"Here's another nice mess [I've] gotten us into, Stanley".
There is a local forum for residents of the Lake Arenal area (http://grou.ps/duralavida/home) that devotes itself to things pertinent to the general neighborhood of Nuevo Arenal, Tilaran, Trondadora, and other villages in the area. Lately there has been considerable discussion about local crime, centering on burglaries, robberies, and home break-ins. Two different private security companies jumped into the discussion, going back a bit more than a month ago. The approach by both was obviously rooted in a style reminiscent of W (Bush; read: scare tactics), and was actually rather distasteful, to me, for one. These two were admonished publicly, by the Forum's administrator, and apparently backed off. One, however, continued to post messages in response to each new report from a regular forum member/local resident, strongly hinting that we all needed to engage his services. Incidentally, he is located in San Jose, and he does have a website (www.willspy). At any rate, about a month ago, I posted this in response to the Admin's lengthy post on this subject:
Thank you, Oliver & Admin, for trying to bring some sense to this situation. Frankly, I was completely turned off to the posts from both of these competitors, since they both (imho) were so blatantly preying on what they perceived to be our fears. What I think they both fail to understand is that we were simply doing what we do: sharing information important to the community on a forum for that purpose. I don't recall posting anything that might have suggested I felt a need for any kind of hype, or "Bush-ist" tactics, so I, for one, am glad to see them reined in a bit. (Actually, I had to laugh at one post that suggested the PI had to spend the night at my house to assess traffic, or some such thing. We average maybe four vehicles per week on our little road).
I think we all pretty much thought the matter was settled with this. Then, after weeks of silence, this appeared (posted by none other than the San Jose-based PI): First , John Dungan you dont have a clue! As much as You are a nice guy. It is not just the traffick! If you knew what a pro was talking about? You would understand that EVERY!!!! real pro in the world looks at the sight at night because if the sencors to be used because of the lights also it help us deciede where the dead spots are. Also this is going to be addressed next week on www.welovecostarica.com and if you have any questions about if I know what I am doing? I will be glad to fill your e-mail box with clients I have dun work for and they are very happy with us. And if there is 1 never in Costa Rica?That is never let anyone have access to your house without a background check. Scott at welovecostarica.com knows more about home ownership in C.R. that any other preson and he says what I have been saying is rite.
I, of course, could not let that rest, so I posted this reply a day or so later:
First, Doug Smith, I think I do indeed have a clue. Second, please do not patronize me, and presume to know me, to the point that you imply that I might be a nice guy. A lot of people will tell you that I am a grouch and probably a jerk! My remark about traffic was a reference to your potential client's statement that reported what you proposed to do, and I still think that is a pretty silly claim for you to have made in proposing to offer services to folks who live in a mostly rural area.
If I knew what a "pro was talking about?" What does that mean? If you were indeed a pro anything, I would expect you to be able to communicate clearly, and to at least pay attention to your spell check. As for Scott Oliver, please do not cite him to me as anything other than what I know him to be. Why would I want my email inbox full of "clients that you have dun" worked for? It is not like I have any interest in a service that you might be offering.
Meanwhile, I do not understand how you can presume to think that it could be remotely interesting to me to know that you think that Scott Oliver "knows more about home ownership in C. R. than any other person and he says what [you] have been saying is rite." I really do not understand what you mean by that statement. As far as I understand it, he is just an expat selling real estate to other expats. How does that qualify him as an expert on home ownership, and how does him (or anyone) being an expert on home ownership make them more qualified than I am to decide what I want to do with my home? What you perhaps do not understand is that not all of us live on large estates, with many acres of land surrounding our main house, and with extra guest houses, and hired help, and so on.
As for your statement about "never let anyone have access to your house without a background check." Say what? Do you ever listen to yourself? I suppose you would have us believe that you would be the one we should hire to perform that background check, right?
(Then, he posted this to the local forum): Okkkkkkkkk John I did not know you had 26 yrs in the business I was out of line. I checked with a friend in the U.S. they told me you have not been to any clases that they can find I will have them check again.We go "by the book" That is the only way I know how to do things. I will have my friends check for your name again and see what clases you have taken. I did not know you were in the business, I wish you well.
(Next, I received this private message): We are going to be up there on the 12th do you want to frount me? Or should you and just be men and you go your way and I go mine?Please note this is Costa Rica not Topeka. You mite should look at my web site because at this point you are the only person in C.R. that has not given me the respect I have always gotten.I dont know if you are a vet? But you need to know hwo you are talking to. I wish you well.
I have shared his personal messages to me with the Forum's Admin, and have informed Admin that I am not going to respond to this person at this point.
On Wednesday, the 30th, I received this personal/private email message, apparently forwarded to me by the Forum Admin, and evidently representing an exchange between him and this person: Hello Lake.Arenal.Forum@gmail.com, Doug Smith (from duralavida) sent you a private message:
(D.Smith): I pulled all my posts,
(Admin): Well? Why?
(D.Smith): as I said at first I was on the board as a favor.
(Admin): Sorry, most of us believe that you are/were soliciting.
(D.Smith): But I can see it is ok if that ass hole takes a shot at me,my comapny and the nice people that work for me.
(Admin): That "ass hole" [sic] is one of our neighbors. You do not display neighborliness, but instead your business is riding on fear. Where fear is, love and compassion can not be.
(D.Smith): He pissed off over 250 people on my Facebook page but that is ok by you.
(Admin): Explain why you think that Facebook matters should be our concern.
(D.Smith): We are going to be up the about the 12 we are going to go have a nice face to face with John.
(Admin): We suggest that you tell John first.
(D.Smith): you have a goood day
(Admin): Kind of you, if you mean it. This phrase can be used sarcastically, you know..
Maybe I'm not going to respond directly to Mr. Smith, but I think maybe it would be a decent idea to let folks know what my reaction to his statements is. So, here goes:
When did I say anything about being in any sort of business?! You checked with a friend? What the hell kind of statement is that? Clases? What the hell is a clase? Are you trying to threaten me? This may not be Topeka, Dorothy, but you still cannot hope to get away with physical threats, even by implication. You go by what book? Since you cannot spell or write worth a damn, I'd suspect that would be the old trusty tome whose main characters were Dick and Jane, right?
If you really think that I am the only person in this whole country who has failed to demonstrate respect for you (in what capacity, I don't know), then I would strongly suggest that you might consider seeking real professional help (as in, psychiatric therapy). Where I grew up, no one got respect by demanding it; they had to earn it, and I have not seen you do anything to earn my respect. As a matter of fact, if you had just stayed silent, and NOT posted your scare tactics sales pitch, I would probably have been able to respect you a whole lot more than I do now.
And, btw, I have seen your web site, and I was not impressed. You claim all kinds of experience, without actually providing any real bona fides. I worked with the FBI, too. So, what? I do actually have some experience with investigations, but that has nothing to do with what has been discussed on the local Arenal forum. Your web site indicates (per your "case histories") that you provide a sleazy service to sleaze bags. (The stalwart employees of Willspy kept the beggars away from the subject of the first 'case history')!
For some strange reason you wanted to know if I was a vet. Of course, I am a vet. So what? Does that make me more or less acceptable in your mind? Or, do you somehow mistakenly believe that if you claim veteran status I should therefore accept you at face value, and even respect you, after you have demonstrated such poor business tactics?
As for his having a concern about his Facebook, I can't for the life of me fathom what significance that has. I mean, it's not like I had so much as looked for his Facebook page (I have since done so, and gave it up as a lost cause; do you have any idea how many "Doug Smiths" there are on Facebook?), so how could I possibly have had any effect on it?