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Section 10D .. Our Country, Our Children

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Harry Potter

A Review of the First Five Books
from a Biblical Perspective

Please Note: Each coloured link within the article will lead you to a related topic on a different page of this site. However while the text is part of the original article, the links are not. The author of this article may or may not agree with the views expressed on those pages, or anything else on this site..

And The Latest From The Harry Potter Saga.

Harry Potter and the Gay Wizard: The Secret Behind the Story Rowling revealed a bit of the truth behind her billion dollar creation, and surprisingly, she did the Christian world an enormous favor by her perverse revelation: she settled the Harry Potter debate once and for all. Guess the “Christian” supporters should be wiping the egg off their faces. [Below]
 

On This Page
And The Magic Numbers Are
Who is Harry Potter?
The ‘Birth’ of Harry Potter
The Controversy
The Questions
The Answers

Part 1. Fact or Fiction
The Characters
Pagan Mythological Characters
Astrological Terms
Misc

Part 2. Harry Potter and the Occult
Involvement with Supernatural Creatures
Divination
Scrying
Fortune Telling and Mediums
Courses in ‘Magical Training
Spell Casting
Familiars
Spell Books
Palmistry, Ancient Runes, Numerology, Astrology, Charms and Fire Omens
Herbology and Potions
Possession
The Dangers
Summary

Part 3. Harry Potter.. Morality and Ethics

Part 4. Harry Potter... Good Vs. Evil?

Part 5. Harry Potter and The Macabre

Part 6. Harry Potter Conclusion
The Final Word
The Criticism of the Critics

 

Introduction... And The Magic Numbers Are …

    200 million copies of the first four Harry Potter books are currently in print.

    8.5 million books are in the initial U.S. print of the new (fifth) book .. ‘Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix’.

    1 million copies of ‘Phoenix’ were pre-ordered on Amazon worldwide.

    Harry Potter books have been translated into 55 languages. {1}

    Prior to the release date for the fourth Harry Potter book, (Harry Potter and The Goblets of Fire) advance orders placed with Amazon and Barnes and Noble exceeded 600,000 copies.

The evening before the July 8th 2000 release date saw children and adults waiting in long lines to obtain their copy of ‘Goblets of Fire’ with “bedlam” breaking out at several bookstores {2} including one in England where the police had to be called in to control the pandemonium. {3}

USA Today declared in a July 7th front-page story that the bespectacled-orphaned son of a murdered wizard and witch has become "the soul mate of millions of children around the world," .

The release of ‘Goblets of Fire’ gave J.K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen Rowling) the top four slots on the best-seller lists of several publications, including USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, causing Rowlings to become the highest paid woman in Britain. (In excess of $30.5 million in 1999 according to Reuters.) {4}

Amazingly, advance orders for ‘Phoenix’ began only days after ‘Goblets of Fire’ went on sale, reaching an unprecedented 55th spot on Amazon.com’s (U.K.) best seller list… The highest spot for a novel yet unwritten. {5}

‘Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix’ came out in June 2003 ushered in by yet another ‘book-buying frenzy’.

According to the Barna Research Group

    Currently, more than four out of every five teenagers (84%) have personally read or watched Potter... 

    Three-quarters of all church-going teens (77%) and born again Christian teenagers (78%) have seen or read Potter. (Harry Potter’s Influence Goes Unchallenged in Most Homes and Churches)


Who is Harry Potter?
So, who is this Harry Potter who has mesmerized millions of people all over the globe? He is merely the unassuming, fictional, wizard-in-training, main character in five novels, which have been widely touted as the best fantasy literature produced since C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Set in England, the books chronicle the life of young Harry Potter, whose wizard parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort (a non-physical "dark magic" being who inhabits the bodies of various characters in the books). Because Harry escaped the death curse of Voldemort, he was given a mark on his forehead – a lightning bolt. On his 11th birthday, Harry receives an invitation to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each of the five published books represents a year at Hogwarts.
 

The ‘Birth’ of Harry Potter..
Of all the stuff in the Harry Potter series the story of the initial true-life inspiration for the series is one that is especially intriguing. In 1990, so the story goes, riders on a train between Manchester and London experienced a four-hour delay. Out of the blue, Rowling saw Harry “very, very clearly” in her mind. His visible image actually popped into her thoughts from out of nowhere as a “fully formed individual”. {6} By the time she reached her destination, passenger Rowling had come up with the idea for a character. Harry Potter was his name. Rowling stated in one interview “the character of Harry just strolled into my head…I really did feel he was someone who walked up and introduced himself in my mind’s eye” {7} and that she had no idea why he chose to “come to her” when he did. {8}

According to her account, Harry just stood there looking very much like he does now on the cover of her books, complete with black hair and spectacles. She somehow perceived that he was a wizard, and that he did not know he was a wizard. Before long she was writing about a young boy who did not know he had magical powers. {8} Harry Potter was born.
 

The Controversy..
However not everyone is enchanted with Harry Potter. The opposition, largely from Christians, has been small but vehement. According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual freedom (OIF), The Harry Potter books topped the 1999 list of most frequently challenged books in America due to their “focus on wizardry and magic” {10}. The divide has made inroads into the Christian world as well with Paul Ford, professor of theology and liturgy at St. John’s Seminary in S. California saying “Rowlings refers to the dark arts as if they are trivial. I don’t know if you can treat it so benignly” {11}.

    At least one Head teacher (Church of England Primary School in England) banned the books, stating, “Our ethos on teaching comes from the Bible…. The Bible is clear about issues such as witchcraft, demons, devils and the occult. Throughout it insists that God’s people should have nothing to do with them”. {12}

Ethical concerns were voiced in a USA Today news story by parent Ken McCormick of Birchrunville, Pa., who described "a general nastiness underneath the mantle of cuteness" in the Harry Potter books. "The kids lie, they steal, they take revenge," the father of 8 and 11 year-old children told the newspaper. "This is a disturbing moral world, and it conflicts with what I am trying to teach my children."

Conversely several prominent Christians and magazines have sided with Harry Potter. Alan Jacobs of Wheaton College described the books as “a great deal of fun”, and that their magic was “charming”.  However the most quoted Christian leader is probably Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship. In a November 1999 broadcast of his radio series "Breakpoint," author Chuck Colson commended Harry and his friends for their "courage, loyalty and a willingness to sacrifice for one another – even at the risk of their lives." Colson dismissed the pagan practices as "purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. 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." {13}
 

The Questions
In view of these vastly differing opinions, what are we to believe? As Richard Abanes, author of Harry Potter and the Bible (see below) asks.. Are the Harry Potter books harmless fantasy fit for adults and children alike? Or do they contain spiritually dangerous material? Do they present a moral world consistent with Christianity, or do the Harry Potter novels promote camouflaged unbiblical values and unethical behavior? Is Harry’s Magick truly fictional or is it based on actual occultism? What lies behind the success of these books… good writing and media hype or an unseen force of darkness?
 

The Answers
In order to answer these essential questions it is necessary to stop judging according to outward appearances and apply some Biblical discernment to the contents of all five books, bearing in mind the claims made by Harry Potter proponents and, in some cases, by J.K. Rowlings herself. The defense being...

    1) Everything in the books is the product of a fertile imagination, which the author has made up in her own head just to tell a story.

    2) Any talk of actual occultism in the books is ridiculous.

    3) The books promote diligent students and obedience to the rules. Goodness, honesty and integrity overcome lies and deceit.

    4) The story line in the series boils down to ‘good triumphing over evil’.

    5) J.K. Rowling has stated that she intended for her Harry Potter books to be read by children approximately ages 10 and up. (The books are wildly popularly among children as young as age 6 or 7)

But Is All This True?
 

Part 1. Fact or Fiction

Dr. Christopher Beiting of the Ave Maria Institute feels that Rowling’s creation is harmless because it exists “in a fantasy world”. He further stated

    “I have heard the interviews with Rowling; she says she doesn’t take any interest in the occult and hasn’t studied it for her novels. I feel these are just things she has made up in her own head and it is just a device to tell a story” {14}

Christianity Today took a similar position.

    “The literary witchcraft of the Harry potter series has almost no resemblance to the I-am-God mumbo jumbo of Wiccan circles”. {15}

With endorsements from Christian publications like Christianity today, there is little wonder that the “magic” of Harry Potter has gone virtually unquestioned and unopposed in the majority of the Christian world.

That Rowling studied mythology and witchcraft in order to make her books more accurate, seems to have escaped Harry Potter’s Christian supporters. In a 1999 interview she said..

    “I do a certain amount of research. And folklore is quite important in books. So where I’m mentioning a creature, or a spell that people used to believe genuinely worked- of course, it didn’t… then, I will find out exactly what the words were, and I will find out exactly what the characteristics of that creature or ghost were supposed to be.  {16}

In the same interview Rowlings further stated:

    One third of the sorcery material in the books “are things that people genuinely used to believe in Britain” {17}

The fact that the occult material and mythology that Rowling has included as part of Harry’s daily life are not merely historical but play a significant role in the occult, paganism and witchcraft even today has also evidently eluded importance, even among Christians.

Interestingly, some of the information Rowling weaves into all five of her novels is not extensively known by anyone other than those who are actually involved in occultism. Most of the occult connections are hidden in people’s names or disguised in minor characters. The first ten in particular should make any parent, especially Christian parents, very wary of the Harry Potter books.


The Characters

    1) Voldemort: (a non-physical "dark magic" being who inhabits the bodies of various characters in the books. The pronunciation guide says of this being "He who must not be named."). “High-level witches believe that there are seven satanic princes and that the seventh, which is assigned to Christians, has no name. In coven meetings, he is called "the nameless one." (Pastor David J. Meyer.. an ex-witch). The Temple of the Presence even has a message from “The Nameless One from the Center of the Universe”.

    2) Nicholas Flamel: (Dumbledore’s Partner in alchemy) In real life Flamel was a French alchemist (1330-1417), who claimed guidance from an angel who allegedly showed him a book that contained symbolic statements relating to alchemy. Alchemists through the centuries believe that he succeeded in making the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ and in doing so never died. Incidently the book Sorcerer’s Stone was originally called the The Philosophers Stone.

Alchemy: According to the Encyclopedia of Occultism And Parapsycology, The Philosophers stone is described as a legendary substance that supposedly enabled medieval alchemists to turn base metals into gold or silver. It was not a literal stone but an essential powder of some kind. However “alchemists were far more than metal workers. They were spiritual-minded individuals who pursued their science as a means of purifying the soul and achieving an unclouded understanding of their own divine nature. Transmuting base metals into gold was merely a process used to transform themselves and obtain what they called the fifth element which was thought to be God’s ‘Creative power” by which all things received life” (Kurt Seligmann. Magic, Supernaturalism, and Religion (New York: Pantheon, 1948; 1971 edition)

Consequently alchemists also believed that creating the Philosopher’s Stone  produced a sort of natural by-product of the chemical procedure.. ‘The Elixir of Life’. In essence the Philosophers Stone has the ability to turn humans into gods.

Headmaster Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood and his work on alchemy ..." [Book I. Page 103]

    "The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Sorcerer's Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal. There have been many reports of the Sorcerer's Stone over the centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr. Nicolas Flamel, the noted alchemist and opera lover. Mr. Flamel, who celebrated his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday last year , enjoys a quiet life in Devon with his wife, Perenelle (six hundred and fifty-eight)." [p. 220; The Sorcerer's Stone]

      Incredibly Rowling made the creator of the Sorcerer's Stone 666 years old... A fact that seems not to have been picked up on at all, not even by most Christians...

    3) Perenelle: The wife of Nicholas Flamel in these ‘fantasy’ novels was actually his wife in real life.

    4) Sibyll Trelawney: (Hogwart’s divination teacher) “Sibyl” was the title given to the women in ancient Greece and Rome who lived in caves and “who were renowned for their gifts of prophecy”. The most famous of the sibyls “guarded the temple of Apollo near the entrance to the underworld”.

    5) Paracelsus: A Swiss alchemist who lived from 1439-1541. He was “one of the most striking and picturesque figures” in occultism.

    6) Adalbert Waffling: In book I Waffling was mentioned as the author of ‘Magical Theory’… included on the list of Harry’s required reading. In real life Waffling was the Archbishop of Magdeberg in the 8th century, a French pseudo-mystic who claimed to be able to read thoughts and foretell the future. “He was in the habit of giving away parings of his nail and locks of his hair as powerful amulets {charms used to drive away evil}. He is said to have even set up an altar in his own name”. Adalbert eventually showed followers a letter supposedly sent to him by Christ via St. Michael. He also invoked demons using mystical prayers he had composed. The Church convicted him of sorcery in 744-745 A.D. and condemned him to perpetual imprisonment in the monastery of Fulda. {18}

    7) Cassandra Vablatsky: In book III (p.53) Rowling mentions a book called ‘Unfogging the Future’ by a Cassandra Vablatsky. Considering the use of ‘name’ anagrams in more than one of the books (Chamber of Secrets.. Page 314 and Sorcerer’s Stone .. page 217) it is not unlikely that ‘Vablatsky’ is an anagram for ‘Blavatsky’. Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) was a Russian mystic and adventurer who founded the Theosophical Society. Theosophy incorporates aspects of Buddhism and Brahmanism along with channeling, spiritualism, mental healing etc. She also wrote books of occult lore, such as Isis Unveiled (1877). In her article ‘Star-Angel-Worship’ she wrote very sympathetically about Adelbert’s conviction of the use of “seven-spirits’ during his performance of ceremonial magic.

    8) Cliodna: Cliodna (also Cliodhna) is a Druid/Celtic Goddess who is still worshipped today by contemporary pagans and witches and is Irelands pagan goddess of beauty. It is believed that through her the magic of ‘blarney’ came to the Celts.  {19}. Cliodna is a ‘banshee’, “a nature spirit who takes the form of an old woman and wails mournfully under the windows of a house where a person will soon die”. {20}.


Occult Material

    9) The Grim: A death omen in the form of a large black dog, stalking Harry and seen by Trelawney. (Book III. Page 107) “A spirit which associates with humanity and human dwellings. The church grim…haunts churches and graveyards…[T]he church grim normally takes the form of a huge black dog… [that] will not leave it’s designated churchyard”  It was believed that the first person buried in a churchyard would have to guard any subsequent inhumed souls. In order to free the first person from this duty a large (usually all-black) dog would be sacrificed and buried in the yard. This dog would then become the guardian of the cemetery. (O’Dubfaigh)

    10) The Hand of Glory: (The Chamber of Secrets. Pages 51-52), the “Hand of Glory” is a withered human hand on a cushion and is found by Harry in a wizard shopping center.. Knockturn Alley.  According to real-life occult tradition The Hand Of Glory was “a right hand of a murderer that was severed while the corpse was still hanging from the gallows. It was then used as a charm or in black magic practices after being magically preserved. It is also believed robbers often used the hand when breaking into buildings and homes... ” “When the hand was ready, candles were fitted on it between the fingers. These were called the ‘Dead man’s candles’ and were made from another murderer’s fat, with the wick being made from his hair....” (www.themystica.com).

    "Hand of Glory. In Medieval sorcery, a gruesome charm made from the mummified hand of a hanged criminal. It was used mainly by thieves as a magickal tool to paralyse or put their victims to sleep so that they could easily rob them. The Hand of Glory was an extremely popular element in evil spells and is one of the most famous charms in the history of black magick." (Gernina Dunwich, A-Z of Wicca, p. 61).

    11) Boggarts: Boggarts appear to have some relationship to both bogies and brownies, although they are much more malicious than bogies and not as helpful as brownies. Their appearance betrays their bogie-brownie relationship. They are gnomish little creatures dressed in tattered dusty clothing, dark and hairy, with meddling fingers and clumsy feet. The presence of a boggart around a home or farmstead is betrayed by an unusual number of minor mishaps and persistent noises after dark. They tip over milk jugs, break the cords of window sashes, put hens off laying, frighten cats, cause dogs to bark senselessly, slam doors, leave taps running, block gutters, blow out candles and awaken sleeping babies by tweaking their noses! No one has yet learned to appease them or get rid of them”. (From the Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were) Boggarts are also mentioned in Book V.. Page 169.

    Elves: "The wizard family Dobby serves, sir...Dobby is a house elf-bound to serve one house and one family forever'. (Prisoner of Azkaban. Page 14). "-house-elves have got powerful magic of their own, but they can't usually use it without their master's permission". (page 28) (“Elves were spirit-creatures that were hidden from God's sight because they were unclean”. The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult by Drury)

    The Phoenix: A universal symbol of the sun, rebirth, resurrection and immortality, this legendary red "fire bird" was believed to die in its self-made flames periodically (each hundred years, according to some sources) then rise again out of its own ashes (some say after three days)... Linked to the worship of the fiery sun and sun gods such as Mexico's Quetzalcoatl, it was named "a god of Phoenecia" by the Phoenician. To alchemists, it symbolized the the destruction and creation of new forms of matter along the way to the ultimate goal: the philosopher's stone. (www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols.html)


Pagan Mythological Characters

    Minerva McGonagall: (One of Harry’s teachers). Named after the Roman goddess of agriculture, spinning, weaving and needlework. {21}

    Argus Filch: (Hogwart’s caretaker) is named after the Greek mythological giant with a hundred eyes.

    Hermione: (Harry’s best friend) was the daughter of Helen of Troy in Greek mythology.

    Circe: In Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ Circe was a witch who could transform men into animals.

    Morgana and Merlin: Both taken from the stories of King Arthur. Morgana is the evil-half sister of Arthur and Merlin is Arthur’s wizard-mentor. “As the final incarnation of the Irish Valkyrie Morrigan, Morgan plays a critical but ambiguous role in the Arthurian cycle”. {22A}. “Those who see her washing out bloody linen are normally warriors whose vision of her presages their pending death in battle. {22B} She is the Goddess of war, vengeance, death and rebirth, fate, change, and justice. She is the patroness of priestesses and the one who spurns warriors to their victories...or defeats. Morrighan is one who can be an excellent friend, but a terrible enemy should you cross her. {23}
     

Astrological Terms

    Sirius Black: (Book III) turned out to be a wizard who could transform himself into a huge black dog. Sirius (the brightest star in the sky) is known in most mythologies as the “Dog Star”. Therefore Sirius Black literally means “Black Dog”. (See ‘The Grim’ above)

    Draco Malfoy: (Harry’s nemesis). Draco, which means dragon is the ancient astrological term for the constellation that “used to hold special significance as the location of the pole star, but due to the earth’s precession, the pole has shifted to Polaris in Ursa-Minor. The Dragon is usually associated with guardians of the temples and treasures.” {24}

    Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid: (Hagrid’s first name appears in Book III, Page 93). Both names are taken from astrological geomancy which is a kind of divination. “Geomancy is any system of divination (an attempt to get in touch with the divine) related to manipulation of the earth. …It is similar to the casting of the lots refered to in the Latin and Greek classics… [G]eomancy is akin to horary astrology. Albus (white) is associated with “wisdom, clear thought, news and communication”. “Rubeus (red) is a negative symbol, the dark side of Scorpio and Mars, associated with danger, lust, addiction, passion, fire, aggression and destruction. . ” {25}

    Fortuna Major: (A password used in Book III, Page 94). This is also from astrological geomancy. It means “major fortune”.
     

Misc

    Wormwood: The plant wormwood contains thujone, an hypnotic drug, banned by the FDA since 1915 and is also used to make Absinthe, a hallucinogenic liquor. Wormwood is very real, and very dangerous.

      "I don't think you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses, I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death ... Potter! ... What would I get if I added powered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?" [p. 137 Book I)

      "For your information Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death". (page 138)

    Mandrake Plant: We find in Professor Sprout’s class lessons on the use of the mandrake plant. In a handbook of witches, Gillian Tindall explains the historical beliefs surrounding this oddly shaped plant and claims that it is a virtual symbol of witchcraft. “With a little bit of imagination it looks like a dead shriveled baby. Mandrakes were therefore regarded as the progeny of the Devil, said to grow in places where he had spilled his seed on the ground. They were said to shriek in protest when they were drawn out of the earth. Nevertheless many people, witches included, would brave this ordeal, since mandragora appears in a large number of spells”.

    Dittany: (Mentioned in Book I) (diktamo) is an actual plant that grows in Crete. The locals called it also “eronda”, which means love, for its aphrodisiac properties. Popular in Minoan Crete and Ancient Greece, it is considered a highly therapeutic plant. Hippocrates recommended it for stomach and digestive system diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and used it to regulate menses, to tone and heal. It was named after the mountain Dikty (Lassithiotika) where it abounds. However Dittany is ritually used by witches on Samhain (Halloween).

Since it is very clear that many of the characters in the Harry Potter books are based on real-life people with ties to the occult, how many of the occultic practices in the series have their parallels in the world of witchcraft?

 

Part 2. Harry Potter and the Occult

In 2001, PBS aired a documentary on the J.K. Rowlings phenomenon. This special was quite unbiased and extremely revealing. The docudrama pointed out many of the pagan and real occult parallels in the books. They also interviewed witches to validate the fact that the information contained in the stories is more than just fantasy. (PBS is not part of the religious right)

    Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11,12.

Why, if it is  “shameful” to even speak of the works of darkness, is it okay to read about them, and worse, allow young and impressionable children to do so???

Charles Colson dismissed the pagan practices in Harry Potter as "purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. 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-the kind that encourages involvement with supernatural evil."

    “Lighten up…. The magic is so tongue-in-cheek” (Rev. Rachel Berry. Good Samaritan Methodist Church. Cupertino, CA).

    “We love Harry Potter, and our whole family is outraged by the opposition of the Christian right…. There are some distinctly Christian themes in those books, so much so that I’d like to preach a sermon on Harry Potter”. (Rev. John Kraps. Husband of Rachel Berry).

    Potters magical powers are akin to the “divine gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost”. (Don Compier. Church Divinity School of the Pacific). (See www.star-telegram.com)

    "The author, J.K. Rowling, is a Christian by conviction in her way of living and in her writing. I don't see the least problem in the Harry Potter films," (Rev. Peter Fleetwood, a former official of the Pontifical Council for Culture).

    “(T)he literary witchcraft of the Harry Potter series has almost no resemblance to the I-am-God mumbo jumbo of Wiccan circles”

Then there are others that take the opposite viewpoint..

    Jack Brock, pastor of Christ Community Church in Alamogordo, N.M., made his feelings on Harry Potter widely known in late 2001 when his church had a Harry Potter book burning. He told the El Paso Times that his stance has not changed and that he was disappointed in hearing that the Vatican saw nothing wrong with the series. "It's a very sad decision because it's putting the proverbial stamp of approval on the book, which is horrendous because it is a book about witchcraft".

So just how much of Harry Potter is merely imaginary mumbo jumbo and how much of it has Rowlings ‘borrowed’ from the occult? The truth is that Rowling has succeeded in blurring the lines between fantasy and real-life occultism. Actual occultism is incorporated into her books in staggering amounts and is recognized by occultists.

For example: ParanormalAtoZ.com”, a site that specializes in literature and information on occult subjects and personalities, included Rowling in “a Compendium of the Paranormal, Occult, Unusual, Supernatural, and Unexplained Phenomena”, listed along with: Demons, ESP, Ghosts, Magic Spells, Ouija boards etc. (Stephen King and Anne Rice are also included).


Involvement with Supernatural Creatures:
While Charles Colson’s defense of the Harry Potter books undoubtedly stems from what he genuinely perceives to be fantasy, his statement that Harry Potter and friends “don't make contact with a supernatural world” is preposterous considering that the so-called ‘good’ characters regularly commune with ghosts (the disembodied spirit or image of a deceased person that appears to be living). The list includes: Professor Bins (Teacher of History of Magic), Moaning Myrtle (a murdered student), Nearly Headless Nick (Gryffindor’s resident apparition) and Peeves (a poltergeist)

    "Professor Binns had been very old indeed, when he had fallen asleep in front of the staff room fire, and got up next morning to teach, leaving his body behind him." [p. 133]

    After the Sorting Hat had told Harry he could go to Gryffindor House rather than to Slytherin, "Harry sat down opposite the ghost in the ruff he'd seen earlier. The ghost patted his arm, giving Harry the sudden, horrible feeling he'd just plunged it into a bucket of ice-cold water." [Book I. Page 122]

Additionally…

    Headmaster Dumbledore uses ghosts to send messages to the students. (Book II. Page 162)

    A ghoul lives with the Wesleys. (A ghoul is an evil spirit that robs graves and feeds on human corpses)

    When cleaning out Sirius’ old family home “they found a murderous old ghoul lurking in an upstairs toilet” (Book V. Page 118)

Compare this with what God’s Word says about communicating with the dead …

     ‘…or one with conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all these things are a abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out before you.’ Deuteronomy 18:11-12

The nations inhabiting Canaan were driven out before the Israelites because of their practices of divination, sorcery and calling upon the dead. Israel too, in its later history, was punished for involvement in these practices, which the Bible calls an abomination before God. Practices which the Harry Potter series glorifies to its young audience.

(Also see ‘Divination’ and ‘Mediums’ (below) for explicit examples of communication with the supernatural)


Divination:
The Steinerbooks Dictionary of the Psychic, Mystic, Occult (page 62) defines divination as “ …willful exploration of the future or the discovery of hidden things by various practices. Most common are astrology, dowsing, dreams, cards, crystal-gazing, numerology, palmistry, omens.”

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, we meet Sibyll Trelawney, Hogwarts divination teacher. (Incidentally ‘Sibyl’ was the title given to ‘seeing’ women in ancient Greece and Rome. These women lived in caves and were renowned for their gifts of prophecy) "

    It's never too early to think about the future, so I'd recommend Divination". (Prisoner of Azkaban. page 252)

In Trelawney’s classes the children study divination, crystal gazing (also called scrying) and reading tea leaves. She tells them that..

    “Crystal gazing is a particularly refined art…. We shall start by practicing relaxing the conscious mind and external eye… so as to clear the Inner Eye and the superconscious.”

This is exactly what scryers do when they attempt to contact the spiritual dimension to gain knowledge about the future. Thus we find a ‘fantasy’ character giving realistic scrying instructions. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology says that crystal gazing is a form of self induced hypnosis that helps free ones telepathic powers. Moreover Trelawney makes very accurate predictions:

    In Goblet of Fire (pages 149-150) Harry explains to Hermione how Trelawney’s last prediction came true... “And she said the Dark Lord would rise again… greater and more terrible than ever before”

    She is urged into a ‘session’ by some unseen force during which she predicts a death (page 372), which is fulfilled by the murder of Cedric.

In Book Five, before a class on Dream Interpretation she tells them that this “a most important means of divining the future...” and calls divination “the sacred art of divination”. (Page 237). However Divination is expressly forbidden in the Bible.

     "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. "For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. "You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. "For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so”. Deuteronomy 18:10-14. (Emphasis added)


Scrying:
Trelawney pays special attention to scrying, which is a very old form of divination described as when a person “gazes at a shiny or polished surface to induce a trance state in which scenes, people, images or words appear as part of a psychic communication. The familiar crystal ball of the Gypsy fortuneteller provides the best example but mirrors, polished metal, coal or bone and even cups of clear liquid have also been used for scrying”

Trelawney is an accurate fortuneteller, accurately predicting Hermione dropping out of a class and the escape of Peter Pettigrew. But so is Harry who is supposed to be a “True Seer”, inheriting what Trelawney calls the “gift granted to a few” (Prisoner of Azkaban. Page 103). In his final ‘scrying’ exams Harry accurately ‘sees’ one of Hagrid’s pets flying away even though it is scheduled to be executed for injuring a student.

    "Students of the occult commonly use mirrors to look into the world of spirits. gazing into one supposedly reveals visions of spirit guides..." (Gerald & Grosset, Dictionary of the Occult, p. 153).

In Book I Harry also ‘sees’ images of his dead parents in the Mirror of Erised. (‘Erised' is ‘desire' backwards). The mirror magickally reflects a person’s deepest desires. Harry’s desire is obviously to see his parents.

    “And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger”. (2 Chronicles 33:6)


Fortune Telling and Mediums:
A medium is one who contacts the dead for the purpose of learning about past, present or future events.

In the Prisoner of Azkaban we see a very disconcerting account of the manner in which Trelawney makes her predictions. The incident is described where she (Trelawney), without knowing what was happening, becomes totally possessed by something or someone that speaks through her mouth. The voice, which was not identified, is loud and harsh, nothing like her own. Supposedly she goes rigid in her armchair, her eyes unfocused and her jaw sagging.

    "IT WILL HAPPEN TONIGHT." Professor Trelawney had gone rigid in her armchair; her eyes were unfocused and her mouth sagging. "S_sorry?" said Harry. But Professor Trelawney didn't seem to hear him. Her eyes started to roll. Harry sat there in a panic. She looked as though she was about to have some sort of seizure. He hesitated, thinking of running to the hospital wing _ and then Professor Trelawney spoke again, in the same harsh voice, quite unlike her own: "THE DARK LORD LIES ALONE AND FRIENDLESS, ABANDONED BY HIS FOLLOWERS. HIS SERVANT HAS BEEN CHAINED THESE TWELVE YEARS. TONIGHT, BEFORE MIDNIGHT... THE SERVANT WILL... SET OUT TO REJOIN HIS MASTER...." Professor Trelawney's head fell forward onto her chest. She made a grunting sort of noise. Harry sat there, staring at her. Then, quite suddenly, Professor Trelawney's head snapped up again. "I'm so sorry, dear boy," she said dreamily, "the heat of the day, you know... I drifted off for a moment...." (The Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 238).

After the ‘prophecy’ is done, Trelawney’s head falls forward on her chest and she makes “a grunting sort of noise”. This entire incident is a perfect description of the medium being taken over by a spiritual entity in order to foresee the future. According to The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology “the essential quality of a medium is an abnormal sensitiveness, which enable him or her to be readily controlled by disembodied spirits”.  Christians should recognize it demon possession.

Also, one of Trelawney’s ‘prophecies’ about Harry and the Dark Lord (Voldemort) is an appalling take off on Christianity. (Details at the end of the page).

    Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. (2 Kings 23:24)


Courses in ‘Magical Training:
The London based Ordo Anno Mundi (OAM) is a sect of occultists who practice Ophidian Witchcraft. I.E. serpent-venerating. The OAM has seven degrees of ‘Magical Training’ remarkably similar to those offered at Harry Potter’s school.. Hogwarts.

    OAM: “Ancient Runes” (General Education
    Hogwarts: “Those are my books…for Divination, the Study of Ancient Runes” (Prisoner of Azkaban. P. 57)

    OAM: “Divination” (1st Degree)
    Hogwarts: “We will be covering the basic methods of Divination this year” (Prisoner of Azkaban. P.103).

    OAM: “Spellcasting” (1st Degree)
    Hogwarts: “All students should have a copy of each of the following: The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1)” (Sorcerer’s Stone. P.66).

    OAM: “Werewolf” “Animal Transformation” [Transfiguration] (4th Degree)
    Hogwarts: “Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts (Sorcerer’s Stone. P.134). “My Transformations in those days were-were terrible. It is very painful to turn into a werewolf….” (Prisoner of Azkaban. P.353-354).

    OAM: “Magical Lore” [History of Magic] (5th Degree)
    Hogwarts: “Their very last exam was History of Magic” (Sorcerer’s Stone. P.263).
     

    “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them”. (Jeremiah 10:2)


Spell Casting:
A spell is defined as "A spoken word, charm, or incantation that harness magical power. Spells may be cast on another person or may invoke power for selfish use on the part of a sorcerer". (George Mather's Dictionary)

"Hagrid almost had to drag Harry away from Curses and Counter-curses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly Legs, Tongue-Tying and Much, Much More) by Professor Vindictus Viridian". (Sorcerer’s Stone Page 80).

    Wicca may includes the practice of magic which is defined as the "art of bending or shaping", or the process of causing change through the focusing of our natural powers. It is important to note that magic is natural. There is nothing supernatural about it. We use certain tools such as spells, visualization, chants, candles, amulets and meditation to help us focus our power, but the power comes from within -- it is not in the tools. (www.draknetfree.com/witchespath/Witchcraft/About.html)

Witches and sorcerers through out the ages have used ‘mumbo jumbo’ and gibberish terms as the words for their spells. According to the The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology the sorcerers of the Middle Ages and ancient Egypt would use words and phrases not understood by common people; a concept that is all too well defined at Hogwarts (Harry Potters school). The exact words of the spells used by Harry and his companions are not actual spells but little more than babble.

There are two very significant ways in which the spell-casting in the Harry Potter series mirror actual practices used by occultists .

    1) A concept that is fundamental to factual spell casting is that the tone of voice is important.  According to the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology “[N]ot only were the formulas of spells well fixed, but the exact tone of voice in which they were to be pronounced was especially taught” (emphasis added).

 This is precisely the procedure taught to Harry and his companions at Hogwarts. Take for example a scene where Ron (Harry’s best friend) and Harry are trying (incorrectly) to cast a spell and their friend explains that they are not putting the emphasis in the correct place …

    “Windgardium Leviosa!” he shouted …

    “Your saying it wrong,” Harry heard Hermione snap.

    “It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long.”

Once more the line between fantasy and realism has been all but obliterated.  

    2) Real life occultists believe that “The power of the spell remained until such time as it was broken by an antidote or exorcism. Therefore, it was not a transient thing” (Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology).

Book I (Page 217) and Book II (Pages 192,226) reflect this belief.. talking about the longevity of certain spells, which require an antidote before their effects can be broken. Again a concept that hold true to the belief of real life occultists today.

    “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Familiars:
According to Medieval Demonology, a familiar was a low ranking demon that assumed an animal shape (i.e. rats, toads, owls, dogs or cats). These small animals, kept as witches attendants were either gifts from Satan or were inherited from another witch (at some point a familiar was a gift to a witch from Satan).

    “.. In the occult realm occultists use familiar spirits to carry thoughts, ideas or directions to other occultists. Familiars can convey the emotional and psychological aspects of people.... spirits are not demons nor are they summoned into the body of animals. That is why you can’t find an event in the book where a familiar is called into an animal. Simply stated, they are elemental spirits that are conjured by individuals to do their bidding, very low in the hierarchy of the beings who serve the adversary. They exist on their own without a body. Familiar spirits are mentioned in the King James Bible 15 times. Rowling uses the owls the same way occultists use familiars - to communicate one occultist to another” .  (‘Peter’ formerly a high-ranking occultist)

Mrs. Norris, the cat owned by the schools caretaker is evidently a familiar. Later on in the series of books Hermione gets her own familiar, a cat named Crookshanks. In Book I students were told they could also "bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad." [Page 67]

    "I'm a what? said Harry. 'A Parselmouth!' said Ron. 'You can talk to snakes!". (page 195).

    In Leviticus (20:27), God very clearly commands that anyone who is a medium or possesses familiar spirits must be put to death. “ A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them”


Spell Books:
We find that some of the ‘textbooks’ used in Harry Potter have real world, contemporary occult counterparts. Some of these are

    Harry Potter: Standard Book of Spells
    Occult literature: Book of Spells, 1997 by Arthur Edward Waite.

    Harry Potter: The History of Magic
    Occult literature: The History of Magic, 1997 by Alphas Levi.

    Harry Potter: 1000 Magical Herbs and Fungi
    Occult Literature: Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and Fungi, 1985 Scott Cunningham.

    Harry Potter: Magical Drafts and Potions
    Occult literature: Magick Potions, How to prepare and use homemade oils, aphrodisiacs, brews and much more by Gurina Dunwich.

“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)


Palmistry, Ancient Runes, Numerology, Astrology, Charms and Fire Omens
All of which find their way into the classes at Hogwarts. Each of these are ancient ‘fortune telling’ methods, many of which are still very much used and believed in, in many parts of the world. All are based on occultist and mystical practices involving some form of divination or the other.

    Sibyll Trelawney teaches Palmistry in Prisoner of Azkaban. (Pages 103, 296).

    Reading tea leaves and interpreting omens come up on page 104.

    Hermione studies Arithmancy (another form of divination) on pages 57, 111, 295, 316.

    Page 315 tells us that Hermione also studies Numerology.

    The study of Ancient Runes is also one of her many classes. (Page 57) and are mentioned in Order of The Phoenix on page 529.  Runes (Ancient Germanic characters) refer to any set of secret symbols or letters used as either a magical inscription as a means of divination.).

    In Goblet of Fire (Page 200-201) Trelawney assigns Harry and his friends the task of mapping out their astrological birth charts. “Each of them had been given a complicated circular chart, and was attempting to fill in the position of the planets at their moment of birth”

    In Order of The Phoenix (Pages 602-603) Firenze (The Centaur) takes over teaching Divination. In the first class he tells the student to lie back on the floor “and observe the heavens. Here is written, for those who can see, the fortune of our races” and “We watch the skies for the great tides of evil or change that are sometimes marked there”.

    “Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you” (Isaiah 47:13.)

    And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers… (Malachi 3:5. Emphasis added).
     

Herbology and Potions:
“Three times a week they went out to the greenhouses...where they learned how to take care of all the strange plants and fungi, and found out what they were used for” (Book I. Page 133. Professor Snapes told them he could teach them “how to bottle fame, brew glory and even stopper death”. (Page 137).

In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, modern day witch Doreen Valiente explains that medieval witches did have a “very extensive and specialized knowledge of herbs, plants and trees” (Page 83) and “Most country witches would have a herb garden and use its products in their spells...” (Page 87). Learning all about herbs and fungi and how to use them in brewing magickal potions played an important part in Hogwarts curriculum. 
 

Possession:
Voldemort possessed Professor Quirrell and animals:

    "... to Harry's horror, a voice answered, and the voice seemed to come from Quirrell himself ... 'Use the boy, use the boy'. " [p. 292]

    'See what I have become?' the face said. 'Mere shadow and vapour...I have form only when I can share another's body...but there have always been those wiling to let me into their hearts and minds..." (Philosopher`s Stone, p. 293-294)

    "I could possess the bodies of others...I sometimes inhabited animals - snakes, of course, being my preference - but I was little better off inside them than as pure spirit, for their bodies were ill-adapted to perform magic...and my possession of them shortened their lives; none of them lasted long... 'Then...four years ago...the means for my return seemed assured. A wizard_young, foolish, and gullible_wandered across my path in the forest I had made my home... He was easy to bend to my will....I took possession of his body, to supervise him closely as he carried out my orders." (The Goblet of Fire, p. 567)

A student at Hogwarts:

    "So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted. I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her..." (Chamber of Secrets, p. 228).

Later in the book Ginny admits that Voldemort "...took over me" (Page. 238).

In Book V (The Order of The Phoenix) Harry ‘dreams’ that he is ‘inside’ a snake (Voldemort) that attacks Mr. Weasley. As he says “It was like something rose up inside me, like there’s a snake inside me-” (Page 481). A few pages later Moody adds “The boy is seeing things from inside You-Know-Who’s snake ... Obviously Potter doesn’t realize what that means, but if You-Know-Who’s possessing him-”. Shortly thereafter while Dumbledore is urging Harry to “study Occlumency” to ‘close’ his mind, a pain shot through the scar on Harry’s forehead, “and he felt again that terrible, snake-like longing to strike Dumbledore, to bite him, to hurt him-” (Page 622). On Page 727 Harry is again ‘possessed by Voldemort and this time tortures Sirius.


The Dangers:

    "The Pagan Federation, which represents druids and witches, says it has been "swamped" with calls following teenage programmes featuring good witches. Speaking to BBC News Online the Pagan Federation's Steve Paine, the high priest of a coven, said the hit US drama Buffy and the highly successful Harry Potter books were popular amongst practising witches. "They are taken as fantasy entertainment. But they do encourage people to think about different forms of spirituality", he said. The Pagan Federation, which deals with about 100 enquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to become a member." Most of the enquiries are from 14 to 18 year-olds, and are dealt with "reactively" by a specially-appointed youth officer, an Essex based schoolteacher." (www.spotlightministries.org.uk. {1}

    "Youngsters can very easily visit a choice of hundreds of websites on witchcraft, Wicca magic, casting hexes and bloodletting techniques, without adults having any control as to what they read. "This goes far beyond a case of reading a Harry Potter story. This represents an extremely worrying trend among young people." (www.spotlightministries.org.uk.)


Summary:
Charles Colson states that the pagan practices in Harry Potter are "purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic”.  Again this is an inaccurate statement. Harry Potter delves into divination, scrying, runes, astrology, among other real-life occult practices, going far beyond ‘Star Trek’ mechanical ‘magic’ (which is more representative of imaginary advanced technology than magick).

Additionally the Scripture does not forbid “involvement with supernatural evil”, but condemns all forms of communication with the spirit world for many reasons. Which, in a nutshell, are..

    Any form of divination is an extremely unreliable method of obtaining information about the future or anything else. The record of accuracy of modern day psychics and astrologers is dismal inspite of loud protestations to the contrary.

    Occultism tends to pull people away from God. Deuteronomy 4:19 warns very specifically about this danger.

    Occultism affords access to powers that are demonic and spiritually deadly.

    At the heart of every form of occultism is the effort to obtain power in order to influence events for one’s own purposes. This is a direct affront to God’s sovereignty.

    Many forms of occultism involve an altered state of consciousness, which can and does open a doorway for demonic forces.

There is no reason for people to communicate with the dead. None of the powers of darkness are any match for God’s omnipotence. Settling for an inferior power is pure stupidity. God is the only reliable source of knowledge and wisdom. (The most explicit example of this is Daniel’s confrontation with the Babylonian astrologers)

    And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? …. (Isaiah 8:19)’

    “Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:” (Jeremiah 27:9. Emphasis added)

Perhaps the best example of Scripture’s condemnation of all forms of communication with the spirit world is Saul’s attempt to call up the spirit of the prophet Samuel. In doing so he was not trying to make contact with “supernatural evil’ but with one of God’s own prophets. Yet the Bible says this transgression was one of the reasons he died …

    “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse”. (1Ch 10:13,14. Emphasis Added)

One of the largest dangers of the Rowling’s books is that they present a misrepresentation of the spiritual world, as one where there are good and evil spirits all awaiting our summons. According to her, the goal is to attempt to call up ‘good spirits’ and avoid the evil ones. Few readers realize that from the Biblical perspective, all occult forces are dangerous.

The words of Old Testament prophet Isaiah ring as true now as they did over 2000 years ago: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…." (Isaiah 5:20)


The Philosophers (Sorcerer’s) Stone:
Incidentally the title of Rowlings first Harry Potter book set the stage for the introduction of the occult throughout the series. According to the Dictionary of Mysticism and The Occult, The Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone “… is a central symbol for the essence of life and the Oneness of Creation. The hexagram is also associated with the Philosophers stone, and characteristically it too represents the interrelatedness of matter and spirit.” (See details about the Sorcerer’s Stone)

The Order of The Phoenix:
Continues the trend set in Book I. The PHOENIX: A universal symbol of the sun, rebirth, resurrection and immortality, this legendary red "fire bird" was believed to die in its self-made flames periodically (each hundred years, according to some sources) then rise again out of its own ashes (some say after three days)... Linked to the worship of the fiery sun and sun gods such as Mexico's Quetzalcoatl, it was named "a god of Phoenecia" by the Phoenician. To alchemists, it symbolized the the destruction and creation of new forms of matter along the way to the ultimate goal: the philosopher's stone. (www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols.html)
 

Part 3. Harry Potter.. Morality and Ethics
Countless readers (and articles) have applauded the Harry Potter books as upholding the standards of admirable moral and ethical behavior. More than one reviewer has described the characters as noble, kind, brave, true, unselfish and so on ad nauseum.

    “I think they’re very moral books” J.K. Rowlings {26}

    “Each book takes a theme... with the idea of making choices in your life, and builds on them to give the child a sense of what it is to be a good human being.”  (Librarian and Psychoanalyst Linda Goettina) {27}

    ”Splendid books”…. Which emphasize that “truth is better than lies”. (The Very Reverend Nick Bury, Dean of Gloucester). {28}

    “The theme running through all of these books is the fight between good and evil” (J.K. Rowlings) {29}

    “Rowling’s moral compass throughout the three volumes is sound, indeed, I would say, acute” (Alan Jacobs. Wheaton College literature professor {before the fourth book was published}) {30}.

     A 1999 Knight-Ridder news article reported that Harry Potter is the perfect role model to teach children lessons about endurance, kindness wisdom, and love. {31}

    “Harry wins because he is intelligent and brave, but above all because he is more human than his opponents. What the bad guys - who perhaps have lost touch with Muggles for too long - utterly lack is humanity, human feelings, and basic human values. Harry has them all, and many of them are Christian values” {32}

A few others have taken an entirely different view.

    Ethical concerns were voiced in a USA Today news story by parent Ken McCormick of Birchrunville, Pa., who described "a general nastiness underneath the mantle of cuteness" in the Harry Potter books. "The kids lie, they steal, they take revenge," the father of 8 and 11 year-old children told the newspaper. "This is a disturbing moral world, and it conflicts with what I am trying to teach my children."

Contrary to what the vast majority of people seem to believe, the morals and ethics in the Harry Potter series are blurred. There are no clear distinctions between what is right and what is wrong and in many cases are blatantly un-Biblical. Harry and his friends routinely steal, lie, cheat, break school ordinances, and seek revenge with clear consciences. The so-called ‘good’ characters show no remorse over their ‘evil’ actions, and, in fact, are even quite proud of them. Nor do they suffer any penalties when they are caught in flagrant disregard of the rules, which is not surprising considering that the adults show as little regard for morality and ethics as do the children.

Regarding the claims that the characters depict friendship, love, bravery, self-reliance, the importance of family, tolerance toward those different from us, the quest for knowledge, wisdom, right action and even Christian values...  One can only assume that the claimants have either not read the books or have a terribly skewed moral compass. A small number of random samples from each book have been given below…
 

Book One (The Sorcerer's Stone)

    1. Early in the book Madame Hooch, (The "Hogwart's broom riding instructor) directly tells the students not to ride their brooms while she takes one of the students to the infirmary. But Draco Malfoy jeers at Harry, who grabs a broom and takes off. Professor McGonagall, who catches him, rewards Harry by putting him on the Gryffintor’s Quidditch (a soccer like sport played by wizards) team, instead of punishing Him.

    2. Later that day Harry again ignores instructions by the same instructor and agrees to fight Draco in a wizard’s duel at midnight in the schools trophy room. (Students are supposed to be in their dorms at night, and are not supposed to fight, especially by using spells.) When Hermione reminds them that they will lose points for their house (Gryffindor) if they're caught and that they are being very selfish, Harry responds “ it's really none of your business”. (Pages 153-154)

    3. The school’s caretaker almost captures Harry and Ron who managed to avoid detection by slipping into an off-limits passage housing a three headed hell hound that guards a trap door a leading to the Philosophers Stone. “ Harry and Ron thought that meeting the three-headed dog had been an excellent adventure and they were quite keen to have another one” (Page 163).
    Moral: Rules do not have to be obeyed if they do not serve one’s own interests.

    4. No student is allowed to look at the Dark Magic books kept in the restricted section of the school's library. Harry ignores this rule to find out about Nicholas Flamel and sneaks into the library at night.
    Moral: Harry does not follow any objective standard of right and wrong but lets his own self-interest determine his actions.

    5. When Harry discovers the mirror of Erised (Desire backwards), which shows him his dead family smiling and waving at him he sneaks out of his dorm on two subsequent nights to return to the mirror. When Dumbledore catches him he is not punished but is simply told about the Mirror Of Desire and sent back to bed. (Page 207-214)

    6. Harry follows Professors Snape into the Forbidden Forest, which is off-limits to all students. (Page 225-226)

    7. Hermione tries to explain why the school directives are important. When she asks Harry whether he cares about Gryffindor he tells her to “ go away”. (Page 155).

    8. The narrative portions of the book refer to Hermione as having a “bad temper” and being “a bossy know-it-all”. When Hermione hears Harry say that she is disliked at the school and that “she’s a night-mare”, she endears herself to them by telling a “downright lie to a teacher in order to cover up for the two boys that ends with "From that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend." [Page 179]
    Moral: Her lie served an excellent purpose, and could not be considered 'wrong'.

    9. “ Excuses, alibis, and wild cover up stories just each other around Harry’s brain, each more feeble than the last. He couldn't see how they were going to get out of trouble this time” it never seems to occur to Harry to tell the truth even when he cannot come up with a lie. Significantly, this one-time Harry does not manage to come up with a lie is the one time that he and his companions are punished after school hours.

    10. Hagrid (Hogwart's Keeper Of The Keys And Grounds) consistently performs spells even though he's not supposed to. He was expelled from Hogwarts during his third year. The 1709 Warlocks convention prohibits breeding dragons in Britain, a rule Hagrid conveniently ignores.  In one instance he asks Harry and his friends not to tell anyone about his disobedience. (Page 64)

    11. Hagrid once performed an illegal spell against Harry's cousin Dudley because his (Dudley’s) father Mr. Dursley insulted Dumbledore.
    Moral: It’s okay to return evil with evil. See Romans 12:17-18, 21, Luke 6:27-28.

    12. Harry also tries to take revenge on Dudley when he visits Diagon Alley and finds a book on how to revenge yourself on your friends. Instead of directing him Hagrid tells Harry “ I'm not saying that's not a good idea, but yer not ter use magic in the Muggle world except in very special circumstances”. (Muggles are non-magical mortals and are very much looked down upon as stupid oafs.)
    Moral: Treat others well only if they treat you well. See Leviticus 19:18.

    13) Harry watched Hagrid getting redder and redder in the face as he called for more wine, finally kissing Professor McGonagall on the cheek. (Page 203-204)

    14) Hagrid told the stranger how to get past Fluffy… it must have been easy once he’d got Hagrid drunk” (Page 266)

    (15)  During final exams, teachers passed out special quills, "bewitched with an Anti-Cheating spell" with which to write;  [Page 262] (Apparently the teachers knew full well that all the students would cheat on their final exams if they thought they could get away with it.)


Book Two (The Chamber of Secrets)

    Harry is rescued from the Dursleys by his best friend Ron Weasley and his two brothers who take their father’s bewitched car without permission. Fred Weasley plans to lie to explain Harry’s presence in their home. (page 32) When Mr. Weasley finds out that his sons ‘borrowed’ his car all he has to say is “Did you really?...Did it go alright?” Ron and Harry do borrow the car again without permission, but this time they crash it into a tree, breaking the “Restriction of Underage Wizardry” rule, which is supposed to be punishable by expulsion. Predictably this never happens… All they get is detention.

    2) Hermione, Ron and Harry use a magic potion to transform themselves into looking like three other students (Page 159). They steal restricted magical ingredients (Pages 165, 286). Hermione changes from the most honest one to the instigator.. “’I never thought I’d see the day when you’d be persuading us to break the rules’, said Ron. ‘All right, we’ll do it’”. (Page 166).

    3) Mr. Weasley who is portrayed as a positive character works for the Ministry of Magic in the “Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office”. He is supposed to prevent wizards from bewitching “things that are Muggle made”.  To “protect Muggles from objects that might prove to be harmful because they are bewitched”. He conducts raids and confiscates illegally bewitched property yet has quite a collection of Muggle objects about which his son Ron says… “He takes it apart, puts spells on it, and puts it back together again. If he raided our house he’d have to put himself under arrest”. (Page 31). He lies to his wife about the extent to which he has bewitched the Muggles car (Page 66). Mr. Weasley is not only a liar but also a hypocrite. However this is not surprising considering that the adults in the books routinely lie and break the rules to further their own agendas.

    4) When Harry and Ron discover the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, defeat the basilisk etc. Professor McGonagall says “…so you found out where the entrance was, breaking a hundred school rules into pieces along the way, I might add, but how on earth did you all get out of there alive Potter?”  Headmaster Dumbledore adds “ I seem to remember telling you both that I would have to expel you if you broke anymore school rules… Which goes to show that the best of us must sometimes eat our words… You will both receive Special Awards for Services to the School and, let me see, yes, I think two hundred point apiece for Gryffindor.” (Pages 330-331). The Message here is very simple…  The number of rules broken along the way does not matter in the long run simply because the end justifies the means.

    5) Dumbledore led them in a few of his favorite carols, Hagrid booming more and more loudly with each goblet of eggnog he consumed.  (Page 212)


Book Three (The Prisoner of Azkaban)
Takes the lying and rule breaking a step further adding swearing, drunkenness and crude language to the mix.

    1) A student screams “You cheating scum! …You filthy cheating B---”.

    2) Draco Malfoy shouts, “God, this place is going to the dogs” (Page 113)

    3) George Weasley calls Draco Malfoy a “That little git” (Page 97). The slang dictionary at Princeton University’s website defines ‘git’ as “jerk, bastard (v. strong”). “git is also used in Book I on Page 14, in Book II on Pages 163 and 303, and in  Book V on Pages 69 and 194.

    3) “I think you've had enough to drink, Hagrid”, said Hermione firmly. she took the tankard from the table and went outside to empty it. (Page 121)

    4) It was Hagrid, making his way up to the castle, singing at the top of his voice, and weaving slightly as he walked. A large bottle was swinging from his hands…” they watched Hagrid meander tipsily up to the castle. (Page 405)

    5) When Dumbledore first became headmaster he lied to his staff, the students, their parents, and local towns people so that Lupin, a young werewolf could attend Hogwarts when he was still a young boy.

    6) Harry lies to a bus driver (Page 34)

    Ron scathingly asks Hermione “why didn’t you lie Hermione? You shouldn’t said Neville did it all himself” (Page 129)

    Harry lies to Professor Lupin, his friend (Page 155)

    Harry lies again to Professor Lupin (Page 246)

    Harry lies to Snape (Page 289)

    Lupin lies to Snape to cover up for Harry and Ron (Page 289-290)

    7) Professor McGonagall talked about James Potter (Harry's father) and Sirius Black .. “ Black and Potter. Ringleaders of their little gang. Both very bright, of course-exceptionally bright, in fact- but I don’t think we’ve ever had such a pair of troublemakers” (Page 204). “He, Harry, had broken wizard law just like Sirius Black” (Page 40)

    8) James Potter, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black secretly and illegally became ‘animagi’, i.e. wizards who can turn themselves into animals. None of them registered with the ‘Minister of Magic’, which they were supposed to do. (pages 351-352). Moral: There are no consequences for breaking the law if the troublemakers are exceptionally bright individuals.

    9) To activate the magical ‘Marauders Map’ George taps it, saying “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” (Page 192). Fred’s comment on the mapmakers is “Noble men, working tirelessly to help a new generation of lawbreakers” (Page 193)

    10) A conversation between Harry and Cornelius Fudge ( Minister for Magic)
    “I broke the law” Harry said, “The Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry!”.
     “Oh, my dear boy, we’re not going to punish you for a little thing like that!” cried Fudge, waving his crumpet impatiently. (Page 45). 
    Moral: If someone is clever or somehow more special than the others, he can break rules and lie. The rules are not the same for everyone. 


Book Four (The Goblet of Death)

    1) Fred and George Weasley invent dangerous magical gag-gifts in hopes of one day opening a joke shop (Page 55) and continue to do so inspite of their mother’s instructions to stop.  

    2) They also disregard their father’s appeals to stop gambling on the Quidditch World Cup Game. Finally Mr. Weasley gives in, saying “Don’t tell your mother you’ve been gambling”. (Page 88-89, 117)

    3) Mr. Weasley himself continues to circumvent the rules, illegally connecting the Dursley’s fireplace to the wizard’s network of fireplaces thanks to “..a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel” who “fixed it for me”. (Page 45)

    4) In the ‘Triwizard Tournament’ (a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of Wizardry) champions are not permitted to ask for help from the teachers. Nevertheless...

    a) Hagrid reveals to Harry that his first magical task will involve dragons. (Page 329).
    b) Sirius Black tries to tell Harry which spell to use to succeed in the task (Page 334).
    c) Harry tells Cedric what the task will be (Page 341).
    d) Ludo Bagman (a member of the Ministry of Magic) tries to help Harry saying “I don’t mind sharing a few pointers, if you’d like them, you know, I mean…you’re the underdog here Harry.. Anything I can do to help” (Page 351).
    e) “Cheating’s a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and always has been”. (Professor Moody. Page 343).


Book Five (Order of the Phoenix)

    Harry tells his cousin Dudley that he looks “Like a pig that’s been taught to walk on it’s hind legs” (Page 13).

    The Weasley twins, Fred and George, invent ‘Extendable Ears’ in order to snoop. “Go on, Harry, take it! You saved Dad’s life, if anyone’s got the right to eavesdrop on him it’s you-” ( Page 491)

    “Mundungus turned up in time for Christmas pudding and trifle, having managed to ‘borrow’ a car for the occasion”. (Page 505).

    Harry ‘looks into’ Snape’s memory in the Pensieve. He goes back in time to when Snapes was a student at Hogwarts along with Harry’s father, James and sees an incident where James is playing with a Golden Snitch. When asked where he got it, James replied “Nicked it”.  (Page 644).

    In the same ‘vision’ (above) James comes across as arrogant, a show-off and extremely mean. He jinxes Snapes because he was ‘bored’, hanging him upside down in the air, and when Harry’s mother asks him what Snapes has ever done to him, he replies “...it’s more the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean..” (Page 647).

    Morality takes a new twist in Book V. WHen Hagrid bring his half-brother back to the Forbidden Forest, he tells Harry and Hermione.. “Turns out my mother took up with another giant when she left me dad, an’ she went and had Grawp here” (Page 690).

    Just before final exams, Draco Malfoy tells friends that “...its not what you know, it’s who you know. Now, Fathers been friendly with the head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority for years- old Griselda Marchbanks- we’ve had her round for dinner and everything..”  During this period a “flourishing black-market trade in aids to concentration, mental agility and wakefulness has sprung up among the fifth and seventh years” (Page 707-708).

    The student “were arguing about how many black-market butterbeers they would need...” for their dusk-till-dawn end-of-exams celebrations. “Harry, d’you want to chip in a couple of Galleons? Harold Dingle reckons he could sell us some firewhisky...” (Page 738).

In a particularly interesting and subtle twist the only characters in the books who seem to be at all troubled by the ‘rules’ are portrayed as evil and obnoxious.

    The ill-humored, unfair Professor Snapes seems to be the only authority figure who ever rebukes Harry apart from the horrid caretaker Argus Filch. Snapes tells Harry that he (Harry) is nothing but a boy “who considers rules to be beneath him” (Goblet of Fire. Page 516). “Potter has never shown much inclination to follow school rules” (Order of the Phoenix. Page 744).

    “Filch burst suddenly through a tapestry to Harry’s right, wheezing and looking wildly about for the rule-breaker” (Chamber of Secrets. Page 125).

    However their remarks comes across as hateful simply because they are portrayed as detestable characters.  The lovable Hagrid’s response is quite different.. “Well, yeh might have bent a few rules, Harry, bu’ yeh’re all righ’ really, aren’ you?” (Goblet of Fire. Page 391).

    Rita Skeeter, an exasperating gossip columnist writes in the ‘Daily Prophet’ “Hagrid..considers himself to be above such petty restrictions”. While her statement is perfectly accurate it is rendered worthless since she is portrayed as a nasty character.

    Percy Weasley (Ron’s older brother) is depicted as a dreadful stick in the mud who is “a great believer in rigidly following rules” (Page 90).

Most people also fail to recognize that in the books the ‘evil’ characters also show bravery and courage. They save each other’s lives, Magically heal one another’s wounds, and remain loyal to their side. Voldemort rewards Pettigrew for helping him to rise again and speaks of how he will honour those who have remained faithful to him.

So what is the difference between the good and evil characters and how true is it that the series is based on a  ‘good’ versus ‘evil’ theme
 

Part 4. Harry Potter... Good Vs. Evil?

"He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell quietly, referring to the murderous wizard Voldemort. "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 I. Page 291)

What a far cry Quirrell’s statement (top of page) is from the Bible’s very clear portrayal of good and evil. Even the most basic of concordances will produce a host of scriptures on ‘evil’, including

    “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” 1 John 5:19

    John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

    Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

    1Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

and The Lord’s prayer..

    “Deliver us from evil

The most commonly used argument in favor of the Harry Potter books is that they are great books for children and adults alike because they so graphically and colorfully illustrate the ‘Good Wins Out Over Evil’ theme, which is (obviously) taken to be a good thing.

    Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs concludes that the Harry Potter stories promote "a kind of spiritual warfare...a struggle between good and evil... There is in books like this the possibility for serious moral reflection [and] the question of what to do with magic powers is explored in an appropriate and morally serious way."

    "a delight...with a surprising bit of depth."  Author Roy Maynard assured World readers that "Rowling...keeps it safe, inoffensive, and non-occult.  This is the realm of Gandalf and the Wizard of Id, not witchcraft.  There is a fairy-tale order to it all in which, as Chesterton and Tolkien pointed out, magic must have rules, and good does not-cannot-mix with bad." (World Magazine's May 29, 1999 in praise of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

However discernment is at such an all-time low that few have troubled to look below the veneer and see that this argument is not only without merit, it is not even relevant, as the books contain no battle between good and evil, nor any themes that are morally redeeming.

The ‘confrontation’ in the series is not between good and evil but between horrifying evil (Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters) and a lesser evil (Harry and the ‘good’ characters). Since Harry Potter and his friend’s immoral deeds appear to be ‘fun’ and benevolent there is a tacit acceptance of evil characters as ‘good’. The good characters only appearing to be honorable because they are consistently evaluated against the really fearsome and odious characters.

Even Dumbleore admits that the ‘good’ wizards are not always good. they are cracked up to be, “We wizards have mis-treated and abused our fellows for too long, and we are now reaping our reward” (Order of the Phoenix. Page 834).

Additionally both sides use the same subjective standard to discern right from wrong. Both sides use comparable acts to further their own (but very different) goals. Both sides lie when expedient. Both sides break the rules when those rules do not serve their purposes and both sides rely on the same power source (magick). In fact, both Harry’s magic wand and Voldemort’s magic wand share the same magical core… one tail feather from the same phoenix. (The same power that flows through Voldemort's wand, also flows through Harry's wand)

    "I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather - just one. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother - why, its brother gave you that scar." (Philosopher`s Stone, p. 65).

    Harry discovers that some of Voldemort's power was transferred to him when he was attacked as a baby (The Chamber of Secrets, p. 245).

    In The Order of The Phoenix Snape tells Harry “..The curse that failed to kill you seems to have forged some kind of connection between you and the Dark Lord” (Page 531).

Modern day occultists, New Agers and Pagans often believe that there is no such thing as good and evil, but that all power stems from the same source..  Witness the following statements.

    "Magic itself is neither good nor bad, white or black, it is a neutral force in the same way as electricity is. " (Kate West, The Real Witches Handbook: A Complete Introduction to the Craft, p. 5).

    "The Witch philosophy of Light and Dark: No duality exists between good and evil. The One Power over all is neither good or bad; it transcends qualitative thought." (Marion Weinstein , Positive Magic, p. 88,)”.

However Christians are instructed to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Harry Potter and friends simply use one set of sinful behavior to defeat another set of sinful behavior, often acting quite contrary to the Biblical definition of ‘goodness’.  The only difference between them and those on the ‘Dark Side’ is in the rules they choose to break, the lies they choose to tell and the goals they choose to pursue.

From a Biblical perspective both sides are ‘evil’.

Additionally the so-called good vs. evil struggle gets immensely confusing.

    “[Like] European witch cults of the middle ages Voldemort sets a mark on the members of his secret circle of followers… the ‘dark mark” is placed on the arm, and causes the bearer pain whenever he is summoned by Voldemort. Yet Harry has been marked as well; his forehead scar erupts into agonizing pain whenever Voldemort to is nearby, or his power is manifest.

    The fact that occult symbols like the above-mentioned fill the pages of the Potter books and are associated with both the hero and villain and creates a cloud of ambiguity around their motives and those of their creator. Good and evil are never clear-cut, it seems: Harry is part Voldemort and Voldemort part Harry. Likewise, many of the supporting characters are confusingly two sided.

    The “lovable” grounds keeper Hagrid, for example, is one of Harry's staunchest friends, but has a penchant for keeping deadly animals in his house as pets, animals which frequently endanger Harry and the other students. Professor Lupin, Harry's friend and ally in book three, is a werewolf. Severus Snape, who seems to detest Harry and opposes him at every opportunity, turns out at the end of Book One and Book Four to be a good guy… sort of. In Book Four, we learn that Severus has a secret: he was once one of Voldemort’s Death Eaters and bears the Dark Mark on his arm, but now he wishes to fight his old master. Sirius Black, the eponymous “prisoner of Azkaban” turns out not to be the dangerous psychopathic murderer he was thought to be, but a friend and Godfather of Harry. Endearing little Ginny Weasley, who has a crush on Harry, turns out to be the student responsible for the basilisk’s rampage on Book Two. And on and on.” (Steve Bonta in The New American. www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2000/08-28-2000/vo16no18_potter.htm)

Steve Bonta also says “Each new book seems a bit darker and more morbidly tragic than the one preceding.” Goblet of Fire is already being compared to Stephen King’s horror novels by some reviewers. So are graphic images of death, violence and torture, frightful imagery and morbid humor suitable reading for young people?


Part 5. Harry Potter and The Macabre

J.K. Rowling has stated that she intended for her Harry Potter books to be read by children approximately ages 10 and up. (The books are wildly popularly among children as young as age 6 or 7). A glance at the frightening and/or revolting examples below forces a comparison between the Harry Potter series and Stephen King’s horror stories.

Sorcerer’s Stone.

    Nearly-Headless Nick was the Resident Ghost of Gryffindor Tower.  Harry asked Nearly Headless how he could possibly be ‘nearly’ headless.  “Like this”, he said irritably.  He seized his left ear and pulled.  His whole head swung off his neck and fell onto his shoulders as if it was on a hinge.  Someone had obviously tried to behead him, but not done it properly ..." [p. 124]

    "They were in a corridor. The forbidden corridor on the third floor ... They were looking straight into the eyes of a monstrous dog, a dog that filled the whole space between ceiling and floor. It had three heads.  Three pairs of rolling, mad eyes; three noses, twitching and quivering in their direction; three drooling mouths, saliva hanging in slippery ropes from yellowish fangs. [p. 161] 

    "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. Harry, Malfoy, and Fang stood transfixed. The cloaked figure reached the unicorn, lowered its head over the wound in the animal's side, and began to drink its blood. 'AAAAAAAAAAARGH!'  Malfoy let out a terrible scream and bolted -- so did Fang.  The hooded figure raised its head and looked right at Harry -- unicorn blood was dribbling down its front… Then a pain like he'd never felt before pierced his head; it was as though his scar were on fire...The pain in Harry's head was so bad he fell to his knees. It took a minute or two to pass". [Page 250-6; Emphasis added]

    "Harry felt as if Devil's Snare was rooting him to the spot ... Petrified, he watched as [Professor] Quirrell reached up and began to unwrap his turban ... Harry would have screamed, but he couldn't make a sound.  Where there should have been a back to Quirrell's head, there was a face, the most terrible face Harry had ever seen.  It was chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils, like a snake." (Page 293).


Prisoner of Azkaban

    "A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a blood stained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looked masks stared down from the wall, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling".  (Page 49) 

    "The aged witch stood in front of him, holding a tray of what looked horribly like whole fingernails. She leered at him, showing mossy teeth. Harry backed away". (Page 54) 

    "And  then Harry heard it...rip...tear...kill...Listen! said Harry urgently, and Ron and Hermione froze watching him...kill...time to kill...The voice was growing fainter". (page 137). Harry was now hearing voices  (Page 137). 

    “It’s what Dementers do when they wish to destroy utterly. I suppose there must be some kind of mouth under there, because they clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the victim and - suck out his soul... You’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no...anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever...lost. (Page 247) (Dementers are the hooded guards of Azkaban).

    "Mrs. Norris, the caretaker's cat, was hanging by her tail from the torch bracket". She was stiff as a board, her eyes wide and staring". (Page 139) 


Chamber Of Secrets

    Moaning Myrtle is the tormented spirit of a student who was murdered in the bathroom and who’s tortured soul longs for relief through suicide “my life was nothing but misery at this place and now people come along ruining my death… I came in here and tried to kill myself. Then, of course, I remembered that I’m –I’m-” “Already dead,” said Ron helpfully. Myrtle gave a tragic sob, rose up in the air, turned over, and dived head first into the toilet… Hermione shrugged wearily and said, “Honestly, that was almost cheerful for Myrtle” (Page 156)

    In a potions class there is a horrifying procedure involving pulling live “mandrake-babies” out of the ground. They are then grown to maturity before “cutting them up and stewing them” (Page 234) “Instead of roots, a small, muddy, and extremely ugly baby popped out of the Earth… And was clearly bawling at the top of his lungs…they squirmed, kicked, flailed their sharp little fists, and gnashed their teeth” Harry spent ten whole minutes trying to squash a particularly fat one into a pot. (Page 92-94). (See Mandrake)

    Head Hockey involves a dozen headless horsemen who play a polo match with the head of one of the ghosts. (Pages 136-137)

    A bloody eyeball transforms itself into a severed hand and creeps along the floor like a crab. (Page 138) Also see the Hand of Glory


Goblet Of Fire

    A shy child is forced to “disembowel a barrel full of horned toads” (Page 223)

    “Squeezing the bubotubers was disgusting, but oddly satisfying. As each swelling was popped, a large amount of thick yellowish-green liquid burst forth which strongly of petrol. They caught it in the bottles as Professor Sprout had indicated and by the end of the lesson had collected several pints. (Bubotubers are black, squirming plants that must be squeezed to extract their “pus” into bottles, which is used to cure acne.) (Page 195, 541)

    …all three Riddles were found dead “with their eyes wide open” They had died of fright. (Pages 2, 4)

    The Dark Lord is a slimly, hairless creature, with dark, raw, reddish-black mass of scales for legs. His face is “flat and snake-like, with gleaming red eyes”. (Page 640)

    A witch named Bertha Jorkins was tortured before being killed. (Pages 655, 687)

    Voldemort kills Frank Bryce, the Riddles gardener. (Page 15)

    At the Quidditch World Cup four Muggle’s bodies are distorted “into grotesque shapes” by evil wizards. (Including two children) (Page 119-120)

    Muggle killings are “done for fun” by Voldemort’s followers. (Page 143)

    A good wizard and his witch wife are tortured to the point of insanity. (Pages 595, 603)

    Cedric is murdered in front of Harry. (Page 638)

    Pettigrew cuts off his own hand to put in a boiling cauldron. (Pages 641-642)

    Harry’s arm is slashed by Pettigrew and the blood drained into a vile. (Page 642)

    Voldemort says that his survival depends on drinking a mixture of snake venom and Unicorn blood. (Page 656)

    A child kills his father, turns the body into a bone and buries it. (Page 690)


Order of The Phoenix

    Students, in an effort to get out of Umbridge’s class jinxed themselves and would “faint, vomit, develop dangerous fevers, or else spout blood from both nostrils” (Page 678).

    “The man on the floor let out a scream of pain, attempted to stand and fell back, writhing. Harry was laughing… “You’ll have to kill me,’ whispered Sirius. ‘Undoubtedly I shall in the end,’ said the cold voice. ‘But you will fetch it for me first, Black…You think you have felt pain this far? Think again... We have hours ahead of us and nobody to hear you scream’” (Page 727-728)

    “Very well- take the smallest one… Let him watch while we torture the little girl I’ll do it”. (Page 783)

    Neville lowered his hands to “show a clearly broken nose and blood pouring down his mouth and chin” (After being kicked by a Death Eater). (Page 793).

    When Umbridge punishes Harry for spreading stories she gives him a special quill with which to write “I much not tell lies” and tells him that he has to keep writing for “as long as it takes for the message to sink in”. As he begins to write the words appeared on the parchment in what appeared to be shining red ink (he later realized that it was not ink but his own blood). At the same time “the words had appeared on the back of Harry’s right hand, cut into his skin as though traced there by a scalpel- yet even as he stared at the shining cut, the skin healed over again, leaving the place where it had been slightly redder than before but quite smooth”. At the end of the evening “the skin there was red raw” (Page 267). The next evening as he wrote he “felt the searing pain on the back of his hand. On the third evening of his punishment the words “did not fade from the back of Harry’s hand, but remained scratched there, oozing droplets of blood” (Page 270). 
     

Part 6. Harry Potter Conclusion

The Rev. John Killinger, author of the new book "God, The Devil and Harry Potter," says Harry is far from being a devil or a witch. Rather, says the Presbyterian minister and academic, he actually is a Christ-like figure. Killinger calls the four-book series "a modern interpretation of the gospel."

A modern interpretation of the Gospel? Perhaps someone forgot to mention this to the young people who ‘want to be witches’.

Additionally a church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has decided to use J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter motif in its summer Christian education emphasis. Enrollment has doubled!

Far be it from the church growth pundits to criticize growth in any normal sense, especially when it comes from a denomination that has been losing members hand over fist for decades. But have we really digressed this far? Wizards? Flying broomsticks? Witchcraft ... and the gospel of Jesus Christ?

But, asks the holy skeptic, at what cost? The Episcopal Church, along with other mainline denominations, has cheapened Scripture (which didn't work for church growth), discounted traditional Judeo-Christian morality (which also didn't work for growth), lowered standards of membership (again, didn't work), and has so confused a church in Pennsylvania that its members decided to try Harry Potter to see if witches, wizards, and magic might not work wonders for the appeal of Christ.

One of the terms used by serious students of evangelism is "indigenization" -- that is, we should analyze the culture we want to reach and adapt our approach accordingly. But, asks our holy skeptic again, is there not a limit to that process? Are there places where we just won't ethically go? One local mainline church in Pennsylvania apparently thinks not. (The Harry Potter Vacation Bible School By Matt Friedeman. Agape Press)

"With the growing popularity of youth-oriented TV shows on witchcraft -- 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch'; 'Charmed;' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' -- a generation of children is becoming desensitized to the occult. (See references A and B below) But with Hollywood's help, Harry Potter will likely surpass all these influences, potentially reaping some grave spiritual consequences." An early sign: "The throngs that line up to meet Rowling [to autograph their books] are often teeming with children clad in wizard cloaks and sporting [Harry-like] lightning-bolt scars tattooed -- temporarily -- to their foreheads," (John Andrew Murray, headmaster at St. Timothy's-Hale, an Episcopal school in Raleigh, N.C., and writer/director of the video "Think About It: Understanding the Impact of TV-Movie Violence)

[A] Buffy Draws Children To Witchcraft

[B] Occult Site Lure Teenagers

And while not every child is going to or will even want to become a witch, there is little question that children are being conditioned to see Witchcraft in a positive light..

According to the Barna Research Group

    “.. one out of every eight teenagers (12%) said that the Potter chronicles increased their interest in witchcraft. That translates to nearly three million young people whose interest has been piqued”. (Harry Potter’s Influence Goes Unchallenged in Most Homes and Churches)

Sadly the report also states

    “Despite widespread exposure to the Potter story, few teens – just 4% – say they have experienced any teaching or discussions in a church about the spiritual themes embedded in the wizard-in-training legend. Among born again teens, a minority (13%) recalls ever receiving any input from their church on the subject or spiritual themes of Harry Potter.

    Parents are somewhat more likely than churches to address the spiritual themes of Potter with their children. However, only one-fifth of all teens and one-third of born again Christian teens said they had discussed the supernatural elements of Harry Potter with their parents.

    Overall, a majority of teens – Christian or other – are ingesting the mythology of the child wizard without any guidance from their parents or church leaders. Instead, teens are feeling their way through the spiritual themes either on their own or with the influence of their peers”.

“What the books do teach children is the concept of magick, that is to say, they learn that if they say certain words, and do certain things, they can get certain results and control people. Harry and his friends manipulate spiritual forces to achieve these ends. This is what casting spells and working magick is all about. Modern day occultism is very eclectic, and many witches and occultists regularly make up their own spells. So even though most of the formulas and wording for the spells in Harry Potter are not written in actual occult books, the principle is the same. Certain results are achieved by saying certain words and manipulating spiritual forces”. (www.spotlightministries.org.uk)

    The movie's foundation in fantasy, not reality, doesn't diminish its power to change beliefs and values. Imaginary (or virtual) experiences and well-written fantasies can affect the mind and memories as much, if not more, than actual experiences. Designed to stir feelings and produce strong emotional responses, a well-planned myth with likeable characters can be far more memorable than the less exciting daily reality -- especially when reinforced through books, toys and games as well as movies. Small wonder Harry's fans have been counting the days until their next fantastic journey into Hogwarts' classes on sorcery, divination, potions and spells.....

    ....Children identify with their favorite characters and learn to see wizards and witches from a popular peer perspective rather than from God's perspective. Those who sense that the occult world is evil face a choice: Resist peer pressure or rationalize their imagined participation in Harry's supernatural adventures”. (Berit Kjos. Twelve reasons not to see Harry Potter Movies )
     

    “Adults and children alike absorb values through the subtle suggestions hidden in entertainment. Our minds are more receptive than we think. And the more we like it, the more it affects us. Popular fantasy, with its boundless thrills and stirring images, can manipulate feelings and perceptions far more effectively than can ordinary reality”. (Berit Kjos  Harry Potter and The Power of Suggestion )
     

    “Obviously, Christians have the right to debate such an issue as Harry Potter.  But at the same time, it should be pointed out that much of the church is in the midst of a headlong rush to adapt itself to the new oncoming global religious belief system, generally by compromising Christian beliefs.  The mass media's promotion of alternative religion and morality has prompted even Christians to replace or blur the pursuit of God with the pursuit of pleasure and other forms of morality.  God's standards would hardly win a popularity contest today.....

    ...God gave us His Word that we might know Him.  The Bible reveals His heart, will and ways.  It alone can show us what is truth or error;  not current opinion.  Compromise is a gradual process, so slow that it isn't obvious at first that belief is drifting toward non-Biblical doctrines.  Eventually, the two become so intertwined, it becomes impossible to distinguish genuine belief from the new substitutes....It might be good to remember God's definition of wisdom: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."  The fear of the Lord involves a sober awareness of what He loves, of what He despises, and of the consequences of disobedience and rebellion against Him.  Among the obvious evils in the Potter series are the practices listed in Deuteronomy 18:9-12: witchcraft, sorcery, spell-casting, divination, calling up the dead, etc.

    ...One thing is certain.  As the new religious belief systems expand and are accepted by more and more Christians, the lines between genuine Christian belief and the new values will increasingly blur.  Opposing it will not be a popular move.  There will be social and other pressures to conform to the new transformation of the Church”.... [Berit Kjos. Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft with Praise from Christian Leaders. www.crossroad.to/text/articles/Harry&Witchcraft.htm]

Caroline Ward, president of the American Library Association's Services to Children and coordinator of a Stamford, Conn., library's children's services, told USA Today, "It's hard to believe that one series of books could almost turn an entire nation back to reading, but that is not an exaggeration." The 30-year librarian said 50 copies of the first Harry Potter book never remain idle on her library's shelves.

Regardless of the criticism leveled at Harry Potter opponents, the above statement only serves to bring home the fact that we have exposed almost an entire generation of children to both the occult and to ambiguous morality ..


The Final Word
“If you still wonder why Evangelical Christians take all of this so seriously, consider this: Suppose you wrote a play, a comedy, in which the main character of the play was a lovable, funny, cute little . . . Nazi. The whole play dealt with how this cute, lovable little boy went to a Hitler school for youth and learned all the in’s and out’s of Nazi philosophy.

Further suppose that you took that play, went out and hired actors, and gave it a premier showing in Jerusalem, in the heart of the Jewish quarter of the old city. Do you suppose that it would be very popular? Would there be rave reviews throughout Israel over your wonderful little play?

You know the answer as well as I do. The play would never get through the first act. And why would such a play be so roundly detested? The answer is simple. Considering what Hitler had done to the Jewish race, considering the horrific death and destruction that this madman was responsible for, the thought of taking this gruesome character, and the insane philosophy which he spawned, and trying to make it cute and lovable would be condemned by all. This would be especially true of those older Jews who had lived through the horrors of the concentration camps. They would have a pretty difficult time trying to accept this play as escapist fantasy that does no one any harm.

That, my friends, is exactly the situation with the Harry Potter books. To try to reach into the dark side, and turn the concepts of witchcraft into something cute and lovable, is utter folly to anyone who understands the real nature of both good and evil”. ( I’m Not Wild About Harry Potter. Dennis Pollock)


The Criticism of the Critics
Sadly.. even when much of the argument against the Harry Potter series has been well reasoned some of the pro-Potter people have resorted to name calling. The media has frequently portrayed the critics as ignorant Bible-thumpers whose views are inconsistent, illogical and groundless. [33].  Christians have even been labeled as “narrow minded moralists”  and totally “Paranoid”. [34]

    A London Review of Books labeled parental objections as a stupid and childish fight. (Specifically referring to “born-again” Christians). [35]

    A Jewish World Review article entitled “Casual Censors and Deadly Know-Nothings” called critics “Barbarians” whose attacks amounted to “ignorance parading as piety” [36]

    “Have you ever noticed that the longer you let these people spout their sanctimony, the less sense they make? The books are fantasies. Don’t understand the word? Look it up…. Perhaps what the anti-Harry factions are most frightened of is that their children will read books like Rowling’s, develop their own imaginations, and learn to make up their own minds, and reject the teachings of those who would like to decide what every child should and shouldn’t read, based on their own narrow beliefs” [37]

    Anti-Potter critics in Canada were compared to “Muggles- those pesky non-magical people” [38]

 

Credits
Much of the information (about the first four books) in this section comes from the very excellent book ‘Harry Potter and the Bible” by Richard Abanes. (Horizon Books. wwwchristianpublications.com). However the book covers far more ground than does this page, and includes a comparison between the Harry Potter series, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Also included in the book is a very disturbing chapter on the rise of ‘spiritualism’ in America.


References

{1} (People Magazine. June 30th, 2003).

{2} “Harry Potter Magic Halts Bed-time For Youngsters”. New York Times. July 9th 2000. www.nytimes.com

{3} “Harry Potter and The Small Snubbed Fans”. The Observer (London) July 9th 2000. www.observer.co.uk).

{4} Reuters, “From Hogwarts to Easy Street”. August 21,2000. www.acbnews.com.

{5} (“Harry Potter and the Unwritten Best-Seller”. New York Post, July 24th, 2000. www.nypost.com).

{6} J.K. Rowling, interview on The Diane Rehm Show. WAMU. National Public Radio, October 20th 1919. www.wamu.org.

{7} J.K. Rowling quoted in Reuters, “Harry Potter ‘Strolled Into My Head’’. July 17, 2000.

{8} J.K. Rowling. The Diane Rehm Show.

{10} “Harry Potter Tops List of ‘Most Challenged Books’”. Library Journal, February 7th, 2000.
www.ala.org/news/archives/v512/99bookchallenges.html. Also see definition of a ‘challenge’ at
www.ala.org/alaorg/oif/reporting.html.

{11} Paul Ford, quoted in Richard Scheinin, “Harry Potters Wizardly Powers Divide Opinion”. Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram. December 3rd 1999. www.arlington.net.

{12} Conal Urquhart and Ruth Gledhill. “School Puts Ban On ‘Evil’ Harry Potter”. The Times (London) March 29th 2000. www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/00/03/290timnwsnws01029.html.

{13} Chuck Colson. “Harry Potter and the Existence of God”. Breakpoint Commentary. July 14th 1000.
www.cbn.org/Newsstand/commentary/colson-000721.asp.


Fact Or Fiction
{14} Dr. Christopher Beiting Quoted In Kate Ernsting, “Is Harry Potter’s Magic Kid-Friendly?,” Credo, November 15, 1999. www.credopub.com/archives/1999/iss19991115/19991115p03.htm [Link is no longer valid]

{15} “Why We Like Harry Potter?” [Editorial] Christianity Today, January 10, 2000.
www.christianityonline.com.

{16} J.K. Rowling. The Diane Rehm Show.

{17} J.K. Rowling. The Diane Rehm Show.

{18} Shepard, 1:6-7.

{19} Dira’s Online Pagan Files. www.concentric.net/~qempa/godess/cc3htm#Cliodhna.

{20} Nevill Drury. Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult.

{21} Thomas Bullfinch. The Age Of Fables, Chapter fourteen. www. Bullfinch.org

{22A) http://www3.sympatico.ca/chartreuse/AvatarsOfTheGoddess/CelticM.htm

{22B} Terry McCombs, (no title) www.paganhome.com.

{23} http://www.geocities.com/thaylann/Morrighan.html.
(Also see http://www.eldritchs.com/texts/godandgoddess/morrighan.htm)

{24} http://www.astronomical.org/constellations/dra.html.

{25} Anthony Lewis. “Astrological Geomancy” www.accessnewage.com/articles/astro/TLOUIS4.htm

Morality and Ethics

{26} J.K. Rowling. “Harry Potter Fights BacK”. BBC Interview, October 17th, 1999. www. bbc.co.uk.

{27} Linda Goettina. Nightline (ABC), July 7th 2000, www.abcnews.go.com.

{28} Reverend Nick Bury, quoted in Ruth Gledhill, “Protest Threst to Potter Cathedral”. The Times (London), August 16th 2000. www.Sunday-times.co.uk

{29} J.K. Rowling. Quoted in Chuck Colson. “Witches and Wizards:The Harry Potter Phenomenon”.  Breakpoint Commentary #91102, November 2nd 1999. www.breakpoint.org.

{30}Alan Jacobs. “Harry Potter’s Magic” First Things, January 2000. www.firstthings.com.

{31} Alan Jacobs, “ Harry Potter's Magic” First Things, January 2000, www.arlington.net.

{32} Massimo Introvigne (the Italian version of this article was published on November 3, 1999 by "Avvenire", the daily newspaper of the Italian Conference of Catholic Bishops)


Conclusion

[33] Julia Keller “Should Harry Potter be expelled from the classroom? The Holland (West Michigan) Sentinel.  Nov 28th 1999. www.thehollansentinel.net/stories/index.html.

 [34] Schafer

 [35] Wendy Doniger. “spot the Source: Harry Potter Explained”. London Review of Books reprinted in The Guardian. Feb 10th 2000. www.guardian.co.uk/lrb/articles/0,6109,135352,00.html.

 [36] Suzanne Fields. “Casual Censors and Deadly Know-Nothings”. Jewish World Review. Dec 7th 1999. www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/fields120799.asp

 [37] Betsy Gerboth. “Feeling Demonic? It’s Harry Potter’s fault”. CBS-News.
www.channel4000.com/sh/entertainment/cultureshocked/stories/cultureshocked-20000606-151157.html

 [38] Reuters. “Harry Potter Wins Round Against Muggles” Sep 19th 2000. www.foxnews.com

Church-Bar-2

Harry Potter and the Gay Wizard: The Secret Behind the Story
by Jill Martin Rische

What a difference a day makes. Jo Rowling came out of the closet this week—or at least her creation, Albus Dumbledore, did. Take note, Potter fans everywhere, that Rowling—in her great wisdom—has revealed to the world that the wisest, kindest, most powerful (and famous) senior wizard in literary history is gay.  The Headmaster of Hogwarts prefers men. According to Rowling, “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. . . . Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald [a bad wizard he defeated long ago], and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.” [1]  Exactly why homosexuality is vital to her story, Rowling never reveals. She never explains her need to address sexual preference in a book aimed at children.

So what was the purpose of the bombshell Rowling dropped during her interview at Carnegie Hall?  Why did she out the beloved Dumbledore? The single answer is that Harry Potter and the Gay Wizard publicly throws all the weight of Rowling’s influence (not to mention her millions) behind the cause of Gay Rights . . . a cause we now know she proudly champions.

What a stand for diversity!  What a triumph for gay people everywhere!

What egg on the face of “Christian” supporters like Christianity Today, a publisher of feel-good articles like, “Why We Like Harry Potter” (2000). Christianity Today recommended Potter because “Rowling’s series is a Book of Virtues with a preadolescent funny bone. Amid the laugh-out-loud scenes are wonderful examples of compassion, loyalty, courage, friendship, and even self-sacrifice. No wonder young readers want to be like these believable characters. That is a Christmas present we can be grateful for.”  [2]

Harry Potter as a “Book of Virtues?” In what reality?

Rowling’s agenda has always been clear: she sees nothing wrong with Witchcraft; in fact, she glorifies all of its dark details by wrapping them up in the shiny tissue paper of fantasy. The occult is a lucrative business, and Rowling knows this better than anyone else. She’s made hundreds of millions of dollars working and playing in the wonderful world of the occult.

Here’s my take on Harry Potter: Over the years I read the books to see what all the fuss was about, and at first I thought they were entertaining. Offensive in nature, yes (and I said so publicly) but I had to give Rowling her due when it came to storytelling.

Today, after intense research into the world of the occult, I would never read another Potter book or waste my time on a Potter movie again. Sure, the adventure part is great, and it’s true that you can teach your kids what not to believe, simply by analyzing a Rowling book, but God hates evil, right? He hates it no matter how fun, exciting or educational it is, and if we love Him, shouldn’t we hate it, too?

    “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one 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, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 18: 10-13).

 God takes a very dim view of all forms of Witchcraft, including the entertainment kind. Witchcraft is not cute, funny or inspiring. It is not virtuous, although it often wears the mask of virtue. God calls it an abomination, and I don’t know about you, but that’s enough for me.

As for Potter’s Evangelical supporters like Christianity Today, I can only say what I said to myself, “Shame on you.”  Whenever we assess a threat to the Church, compromise is never an option; nothing should outweigh God’s opinion.

I’d be willing to bet a giant box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans that Jo Rowling planned this Dumbledore announcement a very long time ago. I personally think that one of the reasons she did it was to keep Christianity from staking even the tiniest claim on Harry Potter . . . ever. It’s interesting how she conveniently revealed this final, explosive detail long after everyone bought her last book, which proves that even Rowling, a woman richer than the Queen of England, can’t bear to lose a buck (or a pound). Just wait until the Harry Potter theme park opens in Florida . . . the money she makes will be mindboggling. Evil, like crime, pays well.

Albus Dumbledore is gay, and he has been and will continue to be a tremendous influence on millions of children. “One blogger wrote on a fansite: ‘My head is spinning. Wow. One more reason to love gay men.’” [3] Strange logic, but all too true on an international scale. Now more than ever, the Church must confront the specter of Potter and take a stand for biblical truth.

Witchcraft is the heart and soul of Harry Potter; it always has been and it always will be.  But like any other deception fostered by Satan, it is beautifully dressed in the biblical virtues admired by so many.

At long last, Rowling revealed a bit of the truth behind her billion dollar creation, and surprisingly, she did the Christian world an enormous favor by her perverse revelation: she settled the Harry Potter debate once and for all.


Distributed by www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com

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