Blog Post

The Magic Tree House

JM writes: "I am writing about books widely available at school and 'Scholastic' called "The Magic Tree House" series by Mary Pope Osborne. Could this series be considered (occult)? My daughter read them a few years ago and she advises me now not to let her sister read them."

This is a very astute young lady because the Magic Tree House series is indeed riddled with magic. Although the books also contain wonderful background lessons in history for children, the magic theme is very problematic, especially when the main characters, Jack and Annie, begin practicing their own magic in books that appear later in the series.

But to tell you the truth, I could have written the same description of dozens of other books that are out there right now - sitting on the shelf in your child's school library - that capitalize on the kind of occult themes made popular by Harry Potter.

All of them involve the use of magic (not the stage magic kind, but the occult version - there's a big difference!) for a variety of purposes, everything from winning a beloved's devotion to cursing the bus driver.

And far too many of these books perpetuate the myth of "white" and "black" magic, with the former being okay because it's used for good purposes while the latter is bad because it hurts people. Unless these children have an informed parent who will sit them down and teach them that, "all magic is bad because it calls upon secret powers that are sourced in demons" these kids are headed into the occult. Why? Because the powers they're calling upon are real - and they are far more powerful than any defense a child can muster (other than if he or she calls upon the name of Jesus Christ). Otherwise, when they call upon one of these occult powers in a seemingly innocent spell casting game or book, THEY WILL RECEIVE AN ANSWER.

Unfortunately, most kids know this better than their parents do these days.

Too many parents make the mistake of trusting their schools to protect their children from these dangers. Guess what? They don't. In fact, the school library is where most kids are introduced to these books - thanks to Scholastic, one of the biggest distributors of occult fiction in the U.S.

What you  might find even more shocking is that many of these schools are perfectly aware of what the kids are reading.

Consider the case of the Pound Ridge Elementary School in Pound Ridge, New York. In 1995, a new game called Magic: The Gathering became very popular among the students. Designed as an exciting new way to teach mathematics, the basic theme of this collectible card game is similar to Dungeons and Dragons with wizards, "magical energy" and spell casting.  Some of the cards in this game specifically called for "demonic consultation" and even had pentagrams on the back of the cards! The game promoted a variety of occultic themes such as Satanism, witchcraft and demonic possession.

Here's what Steve Kosser, a school psychologist, told CBN News about the game: "This is not a game like chess where you are attacking pieces on a board. This is a game where you're attacking your living, breathing opponent by using devils to conjure demons and cast spells."

Teachers actually made this game part of the curriculum for gifted children. Parents might not have known about it at all except that some of the kids began having nightmares. Two of their parents, Cecile Dinozzi and Mary Ann Dibari, began probing into what was actually going on at the school and found the curriculum contained other New Age and occult teachings as well.

According to CBN, the parents eventually filed suit in federal court against the school district, alleging that they were promoting New Age occultism. Their filing was full of examples that I found so shocking I actually read the story twice to be sure I read it correctly.

For instance, according to Dinozzi and Dibari, school officials actually invited a New Age crystal healer and a psychic to speak at the school. Third graders were taught how to tell fortunes and read tarot cards. Fourth graders were taken on a field trip to a graveyard where, according to an eyewitness, they were told to walk into the tombs of children and lie down on the grave "to see if you could fit in the little child's coffin.' Fourth graders were also given an assignment to write a poem entitled, "How God Messed Up." Fifth graders were taught to perform Aztec rituals, including one that conjured up the dead, while sixth graders spent three months learning about all of the pagan gods who are central to New Age occultism.

"We've got a case where well-meaning teachers are literally dabbling in occult activities to try to keep their kids interested in what they're studying," Kosser told CBN. "At the same time, they're leading the children toward a greater appreciation of occult stuff."

He adds: "Any parent that is shocked to discover that this stuff is happening in the schools is basically being naive. The schools exist in the popular culture."

Books such as Goosebumps, The Magic Tree House, The Zack Files, and The Black Cat Club are all part and parcel of the same occult fiction. Then there's The Junior Astrologer that encourages children to take up astrology, and games like The Angel Talk that helps players make contact with New Age spirits (three guesses who they are).

But surely children know that what they're reading is fantasy, right? Unfortunately, no. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling openly admits that she gets hundreds of letters from fans who want to attend Hogwart's, Potter's fictional wizardry school. In a documentary by New Age expert Caryl Matrisciana entitled Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repacked, children openly admit to wanting Potter's power to cast spells and hexes on their parents and teachers, or to manipulate the affections of someone they love. Matrisciana said that during a recent trip to London, the stationmaster at King's Cross Station told her hundreds of children come to see the supposed platform where Harry's fictional school train leaves the station - which has been the cause of several accidents when children mimicking Harry try to run through the brick barricade to catch the Hogwart’s Express.

Matrisciana also reports that the Pagan Federation of England affirms they receive thousands of letters from children every time they air shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

"Children ask the location of local Wicca covens to attend and learn the occult techniques promoted in Harry’s books and by other young witches in a plethora of movies and programs that glorify witchcraft and pagan ideology," she says.

That these dark fascinations can be harmful to children is exemplified in the case of Cassie Bernall, the young Columbine student who was killed for professing her faith in Jesus Christ. As her mother, Misty Bernall, tells in a book about Cassie's life, her daughter might not have been at Columbine that day if not for the fact that she transferred there from another school where she had gotten involved in witchcraft,  Satanism, self-mutilation. It wasn't until her parents sent her on a Christian retreat where Cassie "found" Jesus Christ that the young girl finally began to turn her life around.

Who knows what seemingly innocent book, game or movie first enticed Cassie Bernall into the occult? But dark powers did indeed get a hold of her just like they're getting a hold of many other children during this occult-fiction craze that we're currently living through.

Parents, don't let you children go down this road. The fact that they're "finally reading" is no excuse. One day, they may want to read porn too, but that doesn't mean we should let them.

If we don't protect them, who will?

Our Learn to Discern series includes a book on Magick that takes an indepth look at the dangers of these practdices. For more information, click on "New Age Resources" on the navigation bar above.

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