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Laughter in the Cemetery: On the Magical Novels of the Harry Potter Cycle and the Anti-Magical Novels, Anhar and Alhar, Son of Anhar

Both the Bible, a book inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by authors guided by His thought, and the Satanic Bible, inspired by quite another spirit and written by the Satanist, S. La Veya, are in complete agreement as to the real existence of magic. Both agree that magic constitutes the grave sin of idolatry and that “black” and “white” magic are essentially indistinguishable. The fundamental difference lies in the attitude of the two books. Our Bible condemns magic, while the Satanic Bible praises every form of it.

Why the resistance?

Magic really exists; hence it is substitute for, a caricature of, the miraculous. It is the summit of supernatural achievements attainable to living, intelligent demons, the region of their autocratic, soul-ruining dominion. Moreover, it constitutes the most offensive sin against God, the sin of idolatry, which in the Old Testament accounts is punished by death, as are the most serious sins like murder, adultery, and temple prostitution. Magic is one of the oldest means of diabolic seduction known to man.

Thus, it puzzles me that we–modern, smart, and educated parents–should be so “magically” resistant to this argument. On the one hand, we would not hesitate to leap into the fire to save our children and, on the other hand, we blithely place this fire in their hands–without so much as a thought. Why? Because the crisis of faith in God leads to a crisis of faith in Satan. People think, irrationally, that if they arbitrarily decide there is no hell, they will not end up there. Therefore, they can live it up and experiment with whatever they like–to relieve their boredom. They are in for a shock. Hell, like magic, really does exist; and today there are a great many broad and beautifully illuminated roads leading straight to it.

Am I being frightening? No. Because heaven also really exists. Given but a drop of God’s grace, there is no one in this world who cannot arrive there. But we must realize that ever since Adam and Eve’s sin mankind has been engaged in a permanent war, and that our free will consists in nothing more than the freedom to choose the General, for whom we will sacrifice our lives.

From this perspective, a look at the influence of the Harry Potter books (and similar “media products”) on the state of the soul and intellectual growth of our children does not seem at all irrelevant–or amusing.

Harry Potter and classical fairytales

In the classical fairytale, i.e. before the era of Joanne Rowling, the word “magic” was synonymous with the word “miraculous.” “Magic” meant only “extraordinary,” “supernatural”–not “iconoclastic,” as in the Harry Potter books. In traditional fairytales, magic was practiced by symbolic, fantastical beings. These were either good, like angels, or evil, like devils. It was in this unambiguous light that even the youngest of readers interpreted them. These beings were not human beings. That is why Faust or our own Pan Twardowski, or those like them, always ended up being “rapped over the knuckles.” Why? Because they had dabbled in regions not intended for them. In these stories, as in those of the Bible, the world of the occult remained closed to human beings for their own good. Magic forces intervened only when the human hero had exhausted his own capacity to act. If the good fairy in the tale of Cinderella (in many versions she is the latter’s godmother) had not come to the heroine’s aid, Prince Charming would never have met his beloved, and the end of the story would not have been fairytale-like, but altogether prosaic; that is, unfair, unjust. But the good fairy did not intervene because she had been illicitly summoned, forced by a spell, to provide the glass slippers and carriage (cf. Rowling’s spiritism). If this had been so, the teaching didacticism proper to classical fairytales would have been lost.

In the world of Joanne Rowling’s heroes, it is not spirits from the beyond–good or bad, representing angels or demons–who come to help or hinder man. Rather it is man himself who through his practice of magic enters into a dialog with demons; he visits a spirit world that is utterly beyond his ken. Harry Potter’s journey through the world of magic reminds me of a tourist leaping into a pool of crocodiles with nothing on but his briefs, although armed with a camera (read: magic wand) with the intention of taking a few souvenir snapshots. In J. Rowling’s books, the man-wizard means to beg, borrow, or steal occult powers from the demons; he wants to gain power. It is man who uses magic to change his reality with the purpose of wresting so-called happiness for himself, for others, or for some as yet unknown purpose. This is the basic difference. We might all enjoy a hearty laugh over such a notion, were the currency of such a transaction not the immortal human soul.

Moreover, magic in the classical fairytale is merely a conventional stage prop and not the main aim of the narrative or the consuming interest of the protagonist. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is a book about real magic–about magic, about magic, and again about magic–and only incidentally about love, friendship, growing up, and suchlike. It is a perilous precedent.

Harry Potter vs. Lewis and Tolkien

To compare the masterly works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien with J. Rowling’s seven-book cycle for the sole reason that these two literary masters also use magical motifs is a crass and rather irritating misunderstanding. The symbolism of the Tales of Narnia and Lord of the Rings is unambiguously Christian. Their authors, by the example of their lives, fervently declared their spiritual adherence to Jesus Christ. Moreover, the stories in these books unfold, ultimately, on the highest, as it were, “metaphysical shelf”–as befits great literature, i.e. they portray the perennial struggle between Good and Evil. Since the Harry Potter cycle is bereft of an objective or personified Good (like Aslan in the Narnia books) and presents only the private good of individual heroes, Evil (as personified by Lord Voldemort) has no one to struggle with in a metaphysical sense. Thus Rowling is forced to present a sham struggle between Evil and good (with a small ‘g) as represented by Harry himself. Harry embodies–inherits–a portion of the Evil of Voldemort and a portion of human good–his own, but not of objective Good, which he never acknowledges, for the simple reason that he does not know it. (Where are you, O wise Lucy Pevensie?)

The very fact that Joanne Rowling does not raise metaphysical questions like Lewis, Tolkien, or the classical fairytales, indicates that she herself does not take her books from the shelf of high literature. So why try to put them up there through far-fetched analyses, which the text of Harry Potter simply does not bear out?

Note also that after finishing each part of the symbolic stories of Lewis or Tolkien, the eye of the reader rises straight to heaven, as if the reader wanted to see there the reality he has found in these books. By contrast, after reading each of the seven parts of Harry Potter, we lower our heads to analyze the image of hell just described; or, in the best case, we look from side to side, to see if there is no Dementor in the garden or goddess in the wardrobe. Here lies the whole difference.

Harry Potter–threshold of a new era

We hear from some quarters that Joanne Rowling has created the most extraordinary magical world in children’s literature. She has launched a new era in this field–we are told. From my modest point of view it is just the reverse. The inevitable outcome of the real magic that exists, literally and objectively, in the Harry Potter cycle is that modern authors of young people’s books (such as myself) may no longer responsibly reach for any of the traditional appointments of the fairytale (good witches, wizards, magical objects, secret potions) without exposing themselves to the stench of occultism. Today, if we do not wish to invite demons into a child’s room, we may no longer touch that time-honored conventional and fairytale reality without imperiling our own or our readers’ souls. The channels of communication with demonic reality in the field of children’s literature have been irrevocably opened. Some new era in literature! More like a diabolic despoliation.

Joanne Rowling is praised for the fast-paced action of her books, her skill in portraying characters, and the evocativeness of her fantastic scenes. As a writer, I respect these deserving compliments. Joanne Rowling is a talented writer. It does not bother me that the action of her novels unfolds with the speed of a computer game or that she aims the point of her irony at attitudes and behaviors that she personally, and rightly, does not accept. But there is no way I can reconcile myself with the false vision of the world that her books promote. The only wise people in them are necromancers; that is, from the biblical point of view, idolaters and harlots–perfervid practitioners of magic, who cannot imagine any other kind of life for themselves, who take full delight in the occult “amusements” they find so worthwhile. Wizards are always interesting, for they are either black or white; that is, “real characters.” Young readers are bound to find them appealing. The rest are “muggles,” “unmagical” dullards, neither black, nor white, therefore “gray”–and “grayness” as an overused synonym for “unmagicalness” is, whatever form it takes, unacceptable to the young. This, I think, is precisely what J. Rowling is about.

And yet the world of fantasy in Harry Potter–so rich in inspiration–is neither as beautiful as the traditional fairytale’s, nor as colorful as Lewis’s. Her fantastic figures are overwhelmingly “dark subsideral types” painted in all obtainable shades of black. A meager, cemeterial palette. It makes one wonder that Mrs. Rowling is at her best when she describes refined scenes of dread or death, often bordering on perversion and obsession. Where does such a need and inspiration come from?

Harry Potter and literary fiction

It is interesting that literary “fiction” should be either false or true. Fiction is false when it conveys to the reader an objectively false image of the world; it is true when the image conveyed is true. Thus, false literary fiction springs from erroneous thinking or falsehood. True fiction, on the other hand, springs from truth. In today’s spirit of artistic freedom, an author can write what he or she pleases. But the fact that she moves in a world of heroes that she has made up does not entitle her to move in a world of made-up values! This is an intellectual prejudice, which holds that “there are as many truths as there are people.” Objective truth is one. It is God. All “alternative moralities,” regardless of how brilliantly described, will always remain a substitute for true literature, even as magic is a substitute for the miraculous. Parents who place books like Harry Potter into the hands of their children need to be aware of this.

Harry Potter and identification

Identification has long been recognized as a mechanism of responding to literature. Even the adult reader–to say nothing of the child reader or adolescent, still emotionally immature reader–tends to identify (or associate himself) with the hero of the story he reads. In my view, J. Rowling’s most inspired success is her choice of main character. Harry is a modern version of a boy Cinderella: an orphan raised in a staircase closet by unmagical, pathological dullards; harassed for his origins and appearance; exploited for work; forced to live on charity; put down with the greatest of relish; solitary and unloved. The sensitive reader instinctively identifies with the hero. A mere few pages into the book and we are ready to share our room with the sympathetic Harry and bloody the nose of his loathsome cousin Dudley. When, a little farther into the book, we discover that our Harry “Nobody” Potter really is a hero of all time, only no one in the muggle world knows it, we instantly transfer this image to our own lives; and so, unconsciously, we treat our complexes and inadequacies. Such identification is tragic because its ultimate effect can only be frustration, for unlike the wizard Harry we still remain Nobodies. No one is going to put a magic wand under our pillow on our birthday; and without a wand, we are pariahs in both the world of muggles and that of wizards. Unless, of course, we reach for such a wand and seek power in the real world of the occult–a world to which Joanne Rowling’s alluring literary vision most heartily beckons us.

Parents, who have not taken a close look at Harry’s adventures, should also be aware that hundreds of the thousand pages of the seven-book cycle are devoted to the boy’s depression (from a medical point of view, Harry has all the symptoms of clinical depression) and possession by Evil, which leads him to the borders of madness–to the point of harboring murderous and suicidal thoughts. Is this a desirable object of identification for our children? Can we not find more normal ones in children’s literature?

I am not suggesting that the Harry Potter reader runs the immediate risk of becoming an occult healer or some other screwball who abandons Christianity in order to seek fulfillment among the sects of the world. This need not happen. But we can all see that a great many children and young people have developed an interest in the world of magic from reading this book. And even if they have not begun to engage in magic practices, exposure to the book has naturally predisposed them to such an option: “Why not? What’s wrong with it? It’s so fascinating–so exotic! Why can’t I try it? Who will stop me? Why can’t I take a peek behind the closed door? Why can’t I experience something special in life? Must I always be a dull, gray muggle? Why shouldn’t I try it?” Today these may be innocent questions, innocent desires for an exotic experience. But in ten years these may be a desire to enter a sect. In twenty years these may mean esoteric books, a tragic, irrevocable life-decision, or outright demonic enslavement.

And so I pose the question: having read Rowling’s books, having had direct contact with their contents saturated as they are with the truth about demons, their power, and their evil intentions toward human beings–having done this, will the child preserve his or her peace of soul and purity of thought? Can one walk through a puddle without muddying one’s shoes? One cannot. So perhaps it is better to avoid the puddle.

Harry Potter and lowering the ceiling

God created the miraculous, whereas magic is the diabolic response of demons who by nature are non-creative and, therefore, only capable of copying or destroying. That is why on the flypaper of magic, we human beings only catch ourselves, for magic is a kind of shortcut to the supernatural state–to achieving the extraordinary. There is nothing wrong in the natural human longing for the miraculous and unusual. We have this encoded in our being. If we did not have it, we would not long for Heaven. God gave human beings a desire to know the fascinating, the unusual, the mysterious. We yearn. Each and every one of us carries this yearning within himself, only–and let us be clear about it–this yearning is for Heaven. The devil’s diabolic sleight-of-hand with magic consists in his substituting man’s longing for Heaven with a longing for the extraordinary; and he immediately suggests to us an image of the world that satisfies this longing: magic stones, talismans, “you will be happy,” “you will know the future,” “put a charm on your beloved,” “you will be a beautiful young woman,” “you will know his or her fate,” “you will read other people’s thoughts,” etc., etc. That is how it is. I have met many people who were healers, psychics, and thought-readers. Perhaps this seems like a vision of earthly happiness, but it is also a guarantee of eternal torment. To cast over man’s longing for God the alluring veil of knowing paranormal sensations is to draw a low ceiling over his head just as he lifts his eyes to reach for the stars. Such a tragically deceived person may well be your own child.

Harry Potter, Anhar and Alhar

My adventure with Joanne Rowling’s books began with a commercial publisher’s invitation that I write a “Polish Harry Potter.” I wrote a book–an anti-magical one. It takes issue with J. Rowling’s vision of the world, although it has no direct references to Harry Potter. It has more to do with ideological struggle, with the truth about magic as the Bible presents it and as I, an author, understand it. So the book’s main character naturally becomes an anti-Harry. That is why I named him Anhar. Although he is a wizard like Harry, caught up in many extraordinary events and circumstances, his decisions and desires ultimately lead him to conclusions altogether different from those reached by J. Rowling’s heroes.

It is my joy that Anhar and Alhar, Son of Anhar have won the favor of a great many readers. The books have garnered a prestigious literary award, and the publisher–Edycya Swietego Pawla–has just decided to have them translated into English, so as to reach a wider range of readers.

The strong reaction to the falsification of the biblical truth about magic and those unfortunates who practice it recently resulted in a symposium entitled “Magic–the Whole Truth” Promoting an anti-occult message, it featured interesting scholarly books, testimonies, CDs, films, and also my Anhar and Alhar. Numerous outstanding speakers, including a good number of people who have freed themselves from the occult, shared their knowledge and personal experiences. They have subsequently been making tours of various cities throughout Poland. 

Malgorzata Nawrocka (translated by Christopher A. Zakrzewski)

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The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!" in June 2016.

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