The definition of the word Occult is hidden or secret knowledge. When people hear the word occult, they tend to think in terms of evil doers casting evil, harmful spells upon the unsuspecting. I daresay there are such people about, but the vast majority of occultists that I know are lovely people; witches, pagans and anyone else who falls into the category of magcikal people.
In the early 2000's I was involved with a group of people and we termed ourselves as occultists. OK, so it ended badly, but that was not because we were harming folks, it was more to do with jealousy rising its ugly head within the group - those of you who read my now defunct blog will know what I am referring to.
The occult is not such a scary place after all, it is given a bad press like most pagan and witchy things by people who are misguided.