Boomer The Dog
I saw signs of extremism early on in newsgroups not long after I got into Furry, like miniature versions of Nazis and Fascists, harsh attitudes to see when I was first starting out and I wanted everything to be cuddly.
The fight then, in the late 1990s, was between the people who wanted Furry to just remain comics, stories and illustrations, and not bring in mascots, or especially real life things like fetishes into the scene, and make it more of a lifestyle. They were mostly old line producers wanting to sell comics and some newer Furs who aligned with them, and they could get very vocal and write some intense pieces defending their ways. 'I'm doing this in the name of keeping the scene clean, and I fear change'.
This stuff went on and on, and built into groups like Burned Furs and Frozen Furs. I don't know who was really behind those groups, or how serious anything was, but the built-up sentiment and friction was enough to provide support for those groups for a while.
I think it's natural to want to share things you feel passionate about, it's part of the joy and wonder of life, social life, being filled with happiness and wanting to let everyone in on it, and recruiting, in an innocent form, is just wanting to have friends to share an activity with. At the time I wanted to be surrounded by the group and feel the love, after being alone with my Doggie interests for years, that was my need then.
I was always like that since I can remember though, finding something new, barking to people all about it, broadcasting, you've got to check this out, it's amazing!
It was the same with Furry, and to an extreme for a while there, and naturally I wanted to share and have other Furries around me, and early on imagined most Furs had been on the same path I was, inferring it about them just through looking at someone's art or stories.
I don't know about socially maladjusted, people have different ways of reacting to things, but I think that because of the tightness of the scene, you can get caught up in various ways of thinking all too easily and lose perspective. I don't think someone needs to have a mental issue to have that happen, it's more of a social thing that could happen in office politics or with other groups that share a strong interest.
It's a bigger problem in Furry, because collectively Furs tend to feel persecuted to varying levels, for their different interest or a lifestyle that can be so personal, again a natural response of growth, and something we're probably better to work on as individuals, with a few close friends to bounce ideas off of.
I think this social tenet at some point was picked up and capitalized on by some Furry leadership, and made into a 'Furries versus outsiders' world view within the scene, especially for controlling media access to the scene. Look up 'Furries in the media' and you should find many videos on the subject.
It's been effective, but trying to isolate Furries is probably backfiring right now, if there really are that many Nazis and other extremists in the scene. I thought it was a joke when I first heard about it, it fits right into the stereotype of killer clowns, or dolls with knives ready to kill and things like that.
I don't think the problem is individual Furries, who are mostly just folks trying to find themselves and join a group and have a party.