One con, three predators – what this says about furry fandom
by Patch O'Furr
Want some scorekeeping about Dogpatch Press? The site is getting close to 1,000 stories in 4 years, with quadruple readership since 2017 and tons of positive news about fun and cool accomplishments furries keep doing.
Then there’s stories that expose hate and abuse from the fringes. People who don’t follow what the site does like to misrepresent it as nothing more than a source for “drama”, muckraking, “fake news” or angry mob “witch hunts”. These attacks often come from a vested interest in keeping things nice and quiet.
Here’s an example of such a story. (This one started before Dogpatch Press existed, so attacking the messenger is pointless.) This sheds light on the motivation of a former fandom celebrity who fell into disgrace:
(Links in here): Why doesn’t 2 Gryphon tell the truth about how his partner went to prison? Why does he attack abuse victims just like he Protests Too Hard against “SJW’s” and “witch hunts”? Why is he no longer welcome on convention stages?
An honest look at the links will find the answer. It’s complicity by a Quisling who doesn’t give a shit about this fandom. Complicity is a theme for this article, and solutions too.
In 2018, fandom is maturing with more stories like that coming to light. When they do, they earn fair public recognition. But sometimes problems get fogged up with bad faith complaints instead of addressing the roots. Complainers attack the “drama” of bringing problems to light, as if they wouldn’t exist if everyone shut up. (Shutting up too long is how they get worse.) Misguided fence-sitters follow along, who may be motivated by mistaken belief in a “just world” fallacy – a form of cognitive bias to rationalize bad deeds, often involving victim-blaming, where people believe that noble actions will always be rewarded and evil will be punished. It lets them sit in a false center with clearly one-sided problems because it’s “fair”. But fairness doesn’t just happen. It takes work and there can be a lot of friction holding it back. As 2 Gryphon shows, false “centrism”, ignorance, and complicity can all be the same thing holding it back.
Speaking up in the face of bad faith has a great benefit. It brings out stories from other people who are unjustly intimidated about talking and feel nobody will listen. They may have no help from authorities, even when there’s evidence of crime.
The following stories help show why. Many others may never come out. (If you ever hear anyone say “shut up and go to the police”, link them here.)
If you have such a story, reach out and ask for confidentiality. The site depends on promising that. These have names changed and locations protected for safety.
1) A crime by a con staffer with powerful connections, and a tipper afraid to talk.
A tipper wrote in that they were trying to get attention about an adult having sex with minors. The adult, Sam, was in his mid-to-late 20’s. The minors were Sam’s boyfriend Rob, who was 16 when they first dated, and Terry, who was 14 when all three of them had sex.
I saw screenshots of age verification for Sam and Terry, and chats about this. One chat was by a minor who knew Terry, telling someone else they learned about what happened. Another chat showed Terry telling another fur not to get involved. Another had Terry using the term statutory rape about Sam.
Terry (the 14 year old) was strongly opposed to consequences, believing Sam (the adult) did nothing wrong. He was still staying with Sam, and Terry’s mom wouldn’t do anything after being told in person.
The tipper felt like people should know the truth, but felt like they couldn’t say anything since Sam was never charged. They feared backlash. Sam had a lot of friends and no one believed the tipper, and it was making them sick. I asked if Sam was predatorial on anyone else. The tipper said they wouldn’t be surprised, but had to leave their social group and cut all communication with Sam. They told me:
“I don’t know if I even want to go though with this – people keep threatening me. Everyone wanted to protect Sam.
Sam just doesn’t understand real world actions – he’s one of *those* furries who thinks he lives in the furry world: “Age is nothing, we’re all animals.”
“if there was a crime by Sam and he doesn’t own it, that’s the basic problem, and the mom and anyone attacking you is being complicit. Terry being a minor means that even if he hates consequences, it’s irrelevant.”
The tipper added:
“I still went to the police, but they told me unless the parent wanted to press charges they were not going to bother with it.
Sam’s father threatened to take us to court and just everyone backed off. He’s rich, might be a part of the legal system, I’m not 100% sure.
Sam is staff of [con name] and leads the DJ/dance stuff in a position of popularity.”
As far as I know, the con wasn’t complicit, and these events didn’t come directly from Sam’s staff role, but there were already known rumors that got confirmed. Followup was passed to sources that can’t be discussed for security. (UPDATE: Sam was let go with no comment, and he’s free to run other events and continue abuse.)
2) Another predator who personally crossed the line with me, possibly staffing the same con.
Several years ago I went to a party hosted regularly by local furries. There was an attendee old enough to be a parent to the average fur. He knew that I was pretty open to others, and got extremely touchy with me without asking. It definitely crossed the line of consent. I wasn’t into it, but didn’t say anything at that moment because of being caught off guard. But I didn’t say yes or go there for that reason. It took time to process that it really was a violation, and that’s not something an adult guy is typically supposed to be vulnerable to.
He did it to others. Then I found out from a Beware by another local fur: 1) This guy had a sex offender record and Megan’s Law registry entry for it – I verified his face was on the state website. 2) He had been kicked out of local kink events that didn’t allow sex offenders to attend, and tried using social manipulation to get in anyways. Soon after this came out, he disappeared.
Recently I saw him surface in the Altfurry chat group. I asked around and found out he may be staffing the same con as in story 1) above. Again, as far as I know the con wasn’t complicit, and these events didn’t come directly from a staff role. Followup was passed to sources that can’t be discussed for security.
3) Another predator staffing the same con, and another minor who couldn’t talk about a crime.
From a tipper:
“I know of someone, who I will hold his name, who is 15 years old. RJ, boyfriend of Aaron and staffer at [con name], pushed to have sex with this unnamed teen. He was too nervous to go to the police or parents (he sent nude photos to RJ so technically he distributed child porn and he’s not out to his conservative parents). So he went to me, and I suggested to go to con security.
He wrote to security who said they won’t do anything without a police report. No request for more evidence. Now he’s crushed and feeling helpless.
So the con security was given evidence that one of their own staff pushed and coerced a 15 year old to have sex with him. They chose to do nothing and now the teen is scared to attend [con] due to his abuser staffing it and feels like no justice is done. He refuses to go to the police which is a fair decision and I support him on it. He’s just trying to make sure RJ no longer holds a position of power at a con where other underage furries attend.
I know the evidence isn’t fake because [redacted]. The sad part is that this teen also went to Aaron, RJ’s boyfriend, and Aaron didn’t believe him and blocked him. RJ goes around unscathed as he abuses boys.”
I saw screenshots of explicit coercion that alluded to illegal file sharing. There were also screenshots of the minor confiding to someone about feeling powerless and trapped by a need to maintain living circumstances. Followup was passed to sources that can’t be discussed for security, but I got this informed explanation:
“The reasoning behind the police report, and this really does suck, is that it makes a paper trail that shields the convention from any accusations of libel from this creeper guy if action is taken. Likelihood of legal action is always low, but we have to have on-paper reasons for concrete actions.”
Now we get to what these stories have to say about fandom. Maybe you expect me to say “OMG everything is horrible and broken…”
Nah, get that defeatist garbage out of here. I think the issue isn’t fandom itself. It’s fringe elements sharing a toxic ethic among themselves. (More context: R.C. Fox arrested for child pornography, furries question fandom connections.)
Fandom has that fringe of bad faith and bullshit attitudes, ranging from “not my problem” to victim blaming, “what about both sides for nazis/predators”, and “down with witch hunting”, led by people like 2 Gryphon, who cares more about abusers than their victims.
It’s concentrated among tiny hate groups like “alt furry”, who made 2 Gryphon their “PR department” (in their words).
🤔— Ed "Tedious" Bear (@That_Edward) May 17, 2018
"(2Gryphon)... is literally running our PR department right now" - TheFurredReich, the guy that said this stuff https://t.co/4wfEXo1td3
Then there’s the altfurry admin who was caught grooming a 16-year-old.
Altfurries do this at the same time as they have been caught attacking conventions like Califur with fake “pedophile” accusations they cook up to play wolves in sheep’s clothing. They obviously don’t give a shit about abuse when their admins and “PR Department” are complicit with it. It’s simply a 2-faced ploy to “redpill” their tiny membership. Grooming isn’t the full extent, either. They keep using these tactics to harm cons economically, even using court trolling/frivolous litigation to take websites down.
“IT SURE WOULD BE A SHAME IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOUR NICE LITTLE CON…”
This trolling is why cons are overprotective about liability, as explained in story 3). The result is leaving people less safe about reporting and backlash. Altfurries are pushing an agenda to raise costs for security and lower consequences for predators. They want to make their own targets more vulnerable for grooming.
But there’s genuine peer help here too, and that’s why you’re getting to read about this. This article will circulate with tippers and staffers who have privilege to know confidential ID’s and facts that make those stories true.
Fandom is where people can talk about this stuff, whether privately or with public news. There’s ways it supports people who need it but can’t get it elsewhere. This is why so many gay kids come out here. They can get something from peers that doesn’t come from parents, authorities or the status quo. They can feel confident in seeing the 0.1% fringe of “altfurry” predators be rejected. They can see that fandom is a good place because people like 2 Gryphon don’t get stages any more.
There’s also a point of failure in these stories that’s more at the root than fandom. It’s conservative attitudes of parents who won’t do right for kids who don’t feel safe to come out.
Isn’t it funny how a lowly subculture can support like a surrogate family? That’s you. Enjoy furry art and parties, and being more than the sum of the parts.
Meanwhile, conventions might be able to vet their low level staff better, and there should be more understanding about why not to backlash at honest whistleblowers. These stories can keep being short term problems, but in the long term you’re part of the solution.
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