The world of martial arts is really not any different from any part of society. There are those who seek the journey and there are those who are eager to take advantage of those who do. One might think that it is the weak minded and the uninformed who fall into the trap. However, in reality, educated people also successfully targeted.
If you're searching for something, you can be sure that there are those who will have something to offer you. Martial arts and spirituality have this in common, and if there is money to be made and people who influence, you can be sure that there is a guru waiting for you. Wars happen, not because of moral principles, but because of resources. Popular beliefs aren't necessarily right. You only need to look at the news and you can see what misinformation and biases can lead to. Anything that involves making money, obtaining power and influencing people. That's an opportunity and one you should be wary of are are cults. I'll leave that for you to decided. In Daoism, there is no such thing as a heresy and everybody is to their own. If you want to believe in something, that is your choice. However, if you see somebody doing something different, you have to weigh it out yourself if that path is right for you. Whilst I say each to their own, that isn't to say it is morally right or legal. You still need to govern your behaviour.
People need to research on what they wish to achieve and the path they wish to walk. Never go by just blind faith or word of mouth. Looks can be deceiving and sweet words are in reality not so sweet. By rubber-stamping concepts as official and bar alternatives to flourish. What do you think their objectives are? In the world of Chinese martial arts, almost everybody says their lineage is authentic or that it is unique in some way. My master is better than your master and our methods are the best, it is gospel. You get the picture.
Do have faith in yourself. Your teacher can ongoing guide you, not walk the journey with you. At the end of the day, you need to take control of your life and not be influenced to do things you wouldn't normally do in your right mind. Have faith, but not blind faith. Evaluate what you have learned, train smart and remember, your training doesn't lie.
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