What is a Pagan Power Seeker? A Pagan Power Seeker is an individual who attempts to groom spiritual seekers into following them, worshipping them or a new religion they have invented, and praising them for ulterior motives, namely to puff up their own ego or in order to exploit individuals into giving them money. A Pagan Power Seeker may appear to be a prophet like individual or someone who values the free spirit of the Pagan Community in all its forms. Indeed, many new traditions and beliefs and values spring up daily in the world of Paganism at large, and it is easy for abusers to hide in the grass here; however, PPS(Pagan Power Seekers), look to groom people into thinking they are friends and spiritual followers in order to use them to gain power and street cred. These types of people will often end up becoming venomous when one of their followers disagrees or strays. Doxxing is not uncommon. This is a form of Spiritual Abuse and it is rampant within spheres of Paganism both online and in the real world.
Here are some red flags to what out for if you are a pagan spiritual seeker, whether you are a newbie or someone who has been pagan for 30 years:
- Is often overly nice but can become extremely angry if you disagree, may become accusatory or unreasonably defensive when questioned
- May only appoint close friends or those who consistently agree with and never question them to positions of power within the group
- Places the burden on followers to perform and act in certain ways consistent with the desires of their leader/ prophet/ clergy
- Shows many inconsistencies in creed and identity:
- -Uses a series of different usernames, craft names and personal names and often deletes the history of previous used names when converting to a new one.
- -Creates many different blogs and websites that seem to crop up and then disappear when a new one is created, thus erasing all history of their previous actions
- – May appear to use sock puppets that show up in the centre of “flame wars”
- – You are not sure of how they personally identify or what religion they actually adhere to. They may claim expounded spiritual expertise in many different traditions.
- Is a “self-selected” prophet or clergy and refuses to back up their credentials and may become defensive if asked to explain UPG. Treats their beliefs as unquestionable and “word of God”. “My religion, my rules.”
- Talks self righteously about avoiding “drama” yet always seems to be at the very heart of the drama itself. Trouble seems to follow this type of person like a shadow. You should be wary of anyone who creates and deletes blogs/organisation websites/personal details faster than you can catch on to who they are. This is a redflag of someone who creates drama and then runs when it gets too hot for them.
- Asks for funding or “tithes” for vague reasons and evades answering in a concise manner
- Is inconsistent in describing the nature of their tradition(switching between exclusive and initiatory to open, but may still gatekeep who gets “select” information).
- May rally individuals behind them to oust and ostracise another pagan who does not agree, trust or like them. May often be involved in “witch hunts”.
- Is often seen gossiping about individuals in the group behind their backs in a bid to rally you to agree with them and oust the scapegoated individual.
- May send fellow followers to ask pointed questions related to disagreements and opinions in a bid to mine information for their leader to use against you.
- This person may use marginalised groups, or appeal to marginalised groups as a “saviour” or a “defender” yet only uses them to puff their own ego up. You will not see this person speaking out on issues beyond what serves their own desires. They may even use this “self righteous ally” act to scapegoat those who disagree with them(accusing someone of being bigoted for disagreeing with a spiritual choice or UPG). This is a well known tactic of “grooming” where an abuser will claim to have a “special connection” with their chosen quarry and then seek to exploit their marginalisation as a weakness.
These are just a few of the red flags of a PSS spiritual abuser. What all of these red flags lead up to is a predator who uses grooming tactics to create cults of personality and mistreat and abuse those who become followers. Trust your gut and if you see anyone behaving in any of the above ways, do not hesitate to question them.
What NOT to Do:
- Don’t trust too soon, or share too much with someone you’ve only just met.
- Don’t fall for false flattery, or verbal seduction.
- Don’t compromise your boundaries.
- Don’t allow yourself to be isolated from others against your own better judgment.
- Don’t blame yourself for how the other person is behaving.
- Don’t stay in the room if the situation becomes physically, verbally or emotionally unhealthy.
- Don’t go it alone or keep what you are experiencing a secret.
What TO Do:
- Use caution around someone you may have only just met, who pays you too many compliments, gives you too much attention, demands too much of your time, shares too much information, or tries to swear you to secrecy.
- Question motives.
- Learn to pay attention to your gut, and trust those feelings to guide you.
- Remind yourself you are not to blame for what a predator is attempting to do to you.
- Learn to say no, and mean it.