A Place for Positive News from the Real Vampire Community

•October 17, 2011 • 1 Comment

The purpose of this blog is to provide news about the activites and contributions of real vampires and vampire groups. There are any number of stories in the press about people claiming to be vampires while commiting crimes or other misdeeds. To my knowledge these individuals are not part of the  online vampire community and are not representative of its members. It is my goal to provide some insight into the actual activities and efforts of those within the community and to shed light on the positive contributions they make as individuals and groups.

I’d like to occasionally (once or twice a month) feature the work and activities of people in the community. If you know or are someone who should be featured in an upcoming article, please contact me via Facebook message or  email at elzroze @ yahoo . com (spaces have been added in my email address to avoid spambots; please remove when using my email address).  People’s identities can remain anonymous if preferred.

Psi Active Week 1: Vampirism

•February 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This article asks some basic questions and asks for the opinions of 3 vampires on the nature and future of the online vampire community. The author has gotten perspectives from three distinctly different individuals, representative of the majority of the range of ideas and opinions that may be found within the OVC.

Psi Active Week 1: Vampirism.

Chatting with Vampires ~ one on one.

•January 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is the first in a series of articles by Real Vampire News interviewing various members of the real vampire community.

http://www.realvampirenews.com/2012/01/chatting-with-vampires-one-on-one/

The Vampire of Norway ( Pt 1 of Vampires of the World)

•January 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is the first in an interesting and insightful series of articles about the real vampires in various corners of the world.

The Vampire of Norway ( Pt 1 of Vampires of the World).

In the Shadow of the Vampire – GetFanged Interviews Elzie Roze

•November 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The following is reprinted by permission from GetFanged.com and is available in the Interviews section of that site. This interview is not so much about me as about this blog, the real vampire community, and the challenges which face us. I thought it was worth posting here as an introduction to my readers on my general philosophies and thoughts. Thank you Silver and Get Fanged staff.

~Elzie Roze

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Blue butterflyIn the Shadow of the Vampire – GetFanged Interviews Elzie Roze

Posted by Silver on November 25, 2011 at 9:04pm in Interviews

Elzie Roze is a member of the real vampire community and the founder of “Elzie Roze”, a blog focusing on the positive influences and individuals making a difference in the ongoing war against public misconceptions about real vampires. She can also be found at “HELP STOP CYBER BULLIES” an all-ages group on Facebook that provides advice, support, and resources to families and individuals affected by bullying. This month Elzie sits down with GetFanged to talk about the blog, the current climate of the online vampire community, and how vampires themselves can work together to combat the barrage of misconceptions “Twilight” and “Vampire True Crime” has cast on real vampires.

How did you first become involved in the real vampire communities? How has it changed since then?

I have only been involved in the community for just over a year. I had been struggling with the question of my own vampirism for some time before that however and had visited virtually every site related to real vampirism on the web. I’d read the information there and searched through the publicly viewable forums. I read several books on the subject as well. Then I began to search for real contacts in the community.

My first involvement was through a local meet up group, so my first impressions of the community were formed by that. I found a few serious, intelligent individuals with whom I could talk openly and from whom I could learn. It was a wonderful thing to find a group of people to communicate with and all of our interactions were respectful and friendly.

Then last April one of the meetup group members urged me to come onto Facebook, put me into 4 vampire groups on Facebook, and invited me to one off-Facebook vampire webite with discussion forums.

It was this experience that changed my view of the larger vampire community. What I unfortunately found in at least two of the 4 Facebook groups was… chaos… arguments, name-calling, attempts to intimidate one another, bullying of new members or members that didn’t agree with certain viewpoints, trolling, flaming… I sat quietly in the “corner” of these groups, posting nothing, watching with dismay, wondering why those who should be united in their struggle to live with vampirism were seeking to be divided from one another.

I had two choices at that point: leave and limit myself interactions to the few local people, or stay and see if this community could find some order, mutual respect, and united purpose. I chose to stay. That choice commited me to doing my part to see that order, respect and unity were forwarded.

What made you decide to open the blog?

It was never my intention to write a blog. I’ve been very content to talk with people in the group threads and by messaging. I’ve even had the opportunity to get to know a few people by phone or over voice chat. That’s been a very positive experience. I’d like to think that I have made several good friends and quite a few nice acquaintances with whom I can discuss issues and share ideas. It was during a heated debate with one long time community member that I was actually challenged to write, publish, and promote my own positive articles on the community, it’s activities, and it’s individuals. I took the challenge and published the first blog article in the middle of October.

Tell us a bit about the blog and how it works. Do you have help? 

At this time I am the only one working on the blog as far as doing interviews and the actual writing goes. I do have one person who has volunteered to assist me with the interviewing if I decide I need it. The first article was also sent to a group of community friends prior to its publication so that they could give me feedback and help me with the proof-reading. That was very helpful since I have no training in journalistic writing. In addition, I have given each person/group on whom I’ve written articles the opportunity to review the content prior to its publication. Often I’ve left something out that they think I should add or there are additional details I need them to fill in.

How has it been received inside and outside of the communities?

I think the articles have generally been well received with a couple hundred people reading each one. I am not directly aware of whether the articles have been read by those outside of the community. Since the blog is new and I don’t know much about blogging, I’ve done nothing to promote the articles outside of the community. The only promotion I have so far done is to post links to the articles in various Facebook groups.

What do you think are the greatest challenges to changing public opinion about real vampires? 

I’d like to blame the perceptions of the community on Twilight, but actually, come to think of it — movies and books of that type, while promoting wrong ideas about actual vampirism and drawing some teenagers into an interest in vampirism — do very little harm to public opinion regarding real vampires. The real harm to the community comes from the media’s interest in finding and labeling criminal activities as “vampire” related. These crimes, commited by disturbed and bad individuals are rarely, if ever, commited by those associated with the real vampire community on- or off-line.

The second issue that most greatly impacts the public misperceptions of the real vampire community is the community itself, however. Individuals who insist that certain ways of dress and behavior are necessary to “real vampirism” inadvertently promote the public view that real vampires are “lifestylers”, “role-players”, or simply mentally ill. There is nothing in and of itself wrong with dressing like a fictional vampire and engaging in ritual and such, but it does nothing to dispell the adverse public opinions and is not in fact at all necessary or connected to real vampirism.

How can these challenges be overcome?

Well, I’m an incurable optimist and idealist, so I do believe that positive changes can be achieved. All it takes are individuals who are relentlessly, tirelessly, and rationally committed to leading and participating in making that change happen over the long term. It will take dialogue and relationship building between individuals and groups so that the goals and the means to achieve them can be discussed, planned, and carried out.

I do believe that some of the various parts of the solution to unifying the real vampire community, forwarding serious research into the causes, and improving public opinion and acceptance of real vampires will include some or all of the following:

  • A generally accepted definition of what real vampirism is and isn’t. I believe that the definition will be need/physically based and that those things which should be agreed upon as NOT constituting a vampirism will be items such as dress, religion, BDSM, hedirarchical house organization, metaphysical theories, alien or mythological hybridism and the like.– Elimination or separation of individuals who are only role-players, life-stylers, mentally ill, religious fanatics, or fetishists from the main part of the community
  • Leaders stepping forward who are non-ego centered, commited, able, and dedicated to erradicating drama, bullying, and disrespect from the community
  • The general promotion by all community members to a free exchange of ideas, beneficial debate, and mutual respect

Only then will the community be really ready and able to present itself before the public, explain what it and its members are, and move public opinion in a positive direction.

What constitutes real “vampire news” in the communities? How can vampires separate themselves from the flood of entertainment and myth-based stories that have become so popular?

Real vampire news would include the following:

  • Stories about individuals who are contributing in small or large ways to the vampire community and society at large
  • Stories about the activities and events of real vampire groups within the larger community, including get togethers, meetups, new websites, new discussion groups, charity events, etc.
  • Scientific investigations which may shed some light on the causes of vampirism– Informational articles on blood drawing, safety, risks, storage, methods of obtaining psychic energy, and the like
  • Articles about public perceptions of the real vampire community

Real vampire news would not, in my opinion include the following:

  • General Information about Facebook which effects all users and has no specific impact on the vampire community above and beyond that
  • Stories about Goth bands, horror movies and books, spiritual and religious issues (including but not limited to satanism, luciferianism, wicca, witchcraft, and so-called vampiric religions), aliens, ancient cultures– unless there is some direct link to the vampire community such as one of the members being the author of a book, a member of a band, an interviewee in some media story or that kind of thing.

By holding ourselves in high esteem and refusing ourselves to be drawn into the media frenzy regarding fictional vampires we will separate ourselves from the misconceptions and fictionalization of ourselves. We should all remember, I think, that whatever we write within the on-line community may well be read by those who are not actually part of the real community, that what we say and do may well be re-told to others outside of the community. How we conduct ourselves as individuals and a community is, therefore, important to eventual public perceptions of us.

What do you think has caused the recent surge of “vampire crime” stories and negative publicity for vampires in the media?

The recent interest in everything vampire — Twilight, True Blood, and any number of books, TV programs, and movies– has caught the interest of many teenagers and others. The media needs to get people interested in stories so has been fond of occasionally labeling certain bloody crimes as “vampire” crimes, particularly if there is some evidence to suggest that the victim was bitten. In addition, some criminals who seek to either make themselves celebrities for a day, are delusional, or who are simply looking for a psychiatric angle to get lesser penalties for their crimes, use “vampire” as an excuse for their actions. In other words, it is a vicious spiral — the TV/movie makers/book publishers promote their works, the media uses the term, criminals use the term, interest in vampires increases, and the whole cycle escalates again… Eventually, vampires will fall out of fashion a bit and the TV/movies/book sales will fall off, the media interest will fall off, and the crimes labeled as vampiric will taper off.

How, if at all, should the vampire communities respond to this recent increase in negative publicity? How can vampires work to separate themselves from being associated with the criminals currently being highlighted in the news.

In general, these stories are unremarkable. Yes, the crimes are terrible, but there are a lot of terrible things that people do to one another. The vampire community should only be concerned by two types of these articles: the ones in which the media seems to present some evidence that the criminals are part of a “vampire house” or the “vampire community”, and the types of stories (several of which we have seen recently) when the vampire community is blamed for the criminals crimes or in which the author of the article declares in some way that the criminal activity is symptomatic of the community at large.
I do believe that if a united front was presented consistently, rationally, and publicly against such articles and associations with the criminal individual involved that it would have a positive effect. It would be beneficial to the community as a whole to have an organization who had as one of its duties to respond to such negative and misleading publicity — an organization who could say that the criminals involved were not known to be members of this community and that their actions in no way reflect the community in part or as a whole — a press office, in effect. We have no such orgainzation at the moment.

How do you think think negative publicity has affected the communities at large? What has the impact been on vampires who are unfairly grouped with these individuals?

While many vampires are “invisible” in the community — looking, dressing, and acting like others in public, the goth community has been put in some danger. There have been assaults on individuals who “look like” vampires. Most of us keep a low profile, or hide the fact that we are vampires because it would effect our jobs, risk us losing our children, and cause us to become estranged from our families. In some ways, the vampire community is very analagous to the LGBT community who had to hide who they were for a long time, and who still struggle with public opinion and bigotry that would portray them as evil, mentally ill, and dangerous. The more information that the LGBT community has been able to get out to the public, the more that they have been able to disprove the stereotypes. The more that they have been vocal on their own behalf, the more acceptance they have recieved from the public. They have been able to do this because the presented a unified front with strong leaders and clear goals. This is a model we can and should emulate.

How can community leaders work to improve the reptuation of the real vampire community and accentuate the positives of its members?

Lao Tsu says in the Tao te Ching that:

If You Fail To Honor Your People, They Will Fail To Honor You; It Is Said Of A Good Leader That When The Work Is Done, The Aim Fulfilled, The People Will Say, “We Did This Ourselves.”

I guess the point I am trying to make is that leaders are needed who put the goals and welfare of the community above their own goals and well-being — that they see leadership as a service and not as a perk or a right.

If leaders will forget their own egos and reputations and commit themselves to doing whatever is necessary to benefit the community and its members at large, that is all that’s necessary. Yes, it’s a hard job. Yes, it is often a thankless job. But if leaders will lead by example — contolling their own words and actions, refusing to tolerate bigotry, bullying, trolling and flaming; if they will insist on mutual respect, promote the free exchange of ideas, engage in and teach the skills of debate, and refuse to allow drama and role-playing in serious groups — unity will be promoted and achieved, and the community will be proud of itself. In other words, the leader can begin and maintain an atmosphere of positive peer-pressure — people may well follow the example and it would become the new “custom” of the community.

What are the most common misconceptions about vampires?

Wow! There are so many to choose from — sparkling, sleeping in coffins, immortality!… But seriously, the ones that concern me are that all those who claim to be “real vampires” are mentally ill (delusional), that such people are dangerous (and attack others), and that we are in general evil. The truth is — we don’t sparkle; most of us have never and will never sleep in a coffin; we aren’t immortal. Most of us are in fact sane, morally sound, and about as good or flawed as the rest of humanity.

How can vampires themselves educate the public against these common misconceptions?

When we have unified ourselves enough to form an organization who can speak to the media and the press on our behalf — a collective voice — that will be an excellent way to address the public and give them real information about who and what we actually are and are about.

Another cause close to your heart – bullying – is gaining incredible exposure and celebrity endorsements in the mainstream media. Are you surprised by the recent surge in coverage? Is it harmful or helpful to the cause?

No. I’m not surprised. I think that as a society we have come to the point that we are able to recognize the many ways we are unjust and cruel to one another and we are seeking to erradicate the actions of a few (bully) individuals. This is happening in society at large just as it is also happening within the vampire community.

Do you have any personal experience with bullying or cyber-bullying?

Yes and no.

Do I feel that I have ever myself been the “victim” of a cyber-bully? No. That is in great part due to the fact that I don’t allow myself to be the victim of online bullying. I don’t take their bait and I take the appropriate actions immediately to end potential situations of that kind.

On the other hand, I have been involved in supporting, educating, and consulting with individuals who have been the targets of cyber-bullies. It does happen. It does do damage. It can be stopped and it should be stopped.

Do you find cyber-bullying prominant within the vampire community? If so, what do you feel is the cause?

Actually, I don’t think it is no more or less common than in the rest of the cyber-community, but where ever it exists it is a problem that needs to be dealt with. I have seen some hesitancy on the part of group leaders within the community to take decisive action themselves against bullies and trolls. The reason given was that if leaders “removed everyone who was drama prone or trolling this would be a much smaller community”. My gut level response to that — So what! This hesitancy to oust anyone for any reason from the online vampire community so that our numbers are larger makes no rational sense if what we are seeking is a unified community of individuals with similar stuggles and issues. It is not the numbers which are important. It is providing a beneficial environment where people can communicate, exchange ideas, and support one another that is vital.

What is the most common mistake a person can make when they find themselves being bullied? 

The mistake is in taking the bait — in responding — in giving the bully the satisfaction of knowing that he has pushed a tender button in you. Once you see where a conversation is headed, end it. Let the bully have the last word. Walk away. And if what the person says is offensive, report him to the group and/or site administrators and block the person.

Where can individuals who are being bullied look for help? 

The HELP STOP CYBER BULLIES Facebook group has a list of useful links to such sites available in the documents section of the group.

What’s next for Elzie Roze?

I don’t have a master plan. I intend to continue participating in groups, talking to individual members of the community via private message, phone, and voice chat. I hope to help build my local community here in Colorado. It would be very nice if we had more members and could meet more often. Other than that — I’ll follow my karmic path and see where it leads me and who it puts along my path.

How can readers support you and your blog?

I’m very glad you asked that. The best way that readers can support my blog is for them to suggest future stories to me. They can contact me by Facebook message or by email. My email address is available on the home page of the blog site. The blog site is https://elzieroze.wordpress.com/. In addition, I hope they will read the articles, rate and comment on them, and perhaps even subscribe to the blog.

Finally, What’s got you Fanged? 

I am very inspired by the people in the community. This is a community of interesting, intelligent, and strong-willed individuals. I enjoy talking with many of them. I see a good number of people who are new to the community who have tremendous potential to move this community forward in a positive direction and it is a pleasure getting to know them. There are also long time members of the community who have not yet had the opportunity to reach their full potentials as leaders, teachers, and contributors to the community. There is a great deal of talent, commitment, and potential lying dormant for the time being within the community. I look forward to seeing this potential fulfilled.

I’m excited by the exponentially expanding knowledge of modern science in all its various aspects. I enjoy reading about the new discoveries and theories of physicists, medical researchers, artificial intelligence theorists and engineers to name just a few. It is my hope that the vampire community can become the focus of a few good researchers who will move us forward towards a better understanding of ourselves.

Vampires, Black Friday, and Kids in Need

•November 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Vampire Banquet logoThis Black Fiday, November 25th 2011, the vampire community will join to raise donations for underprivledged kids this holiday season. SBTV (Savage Blade Productions Internet TV Channel) and Vampire Banquet will be buying toys and donating them to the New York City area Toys for Tots program.

On Black Friday, SBTV and Vampire Banquet will be posting links on their Facebook pages to 5 videos. Those who want to help them with this effort are asked to visit those pages, click on the links provided, and vote for their favorite video. People then are asked to leave a comment on the video they like best and $1 will be donated in the viewer’s Facebook name to the annual toy drive. In addition, SBTV will be matching those funds so that each “vote” will provide $2 towards toys for the kids.

On Saturday, November 26th, SBTV will head to the toy stores to spend the funds and film their purchases. Viewers Facebook names will also be added to the cards that will be attached to all of the toys.

If you’d like to help with this toy drive, please LIKE the following pages and look for the links to the videos which will be posted there on Black Friday:

SBTV: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SBTV/247135831978248?ref=ts

Vampire Banquet: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vampire-Banquet/154256601259995

Feasting with Vampires and the Homeless

•November 8, 2011 • 6 Comments

Homeless guest of NOVA eats Thanksgiving meal

Homeless guest of NOVA eats Thanksgiving meal

Every major holiday since Thanksgiving of 2005, the New Orleans homeless have joined the New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) for a meal in Jackson Square. The first year, it was just Beflazaar Ashantison and 20 guests. This Thanksgiving NOVA expects to feed about 85 homeless guests for the holiday meal.

The first Thanksgiving feast in Jackson square consisted of 2 turkeys, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, biscuits, and pumkin pie with whipped topping. “It was a comforting feeling just to be there with people who were as shell shocked as I was… Surviving any devastating event tends to leave people… hollow… inside for a long time to come… A haunted look remains, to this day, in the eyes of many of us who felt Katrina’s wrath”, he says.

Soon after, NOVA became involved with his holiday homeless outreach. NOVA is a non-profit council of vampires in the New Orleans area. They prepare and serve meals to the homeless in Jackson Square on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. These are times, says Zaar, “when, traditionally, the homeless are forgotten, save by those who feel the call to help them.” NOVA hopes to expand its services to the homeless by adding more programs for the homeless. They’d like to add more scheduled meal events to Jackson Square and create a homeless shelter. “Our homeless shelter will be open to anyone, however, due to the fact that our community has a number of pagans/neo-pagans/other religious affiliations and a good sized grouping of the GLBT community (of which I am openly gay), we’ve decided to truly make it a haven for the GLBT/pagan peoples”, says Zaar.

This winter, as they work to make the shelter a reality, they will expand their services to the homeless by providing blankets, socks, toilettries and other essentials for winter weather. They will be seeking donations to help them with
these efforts.

During the Endless Night Vampire Ball events at the end of October, Zaar
“offered readings to visiting vampire community members as a means to raiseHomeless guests of NOVA eats Thanksgiving meal funds for this years Thanksgiving Dinner.” He says that ” It was an amazing event to see so many vampires from OTHER communities reach out to help with this event.”

If you are interested in helping NOVA with donations to their efforts or are seeking more information about NOVA, please contact Belfazaar Ashantison by Facebook message or by email at theashantison@yahoo.com.