Another Guru in Deep Trouble
Posted: 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
Forums for discussion of the School of Economic Science and its satellite schools around the world
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)
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?
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.
Reminder of the Rick definition of a cult:
1. Thought reform process that hampers members’ ability to make independent decisions
2. Harm done to members
3. Authoritarian leader with no accountability
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
So, in my opinion the Rick definition of a cult is useful, even if it is a ‘moral’ judgement!
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.
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.
...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...
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.
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.
I was a member of two chapters of SES for 10-15 years and was a tutor for the last couple.
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?
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 do not see that this line of discussion can go much further
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 agree with you there! Perhaps if I ever do post my notes you would understand my concerns and perspective better.