Media Wisdom for Your Children and Grandchildren:
New Website Shows HARRY POTTER Is Still Very Dangerous
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
J.K. Rowling, the creator of the HARRY POTTER books, has launched a new internet “hub” for “young children” on her Wizarding World website promoting her books and merchandise.
Called “Harry Potter at Home,” the new internet hub “aims to help inspire you, your family, your friends, and especially children all around the world to read for pleasure and enjoy the stories, as well as bring some magic-infused joy and entertainment to all the family,” according to the statement accompanying the launch.
Rowling wrote on Twitter that the new hub is designed to help parents, teachers and childcare helpers “keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown” because of the coronavirus crisis.
As we explained in our acclaimed book, FRODO & HARRY: UNDERSTANDING VISUAL MEDIA AND ITS IMPACT ON OUR LIVES (Crossway, 2003), the Harry Potter books, movies, articles, and websites may seem like harmless fun, but they are an extremely dangerous introduction to occult practices condemned by God and His messengers in the Bible.
For example, in Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Moses tells the Hebrews,
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the morally detestable ways of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is morally detestable to the Lord; and because of these morally detestable things, the Lord your God will drive them out before you.”
In this passage, Moses compares child sacrifice and child murder with all these occult practices, and calls them all morally detestable, or evil.
However, these evil occult practices are all promoted and exalted in the HARRY POTTER stories, as well as on Rowling’s Harry Potter website Wizarding World and its new Harry Potter hub for young children.
Looking at the Wizarding World website, you will find articles promoting sorcery, witchcraft, spells, potions, magic wands, familiar spirits, and using sorcery or witchcraft to transform yourself or others into beasts. Even if the new “Harry Potter at Home” hub simplifies these loathsome occult practices for younger children, they will still be promoting them and encouraging children to think about them and even experiment with such behavior, in real life as well as during playtime.
Of course, the biggest objection from other people to our analysis here is that the Harry Potter stories are fiction, based on fantasy, not reality.
However, according to the Pew Research Center and other pollsters, the number of Americans who actually believe they are witches and practice witchcraft has been steadily increasing in the last 20-30 years (see “Number of Americans Who Say They Are Witches Is on the Rise,” National Catholic Register, 10/29/18,). We’ve actually met such people and talked with them, deluded though they may be. In fact, some of those people we’ve met even worshipped false gods, including a god they called the “Great Horned God,” a personification of Lucifer or Satan that’s been sanitized. Now, whether these people actually believe that such a god exists, is beside the point, but we think it’s possible that, by worshipping or pretending to worship such a god, these people may find themselves actually encountering real demonic forces that may pose as benevolent at first but eventually turn evil as well as extremely hostile to God, Jesus, the Bible, Christianity, and Christians. In addition, we’ve encountered people online and in person who, in addition to becoming witches and sorcerers, also sometimes get involved in radical Anti-American, Anti-Semitic, and Anti-Christian, immoral political movements.
Also, in researching material for the FRODO & HARRY book, we found that the publishing sites promoting and selling the Harry Potter books encourage the children visiting the websites to create their own spells and potions, and experiment with the other occult practices mentioned in the above passage from Deuteronomy. In fact, we actually read posts from real children, including teenagers, who did these things and even invented poems and “hymns” worshipping pagan gods (see page 63 of FRODO & HARRY)!
Thus, Harry Potter stories and materials are not so harmless as some people claim. As we write in FRODO & HARRY, the Harry Potter stories “are deeply rooted in the occult”:
“Occult practices are not just minor occurrences in Harry Potter. They pervade the whole series. Witchcraft, even when couched in a humorous fantasy realm, is rebellion against God and the order He has established. In Harry Potter, the heroes all practice witchcraft to defeat the villains. These heroes have become role models for millions of children around the world (FRODO & HARRY, pages 28-29).”
Also, not only do the Harry Potter books and movies promote sorcery and the occult, they also teach children to disobey rules, perform practical jokes and curses on one’s personal enemies, and even lie. In fact, the hero of the whole series, Harry Potter himself, at various times blackmails his uncle, uses trickery and deception, lies to avoid trouble or get out of trouble, and seeks revenge on his enemies at school. All these activities are treated as praiseworthy, especially if they’re successful.
Finally, the Harry Potter stories and materials often promote the false pagan, nominalistic worldview that physical and supernatural reality can be manipulated simply by using one’s mind, and without having faith or trust in God or Jesus Christ, including Christ’s death and resurrection. Witchcraft and sorcery is rebellion against God. As such, it often supports this kind of “mind over matter” nominalism.
Clearly, therefore, the launch of the new “Harry Potter at Home” hub shows that HARRY POTTER is still very dangerous, especially to impressionable children and grandchildren. The goal of Christians should be to reclaim the HARRY POTTER fans and lead them to Jesus Christ, not to encourage their fanaticism.
Note: The new “Harry Potter at Home” hub on the internet is being supported by Harry Potter UK and US publishers Bloomsbury and Scholastic, Pottermore Publishing, the leading spoken-word producer and provider Audible, library supplier OverDrive, and author J.K. Rowling’s main Harry Potter website, Wizarding World.