Ancient archway in the gardens at Waterperry
“Choose well, your choice is brief, and yet endless.”
The School has been the subject of criticism on occasions. In 1983 a book by two journalists entitled ‘Secret Cult’ alleged, among other things, that the School was a secretive, cult-like organization seeking to ‘penetrate the corridors of power’ via the Liberal Party. Other allegations have subsequently been made from time to time. These allegations greatly misrepresent the aims and activities of the School, but they have alerted it to the need to provide more information about its courses and associated activities. This can be found elsewhere on our web site.
In 2005, adverse publicity arose following publication of an independent report into the conduct of some teachers between 1975-85 at the St. James independent schools which had been founded by Leon MacLaren in 1975. This inquiry, commissioned by the present St James Governors, found that there had been unnecessarily harsh and unreasonable treatment of some boys during that period. The St James Governors accepted the report’s findings and unreservedly apologised for the mistreatment. The current Leader of the School of Economic Science also apologised for any part the School played in this. Further details are available at http://www.iirep.com/.
In one way or another, criticisms levelled at the School have often arisen from a misunderstanding of the ideas surrounding ‘ego’. Ego is closely connected with ‘individuality’, which can mean that the notion of overcoming egotism is taken as eliminating a person’s individual nature. But this is not at all the philosophical point intended. It is rather a question of seeing in experience how self-limiting ideas, and selfish desires pursued without regard for the welfare of others, block the expansion of freedom in the individual and create disharmony and division between individuals and communities. When understood in this way, it becomes obvious that efforts to rise above selfishness and limiting ideas bring about greater freedom for the individual to express his or her unique nature more fully, and in a way that embraces and fosters the welfare of all.
We very much hope people wanting to know more will feel they can make up their own minds about the School and what it has to offer. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.