2011

HP

Highlights of 2011:

The publication of several documents within the international VC, such as “the Vampy(i)re Declaration of Community”,  whose contributors include figures from the US as well as South African VC. Increased references to media appearances, fiction, the naming of an unknown frog species, all relating to the word “vampire”. The reporting of crimes and incidents involving reference to the word “vampire”. At least one violent crime against a known member of the US VC. Reports of a “blood-cult” in Nigeria. In South Africa, the foundation and rise of the SA Vampyre Alliance (SAVA), interactions with the local Pagan community and the Pagan-Vampyre Dispute.

January 2: OVC, USA – Long time OVC member “CJ!” publishes “A Sanguinarian Treatise: An Argument For Partition From The Vampire Community” in which it is argued that Sang Vampyres need to detach from the Vampyre community and adopt the name “Sanguinarian”. Lengthy criticism of metaphysics and PSI Vampyre practices as well as the PSI identity follow. Numerous Sangs voice agreement and support. Serious discussions follow.

January 3: NYC, USA – Monday’s edition of “The Bachelor” reality TV series features Madison McKinley, a model-actress who boasts a pair of implanted vampire fangs. A video clip from the show featuring Madison appears on the internet and is widely circulated on the OVC, where she appears in an interview with alleged catch Brad Womack. The news and scandal media center on Madison, her implanted fangs and her involvement in a NYC “vampire cult”. VC members, upset about the inaccurate sensationalist reporting surrounding the contestant, initially question whether it is a publicity stunt, but it subsequently emerges that Madison is a member of the Sanguinarium in NYC and has adopted a vampire lifestyle and belief system.

January 6: Vietnam – An Australian scientist’s discovery of an unknown frog species in Vietnam is reported. The discovery surprises many Vietnamese scientists, who sometimes joke that “there is nothing more to research in the country’s northern forests – because there are no more forests.” The reason for this peculiar attitude is that the remaining forests in Vietnam have been severely damaged by various environmental changes over the past 30 years, leaving little room for unknown species to hide from plain sight. However, a lot of new species have been identified in the north in the past few years – but oddly enough, mainly by foreign biologists. According to Australian Museum scientist Dr Jodi Rowley, the biologist who is credited with discovering the vampire flying frog, it earned its nickname because its tadpoles have odd black fangs. Supposedly this is the first time fangs have been found in a tadpole, which is quite a discovery in itself. The vampire flying frog uses it’s webbed toes to glide between treetops. “We don’t know of anything quite like this that’s for sure, so we’re taking a lot of time to work out why on Earth they have these fangs,” Dr Rowley said, speculating that this may have something to do with what they eat. Dr Rowley specializes in amphibian-reptile studies – and particularly in frog species of South East Asia.

January 6: OVC – 16-year-old community member, Zerochan writes “An Open Letter To The Vampire Community At Large” and posts it on several VC sites. In the latter she criticizes the current state of affairs in the VC, with a schism looming between PSI and Sang Vampyres, with Hybrid Vampyres caught in the middle, and appeals for tolerance, reason and common sense. The document calls for unity in the VC. For some, given the age in relation to the clearly apparent maturity of the writer and her clearly articulated thoughts, she shames many in the Vampyre Community. Although it is well received by most, it attracts the ire of some, but none are able to deny or disprove her assessment of the situation.

January 7: Philidelphia, USA – Kate Blanche, head of House Morpheus in Philidelphia publicly confesses on her Facebook page to being the vampophobic writer Robert Parratore.

January 10: Arizona, USA – Jarrod-Lee Loughner, the 22 year-old who attempted to assassinate Congresswoman (Dem) Giffords, and who also shot dead 6 bystanders, including a Federal judge and a 9 year-old girl and wounded 14 others at a constituency rally on 9 January, is described by an online Republican news agency as fitting “into the classic satanic/vampire cult wannabe mold, which makes the establishment’s effort to conflate him with conservatives and tea partiers all the more deceptive.” The article conveniently omits to mention Laughner’s favorite reading material, which is listed by him on his Facebook profile – “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler, and the Communist Manifesto, and attempts to paint him as a leftist. The comparison of real Vampyres to Loughner causes some offense to the community.

January 10: NYC, USA – Madison McKinley, the Bachelor’s “vampire girl” is featured in a public service announcement for the American Red Cross on the show, encouraging the public to donate blood. News media decry the fact that she is not more exposed and that a lot of footage that was available was not aired. Madison hardly speaks in the episode and isn’t the focus of the Red Cross PSA sequence, although it is claimed she caps the spot itself with a performance as a lusty dominatrix.

January 10: OVC, USA – “A Hybrid Vampire Manifesto” is posted on the AVA forum, Written by a 16-year-old community member, Zerochan, the document discusses possible reasons for Hybrid Vampyres experiencing vampirism the way they do, as well as attempting to clarify what a Hybrid Vampyre is to the PSI and Sang members of the VC, but especially to other Hybrid Vampyres who may not be clear on their exact nature or needs. The document is a rare example of a document detailing Hybrid nature written by a Hybrid and is very well received on the forum.

January 10: Loralinda, Florida, USA – 83 years old and still hunting vampires, Frank Stagmire accidentally shoots himself in the foot with an arrow from a home made crossbow while loading the weapon. Law enforcement officials state there will be no charges filed against the retired NASA scientist, and that he is allowed by law to retain his crossbow, as well as two other crossbows, four handguns, a rifle and a shotgun found in his residence – and that they will continue to look into Mr. Stagmire’s “hobby”. “It’s just a matter of time,” He says. “If I live long enough, I’ll get one sooner or later.” “There is nothing against the law concerning the weapons he owns,” a Loralinda Police officer says, “however, we are concerned with his hobby of hunting vampires. We will be following up with Mr. Stagmire concerning that.” “I’m not breaking the law,” Stagmire responds. “It’s not against the law to hunt and kill vampires. Officially, vampires don’t exist, so there are no laws to protect them. It would be a poor judge who would try to give these vamps their rights. The Constitution protects the living, not the living dead.” Rumors circulate that this article is a hoax, but without confirmation.

January 11: Las Vegas, USA – Matriarch of the House of Ma’at, Grand Duchess Nessa, announces the closure of her House because she has turned her back on her vampiric nature and become a “reborn Christian”. In her announcement, she urges all Vampyres to follow her example and states that her “pastor” is currently taking down the House of Ma’at website, and will be contacting all its members and mailing list, possibly with a view to influencing them to follow suit. She states that the House of Ma’at will henceforth be known as the “House of Jesus Christ”. Many in the VC wish her well, but some speculate and view this action by her and the referenced “pastor” as a potential attack on members of the VC.

January 13: USA – In an article entitled “Vampire Boys, Where Lithe Immortal Blood Suckers Hunt For Hot College Blood” director Charlie Vaughn’s gay-focused vampire drama “Vampire Boys” is announced on LGBT website, “Queerty” among comments such as “first came gay vampire porn, and now comes gay vampire drama.” Producers sum up the plot as follows: “Jasin and his vampire brood’s time is running out. In order for them to survive, Jasin needs to find a mortal to turn into a vampire to spend eternity with. Los Angeles provides plenty of young candidates. The brood has their eyes set on Tara, a young, gorgeous blond college student. Tara is open to the idea of becoming a vampire, but someone else enters the picture to disrupt the brood’s plans. Caleb, a fresh face college student new to Los Angeles, keeps dreaming of a mysterious stranger. At school, Caleb meets the stranger, Jasin, and they have an instant connection. The problem is that time is short, and Jasin needs to convince Caleb that eternity as a vampire can be a very sweet life.”

January 14: USA – Kate Blanch posts a statement on Facebook in which she confesses to having been the true identity behind the fake online personality Robert Parratore, also unmasking House Morpheus as a front for the Order of Maidenfear and further implicating Lupia Sappho Wolf and virtually all the inhabitants of the Order of Maidenfear’s founder’s House in the Robert Parratore Conspiracy, presumably with the intentions of sparking hostilities between Sang and PSI Vampyres in order to separate the two permanently. Despite this, all is not as it seems.

January 14: Hampton Roads, USA – 13NEWS/WVEC.com reports an upcoming presentation by retired Virginia Beach police officer Don Rimer and vampirologist-hack speaking out against the Vampyre Community on January 15. The article describes it as: “Rimer has investigated occult crimes for more than two decades. With the growing popularity of books, shows, and movies like Twilight and True Blood, more and more frightening cases involving groups like self-proclaimed vampires are turning up.” “Kids have taken this on as a lifestyle and religion and have killed in the name of it. They’ve killed parents and classmates,” adds Rimer.”The ultimate goal is to keep people informed about satanic groups and to keep ritual crimes out of Hampton Roads.” Rimer is reportedly to lead a seminar presentation to a local Police department on ritual crimes Saturday in Newport News.

January 15: Cana-an, Antipas, North Cotabato, Barangay (Philipines) – Vampire hysteria erupts as a radio service reports that Ramil Evangelista (21) bumped into an old woman near an eerie river deep in the woods and that the old woman then “transformed into a vampire” and attacked him. In a police report which reads like a dime-novel, it is claimed “the woman transformed into a vampire before Evangelista”, and that “wrinkles filled her face which crumpled hideously like paper before she tried to choke the victim”. The news report on Journal.com “Man has sex with vampire!” don’t help matters, as the reporter, Joe Arpon Guaniezo, tries to turn the story into a sexual innuendo – “As the vampire’s fingers tightened around Evangelista’s neck, she reportedly bit him sensuously. The female vampire slowly sank her fangs into the soft neck of Evangelista. The bite must have been painful but erotic. Then she sucked the warm liquid that ejaculated from his punctured skin. Meanwhile, her playful tongue licked the victim dry. As the beast moaned in orgasmic pleasure, her prey probably felt himself hardening.” “Vampire storytellers believe the bite’s effect was titillating for both hunter and prey. It is presumed that the evil woman moaned as she climaxed while sucking Evangelista’s blood. In strange response, the victim must have been aroused at the feel of his fluids being drained out of his body.” The report goes on to say that “Superstitious folk say what transpired was an “out-of-this-world” sex between vampire and man. Evangelista’s mother Felomina said her son totally changed after he was bitten by the vampire. Felomina revealed that Ramil had become wild. He snarled like a vicious dog and looked at everyone with hot-coal eyes. “It’s as if he has turned into a vampire,” the distraught mother said.” In an unusual reversion to medieval beliefs about vampires, people close to the attack victim claim that “Ramil has reportedly become very strong and could attack even five people. His nails have lengthened unusually. He growls and scratches anybody in sight. The incident has struck fear into the hearts of Bgy. Cana-an residents. Local folk and officials are alarmed that the vampire who bit and had eerie sex with Ramil is on the loose and hunting more victims.” According to the fanciful “news” report, residents of the area fear that the “female vampire” is out to turn more people into vampires.

January 15: Newport News, USA – More than 100 people — mostly police officers from across Hampton Roads and central Virginia — turn out for amateur vampirologist Don Rimer’s seminar about how “the occult” can impact teenagers. The presentation, sponsored by the Newport News Police Department, is claimed to help educate officers about the influences that satanic, gothic, and vampire groups can have on teens. “Thanks to HBO’s hit vampire television series, “True Blood,” and the Twilight series of novels and movies that center on teenage vampires, law enforcement agencies nationwide are seeing an upswing in ritual and occult-related crimes, says Don Rimer, a retired Virginia Beach police officer and an international expert on occult crime.” The article indicates clearly that the seminar was laced with “satanic-panic” rhetoric and flawed assumptions made out of brutal ignorance. “Others who experimented with the gothic lifestyle fared worse, Rimer says. “Fantasy role-playing like Dungeons and Dragons … and vampire gaming are alive and well,” said Rimer. “There are people who take gaming to another level, one that results in deaths and suicides. In the world of gaming, there is evil. Vampire gaming, in particular, will often lure people, then send them out on a quest that involves blood or sex, sometimes with deadly consequences. Parents need to be involved and take a hands-on role in their childrens activities. Also, there is an increase nationwide in churches that practice satanic worship, including the Church of Satan.” In a clear demonstration of paranoia and hysteria, Rimer lists behavioral “signs a teenager may be involved in occultic, ritual crime: Suicide attempts, Frequent runaway, Alienation from family, Bizarre cruelty, especially to animals, Fascination with death, Self-mutilation, Secret messages/diary.” Sadly, the detail that the items listed are typical of teenage behavior appears to be lost on some police officers present, who say “they felt Saturday’s training will make them more observant when it comes to routine patrolling and when dealing with teenagers”.

January 18: OVC – “the Vampy(i)re Declaration of Community” is released simultaneously on numerous VC websites and forums. Drafted by Belfazaar Ashantison, Deacon Gray, Octarine Valur, Wraiths and Zerochan, it is inspired in part by Zerochan’s “An Open Letter To The Vampire Community At Large” and “A Hybrid Vampire Manifesto” of earlier that month. The document aims to unite the entire VC, acknowledging the diversity of the Community, but stressing the common needs that define vampiric people, and identifying themselves as real living Human Vampy(i)res. The document also makes specific mention of Donors and their value to the Community. The release is marked by positive reactions from the OVC in general.

January 20: Pocatello, Idaho, USA – Idaho State University Assistant Professor of social work D.J. Williams announces a new study focusing on the real Vampyre Community. In a press release, he states he is “devoted to researching “self-identified vampires” and the vampire sub-culture and educating mainstream culture about them.” Williams has published on this topic in peer-reviewed academic journals Leisure Sciences and Leisure/Loisir, and has acted as a consultant for the FBI regarding understanding vampire identities, issues and practices. He has also been approached as an expert for a proposed television documentary on these topics. “It has taken me a long time to get the trust to work with these self-identified vampires, because they are skeptical about how outsiders will perceive them and they feel that they are easily misunderstood,” says Williams, who has made contact with the vampire subculture in several large urban areas of the United States and Canada. “The vampire community denies those things and isn’t associated with violent, dangerous or criminal behaviors,” Williams said. “This community wants to speak out and educate people on what they are and what they are not.” Extensive demographic research conducted within the international vampire community shows that they vary considerably in ethnicity, religious affiliation, education, and psychological profile, according to Williams. “The underlying theme of all this is for people to be more understanding and compassionate,” Williams said. “We may be tempted to dismiss someone for what we identify them with, but these are human beings who have a right to live happily and with self-determination. With vampires and other groups I have worked with, they are at-risk for discrimination, which is based on misinformation. It is important for me to see how they are understood.” Extensive news media coverage follows over the next few days. The Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) distributes a Community-wide request for participation.

January 20: USA – BuddyTV.com posts an article in which “vampire girl” Madison Garten is interviewed. “On how her “whole vampire thing” started: Very off the cuff. I’d always had a little vampire thing, been into the darker side of thing. Loved the mystery and the sexiness of the whole idea, and lo and behold I happened to run into the leader of the underground vampire world. Actually, a lot of people are mistaken in thinking that I am a member. I am not a member, I just happen to know the leader. If there is such a thing. We became friends, and he had the fangs. And I had a pair made, and I wore them for Halloween once, and had such a blast that I brought them out on numerous occassions afterward.”

January 21: Catherine’s Alternative Religions Blog by Catherine Beyer, About.com Guide dismisses Don Rimer as a fraud. “Don Rimer is a retired policeman and a self-described “occult expert.” With that credential, he goes around the country instructing police and common citizens on the dangers of the occult. Unfortunately, his information is hogwash, as can be seen in an article about one such lecture in the Newport News. He tells stories of people getting hurt in the gothic subculture, and then calls it “occult.” There’s nothing occult about goths. And, yes, sometimes people get hurt…just like people who aren’t goths. He talks about people who think they are vampires and werewolves. Again, nothing particularly occult about that. He talks about people taking Dungeons and Dragons too seriously and hurting people. That’s not even close to occult. And he’s still handing out the same ridiculous warning list of signs your teenager might be into the occult that I’ve been seeing since the 80s, such as running away, suicide attempts, self-mutilation, and alienation from family. Hello, you’ve just described troubled teenagers in general. Heck, some of your points describe even well-adjusted teenagers. The word “occult” continues to be a bogeyman in today’s society. Don’t agree with something? File it under “occult” and people will immediately be suspicious of it, even when the classification makes no sense whatsoever.”

January 23: Johannesburg, South Africa – The South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) condemns Thulani Qithi, a tv host wannabe-turned-shyster who is not a Witch, for his shameless use of allegations of witchcraft to intimidate citizens he intends to defraud. SAPRA states its hopes that this case will not be used to further prejudice or defame real Witches who regard Witchcraft as their religion, not as a magical means to intimidation and fraud. In a country where sporadic witch-hunts occur frequently in several provinces, existing cultural and religious stereotypes already prejudice Witches in practice. “Citizens who do identify themselves as Witches must retain the right to be presumed innocent before being stereotyped as automatically harmful or criminal as a result of Qithi’s actions.”

January 30: USA – A letter posted on Witch School International’s forum by a user called (somewhat appropriately) “John Thomas”, lambastes and criticizes all those identifying as real Vampi(y)res as “role-players” and as detrimental to the Wiccan religion which is seeking to be taken seriously. The post is noticed by several members of the forum, who are also Vampyres, and an argument ensues lasting several days across several threads, which are both closed due to the hateful remarks posted by one particular member of the Witch School forum. The incident results in a statement by one of the founders of Witch School, Rev Karl who reassures Wiccan Vampyres that they are welcome at the School and on the forum. Two new groups are set up on the forum by members of the OVC, in order to educate other members about issues of Vampyre nature. Many questions are asked and answered.

February 1: Sheboygan County, USA – In an incident which causes Vampi(y)res yet more discomfort, a news report tells how Mark R. Adams Jr. is in trouble with the cops for making three bite marks on the neck of a 3-year-old boy he was babysitting. Adams claims he was “playing vampire” – and then blamed the whole thing on an episode of “True Blood” which he had been watching with the boy.

February 1: Clearwater, Florida, USA – Vamplet LLC, the marketer and distributor of “Vamplets”, a range of fluffy toys called “the delightfully devilish Baby Vampyres from the World of Gloomvania”, announce that the toys will be displayed at the American International Toy Fair, which will take place in New York City from February 13-16. The range of VamPETS, includes the “Wereroach”, a “furry one-eyed creature with territorial tendencies”, and the “Zombie Guinea Pig”, a “prickly and persistent animal who is known to stampede in herds”. The VamPETS will be displayed at Toy Fair Booth #4942 along with the Vamplet Baby Vampyres, who enjoyed their first taste of Toy Fair last year.

February 2: Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa – Two men charged with a triple murder, dubbed the “vampire” killings, at the Sacca informal settlement in December 2010, appear in the city’s magistrate’s court. Their case is postponed to February 17 for a bail application. Njabulo Gwala, 22, and Bongani Gwala, 53, are charged with the murders of three men on December 16 and with the attempted murder of a fourth as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm. One victim was shot in the head, while another was found lying in the middle of the road with a bullet wound to his neck. the third was found under a bush along a footpath, shot in the head. The surviving victim sparked the “vampire” rumor in Sacca after he told journalists last year that one of the attackers sucked blood from his wound. He also told police that one of the suspects had taken the bread he had been carrying and dipped one of the slices in the blood gushing from his wound, and ate it.

February 3: Australia – The mother of a girl who was murdered by an internet predator calls on social networking sites to better protect users. Sonya Ryan, CEO of a foundation named after her daughter in the business of promoting internet safety, says in the AAP interview that sites like Facebook and MySpace should present users with a warning page when they log on, outlining the dangers of posting information on-line. She told a federal parliamentary committee hearing the previous week that networking sites should also allow for stricter privacy settings, to protect the vulnerable from the growing number of cyber predators. She urged a zero-tolerance approach be taken with cyber crime, fearing others would suffer the same fate as her daughter. “How many innocent children will fall victim to these types of perverts. Murder may not always be the outcome but there is also rape, assault, kidnapping.” Carly Ryan, 15, was killed in 2007 by Garry Francis Newman, who used a false name to communicate with the teenager on a “gothic vampire” website. No mention of parental responsibility is made.

February 5: Reports circulate in the OVC that a founder member of the original OVC, and owner of the Sanguinarius.org web resource, Sanguinarius, has been admitted to hospital and is in the ICU with breathing problems. Tribute pours in from all over the globe. Activity on the OVC diminishes noticably for a few days afterward, although this may be a coincidence.

February 8: Alabama, USA – CBS News reports that an Alabama grand jury will hear evidence in March in the case of Evan Francis Brown, a 20-year-old man who police say claims he is a vampire. Brown, of Gadsden, Ala., is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly using hot knives to burn the letter ‘V’ into the forehead of a teenager last October, reports CBS affiliate WIAT. Brown, who goes by the nickname “Vamp,” was arrested in December. He allegedly tricked a 17-year-old boy by telling him they were going to play a game. Police say the teen was then tied up and branded by Brown, who detectives say told them that his religious belief is Satanism. District Attorney Jimmie Harp says Brown’s attorney waived a preliminary hearing Monday 7 February. Detective Wayne Hammonds said the incident had nothing to do with popular movies and shows about vampires, but more to do with satanic worship.

February 8: USA – Facebook removes “the Vampire Vixen Facebook page”, issuing the author with a warning that “hateful and threatening” content will not be tolerated.” Creator comic artist Alex Ronald says “It’s a shame they never read the FB info page because they would have quickly found that it’s not a Nazi propaganda device but quite an old fashioned style war story with a supernatural element, namely Vampires. The villains are still the Nazis and its no different to the way they are depicted in films like Raiders of the Lost Ark or where Eagles Dare, i.e. they are despicable. If anyone from Facebook is reading, we urge you to reverse your decision. There is precedent over this exact thing, the Facebook page for the movie Iron Sky was closed down over a plot involving a Nazi invasion of the Moon. That decision was later reversed when sanity was restored.”

February 8: New Orleans, USA – It is announced that New Orleans now has a monthly vampire gathering at the Dragon’s Den. Called “Blood Corrosion” the event is set to repeat on the second Tuesday of each month.

February 9: St Petersburg, Russia – A man who stabbed 15 women, aged between 16 and 28, in the back of the neck on underground trains before telling his terrified victims to ‘be careful’, is arrested. There are unconfirmed reports that the man licked their blood before disappearing into the crowds. The ‘vampire’ was caught by police after victims shared details of their attacks on the internet. Some victims had more serious wounds than others, suggesting he may have used needles or pins – and in some cases sharpened knitting needles. Police report the arrest of an unidentified 28-year-old man from Lviv, in the Ukraine in connection with the case, and that he confessed to the attacks. The police also say that they are trying to understand the motive for the attacks.

February 10: Melbourne, Australia – A young Melbourne university student who preyed on nine young underage girls he met online is jailed for more than four years. Arran James Mark Wratten, 24, of Carlton, discussed sexual activities including vampirism, exchanging blood, and meeting up for vampire sex, with nine girls aged between 11 and 14. When police seized his laptop at the time of his arrest in February 2010, they found at least 600 images of adolescent girls and in excess of 6000 text messages between himself and his victims. Psychiatrists on the case apparently do not believe Wratten is a paedophile but are divided as to whether he is a hebephile (someone who has a sexual attraction to adolescents).

February 10: Marathon, Florida, USA – A Florida Keys teen admits to police that “vampire” bite marks on her body came from vampire role-playing with her 19 year old boyfriend – and did not result from an attack that she had previously reported in August 2010. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the 15-year-old girl who is is a fan of the “Twilight” movies and book series, was charged with making a false report and released in her mother’s custody. Authorities report the investigators were unable to find evidence of an alleged attack and then pushed the girl for more details, after which she finally revealed that the marks resulted from fantasy role-play with a 19-year-old man. She was worried about her mother seeing the bite marks on her neck, arms and back and so the solution was simple – she lied. She called her mother and said she had been attacked while jogging. No charges were filed against the 19-year-old man.

February 10: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA – An RMIT University student who sexually preyed on nine girls and asked one for ”vampire sex” is jailed for more than four years. Arran James Mark Wratten, 24, of Carlton, discussed sexual activities with the girls aged between 11 and 14 and sent several ”naughty” photos of himself. With one 14-year-old, who told him that she was in year 8, Wratten discussed vampirism, exchanging blood, sex acts and meeting up for vampire sex, the County Court heard yesterday. Judge Wendy Wilmoth said Wratten had a year-long sexual “relationship” with a 13-year-old girl while knowing her age and on one occasion had sex at her house while her father was home. Another girl sent photos of herself to Wratten while posing in her underwear. Wratten pleaded guilty to 14 charges. When police seized his laptop last February, they found up to 600 child abuse images and discovered more than 6000 text messages revealing contact with several young girls. Judge Wilmoth said because of Wratten’s age, the primary sentencing consideration is his rehabilitation, the prospects of which she assessed as good. She jailed Wratten for four years and two months, to serve a minimum of two years. He will be a registered sex offender for life.

February 12: New York City, New York, USA – Communitas: A Gathering Of The Gotham Vampyre Community takes place 2:00pm – 8:00pm at 85 South Oxford Street Brooklyn, NY. The meeting is aimed at getting the Gotham VC members to recognize the Vampi(y)re Community and work towards its growth and development and to counter things which may divide it.

February 13: Reno, USA – The third annual Valentine’s Vampire Crawl takes place in downtown Reno. “The Vampire Crawl just happened because nobody really likes Valentine’s Day,” Vampire Crawl organizer Ed Adkins says. “So let’s do something fun with it.” Bar clientelle from all over town break out their fangs and capes to celebrate. The 2011 event has 16 bars participating, serving drinks with names like “The Blood Transfusion” or “The Vampire Bite.” The Vampire Crawl joins the ranks of Reno’s other themed pub nights, like the Santa Crawl, the Zombie Crawl, and the Superhero Crawl. The costumes range from traditional vampires, to the pop culture variety. All this is welcome to many of the businesses downtown, some of whom say they rely on big events like pub crawls to keep their doors open.

February 15: Paulding County, Georgia, USA – A man is sentenced to 10 years in prison on two counts of child molestation pertaining to a 12-year-old girl he met online in 2009. He was also convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes. Anthony Francis Paleveda, 21, met the girl on Vampirefreaks.com and communicated with her through e-mail and text messages. In April 2009 he picked her up from her middle school and took her to his home, where a sex act occurred. He left the girl near her home. Paleveda was 19 at the time.

February 16: OVC, USA – Criticism of Don Rimer mounts. Rimer continues to make presentations to US Police departments on “occult related ritual crimes”, often completely defaming innocent communities, including pagans, Wiccans and Vampires. Examples are cited in online discussions. Mention is made of Rimer’s early retirement from law enforcement and his vindication at the same time of harassment charges laid by a female plaintiff and debate rages as to whether the two matters were related. Some say they have attempted to contact their local police chiefs to engage with them on the Rimer issue to attempt to undo the damage done by his “educational” presentations filled with misinformation about non-Abrahmic religions and the pagan and Vampire Communities, but that they have been rebuffed.

February 17: USA – Don Rimer is featured in a syndicated article by Christian blogger and scholar John W. Morehead who tackles Rimer’s fraudulent claim of being an “expert” in occult matters while being completely ignorant of every faith or spiritual belief which he uses as a scapegoat for “ritual crime”. He exposes Rimer’s refusal to enter into debate on his ignorance, or to be educated, and gives examples of blatant “satanic panic” in Rimer’s work, which is of the sort that often fuels persecution of innocent people by law enforcement and the public.

February 18: Washington D.C., USA – For three days this weekend an unidentified downtown D.C. hotel is converted into a “labyrinth of playspaces” spanning “the entire ballroom level of the hotel” for “a total of 20,000 sq ft.” of “special spaces for Shibari, Wrestling, Spirituality, Medical, a Theater and Sex-O-Rama.” Commandeering the hotel is Dark Odyssey: Winter Fire, a “weekend convention for open-minded adults from all walks of life” who are interested in exploring “the many facets of sexuality.” Among them: swinging, polyamory, flogging, sensory deprivation, Tantra, paganism, Vampirism, and “blood play.” Of special interest to the VC is the list of workshops on Vampirism, featuring several demonstrations and lectures by author and psychic vampire Michelle Belanger.

February 18: USA – A blogger on “The Stir”, a blog site for mothers, posts “VampireFreaks Website Has Led to Molestation, Violent Crime”. Linda Sharps alleges that the site (which is not affiliated to the VC) is responsible for violent crimes and child abuse by child predators posing as Vampyres. Many in the community understand that Vampyres are being stereotyped as  child predators. A number of positive comments appear on the article in defence of the site and the goth and even Vampyre communities. (Article)

February 19: OVC, USA – News breaks on a Facebook group that information on pedophiles and sexual predators within the VC and involving a US VC House or Houses has been forwarded to the US Justice Dept. Preliminary reports indicate that the informant is a member of the US VC. Some say this is a good thing because it shows that the VC is self-policing, others say that the entire VC could suffer for the actions of a few rogues.

February 19: USA – CNN Interview with Philadelphia homeowner Patrick Rodgers who “foreclosed” on his bank, Wells Fargo, after a mortgage-related dispute. CNN Interview with Don Lemon on February 19th, 2011 shows Rodgers dressed in a Dracula cape with fangs which are claimed to be implants. Rodgers, a professional events promoter involved with the Dracula’s Ball. Lemon is generally praised by the OVC for not sensationalizing Rodgers’ appearance, in fact Lemon does not refer to Rodgers’ fangs or lifestyle even once during the thoroughly professional interview.

February 20: OVC, Phillipines – On “Sanguinarian Vampires Community” – a new Facebook group designed to build the fledgling Phillipino VC, set up by Ryan Hybrido, the group struggles with role-players and posers stirring up drama and trolling the site.

February 25: New York City, New York, USA – A petite 25 year old Bronx woman is beaten into a coma by a thug who is enraged because she was holding the parking space he wanted to park in, for her boyfriend. Lana Rosas, on a date with her boyfriend, was holding the spot between two parked cars outside 520 E. 14th St. at 11:40 p.m. when Oscar Fuller 35, drove up in a silver minivan. The victim was allegedly attacked and punched twice in the head. Fuller – whose prior convictions include weapons possession and felony assault – jumped out and started screaming at Rosas, police sources said. Fuller then “punched her in the face with so much force that the woman flew off her feet,” according to court papers. Fuller then drove away from the scene and was later arrested at his home by detectives. Fuller was described by his family and neighbors as “friendly, outgoing, helpful, a perfect father, a good neighbor and a çhurch-going man'”. A police source added, “The victim suffered permanent brain damage. It’s uncertain whether or not she will survive her injuries.” The victim in this attack is a member of the NYC Vampyre Community.

March 1: OVC, USA – It is alleged that the new Vampire social networking site “Fangbook” which changed it’s name to “Get Fanged.com”, is run not by Vampyres, but by gaming role players attached to the old “Under the looking glass” V:tm gaming group, pretending to be sanguine Vampyres. This leads to widespread vitriol by real Vampyres who feel they have been conned. Get Fanged.com faces an exodus of its real Vampyre membership. In an apparent panic, it attempts to counter this expose’ with claims to the contrary.

March 2: OVC, USA – A new online resource and social information site for Sang Vampyres called the Blood Bank is opened by Wraiths and Belfazaar Ashantison. The site caters exclusively for those Vampyres who identify as sanguine feeders, out of a perceived need for such a resource, considering the large number of similar PSI-focused sites.

March 2: South Africa – Octarine Valur establishes the Real Vampi(y)res South Africa group on Facebook to get the SA VC (Vampi(y)re Community talking and growing. Activities include the promotion and discussion of groups, Houses, Vampyre culture, businesses etc which form part of the extended VC and its development, as well as formulating strategies and actions to further this development.

March 3: OVC, Phillipines – Global membership of the group “Sanguinarian Vampires Community” increases sharply. Following several hours of intense criticism for the role-playing references in the info section and notice that the owner of the role-playing and anti-VC site “Vampirewebsite.net” is an admin there, the group is renamed to “Philippine Vampire Community”, the role-playing admin and role-playing references and material in the group description are removed and role-playing is discouraged on the group. Within a few hours, the group is renamed yet again to “Global Sanguinarian Vampires Community”. Serious participants become frustrated.

March 12: Sydney, Australia: Pop star Ke$ha stuns fans at a concert in Australia by drinking ‘blood’ live on stage. The ‘We R Who We R’ singer was performing at the Future Music Festival in Sydney on Saturday (12.03.11) when she took out what appeared to be an animal heart and poured its contents – which looked like blood – into her mouth and all over her chest. The singer carried on with her performance on the main stage at the Royal Randwick Racecourse, but the bizarre act has sparked rumours it could be one of the stunts she uses onstage during her upcoming ‘$leazy’ tour later this year. (Article)

March 14: Phoenix, Arizona, USA – Aaron Homer, the “Chandler Vampire”, arrested in October 2010 after Chandler police found him and his girlfriend Amanda Williamson in their apartment with a large amount of spilled blood after attacking Robert Maley with a knife for refusing to let them drink of his blood, is sentenced to three years probation. Williams’ sentence is still pending.

March 16: OVC, USA – A call goes out via the Vampire Community News Facebook group from Lilith Darkwraith for the global VC to send financial aid to the groups such as the Red Cross assisting Japan through the earthquake, tsunami and neclear fallout crisis – particular mention is made of the Japanese Vampire Community (Kyuuketsuki Community).

March 16: Florida, USA – A man accused of killing 32-year-old Macario Cruz, his roommate, and drinking the man’s blood in August 2010, is sentenced to 20 years in prison. Authorities say Lopez drank a cup of Cruz’s blood as part of a ritual. 43-year-old Mauricio Lopez pleaded no contest to second-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and robbery with a deadly weapon as part of a deal made with the prosecution because a material witness had gone to Mexico and was unavailable.

March 17: South Africa – Octarine Valur posts an article posing the question “Can There Be A Vampire Community Without Laws?”. The suggested debate instead erupts into a flame war on Facebook, with several prominent VC figures not only criticizing the suggestion that the VC might need a uniform set of laws or guidelines, but also indulging in personal attacks on the author, as well as other “new” members of the OVC who are said to “know nothing”. Much is made of the fact that people should know on their own what is or isn’t acceptable behavior, without having a set of guidelines (despite all evidence to the contrary) plus their own experience that “it has all been tried before”.

March 24: OVC, USA – Deacon Gray, a prominent VC personality and member of House of the Dreaming, announces an initiative to conduct a study of blood tests obtained privately by VC members willing to participate in this study. The aim would be to determine whether any anomalies exist within the collected body of blood test results which could be used to identify possible commonalities between self-identified Vampi(y)res. Initial response is positive, however it is pointed out that Suscitatio LLC will be conducting a much more thorough study of the same type in April 2011. The independent study is canceled. The anticipated study also does not materialize by April 2011.

March 29: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, USA – The man who bit a 3-year-old boy’s neck while “playing vampire” after watching an episode of “True Blood” is sentenced to 30 days in jail. Mark R. Adams Jr, 43, is convicted on a count of felony child abuse, accepting a plea agreement that dismissed a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, as well as two misdemeanor counts of encouraging a probation violation from an unrelated case, according to court records. Judge Timothy Van Akkeren imposes the jail sentence as a condition of Adam’s prior three years probation.

April 1: OVC, USA – The first issue of the “Blood Drops” newsletter of the Blood Bank Ning site is issued by Mikyla Abigor, Wraiths and Belfazaar Ashantison. Described as “A New Vampire Community Newsletter Devoted To Sanguinarian Vampirism”, the newsletter is sent to site members only and is well received.

April 7: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa – local supporters of the ANC wave placards at a political meeting, which compares the regional body of the party to vampires. “Juju save us from the vampires in ANC blankets!” the placards read, addressed to the leader of the ANC Youth League Julius Malema.

April 7: Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa – VampireIzak aka Izak Nagel (later Father Izak) of House of Havoc in Centurion posts an informative video on YouTube about the status quo of the SAVC and vampyrism. Mention is made of Octarine Valur, House Valur and House of Havoc. Questions arise whether this move was foolish, considering the conservative nature of the country. No public reaction is observed.

April 11: Milan, Italy – A new perfume fragrance is announced, inspired by blood. A pair of Italian entrepreneurs, Antonio Zuddas and Giovanni Castelli, debut Blood Concept, a provocative fragrance line based on the four major human blood types: A, B, AB and O. An article describes how the new line may soon have “an ideal group of early adopters: vampires”. Mention is made in the later AOL News article (April 20) by Larry Knowels of Merticus, who is supposed to “drop by” the studio to “pick up a few vials”.

April 14: UK – The Sun writer Dulcie Pierce posts an article “I Drink Human Blood At Vampire Parties”, in which she describes attending a vampire gathering in the UK, witnessing Communion. The article sets the cat among the pigeons with the claim that “an astonishing 3,000 people in the UK are official members of an underground vampire movement” in the UK alone.

April 21: Lockport, New York, USA – In a bizarre new night-time attack, 65-year-old Norma Confer is left with a seven-inch butcher’s knife embedded in her back – because a man known to her, 47-year-old Hans Diefenbach, said he believed she was a vampire. Lockport Police say Diefenbach made the strange admission when they arrested him as he was walking home, covered in blood. Lockport Police Det. Capt. Richard Podgers said, “Well, he made some utterances in his confession, thought she was a vampire, and just wanted to kill her.” When asked how the blood got on his clothes, Diefenback replied, “from stabbing Norma.” Police say the victim did know her attacker, but they haven’t been able to talk to her yet to find out how. Diefenbach is charged with attempted murder. The victim is in a critical condition.

April 28: Stirling, Scotland, UK – The University of Sterling blog site, “The Gothic Imagination” publishes an article entitled “Interview with a Greek Vampire: Panos Pilatos”. Published in four parts by Aspasia Stephanou, the article is an interview with Panos Pilatos, a self-identified vampire from Athens, Greece. Pilator is a musician, the frontman of ΝΙΠΤΩ ΤΑΣ ΧΕΙΡΑΣ (Washing My Hands, Pontius Pilate infamous words), a rock band which Panos describes as “the first Greek progressive crossover band”, from 1996.

May 5: Melbourne, Australia – A car crash victim’s life is saved by the use of a synthetic blood replacement. In a last-ditch effort to save Ms Coakley’s life, 10 units of the haemoglobin-based oxygen carrier HBOC201 were flown in from the US. The synthetic contains a molecule derived from cow plasma and restored her levels of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the tissues. The patient, 33-year-old Tamara Coakley suffered severe blood loss and was close to heart failure. Her spinal cord was almost severed, her lungs collapsed, her skull was fractured, several ribs were broken, as were her cheekbone and an elbow, and her spleen was ruptured. She was barely alive when she arrived at hospital and because she was a Jehovah’s Witness, doctors were not permitted to give her blood transfusions. Reportedly, HBOC201 is one of a number of blood substitutes being developed around the world. It is doubtful that the synthetic blood would do Vampires any good since it is synthetic and contains no life.

May 11: OVC, USA – House Valur releases a proposal to the VC, called “The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council” designed as a working group and mediation council intended to enhance the VC’s self-policing ability without manifesting as a governing body. It receives a mixed, spirited reception accompanied by great curiosity and debate right around the clock and right across the OVC, and especially on Facebook. Although House Valur has taken the lead on this project, it is supported vociferously by other groups and prominent community figures in the background, who soon withdraw, leaving Octarine Valur to take the questions and also the brunt of the criticism.

May 13: Cleveland, Ohio, USA – House Kheperu hosts its annual Open House event.

May 15: USA – Notice appears that a currently legal substance may soon become illegal. Called “Vampire Blood” which appears to be a herbal substance that needs to be smoked, it just seems to be an allusion to the “True Blood” or “Blade” (or “Moonlight”) where vampire blood is drunk or vampire ash is snorted for a high. Many feel the Vampyre name is just being taken “in vein” again.

May 16: Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Tennessee, USA – Reports surface of a “powerful” designer drug that mimics the effects of marijuana when smoked and which is manufactured, packaged and sold in Murfreesboro, and is “100 percent legal”, pending an incoming law which will ban the manufacture of substances containing cannabanoids – synthetic substances which mimic, but are more potent than natural chemicals found in organic marijuana. The product, called “Vampire Blood”, is being marketed as an incense, but according to local police and emergency officials, is being smoked by buyers looking for a high. At least two individuals required emergency care in recent weeks after experiencing ill effects from smoking the product which is not intended for human consumption. What many on the OVC admit to, is that the name of the product is puzzling – why is it called “vampire blood” when it appears to be a herbal substance that needs to be smoked? Some admit that this just seems to be an allusion to “True Blood” where vampire blood is drunk or “Blade” (or “Moonlight”) where vampire ash is snorted for a high. Some say that our name is just being taken “in vein” again.

May 18: South Africa – Octarine Valur releases the second draft of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council Charter to the OVC. More debates and general citicism ensue.

May 19: OVC – The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council official forum launches.

May 19: South Africa – Parallel to the V.J.C. development issue, discussions surrounding formalization of the South African Vampi(y)re Community begin, with several individuals discussing the formation of new groups in their areas, with the suggested formation of an umbrella body to manage the interests of the entire body, with the suggested name South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA). Negotiators discussing the formation of the new group are Willow KemAset (KemSekhmet Ba-enAset), Octarine Valur and Nereo.

May 20: South Africa – Nereo reports that his efforts to found a House in Johannesburg are progressing, and that the new House will be using the Totum Lex Vampyrica (TLV) as a House law base, while Willow KemAset (KemSekhmet Ba-enAset) begins efforts to establish a House in Cape Town.

May 24: Auckland, New Zealand – The Herald Sun reports in an article entitled “Teen bitten in vampire-style attack” that two teenagers had appeared in court on charges of assault after pinning down a third teen and forcibly playing a “vampire biting game” on him in 2010. The victim suffered serious bite wounds to the neck and stomach, which required hospital treatment. James Orr, 19, and Xenia Borichevsky, 19, admitted to leading their victim into a clearing in New Zealand’s capital and forcing him to the ground. The victim is believed to have been drunk and unable to defend himself.

May 26: South Africa – The first draft of the new SAVA Constitution is presented by Octarine Valur on the Real Vampi(y)res South Africa group on Facebook. It is a 40 page document, essentially a modified version of the VJC Charter, also by Octarine Valur. Group leaders give it a warm reception, with a few suggested modifications and additions. Work begins on the building of three provincial Halos. Member groups so far are House Valur (EC Halo), House Nereo, House of Havoc (GT Halo), Order of Xeper (WC Halo). This day is taken as the inception date of the SAVA as an organization, with the first three Magisters on the High Council being Willow KemAset, Nereo and Octarine Valur.

June 3: South Africa – “Jesters”, an alternative club and potential Haeven in the vicinity of House Valur, indicates that it will be willing to provide its venue for use in VC events. More detailed negotiations to commence closer to the time.

June 6: South Africa – The SAVA forum is opened to the SA VC. It features a discussion forum, Community Archive and information resources aimed directly at the SAVA membership. The “Real Vampi(y)res South Africa” group on Facebook is renamed to “South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA)”. New members in South Africa join.

June 13: South Africa – SA Vampyre News begins operating on WordPress.com as a local news agency serving the South African Vampyre Community.

June 14: South Africa – SA Vampyre News releases an article announcing the formation of the South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA). No negative reaction is received via the OVC.

June 15: Johannesburg, South Africa – House Nereo launches its website on Yola.com.

July 19: Bhopal, India – an article by Madhya Pradesh in the Times Of India reports a man has been arrested for torturing his 22 year old wife for three years – and drinking her blood. The woman told the police that her husband drank her blood for the past three years. “He used to take a syringe and draw blood from my arms,” Deepa Ahirwar said. “He would then empty it in a glass and drink it. For three years he did this on a regular basis, threatening me of dire consequences if I revealed this to anyone.”

August 16: Galviston, Texas, USA – Another vampire crime brings the real vampire community under the spotlight through public opinion that such crimes are the result of people watching too much vampire fiction on TV, movies and in books. A 19-year-old Texas man claiming to be “a 500-year-old vampire from hell” raises “chilling questions about pop culture’s influence on human behavior”. Lyle Monroe Bensley is held in Galveston County Jail after allegedly breaking into a woman’s apartment and biting her on the neck. The woman broke free and fled the apartment, speeding to safety in a neighbor’s car. When police arrive on the scene, they find Bensley wearing only boxer shorts, hissing and growling in the parking lot. He quickly scales two fences before he is captured, yelling all the while that he “didn’t want to have to feed on humans”. Bensley is charged with burglary with intent to commit assault. His bond is set at $40,000.

August 19: Galviston, Texas, USA – The attorney for Lyle Bensley (Texas “vampire” who broke into apartment and bit 58 yr old woman, claiming the “need to feed”) goes on record in the Galveston Daily News with the statement “Bensley has no affinity for vampires and doesn’t claim to be one, Brown said.” and that “he was drugged”. The notion that Bensley has “no affinity for vampires” is considered suspect by the community since he is believed to have a user account at Vampirefreaks.com.

August 26: USA – The Maryland Court of Special Appeals overturns the conviction of a Hagerstown teenager, Danielle Black, found guilty of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in the slaying of her father on Halloween 2008. Black was reported by media at the time, to have been part of a “vampire cult”. Danielle Black, who was 15 at the time of her father’s death, was convicted by a jury in 2009 of soliciting a classmate, Matthew Gray, to kill her father just weeks before he was murdered. Black, now 18, was sentenced to life in prison with all but 10 years suspended on the solicitation charge. The court has ruled that Black’s case should either receive another hearing to determine if her case should be transferred to the juvenile justice system, or receive a new trial on the adult criminal charge.

August 27: South Africa – It becomes known that a faction of Wiccans within the SA Pagan Community take exception to the tolerance and welcome being shown to Vampyres by Pagan leaders and groups. In posts made in various locations, Vampyres are referred to as “the darkness among us” and as “leeches”, “parasites” and become the target of uncharacteristic religious hostility. It soon becomes clear that the emerging VC in South Africa has unwittingly become embroiled in a pre-existing internal dispute which threatens to divide the Pagan Community. Drama erupts in the SA Pagan Community when individual Pagans and leaders of Pagan groups openly attack wholesale the Vampyre Community on public forums, the Pagans among them who are also Vampyres, as well as those Pagans and Pagan leaders who have been giving welcome, showing tolerance or fostering friendly relations with them. One of the main figures in this dispute is Conway Harrison, leader of a Pagan group called the “Covenant of the Light”. Local Vampyres who were Pagan had previously remained silent and hidden, and it is believed that this somewhat delayed reaction is the result of general ignorance about real Vampyre nature, and a build-up in tensions following the revelation that some Pagans were also vampyric and have been part of the Pagan Community and its groups all along. One group, which has been locked in a long-standing power struggle with Pagan leaders, targets the SAVA in a covert intelligence-gathering and dirty tricks campaign, while also using Vampyres as a pretext to garner support for its plans to separate “true” Wicca from the broader Pagan movement. Events are set to escalate sharply.

August 29: Guwahati, India – A woman hacks her husband to death and drinks his blood before setting the body on fire after an argument during lunch at their Guwahati home. Though it is unclear what triggered the row, it enraged 37-year-old Minoti Rabha enough for her to attack her husband, Dev Charan Bongjong, 40, with a machete. Bongjong, an employee of Army Base Hospital at Basistha, suffers multiple cuts and dies on the spot. “When the couple’s son and daughter saw their mother attacking their father, they ran out of the house and raised an alarm, alerting neighbours, who informed Basistha police station,” a police source said. Some of their neighbours, who rushed to the rented house in Lotakata, are horrified to find the woman drinking her husband’s blood. They are prevented from assisting, as Minoti then chases them with the blood-stained machete. “After drinking blood, she put some clothes on the body and set it on fire,” the source said. “She also tried to attack policemen who reached the spot from Basistha police station. The police had to struggle for some time before they overpowered her.” According to police, she is “not coherent enough to say why she had killed her husband”.

August 29: South Africa – The Pagan-Vampyre Dispute: Drama continues to unfold as the inter-community intelligence war hots up. A two week long feud ensues during which the SAVA and the entire Pagan Community appear polarized, with the majority on all sides in favor of tolerance and peaceful co-existence with its vampyric members, and is at odds with those opposed who appear to be a clear minority attempting to gather support by beating the drums of ignorance and xenophobia. Much inter-Community diplomacy occurs behind the scenes.

August 30: USA – ChinaShop Magazine publishes an article “Vampires Everywhere! No Seriously” about band members of “Vampires Everywhere!”. In the interview, band member Michael Vampire explains his sanguinarian habits. Some of his remarks about “turning” cause some discomfort among the Community.

August 31: South Africa – This day sees much drama in the escalating hostilities between the anti-Vampyre Pagan faction and the pro-tolerance Pagan faction, and the SAVA. Since the SAVA does not want to become directly embroiled in what looks increasingly like a Pagan civil war by taking sides openly, the SAVA restricts its involvement solely to defensive actions. It is a matter of public record that on this day, Damon Leff, the Director of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) leaves the Covenant of the Light group on Facebook on account of the intolerance and anti-Vampyre remarks made there. Shortly after, Conway Harrison (HO of the Covenant of the Light) posts that he and his group had been expelled by SAPRA and alludes to an anti-Vampyre campaign. Leff responds with a statement that he couldn’t expel Conway Harrison or his group from SAPRA beacuse he never was an actual member of SAPRA in the first place, and in the second place, SAPRA does not accept group membership to the Alliance. Later that day, Morgause Fonteléve (Convener of the SA Pagan Council) posts a statement on the SAPRA Facebook group, referring to the issue, saying specifically: “Some have attempted and attempt to bring the Council into disrepute. Many question the morality of those who serve and we have become accustomed to it.” It becomes clear that the emerging Vampyre Community in South Africa is squarely and uncomfortably in the middle of an internal feud in the Pagan Community.

September 01: South Africa – The SAPRA Facebook group admins change the groups privacy from OPEN to CLOSED. This indicates a change in security perception in the SAPRA pro-tolerance camp. Several SAPRA members are removed from the group for slandering SAPRA in the matter of it showing tolerance to Pagan Vampyres, causing a further increase in tension. Discussion in  SA VC groups demonstrates that the local VC, especially Pagan Kindred, view the hostile reaction as a denial of the right of Vampyres to exist or to self-identify, or to identify with Pagan religions.

September 02: South Africa – The Temple of Athena in Johannesburg, posts a disclaimer completely disassociating itself and its members from Conway Harrison and his groups and that the Temple “in no way endorses his teachings, activities or statements”, without giving any further explanation. Critics of the Vampyre Community vent their anger at being removed from the SAPRA group in other fora, and criticize SAPRA leaders for conversing with and “protecting people who are questionable” and who “damage other people”. This reference is widely believed to be aimed at Vampyres. These individuals also resent the apparent “favor” being shown for the “leeches” in preference to the “good Pagans” who oppose them. On the SAPRA Facebook group again, a post by Damon Leff about the members expelled from SAPRA erupts into a fierce exchange centering on the subject of an executive board member of SAPRA who also happens to have come out recently as a Vampyre, and the fact that Damon Leff asked a Pagan Vampyre (Octarine Valur) to write articles for Penton magazine.

September 2: Atlanta, Georgia, USA – DragonCon, an annual event widely attended by the VC runs over September 2-5.

September 3: South Africa – Tensions rise amid a lull in the action of the Pagan-Vampyre dispute. Fears are expressed that Wiccan members of the Pagan anti-Vampyre faction are contemplating launching magickal attacks against Vampyres.

September 4: South Africa – A debate on Vampyres, Vampyre nature and the intent of the SAVA takes place on the SAPRA Facebook group which results in a very positive exchange between Pagans and Vampyres, and it is made abundantly clear that Pagan Vampyres/Vampyric Pagans are welcomed by the majority of the Pagan community and its leadership.

September 5: South Africa – As a result of the previous nights exchange on the SAPRA group, Pagan author Karl Andresson posts an article on the Vampyre/Pagan debate in which he calls for tolerance and lambastes the intolerant within the Pagan and Wiccan communities. Simultaneously, Conway Harrison posts on the Covenant of the Light group about the matter, thanking his supporters for standing up for him. In subsequent posts he also states his intent to remove all who disagree with him from his group and bemoans the fact that his information security was somewhat lacking and information leaked out. He also claims that he and his followers are being physically and magickaly attacked by Vampyres, and uses this claim to garner support in his group. Shortly after, Zeo Frost of the national Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition, believed to be an ally of Conway Harrison in his anti-Vampyre campaign, posts a press release in which he states his group will not become involved in the Vampyre-Pagan issue, and that his group remains open and welcoming to all Pagans, including Vampyres. Moments later, Conway Harrison posts a public statement in which he says he will not be involved in the “Vampire vs Pagan Agenda”, and an makes apology for offensive comments and verbal attacks made on Vampyres. He closes with “I support the views of the NPT and we will not engage in any Pagan or Vampire attacks.” Within an hour, Zeo Frost posts that Conway Harrison’s Covenant of the Light Group will be associated with the Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition, virtually as a chapter of NPT in Edenvale, Gauteng.

September 5: USA – Researchers at Stanford University publish a study that may give new hope to those looking to stop the effects of aging on the brain. The study found that when blood from a young mouse was injected into an older mouse, that older mouse exhibited a “rejuvenation effect”: it began producing more neurons, firing more activity across synapses, and even suffered less inflammation. Interestingly, performed in reverse, when a young mouse was injected with blood (or, more accurately, plasma, which is the parts of blood without blood cells), this resulted in young mice displaying elderly attributes—increased inflammation, and a reduction in the production of new neurons. The researchers used plasma because blood cells are too large to travel through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. But certain chemokines, small proteins secreted by cells, are small enough to pass through, and the team reportedly isolated several that could be causing this effect.

September 06: South Africa – At this point, the leadership of the SAVA indicate concerns that as before, Conway Harrison has not given up his campaign against Vampyres, but has simply changed strategy to continue his assault covertly. Concerns are expressed about further escalation of this crisis. Octarine Valur sends the “Olive Branch Email” to Conway Harrison, thanking him for his apology, and expressing a willingness to forge a peace and friendship between the SAVA and all Pagans. Conway Harrison replies very positively and in favor of peace and tolerance, and posts the letter publicly on Covenant of the Light. Zeo Frost posts enthusiastic approval of this post. The Pagan-Vampyre dispute appears to be at an end.

September 6: Kibera, Kenya – A high school teacher charged with administering an oath to a member of a reported “blood-drinking cult” to commit murder, is acquitted for lack of evidence resulting from the self-confessed serial killer contradicting his own statements. During his trial, Philip Onyancha implicated the teacher as having introduced him into a human blood-drinking cult and having administered on him an oath to commit murder when called upon. He later denounced these statements, claiming he had been coerced by police. Onyancha was reportedly arrested after demanding ransom from the parents of a boy allegedly kidnapped and killed in Lenana, Nairobi. He has been jailed in a separate rape case and is still awaiting trial for murder.

September 6: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA – An elderly man is recovering after a woman declared she was a vampire and allegedly bit his face and neck on Wednesday night. 69-year-old Milton Ellis told St. Petersburg Police he was sleeping in his electronic wheelchair outside of the vacant Hooters restaurant on Roosevelt Boulevard, near Gandy and 4th Street North. He says he awoke to find 22-year-old Josephine Smith on top of him. Smith allegedly told Ellis, “I’m a vampire, I am going to eat you,” and proceeded to bite him, ripping flesh from his lips and face. Bloodied, Ellis managed to escape to a nearby gas station, where he called police. Responding officers found a half-naked Smith covered in blood at the restaurant. She reportedly told officers she had no idea what happened. Ellis, who also had bite marks on his arm, was taken to the hospital, where he needed stitches. Police say the two had met earlier at the shopping center beside the former Hooters. Smith, who is from Pensacola, was waiting for a relative to drive down and pick her up and the two decided to hang out together at the closed restaurant while she waited. Ellis eventually fell asleep, and that’s when Smith allegedly attacked. Smith was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on an elderly person. She had been arrested less than a month ago in Escambia County on drug possession charges.

September 08: South Africa – A member of the “Covenant of the Light” group on Facebook posts a newspaper article from the USA about an alleged vampire attack in which an elderly man was attacked and bitten several times by a deranged woman who appears to have been under the influence of narcotics. Several comments were made, but none hostile to the VC. The comment thread and post are deleted the following morning by Zeo Frost, citing prevention of a debate which could lead to renewed Pagan-Vampyre hostilities.

September 09: South Africa – An article by local Pagan writer Helen Riding on the topic of South African Vampyres and the recent Pagan-Vampyre Conflict called “Interview with the Vampire”, featuring interviews with Octarine Valur and Damon Leff, is published. Later that day, three attempts are made by unknown persons to hack into Octarine Valur’s Facebook account, prompting at least 2 password changes on the part of Valur before she can even gain access to her profile. Warnings are sent out to other SAVA members, resulting in reports of similar attempts made on some other members accounts.

September 12: South Africa – Members of SAVA report being approached by complete strangers within the Pagan community on Facebook, inquiring about their health and well-being. This is viewed as out of the ordinary and suspicious.

September 14: South Africa – An intelligence report is received from House Nereo of a detected attempt to infiltrate the House.

September 15: South Africa – The actions of a hostile faction of Pagans results in the suspension of Octarine Valur’s nightside FB profile, reported as a “fake profile”. All documents and posts made by Octarine Valur on Facebook are rendered inaccessible and it is feared that some SAVA material not backed up has been lost. The cold war between the hostile faction and the SAVA escalates. The majority of the Pagan community rallies around Pagan Vampyres. Later the same day, Damon Leff posts a comment on the SA Pagan Council group lamenting the attack on Vampyre’s nightside Facebook profiles. “Having and using a pseudonym is something writers have done for centuries. It’s ridiculous to try and ban an accepted convention, and its astoundingly puerile for someone to report another person’s pseudonym to Facebook management, just to get even with them.” “Vampires be warned – someone is deliberately reporting your pseudonyms to Facebook to have you removed.”

September 17: South Africa – An article by Erebos, a prominent Pagan writer, appears on Penton Magazine. In the article, “Wake up and smell the blood!”, Erebos is very critical of the Vampyre Community, and postulates that self-identified Vampyres are mentally ill, deluded and suffer from an infatuation with pop culture. The article, which is rife with assumption and poor research, passes almost without any notice or comment.

September 17: South Africa – Octarine Valur’s nightside FB profile, which was suspended as a result of being reported as a “fake profile” is reinstated, and a statement by Facebook admins reads that the move had been made “in error” on their part. Her profile has been changed to reflect her dayside name and cannot be altered by the user. Thousands of posts made on Facebook, and messages sent on the topic of vampirism since 2010 now reflect her dayside name and she is exposed to the potential of hostile actions of the Pagan anti-Vampyre faction. This is a huge blow to the privacy of the Vampyre Community, Pagan Community, as well as to Octarine Valur. Negotiations to end conflict between the SAVA and the Pagan anti-Vampyre faction continue amid accusations and counter-accusations of deception, insincere diplomacy and espionage, along with the protracted discussion of evidence gathered by the SAVA. The day ends on a sour note.

September 18: South Africa – Damon Leff is so outraged by attacks on nightside profiles of both Pagans and Vampyres on Facebook, he writes articles, sets up a petition and even creates a group on Facebook about the issue.

September 18: South Africa – In the SAVA, a new policy document “The Way Forward”, discussing the lessons learned in the Pagan-Vampyre Dispute, including changes to SAVA security, education policy, financial and membership outlook, and resource development, is proposed by Octarine Valur and approved by the SAVA High Council.

September 19: South Africa – This period is marked by uncharacteristic silence on Facebook VC groups in general. It is speculated that the international VC has been abandoning Facebook since the community drama around impostors in the VC, security and user accounts first broke earlier in 2011.

September 19: South Africa – A prolonged discussion between Zeo Frost and Octarine Valur takes place via email about the current tensions between NPT and SAVA. At the end, wishes are expressed on both sides for a lasting peace and prevention of any future similar clashes.

September 22: South Africa – An article by Octarine Valur written in response to the critical article by Pagan writer Erebos, delayed by the Pagan-Vampyre Conflict, appears on Penton Magazine. In it, the bias, hypocrisy and prejudice in Erebos’s article is pointed out and discussed.

October 8: New York City, New York, USA – Drama erupts as Father Vincent, an elder of the New York community, is denied entrance to Sebastian Todd’s Endless Night event. Lengthy debate and criticism of this takes place later in several online forums. This becomes an incident frequently brought up over subsequent years.

October 28: Germany – A video documentary, “My Bloody Way” is released by Oddisee Films, telling the story of Lilith Von Kahnstein. “At the age of thirteen, Lilith left her humanness behind to turn into a vampire. That and her transsexuality caused a lot of trouble in the small village from which she was exiled. On the search to find a place that she belonged to, she stumbled upon the self-acclaimed ‘Von Kahnstein’ family. They are a group of troubled juveniles which she now reigns over as the matriarch.” (Video)

October 29: OVC – The death of Lenore is announced to the VC. “(Lenore (Mleep), or Ellie as her friends know her, has taken a turn for the worse. The cancer in her body has unfortunately spread and she’s now been placed in hospice care. Her family is thankful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers the past couple of years.  They now welcome any energies you can send to help her let go of this mortal coil and pass easily. Ellie is part of The Lost Children Of The Oubliette and Voices of the Vampire Community and has been a long time member of the vampire community.  Her contributions have been felt by many and her kind spirit has touched those she’s come across. Despite being an intensely private individual who values close personal friendships, the community is losing a devoted and courageous member. Ellie, we’ll miss you!” (Notice)

October 29: New Orleans, Louisiana – Endless Night Festival XIV, an event organized by Father Sebastiaan Todd, takes place.

November 18: Global – “Breaking Dawn – Part 1”, the first part of the penultimate installment of The Twilight Saga movie series, is released globally to a worldwide audience of eager fans. All but the most devoted of fans are disappointed. The movie seems bland and watered down compared to previous offerings in the series, and the blame is placed, by some, on the choice of new director.

November 23: OVC, USA – The Grave Yard Press online magazine blog re-launches, with the byline “A modern magazine for a modern Vampire Community”. Its mission statement declares that it is “…created for the real vampire community. Content will be about the community, for the community, and by the community. We want to bring you the latest community news, but will also be sharing various reviews, writings, and photography…” Authors on the site feature well known figures such as Deacon Gray and Mikyla Abigor who had previously written for the Blood Bank newsletter.

%d bloggers like this: