From a Dark House

Posted: Monday, 28 December, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Morgan Library.jpg
( Interview with a member of a Vampire House gone “Dark”)

Over 15 years ago a Vampire House of growing reputation went full on into the shadows. “We went dark, as people call it”. 15 years ago, an institution that was focused on building libraries and data bases, quietly closed down its web pages, removed open access to their articles and books, and became, for all intents and purposes silent to the Vampire Community.

 

Today I am talking to Raven Hunyadi, a mid level priestess for this organization, primarily to ask the simple question. Why? With the budding of the OVC and the building community, why would you want to close the doors on an organization that was developing so well? Why agree to speak to me now, even if unwilling to disclose even the name of the organization? Why, speak at all if the goal is to remain in the shadows?

 

RH:

Hello, my name is Raven Hunyadi, and yes that’s a fake name, so report me to Facebook if you can find me. I was only a young night sider back when the house that I had the honor of being included decided to close their doors to the outside. Because of this status I was basically unknown to the community and remains so under the guise I was known as at the time. Of course during that period having a “nightside” name meant a little more than simply grabbing the coolest name you could think of, though many did just that. Your “nightside” name was your identity, the one selected by both you and your house, where a formal naming often took place, and you bonded your soul to the organization as a reborn spiritual element.

I’m sure that sounds a little cultish to you, and perhaps it was. We did engage in ritual, we did have one charismatic leader, and we did support the organization with monthly dues. However the only thought control we dealt with was on the subject of the discipline of privacy for each of the members. You could identify as part of the house, but you were not allowed to give out any personal information of the others, or even their names if they wished it held secret.

GYP: So what happened? The organization was fairly well known for their work, to suddenly close up shop and disappear was a little unusual.

RH: That’s a misconception. We actually still have the same webpage up as we did years ago. We just stopped updating it, and took down the archives.

You see the goal wasn’t to make a big drama, or even make a stir. We wanted to slip away and you can’t do that if suddenly all of your stuff just vanishes. No, it was a slow arduous process with a step by step plan, though that doesn’t really answer your question.

The answer is pretty simple really. The Community wasn’t growing in developmental ways, it was merely gaining numbers. More and more tourists were coming around, and we spent more time defending our beliefs, than refining them and learning. The community was slowly becoming a place that was more about popularity and power than any real growth, and that got old fast. The Forms and Courtesies we established to help keep conflict minimized became a point of conflict all of its own. Civility became second to arrogance and the constant demand that people be called out as role players, lifestyles, or fakes, by people who had no real contact or knowledge.

Every few days a new House was popping up, complete with some decades old history that no one had ever heard of, and people whose time line made them adolescents when they supposedly became part of a House no one ever heard of, or something ridiculous thing like that.

We could see where we would be caught in a quagmire of useless bickering if we allowed it, so rather than engage, our counsel decided to go dark instead. Our members would no longer speak of the House, but they were free to speak on their own behalf if they so decided. Not many did.

 

GYP: As a House gone dark did you still meet, have gatherings or just hang out?

 

RH: We went dark, but we didn’t cease to exist. The most difficult part was keeping members interested. It was a real test to see who was truly with the organization, or merely with it for the benefits they perceived as being so connected. We lost several members initially, and for a while it certainly did get quiet, but in the long run we actually built up.

We went from a small amount to many more, and we did gather and have events. We just didn’t do them publically and if we did, they weren’t called House Events, as much as social events for the Pagan, Goth and Vampire Community. We didn’t allow any one person to become a spotlighter for the organization, and so the hosts were changed out often to avoid the suspicion of any one group organizing such events.

GYP: So you developed something of a Shadow Court?

RH: While that sounds romantic and interesting, it would be unbecoming of me to make such a claim. We helped to organize events, we just didn’t jump out there as the organizers. Courts are an interesting concept, and one I personally find very appealing, but they require leadership that remains constant, and with it power and ego often gets involved.

If in any way you claim some form of leadership these days, there will be villagers with pitch forks trying to hunt you down. Look at Austin, or Lazarus, the Iron Garden and many others. The moment they actually try to bring people together, try to unite people for a common good, the community vultures start to circle and the hate starts pouring out from many of the same voices that later call “it’s time for unity!”

 

GYP:  So you don’t think community unity is possible? Is that part of why your house went dark?

RH:  Unity? Unity in what exactly? Unity in marching for our combined vampire rights? Unity to hold a huge event? Unity of Governance or leadership?  What exactly do we need to be unified about that we cannot accomplish without trying to make everyone fall in line? The call for unity is mere rhetoric, a word tossed around in the attempt to make people feel like they are leaders.

I saw in a post where Merticus said “I would take civility over unity any day.” Of course I am paraphrasing there, but you get the gist. Our House went dark for several reasons the foremost reason was a lack of civility.

GYP: Civility has been my goal for a long time, but that too is nearly impossible to accomplish. Do you think it could be made a social norm for the VC?

RH: Could it be? Yes without a doubt. Will it be? Not as things stand now. An agreement for civil behavior would have to be written up, and people would have to sign on to it, and agree not to be mean spirited for the sake of same.

You once posted that, people who sit in forums and wait for a reason to “Call people out” or “Call it like I see it” would be rallying the masses and starting bon fires.
I think that there is room for discussion, and even debate, but this group of people who seem to think that being “Blunt” is an excuse to be rude, is the reason we have so much confrontation. You can disagree with someone with out being a prick, but that’s hard to do when people wear it as a badge of honor.

There is never an excuse to be rude for the sake of ones of ego stroking. If you do not like what someone is saying, don’t respond, or stop reading their missives.  Worse case, block them and move on.

In your own forums, Deacon, you will warn them about being rude, or intentionally contentious and if they won’t stop, they are removed. At the same time you have engaged in the same contentious bickering as many of the others you despise. Bullying the Bully doesn’t solve anything, it just makes two bullies. In the end did it change any minds? Did it do anything other than make everyone involved look silly?

 

GYP:  So your house refuses to engage in these things, but what do you engage in? From the Shadows what do you really accomplish?

RH: Some times, nothing at all. Sometimes we have done charity drives in our area. But we are not a charity organization. We focus on our paths. We select topics and assign classes to members to help educate us on concepts we have not yet learned. Last year we spent most of our time studying Luciferianism. Next year we might look at Predatory spiritualism, or Tantra. We might delve into Buddhism, or spend some time looking at the old Greek rhetoric.

We can do this because we are not mired down in useless OVC bickering, or wasting time trying to become a name in a community that despises names, while clamoring to obtain their own reputation

GYP: So in closing, is there anything you would like to say to this generation?

 

RH: Social groups are ok, but just building new groups doesn’t make you a leader. It takes focus and goals that mean something to really stand out, to be recognized for contributing. I saw one guy is doing new social surveys and studies, I believe he is working with the House of The Dreaming, but the effort is all his own. He is gathering real data, something that could be useful, and he stays with it. He’s Focused, and really accomplishing something.

Also, don’t repeat what others have already done and expect to be considered something special. “Oh you have a blog! Wow so original!”  If half of the bloggers got together and worked together to make something special, it would do amazing things, but that won’t happen because- well Ego.

Last, ask yourself why you are in the VC or OVC at all. If you’re honest with yourself, and realize that you are basically just around to feel connected, that’s cool. Do that. But if you have any idea’s about leadership, you are going to have to do something new, something original and focus. Merely posting pictures to Facebook groups isn’t going to cut it. Merely talking about being a new generation of leadership, isn’t the same as buckling down, outlining goals and developing a path that makes it happen.

 

© 2015 Dec 23 Graveyard Press

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Comments
  1. Singing Tarot says:

    I really enjoyed this article. Civility is key. Sometimes we grasp for terminology, and well meaning people call for unity while meaning civility. Thank you for articulating it better than I did.

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