Guidelines to the Occult and Pagan Communities By Dr. Jymie L Darling
How to spot a fraud in the Occult. One must be so careful in the Occult. In the last few years, the Occult has been riddled with fakes and frauds though out the community. Most of these carnival sideshows are simply in the business to make money off of us. When they are threatened to be exposed or if they think someone is getting close to exposing them, they go on an attack. So what is it that we need to look for? Based off my 25 years in the community, 20 of it serving the community, I have come up with the following insights and suggestions. Number one and the most prevalent, their time in the community that they have put into serving the community. Not just as a store, but as a teacher, a practitioner, a spokesperson, an activist, etc. Someone making themselves a household name with just a statuary line or a shoppe (especially if their rise was quick and sudden), is not necessarily an ambassador for the community. They might know just enough to make a store. They might know just enough to make a pretty statue (even if it is historically incorrect and just pretty). You find that their knowledge that they share to you has no depth. IE, posting about their statues or their items but with the general vague info that you can find in any book or website. Now, granted sometimes you that is all you need, but when the person cannot expand or provide insight, that is a HUGE warning sign. Websites that simply describe their product as Good Luck or Success. If they cannot be bothered to let you know any of the planets associated or how to combine the alchemy into a simply blurb, that is an IMMENSE sign.
A true ambassador to the community shares more than just the glory that is them. They can interact. They can help. They can explain their work and the depth of the historical, modern and alchemical take on their work. Those who cannot, are what we call frauds.
People who send others to threaten instead of having people back up their work within the community. Sending spies and using innuendo to continue the fight. Playing the victim constantly. Showing might with lawyers to stop from being exposed. Claiming rights to certain philosophies as being the creators of the products that they stole from old stores in the nation and worldwide. Those that need their ego stroke by constant drama.
Some of the philosophies hold a certain respect and need for a lineage. ANY lineage that has to be bought is a fake lineage. Claiming countries that are known to sell fraudulent lineages: Mexico, Haiti, Nigeria, etc are awesome sounding but not respected and more than likely, they are frauds themselves. Also, realize that anyone can claim to travel somewhere and buy a lineage. Sounds so impressive. It is not. Especially when in under 4 years you claim the lineage and suddenly are the top spokesman for the community simply because you tacked yourself to something fake.
Do not be so impressed with pretty and artistic and winded claims of superiority when victimization, threats and intimidation are their only backup that they have. Pretty is great but not powerful.
Do not be impressed by authors. Most authors now simply have to write and be published. They are not necessarily right or knowledgeable. If most elders in the community (those of us with over 20 years in the community’s eyes) have never heard of them and are suddenly under attack, you have a fraud. You have a fake. You have a scared person who suddenly became noticeable by elders and are panicking to save their names.
Money does not buy you legitimacy. EVER. Actions and time does. Showing knowledge and wisdom does.
Please research your heroes before you begin to worship them (in fact, you should never worship anyone but you should respect them). True occultists never need to be worshipped. Respect is earned not bought, not begotten by threats and certainly not proven with a picture or a statue or a book, especially if they are historically wrong. True masters, true elders, true ambassadors, true teachers…they never need to work you up into a frenzy to act as their foot soldiers to charge the castle walls for them based upon their words. True elders settle the argument amongst each other and move forward. If anyone wants you to attack either in person or through mail, RUN. They are simply into their ego worship with no true power. And if you think that we are all nice to deal with when you approach in the wrong way…think again. Most of us are tired of the frauds and fakes throwing about their tiny influence in this world.
How to Choose a Teacher in the Occult.
Research your teacher just as you should honestly research your store. Being at festivals is not a resume. Any person can seriously speak at most the conventions and festivals. They really do not research their speakers or their speaker’s subject. Stores are a dime a dozen particularly on the web. You need to know that. You need to see past students comments. You need to see how long they have been teaching. How far back do their students go and what do they have to say about their teacher. Contact them. Post on their pages for experiences with the person AS A TEACHER not simply someone who sold you something pretty.
If you are looking for an overall education, make sure that teacher has taught those paths. May I suggest that you search out a teacher that has history of teacher an overall introduction into the many paths AND who has taught it without personal opinion to sway you into a certain path. That into is always the best when deciding what to learn. There are well rounded teachers out there, not many, but you can find them. I have personally taught overall classes that are not only historically correct but also without opinion and with insight of PERSONAL experience inside the philosophy.
In the past 15 years, I have taught hundreds of students face to face. I have taught thousands of students via radio shows (Occultist Radio now found on YouTube). I have interviewed hundreds of authors, teachers and masters for different venues. Before you follow someone blindly, make sure they are not also leading you blindly.
I am not saying that you should not pay for your classes. You should. By all means, the legit teachers charge. After all, our time is worth money as is our extreme experience and our in-depth knowledge. Not some outrageous amount but something that is comparable to the time and knowledge spent. You know how the old adage states that you get what you paid for? Not true here. The real occultists, the real masters, the real elders will not be outrageous. Quite to the contrary, it is the frauds that charge you the immense amounts. They know that they can snow you with pretty images, artistic talents and outrageous amounts for it and you will feel that if you had to pay that much, it must be real. It is not. Pretty and artistic and being able to reword something that you read does not make it real. Take for example, I charge around $10 – $15 a session of 3 hours or the equivalent.
True masters can recite the general knowledge, but can also withstand any questions and can then put it into words on how it is embraced daily, mentally, emotionally, intellectually. They teach you more than a simply religion. They show you more than some pretty little altar in the corner of their house or bedroom to make themselves legitimate. They are the ones that can teach you how to embrace it. How to live it. How to use it to transmutate yourself into an enlightened state. Not just how to buy their statue and put it on your altar or how to buy their products and some made up spell for it. True teachers are those that can read you. That will take the time to stop what they just said and taught and make sure that you understand it on levels that you did not even think were possible. They empower you.
True teachers realize that their knowledge on base is not theirs alone but how they sit with you and develop it to you. True teachers write and then after speaking it….stop and bring it to you in a way that is so beautiful that it strikes awe into the student and power to them. True teachers do not need you to worship them. They do not need you to pay some outrageous amount to teach them. They do not need you to pay them to initiate you. Initiation is done from the heart and with intent and true belief not the almighty ATM card.
Find a master. Find someone that does for the community. Someone who was an activist, not for themselves or some made figment that you stole something from them that they never owned in the first place or screams plagiarism because something was worded CLOSE to what they stole from someone else, but someone who has been a voice and ambassador to the community when it was even dangerous or detrimental to their own business, their own lives, their own bank accounts, etc.
Not everyone who claims to be an ambassador is an ambassador, except to their own bottom line of finances.
People who continue to reinvent themselves. Now we all evolve but constant reinvention of the self and the history that you are and the lineage that you claim…well that is simply scary and a huge warning sign. Someone whose history cannot be researched….another warning sign. “I started out in wicca in a young age in a coven…..and now I am a chaos magician who practices Haitian Vodou like it is New Orleans Hoodoo and speak of roman gods and goddesses as the expert in it but please ignore that I have less than 4 years that can be researched on me” that is a huge RUN. RUN SWIFT. RUN FAST. You can certainly admire the prettiness but do not blindly follow that.
We have a community that trusts too fast. That follows too easily. That believes too naively. That ignores history for charming….remember, frauds are charming so were most serial killers and large scale frauds. Please feel free to add upon this with your own thoughts and experiences. We have an obligation to stop the frauds from giving the community a bad name and people bad experiences. Now, not all can be outed due to ‘their lawyers’ but most can be exposed through their actions. Not all of their worshippers can be reasoned with either. That is what it is and those will have the bad experiences are simply remain stuck on their transmutations of themselves. Good luck.