This morning I saw an article being circulated online by the South African Pagan community – it seems a bunch of kids set some of their friends alight while playing on a hilltop with some gasoline and matches. A bible and a little blood were involved – so naturally, it was Satanism.
Satanism? Really? Gods, some people will believe any old rubbish – a bunch of stupid kids playing with petrol and matches and experimenting with conjecture and ignorance, and it gets labeled “satanism” by the hysterical lemmings who would be surprised if they ever encountered real Luciferians. The kids church minister drove them to hospital, funny enough that they would go to him in time of need, them being “Satanists” and all. Right.
This article is bullshit. It is typically sensationalist, missing a large slice of the facts pie, and especially a scoop of insight into the motivation behind the actions of those involved – namely the victims and the perpetrators. In other words, the journalists, relatives and friends don’t really know WHY they did it, or what really happened – but have jumped to the conclusion that it is that handy old mainstay of the puritanical and hysterical establishment – “satanic panic” – and they have painted so-called “satanism” as a very real and immediate threat.
Lock up your kids, folks. And while you’re at it, lock up the matches and the gasoline.
In the end though, the broad definition employed by fanatic and extremist – and ignorant – Christians of “satanism”, is any other religion other than their own, and anything else which they label “occult” at their convenience. This would include sundry items such as goth culture, popular music, non-Christian fiction or literature, free thought, democracy, homosexuality, liberalism, atheism, humanism, or freedom of choice and expression. This kind of hysterical rubbish will one day end up inciting violence and other hostile actions against Pagans as well. Again.
What do a bunch of children know of actual “satanism” – or Luciferianism? The few Theistic Satanists I have had contact with would be outraged at the comparison. In fact, most of them will tell you they consume no blood at all, let alone human blood – not like Vampyres, of course. I can tell you though, that no serious Luciferian would ever be so patently stupid as to do something as definitively brain-dead as described in that article. It is filled with obvious conjecture and padding.
We in the Vampyre community are used this sort of propaganda by now, and even desensitized to it. Yes, I said propaganda. Whenever some crackpot goes off the rails, due to drugs or alcohol, or mental instability, and injures or kills someone, and claims to have done it because he or she is a “vampire” – it is used by such opportunistic journalists to demonize and objectify the real community of Vampyres as dangerous, mentally ill, anti-social threats to “ordinary law-abiding citizens”. More often than not, the “S” word will get used, right along with references to “Twilight”, “witch craft” and “devil worship”, and a wonderful quote from a local evangelical to clinch the deal. That’s right, we are just as sick of this sort of clap-trap as Pagans and Witches are.
Naturally, this form of misinformation and hysteria is not new, nor is it only aimed at Pagans. It is aimed at any group which these religious extremists view with suspicion or ignorance, and which they view as competing with them, or as threatening to their disintegrating influence and power base. This is true for any other group which they condemn or work to undermine or destroy – whether it be another religion, or simply those who do not fit in to their paranoid and puritanical belief system, such as gay people – and also Vampyres.
If there is one thing to gather a lynch mob to support the radical Christian right wing – it is ignorance, fear and hysteria. Next they will wax lyrical about Halloween, the new “Twilight” movie, and “Harry Potter”, initiate private book-burnings, or perhaps a few boycotts or sit-ins of stores selling esoterica.
Oh wait, they’ve already been doing that.
The increase in popularity of the celebration of Halloween in the American tradition in South Africa in the last 20 years has attracted the ire of religious extremists, with one prominent evangelical “reverend” going off the deep end, actually shooting a pre-teen child in the face at close range with a paintball gun from his vehicle while targeting children out trick-or-treating in 2005. Apparently he was out to teach them the dangers of messing with “the occult”. No shit. Halloween is dangerous alright – your kids could get shot in the face by crusading Christian fundamentalist lunatics for being out in the street, dressed as witches or vampires on Halloween.
Churches and associated groups, including “schools”, have made it their business what children watch, read or think. Parents are urged to prevent their children from exploring free thought, reading or watching anything which they fear or revile – including “Harry Potter” or *shiver* “Twilight”. Hmm. In hindsight, perhaps we could agree on “Twilight”. After all, those aren’t vampires – they’re sparkly, twinkly Fairies.
This past week in South Africa, we became aware that some teenagers are making inquiries about “turning” into vampires by means of a sort of suicide pact. Yes, people actually appear to be that stupid (witness the article referred to above involving the gasoline and matches). Apparently what these children believe, goodness knows why – is that killing themselves, after consuming the blood of a “vampire” (source undetermined), will cause them to reawaken – or come back to life – as vampires. Where they got this astonishing idea from is completely beyond me, but it wasn’t from us. No sir. No official source within the global Vampyre Community has ever published any policy confirming the theory of “turning”, nor entertained its serious discussion, nor its promotion or advocacy. In fact, I happen to know very well that it is discounted and dismissed as a possibilty, and condemned outright as a fool’s errand, and also the domain of snake-oil salesmen and charlatans with tin-foil hats and wind-up flashlights.
Therefore it is fairly obvious that any such idea was sourced from fiction, and not the real Vampyre Community – a detail which will no doubt somehow manage to be completely absent from any articles covering any tragedies resulting from this madness.
Quite frankly, we could do without this sort of thing. You see, Vampyres have known for some time that they are being watched by the Christian Right, and even here in South Africa – and some time ago, I found this article online and found it so disturbing, I decided to post about it. Considering today’s article, I decided it was time to update it a little. This is exactly the sort of religious-based intolerance and institutionalized ignorance and misinformation being applied to Vampyres as is applied to Pagans and Witches today.
No serious scholar would (or should) today expect to be taken seriously if they apply a fictional book like Twilight to explain, understand and criticize an actual community such as ours. Aside from the obvious, being the blood-need and the name “vampire”, we living Vampyres have very little in common with Edward Cullen and his troupe of sparkly, twinkly softies. Some of the terms used in the books and movies by Stephanie Meyer were copied from the real Vampyre Community, so doubtlessly, Ms Meyer spent a little time researching us, and writes an acerbic dissertation which at the end of it, is to the real Vampyre Community as a similar article critical of Harry Potter is to serious real Witches.
The article by Kanaan Ministries (a South African Christian fundamentalist group) is 49 pages of religious fundamentalist speculation and opinion on vampyrism, Wicca etc (the source document is even longer) from a supposedly “Christian” perspective – using “Twilight” *shudder* as a measure of what the real Vampyre community is all about.
After a lengthy explanation of the Twilight Saga (with pictures) the writer dissects the promotion of vampyrism and blood drinking (and Wicca) as a form of satanism (surprise, surprise), and then launches into a prejudiced and wildly inaccurate analysis of our community:
“People who become vampires often believe that they are born vampires, and have a condition much like a disease in that they need blood to survive. They believe it is a spiritual condition – a condition of their soul in which they do not have enough spiritual energy to meet their needs to live a normal healthy life. They call this energy force prana, pranic energy, chi, qi, ki, and so forth.
In fact, what they are referring to is the same Kundalini energy referred to in Yoga and New Age. It is occult power. Many who practice these religions believe the resulting imbalance in their systems, causes their spiritual energy to go into the negative, resulting in drastic affects to their health. Thus vampires are usually very pale looking. This lack of energy makes them drowsy all the time, causing serious affects to their autoimmune system. This makes them more vulnerable to viral or bacterial diseases, which they get more severely and for a longer duration. Because of this, they have to seek another source to obtain their “energy”. Their eyes and skin are extremely sensitive to light and the sun.
They say that their skin burns if exposed to bright light or the sun. Thus they spend most time indoors or in the dark. They suffer from “energy lusts”, a physical hunger pain or a mental fixation for the blood from which they draw their energy. This is described as feeling like a heroin addict who needs a fix. Their senses have a dramatic increase in sensitivity and have strength beyond what is normal, even at puberty. These signs of strength and ability at puberty are called “signs of awakening”.”
The author demonstrates agreement with the hostile bias predominant in evangelical circles against New Age and other belief systems or spiritualities which include energy work, meditation and also many health treatments utilizing these and more, which have shown clear benefit to human health, to the point where modern medicine even refers to these treatments. [My commentary is in square brackets].
The author continues, in the form of an appeal: “Please know, none of this is gratuitous information … it is in fact both rather disgusting and disturbing, but we need to understand what we are dealing with.
Vampires classify themselves in several categories :
“There are vampires (male) and vampiresses (female).” [Not true – Vampyres refer to each other as ‘Vampyres’, or ‘Kin’ or ‘Kindred’] “They can also be androgynous or gender switched, homosexual, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual. [Why is everything always about sex and gender with these people? As if that means anything conclusive? Oh wait, they hate anything not heternormative or gender-conforming…]
“They are also colloquially called “leeches”.” [Only as an insult, of course] “Leeches were animals used to suck blood, the mainstay for medical practitioners for centuries and are still used in medicine today!”
The author lists terms used in various Vampyre community groups around the world, sourced from lexicons, both reliable and unreliable, in wide use and not, in an attempt to understand our culture – and in careful analysis, demonstrates a noticable inability to do so:
• Childe Vampires:
A prerogative term for an inexperienced vampire. [A Fledgling Vampyre who is apprenticed to a Mentor]
• Klavasi Vampires:
A vampire who experiences a post-pubertal “awakening”. Most vampires can be classified as such.
• Dhampyri Vampires:
Those who exhibit symptoms of vampirism prior to puberty.
• Elder Vampires:
A person who has been active in the vampire community for a lengthy interval. [More experienced members of community groups are known as “Calmae”, or later, “Elders”.]
• Mentor Vampires:
An experienced vampire who guides a fledgling.
• Kindred Vampires:
Fellow vampires. [The term “Kindred” is a Vampyre term to describe Vampyre-kind. Its origins are uncertain, but it was later used in the V:tM roleplaying game of the 1990’s and then in a TV series based upon the game, leading most of the modern community to largely discard it as “tainted”.]
• Auto Vampires:
The drinking of one’s own blood. [This is called “auto-vampirism”, it is a psychological term, not a VC term, and this act is almost always discouraged within the community]
• Adra Vampires:
A sponsor or mentor of a “fledgling” vampire. Fledgling is a term for a recently awakened vampire.
• Black Swan vampires:
An individual who is not a vampire, but who is close to one or more vampires. “Black Swan” vampires are often a supporter of the community. The white swan vampires maybe vampires also, but they are more likely to be connected to Wicca and the goddess, the swan being one of her symbols.
Black Swans are not Vampyres at all. They are not even called “Black Swan Vampyres” or “Vampyres”. They are called “Black Swans”, sometimes just “Swans” – and in fact the only reason they are called this, is because they are associated with the community. The use of the swan as a symbol or code name has nothing to do with Wicca or any goddess. Black Swans are called Black Swans because as in nature, there are far fewer black swans than white, and because of the analogy that there are far more people hostile to us than those who are friendly.
“White Swans” are in no way Vampyres either – but they are people who are hostile to the Vampyre Community, and who are aware of it. The people who wrote this article might be considered White Swans, if not “fruit bats” – but trust me, they’re not even that good.]
• Sanguines (“Blood Junkies”):
These use sanguarian feeding from blood, using cutting techniques with scalpels, straight edges razors, or spring loaded needles such as those used by diabetics. This covers the whole area of self-mutilation as well. They suffer from “blood lust”, indulge in “blood play” and “blood letting” – the same practice as doctors in history used! They call themselves, Haematophilias. [I believe they mean “hematophiles”] “Vamping out” is an extreme attack of hunger which they experience, and which may compel them to tap into the emotional energy of others in addition to consuming blood.
This last paragraph further demonstrates a complete misunderstanding on the part of the authors. “Blood Junkie” for one is a derogatory term for a Sanguine Vampyre, as much as “leech” is. It also derides the need of the Vampyre to that of a mere addiction. An effective analogy would be to call all people who eat food, or breathe, addicts also. It is also vital to indicate that not all people who are associated with blood, are Vampyres. There are also people who enjoy blood play, or mutilation, but they are not of necessity, as portrayed by this author, Vampyres. Anyone can drink blood, or derive pleasure from it – but not all of them need it or have to have it.
• Psi- or Psy- Vampires:
These vampires feed psychically, by psychic attacks, or by energy manipulation, reaching out to with their spiritual-selves to harvest energy from one or multiple targets either using auric tendrils or astral projecting. They feed on plant energy, called “natural feeding”. They also feed on animals and astral creatures. Often their auric tendrils will simply feed on anyone and anything around them. They feed on emotional energy, pain, terror, or from ambient energy. These use “surface feeding”, skimming the surface of auras. They feed on deep feeling, where the tendril is focused accurately on one point the core of the donor’s energy, and pull it out from the deepest parts, this is describes as from the chakras. This process is often done through meditation, visualization, and making astral contact. These psychic vampires feed on “crowd” energy from large groups, perhaps this is what occult dictators like Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein got “high’ on?
Oh, the irony! How better to demonize an entire group than by subtly associating it with hated and reviled figures from history such as Stalin, Hitler and Hussein? Very well done. They attempt to completely exclude from thought the possibility that there are millions more of us out there who have made valuable and positive contributions to the world, in spite of also feeding off it. What a two-dimensional and shallow portrait they paint!
• Sexual Vampires [Haematophilias, Haematodipsias]:
They feed through sexual means or just off sexual energy, tantric “feeding” through touch, emotions, sexual, and emotional obsession, pornography, prostitution, sexual deviation, pedophilia, and sexual sadomasochism.”
Of course, the archetype of absolute evil they are trying to apply to us here would not be complete without all these attributes, would it?
“Those that feed off this energy, call themselves “succubi” and “incubi”. This is erotic, both sexual consensual, raping vampirism, and blood bonding vampirism, which involves controlled cutting, rough sex and masochism to achieve a “primal” experience. In English, we use the word “vamp” to describe anyone who is sexually alluring.
• Hybrid Vampires:
These are those who use all methods. [ Correction – those who employ both Sanguine and PSI methods of feeding, including one or more variants of PSI feeding.]
• Curious Vampires:
People who just try vampirism to see what it feels and tastes like. [This is incorrect. The term applied to describe this would be “Seeker”.]
• Extremists Vampires:
These are religious cults, fanatics, killers, ‘snuff ‘ movie makers, body modificators, those that participate the horrifying cult of being hung through hooks in the flesh. Body gashers, those who in religious fervour whip themselves, the ‘cilice’ of Opus Die, the hair shirts of Mormons, satanic murder on alters etc. These groups indulge in pain, self inflicted pain and the pain caused to others especially defenceless children. They feed on the ‘blood high’ adrenaline released by those in severe trauma.”
Naturally, this dwelling on the “extremist religious cults” is an attempt to paint the entire community in the same light of disapproval and revulsion… And most of this is based on pure conjecture, and a slice of invention. Not one single secretive Vampyre group has ever gone on record to reveal its inner workings, or practices as described above by these “experts” to the general public. This however, does not dissuade their speculation and drive to discredit and defame:
“They might kill a human or animal just to get blood, they might drink it out of a glass or skull and offer it as part of a religious service in which they may use it to worship a diety.”
Here they launch into a description of dead Pagan religious practices and attempt to draw definitive comparisons with modern Vampyres, as though Vampyres form part of this cult. “In the worship of Artemis (Diana of Epheseus) her male priesthood worked themselves up into a such a trance frenzy, they would, in a bloodbath of religious fervour, self castrate themselves, lay their genitals on her alter as a supreme act of worship, and begin to dress as a woman from that point on. Self mutilation forms in integral part of many Indian rituals, the same force is behind many circumcision and tribal initiation rituals. Taken to an extreme these people become fanatics unable to distinguish reality from the fantasy, often leading to criminal, masochistic behavior and even serial killing as in the case of Elizabeth of Bathory.”
NOTE: of course here they argue that all vampyres will indulge in killing humans or animals, link us to cruelty and also link other bizarre practices such as mutilation and masochism – and oddly enough, even try to make us look “immoral” by throwing in some gender bending on the side. I find it funny that such fanatics will even call US fanatics as in this case – and then throw in a name like Elizabeth of Bathory, who was at best simply insane and not considered truly Vampyre.
A vampire community term for a male vampire who feeds on pranic energy while involved in sexual activity, which includes pornography, masturbation, and so forth. [And we all know that you will go blind from this, my Childer…*wink*]
A vampire community term for a female vampire who feeds on pranic energy while having sex. [Actually, the clear vision of a separate Tantric Vampyre and demon-spirit Succubus really blurs, sometimes to the point where it is very hard to tell them apart sometimes…]
• Stalker Vampires:
Predatory hunters who stalk their victims. [Funny, one would think all these “victims” would turn up dead all over the papers, wouldn’t you?]
• Pedophilic Vampires:
Vampires who lure children” [This is a complete fabrication on their part – there is no such description within the Vampyre Community, and in fact, by and large, the Community has proved to be self-policing, and law-abiding – a fact borne out by the contents of community laws and tenets such as the Black Veil and Totum Lex Vampyrica. Naturally this is an attempt on their part to play word-association games similar to the way, to many people, “gay=pedophile”. This doesn’t make it true.]
Of course, we had to expect that, considering how fixated these folks are on sex – and children. One has to wonder where their minds are – even gay people are accused by them of being pedophiles! Interesting that while neither we – nor gay people – can “turn” anyone, they most certainly can – just leave a young impressionable kid in their care for a little while and see what you get back *wink*. So who’s after kids again, Pastor?
“• Glamour Vampires:
Those who use glamour to seduce or lure their victims. There is also another type of Vampire the extortionist, one who preys on others financially. These financial vampires extort money, goods and resources from others and from the land.”
At this point, the authors work to portray Vampyres as morally corrupt, financial predators. The very same tactics were employed by the Nazis against the Jews in the 1920’s and 30’s – and also against gay people during the 1960’s even up to the present day. It’s really quite obvious once you know what to look for – make your enemy look as bad and dangerous as possible, and people will flock to your cause to be rid of them.
“Vampires call themselves “otherkins”, “therians”, “dragonkins”, “felinekins”, or “energy workers”. They believe that vampires need to be “turned” or “awakened”, and every vampire has from their time of birth a “beacon”, which is a spiritual marker upon their spiritual-selves that can be felt by others and that identifies a person as a vampire, or latent vampire. They learn to “discern” those with a beacon and can identify their sort, calling that recognization the “energy signature”. This energy signal generated by both vampires and latent vampires main function is to assist latent vampires to “awaken”. The ability to sense the beacon is often comically referred to as “vampdar” in reference to what the vampire community calls “gaydar”.”
There seems to be a clear misunderstanding here – as we know the term, “Otherkin” does not refer to Vampyres perse’. And I have never ever heard of any Otherkin calling themselves “dragonkins” or “felinekins”. The whole thing evokes images of the Cabbage Patch Kids, or the Smurfs. And no, even “Twilight” is better than that.
“They call blood drinking the “blood bond”. This term also refers to the marriage between two vampires and the initiation when one joins a vampire coven. Blood givers are called “donors” for they believe that two vampires can feed on each other, but will not live a healthy life as it will cause a continual loss of energy. This is why vampires are continually looking for “new blood”. Normally, they look for what they call “outside donors”, or close and trusted friends who understand their situation.” [Yes, we do have donors (they are normally referred to as “Donors”, with a capital “D”.]
NOTE: Yet another error on their part – the blood bond is not any form of “marriage” – it refers to the subtle bond between those who have shared life essences with one another, either exclusively or mutually. And from what I can tell, the blood bond is life-long, far longer than most of the “marriages” they compare it to. Yet even so, of itself it is no more binding than exchanging blood with a “blood-brother” as children. the concept is even in classical novels like “Tom Sawyer” – are we to expect that to be taken from the libraries and book stores and burned as well?
“Vampires can be forcefully awakened, ritually awakened, naturally awakened, or Ardetha – those awakened by magical rituals. The “awakening” is when they realize what their true condition is.” [This is speculative and most likely nothing more than hearsay. No Vampyres known to me in the global VC have ever claimed to have been awakened by any other means than by their own nature. At any rate, the terminology they refer to here is not general, but peculiar to various sects within the Community.]
“Vampires use the ethical rulebook called the “Black Veil” also called the “Thirteen Rules” of community to live by. It is a form of a vampire “bible”. [This is completely untrue. The Black Veil is only a page long, and although longer than the fundamentals of fundamentalist “Christianity”, is simply a set of guidelines admonishing responsible and safe practices within the community. They make no mention of the Totum Lex Vampyrica, or TLV, the community law set in use in South Africa and parts of Spanish South America. In either case, these are in no way, shape, or form, a “vampire bible”.] “They use the term “coming out of the coffin” as a way to make their vampirism public. Excommunication is the vampire term for excluding a vampire from a coven or from the entire vampire community. The “haven” is the place where vampires meet and are safe. A “house” is the term for a group of vampires with common beliefs, ritual traditions, and so forth.” [This is probably the first statement they have made that I can confirm.]
Somewhat predictably, the author begins to throw in quotations from their “bible” on the topic of blood consumption and demonic possession:
“Matthew 12:43-45 “43 But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry [arid] places in search of rest, but it does not find any. 44 Then it says, I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So also shall it be with this wicked generation.”
This verse so aptly describes the activity of “revenants, risen corpses or vampires”. They are, in fact, the blasphemous satanic counterfeits of the of the only True Risen Messiah, Y’shua [Jesus] Ha’Maschiah, the one who rose from the grave and is alive forever more, and Who is seated at the right hand of the Father far above all principalities and powers.”
Real living Vampyres are not “revenants”, nor risen corpses, nor are we the undead “vampires” they refer to – which is by historical definition synonymous with the other two descriptions.
At this point, clearly, the document begins to shift perspective from simply analyzing and explaining Vampyre culture, to condemning and breaking it down from the perspective of their religious zealotry and fanatacism.
I have been in contact with Kanaan Ministries on this matter, making discreet inquiries about the more detailed original document as advertised on their site. They sent it to me, and when asked about how aware they are of the local community, they were surprisingly forthcoming, if not only to admit to their ignorant bias and prejudice.
“We have come across vampire and death cults in South Africa — there are many among the satanists. The African people that worship the dead and zombies (the walking dead) — this opens the doors to vampires and blood-sucking demons.” “Because of the Twilight books and films,” They say, “Vampirism has become quite popular — there are vampire clubs where people dress up like vampires and where they suck each other’s blood.”
Yes, they know about our existence as a community in South Africa, and yes, they view us, unsurprisingly, as a threat, and also – somewhat unsurprisingly – through the muddy, indistinct lens of “satanic panic”, which taints their minds with ignorance, prejudice and suspicion. A volatile and explosive mixture.
The question I see here is these people take us very seriously indeed – such a serious research paper begs the question: Are they planning to do about it – and if so, what?
Trust me, if they could, they would round us – ALL of us, Vampyres, Pagans and Witches – up and try to “exorcise” us – or simply burn us alive as they did during the Inquisition, or the Burning Times.
The dissertation is quite detailed on matters of the fictional vampire appearing in aspects of modern pop culture – “More than a hundred vampire songs have appeared in contemporary music in the last decade. They contain lyrics of the “undead”, nocturnal existence, famous vampires, vampire traits, being a “victim”, being chained, drained, or predatory hunger for someone else and their blood. Titles such as “Grave Digger”, “Bloodletting”,’ “The Beast”, “Fresh Blood”, and so forth are enough to tell us what is being pumped through our youth’s earphones and speakers, right into their deep subconscious … and yet they and we say it has no affect.”
How arrogant and judgmental to make such harsh commentary on so many diverse cultures and religions through history, as if they know everything about it, or as if their religion is any different to any of the things they here criticize… or above the letting of blood – and most especially the letting of innocent, non-consensual blood.
The article then goes on to critique shape shifters, goths and emos, Wiccans… oy, these poor Christians – they see monsters in every shadow. It must be a burden to be so paranoid!
I think some of these folks would like to return to the Burning Times so they could enforce their narrow views on everyone and pretend it was their own fault. Notice also the attempt to link Vampirism to everything which they view as dangerous, evil and “immoral”… It is a piece of “satanic panic” propaganda of note. Let me close with a final thought from the book:
“These Twilight movies and books have sparked a worldwide interest in vampirism. However, Y’shua our Savior has also begun to expose the dark – up to now mostly hidden – subculture of vampires, satanists, and Goths that actually exist … about which the church is in denial.”
Facts that our culture has little to do with the trappings of vampire fiction, and is in fact far older, aside – if this is not an admonition for their group to do something about what they are clearly painting as a problem or threat to their religion or their cultural numerical superiority, then what is it?