Shutting down

Anything relating to the operation of this site.
Daffy
Moderator
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:32 am

Shutting down

Postby Daffy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:58 am

I've decided to shut the forums down permanently from the end of this year.

When I joined these forums under their previous 'whyaretheydead' home almost a decade ago I was one of many ex-St James and St Vedast pupils discussing their experiences. That led to an inquiry by a Q.C. which, despite being funded by the SES, found the schools guilty of brutality including illegal acts.

For some years now the discussion hasn't been relevant to me or to any of the users who were active at that time. I and most of my contemporaries have moved on from these events.

My attempts to mediate disputes between current users, none of whom I know, always result in one side accusing me of bias, misuse of power, destroying freedom of speech etc etc. Frankly I can't be bothered to keep doing it. In any case, the behind-the-scenes administration is too time-consuming and I can find better uses for the money I pay every year for site hosting.

Those of you who wish to continue the discussion should consider how and where to do so. You could, for instance, set up a Facebook or Yahoo group.

Please don't ask me to change my mind - this is not a knee-jerk reaction but a recognition that you, the users who want to keep talking, have many other options.

Earlgrey
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Shutting down

Postby Earlgrey » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:13 pm

No Daffy,
Wrong response.
Please just hand it over to someone else.
Otherwise you will be just like the ratbags at SOP/SES.
Well done for the work done so far. Let someone else help out.
You are wrong, we don't all have other options. It's a good forum, there is no other one to choose.

ManOnTheStreet
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:32 am

Re: Shutting down

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:18 am

Yes, this is a real pity Daffy. For what it's worth, I think you've done a fine job.

Does this mean that everything we have written will disappear permanently? It would be a pity if all that went to waste.

Again, it's very unfortunate that you've decided to do this Daffy - is it not possible to hand over the administration of the site to someone else as Earlgrey suggested? This forum has been a godsend to so many people so quite a number of years - is there no one that could do it?

Anyway - if people have suggestions regarding what we can do in the future, now is the time to speak. If we can get a consensus on a new site/portal/forum etc. we may be able to ensure a smooth transition from this forum to that one.

MOTS

Leonie
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:00 pm

Re: Shutting down

Postby Leonie » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:47 pm

Dear Daffy,

In spite of what you may think I too am sorry to hear of your decision.

I agree with what others say about the usefulness of the forum for many reasons.

Whatever happens, I wish you all the best Daffy.

With best wishes, Leonie

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

Re: Shutting down

Postby Tom Grubb » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:57 pm

Daffy, I respect your decision. It can't be easy running a forum like this. You've done a very good job under difficult circumstances.

I think it's vital that the testimonies of former pupils are preserved somewhere and I hope that the forum can continue under a new administrator.

Best wishes for the future!

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

Re: Shutting down

Postby Daffy » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:30 am

I am open to suggestions on how to preserve existing material. This could be as simple as keeping the forum software up but locked against further activity. I paid the last annual hosting charges only a month ago so that's covered well into next year.

Some people may not want their posts to continue to be visible indefinitely. I'm not talking about capricious changes of mind like we've seen recently, but people who once posted details of their school experiences under an ascertainable identity but who now want these details no longer on public display. It seems reasonable to me that if the forum is no longer a going concern then people should be able to choose whether to delete their existing posts. I can delete a user and all their posts in one go if that's what people want. As always, deleting a post doesn't delete quotes from their posts made by another user.

ManOnTheStreet
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:32 am

Re: Shutting down

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:00 am

I'm happy for my posts to remain.

Unique
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:30 am

Re: Shutting down

Postby Unique » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:58 am

ManOnTheStreet wrote:
Again, it's very unfortunate that you've decided to do this Daffy - is it not possible to hand over the administration of the site to someone else as Earlgrey suggested? This forum has been a godsend to so many people so quite a number of years - is there no one that could do it?

Anyway - if people have suggestions regarding what we can do in the future, now is the time to speak. If we can get a consensus on a new site/portal/forum etc. we may be able to ensure a smooth transition from this forum to that one.

MOTS

I agree with this and the other comments above. It is hard to imagine that the forum would close down, as it helped and supported so many people over the years. For many of them it was the only place where they could express and share their thoughts, emotions and often very complex experiences that could be understood only by people who went through the same " schools". It was a comfort just to know that this forum existed and that was available to all who needed it.

Since the effects of experiences in organisations such as SES and SFSK are long lasting and some people are still subjected to manipulation and misguidance, there is an ongoing need for this forum, which is quite obvious from the continuous activity on the forum. Also, how would people who intend to join these organisations know about their backgrounds and everything else that is never mentioned in their ads, if forum like this doesn't exist?

Daffy, is there any way that you would reconsider your decision? You have done such a wonderful work as a moderator for so long and it is probably not fair even to ask you to continue and do more, but I'm not sure how else this forum can be saved. Is there anyone who knows how to administer the site and is willing to do it?

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Shutting down

Postby actuallythere » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:47 am

Two things.

First is to say that being an unpaid administrator such as Daffy is a difficult, thankless job that requires a combination of leadership, discipline and patience. Anyone who does it deserves immense gratitude and praise.

Second, the closure of this website and the deletion of its more than 11,000 messages would be a gigantic act of destruction that is not fair to the very many people who have put in a lot of effort and honest soul-searching over the years.

One way or another it must be preserved, and ideally continued, for the benefit of people who have come here after going through a lot of suffering and for the future benefit of other people who might be relieved or even helped in the same way.

If no user steps forward with the IT skills and the time, there are other options, including merging this site into one of the several other sites with similar causes, which already have existing administrators who might be happy to take on the task.

Tootsie
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:37 pm

Re: Shutting down

Postby Tootsie » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:32 pm

Nothing is ever lost once it is put on the net. There are many websites that archive old material that is no longer available. Google waybackmachine then type ses-forums.org and you will see all the old posts. However you have to know what you are looking for to find the old web sites so new members would not know there was once a site about the SES.

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Shutting down

Postby actuallythere » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:08 pm

Tootsie

"new members would not know there was once a site about the SES."

Exactly.

Leonie
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:00 pm

Re: Shutting down

Postby Leonie » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:02 am

Reading between the lines it seems as if you don't really want to hand the forum over to anyone else Daffy, would that be right? I have considered all you have said recently and if you feel it should be closed and/or locked it does seem to me to be the right thing to do for those that the forum was set up for and I completely understand and agree if this is the case.

I just want to add that when the information first came to light about the children and the inquiry when this was on the whyaretheydead site it was not possible to register at that time or to contribute, as it was only for those involved in the inquiry I presume - I think this was around 2006, and maybe for a while before that? It was not until 2009 that I found the forum in this format and discovered that others could register. So then of course people who had been involved with SES/SOP as adults had contributed, so it developed and by now most of the discussions over the last few months have actually been about the Mavros breakaway organisation, SFSK, which they set up nearly 30 years ago when he was expelled from SES and their organisation is not and never was part of the SES/SOP even. So things have changed and I don't think it has been fair for Daffy to have had to preside over this forum as it became more and more for the adults, so I just want to say I feel sorry about that, that's all. As you point out Daffy those that want to continue to talk could set up their own forum. And as Tootsie points out - everything is stored away in the 'virtual' world somewhere anyway.

With best wishes, Leonie

Ella.M.C.
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 6:12 am

Re: Shutting down

Postby Ella.M.C. » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:36 am

Unique wrote:
Since the effects of experiences in organisations such as SES and SFSK are long lasting and some people are still subjected to manipulation and misguidance, there is an ongoing need for this forum, which is quite obvious from the continuous activity on the forum. Also, how would people who intend to join these organisations know about their backgrounds and everything else that is never mentioned in their ads, if forum like this doesn't exist?


I would just like to add my voice to the other comments here, as support, in regard to keeping
the forums going or at least visible on the internet.

Preferably as they are now, and mainly I feel for the above reason that is a quote from 'Unique's' post.

I think it is very important for anyone who may be thinking of joining these organisations to see
a wider view of what they might be getting into with these organisations.

And I say this from my own firsthand experience of knowing the deceit and manipulation that goes
on in Nina Mavros SFSK organisation.

I am more than happy for every post I have written to stay for ever ..
Why should one care about his past posts.
When you speak the spoken word to anyone ..it is out .. you cannot retract your words.

I also appreciate the difficult and time consuming work, also the diplomacy needed, that
Daffy has put in here over the years.

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

Re: Shutting down

Postby bonsai » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:22 pm

My main sadness in this decision is that it reinforces the SES's and its affiliates to just tough it out and all the critics will fade away.

What this forum has done, with Mike Gormez previously and Daffy to date, is phenominal. But has it been enough? Yes the damage of the past has been documented and acknowledged, but as far as I can tell the reconciliation never happened. Check out the inquiry website, where the status has not changed for 7 years since the report was published and all references to the inquiry have been removed from the St James's schools websites.

I certainly recognise that personal priorities change and respect Daffy's decision; I certainly recognise my own relationship and need for this forum changing.

However I do feel there is a need for this forum for current and future members and those who have not yet reconciled their pasts in this organisation.

I suspect that the main issue for Daffy has been that he is a one man band trying to run this. That is a lot to ask of one man. Moderating forums, especially like this one where there are often polarised debates and strong feelings, is a seriously tough job and more than one person should have to referee and bear.

Whatever the future of the forum, I am extremely grateful to Daffy & Mike Gormez for all their efforts in providing this space for us to discuss. And I am grateful to all who have contributed and the support I have personally received that has helped me come to terms with my past.

Bonsai

carolynscott
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:07 am

Re: Shutting down

Postby carolynscott » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:30 am

Hi this is sad news. I waited years to tell my story and to make contact with others who had left.I'm all for continuing. In some other fo
rm with the same purpose.thanks for what you have done


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