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Reviews of the video by Jeremiah Films:

 "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged"

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Filmmaker Caryl Matrisciana of Jeremiah Films has produced a 60 minute video called: Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged; Making Evil Look Innocent. It attacks the Harry Potter books and movies as being dangerous to children's spiritual health. She claims that she was once involved in the "occult" but later converted to conservative Christianity.

She states that:
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The broomsticks that Harry and his fellow students ride are "a phallic symbol and it's very important in feminine cult worship." Wiccans do occasionally use broomsticks to sweep a floor in preparation for a circle ritual. But they regard the broomstick as an instrument of cleaning and purifying, not a phallic symbol.

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"The same with a pointed hat." We have never seen Wiccans wear a pointed hat during a ritual.

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The lightning bolt on Harry's forehead is "a mark of power from the god Thor...This lightning bolt was considered so important in occult mythology that Hitler used it on his uniforms...it is half of the swastika." The lightning bolt is also used on electronic equipment to indicate a power source, and in many other applications. It has no significance to Wiccans. 1

In the documentary film, she equates the fantasy world of sorcery and magic in the Potter books with the religion of Wicca. There is no real connection between the two, other than sharing the name "witchcraft" which has at least 15, mostly unrelated, other meanings.

A ShopNetDaily review reports that hosts Robert S.McGee, author of The Search For Significance, and Caryl Matrisciana, author and occult researcher, link the following factors to "Witchcraft:" Mother Goddess, reincarnation, seasonal nature celebrations, divination, meditation, and spells. But the movie hosts also include the following factors which are unrelated to Wicca: communing with the dead and spirit world, sorcery, curses, occult symbology, black magic, demon possession, "dark" aspects of Witchcraft, and more. They also connect Wicca with a belief in the theory of evolution. Some Wiccans do in fact also believe in naturalistic or theistic evolution; but others do not. Evolution and creation science are not an integral part of Wiccan belief.  2

Conservative Christian reviewer Julie Foster writes: "The video documentary details numerous similarities between the spells and magic used by Harry Potter and those used in the witchcraft of the Wiccan religion. Such striking similarity, said Matrisciana, is evidence that the author has meticulously researched Wicca and included its tenets in her children's books." Ms. Matrisciana is quoted as saying: 'Alarmingly, the Potter books are engaging in pagan discipleship, disciplining our children to spiritual alternatives and also turning them away from the biblical principles and God's protection'...My greatest concern is that godly fear that protects mankind from dabbling in the spirit world is being taken away from children who read these Harry Potter books. The terrors and horrors of black magic and occult practice, rituals, ceremonies and demon possession are being normalized," she said. "Alarmingly, the Potter books are engaging in pagan discipleship, disciplining our children to spiritual alternatives and also turning them away from the biblical principles and God's protection." 3

On the Amazon.com web site, the video received very bad reviews. Five reviewers gave the video a rating of 1 out of 5. Two mentioned that they would have assigned a 0 rating if one were available. One reviewer gave the video the maximum rating of 5.

Some ratings and comments:
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1 Spreading Hate: "I would never consider making public such horrible and unfounded statements against another person's religious beliefs. I hope that those that watch this film are inspired to seek the truth about other cultures and belief systems instead of allowing someone else to spoon feed them hatred."

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1 Even Christians hate this garbage: "If other Christians spent less time fearing and hating "witches", homosexuals, and anyone who has "different" ideas, and more time following the teachings of Christ, I'd be less inclined to agree with the ever-growing numbers of "Christian-haters" in the world. Don't buy this video..."

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1 Stupid, beyond belief: "...Harry Potter and real witchcraft are... NOTHING alike. We do not use lightning, or say funny words to make things happen instantly. Our rule is 'an it harm none, do what ye will,' a pretty basic rule.  This video teaches your child to dislike pagans, witches, and others alike. ...Do you really want to raise your child as a bigot? "

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1 Will we ever learn?: "This Video harkens us to heed blind phobia. The distasteful belief that what is not mine is evil. I don't begrudge them their attitude, but the conclusions reached are silly at best.

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1 This video tells a tale of the times: "I am troubled by this video...It is more fictional and disillusional than Harry potter....This video is another crackpot conclusion as ridiculous as believing that TeleTubbies have a sexual preference."

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5 WOW! A MUST SEE VIDEO!!: "I thought this movie was fantastic! What an eye-opener! I thought Harry Potter wasn't all that bad. What I found out in this video changed my mind. This video shows how Hollywood can take a fantasy fairy tale type of story and subtly blend in witchcraft and curiosity. The two don't mix for children. It is so easy for kids to dabble in things they think is harmless....I highly recommend this to any and every parent to see -- Christian and non-Christian alike."

The OCRT, the agency that maintains this web site, has a Wiccan on staff who has read the first two books in the Harry Potter series, and has attended the first two movies. They found no points of similarity between Wicca and the spells and magick in the Harry Potter books. Wicca is a religion which is very much tied to the real world. Wiccans do not commune with the dead and spirit world, or engage in sorcery, curses, black magic, or demon possession. The Harry Potter books are fantasy; they describe a non-existent imaginary world of unicorns, candles floating in the air, flying broomsticks, curses, automobiles that fly through the air, magick, cloaks of invisibility, etc.

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References:

  1. John Stossel, "Witches and Wizards: Time to Celebrate, Not Ban, Harry Potter," ABCNews commentary, 2001-OCT-31, at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/
  2. "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged (video)," ShopNetDaily, at:  http://shopnetdaily.com/store/
  3. Julie Foster, "Potter books: Wicked witchcraft?: New documentary claims tales lead kids to the occult," WorldNetDaily at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" religious topics > Harry Potter > here

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Copyright © 2000 to 2002 incl,, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-JUL-3
Latest update: 2002-DEC-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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