There are two distinct types of non-religious vampire organizations and/or associations: those designed by and for vampire role-playing gamers or fanatics, and those intended for real-life vampires. Most organizations for RPGers are simply personal websites or forums designed to create a ‘safe’ environment for their roles to be played out. In many cases memberships are required in order to participate in forums and discussions, although blogs and general information can typically be accessed by anyone.
As for the associations built around real-life vampires, these associations are always exclusive in content and membership is required to access any type of discussion or forum, as well as private meetings or events. Membership is also generally limited to those in the immediate vicinity of the association. Most vampire associations go by state or city; some well-known vampire associations include the Texas Vampire Association, and the Atlanta Vampire Alliance, although there are other societies in major cities like New Orleans and New York. There are, of course, numerous association out there, and I am by no means aware of them all.
In regards to what classifies as a real-life vampire, there are many human individuals who take the name vampire because they require human energy and/or blood to survive. Without the taking of human energy and/or blood, these vampires can often suffer from physical pain, lethargy, depression, and illness. The amounts of blood ingested, however, range from vampire to vampire, although generally they don’t take in more than a tablespoon a week. Other vampires require only the psychic energy that individuals or crowds can give them. Regardless, the feeding process invigorates them and sustains them with an invisible life giving force. These vampires can also possess heightened senses similar to those in literature, film, and folklore or mythology.
Many real-life vampire associations also call themselves ‘houses’ or ‘orders,’ although hierarchal structure varies from house to house, and many associations claim to follow no specific hierarchal structure other than that of founders and members. These houses provide safety for vampires, an environment where they can reveal their true nature and desires. Many members do not go by their given names but are known by their chosen vampire names. In fact, because they are so little understood and poorly accepted by society today, most vampires rarely tell even their family members of their ‘condition,’ so to speak. Instead, the typical real-life vampire lives in secret today just as he has for thousands of years. They can be your neighbor, your doctor, your teacher, your favorite supermodel – you’ll never know.
And of course, there are also numerous vampire organizations and associations out there that are religious in nature. I have no interest in documenting these; nevertheless, to each his own. As for the afore mentioned associations, I can’t say if one is more authentic than the other, but I don’t feel I need to. Whether you are a lover of vampire lore and/or games or a real-life blood-dependent vampire, there’s an association out there that will help you get the fix you’re looking for.