these changes are 'imposed' to the point that every member has changed their behaviour. At work, when things change, we are forced to modify our behaviour to suit the change. In the SES things 'change' but people behave the same way.

I guess what it comes down to is that until everyone walks the walk then the essence of the change is just talk.

Tom Grubb
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Postby Tom Grubb » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:05 pm

chittani wrote:Concerned Mum,

So rather than giving a response, you instead copy out pages of Enid Blyton. Was it therapeutic?

That's rich, coming from you, chittani! How about you giving a response to my question below?

Tom Grubb wrote:Chittani, I'd love to sit down around a table with people like Debenham, Lacey, Russell and Southwell! I last wrote to Debenham in December 2007, offering to meet him without conditions. He still hasn't replied. He had previously told me and other former pupils that we "accepted" the regime at the schools and that everyone at St James had been happy. Lacey has never contacted me despite having been informed of my desire for a meeting over a year ago. Likewise Russell. Southwell finally wrote to me in February this year but has since gone into eclipse. It appears that neither the schools nor the SES are willing to put any pressure on former or current teachers to meet with former pupils. What would you suggest I do?

Or, as your recent post suggested, is it "time to stop"?

Tom Grubb
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Postby Tom Grubb » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:16 pm

Oh, and I'd quite like a response to this, too.

Tom Grubb wrote:Please explain exactly what you mean by: "it's clear that they are now as bad as what they're attacking".

ConcernedMum
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:58 pm
Location: Ireland

Postby ConcernedMum » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:17 am

chittani wrote:Concerned Mum,

So rather than giving a response, you instead copy out pages of Enid Blyton. Was it therapeutic?


If you're asking that question honestly - the answer is, no. You are quite right if you are surmising that I think therapy can be a wonderful path to insight about yourself and others but in this case I wasn't posting therapeutically. I did think it was quite a coincidence that the story that night was so appropriate and I did feel quite clever at noticing it. I posted it because increasingly i'm enjoying stories (children's? adults? who cares?) as a much better way of reaching the aspects of me and our shared existence, that rationality and endless opinions, just don't reach. I thought the story was fantastic because Enid was right there on the side of the kids teaching them not to trust goblins even when they are polite and that it is possible to be too polite and that goblins use nice "fronts" to hide all sorts of badness - and then pretend to themselves that they don't see it. A general truism, I find in my dealings with people also. While i have some misgivings about using goblins as an analogy for teachers in SES schools/members generally, on a subconcious level, I thought it worked for me and maybe it might be interesting to others but as an aid to explaining or telling the story - not as cure. I don't think there's any on this site who needs to be cured of any illusions as regards the SES!!!

The story represented precisely my experience of meeting every single member of the SES (SPES in Ireland) that I have ever met. Except two of them lost control and went straight from fake polite to viciously attackingly angry in front of my eyes - a picture of one of these teachers who lost control in front of me and other pupils is on the Education Renaissance Trust http://education-renaissance-trust.org.uk/website. The other one slapped two five year olds. Maybe the goblins are getting the thinner edge of the wedge in the analogy.

If you're being sarky, I say bravo! Its certainly refreshing for me to 'meet' an SES member who has dropped the false politeness and be honest (though very unfortunately for the other posters here, that hasn't been their experience) I'm rubbing my hands together and thinking Now we can have a proper adult honest conversation without all the dodging and sliding that has gone on in previous interactions I have had - a "real" conversation. I apologise if my response seemed glib in response to your honesty and didn't recognise your capacity to make the invisible "visible". Unfortunately for me though, you are not based in Ireland, where, based on my experiences in 2006/2007, I would judge that the winds of change have yet to blow as strongly over here.

Changes took place slowly, but by about 2003 there was a definite transformation visible. No longer were SES members required to put their 'School' commitments ahead of anything. Groups were rearranged in order to make it easier for families, and there was no longer the same use of censure or punishment when someone did not obey an instruction.


Honestly, my jaw dropped when I read this. As late as up to 2003, adults were prepared to be treated by other adults in that fashion???? I know others have written here about how they or their family members were treated in such a way but its seems different to me to hear it from someone who is still defending a group who has behaved like that in the very recent past. Oh Chittani, that is bullying to use censure or punish someone for not "obeying". I can't believe that something like that can die out of a corporate culture without some analysis about why it was wrong - or indeed at the very least a process of profound apology to those who have been treated in that way - but that of course would involve making the invisible, visible and an acknowledgement that it is wrong, wrong, wrong, which is what Bonsai and Daska are saying too (what i'm getting from what they wrote anyway). Daska - thats mad about the cheesemakers - i get the same impression about the "changes" because there has not been an accompanying acknowledgement of why the changes are being made.

A lot done, MUCH more to do, before I'll trust SES/SPES members to be in charge of the care of other people's children.

p.s. I'm also interested to see your response to Tom's questions.
Last edited by ConcernedMum on Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:01 pm

I woke up this morning and all I could think was of all the things I could have been doing yesterday with people who love and care about me, rather than spending time here. So I'm just going to tie up some loose ends and bow out.

Tom, I was interested to see your response and had meant to get back to you. If that is the case (and I see no reason not to believe what you say) then they should talk to you. I wonder whether you are really making it as easy for them as you could. Things like the Pincham video and YouTube attacks, which I suppose you to be involved with or at least very supportive of, are not really going to encourage anyone to sit down with you. If what I say was worth anything with these people I would tell them they should meet. And if it was worth anything with you, I would suggest you offer to lay down your metaphorical arms in exchange. That would give the authorities some reason to put pressure on the people concerned.

Concerned Mum, you've solved your particular problem by taking your son out of the school. I don't know what John Colet is like but if there are cases of corporal punishment then there are legal courses of action to take, and good luck to you and anyone else. That seems fairly uncomplicated. You are clearly an intelligent and thoughtful person, but as for your criticism of the SES/SPES, your knowledge of them is slight, and so for my money your views are very hit and miss.

Matthew, although I think your Dad probably deserves all he gets for his self-righteousness, I regret having exposed him. This whole thing is a family affair, really - people doing what they think is best for their children, and then slowly realising it wasn't so great after all. I don't suppose he is that much different from anyone else. That is what I mean about this whole situation - eventually you end up doing things that you hate yourself for. And if you keep at it, you eventually get used to doing those things. This is what I'm afraid of.

Daska, I really didn't expect when I looked back here after all this time that you would still be banging the drum. Bonsai too - I really thought the shrunken oriental tree would by now be soaring into the forest canopy. With you two I don't feel much distrust, and none of the hatred I get here from others - and that's why I think you don't need this.

If this forum were to have an epitaph, the one that keeps coming up is as good as any - "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". That applies not only to those people you dislike - it applies to you too.

And, for that matter, to me.

ConcernedMum
Posts: 93
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Location: Ireland

Postby ConcernedMum » Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:29 pm

Hiya
I'm pottering in and out of the garden having a lazy day.
Chittani, Tom contacted these people before any of those things you are talking about happened - which you would have known if you'd read the posting before criticising it.

I have done absolutely nothing to be in anyway ashamed of. I would be ashamed of myself if, knowing what I do know about John Scottus http://www.johnscottus.ie, I did nothing to alert other parents not to be fooled into sending their children there and then having to disrupt their children's education when they discover the reality of the religion being taught there. Its still happening. So despite, what you say, children are still being hurt - just not so many of them are physically hurt, but they are hurt. And I doubt the girl with the visual impairment who needed to sit at the front of the class to see what was being taught, but who wasn't allowed to for goodness knows what ridiculous "philosophical" reason (in 2006) will look back and think that she wasn't hurt either.

As you say, my experience of the SES/SPES is not as great as most people here - but its notable that my experiences tally exactly with the criticisms here, are recent and are without exception, negative. You yourself have spoken of the same but if you wish to undermine what I'm saying on that basis, thats up to you. Plus I am speaking comparatively, having spent much time with other spiritual groups - mainly buddhist but also sat satsang with some of the advaita teachers on the circuit and I'm quite experienced with meditation. Yadah yadah - whatever my history its quite meaningless really, but I do come with some experience of the territory.

Really I'm amazed that you've come on this board, stomped around criticising left right and centre and clearly not having read whats been written (reference Tom's postings) and expect people to engage positively with you or expect any of us to believe that the School's members have changed their behaviour? (i've edited out something here that i would be ashamed of if i were to leave it here).

I wish you well - but if your only reason to come here is to pour out some bile in a most condescending way, perhaps you might spare me, at least - I've no patience for being treated like that - which is a great protection from people who wish you to act according to their will (and punish you when you don't!).

p.s. I don't think this board is ready for an epitaph quite just yet, but the one that springs to my mind is "No one likes being slapped"

ConcernedMum
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Postby ConcernedMum » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:21 pm

Sorry, a little embarassing to be coming on AGAIN. Just been to the movies to see Kungfu Panda - highly recommended and if you're still feeling a bit angsty Chittani, I recommend it for good simple entertainment and a laugh - and a little light wisdom.

I hope you come back to at least check responses because I want to say sorry for being harsh with you Chittani. I accept your bona fides in coming on to try and help further reconciliation with the st. james folks and I guess as you're the only one brave enough to engage, you are getting some of my energy that isn't personal or shouldn't be directed at you personally. I did also, find it hard to hear you being so condescending to the others here. However, at least you are brave enough to show your face and I admire for you that. But I'm also brave enough to continue to do my best to warn parents about what their children might experience at John Scottus , so I admire me for that too.

Of course my view can only be partial (but so can yours!) but it was honestly formed from seeing some really horrible things. I went in good faith to John Scottus and was really shocked by the behaviour towards young children. They are the facts. My experience of the SES/SPES is as real as anyone elses. I really don't think it is fair to blame a victim of abuse for the abusers' failure to engage with them and I'm sorry if thats how you really see it, and sorrier for you if thats what you are seriously suggesting.

I'm really glad this board existed as it really helped me. So I really appreciate the words and efforts of everyone posting here. You're an inspiration!

Bye for now,

User avatar
Merry
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:25 pm

Postby Merry » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:42 am

Chittani, what a delight to hear you again and once more jumping into the middle of the lions den as they circle you.

I know you and I know you didn't come onto this site with bile or condescension - knowing you'll never please all the people all of the time go and spend time with those who love you.

Hope to see you anon.

Matthew
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: London

Postby Matthew » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:54 am

chittani wrote:although I think your Dad probably deserves all he gets for his self-righteousness, I regret having exposed him.

"self-righteousness"..."exposed"...Your words, Kevin. Lets just see shall we...

ConcernedMum
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:58 pm
Location: Ireland

Postby ConcernedMum » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:21 pm

Merry wrote:Chittani, what a delight to hear you again and once more jumping into the middle of the lions den as they circle you.

I know you and I know you didn't come onto this site with bile or condescension - knowing you'll never please all the people all of the time go and spend time with those who love you.

Hope to see you anon.


Indeed he may not have intended to, but if you look at what was said its not a totally unfair assessment - its probably not a way-off-the-mark assessment of my own contribution either. Anyway, this is not about Chittani who the majority seem to think is a nice enough fellow and I certainly pick up on much warmth from him through it all.

And maybe I am among those who love you Chittani and Merry - maybe I am a manifestation of consciousness working to help you. It is a seamless robe after all. And vice versa. Its what keeps me focussed.

Anyway, this is a side issue, I'll just stick to disseminating the facts.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Postby Justice » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:50 pm

Destructive, controlling and predatory Mind Control Cults do not improve with age no matter what Chittani might like to have us believe!

The only effective way to deal with damaging, self-deluding organizations like the School of Economic Science is to walk away from them (AND their schools!) and to encourage and help other victims (and potential victims) to do the same.

When under pressure from damaged and hurt members and former members and the media, most organized and well financed Cults will do and say anything to try and restore their image. This includes encouraging pompous, self righteous, anally retentive amateur P.R. types to come onto bulletin boards like this and tell us all is well!


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