Joining cult-like groups happens for a reason. Good people may not see what goes on behind a false front. Casual involvement can only have the positive side. Lonely people who may not have a place in other groups can be manipulated by smooth talk. Outcasts who have earned consequences for bad behavior can find enabling from organizers who recruit them. They can feel more important by dragging others down.

Ruining things and making battle is the opposite of creative fandom. It can be important to confront bad faith and dishonesty and demand better.  It can also be important to listen and give space to people questioning involvement. Nobody needs friends picked for them – it’s just good to let them know that they don’t need a cult for that.  The whole fandom has plenty of better friends everywhere.

Picking better friends isn’t “policing”.

Patch O’Furr on making better spaces.

The whole article is about the work the furry community has been doing to combat the alt-fur brigade, and is an interesting read. The key take-homes are, I think, 1) to create zero-tolerance environments for hate groups and other toxic edgelords, and 2) to allow honestly repentant individuals the opportunity to disassociate from said groups and reintegrate back into the community.