The "Magick" of Harry Potter
The story of author J. K. Rowlings life is a classic rags-to-riches tale. She began writing the first Harry Potter book while living with her young daughter in a tiny flat in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the time she was an unemployed teacher, receiving government assistance and probably never dreamed of having the kind of success thats come her way via the Harry Potter book series thus far. After being published, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone received rave reviews in England. The book became a literary sensation and was voted British Book Awards Childrens Book of the Year and winner of the Smarties Prize. After being picked up in the United States by Scholastic Press, the title was changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. It became an instant success worldwide.
Rowling has now published four books in the series. Besides Sorcerers Stone, the series now includes, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, and the 734-page Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The books are advertised for ages nine to twelve.
We were working on preparing this book the week that Goblet of Fire was released. Before the release, the Barnes and Noble booksellers web site was akin to a monument for Harry Potter. A contest link on their web site advertised, "Can you divine the future?" and asked readers to click and then leave their ideas as to what the story line of the new book might be. When the book was released, it was already a New York Times best seller, just as its three predecessors had been, this time with an astonishing first run of 5.3 million books in English.
To attest to the popularity of Harry Potter, the day we sent this book to our publisher in September 2000, Harry Potter books ranked as four of the top five sellers at Amazon.com, the worlds largest online retailer.
If you are thinking that the Harry Potter phenomenon is going to subside, we can assure that it is not. In fact, it has doubtlessly inspired many other books of its kind (still to be published) to quench the thirst of young budding occultists lured by the Potter intrigue.
The bestselling Harry Potter series had already sold over thirty million copies in thirty-one languages before the release of Goblets of Fire. Additionally, Rowling has signed contracts to write a total of seven Potter novels, with each one becoming a film. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone is set for a November 2001 release by Warner Brothers. She has also warned that each book would be progressively darker. She wasnt kidding.
At the Potter's House
This is the description given on the OK UK Books web site for the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.
"Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his aunt and uncle's house. Little does he know that his life is to change irrevoccably when he is rescued by an owl and taken to Hogwort's school of Wizardry and Witchcraft, learns about his parents' mysterious death and comes face to face with the evil Voldemort in a deadly duel. . ."
Here is another description, this time from Newsweek.
|"Firmly in the eccentric
tradition of the English children's story, Harry, like Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, can
fly. Like Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins, he is surrounded by fantastical creatures. His boarding
school is full of dotty profs and snobby brats, but it is also a world where owls deliver
the mail and instead of chemistry and gym they study potions and transfiguration."
Malcolm Jones, "Magician for Millions" Newsweek August 13, 1999
Among the terrifying images in books two and three were: a disembodied voice repeatedly hissing "kill"; monstrous, flesh-eating spiders; children being attacked and paralyzed; and an apparently dead cat hung upside down by its tail (USA Today, June 15, 2000).
In book four of the series (Goblet of Fire) the evil character named "Wormtail" cuts up Harrys arm to extract blood in order to bring "Voldemort" (the most evil character) back to life. (This is an occult practice done to supposedly pass mystic power from one person to another during some occult rituals.) Rowling called Voldemort a "raging psychopath, devoid of the normal human responses to other peoples suffering . . ." (Entertainment Weekly, #554, August 11, 2000). Also in the latest epic, Harrys parents, who have been killed, have to be extracted from Voldemorts magic wand. What kind of books are these and what inspires Rowlings work? We believe we know. She said, "Its important to remember that we all have magic inside us . . ." during an interview being taped for a "Scholastic Book Fair" video. And when asked in an August 2000 Entertainment Weekly interview by writer Jeff Jensen if she felt any sense of social responsibility (for the dark nature of the content of Harry Potter) Rowling answered, "I cannot write to please other people." She then goes on to mention that parents are coming to her saying their six year-old "loved her book"! Perhaps a more important question is, what kind of parents are these?
Is J. K. Rowling a real, practicing, bona fide witch? Our research turned up no overt statement she has made to make us believe so. However, when Ms. Rowling was asked about her favorite holiday, it was Halloween. We realize that many people who are not occultists might respond this way, but we figured her answer wasnt going to be Valentines Day! What makes us explore this possibility further is just the occult accuracy of the texts. She has also intimated that some of the scenes in the books were fashioned out of real life experiences shes had. While from the materials and interviews we researched Rowling only named some railroad scenes portrayed in her writings as something actually from her childhood. However, its not a huge leap to believe that the occult crux of the Harry Potter story could be from personal experience as well.
Whether Rowling herself is a witch or avid New Age dabbler, it is obvious that no one is really trying to veil the tie between the Harry Potter series and the occult, quite the opposite in fact. On the ABC.com web site, there is a page dedicated to Harry Potter information. There, we found a link titled "Divination Class with Professor Susan Miller." The link led unsuspecting kids to famed astrologer Susan Millers forecasting page.
While we are aware that much of the world praises Rowlings stories due to the supposed life lessons and ethical content taught in them, we more than question how a biblical Christian could rationalize around the occult and increasingly more disturbing content in the Harry Potter series. Scripture demands that we have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). This is not the story of good vs. evil. Once again, it is the story of white magic (or magick, as it is spelled in the occult) opposed to black.
Go to Part TwoAll rights reserved. Copyright © 2000, Eric Barger and David Benoit.
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