By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A Canadian man once heavily involved in the occult is launching a boycott of both Hasbro and Toys-R-Us for marketing a new pink Ouija board for girls ages eight and up.
“This is the mainstreaming of the occult,” said John Cain, 50, of Ottawa, Canada. He first spotted something about the pink Ouija board on a Jan. 28 post appearing on the Catholic Answers Forum and decided to look into it.
He found an ad for the toy on the Toys R Us website which proudly proclaimed: “ . . . (N)ow the OUIJA Board is just for you, girl.” The new flashy pink board comes with 72 questions to ask the board, a carrying case with storage pockets and instructions for how to use it to contact the dead. “Make up your own questions, and let the OUIJA Board satisfy your curiosity in virtually endless ways,” the site says. “OUIJA Board will answer. It’s just a game – or is it?”
One girl commented about the board on the site: “This is fun and entertaining and might scare little kids but they love it! I love the cards it comes with and the pink (love the color). Cute!”
Another young fan referred to it as a “real portal to the other world” and admitted to using it to “personally summon three ghosts who were really cute and died the best.”
Mr. Cain, who was deeply involved in the occult earlier in his life, was so outraged by the marketing of such a dangerous “toy” to children that he launched a boycott the very next day.
“I’m a Catholic and I know it’s stated in the Catechism and the Bible that divination and necromancy are off-limits,” he said. “But the middle-of-the-road group, people who have either fallen away from the Church or don’t have any religious affiliation, they think that when a big corporation like Hasbro and Toys R Us makes it appear so innocuous, it makes them wonder ‘how bad can this be?’ So they buy it and introduce it to their children.”
This is not the first time Hasbro and Toys-R-Us have come under fire for marketing the board to kids. According to Stephen Phelan, Communications Manager for Human Life International (HLI), he contacted people at Toys R Us about the Ouija board several years ago but the retailer denied carrying it.
“There was talk of a boycott, but in the face of denials from Toys R Us and a lack of proof, the boycott went away,” Mr. Phelan said by e-mail.
It was not until he received an e-mail last week from John Cain that he became aware of the new boycott and was only too happy to back the project.
“Let’s boycott both Hasbro for making these, and Toys R Us for marketing them to children and parents – and for Toys R Us previously denying that they sold them,” Mr. Phelan said. “No Christian family should support either of these companies with their money.”
He went on to issue the strongest warning against the use of these boards. “No one should be messing with Ouija boards, especially Christians who should know better. They are not toys. They are not safe; they are what they say they are, a portal to talk to ‘spirits’ that you really don’t want to deal with.”
Milton Bradley does nothing to hide these dark realities while advertising its “glow in the dark” version of the board. “Evil spirits! Wake the dead! Consult the board of omens!” the ad encourages. “The classic Ouija board has the answers to all questions, except the mysterious powers that determine its answers!”
Those mysterious powers became horrifyingly real for millions of movie-goers in the 1970’s with the movie, The Exorcist. The film was based on the true story of a 12 year old boy named Robbie who was using a Ouija board to contact who he thought was a recently deceased aunt when he became possessed by a demon.
Unfortunately, stories of demonic possession, oppression, and even insanity and suicide associated with the board have been reported by a range of professionals such as policemen, psychologists, medical doctors, even mediums and spiritualists.
For instance, a New York City policeman named Ralph Sarchie is an expert in demonology who has investigated witches and Satanists and assisted at more than a dozen exorcisms while working at the 46th precinct in the South Bronx. He claims that “innocent” board games like the Ouija board are one of the biggest dangers of the occult.
“There ought to be a law against these evil, occult `toys,’” he writes in his book, Beware the Night. “I can hear some of you out there saying, ‘Hey, I used a Ouija board and nothing happened.’ Consider yourself lucky, then. It’s like playing Russian roulette. When you put the gun to your head, if you don’t hear a loud noise, you made it. Same thing with the board: The more times you pull the trigger, the more likely that on the next shot, your entire world will go black.”
“No responsible parent would want his or her child messing with this,” Mr. Phelan said, “and they need to be thrown out of houses and destroyed if you already have one.” He also says that anyone who has been using a ouija board should contact a priest immediately.
John Cain agrees, saying “Kids wouldn’t even think about Ouija boards unless it was marketed directly toward them,” which is why he’s hoping a successful boycott will exert enough pressure to convince Hasbro and Toys R Us to withdraw these dangerous toys from the market.
To join the boycott, visit http://www.boycottowl.com/Hasbro/84
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