The Melbourne School

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
Temporarily Duped
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Melbourne

Postby Temporarily Duped » Fri May 19, 2006 12:24 pm

Welcome ab

I have very much enjoyed your posts.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alban
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Postby Alban » Fri May 19, 2006 7:43 pm

Hey guys, don't beat yourselves up about "being deceived". The SES has had about half a decade to hone the advertising and patter to something that is in spirit wholely misleading, but in letter just-about defendable.

I think, actually, you need to congratulate yourselves for getting out quite so quickly - many don't, and get sucked up by it's persuasive, but totally fanciful facade.

The organisation expects to lose the majority of it's members during the first couple of terms, and in fact it is recognised that compliance is a must-have (as well as an ability to unquestioningly swallow large amounts of fiction dressed as fact).

When I was there as a child, each term saw lectures 5 nights a week and saturday mornings too. This was reduced to one within six terms. So that's an 84% drop off. It seems that the general public are on the whole not that gullible.

There will of course always be a market for this sort of thing. They are selling a safe environment where comradeship is high and where people feel that they are improving themselves - much like all religions. What can you do...you can't go around protecting people from themselves, especially if they don't want to be protected. All that can be done, is to highlight the absurdity of the crap they teach, and more importantly, to ensure that it is only fed to people old enough to know it is exactly want they want.

Most people on this board have spent some time in the SES and have heard what the organisation claims is "the truth". A lot of us have, like you, realised that it is certainly NOT "the truth" and have walked away...and like you, most of us have found it theraputic to write on here about it. The reason it is theraputic, is because you realise that you're actually having a normal (84%) reaction against what you've been told, and that actually, it is they that are "weird".

...so it's ok, you can tell your wife...you are perfectly "normal" after all!

Alban

Temporarily Duped
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school

Postby Temporarily Duped » Sat May 20, 2006 1:53 am

Thanks Alban for your kind post.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Sat May 20, 2006 7:07 am

was prescribed the SES formula for bringing up a child. It begins by stating that 0 ? 4 /5 yrs old is the time for Love and Play. Love and Discipline is the next stage.


Hmmm, that could explain alot...

So do SES parents not use pre-schools/kinders TD do you know?

And what is the stage after "love and discipline". Is there a set age when L&D stops and "Love & whatever" kicks in?

I agree with your point that age 5 is all a bit late to be teaching a child that biting etc. is 'not nice'. If there is no guidance before the age of 5, what sort of 'discpline' do they use to try and undo all that damage?
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

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bella
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Postby bella » Sat May 20, 2006 8:09 am

TD, you might like to read the "SES for babies" thread on the second page of this board. ADG, here's a snip of something I posted there, in case it faded into the mists of BB antiquity:

kids 0-5 shouldn't be subjected to any physical or emotional pressure, and that boundary-setting and all interactions need to happen through love and play only.

Note the "boundary-setting". Of course there are supposed to be rules and boundaries. No, I don't tolerate biting or anti-social behaviour. Neither do any of the other mothers I know who go to the school. What a strange mental image you've conjured - oblivious parents letting their kids run around, screaming and chewing on people until they hit 5, when they will be magically cured.

The idea is that you try not to use physical or emotional force on the child under 5. Nothing wrong with a firm "NO" and physically removing them from whatever they're doing that's unacceptable, among other things.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Sat May 20, 2006 10:05 am

Thanks Bella, I did recall there had been a thread discussing this at one time - but couldn't remember which.

I wonder though the wisdom of not using 'emotion' in setting boundaries for young children. The reason why toddlers have tantrums or bite another child is because their emotions are out of control. So to not have emotions play a part in modifying that behaviour (and teaching self-control) seems a bit like teaching a dog to 'sit' just by yelling 'sit' and NOT showing it what you mean.

And aside from questioning this one-size-fits-alll child raising formula of the SES, I remind you that we've discussed before that some SES members take things too literally, without adding any dash of their own common sense.

Do you question TD's experience of SES children in her child's class?
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

Alban
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Postby Alban » Sat May 20, 2006 5:09 pm

bella wrote:...kids 0-5 shouldn't be subjected to any physical or emotional pressure, and that boundary-setting and all interactions need to happen through love and play only.

...The idea is that you try not to use physical or emotional force on the child under 5. Nothing wrong with a firm "NO" and physically removing them from whatever they're doing that's unacceptable, among other things.


So...after 5 years old it is ok to use "physical force"?

I'm sorry Bella, but without casting aspersions on what your personal views or practises are, what you've written there does read like it's ok to knock a child around after he or she is 5.

The trouble is, that in the hands of a reasonable, well-balanced individual, that statement would be relatively harmless...on the other hand, the interpretation of it by someone without the experience of parenthood, who is also deprived of sleep and is given to short temper, may lead to a justification for cruelty and abuse.

It is a dangerous assumption to believe everybody in an organisation is a well-balanced individual.

Alban

sugarloaf
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Postby sugarloaf » Sat May 20, 2006 5:14 pm

heres a link to the 'SES for babies' thread: http://www.whyaretheydead.net/phpBB2/vi ... .php?t=474
I agree with sparks that 'love and discipline', the 'civilised child', 'stillness', the 'true essence' of the child are all aspects of SES philosophy which will probably resonate with many of those who were mistreated as children at St james and St vedast while being subjected to this 'philosophy'. And I agree its deeply depressing that the SES are still trying to subject children to it today - from age O. As with everything they do - it seems they refuse to learn any lessons from their failures - and even refuse to accept there have been failures - which must show to anyone with even an once of rationality how absurd their current position is.

anti_ses
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Postby anti_ses » Sat May 20, 2006 5:18 pm

Alban wrote:It is a dangerous assumption to believe everybody in an organisation is a well-balanced individual.

Why limit this to people in organisations? By your reasoning, Alban, would you say that nobody should ever give any advice to people belonging to an organisation? Because just about any advice or recommendation given to anyone can be misused.

Alban
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Postby Alban » Sun May 21, 2006 12:24 am

What I am saying "anti-SES", is that any organisation has to be extremely careful about what they do, how they do it and who they do it to.

An organisation that essentially charges money for "advice" needs to be whiter-than-white, and given the SES's attrocious record of pastoral care of their children, I think it is time their "experimentation" ended. Sugarloaf has pretty much hit the nail on the head with:

sugarloaf wrote:As with everything they do - it seems they refuse to learn any lessons from their failures


Alban

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Sun May 21, 2006 3:32 am

not just 'whiter than white' Alban, an organisation that charges money to give advice on a particular topic should have some sort of expertise and qualifications in that area.

As can been seen from sugerloafs link (thanks SL) the person teaching these people who pay their money for a 'practical parenting' course is merely a tutor within the SES. The material they 'teach' is given them by the SES.

So you have a person with NO qualifications in midwifery, early childhood, teaching, child psychology, child development etc. etc. imparting knoweldge written by people who also have NO qualifications in midwifery, early childhood, teaching, child psychology, child development etc. etc.
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bella
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Postby bella » Sun May 21, 2006 12:57 pm

wonder though the wisdom of not using 'emotion' in setting boundaries for young children. The reason why toddlers have tantrums or bite another child is because their emotions are out of control. So to not have emotions play a part in modifying that behaviour (and teaching self-control) seems a bit like teaching a dog to 'sit' just by yelling 'sit' and NOT showing it what you mean.

The edict isn't to abandon emotion, but to not use emotional force. To me, an example of emotional force would be telling a child it was wicked because of its behaviour, or to otherwise terrorise the child through criticism of its personality or essence...or to threaten to withdraw love or support because of behaviour. Much like what has been described here by some previous students of St J/ St V.

I'm not an apologist for the people who abused students in their care. What I am saying is that what I've been taught is not what's being spoken of. No, ADG, I don't attempt to deny that TD has reliable reports of certain behaviour - what I do question is (A) whether she's sure the biting children she talks of are from SES households, and (B) whether she's sure the parents aren't just slackasses. That second one is the kicker. Slackass parents are everywhere.

It's been pointed out on this board before that the Shankaracharya advocated "no force" before 5 years of age. The fact that it has been used speaks to the people in question.

Alban, yes - a smack on the rear end to a child over 5 is not precluded. What you and others experienced was obviously beyond reasonable limits and should be recognised as such. I don't think anyone here questions that what you experienced was over-the-top. What I do question is whether you can write off an organisation and its teacher's beliefs because people acted wrongly. Surely you'd be looking at making things clearer to the next generation, and trying to eliminate the chance for screwups and misinterpretation. It may or may not work, but I'd think that was the logical next step, at least for the people still involved.

I dunno if it will make you feel any better, but the people assigned to take the children's group (the "Sunday School" on Saturday) now are required to have teaching qualifications. Really, the picture often painted on this BB is of a group of people dead-set on manipulating everyone in their path and disguising their affiliations until it's "too late". The reality is that, at least here, the desire is to be as transparent as possible and let those who would come, come. For the record, I just joined the marketing team.
Last edited by bella on Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alban
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Postby Alban » Sun May 21, 2006 2:48 pm

bella wrote:...I don't think anyone here questions that what you experienced was over-the-top. What I do question is whether you can write off an organisation and its teacher's beliefs because people acted wrongly.


IF (big if) the organisation concerned was to recognise past mistakes and did everything within their power to make amends for those "wrongs", then yes I would agree that it would be unfair to write them off. On the other hand, if the organisation makes no such attempt to learn from or rectify the "wrongs" (and indeed attempts to cover up and spin away the same) then I would suggest that the organisation is at fault and not the individuals concerned, as it is quite clear that they were (are) acting within the sanction of the organisation.

This is the main point that current members of the SES appear to miss when coming on here to discuss their views. They keep saying to us..."That was then"...but the organisation continues to show exactly the same arrogance and stupidity that it always did. How can it expect us to start the reconciliation process when they are not admitting to themselves that their whole experiment went badly wrong.

bella wrote:..Surely you'd be looking at making things clearer to the next generation, and trying to eliminate the chance for screwups and misinterpretation. It may or may not work, but I'd think that was the logical next step, at least for the people still involved.


You would think so, wouldn't you!

bella wrote:...I dunno if it will make you feel any better, but the people assigned to take the children's group (the "Sunday School" on Saturday) now are required to have teaching qualifications.


As you guess, it doesn't make me feel any better at all. Why, because I don't believe the SES has any place educating children, or advising the children's parents on parenthood. The SES has set itself up as an organisation which gives spiritual guidance for a fee. That guidance should only be given to consenting adults who sign up and pay for the courses.

bella wrote:...For the record, I just joined the marketing team.


Well, I don't know if you're being serious about this position Bella, or are just making a comment on your views, but I will offer a couple of suggestions all the same.

[Transparency]
As transparency is one of your aims, how about publishing a few sample weeks worth of material. Publish also the views of the husband / wife relationship and the views to homosexual relations.

[Spiritual affiliations]
The public should be made aware of the relationship of the SES to various spiritual leaders, and the financial support that is given to those leaders. They should also be made aware of the authors of the material that is given out, not just the publication which are quoted, but the people who put together the material itself - and their qualifications to do so.

[Spiritual practices]
It is absolutely necessary to let potential joiners know exactly what form of "mind-calming" exercises they will be introduced to including details of exactly which branch of meditation they will be following.

[Physical practices]
Again, it should be detailed what dietary recommendations are made, along with the recommendations for work / sleep ratio, and the amount of time that a "student" can expect to spend working for the SES.

[Essence of the SES]
Lastly, I think the SES should describe itself as a religion, not a school of philosophy (as philosophy, it is not). It would also be a sound idea to publish a set of texts which people can refer to as representative of the ideology being sold - i.e. what is the SES's bible / Torah / Quran etc.

If you publish these things then it will solve several of the current problems associated with the SES. Firstly, people will have a greater understanding before joining, and so will have a far smaller chance of leaving after the first few weeks. Secondly, it will open up the SES to a much wider debate and will possibly attract more visitors as a result (surely this is the point of a marketing department). Thirdly, it will enable current members to talk more openly about what they do in the evenings / weekends to non-members, destroying the ridiculous veil of secrecy that is surely one of the SES most controversial policies.

I know that even if you don't dismiss these recomendations out of hand, then others in the organisation will. It is a shame, because even if half of them were followed there would be a reasonable chance that the SES would be able to join the rest of society instead of remaining covertly-aloof.

Alban

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bella
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Postby bella » Sun May 21, 2006 3:08 pm

Alban, it wasn't a flippant comment about my views. I have in fact just joined the marketing team. Some of your suggestions are things I would be pushing to have emphasised. Others I think are very much more at home on an "expose" website than in an advert for an organisation. On the most basic level, an advert like you suggest would be quite long, and sort of unclear whether the ad was endorsing it or warning people against it. The level of detail you suggest in advertising would be something unprecedented in religious/spiritual/educational groups to date. I'm assuming your suggestions are for the first instance adverts in papers, public transport, etc.

Alban
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Postby Alban » Sun May 21, 2006 3:54 pm

bella wrote:...Alban, it wasn't a flippant comment about my views. I have in fact just joined the marketing team. Some of your suggestions are things I would be pushing to have emphasised. Others I think are very much more at home on an "expose" website than in an advert for an organisation


Hang on a minute Bella...are you suggesting that there are some things here that would make uncomfortable reading?...surely not! yet these are the things that the SES is actively promoting within it's walls.

The SES's product is it's advice, the job of a marketting department is to increase awareness of the product and thus promote the brand.

It seems you are suggesting that there are aspects of the product that you wouldn't want the public to be aware of...lets call them flaws. If a product has flaws, then the manufacturers need to remove those flaws before the brand gets dumped.

I'm glad that you are pushing for some of my suggestions - good luck with that, lets hope they don't decide to move you back to scrubbing the floors as a result of controversial ideas.

I would like to ask a couple of questions though...

1) Which of my suggestions would you be unhappy about promoting?
2) Do you or anyone else in the marketting department have any real-life experience of marketting? This is not a criticism, I am genuinely interested to see if erstwhile trends still exist.

Alban


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