The Melbourne School

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Thu May 25, 2006 1:51 am

bella wrote:Sugarloaf, I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help. I'm Australian, so talking about an Aussie branch, not the SES proper.


But Bella - it doens't look that much different from what the australian schools say

Drawing on the great philosophic ideas of both east and west, past and present, this course explores the meaning of wisdom, truth, consciousness, the real nature of Humanity and what inhibits its development.

It is for all, regardless of education, age, race, political or religious beliefs. The philosophy of the course is that Humanity in truth is limitless and that there is a unity underlying all the apparent diversity in our daily lives. This is known as non-dualistic philosophy.

It is above all practical philosophy. This means that the principles discussed in class can be put to effective practical use in work, study and every aspect of daily life. Simple exercises are given to strengthen attention, clear and quieten the mind. Students are asked neither to accept nor reject any of the ideas but rather to test them for themselves in the light of their own experience


and current ads in the newspaper read:-

Seeking to understand the nature of human existence and the world? The great philisophic ideas of both east and west for your interest and enjoyment regardless of education, age, race, political or religious beleifs. Ample opportunity for discussion. Explore the meaning of wisdom, justice, goodness, truth, consciousness, the real nature of Humanity and what inhibits its development. PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY - putting wisdom to effective use in work, study and every aspect of daily life.
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

Temporarily Duped
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Postby Temporarily Duped » Thu May 25, 2006 11:10 am

It has been quite the revelation comparing stories with other ex parents (MM and others) contributing on this board.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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bella
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Postby bella » Thu May 25, 2006 12:51 pm

Point taken, ADG. I was sort of derailed by sugar's questions about the change of governors and SES motivations, and forgot about the other bit. My initial (written) expression of interest re joining the marketing team centred around greater transparency of aims and methods, and that's something I plan to follow through with, as much as I can.

TD, thanks for the explanation - I don't think you're on the mark with this, though:

Bella, the ? love and play? rhetoric sounds good but it is little more than a play on words, a successful ploy to capture the imagination of, and (sadly) recruit well meaning people to their dodgy organization and schools.


I dunno if I'd call it a ploy, or a recruitment device. Prior to the parenting groups being open to the public, or the opening of the day schools, it was brought up in parenting groups within the school. It's a direct quote from S.Saraswati, in response to a direct question about parenting some years ago. It sounds like some of your fellow parents took the ball and ran with it in the wrong direction, or maybe they were just given a squidgy, amorphous ball. That happens too. Whatever else the principle might be, it's not manufactured to lure people in.

They were profusely dogmatic and handed out advice to others, including myself.


Yeah, we have those too.

What's up with the SOP toddlers sitting in on other classes? Are these agreed-upon orientation sessions, or ad-hoc babysitting sessions? I'm thinking the latter, but it's not totally clear.

Temporarily Duped
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Postby Temporarily Duped » Fri May 26, 2006 6:24 am

To answer your question on the run Bella

I totally disagree with you but have little time to elaborate right now.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

mm-
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Postby mm- » Fri May 26, 2006 10:01 am

Temp Duped wrote:

I was horrified to think how easy it would be for a predator to take advantage of these unsupervised children. The school was swarming with visitors and parents.


This was always a real problem for me. Parents are allowed to walk around freely at the school. My own child would often say that she was unable to get to her coat peg for the number of parents standing beside it. Needless to say it was the same parents day after day. How easy it would be for someone to pluck a child and walk straight out of the door. There seemed to be no management of this within the school. I myself have walked round the school with no supervision. I was never stopped or questioned. I have never been CRB checked and yet here I was like many others mingling and walking around school corridors. At the school my children now attend you basically drop your child at the school gate and are not allowed to enter the school and roam around willy nilly....and rightly so.



These were common occurances and without question ad-hoc baby sitting sessions.


I have not seen this at St James but this does not mean that it did not occur. I did see (and many times) children bring in small suitcases to school after a few days of sleepovers at other children's houses. This would happen time and time again. Parents too busy or too selfish to look after their own children properly, dragged about from house to house at a relatively young age.

Also the exhausting number of playdates that occur within St James is just a joke. I often thought that this was just a normal thing. Having spoken to a number of parents at different schools and my own experience at my childrens new school, playdates are kept at a minimum. Many parents feeling too tired at the end of a hard days work or simply having better things to do. At one stage my daughter had been invited to four playdates in one week... you literally had to keep a social diary for your child....and of course it goes without saying playdates had to be returned. Looking back, the schooling and some parents at St James, were a complete and utter nightmare.

Bella wrote:
Whatever else the principle might be, it's not manufactured to lure people in.



No, what about poor kids being dragged off to some Hindu ceremony at the age of 10 with their bowl of fruit, weeks pocket money and given a mantra to repeat over and over again for the next eight years. What about even younger children being brainwashed over their entire junior schooling by teaching them to pause and subtly indoctrinating them into the SES belief system, so by the time they get to ten they have been well and truly groomed to adopt a mantra and particular way of life. I will say nothing of the deceitful advertising that this group employs to get people to their headquarters at Manderville Place.


The schools as they are today(and I can't see much change) are conniving and manipulating. So what if the schools are a little more open now about the SES and what they teach. Donald Lambie has spoken (a perfunctory apology, nearly five months after a damning report is published)..what! and we must now bow silently and reverentially and walk away silently because all is so seemingly well. I don't think so.

When St James moved to Earsby Street the SES had a massive debt to pay off(it ran into millions). This money could not obviously come from the pitiful SES families who had to clean the windows or such like to pay off school fees. The only way that this could be done was by bringing in outsiders, namely non-SES families. Idiots like me who fell hook, line and sinker for the 'happy' place they so liked to advertise. Nothing could be further from the truth. My chidlren are very happy elsewhere, thank God. Looking back I realise that their happiness at the school was only superficial, a plastered on kind of happiness not truly happy and carefree as a child should be.

As a family we were sucked in by the SES and their SES school. We were never told the truth. Even when asked outright, both headteachers and other teachers denied that the SES is a cult or even a religion. I believe very strongly that the school is recruiting children for the SES, and like Temp Duped I have no wish to reiterate on this board some of the truly horrific things I have both seen and heard at the school. What these people are doing is wrong. Innocent families like mine have been hurt and will continue to be hurt. Information for new parents on what the schools teach and what they believe is a step foward, but like Donald Lambie's apology, it is only half hearted.

Temporarily Duped
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Postby Temporarily Duped » Fri May 26, 2006 11:13 am

Hi MM

My chidlren are very happy elsewhere, thank God.


How wonderful ( at last) it is to see a deep level of happiness in a childs demur. It is so powerful. I will treasure the moment i peeped into my son's (new) classroom and watched 'real' laughter, happy faces singing a funny song and watching the clumsy hand movements. I struggled to hold back the tears.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jo-Anne Morgan
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Meditation in the day schools

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Fri May 26, 2006 7:53 pm

Has anyone listened to the CD 'Philosophy and Parenting: The Teenage Years', a lecture and Q&A session delivered by Shane Mulhall?

I bought it some time ago (whilst still under the influence) and dug it out the other day.

There is the usual stuff from the Shankaracharya, as already discussed, which is accepted absolutely without question and peddled to the paying public in the same vein. For example, Shane Mulhall says to his audience that as long as they stick to the 3 precepts (0-5 treat the child with love and play, 5-16 put the child under discipline, 16 onwards treat the child as a friend), they cannot go wrong with child-rearing. Note the words, 'they cannot go wrong', it's as unequivocal as that. This in itself I find somewhat disturbing.

But additionally Shane Mulhall relates a little anecdote from his own experience. A 15 year old girl in his philosophy group had declared to him categorically that she did not want to take up meditation. She was adamant. Shane Mulhall asked her why, she said she just didn't want to meditate. The rest of the conversation went like this:
SM: 'Do you love your mum and dad?'
Girl: 'Absolutely'.
SM: ?Would you like to turn out like your mum and dad?'
Girl: ?Not in a million years?.
SM: 'Well if you don't meditate, you will.'
The upshot was that the girl took up meditation.

Shane Mulhall and the audience found this funny. I think if I'd been the parent of that girl, I wouldn't be laughing. I wonder if they ever knew?

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Postby a different guest » Fri May 26, 2006 11:15 pm

It's a direct quote from S.Saraswati, in response to a direct question about parenting some years ago. It sounds like some of your fellow parents took the ball and ran with it in the wrong direction, or maybe they were just given a squidgy, amorphous ball.


And what does S.Saraswati know about child raising? How many kids has he been an active parent to?

As to taking the ball and running the wrong way - how do you know that's not the "right" way? The SES is giving this knowledge as the 'truth' on how to raise children - so isn't it the SES intention that children be raised this way rather than modifying what they they say? It seems there are a lot of people in the SES who take SES word as gospel - would they not be the type of member preferred by the SES? Certainly was so in the past.

As to "squidgy" balls - well surely any behavioural/developmental problems are all the child's own fault because of what they did in a previous life, and therefore according to SES teaching should be ignored and no extra help given.

And loathe as I am to bring Cheif Seattle back into ANY conversation on these boards, but I wonder Bella what happens in the Brizzy school if someone in the introductory course brings up the fact that the speech is NOT as taught by the SOP, but was in fact written by a scriptwriter in the 70s. Is it brushed aside? Or are lecture ntoes being changed to no longer teach this furphy? What would you do if you were the tutot, teaching the wonders of Chief Seattle, knowing that what is taught is a lie?
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Postby bella » Mon May 29, 2006 1:59 am

This is why this BB is sometimes a bit of a merry-go-round. A conversation starts, questions are asked, an answer is given...then the response is "that may be well and good, but what about THIS (basically unrelated) issue?" When I said the principle "love and play" was not manufactured to lure people in (but was a quote from decades ago by someone with no interest in whether the SES recruited parents), that's what I meant. I didn't mean children never suffer at the schools, or the schools don't want the children to join the SES/SOP, or that coercing a child to meditate is the right way to go. I just meant that quote isn't something dreamed up by the schools as an attractive trap - it's something they believe.

As to taking the ball and running the wrong way - how do you know that's not the "right" way? The SES is giving this knowledge as the 'truth' on how to raise children - so isn't it the SES intention that children be raised this way rather than modifying what they they say?


How do I know that allowing your child to bite people, run rampant, and basically do whatever they want isn't the right way? Um, I just do. Don't you? It's also NOT what's been presented to me as the SOP/SES's stance on the subject, so I'm assuming the parents who do it are either slackasses, weren't given a clear message, or didn't hear a clear message. Or all three. The possible muddled, half-explained and half-understood message being delivered to parents is what I mean by the "squidgy, amorphous ball".

A belief in karma and past lives doesn't mean you ignore behavioural problems. The SOP/SES does teach that kids are born with certain predispositions from past lives, and that the more desirable of these are to be encouraged and drawn out, and the less desirable are to be "disencouraged". Note they are seen as predispositions, not set in concrete. If anything, nurture is seen as more influential than nature.

As for good old Chief Seattle, I don't know if that quote is still used in Part 1. The material's been rewritten fairly recently, so possibly not. Do you mean what would I do if I was asked to tutor Part 1 and read out provably erroneous material? I'd probably skip it, if I couldn't alter it. I'd also suggest it was changed to reflect the facts (attribution, whatever), because even though the school position might be "the words are useful, no matter who said them", screwing up an attribution doesn't help your credibility in general, as we've seen.

leon
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Postby leon » Mon May 29, 2006 9:33 am

bella wrote:

The SOP/SES does teach that kids are born with certain predispositions from past lives, and that the more desirable of these are to be encouraged and drawn out, and the less desirable are to be "disencouraged". Note they are seen as predispositions, not set in concrete. If anything, nurture is seen as more influential than nature.



I wish the flagship schools over here in the Uk would be as honest as you and state this, so much for "all faiths". They won't as they know that prospective non SES parents will stay away. Teaching this belief to young children is one of the most destructive things you can do, especially to those who are not at the top of the class. Karma was good for enslaving an entire part of the population in India but telling a kid who has behavioral issues or a physical disability that they are so because they were a bad person in a past life is simply off the scale in stupidity and actually very cruel.
You amy say, "we don't teach it like that" however any kid will see round the whole picture, and see their place in the scheme with perhaps more clarity than the teachers.

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bella
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Postby bella » Mon May 29, 2006 12:55 pm

Leon, I think it'd be bad form to include talk of past lives in any disciplinary measures with children. It's irrelevant to the issue at hand, as far as I can see.

Temporarily Duped
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School

Postby Temporarily Duped » Wed May 31, 2006 11:13 am

Bella

I often wondered the justification, for example, of smacking ones own child, and how it could possibly result in goodness! A parent is the most influential role model of behavior for a young child, and smacking has a most profound negative out come.

But of course I must state that I am asserting my beliefs and my opinion.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby a different guest » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:29 am

The above ?rhetoric?, when spun to prospective parents, successfully defuses any initial concerns that parents? have whilst visiting the school, a comforting notion that your child will be treated with care and love, especially in the light of disciplinary action. Security is so important at primary level!


and keep in mind that the Federal government has been undermining the state school system for years! Not only have we seen a reduction of federal funding to state schools (with significant increases to private schools) but they have also been undermining the confidence people have in the state sector. Remember the spurious claim that state schools' were "valueless"? Add to that concerns about class sizes, bullying and the whole scary adventure of sending your child off to a school that will seem 'big' compared with either home, or a pre-school situation - yes parents have been scared into looking at alternatives - and how nice the SES schools must look. Very small classes, a cooked lunch, the grounds and buildings are probably quite nice (compared with a state school that might be in sore need of capital funding for repairs) and this lovely sounding byline about "love" that makes you all touchyfeely thinking your child is going to be nurtured. Add to that some pretty cheap fees (for a private school), and no wonder people are buying it (at least temporarily).

TD - as you are in the biz, do you know if there is a way to find out home much Federal and State money the SES primary schools are being given? Also is it possible to find out their scores on Basic Skills Test (NSW) and AIMS (Vic)?

Is the info freely available, or would you need an FoI? Or is it a secret?
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bella
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Postby bella » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:03 pm

Have fun, you guys.

Temporarily Duped
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School

Postby Temporarily Duped » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:42 am

Adg

The search for a good local state school is daunting and at that time I had little success. I banked on an outstanding State school in the adjoining suburb to me. It had a great program, but was ?zoned?, so families such as my own, outside the boundary were not permitted to enroll. I was totally stuck.
Last edited by Temporarily Duped on Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:51 am, edited 3 times in total.


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