Plea for this forum's place on Wikipedia

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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Plea for this forum's place on Wikipedia

Postby Witness » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:04 am

Dear all, you may have noticed this message board has been featured in the Wikipedia entry for SES. But some fanatical apologist for SES keeps trying to cut or gag the accounts here, by deleting the link to this message board and mentions of it. He or she says our statements here aren't credible sources. I say they are primary sources, the best you can get. Please all of us lets be vigilant about this and maintain the Criticism section under the Wikipedia SES entry as follows:


Secret Cult, a 1984 book by Peter Hounam and Andrew Hogg, alleged that the School was then a secretive cult 'penetrating the corridors of power’, with sinister links to the Liberal Party.[3] From time to time since then there have been further allegations of secrecy. The School's website insists that these criticisms "greatly misrepresent the aims and activities of the School, but they have alerted it to the need to provide more information about the way its courses and associated activities progress."[6]

A private internal St James School Governors report[7] from 1996, was made public in 2006. Its author, a St James School Governor at the time, and senior SES member, described St James as “an SES controlled special school” and “closer to a sect than to the open and fully independent school that its name and prospectus imply’. He claimed there was ‘Secret manipulation’ of the schools’ management and governors by the SES.

Since early 2003 an internet message board, or discussion forum, known as "General discussion on SES" has publicized further allegations [4] that SES has seriously damaged the lives of some SES members and/or their families. Testimonies on the forum frequently accuse SES of mind control techniques. The testimonies include claims that SES, or the lifestyle and mindset SES has prompted among some members, has been the cause of: family breakdown including divorce; runaway children; mental breakdown; substance abuse; suicide and attempted suicide; domestic violence; physical and psychological child abuse; sexual impropriety; financial impropriety. According to its own data, the forum has received over 8000 posts and has been viewed over 200,000 times since it was opened. The forum is free and open to any member of the public. Some, but not all testimonies are by anonymous or pseudonymous internet users who have said they wish to hide their identities for personal reasons. An attempt has also been made on the forum to defend SES against the claims, and there are a minority of counter-testimonies giving examples of SES helping people in their lives.

In 2005, following complaints from a number of former St James Schools pupils on the forum and elsewhere, the Governors of the St James Schools initiated an Inquiry [8] into allegations of mistreatment of children, mostly during the period 1975 to 1985. The Inquiry concluded that there had been 'mental and physical mistreatment' of children, including 'criminal assaults' by some teachers, who were members of the School of Economic Science, but it also reported there had been 'a real change of ethos and conduct of the schools' since then.

Posts on the forum questioned the independence and impartiality of an internal rather than external Inquiry.[4] A public vote on the forum has called for an Inquiry into the whole SES.

Following the rapid growth of the forum and the subsequent internal Inquiry into St James Schools, Channel 4 News investigated the SES schools in 2006. The programme keeps the item on its web site: ... iry/162790

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Postby ConcernedMum » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:34 am

Hi Witness
How does one make a plea for something on wikipedia? Do I email someone specific? Can you direct me to where I can make a comment? Thanks.

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Postby bonsai » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:45 pm

ConcernedMum wrote:How does one make a plea for something on wikipedia?

Wikipedia is freely edited by whoever wants to edit it. Generally over time articles are enriched to provide a comprehensive and accepted view of whatever is being described.

Controversial articles where there are disagreeing points of view do cause trouble and Cults and New Religious Movements often fall into this category being edited positively by the apologist only to be redited by their detractors. This is always a proplematic area for wikipedia.

Yes we must ensure that the account on wikipedia does keep refereces to our complaints. At the same time though, wikipedia is probably not the place to be trying to get our point across. I doubt any of us writing here on this forum can claim to have a neutral point of view. Whilst I'm no apologist, I do agree with some of the points made against using this forum as an authoritative reference.


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Postby ConcernedMum » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:43 pm

Thanks for that Bonsai. Yep its an interesting exercise in coming up with a neutral point of view that is also true to what is being described. As there is little in terms of printed reference material or source material produced by the School its hard to see how a neutral point of view can be assessed or produced at all. On what basis can anything be assessed since its all self-referential material? What is the whole story in any case. Wikipedia, a very practical school of philosophy. :-)

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