Fear In The Bigfoot Community
Editor’s Note: This is a post by Bigfoot Evidence contributor Vicki W.
Autumn Williams from Oregon Bigfoot posted her thoughts about how the psychology of fear manifests in humans and the role it plays within the Bigfoot community today. She begins by defining the word fear, "a distressing and negative sensation induced by a perceived threat." She proceeds to examine how fear is behind many of the negative emotions and aspects of a person's actions and reactions in day to day life.
The post is a thought provoking and introspective study of fear in general, but her thoughts on the way fear can be at the root of some of the well known drama and infighting that permeates through the Bigfoot community are well worth the read. She touches on what may be behind the accusatory dynamic between researchers and the online bickering common on internet forums and blogs. Here is a snippet from Oregon Bigfoot blog:
In the bigfoot community, especially on online forums, I see truckloads of dysfunction - perceived fear manifesting in ugly reactions. Arrogance, sarcasm, sniping, backbiting, ridicule, threats, shaming, bruised egos, arrogance, arrogance… did I mention arrogance? ;)… Personalities posturing for a position of relevance, feeling threatened by something someone said, cutting down another’s contributions, in-fighting, arguing publicly and attempting to shame one another in front of peers, disregarding the feelings of witnesses or ridiculing them while wanting their “best” evidence, getting angry over perceived slights… Fear of someone else being right, fear of someone else being more popular, fear of being irrelevant, fear of others “damaging the credibility of the field” (in other words, “making me look like an ass…”), fear of being attacked (so people go on the offensive and attack first), fear of someone else being “first” or “better”, fear of being excluded, fear that someone else might actually be the one to solve the mystery or that it might never be solved at all…Read Ms. Williams entire blog post here: www.oregonbigfoot.com
Fear directs many interactions in the bigfoot community, because fear directs many things in our lives when we’re unaware of it… and many people are. I want to say that again because it’s important: People, for the most part, live unconsciously in fear. Our interactions with others in the bigfoot community are natural reflection of how we, as individuals, interact with fear in our personal lives. And it is exacerbated online. The internet is a sadly dehumanizing force in our lives; the people on the other end of the line are less real somehow. The whisper of our dysfunction is magnified to a deafening roar when we remove the accountability that goes with face-to-face interaction and hide behind keyboards and computer screens, nursing our fears, holding our grudges, licking the wounds of our damaged egos and gearing up for the next assault on that faceless username which threatened and frightened us.
Some react by bombarding others with intellect, not realizing that IQ doesn’t make a bit of difference, because the EQ (emotional quotient or emotional intelligence level) is the same. Those with expansive vocabularies smite their enemies with wordy, gleeful arrogance, but their reactions are no less dysfunctional than the guy who can’t spell worth a crap and resorts to name-calling or threats of physical violence. It’s all a reaction to fear.
So what does this have to do with bigfoot?
Just as we bring our personal fears and dysfunctions into play when we interact with others in the bigfoot community, we also bring them into our relationship with the subject… and the Sasquatches themselves, if we are out in the field. You can’t leave your personality at home. I’ve personally known witnesses who feared continuing ridicule and began changing their interactions within their habituation as a result in order to attempt to gather “proof” – to the detriment of the habituation and the relationship they had carefully cultivated. I’ve known researchers to commit egregious acts toward Sasquatches in an attempt to prove that they are “right” and that Sasquatch does, in fact, exist. It’s all based in fear.
Fear is the root of dysfunctional behavior and when we feel fear we usually try to gain control of the situation. The Big Guys don’t appear to like that very much. And who would? How would we react if someone approached us and attempted to have a controlling, dysfunctional relationship with us?