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The next step: we need to act!

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:20 pm
by 1980sstJ
Given the utter farce of the school's response to the inquiry report, there seems to be a consensus that we need to step the campaign up a gear. David Boddy has shown arrogance and inhumanity in his response to it. We can see him for what he is now.

But what do we do next? What are your views?

* There is talk of legal action through a no-win no-fee lawyer. (I am all for it.)

* Should we should approach the media, nay BLITZ the media, with details of what Lacey etc did and the fact that Boddy scandalously continues to employ him and others? (In theory I am for this but if we are going for the legal route, would be best not to go for the media so we don't prejudice cases.)

* Leafletting. We could shame Boddy into action by leafletting parents and others with details of his scandalous behaviour. Pop up at all sorts of events and shame him.

* Wikipedia. We should open Wikipedia pages on the school and the abuses. It would be good to have a web page with all the key information related concisely. Also, then when people type St James Independent School or David Boddy into Google, the wikipedia page would come up first.

* Any other ideas?

We need to step up a gear. We need to show Boddy and the abusers he is protecting that he and they are not going to get away with this.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:35 pm
by Stanton
I heard this evening that a letter has been written to the governors of St James demanding this and that, and ending with the chilling words, '...otherwise the children will be harmed'.

Blackmail is always intolerable and threats to harm children are wicked and insupportable. If true, this is a new low.

Whatever your feelings about your schooldays, whatever frustrations you may entertain, if you have been involved with this letter then I do beg you to consider this: what twisted logic can say that 'I have suffered harm, therefore I will inflict harm in return?'

This is not the way, it never is the way. If you find yourself now so eaten up by anger - and you won't have been the first or the last - then I request you most earnestly to seek help.

No good ever comes from inflicting harm. You can stop the cycle, it does not have to continue. It does not have to continue.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:22 pm
by Alban

I have not seen this letter, and by the sounds of it, nor have you. However, I have to say that the quote that you have reported:

'...otherwise the children will be harmed'

...can be taken in at least two ways. Yes, you could understand it to mean that someone intends to harm the children of the schools, but you can also read it as a consequence of lack of action. (e.g. If you don't stop teaching the girls that a man is a superior being to be obeyed, then the children will be harmed [in the long run])

Given those two possibilities, which one do you think it is?...Lets face it, it is far more likely to be the latter isn't it? but we don't know unless we see the context in which it was said.

I am assuming that this letter was as an open letter to all members of the SES (otherwise you wouldn't have been privy to it's contents), so maybe you could get hold of a copy and publish it here, then we can all make up our minds.

Until this is the case, then I'm affraid you are just perpetuating a rumour, obviously eminating from somewhere inside the governors office (you said the letter was addressed to them). Obvioulsy, being a fine upstanding member of the SES I'm sure you wouldn't want to give a false impression, would you.


New thread please

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:27 pm
by Ben W
Daffy / GB,

Can I request that Stanton's reply be placed in a new thread please.
The point she is making is serious in its own right and deserves debate.

1980sstJ (btw you could have chosen an easier to type name!) has raised a very important topic that deserves to be debated on its own merit.

I fear if we leave the two together neither topic will receive the attention it deserves and the thread will quickly descend into "he said, she said..."

Best wishes,
(also sent as a PM)

Re: New thread please

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:00 am
by Goblinboy
Ben W wrote:Daffy / GB,

Can I request that Stanton's reply be placed in a new thread please.
The point she is making is serious in its own right and deserves debate.

Hi Ben,

This action doesn't require a moderator's input - you can establish the thread and quote Stanton's post, or she can do the same.

BTW, agree with Alban's take on the ambiguity of final words in the letter, without further context. However, if it is a rant and and contains threats of harm, it is to be deplored.

Hope the letter wasn't marked "private and confidential" though.



The next step

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:40 am
by Ben W
[Hopefully this thread is back on track...]


There are some on this site who favour involving lawyers. I am not in favour of this as a Plan A, but it does seem to me that the movements in SES and St James positions that have occured in the past have come about when significant pressure is applied. It also seems to me that the threat of legal action is the one which is most strongly driving their behaviour. Therefore I do support the involvement of lawyers as a Plan B.

I do not favour a "no-win no-fee" approach because even if everyone comes to a satisfactory resolution, the lawyers will presumably continue to push for a legal case to be brought (or a settlement reached) so that they can be paid. So for example if the school/SES took the actions set out in the open letter, and full and frank apologies were provided by the individuals concerned - we might want to leave it at that but not be able to.

In any event, whislt the Townend report falls terribly short (in my opinion) as far as its acknowledgement of the extent of the abuse is concerned, the rules of evidence that he set do indicate what a strongly fought defensive position might yield through the courts - and whilst that would be something, I personally hope for a better outcome.

Therefore my thoughts are (a) look at arranging another inquiry - perhaps centrally funded, with a more sensitive approach to gathering evidence - here I'd want to look at the approaches taken with other people who suffered abuse as children many years ago - for example in the catholic church; and (b) engage lawyers on a fee paying basis (that means those who suffered and their supporters have to pay - but I'm guessing there are some of us who are in a position to assist with this) to advise on possible courses of action in an even-handed manner.

Having said that, if there is a good no-win no-fee lawyer you know I see no issue with having some opening conversations.

What do others think?

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:23 pm
by 1980sstJ
Let's keep this on topic and ignore Stanton's attempts to cloud the issue and prevent us discussing our next step.

As many of you will know, another member here is messaging people off-board about some aspects of my opening thread.

In the meantime, keep this thread on topic and LET'S MOVE FORWARD.

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:32 am
by ET
I'm all in favour of trying to move things forward, but it's difficult to know how to. I'm afraid I don't trust either lawyers or the media to have our best interests at heart, besides which it seems that we are not enough of a story for the mainstream media anyway.

Also, if we try and force the governors to act through intimidation (be that lawyers, leafleting or threats of media exposure) exactly how sincere will their actions be?

I agree with Alban and others that the best way forward would be for the governors who are overseeing the reconciliation process to come forward and start posting on this site. Due to the incident with my (and my sister's) confidential letter, I have begun an e-mail correspondence with Mary Pickering. I intend to e-mail her in the next couple of days to suggest that she (and John Story as well if he will) should do just that, with the hope that they will quickly realise the human beings behind the SES "demonising" of us, and that something meaningful can actually come out of all this.

It will take courage for them to do it, but I do believe they will get a fair hearing on here, as (despite chittani and stanton trying to state otherwise in other threads) we are for the most part rational and empathetic individuals (or at least that's my perception!)

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:49 am
by Stanton
Good luck with this ET - a positive move. Mahomet and the Mountain.

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:10 pm
by 1980sstJ
We are definitely a good story for the mainstream media if we couch it correctly.

David Lacey and the other teachers did THIS, they are STILL employed at St James by a former spin doctor for Thatcher who himself has a colourful past. And the whole scandal is happening under the umbrella of a brutal, religious cult.

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:22 pm
by sugarloaf
ET wrote:
Also, if we try and force the governors to act through intimidation (be that lawyers, leafleting or threats of media exposure) exactly how sincere will their actions be?

IMO their actions couldnt exactly be more insincere at the moment! The only way the SES/st james is going to change is through pressure. If they had any desire, wish or will to do anything about all this, they would have done it years ago. that they are still doing nothing - even after the inquiry just goes to prove it.

Pressure works! The only way to get any change is to force it, and that means kicking up as big a stink as possible, for as long as possible. lawyers, leafleting, threats of media exposure work! and theres much more that could be done..

No doubt the rumblings from within the rancid bowls of the machine are about to surface. I wouldnt be surprised if a series of face-saving gestures are announced some time shortly, aimed at removing their vulnerabilities and making it much harder to attack/complain about/criticise them, all rolled up in a package that is presented as genuine reform.

Some good's already coming out of this - they can no longer hide the SES connection. Its now up to them to take some real proactive action to prove they are no longer connected to the regime and practices of the past. No doubt it's difficult - as they clearly still are.

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:12 am
by 1980sstJ
I agree. To expect any "sincere" actions is just to live in dreamland.

They've shown their true colours and we now know that we need to fight to get a proper result.

legal action

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:33 pm
by ross nolan
Re Legal action -- legal means not only fee taking lawyers but recourse to the law making and enforcing bodies -parliament, MPs and police, education ministry etc -- all free of charge and capable of generating evidence useful to later civil action .

Nice to see at long last that this (inevitable, given the reaction) option is being considered -- look up some of my old posts or Justice!'s on the subject .

Amazingly the charities commission has tried to dispose of a call for investigation by saying that this site is only about scientology (!) despite very clear and detailed reference to the testimony related to the SES and it's affiliates. (could post my emails and replies if anyone is interested to follow up in the UK )

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:57 pm
by nilsabm
I reckon we should infiltrate public SES events (e.g. Art in Action) in the guise of the 'Real SES'. Blokes to wear beards, shabby suits and bowties, women to wear hair in buns and long skirts (no makeup), and all to wear big badges saying


Then we can accost unsuspecting members of the public and hit them with SES inspired questionnaires, targeted accordingly;

We can, for instance, ask women:
    1) Did they know they were naturally inferior to men?
    2) Did they know they needed a man to achieve enlightenment?
    3) Were they married?
    4) Would they like to come to an SES meeting where they could find both spiritual awakening and a decent husband for a reasonable price?
Meanwhile, any red-headed male could be quizzed thus:
    1) Is your name Leonardo Da Vinci?
    2) (Assuming 1 is an affirmative) Are you our re-incarnated spiritual leader?
    3) (Assuming 2 is an affirmative - there may be some sports out there after all) Can I worship you and lick your boots master?

Alternatively, we could, in the same guise, go around stamping on peoples' feet, refuse to apologise, and tell them that they should "...really learn forgiveness because righteous anger is the cause of all the world?s problems."

N.B. I take no responsibility for the outcome if anyone is moronic enough to attempt this course of action.

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:45 pm
by BoeingDriver
It does sound like fun - to be watched from a distance of course.

Maybe it's another way of exposing SES on television - Jeremy Beadle might be interested in playing the part of the SES "superior being". :black: