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Fighting God: «The Golden Compass» (by Eleni Androulaki, M.A)

«Thought Harry Potter was blasphemous? That was kids’ stuff, compared to "His Dark Materials" trilogy, in which God is an imposter, the Church kidnaps, tortures and assassinates in order to achieve its goals, one of which is stealing children’s souls».(01) With these words were we introduced to the problem, not by some religious pamphlet, but by the MTV website itself. We are talking about the prize-winning children’s books by Philip Pullman, which are now being transferred onto the cinema screen, with the titles "The Golden Compass", "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass", known as "The Trilogy of the World".

The premiere of the first movie, "The Golden Compass" will take place in Greece in a few days (20 December 2007). The production cost of the first movie -which surpassed 180 million dollars- was undertaken by New Line Studios, which had also funded the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Popular actors, impressive special effects and ignorance will lead many uninformed parents to cinemas, on the very eve of Christmas.

As one can see from the various reactions abroad, this is by no means an example of a neutral movie. Huge publicity was given to the reaction of the American Catholic League, which warned Catholics that Philip Pullman’s books turn against the Catholic Church .(02) The Catholic League stresses, among other things, that the book "the Golden Compass" is "the least offensive of the three" and that the movie is merely the bait for the books which "sell atheism to kids in a stealth fashion."(03) Although the movie is somewhat milder in comparison to the book, the essence remains and reactions climax. But are these reactions justified, inasmuch as they have led to the aborting of the projection of the movie in 60 cinemas in America? Or is it just a case of reactions by "religious fanatics"?(04)

How would you feel, if your child learnt in the best possible manner -that is, through home entertainment or from the movies- that each person from his time of birth has his own personal demon, with which he has a very close association? Or that God has never been the benevolent Creator, but instead, that He is a liar, evil and cruel? Or that the fallen angels are the "good guys"? Or that "the Churches in all the worlds are corrupt and immoral"?(05) Or that all -absolutely all- representatives of the Church are bad: malicious, drunkards, murderers who "sacrifice children to their cruel God"?(06)

According to Pullman’s trilogy, "that is what the Church does, and every Church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling. So, if war comes and the Church is on one side of it, we must be on the other."(07) These are the things young children are being taught from within a supposed fantasy tale.

And the indoctrination with anti-Christian beliefs continues: "Churches tell their faithful that they will live in heaven, but that is a lie."(08) The children themselves -Philip Pullman’s heroes- visit the "world of the dead", where they encounter a martyr who had spent his entire life in prayer and who finally died in martyrdom. He submits his personal testimony to those children, telling them that he had missed out on the joys of life and did not find Paradise, instead, he ended up withering away together with the evil ones in a "land of nothingness".(09) And the former nun assures the children that "the Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake".(10) On the other hand, "the rebellious angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to broaden the mind, whereas the Supreme one (implying God) and his Churches have always tried to confine it."(11)

From these indicative examples, one can understand that this is not merely a war against certain -indeed incorrect- structures of the Catholic Church, but a war against Christianity, against every form of organized religion, against every religious value, and most certainly a war against God. At the end of the trilogy, Pullman’s good young heroes reach the kingdom of Heaven, where they battle against -and kill- God. In other words, children are entertained by killing God. And this is something that no-one agrees to: not even psychologists, or educators, or even atheist parents. What does it mean for a child to live without God? What does the death of God mean for a child? What does it mean for a child to kill, himself, God?

Lyra, the 11-year-old heroine of the trilogy, moves within a sickly environment, full of witches, magic potions, spells, rituals, ghosts, living dead, vampires that feed on blood.(12) Her world is also not lacking in shamans, "ones who are initiated in skull worship",(13) nor in homosexual angels. Lyra, an unruly, mischievous and "trained liar"(14) is taught -along with our children- to see evil as good and good as evil; to hate God, to have an aversion to the Church, to perform magical techniques (I Ching), to meditate and to fall into a trance , using her "alethiometer", that is her compass "which foresees the future". At the age of 12, she acquires a "lover", with whom she has her first sexual intercourse.(15)

All of the above do not contain mere atheism; they are rather an example of anti-theism – an attack against the Christian faith and traditional values. Pullman’s trilogy fosters hatred for God and leads to the destruction of children through the distortion of the truth, and through the message being conveyed, which is none other than the "I do whatever I want". This message is both anti-educational as well as anti-Christian.

In view of reactions, Pullman has hastened to state: "My American slanderers do not want this freedom to exist. They would prefer to monitor whatever people read and think".(16) In other words, all those who react are labelled as "slanderers who do not desire freedom". But we do not have here a case of books for adults who are able to judge and freely accept or reject; these are books that are addressed to young children, from the age of 9! Not a few people have perceived that the aim of this trilogy is specific: to indoctrinate young children with anti-Christian beliefs(17) and the dogmas of occultism/Satanism.(18) This is done by means of specific methods that are implemented abundantly, in innumerable instances. In brief, the methods of indoctrination with occultism/Satanism that are also implemented in the "Trilogy of the World" are the following(19):

1. Ascribing new meanings to old terms (for example, the terms "demons", "Paradise", "Church" )

2. Re-defining God and undermining Christianity (for example, distorting the image of God and altering Christian dogmas)

3. Attacking traditional values (for example, Lyra lives without a family; she acquires sexual experience at the age of 12)

4. Ridiculing, rewriting or arbitrarily re-interpreting the Bible (for example, Pullman’s version of Genesis; the witches who are the "guardian angels of the children")

5. Immersing readers into tempting occultism and ritual magic (for example, meditation, magical practices, rituals, spells, divination)

6. Cloaking mysticism in scientific terminology (for example, Lyra’s "alethiometer" which is linked to electrons, protons, photons…)

Also, worth noting are Pullman’s statements : «I’m of the devil’s party… I’m an atheist.(20) «God is already dead».(21) «I don’t believe in God…I believe in whatever the book says».(22) « I am trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief».(23) Philip Pullman, who has been characterized as «the most dangerous author in Britain»,(24) produced last year, together with another author -also of children’s books- a series of lessons for British schools, on the topic of atheism. These lessons, taught at schools, as part of religious studies (!) are delivered by means of a special DVD which has the title "Why Atheism?" and is directed at 11-year-old students.(25) It is so obvious that during the Christmas season, attempts are being made for our children to experience Christmas without Christ. Another indicative example is the movie "The Nightmare before Christmas" which will premiere on the 13th of December. Another creation – this time of the sickly condition of Tom Burton who, influenced by a prolonged depression, was inspired to make the movie which is now re-circulated in 3-D cartoon form.(26) This movie is recommended as a «delightful treat the whole family will enjoy»(27) and consists of a mixture of Christmas, Santa Claus and the occultist celebration of Halloween. Its leading actors are macabre skeletons, frightful monsters, zombies, vampires, werewolves and miscellaneous «un-dead» in a gothic style that "perfectly fits" occultists and all those who are entertained in such a sick manner. The fact remains, that neither morbid entertainment nor initiation of the children into occultism is the desired aim of well-meaning, mature parents, who however, are once again at risk of finding themselves unpleasantly surprised, unless appropriately informed. Therefore, let us not remain unsuspecting. Let us seek ways of being informed. If we don’t look out for our children, then who will?

Translated from Greek

REFERENCES

 

01. Relative article in the Μ TV website, dated 2nd November 2007.

02. http://www.catholicexchange.com/en/node/67797

03. http://www.catholicexchange.com/en/node/67797

04. From the Greek newspaper « ΤΑ ΝΕΑ», 5th December 2007.

05. THE AMBER SPYGLASS, Psichogios publications, 2002, page 741

06. THE SUBTLE KNIFE, Psichogios publications, 2000, page 346

07. THE SUBTLE KNIFE, page 75

08. THE AMBER SPYGLASS, page 47

09. THE AMBER SPYGLASS, page 340

10. THE AMBER SPYGLASS, pages 467-468

11. THE AMBER SPYGLASS, page 509

12. THE SUBTLE KNIFE, page 353

13. THE SUBTLE KNIFE, page 275

14. THE SUBTLE KNIFE, page 192

15. THE AMBER SPYGLASS, page s 529-530

16. From the Greek newspaper « ΤΑ ΝΕΑ», 5th December 2007.

17. http://lifesite.net/ldn/2007/aug/07082004.html

18. http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/compass-pullman.htm

19. http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/compass-pullman.htm

20. In an interview, August 2000

21. In his interview with the translator of his books, K. Kontoleon, in the Greek magazine «DIAVAZO», June 2006.

22. http://www.geocities.com/the_golden_compass/rvreligion.html

23. In his statement of 2001 in The Washington Post, http://www.catholicexchange.com/en/node/67797

24. «Τhe Mail on Sunday», 27 January 2002, page63, http://pers-www.wlv.ac.uk/~bu1895/hitchens.htm

25.http://news.independent.co.uk/education/education_news/article348592.ece

26. http://adisney.go.com/disneypictures/nightmare/index.html

27. http://disneyvideos.disney.go.com/moviefinder/products/2010203.html

(Source: Holy Metropolis of Glyfada)