Chapter Five - The World of Entertainment: Vehicle of the Occult
Book: Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which?

Most Christians understand, to some degree, that a powerful spirit being called Satan—literally the “enemy”—is currently the “god of this [present] world [age]” (II Cor. 4:4). Satan, however, is exceedingly crafty. Even the average Christian has no idea how pervasive his deceptions have become. The apostle John describes him as the “ancient serpent [hearkening back to the Garden of Eden] who is called the Devil and Satan, who is [actively] deceiving the whole world…” (Rev. 12:9). This means the Enemy has literally left no stone unturned in his exhaustive efforts to deceive and destroy mankind.

As humans, we love to be entertained—and Satan knows this. It should come as no surprise then that the entire world of entertainment—literature, music, movies and television, games, etc.—has been thoroughly corrupted. In particular, the vast film and movie industry has now been fully utilized by Satan as a powerful tool to not only lead people into false ways of thinking (and thus living), but to present the occult in all of its facets as “acceptable”—with the intent of ultimately drawing the unsuspecting into its snare.

Satan’s approach is quite simple: Mix a little bad in with the good and, in time, the bad will corrupt the good. Satan applied his twisted philosophy to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that eating of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”—which in effect meant taking to herself the right to decide what was good or evil—would make her like God. This certainly seemed like a good thing to Adam and Eve—so they both ate of the tree. (Satan even implied that God was unfairly denying them this right, making them appear victims.) The Devil appeared as “the good guy”—“an angel of light”—coming along just in time to help poor, oppressed Adam and Eve. Of course, God wanted them to learn to discern between good and evil—by living His way, according to His laws and commandments. But usurping God’s prerogative to decide or define good and evil was, in effect, rejecting Him as Lawgiver and Lord.

This has been Satan’s methodology down through the ages—and it hasn’t changed. He still appears as a “an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14). In the world of entertainment, he subtly mixes good and evil—using “good” witches and “good” wizards, and “white” magic. And this is always presented in a context of “good versus evil.” But as we will see, this is still a dangerous mix—one that all too often leads young people, in particular, to begin dabbling in the occult.

The ongoing desensitization toward and seduction into pagan spirituality in our modern culture is transparently obvious by the popularity of occult themes in entertainment. Today, occult themes provide the bulk of material for TV shows and movies. Escalating in the 1960s with the hit Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Hollywood began to churn out increasing numbers of films with dark, occult themes. Rosemary’s Baby featured a young woman who mothered a child by the Devil. As the decade of the seventies progressed, violence, sadism, brutality, slasher films, victims of possession, and graphic blood-andgore tales became more frequent. Deliverance (1972) included graphic mutilation and sodomy by crazed hillbillies upon an unsuspecting group of wilderness adventurers. The influential and acclaimed independent-sleeper horror classic Halloween (1978), with its creepy soundtrack, featured a knife-wielding killer of teenage babysitters. This popular serial-killer-slasher film inspired numerous sequels—seven more by the year 2002.

Evil spirits possessed the body of a twelve-year-old girl in the boxoffice success The Exorcist (1973). Its horrific visuals terrified audiences. The blockbuster, about the attempted exorcism of a demonic entity by two priests, inspired sequels of its own, e.g., Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Exorcist III (1990) and Exorcist: The Beginning (2004).

Other devil-possession movies in the late 70s and early 80s included The Amityville Horror (1979), about a devilish haunted house, and Poltergeist, a story about menacing spirits that kidnap a young child by sucking her into a TV set and taking her into a parallel dimension. Poltergeist encouraged a sequel in 1986, and another in 1988. The Omen (1976), about a young adopted son named Damien—Satan’s son—also inspired two sequels: Damien: Omen II (1978) and The Final Conflict (1981). There was also a made-for-cable TV sequel titled Omen IV: The Awakening in 1991. Other Devil films included The Devil’s Advocate (1997) and End of Days (1999) with the lead character as the seductive Devil Lord.

Horror films in the mid-1990s surprised the industry with their phenomenal success. Then movie producers realized “tantalizing” evil as a money maker. The Craft (1996), about schoolgirls dabbling in witchcraft and black magic, and the horror/thriller Scream (1996), are two examples. The end of the century’s expressionistic docu-horror, The Blair Witch Project (1999), was filmed using a hand-held camera which enhanced its suggestive, understated horror (Dirks, T., Horror Films, 1996-2005).

Below is a sampling of feature-length movies with occult themes (or sub-themes) from 2007 to 2013. Keep in mind that these were selected from literally hundreds of similar films.

2007 Occult Movies

  • Alice—A disturbed young woman confronts her fears in a dark and mysterious land of looking glasses, strange potions, talking animals, and the wicked Queen of Hearts.
  • Gabriel—An angel fights to save souls and bring light to the darkness of purgatory.
  • The Ghost Son—A young woman enters into another dimension, where reality is mixed with imagination.
  • Highlander: The Source—A band of immortals set out on a quest to find the origin of the first immortal and the source of their immortality.
  • Mother of Tears—A young art student unwittingly opens an ancient urn unleashing the demonic power of the world’s most powerful witch—and must use her own psychic powers to stop the “Mother of Tears” before her evil conquers the world.
  • The Messengers—A teen is tormented on a secluded farm by ominous apparitions invisible to others.
  • The Sin Eater—When a mysterious man “absolves” a woman’s sins by eating bread and wine at her grave, ten-year-old Cadi wants the same redemption—which threatens to uncover a dark family secret.
  • Bridge to Terabithia—Two teens create the secret magical kingdom of Terabithia, where they fight against the Dark Master and his evil creatures.
  • The Last Mimzy—A mysterious rabbit telepathically communicates with a young girl, causing her to develop astonishing skills.
  • Paprika—A psychotherapist learns to enter into people’s dreams in order to help uncover the source of their anxiety.
  • Rise Blood Hunter—A reporter wakes up in a morgue to discover she is no longer among the living—and vows revenge against the cult responsible for putting her there.
  • Macbeth—A man is visited by several extraordinary young witches, who claim that he will become the new “crime king.”
  • Stardust—In an imaginary world, a young man embarks on a quest to retrieve a fallen star—and finds himself in a mysterious, forbidden land of ghosts and witches.
  • Bad Blood—A family inherits a cursed house located in a small village overshadowed by superstition, religion and mysterious folklore.
  • Halloween—A zombie turns back time to uncover the making of a pathologically disturbed child.
  • The Dark is Rising—A young man uses his supernatural powers to fight mysterious evils.
  • Weirdsville—Workers discover Satanists performing a ritual sacrifice right where they had planned to bury a body.
  • Hallow’s Point—Students lock themselves in an abandoned schoolhouse on Halloween night and accidentally resurrect a serial killer.
  • Khadak—The epic story of a young Mongolian shepherd who confronts his destiny to become a shaman.
  • Wristcutters—Zia cuts his wrists and enters a bizarre afterlife reserved for those who commit suicide.
  • Headless Horseman—College students get caught up in a horrific Halloween ritual.
  • Borderland—On a trip to a Mexican border town, three college friends stumble upon a human-sacrifice cult.
  • Beowulf—In a time of heroes, the mighty warrior Beowulf slays the demon Grendel in a conflict that transforms a king into a legend. 2008 Occult Movies
  • The Incredible Hulk—Based on the long-running comic series, the main character morphs into a violent monster when enraged. As such, the Hulk is called upon to defend the world against “The Abomination.”
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian—Children battle forces of evil in a fantasy land filled with witches and villains.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army—A humanoid demonic creature born in the flames of hell is brought to earth as mankind’s only defense against an otherworldly evil.
  • Chronicles of an Exorcism—At the request of the Catholic Church, two filmmakers attempt to document the exorcism of a young woman.
  • Spiderwick Chronicles—While exploring the abandoned Spiderwick mansion, children discover an enchanting world of strange creatures—dragons, fairies, goblins, sprites.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor—An explorer must battle a resurrected Chinese emperor.
  • Frontiers—A gothic horror story featuring extreme sadistic violence.

2009 Occult Movies

  • Avatar—Mining colony scientists use alien-human hybrid avatars to interact with indigenous creatures.
  • Carriers—Horror film about four people fleeing a worldwide viral pandemic.
  • Coraline—A young girl explores the mysteries of a parallel world.
  • Drag Me to Hell—A woman falls under a gypsy spell, leading her into hell.
  • Final Destination: Death Trip—Relying on a series of premonitions, a young man tries to cheat death before he reaches his “final destination.”
  • Friday the 13th—A remake of the violent but popular “slasher” film.
  • Halloween 2—Sequel featuring Halloween-related imagery: ghosts, axe murderers, zombies, etc.
  • The Haunting—A family moves into a house where they are tormented by supernatural forces.
  • Laid to Rest—An abducted young girl must outsmart a psychotic murderer.
  • My Bloody Valentine—A mysterious killer terrorizes a rural mining town.
  • Orphan—An adopted nine-year-old girl turns out to be a deranged killer.
  • Push—An elite group with superhuman powers bands together against evil.
  • Trick or Treat—An anthology of four Halloween-related scary stories.
  • The Unborn—A woman tormented by a ghost seeks help from a rabbi.
  • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans—In the ongoing war between werewolves and vampires, Lycans—werewolves in human form—become dominant.
  • The Uninvited—A psychotic woman’s horrific dreams come true.
  • Zombieland—Post-apocalyptic survivors flee from zombies.

2010 Occult Movies

  • Daybreakers—A researcher works to save mankind from a race of vampires.
  • Legion—After God decides to exterminate mankind, the archangel Michael leads a desperate effort to protect a young woman who may be pregnant with a second Messiah.
  • Wolfman—A tormented man hunts a murderer who turns out to be a werewolf.
  • Dantes Inferno—In his harrowing trip through hell, Dante braves the forces of evil, slaying extraordinary demons and monsters—even facing Satan himself.
  • The Crazies—Inhabitants of a small town are plagued by toxin-induced insanity.
  • How to Train Your Dragon—A mythical Viking teenager tames wild dragons.
  • Afterlife—A funeral director buries a woman caught “between life and death.”
  • Nightmare On Elm Street—Remake of a popular serial-killer series.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time—A 6th-century Persian prince teams up with a princess to stop villains from controlling time.
  • Splice—Scientists splice together human and animal DNA to create a new organism.
  • Twilight 3: Eclipse—A woman is caught up in an ongoing battle between vampires and werewolves.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender—The successor to a long line of Avatars must stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations.
  • Predators—A group of elite warriors are brought together on an alien planet—as prey.
  • The Last Exorcism—A troubled evangelical minister allows his last exorcism to be filmed as a documentary.
  • Resident Evil 4: Afterlife—A post-apocalyptic survivor comes face-to-face with her arch-nemesis.
  • Devil—A group trapped in an elevator realize that the devil is among them.
  • I Spit On Your Grave—An abused vacationer seeks revenge on her tormentors.
  • My Soul To Take—A serial killer’s soul is reincarnated into a teen’s body.
  • Saw 7—A man’s dark secrets unleash a wave of violent terror.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I)—The final clash between Potter and his nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort.
  • Narnia 3—A fantasy-adventure story featuring encounters with sea serpents and dragons in a land where magicians weave mysterious spells.

2011 Occult Movies

  • Beastly—A modern-day fantasy/horror retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
  • Conan the Barbarian—A “sword and sorcery” film featuring mythology wrapped in occultism.
  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark—A fantasy horror film featuring demonic creatures unleashed from a “sealed pit”—compare to Revelation 9:1-2, 11; 20:1, 3.
  • Dylan Dog: Dead of Night—Horror movie featuring zombies, vampires and werewolves.
  • Final Destination 5—A continuation of the horror series dealing with supernaturally- directed violent death.
  • Fright Night—Young people battle deadly vampires.
  • Insidious—A horror film about a young boy who becomes a “vessel for ghosts in an astral dimension.”
  • Paranormal Activity 3—The third film of the series featuring horrific paranormal activity.
  • Red Riding Hood—A “dark fantasy, thriller, horror” film featuring werewolves that prey on the residents of a small town.
  • Scream 4—The fourth installment in the violent slasher series.
  • Season of the Witch—A horror film wherein monks attempt to undo spells cast by a local witch.
  • Super 8—Teens make a home movie about a “demonic presence” in their small town.
  • The Darkest Hour—Science fiction thriller about a group of people caught up in an alien invasion.
  • The Rite—Details the supposedly true experiences of an exorcist-intraining.
  • The Thing—Scientists discover a living alien buried deep in the ice of Antarctica.

2012 Occult Movies

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter—Purports to reveal President Lincoln’s secret identity as a vampire hunter.
  • Beneath the Darkness—In this paranormal thriller, teens fight against a murderous mortician.
  • The Hunger Games—A futuristic film in which teens fight for survival against a tyrannical government by participating in highly violent liveaction games.
  • Resident Evil: Retribution—Fifth in the series, the film is based on a “survival horror video game.”
  • Silent Hill: Revelation—A teen is drawn into a horror-filled “alternate dimension.”
  • Silent House—A young woman is terrorized by paranormal events.
  • Sinister—A crime writer investigates numerous related horrific murders.
  • The Apparition—A horror film revolving around an experimental attempt to summon a dead man’s spirit.
  • The Cabin in the Woods—Another slasher horror film, with an added touch of “torture porn.”
  • The Collection—A serial killer terrorizes his victims with extreme violence.
  • The Devil Inside—A documentary-style film about a series of horrific exorcisms.
  • The Possession—A horror film dealing with demonic possession and exorcism.
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part five of a series involving struggles among “immortal vampires.”
  • Underworld: Awakening—Vampires and Lycans fight for survival against human oppression. 2013 Occult Movies
  • A Haunted House—A family moves into a new home, only to find it is inhabited by a demonic presence.
  • Carrie—The latest adaptation of Stephen King’s supernatural horror book by the same name.
  • Oz, the Great and Powerful—Disney’s latest for kids, featuring wizardry and witchcraft.
  • Dark Skies—A family is plagued by mysterious supernatural phenomena.
  • Evil Dead—Five friends unwittingly awaken dormant demons living in the nearby woods.
  • I, Frankenstein—Frankenstein becomes involved in a war between two immortal clans.
  • Scary Movie 5—In part five, a family is stalked by a nefarious demon.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D—Nonstop violence and horror—all in 3-D.
  • Mama—Two abandoned children are raised by a supernatural “entity” they call Mama.
  • The Conjuring—A family terrorized by demonic spirits turns to a paranormal investigator for help.
  • The Haunting in Connecticut—A young girl sees “strangers” only visible to her—but they turn out to be “helpful” ghosts.
  • The Last Exorcism, Part II—A couple is terrorized by demons inhabiting their home.
  • The Lords of Salem—Salem, Mass., is terrorized by a coven of ancient witches out for blood.
  • World War Z—A post-apocalyptic horror film featuring all out war against zombies.
  • You’re Next—Mysterious killers hunt down a family with brutal precision.

Syfy-TV Programming

The highly-popular cable channel Syfy has for a number of years focused on almost anything with a science fiction theme—including occultthemed horror, violent slasher-type stories, space invasions and UFOs, supernatural heroes, otherworldly fantasy, etc. In the last few years, however, the channel’s producers have turned to the supernatural, particularly in the area of “ghost hunting” and the investigation of all things “paranormal.” In fact, their current lineup includes several “reality” type shows with paranormal themes. For example, Notorious Hauntings features, in “reality” format, a crew of researchers who investigate reports of “extreme and dangerous supernatural activity.” Similarly, Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files is a “reality” series in which investigators attempt to recreate alleged paranormal sightings or events in hopes of proving them true or false. Paranormal Witness is a documentary-style series featuring eyewitness accounts of “everyday people who claim to have experienced paranormal activity.” Particularly disturbing is a program aimed directly at teens: School Spirits. In this “reality” series, teens reenact paranormal events that have allegedly occurred at school. Related shows include Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Haunted Collector and Haunted Highway.

Other new Syfy shows include Being Human—where three young adults appear to be human, but are actually a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf— and Haven, which deals with a “plague of supernatural afflictions” on the people of the fictional town of Haven.

The Harry Potter Phenomenon

Notice the overwhelming use of children, teens and young adults in the casting of such movies. Occult/horror films are, in general, specifically designed to be attractive to young people. Currently-popular network television shows featuring the occult include Sabrina the Teenage Witch (a “good” witch for younger audiences), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (also for young audiences), Charmed (“good” witches verses “bad” witches for young adults), Ghost Whisperer and Reaper. Then there’s the highly popular Supernatural, which includes virtually every horrid aspect of the occult world.

When it comes to movies targeted at children, there has never been a series with greater popularity—and thus greater occult influence—than the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series. The seventh and final film— Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—is due out in the summer of 2008. Yet after only the fifth movie, the Potter series has already become the number one film franchise of all time, grossing $4.48 billion worldwide— topping all 22 James Bond films and the six Star Wars movies (Life Story, Movie Magic: The Future of Harry Potter, “A Farewell to Hogwarts”; Bauer Publishing, Spring 2008; p. 97).

How big is the Potter phenomenon? “Potter is sweeping the globe, and truly has an international presence as readers in 200 nations, in over 40 languages, indulge in this series. A United States consumer research survey reports that ‘over half of all children between the ages of six and 17 have read at least one Harry Potter book’ ” (quoted at
www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html).

What about the Harry Potter books and films? Should they be considered serious occult influences upon children (and adults)—or are they simply harmless entertainment? While some leading evangelical leaders have given the series their stamp of approval, other Christian pastors and leaders are shouting an alarm—and for good reason. The level of occult information contained in the Potter series indicates that the author, J. K. Rowlings, has a highly sophisticated knowledge of the occult—which she is subtly passing on to her young audience.

Do movies such as the Potter series actually cause children to develop a genuine interest in the occult? Peter Smith, the General Secretary of the British Association of Teachers and Lecturers, says yes. “The premiere of Harry Potter the movie will lead to a whole new generation of youngsters discovering witchcraft and wizardry…. Increasing numbers of children are spending hours alone browsing the Internet in search of Satanic Web sites, and we are concerned that nobody is monitoring this growing fascination” (BBC News Online, Harry Potter Occult Warning, November 5, 2000; quoted by Spotlight Ministries, [Link no longer online.]

Clearly, such books and movies introduce children to the world of the occult. Defenders, however, say that children are not being led into real witchcraft or other aspects of the occult. But according to BBC News reports, even occultists themselves recognize that some children are being led into the occult as a result of the current interest being promoted by fictional witchcraft. “The Pagan Federation, which represents druids and witches, says it has been ‘swamped’ with calls following teenage programs featuring good witches. [The] Pagan Federation’s Steve Paine, the high priest of a coven, said the hit U.S. drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the highly successful Harry Potter books were popular amongst practicing witches. ‘They are taken as fantasy entertainment. But they do encourage people to think about different forms of spirituality,’ he said” (BBC News Online, Buffy Draws Children to Witchcraft, August 4, 2000; quoted by Spotlight Ministries; bold emphasis added).

Despite concerns, there are a number of Web sites which promote Harry Potter, and have links to sites where children are exposed to genuine occultism. Peter Smith, quoted earlier, adds: “Youngsters can very easily visit a choice of hundreds of Web sites 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” (BBC News Online, Occult Sites Lure Teenagers, April 22, 2000; Spotlight Ministries).

Smith warned that though the Potter stories feature “the struggle between good and evil,” he was concerned that they could be used as a “springboard for exploring the more sinister aspects of the occult,” and that children were using the Internet to explore the supernatural.

Potter defenders contend that the books and movies do not teach legitimate spells, and are therefore harmless. Occult expert Caryl Matrisciana, author of Gods of the New Age, disagrees. “J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, has gone through an awful lot of research. She is very accurate…. This is a true representation of witchcraft, and the black arts, and black magic. And yet, we have people that say this is merely fantasy and harmless reading for our children. Actually, what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and [is represented as] children’s literature, and is made to be humorous, and is beautifully written and is extremely provocative reading…. This is what is so harmful” (Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, Jeremiah Films, 2001;
www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html bold emphasis added).

At the very least, the books and movies do teach children the concept of magic—that it can be used to control people and obtain certain results. Even the cover of one highly-popular Potter magazine featured the teaser, “How To: Cast a Spell, Mix a Potion, Try a Trick!”

The argument that “fantasy” and “make-believe” are inherently harmless is totally false. Berit Kjos has researched the Potter movies and their effect on children in great detail. She writes: “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. Each occult image and suggestion is designed to stir feelings and produce a strong emotional response” (http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/HP-Movie.htm; bold emphasis added).

She says the result is that “children identify with their favorite characters and learn to see wizards and witches from a popular peer perspective rather than from God’s perspective.” This “peer perspective” is one in which witchcraft and wizardry are not only accepted, they are considered “in” or “cool.” But as Kjos brings out, God warns us to “abhor what is evil” and “cling to what is good” (Rom. 12:9).

Kjos warns that when children (or adults) dabble in the occult, they end up “desensitizing their hearts and minds to its evil. Turning God’s truth upside down, they are learning to ‘love’ what is evil. The natural next step is to reject God’s wise boundaries and ‘abhor’ what He calls good…. [Children] learn to ignore or reinterpret God’s truth and lose their natural aversion for the devious spirits represented by the creatures and symbols” in the Potter movies.

“Caught up in the exciting story, [children] absorb the suggested values and store the fascinating images in their minds—making the forbidden world of the occult seem more normal than [what God has to offer].

“This inner change is usually unconscious, for the occult lessons and impressions tend to bypass rational scrutiny. After all, who will stop, think and weigh the evidence when caught up in such a fast-moving visual adventure? Fun fantasies and strategic entertainment has a special way of altering values, compromising beliefs and changing behavior….

“The main product marketed through this movie is a new belief system. This pagan ideology comes complete with trading cards … wizardly games, clothes … action figures and cuddly dolls … [all designed to] keep the child’s mind focused on the occult all day and into the night” (http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/HP-Movie.htm; bold emphasis added.)

John Murray, writer and director of Think About It: Understanding the Impact of TV-Movie Violence, summarizes the concern for parents: “With the growing popularity of youth-oriented TV shows on witchcraft—Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayera generation of children is becoming desensitized to the occult. [And now] with Hollywood’s help, Harry Potter will likely surpass all these influences, potentially reaping some grave spiritual consequences” (www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html).

But God has understood the seductive effect of the occult all along. Thus, Scripture expressly forbids any kind of involvement with the occult: “When you come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or a fortuneteller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who seeks oracles from the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations, the LORD your God drives them out from before you” (Deut. 18:9-12).

The following is an edited personal testimony from a former witch concerning the Potter series. Bold emphasis has been added.

Harry Potter: What Does God Have to Say?—by David Meyer

“I am writing this urgent message because I was once a witch. I lived by the stars as an astrologer and numerologist casting horoscopes and spells. I lived in the mysterious and shadowy realm of the occult. By means of spells and magic, I was able to invoke the powers of the ‘controlling unknown’ and fly upon the night winds transcending the astral plane. Halloween was my favorite time of the year, and I was intrigued and absorbed in the realm of Wiccan witchcraft. All of this was happening in the decade of the 1960s when witchcraft was just starting to come out of the broom closet.

“It was during that decade of the 1960s, in the year 1966, that a woman named J. K. Rowling was born. This is the woman who has captivated the world in this year of 2000 with four books known as the ‘Harry Potter Series.’ [Editor’s note: As of this publication, Rowling has written three more in the series to bring the total to seven.] These books are orientational and instructional manuals of witchcraft woven into the format of entertainment. These four books by J. K. Rowling teach witchcraft! I know this because I was once very much a part of that world.

“Witchcraft was very different in the 1960s. There were a lot fewer witches, and the craft was far more secretive. At the end of that spiritually troubled decade, I was miraculously saved by the power of Jesus Christ and His saving blood. I was also delivered from every evil spirit that lived in me and was set free. However, as I began to attend fundamental Christian churches, I realized that even there witchcraft had left its mark. Pagan holidays and Sabbats were celebrated as ‘Christian holidays.’

“As time went on, I watched the so-called ‘Christian’ churches compromising and unifying. I also watched with amazement as teachings from eastern religions and ‘New Age’ doctrine began to captivate congregations. It was a satanic set-up ... bringing forth a one-world religion with a cleverly concealed element of occultism interwoven in its teachings.

“In order to succeed in bringing witchcraft to the world and thus complete satanic control, an entire generation would have to be induced and taught to think like witches, talk like witches, dress like witches, and act like witches. The occult songs of the 1960s launched the Luciferian project of capturing the minds of an entire generation.…

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.

“The first book of the series, entitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, finds the orphan, Harry Potter, embarking into a new realm when he is taken to ‘Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.’ At this occult school, Harry Potter learns how to obtain and use witchcraft equipment. Harry also learns a new vocabulary, including words such as ‘Azkaban,’ ‘Circe,’ ‘Draco,’ ‘Erised,’ ‘Hermes,’ and ‘Slytherin’—all of which are names of real devils or demons. These are not characters of fiction!

“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.”

“The titles of the books should be warning enough to make us realize how satanic and anti-Christ these books truly are. The aforementioned title of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1998), was a real give-away. The second book was called Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1999), while the third book was entitled Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999). The fourth book in the series is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), fifth is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), and the sixth is Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2005)…. [The seventh and final Potter book is titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Part I of the movie version was released in 2010, and Part II hit theaters in 2011.] To show the impact and influence of these books on people, especially the younger generation, the total number of books sold worldwide is over 270 million and they have been translated into 62 languages. [Sales have greatly increased through 2012; see statistics quoted earlier.]

“As a real witch, I learned about the two sides of ‘the force.’… When real witches have Sabbats 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.’

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.’

“On July 8 [2000] at midnight, bookstores everywhere were stormed by millions of children to obtain the latest and fourth book of the series known as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. These books were taken into homes everywhere with a real evil spirit following each copy to curse those homes…. Now we have learned that the public school system is planning to use the magic of Harry Potter in the classrooms, making the public schools centers of witchcraft training.

“What does God have to say about such books as the Harry Potter series? In the Bible, in the book of Acts, we read the following in the 19th chapter, verses 18-20: ‘And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed.’

“As parents, we will answer to God if we allow our children to read witchcraft books. The Word of God will prevail mightily in your life only if such things of Satan are destroyed” (David Meyer, Harry Potter: What Does God Have to Say?, 2000).

The Golden Compass

Released in the winter of 2007, The Golden Compass is the mystical story of a twelve-year-old girl, Lyra, who wields a mysterious “compass” for guidance. Energized by tiny, conscious “dust” particles, the “alethiometer” is in reality a device used for divination. The heroine, from a parallel universe, invokes the swirling masses of dust to communicate to her the “truth” she needs for the battles she must face. Like many occultoriented movies, The Golden Compass is filled with divination, magic, witches and shape-shifting demons. But what sets this film apart from others—and what has attracted considerable attention—is its obvious anti-Christian perspective. This is emphasized by the fact that Philip Pullman—the author of the book on which the movie is based—is a declared atheist.

In the film, Lyra discovers that the “Church,” a totalitarian religious organization run by the “Magisterium,” seeks to suppress free will and the quest for knowledge. She also comes to see that the “God” of that “Church”—called the “Authority”—is not the creator He claims to be, and that Christianity itself is false. “This will mean the end of the Church … the end of all those centuries of darkness!… The Dust [psychic particles] will change everything” (From The Golden Compass; quoted by Berit Kjos at www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/compass-pullman.htm). To quote Pullman: “The Authority, then, is an ancient idea of God, kept alive artificially by those who benefit from his continued existence.”

This overt attack against Christianity (which is arguably more anti- Catholic) has rankled numerous church leaders. According to Berit Kjos, the movie subtly suggests that “occult practices are essential to the battle for the ‘free’ Republic—against the despised old Church…. Pullman’s crafty tale pulls the readers’ minds into an occult context where—through their imagination— they experience life from his atheist/occult perspective.” Kjos says Pullman’s methods are designed to “redefine God and undermine Christianity,” make suggestions that “clash with traditional values,” “ridicule or reinterpret biblical truth”—all while immersing the reader into “occultism and ritual magic.” She concludes: “This [movie] fits our times…. Myth replaces truth, feelings hide morality, and human effort nullifies the cross” (Ibid.).

Good” Witches and “White” Magic

Children are understandably fascinated with the kind of power Harry Potter and other mythical witches and wizards possess. In writing the Potter books, author J. K. Rowling admits that the “idea that we could have a child who escapes from the confines of the adult world and goes somewhere where he has power, both literally and metaphorically, really appealed to me” (www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html).

Certainly power is appealing—especially “white” magic or “white” witchcraft, which is made to look so innocent because it is ostensibly performed by “good” wizards and witches. Who doesn’t recall the little “fairy” who spreads her magical stardust at the beginning of each Walt Disney movie? Cute, harmless, entertaining—but still, a subtle use of “white” magic designed to gradually make occult ideas acceptable.

One of the first television programs to introduce the use of “white” magic and “good” witches was Bewitched. Launched in 1964 when TV was still in black and white, the comedy series revolved around the marriage of a businessman to an immortal good witch, Samantha. While Samantha practiced “white” magic, her meddlesome mother, Endora, was pitched as a not-so-good witch who was unhappy with her daughter’s marriage to a mere “mortal.” Most episodes—which always featured a wide variety of spells and other displays of magical powers— dealt with this ongoing conflict between the good-witch daughter and her disgruntled bad-witch mother. Again, seemingly harmless entertainment. But the process of breaking down barriers and removing inhibitions takes time. Occult ideas have to be introduced slowly, almost imperceptibly. Satan is quite patient, and he knew exactly what he was doing back in 1965 with Bewitched—and look how far he’s come in a single generation!

Disney Productions—in all of its related enterprises—is one of the foremost promoters of the idea of “good” witches and “white” magic. In 2007, the Disney Channel launched The Wizards of Waverly Place, a series featuring five school-age kids who secretly study to become wizards. Of course, they’re “good” kids, and only use their magical spells for good— such as defending themselves or others from bullies. The tag-line for the show reads, “They’ve got the power!” The question is, when it comes to the “real thing,” what is the source of such power?

According to practicing witches and wizards, “black magic” works against nature, and is used to cause harm or to bring illicit gain. “White magic”—practiced by so-called good witches and wizards—works with nature and is used only to do good. Even in the Potter books and movies, the main characters are good wizards and witches—practicing only “white” magic in self defense or for the good of others. Only the “bad guys” practice the “dark arts.” But the problem is, both “black” magic and “white” magic originate from the same source—Satan the devil! God does not distinguish between “black” and “white” magic—they are both an abomination to Him. So-called “white” magic can never be “good” because it, like “black” magic, calls upon the same supernatural powers—spirit forces that are not of God. To be sure, God performs wonderful supernatural actions by the power of His Holy Spirit. But they are always righteous—and the actions of His angels are always good and right. Man has no right to such powers— and any attempt to harness spirit power through the occult only plays right into Satan’s purpose, which is to deceive and ultimately destroy humankind.

Satan’s plan is to slowly, imperceptibly program children to accept occult images and ideas, desensitizing them to the evil and destructive nature of such “entertainment.” Ultimately, Satan desires that all of mankind reject God and the Bible—and embrace the premier occult symbol of all time, the coming antichrist himself.

The Occult in Video Games

Children have long played elaborate, imaginative games with dolls, toy soldiers, forts, tanks, boats and planes—all without causing harm. But times have changed. Violence and horror themes have taken center stage in electronic video games—along with fantasy in role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, Vampire, Werewolf and GURPS. The same goes for card games like Magic the Gathering, Battle Tech and Star Wars, as well as computer simulation and virtual reality games.

The largest provider of violent and occult games is Wizards of the Coast, producers of Magic the Gathering and publisher of Dungeons and Dragons. Magic the Gathering, an occult card-trading game, was released in late 1993 and sold out its first 10 million cards in six weeks (instead of the projected six months). More than 500 million cards have been sold, and there are more than five million game enthusiasts in 52 countries, surpassing both Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.

Most of such games take place in a setting where the distinctions between good and evil are blurred. This promotes the lie that there is “white” magic, which can be good, and “black” magic, which is bad. A player doesn’t merely observe the occult aspects of the game—he is immersed in the occult environment and must participate in order to survive. Some games are filled with violence, destruction, murder, human sacrifice, spells, demons and psychic powers. Nearly all of such games present a view that is hostile to a Christian worldview, incorporating themes which either mock or misinterpret biblical truths.

“Virtual reality” computer games, where participants perceive that they are actually involved in the action, are particularly sinister because players directly participate in witchcraft and the occult and are immersed in activities with familiar spirits.

Doom, by Id Software, is considered by many to be the greatest game of all time. The first episode, “Knee Deep in the Dead,” features pentagrams, a Wicca or witchcraft symbol. Toward the end of the episode, the hero of the game exits by stepping onto a platform with the symbol of a goat behind a pentagram. An inverted cross (a symbol of Satanism) can be found near the beginning of the second episode, “The Shores of Hell.” The third episode, called “Inferno,” features more pentagrams. Teleporters, which move the player to different areas, also utilize pentagrams.

When exiting the shareware version of the game, there is a screen with more information about what is in the full, registered version. In part, it states: “Sure, don’t order Doom. Sit back with your milk and cookies and let the universe go to Hell. Don’t face the onslaught of demons and specters that await you on The Shores of Hell. Avoid the terrifying confrontations with caco-demons and lost souls that infest Inferno. Or, act like a man! Slap a few shells into your shotgun and let’s kick some demonic butt. Order the entire Doom trilogy now! After all, you’ll probably end up in Hell eventually. Shouldn’t you know your way around before you make the extended visit?”

In Afterlife, by Lucasarts, players develop a heaven and hell that are far different from the heaven and hell of the Bible. The plot-line is that the player is a local deity who must take care of heaven and hell. What each soul believes determines where they will go. For example, if one believes in a religion that involves reincarnation, they will return to earth with another life at a later time.

Quake, another game by Id Software, is much like Doom but more technologically advanced. While uploading Quake or Doom, there is a loading indicator on the top or bottom right of the screen. In Doom, the indicator is a small picture of a disk, but in Quake, it is a pentagram. One of the power-ups in Quake is called “the pentagram of protection.” It makes

one’s character invincible for a brief period of time. While the power-up is in effect, the character’s armor rating turns to “666,” and the character gradually begins to look more sinister.

In the controversial Duke Nukem 3d, created by 3D Realms, the third level in the first episode is called “Death Row.” In an area near the beginning of the level (a prison facility), there is a chaplain and a cross on the wall. If Duke Nukem, the game’s morally decayed hero, touches a gray portrait in front of the cross, it will invert.

In Warcraft 2, by Blizzard Entertainment, one of the buildings, the altar of storms, has a pentagram on it. In Diablo, another game made by Blizzard, pentagrams can be found rather easily in the menus of the game (Andrew, Computer Games Used as a Tool to Praise Satan).

Recent (2012-2013) video games featuring occult themes include: Asura’s Wrath—various demigods battle for superiority; Dungeon Hunter—a fantasy universe featuring supernatural powers; Final Fantasy— features supernatural powers and time travel; Never Dead—immortal characters hunt demons; Risen—a pirate themed game featuring monsters, ancient gods, and voodoo magic; Devil Survivor—teenagers summon “good” demons to help battle mysterious creatures; Skullgirl—players battle a monster to obtain the Skull Heart, an artifact that gives the power to grant wishes; Soulcalibur—players fight to remove ancient curses placed on mankind; The Darkness—a malevolent force gives players supernatural powers; and The Walking Dead—players hunt down and kill zombies.

The games mentioned above are just a small sampling of what is being created and marketed to desensitize people to occult symbols and practices, witchcraft and Satanism. Countless numbers of children and adults are mesmerized by and enslaved to these games, including many professing Christians and their children.

Video Games and Violence

Increasingly, parents are accepting video game violence as simply part of growing up in today’s world. But the sheer intensity of violence in many video games ought to be a serious concern for parents. How bad is it? Imagine a video game in which the player has stolen an automobile and is running from the police—with the “option” of targeting the officers, killing them with a sniper rifle, massacring them with a chainsaw, or setting them on fire. Would such a game be popular? Indeed—the game is called Grand Theft Auto and has sold 35 million copies, with worldwide sales approaching two billion dollars.

And this is just one example of literally scores of violent video games available today to children and young adults. Other popular video games known for extreme violence include Manhunt, Resident Evil, God of War, Mortal Combat, MadWorld, and Gears of War.

Researchers are slowly beginning to unravel the effects of video game (and television) violence on the brain—particularly on the undeveloped adolescent brain. In a recent research study, adolescents played two different types of video games—one violent, one nonviolent—for 30 minutes. Teens that played the violent game showed increased activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain involved in emotional arousal. The study— which employed state-of-the-art brain-scanning technology at the Indiana University School of Medicine—not only indicated an increase in emotional arousal, but a corresponding decrease of activity in brain areas involved in self-control, inhibition and attention (Kristin Kalning, MSNBC Special Report, Dec. 8, 2006). Vince Matthews, lead researcher in the project, said that at the very least “parents should be aware of the relationship between violent video-game playing and brain function.”

Child psychologist David Walsh says the link between video game violence and aggressive behavior can be explained in part by pioneering brain research recently done at the National Institutes of Health. The NIH research shows that the teenage brain is not fully developed. In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, Walsh said, “[The] teenage brain is different from the adult brain. The impulse control center of the brain, the part of the brain that enables us to think ahead, consider consequences, manage urges— that’s the part of the brain right behind our forehead called the prefrontal cortex. That’s under construction during the teenage years. In fact, the wiring of that [part of the brain] is not completed until the early 20s.” Walsh concludes that because of this developmental difference between adults and teens, young people are definitely more susceptible to the effects of repeated exposure to violent video games (CBS 60 Minutes, “Can a Video Game Lead to Murder?”, March 6, 2005; www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/60minutes/main678261.shtml).

Research appearing in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) April 2000 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology supports Walsh’s conclusion. Summarizing the research, a press release on the APA’s Web site noted: “Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life.” Researchers asserted that recent studies showed that “violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor.” The studies pointed to the “active nature of the learning environment of the video game” (Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression, www.apa.org/releases/videogames.html.)

The High Moral Cost of Video Games

Matthew Devereux, a writer for The Christian Science Monitor, has studied the issues surrounding video game violence. Devereux writes that while most video games operate within a good-versus-evil framework, they conspicuously lack what he calls “moral consequence.” He writes: “Once you’ve killed someone, stolen something, or blown up a building, that’s usually the end of it.” But, he adds, because it’s only a game, the player never gets to “see the emotional impact” of their actions on the characters.

Like many researchers, Devereux’s concern is not that teens might be unable to differentiate between real violence and game violence— because they obviously can. Rather, his concern is that they might become desensitized to the point that they no longer care. Devereux says that violent video games “ignore moral consequence and emotional nuance” as they focus entirely on the physical, tangible aspects of the action. “There are only two types of decisions you [as the player] can really make: the strategically correct one or the strategically incorrect one. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’—only success or failure.” There is simply no place for moral or emotional consequences in the game.

Devereux is convinced that unbridled competition—combined with a lack of moral consequence—eventually leads to a lack of compassion. “What [violent video] games risk instilling, not just in kids, but in anyone who plays them, is a kind of sociopathy: a dearth of conscience” (The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 7, 2008).

But in real life, there are always moral and emotional consequences when it comes to acts of violence—on everyone involved. And as we have seen, video game violence results in emotional arousal, lack of self-control, lowered inhibition—key entryways into world of demonic spirits. Desensitization to violence is often the first step in one’s mind becoming open to occult influences.

Desensitization of Children by the Media and Entertainment

Children are being continuously bombarded by the media with occult symbols, witchcraft, “white” magic and Eastern religion. Television commercials reflect magic, reincarnation and subliminal New Age beliefs—and even many cartoon shows include occult themes. Scores of books—the most damaging being the Potter series—have been written for children over the past few years that feature occult themes. Even public and school libraries are full of witchcraft books for children—and whole sections of libraries are devoted to New Age books. Recent releases for teen readers include The Black Tattoo, about a young man possessed by a demon named Scourge; Maximum Ride: School’s Out Forever, features a group of kids on a mysterious quest in which they utilize their ability to fly; Death Note, about a youngster who discovers a notebook left behind by a rogue death god; Uninvited, deals with a teen who is visited by her dead boyfriend; The Night Tourist, about the world of ghosts in New York City; and The Spiderwick Chronicles, which features a fantasy world of demonic creatures.

In 2012, the best-selling Hunger Games—a futuristic story in which teens fight for survival against a tyrannical government by participating in highly violent live-action games—spawned a major motion picture by the same name as well as numerous spin-off books and collectables. The Hunger Games role-playing board/card game captures the violent nature of the book all too well.

Numerous recently developed book-length “graphic novels” (they don’t call them comic books any more) include Wolverine, Dark Avenger, Dead of Night, Dead Pool, The Walking Dead, The Immortal Iron Fist—all promoting violence, the supernatural realm, and otherworldly characters.

Today’s wildly popular “Zombie” culture—which began quietly a few years ago—now has both teen readers and adults obsessed with all things Zombie. Based on the fantasy that Zombies—the living dead—are presently among us and will eventually rise up to take control of humanity, this bizarre craze focuses on survival and combat against invading hordes of Zombies. Popular books, many of which have been on bestseller lists, include The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Combat Manual, both offering “protection from the living dead”; The Walking Dead, a graphic novel in two large volumes; The Brain Eater’s Bible; The Walking Dead; etc.—plus various spin-off role-playing games where Zombies are hunted down and killed

The year 2013 also includes these newcomers: The Demonologist, touted as “grown-up horror for grown-up people”; The Winter Witch and The Witch’s Daughter, both promoting so-called good or “white” magic; and the New York Times bestseller by Kim Harrison, Ever After—featuring a “witch turned day-walking demon.” The book is number eleven in the Hallows Series.

Known throughout the world, Disney Productions is one of the foremost promoters of the occult through its cartoons, videos, movies and theme parks—all of which utilize magical characters. Some Disney themes contain obvious occult-related messages, such as those found in Thunder Cats, She-Ra, He-Man, Masters of the Universe, and Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal.

But Disney no longer rules in the theme-park world of Florida. In fact, the must-have Florida collectible these days is no longer a set of “mouse ears”—it’s a $30 wizard’s wand. After Disney World turned down an opportunity to create a Harry Potter theme park, the franchise turned to Universal Studios, which opened the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” park at its Orlando property in June of 2010. The park immediately captured global attention with record-setting crowds. Because of the phenomenal success of the Potter theme park, Universal is planning a major expansion of the Orlando park along with brand new “Wizarding Worlds” set to be built at Universal properties in Hollywood and Japan.

But not to be outdone, in late 2012 Disney Productions purchased Lucasfilm, giving the entertainment giant exclusive rights to develop Star Wars theme parks. Plans are still in the works, but it appears that Disney will feature limited Star Wars attractions at all of its locations while focusing on developing one (for now) full-scale “Star Wars Dream Park.”

The Star Wars movie saga—with all of its spin-off books, games and paraphernalia—quietly promotes the so-called battle between “good” and the “dark side” of an omnipresent “force.” Central to the narrative is the character known as Yoda, the Master who teaches his disciples how to “use the force.” For Christians who know their Bibles, the demonic implications of such a “force” are obvious. Interestingly, the name Yoda is similar to the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the yod, which carries the meaning of authority or power. It is also the first letter of God’s name. This begs the question, was the name Yoda chosen for its biblical connotation?

Disney is also looking for a comeback with its 2013 movie Oz, the Great and Powerful. Based on the Wizard of Oz story, the new Disney endeavor is complete with spin-off books, collectibles, magical toys and gifts, and costumes for dress-up witches and wizards. Some of the books—a series written by Gregory Maguire—that accompany the movie are particularly disturbing due to their focus on witchcraft: The Witches of Oz, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and Son of a Witch, the Wicked Years. True to Disney’s history, the movie and books present a deceptive view of good magic, good witches, good wizards—all of which draw unsuspecting children into the occult.

But this is how Satan works—subtly, slowly creating a “frog-in-thekettle” environment from which there is no easy escape. Popular movies from years past—such as Field of Dreams, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Star Wars trilogy, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom—are laced with “messages of benevolent space creatures, positive psychic powers, and a blending of evil and good characters and themes. The sheer volume and the escalating intensity of these programs in a culture of diminishing biblical values [clouds] children’s minds so that they can no longer discern between the real and unreal or even between right and wrong” (Branch, C., The Media or the Medium?, 2000; bold emphasis added).

Satan is master at transforming both himself and his occult promoters into “angels of light” (see II Cor. 11:14)—blurring the line between good and evil, right and wrong. Leaving no stone unturned in his efforts, every fabric of society has been affected by occult images and ideas. Society is slowly, imperceptibly becoming comfortable with the “scary side” of witchcraft, magic and sorcery. It may only be a matter of time before whole civilizations cast aside God and the Bible as they fully embrace the occult.

In the next chapter we will discuss the origins of other religious holidays observed in Christendom.