The truth behind a famous, misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo.
[Note from Patch:] Thanks to Summercat for this guest post. It’s a follow up to: Ever hear that Altfurries are just trolls? A real Nazi leader is taking them seriously. More than a few commenters had a mistaken impression that Dogpatch Press was original poster for a photo of “nazi furries”. We weren’t. That was a screencap, and it wasn’t posted to endorse the contents. An automatic feed to Twitter made it the cover image there.
UPDATE (late 2018): This article keeps being linked to debunk the photo *completely*, and I’m kind of sick of it. YES, the photo itself was taken out of context – but in fact, that’s only part of the story. Read to the bottom and see that Nazi furries ARE part of the local scene of the photo – and may not tell you the truth about it. – Patch
We’re creatures of the internet. We all know that images and photos can be ripped from their context and spread around with new interpretations that show them in a different light than intended. Context matters, even for items that appear to be clear cut.
A prior article I wrote about Altfurs includes a photo shared by Neo-nazi Andrew Anglin. It shows three fursuiters posing happily in front of a Nazi flag.
I’ve seen this picture for years. I’ve heard many stories about it – that it was someone’s home, it was a Nazi museum, or that it was photoshopped. I’ve thought poorly of those who were in the photo, disappointed in all three and especially towards one of them, who I had admired up to that point.
The truth of the matter is fairly innocent. The picture is real and not photoshopped – but resharing it has stripped away the crucial context.
In response to the article on Altfurs being taken seriously, Beetlecat spoke up about the provenance of the picture – and identified herself as one of the three suiters. In 2009, they were among a group of six furries who visited the Alberta Aviation Museum. Beetlecat, RavenWolf, and Amran were in suit. They spent time posing for personal photos of their fun trip, never expecting to be immortalized for the wrong reason.
This was taken at an aviation museum in Alberta in like 2005 when you could make a Nazi joke without people getting seriously concerned lol— Adum (@HorseWengh) August 22, 2017
It was taken at the Alberta Aviation Museum. And yeah no one in that photo holds any Nazi views.— Beetlecat Originals (@Beetlefursuits) March 9, 2018
Source: I'm on the left.
These photos were provided by Amran (the foxcat suiter with the red marking), from the same trip. This is not a Nazi museum or someone’s home shrine, but a Canadian museum and an unfortunately taken-out-of-context pose. According to Beetlecat and Amran, none of the three hold Neo-nazi viewpoints. Amran has even stated that the photo was uploaded without their permission.
@foxcats (Amran) wrote:
Hello Dogpatch Press! Someone pointed out to me your article showing an image of three fursuiters posing with a display of WWII artifacts at a museum. This photo was taken at the Alberta Aviation Museum in 2009 with a group of six, including myself, who had gone for a short tour there. (In the photo are Beetlecat, RavenWolf, and Amran – myself). Unfortunately someone had uploaded this and other photos without our consent. It took off quickly afterwards. I’m linking you to a few other images from this outing to help show that it was taken at the Aviation Museum. I’d like to confirm that as Beetlecat said, this was an innocent tour. None of us hold views aligning with how the photo has often been misinterpreted.
Context always matters. Nearly a decade ago, not as many people on the internet were as sensitive to the appearance of Nazi symbolism as today. Social media wasn’t as much of an organizing center for the kind of hate group activity that came together in Charlottesville in 2017. At the time I was still thinking that most Nazifurs were either trolling or doing it as mockery of Nazism. It would still be a number of years before I realized differently.
What was intended to be a silly picture got removed from the original context and made into some sort of pro-Nazi Fur image, against the wishes of those pictured. Hopefully this clears some things up, and though I never expressed my disappointment, I own an apology to Amran for thinking ill of him like that.
[Patch:] Here’s examples of the photo being used to represent Nazi furries. These bring up other interesting info too.
- An article at TheRooster.com makes it cover image for the story of the Furry Raiders ruining RMFC.
- A Geek.com article has the “Nazi furries” photo (also reposted to the Hatewatch twitter account with 76,000 followers.) The Geek.com article was written by a former admin of Portal Of Evil, a site devoted to cataloguing the worst of the internet. It was from the bad old early 2000’s “yiff in hell furfags” time. Portal Of Evil spread hate and debate about fandom members like 2 Gryphon, who joined the Nazifurs Livejournal group.
- The Geek.com article gives background about the Second Life troll group “Furzis,” without getting to the part where the Colorado-based Furry Raiders spun off from that Second Life group. Meanwhile, the NaziFurs on Livejournal claim to have invented the “pawstika” armband used by Furry Raiders. They want no connection to the Furzis or the Furry Raiders. Hilariously, all three groups sound like they would be first in line to be executed by fascists AND each other.
- Incidentally… you may also notice a famous “Furries for Trump” image that I’m told also misrepresents the furs in it. That’s a candidate for it’s own debunking story.
UPDATE: The photo isn’t nazi furries, but Alberta has them. It was home for the Nazifurs livejournal founder and an Altfurry group admin (Blumiere).
An interesting response to this came immediately. The photo needs context, but not so fast about relieving the local community, says Alberta furry Thera:
Sick of local furs acting like it's okay to be obsessed with nazis as long as they don't hold the views. Sending you some more info on this that I think was purposefully left out.— 🐺 Thera🐾 (@TheraAkuma) March 14, 2018
I’ve been an Alberta Furry since 2011 and there is a lot about the local community that I think is being covered up to save their reputations. I’m not here to say they all have nazi views, mostly I think they’re enablers and I’d be extremely skeptical of them saying Alberta Furries are anti-nazi at all.
I dug up some old threads relevant to your recent article about the museum pic, as well as some very recent telegram messages from local furries that show they’re still supportive of nazi imagery. There’s also a couple locals with nazi fursonas, one is an artist that’s been toning it down to avoid getting in trouble. I would say the entire local fandom, at least back then and lesser now, was supportive… It’s okay to be nazi as long as you’re not “serious” about it. Ever since AltFurry came out there’s been some removal of art, retconning nazi fursonas so they’re just “German”, things like that. Alberta is a very right wing province so I’m not surprised there’s so much love for “hugo boss”.
Of the three in the photo, Amran and Beetlecat hold no nazi views as far as I’m aware. Ravenwolf mostly isn’t in the fandom anymore. His mate at the time had a book collection with nazi literature (this was a few years ago and he claims he doesn’t remember).
It’d be a shame if it was all swept under the rug because “uniform fetishists” aren’t “real” nazis. Your article is rock solid, just the reaction the locals had about it all was very shady. Let the screenshot gallery speak for itself.
UPDATE 3/17/18: One artist who appears in the gallery, Eerie, responded.
I have no affiliation to alt right views and have made a permanent decision to not draw anything of the sort, related or otherwise. I have drawn Nazi imagery in the past, but at the time I was naive and did not understand the complexity of the imagery. I was interested in the history aspect and was trying to make a comic about it, but I have since decided scrap the idea and start from the beginning and am revising my characters.
I am also trying to remove what has been drawn (kind of hard on the internet). The commissioner of the image wanted their and my character in that type of setting. I’m pretty open minded and didn’t think much of it at the time. Those said commissioners also have no affiliation with the Alt right view as I know them personally.
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