“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890)
It has long been considered, and expressed by many, that the modern vampire “community” is in need of a unified and accountable body to enable the development and improvement of the “community”.
Many surveys, recent and contemporary, have revealed that the majority of the participants in the sub-culture long for some measure of respectability and calm to reign rather than the fragmented and fractious construct that exists as we know it.
The International Council of Elders is the brainchild of one man who has been, in the past, deeply involved in the so-called “community” and, like many other senior people, chose to walk away for a time. The International Council of Elders is being inspired, and spearheaded, by Stefan Resurrectus, the former, and now again, patriarch of Clan Resurrectus.
We caught up with Stefan recently and asked if he would spare some time expounding on his vision, his hopes and the inspiration behind the re-formation of Clan Resurrectus and the formation of I.C.E.
RVL: Good evening Stefan, welcome and thank you for your time.
S: Thank you for having me, always a pleasure.
RVL: I think, firstly, for those who don’t know you we might start with a little of the history of Stefan Resurrectus?
S: Very good. As with many, I have traits of our condition as a child, my earliest memories being around 6. As I grew, I noticed many traits that I associated with vampirism, at the time I was very unsure. This was in the days before internet and the area I lived in was rural so there wasn’t anyone I could consult with on the subject. At age 18 the condition deepened until I had my awakening at 19. Very disconcerting, I assure you. With the advent of the internet, I began searching and officially became part of the OVC in 1998.
RVL: What made you “step away” from the “community” when you did?
S: Stepping away from the community was a difficult decision Things were very shaky then, and I was making strides to communicate offline to other Elders and make alliances. I had two small children then and a wife who didn’t see eye to eye with me on my position. I stepped away to be with my children primarily. I would occasionally check in to see how things were doing, but my involvement was minimal.
RVL: …and when, and why, did you make the decision to return?
S: I decided to come back by draw. The marriage failed and wasn’t pretty. I made a conscious decision that I was happiest when I was with my brothers and sisters. Upon returning, I noticed that most of the boards were gone, so I took a chance on fb and discovered that’s where everyone was.
RVL: You have been quite busy for several months now in creating and consolidating the foundations of the International Council of Elders, or I.C.E., what were the main factors behind your decision to follow this path?
S: Well, upon looking at things, I was appalled. The thought of the VC/OVC actually growing up and doing something with itself was there, but I saw everything to the contrary. I began seeking out other Elders who could explain to me what the hell was going on. I discovered that the Elders had basically walked away or were turning a blind eye to the debauchery and adolescent behaviour that was now prevalent. Other Elders began contacting me when they discovered I had returned and we began a loose association and friendship, discussing day to day matters. The concept of ICE came out of these conversations.
RVL: What are the main objectives of I.C.E.?
S: The main objectives of ICE are to bring unity, understanding, mentorship and some form of standardization of information available to all around the globe. There is a plethora of misinformation out there. Conversely, there is a great deal of valid information, but in order to access much of that you have to pay, which many find reprehensible. There are newly awakened that have no clue whatsoever of who and what they are. ICE is there to help teach and guide. Also, ICE is there to build alliances between Elders and organizations who share the same goals, to provide a place where issues can be discussed and solutions can be discussed to help out in the local areas, while also allowing the Elders and members to learn from each other and form new friendships and alliances.
RVL: Why does our so-called “community” need the sort of things I.C.E. can offer?
S: Quite frankly, ICE can provide a loose structure that the community has been sorely lacking. Also, to protect the best interests of those in the community. It provides a place of learning and mentors, a sense of belonging and unity that is not found everywhere. A haven to be able to seek out Houses or organizations in various areas that an individual can go offline and have actual interaction instead of sitting at a keyboard all the time. Also, the Council can examine serious problems occurring in the community and discuss, both on an international level and a local level what the best course of action is based on the data collected in any given situation. Keep in mind, we are not a judicial authority, but can help ease tensions and “drama” if all parties involved can see the damage they’re causing and genuinely wish to correct it.
RVL: Coincident with the establishment of I.C.E. there is a re-establishment of your former “House”, under the name Clan Resurrectus. Why have you chosen to do this?
S: Ah yes, the reformation. It has raised a few eyebrows. Originally I had intended to restart the House in Atlanta, which is still on the table. I had planned a chapter in Chicago and originally that was it. As time went along, I was asked to jot down my concepts of the community and what my general philosophy was. I didn’t think much of it, so I sat down, wrote it out and shared it, along with the original concepts of the Ordo Resurrectus from 2003 when the original House was established. I began to receive interest of other chapters to be founded, so I said “Why not?” Currently, the base is Clan Resurrectus, which discusses general information and serves as an overall meeting place for members (fb page in place, website to come in ’14), and chapters are forming in Spokane, Chicago, Houston and Birmingham, England. The interesting part is I look forward to see how they evolve. I don’t consider myself “over” any of the houses, but rather a consultant.
RVL: Obviously, and not to seem critical, there will be many who will look on and say, “another bunch of self-proclaimed elders, great!” What are your thoughts on that?
S: Self-proclamation is an affront to any organization. Those that are over the Houses are either tried and true Elders, strong leaders that have been in the community for many years and have proven themselves, or Elders in training. I don’t magically wave my hands and say” Congratulations, you’re now an Elder.” There is an interview process and many hours getting to know someone before I agree to a chapter. Again, there are many self-proclaimed Elders, Kings, Queens, Princes, etc, and that’s all good and fine. I have noticed that many people will blindly follow someone because of a title. We do not advocate that. Loyalty, like respect, should be earned not only in word but deeds as well. I don’t look for sheep, but highly intelligent people who want to see us have a better world and are willing to do something about it, not just put on fangs and contacts and run around like a pack of fools. I’ve always said that in nature, a wolf pack has an alpha; the rest are still wolves. That’s the sort of concept I go by.
RVL: In your view, and in the ethos of I.C.E., what is an “Elder”?
S: The definition of Elder has mutated into many things over the decades. A good definition from my perspective comes from the common usage first; an older, respected and experienced member of a family, clan or tribe. In our sense, one who has been in the community long, observing and learning and above all, has made mistakes and learned from them. Quite simply, we’ve survived and seen much, experienced much and learned much. I look at the current leadership vs the true Elders like this; if you’re going into surgery, do you want the experienced surgeon who has been through just about every scenario, or do you want the new med student that’s only worked on corpses. Kind of a no brainer, but the general feel I see is the younger crowd had this appeal which is no better than covering feces with a thin layer of chocolate. Sooner or later, you’ll get to the shit. And then what?
RVL: …and what’s going to be first on the agenda of I.C.E. and Clan Resurrectus?
S: Well, the Clan and the Council are not necessarily mutually exclusive. As far as the Clan and the Houses are concerned, to slowly and methodically grow, establish offline locations for meeting and teachings. They’re not clubs, they are a haven for safety and higher learning as Houses were always expected to be. I am happy to say that the Clan and the Houses are the first in the alliance of organizations that will join ICE. As far as ICE is concerned, the website will be ready soon. We hope to expand the VSCU (Vampire Special Crimes Unit) and their contacts to better serve the Nation. We hope to add more Elders and leaders to the Council worldwide to represent themselves, their areas and their organizations to bring about more unity, understanding and support to all. In the future, we hope to be able to reach out to the therians and otherkin to join us.
RVL: How is the structure of I.C.E. going to accommodate, or benefit, the “majority” of participants in the VC/OVC?
S: The Council will be open and available to the whole of the VC/OVC provided their philosophies and goals are in line with that of the Council. That is to say, we do not have an elitist attitude, we’re trying to bridge gaps. Those that do not have similar goals and philosophies will not be represented. That is not to say that we don’t care for them or would not help them if asked. On the contrary, we would be there. All we’re saying is we recognize that there will be those who don’t agree, or see us as a threat (probably over title or position, which we have no interest in) or some other personal issue. ICE is not here to consolidate or absorb any organization, but rather to help them understand each other.
RVL: You have a number of people already working with you on the I.C.E. initiative and others you are negotiating with, what criteria are you using to determine who will “staff” the Council?
S: The staffing of the Council is a two-step process. An initial application is filled out and returned to us. Then there is an on-line interview process. This helps us get a better feel for you and your concepts, where you come from and where you see the Nation going in the long run. Once everything is received, a review is done and a decision is reached. We are selective, no lie there. But more importantly, we want the relationship to be symbiotic for all involved. We are family, families sometimes argue, but we look for those that are most interest in peace and unity for all, not just this Council. We want people who are concerned with the well-being of all vampires, be they sang, psi or hybrid, and are willing to work for to that end. This is work, it doesn’t just happen. We look for doers, not bench warmers.
RVL: Are you expecting much opposition to this initiative?
S: Opposition? There’s always opposition to anything. If you start an organization to give out ice cream to homeless people, there will be opposition. Opposition can be likened unto fear; you always fear what you don’t understand. Our hope is in time people will see what we’re trying to accomplish and work with us, not against us. There’s pro’s and con’s to everything. Our goal is to stay on the pro side and do all we can to help our brethren.
RVL: …and what would you say to those opposed at this early stage?
S: That we are not a threat, we are here to help. The problem there is those that will probably oppose this are in fear of losing their position. All I can say to that is, if your position is borne of ego and self-seeking you may be right. Not that we would do anything actively against anyone, but as people see what we’re about, that we are true, living vampires and not lifestylers seeking public acceptance or trying to rule anything, those that are in such a position will simply be forgotten in time. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be people like that, it’s just in our nature. The point I suppose we’re making in regards to that is that is not an accurate representation of who we are as a whole.
RVL: Have you any closing comments you would care to make regarding I.C.E. or Clan Resurrectus?
S: In the 30 years I’ve been involved in the community, both online and off, the one constant has always been struggles; over ego, over territory, over who has the most followers and nonsense like that. It’s time for us as a people to come together in a new time of enlightenment, to learn from each other and work together. We could finally have something we never had, a Nation without boundaries. It’s there for all those who wish to work for it.
RVL: Thank you for spending this time with me Stefan, I hope that your initiative and hard work finds a welcome within the VC/OVC.
S: Again, thank you for having me. I hope we have the opportunity to do this again very soon. Blessings to all brethren.
Anyone wishing to contact I.C.E. can do so by email to: ICEOfficeMail@yahoo.com
The I.C.E. Website will be established in the New Year and will be a major point of public viewing.
The goal is perfectly clear, the method disarmingly simple yet within it awaits a complex maze of hurdles and obstacles to be negotiated and overcome. Adolphe Monod wrote
“Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.”
What is the price of doing nothing? Of being wary of trying? Of being afraid to take on the difficult task? The cost will be the eventual collapse of our “community”, the disintegration of what we have come to recognize as being a huge part of our lives and our legacy. The reformation of the older houses and clans, the re-emergence of the original “Elders” as leaders and motivators is something we can all get behind and make a major, and positive, impact the like of which has not been seen in the sub-culture for some time now.
Authors note: On the very brink of the New Year it befits us to look forward to 2014 with a renewed sense of purpose and renewed sense of the vitality and importance of the Real Living Vampire sub-culture and it is going to be visionaries such as Stefan who will show us the way forward… so, the task before each individual is quite clear, lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.
Copyright RVL, International Council of Elders & Clan Resurrectus 2013
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