More Predators than in the woods

Edited to add a comment by Bruce Kelley at bottom.

An opinion blog post by D.W. "Darkwing" Lee

We're not talking about this Predator

Or these type predators.
I've been around the Online Bigfoot Community since the early days of the Internet, and I have seen plenty of people come and go.  I am an avid supporter of what Steve Hyde once wrote about "Six things a new Bigfoot researcher should think about", and one of those things is that you will meet all sorts of people in the community.  Steve is right 1000%, you meet all types, from sheeple, to woo, to flesh and blood, and especially the predators.

What the F*ck, D.W.?  Predators?  Predators are only in the woods many say.  Well, normally I would agree with you, but today we are going to talk about the predators that are in the Bigfoot Community.  

Over the years, I have encountered a great many predators in the Bigfoot Community, and sad to say, most are still a part of this community, still preying on the sheeple as if it was nothing more than a game to them.  But with the advent of Facebook, these predators have increased in number.

Some range as trolls in the numerous online Bigfoot forums/Facebook groups, silently watching for those that they can prey on.  It may take them months or even years, but they begin building a profile on their prey, knowing everything they can.

Others are self-aggrandizing (The act or practice of enhancing or exaggerating one's own importance, power, or reputation.elf-aggrandizing), who try to establish a personality cult and use this to get their prey to fall in line with what they say.   

Some of those who self-aggrandize may point out, that because of this blog, I may be guilty of that.  Maybe folks, but I am just putting this information out there, what you do with it, is your own business, I just hope that it saves someone from being preyed upon.

I will also admit, that I have found myself preyed upon by these same predators that I'm talking about, and if someone assumes that my post is about them, if they are affected by them, then they are obviously guilty of being a predator. 

Most predators have their own agendas that they try to force you into believing in, and most of the time, the prey gets involved in "group think" social issues.  Where others in the group are doing it, saying it, believing it, and eventually you begin to do the same, all along the lines of "group think or peer pressure".  Watch the following video to see how this works, it was a social experiment that truly shows how online predators can get you to follow their rhetoric.  They will have others go along with their views, eventually luring others into following blindly.

The girl in the video not only fell into line with what was going on, she actually carried it over to another group of people who were not even in on the experiment.   This is what happens to most Facebook groups for those who are what many predators consider "sheeple" those who do not have the capacity for independent though when confronted by others.  They simply fall in line.  And in effect, they become puppets who the predator can pull their strings.
Now I know I have used "sheeple" to describe those in the community who fall prey to these predators, I thought long and hard how to label these folks, and in the end, I used the most common known word for people who are easily led.  
A certain professional in the mental health profession has really cranked up his predatory skills, perhaps relying on his training in the profession to exploit the mindset that a predator looks for.  The group thinking in the group he runs, is almost overpowering once you get in.  And anyone who has a different opinion or way of thinking, either conforms to the group think, or gets bounced and unmercifully attacked.  Once again, the way is to exploit the "sheeple" of the community.
A new entry into the Bigfoot Community as a predator has come from a man who supposedly runs a wilderness adventure guide service, who came onto the scene of Bigfooting little over a year ago.  Many groups allowed him in at first, and saw a large number of posts that were little more than advertisement for his guide service.  I then suspect he realized the potential for more customers by appealing to the Bigfoot Community in hopes of luring more people to go on his guided tours of the woods.
It didn't take long before many of the old timers saw through his exploits, and called him on his so-called evidence that was easily debunked by those who took the time to examine it.  Once called out on his poor evidence, he would attack anyone who question him, and sought hard to make them look like the bad guys for daring to question his evidence.
As an admin for the State Bigfoot groups on Facebook, I removed him from them, I didn't want to give him an avenue to lure more prey to his lair.  While many have condemned me for it, right or wrong, I did it to protect people from being lured into something that could be dangerous.
Others have sought to become celebrities in the Community by posting thousands of "purported" Bigfoot photos, or that they are having a habituation situation at their house.  I have personally had run-ins with both kinds.  The "purported" Bigfoot photos show nothing that could ever be considered substantial as proof, yet they begin to build up a following of people who want so bad to either be a part of something related to Bigfoot, or falls into the group think from others who have suffered the same fate.  Remember the girl in the video above? 
Now let's talk about habituations.  I, for various reasons, don't believe in about 90% of the habituation stories that have accumulated over the years.  For all the activity some people claim to have happened, this is not one little dab of evidence ever produced to back up any of these claims.
Back about 10 years ago, Driveroperator and myself was introduced to a lady who was claiming to have Bigfoot on her property by perhaps one of the largest predators in the Bigfoot Community.  This predator claimed that this woman had the next biggest thing going on in Bigfooting.   So DO and I arrived at the lady's house and realized as soon as we got there, that this was not on the up and up.
You see, the lady lived on 4 acres of land, it was 1 acre wide, by 4 acres long, completed overgrown with underbrush and piled up with junk.  On all 4 sides of her property were half million dollar homes with well-manicured lawns, and it was all situated on a peninsula that was used as a recreational area for the lake that was just a 1/4 mile from the property itself.
The lady told us that she had up to a dozen Bigfoot continually going through her yard, using the underbrush as cover.  DO and I begin crawling through the underbrush looking for trails where they could have been going through out, even though our doubts about her claims were foremost on our minds.  The only game trails we found were small game, rabbits, possums, raccoons, etc. but to satisfy the predator that had gotten us involved in this mess, DO put out three trailcams for a 60 day time period.   After 60 days, guess what?  Absolutely nothing.  He had covered the area pretty well with his cameras and anything crossing the property would have been caught on the camera.
What sealed the deal though on the lady's claims being false, was that she had told me that her neighbor (on the side of her property where she claimed the Bigfoot were coming through on) had built a brushpile on his side of his fence, and would be seen out there going to it in his ghillie suit.
 I traveled over there during the day to talk to the neighbor, unknown to the lady or the predator, and what I found out sealed it for me.  The neighbor admitted that he was trying to scare the lady into selling her property by making her think she had monsters crossing on her land.  Him and the other land owners around her wanted her to sell out and move away so they could clean up the property since it devalued their own property.  Exactly where the lady said she would see the Bigfoot at, was underbrush about 5 foot wide, the neighbor would walk back and forth in hopes she saw him and thought it was a monster.
Here is an aerial view of the property, I don't think I am revealing the location because it's just of the area around the property, nothing hopefully revealing.  (1) is the lady's house.  (2) is the neighbor with the ghillie suit, (3) is the narrow strip of vegetation between their houses. (4)(5)(6) is where the trail cams were set up.  
Well he succeeded at making her think that.  Once I found this out, I told DO, and he retrieved his cameras and despite the predator screaming at the top of his lungs that we needed to devote all of our resources to this habituation investigation, we walked away.  The predator then proceeded to make this lady into a habituation superstar, even convincing her that she knew everything about habituation, getting her invited to other locations by people who thought they might have habituations going on.  But the one thing always remained steadfast in what this lady would say, was that it always resembled the predator's own agenda, never veering away from it. 
Now there are also trolls in the Bigfoot Community, some have been around so long that their narcissism is well known to those who have been around for a while.  One individual seems to revile in the fact someone gets upset with their attacks, and will then go around proclaiming themselves as the victim to anyone that will listen.  
And to always back himself up, he has created numerous sock puppets that will suddenly show up and help in his attack.  I once found myself having to clean up numerous sock puppets he had created on the MABRC forums, including one where he claimed to be a Alma (Siberian Bigfoot) researcher from Russia, and had started a thread on the forums about his on-going research, for what reason?  I still haven't figured out why.  It was only after checking IP addresses that I was able to figure out that is was this predator/troll who had created the account.
As more and more people come into the Bigfoot Community, they are not aware of the past history of many of these predators, and once they are preyed upon, and become a part of the "group think", they do not listen to those old timers who are trying to warn them about the history of the person they are following.  A certain radio show has amassed an almost cult-like following, in which if someone says something the least bit negative about the show or the hosts, a multitude of the followers come down upon them like a stampede of cattle in the Old West.
Folks, I'm not trying to influence anyone with this post, what I am saying is that before you follow anyone, you should seriously do some research about the person, watch what happens whenever someone says something against the person's own beliefs and how they react.  Don't allow yourself to fall in the group think category and be considered a "sheeple".
If you want to be a part of the Bigfoot Community, fantastic, the more people we have out looking for Bigfoot, the more likely we are to solve the mystery to the world, however, if you just want to follow the first person that comes along, you should really do your research on them first.   Here are some things to watch out for.  Self-promotion, if they are continuously promoting themselves as a great researcher or that they find something every time they go out, then you should be very leery of them.  If they seem to continuously attack people for disagreeing with them, then chances are, they are a predator.  If they have a lot of people hanging on every word that they say, then they have found a sizeable enough following to help them prey on others.
Now, if the person is desperately trying to obtain celebrity status, trying to be on every radio show, TV show or even posting a lot of videos on YouTube where they give their respective opinions that usually degrade someone else, then I would hope that you have enough sense to not follow them.
Some will say, "D.W., you have a blog and post it everywhere, does that make you someone trying to obtain celebrity status?"  My answer is no, I'm posting information out there for everyone to read, I don't expect anyone to follow the protocols and procedures I post here, they are posted here to give someone an idea or two of how to create their own protocols and procedures to use in their research.  The techniques I discuss, come from years of trying in Bigfoot research from myself and others, and while we may have had some success or failure in these techniques, I put them out there to show folks what has been tried in the past.  I simply hope to be able to put information out there that others can use either to their advantage or disadvantage.  
As this blog post has gone long enough, just remember folks, to do your research on a person before blindly following them, and as the great Ray Crowe would say, "Keep your skepticals on" be skeptical of everything, because that in the end, is what makes a Bigfoot Researcher even better.  And again, if you think this post was about you, then go ahead and think that, because more than likely, if you have to think it's you, then you probably are a predator.

 Comment by Bruce Kelley from Facebook:  Unfortunately, though, it is my belief that there is a "two-way street" aspect to all this. There seems to be an ever-increasing number of people out there that absolutely have no interest in truth, facts or reality. They come into bigfooting with a pre-established belief system that leans toward the paranormal or supernatural. They look for others to give them validation and to support them in their beliefs. Many of them, if not most, want a leader or "messiah" to be the flag-bearer for their beliefs. A great number of them, IMO, are emotionally needy and need to be a part of something - anything. These "predators" are getting an ever-growing audience among these individuals. The psychologist, you mentioned, IMO, knows how to recognize this type of individual and may even target them. The situation becomes even worse when these "followers" become "enablers", constantly stroking and feeding the egos of these "predators".