Original Link: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/teaaddictedwitch/2020/07/bullying-occult-pagan-communities/  

BY SCARLET MAGDALENE with additions by Rev. JP the Dark Druid Goth 

It should go without saying that bullies are everywhere. You’ll find them in the workplace and pretty much anywhere online. Bullying has always been a thing. So why should it be any different in the the pagan/polytheist, witch, or occult communities? And if it is different, how is it different exactly?

The forms of bullying can be more complex

In any spiritual community, there will be people whose voices will be heard more frequently than others

They might have a blog (like me), teach classes, be book authors, lead groups and/or rituals, etc. In these instances, it’s very easy for someone in such positions of power to abuse it. Or worse yet, desire power enough to abuse people for it. Obviously when religion is involved, the bullying can be even messier than under normal circumstances, especially when the power dynamic is unequal. In the workplace, there are bosses who bully their employees. I’ve been a victim of such bullying in the past. Again, this is an unfortunately common and toxic dynamic involving people engaging in abuses of power. When religion gets involved, this is how cults, cult leadership, and cults of personality can form. And like in a professional environment, it can also get very personal. Our communities don’t have outlets for handling bullying, and it’s a real problem Some groups will have codes of conduct. In them there is often a step by step process for handling personal issues within a group. Of course that’s if you’re in a formal group to begin with. Online, the notion of groups and belonging gets murky, complex, and has no real definition beyond things such as “Facebook groups”. A lot of people come to these social media outlets already feeling isolated due to a lack of local community, and of course none of this helps. And of course they are looking to take advantage of that situation and of you.

When I google bullying in spiritual groups online, all of the essays and blog posts address it from a Christian standpoint. There are countless articles but solely from a Christian perspective. Googling bullying in pagan groups, I see only a few blog posts. There is one in particular that delves into the types of bullying that can exist, including intimidation, coercion, verbal and physical abuse, and isolation. Our groups have varying power structures and also potentially involve other spiritual dimensions, such as the use of magic in order to maintain power and bully others. When magic is also involved, it’s not pretty In spiritual groups people can be threatened with the notion of being cut off from contact with their community, their means of learning and growth, and the outlet for their particular spiritual path. But when magic and witchcraft get involved, there’s a whole other power dynamic present that makes things even more uncomfortable. I’ve personally known of a number of witches and magicians who have abused magic in order to control other people and then send hexes or curses their way when they have difficulties controlling them. I’d like to say that these sorts of practices are uncommon but unfortunately they are not. Some even brag about hexing or cursing people online and use it as further means of intimidation. I can’t say that there aren’t people out there with the very real ability to do magical harm, and I highly recommend learning how to protect yourself against such things.

New Age bullying continues to be a very real thing

This is a very specific form of bullying typically seen in a lot of spiritual as well as occult communities. Unlike traditional forms of bullying that surround themselves with negativity, New Age bullying relies on sugar coating their bullying with superficial sweetness and light. Toxic positivity and victim blaming is a real concern. Bad thing happen to good people all of the time. It has nothing to do with some twisted Western misconception of “karma”, what they “attracted”, their mindset, or anything like that. COVID-19 isn’t a spiritual disease; it’s what happens when human beings let their selfishness overrule their judgment. Societies that encourage toxic individualism in lieu of taking care of their own will collapse. It’s a similar deal with our own communities. We must support each other, or our communities will collapse. How do you handle bullying in the pagan/polytheist and occult communities, then?

There have been many articles on how to deal with bullies in a practical sense, whether they are online or in your workplace.

But first, what do bullies look for in their victims? 

You stand out. This could be good, bad, or a mixture. For better or for worse, for some reason you stand out. It could be due to gender identity, sexuality, religious beliefs, or anything in particular that sets you apart from others. It could be these differences that threatens them. You could be a part of a group that they dislike for whatever reason. Their feeling of being in control is threatened by you. You could remind them of a Typically bullies bully because they think they can get away with it. The idea is that they want to feel strong and to make you feel weak. It’s a power dynamic, typically done by people who feel that their own sense of identity and power is threatened. Bosses will do this in order to maintain power over people they feel they can’t control otherwise, and it tends to be a similar deal in pagan, polytheist, and occult environments as well. Those who see themselves in a position of power that they have to fight for, will fight for it. And they see you as a threat to their position of power. You have power over them in some way, and they are trying to compensate for it. part of themselves they don’t like for whatever reason. You could be better at something than they are, or know more on a topic they are invested in. Either way, they are threatened. You are a threat. Of course, knowing this is a small consolation to people who have had to deal with bullying. Obviously.

Addressing that power dynamic

Don’t ever be a party to enabling bullying. Call it out for what it is. If you see something, say something. Be aware that bullies will do anything to avoid facing consequences for their actions. They will gaslight, threaten, intimidate. Don’t let them get away with it. One of the tactics bullies will use is social isolation. Don’t let them isolate you or anyone else. Tell people, get others involved. Stick to the facts, don’t let them move the goalposts or make this into a personal discussion or attack. They want a cat fight, don’t give it to them. If they run a group that you are in, leave that group and if need be, get help or support from others in doing so. Don’t let them have any authority or power over the conversation or the situation.

Some groups will enable bullies naturally and be a haven for cultists and as a cult. What to look for in a group also includes what to avoid in a group and how to tell if a group is unhealthy. One that supports and enables such people is one to be avoided because it’s often how cults start. Also, groups that are cults will use bullies and bullying to keep people in line. 

Additions by me

I know this personally as the Vampire community thinks every Vampyrism is a spiritual condition as well a physical one. I was surprised to hear about this this going on in the pagan communities as I have never had problems in the pagan communities but I know it happens often in the Vampire community especially online which I will share below...

In the online Vampire community.

I continue to keep having issues with the “Vampire community” how many of them perceive the Vampyran TempleUVUP as a cult like Temple of the Vampire as we are both Temples and they do not want to see Vampyrism as a spiritual condition as well as a physical one. The originally where trying to get me in trouble as a plagiarist who steals copyrighted information as his own; I am a theologian as well as a vampirologist and share information I learn online/books/ect. with the members on the V-TUVUP site to educate the Vampire community on its abilities, capabilities, beginnings as well as focus on the spirituality of Vampyrism. I never claimed to write everything written and always put credit where credit is due (to the original author and original site).

Now I have been having issues because I have Asperger’s (just recently found out as I was diagnosed with Autism and never received help with this early) I struggled in school quite a bit as falsely diagnosed with just ADHD and was never able to go to college because of this as well as because we were poor. I get shit on all the time because of my grammar and how I communicate online BUT I struggle with this shit constantly and it torments me to no end. I did write a couple books though the first one was just the basic principles for the second book but in the past they went on and on about the grimmer and mistakes I made writing it (though on the second book I did have some help from our previous Spiritual Mother Samantha Adams and now for some time I have been struggling with writers block. I honestly am not sure I will ever be able to write another book again as it is so very difficult for someone with my conditions to explain everything the proper way and people have issues understanding me. 

I created sites for them here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dark.aspies/ ~ Dark Aspies on the V-TempleUVUPhttps://darkdruidgoth.wixsite.com/vpg-alliance/group/dark-aspies/discussion ~ All over the Global Vampire Community (GVC) the drama runs rampant people get told the are fakes, drama lamas, and don't belong. I have a couple groups online @ the Alternative Counseling for Alternative People: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ACFAP/ and D.A.A.D. - Dark Alternatives Against Discrimination: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Dark.Alts.Against.Discrimination/

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