Very good questions.
First, about the lineage. Your doubts are perfectly reasonable! The truth is that, like I say at the beginning of that article, I was extremely hesitant to talk about the Platonic lineage for exactly that reason: there simply is no real way to prove it. It is the legend of the Sufi lineage that I connected to, but no one could adequately connect all the dots. Thus I spent a year doing my own extensive research on the lineage and put together what seemed to be the most plausible chain, based on the dates of the authorship of certain manuscripts which I knew for a fact the Tariqa library had, which strongly suggested that the Order itself was in fact descended from the early Sufis it claimed to be. In short I was able to trace the lineage back to Dhul Nun al-Misri, who has the story that he met a group of mystics in Akhmim called the Companions of Simplicius (Awilaya Simflicus), Simplicius having been the last major disciple of Damascius in Athens, who was himself the last Scholarch of the Platonic Academy. Unfortunately this leaves a much unwanted gap of over 200 years, and a leap of faith where we assume that if Simplicius was indeed ever in Akhmim, a circle of his students survived for a considerable time there. I made that leap because it was interesting to me, and because it seems the closest to connecting to the old Greek school out of any other lineage I've encountered. The truth is that you do not really need a direct link, because the Islamic Golden Age and Sufi Philosophy in general revolved around Platonic Philosophy, and began with Al-Kindi and Al-Farabi's translations of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus anyways. But there were some fascinating manuscripts, such as a manuscript about talismans said to have been written by Apollonius of Tyana, and one on magic circles ascribed to Simplicius, which showed that the Sufi school itself at least placed importance on its alleged Greek connection.
As for other lineages, I have to be careful here. The Greek lineage came through a Sufi tariqah based in Morocco. We also received an ordination from a Sidiq of the Kalvati-Tajjaniya, who in fact we let all of our local students meet because he visited my house. He officially recognized that Veos and I in fact already knew the secret practices of his lineage, and conferred lineage-recognition. He also taught us his Order's version of our practices. I've had several Sifus from different tongs, Longmen, Tien Shi, Quanzhen, and Shang Ching schools who have taught me a great deal. The latter was especially hard to acquire as a westerner. I've been initiated into the first four levels of the Mo Pai also, but turned down the opportunity to proceed because the fourth technique is absurd, unnatural, and sacrifices spiritual attainment for physical powers. Still, I sometimes teach the first three to people very serious about their martial arts. We have recognition from the Kalvati-Tajjaniya and the Chistiyah Orders, one based in Morocco, the other previously based in Damascus but I have not been in touch with them since the outbreak of the Syrian war and fear the worst. So much for China and the Middle East. From India Veos and I are connected to two yogic lineages from Matsyendranath, one of which recognized us formally as westerners this past Winter in India during a major celebration, where Veos and I were the guests of honor and carried their sacred idol of Gorakshanath through the streets and into the Godavari river for its sacred bath, before receiving the sacred kunduls (nath earings) and partaking in a special fire ritual. We have also learned three different versions of the popular Kriya Yoga, from Yogananda and Hariharananda's lineages. We have friends among the Palyul Nyigma sect, which has a small commune here in Florida, and the Kagyu Biddhist lineage which has a center here in my hometown, who have shared many of their lineages practices with us. A Rinpoche gave Veos and I a special recognition this year also, sacred to their tradition. After years of practice we now receive less techniques and initiations, and more "ordinances" and "recognitions." Most of these old communities are very eager to share if they can tell you are actually practicing and attaining things. I mention these because they are the more well known schools, there is no need to mention the others because their existence usually can not be proved.
There are two reasons why I do not go into all of the precise details about the lineages: firstly, because I feel no need to validate the system I am teaching by rattling off a long line of names. I believe that its success is its own proof, and it is indeed producing resounding success. Secondly, and most importantly, because the teachers I am actually close to do not want to be openly associated with magic, which still has a massive stigma in most parts of the world (even among Taoists). Veos and I were practically subject to a witch hunt in India when a group of people discovered we were magicians! I also learned early on, years ago, that it is frustrating to tell your student something, only to have him call your teacher and ask the same thing behind you.
After all of this, I still settled on Hermetic theurgy. It is, to me, one of the most beautiful approaches to the universe I have encountered, and I want to share it in a practical and operative form, providing methodology, for others who are also drawn to it. Since it was lacking greatly in its modern form, I supplemented it with the wisdom I soaked in from much older traditions all over the world. I believe that theurgy has been degraded by 1,500 years of religious prosecution, during which time other systems were allowed to grow and flourish while it was forced to hide. Thus, I'm catching it up. It is also important to know, I believe, that though Veos and I have received teachings from all of these lineages, it is impossible to fully dedicate yourself to so many things. We learned them because we were searching for the right puzzle pieces to fit into theurgy, not because we needed more practices. Our core set of practices have been stable for a long time, and are theurgic in nature.
To Jay's question.
I am always proud to be a teacher. The truth is that our school has had resounding effects. I regularly share the experiences of my students with my own teachers, Sifus and Lamas and Rinpoches and Sheikhs, and they are all consistently blown away by the progress the students in general are making. I am blown away by them. It is easy to imagine that many of them make certain things up, but the truth is that Veos and I have never once shared the marks and symptoms which occur spontaneously when true progress is being made, but we examine our students for them. That way we know when someone is telling the truth, or when they are just imitating what they have read or seen someone else do. Very specific things occur. New lines appear on the palm, special markings on the fingernails, certain specific mudras are formed spontaneously, etc. The signs so far have been very impressive. So it is hard to share specific time I was proud. But here is a good one. One of our senior students was sitting and praying in a Church in England. An older lady walked in and for a moment thought she was seeing an angel, because there was light coming off of him. She approached him and he looked normal, so she talked to him. She was overcome by bliss and peace during her conversation, and finally asked what on earth was so different about him. He told her about the school and she joined, and told me the story. In fact we have a number of members who joined because they were inspired after meeting one of our students in person. The vast majority of our students are from personal reference: people who were amazed by the positive transformations they were seeing in the life of a friend, and wanted to try what he was doing. I am always especially proud when the senior students finally begin to open their clairvoyant faculties, and for the first time start to see the world around them they have been missing.
The disappointments have been there, but we shouldn't dwell on them. The only real source of disappointment is when we have a student which shows all the signs of extraordinary potential, but has one or two tragic flaws that ultimately prevent him or her from taking a real step forward. For example, a great student with a terrible drug addiction is a real tragedy and a frustration for me, when I want to see them all succeed. Others crack from fears and irrational phobias. I had a female student once who, when she joined, was terrified of us. She came from a world of government conspiracies, cults, etc. In fact she had grown up in a cult, and had escaped it as a teenager, where there was rampant sexual abuse and the likes. This became her world view. She joined us though because in spite of all of that fear, something in her knew that it was going to be okay. Ironically, after finally being with us for almost two years she was overcome by the powerful realization that we were not some dangerous cult, that there is no reason to live in a world of fear and conspiracies, and that she was, in fact, safe now. This feeling of safeness was so foreign to her that it made her crack mentally. I had pages and pages of emails from her during this time, and worked hard to get her through it, but in the end she told me that she had just spent too long believing that spiritual teachers were bad people, that cults were out to get her, that the government was following her everywhere, etc, and it was now the only way she knew how to live. So she went back to it. That was very sad for me, because I spent countless countless hours trying to help her through it, and she had a beautiful heart, but in the end fear can be a powerful habit.
But in the end you can't always have success. The same thing does not work for everyone. Also, people have a very hard time changing for the better. We do not realize that if something offends us, affronts us, confuses us, scares us, etc, it might be because we have something to learn. I was with one of my Sifus once when one of his students got very angry with him. She was confused and scared, and it turned into anger, because he said something which went in the face of some personal beliefs she had. He encouraged her, told her to shout, got her worked up, and when she got it all out in a flash it suddenly was totally quiet again. He then calmly said "Very good. If you ever find yourself agreeing with your teacher all the time, never confused, never wounded, flee quickly and find a new teacher. The one you have can teach you nothing." Though it was not directed at me personally, I learned a tremendous amount from that one experience, and it has given me the strength to endure the hardships that my students sometimes go through. The meaning is that if you are always agreeing with your teacher, it means that he has not said anything which challenges your opinions, and since by nature your opinions can not possibly all be right, it means that either you are both sharing in the same errors, or the teacher does not have enough truth to bring you to the next level of truth. On the other hand, if you have wrong opinions about things, then the truths of the teacher will challenge them, and you will have crises of doubt, confusion, anger, etc. I argue with my teachers all the time! Even when they're not around, I argue in my head. But I also still bow to them in thanks.