Welcome to the first of what I hope does not become a series. The Sanguinarian Misinformation File is an effort to correct any misinformation given about sanguinarians (and med sangs) published in mainstream media. This review features an article written by a man, should he move on from vampire imagery to dodgy Native American imagery, would name himself “White Wolf.”
Father Sebastiaan is the one whose face is NOT caked with bird feces.
The original article in question: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/father-sebastiaan/types-of-people-within-th_b_9479504.html
I often do like the Huffington Post. It is a nice safe place to receive confirmation bias toward my liberal proclivities and often find myself immersed in many of the “voices” subcultures on the site. The concept of authenticity is very important to me. Life is far too short to repress yourself or have institutions repress you from expressing a benign, immutable quality.
However, I have run into so many articles on the Huffington Post which take the quest for authenticity to level’s reaching Poe’s Law.1 It didn’t take me too long to find one example. All I had to do was go to Queer Voices and I see the article “Why people are using the term ‘Latinx”2 featured. That was easy. To be fair, the use of “Latinx” has a seemingly noble cause behind it: to make Spanish inclusive of those who fall outside the gender binary. The absurdity behind the term is rather apparent when adopters and resisters using the same damn Tumblr cliche: colonialism/imperialism. What happened to discussing an idea on its own merits? I would argue that pushing the concept of “Latinx” is extraneous to the point that it trivializes the real issue of being inclusive to all sorts of the human mosaic. Futzing with minor titles smacks of wanting to stand out rather than wanting to be included.
The “vampire community” is the poster child for wanting to stand out. A few months ago the poster child of the poster child special snowflake community, club promoter cum cult leader Father Sebastiaan, somehow was allowed to publish a blog piece of his on the ol’ HuffPo, certainly demonstrating the plummeting standards of the entire e-publication. His article, a transcript of his video “Vampire World #11: Types of People in the Vampire Community”3 has sections maintaining a few citations and some major sections which include none. The areas including the most citations are: scholars (not folks like Joseph Laycock and DJ Williams who do social science about people who identify as vampires, but rather folklorists), role players, lifestylers, and “living vampires.” Father Sebastiaan is the author of the “Vampire Sanguinomicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire4, stamped with a corny ankh and ironically named due to his major aversion toward blood drinking5. Where the citations lie are rather telling of where Father Sebastiaan’s true inspiration lies.
Considering his strong hostility toward the concept of blood drinking, I found it especially telling that there were no citations whatsoever in the sanguinarian section of the article. It was nice to get a shout out in his statement “Recently there is a fast growing partition by the sanguinarian community to disassociate from the vampire archetype.” The least he could have done was have a link to The Red Cellar6. The irony penetrates deeper. Those of us who try to disassociate with the vampire archetype are inextricably linked to the term due to our commonality with the emergent dominant idea of what a vampire is. Yet, those who desire legitimacy as a vampire feel a need to passive aggressively discredit us.
I must admit it has been nice to get away from the omnipresent new age edgelordiness of the General Vampire Community. However, there are always a few people who genuinely experience sickness when blood is unavailable to consume, need support, and ultimately have the misfortune to find the vampire community. We recently lost a dear friend at the Red Cellar, no thanks to the psychological pressures from the victim blaming whenever psi feeding doesn’t quite work and the shaming toward those of us who need large amounts of blood to fully function.7 Never again. It is our duty to have at least some presence for those who need our support and find themselves in an unexpectedly hostile environment.
This includes countering misinformation. As you have already seen, I have taken the courtesy to actually include citations. So let’s take on the dubious claims one by one.
They (sanguinarians) also do consider themselves different from sufferers of porphyria, a congenital bone marrow disease that makes sufferers crave blood, have a sensitivity to sunlight, and have deformities of cartilage, all characteristics associated with vampires.
I have only met a scant few who claim to have porphyria. Besides, it is a moot point as the porphyria-vampirism connection has been debunked long ago.8
Sanguinarians are often considered taboo even within parts of the vampire community due nature of the subject and the fact that drinking blood is highly risky and it is nearly impossible to safely avoid contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and syphilis.
The grammatician within me just had an aneurysm reading that sentence. Perhaps he just meant “nearly impossible to avoid contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV…” However, the statement is just not true. There is a little thing called blood tests. The thing is, unfortunately at this time, blood drinking is taboo. Thus, we have to work as our own Food and Drug Administration to see if our food/drug is likely safe through blood tests. Here is where quantifiers can help: “It is impossible to always avoid blood-borne diseases.” Then again, anyone who eats any food is taking a risk that it may be laced with salmonella or any other pathogen, regardless of FDA inspection.
Numerous studies have been done on sanguinarians by psychologists and researchers, yet there is no solid psychological or scientific evidence to validate the need of the sanguinarians.
I really would have wished Father Sebastiaan could have cited these studies. We have for well over a decade aspired to engage with the scientific community so we can find the genesis of our perceived need, whether it be physical or psychological. If I had the peer review articles in front of me, I can use this rich information to consider feasible alternatives to blood drinking. However, what is there really? The only thing I can think of is a one-off medical test for currently unemployed vampire/shit fetishist9 Don Henrie donating blood for tests and hoping for some miracle that something can be found to validate him as the true undead.10 A sample size of one is a sorry study.
Sanguines often attract attention from sensationalist media, especially around Halloween, because they are what most of the mundane world first thinks of when they think of a person living the vampire lifestyle.
First of all, it is not a lifestyle. No more than Crohn’s Disease is a lifestyle. Second of all, we are not vampires. In fact, none of us are. There are plenty of imitators living the vampire lifestyle and a few who earnestly use the term as a spiritual metaphor, but none of us are really vampires. I also find it interesting that Father Sebastiaan chose the term “sensationalist media, especially around Halloween” to insinuate that sanguinarians as bizarre, if not delusional. While it is true that we are the closest approximation to the emergent dominant definition of vampire: consider who some of the major spokespeople are: Merticus (hybrid)11, Michelle Belanger (psi vampire)12, and Father Sebastiaan (I will let the reader use his or her imagination on what category he fits into.) Name me a similar sanguinarian. Second of all, it is rich to talk about sensationalist media when Father Sebastiaan has a career peddling vampire sensationalism: first as a club promoter and now as a cult leader because he got too old for clubs.
Authenticity is living ones truth. It is also the honesty to reveal that one is merely playing a game. Most of us med sangs would love to stop playing the game. That is why we are collecting data to know what the right research questions to even ask are. We refuse to be collateral damage to those who fear that we may reveal the masquerade.
1Poe, Nathan (11 August 2005). “Big contradictions in the evolution theory”. christianforums.com. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2011. “Poe’s Law: Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is uttrerly [sic] impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.”
9https://encyclopediadramatica.se/Don_Henrie (complain all you want, deep down inside y’all know that Encyclopedia Dramatica is the most accurate source on the vampire community, just as much as the classic Daily Show was far more accurate than cable news in capturing the spirit of the story)