Except for historically extraordinary cases, which are therefore out of question, the proliferation of initiatory (!) – so to speak - Orders and pseudo-orders, factions, fractions and compartments, is due, in my opinion, to two main elements.
The first and most common one is that the Leaders live on their associates, and they live well as well. The hacks of initiation give you a mantle, a seal, a license and take significant amounts of money to touch you with the tip of the sword; then nothing. What's left is the brag of calling oneself ‘different', perhaps hanging a diploma with a pompous title on one's wall.
The second one, more sophisticated, is the exploitation that can be made out of this proliferation. The Templar Order in Italy , for example, despite living on a form of templarism without any roots, enjoyed the protection of bishops (and jesuits), as I have observed myself. If the order was true, there would be a paradox, since the Bull of excommunication of the true Templar Order is still in force. It is quite a classic of jesuit policy to encourage ‘imitations' in order to confuse the original. So much so that it becomes undistinguishable from the fake that they built themselves; this is the foundation of counter-information!
There are imitations (fakes) of any shape and size, because a big ‘hack', such as a small Grand Master, can get to the point of having thousands of Euros a year at his disposal, not to mention the allowances for conferences, trips, invitations and gifts given to him. Nevertheless, there's always something wrong with these Masters of Shop. Indeed, despite the fact that they can count on dialectic ability worthy of a true ‘spellbinder', they are never wise. That is, they never have true initiatory ‘alchemies', even if they try in any possible way to imitate their contents, which they don't even know; and so, as they say, ‘there's the rub'. Therefore, politicians yes, dialecticians also, crafty always, intelligent never.
So how to trust anyone? How can an aspirant, a young non-initiate recognize a mediocre initiate? How to distinguish cunning dialectic from the ‘simplicity' of true wisdom? Difficult, indeed, very difficult. Especially if the mediocre initiate has a court of followers that aid and abet him.
Yet there is a way. It is to look for a ‘currency' that mediocre people don't know or use: the currency of altruism and disinterested practice. Therefore, it is sufficient to observe the subject and see how much altruistic potential he has, how much disinterested generosity he spreads around.
By observing and looking for the signs of this practice in every action of his, we can use them as a litmus paper; by getting rid of the chatter and counting mere facts, it will emerge if the Emperor has no clothes . And if this emperor really has no clothes, we shouldn't fight him but just ignore him. Because there's always something better to do than to waste our time with conceited people and swindlers.
Finally, we must say that the morale is always the same; for each seller there's always a buyer and this means that seller and buyer deserve each other, because they are on the same wavelength. Bertrand Russell said: it is foolish to try and help fools. Because after all everybody is the maker of his own destiny, even the worst ones.