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Is AEON a cult?
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
The Solar Strength award deems this thread worthy of discussion.

The Solar Strength award is higher than any other award, and it deems that the fat-chris award is a scam. The fat_chris award merely awards anti-gaijin posts for being anti-gaijin and does nothing to support those who post their problems or concerns here, all the while posing as insightful and authorative on all things TEFL Japan.

So, be on the look out for anti-gaijin posts from those who are no longer even teaching or living in Japan!

Oh ... behave.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2522
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
The Solar Strength award is higher than any other award, and it deems that the fat-chris award is a scam. The fat_chris award merely awards anti-gaijin posts for being anti-gaijin and does nothing to support those who post their problems or concerns here, all the while posing as insightful and authorative on all things TEFL Japan.


Nope! Not at all.

Solar Strength wrote:
So, be on the look out for anti-gaijin posts from those who are no longer even teaching or living in Japan!


Huh? Como?

Cool

Warm regards,
fat_chris


Last edited by fat_chris on Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2522
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah! Seven pages and this thread is still going strong.

Maybe all who post on this thread are adherents of a certain kind of cult.

Twisted Evil

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 445
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, you deserve better than that.
Just because you live in China, doesn't mean you can't comment.
I met you in Yoyogi two years ago, and I know your experience in Shizuoka.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2522
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
Chris, you deserve better than that.
Just because you live in China, doesn't mean you can't comment.
I met you in Yoyogi two years ago, and I know your experience in Shizuoka.


Indeed! Thanks mitsui. You read my mind.

I do remember our meeting quite well. I still am thankful for you giving us your time for the event I organized for the JALT National Conference that year. Much appreciated. Hope you are well.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 445
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I need a job for next year.
I am considering Teach for America. I need to be certified, so it is one idea.
Of course, if I can stay here, I will. I do get tired of moving around and paying for key money.
I think I prefer high school teaching.

It is getting more and more difficult to find a decent job here.
One former colleague of mine is in Ningbo and is doing well.

By the way, do you live in the same region where pandas live?
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2522
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
Well I need a job for next year.
I am considering Teach for America. I need to be certified, so it is one idea.
Of course, if I can stay here, I will. I do get tired of moving around and paying for key money.
I think I prefer high school teaching.

It is getting more and more difficult to find a decent job here.
One former colleague of mine is in Ningbo and is doing well.

By the way, do you live in the same region where pandas live?


Mitsui,

I did a Teach for America type program in the NYC for three years. Got NYS K-12 TESOL certification--was good to get. Those programs can be tough but they can offer good benefits so it's worth it to give them a look.

I hear you about having to move around and pay key money all the time. For the birds.

China is good. I am in Sichuan, home of the pandas. May end up staying in China for a while. I hear Ningbo is a good place. Worth looking into.

Keep keepin' on man.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of people objected to my use of the term "cult".

One person called it needless hyperbole. Someone else asked if AEON concerned themselves with controlling what one does after work hours and with whom to associate. (They do not.) Another person said that other eikeiwa companies use the same tactics. Another person said in effect that it was just me saying these things, so unless other people back up what I say, it does not mean much.

But there were a lot of comments that seemed to buttress my points.

One person who disagreed with my characterization also said that "during the interview, the interviewer said they want a teacher they can mold and follow the AEON way."

Another poster said that "Aeon definitely has a 'method' that all teachers must adhere to or risk getting whacked on the head." (The person did not mean that one would be physically hit, of course, but the meaning is clear.)

Someone else said, "Critical thinking must be avoided in such workplaces."

Still another poster said, "The individual is largely sidelined for the great good of the company - individualism is suppressed at every turn. People who can't cop it cop out."

Pitarou objected to my description of AEON as a cult. However, in another post, he described how new hires have to adjust to "extreme conformism."

I personally discussed my situation with a former AEON teacher. He stated, "I don't think the company is a cult, but I understand why people on the outside would think that."

Someone else said nothing untoward happens during training. I do not agree. I think the whole process is undignified and shabby and cultish and it needs to be exposed. I have worked and lived around the world. I have never confronted anyone as committed as AEON was to claiming sovereignty over my inner space. My personal experience may not be the norm, but AEON's tactics remain the same. So it should be up to potential hires to know what to expect, decide if it is for them, and then thrive by being informed and empowered.

My favorite quote from this topic comes from someone who said, "If people are going to come over and work for a company like NOVA, AEON or GABA, they better have a good idea before signing on what is in store for them in terms of being monitored and indoctrinated."

Exactly. The problem is that new hires aren't told what is in store for them. If they use these tactics in order to foster standardization, fine. But since they automatically assume that their way is for the benefit everyone, people on forums like this have to speak up.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh FFS. Stick a fork in it already. Rolling Eyes

If AEON is a cult, then so's Disneyland.


Last edited by Pitarou on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 653
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must say, this is the first time I have heard anyone complain much about AEON. Most of the teachers I have met personally seemed generally content with their jobs. Nothing like the whinging I heard about the old Nova.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what monomania looks like, folks:

* finds an ACTUAL AEON TEACHER!!!

* asks, "Is AEON a cult?"

* gets answer, "I don't think AEON is a cult."[1]

* cites this as evidence that AEON is a cult

---

[1] Please forgive the selective quoting.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
Must say, this is the first time I have heard anyone complain much about AEON. Most of the teachers I have met personally seemed generally content with their jobs. Nothing like the whinging I heard about the old Nova.


Well, regarding Nova, they collapsed in 2007 after over expanding and some funny business regarding accounting practices. Thousands of teachers were left unpaid, and hundreds of thousands of students paid for lessons without ever being taught. So I think the whining was justifiable.

Many, indeed the majority of AEON hires, may have no problem or are content enough with working there. There is also a minority of teachers who leave before their contract expires. I don't know the statistical breakdown one way or the other.

When one looks at events in Syria or the Central African Republic, the conduct of Japanese eikeiwas obviously pales in comparison. Nevertheless, companies like AEON (GABA and Interac and others as well) need to be scrutinized and criticized if they are going to treat foreign teachers like objects to be pushed around.

Readers can decide for themselves what to think and believe.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
When one looks at events in Syria or the Central African Republic
Shocked
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
rslrunner wrote:
When one looks at events in Syria or the Central African Republic
Shocked


My point was that the tactics of Japanese eikeiwas are not atrocities, or crimes, and not even close to it.

Nevertheless, they deserve greater scrutiny, and since most posters don't or won't do so, I decided to pick up the slack.

Pitarou, you said that in another post that in order to work in Japan, one must adapt to an environment of "extreme conformism". How do new hires need to conform? How is this required conformity extreme?
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
Pitarou, you said that in another post that in order to work in Japan, one must adapt to an environment of "extreme conformism". How do new hires need to conform? How is this required conformity extreme?

Japanese workers emulate their superiors and adopt the company image and culture at a level of detail that would seem absurd to Westerners. Foreigners are often given more leeway, and not all schools are run along Japanese lines, but until you hear otherwise you can assume that this is what's expected of you. Certainly, it's what the Japanese customers will expect.

This is basic knowledge. It's Japanese business culture 101. The fact that you didn't know about this before you came to Japan is entirely your fault. (As is the fact that you surrendered your visa. There was nothing to stop you from staying and eking out a living with GABA until you could find a better job.)

I'm telling you this because you should understand that your efforts to warn new teachers are wasted. Those who bother to do basic research don't need your help; the information they need is already there for the taking. Those who prefer to walk in blindly, the way you did, are beyond anyone's help.
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