EVEN MORE CHRISTIAN URBAN LEGENDS
Stories involving the Harry Potter®
series of children's books
J.K. Rowling has written the
most popular series of children's books in history. They are fictional
and involve a mythical character -- a wizard-in-training named Harry Potter®. The books describe his exciting experiences during training at
Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry -- a special school of witchcraft
in Scotland -- starting at the age of 11.
Unfortunately, the words "witch,"
and "witchcraft" have at least 17
different meanings in the English language. Among these definitions
are three of greatest interest here:
||Rowling writes creative fiction for children. Her books describe imaginary witchcraft,
involving a culture
flying broomsticks, unicorns, invisibility cloaks, wizards, etc. This
is purely imaginary writing, and is unrelated to real people,
locations and events.
||The terms are often used by followers of
Wicca and other
Neopagan religions to describe their faith, belief, and practices.
||English translators of the Bible sometimes use "witch"
and "witchcraft" to translate Hebrew and Greek words
which condemn evil
sorcerers and persons who commit murder using poison.
All three "kinds" of Witches are essentially unrelated to each other:
||Biblical sorcerers and poisoners, if they existed, did not pray to a
Goddess and God as do modern-day Wiccans.
||Wiccans do not poison people, recite curses, or dominate, manipulate or
control others. They are limited to performing healing spells and positive magick, and
then only with the prior agreement of the person that they are trying to help.
||Harry Potter and the other imaginary witches and wizards of creative fiction do not exist.
universe, in which natural laws are suspended, does not exist either.
||Flying on broomsticks, shape-shifting and wearing invisibility cloaks are
common in imaginary witchcraft, but are quite foreign to Wicca.
However, some conservative Christians treat these three very
different activities -- all sometimes called "witchcraft" -- as if they
are identical. Some
believe that all three are parts of the Occult,
and are versions of Satanism -- an evil
religion which they believe is masterminded by an international, inter-generational
secret cult of Satanists, who kidnap, murder and even
eat children. By their reasoning, both Wicca and the Harry Potter
books are clearly Satanic.
Two urban legends have been widely
circulated by E-mail about Rowling's books. Both were apparently started by
conservative Christians and are based on satirical articles that were intended
to amuse readers, but were never expected to be taken seriously:
||A satirical feature titled "Post Morten" was published by
the National Post, a conservative Canadian newspaper. It
described an imaginary interview between a fictional Post reporter,
Massimo Commanducci, and J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. In the article, Rowling was quoted as saying that
she is an avowed Satanist. She decided to give herself "...body and
soul, to the Dark Master. And in return, he will give me absurd wealth
and power over the weak and pitiful of the world. And he did!" She
said: "I worship the Devil, Beelzebub, Satan, Lucifer -- in all his
unholy forms. And I owe all my success, all my glory, all my power, to
my sweet, beautiful Lucifer." She said that "...the books are
designed to corrupt young minds. That's what Lucifer demands of us --
all of us [Satanists]!" This fictional article has been picked up,
portrayed as truth,
and distributed widely.
||An Internet humor/satire site, The Onion®,
specializes in writing sensational stories of fiction to amuse their
readers. They publish a disclaimer on their website, stating that they
use "...invented names in all its stories, except in cases when
public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is
accidental and coincidental." One of their works of fiction
involved interviews of children in Lock Haven, PA, who had been
reading the Harry Potter books. One Christian, going by the name of
Roger Lynn, circulated an E-mail quoting The Onion's article as
if it had reported an actual event. He writes that J.K. Rowling's
series of books: "...openly blasphemes Jesus and God and promotes
sorcery, seeking revenge upon anyone who upsets them by giving you
examples (even the sources with authors and titles!) of spells,
rituals, and demonic powers. It is the doorway for children to enter
the Dark Side of evil." Lynn did not reveal that it was a
satirical work of fiction.|
The article and E-mail quoted some children as making the following
||Craig Nowell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order Of The
Black Circle allegedly said: "The Harry Potter books are cool,
'cause they teach you all about magic and how you can use it to
control people and get revenge on your enemies. I want to learn the
Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving
me a D." (A muggle is a non-witch).
||"Ashley" allegedly said: "I used to believe in what they taught
us at Sunday School. But the Harry Potter books showed me that magic
is real, something I can learn and use right now, and that the Bible
is nothing but boring lies."
Apparently, the New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle, Craig and Ashely
and their comments do not exist.
High Priest Egan of the First Church Of Satan in Salem, MA
was reported as saying:
"Harry is an absolute godsend to our cause. An
organization like ours thrives on new blood - no pun intended - and
we've had more applicants than we can handle lately. And, of course,
practically all of them are virgins, which is gravy."
Apparently, he was in on the joke in the Onion but never did say the
statement attributed to him. The First Church of Satan does exist
and has been around since 1994, But they do not accept members under the
age of 18.
Lynn quotes a fictional interview of Rowling by a London Times
reporter in which she was supposed to have said: "I think it's
absolute rubbish to protest children's books on the grounds that they
are luring children to Satan. People should be praising them for that!
These books guide children to an understanding that the weak, idiotic
Son Of God is a living hoax who will be humiliated when the rain of
fire comes,... while we, his faithful servants, laugh and cavort in
victory." Lynn writes that since 1995, the number of applications to
become Satanists has increased from about 100,000 to 14 million. In
reality, the number of religious Satanists in the U.S. has probably
dropped from about 20,000 to 10,000 over that interval.
The original articles in the National Post and The Onion
are obviously fictional works of satire, to anyone who examines them
carefully. However, it only takes one person to launch an Email
presenting fiction as reality, to eventually trigger an avalanche of
The original "Onion" article
3 is no longer online. However, TruthOrFiction.com
reports that it is one of the stories that has been published in a
compilation of Onion articles in their book "Dispatches from the Tenth
Related essays on this web site:
Copyright © 2003 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on
Creation date: 2003-FEB-7
Latest update: 2007-JAN-03
Author: B.A. Robinson