Occultism isn't a religion, it's essentially an umbrella term for various beliefs, practices and rituals involving forces which fall outside the realm of traditional science or religion.
As far as believing in something because you want to believe in it, rather than because you actually
believe in it, I think this is a very interesting point. Do you think a Christian with above average intelligence believes, literally, that Christ turned water to wine? What would it mean for someone to believe in the doctrine of Christ, to believe in the power of the religious texts, yet deny that water could physically be turned to wine (for example)?
In my opinion, these people feel something resonating within themselves which goes beyond the surface-level drama of the text. This is reinforced in their minds by various religious rituals, religious singing, evangelising, and so on. Yet at the end of the day, any religious person who is sufficiently mature and intelligent will acknowledge, on some level, that they continue to believe because they want to continue to believe. The same is true for any genuinely held spiritual belief, be it occult or otherwise. The specific content of the text isn't so much what matters, but rather the spiritual ethos which underlies the text, and the philosophical conclusions drawn from the text by the reader. If these conclusions are agreeable to them, then continuing with the appropriate rituals acts as a sort of meditation on or fortification of the belief itself.