The Otherkin Community, Inc.
From The Otherkin Community
The Otherkin Community, Inc. exists as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of the metaphysical sciences and the promotion of the awareness of Otherkin. The organization was founded in January 2006 by Mike Gerwitz, who is commonly known by the online alias of Clodaus, and began its corporate existence on February 13th, 2009. Initially, "The Community" was founded for the purpose of providing a safe discussion area for those who identify themselves as Otherkin and to provide general information on metaphysical sciences and practices. The organization has since evolved to adopt a more scientific and objective mindset regarding its topics, while still attempting to preserve the element of belief and personal experience that helps to form the individual.
Due to the nature of fields like metaphysics and parapsychology, and taking into consideration the infancy of the idea of Otherkin, surely The Otherkin Community's objectives will continue to evolve for many years to come. However, there are a number of objectives that have served as the foundation for The Otherkin Community since the very beginning.
Note: Many other ideas are planned for The Community. The below objectives are simply its main goals.
Dissemination of Metaphysical Sciences
Metaphysical sciences have a rich history dating back thousands of years. Yet, with such an interest, modern society still seems to brush it off. Contrary to popular belief, much research has been done on various metaphysical topics, from telepathy to the survival of consciousness after death, prayer to "spirits". One prominent field that has evolved out of the clutter to produce highly significant results is the field of parapsychology. In fact, the field has made such great progress that the existence of many concepts such as psi can no longer be ignored, even by prominent skeptics.
There exists a great deal of research done in the past couple centuries alone that have made great strides in the fields of metaphysics and parapsychology, forcing us to rethink how our world may actually "work". What actually goes on in the background and how does it connect to other sciences? Unfortunately, much of that research is unheard of. Selective reporting in the media has plagued our society with the delusion that none of this could possibly exist, yet the majority of the population is interested in "psi phenomenon" and other related ideas.
Because of this, practitioners of any metaphysical-related field, be it a religion such as Wicca or simply someone interested in telepathy, are viewed as delusional, ill, or mistaken. For society to grow to understand the fields, and in order to gain acceptance for those groups who aren't afraid to practice or research something outside of the "comfort zone" of society, The Otherkin Community will make a strong effort to provide information on these sciences. The goal is two-fold:
- Educate the public on what the sciences of Metaphysics and Parapsychology actually are and compile information on the results of all studies, whether they support or oppose the existence of any related phenomenon.
- Provide exercises and information on metaphysical practices to the public so that they may experiment for themselves and see that perhaps the idea isn't so crazy after all.
In order to achieve this goal, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Reported information cannot be bias. Experiments, whether or not they support the existence of metaphysical phenomenon, will be reported and explained.
- Experiments from various sources will be included along with detailed steps to replicate them for independent studies.
- The Otherkin Community will consult experts in the fields of Parapsychology, Psychology, Neurology, Biology, Quantum Mechanics, Physics, Sociology and any fields that may hold relevance to experiments and their results.
- The Otherkin Community will welcome the input of skeptics to help solidify procedure and cover areas that may be a bit shaky.
So how do we expect to do this?
- Compile books, articles, tutorials and other documents providing information on the sciences, practices and personal experiences of individuals.
- Create products to help bring metaphysics and parapsychology into the mainstream as organized and credible sciences.
- Attempt to combat the media's portrayal of metaphysical concepts by pointing out what is fiction, what is based on fact, what evidence exists and what may have been misconstrued.
- Provide public gatherings and discussions to promote the awareness of and educate others on the sciences.
- Release experimental results from relevant fields to the public to educate others on the truth of the progress of the sciences.
- Educate practitioners on what goes on "behind the scenes" to help create a more objective mindset rather than enforce blind faith and practice.
Our goal is not to take sides. The Otherkin Community will educate practitioners and believers as much as skeptics - both should understand each others' sides and both should understand what is actually going on with the sciences and our world today.
Because metaphysics is still very much a taboo in science, this will be one of the most audacious tasks. The Otherkin Community hopes that the general population will be receptive due to their interest, but will prepare for the strongest of resistance.
Research and Funding
There already exists many organizations performing a great deal of research on the topics presented by The Otherkin Community. However, The Community holds the unique position of actively participating in an objective and scientific evaluation of the sciences while also using it in practice in day-to-day life. Members of The Otherkin Community may just be looking for more information, or they may be complete skeptics - but many are also actively engaged in metaphysical and/or Otherkin communities. This provides a number of benefits:
- There already exist a number of theories within various practices that can be tested with the current state of technology.
- Expert practitioners and those who practice casually in day-to-day life hold a much greater chance at demonstrative positive results in controlled tests than the general population.
- Experimental evidence has shown that those who believe in concepts like psi are much more likely to achieve positive results even in a controlled testing environment.
- Those who have a personal attachment will be more committed to finding experimental evidence and distributing it.
- Skeptics will be able to go to "the source" in order to ask questions and provide constructive criticism.
Of course, there are also a number of negative aspects with The Otherkin Community's situation. These must be addressed and eliminated in order for research to be a success:
- Most practitioners will have a strong bias to the results. Measures must be taken to eliminate selective reporting for individual trials.
- Many practitioners may take offense or be strongly against the "testing of their beliefs". Everyone must understand that this is done in good faith in order to help support the advancement of the sciences. Results that oppose the existence of practiced phenomenon are still results and still a step in the right direction.
- People hold their beliefs strongly. When challenged, many get very defensive. Measures are taken to keep everything civil and ensure that skeptical questions can be asked. At the same time, claims that cannot be backed up are to be kept to a minimum to avoid unnecessary conflict.
Research will be conducted by individuals in The Community, as well as by The Community as an entity through various organized groups and committees. The Otherkin Community will also attempt to secure funding for various endeavors and will distribute those funds to individuals and other organizations who are able to come up with a strong and compelling experiment.
Results of experiments conducted by The Otherkin Community will be entirely transparent. Both positive and negative results will be reported, along with procedure and any other related documents. Individuals and other organizations will be encouraged to repeat the experiments conducted by The Otherkin Community and provide suggestions to help refine the procedure
The Otherkin Community will also do its best to bring in professionals from various fields to aid in the studies and experiments, to evaluate the procedure and results, and provide their welcome input. The Otherkin Community will also attempt to work with existing organizations and individuals in related fields (primarily Parapsychology) to share knowledge and data and to help further the various fields.
Promote Otherkin Awareness
The concept of "Otherkin" is still very new. Virtually nobody knows about it and the idea so disorganized that a consistent definition cannot even be attained. But the idea is growing and individuals who identify themselves as "Otherkin" do very much exist. But many are afraid to come forward, or have their doubts about how humanity will accept their claims. The Otherkin Community hopes to help by educating the public on the concepts behind the idea of Otherkin in a manner that will promote acceptance rather than resistance.
Dealing with beliefs is always a touchy subject, so there will undoubtedly be resistance no matter what - it is naive to think otherwise. However, certain guidelines will be developed to ensure the situation is handled as appropriately as possible. Some of those guidelines, which are still under development, include:
- Information must be distributed in a manner that others can relate to. The Otherkin Community needs to "speak their language". If the Community goes in and throws the concept at them, obviously many will consider Otherkin to be a crazy concept, and possibly a sign of serious illness. Therefore, information will be released slowly and in a manner that compares it to their own ideas and beliefs to show that the concepts aren't as strange as they first seem. In fact, most of the concepts exist in beliefs that are already held by religions and philosophies.
- The Otherkin Community must be sure to stand firmly on its ground. Allowing others to step all over the concept of Otherkin will serve to do nothing but doom Otherkin in the public eye for many years to come.
- Strong, intelligent and confident individuals who identify as Otherkin need to come fourth and explain their ideas, opinions and beliefs in a respectable and intelligent manner. They must explain why they believe as they do and where the roots of those beliefs came from. If the only individuals who come fourth are reluctant and are shaky in the knees, nobody will take the concept of Otherkin seriously. However, at the same time, if overly confidant individuals come fourth preaching like a fundamentalist, they may be just as bad, if not worse.
- The public must understand beliefs are personal and, while they may be shared, they are not held by everyone - especially within Otherkin communities. Otherkin are very diverse and individuals share a very wide variety of beliefs and opinions.
Many Otherkin also feel that they should keep a low profile - that society isn't quite ready for their appearance. That belief is entirely respected; The Otherkin Community does not speak for all Otherkin. It can't. The beliefs and ideas are far to varied. Instead, it can only speak for individuals and groups. The Otherkin Community makes every attempt to ensure others understand that beliefs are personal and, while they may be shared, they are defiantly not held by everyone. To help demonstrate that point, information of various ideas and beliefs will be presented from the perspective of many groups and individuals. If some Otherkin disagree with others, it will be made clear.
This is perhaps the most controversial objective of The Community. It will be handled delicately and the input of others will be taken into great consideration. The Otherkin Community is dealing with the beliefs and lives of others. That will not be ignored.
Anonymity is also very important to some - especially for such a controversial topic. The Otherkin Community will never give out personal information without express permission from the individual. However, it is the individual's responsibility to ensure that they do not make any personal information public if they do not want to be associated with Otherkin.
The Otherkin Community has a strong set of values that serves as the foundation for each of its endeavors. Those values are available on The Otherkin Community:Support.
A Helping Hand
The Otherkin Community is nothing without the help of its members - and there are plenty of ways to help. We are still growing and there is a great deal of work to be done. If you agree or identify with our cause and would like to lend a helping hand, check out The Otherkin Community:Support. Any aid will be greatly appreciated and we thank you in advance for your consideration.