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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Vampires & Vampirism  |  Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  AVA Discussion: Evolution Of The Vampire Community? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: AVA Discussion: Evolution Of The Vampire Community?  (Read 6933 times)
Merticus
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« on: March 27, 2008, 02:38:39 pm »

The following is a question that was posed for group discussion at TWILIGHT II in Atlanta, GA this past March 2008.  I'd like to continue the discussion here on the AVA forum to gather everyone's opinion and input on the particular subject.  Please answer the question (all parts) below and offer your perspective!


Evolution Of The Vampire Community?

Discussion: How have support, infrastructure, groups, and beliefs changed over the last two decades?  How do Houses and the use of hierarchical structure contribute to the community?  How do the prevalence of these groups affect a newcomer’s ability to discern between idiosyncratic beliefs and the entire community – particularly in recognizing inherit dangers or pitfalls when vampirism is presented as a spirituality or religion?  Does the existence of these groups deny newcomers the chance to figure things out for themselves or create new outlets in the community?
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2010, 01:53:27 am »

now this looks like it could be a interesting thread
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jayant ratna
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2010, 02:30:19 am »

...
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RKCoon
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2010, 01:33:13 pm »

Perhaps one should point out the 'pitfalls and dangers', as it were, regarding the concept of houses as well - use of such a structure by a few to basically feed their own selfish needs.  Granted, I wouldnt expect this of every house, but the two i have been part of were nothing but farcical jokes.   Past that, or perhaps because of that, I, as many, learned while flying solo, those brief times i did get tangled up in a house simply showing me what to avoid.  Most people seem to have a communal sense, wanting to belong to groups and such containing people similar to themselves, but, least in my experience, far too often are such things used both to the detriment of one, and many.   Further, as the community has grown, more and more information has been made public - aside of sites charging money for such - so it has been easier now than ever to find what one needs, even if one needs to evolve up their bullshitometer to sort through the fluff.
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 05:25:46 pm »

Well, let's see if i can get this right. Hope i can make some sense...

How have support, infrastructure, groups, and beliefs changed over the last two decades?
Couldn't tell ya from personal experience. I've only been minorly involved for the passed 4 years.

How do Houses and the use of hierarchical structure contribute to the community?
For those who want or need it, i think it gives a sort of "home base" and place to belong. it gives them a base for beliefs and can be helpful.
I think use of hierarchical structure, contributes by giving some of -us- someone to look up to, i guess. Whether one is directly involved in a house or not, a couple higher members of various houses may be more well known throughout the community.
Many of -us- are still fairly young (be it by age or simply new to the community) and sort of need someone to look up to or find direction from.
"elders" in the community, though i dislike the term, prove helpful if/when one needs information, guidance and whatever within the subject of vampirism (and all that entails).

How do the prevalence of these groups affect a newcomer’s ability to discern between idiosyncratic beliefs and the entire community – particularly in recognizing inherit dangers or pitfalls when vampirism is presented as a spirituality or religion?
Honestly, any organized group that holds a beleif is going to be seen as a religion. i think, at first it will be seen as a religion, though i believe vampirism to be part of one's spirituality (in some sense), it is not "a spirituality".
Once a newcomer actually gets into the community, though, hopefully (as the good groups seem to be more obvious) they learn quickly that it may not be how it appeared to be at first..


Does the existence of these groups deny newcomers the chance to figure things out for themselves or create new outlets in the community?
I don't think so. Some are better on their own, some are better in groups. To join a group or not is a choice to be made by the individual, and i don't think the existance of groups denies them that choice, it's just one option of it..



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NyteMuse
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 01:09:41 am »

Perhaps one should point out the 'pitfalls and dangers', as it were, regarding the concept of houses as well - use of such a structure by a few to basically feed their own selfish needs.  Granted, I wouldnt expect this of every house, but the two i have been part of were nothing but farcical jokes.   Past that, or perhaps because of that, I, as many, learned while flying solo, those brief times i did get tangled up in a house simply showing me what to avoid.  Most people seem to have a communal sense, wanting to belong to groups and such containing people similar to themselves, but, least in my experience, far too often are such things used both to the detriment of one, and many.   Further, as the community has grown, more and more information has been made public - aside of sites charging money for such - so it has been easier now than ever to find what one needs, even if one needs to evolve up their bullshitometer to sort through the fluff.

Despite being part of a group myself, I somewhat agree with RK, at least regarding just how many possible hazards or dysfunctional situations exist out there. It is my personal opinion that "the newly awakened" should actually not get involved with a group initially. One on one mentorship is a different kettle of fish, and I see more potential merit in that system (as it's harder to hide bullshit from someone paying attention when it's just 1-on-1), but joining a group when one is just figuring things out quite often tends to cause one to get swept along in others' ideas and does not provide a rich soil bed for the planting/growing of seeds that one finds solo.

IMO
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Etheros Twilight
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 11:03:47 am »

I agree. Personally my experience with joining groups has been lackluster. I acknowledge that i don't exactly readily accept people in authoritative positions unless they can or have demonstrated themselves to be worthy of such titles. If they cannot, well they only invoke ridicule and rejection if they attempt to swing their authority to derive a goal. The only exception i have to this rule is if someone wields political might enough to warrant their position, in which case they should be very open and receptive to new ideas up the ladder. I've seen both sides of that coin, where a leader refuses to take advice and their position withers to a figurehead, and a leader who's openness to others slows the movement and implementation of ideas such that things just fall off the end of the earth and are forgotten. I guess im saying that it is rare that a leader shows up with such a balance of decisiveness and receptiveness that allows them to quickly consult their peers or further and then act without fail.

As far as apprenticeships go. I believe firmly in education by apprenticeship. It was that standard which allowed such craftsmen to build monoliths that we cannot dream to recreate by human hands. I doubt even a machine could recreate the Sistine Chapel, much less the laborers that dare call themselves craftsmen these days.
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2010, 01:10:36 pm »

...Im not entirely certain where the apprenticeship part came up, but speaking as one who is 6 months off from completing an apprenticeship for automotive service tech (a Red Seal program that is federally mandated and backed in Canada, with the exception of quebec) I can state that an apprenticeship focuses greatly on facts, logic, reason, repetition, and a thorough understanding of the topic - all of which coupled up with what could be called a form of art, of interpretation that the tech has to apply to his or her trade. There is a certain element to the trade that takes a form of understanding that cant really be taught, but must be experienced, felt out, heard out, seen out.  Insofar as structures of old, Im not so certain that some of them were built solely by man, but thats another topic.

Regarding the topic on hand however, I dont see how any form of apprenticeship would apply to vampirism. It would sound, for one, too much like white wolf, or other RP garbage. Further, vampirism is not, in and of itself, a means to an end, ie, something used to support ones self and ones family, despite how certain individuals would try to make it so.
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 01:32:21 pm »

Regarding the topic on hand however, I dont see how any form of apprenticeship would apply to vampirism. It would sound, for one, too much like white wolf, or other RP garbage. Further, vampirism is not, in and of itself, a means to an end, ie, something used to support ones self and ones family, despite how certain individuals would try to make it so.

I agree that it is not a means to an end, however i see apprenticeship as a benefit to the progression of morals and techniques. It would be more a vampiric energy worker's apprenticeship than strictly a vampire's simply because theres so much more to learn than how to perform and control feeding.
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semper praecidium nox quod vitae noctum est omnes nosferatem vitae
RKCoon
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 04:03:14 pm »

.....-groan- oh yes, yet another energy bit. Yeesh.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 10:17:03 pm »

How have support, infrastructure, groups, and beliefs changed over the last two decades?
I don't know, because I'm only 25, and have only known of the existence of a vampire community for about 4 years.
 
How do Houses and the use of hierarchical structure contribute to the community? 
I have no experience with Houses, but I have a distrust of hierarchy. From what I've seen, the old adage 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely' tends to hold true, and hierarchy reminds me too much of politics- people trying to push their own agendas rather than those of the public they supposedly speak for.

How do the prevalence of these groups affect a newcomer’s ability to discern between idiosyncratic beliefs and the entire community – particularly in recognizing inherit dangers or pitfalls when vampirism is presented as a spirituality or religion?
For me, it was easier than it may be for others to navigate the different websites set up by various vampire groups due to my previous experience studying and navigating websites dedicated to the topic of otherkin, and before that, wicca. However, when I first began studying wicca, at 15, an age where many people begin questioning the belief system they've been taught all their lives, I did find it difficult to form my own opinion because I'd been taught my whole life, under christian doctrine, "there is only one way, only one path, and all others are inferior or wrong, and you only have one chance to get it right" and I carried that belief with me. I think those people who are just starting on their path, whether wiccan, otherkin, vampire, or any other, may still carry this mindset and immediately take the very first thing they read online or in a book for absolute truth rather than read everything they can and from their own beliefs.


Does the existence of these groups deny newcomers the chance to figure things out for themselves or create new outlets in the community?
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After a long and painful absence, I am finding my way once more back to the arms of Goddess.
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