Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 9225
Age Group: Adult
Posted: May 1st. 2005
Crossroads Ministries/Berit Kjos
by Kerr Cuhulain
I’ve had a lot of readers write to me in the past year asking me to write an article about Berit Kjos and her Crossroads Ministries (http://www.crossroad.to/). I suspect that this is because lately Kjos has been pumping out rants opposing movies such as the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series. Kjos is a prolific writer, so in the interest of brevity I will focus on some core articles on her web site which are representative of her views and style.
One such article by Kjos is "Symbols and their Meanings." Kjos starts by claiming that "Occult symbols are fast replacing Christian symbols in our culture. Therefore, we encourage you to use this list to warn others, especially Christian children who intentionally wear and display them because they are popular." Kjos correctly points out that symbols often have more than one meaning. Kjos also tries to cover herself by stating "Please don't pass judgment on those who happen to wear these symbols. Instead, let us seek God’s will and discernment so that we might all honor Him with our lives. Remember, ‘each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block. . . in our brother's way.’ (Romans 14:12-13)" As you read through Kjos’s site and see all of the things that she complains about, you question her belief in this statement. Kjos repeatedly passes judgment on these issues. Kjos’s list of symbols and definitions that follows includes:
- "All Seeing Eye/Eye in top Triangle of the Pyramid": Kjos calls this "A universal symbol representing spiritual insight, inner vision, higher knowledge, insight into occult mysteries, " but then, in the second part of her definition, states: "Masonic symbol for the all-seeing eye of god- an mystical [sic] distortion of the omniscient (all-knowing) Biblical God. You can find it on the $1 bill.".
- All-seeing Eye in the Pyramid: "The official symbol for DARPA Total Information Awareness, " Kjos tells us, "a surveillance and information system established by they U.S. government. Notice how the masonic all-seeing eye of the new world order covers the planet with its enlightening rays. (Sometime in December 2002, this symbol was removed from the TIA website. Perhaps too many people complained)."
- The Great Seal of the United States of America: Kjos tells us that "Some consider its occult and masonic images an American mission statement. The inscribed motto, E Pluribus Unum means "Out of many, one." The words Novus Ordo Seclorum mean "a new order of the ages, " according to this website: www.greatseal.com. The two sides show the symbol of the eagle (first a phoenix) and the eye in the pyramid. See All-Seeing Eye & Eye of Horus & Great Seal. But the more correct meaning would be NEW WORLD ORDER (novous = new, ordo = order, seclorum = secular or world)."
- NOTE: These are, of course, references to the Utchat, the urban legends surrounding the Great Seal, and the fundamentalist myths about a "New World Order" which I describe in detail in my recent Witch Hunts article on symbols: (http://www.witchvox.com/whs/kerr_sy6_tz.html).
- Amulet: Kjos illustrates this with a picture of a Navajo earring and defines this as "A magic charm, worn to bring good luck and protection against illness, accidents and evil forces. Don’t believe it!"
NOTE: Amulet is derived from the French "amulette", derived in turn from the Latin "amulleto" ("a charm"). It isn’t peculiar to the Navajo culture.
- Anarchy: Alongside an anarchy symbol, Kjos places the definition: "Popular among school aged children today, this symbol for anarchy fits the message that pervades the most popular video games, role-playing games, movies and television. The lines of the ‘A’ often extend outside the circle. To many satanists and other fast-growing occult groups it represents their slogan, ‘do what thou wilt.’A former occultist explained that it represents the Asmodeas: A demonic force driving teenagers toward sexual perversion and suicide."
NOTE: Kjos doesn’t identify the "former occultist" that was her source. You’ll find a detailed analysis of the anarchy symbol in my Witch Hunts article on Symbols. "Asmodeas" is a misspelling of Asmodeus. Asmodeus (variations include Asmodai, Asmodel, Ashmodiel, Asmoday, Asmodal, Asmodee, Asmode, Ashmedai, Asmadai, Chashmodai, Chasmodai, Eshmadai, Hasmodai or Sydonay) is a Biblical figure, adopted from Zoroastrianism, who appears in the Apocrypha. Asmodeus means "creature of judgement". Zoroaster named this entity "Aeshma-daeva" ("demon of fury"). In Rabbinic lore he is the messenger of God but being cast as an opponent to Solomon he is usually regarded as an evil spirit. Asmodeus is a spirit of the south evoked in a love spell in the Book of True Black Magic. Wierus lists him as Beelzebuth's superintendent of casinos and warns that the magician must be bare headed when he invokes him lest he be tricked. According to Eliphas Levi, Asmodeus is the leader of the Golab. Asmodeus is a demon who is described as a "fallen Throne" who is mentioned in connection with the trial of Urbain Grandier by Grillot De Givry in his Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy. Asmodeus is a demon described the leader of the vessels of wrath in The Magus. He is a demon listed by Collin De Plancy in his Dictionaire Infernal. He is the daimon of science and judgement in the Diabolicon. Asmodeus makes one of the "Statements" of the Diabolicon. Asmodeus is a prince of the demonic order of Seraphim listed by Michaelis in his Admirable History. In The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, Asmodeus is the child of the incest of Tubal-Cain with his sister Naamah. In Judaic lore, Asmodeus is the father in law of the demon Bar Shalmon. Asmodeus is one of the Infernal names listed in Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible. He is a demon of lechery listed by Binsfield, which may be what influenced LaVey to list Asmodeus as the name of the "Demon of Lust", used in the performance of the Black Mass in LaVey's The Satanic Rituals: This may be where Kjos’s unnamed informant got the idea that he was a demonic force responsible for sexual perversion. In none of the aforementioned texts or grimoires is the anarchy symbol listed as a symbol of Asmodeus.
- Blair Witch: Kjos illustrates this with the symbol from the Blair Witch Project movie and defines this as: "A five-pointed compound symbol with a center triangle pointing down. The five lines resemble the microcosmic man with arms and legs outstretched inside a circe (with a pentagram in the background)- a magic symbol or charm among medieval alchemists and wizards."
NOTE: This symbol is a modern invention created for the fictional story in this horror movie, not a symbol used in antiquity.
- Chaos: Kjos illustrates this with a drawing of a skull surrounded by a circle with eight arrows pointing outwards. Kjos describes this as "A self-made form of occultism taught through role-playing games such as Warhammer. According to one devotee, ‘Chaos is the opposite of order. Since everything changes, there is no right or no wrong -- only the quest for pleasure. The 8-pointed star represents the many different directions of chaos and the many ways you can follow it. We worship deamons [sic] and angels, and when we die, Chaos rewards us with the pleasures we liked in life. Chaos is everywhere, it blows in the wind...’"
NOTE: Chaos magick is a practice that was developed and exists outside of Fantasy Games like Warhammer, though it may have inspired the creators of such games. Note how Kjos doesn’t name the devotee she claims to be her source.
- Inverted Cross: Kjos defines this as follows: "Originally represented the apostle Peter's humility in his martyrdom. He insisted that he be crucified upside-down, because he felt that he was unworthy to die in the same position as Christ. But today, especially in the rock music culture, it generally represents the opposite: satanism and its mockery of Christ. Lucifer continues to twist God's wonderful truths and works into lies and deceptions."
NOTE: Modern Biblical scholars now admit that there is very little evidence to corroborate this crucifixion story. No one knows when, where or how St. Peter died. In fact it is uncertain as to whether he was a real person. The "Petrine Passage" in the Gospel of Matthew, an account of Peter's acquisition of the symbolic keys, was inserted in the third century CE for political reasons. Christians like Kjos use this story of Peter's crucifixion in an attempt to re-interpret symbols such as this, rewriting the history to make it suit their purposes.
- Peace Symbol or Nero’s Cross: Kjos recycles a common urban legend in her definition of this symbol: "A broken, upside-down cross. To Roman emperor Nero, who hated and persecuted the early Christians, it meant destruction of Christianity. Revived in the sixties by hippies and others who protested nuclear weapons, Western culture, and Christian values, it now symbolizes a utopian hope for a new age of global peace and earth-centered unity. But many of heavy metal rock fans would agree with Nero and use it to mock Christ and His followers."
NOTE: This is another symbol which features prominently in such lists, and this is a common variation of the typical misinformation associated with it. You can find many other examples of this in my Symbols article in this Witch Hunts series. As you can see, this was also influenced by the aforementioned tale of Peter’s inverted crucifixion. The difficulty with all these claims is that the peace symbol only dates back to Easter 1958: It was created by well known author Bertrand Russell, who used it as a symbol in a march for nuclear disarmament that took place in Aldermaston, England. The symbol consists of three elements: The semaphore signal for the letter "N" (nuclear) superimposed over the semaphor signal for the letter "D" (disarmament), surrounded by a circle (representing the concept "total"). Thus the completed symbol was supposed to represent "total nuclear disarmament".
- Dreamcatcher: "An American Indian magic spiderweb inside a sacred circle, " Kjos tells us, "After making dreamcatchers in crafts lessons in school, many children hang them on or near their beds. They have been told that these occult symbols will block bad dreams but allow good dreams to pass through the center. Don't believe that myth!"
NOTE: It seems Kjos would very much like us not to believe any myths outside of Christianity.
- Hexagram or Six-Pointed Star: No fundamentalist list of "occult symbols" would be complete without this one. Kjos tells us that "When surrounded by a circle, it represents the ‘divine mind’ (a counterfeit of God's wisdom) to numerous occult groups through the centuries. Many still use it in occult rituals. But to Jewish people, it is their Star of David."
NOTE: The Hexagram is a very popular symbol for people like Kjos to attack. See my Witch Hunts article on Symbols for a detailed analysis of the hexagram.
- Theosophy: Kjos shows what she refers to as a "simplified version" of their symbol, explaining that "The more elaborate version inserts a variety of other symbols... Because of its dark occult meaning and similarity to some of the other complex magical signs used in alchemy and masonic rituals, we prefer not to post it." Kjos describes this as the "symbol behind the occult beliefs of UN leader Robert Muller (his World Core Curriculum became a worldwide pattern for global education) and education leader Shirley McCune."
NOTE: Remember how Kjos was going on about accepting and tolerance earlier? This is clearly not an example of that sentiment. This is simply paranoia concerning Theosophy.
- Toad: "Linked to witchcraft and other occult practices, " Kjos tells us.
NOTE: By Inquisitors and other creators of urban legends.
- Baphomet: Kjos illustrates this with the symbol of the Church of Satan (a goat’s head in an inverted pentagram) and defines this as: "According to the Church of Satan: ‘The Ouroboros, or Serpent eating its own tail, is associated with Leviathan [and]... is derived from the Ophites who used the Serpent as a symbol of Wisdom.’ The Star ‘comes from the Pythagorean school of Mathematics. ...one of the more Esoteric derivates of Baphomet is 'Baphe-Metis, ' that is, Initiation into Wisdom-Measurement. The Goat is Pan, the symbol of nature itself.’"
NOTE: This is another term commonly misinterpreted (as it is here) on lists of supposedly Satanic symbols. You’ll find a detailed analysis of it in my Witch Hunts article on Demons.
On Kjos’s Symbols page one finds links to other symbols pages. One link takes us to her"Halloween symbols" web page. This informs us that:
"Halloween helps breathe new life into the dark rituals and symbols of past civilizations... [and] reminds us that, while Halloween clashes with God's guidelines, it fits the world and human nature very well. That's why the mastermind behind this spiritual war keeps using the same tactics through the centuries. Satan's main strategy has always been to tempt people to love what God hates, prompt them to pursue his enticing path, and deceive them into thinking that his ‘new’ way is as good, or even better, than the old ways God has shown us. Since his strategies don't change, God's warning in Proverbs 14:12 is as relevant now as it was in King Solomon's days: ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.’(Proverbs 14:12).
"Most people follow the masses, and the masses follow the media -- especially when it promotes thrills and adventures that feed the lust for forbidden thrills. The occult has always focused on gory images of violence, death and destruction... As people become desensitized to occult violence and horror, the images in popular entertainment grow increasingly and indescribably evil. Yet, this is old news. Thousands of years ago, God warned us, ‘All those who hate Me love death." (Proverbs 8:36)."
The list that follows includes:
- Broomsticks: Kjos mentions Harry Potter’s "Firebolt".
- Black Cats: Kjos uses a picture from a Sailor Moon comic book to illustrate this, pointing out the moon shape on this cat’s forehead and pointing out that this cat talks. I’m guessing that she does this to hint at it being a familiar.
- Blood: This contains the usual nonsense about blood sacrifices by Celts. It is illustrated by a drawing of an Aztec priest sacrificing a human.
- Eye: This gives special mention to Harry Potter character Mad Moody.
- Fire: Kjos claims that Druids used fire "for protection against bad spirits and for ritual sacrifices (both animal and human) to their gods." It is illustrated with a Magic, the Gathering card with the caption "conjured from the bowels of hell, the fiery wall forms an impassable barrier, searing the soul of any creature attempting to pass."
- Ghosts: "to the countless victims of demonic bondage and oppression, the spirit world is no joke.".
- Gravestone: Kjos describes those in the occult as viewing gravestones as "an exciting symbol of death."
- Skulls, Bones and Skeletons: Kjos illustrates this with a picture of "Yama, the Buddhist Lord of Death, with five skulls over his head" and mentions Kali "the Hindu goddess... who wore a necklace of skulls below her bloody teeth and tongue."
- Spider and web: Kjos says this symbol "points to dark, scary places, haunted by ghosts and hidden from light and dust mops." Do you suppose she’s got a fear of spiders?
- Harry Potter’s Lightning Bolt Scar: "From Norway's Vikings to Japanese Shintoist, pagans around the world have worshiped the gods of thunder with awe and dread, " Kjos tells us, "The lightning bolt continues to represent mysterious and frightening forces." Especially to Kjos..
- Witch: "The meaning and implication of witch and witchcraft has changed with the centuries. To many, it still means an old crone with molds and straggly hair casting evil spells on children and silhouetted in front of a full moon on her broomstick. But a more realistic image shows feminist or environmental activists (men or women) who seek wisdom and self empowerment from a contemporary blend of the world's earth-centered religions -- Hinduism, Native American Spirituality, European witchcraft, etc.. Whether they join groups such as the Bay Area Pagan Assemblies in California or the Pagan Federation in England, they are proud to be called Pagan, Witch or Wiccan. They share a common interest in spells, magic (‘white’, not black) and full moon rituals -- all set in a framework of a new cosmology based on a personal or impersonal pantheistic goddess."
- Another link takes you to "A Short Guide to Occult Symbols" by Carl Teichrib "a Canadian researcher and authority on globalization and the occult." Teichrib was Director of Research for Hope for the World, the ministry of Gary Kah, in 2000 and 2001. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- "The ‘marks’ of occultism can be found throughout society, " Teichrib complains, "Yet we no longer recognize their spiritual implications. However, just because the average person doesn’t know the meaning of occult symbols, it in no way negates their significance... Occult symbols have never lost their meaning. Today, New Agers and practitioners of the occult still employ their use, just as mystics have throughout the ages." Teichrib considers "The New Age movement and the occult" as "in many ways, are one and the same" and finds it "disturbing that while the historical and contemporary ‘marks’ of occultism can be found throughout our modern culture, we no longer recognize their spiritual significance."
Teichrib’s "Short list" includes:
- The Wise old owl: Teichrib associates owls with "psychic powers, the ‘angel of death, ’ and the goddess of night." He indicates that Greek, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Australian, Swedish, Celtic, Native American and Hindu mythology all use owls as symbols of "spiritual influence." He emphasizes that "In Africa the owl is associated with witchcraft and sorcery. To the Bantu the owl is the ‘familiar of wizards.’ In eastern Africa, the Swahili ‘believe that the owl brings illness to children.’ Zulus in southern Africa know the owl as a bird of sorcerers, and in the western part of the continent the bird is considered a messenger of wizards and witches. And in Madagascar it is said that owls gather with witches to dance on the graves of the dead." Teichrib then states: "Probably one of the most bizarre occurrences of owl symbolism can be found at the ‘Bohemian Club.’ The Bohemian Club is a rich-man’s organization that holds a two week ‘camp’ in northern California every year. This strange and secretive group, which has received very little press coverage, has an owl as its central symbol. Each year, approximately 1, 500 of America’s most influential CEO’s, government officials, financiers, industrialists, and media moguls gather to hear speeches, network, and share common agendas. They also perform Druid-like ceremonies before a huge stone owl, complete with robes, fire, incantations, and other rituals." This is the same nonsense about the Bohemian Club that you saw in my last Witch Hunts article about Jesusissavior.com. Teichrib concludes by pointing out that as the owl is also associated with wisdom, stating "I’m sure they would "wisely" scold mankind for his careless disregard of Romans 1:22-23, ‘Although they claimed to be wise, the became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.’".
- Pentagrams and Pentacles: Teichrib describes these as "two of the most powerful symbols within the world of occultism and witchcraft" and states that "both symbols represent forces that oppose Biblical truth." He correctly mentions that pentacles were used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but describes the Golden Dawn as using it to "summon demons." Teichrib mentions that in the book Transcendental Magic, Eliphas Levi wrote that pentagrams could be used to summon "the demons of air, the spirits of fire, the phantoms of water and ghosts of earth." Teichrib describes this as "Dangerous, dangerous stuff" and describes the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and "Helena Blavatsky, mother of the New Age, " as being "in bondage" to "powerful supernatural forces." Teichrib attempts to reinforce this impression by pointing out that the inverted pentagram is a symbol of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan and quotes LaVey from The Satanic Rituals: "Satanic Ritual is a blend of Gnostic, Cabbalistic, Hermetic, and Masonic elements, incorporating nomenclature and vibratory words of power from virtually every mythos. (The Satanic Rituals, p. 21)." From this Teichrib leaps to a discussion of how the Order of the Eastern Star uses an inverted pentagram as their symbol, stating that "Whether naively or intentionally, members of the OES are playing with spiritual fire, and Christians who are involved with the organization need to get out." He goes on to point out that in the inner pentagon in the OES symbol one finds the acronym F.A.T.A.L. Teichrib correctly points out that this stands for "Fair Among Thousands Altogether Lovely, " but hints at dark hidden meanings, stating "I find it interesting that it obviously spells ‘FATAL.’" He concludes by stating: "We need to keep in mind that our battle is not against flesh and blood, although flesh and blood are used by the forces of evil. But our ultimate battle is against the spiritual principalities of Lucifer’s dark army. Will we take up our spiritual shield and sword? Are we willing to use God’s Holy Word as the divider of truth and error? Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.–Ephesians 6:10-11."
- Scarab: The Magical Beetle of Egypt: Teichrib simply describes how the scarab is an important symbol from Egyptian mythology. He mentions how this symbol is part of the ritual of AMORC (Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, a Rosicrucian society headquartered in San Jose, California). This leads Teichrib to comment that "Egyptian magic has long been embraced by secret esoteric societies, including Rosicrucian orders, Freemasonry, Theosophy, and the Golden Dawn. However, placing one’s hope of a beneficial afterlife in the occult symbol of the Egyptian scarab–or in any of the ways or doctrines of Egyptian magic– is a spiritually bankrupt approach. The Bible, a historically and spiritually reliable record of God’s instruction to mankind, makes it very clear that He cannot accommodate this type of idolatrous spiritual activity. Furthermore, the Bible explicitly states that Jesus Christ is the only way to all truth and life (John 14:6). God is holy and just–He cannot accept sin, yet he provides a way for sinful man to come to Him. Turn to Jesus Christ in repentance. It is only through His finished work on the cross–and not through occult practices or doctrine–that salvation can be secured.".
- Isis: Queen of Heaven: This entry is illustrated by paintings of Isis, the Virgin Mary, and a photo of the Statue of Liberty. Teichrib describes some of the mythology of Isis. This leads him into a discussion of the Catholic figure of the Virgin Mary. He shows how both these and other Goddess figures are the "Queen of Heaven" or "mother Goddess" figures. Teichrib then attacks Mary, stating: "Yes, Mary was the virgin mother of Jesus, Son of God, but she didn't remain a virgin. Mark 6:3 actually lists four of Jesus’ brothers and mentions sisters as well. Nor was the Biblical Mary sinless. Romans 3:23 makes it clear that ‘all have sinned’–which would include Mary. The only exception to this rule is found in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15 is one example among many that attests to Jesus’ sinless character). The Bible makes it clear that Christ’s death and resurrection was a completed act. The Biblical Mary plays no direct role in His work of salvation." This leads Teichrib into a tangential discussion of the seal of the state of Virginia (which features the Roman Goddess Virtus), the Statue of Liberty (suggesting a link to the Sun God Helios and mentioning how Auguste Bertholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty, sought a commission to construct a giant Isis statue holding a torch overlooking the Suez Canal), a statue of a goddess atop the downtown Indianapolis circle monument, as well as assorted "embossed goddess figures upon state and provincial legislative buildings." He grouses that "goddess symbols are well rooted within modern America" and how there was a "’Goddess 2000 Project, ’ which seeks to have a goddess statue or other depiction ‘on every block.’" He then returns to Isis, mentioning the Fellowship of Isis. Teichrib concludes: "In our attempt as Christians to comprehend the roots of the New Age movement, we must be aware that Satan has tirelessly thrust the deities of ancient Egypt upon mankind for thousands of years. Ultimately though, it doesn’t really matter if ‘she’ is called Isis, Diana, Virtus, Cybele, Rhea, or Mother Mary, the concept is always the same–the lifting up of a pagan goddess as a replacement for the true God. ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.’ Exodus 20:2-3."
No web site of this nature would be complete without a page listing misinformation about Halloween, and Kjos’s Crossroads web site is no exception. On it one finds "Halloween 1999: A Seductive Bridge Between Two Cultures." Kjos begins by describing the Earth Religions Awareness Week proclaimed by the mayor of Asheville, NC. "That may sound good to all who have embraced the new global spirituality touted in schools, movies, and the wildly popular Harry Potter books, " Kjos complains, "But some of the local pastors were understandably alarmed. Concerned that such a government endorsement could speed the spread of witchcraft, they led a group of 25 Christians to City Hall. ‘We just wanted to counter that by making a positive statement that we believe Jesus is Lord, ’ said Pastor Ken Lewis of the West Asheville Baptist Church.’" Kjos gripes that the mayor apologized, "but refused to rescind the special designation for the week..." The mayor announced that she didn’t "tell anyone how to believe" and that he supported "everyone's right to freedom of religion. Being aware of different religions, of all religions ... should not be feared." I agree, but Kjos views this as "a government proclamation is far different than public awareness" and states that "These days, facts and logic seem to slip away from ideological conflicts." This last sentence is a pretty good description of Kjos. You can bet she wouldn’t have complained had the mayor proclaimed a Christian awareness week.
Kjos goes on to bemoan the fact that "Paganism is in, " describing this as an "irrational twist in the changing view of ‘the separation between church and state’" and complaining that it "demonstrates the new public attitudes toward occult thrills and earth-centered values." Kjos gripes that school districts are using a "multicultural perspective" to justify seeking "creative ways to immerse students in various earth-centered rituals and experiences." This would of course frighten the likes of Kjos, who don’t want anyone to realize that there are perspectives other than their own narrow ones. Note how Kjos is trying to make efforts at educating people in multiculturalism appear to be a Satanic plot. Kjos deplores the fact that a "Wiccan priestess was allowed to present ‘a program designed to dispel witchcraft myths’ at an Asheville elementary school -- something she has done every October for the past four years. After all, earth-centered religions fit right into the envisioned global spirituality needed to ‘re-connect with the earth’ as Al Gore and other leaders have proposed."
Kjos goes on to complain that recent Halloween festivities at a California school were not viewed by the parents as anything more than a "harmless holiday." Christians are described by Kjos as a "small minority who felt offended by its ancient link to a ‘dead religion’." Kjos describes Christian parents as a minority who "knew well that pagan symbols and occult amusement were desensitizing children to a fast-spreading subculture obsessed with death, spells and black magic -- not just at Halloween but all year long." Kjos describes the school board as booing, jeering and refusing to listen to the Christians. Kjos reports that the board president described their objections as "religious objections to secular events." Kjos tells us that the "pro-Halloween group won its case, and the media spread the ‘good’ news from coast to coast." She tells us how "Bay Area Witch Zsuzsanna Budapest" praised the decision and how UC Berkeley professor of Celtic languages, Daniel Melia described Satan as "a Christian notion." Kjos responds:
"He was wrong about Satan. The Old Testament mentions Satan fourteen times, and that doesn't include all his other names. From beginning to end, the Bible shows how Lucifer has always been stirring rebellion against God and hatred for His people -- even as he masquerades as an ‘angel of light.’ But then as now, the good news outshines the bad: the evil one could never cause more trouble than God would allow."
Kjos then starts her pitch about the "Roots of Halloween." She does this with a testimonial from Valerie Duffy, A Twist of Faith. Kjos describes Duffy as "a former witch... Freed from the demonic forces that once controlled her life." Long time readers of my Witch Hunts series will recognize Duffy’s name. Kjos tells us that Duffy lives in upstate New York, describing this as a "community that often publicizes Wiccan coven meetings and ‘full moon’ celebrations." Kjos claims that "Each October, [Duffy] fights -- and wins -- a spiritual battle against oppressive forces that intensify their attacks near the Wiccan holiday." Kjos doesn’t describe what she means by this comment.
Kjos tells us that "Neopagans" revere "’The Lord of the Dead, ’ Samhain himself." This is that incorrect information about Samhain being the Celtic Lord of the Dead that we’ve seen over and over again throughout my Witch Hunts series. Kjos then cites Duffy, who gives us the standard urban legend about Druid sacrifice:
"On October 31, black-cloaked Druids bearing torches would go door to door to select humans for their New Year's sacrifice to the Lord of the Dead. In return for the child or infant, they would leave a hollowed turnip with candle light shining through the carved face -- a satanic counterfeit for the biblical Passover.
"In the reveling that took place on that night to Samhain, the demons supposedly loosed for the night would pass over the homes ‘marked’ by the carved lantern. Those families had provided the required gift or sacrifice. Other homes could be hit -- sometimes with sudden death.
"The children selected for sacrifice were tossed into a bonfire. The Druids called it a bone-fire since only the bones were left. From the agonizing screams of the dying, the divining priests would foretell the future of the village."
This is the same tired misinformation that we’ve seen Schnoebelen and others throw at us for decades. It has no basis in reality. Druids did not go door to door recruiting sacrificial victims. Samhain wasn’t the Celtic Lord of the Dead. Note how Duffy has incorporated a version of the Biblical Passover myth into this story.
Duffy’s assumption that bonfires were named for the bones left after sacrifices is entirely bogus. Bonfire was derived from the Middle English "balefyre", derived in turn from the Anglo Saxon "baelfyr." Circa 1415 the word had become "banefire." It refers to fires into which the bones of cattle and sheep that had been saved during the year were burned. Bonfires were a common element of the fire festivals of the Celts. Up until about two centuries ago they were fairly common. This was a custom at the end of the winter season. By 1552 the term was used to refer to fires on which corpses were burned. In 1556 it first appeared in its more modern spelling. By the end of the 16th century the term was being used to refer to any large outdoor fire. Today it is used to describe the festival fires at the Greater Sabbats of Wiccan festival calendar. The less commonly heard term balefire is also used to refer to Wiccan festival fires.
From Duffy’s inaccurate description of Druids, Kjos leaps to a description of "how the shaman or medicine man in Disney's Pocahontas read the future in the smoke from his ritual fire, " citing this as an example of the "awesome similarities" in the "idealized images of the world's pagan religions." Including Christianity, thought I doubt that you’d get Kjos to admit that. Kjos’s interpretation seems a better example of paranoia to me. Kjos naturally attributes these similarities to Satan, whom she describes as "the mastermind behind the Druid rituals, [who] has been repeating the same basic strategies throughout history." Kjos then repeats her warning that "Those who are captivated by occult thrills and symbols become blind to the dangers they have embraced." She complains of a display of the vampire books of Anne Rice that she saw in a book store, horrified that one appeared to be displayed "like a Bible."
Kjos attributes this inability of everyone else to be as paranoid about symbols and non Christian religions as she is to a "paradigm shift" and as a "spiritual battle that rages all year." She gripes of an "accelerating shift from Biblical truth to an irrational emphasis on self-esteem." In an attempt to illustrate this, Kjos cites a criminal case in which "some years ago, three teenage boys shamelessly stabbed, strangled, and beat a 55-year-old man crippled by multiple sclerosis -- then feasted on the spaghetti in his refrigerator... The boys who allegedly attacked him. . . were ruthless." This is followed by a case of a thirteen year old girl stabbing a classmate. It is a mystery to me how Kjos can view tragedies such as these as an example of "self esteem" and suggest that a lack of self esteem is desirable. "Why are both children and adults losing the old sensitivity to the horrors of evil?" Kjos asks the reader, "Why can't they tell right from wrong?" Kjos would have us believe that it is because "People love evil." Kjos attributes this to "televised death scenes" and "occult horrors [in] children’s books" desensitizing the public. "And Satan grins, " Kjos exclaims, "Fictionalized evil -- the kind children enjoy in books and movies -- separates people from the reality of human suffering, which is just what the evil one intended."
Of course the answer to this problem suggested by Kjos is her version of Christianity. "Evil is unique to humanity, " Kjos warns, "We alone are given a moral choice and God's Word to help us resist temptation... humans are held accountable to God's standard. Ignorance of that standard doesn't cancel the consequences for not heeding it. ‘They are without excuse, ’ the Bible tells us." Kjos describes "those who despise God's truth" as "proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."
Kjos attempts to turn the on going persecution of non Christians by people like her around by claiming that it is actually Christians who "have faced persecution somewhere in the world most of the last 2000 years -- and why we can expect a revival of the same kind of hatred in this nation, " as if what she was up to wasn’t hateful and a clear example of persecution.
What follows this is the following table summarizing the paranoid world view of Kjos:
Three cultural paradigms
showing the spiritual transformation of America
| CHRISTIANITY |
| HUMANISM |
| GLOBALISM |
| BIBLICAL ABSOLUTES & VALUES || RELATIVE VALUES || GLOBAL ABSOLUTES & VALUES |
| The Bible reveals reality || Science alone explains reality || Feelings and experience prove reality |
| God is personal (loves us) and greater than His creation || God is a crutch, an illusion || An impersonal universal god (pantheism) makes all things one (monism) |
| Teach personal responsibility || Teach human rights || Teach collective duties or responsibilities |
| Don't tolerate sin (but love sinners) || Tolerate all lifestyles || Don't tolerate dissenters (zero tolerance) |
| Trust God || Trust self || Trust the state |
A year later Kjos attempts to connect Harry Potter to Halloween with the web page Halloween 2000 and Beyond, Starring Harry Potter. She carps about the popularity of Harry Potter, gripes about Pokemon, Digimon, X-Men and Disney. She wails about how "Teenage girls are showing unprecedented interest in witchcraft, with about 100 every month wanting to join covens to learn about casting spells...."
Kjos then goes on to cite an elderly and inaccurate description of Samhain from the Encyclopedia Britannica, describing it as a time of "Sacrifices and propitiations of every kind..." I’ve been complaining about similar faulty Witchcraft definitions from this dictionary for years. From this Kjos quotes J. K. Rowling as saying that Halloween is her favorite holiday. From this Kjos leaps to a Zsuzsanna Budapest quote Kjos used in an earlier web page about the Christians losing their California school board complaint about Halloween: "We have the holiday back again. These pagan calendars are imprinted in our genes." Kjos accuses books like the Harry Potter series and television shows like Sabrina the Teenaged Witch of "transforming public attitudes toward the occult." Of course they are, in a positive way, and that is what bothers Kjos. "The forbidden realm of witchcraft, vampires and haunting spirits is taking center stage in popular entertainment, " Kjos moans, "Meanwhile, Christian parents who share their concerns risk sounding ‘intolerant’ by the world's new standards." Kjos continues:
"Free to explore the practices God calls evil, children and teens are flocking to pagan groups and websites for practical lessons in spells and self-empowerment. Some start Wiccan covens in their high schools. God’s wise warnings are all but forgotten: ‘Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.’ (Romans 12:9)." Kjos then goes into a lengthy description of one of Starhawk’s Samhain rituals, which includes the following words:
"Before leaving home for the ritual, each covener sets out a plate with cakes and drink and a lighted candle as an offering to their own beloved dead....
"The circle gathers, does a breathing meditation, and the Priestess says, ‘This is the night when the veil is thin that divides the worlds. It is the New Year in the time of the year's death, when the harvest is gathered and the fields lie fallow. For tonight the King of the Waning Year has sailed over the sunless sea that is the worm womb of the Mother.... The gates of life and death are opening; the Sun Child is conceived; the dead walk... We meet in time, out of time, everywhere and nowhere, here and there, to greet the Lord of Death who is Lord of Life, and the Triple Goddess who is the circle of rebirth.’"
Kjos tries hard to make this seem sinister. "Notice that Starhawk refers to ‘the Lord of Death’ but doesn't name or define him." Kjos tells us, "Others have named him. They call him Samhain, the God of the Dead, who gave his name to the harvest celebration. But there is little documentation to prove his reported influence and fearsome power." That is, as I pointed out earlier, because Samhain was NOT the God of the Dead of the Celtic tribes.
Kjos then makes another attempt to describe to us the "historical record" of "some of the sobering details of the end-of-the-year celebration." She claims that it was a time at which the flocks and herds had to be protected from "demonic influences." She once again claims that human sacrifices occurred, the victims being burned alive. From this she launches into a discussion of the Mexican Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos), showing similarities between this and Samhain. She then returns to "the Dark Side of Samhain, " citing the book Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects (Time Life Books), which describes those dog eared "Roman records" (such as the writings of Caesar and Tacitus) that describe how the Druids burned people alive in human shaped wicker cages and how they practiced divination by disemboweling sacrificial victims. A medieval source is cited as proof that "firstborn children were sacrificed before a great idol to ensure fertility of cattle and crops."
"The occult images of Halloween desensitize people to evil and prompt the masses to embrace the new global paradigm, " Kjos complains, "God's people in the Old Testament didn't hesitate long before they conformed God's teaching to the pagan practices of their neighbors. The same kind of compromise is changing churches today... We live at a time when popular culture, peer pressure, and public training in the consensus (dialectic) process are pushing masses toward a global blend of all religions. Halloween promoters may never mention reincarnation or Satan, but their efforts have desensitized the masses to a spiritual mix that promotes both. They succeed by taking the darkest images of the occult and packaging them as the most enticing celebration of the year.God warned us it would happen -- again and again -- for neither human nature nor Satan's tactics change much through the centuries." Of course the persons presenting the "darkest images of the occult" to the public are people like Kjos.
Kjos concludes by giving the reader suggestions on how to deal with Halloween and the occult. These suggestions include:
2. Understand the The nature and tactics of Satan.
3. Know the protective truths of The Armor of God and "put them on" each day.
4. Memorize some of God's important promises. See Scriptures for our times.
6. Discuss chart showing the shift from a Christian world view to a Global/Pagan paradigm.
7. ...help your children understand spiritual warfare as well as God's armor.
8. ...understand the strategies used to conform our children's beliefs to the new global spirituality.
Kjos has drawn a lot of attention to herself as she is so vocal. Yet she is saying the same old things and recycling the same tired urban legends as the rest of the people that I write about. She is, to paraphrase her own words (her disclaimers notwithstanding), proud, a boaster, an inventor of evil things, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, thinking she knows the righteous judgment of God, believes that that those who practice such things are deserving of death.
 Ibid, emphasis in original.
 Ibid, emphasis in original.
 Attwater, Donald. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, pg 274.
 Reinach, Solomon. Orpheus, pg 240.
 Ibid, emphasis in original.
 Ibid, emphasis in original.
| 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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