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Is AEON a cult?
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fluffytwo



Joined: 24 Sep 2016
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
Teachers are not allowed to sit down during the lesson. At all. Four to five hours a day, every day. They must stand up the whole time. I find this extreme. But some may disagree.

You should try working in Japanese public schools. Although there isn't quite a ban on sitting, one usually has to stay on one's feet simply due to the need to demonstrate, direct, monitor etc etc.

As for acquiring and disseminating knowledge (if not ability) versus instilling behaviours, that could be an interesting discussion, but it might help if you had some actual experience of teaching first, and beyond method eikaiwa in general.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 242

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffytwo wrote:
rslrunner wrote:
Teachers are not allowed to sit down during the lesson. At all. Four to five hours a day, every day. They must stand up the whole time. I find this extreme. But some may disagree.

You should try working in Japanese public schools. Although there isn't quite a ban on sitting, one usually has to stay on one's feet simply due to the need to demonstrate, direct, monitor etc etc.

As for acquiring and disseminating knowledge (if not ability) versus instilling behaviours, that could be an interesting discussion, but it might help if you had some actual experience of teaching first, and beyond method eikaiwa in general.


As far as the knowledge vs. behavior priority goes, I wasn't referring to what one does as an instructor. I was and am referring to how one is treated and approached while training to be an instructor, and how you are treated as an instructor.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you suggesting that Aeon deliberately make you stand on your feet all day as a means of wearing you down, similar to the way cults try to psychologically break people down?

I have noticed cult-like aspects of eikaiwa: for instance, working you a ridiculous number of hours for low pay has the effect of grinding you down so that you're too tired to make a fuss. Though at the same time, they're really doing that to make every last yen they can out of you for themselves.

They also employ various means of controlling your behaviour: for instance, threatening to dock your pay if you jump ship before your contract ends, as a means of keeping you trapped on board; or the GABA negative evaluation system, where they berate you if a customer deems your lesson to be poor, just on a whim, and threaten your job if you get too many of them.

You could say that these tactics reflect some of the ways cults try to control their members, but I wouldn't say that it makes them cults. As well as trapping you inside them, cults usually have some sort of philosophy that they condition and brainwash you into accepting, and a charismatic leader who embodies this philosophy, and who you're required to venerate and obey. The only "philosophy" eikaiwa have is their teaching system. They're not trying to brainwash you into mindlessly accepting that. Plus, you're free to leave once you've finished your contract with them.
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 261
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do I bother? I have a few minutes to roll my eyes so why not.
Have you ever worked in a factory? A corporation? They often suck. But it's a job. Until you start your own business--and even then!-- sometimes you have to play a little game called Deal With It. Hopefully, after work and on days off, you will have the best effin time of your life, to compensate for the bs, the drudgery, the stupid ass managers, the dumb ass policies at AEON you keep bringing up. That's it.
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Maitoshi



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 711
Location: 何処でも

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you more worried about AEON being classified as a cult or about knowing things in advance of starting a position? If we concede the former, the latter becomes moot. I really wish I knew more about most positions I have accepted prior to accepting them. There is a LOT to know before starting most positions, so this would only be possible to a degree. A lack of transparency and cooperation cause problems for certain, though.
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fluffytwo



Joined: 24 Sep 2016
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
As far as the knowledge vs. behavior priority goes, I wasn't referring to what one does as an instructor. I was and am referring to how one is treated and approached while training to be an instructor, and how you are treated as an instructor.

Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a plus to be had in and/or from the actual doing though? You know, like, some sort of gain, possibly even a pecuniary one?

I mean, it could be worse, just look at poor old Ren and Stimpy in the classic episode 'Monkey See, Monkey Don't'. They didn't even get peanuts!
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 242

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maitoshi wrote:
Are you more worried about AEON being classified as a cult or about knowing things in advance of starting a position? If we concede the former, the latter becomes moot. I really wish I knew more about most positions I have accepted prior to accepting them. There is a LOT to know before starting most positions, so this would only be possible to a degree. A lack of transparency and cooperation cause problems for certain, though.


Most definitely the latter is much, much, much more important.

The former is a subjective opinion. Those interested in that can read past posts as they see fit. But things are what they are.

The latter (knowing things in advance before starting a position) is vital, because it affects the lives of people we don't even know.

What degree of conformity is required? What specific examples demonstrate this? Is the molding that one undergoes worth it?

There will never be a lack of applicants. However, applicants should have a clear-eyed understanding of what is expected of them.

For anyone who believes that these topics are off-limits, well, nature abhors a vacuum.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 242

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Transformer wrote:
Are you suggesting that Aeon deliberately make you stand on your feet all day as a means of wearing you down, similar to the way cults try to psychologically break people down?


I have thought about that question, and I am not 100% sure, but I believe the answer is yes. I really do.

I think there is an intense need for the organization to feel and actually be in control of the foreigners of their midst, so much so that they pursue behavioral requirements that serve no constructive business purpose.

Why the rule against folding one's legs? Why the bait and switch with working hours? Why are the walls in the training rooms always white? Why throw a huge amount of information at new employees when there is usually months to do it beforehand?

Why are employees asked questions when the answers are obvious? Why is every interaction rehearsed beforehand? Why are people told to smile and look happy, even when the situation may not warrant it?

The answer to all of these questions, in my opinion, relates to the need to control others. One explanation: Japan is a very xenophobic society, so the conditions placed upon hires, no matter how contrived, is better than the foreigners being...well....who they are. Another explanation: the need to conform is paramount in Japanese culture, and foreigners need to demonstrate that trait. (Of course, foreigners can never be fully Japanese, so it's strange to try to become a part of a group that will always consider you an outsider, but that's another question for another time.)

All of this leads to an organization and system that conducts itself like a low-level cult.

Alternative explanations are definitely welcomed.
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