SES SCHOOLS ACTION: INQUIRY UPDATE

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Shout
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Reality
Contact:

Postby Shout » Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:47 pm

_____________________________________________________________
Last edited by Shout on Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:46 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
a different guest
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Australia

Re: SES philosophy and the SES schools for children

Postby a different guest » Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:53 pm

Its worth repeating eh? :)

Snowman wrote:How can the SES and St James continue to so blatantly ignore the reality of this message board and the issues it has raised? As far as I can see there have been 3 supporters of either the SES or St James ? not for some time, however ? and certainly none for St Vedast. The inquiry seems utterly pointless in the form proposed currently and the links between the current day schools and the SES are plainly still active. Yet it is these links that are the root of the problem.

Recently someone on this forum (grimep ? I believe) asked for some documenting of some of the actual teachings and beliefs of the SES. So here are some to begin with:


SES PHILOSOPHY AND THE SES SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN

The philosophical teaching that every child is given (compulsory) is derived from the principles and practices defined by the SES, claiming that ?it teaches the essential truths that underlie all faiths, seeing the major religions as diverse routes to the same goal ? union with God.? I can assure you that from lengthy personal experience this is not the case and that these compulsory philosophy sessions are a thinly-veiled reworking of the core SES philosophy.


The SES philosophy is derived from the Advaita Vedanta tradition (some claim it as religion in itself) whose origins are found in the teachings expressed by the 8th Century Shankaracharya and the succession of teachers descended from him. The AV Research Centre defines AV as a philosophy and religion based on the Vedas that teaches the non-duality of the individual soul and God.

St James and St Vedast were founded by the leader of the SES in 1975, Leonardo da Vinci MacLaren, a man with no children of his own and the man responsible for bringing the AV teaching to the SES in the 1960?s. MacLaren is now dead and is therefore in no position to answer these criticisms but I discussed them with him whilst he was still alive and I know his views.

We are aware that many children were mistreated by teachers at St James and St Vedast from the beginning up until at least the late 1990?s. We know this because numerous testimonies have been posted on this forum and there is no reason to believe they are false. I believe that the principles of philosophy taught by the SES and hence the founding principles of St James and St Vedast are the root cause of and the subsequent justification for the general mistreatment of pupils.

Advaita assumes that:
Every human is caught in a cycle of births and deaths through reincarnation.
To become liberated from this ?bondage? he must come to know his ?true nature? Atman.
The point of life is that you remember again and realise your true nature and become one with the Atman. This is cloaked in Westernised terms in St James as finding your way back to god. As a newborn child you are said to be closest to knowing your true self and as you are influenced by the physical world you move further from that knowledge. If you study the advaita teachings, as you develop the intellectual faculties to do so, you gradually move closer to that point of liberation from the cycle of bondage. The St James sister school in New York ? Abraham Lincoln School ? states on its homepage that one of their core principles is: To remind the child of the essential human duties ? to remember the Creator, to live according to the fine laws of the universe, and to find the way back to God. These are said to be the three promises that you make in the womb before birth and that as soon as you arrive in the world a cloud of ignorance descends so that you forget. The rest of your life, according to advaita, should be a to know again and fulfil these promises. The SES claim that it alone is the vehicle through which this journey can be made and all other spiritual quests are pointless.

Is a 5 year old child closer to knowing his true self than a 40 year old advaita student? St James teachers who were students at SES were told that they were closer to knowing their true nature than the children that they taught, on account of their intellectual superiority. Therefore most assumed the responsibility to raise children to embark on the same journey to self-realisation, confident in the SES ?truth? that their way is the only right way. Couple this with permission from the leaders of the school to use corporal punishment and the result was an atmosphere of fear and anxiety instilled through regular displays of brutal mistreatment of pupils both physically and psychologically. Even as a 5 or 6 year old I remember seeing one of my classmates involuntarily wet their pants in front of the whole class whilst enduring a torrent of rage from a teacher.

Mundaka Upanishad: Part 1: 1st Mundaka; Ch 2
v.9 Children, immersed in ignorance in various ways, flatter themselves, saying: ?We have accomplished life?s purpose." Because these performers of karma do not know the Truth owing to their attachment, they fall from heaven, misery-stricken, when the fruit of their work is exhausted.

From this perspective Children are inherently ?ignorant? and an easy assumption to make - if you believe that sincerely - is that they are also compulsive liars. There have been several people testifying on this forum to having been accused of lying by teachers when they were not and had to suffer the consequences.

The philosophy of advaita underpins every aspect of SES and St James ? as a pupil you cannot avoid its influence on a daily basis. The philosophy classes, morning assemblies, pausing, meditating and various elements of the specific curriculum are all designed to indoctrinate the pupils into the learning about advaita tradition. Biblical studies are merely there to introduce the philosophy of advaita using a more socially familiar vocabulary. Studies of music, art and literature are all related back to advaita principles. The result is an extremely limited frame of reference that is both elitist, sexist and inadequate ? unless, of course, you become a member of the SES.



TREATMENT OF WOMEN

My family has a long history of involvement with the SES and St James and I have nothing positive to say about the SES (save teaching me the vital life-skill of efficient washing up) and only a little about St James. At the age of 13 I begged my parents to send me to another school but alas, no such luck. At the age of 16 felt that maybe I should try to conform to the school?s expectations and I decided to join the Foundation Group. For 3 years I struggled to find any part of the philosophy which I agreed with but thought that I was at fault for wanting to reconcile my own instincts with the prescribed SES doctrine. When the appalling treatment of one female member of my family was brought to my attention I questioned senior SES members about it. My questions were met with a combination of denial that the alleged events took place and a stonewall response that if anything had taken place it was in everyone?s best interests. My 2 hour debate with Donald Lambie consisted of my questions being answered with a defiant proclamation that the SES philosophy was the ?only truth?. In my frustration I left that day and never returned.

This extraordinary belligerence and single-minded conviction demonstrated by the current leader of the SES and ?shadow? governor of St James, Donald Lambie, is the same attitude that pervades the entire organisation. The origins of it are surely found in the dictatorial style and framework created and enforced by Leon MacLaren; the same man who founded St Vedast and St James. Maclaren is remembered by many as a bully and without a doubt he bullied thousands of people, directly or through his organisations, throughout his life. Specifically he bullied women more than men through humiliating them infront of their peers and subjecting them to subservient, often humiliating, duties. The Laws of Manu ? core to Advaita philosophy introduced by Maclaren - state

154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

156. A faithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.

A verse in the Upanishad reads (another core text of Advaita and SES):

If she does not willingly yield her body to him, he should buy her with presents. If she is still unyielding, he should strike her with a stick or with his hand and overcome her, repeating the following mantra: "With power and glory I take away your glory." Thus she becomes discredited. (VI.4.7)

Not a particularly good example to set children and especially impressionable young women. Part 6 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad describes all manner of sexual activity between married and unmarried couples including detailed mantras for recitation during sexual intercourse should the couple wish to conceive or not. We were told that sex was merely an act for reproduction.



SELF-SERVING HYPOCRISY

The SES teaching is riddled with self-serving hypocrisy that ensures a mysterious veil of confusion is created making the blinded student ever more dependent on the SES for providing answers ? ultimately a fruitless pursuit. Their crutches of contrived intellectual pursuits are elitist, exclusionist and the ultimate vanity of the organisation and they should heed the warning of their own prescriptive texts:

Mundaka Upanishad: Part 1: 1st Mundaka; Ch 2
v8. Fools, dwelling in darkness, but wise only in their own conceit and puffed up with vain scholarship, wander about, being afflicted by many ills, like blind men led by the blind.

Continually as students, at St James and SES, we were told that we were at the spearhead of a new Renaissance ? music, arts, rhetoric, philosophy etc? and that we would become future leaders of society. I have deliberately used a capital letter for the word Renaissance because it represents two important ideas. Firstly that the Renaissance as understood by most people today is an historical canon coined to describe both a period of time (c1400 ? c1520) and a cultural ideology that created an explosion of philosophical debate, archaeology, religious division and artistic empiricism. Secondly the term itself (with a capital R) was coined by imperially paranoid Victorians intent on segregating history into neat packages for ease of derision or admiration. Both these beliefs are shared by the SES and the Renaissance is heralded as their aspiration for society.

I cannot understand why an organisation, which proclaims moral superiority in today?s ?morally corrupt? society, would aspire to Renaissance ideology which served itself to the detriment of all others. Why anyone who wishes for a better society today would hold up as a paradigm the decadence, corruption and suffering of a 500 year old failed regional dictatorship.

The Medici family (credited as the founders and driving force of the Renaissance) were usurers, continually fighting other power-hungry families for control of trade and civic life. Most of the artists were homosexual. The Medici nominated themselves ?Primus inter Pares? (First among equals) in Florentine society and dealt with their detractors with ruthless assassination plots. They bought their way into the corridors of political and ecclesiastical power all in an attempt to secure their dynastic legacy. Everything they did was in their own interests.

Leading neatly back to the SES and the Schools established for its children. This Internal Inquiry is evidently being structured to serve the interests of the SES and St James and is in no way an attempt to discover the Truth (NB: a principal tenet of the schools is to ?Always tell the Truth?). Maybe the advice we should be taking from their lead is ?Always tell the truth, sometimes?. What the SES and St James needs is a good PR or a political spin doctor ? someone like David Boddy would be ideal for the job. I wonder what he's up to these days?

I implore all students of the SES to WAKE UP to the hypocrisy and the cosy world of faux-superiority that it cultivates.

All ex-pupils of St James, I implore you to make your voices heard and expose any injustices that you have suffered ? in sharing them you will help to heal the wounds.

All current pupils of St James, don?t be afraid to ask questions of your teachers ? I was too petrified when I was a pupil for fear of being beaten.

All those who have faith in God (any God), I ask you to pray for the victims that each and every one will find peace in their lives; and pray that the abusers find the humanity, which is in their hardened hearts, to admit their mistakes and summon up the courage to make amends.

God Bless

User avatar
adrasteia
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:55 am

Postby adrasteia » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:37 pm

What about a public inquiry?
http://www.mywiseowl.com/articles/Public_inquiry wrote:In the politics and government of Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, a public inquiry is an official review of events or actions ordered by the government. A public inquiry differs from more general inquiries or reviews in that evidence submitted to the inquiry is heard in a public environment. Interested members of the public and organisations may not only make (written) evidential submissions as is the case with most inquiries, but also listen to oral evidence given by other parties.

An inquiry is usually chaired by a well-known and well-respected member of the upper echelons of British society, such as judge, lord, professor or senior civil servant. The conclusions of the inquiry are delivered in the form of a written report, given first to Government, and soon after published to the public. The report will generally make recommendations to improve the quality of government or management of public organisations in the future.

Typical events for a public inquiry are those that cause multiple deaths, such as public transport crashes or mass murders.

Pressure groups and opposition parties are likely to ask for public inquiries for all manner of issues. The Government of the day typically only accedes to a fraction of these requests. Inquiries are requested not only for the genuine public good, but also in attempt to make the Government look bad - either by allowing the inquiry to go ahead and uncover mistakes by the Government or by making the Government refuse and leave the impression that they have something to hard. A public inquiry generally takes longer to report and costs more on account of its public nature. Thus when a government refuses a public inquiry on some topic, it is usually on these grounds.

Inquiries are governed under Section 1 of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act of 1921. The chair of the inquiry is mandated by Parliament to carry out the inquiry by a Warrant of Appointment. The terms of reference of the inquiry are given as part of that warrant.


I am fully aware that this doesn't come under the bracket of 'multiple deaths' but something like this would certainly insure full transparency.

grimep
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:47 pm

Re: SES philosophy and the SES schools for children

Postby grimep » Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:24 am

a different guest wrote:Its worth repeating eh? :)


Yes, nice one. Very well written Snowman.

Right, Boddy, or one of your minions, if you read this. How about sticking an edited version of that up on your St James website so prospective non-SES parents know what they'll be dropping their kids into? Instead of some misty-eyed waffle about spiritual development and producing leaders.

The only thing stopping me from seeking a more active role in this war of words is concern for current students at the school... statistics show that kids who move school during gcse years will do 50% as well as those who don't. And the girls' school has a very good league table result (whether one takes that as a reliable metric of a good education).

Even though hipshon used to say "When the bomb drops, we all die" I don't feel that coming down to that gutter-level of morality is an answer.

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Re: SES philosophy and the SES schools for children

Postby Alban » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:04 pm

grimep wrote:...Instead of some misty-eyed waffle about spiritual development and producing leaders.


Indeed...and after 25 years, where are all these leaders of men?

chrisdevere
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:45 pm
Location: Battersea
Contact:

Postby chrisdevere » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:24 am

Grimep

I agree completley with you. when the original expose was done in the papers! it meant that the school closed in our o level year. I am sure this affected me massivley, Debenham did not want me in St James and so I was effectivley out on the street. Trying to find somewhere to continue my education a the last minute. This resulted in never getting any formal O or A levels.

The journalists at the time did not care about this, i tried talking to them but they just tried to sensationalise anything I said. despite all the warped crap the SES preach. i would not want to see another child suffer accademicaly.

an enquiry would be great, a public enquiry better. But it should not be at the expense of current pupils. We had our educations and lives fucked up by a combination of the SES and the press after a fast buck. I would not personally want to repeat this sin on others today!
Christopher de Vere
chrisdevere@hotmail.com

grimep
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:47 pm

Postby grimep » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:25 pm

chrisdevere wrote:
meant that the school closed in our o level year. I am sure this affected me massivley, Debenham did not want me in St James and so I was effectivley out on the street. !


Charming. Seriously? What a ?*$**^g (***. I've often wondered what happened but luckily I bailed out just before all that. Guess I probably knew that the schools "merged", though I didn't realise Debenham had his purity meter out to tell who was righteous enough to get in or not. I was lucky enough to get on an excellent IT course in '84, as I had a love of maths, logic games and programming, and of course St V's computer seemed to be locked in a cupboard - I think they only bought it to fool the Inspectors... after all, Maths was only there because it reflected the Absolute. There's the number 1 in Maths, and there's only 1 Absolute ... or something.. is that it? QED.
bleedin nonces.

User avatar
a different guest
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:36 pm

If they like the number 1, what is their take on zero and infinity?

I note the erasmus school here teaches

A feature of the programme is the study of Vedic Mathematics. This system, developed centuries ago in India, is based upon sixteen sutras or aphorisms, and provides an efficient method of carrying out numerical calculations. When the children have mastered the four basic operations and their times tables, they are introduced to Vedic algorithms


what the heck is all that????

mgormez
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Postby mgormez » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:26 pm

Here's more on "Vedic Maths". Notice the similarity in language.

http://www.vedicmaths.org/Introduction/ ... torial.asp
Mike Gormez

User avatar
a different guest
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:57 pm

thanks Mike. Sorry that was lazy of me really - I shoulda looked it up myself. However you DID prompt me to do more of a search - seems the whole thing is a crock!

this from an Indian science writer
http://www.geocities.com/indianfascism/ ... cience.htm
One of BJP's first acts after coming to power in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1992 was to make the study of Vedic mathematics compulsory for high school students. Explicitly stating an interest in "awakening national pride" among students, the government-approved textbooks replaced standard algebra and calculus with sixteen Sanskrit verses proclaimed by their author, Jagadguru Swami Shri Bharati Krishna Tirathji Maharaj, the high priest of Puri, to be of Vedic origin. Prominent Indian mathematicians and historians who have examined these verses believe that there is nothing Vedic about them, and that the Jagadguru has tried to pass off a set of clever formulas for quick computation as a piece of ancient wisdom.


and further commentry about her piece
http://www.comms.dcu.ie/sheehanh/msc/d2000/watson.htm
Nanda tells us that this math is no more than a set of clever formulas of quick computation that they are trying to pass off as ancient Indian wisdom. This means, she says, that in the name of national pride, students are being deprived of conceptual tools that are crucial in solving the real-world mathematical problems they will encounter as scientists and engineers

chrisdevere
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:45 pm
Location: Battersea
Contact:

Postby chrisdevere » Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:18 pm

Getting back on the topic of this string!

tomorrow is the big day for submissions deadlines. Has anyone heard anything or had a response from C Betts??
Christopher de Vere
chrisdevere@hotmail.com

gadflysdreams
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 6:30 pm

Postby gadflysdreams » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:18 pm

I fear that C. Betts will have received some positive feedback from ex pupils - most of whom will now be members pf SES - who will have been to some extent prompted to pass on how well they believe themselves to have been educated (in "general" terms). Those of us who were given strictures within which we have felt it useless to participate will not have bothered - particularly if there is the added risk of upsetting members of our family, and friends who are still active members of SES. Unfortunately this will be interpreted and publicised in a manner which does not reflect the actual feelings of victims of unreasonably violent disciplinary proceedures conducted within the SES Day Schools for children. I was never actually beaten and therefore could not participate, but would urge those who have to bombard C. Betts with details by e mail NOW - cut and paste what is on this site - surely that would do for starters. The abuse suffered by the likes of Clara Salaman and T.S should certainly be included. All the best.

User avatar
adrasteia
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:55 am

Postby adrasteia » Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:24 pm

...although submissions on behalf of a group or other person were I believe discounted somewhere in the 'terms and conditions' of the inquiry?

T.S
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:58 am

Postby T.S » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:44 pm

Hello gadflydreams,
I only just read your urge on SES action group to bombard C. Betts on eve of inquiry deadline. Sorry but i was away and thought the inquiry was only for the boy's school. Thank you though. So whats happening- anybody know?? I heard it had been postponed.

User avatar
a different guest
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:02 am

news? anyone?


Return to “St James and St Vedast”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests