Continuing off of that last reblog, I do wanna address the fact that yes, a lot, and I mean A LOT (if not ALL) p-shifting groups are cults, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one person or a whole “pack” of them, the ideologies and tactics are still there.
Elaborating on what I said earlier, there’s a lot of emphasis on “don’t listen to otherkin/therians/people who say p-shifting is impossible.” There’s usually some sort of justification for this, such as they’re fake, they haven’t learned how to p-shift yet, they TRIED to learn how to p-shift and couldn’t so now they wanna make everyone who can look bad, or they simply weren’t “born that way” but the fact of the matter is it’s an attempt to cut off the young from the herd, so to speak.
Not only does this prevent the newbie in question (because they usually are newbies) from learning right off the bat how and why p-shifting is literally, physically impossible, it also sets up a mentaility of “us vs. them”, “everything you know is wrong and so are they”, and most importantly, “we can give you the secrets to
enlightenmentp-shifting”. If this doesn’t sound cult-like already, just wait, there’s more.
Some of the common aspects of a cult are a focus on a leader/hierarchy with the “one true way”, a focus or pressure to “rank up”, and wearing down the mentality of the unwitting followers through various means along with the aforementioned isolation from other sources. Taking the ever-popular “lycan packs” as an example, let’s pick this apart.
Hierarchy? Check. Since the idea of a wolf pack being based around alpha/beta/omega roles has apparently not been thrust into common knowledge as being an artificial social setup enforced by captivity, p-shifting “packs” can easily use this false hierarchy to their advantage. Obviously the ringleader/s and/or their closest acolytes (probably people who are in on the scheme) will be alphas and betas respectively. Everyone else? You’re all omegas and can and will likely be treated as such.
This ties nicely into the pressure of ranking up since the structure enforcing that desire is already there. If you’re being treated like
garbagean omega, you’ll want to get out of that as soon as possible by doing what the abusersalphas/betas tell you so maybe one day you, too, can be treated like a reasonable living beinga True, Full Lycanthrope Alpha. (Or Beta.) Until then you’ll need to keep practicing your shifting and do whatever the higher-ups tell you.
This eventually leads into a wearing down of the individual, since most p-shifting practices and rituals are time-consuming, highly involved, require absolute precision and absurd and potentially dangerous things, depending on the resources/cult/etc. you’re dealing with. (On Tumblr it’s not uncommon for either those involved in the cult or those who do similar things to leave anonymous “support” asks to make the presence of p-shifters seem larger than they really are.)
And, obviously, since p-shifting is impossible, you can’t get anywhere. You’re stuck suffering with the cult until you leave for one reason or another. (I bet more than one group threatens with things like “we’ll hunt you down and tear you apart if you leave” because they all seem very into that specific brand of Feral Wolfaboo Edginess, wolves or not.)
Lastly, the leaders will do anything they can to cover up the fact that they can’t p-shift by saying it’s too dangerous if others are around, some force they exude destroys all recording devices in the vicinity (or they are inexplicably drawn to destroy such things lmao) plus the ever-favorite “they’d catch me and cut me up in a lab if they knew!!!!!” and the occasional doctored photos if they’re bold enough to do so.
Just. Don’t do it, guys. P-shifting, no matter how good and fun and desirable it may seem, is an impossibility and nobody can teach you how to do it. Stay safe out there.