Teaching stuff they don't understand.

@hvedra (1623)
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.
3 people like this
4 responses
@tessah (6638)
• United States
20 Apr 10
omg you know my ex! .
3 people like this
@writersedge (22579)
• 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.
2 people like this
@tessah (6638)
• United States
22 Apr 10
thank you writer`s
2 people like this
@hvedra (1623)
26 Apr 10
I think part of the problem is the students want the easy option. They want someone else to do the work and present it to them in an easy format. If they don't do the work themselves how do they know if it has been done by the "teacher"? Thanks for your response.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• 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.
@Ruby3881 (2093)
• Canada
4 Apr 16
Time to pass around the Bonewits cult awareness framework! Every Pagan community really ought to hand this out to the newbies.
@Galena (9124)
20 Apr 10
unfortunately, because many Pagan paths are so personal and not as defined as book religions, people like to think a little study can make them an expert. rather than living something.
2 people like this
@hvedra (1623)
26 Apr 10
I've been actively pagan for over twenty years and I still feel like a noob and am well aware of how much I don't know!
1 person likes this
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.
2 people like this