The Dark Side has essentially had four dynasties at the Force Academy, four leaders, all with great strengths and debatably many with weaknesses. Let me point out that not everyone was like the leaders of the dynasties, but the influence the leaders have had lead to an active contribution to people from these belief sets.
Lord Moor is a follower of witchcraft, suggesting a largely metaphysical Dark Side including skills and Force powers. His ideas revolve around strength of mind to manifest the Dark emotions. He preaches an age old theory of Darkness, a deeply mystical Dark Side. It leads the way into the idea of examining the self and understanding the emotions of the self.
Satelle was the second, and many of her ideas are displayed at the Fatum Operandi. Self understanding is broken down into more levels than just spirituality by looking at the self as a whole—physical, mental, emotional, and how these fit together as well as external influences on the self among others. Efficiency and pragmatism come into the scope: reflection, analysis and improvement. Satelle doesn’t neglect the metaphysics, and I would guess she feels they were a factor in balancing and improving the whole, but they aren’t the emphasis as before.
Richard Francis Irvine came third. Now I feel it quite likely he would never willingly permit me to describe his Dark Side. Dark aspects are unique, and it is impossible for one to understand the other. Emphasis is placed upon conflict being the means to destroy weaknesses in one’s understanding and opinion, and from the ashes constructing something better and stronger. His is a world largely of philosophy.
The current leader is Noel Vock, a character who respects the aspect of human nature working better in others and the idea of your pack helping you achieve your inner understanding. Here you find team work, self preservation, self promotion, self improvement, and taking into account both the mystical and the mundane.
My personal opinion is Yes, I do need family to help me get where I wish to, and Yes, I do need philosophy and a better understanding, I also need the skills of self reflection, analysis and improvement, and finally I also need the mystical. I have spent times of my study here focusing more on each area, and I have reached the idea of appreciating all. Maybe in the future I will be enlightened again.