*=========== Public disclaimer ===========*
The following document is opinion based and relies on very few concrete
sources, if any (those used will be noted). Comments are welcome to the
media in which this was found, or via email. Comments may be read, unread,
deleted for no cause, deleted for good reason, ignored, archived, burned, or
crucified. The probability that I'll respond to your comments depends
greatly on how little you make me angry.
This document is response rated: 3 - author will post and mostly ignore
(c) 1997 Lion Templin (ltemplin@leoNOSPAMnine.com
*=========== Public disclaimer ===========*
The Campaign for Realism and Integrity in Therianthropy
Treatise 1: Three Lies of Therianthropy.
(c) 1999 Lion Templin
It has been commonly accepted by many that the online therianthropic
genre has taken a turn for the worse in years preceding. Flame wars,
personal assaults, splits and schizms (Like the Cougnaites), spam, trolls,
holy wars, and general mayhem have erupted on several of the most prominent
founts of therianthropic discussion, namely AHWW the newsgroup, IRC servers,
discussion forums, and whatever nook and cranny style service and individual
can provide. I need not remind you more of the state of the genre, nor is
it relevant to maintaining a timelessness of a document. This likely will
seem as timely as anything else, but perhaps it's lessons can be given to
Regardless of the fragmented and highly individualized nature of the
genre's current state, the genre can be broken down into two large and
diverse groups. Of course this will be obvious to you, and the answer as to
what group you belong to will be decided without hesitation. Simply enough,
the groups are the "trues" and the "wannabes". I will expect that if you
have stayed long enough to read that last sentence, that you'll have chosen
the group "trues", referring to those who /truly/ are representatives of a
non-human species. If you can honestly admit to being a wannabe .. well, be
very proud of yourself. I thank you for coming, and you can ignore the rest
of the document, if you wish. For those who remain, the ones who claim
"true" status, well this is where it begins.
Your claim to admission into the true category has not come without it's
questions, correct? Questions of yourself, right? Of course it has .. for
a single person to sit down and believe a statement such as "I am a wolf."
implies at some point you would be required to ask yourself "Am I a wolf?"
It matters not if someone else told you you were one, or some test told you
of such things, or some magical dream gave you this knowledge .. the final
answer is all yours. Your choice to believe what you've just seen, heard,
smelled, tasted, or had thrust upon you in the heat of passion. Much like
the decisions you make every day to believe the existence of things (Is this
a hard boiled egg? Is this a 3/8" drive 1/2" socket?) you also make such a
decision about your own very /nature/.
Now it's not hard to make an existential decision about a 3/8" drive 1/2"
socket, it presents certain evidence to imply it's identity. But what about
your decision about therianthropy? Certainly you can't pick it up, connect
it to a 3/8" ratchet, and proceed to reattach the 1/2" bolts to your car's
strut tower. Well, let's just say that the socket has a lot more going for
it in terms of believability. Why? Because it poses no threat to something
I (and others) like to call "intellectual honesty". Intellectual honesty is
a fragment that for many of us manages what we can believe. Your own
intellectual honesty certainly isn't going to allow you to pick up a dead
chicken and use it to put your strut back on, believing it's your ratchet.
But, how strong is that part of you? For many, when it comes to
self-knowledge .. it's remarkably weak. Defeating it allows people to
remain happy in dead-end relationships, live in cardboard boxes, or deny
that they are drug addicts. Essentially, when it comes to self .. you're
easy to delude. It's called denial. Why do we use denial? Because it's
easier in every case than the truth. Easier to ignore your wife died,
easier to believe your husband isn't an alcoholic, easier to get along in
life ignoring all the bad things that could be going on about you.
Therianthropy provides several avenues of denial that make things
easy for a lot of people. Many lies are perpetuated by therianthropes in
the process of making their claim .. to the world and themselves. This is
easily a transgression of intellectual honesty.
- Therianthropic Lie #1: THE LIE OF INDIVIDUALITY -
Many prefer to use their claim into the "true therianthropic" class to
separate them from the rest of "boring old people". To give them a step up
on the rest of the crowd, to say. Certainly, everyone who has even the
slightest ego is going to desire to be different from the person next to
them .. and what is more different than to make a claim that you're some
kind of "animal inside" .. a hungry predator that'll stop at nothing for
conquest in a dog-eat-dog world. There's no question that the person in the
next cubicle isn't a wolf ..
Well, it's really too bad .. because therianthropy is not all that
special. Faced with the wide range of human possibility, therianthropy is
one of billions of aspects that can make up an individual. For one, there's
more just like you. Ever notice that you'll see someone that looks
amazingly like someone you know? Anyone who's spent some time in crowds
will understand the feeling that they've seen people who look like other
people .. and simple logic dictates that there's people who look like you.
Now, if you will, apply this to therianthropy .. an aspect of yourself that
is like your unique face. If people can look like others, then others can
think like you. You are NOT alone, and therefore, not special.
What does it really matter, however, that someone's a therianthrope?
Does being an therianthrope stack up to the likes of Albert Einstein, or
just the neighbor down the block who has a soft spot in his heart and helps
out at the homeless shelter? Therianthropy is /personal/. There's a
significant difference between "I'm an wolf." and "I'm someone who'll risk
their life for someone else." Or, "I'm a bear." and "I'm a homicidal
psycho."* Which really makes you a different person?
* Just to show that the difference swings both 'positive' and 'negative'.
How many people in your life recognize, and thusly allow to make a
difference in their lives because you claim therianthropic status? How many
of those people aren't your friends?
- Therianthropic Lie #2: THERIANTHROPY IS EASY TO BELIEVE IN, -
HARD TO LIVE.
It seems like a common ideal in the therianthropic world is that to
become a therianthrope is relatively simple .. though you'll argue this, it
should be read first before getting your hackles up.
People need vehicles to understanding. An experiment to demonstrate a
concept, an example to clarify the learning. Essentially, a method by which
to gain a grasp of a concept and thusly use it. There are many often used
vehicles in therianthropy ... most of which easily accepted and often
spurious in nature. One such vehicle is dreaming. Cited time and time
again as the vehicle of therianthropic understanding, dreams have become a
staple of the proof toolbox that therianthropes use to understand
themselves. Another is "expert opinion", someone telling you that you're of
such nature. And so on. Regardless, the common epiphany is simple and
short: "I had a dream about a wolf, and therefore I am one!"
Again, pure myth. Therianthropy flies in the face of generations of
sociological training to separate man from animals. So, after all these
years of built up prejudice, you can suddenly wake up one morning and say
"I'm part wolf!"? It's not quite that simple. Liken it, in some respects,
to the other regions of society that have had eons of repression. Most
common: "deviant" sexuality. Would you consider yourself "in the closet"
about being a therianthrope? What would your parents think? The neighbors?
Your coworkers? If you tell a random person on the street that you're a
homosexual, they'll at least acknowledge that they exist. But to tell them
you're a therianthrope .. that'll have much less of a believable effect.
And so, when you choose the therianthropic path you make a conscious
decision to defy your society's teaching ... not an easy thing to do. To
completely believe such a decision about oneself can take years, much like
other socially marginal attributes.
Conversely, once the bold step of being claimant to therianthropy is
taken, the path ever after is wrought with difficulty. Isolation, control,
and a host of "animalistic" qualities that the therianthrope must
continually wrestle with. Like doing your best not to loose control of the
"animal within" and hurt someone. Or not to growl, nip, or pounce on
strangers (or in some cases, /very/ close friends :) ... you'd best always
be on your guard as a therianthrope to insure that other people don't get
hurt by the inner power of your paws.
Not quite. Once you've gone through the years of trying to understand
yourself, the rest really is easy. Just be you. If you truly are the
animal you say you are it WILL show in thought, word, and deed ... in
everything you do. No need to force such things as you'll be doing it
naturally. You will find that your animal nature DOES make serious effects
in acceptable action in everyday life .. just because you are a wolf does
NOT mean you go about chasing down other people and trying to tear them limb
from limb. You'll find there's a uniquely /human/ equivelant to your
animal's behavior. And because of that, others .. people who are not aware
of your therianthropic nature, will see you as such without them ever
knowing what you believe.
- Therianthropic Lie #3: THERIANTHROPES AREN'T LIKE HUMANS -
So, you're a therianthrope. This makes you different, right? (No.) But
this DOES make you somewhat "inhuman" ... after all you ARE part animal.
And being part animal gives you certain "rights", like getting angry .. or
howling at inopportune times. And maybe it frees you from some of the
common problems that humans have. Regardless, you don't have to sink to
their level because you're not like them.
It's not that easy, folks. Many therianthropes forget one simple fact:
YOU TOO ARE HUMAN.
And with that comes the whole package, the complete set of foibles that make
up the human tragedy. You too can bicker, be ornery, and be kind without
the added baggage of therianthropy. And oddly enough, therianthropes have
shown the nature to do exactly what the rest of the world does .. minus the
animal belief. Not only that, it's unacceptable to be an asshole as a
therianthrope as anywhere else .. blaming your faults on your species is NO
EXCUSE in any situation.
You'll never be able to forsake your humanity, no matter how strenuously
your protest it.
(How could anyone ever get away with, much less sympathy from "fuck off and
die" in a public forum is beyond me, though I'm proud to have made the
This is but a small sample of the common therianthropic lies. So often is
it that these lies are committed after the suppression of intellectual
honesty that these indicators lends themselves to the identification of
those who have not allowed themselves to ask the truthful questions. What
group do you belong to? The "wannabes" or the "trues"? Don't answer that
to me, I don't care. No one does. Only to you and your own honesty does it
(c) 1999 Lion Templin