In the circle of Harry Potter's world of magic
Fr Waldemar Kulbat
The next Harry Potter book was published. One can assume that this event caused the Italian newspaper La Republica to reveal the content of the Holy Father Benedict XVI's letter to the authoress of the book in question. The letter referred to harmfulness of the series about Harry Potter. Two years ago Gabriele Kuby, German literary critic, sent her latest work entitled 'Harry Potter - gut oder b(se?' (Harry Potter - good or harmful?) to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On 7 March 2003 Cardinal Ratzinger thanked her for the book and added his own opinion on the figure and adventures created by J. K. Rowling. He wrote, 'The Harry Potter series deceitfully deludes the young generation, distorting still immature Christianity in their hearts.' In his next letter to Mrs Kuby, on 27 May 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger agreed to publish his opinion about Harry Potter. Since the young generation will again get another wave of this controversial literature it is worth knowing where one can find an antidote for this kind of spiritual poison.
Hidden promotion of magic
The dispute about the character of J. K. Rowling's saga about Harry Potter has continued for several years. This dispute has also been taken place in many other countries where the book was published. Is it only an original story about the fight between good and evil, which contains many beautiful and noble thoughts? Or perhaps Rowling's novels are a thoughtful and hidden promotion of magic and New Age ideology? In the discussion in the media: press, radio, television, Internet, there are various answers. The latest book by Dr Stanislaw Krajski entitled 'The Magical World of Harry Potter books' stands out from them. The author is a lecturer of history of philosophy at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw as well as a known and highly regarded feature writer and author of many books. For several years he has been reflecting on areas of human thoughts, both the classical, profound, non-controversial ones and the alarming contemporary phenomena, which can endanger faith, and these include dark fields of magic, occultism and secret associations. The author promptly reacts against symptoms of threat, he indicates them, evaluates objectively, warns against them and offers his experience and knowledge.
Dr. Krajski's answer to the question concerning the phenomenon of the Harry Potter series and the manipulations connected with its publicity, is unambiguous: the world of Harry Potter is a world of magic. According to him readers of Rowling's books undergo specific initiation, find themselves in another world, different from that which surrounds them. They come into contact with some different spirituality, and even they can be disposed towards a meeting with some unspecified spiritual power. It turns out that by reading the books of the English author people can adopt a specific way of thinking and choose a definite recipe for life. It is not unlikely that those who are bewitched by the books will join a satanic sect, develop a mental disease or even become possessed. It is characteristic that many people who talked about J. K. Rowling's books have had no knowledge about the functioning of the world of magic and occultism in the contemporary society. That could be the reason why Dr. Krajski was so concerned to show how real and dangerous the world of magic is today and how occultism, magic and their ideological offshoots enter into life, especially in the lives of the youth.
Dr. Stanislaw Krajski wanted to show both Christians and non-believers that magic is dangerous and that it leads its neophytes to self-destruction. Here one should notice that his conclusions, contrary to these authors who have not seen any inconsistency with the substance of Christian faith in Rowling's books, are based on very solid knowledge about the subject matter as well as reliable documentation. Since the discussion contains arguments that Rowling's novels can be regarded as classical fairy tales, which everyone knows from childhood, our author took pains to analyze the contents of these fairy tales and showed how different they were. The author depicts convincingly the climate of the wonderful fairy tales by Andersen, Lewis, Tolkien, which are erroneously compared with the saga about Harry Potter.
A great value of Dr. Krajski's book is that the author showed the success of the Harry Potter series on the background of the esoteric boom and bombarding with magic, which began towards the end of the 19th century and enjoyed the greatest prosperity in the middle of the 20th century in the form of the neo-pagan New Age movement.
The book also presents in a convincing way the influence of the world of the greatest hits like 'Star Wars', 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', 'Awareness', which left their powerful marks on the contemporary generation by spreading pagan spiritual climate, in fact the New Age ideas. 'Spiritual emptiness, created by the crisis of faith in the Western societies, which have been Christian so far, is a state that lasts for a short time', explains Dr. Krajski. This emptiness is quickly being filled. The more active the 'missionaries' of the new, alternative, treacherous spirituality are, the quicker the emptiness is filled. The author quotes the opinion of the Italian researcher Carlo Climati from his book 'Young People and Esotericism, Magic, Satanism and Occultism': 'Horoscopes, amulets, Tarot cards and spiritualistic séances have accompanied the journey of young generations, victims bombarded with real esotericism, with various means: music, television, computer games, cartoons, cinema, discos. This is the kind of bombarding that is well received by many young people [...] Interest in esotericism, proposed as an immediate solution to daily problems, can do great harm in the minds and psyche of the youth [...] The greatest anxiety is caused by the increasing interest in Satanism. The number of young people who declare to be fascinated in devil and black magic is constantly growing.' The problems, which Carlo Climati writes about, Dr. Krajski finds both in Rowling's books and in some particular creations of modern culture: youth press, musical hits, computer games, etc.
Another great value of Dr. Krajski's work is his presentation of the teaching of the Church about magic and occultism as well as the presentation of the content of Harry Potter books in the light of the Revelation, Tradition and teaching of the Church. The solid explanation of the author dispels all doubts, including the doubt that the Harry Potter series brings only white, allegedly harmless magic. He quotes and analyses the opinions of the famous Italian exorcist Fr Amorth, the Swiss theologian Niklaus Pfluger, the philosopher and demonologist Fr Aleksander Posacki, SJ, which enlarge our knowledge about the issue in question. The original methodological idea of the author is to compare the content of the Harry Potter series with the quintessence of occultism. On the other hand, a specific summary of the book is given in the chapter entitled 'Cruelty, macabre and evil in Rowling's novel'.
One should agree with the author's confession at the end of the book that he might have not dealt with all topics although the book has almost 200 pages. However, the one who is open to the truth, appreciates his freedom and freedom of his children and desires to do good, should be satisfied with the provided material. For it is the personal decision of a given man that settles the matter, and those who are in favour of Harry Potter's world actually create it and praise it quite consciously. Therefore, the book ends with a prayer for freeing oneself of all forms of magic, spell, witchcraft and hidden evil and a prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.
We should express our gratitude for such a solid and useful book. May it open the eyes of as many readers as possible to the world of spiritual slavery and threats.
Stanislaw Krajski, Magiczny swiat "Harry'ego Pottera", Warszawa 2002, Wydawnictwo sw. Tomasza z Akwinu, 02-764 Warszawa, ul. Egejska 5/24, tel. (0-22) 651-88-17.