Harry Potter and the Grand Illusion

j-k-rowling-image

There’s one topic this blog has not covered and that’s Harry Potter and Joanne Rowling.

Main reason is that though I’ve watched clips from the films, I’ve not read any of the books and so rely on secondary sources.  Given my stance on Christianity, on moral relativism but also with a certain libertarianism and given readers at this site are vaguely divided into conservative rationalist [majority], straight libertarian and conservative Christian, with a certain number of the left-leaning still putting up with N.O., it does seem like a hiding to nothing to make any statement on Rowling and her agenda, if indeed she has one.

That is – until her current Scottish No vote push and how the establishment has embraced her for it.  This struck a chord because I was reading just now about her establishment connection leading to the spiralling success of Harry Potter, not jsut as a popular series but as a whole way of thinking about things, as another Lord of the Rings for this current time.

As always, IMHO, people who automatically poo-pooh suggestions of collusion and agendas: “Oh, get a life, are you wearing your tin-foil hat today?” are the most ignorant of all as they let the words trip off the tongue or the keyboard without any substantive backup, i.e. it’s all just assertion.  They don’t want it to be so – therefore they go in for the scathing spray.

Which is not to say that those alleging an agenda are “all there” in the head – I’ve just read one anti-Rowling piece and it became apparent after two paragraphs that this lady was way off the planet, joining dots and tying in all manner of things without – and this is the key point – anything substantive to back it up with.

On the other hand, when a supposed “ex” witch writes that there are triggers all over the place, not unlike with Disney’s sexual references which you can see for yourself in the screenshots – that seems to me to be worth a read.  So this post is a look at various writers’ take on the Rowling phenomenon.

Harry Potter: The Bewitching of Society, Mary Louise July 15 2003 

Joanne (Jo) Kathleen Rowling (pronounced rolling) is a skilled writer, who knows how to capture the reader´s imagination to instill familiarity with the occult. More than 30 million copies of her books have been sold, supposedly making her wealthier than the Queen. Her advice to aspiring young writers is, “Read as much as you can, like I did…. Start by writing about things you know about, your own experiences and feelings. That´s what I do.”

JK Rowling´s biography, [link to home.freeuk.com] based on her interview with the BBC Arts program Omnibus also includes film locations, Harry´s guide to visiting castles, learning magic and spells, and commentary. Also included is a news clip, with a photo of Prince Charles pinning an honour on Joanne, the Order of British Empire, for her contributions to literature. On a separate occasion, the Queen is shown visiting Bloomsbury Press (publishers of HP) to see Jo, who apparently has become a very important person, even to the Monarchy. 

It is particularly educational to hear individuals speak on this subject, who used to be in the occult and have first-hand knowledge based on personal experiences. Before renouncing his involvement, David Meyer lived in the mysterious, shadowy realm of the occult. He was absorbed in Wicca witchcraft during the 1960´s, when witchcraft was beginning to come out of the broom closet. JK Rowling´s books according to David Meyer, “Are orientational and instructional manuals of witchcraft woven into the format of entertainment. These four books by JK Rowling teach witchcraft!” 

“[Some] Christian” leaders … defend the Harry Potter books by saying that good magic always wins and overcomes evil magic, which is the oldest con game ever, hatched out of hell. When real witches meet as a coven, they greet each other by saying “Blessed be” and part with “The Force be with you”. Both sides of this “Force” are Satan (a house divided against itself cannot stand). High level witches believe there are seven satanic princes, the seventh one assigned to Christians has no name and is called “the nameless one” in coven meetings. The character “Voldemort” in the Harry Potter books is described in the pronunciation guide, as “He who must not be named”.

William Schnoebelen, www.withoneaccord.org/store/Biography.html, is also a former witch and a recognized authority on the occult, listed in Who´s Who in Religion. He spent sixteen years teaching witchcraft, Qabalah, and ceremonial magick until 1984. Bill had decided at the age of five to become a priest and partially because of the influence of seminary professors, he also studied spiritualism, ESP, and white witchcraft. By the time he achieved his bachelor´s degree, he was a full-fledged Wiccan.

Continuing to investigate various aspects of occult power, he and his wife came in contact with physical and astral beings or “Spiritual Masters”, through travel and trance channeling. They were told that different currents of power were necessary to totally fulfill them as authentic seekers on the Path of Wisdom. This included Freemasonry, cultural spiritualism (Voodoo, etc), Thelema (Aleister Crowley cult), Rosicrucian´s, the Catholic priesthood, Mormonism, and various Eastern philosophies. Eventually, they were led through a gradual seduction process into the Church of Satan, then underground “Satanism”, having received high levels of training in various areas.

´Straight Talk on Harry Potter´ by Bill Schnoebelen should be required reading, especially for those who think it is just harmless fun…. www.withoneaccord.org/store/potter.html. “Muggles” is the Harry Potter term for non-wizards who don´t like or believe in magic and are portrayed as being cruel, boring, and biased.

Most serious practitioners of the art of sorcery prefer the old English spelling “magick”, to distinguish it from stage magic. This usually refers to “high magick” or “ceremonial magick”, which involves complex rituals that require a lot of preparation. Some of the activities in the Potter books are fantasy, but many are not. In his article, Bill explains how it all works and clarifies the actual meanings of terms, names, and differences in beliefs and practices.

The true goal of every wizard is to become his own god, whereas the main point for most serious witches is devotion to the gods or goddesses of their religion. They practice “folk magic”, which is very different from ceremonial magick, usually associated with wizards and magicians. Most magicians are either agnostic or athiest and the technology behind magick is mental, emotional, and demonic in nature. The magic world-view sees the universe as a machine that dispenses favors in response to the right ritual. Besides having strong anti-family undertones, the Harry Potter books enflame a spiritual interest in occult knowledge and power.

Essentially, a godless universe is presented, in which the most powerful wizard wins. These books are more dangerous than they appear, because whether or not the readers grow up to be sorcerers, they have immersed themselves in the magic world-view, intellectually and spiritually. Gradual and subtle changes in beliefs will become a part of the mindset, of those who identify with the world of sorcery and find the magic beguiling and charming.

These are some of the themes adressed: Animal sacrifice, blood sacrifices, rituals, cauldrons, possible demon possession, werewolves and vampires, astral projection, casting spells and levitation, crystal gazing or divination, communion with the dead, people exist ing without souls, mood-altering drugs of real herbs used by witches and shamans, use of magic charms and grisly occult artifacts, lying, stealing, etc. 

The Ecumenical Movement has long strived to bring all “religions” into a One World Religion, all except for true Christianity that is. The Church of Satan, Wicca and Neo-Pagan, New Age Christian, and other various religions are welcomed to be part of this conglomeration, along with mainstream religious institutions. Countless wrongs have been done in the name of man-made religions and the labeling, marketing, and regulating of religionism as a commodity, is just another form of mind-control and bondage.

Nowadays, almost everything is convoluted and upside down, but no matter how rejected and unpopular it may be, the truth is still the truth.

That gets the standard reaction, of course:

OMFG … it’s a damn book for fun …. written by a signle struggling mother, partially inspired to move forward after the loss of her mother ….. now a self made billionaire keeping children reading at advanced levels at early ages rather than getting an advanced vocabulary of pop culture and drug culture buzz words. get a fucking grip.

Ignoring the central idea in that quote – the values being transmitted  He goes on:

Sometimes. I honestly WISH that I DIDN’T hate Christians so much. NOT that the Christians don’t richly deserve my hatred. But rather, the problem is that hating Christians takes up so much of my time.  I wonder if there were similar assholes for Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Disney or The Wizard of Oz? I bet these same whiners LOVED those movies!

Which pretty well nails where that is coming from and also defines the opposed forces on this topic.

Not having a tele and not going to the cinema, I’ve missed a lot which might have reinforced the case one way or the other.  I did, however, see The Golden Compass and if there was ever a pushing of relativist values and ideas turned on their heads, that was it.  The evil is portrayed as the misunderstood good, the forces for good as the rigidly authoritarian bad guy. The giveaway is that the supposedly misunderstood monster is made acceptable by a “wise man” who then goes into some ritual sacrifice of his own but that’s OK because he’s the film’s good guy. The point that someone in that ritual was raped or died is inconsequential in the film.

A similar technique was used in the Dan Brown film.  You’d almost sympathize with the keepers of the mysteries if it wasn’t for that murder and sexual ritual spied through a window.   Puzzling that – that they’d allow it into the film to undermine their own message of who was good and who was evil.

The very presence of all this occult stuff these days flies in the face of the rationalist contention that if one removes the evil of religion from the public consciousness, then what fills the vacuum is the spirit of human goodwill towards one another.  

No it doesn’t – the space becomes filled with the gobbledegook of the other side, that’s all.   Far from kids, in this brave new world, soberly sitting about discussing philosophy and pursuing science, they’re actually banging away at 12, clubbing to the zombie beat and gaming.

Even this, sent by Chuckles, of the craze for toplessness is along the same lines as tatts and pagan child-of-the-earthishness, a regression away from civilization. It was outlined in Lord of the Flies as to how the descent begins and it maintains that the beast is always there ready to enter the space vacated by the exiled good.

To return to Rowling and Potter, the straight bio itself is interesting, this one by Derek Murphy:

On December 30th, 1990 Rowling’s mother passed away after a 10-year battle with multiple sclerosis. This was a traumatic event for Rowling.

9 months later, desperate to get away, Rowling took a job in Portugal teaching English. There she met and married Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes, and in July of 1993 their daughter Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes was born. Soon after, however, Rowling separated from her husband, and in December 1993 Rowling and her daughter returned home to live near her sister in Edinburgh.

During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression, and contemplated suicide. It was the feeling of her illness that brought her the idea of Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third book. Before she started teaching again she was determined to finish her book; so when her daughter was sleeping she crafted her novel in nearby cafés, surviving on state welfare support.

After some initial rejection, Rowling found her agent, Christopher Little. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses; all of which rejected the manuscript. Then in August, 1996, Christopher called to tell her that Bloomsbury, a small publishing house in London, had made an offer.

He goes on to observe:

Harry Potter’s world is full of prejudicial ideas, though not the ones found in our world. In Harry’s world, people are not discriminated against for the color of their skin, religious affiliation, or sexual identity; it is all about blood – pure, half or muggle. Teens easily identify with characters and are able to relate to the idea of prejudice in the magic world. These books allow us to explore inner feelings about people who are different without identifying anyone as a real-world racist, which can lead to a better understanding of ourselves and begin to build respect for those who are different.

So the process involves saying to people – all these prejudices along racial, ethnic or gender lines are bad and so we’ll substitute a different set of prejudices drawn from the occult.  Why from htere? Never mind, keep your mind on the question of discrimination, not what else is coming in through the portal.

Naturally, the fundamentalists, whom I think are trolls for the other side, such is the negativity their activities create, jumped in, alleging the worst and the media eagerly publicized every excess by the fundamentalists, in some sort of journalistic symbiosis:

The continuing debate among Christian communities over whether children should be allowed to read the Harry Potter series has frequently been reported by the media; for example in news reports of lawsuits attempting to ban Harry Potter books from school and public libraries, or the even more startling accounts of public book burnings.

Aside from evolution, Harry Potter is one of the most controversial subjects in the heated debate over what we should be teaching our children. (While these issues are predominantly constrained to U.S. politics and culture, the spread of evangelical forms of Christianity abroad have debated similar issues). On August 2, 2000, Education Week reported that

The American Library Association reports that at least 13 states witnessed attacks on the Harry Potter novels last year, making them the most challenged books of 1999. Given the enormous publicity and forecasted sales of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we can expect the attacks to escalate when schools reopen in September.

Sites such as The Onion and The Daily Mash usually play their role in ridiculing opposition to the left-agenda and this was no exception here.  The Onion spoofed the notion of opposition to the opposition.

Derek Murphy continues:

It is tempting to simply dismiss or discredit these reactions as fundamentally misinformed or baseless. However, there is a very real anti-Harry sentiment among conservative Christian churches – and it has a biblical foundation. Thus it is important to look more deeply into the issue and to understand what the religious debate against Harry is all about. As esteemed author Judy Blume points out, it would be a mistake to overlook the real impetus behind the protests.

To a skeptical reader who doesn’t believe in magic, this controversy might seem exasperating; but the root of the issue is that Christians do believe in a super-natural world (and hence, the possibility of magic), and also that the Bible outlines appropriate responses to that world. A literal reading of the Bible makes it clear that magic, spell-casting, divination and communion with spirits are not only real, but also very dangerous. 

 [A] criticism raised against the Harry Potter series has been that there is no absolute moral authority. Although there are good characters and bad characters in the books, there is also a lot of moral ambiguity and no supreme authority for establishing and policing universal ethical laws. Moreover, ‘good’ characters often behave very poorly – being angry or jealous for example. Harry himself often lies and breaks the rules, is rude towards authority figures and prone to violent encounters with his enemies.

The interesting thing to me is this continuing phenomenon, mentioned above, that in a vacuum caused by the removal of the Christian world view, there is no vacuum remaining but a filled void with a very different set of scriptures still alluding to the notion of good v evil, still allowing of a spirit world.  And even a Christian view of the spirit world:

At the end of the last book, we have a dying and rising Potter – he has to be killed to deliver the world from the evil personified by Voldemort. There’s a Christian pattern to this story. It’s not just good versus evil. Rowling is not being evangelistic – this is not C.S. Lewis – but she knows these stories, and it’s clear she’s fitting pieces together in a way that makes sense and she knows her readers will follow.

In other words, it’s not just a product of an active imagination, plucking ideas from the ether but is an almost verbatim repetition of well established occult concerns and imagery.  It’s not science fiction, creating an entirely new world and set of physical laws but simply a shifting from one side of an ancient battle to the other, darker side, naturally presented as jolly good fun along the way.

So that lurid dismissal quoted above – the oh FFS, it’s just a story – is undermined by how closely the tale and its values do ape the occult.  It may well be that this is just Christian oversensitivity but the parallels are pretty close for someone on either side of the good v evil saga – though not for the irreligious who see nothing untoward at all.

In the end, the irreligious person without a vested interest may well ask, “Well so what?  What if it is a portal to the occult – not that I agree it is – but so what if it is?”

Clearly, a detractor of Rowling and Potter has to now establish that there is psychological or social damage resulting from such values getting a grip on youth.  And he can well point at the rise in bizarre crimes, murders, rapes, the rise of lawlessness and violence in a country supposedly ruled by law, the emergence of the new savagery, the bugger you Jack, I look after N1.

And detractors counter that there is not one shred of evidence for the concern – the same reaction to hardcore pornography’s ubiquity on the web.  A reaction itself without one shred of proof.

Rational people will look at both sides and say that of course twisted values must inevitably result in some sort of twisted world view over time, particularly if they are the only values on offer and being pushed.  It’s hardly healthy, they say.

The libertarian comes in and says that to ban Rowling’s books and films is the far greater evil.  And thus protected, these values and this world view continue unabated into the Brave New World.

13 Responses to “Harry Potter and the Grand Illusion”

  1. Chrysalis June 14, 2014 at 14:03 Permalink

    As you know, I’m a Christian – but I also think It really important to read a book and judge it for yourself, before forming an opinion. Movies often miss the overall point in order to play to the box office.

    Here in America, certain elementary schools, in more fundamentalist areas, banned the books, never having read them, simply based on the fact they thought they were about promoting witchcraft.

    The point of Harry Potter isn’t about witchcraft – it’s about a “what if” society where God exists, but doesn’t intervene in a tangible way, and would you still make moral choices with your personal power, your free will, even if he didn’t – Harry Potter struggles with those choices and ultimately does the right thing.

    As for the DaVinci Code, I’m afraid you must’ve missed part of the movie and book – Sophie found the sex rituals frightening and this is why she ran away and never saw her grandfather again.

    And again, the point of the entire book and film was this – her grandfather was a combination of good and evil, as all humans are, often perverting religion, to include Christianity, for their own selfish means.

    If you stay focused on details you don’t like about a book or movie, you’ll miss the big picture – and the message of both books, in different ways, are simply this – it is only when we adhere to a higher morality or power that we are good anyway.

    There but for the grace of God, go I :)

    • James Higham June 14, 2014 at 17:11 Permalink

      I’m afraid you must’ve missed part of the movie and book – Sophie found the sex rituals frightening and this is why she ran away and never saw her grandfather again.

      Yes, that’s how the public gets sucked in and inured. Buying the fiction that it is actually against something by having a character react against, what it is actually doing is presenting it for all – that’s the way the left agenda works.

      For example, under the guise of “responsibility”, sex is brought into younger grades in school, pretending it is “sex education”. Quite evil, these muvvers.

      The point of Harry Potter isn’t about witchcraft – it’s about a “what if” society where God exists, but doesn’t intervene in a tangible way

      So the Narrative goes, of course. What it’s really about is what all the pundits have been saying, including those for the other side – it’s nothing but a portal for all those things. Interesting that adults can sucked in so far. You can imagine what children would be like.

  2. Chrysalis June 14, 2014 at 17:40 Permalink

    I do see your point, actually – but I also think the book did a better job at illustrating that neither “side” was “good” than the movie, did, whether the church or those that believed the church had “hidden” the information about Christ’s bloodline – because even if that theory were true, both “sides” committed atrocities because of greed, both in the movie and in real life – which ironically was actually Christ’s biggest pet peeve sin. it’s the only sin that actually made him angry.

    And yet despite the atrocities committed, despite the politics, despite the greed. despite power plays, despite the spin put on these things by the media, politicians or preachers – Christ’s message has endured, and that is the mystery of faith.

    And if we are true sheep of Christ, our master, we will always hear their master’s voice despite it, if we “listen” :)

  3. Pete June 14, 2014 at 17:59 Permalink

    Very good writing James. Have you thought of starting up your own blog?

  4. James Higham June 14, 2014 at 19:34 Permalink

    :)

  5. Wolfie June 14, 2014 at 22:03 Permalink

    My Sister is nuts about the HP books, I was round her place when she was extolling them so I picked up the nearest copy and started reading aloud…

    After a few paragraphs I stopped, put the book down and looked at her sternly. “I realize that this is a children’s book but really, that writing is the seventh level of shit. You read English Lit and should know better than that.”

    “I just like it she said”.

    Personally these books are near the end of the list of items I’d call a threat to my faith. Just pulp really.

    You gave a good argument for your case though.

  6. Harry June 14, 2014 at 22:50 Permalink

    I think the Cassandra Vablatsky character is just one of many reasons to suspect that there’s more to the Harry Potter series than meets the eye.

    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Cassandra_Vablatsky

  7. ubermouth June 14, 2014 at 23:40 Permalink

    I am an avid reader,but I never fancied her books, so know nothing about them.

    That said, she certainly knows how to reel in the pundits[and rake in the sheaves]!

  8. Amfortas June 15, 2014 at 03:08 Permalink

    Nice one James. I must circulate it.

  9. Chuck Stahl June 15, 2014 at 05:46 Permalink

    A friend of yours posted a link on Facebook to your post. I read it and then responded with some of my thoughts. He thought you would like to see what I had to say on your blog so I’m copying my comment here. If I’m misunderstanding what you are saying, please enlighten me. It might also be because it’s late and I’ve had a long day.

    I don’t think he says much. And what he does say, generally leads me to ask “So? Why is that bad?” or “Wait, what?”.

    For example, he quotes someone talking about Potter’s death and resurrection and how it’s ripping off of Christianity. James appears to be taking this as an indication that Rowling isn’t a good writer because her work isn’t devoid of similarities to other stories. If so, he’s setting up an impossible situation because ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’. It’s just that sometimes someone finds a really good way to combine archetypes (or maybe add a twist).

    And why does he think that it’s bad to look at prejudices by way of things we don’t judge ourselves (such as magical bloodlines or lack of magic)? Looking at prejudice this way makes it easier for a person to avoid bringing their own bias which would prevent them from getting the point. Not to mention, prejudice wasn’t the point in general anyway.

    Then there was this bit towards the end:
    “Clearly, a detractor of Rowling and Potter has to now establish that there is psychological or social damage resulting from such values getting a grip on youth. And he can well point at the rise in bizarre crimes, murders, rapes, the rise of lawlessness and violence in a country supposedly ruled by law, the emergence of the new savagery, the bugger you Jack, I look after N1.

    And detractors counter that there is not one shred of evidence for the concern – the same reaction to hardcore pornography’s ubiquity on the web. A reaction itself without one shred of proof.”

    This would be one of the “wait, what?” moments. This sounds like he’s blaming the Harry Potter series for a rise in violent crimes. I’m not sure where this guy lives but I believe that violent crimes have dropped in the US. How exactly does one establish that any increase in crime is caused by Harry Potter? This really smacks of the conflation of correlation and causality. It, and the second paragraph on porn, seems to me to be placing the burden of proof on supporters to prove that it DOESN”T cause this. If I’m understanding him correctly, this is also flawed as the burden of proof should be on him to prove that it DOES.

    • James Higham June 15, 2014 at 06:55 Permalink

      This is the oldest defensive “argument” in the book – trying to throw the burden of proof of something longterm and subtle onto some duty to provide a statistic such as children today are 22.3% more likely to do this or that.

      That is utter crap of course. If you introduce a child to witchcraft, which would not have happened without her drawing attention to it, then the child would be devoid of it – if she were the only writer. But you know that there is a flood of this from so many sources, games, materials and so how can Rowling be blamed, eh? She’s just one of the multitude.

      This is the speciousness of the perpetrator and why these people are so dangerous. It’s also why a Christian is dangerous to these people. If the Judaeo-Christian code still ruled, as it once did, even in lip service, to introduce a child to sex, to drugs, to witchcraft, would not even require defending publicly – it would be known by all that it was not a good thing.

      And that’s the state of society as it was from which the post comes. Yo usay there must be some stat to be referred to – there are many stats of all sorts of offences by the young, of broken marriages, families and you can say oh, that’s due to some other factor, not Rowling.

      No – it’s Rowling plus all like her who are cumulatively to blame and it is so bleedin’ obvious. You even end with “the burden of proof should be on him”. Why? On your say-so? You’re framing the terms of reference of the debate and then pronouncing “unproven” Sorry, that’s not the way it works.

      • Chuck Stahl June 16, 2014 at 03:45 Permalink

        Actually, that IS the way it works. It’s an old argument for a reason: it cuts through a lot of bull. The person making the claim has the obligation to provide supporting evidence. If a claim is backed by nothing, or at best, innuendo, guilt by association and tenuous connections, it’s a pretty good indication that it’s inaccurate.

        And If you take a look back at what I wrote, I never demanded statistics (although that would be a strong form of evidence). I don’t expect statistics for the simple reason that I don’t think it’s possible to accurately control for other factors. I would also be skeptical of a person who said that HP was some great positive influence on society and was responsible for people being kinder to each other. I think the closest one could come to that is that it increased some kids interest in reading.

  10. Behind the veil June 15, 2014 at 09:07 Permalink

    Thought provoking James. I have long been fascinated by the various sacraments and seemingly symbolic gestures of faith. The common view is that they are merely that – symbolic. There something odd though. These practices, sacraments and rituals are as a concept just too persistent and widespread to be a mad pointless invention and mere symbols of religious practise. I can’t make the link but I think each time they are practised, there is an effect. There is a body of knowledge possessed somewhere that led to their incorporation and it has remained hidden.

    I think the practices have power and that is why inversion, perversion and corruption of the sacraments and rituals are important and I think it’s these perversions that point to the hidden power of rituals and sacraments. The perversions are practised by seemingly faithless, cynical and jaded people. If they were merely hocus pocus, what would be the point in the eyes of such people.

    I can’t speak for the Rowling books or from where its content came, but the argument that something is occurring is a compelling one. Also I understand the points you raise around the ” it’s just a book” type counter argument. I think evil has come up with a clever method to become widespread and remain invisible all at the same time. It’s power comes in mass participation by mankind.

    I don’t know what the view of him is, but Mel Gibson summarised it best in his move The Last Temptation of Christ in the scene where Christ is to be taken to The hill. As Christ walks, Satan walks through the crowd totally, close to them all yet totally unnoticed.

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