Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
Getting There
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:59 am

Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Getting There » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:09 am

I’m not sure how this will be received as it’s not a totally negative view of the Sydney SOP of the 70’s and early 80’s. Maybe my experience will offer a slightly different perspective - at least of that period.
---------------------------------------------
A few days ago I found myself wondering what happened to the Sydney SOP and the Mavros’ and thanks to the wonders of technology, googled myself here…

I attended Wilmot Street from 1971 or early 1972 and left in 1981 or ’82, not long after the move to Kent Street. I still have the commemorative medallion struck for the dedication of Kent Street on 3rd August, 1980 and the other day I dusted it off from the back of a cabinet, for the first time in many years. ‘Know Thyself” it commands..

And I guess that’s why I stayed for so long; the belief that there was more to life and that I was, as it were, ‘living on the surface’, seeking more and maybe SOP held some of the deeper answers to my unformed questions.

For me it did, but at a cost though I don’t harbour the rather bitter memories that some here have expressed (I didn’t ‘progress’ past middle school so perhaps never came under the intense pressure others experienced). I look back on my time in SOP, if not with pleasure, then at least with gratitude for the knowledge I gained.

From the start, the material, the ‘Teaching’, resonated with me and that’s what kept me going back for more. Nothing else. Never-the-less I was a ‘difficult’ student: uncommunicative & insular (though my day job required the opposite) I dragged myself, kicking & screaming to 7AM Saturday morning cleaning at Wilmot Street, Saturday afternoons calligraphy/sounding/economics, or gardening at Spencer Road; then the men’s evening group, Plato on another night and often a Sunday function too - plus meditation, Bible reading & calligraphy individually. All that - and from the early 70’s I was also trying to run a small business!

It was full-on with little or no concern for an individual’s personal circumstances. The direction was to put the Truth first (ie do as you were told) and the rest would flow naturally. I struggled with that level of obedience. Then, as now, I believe I was right up against my sanskara and that created my resistance & negativity (that’s my rationale & I’m sticking to it..)

Unlike some posters, carting horse manure around with bare hands or cleaning toilet bowls until they gleamed didn’t worry me and was never an imposition to be endured. I knew there was a ‘working surface’ there somewhere and indeed glimpsed it on a couple of occasions. Working on someone else’s garden was just an opportunity to work (though I did put out a couple of hints that my own garden was pretty shabby, alas to no avail..)

During this period I experienced two ‘out of the body’ events and these confirmed for me, beyond any doubt what-so-ever, that I really am, as SOP repeatedly suggested, ‘Not this body’ and that too kept me going. Strangely, after a gap of over 30 years I again fairly recently had a couple of OBE’s and an intense NDE. No idea what’s going on but at least death holds no terror.

Despite being a pretty negative student, I was always treated with respect, care, concern and, yes, love – both by fellow & senior students as well as tutors like Mr W, a lovely man! Mr. Mavro too was patient & kind with me on a personal level; yes, he was authoritarian and I held him in some awe. As mentioned, I didn’t get past ‘middle school’ (sidelined?), so didn’t see or experience what others have reported here

Anyway, with constant exposure to Mammon as well as Truth sadly, eventually the bad M guy won and I left. No one from SOP contacted me ever again. I did wait, anticipating the call - in vain. Now, I suspect they were glad to see the back of me. Fair enough, I was never ‘on the inside track’ – I was ‘in the group’ but not really part of it.

For quite a while I suffered from acute mental anguish & turmoil, particularly as there was no-one with whom I could discuss my feelings of anger, loss, failure and yes, ‘Fall From Grace’ as I saw it.… (I did have one Mentor, a senior gentleman who encouraged & supported me over my last 2 or 3 years at SOP with his laid-back, gentle humour. He returned to the USA and I left soon afterwards. I wonder if BF is still alive).

The World soon swallowed me up. Well, maybe not entirely… SOP teachings gave me a rock-solid, bed-rock, spiritual belief/understanding that has (often, not always) tempered my actions & behaviour and prevented me on occasion from going totally over the top. If you KNOW you get away with nothing, it may allow some pause, some space to choose to act differently. So far, so good, touch wood. Hanging in there.

Perhaps my memories of SOP have mellowed over time. Perhaps I saw things simplistically with no attempt to intellectualise, question or try to ‘work it out’. I am a simple soul. I didn’t engage socially or get involved in gossip or general chatter so was unaware of undercurrents of dissent that, it seems, even then were present. That was a good thing. I simply received what I perceived as ‘Truth’, put my head down as it were, and went for it as best I could, for as long as I could.

I do remember my almost constant internal/mental conflict but that was my stuff and I had to deal with it. I do remember the quality of fellow students - honourable, reliable, honest men, the like of which I haven’t come across before or since: like-minded men earnestly seeking Truth. The situation was special. They were special. And I remember as well as quiet & thoughtful group discussions in search of that Truth, more than occasional gales of laughter that rocked Wilmot Street to its very foundations…

Was/is SOP a cult, run by despots doing untold harm? Was I a brain-washed puppet, being used for nefarious purposes? I don’t think so. (But then some would question, can I be objective? ) All I can say my experience wasn’t like that and that's my honest opinion. And that's all I can offer.

Middle Way
Posts: 78
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Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Middle Way » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:53 am

Welcome to the discussions Getting There! I consider your contribution to be very important because I believe you have well articulated the perspective that I suspect many ex-SOPP and ex-SFSK students also share to some extent, but for whatever reason (maybe because that perspective isn't all-negative) is not posted here.

You have certainly spoken for me a number of times:
Getting There wrote:And I guess that’s why I stayed for so long; the belief that there was more to life and that I was, as it were, ‘living on the surface’, seeking more and maybe SOP held some of the deeper answers to my unformed questions.

Getting There wrote:From the start, the material, the ‘Teaching’, resonated with me and that’s what kept me going back for more.

I could not possibly have put either of these better myself. My unformed questions were of the "there's got to be more to life than this, isn't there?" kind.
Getting There wrote:I don’t harbour the rather bitter memories that some here have expressed (I didn’t ‘progress’ past middle school so perhaps never came under the intense pressure others experienced). I look back on my time in SOP, if not with pleasure, then at least with gratitude for the knowledge I gained.
Again sums me up perfectly. I too was no doubt destined to stay for 7 lifetimes in the middle group, and that suited me fine, out of the crosshairs. I just didn't go to all the weekend sanskrit and chanting sessions although I did enjoy the weekend residentials, for the most part. I was prepared to come in and clean the premises at times, but the pressure was always there to put the guilts on about never doing enough no matter how much you actually did do.
Getting There wrote:carting horse manure around with bare hands or cleaning toilet bowls until they gleamed didn’t worry me and was never an imposition to be endured. I knew there was a ‘working surface’ there somewhere and indeed glimpsed it on a couple of occasions.
Many will simply not believe you. But I do, despite the fact that these activities were no doubt dreamt up by the Mavros to get some pathetic kicks out of controlling/humiliating others. I never saw anything like this in SFSK. But if you have learned to keep cool while carrying around manure while so many others (like me) would not have, then I believe this will have stood you in good stead.
Getting There wrote:I did have one Mentor, a senior gentleman who encouraged & supported me over my last 2 or 3 years at SOP with his laid-back, gentle humour. He returned to the USA and I left soon afterwards.
You mention Mammon, but I wonder if this gentleman leaving was a major reason for you leaving? This was certainly the major reason for me leaving at the time I did, which was linked to the blatant hypocrisy going on, which it appears you did not experience.
Getting There wrote:SOP teachings gave me a rock-solid, bed-rock, spiritual belief/understanding that has (often, not always) tempered my actions & behaviour and prevented me on occasion from going totally over the top. If you KNOW you get away with nothing, it may allow some pause, some space to choose to act differently. So far, so good, touch wood. Hanging in there.

Oh well said! You speak for me so well. Thanks again for your contribution.
MW

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Tootsie » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:45 am

Hi Getting There

Welcome to the forum and thank you very much for your wonderful post. Was the student you mentioned who left for the the USA, William Fox or was it his father Buddy? William Fox was in my group and is now the headmaster of the Philosophy Day School in New York. (Google Philosophy Day School for their web site) Buddy Fox virtually bank rolled the Sydney SOP in the 1970's and it was indeed a sad day when he went back to the USA. I have fond memories of Fox senior as do you.

Getting There
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:59 am

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Getting There » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:36 pm

Middle Way: Yes, you’re quite correct. Though Mammon was always sitting on my shoulder, giving me a nudge, it was definitely Buddy’s departure that was the catalyst for mine as well. I’d been under self-generated pressure for some time and it would’ve taken a superhuman effort to continue. Was never going to happen…

Tootsie: Thank you for the link. I didn’t know William well. What wonderful work he’s engaged in! It certainly was a sad day when Buddy left Australia but I suspect his positive influence & legacy continues in New York.

Thank you both for your kind words. I’ve looked through some more of the site and it’s sad & disturbing that so many people have had such bad experiences; mine were inconsequential by comparison.

Whilst not negating or denying the things that happened - and I found it therapeutic to express & release feelings bottled up for 30 years - given the choice of going through the whole thing again - warts, tears, ego-maniacs with feet of clay & all - I’d do so without hesitation. Simply because SOP gave me a direction, an inkling of Truth and that is more important than the rest of the stuff. That’s what I was trying to say.

Getting There
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:59 am

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Getting There » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:21 pm

Hello MW,

I tried to send you a PM but got lost in the system and it appears stuck in my out-box & refuses to budge... (I'm not getting there..)

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks

GT

Middle Way
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:46 am

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Middle Way » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:19 am

Hello GT. It did arrive - twice! Like your posts, it was definitely worth reading twice. Thanks again for your wonderful messages which as I told you privately have been so helpful to me and I suspect others who are going through the uncertain "so I'm no longer there, now what?" phase.
All the very best and thank you so much again.
MW

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:29 am

@Getting There:

First of all, thank you for your post. Highlighting different perspectives is a major aspect of this forum and it's good to facilitate discussion about them.

My overwhelming impression upon reading your post was that it epitomised what I would call the "honest student". You kept your head down and diligently applied the principles you were taught as best and as humanely as you could.

MW's posts deal with what you said very well and I don't wish to add too much, except to reiterate what you said yourself: that a brainwashed person will not think they are brainwashed. It is a defining feature of a brainwashed person that they cannot look objectively at their beliefs.

I certainly don't want to deny your experience, however I would like to address just a couple of things:

1.
Getting There wrote:During this period I experienced two ‘out of the body’ events and these confirmed for me, beyond any doubt what-so-ever, that I really am, as SOP repeatedly suggested, ‘Not this body’ and that too kept me going. Strangely, after a gap of over 30 years I again fairly recently had a couple of OBE’s and an intense NDE. No idea what’s going on but at least death holds no terror.


There are two considerations that arise here: i) The fact that the SOP repeatedly suggested that you are 'not this body' does not mean that everything else they told you was the truth. Having an experience that confirms one thing they told you does not mean that experience can be used to confirm everything else. ii) The fact that you recently had a couple of OBEs would suggest that the advent of these experiences is not contingent on you following the practices/teaching of the SOP. In fact it would seem that these OBEs can happen whether or not what the SOP told you was true. Therefore, what the SOP told you is actually not connected to the advent of your OBEs. Thus you can't really use your OBEs to confirm the teaching of the SOP. OBEs are a very interesting and largely unexplained phenomenon. It's not really a sound move to say: "Something incredible happened to me that I can't explain. Therefore the SOP teaching is true".

2.
Getting There wrote:It was full-on with little or no concern for an individual’s personal circumstances. The direction was to put the Truth first (ie do as you were told) and the rest would flow naturally. I struggled with that level of obedience. Then, as now, I believe I was right up against my sanskara and that created my resistance & negativity (that’s my rationale & I’m sticking to it..)


Two things here:
i) Putting the Truth first and doing what you were told are two separate things entirely. I think that your struggle with this inherent anomaly was completely valid and justified.
ii) You would not have believed you were 'right up against your sanskara' had they not told you that was the case. These were the same people that told you the 'Truth' was whatever they said. Can you really trust that? It seems all too convenient for them to tell you that everything they said was the truth, and then for them to tell you that your negativity was caused by your sanskaras; which was true because everything they said was the truth. This is very obviously circular. On what basis do you believe that what they told you was true, other than "they told me so"?

3. "Gales of laughter"
I too remember some congenial moments during my time at the School. I also remember that a lot of that laughter was forced, and that it existed in a larger context of oppression and fear. When Mr M laughed few dared not to laugh with him.

MOTS

actuallythere
Posts: 180
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Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby actuallythere » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:08 pm

@MOTS

It seems all too convenient for them to tell you that everything they said was the truth, and then for them to tell you that your negativity was caused by your sanskaras; which was true because everything they said was the truth.


Yes!

Getting There
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:59 am

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Getting There » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:41 am

Hello Man On The Street

Thank you for your comments. I didn’t know any ‘dishonest’ students in my day at SOP..but thanks for the complement anyway..

Now, what I actually said was :
‘….Was/is SOP a cult, run by despots doing untold harm? Was I a brain-washed puppet, being used for nefarious purposes? I don’t think so. (But then some would question, can I be objective? ) All I can say my experience wasn’t like that and that's my honest opinion. And that's all I can offer….’

Your (quite sly) inference was that I WAS indeed brainwashed. However, my statement clearly (and tongue in cheek that the opposite could apply) was that I was NOT!

It’s 30 + years since I left SOP, with zero contact since then. I’ve led a very full life.

Are you, MOTS, suggesting that the brain-washing techniques of SOP/SES last that long? If so, I suggest that the Tavistock Institute, as well as the CIA, MK MULTRA folk and other spook organisations should study SES/SOP and gain some clues as to how it's really done..Right!

Bit of a long, twisted bow, my friend.. and not too honest, if I may say so. Duh (1) !

Point 1 My OBE’s.
Did I say that because I had experiences that confirmed one aspect of SOP philosophy that everything else they said is true?

NO! Just that one. It confirmed for me, without question, that ‘I am not this body’ That’s all I said! The remainder of your ramble on this point is just sophistry. Perhaps you have a degree in it?

Point 2
1)You said, 'Putting the truth first and going what you were told are tow separate things entirely'

NO! They are not separate! If you don’t know the Truth, and are seeking it, how do you expect to get there if you don’t take direction from those who (supposedly) do know? It’s a school, remember? Duh (2) !!

11) You said, ' You would not have believed.....had they not told you...' etc'

No-one ‘told me’ I was right up against my against my sanskara. Never! With me, the Mavros, the other Tutors, were very much ‘hands-off’. All my conflict was internal (through, I believe, a gradual understanding of something approaching the ‘truth’ and THAT created the conflict). No one ever told me what to think or believe. I found out for myself and that was the casue of my internal conflict. The rest of your statement is complete supposition & untrue, certainly, in my case at least. Please don’t put words into my mouth. Duh (3) !!!

Point 3
Your comments re: Gales of Laughter

Actually, I was thinking more of the very droll English humour of Mr W***, rather than Mr Mavro, though the latter certainly had his moments.

However, whether it was Mr Mavros’ or Mr. W….’s class, I recall sitting next to fine, honest men…they weren’t cowed or fearful..far from it. On occassi0ns, after the outward laughter had died down, sometimes they and I would still be silently shaking with suppressed laughter. The tears would run down my face. Fear? Forced? Oppression? Absolute, complete nonsense! The only fear was of wetting one’s pants and having to sit there damp until the break.. Duh (4) !!!!

The truth, imho, is that like me, you were faced with The Truth and like me, you flunked it, backed off, showed the white card, gave up, chickened out, crashed out, ran for the hills.

But unlike me, you won’t admit it and worse, like the incongruously user-named 'Actually There', want to spend your time rubbishing those who carried the message. And yes, they, or at least some of them, may have had feet of clay. Don’t we all? (present company excepted, of course)

When I return from overseas in a few weeks I may post again: “SHOOT THE MESSENGER(S) IF YOU MUST.THE MESSAGE REMAINS. SUCK IT UP ’’

actuallythere
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Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby actuallythere » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:31 pm

@Getting there

As I've stated before in this forum, my username was taken from a line of text chosen at random.

"Actually there was a cat on the wall."

Without questioning me about it, you assumed some kind of implication about what the "there" is in my username. No, it is not SES, nor Nirvana, nor Melbourne, Australia, nor a position of special knowledge or power.

You've named yourself "Getting There". In light of your most recent post, this appears to be adversarial. What was your point?

I'm not sure what you meant when you alleged that I want to spend my time "rubbishing those who carried the message."

I have referred to ways that SES members going through anguish might begin to start healing. I have said SES members are not stupid. I have also expressed my concern about a rape victim, child abuse victims, and about a suicide. I have raised concerns about SES, and expressed my doubts about it, just as hundreds of other people have. This is our right.

What, exactly do you mean when you characterize my behaviour as "rubbishing" ? Are you certain that you are not rubbishing me?

And what "message" are you speaking of being carried? The message of Leon Maclaren? Or of Nina Mavro?

And are you not rubbishing MOTS's message?

If you are angered by content on this forum, then please go ahead and express your anger about it. People will listen, including me.

But in keeping with no-personal-attacks conventions across the internet, please lets try to comment on the content of this forum, rather than on the contributors to it.

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:16 pm

As always, AT has managed to express his thoughts much more concisely than I can. I agree with his post, and fully support him in his conclusions and questions.

actuallythere wrote:And in keeping with no-personal-attacks conventions across the internet, please lets try to comment on the content of this forum, rather than on the contributors to it.


Absolutely. As I said at the beginning of my last post, I'm sure everyone appreciates your perspective GT - I thanked you for your original post, and that thanks was offered genuinely.

Given that we know almost nothing about each other (except what we can reasonably infer from each other's posts) I don't think it's really helpful or reasonable to resort to ad hominem arguments to prove our points. With the exception of comments regarding Mr and Mrs Mavro (whom I knew/know extremely well) I have kept my contributions on this forum free from personal attacks. I hope that you can do the same.

On to your post then:

[1]

Getting There wrote:Now, what I actually said was :
‘….Was/is SOP a cult, run by despots doing untold harm? Was I a brain-washed puppet, being used for nefarious purposes? I don’t think so. (But then some would question, can I be objective? ) All I can say my experience wasn’t like that and that's my honest opinion. And that's all I can offer….’

Your (quite sly) inference was that I WAS indeed brainwashed. However, my statement clearly (and tongue in cheek that the opposite could apply) was that I was NOT!


I don't believe I made any such inference. What I said was:
ManOnTheStreet wrote:It is a defining feature of a brainwashed person that they cannot look objectively at their beliefs.
I'm sure you would agree with this statement. It's not controversial - in fact it stands to reason, because the definition of 'brainwashing' implies that the person being brainwashed is unaware of the process (that's why it works). I used this in order to cast doubt on your proposition that you were not brainwashed because 'it was your honest opinion that you were not'. I'm not saying you were brainwashed, but I am saying that "I don't think I was brainwashed" is not an effective way of deciding whether or not you were brainwashed, because it is precisely that ability to remain objective about our beliefs that brainwashing takes away.

In other words, saying that you 'don't think you were brainwashed' begs the question.

[2]

Getting There wrote:It’s 30 + years since I left SOP, with zero contact since then. I’ve led a very full life.

Are you, MOTS, suggesting that the brain-washing techniques of SOP/SES last that long? If so, I suggest that the Tavistock Institute, as well as the CIA, MK MULTRA folk and other spook organisations should study SES/SOP and gain some clues as to how it's really done..Right!

Bit of a long, twisted bow, my friend.. and not too honest, if I may say so. Duh (1) !


1. I made no comment regarding whether or not you had led a full life.

2. All you've said here is that you can't personally see how the effects of brainwashing (if that's what it was) could last that long. This is just an argument from personal incredulity, and hence it is more or less the same as your response to the question of whether you had been brainwashed - that is: "I don't think so". As above, this just begs the question.

All the evidence and surrounding circumstances suggest that the SOP/SFSK was a "cult" (for want of a better word). It is a defining feature of these types of organisations that they use brainwashing techniques on their members. It is not an outrageous proposition to say that it is very likely you were subjected to these techniques during your time in the School.

3. I'm not sure what you mean by "not too honest". As I said above, ad hominem arguments are simply not reasonable given how little we know of each other. I'm more than happy to discuss your various arguments, and I have given you the benefit of the doubt in regard to the honesty with which you present those arguments. I would hope that you would extend the same courtesy to me.

[3]

Getting There wrote:1)You said, 'Putting the truth first and going what you were told are tow separate things entirely'

NO! They are not separate! If you don’t know the Truth, and are seeking it, how do you expect to get there if you don’t take direction from those who (supposedly) do know? It’s a school, remember? Duh (2) !!


There are a few things here:

1. The key word is "supposedly". My whole point was that you have no objective reason to believe that they do know 'the truth'. All you have is their implication that they know more about this 'truth' than you do. But on what grounds do you believe this statement? AT and I have dealt with this (rather vague) notion of 'truth' in another thread, so I won't go into detail here. What I will say is that your answer is internally contradictory. I can demonstrate this in the following way:

A breakdown of your argument runs thus:

a) You say you don't know the Truth.
b) You say if that you don't know the Truth, and are seeking it, 'getting there' requires taking direction from those who do know the Truth.
c) Recall (a): you don't know what the Truth is.
d) You say are searching for it, and furthermore - you make a decision as to whether someone else knows it.
e) All these statements inherently imply that you have some conception of what the Truth is.
f) Assuming your conception is correct, (d) implies that you do in fact know the Truth.
g) but (f) is a direct contradiction of (a).

Therefore, your argument contradicts itself, and is hence invalid.

As an aside: You say that "to get there, you need direction from those who do know the Truth". (Paraphrasing)
What does this mean exactly? Getting where? What is it about the Truth that necessitates 'getting to it'? There are a lot of vague assumptions in your argument that have not yet been explained or justified.

2. "It's a school, remember?"

Actually, it's only called a school. It is called a 'school' because Leon MacLaren et al called it so. I could call this forum a duck, but calling it so does not make it so.

[4]

Getting There wrote: Never! With me, the Mavros, the other Tutors, were very much ‘hands-off’. All my conflict was internal (through, I believe, a gradual understanding of something approaching the ‘truth’ and THAT created the conflict). No one ever told me what to think or believe. I found out for myself and that was the casue of my internal conflict. The rest of your statement is complete supposition & untrue, certainly, in my case at least. Please don’t put words into my mouth. Duh (3) !!!


1. Actually, what I said is the following:

ManOnTheStreet wrote:There are two considerations that arise here: i) The fact that the SOP repeatedly suggested that you are 'not this body' does not mean that everything else they told you was the truth. Having an experience that confirms one thing they told you does not mean that experience can be used to confirm everything else.


If you read what I said in context, you will see that I raised that point as one of consideration arising out of what you had said about your OBE. I did not say that this reflected your current state of mind. Nowhere in that statement did I say you believed everything you heard in the SOP on the basis of that one OBE. I think that's quite obvious. I post on this forum knowing that others read it as well. Many members of the SFSK that I've spoken to have brought up similar experiences and used them to justify the teaching of the School in general. It is to those people that my 'considerations' were addressed. Again, there was no suggestion in what I wrote that I considered you as thinking that way. My use of the second person was perhaps too liberal, but that hardly amounts to 'sophistry'.

2. I do want to pick up on one thing you did say however:
Getting There wrote:No-one ‘told me’ I was right up against my against my sanskara.


The very fact that you use the word "sanskara" undermines your argument. They certainly told you about sanskaras. In the process of telling you about sanskaras they would have inevitably touched on properties that sanskaras have, and/or effects they have. While your conclusion that you were "right up against your sanskaras" may have been your own, the terminology (and hence the implication) of your conclusion is entirely dependent on them. You can't say that no one ever told you what to think or believe and then use the word "sanskara". That word is by its very nature something they would've told you to think about and believe in (if not directly, then by implication - in any case, the fact that you are using the word means that somebody somewhere in the School introduced you to the concept).

3. I'm not actually putting words into your mouth - my point is in fact that they did.

[5]

Getting There wrote:However, whether it was Mr Mavros’ or Mr. W….’s class, I recall sitting next to fine, honest men…they weren’t cowed or fearful..far from it. On occassi0ns, after the outward laughter had died down, sometimes they and I would still be silently shaking with suppressed laughter. The tears would run down my face. Fear? Forced? Oppression? Absolute, complete nonsense! The only fear was of wetting one’s pants and having to sit there damp until the break.. Duh (4) !!!!


Yet again, I made no suggestion that the men you were sitting beside were cowed or fearful. In all probability they may have been in exactly your situation for all you know. The fact is that you can't speak for them. It's very easy to put on a straight face while covering up internal conflict and pain. I can personally attest to that. What you are left with is your recollection of your own experience, and then we are back to brainwashing all over again. You can't use your personal experience as an argument supporting your position because it is precisely the nature of your experience which was being manipulated by these people. The fact that you didn't "feel" oppressed doesn't say anything about whether you were in fact oppressed or not.

I saw what went on behind the scenes at SFSK and that is what informs the recollection I have of my experience. I too had the gales of laughter, and the 'intense' spiritual experiences, and everything else. I also saw how all those experiences were manufactured by Mr and Mrs Mavro. The point I was trying to get across is that you can't take your experiences in the School at face value. Things are just not what they seem to be.

[6]

Getting There wrote:The truth, imho, is that like me, you were faced with The Truth and like me, you flunked it, backed off, showed the white card, gave up, chickened out, crashed out, ran for the hills.

But unlike me, you won’t admit it and worse, like the incongruously user-named 'Actually There', want to spend your time rubbishing those who carried the message. And yes, they, or at least some of them, may have had feet of clay. Don’t we all? (present company excepted, of course)


1. See above regarding ad hominem arguments. What I can say is that I was faced with some very harsh realities about the School and its leaders. In no way have I 'given up' or 'chickened out'. Moreover, I don't think you can speak for me or anyone else in this forum. You are simply making up facts here and this is, as I have already explained, unreasonable.

2. 'Rubbishing the messengers': All I am doing is presenting the facts and arguments as I see them. If the Mavros are taken off their self-created pedestal as a result, then so be it. The same applies for the 'message' of the School.
You are more than welcome to attack my arguments, but don't attack me with assumptions just because you don't like where those arguments lead.

3. 'Feet of clay'. Two points:

i) The fact that we all may have 'feet of clay' has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the actions of Mr and Mrs Mavro were callous and manipulative.

ii) I would think that psychological abuse and deliberate brainwashing perpetrated by the leaders of the School rise somewhat above the level of mere 'feet of clay'. There is clearly a spectrum here. No one is going to excuse Stalin for murdering 40 million people just because 'we all have feet of clay'. I'm not equating Mr and Mrs Mavro with Stalin, but I am saying that their actions certainly constituted an injustice significantly more serious than that attributable to 'feet of clay'.

[7]

Message: I just want to reiterate AT's question to you on this - what, in your view, is this 'message' exactly?

MOTS

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Unique » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:06 am

Getting There wrote:The truth, imho, is that like me, you were faced with The Truth and like me, you flunked it, backed off, showed the white card, gave up, chickened out, crashed out, ran for the hills.


Is that what happens when people face The Truth ? I thought The Truth is my own self, everywhere and in everything. Looks like I was wrong. It is actually something that sits in the SES building and makes people chicken out and ran for the hills.

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby actuallythere » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:56 am

I thought the truth is that the Mavros have not been telling the truth.

Was this not established by four members taking the trouble to go to India and independently double-checking what they had been told to believe?

As to The Truth, used with capital letters, it was the official mouthpiece of the communist party during Joseph Stalin's leadership of Soviet Union, and is still published by the Russian communist party. There's a fairly good article on it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravda#The_Soviet_period

Please let's think about that before we use capital letters for the term. I suggest we use lower case.

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby Ella.M.C. » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:55 am

Getting There wrote:The truth, imho, is that like me, you were faced with The Truth and like me, you flunked it, backed off, showed the white card, gave up, chickened out, crashed out, ran for the hills.


To me this is exactly how school made you feel ..
It is part of their brainwashing ..

"if you backed off, chickened out, crashed out" ..
Or just plainly left school ..
It really mean't that you had your fill, (for this lifetime ..according to MM), could take no more ..
and had left .. 'THE WORK..' !!

Gosh ..what now, "just a man on the street "..

It is what they use to make you feel guilty ..and simply NOT TRUE
I believed this for so long, but now see it for what it is.

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

Re: Sydney SOP 70's. A Different Perspective.

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:01 am

actuallythere wrote:As to The Truth, used with capital letters, it was the official mouthpiece of the communist party during Joseph Stalin's leadership of Soviet Union, and is still published by the Russian communist party. There's a fairly good article on it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravda#The_Soviet_period

Please let's think about that before we use capital letters for the term. I suggest we use lower case.


Agreed.

I think Unique meant 'the Truth' in the sense that it is used in School, that is: in a way synonymous with "That which I am in reality". In any case, it's a much-misused term. We have to make a distinction between using the word 'truth' to describe an entity and using that same word to describe a property.

This double-usage of the word 'truth' is a source of a lot of confusion. I have suggested elsewhere on these forums that we simply abandon the word 'Truth' altogether (as describing the entity) because it's essentially meaningless. We should call it something else - it's a loophole in the language used in the School that allows all kinds of properties to be attributed to "That which I am in reality" without any justification at all.

There are so many usages of the word 'truth' floating around; therefore, we need to sort out exactly what we mean when we use the word 'truth'. It should have one meaning and we should stick to that. If you want to impute another meaning to the word you should change the word. There are so many words in the English language - we don't have to keep using 'truth' all the time.

Example:
Getting There wrote:The truth, imho, is that like me, you were faced with The Truth
Unique wrote:Is that what happens when people face The Truth ? I thought The Truth is my own self
actuallythere wrote:I thought the truth is that the Mavros have not been telling the truth.


There are at least 3-4 different uses of the word 'truth' in these quotes. To be clear, I think we should always accompany the word 'truth' with the thing to which it refers. "The truth regarding the facts of situation X is that..." etc. Just using 'truth' in isolation creates a lot of unnecessary debate. If we all agree on the definition of the words we are using I think the discussion will quickly become much more fruitful.

When I say 'truth' I mean: "conformity with fact".

I completely concur with Ella regarding the 'guilt factor' incorporated into the School teachings by Mr and Mrs Mavro.

MOTS


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