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

 

 

 

 

Trigger Words and Neutrality

A year or two ago I read an article that some colleges (not any my kids will ever go to) were telling professors to not say certain “trigger words” so sensitive students wouldn’t get upset and kill someone, kill themselves, cry, attack classmates, get depressed, or drop out of school.

No kid should be that sensitive. My feeling is that kids in college need to learn to backhand trigger words like Venus Williams backhands a tennis ball. Bring it on. Make it a sport.

We banter and discuss and generally talk a lot at my house. It’s a good thing. If someone throws an issue out there we’ll talk about it, or at least acknowledge it.

But still, we all have our trigger words. I can hear my husband whispering to the kids, “don’t say that around your mom. It’s a trigger word.”

I have a long list of trigger words that have the potential of sending me right on top of my soap box with a tirade of well grounded opinions. I dare say I’m sure I’ll offend some of my readers but here it goes. Yes, this is a warning. You can leave now if you want to.

Juliette’s Trigger Words and Phrases and Subjects With Pictures

Anything to do with the Trump family. In case you don’t know who they are I’ve posted this photo of them. (from left to right Melania, Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka)

My political trigger words include: Trump, Shitgibbon, Bannon, EPA, Arts, Education, DeVos, Melania, Trump Children, Marla Maples, AND about a million other words…you get the direction this group is moving in. I also have no kind words for those who are bigoted against my LGBT friends, those who are obsessed with marriage, the sex lives of others, or any other kind of ignorant and hateful bigotry.

Don’t talk to me about RELIGION. That is YOUR business. When I hear the following it drives me NUTS:

  • It happened for a reason.
  • It is God’s will.
  • God has a plan.
  • God had a reason for it.
  • The Bible says so.
  • God only gives you what you can handle (if that is the case then most people I know can handle about six nuclear wars, a plague of yellow jackets, and rattle snakes in their beds, and their ex-lovers in their shower – all of their ex-lovers at the same time naked in the shower with them and NO HOT WATER.)

You get where this is going too. I’m not an atheist by any means (read my blog) but ugh. And don’t even get me started on people who say they don’t believe in science or evolution. Trigger trigger trigger trigger.

Vampires. 

I’m not going to bash Twilight because it got so many teens to start reading. They went from Twilight to other books and that was a good thing. BUT don’t talk to me about Twilight. Don’t. Just DON’T. I don’t want to hear it. I also don’t want to hear anyone say, “I don’t like to read about Vampires.” Fine then don’t fucking read about them. You don’t have to tell me about it.

Other literary and film triggers:

I don’t like (I despise) Eat Pray Love, Bridges of Madison County, Steel Magnolias, Little Women, 50 Shades of Whatever BUT –  I don’t care what you like to read as long as you’re reading. Just don’t question what I read. In fact don’t question what anyone reads. If you want to bash a genre then fuck you. We all have our ways to relax in private with a book. It isn’t for anyone to judge what anyone likes to read. With one exception….

Self-Help Books

90% are SCAMS and GARBAGE that spout Sunday School crap to confuse people, rip them off, make them feel bad, and … it just pisses me off. There are a very few good books out there for those looking for help, but proceed with caution or you’ll have me screaming.

All of that said…

I usually don’t say anything UNLESS I’m with my husband and children. I’m talking about real  life, not Twitter, or someplace else on the Internet (which by is now going to be a place where YOU will be sold like a piece of meat.) I’m speaking of real life.

In real life I tend to be neutral. I’m like Switzerland. I don’t take sides. I distract others away from trigger situations. I move conversations forward and back to where those conversations should be. I can take the most hair-brained off-target discussion and steer it back to where it is supposed to be. And unlike this post, it will all be in a thoughtful and usually good-natured way. My voice is calming and quiet. I’m like cool jazz background music, that calms, but you aren’t even sure you even heard it.

So I’ll rant about my triggers words right here, right now (don’t tell me later that the Jesus Jones ear worm is from me) because this is MY BLOG. I’ll turn it back to you later on with something witty, useful, and profound, and maybe marginally entertaining.

In the world of Vampires we see a lot of things come and go. We try to take everything in stride knowing that most things do pass. Then again a lot of things don’t pass (no puns please) and so THAT is why it is OK to get mad, speak out, vent, and use your voice sometimes.

That’s it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

And this is a bunch of guys in hats for no special reason.

 

 

 

 

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Teens have always had their own style.

Teens have always had their own style.

 

Opinion: Juliette Kings

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Facebook is full of memes saying …

When I was a kid we were polite, we respected our elders, we were beaten with switches and had our mouths washed out with soap… 

Oh screw that. I’ve always seen RUDE hateful mean despicable young people. I’ve seen it for decades. They learn it from their elders. They learn it from those same parents who are posting those stupid memes.

The teens (and little kids for that matter) in my life are polite. They are respectful. They are great. And you know what? I didn’t have to resort to paddles or other barbaric violent means of teaching them how to be good.

I think back of when I was young and saw unspeakable things done to other children. I remember them being physically and emotionally tortured. I remember children being humiliated by their unloving abusive parents. These were “normal” two parent Christian households. Throw not the first stone they say, but these people should have had stones thrown at them. When I look back I can’t even say out loud, or write the words of what some of the children I knew when through – it is too disturbing. But I can see patterns in the type of parents they had. Some things never seem to change.

Fortunately now there are resources, though not enough, for children who need help. There is never enough help. Foster care isn’t an answer. Family counseling isn’t a solution. These kids need new permanent families who love them, even if it isn’t a traditional family.

I see families where step-parents are the real parents. I see single dads and moms raising kids on their own and the kids are GREAT. I see kids doing great things. I see them talking about everything. I see them questioning the world. They need to question. They need to have their own opinions in order to grow.

Well mannered and polite teens are more of the rule. They aren’t the exception.

The teens in my life have more empathy than anyone of my generation ever had. They are smart. They are focused. They like old people.

They question the world around them. They want to make the world a better place.

The media would have you think otherwise.

If you want the teens and young adults in your life to show respect then you have to give some respect as well. You need to listen to them. I don’t mean “blah blah blah” sort of listening. I mean hearing what they have to say. I mean respecting their opinions even if you don’t agree. I mean explaining things to them if you’re pissed off rather than yelling at them.

Show them that their time is as important as yours. Because it is.

Yes, of course there are kids who are assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. But look at their parents. The adults they live with are usually assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. Unfortunately for the rest of us, and for teachers, there are one or two of those children (and their awful parents) in every single classroom.

And you know what? It is those asshole parents who post those negative memes. So screw them. If they want respect they have to show a little respect. Show a little interest. Get out of your own head and your own tiny little world. Learn something new.

Fortunately by the time kids are in high school a lot of the assholes (and others) have learned that their behavior gets them nowhere. Teens aren’t playing by playground rules anymore. Assholes are put in their place, and a lot of them realize what jerks they’ve been. It is called growing up.

In AP History the 11th grade students are reading Huckleberry Finn. My daughter and I have discussed the book and the context of the book considering when it was written.

She said, “Huck’s father was just like the white trash, or any of the trash that you see now. They don’t want their kids to do better than they did. It is awful.”

So if you see a kid who is an asshole consider the source. Consider who that child is learning from. Maybe that kid can learn from you. Think about it.

It isn’t Vampires you should fear. It is apathy. It is lack of empathy. It is people refusing to listen to everyone, young and old.

You need to study history because if you don’t know where you’ve been you can’t understand where you are going.

In turn, we need to look forward to the future. We need to listen to the young people and have open discussions with them. For they are the ones who can change the future. Now is a scary time. Now is the time to listen to the teens and young adults. They can see with a fresh eye all of the bull shit the rest of us have become numb to.

So stop complaining and see the incredible talent and resources right in front of us – in our young people. If you’d just open your eyes, your ears, and your heart you will see what I see.

Spend some time with a young adult – some real quality time. It isn’t all smart phones and hook ups. It is a lot more.

 

~ Juliette aka The Old Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Top things I hate about people who aren’t Vampires

Top things I hate about people who aren’t Vampires

Followed by a few things I like about people who aren’t Vampires.

Warning: Strong language, adult situations, offensive to everyone who thinks they are the shit.

People who won’t give you a recipe or leave out ingredients. Get over it. Your cookies, cake, salsa, tuna casserole, fill in the blank aren’t that special. Vampires don’t cook much but when we do we SHARE. That is what you’re supposed to do. Were you raised in a fucking badger hole or what?

Sexist views and general sexism. Men and women are different, but that doesn’t mean one is lesser than the other. So get over it – both men and women.

Humans who put dogs in crates. Unless your name is Schrödinger or you’re going on a trip or to the vet, dogs (and cats) should be allowed to be part of your life, not your prisoner. If your dog is so badly behaved that you have to lock it in a box MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE A DOG. Ever think about that? And don’t tell me that dogs feel safe in crates. Visit your local prison to see how it feels.

People who say they don’t like cats and constantly tell you about it. WTF? I don’t care if you don’t care for cats but you don’t have to make a big immature deal about it. That is just rude. You’re an adult now. Act like it. Are you threatened by the fact that people have cats? Are you threatened by cats? What the crap did a cat ever do to you? Just get away from me.

I hate it when people tell parents with small children, “just wait until she is a teenager. She’ll be HORRIBLE.”  Excuse me? Come over here in the corner and have a nice chat with the Vampire. Just because YOU were a horrible parent doesn’t mean that everyone else will be. And of course some kids have bad days. Some adults have bad days. But please, talk to your kids. I mean from the time they are born until the day you die and it won’t be bad. In fact it will be good. But really, back to the first point… don’t be rude. Don’t be an asshole.

What the crap is up with people who want us all to be Puritans again? Ahhh, they are obsessed with sex or more so what other people are doing in their bedrooms. And why the fuck are they all running for public office? Just mind your own business and wish people happiness in finding love and a sense of family and stability. And don’t tell me that YOU were a virgin when you got married because we all know you weren’t. The Puritans aren’t around anymore because nobody liked them. And nobody will like you if you don’t shut the fuck up. Just keep your thoughts to yourself. Go back to your badger hole.

I HATE people who say “I not into Vampires,” right in my face BEFORE they’ve ever read my blog. They have no idea what this blog is about. Do I tell them to shut the fuck up. No, I just smile politely and leave the boorish person alone with the guy who wants to discuss the relative properties of hydrogen vs helium and how he misses his ex-wife’s big tits. You’ve lost my attention and my respect. You aren’t that special. I listened to your stories and said nice things? Well? And it isn’t just my blog. How many times have you had someone tell you that they don’t like something you do for no reason other than to be rude.

Politics. Nonstop talk about politics. STOP IT. Just shut the fuck up.

 

I could go on until this is one of those literary “long form” blog posts, but I won’t.

I’ll now say a few nice things in a nice bulleted list.

  • I like how people laugh.
  • I like friendly open people, especially when I’m feeling a bit shy.
  • I like people who have open minds.
  • I like that fact that people are warm. That is pretty cool when you’re a Vampire to feel warm skin next to your cold skin. It is kind of like sitting next to the heater vent (your cat can tell you all about that.)
  • I like the way people give back and pay it forward and help others.
  • I like the way people write and tell stories after all these centuries. Seriously they keep coming up with NEW stories. Wow.
  • I like the way some people still have hope.

So thanks for listening. Feel free to add your thoughts on people who aren’t Vampires. And don’t tell me that you put your dog in a box – just don’t.

xoxoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

readbyvampires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Retreats, Re-treats and a Vampire’s Thoughts on Writing

traditional vampire

Once upon a time, I kissed a Vampire. I wore a bustle dress but he did not have wings. It was lovely.

victoiran bats

In popular mythology Vampires have bat wings and turn into bats. Nice idea.

in your room

I was never one for creeping into bedrooms either, of course unless… unless it was a bed I wanted to stay in for a while. Hey, you know, even Vampires multi-task.

So do moms like me. So do most modern parents (Vampires or not.)

I usually don’t comment on the blogs of others… I try not to be rude or snarky (HA HA April Fools on that one) but I just read a blog post about “Writer’s Retreats.” There were thoughts and quotes from “experts.” I have no beefs with the author. She was lovely. I do have it with other things about retreats and “experts.”

Today has been one of those days when I read about “Writer’s Retreats,” and I think of myself and my writing friends and I think “WTF?” I’m f___ing busy. I have an independent mind. I need coffee. I’m a bitch. But…

Perhaps when I was younger but I would have just found love the idea of a retreat. I also would have found the cutest guy at the retreat and slept with him. I would have written a bunch of lofty angst filled crap that nobody would ever want to read. Yes that is blunt. It is. Deal with it. Or I would have instantly gotten writer’s block and totally bored, or spent the entire time trying to impress everyone else there, and maybe drained the blood from the cute guy and left in the middle of the night. Maybe not. It just has no appeal to me anymore. I don’t want to be lofty. I don’t want to be deep. I don’t want to be literary.

So anyway…

What would my retreat be?

My retreat is in those hours before the sun comes up with just the company of my cats and my coffee.

My retreat is in those times when the kids are practicing their sports, or I’m waiting for, well, just waiting for someone or something else.

It is when I walk the dog and let my mind fill with ideas.

My retreat is looking at pictures and art and music. Filling my senses completely full.

My writing retreat is when I lay next to my husband, our arms around each other. I close my eyes and drift off to a place where everything is perfect and as it should be.

Sure I’d like the luxury of spending a lot of money and time off in a cabin in the woods (but not like that silly movie of the same title) with like minds… but then I think not. I’d rather spend the time with like minds that I already know or who live in my circles. I’d rather be with other bloggers and short story writers, those I know and those I don’t know yet, who live in a rushed world with so much variety and activity that they can hardly think, much less escape from it. They’re the ones who inspire me.

My writing friends and my quick messages to them and their feedback is my retreat.

Reading the works of others, no matter what the content, point of view or genre is my retreat.

The joy of learning the craft of writing (the stuff you don’t see here) is my retreat.

I guess I’m just not a follower. There are those who inspire me but I’m sort of old and I have teenagers and life is extremely serious and at the same time so whimsical and funny and amazing that… that if I went off by myself to write I wouldn’t have anything to write about.

I like my alone time. That said, as a writer and an artist, it has to be MY time. My place. My thoughts that rattle around in my brain for hours and days before anything goes down on paper, even if those hours and days are only a split second.

You might not agree with me. I wouldn’t go on a marriage retreat either. I wouldn’t go on a Vampire retreat. I don’t do retreats. I despise the very idea of self-help retreats. Spiritual retreats make me think of cults totally creep me out. But if you like that sort of thing… well go ahead but don’t ask me along. I’ll just smile and say “have a nice time.”

I have to say that my husband feels the same way about these sorts of things. We came into this relationship with this view already. And don’t even get me started on most parenting books, experts, seminars and retreats. My fangs will come out when that subject comes up.

My husband always says “Everything annoys you.”

I respond with, “Why yes it does.”

I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect or my views and life are perfect (like some people in the news) but it is my life and I’m feeling a little snarky right now. My regular readers know I’m usually pretty sweet and sensitive. I am. Really. Most of the time. OK I try.

But I do like TREATS and I like sharing so I guess that could be a nice Re-Treat. A nice bottle of wine, some cheese, some tea or whatever you like… I could go for that. We’d talk about our writing then maybe we wouldn’t. We’ll just end up talking about our dogs or roller skating or books we’ve read or those day-to-day things that make up the contents of good writing (fact or fiction or those odd bits that live in both worlds.) Or you could send me a link to something cool online or a story you’re writing or I could read your book and then you could read mine. THAT is the perfect retreat – to share treats – the treat of our thoughts and creativity.

And to think this was going to be an essay on being a Modern Vampire… oh well.

Have a good week everyone and don’t listen to me if you don’t want to, but I’ll be here if you need me.

And on a serious and thoughtful note… I hope all of you have your own small retreats, those places either mentally or physically that are yours and yours alone.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

clarke dark