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


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.


Posted: Wednesday, 6 January, 2016 by Silveness Weaves in Community Articles, Uncategorized


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



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.

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?



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

A Tarnished Swan’s tale

Posted: Sunday, 27 December, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

 A donor’s tale of Abuse, Rape Betrayal and Renewal.

by JB R
(c) GraveyardPress 2015 Dec 14

Growing up I wasn’t exactly your everyday kid. I was into things like Role Playing games, Japanese animation ( before it became popular) and comic books. I liked to search libraries for old books on witches, and magic, and I could spend hours on my own at Powell’s book store in Portland Oregon, just drinking watered down coffee ( I couldn’t handle the full strength stuff) and enjoying all that was weird about a place that had acres of book shelves and people just as odd as I was.  It didn’t change the fact that I was lonely.


I guess it was at the comic book store that I first met Dillon. He was there fairly often and to be honest I always took his friendliness as nothing more than the comradery of a fellow fan of the X-Men. I was around fifteen, he was closer to twenty eight, and he spent most of his time at the store talking to older people, playing role playing games, or sneaking out back to smoke pot. Sure he was cute, but he was also an older man, and old men didn’t really ping my radar. Still he and the rest of the regulars soon became friends in our own geeky, odd sort of way.

So after a few months of hanging out, my new friend Dillon and I became a little more than simple friends. We might make out after smoking a little weed at the end of game night, and it all seemed fairly harmless.  Hell, even my mom didn’t really mind.

She knew how old he was, but he was always a gentlemen, and we hadn’t exactly ‘Done it’ or anything.  I suppose she was just glad to see that I wasn’t hanging out in my room reading books and wishing my Mr. Darcy would magically appear. Dillion assured my mom that he wanted to be certain I was ready, and that he wasn’t in any kind of a rush. To me it didn’t seem like he was in a hurry enough. I was nearly seventeen by the time we had intercourse, though I had done other things with him up until then.

We would see each other on the weekends, mostly at the comic book store, and he would treat me like his queen, and called me his sweet little swan. I felt incredible, not only part of the cool crowd, but one of its leaders. Dillion would keep the group organized and I would do my best to administrate his plans.

“Vampire: The Masquerade, at the shop, dress the part!” I would send out to all the group members, and they would show up just as directed. It might seem a silly thing to find empowering, but for a girl who had never had any power, popularity or friends, this was like a dream come true. They were always glad to see me on the weekend, and their acceptance of me, made it easy to ignore some of the other things going on around me.

Meth. I’m not sure when it crept into our group, or if I was merely too stupid to notice. I tried it once; it was like having someone toss a shivering spell on me, with the addition of making me really sleepy. After that Dillion said, it was pointless for me to do it, he said I must be ADHD or something. So I smoked a little weed, and occasionally got into the wine, if someone brought some over.

Dillion didn’t like me drinking wine, it said it was too big of a risk, and that it made me act stupid. So I only snuck a little once in a while. He looked after me, regardless of my snarky comments about him acting like my father. All in all it was just like any family really, even if it was starting to get a little ordinary.

I think Dillion caught my discontent, because he proposed that we all get together for a road trip to one of the famous “Endless Nights Vampire Ball” gatherings, in New Orleans. I was so excited! Dillion said he would pay my way, and even help me find just the right clothing for the event. He said he would pick me up before my mom woke up, (So she couldn’t say no) and we would go on this amazing adventure.

The trip would take a few days, so I would have time to call my mom and let her know what the deal was, but once we got started there was no real way for her to stop me. The plan seemed so perfect, a childhood adventure! Something to tell my own kids about and show them I wasn’t just a library mouse, or comic book store looser.

“I think it’s time I told you something about our group.” Dillion said to me after we had been on the road for about an hour. “I didn’t want to freak you out before, so I told the others not to mention it, but I think it’s time you know.”


He had been a little quiet for the first twenty minutes, so I had left him alone, thinking that he was just working out the trip details, but I could see that other things had been on his mind. “My little Swan, I’m not sure how to tell you this. Our group, doesn’t just play vampire role playing games. We are a Vampire House. We are all vampires, Sanguinarians and Tantric vampires.”

I didn’t know what to say, to be frank about it. He went on for hours about the various courts, clans and covens. He talked about how they were organized and how ‘Black Swans’ were both hostess, counselor, and companion for the Houses. He said I was his Black Swan.

We had picked up some of the others, and they helped to educate me about the community rapidly, they said I ‘Needed to Know” now that we were headed for the Vampire Capital City. At first I thought they were messing with me, than I felt a little angry at being made fun of. Sure, try to convince the stupid comic book mouse into believing that real vampires existed. To tell you the truth I nearly cried, I couldn’t figure out why they were doing all of that to me.

It was one of the others that broke out his lap top and started pulling up all the pages.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Hundreds of pages, facebook groups, WordPress and Yahoo groups all about real human vampires went back for decades! My friend’s group wasn’t just in there too, they were pretty well known, and active since way before they met me. They weren’t kidding about the vampire stuff.


I can’t tell you what a shock it was, I read and read, down loading page after page when we got to different stops that had wifi. We drove for hours, stopping to eat, smoke a little weed, and that back on the road, but I hardly noticed. I was so caught up in all of it that I felt like I was on a roller coaster.

We were in Colorado before we stopped for the night at a cheap hotel. The road had worn me down, but the others were still going strong. They had their meth, and the whole thing was a party. Still I wanted to sleep, but I was excited when Dillion asked me to be his donor, not just his donor, but a donor to them all.

I’m not sure what got into me. Maybe it was the alcohol, Dillion was pretty liberal with it that night, or maybe it was the mood, but I let Dillion drink my blood. I can’t explain it, but it was both frightening and sexually appealing. I wanted him to own me in every way, and let him take me in ways that always seemed so wicked before.

I noticed that all the others were involved with each other in some fashion or another and the mood was so alive and sexual. Dillion said vampire families were close, and that playing and tormenting each other was just part of bonding. He said I didn’t have to bond with the others, and I was both relieved and a little put off. I wanted to be completely part of them, to be their queen again; something that I felt had slipped away with all this new information.

I know we argued about it, I know I was so drunk I couldn’t really think. I know that it felt good to be with so many people and I had been fairly certain that sometime in the night I had traded sexual favors with most of them. It was more than a party it was the life, the blood, the bonding!

The car was mostly silent when I woke up. Dillion had put me in the car, and we had all taken off early, in a hurry to get to Endless Nights. He said that I imagined the sex, that sure he and I had been involved and it has been passionate, but that the others had left me alone for the most part.

I suppose I felt ok about that, but for some reason I felt kind of weird about it. I was positive I had been with each of the males, and pretty sure the female involved had too, but she seemed ok with everything, and none of the guys commented on anything.

It was afternoon before I started feeling better, and nearly evening when the mood of comradery and excitement started to return. The girl that was with us had made contact with friends in New Orleans, and it looked like we would have a place to stay, and a pre-event party would be in full swing when we got there. It was looking to be a pretty amazing event.

When we arrived the party was in full swing, and I was already a few hits into a good buzz. Dillion hadn’t let me drink until we were about an hour out, so by the time we got there I was fairly well lubricated.  Our family was being playful and fun again, and it seemed like everything that had happened the night before was being washed away by the fun to be had.

Dillion took me around to meet all the Elders of the local community. They were mostly pretty nice, but I felt seriously under dressed. Dillion seemed to notice how I felt because he and the girl who traveled with us, introduced me to a beautiful vampire lady, and she was more than eager to dress me up. “A girl has to look the part! Besides you’re tits are going to look amazing in my blue and black corset!”

I would love to tell you all about my trip. I am excited to remember the graveyards, the people, the outfits and paraphilia. Did you know there are people who make vampire fangs?


Still everything comes back in bits and pieces. I know that I drank, smoked weed, but I didn’t realize until later that I was also on Ecstasy. I can’t explain the whirl wind, I can’t explain how I ended up in so many vampire blood orgies.  I know my body was cut for blood, I know I woke up unsure if I had been screwing Dillion, or if the image in my head was right and it was someone else.

I know by the end of the event, ( I missed the main ball) I was used up and feeling a little dead on the inside.  I asked Dillion if I could go back to the place we had been staying, but he didn’t want to leave. So he took me to our car and bundled me up. He said he would check on me, he said he wouldn’t be long.

I passed out. I don’t know what time it was, I only know that I was in the back of the car laying on my stomach, my legs crammed onto the floor board and my head shoved into the car seat. I felt some one on me, driving into my body, at first I thought it might be Dillion, but the weight of this guy was so much more than Dillion.

I started to try to push away, but caught a fist in the ribs. I both lost my breath and realized I was being rapped at about the same moment. I screamed, but my face was just pushed harder into the car seat. The guy stopped for a moment and I thought it was over, but then he started again with renewed vigor… and his weight felt different somehow. I struggled again and a second blow landed, hitting me in the head hard enough for me to lose consciousness.

When I woke up I was bundled up in the back seat of the car like nothing had happened. Dillion was there, he said he saw no signs of an issue, and thought maybe it was the drugs I had imagined it all. I pointed out the bruises and he seemed unsure of what to say, even asked if I might have knocked myself around while drunk.

I knew what happened, I wanted to call a cop, but Dillion said he didn’t think I knew what happened, and that cops would just get us all in trouble because I was underage. He talked me out of calling the police, but after I submitted he started acting weird. Mean, like I did something wrong.

The trip home wasn’t as much fun. The others still played and partied, but I just felt sad and used. No one seemed to want to stop the party, and some even whispered that I made the whole thing up for attention. “Look some people can’t handle being bonded to a group. Maybe you are just feeling regret and it transferred into some addled fantasy about being rapped.”

After I got home I didn’t talk to the group for a while. I stayed home until even my mother was worried about me. I’m not sure when I decided to push it away, to just accept it, but I did.

I started hanging back out, mostly only with Dillion on free time, and the others during game nights. They said we were still family, but there was a lot going on that I wasn’t involved in. They started getting in contact with other locals, there where even some fights over who had the right to go to what bar and what events were off limits to what people.  I was still too young to go, so I didn’t get to see a lot of it, but I heard about it when Dillion came looking for me.

For the most part I spent a lot of time by myself again. I started to get lonely again, but instead of reading or hanging out at the library, I went on line to the forums. Vampires, as it turns out, are fairly prolific on line. I met a lot of people, most I just interacted with in the forums, but a few I learned to really trust.

Regardless, I didn’t really talk about that night. I didn’t want to be seen as the drama queen, or get anyone in trouble from our group. I wanted to know people and build my own respect, but it seemed like every time I did Dillion would find something about them he didn’t approve of.

He really didn’t like me talking to the vampires in New Orleans. Something had happened down there, and he was pretty pissed off at them. He said that they were spreading lies, and that honorable vampire houses didn’t interact with them anymore.

I was starting to feel pretty sheltered, isolated and alone. I told Dillion how I was feeling and he said I just needed more time with the house to really feel like part of the group. He said it would be easier once I got old enough to go the clubs, but promised to start doing after parties so I could be involved. I have to admit, despite everything I was excited to have the chance.

I have to admit I fell right into it. The parties were great, so much fun! I dressed up, spent all my money on clothing and make up. We have great bonding parties and while I stayed pretty much with Dillion, there were times when others got special time with me.

The first time I was asked to be a Birthday Day Gift, for one of the house, it was based on the idea that we had played before on the trip. I wasn’t sure I liked the idea, but with enough booze and drugs I managed to get in the spirit. After that it seemed all the House members and some of the House Friends wanted me as their present as well.

I normally said No, but there were times that even in saying No, I ended up relenting after enough booze. At some point I just came to know that I was there for the whole house, for their pleasure and mine. I didn’t like it, but they were my friends and I wanted them to want me around. I know how stupid that sounds.

Once again I started isolating. I felt like a whore, and started really letting myself go. I cried a lot, but Dillion just said I was being a silly girl. He told me that I needed the House, that no one else would want me now. He said he still loved me, but that I let my standards slip. That I encouraged the other house members, and how he felt like he was just getting what was left.

We broke up at some point. He found a girl a little older, a little more money and knowledge about the community. She said she liked me, but she also talked to me like I was a child. I really hated that, but there wasn’t much I could do. The rest of the house loved her.

I decided to take a vow of celibacy for six months, and try to find my own way. I left the house and talked to a lot of people in the community. They told me they thought I was funny and witty, they didn’t ask for pictures, and their flirting was friendly, not that dark feeling I had with the others. It was just fun.

On line a man who was really charming became my close friend. He showed me a lot, took care of me when I was down, and listened to me without judging me. He said he would help take care of Dillion if I wanted him too, not in a violent way, just have him removed from community gatherings, but I didn’t want that. I still loved Dillion.

It was months later that Dillion came back. He was thin and tired looking. He said he had missed me and couldn’t eat or drink, that the new girl had been a huge mistake,  that she had put a spell on him, and he was only now able to break it. He said he needed my support, and begged me to come back.

He promised to take me to the Portland Vampire Masquerade ball, and that it would be an amazing time to renew our bonds. He said everything I wanted to hear.

We dated again for a few weeks, and I had spent nearly all of my saved up money for College to prepare for the ball. We bought clothing and booze, drugs and a nice hotel room. It was going to be epic, and I couldn’t wait to go.

It was on that big night, the night I thought he might propose or something, that we went to the hotel and partied like there was no tomorrow. We all gathered and howled and showed up for the ball in our grandeur and fangs, ready to represent our growing house.

We met all kinds of amazing people. People from the great houses of New York were present, and even some of the people I knew on line. We danced as acrobats flipped in the sky, and had blood red wine in goblets ( plastic cups) until the whole thing just magically came together in a scene that was more dream than reality.

“It’s like the Goblin Kings Court!” I heard someone saying, and to me that was the perfect summation of the evening.

I suppose all good things have to come to an end though, and for us the end came as we headed back to the hotel, and my head swam with booze and pot. I laid down to rest and drifted, not really knowing what came next, but perfectly happy to go to bed and rest.

Dillion was texting someone, and everyone was anxious about some deal or another. I guessed they wanted more meth or pot, so I ignored it. I could have got back up and went back to the party, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to sleep and just enjoy the after glow of the evening, so I faked being passed out.

Apparently it worked. At around three am I lay listening to the others talking and something one of them said caught my attention. “ I don’t think we should do it again. I felt really shitty about it the last time.”

Dillion responded “She’s buy whatever we tell me. She is so drunk she won’t noticed. Heck she had a few before and never even woke up. Hell dude, I’ll cozy up to her, get her primed and if she seems under, than the deal is on. I let those guys have a piece, we’ll get our shit and no one is the wiser.”

I didn’t scream, or yell, or anything like that. I merely got up, and walked quietly to the patio door, and went home. It was all pretty clear once I heard them. I hadn’t imagined anything in New Orleans, I had been sold. Raped for profit and drugs and the house I thought I belonged too, had all known and done nothing about it.

Now I live at the edges of the community. I am still involved, but no so involved or trusting as I once was. Dillion is in jail, it seems he was registered sex offender his specialty was young girls like myself. After talking to my mother, she called the cops and they took him away on the third strike rap. He still sends me letters telling me he loves me, or calling me a whore who ruined his life.  My mother told the prison that his letters aren’t welcome, so they have put us on the list, though, when he moves to a new facility, it takes a while for them to get the clue.

Once word got out, he was ruined in the community, though as I later came to understand he was never really anyone important in the community to start with. Just some guy who talked a big game, but never backed it up. His house wasn’t even recognized in most circles and his name was just as obscure.

One lady I spoke to at the Portland Ball, said she remembered me, because Dillion had introduced me to her, but she hadn’t a clue who Dillion was. “He was a total stranger introducing me to a total stranger. It was so odd.”

So what now? Well I am again dealing with a House as an outsider and friend, though this one is known in the community, though they do not all know my back story. They are friendly and never ask to “Bond” though men will be men. I find most of the houses are pretty safe, but I will always know that some aren’t and I doubt I will ever be able to trust friends like I did before.

I don’t know if the drugs addling my mind made the rape easier, or if it makes it harder, as I don’t know who all was involved or if they would ever be brought to justice. But still, I am glad I can’t see their faces in my nightmares.

Counseling helps, but nothing will let me take away the pain. Nothing changes my bad choices, or puts me in a different place in time where I was too stoned and drunk to know for sure if I was being sold for drugs. Nothing will change that betrayal of knowing my first love thought of me as nothing but a young piece to use as he saw fit.

These day’s things have changed for me though. I am married, I have a kid of my own (new husband’s kid, not Dillion’s) and I have a good job, where people know me as a nice young lady, and friend. I suppose some would say I turned it all around, though I will never totally get the vampire community out of my spirit. Despite all that happened, the people I met there have been truer as friends then many close to me. Despite everything all the negative, the horrible crap, the lies and shit I went through, this community remains dear to me, and my family. It isn’t always easy, and I still have a lot of counseling to do, but perhaps with each step and each year, it will get easier.

Ten Tips For Building a Vampire Group

Posted: Sunday, 27 December, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized


A Vampire Facebook group should be more focused than a business page, and attracts people that are genuinely interested in what your group is about So the question is, how do you make it successful? I am going to offer some tips that might help, but in the end, if your content isn’t good, your group will struggle


#1: Choose the right name.

For searches, and ensuring the proper message is being sent, you have to ensure you pick the right name. I myself built a group called “ Dark Warriors” it seemed a good name, until I found out there is some sort of role playing game, or video game that uses the same term. I ended up with a lot of people drawn toward the group that focused on the game, and were totally lost at the talk about kin and vampire warrior paths.

#2: Upload a Group Etiquette or Policy Document

If there is one thing you don’t want in your group, its trolls, spammers and chancers. Make your group etiquette doc available to everyone so that they know the rules.


#3: Description: Keep it Simple!

In your description if you have too much content, or rules, people won’t read it. Save the rules for a post you can pin at the top. People want to be able to quickly scan your description and know what the room is all about


#4: Content is Key

There are hundreds of rooms that do nothing but post sexy vampire pictures. While there is nothing wrong with seeing those on occasion, they do little to encourage interaction. When people interact with the group, they start to feel like they are part of it, and this helps not just with word of mouth sharing, but also in ensuring good content all the way around.


#5: Encourage Personal Content Sharing

Encourage people to share their own content. I’m not saying that you should allow your group to become a advertising hub for others, in fact that draws people away from your room, but do ask them about their interests and encourage them to share. Poetry, photography, and written documents, or just things that happen in their life as it pertains to the topic really helps people to open up.



#6: Intermittently Use Images to Control Behavior

A handy little tool I learned to use are images that convey the rules of the room. A picture of two kids sharing, with a caption that reads “Civility encourages Sharing” and things of that type, can really help people remember to act like adults.


#7: Ask Before Adding People To Your Group

This one speaks for itself. Sure you might be able to get a large number of people who might not even notice they were added, or those that don’t mind, but you also tick off a lot of people who do mind, and they tend to let all of their friends know. If you have admins, make sure they are aware that only people who ask to join, should be approved. The goal is to have an active group, not the largest. Anyone can add thousands and for a time claim popularity.
#8: Choose Your Privacy Options Wisely

These days there are 3 options to choose from – open groups, closed groups and secret groups. Make sure your level of privacy corresponds with the goal for the group.


#9: Select a great Logo or Icon for your group

If you want your name to spread, there has to be more than just a great name. You need to have a logo or Icon that really stands out, and keep it! If you change your logo, Icon, or name often, it loses its power. People get confused, and generally drift toward things they know.


#10: Stay Active!!


Activity is everything on a group. If you don’t have the time to devote to keeping your room active, or don’t have admins that will help maintain its activity, you are going to suffer from a lot of malaise from your members. They want to be inspired, engaged, and involved. If you just phone it in with images, people will find forums where they are being engaged.