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Harry the wiz is the wrong biz

Posted By Ellen Makkai On 11/26/2001 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

There are a peculiar people out there – anti-Harry Potter parents.
J.K. Rowling’s highly readable and imaginative Harry Potter series – about
a young wizard’s tutelage and mastery of the black arts – is a publishing
phenomenon. But these parents see him as Satan’s secret agent sent to
surreptitiously ensnare souls.

The world has morphed into Planet Potter. The series has been translated
into 42 languages, including Zulu. Kids wear Potter PJs, eat from Potter
plates and sleep on Potter pillows.

Young witch/wizard wannabes wait in ’round the block lines for the film
version of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

“I want to be a wizard,” responded the two young sons of actor Rob Lowe when asked what they gleaned from the movie.

San Diego movie critic Holly McClure lauds the movie’s excellence but says
bluntly both print and celluloid versions “Lay it out there; it’s about
witchcraft.”

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.”

But for parents vexed by video games, Harry Potter is the Holy Grail. Kids
once hunched in front of Sony Play Stations now curl up with Harry, reading
the voluminous texts for hours on end.

The IRS recognizes certain witchcraft sects as religions but church/state
issues have been jettisoned here. Public school teachers read Harry Potter
aloud as captivated students sit transfixed. Thomas Jefferson Middle School
in Port Washington, Wis., sent 500 students to the film.

Still, headlines read, “Parents Protest Potter.” According to a July 2000
Gallup Poll, Harry gets nixed by 8 percent of parents with children under
18. “The books have a serious tone of death … of evil,” says Columbia,
S.C., parent, Elizabeth Mounce, when addressing the state Board of
Education.

To some, Harry is a Trojan horse – a clever vehicle able to implant a sort
of satanic receptor in the human soul – making youngsters vulnerable to
demonic activity and possible infestation. Who can forget Linda Blair in
“The Exorcist”?

“The power of Satan … is very dangerous, and our children have gone into
it,” says Caryl Matrisciana, occult expert and producer of the video, “Harry
Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged.”

Potter fans argue that Harry cavorts in a realm similar to that in C.S.
Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. But the Lewis’ allegory draws readers to the
beneficent Judaic/Christian God, whereas Harry has no sovereign governing
his use of self-seeking manipulative power.

Contrast Harry Potter and “Idylls of the King,” Alfred Lord Tennyson’s
poetic masterpiece interpreting Arthurian Legend. Tennyson’s sorcery is
recognized as mythological evil while much of Harry’s hocus-pocus –
packaged as harmless fantasy – is genuine. Necromancy, blood sacrifice,
incantations, and so on, mirror actual occult ritual.

“There is a tremendous smoke screen in the [Potter] PR machinery,”
Matriciana says. “Does being packaged as ‘fantasy’ mean we’re not to
question content?”

Rowling exhaustively researched the occult to better animate her
characters’ skills. 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.”

Former satanic mystic, Johanna Michaelson, says, “There is a beautiful side of evil – deceptive, subtle, adorned with all manner of spiritual
refinements, but no less from the pit of hell than that which is blatantly
satanic.”

Witchcraft and sorcery permeate Rowling’s books, and parents would do well
to attempt the impossible – steer kids clear of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft
and Wizardry.

At the very least, children determined to explore Harry Potter’s realm
should be grounded in a flame-retardant faith, that enables them to ride the
lightning and still walk away unscathed.


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