Letters to governors "private and confidential"

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
daska
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Postby daska » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:30 pm

Stanton wrote:It would be totally unrealistic for the School to wave goodbye to St James since it was School parents who set up the School in the first place and have continued to support it.


And your point is what? That a letter addressed to the school governors should automatically be sent to anyone they think might be interested. So, if you sent me a letter marked private and confidential it would be ok for me to show it to my spiritual mentor/tutor etc...? Who originally set up the school is immaterial as the school are not part of SES - according to the governors, the heads (stated to me in person) and Lambie himself.

Stanton wrote:They did so in order to provide a better education for their children. They really cared about you and, in many cases, made huge sacrifices to further your education. I know of many parents who denied themselves holidays, cars and much else for you. And it was not only parents. All School members were brought in to help the day schools - decorating, scrubbing your ink stains off the wood floors in Queensgate on Saturdays (yes, me, too) and in countless other ways.

So please add that to the equation.


And my mother noticed that things were wrong but my father was so blind that we weren't allowed to leave. It was the SES school therefore it was the best(?!) and any other choice would be evil(?!). And please remember it wasn't just them, we worked too. BUT THEY HAD A CHOICE AND WE DID NOT. Who exactly were they working for and caring about? Us? Really? Think so? Or were they more interested in feeling good about themselves and earning brownie points for their next life? Self indulgence...

Stanton wrote:As to the open letter - I've said it before and will do so again - an open letter is an open letter anhd may be seen by anyone. To suggest that it is 'private and confidential' is to muddy the waters. It can't be both 'open' and 'private' at the same time.


If there is any doubt about the use of 'private and confidential' then the recipients have a moral responsibility to check first. Oh sorry, my mistake, obviously they don't, if they're in SES they are by definition morally superior in every way... NOT!
Last edited by daska on Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nilsabm
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Postby nilsabm » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:42 pm

SES respect for people's privacy.... there's a contradiction in terms if ever I heard one!

Whether the signatures were meant to be confidential or not, it would have been surprising if the SES members had not circulated any/all confidential information. This shameless organisation positively thrives on subterfuge and revels in playing petty knowledge/power games. Shame they don't teach any philosophy exploring this relationship - Foucault makes interesting reading for anyone with experience of the SES.

Watching the boards for the last few months, it has been apparent how the SES, bent on avoiding any true admission or taking any real responsiblility for its former actions, would rather procrastinate, deceive (yes, despite all the propoganda about change it is all too apparent that we are dealing with the same old lying, hypocritical beast) and launch inquisitions instead. So much hot air and distraction instead of a simple and honest apology!

How anyone who truly wants enlightenment or to live an honest life can bear to be part of this morally bankrupt and philosophically retarded organisation beggars belief.

What is a real shame is how many children were willingly (albeit perhaps unwittingly) sacrificed by their parents to this rotten, corrupted cult.

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:22 am

nilsabm wrote:Watching the boards for the last few months, it has been apparent how the SES, bent on avoiding any true admission or taking any real responsiblility for its former actions, would rather procrastinate, deceive (yes, despite all the propoganda about change it is all too apparent that we are dealing with the same old lying, hypocritical beast) and launch inquisitions instead. So much hot air and distraction instead of a simple and honest apology!


I know that this is a slow process the whole reconciliation thing but I have to agree with you, nilsabm, that the seeming lack of action by the governors leads to the conclusions you make above.

My interpretations of many of the actions by the schools and the SES since Mr Townend's report was published is that they are simply hell bent on their schools and philosophy continuing in the same vein with little more than lip services being paid to those it has let down along the way.

nilsabm wrote:How anyone who truly wants enlightenment or to live an honest life can bear to be part of this morally bankrupt and philosophically retarded organisation beggars belief.


Many of the individual people I have met in the SES are themselves good people. Caring, intelligent and yes often seeking the answers to real and valid philosophical questions. As individuals many are quite inspirational people. It entirely baffles me how they can put up with the contradictions and ills of the organisation and the power of the SES can lead them to being so ignorant and at times callous and malicious. I have no comprehension of how an individual can reconcile the imperfections of the organisation with the benefits it may offer. I know there are many in the SES that don't see the ills but there are plenty however who readily acknowledge that the organisation is not perfect but who seem to do little or nothing to address these imperfections.

"Don't dismiss the Teaching because the organisation is not perfect" and similar variations are what many, including my parents, have said to me when I've confronted them about some of the things that have happened or go on in the school. This is one of the most cultish aspects of the SES and one that ensures that the hypocrisy, corruption and imperfections continue.

Bonsai

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:14 pm

A few days ago I received a letter from John Story, in reply to the one I was invited to send to the governors as a result of having contributed to the Townend inquiry. Reading between the lines it struck me that it would be worthwhile for anyone, who has not yet taken part in the reconciliation process, to do so. I'm referring here to contact with the three teachers under discussion. I'm not going to talk about it further on this board but anyone who wishes to PM me is very welcome to do so.

At the time when I wrote to the governors I also copied the letter to Donald Lambie - with covering note. I have not received a reply to this (perhaps none is envisaged) but if he's inviting School members who signed the open letter to meet him perhaps I'll get an invitation as well.

I used to avoid invitations I didn't like or wasn't quite sure about. Not any more. Unless there are overwhelming reasons to do otherwise, I think all invitations are worth accepting.

What do you think?

nilsabm
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Postby nilsabm » Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:01 pm

If I were a plump, young, farmyard animal and received a message from Mr Wolf to cordially accept an invitation to dinner at his house, I think I'd be tempted to decline; unless I had a 12 gauge shotgun of course.

Normally I would suggest that the decision to accept or refuse an invitation was a matter of perception requiring an appropriate balance between trust and caution to be struck. If the grounds of the invitation were uncertain I would add that a degree of preparation was required as well.

Where the SES is concerned, however, I would extend the advice that I constructed for myself at St. V.; 'Beware of wolves in shepherds' clothing'. The misquotation was intentional and, I felt, more appropriate.

The SES, after all, has no philanthropic agenda. It exists purely for the sake of making money. It falls into that notorious category of 'divine property developers' that are all too common these days. It pedals a cobbled together, mish-mash of religions/philosophies for a price, and, in its benevolence, having told its followers that their duty is 'to serve', provides them with tasks which they can pay for the privilege of undertaking; generally to scrub the floors and weed the grounds of the mansions their cash is paying for.

MacLaren's genius is twisted but admirable in a perverse way. Here is the ultimate product of the 'School of Economic Science' - an organisation whose followers/workers pay to maintain and serve it! MacLaren realised early on that there are enough people, many of whom are genuinely nice and good, who want to be told what to do and think, and who are willing to pay for the privilege, to make religion a viable business. All he had to do was provide some material to be thought about, the tasks to be done and hand out the bills.....

Alban
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Is it really too much to ask?

Postby Alban » Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:26 pm

I personally don't see why I should take up the governors invitation when they haven't taken up ours.

Come to this site and talk - you will be heard, you will get the chance to talk to us directly, you will have a chance to appologise, and if you conduct yourselves well, you may even win some admiration.

What are you scared of?

Alban

daska
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Postby daska » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:13 pm

Stanton

A girl (16) and her friend (14) accepted an invitation from a family friend. They went to visit. They accepted a drink. The next thing they knew was when they woke up. They escaped via a first floor window without their clothes. The drinks had been spiked.

They then had to accept the consequences of having medical examinations, worries about having contracted STDs, possible unwanted pregnancy etc?

Blind acceptance is foolish. Even informed acceptance can be risky.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:10 am

You're right, Daska, of course. Minors - and the vulnerable - need to take special care and be looked after.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:17 am

What are you scared of?


In case you don't realise, people generally don't enjoy conversing in an atmosphere where they are hated, vilified and mistrusted.

Daska's post is quite typical of the kind of 'reconcile this, you b@st*rds!' reaction that can be expected for even the brand of mild approval of the School articulated by Stanton. nilsabm's post is also typical - not "I think the School should do more to demonstrate its philanthropic aims", but the inflammatory, "the SES exists only to make money". Or mm-'s recent comments about how illiterate and innumerate St James kids are (hmm ... voice of common sense ... 20th best school in the country = possibly doing something right?) For someone like me, who has nothing to do with what happened to people the same age as I am, it's an extremely hostile place. For someone who was involved in any way with running St James 20 years ago and more, it seems to be impossible.

So I think that until there is a more moderate tone on this site, the wish (if it is indeed genuine) for more School / St James people to participate will remain unfulfilled.

Maybe that's fine. There's clearly a lot of anger. However, the angry people need to recognise that they can either vent their spleen, or attempt to talk to people as equals and human beings. I'm not saying this board isn't valuable, but let's not kid ourselves that it's a place where anyone who cares for the School / St James can post without fear. It's not.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:50 am

chittani wrote:In case you don't realise, people generally don't enjoy conversing in an atmosphere where they are hated, vilified and mistrusted.


When I read this I thought it was you understanding why many posters and signees of the letter to the Govenors are not taking up the invitation to meet the govenors in person.

Then I read on...

chittani wrote:So I think that until there is a more moderate tone on this site, the wish (if it is indeed genuine) for more School / St James people to participate will remain unfulfilled.


How about a 'moderate tone' from the SES? "hard core activists" indeed.



and why ain't the quotes working? *sigh*

Quote error fixed - lacked backslash on quote close, ADG cheers GB
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

chittani
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Postby chittani » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:21 am

ADG

No, I was responding to Alban's post,

I personally don't see why I should take up the governors invitation when they haven't taken up ours.

Come to this site and talk - you will be heard, you will get the chance to talk to us directly, you will have a chance to appologise, and if you conduct yourselves well, you may even win some admiration.

What are you scared of?

Alban


to answer Alban's question. I wasn't speaking about the invitation from the Governors. Did you deliberately misconstrue my words?

As you can verify by looking at earlier posts, I've previously spoken out about the poorly-judged "hardened activists" tag (and in fact told Donald Lambie about it ... he hadn't seen it, but he said he would speak to the Governors about it). But any page on this board will glean remarks from the other side that are FAR more abusive. You cannot possibly compare the "iirep" site and say there is any equivalence there to the torrent of abuse that is on this one. Or can you?

Maybe you're thinking about things people said to you or to others in the past, in the light of which any slightly off-colour comment seems far worse than it is. Again, the question is whether this site is therapy for you and others, or whether it is a forum for debate. I'm not questioning its therapeutic value or its effectiveness in agitating, but I think anyone who believes that it is in even-handed and rational is delusional. To be fair, I don't think anyone really does believe that.

A firm of solicitors put St James on notice a year back that they were acting for a group of anonymous former pupils and gathering evidence for possible legal action. That threat stands. The calls by Alban and others for the governors to come on this site are, in that context, no more than rhetorical taunting, as I presume Alban, Tom, Matthew etc are involved with this action, or know about it. If the Governors' invitation is the equivalent of a wolf inviting a sheep to dinner, then Alban's 'invitation' is no more friendly or safe than theirs, and Alban knows it. Any governor would have to have taken leave of their senses to do so.

The problem so far as I can see is that both sides mistrust each other deeply. So long as that situation prevails, there won't be any truth or reconciliation. And for those of us who aren't involved with the conflict directly, the question is how long we want to go on posting on a site with this kind of atmosphere. As much as anything, does it do any good?

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:08 pm

fair enough chit. My apologies for reading your post in isolation.
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

Daffy
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Postby Daffy » Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:50 pm

Chittani, your last few posts indicate that in your opinion the governors, teachers and others connected with the schools cannot be expected to participate in this site while there is hostility against them.

Please have a read of the "Experiences at St Vedast (now St James)" thread, and pay special attention to the reactions that the three formers teachers who posted apologies there received. Were the reactions to their posts hostile? Not at all.

The governors and teachers have only themselves to blame by boycotting this site and leaving a couple of stooges (you and Stanton) to carry their flag. Let's hear directly from them.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:16 pm

Daffy,

I've read those posts, of course, and very moving they are. But the Governors aren't the same people as the teachers. They're not in a position to speak personally and, for the reason outlined already, they would be well advised to stay away from here. My main point, of course, is that the atmosphere on this board is such as to discourage all but the most "hardened" types (like me) from posting on it.

A point just proved by you, O moderator. According to google, a stooge is

flunky: a person of unquestioning obedience
act as a stooge, in a compliant or subordinate manner


Leaving Stanton to speak for herself, maybe you'd like to explain to me in what sense I'm a stooge? Or, you could just admit that it's another example of the casual, unthinking aggression that seems to be the stock-in-trade hereabouts.

:bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words: :bad-words:

I'm not really a 'smiley' fan ... but I like these little guys.

mm-
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Postby mm- » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:07 pm

Chittani,


Or mm-'s recent comments about how illiterate and innumerate St James kids are (hmm ... voice of common sense ... 20th best school in the country = possibly doing something right?


It is shame that SES members, teachers may feel intimidated to post on this BB. It has not been my intention to do this with any of my posts. I have always tried to come to this BB with the perspective of a parent at St James. Perhaps teachers, governors don't like to post here because they can't deal with the truth and they believe that hopefully by not saying anything at all the black cloud that hangs over the SES and St James will simply go away. I know if I were a member of the SES or a teacher at St James I would like to take part in this BB, and have my point heard. It just seems that heads are hung in shame and saying nothing at all is more damaging than making a point. Of course there also exits the possibility that they merely have nothing to say or add because they don't have a leg to stand on.

I am sure that there are many happy parents at the school but there are also many who are deeply unhappy and who are pulling out. We all know how well the girl?s school have performed in league tables this year. League tables however change from year to year, only last year the girls school was 65th.

I don't really know what the purpose of St James or the SES is, or what this group is trying to achieve in the long term. Obviously the school does well in the senior school, without these good results people wouldn't send their children to the junior schools. It's a bit like dangling a carrot, you know that if you stay the likelihood of your child doing well is high..but at what price? Personally I don't relish the thought of losing my child to a mind control cult.

It is a fact that many junior school children are academically behind their peers in other private schools. I know of children in class three of the junior school whose reading skills are well below average. You would expect a child by this age to read fluently, surely. This problem does not only apply to this class but is a running feature of the lower junior school as a whole. My point was that surely if a child can read a complex Sanskrit letter then reading the English alphabet should surely be a piece of cake. Similarly the Vedic maths system used in the junior school does these children no favours. Many cannot apply logic to solve simple mathematical problems, I can tell you of the case of the majority of an upper junior class being unable to take away 1 from 1000. Parents forking out nearly ?3000 a term surely have the right to expect more.

As a parent at St James I welcomed this BB as it was one of the only places where information could be obtained and perhaps where two sides of the coin could be shown. True many posts reflect the anger of those subjected to abuse at the hands of some of the teachers at schools run by the SES and many reflect those like myself who through no fault of our own are caught up in the web of lies spun by those at the schools themselves and the group that runs them.

The one theme that runs through the posts of SES members on this BB is that the schools today have changed. As a parent at St James I can say that while on the surface things may have appeared to have changed for the better, the distinctive attitudes and spirit of the SES remain.

However much the schools or the SES try and deny it, the teachings of the SES run throughout the school. While children at the schools thankfully do not have to go through the horrendous and brutal corporal punishment regimes that existed all those years ago, there are still to this day instances where children are not treated well. I know of at least one child who has been smacked with a ruler a few months ago, there are also instances where children are intimidated and psychologically damaged as a result of the belief system that is taught, in many cases without the consent or knowledge of parents.

It is also true to say that the schools have acknowledged that they do have a problem, firstly by calling a meeting with Donald Lambie and secondly I am told by now being in the process of producing a booklet for parents, which will inform them of the SES and what is being taught at the schools. The meetings, which took place with DL, were a complete waste of time; nevertheless it is a way forward.

Sadly for parents with older children this is a little too much too late. Personally I wish the school had been more upfront years ago.


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