The Mass Exodus Away from YouTube

I’ve opted to blog my commentary on this issue rather than create a YouTube video and in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out for myself what I want to do going forward.

Those who follow the YouTube beauty and makeup community, or a community affectionately referred to as AuthorTube, or any other number of subsets of personalities on YouTube may have noticed that all of them seem to have one thing in common in recent times: the growing exodus of their personalities leaving YouTube and seeking out other projects, platforms, or simply choosing not to be so public and personal online anymore.

Yes, part of it is the site’s changing algorithms, but it’s a lot more than that. Few of us, especially pagan YouTubers and tarot YouTube channels did it for views or money in the first place. So the mass exodus of pagan and tarot YouTubers isn’t because of a changing algorithm. We might’ve mildly griped about it, but it wouldn’t have caused so many to altogether up and leave.

It’s the ever increasing hostility. There has been a noticeable wave of negativity washing over the comments section of YouTube videos, all across the board, and that wave has noticeably hit pagan and tarot YouTube channels.

I have caught glimpses of it on other channels and been horrified before the channel owner removed the comment or blocked the commenter. I have seen it on my own channel, some which I leave up and the nastier ones I’ll delete and block.

First, though, what do I mean by “negative comment”? I don’t mean the commenter disagrees with what you’ve said. Polite and courteous disagreement has never offended. I consider a “negative comment” to be an ad hominem attack or name-calling, attacking how someone looks, dresses, or presents him or herself, attacking that person’s identity, insulting that person’s intelligence, insulting that person’s work, or threatening that person. The threats come in the outright blatant, unambiguous form and also the passive-aggressive roundabout form.

As a personality, you can’t even make public complaint about receiving the hostility. When you do, you’re either ungrateful to the large following of positive support you do garner or you’re thin-skinned and “can’t take the heat” so why are you posting your opinions and practices publicly?

We each hold different values, priorities, and what we are and are not willing to tolerate. It’s not the same threshold for all. There are plenty of personalities in the tarot and pagan communities who are thick-skinned enough to persist through the hostility, truly shrug it off, and keep on being public.

For me, I don’t and won’t accept that I have to do that. And clearly I am not the only one who feels that way, given how many have left. It has been sad to watch YouTube friends, one by one, up and leave, and as sad as I may be that they’re no longer creating content on YouTube, or have locked their doors and tuck everything behind Patreon, I completely understand.

Let’s talk about Patreon. Rather than leave entirely, some have opted to go on Patreon and put their best content behind closed doors, for paid viewers only, on the thought that those who are paying to view the content are going to be supportive or at the very least, when in disagreement, disagree in a friendly and civil manner.

That’s largely been true and they’re right for doing so. The Patreon community you form around your point of view and content, since it’s paid access, tends to be a lot cleaner, with less toxicity. Content creators feel rewarded for their efforts. Whereas on YouTube, the content you create and put out there, working so hard to produce it, often goes without any sense of reward.

“Going without reward” is when things are good on YouTube. Getting nasty comments is when things are normal on that platform. I can shut down my free content on that channel and turn all the videos into paid online courses and literally make about $15,000 per year for just that video course series and have everyone who is paying for the course love me for it and sending me beautiful e-mails thanking me for my work. OR: I can put it all online on YouTube totally for free, not even with AdSense turned on, and at best, be met with silence and low viewership and at worst, trolls. And that’s why this post is going up. It’s me thinking out loud. I feel like at this point, I’m the stupid one for continually opting for the latter instead of the former. I don’t want to go the route of Patreon, but what I currently have going on isn’t sustainable either.

Admittedly, negative comments are rare and far between, but when they happen, they sting you while you’re in the midst of living your life. It can completely bring down your mood. And then you can’t even openly admit that it brings down your mood because then everyone wants to know why you’re so thin-skinned or why you can’t just shrug it off. Are you not spiritually evolved enough to rise above the trolls?

As 2018 winds down and I’m thinking about my plans for 2019, I’m wondering if I should join the exodus and leave YouTube as well. Perhaps I can unlist all of my Holistic Tarot YouTube videos, for example, and simply share them as a free online course direct on my website behind a password-protected wall, so while it’s still freely accessible to those who don’t have the financial means for paid content, the added measures would detract the trolls from tagging along.

I’m wondering if it was utterly imprudent of me to make my recent series on the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot public. I quite stupidly assumed the only people who’d be interested in viewing the videos anyway are people who bought the deck and book set. And by making it public on my channel, it’d be much easier for them to access the videos anytime anywhere, whereas getting this massive e-mail in your inbox with twenty hyperlinks to videos can be confusing and hard to navigate.

What about the Bell Chimes In series? What’s the point of sharing your opinion when it’s sharing your opinion that tends to draw the most ire? Me being honest on Bell Chimes In has been more harmful to my “brand” than helpful. So you really can’t help but wonder why the hell I’d even continue it? If I can’t be uninhibited and honest, utterly unfiltered about my point of view, then there is simply no point for that series to exist. The Tinkering Bell series is disproportionately a lot more work than any rewards, tangible or even intangible, reaped.

This blog post doesn’t arrive at any definitive conclusions. I have no idea what I want to do next. I’m sharing my thoughts in real time, as I ponder them, before I’ve fully analyzed them or made any decisions. There’s a compelling reason for the mass exodus away from YouTube. Now I’m wondering if they’re the smart ones who leave town in response to a hurricane warning and I’m the idiot who is planted on my living room couch and saying nahhh— who cares about a little wind and rain? I’ll be fine. Staying put despite a hurricane warning is going to be fine.

64 thoughts on “The Mass Exodus Away from YouTube

  1. Thanks for thinking out loud again, Benebell! 🙂 I totally get why people leave since I left myself more than a year ago. For me it wasn’t a terribly difficult choice since I was never in love with making videos the way I am with blogging… Now, I wouldn’t consider myself thin-skinned, nor particularly thick-skinned… but maybe somewhere in the middle. That said, it wasn’t long after I got badly trolled that I made my final decision to pack it in, so that may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in my case. Whatever you decide, I’m sure you will have a big following come with you to wherever you move next, so good luck with making the decision that serves you and your work the best.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa! Yes, I really enjoy blogging as well, though for me, making videos is equally fun if not more fun because of the combination of different media forms that I get to play with. Funny though not surprising, isn’t it, how blog posts get less trolls than videos? =)

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  2. If I didn’t receive a lot of new business from Youtube, I wouldn’t put all that content out there for free. I have a Patreon and I create content for devoted fans through it, but a decent number of the people who support me there found me through Youtube. If I deleted my account, my bottom line would suffer. I don’t think that this is the case for you–you have books! If I had books or some such content that sent clients my way, again, I’d probably think differently. Youtube helped my biz grow exponentially last year, and that’s why I’m more than willing to put up with the trolls ❤

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    1. That’s awesome! Yeah, for sure, YouTube can be a great thing and I love your channel! As a viewer myself, I love getting acquainted with content creators through that site and then learning more about them and their work through YT. I guess this blog post just focuses on the negative side. 😀

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    1. Thank you! ❤ But oh man. Patreon gives me anxiety, haha. If people are paying me monthly for content, then now I'm obligated to create monthly content. Right now with YouTube, it's pretty all over the place. I create content whenever I want to and I don't feel beholden to anyone. So I'd really have to think it through if I went to Patreon.

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  3. I have learned so much from your books and Youtube videos, Benebell. The sad part of today’s “intellectual” climate, is that everyone thinks they are equal to what is being produced. They have no intellectual capital. In some cases they feel emboldened to see their comments and criticisms as gifts to everyone but those who actually CREATE. They cannot create, so they criticize. They leave us all hanging, and not in a good way.

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  4. Many years ago I ran a music venue in a very sketchy neighbourhood. The original idea was to make money off the food and drinks, kind of a restaurant with live music as an attraction. We had a lot of trouble until I decided to charge $2 to come in. People interested in just making trouble were not willing to pay $2 to do it.

    What I learned is that you don’t have to charge a lot to keep out the riff-raff. And, you can still remain accessible to the people you want to be accessible to.

    Just something to think about for everyone considering moves like this.

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    1. I really like this idea! Though I think it works better in real life for a brick and mortar scenario than online. For me, the accounting hassle I’m by law obligated to go through just because I collect the $1 or $2 is not worth whatever I can actually earn from it. So for me, it’s either free or I turn it into a comprehensive online course and sell it as a course. :-/ That in-between area is just not cost-efficient. ❤

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  5. I appreciate your youtube videos. Even if I disagree on a point or a topic I still like to hear what other people I admire and respect are thinking on issues regarding the tarot and spiritual communities. I have the paid premium version of youtube and I use it to access podcasts/channels/groups/personalities/etc. related to astrology, tarot, spirituality and the occult in general. Its been my preferred method of media and content outside of books for years now. I do not make videos myself but I rarely comment on videos though I hit the like and subscribe on everything that I enjoy. I also rarely read the comments, its actually been my experience that when I have commented on a video the youtuber rarely responds but I know some do. Many times when I happen to scroll into the comments and read snippits I am either shocked (for various reasons, too many to list) or I start laughing… or both! As a consumer I love youtube but I pay no attention to the comments section and do not take it seriously. I understand why people leave but there is still plenty there, enough that I pay youtube to see it without commercials, on the other hand if the people I watch left I would pay patreon to continue to get the content I care about. The creators such as yourself do have some difficult questions to ask yourself about how to share in a way that feels good to you and is enjoyable and I wish you joy in the process. Once you find a way to do that I for one will find you there and agree to my end of the exchange- whether that be patreon or password protected safe spaces or what have you.

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  6. Hi Bell: Being the old person in the group I really don’t have a clue what Patreon is. I’ve enjoyed your videos so much and would miss them. My art teacher does class recordings via YouTube with a link that only goes to (paying) class members. This sounds like Patreon and yet you suggest that Patreon requires regular posting—burdensome in my view. So I don’t have answers for you. I do worry about you exposing yourself to trolls and people who threaten. This SKT series is so personal. You have been so brave and generous to share your process and your creation with us. I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable with social media in general—my art class this year has been a life saver and FB and IG have been ways for me to connect with other artists in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed. I say protect yourself. I’ll follow you for as long as I have a mind and heart.

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    1. Thank you! My online courses are like that– unlisted YouTube links that are organized in a master list of videos sent via private email. But I’m wondering if everything I do needs to be formatted that way or if I can figure out a solution for maintaining a public YouTube channel that will feel rewarding. =)

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  7. What a crazy world we live in. It makes me so mad (and sad) that a few bad apples spoil it for everyone. If all my favorite youtubers leave and start to charge then I’m out of luck because I can’t pay to support all of you!!! Guess I’ll have to go back to the tried and true…. books!
    Wishing you all the best…I love your Bell Chimes in series!!!! Will miss it and you if you move to another format.

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  8. Yes I agree with your thoughts around Patreon. I too have been looking at that platform, and do not want the pressure of being obligated to produce monthly content versus producing content when creativity strikes. Is Vimeo and alternative? Have you heard of Mike Adams – producer of Natural News? His whole YouTube channel was deleted without notice as they did not appreciate his “alternative” views and commentaries. He started his own version of YouTube. https://www.brighteon.com/ – you might want to check this optin out. BTW Counting the days until my planner arrives!! 🙂

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    1. I think the network effect just isn’t there yet for other sites, such as Vimeo, etc. At least before, pagan YouTube really felt like a strong, tightly-knit community. I think ultimately, that’s what I’m missing and grieving over. 😀

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  9. Can you have the videos embedded in your own website where comments can be left but linked through to youtube where anyone can watch but comments are disabled? Fitness Blender has their videos on their site but you can click through them all and open them in youtube and I find that handy because I can then save to a youtube playlist and watch on my youtube app on my tv.

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  10. I support some Patreon accounts. One of them is Fortune’s Wheelhouse with Mel Meleen and Susie Chang. Their funding tiers are per episode, and the patron can limit how many episodes a month to pay for. I don’t know the details of how they set their Patreon up that way, but it makes me think you could commit to one thing a month and leave yourself flexibility about further commitments.
    I love that you are so generous with what you share. Whatever you do, I trust you to find the space that works for you and change as you need to. Thank you for sharing your thinking and your feelings.

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  11. The risk reward element you’re talking about is very real. I’ve been fortunate in that most of my videos have been very well received, only a few getting negative comments. But the amount of work I put into my videos isn’t paying off anymore. Not that I was ever in it for money (and I never made any either), but before there was a real energy to the youtube pagan community and I made some wonderful friends. Now I feel like it’s an over saturated, poorly lit, spiritual glamour contest. The idea that my content that I worked really hard on will just get mixed in with the slosh just fills me with apathy for my channel.
    All that makes me sound like a narcissist. I know that there are better developed videos than mine and my words aren’t the end all be all of pagan youtube. I’m just totally burnt out on the community in general.

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    1. I miss your videos! I was an avid viewer! ❤ And you're right– even videos that appear easy and effortless, like you just point, click, and shoot, are not that way at all. There's just a lot of work involved that goes unnoticed and oftentimes unappreciated. 😀 I loved your channel. Top notch quality, always, it was. Miss you!

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  12. I am a content creator on YouTube though recently I have not been posting as much. Now I don’t have a following really but my thoughts are I post because I like to and for some reason, I think people might find what I have to say interesting. As a “Crone” I have gotten to the point where editing out the really hateful comments makes sense but as for the rest well have at ‘er. I simply don’t care anymore. I post because I like to. I post because I think my children and grandchildren might find what I have to say interesting and thought-provoking. In a way a legacy. With that in mind, I post what I find interesting and the technology to post live on YouTube is my next step. However, that being said each of us has to decide what works for us. Benebell I would miss your YouTube content if I could not access it in any other place. I find your work thoughtful. grounded, and in a way very dependable. I for one say if you can stand the negative comments, and as you know it says more about the person who is commenting that you, stay with your work. It is brilliant and worthy.

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    1. I”m so glad you’re on YouTube and actually what you’re calling the “crone” YouTubers are my favorites!! They have the best content (even okay– I’m letting my immature Millennial side show, but yeah– even when the production quality isn’t great, I will still totally sit through it and watch because it’s good content). I learn the most from them! I really wish more would be on YouTube to create content. At least if they were making a ton of content, I’d endure the trolls and stay on YouTube just to be close to them! 😀

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      1. Oooooo! You’re inspiring me!! Techno-phobia has always been what’s prevented me from making YouTube videos….I have a list of topics I want to discuss!!!! 😑

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  13. I just wanted to say that if you go the patreon way, you don’t have to make it a monthly commitment.

    Andrew McGregor of the Hermit’s Lamp podcast, only charge us for each podcast he makes. He offer an exclusive added content for each podcast to us supporters besides the one he publish publically on iTunes. You should look up his page on patereon.

    I whish you the best in your search for a solution.

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    1. Ah. There’s still a lot about Patreon I don’t know about, for sure. For some reason I thought it was like a monthly subscription fee scenario, and then each tier of fees had their own special level of access to content. If that was the case, that’s a LOT of hassle for a content creator to keep track of! 😀 And to me, a lot of unwanted pressure to churn out monthly content!

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  14. I started a Youtube channel and tested out a few types of videos. I wanted to do one about dream interpretation and thought a Vlog would be easier than writing it all out (since there is a LOT to cover and one really detailed dream blog can take hours, if not days, to get written out and fully published but then I kind of slid away and I’m thinking about deleting what I do have and just continuing using it to let my kids view videos (although my 2 year old was going through Walmart acting like she was doing an unwrapping video, so we may start doing something like that in the future)
    The troll posts are annoying just trying to weed through as a viewer and so many times I want to respond (as a viewer) but since my account has a few posts and is linked to here, I keep from typing anything.

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    1. Ooh! I just skimmed your blog! A ton of quality content! I”d love to see your YouTube channel! Are you going to really invest time into a channel and start up on the YouTube front? Or are you joining the exodus? ^_^*!!

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      1. No clue yet. I kind of found out my social anxiety like symptoms act out really bad in front of a camera. My attempt at a video about sex and dreams ended with 20 takes- 1 i posted because just as i really started to warm up to the camera, my cat got up just to walk in front of the camera and stick her tail in my face- then laid back in her original position. I tried to ignore it and continue but was laughing too hard.
        I have a bunch of ideas but I’m a one woman show.

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        1. Haha oh the videos where someone’s cat or dog video-bombs the scene are the best!!! I love them! (Although horrifically, YouTuber friends of mine have received really hostile troll comments about how they should lock away their pets while filming… I mean, WTF. People have issues.)

          Yeah YouTube videos can give the illusion that you point, click, and shoot, all in one effortless take where you’re effortlessly eloquent and comprehensive and voila. That is so NOT the case for anyone I know, me included. It’s always lots of takes, lots of “um” and “ah” and “uh” edited out, and lots of re-shooting because you totally forgot a really important point. It’s a lot of work even when the final product looks like point and shoot. :-/

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          1. Yeah. I joined a group when I was thinking about starting and got lots of support in that group. I did one talking about true life with OCD (sick of the stereotypes- I have a blog about it as well) but it was an experimental video. I’m not sure if I have the time to constantly edit and shoot, reshoot but maybe give it another go this week before I start my new job while I do have time.
            I wasnt looking to monetize, so it’s on the back burner.

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  15. I wonder if Vimeo might offer a solution? It seems to be a less hostile version of YouTube, from what I’ve observed in the comments sections of videos watched on that platform.
    Otherwise, there’s WP’s embedded-video service (the pro option) to consider, or maybe Teachable or a similar site to host Benebell’s Academy of Esoterics. 😉
    Your content is fantastic. Here’s to a solution that fits the bill – and Bell. 💖🔮

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    1. Haha. I’m not going to open up any academies. 😀 I kind of like to just stay an independent blogger and vlogger. I’ll be looking in to Vimeo and figuring out what I might be able to do with WordPress, though I’d probably have to upgrade my current service. =/ In other words, not only am I not getting paid for creating content, now I have to PAY to create content. Sigh.

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  16. Lots to think about here. I’m not a content creator, so I can’t speak to that side of things. I’ve read enough comments on your and others’ videos in the past that I no longer read them at all. I’ve enjoyed all of your videos I’ve watched on YouTube, and appreciate the work you’ve put into them. I’d happily pay for a membership (or something similar) on your site, but, personally, I wouldn’t follow you to Patreon. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Patreon. I’ve never really felt good about that platform, but after the fee debacle a few months back I no longer trust the site or its administrators at all. Which is too bad, because there are a number of people I’d like to follow in more depth whose work is accessed through Patreon. That site gives me such a bad feeling, though, I just can’t do it. (If you did decide to go that route, though, I would urge you to go with a time-based, like per-month, pledge. As someone whose income has been unpredictable for the last couple of years, knowing what my bills will be month-to-month is crucial. The varying nature of a per-episode or per-event pledge stresses me out.)

    In any case, thank you for all the hard work you put in– we do appreciate it!

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  17. Maybe one thing you could try is making an “unlisted ” video on youtube and post the link on your blog. This way only people actually willing to put the work in to read your blog will be here and you won’t have to charge extra. It’s a side ways move. I love your blogs and videos. Xx

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    1. It’s a lot harder to foster a sense of community that way. I think what I’m griping about is how the sense of a community on YouTube among pagans, the metaphysical vloggers, and tarot is what I’m missing. =)

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  18. I love how you’ve broken this down, it is certainly something we are all watching and I land pretty firmly in the same mindset as you. I really have no desire to move to Patreon, but I really do understand why so many people are, I’ve definitely done a lot of research on alternatives and I’m still mulling it all over for 2019. I don’t think I’ll ever vacate Youtube as there is much that I love about the community, but I can see leaving the more general things such as deck reviews and live chats there, and moving more topic based things for something really low like $1 a month. My heavy tutorials are now classes for me. It’s definitely a struggle, and when you try to discuss it it’s hard because it always comes off sounding whiney, but it IS a lot of work to maintain, and the nastiness can go SO nasty that it is unsettling, so that sharing personal topics such as grief makes me at least consider being in a space where at least I know people are there because they are of like mind. I’m with you though, I haven’t come to any conclusions.

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    1. I am not loving the idea of Patreon either but like you, totally understand the massive shift in that direction. Doing the whole $1 or $2 a month thing just triggers legally obligated accounting work that I don’t want to deal with. =) So to me, it’s either full-on course and operate it with a more business-like mentality, or keep it casual as free YouTube content. By the way I love your YouTube channel and how candidly you share of yourself! It’s so beautiful.

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  19. I’ve noticed the nastiness also. For years I’ve wanted to develop my own pagan community while conversing with others and sharing ideas. Many of the comments I’ve received have given me pause. I don’t understand where the nastiness is coming from.

    I think that you have to do whatever is comfortable for you. I think those on the path will support you.

    I’m sorry that ugly people are forcing you to make a decision that may feel forced. You’re a truly nice person. I wish you love and light as you make your decision.

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  20. While I respect any decision you decide to take, I will tell you that your video series (Tinkering Bell and Bell Chimes In) made a huge difference to my path and created a springboard for me in discovering what it was that was meaningful to me. I didn’t watch your videos or read your content to agree with absolutely everything as The Truth of the universe, but rather because it was thoughtful and thought-provoking. It was because of the quality of your content that I purchased your books and several of your courses. Basically, I want you to know that despite the trolls out there that you definitely don’t need to subject yourself to, there are people that do appreciate what you put out there. Thank you for all you do and best wishes with your next steps!

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    1. Seconding this! Your videos have made a big impact on my and my practice, and I love hearing your thoughts in all your series. Thank you so much.

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  21. Oh Benebell … there are some of us who would follow you to the end of the earth! For me, it’s about going inside and remembering what I enjoy. I love writing. I love sharing. I LOVE people in our community, as you do, and in your case it shows. No one is going to be 100% happy – that said – you brought up some great points and lots to consider. I just turned in my new deck and another book and i finally feel like i can breathe. I’m going to look at pantheon too. I love you lots and look forward to getting my calendar for 2019. When do you have it up for sale? 🙂 x

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  22. I totally understand your perspective. As a new YT content creator with an itty bitty following, I’ve yet to experience the trolls and negativity. I also acknowledge that this is something I need to keep a pulse on as I continue making content, for my own self-care (and sanity!). You’ve been such a valuable voice to this community, and while we’d miss your YT presence, we’ll still be blessed with your blog posts. You gotta do you! Much love xoxo

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  23. I am sorry to hear this. I would be really saddened if you leave YouTube as I enjoy your videos so much and I like the fact that I can save and rewatch videos as many times as I like. Yes I could reread your blog posts but the videos are much easier. However, you have to do what’s best for you and if you no longer feel comfortable on that platform then don’t stay around that negative energy. I’m sure you will come up with a great solution that works for you and your loyal subscribers who truly wants to learn from you. 🙂

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  24. Hello there! I’ve only just found you, regardless of what you do, I’m coming with you! Believe it. You’ve got a loyal subscriber here. I’m only just toying with started up a tarot business. But, just the thought of social media platforms annoys me. I’m on Instagram almost daily, but not for very long- 30 minutes cumulatively, daily, and I’ve got fairly low FB usage (I try to log in at least once a week, but usually more like once every 3 weeks), really nothing else aside from Instagram. None of the other platforms really entice me, I have a Twitter but it’s more of a social media place-holder. Youtube: forget about it. Honestly, as much as I like the thought of starting a channel, I would hate sifting through the comments for trolls or abusers. I’ve just not got the time or want. I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. That much babysitting and unwarranted negativity can be draining, on your time, and patience. I support your decision either way!

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  25. Hi Bell. This is all happening right when I’m about to launch. I’m great with timing! 😉 I’ve been hearing about this for awhile and also about some issues with Patreon besides the obvious. I know one of the people I support there had a huge debacle–after a couple of years suddenly her content was deemed inappropriate due to a new vendor they were using (or whatever you call it–they who process the payments….) so she had to modify greatly and just use Patreon as kind of a tip jar and she sends out everything via e-mail now. Now that is no community at all except for her chat boards, which just isn’t the same! By the way, I know it seems that Bell Chimes In, for instance, doesn’t reap financially, but in fact I’m sure it does as the more someone learns of your perspectives and philosophy, the more they (or me I guess I’m referring to… as well as others I’ve turned on to your work) are apt to purchase your books, classes, planner, and now this gorgeous deck that arrived in my mailbox today and I’ve been waiting all day to unpackage…. (after all else is done so no distractions… and night just seemed more right! I cannot wait. I’m a kid and it’s Christmas Eve and I want everyone to finish dinner right now so I can open presents! That’s the way we do it in Texas…. ) So anyway. I know your fine mind will sort this out and of course those of us like myself who would follow you to the ends, as your fan above lovingly said, will be there ready to jump on board. I’m sorry for us all that this is somehow now a part of “expected” everyday life–this lack of civility. It seems like a decade or so ago everyone started acting like they were at home in their living rooms all the time, and now its no holds barred. A very ugly kind of trickle down indeed. I’ve had to run off a couple of very ugly trolls recently who are stalking me on Instagram about my genuine hope and optimism politically, and in general. It’s a mad mad world. I think I heard the last plate leave the dining table….. off to meet your beautiful creation. My respect and gratitude for you know no bounds. Stay strong!

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  26. I don’t know if you can disable comments completely . I really can’t afford patreon and I’ve noticed several you tubers I used to follow leaving for patreon. 1 dollar is a lot for someone like me who is poor. I understand, making videos is labor intensive. Perhaps maybe change the format to a podcast or SoundCloud etc.

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  27. I wish you all the best in whatever decision you make. Your work is inspiring. I appreciate it and feel sad and angry about the negativity –
    your work and that of other YouTube creators is impactful.
    Megan xx

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  28. Thank you Benebell as always – I haven’t noticed an exodus of YouTube – in the card reading community I have seen the opposite with new blood entering daily, but have experienced the commenting – some of it wicked at best. I delete but it naturally does seep into my being somewhat. I don’t think it is only YouTube but nasty commenters can hide quite well on the platform behind their username – it is just horrid people and YouTube should act against this – as should Facebook (OMG are there some evil people on there!) and any other social media platform – a tough skin is definitely required – i still dont understand it – “if you cannot say anything nice …. don’t say anything at all” – it has served me well (yes i do slip with my opinion sometimes but never to hurt somebody …. which is what these people do)… Snakes hiding behind the walls of usernames

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  29. when Aeclectic Tarot folded I had hopes you would build a forum, you had name familiarity, intellectual content, right timing and a website, enough to bring a following to you. I expect this is what Biddy did and she has indicated a six figure income has been the result. Probably more work than you want to do because you have employment already, and would you really want what you do for pleasure to be what you do for money?

    I doubt I’d use Patreon as I also don’t use Twitter, Instagram, facebook, and all the rest, way too time consuming, a real price, and I’m not willing to pay it. And not in a million years would I pay the prices Biddy requires.

    The down side to a forum base is you need moderators…and a successful one would require so much time. One of the things I really admired about Kate, the AT owner,, is she actually had very few posts, the forum wasn’t about her at all which gives the opportunity for natural growth. Thank you for the time you put in here, Sharyn/AJ

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  30. Hi Bell, First let me say that I love your Youtube videos, and all the work you do. I thank you for sharing yourself, your thoughts and feelings so openly, with lonely seekers like myself. Youtube has been really instrumental along my spiritual path for connecting me with like minds and kindred souls, and when i found your channel it was literally like I struck gold! If you do decide to take it down many people like me will be disappointed for sure, but I totally understand why you would want to. I don’t think I could take the bs either honestly, people are assholes. Funny thing is, I was watching youtube so often that I started to feel really compelled to join the conversation, so this weekend I finally started my own Youtube channel. It took ages to edit two short videos, and all the while I was thinking “is anybody even going to watch these?”. Totally get what you’re saying about there not being much reward, and I’ll admit that I’ve watched nearly all of your videos, been extremely moved by some of them, but have never commented. Hence why I probably feel so compelled to comment now, and sorry if this is turning into a bit of a testimonial, but I just want to let you know that I am here, graciously absorbing all that you share. I’ve also been put off by the way I see people interacting online, trolling and what not, and as a pisces moon, I’m super “think skinned” and extremely paranoid about how much of myself I share online. People like you inspire me to say fuck em and speak my truth regardless. You have found a tribe that is here for you, willing and ready to listen regardless of what platform you are sharing from. I just hope you continue to share your truth in a way that feels comfortable and true to you.

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  31. Personally, I love your YouTube videos and have learned a lot from them. My all-time favorite has to be the one on Reiki. I’m sure it stirred a firestorm of controversy but it was thoughtful, rational, and well delivered. And, I had to agree with you.
    Be that as it may, there is a sound reason that the Sacred Arts, Occult Science, and Esoteric Philosophy has remained underground for centuries: it’s a difficult path that requires one to see into the dark. It is a constant test of our resilience and worthiness; it can become unbearable at times. This is not a path for “fluffy bunnies and cute kitties”. It can be dark and dangerous considering what you have to deal with (more than just the fat pimply-faced dorito-eating basement dwelling trolls) but real powers and forces of a spiritual nature. Yet, despite the tough times, we are called and we follow that calling no matter what, it seems.
    It is always a joy to find like-minded others, a community, and a tribe. To that, you have contributed much and I deeply appreciate your generosity, your perspective and always your willingness to speak your truth. So, please count me in as a supporter of your work. Many blessings!

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  32. I really love this comment. Finding each other out there is so important and requires no small amount of luck. This is why it is so important for all of us to support each other’s efforts any way we can. With thoughtful comments and feedback and also with re-tweets and shares and mentions and links.

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  33. Hi Benebell! It is truly disappointing that people cannot voice their opinion without getting personal and it is even more disheartening to hear that all the great content you produce has seemingly caused you more pain than reward. I have always had great admiration for your grit in putting yourself out there in such an authentic and honest way. I have found from personal experience that when you go this route you become the target of other people’s shadow-projections as you have created for yourself something that is unattainable for them. However, their behaviour is a reflection of them not a valuation of you. I completely understand that you want to move your projects to more friendly environments and it will most certainly redirect our energy and time to things that bring you joy.

    There is something else I want to say from a more personal side: You are the single inspiration for my journey down this rabbit hole into wonderland that is self-analysis and self-empowerment using divinatory tools! I have learned a great many things about how to be spiritual and improve my perspectives about myself, other people and life in general… I just wanted to let you know how much you contributed to my practice and I want to extend my sincerest appreciation for it. May you and your projects make their way to a fully supportive community in which ever media you choose to host them! Just let us know where you off to, so we can pack up and follow along too!

    P.s. Have you tried Google+? There is far more administrative control there if you want to start you own group (and if anybody morphs into a troll you simply throw them out)! No need for troll slaying…LOL!

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  34. Hello Benebell!
    I’m fairly new to your channel but have watched your videos back to back, like an obsessed Netflix teenagaer. Your videos are polished, well thought out and creative.

    I have taken one of your online courses and also purchased your The Tao of Craft’. By the way both, are amazing.

    I’m loving every page of ‘The Tao of Craft’, all the history is fascinating. I can’t wait to apply it to my own craft in my own unique way.

    I am not a scholar, and you being a lawyer, with a logical and intuitive approach on tarot and magic, is original and much appreciated . It gives those of us (me), who are less articulate in explaining craft and tarot, valididation in the occult arts.

    I too have a YouTube channel mostly on witchcraft, spirits, divination with crystal balls, tarot etc. I get some trolls but not too many. I believe it’s because I don’t have a huge following. Seems the bigger you get on YouTube the bigger the guns.

    However, when that one troll or nastiness does comes through, I do get angry. All the work, time, effort money in candles and incense I use that goes into making videos is a lot for a free video.

    My response to nasties is that I’m giving you free information an entertainment! All you can respond to my video is “bitch” or or worse expletive? Let’s not forget the Religious ones who generosity share about how I’ll rot in hell doing what I do. Then the are the Pagan experts, who love to assist in how I’m simply wrong. Got to love the diversity!

    I’ve been thinking of joining the exodus from YouTube. But then I found that you can approve comments before they are seen by others. Yes, I do still see the ugly comments but I simply delete and block.

    The other people who truly wish to have a conversation, (even if they disagree but are thoughtful and respectful), those I approve their comment. This pre approved comment thing has helped me decide to give YouTube another go.

    Also, I don’t know if this helps, but perhaps you can put a donate button on your channel?

    I haven’t done so as of yet. I have a donate button through Paypal. It automatically adds donations into your Paypal acct, I don’t think that you’d have a problem with taxes etc. I’m not sure though.

    I hope you stay on YouTube.
    Best of luck to you,
    Nicneven

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  35. First of all, my appologies as I cannot expres myself well in Englis. I just wanted to say to you that I enjoy your content on YouTube very much. It contains so much knowledge and its just obvious everything is created with so much care and eye for detail. I would hate to see you leave, as I love to watch it all. You deserve so much more views!

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  36. Hello Benebell!
    I have learned so much from your channel. Your channel just sort of popped up on as recommended when I was going through a really rough spiritual time. I totally dove into your work (Esoterica Practicum, the New Seekers video, Tao of Craft and Holistic Tarot, and the Shadow Work course). Your work, as well as your recommendations for books (I read through almost all of the recommended books I could find in your Tao of Craft bibliography), definitely helped me develop a now strong idea of my own personal faith and opened the metaphysical door for me. You not only teach what you know but gently push people in the direction of learning things for themselves.

    I can’t really give a viewpoint of a content creator, but I will say that I will be a supporter of whatever you decide to do. But you are definitely a strong voice in the Youtube pagan community and I sincerely pray you don’t get silenced by the vitriolic BS that has seeped its way into almost every facet of YT.

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