Greetings - Ex-SPP member from NYC

Discussion of the SES's satellite organisations in the USA.
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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:12 am

So I would be saying "que?" a lot? :)

I have said before I am somewhat estranged from my SES relo's - distance also being a factor. Yet I am recalled to mind the last extended family gathering I attended which they hosted - I did notice at the time they (it was a sit down dinner) sat themselves at the extreme end of the table from their direct siblings, physically isolating themselves from those they were closest to.

Am I reading too much into this strange seating arrangement?
Last edited by a different guest on Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

grimep
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Postby grimep » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:56 am

a different guest wrote:
Am I reading too much into this strange seating arrangement?



I think you probably are, yes. Although concerns about "natural order" and hierarchy are often uppermost in your average SESian's brain.

Actually, if you really want to know more, why don't you join?? What we need are a few long-term sleepers on the inside. Given today's technology you could easily have a small digital audio recorder on your person to record everything you hear. I must admit It's not something I'd personally want to try.. one of the reasons I joined St vedast was to try and figure out what had happened to my mother, who I was convinced was being brainwashed.. trouble is its very tough being on the inside without it affecting you unless you have an extremely strong personality.

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Postby a different guest » Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:14 am

Although concerns about "natural order" and hierarchy are often uppermost in your average SESian's brain.


hmmm - well given the order of the seating I wonder if they placed "possible potentials" nearest themselves" and "too far gones" futhest away. *g* Or maybe they just didn't want their kids sitting near any possible contanigen and sat them nearest the family members most likely to ignore them?

Actually, if you really want to know more, why don't you join??


Tell the turth i have thought of it - but don't think I could maintain the fiction for so long. Seems it takes years to become more "inner circle" and according to GB, the cult here has a "sidetrack" for those who don't accept everything hook line and sinker.

What is your relationship with the SES grimep? you mention your mum - can you give us the story?

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Postby Alban » Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:54 pm

a different guest wrote:I think I owe an apology to Alban - someone posted about his posts being convoluted - and I said something about being confused by his posts and maybe Alban was a "fence sitter" - but I am now forced to admit that perhaps I was not paying close enough attention to who posted what - and that it was TB (or some other SES long term member) that the poster brought me to mind.

So Alban I do most sincerely apologise.

Can no-one from the SES talk normally??? *plaintive cry*


I don't remember being accused of being convoluted, or a fence sitter. If I had of read that it would've only made me laugh out loud anyway, as anyone who knows me will tell you that "opinionated" is my middle name.

So no appologies necessary!

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Postby emmalu9 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:26 pm

TB,

I believe that this forum gives people a place where they can begin to heal the wounds inflicted through connection with the SES and St James schools. Sharing experiences and feelings with others whose lives have been similarly damaged can help to gain closure and to deal with a history of abuse.

Why are you so concerned with the intricacies of language? If you have a point, then state it clearly. Otherwise, you leave others no choice but to read some coherent argument into your convoluted grammar.

If you read my comment carefully and not assume what underlies the questions, it does not indicate at all what I might believe. I am checking to see what YOU believe and how you have formed your ideas. It is a comment about your views, not mine.(TB)


Just for the record, I believe that all humans have equal inherent worth, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality or morality. Would you agree?

Emmalu9

TB
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Postby TB » Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:02 am

Hi emmalu9,

I believe that this forum gives people a place where they can begin to heal the wounds inflicted through connection with the SES and St James schools. Sharing experiences and feelings with others whose lives have been similarly damaged can help to gain closure and to deal with a history of abuse.



I apologise for entering into debates that inhibit this. However as a past member of the SES I have an interest (but perhaps not the right) in this forum. Your point is well taken, I will try and be more sensitive.

Excuse my complex grammar, I will work to simplfy it.



Just for the record, I believe that all humans have equal inherent worth, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality or morality. Would you agree?


I would have to ask you to define 'inherent worth' in practical terms. This vague statement sounds like a political banner. Sounds great but you cannot pin it down.

I believe all people are different, and are affected by age, race, gender, sexuality, intelligence, morality, sexual orientation, education, nationality, health, parents they are born to, etc.

I believe that, by the way we measure value, this makes them unequal in many ways and means we treat them differently. I also believe that MOST should be offered equal OPPORTUNITY (as opposed to equality itself) to achieve things. But this should not overly affect others. For this reason I would not offer children or people with mental illnesses, the same opportunity in high risk areas as sane adults, driving cars, buying weapons, access to pornography etc.

I do not see this topic as a simple, one line comment fits all.

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Postby Goblinboy » Mon Feb 28, 2005 2:17 am

a different guest wrote:
Actually, if you really want to know more, why don't you join??


Tell the truth i have thought of it - but don't think I could maintain the fiction for so long.


LOL ADG - but it is a good idea - and there's no real fiction to maintain. I'd do it but I'm known to a number of local SES apparatchicks, so I'll happily fund your first term's attendance! I have no doubt you would find it immensely entertaining. You could blog your impressions in a thread on this site.

There's no substitute for first-hand experience of SES language from the mouths of the practitioners, and the passive-aggressive light laugh they give when responding to questions they can't actually answer.

Alternatively, why not attend one of the school's open days and share your impressions?

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Postby Free Thinker » Mon Feb 28, 2005 2:44 am

a different guest wrote:FT - I am with you on the Margaret Thatcher thing - personally I don't think she is a real woman at all! :)

And thanks for sharing some of your experiences. I wish your mum all the best. And don't think of psychotherapy as "another form of SES" as hopefully it is the exact opposite - freeing up her mind from the constraints she has held it under for many years. I don't think you call yourself "free thinker" for nothing :)

Two points/questions

You are talking about your mum "forgetting" incidencts where the SES is shown in a bad light. This makes me think of something TB said on the "are parents to blame" thread which I totally disagree with.

TB said
What I did not say, and obviously should have, is that parents also rationalise their behaviour. This allows them to feel that they have seen and corrected mistakes. If they are not able to do this, it would threaten sanity


Personally I don't think this is "normal" at all. Most often when people realise they have made mistakes and that those mistakes have caused harm, a person will berate themselves, perhaps even feel grief.

So you think this "forgetting" or "rationalising" is an SES thing?

One other query - the schools in Au appear to have a decided english flavour in what they teach. Yes they study australian history - but it seems only enough to satisfy what is set as standard curriculum. The rest of the curriculum bears no resemblance whatsoever to what is taught in Australian primary (elementary) schools. Do you think there was any such leaning in the American school? Or are the curriculum rules for private schools stricter in the US?

cheers


Hi "a different guest",

Just to clarify, I am extremely greatful that my mum is in psychotherapy and yes, it is the opposite - in the school, she could never think or talk about herself, now in therapy, that's all she does! I'm so happy. And it comes out in little things, like her being able to buy herself things she needs like a new bed or clothing, and not having to carry around a huge bag which was sort of like "protection" for her before, filled with lots of work and Sanskrit to study on the way to work.

I completely think the forgetting and rationalizing is an SES thing. The SES is all about rationalizing, and about not interpreting events with judgement, which may be a good thing in some instances but is not a good policy to follow overall. Being so good at rationalizing is what allows the tutors to make members do things for their (the tutor's) benefit but have it seem as if it's to help the members let go of their egos.

I also agree that MT isn't a real woman either - which is why the Neo-Conservatives in the US can idolize her while despising women.

Grimep - I agree with your comment about some of the arguments sounding like a talk at Waterperry. Although I've never been there, in the US we have our Wallkill and Andover and believe me, I'd been privy to or participated in MANY of those conversations. Yes, there is a certain way of talking. It's the "I'm floating on a cloud in Nirvana and I'm SOOOO much higher than you are. Listen to my worthy advice" tone of voice and it's oh-so-patronizing.

TB - I hate to be accusing, but I agree that your choice of things to take issue with is quite SES-ian, and probably accuse is the wrong word but believe me, I've BTDT. Inherant worth is quite simple. It means that we are all worth the same in the world, either through God's eyes if you're religious, or through our own if you're not, no matter what color, creed, sexuality, class, etc. you are. What is wrong with gender in the SES is that they don't believe that. As Grimep says, they are very concerned with the "natural order" of things, except that the natural order they believe in is written by people who's opinions have lead them to believe that some people are "naturally" higher in the order than others, and that some people, like homosexuals, are not natural at all. All of this while spouting the "We are all one with the Atman" crap they don't actually follow.

And a note about speaking, and think-speak of the SES, my friend who I grew up with, who's parents are still in the SPP, gave a concert (he's a former member as well) and most of the people who came to it and the party afterwards were either current or ex-SPP members. I brought my husband, who had heard all about the school from me but had never met anyone from it. It was agonizing for him. In fact, the only people that make the situation bearable for him had left the school years before. He couldn't believe how some of the current members talked, and it made him feel very uncomfortable and patronized. I remember feeling that way a lot while I was still a member, mostly by men. Because as we all know, men are inherantly better than women, and should always look up to them and obey them.

FT

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Postby TB » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:45 am

Hi FT,

Inherant worth is quite simple. It means that we are all worth the same in the world, either through God's eyes if you're religious, or through our own if you're not


I have been told my posts are difficult to understand. What do you expect me to understand by saying 'we are all worth the same in the world'? Give me some practical description that I can apply to daily living. Give me something to measure this worth. Is it life, is it quality of life, in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe?

How am I going to know if people respect this worth with their actions and not just words? Otherwise it has no more value than the hollow rhetoric in an election speech.

If we are all worth the same, how is it that we get so many unequal outcomes and treatment around the world? Why do people in developed countries allow their standard of living to be so much higher than large portions of the worlds populations. If things like food and water are indeed examples of respecting peoples inherent worth, and we believe this, lets share it around.

In my view we use these empty words to satisfy our need to appear virtous to ourselves and others. Most of us behave selfishly and make a few token gestures to assuage the guilt. I am not arguing that we should or should not be selfish and not respect equality and rights of others. I wonder that we can delude ourselves and others so utterly. I do not deny that there are people who truly sacrifice all to improve things for those who have less than themselves, but they are very few in number.

I am not an advocate for endless charity work, and nor do I intend to live on the breadline to make life better for others. But I do voluntary work for others, for the environment, and have done so over most of my adult life. I am struck by the expectation and lack of gratitude that it brings from those who benefit, who in most cases take it and pass little on. All this I have little issue with and it does not much affect what I do. It is the hypocrisy that gets to me, all the bullshit and denial that puzzles and concerns me in human nature.

You accuse me that my approach is 'SESian'. Can't we talk about things directly, and discuss the actual points, instead of hiding them behind labels? Who cares if it 'SESian' or 'anti SESian', black or white, male or female, deal with the topic head on for what it is.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:27 am

Give me some practical description that I can apply to daily living.


ahh you want "practical" eh? Are you so unable to grasp esoteric concepts? Just goes to show that all those years of "philiosophy" lessons actually taught you NOTHING about philosophy at all.

How am I going to know if people respect this worth with their actions and not just words?


why do you "need" to know?

If we are all worth the same, how is it that we get so many unequal outcomes and treatment around the world?


Life's like that - a tad capricious.

I am struck by the expectation and lack of gratitude that it brings from those who benefit,


ahh - you're talking basic rights about food and water and you want these people who don't have it, to tug their forelocks in thanks to middle class snooty englishmen who deign to occasionally give them some? I see you have no real understanding of "charity" or "humanitarian aid"
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NYC
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Postby NYC » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:42 am

TB to ADG
Your caring about gender discrimination in the SES indicates an underlying fundamental belief in gender equality and/or differences. I would guess from this comment that you believe that equality of the sexes is a good thing to strive for. If you do believe this then you will take issue with SES teachings. However, can you support your belief in gender equality with logic and evidence or is it a faith/socially based thing?


I'd like to respond to this question in a moment, TB, as I agree that

gender issues are key to the discussion of SES.

However this thread has gotten really long, so I'm going pull together the quotes just around the gender equality question. I find fault with TB's superior tone, but also the content of his arguements.

TB, you write,
For this reason discussion of topics gender equality/sameness can be fundamental to some of the judgements made for or against SES. If we are starting with unsupported premises how can we expect the conclusions to be correct?

Gender equality does not imply gender sameness. I think you are aware of that, TB, but you seem to want someone to assert that gender equality is based on sameness so you can refute them, and argue that the sexes are different, therefore men and women should be treated differently. Yes, the sexes are different, although it is difficult to say how much of that difference is genetic or "natural" and how much environmental or cultural. (The SES is certainly strict about observing gender difference in the environment, but if these differences were really so "natural" and genetic, there would be no need to enforce them culturally.)

You seem eager to apply the philosophical method, TB, which is interesting, because in my experience of SoPP they do not use the philosophical method, premise-argument-conclusion, but instead read out loud an "inspiring" text and ask the students to apply it in their own lives for a week. Anyway, you state "If we are starting with unsupported premises how can we expect the conclusions to be correct?" but what you mean to say is "if we start with a FALSE premise the conclusion will be incorrect" -- an unsupported premise will still lead to a true conclusion, if the premise is true. A nit-picky point I'll admit, but your pedantic tone brings it out of me, TB.

I have a feeling there are a lot of people in the world you find it difficult to get along with, TB, and many of them are women. I would suggest to you, as kindly as I can, that you may not realize how patronizingly you speak. If your relations with women are happy and and harmonious, please accept my apologies for assuming otherwise. If you often feel the women you encounter are hostile to you for seemingly no reason, I suggest it might be your condescending attitude. Nobody likes to be addressed with condescension, although some will tolerate it more than others.

Back to the content of your argument -- I think you fail to comprehend that difference is not an obstacle to equality. Men may be different from women, but still no better or worse. One historical period may be different from another culture, but not necessarily better or worse. SES is a highly hierarchical organizaion, it seems, & it's tough for someone steeped in hierarchical thought to grasp that although two quantities may be different from each other, one is not necessarily better since in the hierarchical system it's always one-up other-down or vice versa.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to belabor this point -- that people do not have to be alike to be equal.

Math is the simplest language for logical expression. The terms "like" and "equal" are not synomonous. Unlike terms (take 4X and 16Y, for example) can be equal although they are dissimilar. People may also be unalike without being unequal. Whether its women and men, blacks and whites, Pakistanis and Brits, although the two categories are vividly different, one group isn't necessarily better than the other. Of course, you may actually believe in your heart of hearts, TB, that men are better than women, whites are better than blacks, Brits are better than Pakis - or you may not, I really don't know. But the simple fact of difference is not evidence of one group's superiority.

Okay, back to quoting - Emmalu9 writes that over 10 years she was
entrusted into the care of many different families babystters and teachers in both term time and holidays. Some were competent and caring, others were shockingly abusive.
and criticizes
the total egomania of the SES, which allows the belief that people have differing levels of inherent human worth. Your paragraph on gender equality clearly demonstrates that you too are suffering from this very sad delusion. I pity you and hope that you will one day be able to be released from the bondage of pride.


TB responds
If you read my comment carefully and not assume what underlies the questions, it does not indicate at all what I might believe. I am checking to see what YOU believe and how you have formed your ideas. It is a comment about your views, not mine. Not suprisingly most people do interpret this type of questioning and backfill with their assumptions. You might have a coherent argument to support your case on gender equality, then again you might not.

Emmalu9 back
If you have a point, then state it clearly. Otherwise, you leave others no choice but to read some coherent argument into your convoluted grammar...


TB responds by quoting Emmalu9
I believe that this forum gives people a place where they can begin to heal the wounds inflicted through connection with the SES and St James schools. Sharing experiences and feelings with others whose lives have been similarly damaged can help to gain closure and to deal with a history of abuse.


and writes

TB
I apologise for entering into debates that inhibit this. However as a past member of the SES I have an interest (but perhaps not the right) in this forum. Your point is well taken, I will try and be more sensitive.


Magnanimous man! But no quoting Emmalu9's criticism of your "convoluted" grammar, just
Excuse my complex grammar, I will work to simplfy it.

TB, while it's big of you to apologize for your lack of sensitivity, you sort of ruin the effect with the implicit insult in "Excuse my complex grammar, I will work to simplify it." It's as if you believe your thought processes are so complicated and intricate that you couldn't possibly expect lesser lights to keep up - and graciously promise to dumb it down so the rest of us can follow you. You are insulting where perhaps you mean to be concilatory. You say yourself that "Not suprisingly most people do interpret this type of questioning and backfill with their assumptions," so why do it that way?

But this is a question of attitude/tone, as for content, back to Emmalu9
Just for the record, I believe that all humans have equal inherent worth, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality or morality. Would you agree?

TB responds
I would have to ask you to define 'inherent worth' in practical terms. This vague statement sounds like a political banner. Sounds great but you cannot pin it down.

TB, you dropped the word "equal" there, Emmalu9's premise is that "all humans have equal inherent worth" (regardless of differences) and I agree with FreeThinker that "equal inherent worth" is not all that hard to understand unless you just aren't payin attention (or have been schooled in an obsessively hierarchical system where people are not only treated differently based on rank but also have their fundamental humanity disrespected.)

Free Thinker writes
TB - ...I agree that your choice of things to take issue with is quite SES-ian, ... Inherant worth is quite simple. It means that we are all worth the same in the world, either through God's eyes if you're religious, or through our own if you're not, no matter what color, creed, sexuality, class, etc. you are.

I would just like to add that for religious people, a person's inherent worth comes from possession of a soul. But the idea that a person has intrinsic value is not limited to religious people - the irreligious just have a harder time saying where this innate dignity or worth comes from. The Enlightenment & the SES's beloved Renaissance were two points in history where a number of philosophers were arguing that "man" has innate dignity which must be respected. more on this below.

TB writes
I believe all people are different, and are affected by age, race, gender, sexuality, intelligence, morality, sexual orientation, education, nationality, health, parents they are born to, etc.

I believe that, by the way we measure value, this makes them unequal in many ways and means we treat them differently. I also believe that MOST should be offered equal OPPORTUNITY (as opposed to equality itself) to achieve things. But this should not overly affect others.

TB, your premise is that "all people are different," which is fine. Advaita Vedanta proposes that all the differences you mention, ethnicity, gender, intelligence, morality, etc. are uppadhis, temporary characteristics, not who a person is. But whatever, you may be so turned off by the SES that Advaita Vedanta is an enormous turn off as well. I don't wish to push Sanskrity ideas on anyone here.

You go on to say that "I believe that, by the way we measure value, this makes them unequal in many ways." But how do "we" measure value? In some cultures, the fastest runner will have the greatest value; in other cultures, the best computer scientist.

But more to the point, the "inherent equal worth" Emmalu9 and Free Thinker speak of has nothing to do with the value of the contribution an individual makes to the group. It's not related to a person's accomplishments. "Inherent equal value" is unearned. It is equal among people of different capabilities, not only because difference is NOT a hindrance to equality, but also because the rock-bottom worth of a person has nothing to do with how s/he acts and everything to do with the fact s/he exists. And I'm a little concerned about anyone who really needs this broken down -- can't you tell that you possess innate value, independent of your abilities? And that other people do as well?

I have heard a lot of adolescents say that they don't respect anybody just automatically, it has to be earned. They assume that others are NOT worthy of respect until proven otherwise. But I think mature people realize it's much better to respect EVERYBODY at a baseline level, no matter how foul the person's behavior.

But let's leave aside the premise that "all people have equal intrinsic worth" in case you still don't undersand or agree, TB. You write that "I also believe that MOST should be offered equal OPPORTUNITY (as opposed to equality itself) to achieve things. But this should not overly affect others." I think your unwillingness to extend equal opportunity to all, even if it "overly affects" others, is symptomatic of a certain grasping unwillingness to give up the high status you've assumed is your birthright as an Englishman, TB. You follow with the example of not giving children or the mentally ill the opportunity to drive a car, but I think this is a bit of a red herring -- I suspect that if you are honest with yourself there are a lot of other opportunities you are really reluctant to extend to people who don't look or act like you do.

Reading over your last post, TB, you seem to be genuinely asking questions from the heart, not just attempting to get somebody to respond so you can slam 'em.

Give me some practical description that I can apply to daily living. Give me something to measure this worth.

I'm afraid I can't do that. Innate worth, the intrinsic value of a person is not tangible.

How am I going to know if people respect this worth with their actions and not just words?

Oh you'll know it when you meet it TB. Besides, what worry is it for you? You seem unwilling to admit innate worth exists.

In my view we use these empty words to satisfy our need to appear virtous to ourselves and others.

I think you mean to say OTHER people use these empty words to appear virtuous.

I do voluntary work for others, for the environment, and have done so over most of my adult life. I am struck by the expectation and lack of gratitude that it brings from those who benefit


If I understand you, TB, you feel that worth -- your own and others - is dependent on what you do. I can only say again, I think there is a baseline of value that each person has, independent of what s/he does. I also hope that you get something, some pleasure or a good feeling when you volunteer your time & energy. If you don't, then don't do it?

Gahh. It's late. And I haven't introduced myself properly here. And this post is ridiculously long. TB, although I find both your tone and your belief system infuriating in the extreme, I should remember that I haven't walked a mile in your moccasins & maintain amiability. will try to anyway.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:01 am

wow NYC!

*claps and cheers*

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Postby Goblinboy » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:25 am

Tour de force, NYC. Very impressed.

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Postby TB » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:25 pm

NYC,

I agree with the other posters, an excellent post, long but certainly worth the read. How can I respond without seeming patronising given my past comments? I genuinely enjoyed reading an expose of my thinking and opinions. You have not correctly picked all my views (or I have not expressed them well), but most is right on the money.

I will discuss your points if you are interested.

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Postby emmalu9 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:30 pm

hear hear NYC, that must have taken you ages! Its great to read a thoroughly coherent, honest and perceptive post. thanks.


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