Are We Trying to Close Down TBI?

Yesterday we featured an interesting post from a former TBI Bekasi teacher. (See yesterday’s post). In it he mentioned that some people are concerned about this blog because they feel our true agenda is to close down TBI. The teacher mentioned that his intention in regularly contributing to this blog was not to try and close TBI down, but to try and improve it by weeding out certain disreputable and unprofessional individuals who have been damaging its reputation. I endorse these sentiments, with one reservation. At first I thought there was a chance that Mariam would oust Luke if she knew how much he had back-stabbed her and everyone else, though I must admit I now have little hope that this company will ever reform. They have now had 18 months of negative feedback from former managers and teachers but they have not removed Binsar or Luke- the main two ringleaders of unethical and even allegedly criminal dealings. I would suggest that they are so arrogant that they are deaf to criticism and actually have bought their own hype about how brilliant and successful they are. Because, according to their highly unrealistic self-image, they are wonderful (“Study English with the BEST“), anyone who criticizes them is deranged, unstable, overly emotional and hence deserving of contempt. There is a circular logic to it and they go around and around in circles, defending patently false positions and viewing people who tell the truth about them as arsonists.

So if we regard the company as pretty much a lost cause in terms of ethics and responsibility, is our goal to close it down? Absolutely not. Our intention was never to”close down TBI”. To imagine that you could close down an institution with around 6,500 students, 16 schools and revenue of several million dollars a year, just by blogging about them, would be a huge form of conceit. From the start Luke and his goons were screaming, “300 jobs are at risk”, and, “They’re lunatics out to get anyone they can”, and other sensationalist, alarmist stuff which was aimed to sow fear in a school chain stocked full of illegal tecahers on VKUs. They knew that if people were afraid, they would be more likely to look to authorities at TBI as their “protector”. Yet did these hysterical claims that TBI was in danger of closing down ever make sense? I don’t think so. I have seen former TBI manager Helmy V. hand over 5 million rupiah to a corrupt government official from Manpower when he caught an illegal teacher working at TBI Kelapa Gading. This is Indonesia we are talking about. Being caught with illegal teachers who don’t pay any tax etc. is time to break out the wallet and grease the palms. It doesn’t mean the school is going to close down.

But schools have closed you say! TBI Semarang, TBI Malang and TBI Cengkareng. Yes, they have, but that is very little of our doing. TBI Semarang was robbed blind by Helmy V., allegedly a relative of the former Franchise manager, and his roaming hands and incompetent management were also a curse on the school. TBI sent it a dud manager due to typical USG nepotism and it never recovered. Like most franchise owners, the owners of TBI Semarang despised TBI for their empty promises and thieving ways. Our blog may reinforced their negative opinions, but it was not the cause of the closure.

How about TBI Malang? Let’s be unequivocal about this. TBI Malang closed because of the lies, intimidation and bullying of Mariam Kartikatresni and Luke Preece. Their joint venture partners broke the contract and literally kicked TBI out of the building after Luke and Mariam tried to threaten the manager into resigning. Immediately after this happened, Mariam lost her job as TBI Director and Luke lost control of TBI Franchise schools. It can’t be a coincidence that they were both demoted just a week after TBI Malang’s joint venture booted them out of Malang complaining of their arrogant and unprofessional style. The original school is still there, with most of TBI’s former students doing business much as always. It is known as The Boston Institute. This whole debacle is blamed on TBI Head Office.

In short, it is TBI Head Office’s arrogant, unprofessional conduct which is a threat to everyone who works for them. They allow rogues like Luke and Binsar to torment, stalk, exploit and lie at will with barely a slap on the wrist if they get caught. They lie to their own business partners, ruining their reputation in the process. They don’t learn from their mistakes when things go wrong. Instead Luke leads his goons into a boring character assassination attack, whereby the people who tell the truth about them are predictably labelled, “psychotic”, “widely hated”, “unpopular”, “unbelievable”, “delusional”, “paranoid”, and so on. If you believe what they say, TBI has now employed many dozens of “crazy” former teachers. AT TBI, the definition of crazy appears to be, “Someone who tells the awful truth about us.”

So if we aren’t trying to close down TBI, what is our aim at this point? My aim, quite simply, is to tell the truth about them. They have attacked me, my partner and the reputation of many other people. They have invited us into their homes, professing friendship and then pulled out the knives later, forging my partner’s resignation in a criminal act. It’s just completely unacceptable. The parallels with TBI Bekasi, where Binsar posed as a Christian family man, while “grooming” young girls and robbing teachers, is very clear. These people abuse, exploit, defame and defraud and think they are clever for getting away with it. The organization as a whole has protected the worst offenders, becoming increasingly complicit with the sleaze and rot. If TBI feels this is the way to prosper, they are grossly wrong-headed and will only continue their downward spiral. Until such time as they reform themselves, the best we can hope for is to warn new teachers not to enter “the danger zone” of TBI Bekasi or any of their group schools really. Judging by their chronic recruitment problems, our success is warning off newcomers has been huge.

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