The new FAQ

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Aug 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/24/96

The New FAQ is finished... it has been split into three parts, the
Core FAQ, with the more important questions about what AHWW is; the
MiniFAQs, with the various minifaqs inside - BTW, I have some info for
a wolf minifaq if anyone's interested in creating one; and the
Resource FAQ, with all the books, songs, games, movies, TV shows,
trivia, humor, and internet resources a person could want. :) The core
FAQ will be the one posted monthly, with pointers to the others if
they're wanted.

BTW, is there anyone out there who wants to compile a list of Internet
resources? WWW, IRC, FTP, MUD, etc. etc? I have precious few, and am
not much good at ferreting them out. If someone comes up with a list
of places to be included into the resource FAQ I'd be much

Here's the core FAQ:

How To Use This FAQ Collection

The Frequently Asked Questions file has been broken up into three
major parts. The first is the Core FAQ, containing the most basic
questions about AHWW, and is intended to acquaint the reader with the
newsgroup and its purpose. It has been drastically shortened and
simplified so that the reader can get the gist of the group without
having to read through the other two parts. The second part is the
Resource FAQ, containing the various bits of information and minutia
collected over the years by AHWW members. It contains the various ways
held to effect physical shifting, humor, Internet resources, books,
songs, movies and other media relating to shapeshifters, and much
more. It is interesting but rather lengthy. The third part is the
collection of MiniFAQs, the essays pertaining to various phenotypes of
shapeshifter and the legends specific to them. All three parts will be
available from a variety of locations, but only the first part will be
posted regularly on AHWW. The other two may be gotten by emailing
KATM...@NEGIA.NET; via anonymous ftp to; or on the web at The resource FAQ contains
many other locations the files may be found. Additions, suggestions,
gripes and kudos should be sent to the keeper of the FAQ,

Introduction - The Core FAQ

Welcome to alt.horror.werewolves! This newsgroup is probably a little
different than most groups you've come across in Usenet. If you're
reading it based on the name, then chances are you have an interest in
werewolves and horror-genre fiction. So do we... but there's more to
it than that. We do discuss werewolves in movies, literature, and
art... but we also discuss windigos, werebears, wereleopards,
weretigers, ravens, werebats, wererats, polymorphs... any shapeshifter
at all. We talk about theriomorphs, both physical and spiritual; about
methods of changing, about personal philosophies, and about fun. What
were all those terms up there? Read on; everything will be explained
in time. But be aware that AHWW is more than is seems at first glance!

A little etiquette before we continue: Whenever entering a new
newsgroup, it's a good idea to lurk for a while, and try to fathom
from posts by folks who have been there a while what sorts of things
are okay to talk about and what topics are forbidden. By reading this
FAQ, you've taken a big step in that direction: A FAQ is the group's
official declaration of being; it tells everyone who read it what the
group is about. Most all usenet newsgroups have a FAQ of some sort;
asking for it before you post is considered good manners. Also: Even
if you don't agree with a group's purpose, flaming them is generally a
very bad idea. Especially a group like AHWW. *toothy grin*

A little history

AHWW was originally grouped November 16, 1992, as a logical extension
of the alt.horror hierarchy. As such, it was intended for discussion
of horror-genre movies and books dealing with werewolves. It received
very little traffic; on the order of 2 or 3 posts a day, if that.

It began to attract folks with an intense interest in werewolves and
shapechangers in general. Gradually, the conversations shifted to
discuss what werewolves meant to these people personally, and how they
entered into their worldview. Some of the original posters resented
the change and left... which is unfortunate, because we have had many
detailed discussions about werewolf flicks in the past three years.
As the discussions grew more and more philosophical, a concept known
as spiritual therianthropy was formed (more on this later). More and
more folks joined in, and soon AHWW was enjoying almost a hundred
posts a day. This led to some confusion... especially during the
"winter of our discontent" recently, when some nasty words were
exchanged and confusion reigned. This revised FAQ is one of the
positive things to come from that.

What does the future hold? AHWW, its participants, and its discussions
will always stay with me, personally. Who knows what will happen to
the Internet, and the alt. groups, as time goes by? But the
friendships started here will last, I suspect; even if the
"information superhighway" decides it no longer needs us.

What is a Lycanthrope? A Theriomorph?

Lycanthrope \'li-ken-throp\ n (NL lycanthropus, fr. GK lykanthropos
werewolf, fr. lykos wolf + anthropos man) 1:a person displaying
lycanthropy 2:a werewolf

Lycanthropy \'li-kan(t)-thra-pe\ n 1: a delusion that one has become a
wolf. 2: the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held
to be possible by witchcraft or magic - lycanthropic adj.

Theriomorphic \'thir-e-o-'mor-fik\ adj (GK theriomorphos, fr. Therion
beast + morphe form - more at treacle): having an animal form <~gods>

-- Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

In this context, lycanthrope would appear to include only werewolves.
However, it has come to refer to any shapeshifter, whether it be
werebear, wolf, bat, panther, raven, fox, what have you. A more
accurate term, and one that's being used more and more, is
theriomorph; as it doesn't connote any specific animal. Both
lycanthrope and theriomorph are used interchangeably, though.

Do you actually believe you're a werewolf?

You'll find that there is no one answer to any question on AHWW. The
concept of lycanthropy is held by some to be just an interesting myth,
and to others as a means of explaining their worldview; with many
gradations of belief in-between. I personally have never seen a man
transform physically into an animal, and cannot do it myself; but I'll
never rule that possibility out. When folks here call themselves
werewolves, they generally mean that they find the characteristics of
lycanthropy intriguing and see examples of such in themselves. What
those characteristics are and the extent to which they manifest
themselves are, again, very personal and will no doubt vary from
individual to individual. We'll deal with this in more detail later
on… Patience!

Are you guys for real?

Oh, my, yes; we are very much for real.

Many of us like to role-play. We enjoy D&D, or Whitewolf's Werewolf:
The Apocalypse, or live role-playing games. But we do not role-play on
AHWW... we reserve that for groups where it's expected and condoned;
like on a good MUD or FurryMUCK. We may talk about arcade or RP games
that deal with shapeshifters, but we don't bog the group down with the
minutia of rules and such: that's best left to groups like and the like. And while many of us are "furries",
and enjoy good anthro artwork; and related groups are
best for that. (More on furries in a later section).

What we discuss here, fun and games aside (because we DO like to have
fun as much as the other were), is very serious and real to us. For
some of us (not all; again, it's a very personal thing) it's
tantamount to discussing a religion. It's not a role, it's real.

What are "Howls"?

Speaking of conventions... The first "Howl", the 1994 Harvest Howl,
was organized by Smash Greywolf in Ohio. A Howl is basically a
gathering in the flesh (or fur) of readers of AHWW to socialize, get
to know one another, howl at the moon, leap over raging bonfires, and
to generally share the camaraderie that exists amongst members of the
cyberpack. Camped out in the woods, as far from civilization as
possible, watching the full moon dance over shimmering heat waves from
the bonfire, surrounded by folks of a like mind... it's truly a
recharge for batteries drained my mundane human existence. Howls are
organized by whoever has the land and time to put one on… ask on the
group when and where the next one is; they're worth it, no matter the
distance traveled to attend.

Why not change the name of the group?

It's been suggested before that alt.horror.werewolves is no longer an
appropriate name, given the groups' change of focus. It is true that
it is no longer strictly about werewolf horror fiction. However:
making a new alt. group, like alt.therianthropy or the like, while
easy to do, runs the risk of losing readership. Not all university
news servers carry alt. groups; and those that do are usually loathe
to add new ones without a considerable amount of hassle. The
likelihood that large numbers of folks would lose their access is too
great. Grouping a rec. or soc. group is difficult.. It is possible
that we now have the readership and activity to pull it off; but the
fear of some sites not carrying the new group is still a large one.

Also, there's some safety in the name. It's in such an obscure section
of the usenet world that folks who have no real interest in werewolves
are likely to skip it altogether; and that fact alone has undoubtedly
saved us from a lot of hit-and-run flamers. Something like
alt.spiritual.werewolf is likely to garner more attention from the
wrong types of people than it's worth.

I thought werewolves were bloodthirsty killers…

Wolves in general have had a bad reputation. Seen as evil killers,
used to embody the worst traits of men, harassed and eradicated as
dangerous menaces. Is it at all surprising, then, that humans who can
turn themselves into wolves face the same bad press?

In a lot of cases, that's exactly what it is: Bad press. Hollywood,
especially, has done more to distort and vilify the werewolf than any
church. While a lot of original legends and myths hold the werewolf to
be a savage, animalistic killer; there are, in fact, many legends that
portray him as a kindly soul... although they generally view
lycanthropy as a curse rather than a blessing.

The impetus behind such labeling is probably fear: Fear of the
unknown, the unexplainable, the unthinkable. Were I to be faced with a
snarling, fur-covered manlike shape, I would be enthralled... but I
doubt the general public would. Shoot first, ask questions of the
corpse later. When the farmer loses his livestock to predation, better
to blame the wolf; and by extension, the were.

So what is it? Are shapeshifters vicious animals? I suppose that
depends on the personality of the shifter and how his mind functions
while shifted. Listen to Ron the Werebat, while I go refill my

So, what are werewolves like, then?
--Ron the Werebat ^*^

This question has been the topic of many discussions here on A.H.W.,
and although each of us probably has our own answer to this question
that we are most comfortable with, we are all able to accept other
viewpoints on the myth (although most of us don't like the "ravening
beast" idea, I think...)

The major ideas given for the mentality of the werewolf (and werebat,
and other lycanthrope) while transformed are presented here. I believe
all have been supported or at least posted by members of A.H.W. in the

1. "Mind of a Wolf" - when the werewolf transforms (for whatever
reason) he loses his human mind and takes on the mentality of a normal
wolf. This means that while the werewolf would not go out of its way
to commit heinous acts of evil, it might for example attack a small
child and eat it if it were hungry enough. Similarly, the noise and
confusion of the city might scare a werewolf into a frightened frenzy,
where it leaps about ripping out throats... It is more likely that a
werewolf in wolf form with this mentality would flee to the woods,
however, if any were available. The territorial nature of the wolf
might prove interesting
here - should transformation occur in the house or apartment of the
werewolf's human form, it might (if it retains any of its human
memory) stick around and "guard" its "territory." Should the
transformation occur while walking through unfamiliar territory, the
werewolf might be extremely cautious, as it knows that it may well be
on someone else's (read: "another territorial wolf's") land.

Exactly how much of the human form's memory is carried over to the
wolf form's memory is debatable. Subsets of "Mind of a wolf" might
include "memory wiped" (the wolf form has no memory of the human form,
no recognition of familiar places/faces), "vague memory" (enough to
give the wolf a sense of security in the human form's house or
apartment, a sense of trust and connection with one's spouse and loved
ones, etc.), and "complete memory" (albeit interpreted through the
mind of a wolf). The movie _Ladyhawke_ portrayed a werewolf (and
werehawk) with this mentality.

2. "Mind of a Beast" - Similar to the Stevenson tale "Dr. Jeckyll and
Mr. Hyde," the werewolf (while transformed) loses all inhibitions and
goes on a wild ID-spree, expressing as many repressed urges as
possible before reverting back to human form. This werewolf could be
the "ravening beast" who slaughters her cheating husband, her whining
children, and her abusive parents in one fell night, or perhaps the
disgruntled lawyer who stalks parks on the nights of the full moon to
rape and mutilate attractive young women. As with "Mind of a Wolf,"
the werewolf may or may not remember his or her actions in wolf form
after the change. This is the werewolf of classic Hollywood horror.

All of us generally repress violent and sexual urges throughout the
course of our lives, although there might be plenty of other things
held back by our Egos (or Superegos? I keep forgetting...) regarding
two. Perhaps the homosexual werewolf, repressing his true nature for
years and years due to the pressures from his family or church, finds
the change enabling him to break free and express his love interest in
a coworker or close friend. Of course, given the fact that all other
barriers are down as well, this poor fellow might find himself raping
his love interest... Oh, well. This is not the kind of werewolf
mentality any of us on A.H.W. would WANT to have, I think. These
lycanthropes are typically violent and destructive, more so than
normal humans or animals. Name a Hollywood werewolf film (_An American
Werewolf in London_, _Silver Bullet_, etc.) and you can bet it will
portray werewolf mentality in this manner.

3. "Super-hero" - this is the lycanthrope who remains completely human
in mentality after the change occurs. It could just as easily be
labeled "Super-villain," since not all humans would use lycanthropic
powers for good... Still, it is probably the least horrific of
lycanthrope mentalities (at least for the individual lycanthrope). The
White Wolf game _Werewolf - the Apocalypse_ seems to portray werewolf
mentality this way, although werewolves are slightly affected by their
wolf nature depending on what form they are in and can still frenzy on
occasion... a better example of a lycanthrope with this mentality
would probably be Kirk Langstrom as Man-bat, after he perfected his
formula and could retain his sanity while he changed (before this,
Man-bat had possessed a "Mind of the Bat" mentality). It is not one
of the more exciting mentalities to talk about, since we already know
it in human form - however, even a normal person's psyche may be
considerably altered on looking into the mirror and seeing the
reflection of a wolf, having to walk on all fours, and receiving a
cornucopia of sensory stimuli in the form of new scents and sounds.

These are the three main viewpoints, although I must stress that
rarely do we find a lycanthrope that expresses only one of these
mindsets. Usually, the lycanthrope is primarily one of the three
types, with
aspects of one or both of the others apparent from time to time. A
"Super-hero" werebat might use his sonar to hunt live pigeons and eat
them on the wing (Who? Me? Nah... Well, maybe...). A "Mind of the
Wolf (Bear)" werebear might be outside eating berries when he catches
his wife making love to another man on a grassy knoll, and fly into a
rage (Mind of the Beast), killing them both. You get the picture.

Thank you, Ron! *fresh Coke fizz sounds* Well, if that old saw is
mostly just legend, what about the others? Like:

What's the moon got to do with it? (and other misconceptions)

Again, this is going to have MANY different interpretations. The moon
didn't always figure into the equation in a lot of myths, and silver
is a fairly recent adaptation... The moon has long been held to cause
insanity or otherwise affect human thinking. Many of us feel energized
on nights of the full moon, and spend long hours gazing at its face.
In legend, the effects of the moon range from nil to being the only
time a were can change; and often forcing that change. I prefer
somewhere in the lower middle: It can facilitate the change, but isn't

Silver is one of those metals that's held to have mystical properties,
for various reasons; not the least of which is its relative scarcity
and value. It's generally regarded to hold religious significance,
being a "pure" metal; and therefore be able to effect such "satanic"
creatures as werewolves. It's appearance in werewolf mythology, not
surprisingly, seems to be after the rise of the catholic church.
Again, it's influence ranges from zero to being the only thing that
can injure or kill a were. If you still want to try it, silver bullets
can be made; but casting them is reported to be difficult, and the
were is not likely to appreciate the attention.

So what about longevity and health? Some hold that werewolves are
invulnerable to mortal insults; that it would take some supernatural
influence to injure or kill one. Others say that a werewolf is no
tougher than a human to kill. I personally like the idea of increased
healing ability and slightly lengthened lifespan. Some also hold that
werewolves turn into undead (ie, vampires) upon their expiration: the
group has decided that this is a fairly rare idea; based on a slavic

Finally, there's some thought that werewolves naturally hate vampires.
Again, this is probably mostly Hollywood myth. In real life, however;
just as we call ourselves werewolves, there are folks that call
themselves vampires... some weres find that the very idea of being a
living dead creature is an anathema; werewolves are the very
embodiment of energetic vitality. Having met many vampires, both on
AHWW and groups like alt.vampire, I can proudly say that some are my
friends. There are some vamps, yes, that would get on anybody's
nerves; but there's no real reason why a were HAS to dislike a vamp.

Virtually every culture has some sort of mythos regarding
shapechanging. Specific animal mythos are covered in the collected
MiniFAQs. As I collect different culture's views on therianthropy,
I'll add them in.

I thought you guys were crazy…

Aaah, I see you've hit upon another bit of the werewolf mythos...
relatively recent, "scientific" mythos. Lycanthropy has long been held
to be a sign of insanity; a precursor to psychosis and/or
schizophrenia. Indeed, there are documented cases of individuals who
claimed to be werewolves who were extremely mentally ill. But was
their lycanthropy due to their illness or vice-versa?

With modern psychology and society holding such a view, it's not
uncommon for someone who feels they are a werewolf to be uncomfortable
with those thoughts, and to think themselves crazy. I don't think it
has to be so, however. I'm pretty sure I don't have the corner on
sanity... I'm pretty eccentric, if I do say so myself... but insane?
No. Certainly not by the legal definition of the word. Read on, you
may find the information on mental shifting enlightening; and don't
short-change yourself. Judge for yourself if the cyber-pack is

What is the "cyberpack"?

I don't know where the term first came from. The cyberpack is
basically anyone who reads AHWW and finds a bond with the others
there. It's an extended friendship circle, a source of moral (and
sometimes physical) support. It's a bunch of people who like each
other's company and find common traits amongst themselves. It's the
social and emotional side to AHWW.

There is no leader of the pack, no alpha, no hierarchy. There's no
need for it. There's also no entrance exam or secret handshake... if
you find you get along with the group on AHWW, and feel a kinship with
them... well, then, you're a member. Welcome, friend.

Mental Shifting…

The first thing to remember when reading this section is that the
ideas expressed here aren't necessarily held by every reader of AHWW.
This subject is a very personal one, and opinions on it will vary from
individual to individual. The second thing to remember is to keep an
open mind...

What's "spiritual therianthropy"?

Physical Therianthropy has been defined as the ability to shift from
human to animal form and back again. Spiritual Therianthropy, then, is
the ability to mentally transform from the normal human mode of
thinking and reacting to an animal one. Each one of us identifies with
an animal whose characteristics we feel reflect our own. For example,
I feel strongly attracted to both the wolf and the cougar... one is a
pack animal, truly comfortable only in a group setting, relying on its
packmates for everything. The other is a solitary hunter, only
meeting others of its kind to mate. I feel that there are aspects of
both animals in my psyche.

Humans are animals. Most of humanity, however, has tried to deny this
fact. Humanity has sought to remove all aspects of animalistic traits
from its behavior; to the point that being called an animal is
considered an insult. It evokes images of uncivilized, impulsive,
hedonistic behavior; acting completely without thought or restraint.
Humanity has attempted to remove itself from nature as well as remove
nature from itself; by subverting and subduing the land, bending it to
suit humanity's purposes, attempting to conquer it rather than coexist
with it. As a result, humanity has had to deal with a number of
ecological problems caused by it's attempts to kill the very thing
that sustains it.

All humans are animals, but very few these days can look into
themselves and find the animal remnants. We who believe in Spiritual
Therianthropy feel those animal remnants very strongly. We exist in
the human world, but long to seek connections with the animal one. It
contacts us through totems, through dreams, through our very souls. We
cannot completely leave the human world, nor completely enter the
animal one. We are in-between, half animal and half human in psyche...
mental, or spiritual, shapechangers. We seek to balance the two halves
of our nature, so that someday we can teach the rest of humanity how
to balance its drive to conquer with the reality that it needs nature
to survive.

What are "totem animals"?

Totem animals are animals that best reflect the qualities and needs of
a person. How totems are used varies greatly... some shamanic
traditions place great importance on totems and have many different
totem animals, colors, directions... some barely mention them in

Most commonly, it's believed that their are two kinds of totems... the
central totem, the one that defines who you are; and "outside" totems,
spirits that surround and guide you. The central totem is the animal
you most strongly identify with, that reflects who you are. As I
mentioned above, I strongly identify with the wolf and the cougar...
reflecting the two sides to my nature.

Outside totems are commonly called upon to guide a person. How they
are called and how they manifest themselves, again, depends a lot upon
the particular tradition you follow and what you believe.

What do dreams have to do with it?

Dreams, with a capitol D, are messages from your soul, or sub-
conscious, or whatever you wish to call it. not everyone Dreams....
scientists say that everyone has dreams; but not everyone remembers
them upon waking. The Dreams that we're talking about here are dreams
that are exceptionally vivid and memorable, that make a strong
impression upon the dreamer, and seem to have something to impart of

A lot of my experiences with therianthropy are through my Dreams. I
don't have them every night; sometimes it's months between them... but
the really vivid, technicolor, interesting dreams I try to remember
and write down and decipher. Sometimes I shift into different animals
in the dreams. Sometimes I just know that they have something
important to say. I cherish every one of them as a message from my
elusive animal spirit.

It sounds like I'm attaching a lot of importance to these Dreams...
and I am, really. But one can feel a strong pull to know their animal
side without having them. They are not a pre-requisite for being a
were-creature. They are, however, a valuable tool for discovering what
that spirit has to tell you.

I usually rely on my Dreams to come on their own. There are ways to go
looking for them, however. One involves autohypnosis; Asikaa has
volunteered to tell us more about it:


It is a learned skill, and fairly easy to learn at that. First you
need to learn how to relax physically. It's best to get hold of a
compact disc (or continuous tape cassette) and put the player on
infinite repeat. Oh sorry, I forgot to mention what should be on the
CD! Not Iron Maiden or Aerosmith! You can get relaxation soundtracks
from health stores and similar places. They contain "nice" sounds,
such as birdsong, the gentle trickle of river water over rocks, the
wind through the trees...

Now all you have to do is put the CD player on infinite repeat like I
said, and lie down flat on your back, with your legs out straight,
arms by your sides. Let your hands curl slightly into their natural
relaxed position, and make sure you are absolutely comfortable.

Breathe in slowly and steadily, filling your lungs completely. Hold
the breath for two seconds then release it. Don't blow it out, just
let the weight of your chest gently descend, emptying your lungs. Try
to breath like this for the rest of this "session". It doesn't matter
if you forget the breathing later on, just do whatever feels

Now you can start relaxing your body. Start at your face, and work
down. Breathe in, concentrate on the muscles of your face and neck,
*feel* the muscles, explore them with your mind. Let the breath out,
and as the air leaves your body, imagine all the tension being drawn
from the muscles of your face and neck and floating away.

Do this a couple of times for each part... your chest, your arms and
shoulders, your stomach, thighs, legs and feet. Once you've got down
to your feet, mentally check for any feelings of tension left behind,
then go back to that part of your body and relax it a little more. By
now your body should be fully relaxed... a nice warm feeling of
well-being. This is the first stage of autohypnosis, and will take a
little practice to master.

Now we concentrate on the mind. Imagine yourself lying warm and
comfortable in your favorite place. Perhaps lying on warm sand, or on
the edge of a forest next to a lake. Clear your mind of all
thoughts, and concentrate on that place. Let your mind enjoy the
feeling of total isolation, with no worries or stress. Float along
with your calm thoughts, and you should notice that you have no
awareness of your physical self. Honestly, you really cannot feel
your body any more. You have become just your consciousness, nothing
more. Your body is so relaxed it may as well not exist.

Now you should be able to start Dreaming. You mind is free of all
physical restraints, and your body has assumed the type of deep
relaxation usually found only in alphawave sleep. It is up to you
what you do with this mental freedom, but with practice the
possibilities are endless.

Isn't this some kind of New-Age pseudo religion?

No. Not on it's own. The concept of Spiritual Therianthropy means a
great deal to me, personally; and might be seen as my religion.... it
certainly forms the core of my belief system. But we have no intention
of starting a church or cult here. Most of us have an intense dislike
of any _organized_ religion, in any case.

But not all... there are Christian werewolves out there. This sounds
like an impossibility; but the basic tenets of Christianity aren't so
far from many other religions... and nowhere in the bible does it
condemn werewolves! Spiritual Therianthropy should work well with many
different beliefs; even atheism.

So there'll be no cups of spiked kool-aid at the Howls, and stop
looking for the BATF. *grin*

How do you mentally shift?

I can tell you how I "shift". It may not be this way for others. I
welcome any additional comments on this subject for addition here.

What I mean by "shifted" is the state of mind that I'm in when I feel
closest to my animal spirit. It's a feeling of heightened awareness, a
sense of prowess and well-being. It's what defensive-tactics
instructors call "Condition Orange"... that state of hyper-readiness
and alertness that means one is ready to handle whatever crisis might
get thrown at him. It's the state that I envision a healthy animal
being in at any given moment... ready to fight or flee, ready for
anything a hostile world might conjure up. I might add one additional
thing that I'm ready for.. fight, flee, or party. :)

I achieve this state unconsciously whenever I'm in an area or
situation that might prove to be harmful to me. Most all humans have
felt this at one point in their lives or another... whether they admit
it or not, it's a wonderful feeling. Adrenalin junkies spend their
lifetimes looking for this feeling and beyond. I noticed this feeling
accidentally and connected it with my fascination for animals and
began looking for a way to bring it on voluntarily. I found that if I
concentrated on visualizing myself as an animal, those thought
patterns would return to me and I'd get the ol' predator feeling
again. Now I find myself slipping into it at odd moments... when I'm
driving, under particular full moons, while listening to evocative

Most people can sense an outward change when I'm shifted inwardly.
Perhaps this is the first step, for me, to physical changing... we
shall see.

Where can I go for more help?

If you still have questions after reading the three parts of the FAQ,
or you just want to talk… Check out the IRC suggestions in the
Resource FAQ. IRC is a good, real-time place to ask questions of
others. Or, post them to the newsgroup… we're patient, and will
endeavor to answer whatever you ask. Or, pick someone who's writings
you've admired and email them. They should make an effort to answer
your question or direct you to someone who can.

Our History

Forget about the Michael Jackson album. Forget about the university
course. But never forget us.

People, do you realize what is happening here? WE are making history.
Every single day that we exist, every single day that this GROUP
exists. History is occurring right before our eyes. And I don't think
a lot of us see that.

This letter is being sent out not only to the newsgroup, but also to
those who once were its backbone; as Smash accurately calls them the
gray muzzles. Their muzzles are gray, not out of physical age, but
simply the fact that they have been a part of this group longer than
the rest. And the grayer, the wiser, has been my experience.

I am not one of them, but oh, how I wish I was. From the stories I
have heard, this virtual bonfire never burned as bright as when it was
the original few. But those days have passed, passed on long ago. As
many have pointed out, it was only this past winter that
alt.horror.werewolves started to truly be recognized for what and who
was in it. But it happened in a sad fashion, drawing attention from
the wrong kinds of people. People who thought that "Hey! Here's a
chance to play with a bunch of werewolves, frolicking in the snow, and
get a bowl of virtual chili." Many were they who came seeking fun.
Many were they who left when the truth came to light. But some, like
myself, stayed. Why? I think it's because we came in with ourselves
(so to speak), and at first, it WAS all fun. Throwing snowballs, and
all that. But finally, when the fun was ended out of, well, annoyance,
we were still here. Because, while the fun was great, it wasn't the
only reason we decided to reveal ourselves. We longed for contact with
those who might understand, who might actually know what we were
talking about when we spoke of lycanthropy in our lives.

Life moved on. The ones who stayed gradually integrated into the pack,
no matter what their animal was, be it bear, raven, wolf, dog, cat,
lion, panther. And they have shown themselves to be truthful, and
wise. While we still have fun, it isn't as totally rampant as it was.
Many interesting subjects were brought before the fire, and all were
discussed as much as possible. I was here when Gevaudan admitted what
he truly was, and watched as he was not chased, but comforted by
others saying "Don't go; stay". (To those who do not know, it has
nothing to do with games or flames; but it is not my story to tell). I
was here when the first flamewars erupted. I remember efridine's first
post, as well as PainEater, the recently-returned "Lord" Kelkemen, and

We got over them, since they were no different from other flamers,
bothering us then leaving (except perhaps L.K.; but I won't go into
that here). And again, we returned to our conversations via the net.
The other big event was the Spring Howl. I had not attended the one
in the fall, since I did not know of this group then. But as Spring
rolled around, the idea was formed to throw another one. And after it
was over, all those who had attended could not stop howling in joy and
revelry. It was a renewal for those in attendance, and a source of
envy for those who could not go. But not one person who had attended
had wanted to leave. The sense of closeness that was created there, I
can only speculate at. But had I the means, I would have been there in
a second. That feeling is mutual for many of us. But that has come and
gone, and will not happen again (ie the spring of 1995 will not repeat

Time passed, bringing us up to where the group is now. Many have left
for reasons beyond their control. Many have grown disillusioned with
the way this group is going. But a lot of us have decided to stay, no
matter what our inner feelings tell us. There are a lot of new faces
that do not even know of the old ones. How many of these new ones will
stay, and how many will leave, is impossible to tell. But we continue
to grow, and the group changes with each new face. What it was, and
what it is, are very hard to compare. One does not mirror the other.
But, as has been said many times, that's a fact of life on the
Internet. Things will inevitably change since it is impossible to
prevent new people from finding us. And we wouldn't want that, since
there are still so many of us out there, looking for a ray of hope in
a dull sky.

I guess what I'm saying is, look at us. To anyone reading this right
now, I want you to stop for a second. Just stop, and look at yourself.
Then look at where you are reading this. Consider what you are, and
why you are here. If being here, or having been here (meaning ahww),
feels/felt right, then know that your life has been worthwhile.
Everyone, WE, are creating a portion of history. RIGHT NOW. Though I
do not believe it has ever been discussed, look at what has become of
alt.horror.werewolves. *We* have created a place unlike any other.
Never before have so many come together in one place, even if it is
technically non-existent, sharing many ideas, but with one thing in
common. Whether we are werewolves, werebears, werecats, whatever, or
simply people who are in very close contact to our animals spirits,
LOOK at where we are from. This, this place spans the globe. There are
weres here from Germany, Norway, England, Ireland, Australia, The
U.S., Canada. I am sorry if I missed anyone's home country, these were
all I could remember. But even if I did, look. We have no borders
here. All are welcome, provided they are honest with us. Not all of us
here are were; some are humans, some are vampires. But one thing we
all share in common is acceptance. The majority of people who have
visited this fire (and stayed for a while) have accepted that yes, we
are indeed what we claim. We are spiritual theriathropes, shifters in
one method or another. Whether it is through Spiritual Dreams, or a
mental process, or physically changing shape. I know of very few here
who have ever gone around, finger waving, accusing someone of being
false. And that's incredible. To my knowledge, something like this has
never before happened: a meeting of beings such as us. I am fairly
certain that anyone reading this now, whether new or old, would never
have met so many like him/herself if alt.horror.werewolves did not
exist. I sure wouldn't have.

Many of us who have been around here for a bit, and even some who
haven't, have strong feelings towards this group, or more
specifically, its members. To turn to a sad note: what would happen if
tomorrow, you woke up, and the group no longer existed. Through
infighting, or this Exon bill, or just simply the removal of the group
from existence, what would your first feeling be? Personally, I think
my depression would last a long while. But not forever. Why? Although
having this newsgroup is important to me, simply knowing that the
beings behind the text exist gives me hope. We have broken a barrier
that no one thought existed. We have formed friendships, and deeper
relationships that have no name.

We do not keep written records of what has happened here, in this
newsgroup, since it fully became what it is today. Our history is only
the one where each individual joins, stays, and starts to learn. Learn
not only what the current topic is, or what we are about, but also of
those wiser than you. There is no hierachy here. But there are people
who have been here long enough to see more than they let on. Smash,
Vladwolf, Firewolf, Katmandu, Dreamwolf, Asikka, Gevaudan, Wolfshadow,
Windwolf, Medicine Wolf, Hiker, Snowlock, Winterdreamer, Dean R.,
Rimblesah, Wolfbard; as well as many, many more. These, to me, are
important weres. They are some of those who helped create what we now
take for granted. Every day, I wake up, on log in to read what's been
posted. I expect it to be there, with names which I recognize. But
most of the names I have just listed are not here anymore. I will
admit, some have left due to the summer. But their presence, and it
was a PRESENCE, is sadly missed.

I do not post much. I do not have the voice to post most of my
opinions. And this may be my death, or my rebirth. I have felt what
Smash feels. And, in my mind, I must find a way to re-vitalize what
was once a powerful group. It still is. But the power has changed. And
I am not used to it yet. Please, I am not writing this as something
personal. It is meant FOR ALL. All in this group. I sing it into the
air, hoping that at least someone here will listen. Perhaps I am too
melodramatic. Perhaps I will be chased off because of this. But even
because I cannot. It is too important.

I will end this now. But not on a sad note. I want each and everyone
reading this to realize one thing: YOU HAVE BECOME A PART OF HISTORY.
It may be a history that will never be known publically. You will
hopefully never hear about it in the media. But in my mind, and the
minds of those who have ever been a part of this group, it will be
hard to forget. I will personally never forget anyone I have ever met
on this group. We have, in effect, created the one thing no one ever
thought of, or even dreamed about: this newsgroup IS a haven, for ones
of our kind. You do not need any more reason than that. If you see the
group for what it is, and are glad it is there, then you should be
happy. There are many ideologies
here. May no one EVER say that theirs is the "one true way". History
has taught us otherwise, that there can never be only one way. And
now, we are a part of history.

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