Presented by: Tim
Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Speech, how often have we heard or read these phrases? Do we understand, completely, what they mean and what they infer?
Are they guaranteed freedoms regardless of consequence? Are they freedoms that come with duties and responsibilities in exercising them?
The Business Dictionary, online, reads:
Freedom of expression
Right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing, and other forms of communication but without deliberately causing harm to others’ character and/or reputation by false or misleading statements. Freedom of press is part of freedom of expression.
One organisation that has launched a new initiative in the arena of “Freedom of Expression” is House Rakoczy. We were recently privileged to be able to put a number of questions to the head of House Rakoczy, and Magister of the Twilight Lodge of House Rakoczy, Mephistopheles.
Mephistopheles is a founding Council Member and Director of the New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA), a nonprofit corporation that does both charitable and educational outreach. He is a published author, teacher, and ordained minister. His disciplines include the martial arts and sciences, ceremonial magick, and practical alchemy.
RVN: Welcome to Real Vampire News may we first ask, Mephistopheles is your preferred introduction, is it not?
M: I have been known by many names. It comes with the territory and the need to be free from unnecessary attachments in the longer lives that our kind live. I currently go by the name Mephistopheles.
RVN: What is the Group/ Site name and Web Address for House Rakoczy?
M: houseoftwilight.com is the official website of House Rakoczy.
RVN: And who is the owner or founding member of the house?
M: Janos Rakoczy is the official founder of House Rakoczy.
RVN: May we ask, what is the owner’s status, or self-identification?
RVN: Who is, or are the Chief administrator/s of House Rakoczy
RVN: Where are the members from, in the main?
M: Members and lodges of House Rakoczy are located in Hungary, Brazil, Japan, and the United States of America (in many states). We welcome our Brothers and Sisters wherever they may reside.
RVN: Why did the concept for, and the establishment of, the group occur?
M: We identified a need for information and specifically the history, rituals, and practices of our bloodline to be made available to those who feel they may be or are Upyre.
RVN: What is the group, and their website’s, purpose and philosophy?
M: To offer information and a forum for all to discuss the life and culture of our race.
RVN: Regarding your intended audience ~ who does the group/website cater for?
M: All in the community, of any stripe.
RVN: And what major events have occurred over the group lifetime, or recently?
M: Recently, we began a strong effort to encourage freedom of speech within the OVC/VC via our new Facebook page. This page is for all in the community and/or those who support this important freedom.
In the near future, House Rakoczy’s Testament of Shadows (TOS) will be released to the public. The TOS is a grimoire of lore and empowerment. It is our gift to the community
RVN: What development work, or strategy, is planned for the growth and expansion of the site?
M: House members will be contributing their own material to the website soon.
RVN: What else would you like to tell people about the group and website?
M: Please visit our latest outreach to the community and post your comments on www.facebook.com/Vampyresforfreedomofexpression.
RVN: In closing we would like to express our great appreciation, and thank Mephistopheles for joining us today and giving us this insight into House Rakoczy and their latest endeavours.
M: I thank you for the opportunity this interview represents.
Yours in the Blood,
Head of House Rakoczy, Magister of the Twilight Lodge
The Facebook page that our guest, Mephistopheles, referred to is the new initiative Vampyres for Freedom of Expression.
Their homepage carries the following message:
“The Vampyres for Freedom of Expression page is for those who agree vampyres have the right to practice and promote any philosophy whether nontheistic or theistic, occult-based or nonoccult-based, or religion-based, including vampyrism-based religion. This page is an outreach of House Rakoczy as we are devoted to the ideal that vampyres are a free people and deserve the same constitutional right of freedom of expression as any other US citizen.”
The intent, behind the initiative, is that the expression of one’s beliefs and philosophies should be free of attack, slur, harassment or insult and indeed, this principle embodies the right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States constitution and, in essence, also agrees with the opinion of Justice oliver wendell holmes jr. (March 8, 1841 – March 6, 1935) who felt that the Constitution allows some restrictions on speech under certain circumstances. To illustrate this point, Holmes wrote, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic” (schenck v. united states, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 ).
This stance on freedom of expression is one that today is shared by the majority, both of lay people and jurists.
The Vampyres for Freedom of Expression initiative is a new and very important step in creating a place in the online vampyre community where real vampyres can express themselves and their beliefs without being concerned over negative, argumentative, combative, insulting and degrading comments from those who do not share their point of view. In Vampyres for Freedom of Expression, House Rakoczy have undertaken an important initiative that delivers anew the messages of tolerance, acceptance and community values.
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