One of the interesting things (as in the Chinese curse) about being a principal in any esoteric circle is that it is much like living in a fishbowl. I have seen this in Golden Dawn circles, Wiccan circles, Norse circles, and several other circles. If you are in a leadership position, or someone like myself who has a public soapbox, and you are traveling in esoteric circles, your opinions and actions get examined with a fine-toothed comb.
This is true to some extent for everyone. But being a principal (aka mover and shaker) increases the double-guessing of every decision you have ever made, and the criticising of every action you make.
I was reminded of this recently as I stood on the sidelines watching a brewing storm gather. A player in the local esoteric community (or at least, they think that they are a player and a major one at that) had some boundary issues: a member left his group, and a falsehood has been tossed in place to explain the member leaving (one that does not even hint at the truth). All the while, I see the departed member sharping a knife because they suspect it is only a matter of time before it gets really ugly.
Now there are some who will point out that this person should have never gotten into a leadership position in the first place. That someone should have stopped them before they before they became the head of a group. Well, that is a nice theory, but this person (to the best of my knowledge) is a self-appointed leader and expert. It is hard to stop someone from seizing the position; anyone can set themselves to be a leader if they have a dollop of charisma and knowledge in the esoteric community (or so it seems).
And even if they would have worked their way up the ranks in a vetted system, such as Golden Dawn, it still might have not made a difference. For instance, make note that I worked my way up the ranks and I am an officer in one of the branches of the system. Obviously, as my critics point out, someone was asleep at the wheel.
In my case, my flaws tend to blown up until they sound like I am an ax-murderer. Honestly, I have never killed anyone with an ax...my name is not Lizzie. (Apologies to any of my readers that bear that name, but surely I am not the first to make that joke, am I?) Mention that you are quite willing to shoot back if someone starts to fire at you; admit that you thought that the military was a suitable career earlier in your life; make one wrong vote (admitting that you made that vote), and you can become the scum of the earth and a menace to society.
Let's take that miscalled vote as an example. Yes, I was present at a ritual. Yes, there was a vote that asked if death was the only way to take care of the problem if we were willing to go that far. Yes, I voted in favor of death if necessary. Yes, all this is true.
What is never mentioned by my critics is that the target in question was a VIOLENT SERIAL CRIMINAL. It is not like we were targeting an innocent person. Trust me: there is no way you could be doing what this person was doing and be anywhere near being innocent. This was the type of criminal that does not stop until they are caught or they drop dead.
The ritual was a binding, and the workers involved were hoping that the police could get enourgh clues to catch them. We were trying to help using the Art. The question arose about what if a simple binding and mistake-causing hex was not enourgh. What if this person would not stop, and hadn't made (or would not make) enourgh mistakes to be caught and convicted---how far were we willing to go?
I have been told by "light-workers" that we should have projected white light and healing at this poor soul. That all of us that voted that yes, if necessary we were willing to pull the trigger, should have never been allowed into any working circle. That none of us are truly members of the RC. That the very fact that we admit that we can kill someone if push came to shove makes us unworthy of the RC.
To that statement, I tend to ask "Do you allow cops into your system?" If you do not see the concept behind that question, I am willing to bet that you are one of my critics.