I feel that one of the sad facts about Internet forums is that many people believe whatever is repeated long enough. I don't recall which Republican once made the following comment, but I think it's true. He said that he could convince people that a square is really a triangle if he just said it often enough. I see a parallel here that I believe applies to reputations as well. When I read things on Internet forums about me, I am always at a loss to understand how people who don't know me and have not had first hand experience of me, have such strong opinions about my character.
One of the many odd things about being an author is to encounter statements about me that are wildly inventive. I'm not sure why some people use their time to create false tales about me, but I suppose that's another blog to consider at some future time. But I will add that a friend recently commented that detractors are people who want to limit. They are opposed to expansion and to alternative views. I suppose that living in a closed box that way is comforting and protective. A threat to that causes anger, which is a fear-based emotion, and so the need to remove or diminish the threat becomes imperative. So with key boards at the ready, off these people go into Internet forums to attack the threat to their version of reality.
Some recent nonsense on the Internet forums has caused me to muse about something: are we who we are, or are we (to some degree) what people paint us to be? Does a false image become a truth because it's fed? It does seem to take on a life of its own. So, from a magical perspective, what does this manifest in connection to the real person who is falsely depicted? One occult principle states that thoughts are things, which means that manifestation can take place when enough concentration and effort is applied. Interesting possibilities there....
One of my favorite false allegations is that I'm not even Italian. This was a popular tale created by critics of my first book, which was on Italian Witchcraft. The tale disappeared for awhile, but has recently popped up again. False allegations seem to reappear whenever I have a new book come out, which I do at this time. But the fact is that my mother was born and raised in Italy. My father was an American soldier (of German and Scott descent) who met her during WWII and married her at the close of the war. I am first generation Italian-American. Because my surname at birth is that of my father's name, it's not an Italian name. A critic of mine uses that to declare that I'm not "even a drop" Italian. It's fascinating to me the lengths that people will go to distort things in order to fit their agenda. So, does the energy of the lies that I am not of Italian descent result in a magical transformation of my DNA and make me non-Italian?
Another allegation against me is one I really love, and recalling it is always good because it makes me laugh to this day. It appeared on an Internet Forum in the Wicca section on AOL many years ago. A critic wrote on the forum that "Raven Grimassi is a fraud and an oath-breaker" - which is a contradictory notion. You see, I cannot be both because one negates the other. If I am a fraud then I have no initiation background and therefore no oath to break. If I am an oath bound initiate then I cannot be a fraud. But people seem to love this type of nonsense, and they keep it alive. I guess that's why people love reality shows - drama entertains even when its complete nonsense. I assume they don't care about the impact of unsubstantiated allegations against a person's reputation and character, nor the harm it can do. Or, perhaps they do realize it and that's what they want to do - harm the reputation. It's really psychic attack if you think about it. What do you suppose inspires such dark hearts?
One really fascinating element is when I correct the misrepresentation (or outright lies) on the Internet. It's regarded as being defensive, which is then transformed into being a lie on my part (in order to support my "phoney baloney" books). Not responding is regarded as having something to hide. So being who I am becomes irrelevant to how people choose to see me. Sometimes I feel that I have slipped into an alternative universe where I am supposed to be that person they describe, but I'm stuck being who I really am (the guy from back in the universe that I originally came from!). The Grimassi described by my detractors got switched from here to my original dimension, and I can only wonder how the evil Grimassi is doing in my universe back home - lolSo, I must answer my own question and say that I am who I know myself to be, and therefore, logically speaking, the person other people choose to falsely shape me into has to be all about them. From a magical perspective they have created an entity that attaches itself to them and then feeds off their negative energy. The occult principle here is "like attracts like" and so negative people draw negative concepts to them through their thoughts and desires, and that forms into their reality ( a necessary illusion for their agenda). I suppose there is some justice in the idea that as a result they have to live in their heads with the evil Grimassi they create while I continue on to live my authenticity and my writings flourish. That's the ying and the yang of it all. So, for my loyal readers, friends, colleagues, students and fellow initiates, I will continue to do the work of spirit that I am called to do. I want to spend whatever time I have left on this planet dealing with matters of sacredness. That is the best use of my energy.