By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, December 5, 2007 ( – As if in answer to all those who suggested that the upcoming December 7 release of movie ‘The Golden Compass’ would not lead to enticing children into reading the anti-Christian novels by atheist Philip Pullman, Random House has reported a 500% increase in sales of the books.  “More than ten years after its original publication, The Golden Compass has hit USA Today’s Top 50 Best Sellers list, having seen a 500% increase in sales over the last three months,” says the release.

The omnibus edition of Philip Pullman’s complete His Dark Materials trilogy—of which The Golden Compass is the first novel—has moved onto USA Today’s Top 50 list as well.  The Golden Compass has sold over 3.5 million copies in the US to date, and the trilogy has sold over 7 million copies.

And the enticement for the books, written specifically to dissuade readers from Christianity, is set to explode with an aggressive marketing scheme directed at youth.  New Line Cinema, the producers of the controversial film have partnered with giants Coca-Cola, World Wildlife Fund, Sega, Burger King, Wal-Mart, Target, Borders, and Barnes & Noble.

Collectively, the promotional partnerships will result in approximately $50 million worth of advertising support, one billion consumer impressions, and $120 million of media value worldwide. Additionally, New Line has over 75 licensed partners producing hundreds of Golden Compass-related products worldwide, in six different categories including retail, beverage/concessions, non-profit, publishing, home entertainment, and in-book and online.

Numerous Christian voices have spoken out against Pullman’s books, and therefore the film which has brought them new interest.

In addition to the Catholic League campaign against the books, and Catholic Bishop Jerome Listecki’s warnings (see ), Focus on the Family has issued a scathing review via its movie review site Plugged in Online.

The Focus review concludes: “In the final analysis, Pullman has nothing of substance to offer when it comes to concocting an alternative to the Christian faith he detests so venomously. Which is why, perhaps, flowery-but-empty passages and promises like the one above seem to echo those of a well-known serpent”.

“And lest that comparison sound too harsh, the author himself seems quite comfortable with the association. “[English poet William] Blake said that Milton was a true poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it,” Pullman has said. “I am of the Devil’s party and know it.” (see: )

For his part, popular Beliefnet columnist Rod Dreher explains why he would never permit his children to view the film.  “One expects that religious parents will keep their children away from the film. ‘But why?’ the question arises from liberals. ‘What are you afraid of?’ My children losing God, especially before they have a firm hold on Him, that’s what,” writes Dreher.

He adds: “At some point they will question the existence of God. I did. It’s normal to do so. I want more than anything else I want for my children, even their own happiness in this life, for them to believe in God, who is their salvation. If you believe in God, and that the loss of God is the worst thing that can happen to a person, then you would sooner give your child a rattlesnake to play with than expose him or her at an early age to the work of a man who openly says he wishes to destroy God in the minds of his audience.”

The pro-God 7 volume series of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia is also being made into a blockbuster movie series in conjunction with Disney. The second movie, Prince Caspian, due to be released next May. A movie trailer can be seen at