Chatting with Vampires ~ The OVC; State of the nation Part 1

 

Presented by:

Tim

There are an increasing number of questions being asked about why the OVC is the way it is, why it can’t, or hasn’t changed for the better, or worse, in years. Old arguments rear their heads anew every so often and the same discussions reappear from time to time. In a number of places the treatment of individuals can often reach appallingly low levels simply because they wish to make their opinions known.

It can be clearly seen, every day. The issues that affect the OVC seem to be unlimited and insurmountable but are they? A new survey has recently been established aimed at gathering information on how the members of the OVC view the community at this time, added to this the recent establishment of the House Rakoczy project Vampyres for Freedom of Expression to give OVC members a chance to share their philosophies without running the risk of suffering a backlash of harassment and vitriol.

 

Recently, up until May 31st, there was an important and timely survey conducted into perceptions and opinions about the community, the results of which promise to be very interesting when they are released. Real Vampire News were pleased to support this important initiative as we will support any positive initiative to better the community for its members.

In this two part presentation we have sought out the opinions of a range of community members with different lengths of tenure in the VC/OVC so we can get a picture of the overall observations and comments across a range of experiences. We are joined today by our guests, and colleagues, to discuss ways that might be employed to rationalise and improve things somewhat.

RVN is pleased to be able to welcome Dolphinmoon, Riley and Silver Black.

 ——————————————————-

RVN: Good evening and welcome to Real Vampire News

DM: Hello

R: It’s a pleasure to do this interview and meet you all!

SB: Hello, and thank you for having me.

 

RVN: To begin, would you tell us a little about yourself, how long you have been active in the VC/OVC and a bit about what have you been up to since you arrived?

R: My name is Riley and I’m a latent vampire. I’m about to be 19 years old. I’ve been active in the OVC for three years now.  Haven’t been active within the VC, as of yet but I plan to change that in the years to come.

SB: The most active I’ve been in the OVC is through GetFanged which opened last year, and our Facebook Group Vampires/Vampyres. Both were created in the hope of bringing vampyres together and stimulating constructive discussion.

DM: I have been part of the OVC for about 4 or 5 years now. I am still learning and happy to research. My ‘outside life’ keeps me busy.

 

RVN: In your time in the OVC what is/are the most positive thing/s you have encountered?

DM: I have always been welcome and other than a few trolls, the folks of the OVC have been very helpful and mostly kind and most have been very respectful.

SB: Right now there are a number of people within the community trying very hard to correct common misconceptions about vampyres by getting out there and doing something about it. Whether it’s feeding the homeless and raising monies for charity, or opening a blog dedicated to highlighting the positives, there seems to be a concerted effort going on right now to show the mainstream public a different side of vampirism. The scholarly articles that have been coming out lately from established researchers like Joseph Layock and Dr. DJ Williams have been encouraging too. Also the show “Vampires” and its down to earth portrayal of vampirism in New Orleans.

R: The diverse variety of people that are supportive and helpful.

RVN: and what would be the most negative?

R: How rude some people can be.

DM: Really some of the arguments have been very petty, mostly revolving around what is real and what is not real or rather what is perceived at such.

SB: I think anytime all of those great efforts are overshadowed by crimes, unnecessary drama, and bickering within the OVC itself. It works against what so many are trying to do. Unfortunately that’s where the media focuses its attention most of the time, on the negative “vampire killer” stories, even when most of them don’t have anything to do with real vampirism.

I’m always encouraged by those who meet those misperceptions head on – by doing something great and getting in the news that way, like Patrick Rodgers did on CNN.

 

RVN: What, do you believe, would be the ultimate best structure for the OVC?(e.g. Individual Houses at a “United Nations” style council, Individuals in a cooperative arena, separate “political” party style arrangement etc.)

DM: This is a difficult question for me to answer because I feel that I am too new to the community to really see the impact and really know nothing of the separate groups (houses, covens, etc.)

R: It should be individual houses with a UN style. Its difficult to decide but if we have it organized by Hemispheres (North, East, South and West) I think it’d be fine but isn’t as structured as it could or should be. It’s up to be discussed.

SB: At this point in time, I’m not sure there is an overall political system that would work. The subculture seems extremely divided and even confused right now and building any further on a weak foundation I have to think might cause those structures to collapse. I would advocate strengthening the basic understanding within the OVC first – find common threads and definitions – and use those to strengthen existing groups – before attempting to bring them all together under one set of guidelines.

 

RVN: Do you believe a general set of “guidelines” could be achieved by having as many houses/ groups/ covens etc. sign to accept the guidelines?

SB: It would be difficult to execute, in my opinion. How would you get every vampyre and house out there to agree? Who would enforce the rules? How do you even find them? The groups are so different.

DM: I do think this is possible, if everyone could agree on said “guidelines”. Sadly from what I have seen (and I try to stay out of the arguing as much as possible because I am so new) because each groups has a different set of beliefs this may not be possible.

R: Yes, but every house/group/coven shouldn’t have to sign. It should be their own choice if they want to or not. Since we all know the rules and some groups have their own set of guidelines. I believe that security is an issue within groups. There should be guidelines (not many). A few that make our groups safe from outsiders and that we should ID people before a meeting a gathering.

RVN: What would be the best basis for this set of “guidelines”?

DM: Mutual agreement and respect? LOL

R: I believe that security is an issue within groups. There should be guidelines (not many). A few that make our groups safe from outsiders and that we should ID people before a meeting a gathering.

SB: A focus group would be a good start. Respected members of the communities coming together as representatives to create guidelines that represented everyone, which might be difficult. When similar ideas have been proposed in the past, it was controversial. A portion of the OVC didn’t want to be involved in any type of policing.

 

RVN: How do you think “leaders” of the community should be identified and elevated to the rank of leader in the eyes of the majority of the community?

SB: By segregating the groups by type and experience, at least until a clearer definition of each type can emerge, and THEN electing a leader. I’ve heard a lot of calls that groups need to start ‘cleaning house’. That individuals who define their vampirism religiously or spiritually aren’t really benefiting by being in the same community as sanguinarians or psis who have documented physical deficiencies and define their vampirism that way. When this happens, debates deteriorate into clashing opinions on the fundamental definition of vampyre. From what I’ve seen, I tend to agree with that. At the very least, an elevated leader of a community should personify the common ideas, goals, and needs of his/her own community.

R: Leaders of the community should have certain symbols/ abbreviations before their name. Other people won’t know what it means but we as a community would know. It should be based on age. For example, if you’ve been active within the community (OVC/VC) for some years now then that should give you a higher rank than others.

DM: Perhaps by vote? Obviously knowledge is a must.

 

RVN: What would be the best method of resolving major disputes within the community?

DM: Perhaps some sort of mediation where a neutral party over sees.

SB: I think that for the most part the individuals involved are all adults who should be capable of resolving the smaller differences on their own. They should be able to agree to disagree and recognize that smaller disagreements are sometimes best left alone, or taken somewhere private so not to corrupt the entire group with unnecessary and irrelevant drama. But if it’s something that can’t be resolved privately and spills out into the community, leaders should be prepared to enforce their personal community rules and guidelines. Right now, there is a gigantic push for more enforcement and less enabling when it comes to bullying and bigotry. Stopping that kind of abuse when it happens definitively and immediately sends a message to the rest of the group that it won’t be tolerated.

In my opinion major violations like breaking the law should be taken care of by the legal authorities, and left out of online affairs, whenever possible.

R: I believe that we need to come to sense of conclusion. Many people within the OVC/VC believe many different things. We need to get a grip on everything and somehow, someway sum it all up. How are we supposed to come out and claim ourselves as vampires if we can finally come together as whole and decide what a vampire IS and what a vampire ISN’T.

 

RVN: Do you believe that a system of “censure by vote” would work against OVC members that step “over the line” as determined by the “guidelines” if they were in place?

SB: Not really. We’re talking for the most part about an online, virtual, community. Other than removing members from individual groups, there isn’t much leeway to enforce any type of overall OVC expulsion. There’s nothing stopping the offending member from going to another website, or attempting to subvert his banishment with another profile and IP address. It’s all OVC, technically. How do you realistically remove someone from the OVC, without having the power to remove them from the internet? You can’t.

R: I think a vampire Census should take place. A general Census of what we believe is moral and true. If someone committed an immoral act upon the community,depending on what it is they they done should be based on a census of a vote. If they did it knowingly, then yes their should be repercussions for their actions. If its something less severe then why bother? Safety and privacy, are the two utmost factors within the community.

DM: Possibly.

 

RVN: What do you, personally, think of the current “state” of the OVC?

R: The diversity of opinions and facts. I like it the people within it are kind. Things could improve just a bit but overall the OVC is great. As I’ve said before, organization would be ideal and essential for a better outlook for the online vampire community.

SB: I think that there is a lot of work to be done but that strides are being made everyday to make it a more constructive/less hostile place.

DM: Hmm, as I said I have tried to stay out of the arguing though I feel there is much to be learned by viewing others opinions. I really have nothing tocompare the “current state” too.

 

RVN: What, in your opinion, needs to undergo major change in order to improve the OVC?

DM: Respect for all

R: The OVC/VC is great, it’s just needs to change a bit, I believe. There’s so much information out there that we tend to question the beliefs of others. If we had just one main site with several mods/admin working the site, that would make it a bit easier. All of the information is helpful but we need to come together as a whole. From site to site trying to find people (locally) is a hassle. It would also help those in need of a donor, meetings/ gatherings, etc. Once we get the OVC in order the VC will follow right along with it.

SB: I don’t think it can be confined to any singular place or thing. But I think that every group within the greater community would benefit by making sure their communities have definitive guidelines and ensuring that members meet them. It’s difficult, for any leader, to turn away aspiring members. But if the OVC is to become a more constructive place and actually succeed in what I believe it sets out to do (educating and assisting and providing a safe haven for vampyres) it can’t be “anything goes”. It does no one any favors when members are perpetually fighting over even the most basic definitions.

 

RVN: What “changes” can the individual make to assist this process?

R: To work together as a unit and make these changes happen. It’s hard if one person wants it and not everyone else does. It’d be more organized. Working together is the main key.

DM: Open their minds a bit and rather than lash out try to have intelligent conversations.

SB: Most of the criticism/responsibility usually falls on the leaders, so that’s a great question. Individuals can assist by ensuring that they belong in the group they’re currently in, and if they find themselves in the wrong one, being able to admit to it and move on to a branch that is a better fit for them. Leaders can help with this by being vigilant about who they admit and by asking the right questions and clearly defining what the group is about and who it applies to. Other than that, members can exercise common sense, and respect fellow members, and their right to disagree.

 

RVN: What stands in the way of positive changes, in your opinion?

SB: The culture of the internet. It’s become a hostile place where it’s not only acceptable but common to bully and insult. Individuals would benefit by sitting back and asking themselves before they post “Is this something I would say to x if x was sitting right next to me?” and “Is what I’m about to write going to further this discussion or end it?”

DM: Mostly the individual’s themselves.

R: We’re all so singled out and don’t do much as a whole community should.

 

RVN: What, in your opinion are the TWO biggest problems the on-line vampire community faces today?

R: People asking to be changed/turned and how rude some vampires can be.

SB: It’s very chaotic. A lot of communities are a mishmash of individuals with opposing and loose definitions of vampirism, which often leads to emotionally-reactive arguments that are circular with no real resolution, which makes people angry, frustrated and likely to leave. Many have left. Which leads to the second: The departure (and absence) of people who have a lot of experience and could potentially make a positive difference for the new people coming in.

DM: Not enough filters perhaps, meaning keeping the real vampires that want to share information or learn more and those that are starry eyed separated.

 

RVN: In summary, have you anything else you would like to add?

SB: Just another shout out of appreciation to the people who are out there working in their communities, online and off, to make things better. And everyone working to educate and show that vampirism is not all about serial killers and sparkling teenagers. And of course to everyone who has supported and continues to support GetFanged.Com

R: These are just my opinions about the OVC/VC. I hope and plan to become more involved in the VC. I still have much to learn and to discover. I am a person but I’m not human. I choose this life and it has become me.

DM: I wish that I could offer more, perhaps in another year or so I can 😉

 

RVN: Thank you very much for sharing your insights and opinions with us this evening.

DM: Blessings

SB: Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this discussion, and for RVN.

R: Hope none of this has offended anyone but I believe that WE need to come together. Feel free to email me at Riley_is_amazing@yahoo.com for any comments, questions, complaints, etc. I would like to hear your feedback.

 —————————————-

It has been said, many times over, that getting vampires to agree on anything is like herding cats; one noted commentator came up with a unique name for a group of vampires, he called it a “bicker”, is there ever going to be a chance to change these perceptions? Is there ever going to be a time of relatively “productive peace” in the OVC? Is the best we can hope for to have the “community” continue exactly as it is ad infinitum and if not who is it up to to change things?

Regardless of your personal views, dear reader, if we are ever going to be able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and desirable OVC something, or things, do need to change. How they change and what effect those changes will have are, in reality, up to the community and its members… not just a few but certainly the majority.

© RVN, Dolphinmoon, Silver Black and Riley, 2012

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 RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

Chatting with NO Vampires ~ Part 2.

5 April 2012

As we advised in Part 1 of this special feature, RVN decided to make contact with a number of people and ask some questions to gauge what their reactions to them would be as people who are not real vampires, are not connected to “the community” except in an observational way, a remote way or not directly connected at all except perhaps through some small interest in research.

 

Accordingly, for this special edition of “Chatting with Vampires” we decided to change the recipe ~ we left out the vampires!

In part two of this two part article we would like to welcome our guests, J.V. Krakowski, Johan and Ric

J.V. Krakowski tells us, of herself, “I am J.V Krakowski, an aspiring writer, psychic development teacher and practicing Witch from Southern California.

Before the community, I wasn’t interested in vampires, nor ever really read vampire fiction. I’d like to say I developed an interest out of curiosity, but I was helping a friend avoid doing something epically stupid. I was trying to protect her from someone that I felt wasn’t good for her.

Through that, I discovered Real Vampires. The first few experiences were horrible, but I eventually met some nice, knowledgeable and iJohan relates this, “I once dated a vampire. It was interesting, enticing and at moments hugely disturbing. The person definitely had a great impact on my life. Although we parted quite violently so to speak, none of the curses she put on me ever had any effect, as I am very happy with my life right now. Through her, I learned about vampires and their ways, while I should have learned what I needed to know for exams at University. She had her teeth fixed to be fangs, she claimed to be able to stay forever young, that she wanted to drink my blood and I saw her coffin, although she slept in a bed as far as I know. She was quite the character.”

Ric is the husband of a lady sanguinarian vampire.

———————————————————————————-

RVN: Good evening and welcome to Real Vampire News. Ok, just to break the ice and before we get into the good stuff, who’s your favourite vampire?

JVK: Merticus! He’s been eluding me for years, I swear. I’ve been trying to figure out his secret to knowing so much before anyone else. If I had to name a favorite vampire, it would be him. I’ve asked him, but he hasn’t told me. He’s like mertipedia…

J: Haha, well I guess it would be Selene from the movie Underworld or ‘Vampire Princess Miyu’ from the anime with the same name. Both are purely fictional characters though.

R: Well my wife is my favorite lol.

 

RVN: When you think of the word “Vampire” what, immediately, comes to mind?

J: Fangs and blood drinking. I’m old fashioned.

R: Movies and Hollywood .

JVK: Honestly, I’ve been involved with real vampires for so many years that I just imagine real people.

Then again, maybe someone that sparkles like Edward Cullen? (It’s a private joke between a few vamp friends and me.) That would be a justice, really. Something strong, dark and powerful. I think many young vampires feel jilted to discover everything isn’t what myth told them it would be.

 

RVN: If we use the term “Real Living Vampire”, what, immediately, comes to mind?

J: I would have to say that a certain individual from my past comes to mind. Until I met her my first reaction would have been: wait, what?

JVK: A leather wearing person with an edge of creepy.

I’m sorry, but so many vamps I’ve met wear dark, gothic styles—mostly made of vinyl and leather. At a few gatherings I’ve attended, I felt like a freak in a white top and denim jeans. I looked like a freak, too.

R: Goth or dark clothing.

 

RVN: What, if any, knowledge do you have of the subculture and community of persons that define themselves as modern living vampires?

JVK: I would like to think my knowledge is somewhat extensive, but I’ve known many to know more than me. (Ex: Merticus) While I’ve been an observer within the vampire community, there is much I have to discover and understand about it.

I grew up with vampires, to be honest. I’ve learned that many are individuals that band together to understand an unexplainable condition. While fights are passionate and maybe frequent, they still befriend and/or tolerate each other because nobody else would understand their hardships and suffering more than each other. I’ve seen a remarkable ability to band together towards common goals, level headed reasoning and a desire for something better. It’s qualities that are rare, which I find interesting to find within a subculture that society views as dark outcast.

R: Just what I’ve read or heard.

J: I know of a community in Europe (sorry to not be specific), where I used to live and through an intimate relationship with a member, I found out the following stuff.

This particular community holds initiation ceremonies and parties; the members drink blood from people. It makes them feel awesome. There is a hierarchical structure and some people or should I say vampires hold power over others. This means a certain amount of wealth for the individuals at the top, I’m sure. They like to speak Latin or Romanian. People may or may not have coffins and may or may not sleep in them.

 

RVN: What, in your opinion, are the key factors that would attract people to this “community”?

R: a sense of family or fitting in.

J: I think a sense of belonging compared with an adversity towards religion is a good motivation to look to belong to this type of group. Vampires are considered cool and I guess people can feel regular society is boring and insufficient.

JVK: In my experience, many people are attracted to an idea that vampires are powerful, immortal and/or untouchable. They want to be more—something wonderful and exciting. They want something to solve every problem, right every mistake and provide comfort.

Humans, by nature, fear darkness and the unknown. On a whole, vampires represent an unnatural immunity to that through camaraderie with it. Instead of living in fear, they surge forward to master and tame it.

That would be attractive to many people.

For young vampires, many yearn for a sense of understanding and belonging. They want someplace that understands their problems, help them solve it and provide a cure.

We’ve heard many stories like that, whether you realize it or not.

A person discovers he/she is a vampire, denies it through an attempt to prove it wrong.

In those cases, I would imagine a sense of home attracts them.

 

RVN: If you were approached by a person who introduced themselves and said “I am a real vampire” what would your first reaction be?

J: I would try to find out more about this person. If they belong to a community or if they are loners or if they are joking. :p

R: Nice to meet you. When did you discover you were a vampire?

JVK: First off, I’d wonder why I was lucky enough to get that introduction. Was I listed somewhere? Who gave me up now? After that, I’d wonder what sort of help that person required. When that’s done, I’d pray, ‘Goddess…please tell me he’s not crazy.’

In general, I’ve rarely gotten an odd introduction without someone needing something. I help people, so most people that come to me want help in some way. It usually means stress, weird circumstances and bizarre secrets.

If you want an absolute first reaction, I’d probably be thinking, ‘Goddess…not again.’

 

RVN: There have been a number of books written by, and about, modern vampires, such as,

The Psychic Vampires Guide: To Subtle Body Language and Psionics

~ Lono Fructus Vespertilio

Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today

~ Katherine Ramsland

The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work

~ Michelle A. Belanger

Vampyre Sanguinomicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire

~ Father Sebastiaan

Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism

~ Dr. Joseph Laycock

Have you heard of, or read, any of these titles? Would you be interested in reading them? Why or Why not?

JVK: Lono Vespertilio is a friend of mine, so I’ve been meaning to read his book. He’s a great guy—knowledgeable and dedicated. I would imagine his book shows that.

In general, any non-fiction reading I do is for research and/or recommendation. While I’ve heard of these authors, I haven’t picked up their books. They’ve been highly recommended, but I haveWhy buy a book with so many living, breathing resources around? There are plenty of community elders available for a chat. If I really needed something, I could just ask a few key people to send out an announcement for me, and then I’d get what I needed. I’ve done it.

It’s much faster than Amazon or Google.

R: I have not heard of any of those books but the Sanguinomicon: would be an interesting read. It might help me understand my wife a little more.

J: As a writer, I follow the advice of George RR Martin: write! Write! Read! Read! Good books will tell you how and what to write, bad books will tell you what not to write. I’m writing a zombie story now, but who knows in the future…

I haven’t read any, but I would expect them to be either mysterious, informative or a combination of a known science with some spiritualism. You don’t have to be a psychic vampire to scare people of on the street or make people lose their thoughts or make people depressed, any work on psychology or psycho-analysis can give you that ability.

Of course Freud and Young could have been psychic vampires, haha.

 

RVN: If you received a V.I.P. invitation to attend an “Endless Night Vampire Ball” how likely would you be to attend and why, or why not?

R: Likely because I would support my wife in her beliefs.

J: The person from my past, who was a ‘vampire’, is a person I would prefer to not ever meet again. Not on her being a vampire, just on a personal level. This means that I wJVK: I’ve wanted to attend a gathering for years, but so many of them are hundreds of miles away! I couldn’t afford a plane ticket—much less housing, food and so forth. If I could attend a gathering a bit closer (like Southern California), I would definitely attend. It’s a personal goal—to attend a gathering instead of reading about it.

You have no idea how much envy I feel for people that attend them.

 

RVN: Despite there being no medical evidence currently available there are those who claim that they need to ingest blood in order to remain fit and healthy. How would you react to these claims?

J: People can be vegetarians and be healthy, but nevertheless most people hunger for meat. If you would take it away, they would feel weak. I guess it is a psycho-somatic state.

R: Stranger things have happened and if that helps make them feel better then go for it.

JVK: Honestly, I haven’t thought about it. I’ve met many types of people, lifestyles and beliefs. I’ve encountered weirder things than that, so it doesn’t bother or concern me either way.

As for energy, that’s an easy leap to make. There is a possibility that a person can absorb energy to maintain health because it’s been a belief spanning many cultures and societies—many of which had no historical connections or contact with each other. How would you explain similar or identical beliefs in 2 groups thousands of miles apart?

The downfall of science is a belief that we have nothing more to learn. When you believe that, you start to miss important things.

 

RVN: If you come across a story in the media wherein a person makes a claim that they are “a vampire” what is your first thought?

R: Oh my here we go again lol. Only because of the Hollywood movies.

JVK: Acute embarrassment.

While I agree with mainstreaming, I disagree with attracting publicity purposely. I’d rather not make anyone into a freak show, but that seems increasingly prevalent.

J: They are stupid. Even a child will know that this person is never going to be taken seriously. So no matter what you believe, it is strange to claim such a thing in the media. You should say that you belong to a community with interest in vampire activities, like a vampire club. How hardcore the club is I would keep to myself. Lots of people believe themselves to be not human, but why would you admit to it openly?

 

RVN: When you think about the term “community”, in a general sense, what do you understand the term to mean?

JVK: Family. Home.

A gathering of people that understand and support you.

R: Family and neighbor watching out for each other and helping each other.

J: I think it is a place where people live together or function together in a stable way. The fluctuations in members of the community are usually limited. Fluctuation in amounts of members usually means either globalization, transformation or collapse.

 

RVN: In your opinion, what are the vital ingredients that a “community” needs to be able to exist and function effectively?

R: Support and togetherness

J: A community needs interaction to function. You will be better friends with someone you see every day or talk to every day than someone you only see once in a while. This means what to do for a highly effective community is to meet on a regular basis. What is done at those meetings is of lesser importance.

JVK: A level head, intelligence and a willingness to work together—despite any and all differences. It helps to have a sense of family—an understanding, support and bond that holds it together.

A sense that says, “Despite everything that happens, we’re among those that’ll understand your hardships and suffering. We’ve been there and done that, so it’s okay. You’ll make it.”

 

RVN: Do you have any general comments that you would like to make on the matter of modern real vampires and their community?

R: I wish that the world [would] wake up and let bygones be bygones.

JVK:  The vampire community is interesting because it’s a sense of hope for different communities that hide from society. It’s a role model for mainstreaming, giving a glimpse into a world where nobody has to hide.

Try setting a good example because people are watching and hoping.

J: I would imagine the communities to be highly dispersed and definitely not unified. This means that there are probably lots of different kinds of communities and lots of different individuals within those communities. Why would you call them modern vampires? Don’t they live forever and would they not be both modern as well as ancient?

RVN: Thank you very much for spending this time with us and for giving us your insights, we appreciate your participation.

 ———————————————————————————————–

Truly a valuable insight into the thoughts and perceptions of those who are not intimately part of the community, nor swayed by its undercurrents by being real living vampires. In reading the responses from our gracious guests you might be sitting there with cries of “stereotyping”, “misconception” and the like about to drop from your tongue but stop and think for one moment, the views and opinions that have been expressed are how people outside the community, those who have no axe to grind and differing levels of feeling about the modern vampire subculture have reacted. In the main, from the standpoint of basic knowledge of the subject and this makes their contribution to this article extremely valuable to those who would see change wrought within the VC/OVC.

Copyright RVN, C. Michael Forsyth, Darren Mann, Nadine Maritz, J.V. Krakowski, Johan and Ric, 2012

 

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 RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

Chatting with Vampires ~ Community, the Media & the Future

3 Feb 2012

Author: Tim

For some time now there has been a shift in the nature of the online vampire community. The impetus for the changes being provided by a seeming semi-exhaustion of material on topics that have been, over a period of years, asked and answered in as many ways as are imaginable. Indeed, the basic downturn in “new” and fresh material has led through a period of extensive re-hashing of familiar topics and as a result the attention to, and interest in, the OVC appears to have suffered to some extent.

As the “new” arena of Facebook and the other social networking facilities came to the fore there seems to have been a serious drift away from the social group basis of the message boards that we have all been familiar with and a breakdown in the structure and support network provided by controlled and monitored help and support.

The “groups” structure has given way to “individual” communication and seems to have resulted in a growing individualism and a decrease in centralization. One question that occurs when this sort of shift occurs is how effective does the overall “community” remain?

There is increasing evidence that individuals are now joining forces to spread a single message, that there is a growing adherence to “personal” interaction rather than group interaction that amongst these new “associations” there is a growing tendency to personal agenda rather than community agenda. We at RVN have , in attempting to make contact with those claiming to be researching the matter of the modern vampire, arrived at the conclusion that there is little or no interest in gaining a “wider perspective” of the picture of modern vampirism but that their studies seem to be focused on one small part of the population of the VC/OVC thus we must ask ourselves the question, how objective can such studies really be in the end analysis.

The measure of any community is to be found in its effectiveness at addressing not only external factors that influence it but also the internal forces that drive and shape it. A community is the composite of ALL of its parts, not just a few and when the picture is taken as a whole the effectiveness of the community body can be seen for what it is.

We invited three members of the real vampire community and OVC to join us to take a look at the effectiveness of the VC/OVC. I would like to welcome;

Vampyrian Fr. JP Vanir ~ Fr. JP Father J P Vanir came to the vampire community, in very active roles, in 2000 and is the Founding Father of Vampyrian Temple UVUP which came into being on Dec. 18th 2003. He describes himself as, “a hybrid Old School Cyber Vampyrian, Gothick-Graver , as well as an Empath. I consider myself a Spiritual person first and foremost as well as someone with many goals in life including helping other Vampyres realize their potential and abilities

 

Lady Victorianrose ~ Lady Victorianrose has been involved in the OVC and VC since 1996 continuously, she has recently founded the online vampire group Crimson Tavern.  She is, as she puts it, “a blood drinker or sang or inheritor, a vampire that needs blood to stay healthy so whatever title you want to give me.”

Sharing a personal insight with us, Lady Victorianrose wrote:

My personal opinion about modern vampirism is pretty vast.  I am an open person so I tend to believe there are a lot of things that even our own kind don’t understand so I try to do as much research as I can to find the truth in a lot of different things to make my own judgment if I believe something to be true or not. As far as the OVC, I can honestly say that the OVC has helped me grow and learn more and more about who and what I am and without the OVC I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Lady C’iana DeCampli ~ Lady C’iana has been involved in the VC for 24 years and was the Last Keeper, or admin, of the vampyre support group and newsgroup, alt.culture.vampires or ACV ,as it was known, which closed in 2001-2002.

Of her current interests and activities she tells us,

I’m more known as a Poetess… I currently am the in house poet for Contessa Liza Zboril at Vampire Nation Concord for Poe’s Velvet Rose which can also be found on Facebook… I have a youtube channel, Ciana’s Sanctuary, of my original poetry placed to original music by the gothic metal group, Vampire Banquet, who works with me on occasion… I also have my own poetry site currently under revamping, www.cianadecamplipoetry.webs.com…”

Of her personal vampirism, she says, “I’ve known I was a vampyre since I was 15 years old. I awakened to the calling of the blood, sanguine but also feed as an eros vampyre with heightened empathic capabilities. I believe in a very traditional old school way of thought and behavior – honor, justice, grace, and truth… I maintain respectful and mannerly ways when dealing with others in the VC and OVC… I am non political… I am a Ronin by choice but have met many in our community over the vast years that I have come to call family and friends… Blessings…~c”

————————————————————————————————–

RVN: Good evening and thank you very much for your time in attending to these questions for us.

Fr. JP: Dark Greetings to you and of course the wonderful people at Real Vampire News which I find to be a great site and a blessing to our community as well as those out there reading this…

Lady C’iana: Goodeve, and thank you for your invitation to this round table of honored guests from the long standing community… A pleasure to be here….

Lady V’rose: Thank you so much for your invitation, it is an honor to be here. I look forward to meeting new people and helping others.

RVN: There is a strong interrelation between many of the major bodies within the online community, a number of places carrying the same information and articles; do you think there is a working agreement in place to strive toward one goal?

Fr. JP: I do not believe any one in the community or even any group in the community strives toward one specific goal. Every single member in the community has their own unique path and belief about everything. That is why the community is so wide spread and different but also unfortunately why it is so divided and argumentative as well as
lacking leadership…

Lady C’iana: Honestly, No, I do not think there is a “working” agreement in place… Most site admins work on their own without involvement of any other organization, house, court or group… I haven’t seen any change in this in the 15 plus years as some of the original sites still exist… I also think we see the same information repeated because all the same research has been done and some just copy what older sites have already listed…

Lady V’rose: I’m not sure if there would be a working agreement but it would be nice if there were the same information on all sites.  It would help keep the confusion down of what is really the truth about our kind or not.  I know when I first figured out what I was and searching for answers, it was really confusing with all the different articles and sites that didn’t have the same information.

RVN: If there were, what do you see that goal/aim as being?

Lady V’rose: In my opinion the goal to have the same information that is true on most if not all sites would make it easier for others that are either sceptical, looking for answers to better understand themselves, or for just research purposes to be better informed. If there is the same information everywhere there is less chance of someone stating that we are a myth instead of a fact.  It is very discouraging when you are trying to do research to find the truth and you find information on one site but then go to another and it says something completely different.  At that point, how do you differentiate which one is the truth?  Personally, I just go with my instincts and personal experiences to tell me what is true.

Fr. JP: I think the main goal of the community is to keep peace with those outside the community despite all of the crimes that have been named “Vampire” Crimes by the media as well as the so called “Vampires” who go on TV and make us look bad. This is generally a very positive thing however many also seem to do the same as those outside the community and claim to know what these people are by calling them real or fake

but usually fake. Unfortunately like any community as well as any group or clique (just using that term as an example term) we do have criminals and murderers who let their appetite, needs, and blood lust get the best of them. We just need to let the world know that the majority of the Vampyr community is not a bunch of crazy killers, cultists, or criminals and we obey the laws of the government in which we reside just like everyone else. We control our needs just like the majority of the world no matter how harmful to us it may be to not get what we need…

Lady C’iana: I believe the original goal of the OVC was to help the newly awakened and guide others to where they may find other vampyres in their area…

RVN: There have been many changes in the OVC since its inception around 1997, what do you see as having changed since you first came into the OVC?

Lady C’iana: Well, back then I was the last Keeper or now termed, admin of the newsgroup, alt.culture.vampires or ACV (created before 1997 now mirrored for historical purposes at Earthops last I checked) as we called it… It was a political and drama free group where all could come meet online including mundanes and donors, speak their minds, ask questions of Klaatu and I (the other original creators, Chiller, Mig, Chooch,etc all became ill or retired giving Klaatu and I the responsibility of ACV til its close in 2001), etc… Its main purpose to become a way station for all to come together to help one another, vampyre, therion, etc… No matter what type or kind of kin you were, all were welcome to ACV… Klaatu and I kept peace and order… It was a different time… There were flame wars occasionally but not like today… I see the majority of sites and groups allowing favorites and elitists to run others off with their ill manners and general cruelty…  The past is gone unfortunately and so has much of the common sense, decency, and formal court manners and training…

Lady V’rose: I see a lot more people trying to take control of what kind of information you can share. Such as the admins and mods on forums and such.  If you say something they don’t agree with they are eager to ban you from their site.  I’ve also noticed a lot of forums wanting to make you a part of a group or “coven” if you will. Personally, I am not one that conforms to groups easily.  I like to be an individual that can make my own decisions without someone telling me I can’t think a certain way.  I have a boss at work like that already, I deal with it because I have to.  In my personal life it’s not happening. Facebook has changed the OVC a bit. Now our kind is trying to conform others to join their group on a social site of humans, and personally I don’t get it.

Fr. JP: My awakening has been a long Evolutionary process and I am always changing everyday as I believe our true Awakening is a lifetime experience (through everyone of our reincarnated lives).
In the beginning our “Vampire” community was more in the shadows before the rise of the internet; there were also more honest members but now that Vampirism is popular there is far more fighting and bickering in the community esp. with the popularity of Facebook where the OVC seems to live now. However now the community is very well
known and it would seem even scientifically documented (mostly the psychic Vampirism phenomenon). We seem to be all over the place now which can be both a good thing as well as a horrible thing as many wish to stay in the shadows for fear and other personal reasons…

RVN: In the, perhaps, inevitable shift from community message boards to social networking services that seems to be the new fad throughout the online community, what do you see as being the future for the message boards?

Fr. JP: Unfortunately Facebook seems to run the online world. I miss the days when Ning was free and we had more Diverse Real Vampyre Social Networks instead of depending on Mainstream Online communities. That is why I created “Vampire Networks” (yes on Facebook since it seems to run the online world)

However I think we should switch to Spruz as Spruz is cheap or free if you have up to 50 members for free or other reasonably priced plans if you need more members (up to 29.95 for unlimited everything) or try Groups but Ning is ridiculously expensive and just a luxury item that will burn a whole in anyone’s pocket (unless you happen to be lucky
enough to be rich? I remember I began on yahoo groups with TempleUVUP back in 2003 but believe without a doubt that Social Networks are the future of Online Communities and Groups. I will always keep my Network going despite the price (which actually isn’t that bad) Luckily our Temple Council helps with the price so it is not mine alone but they
are our governing body as well as the co owners of the Network so they are a part of the responsibility.

Lady C’iana: The OVC has been around for so long… I don’t think it’s the end for message boards… My Space and others were the big thing then Twitter and now Facebook… I think the message boards will stay in place til the social networking becomes more stable…

Lady V’rose: Personally, even though social sites like Facebook and Twitter have taken over the social networks, I truly believe that the forums will survive.  Nothing lasts forever and I think that people will get tired of the “facebook fascination” and come back to their roots.  It’s hard to be who you are as a vampire on a social network full of humans that don’t believe in us to be real but are a bunch of “twilighters”. The ones that will survive will be honest, open, persistent, and have that feeling of security and trust that if anything were to happen you know there is someone there to listen. Not judge.

 

RVN: Do you support an increased media visibility for modern vampires and why/why not?

Lady C’iana: No, I truly do not… There are pros and cons to my point of course… The major con being those newly awakened will have less resources… In the past, even to find the OVC you needed to know someone or get very lucky… Honestly, every time one of us is interviewed or exposed to the general news media, it goes very badly, like calling us crazies, deviants, etc or they think we are playing dress up for entertainment purposes… It never goes well… I truly as one in the community so long enjoyed my quiet existence til certain people wished to write books, etc and go against the cardinal rule to NEVER expose yourself or the community to the outside world…

Fr. JP: Well it’s nice that we are out of the “coffin” or what have you as long as it is not used to make a mockery of what we are. Unfortunately too many fake Vampires get put in the spot light and do just that but that is the point as many talk shows etc. want to get a rise out of the audience no matter the cost to the community! It is unfortunate that is the main stage of our so called media; BS live talk shows and so called reality TV. I actually miss mad, mad house and never got to see it in its time on TV (I would actually pay top dollar to get the full series but you can’t seem to find it anywhere). It as the only good
reality show as the alts actually opened the normal people’s minds through Spiritual exercises and new experiences so they evolve through the experiences usually.

Lady V’rose: Yes and no.  I know…that doesn’t really answer the question LOL LOL. I say yes because in a way I think people in general are becoming more open about things as a whole and are getting close to maybe wanting to actually listen that there is something out there than what currently is.  Like the economy and the government control over everything.  People are losing faith in their own government and are turning more towards their own individuality as it were, looking to find out who they really are and what they can do to help their own lives succeed.  It’s a dog eat dog world out there and because people are looking more towards their inner selves for happiness they might be willing to  listen to something else other than the government telling them what is real and what is not.  I also say No because I don’t think people are quite ready to have us completely “come out of the coffin” as it were.  LOL cliché I know but people, especially humans, need baby steps.  I think if we start showing our true selves more little by little it gives others a chance to get used to the idea before going to the next step.

RVN: How do you view your own role/involvement within the community?

Lady V’rose: I have seen a lot of sites give their own opinions, whether I agree with them or not is invalid, and I am not that site that is overbearing and controlling, one that will not let you have your own opinion.  I have done a lot of research for my own well-being as a vampire and also to find the truth from the very beginning of our existence to now and maybe what could be in the future and I like to share what I learn with others and get their true and honest opinion.  My forum is a site that is full of information and not always vampiric.  There are other things that people don’t understand besides ourselves and I bring those to light as well.  Each vampire has their own unique gifts and I try to touch on a little of everything so everyone has a chance to relate and maybe say “hmmmm that sounds like something that happens to me”.  It gets people talking and when people communicate freely without fear of being ridiculed they tend to open up more and connect with others better.  I remember how lost I felt when I was doing research to try and figure out why I was so different from others and most times it was lonely and frustrating.  I have my site for that very same reason.  I don’t like others to feel that way, it’s a terrible feeling, so I made my site as like a refuge for young ones or people that feel lost can come and feel comfortable and learn in a healthy way.  In my opinion, that is what a site should be.

Fr. JP: I mostly consider myself a Theologian and Vampyrologist or Vampirologist. I have studied Otherkin aspects as well but mostly study what I understand best. I have also helped many people with their awakenings and understanding Vampyrism but made sure they know it is only personal belief and encouraged them to do their own personal journey find the truth. I have my own personal Spiritual path and try to consider myself more Vampyrian than just another member of the “Vampire” Community. I am a Vampyr and Vampyres are my kin as well as the Otherkin community (I consider myself more Otherkin or Vampyr than Human) so I try to help them as best as they will allow me but my main purpose is to those who are willing to accept it if they choose to but I am not a cult leader and it is not my right to tell anyone what to believe (that is their choice alone)…

Lady C’iana: I am Ronin… I have many friends from many different countries, courts, houses, etc… I stand for the old ways of Loyalty to the community, justice, honor, honesty, manners and grace…. I lift my voice when I feel it’s needed no matter the cost… Being Ronin, I need not hold my tongue or stay hidden as a spy for any political gain… I help those in need that come to me or guide them to help…

RVN: What do you see as being the long-term future of the online vampire community?

Fr. JP: It all depends. I would like to see more order and less bickering/fighting but that is what happens when the community resides mostly online sadly and is a slave to Facebook. A governing body maybe for the OVC but that seems unlikely. I personally believe the Vampyr community is supposed to be ruled by a Vampyr council but I guess that shows how old I really am and with all the young kids in the community I doubt they would even follow that.

Right now it seems we only have Merticus as well as a very few others (Sanguinarius and now John Reason of the RVN) that try to do what they can and help out a lot; I just wish I could see more and that we had more Real Vampyres in the community that had the resources and finances they would be able to use to make good things happen. I would like to see more focus on Real Vampyre stories and focus as opposed to the media claims of Vampirism simply because the person drank human blood or claimed to be a Vampyre. I have dreamed that one day we could have a FREE international community and Database of everything Vampyre and Vampire (fact and fiction) but focusing mostly on Real Vampyrism. Including a community for all the Vampyr Houses, Temples, etc. BUT with what that would cost that is way off if even possible (to be free sadly)…

Lady C’iana: Many are still hidden in plain sight… I truly don’t see a change… There are too many factions… The powerful and well known will always run the general OVC whilst those that have been around will watch and keep to their ways ignoring the drama….

Lady V’rose: As long as there is the internet there will always be the OVC.  The sites that are on the OVC will just have to learn to conform to the internet as it grows and things change is all.  If things change and you don’t change with it, I don’t think that site will last.  We are at the mercy of all things that change when it comes to the internet.

RVN: A somewhat recent news article quote, that was reinforced in a comment to another story at RVN, read, “… that some 3,000 to 8,000 people may be participating in the online vampire community, although “perhaps only 20 percent of these individuals are actual real sanguinarian or psychic” vampires.” This would seem to suggest a belief there are only 600 to 1600 “realvampires in total in the communities of the OVC, what is your opinion of this statement?

Lady V’rose: There are a lot of sites out there in the OVC and without knowing which ones were researched I would say that number could be accurate.  There are a lot of role players out there that try to convince others that they are a real vampire.  They make up their own stories to fit the forum they are on and they may actually start to believe in it.  It’s a shame that people can’t be true and feel the need to make things up to fit in somewhere, it makes it harder for others that are true to trust what others can say.  In the OVC if you have a few you can call friends and trust you are doing well.  Being empathic I can usually pick up who is real and who is just telling a tall tale.  I tend to keep my guard up until I get to know a person, and well, when that guard goes down it doesn’t always keep my heart from getting hurt lets just say. So…in the OVC that guard has to stay up.  Unfortunately, you are always going to have ones in any community that try to convince anyone they are someone other than who they really are, the OVC included. It’s just like any other community.

Fr. JP: As I stated in Question #3 I would have to agree since being a “Vampire” is such a popular thing I do believe most of the community are not real Vampires but just think they are or want to be a part of the new popular thing. I also believe however that most of the real Vampyres are not actually members of the OVC but solitary or unknown sadly…

Lady C’iana: I believe that there are even more than that number participating in the OVC…  Some out there are trying to run various “polls” in search of numbers… It’s a fruitless attempt… Many do not wish to be absolutely visible or attempted to be tracked or controlled….

Some of our artists and entertainers allow outsiders like media and mundane society to believe they are just that, entertainers… This I do not blame them for… It assures them openly to be themselves without being questioned… It’s actually very genius of them…

Yes, there are many rpg, twilight fans, scene kids, and some rather unsavory kinds drifting in and out of the OVC… You can usually tell by their manner of speaking or other behaviors if you’ve been around long enough… I truthfully ignore such individuals or if approached online, block them… I don’t like to be bothered…

But as an old ACV member, Vorsuc, used to say, “This is the internet… How do you say, Come here and prove you’re a vampyre?” *gently laughing at the memory*

If they only knew, after all these years just how true that statement still is….

RVN: We would like to sincerely thank Vampyrian Fr. JP, Lady Victorianrose and Lady C’iana for joining us today. It has been a privilege to have spent some time with them.

Fr. JP: You are very welcome as it was my pleasure to help and a many Blessings to you and yours…

Lady C’iana: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to lend my voice to hopefully further our vast community views… My final point to be, If you can not be a benefit to the entire community, vampyres, witches, pagans, therians and otherkin included, we shall stagnate as a global community, fracture and eventually die… We must accept ourselves and others by actions and the conviction of our words not only by outside appearances, whom we know or even time spent in the community…with age does not always guarantee wisdom….~c

Lady V’rose: It was great talking to you. It is always nice to get my views out there and hopefully help others as well.

—————————————————————————————–

Many of the answers offer good points for relevant discussions into the effectiveness and the future of the OVC in particular and perhaps the direction that the VC will take. The one issue that is, undoubtedly, of vital importance is, how does the community as a whole maintain its effectiveness and relevance as the new generations come up and grow into the VC/OVC?

© RVN, Vampyrian Fr. JP Vanir, Lady C’iana DeCampli & Lady Victorianrose 2012

NB: The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer