I will be traveling to a case from the 29th to August 8th so my posts may be farther apart. I wanted to talk about the signs of a toxic group. Many people get on the internet to make friends and just talk with people. There are many special interest groups that help foster these discussions.
Yet there are also many toxic groups in the area of magic, and spirituality. They have the marks of being a cult, and are into control over others. I plan to mention the different things I have found in toxic groups. A group may have one or two of these signs and it is a good experience being a member. Four of these signs or over four will be something where you should not join them and avoid them at all costs.
1. Control-does the leader demand obedience and treat people poorly. Does he do what he tells others to do. I know one of the worse groups I was in the leader always said to do what he said not what he did.
2. How are members treated? Does a higher rank or status in the organization mean that people are allowed to be abusive? Is the rank considered a sign of work upon themselves or just a way to bully people.
3. Does the group believe in an apocalyptic shift of energies, an end time date, or have a us against them attitude? Are compounds isolated, members watched, and other aspects of a cult where the members are controlled in every way. Run, do not walk away from any group that does this to others.
4.Do they come down on others for mistakes but never admit to their own mistakes? If they do admit to them how do they act about them. Are they too serious about themselves and others.
5. Are they angry, stressed, upset or just negative in their attitudes about life. Are they working to overcome these problems or is it just accepted as part of the group.
6.Do they make fun of other traditions and methods. A certain amount of this in learning a method is normal-like it makes use of shamanism what is the rest of this all about. Yet trying to understand a method that seems valid is different than saying that it is impossible.
7. Do they force everyone on the same path with out any allowance for differences and variations in peoples energy systems and talents.
8. Do they talk at their students or to them. Do they brag all the time and never keep their mouth shut. Do you have to hear them put down everyone but themselves.
9. Do they help their fellow members and trust their members enough to ask for help from them. Do the members feel they are part of a big family that accepts them. Or a dysfunctional family that abuses them.
10. The last is one thing that should send any woman running for cover. How are women treated or accepted. I had one group leader who felt he had a right to try to have sex with every woman that joined that fitted his standards of beauty. He actually put love spells on the students while saying it was a demonstration. Some traditions have sex and nudity mentioned right at the beginning where people can decide what they want to do. If it is not required then do not expect to be treated properly if you turn the leader down and want to learn.
Any woman has to be a judge of whether this is normal attraction or not. Yet the leader I am mentioning was married and doing this to everyone. A group that does things this way will show favoritism, and demean others. No woman should join this group.
I know that this will hold true for males who are joining groups. It can also be a lower rank male trying to get to the top the way he feels is easiest. Watch out for any of these actions as the entire group can break apart even if it has potential and promise.
11. If the group leader has hurt students and threatened people in public and it is a spiritual organization leave it. The reason for this is he has not done any work on himself if he acts that badly.
I hope these tips help anyone joining a group. I have seen this happen with yoga groups, magic groups, and many others. Any one joining a magic group should look at the people and ask if you would trust them with your life. If you could depend on them no matter what happened. The reason for this is you will be doing ceremonies and any mistakes they make could endanger your life, and sanity.
Life, magic and friends are to be enjoyed even if they are work. If you are in a group that does not accept or support you then that group is not right for you. Staying will only make it worse. Look for the good groups with people you can trust and accept as people. It will make your experience so much better not putting up with groups hoping that they get better.