Look, if everyone who used Heisig used it as part of a balanced, carefully-planned long-term Japanese study program, that would be great.
The problem is that while 3-6 months may not be a very long time when compared to the many years it will take to master Japanese, it's still an extremely long time for a beginning student to spend on a task with no immediate benefits -- a task which is completely divorced from the ultimate goal of actually reading Japanese. That time could be much better spent getting started internalizing Japanese grammar and sentence structure, which is just as much (if not more) of an obstacle to mastering the language as kanji.
Heisig pretty much comes out and says, "Hey, the biggest obstacle to learning Japanese is kanji. Learning the kanji -- all of them! -- is _so_ important that you should devote months and months of your time to systematically learning the kanji -- and only the kanji -- before you even think about doing anything else. And learning the kanji is _so_ difficult that you should focus on just learning the characters themselves and a single English keyword for each of them before we even talk about how they're used in the Japanese language."
I just think this (all of it) is false and misleading to learners -- it's really that simple.
1) I'm beginnig to see why this debate goes round in circles, everyone has a death grip on their assumptions.
Hesig is not just for beginners. So a statement like: "it's still an extremely long time for a beginning student to spend on a task with no immediate benefits" is true in as much as it relates soley to beginning students. Period.
Not every student who picks up Heisig's book is a beginning student.
Not every student who finishes Heisig's book is a beginning student.
Are you saying that the posters in this thread, who have explained in some detail how Heisig has helped them, were complete beginners when they started? Are they the exception to this mysterious "law" that every Heisig user is a rank beginner? That every Heisig user must be protected from themselves? Just asking.
2) Love the straw man arguments!! There are always so helpful.
Heisig pretty much comes out and says, "[Hey I'll make up my own interpretation of what he says and pass it off as his own words in quotations, too!!!! emphasis all his, or mine, or whatever, Dooder!!!]"
I just think this (all of it) is false and misleading to learners
" -- it's really that simple."