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Lord, please make me a werewolf today
November 20, 2004 12:16 PM   Subscribe

This site is dedicated to spreading the Gospel in the werewolf and furry communities. It also gives advice on how to P-shift and explains why he doesn't like role playing games. Quote - "I have Jesus to change me into a dragon and create neat lizard people to assist me in heaven." Words fail me.
posted by pyramid termite (81 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
When did metafilter turn into the portal of evil?
posted by Veritron at 12:29 PM on November 20, 2004


I was just rereading the Chick** tract Dark Dungeons, thinking "Man, it doesn't get more pathetic than this!" I was mistaken, of course.

** An interview of sorts with Chick (confirming his suspected nuttiness) can be found here.
posted by the_bone at 12:34 PM on November 20, 2004 [1 favorite]


He claims he is a dragon...that he has already gone through the 'P-shift', yet in his explanantion of 'P-shift' he states "If it works for you, please let me know, and send me a picture so I can show some proof to these phonies who tell me P-shifting is impossible."

...Thats just pure gold

posted by RobertFrost at 1:01 PM on November 20, 2004


Look, I consider myself a pretty decent, understanding human being. I'm not one to gratuitously mock furries, nor am I one to gratuitously mock the highly religious. But this site is a screaming, many-tentacled, technicolor orgasm of insanity and wonder.

I want the P-Shift Prayer in needlepoint, hanging right above the tea cozy.

Also, I enjoy this: "Aside from dragons and werewolves, I like phoenixes, giant squids, and lizardmen."

That quote represents to me all the beauty and horror of the world.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:03 PM on November 20, 2004


I'm not sure which is more frightening - his take on evolution or that hideous dragon drawing on the front page. And before any of you get any ideas, the rules to his forum specifically forbid "indoctrinating other members into...blood-drinking"! I'm not sure how comfortable he'd be at MeFi based on this disclaimer: "Unlike certain forum moderators, I have a low tolerance for abuse."
posted by HifiToaster at 1:08 PM on November 20, 2004


although this does seem odd to me, it reminds me of other examples of fusing christianity with other belief systems.

for instance, co-opting or re-inventing pagan festivals to shoehorn christianity into local cultures. christmas taking on aspects of the pagan celebration of the winter solstice, even though there is no basis in scripture for placing jesus' birth in december.

it's interesting how this fellow is trying to weave together two seemingly divergent belief systems in a personal way .. something that seems to happen with great regularity throughout history.

"If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, click on the Baptism link on the left."
posted by striatic at 1:09 PM on November 20, 2004


goddamnit, that's beautiful.
posted by oog at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2004


Love you. God Bless.

Molatar Seth Pyrargent.
Dragon, Evangelist, Ranger.


so wrong, but...so right
posted by genevieve at 1:25 PM on November 20, 2004


Favorite prey: Homeless people. They're so easy to lead into salvation. All I need is about twenty bucks and some comforting words and they're in.

My dislikes: People who refuse to get saved, people who persecute me for being a Christian, beer, lesbians, abortion clinics, deerflies, magick and satanism, heavy metal musicians that hate Jesus, the Roman Catholic Church, not getting answers to my e-mails, diaper commercials that show toddlers' butts, and the Teletubbies.

posted by euphorb at 1:28 PM on November 20, 2004


From the site:
I hate [role playing games] because the people who play them irritate me. Most [RPG] players are little snobs that won't let truly intelligent people like myself join their games.
...
For now, I'll just tell you that I look like a portly version of Jeffrey Dahmer. I find my human appearance to be embarrassing and ugly, especially the feet.

Modern life expectancy being what it is, you've got a long, long road ahead of you, little fella.
posted by crank at 1:35 PM on November 20, 2004


The very best page is How to P-Shift.

My favorite bit: You will need money for tailored clothes, alterations to your vehicle (because humans designed the seats for tailless bottoms), a good veterinarian (this is not a joke, I'm serious, GOOD vets cost ALOT), a lawyer to protect you from humans who hate the sight of you, new ID cards (driver's license, health cards, that sort of thing), change of name documentation, and other mundane but necessary things like dog toothpaste (because human toothpaste has detergents that cause animals to froth at the mouth), pin brushes, pet nail clippers, medieval swords, that kind of thing.
posted by marisa at 1:42 PM on November 20, 2004


Obedience to God is not natural for human beings. The Holy Spirit will train you in this through prayer in tongues, sacrificing ungodly belongings, breaking habits, and even minor things like picking up your trash or remembering to buy that bottle of salsa.

The Lord commands you to buy salsa!
posted by advil at 1:43 PM on November 20, 2004


This is reason 37,201 why the internets must be destroyed.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2004


At first, I figured this had to be some form of satire. As I read, it became too apparent that this was far too authentic to be fake. What a conflicted individual Lord Molatar Seth Pyrargent must be. This is what I consider a textual train wreck.
posted by thanatogenous at 1:54 PM on November 20, 2004


MetaFilter: THIS IS NOT A GAME YOU ARE TOYING WITH!
posted by naomi at 1:55 PM on November 20, 2004


Thinking more about this site, I'm reminded of something that happened in a Life Drawing class. The teacher was going around and asking people what their first step was in drawing a subject. People were giving normal answers such as "I look for the action line" or "I find a feature I find interesting" or whatever.

And then this one kid says, most gravely, "I imagine them as a lycanthrope." And indeed, all of his sketches had the models as werewolves.

He eventually had to be told - repeatedly - to please stop doing that.

In another, unrelated incident, he went on record with the statement, "there has not been, nor has there ever been, a black genius," much to general astonishment and revulsion. Oh, and there were the scripts he wrote, but I've said too much already...one involved in an anthropomorphic mantis becoming God, and another had a stadium full of retards blown up with some sort of missile, if I'm not mistaken.

Anyhoo. Yeah. People are strange. Molatar is way cooler.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:04 PM on November 20, 2004 [1 favorite]


I'm with Elwood. I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by keswick at 2:09 PM on November 20, 2004


But Christians have always been shape-shifting furries:

13And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. Revelation 12
posted by felix betachat at 2:10 PM on November 20, 2004


He uses the same biblical foundation that faith healers use for thier practice. Amazing.
posted by bigmusic at 2:11 PM on November 20, 2004


I like it. He's managed to combine two types of extremism: furry and religious. Can you imagine the sheer amount of intellectual effort he's had to expend to simultaneously believe himself to be a) a dragon, and b) a born-again fundamentalist Christian? My head would explode if I tried to believe even on of those things, much less both.

However, I think he needs to look into Rifts, the best RPG for munchkining (power gaming) that has ever been built. There's even a dragon PC template in the main rule book.
posted by sotonohito at 2:19 PM on November 20, 2004


What's wrong with you people? This all seems pretty straightforward to me....
posted by Pressed Rat at 2:21 PM on November 20, 2004


Some people will believe in ANYTHING!
posted by Balisong at 2:31 PM on November 20, 2004


I think this paragraph from his Christianity FAQ sums it all up:

"I can sympathize with you because I too have an incurable and very crippling illness (Schizotypal Personality Disorder). This illness is one of many sources of anger in my life because it is an invisible illness that robs me of social contacts and emotional maturity. Still, I manage to retain a grip on my faith in Jesus."

At first I had this pegged for satire, but I'm inclined to think he's genuine. I hope he's getting good help.

On an unrelated note, I wonder if anyone has ever told him that St. Christopher used to be depicted as a wolfman.
posted by rdub at 2:31 PM on November 20, 2004


Sorry, I have to take a step back here. We're all seeing the same thing, here, right? That dragon is humping a rock? Yes?
posted by Hildago at 2:36 PM on November 20, 2004


"If I can handle being a Christian, you can too, because I'm more f***** up than you are."

This should be scrolled at the bottom of each and every evangelical television broadcast.
posted by stacyhall1 at 2:43 PM on November 20, 2004


My brain, she hurtses.

Seriously. The whole furry thing is weird, but okay--you have a kink for pretending you're some sort of anthropomorphic animal. Whatever bites your buttons, just don't ask me to get involved. Oh the irony, a gay man whinging about someone else's sexuality...

But these otherkin, and assorted other lunatics who will say to you, with a straight face, "Oh yes, I'm a reincarnation of Guinevere, and I'm part dragon, part wolf, and part tiger." They forget, of course, that 1) dragons don't actually, y'know, exist, and 2) lions, tigers, cheetahs, skunks (!), etc., they just don't really behave the way most humans like to think they do.

*sigh*

This poor guy should be medicated, and locked up for his own protection. Reading through the site, there's all sort of little scary things that make me think he's going to wind up at a post office with a machine gun and a drgaon mask, calling for Gary Gygax's head.

Poor guy.

On preview: "I can sympathize with you because I too have an incurable and very crippling illness (Schizotypal Personality Disorder). This illness is one of many sources of anger in my life because it is an invisible illness that robs me of social contacts and emotional maturity. Still, I manage to retain a grip on my faith in Jesus."

Well, that makes a lot more sense now.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:46 PM on November 20, 2004


Oh, and:

MetaFilter: Some people will believe in ANYTHING!

(thanks, Balisong, I've been waiting to do one of those for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaages.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:49 PM on November 20, 2004


If there's one thing that i've learned over the years: you shouldn't combine extreme Christianity with major psychological disorders like Schizophrenia.
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:54 PM on November 20, 2004


if elves, flying reindeer and secret toy factories at the north pole can become entangled with a christian holiday, then why not furries?

of course, this presumes that he has the intellectual capacity of a five year old...
posted by striatic at 2:54 PM on November 20, 2004


this man is a genius:

watching hardcore heterosexual pornography can desensitize a man or woman to the natural animosity between members of the same sex. Some men, after watching numerous scenes of other men having sex with women can develop a taste for their own sex. Pornographers now regularly put lesbian scenes in all their movies, claiming that it is more fun to watch than hetero action (yeah, right, its boring as hell to watch). Myriads of people watch these movies - people in powerful positions - and they are brainwashed into enjoying gay sex portrayed on television
posted by matteo at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2004


On evolution:
Finally, there isn't any real proof that one species can change into another on its own.

But... P-shift, man!

Seriously though, I hope that whatever church that brought this guy into their fold is giving him good social support. That kind of outreach could make all the difference in his life.
posted by catachresoid at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2004


This was both fascinating and unnerving. It made me wonder what 'outsider artist' Henry Darger would have written if he had a website in his time. And it reminded me of a quote from JG Ballard: "The advanced societies of the future will not be governed by reason. They will be driven by irrationality, by competing systems of psychopathology." Assuming the site is 'for real' of course. Perhaps I'll create a site espousing the terms of my own personal syncresis of Buddhism and anarchic ultraviolence... Just kidding.
posted by buddhanarchist at 2:58 PM on November 20, 2004


I hope that whatever church that brought this guy into their fold is giving him good social support.

I hope so too, I hope that they give him the medicine and the therapy and the psychological treatment that he needs and not just a bunch of bible verses to remember. There ain't no amount of Jesus that can cure this one.
posted by Arch Stanton at 3:01 PM on November 20, 2004


Well, medicine and therapy could be helpful, but I was thinking more along the lines of compassion and understanding. A church would hopefully have a high concentration of people willing to give that a try. As positive connections to actual humans goes up, likelihood of Postal Incidents goes down.
posted by catachresoid at 3:20 PM on November 20, 2004


On evolution:
Finally, there isn't any real proof that one species can change into another on its own.

But... P-shift, man!
I think he would probably defend himself by saying that you can't change on your own: you need God's help to P-shift.

Not that I am defending his insanity. I'm just trying to understand how someone could resolve all these beliefs into a coherent philosophy. Obviously, he hasn't done that yet.
posted by sbutler at 3:27 PM on November 20, 2004


One thing that Christians and Otherkin have in common: It's always the most dreadful ones who call the most attention to themselves. Let us please not forget that there are plenty of perfectly decent representatives of both groups out there, and sometimes they overlap.

(As a side note, I've never met a dragon with whom I would want to be friends, so take that as an indicator of either the species as a whole, or simply the people who wish they belonged to it.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:27 PM on November 20, 2004 [1 favorite]


I have a deep, deep need to absorb nonsensical religious weirdness, real or fake. Up until now, my thirst has been satisfied by the the weekly Hour of Slack from the Church of the Subgenius, but now I'm thinking I should email Molatar and tell him to produce a weekly radio show, because it would be coolest damn thing ever. I imagine it backed by the sounds of a hammond organ and clashing medievil swords.
posted by Jimbob at 3:27 PM on November 20, 2004


"...there's all sort of little scary things that make me think he's going to wind up at a post office with a machine gun and a drgaon mask, calling for Gary Gygax's head."


Perhaps there are as many peaceful madmen out there as there are violent sane people?
posted by buddhanarchist at 3:36 PM on November 20, 2004


"Aside from dragons and werewolves, I like phoenixes, giant squids, and lizardmen."

Ah, y'see, I recognise this. Classic Ming the Merciless Syndrome.
He needs to get off the throne and travel a bit more.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2004


There ain't no amount of Jesus that can cure this one.

It was worth tuning into this thread for this sentence alone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:40 PM on November 20, 2004


Veritron: actually, I think mefi has outdone PoE here, since I'm pretty sure this site has never appeared on PoE. In fact, I'm going to go submit it.

That said: god I love the internet.

On preview: sbutler, passionate debate and schisming continue in both parent beliefs to this day, so since he's working from incoherent (in the sense that they're internally inconsistent) bases, I don't expect he'll resolve the conflicts, uh, ever.
posted by kavasa at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2004


MetaFilter: There ain't no amount of Jesus that can cure this one.

(My first MeFi cliche. I'm so proud.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2004


sorry: what I meant to say was:
"Perhaps there are as many peaceful p-shifting madmen out there as there are violent p-shifting sane people"
posted by buddhanarchist at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2004


In fact, getting Born Again is a wonderful experience and worth the miniscule intellectual effort.
posted by Hildago at 4:04 PM on November 20, 2004


Considering the schizophrenic angle a bit further, I should've held back a bit before posting earlier.

Many schizophrenics are drawn toward a mosaic of mysticism/spirituality, as that's how many see their perceptions of reality. While christianity may often play a role, the afflicted person could easily identify with Shinto beliefs, Native American folklore, or Egyptian mythology. A number of cases view themselves as undergoing a transformation of sorts, either as a shapeshifter, or undergoing a trail of sorts, in preperation for some sort of event which they must avoid or decipher.

As with rdub, I hope his link to an actual church can result in his getting help...at least more than the Fark/Madville/SomethingAwful portions of the web, which will undoubtedly zero in onto this guy like a homing missile.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:04 PM on November 20, 2004


I agree Smart Dalek. I think that the only way that he's going to get any help will at least at first be through his spirituality. He's either going to need some spectacular therapy, or some wonderful support through his church that will guide him with jesus and with modern medicine. I doubt the latter will be able to commit the effort and resources to accomplish much though in curing. Certainly being able to prevent him from 'going postal' would be pretty much the most that can be hoped for, depending on the circumstances.

My future father-in-law is a social worker and from hearing stories, people like this guy are more common than we think. da-dum.
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:24 PM on November 20, 2004


don't miss his werecard

The 'little grey aliens' we see today are actually demons. Why else would the New Age people babble about them? Genesis 6:4 mentions 'sons of God' that mated with human women, thus the reason why I say that these 'aliens' are demons. The demons' intent in mating with these women was to poison our gene pool so the Christ could not be born. Think about it. These little bastards have SKULLS for faces and kidnap women to rape them. They're straight out of a hardcore porno fantasy. Uh uh uh uh, oh yeah, give it to me, you pathetic skinny spaceman!
posted by pyramid termite at 4:38 PM on November 20, 2004


Metafilter: a wonderful experience and worth the miniscule intellectual effort.
posted by MikeKD at 4:42 PM on November 20, 2004


One thing that Christians and Otherkin have in common: It's always the most dreadful ones who call the most attention to themselves. Let us please not forget that there are plenty of perfectly decent representatives of both groups out there, and sometimes they overlap.

I'm sure there are plenty of decent otherkin out there. That doesn't change the fact that they're all delusional freaks with a tenusous--at best--grasp of reality.


Perhaps there are as many peaceful madmen out there as there are violent sane people?

Probably, but check out what he has to say about a berserker state.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:10 PM on November 20, 2004


This person is totally insane.

Yes, the dragon is humping the rock.

A couple of my more favorite lines from this train wreck:

Entering a berserk state is not easy. The easiest and safest way would be to take a walk down a lonely trail in a city park. I prefer city parks because there is a chance of seeing criminals and thus I can get more easily frightened.

and...

Overdosing on alcohol is easier than you think. All you need to do is drink about one shot every 5 minutes and you will vomit repeatedly. I made that mistake once at a party.
posted by marxchivist at 5:24 PM on November 20, 2004


dirtynumbangelboy: Its interesting to try and analyze the potential actions of someone based off of their writings/ or art: perhaps the berserker comments imply his actual acts of violence, or maybe this (his writing, his expression) is the means in which the violence is avoided. Maybe we'll never know, or we'll only realize.. when we hear his howl at our own doorstep. Again: if you look at the work of Henry Darger, a remarkably prolific and visionary "Outsider" artist, one would conclude that "well, he must by a psychotic, a child molester". Yet there is no proof of this-- and an incredible spirit of protection for children runs through his work. In many ways the very documents that are a flag of alarm are the paths that people create to find their way back to sanity.
On another note: his music tastes are listed as "Air Supply, Abba... Ramstein"
posted by buddhanarchist at 5:25 PM on November 20, 2004


I'm sure there are plenty of decent otherkin out there. That doesn't change the fact that they're all delusional freaks with a tenusous--at best--grasp of reality.

"Freak" is an awfully judgmental word. Perhaps you can explain why, assuming that a given individual who identifies as non-human is a harmless, peaceful, productive member of society (not to apply that description to the dragon in question; I speak in hypotheticals at the moment), said individual arouses such strong emotions in you?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:34 PM on November 20, 2004


"Freak" is an awfully judgmental word.

"Delusional", on the other hand, seems a perfect word to describe someone who believes that they are "really" a dragon, or an angel, or an owlbear.

But it's certainly possible that these delusions may be benign and not affect anyone else adversely. James Thurber had an aunt who believed that the electricity was dripping out of the sockets, for example.

I don't know that a really thoughtful person would suggest that Henry Darger "must have been" a child molester on the basis of his work. However, Darger's life and the comments of people who knew him indicate that he was quite seriously mentally ill and only marginally functional in society (though he managed to hold down a menial job and care for his basic needs).

I would not say that "an incredible spirit of protection for children runs through his work" either--instead, I would say that there is a lot of energy in his work around the issue of children in jeopardy, which is sometimes enacted in dramatic rescues, described in exhaustive detail, and sometimes enacted in hideous disasters, described in exhaustive detail.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:15 PM on November 20, 2004


Did anyone see an age for this person? There's a world of difference between fifteen and thirty.

And: good catch, sbutler.
posted by catachresoid at 6:16 PM on November 20, 2004


Entering a berserk state is not easy.

Says you! Thirty seconds at this site and I'm ready to kill something.

Seriously though, this is great.

I no longer play roleplaying games. I don't need them. I have the Holy Spirit to give me miraculous powers. I have the Father to supply all my needs. I have Jesus to change me into a dragon and create neat lizard people to assist me in heaven. I don't need the fantasy because I have the reality.

Ahhh... that's the stuff. I really would like to walk around in this guy's brain for an hour or two, just to see what it's like. So long as I can get out when I'm done.
posted by ticopelp at 6:42 PM on November 20, 2004


"I don't know that a really thoughtful person would suggest that Henry Darger "must have been" a child molester on the basis of his work"
A really thoughtful person indeed would not say that Darger was a molester-- (I don't believe he was)--- but he nonetheless was accused of harming a child early on in life-- and that, coupled with great gaps in his history, his subject matter, has raised questions among many as to how far his obsession with children went. As for the protective spirit I sense in his work: in the Battle of the Vivian Girls saga (The Realms of the Unreal), its clear that his alter ego is the General (Manley), the hero who vows to protect all children and win the war for them. The entire epic is about vanuqishing those who would do harm to children.
My point is that when a person exists within their own psychogenic world, its sometimes impossible to see inside clearly enough to know their true nature
posted by buddhanarchist at 6:51 PM on November 20, 2004


Speaking of Henry Darger, anyone else notice the rather striking similarity between this early work of Darger's (from this page and the image on the front page of the site?

A bit spooky perhaps?
posted by ticopelp at 7:06 PM on November 20, 2004


"Delusional", on the other hand, seems a perfect word to describe someone who believes that they are "really" a dragon, or an angel, or an owlbear.

Sidhedevil, I usually like your comments, but please be careful. Ask yourself why we, as a culture, are quicker to label as "delusional" (a less judgmental term than "freak," but still one with an unpleasant amount of connotational baggage) those who identify as dragons, angels or owlbears than those who identify as literal believers in a man who walked on water and rose from the dead two thousand years ago. Both sound, on the surface, equally implausible. Is it not a simple case of majority rule creating a hegemonic worldview?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:17 PM on November 20, 2004


ticopelp: great link! Thanks so much for the Darger. I wonder if the dragon drawing on the Molatar site is done by Molatar himself...
Faint Of Butt: you make a great point--- implications: all reality is constructed; we all inhabit arbitrary realms... only those who impose or spill their own upon others should be labelled as 'mad'..?
posted by buddhanarchist at 7:37 PM on November 20, 2004


Thanks for the support, buddhanarchist, and that's a fine extrapolation. Only when one's constructed reality becomes destructive should it be condemned.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:44 PM on November 20, 2004


I love the P-shift section. A brilliant example of the Christian logic that is used to "prove" the possibility of faith healing, the prosperity gospel, etc.

This guy definitely needs help, but by the tone of his theology, I doubt his church is going to do much more than try to cast the spirit of depression out of him, and then condemn him for hiding sin (which would stop God from working) if things don't fix themselves immediately. Too bad.
posted by heatherann at 8:33 PM on November 20, 2004




Delusional, one of Normal's relational dependents, was bushwhacked this afternoon by Faint of Butt, who is also wanted in connection with his refusal to read Chapter Two of anything. Several postmodernists who witnessed the attack (and overheard the phrase "Only when one's constructed reality becomes destructive should it be condemned") required emergency treatment for anaphylactic disassociation.

Do not attempt to apprehend this man. If you see him, cover your ears and contact the proper authorities. He is considerably unarmed and routinely dangerous.

posted by Opus Dark at 2:13 AM on November 21, 2004


Very funny, Opus Dark, although I must insist that I have read Chapter Two of several things. I quite like the idea of sending postmodernists to emergency treatment, and promise only to use my powers for good.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:48 AM on November 21, 2004


(Misplaced modifier: "...promise to use my powers only for good." I need to wait at least twenty minuts after waking up before posting.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:49 AM on November 21, 2004


Faint of Butt: No. People that claim to be non-human are demonstratably human. The same cannot be said about Christianity.
posted by mote at 6:27 AM on November 21, 2004


People that claim to be non-human are demonstratably human. The same cannot be said about Christianity.

Thank you, mote, that's the argument I was hoping someone would make. Of course someone can be proven to be physically human; I'd never argue otherwise. But once we start talking about souls, reincarnation, and other metaphysical concepts, it becomes just as difficult (and just as fruitless, in most instances) to try to disprove the person who says, "My body is human, but I'm really an elf," as it is to try to disprove the person who says, "Jesus turned water into wine."
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:36 AM on November 21, 2004


Somewhere JRR Tolkein's corpse is spinning so fast in it's grave that if we wrapped him in a few lazily coiled armatures of wire and haphazardly threw some magnets near it we'd have enough electricity to permanently solve all of our energy problems, forever.

The best part of playing make-believe and stretching your imagination is that you can stop and come back to reality.
posted by loquacious at 10:46 AM on November 21, 2004


What "RPGs" has this guy played, anyway?
2. FRPG's limit my imagination. Aside from making it very difficult to play a unique nonhuman character ("Hey! Look! A gnoll paladin! Let's kill him!" all the burghers shout), I can't make up your own worlds or legends or alternate histories without conflicting with what the game designers had in mind or without peeving off role-players who want to be strict.
Nonsense. In D&D, unique non-human charaters are all over the place (insect people such as Dromites and Thri-kreen, Warforged (living statues), and even dragons themselves, from the current Draconomicon book, and the Council of Wyrms setting from the 90's). Even the original 1974 version of the game encourages you to make your own rules for playing monsters. Non-D&D games such as GURPS, White Wolf's World of Darkness series, and the ever-flexible Champions/Hero System have even more options.
On top of that, the rules give strongly encourage you to make your own worlds and give guidelines for this. In fact, the Forgotten Realms and Eberron settings started out as just that -- worlds created by individual D&D players for their own games.

3. FRPG's they waste time and money. Anyone who's tried to be a DM knows how much money they spend on rulebooks and magazines and how much time is wasted on building dungeons when it could be used more wisely on finishing homework. I spent almost $300 on the new D&D before I threw it all out, and I spent ten times as much on Magic: The Gathering before selling all my cards for a mere $125.
Nonsense. As a DM, I've spent about half that much on the new version of D&D, and I know very well that half of it was optional. Building dungeons doesn't take massive amounts of time, and it doesn't interfere with my research into my Ph.D.
And Magic: The Gathering? That's not even an RPG. (No GM, no player-led story or character development ...) Anyone who knows what an RPG is would recognize this after playing Magic even once.

7. FRPG's train the mind to think of everyone in terms of finite statistics. God isn't finite. It becomes very difficult to worship an infinite God when you limit him with numeric statistics.
RPGs have plenty of non-statistical things in them. A character's personality, the flow of a story -- these things are very present in RPGs. RPGs don't constrain these things with stats. Nor do they attempt to constrain God in this way.

If this guy did play RPGs, he must have resolved to ignore how they are really played, and replace this with them with the lies his church told him.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:12 AM on November 21, 2004


Thank you, mote, that's the argument I was hoping someone would make. Of course someone can be proven to be physically human; I'd never argue otherwise. But once we start talking about souls, reincarnation, and other metaphysical concepts, it becomes just as difficult (and just as fruitless, in most instances) to try to disprove the person who says, "My body is human, but I'm really an elf," as it is to try to disprove the person who says, "Jesus turned water into wine."

It's not really all that difficult. Elves don't exist, never have. Nor have dragons. Yeshua ben Miriam, on the other hand, seems to have been an actual man, and if you take the water-into-wine story as metaphor rather than literal truth, everything1 is solved quite nicely.

1. Okay, not quite everything.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:50 PM on November 21, 2004


It's not really all that difficult. Elves don't exist, never have. Nor have dragons.

Prove it.

And wasn't one of the first reactions to the discovery of H. floriensis last month, "Oh, maybe there's such a thing as leprechauns after all?"
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:17 PM on November 21, 2004


This reminds me of a religious street preacher I once saw. "Accept Jesus and you will be saved", he proclaimed, "The Lord can cure whatever ails you. He can cure alcoholism. He can cure homosexuality. All those things come from having no master." The usual spiel.

Then he went on: "I myself was cured. Ten years ago I had schizophrenia. Then I became a Christian, accepted Jesus into my heart, and was cured. Now when you look at official medical literature, it says that can't happen. Schizophrenia can't be cured. But I was."

Which makes me wonder what proportion of highly religious people (by this I mean self-appointed "evangelists", street preachers, religious ranters and such) are technically mentally ill.
posted by acb at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2004


It's not really all that difficult. Elves don't exist, never have. Nor have dragons.

Prove it.


Er, no. Impossible to prove a negative, you know that. Prove to me that dragons have or did exist.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:34 PM on November 21, 2004


The only things provable are (linear) mathematical proposals and other items that are a part of artificially constructed systems. And those things only exist as ideas. Everything else, I think, including history, is agreed upon by consensus, habit, or by force.

I think anything is possible; but very little is provable. Unfortunately, in this day and age, just about everything is provable and very little is possible.
posted by buddhanarchist at 4:38 PM on November 21, 2004


Faint of Butt: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. In this case, the existence of elves is an extraordinary claim.

(So is the turning of water into wine, but no reasonable person these days claims that that's anything but a metaphor or poetic license.)

Mind you, lack of real-world existence is not necessarily a barrier to the beliefs of "otherkin". Look at those who believe that they're anime characters or "catgirls", for example. So one may not have to believe that elves once walked the earth to know that, in their heart of hearts, they are an elf.
posted by acb at 4:41 PM on November 21, 2004


Er, no. Impossible to prove a negative, you know that. Prove to me that dragons have or did exist.

Of course I know it's impossible to prove a negative. I was being facetious. But neither do I need to prove the positive, because the existence (current or previous) of elves or dragons was never my proposition, and you're welcome to scroll up and read my previous comments as evidence of this. That's a straw man, if I'm using my rhetorical jargon correctly. My only argument is that, assuming harmlessness and productivity on the parts of both hypothetical parties, one who believes that he or she is something other than human is no more deserving of ridicule than one who believes that Jesus literally performed the miracles attributed to him. As the two beliefs are equally implausible and unprovable, they deserve either equal portions of mockery or none at all. acb appears to agree with me, and I'm grateful for that.

Incidentally, the only reason I've taken this role in this particular thread/argument is that in all my years (about three, I think) as a MeFi lurker, I've seen people leap to the defense of beliefs that I find thoroughly irrational, ranging from religious fundamentalism to trickle-down economics, and yet every thread with an Otherkin theme has been, as far as I've seen, a unanimous voice of scorn. I wanted to find out why, and at the same time provide the lone voice of defense. I'm not trying to convince anyone of any Truth. I'm only asking for open minds and fair consideration.

(And I can't be the only person to notice that the first two spell-check suggestions for "MeFi" are "Mafia" and "elfin." Then again, the first suggestion for "Otherkin" is "bothering." I could cut the irony with a knife.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:30 PM on November 21, 2004


No scorn here.
posted by buddhanarchist at 8:55 PM on November 21, 2004


Well, I am a Christian (though my own Christianity, I'll admit, focuses far more on the teaching of Jesus the historical person than on the metaphysical apparatus connected to that teaching), and I do know people who think, and have said to my face, that I am "mentally ill" and "delusional" for believing in God (including this guy), so I certainly accept that other people do have that opinion of me.

And I can certainly recognize that there is some metaphorical truth behind the assertion that people are "really" dragons, or angels, or owl-bears. Frankly, there are a lot of long-standing religious traditions that I, at least, would be hesitant to call "delusions" that suggest that people may be the reincarnation of an animal (Hinduism) or a member of an animal's "spirit-clan" (many Native American and animist religious traditions).

Having said all of this, this man cannot physically transform himself into a dragon, as he claims to do. Therefore, I would suggest that he, at least, is delusional by anyone's standards.

If he said that he "exemplified the spirit of a dragon" or "was inspired by the spirit of a dragon," I would think that he had a metaphysical framework that differed from mine. When he states something in the physical realm that is irreducibly counterfactual, I feel confident in my assessment that he is delusional.

However, if his prose weren't so hateful, self-righteous, and pompous, I wouldn't be so tempted to mock him. That's what raised my (metaphorical, not Otherkin) hackles about him.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:35 AM on November 22, 2004


Thank you, Sidhedevil. That was a very accepting analysis of the situation, and that's all I really wanted to hear. I'm also glad you mentioned other religious traditions, particularly those that include reincarnation-- I was speaking to an Otherkin friend last night, and she suggested that I bring up the same topic.

If we must mock Molatar, let us do so because he is "hateful, self-righteous, and pompous" (an opinion with which I whole-heartedly agree), and not tar other people with the same brush just because they hold similar beliefs. Remember, we're all trying to raise the level of discourse.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:34 AM on November 22, 2004


OTOH, in the real world, logical absurdity doesn't map neatly to sanity (in the sense of practicality and not causing problems). If billions of people believe that a man was born of a virgin and a pigeon and turned water into wine, given that the direct physical effects of those impossible events have no bearing on one's life (unless one's a physicist or somesuch, in which case one would probably regard these events as metaphorical), they are essentially symbolic; holding a symbolic belief, even an absurd one, which many fellow members of society hold can be pragmatically useful considered in this context (which has more direct bearing on most peoples' lives than the literal interpretation). Whether it's a miracle, a metaphor, or something else concerns mostly theologians, skeptics and a minority of intellectuals.

As for believing that one is really a werewolf or catgirl or whatever, that doesn't fulfil a pragmatic function as mainstream religious faith does. It can certainly help one feel commonality with a small minority of individuals on the fringes, but can also distance one from the rest of society (especially with the way many fringe subcultures, often populated by those rejected by the mainstream, speak contemptuously of "normals" and "mundanes"). In that sense, there is a pragmatic case to be made for believing oneself to be a werewolf to be less sane than believing that Jesus turned water into wine.

This is so in a society where Christianity (in varying shades) is a relatively mainstream belief. Were it to decline and become a fringe sect, something equally absurd would undoubtedly replace it.
posted by acb at 5:25 PM on November 22, 2004


Alas, moletar.com seems to be down now. Don't know if it's a bandwidth issue, or if the attention has spooked him.
posted by the_bone at 3:39 PM on November 25, 2004


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