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Friday, May 26, 2006

Smith's School of English, Japan

Mr Smith - he is beyond comparison. The biggest TEFL vulture to walk this planet. Some of what you read below will make your flesh creep. The only pleasant thing about reading what's below is the realisation that he peddles his pedagogical 'pornography' a couple of thousand miles away from me. Even so, the words below still make me feel very uncomfortable.

This guy should be checked out. He's selling franchises for 15,000 dollars, for which a teacher gets, well, I'm not sure what they get, and then they have to pay him $500 a month for admin, etc. It looks like a fairly major rip-off. I have heard many horror stories over the years, but I have never heard of teachers paying to be poor and sleeping in a classroom as an investment. This guy has taken it to lengths that your Skidrow on Sea shysters haven't even dreamt of.

I am putting together a piece about this guy, and the school he's trying to sell for over twenty thousand dollars that clears ... wait for it ... $500 a month! I wouldn't fancy trying to live off that even if I could sleep in the classroom. Yet he manages to lure people into investing in his set-up.

He charges $1,500 for a syllabus and training clocks in at $500 a day. This guy is so far beyond anything I have seen before. There may be worse somewhere, but I have never heard of it.

I suggest you pour yourself a very stiff one before opening the first link. I wouldn't recommend looking at the site while standing either. Make sure the bottle's near you for the odd top-up; you might well be there for some time, as there's a perverse pleasure in reading this one.

FURTHER COMMENTS

1) Thanks for mentioning my blog there. Anything to help get the word out about Mark Smith and his group is a boon to me and those he has exploited in the past and currently exploiting still. The comments section in the blog tell almost as much about Mark Smith as the pages do now since the man himself has been posting as aliases in comments since he couldn't get the bloghost to remove the blog itself.

2) I used to live in the Kansai area, where this Smith's scam is operated. The thing is just bad news on so many levels I don't know where to start. He advertises in all the local foreigner magazines looking for people to become "Coaches of communicative confidence" which means people willing to fork over tens of thousands of dollars and recieve nothing of value in return. Definite scam. Definite bad guy.

3) Yes, he's a shifty slut alright. I applied for a job there once, and his henchman (M) basically started putting the word out about borrowing cash, so I could buy up - through a Smiths financing scheme !! He has reached a high level of crotchrot in the EFL community over here in Japan, and is looked upon as being very very devious.

Click here for the soundtrack.

_______________________________________________________________

Inspector McHammered of the Lard

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60 comments:

Alistair! said...

truly scary, and the scariest thing is that he's not alone in the world.

Anonymous said...

He may not be alone, but have you run into his equal?

Paddy said...

OK, don't keep us in suspense - who is his equal?!

Smithwatch said...
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Bearcat said...
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Bearcat said...

By the way Smithwatch is CUP getting ready to nail Smith to the wall for plagiarism? It's going to happen soon, right? I know the material always had bits and pieces that may or may not be considered plagiarism. But there is one obvious section that is an exact duplicate. A slam dunk smoking gun. It's the quiz game on the traveling circus, right? I just heard about it but didn't see it myself. Can you verify?

Smithwatch said...

That's right. CUP is preparing their case for the Osaka district court set to proceed sometime in the fall. Already this case is taking its toll on the franchises as sales are dropping dramatically. It's a major distraction from their usual business activities. Stay tuned.

Actually, you are thinking of the quiz game about the traveling salesman, not the traveling circus.

Paddy said...

Hi Bearcat. Thanks for all the work. BTW are you still going to SIT? I thought you were finishing up in the spring?

senseiman said...
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senseiman said...

Anyway, Mark Smith belongs in prison. I have said this a number of times and it's my professional opinion. You don't need Mark Smith to run your school. When I was in Japan I checked them out but immediately found them to be a shady deal. Since I have a Japanese wife we started a school together and made a lot more money than we could ever with Mark Smith. In fact I made so much money that it financed law school. I'm back in Canada but I'll be monitoring this scum on a daily basis. My goal in life is to bring these scammers down.

If Mark Smith ever steps back here in Canada he'll really get it. In fact I hope I can be personally involved in his case since I work in the prosecutor's office. I have the authority to help bring Mark Smith down.

And the thing about the plagiarism, I can't wait for the outcome for that. He really deserves what he gets.

Over here now said...
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sosa said...

Take it easy. I'm mainly basing my opinion based on information I got from Smith's own website while researching. When did I ever say Mark Smith belongs in prison?

Who am I? said...
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OHN said...

the Smith's 80ish page core curriculum...

No, you must be talking about the old one then. I haven't been around long enough to see it and even if it were true then the situation is moot because it's not officially used now.

You are saying to date there is no trial scheduled? Then what is the next step and when?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Mr S and his underlings can't work out who Smithwatch/Bearcat is, the real one and not the fake ones here. The simple fact that they have no idea who he is suggests that there are so many disgruntled former franchises, even when we know he's American and male, that it is impossible to work out who would have a grudge against this wonderful company.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

UsingEnglish site posted an article on this subject:

http://www.usingenglish.com/speaking-out/english-teaching-franchises-2.html

Bearcat said...

Wrong. I will be in Japan again shortly as I have a new teaching post. The first thing I will do is visit the local CUP office for guess what? I will be getting busy preparing anti-Smith flyers to pass out during ESL seminars and the like, I even have some people helping me design a Japanese version to pass around near Smith locations to discourage students from joining. I look forward to coming back to Japan soon to finish what I started.

Smithwatch said...
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Bearcat said...

The day Smith's School of English becomes successful two things will happen. First pigs will fly. Second, I will become gay. In other words, it will never happen. They have so many problems they are expected to be forced to shut down by court order sometime in the next few months.

Smithwatch said...
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Smithwatch said...

Hey Bearcat!

Anonymous said...

Mark, you're talking to yourself again- you're pretending to be both Bearcat and Smithwatch, though they're one and the same and definitely not you. You haven't, however, stopped the internet from filling up with accusations about your company, which means that anyone who researches your company on the web before buying your franchises will be a lot less likely to do so.

Bearcat said...
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Smithwatch said...
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Senseiman said...
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Bearcat said...
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Smithwatch said...
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Anonymous said...

O jeeziz this is some goooood mojo, hombre, primo, having logged in a dozen years of EFL I find the site gets an Oscar for Reality Check and another for Best ESL Site of the year. You've done the homework, you've obviously been there, and are not anybody's boy spouting and spinning about a school. Thanks for the humour, the truth, and the making me laugh my sides off. sunzhi@hushmail.com

A.A.H. said...

Beware of Mark Smith. The eagle has landed with the evidence necessary to probably shut this guy down if not get him put in prison for deceptive business practices. He uses Mike and Deana to help him make his new sales with false information about materials and etc. He also threatens Japanese wives and tries to get money for work that amounts to nothing or is being poorly done by his office girls who are incompetent. If your thinking about investing with Smith don't are go through the hell we've been through and if you are currently in this cult get out and if you have to leave mark holding thebag on your school. mark must be stopped and this new and vital information confirming much of the past comments will prove a deceptive business practice on Mark's part against the japanese wives of franchisees.

Let's unite and meet to bring Mark down and get him jailed before he leaves the country.

Eagle after the mouse or snake (Mark)

A.A.H. said...

My Japanese wife and I are the proud owners of a Smith school and would like to sell immediately because of what we recently learned about Mark in these sites. Most of what is said about Mark and his deception we personally experienced with Mark. Mark is a person definitely exhibiting two personalities or a drinker and he does try to drive wedges between a married couple. Mark is also extremelynegative about Japanese wives of franchisees and their causing his system trouble when husbands learn the truth about how simple it is to divorce themselves from the Smith system and Mark and not their wives. We need to unite in these blogs and see that Mark goes to prison where he belongs and my wife and I have proof we think will put him there. He has used goons against me and whores and high school girls. He used Yakuza terminology when he threatened my wife for filing our own tax returns and discussing matters with Japanese tax authorities who helped us file our returns at no cost to us as opposed to Yuka doing it for 40000 Yen when it took ten minutes of work. But I personally know Yakuza and know Mark can't be Yakuza because he got beat up by franchisees in the past and the Yakuza didn't retaliate. I myself threatened to beat him should he ever threaten my wife again using those profane Yakuza terms and conveyed the message to him through Gavin and mark backed off. Who wants to help the eagle (united franchisees) devour the mouse (Mark).

Join this thread and we have what it takes now to bring Mark down and put him in jail within his own corrupt system.

Anonymous said...

If you're immediately trying to get out and sell, who would buy it knowing what Smith is and does? And as well Smith watches this site and others and most likely will try to prevent you from successfully getting out now that ou've stated what you have.

However, if your serious about things and getting the word out, Contact the Smithwatch site's admin at japanwatch(at)gmail.com to give your story for the site.

Recently a long running thread about Smith was locked on AACircle with the admin there stating that Smith gave him a face to face meeting stating that 100% of the information on the Smithwatch site and other sites about his was false.

http://www.aacircle.com.au/forums/f2/smiths-school-english-japan-3434/index15.html

Email AACircle or post a private message to the admin there with your or other people's stories to help show that the admin on AACircle has been similarly duped.

Anonymous said...

Selling it might not be that easy. Anyone who researches him on the internet will come across enough warnings to be very cautious. Craig's school has been on the market for several months now.

Anonymous said...

No, not duped, threatened. Mark's connections to the Yakuza did this. I know for a fact that Mark and some "associates" gave AACircle an "offer" they could not refuse if you know what I mean. The admin of AACircle is in Japan which helps indicate the obvious and in light of that it's no wonder Bearcat spares no effort in keeping his real identity a secret. Trust me, the information on the sites that expose Smith and his henchmen for what they really are is 100% true. It just shows how far they will go. If you value your money-no!...if you value your money and life then under no circumstances should you have any dealings with this group.

Anonymous said...

I see Marklings are back...

If someone has proof of admin on AACircle having capitulated send it to the Smithwatch site via the email above or post on the forum there as AAH did with the above same information to start a dialog.

With AAH getting out, that leaves only Ben Roche's aquisition of a school for 2006. And its not even counting the school Barry had opened in Tokyo in December of 2005 leaving during the 2006 year.

What's that 3, 4, Schools lost for 2006 for ole Mark's revolving door "proven system"?

3 Schools now for sale on the site too if I am not mistaken...

As a poster above mentions, Craig's school has been up for a very long time...

So if anyone is needing damage control, it would be Smith would it not?

Bearcat said...
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Franchisee said...

I also want to get out of the Smith's system A.S.A.P. But MS won't let me deal directly to a person who wants to buy my school and thus avoid the broker fee (one way MS makes so much money from his revolving system). I'm not complaining about the system itself. I've made good money from it and have the records to prove it. The call center is reliable and gets me students. I also sponsor my own visa so I don't need them for that. I just want to return to my home country since it's about time to get on. When MS caught word of my intended action to sell directly he started harassing me about it. Not with mysterious black imported cars as what Scott S. claims or other BS claims by bearcat, but with threats of my franchise getting taken away from "contract violations" before it even has a chance to be sold. This is the real story. The earnings potential from Smith's is real, at least compared to regular English teacher jobs. But what I'm going through now makes it almost not worth it. You feel you are in this franchise cage.

Franchisee said...
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Arnie A. said...

Again we are the proud owners of a Smith franchise at Hiyoshi and we can not in good faith sell it to anyone.

My previous post received no positive or trustworthy replies. I want to talk with only people who are not afraid of Mark Smith's Yakuza tactics and want to see this man brought to justice. My target is present owners of a Smith franchise who have have experienced his psychological mind games and want to find out who Mark Smith really is and why he is able to continue to operate in Japan with all the hundreds of pages of negative blogs against him.

Please if you're thinking about a Smith franchise system do not give Mark Smith any of your money since his curriculm and help at head office are all a joke. He will use a Mike and Deana to make you think you can make big bucks. They are in on his game. Come see what we have and hear what we have been through.

I do not want to deal with people hiding behind an alias. By the way, people with the Foreign Business Association are aware of his tactics and watching him so don't be afraid of him sending anyone to your door or whatever else he has done to others in the past.

Arnie

scotty said...

Smith's was the company to which I paid 1,000,000 yen in Jun 2003.

I worked there doing flyers and teaching. Then management, teaching and flyers.

I became Mark's Mentee as part of a 'Business Mentorship Program'. In this course, he 'claimed' he would teach x, y , z to wannabee businessmen and women in Japan.

He didn't teach it. I worked 70-80hour/week for 10months for him at Smith's School of English Japan.

I spent lots of time with this 'Businessman'. I studied how and why he operates his company. How he deals with people.

Then I found out his real history, and what he really does to people with whom he deals.

Mark Smith is ethically and principally below the level of 99% of the human beings on this planet. He does know this, but he has developed a multi-layered onion ring style protection around his real personality and intent to serve purely to make money for him.

Whatever the cost to others.

As a gaijin in Japan, you have to think very, very carefully about giving money to someone like Mark John Smith.

He will talk as smooth as honey. But ask him questions about his past, and watch the real "Mark Smith" come out.

Scotty Spargo

scotty said...
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scotty said...
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Anonymous said...

What is the point scotty of copy/past spamming things from the Smithwatch site? Doesn't that just gum up comments and annoy people?

Referring to the information is one thing, but that's just overload.

scotty said...
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scotty said...
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Anonymous said...

Scotty,

As the previous comment said, you are doing yourself a dis-service by endlessly copying and pasting things. All of this is readily obtainable on the http://smithwatch.nanobit.net/ website. It does get tedious. Why don't you try writing something new instead of copying and pasting in this irritating manner? All you are doing is irritating those who are against Smith, while adding fuel to his fire about your reliability. You don't even bother to sort out the formatting issues, so it doesn't read well. Please stop it.

scotty said...
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scotty said...
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anon. said...
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scotty said...
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scotty said...
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scotty said...
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Anonymous said...

Great.... now it looks like Smith (or one of his people?) is spamming page after page of comments from other places.

Do those wankers ever get a clue?

Inspector McHammered of the Lard said...

Spring is in the air and pruning time has now arrived!
This thread has become an overgrown and rambling thicket.
Perhaps someone can enlighten the Inspector so that he can edit everything into a coherent tale and squash any Smith grubs that might be lying about.
If Smith is spam posting, just me know where, what and who and I will get my secateurs out.
I've allowed quite a few long postings of late without really paying attention to detail (after all there are 70 comments) so perhaps now is the time to do a spot of pruning.
Better late than never!

Anonymous said...

Inspector,

I can tell you a few ways to discern things but I don't want to give Smith grubs(I like the term maggots more)manner by which that can be done. Contact the Smithwatch site owner via japanwatch(AT)gmail.com and I can give such info. Or contact Richard over at UsingEnglish as he can then forward on to me and I can then pass on to him such if you'd prefer.

In the short, I assume your blog page is setup to discern IP addresses of posters. Doing a whois lookup on those should turn up a some information.

Anonymous said...

It's still Smith and his cohorts at work. These people will never stop.

I'm sorry the Inspector is going through so much BS from this twisted bunch. However, if you want clarity then please go to:

http://smithwatch.nanobit.net/index.php

It's the complete truth on Smith.

Please note that Smith was named Worst Franchise for 2007.

Please stay tuned. The webmaster will have some new and exciting info for all to see. You won't be disappointed.

Inspector McHammered of the Lard said...

Phew! Pruning is hard work.
Apologies if anyone's genuine comments have been deleted but there you go.
Endless copying of material from other sites has been trashed, mindless rants have been binned, countless repetitions have been deleted etc. etc.
I suspect that one of the intentions was to make the thread unreadable. Well at least it won't take so long to read now!
I might have to return with the secateurs in a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Inspector,

Thanks for the pruning of all that.

Comments by senseiman/sosa are not the person they claim to be. Nor is the content. Sosa on gaijinpot or better yet senseiman on letsjapan.org (private message system in the forums)can be contacted (or by the mentioned address in an above comment) you can get the email address of the real guy who will tell you he never made those comments.

The claims of smuggling etc are bogus. The soka group claims are bogus. The court claims for the plagarism are bogus, though the fact they plagarized from a grammar text from CUP is not bogus.