(location deliberately left unsaid)
Rule number one: do not, under any circumstances whatsoever, attempt to have any contact or dealings whatsoever with FurryMUCK unless (a) you have never been sickened, frightened or nauseated by anything in your life, or (b) you are very, very drunk.
Rule number two: even if the above criteria are met, you may still very seriously wish to consider dealing in any way, shape or form whatsoever with FurryMUCK.
I'm no expert on internet trash, but I am fairly certain that this is quite simply the most horrifying, disgusting, all out creepy online activity ever devised. And that makes it even more horrific: talented, gifted artists have actually participated in and helped breathe life into this appalling travesty. What on earth were these people thinking? Surely they, as I once was, must have been lured on to this thing under some kind of false pretenses. Were they as innocent as I was when they were pulled onto it? Did they know what they were getting themselves into? Did they understand beforehand what this actually was? I've heard that at least a few of these said talented individuals still defend their time on this thing to this day, but I have the feeling that they are really in just a powerful state of denial.
I have given this a listing here on my "Your Stuff SUCKS" page, but for your personal health and safety, I am in no way, shape or form recommending it. Vile acts are commited by these people both online and in real life which surpass the imaginations of even the most jaded trashmongers. If for some reasons of your own devising you should choose against my warnings to fortify both your courage and your stomach and get within close vicinity of this, I hereby guarantee you that you will never forget the experience.
It was the very first online activity of its kind ever devised, and is the main home base of that bizarre cult known as the "furries", who I am now convinced after being forced to deal with them for several years against my will are quite simply the most sick, twisted, perverted, and most severely disturbed group of individuals ever to congregate.
So how do I begin to describe something like this, and how did I end up getting accidentally connected with it?
How indeed. I was at the San Diego ComiCon back in 1992 with my portfolio talking to various individuals from various studios hoping to find work, when this one particular individual from England happened to be looking over my shoulder at my samples. He asked if he could have one of my business cards because he said he liked the design I had created for it. I had innocently handed it over to him, never guessing that I would regret that simple act to my dying days or how much misery this one said individual would end up causing me as a result of meeting me.
He proceeded to introduce me to a group of individuals at the table I was at, and all of them acted as though they all wanted to instantly love me. Then they announced that, in order to celebrate this "important find", they were going to take me out to dinner. I had someplace modest in mind, but they insisted on this wildly expensive Japanese restaurant, in the ritziest area of town you could possibly imagine, picking out a big table long enough to seat everybody at and insisting on seating me at its head. Of course, the tab was picked up. It didn't take very long for me to realize that something unusual was going on, that this was actually recruitment. Right away, I thought to myself, something was wrong. This was not what normally happens with a group of art fans. I excused myself. But my troubles were far from over.
When I got home, I was suddenly finding myself bombarded by mail, bizarre packages, and various weirdos all writing me and calling my number out of the blue, including this guy. Suddenly, my peaceful little existance of quietly creating cartoons and pursuing my career was blown sky high.
Meanwhile, the individual responsible for dragging me into the middle of all this nonsense was going absolutely berzerk buying me cartloads of presents. Several times I actually attempted to return the things so he could get his money back, but he had deliberately destroyed the receipts so I couldn't do so. All the while it was becoming more and more obvious to me that it was very, very painfully important to said individual that I like this, that I join. Which told me that there were to be brownie points of some kind or other to be had by my joining. Again, a very bad sign.
My family had actually allowed him to come out for a period of time to visit them because my mother was charmed by his written letters, but they instantly regretted it forever afterwards. In the words of my mother, "That was a very selfish young man who came out here."
And he kept pestering me to join some program without explaining to me what it was, simply because he said it was the most "convenient" way to stay in touch. Because my family thought it was important for me to be a good witness to this guy, I tried signing up at the time just to give him one more chance, not to mention to shut him up. That program turned out to be, you guessed it, a little number called FurryMUCK, which I didn't even know the name of until after I had followed his instructions. And after I saw what it was and how blatantly I had been lured on to it, I was horrified and wanted nothing to do with it.
It was only after all of that I learned that this guy was in fact one of the programmers behind this thing, and was something called a "furry". It was only at this point that I finally had some kind of name to tag all these weirdos with, as I had been thinking for years, "What on earth, who ARE all these people, and why won't they go away and leave me alone?"
It took forever to get them away, and how I wish I could go back in time to stop myself from giving that guy my business card, because then I would have been spared all of the hell I had to put up with in his wake which so severly damaged my lifelong faith and belief in human nature, including his asking me for a few samples of my work back in 1992 which I had given him copies of under the condition that he not copy or give them out -- only to learn afterward that he had posted them all over something called the internet (which I knew nothing about) with my full name, address and phone number on them, thus the reason for my suddenly being flooded with hundreds of creepy "furries", not to mention unauthorized samples of my work being passed around all over the place, including a concept I had created in '89 which I would much later discovered to my horror had been stolen for an "original" Pixar movie called Up.
In other words, I was suddenly being besieged by hundreds of "furries", and I didn't know what hit me.
FurryMUCK is filled with wall-to-wall weirdos, perverts and nutjobs of every walk and persuasion, and that is the overall major appeal of it, to those who find it appealing. What seems to happen here really is meant to be happening, and often really is. These people aren't just going through the motions of everything you see here. They really do want and desire to do, and in many cases in the real world very often do do, everything and more that they are doing. That is the thing's overall redeeming quality, you might say. If the events on FurryMUCK were only simulated as some kind of sick joke, it would be merely depraved and disgusting.
And yet, because it genuinely and accurately reflects the real honest-to-God actions and behaviour of real people, the thing as a whole takes on a sick, twisted kind of documentary status. There is a powerful temptation, however vague, to praise FurryMUCK just for demonstrating to you personally whether or not you have the stomach to take it. It is a temptation I can personally resist, thank you very much.
The "furries" love to claim themselves to the media as being a charming people, innocent and kind, who do not mean the slightest bit of harm to anyone, and are perfectly normal and healthy. Nevertheless, their public relation stunts and overall public behaviour, despite these claims, have the tendency to deliberately use shock as a means to draw attention to themselves. They have basically done everything they can to jumpstart their consciousness within the public's overall genuine awareness, and that can be regarded in their case as being understandable. After all, when you're a brand new lifestylist cult and you want to make your presence known in the world, hey, you do what you gotta go. The "furries"' personal ambitions and claims have grown, but the technology of FurryMUCK itself has apparently not, and its overall features and mechanics resemble that of a traditional text adventure game, right down to the compass directions and inventory commands.
I kept asking myself during the proceedings of what I was forced to deal with during that long period of hell whether there was anything that these people wouldn't do. Over and over again. And each time I asked, I got a loud, resounding "no" for an answer. There were certain things I got in the mail from them and certain things they began to say and do that had me thinking, "No. They're not really going to do that. No human being in their right mind would even think about doing that. They wouldn't possibly go that far." And then, they did it, right before me. I refuse to go into any sort of detail because I do not want to cause my readers to vomit, but you can't begin to imagine what goes on with these people. I've spent a decade now desperately attempting to forget what I was forced to witness.
I'm giving it points for amusement, however, because I couldn't help but laugh at the incredible lengths these people go through to ignore having to deal with reality. They treated their furryMUCK program just like the real world, and if they kiss you, slap you, or throw you against the walls in one of those cutesy little online actions of theirs, you are expected to react and behave accordingly: and they freeze, seemingly genuinely confused and bewildered, not knowing what to do next, when you do not. The actions and behaviour of these people are completely ridiculous, and the things they say include such exclamations as, "Could you kindly tell me what gender I currently am? I forgot who I was last having sex with." The effect of watching all of these completely pathetic online losers dsperately going out of their way to avoid getting a life is absolutely hilarious, and in that aspect, this is a carnival-style freak sideshow of the highest order.
And then there were the things they did which made me laugh, and I mean I really laughed, because I just couldn't believe how far they were going.
And then there were the moments when they went even further, and I stopped laughing. Oh my God, that's not at all funny. That's just flat out inappropriate. That is just completely and totally inhuman. I swear, I squinted in horror as I saw those moments, just denying what I was witnessing.
Let me put it to you this way: if I had managed to get through all those years of being forced to deal with all of that without a single, solitary objection to any of it, I would have been every bit as sick, twisted and perverted as the "furries" themselves.
Thank God I'm healthy.
Since I was thoroughly repulsed and horrified by FurryMUCK and everything connected with it, but found it genuinely and uniquely funny at the same time, the only two choices I could see was to either give it its own entry here on this site or to completely ignore it altogether and leave it unmentioned simply because I know that the very fact that I have gone on and on reporting what an insult to humanity this activity is would automatically make certain people believe that it can't possible be that bad -- well-meaning people who would very understandably and desperately want to believe that no group of modern individuals could be this vile.
My reasoning for choosing the former goes like this: the only good thing I can see about the whole godawful nightmare is that it now puts me in an excellent position to warn people about it, especially parents with impressionable children. And the reason I call the "furries" a "cult" is because they fit the definition of one: a group of individuals who do not allow for nor encourage individual thought and is difficult for its members to leave.
So consider this a public service. You have been warned.