Everyone in the modern Vampire sub-culture has their own ideas about what should be done, how it should be done and why. Many of the opinions and feelings on the subject polarize around a specific person, set of people, or around specific groups as being the model for the organization and purpose of the sub-culture.
Perhaps it is one of the drawbacks within the sub-culture that so many of its denizens have more than enough on their plate dealing with life’s ‘dayside’ pressures and demands that, while many people have good ideas, they are rarely able to organize and lead to see them to fruition. Equally, this is probably what leads to a greater level of involvement when someone does step up and put in an extraordinary effort to put something into place, to envision something and to work tirelessly to bring it into being then to continue to work to see it grow and become a strong entity.
One such person is Stefan Resurrectus.
A year ago Stefan stepped forward and launched the ICE initiative. We were fortunate enough to spend some time with him then, and again six months later, publishing his thoughts in the editorial interviews “A new beginning” and “Tip of the ICE-berg”. It was the beginnings of an attempt to bring together a group of long term members of the VC/OVC and forge a “council style” body aimed at uniting through diversity, and which aims at seeking out, and organizing, many independent houses, and members, of the VC/OVC who have much to contribute to the overall benefit of the modern sub-culture.
We have been privileged to enjoy a good working relationship with Stefan and with his organization and we are very happy that he agreed to come back and spend a little time to bring us up to date on what’s been happening with his labour of love.
RVL: Good Evening, Stefan, it’s a great pleasure to catch up with you again. We last did this mid June of last year, we seem to be establishing a bi-annual tradition, no?
SR: It would seem so. (Laughs) How are you? It has been a while and I’m always thrilled to participate.
RVL: So, how’s life treating you at the moment?
SR: To quote Joe Walsh, Life’s been good to me so far. Things are great, both personally and professionally. I can’t complain, and it wouldn’t do any good if I did.
RVL: Now, we’ll understand if you take the 5th on this one but we heard a whisper there might be wedding bells in the air in the not too distant future…hmmmm? Any comment?
SR: (laughs) You’ve been talking to my girlfriend, I see. Seriously, there’s that possibility. We’ve talked but…well, we’ll see.
RVL: Okay, let’s talk a little business shall we? Specifically Clan Resurrectus business. It would seem the re-born Clan has seen a huge growth over the last 6 months?
SR: We’ve seen tremendous growth in just the last two months. In fact, I have been overwhelmed at the amount of people that have approached me to begin a House or to bring their current House/Organization into the Clan. We’re seeing more and more that the concept of knowledge, solidarity and Unity Through Diversity is a goal that many have looked and striven after for quite some time, contrary to the problems we’ve seen in the VC/OVC in the past 30 years. So many people are looking to build something new, that doesn’t include the drama, arguments and mudslinging. All this time we thought we were alone on this; now we are finding out that we’re not.
RVL: …and how many separate Clan Houses/Chapters are there now?
SR: Actually, I just recently received that information because I’ve been far too busy to track it myself. There are currently 22 Houses and Organizations under or affiliated with the Clan banner.
RVL: That’s not just in the United States either, is it?
SR: No, and that’s the beautiful thing. This goal appears to be International. At present, there are 5 Houses and Organizations in Europe and Australia that are a part of the Clan. To be specific, there is a House Resurrectus in Birmingham, England and in Victoria and Sydney Australia. The Manchester Vampire Guild is aligned with the Clan along with Il Tempio Oscuro in Italy.
RVL: What do you attribute this successful growth phase to?
SR: Well, I’d like to say it’s my good looks and charm, but then I look in the mirror. (laughs) Seriously, I think it’s the fact that we have set a precedent. Our philosophy is that we need to be concerned for everyone in our organization. Our leadership takes their time with their members; they teach and cultivate the knowledge and abilities of the members, preparing them to be future leaders. We are a family, not just an organization. We look out for our own, and a lot of people that discuss coming into the Clan and have the opportunity to speak to our members are always amazed at how friendly and supportive we are. For too long, there have been power struggles, politics and despotism in the VC/OVC and a lot of that is still prevalent today. The newly awakened are treated like lepers and the OtherKin are completely left out. The ridiculous feud between sangs and psi’s has continued.
In the Clan, it’s different. I have made it abundantly clear to all Elders and Leaders that I’m not interested in followers, I’m looking for leaders; the next generation that will take over when we abdicate or die. If we don’t teach them now and prepare them for the challenges of being leaders and visionaries, we will continue to have the same problems that have existed and still exist today. In the Clan, we welcome the newly awakened and our OtherKin cousins in order to break down the asinine animosities that have been perpetuated over the decades and learn from each other. More importantly, to COMMUNICATE. That’s the key.
RVL:…and what’s the ongoing strategy to consolidate, strengthen and grow the next step?
SR: Believe it or not, we have put the brakes on temporarily. A lot of people don’t realize how much work is involved in forming or running a House or Organization. It’s important that you take the time to work with the Leaders and members, get to know them, help them get organized, provide training and education and help them be established and grow.
This sudden influx has me busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. (laughs) But, I have a wonderful staff who has really stepped up and taken on a lot of responsibility. I’ve always said I’m more interested in Quality, not Quantity. Because of the quality, the quantity has arrived. It’s important that all the new organizations and their members receive the same attention as the first one did. otherwise, you’re just padding your numbers to make you look good, and nobody likes an egotist. We have enough of those already, no sense in adding to it. But I can say that our members are proud to be part of this Family, this Vision and the Future. Right now, it’s all hands on deck and they have not disappointed.
So many people contact me every day to ask how they can help. We are currently restructuring and finding out what everyone’s talents and strengths are so we can put them to work. The important part is everyone is eager and excited to help with the growth. Now, does this mean that I wouldn’t accept a new House or Organization? Absolutely not. 95% of our Houses are voluntary, not solicited. But as we are a Family, I would not turn away anyone who wishes to be a part or us, except if those parties have been problematic to the VC/OVC as a whole. One thing we won’t do is allow such behavior to infiltrate or be affiliated with us. Let’s face it, there are a lot of individuals and organizations that have done nothing but cause trouble or become “drama whores.” We don’t want that and we don’t want to put anyone else through those types of situations that many of us have had to deal with in our respective journeys. The Clan is a safe place. If we concentrate on the important issues and continue to be true to our vision, the growth will always be there.
SR: Absolutely. ICE continues to grow, albeit not quite like the Clan mainly because they have mutually exclusive goals but similar philosophies. The concept of a vampiric United Nations has definitely begun to catch on and become quite popular. So much so, we have opened our doors to the OtherKin community, specifically the Wolves at this point. As ICE is more of a political venue, the growth is different. However, the growth has still been tremendous. ICE restructured in January and the results of that have made it far more “user friendly” and appealing to many. It’s definitely made my job a lot easier (laughs).
RVL: We understand that you are also in touch with several international parties as well, without blowing any company secrets, in which countries are you engaged in dialogue?
SR: Not at all. It’s not exactly proprietary. We currently have members and contacts in England, Italy, France, and Australia. We are making strides to reach out to Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Greece and hopefully in time to our brothers and sisters in the former Soviet Union. The response in Europe has been tremendous. We are also looking to Canada for contacts and representatives.
RVL: So, in effect the ICE/Clan network is now on the verge of becoming a multi-national, dare I say global, entity?
SR: It’s funny. If you recall in our last chat, I joked about having an “ICE Europe.” That’s now a reality. ICE has a European base out of England with Malcaius Davion as Executive Director with Tania and Andrew Liddle as Directors and coordinators there. The growth of the Clan and ICE overseas has been wonderfully unexpected, but I can honestly say that both organizations are very much a part of the growing International Community. Global? (laughs) Well, maybe in time. There’s a lot of work to be done before anything like that happens, but who knows?
RVL: That must make you feel pretty good about everything as compared to six months ago?
SR: (sighs) Well, yes. It’s hard to say I “feel good” or am “proud.” To be honest, I’m satisfied. I have personally put in thousands of hours into this effort, and if I add on the staff we’re probably into the 10,000 realm. It feels good in the sense of this being a labor of love. When I came back almost two years ago, I was aghast of how fragmented we were. It was sad, really, how ego and desire to be in power or at the very least be recognized had become the driving force of so many. What really makes me feel good is to just be the “fly on the wall” for some of the conversations between our members and see them form those close relationships, laugh together, support each other in dark times and help each other move forward without any thought for recognition or laud. I’m privy to the fact that some of our members have been financially strapped, without food or money for utilities and to see the members come together and help their brothers and sisters is the end result of all these labors. That’s what this all about, being a family.
RVL: What other plans have you got in mind for the development of the ICE/Clan network at this stage?
SR: Wow, good question. We are currently looking to register both organizations as 501c3 charitable organizations, which is a fairly lengthy process. The paperwork alone will drive you crazy. We are in development of a new website that will not just be for the Clan or for ICE, but for their allies which are forming a new Nation, it would seem. We will continue to reach out through Facebook, but we feel that there are too many security concerns there, plus there’s still just too much drama.
We want to create a true safe place for all that wish to learn and grow with us to come and be free of much of the old rivalries that still exist today. The Clan itself is trying an experiment by opening a store online for merchandise with the proceeds going back into the Clan itself to help those that are in need and to provide funds to develop the website and have events to reach out in person whenever possible. Based on that, we will consider adding ICE to the products available. Again, the idea is to generate funds to help our own, not line pockets. We are looking into having events in cities where we have Houses and Organizations to promote them and the Clan/ICE as a whole, and have a lot of fun in the process. Other ideas are on the drawing boards, but not being mentioned until all details are worked out.
RVL: If we can divert for a moment, could we discuss some rumors that have circulated concerning yourself, ICE and the Clan? It’s been circulated that you and your organizations are elitist and are not allowing many to become a part of ICE or the Clan for various reasons?
SR: (Sighs) I have heard everything about myself through rumor. Apparently I’m a Necromancer cursing people or hiring people to put curses on people, I’m bloodthirsty, a tyrant trying to unseat other leaders or destroy other Organizations, I’m trying to unbalance some mythical balance of power in the VC, and many others that are so ridiculous that I won’t bother to list them. Apparently, I’m a lot more powerful and important that I ever thought (laughs).
Actually, I’m glad you asked this question because personally, I’m a little sick and tired of it. Most of the people that make accusations like this have been either rejected in their application to join or are perpetrators themselves. Let me be clear, I am FAR too busy taking care of ICE and Clan business to really pay attention to rumors or innuendos. Any leader, and I don’t care how good they are, have detractors. Perhaps it’s fear or jealousy or some other mitigating factor that motivates these types of rumors, I personally don’t know. It doesn’t matter how much good you try to do, someone is watching everything and trying to sling mud at what you’re doing to make themselves feel better.
We’re not perfect, and there have been problems in the past up to and including a particularly vindictive person instigating rumors between myself and another leader, up to and including instigating a conversation in a Council meeting to make moves against them. While there was nothing that was particularly said of a defamatory or incendiary fashion, there were innuendos made by certain members on the subject, though not by myself. Guess who bore the brunt of it when this person violated protocol? Needless to say, this person and the persons who made the comments are no longer a part of this organization in any fashion. However, what was given out was enough to cause a rift between me and this person and they will not speak with me in a diplomatic sense or otherwise. This is a problem, but I’m a great believer that time heals all wounds. People that infiltrate to cause these types of problems are not worth my time.
We all make mistakes in word and deed, but when things happen nobody remembers the good you’ve done or will do; they judge you on the moment alone. There’s and old saying, “A Million atta-boy’s can be wiped out with one oh-shit.” This is true. We are a suspicious and judgmental people as it is. If you get into a position of authority, it’s doubled.
There are “leaders” in the VC/OVC that are rapists, sex traffickers, liars, thieves, used-car salesmen using smokescreens to hide their true intentions, drug traffickers, hackers, fakirs…the list is endless. I am usually very open about who I am and what goals I have. But seriously, if you’re going to listen to a rumor, consider the source. You’ll find in most cases, the source is the problem not the person the rumor is about.
RVL: Some pretty straight shooting there Sir, do you think that these matters are “common” knowledge within the VC/OVC and, if so, why do you think things have been allowed to get to such a point by the general population of the VC/OVC?
SR: Let me be very specific in my answer that I am not referring to all the leaders we have. There are some very good and honorable people serving as Elders and Leaders, and I affiliate with many of them. And let me also say that these are leaders that are NOT part of the Clan or ICE. I believe a great deal of this is shared knowledge, not common knowledge. And how do things get to that sort of level? How did the Nazi’s have crematoriums in the heart of many German cities and nobody question? It happens over time, smokescreens, secrets and intimidation.
The problem is no evidence, at least no hard evidence. Also, nobody wants to be “that person” who makes the situation known for fear of backlash. I don’t blame them. But that’s also not my focus. My focus is for us to move beyond all that. The VC/OVC was not always like this, and it’s too far down the line to change it now. You don’t lay a foundation in quicksand The same goes for this. You find a good foundation and you build, or rebuild, from that. I recently read an article that was well done with a few exceptions that concluded that the arguments and confrontations in the VC are the most effective way to affect change. I have to call bullshit on that one. Arguing, mudslinging and being underhanded are not the ways to settle anything. Reaching common ground and coming to compromise is the only way things can be settled, a compromise being defined as an agreement where neither side really gets what they want. The problem is nobody wants to compromise and everyone thinks they’re right. It’s sad, but laughable really.
RVL: We understand, also, that you will be making a trip ‘up country’ in April?
SR: It is confirmed, I will be in attendance at the Iron Garden in Newark, NJ on April 24th. I will be one of the keynote speakers, and of course my subject will be Unity Through Diversity. I hope to see some of you there, and I encourage you to attend any of them if and whenever you can. I think Iron Garden is a great endeavour.
RVL: …and if people wanted to enquire about membership in Clan Resurrectus, or with ICE, where would the best places to go be?
SR: Until the new site is completed, Facebook is still the primary location. People can contact me as Stefan Henderson (because Facebook is full of idiots that make us change our names to fit their mold), Tim North, Marmoon Bey, Tania or Andrew Liddle, Malcaius Davion, Aubbie Hart or Suzanne Wilson. You can also contact our official Ambassadors, David and Sheryl Bock, who will be traveling the US starting in May and can also be contacted for a personal meeting to be scheduled when they’re in your State/City.
RVL: What does Clan Resurrectus offer to those who might be looking for a stable, informative and peaceful environment in the OVC?
SR: Quite simply, Family and Unity. When/If you join the Clan, you’re not just part of an organization or a number, you’re family. People will seek you out to get to know you, talk with you, look out for you or, if needed, counsel you if you are in need. We look out for our own. I’ve gotten so close to so many, I know them, their personal families, their children. We help each other on all levels, not just the community. We truly care about our members.
RVL: In the main then the ICE/Clan network is; in your estimation, reaching out and growing strongly?
SR: Both are growing with a life of their own. In the beginning, we would reach out and there were only a few we could reach at the time. As we’ve grown, people reach out to us. And each time, we’re there. The strength is in our members, I can say that unreservedly. We have fantastic leaders, don’t get me wrong, but I have watched each one of our members step up and reach out to everyone they can. It’s truly amazing. I’m honored to be a part of all this.
RVL: Thanks for your time, Stefan. As I say, always a pleasure and we’ll keep an ear out for any ‘wedding announcements’ yes?
SR: (laughs) Well, you’ll at least be the second to hear. If I make a decision without telling my girlfriend first, we’ll need a new head for all this. It’s always a pleasure and I hope that we can do an update in the near future to announce our new site and our store. Great things are afoot.
It is heartening to see that over the course of a little over a year, Stefan’s ardour has not dampened but rather remains strong and resilient in the face of criticism and controversy. As he has said before, ICE, and hence Clan Resurrectus, are not going to go away. In fact they are aiming at growth, strong, steady and sustainable growth and within that growth to be able to outstrip the mores of the “old” manner of things and create something new and better from it.
Any effort aimed at quelling the chaos, at improving the benefits, and calming the general uproar, must be welcomed by anyone who is serious in their claim of caring anything for the modern vampire sub-culture and, with a steady influx of people who form the “disenchanted” population of the modern sub-culture, the prospects for ICE and Clan Resurrectus would seem to be strong for coming out as major entity in the forthcoming years. As Stefan mentioned, one of the keys is “communication”, the other, “Unity Through Diversity.”
Copyright RVL, Stefan Resurrectus, ICE and Clan Resurrectus 2015
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