Title: The TRUTH about Nalaholics Anonymous
Author: Simba Wiltz
Date: 1/17/99


     Nalaholics Anonymous has exploded from it's quiet beginnings into a larger organization than initially expected. In addition to being located on lionking.org, having the combined talents of Nala lovers everywhere has added to the credibility and stature of this organization. The original site, which was thrown together in the span of an evening, expanded into this massive piece of programming that is now the home for Nalaholics Anonymous. I'm proud to see the interest has driven this place forward.
    Now for the truth of the matter. With the rapid expansion of Nalaholics Anonymous into more and more circles, it becomes important for me to make known the truth of NA, it's background and reasons for existing. This is a personal essay from the Head Administrator, but I speak for my organization in several moments. I hope this will be as informative as it is cathartic.
    Nalaholics Anonymous began mostly as a joke. A long time ago in a mailing list, a member made a wildly erroneous claim that the only way to become popular was to want Nala in bed. The effects of this rant did not lose their intangible touch on me, and in fact I was somewhat hurt that someone would dare lower us all to the level of simple horny fools. I knew for certain that did not describe me, and I had no intention of letting it slide away.
    Instead of posting a flamy letter back, my mind started turning in a more creative direction. What if by chance this person was correct? What if popularity was based solely on loving Nala? And if so, how could it be proven? There was no standard in character loving at this time. Thus, Nalaholics Anonymous began to formulate in my mind.
    I applied for a geocities location that night, beginning to put together the programming ideas for the site. My intention was to go for humor, not seriousness. I was going to 'certify' people as Nalaholics and have a steady running list of those that qualified. Well, the qualifications have not changed, and they are unutterably simple. I created it in the guise of a hospital offering 'therapy' to people. The therapy was not to abate Nala cravings, but to intensify or control them. It was based on the idea of taking an aspect of personality, intensifying it, then using it in a productive manner.
    Version one of Nalaholics Anonymous went up at http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/2437/ on July 8, 1997 and the legend was born. The first thing to do was to publicise it. My theory was that IF the mailing list were filled with hot-blooded, lusty Nalaholics then they would want to be a part of ANYthing that had to do with Nala. Certification would be so essential to them that of the 80 some odd people on the list, all of them would flock to become part of this. That is, of course, IF this person's assumptions were correct.
    I sent off an enticing letter to the list, advertising this new site and advocating for it's use and authority as a Nala-certifying location. That very same day, I received three responses. By the end of the week, I had only received five. It took at least several months and several invitations before it even reached 10 members. Regardless, my point had been proven. The mailing list was NOT 'infected' with people who wanted Nala in bed and we now had irrefutable proof. And I rested after that.
    Even as I rested, Nalaholics Anonymous didn't. Applications came in spurts. Two here, three there, one another time. It was not until Takeshi joined that I realized that people were actually coming to this site regularly. I wasn't particularly interested in hitting my site simply to see if the little numbers had gone up or not. Takeshi wanted to write for NA, and I was very much for this. Adding a section for the members was a great idea that I thought needed to be explored. This was the beginnings of the first fan-writing sections.
    The pictures began to pour in from other sources, fan art was graciously donated from several fine artists and the numbers began to grow again. Nalaholics Anonymous reached 15 members and I was quite pleased to see the group getting stronger. Still, there was very little I did with the site besides answering the occasional email.
    After contracting a bit of a flame for trying to make 'everyone' like Nala, I reworked the information section to be a bit more permissive. After all, at this point it was still somewhat of a joke that played out simply because my point had been proven. So I made sure that the information included plenty of details, especially things that advised our position as not extolling characters over another exclusively. Another group had popped up at this time that was making it so that prospective members had to hate everything but one character. I wanted to distance myself from this.
    Time passed, and suddenly I was informed that two of my sites had been placed on a list for people to hit and sent to a large community of people. Well, my count jumped from just over 1000 to over 50,000 in the span of a few months. Nalaholics Anonymous had hit the big time. And membership jumped 50%, going from 20 to 30 in that span of time. It was amazing for me to see the guest book filling up with compliments, suggestions, and honors that I had not intentionally had in mind for this place.
    I took it all in stride, but it did begin to make me think. I had set myself up as the Head Administrator of a group for a joke. But there was a fateful day when someone actually asked me why I liked Nala. And it all came out. The fact that I had ALWAYS liked Nala. She was that secondary character that left me craving for more. Beauty and grace surrounded her face and I felt I could follow her almost anyplace. Yes, I was smitten, but it was not a debilitating kind of thing as some people have described it.
    When it got to around 72,000 hits, I decided that it was time to make a move. Nalaholics Anonymous now boasted a strong group of 40 Certified Nalaholics. With my new image skills and a gracious grant from Brian Tiemann, I began the process of rewriting NA for it's move to LK.org. Armed with new life and a new look, NA burst onto the scene once again bigger and badder than ever before. And I was REALLY proud of this site. It has undergone some changes, but altogether it has been a lot of fun, leaving me anxious for the next developments.