Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Discussion of cults generally - not specifically related to the SES or its related organisations.
woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby woodgreen » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:27 pm

Any relation to HH? Looks a lot like him. Ugh. Another pervert. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... -dham.html
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

bluemoon
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:33 am

Hi Woodgreen,

Thanks for the link. I found this definition of a cult in the article:

“Rick Ross, the executive director of the cult watchdog organization The Ross Institute, lists three criteria for identifying a cult: an authoritarian leader with no accountability; a thought-reform process that hampers members’ ability to make independent decisions; and harm done to the group’s members.”

Note also that Rick Ross’s own site has a forum with a thread about the SES/SoP here: http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,63254,63306. (Last post on that forum was in July 2009)

Bluemoon
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

woodgreen
Posts: 219
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Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby woodgreen » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:51 am

Hi Bluemoon - Rick Ross has worked in exposing Cults including the SES and their likes to this world wide understanding for many years. He is a major force in the US and the anti cult movement - I recently followed him on Twitter ( hence my post actually). Have picked up your next post too, which is where we can concentrate - the Charity Commission and the public sector interest is paramount, and the legal stuff is hard going, but we are certainly on the right track. I will study the full text of the Charity Commissioners decision on Scientology, as it seems to go to the heart of why the SES have escaped being subject to a full scrutiny by the authorities in this Country. cheers, woodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

JAMR
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby JAMR » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:37 am

bluemoon wrote:Hi Woodgreen,

Thanks for the link. I found this definition of a cult in the article:

“Rick Ross, the executive director of the cult watchdog organization The Ross Institute, lists three criteria for identifying a cult: an authoritarian leader with no accountability; a thought-reform process that hampers members’ ability to make independent decisions; and harm done to the group’s members.”

Note also that Rick Ross’s own site has a forum with a thread about the SES/SoP here: http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,63254,63306. (Last post on that forum was in July 2009)

Bluemoon


The difficulty I have with this definition is either trying to qualify the specifics that define them or arguing what this is something to be avoided. (note this is not an attempt to support SES, just pointing out how many social groups show the same features)

Just how do we show and measure accountability of a leader? We can certainly argue that Robert Mugabe has no real accountability from the UN or national and international courts and we have no issue describing his behaviour as wrong. However despite best attempts of the voting public, and measures designed to avoid abuse of power and position by heads of any social groups, from state to country club, we see repeated scenarios where accountability is avoided. I see teachers do quite a bit of this in schools, where members of society are at their most malleable, yet we accept much of this as a matter of course.

Likewise what constitutes harm to the members? Why is it a bad thing to hamper members ability to make independent decisions.

Plenty of kids are high spirited and independent thinkers who don’t want to conform to imposed and not agreed school standards (sometimes not even by their parents), yet in order for the school to function at all, there must be a level of compliance from the students. Even independent thought is channelled in accepted and defined ways (or at least attempts to do so). The laws of a country often require that members follow the dictates blindly and without question, simply because independent thought is disruptive to any conformant group

There are many authorities that offer criteria to identify cults, yet when you overlay these upon well accepted institutions we find very close matching and much of the morality is assumed and arises from another position of authority. I have no logical issue with the need to prescribe behaviours within any group in order to maintain group cohesion, however much of this is done by excising peoples ability of independent thought, SES is just one example of where this happens, we have many others that control our daily lives. Note that people inside the SES either have no issue with the prescriptions or do not see them. Any group member is in the same position wrt to groups for which he holds membership. What am I suggesting this means in terms of how SES is dealt with?

It means that when we apply a morally wrong label to try and enforce change, we are calling upon our tendency to believe that absolute morality exists and should be adhered to, while in reality we are just attempting to impose our opinions on others (exactly our criticism of them). If we want to fight against SES or those we label as cults, would we be less effective if we argued the case without resorting to something as ethereal as morality?

bluemoon
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Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:10 am

deleted
Last edited by bluemoon on Thu May 24, 2012 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

JAMR
Posts: 51
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Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby JAMR » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:25 am

Hi Bluemoon,
We are talking at cross purposes, as I find it easier to cover another post by breaking it up, I will do this to yours and see if I can better explain my point.

I can't say that I follow all your reasoning. If I have understood correctly you seem to be implying that the label of 'cult' is a moral judgment, and that’s a problem?

Moral judgements are relative IMO, however this is not an issue merely a reflection of how humans operate and many of the problems we see in cults also exist in other well accepted organisations like schools[/quote]
I don't view it quite like that. I don’t see this as a problem, it simply seems to me that the definition by Rick Ross helps to point out organisations where mind control is undertaken so that people are warned in advance of joining the group. It may be a ‘moral judgement’ but it is helpful.

Yet we live comfortably with all forms of government, even democracy, schools, social clubs, business where mind control exists, yet we single out come organisations and label them cult as if they are exceptional to the way human organisations operate.

Reminder of the Rick definition of a cult:
1. Thought reform process that hampers members’ ability to make independent decisions

Take these criteria and see just how much they apply in other organisations.
Independent thought is dangerous to the integrity of any group, this is well seen in normal schools that dictate codes of behaviour and punish any violations. The behaviors themselves have no real content except as a means to ensure blind conformity and its clear that the issue is breaking the mould rather than the actual rule. Consider a rule (in my childs school) that does not allow a girl to wear a 2nd piercing in her ear, yet does allow a single piercing as long as it is in the lobe and not elsewhere in the ear or on the face or body. The actual mechanism of mutilating the body, with exposure to damage or infection is the same regardless of where the piercing is in the ear, however our society considers a single lobe piercing as ‘normal’ and will be allowed by nothing more. Enforcement of the single piercing rule is only done to enforce conformity, not protection of the body etc.
I am not suggesting we should not do this in schools (in fact I personally support it) however I am just showing that all social groups have mechanism to avoid too much independent thought because they threaten the cohesiveness of the group. We make it morally wrong or right in order to avoid arguments about the logic of what it is. Independent thought is a sacred cow for humans in that we consider it an inalienable right, democratic etc , yet we all work to avoid it happening (with a very high degree of success). The rule of law is one means to ensure that we have compliant, obedient, and productive citizens that are moulded in our educational institutions. You might think that there are plenty of violations of our law and rules, but the vast majority are followed without question.
2. Harm done to members

At every level we see this outside cults. Consider every nation that has mixed population groups, especially an indigenous and migrant population. Japan, Taiwan, Phillipines, New Zealand, Australia, the US. In all these places harm is perceived to have been inflicted upon the indigenous group. Violation of culture, health issues, autonomy etc, the list is endless, at a national level we see harm being caused in most countries of the world spread over centuries and millennia. My point is that its human nature to operate like this. We have social culture at an informal level that causes many western women to undergo cosmetic surgery, radical diets, wear clothes (high heel shoes) that cause back and joint problems. We allow smoking, the production and promotion of unhealthy foods, alcohol, all things recognised to harm the members of our society, yet we actively condone these behaviours. You might say that we deny members right to make independent decisions concerning these things by imposing draconian laws that ban drugs, drinking, smoking, eating bad food etc, yet the irony is that its denial of their independent thought that makes them want to do it in the first place. The very idea that humans are independent, autonomous individuals is the most subtle and telling social mechanism that denies independent thought.
3. Authoritarian leader with no accountability

At every level we have leaders that influence followers with varying degrees of accountability. We might imagine that democratic leaders are given a mandate to rule by the citizens and there is some truth to this, however mostly voters are manipulated into this, and the most successful leaders are deceitful and not at all transparent. We seek to impose accountability at al levels, in business, governmet but just as surely we can see that leaders find every way possible to subvert these. Our informal leaders greatly influence the young. Are celebrities that lead the young into different words accountable for what they do, as they foment new fashion, sexual behavior, rebellion etc against the establishment. Once again we seek to stifle the independence of these leaders with some success, but either way you look at it, groups do their best to mould members in their image – religion being a prime example of this. What accountability has been given to the deities that supposedly head up the major religions, if they even exist?
I am not trying to judge the morality of the above as this would just impose my personal prejudice on this, just pointing out that the traits of ‘cults’ are normal, everyday, human social behaviour and its all around us.
I am also not suggesting that we should not try and stifle groups we do not agree with, be they the SES, another population group, another business, another political party, an opposing football club, just note that we are all just expressing our very humanity by doing so.
When for example an organisation manages to persuade all its members to commit suicide, en masse, I would consider it 'a bad thing to hamper members ability to make independent decisions'. In other words is it mass suicide at all, or is it mass murder? If someone has such powerful psychological and emotional control over the minds of others, I consider it helpful to have a label for it, even if that label is not perfect.

Humans wage war on a regular basis, if we consider that 50 million lives were lost in this way in the 20th century, many of them driven by the slogan of ‘king and country’, were given medals, and glory as rewards. How is it different to tell your followers to drink poison juice to achieve eternal bliss and tell them to go onto the battlefield and die for their country? Or Muslims who die in order to get eternal fulfilment. Or young girls who slavishly follow fashion hoping that some of the glory of Angelina will rub off and they die from anorexia trying to achieve this, or damage they skin and hair and health beyond repair as they dye and diet? Or work 60 hour weeks trying to achieve status in business only to die of a heart attack before they retire? Or dedicate their lives the bring religious light to the heathens? Or pursue an ideal of romantic love and white weddings only to discover we are just vehicles for our genes and tooth fairies do not exist? How young men are encouraged to undertake risky personal pursuits, many of whom get badly injured or killed doing so, from ascending Mt Everest, to racing cars, to simply driving and crashing fast cars while drunk?
All organisations achieve some form of slavery from its members, if they do not, the organisation will fail. They feed them with false hopes and visions and use them as cannon fodder.
Once again I am not taking a moral position on any of these, just showing that what we see in cults as core to their evil ways just reflect what we do in our everyday lives.
Another example, if say young teenage girls are brought up in an organisation that teaches them to believe that they should always surrender to and serve men and marry an 'older' man, and even have their marriage arranged for them, and this is presented as 'Truth' and/or 'natural law', are these ideas 'Truth' or are they just convenient ideas for the 'older' man to use to get what he wants - a lovely young servile wife?

Look at the mind control exerted upon the young in every mechanism possible. The use of social media, fashion, sex, the list is endless. I watch my teenage daughter and her friends follow slavishly things that I know to be harmful with hindsight and despite our best intentions in todays society parents have very little influence upon how far we can impose our will. Instead a social will is imposed. When you get to the point of realising that some will is going to been imposed upon us all, it then becomes a matter of choosing the lesser of the two evils. I look at some teenagers who have no ability to make informed decisions about anything and end up damaging or destroying themselves in the process. Their parents are unable to communicate with them and have been told they cannot overly interfere with their childrens lives. Schools who are virtually powerless to discipline the pupils, or overcome the peer pressure to take drugs, have sex, drink and smoke. The kids are trying to establish their status in society and get a sense of control and everyone is so concerned about their rights they are forgetting to provide them with guidance and boundaries. Are the other alternatives where we do prescribe some boundaries and moral assumptions so much worse than the complete absence of everything formal and parent imposed, and this giving way to the informal mind bending on society?
In other words is this an organisation with a set of ideas that should carry some kind of warning so people are at least aware what they are involved in or getting involved in? If anyone in particular thinks this example is directed at them, they must be imagining it!

Just look around you and work out just how we can ensure everything has the appropriate health warning where applicable. I have no issue with counselling against member ship of the SES at least they have some form, how do we address the other subtler forms that also embody the same mind bending ability but are considered innocuous?

I don’t need to discuss what constitutes ‘harm’ to the members (or members’ children) on this forum do I? Just take a look at the Townend report.

You don’t but we do need to recognise that SES is just one flavour of social organisation and all will have some harm on their members and how we steer a ‘safe’ path. This is not an easy process as we are essentially dealing with innate human nature that is with in all of us. It results in us applying subjective moral judgements that makes other groups ‘wrong’.’.

As for the other aspect of this definition of a 'cult', that of accountability of the leader, I find this one of the most fascinating of the reasons to watch out for cults. But I don’t think you can compare cult organisations with dictators and other outright corrupt (even tyrannical) statesmen. In those cases the people under their control have no choice. In the case of a cult the whole point is that this gives people the warning they need. (But of course if cults can obtain charity status the label is not very useful.) For instance in the SES the Leader or ‘Head Tutor’ has all the authority in the organisation, not just locally but internationally also to an extent, but none of the responsibility. Yet in the UK for instance the Principal and the Trustees, who have the responsibility to the outside world so to speak, don’t have much authority, if any, inside the organisation. I don’t think the members even know who the Trustees are on the whole. It is the Leader that everyone looks to for guidance. This can lead to hiding behind each other when it comes to dealing with issues and criticisms about the organisation, and crucially it also gives the Leader a ‘get out of jail free card’ doesn’t it? Does this lead to the potential for this Leader to make decisions and take actions that an accountable person would not get away with? I should think it does.

I could find any number of business leaders that in some way are not held accountable. I have been one of these and have worked for many. They may not get away with their behaviours indefinitely unless they are particularly adept at doing so, however this issue arises naturally in human society. There is no way known to ensure that any leader is held totally accountable for what they do. The PM of Australia has imposed a carbon tax, the ramifications of this will become apparent over the next 20 years, will she ever be held truly accountable for this, was John Howard held accountable for GST (for better or worse). If Julia Gillard did NOT impose the carbon tax, would it have been possible to hold her accountable for not imposing it? Politics is full of deceit and almost impossible in the democratic system to pin anything down to one person or group. Then ideal scenario is the omnipotent benevolent dictator but the issue with this is the lack of agreement on who actually gets this job, since everyone considers themselves the best candidate on wither doing it or deciding who should do it.

So, in my opinion the Rick definition of a cult is useful, even if it is a ‘moral’ judgement!

Here we disagree. IMO we need to understand first just how human culture and nature behaves in these scenarios, understand that we are making subjective judgements to vilify or avoid an organisation like the SES, and be aware that whatever social system imposes its ethos will be another flavour of the same thing. Our danger is not seeing just how many lurk in the shadows and in the open. If we are focussed on a groups of cults, we will fail to recognise that the enemy is within and al around us. It reminds me of this political joke.
“The new front bencher was attending his first parliament session and turned to the seasoned campaigner and said, “its great to be here and sit across from the enemy”, (pointing at members of the party on the other side of the house). The oldster laughed and said, ‘those aren’t the enemy, they are the opposition, the enemy are the ones sitting around you.”

bluemoon
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Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:04 am

Hi JAMR,

I take your points up until the last para, but do not entirely agree with everything, but no time or energy to discuss the details further. Except for this:

I wrote:

So, in my opinion the Rick definition of a cult is useful, even if it is a ‘moral’ judgement!


JAMR wrote:

Here we disagree. IMO we need to understand first just how human culture and nature behaves in these scenarios, understand that we are making subjective judgements to vilify or avoid an organisation like the SES, and be aware that whatever social system imposes its ethos will be another flavour of the same thing. Our danger is not seeing just how many lurk in the shadows and in the open. If we are focussed on a groups of cults, we will fail to recognise that the enemy is within and al around us.


Understanding how we behave etc is something which of course can and will be discussed ad infinitum and it is of course helpful to keep developing understanding.

It's not necessarly an issues of 'vilifying' an organisation/cult, just doing ones best to ensure transparency IMO. Also I don't think using a label such as 'cult' necessarily implies that we fail to recognise other ways in which our minds are controlled and how we are subjective ourselves.

IMO until organisations like SES are up front about their 'beliefs' (especially if these 'beliefs' are presented as 'Truth'), it is helpful to have a 'label' for them, even an imperfect one, within our imperfect societies, so that people know that if they choose to get involved they are likely to have ideas presented to them in a non-transparent manner and in this specific case ideas and practices heralded as 'Truth' or 'natural law' so as to try to make these ideas appear omnipotent. There are also many other issues such as giving a lot of time and free labour, financial donations, handing over power to another etc etc that are relevant.

Best wishes, Bluemoon
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

JAMR
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby JAMR » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:52 pm

Bluemoon, you said,
Understanding how we behave etc is something which of course can and will be discussed ad infinitum and it is of course helpful to keep developing understanding.

It's not necessarly an issues of 'vilifying' an organisation/cult, just doing ones best to ensure transparency IMO. Also I don't think using a label such as 'cult' necessarily implies that we fail to recognise other ways in which our minds are controlled and how we are subjective ourselves.

IMO until organisations like SES are up front about their 'beliefs' (especially if these 'beliefs' are presented as 'Truth'), it is helpful to have a 'label' for them, even an imperfect one, within our imperfect societies, so that people know that if they choose to get involved they are likely to have ideas presented to them in a non-transparent manner and in this specific case ideas and practices heralded as 'Truth' or 'natural law' so as to try to make these ideas appear omnipotent. There are also many other issues such as giving a lot of time and free labour, financial donations, handing over power to another etc etc that are relevant.


Transparency toward others is not a human trait, just as people do seek transparency from others. My point about the comparison of SES to all social organisations is that various organisations compound or buffer us from our environment. Regardless of what we might choose to do with SES, we are members of many and diverse social groups. I am not suggesting SES is something we should choose, but notice that when we do chose something we might get some protection from blindly following another. One thing about the various religions and cults is that they are often good at giving people some direction and avoiding some of the issues of a free-for-all formless society. Kids that stay at home watching TV and playing computer games, abuse various substances, have broken family lives, mindless fashion conformity might have better lives if they were part of a more rigid, structured environment.

Either way the challenge is that we will arrive at adulthood thoroughly brain washed, but we might get through the formative years without destroying ourselves through food, drink, sloth etc, if we do belong to something that believes there are beings greater than ourselves. There are downsides to raising children in rigid environments and certain children seem to tolerate this environment better than others, some rebel and end up worse that had they been left to unstructured and directionless youth.

So while I understand your wish that SES be transparent (which is futile IMO), note that nothing human is very transparent, and by de-selecting any organisation you are by default selecting another group. We cannot operate in a social vacuum, so if your choice gives better things than SES then that is a bonus. The challenge is recognising just what motivates the various groups we are part of. Just as many people within the SES are blind to its faults, so too are members of any group, the best you can hope for is either complete ignorance, or seeing enough to be able steer your own course.

Good luck with it

bluemoon
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:42 pm

Hi JAMR,

JAMR wrote:

...by de-selecting any organisation you are by default selecting another group. We cannot operate in a social vacuum, so if your choice gives better things than SES then that is a bonus. The challenge is recognising just what motivates the various groups we are part of...


Interesting what you say about what motivates various groups. I was motivated by the economics of equity and sustainability and the ‘pure’ Advaita teaching but (as you put it) wanted to ‘deselect’ the gender stuff which was put forward through the philosophy teaching.

Bluemoon
Last edited by bluemoon on Thu May 24, 2012 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

JAMR
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby JAMR » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:00 am

bluemoon wrote:Hi JAMR,

JAMR wrote:

...by de-selecting any organisation you are by default selecting another group. We cannot operate in a social vacuum, so if your choice gives better things than SES then that is a bonus. The challenge is recognising just what motivates the various groups we are part of...


Interesting what you say about what motivates various groups. I was motivated by the economics of equity and sustainability and the ‘pure’ Advaita teaching but (as you put it) wanted to ‘deselect’ the gender stuff and Laws of Manu etc which was put forward through the philosophy teaching. I concluded that the leaders do not want to listen to reason on the gender equal status issue and still hold that because of the way they go about things that does make them a cult according to the Rick definition discussed earlier.


Bluemoon


My point is that you are going to indoctrinated by unaccountable leaders, harmed in the process etc, because almost all grouups meet the cult criteria. Your hope for transparency is normal as all living things seek this from others, however its not in human nature to provide transparency to others. Has it not struck you as odd that just like SES, all groups implicitly or explicitly state their transparency? At th end of the day its about the leser evils. If you subscribe to the SES you are subscribing to definition of male/female roles, ways of eating, dressing, worshipping. If you don to subscribe to SES you will be indoctrinated into other social systems and will reflect their ways of worship, relative morality, opinions etc. We dont really get a choice that we will become social clones of one kind or another. OUr choice of which club we becomes members of is also extremely limited. By votong against SES, you are voting for some other party. By reading your posts you have expressed various moral assumptions and these reflect the time and culture you have been exposed to. Neither good nor bad, just inevitable, even the idea that we have choice in this process has been sold to us. "The idea that we are self willed, autonomous individuals is the most telling and subtle form of social manipulation". This is parodied to perfection in Monty Pythons "Life of Brian", where the naked Brian addresses the crowd and tells them they are free-willed individuals and they answer as a mindless one, then one lone voice pipes up that he is not an individual. Moviegoers laugh at this, missing the point that they are the butt of this joke.

bluemoon
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:09 am

Hi JAMR,

I do understand your point. I don't agree though that almost all groups meet the criteria for the Rick Ross definition of a cult. So, I don't agree with the implication that you seem to be making that organisations should not be labelled 'cults' and I wonder what your own experience is with cults - the SES or any other? I only ask because whilst I appreciate your points, I think that unless you have experience of a cult you may not quite understand why I and others feel that this label is useful to identify such organisations.

Or perhaps this boils down to who's going to have the last word?!

Perhaps we may have to agree to disagree, something which thankfully on this forum is 'allowed'! One of my issues with the SES is that ultimately if you disagree with them you have to leave (part of the problem of lack of transparency and hidden agendas). Tolerance is better surely? It's been an interesting discussion. We don't have to agree in order to respect each others point of view.

With best wishes, Bluemoon
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

JAMR
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby JAMR » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:07 pm

Hi Bluemoon, you said,

I do understand your point. I don't agree though that almost all groups meet the criteria for the Rick Ross definition of a cult.


Is there some logic or observed evidence that you provide that might help see not just the point of view you are taking, but to also understand why you hold the position?

So, I don't agree with the implication that you seem to be making that organisations should not be labelled 'cults' and I wonder what your own experience is with cults - the SES or any other?


I am not suggesting we remove the label ‘cult’, just pointing out that the criteria for cults are indeed unique, however the ‘bad’ things about cults are almost universal in human society. As you have not specifically countered any of the examples I have provided, I am have no idea if the position you hold is based upon objective reason or has been acquired more subliminally. I was a member of two chapters of SES for 10-15 years and was a tutor for the last couple.

I only ask because whilst I appreciate your points, I think that unless you have experience of a cult you may not quite understand why I and others feel that this label is useful to identify such organisations.


Again I have no issue with the need for a label, although note that , as in this case, they can acquire a life of their own and people usually assign a sense of what moral weight the label carries but really have no idea of just what it means. The idea that we need to have experienced something in order to understand it is a curious thing. Your reflect back upon SES and based upon your experience feel you understand the issues that exist within in and even take a moral position on. However, there are plenty of people with the SES who would say that based upon their experience your perceptions are misguided etc. It seems clear that people who have no experience of something cannot talk with any knowledge about what that experience might be, however people with experience might well be under misapprehensions just because of the experience. I was a strong supporter of the school, however in time I became concerned about the pressure to submerge my individuality. Having worked in business for around 3 decades I have the same concern about this social institution. Had I been more aware at the time, I would have had the same issue with schooling. Watching my children at school I can see that the issues they experience are around the way groups mould their members, but while my children are aware of the pressures , there cognitive faculties have not yet evolved to understand what is being done to them. Its possible they never will reach this point, simply because the mechanism is so subtle and humans are so evolved for conformity, ignorance of this is certainly an advantage in large groups.

Or perhaps this boils down to who's going to have the last word?!


I think its the different approach we take on this topic. I tend to deconstruct any position and see what justifies each element, tie it all together and see if logic and evidence are responsible for its being. Your approach seems to be based about how you perceive and feel about the topic, in this case the SES. Your disagreement on my points does not appear to be based upon their deconstruction and logical analysis to see if the facts fit the position. You might have done this inside your head but I am not seeing it in the posts. Your approach appears to be the norm for most people. I often get accused of not having a moral position, or of having no feelings, however it appears I am able to separate my prejudices (of which I have plenty) and what I care about from an objectives analysis. Although I saw much benefit in the SES and was highly conformant to what they asked, I was unable to emotionally conform and when the pressure to give more to the school than I saw as practical, I left.

Perhaps we may have to agree to disagree, something which thankfully on this forum is 'allowed'! One of my issues with the SES is that ultimately if you disagree with them you have to leave (part of the problem of lack of transparency and hidden agendas).


Its interesting, I see lack of transparency in business every day and it has created issues many times, I have never come to accept it but I am now less likely to take a principled stand against it because I am finally accepting that its part of being human and I am becoming far less transparent myself, with no or low guilt. I used to go out of my way to be transparent, often doing myself a great disservice, on the ‘virtue is its own reward’ principle. On reflection I see this as a social mechanism designed to get the most social value out of those who take this stance. I owe some of this insight to the SES as I watched how they used people like bricks in their wall, with no real concern for individuals. However it also opened my eyes to this as a normal process in daily life.

We can certainly disagree, I was hoping to see if I could get an insight into how you support your position to try and understand more about human behaviour around this type of issue.

Tolerance is better surely?

Thats a good question, we certainly get told a lot that is a good thing, and it seems that the western world is not just paying lip service to this but actually tolerating more and more behaviour that would have been unacceptable a few decades ago. The developing countries do not yet have this luxury, I have been watching this trend for quite a few years to try and understand it.

It's been an interesting discussion. We don't have to agree in order to respect each others point of view.


That brings about the question as to just what form and value would respect bring. That we can discuss this in a civil way is surprisingly unusual, on many forums discussions can very quickly degenerate into personal slanging matches as people feel an attack on their views is an attack on themselves.

I do not see that this line of discussion can go much further and this forum seems to be fairly quiet.(I was on the forum around 5 years ago and there was a lot more angst and emotive debate), so I will keep an eye on current discussions and probably add my 2 cents worth on occasion.

Good luck with your pursuit of whatever it is you are trying to achieve with the SES.

bluemoon
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:30 pm

Hi JAMR,

Thanks for your further explanations.

JAMR wrote:

I was a member of two chapters of SES for 10-15 years and was a tutor for the last couple.


I thought I detected an SES trained mind! Are you male, your posts indicate a male thinking process to me, but I could well be wrong.

JAMR asked:

Is there some logic or observed evidence that you provide that might help see not just the point of view you are taking, but to also understand why you hold the position?


I have written a lot on this forum and as I have mentined before I have prepared 11,500 words of notes about my experiences and analysis of the organisation which I consider outline my 'concerns' rather than a 'position', and which as I have also mentioned before I have not so far posted due to the 'defamation' issue.

JAMR wrote:

As you have not specifically countered any of the examples I have provided I have no idea if the position you hold is based upon objective reason or has been acquired more subliminally.....


I am sorry I have not addressed all of your points, but I do think I have commented on enough to explain my reasoning. Subliminal communication is very much an aspect of the SES operation and some of my concerns are with the use of this technique. I am also conscious that our discussion may be very boring to other readers of the forum!

JAMR wrote:

I do not see that this line of discussion can go much further


I agree with you there! Perhaps if I ever do post my notes you would understand my concerns and perspective better.

With best wishes, Bluemoon
Last edited by bluemoon on Thu May 24, 2012 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

JAMR
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby JAMR » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:56 am

I thought I detected an SES trained mind! Are you male, your posts indicate a male thinking process to me, but I could well be wrong.


Actually my mind started down these tracks quite a few years before I joined the SES, the SES probably sharpened and focussed quite a few bits, after leaving I have immersed myself in science and sociology, so I would resist the notion that my mind is a product of the SES, and they probably feel I did not accept enough of their things without question. I am male, will knowing this make any difference to how you percieve the content of my posts?.

I have written a lot on this forum and as I have mentined before I have prepared 11,500 words of notes about my experiences and analysis of the organisation which I consider outline my 'concerns' rather than a 'position', and which as I have also mentioned before I have not so far posted due to the actions of the Leader of the SES, Mr Donald Lambie.


I was thinking more about the elements that underlie these issues and since you mention the written words, the basic social principles of these are easily extracted to understand how the mechanisms work behind them. I was also thinking of the principles about human social behaviour that I am comparing to the SES and noting the similarities. These do not have to take the form of our personal experiences but allow us to understand the mechanism. You appear to see the issues with SES as being something outside our normal human experience, while I see it as difference of degree and not type.

Firstly, I tried to deal with this internally and privately with Donald Lambie but he did not want to know so when I offered to share my original notes/concerns with him he told me that I could send them to him but that he would not respond. To be fair to him he did say that he would read them, but this was already after I had left SES when I met him in October 2009. So, when I thought about it I realised that he may just as well have said that I could send them to him, but they would go straight in the bin! In any case it is him that is promoting the ideas about gender and he made it clear to me that he had no intention of making any reforms.


I have seen this happen before at the SES and in many other organisations and believe that your approach is futile. Individuals and groups are unlikely to take any action that undermine the integrity of the individual or group, unless by not changing they face even greater risks. These means the change agent (in this case) will only make progress by out-muscling the target group. As an individual (without the backing of another bunch of social soldiers). The only way you can do this is to enlist legal, or media groups that can threaten the SEs through legislation or publicity. The issues of the St James/Vedast, books like the Secret Cult all show that social pressure is the only means to effect change. Your idea of having a reasoned discussion and hope that Lambie will buy into your vision is hopeless IMO.

Another ex student tried to enlist my help as a past tutor to try and take the SES to task for their sexism. It was a futile crusade and was not something I was going to waste my time with, as I said to the past student, “this is not unique to the SES, people everywhere behave in this way”.

Secondly, not long afterwards he brought up the issue of ‘defamation’ which of course slowed down my action and in fact has prevented me from making my notes of my experiences and concerns public, which was the only other option open to me to put my case across to interested parties both inside and outside of the organisation.


Thats the SES recourse to ensure they protect the integrity of the organisation. This is like telling a parent their children are naughty and this is how you need to fix them. The parent will just shut out an outsider and defend their family to the end. It has nothing to do with right or wrong this is just the behaviour of living organsisms.

The manner in which DL protected himself from hearing about my concerns is one of the reasons I concluded that the SES is a cult.


I don’t know the specifics, but after watching a number of casualties who tried to take on the SES, most of them on feminist grounds, I could give similar examples from every group I have dealt with, sports clubs, schools, businesses, governments. What makes you think that SES is so different?

I am sorry I have not addressed all of your points, but I do think I have commented on enough to explain my reasoning. Subliminal communication is very much an aspect of the SES operation and some of my concerns are with the use of this thought reform technique. I am also conscious that our discussion may be very boring to other readers of the forum!


I think we are talking at different levels. By reasoning I draw a parallel to scientific methodology. You have concerns about the SES, they way they operate in some defined ways as a cult, member harm, etc etc. Once you have this basis, you can explain how and why they do this. Do the same things occur in other groups, in other words is it causation or correlation we are seeing?

I agree with you there! Perhaps if I ever do post my notes you would understand my concerns and perspective better.


While I would certainly be curious to see the notes, as I have seen so much from people wrt the SES, good and bad, I don’t imagine much would surprise me. As I said, I don’t see much difference between these issues and the issues that the members of most groups experience. Any individual/group interaction is about power and control. Its tempered by the need that the individual has for the group and the group for the individual. This is a negotiated process. Social groups need to find ways to water down the individual minds and get them to conform as much as possible – every society wants obedient, law abiding (its laws) and productive citizens. Individuals need to get as much benefit from the group and minimise the cost to themselves. This applies if you are a tribe of cannibals, a primary school or the SES. The mechanisms of mind control used by the SES get used everywhere. Consider the mindset of those to took Galileo to task over the heliocentric solar system or Darwins views on evolution by natural selection. Those who supported the prevailing wisdom were not convinced by reason it was pure flat earth mentality.

bluemoon
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Another Guru in Deep Trouble

Postby bluemoon » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:45 pm

deleted
Last edited by bluemoon on Thu May 24, 2012 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female


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