Burning Question #23: Brain Drain

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Today’s burning question is sure to boggle your mind. 

We often (by we I mean the general we, not you and me) speak of how smart humans are, or more often than not, how stupid individuals are.

We also speak about how some groups of people run seemingly blind to all reason and some do not. Don’t even get me started on politics. Seriously, don’t. Don’t you start either.

I try to talk to my children about the reasoning behind some groups and the dangerous notion of group think. We wonder if they will ever change. This is of course on the negative side of humanity. Why do people join cults? Why do people join extremist or destructive hateful organizations? Why do people embrace ignorance rather than look for answers? Why are some people curious and some aren’t? Is it society? Are we just stupid by nature? Have we reached our limits?

Do you ever wish you were smarter? Maybe just a bit?

Of course we know there are no limits on how smart Vampires are. LOL. Just kidding. I know plenty of Vampires who are willing to prove to everyone what jack asses they are.

Yes, I know you were expecting something funny. Here you go.

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Burning Question #23: Is there a limit to how smart individuals and communities can be?

 

I hope with all of my heart that the answer is NO. If you’re a parent or have children in your lives please tell them the answer is NO. There is no limits to how smart one can be. The same goes with compassion, humor, and love. No limits.

But feel free to answer how YOU want to answer.

Feel free to share any thoughts, strong opinions, puns, childhood stories, or poetry in the comments section.

Thank you for dropping by and answering this Burning Question.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Cults – Real Monsters

There are real monsters in our world and you need to talk to your children about them. You need to tell them where the phrase “Drink the Kool Aid” came from.

I hate cults. Be it religious or some other sort of group who blindly follow a crazed charismatic leader, I loathe them.

They don’t fascinate me as much as I am appalled. I am appalled by the people who start and run them. Most of all I am applied by the people who join them. And of course there is a very special place in Hell for people who bring their children into them.

The same goes for con-artists, so called psychics and clairvoyants  who tell those who mourn that they can contact the dead. It isn’t going to happen. They’re nothing as horrible as predators   who prey on the emotions and desperation of others.

If you’ve read any of my other work you’ll find patterns where I bring up cults, and those who claim to speak to the dead, hear angels, and other bull shit. I have the same opinion for those who say they’re prophets, or have a direct line to God, or lead others on religious journey’s and enlightenment – which really means control of assets, power, sexual abuse, and assorted other bull crap.

When I think of anyone from Branch Davidians and David Koresh, to Bo and Peep of Heaven’s Gate, to Jim Jones, and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, and those like them,  it makes me sick. And don’t think it is just religion. Many multi level marketing groups work on the cult model. Far too many political groups work on this model. They all break down potential members then bring them up in a sick and twisted feel good way – taking away the free will of the new member and replacing it with a perverted sense of belonging, awe, and fear of not belonging.

The leaders take away the member’s money, they isolate them from their families and friends, and they demand complete obedience.

Sex and sexual abuse seems to be a huge part of most cults and cult-like organizations.

It isn’t always on a grand scale. There are far too many small groups and organizations that we never hear about. They also prey on the innocent, lonely, and those looking for answers.

Often they use someone of the opposite sex to luer young people in, disguising their hunt as romance, or a connection with a kindred spirit.

When kids go off to college, or out into the world on their own for the first time it isn’t always easy. They will get lonely. They will have times when they feel like they don’t fit in. This is when the preditors go on the hunt after your children.

The preditors hunt the college campuses, often disguised as smiling peers just sharing information. My mind goes back to a girl I met in the late 70’s on a large college campus. She sat smiling like a bride on her wedding day, at a table, giving out information about “The Young Spartins.” This was back in the cold war days. She was from a communist group. I questioned her. She was all glassy eyed wonder. I didn’t have the heart to ask her if she’d ever heard the word “Gulag.”

Another story I’ll never forget is from a sweet young man who had his heart broken by one of the preditors. Fortunately he was smart enough to follow his head and heart, and not his dick. My young friend, a twenty one year old man in his forth year of college, had met a beautiful young woman at a party. They talked all night and watched the sun come up together. He was floating head over heels in love. He’d met his soul mate. Then two days later he was home early from his next date with her. She wasn’t intersted in him. She was only interested in him joining her “religion.” Her religion was something he (a Catholic) didn’t even consider a religion. He was horrified and heart broken. She didn’t give a crap about him, just about making her quota of converts and mindless followers.

Soon after that I was persued by several men of the same cult. They’d always ask me what I wanted to change about myself. I’d tell them “nothing.” They were total losers. I also met someone who had escaped from that same group that claims to be a religion, only after everything he loved had been taken from him – including his musical talent which he gave up for the cult. One is always expected to give something on loves up to prove their loyalty.

I’m not against religion or belonging to a group. I’m not against anyone having strong beliefs. What I am against is those who prey on the innocent and the young in the name of religion or political group, or other sick and twisted belief.

I tell my kids to question everything. I tell them to be skeptical. I tell them not to follow. Even when they don’t want to lead they should never follow, and never do anything blindly. Blind faith is a dangerous thing. Nieveity is a dangerous thing.

Cults are like abusive relationships. They will take everything from you until you are nothing. And they want to own you – both physically and mentally.

Discuss this with your young adult children. If anyone convinces them to stay away from their family and friends they need to RUN. If anyone tells them their family and friends don’t love them they need to RUN. Anyone who wants to break them down, then bring them up is BAD. They are evil.

Cults, con-artists, abusive assholes – it is all the same. They want your children.

I don’t know what else to say about this. Just continue to talk to your kids, even your older children about preditors. Your kids grow up but stranger danger is still an issue.

I speak from experience. A long long time ago I worked for someone who was trying to start a cult. It was scary. It was sick. It was sad. I saw first hand how the leader manipulated his followers to the point of blindness and deafness to reason and the outside world. I hate those people. I hate it when people are so weak that they follow such people.

That’s all. For now at least.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Glassy Eyed Wonder

My kids and I talk a lot about the people they go to school with. This includes political clubs. There is now a Young Democrat club at the high school as well as the old Young Republican Club. My daughter still helps run the Horror Club (a favorite among teachers.) My son is involved with a group of young artists. They aren’t all art majors but they enjoy sharing the creative process over coffee and long walks on the beach.

It reminded me of a spring day in 1979. I was walking across the quad of a well-known and honored university and happened to meet a young woman who was a Young Spartan. That would be a communist. It just seemed so bazaar to me. She was so happy with that glassy eyed look that usually belongs to someone who belonged to a cult. I immediately wondered if she was sleeping the one of the charismatic young male leaders. I couldn’t imagine why she’d be soliciting for such a group. It was so random and at the time a little disturbing.

I’ve wondered a couple of times over the years what happened to her. Is she still politically active? Does she think back about her experience and feel stupid? Did she marry a domineering idealistic man and follow him to the ends of the earth only to be left alone with nothing but regret of what could have been? Is she Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager?  I’ve never been one to join groups so I have no idea. Did her parents know she was involved in the group and soliciting for new members/followers? Wouldn’t it be odd if she read this blog? Are you there pretty brown haired girl with the lovely smile? You know who you are.

My daughter tells me of kids in her high school who target others they feel are “at risk” for indoctrination into different religious groups. My son tells me of groups on his college campus that go after the lonely and lost and naive. Where do you think terrorists get their minions and slaves? They know their targets.

Yes, I am a cynical one when it comes to groups and movements. Groups and clubs are fine. It is when those in charge want to control the movements and thoughts of the members so completely that the group becomes the most important thing – more important than the individual.

I tell my kids to turn away from anyone or any group that counsels them to reject their family, friends, school, or personal beliefs.

One of my brothers is the kind that gets targeted by recruiters of shady organizations. Andy is so sweet and loving most of the time. He has that hint of vulnerability that draws women and cult leaders alike. But like the rest of my family he is pretty good at taking care of himself. Alright, I admit we’ve had to bail him out a few times and I do worry about him. I worry more about others who don’t always have that strong support that my brother does.

From the start, as a mom, I preached the idea of independent thinking. I intentionally raised my kids not to be followers. Kids don’t have to be leaders but they should never be followers.

I’ve also tried to raise them not to be those glassy-eyed innocents that end up in the clutches of people who only have two goals: to use other and to control others.

When I was young I asked my father what made people join cults and extremist groups. He said it was because it was easier not to have to make any decisions about their own lives. By giving up their own choices they didn’t have to take responsibility. They didn’t have to think.

When you don’t have to think for yourself life is easy. Maybe not good but it is easy.

Remember kids, nobody ever said it was going to be easy. That isn’t a bad thing.

Inspirational speakers (and other such con-artists) give me the creeps. You know, the kind who talk about living up to your potential and success. If you want to learn about success go talk to someone who is a real success. Talk to a teacher or a small business owner or the director of the local zoo or museum or the CEO of the high-tech company your neighbor works for. Talk to someone with a real job.

Save the glassy-eyed wonder for the next time you go to Yosemite. Save it for the next time the moon looks so big you think it will collide with the earth. Save it for the quiet sounds of a baby breathing or the faint heartbeat of a ghost.

Or just save it for a Vampire (believe me, it will be well worth it.)

And remember talk with your kids and always LISTEN to what they have to say. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Never blindly follow anyone or anything - especially a cat.

Never blindly follow anyone or anything – especially a cat.

Excuse me for a bit…I’m thinking about con-artists (and writing other crap)

It is cold today. I’m watching squirrels in the bare oak trees and humming birds. Yes, cute little red headed hummers. The darling cute little calico cat knocked over one of the humming bird feeders and it shattered after a 15 foot drop to the deck below. Sigh.

Excuse me, you came here for Vampires and paranormal romance and maybe Werewolves. Thank you for coming back to this blog time and time again. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

This year, soon to be my fourth year of writing my odd little blog, will bring both old and new features.

The kids are getting older. I started out writing about Middle School Vampire issues and now my little fangsters are almost adults. They might be taller than me but I’m still the mom. Now things are easier but still a bit scary. It is also an exciting time.

So 2015 is here.

My friend Vlad has allowed me to start publishing his diary (his Vampire Diary). He is turning to the written page to help him understand the modern world he has chosen to become a part of again. Like I tell all of the Vampires (and other adults): Keep up with what is going on in the world. The good old days were fine and well, but this is 2015. Those who are old in years yet young at heart are those who look forward with understanding, not those who look back.

Then there is the business with Austin the History Professor, restoration expert and Vampire Hunter. He sometimes calls on my brother Aaron and sometime now, he calls on me to help him out (like I need more to do.) The problems with Austin is that he is getting a tad too comfortable around us (Vampires.)

For the past year I’ve wanted to discuss the issue of cults and psychics. Not all cults are religious, and some, a few, are quite fascinating. I’ve always be curious about why people join cults and how they get sucked into a cult. It is usually with a promise of a better life that never pans out. Cults steal souls as well as money. Scary and fascinating shit. I also have a word or two for psychics, most of whom I know (not believe but know) are con artists or delusional crazy ass nut jobs. It angers me to no end that someone would take grief and hope to use against others to make money. Parlour games are one thing but deception is something that is cruel and downright evil.

I’ve seen both cult like cultures and false psychics up close and personal. It always leaves me feeling sad and angry. A close friend of mine has made it his mission to seek out and stop such people. He believes in spiritual and somewhat paranormal things (I say things not having a better word tonight.) That said, he knows the difference between what is real, a possibility and a lie or con job.

That is a subject that takes a lot of time and emotional energy to write about. I once asked my father about people who are followers. He said they find it easier not to think for themselves. I was a kid at the time so it was a simple answer. Yet it stays with me. ALWAYS think for yourself. Always question. Always be skeptical. Even Vampires like me are always skeptical.

Honestly I hate those people – those who gather followers and glorify themselves to try to achieve a God-like status. It could be the president of a well respected corporation or a preacher with a box full of snakes. Insanity and greed know no social confines.

Be like a Vampire – by skeptical and question everything.

So, where was I? Oh right, my brother Andrew stopped by this weekend. I thought he’d be having a huge party in his huge San Francisco home but he said he wanted to be with his niece and nephew. Awwww. He is so sweet.

Andrew is the second eldest of my four elder Vampire brothers. He has the voice of an angel and the soul of something much darker and crazier.

He asked me if I wanted to go wine tasting in the hills this weekend. I thought about it for a bit. When Andy goes wine tasting someone always ends up hurt, missing or worse. We’ll all be Vampires so it couldn’t be that bad. I mean, what could go wrong? Anyway, I got a book out of some of his past experiences (Morning at the Vineyard.) Maybe I can get a best seller out of his future adventures. One never knows about these things.

Andy and I were sitting at my dining room table with the cat (who was sitting on the table) sharing a bottle of wine (the cat was not drinking anything.)

He smiled and flashed his bright stormy sea colored eyes at me and said, “You’re still writing all that crap about us aren’t you.”

And I said, “Of course I am.”

So cheers and I’ll keep writing this crap as long as I can, and then some.

Again, Happy New Year everyone. I’m happy and honored to have you here.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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