A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
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SMOKE: He's A Witch!

Originally published: 3 November 2004

I read a truly extraordinary story yesterday. It was about a South African schoolboy who refused to answer a comprehension question about a review of one of JK Rowling's Harry Potter books.

His reason for not answering the question - which was worth 30 percent of his matric English exam - was that the Potter books promote witchcraft.

Now he and his mother are moaning to the provincial director of examinations to ask that he at least be awarded an average mark. Said the mother to Reuters: "He wouldn't answer it because it supports witchcraft, and we're against witchcraft ... the Bible is against witchcraft."

Indeed.

Please note that the kid wasn't answering a question about one of the Potter books - the question was about a review of one of the Potter books. But the very mention of the name Potter obviously raised up all those brainwashed sessions with Mum, holding hands and whining about the devil.

Potter = witchcraft. Witchcraft = evil. Evil = Satan. Satan walks among us disguised as a boy wizard. Wizard = witch.

I would have thought we'd have got over witches by now. Monty Python tried to help us place it all in perspective in their seminal 1975 classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Bedevere: Why do you think she is a witch?

Second Villager: She turned me into a newt.

Bedevere: A newt?

Second Villager (After looking at himself for some time): I got better.

All: Burn her anyway.

Bedevere: Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.

All: There are? Tell up. What are they, wise Sir Bedevere?

Bedevere: Tell me ... what do you do with witches?

All: Burn them.

Bedevere: And what do you burn, apart from witches?

Fourth Villager: ... Wood?

Bedevere: So why do witches burn?

Second Villager (pianissimo): ... Because they're made of wood...?

Bedevere: Good.

[Peasants stir uneasily.]

Much as I hate to be everybody's favourite annoying cousin who hauls out his Python stock lines ad nauseam until all you can think about is throttling John Cleese until his eyes pop out before feeding him face-first into a meat grinder - I had to make the point that Python were doing this shit in the seventies. That's 30 years ago, friends.

I would have thought everyone would have got the cruel and unusual satire when it happened - understood it - had a good laugh and moved on.

But no. There's still a witch under every bed.

Aside from the fact that the kid who refused to write his paper needs a firm smack and to be sent to bed without his supper, I find it appalling that people can still drag out their whole "Harry Potter is about witchcraft" bit.

I got the following quote from a site calling itself Exposing Satanism.org, which shows us just how wrong we are to be thinking Harry was simply a fictitious character invented to amuse children and adults alike:

The whole purpose of these books is to desensitize readers and introduce them to the occult. What a better way to introduce tolerance and acceptance of what God calls an abomination, then (sic) in children's books? If you can get them when they are young, then you have them for life. It's the oldest marketing scheme there is.

Well - it's not quite the oldest marketing scheme in the book, is it? Or are we forgetting Og and Zog, two cavedwellers who crossed paths one day:

Og: Me got big stick. You got small stick. You need big stick like mine.

Zog: Okey-dokey.

Og: If you give me two small sticks I will give you one big stick.

Zog: Hmmm. Me not sure.

Og: But that's not all - with my big stick comes matching stick-sock to keep it in, as well as one-moon guarantee (repairs only).

Zog: Jesus. OK - here are my sticks. Give me your big stick.

[Sticks and stick-sock exchange hands.]

Zog (walking away, testing his new stick on a small child): Hmm. Me got good deal.

Something like that.

But I don't want to nitpick about marketing schemes, especially not in the face of graver matters like the fact that the Harry Potter franchise is merely a front for witches and satanism.

To think I was so gullible. I honestly believed witches were kaput once they'd rounded up Winona Ryder and her gang of lesbian pals, but I was obviously mistaken.


At the heart of it all of course is the fact that there are still people who confuse fantasy with reality. I read a site which quoted a sweet, innocent 10-year old child as saying: "I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch", using it as proof that children are being lured into witchcraft by Harry Potter and his evil creator.

Harry himself is a wizard, and since wizards and witches are considered demons by the Christian faith all wizards and witches must therefore be evil.

Thus all fairytales involving witches are evil, I would assume. We should burn CS Lewis at the stake for his Narnia series. Dorothy and Friends from Oz are no doubt satanic because of their association with witches.

I found the following quote from Christian publication World Magazine, which was written by author Roy Maynard in 1999:

Rowling ... keeps it safe, inoffensive and non-occult. This is the realm of Gandalf and the Wizard of Id, not witchcraft. There is a fairy-tale order to it all in which, as Chesterton and Tolkien pointed out, magic must have rules, and good does not - cannot - mix with bad.

Surely that's more like it? Or how about this summation, from John Monk, an editorial writer from The State:

The Potter books promote - through their characters - friendship, love, bravery, self-reliance, the importance of family and tolerance toward those different from us. They depict the quest for knowledge, wisdom and right action - the universal journey every human takes.

The books condemn bullies, falsity, rudeness, greed and Nazi-like tendencies to denigrate and hurt those who aren't like us.

One book, two different ways of looking at it.

I really despair for that matric boy who refused to answer his question. What a terrible thing it must be to grow up with a mother like that. It's plain to see he hasn't been taught to think for himself and he's going to take that uninformed, medievil thinking out into the world with him to add to the stupid pool.

It's all very well to respect the rights of others and to accept all points of view, but when you get it so wrong that you believe the Potter franchise is constructed around the occult and is attempting to brainwash the youth into becoming satanists, then it's nothing short of stupid.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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