VVC Public 2012-09-23

Written by: Voices of the Vampire Community
Link to original: http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/vvc.html

Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) Public Meeting – September 23, 2012

Attendees (21)

  • Belfazaar – House Of Mystic Echoes & New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA)
  • Claycat – Independent Representative
  • DarkFess – Russian Vampire Community
  • Delores DeMuse – House Of Muses
  • Heidica Northernlight – Norwegian Vampire Community
  • Horus Sat – Italian League Of Real Vampires (ALIRV)
  • Isealdor – House Etherium & Vampire Realm Of Darkness
  • Ithril – Independent Representative
  • Lady Slinky – Vampire Community Message Board (VCMB) & Western WA Vampires
  • Legardored – Dutch Vampire Community & Independent Representative
  • Lucien von Wolfe – The Nightside Society
  • Merticus – Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) & Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC
  • Mistress Mikyla – Vampire Church & Independent Representative
  • Octarine Valur – House Valur & South African Vampyre Alliance (SAVA)
  • RavenHarte – Clann Caladvwlch
  • Sanguinarius – Sanguinarius.org
  • Spurn – Danish Vampire Community
  • Sylvere ap Leanan – Gathering Dusk & Vampires-Fetlife
  • The Pink Lady – Vampirism eList & New River Valley Vampires Meetup
  • Victoria – Detroit-Area Vampire Meetup
  • Xeurika – House Quinotaur

Discussion Agenda

I. Meeting Information

Welcome to the second public meeting of Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) for 2012. If you have not attended a VVC meeting before or are reading this for the first time please briefly take note of how this meeting will be conducted. The transcript from tonight’s meeting is being logged and will be made publicly available.

Topics will be presented in the order they appear on the agenda (VVC members may refer to the forum or their e-mail for tonight’s schedule). Please do not skip ahead and please do not suggest discussion of items not on the agenda until at the end of each major discussion topic.

Feel free to speak your mind on any and all topics in a civil manner and offer any supporting information, links, or material as needed. Thank you for coming and now let’s begin!

II. Background & Introduction

VVC was founded January 2006.

The purpose of the Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) is to develop friendly relations among the various Houses, Covens, Orders, and other organizations of the vampire community; to encourage cooperation in solving community related problems and in promoting respect for the views, ideas, and opinions of others without seeking to establish a unifying or governing body; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of groups in attaining these ends. – August 8, 2006

Voices Of The Vampire Community (VVC) does not assert itself as the exclusive organization of leaders or notable persons in the vampi(y)re community nor do we view ourselves or our actions as legislative or authoritarian.

The members of the VVC are representative of multiple groups, Houses, Orders, paths, beliefs, and segments of the vampi(y)re community who meet and are able to put aside personal differences to work together to discuss, suggest, implement, and support projects, ideas, and other intellectual works that help to improve the overall community.

For more information please visit our web site at: http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/vvc.html

We are available to answer questions through the community feedback form available at the site above.

III. Discussion

As a departure from the specific matters we discuss in business meetings, tonight’s meeting will take a broader and more relevant approach to the vampi(y)re community. Opinions offered from members of the VVC who are unable to attend tonight’s meeting will be posted first after the asking of each question. All present members please allow time for this to occur prior to posting your own response. Just as a reminder, conversation is to be kept civil, statements or claims backed by example where necessary, and in cases of insuperable disagreements; a concession between parties to respectfully agree to disagree.

Let’s start the evening with these questions:

a. Examining The Responses From The Vampire Community Accountability Questionnaire - http://veritasvosliberabit.com/images/VampireCommunityAccountabilityQuestionnaire-Responses-07.30.12.pdf (PDF) - A Four-Part Question: (1) Grandiosity, Narcissism, and Egotism to name just a few; how are these character traits among some self-identified real vampires advancing and/or hindering 'progress', education, and networking within the vampire community? (2) What responses most alarmed you from the Accountability Questionnaire, and why? (3) Does the vampire community possess the necessary motivation or skill set needed to effectively address the concerns and implement suggestions outlined in some of these responses? (4) If you believe change is needed, where and how should we begin bringing it about?

b. Unintended Consequences Of Facebook & Smartphone Social Networking - A Four-Part Question: (1) What are the pros and cons of Facebook groups for conducting vampire community discussions? (2) Do you believe that Facebook and other smartphone-centered social networking platforms are enabling behaviors and attitudes which would not have otherwise presented in more structured forums, blog, and static website postings? (3) Are self-identified vampires capable of achieving a broad environment of respect, cooperation, and non-combativeness without fragmenting into smaller tribes of like-minded individuals who choose to break off from the broader group? (4) Do you believe the time has come to evolve past the highly subjective distinctions between the OVC (Online Vampire Community) and VC (Vampire Community) now that most of us are connected by technology, smartphones, and blended online/offline interactions? In other words, should we more formally recognize that we are all sociologically part of the same community but share very diverse and sometimes irreconcilable differences in how we interpret our identity and/or practice our personal vampi(y)rism?

c. Donor Integration & Treatment In The Vampire Community - A Three-Part Question: (1) Under what circumstances, if any, should donors be actively involved in vampire community politics or activities? (2) As a vampire, how do you involve your donor(s) in vampire-related matters (albeit House, group, or socially) and how are they treated? (3) As a donor, do you believe your opinions matter within the vampire community and that you are treated fairly?

d. Goodwill & Philanthropy Among Vampires: What are different vampire groups, organizations, and individuals doing to assist their local communities (vampiric and non-vampiric)? What charities, long-term projects, and assistance is being given to others during difficult economic times and natural disasters? How can others help?

e. Other topics you’d like to bring up for discussion?

IV. Business Topics

Discussion

Merticus: Voices of the Vampire Community
Merticus: Public Meeting – September 23, 2012
Merticus: Discussion Agenda:
Merticus: I. Meeting Information
Merticus: Welcome to the second public meeting of Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) for 2012. If you have not attended a VVC meeting before or are reading this for the first time please briefly take note of how this meeting will be conducted. The transcript from tonight’s meeting is being logged and will be made publicly available.
Merticus: Topics will be presented in the order they appear on the agenda (VVC members may refer to the forum or their e-mail for tonight’s schedule). Please do not skip ahead and please do not suggest discussion of items not on the agenda until at the end of each major discussion topic.
Merticus: Feel free to speak your mind on any and all topics in a civil manner and offer any supporting information, links, or material as needed. Thank you for coming and now let’s begin!
Merticus: II. Background & Introduction
Merticus: VVC was founded January 2006.
Merticus: The purpose of the Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) is to develop friendly relations among the various Houses, Covens, Orders, and other organizations of the vampire community; to encourage cooperation in solving community related problems and in promoting respect for the views, ideas, and opinions of others without seeking to
Merticus: establish a unifying or governing body; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of groups in attaining these ends. - August 8, 2006
Merticus: Voices Of The Vampire Community (VVC) does not assert itself as the exclusive organization of leaders or notable persons in the vampi(y)re community nor do we view ourselves or our actions as legislative or authoritarian.
Merticus: The members of the VVC are representative of multiple groups, Houses, Orders, paths, beliefs, and segments of the vampi(y)re community who meet and are able to put aside personal differences to work together to discuss, suggest, implement, and support projects, ideas, and other intellectual works that help to improve the overall community.
Merticus: For more information please visit our web site at: http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/vvc.html
Merticus: We are available to answer questions through the community feedback form available at the site above.
Merticus: III. Discussion
Merticus: As a departure from the specific matters we discuss in business meetings, tonight’s meeting will take a broader and more relevant approach to the vampi(y)re community. Opinions offered from members of the VVC who are unable to attend tonight’s meeting will be posted first after the asking of each question.
Merticus: All present members please allow time for this to occur prior to posting your own response. Just as a reminder, conversation is to be kept civil, statements or claims backed by example where necessary, and in cases of insuperable disagreements; a concession between parties to respectfully agree to disagree.
Merticus: Let’s start the evening with these questions:
Merticus: a. Examining The Responses From The Vampire Community Accountability Questionnaire - http://veritasvosliberabit.com/images/VampireCommunityAccountabilityQuestionnaire-Responses-07.30.12.pdf (PDF) - A Four-Part Question:
Merticus: (1) Grandiosity, Narcissism, and Egotism to name just a few; how are these character traits among some self-identified real vampires advancing and/or hindering 'progress', education, and networking within the vampire community?
Merticus: (2) What responses most alarmed you from the Accountability Questionnaire, and why?
Merticus: (3) Does the vampire community possess the necessary motivation or skill set needed to effectively address the concerns and implement suggestions outlined in some of these responses?
Merticus: (4) If you believe change is needed, where and how should we begin bringing it about?
Belfazaar: 1. I think that these issues do account for a great deal of the hindrance in our progress. However, I do not see these issues as the only things that cause disruptions in our communications and hinder our progress.
Belfazaar: 2. Honestly… The stupid assed comments about crimes not being reported by New Orleans residents and how they were brought up to Council members only to be threatened. It was bullshit created to deter others from both participating in current events AND discredit the good works that many of us are attempting to accomplish here. I am specifically speaking of answers 11 and 54.
Belfazaar: 3. In some aspects, yes. We are more than capable of implementing the suggestions outlined by some of the responses, such as the audio formatting for some of the books and other written materials. For the rest of the issues, we are simply too divisive to attempt with any sort of real dynamic forward progress.
Belfazaar: 4. Change is coming, however, if it is going to be on OUR terms we must first come to such agreements as a working, living definition of “vampirism” that fits each of us. If we are going to do TRUE clinical research, it is going to be a necessary step.
Claycat: a1) Egotism hinders progress because it obscures the truth. People care about being right or promoting their own personal agenda more than facts. We see this over and over again; for me, in particular, regarding issues around nutritional value in blood.
Claycat: Some individuals won't acknowledge actual documented research or even the opinions of those with medical degrees. If you stick to your beliefs blindly over facts, you are a fanatic. You can't reason with fanatics.
Claycat: a2) Few of the responses alarmed me. What's alarming, however, is that if so many of us feel that way, why are the problems so rife?
Claycat: a3) Many of the suggestions were not new. I am going to say that the VC has some of the resources to implement solutions, but likely lacks the solidarity to do so.
Claycat: a4) There aren’t any easy ways to bring about change, because you can’t really force people to change. I tend to prefer sites with a medium level of moderation, however, and clear policies about behavior. This tends to discourage those who would act like dicks and provide grounds for expulsion if they can’t adhere to the behavior code.
Claycat: Secondly, since we can’t control others but only ourselves, then each person would have to lead by example. If you don’t set a good example, don’t complain when people behave badly toward you.
DarkFess: Я считаю, что Сообщество обладает достаточным количеством материалов (статей, исследований, мнений и тд), чтобы подтолкнуть личность к саморазвитию. Мы не должны ничего кардинально менять.
DarkFess: Наше Сообщество должно лишь предлагать информацию для общественности, а не заниматься пропагандой. Это тонкая грань, но мы не должны ее переступать.
DeloresDeMuse: Grandiosity, Egoism and Narcissism all have the same root cause and these traits do seem to manifest themselves regularly in the online community perhaps in attempt to be heard, or just to create chaos and promote themselves, by certain individuals. I found the responses to be quite predictable.
DeloresDeMuse: We each have the option to not participate in the drama and perhaps such discussions should be taken off public domain and into private conversations if they need to be given any attention at all.
DeloresDeMuse: Granted, sometimes things are said that need a response so that others, especially those new to the community, will know that this is not the intent or feelings of everyone but even in doing so often just provokes the provokers and makes for more drama rama.
Heidica: 1) I would say I have seen both grandiosity/ narcissism and egotism as hinders when it has come to building bridges and communicating between different parts of the community. To me this has been online as my community in Norway is far away in distance from the other communities.
Heidica: It has sometimes been difficult to get others to communicate and/or ask questions because of these attitudes, but I would not say it has happened that often. Most I have talked to have been polite and helpful. The ones have not I haven’t really felt for talking to anyway to be honest.
Heidica: 2) What alarmed me most was so many has been irritated and annoyed but never raised their voices and have let the few rule over the many.
Heidica: 3) Yes, I believe so. There are many who wish for the community to integrate more, and I believe there is both motivation and skills to do so.
Heidica: 4) I think its important that the leaders and ones active in the community participate in regular discussions and try solve issues when they appear, but I do believe its necessary to tone down the before mentioned character traits as much as possible to achieve this. I believe it should be possible for adults to speak their mind on a subject without being hushed down or hang out for their opinions.
Heidica: I also think the questionnaires are important so people feel their opinions get heard. I do not know if it has been tried before, but how would announcing voting in for example in the Vampire Community News (VCN) group be received when it comes to how to handle specific cases or topics? If not to decide important matters at least to get to hear how and what people think about certain things. When this is possible of course.
HorusSat: Carissimi amici/fratelli sorelle/amiche, tenendo in considerazione che solo attualmente l'Italia e la sua comunità locale di Real Vampires si sta dando una struttura come Associazione la LIRV (Lega Italiana Real Vampires) risponde alla vostre domande tenendo
HorusSat: in considerazione che solo pochi giorni fa è stato inviato a tutti gli iscritti della LIRV il primo questionario /sondaggio nazionale sulla realtà degli RV Italiani.
HorusSat: La LIRV (Lega Italiana Real Vampires) prende atto del problema “visibilità” o coming aut dovuto al problema dell'accettazione delle “minoranze sociali” in Italia. Il Italia c'è una forte ostilità e discriminazione alimentata da parte della chiesa cattolica /cristiana – vaticano che porta gli RV Italiani a rimanere nascosti e ad avere paura di uscire allo scoperto. Soltanto dal 2011 la realtà dei Real Vampires Italiani è oggetto di studio e confronto nelle varie tematiche sui vari piani, tra cui anche il piano medico e della ricerca.
HorusSat: Da parte degli RV italiani abbiamo una netta divisione della comunità tra chi ha piacere di fare il coming out (alla famiglia, agli amici, ecc) e chi invece preferisce continuare a rimanere nascosto per paura di essere discriminato dall'odio alimentato dalla gerarchia Cattolica /Vaticana e dal pregiudizio.
HorusSat: Da tenere presente che il problema maggiore in Italia è rappresentato dalla Chiesa Cattolica e dalla gerarchia Vaticana che è fonte di pregiudizio e discriminazione di tutte le minoranze sociali a partire dal riconoscimento delle coppie gay sino ai Real Vampires equiparati al male della società.
HorusSat: Tuttavia i Real Vampires Italiani sono interessati all'informazione che circola su internet e in particolar modo alle notizie messe in rete dalla VVC, dalla LIRV e da altri siti web.
HorusSat: Tramite le informazioni in rete gli RV italiani prendono una maggiore consapevolezza del loro essere, talvolta mettendo a confronto le informazioni con quello che loro stessi sentono e provano. Da parte della maggioranza degli RV italiani iscritti alla LIRV c'è la volontà di collaborare e scambiare le informazioni per una maggiore consapevolezza.
HorusSat: Per quanto riguarda la situazione degli RV in Italia, i Real Vampires iscritti alla LIRV (Lega Italiana Real Vampires) già da un anno mettono in rete scambi di informazioni e si confrontano sulle varie tematiche. La LIRV non può parlare a nome di tutti gli RV italiani ma solo di quei RV iscritti nella nostra comunità che però attualmente risulta essere la più numerosa e strutturata in Italia.
Isealdor: (2) The most disturbing (though not unexpected) responses were those that focused on allegations of criminal behavior, particularly where there was no mention of the criminal elements being reported to proper authorities. Anecdotally through them and other situations I've been made aware of through other venues, there seems to be a lack of willingness or desire to utilize proper legal channels to address issues within the community that were in violation of local laws.
Isealdor: (3) Given the participatory levels of key people (skill sets, availabilities, experience, etc) within the community, I would have to say that, not even considering motivation levels, the community is not currently able to address the majority of the concerns on a large scale. Some pockets and sections may be able to within their moderately confined areas.
Isealdor: (4) I firmly believe that changes need to come from grass-roots levels, with many individual leaders across many groups and pockets of the VC, all looking to change the same sorts of things. For example, if we don't want criminal elements in our "community", then we collectively, as individuals, need to step up and not tolerate criminal behavior within our circles and promote the use of proper legal channels and reporting.
Isealdor: It sounds like common sense, but it involves breaking out of the general apathy and "I don't want to get involved" mentalities that are so common throughout the VC.
LadySlinky: A1. There is a common issue with article writers in the whatever we are calling it now (formerly known as community). They seem to do little if any research and then present their opinions as if it were fact often disparaging portions of the whatever we are calling it now and spreading misinformation.
LadySlinky: When presented with actual facts they simply claim it is their opinion as if their opinion somehow trumps medical studies and documentation by actual doctors and scientists. Similarly only a few of those who do interviews and documentaries bother to research what they are speaking about.
LadySlinky: Many spread derogatory misinformation about portions of the whatever we are calling it now they do not belong to even after documentation from the medical community has been presented to them.
LadySlinky: RVN and other whatever we are calling it now “news” sites have become little more than a showcase of editorials disparaging the community. These are examples of how.
LadySlinky: 2. I would have to say the allegations of abuse would be what most alarmed me. I should think reports of abuse should alarm anyone.
LadySlinky: 3. The biggest problem with implementing the suggestions outlined in the questionnaire answers are those people who suggest them are often not willing to follow through with what they suggest themselves. Not only are members who make these suggestions not willing to do any of the work they don’t think suggestions like stricter rules apply to themselves.
LadySlinky: A good example of this would be the various codes of conduct that float around throughout the community. How many of them are written by people who are blatantly violating their own code of conducts?
LadySlinky: How many versions of the black veil talk about not telling people yet both authors associated with the document write books about the community are interviewed about the community and have been in documentaries about the community on TV?
LadySlinky: How many authors of articles about better behavior in the community turn around and do the very things they are speaking against and then use some excuse to justify it? Just about all of them that I have seen.
LadySlinky: 4. I believe shifting the focus of the community off activities that promote grandiose narcissism such as hierarchies, dress up balls and media pandering and shifting it onto things like research and internal support we will see many of the issues and drama in the whatever we are calling it now naturally fade away.
LadySlinky: It is easy to let your head get too big when you are focused on aesthetics and hierarchies. When what is important to you is climbing the social/political latter, what you and everyone else is wearing, how many social events you attended that year, who you know, who made your fake fangs and being on TV or in the next YouTube video.
LadySlinky: Grandiosity, Narcissism, and Egotism naturally take over. It is a lot harder when you are focused on things like medical research, feeding the poor, helping your fellow vamps find work and helping make sure they do not end up homeless. Yes you can still get a big head doing these activities too but at least you will have substance and hopefully progress behind you.
legardored: (1) Ieder persoon is anders het hebben van een ego, narcistische blik en andere over het algemeen gezien slechte eigenschappen wil nog niet zeggen dat het ook nadelig meteen uitpakt voor de omgeving.
legardored: Het probleem ontstaat zodra iemand doorschiet in een eigenschap. Hellaas gebeurt dit snel bij mensen en de vamp community is dan ook geen uitzondering. De gevolgen hiervan kunnen zijn dat er onnodig tijd, energie verspild wordt aan damage control en reputatie herstel waardoor er minder tijd is om nieuwsgierige te voorzien van bruikbare informatie.
legardored: (2) Geen omdat de meeste reacties elementen van elkaar bevatten maar de prioriteiten anders liggen per persoon. Ik vind het niet mijn plaats om meningen te gaan beoordelen en in hokjes te gaan stoppen. Tijdverspilling en ieder mag een mening hebben.
legardored: (3) Nee geen enkele community kan simpelweg een klachten idee lijst afhandelen zonder enige vorm van filtering. Je kunt je focus verleggen op een bepaald gedeelte van de klachten maar dan zal met de tijd een ander probleem zich ook weer opdoen. Het is een kwestie van het vinden van een balans maar wie bepaald wanneer iets in balans is?
legardored: (4) Is er verandering nodig? altijd. Er kunnen altijd dingen beter of aangepast worden tijd staat niet stil immers. Maar ik geloof meer in realistisch gezien haalbare kleine persoonlijke acties dan grootschalige ideeen die al vaker getracht zijn zonder langdurige of enig resultaat.
LucienVonWolfe: 1. I don't personally feel that the community can effectively offer support without first admitting that there is no one “right” definition that encompasses all vampires. There have been years of division within the community based solely on the right/wrong debate.
LucienVonWolfe: At this point, the most productive step we can take as a community, and especially as leaders, is to admit that we won't always agree and that it is up to the individual to chose what people and/or groups best suit them. One way to accomplish this is to offer information that omits negativity and gives the seeker a realistic and mature glimpse at who we are and what options they may have.
LucienVonWolfe: 2. I wasn't really alarmed by any of the responses. I've heard many of them before, so there wasn't anything I really didn't expect to see.
LucienVonWolfe: 3. Yes, I believe it does, however, I do not believe that there is an atmosphere between many that promotes positive unity for the purpose of addressing some concerns.
LucienVonWolfe: 4. I do believe change is needed. Without change, we grow stagnate, as we are now, and we continue to rehash the same old arguments without resolution. We're stuck in a toxic cycle. The biggest change needs to come with leaders and many of those who have been active in the community for more than ten years.
LucienVonWolfe: Attitudes can be a big problem. Some of the responses I've seen via the VVC forum and social networks are nothing short of bullying and the whole “better than thou” attitude. I am not saying that we may not have moments where we find someone to be annoying, but to publicly humiliate them is not the way a true leader or “elder” should present themselves or represent their community. Of course, this is just my opinion.
OctarineValur: 1. In my opinion, many Vampyres do overindulge in egotism and narcissism, to the point of perpetual self-glorification which to put it quite bluntly, pisses other participants off and causes them to scale down their own participation, or to look for greener pastures.
OctarineValur: It is one thing for individuals to perform certain tasks in the VC, and another to sit there and bathe in your own glory while rubbing fellow participant's noses in it. The sad and maddening thing is, it is quite often those who contribute the least who indulge in this sort of behavior, while those who do far more are down to earth and humble and simply get the job done.
OctarineValur: Further, grandiosity often intimidates participants who are of lesser financial means, particularly if they feel that they need to contribute to the community in a financial or material sense.
OctarineValur: 2. Very interesting responses. From my side, I can't help but zooming in on the responses focused on my community, specifically 36, 44, 130, and 140, which have to do with the SA VC or the SAVA. (# 36 was my own). The last one was a favorable mention of the SA Vampyre News site. The other two were critical comments made by former members of the SAVA. I'm disappointed that no other current members of the SAVA participated in the survey.
OctarineValur: To rebut the comments made by these individuals however, SAVA have since our founding welcomed participation from those willing to volunteer their talents and efforts and contributions.
OctarineValur: We are not for "passengers", and SAVA is no place for those who do not respect the rest of the group, or who work only for their own gain, or who endanger the community by being reckless.
OctarineValur: Members of SAVA need to verify their dayside identity with us as part of their application. Very, very few members of the SAVA will know the details of other members. The reason we have that identity confirmation rule is to ensure that we - every single member, including myself - are who we say we are, and that members know they will be able to participate safely.
OctarineValur: The intention is to filter out those with criminal records involving rape or child abuse or other predatory behavior. This appears to be working quite well, actually, as recent events reflect. If someone comes on to one of our groups, or causes drama in a real life situation and harms another member, then they can be located or contacted by law enforcement if need be.
OctarineValur: It's not to have "power" over other members. If it was, I believe it would have been self-evident by now.
OctarineValur: Then there is the gripe about leaders being appointed "for no particular reason". Leaders are chosen by the HC, or even by the membership by means of an informal vote, from those who show themselves willing and able to contribute something. Why should someone be a leader if they hold back and hide in the shadows?
OctarineValur: How are we supposed to know what they are capable of if they are not prepared to volunteer, or to participate? The idea that we just appoint someone in a post without them demonstrating some ability or aptitude or worth in the task is ridiculous.
OctarineValur: There have been people who have up and left SAVA over the past year because they did nothing and expected to get rewarded for it, or because they realized being in a position in SAVA did not mean just taking up space and getting praise and honor for doing nothing for the community.
OctarineValur: Also those who either betrayed the trust of other members, or the group, were tossed out. I think the detail that no current SAVA members made any complaints is quite telling here - it's sour grapes, simple.
OctarineValur: 3. I feel that especially more developed VC's do possess these skills. For us in newer, smaller and less organized set-ups, it is hard just to find members with actual employment, never mind the financial resources to pay for meet-ups, venue hire, transportation etc, let alone anything mentioned in some responses.
OctarineValur: 4. I would suggest a bench-marking process, whereby a standard writ to community structure, safety, procedure, participation and other frequently problematic factors, is set jointly with as inclusive a community-wide input as possible (with regular revisions, perhaps yearly) and rolled out to supporting or participating communities/groups or individuals.
RavenHarte: I actually took the original questionnaire. I’m response #093. I was most alarmed by the number of people alleging abuse in the community, and that if their claims are true, nothing was really done about it by the person abused or the person they victim reported it to. I don’t mean going to the abuser and giving them some meaningless sanction either, I mean taking a victim to the police and having them report it.
RavenHarte: I’m also ALWAYS surprised at how willing everyone is to jump on the bandwagon and stir the pot, create online conflict, etc but how unwilling it seems people are to step up and say ENOUGH! State clearly "You all are being ridiculous children and I’m not going to continue with this thread, chat, etc. while you continue to snipe like teenagers." Or just be willing to wk away from a group, Facebook page whatever.
RavenHarte: Can the vampire community address the problems, NOPE. Individuals have to address the problems. There have to be more voices clearly stating "this is getting us nowhere people" and less willing to continue the infighting.
RavenHarte: How can we bring change about? By being willing to be the ones to knock it the fuck off. We on the VVC are supposed to be the ones who are trying to give it shit. If we can’t stop fighting amongst ourselves, then we are no good to the outer community at all.
RavenHarte: I’m so tired of logging on to see sniping between our own members. Get THAT under control first. Because if we can’t, we have no business pointing fingers at the community at large and saying "THEY are unruly, what can we do."
Spurn: A1) Uden sådanne karakteristika tror jeg ikke at vi ville komme nogen steder. Det er karakteristikaer som jeg genkender i andre vampyrer og jeg selv. Det giver karakter. På den anden side kan det også blive for meget, så samtalerne ikke handler om at komme til en konklusion eller konsensus, men blot at vedligeholde sine karakteristikaer.
Spurn: A2) Der var ingen svar der overraskede mig, men indirekte så jeg flere af de klagede punkter besvaret med den samme eller en anden karakteristika. Ergo, et bevis for hvor bredt disse forskellige karakteristika er til og hvor dybt.
Spurn: A3) Der var mange besvarelser, og mange af dem kunne vi sikkert godt 'løse', men det vil sikkert skade splid imellem forskellige personligheder der vil føle sig stødte eller angrebet, ved at gribe ind og ændre en nuværende 'problemet'. Bedre organisation er nødvendigt, men det er umuligt når vi er så mange, fra forskellige lande, kulturer og lignende som deltager i OVC på kryds og tværs, samt i skjul.
Spurn: A4) Mindre fokus på Facebook grupper. De er for useriøse og der kommer sjældent noget konstruktivt eller godt ud af dem. Der er sjældent indhold af kvalitet. Hvis vi skal have dem skal der være regler som bliver overholdt. Hvis det er nyheder gruppens fokus er, så skal der kun nyheder op. Folk skal deltage seriøst, al anden snak bør flyttes til chat eller privatbedkeder, så den ikke overskygger de gode indlæg, svar og diskussioner.
Merticus: (1) I was very pleased with both the number of respondents and the depth of the responses themselves to the Vampire Community Accountability Questionnaire. I can't say that the character traits which appeared most often out of the one's provided to choose from ended up being "Grandiosity, Narcissism, and Egotism".
Merticus: Anyone who has spent any length of time around the vampire community has witnessed ego clashes and persons with an over-inflated sense of importance. The need to argue and nit-pick others constantly in online public areas is why many are choosing to step back and not participate or offer their opinions.
Merticus: Some amount of disagreement should be expected when you offer your opinion on an issue but you don't typically expect to be berated, stalked, accused of bigotry or even hate crimes in the process. I thought more would have chosen "Indifference" or "Pessimism" as options and less for "Deception" but that's just from personal observation.
Merticus: (2) The responses mentioning abuses concerned but did not surprise me since I have been privy to stories of quite a number of alleged incidents over the years. What does alarm me is the apathy of many in the vampire community to express a desire to get to the truth behind whether some of the allegations are true or not.
Merticus: Which then leads me back to the argument and that many in the vampire community don't seem overly concerned about anything that's not happening in their immediate field of view.
Merticus: (3) I don't believe the vampire community, as it exists at this moment, is sufficiently motivated enough or has individuals who have the extra time to devote to implementing many of the suggestions. Some of us will do what we can in our local groups and websites to enact some positive changes but in order to be effective on a global scale we need the cooperation of dozens of key partners.
Merticus: I'm hoping this will improve when the economy picks up but I think we should contend we're an aging demographic and patience is running thin for many of us.
Merticus: (4) Bringing in new talent and people motivated to usher the vampire community into the next phase of "education" and/or "enlightenment" should be on the table for discussion. I'd like to see a continuation of the Global Translation Project and working with emerging communities in other parts of the world.
Merticus: We must also be mindful of the laws and cultures of various countries - South Africa stands out to me as an example with the recent (August 2012) leaked Religious and Occult Crimes memo from the South African Police Service (SAPS) citing "Vampirism" among a list of crimes in that country.
Sanguinarius: 1. If someone is more concerned with their ego or impressing others or promoting themselves than they are about helping others, organizing or educating the community and being there for others to benefit then they can't possibly do much good because they are too busy doing the former to the latter.
Sanguinarius: 2. I have only gotten a chance to peek at the questionnaire responses and not sit down and read through them all. I would like to find the time to do so soon, though.
Sanguinarius: 3. I don't know. I'm sorry. There are plenty of bright, intelligent and creative people in the community. I would be surprised if we didn't have someone amongst our ranks who possessed the motivation and skill set. There are some who we know of who do possess the skill sets and motivation to accomplish things of importance to our community, and have done so. I won't name any names but I'm
Sanguinarius: sure we all can figure out who I'm talking about.
Sanguinarius: Now as for specific suggestions mentioned in the questionnaire responses, I do not know as I have not yet read through them (as stated previously); so please forgive me if I am way off base in my response to this question.
Sanguinarius: 4. This reminds me of the story of "Belling the Cat". In short, the mice came together and thought up an excellent idea of putting a bell on the cat so they could tell when it was coming their way. Unfortunately, none of them could figure out how to safely get the bell ON the cat, and none of them wanted to volunteer to be the one to do it. That aside, I think what we need to do is work on
Sanguinarius: standardization. And yes, I know that boils down to "defining 'vampire'" but if things like terminology, procedures, traditions, and other things were standardized, it would create common ground for those already in the community and a platform for stability for those entering into it.
Sanguinarius: On the other hand, the cross-pollination of ideas and other things provides a wide base for forming the community and time may serve as the standardizing effect; with the best things surviving the test of time. Our community is still young, still really in its' first generation (even though there are multiple generations of people in it). It's still developing and growing and changing. Give
Sanguinarius: things time. Help them along, yes, but don't give up when things don't happen right away or really fast.
Sanguinarius: Group leaders and elders (yes, I know the word is falling out of fashion; a pity) need to get their members and supporters involved. There's plenty of creative energy out there, plenty of untapped desire to help out. A lot of people would help out if they thought they were valued or needed. Over time, for instance, people come to me and say, "I like sanguinarius.org and want to show my support.
Sanguinarius: How can I help out?" Maybe the VVC could have some "outer circle" type of group for people who want to get involved? I don't know if that's a good idea or a bad one, but it's a thought we should at least consider. With the power of the internet and of collaboration over the internet, we should be about to get a lot people to get a lot done together.
xeurika: It is kind of a loaded question. Of course, Egotism, grandiosity, and narcissism is going to hinder things.
Victoria: And I agree with Sangi about standardization. It's been the biggest thorn in my side since entering the vampire community. Not being able to agree on something as simple as what a vampire can and cannot be has got us stuck in a position of not being able to filter out crazies who are only here to start cults.
Mikyla: Do we need, or want, standardization though?
Sylvere: I may be the lone voice of dissent here. I don't see any of those traits as either helping or hindering the Vampire Subculture. We have dealt with all of them for over a decade in one form or another. This isn't new. Yet we have persevered and managed to achieve a few good things here and there.
Sanguinarius: I think we probably need to balance it.
xeurika: Good question. Give a vamp an opportunity to argue semantics, and we can be worse than a room full of lawyers.
Sanguinarius: That's the belling the cat part though. I don't know. I'm just lil ol' me.
Sanguinarius: lol xeurika
Sylvere: What hinders the subculture more is apathy and lack of focus. We have no driving force OTHER than narcissism/egotism/etc. and the various ways in which people strive toward ego gratification.
Mikyla: That I can agree with, Sylvere.
Sylvere: Standardization is neither desired nor desirable.
* Sanguinarius sees Sylvere is right on that for sure.
Isealdor: I think it may be less of a question of if we need/want standardization as of if it's even a realizable concept in the first place
Sylvere: Who decides on the "standard" and by what authority to they do so?
Mikyla: We've all seen what "standardization" has done to our educational system.
Ithril: The trouble with defining exactly what a vampire is or cannot be is that you then begin the process of exclusivity, and that isn't desired.
Sylvere: I call bullshit on the entire concept of standardization/uniformity or the need for any sort of conformity.
Isealdor: Why waste time, effort, and energy bashing our heads against a wall
Victoria: I think standardization is a double edged sword. We probably need it, but don't want it. If we create the ability to say what a vampire is and is not, we'll end up with that definition being turned against us.
Ithril: Exactly, Victoria.
xeurika: Well, there are many who are in it to help others. In the end, support is and should be a lot of what we do. The questions as such should be. How do we connect to those who need support, with quality sources that provide it? What resources can we provide those who offer support?
Sylvere: I refuse any attempt to standardize the definition of vampire.
Sanguinarius: Victoria may be right, if not in this culture it may be that way in other cultures.
Sylvere: Unless it means we're going to eliminate the lifestyler posers and then I'm all for it. /sarcasm.
Ithril: I'll second that Sylvere.
Sylvere: <3s Ithril.
Sanguinarius: If we include a variety of different "vampi/yres" in to the community, those who are like-minded will find each other and the community will still survive.
Merticus: Section (2): What responses most alarmed you from the Accountability Questionnaire, and why?
Merticus: (2) The responses mentioning abuses concerned but did not surprise me since I have been privy to stories of quite a number of alleged incidents over the years. What does alarm me is the apathy of many in the vampire community to express a desire to get to the truth behind whether some of the allegations are true or not.
Merticus: Which then leads me back to the argument and that many in the vampire community don't seem overly concerned about anything that's not happening in their immediate field of view.
xeurika: Tunnel vision is common all over the place Merticus
Victoria: I'd agree with that and admit to being guilty of it.
Mikyla: Those stories of abuse, and the subsequent 'don't believe it, it's all just nonsense, stop falling for the paranoia' stream really bothered me.
* Isealdor agrees with Merticus and adds that sometimes even if it is in direct view, if a rationalization not to care can be formulated.
Sylvere: The only real concern I have is that so few people seem to want to take personal responsibility for reporting abuse to the APPROPRIATE legal authorities. They seem to expect the Vampire Subculture (hereafter, VS) to "do something" when they, themselves, refuse to use the resources or even the good sense already available to them.
xeurika: Agreed Sylvere.
Mikyla: I'm very tired of the "we don't go to the authorities" attitude that I see prevalent.
xeurika: Also true Mikyla.
Victoria: It's based on a fear that the authorities will see all the vampires in the local community as dangerous deviants instead of just the abusers.
Merticus: Or people afraid that if they go to the authorities it will negatively impact their lives, their children, employment, etc.
Ithril: Everyone hates to go to the authorities, but there are times that is the only, and appropriate action.
Sylvere: I can understand not wanting to go to the authorities... after all, how many sexual assaults go unreported because the victim is too traumatized and ashamed.
Sylvere: But for the love of all the gods, how do people expect the VS to do something when the alleged victims won't even file a friggin police report?
Mikyla: I can understand the victim not wanting to, yes.
xeurika: If something is illegal, it needs to be addressed by legal authorities. We can expose ourselves to liabilities if we try to take extra-legal action to what should be a legal matter.
Victoria: If the concern is about exposing ourselves to the authorities, there should be at least one 'out-of-the-coffin' individual in each local community who is willing to step up and take that risk for the protection of the rest.
Sylvere: How would that work, Victoria?
Sylvere: You can't file a police report on behalf of someone else. That's hearsay.
Victoria: True. I was thinking more in the case of large scale abuse, like gathering a cult.
Sylvere: Again, only the victims can file.
Sanguinarius: So what do you do?
Victoria: For smaller scale situations, the only thing I can think of would be counseling the victim & being willing to support them when they go to the police.
Sylvere: Forming a cult isn't against the law in and of itself. Only if the cult is committing other crimes can the authorities step in.
Sylvere: If forming a cult was a crime, every Evangelical Christian church in the world would be guilty.
Victoria: Ugh, Amen sister.
Ithril: Don't give people ideas, Sylvere. Enough crazies already.
xeurika: First, I think there needs to be managed expectation. Open and honestly state: if a matter involves a breach of the law, it needs to be taken care of by the legal authorities. To act in an extra legal matter would expose us to criminal and civil liabilities.
xeurika: That being said. If someone is being abused, we can point the way to shelter until an authority gets involved. We can help a victim find services to support their claim and stop abuse.
Sylvere: Agreed.
Sylvere: I'd also like to see us working harder to dismantle the Cult of Victimhood.
Victoria: We can also remove the abuser from our community groups if there's evidence supporting the victim's claims.
xeurika: Also very true.
Sylvere: We aren't in a position to evaluate that evidence.
Sylvere: Until/unless there is a court conviction, it's all hearsay.
Victoria: Agreed. I've only ever removed persons from my group in the face of overwhelming evidence. Basically three strikes.
Sanguinarius: Unless someone posts copies or obtains copies of police reports or newspaper articles.
xeurika: Rule #9 of the internet: There's not real rules to moderating either. Enjoy your ban.
Sylvere: I only remove people from my groups for behavior IN THAT GROUP. I don't care what they allegedly did elsewhere.
Victoria: Even though newspapers can be biased, just attracting that kind of negative press to the community can sometimes be enough to ban someone.
Sylvere: From our private groups, sure. From the VS as a whole? Not so much.
Victoria: Doesn't make it easy getting into a new group, though.
Sylvere: Depends on the group.
Sylvere: It's also incredibly easy to start a new group.
Merticus: Section (3): Does the vampire community possess the necessary motivation or skill set needed to effectively address the concerns and implement suggestions outlined in some of these responses?
Sylvere: For #3, no on all counts.
Sanguinarius: Well I think we are a diverse lot.
Sanguinarius: There's gotta be people out there with the skill set and motivation.
Merticus: (3) I don't believe the vampire community, as it exists at this moment, is sufficiently motivated enough or has individuals who have the extra time to devote to implementing many of the suggestions. Some of us will do what we can in our local groups and websites to enact some positive changes but in order to be effective on a global scale we need the cooperation of dozens of key partners.
Merticus: I'm hoping this will improve when the economy picks up but I think we should contend we're an aging demographic and patience is running thin for many of us.
Mikyla: I agree, Sangi - but those people generally want recompensed for their time/talent.
ThePinkLady: Not sure where we are, so here's my take on it: some of the most prominent in this community have ginormous egos and become offended when people criticize their projects or ideas. There will always be critics. Pursue the goal and ignore the critics.
Victoria: I wouldn't say it's impossible, just unlikely. If a body like the VVC picks one goal and focuses on it, we have a chance of making a positive change. The translation project is a great example. But without one central driving force and people with the time and ability to volunteer, it's too much to expect.
Sanguinarius: @Mikyla, unfortunately, that's true more often than not.
ThePinkLady: What bothered me the most about the survey was the inability for people in an ANONYMOUS survey to name names. And in order to make change, names must be named.
Mikyla: I definitely agree with that, PinkLady.
ThePinkLady: Merticus, I've given up on trying to corral the community at-large. I pick the areas where I can affect the most change and I do it.
xeurika: I hear the perception ThePinkLady, but to play devil's advocate. I think when calling out "big egos" the individual should be named. Which ego stopped what problem when? There's no way any of us can stop some douche from declaring themselves Vampire Lord/ King/ Supreme Ultraczar etc. They are pains in the ass, but also tend to be attention whores, lifestylers, and overall douchebags.
Sylvere: I don't have the time or energy to bend over backwards to do anything for the VS.
Sylvere: Especially considering the lack of anything resembling appreciation that goes with trying.
Isealdor: Random interruption...VS=?
Mikyla: Vampire Subculture - I was going to say, kudos on adopting the new lingo. I like it.
Sylvere: Vampire Subculture... we are not a community and I will no longer use that terminology.
Sylvere: We aren't A community, we are a conglomeration of MANY communities.
Sylvere: No one else has to use VS but I'm going to do so and won't be using VC.
xeurika: I hate the term "Vampire Subculture".
Victoria: I actually like it because it includes donors, lifestylers, and fetishists under one umbrella term with the rest of us.
Merticus: I prefer to use the word “community” but account for the various cross-
over with other “subcultures” so VC/VS… whatever suits you - http://www.suscitatio.com/VEWRSFinalCharts/SubculturalInteractionVampireNeg.jpg
ThePinkLady: Xeurika: It's hard to describe the behavior without concrete examples, and I imagine whoever makes such analytical connections between known individuals and any negative behaviors will get hate mail, to say the least.
xeurika: Which is exactly my point. It's also hard to address the behavior without concrete examples.
Mikyla: And I agree 100% on the lack of appreciation - I don't want accolades or anything, but I created the support group - someone wanted blogs because she wasn't comfortable with the discussion forums, so I spent my own money to create a Ning with blogs. Now she barely posts at all. I won't shut it down, I won't enact participation rules, but seriously...
ThePinkLady: 3: There will always be community cesspools. Used to be the mailing lists, then became the message boards, now it's social networking sites. Even though these places are cesspits, I believe it's important to keep trying even if you find one or two people out of dozens.
Merticus: Section (4): If you believe change is needed, where and how should we begin bringing it about?
Merticus: (4) Bringing in new talent and people motivated to usher the vampire community into the next phase of "education" and/or "enlightenment" should be on the table for discussion. I'd like to see a continuation of the Global Translation Project and working with emerging communities in other parts of the world.
Merticus: We must also be mindful of the laws and cultures of various countries - South Africa stands out to me as an example with the recent (August 2012) leaked Religious and Occult Crimes memo from the South African Police Service (SAPS) citing "Vampirism" among a list of crimes in that country.
* Sanguinarius understands the position Mikyla is in because I've been there and experienced that sort of thing too.
xeurika: The first step is actual having a clear and focused goal.
Sylvere: Change has to begin with one's self. There's no point in complaining about what's "wrong" with the VS unless one is willing to BE the change.
Mikyla: 100%, Sylvere. 100%
Victoria: There's no logical choice except locally, and let our smaller communities be examples to others. If we can't even get our s*** together on the small scale, we have no business trying to enforce a larger change.
Sanguinarius: I'd like to see more articles translated as well.
ThePinkLady: 4: What Sylvere said. And, instead of trying to create some vampire new world order where you're in charge, focus instead on what you can do yourself.
Sylvere: I agree with working with emerging communities on an international level.
xeurika: That's a good point Victoria.
Sylvere: Agreed, PinkLady.
Sanguinarius: yeah, who was it? ThePinkLady who just said something earlier about affecting her own little area?
* Sylvere is SO FUCKING OVER the whole Vampire Hegemony mentality.
Sylvere: A hegemony is when several nations are presided over by one ruling body.
Sylvere: Think LotR..."and one ring to rule them all."
xeurika: It's a perceived dominance.
Mikyla: Ah, you mean all that shit coming out of a certain spot in Virginia?
Sanguinarius: Who said it was hegemony to go international?
Sylvere: Every time something like that Vampire Justice Council or whatever it was called crops up, it's because someone chugged a big gulp of the Hegemony Koolaid.
Mikyla: I don't think anyone meant that, Sangi - at least, that's not what I understood.
Mikyla: Not by you, there aren't. LOL. Wrong spot!
xeurika: It's more the "I'm a vampire and that makes me superior to others" attitude.
Mikyla: Over that attitude, xeurika.
Sanguinarius: Oh, I see. It doesn't make them superior, just different.
Sanguinarius: And probably less different than they'd like to admit.
ThePinkLady: 4: And... maybe we should get away from vampire-related news that's just about various community people interacting with various other community people. Joe Laycock was a good start. Other people in academia? Scientists and doctors? Law enforcement?
ThePinkLady: 4: Yes, we are all part of the same community. The internet supports those without a strong local offline community. It also exists as a research base for those interested in knowledge and individuals but not interested in the OVC on the whole.



Merticus: b. Unintended Consequences Of Facebook & Smartphone Social Networking - A Four-Part Question: (1) What are the pros and cons of Facebook groups for conducting vampire community discussions?
Merticus: (2) Do you believe that Facebook and other smartphone-centered social networking platforms are enabling behaviors and attitudes which would not have otherwise presented in more structured forums, blog, and static website postings?
Merticus: (3) Are self-identified vampires capable of achieving a broad environment of respect, cooperation, and non-combativeness without fragmenting into smaller tribes of like-minded individuals who choose to break off from the broader group?
Merticus: (4) Do you believe the time has come to evolve past the highly subjective distinctions between the OVC (Online Vampire Community) and VC (Vampire Community) now that most of us are connected by technology, smartphones, and blended online/offline interactions?
Merticus: In other words, should we more formally recognize that we are all sociologically part of the same community but share very diverse and sometimes irreconcilable differences in how we interpret our identity and/or practice our personal vampi(y)rism?
Belfazaar: 1. Of many of the pros, it allows for easier access and communications between members of the community, especially those of us with Houses that are extended beyond our local cities. Of many of the cons, it affords people a sort of ‘anonymity’ which breeds arrogance and attitude in many people who merely put it off as “being brutally honest”, “showing an honest opinion”, when they wouldn’t DARE do this in the faces of many of the people that they “spit” in online.
Belfazaar: It becomes one of those, “if they aren’t near me, they can’t hurt me” scenarios that allows them to be balls to the wall insensitive and downright abusive in circumstances.
Belfazaar: 2. Although these attitudes are more easily presented on Facebook, Myspace and other areas, you can find the same sort of thing in just about every forum on the face of the planet… Even those that claim they do not have nor allow drama, have their fair share of it.
Belfazaar: 3. Not really. It goes against the grain of human social order/disorder. There isn’t one “community” on the face of the planet that gets along 100%, let alone AGREES about every little detail. Sooner or later people disagree and others will try to break off and start their own thing that more readily fits their ideas of what the “society” is supposed to be like.
Belfazaar: 4. Yes. Lately I have taken the tack of writing something along the lines of “during my tenure within the vampire community, both online and off.” I see them as just a natural progression of each other and as an extension of each other.
Claycat: b1) I am not seeing a whole lot of pros to discussing VC issues on Facebook. FB has privacy issues for one thing, so that is a huge con for us.
Claycat: b2) FB may make poor behavior more noticeable due to its popularity, but I don’t really think it’s that much worse than forums and blogs with poor moderation. FB groups can be moderated by admins too.
Claycat: b3) At this time I am not seeing self-identified vampires as being capable of achieving a broad environment of respect, cooperation and non-combativeness; mainly, because I have not seen it happen in the past. It’s not limited to vampires, though; this seems to apply to humans in general.
Claycat: b4) I of course think we should accept diversity, but you have to find the balance between accepting diversity and accepting every crazy theory you encounter. But I am not sure how you can force this process along.
DarkFess: Я считаю, что социальные сети не в коем случае нельзя использовать для обсуждения вопросов и проблем, связанных с реальным вампиризмом. Бесконтрольное обсуждение приведет только к еще большей дезинформации общества касательно нашего опыта.
DarkFess: Путаницы и так слишком много. Все это ведет лишь к хаосу, скандалам и вообще к общей деградации уровня бесед на данную тему (тролли, позеры.. кто будет с ними бороться на общественных сайтах – социальных сетях?). Все общение должно проходить в рамках наших Сообществ, на наших собственных ресурсах, под нашим надзором. Только так мы можем гарантировать, что наша популярность идет «в ногу» с просвещением общественности в данном вопросе.
DarkFess: Поэтому, мы должны всячески пресекать любые «ответвления» международного Сообщества Вампиров в социальные сети. Отказываться от них официально, полностью игнорировать все сказанное там. Можно создать там закрытые группы без обсуждения (как это сделано у нашего Сообщества) – для рекламы наших собственных интернет-ресурсов.
DarkFess: В мире очень много Сообществ. На данном этапе нельзя всех «лепить в одну кучу». Без всемирной глобализации наших Сообществ, я считаю, это невозможно.
DeloresDeMuse: Facebook can be a positive tool and one should be aware of what is being said and going on, however, it also gives a bully pulpit to those who wish to use it as such. The good does outweigh the bad in this situation I believe. It does provide a place for others to reach out and have contact with those who live in isolation whether self-imposed or due to geographic location and therefore is invaluable to the community.
Heidica: 1) To me Facebook has been the place I have met the most people identifying as vampires. I have not used many other sites or forums and have found many useful groups and discussions through Facebook.
Heidica: Vampire community news has been the most serious and sincere groups amongst them all, not only are there a variety of important news being posted but also the discussions have mostly been serious and have had many participants.
Heidica: I believe Facebook is here to stay to be honest and may as well be used as the platform it is. The cons.. well.. it’s hard to intervene in a discussion if it comes out of hand, and gossip will often continue on private messages.
Heidica: 2) No I don’t believe it would have been much different really.
Heidica: 3) I believe some are, but many seem to forget the differences can actually be a good thing.. cultures are different, and vampire communities are also. It doesn’t have to be seen as a threat that some does things in another way than your own community, it can be both helpful and educating really.
Heidica: 4) Yes.
HorusSat: Facebook, Twitter e altri social network vengono utilizzati dalla LIRV come mezzi per scambio di informazione tra i propri aderenti. La LIRV ha su facebook e su twitter sia la pagina ufficiale ma anche il gruppo comunità segreti dove gli aderenti vengono inseriti dopo che hanno contattato la LIRV sulla pagina principale.
HorusSat: Normalmente, ad un primo contatto sulla pagina ufficiale, gli amministratori della pagina contattano privatamente la persona per sapere con chi si ha che fare. Solo dopo aver capito e compreso la realtà della persona, se questa è un/a RV o donatore o semplicemente un sostenitore e dopo aver visto se è una persona seria ed affidabile viene inserita nel gruppo ufficiale segreto.
HorusSat: Allo stesso modo la LIRV ha un sito ufficiale, un forum e un blog fuori da facebook. La cosa più importante per la LIRV è di non limitarsi a contatti “virtuali” online ma creare la comunità “FISICA”; come Associazione organizza eventi ed iniziative aperte a tutti gli RV iscritti.
HorusSat: Queste iniziative sono importanti per gli iscritti per conoscersi di persona, scambiare informazioni e creare la “comunità fisica “ e non solo virtuale degli RV. La LIRV cerca di organizzare tutto questo mantenendo un ruolo di responsabilità sull'organizzazione degli eventi, degli incontri e dei raduni.
HorusSat: La LIRV distingue le due realtà: la comunità virtuale dove attraverso di essa si può avere un primo approccio e contatto. Ma per la LIRV è e resta importante la comunità fisica dove gli RV si conoscono di persona, assumono il significato di famiglia o gruppo fisico, imparano a dialogare e rispettarsi a vicenda creando così un rapporto di rispetto fraterno tra tutti gli aderenti alla comunità.
Isealdor: (1) Facebook is, ultimately, an extremely frustrating platform for organized group discussions on large scales or for archival or searchable purposes for those who may be looking for information. The majority of groups are not easily "found" for those who are not already within the circles in some way or another and the Facebook search functionalities are essentially useless when it comes to content within discussions.
Isealdor: Personally, I would say the only "pros" are the sheer number of people who utilize Facebook making for one of the largest audiences on one platform and the multitude of ways people can access Facebook.
Isealdor: (2) Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. absolutely enable many behaviors not as commonly seen (or more easily regulated and counteracted) on forums or blogs; much of Facebook's interaction comes in the form of often uneditable, unmoderated content on individual walls, or in groups where the moderation tools literally are restricted to the ability to delete messages and/or ban individuals (who can then simply use their personal walls or one of the many other groups).
Isealdor: Crossover from one group to another, or from personal to public to personal spaces regularly occurs, leading to unchecked arguments that in most more formal webspaces would have been removed or relegated to private messaging. The public or semi-public nature of Facebook walls tends toward more bandwagon effects, as well as an overwhelming mentality of what boils down to "I can say whatever the hell I want because it's my wall", without people self-censoring or considering if they /should/ post certain things.
Isealdor: Also, the omnipresence of social media-enabled devices for most people regularly active on Facebook means people may type quick responses while in the middle of a bar, sitting in a church, hopping from one bus to another on an inner-city commute, etc instead of having access restricted to at home, the office, their library, etc. As the range of settings responders are in increases, the level of attention, ranges of influence from outside stimuli, and amount of consideration put into responses fluxes wildly.
Isealdor: Idiot in front of you in line at the grocery store just pissed you off? Rather than having a time separation from that and writing a response to someone online, those may be simultaneous. That's not to say there weren't similar situations when someone was home and on their computer using a tradition forum board--just that such crossover is more frequent as we use social media platforms more places.
Isealdor: (3) Yes and no. People will always cluster in smaller groups of like- minded individuals, with those groups participating to varying levels with other individuals and groups in the broader group. Can the majority of those interactions between both individuals and the groups be respectful, cooperative, and non-combative?
Isealdor: Sure. Are there always going to be pockets that don't mesh well together? Of course. The question is more to what degree the noncooperation and combativeness the interactions goes.
Isealdor: (4) As even phrased in the question, the distinctions have always been highly subjective. While I recognize there are some people who do not have regular access to internet-connected devices (I would argue that anyone living in the United States at least has limited internet access, regardless of socioeconomic status), access and use has overall permeated our culture to such a degree that I don't think a distinction between the "OVC" and "VC" is reasonable anymore.
Isealdor: A good example might be the local community here--it is extremely frequent for us to shift back and forth between online and offline platforms depending on what schedules are or what is more convenient; at any given time, I may, for example, call Belfazaar, meet up with him in person for a bit, or send him a text or message to talk about something, or a conversation that was started in person may continue online later or vice versa.
Isealdor: I hardly think that sort of back and forth dynamic is unique, nor is it at this point fundamentally different than, say, using multiple platforms to talk with some of my House members in California. Personally, I would say at this point the differences between primarily online based and offline based clusters of people are rooted more in geographic specific interests and/or mundane physical considerations
Isealdor: (ie "Do we want to go to a Mexican or Italian place to eat?" or "There's not going to be parking compliments of <<enter festival name>> going on.") than anything else--not things that have a major effect on individual identities or how one practices vampirism; that sort of diversity is present both online and off.
LadySlinky: B1. The pros of Facebook are that a very large part of the community seems to have accounts and as such one can reach a perceived larger audience.
LadySlinky: A pro and con would be that information seems to spread a lot faster over FB and smart phone centered social networking which makes it easy to get information to people but also speeds up the drama and rate that rumors fly.
LadySlinky: Another aspect that is either a pro or a con depending on how you feel is the fact that if you are correctly following the FB policy as I understand it you have to use your real name.
LadySlinky: 2. I think that people behave much the same way on Facebook as they do on forums and blogs. It is all very much dependant on those who monitor and run the places how people behave. If those in charge allow something it will continue.
LadySlinky: If they do not allow it then regulars will learn what is allowed and what is not and act accordingly informing those who come along after them who will also learn from both the example of those who came before and the actions of those in charge.
LadySlinky: 3. This is a trick question. It assumes that any global group of people connected by a singular aspect can. If you can show me any race, global religion, for that matter any global group of several thousand people or more connected by a single aspect that has achieved a broad environment of respect, cooperation, and non-
LadySlinky: combativeness as a whole and not just as smaller tribes of like-minded individuals then perhaps I might think it possible and not just unrealistic fantasy.
LadySlinky: 4. The distinction between the VC and the OVC is only ever used as an insult oddly enough by people online and in the OVC to insult someone else for being in the OVC but not in the VC. I think this is ridiculous considering that every vampire online or off is part of the vampire whatever we are calling it now.
LadySlinky: Just like every Hispanic is part if the Hispanic community whether they go to someone’s quinceanera or not.
legardored: (1) Voordelen snel bereikbaar netwerk van mensen met eigen netwerken en vertakkingen waardoor er theoretisch gezien snel nieuws, vragen verspreid kunnen worden. Nadelen het bereik zal altijd te groot zijn er zullen mensen bij betrokken raken die of niks afweten van het onderwerp, graag stennis schoppen, geindoctrineerd zijn en in eigen wereld leven.
legardored: Daarnaast zullen er meerdere varianten van verhalen vaak tot leven komen en door de manier op hoe data beschikbaar wordt op socialmedia sites wordt het vrij lastig te achterhalen wat de betrouwbare bron is tenzij je deze al kende.
legardored: (2) Ja ik geloof er in dat mensen zich anders opstellen in een omgeving waar de controle eigenlijk niet aanwezig is in vergelijking met gestructureerde fora'en andere content beheerde sites.
legardored: Een fora met een goed getrainde staf weet waar bepaalde grenzen liggen in de communicatie vormen verder kunnen ze inspelen op situaties en dingen terug ontopic brengen. Moderatie bij socialmedia sites is een ramp omdat de sites gemaakt zijn op het zoveel mogelijk aantrekken van mensen en niet geven om de inhoud tenzij deze negatief werkt voor sponsors adverteerders of de site zelf of als er strafbare feiten gebeuren.
legardored: Natuurlijk zijn er wel de zogenaamde richtlijnen maar een aanspreekbare staf als op een site of fora heeft een snellere response tijd dan een globaal netwerk.
legardored: (3) Bijna ieder is capabel om rationele beslissingen te maken respectvol om te gaan en samen te werken. Hellaas zijn het de paar rotte appels die vaak een start sein geven voor een negatieve golf aan reacties. Dit is niet te voorkomen mensen zijn geen robots niet ieder zit op het internet voor het doel om productief bezig te zijn sommige zoeken vertier andere kicken op het irriteren van mensen en weer andere doen zich compleet anders qua karakter voor dan ze werkelijk zijn omdat ze het in het echt niet durven.
legardored: Het is normaal dat er vertakkingen ontstaan in communities als dat niet gebeurde waren er geen communities meestal gebeurd het als groepen te groot worden en soms door slecht management maar wat het ook is het overkomt elke community ooit. Fragmenteren wil niet meteen zeggen dat de communicatie tussen in misgaat.
legardored: (4) Nee dat is een persoonlijke mindset die je wel of niet momenteel hebt en geen community beslissing gebaseerd op een sociale trend. Formaliteiten hebben hier niks mee te maken je kunt labels op iets plakken maar ieder zal erin lezen wat hij zij wil geloven of denkt.
LucienVonWolfe: 1. The only pro I can come up with is that social media offers a convenience that private groups don't. It's free and everyone is already there. As for cons, Facebook has been the death of many private groups.
LucienVonWolfe: There seems to have been a lot more vampire-related groups and a bigger disconnect from the community as it was prior to FB. I don't personally like FB as a means of group communication and would rather have a more private setting.
LucienVonWolfe: 2. Yes, absolutely. FB takes away the sense of community and tosses everything to the winds.
LucienVonWolfe: 3. I would like to think so, but as for my personal experience, no. Again, it comes down to change, especially changes in attitudes and negative behaviors. There has to be an agreement to disagree, an agreement not to act like children, and the desire to come together as a community in order to get the ball rolling. I would love to see this happen!
LucienVonWolfe: 4. Yes, I think this is a realistic step. The OVC is now what the VC was. It's still good to recognize those groups who do offline work, but the majority of our community is being formed via technology.
OctarineValur: 1. Pro - quick response time, ease of reading and reference, ease of use, reasonable privacy from outside viewing. Con - what is posted on Facebook stays in Facebook, can never be securely deleted or removed, constant security failures, hacking attempts, Facebook glitches, constant threat of FB deleting or blocking nightside profiles as "fake".
OctarineValur: 2. No. I feel these platforms simply increase connectivity and the size of the field in terms of general participation.
OctarineValur: 3. Since we are also human, it goes without saying that there will always be those who do not agree and choose to swim upstream instead of with the rest of the community, no matter how much sense it makes to do so.
OctarineValur: 4. Yes, without a doubt.
RavenHarte: Pros - People who are isolated and feel alone have an easy means to communicate.
RavenHarte: Cons - There is no system of vesting which means every sociopath, idiot, 12yr old, Fundie Christian hater, etc has the means to pot stir and cause drama, essentially chasing off anyone who was as really looking for community, as well as any reasonable intelligent vampires who might actually want to help them.
RavenHarte: Yes every online type of interaction instigates people's horrific behaviour. There are countless studies out already about how people on Facebook and other social media act very differently online than they would anywhere else, and that mob mentality actually occurs at a higher rate online than IRL (in real life).
RavenHarte: Can people achieve respect and cooperation in a broad environment like social networking, NO. Not unless every person was vested and clearly understood what was tolerable debate vs instigation and knew the consequences of personal attacks was expulsion. Without very firm moderation, it is definitely NOT going to happen.
RavenHarte: Should we do away with the OVC/VC thing. I don’t think we CAN really do that. There are definitely IRL groups who also have an online presence, so how can you separate them? Yet there is a huge difference between the behaviour of people in all these online mediums, and those who attend say the HK events or Twilight, or Black Oaks when that ran.
RavenHarte: Ok so I guess what I’m saying is there already is ONE vampire community (VC) the real point is we already make a distinction between the OVC (online community) vs the IRLVC (real life community) and perhaps that’s the distinction in thinking ewe need to turn to?
Sanguinarius: 1. From what I can tell (limited experience), Facebook forums are extremely limited. Unfortunately, Facebook seems to have taken over everything else (Yahoo Groups, blogs, email lists, message boards, chat rooms, etc). So it seems we're stuck with it for now. As for vampire discussion forums being located on Facebook, well, I myself have scarcely bothered with them when I do go forum-browsing.
Sanguinarius: They seem to me to attract a lot of fluff and are right out there in the middle of the yard, so to speak, for everyone to see if they breeze past. I don't think their editing/moderating capabilities are much to speak of and my impression of them is somewhat less than impressed.
Sanguinarius: 2. I am not familiar enough with these platforms to comment on this question. But some structure is good.
Sanguinarius: 3. I think so, but it will take strong leaders/elders who are willing to put their own egos and needs aside for the greater good plus have a good amount of experience herding cats (people skill).
Sanguinarius: 4. I'm not sure I understand the question. I've never made the distinction between the "VC" and the "OVC". They are part and parcel of the same group, just with a few differences. The "OVC" is just the "VC online". I think we should all recognize that we are a part of the same community.
Spurn: B1) Grupperne er useriøse og uden orden eller regler. Der er desuden alt for mange af dem, og der er næsten ingen der tager initiativ og ansvar til at lægge noget op, der både er seriøst og indholdsrigt.
Spurn: B2) Ja. Jeg mener og har erfaret at forums og blogs fungerer bedre, samt at folk ikke i nær så høj grad lægger ligegyldige bemærkninger op på disse.
Spurn: B3) Det mener jeg er muligt, ja.
Spurn: B4) Ja. Vi befinder os i en tid hvor netværk og interaktion er vigtigere end selve indholdet og konteksten. For at indholdet har mulighed for at blive godt må man reflektere over netværkets struktur, og dette forslag er et forsøg derpå.
Merticus: (1) Facebook has become a necessary evil for keeping touch with many from the vampire community despite the obvious (or should be) privacy concerns and endless number of vampire-related groups/pages. It's horrible for archiving content and searching for answers to questions previously answered in older threads, next to impossible to effectively moderate unless you are observing 24/7, notorious for people posting whatever stray thought pops into their mind, etc.
Merticus: It's good for being able to link to most of the "active" participants in the vampire community should you wish to invest the time tracking them down and hoping they don't report you to Facebook for trying to add them as a friend.
Merticus: Personally I prefer the established forum style interactions where people typically thought about what they were writing before they posted a reply. Though I am glad the majority of the active community is on Facebook and not Tumblr, Ning/Spruz, or other smaller, convoluted, and otherwise terribly interfaced social networking services.
Merticus: (2) I believe that the smartphone-centered social networking platform/communities are bringing individuals/groups together that otherwise would have remained isolated - either by choice or ignorance. This blending of personalities and viewpoints has led to an increase in "drama" and interpersonal hostilities - something I don’t think we could have avoided.
Merticus: A notable example of this are participants from the Gotham (or New York City) vampi(y)re community joining Facebook groups and communicating with non-NY/NJ/Tri-State vampires of vasty different backgrounds and cultural histories on the subjects of real vampirism, donors, hierarchy, and so forth. Both sides are coming to realize that their respective communities did not develop in a vacuum or without borrowed traditions and distinct idealogical divides exist.
Merticus: Many have asked me why I don’t use the ban hammer more often on the Vampire Community News (VCN) Facebook group and the main reason is because I’m not looking to further isolate individuals into other groups, be accused of bias against a particular individual/clique, or assume a central arbiter role for social behaviors in the community.
Merticus: I would like to keep the primary discussion focused on community news related matters - not general discussions. This is also why the moderators close the threads after a certain number of replies or after warnings go unheeded to cut out particular behaviors.
Merticus: I’m no fan of Facebook. I use it because that is where the sea of humanity has seemed to congregate – vampi(y)res among them. The vampire community needs to be careful with whom we are communicating (criminals, pedophiles, scam artists, etc.) over this more open medium and not allow this platform to undermine what we’ve accomplished.
Merticus: (3) Honestly? Probably not. I think earnest attempts can be made for encouraging greater respect or at the very least more appropriate or civilized behaviors but there will always be those who aren't willing to play well with others.
Merticus: There will also be individuals who view themselves (or their ideas about vampirism) or their groups as superior to the larger community and will choose to isolate themselves in their own closed-off niche or area of the community.
Merticus: (4) After nearly two-decades of OVC (Online Vampire Community) versus VC (Vampire Community - implying offline) distinctions I would really like to see this line of demarcation be sat aside. I believe we're now mostly all interconnected via our smartphones and other technology and the people we know offline we communicate with online and often vice-versa.
Merticus: This said, I think people who have never met other self-identified vampires in person (face to face) need to make a concerted effort towards doing so as the opportunity permits. I’ve met well in excess of 200+ self-identified vampires over the last decade and would not trade these interactions with those I’ve had online or even over the telephone.
Merticus: I hate to put a damper on some people's perceptions, but if you're reading this transcript via your computer, tablet, or smartphone I consider you to be part of the "online vampire community". This doesn't mean you aren't also part of the "offline vampire community" or a group that doesn't like to socialize with sanguinarian/psychic/etc. vampires aka “other vampi(y)re community”.
Merticus: Those choosing to make blanket statements swearing off the entire "online vampire community" often appear self-centered and woefully ignorant of the benefits of working with others who share differing opinions. Playing this card in order to cast the perception that you're "above the fray" or "offer something exclusive and intimate that can't be obtained elsewhere" is disingenuous to those who most admire you.
Merticus: Some of us are never going to agree with the reasons we identify as vampi(y)res but at the very least I think we should be willing to concede that we’re all part of the “Vampire Community or Subculture”.
Merticus: Our identities as "real vampi(y)res" are not as black and white as sanguinarian, psychic/psi/pranic, and living vampi(y)res. We self-
identify as "real vampi(y)res" for different reasons and perhaps for some of us because of the pressures of wanting to be accepted by a disparate social group.
Merticus: Some of us are seeking medical answers, some of us are seeking to belong to magickal traditions, some of us are seeking personal improvement, and some of us are simply seeking to exist without being labeled or categorized.
Sylvere: I don't think it's possible to do away with the distinction between VS and OVS because 1.) There are some vampires who are not online, either because they don't want to be or because they don't have the means; and 2.) Because there are vampires who are online yet are simply not interested in participating in the larger VS.
Sylvere: I think it's a mistake to ignore those individuals when discussing the VS as a whole.
ThePinkLady: 1: Pros: Easy access, free access, mix with diverse groups from all over the planet, immediacy of communication. Cons: That immediacy is a double-edged sword.
Mikyla: I'm not entirely interested in the offline VS, with the exception of a select few.
Sylvere: As far as the pros/cons of Facebook are concerned, the only pro is that so many people do have accounts and are, therefore, able to interact with more people.
Sylvere: However, that is also a con since the bad behavior that was once contained at least to some extent is amplified.
Mikyla: That's definitely true, Sylvere.
Mikyla: I enjoy Facebook for what it is - a place to play games.
Victoria: I think the only pro of using Facebook is that people receive the messages along with their usual game playing & chatting instead of having to make time for another forum. I'd agree that it's a necessary evil. I'm not fond of it myself.
ThePinkLady: For me, FB is a location tool. I've all but given up on public discourse of any sort there. I belong to several groups, read what others have to say, and reach out to them if they seem like reasonable, rational people.
xeurika: People should be aware that if it's on Facebook, it's pretty much public knowledge, and can affect employment as well.
Sylvere: I don't think the bad behavior is going anywhere anytime soon until/unless the MODERATORS step up and call a halt to it. However, since FB's group moderation abilities are woefully lacking, I don't see *that* happening anytime soon either.
ThePinkLady: Sylvere: It would be easier if people would accept two things: One, there's nothing private on FB, and two, there will always be assholes.
Sylvere: Agreed.
Mikyla: Definitely.
Sylvere: And learn to make liberal use of the Block button.
ThePinkLady: I mean, come on, you can't say something private on FB if you say it to someone else.
Sylvere: And saying something in a group on FB does not equal privacy.
Sylvere: You might as well post it on your wall.
xeurika: Exactly, nothing on Facebook equals privacy.
Sylvere: Which is why I don't grok people whining about FB's privacy policies. Ain't nothin private in Teh Intartubez.
ThePinkLady: People need to stop being astonished that they said something on their FB or in a private group that other people didn't like. If you truly meant your opinion, you'd stand behind your opinion, even when others found your opinion distasteful and inappropriate, or you need to find the ability to apologize for your statements.
ThePinkLady: Ties back into the whole grand/narse thing.
Victoria: But that's not new. Nothing else on the internet has ever been private.
Merticus: Section (2): Do you believe that Facebook and other smartphone-
centered social networking platforms are enabling behaviors and attitudes which would not have otherwise presented in more structured forums, blog, and static website postings?
ThePinkLady: 2: Yes. FB's structure encourages fluid communication. It's hard to tell people to take an off-topic discussion on a FB group to private message because PMs don't really work on FB's mobile app. There's little separation between the public or group discussion space and a conversation between 2-4 people.
Sylvere: *Enabling* no... highlighting what was already there, yes.
Mikyla: Oh, I definitely agree with that Sylvere. We've all been on that blog/forum with those people. They already existed outside of FB.
ThePinkLady: Yeah, and Farcebook gave them a stage and handed them a top hat and cane.
Merticus: Section (3): Are self-identified vampires capable of achieving a broad environment of respect, cooperation, and non-combativeness without fragmenting into smaller tribes of like-minded individuals who choose to break off from the broader group?
ThePinkLady: 3: Capable, possibly. Willing? I highly doubt it.
ThePinkLady: How many people are willing to be a part of the whole instead of the leader?
Victoria: Not a chance. We're not super-human. If such a thing were within the realms of possibility, we'd have world peace by now.
Sylvere: I have to go with no on that one. No more than any large group of individuals are. The BDSM/kink community is a prime example of people not getting along just because they happen to share one common trait.
ThePinkLady: LGBT is another.
Sylvere: No joke.
xeurika: Of course we're capable, and the first step to a non-combative dialogue is don't go looking for a fight.
Merticus: Section (4): Do you believe the time has come to evolve past the highly subjective distinctions between the OVC (Online Vampire Community) and VC (Vampire Community) now that most of us are connected by technology, smartphones, and blended online/offline interactions?
Merticus: In other words, should we more formally recognize that we are all sociologically part of the same community but share very diverse and sometimes irreconcilable differences in how we interpret our identity and/or practice our personal vampi(y)rism?
ThePinkLady: Xeurika: Separating the discussion from the people involved? I think too many people see disagreement with ideas as value judgments.
xeurika: Agreed PinkLady.
Sylvere: Do we need to formally recognize those things? Definitely. Should we eliminate the distinction between VS and OVS? No.
Victoria: I think the distinction has always been semantic. There will always be people you can connect with IRL & people who are impossibly far away. It makes no difference what you call it.
ThePinkLady: 4: It's high time this happened. I still contend that Internet access is a barrier, maybe not as much as it used to be. However, we need to stop belittling people who aren't wholly offline or online. Not everyone lives this harmonious blended technological existence.
ThePinkLady: In other words, "cybervamps" are so 1996. XD
Sylvere: There are always going to be vampires who are not online or are not interested in participating in online vampire groups.
Sylvere: We can't ignore those individuals.
Sylvere: Especially if we're talking about helping emerging vampire communities in other countries.
ThePinkLady: There will be people who benefit from the community's research and creations who will never interact with any of us or "the community" at all, ever.
Sylvere: They *exist* without the internet.
ThePinkLady: Anyone who ever typed "real vampires" into a search engine and found SphynxCat's or Sangi's website, for example.
ThePinkLady: That too.



Merticus: c. Donor Integration & Treatment In The Vampire Community - A Three-Part Question: (1) Under what circumstances, if any, should donors be actively involved in vampire community politics or activities?
Merticus: (2) As a vampire, how do you involve your donor(s) in vampire-
related matters (albeit House, group, or socially) and how are they treated?

Merticus: (3) As a donor, do you believe your opinions matter within the vampire community and that you are treated fairly?
Belfazaar: 1. Should they be part of the vampire community politics? I don’t even want to be a part of vampire politics, not really, though they do have some insight on issues that we may not think of, especially in the arena of sanguine needs.
Belfazaar: They can, as we do, provide valuable aid in things OTHER than just providing a “tasty snack” for us. Should they be part of vampiric activities? Be respected? Be treated with the dignity and respect their vampire wants to be treated with? OF COURSE THEY SHOULD
Belfazaar: 2. Donors are allowed in the House of Mystic Echoes as FULL members. They are allowed to have say in matters that affect our House because THEY too will feel any effects of changes.
Claycat: c1) Donors are already active in VC politics and activities. And that is how it should be. Building bonds with donors and providing safe spaces for them means more vampires are likely to have donors.
Claycat: c2) When I’ve had donors, they were welcome to attend Meetups and gatherings with me, if they wanted to. I don’t belong to a house, so that is not applicable to me.
DeloresDeMuse: Donors should be held in the highest regard, however when it comes to matters of the house or organization where a vote is needed? Well, that is up to each house. As far as the community goes, it would seem that we all belong as one with separate issues to be addressed separately at times.
Heidica: 1) As our (Norwegian) community so far has mostly psi feeding vampires this question is hard for me to answer at this point. Personally I would not understand the need for my personal donor to interact in most vampire matters except the parts actually deals with donors and feeding, but a vampire is more than our need for energy.
Heidica: I do believe a donor should have rights and be treated with respect though. Vampire activities should be open for both donors and vampires.. and friends and relatives who wish to participate as well.
Heidica: 2) I involve my personal donors in my social interactions with the vampire community, if they so wish. They are always treated with respect and I see it as my personal responsibility to make sure they are at all times.
HorusSat: Nella LIRV gli RV e i donatori convivano nella stessa realtà associativa (Comunità). La LIRV è una struttura che si prende cura sia dei diritti degli RV che dei Donatori.
HorusSat: La LIRV è dell'idea che Real Vampires e donatori devono convivere insieme nella comunità senza pregiudizio e discriminazione.
HorusSat: La LIRV ha adottato la carta dei “diritti del donatore” che è diventato un punto base importante e principale sul rispetto tra Rv e donatori. Quando si sarà ultimato il processo costitutivo dell'Associazione nazionale, attualmente in atto, un Consiglio Direttivo, che svolge compiti di responsabilità e conduzione sull'Associazione, sarà rappresentato da RV e Donatori assieme.
HorusSat: All'interno della comunità della LIRV i donatori sono persone con gli stessi diritti/doveri dei Real Vampires, quindi con il diritto di voto ed essere votati a cariche amministrative. Questo comporta che gli RV e Donatori siano considerate persone con la stessa parità e dignità, con gli stessi diritti e doveri sociali.
HorusSat: La mancanza di rispetto da parte degli RV sui donatori nella LIRV è vietata dalla normativa dello statuto adottato dalla comunità italiana come statuto dell'associazione dove è riportato che RV e donatori hanno gli stessi identici diritti sociali e civili.
Isealdor: (1) I believe that anyone affected by policies should have the option to have a say in creating or modifying them. As far as activities go, I would say that is ultimately up to the person(s) organizing the activities-
-if someone wants to organize their own by their standards, have at.
Isealdor: (2) First, I do not see "vampire" and "donor" as mutually exclusive terms--not all people are simply one or the other; I know a significant number of people (including one of my two primary donors) who are vampires and also act as donors.
Isealdor: That said, my Houses (both House Lost Haven and my chapter House Etherium) are blended Houses--we have people who identify as vampire, varying types of otherkin, donors, witches, etc, and the amount of say in policies or activities has nothing to do with what someone identifies as.
LadySlinky: C1. This ship has sailed my friends. Donors are actively involved with the whatever we are calling it now politics and activities. They are part of the VVC as well as many houses and some even hold rank in those houses.
LadySlinky: I don’t see how donors being active in the community is any different from friends and family members of any minority being active in their community. It seems silly to be afraid of their involvement. I don’t really see donors going back to being outsiders any time soon.
LadySlinky: 2. My donor chooses not to be a part of the community as he feels it is not a healthy environment and has nothing to offer him. If he was interested he would be welcome to participate at whatever level he chose to do so.
LucienVonWolfe: 1. I see donors as one, if not the, biggest advocate for vampires. Some vampires themselves are donors. Including donors would most definitely offer another perspective and greatly enrich our community. Vampire politics and activities affect donors, so why not include them?
LucienVonWolfe: 2. I only exchange with other vampires, and those individuals are included in all aspects of my life. In relation to vampire/donor relationships, I would consider the donor to be my greatest companion and therefore involved in all matters important to me. They offer us the most beautiful gifts – love, essence, and part of themselves. They should be treated with the greatest of respect.
OctarineValur: 1. I believe that if donors are part of any groups online or offline, that they should be treated with the same dignity, courtesy and decency as any of the vampyric members of these groups, according to at the very least, the Donor Bill of Rights. I do not believe they should hold leadership positions in these groups, or play roles which place donors in political control over the Vampyre Community.
OctarineValur: This is not out of any negative attitude towards donors, but simply a matter of semantics - this is the Vampi(y)re Community - not the Donor Community, after all. Mostly Donors do not form their own groups of Donors, and other than a very few functioning donor-only forums around the world, in my experience very few ever really wish to speak out about their experiences as donors,
OctarineValur: and quite often do not even consider themselves to be a real part of the community - although this view may just be our own experiences in the local sense.
OctarineValur: 2. I treat all my personal donors with the utmost respect and gratitude, as the friends or romantic partners they are. Depending on their level of understanding of vampyrism, I share limited information with them about the community, my own level of involvement in it, and encourage them to participate both online and off if they are willing.
OctarineValur: Several have attended local events in the past, and my own House is open to donors should they wish to join as members.
RavenHarte: As a non-vampire donor, I have quite a lot to say about this subject, but Ill try to keep it short. #1. I do think we should be involved with every "political" or community activity because we ARE the community too.
RavenHarte: Our vampires are our friends, family, and social connects as much as yours. We participate in and sometimes are even RUNNING the house events, rituals, classes just like you do.
RavenHarte: We are not mindless entities without opinions and knowledge, and some of us actually are elders in our own right, and have valuable insight that our status as your donors should not be precluding us from sharing.
RavenHarte: #2. I’m an independent donor now, but when I was donor to only the members of one House, they included me in very much.
RavenHarte: Asked my opinion on many subjects from ritual construction, to training, event planning, you name it. They proved to me that I was valued for far more than just my blood or energy. I was a friend, confidant, and EQUAL.
RavenHarte: #3. As a donor, I have been treated very well by the individual vampires I have chosen to allow to feed from me, from the vampires I chose to learn from, attend functions with, and create friendships with.
RavenHarte: However from the community at large, I have been treated as a second class citizen, even when those vampires knew that I am a respected Elder in my own line, my local Pagan and spiritual community, and in other alternative communities.
Sanguinarius: 1. When it involves decisions that will directly affect them.
Sanguinarius: 2. I have no current donors but if I did, I would invite them along to the Tucson Otherkin Meet'n'Greets that we hold and the various Tucson Otherkin activities. I don't have a House or anything, so I can't involve them or not involve them in that, but I would create a circle for them to exist in that is part of the House. They would have a say in things that mattered to them but not necessarily ALL things vampire-related in the House.
Sanguinarius: I would be respectful of hem and treat them well. They freely choose to give us their energy and sometimes blood and should be respected for that, if nothing else.
Sylvere: Donors should always be included in the VS if they desire to be. There is nothing that affects vampires that does not extend to donors. Since my donors are also my lovers/friends, they are treated as any cherished lover or friend should be treated - with utmost respect and gratitude for their contribution to my well-being.
ThePinkLady: 1: Those who wish inclusion should have inclusion. Those who prefer to stay out of the community should have their rights respected but it should be made clear that they are welcome to participate if they so choose.
ThePinkLady: The whole "donors are food and have no say" bullshit is exactly that.
ThePinkLady: There, I said it in public.
xeurika: Personal thoughts are simple: Donors are doing us a big favor. They should be treated with respect and gratitude.
xeurika: It tend to be accommodating to those who do me favors. They can be involved as they choose.
Victoria: I see no reason donors should be excluded from any type of vampire community forum. They are the foundation we all need to keep the community going, but that does not mean we have a right to walk all over them.
Sylvere: Frankly, I can't imagine *not* including them in the VS since they are such an integral part of my life. I don't understand vampires who objectify donors by comparing them to a cheeseburger or whatever. That's degrading and offensive to ME. I can only imagine how the donors must feel.
Victoria: I prefer symbiotic relationships, I am NOT a parasite. Comparing my donors to cattle is abhorrent to me.
Mikyla: It seems to me that, those of us present - and those who chose to respond via messages for inclusion - are in agreement.
Mikyla: Where would any of us, especially the sangs, be without our donors? How could we possibly think to exclude them?
Sylvere: To be blunt, I consider anyone who disagrees to be borderline abusive and entirely unfit for membership in the VVC.
Mikyla: I second that, Sylvere.
Victoria: I agree with Sylvere.
ThePinkLady: 2: My donor knows of the community but prefers to keep out of it. I don't blame him either. We've had philosophical discussions about the nature of vampirism (or hemovoria, as he prefers to call it) that are better than some I've had with other blooddrinkers.
ThePinkLady: He's also a card-carrying skeptic. I imagine he'd try getting into a philosophical discussion with an energy consumer with terrible results.
Sylvere: If ever we were going to construct a RULE, it should be that donors are to be respected and anyone who sees them as nothing more than food should be ostracized from the VS.
Mikyla: Yes!
Victoria: Agreed wholeheartedly.
Sylvere: Not that I'm in favor of any sort of governance, but if I were, that would be where I'd start.
ThePinkLady: Sylvere: That attitude seems more like control issues than anything else
Sylvere: Which attitude?
ThePinkLady: "How dare my blood provider have a say in his/her treatment by me."
Sylvere: Mine or the "donors = food" one?
ThePinkLady: Donors = Food
Sylvere: Doesn't that meet several of the traits of an abusive relationship?
ThePinkLady: Yeah :(
Sylvere: I don't have the domestic violence checklist pulled up at the moment.
Victoria: I think it's an extension of the egotism mentioned in question 1, thinking they're above humans.
Isealdor: Oh, but abusive relationships are in vogue... Twilight (book/movie), anyone?
Victoria: The only way I can see it not being abusive is if the vampire & donor in question are part of a consensual M/s relationship and have signed up for that kind of degradation.
ThePinkLady: Isealdor: Since when has the vampire community mirrored the media? ;)
Sylvere: 50 Shades anyone?
Victoria: When did this become a discussion of the worst books ever written?
Sylvere: Segued from abusive relationships.
Isealdor: PinkLady: Since when hasn’t it?
ThePinkLady: Having acquired a steady donor within the past year, I have a hard time seeing any blood donor as just a food source.
ThePinkLady: I don't know what it's like for energy consumers.
Sylvere: It's similar for me.
Sylvere: I just can't feed from people I have no connection with and the ones who qualify and are willing are in short supply.
ThePinkLady: But the blood testing, the trust with sharp objects--hell, with the whole "I drink blood to get energy" big reveal.
Mikyla: I've never seen my donors as just a food source.
Victoria: I consume sexual energy primarily, so ALL my donors are cherished partners. I don't find it possible to feed on a one-night-stand.
Sylvere: Coming out of the coffin is a big reveal for me too. Especially since so many people think psi vamp = satan worshipper around here.
ThePinkLady: Judging by the responses, is it possible to have a casual relationship with a donor? Ever?
Sylvere: I've heard that some vamps prefer it that way but I've never actually met one.
Victoria: Possible, yes. Far from safe, for either party involved.
Isealdor: Depends on definitions of "casual".
Victoria: I've even had one anonymous donor. NOT gonna happen again.
Mikyla: I think it depends both on your definition of casual and your feeding style.
* Isealdor agrees* think about all the people who say they feed ambiently or off crowds, etc...
Sylvere: I guess if I was one of those psis who can distance feed it might be different. I need as much physical contact as I can get.
Mikyla: I do a lot of ambient feeding at work - cashier at a convenience store. I have very quickly developed "friendships" with my customers, but we aren't going to be hanging out any time soon or anything like that.
Sylvere: I'm capable of ambient feeding but it's a stop-gap measure between "real" feeding sessions.
ThePinkLady: Sounds like ambient/crowd feeding is more about the taker's constraint than anything else.
ThePinkLady: Kind of like how a blood drinker could just pin someone down and get all the blood out. (But I think that would require bath salts and a taste for human flesh. XD)



Merticus: d. Goodwill & Philanthropy Among Vampires: What are different vampire groups, organizations, and individuals doing to assist their local communities (vampiric and non-vampiric)?
Merticus What charities, long-term projects, and assistance is being given to others during difficult economic times and natural disasters? How can others help?
Belfazaar: The House of Mystic Echoes, backed by the New Orleans Vampire Association continues to bring food to the homeless in Jackson Square EVERY year, three times. The New Orleans Vampire Association, in and of itself, is working towards building a homeless shelter that will not only see to the needs of homeless alternative lifestyles (gay, lesbian, pagan) however, it will have an EXTRA benefit.
Belfazaar: The campus will act as a safe haven for gatherings, information (such as books, videos, etc.) and more for both the vampire and otherkin communities. Our next phase is our Federal status as a non-profit. Which we are steadily gaining ground on.
Claycat: I think the New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) is doing a terrific job with helping their community. In my area, we have done smaller projects to help local members during hard times. Anyone can help; you don't have to do it as a group. I donate regularly to charities of my choice.
DeloresDeMuse: Each member can do what they can to develop some sort of community outreach activity in their community. When it comes to big disasters, it has been in my opinion, best to help someone that you know directly if they have been affected. After Katrina we saw a lot of money supposedly being donated to hurricane victims, particularly the funds raised by Presidents Clinton and Bush.
DeloresDeMuse: I have no idea where any of these million went. None whatsoever. Never heard a word about it. Most of the actual help to families came from churches or FEMA, along with the Red Cross. The other organizations seem top heavy and do things like rebuild parks with new equipment while children don't have books for school or rebuild libraries without funding for books or salaries and so what good does this do?
DeloresDeMuse: I say help those you can see. Even if this means a hot meal or handing out a blanket. Because at the end of the day you know someone actually got something.
Heidica: As our community is newly established and very young we haven’t been able to organize much yet and reach out to our local communities in that many ways.
Heidica: We do offer support with house cleanings, healing, information to other alternative organizations and people about vampirism and otherkin though and will continue to do so. We also have offered support and help for persons who do not fit in with the usual pagans/lightworkers/wiccans that we have here, and many of us have been doing much charity work though not under the label vampires.
Heidica: This is something we would like to see happen in the future, giving real vampires a name and a face in our culture and show we are more than feeding individuals with weird habits.
Isealdor: NOVA has several initiatives to assist those in the local community, including feeding homeless feeds on the three major holidays and a GED tutoring program for those who never received their high school diploma. There are many more plans in place for long-term, including expansion of the current programs.
Isealdor: During some of the disasters and storms in the last couple years, various individuals and Houses have done a number of things. House of Mystic Echos took in a number of people who had nowhere to go during Isaac. House Lost Haven donated and arranged for items we needed after the tornado in Joplin to be delivered and several individuals sent monetary aid.
Isealdor: A large number of people participated in various support groups for those who had to evacuate during the fires this past summer in Colorado. For those who aren't in areas where there are organized groups, they can help by donating to the community groups like NOVA, by individually finding someone who needs aid and helping them out, or starting projects or groups to do things locally in their areas.
LadySlinky: d. Here in western Washington State we do things on mostly an as needed or individual basis. If someone has a need we try to pull together to help them out as much as we can. We have had several charity events to help members throughout the years.
LadySlinky: We are a very spread out community so most prefer to do their ongoing charity work on an individual basis rather than as a group. We have members who work with the food banks of their area, work at women’s shelters, donate to third world counties in a variety of charities, and offer their services to charity organizations and more.
LucienVonWolfe: I have heard of groups active in offering food, clothing, resources to their communities during times of need. There is also assistance given to animal organizations. We can all help by getting involved in whatever way we can.
OctarineValur: A few of our members are involved with charity or volunteer work with numerous other organizations in their dayside capacity. Several are human rights advocates in various fields, including involvement with GLBT rights groups, religious freedom advocacy groups, and so on.
OctarineValur: One individual founded and acts as CEO of a rape crisis counseling center which often works in consultation with local law enforcement. Unfortunately the local climate is such that it is considered risky to openly advertise "vampyric good-will" even in terms of doing charity work. Mostly, if anything is done, it is done by means of the dayside.
RavenHarte: I don’t know if I count here since my coven is not Vampire, its Pagan. My coven and grassroots orgs are involved in many charities and fundraising projects. We do a fundraiser every year for breast cancer orgs, did a fundraiser for Haiti, ran my city's VDay organization for 5 years raising money for VDay (the international org working to end violence against women and girls).
RavenHarte: We work with our local LGBTQ community orgs for Pride and political issues. We work hands on with orgs like Second Harvest, Habitat for Humanity and The Big Sweep. I personally volunteered with Family Services for years as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, with another Covener of mine, while my husband worked their Contact program checking on the elderly, and my then teenage son worked as a Teenline call rep.
RavenHarte: All of these we worked with under my coven's name or the name of one of my grassroots orgs, and we live in the Bible belt, so it just shows where there is a will there is a way.
Sanguinarius: I know Belfazaar is doing some good work down in New Orleans, but beyond that, I don't know. I would like to know for myself, though, for my still-developing "Good Vampires Do" section on sanguinarius.org.
Sylvere: I'm not doing anything with my local group anymore. I just don't have time to organize. I'll sit this one out.
Mikyla: I'm not "out of the coffin", so anything I do is as ***** rather than Mikyla. That said, lately I haven't done anything either. In the past, I have done BBBS Bowl for Kids sake, donated blood, and worked with the APL, our local no-kill animal shelter.
Victoria: My group has no philanthropic involvements unless you include the one time we donated our entire operating budget (a couple hundred bucks) to one member who lost their home & had to move out of state.
Mikyla: I am intending to learn how to knit, so once I do - I will be making things to donate.
Mikyla: Oh, I give to United Way and stuff like that, too.
* Sylvere wants to learn to knit too.
Mikyla: Do you have a Joanne's Fabrics near you?
Sylvere: Yep, but no time.
Merticus: What does everyone think of Arden's idea of adopting a family (either community or non-community)?
Isealdor: I love the idea, especially of adopting families within the community--I think it behooves us to look out for our own.
Sylvere: My financial situation precludes me from donating to charity right now. I prefer to donate time/muscle power anyway.
Victoria: It might be too small scale. Maybe volunteering time at a church food pantry? That might just appeal to my sense of irony, though.
ThePinkLady: I do community works on the dayside. Because of my location and the poverty and apathy in what little local community there is around here, it would be hard to get a lot of people to do something actually meaningful for a charity or nonprofit.
Mikyla: I absolutely cannot donate monetarily right now, and while that might change soon, other situations might also change... Money might be tight for many years, if things go right.
Mikyla: I can bake things, though.
Isealdor: I'd disagree with it being too small-scale: everything has to start somewhere. Maybe if this year a few people get together and adopt one or two families. It gets written up in a few of the blogs or on a few of the radios, and next year a few more get adopted. These sorts of things start at small-scale, grass-roots level.
ThePinkLady: Isealdor: I like supporting those with demonstrated need within the community.
ThePinkLady: Natural disasters, illnesses, the "where the hell did this come from" life emergencies.
Mikyla: Since Deacon Gray couldn't make it tonight, I'll speak for the GYP - we will definitely write up anyone doing anything charitable.
ThePinkLady: I also support community businesses whenever I can.
ThePinkLady: I buy books directly from authors, shop people's websites, etc.
ThePinkLady: I think it would be neat to have some kind of holiday auction where folks raffle off their goods or talents. A tarot reading from this person, custom jewelry from this person, etc.
Isealdor: Having /been/ someone who has directly received aid from various individuals around the community who stepped up when the tornado went through Joplin, I can say even small things make a difference
Mikyla: I love that idea, PinkLady.
Isealdor: PinkLady: NOVA already does some of that sort of thing, like Zaar offers tarot readings with proceeds during the holidays going toward the NOVA homeless feeds.
Isealdor: And we recently did the first phase of a few of an art auction for NOVA to help raise money for the feeds and to get Federal NPO status.
Victoria: This year I've sponsored the Midwest Witches Ball in the name of our local vampire group. I thought of that more as paid advertising than philanthropy.
Sylvere: One of the kink groups here does a yearly charity auction and it always raises a considerable amount of money. If we did something similar it would be great but the logistics would be nightmarish.
ThePinkLady: Hrm. I would suggest an eBay page but eBay's cracked down on the intangibles allowed to be sold on their site. XD
Sylvere: As long as there is some material value to the item it's ok, you just can't raise the price to cover the intangible.
ThePinkLady: I like the idea of people contributing their time and effort or something they can write off as a business expense.
ThePinkLady: Oh, so it's still possible to auction off a tarot reading on eBay, for example?
Sylvere: No, but you can auction off a spell kit.
Sylvere: You're charging for the materials but not the "magic."
Isealdor: There are plenty of other auction sites that work well, and have been gaining popularity since some of the new eBay regulations have gone into effect.
Sylvere: You can't jack the price up to $50 for a candle and some incense.
Merticus: Anything else to add?
ThePinkLady: Nope.
Sylvere: Nada.



Merticus: e. Other topics you’d like to bring up for discussion?
Heidica: Jeg synes ideen med felles prosjekter hvor vi sammen sender energi til bestemte mål eller personer er spennende og noe vi bør kunne utforske og videreføre i fremtiden.
Heidica: I would like to say that the idea of sending and directing energy together as a group as it was done with the storm in New Orleans and when Anya Rakoczy’s area was on fire has been inspiring and I hope we will be able to do more such in the future.
Heidica: Its gathering and beneficial in many ways to work together for someone or something and I noticed several community members who usually doesn’t participate that much doing just that when it was needed. A very good thing to see.
Heidica: I also want to thank everybody who sent me healing energy and good wishes when I was in the hospital, it really helped a lot!
Heidica: I think it can be done for other community members when they need it with good results and I wish to participate in such projects as do the others in my community over here in Norway.
OctarineValur: Ek sien uit daarna om in saamewerking met ons lede na n sterker Suid Afrikaanse Vampier Gemeenskap te streef. Ons hoop om ten spuyte van die onlangse gebeurtenisse nogsteeds vordering te maak in die groei van ons groepe en ons plaaslike kutuur, sonder om weereens onder die dekmantel te verdwyn.
OctarineValur: Dit is ons eie siening dat as ons iets gehad het om weg te steek of oor skaam te wees, sou ons nie in die eerste plek ons kultuur so openbloot begin vertoon het nie. Die redes vir party se negatiewe optrede of gevoelens tot oor Vampiere en die Vampier Gemeenskap le, in in oorweldigende mate in die vorm van die godsdienstige vooroordeelsugtugheid tenoor die onbekende en die ongewoon, en dit kom neer tot presies die selfde punt as vervolging om godsienstelike gronde.
OctarineValur: Omdat vervolging om godsdientelike redes ongrondwetlik in hierdie land is, en dat dit verskye ander wette oortree, hoort hierdie beginsel, ten munste in die geval van debat, n goeie beginpunt te vorm.
Merticus: IV. Business Reminders
Merticus: Refer to the forum for all current discussions.