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frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (A green dragon person reading a book.)
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Content warnings: The links have some graphic descriptions of mental illnesses and delusions.

March 2014. Jan Dirk Blom published an article in the academic journal History of Psychiatry. Blom's article "When doctors cry wolf: a systematic review of the literature on clinical lycanthropy" looks at 56 cases of clinical lycanthropy or zoanthropy from 1850 to present. These are psychiatric cases in which people believed that they were animals, or were becoming other creatures. A popular source, LiveScience, offers a summary of Blom's article.

Sources

Jan Dirk Blom. "When doctors cry wolf: a systematic review of the literature on clinical lycanthropy." History of Psychiatry 25: 1 (March 2014). http://hpy.sagepub.com/content/25/1/87.short doi: 10.1177/0957154X13512192

Bahar Gholipour. "Real-Life Werewolves: Psychiatry Re-Examines Rare Delusion." April 16, 2014. LiveScience (online magazine). http://www.livescience.com/44875-werewolves-in-psychiatry.html
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None. A linked article talks about animal suffering.

Several articles in Transgender Studies Quarterly used keywords of interest: trans-species and tranimal.

Lindsay Kelley's article "Tranimals" notes that "The term tranimals debuted at the 2009 annual meeting of the Society for Science, Literature, and Art panel 'TRANimalS: Theorizing the Trans- in Zoontology' (Kelley and Hayward 2009)" (p. 227).

In "Transxenoestrogenesis," Eva Hayward talks about the problem of the animal source of some forms of exogenous hormone therapy. Hayward observes, "historically, human bodies hormonally sex-transitioning from male to female have always been trans-species ('tranimal') bodies" (p. 256).

The full text of the journal is freely available online.

Source


TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1. 1-2 (May 2014).
http://tsq.dukejournals.org/content/1/1-2
http://tsq.dukejournals.org/content/1/1-2/255.full.pdf
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
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Content warning: The Huffington Post article is about cissexism, gender dysphoria, suicide, and mental illness.

2013-12-08. In Brynn Tannehill's good article Myths about gender confirmation surgery, Tannehill pointed out problems with drawing an analogy between transsexuality and identifying as a cat.
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Content warnings: The Bhaskar's article contains graphic descriptions of violence.

October: The Indian newspaper Daily Bhaskar ran an article titled "Ten people who claim to be VAMPIRES and ALIENS!" This is limited to famous people from the past four years, most of whom are violent criminals. A few claim to be werewolves. Here's the list: Stephanie Pistey, Omnec Onec, Thomas Stroup, Jonathon Sharkey, Josephine Rebecca Smith, Cynthia Crawford, Wolfie Blackheart, Jujuolui Kuita, Lyle Monroe Bensley, and Andrew Whiteman. The Bhaskar article gives a bio and a photo of each one.

Source


"Ten people who claim to be VAMPIRES and ALIENS!" 2013-10-17. Daily Bhaskar. http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/WOR-ten-people-who-believe-they-are-monsters-or-aliens-4406394-PHO.html?seq=1
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Content warnings: Redfern's article describes cannibalism in medium detail. Some unrelated fantasy artwork included with the article shows gore.

October: Cryptozoologist Nick Redfern wrote an article about a wendigo trial that happened in Canada in 1879. A Cree man named Swift Runner confessed that he had survived a bad winter by eating the bodies of his family. Swift Runner said this happened to him because he was possessed by a dangerous type of entity called a wendigo. Swift Runner was executed for cannibalism.

In Algonquin mythology, Wendigos are cannibal entities associated with cold winters. They possess people and turn them into wendigos. Sometimes people who know those stories believe they possessed by wendigos. People of European background think that problem is a culture-bound syndrome, and call it "wendigo psychosis."
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: Cissexism.

October: An animated sit-com called Family Guy included a skit that parodied trans people by having a main character get "reassignment surgery" to become a lizard. An otherkin named DLF reports that this scene was in "Season 12, Episode 2, titled Vestigial Peter," and gives a transcript of the scene. A few people in the otherkin community wondered if this scene was a reference to otherkin. I'm confident that the writers weren't making a reference to therianthropes or otherkin, because the analogy the writers were making is common in cissexist jokes. Cissexist people often try to parody and undermine transsexuality by comparing it to a straw-man scenario in which a person mimics or tries to become another species.

I've seen much more offensive iterations of that tired joke than that. The most offensive one I've seen is the satirical article "Transspecied dog bites man is not news," which Jared Olar published simultaneously to Pekin Times (and several other newspapers) last March. Olar's mean-spirited and cissexist article is about a fictional six year old boy who wants to become a dog. It is supposed to be ridiculous that adults take the child seriously by speaking of the child as "transspecied," and giving him a "social transition," which includes switching to the pronoun "it." The article parodies the situation of a non-fictional young trans girl who became famous around that time, to whom Olar refers by name. Olar uses the "transspecied dog" to suggest that trans children are probably just playing make-believe, and are too young to know how they identify. I'm confident that Olar had not heard of therianthropes, otherkin, or animal people. It looks like Olar just invented the "transspecied dog" as a straw-man to pick at what Olar believes to be flaws in arguments for the legitimacy of transsexuality.



Sources


DLF (justanotherkin), untitled post. 2013-10-09. Just Anotherkin (personal blog). http://justanotherkin.tumblr.com/post/63560415302/what-episode-of-family-guy-was-that-did-it-actually
(I linked to that post with permission from DLF.)

Jared Olar, "Transspecied dog bites man is not news." 2013-03-03. Pekin Times. http://www.pekintimes.com/article/20130303/OPINION/130309948/1001/NEWS
(Warning: lots of pop-up ads, some of which even got through my ad-blockers.)
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Content warnings: Merticus's article lists news articles that talk about violence, murder, sexuality, and sexual assault.

September: Merticus posted a list of last month's news articles relevant to the vampire community.
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Content warning: Dubious business.

August: A business called Haunted Curiosities not only claims to interview vampires and werewolves, it also shows what it claims to be an authentic video of a physical shape-shift into a wolf-man-like creature. The business also sells expensive supernatural “transformations,” which require the buyer to be flown to another country in person. For more information, see the exposé at Disinformation.

Source


Frater Isla, “Haunted Curiosities’ Guide to Duping Goth Kids and Twilight Fans.” 2013-08-15. Disinformation. http://disinfo.com/2013/08/haunted-curiosities-guide-to-duping-goth-kids-and-twilight-fans/
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Content warnings: Mention of mental health disorder.

Okay, gentle readers, here's an off-topic question that will help me run this blog.

Is there a blog somewhere that keeps track of news articles about multiplicity, plurality, Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), and/or Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID)?

I'm not going to cover those topics in this blog. It's just far enough off topic, and it's not my area of knowledge. Still, I'd like to be able to keep an eye on those news articles, just in case there's some overlap with otherkin and therians, as is significantly the case. For example, I'd like to know if a news article comes out that interviews a multiple system with an elven member, or something.

Anyone know of any such multiplicity news blogs?
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: Witch trial (not graphic).

August 14: EsoterX, a blog about monsters, posted an article about the history of werewolves in Livonia (a region in Europe). The most famous of these is Theiss, who in his unique 1662 werewolf trial testified that he was one of the good "Werewolves of God," now understood to have been a shamanic secret society. EsoterX's article isn't new research, but it's a decent introduction to an intriguing part of history.

Several therianthrope authors connect Theiss to their own experiences. Wolf therianthrope Rosalyn Greene, in her argument for the worldwide antiquity and supernatural abilities of therianthropes, gave Theiss's spiritual practices as an example of astral shifting (Greene, The Magic of Shapeshifting, p. 137-138), comparing it with similar traditions elsewhere. Another wolf therianthrope, Wolf VanZandt, included Theiss in his Therian Timeline, which offers more sources on Theiss.

Source


EsoterX, "I Saw a Werewolf Drinking a Piña Colada in the Duchy of Livonia, and His Hair was Perfect." 2013-08-14. EsoterX. http://esoterx.com/2013/08/14/i-saw-a-werewolf-drinking-a-pina-colada-in-the-duchy-of-livonia-and-his-hair-was-perfect/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

August 29: Author and mermaid enthusiast Carolyn Turgeon interviewed a person with a mermaid soul, named Cynthia Rivers. Rivers has been very active in the online part of the real mermaid community for years. She runs a blog for it. She's an officer in a helpful mermaid group in the virtual reality setting of Second Life. She eventually got herself a mermaid tail, which she wears in her pool. Excerpt from interview:

“ … he asked if I believed in mermaids. ‘I have to,’ I replied, ‘I am one.’”


The mermaid community is separate from the otherkin community. It apparently sprang up with little mutual contact between them.

Source


Carolyn Turgeon, “Cynthia Rivers, Mermaid and Mermaid Blogger.” 2013-08-29. I Am A Mermaid. http://iamamermaid.com/2012/08/29/cynthia-rivers-mermaid-and-mermaid-blogger/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
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Content warnings: For this post, none. For the linked articles: violence, rape, scam.

Vampire Community News posted August 2013 in review, which is a list of news relevant to vampires last month
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: The linked article is about mental illness and witch trials.

Journal cover.
This September's issue of the academic journal called the History of Psychiatry has an article about medical responses to the condition of believing that one is a werewolf (lycanthropy). In "Battling demons with medical authority: werewolves, physicians and rationalization," Metzger "attempts to construct a conceptual history of werewolf beliefs and their respective medical responses." Metzger focuses on early physicians' categorization of lycanthropy as a melancholic disease, in contrast with demonologists' beliefs about werewolves as recorded in werewolf trials.

Presumably, Metzger's article also touches on modern psychological definitions of clinical lycanthropy. (Unfortunately, I don't have access to academic databases at the moment, and therefore I lack the full text of the article. I'm working on that problem. In the meantime, would any scholars please help me out by summarizing more of the full text?)

- O. Scribner



Source


Nadine Metzger, "Battling demons with medical authority: werewolves, physicians and rationalization." History of Psychiatry 24, no. 3 (2013), 341-355. doi: 10.1177/0957154X13482835 http://hpy.sagepub.com/content/24/3/341
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[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: For this article, none. The linked web-site contains some images that are unsettling because of how they blend human and animal bodies: body horror, the uncanny valley, and artistic representation of injury to humans and animals.

August: A fine artist and therianthrope named M. Bolalek (“your-deer”) created a web-site titled The Artist Bestiary. The web-site is “a collection of art and artists merging the human and the animal,” “approached from a therian perspective,” to “inspire and inform within the therian community.”

Bolalek wrote, “At the moment, there are seven entries, with at least 40 more to come, as well as intermittent critical analysis and musings. I am aiming tentatively for an update schedule of 2 to 3 entries per month for now.”

Some of the artwork showcased in The Artist Bestiary will be familiar to Otherkin News readers, because we have also made note of some of the latest fine art that blends human and animal. Please see the “art” tag on Otherkin News for ours. For example, I'm pleased to see that we both reflect upon Art Orienté Objet's intriguing transformation-as-performance-piece May the horse live in me (mine, theirs). Between both blogs, we'll miss less innovation, and be more enriched. I look forward to seeing more discussion of therianthropic explorations in fine art.

- O. Scribner



Sources


M. Bolalek (your-deer), The Artist Bestiary. http://artistbestiary.wordpress.com

M. Bolalek (your-deer), “About.” The Artist Bestiary. http://artistbestiary.wordpress.com/about/

M. Bolalek (your-deer), “The Artist Bestiary.” Your-deer. http://your-deer.tumblr.com/post/58836997334/the-artist-bestiary
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: The linked article lists headlines that mention violence.

July: Merticus has posted a list of last July's news articles of interest to the vampire community.

Source

Merticus, "July 2013 in review." 2013-08-01. Vampire community news. http://merticus.com/vampirenews/2013/08/01/july-2013-in-review/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: mental illness (clinical lycanthropy), violence, religion (Catholicism, exorcism, demonic possession).

July: A cryptozoologist named Malcolm Smith wrote an article about a clinical lycanthropy patient who was last heard of in 1992. The subject is William “Bill” David Ramsey (b. 1943-). Since childhood, Ramsey occasionally had situations in which he believed he was becoming a werewolf, during which he behaved inappropriately and violently, and sometimes had hallucinations. These episodes were so severe that he was sometimes arrested and hospitalized. Ramsey was successfully cured of this problem by an exorcism in 1989. For this reason, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren interpret Ramsey’s condition as demonic possession rather than mental illness. Smith cites from two sources about the Warrens and Ramsey. Michael notes that he could find no information about Ramsey after his interview in 1992.

Here’s some extra context that Smith did not bring up. The below is based on my own research on werewolves and clinical lycanthropy.

Ramsey’s references to moon phases have more similarity to his contemporary pop culture imagery of werewolves than old folklore. His condition had even less resemblance to the behavior of actual wolves. This factor makes it more likely that Ramsey’s beliefs were a mental syndrome rather than a supernatural phenomenon, even if one believes the latter is possible.

I find it odd that Ramsey is not mentioned in the psychological literature on clinical lycanthropy. Perhaps this is only because Ramsey chose not to enter a mental hospital, fearing the stigma. The literature on clinical lycanthropy only talks about people who were admitted to mental hospitals. The lack of formal documentation for this case (aside from the Warrens’ book), and the lack of information about Ramsey after 1992, give me cause to question whether Ramsey’s case might be a complete fabrication.

It’s important to understand that clinical lycanthropy is a psychological syndrome, not a specific mental illness. In the definition of lycanthropy established by Keck, et al., the belief of becoming an animal isn’t connected with any specific mental illnesses. It could happen together with any of them. A person with clinical lycanthropy doesn’t just believe they’re an animal: they really believe they’re physically changing, usually against their will, and they lose control over their behavior.

This case makes me wonder if the scarcity of clinical lycanthropy in psychological literature-- as noted by Keck-- might be because the subjects go to exorcists for help instead of mental hospitals. One of the common features of clinical lycanthropy is that the subject believes that they’re possessed by a demon.



Sources


Malcolm Smith, “The English werewolf.” Malcolm’s musings: Anomalies. 2013-07-31. http://malcolmsanomalies.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/the-english-werewolf.html

(Smith primarily cites from this: Ed and Lorraine Warren, Werewolf: A true story of demonic possession. St. Martin’s, 1991.)

Paul E. Keck, et al., “Lycanthropy: Alive and well in the twentieth century.” Psychological Medicine 18 (1988), p. 113-120.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: The comments on this post mention an eating disorder (anorexia). The linked article contains snakes and brief mentions of plastic surgery. The linked video also contains these, in addition to profanity, and a lot of offensive, sexist hate speech about women's bodies. There's also some remarks equating spiritual beliefs with mental illness. It's the whole "catch 22" where the patriarchy gives impression that only beautiful women will be treated with respect or like their ideas are worth listening to, but then it turns out that women who do their utmost to be beautiful are treated hatefully and assumed to be unintelligent anyway.

July: A model named Valeria Lukyanova, 23, in the Ukraine, "believes she is from another planet - possibly Venus, but she isn't quite sure - so isn't really human like the rest of us. [...] She genuinely believes she's from another planet. 100 per cent. She's not making any money from her life - not even from the seminars she gives - which is originally why I thought she was doing this."1 The VICE documentary series "My Life Online" ran an episode about Lukyanova this month. The full episode (over 20 minutes long) can be viewed on the official VICE site.2 In it, Lukyanova talks briefly about her memories of her past incarnation and her spirituality, but this is not the focus of the documentary.

I am not aware of whether Lukyanova is involved with communities of people who identify as extraterrestrials, the starseed community, or anything similar.



Sources


1. Martha De Lacey, "The voices in her head, internet trolls and an OBSESSION with perfection: Inside the world of 'real life Barbie' Valeria Lukyanova." 2013-07-25. Daily Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2377832/Human-Barbie-Ukraines-Valeria-Lukyanova-new-Vice-documentary-Will-Fairman.html

2. William Fairman, "Space Barbie." My Life Online. Vice. http://www.vice.com/en_uk/my-life-online/space-barbie-full-length

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