My father knew what he was doing when he gave me that lecture, and I respect him dearly for that. He was inoculating me against being led by the appeal to authority. He was giving me the tools I needed to make the correct decision for myself.
One of those tools, he taught me, was how to gather and use information. Before I do anything, I google it and read more about it. If you happen to be on a similar path to mine, you'll know that all magick starts with "to know." You cannot will, dare, or be silent until you KNOW. So before I can WILL to go sign up under some person to teach me, I need to KNOW something about him or her.
(Actually, you can will, dare, and be silent before knowing - and this is what authoritarians hope for. They hope that they can get you to circumvent the thinking process, so that they can do your thinking for you. Think about the state of education in this country, and how that turns out voters who choose our leaders, and perhaps a few things might become clear.)
If you have skipped the first part, then you have, right off the bat, taken your rational, thinking mind out of the process.
If someone tells you that you shouldn't question, RUN, don't walk away.
Also, give this a read - An outline of common logical fallacies, and how to recognize them.
Learning how to use your mind is the best way to innoculate against the bullshit of authoritarianism.