In June of this year we began following a story of a new initiative aimed at uniting portions of the modern Vampire culture in a coalition of groups from different states in the U.S.
Through the editorials “A new “world” order”, the subsequent “A new “world” order – update” June 5th and “A new “world” order – update” June 8th we reported on the unfolding events surrounding the establishment and early reactions to The Unity Project and the founding of the group Blood Nations.
On June 5th one of the chief architects of The Unity Project released a statement concerning the initial furor that the initiative seemed to have produced.
It gives us great pleasure to be able to present, at this juncture, an editorial that is. In one sense, a closure yet, in another sense, an introduction. From very early on in the course of covering the events the level of confusion surrounding the inception of The Unity Project, and the ensuing ‘hue and cry’ that met the proposals, reached a quite ferocious level with some quite volatile statements being made that seemed to be polarizing the opinions of many members of the culture.
As with any story there is always more than one side and now, now that the hub-bub has died down, it is time to hear from two of the senior people involved in these efforts.
We are very pleased and honoured to be joined today by Lady Gia Bathory-Von Ecsed, Countess of Cachtrice-Hrad and Queen of The Memphis Court and King (Heir Apparent of New Orleans) MavenLore of The House of Lore.
RVL: Good evening Lady Queen Gia and Lord King MavenLore, welcome to RVL, it is an honour and genuine pleasure to have you with us.
LG: Thank you for having us. We are always happy to network and interact with the various Journalists and Publications that serve our community faithfully and do all they can to bring truth and wisdom to our Kind. I think I speak for both The King of New Orleans and myself when I say, we are glad to be here and have the opportunity to clear the air on some of these issues, questions and facts that have been so perversely skewed.
ML: I appreciate the chance to clear the air regarding the project. A project of this magnitude is actually what brought me into the community in the first place 20 years ago, I’m very honored that now I finally have the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals to finally see it come to fruition.
RVL: Over the last few months there have been many questions raised, a great deal of misinformation, and a great deal of discussion circulating, about Blood Nations and The Unity Project, some of the “discussions” have resulted in some quite dramatic exchanges and others in “lines being drawn in the sand” – would you tell us how, and when, the original concepts of the two came about?
LG: Yes, there are always those who will rail against peace and unity, because it implements a system of checks and balances for those who call themselves “leaders”, the purpose being to prevent tyranny, war mongering and corruption. The original concept for Blood Nations was conjured from the Aether one night, by Maven and His Majesty, King Logan South as an idea for giving the Vampire Community, worldwide, a digital domain where they could have access to all the events, news and cultural information associated with our kind. The Unity Project (the other side of the Blood Nations Coin), was founded by the Three of us, later, as an expansion of what Blood Nations aimed to do as a whole. It is a global effort, by the vast majority of community leaders in the US and Europe, to unite our kind for the first time in generations. This way, with shared goals, visions and through the combined efforts of the aforementioned, we can link Vampire communities together over great distances and offer community to places and people who otherwise would never have had the opportunity.
ML: The website, in its infancy, had very little text or context to it, so misinterpretation was bound to happen given its beta state. Furthermore, due to a certain feud between two individuals, the map was leaked to the public with an inflammatory call to arms concerning “power grabs”, “hostile take-overs” and other such cringeworthy buzzwords, all with the sole purpose of furthering their agenda concerning a their personal grudges and vendettas with one another. We were going to release the blood nations FAQ a week later, however due to the map being leaked, we decided to release info to the public early to clear up the disinformation the people were getting that would be used as a weapon against the project.
RVL: What is your personal vision for the Unity Project and for Blood Nations?
LG: My personal vision for The Unity Project is to use common cause to unite our kind, on a global scale, to give us not only a voice in the mainstream world of politics, activism and culture, as we are now “Out” and part of the mundane world, but to bring peace and prosperity to our kind, who have been beset and plagued by decades of war, infighting, corruption and the abuses of delusional maniacs who have called themselves “leaders” of our community in the past. Blood Nations plays a huge role in this vision, as it allows a massive global unification to occur, giving people a voice, a network and a worldwide community, from which to have the sense of family, belonging and the ability to form cohesive units within the greater Vampire Community, as a whole.
ML: Over the last 2 decades I have watched the online “community” destroy the efforts of physical communities, I have seen bickering and infighting amongst these groups while physical communities shrink and become more insular, becoming untrustworthy of “outsiders”. Thus, stagnation and a lack of growth / evolution set in. This saddened me to point I wanted to do something about it, as I remember the days when I could walk into a haven and see representatives from a dozen different houses, clans and courts all in communion with each other, all working together, socializing and building a better tomorrow. Everyone should have this feeling, everyone should have these resources. This was the spark that ignited the project with Logan and I began in 2015. This spark later inspired Lady Gia and Prince Shaolin Macphee to join the project. We envision an online resource for physical communities that is safe and private from mundane eyes, helps connect communities together via online communications, helps perpetuate an economic infrastructure amongst vamp owned or vamp friendly businesses, and also helps place people in respective geologically determined communities or helps visiting community members connect with whatever state or city they plan on going to. Our project is a tool first and foremost that we are gifting to the world, free of charge.
RVL: We know that you are no strangers to the modern Vampire Culture… May we ask, of your personal backgrounds, do you identify as a modern living Vampire and for how long have you been aware of your true nature?
LG: I identify, one could say, as a Serpent in a human suit. The feeding from other’s energy, life force and Aether, can technically classify me, in the blanket term sense, as a “Vampire”.
ML: As far as Identification goes, I would say the more imperative question is; The need for a social and digital infrastructure, as we have more young fledglings than ever and are training more and more of our older members how to merge their old life with the onset of catching up to the digital jetstream generation.
RVL: The development of the ‘Fleur de Sang’ has also attracted much comment and a share of criticism as simply being a badge that one has to apply for to be ‘in the club’, how would you respond to this?
LG: I would respond by saying it is fear mongering, virtue signaling nonsense. The Fleur was a gift given to all attendees of the 2015 Bloodlust Ball in New Orleans. It was not until His Majesty, King Logan South praised the symbol as a “Battle cry” that we all decided to use it as a symbol of the Blood Nations/Unity Project. There is no “Club”, there were attendees at a Ball who got them in their Swag Bags if they purchased VIP tickets.
ML: I agree with Gia. No matter how you spell it out, there’s always going to be a contingency of individuals that will try and sully even the best of intentions with their narrative. The public has made it a symbol for unity, THEY choose to wear it as such, nothing is required to purchase to show your support. When I first gifted the symbol to the community, all the usual trolls came out of the woodworks to try and destroy its intent. When I originally designed the Fleur De Sang in 1999, I envisioned a sigil that embodied the spirit and origin of vampires of the “New World” after hearing the myths about them arriving in American through the port of Orleans. New Orleans has since been dubbed “The spiritual home of the vampire”, which prompted me to gift the Fleur De Sang to the world.
RVL: Since the names here seem to mirror a common theme, that is, ‘Fleur de Sang’ sigil and Blood Nations, are we correct in assuming that the Unity Project and website are one and the same, and are to be specifically Sanguinarian in nature or do you plan to include “others” who wish to join the new, unified, entity?
LG:? No, it does not. The Blood Nations and Unity Projects are welcoming and open to all Kindred and Otherkin who wish to be part of the Vampire Community and are tired of the squabbling, chaos and corruption our community has been saturated in for the past 17 years.
ML: Considering how many types of vampires exist, why would we restrict it to blood feeders only? That just makes no sense. The problem in the past is that various groups have tried to push certain philosophical/religious/ideological imperatives as being the one true way. We don’t subscribe to that. We encourage an open and individualistic approach to how members of the community or houses/courts/clans/groups wish to conduct themselves.
RVL: Pretty much everyone who has been following developments has seen the ‘maps’ with the different coloured states represented on them and despite the explanation in previous addresses people are still frequently asking, in public forums, what, exactly, the colours mean – Can you enlighten us on that point?
LG: I am unaware of the colours being anything more than aesthetic choices. People will dig, reach and grasp for anything they think will suit their own agendas.
ML: This is another non-subject that many have jumped on the “freak-out” bandwagon. The colors mean nothing, they were just what I randomly was in the mood to label them as on that particular day, and red was the default color programmed in our map generator. Nothing more.
RVL: …and on that note there have been statements made that this “map” represents some sort of “takeover” plan aimed at “absorbing” existing Vampyre-kind groups and organizations in those, and other, states… what would you say to this?
LG: I would say those people are clearly looking for a way to cause drama, infighting and division within an already fractured community. There is no “Take over”. This is a lie fabricated by corrupt, power hungry tyrants that think everyone is like them. Therefore, they transfer and project their own perverted, megalomaniacal agendas onto us and a clearly transparent project. Simply put, our dissenters are dishonest, corrupt, abusive individuals who themselves would stage a coup if they were able, so they pretend we are doing the same, so they can virtue signal panic monger the community into following them. As they think this will somehow give them a cause to unite the garbage dregs of our community behind them, so they can have the coup they have wanted and could never deliver themselves, due to their own shortcomings and failures.
ML: Those who use the terms “Power Grab”, “take Over” and “Absorbing” concerning literally anything in this community are judging us by the what they would do and how they think, or are parroting those that they hear that hogwash from. There is no federally mandated law saying we have to follow anyone. House/Court/Various Group leaders are such because people freely give their loyalty and support to them. You can’t “Take Over” anything, you can’t “Grab Power” from anything or anyone, that’s not how it works. Power is given BY the people TO who they choose to. And for the millionth time, the “Map” merely represents existing communities and organizations as a reference for potential traveling vampires or those looking to connect and become part of a community in a certain region, the communities existed long before our project was even a thing, and we hope to update our map in the future with the help of everyone who would like to contribute.
RVL: How has the initial growth curve and response been to the Blood Nations set up, and the Unity Project, from your point of view?
LG: In my experience, aside from the normal dissenters and loud mouths that scream and yell any time they are not the center of attention, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. With the support of such community legends as the Gotham Halo, The AVC, The real movers and shakers of our people and even our own Matriarch, Goddess Rosemary, the founder of our entire community and even blessed Temple House Sahjaza, we have been able to expand beyond our wildest dreams and spread the message of Unity and Community to 4 of 7 continents thus far.
ML: The response from the real movers and shakers of the community has been overwhelmingly positive and I am quite humbled by their support. The only dissenters we really ran into were, in all actuality, trolls from the online “communities” that caused problems for the GVC in the first place.
RVL: Given the current shape of the modern Vampire culture, and its often volatile and changeable nature, will anyone who comes seeking a place in Blood Nations be given one? Even though they may not be “popular”?
LG: I’m rather unsure as to the reasoning for this question. There are several members of both projects who would not classify as “Popular”, so I’m not sure where this came from. Any group or individual who wished to be part of Blood Nations or the Unity project can do so. However, because we are not idiots or naïve, we only offer positions of leadership to those who have proven they either are well suited for the position or have proven their loyalty through years of contribution to the North American, South American or European Vampire Communities. We care very much about the structural strength and stability of this project. Therefore, we do not allow drama mongers, traitors, criminals, etc. to lead our groups or the communities we work with. We have nothing to do with those who have proven they do not have the greater good of the community in mind or in their interests. Thereby, at the end of the day, they choose by their actions or lack thereof, whether or not they want to be part of the right side of History.
ML: I’m not sure how to respond to this, as we have stated many times, the unity project is not an organization, it is a tool for offline communities. It has nothing to do with housing wayward vamps, nor is it a place for popularity.
RVL: Prior to embarking upon the Unity Project and the Blood Nations set up did you, and/or the other founders receive any input from other Houses or Organizations regarding the proposal and are you at liberty to reveal which other organizations are actively involved in the initiative?
LG: We have been deeply involved with the foundational pillars of the Vampire Community from the very start of this project. The first week we began the expansion of the Unity Project, we were already working with some of the largest and most well-known courts, halos and monarchs the community has to offer. We obviously did not just wake up one day and say, “Let’s try to do something nearly impossible and transformative for our community…but not discuss it with any of the people we will need the support of before we do.” Every group, Monarch, Regent, Court and Council that is involved, is exactly that, Involved, and have been since day One.
ML: While I can’t publicly talk about our supporters outside of founding members, I can say that the number one issue that they had was the assurance that their houses and courts wouldn’t be ruled by the website, nor would they have to change their structure and bylaws. The idea that we presented to them is that this project would help expand their respective organizations and/or rebuild organizations that have long since fallen into disrepair through global communication and working hand in hand with other communities.
RVL: Crystal ball time…Where do you see the Unity Project and Blood Nations website in say, two years from now?
LG: I see the expansion projects we have begun, growing and blossoming into massive, connected communities world-wide. I envision a world where our Kind can hop, Court to Court, Halo to Council, across the globe at the drop of a hat and never miss a beat of news, events, balls, gatherings and business. We strive for a connected, unified community, globally, that can embrace Peace and ethical conduct, from corner to corner. We are, after all, of Peace. Always.
ML: I personally agree with Gia on this, however I would like to add that part of this project includes our basic ideological evolution. This new generation of vamps inspires me with new ideas on almost a weekly basis, I hope to see how they can mold and evolve the project in the years to come.
RVL: …and what is the true ultimate goal, or aim, of the Unity Project?
LG: I think we have made that rather clear thus far. The global connection and unification of Kindred and the ability for communities to communicate, do business and network throughout territories in, ideally, every country in the world.
ML: Again, I agree with Lady Gia
RVL: There have been some rather “inflammatory” statements made by individuals connected with the Blood Nations initiative and, by association, with the Unity Project, comments made both before, and after, their individual involvement in the initiative. What would you say regarding, what may be seen by many as, threatening and/or derogatory rhetoric and its effect on the initiative?
LG: Rhetoric of dissenters does not affect our success, plain and simple. Simply put, jealousy is an ugly thing. Those running their mouths and pretending they know what they are talking about, are in all honesty, sad, pathetic people with no accomplishments of their own and no real grasp of what it takes to work with and for our Community. If they possessed any of these qualities, they would not be doing what they are and fabricating the lies and fantasies they are. Their local communities are in shambles and chaos due to poor, inept leadership and they are looking for someone other than themselves to take it out on. Plain and simple, they are insanely jealous of the success, positive reception and positive changes that both Blood Nations and the Unity project have received and the real life changes we have made for dozens of Courts and Communities (not to mention charities and non-profit organizations) in the US, as well as abroad in Europe, South America, etc.
ML: A lot of this has to with the inflammatory post about the blood nation’s map and tying it to someone who was NOT a founder, and later this information was used in an article on this very site enforcing the provocateur’s accusation of a non-founding individual as a founding member of the site. There’s also the fact that we can’t control everyone’s actions when personal disputes are aired publicly and temper tantrums fly. Sorry, but I reject the notion of “guilt by association”.
RVL: We’ve spoken of practical things, such as aims and goals but can you tell us, what is the guiding philosophy behind Blood Nations and The Unity Project?
LG: For the Unity Project (As that is my area of expertise regarding this interview), I would say much of it was modelled on Machiavellian Political Theory and a bit of Peronism. Machiavelli teaches that we should write laws and practice ethics that are applicable in the real world we live in. Not to write laws that are idealistic and based on a utopian society in which we clearly do not live. Most Groups, societies and organizations base their structures on the idea that everyone is honest and generally a good person. Therefore, the rules they live by, become a situation where everyone secretly breaks the rules and laws, while prosecuting others for doing the same things. Machiavelli allows us to forego that nonsense of opinion and realize that if we play the “All opinions are vital and important and should dictate the way things are done” card, we must also include the opinions of murderers, rapists, child molesters and monsters. After all, doesn’t “Every” opinion and voice count? Of course not, that is allowing the inmates to run the asylum. Thus we come to the false “Democracy” we experience today, where only some voices matter, but everyone is told they are a special snowflake who is so important and indispensable to the world turning. This is where the entitled, drama mongering, trolls get their opinions of themselves and therefore, find the justification for the horrific acts they engage in that tear our community apart with divisive and purposeful misinformation. In closing, we use a method that has centuries of tried and true examples and evidence of working properly. Democracy is an illusion and always has been.
ML: For me it is a little different. When I first came into the community I had the distinct honor of being part of the NYC Haven. On a regularly basis, I saw representatives from dozens of houses and groups convening, toasting each other, getting along, solving issues together, building a better tomorrow, etc. It was an amazing feeling to experience such communion. I want that again, but for everyone and every territory. The Unity project will be a continuation of this but on a global scale. For me, it is family, friendship, solidarity and evolution for all of us.
RVL: As far as the Blood Nations web group site is concerned, may we ask when the infrastructure will be in place for member forums, discussion forums, topical forums and the like?
LG: This question would be best suited for King Maven Lore, as I do not handle the web aspect of Blood Nations. Therefore, am not exactly qualified to answer this. I will say, however, that the features of the Blood Nations site are revolutionary. Many are brand new technologies and programs that allow freedom for users, Voice and Video chat and interactive maps to aid the member of our community in finding like-minded individuals in their area.
ML: There absolutely will be forums for discussion, however, unlike many Facebook group, we will not tolerate abuse, name calling or trolling. The #1 rule for the website is essentially “don’t be a douchebag”. Other than that, the forums will be free in any topic for users to create, manage, reply and participate in.
RVL: Have you anything that you would like to add that we haven’t covered in the interview, any words of wisdom for our readers?
LG: Do not believe everything you hear. Many of our disdainfully vocal opponents are just angry because they were unfit to lead their communities. That is the true reason why many who think they are “leaders” and scream and yell on the internet (from behind their keyboards, mind you), are not included in the future of our community. They wish to start wars and see the chaos of the past return, so they can capitalize on the unrest and misery that has plagued our kind for so many years. If you have a question, ask. We are a completely transparent movement and all one need do is read to find that to be a fact.
ML: I would say very simply this: Build something beautiful.
RVL: King Maven Lore, Queen Gia Bathory-Von Ecsed , many thanks for taking the time out to address these questions. We realize that much of it has been covered before in some places but sometimes things just need to be reinforced and we are honoured that you permitted us to work with you.
LG: Thank you so much for coming to us directly to clear up the nonsense and false propaganda that has been floating around regarding all of this. It is important that people know the truth, straight from the founders of these projects and the ones who are actually fighting and working to build a better tomorrow for our people, instead of trying to tear it down.
ML: I appreciate the chance your publication has given us and also for giving us an alternative means to disseminate the message of unity.
Without doubt, throughout the history of the modern living Vampyre movement, new ideas have been hotly contested, challenged, fought and argued. Some have endured, many have not but should this stop people trying?
Quite possibly one of the most telling points that has recently been made in this matter comes from Temple-House Sahjaza.
Goddess Rosemary has declared that the Temple-House backs the Unity Project/Blood Nations initiative, she comments;
“I support the Unity project and Sahjaza supports the unity project.”
A strong endorsement indeed from one of the oldest established, most respected and renowned organisations in the history of the modern culture.
We must recognise that any social mechanism which fails to strive for “betterment”, that sits contentedly in its own mediocrity and simply engages in endless, fruitless skirmishes and conflict is doomed to stagnate and to eventually disappear, become extinct. What do we all do if that happens? Do we go back to the pre-net days of wandering about aimlessly wondering if the person we just met at the coffee shop is like us? Wondering we are a little crazy or is it the rest of the world?
It doesn’t seem like a good alternative does it? Maybe it’s time for the modern Vampire culture to grow, take stock and aim for something better than we’ve had, or got. Perhaps unity, far from being a “pipe dream”as I was once told, isn’t such a bad idea after all and let’s face it, we’re nothing else if not Vampyres right? We all hail from the same history and Blood Nations seems to be an entirely apt manner of describing that descent. Perhaps it is time for a little peace and quiet, no?
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