The SES and mental health problems

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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The SES and mental health problems

Postby Millie » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:12 pm

I was wondering what experiences other SES members or ex-members have had of mental health problems which are related in some way to either being brought up in the SES or during their time there.

I was brought up by parents who are both very involved in one of the UK schools, and was also taken along to both children's and adult group meetings from a young age. I developed depression before even entering my teens, but the SES beliefs meant that my parents' response was to say that I spent too much of my time on 'coarse' activities (ie reading 'normal' books, listening to pop music etc) and gave me some of their SES-type books to read, refusing to let me see a doctor or suchlike (though they did offer to take me to see the leader of the regional school). By the time that I actually received the help that it turned out I needed (some 4 years later) I was diagnosed as being profoundly depressed, which took many years for me to recover from. I have since been plagued by recurring episodes of depression, some of which have required long stays in hospital because of how severely ill I was.

It has recently been suggested that the resaon behind this may be my experiences with the SES, and I have just started therapy aimed at helping me overcome the problems that my experiences have created, including problems with managing emotions, expressing how I feel, and having any feelings of self worth.

Ironically, even when I was dealing with severe depression, I would sometimes return to the SES in the hope that it would cure me of how I felt. The thought of sitting in meetings being told that I should ignore how I felt because my feelings were not 'the truth' as they could change and 'the truth' was constant horrifies me today! I eventually left the school in my early 20s following some 'advice' from the leader of the school which basically was that I was choosing to live a tamasic and un-measured life and was not devoting myself to the absolute enough, which was the final straw.

I have read vague references to people who have had mental health problems which have been associated with the SES, including suicide attempts and psychotic breakdowns, though I would be very interested to find out more about this, as I feel sure that this can't be a rare occurrence given, for example, the distructive nature of teaching children to ignore their emotions. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Involved in SES 1991-2004

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby Daffy » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:05 am

Hi Millie,

Welcome to the forum - even though it has been a little quiet here for a while!

It is said that one in four people suffer from some kind of mental illness in their lifetimes (including depression) but anecdotally I think the rate among ex-St James, St Vedast and SES members seems to be higher than this. A couple of years ago I compared observations with a St James contemporary and unscientifically we reckoned the rate among people we knew was one in three already, with most not even middle-aged yet.

Your experiences are really strikingly similar to many of the stories people have posted on this forum. Treatment such as the therapy you have started is part of the healing process but knowing that you are not alone is also really important. There are nearly 9,500 posts on this forum, but start with the 'EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S' thread.

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby ET » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:47 am

Hi Millie and welcome,

I can back up what Daffy has said.

I am almost certain that I had a minor nervous breakdown when I was at university (four years after leaving St James'), and although I was never sectioned and never took medication, my GP at the time (amazingly astute for a uni GP) referred me for therapy. It took me nearly four years and three different therapists to recover, and all the problems that I had directly related to my childhood experiences at St James' and the negative effect that the SES had on my family relationships.
I am now able to cope much more effectively, but that does not mean that I can't still be blindsided by the psychological effects of the abuse I suffered. One of my SES relatives recently died, and I was forced to meet ex-abusers at the funeral. I had nightmares for weeks both before and after the event.
My sister has also suffered terribly, with eating disorders and self-harming in her teens and early twenties and a lifelong debilitating auto-immune disorder which I'm sure has been at least partially brought on by elevated levels of stress in childhood.
The few schoolfriends I have kept in touch with have also suffered from mental health issues and eating disorders, so you are definitely not alone!
I wish you the best of luck with your recovery, and do keep posting on here for support. Even when the board goes quiet, many of us are still watching it, as you can see.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby Free Thinker » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:29 am

I also agree. I suffered depression in high school and college and have had lifelong work in order to try to recover from the emotional destruction growing up in the school caused me.

Amazingly, I went to therapy for a year at the end of high school and never once did I bring up the school. I was still a part of it then (as an adult member, and going to the youth groups) and it didn't even occur to me to mention it to my therapist. Though clearly now, most of my problems were a result of being there. It was just what I'd always known, that it seemed like the normal state of things.

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby daska » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:40 pm

I find this question really difficult. There are people who claim they were only affected positively, weren't affected, didn't notice any ill-effects, were affected but chose to deny it, realised the affects later on, or knew from the get-go.

My informed guess is that there is a higher rate of problems but as there is no way that we could get a representative sample let alone all the ex-pupils to give their medical histories so there is unlikely to ever be sufficient evidence to support a view either way. The eldest of us are just approaching 50(?) so it's impossible to know what life-long impact there has been. It's likely that the proportion of ex-pupils on here who claim problems is skewed towards those who have recognised, accepted and are dealing/ have dealt with the fact they have a problem, which is less likely in SES attenders. Where friendships have survived after leaving school that they are with like-minded people (i.e. SES haters are not so likely to still be firm friends with people who have continued to live in the school). All in all, a quick survey of those we're still in contact with isn't representative.

So I guess my guide is the number of people I have spoken with who have visited this forum, of which the great majority have said they wept while reading, either with the pain of the memories that resurfaced or with relief that they found they were not alone, or both. It's not scientific but it's the only benchmark I have.

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby Justice » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:49 pm

All Mind Control Cults like the School of Economic Science have a far higher percentage rate of Mental Health Problems among their 'members' than among non Mind Control Cult members.

For five more examples see:






'Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace' by Margaret Thaler Singer: ... 0787967416

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby woodgreen » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:14 pm

Short anecdote under what is a very important topic. About six years ago I was talking socially to someone who worked for the NHS in Mental Health. I asked her if meditation could cause mental health problems. Her immediate response was " No, not unless it is of a cultic nature". To back up her understanding of the subject she confided in me that someone had tried to recruit her to a Christian "cult" when she was young. She fortunately told her family and her uncle went and found the guy and threatened to knock three bells of Shit out of him. He never went near her again.Not advocating violence, but it just shows there is a very fine line in all of this.


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

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby woodgreen » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:52 pm

This topic petered out, but no wonder -there are so many issues raised on this site it is hard to pursue each one. I may read ok on the Forum, but actually Millie I'm still struggling mentally even though I only spent 3 years in the SES as an adult."They" managed to do my head in during a very short time -and it is why I persevere on here.

I think the SES objective has been the same since McLaren's time - break their minds.It follows an Eastern spiritual/esoteric path that has long gone- they used to beat them with sticks if they were falling asleep during meditation apparently. This approach to spirituality in the West has been easily adapted by cults.Allows them total free reign. A tutor in the School even let it slip that "they" were after "breaking" people. My first "tutor" in the SES seemed to think the stick had gone, even though he would have welded it if needs be.

Anyway hope you are ok Millie, maybe we can resurrect this topic and discuss some more.


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

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Re: The SES and mental health problems

Postby Millie » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:49 pm

Hi Woodgreen,

Sorry to hear that you're struggling with it mentally too. I agree that the SES seems determined to break people's minds, I can see that my parents are still very much under its influence to the point that they literally have no friends outside of the SES who could perhaps give them some perspective.

I know that in the early 2000's there was an issue with mental health problems on residentials. Typically, this was pretty much hushed up, though I got the impression that someone somewhere had had some kind of breakdown while on a residential. I don't think this was in the UK, but led them to suggesting that people with known problems don't go on residentials (rather than asking what they could do to support people who are struggling or something similar). By this stage I was distancing myself from the 'school' so didn't hear much more about it.

The general attitude towards health in general is one that I have been quite shocked about in recent times. I know if a member of the school who had taken on a lot of responsibilities within the school but was then diagnosed with an agressive form of cancer. It seems that rather than having some of these jobs taken away from her, she has been encouraged to keep up the work as a meaningful use of her time. Though at the same time, some elderly members of the school are being allowed to pass on their responsibilities because they are getting older and therefore claim to be less able. Now that I notice that these type of things are happening from the outside, i wonder how it used to seem ok when I was involved!

Going back to the mental health topic, my own experience was that I was blamed for my own illness- me chosing a rajasic state which I didn't want to leave behind, being too self-involved and not spending enough time in meditation and reflection. To have been told that at a time in my life when I was particularly vulnerable (and signed up to extra second-line duties to help focus my mind!) makes me feel rather angry. Especially because planting the idea that mental illness is your fault in your head means that it can become difficult to believe that this isn't the case.

I am aware that some changes have taken place more recently in the SES- eg apparently skirts are no longer compulsory for women and cooked food is sometimes available on residentials. However I have also noticed that in the past few years, a reasonable number of 'youth group' aged (which is seems is now upto 30 years?) members have left. I can only hope that at some point the SES will die out and stop causing all of the pain that it has created over the past few year.

Involved in SES 1991-2004

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