Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Crime

Charlottesville marcher Andrew Dodson linked to furry fandom and neo-nazi organizing.

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a followup to previous coverage of the tiny alt-right fringe of furry fandom (Altfurry).  See: 1) Altfurry supports neo-nazi violence, with member Nathan Gate on camera in Charlottesville. And 2) Furries resist hate, Altfurry Discord logs go public, Casey Hoerth removed by employers. Hate isn’t being welcomed, and this is the third furry name in a headline about it here. There are more to come.

Andrew Dodson in Charlottesville, August 11-12

It turns out that a well circulated photo from the Charlottesville “Unite The Right” hate rally is of a known furry.  Andrew Dodson is (or used to be) a furry going by the names GoldenZoltan and Flukepup. This is his former FA page. (archive) More on that below. First let’s look at how he came to be pictured.

The photo circulated with the events in this story: Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified.

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Furries resist hate, Altfurry Discord logs go public, Casey Hoerth removed by employers.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week, Dogpatch Press linked the alt-right of furry fandom with a violent neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville. It came on a wave of fandom news, synched with the even bigger one in the mainstream.  There’s too much for one update (more is coming.)

Open neo-nazi marching led to nationwide pushback.  It included hate groups being kicked off of many services, from Paypal to Discord. The Altfurries saw it coming in their own Discord group, and soon their group was gone. (Keep in mind that’s not a government act.)

That was a signal for inside leaks to be exposed.  I had access for months but couldn’t talk about it before.  Months of altfurry private communications are now here for anyone to see; what we’ve been saying all along wasn’t exaggeration.  Altfurry really does represent neo-nazi activity they are trying to push into the fandom. It was a huge blow to their pretense of just having different opinions.  The dust will be settling for a long time.

Altfurrydiscord logs get viral sharing and media coverage.

Flayrah covered some of the happenings: ‘Alt-Furry’ suffers blowback after Alt-Right rally leads to death of citizen.

Newsweek interviewed some involved people including Deo, and from the altfurries, Casey Hoerth and Nathan Gate. The journalist is a freelancer who did a previous piece on the alt-right, whose previous experience was writing for Heat Street (a conservative site that recently shut down). I spoke to his editor about reporting with false equivalency. And I spoke to another media source for coverage that isn’t open to talk about yet. Those articles are forthcoming.

Work begins for sorting info.

Confidential volunteers are tracing connections and identities in the altfurry logs. A few sample contents include:

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Altfurry supports neo-nazi violence, with member Nathan Gate on camera in Charlottesville.

by Patch O'Furr

Altfurry is the term used by a tiny fringe of hateful bigots in the furry fandom.  (It’s accurate to replace “alt” with “anti”, as you can see below).  Last week they encouraged members to attend the “Unite the Right” rally where neo-nazis attacked and killed protesters. (archive)

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Vice News and furries, the Fullerton murder story, and “sensational media”.

by Patch O'Furr

Vice’s Furries topic has excellent news reporting. You can find a few missteps, but it has some of the best focused attention that the media has ever given to the fandom, way beyond Furries 101.  One outstanding article is CSI Fur Fest: The Unsolved Case of the Gas Attack at a Furry Convention. Writer Jennifer Swann got an Ursa Major award nomination for it.  Their most recent is Who Makes Those Intricate, Expensive Furry Suits? (Fred Patten and myself were proud to assist writer Mark Hay – I sent a long summary of history, makers, details to investigate, and links.)

Those show that not all media is bad, and talking to them has good results. That’s different from prevailing attitudes against “sensationalism” that blindly treats “the media” as an epithet – as if PBS is the same as the National Enquirer. There’s a world of difference between trashy daytime TV and well-researched long-form reporting. But a fandom grudge persists, for as long as 16 years after stale old incidents we all know and hate. There’s even backlash at members who step out of line. This friend of ours experienced it:

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Harassment in fandom needs to be taken seriously – guest post by Lamar.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Lamar for submitting. His articles on Flayrah include this recommended one: “Furry, not an obscure little fandom any more” – it’s as relevant today as in 2011.

A couple of weeks ago I put out a call via Twitter, helpfully reposted by some high profile people, to see if I could get any first hand reports of how Convention and Security staff handled issues at Conventions.

I had exactly three replies in total. One saying that they had once reported someone vaping inside the convention space. One security staffer who was unable to discuss any details but expressed that incidents of harassment do happen, and have to be handled correctly and with care. And finally, another con staffer who accused me of being on a “fishing expedition” and using rumours to ascribe bad faith.

And outside of twitter I talked to a young member of the fandom, who continues to receive targeted convention related harassment. I’m going to call him Adrian, but that’s not his real name. Adrian shared copies of the messages. They include slurs and rants, including for instance “You ATTENTION seeking c***”. Adrian received this harassment, for speaking out about what happened to him at a convention some years ago. I ask him to talk about it.

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Fursuit theft in San Francisco leads to a lion hunt.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet Clumzy Lion from Toronto. He was one of 5,138 furries who came to Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno on June 1-4, 2017. His trip included a night in San Francisco’s popular Fisherman’s Wharf area before flying home.  That’s where he lost his head.  Clumzy’s car was broken into, and they even took his passport so he couldn’t fly.  Being robbed and stuck is much worse than just a sad feline.

Remember a similar fursuit theft that made local news by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart? More about that below. They’re linked in case they can help.

(Update: thanks to @SFist for sharing the story!)

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Call for help with the Fullerton Murder story; and The Furry Code Of Silence.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry reached new heights in 2016. Disney came to our party.  There was a low point of a chemical attack on Midwest FurFest that turned into a high quality Vice News story.  Notice the title, “CSI Fur Fest” – I’d like to think it was chosen to make up for the other CSI, who did us a disservice. But this time “the media” earned a nomination for a 2016 Ursa Major award.

It was cool that Vice did that story. The media was on our side.  That’s the theme of this post.

In 2017, there was the unreal experience of Furry Nazis grabbing the wheel for a minute and making us swerve into no-man’s land.  Maybe we’re getting back on track, but don’t relax.  Those headlines were rough, but rougher ones are coming.

Look at California, where you might say Furry Fandom really got started. In SoCal, the Skiltaire House is where you can hang out with the founders of the first convention and have a friendly night of fursuiting or watching animation.  That’s where Jennifer Yost was known as a mom to others, including her daughter Daydreamer Fox. They went together.

One day in the fall of 2016, Daydreamer went missing. The Skiltaire put out an alert. I shared it and got contact from a reporter. Then Daydreamer was found. It wasn’t a missing person alert any more. The Yost parents and a family friend were dead and two other kids were orphaned.

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Rocky Mountain Fur Con backs neo-nazis, sex offender to intimidate critic for reporting threat.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

A Dogpatch Press exclusive report for community interest.

BACKGROUND: A neo-nazi cult-like group (the “Furry Raiders”) is agitating the Colorado Furries.  They recruit members with gifts, grooming, and manipulation.  It makes a classic appeal to people who are desperate to belong to a group. The Furry Raiders self-create an “us vs. them” situation by provoking others so they can pretend to be treated unfairly.   Their trolling includes assault, spreading hate speech, display of nazi-style apparel, refusing to honor meet rules, posting photos of people against their wishes, doxxing enemies to harrass them on the phone, and persistent straw-man attacks at “SJW’s”. In 2016, they provoked wider attention when they tried to gain power at Rocky Mountain Fur Con by interfering with the hotel room block.  In early 2017, they gained more mainstream news headlines.

There is a spotlight on furries and the subculture they love. This report, with participation of many concerned Colorado furries, is not to sensationalize the fringe so media can mischaracterize the rest. Their message is that they care enough to oppose malicious behavior, so protecting a superficial image is less important than making a good community.

Deo, a steelworker in the midwest, was upset about the trolls.  They were ruining what the furry community represents to her.

It made her connect current events to the problem.  She tweeted about punching Nazis.  It was a rhetorical comment in line with the patriotic spirit of entire generations of Americans since WWII.

A troll answered to threaten her.  It involved Rocky Mountain Fur Con.  Deo had never gone and wasn’t planning to go, but cared enough about other furs to notify police and hotel security.* Deo says: “It started when a Furry Raider member @Oliviameles threatened to bring a gun to RMFC – I contacted RMFC con security to warn them.  I never received a reply to my email.” 

(*Update: on 7/16/17, clarification was requested. Deo gave an accurate quote of emailing the con only. It was lumped with “hotel” the con was in, an editing error referencing the quote and email I saw. Deo didn’t contact the hotel or police in Colorado. I was told of consulting local jurisdiction about her safety but they wouldn’t pursue net activity.

In the below screenshot: 1) Deo’s 1/26/17 tweet is a meme joke about that week’s much hyped news of Richard Spencer being punched. 2) The chair and staff of RMFC confirmed that there were many threats before and after Deo’s tweet and the hotel did not act until March.)

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Is this news editorial cartoon about furries making fun of a tragedy?

by Patch O'Furr

Please help children of the tragedy in this post: Support the Yost family and In Loving Memory Of Billy Boucher.

News tip thanks to Spottacus.  Below is his post about an editorial cartoon in the OC Weekly about a triple homicide in Southern California.

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Spottacus Cheetah: “Making fun of murdered family is so offensive.”

“…I imagine the family, somewhat devastated by the murder, seeing two people in costume speculating with happy smiles about what the killers were wearing. That just seems to belittle the tragedy.

In contrast, consider the post-massacre Hebdo cartoon, of a saddened Muhammed grieving over the deaths there.

(Paris, 2015: “4 Cartoonists Killed In Attack On Charlie Hebdo Newspaper“.)

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Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.

by Patch O'Furr

Please visit this GoFundMe campaign for expenses for surviving kids.

There has been a lot of talk about a tragedy this weekend in Southern California.

I wanted to say something about these ties:

This is very sad for everyone. There might be unusual headlines about it, but the social connection could happen with a group of workers, students or anyone else. Killing is against everything our little fan group is for. Thanks are due to the OC Register for telling the purpose in the bottom line, with a quote from a local member: “People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life.” 

This is a niche interest, so when something like this happens, it’s personal tragedy to us beyond just a news story to others. Many members have lost friends or have very close ties to those who did.  Please send thoughts to them, and the surviving kids most of all.

I felt a little responsible for saying something, because of the way things started to happen when news started coming out.  At first, it was just a call to locate a Missing Person (a fur) who was soon located.  I tweeted that and got a high amount of views.

When more came out, I looked into it deeply to write a big story.  I talked to people close to it, with personal knowledge that nobody else had.  Some info came out that was directed to the police.  Then I saw people local to the story asking for space.  They asked for it to be kept as their story, given time to process, and handled by professionals and cops.  That was when I decided this is beyond fan level.  I removed all my tweets and passed on their message.

I think it really is the worst thing that ever happened with ties to this community. It’s not that unusual compared to other crimes that happen in cities, but I think it’s disproportionately big to a niche group.  It might have to do with 2016’s explosion of interest and positive activity as well – things are just growing.

That wasn’t quite the end of it. The OC Register reporter had a lot of conversation with me due to my initial notice.  They were puzzled about what furries are and what they do. Of course they already knew this was part of the story – that wouldn’t be overlooked.  It made a dilemma – I thought that if tabloids were going to exploit this, maybe a real member should say something to real news.

So I sent the best info I could about the definition of “Furry” and referred the reporter to the same local person who I saw asking for space and respect.  I thought he was already doing a good job of handling it.  So when you see Bandit speaking in the piece, it’s not for attention, it’s because he was asked. Remember that he lost friends, like everyone else close to this story, and that’s the real deal.

There were a few missteps from the OC Register piece (nobody said anything about “sensitive” topics,) but Bandit seems to be getting many thank-you’s for doing a good job from local members.  He mentioned turning down other interviews, and I think that’s a good idea. Say it once and let it go.

I have been checking around to see what comes out. I expect tabloids to try riding this, but most of the few I have seen so far seem pretty negligible, and I hope they get little mileage.  They can say there’s weird stuff with misfit people, but nobody did a crime while participating in one of our activities. In the end it’s just between regular humans.

TL;DR: Was going to write a big report. Stopped to let locals and pros process. I think it’s beyond fan level. It’s awful and sad. There hasn’t been anything this bad in fandom before. Let it process and share good words to anyone who lost friends and family.

UPDATE 9/29/16:

Thank you to the OC Register and reporter Scott Schwebke for linking here.  And thank you to Scott for being professional and sensitive, and doing good detective work.  I believe that Scott’s reporting has helped to stop rumors and confusion.  There was a screenshot of a supposed murder confession that was degraded enough that you could see it was shared hundreds or thousands of times, before it was posted out-of-context on some trashy tabloid blogs.  Scott dug up the source and provided context that I think shows it could NOT have been a reasonable clue of real danger before the incident.  Thank you to everyone in the community who stepped up to provide such info to aid police investigation.  Everyone’s concern will help heal this incident to heal in time.