Welcome

Posted: Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by deacongray in Uncategorized

The Grave Yard Press is a website created for the real vampire community. Content will be about the community, for the community, and by the community. We want to bring you the latest community news, but will also be sharing various reviews, writings, and photography with you.

We here at The Grave Yard Press do hope you will come back often as content will be updated as often as we can. We do not promise a post a day because we fully support allowing the muse to dictate when and how we write – it always turns out best that way. We might post three things in one day, but there might be a day when the muse within needs a break. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button to be alerted as soon as content is added!

Under the covers look at sex and vampires.

Posted: Saturday, 2 April, 2016 by deacongray in Uncategorized

 

Vampire female

Interview by Nyx Louloudi

Sex. When we hear the word, we get interested. We are surrounded by sex and sexual images, especially in advertisements to sell us products as diverse as beer, to fabric softener. So I guess it wasn’t a surprise to see a link for a survey on sexual vampires posted on Facebook. But, just what is a sexual vampire? As I looked deeper I saw they go by many different names. Pranic, Tantric, Eros, Succubus, Incubus yet none of these name brought me closer to what they actually are. I’m sure I am not the only one with these questions. I have seen inside and outside the community questions being  asked. So here we are asking the big question:  What makes them tick?  And can we get a better insight on what it means to be a sexual vampire?


Well, you have probably heard about the new research about sexual vampires being posted around the vampire community. Tonight I have one of the workers on this project with me, so let me introduce Suzanne Carré

 

SC: Thank you Nyx, it is a pleasure to be here. To some members of the vampire community, I am a writer of fictional vampires, but many are not aware I am also a scientist. I have one undergraduate and one postgraduate degree in physics and mathematics, and I have published novel research in primary literature (journals) for years. For this work, my experience in biometrics and my recent interest in sexual behavior gives me a good working basis to look into the intriguing subject of sexual vampires. In this study, I am also working with Hesperus in CLAVIS, for his invaluable data collecting skills, and Deacon Gray, for the experience he has accumulated over the years in the vampire community.

 

NYX:  Now we in the community know you get many kinds of vampires. Each with their own traits.  But, what exactly is a sexual vampire?

 

SC:  According to some sources, a sexual vampire is any vampire, regardless of their feeding needs, who actively requires some sort of sexual stimuli,either produced or evoked, in order to make the act of feeding of value. How this happens, or why the sexual component is necessary, are some of the questions I hope can be investigated in this study.

 

NYX: Do you relate to this kind of vampirism, or what pulled your attention to this subject?

 

SC: I interpret the mythology of vampires in a sexual context.  As a researcher, sexuality has been one of my topics, and combining my research with real sexual vampires was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

 

NYX : Speaking of mythology, I have heard people throw around the word incubus and succubus. Are sexual vampires the same as these or in any way related at all?

 

SC: Incubus and succubus refer to male and female demons who were believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping people. In 1597, King James published his “Daemonologie” and this is one of the earliest sources I know of, where they discuss these creatures of the night. In it, these demons are not called evil except if they disturb men (not women) from their sleep.

In the vampire community, some sexual vampires have either chosen the titles of incubus or succubus, to denote their feeding habit, or other vampires have pinned these labels on sexual vampires.  I haven’t been able to figure out which group started it, but they are just that, alternative names. In this survey, we are not dealing with mythological creatures, though some fancy the trappings. We are looking at a behavior driven by a need. The terms are

In this survey, we are not dealing with mythological creatures, though some fancy the trappings. We are looking at a behavior driven by a need. The terms are self-chosen to better assist the individual in defining their own condition, so we don’t need to discriminate based on terms, we are looking at behavior. While we don’t want to make the survey about labels, we are looking a specific demographic that requires this sexual element to draw their specific need, from the willing donor. If a succubus or incubus feel that they fall into this demographic we are eager to hear from them.

 

NYX :  What exactly is the Study? What do you hope to gain from it?

 

SC: The study I am undertaking with my collaborators is to study real vampires using statistical data from a survey we are conducting. We are considering sexual vampires at present, how they feed and what factors affect their feeding because their feeding involves sexual activity of some type.

 

This study gives me a unique chance to investigate what a sexual vampire is and provide a window for researchers, outside the vampire community, to gain some insight into this very special group of self-identified real vampires.

 

NYX: How long have you been in the writing business?  And did it always circle around the vampire  community?

 

SC: My writing seriously started in 2009 when I began blogging about my interests in mythical vampires. I have been enchanted by vampire myths since I was a teenager. Back in 2009, I didn’t know about the vampire community, yet once I discovered it, I was fascinated and joined, but only as an observer. As a writer, I felt it best to listen and learn, and I have gained so much insight from this experience.

 

NYX: What is your personal opinion when you hear someone call themselves a sexual vampire?

 

SC: Well I guess it is the same reaction when I first heard someone call themselves a sanguinarian or psi vampire. At first, I didn’t understand but after looking into the vampire community, I became aware of the diversity of vampires out there. Yes, I found it fascinating that there were sexual vampires, and, at first, I thought these were very rare, but as time went on, I found there is a population of sexual vampires. With all my experience in the vampire community, I always keep an open mind to all the varied possibilities of vampirism.

 

NYX: There are so many articles out already. What makes your one different? What do you hope to achieve in the community with this article?

 

SC: Most of the articles concerning real vampires are blogs for magazines or in books. This work will be an attempt at serious research, with the intention of contributing to the primary literature. The vampire community has a few interested academics, Browning, Laycock and Williams, but their contribution has been limited to communicating the existence of real vampires and promoting the acceptance of this very special group. I believe given the opportunity to have active members of the vampire community, as my co-authors are, will be a step towards gaining much-needed recognition for the real vampire community.

 

NYX: Now, this may sound like an odd question but where did you begin to find information for this article? Was it through interviews interactions or research?

 

SC: No, this is a good question. I was reading one of DR. Williams papers on sexuality because this is my scientific research interest when I realized that sexual vampires are unique.  Sex is a choice for most human beings, but this is apparently not the case for sexual vampires.

 

I mentioned this to Deacon Gray, and he said the idea of looking into the motivation of sex for sexual vampires would be interesting. He directed me to the work of Hesperus of “CLAVIS”, so within a few hours, I had collaborators and we set about making this idea into a working proposal.

 

NYX: How do you think the community will respond to an article like this?

 

SC: I hope the vampire community will see this research and the publications we derive from it, in a positive light. Because my collaborators are within the community and actively involved, every effort is made to be totally respectful of the vampires who participate in this research project.

 

NYX: Will we be seeing any more of this kind of articles from you in the future?

 

SC: I hope to have the privilege of working with Deacon Gray, on other aspects of sexual vampires, and with Hesperus, by looking into the various groups within the vampire community. So far the opportunity to collaborate with both of them has been inspirational. I have learned a great deal so far and look forward to learning more about what it really means to be a real vampire.

 

NYX: With all the buzz around the sexual vampire topic, it’s nice to see research of such extent being done. For a better understanding of those, we know close to us and in our community who identify as a sexual vampire. It was a delight to have this opportunity to interview Suzanne Carré and I hope to see many more of her future articles.

The first part of the sexual vampire study is a survay that can be found at
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wMPeKYvwM4DieD8CWMp-6xTGsz-ku5NrBuf4LFbO6pA/viewform?c=0&w=1

What Have You Heard?

Posted: Thursday, 18 February, 2016 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Whisper

 

Deacon Gray © graveyardpress 2016 Feb 18

There are many different creatures of the night. You hear about the Sanguinary Vampires a great deal, about the Psychic vampires at length, even were creatures and otherkin have a pretty well established standing in the diverse group that makes up the community of others. The Sexual Vampire, on the other hand, what do you really know about them?

There are a few groups for them, but they never remain active, there are a few articles out there, but only from a very few sources. They tend to pop up, at times gather, than slip off to their own ends fairly quickly. People talk about them, but seldom in depth, and when they do it isn’t normally too long before they are met with derogatory comments, and no small amount of criticism.

Are they Sanguinary? Are they Psychic? Neither group really embraces them, nor do they really seems to know what to think about them. Do they feed psychically? Do they feed on blood? Just what is with these vampires of a different shade of dark?

In truth, they can be either, or even both depending the vampire. The key identifier with a sexual vampire is the need to have a sexual component involved to feed, from my experience, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a vampire or not when it comes to a feeding source for the sexual vampire.

Sexual energy isn’t the same as pure psychic energy in my experience, and it can be harder to come by. Yes you can feed from other energy feeding creatures, and in some ways feeding from a vampire is easier…well it can be.

You see vampires, in my experience, tend to use more sexual prowess then others. This being the case they produce more sexual energy than most as well. But, it’s still not worth it.

Not many vampires are all that willing, and that’s a key point of discussion. About half of the drama queens in the community would run around yelling “Psychic Rape!” at the mere mention of feeding on the unaware, so sexual vampires, already labeled in enough ways that are derogatory, really have to consider how they feed, and be very considerate to the community they live in.

One of the main reasons you don’t hear from many sexual vampires, is because their practices tend to offend so many out there. I have heard everything from “you’re sexual predators!” to “You’re just trying to get laid!” The later comment I actually heard while discussing an article about how to feed without intercourse.

No matter what you heard, Sexual vampires are not sex fiends, they are not obsessed with sex, and many of them seem much less sexual to the general community than even your everyday Sang or Psychic vampire. Indeed rather than being charming seductive types, many are really awkward when dealing with the opposite sex.

The foremost thing to remember about a sexual vampire is that, they are well aware of the stigma’s and social perceptions around them. So don’t be surprised if you don’t meet many, who talk about it much, or are willing to engage in conversations about it.

If you are a sexual vampire, in any of its forms, I would caution against getting too far out into the open. The simple truth is, it is going to be harder for you to find people to talk to about it, and that’s just the way it is. If you do find some, don’t expect a general question to a group or room will get you much result that’s useful, instead look for those who you might be able to talk to in a privet message.

Finally I strongly caution against talking to Media types, or mental health professionals about this. Not only will they consider you nuts, but possibly dangerous. We like to think, and we are often told that we can trust these providers, but in my personal experience, that’s simply not the case.

Introducing the Gateway Halo

Posted: Thursday, 18 February, 2016 by deacongray in Uncategorized
It is with great pleasure that we officially unveil the Gateway Halo of the state of New Jersey.
Traditionally, a Halo is a geographic division around a metropolitan area where there is a notable Vampire Community (VC). Inspired in the official regional division of NJ, and following suit to The Halo of Gotham (New York City Region, NY), Halo of Septem Civis (Virginia Beach Region, VA), Halo of Atlantis (Atlanta Region, GA) and Halo of Lightening Bay (Tampa Region, FL) among many others throughout the US, The Gateway Halo is now officially established for the Newark Region of New Jersey. The State of NJ historically divides itself into 6 regions: Gateway, Skyland, Southern Shore, Atlantic City, Jersey Shore and Delaware River – map. The Gateway Region, and similarly the Gateway Halo, encompasses: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Passaic, and Union Counties of Northern New Jersey.
Over the years, since the inception of the NJ Chapter of Bloodlines International in 2012, and specifically within the last year that the Iron Garden has been active, we have been repeatedly asked to clarify as to what Halo does the NJ VC belong to. It was at the behest of the denizens of NJ, that the Iron Garden was re-established in November of 2014, with its first public gathering at QXT’s in Newark, NJ, in January of 2015. Just last month (Jan. 2016) we celebrated its one-year anniversary with over 45 signed-in guests. The Iron Garden is the beacon, not only for the growing Gateway region, but opens its gates wide to all Nightkind hailing from near and far. It is time we give a name to the Community, People and Resources that have always been there – Gateway Halo.
Located in the heart of the Gateway Region of New Jersey, Newark is a large urban sprawl located in Essex County, boasting about 280,000 residents; whereas most Iron Garden members hail primarily (but not exclusively) from this very region. As always, we encourage local Houses to step forward, introduce yourselves at the Iron Garden and become part of the collective. We are also anxiously awaiting new houses to emerge, to witness a new surge of activity in NJ, and we would not be at all surprised to see new Havens and Courts surface in other regions of NJ, as the state of New Jersey is long, wide and brimming with untapped potential.
Currently there are over 5 households with membership in the Gateway Halo including: House Sahjaza, House of the Dreaming, House Sabretooth MacPhee, Clan Black Mist, House Ebon Dragon and others that we will be delighted to include in this list upon mention. The Gateway Halo is an amalgam of creative and colorful individuals, many of them intersecting with the Pagan Community and/or the Horror Community which are both vibrantly active in our state.
The Iron Garden offers a NJ Resources Page boasting many craftsmen, artists and community friendly individuals and establishments that offer quality services for our Nightkind Brothers and Sisters no matter where they may be, or what they may be looking for.
New Jersey has always held a great deal of respect and admiration for our brethren in Gotham; through the decades the Gotham Halo has been our inspiration, our trendsetters, and our greatest resource. According to the Gotham Vampyre Archives, the Gotham Halo is comprised of NYC and its 5 boroughs: New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens, and Richmond Counties of the state of New York – map. It is the intention of the Gateway Halo to continue to collaborate with Gotham, while seeking to maintain and improve friendly relations with all neighboring Halos, as we stand side by side in welcoming the new and old blood in a joint effort to provide the VC outlets for socialization, education, creative, charitable and spiritual pursuits. The Gateway Halo is officially Open.
With Best Regards
Madame X
On Behalf of Gateway Halo

Why Medical research into Sanguinary Vampires at all?

Posted: Tuesday, 16 February, 2016 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Medical Research.jpg
by Deacon Gray

(c) 2016 Feb 16th all rights reserved

 

So recently I have written about the new efforts by a small segment of the vampire community to make a new push for medical research. This research effort is the combined efforts of several people, though I believe Alexia Ashford is at the center of the push. These articles have surprised me a little in how some people have responded.

“Why do we need medical research at all?” “We know how to handle the issue, what more do we need to know?” “Is this just another attempt to build a clique for one group over another?”
There were more, but you get the point. So rather than speak to why they are doing it, I will simply tell you why I feel it needs to be encouraged.

There is a segment of the sanguinary vampire community who call themselves Med Sangs. It is a very small group, in action, but large in shared opinion. They believe that their need for blood is actually a medical condition of some sort, or, for those who balk at the term Medical Condition, they believe that there is a scientific explanation for their need.

They don’t believe it is a spiritual, or energy work issue, they don’t believe it is a fetish, or self-delusion, but a real physical need that can be identified. The issue is obvious, what scientific researcher in their right mind would even bother to work with a group who called themselves “Vampires?”

Sure we have had some people in the social science fields look into it with some with curiosity, if not for what makes us do what we do, but that we can be so normal and yet maintain such behaviors. But the simple truth is, they really don’t help us much passed not painting us to all be lunitics. The real unicorn isn’t in these fields, but a real medical researcher. And, without a lot of interest and a big grant, getting their attention is no small feat.

Back to the original question though, why do we need medical research at all? Well the easy answer is this, if we can find a source for the need, we can find a solution that could perhaps better treat, or even resolve the issue. Not all blood drinking vampires actually “Like” being such. Many find it not just emotionally taxing, but also very difficult to manage.

Not everyone can always have a ready donor on hand.  Not everyone even wants such a thing in their lives. The need, however, puts them in a position where they can be ridiculed, mocked, discriminated against, and even legal action can be taken, splitting family members apart. A treatment, or cure would significantly diminish this problem.

At the same time, a scientific discovery of a source for this need and behavior could validate the experience, and ensure that it’s not just some mental health issue. “No My mommy didn’t abuse me, I have a real medically recognized requirement that merely mimics silly myths.” Scientific recognition could result in greater acceptance and less discrimination all the way around.

 

“Is this just another way of forming some new Clique?” The answer isn’t a yes or no answer I am afraid. For some people it would divorce them from the community all together. For some it would offer them the affirmation needed to continue on their own path, and for some, it would bolster their ego, and arrogance. Pretty much just like everywhere else when a group comes to some sort of peace with their disposition. “We are all in the Army, but I’m an Infantry soldier!” “We are all in the infantry, but I’m an Air Born Infantry soldier!”

People always pair off based on their mutual interests, that’s just life.

So I am not saying we all need to join a medical research study, I am not suggesting we should all pair off and leave the community for our individual interests. What I am saying is this, there could be good things that come of it for some of our community, there could be bad things for others, but in the end not much will really change, and no drama, or conflict needs to come of it.

There is at least one more significant greater good that comes from efforts like these. It’s one that goes unspoken and it drives the contempt of the envious. Projects like this build leaders.

Our community is filled with people who possess opinions. We have thousands who wander through the community as shadows on the wall, and many who participate with no real sense of community obligation. What we don’t have a great deal of, are people who are willing to do the hard work, suffer the abuse, have success and failures all while slowly building the resentment of others.

While “I” don’t need a medical answer, I do need this community. And as some remember this community was once a project of a few people who even know take a lot of grief from those by standers and shadows on the wall for the very efforts that brought them together in the first place.

Our community is built off these kinds of efforts, and that’s why we need them.

A Higher Purpose: The Scientific Effort In the Vampire Community

Posted: Monday, 15 February, 2016 by deacongray in Uncategorized

stand-back-i-m-going-to-try-science-4

By Deacon Gray © thegraveyardpress 2016

We all want to matter and to make a difference in the world, at work, or in someone else’s life.  Our Higher Purpose is how we find deep meaning and fulfillment in our lives by contributing to someone or something that is bigger than ourselves. The goal of finding a scientific reason for the sanguinary condition is just such a higher purpose and one that we, the community really should support to our fullest.

I honestly think that the majority of the Vampire Community takes no real issue with this goal. Indeed all of us are seeking answers in our own way, and to different levels of active focus. The real issue doesn’t come from objections but fears.

You see science doesn’t care about offending people. Science doesn’t care about anything at all other than answering the question before it. Science is inquiry without consideration for fears, or offense, and as such it spooks people when they hear about it, if not consciously, than on a subconscious level.

For a second consider what it would take just to start a real scientific study, and how many people could be offended, or dismayed at what the conclusions might be. Some of the natural questions people will have could very well be:

  1. Will this actually be scientifically valid at all?
  2. How will you know the difference between who is real, or who’s just playing the part?
  3. Once you develop a method to decide who’s a real vampire, a “litmus test” what does that mean if I’m not part of it?
  4. Does this attempt to invalidate my experience and personal identity?
  5. Will this make a new “elite” class, of people who consider themselves. ”Real”?

While these are just a sample of the questions people might have, these are some that I would like to look at for a moment.

One of the biggest issues many scientifically minded people face, is in dealing with people who don’t look at science as objective, but instead, look at the political, or social response to the research.  Just as science doesn’t care about offending people, challenging their beliefs or hurting their feelings, many of the people who conduct research like this don’t spend a lot of time focusing on it either. It’s not because they are cruel or uncaring, it’s because it adds nothing to the science.

So, let’s get back to the questions.

Will any scientific efforts actually gain scientifically valid information? The efforts themselves might not be scientific, but they lead to resources that might help establish communication with the people who could do such research. Much like the Atlanta Vampire Alliance’s survey’s in themselves weren’t all that scientifically valid, (no subjective survey is) it did lead to interest from people in fields of study from outside the community.

How will they know who is a real vampire, and what if I’m not considered ‘real’ in their study? Well that is a little more difficult. People will balk at the idea of developing any kind of ‘litmus test’ that determines who is, or isn’t, what they believe themselves to be. Of course the real issue is that, this isn’t the goal at all. Again Science doesn’t care what you believe. But the goal isn’t in finding who is ‘Real’ or not “Real’ The goal is to find people with common denominators that help define a study group.

If you want to do a study on red heads, you have to decide exactly what defines that for your purpose, or you’ll end up with a lot of shades of red. Does this mean that a strawberry blond isn’t a red head, or perhaps, people with blond hair, but a red beard and body hair isn’t a real? No, it merely means that a specific group is being looked at and defined for the purpose of the study. Science needs to have controls, and it doesn’t care if you get mad because you’re hair isn’t red enough for their needs.  You’re still who and what you are, just not at the center of focus, get over it.

So let’s look at the next question. Does this attempt to invalidate my beliefs and personal experiences?

I would like to start by saying that the only one who can invalidate your beliefs or experiences except you. Regardless of what might eventually be found, the answers they find are meant to help the community as a whole, not invalidate anyone else.

Will that lead to a new Elite Class of Sanguinary Vampires? There will always be those who use such things as a point of personal exceptionalism, but that’s really no different than thinking being identified as a diabetic means you’re better than someone with hypoglycemia, or someone with Fibromyalgia. There is nothing better or worse involved, just differences, and if research into a specifically identified group of sanguinary vampires can help a larger segment of sanguinary vampires all the better. Just like research into type 1 diabetics might help develop a drug that helps hypoglycemic individuals as well.

 

The biggest fear people face isn’t the seeking a real scientific study, it’s the idea of new leadership stepping forward in their segment of the community. Efforts such as these can lead to some level of notoriety, even credibility. Just as Merticus’ survey brought a lot of attention to him and the AVA, this effort could also propel someone into the lime light, and even make them seen as leaders with in the community.

Truthfully, that’s because they are leaders. These are the people who are stepping forward in their segment of the community and really attempting to do something significant. It doesn’t mean they speak for the whole community, or even that they speak for that segment, but it does afford them the place of being able to speak to their efforts, and let’s face it, people will be interested in what they are doing. I can’t fault them for that. Indeed, many of the current leaders in the community have long admonished the complainers about the current community to undertake such efforts.

In the end there really isn’t anything to get worked up about, the efforts in themselves could take decades or longer to produce anything of scientific value, and when they do, and I say ‘WHEN’ because I believe it will, then it still won’t change anything for the rest of the community. Simply because one group is able to validate their personal experience with a scientific result, wouldn’t mean anyone else’s experiences are lessened in anyway, and all of us can still enjoy the vampire community for those things that appeal to us.

We have never been a single faceted community, and thankfully, we never will be. We are diverse, but a community is only more colorful for that diversity.

BEEN THERE DONE THAT AD NAUSEAUM

Posted: Wednesday, 6 January, 2016 by Kate's Catching Dragons in Community Articles, Uncategorized

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By: Belfazaar Ashantison

OK you new cats and old dogs within the GVC (Greater Vampire Community… Yes. I am officially done with separation of online and offline communities), I thought I would take the time to write about a couple of topics today that are close to the breaking point, as far as the nerves of some of the older members of the community goes.

Did you ever stop to wonder the “why” of a situation instead of reacting to the “who” of the situation? Most newcomers to the Greater Vampire Community, whether online or off, forget that the community has been around, solidly, for more than a few decades. I, myself, have been a full member of the community since the age of 13 back in 1978. It seems, as things tend to be VERY cyclic in the GVC, that no matter how much times has passed, ideas continue to respawn within the community in ways that are, at best, mildly entertaining. At their worst, they are frustrating beyond the level of human comprehension… At least it seems that way to those of us who have been in the community for more than just a few years.

As Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”

This means, quite simply put, that those of us who have been in the community for more than a decade (hell, sometimes for only five years, depending on what movies, books or remakes of fictional vampires hits the time), we’ve probably seen, tried, done, failed at, and/or bickered over a specific proposal 5 or 6 times (at least). So the general attitude of anyone who has been a while in the community is “Been there. Done that. Ad nauseum.” Why do we have this attitude? Because you’re not doing anything, saying anything, writing anything that we haven’t already done, heard or seen. No matter what pretty package you wrap it up in, it’s the same.

“Why isn’t there UNITY in the Community??”
Take, for example, the call for “Unity in the Community”. As of last year, by my count, there have been 27 major attempts to unify the community under this banner or that banner, for this reason or for that reason. Three alone IN 2015. Each of these attempts have been produced by a person who has either a) not been received as the “ultimate savior of the GVC” so they decided to start their own thing and place themselves at the top of the pyramid scheme they’ve cooked up or b) a person who was so butthurt by other members of the community for not seeing their “obvious value to the community”, so they started THEIR own thing assuming leadership as a reward for their many many seconds of work within the community as a whole, or c) by that person who once worked within the community and left for whatever reasons but on their return they felt they deserved to be automatically recognized for their past deeds instead of anything current, so instead of working through established organizations and rebuilding connections, they create their own endeavor and, per usual, place themselves at the top of the heap.

Don’t believe me, take a look at the myriad of Councils created around the Country (US, folks). A posh selection of the who’s who of the community wedged into this group or that, many of us in a myriad of groups seeing the same “topic of interest” hit each group at roughly the same time with a lot of hashing and rehashing the same things out by the myriad of members within each of the groups. To what end? NOTHING GETS DONE ABOUT THEM.

None of these “unity” attempts have ever taken into account that what flies in one area of the Country (the US) doesn’t fly in another, let alone doesn’t even get off the ground in the REST OF THE WORLD. As in, what works in the NYC area doesn’t fly in the New Orleans area. What works in Los Angeles does not fly in Tampa. What works in Las Vegas does not fly in Austin. This is NEVER taken into consideration.

BEYOND all of this, these self same groups ALWAYS trend towards making their “laws” universal. MEANING, it doesn’t matter if you are part of their group/community/organization, their rules and findings STILL apply to you. Sorry to tell you, folks, I don’t fly that way. If I am not part of your organization, don’t expect your rules and findings to even amount to a hill of gnat farts in my world, because they will surely be just as applicable to me. And, just to put this out here, I’m NOT the only longtime community member who feels this way.

In honesty, we can’t focus on such things as “unity” because we haven’t even begun to take the necessary steps to define such things as “vampirism”… the very essence of what makes a vampire a vampire… to the degree where we can accurately acknowledge and address those of us who truly do identify as vampire. Nor have we bothered to consider things such as WHY don’t things flow from area to area? What caused the breakdown from one portion of the community to the next? Is it a regional thing? Is it a seasonal thing? Or were the people who created the original system simply not concerned with other areas of the world (let alone Country) so they only concerned themselves with what was going on in their own neck of the woods (if you’ll pardon the pun)?

Elders vs Leaders:
Another heated topic that seems to make the cycle every few months or so is the whole thing about “the Elders should be responsible for…”… … … Really? REALLY? I’m not responsible for anyone but me, my home and my vampiric House. I’m an Elder in the community through my work WITH the community, which SERIOUSLY began at age 25 even though I had been in the community much earlier. It used to be that a person had to be active within the community for a total of 10 years before anyone considered them an Elder (and remember, I’ve been active in the community since I was 13). Back then, when I first reached Elder status, it merely meant “glorified servant of the community who had a bit of wisdom they could spread… given the right circumstances.” Somewhere, after a few Elders, such as myself, either created their own Houses or became the leaders of Houses, that definition seemed to twist to mean “leader of the community”… IT DOESN’T… It didn’t then. It doesn’t now. We took the term “Elder” from other communities because it was something we felt fit those who ACTIVELY endorsed the community and helped it to grow. It was never meant to be synonymous with “Leader”. Elders were the wise men and women of other communities that offered their experiences and wisdom when approached properly.

And I DO mean “when approached properly”…

Enter the question of LEADERSHIP… A “Leader” is someone who, simply, for right or wrong, leads a group/action. They are in charge of that group/action and are the final say so in what that group/action will do, won’t do, puts up with, won’t put up with, has, doesn’t have, keeps, and tosses away… just to name a few things… They aren’t automatically “Elders” and can be called a myriad of titles. More often than not, those titles are respected by other members of the community, however, there are those in the community who will poo poo ANYTHING they aren’t, actively, part of, no matter HOW much good that group/action does.

There have EVEN been articles written on holding “Elders” accountable, which in reality should be “Leaders”. Got news for you, MOST of the Elders I associate with ARE held accountable by their own groups for what THOSE GROUPS consider them to be responsible for. If those Elders happen to be Leaders, as well, they fall into a whole separate column of accountability that no other member of the community, save those that fall under them, are in a position to do anything about. HOWEVER, these particular articles demand that ALL Elders be held accountable for EVERY OTHER Elder. *BUZZ!!* Wrong. Think again. As with my earlier statement, your judgment of me, what I do, who I represent and what I should be held accountable for amount to a hill of gnat farts in a whirlwind as far as I’m concerned. Sorry folks, however, the way I see it… If Elder A screws the pooch, Elders B, C, and D are NOT responsible for cleaning up A’s mess and no amount of forcing the issue will change my mind on this.

Any group out there is ONLY as good as their Leader, yet, the converse of that is true as well… Any Leader out there is ONLY as good as the group they are leading. If the group is a roguish mob, the Leader will tend to act that way, as well. If the group is one of quiet contemplation, self examination, and self empowerment, again, the Leader will tend to act that way, as well. If the group is a Hell hole of impish behaviors, disrespectful attitudes, and “It’s my way or the highway” types… Well. I think, if you’re actually reading this, you get the picture.

A Leader is only as good as the quality of individuals within the group/action they are leading. Period. Yes. Some Leaders don’t fit a group/action, this is quickly established during the initial period of a Leader’s embarking in leadership of that particular group/action, however, it is usually also quickly resolved with “new” leadership being thrust into the position as quickly as the former Leader is flung FROM that position.

While I am on the topic of Leaders being flung from a position of leadership from a group/action… Parting ways with a group/action… Why the hell do we have to make it such a difficulty? Why the games and intrigues? Can’t we just simply choose to part ways without one side or the other attempting to slander the reputation of the other? Can it not just be, “well, I’m sorry you feel that way, I wish you well on your way…” and be done with it? Where does it say or where is it written that we have to act like a bunch of friggin five year olds who lost their toys or lost a game? Really. REALLY. Sometimes people just need to friggin grow the fuck up and move on. If you didn’t like THAT particular group/action, find one that works well with your own personal ideas of what a group/action should be and LEAVE IT AT THAT.

Back to Leaders and Leadership. Faulting every Elder or Leader for the actions of one or two just doesn’t do a damned thing. No matter how you slice it, each person is responsible for themselves and SHOULD be held accountable for THEIR actions. I don’t like getting blamed or treated poorly/disrespectfully for someone else’ bad actions. Therefore I DON’T DO IT TO OTHERS. If YOU, yourself, did something to me, I am game for a LITTLE attitude (Lord only knows I WILL sling some), however… AFTER the initial shock of “that bitch just fucked up,” I tend to go back to being my docile self, thinking before I speak/write anything so as not to provoke a series of “As the Fledgling Flaps” drama that tends to spread throughout the community like wildfire through dense, dry brush.

The “Blame Game”…

I don’t know about the rest of you, however, I get sick to FUCKING DEATH with the bloody blame game that seems to be the domain of certain individuals within the community. It is never, “I’m sorry. I fucked up.” It is ALWAYS, well, you see the newbie/fake vampire that is in my group’s/action’s fault. Or. The “community” is fucked up because of all the “fake newbies/vampires”…

No. The GVC was fucked up LONG before these particular new people, whether vampire, seeker or wannabe, came into being. Laying the blame on them instead of facing the REAL problems within the community shows that you haven’t clue fucking one what is really going on within the community and you are only a drama llama attempting to pull the focus off your own fucked up version of what’s been going on to this point in the history of the community. Indeed, the problem is MUCH deeper and are truly more encompassing than simply, and lamely, laying the blame on “fake newbies”. We have got Elders who’ve abused their power for YEARS. We’ve got people who aren’t made to feel special enough starting their own shit instead of working with established organizations, all for the need to feel like they, themselves, are a power and totally go out of their way to fuck with whatever group/action they either left or got booted from.

There’s a SERIOUS lack of direction within the GVC, itself, that causes new members to become jaded quickly as they see what some of the older members act like. There’s a lack of clarity as to what makes a vampire a vampire, let alone a simple fucking universally accepted working definition of what “vampirism” even is. We have a SERIOUS lack of smacking the disruptive influences down so that serious conversations/discussions/heated debates COULD finally lead somewhere other than the stupid lack of movement we currently have. We have a plethora of members, newer and older, cyber-bullying people who don’t automatically bend over and kiss their ass accepting every word that falls from their lips or crawls across their screen as the “Gospel Truth according to Jon Q Vampire”. We’ve got people who ACTIVELY try to promote the idea that vampirism is merely a religious/spiritual condition afflicting the soul and anyone who disagrees with their idea is just trying to mislead others… ON TOP OF all of this the people who are preaching “if I can get off blood, you can” bullshit actively ignoring the fact that basic human development has proven that not everyone can do the same things… If they could, I’d be damn sure painting like Rembrandt or Renoir by now… We have a plethora of idiots perpetuating fake wars between vampires and therians (more to the point vampires and werewolves a la Underworld movies) that PURPOSELY try to disrupt groups where both vampires and therians participate. We have an ever present perpetuation of hostilities between sangs/psys that started YEARS ago and seems to be on a particularly nasty cycle as it rears its ugly head from time to time. The original line sparking the hostilities back in the days of the Vampire Church was “sangs are nothing but psys on training wheels”.

We have a contingent of “Olde Guard”, as well as a few newer members of the community, continually belittling the Donors of the community. We have a contingent of older members of the community who hold no civility whatsoever as they belittle any new people asking questions to try and get a better understanding of who and what they are. Which is NEVER easy in a world like this. We have a whole plethora of people pretending they are the direct lineage of Vlad/Lestat/Elizabeth/Dracula/name a fictional vampire and everyone should bow down and grant them automatic title/status in whatever group/action they deem themselves worthy enough to participate in… And then there is the ever present “Kiss My Ring” crowd which many of our local communities splintered from because we were tired of being treated lower than a snakes belly if we didn’t dress/talk/appear/smell like them or hang with anyone they considered to be of any import…

These are REAL issues that NEED to be addressed within the GVC, as a whole, that are, more often than not, simply swept under the rug and tolerated.
So… Do you FINALLY see why some people within the community might have an attitude when you bring up for the umpteenth time, ‘we should do this endeavor to better the community because it’s a brilliant idea that I just suddenly come up with’…
Suck it up, Buttercups. It isn’t going to change until we take steps to tackle the REAL issues within the community.
“Once More Into the Breech”
Some of the older members of the community will NEVER understand that, for whatever reason, that the nature of the community is cyclic and that these cycles will always bring the same questions… Over and over and over ad nauseum. The reason these questions are cyclic, and no matter the wording, are ALWAYS THE SAME is that these new people in the community have never had anyone to ask these questions of. They shouldn’t be treated like they are idiots asking an already answered question with statements like, “if you just simply look through the prior topics, you’ll see that your question has been answered before more than a few times.” Or “this shit again?” Or anything like it. The question(s) should be answered to the best of our abilities, whether we’re tired of the question(s) or not. For no other reason than the fact that WE were there once. Some of us, such as myself, were lucky enough to have Elders that helped them along the way… Others have not been so lucky. The plan is simple. Take the questions with a grain of salt, pound of sugar, and, when need be, a good stiff drink.

It really is that simple. Answer the questions. If you don’t feel like it… LET SOMEONE ELSE DO IT. Just don’t bitch when one of them turns out to be one of those “fakes” you’re so ready to blame for all the other problems within the community.
Well. That’s all from me for now. Hope this article will help someone out there.

Ashe and be blessed,
Belfazaar Ashantison,
Founder and Elder, House of Mystic Echoes
Founding member of the New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA)

What are “Elders” anyway?

Posted: Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

grumpy-old-man-cartoon

 

For years I have heard people talking about these Mystical Creatures known as “Elders”. The “Elders” abuse their power, the “Elders” aren’t doing enough, the “Elders” aren’t accepting of the new generation. So what Are Elders anyway?

 

I realize that many people out there know what an elder is, it’s pretty well established. But, there seems to be a great many people out there who really don’t seem to get it. So I thought I would write this little primer for those who seem to have missed the boat, and seem to think that these nearly divine creatures have passed them by.

According to Webster’s Dictionary and Elder is

1:  of earlier birth or greater age <his elder brother>

2:  of or relating to earlier times :  former

3   archaic :  of or relating to a more advanced time of life

4:  prior or superior in rank, office, or validity

 

But how does this really apply to the Vampire Community? Well let’s take a look.

There are actually a few different types of Elder in the community. The first type primarily being

1:  Organization rank achieved through time, contribution, and administrative task completion, and community recognition

2: Individual standing achieved through significantly long community involvement

The first one really speaks mostly to Houses, Clans, Courts and Halo’s. In this field it is expected that the member involved has spent enough time, displayed a depth of knowledge and contributed enough effort to be recognized by both their own organization and others.

When one tries to establish a House, or other organization without any respected Elders, it often becomes rather difficult to gain wider acceptance. This can be an issue when there isn’t an organization in ones given area and they wish to set up their own, but simply haven’t been around long enough to gain a reputation in the wider community. These people are known by another term a “Leader”

The second type of Elder speaks not to standing in an organization, but to simply having been around a long time. It becomes accepted that through time, one has gained knowledge and wisdom (though that’s not always true.) These “Elders” aren’t always leaders and quiet often couldn’t lead their way out of a paper sack, if they could they would most likely be, or  have been, in some organization.  Sure there are some that are simply not interested in joining a group, but those tend to contribute in other ways.

 

What it really breaks down to, is that not all “Elders” are “Leaders” and not all “Leaders” have to be “Elders” The title “Elder” isn’t worth a whole lot outside of organizational business, and even then, if you aren’t a leader, it tends to be more of an honorific.

So if that is what Elders are, what are they not?

This has become a big question, so let me give you my view on it. Elders are not in the community to baby sit. They are not law enforcement, they are not working behind the scenes to put down upstarts, because honestly, they are a dime a dozen and no matter how many you squish, ten more take their place. Elders are not magical, or divine, they are not going to make bad people go away, (might kick them from groups) and in the end they are just normal people with the same reach and power as anyone else on Facebook or in the real world.

Very few Elders are full time community focused individuals. I know it might be a shock but most of them have jobs, heck some jobs that pay less then what you might be making, or in a profession with less esteem.

The Biggest thing elders contribute, at the end of the day, is experience. They have seen the rabble rousers before, they have seen the trolls, the womanizers, and dramatics and games people play. They know what has worked in the past, and what has totally failed.

Our community doesn’t need more Elders, what we need are more Leaders.

Rather then worry about a status, earn one by getting involved in something you are passionate about. Share your own knowledge, and contribute to on going efforts if leadership isn’t your thing. Respect can be earned by anyone, don’t worry about being Elder, you can grow old as time passes.