Why is Franz Bardon so unknown in the occult and esoteric community? Why is there that general disdain for his works? In my search for esoteric knowledge I have come across his books and I am impressed at first glance. But I have heard people call him a fraud. I do not understand why beyond the fact that there are different views and beliefs. For those of you knowledge able enough, are people who follow his teachings wasting their time? Why? If so where would people find more genuine sources of hermetic and esoteric kmowledge?
Franz Bardon...is a odd character for me to describe. I am only familiar with one of his works, "Initiation into Hermetics". Although a slender tome, it sheds much on Hermetic Philosophy upon some meditation. And that volume teaches many aspects of practical Hermetic Magic.
I faintly recall Bardon being a stage magician at some point. Perhaps that is why he was denounced as a fraud. He does have some views that might be considered odd to the modern student of magic. Such as upon full harmonization and attainment of equilibrium with regards to the elements, one can manifest immediate physical elemental phenomena at will...or something along those lines.
This would set off alarm bells to many modern students of magic. However, such views were not uncommon among pre-1900s occultists. Many famed renaissance authors have had similar views. I have longed since dismissed such ideas as a quirk of an older time period.
Whenever an Occultist is semi-well known, accusations of fraud always seems to follow. E.g. Helena Blavetsky, Elphias Levi and Crowley seems to be more modern examples that have such slurs directed at them.
Hermeticism...does not have much of a following these days. Witchcraft, Indigenous Folk Magic and other Nature Based Mysticism seems to be more popular today. High Magicians seems to be a tad among the minority. Even the most famed magicians of a particular time period, such as Cornelius Agrippa, eh...I doubt many would have read his works. Let alone someone like Bardon.
In regards to your question on finding genuine sources of Hermetic Knowledge and Magic, you may wish to look into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
That organization has long since split apart and was torn asunder, but many of its members have became relatively well known, publishing several acclaimed texts or creating various orders (though many disbanded by now) that teaches Hermetic Magic.
You may also wish to look at the Corpus Hermeticum and the Kybalion. There is actually an audio-book version of the latter on youtube. Completely blew my mind when I first found that out.
As far as I am aware, Franz Bardon is very highly regarded for his work pertaining to Hermetics and other Western esoteric traditions. There will always be people who choose to follow a different person's interpretation, and therefore attempt to discredit someone's work because of a difference in opinion or interpretation.
Thank you everyone for your polite and well informed answers. Agree with alot of these points I do believe its too easy to discredit a teacher or author purely on differing intepretations of a common truth.
Never heard anyone say he's unknown. He's actually very popular for his book "Initiation Into Hermetics" and I see him regularly recommended in online occult communities, especially to beginners. I've not really seen any disdain for his work either, so I'm not sure where that's coming from as he's usually held in high regard. His system works if you stick to it, but it's not the only system out there and won't jive with everyone.