Wednesday, June 27, 2007
JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY
Author: ‘Pottermania’ spells trouble
Warns real occultism permeates popular children’s books
Posted: June 27, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jennifer Carden
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Within 24 hours after its July 2005 release, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" had sold 6.9 million copies in the United States alone – 287,564 books per hour – making it the fastest selling book in recent history.
If early buzz proves accurate, however, the whirlwind of Pottermania accompanying the July release of J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will catapult the series to new heights in the world of literary accomplishment.
But, contends author Steve Wohlberg, what many people don’t know is that when Harry Potter and his Firebolt whoosh off the shelf, he’s not alone. A victory for Harry Potter means a victory for Wicca, a religion that practices various forms of witchcraft.
And the acclaimed DVD program, "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, dramatically documents Potter references to evolution, reincarnation, sorcery, divination, spells, curses and other occult factors.
Wohlberg’s new book "Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft: The Menace Beneath the Magic," asserts that "Harry Potter" purchases are often accompanied at the sales counter with materials on Wicca. Increasing numbers of young readers also frequent Wicca websites, cast "Love and Money Spells," and practice "white magic."
Why the "magical" upswing? One obvious source is right between the lines of Rowling’s pages, says Wohlberg.
"In the midst of fun and fantasy, J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ novels make witchcraft look ‘cool’ and exciting," he told WND. "It doesn’t matter that these novels are only ‘fictitious stories.’ Stories are powerful."
Riitta Leinonen, noted witchcraft expert and owner of "Hexeria" affirms that the books have pushed the once-occult practice into the entertainment sphere. "The Harry Potter phenomenon shows that there are also positive, and not only malicious, forces in sorcery and that innocent magic can be a good thing," she said. "Witchcraft is benefiting from the Harry Potter effect."
The Potter readership is comprised of a wide demographic, from children well under eight years old to adults, but Rowling’s use of juvenile themes specifically markets witchcraft to a young, impressionable audience, Wohlberg says.
Witch training centers have sprung up online modeled after the "Hogwarts" school, where children will "be like Harry Potter, go to Hogwarts, take classes, interact, get into trouble, and earn points." Everything looks like a game, one training description reads, but "things start to get real."
Wohlberg feels allowing children to read Potter just isn’t worth the risk. "There are much better things for our kids to read," he said. "My wife and I have a three-year-old son who loves stories. Daily we read to him stories that teach lessons about honesty, purity, truth-telling, respect for parents, faith, and obedience to God. In ‘Harry Potter,’ young Harry lies a lot, break rules at school, curses, throws temper tantrums, and even drinks ‘firewhisky’ (he’s an underage drinker)."
"There’s a big difference," said Wohlberg, between Harry Potter and other children’s fantasy fare. "J.K. Rowling has publicly admitted that at least 30 percent of her novels is based on real occultism. The ‘Harry Potter’ novels are a unique blend of fantasy and reality."
"They refer to real places, real occultists (Aldabert Waffling and Nicholas Flamel), real practices (astrology, palmistry, fortune-telling, divination), and real occult philosophy. Based on my research, the extent of real occultism embedded into ‘children’s literature’ is unprecedented," he continued.
But while children may be Potter’s targets, they’re not the only takers. One highly visible adult internet witchcraft school credits Rowling as a promoter of Wicca in a press release, stating, "Harry Potter has rekindled interest in beliefs that were already growing in the United Kingdom and United States for more than fifty years, and that belief is a faith called Wicca."
This "rekindling" prompted Wohlberg to write his book warning young people, especially, and their parents to avoid "dabbling" in witchcraft, and, more specifically, as emblazoned on his website, to "avoid Harry Potter."
But while he is quick to discount the value of Harry Potter, Wohlberg is equally quick to note that he is not "an unfeeling, judgmental, rabid anti-Wiccan lunatic." "Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft" refers to Wiccans respectfully, he said, because he cherishes religious freedom for all.
"People have a right to read Harry Potter if they wish, or to be Wiccans if they choose," he told WND. "I also have a right to express my concerns. Based on the explosive popularity of real witchcraft among young people, such a warning is urgently needed."
After reading his book, Wohlberg hopes that readers will "respond with an open heart, take warning, and avoid both Harry Potter and real witchcraft in all of its forms."
"Dabbling in the occult is dangerous… but I want my readers to begin (if they don’t already) to communicate with Wiccans respectfully, viewing them not as blood-drinking evil monsters (which they aren’t), but as real human beings who need additional enlightenment," he said.
As WND reported earlier, the Vatican’s top exorcist has condemned the series as leading children to the devil.
Rev. Gabriele Amorth said: "You start off with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likeable wizard, but you end up with the devil. There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these books."
Filmmaker and occult expert Caryl Matrisciana tells WND about her documentary covering Harry Potter’s influence on children.
Her DVD, "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged," details numerous similarities between the spells and magic used by Harry Potter and those used in the witchcraft of the Wiccan religion. Such striking similarity, said Matrisciana, is evidence that the author, J.K. Rowling, has meticulously researched Wicca and included its tenets in her children’s books.
Some children who read the books, often more than once, may find themselves attracted to the magical world Harry lives in, she said. In attempting to create their own spells and charms, kids may turn to other books that teach witchcraft.
The "Witchcraft Repackaged" DVD explains how young readers today, more than any other time in history, have an abundance of occult resources easily available to them. It also shows how they can explain the series to family and friends.
Archive for June, 2007
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Police storm Christian’s home
One believer imprisoned, possessions confiscated
Posted: June 23, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Earlier this year WND reported on plans by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi," and now confirmed reports from Voice of the Martyrs reveals that the persecution of Christians in Iran is intensifying.
WND reported that Ahmadinejad is urging Iranians to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West. Shiites believe the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941, but when he returns he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.
Voice of the Martyrs, which makes available a newsletter providing updates on the persecution of Christians around the world, says in a new report Christians in Iran "are being detained, interrogated and in one case, imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus Christ."
"This new wave of persecution is coming against Christians that meet to worship God in the privacy of their homes," VOM said its sources revealed. "We have confirmed reports that several believers have been interrogated and one house was stormed by an elite police team that confiscated a computer, several CDs and Christian materials. A Christian was arrested in this attack, and remains in prison."
"Clearly, Iran’s government is alarmed at the growth of the Christian faith there," said Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the ministry that serves persecuted Christians worldwide.
"This is a key time for the church in Iran. We call on Iran’s government to release this Christian believer who is being held, and we call on Christians around the world to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iran," he said.
The organization also asked for prayer for Iranian believers to "remain steadfast in their faith despite this new wave of persecution."
Experts monitoring such persecution say that Christians make up a tiny percentage of the people of Iran, where the government "officially" allows Christians to practice their faith but in reality intervenes and harasses Christians regularly.
For example, Christians are not allowed to print literature, including Sunday bulletins, and converts from Islam to Christianity are labeled apostate and subject to the death penalty. Christian pastors are under constant surveillance, and many are forced to sign documents saying they will not allow Muslims to be in their worship services.
As WND’s earlier report detailed, official Iranian radio broadcast a lengthy series on the imminent appearance of a messianic figure who will defeat Islam’s enemies and impose Islamic Shiite rule over the entire world – even speculating on specific dates the so-called "Mahdi" will be revealed.
"Be joyous my heart, miracles of the Messiah will soon be here," reads a poem used to conclude the first broadcast. "The scent of breaths of the One we know comes from near. Grieve not of sorrow and melancholy, as assured I was … last night that a Savior will come, it’s clear."
After the coming of the 12th imam, or Mahdi, "liberal democratic civilization" will be found only in "history museums," explained the program.
"Contrary to the views of western theoreticians, who usually depict an ambiguous and dark future for mankind, Muslim experts believe human history, despite its many ups and downs, has a very auspicious fate," explained the program. "Muslims believe hopes for the realization of such a happy ending for the world are called ‘Awaiting Redemption,’ and means waiting for man’s problems to be solved by the Savior at the end of time. This awaiting influences many, and inspired them with activity and enthusiasm in confronting darkness and oppression for changing the existing situation. …"
This messianic figure will be a direct descendant of Muhammad, according to the broadcasts.
"In short, when he reappears, peace, justice and security will overcome oppression and deceit and one global government, the most perfect ever, will be established," it said.
"Another beautiful moment of the Savior’s appearance is the coming down of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) from heaven," says the report. "Hazrat Mahdi receives him courteously and asks him to lead the prayers. But Jesus says you are more qualified for this than me. We read in the book Tazkarat ol-Olia, ‘the Mahdi will come with Jesus son of Mary accompanying him.’ This indicates that these two great men are (sic) complement each other. Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world. Jesus had himself given the tidings of the coming of God’s last messenger and will see Mohammad’s ideals materialize in the time of the Mahdi."
Ahmadinejad’s mystical pre-occupation with the coming of the Mahdi is raising concerns that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic could trigger the kind of global conflagration he envisions will set the stage for the end of the world.
"Because we are so free and so comfortable, a lot of us don’t ask about how it is for Christians in the rest of the world. We’ve never been reminded, don’t think about it, and sad to say in some cases, we don’t care," Nettleton told WND.
Unlike the popular contemporary concept that the persecution of Christians happened in biblical times and then ended, he said, such attacks now are escalating in dozens of nations around the world.
But before supporters can get involved in the battles over steadfastness in the faith, they have to understand what is developing, Nettleton said.
"One of our purposes is to be a wake-up call to the American church, and say, ‘Here’s what reality is for our spiritual brothers and sisters in restricted nations,’" he said of the newsletter.
Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.
It was launched by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who began smuggling Bibles into eastern Europe and Asia in the 1940s. Shortly later Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.
There is no other member of the traditional family that is maligned more today than the father. In society today we are told that fathers are a throw back to the old patriarchal system. On television shows and commercials, they are portrayed as being a not so bright klutz. Mom and the kids have more of a clue than he does. Even the gay characters are presented as being stronger role models than these poor guys.
Why does the media want to destroy the image of a father so much? First of all, God is the Father. He is our Creator and our perfect role model. In the last few years I have seen Him portrayed as a senile and forgetful old man, with little interest in what’’s going on here on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A perfect example of God’s father’s heart is found in the story of the prodigal son in Luke
Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
"When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
"The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
"But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
" ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ "
Children need strong role models and when they can’t find it in a father, they look elsewhere. A lot of the times the role models they find lead them on a path of destruction. This is why satan and the media are so intent on destroying the image of a strong and faithful father.
The Word of God emphasizes the role model fathers are to be in Ephesians 6:4; "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."
My pastor, Paul Van Buren writes a daily devotional on the web each day. He wrote that even though not much is written about Joseph he had more of an impact on Jesus’’s life than any other human being. If you read the passages about him in the beginning of Matthew and Luke you will find a man of character. A man with a strong faith and conviction as well as a great devotion to God. In all things God asked him to do concerning his family he obeyed. He must have been quite a man for God to entrust His Son to him. A strong role model.
I grew up in a home where I was robbed from having a dad because of his alcohol addiction. I had no role model that I could look up to and when I got married and was to become a father myself, I despaired. How could I be a father? I never learned how. I remember going into Pastor Ken Bomby’s office and asking for his prayers and advise. What he told me was so simple and yet it changed my life forever. He told me that to be a father all I had to do was look to The Father and ask Him to teach about His fathers heart. Studying the Word changed me and when my daughter was born and I held her in my arms for the first time, I knew I would never worry about being a father again. God had become my role model and because of that I have become a model for my children to follow as well. I have been a single father now for the last eleven years and don’t regret a single moment.
If you want to see God’s father’s heart fllow this link;
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)
On Friday, June 1st, Hillsongs United held a concert at Eglise Nouvelle Vie in Longuieul located on Montreal’s south shore. It was completely sold out. Four thousand people were in attendance. The most ever at a Christian concert in Quebec, at least to my knowledge. One thing that was said by Hillsongs at the concert was that they were told that Quebec was to be avoided because not many people come out to the Christian concerts. Well I guess Friday night proved them wrong. The Montreal concert was 1 of only 2 concerts on their tour that sold out. The other being Chicago.
What perturbs me is this who would say such things about Montreal and Quebec. The United States and the rest of Canada are saturated with the Gospel. Here in Quebec less than 0.1% of the population is born again. So what they said is essentially true, you won’t get many people out at a Christian concert. The concert on Friday was an anomaly as it was held in the province’s largest church which has a membership of around 4,000. Try to hold it elsewhere in the city and you won’t get as big a crowd.
I have watched time and time again as big name Christian artists would tour Canada and hit most major cities but bypass Quebec. For the youth conference this past May, the churches wanted to bring in a big name Christian artist who is always at the top of the charts but could not because he was asking for more money than they could afford. hmm….. Can you imagine Jesus charging people high fees to come hear him speak? Imagine Him bypassing a city because they just couldn’t afford his rates or there was not enough people to hear Him. Praise God Jesus was not like that or else we would not have the Gospel today. He went out of His way to talk to a single woman at a well in Samaria. He wasn’t interested in numbers or the cost. He was interested in doing His Father’s will.
Quebec is one of the darkest and least evangelized places on the face of the earth. If any place needs the light it is Quebec. There are Christian artists that have been around for years and yet have never stepped a foot in this province. The closest they get is Ottawa which is much smaller than Montreal but has a larger Christian population. Quebec is a missions field! Let me warn you now, if you are a Christian artist or group and you come to Montreal, you are not going to make much money. In fact you may lose some.
Hillsongs was initially going to play Ottawa and bypass Montreal. But the Lord spoke to them and told them they were to come here. They obeyed and 100 souls were added to the kingdom. It is not about money. It is not about numbers. It is about souls. It is about obeying the great commission. Yes you risk losing money coming here, but that’s not what is really supposed to be important to the Christian, is it? Quebec needs you.