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The modern living Vampyre culture is a somewhat volatile, tempestuous, busy, complicated and confusing scenario and there have long been those whom wished that there was some method of assessing to make some sense out of it.
In the general, global sense, we cannot since, in order to do so, we would necessarily need a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, etymologists and fine Irish single malt Whisky…
In considering this problem I began, some time back, thinking about the framework of an instrument that would allow for external observations to be gathered in order to assess the reliability and suitability of group membership applications. It is to be an instrument that evaluates actual, real-time interactions and the overall appearance afforded by a person’s public/ group activities.
I started out by referring to the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Framework Ver. 2.6 first developed, by Isaac Bonewits, in 1979. I considered each criteria and re-developed the entire question matrix, while retaining certain key-wording constructs, to scale it back to “individuals” rather than groups of individuals.
What I have, so far, is shown below and I believe that real-time observation and reporting, possibly over a ‘probationary’ or ‘qualifying’ period would enable cultural group leaders to render sound decisions about whom is, and whom is not, of suitable temperament for their group/s and /or support. This, in its turn, would go a long way to curtailing the influence of some of the real “crazies” out there and would make for much more stable, productive and long-tenured groups within the modern culture.
- How many groups have you seen come and go, in a very short space of time since you’ve been hanging around the online culture?
- What’s the reason for the collapse of the groups that have gone by the wayside?
- Could a better “team” balance and approach have made some significant contribution to the modern culture?
I have been involved, in both industry and commerce, in building, organising and overseeing teams going back to around 1984. The keys are the same as the keys necessary for cultural groups to form, survive, produce and be a coherent and helpful, or guiding, force. With that in mind it becomes necessary to look at the structure of the team that you are tasking, or asking for something, and determine the very best balance that can be brought to the team to make it work.
So it is with anything… unless of course you don’t actually WANT to achieve anything..!
The individual skills, traits and attributes of team, or in this case ‘group’ members, is of the utmost importance to ensuring a successful outcome, whether you are running a discussion, production, evaluation, hobby, sport or any other kind of group/team… there needs to be a complementary balance of such things to ensure a positive outcome, otherwise, yep… chaos..! With that in mind I cobbled together the following evaluation tool, maybe you can use it to build a better group, maybe not. Maybe you can save yourself a lot of heartache and drama, maybe not but just maybe it’s worth thinking about…no?
Rated on the scale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Median method: The thing to bear in mind here is that the “Highest” possible score could be just as bad as the “Lowest” so it becomes necessary to define a middle range that becomes the ideal. It’s very like the standard pre-employment 125 question sheets they make you do, the psych-evaluation tests that we’ve all seen at some time which are meant to ensure that someone doesn’t get saddled with “extreme” personality difficulties, and let’s face it, the modern living Vampyre culture is replete with those.
With that in mind… a score of 1, in answer to any of the following questions is to be considered the furthest from an “ideal” answer as is a score of 10. Ideally we should be aiming to give a score of between 4 and 7 which would yield an ideal total, if we treat 5 as being optimum, of 80.
Max. Count Method: Alternatively, if it’s more comfortable, the higher the score can mean the better the individual is at achieving the ideal according to the question, in which case the best possible score could be 160 and we would have to set the ‘minimum acceptable’ score that we would consider as being optimum for our purposes… we might say we will only pass those with scores of 90 or above, 120 or above or whatever we might see the best outcome as being.
Personal Control: Amount of self-control exercised by individual in everyday interpersonal interactions. (Do they tend to flip out, get rude, offensive etc. frequently, with or without perceived justification?)
External Control: Amount of external social influence desired or obtained; how much emphasis is placed on directing the affairs/ interactions/ business of others. (Are they friends and advisors or interferers?)
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed vs. credible demonstration of; Number, and degree, of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed. ( Can they back-up/ support/ prove their claims?)
Amount/ level of hostility towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts/questioning. Is there a strong ‘defensive’ element present in responses? (Do they get bent out of shape if someone questions their pet theory or opinion?)
Personal Dogma: Rigidity of self-reality, inflexible attitude, or non-acceptance of opposing ideas and concepts. (Are they stubborn, one-eyed, inflexible individuals?)
Recruiting: Emphasis on bringing people round to their way of thinking/ demands that their p.o.v. be recognised as “the one”. (Do they need to be revered/ worshipped/ lauded all the time? Are they narcissistic in nature?)
Front Groups: Total number of groups the person is affiliated with/ a member of. (If they are in 1,495 other groups are they going to be effective, in any way shape or form, in yours?)
Perceived ‘wealth’/’currency’: Amount of ‘friends’, or group affiliations, in real-life and/or social media situations. (Are they ‘trophy’ group/friend hunters? Do they friend someone then ‘farm’ that new friend’s ‘friend list’?)
Influence Rate: Manipulation of ‘friends’/contacts/ members of groups in their circle. (Do they play the two ends against the middle and set back to watch the fun? Do they manipulate people around them to realise some perceived personal goal?)
Favouritism: Advancement or preferential treatment of fundamental ideas based on certain “personal” connections within the wider social circle. (Are they ‘lap dogs’ for their master/s?)
Censorship: Amount of control exerted/ expected over the interactions/ activities/ communications between opinions in group/ personal interactions. (Do they hold themselves forth as some kind of ‘be-all-end-all’ adjudicator?)
Isolation: Amount, or presence, of effort to keep others from communicating with non-‘friends’/ group colleagues etc. (Do they keep ‘friends’ / group members away from folks that might know a little too much about them?)
Control methods: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing, controlling or influencing and whether those efforts are overt, or covert. (Do they act openly and above board or sneak around being all ‘I spy’ mister/miss/mrs CIA?)
Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories and or “dramatic” situations within real-life circles/ social media circles. (Are they ‘Drama Queens/ Kings, always seeking out new and exciting frontiers of trouble to get into to make their life appear exciting?)
Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on people around them not being able to be responsible for personal decisions; the amount of ‘telling’ people what to do in any given situation esp. where such input is not requested. (Do they tend to reserve their quiet and confident counsel for PM situations or do the slip the brain into neutral and just let the mouth go for it?)
Hypocrisy: Amount, and frequency, of actions which would normally be seen as being either immoral or unethical, when done for the purpose of ‘political’, ‘psychological’, ‘social’, ‘economic’, or other – strictly personal – gain. (Are they a hypocrit?)
Okay, okay… while the cries of “booo…”, “pot…pot” and “kettle” die down – yeah, I’ve made mistakes, yeah, I’ve screwed up… yes, I’ve taken my licks and the beat-downs and I CAN lay claim to having learned from my mistakes. I KNOW who, and where, not to go near now, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work it out y’know
It’s a theoretical construct based on observable activity and known experiences, the other invaluable tool you have, as a group convener, leader, Head of a House or Clan, is experience… not just yours but the experiences of everyone in your group. Let’s face it, if you didn’t trust them they wouldn’t be there right? (Unless, of course, you’re just there to pad the numbers and feel important then all this will have been wasted…right?)
Evaluation of potential members doesn’t have to take months, not even weeks. It can be done while the “applicant” is in a “probationary member” position and should include not only within your own group but by observing their conduct at other groups they are in, by reviewing their social media activities and by listening to your own members who may well have come into contact with your applicant before.
Or, maybe, you just love having to get up in the morning, or home from work in the evening, and dealing with the latest B.S. wrought by someone in your group that you really should have thought twice about… hmmm?
Build it right, keep it under control, moderate the output and enjoy the achievements and rep… it’s easy enough.
Copyright TB & RVL, 2018
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