When I wrote the Strategic Sorcery Course I really struggled with whether or not to include a chapter on purely offensive magic. People usually fall into one of two camps on this issue, both of which I think are deeply mistaken. One the one hand you have the people who feel that any kind of magic aimed at causing harm is inherently evil and will cause nothing but ill to all involved. On the other hand you have people who revel in Dark Paganism, or Nightside magic, or Sinister whatever and who range from feeling that vengeance is a good thing that you should engage in whenever wronged to true sociopaths and just will use any means necessary to find love, wealth, or power.
To me baleful magic is not fundamentally different than a gun. Magicians and Witches should know they exist, and even if you never plan on using one yourself, you should understand what they do and how to at least defend yourself if needed. Those that do employ it should do so only in dire circumstances that truly call for such action.
When I did write the attack magic lesson for the course a funny thing happened. About half the people in the course did not receive it. I had to send it three times to get it out. On the one hand I felt strongly that this is a part of magic and should be dealt with in a sane and responsible manner. On the other hand, I hated the idea of putting ideas into peoples heads that would cause harm for ignoble reasons.
Today, I am thankful that I did include it, because I received the following field report.
I am student XXXX from cycle 2 of the course, and wanted to write you up a report. I believe that your attack magic lesson may have saved my husbands life. Three years ago my husband witnessed a crime and provided the testimony that ultimately led to a conviction. A little over 2 months ago, the guilty party was released from jail and we started to receive threatening phone calls. Though I employed protection magic, two weeks ago my husband was attacked outside the store where he works. Thankfully someone heard the attack and ran to his aid, but the criminal got away.
I remembered that you had mentioned that in cases where someone is threatening physical harm, using magic to attack first might be more effective than only using protection. I used three techniques, all suggested by the Attack Magic lesson. I am not going to lie: I went right past binding and into outright cursing. Yesterday I found out that my work was successful. I don’t want the details posted, but the person will not be in a position to bother us again for a LONG time. Thank you for being one of the few people who provide clear instructions on how to do this kind of work. I hope I never have to use it again, but I am glad I had access to it when I needed it.