Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: furry raiders

Story of a Former Alt-Furry: Clouded by Clout

by Dogpatch Press Staff

This guest post was submitted for anonymous posting on the guest’s behalf. That’s a community access service offered by this site. The story gives details about hate groups that can help readers with similar experience know it’s true, and can put the poster at risk of backlash. Part of such stories that often goes unspoken is the extreme abuse that such posts attract. That’s why it’s important to offer community access service, even for some stories that may have scary information that may be impossible to tell openly.

Sadly, abuse often comes from people who claim to be allies, as well as from enemies — and in cases targeting this site, they often fall for lying and baiting from bad faith sources. The knee-jerk reactions come from acting tribalist and putting agreement above finding out what’s going on. It may gain clout for the group but make you less informed.

“Perhaps we need to spend slightly less time asking whether we agree with, or approve of, a text, a piece, an experience, and ask what it does; or, better yet, what it might do? There is a power in simply asking “hmm, what’s going on here?” – @L0v3byt3

If you find the post valuable, be aware of abuse that comes with hosting it, not to gain clout that others fight for, but just to offer the service (since 2014). Of course nobody owes debate or an audience for bad faith and it’s fair to simply block it, but the post also describes how hate groups can be reinforced by attacking them – and a different solution.

To learn more about how hate groups seek to get attacked for publicity, check out the Behind The Bastards podcast about George Lincoln Rockwell, the American pioneer of those manipulative tactics. – Patch

Hate groups prey on loneliness.

I want to preface this by saying that I understand if you do not want to listen to the words of someone who used to be part of something horrible. What I have brought on myself and my reputation is nobody’s fault but my own and saying sorry after the fact may seem like an afterthought or a way to staunch the bleeding. What I am offering you is an insight into how these insidious groups like Alt-Furry work from an insider’s perspective, and how to avoid them if you feel unsure of yourself, or help others avoid falling into the same trap.

Since the beginning of human history, when we banded together in tribal groups, feeling like you belonged offered you a sense of safety. If you didn’t have the charisma or the skills to start your own group, you joined one, or tried. A sense of community makes you feel useful. It makes you feel like people need you around. Sometimes, this is so intoxicating, especially to people who have been alone for quite some time, that you overlook things that others in your group do.

After all, they are your friends, right? It’s okay for people to be imperfect. If you point out that what they are doing is wrong, they won’t want to be your friends anymore. You will have to be alone and afraid again. Unfortunately, this feeling of fear is sometimes what drives us to turn a blind eye to things that hurt the people around us. It just gives you company when the ship begins to sink. Anything is better than dying alone, even dying together.

Taking advantage of this feeling is the core of how many hateful groups operate, and Alt-Furry is no exception. By convincing you that others hate you, and are always out to get you, they separate you from the world and trap you into a bubble. This is not to say that they are master hypnotists or that they force people to act the way they do. Instead, they are master manipulators, and nudge people who are vulnerable emotionally into doing the wrong thing. They convince you that they are your friends not because they like you specifically, but because everyone else -hates you-, and so they are the only friends you will ever make.

You have every chance in the world to walk away, but they convince you that doing so will only make you alone again. This is how they got me.

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FurAffinity updates Code of Conduct, backlash by hate groups promoted by 2 Gryphon

by Patch O'Furr

IN THIS ARTICLE: FurAffinity bans hate groups – click through the Twitter threads to see many screenshots of what they were promoting. 

The true story of FurAffinity account bans

Furry art is full of cute, cuddly cartoons. Many FurAffinity users wanted to know – why was the site being used for hate imagery? If the art has to be edgy, couldn’t they just stick to good old-fashioned Hyper Diaper Pokemon Porn or whatever? At least sex is positive and life-affirming.

On the site and on Twitter, protest rose against activity that seemed to violate the Code of Conduct, while complaints were being dismissed by site staff. The CoC looked toothless because promotion of hate groups was excused with an exception for “fictional” activity.

What furry stuff ISN’T fictional? And depicting hate imagery in a positive light IS promotion. That’s part of the history of propaganda. And making excuses that it’s just historical interest reminds me of when I used to sell rare books at an antique mall; let’s be honest here, that chicken-necked skinhead with a swastika on his elbow wasn’t visiting that creepy dealer down the lane just for memorabilia. (His money was no good to me.)

During the protesting, FurAffinity users openly claiming to be alt-right trolls were gloating about driving traffic from the site and taunting those who left. That’s like getting acquitted for a hate crime and then mooning the judge. Sometimes nazis dress to impress, but nobody ever accuses them of being smart.

The dumpster fire kept burning until the complaints started tagging FurAffinity’s corporate owner IMVU. Perhaps they got worried about their anime-eyed avatars being the lesser evil on the site.

Soon the Code of Conduct was updated, and dozens of accounts went dark. It seemed to follow a precedent set a few months earlier when Discord Inc. flushed many of the same assholes and their alt-right servers down the drain.

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The truth behind a famous, misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo.

by Summercat

[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

Summercat continues:

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.

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A deep dive into the Altfurry mission to “redpill” fandom with hate – Part 2

by Patch O'Furr

In their own words.

Part 1 gives background about how the Altfurry hate group works. Now here’s the screenshots.

The source is “Altfurry Mead Hall,” a Discord server that grew after the neo-nazi march at Charlottesville.  It documents months of chat from late 2017, specifically from their private channel for trusted staff. That filters out memes and filler and shows what they’re really about. The server is run by Casey Hoerth/”Len Gilbert”, AKA “The Furred Reich”. These chat logs add to a long mission of hate shown by previous leaks from his Altfurry Discord group.

Screenshots are duplicated in imgur galleries for another reading option. One user named Kilton had their ID blanked when this leaked.

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Magnus Diridian asked for an interview, so we talked about an attack on a convention.

by Patch O'Furr

An unresolved issue

You may know Magnus Diridian (AKA Rob Shokawsky) as “The Confederate fursuiter” who’s banned from furry conventions. What happens after being arrested for trespassing at Midwest FurFest 2017, and featuring in a news article about troll activity? How about a challenge to clear the air and explain things. That is, if a simple case of people being bothered by unwanted behavior needs any further explanation at all.

There don’t seem to be many people asking for it. But long story short, Magnus got in trouble and wanted to explain. I took the opportunity to talk, but not in the way he hoped. Honestly I’m not interested in rehashing what everyone already read about the 2017 arrest. He’ll have his day in court.  Something else was an open and bothersome issue, and I focused on that instead.  The previous article only hinted about it. Now I’m going to be really direct.

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Why furries should care about politics in 2018 – guest post by WhiteClaw.

by Patch O'Furr

There seemed to be a tipping point when outsiders started looking deeper into furry fandom, more than tapping on the zoo window and making lazy jokes. They started writing things better than “those freaks” or “Furry 101”. Then there was a change beyond warmer media (whose approval isn’t needed, anyways). Members started standing for a growing and more grown-up community by ditching some excess baggage. It was the best of both worlds – people caring more and all the fun and freedom too. Of course failures tag along when you have more people getting involved. For example, at Midwest FurFest 2017, there was drama about one guy being arrested for trolling. But that was just one. The real story was about success of the con heading towards 10,000 happy attendees.

Making room for more and better things means caring in many ways. Here’s a look at one way. Thanks to Whiteclaw for the guest post. (- Patch)

Why furries should care about politics – by Whiteclaw.

Politics + anthropomorphism = great art

“Keep politics out of furry.”

You’ve probably seen this type of comment. Maybe you’ve made it yourself. Given its polarizing nature, talking about politics is a fast way to lose friends and make enemies. And that’s just with regular people. So why bring it into the fandom?

Furries are a group of people that love anthromorphic animals. But the key word there is “people.” Because behind every fox/wolf/cat/badger/dragon/etc. is a person. And that person is affected by politics. The fact that we roleplay as animals online doesn’t change this.

“Furry is an escape. I shouldn’t have to talk about politics here.”

There’s a valid point here in that we can’t and shouldn’t be focused on politics every second of every day. Yes we sometimes need to take a break from the awfulness of the world and furry is a great way to do that.

But an escape in this sense implies a break or a time-out. It suggests that we’re involved in dealing with these issues at some point. And if we never do, if we’re always “escaping” politics, then furry isn’t an escape, it’s an excuse.

More than that, furry doesn’t have to be just something you do, it can be something you are. In the 1990’s there was a split between fans who only looked up to professional artists, and ones they looked down on as “lifestylers” for acting like their own community. Now it is one. Politics affects our community the same way it does any other. The sheer diversity of the fandom means that, in some ways, it affects us more.

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Furry Raiders attack a nonfurry business, get chased off with a positive solution for hate.

by Patch O'Furr

  • Raiding: A hostile invasion or forcible entry to destroy or steal something; predatory warfare.
  • Furry Raiders: a Colorado-based and online group that overlaps with “altfurry”, a fringe of furry fandom with a goal to connect racist hate groups inside and outside it.

It’s 2018, and many people have New Years resolutions to accomplish. But a few people are stubbornly against being better. That means the Furry Raiders. This week they gained attention for violent threats meant to silence criticism – (because when they say they want “free speech,” it’s only for them). Their threats followed labeling themselves as “Nazis” – (a look at their member activity in the altfurry chat logs proves it’s really true). Until now their trolling has mostly been inside fandom. But then there was the time when they targeted innocent non-furry outsiders.

We did Nazi that coming! 

On Halloween of 2017, a Colorado event space had a “Big Gay Costume Party”.  Foxler and Kody, the Furry Raiders founder and partner, went in costume with nazi armbands that replaced swastikas with paws.  With nobody else’s help, the staff recognized what the symbolism stood for. The Raiders were kicked out for bringing hate to their space.

Foxler and Kody’s excuses like “it’s just a paw” didn’t work. Anyone can see they’re making a clear reference to nazi iconography. This is good evidence that trolling isn’t just a fandom issue with “both sides” fighting and so-called “SJW’s” inside. Outsiders know these trolls are the source of the problem.

When a business kicks someone out, that’s free market power, freedom of association, and free speech opinion by staff. (A protected social class can claim discrimination, but Nazi isn’t a class.)  Reasonable people would move on and drop it.  But reasonable people doesn’t include a troll whose name means “Fox Hitler”. Again, when they say they want “free speech,” it’s only for them. 

The Furry Raiders retaliated by trolling the business with bad reviews. The review bombing was spread from their Facebook group by trolls who are active in alt-right hate activity (including their member Vetus, who supported trolling FurAffinity with hate images). The story was twisted by people who had never been there; they lied that there was no hate symbolism and pretended a “Big Gay Costume Party” rejected them for being gay.

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“Confederate fursuiter” Magnus Diridian arrested at Midwest Furfest – what’s the story?

by Patch O'Furr

Update: Here’s an in depth interview discussing Magnus being an FBI crime suspect.

Midwest Furfest 2017 broke the attendance record of all furry cons by the margin of a small con itself. It raised an eye-popping $86,000 for an animal charity that was previously in the red and is now funded for years. Twitter was on fire about the smashing success for the fandom. Among many ecstatic posts by attendees, of course there had to be some kind of drama too. It came with a fursuiter being arrested. Here’s the story pieced together by claims on twitter:

Scene: a hotel lobby. A black, red and white wolf fursuiter with a German WW1 style Pickelhaube helmet is parading around. People taking photos are greeted by offensive behavior like saluting with a “Sieg Heil” and shouting racist things. It causes hotel and/or con security to pursue him, and he flees and gets cornered in some bushes until the police come. They make him take off his suit, and he’s taken away in underwear. He was previously banned from the con and hotel, and the charges involve trespassing and assaulting a staff member before his arrest.

Some of those claims may be disputed (especially the nazi part), so let’s look deeper for the truth. Here’s an arrest record. Associates confirm the fursuiter who matches it is Magnus Diridian, AKA Rob Shokawsky (real name Robert Sojkowski). What is Magnus known for in furry fandom?

  • Fake Lemonade Coyote: At Anthrocon 2014, Magnus gained notoriety with a “bootleg” fursuit made to imitate a furry who died on duty as an EMT. People mourning his death were unhappy about exploitation of his image, which continues in 2017.
  • Confederate flag fursuit: At Anthrocon 2017, Magnus caused more anger with a flag-design fursuit and a Trump sign. It was a protest of takedown of the flags around the USA due to their racist association, following national attention on hate crime murders by Dylann Roof. The story was covered in a Dogpatch Press article: The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time.
  • Grimace McWendy’s: Custom suits show that Magnus puts a lot of effort into these events. If it’s not just calculated to troll, isn’t that’s a loveable quality? The same is said by people close to him who are earnest about defending him as a nice guy. I have to admit that this fursuit makes me laugh and I have to admire the creative humor. (Suiting video).

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How low can they go? Altfurry is grooming kids to retaliate against critics.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week was a very bad week to be a nazi furry. (Every week is bad for that, but this one was exceptional). Call them the Incel ISIS, or just a bunch of trolls, but the week kept bringing reminders that the furry fandom is past the limit of tolerance for their hate. There was a wave of critical attention:

  • Newsweek published a deep look at the racist alt-right origins of alt-furry.
  • Dogpatch Press posted an expose by a mole inside the Furry Raiders, and their hate group activity led former members to repudiate it.
  • @Deotasdevil posted an essay about neo-nazis recruiting in nerd groups. It reached far outside of fandom, including 41,000 watchers of Sonicfox5000.
  • More evidence was found in a video from Casey Hoerth/”Len Gilbert”, an altfurry recruiter/bottom-feeder. He soon regretted his words in the video and tried to bury it with a whack-a-mole game of DMCA claims. His rare moment of candor was too revealing about their private narrative.

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What I learned from lurking the Furry Raiders chat – guest post by Aristide

by Patch O'Furr

What I learned from lurking the Furry Raiders chat

Hi, I’m Aristide, and I’m a narc. For the past several months, I’ve had a sockpuppet account in the Furry Raiders Telegram, Skype, and Discord groups and periodically leaked screenshots of them to @edgedestroys. I chose Edge in order to protect the credibility of my sockpuppet account, and because I work in a sensitive workplace and worry about being doxxed. Most speculation about the Raiders – that they’re Nazis, they’re Alt-Right, they’re losers – is generally correct. I want to provide a better picture of what we, as a community, are dealing with.

Same Losers, New Politics

The general population of the Raiders community is a combination of old-school 4Chan racists, conspiracy theorists, new wave white supremacists, and impressionable but misled minors. Racist memes from a long-forgotten era of /b/ populate the chat in equal measure to WorldNetDaily or YourNewsWire links. Several dozen in the chat subscribe to the Daily Stormer and similar neo-Nazi websites, while a refrain against “fake news” rings against any news source that is not part of the alt-right media ecosystem. Lost in this mix are impressionable minors, 13 to 17 year old kids that found their way to the Raiders one way or another. Some of them joined because they hated SJWs – (the GamerGate to Alt-Right pipeline is well documented) – others were actively recruited by Foxler, Kody, and other de-facto leaders in the Raiders.

The first commenter left the group with a statement at bottom of article.

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