It’s not exactly a secret that 4chan and its derivatives have been cesspools for Literally Nazi recruitment, bleeding into other interests that would have been styled “nerdy” 15 years ago, such as gaming and comic books. Caught in between these various sub-interests are the often maligned “furries”–participants of fiction and art focusing on anthropomorphic animal characters. Furry communities have been undergoing a largely unnoticed explicit project to redirect those in their community away from white supremacist radicalization, and ostracize those too far in to salvage. One such member, Deo, has written about some of the indoctrination techniques that radicalize these nerdy young white men in the hopes that her peers can recognise this process.
Content notice: Nazi tropes and, if you click on the link, Nazi imagery, genocidal aspirations, and chat logs of indoctrinal programming. (paragraph breaks added for readability)
Isolated, lonely, insecure, unfulfilled, bitter young men who feel that society at large has abandoned them and denies them the opportunities they feel entitled to are prime targets. White supremacist recruiters approach these angry young men and tell them that they are special and have a greater destiny. They are told that every white man carries this legacy mantle of superiority because every white man bears the lineage of advancements and accomplishments of all white men throughout history. That every white man is imbued by his fore fathers with an important destiny to defend the white race. Thus the lonely NEET need not achieve anything himself to still hold this position of power and supremacy, his accomplishments that the recruiter can flatter him for is simply that he was born with white skin.
These tactics transform nerdy bullied young men into proud white warriors, making them useful tools for the promotion and growth of the white supremacist ideology and agenda. Neo-Nazi groups know utilizing the insecurity and loneliness in their targets is an effective recruiting and radicalizing tactic especially when tailored to the large audience of socially awkward internet nerds.
Another key strategy in white supremacist recruitment are online communities that warmly welcoming in new members, once lured into such a group the recruit is given a surge of support, validation, and esteem boosting. The new members are told they belong, that they may not fit in real life social cliques but that they fit into this group, and that the other group members care about them. Hours will be invested in grooming the new recruit, befriending and talking with them. Active chats are appealing to those who are bored and isolated and only want some human contact but have trouble getting it elsewhere due to social awkwardness.
The white supremacist group offers a sense of community and belonging and slowly cultivates in the recruit into a sense of loyalty towards the group. For those desperate for friendship or to feel included this is an incredibly potent lure. These groups can have darker tactics as well, with leaders telling their members that they cannot leave or return to people outside of the group. Many reasons are given but most commonly this inability to leave is posed as there being some boogeyman outsider, like “SJWs”, will eventually toss them out, bully them, ostracize them, or attack them. Leaving the group is framed to members as ruining their only chance at fun, true friendship, or inclusion. Members are told they must remain in the group because within the group is the only place it is safe to express themselves freely, that their opinions are too radical to be accepted elsewhere, or that their ‘truth’ will be brutally suppressed by outsiders, and within the group are the only people who will ever accept them. The outside world is cast as some nebulously ominous power that is held back from harming the member only by the protection of the group. All of this forges fear and friendship together into chains that trap people into toxic white supremacist spaces.
Read more here.