For Kevin

Anything relating to the operation of this site.
mgormez
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For Kevin

Postby mgormez » Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:24 pm

Hi Kevin,

This is in response to your message in my smaller guestbook. That one doesn't really allow for discussion so I've copied it to this place.

I would like to support what some people have said about the site being out of date. Repeating allegations from the 80s uncritically isn't what I would call useful journalism. I agree that child abuse is abhorrent - who wouldn't? - but that doesn't mean allegations of child abuse, none of which were ever prosecuted, should be repeated ad infinitum.


Okay, I see where you're going and you make a few unsubstantiated statements: a) I am not a journalist, just a concerned citizen; b) the headmaster of the Dutch kids-school (Platoschool) was put on non-active by his own school board after complaints of physical abuse; c) I know of one case where three Dutch teachers escaped criminal prosecution because they decided to pay monetary fines for repeately hitting their pupils; d) contrary to your claims, the same headmaster mentioned above was indeed prosecuted. I don't know the outcome of that case though.


I've been a member of the SES since I was 17 - 16 years. I am not a religious person, and certainly not attracted to cults. In my view the school exists to teach and practice philosophy. Its philosophy is drawn from the Indian Advaita Vedanta tradition, because in the 60s the School got in touch with a guru or philosophical teacher called Shantanda Saraswati. His own words can be read in several books freely available, such as GOOD COMPANY (Element). Mike, if you want to know what the School is really based on, get hold of a copy and you'll be able to see for yourself without having to go near the SES. The philosophy espoused there is clearly Eastern, but it has large areas of commonality with Plato, Stoicism and Christian Humanism. I would challenge you to find anything he says that supports the view that the School is an oppressive cult. What you will find is the words of a supremely compassionate, loving, intelligent, untiring devotee of the teaching he espouses. My view on anything that is wrong with the School is that we haven't yet managed to come up to his level.


Kevin, what I am taking issue with is the behavior of the group. It is not okay to propagate oneself as a general evening education in philosophy while you very well know that only a special brand is allowed. It is not okay to deceive parents by withholding them information about what kind of beliefs the school stands for.

At worst the School is a slightly anachronistic and formal organization (in a damp, English way) that could do with loosening up a bit. People do get a bit over-enthusiastic about it, but they calm down after a few years. At best it provides an atmosphere and setting for people to explore what it is to be human with those of like minds. And it really does practice philosophy. You know - like all those old guys in the academic textbooks; not like the intellectuals that keep them there.


Can I ask you a question? Have you read this article and what do you make of it? http://www.philosophers.co.uk/current/cult.htm
Mike Gormez

adrasteia- can't sign in

modernisation

Postby adrasteia- can't sign in » Tue Apr 13, 2004 10:22 am

Kevin,
I would say that since you posted your message more people have joined the site who are bringing up issues which are more relevant to the present-day, these being pupils currently at the school.
Although they do not report of child abuse they do come out with some disturbing oppinions given to them by the school in 'philosphy' lessons, which are actually very much Ses based.
Hopefully this gives the site more relevance.
I would beg to differ in oppinion about what you call 'dated' information about the child abuse from the 80's. I believe it is important that these stories/experiences are told, as they have never been properly faced by the school. It has become a stain on their past, which I believe is important to address, both for the families involved, and for the school itself.

Frodo
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:39 am

Postby Frodo » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:25 pm

Interesting article. It says:

"It is true that if one reads the details of their literature then it is clear enough that the lectures are underpinned by an Eastern philosophy."

Maybe it's a case of reading the label!

grimep
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:47 pm

Postby grimep » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:28 pm

"And it values marriage and all that kind of stuff" - David Boddy

Given all I've heard about infidelity and affairs within the school, that's an interesting claim.

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:40 pm

grimep wrote:"And it values marriage and all that kind of stuff" - David Boddy

Given all I've heard about infidelity and affairs within the school, that's an interesting claim.


Hypocritical, even!

Frodo
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:39 am

Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:58 am

It would be hypocritical if 'The School' preached the value of marriage and then encouraged affairs and infidelity, or even if affairs and infidelity were wide-spread. It doesn't. It isn't.

Goblinboy
Moderator
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Postby Goblinboy » Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:43 am

No Frodo, it would be hypocritical if the school preached the value of marriage and then the preachers of the school had affairs.

Which they did.

See recent postings about the girl's school, and the affair of Michael Mavro, the married head of the Sydney version of the SES with a visitor from England, in Westie's posts in "the secret cult" thread on page one of the thread index.

Frodo
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Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:02 am

Definitely. It would be hypocritical for someone to preach marital fidelity and then go off bonking other women. It would also be a terrible breach of the bond of trust that should exist between a teacher and student in any context, schools, universitys, adult education, whatever. When I was at University, we had a lecturer who 'took up' with one of his students and then dumped her in a devastating way. He wasn't married so he wasn't being unfaithful in that sense, except perhaps to his duties as a teacher which is just as bad.

I read some of the thread you referred me to. Thanks for that. The geography thing was quite exciting because I thought it would reveal finally that SES denied the existence of other countries or believed that the earth was flat. In fact, there is simply a national shortage of geography teachers. It would have made it difficult for McLaren to find Australia on one of his visits, I suppose, if he didn't know where it was.

There are lots of insinuations about people making money out of the school. I don't know if that's true in Australia. People have been trying to make this allegation stick on the UK school for a long time - even Hounam tried - but thus far without success. Maybe it's simply true that nobody is creaming off the finances and that all the facilities and resources exist for all the students.

There are also dark inferences that people were kicked out because they 'knew too much'. But it's all getting a bit John Grisham here. If people know too much they can discuss it whether they're kicked out or not. If they need to be silenced, presumably the best way would be to keep them in. Or have them bumped off. SES ninjas creeping up drainpipes in the middle of the night. Have there been any recorded instances of this?

As for the way Mavros ran the school in Australia, it doesn't sound very nice. And before you flame me, can I say that I am using British understatement here. It sounds bloody awful. Can we use words like that here? And he sounds like a nutter. Cruel, despotic and yes, if what is said is true, extremely hypocritical. If he was hoofed out because of all that, it would thus be because his actions and attitudes (and indeed pecadillos) were not consistent with the SES ethos. Same with the Dutch nut-case.

It would be worrying if their actions had been endorsed. So far as I can see they weren't.

So while the charge of hypocrisy would stick with these people, it doesn't stick institutionally, methinks.

I would say that hypocrisy is a total converse of what the SES stands for.

Go on, flame me!

BoeingDriver
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:55 am

Postby BoeingDriver » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:13 am

Frodo wrote:It would be hypocritical if 'The School' preached the value of marriage and then encouraged affairs and infidelity, or even if affairs and infidelity were wide-spread. It doesn't. It isn't.


Surely it is just as hypocritical to preach the value of marriage and then fail to discourage affairs and infidelity.

In the event that even just one such affair or infidelity is/was known to the "powers that be" (or were, as the case might be), that would seem to confirm the hypocracy that exists within the system.

What is a definition of "widespread" adultery with an organisation which appears to believe that it stands on the very highest peaks of the moral landscape - is it 1 case, is it 2, or maybe 5 or 10?

I think, Frodo, if you care to delve a little deeper you will find that with respect to preaching the value of marriage - it does; with respect to failing to discourage (which is almost, if not the same as, condoning) affairs - it does; and as for being widespread (in such a morally pure organisation) - it would seem that it most certainly is!

Frodo
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:39 am

Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:45 am

This one's a bit rushed because I have to go off and do some work!

I refer to my other post above your post, for what it's worth.

Relieving somebody of their position for extra-marital activity (possibly - and also probably for other matters) sounds like discouragement to me.

And sorry, I wasn't disputing that SES people would probably say that if you promise to be faithful to someone you should stick to that. And I doubt anyone in SES would deny that affairs have a devastating effect on family life. Also, it's just grubby, isn't it?

But I don't think - and I'm aware that this is being hugely provocative - the SES can police every relationship of all of its members. What you are suggesting is a strict moral code enforced on students. By what means? SES seniors turning up at people's homes to ask who that hussy is in their bed?

I don't think people signing up for an evening class in practical philosophy would appreciate that too much.

Widespread by my definition would be if the SES was routinely used as an arena for sexual exploitation. But it has already been said in this forum that there is a remarkable lack of sexual chemistry floating around. People have turned up for a lecture or something, not to 'get off'.

I'm not saying the odd affair doesn't happen. But if it does, it is a reflection of society at large not of the SES. I would wager that it happens less on average in SES than in society at large.

BoeingDriver
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:55 am

Postby BoeingDriver » Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:47 pm

Frodo,

I was busy with my two fingered typing when you posted the one above my first effort.

I agree that SES can't police the extramarital activities of all its members, but surely the SES senior members should be the ones setting the example - maybe the junior members should be popping around to the senior's houses and seeing who they've got in their beds.

As for your doubting that they would deny that an affair has a devastating effect on family life, they have in the past, and yes, it is grubby, very grubby.

Frodo
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:39 am

Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:28 pm

Boeingdriver,

I think we're in agreement that extra-marital affairs are a grim business. I know some people who have had that experience, (not SES I have to say), both as perpetrators and as victims. In dealing with them I have tried to be even-handed and compassionate, not seeing it as my place to add to the suffering - there was plenty of that anyway. But, without wishing to sound too pious about it, on principle it must be accepted that it ain't a good thing. Plain and simple. Only the most cavalier philanderer, surely, would disagree.


But I do think what you describe falls short of affairs being institutionally endemic in SES. Personally, I think if anybody joined SES hoping to get laid they'd probably end up asking for their money back.

I don't know, maybe you have access to facts that I don't, but in any case, I think this debate should be carried on between those parties who say that SES is sexually frigid on the one hand and those who say it is a hot-bed of torrid sexual license on the other. Maybe the truth lies somewhere between!

Snowman
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Location: London

Postby Snowman » Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:50 pm

Frodo wrote:It would be hypocritical if 'The School' preached the value of marriage and then encouraged affairs and infidelity, or even if affairs and infidelity were wide-spread. It doesn't. It isn't.


My father had an affair with a senior lady in the SES for several years and received the direct PROTECTION (approval, support) of Maclaren, Boddy (obviously), Woods (obviously), Sinclair, Saunders, White, Mason, Curry (obviously) and all the other 'bigwigs. During this time, my mother was ostracised and effectively forced to leave - as well as being publicly humiliated in front of hundreds of her peers by Maclaren.

When I met with Lambie to discuss the situation he claimed that my mother did not understand; "Understand what?", I asked. "The truth", came his vain relpy reiterating the staple SES mantra that the "Teaching" is the only truth. I left behind 16 years of SES and St James involvement that day.

Frodo wrote:Relieving somebody of their position for extra-marital activity (possibly - and also probably for other matters) sounds like discouragement to me.

And sorry, I wasn't disputing that SES people would probably say that if you promise to be faithful to someone you should stick to that. And I doubt anyone in SES would deny that affairs have a devastating effect on family life. Also, it's just grubby, isn't it?

I'm not saying the odd affair doesn't happen. But if it does, it is a reflection of society at large not of the SES. I would wager that it happens less on average in SES than in society at large.


Well the upshot of all this is a family that has been destroyed from its core and only now, almost 10 years later, is it beginning to heal - I am talking about matters of the heart beginning to heal. A devastating effect is right on the money.

Frodo, you seem to have been institutionalised and will probably not admit that the moral 'house' of the SES is built on foundations of sand.

You can keep deluding yourself or you can wake up to the TRUTH that the SES institution is a guardian of immorality, injustice, intolerance and deceit - the real TRUTH not the vain hubristic TRUTH that the SES claims as its foundation.

Here are some more challenging statements that I would love to hear your opinions on:

The SES displays all the signs of a cult

The SES is morally impoverished

The SES, as an institution, is hypocritical

The SES emotionally abuses its students

The SES recruits from the St James schools

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:56 pm

Frodo wrote:It would be hypocritical if 'The School' preached the value of marriage and then encouraged affairs and infidelity, or even if affairs and infidelity were wide-spread. It doesn't. It isn't.


How much do you know of the senior members who stand up and preach this stuff Frodo?

I know of a number of senior figures who have demonstrated hypocrassy by preaching this and then acting differently themselves, some of whom snowman has already alluded to.

So I stand by my statement especially in the context that it was mentioned.


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