Now here’s something new: Rocky Mountain Fur Con (RMFC), Denver’s big annual furry convention, has been cancelled for 2017 after one of the organizers, Kendal Emery, turned out to be a sovereign citizen kook who’s also pals with a group of white supremacist furries calling itself the “Furry Raiders.” On top of that, the supposed nonprofit group that organized the convention had its nonprofit status revoked in 2011; the group failed to file tax returns between 2008 and 2015. Oh, and then there was the weirdass not-actually-legal “cease and desist” letter organizer Emery sent to a woman who’d exposed his 1993 conviction for criminal sexual contact with a minor. So things are, to say the least, a little strange in the Furry community right now. Trekkies and My Little Pony fans are reportedly shaking their heads and saying “what a bunch of weirdos.”
The freaky intersection of loony rightwing politics and furry fandom shouldn’t reflect badly on most furries, who are regular folks who enjoy dressing up as animals and maybe enjoying a nice late-night game of Fight or Flight Reflex. But yeesh, check the Denver Channel’s exhaustive summary of all the rabbit holes and backbiting this mess has generated in the Colorado furry community. The story blew up nationally when JJ MacNab, one of the top chroniclers of rightwing and sovereign citizen groups, tweeted a link to a story last week in the furry blog “Flayrah” about the kerfuffle, detailing the sudden cancellation of this year’s RMFC. Shortly before the story was posted, RMFC chair “Sorin” (Zachary Brooks) posted this lovely passive-aggressive note explaining the con had been cancelled because of certain people who want nothing but trouble. For once, that didn’t mean the Jews. Or maybe it does:
Recently, members of our community have taken it upon themselves to bring in external influences of hate, intolerance, and stubborn refusal to compromise. This movement has grown into a community that promotes violence, and it is because of that, it is with deep regret that I make the following announcement:
Last month, we were faced with a sudden and drastic increase in security costs amounting to more than a third of our entire existing operating budget. This cost increase stemmed directly from the very public threats of violence against one another by members of this community, as well as the negative backlash from misinformation spread about the convention, its staff and attendees. Therefore, Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2017 is officially canceled. I will no longer continue to subject my staff and our community to the lies, hate, violence and slander that was disseminated by a small, vocal minority.
So, who were these nasty people spreading lies and slander and threatening violence? You know, the usual bad guys: People who don’t like Nazis, or in this case, Nazi furries, which are indeed a thing. As reported by another blog, Dogpatch Press, it all started when a fur fan going by “Deo” — who hadn’t even been planning to go to RMFC — made a reference to punching Nazis on Twitter, then reported to Denver police and security at the venue that a member of the Furry Raiders had alluded to maybe bringing a gun to the convention, for defense against the scary Social Justice Warriors.
For being a troublemaker, “Deo” — not the troll saying they planned to pack heat at the convention — ended up being banned from the con she wasn’t planning to go to, and also received a weirdass “cease and desist” letter from Kendal Emery, the head of the (no-longer nonprofit) “Mid-American Anthropomorphic Arts Corporation” that ran the convention. It basically threw a lot of pseudolegal terms around and ordered “Deo” to never say anything bad about RMFC again, Or Else:
Not really a letter from an attorney, and no legal standing. But here’s a fun detail: That red-ink signature and thumbprint in red ink, plus all the pseudo-legal threats, are all pretty typical of the fake documents produced by Sovereign Citizens. Emery, it turns out, had also pleaded no contest in 1993 to three counts of “criminal sexual contact of a minor” in New Mexico, which is probably not really the sort of thing the organizers of a furry convention would want publicized. Oops, it’s getting publicized (again, aim your anger at Emery, the jerk, not at fur people generally, who are almost universally goofy and harmless. OK, some may bite, but only consensually).
And now, there’s no convention, vendors and attendees who prepaid to attend may or may not get refunds, and a whole bunch of negative stereotypes about furries are being reinforced. Worst of all, Nazis are depicting decent diversity-loving furries as the weirdos:
The problem isn’t furries “infiltrating” the Nazis, of course — it’s Nazis like the Furry Raiders (who are fond of Nazi style armbands, with the Swastika replaced by a paw) trying to barge into a slightly offbeat fandom and calling themselves “alt.fur.”Flat Earthers for the rest of their days. Yiff in Heil, Nazi freaks.
On the positive side, now that the sovereign citizen/Nazi furries are out, there’s a reasonable chance that decent normal furries in Colorado can get a legitimate convention going by next year.