“The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–

   Of cabbages–and kings–

And why the sea is boiling hot–

   And whether pigs have wings.”

“The Walrus and The Carpenter” ~ Lewis Carroll ~

Devilishly designed and developed, written and evilly edited by

Tim

Allo,,, back again, didja miss me? What? Why? Why am I back to disturb your digestion? Simple really…

Tell ’em Sidney…

“There were times,

I´m sure you knew

When there was but – but

Wot fuckall else to do,”

 

Good evening viewers,
I was planning to make this a black tie event but… I don’t have a black tie…
So, I thought I’d pop in and annoy the living fuck outta everyone again, share some music, share some thoughts, share some news from around the place, have a “weekly biatch” and make some purely personal deep and meaningful observations about shit that I have been privileged to see lately… sound fair? Good, well, off we go then…

Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha…!!! EPIC LEO…!!!

Tell me, do you sometimes sit in front of ye olde computer, or go to a “Vampyre Ball”, attend some other offline function connected with, or somehow influenced by the modern Vampire culture and find yourself thinking, “FUCK ME BACKWARDS… I’m actually EMBARRASSED to be associated with this culture”.? I guess it happens to all of us at one time or another… times when it makes about as much sense as buying lamb kidneys to make beef stroganoff…

What do you do when it happens to you?

 

Okayyyyyy, let’s just chill for a minute or two and see what my esteemed Research Director has for us this time… 

Oh yeah… NEW JERRRRRRRRR-SEY…!!! Are you reading, over?

September in
The Iron Garden

Get It On…!!!

Friday, Sept 28th – 9PM Sharp!

 

Not in NJ? Oh, that’s a shame… what about *drumroll*

AUS-TINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN, come on dowwwwwwwwn…!!!

 

“Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are … and join all the creatures of the night, while perusing the macabre wares of local artisan Vampires, Witches, Werewolves and other Supernatural Beings.”

A Seance will be hosted by “Austin Mediums” at 10pm in the Seance Room Inside The Glass Coffin.

Wooooooooh… spooky shit dudes and dudettes… if you never experienced a seance first hand, check it out yeah?

Image source: The Glass Coffin

Heyyyyy, wait one cotton pickin’ minute… weren’t these Talamasca peeps, like, not so good to the poor ol’ vamps in QotD??? 

Talamasca: The Dark Gifts Market

Public · Hosted by The Glass Coffin: Vampire Parlour

Saturday, October 13 at 6 PM – 11 PM

Ohhhhhh… I see…

…and one more juicy tid-bit for y’all;

“If you are in NOLA, don’t miss this. I had the honor of being able to read this book a few months ago …. if you are an avid Dracula fan you will love this prequel …”
~ Lady M ~

Tuesday, October 9 at 6 PM – 7:30 PM

Garden District Book Shop

2727 Prytania St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Hosted by Garden District Book Shop

OI, lookit, I reckon the drummer looks just like Ozzie Osborne…!!!

Nyuk… nyuk… nyuk… sweet dreams kiddies…!!!

Alright, let’s check the fuckin’ noise for a minute… there’s something that really needs paying attention to – YET AGAIN. Now this week, we have a “Guest Biatch” – that’s right, a special guest ‘Biatch’…

Johnny Rotten (A.K.A. John Lydon)
Img. source: AllMusic



Yeah, a VERY fitting song for us today…

Posted on July 7, 2012… remember that do ya?
“Bigotry in a Marginalized Minority Community – Vampires and Human Rights”

A wonderful editorial by Lady Elzie Roze. Now some might think that, “Yes, we’ve developed beyond that now, we’re past all that stuff that was going on back then…!”

BULL-PISSING-SHIT…!!! No more than four days ago (9/9/18 to be precise) we were privileged to witness one of the most blatant cases of “bigotry” that has been perpetrated lately and it really leaves one wondering… “What, did we we just stumble onto the set of the latest Underworld movie???” 

Now there might be people out there, perhaps a very large number who think it’s okay to have an opinion… you’re right, it is okay to have an opinion BUT it is not fucking alright to ram that opinion in people’s faces in a public forum, hosted by someone else and be flagrantly dismissive and outright prejudiced to boot.

If you’re ready to do that shit you might as well go and put on a pair of big boots and start marching around yelling “RAHOWAR…!!!”there’s no fucking difference.

Prejudice, bigotry, racism, intolerance, self-superiority… all disgusting things that bring NO BENEFIT, make the person acting thus look like a prize dick and resolves absolutely nothing all while creating a lasting ill-will and impression that weakens the perpetrator’s position and cause for a long time.

NO ONE RESPECTS A BIGOT, end of story…!!!


So there… I said it…

Now, there is one more thing I’d like y’all to think about…

So, here’s what I think… next time you sit down to watch your favourite T.V. show, movie, or sit down at your computer set a kitchen timer for fifteen minutes and when it rings pause for a minute’s silence for the person that died while you were sitting there… 1 every 15 minutes.

Copyright T. 2018 (except where otherwise noted)

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 – This is rumour control

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

Written and presented by
Tim

Foreword

Picking up on things, as we do, we came across this little anecdote yesterday;

“One thing that gets on my nerves is anyone claiming to be a direct descendant of Dracula.” 
And,

“Elizabeth Bathory is a distant cousin of Vlad separated by almost a century. So for those of you that keep claiming this as a vampiric claim, please stop the fucking shit. You’re full of shit, don’t know your history and are nothing more than a role-player with severe mental disorders. Seek help and get the hell our of our community.”

Andrews ( Brian Glover,
April 2, 1934 – July 24, 1997) in “Alien 3”
Twentieth Century Fox (presents)
Brandywine Productions, 1992.

In order that this “confusion” is dealt with as succinctly as possible we are going to invite you, the “seeker”, to accompany us on a little journey through a particular period of time in the development of history and which leads to the first “credible” account of vampiric activity. This is a story that has been detailed many times before but it seems that, once again, the “evidence”, such as it is, needs be revisited so that we might keep our feet firmly on the ground, and not sparkle in sunlight et al.

In search of the first Vampyre

As has been pointed out, over and over again, the image of the Vampire exists in the folklore and myths of pretty much every single country and race in the world. It’s a tangled and murky ocean that we plunge into if we try to make sense of the myriad creatures that comprise the “Vampire” archetype and it may seem as though it becomes the proverbial ‘needle in the haystack’ when we begin to look for the “First” Vampyre – NOT SO.

In his book “The First Vampire” (pub. Sept. 30, 2014) author John Davies reportedly “provides an alarmingly plausible explanation of why and how the first human was transformed into a vampire, against a backdrop of factual Eastern European history.”

It needs be pointed out that the publication is a fiction novel in the Gothic fiction genre.

The cover bears the image of one Vlad III, a medieval ruler of a Romanian region known as Wallachia (a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Țepeș and Vlad Drăculea) He was a warlord, a voivode (prince) and he led many battles in a seemingly unending campaign against the Turks of the Ottoman Empire during his reigns.

Vlad Tepes

There are a myriad tales that go with this person. Tales that reached as far as Germany and Italy in the day and spoke of brutal punishments exacted upon enemies. Punishments that included his reported favourite of impaling his enemies. There are scattered claims that he dined on the internal organs of his enemies, claims that he dipped his bread in their blood – not an uncommon practice in many parts of the world where livestock blood has been used in cooking for tens of thousands of years.

The one thing that he was never described as, even in his lifetime when suspicion of such things was never far from consciousness, a Vampyre.

The legends about Vlad found renewed life at the hands of a gentleman adventurer and sometime scholar from Budapest by the name of Arminius van Buren who was a known contemporary of, and known to be in communication with, Bram Stoker during the writing of the famous novel “Dracula”. Needless to say there are many whom believe that the lead character in Stoker’s novel was none other than Vlad the Impaler. While it is highly likely that the tales of Vlad formed much of the background for Stoker’s work there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that this was the case, or that Vlad ever engaged in Vampiric activity.

So, again, here we stand at a crossroads, clutching our carefully compiled notes and we’re no closer to an answer than we were before, nor can we be. The thing about folklore, legends, myths and the like is that it is pretty much impossible to separate what may have been a germ of fact that gave birth to the “legend” from the “retelling and embellishing” that occurred in order to keep audiences interested.

This, in a time when many histories were passed on orally, was the stock in trade of a small caste, as was the access to writing and the compilation of records of observation. Chinese Whispers you might say…

Where do we begin?

The first, confirmable and observable reference to a “Vampiric” being dates back to around 3200 BC in Cuneiform writings from Sumeria. Lilith appears as one of a group of Sumerian vampire/cannibal demons that included Lillu, Ardat Lili and Irdu Lili.

The Burney relief

This then is, arguably, the first “Vampire”, the first four actually but there is a problem. In those days no one had the frames of reference to explain certain things that happened. There was rudimentary medicine of a natural form, rudimentary science that was confined to what could be seen with the naked eye – this left a lot of things totally inexplicable and so the people of the time, to give their world some semblance of order, created mythological beings that were held to be responsible for things, or blamed when things went wrong. We still do that today when you think about it, six thousand people die in an earthquake and you’ll hear that it was “God’s will”, of course, if you talk to a seismologist he/she will tell you exactly why six thousand people perished.

We must, unfortunately, dispense with “mythological” sources for the “First Vampire” since we have absolutely no proof of an actual physical existence.

In the year 1047AD we read of the first mention of a word derivative for Vampyre, that is “Upir”.

Upir is the name given to vampires in Russian language/Slavic languages. Pronunciation of the name differs from country to country and it has variations such as Opir, Opur, Upyr and Upier.”

The most vivid stories regarding these creatures belong to Ukrainian and Belarusian cultures although their existence was a very common belief in countries such as Poland, Romania, Russia and the former Czechoslovakia.

Unlike the normal vampires in the folktales, upirs could walk in the daylight and did not burn.

“The Book of Prophecy”, written in “proto-Russian” (derived from older Slavonic roots) in 1047 AD for Vladimir Jaroslav, Prince of Novgorod mentioned a priest and gave this priest the title of “Upir Lichy”, which literally translated means wicked vampire or extortionate vampire. Since there was no recorded mention of this individual engaging in what we might call, “Vampiric activity” we are left only to assume that the term “Upir”, or Vampire, was employed in the sense of the priest being an extortionist that preyed on those whom had wealth or the like. Still no sign of the “First Vampire” as we are considering the term to be used. Bear in mind, one of the common definitions of “Vampire” is, “A person who preys ruthlessly upon others; extortionist.” (Ref. Dictionary.com)

In 1136AD William of Newburgh was born in England. William was a chronicler throughout his life and his greatest work was his, Historia Rerum Anglicarum, also known as The Chronicles, and was completed near the end of his life. Chapters 32 to 34 relate to a number of stories of contemporary revenants, which William had collected during his adult years. Accounts such as that of Alnwick and Melrose Abbey have been repeatedly cited as evidence of a vampyre lore existing in the British Isles in ancient times. William passed away, at Newburgh somewhere between 1198 and 1208AD.

In 1190AD Walter Map’s De Nagis Curialium included accounts of vampire-like beings in England.

Bear in mind, if you will, this is some 241 years before Vlad the Impaler was born.

IF Vlad were the “First Vampire” where did the reports that William and Walter compiled originate?

Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet (a.k.a. Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, The Blood Countess, Alžbeta Bátoriová, 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was another historical figure that has long been associated with Vampirism. During her trial the testimony of more than 300 witnesses, and survivors, bore testament to her brutality as well as physical evidence, and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls, found at the time of her arrest. It is important to note that tales such as her bathing in the blood of virgins were created years after her death and are generally regarded as unreliable at best. A Franciscan scholar whom was despatched to observe her trial recorded that there was no direct evidence given in regards to her consuming the blood of her victims. Her story quickly became part of national folklore in her home country.

Copy of the original portrait of Erzsébet Báthory ca.1585
(disappeared in the 1990s).

So, in considering what was recorded, reported and observed, that fairly well takes care of two of history’s front runners for the title of “Vampire”. Where to from here?

 

Wrongfully accused?

Gelnhausen, Germany.
Photo: Viktor Baronov

Clara Geisslerin was a 69-year-old widow in the town of Gelnhausen, Germany. In 1597AD she was accused of witchcraft amongst other charges which included grave-robbing, murder, and consorting with demons. Under torture (by thumbscrews and the rack), she confessed to sexual relations with demons in the form of animals and to drinking the blood of sixty children that she had killed. She also named twenty other women who she said were guilty.

However, Geisslerin recanted her confession when the torture was stopped. Local authorities, fearing for her soul, resumed the torture a second time. Geisslerin again confessed, adding that she had conceived many children with the demons and had killed them all. She recanted once more as soon as she was taken off the rack, and told her accusers that God would be their judge. The other twenty suspects had been questioned and implicated Geisslerin by then, so the old woman was tortured a third time. A confession was once again elicited but Geisslerin could not recant this time because she died under the pressure. The judges in the case attributed her death to the devil, who, they said, did not want Geisslerin to disclose any further details.

 

The first “reported” Vampire case

 

(Img. source: diply.com)

In the year 1656 an Istrian (modern day Croatia) peasant, by the name of Jure Grando Alilović (a.k.a. Giure Grando, Jure Grando b.1579 – d.1656) died and was buried in the village of Kringa. In 1672 his body was disinterred and decapitated as a vampire. It was recounted that the village priest, Giorgio, who had presided at Grando’s funeral some sixteen years earlier was told that at night somebody would knock on the doors around the village, and on whichever door the knock came, someone from that house would die within the next few days.

Also, reportedly, “Grando also appeared to his terrified widow in her bedroom, who described the corpse as looking as though he was smiling and gasping for breath, and would then sexually assault her.”

Eventually, after once chasing the revenant and trying to pierce its chest with a Hawthorn stick to no avail, a party of nine people went to the graveyard, carrying a cross, lamps and, again, a hawthorn stick. They dug up the coffin, and, allegedly, found a perfectly preserved corpse with a smile on its face. They tried to pierce its heart again, but the stick could not penetrate its flesh. After some exorcism prayers one of them, a villager by the name of Stipan Milašić, took a saw and sawed the corpse’s head off. As soon as the saw tore his skin, the vampire reportedly screamed and blood started to flow until soon the whole grave was full of blood.

Fanciful exaggeration? A folk tale embellished over time? For the first time we have access to details of not one but nine observers of an action against a Vampire… were the reporters of this incident clergymen? Was the tale purposely made disproportionate in order to hold people to the fear of the Christian Devil? What did the nine people at that grave actually see? Remember, in those days it was pretty much the province of the clergy to record, in writing, such incidents… were they clerics AND spin-doctors?

However you care to interpret this event it stands, irrevocably, as the first fully “reported” incident, with multiple witnesses, of Vampire activity and therefore it must hold some credence. It would not be such a stretch, I think, in light of the records of Grando’s life and times, to cite this as the first credible tale of the existence of the creature we know as the classical Vampyre.

Perhaps, knowing the location of Grando’s burial, some further investigation could be made but I would think that any physical evidence would have long ago returned to the dust of mother earth.

The next case of credible reporting of so called “Vampiric activity” would not come along until 1727.

In conclusion:

A lot of folks will make a lot of claims about who was the first Vampire but here we are looking at historical, recorded facts and that’s the key. We can all dream up all the “what if’s” we like but making the colanders hold water is the big problem.

Doubtless a lot of people would prefer the mystery of a 15th century Transylvanian nobleman or the dark seductiveness of an errant Hungarian noblewoman over the image of an Istrian peasant but then again, who ever said Vampires were meant to be glamorous?

Copyright T & RVL 2018 (unless otherwise noted)

Refs:

The Ultimate Vampire Timeline Rev: 14

mythologian.net

http://mentalfloss.com/article/29089/historic-vampires

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

https://en.wikipedia.org/

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

 

 

A Meeting of Minds

http://www.decoratum.com/

Researched, Written and Presented by

Lady M.

Foreword

Over the years, decades even, in the Modern Living Vampire Culture there have been endless debates, definitions, arguments and discourses on what makes an “Elder” and Elder, and what makes a leader a leader in the culture. The very definitions that have been applied appear, at the best of times, to be fluid and open to interpretation. So, out of that, how do you convene an Elder and Leadership Conference in the modern culture? What ‘yardstick’ is used to determine what’s to be discussed and defined, what measure is applied to determine whether a person is, or is not, qualified to be an “Elder” or “Leader”?

One of the best and most concise definitions of an Elder, in our opinion, comes from “Dictionary of Sanguinese” by Sanguinarius   “A prominent member of the vampiric community who is honored and respected for his or her experience, knowledge, willingness to help others, accomplishments and devotion. Elders are often those individuals who have helped establish a community, organize groups, or help network the community.”

Ref: http://www.sanguinarius.org/terminology.shtml

One event that aims to examine, discuss and, perhaps, even redefine these things is the “Elder and Leadership Conference 2019 that is being co-hosted by Clan Resurrectus and the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition.

We were recently given the opportunity to speak with the three leaders who have come together to make this event happen. It gives us great pleasure to welcome back to RVL Lord Stefan Resurrectus, Patriarch of Clan Resurrectus, Georgia, Derek Lestat, CEO of the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition and, for the first time, a warm welcome to Magistra Xia of Ordo Omnia.

Artwork by: Lady Alyson Ford

RVL: Good evening gentlemen and Magistra Xia, welcome and thanks for sparing a little of your time to discuss this cultural initiative.

SR:  Absolutely.  Always a pleasure to be here, thank you for having me.

DL: Thank you, it’s good to be back here.

RVL: The first question, which I would imagine would be on most people’s lips is, why? Why an Elder and Leadership conference?

SR:  It seems to me that my memory does not include an actual sit-down in person face-to-face meeting of the minds amongst the leadership.  Don’t get me wrong, there are several courts such as the Court of Lazarus that brings the leaders of their area together on a fairly regular basis in order to discuss matters, by and large the Leaders and Elders of the Community do not speak much outside of Facebook or emails.  Too much can be misinterpreted or misunderstood in the written word.  In person, there is a much better interpretation of ideals.

DL: Myself, I would first counter with asking “Why not?” Let’s scale it down some, make it more  personally relatable. Pretty much everyone who interacts online has made friends and acquaintances who live some distance away. And some of us a fortunate enough to arrange to meet in person.  Now let’s scale it back up again, with that thought in mind. Within the Vamp Community, there is no shortage of leaders of many groups. We meet online, we become acquainted and sometimes even friends. Some of us live relatively close, some are metaphorical worlds away. We thrive on sharing ideas and experiences, comparing notes, etc. And with so many of us reaching for the same or similar goals, it all only stands to reason that we should at some point convene in person. There is so much more to be gained from physical personal interaction than merely words typed on a screen, or a Skype session.

Derek Lestat C.E.O. of The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition

 

RVL: …and what is the ultimate goal, or goals, of the conference?

SR:  The ultimate goal, at least my goal, is to bring us together in order to get on the same page.  With the growth of the community over the past few decades, I feel it’s time for those that in a position of leadership to speak and discuss our responsibilities to this community.  There was a time that our numbers were much fewer, and the Courts were able to delineate responsibility and stay on top of issues that came up.  With the influx of “leaders” and new organizations in the past 5 years alone have convoluted the question of what a leader or Elder is and what is their responsibility, not only to their respective organizations but to the community of a whole.

DL: For me, I see the goal as being a “meeting of the minds”, as it were. We as leaders and Elders have many different experiences, viewpoints, ways of going about things, dealing with people both in the positive and the negative. This is a great opportunity to pool our knowledge, to learn about ourselves and each other, and to take away new knowledge and experience, and to bring that back to our respective groups.

MX:  A huge objective of the conference is education. A lot of misconceptions can occur when there is a lack of communication and constructive debate, handwork and initiative for betterment of the overall whole.

RVL: As far as attendance is concerned, are there any restrictions on who can attend?

MX:  Restrictions on who can attend would be those who are known in the community as Sin Nomine. This essentially means that they have committed a crime within the community and have hurt others so therefore they are turned away from activity within the community. This is for the protection of all especially new ones coming in who are looking to seek direction or advice from other advocates.

SR:  There are no restrictions per se; if you want to get to know these people we talk to every day online this is a good event for you.  Let’s face it, we go to events and pay $100 plus dollars for a few hours in a very loud and eclectic surrounding versus less than $100 for 2.5 days with food and lodging included with entertainment and really be able to connect with others.  The only restriction is the Summit itself will be explicitly for the leaders to meet and talk.  Everything else is open to all.

RVL: …and for those unable to attend will there be transcripts of lectures, presentations and discussions made available after the event?

SR:  We have discussed that, and it’s my hope to have the Seminars and other events videoed and make them available either on FB or YouTube with links on FB.  The Summit itself will probably be closed files open only to leadership with transcripts.

MX:  Yes there will be audio available for those who cannot attend and of course web based videos as well

 

RVL: It’s already been hinted that there will be a 2020 conference, will this “Conference” become an annual event and will the location remain the same each year?

SR: *laughs* We are actually looking at a 2020 conference and summit.  We will probably really get on that once everything is scheduled out for 2019.  We have been offered a location in Virginia for 2020 by the Vampire Court of Richmond through King William Azrael and I intend to look into that once 2019 is up and running.  I think it would be interesting to have the conference in different cities, but for the moment we’re going to concentrate on what we have now and the location for 2020.

DL: I would love if this were an annual event for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone can always attend, due to personal, monetary, or logistical concerns.  If it can become an annual event, that would be great. It would be even greater to rotate the venue around the map, not only for a change of scenery but also so people who can’t attend due to distance can get a better shake at it another year.

MX:  Yes it would be nice to see this event become an annual endeavour for the community so long as the true heart of the event can be cherished and kept. The idea of this being a platform for education and openness.

Magistra Xia of Ordo Omnia

 

RVL: What are some of the activities that will be included in the conference and who will be “key speakers” and/or guests of honour” if any?

MX:  Some of the activities will include lectures by elders of different houses , selling of wares and goods and great social time between those who don´t ordinarily get to interact with each other. Being able to have intimate conversations on deep topics face to face is very integral to our kind and for learning and development of new vampiric technology.

SR:  I am pleased to announce several: first off, we have Baron Misuraca as our Special Musical guest, along with seminars by Magistra Xia and Magister Alad or Ordo Omnia, King William Azrael and Lady Luna of the Vampire Court of Richmond, Reaper Wolf from Ordo Phoenix, HPS Lady Danaan Starseed and many others, not to mention vendors from fangsmiths to crystals to creative works for sale.

 

RVL:  Let me throw a curve ball at you folks, how do you, personally, define “elder” and “leader” within the framework of the modern living Vampire culture and what would you say to people who might disagree with your definition or analysis?

DL:  In most usage, the word “elder” itself implies longevity, that one has been around for some time, seen a lot, done a lot, experienced and lived through a lot. That context is fitting within the Community, I feel, as an Elder has “Been There, Done That”, someone with the wisdom of experience to share.
As for what it means to be a leader, let me quote management expert Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005), who said “Rank does not confer privilege or power. It imposes responsibility”. And as both leaders and Elders in the Community, we are tasked with responsibility, not only for those in our respective Clans and Houses etc, but also for the Community as a whole. We have the experience, the wisdom, in most cases That Certain Something, it is our responsibility and our duty to impart that to the next generation, much as a good parent would to their own eager children.

SR:  Ah, good one.  I always enjoy this particular subject because there are so many opinions on this particular subject.  Let me say that by definition, and Elder is someone who has survived all to be an Elder.  However, the title of Elder is supposed to be one of respect; and Elder is one who takes their responsibility seriously not just to those of their House but to all; an Elder will take on the responsibility of teaching others all that they have learned with the understanding that they will not be around forever.  A leader is a person who has the vision to lead and takes on the responsibility of leadership; that all are equal from the fledgling to the Elder; a leader takes on the burden of politics and the well-being of those that are in their charge.  Not all leaders are seasoned to the point of Elder, but in time will.  Not all leaders are Elders; not all Elders are leaders.

MX:  of course there will be those that disagree and have different definitions of what an elder or leader could be that is part of the mystique of the vampire . A predator does not follow others but instead meets with other predators and offers respect and at times friendship. We all are on our own path but to begin to define these terms is what i would like to discuss . Vampiric technology is always developing . An elder is simply one who has dedicated their life to Vampyrism, runs a house , educates , works with others and continues to better the community . In essence if you are an elder you have a job outside your dayside. A leader is a Vampyre with experience who is directing a project or has recently been given a task in a House . They take on the role of inspiring others and assist an Elder to lessen the weight of the job or task at hand . This is Order of Omnia´s definition of those two roles. So can an elder be a leader ? yes. Can a leader be an elder ? not always. Of course I am only speaking for Order of Omnia to share perspective . I do not speak for any other Vampyres.

RVL: There will be those, as I’m sure you are aware, who will decry the validity of the event and will claim it to be a ploy to establish some sort of “control” system in place… this is, after all, the “VC”, what would your response be to that kind of criticism?

SR: Sigh.  Such is always the case.  I will state again what I’ve stated on several occasions; there will never be an absolute control over the VC by any one person or organization, especially without the vote of the vox populi.  However, a body of moderation is not out of the question.  That is not what this is about.  This is about us all working together. I’ve stood for Unity for 30 years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to start at the top.  If the leaders and elders can’t get along and work together, what hope do we have for the rest of the community.

DL: This is not some sort of diabolical cabal, gathering in shadows to deliberately screw over everyone we don’t like. We are not some sort of an Illuminati, and Lex Luthor was not invited.
If you are so full of your own self that you can’t see this meeting of the minds for what it is, then that’s probably the reason you weren’t invited to begin with.
Let me toss out another quote: “Haters gonna hate”.

MX:  My response to that criticism is that we are only here as a platform to encourage education and the sharing of ideas. Think of this like a salon noir where philosophers would gather and express and challenge perspectives. This event has absolutely nothing to do with the human concept of power but the evolved idea of evolution and betterment.

RVL: As to the location, the venue, why the choice of a South Carolina parkland venue?

MX:  Stefan has chosen the location for the group and having a relaxed atmosphere is extremely important for learning. The woods and nature holds a very important role in aiding one to tune in and shut down daily troubles or work anxieties. This allows us to let the mind focus in areas that are less used such as in meditation. So I support the location as it is a great springboard for people to relax and learn.

SR:  I attended the Beltane Brouhaha there this year and found it charming, definitely rooted in nature and rather isolated.  The cabins, while rustic, were wonderful and the camaraderie was unparalleled.  I saw this as a perfect grass-roots location to begin all this.  It’s absolutely beautiful and quiet…at least when the celebrations weren’t on. *laughs*

RVL: …and where can the folks who are planning to attend find out all information they are going to need about the venue?

MX:  Information can all be discovered via the Facebook website.

SR:  https://www.facebook.com/events/661077417596031/?active_tab=about

 

Photo: CC Smith

 

RVL: Have you any anticipation, or expectation, as to the number of attendees? What would you say to those who may be on the fence about coming along?

SR:  Space is limited as far as cabins themselves.  If you’re looking for a private cabin, best to sign up and register quickly.  There are 59 cabins available, each able to handle 4 people comfortably.  We are anticipating between 60-100 people for this first one; there are areas for those that wish to pitch a tent, not a whole lot of RV room.

DL: If you’re on the fence about it, ask yourself how cool it would be to say “Yeah, I was there”. Consider the bragging rights you could bank.

MX:  I think it is great to go in with no expectation at all. Whatever will be is going to be but either way every year the alchemy of the collective will change due to the people who choose to participate. This is a great avenue for differences to be explored and good face to face conversation to happen.

RVL: What sort of event security will be in place for the duration?

SR:  The event will have security; there are several individuals with security experience who will be monitoring the event 24/7.

MX:  As far as security is concerned we will have gatekeepers who will act as guardians for the event .

Red Shouldered Hawks – Kings Mountain State Park

RVL: This is probably going to turn out to be the largest gathering of recognised Elders and Leaders since the COVICA Council was convened in 2000, is it an aim of the conference to unilaterally re-establish some sort of guiding body for the modern culture?

SR:  That type of decision would have to be made by a popular vote of all the leaders, not just those that will be in attendance; the community is far too big now for any one group coming through and establishing any type of regulatory body.  I would think that if one particular area wanted that, it could be established, but again that’s not what this is about.  Opening lines of communication and agreeing to work towards a better community is the first step in any process that might be imagined at this time.

DL: Baby steps.

RVL: Where do you think leadership in the modern culture falls short these days?

SR:  A fair question, and it depends on where you look.  We have leaders that deal mostly in entertainment, we have some that just wandered into the scene and think they should be respected as scions, we have some that are apparently mentally and emotionally disturbed and surprisingly they have followers.  I think that is one of the areas; a true leader develops other leaders and not followers; followers are inevitable, but developing good leaders is rare.  Lack of communication is another; when there is no communication and bad communication is where issues arise.  There are some who sit up in their ivory towers and ignore the works of others and some that cloister themselves and care little about what’s happening in the world around them.  I don’t think there’s any one answer, there’s a variety of things that cause the problem.  Hence, the need to meet.

Lord Stefan Resurrectus, Patriarch of Clan Resurrectus

MX:  Of course we are looking to redefine and give new meaning to ideals of the past. If the vampire and the ideology of the predator does not advance we are no holding true to the values of evolution. I think again every organisation could have a different answer as to where leadership falls short. From the Order of Omnia perspective our foundations are rooted in education and advanced ritual format. We fall short as a community when individuals who claim to be something they aren’t hurt others through sexual abuse, mental abuse or criminal activity. As every culture and community has these feats so do we. That is why education, structure and getting more information out there is so important. So individuals know where to go to be lead safely and securely.

DL: In many cases, I see too much personal ego and even narcissism being bandied about. That is not what good and effective leadership is about.

RVL: …and the solution?

SR:  Meet, greet and speak.  Working together is the only way to repair the problems in our community.

DL: First thing an aspiring good leader should be aware of is: it is NOT about YOU. Not everything begins and ends with you, your opinions, your likes and dislikes. You are the voice for your people. Your own bullshit takes a backseat. Be amicable. If you go around offending other people, or worse, other leaders, simply because your view on something is not theirs, you end up pissing people off, possibly even the wrong people, and that will only continue the divisiveness within the Community. Get off the high horse, and stop patting your own back long enough to shake hands with your peers.

 

RVL: Is there anything else you would like to pass on to our readers at this time about the conference or in general?

DL: Even if you cannot attend in person, please lend your support of the event and its goals. Even just a simple comment on Facebook saying “Hey, good idea, I support this” would be wonderful.

SR:  Come and break bread with us.  Let’s talk, laugh and learn together, eat good food and be entertained.  Let’s grow closer together in the true spirit of unity.

 

RVL: Magistra Xia, Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time today. RVL is very happy to be a sponsor of the conference and we will be watching, with great interest, to see the results… we wish you the very best of luck with the event.

DL: Thank you very much!

 

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A bold move? A grand gesture? An important initiative? Will the benefits be widespread or not?

As this particular conference development is still in it’s infancy, relatively speaking, and there are many more months of work to do before it comes to fruition, there is still ample chance for more and more people to become involved. It is our hope that this will happen, that people from across the culture will recognise the importance of this event.

There can be no doubt that the culture, the community, whatever you wish to call it, has long been crying out for some measure of consistent and common sense direction from its recognised leaders – this event represents a unique opportunity for just that.

It’s not an event for a “portion” of the community, not an event for an elite cadre, it is an event for the whole culture regardless of where you may be, or stand, in relation to that culture. A chance to forge something strong and above all durable that will provide a hitherto unseen level of cooperation and communication.

Will the REAL leaders and Elders please stand up…

 

Copyright RVL, Elder and Leadership Conference 2019, Clan Resurrectus, the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition and Ordo Omnia 2018

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