St James and SES: genesis of the relationship

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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St James and SES: genesis of the relationship

Postby Gandalf » Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:40 pm

In the light of the impending inquiry into the schools I would urge those who have direct knowledge of the genesis and evolution of the SES to join in contributing to an uncover the ideological drivers, the philosophical DNA, that permeates and underpins the current SES set up and the St James day schools worldwide.

This genetic background of the SES operates and influences much of the behaviour and utterances of those ?in school? but is not visible. The sanskrit word for it is ?lopa? being defined as a force that operates unseen such as the cycles of the Moon on Earths? ocean tides.

This magical and lawful operation of ?lopa? in nature takes on a more sinister aspect in the hands of ordinary humans and regrettably the SES and its covert connection with St James and St Vedast is no exception. It may be helpful if former pupils know something of the background to this.

But to go back to the beginning. As Colin Wilson puts it in his Introduction to ?Call No Man Master? by Joyce Collin-Smith:
?The 20th Century has produced more gurus, sages and messiahs than the previous five centuries put together. The reason is plain enough: the collapse of organised religion has left behind a hunger for moral certainties, a craving for ?hidden knowledge?. After the war of 1914-1918 wherever I went, whether in England or on the Continent, in America or the Far East, conversation was likely to turn to supernatural subjects????..?Four decades later a brilliant young historian named James Webb also became fascinated by this ?proliferation of prophets?, from Rudolf Steiner to Billy Graham, from Count Keyserling to Gurdjieff, from Rasputin to Timothy Leary and set out to record the story in a series of carefully researched books beginning with ?The Occult Establishment?.?

The original impulse for the founding of the School of Economic Science by Andrew MacLaren, in the mid-1930?s was actually quite different. It sprang from a desire to banish the inherent poverty and economic imbalance caused by private ownership of land which had reached its most tragic peak with the 1929 global recession and which spawned, among other things, the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Its guiding light was an American, Henry George, who wrote many books on the subject, the most famous of which was ?Progress and Poverty? first published in 1879. It is doubly ironic that Herbert Morrison (Peter Mandelson?s grandfather) and the Labour Party governing the old London County Council would have introduced land value taxation to London in 1938 had Hitler?s invasion of Poland not started WW2.

The introduction of the ?philosophical? dimension to the SES only came with Leon MacLaren in the 1950?s. This was based entirely on the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky as interpreted by The Study Society run by Dr Roles whose assistant L MacLaren was before taking over his father?s School of Economics. (It is amusing to note that his feisty father strongly opposed this diversification into philosophy and for many years turned up to heckle his son?s public lectures).

These philosophic teachings are readily available in books such as ?In Search of the Miraculous? , All and Everything?, ?A New model of the Universe? and ?The Psychology of Man?s Possible Evolution? have at their core the contention that the mass of humanity is ?Ordinary man? and the notion that a few men are capable of reaching higher states of consciousness if put through a series of disciplines and ?shocks? to lift them out of the mechanistic and torpid cycle of life and death.

Other fundamental principles included secrecy about the content of material at discussion groups attended, secrecy about the practices undergone at the behest of more ?senior? students and ostracism of anyone who left the organisation. At the same time the economic underpinning remained a strong aspect of the radical and eccentric amalgam that constituted the SES in the 60?s.

This creative and haphazard goulasch of ideologies and practices was given its final ingredient in the mid 60?s with the arrival of Tm via the Maharishi (later the subject and inspiration of his very own ironic song by the Beatles ? Sexy Sadie?.you made a fool of everyone, etc.).

Thus in the SES of the mid-60?s a left of field 19thc US economic philosopher Henry George came to be melded, somewhat implausibly, with a the teachings of the highly esoteric Georgian (Gurdjieff)), his Muscovite colleague Ouspensky and with Hindu-based meditation introduced to the SES through the agency of Dr roles of the Study Society.

The links with His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati were subsequently forged with the peculiar interposition of a Mr Jaiswal. How the SES manages (or doesn?t) to deal coherently and transparently with the philosophic mix now further overlaid with a genteel veneer of Christianity and how, to this day, it influences (overtly and covertly) the day schools set up, would be a valid subject for the impending inquiry. However the inquiry terms already circumscribe the scope to ensure opacity on these issues.

It would be a rash gambler indeed who would bet on all the SES ?lopa? connections coming out from under the rocks as a result of a gentlemanly and po-faced inquiry set up and paid for by St.James any more than the ?truth? emerged from the Butler inquiry into the Iraq war set up and paid for by HMG.

All of this is by way of background to the ethos operating at St James and St Vedast and the philosophic underpinning teachers are bolstered with on a weekly basis. Of course most people in the SES will, as an automatic reflex, proclaim that ?it is all changed now?. There are undoubtedly many well-meaning and hard-working people held in thrall by the continuous handout of philosophic and ethical certainties.

But has it really changed? Or is it just that the current front men are more sophisticated media operators than the earnest and slightly na?ve incumbents who surrounded L. MacLaren at the time of the publication of the Secret Cult (which ultimately caused St Vedast to be closed down)?

ross nolan
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response to gandalf ( from Ross)

Postby ross nolan » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:43 pm

Gandalf the wise-- your posting contains more actual informative and interperative material than dozens of others combined -- many thanks for your effort . I just read your response to me ,et al on "attending adult schools.." you clearly have an infinetly greater knowledge of the actual workings of the SES/SOP than my merely grazing aquaintence and fairly scant reading -- my only crtiticism is that you refer to matters obviously of "common knowledge" amongst initiates that unfortunately do not have meaning for others -- could you possibly have a 'list of players' and a brief bio on each to help clarify this ? Would be appreciated.

Your fluent and lucid commentary on the motivations of the organization are again very valuable additions to the examination -- it is curious, as you say that after the death (or resurrection ),retirement,overthrow etc of the founders of many organizations the whole show gets a new life of it's own and mutates into something quite different --this might be the value of rigid dogma and traditional practice -- Popes are like the Dr Who character who 'transmutes' in apperance but carries on with the same memories and behaviour pretty much.

So what was the original intention of Mc Laren etc ? -- if I am right he did not put himself up as some sort of Guru but sought to promote his clutch of 'talent' -Henry George,Gurdieff et al -- his son decided to claim "divine inspiration" in effect . Incidentally we have had a big backlash against onerous land taxes here in Victoria that crippled a number of family run Hotels,Hardware stores etc judged to be on hugely valuable sites and taxed accordingly -- not exactly the outcome Henry George predicted.

(We also have one forlorn backlane office of the Georgist league in Melbourne that I once tripped over - don't know if it has any connection to the SOP )

I am concerned that vulnerable or marginal people looking for some sort of movement to belong to are at danger of exploitation and mental damage and that they are deceptive and misleading in their public promotion if nothing else .

I will study your latest posting and respond when I get a chance .

Again thanks for lifting the quality of the debate.

Ross Nolan

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background of SES

Postby sugarloaf » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:45 am

Hi Gandalf

I agree its essential that those with knowledge of the history of the SES/SES schools contribute to the inquiry.

I spoke to a friend of mine who has just made his 'oral submission'. He said he was entirely comfortable, and it was non confrontational, and he was encouraged to say whatever he wanted about the school, regardless of whether it was relevant to the scope of the Inquiry.

He also said he got the impression that Mr Townend (chairman) was genuinely interested in the background, and SES connections.

If no one informs the chairman of the true history of the SES, and the schools, he will have to rely only on what Boddy has told him.

Just in case anyone is unaware: submissions are being accepted all this week, and appointments are now being scheduled for next week also. I'm sure if you emailed notice of your intention to C Betts, she would accept submissions made next week.

all the best


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Submissions to Inquiry

Postby Gandalf » Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:43 pm

Thank you SL

Good to know that submissions will continue to be taken next week as well. The hidden nexus between SES and StJ/StV has many aspects not least of which is the complete disregard for any boundaries of confidentiality between the two organisations.

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Postby Shout » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:08 pm

Last edited by Shout on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sugarloaf » Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:53 am

Just to clarify things,

The Chairman has already changed the TOR ? see the ?message from the inquiry chairman? thread.

As far as I?m aware many people wrote in (parents included) and said they didn?t agree with, or accept, the exclusion of parents. The chairman has changed the TOR to allow parents to participate.

Many people wrote in to say the deadline of the 20th of June was unacceptable and completely unrealistic. The deadline has been extended, and appointments for oral submissions are still being scheduled for next week.

Many people also wrote in to say that the restriction of the scope of the inquiry solely to ?discipline policy and practice? was unacceptable, and that they would be submitting a wide range of complaints, and expect them to be dealt with???...........

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The 'E' in SES.

Postby Gandalf » Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:15 am

The ?E? in SES

The Economics ?faculty? as it is humorously referred to (since it is virtually comatose and insentient) epitomises the hopelessly muddled and quietly hypocritical nature of the SES today.

Its intellectual and ethical roots promulgated by its founder, Andrew MacLaren, are in economic principles based on taxing, for the benefit of the community, the surplus value of land created by that community.

These are admirable and just principles but what the SES practices in the UK (and, by example, in the rest of the world) is exactly the opposite.

Basking in the tax free environment of a charitable trust the SES has, over the past 40 years, moved from teaching in humble rented accommodation to such as the Newton Institute in London (take the central exit on the South side of Leicester Sq. towards the National Gallery, 20 metres South of the square take the first alleyway on the left - if it is closing time avoid the barfs and trickles of urine crossing the pavement - ten metres along the alleyway on your right you will see a modest three storey building, the Newton Institute.

Now travel a short distance across London to Mandeville Place W1 to the latest SES HQ and admire the gleaming gentility of the consciously polished nouveau-vieux brass chandeliers from the local John Lewis department store up the road.

It took the Christian church 15 centuries to move across Rome evolving on the way from a band of rebels and outcasts in the catacombs of the Eternal City to the pomp and splendour of Bernini?s Vatican.

The SES has made its more modest but equally bombastic move across London in less than half a century through a series of spectacularly successful property deals in the best tradition of speculative land gain economics diametrically opposed to its the economic principles it was founded on. It is reassuring to know the SES can be relied on to be consistently hypocritical across all its activities.

This contradiction is of such magnitude that it has even been noticed by some of the inmates and the question of changing to a more Philosophy based name, like the SES elsewhere in the world, is a regular topic of discussion. No doubt the media savants in the SES are looking at this not least because it would distance the organisation from the SES ?brand?.

The dilution and obfuscation of the brand tainted by the Secret Cult expose is already actively underway with the Lucca Leadership Trust, the Education Renaissance Trust and the Newman EducationTrust and all the various SES day schools with their ?local hero? names like Abraham Lincoln, John Scottus, St

It is easy to see how the SES under, the able and smug direction of Sinclair and Boddy?s PR skills is seeking, like Abramovitch?s Sibneft, to spin itself into invisibility under layers of trust companies (charites) across the world, ostensibly unconnected to the SES, apparently independent but operating secretly in concert under the aegis of the Capo di Tutti I Capi in London. Lambie?s recent edict of silence to all the ?independent? School leaders in connection with Dr Lehmann?s ?defection? in Boston is a case in point.
[i](c.f SES Schools Worldwide ?The Boston Tea Party ? June 22 Gandalf Posting)[/i]

After years of inculcating the practice of the requirement of a constantly smiley face for individual adherents it is interesting to see the SES creature itself is now developing a smiley exterior to conceal the hypocrisy and manipulation within.

It won?t be long before the spin doctors pull the plug on the moribund and embarrassing Economic patient?s life support machine. Watch this space.

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SES Economics: St James the self imposed land tax

Postby HoHumBug » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:48 pm

From my uncle?s notebook I have found the following further gem on the School of Economics (not).

I don?t know why he kept these diary/notebooks, perhaps he thought he would write a history of the SES one day. Well uncle, here goes, you have your wish?.

?The current Principal and Chair of the SES Board of Trustees is a property specialist. Former head of Planning at Montagu Evans he retired shortly after the Mandeville deal was concluded. It is possible Montagu Evans were involved in the transaction as they are also property agents. His predecessor as SES Principal was chief property surveyor for Prudential Insurance. The SES has always been quite clear which side of the property slice its bread was buttered on.

Taxed with the contradictions between the SES?s theory and practice the head of Economics came up with the brilliant justification that ??supporting and maintaining the St James schools is the way the SES repays society for its windfall land gains?.

A bizarre and facile assertion but not inconsistent with the same individual, at the time of the adverse publicity from The Secret Cult publication, proclaiming that the SES ?must be on the right path as Socrates also ran into opposition from the establishment! ?

Barking mad reasoning, and from a barrister to boot!

A huge amount of energy is expended polyfilling and wallpapering places like Waterperry. That must be as nothing compared to the continuous polyfilling needed for all the cracks in the SES fa?ade.

The SES has plenty of money in the bank. But it spends little or nothing on research or funding of the serious study of Economics that might help London, the UK and the world, deal with the real problems and misery for millions of ordinary people who can?t get decent housing.

Meanwhile the SES just hunkers down and counts the gold".

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Re: SES Economics: St James the self imposed land tax

Postby Matthew » Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:19 am

Thanks HoHum, I'm sure we'll all greatly look forward to reading further fascinating extracts from your uncle's memoirs...

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The numbers game

Postby HoHumBug » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:43 am

Some more notes I have come across in my uncle?s diary?.

?The ?E? in SES.

There are many SES school houses across the world most of which have been acquired cheaply or have been the subject of bequests and are now worth many millions. They range from the uber-trendy Upper East 79th St and West 80th St town houses in Manhattan and the country estate at Borden?s Farm (of Borden?s milk fame), Wallkill, NY (currently the subject of a big extension which will probably ruin it ? but Big was always beautiful in the Apple).

Other prominent premises in prime locations in North America include the Madison Avenue house in downtown Toronto with the ?simply must-have? accessory of a country retreat on the south side of lake Ontario. These properties were both bought for cash in the 90?s by a charitable trust (yet another for the global School of Economic Surreptitiousness collection) wholly funded by multi-millionaire Bill Fox, sometime Wall St operator and lifelong buddy of Warren Buffett. Boston too has an elegant 18th C timber frame school house in a beautiful sylvan setting.

That said, the former brothel in San Fernando, Trinidad could hardly be described as genteel but was bought for next to nothing notwithstanding its spectacular ocean views across to Venezuela. Dozens of other town buildings and country retreats in the USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as well as the Great Britain, Ireland and mainland Europe make up a tasty global collection.

For all the pretence at developing mystic Eastern-style ?detachment? SES is, at heart, a conventional expansionist proselytising recruitment organisation in the Western tradition of dozens of Christian splinter groups like the Witnesses, the Mormons and the Adventists. School 'leaders' are feted and given metaphorical badges of honour if their schools are ?successful? in increasing the number of students attending and the multiplication of schools in far flung corners of the former Empire is testament to that drive for growth.

That said, closer to home, the annual Foundation group 'recruitment drive' from the St James schools remains vital to servicing the ageing demographic that is the 'senior' SES in London on its evenings and residentials. They may just be able to still trundle the Volvos and Mercs from one school mansion to the next but they need someone to change the loo rolls and make the bloody tea when they get there!

Part 1 entries are as anxiously monitored by the Executive of SES as a board of directors monitors its share price. Long gone however are the heady days in the 60?s when the SES was, as it were, in the philosophic Footsie 500 and London?s Part 1 was routinely over 400 students/week whilst Amsterdam often topped 1000! They are lucky to get a tenth of that now. However,reduced quantity has not made any difference to the quality of the product. However long they attend no one gets any wiser.

It begs the question: if wisdom and knowledge are the same whether imparted in a palace or under a banyan tree what are the palaces for??

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mm's SES concerns

Postby HoHumBug » Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:35 am

Dear mm (and anyone else)

In the 'non-subserviant girl' (sic) thread on 28 Feb you wrote:

if she (Mary) knows for sure as she states, then she implies that she gets that info straight from the horses mouth, which suggests that she is in direct contact with Mr Boddy. If this is true then I have to look at her picture of life at St James with a little bit of suspicion

From her postings Mary seems a nice kind-hearted girl but it is hardly surprising the she is in direct contact with Boddy. I see from my deceased uncle's diary notes that her parents and the Boddies are all long standing members of the 2 most senior SES groups (i.e. men and women ? 2 separate groups of course) ?tutored? by Lambie.

The groups, made up of people then in their 30?s and 40?s who had achieved some wordly success, as opposed to the less fortunate majority of SES attendees, were originally formed by BigMac and were called the MMTS and MCTW groups (More Money Than Sense and More Clothes Than Wardrobes - I kid you not ? Leontius I hope that answers one of your many questions in your post of the Wed 31 August 2005).

For almost two decades they have spent weeks and weekends together at Waterperry House and Nanpantan Hall. Even more to the point, Mary?s dad is a St James governor and, technically, Boddy?s boss (but of course Lambie is the secret ?capo?).

My uncle goes on to say that after a year or so even Big Mac was persuaded that those group titles were embarrassing and divisive in relation to the necessary outward show of unity of the SES movement and the MMTS were renamed the ?X? group (supposed to stand ?The unknown quantity?). The MCTW were renamed ?Y?. Why ?Y? for the ladies? Obvious really, Y follows X. Doh!

You seem puzzled by the connection between SES and St James so I have chosen Gandalf?s original site from last summer to post this so to help you find some of the background amidst the plethora of new threads that is (probably deliberately on some recent contributor's part) submerging informative earlier material on this forum.

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Postby mm- » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:49 pm


Thanks for this, it is extremely useful. I had not read this particular thread, it certainly answers some questions for me and confirms my suspicions.

That said, closer to home, the annual Foundation group 'recruitment drive' from the St James schools remains vital to servicing the ageing demographic that is the 'senior' SES in London on its evenings and residentials

This really bothers me. I know that this was written by your uncle a long time ago but I really believe that this still happens at St James today.

However much this is denied both by staff and also by some current posters on this site, as a parent, this is one of the main reasons why I have no choice but to withdraw my children from the school.

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Postby HoHumBug » Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:26 pm

Oh no, its not 'long ago' in the past.....the recruitment is active and current. I was personally told about Mrs Harper's persistent importuning of the parents of a girl in the Lower VI last summer. ~

The mother in the end put her foot down because she had had no sensible or rational explanation about the teachers' insistence on 'long skirts' during a class skiing holiday the previous spring - not actully DURING ski-ing you understand - even the SES realises this could be seen as a little eccentric ..... not to mention chilly, especially if you have not yet perfected parallel turns.

However, parents are incredibly reluctant to come forward however in the belief it may harm their children's chances in the tricky period in run up to A- levels. Posts like these will simply ensure an edict goes out from Lambie to ensure the recruitment drive becomes increasingly covert and circumspect.

It will never occur to Boddy, Hyde & Co to actually admit there is something wrong with what they are doing and desist from recruiting since they are completely convinced in the righteousness of their quest and that it is really 'good' for the annual cohorts of Lower VIth formers to join the SES and discover 'the Truth'.

My own nephew was repeatedly pressurised by Debenham to join in 2001 because he was someone many in his class looked up to but he steadfastly refused. It's not just something that occurred in the distant past as the disingenuous SES apologists would have you believe.

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Postby Keir » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:03 am


All this smoke and mirrors, it makes you wonder what they are hiding.

Is it a sad old man thumping away at an organ behind a curtain, by any chance?

Would that it were as harmless!!!

ross nolan
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Genesis of SES revisited.

Postby ross nolan » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:11 pm

Gandalf's original posting on the reasons for the SES (and later St James) coming into being makes for interesting reading -- nominally the SES started because of the depression of the 1930s 'to try to understand why this happenned...etc' actually there was a rather more severe depression in the 1890s that gave rise to a number of 'revolutionary' organizations and books like Henry George's epistle on the world economy and "Poverty and Progress" - recycled for the 1930s and taken up by the SES - he also influenced a Mr Marx who spent a lot of time in the British library and subsequently wrote the communist manifesto - a reasonably influential tome in it's own right.

HG Wells wrote "the shape of things to come" and influenced the setting up of the league of nations and subsequent United Nations -- another book proposing a new society based on socialism was "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy - it used the device of a man in suspended animation revived in the year 2000 observing how an ideal socialist society had come about -- it was very widely read and was the foundation document that began the Australian labour party .

All these movements seemed to have the same impetus as the nascent SES and also grew out of the economic failures of depressions -- a similar movement in the USA was founded by Alfred Lawson (pioneer airliner designer/builder) and still exists as the 'institute of lawsonomy' in the mid west. At least people were optimistic and idealistic then .

The real reasons for depressions have much to do with long duration economic and innovation cycles known as Kondratieff waves -- after the soviet econometrician who deduced their existence and both predicted the 1930s collapse and made the mistake of informing Stalin that both Capitalism and communism would suffer from it's effect (he died in a gulag somewhere in Siberia)

Check the web for details -- perhaps if McLaren senior had of spent more time on real economic analysis the whole SES thing might have remained true to it's name and avoided the tangent of Hindu mysticism and rennaisance philosophy........


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