WARNING

NOT EVERYTHING THAT

CALLS ITSELF ORTHODOX IS

TRULY ORTHODOX


The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."


blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham

joannahigginbotham@gmail.com

jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007

DISCLAIMER



23 March 2011

More on Harry Potter


3/23/11 2:20PM

More on Harry Potter pasted here from a series of Church bulletins year 2007, RocorMP parish of St. Nicholas in Hobart, Indiana.

http://www.troparion.com/1bulletin2.htm


Practical psychologists Irene Medvedeva and Tatiana Shishova discuss “Harry Potter” books.
Excerpts from the interview taken by Svetlana Viatkina for “Svetoch” magazine.

-
Question: “Harry Potter” is a best-seller. However, many Orthodox Christians are against the books’ influence on our school children. I know the books are not to your liking either. Why?

Answer: “Harry Potter” is trumpeted as the best book ever written, that it was translated into 150 languages. However, the librarians are puzzled for they find this book inept, badly written. Well, the book is promoted very powerfully. [There is a reason for Harry Potter unexplained popularity.  See post #44, Hollywood's Satanic Agenda:  http://startingontheroyalpath.blogspot.com/2012/05/hollywoods-satanic-agenda-very-eye.htmlSo we had to analyze just one Madame Rowling’s book and we came to a conclusion that it is simply a children’s textbook on occult. Nowadays, the textbooks are supposed to entertain. So Rowling wrote her entertaining textbook and as you know the textbooks are never a high class fiction. Therefore, our librarians are correct, for they are used to well-written literature.
Not that we are saying that the children who read the “Harry Potter” books will definitely practice magic.  People come to us, psychologists, and they complain not that their children are engaged in magic, but they say that their children have certain psychological and behavior problems.  It is difficult to describe the children’s behavior using the secular vocabulary, but in the Church such people are called “diabolically possessed”.
For example, a seven year old school boy’s mother complained that her son was extremely aggressive.  During our conversation we found out that he liked fighting, being cruel, lying, blaming others. Looking at him it was obvious that he enjoyed doing all that. In our sessions we offer the child to choose a toy he likes the best. As it usually happens with the aggressive children the boy chose a Baba Yaga (witch) toy. I was shocked to see him answer for the toy.
 I asked him:
— Baba Yaga, do you have a family? Who are your parents?
— When I was a little girl, — the boy fantasized, — a witch visited me and promised to teach me magic spells. For that I served her. I had learnt the magic and killed my parents!!!
The boy not simply said all that but he screamed in rapture. The last words he roared with great excitement. Without even talking to his mother I knew he had read “Harry Potter” books. And the mother said that first he saw a movie about that brilliant young magician and started to have fears. Then he began reading the “Harry Potter” books and started to manifest aggressiveness and cruelty; she fears he might even be expelled from his school for his bad behavior.
We started working with this boy and found out that, in fact, he was not evil. Contrary to that, he was very kind, unselfish, even heroic, but he was spiritually damaged by the Rowling’s book.
Question: Since the children are damaged spiritually, their recovery should also be spiritual — through the Mysteries of the Church.
Answer: Yes, I told his mother that she had to prepare him for the Holy Communion, which she did, and she started taking him to church. 

 WHITE MAGIC, BLACK MAGIC
 
By Michael Dunaev (Adopted from Orthodox Conversation magazine, #2, 2006)

Naïve people do not see the difference between a miracle and magic, because at the first sight they might seem similar: both, the miracle and magic, transcend that which we consider natural laws of our world. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two.
Magic is a consequence of an intervention of the dark forces in our everyday life. The person involved in magic may believe that the decisive rôle here is allotted to his own will, his special knowledge and to all kinds of magical paraphernalia (charms, wounds, etc.), as well as spells and incantations required for mastering some otherworldly powers. Not everyone bothers to discern what sort of powers they are dealing with. Some people think these powers can be either dark or light, therefore they subdivide magic into ‘black’ and ‘white’. Hence one precludes that white magic is good and that black magic is dangerous. However, there are witches who consciously seek to contact the evil powers.
Such confusion and misconceptions result from a rather plain deception or self-deception. The demons love to play giveaway games with us. They pretend that all spells and magic charms have power over them and that they must obey those who possess the secrets of magic. In reality, the cunning demons manipulate the actions of the witches and sorcerers.
The demons can also pretend to be good spiritual beings, they can take an appearance of angels, as Holy Apostle Paul warns us (2 Cor. 11:14-15). The demons lie shamelessly instilling into people’s heads the thoughts about good consequences of ‘white’ magic (they know that it is almost impossible to seduce anyone by promising an evil outcome). Therefore, there is no difference between the good and evil magic: either kind of magic is fraught with deadly spiritual danger.
Miracle, on the other hand, is a manifestation of the laws of the higher realm in the realm of the fallen man. Our world was wounded by the Fall; its genuine laws of nature were distorted; death, suffering and propensity for evil entered the world. Through the good Providence of God, as a reminder about the Truth, the heavenly laws sometimes manifest themselves in this temporary world which lies in evil. Miracle doesn’t depend on human will, therefore there can be no illusion: God cannot be made to do things through sorcery and He will not play bad games with man. Miracle can only be prayed for.
The great danger of the books like the Harry Potter series is that they suggest to infirm minds the lie about the ‘good’ magic and about one’s ability to master its secrets and opportunities. Such proficiency in the craft becomes for the person an end in itself: he strives for the powers with which he hopes to accomplish his quite selfish plans.
Who has a ‘talent’ for sorcery? It is those in whom the dark, sinful passions have already matured and they, the passions, become the fertile ground for sorcery. Participation in the act of sorcery cultivates and strengthens evil traits in the person creating a vicious circle, and there comes a point when the person cannot free himself from it.

Harry Potter books and movies have become part of our culture: they are being promoted by schools, local newspapers and libraries. As the mass media and human rights groups have successfully made sin a norm in our society, the occult concepts are entering the American spiritual mainstream and are no longer considered dangerous.  Below we offer an article (first published in Greek a couple of years ago, therefore it discusses only first four books) about the Harry Potter series of books and movies. Even if few of us have watched the movie or read the book, still we are often confronted with the image of the books’ main character.  May the following article help us have a better understanding of the Harry Potter series, so that we could prevent our children from being exposed to the spiritual poison of Ms. Rowling’s creation.
HARRY POTTER!
Would You Like to Initiate Your Children into Satanism?
1. THE NEW FAD
          Just recently, the Greek movie theaters were flooded by children of all ages, waiting in line to watch Warner Bros' movie, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
          The movie is based on Joanne K. Rowling's* first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Bloomsbury 1997. This book and its sequels have sold 116 million copies and have been translated into 47 languages; they were on the best-seller lists for many long months; and they have received many awards. Researchers in the U.S. say that over 50% of children in the U.S., aged 6-17, have read at least one Harry Potter book. The Internet is full of Harry Potter fan clubs. The publishing house of Harry Potter in Greece, YucogioV says: “The revealing sign of the new fad, which is called Harrypottermania, is the number of letters, telephone calls and e-mails that the YucogioV publications receives daily for the Harry Potter book: the letters alone surpass 7,500!”
          Moreover, the Coca Cola Company has signed an agreement to pay 150 million dollars to Warner Bros for the exclusive right of displaying Harry Potter on the packages of its products and its advertisements. We also learn that "school playgrounds abroad are awash with Harry Potter paraphernalia, books, cards, glasses like those worn by the young wizard," many of which we see now even in Greece.
          Harry Potter even invaded school classrooms: teachers give the children assignments on Harry Potter books, handing out also extended references on witchcraft and occultism. In Athens, certain private language schools use the book in the original English text to improve the reading skills of the students. Many parents and school teachers, being rather ignorant of the context, are extremely happy that the book-phobic offsprings have now become manic readers... of Harry Potter. In view of the Christmas holidays, whole classes of Elementary, Junior-High and High Schools -- even entire schools – accompanied by the teachers, visited the movie theaters to watch the Harry Potter film. Consequently, certain children that had not found Harry Potter up to that time, returned home asking their parents to buy them the books.
          These are marketed as children's books (the first is suggested for ages 8-13 and the second book ages 10 to adult) but they are being enjoyed by adults as well. The problem, of course, is in the spiritual nature of the books.
          * Ms. Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born in Bristol, U.K., in 1965. She studied French Literature in the Exeter University, worked as a secretary, got married in 1992, abandoned her husband in 1993, and found herself in Edinburgh, without money and with very few friends, where she started writing her first Harry Potter book. In her 2000 interview to The Times she said that she had gone through a period of severe depression, and that the ‘lunatics’ (demonic creatures that torture humans in her third book) were not just characters but a conscious description of her depression.
2. WHO IS HARRY POTTER?
          Harry is a cute, young, orphaned, nerdy lad, who lives together with his unsympathetic, abusive, dull relatives. When Harry was still an infant, Voldemort*, the wicked wizard, killed his parents and tried to kill him also; but the baby, gifted with supernatural powers, escaped death. From this encounter, as a souvenir of the incident, he was left with the sign of a lightning bolt** scarred on his forehead, a sign that would make him famous later.
          When Harry became 11 years old, he was "saved" from his bleak existence by receiving an invitation from the "Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," that offered him a scholarship to study witchcraft. It was then that he found out that he "was a warlock, and a very good one, but with some practice of course." So, Harry became a boarding student in the witch school.
Harry, along with the reader of course, becomes slowly initiated into the "craft," which is presented extremely seductively, full of mystery and challenges. In the world of witchcraft, and in its people, he finds the love, acceptance, and recognition -- even monetary benefits -- which he lacked when he was living with the muggles*** (read non-wizards), which in all the Harry Potter books are depicted either as slow-witted or full of hatred and evil. Up to this point, some people might have considered the whole thing as pure fantasy -- and why not? However, there is more to come. Read along!
          * A former wizard, and now Protestant Pastor, David J. Meyer, said: “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’. In the Harry Potter books, there is a character called ‘Voldemort’. The pronunciation guide says of this being, “He who must not be named”’.
         ** The sign of the lightning bolt on Harry Potter is a symbol from the Runic alphabet, an ancient Germanic alphabet which gradually fell into disuse but acquired occultist significance in the Dark Ages, and signifies destruction. The same symbol was used by Hitler for his Nazi SS, his elite destruction corps, and also for the Nazi Youth. The symbol on Harry, who escaped a very powerful warlock, suggests that the lad is even stronger, that he is the Apollon, the Destroyer, the Antichrist; this assumption is also supported by the name of the hero himself. In the author’s British dialect, “Harry” as a verb means to “assault, devastate, ravage”, and as a noun (“Old Harry”) denotes the Satan, while “Potter” means to “bother, irritate, annoy”, some witches though claim that Potter was a Mesopotamian goddess of fertility.
           *** Muggle, probably cockney (London slang) for marijuana. The world of Ms. Rowling is divided in the “initiated ones” and “sleepy ones”.
3. SOME OBJECTIONS
         1. First of all, part of the problem is that witches and wizards do exist and they do cast spells as in the Harry Potter books.
         2. The author herself, Ms. J. K Rowling, readily admitted in 1999 on The Diane Reihm Show that she researched pagan and witchcraft practices to make the books more realistic. She said that more than one third of her books are based on actual occult practices.
         3. The growing trend has been described as "troublesome" by John Buckeridge, editor of Youthwork, a monthly Christian magazine. He said: "The growing number of books and TV shows like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch encourage an interest in magic as harmless fun. However, for some young people it could fuel a fascination that leads to dangerous dabbling with occult powers. So what starts out as spooks and spells can lead to psychological and spiritual damage."
         4. Media officer Andy Norfolk of Pagan Federation said: "In response to the increased queries coming from youngsters we established a youth officer, not to promote paganism but merely to answer these queries and allow someone to offer advice and information." The aforementioned Federation also stated that the Harry Potter books, along with some TV series like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, are responsible for this new wave of interest in the black arts. Kate West, a 42-year-old witch and vice president of the Federation, said: "When I was a teenager, there were only about 10 books on witchcraft around. But now there is so much information on the Internet which makes it so much more accessible." However, Andy Norfolk soothingly reassured the parents that they should not be alarmed by their children's sudden interest in magick.* "Paganism is recognized as a valid religion."
         5. The Union of Teachers and University Professors in England rang the bells of warning for the extremely popular creations of Ms. Rowling, and called on both parents and teachers to be careful. The Union of Teachers has been for a long time suspicious that children are occupied with the occult. Peter Smith, the general secretary of the Teachers' Union, emphasizes: "The children should be protected from the extreme forms of occultism and should be taught a responsible and positive way about the dangers of trips into the unknown. The film of Harry Potter will lead a whole generation of children to the discovery of witchcraft. While it is important to prevent extreme forms of opposition the dangers are clear. More and more children are spending whole hours by themselves on the Internet in search of satanic web pages and we do worry about it because there is no one to check up on them."
          6. A former wizard and now Protestant Pastor, David J. Meyer, said, "It was the Communist revolutionary Lenin who said, 'Give me one generation of youth, and I will transform the entire world.' Now an entire generation of youth has been given to a woman named J.K Rowling and her books on witchcraft, known as the Harry Potter Series. As a former witch, I can speak with authority when I say that I have examined the works of Rowling and that the Harry Potter books are training manuals for the occult. Untold millions of young people are being taught to think, speak, dress, and act like witches by filling their heads with the contents of these books. Children are so obsessed with the Harry Potter books that they have left television and video games to read these witchcraft manuals. How serious is this? By reading these materials, many millions of young people are learning how to work with demon spirits. They are getting to know them by name. Vast numbers of children professing to be Christians are also filling their hearts and minds, while willingly ignorant parents look the other way."
          7. "On top of that," said Bill Schnoebelen (another former ceremonial magician), "many media report that children are not just reading the Potter books, they are rereading them over and over again! They do this because they are entertaining, but also because they find this world of sorcerers and magic beguiling and charming (both words rooted in magic) and because they identify with the wizards. This is eerily like Christians who read and re-read the Bible, except of course they are digesting the very Word of God. Whether or not they grow up to be sorcerers, they are immersing themselves in the magic world-view that does not fit with the Bible. You cannot be your own god and also worship the one, true God. This is why these books are more dangerous than they appear."
          8. Consequently, expected opposition also came from the Christian world of all countries, as is demonstrated by the great many number of WebPages which one can locate with any search engine.
          9. The Harry Potter books are among the most controversial, as reported by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. For the years 1999 and 2000 there are 1,188 signed protests. These protests constitute less than 1/4 of the actual number of protests in schools and libraries, asking the withdrawal of Harry Potter books on the basis that they are "occultic and satanic."
        10. At least one school in England, the Grammar school of St. Mary in Chatman, banned the Harry Potter books in its library.
        11. One of the biggest chain toy-stores in UK, the Entertainer, banned "Harry Potter merchandise" from their shelves. One of the owners, Gary Grant, admitted that this action might cost him profits of £500,000, but he explained that he was worried about the uncontrollable situation in which the children would find themselves.
         12. In Greece, the Scientist's Association "Prooptikh" is involved in deep research on the subject, studying among other things the psychological and pedagogical facets of this new phenomenon.
         13. In Athens there are responsive educators, parents, priests, and Sunday-school teachers, that are informed, or have already faced some of the immediate consequences of the subject (manifestations of fear, sleep disturbances, etc. in the life of the child), and are trying to avert this great danger that threatens youth.
          Do these statements sound overly critical? We wish they were.
* There is confusion between “stage magic” (illusion), such as practiced by Houdini or David Copperfield, and real magic. For this reason, most serious practitioners of the art of sorcery prefer to spell it the old English way, as “magick”, precisely to distinguish it from pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

4. There are several Harry Potter books on the market. Ms. Rowling knew since the beginning that she would write seven books, one for each year Harry Potter studies in the school of sorcery, and, accordingly, has completed her seventh book many years ago. The books are written with a progression from bad to evil.
    For example, in the first book the heroes found blood stains of an animal (which, by "pure" coincidence, happened to be a unicorn) and then became witnesses of a horrible scene where the demonic creature that killed the unicorn drinks its blood; finally, at the end of the book is presented, quite abruptly and ghastly, the demonic possession of one of the teachers who then tries to kill Harry.
    In the second book, the little wizard learns how to purge the garden of gnomes, without taking pity on them even when they scream. Later on, the young students of the school of sorcery are taught, among other things, how to plant mandrakes in the soil; these mandrakes are plants which, instead of roots, have little, soiled, grotesque infants that shriek at the top of their lungs. Later on, in the same book, we read about the animal sacrifice of the pet cat of the school (which, please take note, is named "Mrs. Norris") and also about the demonic possession of one little female student, who then loses accountability of her actions and proceeds to strangle roosters and to attack both the living and the dead of the school. Now the whole thing has transformed into a true "horror movie," since everybody is now in danger of getting killed.
      In the third book we learn about lollipops with blood flavor (in the first book we were presented just with "vomit-flavored" candy). We also learn about some creatures that continuously alter their form in order to scare humans, then about some other demons, and later on about the executioners of the jail of sorcerers, the "lunatics," horrible demonic creatures that suck the souls out of human beings so that the latter will lose them forever. We also witness Harry hearing his dead parents screaming before getting killed, and then we learn that the pet that Ron carries continually with him (it even gets to sleep in the boys' dormitory), is not truly a pet rat but a warlock (of the kind that transforms into animal forms*), and an evil one, too.
      The fourth book, which is the most sizeable, is endowed with 654 pages and the most atrocious scenes; Ms. Rowling defines it as the "main book." "It is the book where all the deaths start," she said to The Times and continued saying, "it will cause a lot of confusion but no damage." This matches the book title well since "Potter" in her British dialect also means "bother, irritate, annoy." The fourth book begins with a string of murders, a literal contest of life and death, where the heroes are called to win by putting into practice all the sinister dark arts they were taught in the previous three years. At the end of the contest, one of the heroes ends up murdered and the whole thing reaches its climax with a shocking satanic ritual, the kind which only a completely perverted mind would conceive.
     One, then, can only wonder: what is next?
* Shape-shifting into animal forms, that is “Lycanthropy”, explains a former wizard, “is an old and honored element within the disciplines of magic and sorcery. The werewolf is the best known example of lycanthropy, but there are others. Most third world countries which practice shamanism have practitioners who endeavor (and sometimes succeed) in shape-shifting themselves into animals: bears, wolves, ravens, etc.
          

2. A FEW OBSERVATIONS
          .
Even if someone could encounter in the books some humor, some elements of imagination, and a veneer of moral values, still, how can children read such books? How appropriate can these kinds of books be when they are plagued with such problems:
1. They familiarize the reader with evil, witchcraft, occultism, and demonology. Harry is a wizard (his mother was a witch, his father was a wizard) and is training both himself and the reader to use occult powers of astrology, alchemy, divination, spell casting, and so on.
2. They blur the distinction between good and evil. The stories are often portrayed as ‘good’ versus ‘evil’. However, Harry uses witchcraft, among other vices, to overcome the enemy wizard Voldemort. Their powers come from the same source.
3. They cultivate a negative attitude. Characters who have magic powers are portrayed as being 'cool', the rest are considered inferior, slow-witted, and wicked.
4. They contain anti-pedagogical messages. Not only do the characters have unethical behavior, such as conscious lying and rule breaking, but also when they are caught, they are not only not punished but rewarded instead.
5. They weaken the will to endure the natural hardships of life. Children get the false impression from the books that they can escape the hardships of life by cheating and resorting to the paranormal. Thus, they train themselves for a life of misery and failure.
6. They undermine traditional family values. As was mentioned earlier, Harry's biological parents were murdered and his foster family is horrible, mean, selfish, and unloving. They are "Muggles" (non-sorcerers) who make Harry's life miserable because of his beliefs and even make him sleep in a closet! His witchy friends are made to appear very appealing next to these loutish family members. The normal human adults of his family are seen as stupid and powerless, while the witches and warlocks are wise and powerful. What sort of message does this send to children about their relatives who might not live lives as fascinating as those portrayed in the books? Is that the kind of gratitude you would expect from your children for your sacrifices for them?
7. They nurture a prolonged descent into a daydreaming mental state. The children lock themselves inside their fantasies, alienating themselves from the perception of the true world around them. Hence, not only do they become unable to respond to the requirements of normal life, but they also develop abnormal psychological states, including despondency and megalomania.
8. They cultivate thirst for satanic pride. They tickle the desire to become "little gods" (the ancient lie of the serpent) and fill the child's head with violence, blood sacrifice, and a worldview which is decidedly anti-Christian. Is this desirable? Especially when the books are so well-written that the children are reading them over and over and virtually memorizing them?


HARRY POTTER!
Would You Like to Initiate Your Children into Satanism?
6. JUST A STORY?
     It is very likely that some people will argue that the Harry Potter story is just fantasy and as such cannot have any real impact on the formation of a child ' s character. “After all , it ' s just a story." Yet , we saw that the author herself admitted that her books describe actual occultic practices . Even more , newer studies demonstrate that the most potent method of pedagogical instruction is precisely storytelling . As a matter of fact , " lively narrative format is being used increasingly in higher education ..." writes Dr . Abrahamson in his report , Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education ( posted in the Encyclopedia Britannica website ), and he continues saying that , “storytelling can clearly be viewed as the foundation of the teaching profession . . . The best methodology for education is not simply the use of didactic instruction , for it needs to be an awakening and moving experience in order for the content to have meaning for the learner . Inspiration , encouragement , satisfaction must be integrated with information in order to provide an education that has meaning to the learner and will have true , lasting effects on that person's life and the society in which he or she interacts . What a person usually remembers the longest is information that has an emotional impact . ”

What's more alarming is that similar studies claim that storytelling teaching , by employing emotional elements , suspense and surprises in the plot , captures the audience ' s attention and momentarily suspends critical thinking , preparing the mind to accept without scrutiny the real message of the story . " If the stage is successful," says Dr . Abrahamson , " consciousness has been distracted ."
Even if our children do not outright embrace Satanism , we have to understand that exposure to such literature , especially at a young age , will surely affect their perception of the world around them . A child' s perception is fundamentally different from an adult' s . As adults, we can , if we want to , develop a perspective on what we read or watch, reflecting on the relationship between what we are reading and our own thoughts and experiences . However , the children cannot , because their life experience and understanding is too limited . " By blurring the line between fantasy and reality ," said senior news analyst for National Public Radio , Daniel Schorr , " it crowds out reality . And people are starting to catch on . ”
Let it be noted that in many parts of the books which we presented the heroes learn and execute spells, make magical potions, recite incantations, learn to use phrases with magical results, good or evil. The heroes also learn to levitate objects, talk to the dead, are taught astrology, divination, and curses with which they can control, torture, and kill. The occultist and satanic elements are plentiful, as are also the scenes that cause horror, terror, and disgust. A former ceremonial magician, Bill Schnoebelen, brings the following troubling elements to our attention: “Just as a small sample, imagine a ten-year-old reading about an animal sacrifice of a cat; non-magicians like you and I (Muggles) portrayed as dull, boring, cruel, or useless; power is the ultimate moral choice, irrespective of good or evil; blood sacrifices; cutting off the hand of a living person for a ritual; boiling what seems to be a baby or fetus alive in a cauldron; demon possessions; werewolves; vampires; bringing an evil wizard back from the dead through the shedding of blood; astral projection or travel; casting spells and levitation; being able to shape-shift into an animal (lycanthropy); crystal gazing or divination; a hero (Harry) who tells lies, steals, breaks the rules, and cheats by copying another student's homework; approval of astrology; being taught that people can exist without their souls; communion with the dead; dead souls living within us; Harry takes mood-altering drugs (which are REAL herbs that are used by witches and shamans); use of the "Hand of Glory" (a grisly occult artifact that is the severed hand of a hanged murderer. Its fingers are lit and burned as candles. The hand is placed in a house to make everyone in the house fall into a spell); use of magic charms. As a former magician myself, I can say that an intelligent child could learn a great deal of authentic magical material [from the Harry Potter books]. For non-Christians like Harry, death is a one-way ticket to hell!
Very cunningly, the toddlers are indoctrinated into believing that there is also "good" magic, and that everyone is free to choose for himself between "good" and "evil" sorcery.* Indeed, some people, “defend [the books] by saying that good magic always wins and overcomes evil magic. This is the oldest con game ever hatched out of hell. As a real [ex-] witch, I learned about the two sides of ‘the force.’ When real witches have sabats and esbats and meet as a coven, they greet each other by saying ‘Blessed be,’ and when they part, they say ‘The Force be with you’. Both sides of this ‘Force’ are satan. It is not a good side of the force that overcomes the bad side of the force, but rather it's the blood of Jesus Christ that destroys both supposed sides of the satanic ‘Force.’”**
The fast - paced plot of the story , full of emotion and suspense , camouflages its real message – the replacement of old moral values based on God' s commands with a paganistic ethos . Harry , Ron and Hermione ( the character with whom little girls can identify themselves ) become models for the children , and these models happen to be young sorcerers that defeat the evil warlock with " good " sorcery . Harry ' s parents were good sorcerers and the substitute for Harry ' s father is none other than Doubledoor , the " good " sorcerer , who personifies the ideal father .

The brainwashing is obvious. Even more , there is widespread derision , or even contempt , for those who fear sorcery or despise it as evil. There is no doubt that Harry was created to embody the new savior , the Antichrist , something hinted by the name of the hero itself (" Old Harry " in the author ' s British dialect denotes the Satan ). At the time of his birth , he is threatened with death and always exposed to injustice, but Harry with supernatural means defeats his enemies and saves the people around him . Let us pause for a minute and ask ourselves : who is the other one , who also performs miracles -- but without God ' s help -- and is considered by his followers as the " injustice - suffering god "?
In addition, it is easily demonstrated that the three good heroes steal , lie , display moods of hatred and revenge , and continually break the rules of the school -- and all these always become acceptable and even rewarded . Pay attention to the following excerpt :
" Very good ," the teacher said encouragingly to him when he finished. " You found where the entrance was by breaking all the rules of the school . " Harry looked , by hunch, at Doubledoor . The later gave a faint smile ( Book II , pp . 344 ). " If I am not mistaken , I had strictly warned you that you would get expelled if you kept breaking the rules of the school ," said Doubledoor . Ron ' s jaw dropped . " And this proves that sometimes , even the most moderate of us should shut our mouths ," Doubledoor continued with a smile. " Both of you will be rewarded with a special award for exemplary services to the school and ... hmm ., let me think... yes , two hundred points . ” ( Book II , pp . 347- 348 )
* Not unlike the “good” and “evil” side of the Force in the Star Wars , or in Hinduism and Buddhism .
** Pastor David J . Meyer, Harry Potter : What Does God Have To Say .

7 . CHARMING HARRY AND THE BIG PICTURE
It becomes evident that the Harry Potter books are part of a global effort to replace the Christian way of life with New Age principles , which include initiation into Satanism and the paranormal .
“A word needs to be said about films , which also compose the atmosphere surrounding children ' s play. The top money - making films today focus on the preternatural manifestations of the kingdom of darkness. Designed for adults were such films as Rosemary' s Baby , The Exorcist , Omen , and Poltergeist , for children , the Star WarsTrilogy , E . T ., Ghostbusters , and Gremlins . The Star Wars Trilogy , since it first appeared in 1977, has generated sales for Star Wars licensed products ( i . e . primarily toys ) of $ 3billion! George Lucas , the producer of Star Wars , admits being strongly influenced by Carlos Castaneda ' s Tales of Power -- a cult book of the 1960 ' s and 70 ' s which chronicles the ( what many believe to be true ) story of Don Juan , a Mexican Indian sorcerer . Furthermore , Star Wars introduced many viewers to Zen Buddhism through the character of Yoda, known as " Zen Master ." Yoda taught Luke Skywalker , a type of Buddhist monk , about the " ever - present Force " -- a term used in witchcraft down the ages to describe the power witches receive from Satan ! Lucas himself has said , " People in the industry don ' t want to accept their responsibility that they had a hand in a way the world is loused up . But , for the better or for the worse , the influence of the Church , which used to be all - powerful , has been usurped by film. Films and T . V . tell us the way we conduct our lives , what is right and wrong . ” *
And do not think that Mr . Lucas is a fringe case . The Mormon Church , for example , “has gotten no small amount of favorable exposure as a result of its connection with the Osmonds . The Jehovah ' s Witnesses sect has reaped great benefit from its ties with the Jacksons ( though superstar Michael Jackson defected a few years ago ). The Church of Scientology has likewise received heavy publicity due to the growing number of Hollywood celebrities joining the church , including Tom Cruise , Kirstie Alley , Mimi Rogers , Anne Archer , Sonny Bono , John Travolta , and Chick Corea . Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism ( a " name it and claim it " form of Buddhism ) has benefited as a result of its association with actor Patrick Duffy ( of " Dallas " fame ), musician Herbie Hancock , and rock star Tina Turner . Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism has been called one of the fastest growing religions in America . Another form of Buddhism -- Tibetan Buddhism , has received tremendous publicity as a result of star Richard Gere ' s affiliation with the religion” .**

The cases are numerous . LeVar Burron ( known as Lt . Geordi LaForge in " Star Trek : The New Generation ") dropped out from a Catholic seminary for yoga and crystals following " inner voices ." Linda Evans ( known from her role in " Dynasty") left the acting scene in preference of necromancy ( or " channeling" as it is euphemistically called in New Age parlance ). And , of course, Shirley MacLaine , the New Age prophetess who preaches that , " you must never worship anyone or anything else [ other ] than [ your ] self " Indeed , “The substitution of New Age thinking for Christian awareness starts at home with pre - schooled children under the very nose of the parents . This is accomplished through toys and television , through games , and video games . One need only to turn on the television in order to investigate the meaning behind the majority of the children ' s programming from cartoons to films, to delve into those ideas which are presented , and to study their forms of presentation, in order to be convinced of this. In the prologue to the He - Man cartoons , the children are taught that Adam ( He - Mans name ) received wondrous magical powers when he raised his sword and proclaimed , " by the power of Gray Skull , I am the power ." In other words , the children are taught that Adam received what the serpent promised by rising against his Creator . ” ***
Very cunningly, they focus their attempts on children, for the latter are spiritually vulnerable and most receptive to images and sounds so as to prepare the new generation to readily accept and worship the messiah of the New Age, the Antichrist.
“We should now say a word about Antichrist . He is not simply a cruel dictator who is anti- Christian.  I think most people, when they think of Antichrist, think of someone like Hitler, who was a persecutor, or Stalin, who persecuted Christians and is against religion .  But that is not Antichrist , though he has that aspect. "Anti " means not just "against," but also " in place of ".  He will be someone who will come and take the place of Christ; it says quite clearly that he will be worshipped as God in the temple of Jerusalem .  You don’t go and worship some kind of ordinary dictator , and the whole world could not very easily do that.  But he will come as a world dictator who is accepted as God , as something and someone very positive; thus, he will do everything possible to imitate and take the place of Christ... Thus , it will be something very deceptive; in fact so much so that the elect themselves might be deceived if the times were not cut short ! Christ Himself warns , in speaking of the last days , that false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray , if possible, even the elect . And in the Apocalypse , St . John states that the last times will be characterized by demonic spirits working wonders. Thus , one of the signs of the coming of the end is the multiplication of demonic signs and wonders ; that is , false miracles and things of that sort. By such things I mean in particular , for example , the increase in the last several decades of outright Satanism — Satan worship -- which only in this last twenty years or so has achieved such openness and notoriety ; people who openly call themselves witches ; the greatly increased interest in Eastern pagan religions , which in these last two or three decades have become tremendously fashionable so that there are now Western - born American and English - gurus and Zen masters , and so forth. ” ****
Indeed , the dark powers , in their struggle for global supremacy , are preparing for themselves favorable ground so that at the right time , at the culminating moment , the overwhelming majority of our children will readily accept the Antichrist as their political and spiritual leader .
* Ryasaphore - monk Hilarion , Offend Not These Little Ones , published in Orthodox Life magazine .
** Ron Rhodes , The Culting of America , The Shocking Implications for Every Concerned Christian .
*** N . N . Walk Circumspectly , in Orthodox Life, 1992 .
**** Father Seraphim Rose , Signs of the End of Times , transcription of a lecture given in Santa Cruz in 1981.  


 8. THE CHILDREN

     Lest these words sound over exaggerated, we shall now present a few indicative words from the children who have read the books. We found these on the Internet and in the Greek edition of the books.
1. Girl, age 12. "I have read all the books at least three times. Every time I do so I find myself in a magical world and I imitate the three friends. I would like myself to become a witch."
2. Girl, age 15. "I wish there was really such a school for me."
3. Girl, age 13. "Dear friends of Harry Potter. I am one of the biggest fans. To illustrate my point, just think that for a certain period I read the first book through to the last one and then I started all over again. The books became a psychosis for me. I read the four books in six school days. But then I understood that Harry Potter is a great love that should not become a mania.”
4. Boy, age 10. "I don't think there is a sorcerer's city close to my house but I wish there was one, because I would like to become a wizard."
5. Boy, age 10. "I want to go to wizard school and learn magic. I would like to learn to use a wand and cast spells."
6. Girl, age 9. "I really believe there is an actual city of sorcerers close to my house. I continually see weird dreams. My friends say that I have become crazed, but it's true. When I walk in the street, I see old men, strange people who … wear glasses … and cloaks. What other proof do they want?"
7. Girl, age 9. "I am a fanatic reader of Harry Potter and I wish there was sorcery for real, as so many others do. Of course, the fourth book really scared me when Sentric Digory died; I saw horrible nightmares for a while."
8. Boy, age 10. "There must be some sorcerer's city close to my house. And that lady that lives in front of my house looks a bit quaint. She could be a witch."
9. Girl. "I like Harry Potter because I can put into practice what I read right away." With over a 150million readership (when the first four books were came out), this little girl could be your own daughter – practicing what she reads (i.e. casting curses) on you!

9. TROUBLING FRUITS
 It is possible that some people might still argue that the whole phenomenon is just another whimsy passé that will disappear without leaving any trace. No doubt, the Harry Potter fad will eventually die out as every fad does. Yet, who can estimate the damage, both spiritual and mental, that these books will inflict to untold millions of children worldwide? Consider the following facts:
1. Most Americans reject the notion of absolute truth.
2. Nearly two thirds of all American adults contend that the choice of one religious faith over another is irrelevant because all faiths teach the same basic lessons about life.
3. Some 67 percent of American adults claim to have had a psychic experience such as extrasensory perception.
4. Approximately 30 million Americans believe in reincarnation.
5. Some 25 percent of Americans believe in non-personal energy or life force which they roughly equate with God.
6. The Northern Illinois University conducted a survey which found that 67% of U.S. adults read astrology columns.
7. About I million people in the U.S. practice Transcendental Meditation regularly, while 6,000 doctors recommend it to their patients.
8. Over half of the Fortune 500 companies admitted of having exposed their personnel in psychic "human potential" techniques.


(Conclusion)

Things are unlikely to get better. One can even speculate that, with the mass youth indoctrination into the occult by the HP type of literature, a good portion of our own children will become even hostile to Christianity and alien to salvation. We think the following poem, written by a high school student, is apt:

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
 If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
 We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
 We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.
 We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires, and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
 It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
Amen
 10. CONCLUSION
Let us pause for a moment; let us reflect on what we have read. So far, we saw the author of the Harry Potter books readily admitting that her works are based on actual witchcraft experiences; like-minded producers unscrupulously acknowledging that they consciously degenerate the public through their works; official witches enthusiastically recognizing that these works cause "surges" of converts into Satanism; and young children exhibiting eager interest in the sinister arts.
We also saw that this kind of literature promotes rebellion against God, instills satanic pride, teaches authentic witchcraft practices, locks children in their fantasies, overturns traditional family values, blurs the distinctions between right and wrong, desensitizes children to evil, and familiarizes them with demonic spirits, with whom in all probability, if left uncorrected, they will spend eternity.
It is written in the Scriptures, "as I find you, I will judge you" (Ez.33:20). Suppose death finds us reading those kind of books -- what will our apology be? How much different will our apology be from that of St. Seraphim's, whom death found kneeling in prayer before the icon of the Mother of God? Should not death find every Christian in prayer? Are we not instructed to pray without ceasing (1Thes 5:17)? Really, what will our apology be for reading such books?
Our children are soaked in a culture that promotes evil, occultism, and lust of power. Preschoolers spend more time watching television than it takes to get a college degree. By the time of graduation from high school, the average child will have spent approximately 11,000 hours at school and 22,000 hours in front of television. According to the National Coalition on Television Violence, the average American teenager, by the age of 18, will have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders. Our “America is a nation in which we say we believe in God, while at the same time we behave like atheists. When judged by even a remotely traditional Christian standard of behavior, Americans can hardly be described as a "Christian people." Measured against other cultures, we, Americans, are perhaps the most materialistic and desacralized people on earth. But according to what we say about ourselves, we Americans are a "religious," even a "good" people. One's view of American society will therefore depend on whether one judges Americans by what we say or by what we do. We say we love our families. But fifty percent of all marriages are shattered by divorce. We Americans say we love our children. But almost one third of all American children conceived are aborted (1.6 million per year), and millions more who are born are abandoned to a failed educational system and to the tender mercies of our divorce courts, social workers, and "day care" orphanages. From a vantage point which accepts the inherent truth of historical Christianity, the moral problems which surround us are not the result of a lack of religion in our society, but the consequences of too much faith in the wrong religions.
We live in a nation that believes itself to be intensely religious. However, religious fervor notwithstanding, faith in the historical teaching of the Church (in other words, Orthodox Christianity) is out of fashion in America.”
Even worse, the occultic world-view is all around us, promoted in board games, cartoons, music, movies, and on television. More critical, it is often promoted in classrooms. Think about it, we now have several major T.V. shows where the heroes are witches. Our young people swim in a stench of spiritual filth that they cannot even discern anymore. Often, God has been driven from their lives and has been replaced with the ethos of power, violence, and self-indulgence -- in short, SATANISM. Should we allow this to happen to the children, which God entrusted to our care?

11. RAISING OUR CHILDREN
Our youth today are already on toxic spiritual overload just from living in our society. It is a miracle if any young person can keep their faith.
The Holy Scripture warns those that say that evil is good and that good is evil, those who try to pass the sweet for bitter and the bitter for sweet. And Father Paisios off the Holy Mountain said, "Let us pray that God will do something, for now the children can not find any help to become good people but only to become demon possessed.” Let us protect our children and let us understand our responsibilities before them and before God's infinite love. But how is this accomplished?
“A great influence for good is exercised on children by frequently taking them, from the earliest age, to church, by having them kiss the holy Cross, the Gospel, and the icons. Likewise, at home frequently placing the child under the icons, frequently signing him with the sign of the Cross, sprinkling him with holy water, burning incense, making the sign of the Cross over his food, his cradle, and everything connected with him.
The blessing of the priest, the bringing into the house of icons from the church, the service of molebens, and in general everything from the Church in a wondrous way warms and nourishes the life of grace in the child and protects him from attacks by invisible, dark powers ever ready to infect the developing soul. Likewise, the spirit of faith and piety in the parents should be regarded as the most powerful means for the preservation, upbringing, and strengthening of the life of grace in children.
But every effort will come to nothing and be made fruitless by unbelief, carelessness, and impiety on the part of the parents. The inward influence of the parents of the child is especially important. Where parents are "too busy" to spend time with their children, the children will learn through other sources. If parents cannot strictly control their children's viewing of television, let it be banished from every Christian household, let no book or magazine depicting improper or violent scenes be permitted to cross the threshold. Let the child be surrounded by sacred forms and objects of all kinds, let his first memories be of the soft light illuminating the icons in his room, the smell of incense and the sound of sacred music. Let everything that can corrupt in example and depictions be put away. And so let the child grow in an atmosphere sanctified by piety.
However, training in piety, though foremost in child development, alone is not sufficient to help children battle the onslaught of the world. There should be an alternative to the dark culture that is inflicted on even the youngest and most delicate souls. If the child is exposed from the earliest age to the finest examples of Christian culture, then, by the time he is old enough to discern and choose between good and evil, his soul will already have formed itself sufficiently and will feel revulsion for contemporary culture. Cultivating the child's taste for classical music, art, and literature will give him not only an alternative to modern culture, but what is more important, will act as a stepping stone in elevating the soul towards the higher, spiritual culture of the Church.”
More importantly, the child is being helped in his upbringing by frequent confession with an experienced spiritual father and by frequent receiving Holy Communion. Children should be taken for confession as early as possible. There is a misconception that parents should wait until the child "grows up a bit" before taking him for confession. “After all, what will such a small child have to confess?" Admittedly, a small child does not have anything major to confess. However, he will acquire the good habit of opening his little heart to confession and humbly subjecting his judgment to the discretion of his experienced spiritual father. More importantly, he will learn how to uproot evil passions before they even sprout in his soft heart.
One more thing, which can easily become an engaging family entertainment, is to set apart some time every evening to gather the children and read aloud to them the lives of the saints. The children will not only enjoy their parents' company and become fascinated by the stories but will also gradually acquire spiritual discernment, wisdom, and a will to take upon their shoulders the light Cross of the Lord
Finally, ask your spiritual father to assign a rule of daily personal prayer. This daily rule is to be the minimum allotted amount of prayer, meant to keep trickle-charging one's spiritual batteries. Even the smallest daily prayer rule, if done consistently and conscientiously, has an amazing power in helping a person grow spiritually and keep his mind focused on the one thing needed.



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