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The following article was received from Reverend Martin G. 'Mike' Ramey, and posted to bibleteacher.org on May 5, 2001. I really enjoyed the article, especially since it addresses the "Can't We All Just Get Along?" attitude of over tolerance in our churches today. Mike Ramey is a veteran journalist, syndicated columnist, and minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can reach him on line at manhoodline@yahoo.com, or, by snail mail at:  P. O. Box 20131, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46220.  This copyrighted article is used by permission of the author. All rights reserved. 

Reverend Ramey wrote: Dear Bibleteacher Editor: [I] Wanted to send along a series of articles I did on what Pastors should know about the widespread nature of Wicca and the Occult. I wrote them, originally, for a Christian publication a few years ago, but they never published them (and their silence was a great indicator of their fear of 'offending' someone). Anyway, I am offering them to you, should you be able to use them. My name is Martin G. 'Mike' Ramey. May God continue to bless your site.

A Pastoral Intelligence Briefing

On Wicca & The Occult -Part 1

By Mike Ramey

Whenever one buys a car, a house, enters a job, or selects a doctor, there is an old phrase, hopefully, that we remember before we plunk down our hard earned money. "Let the buyer beware." Government, from Washington D. C. to City Hall, does help us in our choices by regulating the manufacturers of products and providers of services. There are contract regulations, food safety requirements, licensing tests, and safety equipment guidelines. One cannot call themselves a doctor unless they have met government requirements. If a product is dangerous, it is turned in. This is not true for practitioners, leaders, and congregations involved in religious pursuits. Government cannot get involved as far as what way Americans choose to worship.

Under the U. S. Constitution, religion in our country is protected. This simply means that all religions which grace our shores are equal before the bar of justice and cannot be infringed upon by the government. Anyone has the right to worship as they choose, set up churches where available, and bring in followers within ethical boundaries. Years ago, whenever the subject of witchcraft surfaced, it was quickly dispatched. Many Americans were strong church goers and active Bible readers. Many Americans knew that dealing with the world of the occult, including witchcraft, was dangerous. Then came the turbulent sixties and the inevitable social change.

Casting Spells In Our Living Rooms

With the changing times came a change in broadcast programming on the family stalwart - television. Television shows such as "Bewitched" and "I Dream Of Jeannie" introduced the American public to the concept of 'good' witchcraft. We all had a hearty laugh when Samantha's mother, Endora, changed Darrin into a braying donkey, or Jeannie managed to 'blink' herself into a space capsule with her master, Major Anthony Nelson. After all, it was harmless fun, and a needed escape from the fears and stresses of the era.

The dark side of good witchcraft surfaced with the airing of "Dark Shadows". Viewers followed the battles and ghoulish antics of the Collins clan as they moved backwards and forwards in time, laying out in soap opera form tales of witchcraft, vampires, spells, incantations, and a taste for human blood. Fast forward some thirty years. Not only are these shows back and re-packaged by Hollywood for a new generation (and available on video cassette in many cases), they have also brought along some powerful cousins; "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" on television; the dark, broody, movie "The Craft"; and last, but not least, a British book series featuring the adventures of "Harry Potter", as he battles his foes with magic and sorcery. Add to this the rise of the video tape, satellite technology and the World Wide Web, and subjects such as witchcraft, astrology, and the occult are instantly available to be piped into the home.

Even our animated fare on Saturday mornings have undergone a gradual and disturbing transformation. Gone are the carefree days of Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse. Now, Americans have 'toons of occultic origins, from 'Dungeons & Dragons', to 'Pokemon', to the overtly demonic 'Spawn', as close as their T.V. set or VCR, again thanks to the innovations of video tape, satellite technology and the World Wide Web.

Witchcraft, a.k.a. 'The Craft', 'Neo-Paganism', 'The Old Religion', or Wicca is, in effect, a religion by its own admission. In fact, the terms witchcraft and Wicca are interchangeable. Many practitioners enjoy the same religious freedoms that followers of Judaism, Islam, or Christianity under the U. S. Constitution, including the freedom to set up churches, to carry their belief structure into prisons, the military, and public domain, and 501 C-3 tax exempt status from the federal government extended to its leadership and members. According to The Unofficial U. S. Census, author Tom Heymann writes in this 1991 work that many of those who practice witchcraft came out of an organized, or formal religious structure, such as mainstream denominations, Roman Catholicism, or Judaism. Thus, leading witchcraft practitioners already have a grounding in ritual, worship styles and practices - but have made the choice to 'get involved' with this religious system for money, power, prestige, concern for the environment, expansion of feminism, or a number of other reasons.

Some Current Battles And Headlines

Two Sides Of The Same Coin?

According to The Ontario Centre For Religious Tolerance, in a 1995 series of reports, the realm of the occult is composed of 'black' magic and 'white' magic. Black magic is usually associated with such religious groups and practices as Santeria, Voodoo, or Satanism, and is used to protect the group, dispatch enemies, and empower its leadership. White magic is usually associated with such religious groups and practices as Shamans, Neo-Pagans, and Witches, or followers of Wicca, and is used to, supposedly, help those in need, worship nature, and various fertility rites. However, there are those who have come out, or, who have made a study of witchcraft and occult phenomena state emphatically that both black and white magic (or 'magick' as pronounced by those in the craft) are two side of the same coin.

Critics of modern witchcraft practices state the Wicca is the down payment, the entry door for more hard-core, or black magic practices. In her 1991 book Reverse The Curse In Your Life, author Joan Hake Robie details six types of people who are attracted to witchcraft:
 


Some of these individuals are in our churches and communities. It is up to the Pastor to know the Biblical cure for this blight on society, and help set the captives free.
 

A Pastoral Intelligence Briefing On

Wicca & The Occult - Part 2

In this second part of our series, I find that an old story would do very well in the introduction. A poisonous snake slithered up to the edge of a lake and wanted to cross. Just then, the snake spied an Otter and tried to negotiate a ride across. The otter, reluctantly, agreed, and the pair were off on their mission. Halfway across the lake, the snake dug his fangs deeply into the neck of the swimming Otter. "WHY DID YOU DO THAT!?" Cried the Otter, as he started to succumb to the effects of the poison from the bite. "I just couldn't help myself," whined the snake, as the pair soon sank into the lake, to meet their fate.

Under the U. S. Constitution, religion - and religious worship - is protected. On our shores, American citizens can worship where they choose, with whom they choose, to whatever god they choose. Our country has mainline denominations, independent churches, cults, and secret societies; big churches and little meeting halls; flamboyant televangelists and humble country preachers. However, in any religion, there are bound to be questions from the followers and the faithful. Thus the maxim "Let the buyer beware" applies -even to those attracted to religious groups like Wicca.

Slippery Terms, Secretive Practices - And Growing P.R.

While higher level followers of Wiccan beliefs identify their faith as an 'art, science, and a religion', and themselves as practitioners of 'white' magic(k) the face they put forth to the public, and lower level followers and dabblers (especially teenagers), behind the scenes - according to former practitioners, and cult watchers - a different picture is revealed. A picture of slippery terms and secretive, sometimes deadly practices. According to the Ontario Centre For Religious Tolerance in a 1995 report on "Witchcraft And Wicca", the Wiccan rede - or 'golden rule' - is as follows: "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt"; meaning that those who follow Wiccan beliefs are free to do what they want, as long as it does not harm themselves - or others. Another Wicca credo, as listed by the report is the 'Three Fold Law', which states as follows: "All good that a person does returns three fold in this life: harm is also returned three fold". This means that, if a Wiccan follower is shown good, or given evil, they must return it three times - even if it means to secure help from higher ups in the coven (group or cluster of others involved in Wicca) to accomplish the task.

[According to] William Schnoebelen, a former Wiccan High Priest for sixteen years who is now a Christian, an author, and a lecturer about cult/occult phenomena, the rede and the Three Fold Law only looks good on paper, and is seldom practiced in a loving manner as followers would like the public to believe. In his 1990 book entitled: Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie, Schnoebelen states that lower level Wicca followers would often approach higher ups to violate the Wiccan rules for their own personal gratification. His observations on the alleged differences between Wicca and Satanism are worth noting as he writes that Wiccan followers surround themselves more with press releases rather than a real facts: "Practicing Wicca is like having a hand grenade blow up in your face..." Schnoebelen writes, "...in terms of the spiritual impact. Practicing Satanism is like having a neutron bomb detonate in your face. The difference is there and discernible, but it is still an utter disaster for you, either way."

The Internet - A High Tech Caldron?

Those who know of the dangers of witchcraft, Wicca, and Satanism and have gone public, maintain that the three are interlinked. In their view, one who is recruited may believe that they are only involved in white magic, but, the deeper they go, the further into the black magic realm they travel. Meanwhile, those neo-pagans and Wiccans who are involved in such practices maintain that their religious beliefs are protected by the constitution, and they have the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit.

With the advancement of computer technology, and the spread of the World Wide Web, the Internet helps to provide not only a well oiled public relations machine (uncensored by the government and the press), but fertile ground for new followers, along with the secrecy to recruit such followers. A few key strokes and any teenager can access spells, incantations, meeting places and other items necessary to not only join a coven, but to start their own. With E-mail, teenagers can not only write to their favorite rock stars, but to their favorite witch or warlock as well.
 

A Pastoral Intelligence Briefing On

Wicca & The Occult - Part 3

So far in our series we have learned that the U. S. Constitution protects the freedom of worship in America - even those who are involved in questionable religious practices such as witchcraft, Wicca and Satanism. We have also learned that the Constitution also maintains freedom of speech. As you have read, there are those who used to be heavily involved in witchcraft, but who left the field to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They speak out against their former practices in the hopes of leading others away from what they call these 'dark and deceptive occult arts'. However, you have also read that there are those who are quite content to remain involved in witchcraft, and would like others to join them. They too speak with passion for their position. The bottom line to this entire series is the following: It is up to each individual to make a firm study of the religious road that they want to travel, count the cost, and let the buyer beware.

However, it is also up to the Christians who are on fire for Jesus Christ to warn those who may be heading into a minefield from Hell. The American Christian and the American public have gotten quite used to having witchcraft, sorcery, and the occult around. It is as close as one's newspaper, television set, or radio. However, the price tag may be higher than one imagines - our youth. Let me provide a non-occult example of how vulnerable our youth are, when it comes to the enemies of the church.

A Recruitment Model Example

The 1980s saw a rise in the spread of street gangs in the American heartland, mainly in the midwest. Thanks to the spread of Hip Hop and Rap music, the way was cleared for gang recruiters to easily slip into midwestern cities and towns, set up local chapters or affiliates, and recruit newer, younger members. This way, gangs would have a new source of revenue, a broader drug sales base, and future leaders who could move to urban areas, or recruit more lower ranking members to do their bidding.

According to published law enforcement and media sources, to join a street gang a person has to, first, let the gang hierarchy know that they are interested. Higher ups in the gang do some background checking on the potential initiate, and, set up their own time for the initiation ceremony, which could range from taking a beating from current gang members, having unprotected sex with a designated person, to commission of a crime. If the initiate passes the initiation tests, they are held to be an 'associate' member of the gang. Over the course of time, crime, and more testing, a person can become a full 'member', receive their 'colors' and set about recruiting more members.

By the end of the 1990s, law enforcement pressure in larger midwestern areas forced gang recruiters to spin their recruitment web in suburban and rural areas. With the dawn of a new millennium, there are young people in rural school corporations imitating their older gang banging brothers, right down to the flashing of gang signs, wearing of gang colors, drawing of gang symbols, and taking part in crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. Teenage boys are involved, but so are a rising number of teenage girls. If one were to take a page from the gang recruitment example, tone it down a bit, and slip on the cover of secrecy a bit tighter, add money, prestige, power, and the joy of 'fitting in', one would have a model for recruitment into Wiccan and Satanic covens - a highly successful model.

Harder To Spot Teens In Occult Activity

While it is easy for parents, pastors, school officials, law enforcement and social workers to spot gang members, it is not that easy for them to spot those teens who may be involved in witchcraft, or other occult related activity. First, because of the strict code of secrecy involved in witchcraft, there is no public 'dress code' for members, unlike the very public 'dress codes' for gang members. Second, due to the ease of availability of computer use; wannabes, dabblers, and teens with a mild interest in the occult can go on the Internet to get their daily occult 'fix' right under the noses of parents and teachers.

Creepy hairstyles may not indicate severe cult/occult involvement, but may just be a means of getting attention for themselves. As adults know, fads are here today and gone tomorrow, if they remember their own days as teenagers. Based upon books and articles used in the preparation of this series, those who recruit teens for cult/occult involvement are smart and clever. They will often have teens to recruit other teens for such involvement because they know the modern language.

Parental Involvement Is The Key

Recent national surveys and reports have proclaimed that involved parents usually are the best deterrent to keeping teens away from drugs. Involved parents, churches, and Pastors can have the same victories when it comes to breaking up occult involvement.

The Bible is still the all-time leader in book sales. Programs such as See You At The Pole and youth focused Bible clubs and Bible studies have done wonders at reducing teenage occult, drug, and gang involvement. Dozens of youth ministries exist at the local, state, and national level which criss-cross the country to bring Jesus Christ to a hungry teenage population, anxious for truth in an era of falsehood and spiritual darkness. We have a solid choice in these last days; either we can let 'Harry Potter' win our youth, or we can have Jesus Christ in charge of our youth. Pastors of America, the choice is yours. You have a true picture of what you are up against.
 
 
 
Recommended Reading For Parents And Teens:

Books

Other Publications And Resources

Internet Resources And Web Pages

How To Keep Teens Out Of The Trench Coat Mafia

Pastor David W. Cloud, "O Timothy" Magazine (Vol 16, Issue 5, 1999)

  1. Parents must build a God-fearing home
  2. Parents must be dedicated to their children
  3. Parents must be members to a God-fearing church.
  4. Parents must separate from evil and worldliness
  5. Parents must teach teens to guard against unwholesome friendships.
  6. Parents must see that children are educated in a wholesome atmosphere
  7. Parents must be alert to warning signs that afflict their teenagers
  8. Parents must pray earnestly that their children and teens will develop a firm relationship with Jesus Christ.

Twelve Rules For Raising Gang Members Or Drug Addicts

  1. Begin in infancy to give the child everything he/she wants. In this way, they will grow up to believe that the world owes them a living.
  2. When he/she picks up bad words, laugh at them. This will make them think that they are cute. It will also encourage them to pick up 'cuter' phrases that will blow off the top of your head in later discussions.
  3. Never give them any spiritual training. Wait till they turn 21 and decide for themselves.
  4. Avoid the use of the word 'wrong'. It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition them to believe later that when they are arrested, society is against them.
  5. Pick up everything they leave lying around and do everything for them.
  6. Let them read whatever pleases them.
  7. Quarrel with your spouse frequently in front of them. Thus, they will be wide open to recruitment later, should the home break up.
  8. Give a child all the spending money they want. Never let them earn their own. Why should they have to work for their money like you did when you were a teenager?
  9. Cater to and satisfy their every craving and desire, including sexual desires.
  10. Take his part eagerly against neighbors, teachers, police and the church. There was a time when children got out of line the community was involved in discipline.
  11. When they get into trouble, apologize for yourself and make excuses, like: "I could never raise him/her right".
  12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will be sure to have it. (Paraphrase of a widely circulated law enforcement pamphlet)

Twelve Forbidden Practices According To The KJV Bible

  1. ENCHANTMENTS--The act of influencing by charms and incantations. The practice of the magical arts.
  2. WITCHCRAFT--The practice of dealing with evil spirits, the use of sorcery or magic.
  3. SORCERY--The use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits, especially for divining.
  4. DIVINATION--The art of fortune telling.
  5. WIZARDRY--The art or practices of a wizard; sorcery.
  6. NECROMANCY--Communiaction with the dead; conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events.
  7. CHARM--Put a spell upon someone; to affect by magic.
  8. STAR GAZING/ASTROLOGY--The divination, or supposed influence of the stars upon human affairs and terrestrial events by the stars' position and aspects.
  9. SOOTHSAYING--The act of foretelling certain human events by unscriptural means.
  10. PROGNOSTICATION--a.k.a SOOTHSAYING.
  11. OBSERVING TIMES--a.k.a. ASTROLOGY.
  12. MAGIC--a.k.a. WITCHCRAFT (From the book, "REVERSE THE CURSE IN YOUR LIFE" by Joan Hake Robie)

Cult Techniques Of Manipulation

  1. ISOLATION--Loss of reality induced by physical separation from cultural, social, and family references.
  2. HYPNOSIS--State of high suggestibility induced by hypnosis (either directly induced or drug induced).
  3. PEER GROUP PRESSURE--Going along with others to get along.
  4. LOVE BOMBING--Sense of belonging to the group contrived by or through touching, hugging, kissing, or other flattery.
  5. REMOVAL OF PRIVACY--Individuality frowned upon; everything done for the 'good of the group'.
  6. SLEEP DEPRAVATION AND FATIGUE--Induced to keep members and recruits 'off balance'.
  7. GAMES--Either role playing games to infuse group morals and teaching; or field exercises to further carry forth the message of the group. Games will include difficult to define rules, or hidden double meanings to further force dependence upon the group.
  8. RIGID COMMAND STRUCTURE--Violation of said command structure usually swiftly, and violently punished with loss of status, or--in extreme cases--loss of life.
  9. REJECTION OF NORMAL SOCIAL VALUES--Acceptance manipulated by constant denouncing of social norms and values, such as marriage, church, and community.
  10. CONFUSING DOCTRINE--Mixture of doctrines from several different religious groups, twisted biblical application, or contrived doctrines from group leadership.
  11. FINANCIAL SACRIFICES--Money is what makes group function; followers coerced into doing things to raise money 'to fight the good fight', including theft, prostitution, murder, mayhem, and securing finances from family members.
  12. CHALLENGE TO AUTHORITY--Not tolerated.
  13. CHANGE OF DIET--Food changes designed to wear down resistance of recruits.
  14. FEAR--Recruits taught early that those who leave the group lose their 'salvation' and cannot ever live a 'normal life' outside of the group.
  15. DRESS--Styles of clothing and colors picked by group leadership, further causing recruits and members to depend upon the group leadership.
  16. FINGER POINTING--Those who oppose the group on the outside do not understand the group and are usually verbally denounced. An initiation rite could be assassination of those who stand against the group.
  17. CONFESSION--Recruits often asked/forced to tell sensitive information about themselves to group leaders.
  18. GUILT--Group leadership often keeps detailed records of this information to use at a future time against group initiates and group members to 'keep them in line'.
  19. CONTROLLED ACCESS--New group members are tightly watched as to whom they associate/communicate with. Some outsiders who fight cults happen across new recruits, and new recruits are told to stay away from them as they are reported to be the 'enemy'.
  20. SECRET SIGNS AND SYMBOLS--Various signs and symbols are given to initiates to learn. Meanings may be obvious, hidden, or a combination of the two.
  21. DISINHIBITION--Recruits often given adult responsibilities and freedoms, i.e., if new member is a young teen who cannot drive, they will be allowed to drive group vans and cars, further keeping them under group control.
  22. EDUCATION--Because of tight control of group leadership, those who are required to be in school often are heavily monitored and school lessons only allowed to let group maintain air of legitimacy.
  23. WORK--Long work days often a part of the group lifestyle, including disregard for labor and other laws to protect teens, and often includes 'begging' and 'selling' of group products at airports, on street corners, or near major traffic areas...sometimes in cities away from where teens originally live.
  24. SEX--Sex is used as an indoctrination device (sex with older members of the group); a manipulation device (such as sex with group leadership); or for a punishment device (withholding of sex for violation of group norms).
  25. AUTHORITY FIGURES--Initiates taught early that normal and traditional authority figures have no say in group policies. (Some of material provided by Dr. Dale W. Griffiths, circa 1985)
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