That's what they all say! Sorry to tease you but you remind me of a young man in SES who told me he thought men are closer to God than women and when I said that must be because the SES told him so, he was quite offended and claimed that it was understanding he worked out himself! In the light of this discussion where you have been at pains to explain how we are all products of brainwashing from some source or other, I am a bit surprised that you may be underestimating the effect of 15 years in SES. I don't wish to be unkind or rude but you have been quite determined with me, and I think a little gentle push to get you to reconsider may be in order!
I probably need to give you more background as to why I made this point and disavow you of your assumptions.
As a subteen schoolboy I recall making observations where my friends would say, ‘how do you even think of this stuff”, as I would describe phenomena, mostly through logic and social things that other people would simply accept as the way things were. My insights worked really well with my role as class clown and teachers had difficulty dealing with insights that some adults were not yet aware of.
I also was able to accept other cultural practices as having no moral content, as a yong boy I would see people vilify different practices of other cultures, while I seemed to avoid following the cultural norm. As I had a British colonial upbringing, the most amusing one was being exposed to foreign cultures where the women did not shave armpits and legs, something I had no issue with. My school friends and parents were scandalised by these social violations and my acceptance of them.
My mother also noted that I had unusual awareness as a teenager wrt to social situations, however as a student I had a friend whose social insights dwarfed my own and I used to get highly frustrated when my statements or opinions were deconstructed, and my right to hold them was questioned. This forced me to examine myself in greater depth, something that was quite painful, however when I had done so, I was able to deconstruct my friends ideas and opinions, such that I was able to get him to re-evaluate his lifes direction. My parents dismissed my philosophic questions as just a phase that all idealistic students experience, more exposure to real life would soon cure my foolish questions. I never accepted this and I find myself 3 decades later with answers for many questions and finding more to understand. I also got immersed in the martial arts, travelled to Japan and China to study tai chi and karate, so when I joined SES it was really just more of the same, as many of the principles are aligned. I have also been exposed to religion through much of my life, from a Catholic school (and I was protestant) so I saw much of the hypocrisy from gay, drunken and violent priests (from which I was protected as a day scholar, the boarders had some interesting experiences). Even though my parents were not religious, I spent a few years as an adult understanding what role religion should play in my and my family’s life.
Having said that, my exposure to SES meditation and being a tutor myself, gave me some profound insights, and have definitely influenced my perspective on things (including why I am no longer a member of the SES). In my time at SES I found the time demands and mindless military type rules too much, so I dropped back levels several times, simply because the rest of my life needed to happen as well and I saw no good reason to give SES that much control over my life.
So as you can see your one-size-fits-all view on what makes my mind tick must lead back to SES, is simplistic but not really a surprise.
Knowing you are male will not make a difference, it was interesting for me to realise that I had drawn that conclusion because of your posts anyway, that is all. But I've been mistaken before on this forum.
I am also drawn to assign genders to posters and I would say you are female. As I have been in a few forums, I see a lot of gender polarised debates. The SES view on gender roles usually riled some of the women, and most of the rebellion was from women on this point. Males who left simply lost interest, whereas the women seemed more inclined to fight on principle. Having said that most of the women seemed to find comfort in the gender stereotyping of the SES, almost as a security blanket.
I am not quite sure I follow you here. I wrote my notes in a manner which explains what the ideas are regarding gender than run through SES and how the thought reform process works, which maybe what you mean by 'mechanisms' I don't know. This is why I appreciate without sight of them you are not in a position to really get to grips with my reasoning. But I have been stopped, perhaps for that very reason. So, sorry about that!
As an analogy, when science uses taxonomy to understand what makes a mammal, insect, vertebrate, monist, whatever, just what it is, basic criteria are defined to do this. This is at a deeper level that how we describe behaviours within any particular group. Your analysis is about how the SES sees and enacts gender behaviour, and while I am well aware of this, I can see thie same process underway in every social group. You might consider SES to be a cult and take the criteria of harm, unaccountable leaders. The fact I can see the same process in every social institution does not mean it does NOT happen in the SES, just that it is not something unique to the SES, its something about human behaviour, inside and outside the SES. The SES is just one instance of this.
I am not trying to question your desire to force change on the SES in the way they define or enact gender roles (although its a waste of time IMO), I am questioning the sense I get that SES does it differently. This is why I am taking you through other groups, like ‘normal’ schools (and business and politics) where members are indeed harmed and indoctrinated, and leaders are not held to account, to show that this is how humans operate. This does not mean you should stop any assault on the SES (aside from any fallout it might bring you), just noting that we all live in glass houses and also throw stones.
You mentioned that you have seen others try to effect reforms in SES particularly regarding the gender issue, which I find very interesting. It is a shame these people have not come forward on this forum.
They have been on this forum in years past, probably before your time here. I have no idea how they went, but my assumption is they failed. The others who did so were just ships passing in the night that I was exposed to over the years. I witnessed and heard accounts where women stood up for their different gender views, and in all cases were shot down. I saw one march out the same day, others hung in on principle until they too lost. However I saw one girl leave because the tutor tried to push her into speaking more. This was clearly not her thing, and she had really enjoyed her time to that point, but when the tutor (a female) pushed, she got really uncomfortable and left in the middle of the lecture, never to return. This illustrates that its not just about gender, its about an organisation that seeks to mould its member in its image. I see plenty of this at the local schools as they try to mould the kids. I am a volunteer sports coach and I work hard to get the kids to adhere to the principles of the training. I am a volunteer lifeguard and I try and get the members of the public to adhere to water and beach safety rules –our rules (ie. we know best). If they don’t want to attend under my rules they can go elsewhere. Trying to run a session with some kids or adults who are bent on playing the fool and disrupting others or being unsafe means I don’t achieve my objectives and I am the accountable leader in this case. Its my way or its the highway.
I agree with you that my approach is futile. However there is something about having to try in order to maintain ones own integrity.
This is interesting. I have often wondered how far I should push principles, then I realise that the principles under scrutiny are not mine and by crossing the road when I have the green traffic light might be my right, but my principle of self preservation will hopeful win these idealistic struggles. This is evidence of the powers struggle between individuals and groups that I noted in my earlier post. My approach as I have aged has been the realisation that its better for me to run away and fight another day. Others seem to think its better to be slain on the battlefield.
So, I always knew I may get nowhere but I did used to believe that the leaders' search for truth was genuine, which later experience led me to conclude that is not quite true. The ideas and practices are claimed to be 'Truth' and/or 'natural law' and some of the leaders and long standing members have lived out Maclarens 'dream' so they cannot admit there is anything wrong with any of it. Again I would have to refer to my notes to explain this in more detail.
Just look at every institution, either implicitly or explicitly they profess the truth. Exposing the objective truth to others does not make evolutionary sense, just as it does make sense to seek the truth for ourselves. This means that any group has to work hard on its version of the truth to get members to buy in, the SES is no different in principle to what parents do to their children, politicians to their voters, law courts, business, religions.
This is your main point on this thread, I think I'm right about that?? I think its because they claim to have the 'Truth'. So, my reasoning is it jolly well ought to be true then! Most of those others you mention are not claiming to have 'THE Truth', they don't care how they control, as long as they do. But I thought that if it was not true I should point it out to them!
See my point above. No organisation prefixes their position with “what we are telling you is a lie”, every position is presented as the truth, even when it is not in the headline. Politicians who seem to lie most of the time are often at pains to present themselves as transparent, despite an obvious trail of lies. The legal system is the formal authority on the truth. Until they rule, any criminal act is simply alleged, when they decide, then it becomes the truth. Any experience with the legal system shows this is just lip service. There is no evidence to suggest that people are motivated to be transparent to others and plenty to suggest that we should never state this when it relates to us or our organisation. Parents feed their children all sorts of untruths from Santa Claus to true romantic love.
Ha ha - yes I appreciate this was naive and now of course I appreciate also futile. But this claim to 'Truth' also has implications of omnipotence which concerned me a great deal. For I think we are moving into a time when the feminine (not 'feminist' by the way) perspective is going to be very important generally and I didn't think it was very helpful for an organisation claiming to have 'The Truth' to be going in the opposite direction.
I am a bit wary of labels unless the meaning gets clearly spelled out given the tendency of labels to get lives of their own, then people conveniently forget about the meaning.
I think what they are really protecting is 'patriarchy'. Now you might think I would be a 'matriarch' and that I don't know, on some soul level perhaps that is where I come from so to speak. But all I hoped to achieve was genuine balance between the sexes. So what if its similar everywhere? I don't think it is actually, I certainly never experienced sexism like this anywhere else and I'm a woman. Certainly not sexism that claims to be 'The Truth' and 'Natural Law'.
I cannot think of a single person , in public or private life, who is not sexist in some respect. Thats based upon a dictionary definition, and since most people have their own view on what sexism is, maybe its possible not to be sexist. I see rampant sexism most easily in schools. I have 4 teenage kids and because kids have not yet learned to cover their true motivations as well as most adults have, its everywhere. Its not just sexism, its every ism you can define, age-ism, rac-ism, merit-ism. Ism will arise whenever groups form and as long as individuals are not 100% aligned with their group, and despite our high level of blind conformity, there is still pushback from individuals when they feel their self interest is not being met. The SES is not politically correct in that they state their sexist view, at least after some period of membership, other organisations are usually more subtle, but if you scratch deep enough you will find it.
Its simple really, if the men want 'support' from the women why don't they just ask nicely? What makes them think its OK to operate a thought reform programme and use other coercive obvious and subliminal methods to obtain acquiescence to their beliefs? So there you are, that is part of my reasoning.
Because that is how humans operate. It happens through advertising, fashion, schooling, sports institutes, politics. Your ideal world has no basis outside of SES, why should it be any different inside? If I gave my kids the chance, they would have things quite different to what we prescribe. My wife and I do this in the belief that we know better than they do and to achieve this we over rule them to achieve this. This same mechanism was in play when colonialism imposed western ideals and religions in their colonies. Many women thrive under the regime of the SES and buy into its doctrine as much as you don’t.
At a public level, I found the recent debate about winners purse at Wimbledon needing to be the same for men and women as it was sexism to treat them differently. This was done, but no one argued that there should just be single event for singles and man or woman, the best players would come through, another implementation of sexism based upon the same premises. This would have had too great a cost on the elite women tennis players, and potentially across all womens sport and athletics where they are protected from competing with males. This is an example where sticking to the principles would have been too costly so it wont get pursued.
I found your last para interesting and sounds about right to me, except for I don't think the SES is the same as other organisations (as said above). Again can't tell you in any more detail why because I've been prevented. But I am sure you are right nothing much would surprise you.
Actually perhaps the most enlightening has been working with kids and having my own kids at school where you see the indoctrination process and what human nature is all about. My teenage daughters face massive amounts of sexism, and its mostly from the other girls. The intensity and nastiness between the girls and the categorisation of each other in sexist terms is something to behold. They are more subtle than the young boys and not as easy to catch in the act, but seem to have far more complex issues than the boys.
Good luck in your crusade against the SES, and its sexism.