My intentions for writing this treatise are admittedly selfish. However, they are selfish intentions that I believe many sanguinarians share: the hope that in the future fresh and clean blood would be easily accessible or that we will no longer feel the need to consume blood for our own well-being. I intend this treatise to be the catalyst and blueprint to achieve those ends.
The importance of the “vampire” (I put the word vampire in quotes since all of us, whether by design or by coincidence, are ersatz versions of the archetype as seen in popular media) community was lost on me when I had a donor. Other than the intermittent consumption of blood from my donor, being a sanguinarian had no bearing on my everyday life. The only interest I had in the “vampire” community was more based out of curiosity rather than personal stake, wondering what the current zeitgeist was. I felt as if as long as I treated this part of my life with discretion; that I need not worry about what others within the community were doing. However, now that I do not have a donor, while I endeavor to stay well despite this fact, I have realized how my fate is tied in with the rest of the community. Thus when I feel that a major facet of the community is pathological to my well-being, I have a duty to speak about it.
By far the one way that the “vampire” community affects my life is in the public perception of the community affixed to all who belong. Public perception is the most important factor in determining whether or not I can get a donor or whether or not if I were outed I would lose some sort of standing in my life. The current status of public perception of our community is, to put it mildly, quite embarrassing. The vast majority of the community, whether through intracommunity internet message boards or appearances in the mainstream media, professes an inalterable belief of themselves as vampires, often accompanied by belief and practice in metaphysical concepts such as psi, chi, prana, auras, and the like which in itself has no basis in natural reality; a blind faith in matters that have to be believed to be seen. In essence this is a religious conviction and by extension optional. In my opinion, the most telling outsider assessment of our community is the all too accurate portrayal in the South Park episode “The Ungroundable,” especially the part where the vampire clique was sitting on the gym bleachers arbitrarily deciding what names they should adopt and what kind of vampires they should be. We were most likely laughing in spite of ourselves or busy deflecting the characterization upon the “poseur.”
Sanguinarians need not the burden of these outrageous metaphysical claims and baseless new age beliefs as professed by the vast majority of the community. Our claim, namely that the consumption blood is the most potent vessel in treatment of a host of symptoms is a falsifiable claim as blood is a tangible part of material reality. Unlike the metaphysical adherents who consciously and often sincerely placate us with substitutes for knowledge, we can find, no matter how hurtful it may be to our pride, true knowledge about the nature of our condition, whether the genesis is physiological, psychological, or both. Such knowledge can decrease the stigma associated with being a sanguinarian, dispel the misconceptions the public may have upon us and that we have upon ourselves, and also be quite instrumental in reaching the aforementioned goal of having fresh, clean blood more accessible or finding a way not to feel as consuming blood is a necessity.
However, such knowledge cannot be found within the community, but must come from outside the community. In order to garner respect from the scientific community as a group worth doing clinical tests upon; we must prove ourselves to be credible and of sound mind. The status quo makes us very easy to dismiss. A process of reforming the entire community to a more materialist and scientific paradigm would be impossible as the beliefs of “vampires” of a more metaphysical persuasion as their perspectives are inherently unscientific. The path of least resistance would be simply for sanguinarians to leave the “vampire” community and start their own community with no affiliation of the old community whatsoever. It is imperative that if a sanguinarian truly wants to be delivered from the bondage of societal stigma and the perceived need to consume blood that any metaphysical preconception has to be let go and disavowed. Thus partition from the “vampire” community is of the utmost importance to the sanguinarian.
Before I discuss what courses of action may be necessary for partition to happen and the benefits of partition, I have to narrowly define what it is and what it is not. What partition pertains to is sanguinarians as an interest group separating ourselves from the rest of the “vampire” community in an effort to disassociate from the claims and the beliefs of the “vampire” community and assert our own protocols, In short, to establish ourselves as something else entirely. This is not an attempt to assert any sort of sanguinarian dominance or to insist that sanguinarians and metaphysical practitioners of vampirism must never associate on a personal level. In this instance, partition only pertains to the communities as interest groups: people allied together with a common aim for specific social change. I feel I have outlined the case on why the current aims of the “vampire” community are detrimental to the preferred aims of the sanguinarian community. I would like to present an example of being freed from the shackles of the metaphysical bent can allow us to do.
In the 1980s, AIDS activists where often shut out of the conversation among scientists in terms of how to study and treat the illness. The activists’ motivations were mainly from emotion and desperation for increased access to treatment. However, they did not have the scientific knowledge and where withal to effectively steer the discourse. However, AIDS activists read studies from the current field of knowledge and framed their arguments from within that paradigm. This approach helped shaped National Institute of Health studies closer to the ideals of the AIDS activists. For more information on this subject refer to the book “Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge” by University of California at San Diego professor Steven Epstein.
With the current baggage of vampirism as an inalterable identity and continuation of professing untestable and unconfirmable metaphysical beliefs, we are already shut out of the scientific discussion. However, if we drop these pretenses and associates, we can inquire about the current body of knowledge there may be on the subject (what happens when humans consume blood, if there actually is a study proving that a placebo is just as effective as blood in treating sanguinarianism), or make a case to build a body of knowledge in correlation with scientific authorities.
I can understand why many would be hesitant to leave what has been already built. Sanguinarians for the most part are the ones who have built the foundation of the “vampire” community and by the fact that we feel the need to consume blood have more ownership of the term “vampire.” However, in the context of the community, the term “vampire” has mutated to the point where it no longer describes us. The great foundation currently supports up a crumbling dilapidated building caulked with metaphysical nonsense. It is time to move to a steadier edifice.
Science is not a belief system. It is a method of determining what is and what is not. Since the enlightenment it has been by far the superior method in obtaining knowledge. The fact that there is an internet for us to have banded together and create a wide-ranging community is a testament to the end results of scientific inquiry among countless of other medical, technological, and historical discoveries. With this track record, scientific inquiry upon our sanguinarianism would give us the most accurate insight on what may really be the source of our shared experiences.
I do want to touch upon some anticipated objections. First of all, some detractors may say that since the answers and explanations in science are subject to change, they are somehow less valid. There are two problems with this objection. First, it presents a false dichotomy when the objection is applied, usually by someone who has a pre-existing belief that they feel must be justified: there is a flaw in this system, so mine must be correct. Even if the scientific explanation is incorrect, it could be the case that a third alternative may be correct. Second, what some people may perceive as a weakness is actually a strength. Given better evidence, a scientist would rework the answer to fit the evidence rather than maintain the obsolete answer. Often in this community, data is cherry picked in order to support pre-conceived notions, which is really a backwards way of making conclusions.
Many metaphysical practitioners of vampirism profess a belief that psi/chi/prana/energy is something that science will eventually catch up to. I often hear the analogy of alchemy becoming chemistry cited in support of this viewpoint. However, the problem with this analogy is that alchemy did not become chemistry, chemistry completely supplanted alchemy. It is also very likely that chemistry would have emerged without the existence of alchemy. Robert Boyle, one of the fathers of the field of chemistry, was once labeled as an alchemist; he sincerely tried to transmute metals, but found more interest in the physical properties of chemistry. Alchemy failed, and the field of chemistry resulted. However in this instance, the sentiment is that science will confirm it rather than refute it, as opposed to what actually happened in their alchemy to chemistry analogy. A related argument is the principle that “lack of evidence does not mean evidence of lack.” This may be true; however it does not give one license to make up anything without a basis in material reality. Sanguinarians do not have that burden, blood is tangible, and thus a perceived need to consume blood can be tested under scientific conditions.
I would now like to introduce not an objection, but a fear many sanguinarians may have who would be hesitant to submit themselves to clinical trials: the fear that we are really “crazy.” I would argue that in the event that sanguinarianism is found to be some sort of delusion, that being cognizant that your mind is giving you false information about your physical needs (the human mind is imperfect in interpreting internal and external stimuli) and admitting as such would give one far more credibility than one who insists without any physical evidence some sort of paranormal or metaphysical reasoning behind the need. I myself have framed this as a speculation of a reason behind my own needs to some hardened skeptics. They have found me unusual, but not insane or unreasonable.
Such testimony may be useful in tracking societal sentiment about a matter, but is not nearly sufficient into claims of what is and what is not physical reality. Testimony is helpful in constructing history, but in science it is merely anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is not an end, but merely a beginning to setting up an experiment based on observable phenomena. Metaphysical claims cannot make this step, but the claims of the sanguinarian can.
Engaging Those Outside of the Community
It is impractical for sanguinarianism to remain underground (and as compared to the more accessible community of “energy vampirism,” sanguinarianism is still very much underground). We are too far small a minority to create our own in person society, and such an experience would be far too limiting in comparison to all the excitement the entire world possesses. In addition, the vast majority of our donors come from outside the community, and it is our knowledge (although anecdotal) that the blood of other sanguinarians is ineffective in treating what ails us. We as an interest group have to duty to testify about our experiences as sanguinarians, but with the trajectory that such revelations would be beneficial toward the goal of clinical trials (academics who have demonstrated they are approaching the subject with an open mind) or in the short term, obtaining a donor. It is very important not to share your sanguinarian status for the sake of revelation (mainstream/tabloid media, those who engage us with a noticeable and unshakable pre-conceived belief).
We cannot do clinical trials within the sanguinarian community either. Our findings can very well be biased by as well as dismissed by those outside of the community as confirmation bias. Even if we tried very hard to remain objective in our studies about ourselves, the fact is that we have a personal stake in the matter and subconsciously we can corrupt the resulting data. In addition, it is rather smart to be skeptical about studies done by organizations to support their religion, political ideology, interest group, etc. As an example, many people dismissed the reports coming from Vatican researchers that small writing on the Shroud of Turin was proof of its authenticity on the grounds that the Vatican had a great stake involved in proving the authenticity of the shroud. What has to be done by the sanguinarian community is to share our experiences, without pretense of pre-conceived belief (anonymously, pseudonyms, real names, whichever preferred method) to a sizable volume of testimony to which the scientific community must take notice.
The “Hybrid” Question
The concept of the “sanguinarian-psi hybrid” is a disingenuous falsehood that is sincerely believed and propagated by metaphysicist practitioners who desired admittance into the early “vampire” community, feeling that they owned part of the term themselves. I do not discount the idea that there can be sanguinarians who are also practitioners of metaphysical vampirism, however to call this being a “hybrid” is analogous to saying someone who is female and Christian is a mixture between a female and a Christian.
I myself am an “ex-hybrid.” I found the world of energy vampirism very early on in my realization that I was a sanguinarian (I called myself a vampire back then, I no longer call myself a vampire anymore for semantic and political reasons). I was quite freaked out at the bizarreness of the realization and at the thought that for the rest of my life I would have to consume blood if I no longer want to be consumed by the hunger, lethargy, and sensual sensitivity that I have in the past taken for granted. I was quite desperate for any substitute for that dire fate and was willing to accept nearly anything that seemed reasonable. I was taught energy feeding and eventually taught it to others, whether vampire identified or not, since anyone can do it. The energy feeding was quite effective for me, and the subjects I was teaching the energy feeding to could feel the energy course through them. Two or three years later I disavowed any belief in the existence of psi/chi/prana/etc.
The mundane reasons for its effectiveness became quite apparent. Many of the feeding techniques that I employed had a lot in common with meditation, deep breathing, and other stress-relaxing techniques. Stress has been scientifically proven to be related to health: less stress, better health outcomes. It would be folly for someone who meditates to counteract hypertension to claim that they are a “meditation-hypertension” hybrid. As for about my subjects feeling the energy when I taught energy feeding techniques, this can not only be attributed to its similarities to stress relaxers, but also it is a tacit, unspoken agreement that this metaphysical energy exists and that teacher and student alike are conditioned to find energy to keep the agreement. It is analogous to people using a Ouija board; those using it have a tacit, subconscious agreement to spell out words. However, when blindfolded and the Ouija board reoriented, nothing but nonsense results.
Those who are sanguinarians and practitioners of metaphysical vampirism are welcome to be part of the sanguinarian community. However, it is necessary not to equate the two, which would defeat the purpose of partition and greatly hinder the effort to reach our common goal of decreasing stigma, increasing understanding of ourselves, and possibly be delivered from the burden of having to find a donor to sustain yourself.
An Advised Code of Conduct
When discussing one’s sanguinarianism, it is of the utmost importance to preface your testimony as reflective of your personal experiences rather than a claim of truth. Be honest about not knowing the reasons behind why the way you are. Also I would advise that in describing your sanguinarianism, focus on what changes when blood is consumed. These are the things that will be measured and quantified in clinical trials. Fixed states such as skin complexion, having “fangs”, eye iris colors, and the like are most likely irrelevant and probably far too varied among us. If a sanguinarian does have an interest or engages in the occult or the metaphysical, it is also advisable to maintain discretion with that facet of life as the sanguinarian community has little margin of error in the quest to obtain credibility in order to engage in clinical trials.
I do realize that my words are strong and may be quite offensive. To a degree I intend to offend and shock. I hope to shock sanguinarians and “hybrids” who are currently satisfied with the status quo to realize that their needs are not being met. I hope to shock metaphysical vampiric practitioners into doubting their own assumptions. Unlike the “sanguinarian v. psi” wars of the 1990s, which was about ownership of the term “vampire,” this is my favored course of action on a different question that only sanguinarians can answer: “Should we sacrifice community unity for the sake of finding out more about ourselves?” My answer is a resounding yes. A second “sang/psi war” would merely be an unfortunate side effect in the greater goal of delivering ourselves from the stigma associated with sanguinarianism and/or the perceived need to consume blood. There is nothing gained or lost by leaving a community in which has been redefined to the point that it no longer pertains to us. The term “vampire” now belongs to the metaphysicists. They can have it and its Halloweenish connotations. If there is any benefit to the media appearances the “vampire” community had, it is that it added the term “sanguinarian” to mainstream lexicon. Sanguinarians do not need the term “vampire” nor the community which claims the term. The domain of the sanguinarian should be and must be reality.