Sex, Sex, Sex, Sexy, Sexual, Sexualize…

“Man of the Year”

img. source: domica.info

That got yer attention didn’t it…

Ahem…
Researched, compiled, mangled, run over with my truck, scraped up
and slapped on ya monitor by

TIM

 

img. source: Official PSDs

Did u know;

“Tamiel (or TumielAramaicתומיאל‎, Ancient Greek: Ταμιήλ), also spelled Tâmîêl, is a fallen angel, the fifth mentioned of the 20 watcher leaders of the 200 fallen angels in the Book of Enoch.

Michael Knibb lists the translation of Tamiel as “God is Perfect” or “Perfection of God” (the combination of tamiym and El-God). Tamiel was attributed as a teacher of astronomy (Enoch 8:7). He also taught “the children of men all of the wicked strikes of spirits, [the strikes of] demons, and the strikes of the embryo in the womb so that it may pass away, and [the strikes of the soul], the bites of the serpent, and the strikes which befall through the noontide heat, [which is called] the son of the serpent named Taba’et (meaning male)” during the days of Noah, not the days of Jared.

In this incarnation Tamiel is credited with bringing “forbidden knowledge” to mankind.”[1]

“Tamiel”
Peter Morbacher

Yeah, kinda sounds cool… like that Prometheus dude that brought the fire to mankind…
Anyways, how iz everyone? Have a good Turkey Day? Too much of everything and then some? Back to the gym FIERCELY hmmmmmm? more power to ya… for my part – 

“Once again the bird has been praised,
 We came, saw, guzzled and grazed,
 The lucky wishbone has been plucked,
 Yup, the turkey’s well and truly fucked.”

Today I have decided we are ALL nerds, ‘sright, those dudes et dudettes y’al used to laugh at at high school, the homies in the chess club, always working for extra credit in the science labs instead of jocking or cheer-leading…!!! Today we celebrate NERDISM…!!!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa…!!! Gotta love that

So, what can we talk about today that’s to do with modern living Vampyres, what can we possibly think of to talk about that hasn’t been said already? It does become a little difficult after all, the way we go round and around the same old merry-go-rounds in a repetitive, and seemingly endless, cycle of chest-beating, teeth-gnashing and hair pulling, no?

Seriously that in itself is an entire subject but I’ve got a better idea… why don’t we just ask ourselves a question or two? Let’s make ourselves a little pop quiz shall we kids?

Why can’t people, and yes I fully accept that people in general could be included here but let’s stick with our culture shall we, for the sake of argument, why can’t people IN THE CULTURE exercise a little honesty? I mean, what’s with all the bald faced lies that people keep getting caught out in? If you read something and you think to yourself, “Oooh I can go one better than that…!” then you go about laying down some whopping great porky-pie doesn’t it occur to you that you’ve almost certainly said the exact opposite thing to someone else in the however many years you’ve been bashing around the culture?. Is it really not a consideration that you could get caught out in the lie? What do you do then? make up an ever bigger one to cover your ass? Back pedal like a bike load of nuns heading down a steep hill toward a cliff edge? What happens when the bigger lie gets exposed? Keep digging? Make a new profile and hope nobody catches on? Really, what can you possibly hope to achieve?

Why not just BE HONEST in the beginning? you’ll get a good rep and people will respect you more – EASY.

MORE FUCKIN’ NERDNOIZE…!!!

Ya know, in a way it’s better being a nerd than a popular kid… you don’t have to concern yourself with vanity, with bullshit and with the whole one-upmanship thing, the positively neanderthal behaviour and the posing.

So, you built yourself an empire by making a website then adding everybody in your multiple thousand friend list and then adding everybody in their friend lists – Great, happy for ya – NOW FUCK OFF AND LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE.

So, got yaself a nice title, just became a Rev, a King, a Queen, a Demagogue, a Goddess, a Lord-High something or other… Awesome sauce, looks good on ya – NOW FUCK OFF AND LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE.

So, ya got big houses, lotsa cars, swimming pools, bank accounts coming out yer arse, I’m so happy for you, all that filthy lucre an all – NOW WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST FUCK OFF AND LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE.

And to all the Brothers and Sisters sitting back and watching this parade, shaking your head in amazement at the sheer buggery, get back to real – LET IT GO… you’ll be much happier…!!!

Have I made mistakes in my life? BY ODIN’S FUCKIN’ BEARD I HAVE… but I defy any man, or woman, jack to stand forward and say they haven’t – THE DIFFERENCE IS those that learn from their mistakes and change for the better are the pride of any society while those that simply plough on making the same mistakes over, and over, and over ad nauseum are truly a WORLD CLASS, A-GRADE, FUCKIN’…

Personally I think the whole thing comes down to simple human (pardon the descriptor) dignity… probably around 2% of the modern culture has it – and that’s the problem. Soooooo many milling around in our modern culture that simply have no dignity, that simply think so little of themselves that they absolutely MUST manipulate situations from afar, so many who MUST derive their sense of self-worth from being able to twist, cajole, warp and command when in reality all they are actually achieving is painting themselves into a corner of their own making… kinda like the old “gilded cage” analogy, yeah, sure, you’re happy with the way things are but you’re as much a prisoner of the situation as anybody else you’re trying to sucker.

Whereas the self-acknowledged, those whom know where they are supposed to be, who accept situations at face value and accept matters for what they ARE, not what they SEEM to be. Reality isn’t always what we want is it?

Go Elephant Go Man…!!!

In the editorial “Councillors, Counselors and Consultants” I wrote about the benefits, and drawbacks, of having these three styles of organisation leadership. Either one of them can work, have done so historically for varying lengths of time and have produced a remarkably varied range of mostly positive results for the organisations concerned, so let’s look at them as models for possible “Leadership” of the modern living Vampire culture… with the RIGHT people in place – no problems but what if the folks that end up trying to run the show are a complete bunch of disingenuous, self-serving, undignified, self-doubting disenchanted TWATS…???

Then what the fuck we gonna do? Wave it all goodbye? Put our heads between our legs and kiss it goodbye? Or, simply ignore the whole thing and carry on with “Business as usual”?

Seriously, if it’s going to be business as usual then we’ve really not gained anything eh? Oh, except maybe a crap-ton more bullshit to keep us feeding at the “Drama Trough” for a while longer.

So, what’s a logical conclusion in all of this… as I believe I may have pointed out previously, the modern culture has been flooded, flooded with garbage and the more we try and dig ourselves out of the garbage the more garbage gets generated and it could have ALL, to a large extent, been avoided if there had been a little more honesty, a little more integrity and a little self-dignity.

Is it too late? FOR SOME most assuredly so… lost souls indeed but still perpetrating, what about the rest? Who Knows. Whatever else you want to say about people, whatever psychological constructs you want to use to explain grandiose and narcissistic behaviours, whatever terms of reference you want to use about those that YOU feel are beneath you, the simple, cold hard truth will always remain – RATIONAL BEINGS KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG… end of story. You know it’s wrong to lie, so why do it? You know it’s wrong to cheat and steal – so why do it? You know it’s wrong to harass and bully by electronic, or other means, another individual (Yah, laws against that too) SO WHY IN THE NAME OF THE GREAT FURRY BATBUTT DO YOU KEEP FUCKIN’ DOIN’ IT…???

Is it possible for leopards to change spots? WHY DON’T YOU TRY IT?

Like I said, just a few questions… maybe somebody will ask themselves, “Why?” and, just maybe one or two will decide to make some positive changes, they’ll get off the freakin’ “merry-go-round”, like many have already done so, and they’ll discover that there is a great deal of peace in simple dignity.

Jus’ sayin’…


Beroemde gitaar band uit België

 

What? Where’s the what?…. ohhhhh… the title…. mmmm…. ohhh very well then…

There ya go, all happy now??? Hmmmm…

Let’s go out on some super-Nerd-sauce from an unlikely source eh…


 

Copyright T & RVL, 2018 (unless otherwise noted)

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

NB: 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

 

Vampirism 101… will there be an exam on this?

“To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past.”
~ John F. Kennedy ~

Good evening,

This could be considered the second part of the idea that one reader suggested to us as a good topic to cover, the idea that ultimately gave rise to the editorial “Sires, Siress’, Mentors and Self”. This, like its predecessor, is by no means the “one and only Hitchhiker’s Guide to Vampirism”, what I write in here is not inscribed in stone and brought forth from the mountain, no, it’s simply the result of forty years awakened, having had three mentors and having mentored three.

In the preceding editorial I wrote about the connection between teachers and students in the modern Vampire culture. It was an examination of the individual methodology and expectations on both sides of that particular relationship, one facet of the jewel that is the modern culture you might say.

Another facet, another consideration, another question entirely might be, “How do you actually teach, and learn, Vampirism 101?”

How do you teach the newly awakened what they are experiencing is entirely natural to our kind? How do you impress upon them the often required need for discretion? The need for safety in blood-sharing? The proper ways to conduct themselves when conversing with others in the culture? With Elders? With Leaders? How do you teach them self-respect as a Vampire when they are feeling like crap? Perhaps most importantly, where do you even begin? Survival? Sanity? Feeding? Finding others like them?

A whole gamut of necessities and priorities to be juggled by the Sire, Siress’ and/or Mentors.

Pic. source: spreadshirt.co.uk

I would suppose that each case is going to be different, indeed, in my own limited experience I have found it so. Some newly awakened may only suffer mild symptoms, or side-effects, while others may suffer the worst “hunger”. It becomes, therefore, the prime responsibility of the “teacher”, in whatever form they may take, to assess the biggest problems facing the new-vamp. Think of it like VampTriage… a preliminary inspection to decide what the course of action will be and how, as the teacher, you are going to accomplish a successful transition for the newly-awakened.

Hunger

A commonly employed term for which there are synonyms, “The Thirst”, “Vamping Out”, whatever term you care to use it is the nagging, gnawing, insatiable feeling that “something” is needed to make the Vampire happy, healthy and whole. Luckily, in this arena, no one is alone but it is also the point where you, the teacher, need to be most careful. If you take your newcomer and say, “Here, go and read this, you’ll understand much better” you can probably imagine, quite well, the stomp of the foot, the fist on the desk and the quiet mouthing of, “FUCK YOU… I’m fucking dying over here… tell me what to fucking do…!!!”

This needs to be addressed, in this case obviously, as a major issue and needs be addressed directly by the teacher. Doing anything other will lose you the war before the first shot’s been fired.

“The Vampire”
Philip Burne Jones, 1896.

Discretion

“Coming out of the coffin” is a process which, in and of itself, can be fraught with dangers both obvious and hidden. As the student, if you ask a teacher, “What should I do?” any teacher worth a pinch of salt is going to start asking you questions. Questions like, “Do your family know of your true nature?”, “How do you intend to deal with the ramifications at school/work/church?”, “Does your bestie/boyfriend/girlfriend know of your true nature?”

The questions might seem, at once, deeply personal and also innocuous but the answers could have a profound effect on the safety, well-being and even the emotional survival of the newly awakened.

Feeding

Yeah, how else do you keep the “Hunger” under control? Seriously. Will you feed from a “crowd source”? (Most usual in Psi Vampires) Will you feed from specific Donors? (Applicable to both Psi and Sanguinarian Vampires) If you are Sanguine how are you going to ensure that the blood you are drinking is safe? Do you know how to conduct a blood-letting so that it does not harm your donor? Can you use animal blood as a supplement, or replacement?

Many, many questions… ALL of the answers are very important and ALL of these answers should be readily available from any credible Sire, Siress, Mentor or Teacher.

Image by: Lady SnipeShot

Hunting

Yep, really… there are those in the modern Vampire culture whom, euphemistically one would hope, embrace the term hunting for the process of going out and finding a donor who will, although they don’t know it, will become a willing donor… mostly.

There are many in the culture whom frown upon the “hunting” aspect of the modern Vampire experience but as long as you don’t physically, or unlawfully, harm or coerce anyone by any means then it’s really no different to going, out dressed to kill, on a Saturday night looking for a shag, is it?

Decorum

This is a delicate point among pretty much everyone… there is no universal cultural agreement on what actually constitutes decorum. Different Houses/ Clans/ Covens/ Organisations have different rules and regulations and usually require some form of “proper conduct” within their framework when being approached.

It is important that the Teacher ensure the newly awakened Vampire understands the concepts of common human dignity, politeness and decency. Just because the new Vampire has joined the ranks of the most energetic, powerful and enticing nightkind beings in the world doesn’t automatically afford them the right to become “Instant Assholes”.

History

Yes, history. It’s an important aspect of who and what we are. Every single person in the world has a “family tree”, a “heritage”, a “lineage” and we are no different. There is one school of thought that says modern Vampires were “Born” in New York City with the advent of the Long Black Veil events at MOTHER Nightclub…

It would be fair to say that this period was the latest incidence of the term “Vampire” being used as a common descriptor. The History of the Vampire, the lineage, if you will, stretches back to 3200 B.C. from Cuneiform writings, in ancient Sumeria, where Lilith appears as one of a group of Sumerian vampire/cannibal demons that included Lillu, Ardat Lili and Irdu Lili. (Please don’t make the mistake of thinking she was the first Vampire… we’ve got a whole research section on that)

The fact that modern living “Vampires” choose to call themselves that is simply the latest incarnation of the race.

Img. source: Adorable Wallpapers

Demographic

The real modern living Vampire culture is a GLOBAL entity, both by virtue of the fact that there isn’t a single country, or peoples, anywhere in the world that doesn’t have instances of Vampiric activities in their history and folklore someplace and it is the duty of any “Teacher” to make sure that the student understands they’re not just a Vampire in Nowheresville, they’re actually a part of a global nation.

Belief Sets

This is, for the student, something that must be assessed critically and sensibly. Think of it as the “90 days” period of a new job, they’re looking you over to see whether you fit and you, though almost all companies fail to realise it, are looking them over to see if they fit.

There are Vampire organisations that are strictly Vampires, no hocus pocus, there are those that have you go through elaborate and extensive “pledge” processes, there are those that will have you attend rituals of ordination… but I have to admit, if, back in the day, someone said to me, “Here, you need to drink this cup of blood and semen to become one of us…!” I would have politely declined and wandered off to find the nearest bar.

Each “organisation” will have, teach and enforce their own belief sets upon newcomers… kinda like organised religion yeah? Yes, that’s one too watch out for. To the newly awakened, in this period, just make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for BEFORE you go there. Very often something that looks too good to be true usually is.

Img. source: Bram Stoker’s Dracula
American Zoetrope,
Columbia Pictures Corp & Osiris Films, 1992.

In Conclusion

A Teacher must be ready to provide answers, not say, “Go away and read…” otherwise they ain’t worth shit as a teacher.
A Teacher must be “attuned”, through experience, to the priorities that are needed to be uppermost in making the newly awakened seeker’s transition as painless as possible.

A student needs to pay attention and ask intelligent questions because that is how we learn, all of us. This is the bit you’re really going to gag on, a student, where being taught by an older, experienced member of the culture should be able to demonstrate the proper respect for their teacher. Remember, you are asking the senior culture member for help, there is NO OBLIGATION on anyone to do anything for you.

If both sides can’t show a little respect, well, then there’s really nothing to say is there?

Copyright T & RVL, 2018

NB: 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

 

Councillors, Counselors and Consultants

img source: sylvielefrancois.com

Researched, Written and Edited by

Tim

In the editorial “Sires, Siress’, Mentors and Self” I wrote about connections between individuals and their closest “advisors”, the way in which individuals could be connected with groups and the relative merits of standing on their own feet. It’s an important aspect of being part of the modern living Vampyre culture and can provide a sense of stability and belonging.

In this editorial the point will be to look into methods of co-operation that could be used in the culture to promote communication and goals between organisations.

I guess that pretty much everyone is in the know about the various histories of attempts to form “Councils” and “Co-operatives” within the modern culture. From 1997 and the Long Black Veil events, which gave rise to the original, “The Black Veil”, code of vampyre ethics and common sense to the year 2000 and the formation of COVICA, a council of collected elders from different traditions, there have been subsequent attempts to create “councils”, “enclaves” and the like that, one by one, seem to have fallen by the wayside for one reason or another.

In fact, not so very long back a public post revealed that the leader of one organisation was stepping down for the purposes of concentrating on, and I quote, “…“dealing with the community as a whole, specifically the Leadership of the VC in order to change it.”

The obvious questions here must be, “What is meant by the term, “Leadership of the VC” and why does it need to be changed? Is it bad, broken or faulty? Are we talking about a “Council of Leaders”? A committee of Leaders? A Court of Leaders? And, perhaps more importantly, who are our new “Leaders” going to be? Who are the nominees? When will voting open and who’s got the “Golden Envelope” for the “Top Job”?

No matter how you cut it it’s going to be a hard sell, as my dear friend Lady CG pointed out to me once, “Getting Vampires to agree is like trying to herd cats” and with that image firmly in mind let’s see if we can divine some possible, workable, options.

Img. source: vector illustration

The “Council”

If it’s to be “Councillors” then we have a sitting Council, these can be formed in two ways, by popular election (and I don’t mean democracy as in vote preferences, I mean ONE person, ONE vote) which is the preferred manner of election. Naturally the majority vote carries the day but you will only get a representation of a population group and you won’t ever know whether that is the TOTAL population or simply a proportion of the population.

The best that could be arrived at is that this will end up as an indication of preference.

As a prime example of a functional establishment we read that, in the Gotham Halo, the following structure/s is, or are, in place and within this we can recognise a firmly established precedent for the use of “Royal title” in the word “Regent”:

Society Nocturnus Of Gotham (S.N.O.G)

“S.N.O.G. (Society Nocturnus Of Gotham)

It is a society consisting of various Houses/Clans/Groups initiated in 2000.”

 “Court of Lazarus

They are the Metropolitan Court of Gotham and sister Court to Society Nocturnus Of Gotham. They are a society consisting of various Houses/Clans/Groups initiated in 2002.”

Council Positions (Within Courts)

Note, these positions may vary in definition and/or responsibility between courts.

Regent (elected) Sheriff (elected) High Templar/Ronin Magistrate (elected) Treasurer (council elected)

Ambassador (appointed) Deputy (Sheriff – appointed) Seraphim Guild (appointed) Scribe/Keeper of the Scrolls (appointed)

The Order of The Black Marble, first established in 2002, is dedicated to maintaining peaceful relations (The Pax Vampyri) between all Courts, Communities, Orders and Societies.

The Black Trinity is a collection of three covenants by which The Order of the Black Marble is governed.

I.Recognize and respect all Vampire Courts, Communities, Orders and Societies.

II.Resolve rather than create conflict.

III.Revel in our shared heritage.

(reproduced by permission)

There is no doubt that there is a large influence of formality in this model, however, think on this, formality breeds respectful conversation, discussion and debate. From those two things come realistic and achievable goals.

 

The second way in which a Council can be formed is by bringing a body of individual groups together and having each one nominate a “Council Member” as a member organisation. This manner ensures that the interests of all the member groups are represented and each has an equal, one vote, at any decision making time. The one drawback here is that it needs to be decided how a deadlock will be broken if such a thing occurs. Do you maintain an uneven number of member groups, thereby making a deadlock very rare unless an organisation abstains from voting (hey, stranger things have happened at sea right?)

The only other way you could break deadlock is to have one person be the “conscience” of the Council and hold the power of the deciding vote (Oh, the possibilities for corruption…!)

Either way you look at it the “Council” concept is one that seems to represent a true equal representation of all member bodies while, at the same time, being open to individual manipulations and corruption.

Img. source: woman – the nest

The “Counselors”

A second method is to have “Counselors”, in a body that the majority of member bodies will pay attention to in the event of a decision of some description being needed. It’s a concept that has been in the forefront of everyone’s thinking for a long time and there have been, and still are, organisations that exist in which this method is used.

The idea is that each member organisation can, by going through individual Counselors, or Representatives, approach other organisations, join together in projects, take part in round-table discussions and debates while under the watchful, NON-INTERFERING eye of a Counselor whose sole role is to facilitate the process so the best outcome between all involved parties can be reached.

As our esteemed friend Saint-John Hawke points out,
“Always have an independent person who possess the ability to be non-judgemental as well as being able to piece all sides of the puzzle to make the perfect picture. In other words, find people in each house that have observed what’s going on, not people in leadership, the average member and get their input. But these must be dedicated members, not whiners. And you might want to promote these people to a position of counselors.

In any house, the leadership is the A frame, but you will not have a stable house if your center beam isn’t strong.”

In response to the question, “Would you think these “counselors” would then be in a good position to form a “Community round table” of counselors to provide common guidance?” he opines,

“Yes, given that they would act according to the benefit of the organization, they may be outstanding advisors.”

The hardest part about being a “Counselor” in this situation is maintaining complete neutrality and complete impartiality. Again, the spectre of personal bias and the possibility for corruption is a factor that must be considered and would need to be controlled, rigidly, by the governing body of the Counselors.

Img. courtesy of Vampire Court of Dallas

Mike Burgess, the Leader of the Vampire Court of Dallas, kindly agreed to spend a few minutes with a couple of my questions, his replies were, as always, insightful and most welcomed;

RVL: What is the best path to gain a level of co-operation between different bodies within the modern culture?

MB: Personally I don’t think there is “best path” available although there are a good amount of ideas and potential within the community for cooperation and collaboration between organizations of all sizes and statures. Personally, the Dallas/Fort Worth court has benefitted highly from cross-promotional exercises and even social media projects with our neighboring organizations in Texas but really all of these actions start with an open mind, communication, and a freedom from the difficulties that ego can bring. No one wants to work with someone who will allow their ego to take over professionally, why would that be any different here? To add further to this point, the survey posted by several OVC forums asking for the “Largest Problem in the VC Currently” resulted in participants choosing Ego – by far – as their choice…by discarding a measure of ego…communication would grow, allowing for the flow of ideas and the realization to come about that each organization reflects and is best suited for their local area. Each person, like a diverse workplace, brings their own strength and points of view to the whole of our culture. Just because Organization A is larger or more well-known, does not mean that its model and functions will work in Area-B…and why should it? With each organization and locality being profoundly different, why not use those fundamental differences in local culture and goals as a strength rather than a weakness?

With the growth of social media as a primary communication tool between organizations, it has never been easier to reach out across boundaries and find not only common ground, but learn about our fellow organizations in a profound way. Once these conversations get flowing, anyone can quickly realize why cooperation is beneficial to all by leveraging these different paths to bring us all to the same end.

The second question I nagged him with, “Would this path best be served by having Councillors, Counsellors or Consultants available to each organization?”

MB: Personally, I think while having an officer or specialist within an organization will do wonders – if size permits – or some capable of performing these duties, without tackling the culture of the organization itself and having the belief within the organization that: “Our way isn’t the best for Area-B” or “We are better by embracing most paths – in so long as they don’t present a danger legally or ethically,” communication and the sharing of ideas will be hampered.  This is not an easy thing to do…many who like me, work cooperate leadership as well…we have seen numerous large firms spend millions of dollars on consultants to simply learn this seemingly simple point: diversity of ideas and people is the best way to progress forward. If the organization culture and leadership does not embrace this, then any member that volunteers to lead cooperative efforts will be profoundly hindered.

Img. source: quora.com

The “Consultants”

Which brings us to consultants… a concept that is very widely used in RL, is relied on by businesses, corporations and elective bodies the world over. Consultants are engaged to advise on matters related, in the main, to operational conduct and the achievement of aims and goals for an organisation, or group of organisations. The Consultant, much like a Counselor, needs to be impartial, neutral and confine their advice to operational matters. In this fashion a Consultant sits outside and apart from the ultimate decisions of their “client”. It’s also important to note that such consultants need have a broad knowledge base, an appreciable amount of experience “in the trenches” so to speak, and that they be non-partisan – that is, not be a member of any House, Temple, Group or other “vested interest” organisation. Conflict of interest is the most important thing to avoid here, in fact (and much as you might not like the term) the Ronin of the culture would, by very definition, make the best consultants.

 

Which is the most effective?

To begin comparing the three we must recognise that every situation, for every organisation, is different. No two groups operate, internally, in the same way entirely but the focus here is not on individual organisations, rather it is on collectives of organisations.

A “Council” will only ever be as effective as the number of bodies that inhabit it and its reach will only ever extend to those individual member parties. For a Council to declare that they “run the show” for everyone is the height of arrogance and will draw condemnation from all whom do not wish to be member groups. If such council tries to enforce their “edicts” beyond their own sphere they will, by the very nature of people, meet with stiff resistance and will most likely face the rise of opponent “Councils” each declaring themselves to be the “one true path”… kinda like religion in a way.

 

A body comprised of Counselors will likely find an easier time of it since they will not be attempting to enforce edicts but will, rather, be seeking to mediate and engage with a wide array of groups and individuals to foster co-operative efforts toward achieving goals.

Two examples of modern culture “Counseling” based bodies are Madame X’s Dark Nations and the Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC).

In the Dark Nations model there are a body of facilitators to which member organisations are assigned and the task of the facilitator is to engage, mediate and advise. That simple. Non-interference within a closed system.

Lady Sylvere Ap Leanan of the VVC summarises their operations thus;
“The VVC is the first and only organization that has ever accomplished that goal. We do it by focusing on being an informational network. We take pains to ensure that we do not act in any way, nor are we perceived to act in any way, as a governing body. We allow each group to deal with its own internal issues as it sees fit with no outside influence from us.

If a group requests it, members of the VVC are always happy to help in whatever capacity we can without betraying our pledge of non-interference. That’s why we are group exclusive to LEADERS of groups rather than open to anyone and everyone.

We can and do help each other by acting as an informal support network, which more or less boils down to “Whatcha need, bro? I got your back.”

Not that every member of the VVC gets along with all other members. We most certainly don’t. But there are enough of us that there’s always a support system if one is needed.

We also have the benefit of being the only group where members of groups that can’t stand each other can verbally go at each other until we resolve our issues. I have personally done so with people I formerly despised and now we get along fairly well.

So I would say that the VVC is the best path to take, especially since we’ve been doing it for over a decade. No other group can say that. Other groups have tried to imitate us and failed. Repeatedly.”

Img. source: LDS.org

As I mentioned earlier, impartiality and neutrality need be the cornerstones of either of these types of overseeing body, if we consider the “Consultants” option, utilising Ronin members of the culture, then we can see that this might well represent the most impartial method of looking at “the big picture”. Consultants who have no vested interest in decisions that are made by groups, either singly or collectively could represent a strength of mediation and engagement that would withstand any claims of bias or favouritism, elitism or exclusionary practices.

However, there’s always a ‘BUT’…

Many of the drawbacks that might be encountered with either of these three methods I have already mentioned, I’d like to summarise those here.

Taking the “Council” concept firstly;
1) Open to individual bias and corruption

2) Open to charges of exclusionary practices and “elitism”.

3) Has limited reach that extends only over member groups.

4) Any Council will be functional only in as much as individual organisations are willing to be part of “the program”.

The “Counselor” concept then;

  • Individual Counselor reputation and history may well mar efforts.
  • Counselors need to be overseen by a governing body and in this manner may not be able to act as truly independently as required under certain circumstances.
  • Counselor burn-out, individual Counselors may reach a point in proceedings (some of which may be half achieved) where they decide, “The hell with this shit…!” – Personal stress on Counselors must be taken into account.

The Consultant –

  • The “Consultant” runs the risk of, at the end of the day and after hours and hours of work, of being ignored and their recommendations discarded.
  • The Consultant needs to be able to demonstrate sufficient practical knowledge and situational experience to be taken seriously.
  • The Consultant may make mistakes and the information and recommendations they provide should be, in the first instance, backed up by solid factual evidences and, in the second place, be able to be easily verified by the organisation they work for. It’s a big job that can take weeks or months to complete.

“Hmmmm…”
img. source: worldartsme

 

In conclusion:

What is in the best interests of the concerned parties, or in the case of the modern living Vampyre culture, the entire culture?

Is it preferable to have a Council of, dare I say it, self-appointed leaders and elders who believe they are the best people to dictate the “right” way to do things and who may well decide to ostracise any who don’t agree or comply with their proclamations?

Is it preferable to have Counselors, mediators and the like who will try to bring about a peace between parties, or co-operation between parties that really, in essence have way too much “history” between them to achieve meaningful and lasting resolutions?

Can Consultants offer truly binding and meaningful solutions in organisations that they have not been a part of, which they are getting their first glimpse of and in which they have, in reality, no stake in whatever happens either way?

 

These are questions that have been asked over and over through the history of the modern Vampire culture but the biggest question now is, do we really need anything or are we doing just fine as we are? It’s in this last question that we realise, and consider, our own personal opinions of the “state of the nation”.

Copyright RVL and contributors, 2018

Grateful acknowledgement goes to Lady CG, Saint-John Hawke, Lady Sylvere Ap Leanan, Mike Burgess, Elder Kage Adamant-O’Mallie Asotus, Prince-Lord Shaolin Asura MacPhee and Lupa Gunnr MacPhee Lykaios

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