The South African Vampyre Community is steadily evolving and coming into our own. With each passing month we grow larger and stronger – not only in numbers, but also in stature among our international Vampi(y)re Community brothers and sisters. We have developed our own unique culture and community character, complete with educational materials, guidelines, literature, and have even held some small but successful events. We have overcome numerous obstacles to our continued existence and we have even had to face the potential threats posed by hostile groups in our own country. We walk with our heads held high among the diverse groups of the international Vampi(y)re Community. Despite all of our advances in the past couple of years, imagine for a moment that there was another threat… one that came not from outside our culture, but from within.
Imagine if a Vampyre with a lust for power and fame arrived in our midst. One who had a talent for manipulating people to their will and convincing them to purchase their services and products in order to “become a Vampyre”. A commercial empire crafted of a different mindset than the Vampyre Community many of us have come to know and the broadly accepted description of our vampyric nature. A spiritual or religious cult-like organization specifically designed to place this lone Vampyre at the top of a pyramid. A model concerned only with generating as much revenue as possible from devotees and public customers (sometimes referred to as ‘gaja’ by this Vampyre) through the means of vampire themed parties, prosthetic fangs and book sales.
Imagine this entrepreneurial Vampyre decided to come here, to South Africa, and wanted to throw a vampire party; complete with lots of advertising and funds invested into the decor, a dance floor, entertainment and merchandizing booths. Imagine all your friends in the local Vampyre community are excited about attending the “party of the century”. Imagine that when local community leaders or respected members from South Africa arrive at the door, this Vampyre’s staff tells them that they aren’t welcome at the party. Further, that your House or group will be usurped by a new Court system which other well-placed and eager friends of this cult-like organization will be establishing in your area. This Vampyre is willing to pour time and money into its development, which will in all likelihood, wipe out the existing framework you and others have spent years building and replace it with their own.
Does this sound like a pipe dream? Too crazy to be true? Far fetched?
A little while back, some in the Vampyre community were warning about this very thing happening in their area. They were labeled “hysterics” and dismissed as paranoid or as conspiracy theorists. As it turns out these early warnings should have been heeded. All the stuff people thought was just conspiratorial actually wasn’t – what they cautioned everyone about has already happened and is now continuing to unfold. If left unchecked it may threaten to befall vampire communities in other cities and undermine the very individuality and autonomous spirit so dear to our community.
While it is not really of importance to the issue at hand, I should just point out at the start that, as most of you know by now, Americans generally use the “i” spelling for vampire, while we in South Africa use the “y” spelling for Vampyre, and a capital “V”. Overall the intent is to differentiate the real self identifying V/vamp(i)yre and the fictional type of screen vampire and also lifestylers and role playing gamers or “LARPers” (Live Action Role Player). The group referred to in this article tends to use the “y” spelling (with a small “v”) to refer to people who choose a lifestyle, religious construct or affiliation to their business enterprise, and as you will see later, effectively shuns real self-identifying V/vampi(y)res. For the remainder of the article, since most of the references are set in the USA, I will use the terms appropriate to the American context – “vampire” for “Vampyre” etc. I am sure you will get the idea regardless of cultural differences involving spelling.
On October 26, 2012, Belfazaar Ashantison of the New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) was, without any apparent justifiable reason, banned from Endless Night functions in New Orleans, Louisiana by Father Sebastiaan (fangsmith and founder of the Ordo Strigoi Vii and the Sanguinarium). Those of you who have heard of Belfazaar will know him as the originator of the “Donor Bill of Rights” and the founding member of NOVA. A resident member of the New Orleans vampire community for most of his life, Belfazaar (Zaar) has played a leading role in the city’s vampire and voodoo community since the devastating floods caused by hurricane Katrina in 2005. He has also accomplished a great deal for the cause of the ethical treatment of vampire donors around the world and also for external acceptance and understanding of vampires – especially sanguinarian vampires. He has appeared in several television documentaries and interviews and is probably best known for living openly as a sanguinarian vampire in his local community and for charity events hosted by NOVA.
Belfazaar posted the following statement on his Facebook wall on October 26, 2012;
”Understand, folks, that even though I hold a philosophical difference that is almost diametrically opposed to Toddles own views, I have tried to maintain a decorum and be… politically neutral… when it comes to Endless Nights being here because I *BELIEVED* it to be a good time for all bullshit to be put aside and we could enjoy each other’s company WITHOUT the advent of personal beliefs coming in to play…
I have attended EACH Endless Nights since 2000 because I believed that we COULD come together one night of the year, without all of the neo-political BULLSHIT that runs rampant throughout the vampire community. I believed that we could set aside differences and make friendly…
Naive? Nope. It was a true hope… Toddles and I came to an agreement but due to bullshit that took place, now I see that he is NOT a man of honor capable of keeping his word. That, more than anything, saddens me for someone who declares himself a “leader” and “father of the modern vampire community”… It shows him for what he truly is… A sad, pathetic excuse for a human being…
I have my reasons for being diametrically opposed to his philosophical diatribe… I don’t do pseudo-religious bullshit wrapped around energy work and passed off as the Gospel of So-N-So… Especially when there isn’t ANY proof, one way or the other, that vampires are “real” (Yes… I KNOW that I am a vampire, however FACE FACTS… There is no definitive proof)…
All this has done is insure to me that NOVA IS on the right path. We ARE moving the way that we need to. As long as I have breath in my body and a heartbeat to match, I will endeavor to aid NOVA in its forward movement…”
So who is behind the Endless Night, Ordo Strigoi Vii, Vampire Almanac, and the Sanguinarium organizations?
Father Sebastiaan; aka Father Todd aka Sebastiaan Todd aka Sebastiaan Van Houten aka Aaron Todd Hoyt, a fangsmith and fixture in the New York vampire community (Gotham) during the mid 1990’s through the early 2000’s. He now resides in Paris, France and hosts a number of vampire balls around the world while making fangs and building a network of followers.
Before I continue, let me make it perfectly clear that I’m not interested in unfounded allegations or ridiculous assertions leveled against Father Sebastiaan out of spite. I’ve made a good faith effort to collaborate everything I’ve been told with multiple sources and documentation when available. I don’t wish Father Sebastiaan or his business enterprises any misfortune and believe elements within the vampire community are just as much to blame in many of these instances. As the founder of South Africa Vampyre News (SAVN) and a leader within my own community here in South Africa, I have a responsibility to my readers and those who have placed trust in me to objectively examine controversies surrounding a public figure such as Sebastiaan whose actions have long-term implications for the entire global vampire community.
Ask anyone who’s been around more than a few years in the American vampire community about Father Sebastiaan, under any of the names he has used, and you’ll receive either a very positive or an extremely negative reaction. Virtually all of those who give supportive responses will usually admit that “sure, some people got burned by him” but “he’s a great guy anyway”. Nearly all those who have something disparaging to say will mention incidents they are afraid of discussing because they fear being threatened with a lawsuit or “excommunication” from the vampire community.
Almost everyone I encountered was scared of the fallout from speaking any negative opinion about Sebastiaan. It’s not that they are afraid of him in a physical altercation capacity but that they are concerned they’ll be excluded from parties, lose friends, or be drummed out of the “cool vampires” club. Thus they keep quiet and turn a blind eye to how the vampire community is enabling Sebastiaan, empowering him to keep on doing what he’s done for nearly twenty years. This willful “cover-up” may be directly affecting others in the community but few want to objectively evaluate the veracity of claims or bring either credible allegations or factual evidence out into the open.
Father Sebastiaan is a charismatic leader who believes that the key to power within the vampire community is achieved by transforming others into a vampire by the act of making them fangs and encouraging them to explore Ordo Strigoi Vii mysteries. This reality flies in the face of what the majority of the real vampire community believes. Most importantly, it severely impedes the progress we’ve made toward educating the world and mainstream media about our culture. It also allows Sebastiaan to expand his base to include not only real vampires seeking a little entertainment or even validation – but any Joe or Jane Public entranced by the vampi(y)re mystique and willing to invest in his ventures with hopes that it will somehow make them into “Living Vampi(y)res”. Opening the floodgates to the vampire community to anyone who wants to “be a vampire” without safeguards is like throwing gasoline onto a fire and may one day result in dire consequences should mentally ill or criminal elements find themselves among us.
This cradle to the grave indoctrination goes unchallenged because his organization hosts many of the parties and gatherings that cater to the vampire subculture. It’s clearly not satisfying enough for Sebastiaan that he provides a fun, desirable, and profitable service for the community in the form of these events. He evidently believes that those like Belfazaar who don’t support his vampiric beliefs or only occasionally patronize his business should be marginalized in the eyes of his followers. As such, much of his time is spent cultivating and preserving his image at the expense of anyone who stands in his way.
The vampire community seems to have forgotten that Father Sebastiaan removed sanguinarian vampires from the last version of the Black Veil used within the Ordo Strigoi Vii even though Sebastiaan was once an admitted blood drinker himself. The Black Veil’s association with Sebastiaan is a major contributing factor why many high profile vampires have completely abandoned this document or offered substitutes such as The Vampiric Ethos and The Totum Lex Vampyrica (TLV). Sebastiaan has made repeated statements that sanguinarian and psychic vampires aren’t real vampires and that his version of “Living Vampyres” are the ideal non-diseased and non-parasitic alternative.
Sebastiaan has attempted to paint this supremacist version of vampirism to outsiders seeking to learn and write about the community which has resulted in the wrong impression being conveyed. In television documentaries, Coast to Coast AM radio appearances, high profile interviews with news organizations such as CNBC, and self-promoting entries on Wikipedia, Sebastiaan has presented his form of vampire-reality as superior to all others. In so doing, he has besmirched the image of our kind and our community in the world’s press and affected the way in which non-vampires view us. Temple of the Vampire (TOV) and the Aset Ka may hold similar views on spiritual or religious vampirism but for the most part they keep these views internal, acknowledge that other groups at least exist (notwithstanding their open criticism of them), and don’t seek to selectively revise their history.
Father Sebastiaan has reportedly run afoul many of the old and powerful occult families in Europe and America – often unknowingly. He’s burned bridges in virtually every part of the world he’s lived by repeating the pattern of violating trust and abusing friendships. Adept students of the occult claim his books on vampire magick, glamour, and rituals are all concepts borrowed from other traditions. Many have asserted that without his carefully guarded contacts and ability to host the Endless Night balls he would have outlived his welcome in the vampire community a decade ago.
No one is asking Sebastiaan to stop hosting events, writing books, or running his group the way he’s sees fit. Recognizing the responsibility that comes with being one of the most visible vampires in the community today, many are simply seeking a “to each their own” policy on his part towards others who participate in the vampire community and enjoy attending the Endless Night balls. As far as the media is concerned many also seek a more accepting attitude to outsiders regarding the concept of vampirism – this is my way of “living vampyres” and this is their way of “sanguinarian or psychic vampires” without the inclusion of disparaging remarks about either group (parasites, emotional drainers, dangerous blood drinkers, etc.). Sadly, no one I spoke with sees Sebastiaan ever being willing to honestly adopt this position and stop engaging in backdoor politics. They generally agree that he’s been given ample opportunities to express contrition for his actions and make amends with those he’s allegedly hurt.
Many impetuous vampires seeking his approval promote links to his websites, grant him interviews, and patronize his parties without realizing the implications and the possible negative influence Sebastiaan poses to the community. The need to shine a bright light on Father Sebastiaan’s questionable agenda and substantiated indiscretions is long overdue.
THE FATHER VINCENT INCIDENT:
The very same type of incident that occurred in New Orleans in October 2012 seems to have happened in New York City on October 8, 2011 when a well known elder of the local New York community and former business associate of Sebastiaan, Father Vincent (House Omega), was prohibited from entering the NYC Endless Night party. The post shown below was made by Father Vincent on his Facebook page about the incident shortly after this occurred and was circulated by many vampires outraged that Victor Magnus, Sebastiaan’s “right hand”, denied Father Vincent access:
# 1: I owe you Nothing so get that out your head.. you got proof bring it or shut up. The 6K you think i owe you consider that a fee for helping you become who you are now.. as a matter of fact i think you owe me..
# 2: Sabretooth would not exist if it wasn’t for me and the people i help awaken.. As well as my brothers and sisters who also helped you and you refuse to recognize so you can never tell me i have no Affiliation with the name or hold no rank your delusional
# 3: Victor the High Elder of Gotham… are you joking me, the community knows who that is and it ain’t him.. but you know what i do apologize to him because all he is being is your right hand.. (i know cause i use to be it to) i actually like Vic but because of what you do it sounds like a personal issue with me and him but it is not.. it’s you..
So Finally and to sum it all up it is YOU who are NOT welcome in Gotham and YOU who have no power here.. go back to France
PS… i know you will see this some how spies are rampant”
Despite their falling out since splitting Clan Sabretooth (Sebastiaan’s present day fangsmith company) into two factions years prior, Sebastiaan had never barred Father Vincent from an event. It was a surprise to Vincent, one of the most influential vampires still residing in New York City, to be told that he was not welcome to attend even if he was willing to be a paying customer like everyone else.
THE BELFAZAAR ASHANTISON INCIDENT:
A year later, we have the same thing happening in New Orleans – an already established vampire community social structure being sidelined and ignored by Sebastiaan. He banned a local community leader from attending while showing preference to others who sought his favor and he thought could assist him in permanently laying claim to “territory” in New Orleans by establishing an official Ordo Strigoi Vii sanctioned Court. While I think Belfazaar should have been angry at this, as was Father Vincent, he was characteristically calm and resolute about what must happen in the future.
“The long and the short of it is that Todd has once again decided that I am public enemy number one because I won’t bow and scrape nor dance to his special little tune.
When I got to the Voodoo Gardens at the House of Blues, Toddles gave me the ultimate glare of doom (I’ve got the sniffles now) after Maven muttered something under his breath, motioned towards his cronies and made a kill gesture to them (drew his hand across his throat) and pointed at me… Before his cronies could respond, I left laughing…
It has honestly freed me up to not be political when it comes to Toddles and his heinous actions, such as setting up councils in areas with KNOWN councils and communities, causing disruption between the “sects” (for lack of a better word).
In 2003 when he cancelled his own event, we (the first incarnation of community down here after the fall of the old Sanguinarium bullshit) put together our own event, Cirque du Nuit (CdN)… Toddles decided to throw together an event to try and compete, as well as told people that CdN was HIS event, which he got called out on in front of Michelle Belanger and Shishain Quinotaur…”
He may not like to admit it, but Belfazaar deserves a lot of respect for what he has done for the international vampire community – a friendly, approachable and informative face for vampires everywhere. By ‘respect’ I don’t mean “bowing and scraping or ring-kissing”, I mean recognition, courtesy and decent, fair treatment. This isn’t just an insult to him – it’s a slap in all our faces and shouldn’t be acceptable behavior by someone who considers himself a “prominent leader of the vampyre community”.
ENDLESS NIGHT NEW ORLEANS 2012:
A publicly available video of Father Sebastiaan addressing a crowd at one of the Endless Night weekend activities has been posted by Sebastiaan himself on YouTube. I’d like to take this opportunity to include my own personal analysis of this video and encourage everyone to take a moment to watch and come to their own conclusions.
Father Sebastiaan’s Lecture on Vampyrism 101 at Endless Night NOLA 2012
- The drama involving the former roommate he mentions, is a reference to Michelle Belanger when she and House Kheperu ceased any association with him and posted a community-wide warning about him for plagiarism and misrepresentation.
- He notes that his core business is not selling prosthetic fangs but that his focus is more on hosting events and building his “priesthood” along with his own version of a vampyre community – a community without sanguine or psychic vampires. In short, a “vampyre community” without the most important ingredient – real vampires.
- He declares his intent to build a “vampyre empire” – essentially under his control and his past and present actions seem to bear this out.
- He discredits both sanguinarian and psychic vampires, and asserts that anyone who chooses to be a vampyre can be a vampiric person – and with every pair of fangs he sells, he “makes” a “new” vampyre. Despite this, he continues to contradict himself by saying at odd intervals “fangs don’t make you a vampire”. Yet, he advertises them as a step towards their awakening as “Living Vampyres”.
- Very LARP-ishly, he refers to one of his “new” followers as “my most recent child(e)” and encourages everyone to purchase his recent book, “Vampyre Virtues – The Red Veils”.
- He presents himself as a knowledgeable man who has all the answers after a lifetime of experience and travel. After watching this twenty-four minute video, I am left with the unmistakable impression that Sebastiaan is a consummate narcissist who is using everyone for his own self-aggrandizement.
A DISTURBING TREND:
The Father Vincent and Belfazaar Ashantison incidents are not isolated coincidences. Others have pointed out concerning episodes stretching back more than a decade. Keep in mind that Father Sebastiaan was active in the community back when the Limelight and Mother nightclubs in New York City were at their peak, during the drama surrounding Rev. Raphael Osiris, at the formation of some of the earliest vampire Houses and COVICA, the crafting of the Legacy Ankh and the suicide of D’Drennan, the filming of most of the major documentaries on real vampires, the creation of the Court of Lazarus, and the rapid global expansion of vampirism to other countries.
This latest banishment appears to be in large part due to the involvement of several prominent individuals in the New Orleans community, not least of which was the encouragement of Maven Lore (House Lore). Maven is a New Orleans based vampire and fangsmith who left NOVA earlier this year and shortly following the successful “Vampires: New Orleans” docu-series, in which he appears. Lord Chaz, a local vampire and haunted tour operator, also appears sympathetic to the goals of Maven and Sebastiaan. It’s also been suggested that with Father Sebastiaan’s blessing, Maven wants to settle a score with NOVA by “taking over” New Orleans for the Ordo Strigoi Vii and erase as much influence as possible that NOVA holds there.
I can think of no other vampire group who has attempted to make such brazen “power grabs” in already existing cities by excluding local community leaders. NOVA (who has filed for 501c3 charitable organization status, something equivalent to an NPO in South Africa) is primarily centered on community outreach events and if their organization is hampered in such a manner it will directly impact the homeless and less fortunate citizens in the New Orleans area.
So just who is Father Sebastiaan? Let’s take a look at his Wikipedia entry, personal website and other historical sources.
”Father Sebastiaan is an American master fangsmith, published author of esoteric books on Vampyres, impresario of the Endless Night Vampire Ball events, founder of the “The Sanguinarium” social network and a personality in the vampire subculture. He is often created as one of the major founders of the modern vampire subculture. Working as a promoter at The Limelight in New York City for club owner Peter Gatien he started the Vampire Ball events and is credited as one of the major founders of the modern vampire subculture. He has lived in Amsterdam, Netherlands and eventually settling in Paris, France furthering the vampire community in Europe.” – Accessed December 1, 2012
Or this prior entry;
“Father Sebastiaan is an American event coordinator, host of the Endless Night Vampire Ball events, co-founder of Ordo Strigoi Vii, founder of “The Sanguinarium” social network and a personality in the vampire subculture. Sebastiaan was born in San Diego, California to a Naval family and moved with his family to grow up in the New York Metro Area. After the first Gulf War he moved to Dubai for a few years and eventually returned again to New York City to begin his career as a writer and event coordinator in New York City. Working as a promoter at The Limelight in New York City for club owner Peter Gatien he began making fangs while working as an assistant dental technician for a dentist. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 he moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands and eventually settling in Paris, France to pursue writing and custom fang design.” – Accessed March 13, 2012
By all accounts, Sebastiaan has since his entry into the vampire community, set himself up as a fangsmith, a businessman selling diverse occult wares, an author of multiple books on vampirism as a religion, and an events organizer. Some mistakenly regard him as the founder of the modern vampire community even though he only came into the community during the early to mid 1990’s. There are of course many who disagree with this, and it’s certainly no embellishment to say that he has stepped on many toes over the years.
On his personal website he proclaims;
“Father Sebastiaan is perhaps the most central personality of the modern in the Vampyre / vampire subculture. Joining the community in 1992 he is considered to be one of the most influential figures on modern Vampyrism and vampirism with his contributions in the areas of philosophy, spirituality, fangmaking and nightlife. He is also an avid lover of vampire mythology, steampunk, wolves, history, 19th century art, French culture, ancient Egypt, NLP, psychology and philosophy.”
While there have been numerous complaints against him from local vampire communities, particularly in the United States, not much is known of how his events in Europe have affected existing communities there. Many of the people I’ve been referred to in those communities have since disappeared from the scene altogether or did not wish to go on record. I encountered outright hostility at the very mention of his name with someone I spoke with from Germany.
Having been involved in the vampire community for about twenty years, it’s to be expected that he has communed with older and prominent members of the local communities. He seems to have made an impression on at least a few who have left notes about their dealings in surviving online records.
Encyclopedia Dramatica seems to list a fair amount of “dirty laundry” on Sebastiaan, although most of it should be taken with a grain of salt given the notorious unreliability attributed to this website and unless corroborated by other independent sources. I will not dignify any portion by quoting from it in this article.
There are no less than two publicized Sin Nomine’s (motion to censure the mention of one’s name or even existence) against him from two collectives within the vampire community, and there was even a petition titled “The Awaken To The Truth Petition” to have him Sin Nomine’d from the entire vampire community.
According to the website Awake and Drink operated by Zane Robinson;
“The original version of The Black Veil, written in the late ’90s by Father Sebastian Todd (Todd Hoyt) marked the beginning of a new era for the real vampyre Community. Before this point in time, there was a lot of mixing between roleplayers and real vampyres, and although it was probably an unintended effect, this document helped separate the two.”
A copy of the original role-playing based version of the Black Veil is included on the web page, which goes on to say;
“This early version was presented to the then-forming real vampire community (which had some overlap with the vampyre lifestyle community, and still does today), but was met largely with criticism and rejection because of its rather roleplay-like concepts and language. Also, there was concerns of plagiarism. Michelle Belanger rewrote it in 2000 (version 2). Sanguinarius helped present the improved version to the vampire community as “The 13 Rules of the Community”, and it was received much better than the first, although there were still those who rejected it.”
In the online version of a “Dictionary of Sanguinese” (now in its second edition), written and compiled by long time vampire community figure Sanguinarius, the following clarification is made about the central feature of the Sanguinarium and OSV;
Elorath / Scrolls of Elorath: From House Eclipse: “According to the OSV, this is the great vampiric essence and the vampiric astral spirits, called by the Temple of the Vampire the Undead Gods. This is one of the inner teachings of OSV. Some say this term evolved from the word “el-or-ath”, which is the Atlantian term for a vampiric spirit. However, this is–” untrue! In actuality, the word originated back in the days of the original Coven, then operated by Raphael Osiris, and the “Sanguinarium” was still “the Sanguinary”, and is an acronym for “Eternal Lord Our Regent Aaron Todd Hoyt”. Seriously.”
It isn’t a far stretch to then postulate that anyone in the Ordo Strigoi Vii or Sanguinarium who ascribes to the belief in “ELORATH” is therefore inadvertently worshiping Aaron Todd Hoyt and giving him power through the invocation of this magickal egregore.
Another long time vampire community resident, Amy Krieytaz, wrote the following about Sebastiaan on her website;
“The New York/Northeast U.S.A. Vampyre scene: Sabretooth, Inc. – New York’s best-known promoter of “Dark fetish & vampyre events, products and publications.” (Aaron Todd Hoyt, a.k.a. Todd Sabretooth, is also events coordinator and head Storyteller for Northeast cities and sites for the VtM LARP group One World by Night.)”.
Father Sebastiaan appears to have started out as a LARPer playing a vampire in Whitewolf’s “Vampire: The Masquerade”, graduated to fangsmithing based on influences by individuals such as Tsarvek, D’Nash, and other notable fangsmiths, and then evolved into a self-proclaimed spiritual leader of vampires. There’s nothing wrong with being involved with V:tM but unfortunately much of the terminology, hierarchy, and other influences were carried over into the modern vampire community and the organizations began by Sebastiaan.
In 2002, Shadow Villanueva wrote of Sebastiaan;
“Enter my experience with the ever-so-popular Sanguinarium, a monster organization run by a man known as Father Sabastian Todd. At the time that I joined the Vampire Church there were many people who were complaining of sending money to the Sanguinarium for “membership” packages and not receiving them. Todd is a poor businessman to say the least. His ego is overly inflated and he constantly surrounds himself with lackeys in order to make himself feel important. He has lied to me and ignored e-mail from anyone who can not earn him a dollar or contribute to his feeling of importance. I openly challenged him to prove me wrong on an e-list and he in fact ignored my e-mail altogether.
The Sanguinarium fancies itself as a sort of United Nations among the Vampire Community. Todd feels that every vampire organization should be part of the Sanguinarium in one way or another and he is constantly harassing the founders of these organizations to join him in one fashion or another. He will exaggerate his relationship with the founders to the members of these organizations so that he may gain their support. When asked about his exaggerations he will either ignore the question or try to lead the conversation off into another direction.”
In fairness, I spoke with individuals who complained of never receiving their orders for ankhs from around 2005-2007 as well as with others who finally achieved resolution and had their “lost orders” filled and shipped. I’ve not been able to uncover any credible complaint in recent years regarding the sale and distribution of any of Sebastiaan’s goods or services. Likewise, I’ve heard nothing but praise at the quality craftsmanship that goes into the production of his fangs.
On June 29, 2005, Michelle Belanger (House Kheperu) wrote a public letter (now widely reproduced) on her LiveJournal page about her experiences with Father Sebastiaan (then spelled with one “a”) where she outlined accusations of alleged plagiarism of her work, breach of trust, misrepresentation, etc.;
“Since late 1998, I have worked with Father Sebastian Todd. Our initial partnership began after my work was plagiarized in his Vampyre Almanac 1998-1999. The material plagiarized was originally published in the 1997 Monolith Graphics Art Calendar. I touch upon this in my book, The Psychic Vampire Codex, but at Sebastian’s insistence, left out the specified incident of plagiarism because he did not want to look bad.
At the time, Father Sebastian alleged that he had no idea who sent him the material. As reparation, he offered to have me write for the next Almanac — without pay, of course. To this day, I am certain that Todd himself plagiarized my work, and this knowledge in part influenced my decision to work with him on future projects.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but I had been plagiarized before, and as a relative no-name, I had discovered just how hard it is to call someone to task for intellectual theft. I felt that if I worked with a known plagiarist, at least I would have some say in how my work was presented and I would be much more likely to be able to keep my name attached to that work. In later years, another factor that kept me working with Todd was the fact that I could influence him to be less destructive to the community — my revisions of the Black Veil are a sign of this, as Todd’s version that first appeared on the Sanguinarium website was criticized by many as reading like a bad rehash of The Traditions of the Masquerade. It was.
Last week, after many long and eventful years, my House and I decided to bring our association with Father Sebastian Todd to an end. For multiple infractions that have built up over a span of years but have specifically reached a head over the past 8 months, Father Sebastian Todd is no longer an ally of House Kheperu. Subsequently, he is no longer someone who can use our name, reprint our work, “borrow” our ideas, or otherwise continue to enlarge his own projects with our creativity, inspiration, or reputation.
First, I want everyone to understand that this was not done lightly. Ever since I first started working the Father Sebastian Todd in 1998, I have had various people approach me and warn me not to work with him. More people than I can count have approached me over the years with complaints against him and reasons for why our association should end. Until recently, I never felt there was sufficient evidence for such a drastic move. However, over the course of the past year or so, a number of events, incidents, disagreements, and issues have built to a point where the cessation of his ally status was inevitable.
When the infractions are based on material reported to us by another, be assured that we have acquired the text of letters, IM logs, chat transcripts, and other primary evidence to back up each individual’s claims. Furthermore, the individual infractions are not limited to single incidents but represent a repeated pattern that cannot at this point be resolved. The material we have on file will remain private as it contains peoples’ names and we have no desire to spread further drama and recriminations throughout the community. Just understand that by our exacting standards, it is more than sufficient to prove each case.
Here are the main points that inspired this radical decision:
Primary Infractions of Father Sebastian Todd:
- Stating that House Kheperu is sponsoring events without first gaining permission from the House. Further, not even notifying House Members that we were supposedly sponsoring the events
- Presenting himself under a known alternate ID as an ally of House Kheperu to other houses and then implying or outright stating that House Kheperu supports the issues and/or policy changes he is attempting to enforce in said houses.
- Reprinting material from members of the House in his publications without first acquiring permission to do so. (plagiarism)
- Frequently taking ideas and partial writings from the House for reprint in his own publications without proper attribution. (intellectual theft)
- Misrepresenting concepts, ideas, and teachings from House Kheperu.
- Attempting to recruit an established member of House Kheperu. Furthermore, attempting to use sex to do so, via a third party.*
- Misrepresenting House Kheperu and/or its members to potential members and other individuals within the community.
Ordinarily, when someone becomes an ally or loses that status, we treat it as a private matter. It is only because of the very public identity of Sebastian and the widely known nature of our association that we make this a public matter on our boards. For the sake of peace in the community, we do not wish to debate the matter further.
We also wish to take this time to apologize to anyone in any order, coven, or house who has been approached by Todd, a member of House Sahajza, or its affiliates using our name. If any person claiming to be abbon of House Kheperu has attempted to inform you of our opinions or policies, they had no right to speak with our voice. They did this without our knowledge or our consent.
House Kheperu has no interest in dictating policy to other houses or individuals. If someone attempts to tell you what to do, using our name to back up their credibility, they are abusing both us and you.
If you run a vampire-related House, Order, or Website, please reprint this letter in its entirety. I am especially distressed to learn that Todd frequently used my name and the name of House Kheperu in private correspondence to lend credibility to his claims and demands. He never had permission to do this. If he has run an event and our name has been attached to it, he has never even asked if he could use that name. Some abuses I can tolerate when it’s for the good of the community, but too many of the liberties he has taken with us have hurt the community I love.
*Ordinarily, we have no problem with our members joining other organizations. It is the fact that Sebastian has railed against other individuals who have sought to recruit his members that we take this into consideration at all. Our members can come and go as they please, but we feel that by Sebastian’s own standards, a concerted effort to draw them away represents a serious insult to us and our House.”
Information on Father Sebastiaan taken from the history of the Court of Lazarus, New York City;
“Lazarus was founded in February 2002 as a social gathering organized by Father Sebastian Todd of Sanguinarium infamy. It was called ‘The Society Lazarus’ for that initial meeting, but the members soon voted to organize officially as a Vampiric Court. Lazarus became known as The Court of Lazarus from the March 2002 gathering onward. Father Todd recruited a host for that initial gathering, but he left after only one meeting – before Lazarus even became a Court. After members voted to become a Court, an interim Regent was named. Gabrielle of The House of St. Eve graciously led The Court until elections were held in April of 2002 and when the Court’s first elected leader was chosen.
In May 2002, Gabrielle ceded the Regency in a Regent’s Rite held near Central Park’s Belvedere Castle, as representatives from neighboring Courts looked on. At that time, The Lazarus Council consisted only of our first elected Regent, Madame X (Keeper of the Scroll), Marquessa Magdalena (Keeper of the Veil), Father Sebastian Todd (Primus), Gabrielle (Regent Emeritus) and Lazarus’ Scribe, Nefarious Wrath.
That summer was a whirlwind of activity, as The Council instituted the first Scroll of Lazarus as its governing document, established relationships with neighboring Courts, and worked to attract attendees and prospective Citizens. It was also a challenging and stressful time, and The Lazarus Council sometimes differed on the goals for The Court. These differences could not be reconciled and in June of 2002, Father Todd and Council parted ways.”
The Court of Lazarus still exists today and hosts its own highly successful events, reportedly facing competition from Sebastiaan’s own events which are sometimes held on or near the same dates as their own.
More information regarding his involvement with the Courts in New York can be found in a blog posting titled “The Court of Gotham is a LIE” dated March 23, 2008;
“A new sickness has reared its ugly head within the dark beauty of our Community in the form of what has been most dishonestly dubbed “The Court of Gotham”. Much like the “Holy Roman Empire”, which was neither Holy, Roman nor an Emipre and of which a megolomaniacal Napoleon crowned himself “Emporer”, Father Sebastian Todd has “coronated” himself as the leader of this organization which is neither a “Court” nor representative of “Gotham”. It is, instead, another attempt by this self-centered profiteer to fool the otherwise gentle and beautiful members of this community into paying his bills.
We join with our Brethren at The Court of Lazarus and, by association, those at The Society Nocturnus of Gotham in reminding you that it was, without question, actions such as these in the past which caused Sebastian to become a pariah among us in the first place; he was cast out because he made it plain that he sought to eat on YOUR tab. He has not been put upon, mischaracterized, or slandered; rather, he recoils at the cleansing nature of light when shined upon him. He is not a “Patriot” in any sense of the word and that which he proposes to do now is not done out of any sense of duty or selflessness. Do not be fooled about this latest outburst or about what his childish, selfish interests are in this. It is no coincidence that he employed the use of the term “Passing the hat” in his pseudo-inaugural message; he is well skilled in that particular practice since the hat is, as it has always been, his.”
As Regent of Court Amen-Khepera, Lady Amenti posted an announcement from Court Amen-Khepera concerning the Sin Nomine of Father Sebastiaan in July 2005;
“Yesterday, July 9, 2005 after careful consideration and research into the Father Sebastian Todd fiasco, have decided to issue Sin Nomine for Father Sebastian Todd. This decision was not made lightly. We fully understand the ramifications that could result from this however, we feel we must take a stand none-the-less.
We as vampires, speaking to all of us not just those within my court, are responsible for making sure that our community is safe and protected from those who would mean us harm in any way.
With Respect for the Vampire Community,
Regent of Court Amen-Khepera
Lady of House Khepera (not associated with House Kheperu)”
Under the reasons given, after reposting the entire letter of Michelle Belanger on July 11, 2005, she lists reasons why Court Amen-Khepera chose this action:
“Since I have received so many questions as to who and what I have decided to give further explanations.
Firstly, Court Amen-Khepera is a fairly new real vampire Court that formed in March of 2005. We are a local vampire community and do not have an “online house”. We are not role players. Never have been. I myself have been an awakened vampire for 30 years. I started off in House Sable Brahmin which has since closed. I was Ronin for a few years after.
Father Todd also decided after the death of Lord D’Drennan to make a profit off of a well loved man who had crossed over. Just days after his passing. Lord D’Drennan created the first Vampire Ankh that was used and still is used in a lot of the vampire community. He has done nothing except exploit this community, revel in doing so and not giving a damn who got hurt in the process.
For those of you who have been in the vampire community for many years (10+) you may recall that Father Todd issuing statements that a “House” was not recognized unless he approved it and approved your “ankh” that you had to have for your “House”. He also stated that you were not a vampire unless he approved you as such.
This man has done so much damage to the vampire community. Now for those of you who don’t know who he is, trust me when I say you all are much better off not knowing. Thank the gods you have never had to deal with him on a personal level. There are more horror stories concerning that man than anyone else I know.
Lastly, Sin Nomine is a term that is not very often used in the vampire community. In fact, it has only been issued once before and that had a legal charge attached to it. Sin Nomine literally means without name. To be without a name is to be dead and forgotten.
Thank you for your time in reading my post.
Regent of Court Amen-Khepera
Lady of House Khepera”
THE LEGACY ANKH:
This was a pendant designed by the legendary metal worker and artist, Lord D’Drennan. Much contention abounds around this symbolic ankh. Some, particularly those who knew D’Drennan personally, and who knew the actual circumstances of the matter, still express their anger and outrage.
Most seem to agree that there was some kind of consensus prior to D’Drennan’s death that the Legacy Ankh would no longer be cast and publicly sold. Many consider the subsequent casting and sale of the ankh as a serious affront to D’Drennan’s memory. D’Drennan committed suicide on February 14, 2005.
According to the website owned by Black Knight;
“One such ankh that is extremely popular with both vampires and goths is the Legacy Ankh. This piece, according to the Strigoi Vii (pronounced “stri-go-VI”) website, was a joint work by Father Sebastian Todd and the late Lord D’Drennan. The process to build the ankh itself took several months, and between 2000-2005 new members could only get their hands on variations. Following D’Drennan’s death on Valentine’s Day 2005, Todd and a number of others met and decided to only have the original Legacy Ankh made and reissued.”
The page to which the source reference link directs, what is left of the original strigoivii.org site, no longer exists and the only thing to be found there is an advert for a forthcoming book by Sebastiaan.
A curious relic of the time when the Legacy Ankh was still in development lies with the following website in the minutes of a meeting of the Iron Garden Court from May 2002;
“b. Ankh Updates: Lord D’Drennan explained to us that our mold is in the wax stage and that he will make the first ankh and we may charge whatever we feel appropriate for any others that are made. *** We have reached the $113.00 that we needed to pay for the initial mold! Thank you to all of those who have donated towards the mold! ***”
“*** Each house must send their philosophies to Father Todd and High Council so they can be added ***”
“e. Spaz presented one of his masks to Lazarus Regent Christian Blood as a token of their new found peace between Lazarus and Gotham.”
I contacted some in the community who had first-hand experiences with Father Sebastiaan and were willing to openly share these accounts. A few of those who initially gave statements later asked to not be quoted at all. I soon got the feeling that “higher powers” were likely influencing some of their decisions. The entire point of asking them to be interviewed was to arrive at the truth, not speculative rumor or a rehashing of what others said before them. While I could have written an article citing anonymous sources, I made the decision to not engage is this style of discreditable journalism and only focus on actual testimonials for those willing to put a name to their statements. Having said this, the frustration caused by these developments reinforced the point of how either intimidated or apathetic many are; especially leaders of small or mid-size groups in the vampire community. It also begs the question of how will the change so many have called for in the vampire community come about when others won’t stand up for what they believe or when they see their fellow vampires being harassed or bullied?
The following interview statements were from those who were willing to be quoted and presented in no particular order. There were instances where I removed some statements that I could not independently verify or I was given reason to doubt the truth of the claim as a result of my research. Any necessary additions or modifications are bracketed ( [ ] ) in the text.
“My opinion? Over the years his “Modus Operandi” has become quite apparent. He praises and charms those that are, or may be of use in the future. New individuals in the scene don’t know any better and as he has the biggest microphone and they are dazzled by his spotlight and notoriety. Eventually they get used to whatever end he needs, even if just to add to his popularity. I’ve had friends give him loans that were never repaid, provide him with a place to live without receiving the agreed on remuneration. [Removed allegation of incident pending additional information from source; approximately 15 words.] Around 2002 I was asked to Germany by a friend of mine in the aftermath of one of his earlier visits there. He ran out on loans and left such an awful impression with everyone I met. I had quite a mountain to climb to restore proper relations and assure them not all American Vampires were complete assholes. The only silver lining is it seems he has burned enough people in the past so he doesn’t need to use people as much as he used to in order to persist.
I knew him pretty well. I met him originally in 96 in New Orleans at the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club Party. He told me about his idea for the Endless Night that year and which I attended when he had it in 97. When I got out of the Air Force and moved to Tampa originally started the “Court of Lightning Bay” as a Sanguinarium Court. (98 was when we started Lightning Bay.) That was the year I stayed with him for a week in NY when I went through a Fangsmith Apprenticeship with Father Vincent back in 98 I think it was… He paraded me around and did exactly what I outlined in my statement. We remained in steady contact over the years. I, like many others, thought I could advise him and help with the larger community despite him. But you just can’t change a person’s nature…”
“Some people who have had business dealings with him have been burned. I did work closely with Father Sebastiaan, helped him with books, ran a sister event to his Long Black Veil events, Noir Havens, Black Trillium. But I worked with him while he was still in House Sahjaza. Since 2006 we parted ways with Father Sebastiaan when he “retired”, from both myself and House Sahjaza. Since then I think he has considered me Sin nomine. LOL. I never had any problems with Father Sebastiaan, we are both business minded individuals and I always admired him for being a man of action and I still do. I will always respect him for some of the good things he has done for the Vampyre community and the friendships that we share in common.”
[A former business partner of Father Sebastiaan requested their entire statement be removed; approximately 170 words.]
“My Legacy Ankh at that time only went to heads of households when the Sanguinarium was a fraternal organization, with House Scarlet Moon being the last Legacy Household (as I was told) to be admitted. I wore my Legacy ankh on a long crucifix in addition to the house ankh. While reading tarot in a huge crowd during Southern Decadence week in New Orleans, it was pulled off my rosary and I was so very upset. That was the September of Hurricane Ivan, my ex Lord D was doing sound for the John Kerry election… what year was that ? Anyway, I call Todd to let me order another one of D’D’s hand-beaten ankhs and he said “NOPE! That’s it – that’s all of them: they are retired.” I didn’t think of calling D’Drennan.
This is one of the key factors that threw D’D into complete poverty and if he had lived, he would have needed to declare bankruptcy. But his Jamaican heritage and years served in the Coast Guard made him a very proud man and the failure of his business and devoted art was too much for him. To not be a burden to Lady (I never could remember her name), a week earlier he packed up his entire apartment in boxes so they could be simply lifted and removed. He had also paid up his rent, cut off his utilities, and took care of mailings. Just minutes before (which he had pre-announced complete with the exact time) he made one last post to Live Journal and he said he was nervous and had to drink two beers to get the courage together to go through with it.
Then it was February and I got the call from Maven that D’D had committed suicide; it happened on the same night that a pledge to our household died. I was given the link to his Live Journal (which I wasn’t a member of…) and it gave about 2 or 3 weeks of D’D’s research on suicide: the best way, music to die to… complications to consider. It was just overwhelming and no one noticed! D’D had bought out another business and changed locations which was going to be a positive move with new tools and then an open to the public display business, which would be a wonderful addition to his metal art and jewelry. However, it was stretching his budget like all new business upgrades in a city like New York with high real estate. D’D should have been able to make this happen if Father Todd had not decided to discontinue them.
D’D not only designed the ankh, but the original ones are hand beat by D’D himself like I had – they are not like the mold created ones. I have no doubt that the removal of these $150 handmade Legacy Ankhs greatly hurt D’D’s business and ultimately added to the factor of him losing all his investment and business. I’m not sure what power Todd had over D’D, (he) was 50 yrs old and that was maybe 25 years older than Todd; how was Todd able to say “no more ankhs” to D’D? I do not understand why D’D didn’t just say “fuck you man, these are my design.
When the idea of the house ankhs came up, that was Todd’s idea. It made sense because we were already attaching one on the symbols integrated into the HSM ankh. During one of Maven’s fang making trips to my occult shoppe, he agreed to design my ankh in 3-D detail for the new mold concept Todd had proposed. $300 for the mold, with a minimum of 10 or 15 ankhs at $60 each – these were to be made by “a little Jewish man in Greenwich Village.” I found out later that there was no little Jewish man local, the ankhs were made by Mark Defrates (www.markdefrates.com) and in specialties, I found our house ankh.
After D’D’s death, the same ankh was soon made from a mold made by Mark. No percentages went to D’D’s estate. This has gone on for years and now the Legacy Ankh appears on the back of Resin Vampire Romance-oriented Journals offered by Azuregreen. The ankhs themselves are also now being made in pewter in mass production by Alchemy Gothic of England.
I wanted the cute top hat pendent made for this year’s  Endless Night but I didn’t want to put a dime in Todd’s Pockets. As an occult business owner, I have been a wholesaler buyer from both Azuregreen and Alchemy Gothic since 2000. This year’s Endless Night Baron Samedi pendent was not available to me when I asked my U.S. sales rep from Alchemy; those were a private made and she knew nothing of them.
We have a Mark Defrates ankh one of our members owned before joining our house. She was disgusted when I told her the story. We use it now as the Probationary Ankh of Shame… to make a new house member understand all that it means – usually Zaar in New Orleans is good for pointing out that someone is wearing a piece of jewelry that led to D’D’s death.”
[Remainder of statement removed because independent verification could not yet be established; approximately 370 words.]
The Fred Samedi pendants mentioned above don’t bear the Alchemy Gothic markers mark; they only have EndlessNight.com stamped onto the back and the original design is by Chad Savage.
[A well respected vampire leader in the Northeastern United States requested their entire statement be removed; approximately 410 words.]
Odd De Santis:
“I was involved with the core of people who were working towards developing the text which became published as Sanguinomicon. I was in many rituals with him and others and helped at some points with the SV. He’s proprietary and usually prefers females to help him…which is who mainly helped him edit his book – well, books, before they were a compendium through Weiser – he developed them through LULU and sold them on his trips and at parties, shows, fangsmithing events, etc. and then gained enough people buying them and then buying the updated editions, such that when he approached Weiser books, they took him on.
I participated in critiquing and helping with the books to some level, but I believe that he sort of held me off to the side, or wouldn’t let me become over-involved directly because he was fearful of my level and education that he was somewhat jealous of my where-with-all and perhaps even my relationship at the time. I question how much he wrote (himself) because I never saw him work on it… but I’ve witnessed him directing others to edit and type and fix.
[Removed allegation of incident pending additional information from source; approximately 125 words.]
When I hadn’t gone to New Orleans yet – October 2008, and he wanted me to, he would use unfortunate pressures and resort to negative words in order to use or get his way to make people (in this case he was trying to get me to fly out to New Orleans that year). I and others were told to ‘defriend’ [a high profile vampire who does not want to be named] online and that Michelle Belanger hated him because he turned her down when they were together for a convention or conference or something – and she’s held a grudge ever since then, and he’s also stated that he told Wieser books all about the history of animosities from Michelle as an approach to get into the book publisher’s payroll, etc. A few years ago, while talking on the phone with him we called Michelle one night based on his prompting me to…which was silly on my part, I shouldn’t have – she didn’t answer anyway, but?? Just went to Voice Mail. He didn’t really have a plan of action once we called, but I could tell he was drinking…
I tattoo, paint, make fangs, the list goes on…but, you get the idea. A book could be written on the subject, and I probably will with regards to my dealings and perspective of the goings on… As a professional, I’ve been commissioned to paint portraits, one in particular was $8,000 for me to paint the president of a college and his wife. Sebastiaan wanted me to paint and create a vampyre tarot deck…which I was happy to do, but he wasn’t willing to reimburse or pay for anything – his idea was such that he could author to book. He said – “oh, you can keep the paintings and sell them – you can sell them on E-Bay and that’ll be your money maker right there…” I considered it for a very short time, as it would’ve been silly and undermining all of my artistic study, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Credits from New York Academy of Art in NYC – and so, I chose not to do it. I asked him a long time ago to teach me how to make fangs. He wouldn’t, stating that people don’t respect the trade and therefore he didn’t want to get into a competition with another vampyre – as he would describe the one vampyre in New York who parted ways with him and claimed that he was king of vampyres…
He would have myself and my mate go undercover (more her than I) into other sanctums and online venues with names in order to see what was going on to find out intel. Is that really so far fetched, I’m sure there’s other vampyres interested in other sects even if it’s forbidden by their house or rules/code of conduct. He’s created strife between multiple partners and relationships, I’ve witnessed first hand as well as been involved with someone whereby our dealings in and of the community created strife between us, and thus the relationship had to be dissolved. I’ve shared hotel rooms with the guy and others, been in rituals, talked on the phone with him from France, but, keep in mind, I was not 18, this was circa 2007-2010/2011…so, I went in as a professional at an adult age, so others who were younger – I’ve witnessed him treat them differently too to some degree…but, he’s said really silly things to me as well and has thrown tantrums like a child which were ridiculous.
Other than just blatant disrespect, I don’t know that he subscribes to an idea of ‘needing’ anyone’s approval to do things – let it be said though, that when he was booked two New Orleans ago (for fang-making) – I posted something on Facebook whereby I stated that if someone wanted/needed fangs to come over to the tattoo convention that I would be at – he later kind of ‘scolded’ me or mentioned that he would’ve preferred if I asked to do such or advertise on ‘his boards’ or topics.
[Removed allegation of incident pending additional information from source; approximately 105 words.]
I know he was friends/is friends with the person who wrote the “Cannibal Cookbook” and that said person author had done some underhanded stuff… I was not involved at that point when D’drennan was still alive; I didn’t know D’Drennan…the legacy ankh is something that D’Drennan developed as an artist and metalsmith… Sebastiaan attributes the design to him.”
The author of “The Cannibal Cookbook” is Nicolas Claux (Castelaux) who is a convicted French murderer and a self-proclaimed cannibal often referred to as “the Vampire of Paris”. He was released from prison in 2002, where he spent his incarceration painting portraits of serial killers and depictions of crime scenes and murder victims. Father Sebastiaan spoke on camera with Nicolas in Paris for Laurent Courau’s 2007 documentary; “Vampyres”.
[A long time attendee of the Endless Night balls and former Ordo Strigoi Vii member requested their entire statement be removed; approximately 235 words.]
“I’m not sure what year I first met Father Sebastian Todd. It could have been late 2001 or early 2002. From the start, he seemed to always use his status to use others for his advantage. In January or February of 2003, while I was a member of House of Mystic Echoes (HoME), Zaar asked if I would discuss with Todd about us helping do the ground work for Endless Night. When Todd responded, he had me run errands and take messages around French Quarter until May, when I got an email stating he was canceling EN 2003. Zaar and I sat down to hash out what we planned to do for that year instead, since there were several hundred individuals coming down for Halloween. We decided as HoME to create and host Cirque Du Nuit (CdN) so people would have an event to go to. Two months before Halloween, Todd changed his mind and decided to hold a one-night EN event, anyway.
The night of CdN, some members from Sabertooth (I think that is what they where called back then; they might have changed to the Sanguinarium–I’m not sure, since they went through several name changes due to politics.) came, claiming Todd told them that they could come in for free, since they were VIPs. We had not granted Todd free passes for anyone besides himself, which he was given because he had a table selling some of his books and ankhs. At the EN ball, Todd asked Zaar to come on stage, saying that since Zaar was able to pull off a new event for the vampire community, he had gained credibility not just nationally, but internationally, as an elder. It was a great year for the members of HoME.
In 2004, a close friend of mine purchased VIP tickets for Endless Night. That year, VIP tickets included a book and an ankh. When she went to pick them up at registration, she was told that they were out of books and ankhs and would be receiving more. She left her contact info and to this day has not received them.
In 2006, I ran into Todd during Convergence 12 in New Orleans and pitched a wine tasting for EN that year. He declined because he said he was unable to find a venue for the ball, with all of the post-Katrina changes with venues. Later, he publicly posted that EN would not take place in 2006 due to violence in New Orleans, which was not something he’d said when we talked. Later, I pitched the wine tasting to the Anne Rice’s Lestat Vampire Fan Club (ARLVFC), which was held that year, and with no safety issues.
2010 was the last year ARLVFC worked with EN. For some years, both groups had had a lot of cross promotion. There were several problems, including the ARLVFC website banner showing the EN logo instead of the ARLVFC one and the program brochures being unreadable and not having all of the information that should have been on them for ARLVFC, despite ARLVFC having paid for 2/3rds of the publication costs. I’m not sure how much, if any, of those issues were Todd’s doing, though, or were the fault of Chad Savage, who made the websites because his wife, Lady A, was being paid to do the promotions for both groups, and Maven Lore, who created the brochures.
Several VIP attendees from EN came to my meet-and-greet wine tasting, under the impression from Todd that the tasting was included as part of their EN ticket. Todd had never asked me about tickets for the tasting, nor was money ever exchanged for EN VIP ticket holders to attend. I normally allowed Todd two free tickets to my event, but to be honest, he never used them since he hardly ever came into town in time for them. It was a separate entity from ARVLFC, but I was willing to honor the agreement I had with Sussy Q (from the ARVLFC) for tickets at a discount price, considering it was a catered event with all the wine or absinth you could drink. That year, he also took a large group of people from the Undead Con out to breakfast right before one of our important speakers, leaving the room mostly empty. I don’t honestly know if that was intentional or not, but it was the last time he was allowed to do fangs for the Undead Con or ARVLFC. The only positive thing I can say about that year was that the New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) had a couple people from the west coast doing a documentary. Todd sent me an email asking how many Elders where in NOVA and sent me tickets so they could attend EN. I think his motivation for that was so he would be included in the documentary.
In 2011, because of everything that had happened, I made it publicly known that I don’t want to be involved in anything Todd or Maven have their fingers in. Personally, I don’t want to endorse or give money to their things anymore.”
“In 2003, FS [Father Sebastiaan] had cancelled Endless Nights. People were complaining because they had already bought tickets, the prior incarnation of NOVA (LAVA – Louisiana Area Vampire Association) decided that we would do something about this so we became the “replacement event”.
It took us 2 months of really hard work and long hours to come up with an event of our own, Cirque du Nuit… (So yes, there IS a New Orleans based party)… We had 3 bands, 3 DJs, 3 Readers and two floors of action… INCLUDING vendors)… The entire weekend had events planned, not just one day with last minute shit thrown in…
AFTER we get our event up and running, FS announces that he has changed his mind and there WILL be an EN after all… He scrambles around until he finds a venue (735 Bourbon, which has been closed since) and announces when, where and how the festivities will be, directly fragging OUR event, or so he thought… (For a first year event we were in the black)… Gallier Hall doesn’t want jack in the way of vampire/esoteric events there any more… I’m unsure what happened in 2003 with the 735 club on Bourbon, shortly after Endless Night, it closed.
2004 I was off the net for more than 6 months dealing with the death of my mother and FS decided to throw another EN together last minute. He got told “No” by several of the shops that were down here, like Gargoyles clothing (now Wicked Orleans) because they wanted to “support the New Orleans based party instead of the outsider based party)… Father Sebastiaan, in his infinite maturity, decided to throw a fit and try to sue me for using the line “replacement event” in 2003…
[Removed allegation of incident pending additional information from source; approximately 80 words.]
Months of threats went by again… Each year it has been SOMETHING… When they were filming for both the online show of Vampires and for the possible Voodoo Authentica TV series, Toddles decided “we should put the past behind us” (of course… Cameras were involved and he didn’t want to look bad).”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE:
Father Sebastiaan seems to be a master at pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes and using his wit and charisma to shift any blame from himself. It’s time the vampire community – all of the vampi(y)re community – hold him accountable and have him give candid answers to the claims made against him. What I’ve outlined in this article only scratches the surface of Sebastiaan’s more visible activities during the last two decades. I’m genuinely worried about his influence over the next generation of vampires who are gullible enough to fall for his charm.
The Vampire Court of Austin has been demonstrating a refreshing show of humility (despite Logan South referring to himself as “King”) with the running of their own charitable events such as the November 22, 2012 Thanksgiving Food Charity Benefit. For the sake of the Texas vampire community one can hope that Logan, and other well known Texas residents such as Gabrielle Faust, have the foresight to steer clear of Sebastiaan and march to the beat of their own drum. If newly forming organizations such as this follow in the footsteps of NOVA with feeding the homeless, canned food and toy drives like the one’s in New York City for the holidays, and other respected groups in the vampire community reaching out to those in need; we can hopefully regain some of the luster that has been lost from our culture.
Looking forward, it’s my hope an alternative event to Endless Night will be planned in New Orleans (and in other cities) for October 2013 – perhaps a continuation of Cirque du Nuit. An event where vampires from around the world would feel welcome to attend and encouraged to have a good time without feeling pressured into a specific belief or mindset, or judged for being a sanguinarian or psychic vampi(y)re. I’d like to see the South African Vampyre Community begin hosting our own yearly event that’s open and respectful to all wishing to attend.
It’s up to the more tenured vampi(y)res to act as stewards within the Vampi(y)re Community to keep our younger participants and those blissfully unaware warned of the consequences of aligning with destructive ideologies. If you take nothing else from this article, please learn the importance of carefully evaluating the motivations and backgrounds of anyone who places themselves or their group above others in the Vampi(y)re Community.
Since this article went up, I have been queried about why I wrote this article about someone who has never been to my country, and for all intents and purposes has never had anything to do with the South African Vampyre Community. Allow me to illustrate:
My intentions are not shock journalism – I just don’t want Father Sebastiaan in our area to exploit everyone the way he has obviously done in other places.