Dissertatio de solutione huius civitatis
Welcome to 2016. For some weeks I have been mulling over how to write this first Crossroads article for this year, mulling over not only how to write it but also why. How can we describe the sub-culture of 2015? How can we assess the impact and the efficacy of the construct? What can we learn from last year, a year that was, by any measure, a tough one.
I started by looking back over 2015, looking back over what has actually happened, looking over the commentaries, some of the opinions, some of the discussions that were held at the RVL Social Group. I suppose you might call it a sort of, “2015 – The year that was” exercise, and then the mind automatically jumps to the obvious question, “Was what?”
Everybody, or very nearly everybody, is well aware of the history of the VC/OVC; the chronology of the formation and growth, the stages of growth that the fledgling society of modern living vampires navigated to arrive, ultimately, at last year.
1966 – Anne de Molay establishes the Order of Maidenfear.
1969 – Creation of ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet.
1975 – The Order of The Vampyre is founded by priests of the Church of Satan.
1976 – House Sahjaza is formed in New York City.
1989 – The secretive; international, Temple of The Vampire (ToV) is founded.
1993 – The Sanguinarium is founded by Father Sebastian Todd. This leads to the establishment of the Ordo Strigoi Vii.
1997 – The “Long Black Veil & the Vampyre Lounge” events began on the second Wednesday of each month at the legendary MOTHER nightclub in New York City. “The Black Veil” document is authored, it was written as a code of conduct for patrons of the vampyre haven, “Long Black Veil”, in New York City.
Also, in the Northern Spring of 1997 the first webpage of Sanguinarius.org appeared.
1999 – Sphynxcat’s Real Vampires Support Page is established on the internet and the website Vampire-church.com was first registered in April.
2000 – COVICA, a council of collected elders from different traditions, again revised the Black Veil. It was at this time that the publication gained widespread popularity and was translated into Portuguese, German and Spanish. It was also distributed as the “13 Rules of the Community”.
Thirty-four years to build into a much needed resource, a place of guidance and support, and an avenue of communications for the myriad scattered individuals who considered themselves to be markedly different from the ordinary human being but; in a great many cases, didn’t know why. The ideologies and the needs were recognized and the structures were put in place to provide a social framework for the human living vampyre population… a little over three decades of effort, growth, organization and “reaching out” to each other, so, looking back at 2015 I asked myself, “It took thirty-four years to develop, where have we arrived at in the intervening fifteen?”
Tell me something, do you sometimes lean back from the computer with a stricken expression, yell “medic” and wish you could be ‘medi-vacked’ away from the infernal machine?
img source: “Platoon” – Hemdale Film (presents) & Cinema 86 (uncredited)
Do you spend time at the computer and feel like one of those who DIDN’T make it out of the “Event Horizon”?
img source: “Event Horizon” – Golar Productions, Impact Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Do you often get the feeling that you’re in the cast of Mad Max 2?
img source: “Mad Max 2” (The Road Warrior 2) – Kennedy Miller Entertainment (made by) (as A KENNEDY MILLER ENTERTAINMENT Production also) Kennedy Miller Productions
Then I know what you’ve been doing, you’ve been hanging around the VC/OVC…
Any social or cultural entity needs to be able to rely on certain dynamics to become better, to become stronger and sustainable. At the April 2013 “Dialogue of Civilizations” in Guatemala City, Guatemala, representatives from the U.S., U.K., Egypt, India, China, Taiwan, and Guatemala met to discuss the patterns of establishment, development and eventual dissolution of civilisations. Indian delegate, and author, Sadashivan Nair noted;
“Strong cultural and religious growth play important role for a strong society, gives strong identity to one society which initiates other small societies to join or bigger population of same society who follow their ideology. Thus a large and strong society is established.”
I would venture to suggest that over the last fifteen years the modern living vampire sub-culture has not enjoyed such strength, has not enjoyed such growth and has not enjoyed the benefits of being able to develop into a, “large and strong society”, indeed, the whole seems to be more fragmented now than at any other time I can remember since coming to the web, the OVC and beginning to interact with, and observe, the VC at work in around 2002.
The sub-culture of the modern living vampire is reminiscent, now, of a veritable post-apocalyptic landscape in which leaders of small bands of outcasts, nomads and survivors have created camps to which the people who feel they can trust only a small number have gravitated. Maximum security measures are put in place for the safety and the peace of mind of the members of these “cyber-gypsy” camps but in the end analysis the entire construct has reverted to the “wasteland” from which it was born. Even the larger, almost iconic organisations of the modern VC/OVC struggle to maintain integrity and direction in the face of internal pressures. Groups that were established on high ideals and given hundreds of hours of tending and nurturing by their owners and officers have fallen prey to, and I quote, “bitching”, “in-fighting”, “sniping”, “back biting”, “B.S.” and “Drama” or they have, and again I quote, “stalled due to B.S. and drama.”
There are a couple of points I’d like to make here, firstly, B.S. and “drama” can only exist where they are permitted to exist. What’s the old saying, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” ~ rather apt I think, don’t you?
The second point, “drama” is “a composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue or pantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character, especially one intended to be acted on the stage, or, alternatively, the branch of literature having such compositions as its subject; dramatic art or representation.”
What we have, by the bucket-load is NOT drama it is “stupidity”, plain and simple and until we can find an answer to “stupid” then we are going to keep following the same well-worn trails and pathways that keep us circulating between an ever growing number of camps with a finite number of credible people.
Some of the self-inflicted problems of 2015, in fact, beggared belief. We saw social media accounts being “hacked” and private messages taken away, commercial websites of people in the sub-culture hacked and torn down… websites that form part of their income and livelihood. Salacious reports of allegations of immoral and predatory, if not criminal, activities from New Orleans, drug addicted wannabe blackmailers hijacking websites and turning them into “hate sites”, sociopathic sycophantic mundanes trolling every single group or organization they could get near for the sole purpose of creating and spreading chaos and ill-feeling. Great Houses and Courts torn apart by internal intrigues and politics, personal betrayals by persons of not only ill-repute but dubious personal histories. We have witnessed death threats, including pictures of bullets with people’s names written on a piece of paper that the round was lying on posted…
img source – en.wikipedia.org
Death threats? REALLY? Is that what we built this for? Is this what we come to it for?
Add to this the fact that on an ever expanding front we, as a sub-culture, have been exposed, whether we wanted to be or not. Media outlets ranging from ABC News & Radio, Anchorage Press (Alaska, USA) the BBC (U.K.) Buffalo News (New York, USA) The Christian Science Monitor, El Mundo (Spain) Excelsior (Mexico) The Express Tribune Magazine (Pakistan) FAST Online (Germany) FATE Magazine, FOX 8 News (Ohio, USA) the India Times, the Irish Examiner, Men’s Health Magazine, the Miami Herald, Newsweek, New York Daily News, Psychology Today, The Guardian, Urban Magazine (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the Washington Post have carried commentaries about us.
Make no mistake, we have been “outed”, we have been made public property and have been held up to public scrutiny in an ever widening circle and you know what the funny thing is, I don’t recall anyone asking me if it was okay to do that for me… however, since it’s been, and is being, done wouldn’t it be interesting to get a real gauge of how people outside of, and not involved or in contact with, the sub-culture regard modern human living vampires? What do you suppose the reactions might be?
“La-push” copyright L Oburn
So, we must also weigh in the fact that along with all the dangerous and potentially harmful events that occurred during 2015, the fact that somewhere, in some place, someone, or a group of someone’s, has decided that their agenda; be it personal, commercial or whatever, supersedes the discretion required to keep the members of our sub-culture safe and “out of harm’s way”. Indeed, we only have to look to the continual flow of requests that we received at RVL, such as;
Hello there,im from ******** ,Macedonia. i wanna turn into a vampire.How can i be one? just reply to my email,and we will discuss further”
Or, more disturbing,
“I would give up my life to become one of you, please tell me what to do?”
Let me pose the obvious question here, because you can be sure no one else will – what if someone does take their own life, or worse allow someone else to do so, in the false belief that they can actually become what we are? Who would be responsible?
Now, there are people who are going to cry “foul”, people who are going to bleat about “everything being fine”, people who are going to insist, “well, we’re no different to any other segment of society,” and beyond our borders people who think that “these people who say they are vampires are real, are crazy and dangerous”
Are we going to sleep easily at night? Telling ourselves that people who don’t or can’t understand, even after we have “advertised” our existence, are just plain nuts? – THAT, folks, IS B.S.
Another interesting phenomena that rose to some prominence in 2015 was the concept of having an organization that went about collecting “evidence” of wrongdoing by members of the sub-culture. Collecting “evidence” and archiving each little bit to build, presumably, a case against particular persons. The problem becomes that when “gossip”, “rumour” and “conjecture” are melded together with personal animosities and snippets of conversations edited to provide the lynchpins in the “chain of evidence” then it ceases to become a “watchdog” and becomes more akin to a “hanging court” that has no mandate, no jurisdictional right and no authority; a hanging court that promotes allegations of ‘culpable negligence’ in the death of others and in the process it simply becomes a hate group ruled by personal bias and hidden agenda.
A relative latecomer to the scene may prove to be a good start in picking up on those, “few bad apples” that we are constantly hearing about. The formation of a new resource to provide, what the organization terms, “Community Wide Warnings” about individuals but being very new it is not yet clear how the mechanics of the process work. A representative of the resource says, of the project;
“The main objective of the Directory, which again is renamed. Real Vampyre Directory. Is to inform others of a location to find covens, groups, courts, houses, and events that take place in our side of the community. It is strictly to inform those listed of other communities. It also from time to time serves the purpose of warning those that are a threat to the communities in one form or another.”
The representative goes on to explain;
“This **** ***** has surfaced once, and so far no further information is being reported on. This could easily be a case of one lone individual who seems to know what is best in someone else’s eyes. Nothing more, unless more information is provided or worked upon, nothing will come of it. This also requires victims and survivors to come forward and speak about it in a private setting. To be ensured they are protected. The archive provides this in its settings. Unless survivors come forward and are willing to explain the details, much of it is personal in nature. We as a group cannot move forward, we are limited. One transgression is hardly anything more than a complaint. Unless others are willing to discuss such matters,”
img source: “Fallout” series by Interplay Entertainment
An example of the standard “inertia”, or rather, “negative inertia”, has already been recognized some years back. The concept was very neatly summed up in the following statement;
“We’re generally growing older as a community faster than we’re replacing with new participants who are willing to stick around – that and they often perceive less areas where they can contribute so there is a net – negative matriculation effect.” 
It is a situation that can’t be avoided, it is, in fact, a situation that I had addressed some time back while I was still a member of the VCMB, and still trying to muster interest/care about the documented situation of declining activity.
At this juncture I’ll ask another two obvious questions, “Are we letting the RIGHT ones in?”, and, “Are we tending our own backyard in an acceptable manner that supports aiming for acceptance outside our sub-culture?”
2016 needs to be, in essence, a retrospective and introspective year. We need to step back and look at the whole picture. It’s all there before us in glorious living colour – mostly centered around social media.
Are we going to continue on the same path we have been travelling until the sub-culture becomes completely overwhelmed and dissolute?, what are positive things that have happened, within the sub-culture, during 2015?, can we look to a better quality of interaction, personal conduct and even personal effort in 2016?
Everything that I’ve put down in this editorial is verifiable, IT’S ALL OUT THERE – just do a bit of searching, a bit of looking around, talk to others… for every example I’ve used I’m sure you can come up with half a dozen others but I think, for me, a very recent single post that was made on Facebook; a post at once succinct and deeply indicative of the attitude that is spreading among a great many members of the sub-culture made me think long and hard. I quote;
“The VC it seems is crumbling. Fix your madness”
Can we? Can we fix the madness that seems to have taken root within the VC/OVC? Can we eradicate it? Limit it to a minor annoyance? Cure it? What do you think dear reader?
During this year at RVL we are going to continue being observers and commentators, we are going to be, as is our preference, neutral and unaffiliated presenters and interested onlookers. We are going to expand our operation and our new 2016 team members will be looking for events, happenings and occurrences which we will investigate, interview, evaluate and present commentary and editorials on, so, if you want to read about good stuff feel free to send in your suggestions, if you want to tell of nefarious goings on, go ahead, tell us about it and all-in-all perhaps we can paint the WHOLE picture, including, perhaps, the “Unicorns, rainbows and candy-floss version” that some would have us admiring.
The only thing I can possibly add to that is, as I wind up the writing of this editorial, I have been thinking long and hard about what song we could use as the “national anthem” for the VC/OVC in its present incarnation. The best one I could find was…
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