As I am reading and investigating some issues with various pagan and occultic religions, it strikes me that they have perspectives similar to, and act quite differently from what the Church teaches us about them. I am not apologizing in any way for them, but being from a Catholic Conservative upbringing, I am surprised at how different their culture is versus what I was taught. I am not condoning it, but to address it, and more importantly the people in it, it helps to understand it.
They will make the case that their gods are loving, and seek to grant wisdom and help to people. Even people who have followed those paths for years still come across as loving, compassionate, helpful. I would have expected them to become either bitter or dead inside over time, but I am not observing this.
The people in their forums are very similar in breakdown to what I see in society. Most are encouraging and friendly. A few seem angry all the time, etc. The angry ones are usually excluded at some point from the community.
I don't see an overall viciousness in their approach to discussing their beliefs.
They have a stated emphasis that possession is not a goal in their instruction and prayer. Most often, it is the emphasis on "the self" as God, as opposed to demon worship.
However, for those practicing it, they do warn that you must commit - that their gods get frustrated with students who do not focus and commit.
Many of them have tossed out the popularized versions of things like Levayen Satanism, criticizing him for the slant he put on it. I find that interesting.