The story of our family and an appeal

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Joseph O'Shea
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The story of our family and an appeal

Postby Joseph O'Shea » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:23 pm

My name is Joseph Lewis. I was formally known as Joseph O?Shea.


I?ve only been reading the forum for the last week and it usually takes me months of reading before I join a newsgroup and post something. This is a clear exception.

I?m going to tell the story of my whole family and my own, this being a false dichotomy, since the stories are in fact unitary. At some point I hope that my mother, Andrea Lewis (formerly Andrea O?Shea), will add to my account, since her experience is even more primary and pertinent (and she may be able to correct me in places).

My family is a 3rd generation SES family going back to the 1960s, when my Grandfather (now deceased), Jeffrey Lewis, became involved in the early school due to his interest in economics and philosophy.

I am not very clear on these early details, as I was not alive at the time (as excuses go it?s pretty strong), so I?ll start in the 1970s, when my Mother met my father (note the directed use of capitalisation) at the school.

Theirs was not a happy marriage at all. My father thought he was a golden boy of the SES at the time, having been in the Australian school prior to meeting my Mother where he was influenced by Michael Mavro. My father?s name was Daniel O?Shea and unfortunately, he appears to have had a progressive psychotic delusion of grandiosity that depicted him as Jesus and my Mother, as the Virgin Mary. What this makes me I?ve never been able to quite fathom?

He was a violent man who beat my Mum severely while she was pregnant with me and was, according to family accounts, a highly intelligent though dogmatic and extreme thinker.

Six weeks after my birth my Mother and I escaped the violence of the home and went to seek refuge for three months with my grandparents (her parents). When I was old enough, I was sent to St James in Queensgate.

I don?t know if any of you from St James?s in the 80s remember a teacher called Mr Broardwidth. He was I think Australian and was rather tall and fair. Regardless, do any of you remember the main assembly hall in Queensgate where the boys would have their assembly? Well that room had a classroom partitioned off in the day and for such happenings as assemblies and lectures the partition would come down so as to allow for more room.

At the end of each school day all the boys would be sitting cross legged, lined up in rows waiting to be dismissed class by class, so as to go home. We would be sitting there watching Mr Broardwidth, as he sat adjacent to us with the window to the main street on his right, placed just inside the classroom behind the opened partition. As we were waiting to be dismissed for the day, each and every girl would be lined up outside the room waiting for her turn to enter by the side door, in full and designed view of ALL the boys in the school. The girls would enter and CURTSEY in front of the teacher before turning and leaving for home. Every girl had to do this in sequence before being allowed home. Interestingly, no parents ever saw this procession and today I do not wonder why. It?s clear that such a set up only serves to humiliate the girls and to teach the boys something wholly disgusting about male-female relations.

Please don?t even consider telling me that this was not the reasoning behind this process. I have attended more SES adult lectures, met more senior members than I can even remember, and have been told on many occasions that women are happier when they are serving men, as is their nature. Please don?t even both to suggest that this mentality didn?t filter through to the children?s schools, pah pah and double pah.

I didn?t suffer the worst of the physical abuses, but every few weeks I?d be hauled out of line and told to bend over in front of the whole class when teachers such as Mr Glover et al would smack the backs of my legs several times as hard as he could. It wasn?t the pain but the embarrassment that had a lasting effect on me. I was only 4 when this started and I remember that Mr Glover used to wear black leather gloves sometimes when doing this. The cane was something that was threatened a lot but I never received it and in general I think that the school reserved the harsher physical punishments for the senior school. However, the mental and emotional abuses have, in combination with a family of indoctrinated SES members, had a tremendous effect on me.

My Grandfather, having been the first to become involved in the cult, was the last to leave. Having spent half of each working week dedicated to the running one of the cult?s important buildings, Sarum Chase and being a senior tutor, he was accused some years before his death of financial dishonesty/impropriety in managing the affairs of Sarum Chase. That he was the most honest man I?ve ever met (he wouldn?t let me buy pirated VHS tapes in Cyprus at the numerous stalls and conducted his business life according to rigid principals, as examples) this should have been a shock to me but I was not all that surprised by then; it broke his heart and marked the start of his decline in health and he died eventually of MRSA, having suffered from Parkinsons, cancer of the prostate and severe depression for his last utterly miserable years. He still repeated all the old meaningless clich?s about the ?self? and the ?absolute? but these were now the utterances of a ghost, albeit a breathing one.

My uncle (Vincent Lewis) left some years ago but still repeats the same tired rhetoric, as if he is stuck in intellectual stasis. His wife saw that (life so many SES men) the cult would take over the family life, leaving her alone with the children while he painted fences and practiced measure, or whatever.

My time after leaving St James was very difficult indeed. There was conflict between my Mother and grandparents as we were living in one house and we agreed to move back to North London, from where we originate. I was sent to a state junior school that was idyllic in terms of how kids were ?respected? and had ?rights?. It was not just that I became the ?posh? kid who everyone (including my new teachers) thought was a snob, but the entirely alien worldview I had been indoctrinated with. The loneliness and isolation was absolute hell and it took me three years to learn how to get on with ?normal kids? at all. Later my family made the mistake of sending me to a strict all boys secondary school that half heartedly wanted to be an old fashioned grammar school. Having been at St James and having been brought up in an SES family, this environment had a lot of the strictness without any pretentious and contrived ?neo-platonic/ayurvedababble?. I left at the age of 14 without any qualifications and spent many years underachieving and drifting through crappy jobs. My relations with my grandfather were deteriorating until the point where he blamed me for his mental and physical condition soon before his death.

Only in my 20s did I start to catch up and went to University and started to fulfil my potential. Out of interest, I could not read fluently until I was 9 and had a severly retarded reading age when I left St James at 7. I also could hardly write without a calligraphy board and fountain pen (ball points were in with pop music). I?d consider that I have above average abilities in this regard now, but none of it is due to my primary (literally) education.

The grief emanating from the near destruction of my family is not due simply to St James but the SES as a whole. Having been educated in the social sciences and wishing to become a psychologist in a few years, I am now fully confident in the erroneousness of the SES teaching. I?ll be posting more on this matter and would love nothing more than to dialogue with any SES interlocutors on this message board.
Last edited by Joseph O'Shea on Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:37 am, edited 11 times in total.
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

Joseph O'Shea
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:37 pm

I'm deliberately making this a seperate post.

If anyone knows anything of the whereabouts of Daniel O'Shea before or after 1978, please PM me or mail me at jabinski@hotmail.com.

This is my best chance yet to find him.
Last edited by Joseph O'Shea on Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

Goblinboy
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Re: The story of my family

Postby Goblinboy » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:45 pm

Joseph O'Shea wrote: The girls would enter and CURTSEY in front of the teacher before turning and leaving for home. Every girl had to do this in sequence before being allowed home. Interestingly, no parents ever saw this procession and today I do not wonder why. It?s clear that such a set up only serves to humiliate the girls and to teach the boys something wholly disgusting about male-female relations.


Joseph,

This goes on today some classes of the SES / SOP Erasmus Primary School in Melbourne. At the end of class with a particular male teacher, the boys line up to shake his hand.

The girls are expected to curtsey.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the male equivalent of the curtsey is a bow. A submissive gesture, like the curtsey. Shaking hands indicates meeting on an equal footing.

I wonder why they don't include that information in their publicity?

Thanks for your post. A moving story. I hope you manage to track down your father.

GB

Joseph O'Shea
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:00 pm

Hi Goblinboy

As I remember it (it was 20 years ago) we never lined up to shake hands with any teacher. We sat and watched.

You're right, bowing is the male equivelent in most cultures and if there was that kind of equality of submission it would have made some sense.

I don't know what's worse though, the boys shaking the male teacher's hand while the girls curtsey before him or what actually features in my lucid recollections - us sitting there in rows, day after day, seeing the same thing until it became normal (though to a 4 year old there isn't much that is normal, novel things being encountered almost every day).

I didn't really grasp how 'sick' and twisted (dare I say perverted?!) it was until i was much older.
Last edited by Joseph O'Shea on Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

AntonR
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Postby AntonR » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:51 pm

Post deleted
Last edited by AntonR on Wed May 17, 2006 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:19 am

Jospeh - how did you find us? Was it the channel 4 news item?

Joseph O'Shea
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:07 am

My Mother saw the report on channel 4 and alerted me. She then found the site.

Nice to meet you
Last edited by Joseph O'Shea on Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

Planet
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Postby Planet » Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:39 pm

Joseph, your story is tough and terrible for anyone to read and its good to hear you are becoming a psychologist. I seem to remember your grandfather Jeff Lewis as being in the upholstery business and having a number of Rolls Royces over the years. If this is the same man I remember him being very kind to me in my time in the SES.

However you are right about your teachers. There were some very strange teachers to say the least as I remember. Broadwidth went off to work at one of the sister day schools as far as I recall.

Joseph O'Shea
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:45 pm

Hi Planet,

Yes you have the right man.

I'm glad but not surprised he made an impression on you, he was indeed a wonderful man in many respects and had not a malicious bone in his body.

Thanks for the info about Mr B. His progression as you recall it does not surprise me...
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

Joseph O'Shea
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:37 am
Location: Edgware
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:16 pm

My Mum's thread. I hope it's ok to link it...

http://www.whyaretheydead.net/phpBB2/vi ... .php?t=522
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

BoeingDriver
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Postby BoeingDriver » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:11 am

Mark Broadwith is, unfortunately, a New Zealander and the headmaster of the Ficino School in Auckland, New Zealand.

Here's part of an article found in an "education advertising feature" in a local paper (The Aucklander) on 8 March 2006, under the title 'Unversality of spirit'.

"Ficino School was established by men and women studying philosophy together, who wished to offer some new ideas for education. The Ficino education is based on a spiritual philosophical core. It teaches a universality of spirit, common to all faiths. Inquiry and self-discovery in this context, evolves strong values and helps to establish a really happy, unified and useful life. The whole of the curriculum flourishes in this atmosphere of confidence and good character. Academic standards become the best they can be."

"The School is well known for its family atmosphere."

Sound familiar to anyone????

(And I guess this removes all doubt about where I'm from!!)

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Postby a different guest » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:33 am

(And I guess this removes all doubt about where I'm from!!)


Tasmania?

;)

BoeingDriver
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Postby BoeingDriver » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:36 am

My great-grandmother was there for a while - before she saw the light. :fadein:

Joseph O'Shea
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:41 am

I have no idea where you are :)
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.

Joseph O'Shea
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:37 am
Location: Edgware
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Postby Joseph O'Shea » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:42 am

Pardon the second post.

Boeing,

Is that school you meantion linked to SOP out there in any way?
At Queensgate in the early 80s until I was 7 years old. Classmates included John Frederic Arthur Farndel and Timothy Body and most importantly, James Warham!. My Grandfather used to manage Sarum Chase in London for many years.


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