The word occult meaning - ("knowledge of the hidden." In common English usage, occult refers to "knowledge of the paranormal," as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable,) Has and is being used to demonized the TS ,This is what christainity does to anything that doesant blindly follow its teachings,,they say the word Devil was brought back from egyptian times to demonise the Deva"s and enlightened being of the people of india when the christians invaded india,therefore the word Deva became Devil,,if your not with us you are followers of evil.
Likewise any one we feel open enough to introduce to theosophy,seeing or hearing the view that theosophist are into the occult,will bring a fear of it,based on upbringing in christainity or other religions,will have to feel they are turning there back on there god to proceed,when really it is only applying an open mind to the mystical observations in life.
The witch craft,or becoming followers of some sort of Satan or Evil,and or, gaining powers from occult discovery,is now the view of the outsider, of the dirty word occultism.
Reminds me of what my mother said about spells,magic,and one upmanship " if you could gain powers over other people,you would never gain,since what you can take in one hand you will lose from the other," in comes Karma .
So unless the word is to be removed (and it cannot be taken away from the history of the TS) i can only see the answer being,we must "clean up the view of the word" with an understanding of its truer meaning put "out there"
and as dificult at that seems,im reminded of the fact that words like Karma are now worldy known dew to the TS and even the beatles helped usher in these eastern ideas..stu