girls school

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
anon

girls school

Postby anon » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:37 pm

i have just found this site and have read some of the messages, they seem to be all from boys who attended st james. I was wondering how many girls suffered, i know i did. i was at the school for 6 years and was humilliated from day one , i spent more time outside miss caldwell office or sweeping the stairs than actually learning anything. the range of punishments in the girls school was less physical than the boys although i was beaten with my startrite outdoor shoes across the palm and backside on numerous occasions but the mental torture dished out was just as abusive.

[posting edited on the request of poster -- mike]

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:30 pm

Hi Anon,

Read on, there are a few other girls on the site that went to St James.

Are you in touch with any other ex-pupils who may find this site interesting?

Alban

anon

Postby anon » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:35 pm

been reading all evening, kindof working out how to get around the site now,found more stories from girls. not in touch with anyone from the bad old days

Guest

Re: girls school

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:54 am

anon wrote:my father is still involved in ses and wont hear a word said against it,when i asked him how he could have kept me at a school that terrified me so much that i clung to the bannisters every morning and he had to physically carry me into the car, he shakes his head sadly and changes the subject, we are not close as i cant forgive him.


Anon, you are not alone.

Hopefully you will have by now found a number of postings from ex-St James Girls' School members. Your brief account of your experience as a little girl, and subsequent effects on your relationship with your father is heartbreaking.

Best wishes

StJ79-93

Postby StJ79-93 » Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:35 am

God bless you.

I can sympathise with your situation

All the best

Guest

I suffered too!

Postby Guest » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:39 pm

Dear all
Just to let you know that anyone who claims that St Vedast school for girls didn't have corporal punishment is lying! - I was there in 1981 for one awful year! - at one point I got slapped across the face by Miss Wilson for no apparent reason! -
I also remember being singled out for dislike by Mrs Glazier! - particularly one comment by her in my school report that 'She Seems barely able to sweep a floor!'
It was generally felt that because I looked grownup for 10 I should be acting like a grown-up!
I also remember once losing my games shirt and finding it on another girl and basically being told that I was being stupid to want to take it back!
The same thing happened with money-I was told that I would be in detention or suspended if I went down to reclaim my money from the cloakroom before someone stole it!
I don't however blame my parents - they sent me there because my brother at the time (despite numerous canings was doing well there). They weren't in the SES cult at all and when they realised what it was doing to me took me out after a year.
Would be interested to share experiences!

Tom Grubb
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Location: London

Postby Tom Grubb » Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:27 pm

Hi Guest,

Thank you for your testimony about life at St Vedast girls' school. It's becoming increasingly evident that physical and psychological abuse was rife at the SES-run girls' schools. If you'd like more information about the ongoing campaign to bring SES child abusers to justice, please email me: tahg@aol.com

Tom

emmalu9
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:07 pm
Location: London

Postby emmalu9 » Wed Feb 23, 2005 11:59 am

Would like to offer support for anon for sharing her story, thankyou. I have experienced a similar communication void with parents unable to forgive themselves. My parents joined the SES in its infancy and sent myself and my four brothers to St James. Having been in therapy now for two and a half years, I am beginning to understand what a functional parent / child relationship is, how it works, and how much my family's involvement in the SES screwed up how we relate to one another.

Although I've known about this site for around 9 months, I've only just gathered the emotional strength to start reading. I was in the school from 1984-1994, aged 3.5-13.5. My first form teacher was Mrs Crofts. Who remembers being shut in the cloak cupboard in the ground floor classroom of 90 Queensgate?

People on this site have mentioned the more subtle nature of the abuse at the girls school than at the boys school, an observation that I have always felt to be true. After minimising traumatic childhood experiences for so long I now realise how damaging emotional and spiritual abuse can also be. One experience in particular stands out from my early memories. During a sanskrit class, aged around 6 or 7, a girl in my year, Claire G, was hauled up to the front for some indiscretion - talking in class I think - whereupon the teacher, Mrs Sapiro (then Miss Canner) demanded that she hold out her hand to be hit with a ruler. Claire would not oblige, and stood, humiliated in front of the class, having a stand off with Canner. After some time - it felt like an age - Canner held out her hand and said, in her imperious, reedy voice,

''Kiss my hand.''

Claire looked up in disbelief, and began to cry when she realised it was not a joke. As Claire's sobs continued we watched in morbid fascination. Finally Claire had to give in to the stronger resolve of Canner, who had not flinched during the whole episode. The effect on me, and perhaps on my classmates (such as Hilary T, Helen D, Angela P, Rebecca A, Archana P, Louisa D, Emma C, Helen G, Payal P, Janki S) was to feel shocked and slightly sickened. I remember feeling sorry for Claire and hatred for Canner. Afterwards Canner became something of a joke. Me and my little brother used to amuse ourselves doing imitations of her ridiculous request in silly voices. I think this is the only reason I haven't blanked it out, like most of the rest of my school memories until the age of about 10.

This form of emotional abuse through public humiliation happened every day. It was profoundly damaging and affects me to this day. I call for old girls to continue to expose the dirty, shameful past behaviour of their teachers.

I would also like to put myself forward to answer any questions on the girls school between 1983 and 1993, to the best of my knowledge! Please bear with me if I take a while to respond sometimes, as I only have internet access at work.[/quote]

Snowman
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:31 am
Location: London

Postby Snowman » Wed Feb 23, 2005 2:19 pm

Recently I have been reflecting on the certain questions relating to the methods and teachings of the SES and how its influence is filtered into the classrooms of St James schools ? boys and girls, junior and senior. Also, it would appear, into the classrooms of all SES affiliated schools in Australia, South Africa, US, Ireland, The Netherlands and I am sure there are others that I have missed.

I would like to cite the research of Dr Margaret Singer professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley the acknowledged leading authority on mind control and cults. She identified specific traits that are common to organisations whose programs promote prescriptive behavioural, emotional, psychological and/or spiritual ?education?. The phrases coined to define the exact methods of influence are particularly poignant and their definitions are immediately relevant and recognisable as methods employed by the SES.

?Coercive psychological systems are behavioural change programs which use psychological force in a coercive way to cause the learning and adoption of an ideology or designated set of beliefs, ideas, attitudes, or behaviours. The essential strategy used by the operators of these programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate many different types of coercive influence, anxiety and stress-producing tactics over continuous periods of time.?
http://www.factnet.org/coercivemindcontrol.html?FACTNet

I believe that the SES has constructed its teaching material to specifically instil (in the case of young children) and alter (in the case of adults) behavioural patterns through the use of coercive psychological force. In the boys school of the 70?s and 80?s (and continuing into the 90's) the psychological force was manifest in a culture of fear, anxiety and stress-producing tactics such as the continual threat of physical punishment, humiliation and emotional disruption. From several testimonies on this forum it is clear that the girls suffered a similar style of abuse that is equally, if not more, damaging.

?In such a program the subject is forced to adapt in a series of tiny "invisible" steps. Each tiny step is designed to be sufficiently small so the subjects will not notice the changes in themselves or identify the coercive nature of the processes being used. The subjects of these tactics do not become aware of the hidden organizational purpose of the coercive psychological program until much later, if ever. These tactics are usually applied in a group setting by well intentioned but deceived "friends and allies" of the victim. This keeps the victim from putting up the ego defences we normally maintain in known adversarial situations.?
http://www.factnet.org/coercivemindcontrol.html?FACTNet

There are dozens of ?tiny invisible steps? incorporated into the everyday teaching of both SES and the St James schools. These include meditation, prayers in morning assemblies, philosophy discussions based on the SES material, pausing at the beginning and end of each lesson, referencing all spiritual, cultural and philosophical texts back to the philosophy of advaita. As Alban pointed out on another post, children are at school to learn and a child will generally trust that the authority figures in their lives are telling the truth and that they know better and more than themselves. It is also interesting to note that Dr Singer makes the observation that tactics of coercive influence ?keeps the victim from putting up the ego defences?, this is a cornerstone of the SES teaching and its influence is found ? they claim ? in the advaita teachings.

?The coercive psychological influence of these programs aim to overcome the individual's critical thinking abilities and free will - apart from any appeal to informed judgment. Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent. Their critical thinking, defences, cognitive processes, values, ideas, attitudes, conduct and ability to reason are undermined by a technological process rather than by meaningful free choice, rationality, or the inherent merit or value of the ideas or propositions being presented.?
http://www.factnet.org/coercivemindcontrol.html?FACTNet

Dr Singer identified 7 basic tactics that are used to exercise coercive psychological and social influence and to a greater or lesser extent all can be recognised as tactics employed by the SES.

TACTIC 1
Increase suggestibility and "soften up" the individual through specific hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as: Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills, Excessive exact repetition of routine activities, Sleep restriction and/or Nutritional restriction.

TACTIC 2
Establish control over the person's social environment, time and sources of social support by a system of often-excessive rewards and punishments. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered.

TACTIC 3
Prohibit disconfirming information and non supporting opinions in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group" language is usually constructed.

TACTIC 4
Make the person re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control and defense mechanisms. The subject is guided to reinterpret his or her life's history and adopt a new version of causality.

TACTIC 5
Create a sense of powerlessness by subjecting the person to intense and frequent actions and situations which undermine the person's confidence in himself and his judgment.

TACTIC 6
Create strong aversive emotional arousals in the subject by use of nonphysical punishments such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques.

TACTIC 7
Intimidate the person with the force of group-sanctioned secular psychological threats. For example, it may be suggested or implied that failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequences such as physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.


In the context of emmalu9?s testimony
emmalu9 wrote:My first form teacher was Mrs Crofts. Who remembers being shut in the cloak cupboard in the ground floor classroom of 90 Queensgate?

People on this site have mentioned the more subtle nature of the abuse at the girls school than at the boys school, an observation that I have always felt to be true. After minimising traumatic childhood experiences for so long I now realise how damaging emotional and spiritual abuse can also be. One experience in particular stands out from my early memories. During a sanskrit class, aged around 6 or 7, a girl in my year, Claire G, was hauled up to the front for some indiscretion - talking in class I think - whereupon the teacher, Mrs Sapiro (then Miss Canner) demanded that she hold out her hand to be hit with a ruler. Claire would not oblige, and stood, humiliated in front of the class, having a stand off with Canner. After some time - it felt like an age - Canner held out her hand and said, in her imperious, reedy voice,

''Kiss my hand.''

Claire looked up in disbelief, and began to cry when she realised it was not a joke. As Claire's sobs continued we watched in morbid fascination. Finally Claire had to give in to the stronger resolve of Canner, who had not flinched during the whole episode. The effect on me, and perhaps on my classmates (such as Hilary T, Helen D, Angela P, Rebecca A, Archana P, Louisa D, Emma C, Helen G, Payal P, Janki S) was to feel shocked and slightly sickened. I remember feeling sorry for Claire and hatred for Canner.


it is obvious that Miss Canner and Mrs Crofts created in Claire G and the rest of the class, a sense of powerlessness, a strong emotional aversive arousal and intimidated them. For what reason and what justification?

I mentioned in another post that the SES intentionally challenges the student emotionally and psychologically in order to foster a dependency on the institutional policy of the organisation. One could surmise in the context of Dr Singer?s theories that the SES is guilty of incorporating a coercive psychological system in order to exert control over its members.

In the United States such behaviour, it could be argued, violates the rights of individuals guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution and in Europe, it could be argued, that they violate the rights of the individual under the EU Constitution. In addition they are arguably also illegal practices under such legal terms as: undue influence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and outrageous conduct.

Why would a school subject CHILDREN to extremely damaging emotional, psychological and physical abuse? What did they hope to achieve? The SES will continue to seduce adults and children into becoming followers of dangerous philosophical principles as long as it exists. This is achieved through the indoctrination of young children under the guise of spiritual education, through the philosophy courses for new members by preying on their insecurities, through SES lectures on Economics, Physics, Art, Architecture, Mathematics, Sanskrit etc? through schemes such as the Lucca Leadership Foundation and through the Education Renaissance Trust ? the vehicle which publishes and organises most of the source material that the SCHOOLS are founded upon.

Adults joining the SES are expected to make their own choices with regards to their actions but as Dr Singer suggests, those choices are not necessarily derived from a process of free-will and critical thinking but rather from a technological process of coercive influence. If an adult is vulnerable to such manipulation the what chance does a child stand?

I am desperately saddened as I write this thinking of the many thousands of lives that have been scarred by the dangerous proliferation of demented ideology and its application that is still being practiced at the SES schools for children all over the world.

PLEASE LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE ? STOP HURTING THEM! STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT! NOW!!!

Can someone from the SES PLEASE help us out on this?

Clara
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:34 pm

Postby Clara » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:41 pm

Dear anon, it's extraordinary how reading accounts trigger memories. I was before your time but I too remember tying myself to my bed in the morning with my twisted pyjamas (what a rebel wearing trousers in bed)so that I could not be taken to school, And that horrific heart sinking, stomach churning moment as the car turned down Queensgate. Actually feeling sick at what would lie ahead. Even today driving past that street still brings it back. I would never ever drive past 90, 91,92.
I don't really know what I want from this site but I know that it feels good to put things into words and to be read by people who really understand. I don't necessarily want the school to fold but I do want an acknowledgement of the misery caused and not to always be told 'oh it's a completely different place these days...the children are so happy etc etc.' I would so love someone to acknowledge what happened to me and others, I so admire Barber and Rasmussen (who was the most brilliant teacher and lovely man in my opinion) for being so brave and acknowledging these stories as truth. Why does no one come forward from the girls staff?
Anyways ...
Clara

Witness
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:55 pm

SES brutality: constructed or accidental?

Postby Witness » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:42 pm

Snowman,

Thankyou for your fascinating post. I think it is spot on.

Just one thing, you wrote:

"I believe that the SES has constructed its teaching material to specifically instil (in the case of young children) and alter (in the case of adults) behavioural patterns through the use of coercive psychological force."

(1) Do you see it that SES leadership has actually sat around a table and said "Right, lets see how we can capture as many minds as possible... here are the techniques we're going to use..."

Or

(2) Do you think SES has EVOLVED into the beast that it is, survival of the fittest cult, without planning or conspiracy?

I currently tend towards theory (2), which would also explain -despite what we here all know- why it has been impossible for cult watchdogs to empirically prove that SES is a cult: it has no nerve centre, no evidencable plot behind it.

We've got plenty of evidence of damage SES has caused, but no evidence of a motive as to why the destruction has been done in the first place.

I think that perhaps even THEY don't know what they're doing, and have little idea that they are using "coercive psychological force" to alter/instil behavioral patterns.

Far from excusing them, I am saying that's how terribly dangerous they really are.

grimep
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:47 pm

Postby grimep » Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:37 pm

I would disagree with that, Witness - simply because the SES was largely the creation of one man. Actually, my reaction to reading Snowman's post was to imagine MacLaren sitting there burning the midnight oil while reading "Setting Up Cults for Dummies - be the leader of a religious sect within 28 days or your money back..." He certainly read TACTIC 1 through to 4 for starters. Get that regime going through force of personality, beligerence, browbeating... hop off to India to get some mad old nonsense for people to believe in.. voila. A cult.

When I was at school and the Cult expose book came out there was some debate among us students as to whether the SES was really a cult or not- surely it was nothing like Scientology, the Moonies, Branch Davidians or any number of American style organisations. The feeling among us was it was sort of almost a cult- a kind of watered down, slightly wishy washy middle class English facsimile of a cult. But taking a couple of Snowman's points, we can see clear parallels with the definition of a cult and the SES.

you said

"why it has been impossible for cult watchdogs to empirically prove that SES is a cult: it has no nerve centre, no evidencable plot behind it. "

But what it is is a society within society - a hierarchy within which the richer and more powerful have control and influence over those beneath them. Clearly such a system bestows those higher up with benefits; "tutors" strongly advise members within their group on personal relationships. They are looked up to; believed. The status within the organisation also provides a culture within which older, possibly richer and more powerful male members of the organisation have an uneven playing field when it comes to attracting sexual partners within the school. I can't imagine any person, while being a member of the SES, attracting a mate who had nothing to do with it and having a successful relationship. So that is one of the dangerous, personality-affecting cornerstones of what a cult is- an isolated, inward-looking, self-obsessed (?) organisation, the members of which see those on the outside as being different.

Snowman
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:31 am
Location: London

Postby Snowman » Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:53 pm

Witness

I think that there was deliberate intent on the part of MacLaren to control the minds of people BUT I don't believe that he calculated a format for doing it. Rather that he was attracted to ideas that seemed to subconciously justify the deep-rooted beliefs that he held. i.e. He couldn't help it it was his MASSIVE ego and his 'nature'.

You are probably correct in your assessment that it evolved into the organisation we see today still peddling the same insane ideas and principles. Tthe catalyst was obviously MacLaren and that his own bizarre life, experiences and beliefs created what is still much of the core philosophy of the current school. Subconciously he wanted to control peoples' minds and, in my opinion, he therefore set out to deliberately seduce and manipulate thousands of his servants.

This 'system' in turn attracted men and women who wanted to either explore the spiritual waffle offered or recognised the power that such a system afforded those at the top of the hierarchy; some wanted both. Those at the top of the pile are all successful, shrewd and powerful men - what could be broadly categorised as 'white professional middle-class' usually businessmen or politically involved as well.

I completely agree that empirical proof is hard to come by but there is plenty of testimony available. The SES and the associated schools around the world will face their day of judgement and when it does, its fall will be swift and vengeful. If they don't know that they are manipulating minds then they are even more foolish that I give them credit for. The big-wigs at the top are well aware of what they are doing and they are not ashamed by what they are doing - in my humble opinion.

Snowman
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:31 am
Location: London

Postby Snowman » Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:05 pm

grimep wrote:MacLaren sitting there burning the midnight oil while reading "Setting Up Cults for Dummies - be the leader of a religious sect within 28 days or your money back..." He certainly read TACTIC 1 through to 4 for starters. Get that regime going through force of personality, beligerence, browbeating... hop off to India to get some mad old nonsense for people to believe in.. voila. A cult.


What a super image you have conjoured up - like a ghoulish Hogarthian political charicature sitting in a dingy study with his bloated gut restrained by a string vest spilling over the elasticated band of a pair of huge greying y-fronts. His goat-like eyes maniacally scouring pages of notes for the best way to create a team of servants to see him through to the end of his days.

T.S
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:58 am

Postby T.S » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:33 pm

Tee hee,
I like that image Snowman. Thank you for that detailed account before of the tactics employed to create a cult. Thats very generous of you to share that.
Isn't it funny how they always spoke of ignorance as this general evil and I believe the reason that beast was allowed to grow so large was in fact- ignorance. lazy minded ignorance. The same kind of lazy minded ignorance that have allowed whole nations to allow fascist regimes to grow. I see it in small ways in every day life how people alter their opinions through gossip- allowing their minds to be changed in order to keep alliances strong- this happens so much in theatre! Or in any place where there are massive insecurities- which i guess is most places. I know now why that makes me so angry.SES tapped into the fundamental human insecurities.
Through isolation came the need to belong.
Through humiliation came the need to be accepted.
Through fear came the need to find comfort in what was on offer.
Through ravaging our minds came the need to believe.
Through using its own language and strange languages our reality was created and defined as something we needed to belong in to understand and certainly didnt belong in the world outside.
And so on....
For those of us who lived in resistance- and i must say I didnt all the time- survival was difficult.
That sick feeling as you came into Queens Gate- sorry i forgot who said that. God yes- what a way to start every day!
Snowman reading your post brought a strange memory. I came to St James at 7 a very confident girl. But after the beatings, temper rages and ritual humiliations of Janet Murray I soon became a very nervous girl. I developed a few ticks and I became unable to make eye contact at all with any teachers.

Under Janet Murray's orders I had to have private meditation sessions with Mrs Shepherd Walwyn- she was actually very sweet. She would watch me meditate in a little room which was an awful feeling of exposure for a nervous child. One day she asked me, very genuinely why i couldnt look at teachers. I thought about it. my only answer was 'because i feel like I'm being hypnotised'. I would feel a sick swirling feeling . I understand a bit more now where that came from. I wasnt just wierd- in some ways I was- I dont believe deliberaltey but the reason d'etre for everything in that school was to make us believe and stay.
I discovered this site fairly recently- I have shed a lot of tears since but ultimately find it a incredible place of communication and most of all confirmation that i think I've been longing for.
Thanks.


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