One-on-One: The mercurial Mr. Curiel

Researched, written, edited and presented by

Tim

Good evening,

It is true that it takes all sorts to make a world, a group, a society… it is also true that it takes a number of other things within those “all sorts”. Different philosophies, different perspectives, different belief structures, agendas and tastes. It is a smart person who embraces that fact and works with it rather than trying to fight or destroy it randomly.

Recently we have seen the spectacular entry, or should I say, spectacular re-entry, of a writer in our culture, a young writer who, though they may have been around for a while, has come to the realisation that there are indeed things that need to be said. An honourable pursuit indeed and one that should be welcomed in any society, indeed, isn’t the “freedom of speech” tenet one of the most valuable an inalienable rights we have?

Our guest today has made quite a splash, quite an entrance and after reading the material we at RVL decided that we needed to practice what we have preached in recent editorials, that is, go to the source. A source who has, over the last few weeks, that he is able and willing to admit when he has made a mistake. Accordingly I extended an invitation and was received very promptly, politely and respectfully by our guest.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that RVL presents a One-on-One interview with Marcel Curiel of the Arcane Ramblings of a Teenage Vampire blog.


RVL: Good evening Marcel, if we may be so familiar, thank you for accepting our invitation…we have been looking forward to being able to bring this interview to our readers. How are you today?

MC: I’m doing exceptionally well! Had my ups and downs over the last week or so, but it comes with the territory.

RVL: Normally we begin our interviews with a little personal history of our guest but I’m going to break with tradition today and ask the $64,000 question first. Do you identify as a modern living Vampire and, if so, would you characterise yourself as Sanguine, Psi-Vamp or other?

MC: I identify myself with the term Vampire, capital V. I feel that it specifically defines a person living within a human body but whose essential nature is so vastly distinct from the human herd and other vampire-identified persons that the closest approximation would be “superhuman.”

RVL: …and may we ask, how long have you been “awakened”, for wont of a better term, to your true nature? And was your arrival at “self-realisation” abrupt or gradual and did you have a mentor or guide or was it a self-survived process?

MC: I’ve been aware of my Vampiric nature since about April of 2015, after having been through some very traumatic experiences. I had a few people help me along; some stayed in my life, others didn’t. The one person who truly helped me comes to terms with it is no longer in my life, but should she ever read this, she’d know who she is. But it was very gradual, it was mostly trial and error. A lot of trial and error, in fact. But I’ve had many great mentors over the years and I’m very happy with how far I’ve come.

RVL: Okay, I’m going to throw one at you now that’ll put you on the spot… what are your impressions of the modern living Vampire culture?

MC: Oh, it’s dreadful. Positively disgusting. The modern community that these vampire-identified persons have created for themselves is the most laughable, depraved thing I’ve ever seen in the history of subcultures. It’s a joke, mostly. At every turn, you find some egocentric cult leader or commercial cult brainwashing the less intelligent into stroking their egos and draining their wallets. The only real “vampires” in the modern community are financial vampires. And ninety-eight percent of the community are just role-players and fetishists taking their delusions too far. Just look at many of the most prevalent names in the community and you’ll see what I mean.

RVL: Do you believe that the culture, as a whole, has a bright future, a strong future or not?

MC: So long as the role-players entertain their vampire fiction fetishes, the community will likely continue. I wouldn’t call it a “bright future” by any stretch of the imagination, of course, with many of the highly entertaining individuals within the movement striving so aggressively to make their voices heard. But a strong future cannot be denied. The subculture as a whole has never been homogenous; therefore, it’s prone to much overlap. Originally, it was just S&M and blood fetishists and devil worshipers, then the role-players came in with their Masquerade monstrosity in the nineties. The lifestylers ruled the early millennium, and now we’re seeing more in the way of Goths, emos and punks entering the community as the vampire “lifestyle” becomes more acceptable and open in certain locales.

RVL: We got a pretty good idea just recently of one of the things that annoys you the most, what are some of the other things that you would say need correcting in interactions among the modern Vampire culture today?

MC: One huge issue is the lack of focus. People want, but very rarely do they act to achieve what it is that they want. The role-players have their little “Court” things, though what they are intended to accomplish besides face-to-face social networking, I have no clue. It’s bad enough to not have a clear goal on their own, but the idea of uniting them into a huge cluster of stagnation seems rather morbid. I think every vampire-identified person within the subculture needs to take a step back, evaluate themselves and their relation with this community and really ask themselves what it is they hope to achieve, then they can go off on their Camarilla ego trips.

RVL: As far as it goes you are regarded, widely, as being a relative newcomer to the modern Vampire culture, probably more due to the fact that you have now stepped up into the wider public arena, what’s your plan from here on out?

MC: Well, soon I hope to upgrade some of my technology, at which point I’ll begin posting vlogs on Facebook and YouTube, hopefully a bit more coherent than my previous Facebook Live feeds. Arcane Ramblings, is, as it stands, defunct; I don’t intend to post on it for a long time. I never intended to become the sort of pariah I am now, I just felt the need to get certain things off my chest once upon a time and was inspired by a few acquaintances of mine to jump on the WordPress bandwagon as many have done after me. It could be said I inspired them. *chuckles*

art by Marcel Curiel, reproduced by permission.

RVL: If we can turn to your own writing work now, your own blog work, what prompted the establishment of “Arcane Ramblings”?

MC: As I said, it was the desire to get certain opinions off my chest that I had once only shared in private or in brief snippets on Facebook. After a while, I got the idea from a former mentor to create a blog, and the rest was history. The name was actually given to me by an acquaintance, who always would call my little online rants, “the angry, arcane ramblings of a teen-aged vampire.”

RVL: …and what would you characterise its purpose, goal or aim as being?

MC: The purpose of the blog is to give a more published presence to some of my critiques and opinions on the greater vampire subculture that I can’t really get on Facebook. Social media applications, I believe are inappropriate for amateur “journalism”; contrarily, I receive more views on the website than I do voicing my opinions on social media.

RVL: I’d like to take a look at one of the recent commentaries at “Arcane Ramblings”, one that propelled you into the spotlight, so to speak… the response to the editorial on Ageism that was recently released. Your response was, to say the least, spectacular and colourful… did we catch you on a “bad day” perhaps? *chuckles*

MC: The article in question, “Here’s That Response I Promised”, was removed after a brief discussion with Belfazaar Ashantison himself, who had informed me that the paragraph which had prompted my vitriolic response was not about me at all, but actually about somebody local with whom he’d had a number of personal and political issues. Recognizing my critical error, I apologized publicly and retracted the article, though I do intend to recycle some points made some time in the future.

RVL: There is no denying that in a number of respects you are quite correct in coming to certain conclusions, mainly that apart from untimely deaths in the culture, a large number of “yesterdays” leaders have now left and that those still around aren’t getting any younger. What is your considered thinking on that front?

MC: I think we need to begin looking towards the future if people intend this subculture to be as wide as it is now. It will never vanish completely—in this technological age, such a thing is impossible. But it will lose vast numbers, and we’ll experience a surge in “dabblers”, that is, those who briefly entertain themselves with the vampire fetish only to later “grow out” of it like a phase. As for the fetish/role-play aspects of the subculture—that is, ninety percent of it—that will continue to exist so long as vampire fiction remains popular and the current pseudo-political shenanigans of the cosplayers who entertain it remains. Finally, my little corner of the subculture, the occult and esoteric Vampire tribes, I do have faith in my generation’s Elders, however few they might be, to keep the magick alive. The publications of occult organizations like Strigoi Vii, Vampire Temple and Aset Ka have their reach, as well, and are the few reputable Vampire religions I can name off-hand.

RVL: As with any writing or statements placed in the public arena of the Vampires there are, and will be, those in favour and those not in favour… your comments about the Ageism editorial drew a veritable storm of condemnation from a number of senior members of the culture, many of whom have in the past, and still tend to, worked hard and long hours trying to help and guide young people who come to us in pain, in fear and out of confusion. Can you give us a little more, in-depth, comment on your views in that respect?

MC: I think that if a person, within any community, truly values the work they do—doing it out of love, loyalty and respect for the community—they shouldn’t beg and cry for recognition. Such behaviour is not only unbecoming of an “Elder” but for any mature person in general. Calling oneself an “Elder” is to don a yoke, to become a servant to your community. It isn’t about internet “fame” or recognition. Being a teacher of any sort, for that matter, means you are a servant to the community you partake in. That’s what my Elders taught me.

RVL: When you take a look around the culture do you think that perhaps there is a little too much self-serving and personal “horn tooting” that goes on?

MC: Most definitely. I have seen many voices that do need to and deserve to be heard, but then there comes a flurry of pretenders—since people have discovered how easy it is to make a WordPress—who feel that their whining is equally as valid. I sort of lost my way when it came to making contributions to the community as a whole and my blog sort of soured into something like a local tabloid, but I feel that some compatriots of mine have worked wonders with their blogs, contributing magnificent works related to true Vampirism and occultism to the small subset of the subculture that still takes the Old Ways to heart.

RVL: Are you aware of the “Unity Project” joint venture between the House of Lore/ Vampire Court of New Orleans and the Vampire Court of Austin?

MC: Yes, unfortunately. Most intelligent Vampires I know are eager to watch history repeat itself with this poor man’s Sanguinarium. But perhaps that’s bitter of me to say, not like that’s ever stopped me.

RVL: Putting aside, for a moment, the concept of Courts, Kings and Queens; what are your thoughts on “unity”, in general, within the modern culture? Is it something that is achievable? Desirable even?

MC: Not at all. Given that there is no general agreement upon what a “vampire” is supposed to be, to try and “umbrella” the entire community is a pipe dream. You have your true Vampires, what I call the Sanguines (TOV, OSV, what-have-you), you have your medical people, you have your “leaky chakra” people and then you have your loony lifestylers and the rest of the fetishists. So far as over-arching unity, we don’t want to be lumped into a pot—I am not the same as a cosplayer, I can’t be expected to interface with one, etc.

RVL: As a young, and I mean no disrespect nor criticism in using the term, Vampire in the modern culture what do you see as the major priorities should be for the next generation?

MC: I think the priorities depend on what part of the community you call home. The medical vamps are still trying to validate their perspective, and they’ve actually got the means to do so, it seems. The lifestylers, cosplayers, fetishists, whatever you want to call them, well, all they’ve ever cared about are their parties and their sham politics, and so long as they have their little Game of Thrones, it should be entertaining for us all. As for the little piece I call home, I’d very much like to see a return to the Old ways of the true Vampire, where mysticism, culture and family are held above all else, as it should be. A community for the real Vampires, if you will, if I can say so without ruffling the feathers on anyone’s glittery wings!

RVL: I wanted to touch on another point with you now, the matter of “Courts”, “Kings” and “Queens”… I don’t know whether you chanced to read any of the material we presented here in the early days of the Unity Project but it was explained that the concept was for the “Heads of Courts” would, ideally, only use their title “in-house”, what do you see happening as far as an observer in the wider culture?

MC: Ideally, that would be the case. In reality, it isn’t. You can’t take toxic people with swollen and tender egos, slap crowns on their heads in garish and nauseating ceremonies and believe that won’t go to their heads. It’s a huge ego trip, and the less intelligent folks of the subculture are the ones paying for gas and tolls.

RVL: What can the “younger” Vampires bring to the table at this present time do you think?

MC: I think many have done so already. I’m more or less retired from the online community and have no wish to return. Forgive me for plugging, but sites like The Amador Vampyre, V.K. Jehannum’s WordPress and Eternal Flow definitely contribute more than, say, irate whinings from some crotchety start-up blog, at least to my little corner of the subculture, the ones who take on esoteric practices. I know that there is a lot of hoopla online about the online community, but that’s just a huge sinkhole that will never fill. So I suppose what I mean to say is, to each their own. Certain kinds of vampire-identified people can only contribute to their aspect of the community. I could not, for example, contribute to a sanguivore website; it just isn’t within my area of expertise.

Img source: City of Columbus

RVL: Whew…we’ve covered some hard yards I think, let’s talk about the future shall we? Where do you see the modern Vampire culture being in ten years? Yah, crystal balls out everyone *chuckle*

MC: I don’t see a change. I’ve been here for about three years now, with what feels like five or ten years of experience, and I have to admit I don’t have much faith in the community as a whole with the path it’s taken thus far. The community is like stagnant water and that’s why it runs rampant with parasites. There’s always one pariah for everyone to attack (Hogg, Sharkey, Sebastiaan, etc.), one “community advocacy” group trying to unite everyone that typically flat-lines before achieving anything productive (Unity Project, Sanguinarium, Ronin Project, Vampire Police, etc.) and endless arguing and bickering. And maybe a serial killer or African witch-hunt or two. It’s morbidly entertaining, if saying so isn’t callous. I don’t take the community seriously at all. Maybe something positive will come about one day but I don’t count on it.

RVL: …and so, if I were to ask you for some “sage and wise advice” for the modern Vampire culture right now, what would you say?

MC: “He who does not know, and knows that he does not know, wants to learn—Teach him. He who does not know, and does not know that he does not know, is a fool—Avoid him at all costs!”

RVL: My dear Marcel, it has been a delight having you with us today, not only to dispel any preconceptions that folk might have of you but also to get a feel for some fresh new opinion and outlooks. We’d like to thank you for your time, wish you success with your own blog and, if we may, we’ll check in from time to time, okay?

MC: Thanks so much. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak to you.

——————————————————————————————————————–

So, ladies and gentlemen, I think you can see that judging this particular book by its cover would be a grave error of judgment. The modern Vampire culture is, and will continue to be, both fluid and dynamic – people will come and go – ideas and outlooks will change, fluctuate, adjust and adapt – opinions will never be in short supply, the trick is to move, change, adapt and adopt along with it.

Indeed, freedom of speech is a right everyone has, everyone is permitted to practice speaking freely but we should all take a moment to remember that if there is no responsibility practiced with that freedom then what do you have? In fact, just today in discussion with our guest this evening, I observed that, as writers, “If we let intelligence take the lead before the mouth [keyboard] we can have a powerful voice. We WILL have a powerful voice.”

As author Vernor Vinge (A Fire Upon the Deep) said, “Intelligence is the handmaiden of flexibility and change.”

Intelligence is a commodity that might, at many turns, seem to be in short supply but it will always out in the end as the “troubled”, the “troublesome” and the “haters” fall by the wayside the resulting changes are going to be both deep and far reaching and if we, all of us young and old, fail to realise that then our culture really is doomed just as surely as this fella…
Copyright RVL & Marcel Curiel, 2018.

All images are Copyright of Marcel Curiel, all rights reserved.

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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

 

From the outside looking in…

img. source: Applied Vision Works

Written, Edited and Presented by
Tim

A gentleman came to RVL’s Facebook page yesterday and in response to an information link from the Smithsonian Magazine, Real-life Vampires Exist, but They Are Scared to Admit Their Practices to Doctors, he proceeded with the following opening statement, I quote;
“Drinking a little blood to live the delusion that this is what “real-life vampires” do…is not being a real vampire. The Slavic Vampire, the very vampire archetype itself, never drank blood. He was never observed drinking blood, there has never been a single blood-drained body found and never any evidence for this at all. 

Most importantly, of all the documented reports there is not a single instance where any of the “victims” ever claimed their blood was drank…despite the “attacks” being described by them.”

A little disconcerting to have someone come into one’s “house” and call them delusional wouldn’t you say? having said as much however I think we could probably agree that the majority opinion and view of our culture is, and will continue to be, coloured by such thinking.

Perhaps there still may be surprises forthcoming in that discussion since we have been graced with a response to my input of;
” Good evening to you, “T.” I look forward to reviewing and responding to such.”

It will be intriguing to see how the gentleman’s work; and conclusions, stack up against the works of many highly respected, and eminently qualified, academicians such as D.J. Williams, John Edgar Browning, Joseph Laycock, Emily Prior and Suzanne Carré along with some of the articles at The Red Cellar, among others.

While certain strides have been made over the last five years or so in the matter of depicting the modern Vampire community as exactly what it is we still have those who will hearken back to antiquity in an attempt to impose their views, dare I say prejudices, on the modern culture. Once again, it would seem, it is time to reinforce a message and hope that the message will supplant the ignorance.

img. source: Daily Mail news, U.K.

Antiquity, Folklore and History

Many people will tell you, quite forcefully in some cases, that Vampires today have absolutely nothing to do with the “old” archetype, an archetype that has been in evidence for a little over 5,200 years now… heck, we’ve even outlasted some animal species…! To say something like that is like me saying to you, dear reader, forget about where your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents and great-great-great grandparents come from, they didn’t really have anything to do with you… We have great history, great tenure, high points, low points, sad points and funny points in our inheritance, just like every other race.

The description, and thus the definition, of the Vampire archetype was ruled by a great number of variations in localised belief systems, superstitions and folklore. It was both commonly and widely held, in just about every nation and race on the planet, that the “vampire”, by whatever name it was known, was driven by its need to consume blood to survive in its commonly perceived “undead” condition.

The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia. Cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. Despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th-century southeastern Europe[1] when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published.

The Burney relief

Indeed, our friend and associate, Dr. James Lyon, Ph.D made note that;
In other words, the original concept of the vampire springs entirely from the lands of the former Yugoslavia, not from Romania, Bram Stoker or Anne Rice.
He went on to say,
Rather, I wanted to use “real” vampires, the original autochthonous depictions of vampires from Balkan folklore and history as recorded over the centuries by anthropologists, of which there is a great deal of material.

These are horrible creatures that bear no resemblance to pop-culture vampire. They are shape-shifters that hang out at watermills, tend to be butchers, weapons salesmen or travelling salesmen, and carry a burial shroud with them. They bloat up after feeding and have cat or goat shaped eyes. They turn into butterflies, not bats. They can’t turn you into a vampire simply by biting, and you can’t kill them simply by driving a stake through the heart. To this day there are reports of these creatures in Balkan media, especially in rural areas.

Starting with Article 20 of the Law Code of Serbian Emperor Dusan in 1349, to various documents from the Orthodox and Catholic Churches over the centuries, to the vampire trials in Dubrovnik between 1736-1744, to the Austrian Army’s vampire autopsies in the 1730s, up to present day beliefs in vampires, there is ample material to draw on. Fortunately, Balkan scholars have recorded a great deal of this in their local languages”[2]

So, we are faced with an extraordinary amount of material that is still available in order to be able to make some manner of informed decision about what we “know” of the Vampire in Classical antiquity.

Img. source: desertcart.ae

A contemporary model 

The “contemporary” Vampire was given to us in several parts.

Firstly, the most commonly available dictionary definition is provided as;
Vampire
noun: 
preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse,that is said to suckthe blood of sleeping persons at night.[3]

In which instance the origin of the word is noted as being of combined Germanic/ Serbo-Croatian extraction and finding its birth between 1725 and 1735 a.d.

From here we must also look to alternative interpretations since the Vampire archetype is nothing if not a polyglot of a number of sources, as I mentioned.

Looking further in the dictionary we also find;
Vampire
noun:(in Eastern European folklore) a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, 
that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaledor burned.[3]

It is absolutely clear, to everyone, we hope, that modern living Vampires are NOT these. There is no crawling out of graves, there is no transforming into bats, mist or other such things and we do NOT roam around the countryside looking all mysterious in long black capes looking for succulent young ladies, or gentlemen, to bite the necks of. So, FORGET ALL THAT PLEASE.

Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker

THE contemporary Vampire that we all know and love, more or less… was a development of fiction, fiction that first found its stride in poems such as –

“The Vampire (1748) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder, Lenore (1773) by Gottfried August Bürger, Die Braut von Corinth (The Bride of Corinth) (1797) by Johann Wolfgang von GoetheRobert Southey‘s Thalaba the Destroyer (1801), John Stagg‘s “The Vampyre” (1810), Percy Bysshe Shelley‘s “The Spectral Horseman” (1810) (“Nor a yelling vampire reeking with gore”) and “Ballad” in St. Irvyne (1811) about a reanimated corpse, Sister Rosa, Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s unfinished Christabel and Lord Byron‘s The Giaour. [4]

Byron was also credited with the first prose fiction piece concerned with vampires: The Vampyre (1819). This was in reality authored by Byron’s personal physician, John Polidori, who adapted an enigmatic fragmentary tale of his illustrious patient, “Fragment of a Novel” (1819), also known as “The Burial: A Fragment”.[5][6] Byron’s own dominating personality, mediated by his lover Lady Caroline Lamb in her unflattering roman-a-clef Glenarvon (a Gothic fantasia based on Byron’s wild life), was used as a model for Polidori’s undead protagonist Lord Ruthven. The Vampyre was highly successful and the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century”.[7]

Of course, the quintessential Vampire, the most notable and the most influential caricature in the history of the Vampire myth, was Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. In many ways we all still live under the gloomy pall of The Count whenever we use the word “Vampire”. A complete cultural change in thinking and perception wrought by one man, with or without help depending on whom you believe, that cemented the notion of the Vampire as being a Romanian nobleman, or Boyar, in his life before death. In one fashion or another the Count has been with us ever since. That was in 1897.

“Vampires”
~ by Mr. Jack on Deviantart
(mr–jack.deviantart.com)

Modern Vampires

Modern. serious conceptualisation of the Vampire could well be held to have originated as early as 1858. In France, Z.J. Piérart, a psychical researcher on vampirism and professor at the College of Maubeuge, founded a spiritualist journal, La Revue Spiritualiste. His rejection of popular reincarnation theory led him directly to his consideration of vampirism. He became interested in the possibility of psychic attack and in a series of articles he proposed a theory of psychic vampirism, suggesting that vampyres were the astral bodies of either incarcerated or deceased individuals that were revitalizing themselves on the living.[8]

This saw the first serious and “scientific”, if we can use the term in this context, departure from the archetypal Vampire and reached into a whole new realm of vampiric interaction with the living.

Arguably, the first established “Vampire” orthodoxy came in 1966 with the founding of The Order of Maidenfear, in the United States, by Anne de Molay. With the purchase of a property to be used as a “house” for women ‘Vampires’ to gather and inhabit the twentieth century suddenly became the focus of a new movement, a movement connected, in name, to a history stretching back to around 3200 b.c.

So, then, what to make of all this? What can we conclude? What legacy did we inherit from the sources of Classical Antiquity, 19th century European Occultism and, more importantly, 20th century revivalism?

Quite simple really, Vampires are alive and well and thrive in modern society, well, at least if not thrive certainly survive and mingle. How do they do it? What causes modern Vampirism? What are the alternatives for modern living Vampires in the 21st century?

Graphic source:
mythunderstoodalliance.com

Defining the Modern Living Vampire

This has been one of the most stubborn thorns in the side of the modern Vampire culture since its inception. We don’t all consume blood, yet we are all Vampires. We don’t all live in drafty old castles and wear black clothes and capes, yet we are all Vampires. We certainly can’t emulate the ‘special effects’ that Hollywood has imbued Vampires with, yet we are all Vampires… so, the next, most obvious, and hardest, question must be, “What is a Vampire?

If I told you that this subject, more than any other single topic, has embroiled the modern culture pretty much from day 1 I don’t think there’s anyone who could dispute or disagree, yet when we come to attempt definition it seems an almost impossible task.

The gentleman I mentioned at the beginning of this presentation offered a link to an article as evidence of his position, unfortunately it did not help his case since the link was broken. It was a link from one of our most precious cultural resources, sanguinarius.org

In seeking what is probably the best, most comprehensive, and all-inclusive definitions from that site one only need look to the Dictionary of Sanguinese housed there.

We find;
“Vampire:
A much-disputed term with many meanings, depending upon whom you’re talking to. See also the definitions of “sanguinarian”, “blood-drinker”, “blood fetishist”, “psychic vampire”, “Vampyre Lifestyler”, and “Vampiric Community”. Here, it is used to encompass all of the above-listed groups into a general category. Also, here, it is not used to define any of those as some sort of supernatural or superhuman beings or someone who has returned from the dead (excluding being revived by medical procedures), and so forth. Anyone who makes those sorts of claims is lying.”[9]

In addition to this, and not simply drawing on the opinion of one author of a particular article, we can also find various attendant entries such as, Combo, Energy vampire, Psychic vampire, Psi vampire (psi-vamp, for short) and Sanguinarian.

The method of definition has, over recent years, become complicated by the fact that even within the society and culture of the modern living Vampire there is a certain political correctness that need be observed so as to not alienate any one segment of the cultural body.

http://guides.wikinut.com/

Employing the K.I.S.S. principle

On September 18 of 2012 Lady CG created this topic for discussion at Smoke and Mirrors, “Lets Discuss: Defining Vampires“.

Between September 18 and December 15 a group of members discussed the best way to define the “Modern” vampire.

That group included Lady CG, myself, Crimson Dragonwolf, Starfire 77, Dolphinmoon, Zandra Amara, Nox Oculus, Zerochan, Chameleon1 and The Harlot.

At the conclusion of the discussion we had pared down the definition to this simple and succinct statement:

“Vampire (also: Vampyre) is a person who requires supplements of energy and/or physical substance; usually extracted from another source or living being, to maintain their health and wellbeing in some manner.”

In addition to this definition I would like to offer, after deep consideration and an amount of study of the concepts represented in the widely accepted, and utilised ‘lexicon’, offered at the late Lady Sangi’s support site, a further definition that I believe fits a great number of members of the modern culture.

Traditional Vampire: A person who is a modern “Vampire”, as defined by the statement above, and who, in their life, embraces the aesthetic of traditional vampire beliefs and perceptions.

Modern Vampires are no more delusional than Christians who drink wine and call it blood, they are no more delusional than Wiccans; a fully recognised modern religion based on ancient lore and beliefs, they are no more delusional than the scientists who struggled for years to prove that the Higgs-Boson particle actually existed and, perhaps, it is delusional to believe that the world must fit into one narrow tunnel of vision that suits the perfectly ordered world of one mind.

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Copyright T & RVL, 2018

References:
1. Silver, A., & Ursini, J. (1997). The Vampire Film: From Nosferatu to Interview with the Vampire (pp. 22–23). New York: Limelight Editions.
2. “From Sarajevo with… fangs ~ Dr. James Lyon“, RVL interview series.

3. “vampire”. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. Retrieved 29 Jan. 2018. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/vampire>.

4. Marigny, pp. 114–115

5. Cohen, pp. 271–274

6. Christopher Frayling (1992) Vampyres – Lord Byron to Count Dracula.

7. Silver & Ursini, pp. 37–38.

8. The Ultimate Vampyre Timeline Rev. 14, RVL et.al.

9. Sanguinarius.org, Vampire Support, terminology and Lingo. Retrieved Jan. 29th, 2018

Further recommended reading:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire

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

 

Crossroads 2018 – Groups and Memberships in today’s culture

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

Written and Presented by 

Tim

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.

img. source: Applied Vision Works

Pop Quiz:

  1. 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?
  2. What’s the reason for the collapse of the groups that have gone by the wayside?
  3. 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?

Img. source: psanalfonso.archimadrid.es

Observable Factors:

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.

The Questions:

1
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?)

_________________________
2
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?)

_________________________
3
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?)

_________________________
4
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?)

_________________________
5
Personal Dogma: Rigidity of self-reality, inflexible attitude, or non-acceptance of opposing ideas and concepts. (Are they stubborn, one-eyed, inflexible individuals?)

_________________________
6
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?)

_________________________
7
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?)

_________________________
8
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’?)

_________________________
9
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?)

_________________________
10
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?)

_________________________
11
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?)

_________________________
12
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?)

_________________________
13
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?)

_________________________
14
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?)

_________________________
15
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?)

_________________________
16
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?)

_________________________

“Le Vampire” Burne-Jones


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

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