It was my decision to take Tarot history and iconography as a hobby, and it was my decision to attempt to find others with a similar hobby online. What a dolt.
Tarot forums, even those proclaiming themselves devoted to Tarot history or historical research, are inescapably dominated by fuckwits and fortune-tellers. Perhaps it is impossible to have any open forum regarding Tarot which is not overwhelmed by idiots, given that Tarot has such appeal to the simple-minded and superstitious. It is certainly a foolish naivete to expect anything else, and simple stupidity to persist in such folly. The ostensible "good thing" about participating in the online Tarot community is that different people bring different interests, backgrounds, and research abilities to a conversation, facilitating both brainstorming and critical thinking by the group as a whole. However, in practice there is no critical thinking by the group, because a majority of the participants lack any interest in evaluating Tarot lore.
It's as if a feckless miner couldn't distinguish between gold and rock, or couldn't be bothered to do the work. So he just kept digging and accumulating huge piles of rock behind his shack, never separating the gold from the 99.99% that is worthless, while daydreaming about what riches might be in there. Tarot forums would be just that worthless were it not for search engines. Even with Google and other aids, the searchers need to know precisely what they're looking for. In other words, they have to do what most of the posters did not bother to do: sift through mountains of mostly-worthless rubble and engage in critical thinking.
The problem is not the indignity of casting pearls before swine, as I and the handful of other so-called "historians" in the online Tarot community have few genuine pearls to offer. Expectations were never that high for the would-be historians, but they also were not cynically low for the typical posters. My expectation was only that there might be some recognition of the difference between fact and fiction, that's all. When a forum ostensibly about historical research fails to marginalize and condemn blather about the paranormal, or when unsubstantiated opinions from the Ignorati are the central topic of discussion, one can either accept morons as a peer group and post amid the pig shit, or one can leave.
The popularity of fantasy and fraud is revolting, but hardly newsworthy. However, the ceaseless invention of new bullshit, and the dominance of bullshit in Tarot-history discussions, has been a continuing surprise to naive little me. Like Fox Mulder, Tarot's true believers want embrace their delusions. Unable to muster logic or evidence, they defend their beliefs by pointing to other irrational beliefs, and proponents of wildly differing fantasies also support each others fantasies. Known absurdities are thus protected from criticism because a rational assessment of one is taken as an attack on all.
The preference for pyrite over the real thing is always startling, so I guess I'll go back to talking to myself. (That's one of the reasons why the Greys taught us to use blogs.)