So, you want your own Empire? Part II


Researched, edited, written and presented by


In the first part of this mini-series, “So, you want your own Empire?” I visited some of the basics that I have concluded from years of organising, and leading, various groups, teams and task groups. That’s an important thing to keep in mind I think, I’m not “blowing smoke” here, I’m drawing on professional and non-professional experience to bring this here and none of it is cast in stone tablets. You can pick up texts on “Group and Team Building” everywhere, not to disparage book learning but don’t you think, in many things,  experience, success, and even failures, make better teachers?

Anyway, in this second part I am going to look at the second tier of group building.. mostly the planning and establishing that comes after the heady rush of the brilliant idea.


So, how’d you get on? Got a plan to go with your brilliant idea? Got some friends all hyped up? Got yourself a web-presence for your “Group”, your fledgling empire?

Now, what ya going to do with it?

Let’s assume, for the sake of the exercise, that you and four friends, tried and true, are in on the plan. Good. Let’s say you have set up “shop” and now you’re looking to attract general members to bolster the ranks, to give the “Empire” impetus and to take it from the “special interest” to the “Focus group” stage. Where are you going to look? What’s your hook? What are you going to offer that no one else does?

In a culture, an online community, where pretty much everything has been “done to death” (or so people would have you believe) what can you do to bring people to your magnificent creation?

Consider this, EVERYONE has to, had to, start someplace… hells bells even President #45 started with a couple of bucks and an idea sometime, do you really think that he is a better person than you? Think about it…

Pic. Credit –

The first consideration you need to make is what type of membership are you going to cater for? Is it going to be strictly “Rock collectors”? “Poetry Lovers”? “Sanguinarians”? “Psi-Vamps”? This is going to determine how you manage membership admissions. Are you going to include “supporters of”? Or, are you going to accept anyone whom has a general interest in the subject/s at your “empire”?

It is a vital part of the plan, at this stage, that you have a. a purpose, b. a plan and c. a method. For without these things you are going to end up with a Friday night crowd at a local bar scenario… general mayhem in other words.

PURPOSE: Make it clearly known, amongst your existing members and to prospective members what your purpose is. Don’t beat around the bush, tell them who you are, what you do and why you have this group. This will help in attracting potential members with “like minds” which is how your empire will become stronger. It’s because of the membership that, ultimately, a group will succeed or fail.

PLAN: How are you going to communicate with your members? How are you going to include your members in the aims and goals? Are you just going to issue newsletters created by an “Editorial Staff”? Are you going to create group created documents, books, pamphlets or some such thing? Are you going to hold simple “Topical” discussions? Are you going to have regular membership meetings?

All of these details need to be together, somehow, in an operational plan because the operational plan is how an organisation measures success and gauges what is benefiting the group as opposed to things which the group aren’t really interested in. You absolutely must, at all times, engage the maximum number of your members as possible. In this way you will find your members will be energised and will find the incentive to become truly and actively involved.

In this you will, hopefully, avoid the curse of the “Periodic membership interest poll/ post”, you will avoid having to send out group messages such as, “Hey, only 13 out of 200 members here lately, who doesn’t want to be a member anymore?

The method for administering the “empire” is a crucial step, and a very necessary tool that must be refined, retuned, coaxed along and reviewed regularly. Not everything you do will work, not everything you propose will be accepted, not everything you wish for will materialise… I still don’t have my $350,000,000 national lottery win in the bank despite all the wishing in the world…!

The “Method” can include such things as, regular staff meetings (chat or meetup) between the admins of the group to discuss how the group is going and/or how it could be improved. It can include putting out regular “newsletters” to the membership about the group and the activities of the group and/or its members – many people undertake benefit work that can inspire others to do similar and in general reflect well on your “empire” – let your general membership know about these things, congratulate your members on their achievements, it will make others want to achieve.

Encourage participation at every turn. Accept each member and acknowledge their strengths and the positives they bring to the group, in this way more members will be encouraged and feel empowered.

Or, just sit on your throne and wait for your members to flock to you and kneel at your feet to worship you… regret to advise but that won’t last too long. If you are going to hold yourself up as some kind of “go to” guy or gal you better get ready for a lot of razzing and a general lack of respect for your over inflated ego. Definitely a trap for young, or old, players.

Pic. credit –

Members, members, members…. Ahhhh yes, members… the people you are doing all this for, the lifeblood of your, and every other, group but how do you KNOW that the person who wants to join is actually going to be comfortable/productive or beneficial to your group?

This is where the first stage of membership planning comes in, the point where you decided whether you are building your group to be a helpful, supportive and vibrant resource for others or a closed society for you to gather only those who agree with you.
Don’t get me wrong here, either way is fine but you need to have some method of assessing membership applications.

Some organisations have lengthy “packages” where you have to answer a hundred questions about yourself, you have to demonstrate why you think you will be an asset and sign all sorts of “I agree to’s”… kinda like going for a new job.

Other groups employ “Recommendation Process”, that is, you can only get in if an existing member is willing to vouch for you.

Still others have come up with a “Three Step” approach, the three steps being,

Step 1. Firstly have the prospective member answer three simple questions such as why they want to be in the group, what do they hope to gain from the group and, perhaps more importantly, what will they be bringing to the group.

Step 2. Review their timeline if they have Facebook. Unless they have a private timeline you can see what they regularly post about, if it’s all about their myriad illnesses and how hard everything is that might raise a red flag, are they looking for a new audience? If they are obviously young and consistently posting about drugs, gangs, guns and Satan then you probably don’t want them in your group. Are they in 1438 other groups and have 3,290 friends? Then they are probably looking for another “Trophy” to hang on their wall for whatever reason and it is seriously doubtful whether they will be a consistent and beneficial member for you.

Step 3. Talk amongst yourselves. Set up a “Chat” that can be used only for communication about group matters between you and your co-owners/administrators. Compare notes, share your instincts and take a vote on whether you think they would be good for the group.

img. source: Parks Library Preservation on

So, let’s assume you have Purpose, Plan and Method all set and it all looks good on paper – that is after you have applied the K(eep) I(t) S(imple) S(illy) theory. On paper versus in reality… yeahhhhh…sometimes can be a problem, you need to stay flexible and responsive and the more complicated you make something the more time you are going to have to put into it, or the more staff you are going to need to run it… think major manufacturing plant versus ‘Mom-and-Pop’s Deli’.

However, let’s assume your empire has the sound foundations and it’s time to start receiving new members and guests. How do you know if someone is going to fit in with your group? Do you care? Do you think that variety is the spice of life? Do you want a ‘Friday night at the local bar’ scenario?

Most, if not all, the bigger and more successful Houses, Clans, Temples or Organisations have standards that they expect their members to adhere to and this needs to be addressed very early on, how do you want your members to behave? Are you among those whom believe that “Freedom of Speech regardless of consequence” is appropriate? Are you of the school of thought that “Common human decency and polite dignity” is the best way to conduct a group?

If you are of the former belief then, hey, all power…and good luck with that to ya, better get yourself some hard core moderators to keep watch over the crowd… get yourself some “bouncers”.

If you are of the latter school of thought then although you will still need moderators you will be well served by having some sort of pre-vetting method for potential members. I have known of several different methods, worked with a few, and I can’t really say with any assurance that one works better than the other. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with. I have known groups that simply admit members under the banner “Newbie”, “Acolyte”, “Seeker” or whatever other term might be seen as appropriate and then it becomes a probationary period situation where if said member gets three strikes or more in a given time frame – BOOM… bye bye.

I have seen “Membership Applications” ranging between one to twenty pages of statements, questions and affirmations. I have seen groups employ Twin Portals, one is the Main Group, or House and outside of that is another portal where potential full members serve out a specified period of time; a probation, before being accepted as a full member.

Yet others will admit a person then present them with a compendium of the Fifty Rules of House Horrorthon… and tell the newbie that if they break anyone of the rules they will boil in a large vat of communal ridicule before being ejected and having their name slandered all over Facebook.

Establish a common sense method that is to be applied across the board and use it no matter what the circumstances, no matter what. One of the worst errors that any House leadership can do is show favouritism, it alienates other members and then the cracks will start to appear.


So, to review,

State your Purpose

Have a Plan in place

Have an established operational Method

Have a Membership plan and requirements detailed.

These are the next stages that build on the foundations and give you the walls to protect, defend and support. Remember, a well-planned and well executed meal will ALWAYS be better than something thrown together and quickly boiled the crap out of…!!!

Copyright TB & RVL, 2018

NEXT: In Part 3, what sort of “Emperor” is your Empire going to have? Common Sense Leadership.


NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer


Crossroads 2018 – Groups and Memberships in today’s culture

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

Written and Presented by 


The modern living Vampyre culture is a somewhat volatile, tempestuous, busy, complicated and confusing scenario and there have long been those whom wished that there was some method of assessing to make some sense out of it.

In the general, global sense, we cannot since, in order to do so, we would necessarily need a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, etymologists and fine Irish single malt Whisky…

In considering this problem I began, some time back, thinking about the framework of an instrument that would allow for external observations to be gathered in order to assess the reliability and suitability of group membership applications. It is to be an instrument that evaluates actual, real-time interactions and the overall appearance afforded by a person’s public/ group activities.

I started out by referring to the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Framework Ver. 2.6 first developed, by Isaac Bonewits, in 1979. I considered each criteria and re-developed the entire question matrix, while retaining certain key-wording constructs, to scale it back to “individuals” rather than groups of individuals.

What I have, so far, is shown below and I believe that real-time observation and reporting, possibly over a ‘probationary’ or ‘qualifying’ period would enable cultural group leaders to render sound decisions about whom is, and whom is not, of suitable temperament for their group/s and /or support. This, in its turn, would go a long way to curtailing the influence of some of the real “crazies” out there and would make for much more stable, productive and long-tenured groups within the modern culture.

img. source: Applied Vision Works

Pop Quiz:

  1. How many groups have you seen come and go, in a very short space of time since you’ve been hanging around the online culture?
  2. What’s the reason for the collapse of the groups that have gone by the wayside?
  3. Could a better “team” balance and approach have made some significant contribution to the modern culture?

I have been involved, in both industry and commerce, in building, organising and overseeing teams going back to around 1984. The keys are the same as the keys necessary for cultural groups to form, survive, produce and be a coherent and helpful, or guiding, force. With that in mind it becomes necessary to look at the structure of the team that you are tasking, or asking for something, and determine the very best balance that can be brought to the team to make it work.

So it is with anything… unless of course you don’t actually WANT to achieve anything..!

The individual skills, traits and attributes of team, or in this case ‘group’ members, is of the utmost importance to ensuring a successful outcome, whether you are running a discussion, production, evaluation, hobby, sport or any other kind of group/team… there needs to be a complementary balance of such things to ensure a positive outcome, otherwise, yep… chaos..! With that in mind I cobbled together the following evaluation tool, maybe you can use it to build a better group, maybe not. Maybe you can save yourself a lot of heartache and drama, maybe not but just maybe it’s worth thinking about…no?

Img. source:

Observable Factors:

Rated on the scale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Median method: The thing to bear in mind here is that the “Highest” possible score could be just as bad as the “Lowest” so it becomes necessary to define a middle range that becomes the ideal. It’s very like the standard pre-employment 125 question sheets they make you do, the psych-evaluation tests that we’ve all seen at some time which are meant to ensure that someone doesn’t get saddled with “extreme” personality difficulties, and let’s face it, the modern living Vampyre culture is replete with those.

With that in mind… a score of 1, in answer to any of the following questions is to be considered the furthest from an “ideal” answer as is a score of 10. Ideally we should be aiming to give a score of between 4 and 7 which would yield an ideal total, if we treat 5 as being optimum, of 80.

Max. Count Method: Alternatively, if it’s more comfortable, the higher the score can mean the better the individual is at achieving the ideal according to the question, in which case the best possible score could be 160 and we would have to set the ‘minimum acceptable’ score that we would consider as being optimum for our purposes… we might say we will only pass those with scores of 90 or above, 120 or above or whatever we might see the best outcome as being.

The Questions:

Personal Control: Amount of self-control exercised by individual in everyday interpersonal interactions. (Do they tend to flip out, get rude, offensive etc. frequently, with or without perceived justification?)

External Control: Amount of external social influence desired or obtained; how much emphasis is placed on directing the affairs/ interactions/ business of others. (Are they friends and advisors or interferers?)

Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed vs. credible demonstration of; Number, and degree, of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed. ( Can they back-up/ support/ prove their claims?)

Amount/ level of hostility towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts/questioning. Is there a strong ‘defensive’ element present in responses? (Do they get bent out of shape if someone questions their pet theory or opinion?)

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

Recruiting: Emphasis on bringing people round to their way of thinking/ demands that their p.o.v. be recognised as “the one”. (Do they need to be revered/ worshipped/ lauded all the time? Are they narcissistic in nature?)

Front Groups: Total number of groups the person is affiliated with/ a member of. (If they are in 1,495 other groups are they going to be effective, in any way shape or form, in yours?)

Perceived ‘wealth’/’currency’: Amount of ‘friends’, or group affiliations, in real-life and/or social media situations. (Are they ‘trophy’ group/friend hunters? Do they friend someone then ‘farm’ that new friend’s ‘friend list’?)

Influence Rate: Manipulation of ‘friends’/contacts/ members of groups in their circle. (Do they play the two ends against the middle and set back to watch the fun? Do they manipulate people around them to realise some perceived personal goal?)

Favouritism: Advancement or preferential treatment of fundamental ideas based on certain “personal” connections within the wider social circle. (Are they ‘lap dogs’ for their master/s?)

Censorship: Amount of control exerted/ expected over the interactions/ activities/ communications between opinions in group/ personal interactions. (Do they hold themselves forth as some kind of ‘be-all-end-all’ adjudicator?)

Isolation: Amount, or presence, of effort to keep others from communicating with non-‘friends’/ group colleagues etc. (Do they keep ‘friends’ / group members away from folks that might know a little too much about them?)

Control methods: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing, controlling or influencing and whether those efforts are overt, or covert. (Do they act openly and above board or sneak around being all ‘I spy’ mister/miss/mrs CIA?)

Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories and or “dramatic” situations within real-life circles/ social media circles. (Are they ‘Drama Queens/ Kings, always seeking out new and exciting frontiers of trouble to get into to make their life appear exciting?)

Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on people around them not being able to be responsible for personal decisions; the amount of ‘telling’ people what to do in any given situation esp. where such input is not requested. (Do they tend to reserve their quiet and confident counsel for PM situations or do the slip the brain into neutral and just let the mouth go for it?)

Hypocrisy: Amount, and frequency, of actions which would normally be seen as being either immoral or unethical, when done for the purpose of ‘political’, ‘psychological’, ‘social’, ‘economic’, or other – strictly personal – gain. (Are they a hypocrit?)


“Le Vampire” Burne-Jones

Okay, okay… while the cries of “booo…”, “pot…pot” and “kettle” die down  – yeah, I’ve made mistakes, yeah, I’ve screwed up… yes, I’ve taken my licks and the beat-downs and I CAN lay claim to having learned from my mistakes. I KNOW who, and where, not to go near now, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work it out y’know

It’s a theoretical construct based on observable activity and known experiences, the other invaluable tool you have, as a group convener, leader, Head of a House or Clan, is experience… not just yours but the experiences of everyone in your group. Let’s face it, if you didn’t trust them they wouldn’t be there right? (Unless, of course, you’re just there to pad the numbers and feel important then all this will have been wasted…right?)

Evaluation of potential members doesn’t have to take months, not even weeks. It can be done while the “applicant” is in a “probationary member” position and should include not only within your own group but by observing their conduct at other groups they are in, by reviewing their social media activities and by listening to your own members who may well have come into contact with your applicant before.

Or, maybe, you just love having to get up in the morning, or home from work in the evening, and dealing with the latest B.S. wrought by someone in your group that you really should have thought twice about… hmmm?

Build it right, keep it under control, moderate the output and enjoy the achievements and rep… it’s easy enough.

Copyright TB & RVL, 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.
The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.
For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

Crossroads 2017 ~ Titled or Entitled

Presented by


A matter which has often been long and hotly debated, which has created conflict and confusion out of nothing and has been source of much derision and sarcastic wit is that of titles… specifically the titles that are used within the modern Vampyre culture.

Where do titles come from? How are they given out? Why are they given out? Do they come in cereal packets? Can you buy them at Walmart?

Good questions one and all, let’s see if we can sort out some of this…


Titles, to designate people’s positions and responsibilities have, literally, existed since man organised himself into tribes for mutual protection. Someone had to be the boss, someone had to be the senior decision maker, the organiser and so-forth… in order to make sure everyone was on the same page a title seemed to be the easiest way to ensure that rather than making certain everyone knew the boss’s name.

For example, among the earliest known titles we find the Sumerian En and Lugal

EN (Borger 2003 nr. 164 EN; U+12097 , see also ENSI) is the Sumerian cuneiform for “lord” or “priest”. Originally, it seems to have been used to designate a high priest or priestess of a Sumerian city-state’s patron-deity” [1]

Lugal is the Sumerian term for “king, ruler”. Literally, the term means “big man.”[1] In Sumerian, lu is “man” and gal is “great,” or “big.”[2]

Lugaldalu, King of Adab – Sumerian, by Ficatus – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 img. source:


As societies grew and expanded the necessity for a greater number of roles and areas of responsibility called for some method of defining who was supposed to be doing what, or who was supposed to be organising what for the populace. Ancient Egyptian society, as another example, included the following titles, Divine Adoratrice, Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King, God’s Wife ( an Egyptian ceremonial appointed title that was associated with the cult of Amun) Haty-a, Nomarch, Servant in the Place of Truth (an institutional function within the Theban Necropolis) Xry Hbt (a ceremonial position, institutional in nature and associated with ritual centres) and, of course, Pharaoh, the highest, hereditary, national executive office in the land.

With the subsequent growth of political systems under the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Roman systems titles became even more necessary as the range and expansion of social systems grew and grew.

Imagine for a moment, although you may not want to, our modern governments, where would we be if they didn’t have clearly defined structure, arranged by function with the individual offices following a chain of command under people with appropriately assigned titles…

img. source:

So, you ask, how does this relate to the modern Vampire culture? We are not a government, we are not a department structured regulatory device and we don’t have a societal structure on a “national” level that demands delineation of duties and responsibilities.

Very good points, what we have is an “association” of Groups, Organisations, Clans, Tribes, Houses and Temples that do not gravitate around a central authority, nor do they necessarily come together in any great measure unless a situation of mutual interest eventuates. Within each of these individual entities there may be found a need for recognition of levels of authority or definition of responsibilities and, as we have already noted, the easiest way to accomplish this is by the use of titles. The thing with these titles, be they hereditary, elected or appointed is that they are peculiar ONLY to that particular organisation or group.
The Order of Maidenfear was created in 1966, making it the oldest recorded Vampire institution and the modern incarnation of that order still exists today in the Ophiucus Living Vampires International entity. Its owner, Lady Emilie C. recalls that,

“Early on (mid-1980’s) we used “titles” just as a means of organization.  We’ve always been uncomfortable with a limitless entity such as vampire culture needlessly being divvied up and categorized.  Now if people want to go in for the names and titles and such because it suits them, that’s their prerogative…”

img. source: Dark Souls 2 Wikia


Much argument is made, frequently, about why certain individuals should be referred to by titles – the short answer is that it is necessary to define their position within their own organisation. An example, and one that is commonly argued, is the use of what are seen as royal titles, King and Queen.

Historically speaking King and Queen originated in the Old English to Middle English period (around 900 A.D.)[3] And denoted a hereditary, national executive position of authority. In the case of the modern Vampyre culture the titles are used solely to denote the supreme position not on a national basis but on a regional, or local, basis where a number of “families”, “clans” or “tribal entities” may gather in a “Court”. An individual bearing the title King or Queen will usually have their title appended by the name of the local, or regional, area they are designated as being responsible for leading. The title doesn’t mean anything outside of that particular place but may be used in ceremonial functions in other places outside of that region as a mark of respect and recognition of a leader. It’s somewhat akin to the use of professional titles such as Doctor or Professor, a recognition of position or achievement.

img. source:

In speaking of titles recently Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza, Matriarch of Temple-House Sahjaza, commented;

“As well they are honors bestowed on our members and others in the community for time served plus works in the community. The higher the level the deeper the service”

In a similar vein, Lady Gia Ahlia Bathory von Ecsed holds the same opinion;
“the titles are earned through contribution and community leadership as well as giving your life to serve the people in it.”


There is, of course, a precedent for the use of titles in the modern Vampire culture that goes back to the very foundation of modern culture establishments, such as The Order of Maidenfear,Temple-House Sahjaza and to the very beginnings of the modern movement stemming from the original Long Black Veil Events of New York city. As one of the Co-authors of the original Black Veil texts has noted they did not have the benefit of a lexicon for the culture back then and the only frame of reference they had was the work of Mark Reinhagen, the creator of “Vampire: The Masquerade”, the game released by White Wolf studios in 1991.

From V:tM we can easily follow the establishment of early “titles” in the movement and although such were not really common, they were still used under certain circumstances. Titles such as, Abbott, Archbishop, Baron, Chief, Consort, Paladin, Prince, Recruit, Seneschal and Sheriff. Some of these among the adopted titles to define an entirely new, and wider “social organism” that had never been “organised” in the manner which it was now becoming.

More common, you will find, is the use of the title “Lord”, a term which originated in the Old to Middle English period also and literally meant, “loaf keeper”, or, a provider for the people under his tutelage.[3]

The Devil’s Advocate, 1997, Warner Bros. in assoc. with Regency Enterprises, Kopelson Entertainment,Taurus Film, Monarchy Enterprises B.V. & New Regency Pictures.


At this juncture, because there are always two sides to any coin, I am going to play “Devil’s Advocate”, why? Because I can and I’m going to have some very astute help to do it…

There are always the cases of the establishment, or rather self-establishment, of “Titles” by people who have not yet demonstrated, through action or words, that they deserve any more than casual and polite response or consideration. This is the tarnish that colours the perception of titles within the culture and through the subsequent actions of these individuals, especially if they do conduct themselves disgracefully and prove to be problematic, the use of the titles they affect casts a pall over the true intent of such articles. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about those people, they have been, and will continue to be, a problem for the modern culture as they parade around “playing the role” with gusto.

As Lady Julia Darkrose, owner of The Darkrose Journal and Rose Wytch Media, recalls her experiences within the earliest organised systems for modern living Vampires;

“A blood drinker/”vampyr” community existed long before Todd Hoyt and The Sanguinarium organized everyone into Houses. We, were the Underground, sometimes, literally. It is due to the onset of public Internet that allowed Todd and Michelle Belanger, to organize and dictate The Black Veil…of bullshit. I was there, with Michelle, before The Sanguinarium organized and dealt out unearned titles. I, too, was given a title of Adept Elder in 2000. That was six years after I came up from down under.”

She further defines the situation in saying;
“Of course, at that point, titles had already been pulled out of thin air and given to the followers (sheep mostly) that they liked the best. The rest is as they always say…history. Those coming into the community since 2000, have every right and reason to give themselves and others titles within their own groups. However, to expect everyone else to value them as such and afford them respect and honor that is highly doubtful they have earned, is ridiculous. Keeping up the charade of, well, all the bullshit that is spewed from groups that are mostly just making up crap as they go along, is, well, bullshit. To become an organized anything, the willy nilly handing out of unearned titles and expecting everyone else to be on the same page, is a detriment. Some titles, I suppose,  are  actually earned, within any given insular group.”

Titles are, and always have been, hereditary, elected or appointed not simply plucked out of the air as required and this is an important point to keep in mind.

As Lady Julia goes on to say;
“Some titles, I suppose,  are  actually earned, within any given insular group. Beyond that, I believe, if I were still a relevant member of the V community, that I would concentrate on simply helping people that are or believe, truly, that they are Vampyre, to live the best quality of life they can. I know, without a doubt, that titles, Houses, and all the hooha, are completely unnecessary in order to accomplish that. Which, by the way, is the reason most Titled Community members give for being in the community…they want to share their “wisdom” with everyone. Again, title are completely unnecessary to achieve the greater good, as a whole, or for individuals. Titles are meaningless when a person’s actions and motives are the opposite of their titles.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Coin
img. source:

Another point to bear in mind is that from time to time an organisation may well choose to recognise an individual for exemplary service to the whole and they may opt to bestow a title, usually reserved for use within said organisation, on someone not in the body of the organisation – we must also recognise that this has precedent also. Think of the Nobel Prize awards. The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural or scientific advances. They were founded in the will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel and were established in 1895.

In 2012, The Madame Webb authored a paper entitled “The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols”[4] for a leading Vampire house. In it she laid out guidelines to the membership of that House which included;
We will respect all of our Elders, of title and or physical age, and we will hold them in high regard. We value all that we can learn from them. Let us take for example the Native American path. Hardly any cultural group is attending to and learning from Elders as they should, or could be. Elders are assets and rewarding resources; much more learned then our beloved “Google.” There is still plenty to be learned about the world and how to live in it. We learn by listening and respecting Elders, not just in our community, but also in the world at large. Elders have a master’s degree from the University of Life. What they allow to be shared with us is a gift.”

Titles, such as “Elder” are not always to denote ranks and responsibilities, they can also be used to denote expertise and depth of experience in important areas and anyone who has put in the effort, invested the time and returns willing to teach should be recognised for such contributions to the modern culture.

In conclusion:

The main concept we must all recognise and accept here is that in each organisation, house, tribe or other such body the members and leader of that entity have the right to adopt any form of official delineation of roles, responsibilities and duties that they may see fit. It is entirely endemic to the individual organisation and does not mean that they hold the same position on other than a local basis and within their own organisations… the use of the title is, however, a point of polite address and interaction. Now, you may call me “Old School” whatever that may mean, because I prefer to address people with a prefix of “Lady” if they are feminine and “Lord” if they are male, that is my way unless a person declines to be addressed so then I shall simply make my address polite and respectful – when dealing with people it gets you much, much further and my honoured parents, my dear departed grandmother and my early English grammar school education brought me up to be polite and respectful, you, dear reader, may have been brought up with a much different perspective and that is perfectly okay – as always but simply because you don’t personally dig the idea of titles and their use doesn’t entitle you to be ignorant of social niceties and be out-and-out rude, does it?

Copyright TB  2017


  1. Saggs, H. W. F. 1988, The Greatness That Was Babylon (revised edition)
  2. Watson E. Mills; Roger Aubrey Bullard (1990). Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Mercer University Press. p. 975. ISBN 978-0-86554-373-7.
  3. com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
  4. “The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols”, The Madame Webb, ©2012, Retrieved Sept. 2017

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