The Unity Question

rvl_one-on-one_headerPresented by

Tim

The question of unity within the modern living vampire sub-culture has been wide open, hotly debated and apparent from virtually the beginning of its contemporary history.

The early differences of opinion lay only between the Psi and Sang elements of the early days of the sub-culture but as we have grown, as we have developed and as more and more people have come to realise their true nature the subtle differences in Vampire type-identification have further divided the sub-culture, not only philosophically but also practically.

There have many, many attempts to convince members of the sub-culture to join together in what are ostensibly described as mutually beneficial alliances but, to date, none of these “amalgamations” have worked with any great degree of success.

So, what needs to change? The mindset of one, more or all members of the sub-culture? The willingness to accept differences within the sub-culture? Are we, either by choice or inadvertently, fostering cultural prejudice with no good cause?

There have been a number of projects in the past, some hailing back to the early days of the fledgling VC/OVC, there have been “Councils” of Elders and Associations of member Houses. Each has met with varied levels of success and now, with the popularity of social media contact, there have been new initiatives launched. A recent new addition to the Facebook representations of “unity” came into being in the form of a particular group that was convened in August and went from being occupied by founding members to over 3,390 members virtually overnight. The method? Upon reviewing the members list one can clearly see that the vast majority of the people on it were “added” rather than “joined”. From enquiries we have made a great number of people do not even know they are members much less how they got there – is this unification or is something akin to the Press Gangs of the 17th and 18th century?

By contrast, based in Texas, an initiative aimed at developing voluntary involvement and ownership of the process is the Vampire Unity Association which has been convened under the wing of our guest this evening. He has agreed to join us to discuss the question of unity within the sub-culture.

As our honoured guest notes;
“There is no Community without Strength,
No Strength without Unity,
There is no Unity without Loyalty,
No Loyalty without Honor.”

It gives us great pleasure to present an RVL One-on-One with Lord Aramond Sebastian Van Rahamdalph Founder & King of the Texas Bay Area Court, Founder & Director of the Texas Bay Area Council for the Vampire, Otherkin, Therian Alliance, & Founder, Owner & Head-Master in charge of the New Age Kajira Training School.

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Aramond1
RVL: Good evening Sir, welcome to R.V.L. and thank you for affording us this time.
LA: Good evening, & thank you for having me. I am glad to be a part of this wonderful opportunity set forth within the community.

RVL: Since this is the first time we’ve had the pleasure of your company, if you don’t mind, can we touch on a little history? How long have you been an active member of the VC/OVC?
LA: Off Line I have been in & out of the community for over twenty two years. On Line, I have been active for about 10 of those.

RVL: …and have you always been based in the Texas Bay area?
LA: I have lived in the Texas bay area for most of my life, although I did stay in Central Texas for about two years as a young teen.

RVL: What’s your personal view, or definition, of your own vampirism?
LA: I am a psychic vampire/Therian “Hybrid”, one who drains the psychic energy from those around them to replenish what my body either doesn’t produce on its own, or loses at a faster rate than “normal” people. Sometimes I will integrate blood drinking into my feeding with the right donor, but that is not always the case.

The difference between myself & some others is that I am a psi vamp who feeds off of sexual energy. Yet what sets me apart is HOW I feed. My Vampirism is both physical & spiritual. The physical benefits everyone knows, its spiritual aspect that most ignore. Unlike some sexual vampires, if any, I employ the Hindu’s “Tantric arts” as a main fixture of my feeding practices. By doing so, there is spiritual enlightenment/transcendence that comes into play when feeding.

For me, feeding isn’t just an act of survival. It is an act of love, devotion, honor & respect between my donor & myself. What comes after is a humbling of the self, a reaching of one’s own roots of identity with the ability to find & experience the truth that is the inner-self.
It is said that “In uncovering certain truths about yourself, you learn the truths of the world, the universe, and the psychic forces of enlightenment.” By employing this way of feeding, I have found this to be true.

RVL: Where do you see the modern living vampire sub-culture today? What do you see needs to be strengthened, or changed?
LA: From what I have seen the past few years, the culture & community are tearing themselves apart. We have “elitists” who think one type of vampire is better than another. Then we have others who think that they are better than everyone just because they have money or were raised by others within the community.
It is sad that an “enlightened” community are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats whose actions are destroying the foundations that were built by our elders over 20-30 years ago simply because of their egos. But what’s even worse is that those close to them, friends or family, are actually doing nothing about it.

Most things could be fixed if the members of the community remember that we are all in this together. If they would only put aside the discrimination, the egos, the drama, & rumor mongering.

Instead of fighting & biting each other’s head’s off over some BS created to segregate the new “higher ups” from the newly awakened or the Sanguine feeders from the Psi, we must all remember that we are one & the same, no matter our slight differences. Only then can we become the community that our predecessors dreamed of all those years ago when they began their journey.
Aramond2

RVL: There has been a lot of talk in the last year or so about unity in the modern vampire sub-culture; how would you define “unity” within the context of the modern vampire sub-culture?
LA: We all define Unity as “the state of being joined as a whole.”
What we are truly trying to achieve is “congruity”, the state of harmony, found only when we finally come to the agreement that we all are here for the same reason & work towards a synthesis of the community’s ideals & beliefs as a whole.
RVL: In your opinion what is, or are, the absolutely necessary pre-requisites for a move toward unity?
LA: Unity, or its counterpart Congruity, can only be achieved when we acknowledge our differences as not something to drive us apart, but something we can use to expand our understanding of ourselves as well as others within our own community.

RVL: …and you have created an association to work toward unity within the sub-culture? How can people find out more about this initiative and its goals, aims and work?
LA: Yes, two actually, both working for the same end yet on different scales, The Texas Bay Area Court & the Texas Bay Area Council for the Vampire, Otherkin, Therian, Alliance.
Tex_Bay_Area_Court

We have both organizations on Facebook, The Court & The Council, where we post everything about what we are doing, including public meetings open to anyone who wishes to become a part of our family.

We will be working on building web pages to reach out to others of the online community in the future.

RVL: What was it that brought you to the point of creating the association?
LA: I have wanted to create an organization with the ideals that we hold for over 15 years. I was given the opportunity to be one of four Co-Founders of an organization (the Houston Vampire Court) that was supposed to share these ideals yet fell apart due to unforeseen complications.

After the HVC’s final fracture, I took the reins, & with a lot of help, pulled it out of the ashes to be rebuilt into what is now the Texas Bay Area Court.
Tex_Bay_Area_Council

RVL: Given the barriers to unity that have reared their heads in the past what do you think your recipe can deliver this time?
LA: I have one thing that sets me apart of other leaders, as a Vampire/Therian hybrid I am apart of two different communities. As such I know what is means to come to terms with the differences of not only others, but myself as well.
As such, I have learned how to keep the differences from escalating & becoming a problem. By setting our differences aside, even learning from them, it leaves our community open to become stronger by allowing us to learn from each other.

RVL: How does, or will, your Association go about attracting the support it’s going to need to achieve its goals?
LA: Unlike our predecessors & others around us, my organization is always an open door for anyone who shares our ideals, no matter what community they are a part of.
Not only are myself & my organization completely open & honest about what we want or our dreams for the community, we are willing & able to work side by side with others without allowing personal problems getting in the way.
RVL: What statement would you deliver to the sub-culture as a whole to draw them to your Association?
LA: As I have said on our council’s page, we have made a commitment to finally end the drama. & the quarrels found within our small part of the community caused by Elitism, Ego, Narcissism, Greed, Envy, Jealousy, etc.
Our goal is simple, to have an open & respectful exchange of information, deliberation, & comraderie among all our communities & members. This is the dream that we seek to build for our future & our future generations.

RVL: …and what sort of responses have you been receiving so far to the project?
LA: We have made a lot of enemies because of our stance. We have been laughed at, mocked, had verbal dirt thrown our way, as well as people trying to destroy what we built from inside & out.
Yet through it all, we have risen time & time again from the ashes. & because of our determination & perseverance we have also made very good friends along the way.

RVL: What do you see as being the single most important benefit that would come from achieving a broad based unity?
LA: Well for starters we will finally bring the community together as one. Once we finally unify as a whole, we can finally educate the newly awakened, mundanes & other communities from multiple sources based on all compiled studies form every source in the VC/OVC. It would also give us a chance to finally compile all information on the vampire & other communities into one data base shared by all.

RVL: A lot of effort, and attention, has been made and paid to educating of those outside of the sub-culture, do you think a broader unity will be beneficial in such an arena or do you see it as being more for those within the sub-culture?
LA: As I stated before, it would be mutually beneficial to all members of the VC, as well as those outside of our community. It would also help to bring the Therian & Otherkin communities closer so that we can learn from them as well. After all, are we not similar to them in some aspects as well? In finding & learning about these similarities, we could in theory bring together all of the communities for the education & well-being of every one.
HOU_NEWS_20150416_FeatAramondfamily_MaxBurkhalter-thumb-560x373

RVL: …and where would you like to see The Vampire Unity Association in say 5 years’ time?
LA: Simply put, I would like to see it grow into a world wide effort.

RVL: It has been an honour to have you with us this evening and RVL looks forward to becoming a strong supporter of The Vampire Unity Association; we invite you to keep in touch and let us know of its progress. Thank you very much indeed for sharing with us and our readers.
LA: You’re welcome. It has been an honor for myself as well & I will definitely keep in touch. I hope to learn even more from you & others out there as we work towards a better & brighter future for our kith & kin.

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Somebody once made the comment to me that, “Vampire unity is a myth”. As an off-handed comment that may be a valid perspective from the point of view of a single individual but is it, necessarily, “the truth”?

The vast majority of our sub-culture is of a similar mindset in that we are different and that we identify as a communal entity by very reason of that difference, if that is a given then we are very much similar to other minority sub-cultures throughout our modern age The facts that exist in relation to sub-cultural minorities also, therefore, apply to us. The LGBT community enjoys rights and freedoms today, as they enjoy protections from discrimination that could only be dreamed of before the decriminalization of the movement began in the continental United States in 1961. Who would have imagined that the Wiccan faith would have been recognized as a religion prior to the court case of Dettmer v. Landon in the USA, in 1986, established that Wicca was a religion, and therefore should be treated as such under the eyes of the law or before the first Wiccan wedding was legally recognised in the UK (by the Registrars of Scotland) which was performed in 2004.

The fact is there is nothing that, without time and effort, is impossible, it simply requires a little faith, cooperation and commitment.

Copyright RVL & The Vampire Unity Association ~ Lord Aramond Sebastian Van Rahamdalph 2015

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Real Vampires – The hardest thing about being us #2

Heather Brewer’s ‘Vladimir Tod’ series, High School Bites

Heather Brewer’s ‘Vladimir Tod’ series, High School Bites

By

Tim

In October of 2012 I wrote, for RVL (then RVN) an editorial entitled “Real Vampires – One of the hardest things about being us”. Its content was primarily directed toward the “outside” perceptions of the modern vampire sub-culture and the examples used were from sources both connected to the culture in some way and not connected to the culture. It served to highlight some of the pitfalls awaiting modern living vampires under certain circumstances.

Now, in 2014, I want to look at some of the pitfalls we create, and perpetuate, for ourselves. Not from a general sub-cultural point of view but more from a personal perspective of observation and interaction.

There are facts and truths that rule the existence of modern living vampires, certain facts that are inescapable. For example, if you take a sample of twenty human living vampires and take x-rays, CT’s or MRI’s you will find the same physiology as a human being. All the organs will be where they are supposed to be; barring surgical interventions of course. The skeletal structures will, generally be human, dependent upon surgical interventions, degenerative illness or physical birth defects. The thing that differs, most markedly, is the psychology, the psychopathology and the psychophysiology of modern living vampires.

We are ruled by the physics, and often the metaphysics, of the world we occupy and our “niche” in that world, our “realm”, if you like, is different to that of the normal (or mundane) human population. It is this very fact that is one of the very hardest things about being who we are.

Differentiating the modern human living vampire.

Consideration of the modern physical aspects of real vampirism didn’t enter the realm of serious contemplation until somewhere around 1966 when a lady by the name of Anne de Molay established the Order of Maidenfear. She had, after investigating the archetype of the vampire, arrived at the conclusion that vampirism was a very real interaction with life energy that could benefit the practitioner.

This position could have been inspired, in part, by the work of Dion Fortune, author of the volume, “Psychic Self Defence” and the earlier examples set down by Z.J. Piérart, Henry Olcott and Helena Blavatsky.

The major differences that delineate modern vampirism from the human norm are in thinking, feeling, acting and general psychology. This is not to imply that modern living vampires are abnormal per se. but rather that they differ from what is considered by the “mundane” systems of classification for “normal behavior”. There are many words thrown around the web to describe living modern vampires, I’ll focus on some that don’t belong in the gutter dear reader.

Some prime examples are; Narcissist, Egotist and Elitist

'Narcissus' by Caravaggio

‘Narcissus’ by Caravaggio

That’s some mighty fancy words getting thrown about, usually in an insulting or derogatory manner but what do they mean?

A Narcissist – simply put, is a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.
An Egotist – simply put, is a conceited, boastful person.
An Elitist – simply put in this context, is a person professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of a society.

There are manipulators, “naysayers”, recidivists – those who perpetually regress into anti-social behavior patterns, reactionaries who perpetually oppose social change within the sub-culture and all sorts of other anti-vampire society elements that influence the daily ebb and flow in the sub-culture of human living vampires to one extent or another. The fact remains, most obviously, as someone once remarked to me, “the world of living vampires is a microcosm of the human race”.

That’s because modern real living vampires ARE human.

So, what is the hardest thing, given these facts, about being us… individually?

Rising above it… getting above the standard and striving to obtain a higher platform. That is an effort that can’t be forced onto people, it can’t be bought by the pound and it can’t be gifted, magically, so to speak. The change has to come from within the person.

During the course of the Living Vampyre Survey ~ A Social Study, conducted by RVL over a year long period, we received some pretty pointed statements about things in various comment sections.

For example, in response to the question, “If you had the opportunity to make 1 “guideline” for general use within the sub-culture, what would it be?” answers ranged from, “1. For the love of god, don’t be an asshole.” To, “Try not to make a fool out of the rest of us.” And from, “stay alive”, to, “take care of others and treat them with kindness. pass on the knowledge that you have collected with in the community”.

The majority of the responses seemed to indicate a groundswell of feeling that the “Community” should be doing more to be a “community” but, at the same time, doesn’t that stem from the commitment of the individual as a part of said “community”? How does a “community” achieve anything, or grow and improve without the people IN the “community” choosing to support that growth and improvement.

from '300' - Warner Bros. pictures

from ‘300’ – Warner Bros. pictures

The “P” Factors
“P” factors, people factors… in commerce and industry it’s sometimes referred to as the “X” factor, or the “Human Factor”. It stands, generally speaking, as a variable that can’t be completely quantified and is known to have an effect on the outcome of processes and situations. That is under normal circumstances, there are, it would seem the essential elements of “abnormal” circumstances playing a key role as well. In the VEWR’s Survey conducted by Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC (2006) it was discovered that there was a predominant number of responses to a question about health related illnesses that indicated a high propensity, among the survey participants, of mental health issues.

Some of the most noticeable issues were ADD/ADHD, Bipolar Depression, Depression of acute medical types and several types of stress or anxiety disorders. By themselves these indicators might not have been all that much different from the societal norms of humankind if taken statistically but one of the bigger questions raised by these figures, at least in my mind, was, “Were these conditions present before the person became aware of their vampiric, or other, nature or, did they manifest afterwards as a result of the realisation they had come to?


In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

rebelyouth-magazine.blogspot.com

rebelyouth-magazine.blogspot.com

One of the things that is very quickly noticed by anybody who dips their toes into the great pool of the modern vampire ocean is that there are a great many “strong” personalities involved and I would suggest that we, as a sub-cultural group, are a pretty fierce bunch both within ourselves and with others. The online, and often the offline, interactions between members of our sub-culture are frequently marred by conflict and these conflicts can be as simple as a “rant” online, or as complex as a multi-year grudge match between opponents in real life. The psychology that drives such things is freely available to read about in any number of places and most of it has been simplified from the clinical lingo to layperson’s terms so it’s not rocket science to figure out what causes conflict. No, the problem that many, as individuals seem to have in today’s modern living vampire sub-culture is conflict resolution.

The often prideful posturing, the aggressive conflict nature, the stubborn and often unreasonable reactions and stance on issues is nothing new, nothing overwhelming nor even alarming but it does point to the fact that modern living human vampires do not give “quarter”. It demonstrates that the majority nature of many individual modern vampires is one of superiority, pride, stubbornness and aggression ~ a truly “predatory” type of nature and one that will not brook interference or disagreement. It is these factors that keep us, as a whole, from engineering a better place for ourselves, it is these things that prevent us from creating a unified “society” and which prevents us from being the best we can be, both for ourselves and for others.

It’s overcoming the “P” Factors that is one of the hardest things about being us…

Does that give us the excuse not to try?

Copyright TB & RVL 2014

NB: Quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.

NB: 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, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion.

This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced , or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from Real Vampire Life and our guest/s.

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer