The views expressed in the following articles do not necessarily reflect those held by the individual members of the Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC); nor is any endorsement implied or expressly given by the presentation of these resource articles.
Definition Of Real Vampirism
A vampire is essentially an energy feeder or blood drinker that may display various levels of psychic ability. While the causality, interpretation, and sometimes even the “proper” spelling of vampirism are debated, vampires are generally individuals who cannot adequately sustain their own physical, mental, or spiritual well-being without the taking of blood or vital life force energy from other sources; often human. Without feeding the vampire will become lethargic, sickly, depressed, and often go through physical suffering or discomfort. Vampires often display signs of empathy, sense emotions, perceive auras, and are generally psychically aware of the world around them. To a degree, the specifics of vampirism manifest differently on an individual basis and these nuances sometimes insulate the confusion in defining the vampiric range of ability and experience. The alternate spelling of “Vampyre” is sometimes used depending on the path from which one approaches vampirism. There are numerous vampiric Paths, Houses, Orders, Associations, and Groups within the vampire community that exist both online and offline; often each having their own unique philosophies, teachings, ethical tenets, and protocols.
Sanguinarian (Sang) Vampires feed by the drinking of blood - either human or animal. Sanguinarian vampires can vary in their experience of blood hunger and in how often or in what quantities they need to feed, but the unique craving for blood and the physical symptoms associated with neglecting to drink blood are unifying features of sanguinarian vampirism. The consumption of blood from human sources is facilitated through a consensual agreement by verbal or written contract between vampire and donor. Not all members of the vampire community actually acknowledge the difference between psychic and sanguinarian vampirism, and there is a popular but not universally-held theory within the vampire community that the life force energy or "prana" contained within the blood is the source from which they feed, rather than any physical component of the blood itself. This theory is supported by the notably small amount of blood that vampires consume to alleviate their hunger; usually one to two tablespoons, but challenged by the fact that vampires who consider themselves primarily blood drinkers often do not display as many or any of the psychic tendencies that psychic vampires do, and more often report more physical symptoms, such as sense acuity and physical strength, than do the psychic vampires.
Psychic (Psi) Vampires are understood to feed psychically on life force energy. Psi (or psy) feeding is usually performed on a willing individual or from the ambient energies of a large group or crowd. This term is often mistakenly confused with the pop psychology use of "psychological vampire", used as a metaphor to describe specific socially manipulative behaviors. Psi vampire, refers to a vampire who feeds by some manner of energy transfer; this term may also be shortened to psivamp. Psy vampire, and "psychic vampire" are sometimes considered synonyms for psi vampire, but are also sometimes employed as separate terms with distinctive meanings. For example, "psi" is often employed as a synonym for ESP phenomena in parapsychology, and "psy" is short for either "psychic" or "psychological". Those who make distinctions between these terms may use these meanings as the basis for their reasoning.
Hybrid or Psi/Sang Vampires claim to have no primary feeding method, being able to feed from either source at any time. Others report changing their primary feeding source from energy to blood, or vice versa, at various points in their lives. Some, but not all, vampires who can feed or have fed via both methods choose to describe themselves as Psi/Sang or Hybrid vampires. Still other community members go further to define sub-classes of vampirism based on the detailed methods and sources of psychic feeding. These classes are most often distinguished from one another based on the type of energy gained. Those who feed from natural or elemental energy, and those who feed from humans either during sexual contact, during magickal rituals, or during times of high emotional output may be described as specific types of vampires. Further subcategories of psi feeding energy exist, including terminology to describe those who feed from direct contact with the human aura, those who feed from the ambient energy of crowds and public places, those who can only absorb certain kinds of emotions, etc.
Definition Of Real Vampirism - Vampirism & Energy Work Research Study Copyright 2005-2012; Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] & Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This article may be redistributed, translated, or adopted by other organizations provided there are no content modifications and full citation is included.
Demystifying ‘Real’ Vampirism For The Rest Of Us An overview of modern vampirism for the general public
Psychic and sanguinarian vampires are individuals who cannot adequately sustain their own physical, mental, or spiritual wellbeing without the taking of blood or vital lifeforce energy from other sources. Without feeding a vampire will become lethargic, sickly, depressed, and often go through physical suffering or discomfort. Such individuals generally consider “real vampirism” to be an extension of personal identity rather than a lifestyle. While there are those who self-identify as psychic or sanguinarian vampires who adhere to the “vampire lifestyle” by adopting a vampire aesthetic, wearing prosthetic fangs, or participating in roleplay games, vampi(y)re lifestylers are not synonymous with those who believe they must feed on psychic or life energies and/or blood. Blood fetishism and sanguinarian vampirism are likewise not synonymous and exist as their own distinct subcultures. Blood fetishists are aroused by seeing, smelling, and touching blood whereas sanguinarian vampires believe that the drinking of small quantities of blood represents a health and quality of life issue – a need rather than a desire.
Real vampirism does not constitute a cult, a religion, a paraphilia, an offshoot of the BDSM subculture, a community composed exclusively of delusional or mentally ill participants, and is not what is depicted in fictional books, on television, or in movies. The use of obsolete psychiatric diagnostic terminology such as “Clinical Vampirism”, “Renfield’s Syndrome”, and “Autovampirism” or the comparison of vampirism to the medical condition known as Porphyria is inaccurate and without merit. Vampirism is not considered a religion by the majority of self-identified vampires whose most commonly reported religious and spiritual beliefs include Atheism, Paganism, Christianity, Satanism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shamanism, Magick, Occultism, Wicca, and Vampi(y)ric Spirituality. Some in the media and in academia have chosen to characterize vampires as criminals who engage in subversive and dangerous practices. Real vampires are mistakenly thrust into the same categories as ritual animal or human sacrifice, cannibalism, fetishism, fanatical religious expression, and labeled as unstable threats to themselves and others. The overwhelming majority of self-identified vampires adhere to ethical and safe feeding practices, are of sound mind and judgment, and productively contribute to society.
Many self-identified vampires report that they suffer from asthma, migraine headaches, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other endocrine system related disorders exceeding typical prevalence rates with comorbidity of possible adrenal or pituitary dysfunction. Due in large part to increased sociological-based scholarship there persists a hope that not only will there be more awareness on the part of the general public as to the practices and beliefs of “real-life vampires”, but also increased interest from medical researchers. Some sanguinarian and even psychic vampires would like to see genetic and other comprehensive medical testing conducted to help determine what about them, if anything, is truly aberrant from the rest of humanity. Even those self-identified vampi(y)res not searching for answers through medical science only wish to be left to their own devices and exist among us without fear of ridicule or hostility. Healthy skepticism and analytical thinking aren’t enemies of the vampire community – they are essential tools integral to the growth and understanding of vampiric identity.
By Merticus; Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] & Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC February 10, 2013 - This article may be redistributed, translated, or adopted by other organizations provided there are no content modifications and full citation is included.
The Vampiric Ethos Contributions By: Sylvere ap Leanan, Michelle Belanger, Merticus, Zero, Maloryn, & RedRaven
We recognize the intrinsic value of everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or spiritual philosophy. We do not follow or promote any particular religious, political, or philosophical creed. Our community strives to create an atmosphere in which individuals are not only free to create their own meanings, values, and convictions, but also expected to do so. To that end, this document represents a basic premise for ethical, educational, and safety awareness within the vampire community.
Use of the phrase "vampire community" implies all those who actively participate in the discourse and social interaction surrounding vampirism. This includes those who personally identify with the psychic (psi), pranist, sanguine (sang), or living vampi(y)re archetype and subsequently practice what is known as modern vampirism. It includes the donors who many such vampires rely on and trust with their health and safety. It also includes those friends, advocates, and supporters who contribute their own voices to online discussion and offline interaction, as well as those who approach the community in the spirit of sincere discussion. Though it is primarily intended as a forum for vampires and donors to share their experiences, the vampire community is the result of all of these types of participation. There is no class system within the community, and we reject any imposed social structure which values some community members over others. All of us are relevant to the community and to each other.
If we want the respect of others, we must in turn be willing to afford them the same respect. Our beliefs evolve from our own unique experiences; there is no one set of "rules", nor one path that's right for everyone. There is no harm in disagreements amongst one another; however, discourteous behavior should be avoided when possible. We promote the fair treatment of others with open-minded contemplation of their views. However, it violates our principles to expect undeserved deference, or to accommodate that expectation in others. We will not grant respect to those who by their actions prove themselves unworthy of such. The vampire community is comprised of individuals with diverse social backgrounds and spiritual paths. Although we may not agree with someone else's belief, practice, or tradition, we all have a common right to exist, and to participate in the community.
We encourage originality and self-expression tempered by personal accountability. Each of us is solely responsible for our own words and behavior. No member of our community, whether vampire, donor, or advocate is isolated from the rest -- our actions reflect not only on ourselves, but also on the rest of the community. More adept or tenured members of the community should assist those who ask for advice, each in accordance with their own ability and absent of any personal agenda. We recognize the existence of sensationalist media and its potential threat to both the safety and privacy of ourselves and our loved ones. We expect those members of our community who appear in public, whether at social functions, in print, or on the Internet, the radio, or film to act in accordance with these principles -- to conduct themselves at all times in a responsible manner.
The vampire community is the result of its members engaging in self-discovery; it is not a prefabricated identity. Whether one is a vampire or donor, a friend or supporter, the substance of the community is formed through our self-awareness and interaction. We are true to ourselves, and encourage self-awareness in others, so that we all can live according to our own aesthetics and consciences. While it is acceptable to use pseudonyms as alternatives for proper names, we believe that adopting a phony persona robs us of the opportunity to form genuine, lasting bonds with each other. The vampire community is a product of our own individual contributions and perspectives; in this culture being untrue to oneself strips the entire community of relevance and purpose. In addition to our own self-awareness, we should be aware of what goes on within our community, striving always to foster a safe and structured environment for ourselves and others.
Vampires and donors alike are committed to protecting the safety of their loved ones and themselves. We will make every effort to educate ourselves on safe feeding methods, including but not limited to: basic anatomy and physiology, first aid, sterilization, disease prevention, and safer sex practices. In all matters relating to feeding we will exercise judgment with a clear and alert mind, acknowledging the bond between vampire and donor. Anyone who performs an activity that is knowingly harmful, negligent, or contrary to the prior expressed desires of a donor may endure harsh and openly voiced or published criticism within the vampire community as well as potentially become subject to involvement from law enforcement.
We encourage adhering to the following practices:
We do not fail to thoroughly screen donors for both physical and mental health conditions and concerns with frequently updated testing information as applicable. Likewise, we do not fail to uphold all applicable laws governing legal age of consent and matters relating to blood consumption or exchange.
We do not feed from those who are knowingly infected with HIV, Hepatitis, or other blood-borne diseases or from those whose physical afflictions or condition places them at risk of harm by either sanguine or psychic feeding.
We do not feed from someone whose psychological health we have reason to believe may be harmed by either sanguine or psychic feeding
We do not allow others to feed from us if our physical or mental health is in any manner compromised or we harbor any doubt as to our present health status.
We do not fail to practice safer sex, and likewise do not feed from those who do not practice safer sex. Blood exchange should occur between consenting adults, ideally while engaged in a monogamous relationship or otherwise universally agreed upon arrangement.
We do not feed from anyone who is intoxicated, under the influence of illicit or illegal substances, or otherwise unable to render informed written or verbal consent.
We do not draw unfavorable attention to our donors or ourselves by either flaunting feeding practices in an inappropriate setting or by exposing ourselves to those who actively seek to exploit us for personal gain.
Whether we are vampires or are donors, we are not hesitant to report illegal behavior to law enforcement and remove ourselves from harmful situations.
Donor Bill Of Rights
This Bill of Rights is to promote the continued safety of the most precious of gifts to us, their life essence. It is suggested that this be signed by both the vampire and the donor on a 30/60/90 day trial basis. After this, the contract can be resigned for an extended period of time which can be either the 30/60/90/ or 6 months to 1 year. At the end of these contracts, discussions can be made as to whether or not changes should be done. What will be allowed and what will not be allowed.
1.) As a donor, I know that it is through my personal sacrifice that the vampires needs are met. It is my loving nature that allows this relationship to continue. It is my right to decline to feed the vampire for any reason.
2.) As a donor to a vampiric being, it is my right to know that I am in a vampiric/donor relationship that will be mutually beneficial to both me and the vampire I am donating my life essence to.
3.) I am the essence provider. It is for me to decide whether or not I am able to give of my essence to the vampire I am with. I must be allotted time to heal and regain my essence in order to better support my vampiric partner.
4.) At no time should my wounds not be allowed to heal.
5.) At no time should I feel stressed about giving of my essence, if at any time I feel stressed, I have the right to back away from the feed, without being or feeling threatened by my vampiric partner.
6.) Should I feel threatened in any way, shape or form, I have the right to seek guidance and council from other donors and leaders of the vampire community.
7.) As a donor to a vampiric individual, I have the right to know that my position as lover, friend, family, roommate should not be jeopardized by my not wanting to give of my essence. In the slang, "it should not cost me my ass to be a donor."
8.) As a donor, I should also respect the needs of the vampire and try to learn more about his/her feeding habits in order to help stabilize his/her imbalances in energy.
9.) As a donor in a vampire/donor relationship, I realize that though I have many necessary rights, I must also take cares not to abuse the person I am donating my essence to. These same rights afforded me in this Bill of Rights should also be extended to the vampire I am donating too.
10.) Ultimately it is my right to know that I will be safe in all aspects of the vampiric/donor relationship and should I ever feel that my safety is jeopardized, I have the right to walk away clear and free.
Ultimately, it is our (both the donor and the vampire) responsibility to insure that we are not abused. It is our (both the donor and the vampire) personal responsibility to leave a vampire/donor relationship that we feel is abusive in any nature. We can not be abused unless we allow ourselves to be.
Copyright 2004-Present by Belfazaar Ashantison. All copyrights reserved to original author. Do not copy, change or alter without written permission from the author. Do not reprint and/or retransmit unless in entirety with copyright statement and credit to the original author attached. Any copying, changes, alterations, reprints, and or retransmissions without copyright statement and credit to original author/s attached will be considered a copyright infringement and punishable by law.
Real Vampire Community Personal Safety & Privacy Awareness A sobering message to the participants of the vampire community
The vampire community was formed in part to promote the well-being of its members with a supportive social network. We've done an admirable job in promoting safer feeding practices, sensitivity and acknowledgment of donor concerns, and sharing the most effective ways to manage or conceptualize vampirism. We've supported one another as we discovered that it was acceptable to form our own identities, even if those close to us can't or won't be supportive. Despite our advances, we’ve fallen short at protecting our community from exploitation by both outsiders and subversive participants who exist among us. The most visible members of the vampire community should strive towards being more open to newcomers and willing to work with them on finding responsible resources. When newcomers find themselves in a leaderless environment they are more likely to encounter individuals willing to serve this role who have less than honorable intentions. The time has come to acknowledge and correct this problem.
Participants in the vampire community have a responsibility to one another to correctly identify, acknowledge, and remove illegal, abusive, and predatory behavior from our own milieu. We’re all aware there are predators and opportunists who want to capitalize on the popularity of vampires; using the vampire community as their personal one-stop deli counter of potential victims. Actively promoting a cultural set of values to which real vampires already tend to aspire is the strongest and most far-reaching way to undermine these individuals. If it’s widely known that real vampires promote safe behavior, healthy personal growth, and interactions between equally-powerful individuals on a level social playing field, then it's far more difficult for predators, abusers, and opportunists to effectively pretend to be part of our community, or worse, to fool others into following them based on the merits of their supposed vampirism and charming charisma.
In building the vampire community, we've created a culture that encourages introspection, promotes individual health, and tries to meet the needs of its individuals. We can also use these methods that are unique to the vampire community to address dangers and promote health at the community level as well as the individual level. We owe it to ourselves and those who participate in our community, both online and offline, to acknowledge that the vampire community is at risk for specific types of abuse. We must be willing to take the necessary steps to create a culture that lessens that risk to our participants. This also includes identifying community participants who choose to prey on others, create imaginary lives that have the potential to adversely affect those around them, or who commit crimes and engage in behaviors which pose a clear danger to the personal safety, security, and livelihoods of law abiding participants in the vampire community.
I. Avoid Enabling Or Encouraging Outright Fantasy
When an individual participates in discussions solely on the internet, others can only judge who they are as a person by what they write. While the same can be said for those who choose to reveal selective sides of themselves over the telephone or in person, it’s less likely to occur with the same degree of success. We’re a non mainstream community, whose discussion topics include spiritual or occult themes, and these themes can appear dramatic, compelling, and intense. We understand that simply by virtue of existing, a community dedicated to the support of real vampires will inevitably attract people with unstable emotional or psychological conditions who are drawn by the appeal of the fantastic. We must work to explicitly distinguish the vampire community's disposition towards the dramatic from facetious rhetoric. It’s detrimental to us all to enable anyone’s confusion of fantasy with reality.
Our community has a strong appreciation for personal expression, which has given participants a wide margin of acceptability in use of dramatic and fiction-derived language, but we're reaching the limits of what the community can tolerate without becoming abject enablers of outsiders' ego-based fantasy and role-playing behavior. A culture appreciating and rewarding precise communication is far more valuable to us than a culture which allows metaphorical language to pollute the discussion with drama while helping predators blend in. Imposed social hierarchy, assigned personal titles, and arbitrary laws derived largely from role-playing games are counterproductive to protecting the community from abuses. We must be able to discern legitimate community members from outsiders or those who have simply borrowed terminology in hopes of a quick assimilation and a naive fan base who’ll succumb to their wishes or possible ulterior motives. Many predators aren't easily identified as being either unstable or violent. The most dangerous are often those who are the most charismatic; assimilating into the crowd and rising through the ranks until they obtain the level of recognition or respect necessary to carry out their actions. If you have a feeling that something is not "right" about someone then you should perhaps listen to your intuition; especially if others are in agreement.
Time is a valuable commodity, so we resolve to only spend it conversing with people worth our time; surrounding ourselves with those who are mentally and emotionally stable, grounded in reality, and those who don't engage in or encourage dangerous behaviors. Observing the actions of others and measuring their loyalties over long periods of time will often reveal those who are truly deserving of your company. We have a responsibility to ourselves to understand what attracts us to someone, how they are viewed and treated by their peers, and how they respond to setbacks, refusals, or disagreements. This is how a safe and stable community can be built at a grassroots level: by individuals making better-informed choices about who to interact with. Pathological liars, mentally ill participants who constantly cause discord or whose delusions tear at the harmony of community interactions, and attempts towards establishing oligarchical power structures must not be welcomed in our community.
II. Acknowledge The Ways In Which We Are Targets
We’re a community of outsiders and identity seekers, and over time we've shared our experiences of building our hard-won senses of self over and against the disapproval of family or religion, despite lack of social support, or even in the face of outright sabotage by our peers. Many of us have a personal story in our past in which we had to choose between who we are and who someone else wanted us to be. Many vampire community participants are drawn to our discussions of identity because they are themselves in the process of developing those same personal tools of self-discovery, and may be facing adversity of their own in the process. The vampire community has become an incubator for individuals' sense of self, both vampires and non-vampires; keeping it a safe space for such exploration should be foremost among our responsibilities.
The vampire community has always tried to be a safe space in which uncertainty is allowed. We allow one's identity to remain a question without an immediate answer as individuals develop the tools to ask themselves who they are, and uncover their answers for themselves. As a non-authoritarian culture, vampires have always held that validation of one's own experiences need not come from those in higher positions of respect or authority than oneself. The vampire community has supported this idea by encouraging individuals to “discover themselves” and to “be honest with themselves”, but we can be more assertive in reminding those on a path of self-discovery to maintain their own autonomy: that the checks and balances of logic and realism are better tools than the arbitrary mandates of others and that they themselves are the only ones they have to please.
If our community is intended to be a safe space for self-discovery, then we need to be aggressively aware that being uncertain makes one a target; opportunists will always be there to exploit any uncertainty and any weakness in one's sense of self. The vampire community can promote awareness of attacks upon the self by outlining probable patterns of attack: the offering of a ready-made identity in place of one's hard-fought search for identity; encouraging vulnerable individuals to sever ties with their current support network; blatant disregard of the health of a donor; asking for time, money, personal information, or sexual favors. We must be conscious, and encourage awareness, of the ways in which opportunists try to hijack the process of self-discovery in vulnerable individuals.
Encouraging or facilitating association and open discussion with those under the age of eighteen by adults is inherently problematic. This openness and lack of restrictive access on the part of the vampire community is often looked upon by predators as an opportunity to fulfill their fantasies. It’s simply not safe for children or young teenagers to participate in the vampire community in unrestricted or unsupervised social networking environments. While we acknowledge that the search for identity is just as legitimate, and just as personally important (if not more so) in the young as it is in adults, we must also acknowledge the increased vulnerability of this demographic. Furthermore, the type of discernment that we intend to encourage can only come with maturity and experience. This is true for all at-risk groups: those new to the internet, those who are used to sheltered environments, but especially for the young and inexperienced. The internet vampire community can not realistically keep at-risk participants safe from potential abuse, and therefore can not ethically allow their interactive participation. The best way to serve the needs of those high-risk groups is to encourage every individual to engage in honest introspection free from the undue influence of others, and to only join interactive participation after they have developed a strong sense of self, and of self-defense.
Many of the aforementioned behaviors, at least in their beginnings, have largely flown under our radar as a community. Perhaps we've seen forum postings in which someone's recruiting members sight-unseen for their new “House” or “Clan”, or perhaps we know someone who was told that if they really want to "be a vampire", they should send some money to find out how. This strikes many of us as an off-note, but we don't know what to do to prevent it from occurring in the future. It's not an explicit illegal offense, but it erodes our culture and our purpose. We can work against this type of exploitation by directly addressing the problem with new and vulnerable community participants, pointing out the techniques used to undermine individuality, and by creating a culture that explicitly refuses to tolerate behaviors that subvert, rather than support, a developing sense of self.
III. Promote Aggressive Privacy, Personal Safety, & Identity Compartmentalization Techniques
We know that being different is a personal danger in our lives, and many members of the vampire community take steps to avoid having people who they know in a non-vampiric context discovering their nightside identities. To ensure our continued employment, involvement in our children’s lives, and avoid uncomfortable social situations, we've created a necessary aesthetic of privacy and of separation. However, when it comes to interactions within the vampire community, we don't have explicit ideals about how much information to share with one another, how to trust or not trust one another, or what kinds of protections we might be wise to employ from one another. It's not about being more honest and open nor is about having something to hide; it's about keeping the power over your personal safety firmly in your own grasp at all times. It's about being aware that exposing your private information on the internet, or trusting too easily in the real world, transfers the power from your own hand to those who receive your trust. If the vampire community is intended to be a safe space, part of enforcing that safety must include actively discouraging participants from making themselves less safe.
We can create a safer community by building explicit ideals about keeping one's personal identifying information secret on the internet and in real life to the best of our ability. We can discourage the use of personally-identifying email addresses, the sharing of names, phone numbers, or addresses, accessing vampire related websites from work computers, and especially the tendency to let one's Facebook (or other social network) serve double-duty for both nightside and dayside friends. Unless one’s identity was compartmentalized at the initial onset of participation in the vampire community, then that individual will be forever at risk to possible exploitation. Therefore, it’s important to monitor what information and conversations we engage in publicly, keeping track of what we've have shared about ourselves with others and being more cautious before giving freely of our trust.
Perhaps most importantly, we can remind ourselves that we can never know whether someone on the internet is really who they say they are, and build conventions of communication accordingly. We can discourage stalking, harassing, or malicious "outing" of fellow community members by promoting effective privacy as a community standard. We can teach and remind one another how to keep ourselves safe from harm, and how to recognize when we're placing ourselves into a situation in which we're dependent on someone else for our safety. These are not suggestions steeped in paranoia -- they are prudent measures in an age where our personal privacy is eroding and the means to manipulate others for personal gain are growing.
IV. Exercise Our Protections Under The Law
Opportunists know those outside the mainstream can feel rejected by society, and are less likely to believe they have normal social protections or legal recourse. This might even be true in many places, if law enforcement is intolerant of diversity or if they've fallen for Satanic Panic conspiracy theories. Whether hostility from law enforcement is real or simply feared, the vampire community has a real and valuable right to the protections of law, and we have a responsibility to call on the law to protect both us and our fellow community participants if a predator creates problems in our local communities or online.
No one should be afraid to report serious abuses and work transparently with law enforcement to remove predators from our community. Likewise, when abuses occur, it’s important to see that police reports are filed, personally record detailed narratives and facts surrounding the event, and be able to present irrefutable evidence when official legal inquiries are made. In conjunction with law enforcement involvement, participants who personally experience abuses or witness them firsthand should report them to those in a position of influence or leadership for those in the community who may come into contact with the alleged offender. Too often, violent and abusive community participants can continue their abuses simply by moving to another city or state, where the community hasn't yet heard of their record. Community participants who have good communication with one another should be able to thwart such behavior, so long as they are armed with legitimate data such as official police reports, rather than rumors and gossip.
Through the responsible sharing on actionable and verifiable information concerning crimes, we can create a culture which predators, child molesters, and those who are abusive and violent, are afraid to approach or participate in, because they know they'll get reported immediately, charges will be pressed, and they'll be called out and held responsible for trying to make the vampire community their personal playground. We can create a culture that makes vulnerable participants aware of the potential for abuse and that real vampires behave in ways designed intentionally to promote individual safety and security.
By Zero & Merticus; Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] & Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC July 18, 2011 - This article may be redistributed, translated, or adopted by other organizations provided there are no content modifications and full citation is included.
Real Vampire Community Abuse Awareness A message to visitors, newcomers and all those on their paths of discovery
The real vampire community is an open and accepting culture, which should be a safe space to engage in introspection and the open exchange of ideas. Whether you have a solid self-understanding as a vampire or non-vampire, or whether you've come to the community in pursuit of such an understanding, the community is a place which is often engaged in dialogue about self and identity. Likewise, it often attracts individuals who are seeking tools with which to build and grow that sense of self.
Any space used for self-exploration and introspection will attract predators -- those whose primary interest is taking advantage of others’ uncertainty and desire for answers. Just as the vampire community acknowledges its participants search for self-understanding and their right to discover their own personal truths, we also acknowledge the potential for predators to abuse members of our community. We must resolve to openly combat such manipulation by being extremely clear about the types of behaviors which are absolutely unacceptable to members of the vampire community.
The vampire community will not be silent about those who go out of their way to appear older and wiser with the intent of garnering favors in exchange for their knowledge of vampirism, and who lurk at the edges of the community in hopes of attracting potential victims of any age or background for physical, sexual, mental, or emotional abuse. If members of the vampire community encounter abuse they should not be afraid to report such to law enforcement and remove themselves immediately from the abusive situation.
Whether you are vampire, otherkin, therian, energy-worker, or just interested in the community, you are considered a member of the vampire community for the time that you decide to participate, and deserving of the same safe space as any other participant. Unfortunately, there's no border to the vampire community, no authority, and no one to evaluate its participants and remove potentially harmful individuals. Therefore, we want you to be aware:
DO NOT GIVE AWAY DETAILS OF YOUR PERSONAL OR OFFLINE LIFE:
This used to be a basic safety rule of the internet, back when people remembered that a loss of privacy was dangerous. If you're participating in the community, pick a pseudonym (screen name/nightside name/etc.), don't give out links to your real-life social networking, where you work or attend school, your physical address, phone number, or non-community e-mail addresses. Actively work to minimize the amount of information potential stalkers can locate and don’t assume any conversation you have online is ever completely private.
DO NOT TRAVEL TO MEET PEOPLE FROM THE INTERNET INDISCRIMINATELY:
Unless it's a gathering like a convention, open house from a reputable organization, established meetup, or at a public venue, this is taking an unnecessary and potentially dangerous risk. Do not meet a fascinating vampire personality through a forum or social network and then get on a bus, train, or plane to go find him. We've seen people encourage impressionable seekers to leave their homes and families to start a new life with the “elder” vampire. This turns out poorly when the “elder” is revealed to be a socially manipulative and emotionally harmful individual; or worse. Legitimate community members don't want you to abandon your life and move in with them. They want you to live your life for yourself and no one else.
AUTHORITARIAN SOCIAL STRUCTURES CREATE ABUSE:
This is true of any human social activity. All authoritarian structures breed abuse: physical, emotional, and sexual. You need only to look to religion, political history, the structure and abuses of churches, military dictatorships, authoritarian governments, or any other social context in which leaders have authority and followers must obey. Predators lurking among the outskirts of the vampire community might try to lure the new and uncertain into such an authoritarian context, trying to convince their audience that they know more, are wiser, have secrets they can share, or that they are established leaders and it's appropriate for you to follow them. Like every other authority-centered social construct in human history, the attempt to gain power over others will result in the abuse of that power. Remember that real vampires don't want authority over you, and don't want you to join a social context in which such abuse occurs. Vampires value independence and self-definition and encourage seekers to make their own decisions.
Joining hierarchies or groups is not necessary or common, and joining groups in which one member holds all the power and prevents others in the group from making their own decisions, leaving the group, or declining to obey the leader is completely antithetical to the nature of the vampire community. Authoritarian groups aren't healthy or safe for their members, and the vampire community encourages the use of the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (ABCDEF) to evaluate any groups you might be thinking of joining.
REAL VAMPIRES DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS:
Some of us who've been around longer have simply learned to ask better questions and hone our skills of observation. Chronological age or years spent participating in the community does not necessarily denote greater knowledge or wisdom. Beware of anyone who tells you he or she knows all the secrets of being a vampire, especially if they want something in exchange for their knowledge. We've seen people posing as “elders”, “leaders”, or other authorities, asking for sexual favors, monetary compensation, indentured servitude, or other benefits in exchange for sharing their “wisdom”.
REAL VAMPIRES PREFER YOU FIND YOUR OWN TRUTH THAN DICTATE IT TO YOU:
If you meet someone who insists they have the answers and want you to follow them because of it, you've met an aspiring cult leader, not a vampire. Real vampires want you to think for yourself, and we know better than most that one person's truth might not be right for another. Anyone who asks you to subscribe to their belief system without evaluation is a manipulator, not a community member.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO JOIN A HOUSE OR GROUP TO BE A VAMPIRE:
We all have better things to do with our lives than collect followers. If a group of friends choose to arrange themselves in a House, et. al., that is perfectly acceptable, but you should be aware that this is an uncommon experience within the vampire community. It's not necessary to join a House, and legitimate Houses are never dictator-styled authoritarian or controlling structures. Don't feel like you must participate in any group whatsoever in order to talk with, learn from, or be a member of the vampire community. Keep in mind that over 75% of community members are solitary and unaffiliated with any House, et. al.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, YOUR SEARCH IS ABOUT YOU:
Don't let your journey of self-discovery become about anyone else, no matter how fascinating a character they might present. You won't learn more about being a vampire if you let someone else dictate your experience or tell you what it should mean. When you meet a charismatic personality on a forum who tells you that you're their long-lost reincarnated true love, or that they dreamed about you and you're destined to be in their coven, trust us, it's just a line. Your independence is your greatest asset - the mental freedom to decide who you are. Do not let anyone else hijack it from you.
By Zero & Merticus; Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] & Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC April 11, 2011 - This article may be redistributed, translated, or adopted by other organizations provided there are no content modifications and full citation is included.
Real Vampire Community Animal Welfare Awareness An affirmation of vampire community values regarding the humane treatment of animals
I. We are members of the vampire community who wish to make an explicit statement about the ethics surrounding animal consumption, blood sourcing, and humane treatment issues. This statement is drafted so that all parties understand that there is no place in the vampire community for deliberate animal cruelty. The suffering of other creatures is not something that vampires advocate or will passively tolerate when discovered. It is not fun or a game, it does not affirm one’s place on the food chain, it is not excused when readily available educational resources outline humane killing techniques, and it does not gain you our approval. Inhumane acts perpetrated on animals are not necessary, it is not an acceptable way to fulfill your health needs as a sanguinarian vampire, and it is considerably far removed from any socially-acceptable treatment of either domesticated or food animals. Many vampires are empathic individuals and as such the needless suffering of animals should be abhorrent to our nature.
II. We acknowledge that the vampire community is made up of diverse individuals with a wide range of ethical and cultural backgrounds. We might be vegetarians and vegans, meat eaters, sport hunters, farmers, animal rescue volunteers, rights advocates, pet owners, dog people and cat people, or even barbecue enthusiasts. We come together from these diverse standpoints to make a statement: that there is a clear and unambiguous distinction between animal use and animal cruelty. We draw a similar ethical distinction between the harvesting of animals in a sober, respectful context and the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering upon any animal. Sanguinarian vampires who kill animals for use of their blood should do so in the most humane manner possible, and as prescribed by the laws governing their residence.
III. Under certain circumstances, many cultures and ethical systems allow for the slaughter of food animals for the purposes of consumption or legally recognized and protected religious expression, and many contemporary subcultures participate in the hands-on slaughter of food animals. Many modern people, including sport hunters, farm workers, chefs, and even ordinary household consumers, sometimes slaughter their own food animals in a controlled, skillful, and hopefully humane context.
IV. While there are a spectrum of philosophies about animal use, we hold absolutely no ambiguity about animal abuse; this is not appropriate behavior for any group of people, and especially not for the vampire community, which has so often been the target of social abuse, discrimination, insensitivity, and uncompassionate behavior. We acknowledge how often the needs of vampire community members, both physical and psychological, have gone disregarded and dismissed by the wider society, and resolve to never be dismissive about the suffering of another feeling creature. Those who choose to take the life of an animal have an ethical responsibility to educate themselves beforehand on the most humane method of killing the animal.
V. We categorically acknowledge the intentional infliction of pain and suffering on any animal, including but not limited to common food animals and those sold for food purposes, the intentional glorification of an animal’s death by means of photographic depictions of blood splattering, exsanguination, evisceration, mutilation, or the like, and the encouragement of others to engage in such activities, to be abnormal, reprehensible, and potentially pathological. Furthermore, inflicting unnecessary suffering through negligence, ignorance, or indifference are equally as reprehensible. If it is your business to kill husbanded or game animals, it is also your responsibility to do so humanely and with due respect for a creature’s capacity to suffer.
VI. The vampire community exists to promote the open exchange of information amongst vampires and interested individuals. This is an opportunity for vampires to communicate about ways they can become more aware of general ethics issues in our various societies concerning animal rights and welfare. We encourage this statement of awareness to serve as a catalyst for global community discussions on humane animal husbandry, safe and humane means to source blood from an animal, issues surrounding factory farms, ethical and humane sport hunting practices, unethical pet breeding practices, dog and cat rescue projects, and the support of local animal protection groups.
By Zero & Merticus; Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] & Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC January 22, 2013 - This article may be redistributed, translated, or adopted by other organizations provided there are no content modifications and full citation is included.