“Spiritual transformation... is
mediated through a person's religious imagination." Lancaster Theological Seminary
"I love anime. I will always love it.... I
will not let anyone tell me that the things I hold dear are evil."
is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil
conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and
God, between good and evil, altogether." Ray Yungen,
A Time of Departing
those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"
Don't play games with the
boards have always invited oppression, but they are far more likely to
invoke unwanted "spirits" today. So
is the new generation of occult games and videos.
I became aware of this change back in the
nineties when a Canadian psychologist called me. He had read
Under the Spell of Mother
Earth and wanted to share
some observations with me. In past years, he said, many women would come to
to do a Native American "Spirit Quest"
in search of their personal "animal spirit."
Few succeeded. But times have changed, and the "spirits" that now
answer the summons are numerous as well as oppressive.
Treating the scary symptoms as "multiple personality disorders" is no help at all.
In other words, popular
occultism is spreading fast, and the "spirit world" has become
the reasons here] But few families are equipped to resist it.
offer little or no help. Most simply ignore the danger or endorse the "fun."
To avoid offense, the word evil is dropped from their vocabulary.
The main victims of this blindness are
children. Unless we teach them to recognize and resist these dangers, many will
welcome the darkness. So let's examine the nature and tactics of
this very real spiritual war. Bakugan -- a popular game and online
(Japanese animation) -- is a useful example.
"One day," so the Bakugan story goes, "cards began to fall from the sky and were picked up by
kids all over the world. The cards featured different characters, different
environments, and different powers. ...these cards actually corresponded to
an alternate world called Vestroia."
"...we invented a wicked new game we called
Bakugan," explained the leader of Vestoria's young Battle Brawlers.
"That's when the power of the cards was revealed. Each one held its own
battling beast.... The battles were intense, and if you chose the wrong
card, you lost it and the beast inside."
"...the beast inside!"
Those words brought to mind some troubling email letters
I've received from embattled teens and young adults.
Like the Canadian women, they actually felt as if they had uncontrollable beasts inside. Their descriptions of inner battles --
the nightmarish consequences of obsession with
occult role-playing games -- were
heartbreaking. They couldn't stop playing -- or block out the frightening
images planted in their minds! Nor could they find faithful Christians
in their communities who would guide them toward freedom!
Too late, they discovered that the seductive
journey into occult bondage
is far smoother than the road
back out to freedom.
Yet, few see the dangers of the following
1. Commanding supernatural power through
Craving more dark thrills -- while increasingly bored with actual
3. Suffering the mental, emotional and spiritual
consequences of trusting the occult.
The Bible tells us that "the weapons of our
warfare are... mighty in God
for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the
knowledge of God." (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) Our main weapon, of course,
is the "Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God." Our children need to know His
Word, then exercise faith in His timeless guidelines. But those truths are
fast fading from the public square, and deceptions -- more enticing, acceptable and pervasive than ever
-- are filling the gap!
The weapons used by Bakugan warriors are
totally contrary to God's ways. Based on the ancient Chinese force called Ch'i,
they flow from the same source as every other occult weapon.
Ch'i (or Ki, Prana,
etc.) is merely the Eastern label for the
once commanded by
Canaanite sorcerers, Babylonian magicians, mediaeval
alchemists, and secret societies throughout history.
Their magic is linked to the forcefulness of the human will. It involves mental concentration and
firm commands that
enable occultists to "cast spells" and "do magic" without
hesitation or moral consideration.
Magic is easy, according to
Wiccan author Starhawk, founder of the Covenant of the Goddess. All it
takes is "four basic abilities: relaxation, concentration,
and projection." The
last step means projecting
energy by moving one's mental images with
the human will and imagination.
That's what Bakugan's anime fans learn to do: concentrate, visualize,
and then project the power through their beast-filled balls or playing
cards. [See picture at the
top.] Starhawk described it well in her book on witchcraft: "To cast
a spell is to project energy though a symbol."
To many Western occultists, that empowering "symbol" for
invoking and transmitting demonic power is The Tarot
(based on the Kabbalah) or
other magical cards.
Today's entertainment makes
such self-empowering rituals seem more normal than prayer. Young players
are continually learning, then practicing, a new worldview -- one that either twists or rejects Biblical Christianity. It's not
surprising that this
process matches the
Marxist formula for social change:
challenges the old beliefs and values
experience using the new information
a transformational strategy based on continual reinforcement and experience.
Together, the mystical images
[implanted through the cards and anime] and the ritual
[repeated again and again through the actual game]
become a doorway to occult thinking. With the growing popularity of such thrills, many more children will trade God's truth for capricious powers that
appeal to the lusts and ambitions of our fallen human nature.
No wonder these Scriptures have become
a reality even in churches around the world:
"You love evil more than good...."
"They obeyed not... but walked every one in the imagination of their
signs and symbols of magic
Notice the tension
between opposing powers in this description
of Bakugan's cosmos:
"Vestroia is a vast dimension
comprised of [six]... worlds: Fire, Earth, Light, Darkness,
Wind. At the very centre of this universe there are two opposing energy
cores: THE INFINITY CORE, the source of all positive energy, and THE
SILENT CORE, the source of all negative energy. Throughout
history, these two opposing forces had maintained the balance
Notice how this philosophy clashes with God's Truth: There is no balance
or equilibrium between the eternal Kingdom of our holy God and Satan's
Yet two symbols illustrate the lie: the
and the yin yang.
You may remember the
"sacred circle" of
Wiccan and Native
American spirituality. Its four dividing lines point from the center
"spirits" of the
north, east, south, and west -- and to the four basic elements: fire,
earth, water and wind (or air).
Those "spirits" are similar to Vestoria's spiritual domains. Their connections to China's blend of
Confucianism, Buddhism, and folk
religions are described in An
Encyclopedia of Religion:
"The eternal oscillation of yin
and yang gives rise to the material universe
through their Five Agents of Water, Fire, Wood,
Metal, and Earth.... The religious movement flourishing from the first century B.C. to the fourth century A.D.
... involved divination, alchemy, and the belief in immortals..."
"Taoism is a rich reservoir of superstitions.
It has... incorporated and elaborated divination... fortune telling,
astrology, communication with the dead, and many others.... [It ]
relies on charms and magic formulas."
Does that remind you of God's warning in
Deuteronomy 18:9-14? It tells us to shun all those practices. Don't
even imagine them!
shall not learn to follow the abominations of those
nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who ...
practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who
interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who
conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist,
or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things
are an abomination to the Lord..."
"They... walked in the counsels and in
the imagination of their evil heart..."
Eastern and Western occultism have mingled
for at least two millennia. But what used to be a trickle has now become a
flood. Even churches are welcoming the mysteries that secret societies and
Taoist alchemists once hid so well.
Westerners raised in a "safe" Christian culture tend to
discount the source of these powers.
America, like Europe, has conveniently shut its eyes to occult realities that faded
from sight with
the spread of Christianity. Now those dark realities are returning with a vengeance. [See "How the occult
is changing the Church"]
Deceptive light and
The Bakugan universe is divided into six
domains -- each represented by a corresponding symbol. These domains break
down into three sets of yin-yang
opposites: Fire and Earth, Light and Darkness, Water and Wind [or air]. Each
has a corresponding symbol: Red for "Fire" and black for "Darkness."
linked to a white
pentacle inside a
circle. These three examples
alone should raise concerns about the tempting values taught to young fans:
The Red Bakugan.
is] Obsessed with being the number one Bakugan Brawler
in the world... His guardian Dragonoid (...Drago
- pictured) is a force to be reckoned.... The Pyrus player will
use every avenue open to them to crush you...."
The Black Bakugan.
"They thrive on battles hidden in the shadows, for
this is where they draw their strength.... Once a Bakugan is sucked into the Doom Dimension,
there is no coming back.... The bottom line is, Darkus
is evil but fun."
The White Bakugan.
"With this power,
the Haos Bakugan have mastered the rare and
unique ability to manipulate and control
light and energy, leaving their opponents dazed and
The six symbols are
shown in a complex
circular symbol similar to an image [pictured here] from a
card in a deck designed by the
infamous occultist, Aleister Crowley. While Crowley's six discs have different meanings, both
of these complex symbols [Bakugan's and Crowley's] place the six discs on the edges of a six-sided hexagon
-- a shape common to kabalistic art.
Becoming like "god."
Aleister Crowley was called "the most evil
man in the world." This
founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn defined magic as “the science and art of
causing change to
occur at will.”
Not God's! The following occult statement describes one of
the most devious traps set by the evil one since the beginning of time:
"...unless you make
yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is
not intelligible save to the like.... Believe that nothing is
impossible for you.... Mount higher than the highest height; descend
than the lowest depth. Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created,
and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in
the sea, in the sky."
Remember what the serpent said to Eve in the garden after tempting
her to eat the forbidden fruit:
It was a devious lie!
Instead of making her like God, her sin banished her from His presence. By
"knowing... evil" experientially, she became an unholy creature who could no
longer walk in the presence of our holy God!
Satan's lofty promise was
actually deadly trap!
"You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat
of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and
Lofty visions are among Satan's most useful
tricks. At one point in the Bakugan myth, the evil
Naga manages to "absorb" into himself an overwhelming amount of "negative
energy." It caused a major "energy" crisis! As a result, the Battle
Brawlers faced an assignment of cosmic proportions: "to restore peace
throughout the universe!"
What an arrogant suggestion! Yet it
supports what children are taught in public schools: it's up to them to
save the planet, build unity in diversity, and counter the narrow views
of their parents.
In this fantasy world it makes sense for opposing sides
-- good and evil -- to join hands in perfect harmony. Like the
dialectic process that "frees" group members from Biblical
authority and values, this devious message promotes an
arrogance that matches the Old Testament description of Satan:
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!... For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit."
If we choose "other gods" and yield to
Satan's temptations, we will surely face consequences. Ponder these
"They... walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their
latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to
deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons...."
1 Timothy 4:1
"...each one is tempted when he is drawn
away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it
gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
"...as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the
days of the Son of Man." Luke 17:26
And what was it like "in the days of Noah"?
Genesis 6:5, 11
"...the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the
earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was
only evil continually.... The earth also was corrupt before God, and the
earth was filled with violence."
What can parents do?
1. Pray for your children's protection,
discernment, love for God, and rejection of evil. Pray that they heed God's
warnings and memorize His Word.
2. Discuss this list of questions as
a family (www.crossroad.to/charts/checklist.htm)
3. Memorize Scriptures together --
including this verse: "Father... not as
I will, but as You will.”
4. "Put on" the
armor of God. For --
"...we do not
wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against
spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up
the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil
weapons of our warfare are
not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down
arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
"The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you..."
Find comments on
this article here:
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The Power of Suggestion
1. Lancaster Theological Seminary, USA, UMI Order number: AAM9822985
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities & Social
Sciences. 1998 Jul. 59 (1-A): p.0201.
A letter from a visitor. It represents the message of countless others.
Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse
Trails Publishing Company, 2002), page 101.
http://old.bakugan.com/en/universe/index.html [On the imbedded video]
Health (notice the chart on Ch'i) at
The Spiral Dance,
(Harper & Row Publishers, 1979), p. 62, 124.
9. Marxist formula for social change at
Encyclopedia of Religion (New York, NY: The Philosophical Library,
1945), pp. 149, 154.
11. See these quotes and articles: "How the occult
is changing the Church" at
12. Index to all six symbols:
The video shows the cards falling. Watch for the card with the six symbols
surrounding a hexagon shape:
14. James Wasserman, Art and Symbols of
the Occult: Images of Power and Wisdom ( Rochester, Vermont: Destiny
Books, 1993). p. 16. Read about the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn here:www.crossroad.to/Excerpts/books/lewis/inklings-williams.htm
Ibid., p. 59. Those occult words are attributed to Hermes Trismegistus
(the Egyptian version of the ancient Greek messenger god, Hermes) who has
been the symbolic idol of occult
orders and secret societies through the ages.
God's Warnings for
What it means to be a Christian