Texas “Vampire” Arrest Sparks Lacking Discussion on Vampire Culture

Posted on by Melissa Karnaze and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Deborah Quinn Hensel of Reuters reports:

“The arrest of a Texas man who broke into a woman’s house, threw her against a wall and tried to suck her blood over the weekend has sparked discussion over the impact of vampire books and movies on U.S. youth culture.”

Although the article’s discussion seems lacking.

On the one hand, as author Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicle series is quoted saying to Reuters (bolding my emphasis):

“We’re all conscious at times of being alone, of being alienated, of being a secret self that fears exposure to the judgments of others. So we feel like vampires.”

On the other hand, Rice discounts that this identification with vampires is anything serious (bolding my emphasis):

“My readers are romantics. They’re into the poetry and the romance of vampires; they don’t think they themselves are vampires… I have never personally met anyone in all these years who claimed to be a vampire.”

The Reuters article ends on that quote, which indirectly silences a discussion on the effects of vampirism in popular culture, as the article was, after all, sparked by a man who identified with vampirism in more than a mere “romantic” or fanboy sense.

By ending on that quote, the article also avoids a discussion on actual vampire culture, which is not just limited to “True Blood” and “Twilight” followings, but inclusive of self-proclaimed psychic vampires, such as Michelle Belanger and JM Dixon.

The summary for Dixon’s July 3rd, 2010 interview on Coast to Coast AM reads:

“‘[A vampire has] a different species of spirit than a normal human, with different needs and different capabilities,’ [Dixon] explained. The human body is unable to produce enough energy to feed the more powerful vampire spirit, so energy must be taken through psychic and/or blood feeding, he continued.”

Furthermore (bolding my emphasis):

“Dixon admitted to consuming blood in the past, but now relies solely on psychic energy from volunteer donors and large crowds…Dixon estimated that about 25% of modern vampires continue the practice of drinking blood, and traced their desire for the vital fluid to an ancient curse placed upon Celtic vampires (the Sidhe).”

And then there’s the international organization (or secret society), Temple of the Vampire (bolding my emphasis):

“The Temple of the Vampire has been in continuous existence since its creation in 1989 when we formed our organization within the United States. We did this to allow our membership to benefit from the legal protections afforded to religion under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Official Site

Belanger, Dixon and the Temple aren’t mentioned in the Reuters article. Or rather, what they represent isn’t mentioned: People who genuinely believe in and practice vampire-like, or just “vampire” acts — without necessarily assaulting others or infringing on the legal rights of others in the process.

Or so it’s claimed. Because the public really doesn’t know very much about this complex topic, or the phrase “modern vampire.” Which begs for a discussion that we probably won’t get (from mainstream media outlets) so long as “sexy” pale blood-suckers (or former, but still-capable blood suckers) dominate the popular depiction of vampires, while shrouding these (secretive) counter cultures. 

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30 Responses to Texas “Vampire” Arrest Sparks Lacking Discussion on Vampire Culture

  1. antoinebugleboy says:

    Uh…whut?

  2. Dan Dravot says:

    Dunno; kids were reading Anne Rice in the 80s. What’s the body count so far? Pretty low, if I’m not mistaken. Not gonna panic just yet.

  3. Fifi says:

    Heh, the whole “psychic vampire” thing comes from new agey beliefs not your Goth vampire side of things. Sounds like a way to make one’s narcissism more special than just being a narcissist – the “need” or “hunger” for attention sounds like someone’s recognized their narcissism but, in pretty typical narcissist fashion, has created a story/fantasy about why they’re special and deserve to “feed their hunger”. This actually sounds much less harmful than, say, a narcissistic CEO or any narcissist that functions effectively in the mainstream world.

    • vprime says:

      I think this is a good take on the topic. Vampires are heroes now because we venerate narcissists. A person who claims to be a vampire, though, strikes me as someone grasping for empowerment that they don’t deserve & can’t attain. I’m willing to bet this vampire attacker in Texas was from the low end of the socio-economic spectrum, with little education and opportunity to become a self-aggrandizing pop star or CEO someday, that’s why he had to cloak (heh heh) himself in this vampire mythology.

      I guess what I’m getting at is that self-proclaimed ‘vampires’ actually have no power and that’s why they turn their frustrations into violence.

      And Anne Rice’s vampire books have been for the most part, existential morality plays.

      • Fifi says:

        vprime – Malignant narcissism is a key feature of almost all cult leaders (or wannabe cult leaders – whether it’s “energy vampire” cults, new agey “therapeutic” cults, celebrity cults or even psychiatric cults…and then there’s new age psychology that blends the worse of all worlds, though new age vampire guy also seems to be going for a mishmash too that doesn’t have much to do with traditional vampire lore).

        Ms Karnaze, you haven’t made a particularly coherent or rational argument and, upon checking around your other work, you seem to align yourself with the Scientology promoting/front for super sketchy and exploitative supplement manufacturers – Natural News – so it’s a bit hard to take you or any claims to be capable of critical analysis or cultural awareness particularly seriously. You seem to want to be or be seen as a critical thinker that sees past all the illusions and delusions but you seem rather taken with all kinds of paranoid delusions and marketing scams by an exploitative, religious/marketing cult promoting organization.

        On top of that, you seem to also spend time on the kind of sketchy internet marketing sites and this is the evidence that suggests that you’re not above using sensationalism to market yourself and your self help program. You may just be naive, you seem pretty young and if you were shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that science exists in the real world, scientists have personal biases (um, duh) and that science won’t provide you or anyone else with the kinds of answers to life, the universe and everything that religion claims to provide (the answer is 42), then you ARE incredibly naive. That you flipped over to the quack/paranoid side and spend your time writing about and inflating the dangers of sekrit new age vampires instead of dealing with the more boring real world issues, shows that you’re mistaking being reactionary with being a critical thinker and more interested in fantasy and sensationalism than discerning what is real and what is illusion.

      • Fifi says:

        vprime – Most vampire stories seem to be morality tales (if not all traditional monster stories), and vampire stories also often are highly erotic (after all, it’s all about penetration, how irresistible vampires are and how we have to “invite them in”). Ah, nothing like a bit of old fashioned sexual repression and release, and social transgression and release from the constraints of polite society ;-) I’m now tempted to research whether there was the same “OMG, vampires are ruining our pure children” thing around their popularity in the 1800s.

        The thing about malignant narcissism is that it’s a “by any means necessary” type of thing – some people become CEOs, some become entertainers, some become criminals, some become psychiatrists, some become cult leaders, some become new agey healers, and some just run their own businesses and tell tall tails (he was such a normal guy, I can’t believe he killed his wife and kids), it’s not the profession that turns people into malignant narcissists (though obviously some professions reward it more than others and tend to attract narcissists). Though there are some genuinely kind and well meaning people involved in new agey stuff, a lot of it is highly narcissistic (what is more malignantly narcissistic than The Secret?)

        Getting rid of Goths, vampire stories, video games, etc won’t stop people having psychotic episodes or, ahem, going postal (getting rid of the post office won’t help either ;-) It’s just a convenient narrative to hang their delusions on – it’s a bit like how people with schizophrenia who are secular tend to explain it to themselves as being abducted by aliens mainly these days, while if we go back in history or to countries where religion is still the dominant framework for reality, you get people claiming to be possessed by devils or evil spirits.

        And, well, teenagers just like vampires because they’re sexy, cool and powerful – though I feel kinda bad for the kids into Twilight because they’re missing all the really good stuff and the Twilight vampires are probably the most narcissistic. Pre-Twilight vampires tended to be blatantly immoral and libertine (and more connected to Bohemian culture than Mormom). Besides, it’s not particularly malignant or dysfunctional to be playing with image in a narcissistic way as a teenager (not that this makes teenagers malignantly narcissistic, plus a teenager who is a malignant narcissist is just as likely, if not more, to be the popular kid on the football team or the cheerleader that is casually and intentionally cruel to the outsider kids as it is to be the outsider kids).

  4. Fifi says:

    There’s product to sell, nothing sells product better than controversy…I’m not sure that the source of this “secret underground vampire cult” is a terribly reliable as source when it comes to reality (not because he’s necessarily insane but because narcissists aren’t particularly concerned with reality when it’s about inflating their own image for attention. So, yeah, I’d say that malignant narcissism is a problem but vampires aren’t. But, OMG, there’s secret blood drinking vampire cults lurking underground….quick, save the children. Did you know that back in the 80s, when apparently Dixon started his “I’ll call it a religion so I don’t have to pay taxes rather common tax dodge”, there were also satanic child molesters running pre-schools? (There weren’t, of course, but it certainly got the American media rather hysterical and some people made money of the hysteria.)

  5. Fifi says:

    Ah, I see from your website that hysteria about “evil” and new agey stuff is kind of your thing…. I think Partial Objects may need to go meta here and call in TLP to do an exorcism…

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  7. sunshinefiasco says:

    Don’t forget Jonathon Sharkey , the Prince of Batshit Darkness.

    Any one else think it’s interesting that the vampire people chose a (probably mentally ill) man breaking into a house and attacking someone to hold a discussion on the merits of their extracurricular (instead of disavowing him completely?)

  8. Fifi says:

    sunshinefiasco – It doesn’t look like it’s the vampire people who are “starting a discussion” though – it’s the journalist in the original article and Ms Karnaze who are starting a discussion (and a meta discussion about the discussion) – no doubt because it’s a sensational way to approach the subject. Ms Karnaze is quoting from an interview done last year from new agey energy vampire dude (who has set up his business as a religion for the tax break). The journalist did a relatively tame sensationalist piece where she talked to Anne Rice about fictional vampires and her fans (she says her fans are romantics and not connected to the deluded/psychotic guy), Ms Karnaze took it just that bit further into the realm of sensationalism where new age sekrit energy vampires are lurking out there waiting to, ahem, steal your energy (and attempt to suck some of your money out of you via self published books). No actual connection has been made between the unfortunate guy who got arrested and either the energy vampire people or the novels/films.

    • “Ms Karnaze took it just that bit further into the realm of sensationalism where new age sekrit energy vampires are lurking out there waiting to, ahem, steal your energy (and attempt to suck some of your money out of you via self published books).”

      Interesting how as you project sensationalism and fear-mongering onto my words, you misunderstand my thesis and insult me in an attempt to “discredit” it.

      • Fifi says:

        If your thesis is being misunderstood, then it’s up to you to explain it clearly and then to explain some more. It’s narcissistic to assume that the whole problem resides with the Other simply because you haven’t gotten the response you desired (and that it MUST be projection on my part, not your text itself). Of course, if you’re a critical thinker than you’d be aware that your thesis being perceived as silly and being disagreed with doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being misunderstood (it’s just as likely that it’s being understood and dismissed as silly).

        The original article by the Reuters woman was sensationalistic and trite, it’s about pulling in readers by using popular cultural references. It’s a fluff piece and not a real discussion or investigation into culture (or mental illness and delusions for that matter) – which you quite rightly pointed out. However, you then took the silliness even further by claiming that the problem was that the journalist wasn’t taking the fluff seriously enough.

        “Which begs for a discussion that we probably won’t get (from mainstream media outlets) so long as “sexy” pale blood-suckers (or former, but still-capable blood suckers) dominate the popular depiction of vampires, while shrouding these (secretive) counter cultures.”

        “Secret”? Um, I noticed you linked to a website and the people you point to promote themselves online and off, there’s a whole bunch of merchandising going on and one of the guys did a tv interview about the “secret” organization that he’s registered with the government as a religion so he can avoid taxes. Your whole “secret” premise is blown by you in your article – that’s what makes you appear like you’re being both sensationalist and intellectually dishonest. You don’t seem to have advanced even a simple hypothesis (other than there’s a secret vampire underground , something you inadvertently discredit yourself in your post), let alone an actual theory with evidence. So, please do declare what your “theory” is – other than “secret” vampire cults exist and then the vague insinuation (on no evidence) that this is connected to one guy’s psychotic break.

  9. Fifi says:

    I also find it rather interesting that you’d buy into Scientology related propaganda like Natural News (Scientology being an organization that does actually conspire to try to control people and society, and do cause real harm on an ongoing basis) yet you worry about what “secret vampire cults” that declare what they’re all about on the internet are up to.

  10. Psychohistorian says:

    The simple explanation is that the media write what people want to read. People who think they are vampires are not generally interesting to read about; they’re just a bunch of weirdos as far as your average American is concerned (and your average American is probably onto something there). The fact that they consider themselves is a religion is fascinating, and the fact that that’s about as reasonable as eating the flesh of your savior in wafer form is also interesting, but most people really don’t want to think about that.

    The fact that there’s some odd fringe group that’s vaguely related to a recent mainstream phenomenon does not make the odd fringe group interesting. They’re still just odd, and no more or less interesting than similarly odd people.

  11. Fifi says:

    I don’t know, seems like Americans kind of like a freak show (well, a lot of us humans, to be fair to Americans) – whether it’s reality tv schadenfreude or ye olde Christian outrage. As for the vampirism as religion thing, I’d say that’s more about the tax dodge (though I’d wager they’re claiming to be Wiccan to get tax exempt status). Before vampires were quite so trendy you had the Church of Satan, and before them you had The Church of The Golden Dawn (generally they’re excuses to have what the joiners/society consider transgressive sex and some narcissist’s wet dream and money making scheme more than anything else, like a lot of cults it seems). On a related note, LRon Hubbard actually got the idea to make Scientology into a religion from the US head of the Church of The Golden Dawn (mainly for the tax dodge, before he’d been peddling Scientology as a medical self help scam, which is one reason why Scientology has all the pseudoscience and is so concerned with attacking medical science, the other is that LRon was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic).

    I thought the site was kind of funny – I find the whole “we’re dark and powerful vampires but we don’t hurt anyone and are actually morally superior” thing kind of entertaining. Bring on the vegan vampires! ;-) You may laugh but there’s actually a pretty big vegan death metal contingent.

    Check the homepage text, even they don’t seem to take it as seriously as our earnest blogger here…

    “What is a Vampire?

    This public website offers a general overview of the Temple and what it means to become a Vampire, a member of the Vampire religion.

    The Temple embraces only those aspects of the Vampire mythos that include a love and respect for all life, physical immortality, individual elegance, proven wisdom, civilized behavior, worldly success, and personal happiness.

    The Temple rejects those aspects of the Vampire mythos that are negative including any that are anti-life, anti-social, deathist, crude, gory, self-defeating, or criminal.

    If you are interested, you can view or download a free booklet which contains insights and fascinating details on all aspects of our religion.

    To learn more about the Temple go here.

    Home | The Temple | History | Shop | Contact

    Within lies fact and fancy, truth and metaphor. Discriminate with care.”

    All in all, it seems like the not-so-sekrit vampire cult would not approve of the ungentlemanly way that the likely psychotic 19 year old behaved. Poor dear really, talk about a cry for help (he quite literally asked the police to “stop” him from hurting anyone). Who knows, it’s just as possible that his interest in vampires and focusing on it instead of say, first person shooter games, meant he was less dangerous instead of more. (Just to be clear, I’m not blaming video games for people’s psychotic breaks – just pointing out that the vampire narrative he used as a frame for his delusion may have been less dangerous than a mass murder fantasy.)

  12. Fifi says:

    As long as Fundie Christians have substantial power and voice in the US, anything remotely “satanic” will be popular as a means of teen and young adult rebellion (with some people never growing out of it). Why? I mean, look at the Christian silliness over Buddhism and Yoga (“my imaginary friend is good, your imaginary friend is going to lead me into evil and lust” repress repress repress…hire a teenager hooker and do meth off his ass, rinse and repeat while lecturing about the evils of sex and communism and yoga). Most people don’t mistake the fantasy of vampires for reality (even people into Goth who may look like they do) – but I guess if you’re going to believe in one imaginary figure that you attribute all evil in the world too then it’s not much of a stretch to think that there are supernatural beings who will entrance you into enjoying illicit bad bad sex against your will). Le sigh…

  13. Fifi says:

    Once again reality (and new age supplement pushers) delivers in the silliness stakes and delivers at least one person who can put up a website for, you got it, vegan vampires…here’s the ultimate new age/vampire mix of raw foodism and, well, vampires…

    http://www.veganvampires.com/vegan/index.php

    I’d wager this is more of a cash grab than any indication of a sekrit vampire underground…this particular naturopath also promotes “advanced Christian yoga”… Once again mainstream pseudo-counter culture and pseudo-science a la Scientology shows that vampires are much less of a social problem than unreality peddling supplement manufacturers and new age unreality-peddling marketers. Once again, pure capitalist marketing and unreality-peddling for a buck proves to be much more damaging to the (gullible) living than any imaginary undead/immortals ever will be.

  14. “…yet you worry about what ‘secret vampire cults’ that declare what they’re all about on the internet are up to.”

    Fifi, this is another instance of projection on your part; I’m not “worried” about the individuals and organization that I linked to.

    You’ve gotten more fired up about sekrit new age vampires than I have, as you’re clearly upset, continually personally attack me, and have written a couple posts’ worth of comments here.

    But at least you’re discussing the topic, which is what I was trying to spark. :)

    “You may just be naive, you seem pretty young and if you were shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that science exists in the real world, scientists have personal biases (um, duh) and that science won’t provide you or anyone else with the kinds of answers to life, the universe and everything that religion claims to provide (the answer is 42), then you ARE incredibly naive.”

    This is a pretty sensationalist way of taking me out of context. I get that you bash internet marketing and I don’t care to argue with you or to convince you that my opinions are “capable of critical analysis or cultural awareness.”

    However, I link to Natural News as an alternative media site, which doesn’t mean that I endorse 100% of what’s published there, and I am interested in your linking the site with Scientology — so if you have actual source materials/links to them that you’d like to share, feel free to email them to me — because as you might notice from one of my articles about Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’m not a fan of religious cults.

    By the way, it’s probably more effective to complain and/or appeal to the administrators of the site for this article’s being accepted and published than to me.

    • Fifi says:

      Heh, the thing is that most people who frequent this site value critical thinking, debate about ideas and culture, and things like understanding where ideas come from. I have no need to complain to an authority/administrator when I can speak for myself. (I thought being self responsible was one of your things…why the retreat into making it about an “authority”?) Pastabagel is a big boy, he can decide whose blogs he wants to host.

      And, yes, I do have an open bias against people who market themselves up as internet self help gurus while (tacitly) endorsing and promoting things like Natural News and (albeit perhaps inadvertently on your part) the unreality-based ideas that Scientology tries (often quite successfully) to mainstream. Why? Because it’s exploiting needy people and promoting unreality based thinking (and kind of the opposite of what you claim your intentions are on your blog).

      You seem like an intelligent person (your first post at PO aside), you just seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories rather unquestioningly. (And, hey, I make no bones about the fact that I’m a bit of a ranty bitch who likes to make fun of people who engage in unreality based thinking.) Granted, you may just be a bit naive about where you’re getting your ideas and what you’re (perhaps inadvertently) promoting. You may genuinely mean well, but it’s not intentions that count in the long run or the real world. Well meaning people do harm to others all the time, all while maintaining a narcissistic image of themselves as “a good person who means well”.

      I have to ask, have you even read Natural News? Did you not read it critically because it conforms to one of your own confirmation biases? I’d suggest doing a bit of your own research into Natural News, Scientology, General Stubblebine and Rima Laibow, and the supplement industry and then to make up your own mind (er, the truth is out there… ;-). I’m surprised that you thought you wouldn’t get called out on what you posted here and expected uncritical acceptance – you’ve yet to explain what your “theory” is and seem to be backpedaling to the “I just wanted to start a discussion, internet WIN for me” stance rather than actually clarifying your “theory” that you feel has been misunderstood.

      Ultimately, I just thought what you wrote was silly and worth making fun of because it was silly and doing the kind of thing that’s often written about at PO. (I am pretty snide about this kind of thing so I can see how you didn’t catch that I thought it was hysterical, hysterically funny that is.) Then did a bit of a look into what you promote (intentionally or not) on your blog and found a wide gap between what you propose as being discerning of reality (and false constructs of reality) and what you’re doing – it seemed like a misrepresentation to me and the kind of thing that OP is at least partially about deconstructing (though I could be attributing intentions to Pastabagel/OP that aren’t what he intended). I also find it pretty funny that you seem to believe there needs to be a discussion about “modern vampires” and “a secret society” (your words, not mine) as somehow linked to some poor 19 year old having a psychotic break (he’s at an age where schizophrenia tends to start to manifest).

      Look, I can try to lower the level of snide if you’re genuinely interested in understanding why the reception to your blog post here has been generally dismissive and if you’re genuinely confused about the response and not just peddling self help crap (and here to market yourself and your blog). That said, if you’d checked out PO before you posted you’d be aware that this is a site where vigorous and often snide/sarcastic debate goes on (along with some rum drinking and general rough and tumble about ideas). But, hey, who knows, maybe Pastabagel is taking OP in another direction? If that’s the case, I look forward to walking the plank. All in all, we both win by the sounds of it – I got to find out that quacky naturopaths are trying to promote “vegan vampires” as a means to sell questionable supplements (though obviously it fits in quite neatly with the raw food immortality crap) and to entertain myself, you apparently got the “discussion” you were looking for. I’d also suggest that while I may well be reading something into what you wrote that you didn’t intend, that you’re just as likely to be doing so regarding what I’ve written (and that someone disagreeing with you, snidely or otherwise, doesn’t mean they don’t understand what you wrote or that you didn’t unintentionally come across other than you believe you did).

  15. Fifi says:

    And do you really believe Natural News (which explicitly sells supplements and whitewashes Scientology) is an “alternative news site”? The site has as store that sells what the “news” promotes, this is why I questioned your ability to think critically.

  16. Fifi, you sure like to put words in my mouth don’t you? Do you know why I deliberately didn’t use the the term alternative “news?”

    “…if you’d checked out PO before you posted you’d be aware that this is a site where vigorous and often snide/sarcastic debate goes on (along with some rum drinking and general rough and tumble about ideas).”

    I’ve enjoyed reading articles and discussions here since the site was conceived, am aware of the official request for courteous discussion of ideas versus personal attacks, and despite that am glad to have given you a hysterical laugh (from my perspective, it’s amusing that you misunderstand my message and assumed that I wanted you “get worried” about the vampiric things at the end of those links).

    Calling me a self-proclaimed self-help guru by way of my writing on various self-help topics is, in my opinion, more so (pseudo)intellectualized angst than critical thinking, because even if under the guise of snide, it does involve a bit of projection. And yes, you can always use the circular argument that assessing projection is narcissistic in itself (or rather, when you, in particular, disagree with it), but in my opinion, that term’s an overused umbrella, as is ego among New Agers (of which I’m sure you’re familiar with).

    “Look, I can try to lower the level of snide if you’re genuinely interested in understanding why the reception to your blog post here has been generally dismissive and if you’re genuinely confused about the response and not just peddling self help crap (and here to market yourself and your blog).”

    You’re mistaken if you think I’m “confused” and want “in” on your construction of “your” community (to which I’m somehow an “other”); I was responding directly to you.

    “All in all, we both win by the sounds of it – I got to find out that quacky naturopaths are trying to promote “vegan vampires” as a means to sell questionable supplements (though obviously it fits in quite neatly with the raw food immortality crap) and to entertain myself, you apparently got the “discussion” you were looking for.”

    I did indeed. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m studying psychology. Not just within the context of academia, but also with respect to communication, “arguments/debates,” and interpersonal subtleties.

    “I’d also suggest that while I may well be reading something into what you wrote that you didn’t intend, that you’re just as likely to be doing so regarding what I’ve written (and that someone disagreeing with you, snidely or otherwise, doesn’t mean they don’t understand what you wrote or that you didn’t unintentionally come across other than you believe you did).”

    It goes both ways, doesn’t it? That you tell me I “should” spell out my “theory” through comments (assuming it’s not implicit in the article) leads me to believe that you really don’t get my point of writing, and are either too “narcissistic” to ask, or are simply not interested and satisfied with your laugh (which is probably more likely).

    You know what else I find interesting? You checked out my site even though you think I’m just here to sell, and even though you initially detested that the OP was even published. Why did you reinforce that which you supposedly are against? (Or did you?) Why not just boycott me (or rather, my online presence) altogether? Makes you think more critically about “marketing,” doesn’t it?

    Or maybe not. In which case, I appreciate your honesty, but now have to get back to swindling for supplements. /sarcasm

    • Fifi says:

      Ah, so “alternative media” means advertising to you?

      You claimed to have a theory that you claimed was being misunderstood. So far no theory has been presented, just lots of grand claims and defending of your promoting Natural News on your site. So what if you’re studying psychology? Nice appeal to your pseudo-authority. You clearly have no issue promoting commercial propaganda as “alternative media” – or can’t discern propaganda/advertising from “alternative media” which is perhaps even sadder – so your whole site claiming how you see beyond illusions and cultural constructs is just ego inflation at this point. First do no harm is obviously not on your ethical radar.

      • Ah, so “alternative media” means advertising to you?

        No, but seeing as you’re adamant about continually putting words into my mouth and/or twisting them to suit your views, I don’t have any more replies.

        • Fifi says:

          Pfff, it’s not like you’ve actually replied to anything of substance and that wasn’t about your image anyway or even engaged around the topic you claimed you wanted to discuss. You only engaged around image related things.

          You’ve claimed that Natural News is “alternative media” and you have it linked on your site as “Wake Up Media”. It’s not only very transparently advertising for supplements masquerading as “news” but also supports Scientology propaganda. Judging by the evidence here, “Natural News” is what you consider to be “alternative media”. Your words, your designation of Natural News, not mine. I simply pointed out the rather obvious fact that it’s advertising. Either you’re aware of that already and don’t care that you’re misrepresenting advertising as “alternative media” (your “just ignore me” inept reverse psychology ploy is pretty rote for people into marketing scams) or you’re simply unable to discern the difference between credible information and advertising/propaganda. Either way, your inability to even acknowledge this makes you someone likely to do more harm than good when it comes to being an internet self help guru or a psychologist. Did you sleep through ethics or are you not actually studying clinical psychology so don’t know what you’re doing and when you’re being manipulated by something as crass and obvious as Natural News?

    • Fifi says:

      “Why not just boycott me (or rather, my online presence) altogether? Makes you think more critically about “marketing,” doesn’t it?”

      Heh, was that an attempt at reverse psychology? Seriously, you didn’t even realize Natural News was marketing and you think you’ve pulled a “gottcha” and are somehow enlightening me about marketing? Sure people with no integrity (and little marketing experience) think any publicity is good publicity, and sure people who market themselves or a dodgy product would prefer that anyone who points out the bullshit would just go away and not spoil the illusion they’re trying to build. If that’s where you’re heading, that’s some pretty shady territory for someone who’s setting themselves up as an internet self help coach and studying to be a psychologist. Ethics? Got any? It seems you’re the one that has difficulty thinking critically about marketing or questioning the ethics of medical marketing (and I include pharmaceutical companies in this). I think it’s important to speak up about bullshit – especially the kind that tries to exploit needy and vulnerable people – simply so it is not ONLY marketing that’s creating the narrative. People can then either buy into the marketing or start thinking critically themselves (or at least think twice and get exposed to something that isn’t purely marketing – it’s up to them to make up their own minds). You see, I’m not marketing anything, I’m not her as a product I’m promoting and I’m not actually that interested in making up people’s minds for them or manipulating them via marketing techniques – I’m a fan of the free exchange of ideas, I’m interested in other people’s opinions whether I agree with them or not and I don’t think just pretending bullshit doesn’t exist and condoning it through silence does anyone any good (except those looking to exploit the innocent, ignorant, needy and vulnerable – not that I think that’s much of an issue on PO, but it’s a general thing). Evil happens when good men say nothing….while I don’t actually think “evil” exists and I’m not a man, that saying sums up my feelings on it quite well.

  17. (Sarcasm about the supplements. I do appreciate your honesty.)

  18. Fifi says:

    And I didn’t “detest” that your initial post was put up (though if it makes you feel better to believe that I can’t stop you), I just thought it was questionable in the context of PO since it’s along the lines of what is usually deconstructed on this site.

    So, you think it’s problematic that I bothered to research the site you were promoting and look into your ideas a bit more discerningly? You may randomly promote things simply because they conform to your confirmation biases, I like to dig a bit deeper and see what’s under the surface and and around the corner. I do this kind of thing, if it makes you feel special because I did it with your blog because you posted on PO then feel free to believe what you will.

    Also, I’m not “Othering” you – we’re all someone’s Other here (hell, this is probably the first time that me and Dan Dravot have had even a vaguely similar take on something). What I was pointing out was that so far you’ve gotten no positive feedback here because you did the whole “you just don’t understand my theory” and clearly weren’t even going to consider that perhaps you might bear some responsibility for how and what you’re communicating. I see that the “self responsibility” thing is more theory on your part than action.

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