Teaching stuff they don't understand.
April 20, 2010 4:07am CST
I've just been passed an e-mail where someone I know is offering workshops in runes and describing himself as "knowledgeable". Now either this guy has been on some kind of intensive study of the runes since I last spoke to him or he's misleading people. Actually, not misleading, telling outright lies. Some areas of study take years and are experiential. You cannot grab a Runes 101 book and re-word the lessons and declare yourself knowledgeable. Even people who write Runes 101 courses generally explain that time and experience are the best teachers. Anyway, this isn't about runes in particular. This guy is known to me and often puts himself in the position of teacher with a new bunch of people. He'll teach paganism, wicca, asatru, druidry or whatever is popular and what he thinks the audience knows less about than him (he's been publicly busted a few times but carries on with the next lot of noobs he finds). Is the pagan community too easy a mark for such charlatans? He doesn't charge money but he does like to set himself up as an "elder" and wants people to depend on him. Are a lot of newbies so desperate to find a teacher and pass the responsiblity for learning onto someone else's shoulders that they believe the first person who comes along who sounds like they might know what they are talking about? I know there is a long occult tradition of seeking out teachers but we aren't talking about that, just someone who hangs around the pagan scene telling folk he's an expert so they'll follow him around.
• United States
21 Apr 10
I was with a group of people one year who felt as you do. Each month, we had a different person starting a discussion or meditation, or whatever. Instead of teacher, the person to start was called the facilitator. Yes, if they look within, then they will find what they seek. But many don't believe that. Whether it is insecurity or that people have told them information contrary to that, many have trouble believing that. I liked your response very much.
• United States
25 Apr 10
"Is the pagan community too easy a mark for such charlatans?" If he can continuously get people to follow him, even though he's been publicly busted, he's either very good at fooling the people or they're not very knowledgeable. "He doesn't charge money but he does like to set himself up as an "elder" and wants people to depend on him." He sounds to me like a cult leader. Since you say his knowledge is suspect, I'd say what he wants to teach the newbies isn't what they think they will be learning. Cult leaders usually have their own agenda.
20 Apr 10
I tend to distrust anyone offering to teach any forms of paganism, runes or druidic ways. Unfortunately, due to the recent resurgence of interest in all things pagan, there are many such charlatans around just waiting to prey on those people.