Posts Tagged ‘ rant ’

what do we recommend?

I have written about safety on this blog before, in various contexts. Probably quite a bit of that content ought to be revised, but that’s a job for another day. Today’s subject is related to safety.

Whether hanging out in a more or less vampire centred chat, or on a small community forum, there will more or less regularly be newcomers who know next to nothing about vampirism and are seeking knowledge. And there are a heck of a lot of sites one might recommend, just have a look at the (incomplete) list maintained by the VVC to get a first idea.

My personal shortlist of sites i recommend is much shorter:

  1. SphynxCat’s Real Vampires Support Page for the quality and technical detail of her collected articles.
  2. Sanguinarius Real Vampire Resource Site for the breadth of content.
  3. The Vampire Community Message Board (VCMB) as a forum for vampires.
  4. The BlackSwanHaven (BSH) as a forum for donors.
  5. The Conventum Tenebrarum (soon to become Nexus Noctis) as a site for german speakers.

These are of course not the only good sites out there on the web, and depending on circumstance and information sought i will direct people to other sites. The question is, why do i direct people to these sites and not to others?

There is of course some personal bias, i won’t deny that. But more importantly, they are reasonably sane. Nobody goes around claiming vampiric super-powers. They do not make strong claims about the nature of vampirism. They are a-religious. Their main concern is how to deal with being a vampire (or a donor) in normal day to day life.

Then i compare that to smaller or less established sites i’ve been on. Here i find (amongst others) claims to extreme age (a guy claiming 120 years of experience whom i stumbled across today is a minor example), immortality or drastically slowed ageing, being able to turn others. I read claims, stated as factual, of direct lines of descent from mythological/religious entities (Lilith is a prime example – it’s rather hilarious when supposedly pagan vamps claim descent from Lilith, placing them smack-bang in the abrahamic traditions). Alternatively they claim descent from (pre-)historical individuals (or claim to be the re-incarnation of those individuals) despite their claims not fitting the historical and/or archaeological record.

Then there’s the strong claims as to the nature of vampirism, claiming as fact what is at best speculation. Whether these are about energy work (broken chakras/producing insufficient energy) or parasitism by non-physical entities, about viral infections (thankfully those claims are rare) or interbreeding of demons/angels (again with the abrahamic traditions) with humans, anybody who claims these as factual needs a reality check, possibly with a half-brick in a sock.

And i haven’t even spoken about the religious groups yet. These range from the obviously stupid (“i worship Neptune the greek god of the sea” – read that just today, and i really hope you see what’s wrong about it) via the fluffy and vague wiccans and generic pagans who somehow tie their vampirism into that, all the way to the vampire religions of the kheperians/aset ka and the obviously cultish temple of the vampire and strigoi vii.

Please note that i am not making any claims to what vampirism is. I am not saying that any religion is right or wrong, that would just be stupid of me. I am not claiming that problems with subtle energy can’t be the cause of vampirism, or that vampires don’t result from the interbreeding of angelic and human stock. I am not saying that it is impossible for a vampire to turn a human, or to age more slowly than others. We, as a community, do not know what causes vampirism. The best we currently have is the data from the VEWRS&AVEWRS.

What i am saying is that smaller or newer communities tend to espouse such claims as i’ve listed above uncritically. I don’t think it’s necessary to speculate much on the causes of that: uniformity of opinion, social dynamics in small groups, rejection of criticism by leaders or by whole groups, conscious manipulation by cult leaders, the list is long. They tend to adopt a single view of vampirism and present that as (the only) true view.

So when a new member of the VC approaches us seeking knowledge, where do we point them? At the tiny group which was created last year and knows the truth about vampirism (or claim to…), or at the large flourishing group which encourages discussions and multiplicity of opinion and which allows the newcomer to figure out what works for them? That doesn’t mean they won’t have to sift through a huge lot of bullshit: even the best vampire sites and forums are loaded with stupidity. But at least it gives them a better chance to figure things out for themselves.

Okay, enough ranted. I am not claiming to be smarter or more knowledgeable than others. But exactly because of that these thoughts are important.