By Delicious carbuncle
Another in a series of blog posts highlighting lesser-known Wikipedia editors.
Recently there was a discussion going on at Wikimedia Commons about whether or not to delete “Symbol of Girllove.svg”. It is an image of a symbol used by pedophiles with a predilection for female children to identify one another. There used to be a version of that file on the English-language Wikipedia, but it was recently deleted (with a comment in the deletion log of “strongly, strongly inappropriate”). I referred to that image in an earlier blog post. It was hidden on the userpage of For An Angel. That user is now blocked (although not by Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee). Ultimately, the image was deleted from Commons.
Man and His Symbols
The girllover symbol under discussion on Wikimedia Commons was used in only one place there – in Kintetsubuffalo’s gallery entitled “Favorite images”. It appeared in the section called “Other”, sandwiched between the emblem of the Ku Klux Klan and something called the “Heart symbol vulva shape hypothesis illustration”.
Kintetsubuffalo’s “favorite images” gallery is not a random collection of images. It is organized into four sections: Scouting, Photos, Other, and National Emblems. The Scouting section contains images, insignia, and maps relating to Scouting (i.e., Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts). The Photos section starts with the image of a gun. It contains mainly images of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. The Other section contains not only the aforementioned KKK emblem, but other symbols associated with the White Power movement – the Celtic cross, the flag of the white supremacist Afrikaner Resistance Movement, and the Civil War-era flags of several Southern US states. In the National Emblems section, it is hard to miss the dozen or so Nazi flags.
Why would Kintetsubuffalo have chosen these particular images as his favourites? Should we read anything into his choices?
Perhaps it would be helpful to know a little bit more about Kintetsubuffalo. He has been a Wikipedia editor since 2005 and racked up over 140,000 edits in that time. On his userpage he tells us a lot about himself. That he currently lives in Japan and is “inordinately interested in all things related to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Central Asia”. That he is heavily involved in Scouting and one of the co-founders of the Scouting Wikiproject. That he is “a Japanophile, a Germanophile, and an Australophile, and a big fan of the Rhodies and Afrikaners”. Already we can surmise why he chose some of the images in his gallery of favourites.
But who is the man behind the username Kintetsubuffalo? His name is Chris Fitch. We can see this from the remnants of some of his uploads of images to Wikipedia, such as this image of his late wife. Christopher A Fitch, as we learn on a website he co-wrote about “Scouting along the Silk Road”. There we also learn that his email at that time was firstname.lastname@example.org.
That same email was used by someone using the handle “Vertebra” on Stormfront, a white supremacist web forum. In one message from 2002, they describe their desire for a compatible woman. They sign off: “In racial love, Chris”. Apart from their White Power references, they sound rather sweet. In another message, he does not seem quite so nice:
Thank you for that post. I’d often tried and failed to imagine what a primitive could possibly say or do that _would_ entice a White female of any size or shape to switch sides, but I’d never considered how damaging it must be to strong White ladies such as yourself that the oids think of you as accessible. That was heartbreaking to read. I’ve only once been hit on myself by one of theirs, and it was such an ugly one with hot garbage breath that my only inclination was to laugh loud and inappropriately (and my voice carries something fierce). It struck me as the best joke I’d heard in a while and one of the best esteembuilders, and maybe this would be the healthiest way for _you_ to think of it, too. I mean, look at it form their point of view, if that’s possible. Here they are, soulless and doomed never to touch the face of God, fated to go home that evening to their misshapen, ugly, gaptoothed, smelly, hairy mate (ever seen a freshborn mexlet?-they’re already hairy), and if they’re lucky, to die in a gangrelated shooting by the time they’re 25.
Vertebra/Chris says in one 2004 message that he “served as Kludd (Chaplain) down South” and asks if “Mr. AYAK is still around”. A Kludd is a Ku Klux Klan chaplain and “Mr AYAK” is an identification as a member of the KKK. A decade later, Kintetsubuffalo has a gallery of images featuring KKK and White Power symbols among his favourite images.
On the website DeviantArt, there is a user called ~Kintetsubuffalo, who gives his real name as “Chris Fitch” and his location as Japan. There, his gallery of “favorites” is page after page of women dressed in Nazi uniforms, female assassins, and images of Nazi deathcamps. All the usual things you would expect from someone associated with Scouting. There are even a couple of pictures of Scouts.
Just as Kintetsubuffalo says on his userpage, Chris Fitch is “a serious scholar of Scouting”. In 1992, a Chris Fitch identifying himself as a history major at Colorado State University and Scout leader posted a message to a Usenet group asking about Scouting in Brazil. Similar messages were sent to a number of Usenet groups at around the same time. In 1996, Christopher Yrysbek “Chris” Fitch posted to SCOUTS-L (a Scouting mailing list) asking for help with his “graduate-level research on the rebirth of Scouting in the Former Soviet Union”.
On the Scouting social networking site Scoutface there is a profile for Chris Fitch. Age 42. His profile picture shows him dressed in a Scout uniform. On Facebook, where he calls himself Chris Yoshinobu Fitch, he is member of dozens of groups related to Scouting. So we can understand why he has the Scouting-related images in his Commons gallery.
Looking at what we know about Kintetsubuffalo/Chris Fitch, we see that the images in his Commons gallery relate to his life and his interests. So why does he have that symbol of girllove as one of his favourite images? Is it possible that he simply does not know what it represents? No. On January 2, 2013, Kintetsubuffalo inserted the now-deleted PNG version of the image into the Wikipedia article on pedophilia. The caption he used was “Symbol of Girllove, used by pedophilia advocates”. So it would be hard to imagine that Kintetsubuffalo does not know exactly what the symbol represents. Why then does he have this symbol among his “favorite images”?
In Chris Yoshinobu Fitch’s publicly accessible Facebook images, there are two images posted 29 January 2011 which show the doors of a building. From the signs, it is apparent that these doors belong to Seiha English Academy. Seiha English Academy is a group of private schools in Japan which teach English to children age 6 months to 12 years. I know this from reading their Wikipedia article. That article was created by Kintetsubuffalo in November 2010.
Other Facebook images of Chris Yoshinobu Fitch show young Japanese children. In the background one can see mauve floors and distinctive mats just like some Seiha English Academy classrooms. In one image of a woman with two young children, he has commented “My youngest student, Amane-chan (11 months) and super-genki big brother Asahi (3), with their World’s Best Mom!”. It seems highly likely that Chris Yoshinobu Fitch worked for Seiha English Academy, teaching English to young children.
But what is Kintetsubuffalo/Chris Fitch’s interest in the girllove symbol? I think it is as relevant to the man behind the Kintetsubuffalo username as the KKK and Scout emblems, but I will let you draw your own conclusions.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, public domain