The truth about the myth that “Deo Killed RMFC” – guest post by Harper.
by Patch O'Furr
Ignoring all the evidence out there, let's just look the purported events about what happened. Deo says "can't wait to punch those nazis" 2/
— perpetual inadequacy (@GunRoar) July 21, 2017
It’s very possible you’ve heard the assertion that Deo (DeoTasDevil) is responsible for the demise of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. There’s been a lot of back and forth about it, and allegedly she’s the main and even sole party responsible. Let’s put aside the various instances of the fallout and just examine the sequence of events pertaining to Deo’s participation.
- In January 2017, Deo tweets “can’t wait to punch these nazis.”
- She receives a reply from someone that they would be amused if she were shot in response to her purported action.
- Deo responds asking if this person was threatening to bring a gun to RMFC.
- Deo contacts RMFC security to inform them of a potential issue.
Let me be clear: I'm aware of no state that allows you to shoot someone for punching you, then crying self-defense.— Boozy Badger (@BoozyBadger) May 27, 2017
^ A lawyer’s opinion.
In April, three months later, the C&D letter and SovCit business happens. RMFC reveals that the hotel and local police have been called numerous times to make various threats (before and after Deo’s January tweet.) This concerns the hotel so much that they demand RMFC pay an additional $22,000 for increased police presence at the property. Shortly after the cost demand, RMFC announces they’re shutting down. Elsewhere, Deo is accused of having made at least some of the calls to the hotel and police, if not having orchestrated the entire phone-based attack. Essentially, some group of people mass called the hotel of the venue to make bogus threats and fake safety/publicity concerns, which led to the hotel asking for extra funding to be provided for increased security (months after Deo’s tweet.)
(Patch:) To update the April article that preceded the closing of RMFC – a clarification was recently added by request. Deo gave an accurate quote of emailing the con only. She didn’t contact the hotel or police in Colorado. At the time it was written, there wasn’t a group dedicated to blaming Deo, so that wasn’t made entirely clear.
Fast forward a few months and Califur experiences the same problem. People begin calling the hotel– though this time regarding the content of one of the panels featured at Califur– making fabricated concerns and threats. The hotel demands a hefty fee for additional security. However, the individuals behind this attack are members of “Alt-furry”. They even discuss formulating a plan to attack AC in a similar fashion.
Who fucked over Califur?— Deo (@DeoTasDevil) June 27, 2017
Oh yeah it was those assholes organizing threatening calls inside their AltFurry Discord.
Califur lost its hotel this year due to the same hate group that swatted it last year which cost Califur $24,000. https://t.co/GRtoYarPXt
— Chip Fox 🦊 (@chipfoxx) March 1, 2018
Coincidentally, the people claiming that Deo orchestrated the attack on RMFC are also members of Alt-furry. This makes two conventions that have been attacked in this way with a third planned (though no word on whether or not AC was actually attacked has been given). Assuming we don’t know the identities of who attacked RMFC, we do know that Alt-furry went after Califur. Both follow the same MO, yet we’re told that Deo is guilty by the very people caught redhanded in the second and potentially-third attack.
This is an immediate red flag that the accusation against Deo is little more than deception. The more likely scenario is that members of the Alt-furry group executed both attacks and are attempting to use Deo as a scapegoat, following her sudden notoriety from her tweet being thrust into the public eye. If you add in various things that I’ve skipped over (RMFC’s loss of tax exempt status, the owner’s sex offense record, the poor handling of pseudo-nazi instigation)… it just doesn’t add up that Deo managed to sink RMFC with a vague threat lacking credibility.
Perhaps you’ve heard a different account of the debacle surrounding RMFC, but regardless of what, there’s no denying the suspicious actions from members of Alt-furry that undermine their claims.
Consider this: Your house is burglarized. Not long after, your neighbor’s house is burglarized, but your neighbor manages to catch the burglar. You find out that the thief was planning to rob another home. When you ask, the thief claims that they weren’t the one that robbed you. Would you believe it?
– Harper, July 2017
- The end of Rocky Mountain Fur Con didn’t cure the problem that caused it.
- Interview with RMFC’s Chair.
- A false rumor about RMFC is repeating history from the Burned Furs.
- How furry fandom is rejecting neo-nazis, “Altfurs” and Furry Raiders who target kids for hate.
NOVEMBER 2019 UPDATE BY PATCH: FOUR ESSENTIAL PIECES OF CONTEXT TO DEBUNK THE MYTH.
1) Furry Raiders targeted RMFC 2016’s room block first.
The “Deo threatened violence” claim is a piece of bad-faith scapegoating that lingers on and on, like a zombie that won’t quite die. Of course, her tweet fell after months of conflict, including altfurry/Furry Raiders interfering with the room block of the previous year’s con, RMFC 2016. Deo wasn’t involved until MONTHS after they started first provocation — and in 2019 we know a LOT more about what they were doing to harm cons.
2) The “Can’t wait to punch these Nazis” tweet was a reference to Richard Spencer.
Was Deo’s tweet first and foremost, a threat? In context, that doesn’t make sense, because it was already a trending news topic that same week. On January 21, 2017, an actual punch landed on Richard Spencer, the neo-nazi spokesperson for the alt-right, spawning millions of views and one meme/reference by Deo.
Spencer went on to organize the “Unite The Right” hate march in Charlottesville in August 2017, where a nazi killed a woman with a car. Altfurries promoted and attended the march and even praised violence they saw there.
In November 2019, Spencer trended again on Twitter. A new piece of audio of him was released by his former ally, alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos. (It was to discredit Spencer and help a different alt-right group). It’s a hateful screaming rant from right when Spencer learned about the death at the 2017 march.
Nazis are the real source of violent threats here and they have a body count.
Here's an audio reminder about what haters would sneak in to the community. Hate to harp on it, but the remains of Furry Raiders and altfurry still lurk around, Foxler has a trial coming, and Milo would come like a trojan horse if he can. (Milo + Spencer:) https://t.co/25xttSzUSV https://t.co/0PZG1qqiIS pic.twitter.com/2zQSep1eMq
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) November 4, 2019
3) Altfurries keep trying to ruin cons in 2018-2019, including by targeting room blocks.
In August 2018, the first Denfur convention took the place of RMFC. Furry Raiders founder Foxler tried to go, but got kicked out. Why?
A witness came forward prior to the con, revealing that Foxler had a large amount of stolen registration data (possibly sourced from RMFC staff, or from security flaws detailed here: Furry Website Leaks Real Identities.) And he had many stolen credit cards. And he’d been using them with a group of altfurry helpers to make fraudulent hotel bookings. The goal was to stick Denfur with tens of thousands of dollars of unsold rooms on the day of the con, financially ruining it. The con found out about Foxler’s fraud scheme and redid the booking process.
Here's what got Foxler banned from cons: not just being a troll, but stealing registration info of 1000's of con goers, and using that info with stolen credit cards for fraudulent hotel bookings, to stick cons with many unpaid rooms and try killing them. https://t.co/Eqe9gUzCXS
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) April 15, 2019
This info took quite a while to piece together afterwards, but it was known early to Denfur security, thanks to the witness who went to them. Over time it also came out from more altfurries who broke ties with Foxler’s Furry Raiders.
In September 2019, this info was published in an article I wrote for LGBTQNation, because the Furry Raiders started more of this activity by bringing disgraced Gamergate/alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos into their group. The goal was to troll Midwest Furfest.
Who ruins cons? It never happened from one tweet by Deo. We’ve got years of experience to know by now.
4) It was a problem in 2015 before anyone spoke up.
Even when they aren’t ruining cons, altfurries were never very safe to allow there before any “politics” about them. Foxler is due to go on trial soon for a sex offense against a child, from an offense date that coincided with RMFC 2015. And Foxler’s friend Sneps — who you can see replying to Milo in the above screen — was arrested in 2019 for trying to intimidate a witness in Foxler’s case and throw attention off. Which is the reason that Deo was targeted with an intimidating letter and all of this scapegoating for all this time.
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This recent trend of hijacking conventions is very worrying. Something should be done about it, it’s affecting the fandom on a larger scale. Ironically, it’s some furries themselves doing the damage, not outside sources. It’s very very saddening.
Conjacking. One of the big reasons is cons themselves being weak to the point of negligence and even acting in bad faith.
I heard that Anthrocon did a good job with active security this year. But there’s an upcoming con that’s not so on the ball. I think fandom will reach a twofold solution. 1) Treating the trolls with the reputation that Burned Furs earned forever. 2) Coordination by organizers above single con level including cops and lawyers when appropriate.
Re #1: I think the fandom has forgotten what the Burned Furs were and what they tried. We’ve got too many new people in the fandom since that group burned out.
And even a lot of people who were around then (Such as myself) missed out on it as it was happening, and only knew about the Burned Furs as historical anecdotes.
Nearly 20 years later, we’ve got a very large segment of the fandom who only heard about these guys third hand or on Wikifur – if at all.
Which brings me to my question: How were the Burned Furs dealt with way back when? I was but a cub when they were already on their way out, on the fringes of the internet fandom until my first meet in 2003.
Can the Alt-Furs be even treated in the same manner? The Burned Furs had a clear endgoal, the elimination of porn and fetish from the fandom. Do the Alt-Furs even have a goal or endpoint? What’s their win condition?
This is an important question to ask because I don’t think they have one. From what I’ve seen, they troll because they want to troll. They like getting a reaction, of showing their power over others. To them, it’s all a game to be played, and getting the other players upset means they win that round.
How do you even handle that, when they can declare any action or reaction on their part to be a win?
They do have a clearly stated goal, eliminating “SJW’s” from fandom. Defined as their own hateful label on anyone “leftist” or with concern about spreading hate or harassment. They’re also strongly focused on targeting and making examples out of anyone on their personal enemies list. It’s mostly about personal grudge and envy, because “SJW” is such a vague label. An example is the 7 month harassment campaign on Deo for making a joke to her friend referencing Richard Spencer being punched – her friend said something bad and her crime was supporting him, the positive reinforcement set them off. They like to isolate and haze people they consider weak. From everything I’ve seen about targeting Deo, it’s also because she’s female and doesn’t just hide from them. They are lonely misfits and there’s a lot of envy involved in seeing a woman show anger but be well liked. I have to say that stuff because of having no other explanation after some comparisons to other situations.
I’m not quite sure how Burned Furs were treated specifically but I know they were considered toxic. That can lead to losing friends, being shunned as an artist or having events fizzle out if one is involved. If every action has a stronger negative result then things just die.
ConFurence ended for multiple reasons: Further Confusion started and supposedly sucked attendence away, and ownership was transferred to a new CEO (darrel exline) who was put in debt by the decline that left outstanding cost for the hotel contract. When it shut down he kept the trademark and would not share it. I never talked to him, and it’s not all about him, but his reputation as being a (not very vocal?) Supporter of the Burned Furs surely contributed to people shunning the con. The fact that we have dozens and dozens of cons a year now and people go to lots of them a year seems like a hint that one con competing with one other may not have been such an undermining factor and maybe the Burned Fur thing was. And that hints about how they were treated and what alffurs can look forward to.
“They do have a clearly stated goal, eliminating “SJW’s” from fandom.”
“It’s mostly about personal grudge and envy, because “SJW” is such a vague label.”
That’s exactly what I was talking about. That’s not really an end-goal, that’s lashing out at people they don’t like. With the Burned Furs, there was something you could state: No porn in the fandom. The Alt-Rights appear to have the object of “Opposing whatever I don’t like today”. I don’t know how to argue against personal grudge and envy, especially when people say “They have a right to their opinion.”
Then there’s this: “Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”
Sartre’s words from 1948 seem to apply here, and express the frustration I’ve had when dealing with trolls and bad faith actors over the years. It seems apt here, too.
Maybe it is here that we should look at what we could do. The Alt-Furs aren’t anti-semites exactly, but they seem to work in the same way. After all, Sartre also said that if the Jew did not exist, the anti-semite would invent one.
From what I can remember (and keeping in mind I looked at the matter from a distance) the Burned Furs weren’t treated in any particular way because the group hardly managed to expand beyond its founding members and collapsed so quickly there was no time for backlash from the rest of the community. Discussion in the community raged on for a long time but the group itself just wasn’t very active. They didn’t have powerful tools such as social networks through which they could harass opponents, actively recruit new supporters and keep themselves in the spotlight.
I couldn’t agree more with Summercat above about the nature of the Alt-Right. They are not a real political movement and certainly not a conservative movement like they say they are. If anything their ways resemble that of radical anarchists seeking only to cause chaos and throw wrenches into the system (the furry community in this case) anywhere and anytime they can without any specific goals.
And of course that’s exactly what historical nazis and fascists were before seizing power. Pop culture has promoted a somewhat cartoony image of nazis as stern goose stepping militarists, but that’s not how the nazi movement started at all. It had started as unfocused rage and incoherent scapegoating coming from ordinary citizens because of the bad social and economical situation in the aftermath of WW1. Early nazists viewed themselves as revolutionaries set out to mock a system they deemed ridiculous and to overthrow society in order to start from scratch. The extreme militarism and formality that people commonly associate with nazis only came with time as they gained a following among the discontented German military and seized power – and aside from the specific nazi aesthetics it wasn’t much different from what any other flavor of military dictatorship would do.
There’s no reasoning with those people as a group. The only proper way to deal with them is to both ostracize and isolate them from each other until their bullshit begins to sound dated and loses its revolutionary appeal. Unfortunately the latter is not possible in the age of social media, but the former is not only possible, but dutiful.
This is not the same thing, but it’s related to “lack of Committee memory”. Several years ago the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), the group that presents the annual Ursa Major Awards, invited several conventions to appoint a representative to the ALAA, and to let the ALAA advertise that “the —- convention supports the ALAA”, and they did so. Today those conventions have all-new committees saying, “What is this ALAA that says we support them? We never heard of them and they’re using our name totally without our knowledge or permission”.
That sounds about right. There’s a lot that just doesn’t get communicated.