I remember watching a Dr. Who episode that involved a massive number of harmless looking little black boxes. There were millions of these little boxes that appeared out of nowhere. For 2 years the little boxes did nothing. People took them into their homes and places of work. They used them for paperweights and doorstops. They integrated the little black boxes into the fabric of their lives. Why not? The little black boxes were totally harmless, and then they weren’t. One day the little black boxes opened and humanity discovered the little boxes they had integrated into their lives were in a position to know everything about them and the owners of the boxes then had the knowledge to wipe out mankind. It’s all a matter of integration and then, exploitation.
Over the past couple of years something similar has been happening to the Greater Vampire Community. A group of people with a very different definition of Vampire were allowed to integrate into our community. They were lively and different and, for the most part, seemed harmless, at the time. Even when we found them annoying, they did not seem to be threatening. We became accustomed to them. Before long they were everywhere.
Like the black boxes in the Dr. Who episode the Hoggites came. They integrated themselves into the fabric of our community and we became accustomed to them. We made the mistake of thinking they would get bored and go away. Here’s a newsflash… They didn’t. Like the black boxes they stayed and like the black boxes they did not remain harmless guests in our community. Instead they have turned our groups into places where circular arguments take over every good thread. They have maligned and harassed our members and our leaders, and while we were busy fighting amongst ourselves they started to make pseudo versions of community groups. If that doesn’t scare you, perhaps it would interest you to know that they have created a list of their own vampire groups that mimic our community, but lead those who need real vampire information to their own version of the community, with groups like:
A Place Among the Undead
Vampires and Death
Spiritual Voice of the Vampire World
We’ve seen them co-opt the names of at least two or more community groups that already existed, and pull off a hostile takeover of another.
All these groups mimic names used in and around the Real Vampire Community, in effect creating an entire pseudo community that can misdirect those our community is designed to help.
If you don’t see the danger yet, then I don’t know what to say.
The simple truth is, we are losing our own community. The Hoggites have so thoroughly infiltrated the VC that we are left with only two options; retreat from facebook and go back to our old forums, or make new groups, both of which will set the communities progress back years, or we can fight and take our community back.
The Hoggite leaders are not Vampires. Not as we define ourselves. Do any of us really believe they can do a better job of mentoring and teaching our Vamplings and our newly awakened Vamps? I don’t think they can. I think there is something, as non-vamps, that they can’t possibly get. Let me quote one of my own articles
“What really brings us together is what happens to us when we are alone, and afraid and sick and lonely, and trying to deal with a set of circumstances beyond the comprehension of most. It’s about hoping to find a way to make it stop hurting. And it’s about working on that together, since alone, none of us have the answers.”
THAT is why I think our community is worth saving. It’s come down to that. It takes Vampires to really understand Vampires. No else really knows what it feels like to be who we are, and we need the real community to be here and available to share that understanding with the next generation of Vampires.
A number of community leaders and factions, including myself, agree it is time to remove the Hoggites from our community. We are banning, ip blocking and shutting them out of our groups, sites and boards. We are taking back our community. I invite you to join us.
We might fight amongst ourselves, but since when do we allow people to come in and just TAKE OVER our groups and even our philosophies? If Anthony Hogg’s group were named “Fundamentalist” instead of VAMP’d would we have allowed this to happen?
The Vampire Community is a growing, evolving subculture… or it was. I am willing to fight to keep it in the hands of real Vampires. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I hope you can support those of us who are leaders, writers, creators of community infrastructure and your friends (and people who often irritate you) and support us as we try to take our community back. If we’re lucky, this time next year maybe the title of this editorial will be an actual article.