When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened on November 16 in theaters across the nation, it was screened in a record-breaking number of theaters, full of excited youngsters. Even some “Christian” schools canceled classes to bus their students to see an exciting but dangerous display of sorcery. Many public schools filled the theaters with their students who are evidently thought to be sufficiently proficient in math, English, history, writing, science, etc. Well, maybe basket weaving, driver’s ed, and swimming? Later, the classes discussed the movie dealing with spooks, spells, and sorcery. Let’s see, now: prayer and Bible reading are illegal in public schools, even unconstitutional, but witchcraft is acceptable, even desirable. Where is the ACLU when they are needed?
Some public school officials in England are concerned over the possible influence of this “innocent” inquiry into the netherworld. Peter Smith, general secretary of the British Association of Teachers and Lecturers said, “The premiere of Harry Potter the movie will lead to a whole new generation of youngsters discovering witchcraft and wizardry….Increasing numbers of children are spending hours alone browsing the internet in search of Satanic web sites and we are concerned that nobody is monitoring this growing fascination.”
San Diego movie critic Holly McClure praised the movie’s excellence but says bluntly that both print and movie versions “Lay it out there; it’s about witchcraft.” Of course it is. Is anyone surprised that “Gun Fight at the O.K. Corral” about a gun fight and killing?
While imagination is perfectly normal, even desirable, the reach into the netherworld is unscriptural, unnatural, and unnecessary.
Carol Rookwood, head teacher in a Church of England school, banned Potter saying, “The Bible is clear about issues such as witchcraft, demons, the devil and the occult. It says clearly from Genesis to Revelation that they are real, powerful and dangerous … [we] should have nothing to do with them.” Right on, Carol. She is more informed that many fundamental Baptists!
All of Australia’s Seventh Day Adventist schools have banned the Potter books. Yet, some American “Christian” schools are recommending them, even taking students to the movie!
Yes, I know that potterism is fun, fantasy, fiction, and frivolity and many kids can understand that, but pagan practices are dangerous, deceptive, and deadly and can hold children in spiritual bondage for a lifetime. Some children are more vulnerable than others, but no one is guided in the right direction by Potter. While imagination is perfectly normal, even desirable, the reach into the netherworld is unscriptural, unnatural, and unnecessary.
No informed person argues about how evil sorcery, witchcraft, and the occult are and how dangerous they are to children and adults. God commands us: “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).
Well, that settles that but do the Harry Potter books and movie meet that criterion? Yes, I think so, without a doubt! Well-written myths can impact minds, especially pliable minds, as much as reality. The more children live in the dark underworld of witches, warlocks, wizards, and werewolves the more comfortable they will be wrapped in darkness. When movie star Rob Lowe took his two children to see Potter, they said, “I want to be a wizard.” How would you react if your child said that?
In chapter five of the first book, Harry finds a dead unicorn in the Forbidden Forest. “It was a unicorn all right, and it was dead. … Harry had taken one step toward it when a slithering sound made him freeze where he stood. A bush on the edge of the clearing quivered.…Then, out of the shadows, a hooded figure came crawling across the ground like some stalking beast.…The cloaked figure reached the unicorn, lowered its head over the wound in the animal’s side, and began to drink its blood.…The hooded figure raised its head and looked right at Harry – unicorn blood was dribbling down its front.…” And you want your children to read such trash? Even well-written trash? Not me.
Some argue that Harry Potter will produce character in young people since Harry is loyal, brave, strong, etc, but only those who pursue the occult have those good traits. Ordinary people who are critical of wizardry are characterized as mean, cruel, and narrow-minded. Potterism will not give readers an appreciation for the Bible or produce the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. It will not make them more obedient at home or at school. It will not promote truthfulness, kindness, honesty, love, and purity in their daily living. Chuck Colson thinks otherwise taking the position that after all, Harry uses his special powers to counter the occult! Not one of Chuck’s better opinions.
Colson was not concerned with Harry’s pagan practices since they were “purely mechanical, as opposed to cultic. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls and turn themselves into animals–-but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world.…[It’s not] the kind of real-life witchcraft the Bible condemns.” That was not one of Chuck’s better judgments. Not as bad as the Catholic mess he got into but still he impaled on Potter.
High Priest Egan of The First Church of Satan in Salem, Massachusetts, is excited about the Harry Potter phenomenon saying, “Harry is an absolute godsend…we’ve had more applicants than we can handle lately.” Now, if the Potter books and movie are causing an increase in Satanism, don’t you think it is at least suspect? No one is saying that potterism is leading children back to the churches. Of course the books promote witchcraft.
According to Berit Kjois’s column in WorldNetDaily, “The Pagan Federation has appointed a youth officer to deal with a flood of inquiries following the success of the Harry Potter books which describe magic and wizardry.” The Pagan Foundation says, “it deals with an average of 100 inquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, and claims it has occasionally been ‘swamped’ with calls.”
The Pagan Foundation admitted: “It is quite probably linked to things like Harry Potter, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” explains the Federation’s media officer, Andy Norfolk. “Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we had a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls.”
But do children really take the fantasy, fiction, and fables as facts? Sadly, some do. In an interview with Newsweek, the Potter author admitted: “I get letters from children addressed to Professor Dumbledore…begging to be let into Hogwarts, and some of them are really sad. Because they want it to be true so badly they’ve convinced themselves it’s true.” (The Return of Harry Potter)
The author, J. K. Rowling researched the occult to make her characters come alive in the minds of readers. According to Iowa Licensed Master Social Worker William Schnoebelen, former Church of Satan member, Potter characters execute satanic ceremony and technique as practiced today. Schnoebelen, also a former instructor of witchcraft, says Potter imitators are blind to the entities that respond from “an unknown beguiling arena. It seems so enchantingly fun and innocent, but they are trafficking in evil spirits. The books definitely draw kids to witchcraft.” There you have it from a social worker who used to teach witchcraft! Do you think maybe, just maybe he knows more about what constitutes witchcraft than you and I do?
Potterism is totally negative after their one shot across our bow: Kids are reading. A South Carolina official defended Potter because, “This is a state where tens of thousands of children read below grade level. And Potter books are turning kids on to reading.” Now let me understand what he’s saying: “We servants of the people in South Carolina have failed to teach children to read so up rides Harry Potter to pull our chestnuts out of the fire.” (How do you like those metaphors?) But the kids are reading.
Big deal. While that is important, it is not all important. After all, if parents were not so lazy they would have been reading to their children since they were born. They would have taught them to love, appreciate, and care for good literature. Parents would also have sent their children to a good Christian school where proper reading skills are taught to kindergartners. But most Christian parents are thoughtless, careless, covetous, lazy, incompetent, selfish, and uninformed, and their children pay the price. So, maybe Harry Potter will develop reading skills and desires that the previous five or six school years failed to produce. But don’t bet your crystal ball on it.
Does Potter promote evil? Let the Potter characters speak for themselves. The “Harry Potter Special” interviewed the Potter actors: “What magical power would you like to have? Rupert Grint replied: “I’d like to levitate.” Harry Melling was asked: “Did you find it hard torturing Harry?” His reply: “No. I found it quite fun, actually.”
Levitation and torture are things to joke about? God said, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness….Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21.) Our children should be taught to hate evil and love and cling to that which is good.
But it gets worse in book four in the chapter, “Flesh, Blood and Bone.” Harry sees a huge, seething cauldron and what seems to be a baby dropped into it. He then sees that it is an “ugly, slimy, blind, hairless and scaly-looking, dark, raw, reddish black, thin, feeble, flat and snakelike face with gleaming red eyes,” the book reads. The ritual continues as a slave chops off his right arm with a silver dagger. Writhing in pain over “the bleeding stump of his arm, gasping and sobbing,” he throws his mutilated right arm into the brew. The slave then draws blood from Harry using only his left arm (!) Yep, great reading for children aged 9-12!
The students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry travel between the fun world of magic and world of muggles. For those of you living in the far flung, unsophisticated provinces, “muggles” are the boring, blinded, and biased humans who don’t believe in witches or despise witchcraft as wicked according to Berit Kjois in a WorldNetDaily column. Kjois also said, “While forbidding prayer in the name of Jesus, most schools seem to welcome spells and sorcery in the name of Harry Potter.”
There are many things wrong with the Potter series but one Bible verse would suggest to any sincere person that he or she should shun Potter like the plague. Philippians 4:8 tells us: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” I ask those of you who saw the movie or read any of the books: Did that verse come into play during your exposure to potterism? Are you more kind, true, honest, etc.?
I have been told that the stories of witches, magic, elves, etc., of the past generation were not harmful, so why panic over Potter? Well, I’m not in panic. It seems the Potter fanatics are the ones who stand in line all night to purchase the book or attend the movie so they are the ones who are irrational and on the verge of panic if they don’t get their desires.
However, let me remind you that the past generation had some Bible knowledge and grew up with some spiritual parameters even if they were unbelievers. They had some sense of right and wrong with the understanding that right was always preferable even if they often embraced the wrong. When wrong was done, they understood that there was a price to pay. They remember that the bad guy always got it in the end.
Now comes this generation into potterism, a generation that has grown up with MTV, Madonna, rap music with lyrics that peel the paint off the walls, stand up comedians who can not communicate without four-letter words, fornication as an acceptable life-style, perversion as an alternative lifestyle, nudity as good merchandising, etc., so this present generation, generally, does not have the ability to blush. There is nothing to blush about!
Therefore, they can attend movies and watch television shows that use vulgar four-letter words, explicit sex and nudity without experiencing any guilt or shame. Moreover, many pastors are reluctant to preach against it for fear of losing their young people! Pastor, you have already lost them! I am referring to many Christians from good, strong, Bible preaching churches. Jeremiah 6:15 warned about those who did wrong asking, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.” That is a good description of this generation.
In the following verse, Jeremiah tells us to return to the old paths and walk therein but his hearers, even in that day refused to walk the old paths. They preferred the new paths. Likewise, that is where we are today. If one is critical of a movie, television show, book, etc., he is criticized for being critical! He is not being tolerant, but my critics are very tolerant!
It seems many Christians automatically accept anything that comes down the pike especially if it is done with bravado, boldness, and bawdiness. Most shallow Christians are impressed with the glare, glamour, glitter, and glory of the world and refuse to look critically at any issue for fear of facing truth with being required to make tough decisions. I have found that many active Christians are a little embarrassed at being totally committed to Christ and Bible principles. What a pity!
God clearly warns us in Deuteronomy 18:10-11: “There shall not be found among you any…that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” That passage is applicable today as it was thousands of years ago.
Some reasons that Harry Potter should be buried:
*The thunderbolt scar on Harry’s forehead indicates his psychic strength and triumph over evil.
*Potterism teaches kids to lie and steal and not get caught.
*Harry studies potions, spells, transfiguration, and divination.
*Quirrell admits that the wicked wizard Voldemort was with him “wherever I go.” He added, “I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it….Since then, I have served him faithfully.” (Book one, page 291.) No good or evil?
*The God of the Bible has no place in the life of Harry Potter and Harry Potter should have no place in anyone’s life, especially one who claims Christ as Savior.
*The “good” spirits overcome the “bad” spirits but kids are taught that there is some good in wizardry and witchcraft. This opens the door to the occult.
* Voldemort is a non-physical “dark magic” being who inhabits the bodies of various characters in the series.
* Voldemort “is looking for another body to share.…”
*Headmaster Dumbledore explains to Harry that his 666-year-old business partner and his wife will die, and says that the couple wait permission from him to kill themselves. Dumbledore assures Harry that, “To one as young as you, I’m sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” Not for an unbeliever! Do you think this will hinder or promote the acceleration in death education in public schools?
*Occult expert, Caryl Matrisciana said: “Through Harry Potter books and audios, children as young as kindergarten age are being introduced to human sacrifice, the sucking of blood from dead animals and possession by spirit beings.”
*The values and ceremonies portrayed in Potter closely resemble Wicca, which is a U.S. tax-exempt religion. A major teaching of Wicca is that there is no absolute truth. What does that do to a child’s faith in the truth of the Bible? And remember that these books are recommended for children as young as 9-years-old!
Late one December evening, after appearing on CNN’s “Crossfire,” I entered a posh Washington restaurant (at Ted Turner’s expense) and stumbled my way to my table. I could not read the menu without holding it near the candle in the table’s center. In a few minutes, I thought they had turned up the lights since I could see other people around me. Then I realized that the lights were the same. I had become used to the darkness.
Many Christians have become accustomed to the darkness and see no evil in Harry Potter. After all, kids are reading! Yes, but does any sane person suggest that the reading material is irrelevant? No one will disagree that Potter presents the occult in a positive and virtuous way.
Copyright 2005, Don Boys, Ph.D.
1 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Thanks Dr. Boys for your insightful research into a growing problem. Harry Potter was birthed out of the bowels of hell and stupid parents and schools better learn the facts and prevent the indoctrination of American youth into Satanism and the occult!