Communicating online or in person to hurt or take advantage of another due to insecurity, lies and manipulation for self-gain, has become quite a prevalent practice I have witnessed unfolding more commonly in recent years, in the magickal and spiritual communities. I call these people predators and have personally witnessed and been exposed to this treatment myself. What never ceases to amaze me is when their supporters or fence sitters (which usually tend to have a cult like dedication to them) witness this behaviour and either encourage it, support it or engage in it assuming it will never happen to them, which it more often than not – does.
Some of these predators can be quite dangerous and wear a fake glamour mask of kinship to lure in potential victims whom they can use and abuse as they see fit with little or no consequence. What I have also seen is these predators manifest as egocentric community leaders (whether it be self-elected, through a group/organisation or propped up by their followers) and have an apparent two facedness or anger management issues who often project their issues onto those around them and do not tolerate being challenged– again without consequence. This can also be seen in predators who claim to be representatives for the gods or a specific path and project they have the “only” or “right” way of practice and see others with contempt who provide services to the community these predators see as competition. So more often than not, these predators try to rid themselves of the competition through slander of them and their practices to everyone and anyone who will hear them.
These predators have many narcissistic attributes which can at times be representations of their sociopathic tendencies, yet constantly cry victim if you confront them, always blaming others for issues and never taking personal responsibility for their negative actions. These predators also never like to be questioned about their motives or experience and often lie to save face much to the distress of their victims, which some sociopathic predators seem to revel in. Predators feel others are envious of them and try to bring them down when opposed. Therefore the victim mentality is quite prevent in these types and more often than not these predators are very badly emotionally and mentally damaged and have a skewed perception of right and wrong.
What can be done about this in our magickal communities? From what I have seen – not much unless its to: protect yourself from interacting with them when you witness bad behaviour, reduce your exposure to it, be vigilant about proper etiquette in interaction with them ie always question and never follow blindly, speak out directly to the offending parties in a tactful way if you feel something untoward is occurring, have honest interaction with those who ask of your experiences without letting your emotions and personal feelings drive you and also speak in detail to any organisation who represents your local community (ie Pagan Awareness Network or Pagan Alliance in Australia) who can keep records if anything develops into litigious situations.
Why is this so? Well basically because warning people off predators publicly can lead to a myriad of issues which can include retribution of slander which is steeped in falsehood or in some cases ligation. That is why I see this issue as a double edged sword – it can help yet cause damage at the same time.
So what do we do? Do we stay silent when we watch friends, acquaintances and strangers in the community be constantly sucked in and spat out by these predators? Do we speak out to our own detriment or do we simply move on and forget about it?
I would like to honestly get some feedback in what others think about this because I feel it’s a very important issue which is constantly being challenged in our magickal and spiritual communities.