Groups, Orders, Havens, Sects and Cults

img. source: Complex.com

Ed. Note – Before we begin today I have an apology to make, yes, another one…
In the Editorial “Persona non grata in effect” I initially, incorrectly, attributed the authorship of a certain work quoted in the piece. Fortunately one of our wonderful friends came along and said, “Hey guys…” upon which my esteemed 2IC immediately remedied the situation.

I apologise sincerely for any embarrassment or inconvenience caused by my error and I promise I’ll try not to let it happen again.

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Groups, Orders, Havens, Sects and Cults

Researched, Written, Edited and Presented by 

Tim

We move, in the GVC, in many, many circles simultaneously, we inhabit various organisations both online and offline and we come to recognise, over time, sometimes disastrously, what our chosen associations actually stand for and mean. At that point we have a choice. The choice is whether we can continue calling our chosen “friends” and associates family or whether it has been a product of our hope that there is something that can give us answers we have been searching for or whether we have simply fallen in with an idea, or set of ideas, that seem to give us that integral piece of our personal jigsaw.

So, what do we see when we look around us?

img. source: flingmile

We all know what “Groups” are, collectives of people that come together to discuss ideas, debate ideas – be they the quintessential “heated debates” or sensible, calm and orderly discussions. In general groups, in this sense, contain many different views and opinions and are representative of the general manner of things that give the participants a certain sense of social involvement. Such organised gatherings may, or may not, ascribe to one of several viewpoints or they may be “focus” groups of people who come together for a specific purpose and, in this respect, foster often productive discussion. It’s an ideal that many look for but, unfortunately, don’t always find.

Beyond these “general population” groups we find a strata of gatherings that comprise Havens, Covens, Houses and the like. The change in identification will generally indicate a more secular and focused approach and ideal. The rules become a little more stringent and designed to preserve the peace, calm and order within the body for the benefit of all the members – again an ideal. It’s not a bad idea to have a set of governing regulations which members agree to abide by. This provides for the body to focus more directly on specific ideas and hypotheses, to focus more directly on the welfare of its members and, very often, you will read that the members refer to each other as family, as brother and sister, thereby engendering a closer knit unity between the members which for many can enhance the feeling of actually belonging somewhere in a world that no longer focuses on what’s best for the “family unit”. Again, not a bad thing at all… as long as it doesn’t slide across the next line.

img. source: SlideShare

 

Sect is not a dirty word…!

Sect noun [ C ] UK   /sekt/ US   /sekt/ (usually disapproving)

A religious group that has separated from a larger religion and is considered to have extreme or unusual beliefs or customs.

Hmmm… curious thought. Generally we can find solid reasons for a schism in religious orders… differences of opinion in interpretation, in practice, in application of religious tenets and a whole gamut of others. I would, and do, take the view that everyone talks to their God/s in their own way, in their own time and within their own framework of belief. The thing about that is that there is No One who has the right to tell them otherwise.

The only thing that I do object to, and I think many will agree, is any religious organisation, or institution, that causes harm to anyone in the name of their beliefs. The definition above, from the Cambridge English Dictionary, asserts that these “Sects” have either “extreme” or “unusual” beliefs or customs. Well, the Bantu Tribesmen in Africa have strange and unusual customs and beliefs… DON’T MEAN THEY’RE WRONG… just different to, say, Orthodox Jewish beliefs, Catholicism or the Anglican faith.

Don’t get me wrong here, a “Sect” that does bad things to people is just as bad as a cult but if a sect doesn’t hurt anyone aren’t they allowed to believe that the sky is green if they want?

a 1980’s UFO Cult in California
img. source: Atlas Obscura

Cults… an ugly truth?

In referring to “cults” many people will, automatically, associate the word with likes of Jim Jones and Charles Manson but is this necessarily the case?

I have long held the belief, about any structured belief system, that whatever gets you through the hard times is fine. What about the not hard times? What about the groups, societies and organisations that we choose to belong too? Why are we in them? What do they offer? What do we derive from them? Are they beneficial or toxic to us?

All questions that have been widely raised about a wide range of well-known institutions. The web resource Religious Tolerance.org has an extremely well written discourse on the matter that clearly spells out the differences in both accepted most used terminology and the concepts behind the terms. It is, it seems, a matter of some confusion and discussion when it comes to defining a cult.

I would suggest that a good number of people have seen at least one of the television documentaries that have been made about L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology, we, on the outside, may see it as a cult but if you talk to anyone from within they will swear up and down that it’s not that at all… it’s only when someone comes out from the controlled “within” that we can begin to get some rational and real perspective on the subject.

One resource that has been widely applied within the Pagan communities is the The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (Version 2.6, 2.7)[1] which can be found at neopagan.net

The evaluation framework clearly defines the questions that need be asked in order to demonstrate whether a group is actually a “cult-like” entity or not. The results are yielded on a sliding score scale with the lowest score possible being 18 and the highest score possible being 180, therefore the mean is 81 – the cutoff point between, say, sect and cult. If we break down the possible range between 18 and 180 we might say that from 18 to 54 is a “group”, 55 to 109 is a “sect” and 110 and above is a “cult”. Of course, you may wish to break it down further but as long as you honestly and accurately evaluate what you’re looking at and apply the evaluation clearly and in a totally unbiased way that’s fine.

Although there is no actual “result table” offered by the framework it tells you how far toward the “danger zone” you are treading.

The biggest problem with utilising this framework is that you can only do it if you have a completely clear, logical and unbiased view of the thing you are assessing… let’s assume, for example, if The Framework had been given to Susan Atkins [2] in 1969 when she aided Manson in the Tate-LaBianca murders would she have returned a clear, logical and unbiased result? Don’t believe so myself…

So, if you were asked to sit down with The Framework and apply it to a group that you are in would you be totally objective, clear and logical about it or would you give the answers that you have led to believe?

Could you take The Framework and apply it, in the same fashion, to a group that you were a member of in the past? If you had good experiences I would suggest that the result might be skewed in that way, if you had bad experiences – which are usually remembered far longer than good ones – could you give an accurate and completely unbiased response?

Let’s look at a couple of examples;

Isaac Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Framework (Ver. 2.6)

In a nutshell you will see, from the two examples given, that one represents a group with very few cult-like traits whereas the other example, at the “Cult” end of the spectrum, exhibits many of the major characteristics required to identify a cult.

img source: sylvielefrancois.com

What sort of groups are you in?

 

If you can stop for a couple of minutes, sit down, clear your mind of everything else and just think about the group you are in. Think about what happens in the group, how is it run? Who runs it and why? How do you feel when you are interacting within the group? (No matter what medium) Do you feel safe? Unsure? Comforted? Guarded? Is it something you would rather not be involved in but don’t know how to break with the group without losing all your friends?

There are many things that a group should be, controlling, dominating, censoring, disapproving and forceful… well, maybe it’s not a group at all… maybe it’s a “sect” or a “cult” but the ONLY way you’re going to know that is if you are prepared to be open minded, brutally honest and completely unbiased.

In conclusion

Cults, sects, organisations, social groups and specific interest clubs have been around since dawn of mankind pretty much, even though the word “Cult” originated with the ancient tongues, and was defined, early on, and still today, as the worship of a divine being or beings, whether that divinity be accorded by the worshippers or by mythology makes no difference, a “divine being” is not necessarily a mythical being, it can be a person, a psychological construct simply a fixation with someone or something… hell, I know people who pray to the God of Football during the English Premier League Football season… just a quiet word here, there actually isn’t a God of Football but you can find him regularly referred to in the pubs or at Finals time.

Wherever you have a focused and fixated system of recognition of an object or person as being divine you run the risk of finding a Cult. Get informed, stay informed and watch for the danger signs. The Cult Education Institute provides a clear and concise listing of the warning signs.

As I said, the big trick here is to be honest, clear headed, objective and unbiased when you do it. If you think you can do that why not give it a go? See how your “group”, “Order”, or other organisation fares under scrutiny?

Hey, you may not want to believe what comes of it, you may not want to accept what comes out of it but at least you’ll be better informed on what to watch out for in order to avoid coming unstuck and that has to be a good thing – right?

Copyright TB & RVL 2018

  1. The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (Version 2.6) Copyright © 1979, 2008 c.e., Isaac Bonewits.
  2. Oxy Gen Crimetime http://www.oxygen.com/blogs/where-are-the-members-of-charles-mansons-killer-cult-family-nowNB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

    The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

    For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

     

What comes after…

Marvel Comics character “Thor”

The etymology of the word “Thursday” can be connected to the Norse mythology. The Norse god of thunder and lightning, Thor, gives its name to the day. Thursday literally means “Thor’s day”. –  Morris Eigi ( www.qa.answers.com )

So, I was watching, speaking of Thor, a little YouTube this morning and one of the featurettes was, “Who are the other superheroes that can pick up Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer?”

Well, turns out that the majority of them are women and, in the Marvel Universe comics, after Thor died, the mallet was taken up by a babe who, subsequently, became known as… Thor…!!! True story – apparently “Thor” is a title not a name… oh-kayyy… so what was Thor’s real name marvelites? I mean we all know Iron Man was Tony, The Incredible Hulk was Bruce but nobody ever mentioned Thor’s real name… was it Edwin? Arthur? Fred? Quincy?… so many questions unanswered right? Could it be that, if you’re a Christian, maybe God has a first name? I mean, we know Jesus right, and Joseph The Carpenter was actually recorded in a Roman census of Galilee way back when… what do you think God’s real name might be? Bears thinking about doesn’t it?

Alrighty then, now I’ve given you something to puzzle over here’s the latest from the “Maths Room”, Stats and Circulation for RVL this month have been stellar, a very big thank you to ALL the dudes and dudettes who dropped by over April…

The numbers? Oh. yeah, right…
As at 4/26/18

Month Stats period: March 26th to April 25th, 2018 (inclusive)

Total Visits: 4566 (39.547% increase)

Avg. Visits per Day: 163.07 (39.543% increase)

@ 4/26/2018 – 1279 Twitter followers (0.947% increase)

Distribution, total countries, as at 4/26/18: 131 (3.149% increase)

Pretty durn good eh?

What else we got goin’ on…

How about some of this…

Yah, haven’t had a “Ramones-fest” for a while…

Oh, another item that comes up this week, the trouble with Chicago is that we have someone in it that really doesn’t need to be here… and lotsa other folks around the place think so too…!

Yes folks, a person who has, arguably, joined the TOP THREE most reviled characters in the entire VC has struck again… EVER… (Where’s Thor when ya need him???)
https://realvampirenews.com/persona-non-grata-revision-2-issued/

For further information on this menace you can visit

 The Clan Rahamdalph Community Offenders Registry and Archive of Evidence

on Facebook, the link is contained in the Persona non grata document…

art by Marcel Curiel, reproduced by permission.

 HEY… you ever get the feeling that you’re missing something? That there’s some great universal secret that somehow slid by while you weren’t looking? Don’t worry, happens to everyone and sometimes all you need to do is kick back and relax, just let it all out…!!!


The other you could try, I guess, is wait for nightfall, take a nice blanket, spread the blanket on the lawn and lie flat on your back staring up at the stars, do it buck nekkid if it pleases but I’d recommend warning the neighbours first…!!!

Ahhhh… now here’s something a little darker…

Some very good friends in Italy forwarded us a theatrical trailer from a major television and movie series production that’s going on down there right now…

We are very proud to acknowledge our close ties with, and support for, these friends and… well…check this out kids…

DEL DIARIO DELLA BESTIA FILM E SERIE TV – IL VIDEO PROMOZIONALE

…and with that we’ll leave you with your Thursday, have some fun where you can, don’t work too hard (cuz no one else is) and be safe…!!! We’re gonna go out with what is arguably one of the single coolest pieces of music that can possibly be listened to…

Ciao

 

Persona non grata Revision 2 issued

Good evening,
It is my solemn duty to post the second revision of the Persona non grata issued, initially, on April 19th of this year (Ref: Crossroads 2018: Persona non grata in effect)

For further information on this matter, and for any person, House, Court, Haven or Order wishing to append their names to this document, please visit the –
Clan Rahamdalph Community Offenders Registry and Archive of Evidence.

With that, please see below Revision 2 of the document.

Vampires of Chicago, Friends and Supporters Alliance

In addressing the matter of Jonathan Michael Butkovsky (a.k.a Loren Vargo/Mix Tabal Bouda-Lycaon/”King” Lycaon) and The Vampire Court of Chicago, its supporters and allies.

Know this, BY THE WILL OF THE SIGNATORIES HEREIN,

Let it be known throughout the Vampire, Therian, Otherkin, Pagan, and Kithani communities that Jonathan Michael Butkovsky (a.k.a. Loren Vargo/Mix Tabal Bouda-Lycaon/”King” Lycaon)  has been declared “Persona non Grata” in Illinois and allied regions represented by the signatories. He is hereby EXCOMMUNICATED and EXILED from the Vampire, Therian, Otherkin, and Kithani Communities including all Clans, Tribes, Courts, Houses, Covens, Packs etc. represented by the signatories.

Let it also be known that Jonathan Michael Butkovsky (a.k.a. Loren Vargo/Mix Tabal Bouda-Lycaon/”King” Lycaon) has been:

Formally denounced, sanctioned and stripped of their recognition within the community by the leadership of the Vampire, Therian, Otherkin, and Kithani Communities in San Antonio, Houston and Austin.

Given the status of “invisible person”, his name is to be, and should be, avoided/ not used in conversation for any reason.

He is hereby denied the “Right of Sanctuary” from all private havens, private Vmadea, or any other such places that “Sanctuary” can be called upon or given as represented by the signatories to this document.

He shall be treated as “Invisible” at all public events and gatherings by all members of the Vampire, Therian, Otherkin, and Kithani Communities as represented by the signatories.

We, the undersigned, find that in the face of evidence and documents issued by Clan Rahamdalph of Houston and The Voices of the Vampire Community (V.V.C.) we have no recourse but to put the preservation, and safety, of our organisations, their members and our community first and foremost. This dictates that we must take action.

Jonathan Michael Butkovsky (a.k.a. Loren Vargo/Mix Tabal Bouda-Lycaon/”King” Lycaon) has demonstrated on multiple occasions, over a period of years, that he is incapable, or unwilling, to control his own actions and conduct. This is NOT the behaviour of a reasonable and responsible member of ANY society.

ALL attempts to find peaceful and fair resolutions have failed in several cities across the country thus further demonstrating a complete unwillingness to perceive any viewpoint, nor follow any course, other than his own, a viewpoint and course which, by posts made at the newly established Vampire Court of Chicago and threats of violent nature made against other members of the communities nationally, demonstrate his apparent instability.

 

It is also to be observed that he is making attempts to make contact with female members of the local culture whom appear to be underage and is promoting events as “child friendly”. Given history and observations from other states and persons we must question the motives behind these actions.

This has become a safety issue for ALL nightside creatures; therian, otherkin, & vampire alike. HE has made it clear that he has nothing but ill will towards the Vampire Community as a whole & that he will stop at nothing to try & bring us down by any means necessary. Even if it means the fall of the therian packs as well.

Unfortunately, his actions, both current and past, have taken any decision out of our hands and, as this has now become a community safety issue of his own making, it is felt that we must uphold a declaration of “Persona non Grata Sin Nominee” and the Excommunication & Exile of Jonathan Michael Butkovsky (a.k.a. Loren Vargo/Mix Tabal Bouda-Lycaon/”King” Lycaon) from our community, events, havens, gatherings, meetings & all members of the Vampire, Therian, & Otherkin communities.

From this point forward he and his supporters and associates stand alone and outside of the society of Vampire, Therian and Otherkin communities.

So mandated this 26th day of April, 2018

Signatories, (Here being represented in Revision 2 of this document)

Casata Resurrectus Italia, Italy.

Dark Nations

Halo of Septem Civis and The House of Sabretooth Noctem Aeternus, VA

House Nepenthe, Chicago

House of The Dreaming

House Pride of Asura, NYC.

Iron Garden, Safe Haven for NJ Nightkind.

King Mikael Kage, Houston Vampire Court

Lady Danann DD., DAC., HPS. Founder Coven of the Northern Lights, MI

Lady Lilith Pheonix, Ordo Daemonae, Detroit MI.

Lady L.S. Cutrere & Lady K. Dockree – Independents

Lord Fios, Magister Templi of North Haven chapter of House Sabertooth- Noctem Aeternus

Lord Stefan R., Ordo Phoenix, Georgia.

Presidente Davide Santandrea, Liga Italiana Real Vampires
Reaper Wolf, King of NOLA wolfkin, and Pack Alpha of The Zanval WP.

T. & M. Bey, RVL & Independent Vampyres of Chicago.

The Brat Prince of Chicago; Vampires, Therians and Otherkin of Chicago. (VTOC)

The Vampire Community of Detroit

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NB: This document may be copied and reproduced, in full, to any place within the noted communities. 

The Vampire, Therian and Otherkin communities of the Greater Chicago Area wish to express their deepest thanks and heartfelt gratitude to ALL signatories represented here. 

We, at RVL, would also like to add that it is heartening to know that when the chips are well and truly down so many representatives of our fine communities are willing, ready and able to stand together against a common threat. We are proud to have been able to coordinate this effort and wish to add our own thanks to those already expressed.
Blessings one and all,
T