Talk:Tom Brown Jr.

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Ive never been to tracker school but Ive read a few books from tom brown. IMHO, its obvious to anyone with common sense that the stories in his books are works of fiction. I have 20 years military and 6 years as LEO. If this guy is as good as he says, he would be the GO TO GUY for this information, but he's not, dont let him fool you. The military has their own schools, the only soldiers going to him are paying for it themselfs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

This is a WP Discussion page and hence is exclusively reserved for remarks aiming at improving the article itself; it is NOT for all sorts of comments and ideas on the subject. Either add something to your post to make it meaningful or it has to be removed, in accordance to WP guidelines.
Also new sections are to be placed at the bottom of the page, not here at the top. If the post should remain, it needs to be shifted to the right place, and a section header to be added.
Respect WP guidelines! -- (talk) 19:29, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans[edit]

Aqhille, you are a complete brainwashed idiot. Ive been thinking about this for a few years now. Tom has not provided any evidence of Stalking Wolf. If you read his books he says that tracks stay for years after their maker leaves them. So with people asking for proof of Stalking Wolf, why hasnt anyone talked about his tracks? I have never heard or read anything about anyone finding or studying Stalking Wolfs tracks. With that said Im sure we will have a bunch of brownies coming to Toms rescue talking about S.W's tracks, Im calling B.S on those people right now for the simple fact that they would have used this as proof years ago. The whole S.W story reminds me of stories about a man that I loved and respected in my youth. He did wonderful things for people. He brought them great joy.... He also had magical powers. There are more stories about him around the world than can be counted. But the simple fact remains, and I am sorry kids, but Santa Claus is fake, plain and simple.

"Also, representatives of the Native American anti-cultural appropriation organization New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans have repeatedly denounced Brown as a fraud."

I have to say that the allowing of the inclusion of such blatant biased statements made by a supposed organization that has in itself a very plastic (ie. shallow, void of information, broken) website and whose source is an INTERNET FORUM where anyone can sign up and post just lost Wikipedia any validity IMO as a source of accurate and unbiased information.

I see all over the place in that forum and links people asking for proof.. How did Sandra whats-her-face disprove Tom Brown, what specifically is it that makes his school cult-like, and all these other questions which remain UNANSWERED!

If this is not removed then all those negative things people say about Wikipedia is true. I'm sorry but I won't be able to say "Hey, Wikipedia is a place you can get accurate information" anymore. Before it used to be well.. Avoid pages without citations, ok well then chcek the citations. but allowing something as proposterous as this is ridiculous.

I say someone answer those peoples' questions and post proof of this, or the entire thing should be removed from the page, or completely rewritten. It's ok to do "Brown claims" about everything in his bio but then say that such-and-such organization denounced him as a Fraud, as if they are in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER reputable when they don't even have a working website in 2009?!?!??

I've seen PEOPLE who know nothing about computers get websites set up for their small business, so that's not an excuse. This is an outrage really.

Everything that Tom Brown Jr. teaches is at the core of every form of spirituality that I have ever encountered that does not expect you to try and convert the masses into. If Christianity weren't so popular I would really hate to see what these faithless "If it can't be proven by science it's a fraud" people would do to the religion on a Wikipedia page. What Brown teaches is what every Indian elder around the world has been hoping for-- that the old ways get passed on. How can this organization dare claim to give a damn about Indian culture? What Tom teaches is from all over the world. Forget the spiritual stuff. All the physical skills are from all over the place.

This organization IMO is in itself a joke saying that there are Indian stereotypes in his books. Sounds like the psycho ramblings of a radicalist nutjob who cannot read things properly. If anyone wants to know the real deal on Tom Brown Jr. or has any questions you can freely ask on my talk page and I will answer all questions there, to the best of my ability. - Aqhillie (talk) 14:30, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Furthermore, some of the information linked through the NAFAPS forum is straight up MISINFORMATION. They say that Brown's classes teach now more new age mumbo jumbo and less skills. Yeah that's why I took Advanced Standard in September of 2009 and learned more skills than would fill a page of a notebook just writing them out. That's why the Advanced Skills class going on about the same time learned about the same number of skills but none overlapping at all what we were learning. Oh, but gee I'm sorry. I can't video record the class so I guess none of you will believe me. *rolls eyes so hard they fall out* - Aqhillie (talk) 14:34, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The other thing I want to say is about all the dissing over his Hummers, and the cry over hypocracy over this is just so retarded. When you actually do your homework you realize that ALL SUVs have the SAME SHITTY ASS gas mileage as the Hummer, yet the Hummer takes all the dirt. Sorry guys but Tom Brown isn't a hypocrite because he drives a Hummer. (although now he drives a Jeep). He drives an SUV because an SUV is required to drive to where he has to go in the wilderness. It's the same as all these people dissing on Al Gore because he has a private jet, or anyone else just because they own a car. I recently discovered this when I went shopping for an off-road capable car with good gas mileage. There's no such thing. Yeah sure, he should walk everywhere he goes. With modern day schedules being the way they are. People don't think. I'm just really fed up with all this crap. I'm still reading through that forum to find some shred of facts to back up that nonsense written in that page that was CITED AS A SOURCE!!!!!!!! - Aqhillie (talk) 02:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)


Check Wikipedia's Verifiability section here. Direct quotes need a source. I am removing the block quote that has no source, and the quote that cites a website and not a newspaper. The burden of evidence is on the editor that adds or restores material. Material that is challenged or likely needs to be challenged needs sources as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead an use the books he's published as reliable sources. Please see: "These provisions do not apply to subjects' autobiographies that have been published by reliable third-party publishing houses; these are treated as reliable sources, because they are not self-published."

All of his autobiographical books should be considered reliable sources for Wikipedia, based on this guideline. Jim Steele (talk) 21:12, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

This is with regards to the claim about the porcupine track. While it is true that the picture of the track is shown with 5 toes on the front, no where does Brown claim this. His illustrator may very well have just drawn the picture of the track based on what he or she saw in the Peterson Field Guide, but as it cannot be sourced I deleted it. I also removed the quotes from his brother. Reason being, that we have no way of verifying if that quote actually came from him. Jim Steele (talk) 21:28, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

The article still needs more sources. His Autobiographies are considered reliable sources by Wikipedia, please make use of them. Under the controversies section is where all of the (duh) controversies should go. Thanks Jim Steele (talk) 20:08, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

His "autobiographies" ARE NOT "reliable sources." They are merely his claims, without any evidence to support them.

I feel that the fact Brown has never presented any verifiable proof of Stalking Wolf or Rick needs to be posted in the controversies section. Although his books are considered reliable enough for wikipedia, they really are not a 3rd party verification. His brother seems to be willing to back him up on his claims, but once again, where is the proof? Auroravision (talk) 02:29, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that the controversies section addresses this already, but if you have something constructive to add than add it. Jim Steele (talk) 18:43, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

do you believe everything that you read? (talk) 22:48, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Of course not, but a wikipedia article isn't about believing what you read, it's about collecting verifiable sources and presenting that information in a clear, concise manner. I'm sure that there are verifiable sources which question Tom Brown, but until they are sourced (or even added with a citation needed tag) I don't see them as being necessary. I think the controversies section does a good job of answering this, if you don't then add your content with a source. Jim Steele (talk) 23:23, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I found a letter written by some of browns recent instructors online today. Apparently Mr. brown owes them money and refuses to pay them. The instructors were asking people to email the school in an effort to help collect their pay. Reminds me of another website (tracker trail) that had previously mentioned unethical financial practices by mr brown. They had also mentioned that it was not brown, but 3 others that came up with the subject matter taught in this class, therefore, it was not some of "stalking wolfs" teachings. Think its worth putting in the article? Auroravision (talk) 00:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like hearsay to me. Wikipedia shouldn't be the place for spreading rumors. If it was to make the news, I would say yes, but unless there's a way to verify it, I'd say no. Jim Steele (talk) 01:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I didnt believe it at first either, but i was able to get the letter forwarded to my email. These instructors were still teaching when i attended a class at tracker school last fall, i believe they have no reason to lie. go look at this link. Auroravision (talk) 03:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Just a heads up - while volunteering at a back to back - a 2nd level class - I met a man who as a boy had met Stalking Wolf. He had been taught by another native elder who had been friends with Stalking Wolf. Up to that time I had no proof that the man existed - but honestly I never really cared - because of the amazing things I learned while at the Tracker School.--Eric James Wolf (talk) 15:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)


If his teachings ring true, then what does it matter what the source is, other than it being controversial or a criticism?

I personally think wherever those e-mails came from, claiming that he never paid them and what not are simply made up or from disgrutled ex employees. Tom Brown Jr. is just as disprovable as he is provable, and the "show me some proof and i'll sing another tune" comment shows a distinct lack of faith present in the majority of modern society. I think you haev gone into the classes with the wrong attitude because everything he teaches he demonstrates and it si shown to be true. I have experienced it all. Are you to call me a liar? Wikipedia is supposed to be UNBIASED. That means just because you had a bad experience doesn't mean anything less than a paragraph reeking of skepticism is valued as neutral. That is not neutral, that is "false until proven true." If Rick and Grandfather are dead THERE WILL NEVER BE PROOF OF THEM. I mean the quotes by his brother have been removed. What if Rick's father were to come forward? "Oh well we can't verify who this guy it - 86 the quote." You guys give Wikipedia a bad name. There are books on history that out right lie about what really happened, and we know this, yet their Wikipedia pages probably don't have extremely skeptically slanted introduction paragraphs just because the material is suspect. This is not a zealous rant, it is just really annoying how skeptical people can be and then ignorantly believe that Tom Brown has to be misrepresented because certain people cannot prove his claims. The guy who said that those e-mails are hearsay is right. Now you come over and meet me some place, and I will show you how to open up your awareness and IT WILL WORK. Now I learned it from Tom Brown, Jr. I don't dwell on where he learned it from, or how he learned it, but I can tell from his attitude and way of thinking he did not learn it from another survival school.

Go read the Amazon negative reviews of his books and you will see this. "You can learn the skills elsewhere without the mystical mumbo jumbo." replace mystical with spiritual in some cases, replace mumbo jumbo with garbage, BS, etc.. So then it begs the question where did he learn the spiritual "mumbo jumbo?" He made it up? Oh, then how come it rings true with everything you will EVER read about Native American philosophy?

The answers are out there if you seek them out. Barnes and Noble has PLENTY of books on Indian culture/beliefs that have nothing to do with Tom Brown Jr. - Aqhillie (talk) 19:57, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

"Rings true" is simply a matter of opinion.
I grew up around real Apaches and Navajos, and Brown's claims certainly DO NOT "ring true" to me. They sound like nothing more than the sort of half-baked patronizing nonsense that upper-middle-class tourists were fond of spouting on day-trips up from Sedona.
Tom Brown makes extravagant claims that he will not---or simply can not---prove to be true. If "Rick" or "Grandfather" are dead---or even ever existed---there will be documentation of that. Despite some arrogant biligana's prejudices about what "rings true" and what life on the Rezes is like, accurate birth and death records have been kept for decades.
Quite simply, there is no reason at all to believe "Rick" or "Grandfather"/"Stalking Wolf" ever existed, let alone the rest of Brown's claims regarding them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to try something new. WHO CARES. This page is supposed to be about what Tom Brown Jr. is all about, yet I see a bunch of whiners complaining that they think the content is not true. So what happens? They think THEIR OPINION should take stuff off the page. Sorry but that's really ridiculous, and it's a laughable definition of neutrality. Tom Brown now runs Tracker SFI, an organization dedicated to finding missing children and fugitives on the run. They conduct training seminars to train law enforcement personell on the Lipan Apache pressure release system. Now of course all I could do is give you the website. Without finding out which members of NJ law enforcement have taken these seminars and talk to them about it, which also means driving up to NJ by the way. You won't be satisfied. all this to prove to a bunch of whining Internet users that including an accurate page for Tom Brown Jr. is not biased. Sorry but I have a job, and I have a life. If you think it's nonsense YOU prove it to be nonsense. Where is the evidence that anyone has actually LOOKED for evidence of Rick's existance? There will be no evidence of Grandfather's existance since he lived outside of society his entire life. These are rhetorical questions for you to think on, not a basis for argument because I'm done here. this is pure proof of the un-wise man's "seeing is believing" philosophy that is destroying this world. Now THAT is an opinion people. :)
also.. when I said rings true, it's NOT AN OPINION. When he says "this is what happens in the track when you speed up" and then you run and then go to run faster and look at your tracks, and exactly what he said is in your tracks that's FACT. It's the laws of physics man. I'm sorry if you think that's an opinion just because you're offended. I have many more examples of these facts. such as wide angle vision, sensing presense, and everything else. - Contributions/ (talk) 17:36, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

"All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach."-Adolf Hitler

I have taken several of toms classes, I consider myself a fan but I will not go overboard to defend him. He has never done or said anything to make me honestly believe in stalking wolf. This page needs to be neutral and NOT turned into a worship page by over zealous "brownies" like it has been at points in the past. I feel that the "he claims" or something similar should stay until there is verifiable proof presented of stalking wolf and his stories as this is the main controversy over the man. As far as him teaching methods, ideals and values that match those of native americans, it still doesnt prove the source of his teachings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I used to be a fan of toms, after 2 of his class i think hes full of lies. Show me some proof and ill sing another tune. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:24, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I dunno if this was part of the below mentioned overhaul, but IMO the first paragraph has been really messed up. Every sentence starts with "he claims" which is not neutral. You cannot really fully trust any biography, yet many bios appearing on Wikipedia do not do this. His bio is published on all his books and anything relating to him, many by publishing companies he does not control.

I have taken his classes and he knows what he's doing. Yes, some people think he's a charlatan. A lot of people think different things. That's what the ::criticism/contraversial:: section is for. Starting every sentence with "he claims" is both annoying (bad writing) and not a neutral point of view. It sounds like the person who wrote it either disbelieves everything about Tom Brown Jr. or is caving too much into a pressure to not write a regular bio just because some people would think what he says is unsubstantiated simply because there's no direct proof of his upbringing. The testimony of the president of any health organization should suffice to remove "he claims" from every single sentence of the bio.

I don't have time right now to rewrite it so I figured I'd just post on here and see what anyone has to say on the subject.

Here's another hint: You cannot substantiate his claims of PERSONAL background, but you can do research on the ideals and values he teaches. Just do some Native American research. Talk to some Native Americans. You will see that they will most likely substantiate EVERYTHING he says about his methods and teachings. I know this from Native Americans speaking on Youtube, people I know who's relatives/spouses are Native American, etc. Do some research, be creative...

- Aqhillie (talk) 14:18, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm planning to overhaul this page in the next few days.

My plan:

1.) Fleshing out his Bio, adding sources from his books (to show what he claims), and stressing that this is his official biography as has been published. 2.) Rewrite the controversies to section, adding sources, and trying to make a more balanced presentation. 3.) Remove any remaining unsourced information. 4.) Stylistic rewrite after that.

Feel free to add any input!

Jim Steele (talk) 16:42, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I just found this article randomly, but it seems not to adhere to lead section standards for biographical articles, e.i., not beginning with the formula "Person A, born in (year) is/was a(n) (profession/most notable characteristic." I would change that, but I don't have the necessary expertise. Fsotrain09 21:44, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

hmm, i'm not sure if i agree to those additions made quite recently to the tom brown, jr. page. If "stalking wolf" never existed, how did tom learn his skills? he has a tracking school, so he obviously learnt them somewhere. User:SECProto

There are many who have the skills and knowledge that Brown has, these skills are not new. there are many sources of this information that have been around alot longer than mr. brown. (talk) 03:33, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I also do not agree to the additions, but more importantly, I feel these violate Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. Statements such as:

Tom Brown Jr. remains a highly controversial character

give the misleading impression that Tom is controversial in general. While he may be controversial to a minority, he is not controversial to most. Therefore, the contrarian statements added by User: should be pushed into the background.

User:, this is your opportunity to respond to this discussion before these changes are completed.

I'd like to respond to another statement:

Brown's tracking skills go beyond what other professional trackers think is possible

Indeed they do. But this is no reason to dispute Tom's skills. Most people have a hard time believing what he can do, even when they see it with their very own eyes. As an example, I provide this quote from a police officer involved in a tracking case Tom worked. It is from Ocean Township Police Lt. Scott Sprague:

"Have you watched him (Brown) do this?" Sprague asked. "You watch him and you say to yourself,
'This guy is trying to pull the wool over my eyes. There's no tracks on the pavement to see. Who
does he think he's kidding?' Yet, he was able to do in two hours what nine cops, a bloodhound and a     
guy in a helicopter could not do in twice that time."
-"Expert Tracks Missing Child" by Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press, 2003

In summary, while it is true that evidence does not exist for elements of Tom's history such as Stalking Wolf or his year-long trek alone in the wilderness, this is no cause for doubt, except among those who are sceptical by nature. Indeed, why would there be evidence of such things; it is not expected, and only demanded by those naturally inclined to disbelieve. The comments of skeptics, though valid, are by no means a solid basis for an encyclopedic article.

-User:Lensim 02:56, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

I made the changes. User:Lensim Lensim 15:25, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Are you sure he lived in the woods for *ten* years? The sports illustrated article his web site points to says he spent 1 year in the woods.

I read a couple of his books, and they all refer to his 10 years in the wilderness. -SECProto 00:49, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Soon after Stalking Wolf left Tom (circa 1968), Tom spent just over one year in complete isolation from other people in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, taking only a knife. This is documented in his book The Search. Soon after, Tom spent a period of time wandering the U.S. (mostly in wilderness areas but not strictly), taking little more than a folding knife and bedroll. This is referenced in various books of his, most notably The Way of the Scout. The fact that these wanderings lasted about 10 years is noted on the Tracker School website in the short biography on Tom. Lensim 14:43, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I was a long time fan of Tom's although I never got the chance to attend one of his classes. Recently my feelings about him have changed and I'm not as taken with him as I once was. Two things caused this. First I meet him in person during a lecture and he was not what I expected. He's a wonderful speaker but he's not very friendly and very guarded. I can't even explain the feeling but I don't think "Grandfather" would have been like that. The second and more important reason has to do with one of Tom's early jobs. In the late 60s or early 70s he worked as a seasonal employee for a New Jersey park system. I work for this park system full time and I've mentioned his name to a few long time employees who knew him and supervised him. None had anything good to say about him and there general feeling was that he made up most of his history. They couldn't say how he gained his current skills but during his time working for the system he did not impress them with any skills he may have had. I trust the people I've talked to and they don't have any reason to lie. Apparently he was the first person to be fired from the park system. I just wish we knew the truth about him but I have a feeling we never will.

I do know Tom very well. I am his brother Jim. Tom was very frustrated with the park system you mention. Many people with the title of naturalist had a degree in biology but had no real knowledge of field biology. They couldn't identify trees, birds, etc. correctly. This frustrated Tom. He made a little museum for them and I remember him doing taxidermy. He had an owl that was positioned to attack its prey. It was fantastic. Tom did not have a college degree and on more than one occasion corrected the mistakes the "naturalists" made. This threatened them and they turned against him. He also had a habit of calling out sick so he could be out in the Pine Barrens. Tom had a tough time with the 9 to 5 box that the world wanted him to fit into. Tom always followed his own path. It’s what makes him unique. I am surprised by the negative attitudes. Tom is the most amazing and inspiring person I have ever met. His skills in the wilderness are legendary. I have always looked up to my big brother and I am very proud of him. Tom has had problems dealing with his "celebrity status." Many people try to invade his privacy and it is difficult for him to deal with this. I hope this helps. (Dr. Jim Brown)

I think the the statement about Tom constantly calling in sick and having a tough time with the 9 to 5 box is kind of funny. I dont think I know a single person that likes having to go to work everyday, but they do anyway. so how does this makes Tom special? Sounds to me like poor work ethic, it seems to have carried on through out his life, ive taken several classes at his school and have never seen him do much of anything there, except point out a few tracks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:50, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

No longer being taken with him is perhaps not a bad thing. It is hard to dispute his skills, having never seen them in real life, but his books are what is important. they promote being healthy, how to live in the wilderness etc - the guy may not be as great as you may have thought at first, but that doesnt mean he can't affect the reader in a positive way. SECProto 15:30, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I do not know Tom personally but I can speak from the experience of knowing someone "famous". Regardless of any skills Tom might have, he is still just a man like any other man, given to the same ups and downs, the same good and bad times as all other men. From afar, people of fame tend to look neat and tidy but in reality--though their achievements may be real--these personalities are just as complicated as the rest of us (c.f. Albert Einstein. "There is solid proof that Albert treated his wife disgracefully," says one PBS special. See also Charles Lindbergh. Great men; yet controversy exists...because though great, they are still men). As for Tom, take this quote from the Dedication of his book The Science and Art of Tracking, "To my wife, Debbie, who pulled me from the bowels of despair. Who stood by me and guided me back to my Vision when I was ready to give it all up." --Lensim 21:53, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it important to note, here, that a person being aloof or cold to people they don't know is never evidence of their not being as good as claimed about what they do. In fact, often, quite the opposite: from what I gather from the three books of his that I've read and from other sources I've read such as the article here, Mr. Brown has at least two of the defining characteristics of Asperger Syndrome - a condition which involves, among other things, an intense focus in one particular area of interest to the exclusion of most other things in life (often resulting in a degree of skill or knowledge others find hard to credit), and a difficulty with social interaction with other people. A large number of the world's leading scientists, mathemeticians, musical composers, etc., are likely to have this condition. The classical archetype of the "socially inept nerd" is pretty much based on it, and though Mr. Brown has a pretty unique area of focused interest, from what I've read of him he fits the bill.

I didin't know who Tom Brown is until I read this article. Yet I can say this: This article is not neutral. İt felt like I was reading a personal advertisment, not a wikipedia article. Isatay 03:34, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it is not very neutral. I have studied from Tom Brown, and read his books, but I would expect an article on Wikipedia to be different from what you might read on the school webpage. We have to step back a little, and try to aim for more objectivity.

As far as the controversy about where he learned his skills, Tom Brown's first student, Jon Young (who founded the Wilderness Awareness School) has said that Tom had extraordinary naturalist skills at the age of 18, when they first met. He also mentioned in an interview (that likely is no longer available through the net), that Tom would continue learning from as many people as he could, which may have led to people's claims that they taught him what he knows. GeoffreyCH 16:26, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Article needs documentation of notability[edit]

At the moment, all the external links in the article are either links to articles Tom Brown's written or links to websites controlled by him. The requirements for notability WP:N state: A topic is notable if it has been the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works from sources that are reliable and independent of the subject itself and each other. - while it seems very likely that it's easy to satisfy this criterion for this article, I don't believe the article currently documents that it's satisfied. --Alvestrand 07:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

He has written 17 very popular books, the first of which was a Reader's Digest featured book. The fact that there is little on the web about him speaks of his reclusiveness and his shunning of publicity, which is all the more reason to have this article, because many people want to know more about him but have no way of finding it. Softlavender (talk) 06:14, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Tom Brown is controversial among other wilderness survival and primitive living instructors. If you read various internet forums on these subjects, which I have over the past 15 years, this comes out. There has also been at least talk of him having a falling out with Larry Dean Olsen, a famous wilderness survival instructor, and their reconsiliation was published somewhere - either in Wilderness Way Magazine or in the Journal of the Society of Primitive Technology. I can't recall which. There is further talk that Tom Brown learned much of what he knows from Larry Dean Olsen, but I have never been able to track down the truth of this. As far as I know, no one has been able to find documentation of his friend Rick's existence, military service, or Apache ancestry. There are a lot of unanswered questions about Mr.Brown and to date he has not been forth coming about any of these questions.

None of his stories are verifiable, just do a lexus nexus search on him, he claims to have solved 750 cases by his 27 birthday. Which is about a case a week, yet there are almost no articles on him, one or two, normally on how he screwed up. His classes are very very crowded, 80-120 plus, he doesn't really teach, he just talks and yells a lot, and blabs about some BS stories. He owns several mansions, and hummers and chain smokes, he doesn't walk his talk, he isn't about saving the earth like he talks about. He also has a loyal cult like following who adamantly defend everything about him and his school, and promote him. If you're serious about learning how to live in the woods, go elsewhere.

Article is highly biased[edit]

This article portrays Tom Brown in a very positive, almost god-like light, without any citations. The very large quotation in the middle has no citation at all. The following quote is cited:

This amazement is possibly best illustrated in the following quote by Ocean Township Police Lt. Scott Sprague who worked with Tom in 2003 to successfully find a missing boy (taken from "Expert Tracks Missing Child" by Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press, 2003):

"Have you watched him (Brown) do this?" Sprague asked. "You watch him and you say to yourself, 'This guy is trying to pull the wool over my eyes. There's no tracks on the pavement to see. Who does he think he's kidding?' Yet, he was able to do in two hours what nine cops, a bloodhound and a guy in a helicopter could not do in twice that time."

I did a Google search for with the name of this article and the author and the only result was this page.

This article is not online in the Asbury Park Press archives, yet. However, it is in pdf form on the "tracker trail" website (not affiliated with Tom Brown). I added a link to this pdf in a formal wikipedia reference in the main article. Also, I removed the banner which stated the article did not cite "any" sources. I know more citations are wanted, so if there is a similar banner, but one which is not so extreme, please add that one.--Lensim 16:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
This source does not meet Wikipedia's verifiability standards. While a cite to the newspaper would be sufficient, a cite to a self-published website is not acceptable. The website you are referring to is maintained by a self-described fan, student, and employee of Tom Brown. The fact that the website frequently says it is not affiliated with Tom Brown does not mean it is an objective source. Until a verifiable source can be found, the quote should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

This article also leaves out some of the more fanciful parts of Tom Browns philosophy. For example he teaches followers to use their minds to control a fire and that experts can use their minds to freeze a person mid-step. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

If you feel something is left out, go ahead and put it in! I will make a personal comment which is appropriate here. This is a first-hand account. Over a few days one December, my brother and I, along with tracker school students and instructors, helped prepare some tracker school property to be sold to a new owner. As we were leaving, my brother and I casually said good-bye to one tracker school instructor who was taught by Tom himself, among others. This man thanked us, verbally, from the bottom of his heart, but my brother and I continued our casual departure. A few paces later, my brother and I both stopped cold in our tracks. I mean, from a quick walking pace to zero, in an instant. We both turned around to face the instructor. From a few yards away he again thanked us, and this time my brother and I had no choice but to feel the weight of his heartfelt thanks. After a long pause, we peacefully parted ways. There is no doubt in my mind that this man "froze" my brother and I, in order to properly thank us.--Lensim 16:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I hope I sorted out some of the stylistic problems with this page. I also tried to rewrite with a more neutral tone199.76.178.100 02:11, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Good work so far. Willbyr (talk | contribs) 12:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree: a more neutral tone is appropriate for Wikipedia. Keep it up.--Lensim 16:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I have studied all of Toms books- read articles, and I even have a friend who paid to spend a week alone with him learning from him. He informed me personally of some of the details of his time spent with Tom. The things he shared with me about his time spent with Mr Brown, would to some, seem like magic. Since My friend, who I wish to remain anonymous, had spent an unusually longer period of time alone with Mr Brown than most others students have, I felt my friend could qualify the validity of Mr browns skills. I asked my friend his opinion about Mr Brown. It was stated categorically, that Tom was the real deal. I have no reason to mistrust my friend as he is well respected by all who know him and has no need to remain loyal or lie to support Mr Brown. None I have questioned who know Mr Brown has disputed his tracking skills. Furthermore- it is highly doubtful that someone could learn all of the philosophies, techniques, skills, etc without the help of a master teacher. Let alone dream up such practical skills to teach others simply to satisfy ego, gain following, or monetary reward as most people will easily see through fraudulent behavior. The fact that he has many who take further studies at his school, indicates there must be something to what he teaches since, to be ineffective in any way, would lead to disillusionment of most. Not just the few dissatisfied persons. After all what business does not have some dissatisfied customers?. My proposition is that somehow, somewhere Tom MUST have had a teacher to know the things he knows. As imaginative as our minds can be there would be major flaws of inconsistency which to me are not apparent in his books. When scrutinized it seems as unbelievable to me that these stories are fictional because it would take as much genius to make up stories of that magnitude as it would be to learn these unbelievable skills. In fact in order to make up his biography and write those books,he would have to have had intimate knowledge of things which in their own right would be very difficult to fake. So much so that should his books had have been released as works of fiction they would have been oppositely criticized as real experience. I also wish to respond to the case of Toms park position- I agree with Dr Jim Brown, since I know of the mentality and closed mindedness I personally have experienced in trying to teach others of a "better way" in relationship with nature, it is extremely hard, if not impossible to get the "in-doctrine-ated" to see anything outside their realm of understanding. there is a close-mindedness that comes from modern society regarding esoteric understanding. To some or most people the philosophy of one-ness and the natural ways are as dogmatic as any religion. This is apparent in the reluctance of society to abandon high technology even though that technology may be responsible for many of human kinds issues. Regardless, Toms ideals are shunned by many in my opinion because it threatens the reality of those, who like the park rangers, view nature through the microcosm rather than the gestalt way of thinking Tom brown shows us. (anonymous)

Reverted removal of skeptical commentary[edit]

I reverted an attempt by User:Springburn to remove a lot of critical commentary from this article.

One reason is that he's not discussing his changes (I agree that a lot of the critical commentary deserves removal, because it's not sourced - in most cases, Wikipedia should REPORT critical commentary, it shouldn't CREATE it), but the other reason is that he was adding some rather stilted - AND unreferenced - theories about what happens to a bathroom scale when you turn your head. I felt those additions to be entirely unsupportable. --Alvestrand 09:50, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the material described one of the ways in which Brown reads tracks. I've taken the introductory course at Brown's tracking school, and part of the training involves being able to read very subtle changes in tracks which are caused by minor changes in body position, which Brown calls "pressure releases." I think that may be covered in Brown's book The Science and Art of Tracking, but ATM I don't have the time to properly verify that that's in there, and won't for another couple of weeks. Willbyr (talk | contribs) 16:18, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I own The Science and Art of Tracking. It's all laid out pretty plainly. I agree that it sound fantastic until you actually begin studying tracks. 16:40, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Added the Science and Art of Tracking reference (talk) 17:19, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

RE the Bullshit link - Even though I'm a supporter of Brown, if the show featured him as part of its material, then it deserves mention in the article, especially if there's a link that can be used as a reference. Other controversial people have been featured on that show and have references to such in their Wikipedia articles; Brown is no different and must be treated impartially. Willbyr (talk | contribs) 13:24, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Recently Added Controversies[edit]

A lot of this article is unsourced, reason being that there isn't much on Tom Brown that he himself has not written, but the most recent claims, regarding his copying of a Peterson Field Guide, need sourced. If it cannot be sourced than I suggest it be deleted, which is what I just did to the claim the the "Grandfather" audio book had been nominated for awards. In full disclosure, I'd consider myself a Tom Brown fan, but I'm not above suspicion. I would just like to see the proof. If whoever made those edits would add some documentation (scans of the pages or the like). In addition, the simplified system of animal gaits, while not entirely accurate, is a workable model, which is all you can hope for with complected phenomena. An analogy would be with the electron shell theory, not perfect, but workable.

I would also add in support of Tom Brown's claims to military advising, that the Army's Survival Manual 21-76, uses the exact illustration of a debris hut with similar description as Tom used in his book on wilderness survival, despite the survival manual being published years afterwards.

I am a fan of Tom Browns, but I doubt his claims of teaching the military. While I was at tracker school his wife Debbie insisted that his training the military was a secret. If it is such a secret, then why is he publishing it?? Not only that but some of his other supposed "classified" stories that have been published. Doesnt the government usually prosecute those that leak classified information? Its the inconstancies in his stories that make me wonder what is truth and what isnt. I also know a navy seal, he said he has never heard of brown. Just like most of Toms claims, there is not one shred of proof. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:12, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

This next claim I can't source, I'm either bullshitting you or not, but I've known two guys in the Navy SEALS. I've discovered that both of them were familiar with the Fox walk and the Weasel walk and used those same names.

Jim Steele (talk) 22:35, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

In addition, this comment:

Additionally, his categorization of animal gaits into "diagonal walkers", "pacers", "bounders", and "gallopers" is simplified, when any given animal can have various gaits, depending on if it is stalking, walking, running, and so on.

is misleading. Yeah, Tom categorizes animal gaits into those things, but the gaits are more of a linear chart, in which the animal will take on the gait to the left when stalking, or take on the gait to the right when in severe trouble, etc. This is how he taught it in the Standard class at the Tracker School. Now, I haven't read The Science and Art of Tracking, which is the only reason I have not removed that statement, because I do not know if that information was left out of the book either by the publisher or by Tom himself, but while it may be simplified his teaching is by no means leaves out what this person claimed.

-- Aqhillie (talk) 01:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Place of birth[edit]

I wonder wether the source that the date of birth was taken from would not also give a hint to the place? Some autobiographical remarks contained in his writings (which unfortunately I did not yet have an opportunity to read myself)?

Regards, -- Sophophiloteros (talk) 13:09, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Tom was born at the Pall Kimball Hospital in Lakewood NJ on January 29, 1950 and immediately returned to the family residence in Beachwood NJ where he grew up and began his love of nature and the NJ Pine Barrens. Dr. Blackwell Sawyer, a beloved physician from Toms River, delivered Tom and me. Our Mom is Janet McLaughlin Brown is still living (90 years old) and our Dad, Thomas Haughey Brown Sr. died at 83 years of age in 2003 for anyone who needs this kind of detail. I am Tom's only brother, Dr. Jim Brown, an associate professor and former dean at Ocean County College. I certainly verify Tom's biography and am very proud of Toms accomplishments. I would definitely classify Tom as a naturalist and I believe he has made a significant impact nationally on the way people feel about nature. I am only 3 years younger than Tom but Tom was always the greatest teacher in my live. I do believe that Tom has incredible skill in the wilderness and he has helped an entire generation to have a new respect for nature. Beachwood NJ was a wonderful place for two young boys to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s. We had the Toms River and the Barnegat Bay on our front door and the seemingly endless Pine Barrens at our backdoor. This was perfect environment for a young Tom and Rick to develop their skills. Our maternal grandfather was William McLaughlin who had a huge influence on my life with respect to helping the homeless and public health. He died in 1960 when I was seven and Tom was ten years old. When Tom started calling Stalking Wolf “grandfather” I bitterly resented it because I was so close to our maternal grandfather. However, reflecting back on our childhood, Stalking Wolf was a mentor to Tom. He was Rick’s grandfather so both Rick and Tom called him that as a term of endearment and out of great respect. As the younger brother, I adored my “big” brother and resented Rick coming into Tom’s life and taking my big brother away. I developed my friends and Tom developed his and I didn’t get to play with Tom as much. I missed that but that is normal development in almost any family. I am disturbed by some of the negative comments about Tom’s biography. I was there throughout Tom’s entire life and I can only tell you that he always was truly amazing in the eyes of his little brother. Tom did not get a college degree. He was educated nonetheless in the NJ Pine Barrens through hours of observation and practice of his outdoor skills. I always joked that although I had my Ph.D. in microbiology, Tom had his in the wilderness. I don’t know what kind of proof you need of Tom’s early life but I was very much there and part of it. I hope this helps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:41, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

A Naturalist?[edit]

The article states that Tom Brown is a "Naturalist", that is; someone who studies the natural environment for scientific purposes. Now I don't know much about the guy, but from reading the article there is nothing that would lead me to believe this man is a naturalist. As far as I can see, he's a survivalist not a scientist. A naturalist learns about animals and plants, this guy just seems to eat them. That's like describing Bear Grylls as a "naturalist", he most definitely is not and I doubt this guy is either. I suggest all reference to him being a "naturalist" be removed, unless he has some kind of training in biology or zoology. --Hibernian (talk) 17:53, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I highly disagree. This is semantics and really ridiculous. It's like the argument that Cesar Millan is not an animal behaviorist simply because he doesn't have any "format ivy league" education. It's really IMO arrogant and stupid. I would suggest a lot more or explain further but it will fall on deaf, ignorant unwilling ears. - Aqhillie (talk) 14:13, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


Dates of at least some of his book do not indicate the true publishing history:

The Tracker 1978

The Search 1980

The Vision 1988

The Way of the Scout 1995

There is no point in giving the dates of the latest paperback edition else 1984 would be recorded as having been published in 2007.三人莫然 (talk) 03:10, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

A cult?[edit]

There is speculation floating around that this is in fact a super secret cult. Brainwashing, sex, secrets, rituals, everything that comes with this territory. I was one of Toms biggest haters, but I think I am wrong, I believe my friends have proven me wrong, so Im changing my atitude until someone proves the cult rumors for a fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:09, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I dont think Tom is that bad, he has gone secret because he is sick and tired of all the speculation and stories floating around on the internet. I was asked to not come back to his school, but I know I had a bad atitude when I was there. I have several friends that still go to his school, I dont think they are brainwashed, they definitely see things differently, and in their own way, they are right about alot of things. I think he is loved because he is a teacher. Anyone with any amount of fame is going to have people who worship them and think of them as and treat them special. It has taken me along time to realise this. Maybe its a cult in its own way, but I dont think its bad, its just unknown and that scares people, including myself sometimes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Notice of deletion of offensive material[edit]

The section entitled "Controversy" has been deleted due to these violations of wikipedia policy:

This "core content policy" informs us not only that sources are required, but that "Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources", which most certainly applies here. The only source given in the section about "controversy" quotes Brown himself as saying that the skills involved in tracking require years to learn. No controversy there! Fortunately, wikipedia provides a remedy for this situation: "Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed. Please remove unsourced contentious material about living people immediately."

Biography of Living Persons
This policy informs us of the following:

  • "Articles should document in a non-partisan manner what reliable secondary sources have published about the subjects..."
  • "Pages that are unsourced and negative in tone, especially when they appear to have been created to disparage the subject, should be deleted at once..."
  • "Remove immediately any contentious material about a living person that is unsourced or poorly sourced..."

No Original Research
This is a polite way of saying "goofy goofy goofy".

Neutral Point of View

If anyone would like to defend this section on "Controversy", then get some citations in order and we'll go through them one by one. Hopefully, they'll be from noted sources and not some unknown writers of drivel. There are some other problems with this article, most notably the notion that Brown has some association with the "New Age Movement", and is not only a "New Age Writer", but a "New Age Spiritual Leader"!! That would certainly suffice to create a "controversy" if it were true. Where are the citations? Who said that Brown is a "spiritual leader"? Is there any reputable source who claims that Brown is as famous as the Pope? Who says that Brown is associated with the "New Age Movement"? Does any responsible person think that Brown is as great a story teller as the academic luminary Carlos Castaneda? Or maybe someone wants to associate Brown with some supposedly-Christian reputedly-pedophiliac cult?

Is this what is called "infotainment"? Step up, boys. Who wants to own these gems?  ~ E.N.Stanway (talk) 06:12, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Tom Brown Jr./Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This entry does not cite any of its sources, and is essentially a promotion and in accurate portrayal of Tom Brown Jr. It makes numerous claims, and no where does it cite its sources. There is plenty controversy surrounding Tom Brown Jr. None of his stories can be verified, a good example being that he claims he solved his 750th case on his birthday yet if you do a lexus nexus search you find one or two cases, normally one's he messed up on. His classes are also very crowded, 80-120 plus people, and little if any interaction with the so called teachers. Look at all the instructors they have gone through. They have a merchandise store. He doesn't even walk his talk, he owns several hummers and mansions and chain smokes.Oaktree8 22:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Substituted at 22:01, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Roy Brown, Jr. which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 16:04, 17 September 2016 (UTC)