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'The Black Veil', v. 3 Plus Information & History
The Black Veil is a set of ethical guidelines designed to serve as a moral compass for the vampire community. The original Black Veil was written by Father Sebastiaan van Houten (then-called Father Todd) for the Sanguinary Society (later the Sanguinarium) in 1999 (possibly 1998). Subsequent revisions were made by Michelle Belanger in the fall of 2000 and later in 2003. As there is such diversity within the vampire community, the Black Veil has been the focus of much debate and controversy. Many who first encounter the document assume that it is intended as a strictly enforced set of rules. Others question the applicability of any set of guidelines to the community as a whole. Finally, there is the issue of the first published version of the Black Veil, which many felt owed a great deal of inspiration to the "Traditions" of the role-playing game, Vampire: the Masquerade.
The Black Veil as it stands now is purely a set of guidelines and moral suggestions. While it still serves as the backbone for the Sanguinarium and the new Order of the Strigoi Vii, it has also been adopted by numerous groups and individuals who share no affiliation whatsoever with either of these groups.
The first mention of the Black Veil appears in the 1998-1999 edition of the Vampyre Almanac and reads:
A subsequent version published on the Internet was reminiscent of the seven Traditions of the Masquerade. These rules were followed by the fictitious secret society of vampires supposed to exist within and throughout the modern world as depicted by the authors of Vampire: the Masquerade. (Mike Rhein-Hagen, et. al)
This first version was unacceptable not only because of the issues of possible plagiarism raised by others in the community, but also because the perception that these rules intended for the real vampire community had been drawn from a role playing game seriously trivialized the legitimacy of that community. Subsequently, Michelle Belanger got involved and requested permission to revise the Black Veil in order to increase its legitimacy and appeal. The resulting 'Thirteen Rules of Community', released in the fall of 2000, were clearly removed from any RPG influence and tailored more to the needs of the community at that time.
At Endless Night in October of 2003, a meeting between representatives of the Vampire Church, Bloodlines, the Sanguinarium, and individuals from many other independent organizations gave rise to a second revision of the Black Veil. This version was released a few weeks later. Trimmed down from thirteen and back to seven rules, the new Black Veil was streamlined to remove pretentious and overly "Goth" language to once again increase its appeal to the continuously evolving greater community. The main idea behind this final revision was to express, in plain and simple language, the ethics already innately valued by the majority of that community.
As it stands now, the Black Veil is intended as a set of guidelines only. There is no obligation on the part of anyone within the vampire community to strictly follow these rules, and there is certainly no way to enforce them. However, as these guidelines were an attempt to give voice to the unspoken rules generally followed by everyone anyway, we feel that they adequately reflect the values upheld by many individuals within the community. At the core, they are simply common sense rules of behavior based upon respect for oneself and for others.
Beyond expressing the values held by a majority of the community, the main function of the Black Veil is to provide a widely publicized ethical code that the media can see when issues arise that might reflect poorly upon our community. When someone commits rape, assault, or murder and attempts to tie this to vampires or vampirism, we merely have to point to the tenets of the Black Veil to show that such behavior is not condoned by our community and that those who commit such crimes are acting well beyond the bounds of what we consider acceptable. In this, the Black Veil exists more for our own protection than anything else, and its continued existence insures that those outside of our community have a more positive view of who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
[Sanguinarius and Sanguinarius.org support and endorse this version of the Black Veil.]
Below is the third version of the Black Veil endorsed by House Kheperu. To see other versions of the Black Veil and more information, please click back to Sanguinarius's Articles Index, Vampyric Lifestyle & Culture and select a different version. For an alternative to The Black Veil, refer to The Vampire Ethos.
Share your nature only with those with the wisdom to understand and accept it, and learn to recognize these people.
Find the path that is right for you and uphold this freedom for others.
Be true to your nature, but never use it as an excuse to endanger those around you.
Respect the person, not the position, and understand that your choices are always your own.
Respect the rights of others and treat them as you would be treated.
Respect the life that you feed upon and do not abuse those who provide for you.
Seek to nurture our community and support all those who do the same.
Note: a copy of the Black Veil (v 3.0) appears in the back of the forthcoming book The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work, by Michelle Belanger.
Eerie America TV Series
Eerie America could very well be called The Fodors Travel Guidebook for The Addams Family. I read some in-depth information about the show and saw the promo, and from what I can tell, this will be an absolutely AWESOME series if they can get it off the ground. (I'm actually praying they will.) Let others know and see who can help. This is something that should happen! Let's pull together and make it so!
New Orleans Vampire Association
NOVA is a State Recognized Non-Profit Organization geared toward helping the homeless in the New Orleans area and working towards its greater goals, including a homeless shelter in the Greater New Orleans area.
If you would like to donate money, food, or supplies toward the cause, please click here for more info or to donate.
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