Justice! wrote:I would be interested to hear the views of anyone who has listened to any of the speakers at the conference:
Happy New Year All.
Thank you Justice for posting the links to the conference files. I have listened to the conference now a couple of times and now wish that I had attended in person.
I was particularly moved by the speech from Paul Cooper about him and his relationship with his moonie son. I was struck by the interplay of individual characters and influences in the story and just how much organisations like this can undermine families. I has a harking resonance to me and the damage that I feel (and I may be the only one that sees it) has been done to my family.
Generally I was quite amazed by the conference and the range of knowledge and experience of various groups that was presented. However one is left with the feeling that we are only just scratching the surface of understanding how these groups work and also there is no where near enough options or resources available to help those people affected by coercive organisations and no where near enough resource devoted to educating people to the dangers of these organisations.
I was particularly interested also in Dennis Tourish's speech where he was talking about political cults and as an aside he also mentions about cultic groups appearing in the ordinary employment environment. This is something that particularly scares me as there are opportunities all over the place for human beings to exploit and manipulate other particularly vulnerable people.
It is now clear to me, if it wasn't before, that my time under the influence of the SES and St James was my time in a cult. To this day it remains a cult. Whilst the SES may not exert the level of control that other cults would appear to it is nevertheless an organisation that people must be wary of and can have a huge trapping effect, whether intentional or not.
My personal view is that people should be allowed to form groups to explore and investigate beliefs (however wacky they are) but there must be checks and balances in place to ensure that people are not harmed by this process. In the SES there are no checks and balances except the individual's discrimination and conscience, which are undermined by what is taught. This is clearly unacceptable, as is the fact that those who claim benefit from the SES philosophy seem to be ignorant to the fact that it can do harm, despite the fact that there are plenty of victims of that harm here telling them so.