The School Of Economic Science, St James, And Child Abuse.

This is to notify anyone with information that there is now an ongoing Metropolitan police investigation into allegations of child abuse by former pupils at St James’ and St Vedast’s schools run by The School of Economic Science.

The investigation broadly concerns allegations during the 1970s and 1980s.

If you have information that may help then please email DC Katy Lee, of the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Team, on


I’m very grateful to N for contacting me and all the former pupils of St Vedast who have posted their own experiences on the School of Economic Science forum for raising a topic which I had been hitherto ignorant of. More information and personal testimony can be found here. Sadly,  N’s testimony is by no means unique.

By N, a former pupil of St James

The School of Economic Science is a registered charity whose headquarters are now at Mandeville Place, London. You may have read one of their posters on the underground or read an advert or article in a newspaper, you may even have been leafleted by them in your own home. Like most you may not have heard of them at all. They offer courses in philosophy and economics with the promise of “making your life happier…” if you join. Originally set up in the 1930’s by Leon MacLaren (The pinstripe guru) with the support of his father Andrew MacLaren MP (they claim) to study the economist Henry George and to later hold courses in philosophy based on the Hindu, Advaita Vedante, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with inspiration from Beatles guru the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced MacLaren to Transcendental Meditation, producing a heady philosophical cocktail unrecognisable to most graduates in philosophy. In the 1970’s they opened their doors to children to be educated in their day schools St Vedast and St James. They claim to be a spiritual organisation although accusations of being a cult have plagued them since their conception. Both my parents were members of the SES and my brother and myself attended their school, St James, from the age of four although I also attended their nursery school, my mother was an employee. I wouldn’t blame them for the breakup of my parents marriage but they certainly contributed to it such was the way of this secretive organisation that delved deep into the most private of their members affairs showing the control they have over them. You may be baffled when they needlessly obfuscate with philosophical jargon when any criticism is levelled at them and which they then pompously disregard.

St James was a uniquely different school in many ways, I had a friend at another school, Latymer, for comparison. We were taught Sanskrit from a young age and all subjects contained a sprinkling of their philosophy. Later we were introduced to meditation. Television and pop music was at one point banned. I do have some good memories although they are mostly clouded by my experience at the school of the harsh regime instilled upon us.

I myself lasted ten years from the mid seventies. Our surroundings were cold and sterile as were the teachers. Blind obedience was expected which didn’t make me popular. Questioning the word of a teacher was of course insolence, even if you happened to be correct. My first experience of being hit would have been by my form teacher, Clement Salaman, which would leave marks across the back of both legs behind the knee, often bursting a blood vessel and leaving bruising. I was lucky enough not to have had my trousers and pants torn down and spanked but I saw it regularly. Even though corporal punishment was reserved for the headmaster, Nicholas Debenham, who used a cane, I was hit with rulers, board rulers, the slipper and cricket bats amongst other things by any teacher who wished to usually according to their mood or location and what was available, I was also picked up by my hair, shouted at and humiliated, regularly. I was hit so hard on occasions I flew across the room.

Caning was common place when you reached around age eight and one person I knew had the back of his leg split open, bleeding.  I remember being caned three times. The first was for the theft of two smurfs from the teachers cupboard and for lying. I received three strokes which left welts across my behind, I think I was eight. When my mother heard she asked to see and with tears in her eyes she told me it would never happen again. The second time I was caned it was for dropping a comb in class and therefore upset it. I received one stroke. The third time I was caned I received three strokes where I had done nothing at all, I managed not to cry until I got to the toilet where I locked myself in until I found my composure. Once I was sent to collect the headmasters bible for a class, I was astonished to see he had a selection of canes in his cupboard next to an army officers hat, the cane used on me was carefully reinforced with selotape. I have always been uncomfortable with this and figured he must have wanted me to see these judging by the look on his face when I returned. After the third time I was asked by a female teacher if she could see and needless to say we were all uncomfortable being viewed by the headmaster, amongst others, regularly in the showers. I was once held after school by my form teacher to do circuit training where afterwards a private viewing was achieved while I was told to wash my genitals. If you weren’t being beaten you were witnessing it or hearing about it as word spread about who had recently been caned which amounted to a climate of fear. To say the least it was a very abusive atmosphere.

The caning reached the press and there was an investigation along with the publication of the book ‘Secret Cult’ but there was ultimately no change. When I was punched my abusive father, who also once punched me, attended the school to visit the Headmaster. During a physics lesson we were made to practice singing as we had failed to impress the somewhat psychotic teacher, David Lacey, in assembly that morning. If we didn’t sing on cue we were made to do fifty squats and of course we didn’t sing on time. After two hundred and fifty squats I became dizzy which happened to me occasionally and sat down. I was then picked up by the teacher’s left hand and punched with the inside of his clenched right fist across the left side of my mouth splitting the gum inside on my tooth and then sent out until I apologised for my bad behaviour. I did not for months, which is why my father attended. I was disappointed when on the way home he told that I was to apologise and that I would end up in the gutter if I wasn’t careful which I had already been told by my teachers. I eventually summoned the courage to make the apology, although it went against every grain in my body, which I did between clenched teeth and more tears. I was then told to say that it would never happen again by the man who had a mad sadistic grin and look in his eye. My work suffered and I became, “lazy” I was often late and was regularly absent. I was always on report and finally the report card stated on the top, “Caned if absent or late”. Every teacher had to comment and sign the card which I had to present to the headmaster at the end of each week. Finally after around ten years I’d had enough although my brother managed to get through his A levels. I’d become immune to their form of discipline it was out of control, unfair and criminal. I openly confronted teachers and their accusations one of which I called a liar. My last recollection of an effort to make me conform was when the Headmaster sent me out of assembly for not singing loud enough, I had just recovered from tonsillitis. He repeatedly shouted at me to sing louder. In the end I just looked at him in a quizzical way and when I saw him afterwards red as a beetroot strutting up and down in front of me  in his cloak he threatened me and said if I ever looked at him again like that he would beat me like never before. I think the look I gave him spoke for itself, I was unmoved and nor was I scared anymore. I had already decided that I wouldn’t allow this to happen again and I think he saw that. I left the school very shortly after that. I attended a local school briefly where I was found to be clinically depressed and cut myself and was referred to a psychiatric hospital for children to be an inpatient however the funding fell through.

I entered into my adult life with the beginnings of a relationship with alcohol and cannabis which rightly or wrongly made me feel better giving me the opportunity to smile. I have worked as a sound engineer and chef, once on yachts and I achieved this with no qualifications. Unfortunately mental health issues have plagued me since I left that place. I wake sometimes sweating, where the bad dream seems to continue even though I am awake and I suffer considerable depression. I have seen numerous psychiatrists whose medication is too uncomfortable to use and I am prescribed diazepam for the bad times. I only became aware that I was considered to have Bipolar Type 2 and Post Traumatic Stress disorder, and that they believed the cause was as a result of the “abuse” I suffered as a child, when I was assessed by a mental health team when I became homeless after a bout of this depression. I was asked if I was sexually abused and have always been careful to say that I was not except that we were stared at in the showers, I wasn’t touched. I managed to get myself out of the hostel I was in which was filled with unfortunate drug addicts and alcoholics and into a housing association where I lived for around seven years.

It was there that my mother once called me to apologise and that all that I had said was true and that she had read other such stories, (which are far more eloquent than I could ever be, online which confirmed my claims. “What were we doing” she said as we both cried, “Good to have you back”I told her. She told me that she had now left the SES and that there was going to be an Inquiry which fuelled a glimmer of hope but also took me back to the bad memories. My contribution to the Inquiry was a brief hand written scrawl, I found it very difficult to achieve even that and it can be difficult to express yourself under these circumstances. I was clear to say that we were beaten for the same reason that they viewed us in the showers, they enjoyed it. There has been some investigation by different departments and the Inquiry concluded that we had been treated harshly and sometimes criminally and the caning was found to be legal. The viewing of us in the showers was ignored.

The inquiry was conducted after the retirement of the headmaster under the new one David Boddy, one time PR man to Thatcher and the conservative party. We were belittled before, as I was in the press by head of their legal dept Leslie Blake, a barrister, and Boddy, and after by the SES. No resolution or practical conclusion has ever been achieved, far from it. David Boddy manipulated and used the Inquiry to promote his school and in stunning disregard for us has named a room after the man that caned and leered at us in the shower, Debenham. He has used the Inquiry as a shining example of how they produced a procedure that other schools may use when found in similar situation, but it didn’t work and the sad truth is we were beaten by a sadistic pervert that had a penchant for watching boys in the shower and under these circumstances I do not imagine that his behaviour would be found to be lawful. It certainly has never been investigated properly and I think it should. I don’t care whether they are a cult or not but they certainly behave like one.


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180 responses to “The School Of Economic Science, St James, And Child Abuse.

  1. Neil

    Know what I mean?

  2. neil

    Ex-Pauline and gobshite George Osborne still thinks killing people is a good idea. No, Michael Gove and colleagues take note: Stop killing us please with your ill thought out policies clearly in need of considerable refinement if you want stability, otherwise………
    I am considerably ill, it is not acceptable to have to wait a week for sleeping pills, for example. It is not acceptable to put staff of surgeries in this position let alone patients. I end up shouting with the frustration I endure which is also unacceptable and regrettable, I feel ashamed when it is you who should be. It is not acceptable for the police not to attend call outs simply so you can massage the figures and say crime is down, do you get my drift?
    George, we know your game…. please piss off and shut up you have no credibility in the least, you are a….

  3. N

    The starvation diet is not as bad as it sounds, on the third day you reach a state of euphoria, lovely…never felt so good.

  4. N

    You see the thing about the Cambridge School of Philosophy’s post under “School of Economic Science a cult, School of philosophy, Cambridge” is that where it says, ” Negative publicity

    Over the decades thousands of students have benefitted from and enjoyed the practices and ideas offered. However, a tiny minority of people have not liked the ideas and practices and have voiced their dislike over the internet, calling the School of Economic Science a cult or worse. The “cult” label is particularly ironic. A cult is generally understood to be a religion or spiritual organisation that brainwashes individuals to a certain dogma. The School of Economic Science courses start off with the suggestion given above not to accept anything unless it is found to be true in actual experience.

    The aim is to give individuals freedom and greater control over their lives and how they experience life. This unremittingly sceptical and scientific approach is almost diametrically the opposite of a cult.”

    It used to say this, ” Negative publicity

    Over the decades thousands of students have benefitted from and enjoyed the practices and ideas offered. However, a tiny minority of people have not liked the ideas and practices and have voiced their dislike over the internet, calling the School of Economic Science a cult or worse. This negative publicity has been exacerbated by the experience of pupils at a children�s school set up in the seventies by philosophy students, which for the first ten years of its life took a positively Victorian attitude to discipline. There were also a very few but damaging over-zealous teachers. A new approach turned that around in the 80s and it is now one of the most popular and high performing schools in London.”

    Funny that…..

  5. N

    Happy Chocolate Egg day in the countryside, Prime Minister:)

  6. neil

    I love James Randi and so should you.

  7. Xxxx

    There is also a civil action going ahead against the,schools. Let me know if you want details.

  8. neil

    “Some of my closest friends have been kind enough to call me ‘a hopeless old hippy’ and ‘full of idealism and stuff and nonsense'” David Boddy.

    • N

      “Having spent years studying Eastern traditions, I realise that I come to this subject with a philosophical bias. Many readers will not have the same belief system, but I truly believe the ideas and approaches I outline are accessible and can be of benefit to everyone.” David Boddy.

      Bertrand Russell…..

  9. Neil

    I want to stop, I really do but I can’t because I want to die and I am not going to give up.

    I was there……

  10. Neil

    SES and censorship.
    “it seems that there is a total lack of critical writing in the field of investigative journalism. In fact there is a censorship of issues of this type across most of the newspapers. There have been no critical articles about this group for some time and it is clear that the advertising has bought the silence of editors around this state.”

  11. Neil

    “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” Aldous Huxley

  12. N

    16 November 2005
    Dear Mr Townend,
    I have reflected at some length on your challenging question as to whether St. James could successfully separate itself from the School of Economic Science (SES) and operate as a genuine standalone organisation.
    For a variety of reasons I do not believe it could…..
    ……..Many of the features listed in Appendix 4 of my report are still very much in evidence in the SES today. By extension, given the close links between the two organisations, theymust also operate in St James.
    The central SES tenet, which I referred to in my interview, that the belief in the individual personality or ego is the hallmark of those who are ‘asleep’ is fundamental. The presumption underlying this, namely that the truth lies in suppressing and eventually attaining liberation by abandoning the ego, fuels that explosive mixture.
    In October 1989 MacLaren [then SES leader], in one of his last visits, had this to report in his introduction to the regular biennial week of conversations with the Shankarcharya:
    “Since the last audience, the senior members of the School [SES] have generally brightened and become more efficient. The individuals seem to be unaware of it themselves, though they can see it in others. An effect of this brightening was a general awakening to the need for Ahankara [individual characteristics overlaying the pure ‘self’] to go. Last May there was a general demand among the senior groups to take a resolution.”
    The men were given the words as follows, ‘Ahankara must go. The back must be turned on Ahankara and all its works and the mind must face the truth, looking back to see shortcomings and transcending them’.
    The ladies were given the following words, ‘Ahankara must go. There shall be total surrender to the husband, the School and through the School, to the Absolute, by full service through body, mind and heart without reservation.’ These resolutions seem to have had an immediate effect of lightening the load of Ahankara, but they also threw up particular features. Men and women both discovered that there were voices which spoke in the mind and which governed much of their lives, which were opposed to the Shruti [Vedic scriptures] and the words of the Mahapurusha [Great being]. They had identified with these voices, thinking them to be their own. But they awoke to the fact that they were alien. This realisation is just dawning. Sometimes it was as though there were a creature in their subtle world [mind] which rose up to take full charge of their being. They had always identified with this creature, but have begun to see that it is not their self at all.”
    MacLaren went on to report:
    “The ladies discovered, without exception, that they never surrendered fully, but always reserved something, as they put it, for themselves [my underlining]. The men discovered that following the teaching was strongly opposed by the idea that one could not be conscious and one’s self and earn a living at the same time. Therefore one must not go too far down this road of liberation.”
    As a report on the purportedly homogenous and unanimous gender based responses of two separate sets of several hundred people to the proclamation of a form of words invented by MacLaren this is patently an absurd generalisation and quite impossible for MacLaren to have ever substantiated.
    With hindsight the long skirts edict issued on the spur of the moment in South Africa in the summer of 1974 was a classic device, putting all women in SES worldwide into a position of deliberate embarrassment and separation from the ‘outside’ activities in their
    The equivalent situation for the men would have been if all and sundry including the StJames male teachers had been ordered to wear morning coats and top hats at all times.
    But of course MacLaren would never have done that. The subtle bias and discrimination in the wording difference between men and women is typical of the barely concealed psychological abuse. No doubt much of the lady teachers’ petty vindictiveness at St James came from that treatment either at the hands of their SES tutors or husbands or both.
    All the above by way of background. At the root of the difficulty St James perpetually runs into are the vague ’educational principles’ laid down by MacLaren and which I set out in Section 2 of my 1996 report. You may recall that in that report I had asked the 3 head teachers to articulate their educational philosophy so as to get them really thinking about what was important from their practical experience as teachers. They were personally, without consultation with any governor, secretly forbidden by Lambie from undertaking such an exercise.
    With no educational knowledge whatsoever and no official locus to do so Lambie [MacLarens successor as SES leader] nevertheless felt in a position to assert that MacLaren’s definition 20 years earlier was complete and sufficient. It plainly was not but the move ensured St James’s permanent intellectual and spiritual dependence on the SES in the same way as Lambie’s annual ‘world tour’ (of the UK’s former colonies) seeks to
    maintain dependence on the London SES. The decision by Lambie to persuade Pincham to ‘invite’ selected colonial day-schools to affiliate with London’s St James is in the same vein.
    In all cases Lambie is careful to ensure these associations, whilst appearing to be official links, carry no legal ties so that liability for any local problem can be isolated whilst constant covert exertion of control and influence thrives behind the scenes.
    The other device is the use of apparently unconnected charities such as the Education Renaissance Trust controlled by the SES. This has been going for several years. Another one is the Jyoti Nidhidyasa Trust which is supposed to look after fundraising for the Shankaracharya’s ashram. A more recent one is the Lucca Leadership Trust for young people, funded by the head of the Sheffield SES and run entirely by attendees of the SES
    and scions of the senior SES families. This use of disparate bodies may multiply in future as a device for giving the appearance of independent but like-minded people.
    Of course all of this is done with the best possible intentions and in the unspoken inner conviction that, because this is the only true teaching, almost any stratagem is justified forgetting the message across to St James pupils and for ensuring permanent dependence on the London SES.
    The secret connection and influence is an integral part of the concatenation between the two organisations. The engineered peer pressure exerted to join the Foundation Groups appears to be as strong as ever and requires taking a form of oath of allegiance based on the ‘threefold bond’ described in Section 2 of my report under b) 1, 2 and 3. Because it is not part of the curriculum it is not an area that comes within the schools inspectorate’s
    I do not believe the leopard can change its spots or has any intention of doing so. It would be against all the SES beliefs and traditions of close covert control. Any recommendation you made in terms of ‘Chinese walls’, appointment of ‘non-SES’ governors or other mechanisms to ensure the St James really is Independent of SES are unlikely to be followed other than in outer form. Lambie, the Governors and teachers and administrators
    are too closely and intimately involved emotionally and financially with the SES for that independence to be genuinely fostered. Tunnels under and spy-holes through the
    Chinese wall would be formed in a matter of days.
    Kind regards,

    xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

  13. Dr Neil

    I’m going to tell you how to get better and it starts here….anger is an energy:)

    • N

      Maclaren may have been cruel, he was definitely an addict possibly an alcoholic. He wasn’t a philosopher in the traditional use of the word he was an occultist. He wasn’t stupid. His type of philosophy included a God, “The one true God”. The claim made is that it is not a religion, even if there was thought about making it one and we are told it’s a hybrid religion. It is a variation of the Hindu religion, they follow the Holy tradition, at least until they found their Shankaracharya was a fake. The previous Shankaracharya was incompetent, both were supposed to be holy. Now they follow a fake. Religion was replaced with the word philosophy to make it more palatable. There has been a recent fad where followers describe themselves as philosophers which similarly they are not, they are devotees or slaves (servitude). Leon Maclaren was a narcissist and most likely a sociopath, he didn’t care about his followers or the damage he was doing. This visionary enlightenment these devotees are seeking are usually found in “spiritual” experiences Bipolar sufferers often report and illicit drug users. People often claim to see the spirits or some such unworldly thing then believe it to be real, they’ve seen it. So does that mean if I took LSD and see a spaceship in my bedroom, is that real? If I hallucinate and see a dot fly past my vision, is that real too? No. I cannot tell you how much this aspect of their spiritual search or “path” amuses me, it is priceless.

      All religion is a narcissistic self perpetuating cycle of delusion and superstition. You are not allowed to be negative or critical, it’s blasphemy. It is the master slave relationship, essentially sadomasacism. It is no different to a totalitarian state or dysfunctional narcissistic and codependent relationship. Think of North Korea or any relationship where the male beats the partner and she claims,”I still love him” (it works the other way around too, I know). It’s all about the insecurity of the narcissist and their paranoia. The narcissist is always right. You lose trust in yourself. SES repeated teaching about, “the importance of living in the present” conveniently allows them not to take responsibility for their past and denies you the privilege of dealing with the shortcomings of your past. You will remain dependent on them as if you leave a form of armageddon may take place. They told us as children we’d chosen this life. I was told to uncross my legs in class by a female teacher because it was against the law. After I questioned (risky) what law, I was told, “The ancient laws of wisdom”. They used the same techniques as the narcissist, emotional blackmail, spiritual blackmail, gaslighting, violence, lies etc. It induces a climate of fear and insecurity in the victim and they can be controlled, seemingly there is no escape as if you are not punished in this life you surely will in the next. They want you to submit, I never did but almost, they want your faith. Beating children to the point of submission is not discipline, it is abuse. They relied on our anxiety or fear. Research narcissism and gaslighting.

      Any serious trauma may cause Post Traumatic Stress later. I have a form of Bipolar and PTSD. I have used cannabis all my life to control it and I have in the past drunk alcohol excessively especially when I have been ill. I have never been an alcoholic. I have never used peanuts to control mood swings or anxiety as previously recommended by the idiot Ronald on this thread (I expect he’ll edit that now): ” So a second form of prevention is given e.g.. give up this painful habit and maybe eat peanuts instead? A substitute the habit which less harmful?” For the record I am very fond of satay however it remains unsuitable as a self medication. Many sufferers of mental health issues do self medicate, it is certainly not uncommon. Personally, I have mixed cannabis or marijuana with tobacco, I absolutely don’t recommend it however it worked. Use skunk weed and without doubt you will end up worse or in a ward. Alcohol works too. The problem is that the prognosis is poor, you will die. I have watched two close friends die of alcoholism, both were abused in childhood. I myself have emphysema. I do not recommend either however they did both keep me going in one way or another, I don’t drink that often although occasionally I forget my resolve get drunk and fall over. When I am really ill I ask for diazepam which I also don’t recommend but it works in the short term. In the long term it will see you in a ward, it will exaggerate the feelings you took it for and it makes suicide more likely as it lowers your natural defences against it. To this day even though I was told to ask for it if necessary, I am always treated like an addict ( I’d had one in nearly three years, it was my choice to stop them which I did on my own). In front of a medical practitioner they will, if not always, usually consider your self medication as the issue, not the underlying cause. Self medication is not safe, it is dangerous and I don’t recommend it. Medications do have their place, they may stabilise you, they too come at a cost however. I was once prescribed thioridazine, no thank you very much. It has now been discontinued. Antidepressants are generally rubbish too, if it helps good luck to you but it’s probably nothing more than a placebo, I am intolerant in any case but that didn’t stop a mental health nurse shouting at me to take them. Warning: Some people are predisposed to psychosis from the use of cannabis, I am not recommending you take it.

      The lack of humanity in mental health workers is not uncommon, the profession often attracts the wrong kind of person who has the insight of a boiled egg. I have been lucky enough to meet the occasional good one, it’s rare in my experience but they do exist. Don’t get bogged down by this, keep on going at a pace that suits you. It’s not their fault that they are not very bright but be careful of nurse Ratched, there is always one. I was threatened with being sectioned for asking if I may get a burger once, the only time I voluntarily went on a ward (I wasn’t given much choice). I wouldn’t bother with homeopathy, it is unmitigated nonsense and a placebo and meditation is nothing more than dissociation or prayer unless used as a relaxation technique in which case that is what it is, meditation is otherwise a religious pastime. Perhaps a placebo triggers an endorfin or some such thing as does laughing or sex, I don’t know.

      Addiction is an easy thing to understand. Read Allen Carr’s easy way. I use it to stop smoking when I want to. I’ve used it to get off the opiate medication I was prescribed which included pethadine (similar to heroin), morphine, oramorph and tramadol. I did this myself over a two, maybe three week period. It was uncomfortable but manageable, I did it myself. Fundamentally you need to want to stop. Much of withdrawal symptoms are caused by the removal of the substance when you don’t want to, in my opinion, you must want to stop. If you are using an opiate to self medicate and are addicted, then of course the underlying cause will rear it’s ugly head, so it is important to understand why you are self medicating.
      Anxiety for me is a tough one. I recently had a bad patch and needed some valium. I finally got some and it stabilised me, I hate the stuff and of course I was treated like an addict by an imbecilic, verbally challenged moron. Regrettably, on this occasion (and it is the first time ever in these circumstances) I used an anglo saxon term spontaneously which was acted on, the perpetrator removed themselves from my vicinity. I do not condone this however appropriate it may have been. With our experience it may be that we find it hard to deal with people who believe themselves to be an authority, but are actually the product of a text book and not intelligence but they are still human (sort of), it’s documented that they can lose their humanity. Try valerian tea, it does help. Reassurance and kindness from a Doctor and nurse helped enormously. The two paramedics I met recently were so kind, they reasured me, I left the ambulance painfree, I wasn’t having or going to have a heart attack (classic anxiety). Anxiety can be a vicious cycle that can worsen if you allow it to.

      There is plenty of evidence that cannabis helps PTSD. In the states they now have medical cannabis. I often thought that if they could isolate the property that was beneficial then we’re onto something, now they have. Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active cannabinoid in cannabis also found in hemp. The ratio in medical cannabis of CBD and THC (the principal psychoactive constituent in cannabis) is 1:1. In skunk weed THC far outweighs CBD hence the psychosis in users. It is why schizophrenia wards need to be renamed skunk dependency wards. CBD seems to be a natural antipsychotic. It is available in this country and it is legal. I have found it useful in dealing with anxiety in conjunction with valerian tea. More potent forms of CBD may be cost inhibitive and research does need to take place however the potential is very great for its use in a wide range of ailments. Skunk weed only came about through prohibition as did legal highs, both have disastrous effects. I repeat, some people are predisposed to psychosis from cannabis, be warned. You may wonder why we are prescribed antidepressants that don’t work and medical cannabis is prohibited, you’d have to ask the drug companies and their shareholders who some of which may be found to be in government or are lobbyists. In any case, “a million pounds will always come before a million people”. Of course, if you are honest enough to tell your GP or psychiatrist you use cannabis then you will be labelled. I have sat in front of two psychiatrists who agreed with me although neither could condone it. Do the research yourself.

      OCD. Learn to trust yourself again. You are human.

      Exercise, healthy eating, sleep hygiene (I before E except if you’re Neil, “Don’t be facetious boy”) fish oils, loyal, trustworthy supportive friends all play their part. Check out the beauty of the forest or seafront is useful. Listen to a radio rather than dwelling on intrusive or dysfunctional thoughts and understand what they are. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may be useful. Think of a place you love and go there in your mind. Consider perhaps the love your Nan had for you or the fun you had with a dog you looked after which showed you affection. Don’t eat crap food. These all help. Depression is seductive, it’s a safe place. Set goals to achieve, don’t beat yourself up, live. Acceptance of your circumstance is necessary. Careful of the narcissistic vampires, we are vulnerable. There is a point when I’ve been really ill that I get angry with my circumstance, I use that anger to get going.

      My only qualification is a lifetime of mental illness and I’m still learning. I don’t claim it is all easy, it is not it’s hard but I hope what I and others have written on this thread is useful. You could of course take up a peanut habit but I’d stick to the satay.

      I could be wrong, I could be right:)

      Thank you to all who have contributed.

      Much love.

      Over and out.


      (This remains my opinion and may not reflect that of the blog on which it is published. It is a working copy)

  14. This post is to notify anyone with information that there is now an ongoing Metropolitan police investigation into allegations of child abuse by former pupils at St James’ and St Vedast’s schools run by The School of Economic Science.

    The investigation broadly concerns allegations during the 1970s and 1980s.

    If you have information that may help then please email DC Katy Lee, of the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Team, on

  15. R

    Thanks for the mimicry? It’s not important.

  16. MARINA

    I you go to find wisdom at SES and you let them brainwash you and you do everything they tell you, then this becomes habitual then it would become restrictive. That’s how habit addiction works!

  17. R

    If you can’t find wisdom anywhere else, then you may find it in yourself;
    but if this becomes habitual then it would become restrictive. That’s how habit addiction works!

  18. MARINA

    For mind-openess purposes I recommend to visit:

    Thanks to 97y454 ;-)

  19. R

    So it may be said why show the force of habit? Does is not show that if you are projecting the past to the present and future it has its consequences? That if you are IN THE HERE AND NOW there is a chance to drop it and it’s scenario?

  20. M.H.

    Dear Bernard Kroczek,

    Marina made a valid point that one doesn’t need to experience a drug to witness and understand the effects of the misuse and addiction to the drug. Ask anyone who has any kind of relationship with an addict.

    You replied to Marina:

    “Your mind is obviously closed to any form of alternate view, which is not how a true philosopher would see the world.”

    In truth you and Marina have what is commonly known as ‘a difference of opinion’. Neither opinion is any more or less valid or more meaningful than the other. But it appears that you don’t like her opinion, as you describe her pejoratively as having ‘a closed mind’ and not ‘a true philosopher’. This is itself ideological, fundamentalist thinking Bernard rather than open-minded.

    It is possible Bernard that when you have been taught what is described as philosophy, you have been introduced to a concept described to you as ‘neither accept nor reject’. Notice that you are now rejecting what Marina has said. Notice this paradox. Notice this paradox at work inside your mind. Open your mind to where this paradox has come from and wonder at how it has been established.

    By the very fact that you have rejected Marina’s point of view Bernard is it not equally true that your mind is ‘obviously closed to any form of alternate view, which is not how a true philosopher would see the world’?

    Is your rejection of Marina’s alternate view, according to your understanding of the term, what a ‘true philosopher’ would do?

    • R

      The “neither accept nor reject” is related emphatically to philosophical principle. To put it more simply in other words – it means ‘bear it in mind;” this “neither……etc., is related to reason when one hears either an opinion or another philosophical principal; the function of reason is to see it or hear the opinion and “separate the untruth from the truth.” In common activities
      generally some opinions are held as true unless proven otherwise.

      Let me if I make this proposition to show you the power of habit it may have on an individual if I may? Suppose someone for the first time is unhappy about life in general? It speaks to friend, but it doesn’t really bring about happiness desired. So that someone goes to mother and father, then here too nothing lifts the spirit? Then by chance that person drinks alcohol for the first time by experiment. (mmh! mm! it taste good! that person may feel?), In that very moment the sadness disappears! But then alas! the sad spell comes back? Then the memory of that alcoholic experience comes to mind an again mmh mmh I was happier then so I will have little bit more? This command may seem a harmless at that time. The ecstasy happens again at repeat in intervals; So many experiences ensue? Then this desire to be liberated from sadness and drink becomes obsessive to the point of becoming sick; deeply engrossed in chronic sickness? Why doesn’t that person have the strength to say no to drink then? Do you follow so far the story? So the individual is presented a drying session or two out; is given expert advice but the person continues the habit because by that time the habit has become almost second nature. Or the person doesn’t wish to listen good advice in order to give up this self inflicted deterioration. So a second form of prevention is given e.g.. give up this painful habit and maybe eat peanuts instead? A substitute the habit which less harmful?

      Suppose a philosopher comes along and asks the question are you really
      satisfied with the burden? then he asks are you this drink? Are you this state of mind? Is that the real you? The at that moment in the present
      the answer from within may come affirmatively “No” Then by constant reasoning that person overcome the habit. Or depending on the force of habit the answer continues to play its drama. Do you follow so far the chain of events and see how habit forces itself more and more. Despite given plenty of advice from the external source. So in this illustration it shows the strength of the pleasurable seeking having poor effect? So the effect goes
      with scenarios becoming more elaborate. So the person faces death? Here the desire to drink not longer satisfies? So that person is force to give up the physical habit but what about the face of repeated force idea, scenario of drinking is to be dealt with then? The observer and enjoyer of may then see the futility of this habit then he drops it! Do you understand how habit may work itself on many types of inner dialogues a person may wish to hold unto. All along the individual had the possibility of following advice that is to ditch the habit or continue until thing are really desperate.
      This may be a means to put a separation between the real person and the acquired bad habit?

    • MARINA

      Dear MH, thank you very much for your answer. You have put my thoughts in nice English words :)

      The meaning of the word PHILOSOPHY is “love for wisdom”.

      I’m not a philosopher (not a practitioner). I only have university studies in philosophy. And yes, I love to search for wisdom.

      SES teachings, as a whole, are not wisdom. SES borrows (maybe the word is “steals”) the thoughts created by others to build a sick bulk of ideas expelled by people with NO training and NO knowledge at all about philosophy, with the sole idea of creating a court of adepts that will keep on paying for classes and working in the extensive real state collection in the richest countries world wide. I’ll love to see SES in Ghana, Kenya, Cambodia, Bolivia, Sri Lanka…

      As a consequence of the so-called SES “wisdom” I’ve lived with an “addict”. SES imposed in my family some habits and rutines that implied that partner abanoned every social meeting o dinner just to meditate 30 minutes at dawn, that he refused to attend family or friends gatherings because he had to go to do second line work at SES, partner could not go to theater or cinema or concerts or exhibitions due to SES tasks or meditation. Also he could not visit his mother at hospital or take his father to doctor. Also suffered some breakdowns because he did not meditate 30 minutes, he olny meditated 28 and that meant the he was in risk of damnation. His daugthers have been screaming and asking him to stop meditation and he has refused to do it. Daughters asked him every day , dad when are you going to meditate??
      The worst part was to see a loved one suffering and struggling to meet SES requirements and draging us to SES black hole

      My family and I have been subjected to SES tirany, exactly the same as being exposed to a drug addict or an alcoholic.

      Why should I support a cult that is causing such harm to my family and myself? Why should I respect that?

      My partner freedom ends where my freedom starts. He weren’t concious of that point until I told him that I respected his decision to be a SES member but he had to respect my decision to NOT share my life with a SES member. That day he started to think in another way.

      Wisdom is there to make you free, no to make you a wimp, a zombie, a slave.

      Best for you all

    • MARINA

      Great video. Thanks a lot.
      These AIS guys are smart. They’ve given me and partner very good advice.
      Today I have good news. Partner left SES around 2 months ago.
      Yesterday he told me that one of his classmates left school last Monday. It seems that his example is making people think and reflect. I have no further info yet.

      Have a nive day you all!!

  21. Neil

    I still have nightmares of sexual abuse, rape actually, I suffer from Complex Trauma, “Surely I can be forgiven for choosing a spiritual path” my mother says. A friend of mine is found in a shallow grave. On three separate occasions I have tried to get the police to do something about it all but nothing. They told me the abuse I’ve described, on this thread, is defined as “Sexual Assault”, I was told they wouldn’t let it drop. I’m told by them something very strange is going on here. I’m told one of the reports I made was sent to an officer who doesn’t seem to exist. One PC, I know to be a liar, didn’t even send that report I made…until I chased it up.

    David Cameron once said on camera, “No stone will go unturned”. What a load of bollocks that turned out to be.

    One thing is for sure though, THEY ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.


    • R

      With the proposition of “Lawman” allow me to ask these questions:
      1. If the victim is free of the so called aggressor, which is better? To stay free of it or go again into the so called aggressor’s domain and entertain a discussion, which is likely to biased. So caution and care needs to be taken here. Is that not common sense?

      2. To balance a damaged person against a larger satisfied group, and say
      in the long run the damage is minimal; does that solve the victim’s suffering? I would think not. This see saw or so called balanced judgement is not at all adequate in this case.

      3. You say the organisation has some faults which you admit; and you say in your experience “From my experience” you value the the organisation is fine, but to presume your experience is better than the victims experience
      is misleading? Is that not so? The situation may have been entirely different?

      To clarify my question to Bernard Kroczek:
      There are traditional customs of the land people follow and also personal habits persons develop.
      Now suppose these habits good or bad, are practiced by the individuals. If one person (A) of authority says to person (B) take my advice or my good habit or disciple, but turns to be on the contrary to be destructive, then, what should the recipient follow? Do you understand my question?
      This case is an interactive case; Suppose the child, so called “victim”is facing a negative charge or a bad habit; which is better to follow from the position of the child? To accept, or not go along with it? Do you understand my question?

  22. MARINA

    Dear Neil, I like very much you post, it is very energetic and positive.

    Regarding what you say about:

    “The rational understanding of our place in the evolutionary scale and memetics as defined by Professor Richard Dawkins may be found to be a turning point in a new age of intelligence rather than the belief in imaginary beings, could be useful. We are not saints we are perhaps clowns, act accordingly”

    Dawkings ideas are suggestive and I like them, for example “The God delusion”. The problem comes when you say “the rational understading”

    My partner says that the “rational” is limited. He defends with passion the spiritual self that he believes is superior to the brain, the mind, the material. He despises rationality. This way of thinking is the product of 5 years at SES. He still has this sense of superiority, being special and gifted thanks to a deep and well trained spiritual self and life.

    These ideas are very engrained and it seems to me that even that he has left SES (formally) he still defends this position as the last link he has with SES. He might be scared of reviweing these believes. He needs time and lots of love.

    I’m enthusiastic to read soon whatever you want to write. Congrats



    • Lawman

      Hi Marina, having been a member of the School of Philosophy, as it’s known in Australia for over 20 years, and whilst I agree with much of what Neil is saying in regards to SES, the same cannot be said about every branch which exists. Each branch is largely autonomous and the way the School is run is largely down the individual leader at the time. Personally, I have never been the subject of the types of abuses mentioned or even witnessed it. Obviously, there are commonalities throughout the whole organisation, as there are in the various Christian churches or Buddhist groups, but not all branches of SES behave in the same way. With the greatest respect to Neil, you have swapped one idea about SES, the one experienced by your partner for Neil’s experience of SES in London from the 70s and 80s. My understanding from some people I have spoken to at SES in London was that abuse certainly took place and that the Inquiry fell short of the mark and didn’t really deliver justice to those abused children.
      Having said that, the various Schools of Philosophy around the world present excellent material drawn from most of the main philosophical and religious traditions of the world.
      Never have I been asked to alter my will, or even heard of it being asked of any student in the branch I belong to.
      Certainly, in the past when a building was being purchased to accommodate the students donations were asked for, as they are in any other voluntary organisation.
      If you’ve ever attended Church, they collect a fortune every week when they pass the plate around. No one seems to complain.
      In fact the Catholic Church is by far the biggest owner of real estate on the planet, including the Royal family and we don’t hear too many complaints.
      Maybe the best thing you could have done was to attend the School with your partner then you could have discussed it directly with him having experienced it for your self. It’s very easy to leave, I have done done so my self in the past and returned of my own volition.
      No doubt the organisation has its faults, but from my experience the benefits from attending the School of Philosophy have far out weighed the faults.
      All the best.

      • R

        The point to consider is whether by discussion the head of branch will change its mind over difficulties such as described or whether it will stick to its view. Change of heart doesn’t always follow as habits may harden or melt away?

        • Bernard Kroczek

          What is the point you are making? Your comment makes no sense at all.

          • He’s still involved with SES, hence the mumbo-jumbo

          • MARINA

            yes! I thought that I wasn’t able to understand the post since English is not my mother tongue.
            Now I feel better because this confirms that the post makes no sense = nonsense



      • MARINA

        Thanks for your words Lawman. Of course every individual has his/her personal experience. Mine is very much alike as Neil depicts except for the child abuse given that in Spain there are no children schools.
        SES is a cult and cults are no good places to stay. SES brainwashes, SES uses people, SES abuses the good hearts and souls that go there looking for answers, SES neither cares nor considers the friends and families of SES members, SES is not transparent, does not practice fair play. SES is built on the foundations of the narcisism of a series of egomaniacs and con artists: Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Francis Roles, Maclaren, Maharishi…
        Are you familiar with Opus Dei? It is a catholic cult founded in Spain by José María Escrivá in 1928. SES was founded in 1938 only 10 years later Its main text is the one written by José María. The title is “The way”. Gurdjieff method was called “The work”. All seems to me very familiar.

        Why an adult individual would want to put in the hands of other person his/her believes? why he or she would allow that person to dictate how to behave, how many hours of sleep, who to date, how to seat, how to dress, what music to listen to, what to eat… why some people need a guru and let this guru to dominate them?? what is wrong with that people? (except for the children that were put in those schools by their parents) why critical thinking is discouraged and even punished in SES?
        Good for you if you have founded better people in Australia. Do you know Michael and Nina Mavro?? I’ve read some things very very disgusting about their practices in Australia. I don’t remember if it was in Sydney or Melbourne.

        My partner asked me to go with him to SES and I refused, of course. I read all the BS teached there (he gave me his papers) . Sorry but that is no Philosophy. It is an amalgam of ideas put together just to support the brainwashing. I have a university degree in Humanities (this includes studies of philosophy, art, history, economy, literature, history of religions…)
        Imagine that your partner were a drug addict and you are a doctor so you know the bad effects of drugs on health. Then he or she offers you to try some.. “oh come on.. just a little bit… it is not dangerous… you’re gonna like it…” if I accept I would be CODEPENDENT. That would be a lose-lose relationship
        I higly recommend to read “The God delusion” by Richard Dawkins.

        Al the best for you too!

        • Bernard Kroczek

          Marina, you seem very well informed for someone who has had no direct experience of the organisation except by way of the somewhat biased, possibly for good reason, views of others.
          Your mind is obviously closed to any form of alternate view, which is not how a true philosopher would see the world.
          Mavro was sacked by MacLaren from the Sydney School in the 1980s for the very behaviour you have described.
          People in Australia are no different from the UK, Spain or anywhere else in the world, they are all seeking ‘something’.
          Its true SES is not for everyone but rest assured its not the monster you have been led to believe, a belief you seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

  23. MARINA

    Thank you all again.

    Since I want to respect this blog rules, I don’t know how to proceed in order to get in contact in private with 97y454. Also I don’t want to bother Gojam and disturb the main topic of this thread with my personal worries.
    If possible I would appreciate if the host of “The needle” could send my email address to 97y454

    Have a great day!!

    • That I can do and have done.

      The rules are there to protect everyone from intrusion.

    • 97y454

      Dear Marina,

      I sent you an email.

      By the way, you wrote:

      “”The worse part of SES doctrine (at least the doctrine that is teached in Spain) is related to salvation: If you dont follow the Master, if you don’t attend sessions, if you don’t attend sanskrit lessons, if you don’t do second line work, if you don’t meditate twice a day dusk and dawn, if you don’t offer every single act you do to the Atman, you are condemned, you will burn in the flames of hell… but if you do all the things you master teaches.. then you are special, different,savvy,an elite, enlightened, a saint, better that others, you have been elected…”

      The doctrine of damnation and salvation taught by SES in Spain is precisely the same as taught at every other branch of SES in the world. Really, it is pure emotional blackmail from narcissists in the leadership positions who desperately need followers under their control. I don’t know what the AIS have recommended for your partner’s continuing recovery, but I would guess that understanding why this emotional blackmail exists will now help your partner recover.

      He’s made a huge sacrifice because the hooks they had in him were very real, even though the hooks were put into him by people with mental health problems. By going through this, by waking up, he’s more special than they are and has had to withstand a test that most people in the world never had to go through.

      • Neil

        You are responsible for your own recovery.
        Onora O’Neill’s lecture on Trust is where I started my recovery. I concluded from her lecture that without trust nothing could happen and therefore I had to learn to trust again.
        Grow up, harsh but true. Don’t be fooled by people using a psychological trick to trap you in a Father/Mother scenario.
        The rational understanding of our place in the evolutionary scale and memetics as defined by Professor Richard Dawkins may be found to be a turning point in a new age of intelligence rather than the belief in imaginary beings, could be useful. We are not saints we are perhaps clowns, act accordingly.
        The world is the most beautiful place, enjoy it and find friends who respect you for who you really are.
        The most important point I heard was,, “Don’t get bogged down.” Keep on moving but respect the times you need just for yourself. There genuinely are the most delightful, wonderful people away from this contemptuous, vacuous trap, that care.
        Empower yourself, write about your feelings but understand you are not alone. Find some strength in yourself before you may chose to publish, it may not always be a good idea! You are the most important person in your life.
        Go fishing.
        I’m going to write about all sorts of things. They don’t scare me now, I know the games they play (They are playing them now). Watch while they cook themselves and I eat them :)

        Anger is an energy – Mr John Lydon.

      • MARINA

        Thanks 97y454 for you comments, they comfort me.

        I like the way you depict how a person that has the courage to leave a cult is a kind of heroe. I will remember this idea anytime my partner seeks for validation of his achievement.

        You are right about AIS. They have a long and wide background surveilling and studing cults.

        They have explained in detail that SES procedures are not new nor original. SES mission, principles, brainwashing and blackmailing methods are exactly the same as other cults and high demmand groups along history and across geographies.

        Mr. Lambie if you think you are gifted and creative, you are not.
        Mr. Maclaren, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Maharishi were not gifted and creative either. Sorry for the bad news

        AIS exposed that cults respond to one single basic disorder: paranoia.
        There are different types of paranoia in pschiatry. One of the most recognizable is Megalomania.
        Megalomania is one of traces that conform Narcisissm. As you may see, this is totally aligned to what you say in your post

        AIS has recommended to cut all ties with SES and to live normally with all the potential symptoms he may suffer caused by this dramatic breakup. AIS has terapy services for recovery if required by any ex-cult member.

        Thanks again and have a nice day all!!!

  24. Neil

    The inclusion of a quote and reference to Lola Williamson in the Jyotir Math Wikipedia entry may have ruffled a few feathers at the Marylebone ashram which may explain the subsequent (but predictable) edit of the article.
    The edit of the quote and reference which said, ” Author Williamson writes that Shantanand was removed by the other Shankarcharya’s due to his “incompetence” and speculates that his relationship with the Maharishi may have been a contributing factor”, occurred just after my last post by someone claiming to be the author. The error has currently been corrected by somebody cosmic which you can view for yourself in the history page. I can’t imagine who may have attempted this particular cyber sabotage, I keep an open mind.
    Laura Hyde claimed in her 2015 lecture, “Forty years on”, that Shantananda was, “highly revered” but that has also now currently gone, coincidentally, as has any reference to either Shantananda or Vasudevananda.
    Anyway. Professor Lola Williamson has published her findings about these types of organisation, “Her book, Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion (New York University Press, 2010), uses Self-Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, and Siddha Yoga as case studies to argue that these and similar groups form a distinct category of new religion. Her edited volume with Ann Gleig, Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism (SUNY Press, 2014), examines the role of American-born teachers and gurus in creating a new hybrid “American Hinduism.”
    Reviews include, “Bringing together history and ethnographic interviews, Williamson argues that Hindu-inspired meditation movements are a distinct type of new religious movement, even if their followers and leaders may repeat the ‘mantra’ that they are ‘spiritual but not religious.'” – Religion Watch
    And, “The author explores the hybrid forms of spiritual practice that emerged in the West, especially in the United States, over the last century as a result of the encounter with Hinduism in its myriad forms.” – Frank J. Korom, Religious Studies Review.

    There is a real argument that these types of organisation be monitored and regulated, few can be found to be forthcoming with their true agenda and practices in a manner that you would expect from any other business.

  25. Neil

    “Forty Years On” and I don’t know who they think they are kidding. Perhaps this theosophic fiasco should consider that neither of their spiritual leaders are legitimate, as found in court in both cases, under their “Issues and criticisms”:

    All India can breath a sigh of relief as can the membership of Maharishi Maclaren’s schools:

    But, it begs the question how much money has been passed over the years by this “charity” to Mahesh, Shantananda and Vasudevananda taking into account their political ambitions? Why do they need a charity to promote Sanskrit and philosophy (or religious activities) in India?

    So, “Director of Education” sounds grand but in Laura Hyde’s February 2015 laughably rose tinted lecture she only goes to show how gullible, misinformed and misleading she really is. These people don’t change, they adapt. There has still been no resolution to the abuse we all suffered, there was a cover up. Essentially:

    ” David Boddy, their then chief spin doctor, actually lied to Channel Four News about nothing less than child abuse. No further evidence is needed to show the world what SES really is about.”

    • De Murry

      Guys Im not very familiar with forums. I was a pupil at St. James from the age of 4. I came from a family who all attended SES and were members of SES. Im trying my best just to write this comment but still 20/25 years after I started it affects me deeply. I genuinely feel like my childhood was stolen from me. I was abused phisically sexually and emotionally while I was there. I dont really know what else to say just that to anyone thinking of sending there children there, in whatever guise its presented, SES, St James etc, for gods sake don’t. Please don’t. My younger brother and sister both went there also and I did my best to protect them but there both messed up. If anyone can explain how these forums work a little better that would be really appreciated. I feel I can now share my experiences and maybe do some good. from D

      • M.H.

        ” If anyone can explain how these forums work a little better that would be really appreciated. ”

        This is really all there is to it. Do you have any other more detailed questions about how forums work?