Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Current events

The fascist fringe of furry fans: the Eastern Orthodox connection.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

NEW AND IMPROVED guest post with update at bottom!

Here’s a community access guest post with anonymity to protect sources. New readers will benefit from background in the Altfurry tag, which documents a loose fringe of pests who include terrorists like Portland mass shooter Benjamin Smith. The guest author says: “they’re a nasty bunch… this is a great way to get all this info out. There’s so much information most furries don’t know or have context for. I appreciate that you’re willing to go up against these people.” It’s hosted with opinions belonging to the guest. – Editor 

(PART 1 / 2) – Notable names and their ties and tells.

This report is meant to shed light on a particular strain of furry fascist that is far more ideological and militant than Altfurry ever was, with most people involved orbiting Reagan Lodge, a die-hard fascist and furry artist who has been in the fandom for 2 decades but was not exposed until 2020. The common pattern between all of them is an obsession for drawing furries and military imagery, often themed around historical conflicts and authoritarian regimes. (Their obscure ideologies/dogwhistles get a look in the second half.)

Reagan Lodge AKA Sulacoyote

The Kevin Bacon of the twitter far-right. Reagan Lodge, aka Sulacoyote, has been in the furry fandom for years, drawing art of furries in Nazi uniforms or the armor from Jin-Roh (an anime beloved by online Nazis). He somehow got quite the following despite drawing like this; (red labeled by editor.)

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Furries in war: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through the eyes of Tillian The Fox

by Patch O'Furr

Has war ever come to any sizeable part of the furry fandom, in 4 decades of growth for this worldwide group?

There are members who went to fight in foreign lands, or maybe had relatives flee when war happened. I’m just not recalling any place where hundreds or thousands of them had their houses shaken by hostile tanks, jets and shelling.

This hobby writer in California is challenged to cover news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There are furries on both sides. Recent Russian news here leads me to know about Russian furries sent to Ukraine, where they may kill Ukrainian furries. Furries with political aid jobs will help guide refugees to safety. Others face military conscription to fight back.

They see what I see: “the first time in the history of furry fandom that almost all members of one country are in fact combatants / victims of war.”@DimaOusti

The imperialist attack on a fully-accessible European nation feels as personal as the stress of a fursuit maker forced to flee, leaving his suits and bicycle behind.

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5 shot, 1 dead in Portland mass shooting; suspect Ben Smith was right-wing extremist furry

by Patch O'Furr

CNN reports “The Saturday night shooting in Portland, Oregon, that left one woman dead and five people injured started with a confrontation between an armed homeowner and armed protesters, according to a Portland Police Bureau news release issued Sunday.”

It can be hard to trust police accounts if the shooter wasn’t actually a homeowner, and it was a one-sided attack on unarmed targets until one defender shot back. Those are the claims of some sources. The New York Times has a victim’s account that they were volunteering to reroute traffic for safety ahead of a protest, but weren’t protesting when they were threatened. One victim was a woman who walked with a cane. Oregon Live identifies a slain volunteer as June Knightly, 60.

The sources include investigators who identify the suspect as Ben Smith, 43, an outcast of the furry community. There’s also furries who know Smith, and local journalists with a history of reporting against political spin and suppression. Some of them compared this to other chaotic incidents with unreliable official news, delays and failures to respond until authorities were forced to by public protest.

At the time of writing, the police haven’t named Ben Smith, but the media has. People grieving the tragedy are waiting for the arrest.

It appears that this story may be another incident of right-wing violence with a risk of biased official response. And, it’s another incident from a far-right fringe of furry fandom that the main community strongly rejects. It’s been compared to the July 2020 shooting of Garrett Foster by Daniel Perry, a far-right furry who was controversially let go with no murder charges for a year.

UPDATE (Feb 22): Benjamin Jeffrey Smith charged with one count of second degree murder, four counts of attempted first degree murder with a firearm, as well as four counts of assault with a firearm.

The history of Portland shooting suspect Ben Smith (furry name Polybun) indicates his violence was predictable and motivated by hate. The facts may come from independent reporters and even furry news. Some may be pulled from investigator files because of record deletion we’re watching as the news comes out.

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Origins of an urban legend: “litter boxes for furries” joke gets revived for moral panic

by Patch O'Furr

Update: Thanks to The Daily Beast for linking this and quoting me. – Patch

No school ever had litter boxes for students who identify as animals. So how did the rumor explode into mainstream consciousness, like bad diarrhea from a diet of concern trolling and right-wing blogs?

In January 2022, the malodorous myth rose from local news in Michigan to the New York Times: Litter Boxes for Students Who Identify as Furries? Not So, Says School Official. Furries in the Times is a rare achievement. (Check the 1996 example at bottom of this story.) That isn’t simply debunking, it also has cultural potency for a post-truth era full of flat-earthism and Qanon cults.

I can’t count how many headlines there were about one incident. One is just absurd, but it keeps happening. That shows cynical calculation by Otherphobes. They’re demonizing minorities by proxy, with a target behind the target. It’s a cousin to transphobic memes like “I sexually identify as an attack helicopter” using weirdos to make it easier to swallow. But before we digest that, let’s go to the splatter zone and trace the patterns.

At Dogpatch Press, I’m obsessive about tracking media mentions and memes, and we also do debunking — like for a misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo — and I’d been asked to trace the old litter box myth before. So I dug deeper than the mainstream news. Furry News has the real shit.

The oldest mainstream source I found is in this 2008 photo from Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. He’s a broadcaster named Bob who likes furries, although it’s complicated. More on Bob in a minute.

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Further Confusion 2022 is canceled, and a volunteer staffer speaks about the experience

by Patch O'Furr

Contract terms and angry messages

The cancelation of San Jose’s Further Confusion, among the world’s largest furry cons, was sad for everyone involved. Hopefully they will weather this and return next year. It must have been maximum difficulty at last minute during an unprecedented spike of the Covid pandemic.

The stakes are laid as soon as a furry convention signs a contract to fill a hotel. They get a block of rooms and are on the hook to deliver hundreds of rentals. It takes special circumstances to get released from the contract. If the terms don’t specify a zombie invasion, expect a bill while sharpening your machete! The pandemic must have given them a dilemma: Face a six figure debt or be a spreader event?

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NFT’s bring hype, greed, and fraud; Creativity will suffer, says guest writer Doppelfoxx

by Dogpatch Press Staff

(Editor opinion by Patch): Cryptocurrency isn’t for me, because… (1) The energy use hurts the climate, (2) I wouldn’t try volatile trading without being highly informed, (3) I have no interest in heroin or hiring a hitman. That’s a popular stance among furries, but let’s not just be popular. One should know their enemy.

In theory, this blockchain technology is for decentralized exchange, kind like Paypal + Bittorrent for outsiders. In theory, I’d say it has some worthy use. Why? Look at Wikileaks, which did whistleblowing about governments — and was cut off from traditional funding — or even consider how to fund furries with identity and expression issues beyond borders. I also wonder if crypto’s energy use could reconcile with sustainability through computing advances, but ask a cryptographer. I’m not techie enough to understand the math beyond science fiction.

Basically, if you see blockchain tech covered by me, it’s from learning and putting things on record. Like its influence on the record highest fursuit auction, or the fandom’s only auction site. (I’ve never covered NFT’s.) Do you want it covered differently? Send a guest article! The following opinion piece covers NFT’s, another blockchain concept that isn’t interchangeable like currency. This isn’t vetted by a tech editor, so please use the comments for feedback. (- Patch)

The Furry Fandom, artist culture, and the dangers of Non-Fungible Tokens  

 

Cryptocurrency isn’t a new thing to a lot of people. Most safely assume that it’s a common matter to discuss by now. From one trend to another, it seems like the over-publicized success stories, scam emails, and ads that badger you to invest or download this or that app never stop coming. Yet while furries are notoriously well versed in technology, for most of us, it’s just background noise. Spam, business con tactics, and maybe hearsay from the friend of a friend who invested; it all sounds almost good enough to break through our skepticism… but not quite.

However, early in 2021, things suddenly changed. A digital work from Mike Winkelmann (AKA Beeple), entitled ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, sold for $69.3 million USD. It was entirely unexpected for most of the online community, and the term NFT exploded like crypto did before it.

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Anti-LGBT Russian government morality activist visits and harasses fursuit walkers

by Patch O'Furr

From the fursuit walk in a video posted by Skip Doggy on Russian social media. SEE Q&A at BOTTOM about the walk.

“Here it is – the price to be a representative of the Moscow Furry Fandom.”

Furry fan @Matvey_Muhin has a story that goes with media reports like this one from PinkNews: “Russia considers officially branding LGBT+ groups and furries as ‘extremists’“.

BACKGROUND: The reports look at political homophobia in the Russian government, and a commission that claims to protect morality. The reports say the commission chairman, Andrey Tsyganov, called for the government to help law enforcement by listing ideologies on their extremism list. The list includes the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of Alexey Navalny, a jailed opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Listing these groups allows banning related gatherings and media, and Putin has been using it to squash his political foes.

That’s how Tsyganov wants to legally discriminate against LGBT people, supposedly to protect kids from “propaganda” — making it extremist to discuss LGBT people breathing and existing, as if they come from recruiting. The logic shows conservative belief of what a family should be, with a goal to enforce it by squashing LGBT people. Straight families with children are supposed to thrive through this false understanding of how sexuality works. They could just as soon seek power by squashing interracial dating.

Tsyganov started with such a reach, and blasted off from earth like Sputnik when he added LGBT+, radical feminist, child-free groups… and furries.

What’s the problem with furries, again? The logic is: (1) People on the internet make weird porn. (2) Some of them are furries. (3) Fandom freedom includes tolerance for LGBT expression. (4) Kids are in trouble while those exist. Those things don’t necessarily overlap, but it raises stereotyping about non-traditional gender and sexuality. This got furry porn site e621 banned in Russia (an easy target that shows the government was already watching.)

Furries face such attitudes rooted in old bigotry. Of course fandom isn’t exactly an identity, but it makes a community. Targeting their expression is just around the corner from direct homophobia. Compare how in the 1970’s, Disco music was targeted for being made by LGBT and minority people, even if the music itself is just music. So if furries belong on an “extremist” list, imagine getting attacked for dancing to the Ra-Ra-Rasputin song!

@Matvey_Muhin faced this with fellow furry Skip Doggy. He wrote:

“Can you imagine that Andrei Tsyganov came to our furry walk Tsaritsyno, Kolomeskaya. He continued to accuse us of pedophilia in front of children. But Skip drove him away. When a high-level official comes to us personally, it shows his madness. Long story short – the Christian radical and anti-vaxer is attacking us (especially me and Skip). Here it is – the price to be a representative of the Moscow Furry Fandom.”

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Zoosadist investigation: Matthew “Cupid” Grabowsky harasses investigator, gets immediately slapped with child porn conviction

by Patch O'Furr

Content warning for animal abuse and sexual violence. 

In September 2021, Washington furry fan Matthew “Cupid” Grabowsky was convicted for a new charge of child porn possession. He faces up to 20 years in jail. This revives news of his 2019 animal cruelty conviction, which drew protest about his continued presence in the furry fan community. We’ll look into how Cupid was convicted this time, but first let’s look at how this supports a deeper story about a crime ring he was in.

NEW CORROBORATION: 2019 reporting by Dogpatch Press featured Cupid in the headline, and claimed a deeper story.

The 2019 report here covered a big leak of a furry/zoophile crime ring for animal torture porn (zoosadism) and child abuse. Think movie serial-killer-like behavior. Hundreds of hours of investigation found a “matrix of corroboration”. Legal documents for Cupid’s new conviction add more evidence:

  • There’s new disclosure of serious crime predating August 2018; the same time period in the Dogpatch Press report.
  • Cupid’s 2019 conviction was a misdemeanor that let him off easy, indicating he gained a plea deal that let him come back and minimize his crime.
  • Cupid’s 2021 charge led to immediate conviction with a guilty plea. (That can happen from breaking terms of a deal, explaining why it came out now.)
  • The newly disclosed crime involved multiple child victims, even toddlers forced into sexual contact with animals.
  • Victim ID’s hinted in new court documents don’t match other known victims reported to law enforcement; more may keep coming out.

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The dedicated watchdog: Moxxey reports online animal abuse (Part 3).

by Patch O'Furr

CONTENT WARNING – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

The frustration is palpable. Moxxey publishes stories of atrocious behavior to animals, but how can it be stopped when huge websites have channels full of it?

Moxxey runs Rodent Club on Livejournal. Livejournal isn’t active like it was years ago, but citizen reporting can start anywhere, and reaching out from there is a good idea for an activist with a purpose. (I think he should also join the Trusted Flaggers in Part (2). And keep sharing cute pet stories for more notice!)

Moxxey returns comments about Part 1-2:

“This is a good start to helping expose and explain the problem that these social platforms are giving to animal cruelty perpetrators, and what needs to be done to fix this. A bit more needs to be said about small animal cruelty regarding hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, rabbits, baby birds, etc. Too often they’re not protected under cruelty laws or seen as not important because they are small creatures.

The Reptile Channel is just one of these horrific channels creating “live feeding” videos under the guise of education. It’s really cruel entertainment for a profit and a very twisted audience. No matter what you try to do to report it on the AI reporting systems for Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc., nothing ever gets done to remove the videos.

Even with an AI system, there’s no excuse for not having proper options to signify that when there’s animal cruelty — it’s time to get a human moderator involved! Facebook seems to have one of the worst reporting systems, which never give the proper option boxes to check, nor an explanation of what’s going on. They almost always respond, “Sorry we did not find the selected post to go against our community guidelines”. 🙁

What is needed is more news coverage by video, news pages and TV to let the public know what’s secretly going on with animal cruelty online.”

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The Zoosadism Channel: A look at a trend of animal abuse on social media (Part 2).

by Patch O'Furr

CONTENT WARNING – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

Huge platforms are letting it happen. It’s under their noses, according to this June 2021 report. National Geographic: How fake animal rescue videos have become a new frontier for animal abuse.

That’s disturbing at wide scale, because of how social media attention meets psychological escalation. Part (1) looked into the Omegle Cat Killer, where an investigator said: “Animal abusers have total power over that animal and, if someone is willing to be that cruel to an animal, evidence suggests they may target vulnerable humans as well,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis.” — Kokomo Tribune

Despite such a warning about the extremes, it seems like the odds are against justice. A standout example among furries was Kero the Wolf, a popular Youtuber exposed in a zoosadist crime ring. The evidence led to arrests, but child abuse was the focus and most members got away with it. Kero’s attempts to gaslight the public about his innocence made him The O.J. Simpson of furries. His presence highlights a gap in the laws.

This part covers the exploitation on social media, and Part (3) will feature someone working to bridge the gap.

A content pool with no lifeguard

In 1940, protest rose up about a horse tumbling over a cliff in a Western movie. It triggered regulation for the industry to stop using animals like disposable props. Now Hollywood movies get American Humane certification by following a 132-page guide. But tech platforms aren’t so regulated.

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