Harry -- just as they cheer a homerun by a favorite athlete. In the imagination, fantasy and reality flowtogether.So do the light and dark forces of the occult. Harry's adventures lead you to imagine that the youngwizard's magic is good and Voldemort's magic is evil, but in reality, the seductive power behind bothremains the same. Both rely on (1) a focused, intentional
command of the human will
and (2) some kindof occult formula designed to invoke a supernatural force. While the "dark side" seems more deadly, the"light side" is far more deceptive. People let down their guard, because it feels good, not evil. It seemsexciting, not frightening.Look with me at the following scenes from the latest book. They illustrate the kinds of encounters thatreaders enter into vicariously with Harry and his friends and enemies. What kinds of belief and values dothey plant into "open" minds? What worldview do they seal in the reader's memory? In the first encounter, you meet Professor Snape, Harry's hostile old "Potions" instructor, who has nowbeen promoted to teaching "Defense Against the Dark Arts."“You will now divide,” Snape went on, “into pairs. One partner will attempt to jinx the other withoutspeaking. The other will attempt to repel the jinx in equal silence. Carry on.”...A reasonable amount of cheating ensued; many people were merely whispering the incantationinstead of saying it aloud....“Pathetic, Weasley
[Harry's friend, Ron],
” said Snape, after a while. “Here — let me show you —“He turned his wand on Harry so fast that Harry reacted instinctively; all thought of nonverbalspells forgotten, he yelled, “
!” His Shield Charm was so strong Snape was knocked off-balanceand hit a desk. The whole class had looked around and now watched as Snape righted himself, scowling.“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing nonverbal spells, Potter?”“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.“Yes,
.”“There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.”The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying. Several people gasped,including Hermione. Behind Snape, however, Ron, Dean, and Seamus grinned appreciatively.“Detention, Saturday night, my office,” said Snape. “I do not take cheek from anyone, Potter. . .not even ‘the Chosen One.”“That was brilliant, Harry!” chortled Ron, once they were safely on their way to break a short whilelater.“You really shouldn’t have said it,” said Hermione, frowning at Ron.
The key character in the next scene is Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister and Harry's secret love.Some will remember that in
, she was possessed and controlledby the evil Voldemort after finding his old diary implanted with a portion of his soul. What kinds of valuesmight
transmit to the reader?“How come you ended up in there, Ginny?”“He saw me hex Zacharias Smith,” said Ginny. “You remember that idiot from Hufflepuff who wasin the D.A.? He kept on and on asking about what happened at the Ministry and in the end he annoyedme so much I hexed him — when Slughorn came in. I thought I was going to get detention, but he justthought it was a really good hex and invited me to lunch! Mad, eh?”
Stirring emotions and creating memories
Our minds are far more receptive to contrary values than we like to think. And the more these occultimages and suggestion arouse our emotions -- whether love, laughter, fear, hate or rage -- the moreeffectively they plant new values in our minds and seal those values in our memory. As a result, youtharound the world have learned to love evil and despise truth -- just as God warns us: "You love evil morethan good...."