The Rip Post


by Rip Rense
(Originally published in the "The Rense Retort.")

"Any action or thought that injures the human imagination is evil." —Kenneth Patchen

Oh, yes, let's ban Harry Potter! No, no – let's just burn the books, like those Gawd-fearin' folks down in Pennsylvania did a while back. Or at the very least, let's get somebody to black out all the objectionable parts before they hit the stores!

Gotta protect the children!

No? Burning is going too far? Blacking out passages violates freedom of expression? OK, well, then, let's just buy that video, "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, Making Evil Look Innocent," (Jeremiah Films, $24.95)! The one that advertises, in part:

Is it surprising that there is any controversy about the Harry Potter series when author J.K. Rowling openly presents blatant Witchcraft, Satanism and pagan mythology? Unfortunately, because many don't recognize occult symbolism, or understand Witchcraft, thousands of young readers, by inference, are led to accept them as whimsical and harmless, aided by Rowling's repackaging of Witchcraft in probably its most dangerous form – children's fantasy literature.

(Either that's poor phrasing, or it says that children's fantasy literature is witchcraft in its most dangerous form. I'll just assume it's poor phrasing.)

Well, I just say thank goodness for Jeremiah Films! Thank goodness that Jeremiah is discouraging children from reading "Harry Potter." After all,  the video's producers assert that "Potter" is "incompatible with Christianity."

I know, I know – you're saying that lots of things are incompatible with Christianity. Even lots of Christianity is incompatible with Christianity – that is, the Protestants are rather incompatible with, say, the Catholics – especially in Ireland. And then, uh, Rosh Hoshana is incompatible with Christianity, and so are Hindus and Buddhists and, possibly, Mickey Mouse (or at least the Disney Corporation).

Never mind what kooky mythologist Joseph Campbell said about similarities in world religions, or that book by the Dalai Lama that examines philosophical parallels between Christianity and Buddhism ("The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus") – it's all bunk! Some Christians will go as far as to say that even Santa Claus is incompatible with Christianity, and those pagan Christmas trees. (Me, I say that Rupert Murdoch is incompatible with Christianity, but that's another column.)

Well, we can't ban any of these things, of course, but we sure can go after those "Potter" books. Good thing, too! Can't have any "good Christian" reading anything that is incompatible with Christianity, because that could lead to a dangerous thing called "critical thinking." And in the case of "Harry Potter," it could give kids disturbing ideas. As the Jeremiah Films narrator says:

"Through Harry Potter books and audios, children as young as kindergarten age are being introduced to human sacrifice, the sucking of blood from dead animals and possession by spirit beings."

Yes, I hear the naysayers out there, with their cynical remarks: "Well, Christians drink the blood of Christ!" and "Crucifixion wasn't pretty, either," and "The Bible is full of tales of demonic possession."

This is all beside the point.

The point is that kids just have enough good entertainment already, don't they?

Look – right now, kindergarteners are hunkered down in front of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," coast to coast, where they learn all about monsters and bloodsucking without it being cluttered up with all the vocabulary, complex concepts and sophisticated plot-lines of "Harry Potter," right? And who has time to sit and read when you've got MTV 24 hours a day? Where you can watch the latest Britney Spears    video with all its very clear, easy-to-grasp messages? So what if she's essentially singing about wanton sex, arrogance, narcissism – at least it isn't "Harry Potter," which takes hundreds of pages to make that corny old point about good triumphing over evil. . .

And let's be realistic – lots of kids are just real busy watching porn on computers and cable TV, too. Plus they've got lots of things on their minds nowadays – like Mariah Carey's mental health, and P. Diddy, and whether P. Mommy and P. Daddy will buy them those cool new jeans that stop six inches below their navels, or those $150 Kobe Bryant basketball shoes that look like Japanese robots. These young people are busy! There is so much rap and hip-hop to catch up on alone, explaining all about the "bitches and ho's" of the world, and how women are supposed to get raped, and men shot, and how evil and racist all authority figures are. There are so many new bands to keep up with, too, like the ones that are singing about how great Codeine cough syrup is ... and, and ... Michael Jackson, and Eminem, and, and. ...

See my point? Kids have enough great entertainment! Why clutter their minds with the poisonous "Harry Potter"?

Oh, I know what all the Potter-philes say, that the books are spellbinding page-turners. That they are beautifully written, vocabulary-building adventures full of keenly drawn, memorable characters and the niftiest imaginary places this side of Alice's Wonderland or Narnia. That they are really epic struggles of good vs. evil depicted in ways that young people can thrillingly identify with – and that good always wins in the end! That they are "realistic," in that they show how bad things really do happen in life – you know, just like fairy tales did before they were all PC'd up. That "Potter" books are really as much for adults as they are for kids, given the high quality of the writing and the complex concepts implicit in the story lines: lessons about abandonment, broken homes, filial piety, bigotry, tyranny, resolve, forgiveness, the consummate power of love. I mean, I've heard all the stuff about how the books castigate cruelty, malice, and celebrate the better aspects of human nature: things like loyalty, affection, imagination, curiosity, exploration, heroism, conscience and charity. In fact, I've heard that the books actually extol these qualities above all else!

Doesn't matter! Doesn't matter because there are witches and evil figures in the stories! Doesn't matter because the books are set in a context of sorcery and wizardry – in a magical world just willy-nilly with every mythical creature imaginable, from unicorns to vampires and brand new things like the noble Hippogriff, half-horse, half-bird, and all courage. Doesn't matter because Harry and his pals Hermione and Ron Weasley – and all the kids at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry – have magic wands! They study spells! Such things are bound to give Christian children the same corrupting ideas that , oh, "Bewitched" did!

Speaking of "Bewitched," let's just hope and pray that Jeremiah Films doesn't stop with "Potter." I mean, what about "Bewitched"? Isn't it downright ... weird ... that this show is forever in re-runs? Think of it: all that propagandizing for witchcraft, in every American living room, for decades! Who's really behind it? The Democrats? (Note: Get Matt Drudge to look into that.)

Just think of it: for the last 35 years or so, children have grown up watching Samantha Stevens wiggle her perky nose to any effect she desires! And that cutesy little "tink-a-tink-a-tink" sound effect makes witchcraft seem so, so ... harmless! Hey, what about Endora? Crossing her arms, and frowning menacingly, she nods her head and turns Darren into a mouse, or toad, or whatever she wants! And just who is that Dr. Bombay, anyhow? Why, he's a warlock! That could give children weird ideas about doctors! By the way, what really happened to the first Darren, anyway? Hmmm?

I hope Jeremiah also sets its sights on "I Dream of Jeannie." I know, I know – she's a genie, not a witch! But still, she does lots of the very same things that Samantha Stevens does, right? And Jeannie is even prettier – why, she's gorgeous! What message does that send to young girls? If you're gorgeous, you can do magic? Not to mention this morally despicable message: "Jeannie" suggests that lying is a perfectly ethical thing to do! Remember, Tony the astronaut actually hides Jeannie from everybody and lies habitually to cover up her witchcraft – er, genie-craft! No wonder Dr. Bellows is half out of his mind with suspicion! That witch – I mean, genie – Jeannie, wreaks psychological and ethical havoc wherever she ka-boings!

Please, Jeremiah, take on "The Wizard of Oz," too, will you? That infernal movie is played every single year, right on national television! It's even hailed as a beloved American classic, and you know darn well that devotees of the black arts rub their hands with glee every single time they see those flying monkeys! Yes, The Wicked Witch of the West does get her comeuppance, but from whom? Why, from Glynda, the Good Witch of the North!

A good witch? How is such a thing possible? What does this tell kids everywhere except that some witchcraft is good? Something must be done, and fast – before children everywhere want to buy, oh, toy magic wands or something, and try to bring good into the world!

Jeremiah, I'm telling you to get on this quickly – before we have a nation of tykes trying to solve all their problems by wiggling their noses ... or folding their arms in front of them and making a "ka-boing" noise ... or waving a magic wand and saying, "Toto, too!"

And while you're going after literature, please, please produce a video about "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn," because they were always doing witchcraft, too – you know, trying to get rid of warts by swinging dead cats over their heads, and burying drops of blood in the ground. Think how that can twist the mind of an impressionable child!

Oh, yeah, and don't forget "Mary Poppins"! Pretty lady flies around, hanging from an open umbrella – I ask you! What is that umbrella, but a broomstick in disguise? So what if they made her cute – you can't fool me. She's a witch! Popping into chalk paintings on sidewalks and all that telekinesis to clean up a child's bedroom – ha! Spoonful of sugar? Heh, heh. More like a thimblefull of powdered bat wing! Pure evildoing, and bound to give kids the idea that being a witch is just way cool.

You know, Jeremiah, I don't envy you. You've really got your work cut out. There's "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley and "Dracula" by Bram Stoker (did you know that the vampire climbs up the side of his castle, like a lizard, carrying bags of babies?). And you might as well go after the movie versions of these things too ... oh, and speaking of movies, what kind of blasphemy is Godzilla? I ask you – God-zilla? What is this but belittling the very name of God! I know, they'll tell you that it's just a phoneticization of the Japanese name, Gojira, but don't you believe it!

In closing, let me just say thank goodness that the Jeremiah video's hosts, Robert S. McGee, author of "The Search For Significance" (maybe he can help me!), and Caryl Matrisciana, author and "occult researcher," are here to read between the lines and tell us what author J.K. Rowling is really doing! Because you know that Rowling either doesn't realize that her books are incompatible with Christianity, or she's just a plain filthy liar!

Or maybe ... maybe ... she's a witch!


2002 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.