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Article ID: 4714
Age Group: Adult
Posted: September 23rd. 2002
Spiritual Counterfeits 
by Kerr Cuhulain
In my reply to Roper's e-mail I had also complained about his reference materials and slides on "Witchcraft, Magick and Satanism." "For years you have mixed together bits of information from disparate sources in your presentations," I told him, "creating the impression that they are all part of the same thing (Satanism). If you disagree with Wicca, fine, but let's not call it Satanism, Jack. It isn't, and I think that you know that. Try replacing your innuendoes with facts."(38)
Roper's reply was:
"As for my slide presentation. The occult is an umbrella term for the subject covered. I know that Satanism and Witchcraft are not the same when it comes to religions but the source of power is the same."(39)
This, as you have already seen, is a very common theme in Roper's "occult resource materials." In other words, Roper is saying: "It's not but it really is." "You can't have it both ways, Jack," I wrote back, "It is or it isn't (it isn't, Jack)."(40)
Roper now states: "As for the SRA movement, I am not involved in these cases any more and have not been for some time."(41) I asked him to expand on this. This was his reply:
"As for the SRA cases, I went on one case many years ago. Two psychotherapists hired me to look into a case. Six adults accused their parents (a family of 8 children) of being Satanists who (it was claimed) abused their 6 children. After 2 days of listening to both sides, I supported the parents who were not what the children claimed they were. The therapists used hypnosis to draw out 'memories.' When the therapists (who hired me) became aware of my position in favor of the parents (who I believe were innocent), the therapists were not too happy with me. The father lost his business, was disgraced in the community, etc. It brought in a police department. Later on the parents were restored back into their church. Three of the 6 children (now older adults) see the light of their parents being innocent of the accusations."(42)
I must give Roper full marks for having come to this conclusion and for speaking out about it. Too many of the other people I have discussed within this series refuse to make this admission.
The very day that these letters were flying back and forth between me and Roper, an article by him was published on the Christian Broadcasting Network web page: "Harry Potter: The Hero For Modern Witchcraft." Roper says that he knows the difference between Satanism and Wicca, but it is abundantly clear from this article that he makes no distinction. Roper does not even seem to be able to differentiate between fiction and reality in this case.
"Periodically in our society, mystical heroes penetrate our culture."(43) Roper begins his article, "Harry Potter, an orphaned witch, is one such hero who has captured the innocent heart of many children. When such a hero uses evil as a problem solving tool, we need to be warned. This article is one of those warnings."(44) The "evil" that Roper refers to here is anything to do with magick.
Roper goes on to complain that "The media has played an important role in the proliferation of the pagan witch child acceptance in America and abroad."(45) Of course the same media has in the past played an important role in the proliferation of urban legends about Witchcraft, a fact that Roper is very well aware of since he is using the Christian media here for exactly this purpose.
"As a cult researcher for many years, I have seen contemporary witchcraft packaged in many seductive forms, and Harry Potter is the best. Potter makes Spiritualism and Witchcraft look wonderful. Just as the popular movie "The Sixth Sense" communicated with the dead, so does Potter. Witches (Wiccans) have found an effective social tool for children to accept witchcraft as a normal non-evil religion. The invited witch who comes to an elementary school to talk to kids has a literary spring board into a child's heart. Over time the child can become adapted to the dark world of witchcraft and not even know that it is dangerous. What if the Potter fan is dropped off at Barnes & Noble Bookstore to check out the latest Potter display? Will the child then run over to the witchcraft section among other books to see what Potter is really talking about? Potter repeatedly discusses various witchcraft and magical books in his series such as the History of Magic. The magic we are discussing here is not sleight of hand but occult magic.
"Shall we ban magical evil from the young & innocent? Shall we desensitize our children because they have found a "good book" to read? The Harry Potter books give the acceptance that good witchcraft is good and that we should use good magic to fight black magic. The difference between good magic and black magic is that the intent is different but the source of power is the same. That flip of the coin power is evil on both sides."(46)
This gives the impression that Rowling is a Wiccan (she isn't) and that her books are a carefully crafted Wiccan public relations campaign. Note the statement that mirrors the one that Roper made to me in his e-mail: "The difference between good magic and black magic is that the intent is different but the source of power is the same."
Roper complains that the lightning-bolt scar on Harry Potter's forehead "represents 'a powerful evil curse.'"(47) Roper goes on to say that this lightning bolt is a symbol is of the "wicked Voldemort,"(48) and that "It is interesting also to note that the lightning illustration is found also in the Book of Luke chapter 10:18- symbolic of Satan."(49) This verse from Luke reads: "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." The inference of course is that Voldemort is Satan. Roper uses this to introduce the comments of Elizabeth D. Schafer, author of the book Exploring Harry Potter. Schafer holds a Ph.D in the History of Science and Technology from Auburn University and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Children's Literature Association. Roper quotes Dr. Schafer:
"Rowling confirms that Lord Voldemort's powers are strengthening and that more characters will die to emphasize the dastardly nature of evil. She says that only after careful consideration did she decide to include so many deaths to accentuate the deepening conflict between good and evil forces and the resulting victimization of innocents... As the books' dark tones intensify, there will probably be more anti-Potter attempts to ban the books" (page 426)."(50)
"Do we protect our children from such violence or will they end up in the Potter's Field?... Such TV programs as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire have preconditioned our children and even some adults to accept Harry Potter's powers as an acceptable norm. Dr. Schafer writes, 'The evils presented in the Harry Potter series parallel modern horrors... The college town of Iowa City, Iowa, has enforced restrictions on children dressing as witches or devils or wearing clothing with those images at school' (p 207).
"Dr. Schafer's book is secular in its' reasoning. The strength of her book is in its decontructing [sic] the Potter series which J.K. Rowling constructed. Schafer's book does not present a Christian view point but a worldly view. She states, 'Modern witches proclaim to practice pagan rituals of nature worship... Known as 'Wicca' this witchcraft is not Satanic.' Witchcraft (Wicca) is not Satanism but its powers are Satanic in its spiritual nature. Wicca is not from the true God. The Bible warns about witchcraft in Deuteronomy chapter 18. Dr. Schafer also recommends various books that strongly promote magic and witchcraft in Section IV of her book. Stephen King, the Horror writer, endorsed her book jacket "Elizabeth Schafer's book will help enrich the Harry Potter experience, and that is a very good thing." (51)
There it is again: The idea that Wicca isn't Satanism but it is Satanic. Yet Roper tells us that he knows the difference.
Roper then goes on to assess the Harry Potter series. One of the references that he uses to do this is George Mather's Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult.(52) Mather was the Founder & Director of the New England Institute of Religious Research. You'll recall that this organization was one of the resources listed by Roper on his web site. The other reference is the Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult by occultist Nevill Drury.
Roper begins by making a big deal about Harry Potter's scar by listing the following quotes from the first book in Rowling's series, The Sorcerer's Stone:
- "'The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightning' (page- 20)."(53)
- "'That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh...' (This refers to the lightning-bolt on Potter's head) (page 55) [emphasis in original]."(54)
Roper then includes various quotes about wizards, muggles, vampires, magical wands, counter-curses, potions, and lists of standard books of spells (Roper adds the comment "curriculum books,"(55) in bold script as if the readers couldn't figure this out for themselves). Roper adds similar odd comments in bold script like this elsewhere amongst the quotes that give one the clear impression that he thinks that his readers are quite stupid. For example, Roper includes the quotes:
- "'It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in mid air over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting' (levitation) (page 116)."(56)
- "'Potion lessons took place down in one of the dungeons... You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making' (I wouldn't drink it Harry!) (page 136)."(57)
- "'He, Ron, and Hermione kept to themselves, working late into the night, trying to remember the ingredients in complicated potions, learn charms and spells by heart...' (He=Harry) (page 246)."(58)
- "'Get yer wands out an' practice now' (I wouldn't wand-der too far) (page 251)."(59)
- "'Harry took a pinch of Floo powder and walked to the edge of the fire. He took a deep breath, scattered the powder into the flames, and stepped forward; the fire felt like a warm breeze; he opened his mouth and immediately swallowed a lot of hot ash' (page 48). (Does this give his fans ideas?)"(60)
- "'And then Harry heard it...rip...tear...kill...Listen! said Harry urgently, and Ron and Hermione froze watching him...kill...time to kill...The voice was growing fainter' (page 137). Harry was now hearing voices."(61)
- "'No, said Ron, without hesitation. Hearing voices no one else can hear isn't a good sign, even in the wizarding world' (page 145). Harry is hearing voices?"(62)
- "'Yeah... said Malfoy. Luckily, they didn't find much. Father's got some very valuable Dark Arts stuff. But luckily, we've got our own secret chamber under the drawing-room floor". Ho! said Ron' ( page 224). Anything to do with Black magic?"(63)
- "'Let me at him [Malfoy], Ron growled as Harry and Dean hung onto his arms. 'I don't care, I don't need my wand, I'm going to kill him with my bare hands.' (page 267). Ron here has 2 weapons -- his wand and his 'bare hands.'"(64)
Along with some of these quotes Roper adds comments in bold which further illustrate Roper's perspective:
- "'I don't know how the Muggles manage without magic' (Muggles don't need occultic magick to live -- there is someone greater) (page 67)."(65)
- "'I'll get him, said Ron, grinding his teeth at Malfoy's back, one of these days, I'll get him' (Black magic?) (page 196)."(66)
- "'If you're going to be cursed forever, death's better, isn't it?' (For some, Hell follows -- see U.S. News & World Report, Jan 31, 2000, front cover story) (page 258)."(67)
NOTE: The article that Roper is referring to here is "One Hell Is Not Enough." This 538 word article by Jeffery L. Sheler reports that "Christianity may have made hell a household word, but it doesn't hold a monopoly on the doctrine. The threat of painful retribution in the afterlife has counterparts in nearly every major world religion and in some minor ones as well. In Judaism, Hades was a common fixture for centuries. But the idea of a literal hell has been widely rejected since the 18th century..." Of course Wicca rejects the notion that there is a Hell.
- "'Their very last exam was History of Magic' (This book is no magical solution-try God!) (page 263)."(68)
- "'...to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure' (heaven is the greatest adventure -- try Jesus -- He is better than Potter) (p- 302)."(69)
Roper adds more detailed comments when he gets to Rowling's second book, Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets:
- "Do you know what the Scriptures say about witchcraft? (Deuteronomy chapter 18:9-12.) Potter fits the bill."(70)
NOTE: Deuteronomy 18: 9-12 is the section of the Bible that denounces divination, witches, wizards, and enchanters.
- "'The wizard family Dobby serves, sir... Dobby is a house elf-bound to serve one house and one family forever'(page 14). The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult by Drury has this to say : Elves were spirit-creatures that were hidden from God's sight because they were unclean. The Bible calls them demons in Mark chap. 1:26-27 Can we call these elves 'dinky demons'?"(71)
- "'House-elves have got powerful magic of their own, but they can't usually use it without their master's permission' (elves as "dinky demons" who have power?) (page 28)."(72)
NOTE: The term "elf" first appeared in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales circa 1390 CE. Before 1200 CE the word was spelled "alve" in Layamon's Chronicles of Britain. In Old English it was variously spelled "elf", "ielf" or, in Beowulf (725 CE) "aelf." It comes from the Old Saxon/Middle Low German word "alf", meaning an evil spirit or goblin. In most modern fantasy fiction elves are usually treated as benevolent spirits. Elves don't appear in the Bible: Mark 1:26-27 refers to "unclean spirits," not elves. Roper is extrapolating from Drury's dictionary here. Roper certainly doesn't consider the mythical Elves to be benevolent.
- "'We would also ask you to remember that any magical activity that risks notice by members of the non-magical community (Muggles) is a serious offense under section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks Statute of Secrecy' (page 21). Drury's Dictionary has defined warlock as, 'The male counterpart of a female witch. The term is also used to describe a sorcerer who is skilled in summoning supernatural evil forces and practicing black magic.'"(73)
NOTE: The modern term "Warlok" first appeared in Scotland before 1585 CE, the spelling changing to the more familiar spelling "warlock" in 1685 CE. Before this it was variously spelled "warlag", "warlau" or "warlo", going back to about 1400 CE. It is derived from the Old English expression "woer loga", which means "traitor" or "oath breaker" ("woer", meaning "faith", "pledge" or "true" plus "loga", an agent noun related to "leogan" = "to speak falsely") which dates back to 900 CE. Warlock was a term originally used by early Christians in a manner similar to the original use of the word Pagan, as an insult. Later warlock came to be used to describe a male witch. One of the most common misconceptions in society today is that male Wiccans are called "warlocks". In fact a male Wiccan is properly referred to as a "Witch" or a "Wicca." To confuse matters further, Anton LaVey adopted the term warlock as the title of a male initiated into the second degree within the Church of Satan in 1970.
- "'Yeah, Dad's crazy about everything to do with Muggles; our shed's full of Muggle stuff. He takes it apart, puts spells on it, and puts it back together again. If he raided our house he'd have to put himself under arrest' (page 31). In George Mather's Dictionary , a spell is defined as "A spoken word, charm, or incantation that harness magical power. Spells may be cast on another person or may invoke power for selfish use on the part of a sorcerer". Now we start to see where Potter series is going for his readers. It gets much worse."(74)
NOTE: It is pretty clear that Roper is seeing this series as going somewhere other than where the rest of us is.
- "'For a few years, the founders worked in harmony together, seeking out youngsters who showed signs of magic and bringing them to the castle to be educated' (page 150). This is a good approach for your kid to become a full pledged Pagan witch. [emphasis in original]"(75)
NOTE: It might be, if Wiccans recruited people the way that some Christian churches do. Wiccans don't proselytize.
- "'He believed that magical learning should be kept within all-magic families. He disliked taking students of Muggle parentage, believing them to be untrustworthy' (page 150). This is not sleight of hand magic but hard core witchcraft [emphasis in original]."(76)
NOTE: No, Jack, this is not "hard core witchcraft." It is fantasy fiction.
- "'I'm a what? said Harry. 'A Parselmouth!' said Ron. 'You can talk to snakes!' (page 195). I am trying to remember the last time someone talked to a snake.The Garden of Eden. Guess what that snake's name was! [emphasis in original]"(77)
- "'That's why the symbol of Slytherin House is a serpent' (page 196). An evil theme is also slithering through the Potter series. [emphasis in original]"(78)
- "'It's not possible to live with the Dursleys and not hate them said Harry' (page 200). Where is Harry's love for the people (Muggles) who took him in? [emphasis in original]"(79)
NOTE: Did you read these Harry Potter books, Jack? The Dursleys treated Harry horribly. Rowley deliberately made the Dursley's unloveable.
- "'I'm sure I've done everything right said Hermione, nervously rereading the splotched page of Moste Potente Potions . It looks like the book says it should...once we've drunk it, we'll have exactly an hour before we change back into ourselves' ( page 215). I hope no Potter fans start making their own potions thinking they will magically change. There are poisons out there. Witches in the past were known for their potions and poisons. See Man, Myth and Magic series. Volume 16. [emphasis in original]"(80)
NOTE: These "witches" in the past were the mythical "witches" described by the Inquisitors. They were as fictional as Harry Potter.
- "'I wish he was mine, he's really divine, The hero who conquered the Dark Lord.' This was a singing valentine for Harry' ( page 238). Hero worship? [emphasis in original]."(81)
Roper concludes: "Harry Potter is full of witchcraft concepts. Why are we allowing our children to read such books? Because it is good reading? Witches recommend the Potter's series and there is a reason!"(82)
Yes, Jack Roper, it is good reading. I do recommend Rowling's books, because they are well told fictional stories. Yet they aren't "full of witchcraft concepts" as you suggest. It is full of what you think are Witchcraft concepts, and that is something quite different from the reality of Wicca.
[continued... Click HERE for page 4]
| ABOUT... |
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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