Daffy wrote:Of course, the fear came more subtly - as with all cults, the fear of disapproval, of becoming an outcast, of being alone if complete obedience was not shown.
I agree that the emotion driving the deference may indeed not be fear or if it is fear it is as subtle as you suggest. Basically the situation where I met MacLaren was exactly like yours, a semi circle with Capper present also. There was no way that in that situation that if you raised any concerns about joining foundation group that the teachers present were going to support you. It was a situation where the message was "Joining the SES is a good thing". End of!
Daffy wrote:It is a shame he is not alive to answer for his sins. I would love to have seen him doorstopped by an investigative TV programme. Debenham is still alive though - I wonder what can be encouraged along these lines?
If MacLaren were still alive I do not believe we would have got this far in the acknowledgement of what St James was really like. I certainly cannot believe that he'd have supported an inquiry no matter how much he would allow himself to be advised by the likes of David Boddy.
As to Mr Debenham. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to be a headmaster and to have devoted his life (as I'm sure he would claim) and to be faced with the reality that his tenure was not up to acceptable standards. I imagine most people would be in denial about it.
The biggest sadness is that what was intended to be the best has turned out in most cases just average and in too many cases the worst.
The main interest in drawing the media attention to the situation is to provide more warning and expose the types of organisations that St James and the SES really are and to allow people who come in contact with them to be able to make informed choices. Also it would be useful in hopefully attracting the attention authorities and regulatory bodies to try and they force the organisations to provide the best level of care for their members and pupils. And ultimately if they cannot be brought into a framework of best practice that they are shut down.
If the intention is to reform these organisations in the hopes that the individuals responsible for them will realise and address the errors of their ways, I do not see the more activist means providing results. To be honest, I have no idea what will, especially when you are dealing with zealous converts to what is essentially a faith system.