Crossroads 2017 ~ Titled or Entitled

Featured

Presented by

Tim

A matter which has often been long and hotly debated, which has created conflict and confusion out of nothing and has been source of much derision and sarcastic wit is that of titles… specifically the titles that are used within the modern Vampyre culture.

Where do titles come from? How are they given out? Why are they given out? Do they come in cereal packets? Can you buy them at Walmart?

Good questions one and all, let’s see if we can sort out some of this…

 

Titles, to designate people’s positions and responsibilities have, literally, existed since man organised himself into tribes for mutual protection. Someone had to be the boss, someone had to be the senior decision maker, the organiser and so-forth… in order to make sure everyone was on the same page a title seemed to be the easiest way to ensure that rather than making certain everyone knew the boss’s name.

For example, among the earliest known titles we find the Sumerian En and Lugal

EN (Borger 2003 nr. 164 EN; U+12097 , see also ENSI) is the Sumerian cuneiform for “lord” or “priest”. Originally, it seems to have been used to designate a high priest or priestess of a Sumerian city-state’s patron-deity” [1]

Lugal is the Sumerian term for “king, ruler”. Literally, the term means “big man.”[1] In Sumerian, lu is “man” and gal is “great,” or “big.”[2]

Lugaldalu, King of Adab – Sumerian, by Ficatus – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 img. source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

 

As societies grew and expanded the necessity for a greater number of roles and areas of responsibility called for some method of defining who was supposed to be doing what, or who was supposed to be organising what for the populace. Ancient Egyptian society, as another example, included the following titles, Divine Adoratrice, Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King, God’s Wife ( an Egyptian ceremonial appointed title that was associated with the cult of Amun) Haty-a, Nomarch, Servant in the Place of Truth (an institutional function within the Theban Necropolis) Xry Hbt (a ceremonial position, institutional in nature and associated with ritual centres) and, of course, Pharaoh, the highest, hereditary, national executive office in the land.

With the subsequent growth of political systems under the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Roman systems titles became even more necessary as the range and expansion of social systems grew and grew.

Imagine for a moment, although you may not want to, our modern governments, where would we be if they didn’t have clearly defined structure, arranged by function with the individual offices following a chain of command under people with appropriately assigned titles…

img. source: http://www.avictorian.com/

So, you ask, how does this relate to the modern Vampire culture? We are not a government, we are not a department structured regulatory device and we don’t have a societal structure on a “national” level that demands delineation of duties and responsibilities.

Very good points, what we have is an “association” of Groups, Organisations, Clans, Tribes, Houses and Temples that do not gravitate around a central authority, nor do they necessarily come together in any great measure unless a situation of mutual interest eventuates. Within each of these individual entities there may be found a need for recognition of levels of authority or definition of responsibilities and, as we have already noted, the easiest way to accomplish this is by the use of titles. The thing with these titles, be they hereditary, elected or appointed is that they are peculiar ONLY to that particular organisation or group.
The Order of Maidenfear was created in 1966, making it the oldest recorded Vampire institution and the modern incarnation of that order still exists today in the Ophiucus Living Vampires International entity. Its owner, Lady Emilie C. recalls that,

“Early on (mid-1980’s) we used “titles” just as a means of organization.  We’ve always been uncomfortable with a limitless entity such as vampire culture needlessly being divvied up and categorized.  Now if people want to go in for the names and titles and such because it suits them, that’s their prerogative…”

img. source: Dark Souls 2 Wikia

 

Much argument is made, frequently, about why certain individuals should be referred to by titles – the short answer is that it is necessary to define their position within their own organisation. An example, and one that is commonly argued, is the use of what are seen as royal titles, King and Queen.

Historically speaking King and Queen originated in the Old English to Middle English period (around 900 A.D.)[3] And denoted a hereditary, national executive position of authority. In the case of the modern Vampyre culture the titles are used solely to denote the supreme position not on a national basis but on a regional, or local, basis where a number of “families”, “clans” or “tribal entities” may gather in a “Court”. An individual bearing the title King or Queen will usually have their title appended by the name of the local, or regional, area they are designated as being responsible for leading. The title doesn’t mean anything outside of that particular place but may be used in ceremonial functions in other places outside of that region as a mark of respect and recognition of a leader. It’s somewhat akin to the use of professional titles such as Doctor or Professor, a recognition of position or achievement.

img. source: www.britannica.com

In speaking of titles recently Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza, Matriarch of Temple-House Sahjaza, commented;

“As well they are honors bestowed on our members and others in the community for time served plus works in the community. The higher the level the deeper the service”

In a similar vein, Lady Gia Ahlia Bathory von Ecsed holds the same opinion;
“the titles are earned through contribution and community leadership as well as giving your life to serve the people in it.”

 

There is, of course, a precedent for the use of titles in the modern Vampire culture that goes back to the very foundation of modern culture establishments, such as The Order of Maidenfear,Temple-House Sahjaza and to the very beginnings of the modern movement stemming from the original Long Black Veil Events of New York city. As one of the Co-authors of the original Black Veil texts has noted they did not have the benefit of a lexicon for the culture back then and the only frame of reference they had was the work of Mark Reinhagen, the creator of “Vampire: The Masquerade”, the game released by White Wolf studios in 1991.

From V:tM we can easily follow the establishment of early “titles” in the movement and although such were not really common, they were still used under certain circumstances. Titles such as, Abbott, Archbishop, Baron, Chief, Consort, Paladin, Prince, Recruit, Seneschal and Sheriff. Some of these among the adopted titles to define an entirely new, and wider “social organism” that had never been “organised” in the manner which it was now becoming.

More common, you will find, is the use of the title “Lord”, a term which originated in the Old to Middle English period also and literally meant, “loaf keeper”, or, a provider for the people under his tutelage.[3]

The Devil’s Advocate, 1997, Warner Bros. in assoc. with Regency Enterprises, Kopelson Entertainment,Taurus Film, Monarchy Enterprises B.V. & New Regency Pictures.

 

At this juncture, because there are always two sides to any coin, I am going to play “Devil’s Advocate”, why? Because I can and I’m going to have some very astute help to do it…

There are always the cases of the establishment, or rather self-establishment, of “Titles” by people who have not yet demonstrated, through action or words, that they deserve any more than casual and polite response or consideration. This is the tarnish that colours the perception of titles within the culture and through the subsequent actions of these individuals, especially if they do conduct themselves disgracefully and prove to be problematic, the use of the titles they affect casts a pall over the true intent of such articles. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about those people, they have been, and will continue to be, a problem for the modern culture as they parade around “playing the role” with gusto.

As Lady Julia Darkrose, owner of The Darkrose Journal and Rose Wytch Media, recalls her experiences within the earliest organised systems for modern living Vampires;

“A blood drinker/”vampyr” community existed long before Todd Hoyt and The Sanguinarium organized everyone into Houses. We, were the Underground, sometimes, literally. It is due to the onset of public Internet that allowed Todd and Michelle Belanger, to organize and dictate The Black Veil…of bullshit. I was there, with Michelle, before The Sanguinarium organized and dealt out unearned titles. I, too, was given a title of Adept Elder in 2000. That was six years after I came up from down under.”

She further defines the situation in saying;
“Of course, at that point, titles had already been pulled out of thin air and given to the followers (sheep mostly) that they liked the best. The rest is as they always say…history. Those coming into the community since 2000, have every right and reason to give themselves and others titles within their own groups. However, to expect everyone else to value them as such and afford them respect and honor that is highly doubtful they have earned, is ridiculous. Keeping up the charade of, well, all the bullshit that is spewed from groups that are mostly just making up crap as they go along, is, well, bullshit. To become an organized anything, the willy nilly handing out of unearned titles and expecting everyone else to be on the same page, is a detriment. Some titles, I suppose,  are  actually earned, within any given insular group.”

Titles are, and always have been, hereditary, elected or appointed not simply plucked out of the air as required and this is an important point to keep in mind.

As Lady Julia goes on to say;
“Some titles, I suppose,  are  actually earned, within any given insular group. Beyond that, I believe, if I were still a relevant member of the V community, that I would concentrate on simply helping people that are or believe, truly, that they are Vampyre, to live the best quality of life they can. I know, without a doubt, that titles, Houses, and all the hooha, are completely unnecessary in order to accomplish that. Which, by the way, is the reason most Titled Community members give for being in the community…they want to share their “wisdom” with everyone. Again, title are completely unnecessary to achieve the greater good, as a whole, or for individuals. Titles are meaningless when a person’s actions and motives are the opposite of their titles.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Coin
img. source: https://www.nobelprize.org/

Another point to bear in mind is that from time to time an organisation may well choose to recognise an individual for exemplary service to the whole and they may opt to bestow a title, usually reserved for use within said organisation, on someone not in the body of the organisation – we must also recognise that this has precedent also. Think of the Nobel Prize awards. The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural or scientific advances. They were founded in the will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel and were established in 1895.

In 2012, The Madame Webb authored a paper entitled “The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols”[4] for a leading Vampire house. In it she laid out guidelines to the membership of that House which included;
We will respect all of our Elders, of title and or physical age, and we will hold them in high regard. We value all that we can learn from them. Let us take for example the Native American path. Hardly any cultural group is attending to and learning from Elders as they should, or could be. Elders are assets and rewarding resources; much more learned then our beloved “Google.” There is still plenty to be learned about the world and how to live in it. We learn by listening and respecting Elders, not just in our community, but also in the world at large. Elders have a master’s degree from the University of Life. What they allow to be shared with us is a gift.”

Titles, such as “Elder” are not always to denote ranks and responsibilities, they can also be used to denote expertise and depth of experience in important areas and anyone who has put in the effort, invested the time and returns willing to teach should be recognised for such contributions to the modern culture.

In conclusion:

The main concept we must all recognise and accept here is that in each organisation, house, tribe or other such body the members and leader of that entity have the right to adopt any form of official delineation of roles, responsibilities and duties that they may see fit. It is entirely endemic to the individual organisation and does not mean that they hold the same position on other than a local basis and within their own organisations… the use of the title is, however, a point of polite address and interaction. Now, you may call me “Old School” whatever that may mean, because I prefer to address people with a prefix of “Lady” if they are feminine and “Lord” if they are male, that is my way unless a person declines to be addressed so then I shall simply make my address polite and respectful – when dealing with people it gets you much, much further and my honoured parents, my dear departed grandmother and my early English grammar school education brought me up to be polite and respectful, you, dear reader, may have been brought up with a much different perspective and that is perfectly okay – as always but simply because you don’t personally dig the idea of titles and their use doesn’t entitle you to be ignorant of social niceties and be out-and-out rude, does it?

Copyright TB  2017

References:

  1. Saggs, H. W. F. 1988, The Greatness That Was Babylon (revised edition)
  2. Watson E. Mills; Roger Aubrey Bullard (1990). Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Mercer University Press. p. 975. ISBN 978-0-86554-373-7.
  3. com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
  4. “The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols”, The Madame Webb, ©2012, Retrieved Sept. 2017

Additional references:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_titles

http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Vampire:_The_Masquerade_lexicon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize

https://www.nobelprize.org/

NB: 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.

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.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

 

 

Crossroads 2017 – On glamour and honour

Written and presented by

Lady M and Tim

What if we attach too much importance to glamor in the culture? I have been thinking about this quite a bit over the past few days after seeing posts regarding how a vampire’s outward appearance should hold mystery and power; that which can be seen by the eye, mainly the adornments and attire that they choose to wear when in public. I know that this might not sit well with some but I shall explain further.

We are a culture that are seeing more and more people flocking to our groups, pages and events.  Does it make any difference whether they are dressed in simple, casual clothes as long as, from within, the inner vampire, the identity and what we know to be a part of us, is present?

img. source: http://rebloggy.com/

For lack of a better explanation, are we suggesting to newcomers to the culture that they spend money that they might not be able to afford to adorn their closets with the beautiful, ethereal clothing that so many post pictures of as if to say, if you look the part, you will feel the part … ?  Please don’t get me wrong, to attend a ball in a beautiful gown would be something that I would absolutely love to do, one day.

I, personally, have not one gown in my closet that would be considered worthy of attending a ball … as a matter of fact, I own no gowns at all… why???  To be perfectly honest, it is of more importance that we have money for food, housing and utilities… have we considered the fact that newcomers might shy away from even contacting groups looking for help if they think that in order to “join the club” that they need to max out their credit cards to purchase a wardrobe worthy of attainment of vampire glamour??

A great number of people that I speak to on a daily basis, who identify as modern living vampires are doing it hard, trying to make ends meet and to make sure that their families are looked after.  Does this make them less glamorous than those who can afford the accoutrements to be “more acceptable” in the culture?

~ Lady M.

img. source: http://globe-views.com/dreams/

There’s an old saying, goes something like, “beauty is only skin deep” – while it can easily be demonstrated that the modern Vampyre culture has, in the day-to-day, none of the usual trappings associated with the Victorian-romantic ethos created by the 19th century written works about Vampires it can equally be said that honesty, duty, honour and tolerance have also taken a back seat. Glamour can hide the reality but it can’t eliminate it.

The truer “beauty” comes from within and is, often, simply enhanced by the outward appearance so while we are thinking of getting “glamorous” I would suggest we also think about reinforcing that “beauty” with honour, a return to honour or, even if you think there never was any, then building a stronger honour code, a deeper understanding and a wider co-operation. Maintaining a well-balanced peace, accepting the differences that bind night-kin into a wider cultural entity and then presenting the whole package as a “way of life”.

I hope no one will misunderstand what I’m attempting to convey either, and yes… one day I would like nothing more than to escort my lovely wife, suitably attired of course, to a ball and therein to mix, mingle and experience the glamour side of this culture but, more than that, I would like it to be in a civilised and honourable setting where the ladies are treated accordingly and the gentlemen conduct themselves accordingly. “Old fashioned” you cry, “no, just a nice guy” I reply.

~ T.

——————————————————————————————————–

Copyright Lady M, TB & RVL 2017

NB: 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.

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.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

A new “world” order – reprised

Presented by

Tim

Good morning,
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.

Img. source – The Unity Project/ Blood Nations
(reproduced by permission)

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.

King (Heir Apparent of New Orleans) MavenLore of The House of Lore

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.

Lady Gia Ahlia Bathory Von Ecsed, Countess of Cachtice-Hrad, Queen of the Memphis Vampire Court

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.

Img. courtesy of King MavenLore, 2017

 

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.

 

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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 Sahjaza, Matriarch of 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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