Hi folks -- a friend called my attention to a weird and ill-informed
article in the usually-credible Scientific American -- you may want
to scan this article, and join us in writing to the editor -- Paul's
message, the article, and SciAmer contact info below -- George
I'd like to bring to your attention a disturbing article I have
found. It is in the December 2004 issue of Scientific American Mind.
It equates witchcraft and tarot card use with satanism and devil
worship. It says these organized occult groups recruit children and
can cause serious mental illness, drug use and violent aggression in
I know that such misinformation and lies appear all the time in
conservative Christian journals, but I am worried when this appears
in a journal that is considered a well respected secular journal and
backed by scientific experts. I am going to write a letter to the
I've attached a copy of the article text if you'd like to read it,
and contact info if you want to write to Scientific American.
Mariette DiChristina, Executive Editor
415 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10017-1111
CASTING OUT THE DEMONS
Adolescents are naturally drawn to occult ideas, but parents and
therapists should know the signs that indicate when this fascination
has become deeper and more dangerous
By Gunther Klosinski
Recent activity in several U.S. church communities has seemed almost
unbelievable: churchgoers have gathered around bonfires and cheered
as they cast Harry Potter books into the flames. They fear that the
wildly popular series about a school for young wizards is spurring
children and adolescents toward a life of witchcraft and onto the
dangerous path toward Satanism. For these congregations, J. K.
Rowling's books are none other than the work of the devil herself.
To most people, the Harry Potter books and movies are merely
compelling adventure stories, not a threat to children's psyches. But
what has been forgotten in the heat of Pottermania is that boys and
girls have been fascinated by magic and sorcery for generations.
Surveys about occult practices among adolescents vary widely, but
some indicate that as many as 44 percent have dabbled to some degree.
Although satanically motivated violence occasionally makes headlines,
research shows that less than 5 percent of young people take part in
more extensive witchcraft, and very few end up in the kind of
organized devil worship that can lead to such acts as ritual murder.
There is still cause for concern, however, because even simple forays
into the supernatural, such as divination with tarot cards or Ouija
boards, can provoke trouble for some sensitive young people. If, for
example, a teenager's occult experiences provide a negative prophecy
for the future, he or she might develop such psychological problems
as anxiety disorders or compulsive behavior. And regular use of such
games, or more involved rituals such as seances and witchcraft, can
lead some children to become dependent on the supposed revelations,
gradually giving up their sense of self-direction and self-control.
To ward off such situations and to successfully intervene if the
behavior has already gone too far, parents, [p84] teachers and
therapists should understand the psychological motives that can
prompt a young person's interest in the occult.( read moreCollapse )