Crossing the lines…

Img. source: Magoosh

Thrown together in a haphazard manner

and chucked out there for anyone that cares

by

TIM

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa… oh brother…!!!
Where am I? What day is it? Hell, What month is it?

Okay, okay… get a grip, breathe two three, breathe three four… Well, dunno about you kids but it’s been busier than a Tokyo cross-walk at shift change lately. Actually found myself an employer that knew a good thing when they saw it (unlike the other several dozens I’ve approached the last year…) Gotta tell ya, arriving here five years ago and finding out that my qualifications, from overseas, didn’t mean squat… yeah, tough – people wanna be sticking me on a conveyor belt, third shift in a dead ender…!!! Not gonna happen…!!! But, never mind, ‘s all good now.

Alrighty then, yep, “Crossing Lines”… one thing, or rather two actually, that we NEVER discuss or highlight at RVL is Politics and Religion… well buckle up dudes and dudettes coz that changes… NOW…!!! I’m here, I’m in charge, I’m at the keyboard, got my finger on THE BUTTON… Grab th’ mic, I’m on th’ attack, comin’ up in ya mirror like a 60 ton Mack…!!!

Yah, *cough*, ahem…!!! 

Oh, yeah.

img. source: Official PSDs

So, apart from me gettin’ employed what’s been happenin’ ’round here anyway?

Mmmmm, uh-huh, ahh, yep, yep… you sure? Really? Oh-kaaaaay… here goes nuthin’…

King Maven Lore of NOLA and Prince-Lord Shaolin of Gotham

Straight up kids, didja catch the VC Rant Radio Livestream – AKA “What Files My Fangs” with King Maven Lore and Prince-Lord Shaolin?  We did and, seriously, I couldn’t believe there was still folks out there asking dumbass questions about the unity project, or who didn’t know what’s going on with it… really, it’s probably been the most talked about thing, consistently, since it began… all I can think to say is, “Hell-Ohh, what’s the fuckin’ weather like on your planet???”

The only other thing I can think to do is refer you to a rather extensive interview, entitled A new “world” order – reprised”, that we were privileged to be able to conduct in September last year, now, some things have changed since then as many of you will know but the essence of the “Unity Project” has, we believe, not so come on peeps, catch up…!!!

 

MUSIC LOVERS APPRECIATION TIME…

Do you like creepy music? What is creepy music? Is it old hammer movie themes? Is it the Danse Macabre? Is it the theme to Friday the Thirteenth, Saw, The Hills Have Eyes, or I Spit On Your Grave?

I guess ya probably got a 69 Eyes, Nox Arcana or maybe even Evanescence’s “Lithium” tune running through ya noggin now… well, check this shit out…

Yeah…for real… is that guy one of the creepiest, most daemonic lookin’ dudes you ever seen?

Korla Pandit (September 16, 1921 – October 2, 1998), born John Roland Redd, was a musician, composer, pianist, organist and television pioneer of national notability. Known as the Godfather of Exotica, Redd claimed to be a French-Indian from New Delhi; however, he was actually “one of the first African-American television stars. “Raised in small towns in Missouri, Redd performed in Los Angeles in the 1940s under the stage name “Juan Rolando” in order to be admitted to the white-only musicians’ union and obtain more work.”[1]

Off to the East Coast, way up yonder near “The Big Apple” and Iron Garden is set to rock the town on June 29…

Join us Friday, June 29th – 9PM Sharp!

Calling All Nightkind – Heathens, Pagans, Therians, Vampires, Otherkin and All Beautiful Children of the Night

High points of the night to include;

KEY NOTE SPEAKER: Kevin French of Kindred of Mann – presents on:

Contemporary Nordic Heathenry

(www.facebook.com/kefinnurlangkvisti  and www.facebook.com/Kindred-of-Mann-531092013589392/)

CONCLAVE: Yggdrasil & Destiny w/Citizen Kaj Wenman

ART EXHIBITOR:

Tim Lucas (www.facebook.com/disappointedfamilyphotos/)

CEREMONY: A Midsummer Blót by Crow Skjaldmaer (www.facebook.com/theladyoflavonne)

MERCHANTS:

. Poppets, Pendants, Plants & Potions w/ Lenka Makings (https://www.facebook.com/lenkamakings/)

. Handcrafted Leather works w/ Deimos Leathercraft (www.etsy.com/shop/DeimosLeathercraft/)

. Crafty Crow (www.facebook.com/CraftyCrowWares/)

. Resident Merchant Olde Thyme Witch (www.facebook.com/OldeThymeWitch/)

. Runes Readings by Nykol (https://www.facebook.com/nykolaphrodisia)

PLUS

Ambient Goth Music in the Crypt by QXT’s DJ Pete DeFillipo

www.facebook.com/pete.defillipo

Info by: Iron Garden

Poster Credit: John Gavin

Model: Wolfgang Krystman

 

img. source: The Vampire Fragments

The April digest of articles from around the way was put up by site wrangler Spurn on May 31st, a great resource to browse the reading material that’s out there for the coffee break. Spurn’s “The Vampire Fragments”Get over there and check it out…

Ya know, I’ve often thought that the world would be a much better place, all round, if I was in charge… for one thing there would be compulsory Saturday night dances where everyone could get down to that…

Haaaahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa… long live th’ Lux…!!!

Want to win an advance copy of DRACUL? Here’s your chance!

“The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s–and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.”

 

COME IN TEXAS…

img. source: backgroundcheckall.com

So, hey, the second date to save is this, Sunday August at 6pm

The event –
Rainbow in the Dark: Charity Event for Homeless LGBTQ Youth

“Sue Ellens and Vampire Court of Dallas presents: Rainbow in the Dark
Charity Evening Directly Benefiting Outlast Youth Foundation of North Texas Helping LGBTQA Homeless Youth.”

GET OUT THERE AND SUPPORT THE CAUSE FOLKS…!!!

 

Okay, are we gonna cross the line now? We gonna do it?

Are we, huh, huh, are we…

 

img. source: myjewishlearning.com

 

I’m gonna tell ya my political beliefs, you can stand on any hill, Capitol or otherwise, in most developed countries in the world, look at the big, shiny buildings and the one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that the people YOU elected to work FOR YOU have absolutely no interest in YOU after the election…!!! TRUTH… Only person’s gonna look after YOU is YOU.

Me? Politically? Hell, I’m just one of those…

…which sorta kinda throws us off on the whole religion tangent right? right?

I’ll tell ya, it doesn’t matter who you pray to or how, anything that gets you through the hard times is good and it don’t matter a damn what anyone else says – it’s personal and something that shouldn’t be interfered with.

Me? Religion? I’ve got just one thing to say…

So, there ya have it… btw, that’s my personal opinion… in no way endorsed, nor shared by RVL… just the benefit of my wisdom and experience… take it or leave it…!!!

 

Awright, where we off to next… *shuffle, shuffle, shuff…* Ah Hah…!

Third date to save – 

Sunday, October 28 at 9 PM – 4 AM

NOLA’s th’ place, get on ya night face…!!!

INFERNO – The Blood Lust Vampire Ball

1236 N Rampart St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116

 

Ooooh yeah, one more thing before I go, I haven’t updated the Site Stats for RVL for the last month, anyone interested, No? Don’t give a fuck? READ ‘EM ANYWAY…!!! JUST DO IT…!!!

Page visits (26 April to 25 May inc.) 3196

Avg. visits per day: 114.14

Total distribution (Countries) 132

Twitter Followers: 1309

A big thank you, merci, vielen dank and gracias to y’all

 

Okay, that’s more than enough out me for today… yeah, yeah, I know…
Gonna drop out on ya to the sublime strains of a little “noir” from one of the coolest outfits in the God damn rock and roll world… aloha meine Lieben…!!!

 

Copyright RVL (except where noted) 2018

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korla_Pandit

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

 

Groups, Orders, Havens, Sects and Cults

img. source: Complex.com

Ed. Note – Before we begin today I have an apology to make, yes, another one…
In the Editorial “Persona non grata in effect” I initially, incorrectly, attributed the authorship of a certain work quoted in the piece. Fortunately one of our wonderful friends came along and said, “Hey guys…” upon which my esteemed 2IC immediately remedied the situation.

I apologise sincerely for any embarrassment or inconvenience caused by my error and I promise I’ll try not to let it happen again.

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

Groups, Orders, Havens, Sects and Cults

Researched, Written, Edited and Presented by 

Tim

We move, in the GVC, in many, many circles simultaneously, we inhabit various organisations both online and offline and we come to recognise, over time, sometimes disastrously, what our chosen associations actually stand for and mean. At that point we have a choice. The choice is whether we can continue calling our chosen “friends” and associates family or whether it has been a product of our hope that there is something that can give us answers we have been searching for or whether we have simply fallen in with an idea, or set of ideas, that seem to give us that integral piece of our personal jigsaw.

So, what do we see when we look around us?

img. source: flingmile

We all know what “Groups” are, collectives of people that come together to discuss ideas, debate ideas – be they the quintessential “heated debates” or sensible, calm and orderly discussions. In general groups, in this sense, contain many different views and opinions and are representative of the general manner of things that give the participants a certain sense of social involvement. Such organised gatherings may, or may not, ascribe to one of several viewpoints or they may be “focus” groups of people who come together for a specific purpose and, in this respect, foster often productive discussion. It’s an ideal that many look for but, unfortunately, don’t always find.

Beyond these “general population” groups we find a strata of gatherings that comprise Havens, Covens, Houses and the like. The change in identification will generally indicate a more secular and focused approach and ideal. The rules become a little more stringent and designed to preserve the peace, calm and order within the body for the benefit of all the members – again an ideal. It’s not a bad idea to have a set of governing regulations which members agree to abide by. This provides for the body to focus more directly on specific ideas and hypotheses, to focus more directly on the welfare of its members and, very often, you will read that the members refer to each other as family, as brother and sister, thereby engendering a closer knit unity between the members which for many can enhance the feeling of actually belonging somewhere in a world that no longer focuses on what’s best for the “family unit”. Again, not a bad thing at all… as long as it doesn’t slide across the next line.

img. source: SlideShare

 

Sect is not a dirty word…!

Sect noun [ C ] UK   /sekt/ US   /sekt/ (usually disapproving)

A religious group that has separated from a larger religion and is considered to have extreme or unusual beliefs or customs.

Hmmm… curious thought. Generally we can find solid reasons for a schism in religious orders… differences of opinion in interpretation, in practice, in application of religious tenets and a whole gamut of others. I would, and do, take the view that everyone talks to their God/s in their own way, in their own time and within their own framework of belief. The thing about that is that there is No One who has the right to tell them otherwise.

The only thing that I do object to, and I think many will agree, is any religious organisation, or institution, that causes harm to anyone in the name of their beliefs. The definition above, from the Cambridge English Dictionary, asserts that these “Sects” have either “extreme” or “unusual” beliefs or customs. Well, the Bantu Tribesmen in Africa have strange and unusual customs and beliefs… DON’T MEAN THEY’RE WRONG… just different to, say, Orthodox Jewish beliefs, Catholicism or the Anglican faith.

Don’t get me wrong here, a “Sect” that does bad things to people is just as bad as a cult but if a sect doesn’t hurt anyone aren’t they allowed to believe that the sky is green if they want?

a 1980’s UFO Cult in California
img. source: Atlas Obscura

Cults… an ugly truth?

In referring to “cults” many people will, automatically, associate the word with likes of Jim Jones and Charles Manson but is this necessarily the case?

I have long held the belief, about any structured belief system, that whatever gets you through the hard times is fine. What about the not hard times? What about the groups, societies and organisations that we choose to belong too? Why are we in them? What do they offer? What do we derive from them? Are they beneficial or toxic to us?

All questions that have been widely raised about a wide range of well-known institutions. The web resource Religious Tolerance.org has an extremely well written discourse on the matter that clearly spells out the differences in both accepted most used terminology and the concepts behind the terms. It is, it seems, a matter of some confusion and discussion when it comes to defining a cult.

I would suggest that a good number of people have seen at least one of the television documentaries that have been made about L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology, we, on the outside, may see it as a cult but if you talk to anyone from within they will swear up and down that it’s not that at all… it’s only when someone comes out from the controlled “within” that we can begin to get some rational and real perspective on the subject.

One resource that has been widely applied within the Pagan communities is the The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (Version 2.6, 2.7)[1] which can be found at neopagan.net

The evaluation framework clearly defines the questions that need be asked in order to demonstrate whether a group is actually a “cult-like” entity or not. The results are yielded on a sliding score scale with the lowest score possible being 18 and the highest score possible being 180, therefore the mean is 81 – the cutoff point between, say, sect and cult. If we break down the possible range between 18 and 180 we might say that from 18 to 54 is a “group”, 55 to 109 is a “sect” and 110 and above is a “cult”. Of course, you may wish to break it down further but as long as you honestly and accurately evaluate what you’re looking at and apply the evaluation clearly and in a totally unbiased way that’s fine.

Although there is no actual “result table” offered by the framework it tells you how far toward the “danger zone” you are treading.

The biggest problem with utilising this framework is that you can only do it if you have a completely clear, logical and unbiased view of the thing you are assessing… let’s assume, for example, if The Framework had been given to Susan Atkins [2] in 1969 when she aided Manson in the Tate-LaBianca murders would she have returned a clear, logical and unbiased result? Don’t believe so myself…

So, if you were asked to sit down with The Framework and apply it to a group that you are in would you be totally objective, clear and logical about it or would you give the answers that you have led to believe?

Could you take The Framework and apply it, in the same fashion, to a group that you were a member of in the past? If you had good experiences I would suggest that the result might be skewed in that way, if you had bad experiences – which are usually remembered far longer than good ones – could you give an accurate and completely unbiased response?

Let’s look at a couple of examples;

Isaac Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Framework (Ver. 2.6)

In a nutshell you will see, from the two examples given, that one represents a group with very few cult-like traits whereas the other example, at the “Cult” end of the spectrum, exhibits many of the major characteristics required to identify a cult.

img source: sylvielefrancois.com

What sort of groups are you in?

 

If you can stop for a couple of minutes, sit down, clear your mind of everything else and just think about the group you are in. Think about what happens in the group, how is it run? Who runs it and why? How do you feel when you are interacting within the group? (No matter what medium) Do you feel safe? Unsure? Comforted? Guarded? Is it something you would rather not be involved in but don’t know how to break with the group without losing all your friends?

There are many things that a group should be, controlling, dominating, censoring, disapproving and forceful… well, maybe it’s not a group at all… maybe it’s a “sect” or a “cult” but the ONLY way you’re going to know that is if you are prepared to be open minded, brutally honest and completely unbiased.

In conclusion

Cults, sects, organisations, social groups and specific interest clubs have been around since dawn of mankind pretty much, even though the word “Cult” originated with the ancient tongues, and was defined, early on, and still today, as the worship of a divine being or beings, whether that divinity be accorded by the worshippers or by mythology makes no difference, a “divine being” is not necessarily a mythical being, it can be a person, a psychological construct simply a fixation with someone or something… hell, I know people who pray to the God of Football during the English Premier League Football season… just a quiet word here, there actually isn’t a God of Football but you can find him regularly referred to in the pubs or at Finals time.

Wherever you have a focused and fixated system of recognition of an object or person as being divine you run the risk of finding a Cult. Get informed, stay informed and watch for the danger signs. The Cult Education Institute provides a clear and concise listing of the warning signs.

As I said, the big trick here is to be honest, clear headed, objective and unbiased when you do it. If you think you can do that why not give it a go? See how your “group”, “Order”, or other organisation fares under scrutiny?

Hey, you may not want to believe what comes of it, you may not want to accept what comes out of it but at least you’ll be better informed on what to watch out for in order to avoid coming unstuck and that has to be a good thing – right?

Copyright TB & RVL 2018

  1. The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (Version 2.6) Copyright © 1979, 2008 c.e., Isaac Bonewits.
  2. Oxy Gen Crimetime http://www.oxygen.com/blogs/where-are-the-members-of-charles-mansons-killer-cult-family-nowNB: 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

     

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.

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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.

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