In April 2012 I received emails from two former TBI Bekasi teachers. They both made very similar allegations against Binsar Simorangkir, the school manager. Binsar didn’t pay promised wages, personal property was stolen from teachers time and again, female staff reported being sexually harassed and there were threats of violence and arrest if the teacher tried to get away from Binsar’s control. It was unlikely that one person would make up such a story. That two people would invent the same mutually corroborating tales was impossible. Shocking as it was, TBI Bekasi was even nastier and brutish than Head Office.
I thought then that the whole Bekasi scandal was going to be a test of character for Luke and Mariam. Would they step up and acknowledge that terrible abuses had occurred? A person of conscience would have wanted to clean up the mess and extend a helping hand to these victims of Binsar’s threats and intimidation. But instead ‘Michelle’ started mocking the grammar of the witness statements, laughing at them as whingers and finally, many months later, started alleging they were fakes. It was for us confirmation that TBI Head Office was a ruthless operator who would accept anything from a core member of their mafia. TBI teachers and most managers are expected to be professional but school owners and Head Office managers can behave like degenerates. This was the truth which TBI inadvertently admitted at this point.
The thing that you should know about TBI is that the cuddly mascot and the fine words about education and building Indonesia’s future is just an elaborate cover: their handling of the Bekasi scandal is the best proof of it. They don’t even pretend to investigate abuses if they are committed by someone in the inner loop of corruption. Head Office and the school owners can do anything to their teachers and staff and Mariam Kartikatresni will accept it. The real TBI way is impunity for the few. Anyone who questions the right of Binsar, Luke or Mariam to deceive and lie is immediately branded as an irrational or even crazy. The whole oprresive machinery of vilification and character assassuination cranks into gear and the person’s grammar, plausibility, character and even existence are questioned in an attempt to protect the TBI Mafia’s own. People who are ‘above the line’- school owners and Mariam’s clique, basically- are viewed as having a God-given right to use and abuse. People who are ‘below the line’ are sneered at and viewed as having no rights. It is really a textbook case of a dysfunctional, toxic company.
If you are successful in business but critical of Mariam, you have no future. They talk about sales, profits and customer service often enough, but this is part of the sham- the shiny facade of The Bullshit Institute. If you achieve these ‘KPIs’ but don’t kowtow to Mariam’s gigantically inflated ego, you won’t go anywhere. To be accepted you need to be willing to turn a blind eye to abuses by other members of the inner loop, the TBI Mafia.Luke lost two schools at the end of 2012. He is a clear failure in real terms but he is willing to sell out other expats to protect Mariam and Binsar, so he is judged as an ‘acceptable bule’ by these people. Mariam’s values are so twisted and distorted that agreeing with her right to rob and plunder TBI is actually regarded as a virtue. Whities who agree with her corruption are praised for their ‘multicultural tolerance’, which is a sick way of saying, ‘tolerance of my moral turpitude’. The real key to lasting inside TBI is callousness to other people. Therefore, we read in the recent report that Luke was giving fresh business to Binsar at the same time as allegations from Binsar victims were being ignored. Luke is on the side of the exploiters, deceivers and tax evaders who control TBI and this is why he he rose so high in TBI. He doesn’t care less about teachers or education, which made him a good fit for these people. TBI actually couldn’t care less about its staff and teachers, and this is their Achilles heel: their past abuse of others is what is finally bringing them down.