Page 2 of 3

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:43 pm
by Witness
Interesting stuff. I didn't know about the FWBO leader having sex with his male devotees. It does sound like typical cult hypocrisy.

Q. What have Rock Groups and Spiritual Groups got in common? A. Groupies. :-)

The joke says it all though, doesn't it. So many ugly, boring drummers out there with gorgeous girlfriends. Same goes for senior cult members. I think at least half of the people who join these groups have lack of self worth and low self esteem. And that insecurity can be even more narcissistic and dangerous than strong self confidence. These once-I-was-lost-now-I-am-found types are the most dangerous ones in SES, the potentially psychotic abusers.

The problem is that when these insecure people are taught to 'let go' of the self, they feel as if they have been liberated from the identity that they were ashamed of. At that moment they may flip from insecurity to self-confidence. 'How exhilarating that I am no longer a worthless, friendless nerd. Now I am on a Spiritual Path with a Special Few, and now that I can Use My Full Attention I have even started to notice myself in the mirror and I don't look that bad after all.' They like the taste of their newfound power, of course - and will use it in the name of the Absolute. These people are the SS troops of SES. Watch them like a hawk. They're the ones who absolutely refuse to listen to intelligent difficult questions, the ones who accept no independence of thought and the ones who believe the ends (so-called "Devotion to the Absolute") justify the means (lying about what they think and do, mind control, sadistic psychological abuse, physical violence).

They're also the hard core that will keep SES going. They really have nowhere to turn if they leave, because they rely on SES for their personality, for their sex lives and often their careers. They'll defend that to the end. While we can help some victims leave SES with compassion and evidence, I think it will be very difficult to show the ones on the biggest ego trip - the abusers - that they are living a lie.

Ideas welcome.

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:18 am
by ConcernedMum
Ha! Yes, when the FWBO started to deal with the sexual activities about their founder, I think it was an order member who asked, if it was so spiritually beneficial to have sex with the founder, how come it was only the young, good looking ones that were in need of the 'spiritual' friendship?

Once people are ending up having mental contortions to explain the antics of the senior members of their group, then its time to take a close look at what you are doing. Life in this minute here on earth isn't perfect, no person is perfect, but consistent distortions across an organisation should set off warning bells. Its a nice attribute of people that we are prepared to forgive others' mistakes, but that also leaves us vulnerable to staying in situations much longer than we should.

I totally agree with you Witness about the 'losing the self' giving a great excuse to move from feelings of worthlessness to superiority. It is somewhat familiar to me, ahem cough blushes. Its a total con though. And easy to fall for when you are surrounded by people who are similarly deluded and encourage you to believe the delusion as well. Hence the 'good'/'bad' company dichotomy. I remember reading somewhere someone saying that its those with the greatest darkness who are attracted to the light. The force with which you are attracted to the light is equal to the force of the dark. Sounds like Star wars but also a bit Jungian.

I don't think you can ever tackle someone head-on about their involvement with such a group. I agree with what you said above that its about getting information to them, and giving them a way-out where they won't be judged or ridiculed. Its a great gift to realise how psychologically vulnerable we humans are. Anyone who thinks they would never be gullible are often the most vulnerable be it to a group-think organisation or lazy political ideology - just they don't notice it in themselves. Our thinking is very easily manipulated. Why else would millions be spent on advertising every year. It works. Which brings us back to that ''spiritual' group whose senior members include those who made a career out of PR/advertising and political spin and who spend rather a lot on advertising every year. Funny, that.

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:31 am
by ConcernedMum
Tootsie wrote:Serving the Absolute = Cheap labour for SES I worked for 14 years and my wages came to nothing. What would the unions think? Exploitation, or I got what I deserved for being so gullible.

Hi Tootsie, you're probably only joking calling yourself gullible, but in case you are believing it a little bit about yourself in a bad way, the thing is we are all gullible. I think its a great gift to really realise that in a deep way. Sure it stings the pride a bit, but its part of being alive. If we don't trust each other, how could there ever be social exchanges between us all. We have to place our trust based on the best information we have at that time. Sometimes that trust is misplaced and abused by others and the 'others' who are best at abusing the trust are the most deluded because at the moment they are speaking their deceptions, they really believe it themselves. Its like the power of denial in addiction. An alcoholic will lie brazenly to you but at that moment they believe they are being truthful and consistent so they don't give off the non-verbal clues that instinctively set off warning bells that we are being lied to. The most deluded are the best at dissembly (along with pr/advertising/political spin types (aren't there are a few of them at the higher echelons of the SES?) :-) ).

Exit Counseling

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:11 pm
by stiltrubld
I just wanted to thank Witness for your thoughts on exit counseling.


Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:01 am
by Free

Exit Counseling

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:38 pm
by stiltrubld
Thanks Free, those books sound very interesting.

Thanks again, stiltrubld

Re: Exit Counseling

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:02 am
by Cousin It
I can really relate to the points below, especially 1., 2., and 4. Fortunately my 4 children have rejected the SoP utterly. They seem to be atheists so no lasting harm has been done to them by the SoP experience.
In an effort to cleanse myself I have now turned to atheism and skepticism. But I feel that I have a skeleton in the closet -- something in my past about which to be ashamed and embarrassed.

Free wrote:After almost 20 years, having decided to leave the SES, I expect there will be some effects.
I was in for a bit longer, and found departing surprisingly difficult on several levels:
1. How had I been so blind?
2. I've been wounded and wasted so many precious years
3. Look at the damage I've done to others
4. So many of my "friends" now shunned me!
5. Now I have to face the personal issues that living in the specialness of SES allowed me to avoid

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:05 pm
by ingr
Free wrote:
In my conversations with continuing members, it's clear there's an active mental/emotional process that resists examination of the situation. I believe people actually know there are real problems

Its an interesting point made, Have you explicitly said that in your conversations with continuing members? I wonder what the response might be.

It would be interesting to lay down some ideas to clarify the process, certinally a failure to critically engage would be the easy option! Theres a sharp dividing line, in the SES the authority is very much in the hierarchy, outside of oneself, when that is repeatedly presented on weekends, group nights etc, there arises a presumption of following discipline which is external - i do remember instructions of 'turning the attention out' On the other hand they talk about 'discrimination' particularly 'strengthening the buddhi' meaning that one has a certain independence to rely on one's natural sense of authority, - SES dosen't see that when students are required to seek their tutors advice over all major decisions, discrimination then becomes rather one dimensional, you 'give up the idea you hold about yourself' which becomes a raison d'etre to make you feel obliged to follow what you are told, supposedly based on the benefit, when what is really happening is you are taking the easy option by not being entirly honest - a process which leads to ambling on in the SES half- heartedly, no wonder thers a process which 'resists examination' In the world you have to be "normal" so theres an entirly artificial "difficulty" with remembering the self outside SES, then you 'ask your tutor' and the nonsense continues. . . .

Any more ideas, its quite a complex process atually!!

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:36 pm
by ingr
If I may i'd like to add to what i've just posted:

I've noticed how esay it seems to trust the supposed 'clarity' of objective knowledge i.e. your tutor rather than trust your own subjective judgement, especially when you reach an ambigous point in SES where theres an expectation that you are fully committed and somehow or other, goodness knows how - you've - wait for it - established the teahing, there seems like a time when it is implicit that you give "good" observations, about how helpful it is, otherwise you just sit in group, stoney silent in the pretence of so called stillness, no wonder Clara Salaman talked about "holy coldness" in her book. . .

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:58 am
by ses-surviver
Thinking back to my time in SES, I only ever remember consulting my tutor at the time over

* changing jobs
* moving flat
* other studies

My understanding was that the consultation process was one of confirming that the decision being taken was based on sound principles.

I'm a not one to change jobs frequently and when I have there has usually been a solid reason for having done so - career advancement, redundancy, new challenge etc. The fact that generally the moves made it easier for me to get to Queensgate and to spend less time travelling abroad usually meant that my choices were approved. I felt no judgement/advice was ever given with respect to a move as a career choice (none of my tutors had a clue about what was involved in working in IT, for a start), but the concern was more about the demands that would be involved and any impact that this might have upon my attendance at school activities.

With regard to changing where I was living, the concern was with regard to the company that I was keeping outside of the SES and one was gently encouraged in the direction of sharing with other SES people, if one had to share. The year or so that I spent in a shared house with other SES people was however not a great experience and not one that I would wish to repeat.

On several occasions I felt the need to prepare for career changes by undertaking other evening courses to develop skills and improve my knowledge in other areas. There appeared to be a complete lack of understanding of the importance of this, in my experience, which I found extreemly frustrating. It was fine if it was possible to study around your existing evening commitments, but there appeared to be a complete lack of flexibility on the school's part, if it meant changing SES nights in order to undertake external study. There was also a refusal (at least in my case) to consider the reduction of my school commitments to allow me to persue other studies. I had previously given up various evening courses, part way through, when my duties were changed, but when the SES refused to be flexible around my desire to persue a part-time MBA, it was a contributing factor in me leaving the SES.

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:51 pm
by carlynnm8
Hey Witness, I just came across this post - you stole my mind man! Everything Ive thought but not been able to put into words - even the ugly drummer bit!! This is so spot on and these insecure (wa-hey Ive got powwwwer, Im so important) ones are really the ones to watch. They no longer have a mind of their own but are servants to the SES (or as you put it the SS of the SES). When you study the means used and the effects on people (especially the above people), you can see how easy it was for Hitler, Napoleon and every other power mad nut throughout history (who also happened to believe they were special, and wanted their idea of a perfect world ) to get people to do what they did and support their cause - and with such loyalty. Yeeeuch! Power in the wrong hands and with the wrong ideas is very dangerous. Many people on this board have suffered through SES in one way or another and many more will continue to do so. People will continue to look for a better way to live, that's evolution - its part of our nature and that's why this organisation will continue to find members, and some of these members will stay - because like us they will get caught up in all the stuff without realising what's happening. Their brains will be bombarded with so much information whilst being almost hypnotised by the exercise - you know, when I think about it I wonder if the exercise actually prepares the mind for the brainwashing that takes place with the bombardment of information and ideas hmm... will have to think about this one - what does anyone else think?

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:24 pm
by carlynnm8
carlynnm8 wrote:whilst being almost hypnotised by the exercise - you know, when I think about it I wonder if the exercise actually prepares the mind for the brainwashing that takes place with the bombardment of information and ideas hmm... will have to think about this one - what does anyone else think?

No i take this bit back I actually did find the exercise (pause) to be helpful - it was all the other nonsense I didnt.

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:51 pm
by Witness
carlynnm8 -

Your initial feeling was right - of course the exercise is meant to feel good - that's how they get ya.

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:01 am
by Witness
Carlynn - I actually think the analogy with communism works even better, and helps to explain why many SES folks are baffled when some of us talk about a power-mad conspiracy at the top of the organization. Like communism, there have been plenty of people in SES with very noble and well-meaning intentions. But there are also a lot of naive people there, who think that the path they're on actually works. There are also the hypocrites, who preach one thing and do the opposite. Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, the cataclysmic SES publicity over the last 5 years is challenging all the old die hards. Some drop out and accept they were wrong all along. Others blame the leaders for corrupting a good cause. And leadership are trying to re-brand and rehabilitate the cause, forming new groups and new directions.

I know other people here think there was always a mind-control plot at the top of the SES, right from the start. My view is slightly different, I think that any conspiracy, if there was one, was only half the story. The nature of the cause and the organization created its own evil, without any individuals needing to plan it. It was a failure of a group, worthy of sociological study. Consequently, as much as I am often very angry with SES members because of their credulity and piety, I often see they are misguided, confused, naive, lost and deeply troubled people, much like the vast majority of communists in 1989. The sinister Erich Honecker and Nicholas Ceausescu types are in fact the minority.

That is my take on it, and I know plenty of people here disagree and take the view that it was all about a club of power-mad bad guys at the top. When you look at the repetitive tasks, the chanting, the sleep deprivation, the dietary control, the dress code, the isolation weeks, the use of a rule book and a distant, unaccountable judge of virtue who never speaks but is spoken for, all this looks like the conspiracy theory has a lot in it. Somebody had to think up and deploy these policies.

But personally, my experiences have been with the rank-and-file, none of whom participated in any plotting, all of whom had a weird behavioural change with sociological causes, in my opinion. Perhaps, a bit like communism.

Re: Clara Salaman / Live in the present

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:59 pm
by Tootsie
Would agree with Witness about the analogy with communism. Karl Marx's statement about people living in a communist society "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" in theory sounded great. However the Honecker and Ceausescu types took over and made it a joke. Its the same with SES. Andrew MacLaren saw in Henry George's book Progress and Poverty the solution against poverty, but Leon MacLaren and the Mavro types took over with their pie in the sky theories and made it a joke. Communism ran for about 80 years before the people had enough of it, I wonder how many years the SES has got left?