Thanks for the reply, I never thought of those as inner joins.
I did notice the contradiction on the f alias however which I'm not sure what the idea was behind that.
I was able to track down exactly where that query was being created, which was in a function to determine the degree of separation between two members. We don't need or utilize that functionality so for the time being I simply commented the query out of the function, out of sight out of mind for now. At least this way if for some reason that functionality is needed down the road I can simply rewrite the query then.
Just from curiosity, I realize joins usually perform better than subqueries, but in this case would subqueries make sense over how this was written?