Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Vampire Rights Movement

Two things have occurred to me:

1) We could begin by researching the various (and many) minority/human rights groups.  We might then make an intelligent proposal explaining how the vampire community is a valid identity group.  Point is, if we get larger organizations to acknowledge our movement, we advance the movement.

2) There are a number of declarations and manifestos of the rights of individuals.  Perhaps we can construct a similar document for the vampire community based upon these extant agreements.

I don't know.  I'm just throwing this out there.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nuts and Bolts Interview

1.  How would you define the term 'Vampirism' in general, in a way that encompasses the beliefs of the majority of the community?

There exists an entity of living energy all around us and in the universe. This energy is both alive itself and imbues all things with life of one degree or another. A vampire is an adept at energy play, an adept at tapping into this living energy for self-benefit. A vampire knows how to take what energy they want and need and use it for their own purposes.

2.  Many people know self-described Vampires as people that cut themselves in order to suck on each other's blood. Would you say that's an accurate description of a majority practice? If so, what is the purpose?

If the simple definition of vampire involves the taking of blood, we should add every phlebotomist in the world to our ranks.

People who cut themselves in order to drink or offer blood are suffering from a psychiatric disorder that I’m not qualified to discuss at any length.  It stems from something other than the idea of being a vampire

This is a semantic issue that we in the community need to face, and sooner rather than later.

3.  Why does the community base its beliefs/name upon a mythological/fictional creature?

Let’s look at how mythology is determined.  I’ve heard it said that mythology was cutting edge technology and science of an earlier age.  Mythology was a way of explaining what could not otherwise be explained in terms an average person can understand.  

My mentor was not looking at the vampire as the creature of legend.  Instead, she saw a vampire archetype that seemed to be common to human beings around the world.  The common denominator when everything was boiled down and examined was a creature that somehow was able to take living energy and life force.  

What we call vampire appears in many guises.  

•        In the Philippines, the aswang is an extraordinarily beautiful woman by day, but at night, she turns into a flying monster.  Her preferred prey are local children, and she does not feast on their blood so much as steal away the energy that keeps them alive.  
•        The civatateo of the Aztec Empire were servants of the central god Tezcatlipoca.  This status was their afterlife reward for having died in childbirth, which to the Aztecs was as noble as dying in battle.  Hideous to look upon, the civatateo were especially fond of feeding on children, perhaps in a kind of revenge for the infants that claimed their own lives.  To a mortal, a child would appear to be dying of a wasting illness.   
•        Appearing in many Japanese folktales, the kitsune is a shape-shifter.  Most often she takes the form of a wild fox or a beautiful maiden.  Sex is her device for feeding from a victim.  The kitsune is also a great prankster. 
•        Lamia was once the queen of Libya.  As punishment for some affront, the goddess Hera slew Lamia’s children.  As revenge, Lamia abandoned her mortal form to drift through the countryside draining the blood of infants.  Later, lamia was any child-killing demon.
•        The rakshasa is an especially powerful vampire in India.  Its shape-shifting abilities are unparalleled.  At the very least a human can be struck with nausea and vomiting just by passing through the area where a rakshasa has been.  A young boy who, for whatever reason, eats human brains will become a rakshasa. 
•        Greece has an especially rich vampire tradition, and the common name for these creatures is vrykolakas.  They can be created through improper burial, immorality in life, or dying unbaptized.  Everyone who is killed by the vrykolakas will then become vrykolakas.
•        I can’t leave this subject without mentioning my personal favorite, the Balkan vampire watermelon.  Any object left outside on the night of a full moon was believed to become vampiric, so why not watermelons?  Of course, vampire watermelons aren’t to be feared.  They don’t have teeth, and if they did, they wouldn’t create much horror by biting ankles.  More than anything, they are a nuisance, rolling around and growling at people.  I bet you’ll never look at a watermelon the same way now.

3b. What is a 'real' vampire in your opinion...does everyone in the community believe vampires (people that can't survive without drinking someone else's blood) are real beings?

We never really know what goes through another person’s mind or what intentions they have in their heart.  Therefore I’m not one for examining everybody who claims to be a vampire for an empirical list of symptoms that must be present.  But I can say with confidence that drinking blood does not make anyone more of a vampire than anything else.  Although I know a few vampires who would disagree heatedly with me, there’s simply no such thing as a physiological need to drink blood.  The need, which is very real in some cases, is a psychological.

But we tend to be an open minded and accepting community.  No one is alienated based upon their feeding preferences, provided they are carried out with careful consent and within the guidelines of the law.

4.  Medically, ingesting someone else's blood has not been shown to be of any nutritional or medical value (unless you're losing your own blood) - so is there some other spiritual/metaphysical reason for doing it (if it really is done?)

Transfusions have been a complicated procedure for a very long time, and that is before any patient starts to receive new blood.  All along people have felt that somehow the energy of the donor is somehow passed along to the recipient.  It also hasn’t been that long since transfusions between races was forbidden.  

In any case, the notion of there being more to the blood than just the blood isn’t new.

I can’t give you a personal account of the effects of drinking blood.  I can tell you that people have claimed everything from being restored to the attainment of some kind of Nirvana from blood.

5.  Most of the mainstream literature about vampires involves darkness, death and murder by Vampires. Do you think this might explain the criminal nature of those elements of the vampire community that make the news (murders, assaults, etc...)

Actually mainstream literature is turning the vampire into a romantic hero and finding ways to remove the monster from the legend.  Vampire romances can’t be written quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Literature is not responsible for the mindset of the criminal vampire.  Generally these are people who are hip-deep in problems in the first place.  The interest in vampirism simply masks other problems.

6.  It seems that many mentally disturbed individuals identify themselves as a vampire. Is there a way to know if someone is a 'real' vampire from the vampire community? Is there some central organization or registration?

Mentally disturbed people do a lot of things.  They star in movies, they run for public office, they develop a messianic complex, they hoard Twinkies, they work as flight attendants.  How do we pick out the mentally secure ones from the sociopaths?  It’s a question facing the vampire community just as it faces society at large.

There are several large organizations within the community (including my own) whose members reflect the ideology of their particular groups.  But there is nothing that includes the entire community.  This matter is currently being hotly debated and solutions are sought, but so far to no avail.

7.  What do you say to people that consider the vampire lifestyle to be delusional, disturbed or just plain 'wrong'?

People have a right to think what they want.  It’s not likely than anything I could say would change their minds.  Sometimes I suggest that following the teachings of a man dead these past two thousand years could be considered delusional as well…but in general I try to keep the peace.

8. Any last words of wisdom or insight about the vampire community for people out there that are sincerely interested in learning the truth about modern day vampires?

We all need to forget what we think we know, and instead try to understand people of all types for who they are, even if their existence is somehow beyond our understanding.  Individuals should define the community rather than the community defining individuals.  And if you have a question, ask!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Vampire's Statement on Missing Teen

Gentle Readers,

I do not speak for everyone who identifies with the vampire community or participates in the vampire lifestyle.  But I can speak for my swath of the community--the Order of Maidenfear, Vampgeist Creative Media, Tacrostica, Vampire Evolution, and Vampire Entente.  In that capacity I would like to address the case of Shelby Ellis.  I'm glad I didn't post what I'd originally written, as the matter appears to have been resolved...more or less.

First I give you the original story to which I was directed early November 2 (or thereabouts).

Missing 16-Year-Old's Parents Fear Girl In Vampire Cult
Only on CBS Atlanta News
(November 1-November 2) 

In an unusual story about three missing kids, CBS Atlanta has learned three Cobb County students all disappeared within a few days of each other.

The three McEachern High School teens were said to be involved a Goth lifestyle, had an obsession with vampires, and then they disappeared each within a week of each other.

Two of the teens turned up over the weekend. But Shelby Elllis, a 16 year old sophomore, is still missing and her parents fear the worst.

The question now is what has happened to Shelby Ellis, the remaining missing teen? And does her involvement on an eerie website hold the key.

Rich and Wendy Ellis spoke exclusively with CBS Atlanta's Wendy Saltzman.

"What flashes through my head every day is a girl lying in a ditch on the side of the road," Rich Ellis said.

"No one heard from Shelby. I'm truly afraid she is not alive. What are we supposed to think?" her step-mother, Wendy, said.

Shelby has been missing for three weeks. On Oct. 11, she took the bus to school and never came home. Her last known activity on the Internet was logging onto the website "Vampire Freaks," where her parents say she lived a double life.

"You have the obvious thoughts of pentagrams and candles and the crazy things that you see on TV that are associated with the darker cult lifestyle," Rich Ellis said.

The week after Shelby vanished, one of her friends, a 15-year-old freshman, went missing. A week later, a third girl disappeared.

"The way that they have come up missing one after the other makes us believe-- a lot of things point to that they are in some kind of pact," private investigator Phillip Hambrick told CBS Atlanta News.

The family hired Hambrick to help find their daughter.

"We don't know if she has been coerced to go out somewhere, if she has been kidnapped," Hambrick said.

The common link, the family warns, may be an underground cult.

"A lot of them are in this dark, 'let's be gothic, let's be different, let's suck blood.' All kinds of dark stuff," Wendy Ellis said.

She said the three girls were fascinated with vampires and the dark side of life. They were all students at McEachern High School in Cobb County, although one of the girls was not enrolled this year.

"I know nothing about it," Principal Regina Montgomery told CBS Atlanta News.

When Saltzman went to ask Montgomery about the mysterious connection between her students, the principal had her escorted off the property.

"Do you think it is suspicious that all these girls have disappeared?" Reporter Wendy Saltzman asked.

"Ma'am, can I ask you to leave?" Montgomery said as she walked away.

The other two teens, who were found this weekend, have refused to tell investigators where Shelby might be.

"There are kids that go missing that you never hear from again. I don't want to be here in eight, 10 months still not knowing where our daughter is," Wendy Ellis said.

The Cobb County Sheriff's Office would not provide the details of their investigation because all three girls are under age.

If you have any additional information about Shelby Ellis' whereabouts, please contact the Cobb County Sheriff's Office, or her family at 770-825-2865.

That Shelby apparently has an account at Vampire Freaks, where user groups are (tongue in cheek) called Cults, was enough to establish some kind of nefarious activities involving the vampire community as it exists as a philosophy/practice/society/etc.  This in turn led to various group leaders of the online vampire community to issue statements of their own.

The following is the most recent turn of events.

Missing Cobb County Girl Found Safe
POSTED: 10:44 am EDT November 3 2010
UPDATED: 12:52 pm EDT November 3, 2010

ATLANTA -- A 16-year-old girl who has been missing for over three weeks has been found.

Shelby Ellis, a sophomore at McEachern High School, was found safely in Lakewood, Wash.

According to Ellis' grandmother, she took a bus there and was in a person's home by choice. Her grandmother did not know whose home she was in or how she was found.

She is now in a juvenile detention center awaiting extradition to Atlanta.

Ellis' parents had feared she was involved in some sort of dark cult.

"A lot of them are in this dark, 'Let's be Gothic. Let's be different. Let's suck blood.' All kinds of dark stuff," the girl's mother, Wendy Ellis, said.

Ellis' grandmother thanked CBS Atlanta for getting her story out there so she could be found.

CBS Atlanta News will have more information on this story as it becomes available.

Now I don't want to belabor the obvious here.  I would prefer to take this as an opportunity to remind everyone about symbolism, semantics, and the struggle we have every day in keeping salacious stereotyping apart from beliefs and activities that can be explored and explained if just given the chance.

Walk with me back in time to 1985, when Jesse Helms was a very real threat to alternative communities in the United States.  Along with Robert Walker, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Senator Helms of North Carolina introduced a measure to deny tax-exempt status to certain religious groups--namely Witchcraft and Paganism.  One of Walker's assistants said by way of explanation, "If a person is praying for horrible things and sticking pins into voodoo dolls, that is not the kind of religion that should be supported by a tax exemption."

The two bills were opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and numerous Witchcraft and Pagan organizations.  The ACLU called the two bills "the crudest example of First Amendment infringement." The issue became known as the Helms Amendment.

Maybe you remember the eighties.  Maybe you don't.  But I can remember very clearly an era of witchcraft fear and relating witchcraft to the crudest forms of Satanic worship.  Specifically, I can remember the pentagram being absolutely understood as a symbol of Satanism.  The pentagram was no more the mark of the beast then than it is now, but it was a symbol people could latch onto and cry infernal fuss over.  The poor kids who were tossed out of school (or wherever) because the band shirt they were wearing happened to feature a pentagram!

Anyway.  I have a point, though I'm getting to it slowly.  There was an ignorant mindset in the 1980's involving things most people never bothered to explore, and that same mindset exists in 2010.  "Oh, this poor teenager must have been the brainwashed puppet of some dark dank gothic vampire cult."  But it turns out Shelby Ellis may not have been the lily white innocent she was when said dark vampire cult was under suspicion.

Let's not turn on the fringes of society the second the Shelby Ellis types of the world go missing.  This sounds far too much like the great witch hunts of Western Europe.  Being different is difficult enough without being scapegoats as well.  Instead, let's extend a hand in common interest and our voices/letters to better educate our society.  This is the charge we have in return to the chance to incorporate different aspects into our lives in peace.

And lest I be misunderstood, I am very glad that Shelby Ellis seems to have been found.  No family should ever know that turmoil, whether it is from kidnapping or running away.

The Vampire Entente

Written by Lupia Sappho Wolf

In the dissatisfaction of a growing number of participants in the real vampire community can be found the blueprint for an improved society, a way of bringing vampires together for all of the benefits of group socialization while honoring individual independence.  To put that blueprint into words that can be shared with every vampire was our goal during the Halloween-Day of the Dead revels of 2010.  Here I bring you the result of that effort, and hope I am contributing something positive.

We have chosen the word “entente” for the peaceful and diplomatic overtones it seems to convey.  Civilized societies resolve their difference in peace and diplomacy.  Why should the vampire community be any different?

The Entente espouses an evolved philosophy.  If we assume that all paths of the real vampire existence are legitimate and suited to those who walk them, we have then achieved a global community of acceptance.  Everyone has the basic right to be a vampire as they see fit, and everyone should allow this right.  After all, we are vampires.  It is not for anyone to tell any of us what can and cannot be done.  But this doesn’t need to degenerate into anarchy.  We need to respect each other and other ideas.  Then have we begun to attain the mental freedom and attunement that are the rewards of the vampire.

Groups might try to have members to believe that they owe the group some form of allegiance.  This too conflicts with what is vampire.  Each of us owes allegiance only to ourselves.  Now if we choose to give allegiance, we’re realizing a choice, which returns us to the locus of the allegiance being ourselves.  Along these lines is the question of leaders and hierarchies in vampire groups.  Stratification is far from the free mind of the vampire.  How can such a being be hemmed in by titles and the obstacle courses insisted upon to get these titles?  More often than not the hierarchal structure is a cause for confusion.  Ultimately the path to power is an individual road.

The age of proclaiming our reality has evolved into the age of being and actualizing.  Leaders serve their communities.  If one chooses to join with the community we see the guiding hand of a greater power.  Who are any of us to argue with that authority?

This, then, is the first Vampire Entente, designed to raise our awareness and lay the foundation for a vampire evolution.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Standard Q & A

What is your definition of a vampire?

There exists an entity of living energy all around us and in the universe. This energy is both alive itself and imbues all things with life of one degree or another. A vampire is an adept at energy play, an adept at tapping into this living energy for self-benefit. A vampire knows how to take what energy they want and need and use it for their own purposes.

How does your definition compare or contrast to that of the vampiric
community? Do you consider yourself a part of the community?

I seem to be taking a more metaphysical and philosophical approach which at the same time allows for great freedom of interpretation

How do you identify yourself? What kind of vampire are you?

Well, I learned the hard way that "Hi, I'm a vampire" doesn't sit well with most people.  But also the vampiric part of me is so natural it's like identifying myself by my hair color.  But if I am speaking about vampires, I identify with the ambient/pranic variety.

How/when did you discover that you were different from other people? Did you
reflect these traits at a young age or as you got older?

I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware that I was a little different, but I also can't say I was ever the outsider among the kids of my age.  I always had a knack for leadership.

What do you think made you a vampire? Do you think it was forced or more of
a personal choice?

I was blessed with the ability to approach the living energy of the universe using the limited tools that come with being human.  The whole joining forces was like a stream running into a river.  For me it's been natural progression.

How do other people respond when you tell them you are a vampire?

I don't come out with it bluntly, for starters.  I try to get talking about my own theories on the subject and demonstrate that I'm talking about something very real.  By the time I introduce the word vampire, I've overcome a lot of skepticism.

Define the term "energy". What does it mean to you? How do you obtain the
energy you need?

To me energy is that abstract concept of that which gives life and power.  My ritual of acquisition is something I've been refining for over twenty years now.  Essentially it begins with entering the meditative state.  Relaxed and centered, I am able to travel not as a human body but as a cloud of particles.  These particles join up with the universal energy and I am able to recall them for my use. 

Do you believe that all vampires need to consume energy? Why or why not?

All beings need to consume energy.  That's crucial to actually being a "being".

Describe the relationship between average people and vampires. What are your

Well, I know I could be very flagrant and obnoxious about it, but what good would that really do me.  Being a vampire is a strong part of me, but it is not a superficial part of me.  There are really only a handful of people I've ever gotten deep enough with to start discussing real vampirism.

Have you ever been in a relationship with a non-vampire?
What was it like? What did the other person think of you being a vampire?

Most of my relationships have been with non-vampires.  i think I tend to assume a dominant role in the first place, so the vampire/non vampire hook up works well.  Most have felt that as long as I'm not taking unnecessary risks it's fine.

Have you ever been in a relationship with a vampire? If so, how is it
different from being in a relationship with an average person?

I've found it to be uncomfortably intense, as if the rise and fall of civilization depended upon every word.

What happens when two vampires procreate? What happens when a vampire and a
human procreate?

Er, to the best of my knowledge, they have a baby.  What happens to that baby is anyone's guess.

Do you currently have a donor?

I don't really need one, but I am the administrator for a monogamous feeding circle that undergoes regular testing, etc.  I do the paperwork to keep everyone safe.

What is the best and worst thing about being a vampire?

The best thing is how the world just seems so much more vibrant and interesting.

The worst thing is this social drive to organize and regulate.  That's not what being a vampire is about.

Monday, October 11, 2010

And Some Things Never Die...


From Jonathon Sharkey:
October 11, 2010:

Greetings In Blood,
Here is an email from Austin Smoak who supposedly is doing this Vampyre documentary in New Orleans. I think she's taken the Vampyre community for a ride.
If she's selling it for $10 million, why is she asking for donations?
Audrianna and I have already been paid, so I personally am out no money on this.
I am about to become a member of the SGA and WGAE. Hence, I have an obligation to bring forth illegal activities in the movie business.
If you do not think Austin filmed me, go to the videos on my IMDb page, you'll find the proof.

Do Svidaniya,
Nel Sangue,
Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey (R)
Presidential Candidate
If you're not with me, then you're my enemy! 
(My IMDb page)
(My YouTube Page)

--- On Fri, 9/17/10, austin smoak <> wrote:

    From: austin smoak <>
    Subject: Re: Buying your documentary
    To: "Jonathon Sharkey" <>
    Date: Friday, September 17, 2010, 6:01 PM

    We're planning to sell the doc out here for about $10 million. We have some pretty good interest but for a quick sale I could probably sell it to you for around 8.5 million. I'd need to talk to my other producers but if you're interested- let me know.

    On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 3:43 PM, Jonathon Sharkey <> wrote:

        Greetings Austin,
        I saw you are trying to rise $5,500 for the documentary. I have a few meetings next week with money people.
        How much would you sell me the footage and documentary for? 

        Do Svidaniya,
        Nel Sangue,
        Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey (R)
        Presidential Candidate
        If you're not with me, then you're my enemy! 
        (My IMDb page)
        (My YouTube Page)

    Austin Smoak

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Really Need To Say Something

I've just received yet another e-mail asking for some kind of donation to be made to a vampire group or cause.  Now I'm sorry if my experience in budgeting and weighing expenses happens to be of a professional grade, as it is because I've been running my own businesses since 1995.  Vampgeist Creative Media, however, has benefited from that practical experience.  We're offering many quality services to the community for free.  We have never implemented a donation drive.  And let's be clear, it isn't because I'm independently wealthy!  Planning, people.  That's all it takes--present action with an eye to the future.