Announcer: Today on The John Ankerberg Show—“What Should Parents Know About Harry Potter?” Over 100 million books have been sold in over 200 countries, and Harry Potter has been translated into more than 40 languages. Now the first Harry Potter movie is opening in theaters all around the world.
[From Film Trailer for Warner Bros. Movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (excerpted from “Witchcraft Repackaged” (Jeremiah Films).]
“There’s no such thing as magic!”
“Dear Mr. Potter: You have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
Announcer: One survey reports that over half of all children in America between the ages of six and 17 have read at least one of the Harry Potter books. Are these books harmless fantasy stories or, through fantasy, introducing real principles of witchcraft and sorcery to our children? Today John’s guests are filmmaker, author and occult expert Caryl Matrisciana; author and founder of Rapha Counseling Centers Robert McGee; and author and columnist Berit Kjos. We invite you to join us.
Ankerberg: Welcome. Today we’re going to examine Book #2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I asked filmmaker, author and occult expert Caryl Matrisciana to compare the first two Harry Potter books.
Matrisciana: Well, Book #1 introduces the reader to witchcraft generally, to the concept that there is such a religion as witchcraft; there are such powers within that worldview, that there are certain tools that need to be used, that there are certain classes, if you will. Book #2 is taking the reader into deeper occult principles. There are some very, very shocking, actually very advanced occult things taught in Book #2.
Basically, the storyline is that there’s a chamber underneath Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the thousand-year-old boarding school that Harry and his friends are taught all their occult classes in. This chamber way under the foundation was put together by Mr. Slytherin, who is the head of the “snake house,” I’ll call it, the house synonymous to the snake. That particular house is where Draco Malfoy and the evil Lord Voldemort come from. So, it’s the Dark students that go into this house.
Well, we’re introduced to concepts of racism because Mr. Slytherin is a racist. He only wants “pure bloods,” that is, generational witches. Generational means those that are born into witchcraft, not the converts. Whereas, Mr. Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster, and those in Gryffindor, want anybody that is open to converting to magick.
So, the concept here is that those converting to magick are sensible people, wise people, people that obviously the reader, the little child, wants to become—not the racist people that say you can only be involved in magick if you have been born into the bloodline. And the concept of blood is the pure line. So we are introduced to the concept that converts are okay.
Ankerberg: Caryl brought up an interesting thought. Is it possible for anyone to convert to witchcraft, even children? In April 1974, the Council of American Witches adopted a set of principles of Wiccan Belief. One of those principles was: “We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called ‘supernatural’; but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.” In another principle they said, “This same creative power lies in all people.” In other words, everyone has the potential to be a witch, and anyone, even children, who embraces the principles of witchcraft, will be able to tap into the power within. Well, if it’s possible for your kids to convert to witchcraft, I guess all that would be needed is for them to be excited and properly motivated. And that’s what all four Harry Potter books do: motivate kids to try witchcraft.
But you say, “What about those witches who say they aren’t out to recruit or proselytize anybody?”
Matrisciana: There are some witches that argue that they’re not out to recruit and proselytize. Of course they want to evangelize our children, because the very spirit behind witchcraft wants to evangelize human beings. That’s what Satan’s agenda is. Right in the Garden of Eden he evangelized the perfectly created Adam and Eve. The most perfect person who didn’t even have sin fell for the deception of the great demented, mad, satanic evangelist, if you will—and I hate to give him that name, but there is recruiting that goes on within the other side.
So, for witches or Satanists to say they don’t recruit, you would ask them, “How did you get involved in your faith?” There’s only two ways: they could either be generational—born to that faith as Harry was—or they can be recruited, which within Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Many of those allowed into Hogwarts are recruits.
And they are recruiting kids. And we know on the Internet that witches are recruiting and saying that this is the fastest growing religion. If they weren’t recruiting they would say, “Please don’t come and join us. Please. We’re not going to advertise on the Internet. We do not want these Harry Potter books brought out.” In fact, there are many witches that say that the Harry Potter books are so true to witchcraft that they’re amazed.
Ankerberg: But is it true that the Harry Potter books accurately portray witchcraft today? Warner Brothers thinks so. This is what they said in a news conference about their first Harry Potter movie. Author Robert McGee explains:
McGee: Warner Brothers defends their first movie on Harry Potter, which is a reflection of the first book, because they were attacked by those in witchcraft saying that one of the elements they were portraying was not accurate. And in defending themselves, Warner Brothers said, “Our movie,” which again is a direct reflection of the first book, they said, “Our movie is an accurate portrayal of witchcraft.”
Now, those who say these books don’t contain elements of witchcraft are going to have a hard problem with the fact that Warner Brothers, who just made the movie to demonstrate what’s in the first book, says this is an accurate portrayal.
Matrisciana: In fact, on one show a witch called in and said to J. K. Rowling, “How long have you been a witch?”
And she said, “I don’t believe in that kind of magic.”
And she said, “Well, the books are so accurate, I’m just amazed.”
So, we’ve also gone on other sites where witches have said that these books have done more for witchcraft than anything else has done throughout history. So for some witches to argue that there is nothing in the books that is like their religion, I don’t think they’re being a hundred percent truthful, because there are even aspects in Harry Potter’s books that they would have to say are a part of their religion: goddess worship, the seasonal holidays, Samhain, Halloween, Christmas, Yule, that are all celebrated—the moons, the stars, the reading as astrology. These are things witches do.
And in Harry’s classes the students are told to make up their astrological charts. They would divine. There are witches today that want to predict the future. Palm read, tea leaf read. So, to dismiss all the contents of the Harry Potter books by saying, “That’s not what we practice” is not truthful.
Ankerberg: In all four of the Harry Potter books, Harry and his friends try a lot of magic spells. Even love potions are mentioned. Some people say, “Well, these can’t be real spells. They’re just funny little Latin words like Expelliarmus which J. K. Rowling made up so Harry could get rid of other spells. Is that true? Caryl Matrisciana responds.
Matrisciana: It’s argued that J. K. Rowling’s books are not legitimate. Actually, any child can develop their own spells and any curses and any spell-making. In fact, I’ve got a little book for a teenage witch and you can make up your spells. It doesn’t matter. What J. K. Rowling is doing in her series of books, is following occult teaching which says, “You can make up your spells.” The ones that she’s made up may not be the legitimate ones for somebody else, but you can make up anything you want. If you think it has power because the word has power, if you think that the rituals that come in have power, demons don’t care. Demons don’t care whether you’re saying the right word, whether you’ve got the right stuff in it, the wrong stuff in it. They just want to be able to promise you power and they want to entice your lusts and get you involved in bigger and bigger doorways so that more and more and more of them can come and take over a child’s life. So, the argument that J. K. Rowling’s books are not true to witchcraft because she makes stuff up is nonsense; because that is totally within the worldview of witchcraft.
Ankerberg: But I pressed this point a little further: Is the very idea of spells that is presented in the Harry Potter books true to contemporary witchcraft?
Matrisciana: I think the danger of the Harry Potter books is subtle indoctrination book by book on how magic works and that it does have power—that the forces and spirits that are being called upon in the books are able to deliver.
While Book #1 introduces you to all the paraphernalia in the books—and by the way, the books are very close to actually legitimate books in witchcraft that you can buy—titles are very close and all that sort of thing. But I think what I find interesting in Book #2 is the power that is being given to spells, the power that is being given to potions.
Ankerberg: Berit Kjos is an author who has written many articles and books on contemporary witchcraft. She comments about spells.
Kjos: Well, the spells in the Harry Potter books are just like the spells that are in the world of witchcraft today around the world actually, and which have been practiced and have been virtually the center of witchcraft and occultism throughout history. A spell is what a witch or occultist or shaman or witchdoctor uses when they want to accomplish something—some kind of a magical change in the physical world and in the spiritual world. And so they’re very common. And, of course, little books like this one I picked up in the grocery store line, which is available to young and old today who would like to exercise some magical power over their circumstances or some other person’s circumstances makes it very easy. It’s called Love Spells from Around the World, and it lists Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, North America. Every part of the world has its favorite spells.
Matrisciana: When we interviewed some witches in England that were cane makers and makers of paraphernalia of witchcraft, they told us how they charmed, how they blessed through magick ritual books or wands or canes or incense—whatever was taken into the homes of people—so that it could spiritually empower them. This is a concept that a non-believer in magic would think was strange. But in Harry Potter’s books, this is what happens. Let me give you some quotes.
One of the quotes we get is from Book #2 on page 230 where Ron says, “You’d be surprised at the power in magic.” He was looking apprehensively at this particular book. “Some of the books the Ministry’s confiscated—Dad’s told me—there was one that burned your eyes out! And everyone who read Sonnets of a Sorcerer spoke in limericks for the rest of their lives. And some old witch in Bath” —which is a city in England— “had a book that you could never stop reading! You just had to wander around with your nose in it trying to do everything one-handed.” So here we get the concept of books being bewitched and having power.
We get: “Snape looked as though someone had fed him a large beaker of Skele-Gro.” Now, that is a potion that makes your bones grow.
Happy Valentine’s Day, is this particular section, and we’re told here that Professor Snape can “show you how to whip up a Love Potion. And while you’re at it, Professor Flitwick knows more about Entrancing Enchantments than any wizard I’ve ever met, the sly old dog!” (p. 236)
Then we’re taken to a charms class. “Professor Flitwick buried his face in his hands. Snape was looking as though the first person to ask him for a love potion would be force-fed poison.”
So here we get the concept that potions work. They can make your bones grow. They can change your body. They can enhance your mind. They can make somebody else love you. They can bring about the desired intent.
All this is in Book 2, reinforcing the child, teasing the child, to be able, the concept of mixing herbs. Now, any witch, you ask a witch. They know the potent power of magic and ritual mixing of certain herbs, certain spells, certain magic, and every child today is encouraged to be independent. They can be a solitary witch. They can make their own spells, their own potions. And in Harry’s Book #2, it’s the beginning of various different love potions: bone growing potions, changing into an animal potion, changing into a different human being potion.
Ankerberg: Anyone who reads the Harry Potter books will see that the occult view of life after death, of spiritism and reincarnation, is plainly presented. Caryl Matrisciana draws illustrations from all four of the Harry Potter books to prove this point.
Matrisciana: When parents say, “Well, my child is not going to become a witch. My child is not going to be involved in human sacrifice through reading Harry Potter” and that “Harry Potter isn’t so shocking. My children know the difference between fantasy and fact,” what they are missing is that their children are being indoctrinated with a worldview that opposes biblical teaching.
Let’s take just the issue of death. The Bible says that you die once, then the judgment. [Heb. 9:27] Our spirit comes into each of us, one time. It’s our very own spirit and that from a biblical perspective, even though we may die and our body go into the earth, our spirit, if we believe in Jesus Christ, will be in the presence of God. And then, at a particular time in history when Christ comes down to reign on earth, our dead body, the body, will be given a new body—there will be new flesh. So that is the biblical history.
Now, the demons know all this and the demons want to keep away the pagans from thinking their spirit is accountable to a God, to have a relationship with God on this earth once and for all. The concept of reincarnation says that your spirit won’t die—that’s a biblical principle. Your spirit won’t die—but a new body comes with your spirit again and again, depending on what you do on this earth. So if you were bad on this earth, then you come back as a rat or a cockroach or a lesser human being or an animal. If you were good, then you come back as a more enlightened person: a king, a better whatever the point of view is of the person.
So, in Harry’s books, this concept of reincarnation and evolution—and by the way, that is the premise: that is very foundational of occult thinking is evolutionary thinking, always developing, always developing, always changing, always transforming—so they’re coming back as better and better people as long as they can live good lives within their perception.
And that’s what’s happening in Harry Potter’s books. We learn about a 500-year-old ghost that is the head of Harry’s house; a dead teacher—somebody who dies but carries on teaching, presumably in flesh. So, the confusion that children are having is that, “Oh, even though you die, you can have flesh,” because Headless Nick, although he’s 500 years old, has a flesh body in front of them. The teacher that dies has a flesh body.
Then you get another confusion where Voldemort has a no shape and form. He’s just shadow and vapor. But he can have shape and form if he goes through an occult ceremony with blood and flesh and bone in a cauldron. Or, the little 16-year-old Voldemort is just a memory—but somehow he appears in front of Harry. All these different philosophical views, pagan views, on disembodied spirits and how they can take over bodies, appear to people either in human flesh, either as a memory—like Harry’s dead parents can come back to him as a memory. They appear to be real to him, come and help him, but they’re really dead. Or, Harry’s father can come back as a stag to help him in a moment of crisis. Or Harry’s godfather can come back as Sirius Black, a dog that can come and change before his eyes into a human being if need be. So, all these different concepts of shifting spiritual possession is being taught in the Harry Potter books.
So unless a Christian parent clearly understands what’s happening, their child is growing up with misconceptions that they can look into a mirror and can have the desire that they want to appear, that they can bring about a reality that’s in their mind, that through thinking a thought into reality it can happen–that they can manipulate forces, and they probably can.
They can probably manipulate forces but by the time they’ve done that, they’re in occult territory and they are seeing the occult work and they’re down a dangerous path. It’s very, very dangerous. We’re going to see catastrophes in a few years and parents are not going to be able to understand what has happened to their children because they didn’t draw the line now. They’re opening the doorways now to their children getting involved in the occult.
Ankerberg: Again, if you are a parent, I think you know that you are responsible before God for protecting your children from the deceptive allurements of witchcraft. If you are a pastor, you also know you are responsible to God for teaching and warning your congregation about witchcraft, sorcery and the occult. At this moment in history, I believe that means you need to speak out about the Harry Potter books.