What does a religion require to be a religion?
And the only thing that differentiates them from smaller religions like Wicca and juggalos is tax exempt status
This statement from Wikipedia seems to best encompass it
Religion is usually defined as a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements-although there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.
So naturally today we're going to talk about the Snapewives
WTF are the Snapewives?
Harry Potter was first published in 1997 and unless somehow you lived under a rock for the next ten years you have some general idea of what Harry Potter is about. But the short story: Harry Potter, thinks he's a normal boy until he receives a letter telling him he's a wizard and over the course of seven novels, he goes to wizard school and faces his destiny, which always seems to strangely be focused around his school. How convenient for a series where each book represents a year at the school.
And in case it wasn't clear, this will have tons of spoilers for the series, sorry not sorry
As we're talking about Harry Potter, it's really important that we open this discussion with: JK Rowling is a piece of human trash. Now we can move on
series one of the pseudo antagonists of Harry Potter is Professor Severus
Snape, played by the amazing Alan Rickman in the films. Snape is moody with a
mysterious resentment for the boy that lived, who always seems to be doing
something really fucking sketch. Ultimately, it's found out that Harry Potter's
dad and his friends used to bully the crap out of Snape back when they went to
this very school, oh yeah and Harry's dad, "stole" Snape's only
friend, and his love interest (who did not feel the same about him).
TLDR, Snape is what we today would call an incel
And that probably sounds really controversial, but that is Snape in a nutshell, he was a very controversial character in the fandom. Some believing he got done dirty by Rowling, that he was actually a good guy, just misunderstood and others recognizing that when you look at him in canon, he really isn't and does very little to redeem himself. Even his "redemption arc" felt pretty lackluster to me, though that's more Rowling than him.
As reddit user iwasonceafangirl says
Snape had a precious, special place in the fandom as that one character you really don't want to bring up around people you aren't friends with, lest the whole conversation devolve into meaningless bickering about whether or not he's a good person.
Harry Potter Fandom
Since the beginning of time, stories have been the great unifier. We love to tell and hear stories, and good stories elicit emotional responses and when those responses are shared with others we feel connected to them. It's just like when we go through something incredibly harrowing with another person we develop a strong bond.
Stories by their nature are a social experience, told in small groups around fires, in amphitheaters and then from stages and eventually screens. And since the origin of story, is retellings. You heard a story, you shared it with your friends, maybe you embellished, maybe you changed things you didn't like in the original or you simply forgot. They pass it on so on and so forth
The bible is a collection of stories by multiple authors all interpreting a series of events based around the central character of god.
One of the earliest authors to actually become famous while they were still alive was George Gordon, also known as Lord Byron who lived between 1788 and 1824. This guy's work became so popular that to this day we still use the term "byronic hero" to refer to characters that harken back Byron's penchant for moody, deep thinking, romantically tragic characters.
In 1819, Lord Byron's physician, John Polidori, would take a fragment of a story that Byron wrote, and would complete it, this story would be called "The Vampyre" and represents the earliest story about the romantic vampire, long before Dracula or Camilla. This is still considered a classic today.
All this to say: we have always done fanfiction and historically that wasn't a bad thing. While in more recent years we are in a bit of a better place, go back a decade and fanfiction was deplorable, authors actively and loudly were completely against the concept.
Sure, stories like
My Immortal, don't exactly speak to the best fanfiction has to offer, but it is
the one most everyone knows.
But like it or not, fanfiction is more prolific now than it ever was and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it.
And Harry Potter was no exception, if anything it had a little more "legitimacy" as back when we gave a shit about what JK Rowling said, she was one of the few big authors that vocally approved of fanfiction.
This probably feels like a long introduction to a topic I haven't even touched on yet, but I wanted to lay some groundwork, to open your minds to the possibility, that the Snapewives aren't just the butt of a fandom joke, but were in fact people, with beliefs, and emotions deeply invested the things they were passionate about. They just happened to get caught in the FandomWank crosshairs which is a recipe for disaster no matter who you are or what you're doing.
The Snapewives is a topic that's really fucking easy to laugh at and mock, so let's do the harder thing and empathize with them, while still enjoying the bizzarrity of all the events that would happen around them
The Meat of Things
Ok, enough preamble. While frequently called the Snapewives, this isn't the term these women picked for themselves, instead calling themselves Snapeists, practitioners of the Snapeism religious movement centered around everyone's favorite broody potion's master: Severus Snape
It is the early 2000s, everyone has at least two livejournals, one personal one and one for writing or roleplaying (and I truly mean AT LEAST, I have come across people who had an upward of 40 journals). Fanfiction was commonly published on here and what was frequently referred to as "The Pit of Voles" known as fanfiction.net
The Harry Potter fandom, which was already large and incredibly active has only become bigger as the film adaptions begin to hit theaters. It was a peak time to be a Harry Potter fan.
People interact in fandoms in different ways, some just gush about their favorite characters others comment on people's essays and analysis of the source material. Some write fanfiction. Some form elaborate and massive livejournal groups where every character is accounted for and roleplayed on the reg. Some formed complicated religions with extensive guidelines and marriage rituals.
The religion of Snapeism centered around the omniscient, ever present Severus Snape. If you are familiar with this character I am sure you are wondering how this came to be as an analytical look at him shows some really unattractive elements (*cough* racism *cough*) and if you know the story, it's one that ends rather abruptly much to the rage of his loyal fans
Now one thing to note is that the religion of Snapeism didn't really come into being until after the films became popular. See in the books, Snape was a scrawny, greaseball, frequently described in a really unattractive way. But Alan Rickman steps in with his deep, velvety voice and that changes things, and it's likely Rickman's version that is largely to thank for the explosion of loyal fans.
But that wasn't the only reason. The Snapeists were on to something that the rest of us wouldn't really pick up on for well over another fifteen years: JK Rowling is full of shit. The way they saw this is that the world of Harry Potter was real in some universe far away, and that JK Rowling was just a faulty prophet that misinterpreted or purposely altered her visions, telling the story of Snape inaccurately.
You may see this as cherry-picking and the promotion of a factually false narrative, but Christianity does this all the damn time, and historically, not usually for the better. Remember kids, nowhere in the bible does it actually say that if you're gay you're going to hell
But I am getting a
little ahead of myself.
As I was saying, Snape was a controversial figure, but because of that, it made the people that loved him, care about him all the more for just being oh so misunderstood. They sympathized with the fact that he was harshly bullied and couldn't get the girl. They related to that powerlessness of being overlooked for recognition and the pressure to conform to social norms. And these are absolutely valid points, and the kind we see in every fandom with their archetypical morally grey, misunderstood character.
There is something intrinsically relatable in a character like that if you have ever felt any sort of ostracization or like you were never really given a chance. When you feel like an under dog.
One of the Snapeists, Rose would write
Rose writes, "I want to thank you, JKR for being such a great writer, though the last book was pure trash"
She argues, "SHE didn't like Snape, didn't like him from the get go that's why she soooo enjoyed making his life utter misery"
The group's dislike of JK would only increase with time, later saying that Snape haunts Rowling out of anger "needless to say that's why you don't have peace" [Rose]
I BELIEVE THAT SEVERUS SNAPE EXISTS INDEPENDENTLY OF JKR! HE IS A LIVING, FEELING SPIRIT. I BELIEVE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND THAT SEVERUS DOES VISIT THOSE HE CHOOSES TO. - Tonya
"the ones who'll believe will believe, others just wont, tough. Just like Christianity isn't for everyone, Master is the same" - Rose
The most famous of the Snapeists were Conchita, Rose and Tonya. Tonya and Rose in particular appear to have been viewed as the leaders of the group and the ones to establish and change the rules as they deemed fit (naturally at Snape's behest)
When challenged about their beliefs the group were quick to respond, as Conchita says:
"Isn't he a fictional character from Harry Potter?" He is in the books yes... that does not prove anything... Let's just say Severus Snape goes beyond that, as it's not easy to explain. I believe he IS out there, real enough to communicate"
Interacting with Snape
I am sure you're wondering how exactly do you communicate with a surly potions teacher from another dimension? Astral projection of course
Astral projection became really popular on livejournal in the early 2000s especially among fandom and soulbonding groups. The idea being that you could enter a meditative state, and your mind could then travel to what was called the astral plane.
This belief usually popped up with the more "extreme" members of fandoms and the way this was utilized varied. Some used it to interact with their favorite fictional characters like the Snapeists did. Some claimed to use this process to create shared spaces with those in their friend circles that allowed them to visit each other mentally and sometimes even in their dreams because of the connection. It was not uncommon to see believers writing in their journal that they saw so-and-so last night and then so-and-so commenting and confirming that they "felt the poster's presence" or something along those lines.
This practice would fade in popularity somewhere around 2010, but surprisingly a very similar practice called Reality Shifting began to get really popular in 2020, particularly on TikTok, which is something that, Court, our resident tiktoker, has said that she's seen in her perusing.
Some Snapeists claimed that Snape visited them in their dreams or sometimes they would suddenly feel his presence or get a whisper in the ear, often when they were in danger.
On Conchita's journal, she testifies:
"he also visits me, talks with me, advises me, aids me, helps me grow and understand, as well as aids with lifes Bullshits"
This is also not uncommon for other religions, there have been many women (and men) that claimed their deity would speak to them or send them messages in some way
Though, much like with any other religion, not everyone felt the presence of Snape as intensely. That's where Tonya stepped in, seemingly able to channel Snape at will. Chatrooms would be created where people could come and talk to "Snape" through her. Others in the group could channel him, including Rose, but Tonya in particular was the one who claimed the most success in her channeling.
Rose blamed her difficulties channeling on Christian indoctrination
"the reason why I have a lot of problems Channelling is cause of the brainwashing of the Church"
Despite this Rose fervently supported Tonya and attested that Tonya was indeed channeling Snape
"when Tonya channels him, the surge that I receive and feel, the excitement, nervousness, giddiness, heart pounding and my hands literally shake!"
Tonya has stated that "it is never role play" believing fervently that what she was experiencing was her god moving through her.
Most the time this channeling was just used for general conversations with the followers, but sometimes Snape would make declarations or decrees through the channeler about the religion and its practices.
Tonya announces that Snape despises "annoying, giggling fangirls whom think they understand [him] as being a 'cute fluffy funny' being"
As Snape, she also makes clear "I only give audience to those women that are strong and able to withstand my fierce temper and do as I say. I coldly ignore those vain, simpering females that hold a thought like a leaky sieve"
The group believed that anyone could channel Snape, though for some it was more difficult than others
There were ways to boost success at channeling, one of the ways that Rose and Tonya did was create a room in Rose's house where posters of Snape were hung. This became a sacred space to the women and a place where they felt most connected with Snape
after we rehung some of Masters pics in their room, I felt a harsh shove, push against my back and fell forward on the floor my hands catching. I was kneeling on hands and knees before my Master!!
Conchita, had a lot of trouble connecting with Snape, unable to channel him like the others claimed to, and only really experiencing him in the rare dream or feeling his presence. This is something she struggled with a lot, often making her feel anxious and unloved by him.
At one point Conchita suddenly didn't feel Snape's presence and her dreams about him ceased
His absence makes her feel "sad and dark" . She settles on the "hideous truth" that her life is too boring for Snape, begging "Severus.. I will always love you.. please don't ignore me.. Please notice me... I miss you" Her poems are a vivid representation of this darkness and turmoil, lamenting her "wasted life" and her realisation that "we will never be joined in another dimension"
Writing and Fanfic
Many followers wrote extensively about Snape in their journals, Tonya in particular stated
"Severus Snape himself may speak here. This is his journal as well"
But there was another way that followers connected with him and that was through the writing of fanfic.
Rose spoke about the benefits of her writing fanfiction
"I used to be a shy wall flower, backwards and had a hard time talking about things, over time Severus Snape helped me to explore me, he helped me write two very in depth and sexual ladened Fan Fictions, and through them I discovered myself"
Though this was a complicated topic. In one particular instance Snape, through Tonya, expressed his distaste with man on man fanfic involving him
"I will not tolerate the so-called Slash movement"
Snape the Dom
An idea that was repeatedly reinforced was Snape's need to feel in control and in power, that he strongly detested being humiliated or being made to feel inferior. The group worked hard to uphold this respect, and their fervent belief often made them react harshly to other Snape fans
Rose becomes infuriated over the treatment of a highly realistic Tonner-brand Snape doll. She was appalled that after reading of Snape's teenage humiliations in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), fans would deem it appropriate to "check under his clothes to see if he has knickers on" and take "pics of his nakid rump" on the internet. She states, "I wouldn't ever DARE disrespect Master in such a humiliating manner"
The women also often stated that Snape was no easy master, that he would often challenge and demand them to do difficult tasks for their long term benefit, including: eating better, cease biting their nails and easing up on swearing habits
Conchita talks about committing to a diet for Snape
"I can't risk losing the only man I love so dearly over bodyfat, can I?"
But Conchita never seemed quite dedicated enough according to Tonya, in one instance writing:
"all she had to do was give her control over to him [...] he will not allow a female to collar him or guide him about like he has a ring in his nose"
While many of the women seemed to agree that Snape was a dom, Conchita was vehemently against this idea, and expressed disgust about Rose's fanfiction wherein he expresses serious sadomasochistic kinks and seemed to imply non consensual relations, making Conchita feel like Rose couldn't possibly love and respect him if this is how she writes about him
Now the part everyone is waiting for: part of being a dedicated Snapeist was committing yourself entirely to Snape, aka marrying him.
Below is a sample of the vows often recited during this ceremony
I promise to be always faithful in body and mind, and never love another man.
I promise to love and cherish you all of my life.
I promise to respect and honour you all of my life.
I promise to dedicate all of my life to you.
I promise to stand by you in good times and bad times.
I promise to protect and guard you, and to prevent you from any harm.
I promise to provide anything you need for you.
I promise to take the best care of you.
I promise to use your name with the respect it deserves.
I promise to always wear the ring with your name in it, as a symbol of my love.
I promise to obey you, no matter what.
I promise to respect your wishes and not to be selfish.
I promise to look after you in sickness and in health.
Now this isn't as unusual as you would think. In fact there's a term for this in the Catholic church "consecrated virgin"
"a consecrated virgin is a woman who has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity as a bride of Christ"
The first known time this rite of marriage to Christ was performed was 353 AD, the bride being Saint Marcellina. This practice eventually would fall out of favor, but would make a resurgence in 1970. As of 2018, it's thought there were 5,000 living brides of Christ. Kind of makes a couple dozen "Snape Wives" look like small potatoes
But, one thing about these consecrated virgins, is that they're completely celibate. The Snapeists? It's a little more complicated
They did see their marriages as a very serious spiritual commitment, but many of these women were middle aged, some already married and with children. The intent was that you should give yourself body and soul to Snape and many claimed to do so, becoming celibate and only engaging in sexual activity with Snape via the astral plane.
But the women that were already married, this was kind of skated around. According to Tonya, Snape appeared in a vivid vision demanding that she treat her husband with the same respect that she gives to him
We know that Tonya claimed that Snape regularly possessed her real-life husband, especially during sex.
Apparently Snape's spirit would just take over his body, so whenever he was being particularly affectionate, it wasn't him-it was just Snape showing how much he loved his wife.
It's unclear if the husband realized he was being possessed or if he even knew about his wife's spiritual marriage. Though Tonya recounts a spat she had with her husband
"[m]y husband offended him by saying he was not real...he got revenge by making my husband appear to not exist at his job"
But Rose's relationship with her husband wasn't as close.
Rose has typical relationship problems with her husband, such as feeling unappreciated or bored by the mundane nature of married life. In one entry, she criticizes Kevin for buying magazines for himself and not thinking to get her anything special. She is also frustrated that he spends his evenings reading the magazines rather than paying attention to her when they have time together
"I mean we are still in love, but I think more and more we are very much used to each other. Why do I say that? Cause wherever we go, I barely hold his attention anymore and he looks around or stops here and there. No not to look at other chicks just stuff. I think I know now why so many my age have affairs, because things at home have become mudane!"
"I can be sitting next to him either in a HOT nighty or nothing at all and he barely notices me. [...] no wonder I am more and more fleeing into my world with Master!"
It's not clear what the relationship statuses were for many of the other followers, though there are claims that some women left their boyfriends or husbands to fully commit themselves to Snape. Others claimed that if Snape could have multiple wives, they could have multiple husbands.
As you can see here, consistency there was not. And this would be one of the major points of contention in the group
While some women claimed to have vivid sex lives with Snape, others had a harder time, but again Tonya would step in to assist. Tonya offered her services to the other followers through one-on-one chats, where she would channel Snape and engage in sexting with the other party. Rose in particular was a big fan of this service
Most of the women in the group seemed to see each other as sisterwives and jealousy seems to be limited
Conchita, on the other hand though didn't seem to be as a "liberated" with her sexuality, nor as openminded. She found erotic fanfic about Snape to be distasteful and seemed to judge the other women in the group that produced it. Especially those who wrote about the experiences they personally claimed to have with Snape, as Conchita believed that stuff should remain private.
Conchita claimed to be so dedicated to Snape, she swore off all partners and even once talked about how annoyed she was when a coworker developed a crush on her. Conchita would say she refused to even masturbate as she felt that broke her vows.
"I am Severus' woman, so I will not BE with other men. [...] being with Severus is satisfying enough.. why would I ever need another man?"
Conchita also seemed to struggle at times reconciling the fact that Snape had other wives. While most the time she seemed to be ok with it, but in a few instances where she was feeling particularly disenfranchised from the group or Snape, she would make scathing remarks about Snape's promiscuity and polygamy
Tonya and Rose did not approve of these outbursts but would clearly indicate that they understood that Snape loved her and that needed to be respected. Though conversations between the group implied an annoyance at Conchita's behavior. In a conversation with Conchita, Snape through Tonya said
"I will let you think of my words [...] I am still there, I won't leave you, ever, however .... I will remain silent!"
Putting the fact that Conchita has difficulties connecting with Snape squarely on her shoulders for not being devoted enough. Conchita would take "Snape's" words to heart and would later post
[I] discovered this selfishness was NOT according my vows, so I renewed them (again) and this time I have made a promise to remind myself daily that love is NOT selfish and meant to be enjoyable for all" She concedes, "We all share the same love, that is a good thing"
Comparisons to Other Religions
Frequently the group compared Snapeism with traditional religions, pointing out the fact that their beliefs were not that different. And for some of them, their experience with these "traditional religions" may be part of what led them down this road
"I don't answer to any religion, only to Severus, my Guide and Master and much more".
Rose felt alienated from Christianity, and had trouble connecting with the Christian god, whom she describes as "very distant". She describes her previous congregations as morally hypocritical, and complains that a lack of answered prayers was always blamed on her. Rose was also unhappy that she had to give up her attachment to supernatural entities such as vampires. She explains, "you can't serve 2 Masters, however that part was very much a part of me, and I was in constant tug-of-war". Luckily, "Master came along" and permitted her a system of beliefs that she found more comfortable and consistent
As opposed to her experiences with the Christian God,
"Masters voice I can heard loud and clear. I know when I do wrong, I know when he is pleased"
Rose describes Snape as "real as much as the Christian god is too!" She asks, "Do I need help? no more then usual, no! Am I delusional? LOL Are Christians delusional? No!"
This is a valid point. I don't believe in a Christian god, I also don't believe in Severus Snape but does it make their followers beliefs and emotions any less real?
Benefits of Being Devoted to Snape
Aside from the spiritual sex, many members reported other benefits of being devoted to Snape
It was reported that Snape was a healer, helping relieve Rose's period pain and sooth her knee and leg pain in cold weather with an enchanted blanket. The potion master also suggested helpful remedies, giving Tonya a potion containing ginger for her upset stomach.
But it was also mental and emotional anguishes he helped with. Tonya claimed that when she had panic attacks, he would be there to help her through it getting her to name nearby plants and trees as a distraction
Snape also seemed to
be of particular help when the women may be in danger.
One of Tonya's non-specified friends was aided by him in such an event.
"She was being robbed and Severus shoved her down and caused the lights to go out. She said she clearly heard his voice telling her to stay down"
Unfortunately, Tonya was robbed at work when she failed to heed Snape's advice about not opening the door late at night
In a more fortunate scenario, Tonya was saved by Snape when she was home alone in the early hours of the morning. She heard him scream, "Girl, get up and get a knife, NOW!" and announce that her doorknob was about to turn. She was unable to see any intruder, but considers this event to be "life-saving"
Similarly, Snape saved Tonya from a house fire by waking her up before the flames could take hold
He was also quite protective, in one case Tonya claims that Snape caused her father-in-law had a heart attack and assisted in her brother getting arrested after she shared her concerns of his drug problems with Snape
In 2006, the Snapeists would appear on fandom_wank, a group on livejournal that was basically intended for people in fandoms to look at other people in their fandoms and then collectively point and laugh at just how weird/awkward and different they were.
The highly popular Fandom Wank community reveled in the wives, finding their journal entries both shocking and hilarious. Several reports were filed on their activities, coupled with a range of satirical gestures such as a Broadway musical made up of popular songs with new lyrics about their sexual madness
Stories from the Jen Saga did find their way into this group
So you can imagine this is a very wholesome group with the best of intentions that were doing nothing but promoting their sisters in the Harry Potter fandom and celebrating their dedication. AKA this was full out cyber bullying.
What is it with us nerds where we feel the need to punch others down? Like "we're nerds, but at least we're not as nerdy as THOSE nerds over there" is this just like some grade-school defense mechanism where we throw other people under buses in hopes that we won't be targeted?
In 2014 Zoe Alderton a PhD candidate in the department of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney, wrote a paper 'Snapewives' and 'Snapeism': A Fiction-Based Religion within the Harry Potter Fandom
In these she writes:
This anxiety towards fiction-based religions and the behaviour of their adherents is based upon a general fear within fandom of being excessively outrageous and pushing the boundaries of 'good taste' too far. By policing extreme manifestations of the Harry Potter fandom, other eccentricities can be placed in the more neutral category of 'ironic' or 'playful', as opposed to 'insane'. This boundary policing is a virulent and under-researched manifestation of fandom communities.
This makes me wonder, if Jen and Jack had been focused on more popular characters than Hojo and Jenova, it's possible they could've stayed under the radar longer. Theo has said that being part of the Hojo fandom was a double edged sword in that you would meet people who were just as passionate as you, but you would also meet people who conflated your choice of character with your own moral fiber and people would come out of nowhere to insult you or insinuate that you are a horrible human without any evidence in the slightest.
I'm a cosplayer, and I used to be part of a large Game of Thrones group, my character was Cersei Lannister, if you're not familiar with Game of Thrones, she's one of the bad guys. And I have had complete strangers come up to me at cons and call me a bitch or tell me they hate me. I have had people ask me if I was into incest (as Cersei famously is involved with her twin brother). I am not Cersei, nor have I ever thought I was or ever wanted to be. Yet somehow her crimes and horrific actions were juxtaposed on me as if I were, simply because I was wearing a wig and a dress.
After the war
Now the Snapeists didn't take this laying down
Their main reaction has been to laugh at the criticism, support each other, and carry on. After one of the fandom_wank reports was filed, Rose responded to her detractors with the following statement:
The way I see things is that we tend to limit ourselves, our believes, our understanding, our willingness... due to what? Society? Because people tend to be afraid of what they don't understand!?! Oh well, your all's loss, my gain! Does that make me sick? No more so then others! However I do tend to live a real life, with my Hubby, my Cats, my Plants, my Friends ... MY MASTER!!!! [...] I stand where I stand, and ever so proudly!
Tensions with Conchita continued to escalate and she seemed to be getting frustrated with Tonya's constant claims that she as channeling Snape
IF Severus Snape wants to speak to you, he will do that himself!! Believe me no one could ever impersonate him, other than the real man/spirit! Do NOT believe mediums/channelers that say they know him for years and spread his word. Perhaps one day they used to, as sometimes we all can catch something from the other side but most they tell you are lies and nonsense. Do NOT believe it and please do not let it effect you, it is damaging!.
Conchita began to notice that some other followers seemed to be getting silenced by Rose and Tonya, and Conchita did her best to help those members, her actions and rhetoric seemingly mirroring a lot of common anti-cult discourse.
At one point in response to an interaction with Tonya she says
"No matter what you do, you will not be able to make him leave me. He will see who is truthful and faithful and who isn't" . Conchita exclaims, "HIS words do mean a lot to me, not your made up fantasy stories"
She eventually turns on Tonya, stating that she believes that Tonya's snape-channeling journal was a forgery that made Snape "cringe of irritation"
Tonya and Rose
Tonya and Rose had a very close relationship and being one of the few members to live near each other, they frequently hung out in person. Time apart was painful, as Tonya put it
"It feels like a huge hole in my gut that is missing something. Like I am dead. But sitting here typing to you...I feel like it is filled again. [...] I can't function without you"
But everything wasn't all good, and some things began to put pressure on their relationship. A big one being Rose's newly budding interest in the Agent Gibbs character from NCIS. Rose began to photoshop images of both Snape and Gibbs into domestic scenes and this really bothered Tonya.
Ultimately we don't know what exactly caused the falling out of Rose and Tonya, as it's only hinted at vaguely, though it's suspected that Rose's interest in Agent Gibbs may have played a big part in it. Rose alluded to online fighting that had occurred between the two but no records remain of that.
Rose would make a statement in regards to Tonya
"I could have been a total Bitch, like she was when she slammed me on her LJ [Livejournal]"
In a journal entry about the split, Rose gives a few more details.
George "dragged [Tonya] over" to Rose's house because she had been miserable and had been missing her estranged friend. Tonya apologised to Rose and asked for her Snape posters back, thinking that Rose had moved on from her Master and would no longer desire them . Rose considered this to be a laughable mistake. She writes:
LOL LOL Not even when hell freezes over!! I LOVE HIM! ALWAYS WILL! Period end of story. [...] when Snape captured my heart in 2000, that was that. Sure I have now another interest, but oddly enough, Jethro Gibbs from NCIS, reminds me a lot a lot of Severus! Tonya Brooks was my Lily. She couldn't accept me for whom I was, she couldn't deal with the close Friendship we had.
Snapeism didn't end in a bang, but more of a dismissive grunt as slowly the group drifted apart. By the time the last book was released on July 21 2007, the group was already a shadow of its former self, and with the book's release, things just further faded away.
Still, many in the fandom fought back, demanding that JK change Snape's fate, a petition was made, but only received 220 of the 100,000 signature goal
Conchita, having already mostly pulled away from the group, accepts Snape's death, creating a website as a tribute to Snape as a way to celebrate his memory.
In late 2010, Rose still makes collages of Snape and dreams of him. Her belief in the possibilities of the supernatural is quite consistent. She remarks that the differences between reality and illusion are merely "eons worth of Societal brainwashing"
In comment on the blog of a new friend, Rose says
I used to be Obsessively HUGE into Harry Potter, but more Severus Snape, am no lesbian, BUT was accused of being one.
While mostly remembered in the internet hall of fame as just another "super-cringey livejournal fringe group", the Snapeists have encouraged some serious introspection and peer reviewed scholarly papers on the validity of fiction based religions and practices, which really demonstrates just how faulty our definition of religion is and just how shitty humans can be to each other.
One popular theory about what happened to the Snapeists and why they were treated so badly, comes down to the age old problem of sexism. "Extreme" fan behavior is almost always associated with women, yet the men that take their shirts off, scream men's names in bars and chest bump over their man-crush's goal or pass are considered completely normal.
These men spend countless waking hours, watching games, talking about them with their friends and playing elaborate games of "fantasy -insert sport here-". They wear jersey's and hats, they will get into fist fights over their allegiances to different teams. Hell, in the states there's always a football game on during Thanksgiving and the number of men that leave their wives to slave away in the kitchen for hours on end while they drink beer and yell at the tv is astounding.
In 2011, in Vancouver, where Nathan and I live there was a riot. It was the Stanley Cup and the beloved Vancouver Canucks failed to take the win against the Boston Bruins. So obviously the appropriate reaction is to riot. Cars were flipped, windows were smashed, fires were started. I have a friend that was an a bus on her way home from work when it got stopped by the riot, and thankfully one brave man stood there and refused to let the rioters pass.
140 people were injured, 1 critically. 4 people were stabbed. 9 cops were injured. 101 people were arrested. And charges continued up until 2015 with a total 887 charges against 301 people.
Yet it's the women online writing erotic fanfiction and drawing hearts around pictures of their favorite characters that are the "extreme" weird ones.
There's many reasons for this, but ultimately, women aren't allowed to like things. If you're young you're some hormonal teenager, if you're in your 20-30s or older, you're pathetic and have no life. And god forbid sex gets brought into this because women aren't allowed to like sex.
A person interviewed in Lothian, Busse, and Reid's fandom study explains "When I think of the exuberance I felt participating in fandom, I think it was at seeing women stepping forward to describe their own erotics, because our culture silences female desire [...]" (, p. 106).
There are plenty of men in these fanspheres that are just as invested and just as "extreme" as the women (one day we'll talk about the Matrix cult or Andy Blake) but they are not shamed or made fun of at even a fraction of their fem identifying counterparts.
Even looking at Jen, who is a horrible person in her own right, the bulk of the online discourse is making fun of her appearance, her weight and for being a "gross desperate fangirl", all of which have nothing to do with why she's actually problematic. If she happened to be what is deemed conventionally attractive, I am sure the discourse would instead be that she was a fake nerd girl or "I'd let her abuse me any day"
The Snapeists are long gone, having been bullied off of every account they once had and purging everything they ever put online. They will likely never resurface in a way that we will notice, like Tara Gilespie, what happened to them may forever remain a mystery
But hopefully, if
they ever make themselves known again, we can treat them with more respect
and consideration. They weren't hurting anybody, the only ones doing harm
were the ones that chose to harass and make fun of them.
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