bonsai]'What is a spiritual experience. Without a doubt the regimes and practices of the SES induce physiological experiences that may or may not be healthy or beneficial. Some people may indeed regard these are spiritual feelings and experiences but how do we know? To me the SES is like a drug dealer pushing product on innocents with no concern as to the harmful effects may occur in those who take it. [/quote]
Good point. The people I saw over my many years in the school, some of who bordered on the point of insanity, were there because they couldn't leave. It was all they knew. They'd been in the school for so long they were obsessed by it, and needed it, like a drug as you say.
[quote="bonsai]It's interesting you say this. I wrestle with this one. Is St James a victim of its own success in that it does effectively teach children to grow in to thoughtful discriminating adults who then spot the contradictions in what is being preached and then leave, or is it as you say that children just have an aversion to perpetual promotion of the philosophy? [/quote]
I was a student in St James for 2 years, and I later worked for 6 months in one of the day schools. I saw different extremes. I saw one kid, who has grown up to be an absolute nutcase, I find him arrogant and mad, and he was like this at school too. He has basically modelled himself on an older member of the school, one who I also find repulsive and arrogant, because of his indifference to everything other than his own power. Well, maybe thats a bit harsh but he seems to think he's the best thing ever, and that Mozart, espeically his interpretations of Mozart, really were the most amazing thing ever. And he treated me like a little kid even though I was 24 years old... I was on the point of punching him one day when he ordered me to clean my shoes, and told me that I HAD to wear a suit to meetings, not just a woollen jersey, out of reverence to the teaching. Or maybe he meant to him? Arrogant wanker! He is an absolute example of the kind of blind arrogance you find in the SES. Anyway, I digress. This kid has grown up the same way. At the same time, one of my best friends, an amazing, lovely, friendly, caring person spent his whole schooling in ST James school. He now works in human rights and I think is one of the only people I know who I really deeply respect as a good human being. The people coming out of the school can go both ways. My personal experience of St James is that it has some good things, and some bad things. There were no non-ses teachers when I was there, but there was also very little indoctrination going on. The teaching was either very good or pretty pathetic. I think one particular English teacher should have left the school a long time ago, with his tail between his legs… because of him I really don’t like Shakespeare. And as for the music teacher… well I don’t think I’ve met a more unpleasant woman in my life. A real mad cow who from day one made me, and many other students feel like absolute shit. How she ever got a job in the first place I don’t know. She treated the other teachers as badly as the students! Anyway I joined the Foundation Group, because a few of my friends were in it. I still believed at that point that the school taught practical philosophy, which I had actually found quite useful as a kid, when I learnt to watch my emotions and control my anger. This practical philosophy is nothing special. A friend of mine has a Doctorate in Philosophy and he told me that these are just self-help techniques, based on doctrines that philosophers have come up with over the years. Anway, I loved most of the people in the Foundation group, except the tutor of course, cos we could smoke and laugh. I didn’t enjoy the philosophy because its not philosophy. They were telling us to believe in something that was so far from my personal experience that I really couldn’t. I don’t believe in god, or spirits. But they got into my head, I think, as I somehow just assumed they were good, because my parents always seemed to me to be good people, so the organization they belonged to must also be good. What is quite funny is that at the initiation ceremony to the Foundation group they got us so damn drunk that when they sent us out to dig holes afterwards I was toppling over everywhere. I reckon that’s why they do it, so you don’t have second thoughts when you’re doing hard labour.
Anyway, while I was in the foundation group and at the school, I went through a period of unbelievable depression. I was close to killing myself many times, mostly because of the contradiction of being gay and what the school taught but also other things I cant really put my finger on. Adolescence is always a hard time, and when you chuck mind-control techniques and other high old fashioned moral values on top on that, it can be a lethal mix. Luckily I had good friends, and I got through it. But what surprises me is no one, not one teacher, ever noticed that I was depressed. And I think it must have been quite obvious. My parents did a bit, in fact my mum once told me to stop being so gloomy and depressed as it was a bad influence on my sister. What the hell? Why the hell didn’t it occur to her to ask me WHY I was depressed? Well, because it was obviously a problem I had, and as I was over 16, I just had to deal with it. The SES teaches you to worry about your own problems, and not other peoples… even your kids’ Yeah, I dealt with it, and 10 years later I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m gay!
I also mentioned that I worked in a ses affiliated school. The little kids were sweet, normal kids… most of them. But as is normal, about the age of 12 or 13 they became a bit harder to deal with. And out of a group of 15 kids maybe, not one liked the philosophy, liked the teaching, liked pausing, liked sanscrit. They were all bored to hell with it. I don’t know how they turned out finally, I could see some of them going down a nasty track of drugs, but then again that’s common for school kids everywhere, not just in SES schools. But I think its becoming rarer and rarer for kids from the SES schools to continue because they really can’t stand the stuff anymore. Incidentally, I saw a documentary about Scientology, and a little girl who was bought up in one of there schools. And Scientology really is a cult. I mean it was created by a science fiction writer, what more proof do you need? Anyway, these kids were made to do exactly the same stuff as people do on SES residentials. Carry stuff, work really hard, get up early and do volunteer work for long hours in the name of spiritual fulfillment. Really quite scary.
[quote="bonsai] It is exactly the detachment that the teaching promotes that permits good people to do things that cross the boundaries of their natural human morality. It is this that allows the abuse that occurred within St James and makes everyone in the SES vulnerable to abuse. [/quote]
Yes. It’s terrifying, I have to say. Luckily it’s quite difficult to get rid of every trace of human decency so hopefully people will never obey evil orders from the school like bashing gays etc. Having said that, another good friend of mine is in the school and I still respect him. Its not hard to talk to him, he’s not to preachy. I just hope they don’t change him. And he has not problem with homosexuals.
[quote="bluemoon wrote:Donald Lambie et al need to take a long hard look in the mirror and learn so see the funny side of themselves, before its too late. There is so much in what you describe there in your last post Joeblogs, and I think your analogies are spot on. This is why I still think the organisation can be very dangerous, and needs to take a long hard look at itself and its ideas and methods, as Marco Goldschmeid recommended in his 1996 report.
If Lambie ever looks in the mirror he must see a grown man who is married to a strange but not unattractive woman, lives in a house he doesn’t pay for, is revered by 100s of people around the world, for whom his word is as good as that of god. Why the hell would he want it any other way? It could turn out to be as dangerous as other cults have in the past, or it could just fade away. Hopefully the latter, for the good of everyone!