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Old 12-07-2008, 07:27 PM
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SuvivalDude SuvivalDude is offline
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Angry Tom Brown Tracker School Instructor Insight



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This is a post that was just made on the Campfire Talks Forums of an email from St Louis Tracker Clubs. Interesting insight as to how they treat senior instructors and that the instructors are making up content and it is not WHAT TOM BROWN DID. Seems that they are teaching their own cirricullum and not the teachings as what is being Smoke and Mirrored as teachings of Tom Brown's Apache mentor. This is appalling.

----
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Tom Brown Tracker School Instructor Insight
Hey Gang,

This is an email I received from the ST Louis Tracker Clubs from an Instructor from the Tom Brown Tracker School. I have not attended this school or classes and can not comment personally on the situation.
I am only posting the email I received, you make your own judgments.
------------------------------
Hi all. The following email was sent to me by another tracker student. I have worked with George and Vanessa more than once or twice - for them to send an email like this is very uncharactoristic but does bespeak some problems that are going on. I will only say to use your best judgment, follow your heart. I will not judge anyone for whatever they choose in relation to this subject, but I do think it is important. George and Vanessa are both very ethical, work very hard and deserve to be paid for the work they provided. Just my 2 cents...

Tim



Hello Everyone,
Vanessa and I hope you are all doing well.
The reason we're contacting you, is because we need your help. For those of you who do not know, Vanessa and I were approached and consequently hired by Tracker to improve the School's relationship with it's students.
I'm guessing it was because of our 22 year relationship with Tracker, and the well known fact that we as teachers, always put the students first. However, before we even came onboard, I told Karl Direske "If we are successful at doing the job you're hiring us for,then we won't last a year". There's a reason you don't see the same people on the Instructor Staff year after year. Egos are too fragile at the top, and we by being good at what we do, consequently stepped on those frailties.
Sure enough, we didn't last a year. However, judging from the comments we received from you guys while we were on staff, and the
emails we've received since, we had held up our end of the deal.
Unfortunately, Tracker hasn't honored theirs.
The Scout Protector Class was originally conceived, as well as named by Paul Bonner, Vanessa and myself and taught by the same, for the last 15 years with the Old Man's blessings. Last year Karl informed us that Tracker, for the first time, would collect the tuition for this class and then pay us. Needless to say, Vanessa and I had our misgivings, which were justified, as we are still waiting to receive the several thousand dollars for teaching that class we held the first week of September of 2007. Hell people, Vanessa just received the last of her payroll checks a couple of months ago (She finished working at Tracker in December 07). I'm thinking it was my non-to- subtle reminder to Karl that there are federal laws governing the withholding of an employee's payroll, that finally got Vanessa her last couple of checks.
Even though we have a signed letter from Karl stating that we would be paid for the Scout Protector Class by June 1st of this year, that deadline has come and gone. Vanessa has been in contact with Karl
almost weekly since April of this year. Each time it was some
excuse, but the gist of it was it was that Tracker was broke and just
didn't have the money.
I don't know about you, but in my mind's eye
I'm seeing two Hummers parked in the drive... we should all be that kind of poor. Even "perceived threats" (I called them promises) on my part, which were non physical in nature, had no effect.
What Vanessa and I are asking of you, that is if you thought we had a positive "affect" on your experience at Tracker, is to email Karl at this, his public email address [email protected], and let him know how you feel about them not paying us for services rendered. We only had several hundred of you guys' email addresses, so feel free to pass this on to any other students you think might be interested.
Look guys, I'm no Saint and never claimed to be. However, Vanessa deserves better than this from the individuals at Tracker who constantly claim the high ground, by referring to the rest of society as "The Mindless Gray Masses", a label by the way, we've never agreed with.
Remember, we were the ones walking the roads with you before and after an exercise, shunning a ride out and back, as well as lending an ear when one was needed. Hell, we even tried to call you by your first names, a mental exercise in of itself with a new class every other week.
Truth be told, they were probably expecting a letter from our attorney, but I wanted to give them something more powerful to contend with for now, and I can think of nothing more meaningful or more
powerful, then you guys voicing your opinion concerning this matter.
Please accept our heart felt thanks in advance.
On a different note, Ness and I are both working uniformed security for the County's economic assistance (welfare) buildings. We moved into a 825 square foot "Art Deco" style 10 unit building, which is a 5 minute walk from the lakes here in Minneapolis, 8 minute walk to the gym and also a block away from a nicely stocked grocery store (I've really gotten into the cooking thing). We both ride our bikes to work together at 5:00AM every morning (it was snowing last Friday morning) and couldn't be happier! Instead of just talking about the environment, we're attempting to make ours a smaller "footprint".

Finally, and we mean this from the bottom of our hearts, it was you and only you the students, that made our time at Tracker, memorable... everything else was "smoke and mirrors". :-) Oh, I almost forgot, when we first started there we were told by the office staff and instructors to never give out our personal email addresses or phone numbers to you the students (something about "you'd always be bothering us at all hours of the day"). So, being who we are, we put them up on the board every class we could and told you that you could contact us anytime... that offer still stands. My phone number is
(612) *******. Ness's is (612) ****** and her email address is [email protected] . Let us know how you're doing. Take care and thanks for the memories.
"May you be granted in life... that which you deserve"

George & Vanessa


Please feel free to contact me with any questions- Peace to you and your family, Tim Flynn Director, St. Louis Association for Primitive Skills and Tracking www.geocities.com/track_stl [email protected] "Where's Your Wild?" ***************** ATTENTION: Please let us know in advance of your attendance plans for upcoming meetings or workshops.

Last edited by SuvivalDude; 12-09-2008 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: remove phone numbers for privacy
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:40 PM
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Brown is broke? hahaha yeah right. He has how many books selling? The students now pay $999 per class.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:59 PM
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I am surprised that he is jsut putting his name on other peoples work like he is. He seems to be simply tagging his name on the efforts of others at this point. Other than his religion/"PHILOSOPHY" courses. LOL
He should be on the list for militia extremist watch list.
He pushes his "PHILOSOPHY" under the guise of Survival Tracker Teachings of the Bushcraft. I find this disgusting.
I will never attend another course.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:08 PM
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I am surprised that he is jsut putting his name on other peoples work like he is. He seems to be simply tagging his name on the efforts of others at this point. Other than his religion/"PHILOSOPHY" courses. LOL
He should be on the list for militia extremist watch list.
He pushes his "PHILOSOPHY" under the guise of Survival Tracker Teachings of the Bushcraft. I find this disgusting.
I will never attend another course.
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What exactly does he teach? What is his philosophy that would get him on a watch list?
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:30 PM
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What exactly does he teach? What is his philosophy that would get him on a watch list?
Wilderness Survival Tracking Bushcraft disguising HIS Philosophy to his unsuspecting students. lol
They are under the belief they are there to learn a skill set, Which they do, but are also indoctrinated with the cult like beliefs and philosophy of Brown.
Some guys and gals really get sucked into this.
Sounds like a Dave Koresh beginnings.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:40 PM
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So is Tom's Native American mentor running a casino now?
Old 12-07-2008, 08:45 PM
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So is Tom's Native American mentor running a casino now?
He would have to exist before he could do that hahahaha
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:46 PM
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So is Tom's Native American mentor running a casino now?
he seems to been the only Apache to make it to NJ. lol
Old 12-07-2008, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SuvivalDude View Post
Wilderness Survival Tracking Bushcraft disguising HIS Philosophy to his unsuspecting students. lol
They are under the belief they are there to learn a skill set, Which they do, but are also indoctrinated with the cult like beliefs and philosophy of Brown.
Some guys and gals really get sucked into this.
Sounds like a Dave Koresh beginnings.
Reply]
What exactly IS his philosophy? Why is it so bad? What exactly are these cult like beliefs?
Old 12-07-2008, 09:34 PM
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What exactly IS his philosophy? Why is it so bad? What exactly are these cult like beliefs?
Have you ever attended his training?
Old 12-07-2008, 10:17 PM
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No,but I am interested. it is sounding like maybe there are some things i should know before i do though. If you feel more comfortable, PM me.
Old 12-08-2008, 06:23 AM
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I went to a few of Brown's training and I have to admit he became crazier as he became older. Most people are aware that Tom Brown made up most of his bio but then that is not unusual for wilderness type people, they are constantly reinventing themselves. His tracking skills, which at one time were excellent, seem to have faded as he spends more and more time talking in fantasy than he does in actual reality. Brown was the first person I took a formal outdoor education class from. I thought I learned alot. Now I would say do Elpel or Hood before you took any of TB's classes.

I wouldn't mind the religious context of his classes if they help a little substance. I put up with others trying to force their religious beliefs on me all the time. His classes just have less and less skills being taught and more and more new age ideas being thrown around. Not for me anymore.

BLT
Old 12-08-2008, 10:21 AM
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I went to a few of Brown's training and I have to admit he became crazier as he became older. Most people are aware that Tom Brown made up most of his bio but then that is not unusual for wilderness type people, they are constantly reinventing themselves. His tracking skills, which at one time were excellent, seem to have faded as he spends more and more time talking in fantasy than he does in actual reality. Brown was the first person I took a formal outdoor education class from. I thought I learned alot. Now I would say do Elpel or Hood before you took any of TB's classes.

I wouldn't mind the religious context of his classes if they help a little substance. I put up with others trying to force their religious beliefs on me all the time. His classes just have less and less skills being taught and more and more new age ideas being thrown around. Not for me anymore.

BLT
Well said. couldn't agree more. It seems to be becoming more and more Cult Like than a school. You can definitely see a division among students who are looking for content vs. the groupies that are sold on the New Age ideology.
No wonder he lost his training contract with the Military. Seems he lost the Search and Rescue stuff as well according to his excuse for getting rid of the HUMMERS. Sounds like he is in financial trouble tho with Karl telling the Instructors that TRACKER is broke and doesn't have the money to pay them.
Maybe he can't afford them any longer. Attendance seems to have declined according to some of the guys. Perhaps his ego has outgrown his pocket book?
Old 12-08-2008, 10:24 AM
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Tom Browns version of wilderness survival is like you said cult like with his indoctrinating. His students you will find have some sort of euphoric belief Tom is a mystical shaman and his Tops tracker knife can help you wield super powers.

Out with the cult and in with Traditional Bushcraft. Go watch Ray Mears!
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Tom Browns version of wilderness survival is like you said cult like with his indoctrinating. His students you will find have some sort of euphoric belief Tom is a mystical shaman and his Tops tracker knife can help you wield super powers.

Out with the cult and in with Traditional Bushcraft. Go watch Ray Mears!
Reply]
Seriously, what are the specifics. Can anyone give me a number of specific examples that make him cult like? Can anyone describe is "New age" philosophy?

So far I have seen some general accusations, but no nuts and bolts examples of the underlying causes of those generalities.
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Just for the record, his tracker knife is stupid.
Old 12-08-2008, 10:32 AM
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Just for the record, his tracker knife is stupid.
And really, really overpriced.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:35 AM
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Royal you need to read one of his "biographical" books. When you read them remind yourself that Tom is telling stories of incredible detail about a man named grandfather who of which there is no proof he ever existed. Not to mention the level of detail he sites from when he was 7 to 10 or so years old. It is a load of horseshlt.

From his original story of Grandfather to his new one he changes his entire meeting with Grandfather from one that is normal to one that is now mythical and epic.

He meets him from his friend Rick. Now the new story is that he and grandfather saw each other in a vision through "talking stones" years before they met.(I shlt you not)

Tom then blames editors for messing up the story haha. It is nothing more than snowballing his own legend as he became more popular.

That is just a tiny example of the bullshlt in his books.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:25 AM
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Seriously, what are the specifics. Can anyone give me a number of specific examples that make him cult like? Can anyone describe is "New age" philosophy?

So far I have seen some general accusations, but no nuts and bolts examples of the underlying causes of those generalities.

Sorry, Royal Dragon, I didn't mean to ignore your posts. It's just very hard to put into words.

First, let me say that I don't mind his religious view if he wants to keep it himself. What I didn't like was when he starteds turning his "Practicals" or his nuts and bolts classes into religious teachings. If I was paying to go to his religious classes then I would have no problem with it but the Practicals should contain more skills training and less religion as they did back in the 70s and 80s.

He has a very strong End Of The World belief right now. He has been given visions that tell him that soon only those with strong wilderness survival skills will survive the coming changes to the end of the world. His "Brownies" or groupies are preparing for the coming changes. We have to be of his religion, meaning we have to be able to take information from him when Grandfather, long dead, contacts TB and tells him about the coming changes.

He believes that those who learn tracking well can track an animal without ever leaving their couch. Track an animal (or human) with their mind. To get this in depth though you need to pay for ALL of his tracking classes starting with the Practicals. By the end of these classes you have paid out 6 or 7 thousand dollars. Brownies swear that it works but others complain because they have been taken. TB says that those who complain just didn't put enough work into their classes and it's not his fault.

The big thing that really stopped me from being a fan though was the Hummers. Here is a man that basically calls all people besides himself horrible because they can't live close to the land and they are busy destroying the earth. Then he has a fleet of Hummers. If you take a class from him personally he will insult you many times. I was okay with it if he also was teaching me something. But don't tell me I am destroying the earth while you drive around in your fleet of Hummers. I don't mind Hummers but don't drive one and then pretend to be the best envornmentalist ever. I'm not going to believe it.

If you take a class from many of his students you can end up hating wilderness survival skills. I took one class from one of his students who kept trying to hide from us. When we saw him every time he got mad and threw a temper tantrum. "You're lying, you didn't see me." He said to me once. I said yes I did, but I thought you were peeing on that tree over there so I gave you some privacy and didn't look. I kept wondering why you didn't go further into the woods to pee, but I thought you were just being rude.

Then there was one tracking class I took from one of his students where this really nice man found wolf tracks and we were all excited to see them (this was years ago when there weren't a whole lot of wolves around). The teacher was so mad that he didn't find the tracks that he said that if the guy who found the tracks was so smart he could teach the class, and then walked off and left us. I have to admit, we had alot more fun after that.

There was another class where the female instructor was a TB teacher and she tried to talk us all into doing a Sun Dance. She called us names when we said we weren't going to. If we really wanted to become good at wilderness survival we needed to do a Sun Dance or we would never see the Great Spirit. I have heard similar things from TB though not with the Sun Dance but with other American Indian ceremonies. Again, I am not cutting these ceremonies down. I just am not American Indian and I don't want to worship the way they do. I don't think that will make me less of a tracker or survivor but TB seems to think so.

Of course, I see this often that we can not survive without following some one elses god. I have read it on this forum and not in the religious section. So I'm not saying that this is totally a TB thing. It's just that when you are pay 4 or 5 hundred dollars per class to learn the Practicals, religion should not be forced onto you. If it is there should at least be some skills taught too. TB's classes are becoming less and less about skills and more and more about his spirituality. They aren't worth the money any more.

In the states for general bushcraft I would go with Hood. For primitive skills I would go with Elpel. Thayer is my favorite for wild edible plants just because he has lived off of them for many years. Barlow is another favorite for wild edibles because she feeds her family of four (with two very picky kids) off of mainly wild edibles all year long.

If other people have other instructors that they like I would love to hear about them. My son and I always take a few wilderness skills classes a year all over the country. I'd love to try someone new.

BLT
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:33 AM
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It's just that when you are pay 4 or 5 hundred dollars per class to learn the Practicals, religion should not be forced onto you. If it is there should at least be some skills taught too.
You checked now? his classes are now $999 each (no joke)

Overall a great view on TB and his Brownies!
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