Wed Jan 18, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Canada Opens First “Hogwarts” Witchcraft School
By Terry Vanderheyden
EDMONTON, January 18, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It would seem there is truth to the warnings against the Harry Potter series if the opening of an honest-to-goodness witchcraft school in Canada is any indication of increased interest in the occult that has resulted from the books.
The new school, Northern Star College of Mystical Studies, is compared to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter books by a CanWest News Service report. The school offers diploma and two-year certificate programs, open to adults only. The school teaches potions, astrology, tarot, hypnotherapy, divination, magic and other occult practices, among other subjects.
“Harry Potter starts to get everybody curious about the mystic inside of them,” admitted Catherine Potter, a hypnotherapist and professional astrologer who teaches at the school. She is a fan of J.K. Rowling’s bestselling series. “I think it stirs a yearning in people to know more than just the five senses.”
Despite naysayers, Potter’s own admission that Harry Potter spurned her interest in the occult confirms warnings like those from Pope Benedict XVI, Gabriele Kuby, Catholic artist and author Michael D. O’Brien, Father Alfonso Aguilar, and even Rome’s official exorcist, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, who said, “Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.”
In a letter dated March 7, 2003 Pope Benedict XVI – then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – thanked his friend Gabriele Kuby for her “instructive” book about Harry Potter –gut oder böse (Harry Potter- good or evil?), in which Kuby says the Potter books corrupt the hearts of the young, preventing them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil, thus harming their relationship with God while that relationship is still in its infancy.
“It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly,” the Pope wrote.
Both O’Brien and Father Alfonso Aguilar meanwhile condemn the books for their similarities with an early anti-Christian cult known as Gnosticism. “The wizard world is about the pursuit of power and esoteric knowledge, and in this sense it is a modern representation of a branch of ancient Gnosticism, the cult that came close to undermining Christianity at its birth,” O’Brien explained in his essay, Harry Potter and the Paganization of Children’s Culture, available here: http://www.lifesite.net/features/harrypotter/obrienpotter.html.
“The so-called ‘Christian Gnostics’ of the 2nd century were in no way Christian, for they attempted to neutralize the meaning of the Incarnation and to distort the concept of salvation along traditional Gnostic lines: man saves himself by obtaining secret knowledge and power,” O’Brien wrote.
Defending his criticism of Rowling’s work as compared to JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, who some argue also portrays magic, O’Brien added: “Rowling portrays Harry’s victory as the fruit of esoteric knowledge and power. This is Gnosticism. Tolkien portrays Frodo’s victory as the fruit of humility, obedience, and courage in a state of radical suffering. This is Christianity.”
View the roster of eyebrow-raising courses such as Plant Spirit Integration, Sacred Circle, Oracle Exploration, Exploring the Concept of Reincarnation, Earth Medicine, and Crystal and Stone Helpers, at the school’s web site:
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels - Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online
Ten Arguments Against Harry Potter - By Woman Who Corresponded with Cardinal Ratzinger
Rome’s Chief Exorcist Warns Parents against Harry Potter