How many people still read this Forum?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
trubleshtr
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:54 pm

How many people still read this Forum?

Postby trubleshtr » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:19 pm

Just a question - how many people still read the posts on this Forum? If I were to discuss reforms of the SES at the current time how many would be interested? If no replies I have to find another way to deal with reform of the SES.
Thanks, from a current member of the SES.

Free
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:30 pm

Postby Free » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:59 pm

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

Daffy
Moderator
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:32 am

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby Daffy » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:22 pm

The stats I receive as site administrator show that there are approximately 250-300 unique users accessing the site each month, growing by about 10% per month. (The true number will probably be a little less, because one person may access the site from different computers, e.g. home and work.)

So I think any discussion will be visible to a reasonably large audience.

notrealised
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:36 pm

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby notrealised » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:04 am

A typical SES reply might be 'one', as that is all there is. I attended the philosophy school between 1971 and 1990. I was a contemporary of Donald Lambie, and was in the same group for many years we joined the 'prep groups' and became tutors to others. I came across this site after searching the internet for friends of my late father, the inspiration for my own joining, having discovered an old address book of his recently. Recalling the gentle nature of the people in that book, I was appalled to read the postings of some of you who were children at St James and St Vedast, and the negative recollections of adult SES members. I do not dispute your observations but the shock has meant that it has taken some time to get around to registering on this site, and the question "how many people still read this forum" encouraged me to post this message. There can be no excuse for the bullying, abusive and cultish behaviour described. Some of the teachers, and indeed the current Headmaster of St James, are people I regarded as brothers and sisters for nearly 20 years, and I feel the 'good' experienced during that time endures to this day. I had at one time the duty of supervising some of the first day school children between the end of the school day and the beginning of their philosophy group attendance. Starnge that it never seemed strange to me until now.
I have a feeling that in some way, I contributed to the unhappiness of some of you by my support of what was possibly a 'regime extrordinaire'. At the same time, I revelled in Mr Mclarens company and the spirit of the time. There is a remarkable intelligence and strength of character in the postings I have read, and I will continue to read!

Tom Grubb
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Location: London

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby Tom Grubb » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:44 pm

I still read this forum and would be VERY interested to hear about reforms in the SES.

User avatar
bonsai
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:08 am
Location: London

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby bonsai » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:55 am

Welcome notrealised,

notrealised wrote:Starnge that it never seemed strange to me until now.

This is the power of brainwashing. Whether this deception is by design of the leadership of the SES organisation or not, there are plenty of people in the SES that do not question anywhere nearly enough what is going on in front of their own eyes. For an organisation that supposedly encourages practical observations and discrimination, I find this extraordinarily contradictory and hypocritical.

notrealised wrote:I have a feeling that in some way, I contributed to the unhappiness of some of you by my support of what was possibly a 'regime extrordinaire'.

I'm pleased that you question like this and wish that all SES members (current and past) would search their own consciences. Without doubt the organisation can only survive if people are members of it and this organisation, as observed above, allows people to accept things as normal that are not and has allowed people to mistreat others and hide under the veil of the organisation. Alas many of those responsible for the mistreatment at St James still choose not to accept or acknowledge what happened.
Whilst an ordinary member of the organisation cannot be responsible for the actions of any other person, I feel that they must be aware of the overall impact of the organisation of which they form a part. They must take some responsibility for the fact that the organisation does harm some people and allows some people to get so engrossed that the bypass their natural sense of right and wrong.

I believe also that the organisation, its trustees and its senior tutor must accept responsibility for how its followers choose to interpret (or more importantly misinterpret) the philosophy. If it is not prepared to accept this, then it really shouldn’t be peddling it.

Can I ask notrealised, what made you leave in 1990?

trubleshtr wrote:If I were to discuss reforms of the SES at the current time how many would be interested?

Trubleshtr, I would be most interested in a discussion of the reforms of the SES currently. You do need to be prepared for a fairly heated discussion as there are many people here that will be very cynical of the SES even if reform is occurring.

Bonsai

User avatar
ET
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:49 am
Location: Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby ET » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:25 pm

I'm still reading! And yes I would also be interested in a discussion of current reforms, but would also caution trubleshutr that there are a lot of very angry and cynical people harmed by the SES who read this site, and current SES members have had some problems in the past. Rest assured that there are those of us here who would welcome reforms in the SES, and are open to an honest and frank exchange of views!
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

trubleshtr
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:54 pm

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby trubleshtr » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:20 pm

Thank you for your responses and thoughtful and helpful comments. I appreciate the warning about discussing SES reforms openly here and wonder if there are any current members of the SES engaging in this Forum? In my experience there have been many improvements and reforms over the years within the SES, and I do not wish to damage what is useful about the organisation. I will consider all that you have said before taking this any further.

I would like to say that this Forum holds a wealth of information and I have found the intelligent discussions that I have read so far to be very useful as well as touching. Bonsai your point about holding one’s own sense of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is very poignant and my own position is to discuss that related to a particular issue, in principle as well as in practice.

notrealised
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:36 pm

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby notrealised » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:29 pm

Bonsai, the key to my decision to leave school (lower case 's') was that after wishing to be involved to the highest level for 19 years, I was asked to join a senior group which appeared to offer a further step up the 'hierarchy', I felt as though accepting it would be akin to entering some kind of priesthood. It was a 'be careful what you wish for, you might just get it' scenario. I had come to a point where it was clear that to continue in ses was to equate it with School (upper case 'S') It was a case of waking up to the need for real decision. Truth was still uppermost and I hope still is, but I realised this did not necessarily mean ses . This is not to discredit in any way the value of what I had discovered during my attendance, nor the genuine kinship shared with my contemporaries. If there was an underhand 'brainwashing' method in the school, I escaped! I suspect that once most of us who came to ses as adults never really surrender our inquiry, nor should we. It is a question of how long you need a walking stick before you realise 1) it makes you walk with a limp and 2) you can walk fine without it.

User avatar
bonsai
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:08 am
Location: London

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby bonsai » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:28 pm

Thank you notrealised for answering

notrealised wrote:It is a question of how long you need a walking stick before you realise 1) it makes you walk with a limp and 2) you can walk fine without it.

The trouble with the school though is that none of us require a walking stick to walk, as it correctly suggests and acknowledge; however I would contend that most people, who were walking fine beforehand end up limping with the walking stick as a result of their membership of the school. The whole premise of the school starts from day one of part one that though you think you are walking, you are not. And in order to be able to walk you need the help of the school. So begins the deception. Whilst I have no doubt that many people learn interesting and may beneficial things that may help them to cope with all sort of situations that arise in their lives, the school deceives you from day one that it can show you the real goal of your life, full realisation, and that such a goal will be easier to achieve through the ongoing study with and devotion to the School.

The School convinces you from the off that it is safe. It does this by asking you to put in practice what is says and promising that you can discuss what you observe in practice. It tries to reassure you that it is not going to force its belief system on you and that you are free to explore for yourself. It also tries to reassure you that discrimination is important and that you must decide for yourself. Those who hold different views or wish to challenge the views of the School just don’t stay. It is in this environment that things that are strange can start to seem normal and it is in this environment that things that are really not normal happened at St James. It is only when you step back from the SES that you can start to see just how strange and wrong some of it is.

I don’t think the SES makes a malicious attempt to brainwash as such. It just creates (somewhat deliberately) an environment where critical reasoning is limited to critical reason within its own bounds.


trubleshtr wrote:...wonder if there are any current members of the SES engaging in this Forum?

I don't think there are many people active in the SES that regularly contribute to this forum. There are plenty that make a few contributions and then seem to disappear. I think chittani is probably the person I can think of that has contributed the most who remains a member of the SES. He has since started his own forum, http://kaiwalya.hyperboards.com/. I cannot comment on how many current SES members lurk or read without contributing because without saying anything it is impossible to establish a persons view. I hope that there are current SES members reading regularly and listening carefully to the discussion about all the topics of this organisation, however I suspect that they are just ignoring it as they do with the majority of criticism levelled at it.


trubleshtr wrote:Bonsai your point about holding one’s own sense of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is very poignant and my own position is to discuss that related to a particular issue, in principle as well as in practice.

So trubleshtr, do tell us about what your particular issues. I think there are plenty of people here who will be interested in how the school is changing and what is still outstanding to change. Whilst there are plenty of people here who are not supporters of the SES I do hope that we are respectful still of people who are even though we may fundamentally disagree.

I do hope that whether you are a support of the SES or not and whether you are in the SES or not that we can have a useful and beneficial discussion about any issues concerning the SES.

Bonsai

trubleshtr
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:54 pm

SES Reform

Postby trubleshtr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:07 pm

Hold that thought Bonsai! I am dealing with the issue internally at the moment and am awaiting a response. I will discuss the issue and the outcome at that point. I can't say anymore - and may have already 'blown my cover'! This whole 'us' and 'them' situation that occurs if a 'firmly held belief' of the 'organisation' is questioned is one of the things that needs to change, so that important issues can be discussed without having to leave the organisation. Those contributing to this site who were harmed in the SES linked schools in the past, some of whose parents are still in the SES, have a right to know what it stands for in a transparent way. Thank you for the link to the other website.

User avatar
Free Thinker
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:05 am
Location: USA

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby Free Thinker » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:34 am

Hi trublshtr,

I still read the boards, and would be very interested in hearing what is going on now, as I still know quite a few people involved.

I'm sorry you are having to deal with whatever issue you are having, and I hope it resolves well. One of the many reasons I left was knowing that I could never speak openly about any issues with the school and have anyone listen seriously without either extreme defense, deflection, or turning it back on you (or a combination of all three!)

Best,
FT

ETA: I know that quite a few people in the SES read these boards but I don't know how often the senior members do. I know my cover was blown once I started posting personal stories about what happened to me. But I don't have much to loose by doing so, and felt it worth it to share my experiences with others.

User avatar
bella
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:52 am

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby bella » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:13 pm

I attend a school in Australia, and still check back here reasonably often to see what's up. When I started posting here, my urge was to reply to descriptions of stupid and awful occurrences with "wow, that's not my experience at all - I don't think it's dogma", but I soon realised many people didn't care whether it was or it wasn't. They were still subject to stupid and awful occurrences. The animosity and abuse I've encountered here hasn't been anything I'd be inclined to take personally, and it's great to have some picking apart of a system that informs and influences a large part of my life.

trubleshtr
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:54 pm

SES changes

Postby trubleshtr » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:52 am

Many of those that contribute to this Forum seem to either have friends or parents in the SES so I probably can’t really provide any more details about the changes over the years than you know already. I am not in a position to know any ‘official’ internal information either. As soon as I start writing anyone who knows me will know who I am too! However, since some people have asked I will outline below the changes I have noticed since I started about 1990 in the London SES. But I do not want to go into the particular issue I am concerned with until I have received the internal response I mentioned in the post above. There has been a general 'opening up' and the newish premises in London at Mandeville Place, W1, is very central which is useful for evening courses. In philosophy studies I have not experienced the kind of extreme difficulties that some have talked about on this Forum. But I have experienced ‘pressure’ related to the issue I am trying to deal with. The pressure to attend groups and residentials has relaxed also so that if other events clash or there are work pressures on students they can talk to their tutor and not everyone comes to every meeting. Obviously as with any other type of study a certain amount of input is necessary but if it is difficult for someone other arrangements can be made. I don’t know if it is newish, but when I had my kids in the mid to late ninety’s I came to a group with no residentials for quite a few years. I am not in the ‘Senior’ level as such, so don’t know if there is much difference there – I don’t think so. I am still in what is called the ‘Measure’ level. The ‘dress code’ for ladies of ‘long frocks or dresses’ for all activities was relaxed in June 2006 and women can wear whatever they like now. In fact the residentials have relaxed in a good way in my experience (and the food is much better and more varied - not just cheese and salad anymore!) and the study of what I think of as ‘spiritual’ philosophy is very useful I have found. My kids also went to St James (mainly junior schools) from the late ninety’s until a couple of years ago, and they flourished there. They did not experience any of the brutal treatment of the past. I am filled with both compassion and fury when I read what was done to some children in the past, especially since these people were supposed to be in search of ‘spiritual Truth’.

I am involved with economics in the SES which is my particular interest and the courses are developed around the theme of ‘justice in economics’ (sustainability also). There is an influence of Henry George’s ideas but over the last 10 years or so a lot of effort has gone into developing and expanding the courses to include such issues as the environment.

I think this is a very valuable Forum and I hope it continues. If any current SES members can add to what I’ve said or think I have got some things wrong perhaps they would like to contribute too. I am hoping what I have said here will not be offensive to either members of the SES nor those who contribute to this Forum. A teaching of ‘unity’ should not encourage an ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude in my opinion.

If anyone is interested who is not familiar with the teaching of ‘unity’ (or ‘Advaita Vedanta’) a teacher called Gangagi provides a very accessible way of presenting this idea. Information can be found at: http://www.gangaji.org. Her book & CD’s of her book – ‘The Diamond in your Pocket’, can be obtained from Amazon too – which I have found excellent – CD’s perhaps better than book as her ‘substance’ comes through in her voice. This is taken from the website: ‘Gangaji, an American born teacher and author, has travelled the globe since 1990, speaking with spiritual seekers from all walks of life. Her message is powerful in its clarity and simplicity: True peace and lasting fulfilment are not only our birthright, they are the essential nature of our being. Gangaji invites you to discover the possibility of living your life in the freedom and joy of simply being.'

I have personally found these CD’s very helpful and for myself the meetings and residentials I attend through philosophy at the SES are simply one way of practicing these ideas. That’s all it is really about. Any institutionalised misconceptions need to be addressed/questioned – hence my current action.

Peter
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:33 am

Re: How many people still read this Forum?

Postby Peter » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:54 am

I've just joined this board and would be interested to hear what you have to say


Return to “General discussion of SES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests