Posts Tagged ‘occultism’
With the sound of their new school bell, the fifth graders at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School here closed their eyes and focused on their breathing, as they tried to imagine “loving kindness” on the playground.1—New York Times
By Berit Kjos
During a flight delay in Chicago in the late nineties, I spent my time browsing the airport bookstore near my terminal. When a young woman next to me picked up a copy of Conversations With God, the first book in the popular series by Neale Donald Walsch, I had to ask, “Are you familiar with that book?”
“A friend told me I should read it,” she answered. She then told me she was a Christian.
“But it’s not about Christianity,” I warned her. “It may sound good and use a lot of Christian words, but its message turns God’s truth upside down.”
She thanked me and put the book back. My thoughts drifted back to a Christian conference some years earlier where several publishing house editors had concluded that the “New Age movement had peaked.” No need for more books on that topic, they said, for the faddish seductions of the “beautiful” side of evil would soon fade away.2
They couldn’t have been further from the truth. While those early blooms of occult enticements might have peaked in interest among Christians, the seeds of deception sown during the 1960s and 1970s had already taken root in well-cultivated soil across America. Since then, the poisonous fruit disseminated through The Beatles, Napoleon Hill, Shirley MacLaine, Marianne Williamson, Hindu gurus, goddess worshippers, and countless other spiritual advocates of New Age spirituality has sprouted everywhere—in schools, churches, movie theaters, television, books, the news media, and the Internet. Syncretism, mysticism, and a subjective self-focused spirituality have become the norm.
So it was no surprise to learn in January of 2003 that the award-winning movie Indigo would be released at select theaters and churches in all fifty states and forty countries. Starring the famed New Ager, Neale Donald Walsch, who scripted his occult Conversations with God into the public stream of consciousness, it would surely accelerate America’s paradigm shift toward a global “new” spirituality incompatible with the one true God and His Word.
Wondering whether to see the movie or not, I searched the Internet. I discovered that the Indigo child concept was first popularized by the book, The Indigo Child, written by husband and wife team Lee Carroll and Jan Tober. “Carroll also portrays himself as a channeler for ‘Kryon,’” says one reviewer, “a spiritual entity [demon] who predicted the coming of the Indigo Children.”3
I found this description of the movie:
INDIGO is a film about loneliness, redemption, and the healing powers and grace of the new generation of Indigo (psychic and gifted) children being born into the world.4
The Metagifted Education Resource Organization (MERO) website gave an interesting description of the Indigo personality:
Being Indigo is not a disorder! It’s a Spiritual Evolution that manifests physically and appears to be a Cultural Revolution. This is the new Aquarian energy. . . .
Indigo Children . . . The name itself indicates the Life Color they carry in their auras and is indicative of the Third Eye Chakra, which represents intuition and psychic ability. These are the children who are often rebellious to authority, nonconformist, extremely emotional and sometimes physically sensitive or fragile, highly talented or academically gifted and often metaphysically gifted as well, usually intuitive, very often labeled ADD, either very empathic and compassionate OR very cold and callous, and are wise beyond their years. . . .
Their nonconformity to systems and to discipline . . . will help them accomplish big goals such as changing the educational system. . . . The Indigo Children are the ones who have come to raise the vibration of our planet! These are the primary ones who will bring us the enlightenment to ascend. . . .
About 85% or higher of children born in ‘92 or later, 90% born in ‘94 or after and 95% or more born now are Indigo Children!5
Even two weeks before the opening date, theaters in my state were sold out, but seats were still available in alternative “churches” such as Unity, Unitarian, Congregational, and Christian Science. After much prayer, I bought a ticket from a local Unity “church” and went to the movie.
The Indigo child in the film was the granddaughter of Ray, the character played by Neale Donald Walsch. Arrogant and self-confident, the precocious Grace followed her feelings and conversed with the invisible spirit world that both filled and surrounded her. Mental telepathy, divination, necromancy (communication with the dead), and the “healing touch” came naturally to this Indigo child, for she had intuitively tapped into a “universal force”—a seductive reservoir of occult wisdom, strength, and “prophetic” voices.
According to the movie script and to the promotional message from the producers, all who were touched by Grace’s life—including her grandfather—were transformed:
The dramatic core of the film is the relationship that develops between a man whose life and family have dissolved due to a fateful mistake and his 10-year-old granddaughter with whom he goes on the run to protect her from a would-be kidnapper. Along the way, he discovers the power of his granddaughter’s gifts which forever alter the lives of everyone she encounters.6
Grace was aloof, willful, sassy, and disrespectful. The list sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The profile is typical of television-trained children from today’s permissive homes. But in the context of this fictional movie, those contentious attitudes made Grace a valuable change agent within her dysfunctional family. And since the script was written to affirm her condescending ways, I was not surprised by the laughter and cheers from the audience. The fact that contemporary children share many of Grace’s characteristics only strengthens its metaphysical message: “Send the energy” to everyone.
Free from the traditional disciplines and boundaries, Indigo Children claim self-determination as their right and follow no authorities but their own inner voice. In light of the supposed interconnectedness between human spirits and the universal force, it all fits together. As the Indigo movie and its producers (James Twyman, Neale Donald Walsch, and Stephen Simon) claim, this god is guiding the “evolution of humanity”7 toward world peace and universal oneness under a socialist/spiritual system.
This is the world today’s children have been born into—a world where every child is at risk of being drawn in, influenced, and transformed by the “prince of the power of the air.”
Children and New Age Mindfulness Meditation
Unbeknownst to most parents, America’s public schools are teaching their children to use mindfulness meditation (Eastern-style meditation or TM). In a New York Times article titled “In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind,” elementary children in an Oakland, California school are promised peace and loving-kindness if they will learn to meditate. An eleven-year-old explains, “I was losing at baseball, and I was about to throw a bat . . . The mindfulness really helped.”8 While that may sound like a great thing to a lot of teachers, the article acknowledges where this comes from:
As summer looms, students at dozens of schools across the country are trying hard to be in the present moment. This is what is known as mindfulness training, in which stress-reducing techniques drawn from Buddhist meditation are wedged between reading and spelling tests.9 (emphasis added)
A whole new generation of children is being drawn into New Age/New Spirituality, and it is happening right under their parents’ noses. While some of us grieve the real-world consequences of this cultural revolution, a rising chorus of voices are now demanding acceptance of today’s paradigm shift. Their positive spin inspires visions of an evolved humanity that is bursting out of the old shackles of Christian morality, traditional guidelines, and parental restraints. This new civilization reminds me of Isaiah’s ancient warning:
And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly [insolently] against the ancient [the elder], and the base against the honourable. (Isaiah 3:5)
The promise from the New Age is world peace, but it’s not God’s kind of peace; thus, it is not a true and lasting peace! As enticing counterfeits develop, they will surely widen divisions among those who call themselves by the name of Christ. While the world calls for unity at any cost (a whatever it takes approach), His people can’t conform to its ways, visions, hopes, or dreams. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
On the other hand, our Lord has promised peace, strength, and eternal hope to all who know, trust, and follow Him:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
But those who heed counterfeit promises and seek spiritual favors from occult sources become blind to His grace. Deceptions will multiply, and sadly, children are deception’s biggest targets. In this precarious situation in which we find ourselves, we should remember the Bible’s warnings:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
I want to draw your attention to the Armor of God—God’s special refuge for His children—which the Bible tells us to “put on” (Ephesians 6:10-18). Now, perhaps more than ever, our children need its daily protection against the world’s deceptive lies and enticing lures.
(Berit Kjos is the author of How to Protect Your Child from the New Age and Spiritual Deception, a handbook for parents and grandparents to equip their children on how to remain in the Christian faith and not become spiritually deceived.)
1. Patricia Leigh Brown, “In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind” (The New York Times, June 16, 2007).
2. This conclusion was shared at a Christian Writers Conference, which I attended in the early nineties, soon after my books Your Child and the New Age (now published by Lighthouse Trails under the title, How to Protect Your Child from the New Age and Spiritual Deception) and Under the Spell of Mother Earth had been published. Both books were selling briskly, but others who shared my concerns would have little opportunity to share their messages through Christian publishers. Apparently they found little interest among Christians for such warnings. Robin Evans, “Spiritual awakenings: “Young Children Learn the Rituals of Their Parents’ Religions (San Jose Mercury, February 2, 2005).
3. Lori Anderson, “Indigo: The Color of Money” (http://selectsmart.com/twyman.html).
4. Amazon’s IMDB movie site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379322.
5. Wendy H. Chapman, “What’s an Indigo Child?” (Metagifted, http://www.metagifted.org/topics/metagifted/indigo).
6. “Independent film, ‘Indigo’ premieres in two local screenings,” (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, January 27, 2005). Excerpt: “More than 90,000 people will view ‘Indigo’ during the two-day event. For the 60 million Americans who consider themselves ‘spiritual’ but not necessarily ‘religious,’ a new genre of film is rapidly emerging—films with heart and soul—called ‘spiritual cinema.’”
7. Sharon Jayson, “Does the Science Fly?” (USA Today, May 31, 2005).
8. Patricia Leigh Brown, “In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind,” op. cit.
By Ray Yungen
The Bible says that in the last days, many will come in Christ’s name. If one examines the “prophecies” of occulist Alice Bailey, one can gain insight into what the apostle Paul called in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the falling away. Bailey eagerly foretold of what she termed “the regeneration of the churches.”1 Her rationale for this was obvious:
The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished.2
In other words, instead of opposing Christianity, the occult would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness! The various churches would still have their outer trappings of Christianity and still use much of the same lingo. If asked certain questions about traditional Christian doctrine, the same answers would be given. But it would all be on the outside; on the inside a contemplative spirituality would be drawing in those open to it.
In wide segments of Christianity, this has indeed already occurred. One Catholic priest alone taught 31,000 people mystical prayer in one year. People are responding to this in large numbers because it has the external appearance of Christianity but in truth is the diametric opposite. This has all the indications of the falling away of which the apostle Paul speaks.
Note this departure is tied in with the revelation of the “man of sin.” If he is indeed Bailey’s “Coming One,” then both Paul’s prophecy and Bailey’s prophecy fit together perfectly—but indisputably from opposite camps and perspectives.
This is very logical when one sees, as Paul proclaimed, that they will fall away to “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The word mystery in Greek, when used in the context of evil (iniquity), means hidden or occult!
This revitalization of Christianity would fit in with Bailey’s “new and vital world religion”3—a religion that would be the cornerstone of the New Age. Such a religion would be the spiritual platform for the “Coming One.” This unity of spiritual thought would not be a single one-world denomination but would have a unity-in-diversity, multicultural, interfaith, ecumenical agenda. Thomas Merton made a direct reference to this at a spiritual summit conference in Calcutta, India when he told Hindus and Buddhists, “We are already one, but we imagine, we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity.”4
One can easily find numerous such appeals like Merton’s in contemplative writings. Examine the following:
The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others.5 —Vivekananda
It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different [non-Christian] traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced.6—Basil Pennington
The new ecumenism involved here is not between Christian and Christian, but between Christians and the grace of other intuitively deep religious traditions.7—Tilden Edwards
What is happening to mainstream Christianity is the same thing that is happening to business, health, education, counseling, and other areas of society. Christianity is being cultivated for a role in the New Age. A spirit guide named Raphael explains this in the Starseed Transmissions:
We work with all who are vibrationally sympathetic; simple and sincere people who feel our spirit moving, but for the most part, only within the context of their current belief system.18 (emphasis mine)
He is saying that they “work,” or interact, with people who open their minds to them in a way that fits in with the person’s current beliefs. In the context of Christianity, this means that those meditating will think they have contacted God, when in reality they have connected up with Raphael’s kind (who are more than willing to impersonate whomever they wish to reach so long as these seductive spirits can link with them).
This ultimately points to a deluded global religion based on meditation and mystical experience. New Age writer David Spangler explains it the following way:
There will be several religious and spiritual disciplines as there are today, each serving different sensibilities and affinities, each enriched by and enriching the particular cultural soil in which it is rooted. However, there will also be a planetary spirituality that will celebrate the sacredness of the whole humanity in appropriate festivals, rituals, and sacraments. . . . Mysticism has always overflowed the bounds of particular religious traditions, and in the new world this would be even more true.9
What we are warning about is not some unprovable conspiracy theory. In fact, far from it. In March of 2016, Newsweek magazine put out a special edition called “Spiritual Living.” This glossy publication presented page after page of pure Alice Bailey spirituality. The entire issue was devoted to the mystical perception that man is divine:
The key to positive change—both internal and external—is present in everyone, and it also exists all around us. Whether through meditation, energy healing or a full-on spiritual awakening, you can transcend the physical world to better your mind, body and soul.10
That may sound kind of benign, but numerous articles in the magazine promote the idea of spirits that can indwell people. If this had been put out by the National Enquirer, then this could be dismissed as nothing more than sensationalistic or exaggerated. But Newsweek is one of the oldest and most respected news magazines in the world. When they make this kind of an effort, then we need to sit up and take notice that Alice Bailey’s religion has now come to the forefront of mainstream society. What this means according to those who are sympathetic with this is that if we are to be “spiritual,” we need to partake of Alice Bailey’s “new vital world religion.” Sadly, more and more churches are doing just that.
1. Alice Bailey, Problems of Humanity (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing, 1993), p. 152.
2. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing, 1976), p. 510.
3. Alice Bailey, Problems of Humanity, op. cit., p. 152.
4. Joel Beversluis, Project Editor, A Source Book for Earth’s Community of Religions (Grand Rapids, MI: CoNexus Press, 1995, Revised Edition), p. 151.
5. Swami Vivekananda’s “Addresses at the Parliament of Religions” (Chicago, September 27, 1893, http://www.interfaithstudies.org/interfaith/vivekparladdresses.html, accessed 12/2005).
6. M. Basil Pennington, Centered Living (New York, NY: Image Books, 1988), p. 192.
7. Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1980), p. 172.
8. Ken Carey, The Starseed Transmissions (A Uni-Sun Book, 1985 4th printing), p. 33.
9. David Spangler, Emergence: The Rebirth of the Sacred (New York, NY: Dell Publishing Co., New York, NY, 1984), p. 112.
10. Newsweek magazine, Special Edition: Spiritual Living, March 2016, p. 7.
LTRP Note: While this new booklet by Lois Putnam might not be of interest to everyone of our readers, we believe it is a vitally important tool for parents, grandparents, and teens who are trying to figure out whether Pokémon or Pokémon GO is OK or not from a spiritual standpoint.
NEW BOOKLET: A Christian Parent’s Guide to POKÉMON by Lois Putnam is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Christian Parent’s Guide to POKÉMON, click here.
By Lois Putnam
For Pokémon Go gamers, their “Gotta Mantra” is “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”—Pokémon that is. However, a Christian’s motto must be: “Gotta Know, Gotta Learn, Gotta Discern, Gotta Go!” And just what it is that we as born again believers gotta know, gotta learn, gotta discern, and gotta go will be the theme of this booklet.
It was on July 6, 2016, via one’s smartphone, that players could download a free app and get set up to head outdoors to begin to catch Pokémon Pocket Monsters. Soon befuddled folks were bumping into gamers congregating at designated PokeStops be it at a church, a parking lot, a body of water, a library, a museum, a park, or the mall to name a few. Since this began, the Pokémon Go Mania has taken the country, and a number of other countries, by storm.
TV hosts, You Tube video makers, newspaper reporters, and online authors alike have scrambled to describe exactly how these frenzied gamers were zipping Pokémon balls on their phones to catch Pokémon seemingly popping up all over the place. Meantime, all kinds of safety issues were cropping up–kids in the middle of streets, folks walking into objects, a pair walking off a cliff, and even unsavory characters luring kids into unsafe places. All of this madness was taking place over one hundred and fifty-one little characters of which some seemed to be cute and clever, while others really are violent, ugly, and frightening. So with this in mind, what is it that we gotta know?
At the outset, we gotta know some basic Pokémon info—such as the game of Pokémon, designed by Satoshi Tajiri in the 1990s, is managed by the Pokémon Company which, according to Wikipedia, is a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. Tajiri designed these Pokémon characters so gamers known as “Pokémon Trainers could catch and train to battle each other for sport.”
Officially introduced in 1996, Pokémon celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2016. The new phenomenon Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game currently using the original Generation I Pokémon beginning with Bulbasaur to Mew. However, it’s important to know that now there are 722 Pokémon figures, which means in the last twenty years 571 more have been designed influencing youth and adults via video games, trading card games, comic books, TV shows, movies, and toys.1 Pokémon website, Pokémon.com, is filled with info you gotta know in order to be able to interact with Pokémon Goers! It includes a Pokedex, TV Programs, Trading Card Games, Video Games, A Shop, Attend Events, Pokémon GO and more! It even has a Trading Card Game Tutorial where one can learn to play the card game. Two sections: “The Pokedex,” and “Pokémon GO” are explained further below.2
If you visit the Pokémon site, you can get to know individual Pokémon—their pictures, statistics, types, strengths/weaknesses, evolution, T.V. episodes, and cards. Under Pokedex, one example of a Pokémon is Haunter. The description of him states:
Haunter is a dangerous Pokémon. If one beckons you while floating in darkness, you must never approach it. This Pokémon will try to lick you with its tongue and steal your life away.3
You will also learn that this gas ghost can “levitate.” Haunter’s card moves include tongue spring, hidden poison, psyshot, sleep poison, haunt, dream eater, Gothic fear, and hoodwink to name some. How gruesome! No doubt this Pokémon has given kids horrific nightmares!
On the Pokémon website, you can learn all about Pokémon Go. There are sections on “Pokémon Go Plus,” “Explore Pokémon,” “Teams and Gyms,” and “In App Purchases” where you can find out more game details. “Explore Pokémon” gives blow by blow info about how the game is played including safety, catching a Pokémon, completing one’s Pokedex, the traits of Pokémon, Pokémon evolution, and Pokémon eggs. Out of all this, one has “gotta know” that the goal of this game is: “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”—yes, almost all of the original 151 from the Kanto Region.
The Pokémon (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)—Deluxe Essential Handbook: The Need-to-Know Stats and Facts on Over 700 Pokémon is a useful tool to help grandparents, parents, family, and friends learn much more about Pokémon.
Published by Scholastic in 2015, this information-packed book with its glitzy golden title lettering and its shiny Pokémon pics begs one to open its cover.
But, before one opens the book, carefully look at the deceptive Pokémon ball-like pics on the cover. When you do, you’ll note most of the pics are happy and smiley, making the Pokémon appear as if they are just a bunch of cuddly stuffed animals. However, when you open the book, you’ll realize how alluring and deceptive the cover art is, for the Pokémon are anything but cuddly; rather they are often hideous and evil looking.
Title Page: The title page, done in Pokémon logo colors of deep blue, golden yellow, and white, has the Pokémon mantra “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” below the Pokémon logo. Then it once again restates the title, and lists the publisher Scholastic Inc.
Scholastic Books—the book club used by teachers all over the USA!
Welcome Page: In the Welcome Pages of the book, there is a two-page spread highlighting the red page on the left with the rainbow-horned fairy Xerneas sprinting onto the page, while on the right on the blue page there’s: Welcome to the World of Pokémon.” Below the welcome is listed the six Pokémon regions—Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos—each full of fascinating Pokémon.
This book also lists the Pokémon picture, type, species, height, and weight, which “can make all the difference in Gym battles, in the wild, and anywhere else you might meet Pokémon.”4 Besides, this deluxe handbook, it is said, will enable “Trainers” to master any Pokémon challenge.
How To Use This Book: This two-page section goes into detail about each Pokémon’s name, pronunciation, height and weight, description, evolution, mega evolution, type, and region. It is such info that one has “gotta know and learn” to equip oneself to answer anyone questioning whether this is “just an innocent game.” Along with Scripture, it is knowledge that one can use when a “Deuteronomy Moment” comes. For as Deuteronomy 6:6,7 reads:
And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Guide to Pokémon Types: The next pages explain the eighteen Pokémon types: fire, grass, water, normal, electric, bug, ghost, flying, fighting, psychic, steel, rock, ground, ice, poison, dark, dragon, and fairy. This ends the seven pages of explanatory notes, and begins the ABC pages which begin on page eight with “Abomasnow” to page four hundred and thirty-two which finishes with “Zygarde.” In between are seven hundred more Pokémon to scrutinize.
To Conclude: I would highly recommend purchasing this book as you can back up your stories and words with the Pokémon pictures and info thus adding weight to your warnings.
Gotta Notice the Names
Many Pokémon names* say “Watch out!”: Names such Abra-Psi Pokémon, Absol-Disaster Pokémon, Alakazam-Psi Pokémon, Arbok-Cobra Pokémon, Arceus-Alpha Pokémon, Beheeyem-Cerebral Pokémon, Carvanha-Savage Pokémon, Chandelure- Luring Pokémon, Cofagrigus-Coffin Pokémon, Darkrai-Pitch Black Pokémon, Darumaka-Zen-Charm Pokémon, Dialga-Temporal Pokémon, Dragonair-Dragon Pokémon, Drapion-Ogre Scorpion Pokémon, Eevee-Evolution Pokémon, Delphox-Fox Pokémon, Flylon-Mystic Pokémon, Gengar-Shadow Pokémon, Giratina-Renegade Pokémon, Gothitelle-Astral Body Pokémon, Gothorita-Manipulate Pokémon, Gourgeist-Pumpkin Pokémon, Gyarados-Atrocious Pokémon, Houndoom-Dark Pokémon, Hypno-Hypnosis Pokémon, Jynx-Human Shape Pokémon, Kirlia-Emotion Pokémon, Krookodile-Intimidation Pokémon, Lampent-Lamp Pokémon, Latias-Eon Pokémon , Lucario-Aura Pokémon, Manectric-Discharge Pokémon, Mawile-Deceiver Pokémon, Medicham- Meditate Pokémon, Mew-New Species Pokémon, Mewtwo-Genetic Pokémon, Mismagius- Magical Pokémon, Munna-Dream Eater Pokémon, Ninetales-Fox Pokémon, Riolu-Emanation Pokémon, Sigilyph-Avianoid Pokémon, Spiritomb-Forbidden Pokémon, Thunderdurus-Bolt Strike Pokémon, Uxie-Knowledge Pokémon, Xatu-Mystic Pokémon ,Yamask-Spirit Pokémon, Yvetal-Destruction Pokémon. These are but a few of many to watch out for!
Delphox, the Fire-Psychic Pokémon, is one name to notice! Its name has two parts which is a combo of the “Oracle of Delphi” and “fox.” However, even before I found that info, I used Thesaurus.com to find synonyms for psychic, occult, witch etc. Under occult, I noticed “Delphian,” and “Delphic.” I wondered if any Pokémon had a name similar to this, and sure enough there was the mystical Delphox. Looking up “Delphox” on Pokémon.wikia.com, I found this was a fox with the elements of a witch or mage. My Pokémon handbook further said it held a flaming branch in its hand upon which it focused its eyes giving it psychic visions helping it to see into the future. After reading about the “Oracle of Delphi,” Delphox’s story became even clearer. This then can be woven into the Acts 16 story that involves the Oracle at Delphi.5
*Note: Pokémon names were first written in Japanese and later changed into more suitable names for English-speaking gamers. Bulbapedia.com (“The community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia”) is a site that can provide much additional insight by clicking onto the “Origin” section. Bulbapedia.com, by the way, is named after Generation One’s first Pokémon Bulbasaur.6
Gotta Notice the Types, the Moves, and the Illustrations
Altogether, there are eighteen types, and oh, the evil behind these types. Words cannot even describe the things these characters are teaching innocent young children and youth. As I researched the game handbook, a good number of the 700+ Pokémon were “Psychic” with psychic terminology, moves, and stories.
The adjectives describing the game moves would make up one eye-opening glossary with most having absolutely horrendous names. Be sure to peruse “Possible Moves” in the handbook or on a Pokémon info site noting the viciousness of many and evilness of others. This activity alone—the noting of the descriptive names for each move—will surely enable one to discern that this game is literally overflowing with words, concepts, and teachings far removed from the Bible.
Pause and consider the possible moves for Banette, a ghost puppet-like Pokémon that, like a voodoo doll, sticks itself with pins to curse others! Its moves are: knock-off, screech, night shade, curse, spite, will-o-wisp, shadow sneak, feint attack, hex,* shadow ball, sucker punch, embargo, snatch, and grudge trick. Stop and imagine youngsters seven and up familiarizing themselves with such a character. Bulbapedia says, “Banette is a . . . doll-like Pokémon that is possessed with pure hatred.”
[*A hex is: to practice witchcraft; to put a hex on; and to affect as an evil spell: jinx. Synonyms are: charm, enchant, bewitch, overlook, spell, strike. Related words are: curse, jinx, possess, voodoo, attract, beguile, captivate, mesmerize, spellbind, entice, lure, seduce, tempt. (Merriam-Webster) Deuteronomy 18:10-14 makes it very clear what God thinks of those who use witchcraft or other practices named in this piece. It reads: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or observer of times, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all these things are an abomination unto the Lord.”]
Another need-to-notice activity would be to flip through the book or scroll through a site with all of the Pokémon pics and simply notice the ferocious or scary looking parts of each character. Just a few pages into this, anyone with a smidgen of discernment would have to concede that these atrocious characters have no place in the life of a precious young child or teen. For Philippians 4:8 declares, “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Gotta Know Pokémon Back Stories
Highlighted here are back stories about various types of Pokémon—stories one can easily recall to share with others who need to become aware of just how deceptive the Pokémon agenda is.
Some Third Eye Pokémon:
Dark: Absol: Disaster Pokémon: George Hutcheon, Bulbapedia contributor, shares that Absol is based on a “Bai Ze,” a creature from both China and Japan who warned good rulers of impending disaster. In Japan, images of the Bai Ze were made into “good luck charms” to ward off monsters and disease. Absol, says Hutcheon, resembles this monster with its dark horn, feline shape, and black oval third eye.*7
Ghost/Poison: Mega Gengar: Shadow Pokémon: Gengar is a “third eye” Pokémon with an oval yellow third eye on its forehead. Its “malicious,” says Bulbapedia, laughing at and delighting in its victim’s terror. It hides in the shadows hoping to attack its prey and enjoys casting curses. How horrible is this powerful mega Pokémon which has evolved from the evil Gengar with his sinister leer and giant teeth. Its “moves” include hypnosis, curses, night shade, sucker punch, dream eater, dark pulse, hex, and nightmare.
Steel/Psychic: Jirachi: Wish Pokémon: Jirachi is another Pokémon which has a hidden third-eye or “true eye” concealed within a seam. Its eye is said to absorb energy to aid in its hibernation. If awakened, it might grant your wish if you write it on one of its tags and sing to it with a pure voice.
The Psychic Third Eye Trading Card: The Trading Card Game has a supporter card labeled “The Psychic Third Eye.”8
[*A third eye is: “A point on the forehead corresponding to one of the chakras in yoga, often depicted as an eye and associated with enlightenment and mystical insight.” (Free Dictionary)]
Fighting/Steel: Lucario: Aura** Pokémon: Canine-like Lucario (evolved from Aura Pokémon Riolu) raises its four aura appendages to read and manipulate its opponents’ aura. Aura Sphere or “wave bomb” is its very special battle move. Mega Lucario becomes even more ferocious with additional spikes coming from its hands, feet, and shoulders. As its aura heightens, black patches appear on its body. It’s said too that it can activate crystallized Time Flowers by shooting out aura.
Ghost-Dragon: Giratina Original/Altered Forme: Renegade Pokémon: Dragonic, demonic appearing Giratina in either form was banished, the Pokémon handbook states, to another dimension where all is distorted and reversed. Like Lucario, Giratina battles with “Aura Sphere.”
Aura Guardians: In the Pokémon world, Aura Guardians sense aura and control its power.
Aura Capabilities: Bulbapedia lists aura capabilities as being able to read minds/actions of others, sense other auras, view through objects, project aura barriers, transfer aura to others, and activate Time Flowers.
[**An Aura (in Japanese means “wave-guiding”) is: an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being (Merriam-Webster) ]
Meditation Pokémon Trio:
Fighting-Psychic: Meditite: Meditate Pokémon: Meditite’s Japanese name is “Asanan” which comes from “asana,” a name for various yogic poses. It does such intense meditation it nearly starves itself never missing daily Yoga practice. This routine, says the handbook, intensifies its inner strength. Meditite also levitates. Pics of Meditite can be found sitting in a lotus position with each hand fixed in a mudra.
Fighting-Psychic: Medicham and Mega Medicham: Medicham meditates so much it has developed a sixth sense. Its picture shows it doing a yogic asana with its hands held in a mudra position. Some say Medicham resembles a good luck charm doll known as a “Daruma doll.”*
[*A Daruma doll is: a hollow and round Japanese wish doll with no arms or legs modeled after Bodhi-dharma, the founder and first patriarch of Zen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daruma_doll.]
Hypnotic Dream-Eating Pokémon:
Psychic: Drowzee: Hypnosis Pokémon: Drowzee lurks nearby to draw out dreams. Drowzee, a dream eater tapir-like Baku-based Pokémon, uses moves that include hypnosis, meditate, zen-headbutt, psychic, psybeam, poison gas, psyshock, and future sight plus more.
Psychic: Hypno: Hypnosis Pokémon: Hypno uses a pendulum for putting one into a hypnotic trance. Hypno, too, is able to sense what its victim is dreaming. A movie “Hyno’s Naptime” tells how Hypno’s sleep waves have caused children to disappear and Pokémon to grow sleepy.
Psychic: Munna: Dream Eater Pokémon: If Munna, a Baku inspired blimp-like Pokémon eats a happy dream, it gives off pink mist. Some of Munna’s moves include: lucky chant, hypnosis, nightmare, future sight, dream eater, and telekinesis.
Psychic: Musharna: Drowsing Pokémon: Musharna resembles a tapir-like pink pig with its dream stream coming out of its forehead. Some say Musharna seems like a traditional Japanese incense burner called a “koro” that appears on Buddhist altars.
Baku: M. R. Reese of Green Shinto writes that a Japanese child having a nightmare is told if they wake up to repeat “Baku-san, come eat my dream!” three times. After, the legend says, the Baku will enter the room and eat up the bad dreams. However, this mustn’t be overdone or it will devour their hopes and desires leaving them with an empty life. Kids to this day keep “Baku Talisman” by their bedsides. An online site offers a ring, said to have the Baku spirit in it, that one could wear or hang up for protection.9
The Psi Quartet: Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam, and Mega Alakazam: These four “Psi” Pokémon, all of the Psychic type, possess many powers. Abra’s signature move is to “teleport” away. Kadabra uses one spoon to greatly increase its powers. Super intelligent Alakazam has two spoons. Lastly, Mega Alakazam has five spoons over head while seated in a lotus position with each hand fixed in mudra. He, records Bulbapedia, is based on a wizard or sorcerer or a Hindu sadhus–a holy man who is a yogi. A Wikipedia article on “Sadhus” has quite a photo display of many holy men with their prominent third eye markings.10
Ghost Pokémon: Yamask: Spirit Pokémon: Yamask, a very disturbing Pokémon, has a Japanese name Desumasu which comes from death and mask. It also means “Yama” or Lord of the Dead in Buddhism/Hinduism and “weeping mask” in Chinese. It’s based, too, on the Egyptian Ba holding a death mask. Pokedex entries say its mask makes it cry as it wanders around ancient landmarks. Should one accidentally wear this mask, it can be “possessed.” On a post titled “Pokemanical,” a gamer shares stories of really dark Pokémon especially ghosts as Yamask and Cofagrigus. A picture of some of the worst of the worst Pokémon has a comment that says, “Yet still allowable as kids’ game. Huh!”11
Ghost Pokémon: Cofagrigus: Coffin Pokémon: This coffin Pokémon, who lurks in tombs and ruins, is an Egyptian sarcophagus that eats people and mummifies them! Grave robbers who come too close to its shadowy ebony hands find themselves locked inside Cofagrigus. Its name is a combo of sarcophagus and egregious which means coffin and grim. And grim they are!
Light Pokémon: “A Ghost-Fire Trio”:
Ghost/Fire: Litwick: Candle Pokémon: This small candle has a purple flame that’s powered by “life energy.”To get this energy Litwick, a pretender, seems to light the way through darkness all the while sucking life energy from its victim. A Bulbapedia description says, “Litwick leads people astray and sucks out their life force.” What an apt description of Satan! For 2 Corinthians says, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” And 1 Peter 5:8 adds, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.”
In Bulpadedia “Origin” section, it says: Litwick’s name is a combo of hitodama or a blue, black, and purple flame associated with ghosts, yokai, and candles.
Ghost/Fire: Lampent: Lamp Pokémon: Lampent, an ominous Pokémon, lurks around hospitals “waiting for someone to die” at which time it absorbs their departing spirit which in turn fuels its flame. However, 2 Corinthians 5:8 says of those who die in the Lord that we are “absent from the body and present with the Lord!” And Hebrews 9:27 reads, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Ghost/Fire: Chandelure: Luring Pokémon: Third in this spirit sucking trio is Chandelure whose name is like a “sentient” chandelier and lure. Chandelure is based also on hitodama which Wikipedia defines as Japanese meaning “human souls” that are like balls of fire floating in the night—departed souls that have been separated from their bodies. The Deluxe Essential Handbook says, “Chandelure’s spooky fames can burn the spirit right out of someone. If that happens the spirit becomes trapped in this world endlessly wandering.” One of Chandelure’s “moves” in the game is to put a “hex” on someone.
The Kami Trio: Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus:
Flying: Tornadus: Legendary Cyclone Pokémon: Tornadus, a kami* of wind, is based on the Shinto god Fujin. Tornadus is a wizard-like Pokémon that is carrying a bag of wind.
Electric/Flying: Legendary Bolt Strike Pokémon: Thundurus, a kami of lightning and thunder, is inspired by one of the most feared of Japanese deities Raijin. It’s said of Raijin that if there’s a storm Japanese children were told to cover their belly buttons for Raijin might eat them. People prayed to Raijin for rain and lightning. A rice field hit by a lightning bolt, it was believed, would be fertile and produce a good harvest.12
Ground/Flying: Landorus: Legendary Abundance Pokémon: Bulbapedia states that Landorus was the master of this “Forces of Nature” kami trio. In the Pokémon universe region called “Unova,” there’s a shrine in honor of the “Great Landorus” named “The Abundant Shrine.” Landorus is based on a third kami—the Kami of Fertility—also named Inari.13
[*A Kami is: In the Shinto religion, kami are spirits/phenomena that are worshipped. According to Wikipedia: “They are elements in nature, animals, creationary forces in the universe, as well as spirits of the revered deceased.” Under “Etymology” Wikipedia notes: “Kami is the Japanese word for a god, deity, divinity, or spirit. It has been used to describe ‘mind,’ ‘God,’ ‘supreme being,’ ‘one of the Shinto deities,’ ‘an effigy,’ ‘a principle,’ and ‘anything that is worshipped.’” For further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kami. The Bible, however, in Exodus 20:3-5 says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them: for I the LORD they God am a jealous God.” ]
A Creator “God” Pokémon:
Normal: Arceus: Mythical Alpha Pokémon: Areceus is the god Pokémon of the Pokémon Universe. It’s based on a creator deity with a stance like an Egyptian bull or calf idols particularly Apis. It has an arc on its back, says Bulbapedia, that is used to represent reincarnation in Hinduism.
Arceus is connected to the Shinto gods Kunitokotachi and Amenominakanushi who summoned the first goddess and god Izanami and Izanagi to create Japan with a spear. The reference to its having 1000 arms comes from Buddhism. Arceus, it’s said, created Sinnoh, a Pokémon area, and the three Pokémon Lake Guardians Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit and the Creation Trio Dialaga, Palkia, and Giratina.
Upon reading its English name, “Alpha Pokémon,” one can’t help but think about the biblical reference in Revelation 1:8 that declares, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
These stories are but the tip of the iceberg as to what terms and concepts are being put into the receptive minds of our kids straight out of Shintoism, Buddhism, the New Age, and other pagan religions. As Matthew 6:33 says,
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
And as the prayer the Lord taught us to pray which ends in Matthew 6:13 says:
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Gotta Learn About the Shinto Connection
Shintoism in Pokémon: In a July 18, 2016 article titled “Pokémon Go and Its AR Universe,” Ray Tsuchiyama shows how much Pokémon is connected to Shintoism. Tsuchiyama says the Pokémon Go gamers out on their Pokémon hunts are “almost like a new religion of seekers.” Tsuchiyama says they are “seeing ‘otherworldly’ aural specter/image in the middle of the ‘material world’ of buildings, shower trees, and beaches.”14
Tsuchiyama recalls Satoshi Tajiri, the Pokémon founder, who was into his bug collecting world as a child, and later the anime character Ash with his electrifying Pikachu made to resemble Tajiri. Tsuchiyama says Tajiri’s childhood hobby surely contributed to Pokémon with all its curious critters. Tsuchiyama states:
But there is also the deeper cultural, mythological, and animist religious history of Japan that influenced this global game.15
Tsuchiyama goes on to show how closely Pokémon is tied to Shintoism when he writes:
[T]he Pokémon Shiftry evokes a Japanese goblin that lives in a tree and causes windstorms. Lombre probably has the greatest resemblance to the Kappa, a Japanese water demon. Ninetales is obviously the fox god in Shintoism. A Shinto reference is the creation of the Hoenn region (in the game) by Kyogre and Groudon, two Pokémon characters . . . A Shinto “world flood” myth has been worked in Mewtwo’s character.16
“In the original game,” maintains Tsuchiyama, “Pokémon trainers gather to mourn and present offering for ‘dead’ Pokémon, since without the chanting of the Pokémon ‘souls’ will wander the material world and transform into vengeful spirits–again evoking Shinto beliefs.”17
Tsuchiyama adds, “Pokémon characters clearly resemble Shinto gods that hang out in rivers, rocks, trees, and other places—and following Shinto, when offered food and incense, Pokémon and friends/allies bring players all sorts of rewards, like points (blessings?).”18
Tsuchiyama ends by noting that Pokémon GO isn’t the original “character hunting” mobile app. Tsuchiyama writes, “For years in Japan game firms like Yokai Watch and Monster Hunter have spawned thousands of small groups . . . All these games are heavily influenced by Shinto Mythology.”19
Gotta Learn About the Yokai Connection
Yokai are: (ghost, phantom, or strange apparitions) a class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. They can be anywhere from malevolent to mischievous, or even bring good fortune. Yokai can appear in different ways: as animals, as humans, as inanimate objects, or as shapeless. They have spiritual supernatural powers with obake shapeshifting being one of the most common ones.20
An informative article titled “Who’s That Pokémon? Yokai Edition” by Kristen Dexter starts out:
But some of my favorite Pokémon were inspired by yokai: supernatural monsters, ghosts, and phantoms of Japanese folklore. Says Kristen, “Gotta catch ‘em all, yokai!”21
Dexter lists the Japanese term for a particular yokai and its definition. She then asks: “Who’s that yokai?” After, there’s a large picture of each Pokémon that fits this definition and a further reference to its/their traits. Here’s what the yokai covers: Sazae Oni, turban shell ogres, like Slowbro and Slowking; Sogen Bi, a fireball floating head, like Gastly; Baku dream eaters, like Drowzee, Hypno, Munna, and Musharna; Jinmenju, human tree heads, like Exegguter; Yamauba, old woman turned witch, like Jnyx; Nekomata, Bake split tail cats, like Esperson; Nukekubi, cursed headless woman or girl, like Misdreavus; Kamitachi, ambusher attacker weasels, like Sneasel and Weavile; Futakushi Onna, two mouthed cursed woman, like Mawile; Tsukimogami, spirit inhabited inanimate objects, like Banette; Hitodama, graveyard colored light, like Litwick; Kodama, ball of light tree spirits, like Celebi, Phantump, and Trevenant; Chochin Obake, paper lantern inhabiters, like Dusclops and Dusknoir; Yuki Onna, evil woman freezer of travelers, like Froslass; and Nurarihyon, old man yokai leader, like Jellicent.22
Gotta Read Up on Church Reactions to PokÉmon GO
One last thing to look into and become aware of is the number of churches that have been designated Pokémon Go Pokestops and Gyms. Churches are crowing about how unbelievably wonderful it is that they have been named stopping places for Pokémon Go players to pick up items to help catch those hidden Pocket Monsters. Now, is it because most churches see it as a reason to share the Gospel with those that happen by, or is it because they think the game is clever and yes even fun and they get to share things like water, or a place to recharge smartphones? Unfortunately, it is the latter in many instances.
I read where an Episcopal church attendee declared if you’re going to do “evangelism,” you might as well have fun doing it. Another “millennial evangelical” opined all that old Pokémon is of the devil drivel, why that’s a thing of the past. He said that “there are 721 Pokémon to date, with more coming this fall, and not a single one of them has a devilish or Satanic sort of name or makeup.”23 How I’d challenge this uninformed millennial, or anyone else, regardless of age, to do the research using sources quoted in this booklet that show how infiltrated Pokémon is with every sort of evil idea that could be thought up. In fact, a verse that well describes Pokémon is Genesis 6:5 that reads:
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually.
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it is today!
Gotta Discern, Gotta Go
In summary, once one grasps that Pokémon is inundated with deceptive teachings and occultic references, one must determine to research Pokémon lore and backstories to more fully discern the agenda, the culture, and the religion from which this game has arisen. The question then becomes: “What must one do with this information? Just as Berit Kjos, in her excellent 1999 article: “The Dangers of Role-Playing Games-How Pokémon and Magic Cards Affect the Minds,” listed ideas on how to teach one’s children or grandchildren on ways to resist occult entertainment, I too would urge parents, grandparents, and friends to be ready as Deuteronomy Moments arise; and during devotional times, talk to your children or grandchildren on a regular basis about key words and ideas presented in Pokémon and Pokémon Go and how they contrast with Scripture.
Point out that Proverbs describes the simple—the naive ones—as those who are open to anything that comes down the pike as contrasted to the wise—the knowledgeable ones—those who cry out and search for wisdom as to which paths to take. And as Solomon said in Proverbs 4:10-15:
Hear O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in the right paths. When thou goest thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the path of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
What opportunities await informed Christians, who with both Scripture and pertinent Pokémon information, can clearly point out how deceptive and evil these alluring Pokémon are. Yes, we gotta be ready to go, for not only must we warn about Pokémon Go, but as Mark 16:15, a Bible go verse, reads, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:26, 27)
In this Pokémon Go world, how apt are these verses.
To order copies of A Christian Parent’s Guide to POKÉMON, click here.
1. For more “gotta know” info, read “Pokémon” from Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon.
4. The Pokémon (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)—Deluxe Essential Handbook: The Need-to-Know Stats and Facts on Over 700 Pokémon (Scholastic, 2015).
5. See http://biblehub.com/commentaries/acts/16-16.htm. Related topics include: occult, Delphic, witch, wizard, mage, focus, psychic, psychic visions, oracle, Oracle at Delphi, Apollo, spirit of divination, and Acts 16. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_of_Delphi.
6. “The community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia”: http://www.bulbagarden.net.
7. George Hutcheon, “On the Origin of Species: Absol” (September 23, 2013, http://bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species:_Absol).
9. M.D. Reese, “Baku, the Legend of the Dream Eater” (December 1, 2014, http://www.greenshinto.com/wp/2014/12/16/baku-the-dream-eater).
10. For more, read “Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam” at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abra,_Kadabra,_and_Alakazam.
11. “Pokemanical” (September 4, 2011, http://pokemaniacal.tumblr.com/post/17760681303/yamask-and-cofagrigus).
12. http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/japanese-traditions-fujin-god-wind http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/japanese-traditions-raijin-thunder-god.
14. Ray Tsuchiyama, “Pokémon Go and Its AR Universe” (July 18, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20160719142124/http://www.mauinews.com/page/blogs.detail/display/5619/Pokemon-Go-and-Its-AR-Universe.html).
22. Kristen Dexter, “Who’s That Pokémon? Yōkai Edition!” (October 31, 2014, https://www.tofugu.com/japan/pokemon-yokai).
24. Chris Martin (works at LifeWay Christian Resources), “Is Pokémon Satanic?” (Millennial Evangelical, July 15, 2015, http://www.millennialevangelical.com/is-pokemon-satanic).
To order copies of A Christian Parent’s Guide to POKÉMON, click here.
NEW BOOKLET:HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents by Johanna Michaelsen is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here.
Halloween! A Warning to Christian Parents
It was the night of Halloween, and ironically, I was working on a chapter about Halloween for my book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult when the doorbell rang. I was greeted by an adorable bunch of little kids doing their level best to look like gruesome Witches and vampires. I bent down as I distributed apples and oranges in response to lusty cries of “trick or treat!”
“You kids want to know something?” I asked very softly.
“Yeah!” came a unanimous chorus.
“With the Lord Jesus, there is no trick. He loves every one of you very much.”
Several little faces beamed up at me through their ghoulish makeup. “That’s neat!” exclaimed one little girl. “Yeah!” chimed in a few others.
“This is Jesus’ night,” I said. Why I said that, I’m not really sure. I was poignantly aware of the fact that it is a night the devil has made a point of claiming for himself.
“No it’s not!” snarled a hidden voice. “It’s Jason’s night!” A boy who was taller than the rest stepped out from the shadows. He was wearing the white hockey mask of “Jason,” the demented, ghoulish killer in the movie Friday the 13th and was brandishing a very realistic-looking hatchet. I have to admit that the boy gave me a start, but I stood my ground and dropped a banana into his bag.
“No, ‘Jason,’ this is still Jesus’ night!” I repeated. And indeed it is, even though it is most assuredly the night set aside for the glorification and worship of idols, false gods, Satan, and death. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”1
“Jason” evidently resented the competition, however, for he ripped our mailbox right out of the ground and left his banana squished on the stair.
Most of us in the United States have grown up observing Halloween in one form or another. From the time we are in preschool, we make drawings or cutouts of sinister black Witches—the haggier the better. We make paintings of gruesome black cats with gleaming, evil, orange eyes; we hang up smirking paper skeletons with dancing limbs; we glue together ghost and bat mobiles; and we design demoniacal faces for our pumpkins.
For several years, one thoughtful kindergarten teacher in Southern California even provided ghosts for her pupils to commune with at Halloween. I spoke with one of the mothers from that school who told me that her little boy was sent home with a note from the teacher informing the parents that their child would be bringing home a “special friend” the next day. The child was to nurture his “friend,” name it, feed it, and talk to it—all as a part of a special class project that was designed to “develop the child’s imagination.”
The next day, the little boy came home with a sealed envelope along with explicit instructions that his parents were not to touch it; only the child was allowed to open the envelope. Mom said, “You bet!” and promptly opened it up. Inside was six inches of thick orange wool string with a knot tied a quarter of the way up to make a loop resembling a head. The mimeographed “letter” that accompanied it read as follows:
001 Cemetery Lane
Thank you for your order. Your ghost is exactly what you ordered. You will find that your ghost is attached to an orange string. Do not untie the special knot until you are ready to let your ghost go.
Your ghost will tell you when it is hungry and what it prefers to eat. It will sleep in the air beside you all day. It especially likes quiet places where there are cobwebs, creaky boards and corners.
If you follow the above directions, you will have a very happy ghost.
The mother, a Christian, didn’t approve of the idea of her son taking in a pet ghost, however housebroken. She was also a little suspicious of her six-year-old being addressed as “Dear Customer.” So she confiscated the thing and put it in the garage on a shelf until she could decide what to do with it. The next day, her sister was in the garage on an errand, unaware of the matter of the “ghost in the string.” Suddenly she was frightened by the sense of a threatening presence around her. She heard the sounds of a cat hissing in the corner and something like a “chatty doll” mumbling incoherently at her. Later that night they threw the “ghost string” into the garbage pail, prayed to bind and remove the entity, and were never bothered by the “presence” again. This family had no trouble whatever believing that a spirit had indeed been sent home with their little boy and that it didn’t much like having been assigned to a Christian household.2
The Halloween ghosts were given out again the following year by the same teacher. The Christian mother managed to get hold of the envelope, orange ghost-carrier and all, and sent it to me. It is possible, of course, that the teacher meant nothing sinister by it. Perhaps to her it was just a cute exercise in imagination for her kindergartners. Nevertheless, in light of the stated intent of many Transpersonal (i.e., a branch of psychology that focuses on mysticism and the occult in the search for transcendence) educators to introduce children to spirit guides, I can’t help but be a little curious about any teacher who sends the children home with “imaginary friends.”
Even in the church, Halloween is a time of spooky fun and games. Any number of evangelical churches, ever mindful of their youth programs and ministries, will sponsor haunted houses designed to scare the wits out of the kids. From 1970 to 2001 in Bakersfield, California, Youth for Christ’s Campus Life was a co-sponsor of “Scream in the Dark,” an event that was held every night for about a week before Halloween. At least 20,000 people “brave[d] the chilly corridors and dark passages” every year to face ghoulish figures, terrifying tunnels, and screams in the dark.3
While many churches have switched from Halloween activities to alternative events on Halloween such as Harvest parties, countless Christians still allow their children to celebrate Halloween with door-to-door trick or treating and dressing up in scary costumes. Christian actor Kirk Cameron (Left Behind films and Fireproof) has come out publicly defending Halloween. In an interview in a popular online Christian magazine, Cameron stated that Christians “should have the biggest Halloween party on your block.” Cameron said he had no problem with Christians dressing up in devil, ghost, and other traditional Halloween costumes because they could do it as a way to witness to unbelievers.4
But is this church-sponsored horror a good idea? There are a number of reasons it is not. For one thing, terror can kill. When my husband was a teenager, the family next door to him lost their toddler one Halloween when the little one opened the door to trick-or-treaters. Their hideous appearance and shrieks so traumatized the child that he literally dropped dead on the spot. That may be a rare example, but the fact remains that terrorizing children is dangerous.
Church-sponsored horror isn’t a new phenomenon. My husband’s Lutheran church in New York always sponsored a “Chamber of Horrors” when he was a boy, complete with fluorescent skeletons, scary pop-ups, peeled grapes to simulate dead eyeballs, and a bowl of cold spaghetti that was supposed to be . . . well, you know. Anyway, they made you stick your hand into it, and any number of kids spent the rest of the night throwing up.
Halloween has become a full-fledged national children’s play day, but for hundreds of thousands of people in the Western world (and their numbers are growing steadily) Halloween is a sacred time, the ancient pagan festival of fire and death.
FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD
The origins and traditions of Halloween can be traced back thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids. The eve of October 31 marked the transition from summer into the darkness of winter. It marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The Feast of Samhain was a fearsome night, a dreaded night, a night in which great bonfires were lit, according to some pagan traditions, to Samana the Lord of Death, the dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim Reaper, the leader of the ancestral ghosts.5
On this night, the spirits of the dead rose up, shivering with the coming cold of winter and seeking the warmth and affection of the homes they once inhabited. And even colder, darker creatures filled the night: evil Witches flying through the night,6 hobgoblins, and evil pookas that appeared in the form of hideous black horses. Demons, fairies, and ghouls roamed about as the doors of the burial sidh-mounds opened wide,7 allowing them free access to the world of living men. These loathsome beings were usually not in a particularly good mood by the time they arrived, and it was feared that unless these spirits were appeased and soothed with offerings and gifts they would wreak mischief and vengeance by destroying crops, killing cattle, turning milk sour, and generally making life miserable.
So it was that families offered what was most precious to them: food—a “treat” which they fervently hoped would be sufficient to offset any “trick” which the ghostly blackmailers might otherwise be tempted to inflict.
The ancient Celtic villagers realized, however, that merely feeding the spirits might not be enough to speed them on their way. The ghoulies might decide it would be rude to eat and run, as it were, and might just be tempted to stick around.
That simply would not do. So arose the practice of dressing in masks and costumes: Chosen villagers disguised themselves as the fell creatures at large, mystically taking on their attributes and powers. The “mummers,” as they were called, cavorted from house to house collecting the ancient Celtic equivalent of protection money, and then romped the ghosts right out of town when they were through.
They carried jack-o’-lanterns to light their way—turnips or potatoes with fearful, demonic faces carved into them which they hoped would duly impress, if not intimidate, the demons around them.8
SACRIFICE AND FIRE
As a part of their ancient New Year’s ritual, massive sacred bonfires were lit throughout the countryside of Wales, Ireland, and France—fires from which every house in the village would rekindle their hearth fires (which had been ritually extinguished, as they were at the end of every year). The villagers would gather and dance round and round the bonfire, whose light and heat they believed would help the sun make it through the cold, dark winter.9
But the great fires served another purpose as well: On this night, unspeakable sacrifices were offered by the Druid priests to the Lord of Death. Lewis Spence in his book The History and Origins of Druidism says:
Certain writers on Celtic history have indignantly denied that the Druidic caste ever practiced the horrible rite of human sacrifice. There is no question, however, that practice it they did. Tacitus alludes to the fact that the Druids of Anglesea “covered their altars with the blood of captives.” If the words of Caesar are to be credited, human sacrifice was a frequent and common element in their religious procedure. He tells us that no sacrifice might be carried out except in the presence of a Druid.10
It is in his Commentaries that Caesar speaks of the great wicker images “in which the Druids were said to burn scores of people alive.”11
Some modem Witches may still deny that the Druidic religion, on which many of their beliefs and practices are based, ever practiced human and animal sacrifice as a part of their “peaceable nature religion.” But some noted Witches have indeed acknowledged the murderous bent of the ancient religion:
Propitiation, in the old days when survival was felt to depend on it, was a grim and serious affair. There can be little doubt that at one time it involved human sacrifice—of criminals saved up for the purpose or, at the other end of the scale, of an aging king; little doubt, either, that these ritual deaths were by fire.12
The Druids (from the Gaelic word druidh, meaning “a wise man” or “magician”13) would carefully watch the writhing of the victims in the fire (whether people or animals) and from their death agonies would foretell the future of the village. The Feast of Samhain was by no means the only celebration at which the Druids practiced human sacrifice. Sacrificial victims were also burned in their sacred fires during the spring festival of Beltane held on the eve of the first of May as part of their fertility rites.14 So it would seem, according to ancient historians, that human and animal sacrifice was a particularly noxious and pervasive habit among the Druids.
The Farrars, well-known authors and practicing Witches in Ireland, tell us that “Later, of course, the propitiatory sacrifice became symbolic . . .” but then mention that the royal sacrifice at Samhain may have lingered in the form of animal substitutes. The Farrars tell us of at least one animal sacrifice they knew of that took place in their village “within living memory.”15 We can only hope that “the old days when survival was felt to depend on human sacrifice” will never return.
THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN
One Halloween several years ago, I watched a rerun of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. Garfield was thrilled at the realization that Halloween was a night where he got to rake in free candy. “This is the night I was created for,” he exclaimed with as much enthusiasm as Garfield ever seems to muster.
He decides to sucker poor unsuspecting Otie, an exceedingly dumb (though endearing) doggie, into going with him so that Garfield could double his personal candy haul. Well . . . maybe he’ll give Otie one piece of candy for his troubles.
Then suddenly Garfield pauses in his Machiavellian musings and wonders, “Am I being too greedy? Should I share my candy with those less fortunate than I? Am I missing the spirit of Halloween?” Wouldn’t it be nice if that were in fact the spirit of Halloween! But nothing could be further from the truth.
The “spirit of Halloween” is more accurately discerned in the horror movies and DVDs traditionally released in honor of the season.16 Popular cinematic “treasures” like Halloween (and its three sequels), Friday the 13th (three of those), Halloweennight, Tale of Halloween, and any number of slasher, blood-and-gore, murder- and-terror flicks are truer to the original “spirit of Halloween”—the spirit of sudden death and murder—than is the sight of little Linus sitting all night in his “sincere” pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or of Garfield in his relentless quest for candy.
Modern Witches would vehemently deny that their celebration has anything to do with the demonic horrors depicted in such films as Friday the 13th. To them, Halloween is one of the four greater Sabbats held during the year. It is the time of Harvest Celebration—that season in which the Great Goddess goes to sleep for the long winter months, giving way to the Horned God of Hunting and Death, who will rule until her return on the first of May. It is a time of ritual and for ridding oneself of personal weaknesses,17 a time for feasting and joyful celebration. It is also a time for communing with the spirits of the dead.
Witches Arnold and Patricia Crowther say that—
Halloween has always been the Festival of the Dead and was believed to be the best time to contact those who had passed over. Today, spiritualists try to contact the departed by means of “spirit guides”—American Indians, Chinese men, nuns, priests and even little girls. Witches tried to make contact through the god of Death himself. So when the bonfire had burned down, the priestess, in her new role as the god, held a skull between her hands, using it as a crystal-gazing ball. This was the kind of necromancy practiced centuries before the Fox Sisters, with their poltergeist tappings, started the modern craze for spiritualism.18
The Celts, say the Crowthers, would sometimes lie on graves during Halloween, hoping to hear some word of wisdom from the spirits of the corpses beneath them. And the Crowthers boast that “the high priestesses were just as successful in contacting the dead as are our own mediums.”19 According to a longtime Witch with whom I once spoke, they still are. Communing with the spirits of the dead is a regular feature of their covens’ Halloween rituals.
Several years ago, an article in the Los Angeles Times featured a story on a certain coven’s celebration rituals during Halloween. The story described the ritual and then told that it “will be repeated throughout the Southland today as Witches celebrate their most important holiday, Samhain, or Halloween, when they believe the veil between the worlds becomes thin, making visits with spirits possible.” Some Witches will use the Ouija board to contact the dead. Others will use a darkened scrying-mirror into which they stare until the faces of their beloved departed supposedly appear. Others may use a crystal ball or “sit quietly round the cauldron, gazing into the incense smoke, talking of what they see and feel.”20
While the Witches are spending the Halloween season tucking in their Goddess for her long winter sleep and frolicking in joyful communion with the spirits of the dead, there is another religious group that is equally serious about its Halloween celebrations: the Satanists. Halloween to them is a more sinister and direct celebration of death and Satan. Unlike the Witches, of whom most do not even acknowledge the existence of Satan, the Satanists are quite candid about exactly who the dread “lord of death” happens to be, and they celebrate Halloween as one of his two highest unholy days.
As is the case among the Witches, different “denominations” of Satanists have their own peculiar traditions, beliefs, and practices on this night. For some of them Satan is not a real, specific entity but rather the personification of evil resident within all men, a “dark hidden force in nature responsible for the workings of earthly affairs.”21
Other Satanists however—cult Satanists—understand that Satan is very real indeed. To them, the sacrifices he demands are not symbolic at all.22 They believe that the blood sacrifice of innocence which Satan demands as the ultimate blasphemy and sign of devotion to himself must be very literal indeed. At various times during the year, but especially during the month of October, police across the country report finding the remains of animals—some with the blood drained, others with various organs missing, some carefully skinned while keeping the tortured creature alive. They are frequently found at sites which indicate that some form of ritual took place. When no altar or pentagram or other symbolism is in evidence, it is entirely likely that some neophyte or self-styled Satanist is simply practicing to make sure the “sacrifice” is letter-perfect for the ceremony.
Because of its innocence and frailty, a tiny child is viewed by these Satanists as the perfect sacrifice to their Master. The infant is seen as a representation of the Christ Child, and it is He whom they are blaspheming and symbolically destroying in the prolonged and brutal torture and slaying of the child. After the death of the baby, the members will all eat a portion of the little one’s heart and will drink its blood.
RECRUITERS FOR SATAN
Halloween is also a prime recruiting season for the Satanists. Much as the government will plant undercover narcotic agents in various high schools to find out who is pushing or using drugs on campus, so some Satanists may plant kids at the schools who are there solely for the purpose of discerning potential members or victims among the students. The Dungeons and Dragons clubs are key hunting grounds for them, as are other groups and clubs based on medieval themes.
Church-sponsored “haunted houses” are also fertile recruiting centers. The Satanists watch for those kids who show a marked bent for the macabre and the sinister, and they invite them to a “real good” party being held elsewhere, which proves to be a lower-level ritual held for the purpose of initiating these kids into Satanism.
IMITATORS OF GOD
So . . . should your family participate in the traditional Halloween celebrations? Absolutely . . . if you and/or your children are Witches, Satanists, humanists, atheists, pagans, or anything other than born-again Christians (or Orthodox Jews). For a true Christian to participate in the ancient trappings of Halloween is as incongruous as for a committed cult Satanist coming from a blood sacrifice on Christmas Eve to set up a crèche in his living room and sing “Silent Night, Holy Night” with heartfelt, sincere devotion to baby Jesus.
Ephesians 5:1 admonishes us to be imitators of God. Can you picture the Lord Jesus dressing up as Satan, or as one of the demons He cast out that week, or perhaps as a Druid priest, just because it was the Feast of Samhain and His disciples were giving a nifty party that night in honor of the tradition? Or can you see the apostles disguising themselves as temple prostitutes or as worshipers of the god Moloch, to whom the Canaanites (and even the Israelites in their darker days) sacrificed their children?23
Halloween is a day in which virtually every occult practice that God has called “abomination” is glorified.
When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, NASB*)
“But it’s only for one night!” some cry. “It’s only in fun for the children!” If this is how you feel, then you need to understand what the Word of God says to you:
Learn not the way of the heathen! (Jeremiah 10:2)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)
There are any number of creative alternatives that can be provided for children on Halloween without participating in the ancient religious traditions of the Witches and Satanists.
Some families view the occasion as a witnessing opportunity and handout Gospel tracts along with the treats. Some churches are now sponsoring “Bible Houses,” in which the kids go through and hear different Bible stories read or acted out—a godly alternative to the haunted-house routine!
Other Christian families choose to spend the night remembering the saints who have gone to be with the Lord during the year. Saints aren’t just those who have been canonized as such by some church. A saint, according to the Bible, is anyone who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Messiah. Perhaps you could spend this night talking about the martyrs who were willing to die rather than compromise their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian parents can also make a difference in the way the schools their children attend celebrate Halloween. In Colorado, parents protested the traditional celebration of Halloween in several public schools, including at least one elementary school on the grounds that it is a “high holy day in the satanic religion, and as such is an inappropriate holiday for schoolchildren.”24 One mother said that she “would like to see the same measures applied to the Halloween parties as have been taken with the Christmas parties.”25 In light of the present distress, I fully agree. Since God and Jesus have been banned from Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving celebrations in most of our schools, why should the government-recognized religions of Witchcraft and Satanism get free promotion on Halloween from these same institutions?
One thing Halloween should not be for the Christian is a time of fear. It should be a time to rejoice in the fact that “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8)! Spend at least part of this night worshiping God by singing hymns. Above all, spend time in prayer and intercession for the children.
It is tragic that many people in the church have forgotten that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7), and that includes on Halloween! Too many of our children have been made vulnerable to a spirit of fear and to the occult where we allow faith in God to be extinguished by participating in the darkness of this world.
After the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in England in 1951, the Witches and Satanists experienced a revival which is currently in full swing. You might not know too much about Witches or Satanists, but I guarantee you that most kids do in today’s computerized, Internet, social-media world.
For ye were sometimes [formerly] darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them. (Ephesians 5:8,11)
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1. 1 John 3:8.
2. Back in 1985, there was an outfit that called itself “Adopt-a-Ghost” based in Hollywood, California. For a paltry $10.00 to cover adoption papers and conjuring fees, you could adopt a ghost for your house, condo, apartment, or office . . . like a Cabbage Patch Kid, only cheaper and considerably livelier. Hauntings were guaranteed, and the ghost even came with written tips on ghost-raising to make sure it would stick around.
3. Connie Swart, “Event Still a Scream,” the Bakersfield Californian, October 16,1982, p. 13.
4. Emma Koonse, “Kirk Cameron on Halloween: ‘Christians Should Have the Biggest Party on the Block’” (Christian Post, October 20, 2014, http://www.christianpost.com/news/kirk-cameron-on-halloween-christians-should-have-the-biggest-party-on-the-block-128345/#Jx3ZzPQLf0A8bigp.99).
5. Barbara G. Walker, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row Publishers, 1983), p. 372.
6. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (London: Octopus Books Ltd., 1974), p. 166. Introduction by Hans Holzer.
7. Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats (New York, NY: Magickal Childe Publishing, Inc., 1981, 1984), p. 122.
8. The lantern was also called a “corpse lantern” or”fairie fire,” or a will-o’-the-wisp, and numerous fascinating legends about its origins have risen up around it. Some thought it was the spirit of a child which had been buried in the swamp. Others thought it represented the lights fairies used to beckon fools to watery death in the swamps. Another legend tells of a clever fellow named Jack who got himself barred from hell as well as heaven for being something of a Faustian smart aleck and was doomed to run about earth for all eternity with the burning coal he snatched from hell itself with the turnip he was eating just before the gates slammed shut. This story makes little sense to me at all. I mean, would you be eating a turnip while standing at the gates of hell politely requesting admittance? Doubtful. One version of this tale found in an elementary school teacher’s “Halloween Fun” manual observes that the devil threw the burning coal at Jack to drive him away and that Jack caught the thing in his turnip. This makes more sense. Anyway, the Celts carved jack’o’lanterns out of turnips, nonetheless. They probably used turnips because they didn’t have pumpkins. They had to come to America to discover them, which they did during the mass immigration to America during the great potato famine of 1886. They soon realized that pumpkins are a whole lot easier to carve than turnips. They also make nicer pies.
St. James Church in the Los Angeles area held a “Pumpkin Mass” in 1987 in which the priest blessed the parishioners’ Halloween costumes (to be brought in boxes or sacks) and the pumpkins which were to be carved and placed in the sanctuary. The verse quoted for the occasion: “Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
9. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, p.166.
10. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins of Druidism (Great Britain: EP Publishing Ltd., 1976), p. 104.
12. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1 The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
13. Raymond Buckland, Witchcraft from the Inside (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1975), p. 16.
14. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins, op. cit., p. 105.
15. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
16. James Frazer records in The Golden Bough (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1922) that in some areas “people who assisted at the bonfires would wait till the last spark was out and then would suddenly take to their heels, shouting at the top of their voices, “The cropped black sow seize the hindmost!” The saying implies that originally one of the company became a victim in dead earnest” (The Golden Bough, p. 736). The “cropped black sow” was a representation of the Goddess Cerridwen in her dark aspect as the Crone, according to Welsh mythology (A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats, p. 125). She is still worshiped in that aspect by Wiccans today, as well as in her more appealing forms of Maiden and Mother.
As the Farrars point out in A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, p. 725), “All these victim-choosing rituals long ago mellowed into a mere romp, but Frazer had no doubt of their original grim purpose. What was once a deadly serious ritual at the great tribal fire had become a party game at the family ones.” They may have “mellowed in time,” in most places, but nevertheless, it was the terror of the original sacrifices and demons that most accurately represents the “true spirit” of Halloween. The true “spirit of Halloween” is that of sudden death and murder.
17. Raymond Buckland, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1986), p. 68.
18. Arnold and Patricia Crowther, The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches Tarot (West Caldwell, NJ: University Books, Inc., 1974), pp. 67-68.
19. Ibid., p. 68.
20. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 135.
21. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible (New York, NY: Avon Books, 1969), p. v of introduction.
22. Anton LaVey clarifies his position on human sacrifice on page 88 of his Satanic Bible, in which he says: “Symbolically, the victim is destroyed through the working of a hex or curse, which in turn leads to the physical, mental or emotional destruction of the ‘sacrifice’ in ways and means not attributable to the magician. The only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that being to release the magician’s wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual.”
23. Ezekiel 16:20,21; Jeremiah 32:35; 2 Kings 17:17; Isaiah 57:5.
24 Rebecca Jones, “Halloween Parade Off” (The Eagle Forum, vol.8, no.4, Fall 1982), p. 17.
*Scripture verses in this booklet are taken from the King James Bible, except on page 14 where one verse is taken from the NASB. Scripture taken from the New American Stanard Bible(R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975, 1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here.
About the Author
Johanna Michaelsen is a noted author, lecturer, and authority on the occult. Her internationally best-selling autobiography, The Beautiful Side of Evil, tells the story of her involvement with the occult, Yoga, Silva Mind Control, a well-known psychic surgeon in Mexico City, and her eventual rejections of all such practices. Published by Harvest House in 1982, it has been translated into German, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Bulgarian, Polish, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish.
Her second book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult (available through Amazon), also a best seller, clearly and extensively documents the invasion of occultism and dangerous religious practices into America’s public education system, movies, television, books, games, holidays, and more.
Since Johanna Michaelsen’s exit from the occult in November of 1972, she has devoted her time to studying current trends and occult practices for the purpose of warning and equipping the church in these last days. Her books, tapes, audio-book, seminars, and lectures have helped thousands find freedom and peace in Jesus Christ.
Johanna is available for interviews and seminars and can be reached at Johanna@michaelsenministries.org. You may visit her on the web at: http://michaelsenministries.com.
LTRP Note: For those who think that shamanism is a far cry from the contemplative mysticism being practiced in the church today and that this warning has nothing to do with Christians, think again. The realms reached are the same, and the results can be the same too.
By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)
Basically, shamanism is the belief system that utilizes shamans in order to make contact with the spirit world. According to the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, traditional shamanism “is where the shaman functions as healer, spiritual leader, and mediator between the spirits and people.”1
Shamanism is found in most cultures. In Western society, Native Spirituality is the main venue, but it is not confined to Native Spirituality. The New Age movement began incorporating shamanistic rituals into their own New Age spirituality:
New Agers have felt attracted to shamanism for a variety of reasons. A major factor in this attraction is that, while the shaman is a kind of mystic, the focus is on the forces of nature rather than an otherworldy mysticism. . . . Other attractions are the use of mind-altering drugs, including peyote, and the romanticized images of nature. 2
Within Native Spirituality, shamans depend heavily upon drumming, singing, dancing, and chanting in order to get spirits to enter them and to help them. What many people probably do not realize is that shamanism is very dangerous.
In biblical terms, shamanism is the use of supposed spirit guides to attain spiritual power, knowledge, and healing, but the cost is ghastly, and the “dangers of shamanistic initiation”3 are many. Some of these dangers and symptoms would be identical to what happens in Kundalini, which is a dangerous and powerful energy coming from deep meditation. This list shows what can happen when demonic realms are accessed through deep meditation practices in Native Spirituality, shamanism, and the New Age movement. Shockingly, Christians are now practicing this occultic meditation through the contemplative prayer movement:
Burning hot or ice cold streams moving up the spine.
Perhaps a feeling of air bubbles or snake movement up through the body.
Pains in varying locations throughout the body.
Tension or stiffness of neck, and headaches.
Feeling of overpressure within the head.
Vibrations, unease, or cramps in legs and other parts of the body.
Fast pulse and increased metabolism.
Disturbance in the breathing—and/or heart function.
Parapsychological abilities. Light phenomena in or outside the body.
Problems with finding balance between strong sexual urges, and a wish to live in sublime purity.
Persistent anxiety or anxiety attacks, due to lack of understanding of what is going on.
Insomnia, manic high spirits or deep depression. Energy loss.
Impaired concentration and memory.
Total isolation due to inability to communicate inner experiences out.
Experiences of possession and poltergeist phenomena.4
Other dangers would include insanity and psychosis. What’s more, the use of shamanism in contemporary culture is widespread and the results are often devastating:
[S]hamanism often involves the shaman in tremendous personal suffering and pain (magically, he often ‘dies’ in the most horrible of torments) . . . it often involves the shaman in demon possession, insanity, sexual perversion, and so on.5
Such a terrifying perversion of God’s merciful ways is completely unnecessary, for Christ gives the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of love and goodness—to all who call upon His name and put their trust in Him (Romans 5:5).
Colossians 2:9-10 states the truth for Christians:
For in him [the Lord Jesus Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
(To understand more about the contrast between Native Spirituality and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, read Nanci’s book, Muddy Waters and watch the film I’ll Never Go Back by former shaman, Chief Shoefoot. Many Christians are involved with this same kind of occult practice through the contemplative prayer movement.)
An excerpt from I’ll Never Go Back:
1.. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1996); (taken from http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/_PDFArchives/new-age/NA3W0801.pdf).
2. John P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1998), p. 34.
3. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/archives-na.htm, scroll down page to section on Shamanism – 8 parts).
4. “Kundalini, Short Circuits, Risks, and Information” (http://kundalini.se/eng/engkni_1024.html).
5. John Ankerberg, John Weldon (Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/archives-na.htm) quoted from Joan Halifax, Shamanic Voices, (New York, NY: Penguin, 1979), pp. 7-27.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
SHAMANISM? A recent Columbus Ohio magazine had a story about a reiki center. Among other “professional therapies” offered at that location was “shamanic services.” Shamanism is defined by Webster’s as: “religion . . . characterized by belief in an unseen world of gods, demons, and ancestral spirits responsive only to the shaman.”
It’s interesting that reiki practitioners (including ones billed as “Christian reiki”) tend to speak in terms of “energies” and deny the fact that reiki has anything to do with actual spirits; yet now, facilities offering “therapies” like reiki might also offer shamanic healing, which is openly acknowledged as a calling on/connecting with spirits.
Until now (at least, in my experience) references to shamans were pretty subtle. Tiny blurbs in the occasional magazine. But this week, thumbing through the newest issue of a little New Age mag . . . whoa! Several stories/ads about shamans/shamanic healing. In one ad, the shaman even promises to “make death an ally.” (No thanks.)
I decided to search “Christian shaman” online—hoping to come up empty. But I spotted several references. Shaman, sorcerer, witch doctor, medium . . . whatever you want to call it . . . It makes me so sad to think of people engaging a mediator to connect to lesser “spirits,” when everyone is invited to go directly to THE Spirit, the Lord Almighty Himself.
Lynn Lusby Pratt (name used with permission)
Lighthouse Trails is the distributor for a film called I’ll Never Go Back. It’s the testimony of a former shaman who is now in Christ. Because shamanism is taking the same path as contemplative spirituality, we encourage you to watch a clip of this film below. And if you know someone who is involved with any kind of meditation, then get the DVD if you can and share it with that person.
By Berit Kjos
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…” 1 Timothy 4:1-2
We don’t hear much about spiritual warfare these days. Most churches seem to ignore the reality of Satan and the evil he inspires. God’s warnings about fellowship with the world’s alluring thrills doesn’t fit the contemporary image of Jesus as a tolerant, easy-going friend.
Since the 18th century’s birth of the “Age of Reason,” an increasing number of “enlightened” Western leaders and influential “change agents” have tried to discredit the Bible and silence believers. More recently, a vast number of politicians, media masters and educators have joined this war against biblical truth and Christian values.
No wonder our public schools are becoming bastions of atheism, immorality and — spreading fast — the promotion of Islam. Like the persecuted Jews during and after Hitler’s holocaust, today’s Jews and Christians are facing hatred and rising persecution for standing firm in their faith.
It’s no secret that Satan’s lies have sparked wars and cruelty through the ages. Ever since Eve chose to follow her own feelings rather than God’s wise guidelines, humanity has faced assaults from “the evil one” — often through his willing pawns. Call him the Devil, Deceiver, Satan, or serpent; it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same ruthless oppressor:
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” Revelation 12:9
From the beginning, this invisible fiend has been seeding doubt, depravity, despair and death. Through the ages, he has inspired idolatry, witchcraft, deadly curses and magical arts that were used to control people and corrupt cultures. He lost some ground during America’s Christian era, when — by God’s grace — our nation was relatively free from such dark forces. But our times are changing fast, and once again the captivating forces of evil are mesmerizing vulnerable children as well as adults.
In 2014, Fox Network launched a new TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets:
“The more subtle side of satanism in Hollywood entertainment is now a thing of the past, as primetime television airs blatantly evil shows like the upcoming Fox drama Lucifer, which glorifies the goings about of the ‘lord of hell’; after he fictitiously leaves the lake of fire and retires to Los Angeles.
“The premise behind the absurd drama, which is set to release in 2016, centers around so-called ‘Lucifer Morningstar’ and his new life as the owner of Lux, an upscale nightclub located in the City of Angels…. ‘It’s only fitting, then, that this modern-day show produced by satanists would portray Lucifer as a type of benevolent god… to take the place of the real God…. Whether you believe what the Bible says or not, this is the clear-as-day implication of this upcoming show that will soon be watched by presumably millions of people.”
This world is changing fast, and we must prepare for the challenges ahead. Our children need to know and remember warnings like these:
“There shall not be found among you any one that… that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer…. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…” Deuteronomy 18:10-12
Satan knows well that no nation can maintain true freedom apart from God’s moral law. Quenched by propaganda, hedonism and distorted views of God’s Truth, the biblical values that made America kind, generous, honest and successful are now fading fast — even in churches. Some years ago a youth pastor sent me this conflicting message:
“I am a strong Christian and love the Lord with all my heart. The problem is I really enjoy reading the Harry Potter books and nothing about them conflicts with my spirit…”
A young woman who called herself “a solitary witch” wrote this revealing message:
“I am a Harry Potter fan for several reasons. … You are not just drawn into the story but into that world. Then through talking about them with fans you fall further and further in love with the characters, you analyze them and worry about them until they feel real to you. Then you have, in a way, become a part of that shared universe, and it is a wonderful place to be.”
What a cruel illusion! When a nation turns from God’s ways to decadence and imaginary thrills, our Lord withdraws His blessings and protection. And when Satan has his way, calamity reigns. Remember, the evil one rules a hierarchy of like-minded demonic beings:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers , against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God , that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
That “evil day” may already be upon us. It’s beginning to bring fear and oppression to wayward America — as it did to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. And now, with today’s massive movement of migrants who — like some of our leaders — despise both Jews and Christians, our world is changing faster than ever. What’s more, Western countries like America, the UK and Germany are still hosts to unthinkable occultism and secret societies. Some of those empowered servants of darkness may well join tomorrow’s tyrants.
Yes we can! God always wins — even when the victory looks more like defeat to us! He is the sovereign Lord and King over all, and His wisdom and long-range plans for our lives far surpass our finite understanding. Everything is under His command:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
With our limited insights into His heavenly plans, we may be tempted to complain. To resist that lure, we need to trust God, know His Word, and remember His Wonderful Promises. No matter what challenges we face, He is with us – strengthening our faith and training us to endure! For,
“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil….
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness; and shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18.
- Fox Network launched a new “TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets.”
- This was a personal note from a private person.
- This was a personal note from a private person.
Used with permission from Kjos Ministries.