|“||Welcome. You have come here seeking answers. Now the darkness will turn to light.||„|
|~ The Flock of the Grey Shepherd|
The Flock of the Grey Shepherd, also known as "The Flock", is a strange secret cult of men and women wearing dog suits resembling a grey Australian Labradoodle canine (the same breed as the titular dog Wilfred) who held major importance in the TV show Wilfred.
The cult is hinted to be of some connection with Wilfred. The cult is also connected to Ryan Newman's father, Henry "Hank" Newman, as he was the lawyer for the cult's presiding founder and leader, Charles Smith.
The Flock of the Grey Shepherd gained a small amount of the world's attention for a few years, though not enough to be listed on the Internet archives because it was described as "stupid" by brilliant psychiatrist Doctor Grummons who evaluated their case before using cult psychology and even animal studies to understand the cult and their "way of life". One thing for certain is that they have deep sense of duality, joy and pain, good and evil, right and wrong.
The Flock of the Grey Shepherd was a community in California based around the "Dog Gods" of their belief system; the wise Dog God by the name of Mataman and the trickster Dog God Krungle. The Symbol acts as their logo in a sort.
Catherine Newman and her older daughter Kristen were taken in by the cult's leader, Charles Smith. It is revealed that Ryan was once born in this community and as such has many memories regarding the cult's traditions and rituals.
Later, Henry Newman becomes Charles Smith's attorney to help him with his tax evasions and is eventually blackmailed by Shane, one of the members, to pay money otherwise he will expose Charles as still living, as he told Henry to tell Catherine he had died in prison.
The Flock was slowly dissolved over the years since Ryan's birth, though their gained new followers including the 3 teenage children including one skinny boy whose grandfather was part of the cult. And as for Charles Smith who is now living a secluded and healthy life, he was no mere con-artist nor a psychopathic zealot, he admitted it was all made up because he was mentally ill (a sickness inherited by Ryan Newman which made him sees the dog Wilfred as a talking canine humanoid creature) and to keep himself from being institutionalized and locked in a padded-wall room was to have faith in one true god and to live off pharmaceuticals. He, like many of his former followers, was searching for some meaning and happiness in their lives.
Dog GodsThe Dog Gods are the only two deities who were the central belief within the Flock's religion, rituals and community. While Mataman brought happiness, Krungle brought ruin, the two look physically identical and as such there is no true way in telling the difference aside from the affects they have on one's life.
Mataman is introduced to Ryan and Wilfred through the 3 Flock members, revealed as a divine humanoid/canine figure who would come to the "Chosen One" and lead him to infinite happiness.
Introduced by psychologist Dr. Grummons, Krungel is the trickster deity within the Flock's religion. Commonly found in other sources of mythology, a trickster is described as: a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour. Krungle is said to be Mataman's twin, as the two appear physically the same. However, while Mataman's purpose was to bring the Chosen One to happiness Krungle's was quite the opposite, as he known for sabotaging people's lives and bringing them to ruin.
The Flock of the Grey Shepherd practiced many of unusual ceremonial rites within their relatively benign community. One of these ceremonies was the "Feasts of Carnality" (as explained by Ryan Newman's mother Catherine), a series of bizarre fertility rituals where everyone, after consuming much mescal and dandelion wine, would dance and mate with one another to give birth to new children of the Flock. It is said that one child after the feasts, would be born with the "gift" to see Mataman and Krungle and become the cult's Chosen One and their prophet leading people en on the path to happiness.
Another rite within the Flock's religion is the "Visitation Ritual", an odd "rite of passage" for newcomers and future devotees to be welcomed to entering the cult by first dressing up in gray Australian Labradoodle dog costumes and dance and chant.
The Symbol"The Symbol", as it is simply called, is an enigmatic symbol that played a significant importance in the Wilfred universe.
The Symbol is found on the Drawing underneath the "Blue Barn".
It is revealed by the 3 teenage members of the Flock of the Grey Shepherd that the Symbol is actually their very own insignia and part of their religion.
The Drawing"The Drawing" is a picture that Wilfred finds in the basement from Ryan Newman's childhood that has Wilfred drawn on it.
Wilfred accuses Ryan of knowing the truth behind the drawing, but Ryan knows nothing. After Amanda reveals what she did, Wilfred tells Ryan he drew the picture, to make Ryan feel like he is in control. Ryan discovers a picture that his mom had given him proves that The Drawing is from his childhood soon after. Ryan later finds out that his sister Kristen was actual the one who drew it. He had only drawn the blue barn.
Blue BarnThe Blue Barn is a mysertious blue-colored barn that has been repeatedly seen throughout the Wilfred series and has some kind of meaning and symbolism behind the Drawing.
It first appeared as a portrait. It later appears on the Drawing that Wilfred found. A strange symbol is behind the barn on the drawing, which Ryan later discovers. It appears in full in Amends, where Wilfred pushes Ryan off the top floor down to three evil versions of Wilfred, before Ryan wakes up from this strange nightmare.
- Charles Smith - Founder and President of the Flock of the Grey Shepherd.
- Catherine Newman - Former member of the Flock who stayed with the cult alongsideher daughter Kristen for 3 years.
- Bill - A Native American man who was one of the Flock's community elders and the grower of the finest kush weed in all of California.
- Theo - A photographer who was both one of the Flock's community elders a d their own historian.
- Evan - One of the Flock's community elders who was described by. Harles Smith as their "liaison with outside world".
- Shane - A member of the Flock. Though Shane is seen briefly in Wilfred, he plays a huge part of the story. He blackmails Henry for over 30 years and Ryan's memory of Shane portraying Krungle in The Flock rituals is what caused his image to be projected onto Bruce, as Bruce is just a projection from Ryan's mind. He is described as a troublemaker, having been blackmailing the lawyer Henry Newman for 30 years over Charles Smith still being alive.
- Richard - A member of the Flock. Though Richard is never physically seen in Wilfred, he plays a huge part of the story. Ryan's memory of Richard portraying Mataman in The Flock rituals is what caused his image to be projected onto Wilfred which is why Ryan sees Wilfred as Richard in a dog suit.Because Richard was likely the most devoted of the cult, out of all the members, he probably treated Ryan with the most respect as a child, due to Charles saying Ryan was the Chosen One. Because of this and because Richard who dress in a dog suit, it is possible this is the reason Ryan sees Wilfred the way he does.It is possible he had an Australian accent because Ryan pictures Wilfred as having one. However, it is unknown if this is true or not. Richard was regarded as an extremely preachy prick who often told people how to live their lives. This relates to Wilfred, who often functions as an abrasive conscience who uses Ryan in mind games while at the same time giving him advice.
- Many of the cult's members have been manifested by Ryan in his mind and became new characters along Ryan's journey.
- Wilfred, in the end, is not directly connected to the group. However, the appearance Ryan manifests for Wilfred (Man In A Dog Suit) is based off of the appearance of Richard, one of the members who would act out Mataman's part in rituals.
- Richard is portrayed by Jason Gann who also played the titular character Wilfred throughout the show.
- Mataman (not to be confused with the Japanese town Matama) is is a play on the name of actor Matt Damon who played the fallen angel Loki in the supernatural comedy movie Dogma.
- Bill is portrayed by Gil Birmingham and Theo by Brad Dourif of Child's Play fame, while Evan was portrayed by an unnamed and uncredited actor.
- Shane/Bruce is portrayed by Billy Baldwin.