Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Postby Free » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:55 pm

Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Hindu Inspired Meditation Movements

Postby woodgreen » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:20 pm

Hi from the newbie!

Anyone who was "initiated" in the SES/St James' was "done" by the "School of Meditation" aka "The Society for Spiritual Development". The latter's report for 2008 to the Charity Commission confirm this fact. We have all been initiated into the Holy Vedic Tradition, unknowingly. No one explained that to me when it was going on and it troubled me for years. Almost like a forced conversion if you ask me.

58 children from St. James and 91 from the SES were "done" in 2007/8 for which the SOM (new acronym!) got £23k.

If the Schools have changed since the bad old days then they certainly haven't changed on that front.

Not sure if the SOM has other links with the SES. The names aren't familiar to me.

Good hunting folks....
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

Jo-Anne Morgan
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23 pm

Re: Hindu Inspired Meditation Movements

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:11 pm

I'm just in the middle of reading this book by Lola Williamson. The SES certainly fits all the criteria of what Lola calls 'Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements'. Unlike the other movements mentioned in the book though (Self-Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, Siddha Yoga, where the clue is in the title) SES calls itself something totally unrelated to Eastern concepts and assiduously tries to hide its real agenda until it's possibly too late for some people.

As Free says, the book explains how these sort of movements came about, which is interesting in itself. It also explains how traditional Hinduism can get quite 'down and dirty' unlike the sanitised neo-hinduism on which these HIMMs are based.

There's a very interesting point about how the methods used by the SES and other HIMMs were actually meant for renunciate monks e.g. 'the Shankarcharya tradition had been established by a renunciate monk for other renunciate monks. Any spiritual practices done within the order of monks are meant for liberation from transmigration and worldliness (samsara) and not for improving their worldly lives'. This tallies with something Anton Ravesi (a former contributor) told me. He and his wife met an Indian wise man or guru-type (I can't remember exactly now). This is what this man told them about the SES: 'This place you go to, this place you are in, is a very dangerous place. They are using a form of Jnana Yoga which is unsuitable even for monks and ascetics, it is definitely unsuitable for householders.' In other words, people are getting into something they do not understand and is not suitable for their lifestyle. They are not given the information they need to make an informed choice because of the secrecy employed by SES. By the time you realise, you can be in so deep it's difficult to extricate yourself.

The book covers the same issues as have surfaced in the SES. One former SRF nun says: 'Human feelings, needs and expression are all part of our journey; but they often get a bad rap, especially in teachings where 'transcendence' is emphasized'. And: 'Many spiritual groups deeply desire transformation, but unknowingly allow areas of unconscious behaviors to flourish - repression, judgment, rigidity. Anyone stepping outside the 'mold' is seen as problematic and shunned'.

A former SRF member said: 'Often, longtime SRF members would ask me why I left, and occasionally, if I felt they were asking sincerely, I would tell them my reasons. Their inability to believe my assertions, to trust even the most common-sense explanations, to acknowledge SRF imperfections and wrong behavior; their unshakable, dogmatic belief in SRF's faultlessness, to explain everything away to karma, training, and their conclusion that it must have been all my fault......is really frustrating.' Yes - that's the SES all right.

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