Is It Wrong To Charge For A Bigfoot Expedition?


The BFRO has often been criticized for charging people to go on expeditions. Participants generally pay around $300 and "newbies" sometimes pay a one-time fee of up to $500. The exorbitant fees for participation have caused former members and some critics to wonder whether the organization is doing it all for money or are they doing it for a higher cause. To be fair, BFRO expedition organizer, Matt Pruit (who gets a 50% cut of the revenue) claims he really doesn't make a dime after all the expenses are paid.

I had to take several days off work for scouting locations (which I haven't added up yet), as well as taking six days off work for the expedition itself. That six-day stretch alone is a (roughly) $456 portion of my income that I had to forfeit in order to be present at the location during the expedition. When you have monthly bills (rent, car payments, auto insurance, cell phone, etc.) each dollar that you purposely forfeit counts.

So, if any of my readers are interested, I will add up my receipts and phone bill percentages, and internet bill percentages, and days missed at work (which also caused me to forfeit a quarterly bonus) to reconcile against that $1825.00 that I received for the expedition. I think you'll quickly see that I didn't profit a single dime on this expedition.

I don't organize expeditions to make money. I organize them in order to explore new areas, to challenge myself, and to introduce interested parties to the sasquatch phenomenon. In the process, I end up fostering many relationships between new researchers and BFRO members, witnesses, and cultivating new friendships.

Dr. Matthew A Johnson, someone who's not too fond of BFRO President Matt Moneymaker, wrote the following piece saying that one should never pay to go out on a Bigfoot expedition when there are plenty of people willing to take you out under their wing for FREE.

Johnson sees no need to spend money on gadgets. He claims expensive equipment such as night-vision goggles and game cameras used to seek out Bigfoot has never worked for him.

PAYING MONEY TO GO ON A BIGFOOT EXPEDITION??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay to go out on a Bigfoot expedition when there are plenty of people willing to take you out under their wing for FREE.

Now, as far as what equipment would I invest in if I had $500 to spend cuz I'm NOT going to blow $500 on paying the BFRO or someone else to take me out on a Bigfoot expedition? Hmmmmmm???

Well, let me share something with you that will save you some more money. Don't spend any money on any kind of equipment other than a pup tent, sleeping bag, pillow, foam pad for sleeping on (comfort is always a plus), and food for you as well as food for the Squatches.

I've NOT been out in the field as long as some but I have been out in the field long enough to learn some very important things. Therefore, I no longer bash my head needlessly against the proverbial brick wall. What do I mean? Well, I went out for 11 years with all the equipment (i.e., Deer cams, video cams, remote video cams viewing bait piles live at night with infrared cams, seismic sensors, motion sensors, parabolic dishes, night vision goggles, etc.). Guess what? We got NOTHING!!!! Absolutely NOTHING!!! What a waste of time, money, and effort. Oh, don't get me wrong, the Squatches were hanging around as evidenced by multiple foot casts, hand cast, two visuals, and the typical Squatch audibles and tree knocks. HOWEVER, we could NEVER get them on camera or video camera. Ugh!!!!!

Then just over a year ago, I decided to give in to the "Looneys" and try it their way. I decided to simply go out into the forest where I knew they were dwelling, set up camp while talking to them and singing to them, walk around the area while talking and singing without a camera or gun, place some food out there for them about 100 to 200 feet away from camp, have Cynthia play the flute at night, and sit there in the pitch dark of night and wait for them to come to us. Guess what? I've had more interactions with them over the past year, including visuals and physical contact, then I had in the first 11 years combined together. It's been absolutely AMAZING!!! The Habituation approach works!!! HOWEVER, it involves giving up wanting to capture them on film and focuses instead on simply interacting with them over time through building up their trust.

Now, so I'm NOT called a liar, I did invest in one piece of equipment which is PASSIVE by design and it's been working really well. I invested in a Parabolic Microphone Dish. We leave it on all night and it records for 9.5 hours nonstop. In a nutshell, we've recorded some pretty awesome stuff with it, including tree knocks, whoops, primate jibber jabber, a baby Squatch crying, a mamma Squatch comforting it's baby all night long, a daddy Squatch singing to it's baby in a beautiful bass voice ending in a virbrato, and a spoken language. It's amazing what the human ear misses all night long. The Squatches have no idea that we are using this PASSIVE technology and that's why it's successful. It's not utilizing "IN YOUR FACE" technology like Deer cams and Video cams do. So if you want to invest in some equipment, purchase a Parabolic Microphone Dish with a Sony Digital Recorder. That's money well spent.

I hope this helps you......and if you're ever out in the PNW, I'll take you out for FREE.

God Bless!

Dr Matthew A Johnson
("Dr J")

To be fair, BFRO expedition organizers do not

Comments

  1. Only if you do not declare the income ;)

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  2. ABSOLUTELY! 110% These guys should be ashamed of themselves for charging for something like this. It's all about the money for some people. If you need permits or what not, they sure, split the costs of the permits. But to charge to make money.. Nope, I do not agree with that.

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    Replies
    1. Do you do what you do for free?

      This is America, remember? Capitalism over everything.

      Here's a few questions to see if charging tourists is fair?

      -Would tourists have any clue where to go on their own?
      -Are they seasoned hikers\campers\etc ...? Or would they need help?
      -Do they have all the gear? Or permissions to be where they're going?

      And if they answer to all of those is still an unlikely yes, maybe it gets down to they just enjoy being in the company of "bigfooters;" hearing their stories, etc ....

      So yes, it is fair to charge.

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  3. Bottom line you have hiking tours all over the place so what is the difference? Theres one born every minute, and the people who bitch would probably love to go, just far too spinless to go alone but can't afford it.

    Caveat Emptor.

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  4. Is it wrong to put your lil' weiner in a meat grinder?

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  5. Some people rely on others to teach them, some teach themselves. So, for those who want to be taught and not do the research and learning themselves, paying someone else to teach you is no different than private lessons or school. That's how I see the BFRO "expeditions", they are a service provided for those who want to be taught by another and rely on that others knowledge and experience for benefit. So, there is a market for this kind of thing and in this free market society, it only makes sense to charge because complacent people will pay.

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  6. So should fishing guides, sky dive instructors, or public speakers also share their expertise and experience for free?

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. These people are paying for someone's time and expertise to plan and safely lead the trip. Sure they could go out on their own, but most people probably aren't interested in that.

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  7. Yes, "habituation" does work.
    Thank you for recognizing us "loonies" for your new approach Matt. Robert Morgan has had that method out there for a long time, since the 70's. So has Jane Goodall. Some BFers routinely ridiculed for years have been telling you "monster hunters" this for a long time... thanks for being public about your changed experiences.
    I agree sound as passive monitoring seems to be OK with them, or undetected as such a monitoring tool.It also is in keeping with a "no harassment" approach for the right reasons and the future, should their DNA ever become public and regulation ensue.
    As for charging for expeditions and so on, to take numbers into the forest and exploit the trust you are trying to earn Matt, earns a big ugh from me. Sorry, it seems a contraction of intent that is insurmountable and puts at question your core goals and values regarding BFs, for me anyway.
    Ugh again on running paid expeditions...

    Hummm, complicated really if one gets that far down the habituation road....my bet is the BFs get their way and you withdraw from public outings, or you won't get much further..... they have very good memories!

    Nice post.

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    Replies
    1. Which Matt are you referring to? Pruitt or Johnson? You obviously didn't discern between the two in your post.

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    2. Robert Morgan has produced nothing! He is a fuctard just like apehuman!

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  8. I think that Matt also forgot that we also get 1099's. If you are a professional and make good money 40 % is gone instantly. Really a joke to think you make any money off of these expeditions.

    Nothing wrong with what mj does in the woods. Good for him. Not contributing to science in any way. that's ok with me, he's doing what he likes to do. I assure you that the BFRO expedition leaders have had a much larger effect on wider variety of people and how they look at the animals.

    Everyone has their own beliefs. By and large most of the critics are very seldom out of their living rooms.

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  9. Exactly. These things cost money. Especially with the BFRO, they send around THEIR thermals, NVGs and other equipment so that the newbies can have a great experience in the woods. The ones that I help on, we supply food for several nights and the organizer usually pays for several campsites for the other investigators that are helping out. When you have 30 people out in the woods you have to have experienced people leading, teaching and talking about the big guy. I see it as a 3 to 4 day educational experience with the opportunity to see something great. I pay $600 to go on a charter boat for 4 hours or I could pay $300 and go 3 nights in the woods and having a great time with great people.

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  10. Dr Matthew A Johnson = FUCTARD

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    Replies
    1. Cause I said so!
      He's a whiney little bitch.

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    2. A few years after his Oregon Caves incident in July 2000 , Dr. Matt Johnson met with Moneymaker down in Southern California. He told Moneymaker in no uncertain terms that he (Johnson) was going to solve the bigfoot mystery "within a year". He was trying to play the heavy, on Moneymaker (!!), saying that Moneymaker and the BFRO could help him or be left in the dust of history. Moneymaker just laughed at him. He told Johnson to go ahead and try to solve the mystery in a year and "leave the BFRO in the dust". Moneymaker called Johnson's bluff in a big way and made a fool of himself in the process.

      Johnson formed his own bigfoot group which he soon abandoned, and then it fizzled.

      More than ten years later Johnson is still spouting his big talk bullshit. He was a ridiculous kook back then, even before he had brain damage. Now he's just a pathetic kook with brain damage.

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    3. I think you mean Moneymaker called Johnson's bluff, and Johnson made a fool of himself by trying to bluff Moneymaker. That's what it sounds like.

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    4. That's interesting about Johnson's brain damage. I remember Johnson sending out a message to all bigfooters some time ago. He was talking about his head injury and he was begging for donations because had no money left (because he had no health insurance). Everyone thought they'd heard the last of him, but apparently it didn't stop him, and it didn't make him any less ridiculous.

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    5. I didn't know he had Dain Bramage.

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  11. If people are willing to pay $300 to go on these trips and the BFRO is willing to provide the service for $300, then that is what the trip is worth. Simple.

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  12. He said it cost him $456 for missing 6 days of work, plus a few days for scouting. So, if we give another $400 for that time plus fuel, that comes out to around $900-1,000. That's still $825 profit.

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    Replies
    1. They also have to spend time talking to potential customers in order to make sure no nut jobs are inadvertantly invited.

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  13. Dr Johnson is a complete kook! Yeah let's go have a bunch of lovey dovey interactions (probably mostly w known animals) no documentation and then share on Facebook. Yeah Doc, your doing wonders for the field

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  14. Johnson has been making really big claims like this for more than 10 years. He has never accomplished anything other than gaining media attention for his initial incident.

    Johnson is full of crap and no one talks him seriously any more.

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  15. Sooo ... a trail camera and camcorder will deter a bigfoot because they're "in your face" technologies ... but a parabolic dish with an audio recorder is not an "in your face" technology.

    Uh, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think Johnson is a quack.

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  16. Johnson is a moron. He's obviously still mentally scarred from his BF encounter.

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  17. To anyone who thinks that charging money for an expedition is unfair, I propose this to you. Go observe the caliber of people standing in line for anything with the word "Free" attached to it and you may be in for a rude awakening. Offering up stuff that you don't pay for tends to bring out the lowest common denominator. Now imagine taking 30 of those random complete strangers out in the woods looking for bigfoot evidence and you can imagine the potential that has for going sour very quickly. Potential attendee interviews and expedition attendance fees (which are minimal compared to some guided wildlife tours)are the first line of defense to ensure that everyone who attends has an equal opportunity at having a comfortable experience. Even with those safeguards an occasional loony squeaks through, and let me tell you that it's a pretty eerie feeling to suddenly realize you're in the middle of nowhere with someone who isn't playing with a full deck. As far as profit... yeah right. I think Matt Pruit nailed it with his explanation. At the most, an expedition leader might cover some of their gas money, but at almost $5 a gallon, chances are pretty slim. A good leader will put some of that money back in the mix to cover campground fees, permits and sometimes food for participants. I've helped out on numerous BFRO expeditions both as an administrator and an expedition leader. I had a great time with like minded people doing something I love. I got some really positive feedback from many of the attendees. About 6 years ago when I started out I paid the fee and to tell you the truth, I don't even remember what the amount was. It simply didn't matter after I traded it for an experience that I will remember forever. I've also gained some lifelong friends in the process. I think people should lighten up and learn to enjoy life and the experiences this field of interest can bring you. Sour grapes get you nothing except ulcers and enemies. I'd rather have a cold beer and some friends.

    By the way, what's up with all the anonymous posts? What's to be scared of? If you have an opinion, stand behind it. Be proud of it and live by it. If you can't, than maybe it's your conscience telling you that you're a little off the mark.

    Warmest Regards to all the Lovers and the Haters,

    Scott Minton

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    Replies
    1. Nice post Scott and sums it up pretty good. To even have a discussion about this kind of shows where this country is going.

      To Apehuman I also agree with your habituation thesis, that this passive method will get better response than any other. If you only want to interact with them for your own experience I really think this is the route to go. I have tried it twice with a small group of nephews and we had one come in once.

      Chuck

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    2. Scott, I heard you the first time.

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    3. Ha ha. Sorry... heavy mouse finger. I only meant it once

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  18. Matt Johnson's got some good points.

    But leave it at that and move on. Keep in mind he's suffered a traumatic brain injury. No need to gloat

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  19. I think it's just a matter of what one chooses to do.If you want to go out with 29 other people some of them very knowledgeable and use a ton of equipment and have a good time and are able to afford it go nuts it's your money.

    I myself enjoy strapping my old beat up Gibson on my back grabbing my supplies and going a few miles into the bush away from any highway noise, setting up camp have a beer or several, pickin' out some Dylan,Clapton or any other classic rock and hope for the best.
    If something happens, that's good if it doesn't what the hell it's still a hell of a good time and a great way to relax.When I go out I do it for me not to be the next big name in the field If I ever got anything amazing where I could say with 100% certainty that is a Sasquatch I would share it.

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  20. No. There's nothing wrong with charging hundreds of dollars if people clearly know what they are getting for their money.

    It's not right to charge for an expedition and then fake sasquatch wood knocking or calls etc. to enhance the experience without the participants being aware of these "enhancements" to their bigfoot expedition experience.

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    Replies
    1. Wasn't there a story going around a few years ago about someone seeing a bigfoot costume in the backseat of Moneymaker's car on one of these expeditions?

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  21. These "expeditions," these glorified camping trips, have their plusses and minusses.

    First of all, newbies typically pay $300 or so.
    Repeaters pay $50 or 100. Many people go for free, BFRO people and some others. It's not any huge cash cow as so many seem to think.

    It is of some value to charge to weed out the less than serious. And why should anyone entertain a group for nothing? The local guy will generally get enough money to make it worth his while and to cover his own expenses but not all that much. Couple grand probably.

    The local organizers have to talk to everybody to make all necessary co-ordinations and arrangements, and attempt to weed out any potential undesirables.

    If one wants to become involved with the BFRO, or just make good contacts in the group, this is the way to go and the main value in paying to participate. It often amounts to a screening process to see who is fairly knowledgeable, capable of fieldtrips,and capable of getting along well with others.

    The BFRO people will generally take you to a worthwhile location, although no place that you couldn't figure out on your own if you're at-all serious, and there's always, obviously, lots of good bigfoot talk. They are primarily social events, of course.

    Moneymaker rarely attends anymore in recent years, and probably almost never now, but takes half of the proceeds as a BFRO (MM) event. It's only about the money for the Moneymaker, but for those who want to make some good contacts and maybe become further involved with the group, it's the only way to go.

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  22. What is the difference of a parabolic microphone sitting out with a digital recording hooked up to it, compared to a video camera sitting on a tripod? Really can a sasquatch tell the difference between a microphone and a video camera and accept that I microphone is ok but a video camera isn't? Or how about a trail cam sitting in you camp on a table? really what is the difference? I don't get it.

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    Replies
    1. It does seem like they really can tell the difference. Nobody seems completely sure WHY they tolerate audio recording devices better than still and video cameras; but reports seem to show pretty consistently that there really is a different tolerance level for the two types of recordings.

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    2. my guess is they simply stay out of the way of both technologies, but since they have no understanding of the effective range differences between the technologies, they get captured on microphone. That is, even if they stay out of view of the device, the device still does its job. Like when someone eavesdrops, a parent listening to kids in another room for example, the kids never have a clue they're being overheard, but if the parent stood in the doorway, they would adjust their behaviour to accommodate the parent in the room watching.

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    3. Could be! Interesting thought.

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  23. Johnson shouldn't talk about BFRO Expeditions until he's attended one. Then he'll understand everything that is involved and why they are completely worth every penny to participants. I've attended and participated in eight BFRO Expeditions and every single participant in those events was content with their investment and experience when they left on Sunday. Good luck to Johnson on taking unscreened, non-paying strangers deep into the woods for 4 days.

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    1. He's allowed to form an opinion, and I understand why someone would chafe at the thought of giving the BFRO money. They've faked evidence, they lie about evidence, just read their expedition reports and any resulting Q&A on the subject to see that. More importantly, there's way too much opportunity and incentive to fake evidence for the BFRO. It's easy to have someone stay out of the direct line of sight on an expedition, wood knock, throw stones etc because none of the participants will see the subject in question directly. They may see the subject on IR, but we've all seen how IR footage is unreliable.

      That said, they can charge whatever they want. If someone pays for it, that's the buyer's problem, not ours.

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    2. What evidence has the BFRO faked? Let's hear it. You made the claim so you better be able to back that up, Kenny.

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    3. Ken I have been in the BFRO for a few years and I have never seen anyone in the group fake anything. You are full of shit and you dont know what you are talking about. You are probably one of those x BFRO members that got kicked out a few years ago. When you can produce some evidence in the BF field be sure to post it here Fuctard!

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  24. If you think of the expedition as a class where you are learning something, then it makes more sense about paying to attend. That is what I imagine the BFRO expeditions are, classes. I know I wanted to go on several but either had no time, or had the time but no extra money. I wanted to go to see what they do different from what I do. I had planned to attend a trip with Derek Randles and spoke with him a couple times about the outing. He actually does teach stuff on his trips. How to navigate with compass, map reading, basic wilderness survival etc. For me, I don't need that, but wouldn't turn it down because he might have tricks I don't know. For most people going into the woods for the first time it could save their life. Plus it is skills they can use just plain camping or hiking. I see no problem charging a modest fee for knowledge. There is no such thing as too much knowledge. But we were unable to go since the wife couldn't get the time off and other crap going on, but I would do it still. Then I heard the trip we wanted to go on was cancelled because of too much snow blocking access. If a person is not providing any learning ops, then I would only be willing to split costs with them and maybe give them a tip at the end. Food, fuel, fees, etc is not cheap. Matter of fact, that is all I would expect when taking someone out bigfooting. I am no "expert" so split costs with me and let's see if we can learn together. My woodcraft knowledge is free. For now anyway.

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  25. There are two reasons why they charge these exorbitant prices to go on these expeditions.

    1. Money! They want money, pretty simple.

    2. They know that anyone who is willing to pay 3-500 dollars will be easy to fool. Most will be spending their very first time in the deep wilderness (or as deep as the BFRO goes) and haven't a clue.

    Sometimes experienced woodsman slip in and I've read complaints from them about various things.

    Anyone who has logged 500 or more hours in the deep woods will naturally know what to do and won't need the BFRO. Being a hunter is always an advantage in order to incorporate stalking techniques and patience while waiting at a stand. Odor masking and tacking into the wind are just a couple of many things people never even consider.

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    1. Actually, someone who cannot afford the 300-500 fee is generally less intelligent and less disciplined than someone who can afford 300-500 dollars .... Yes, in America people who have money to spend are generally smarter than people who don't have money to spend ...That's just reality.

      Part of the reason for charging the fee is to filter out those undisciplined dummies who would only stink up the place and be a burden.




      Delete
    2. Scott Plowman, Missouri director MABRCFriday, September 28, 2012 at 6:01:00 PM PDT

      Financial ability reflects intelligence?
      That.. Has got to be one of the most idiotic statements I have ever heard!
      While money can buy an education , it does nothing to increase intelligence!

      Delete
  26. Just for the record, I wanted to say that the picture is of Fern Canyon in the Redwoods Natl' Park n. of Orick, Ca. on the coast and is where I had my first BF experience way back in 1961. ptangier

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  27. I don't know if it's wrong as much as it is STUPID for people to be paying for it. I mean really, you think people can teach you things about a mythical animal/person that hasn't even been proven to exist. They haven't been tracked, prodded, tested, studied, nothing. WTF are you paying for? To hang out with people? That's pathetic IMO.

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    Replies
    1. Furhtermore, it's not wrong to charge people for attending. Not at all. There's supply and demand. Supply the resources and people will demand them.

      Simple concept. I can't knock somebody for making a buck. I just find it stupid for people to be paying for something like this in the first place.

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  28. I was on a BFRO expedition once and I walked up on Matt Pruitt taking a piss. I saw the biggest penis that I have ever seen. This guy should be in porn!

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  29. Your damn right it's wrong! Back in the days of the Pacific Northwest Expedition, expedition members got paid for their work. Now it has reversed.

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    Replies
    1. Jonathan you dont know what you are talking about you liberal pussy. You just want something for free like the rest of your family and friends you live off the government.

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