With all due respect we feel it necessary to correct the statement leveled by </b></a>badjahsensei in his (no comment allowed) post earlier regarding “IRB” and “profit” assumptions to this community as such is factually incorrect and not germane to several of the communities where he saw fit to post. Feel free to distribute this correction accordingly and direct further inquiry to us via e-mail.
IRBs are only required if there is federal research funding involved. This means that IRBs are usually done when any institution or academic suspects in the future they may like to receive federal funding. There is no "requirement" governing such and no incentive for a private group with non-academic staff to conduct one. In spite of this, we have satisfied all Federal and institutional guidelines for informed consent when conducting this anonymous voluntary survey(s); for minors or adults. We aren't Federally funded (nor would have any desire to be so), representative of a college, or any other research institution so it's not applicable on its face, however, we still went above and beyond what was required to word the "Purpose, Ethics, Privacy, Disclaimer, etc." sections on the actual survey following established guidelines. Many types of survey research use anonymous questionnaires returned by mail or placed in drop-box locations. (Remember that a subject is anonymous only if his/her identity remains individually unknown to the investigator. Where the identity is known, but held secure from being known by others, the researcher is maintaining the confidentiality of the identity.) With anonymous questionnaires, the researcher may fulfill the requirements of informed consent by providing the subject with a cover letter or set of instructions that includes the following items, as applicable: An explanation of the research project, its purpose and duration of participation time; an offer to answer questions concerning the project and information on how to contact the investigator; a statement indicating anonymity or confidentiality; and an indication that the return of the questionnaire will constitute the subject’s consent to participate (a statement of voluntariness must be included). These are IRB and consent guidelines and such were followed to the letter nearly two years ago when we began this study.
To address the “for profit comment”: http://www.suscitatio.com/financial/budgetexpenditures.html Please take the time to look at the web site itself. We're going in the "hole" each day on this research and estimate it will end up nearly $7,500-$8,000 spent by its cessation with likely not $1 profit. All that we are asking is for people to complete the surveys, we are not aggressively asking for donations, funding, or seeking other sources of income. This is a labor or love centered around a specific purpose, not an economic opportunity.
Bottom Line: We are ultimately conducting this research out of disappointment and anger over some in the media and individuals such as Dawn Perlmutter, Ph.D. in her 2003 paper The Forensics of Sacrifice: A Symbolic Analysis of Ritualistic Crime and book Investigating Religious Terrorism & Ritualistic Crimes, through poorly executed, unsubstantiated, and ethically questionable armchair “research”, characterizing vampires, et. al. as criminals who engage in subversive and dangerous practices. Real vampires, et. al. are mistakenly thrust into the same category of ritual animal or human sacrifice, fetishism, fanatical religious expression or cults, and labeled as unstable threats to themselves and others. We're doing this as community members for the community - not for profit or ourselves. If you have further questions feel free to e-mail us before making erroneous assumptions. Thank you!
- Suscitatio Research Staff
Important: We need to wrap up the next batch of data entry on these surveys prior to our presentation in Los Angeles, CA on October 30th and therefore ask that all "Otherkin", "Therian", etc. surveys are submitted to us no later than October 7, 2007. As things stand now the research branches approximately as follows: 70% Vampiric, 18% Energy Worker, 9% Otherkin/Therian, & 3% N/A