Why has the word "occult" come to mean something negative when referring to religion?

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The word occult actually just means hidden… However, I have spoken with so many people, and read so many books/articles, that use it in a negative way to describe Wicca, as well as other religions. I am mainly just curious what people’s thoughts are on the subject.

For a little background on me. I do not practice Wicca, though I am learning about it. I don’t consider myself to be Christian, either. I am still trying to find my path.

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I am in almost the same situation, My Religious views are Wiccan, however I do not claim to be one, as I hardly practice the witchcraft. “Occult” Means Hidden, true, but the only times a religion needs to be hidden is when its socially unexceptable or banned or something. I, myself, do not consider Wicca as an occultish religion, although it often refers to remaining silent ((As it once was, and still is, practiced as an underground religion in some countries)).

Also… because of their “Hidden” Nature, Occultish Religions are often regarded negativly, and articles about them tend to be one sided, and illogically against the religion.. People are afraid of what they dont understand… Biased Opinions

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