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'Hour of the Witch'
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BOOKS

Harry Potter and 'Hour of the Witch'

By Jennifer E. Jones
Contributing Writer

CBN.com When book 6 in the Harry Potter series released, it caused quite a stir. The release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince broke records, pre-selling over two million books before it hit bookshelves and sold nearly seven million copies in the first 24 hours. Kids of all ages curled up with their new hardback that explored a young man’s adventures in white magic.

As innocent as it may sound, many believe that another Harry Potter book is another attempt at the entertainment industry making the occult fashionable again. One of those people is Steve Wohlberg. He’s the Speaker/Director of Endtime Insights Radio and TV Ministry. In his book, Hour of the Witch, he unmasks the subtle bewitching of American youth.

“Those parents whose kids are into Harry Potter, who think it’s just fantasy, are not concerned about the connection to the occult,” Wohlberg tells CBN.com.

Harry Potter is not the only example. Wohlberg highlights many books such as Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation by Silver Ravenwolf, a how-to manual for young people who are curious about magic.

“There is a religion called Wicca,” explains Wohlberg. “[This book] was specifically written by a witch. She’s a best-selling author, mother of four. She says, ‘Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Don’t lie.’ And she’s promoting witchcraft. That’s Wicca. It claims to be very safe, very positive.”

In Wicca, a person can be a "good" witch. One can practice spells that are not meant to harm and be more in tune with nature, which is where spirits and energy lie. Wohlberg says these spirits are not what the witches think but are actually Satan and his angels.

“What parents don’t realize with Harry Potter is the growth of real witchcraft across America,” he says.

Wicca is one of the nation’s fastest growing religions particularly amongst high school and college students, according to an NPR national report cited by Wohlberg.

Hollywood is helping. With television shows such as Charmed and movies like Bewitched, Wicca is almost becoming chic.

This upward trend is older than the first Harry Potter release in 1998 but not by much. Wohlberg details how covens were small and spread out across the world through the ‘50s to the ‘80s. He credits Hollywood’s interest in the ‘90s with bringing Wicca into the mainstream.

According to Wohlberg, the pagan community is taking notice and using the popularity of Harry Potter to recruit more witches and wizards. “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard is written by a master occultist. He’s a real wizard, and he wrote this book specifically for Harry Potter readers, who want to learn about the real thing.”

The naivete of parents is Wohlberg’s chief concern. When adults shrug off Harry Potter as fiction, Wohlberg says that they forget about the power of stories and how this particular tale is desensitizing the world to witchcraft.

Another way in which Harry Potter is slipping through parental censors is because of the “all reading is good” factor. Wohlberg addresses this in his chapter entitled “Johnny Is Reading a Book”. He writes that when parents fail to monitor their children’s readings as much as they do their television watching, they miss the sorcery that can ensnare young minds.

“There’s a Scripture in Revelations 18 that talks about the rise and fall of Babylon,” Wohlberg says. “It says, ‘By your sorcery were all nations deceived’ (Rev. 18:23). It’s warning about real witchcraft. Ancient Babylon was filled with magic, astrology, witchcraft, and the same with modern Babylon.”

Wohlberg says that most parents are not taking into account the battle between good and evil and, in a way, neither does Wicca. Witches do not believe in Satan, and many do not believe in hell.

“There is a real devil,” he says. “He’s very intelligent. He’s working behind the scenes. Witches try to tap into spirits in good ways and don’t realize they’re walking into Satan’s trap. They’re playing with fire and opening themselves up to be possessed.”

So what should the Christian parent do when facing a child who wants The Half-Blood Prince? Wohlberg encourages sitting down for a Bible study. “Show them that God says that sorcery, witchcraft, and divination are an abomination. They should stay away from them. Show them that witchcraft is a work of the flesh and that sorcerers will end up in the lake of fire.”

Wohlberg also suggests that parents alert their children to the battle between God and the devil for souls. While J.K. Rowling's storyline depicts a struggle between "good" and "evil" wizards, Wohlberg says the true battle between God and Satan is revealed in the Bible, not Harry Potter. "Our kids need to know the truth about right and wrong, avoid witchcraft entirely, and follow Jesus Christ," he says.

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