Crossroads – Plain speaking ~ Revised

night_crossroads_RVL

Presented by

Tim

African Mammals

October 11, 2015

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
Firstly I would like to thank everyone who took the time, so far, to review this commentary. I think we can all agree that the subjects raised are such that we cannot ignore them and we cannot sweep them under the rug. It is, I believe, everyone’s responsibility to aid the fight against abuse in whatever form it might manifest and wherever it may be found. Silence helps no one.

Secondly; It has come to my attention that some of the graphic content in the editorial has had the effect of making some readers unable to read it fully, it has made them feel very uncomfortable and has brought back, for them, some extremely bad memories that they have fought long and hard to eliminate from their lives.

I sincerely apologise for any discomfort that this piece may have caused, it was never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable nor to recall past horrors in their lives.

To this end, please find herein a revised edition of the editorial with graphic content toned down. I think that the message, overall, needs to be shared in every corner and with every person possible to reinforce the need for us all to take heed and, if we can, help in the fight to eliminate the abuses that happen all around us every day.

Thank you for your feedback dear readers.
Deepest respects,
T

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Revised editorial

In 2010, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States issued an alert after a 16-year-old girl, Paige Brewer, from Faribault, Minnesota ran away with the infamous Johnathan Sharkey. The alert described Brewer as an “endangered runaway”. Brewer’s mother eventually won a court order keeping Sharkey away from her daughter, who was taken into custody by police [1] and returned home.[2]

In 2013 Nelson Carrizo, who had been convicted of child pornography charges in 2012, lured an underage Palm Beach girl; who he had met online via VampireFreaks.com, to Miami for sex.[3]

Predators; predators of the worst kind and, unfortunately, a very real problem for the entire VC/OVC. I have been told that we, as a sub-culture, are a, “microcosm of the real world”, if that is true then we need to be equally as vigilant and equally as condemning should we discover such people amongst our own. If there is shame in having such people amongst our number it is not shame from having them but rather the shame that will follow if we DON’T do something about it when we find it.

abuse1

A great deal of work has been done on making our sub-culture presentable, if not exactly palatable, to the mundane “real world” but the truth is that if we, as a sub-culture, let ourselves be lax in “tending our own garden” then it WILL come back and bite us and, like it or not, ANYONE who goes under the name “Vampire” will, once more, be tarred and feathered with the same brush and bucket.

YOU need to ask yourself, dear reader, do you wish to be considered in the same light as convicted child-molesters? Do you want to considered, in the same light as murderers and rapists?

“My friends, this is much, it is a terrible task that we undertake, and there may be consequence to make the brave shudder. For if we fail in this our fight he must surely win, and then where end we? Life is nothings, I heed him not. But to fail here, is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him, that we henceforward become foul things of the night like him, without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those we love best.”
Bram Stoker’s Dracula [1897] edition, from Mina Harker’s Journal, 30th September.

I used this passage from the great novel by Stoker in an editorial in February of 2013, the subject of that piece was whether modern living vampires were actually predators or not. I was joined by several noted guests and, in general, regarding the question of association the following observations were made. As the character in the novel notes;
“But to fail here, is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him, that we henceforward become foul things of the night like him…”

no_bullying

In the editorial for RVL we offered up the following question;

“In your opinion, as long as we are using the term “vampire” to describe ourselves will we be able to shed the popular image as developed through fiction and entertainment?”

These were the responses from our guests;

ZN: Most likely that term will never be modified. I was initiated into Wicca in the early 80’s. That was a hard time to be practicing magic. I was harassed in public many times. People didn’t understand what we were and often thought we were worshiping Satan. Education became our best weapon. Nowadays most people, even Christian churches, know the truth about witches. I believe the same can happen for vampires. It is just going to take some time and initiative with education to get there.

JM: No. In the minds of the masses, you can’t separate one from the other. You can’t remove a word from its common perception, especially when that perception is ongoing and reenforced in fiction and pop culture.

VN: No. Look at how long it has taken most nations to shed the hypocrisy of the ideal of a superior race, or an inferior one. In many places the peoples and cultures still hold to such ideals and the bile that is the life of them. Ignorance is ever the seed and breathes of hatred and aggression. As long as we are known as “Vampire”, there will be the negative opinions and beliefs that go with it.

JL: I suspect that it will be difficult, particularly given that a vampire was traditionally an undead creature that had risen from the grave to suck the life force from living beings. The main stumbling block to comparing the modern “vampire” sub-culture with the folkloric vampire is the “undead” part. From what I understand, most individuals who associate with vampire movements or are sanguinarians, do not claim to have risen from the dead.

The “community” has weathered, over the last few years, a number of highly negative episodes, both internal and external and the fact remains is that the battle to justify ourselves is, in reality, no further advanced than it was prior to any of these occurrences. Now, again, with the allegations surfacing from New Orleans, the sub-culture looks set to be pitched headlong into another P.R. nightmare.
Responsibility as a Sub-Culture

There are many that would; and do, argue that as a sub-cultural identity we are permitted to express ourselves as freely and as openly as anyone else and that, in essence, may be true but when that “expressionism” transcends what is considered to be good, moral, ethical and legal responsibility then we open up, by our actions, ALL of our brothers, sisters, families, acquaintances and associates to guilt by association.

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We have a duty to seek out, expose and expunge the elements of our own society that bring the sub-culture into disrepute through their heinous, self-serving and borderline criminal conduct and if we don’t do that then WE are just as guilty as the perpetrators are.

Anyone who has knowledge of activities that go beyond the norm of decent and civilized behaviour have a responsibility to make that information known and if we’re not going to follow that path then we become just as guilty of those selfsame transgressions. Let’s not, by our silence, by either implied or tacit approval that comes from such silence, condone or accept such activities.

Silence-Helps-No-One1

It is way past time to clean up, either that or we continue to wallow in a cesspool of our own making. Apathy and complacency are the enemies of our time and of our modern Vampire society, are we going to face the enemies or are we going to let them grow, fester and destroy?

Copyright RVL 2015
1. Van Denburg, Hart (February 18, 2010). “Jonathan Sharkey’s teen girlfriend taken into custody by Faribault police”. City Pages.
2. Van Denburg, Hart (February 23, 2010). “Paige Brewer released to mother, Jonathon Sharkey rides Greyhound out of town”. City Pages.
3. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/ Kyle Munzenrieder, Friday, March 8, 2013.

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.
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.
Because the content of the collections of information presented come from many different sources and sectors, the collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, or otherwise objectionable. RVL does not endorse or sponsor any content in the collections, nor does it guarantee or warrant that the content available in the collections is accurate, complete, non-infringing, or legally accessible in your jurisdiction, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to the viewing of the content. In addition, the collections are provided to you on an as-is and as-available basis.

You agree that your use of the Site and the collections is at your sole risk. You understand and agree that RVL makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, currency, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of the content in the collections, that the Site or the collections will meet your requirements, that access to the collections will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, or that defects, if any, will be corrected. We make no warranty of any kind, either express or implied.
You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Real Vampire Life E-Zine and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, officers, directors, and volunteer staff from and against any and all liability, loss, claims, damages, costs, and/or actions (including fees) arising from your use of the RVL E-Zine services, the site, or the collections. In addition, you agree that should any provision in the Agreement be found invalid, unlawful, or unenforceable, that provision shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.

Under no circumstances, including, without limitation, negligence, shall RVL or its parents, affiliates, officers, employees, or agents be responsible for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising from or in connection with the use of or the inability to use the Site or the collections of information, or any content contained on the Site or in the collected information, or resulting from unauthorized access to the collected information or your transmissions of data, including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, use, data, or other intangibles, even if RVL has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
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

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.
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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

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

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.

Because the content of the collections of information presented come from many different sources and sectors, the collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, or otherwise objectionable. RVL does not endorse or sponsor any content in the collections, nor does it guarantee or warrant that the content available in the collections is accurate, complete, non-infringing, or legally accessible in your jurisdiction, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to the viewing of the content. In addition, the collections are provided to you on an as-is and as-available basis. You agree that your use of the Site and the collections is at your sole risk. You understand and agree that RVL makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, currency, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of the content in the collections, that the Site or the collections will meet your requirements, that access to the collections will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, or that defects, if any, will be corrected. We make no warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Real Vampire Life E-Zine and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, officers, directors, and volunteer staff from and against any and all liability, loss, claims, damages, costs, and/or actions (including fees) arising from your use of the RVL E-Zine services, the site, or the collections. In addition, you agree that should any provision in the Agreement be found invalid, unlawful, or unenforceable, that provision shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.

Under no circumstances, including, without limitation, negligence, shall RVL or its parents, affiliates, officers, employees, or agents be responsible for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising from or in connection with the use of or the inability to use the Site or the collections of information, or any content contained on the Site or in the collected information, or resulting from unauthorized access to the collected information or your transmissions of data, including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, use, data, or other intangibles, even if RVL has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

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

 

15,000 vampires live and breathe in Britain …

The idea of vampires living among us is not as batty as you might think. Have you noticed anything strange in your street lately? Any mysterious movements in the night?  Meet Mancunian vampires Vanian and Ethereal Dark of the Manchester Vampire Guild.

full_left_column_VampiresWhat if there lived among us… vampires?  Well the idea isn’t as batty as you might think.

According to the first academic study of its kind, 15,000 vampires are living and breathing in Britain.  http://www.channel5.com/shows/5-news/features-archived/15000-vampires-live-and-breathe-in-britain-says-first-academic-study-of-its-kind