Unity, in the modern living Vampire culture, was once described to me as, “a pipe dream”. Is that still the case?
Let’s, firstly, take a brief historical look at some contemporary examples of “unity” in the real world.
The most famous, and perhaps well known, is, of course, the United Nations. Founded 24 October 1945 and originally comprising 51 member states it now numbers 193 member countries.
Another well known “unity” project, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) agreement based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29.
Yet another is the ANZUS (Australia New Zealand United States) Security Treaty is the 1951, collective security non-binding agreement between Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States.
Not simply for security or military requirements does unity come about either, consider, if you will, The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. A second commitment period was agreed on in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment. As of July 2016, 66 states have accepted the Doha Amendment, while entry into force requires the acceptances of 144 states. Of the 37 countries with binding commitments, 7 have ratified.
All real, viable, working and representative models of unity for a collective benefit.
Within the modern Vampire culture we can look at two models that have proven to be viable thus far in promoting a unification for communication, information exchange and certain acceptances of common principles. The first we will look at is Dark Nations.
In the latter half of 2007 the Dark Nations founded by Madame X of House of The Dreaming and Lord Khan, initially gathering over 2 dozen Houses and Orders into a collective effort designed to encourage communication and interactions between the member houses.
The Unity Project
The second, and more recent, The Unity Project, the brainchild of King Maven Lore of New Orleans, LA and King Logan South of Austin, TX was established in June of 2017 and experienced a surge of interest at its inception which has resulted in a steady growth to date.
It is interesting to look at the operational aspects of the two, in comparison, and see which might be the more popular model. There is no doubt that both work and, in fact, you can usually tell when something is working when a great number of people start belittling and denigrating it… not so unlike real life in that respect.
Having been involved in the Dark Nations at one time I found it to be a great platform for the cross-communication between the member houses. Each “Administrator”, or rather “Facilitator” was tasked with looking after a small number of member groups and this ensured that smooth running was maintained. Membership to the Dark Nations, much like the process whereby a country or state joins the United Nations, is by invitation. There is, obviously, a vetting process that goes on prior to any membership invitation being made and the main stipulation is that the “embassy” of a member house at DNs must have a minimum of three people in it.
It has been some time since we have chanced to be able to speak with a representative of DNs but we are hopeful of being able to bring you an up to date, inside look at what the organisation is up to today.
By contrast, we would suggest, the Unity Project, is a more “open” network of Member Houses. Typically the member houses of the Unity Project takes on the title of “Vampire Court of” and the leader of the house assumes the monarchical title of King/Queen.
As far as we are aware, from previous discourse with one of the Unity Project’s founders, there is no particular set pre-selection or invitation process, whether a house is, or is not, admitted is based on a more generalised application process. This very “open” aspect attracts groups more readily, we would assume, than a closed system of invitation only.
Mainly because it’s infinitely preferable to bickering and B.S. but that’s not the only reason. Wider based, and more highly resourced, culture specific charity work could be improved. A more cordial level of intercommunications between more groups would mean that “trolls” and “troublemakers” could be more easily, and completely, frozen out by concensus. Exchange of study research could lead to a better, and deeper, understanding of the specialist identifiers between the self-identified types of Vampires and, thereby, a more inclusive unit could be established and maintained.
The fact is that unity doesn’t mean having one “Boss”, “King” or “Grand Poobah”, it means wider representation in a more beneficial atmosphere. In fact, as King Maven of New Orleans put it in the interview entitled, “A new world order reprised”:
“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.”
He went on to say,
“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.”
Indeed, both current models we have considered fit what might be seen as the “preferred” model for unity within any society.
As an example of unity of purpose for wider benefit, RVL and the research group CLAVIS have recently entered into an agreement to examine the feasibility of creating a list of all the available Vampire lexicons available. From this collection a general Lexicon could be created that would examine all currently employed terms in the culture and by reducing them to their base components a “dictionary” of terms could be designed to enhance communication and understanding of non-house specific terminology.
There are many benefits to unity and cooperation and it is becoming clearer that there are more elements of the modern Vampire culture that are warming to that concept.
Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, what’s going to happen to our identity as a house, or our legacy, if we all join in this big, happy, all hold hands and sing kumbaiyah around the campfire thing?”
Simple answer, nothing… no more than any member country of the United Nations has been swallowed up and lost its national identity. No one is saying you have to change but look at the benefits that could be shared between your house, group or organisation and other member organisations.
The old days of, “He who controls the information rules the roost” are gone. Information, within the culture, is no longer a commodity to be bought and sold, it’s a right of all to have access to the widest pool of resources for improvement, and learning, and anyone who thinks otherwise is heading the way of the dinosaur.
What are the considerations that might turn us from “Unity”?
It’s a sentiment that lies close to the heart of a great many in the modern culture, the belief that Vampires, modern Vampires, much like the historical archetype, aren’t “pack” creatures, rather they are “loners”, individuals who don’t generally crave company, mingling, socialising or any of that.
Indeed, that very thing was the subject of an RVL two-part editorial, Vampires – Pack or Solitary beings? Published in March of 2017. (Part 1 & Part 2) and as I commented in Part 1;
“Modern Vampyres, those without specific vampyric ideologies that they adhere to, those that are not part of a structured “order” and those that stand outside of the often referred to “politics” of the modern, contemporary, situation are left wondering in which direction to turn and for this very reason many will, and will continue to, return to solitary ways because that is the way of the vampire.”
The politics involved with inter-house dealings may well drive many to seek the solace of the solitary way once more. Hierarchies that are too strictly observed and levied on the members will, I would suggest, push in the same direction. It is a difficult thing to walk a path under someone else’s rules, as the renowned Magistra Xia wrote;
At the end of the day “unity” or “not unity” is, as it always has been, the choice that each individual will make for themselves. It is a choice that many groups, covens, clans and organisations may well discuss and vote on… it’s not something that can be forced.
Concerns for group, or individual, identity will come into play. Inter-group politics, whether we like it or not, will play a part, personal likes and dislikes will play a part… in all respects it’s not so much a case of trying to build something, or forge something but more a case of trying to grow something. What it needs is good gardeners. Gardeners who, as much as they want an abundant crop must be pragmatic enough to respect that not everyone wants what they want.
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