Presented by: Tim
There are many fine people in the vampire community, both on and offline, people who believe in the best that the community can offer, who believe that there is a vital and necessary message that needs to be sent out.
Our guest today is a real, modern vampire, a business owner, and parent of two. Most of her time not spent with kids or making jewelry is spent expanding her knowledge base on various subjects, or working on other projects in the Denver area.
RVN would like to welcome…
RVN: Thank you for affording the time to participate in this interview Alison.
Alison: Thanks for asking me; I don’t seem to be exactly popular. It should be remembered that the one that challenges things is the one that changes things though.
RVN: If I may start with question based on recent events, you recently did an interview with The Meta-Para page at WordPress in which you responded, when asked, “Where do you want to see the Online Vampire communities in the future?”, by saying “Gone. Truly”
What sort of responses did you receive from the statement and the remainder of your statement in that interview?
Alison: The latter part of that question is more interesting; no one really addressed anything else that I said. Everything that people complained about was centered on those first two words. Only a few noticed more than that.
Part of the problem over all though is that I did misread the question some. The person running that sent me the questions and said get it back by the next morning. What I read was “Where do you see…” rather than “Where do you want to see…” This is my fault for answering stuff too late at night, but the questions could have been worded a bit better as well I think.
RVN: It’s something that we have all fallen prey to at one time or another I think, so let’s take the opportunity to revisit the question and set the record straight.
“Where do you want to see the community in the future?”
Alison: Back where it should have been, and cleaned out of all the distractions.
RVN: Do you think the responses were justified or were they the result of a misunderstanding of the context of your answer?
Alison: Most of the responses seemed very reactionary, and focused on the preconceived idea that I am some terrible person it seemed. There were a few that read the entirety before reacting, and realized that I was responding to a slightly different question than what was asked.
RVN: What do you believe the community is not doing that would enhance its image and its reputation?
Alison: Everything. The community does nothing that would help, because all of the time and energy is spent telling those that are trying to make things better that they can’t; and they are right, because nothing will change with that many people standing in the way of change.
The other major problem is that of those that show up in the general media there are two groups; the mystics, and the crazies. The crazies are the ones that blame vampirism for the crime that they have committed. In some cases the people do have ties to the community. The problem here is the response; nothing but fighting among ourselves on what to do to improve the image of the community. In the end nothing gets done or said and the image is perpetuated that the VC is a danger to the world.
The mystics are a problem to the external image as much as they are to the community itself. They generally go on tv and talk about how some insubstantial energy is what all vampires need to survive. I have rarely seen anyone that is not absolutist on energy in the media, and they never provide anything but excuses for not being able to explain what this energy is coherently. The problem here is that there is no substantiated proof of the energy, nor of the need for it; and definitely not of the possible death with out it as has been claimed by some. Again, the response to this is silence. But in this case it is because of the idea that won out years ago of anyone that can say the phrase ‘I am a vampire’ can be a part of the community.
RVN: How extensive is your own involvement with the community?
Alison: For a while I did nothing because I didn’t have the time, nor the inclination to get tied up in arguments with people that have no willingness to think logically, and are firmly entrenched in their religion. Before that I was very involved with the OVC because of there not being much of a community in the Denver, or Cheyenne areas where I was at that time. Previous to that, 20 years ago now, I was very involved with the tiny existence that there was of a local community until it just went away because of people leaving the area, and it becoming much more mystical/religion based.
RVN: What do you think needs to be the focus of the community in the near to mid-term future?
Alison: The first thing that needs to be done is actually come together as one group with a common goal rather than the five types that exist now. Mainly, three of those need to go and find their own existence. The base that started all of this was not a religion, a lifestyle, or a psychological problem. The delusional need to deal with it and actually use the medication they were prescribed; the religion needs to, just as other religions, get the hell out of the way of progress and allow the reality to continue; and the lifestyle kids need to go back to their night clubs with Todd Sebastian.
After that a cohesive whole needs to be formed around the idea of investigation of the two remaining groups; the psy feed, and the blood feed. The primary focus, mainly because there is something to work with, would need to be on the blood feeders. At the same time a rebuilding of the the community’s image publicly would need to happen.
RVN: Do you think the community is providing enough support and direction for newcomers today?
Alison : I don’t see that it offers any. A person comes in and they are inundated with mystical crap, and at the same time others looking at facts and provable information. Anyone that tries to provide fact is shouted down for the same thing I am getting tired of hearing everywhere; “you are oppressing my religious freedom.” The net result is absolute confusion, and misdirection.
RVN: If there was one thing you could have changed in, or put into, the community, what would that be?
Alison: More over remove. Just those three types that confuse things and waste time that I mentioned before being the biggest part of the list. The only thing left on that list would be the posturing and extreme resistance to doing actual investigative science.
RVN: We’d like to find out a little about your current projects now. You are the owner of Demzon Creations we believe, would you tell us a bit about that?
Alison: Well, I am a custom jeweler. I take ideas and concepts and turn them in to wearable art. The best way to explain is just point people to facebook.com/DemzonCreations where there are pictures of nearly everything, at least the impressive stuff. I do not work with white gold or platinum though. Mainly because white gold is annoying for the extra chemistry involved, and platinum is way too hot for my torch. The one I use only goes up to 1500f and platinum starts at 2000f.
RVN: Have you any plans for business expansion?
Alison: I am getting things set up on eBay right now after a few other experiments that didn’t work out. Right now, sales are still down primarily due to economic conditions. As one jewelry industry article pointed out; jewelers is only useful to one person in the house. The idea being that sales are down for everyone in jewelry because, for example, a TV, or refrigerator is used by everyone in the household; but a ring, or necklace is only usually used by one member of that household. Add to that fear driving up metals prices, and thus end product price too.
RVN: Amongst your other “projects” is the Facebook group “Help Stop Cyberbullies”, are you involved with any other groups like this?
Alison: Sort of, but not entirely. I follow a good many online and I have offered myself up for my local school district when they need advice on LGBT issues and resources, and they have taken me up on that from time to time.
I am also going to be going back to take the last few classes that I need for a degree in psychology. This is to make me more useful in helping progress in the VC and the LGBT community; as well as with individual help because there is not enough out there for gender identity specific.
RVN: Do you have further plans for media involvement within the scope of these other projects?
Alison: Well, if I get sales going good with the jewelry side of things I will likely get around to doing commercials; maybe. If I end up doing something interesting in psychology I guess it would be a requirement to do interviews and appearances.
RVN: May we ask, how do you define your personal modern vampirism?
Alison: A medical condition that has yet to be fully understood.
RVN: What limitations do you place on yourself as a real modern vampire?
Alison: No more than I do as anything else that makes up the whole picture of me. I never limit things, but I don’t generally do anything that is not fully considered with some reason for doing so.
RVN: If we may ask, in your personal opinion are there any organizations that are capable of building on what the OVC currently has and making it stronger and more durable?
Alison: There was, and there have been some good ideas for some. Mostly they have all fallen prey to the ego or ineptitude of a few individuals, or were not implemented in any useful way. What we get then is a bunch of hollow shells that present themselves as useful but with no substance once you get beyond the fancy and ambitious mission statements.
RVN: Do you have any other comments that you would like to make about real modern vampirism, or the online vampire community?
Alison: It hasn’t changed since the move to be overly inclusive and politically correct at the whim of a few. If Michelle and Todd had not won out on that and the Black Veil plagiarism we might have been some where by now.
RVN: You mention the plagiarism of the Black Veil, it is commonly held that Father Sebastiaan and Michelle Belanger were the original authors of the BV, and that Lady Melanie and again, Michelle Belanger, revised the document before the COVICA revision was adopted. What other sources do you know of may we ask?
Alison: As Picasso said, and many other before and after, “good artists borrow, great artists steal.” that is to say that if you want to be good and seem like you are original don’t let people make the connection between what you created as a derivative item and the original.
The story starts on this one with the community being offered a set of guidelines that the two were offering; Michelle Belanger and Todd Sebastian. Not long after it was shown quite a few saw the first line and knew exactly where it came from; “above all: uphold the masquerade.” After many of us checked it was verified that this set of “original” rules was in fact a direct, word for word copy of the rules for vampire society in White Wolf Games Vampire: the Masquerade.
A few years later I came across a little bit more on this in a claim that Todd found them in an ancient book and posted them in his bar for fun. More recently, a news channel came across what is sensible enough to be the truth.
This version is much less impressive. It starts with a bar owner trying to get more business in. Eventually he sees that vampires are gaining attention and goes for that marketing angle; a vampire bar. To add to the ambiance somehow he comes across and posts a photocopy of the page that has the ten rules of the “Masquerade” to the wall in, or near, the entry. Later he was interviewed by the Discovery Channel regarding the fangs that he had just started making not long before. In the interview he stated that vampires are not real, and that it is just people having fun; he saw his business drop soon after I would think and got plenty of letters telling him how wrong he was. This presented an opportunity to expand, and to rebuild into a new person to get better sales, and soon enough people would forget; and so he became “Father Todd.”
After all of this he and Michelle presented this set of rules to the OVC claiming they were original and was found to be plagiarized. They reworded the whole thing and represented them. The rest is well known, and correct from there.
There is no mystical link; no ancient rites; no reason for them to exist. Just two people trying to make money, and doing so.
RVN: Thank you very much indeed for giving us your time today Alison, we wish you well in your endeavors and business.
Alison: Thank you.
An intriguing and intelligent person and one who is not afraid to speak out and do so in an honest and no-frills manner. The essence of making something better lies in being able to look it over objectively and see its faults. There are those who can look on objectively, almost impassively and there are those who are able to see the faults but not enough of the picture, overall, to be able to make it better ~ without help that is.
Sometimes the answers are so obvious that it takes someone like our guest today to make us see them.
Copyright RVN & Alison Demzon 2012
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