I think watching The Hunger should be mandatory for all new vampires.
See how David Bowie was a strong, smart, well spoken, elegant predator. Not too extreme. Neither quiet or over the top. Not withdrawn nor invading. See that charm and wit and how people consented to be touched, feed upon, and bleed willingly! That’s called seduction. Seduction is consensual. Intelligence, Seduction, and good manners.
How Undisciplined Leadership is Hurting the Vampire Culture by Destroying Trust in the Brand. A Lesson For Every Business.
By Reverend Michael Vachmiel
(Edit: The article has been update with corrections and expanded material from the original)
As any business person knows, people do not buy products, they buy brand. People invest in a company, purchasing with their hard earned money, the products and services they need because they believe that the product and service adds value to their lives in align with their social and moral stances. When a consumer feels that their morality is in line with the company they do business with a bond of trust is established. This relationship of trust is the foundation for a successful relationship between consumer and business.
The recent debate on guns is an important example of brand vs product. Manufacturers are producing products of quality, yet they are loosing sales because the brand is associated with a situation that is against the morals of the consumer.
Instead of a healthy discussion on customer service, improved messaging and PR, and how best to present a healthy presentation of culture, and other solid conversations, the direct opposite occurred.
The conversation became negative and toxic. There was libel, slander, and other issues that, under normal circumstance, would have lead to a PR nightmare and termination of employees along with a heavy charm offensive to manage damage control.
Instead of honest evaluation of the situation there was just acceptance of toxicity and negativity as the status quo. A morose acceptance that the culture self destructs every five years and that this behavior is normal.
The challenge is self inflected.
This display of unprofessional behavior demonstrates why it is difficult for any artistic or philosophical movement to re-brand itself into a positive and healthy consumer desired marketable product. The same for any start up business with a unique concept.
Failure of leadership to elevate the brand into a desired item in alignment with the morality of its consumer.
In this case, of the vampire community the item or products, if you will, is the creation of a stable and functional community that with stand public examination.
Address the issue.
Seeing that the community itself was not able change course, I adapted a business model. Created a Social Business Plan for my organization along with a Social Vision Statement.
When you no longer can afford to allow others to define you, you must turn to solid, reliable, and traditional methods to get your message to the public.
Answer Chaos with Order.
You can not pretend that things will take care of themselves. You must respond in a clear and decisive way to demonstrate to the general public that you are not like the rest of your competition.
My response to libel, slander, insults, and a host of other attacks is as follows
“Do you think name calling, insults, and personal attacks further this discussion?
The 300 people who chosen to follow me are not a joke.
The 4000.00 we raised last years is not a joke.
The 300.00 we have raised so far this year is not a joke.
This is where failure in leadership lies.
The “Trumping” of the vampire community.
In normal society making accusations get you sued and fired. In normal society, when you make libel claims, accusations of criminality and mental defect, you get fired.
In vampire culture it is celebrated.
Which is why vampire culture reinvents itself every five years.
Because no one wants to learn the hard lessons of the past.
The vast majority of the people do not tolerate this behavior.
You can not go through the natural maturation process from fringe culture, to sub culture, to general pop culture without a sense of discipline and maturity.
Thus attempts of unification, at unity, at gathering, and all the other grand names and ideals last about 5 years, until they are only memories on video, footnotes on research papers,
Which is why I turned my court into a business.
Run it like a business.
Run it on mature and disciplined principles of “Best Practices”
Have a Business Plan for the court that is updated and reviewed regularly.
They only way to stop the cycle of self destruction is just to remove yourself from that cycle.
It is working.”
The result was an ROI of new members to my organization, The Vampire Court of Houston.
Success is not passive!
You must make the best happen for yourself and your organization!
Pursuing the Baby Bat.
Why the Vampire Community Needs New Blood. By Reverend Michael Vachmiel November 8th, 2017
I wish to dedicate this post to Charlynn Walls and her article “Chasing the Bunny: Why We Should Welcome Newcomers to the Craft” found in Llewellyn’s 2018 Witches Companion, An Almanac for Contemporary Living.
With Samhain 2017 fading into memory and the energy of winter upon us, I take time to reflect on what it is to be a real vampire. In this instance not so much what the community has accomplished, but what it still needs to achieve.
Those who are familiar with the culture of the real vampire, there is a tendency to think of the culture as single, unified group based solely around the real vampire’s impulse drive to feed, gather at balls, or pursue a type of social status.
However, when more established scene personalities perceive someone is not a serious or dedicated as they are to the vampire lifestyle and culture as they are, the term “baby bat” is often used in a most hostile and derogatory fashion.
What is a Baby Bat?
So let’s define “Baby Bat” as someone new to the vampire culture. Someone who does not understand all the social politics, someone who may still be a bit more into the role play or fashion aspect of the culture and may or may not have encountered the spirituality of energy exchange.
These individuals are exploring a new lifestyle, a new way of thinking, a new way of expressing themselves. At this time they are not fully dedicated to making a lasting change because they are not sure this is where their heart should be. This is good, because we should have to EARN THEIR HEARTS AS A COMMUNITY and not expect it out of some sense of social status!
So why pursue the baby bat? Because as newcomers to the community these people bring a fresh perspective, enthusiasm, a sense of joy and awe many elders have lost long ago, and information on the latest styles, musics, and art related to our culture. Elders tend to get stuck in a rut of what is “real” vampire, goth, industrial and so forth.
We all were new at one point!
We all started at the same place! Every path we are on now began with that single step of courage to try something new. We often forget the fear, the anxiety, the endless questions that come about with trying something new. We forget how much time we spent researching, becoming comfortable with our new friends, social network, and spiritual path before even trying to go to an event the first time out.
Many newcomers are solitary for a very good reason. They don’t feel welcomed. They are often met with silence, with hostility, with insults, with demands for sex, service or money. They are often met demand for allegiance to some house, coven or court before they are even recognized as being a vampire.
Lets have a moment of honesty. If our lovers and friends treated us like far to many real life vampire organizations treated newcomers, it would be considered an abusive relationship.
Many newcomers feel hopeless and frustrated and this shapes their outlook on us as a whole!
So why do some communities grow? Those communities that see the awe, the wonder, and the enthusiasm of the baby bat as an asset and use it as a teaching opportunity, as a means to build bridges, to expand and to become greater than what they were before, harness that vast human potential and energy!
Daily I receive questions. As my role as a Reverend I answer spiritual questions, as the Vampire Court of Houston’s Imperator in political matters, as a tarot reader and occultists more paranormal questions.
The point is, I spend a lot of time answering questions. I take these questions as an opportunity to provide solid information that I wish was there for me at the beginning of my journey on my paths. Kindness, Honesty, Humility and Mercy given freely and respectfully have powerful effects upon people.
When I do not have the answers they need, I refer them to books, to videos, to the works of others who have labored long and hard to provide the community of solid insights into the real vampire condition.
Renewing the Elder Soul
The honest truth about this community is how exhausting the drama is at times. For those of us who have been leaders for any length of time, there are days we want to hang up our wings, put our fangs away, pull the coffin lid over our heads and just sleep forever sleep.
When we take the time to welcome a new person into our fold, we are reminded of the joy, the wonder, the awe, and just how damn awesome we are! We are exposed to new books, to new music, to new fashions, new games, new clubs, new experiences!
For some this is a double edge sword. For those deep in the vampire politics, being exposed to so much new material can be a reminded of how much they do not know, how out of touch they have become, and that can result in anger and lashing out.
Community requires new blood to live. All communities! The only truth is, change happens! By embracing it, loving it, seeing change as a means to expand and grow, Elder, Childe, Swan, and newcomer alike can learn to take every interaction as an opportunity to grow as both individuals and as a greater whole.
Once you control ego and pride, you understand that sharing life experience and passions is an opportunity for greater knowledge!