and related games and cards

Your Comments  - Set 4

New July 10

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From Michael Spriggs:  The last time I sent an e-mail too you, I neither saw the reply nor saw it listed on your comments page. 

[Berit's response] I always try to reply, but I was way behind in December. And when my computer crashed, I lost another two weeks. During some of that time, we switched servers and lost mail completely for almost three days. I have still not caught up with all the 1999 mail.

 1.  You have (correct me if I'm wrong) listed games like Doom, Quake, AD&D, and Magic as being "in the occult." Why? Perhaps because they contain violence? No wait, that's not enough.  Otherwise you would have to oppose almost every game and TV show there is.  If you do, then oh well.  Well, maybe because they contain Blood and Gore?  But wait, Magic and AD&D have no such graphic images.  Anticipating your comment about some of them DO, such as Ravenloft/black cards that is merely a single piece of art, rather than mobile.  It didn't give me nightmares when I was in my preteens, and did not seem scary, neither did it pull me away from God. I've tried reading this on your site, but I didn't see it.  Well, maybe other kids don't have my "mental fortitude" except that in of itself almost seems like a "in the occult" reference.

    [Berit's response: Let me repeat the dictionary definition of the word "occult":

"1. beyond the range of normal perception, secret, mysterious, esoteric, dealing with magic, alchemy, astrology....  2. that which is occult, the supernatural, to cover up."  (Webster's Dictionary, Encyclopedic Edition, 1989)

If we take this definition at face value, some might say that it includes faith in any supernatural being, power, or manifestation -- including the God I follow. But Webster's dictionary was written from a Biblical perspective -- dating back to the time when everyone understood which God we referred to when we spoke His name. From that traditional and/or Biblical perspective, occultism is limited to all supernatural powers and forces attributed to sources other than the Biblical God. 

2.  Poke'mon.  I don't get it. I see a game, involving a fairly interesting concept.  I see TV shows my little brother watches.  I see somebody in Nintendo/Japan/The movie business getting a lot of big bucks.  Doesn't seem to be bad so far.  Hold on, you/your positive commentators have given Pokemon Horror stories involving kids who seem to have a unhealthy obssesion with the show/products/etc.  Well, assume Poke'mon cards had never been produced. Probably these kids (who sound like they need a psychiatrist) would have just caught on to some other fad instead.  They pop up periodically, and can lead a few people prone to unhealthy obsessions to become unhealthily obsessed.  However, this sounds more like those kids' problems rather then the games.

3.  Your site makes the implication that 'Things' are evil.  So, say when Eric and Dylan shot up Columbine, It wasn't them or violence prone genes, it was the whole 'Things' being evil. In that case, wouldn't that imply that people aren't responsible for any of their own actions? (Scary thought there.) If you DO believe that, then stop. Never mind. I won't even talk to you anymore.  I don't have the necessary philosophical training to change your mind on that erroneous assumption.

Don't you think you're twisting your logic a bit?  Please read the Pokemon and Harry Potter articles again. Notice that my concern deals with ideas, suggestions, and habits formed in the child. Some of the Pokemon, such as Black Fog and Mewtwo, fit today's image of evil, but they are certainly not my main concern. The danger to Christian children has to do with the profusion occult images and suggestions that desensitize them to both real and imagined evil.   Please also read my "Answers to Pokemon mail."

4.    Why is AD&D evil anyway, in ANY reference?  Unlike Poke'mon, Doom, Quake, Magic, which more or less have set goals, creative AD&D HAS no set goals.  You could very well use the entire premise to make up a situation where you tried to convert "pagans" to your faith. or ANY other honest scenario.  Admittedly, AD&D can also be used by people with sick minds to set up a campaign in which the objective is too slaughter, rape, and destroy villages of honest peasants.  Or to set up worldwide communism, or any other disgusting goals.  Or you can just make a world in which the characters can do whatever they wish and set their OWN goals.  Hence, GENERIC AD&D is a tool, rather than being evil, or "in the occult"

Review the reasons in my last comment. I suggest that readers who are not familiar with AD&D or D&D look at some of the pictures at the Wizards of the Coast website, then prayerfully consider whether or not these games clash with God's standards in Scriptures such as Philippians 4:8:

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—let your mind dwell on these things."

5.    About Anime, generally nothing with "offensive" material appears in the U.S. on afternoon Cartoon TV.  You have to get Videos from Japan, subtitled/dubbed or from Video stores, or such.  Normally, this is kind of hard to do without parental knowledge and consent. About Anime spirituality Psychics, ghosts, Ki, and so on.  Is this stuff actually harming anybody?  

Read Answers to Pokemon mail

Most likely, Kids will always be obsessed with SOMETHING. It's important not to blame the something, but to find out why the something makes the kids Obsessed.

BTW:  I have talked to God on occasion (as I think you do), and some of the stuff I learned contradicts stuff on this Site. Oh well.

Anonymous: Just to let you know I absolutely hate pokemon. I think it's one of the stupidest fads ever to hit America. However I disagree with you completely. You're making little kids look like satanists or something. I don't understand why you can't just look at it as a children's cartoon show. If parents don't want their kids to go to the site which advertises magic the gathering then they should just go online with their kids and watch them....  I just think you're taking this CARTOON a little too seriously.

Anonymous: I'm not going to try to change your mind - you clearly hold these beliefs strongly. But I wanted to bring to your attention an error in your article, subtitled "The Dangers of Role-Playing Games". There is no roleplaying game of Pokemon. There is a TV show, a movie, a Collectible Card game and a computer game, but no roleplaying game. Personally, I can find explanation for Pokemon's negative effects on children in its crass commercialism and all-pervading hype. I see no real need to blame your mythical boogeyman 'the devil' when market forces seem perfect justification. Have a nice day...

Berit's response: Many Pokemon fans would disagree with you. I suppose it is a matter of how you define role-playing games.  Please look at the following information about the Pokemon TCG League centers -- local spots where Pokefans gather to play the trading card games.  You can find a list of them at the Wizards of the Coast website.

Here are some game instructions from a pull-out section of TopDeck (February 2000). The front cover looks like a page from the Wizards website with its click-on adds for Magic the Gathering, Nemesis, Vile Vicious Combos, and the "Pokemon Trading Card Game League."

 Apparently, children are invited to join the League and spend lots of time at their local Pokemon gym where they learn the rules and play the game. If they lose, it doesn't matter. They still get points just for coming, for playing, and for bringing a friend. When they have earned 500 points, they get a badge to wear. One such badge represents Saffron City where Sabrina is Gym Leader and the "Favorite Pokemon" is Psychic.  

From S. Elizabeth Errico:  I had taken the time to write a lengthy, opinionated rant about how the right wing fundamentals of your site were extraordinarily ignorant, but I decided that I had better ways to spend my time. So instead I will include one quote. "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last."- Charlotte Bronte, 1847.    Thank you.

From Michelle, an official Pokemon trainer: You should be very ashamed of yourself. you are not a christian,.I can tell. No Christian would talk about a cartoon show that way. I think your satanist.


Pokemon is the most non-violent show in the world,and it teaches kids morals. How DARE you insult it by saying it's evil. Your just jealous because something like Pokemon wasn't made when you were young. Pokemon is the best thing that ever was invented,and you can just LEAVE IT ALONE!  I hate everyone that treats Pokemon like this,so that means I hate YOU!!!


I have a friend who has a site AGAINST Anti-Pokemon.. Anti-Pokemon must be stopped.It's a cult, and since your part of it, that means YOUR evil.


POKEMON RULES! POKEMON 4 EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


From Justice:  I'm so glad that I am not the only one who feels this way about this game.   I have found it very interesting, though, how some families who claim to be Christian still will not see the truth of Pokemon. When I found out that Wizards of the Coast was the company behind Pokemon I was reminded of the scripture in James 3:11, "does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" The Lord told us we would know people by their fruit. To believe that a company who makes 'Magik', D&D, and other role playing games, that many parents would shudder to find their children playing, is capable of creating a game that is of a different spirit is ludicrous.   Well again, THANK YOU for your web site.   

Read Pokebuster by Chris and visit his wesite at http://hometown.aol.com/Pokebuster7

From Jim: I really enjoy you website and your actions to bring some purity into an impure world. I am 13 and I want to tell you something. I can understand your view of Pokemon but ever since my brother has collected the cards, he has become an excellent reader. He has also become more literate and willing to read. This is from a boy who would never pick up a book unless he had to.

Pokemon teaches children friendship, love, caring, and most of all responsibility. Ash shows responsibility by taking care of all his Pokemon. I am not in the craze, I don't care about it, but it's just not right. Thank you for reading my message, I will still visit your site frequently.

From Cindy Bare: Thank you. I appreciate your website very much. We are battling a "Christian" aunt and uncle who want to take our 14 and 15 year old daughters to events that we don't believe are good for them. The most recent is a Renaissance Festival, complete with gothic costumes. I have explained to them that this is a form of role-playing, and that this family is not being very spiritually discerning. The aunt has also been pushing them to read Harry Potter. I was glad to see your coverage of this series, as I now have a little more knowledge regarding this. Again, thank you.

Thank you, Cindy, for alerting us to one more form of role-playing.  

I don't think people are aware of the Spiritual battle that's being fought over our very heads. Satan will use ANYTHING (even things that seem "okay") to pull us away from a personal relationship with God. We recently used this illustration with our two homeschooled daughters to clarify a point: 

On a piece of paper, we wrote GOD down the left-hand side. We then wrote SATAN down the right-hand side. We drew a bold line right down the middle. Then we took various 'subjects' and had them place the subjects on either "God's side" or "Satan's side". We started with the most obvious, such as "prayer", "Satanism", "devotions", "church", "Witchcraft", etc. Then we moved into the questionable topics such as "Contemporary Christian(?) music", "social drinking", "tight, reavealing clothing", etc. Some of those topics straddled the line, at which time we emphasized to them that if it even TOUCHES the line, it's OVER THE LINE. It was a wonderful object lesson.

From Will: You said: So Ash sets out again in search for more of the reclusive, power-filled, little Pokemon. His first step is to find the      "psychic Pokemon" called Kadabra and snatch it from its telepathic, pink-eyed trainer, Sabrina. With the ghost Haunter on his side, it should be a cinch!

Ash does not try to capture the psychic Pokémon. To get into The Pokémon Leauge he must challenge the Pokémon Gym Leader Sabrina to get 1 of 8  badges needed to enter The Pokémon League. He does beat the Pokémon Gym Leader Sabrina but he does not capture that Pokémon. In the show and in the game you do not go around stealing other people's Pokémon. They capture wild Pokémon. And Kadabra did not evolve, he created an illusion to be bigger than he actually was. And here you also said Pokeman:

"I will travel across the land

Searching far and wide       

Each Pokeman to understand

The power that's inside.

Gotta catch them all!" 

Thanks, Will, for including that mantra. It tells children to catch them all, not just the wild monsters. And thanks for the correction. But keep in mind, that the individual TV episodes don’t clarify what you just said. The first impression a viewer would get when watching that particular episode – especially with the above mantra repeated over and over – is that Ash intends to catch every Pokemon he can. But I should have changed the words earlier. I will do it right now.

Can you actually convince people that Pokémon is evil by spelling it wrong? You spelled it Pokeman. Most adults call it that and that usually means they do not even have enough information on the subject to spell it right….

I don’t know how to type a letter which is neither on my keyboard nor in our U.S. alphabet.   

And the Game Shark is cheating but it is not like a test it is a video game helper. If you like to see the end of a video game like I do the Game Shark can come in handy, or if you like to get a boost of help on an extremly difficult game. 

Look again at the quotations concerning cheating. Their message is that cheating isn’t nice, but do it anyway.

One last thing, you do not burn stuff. Is what you want children to learn that to get rid of unpleasant this you must burn things? I am sorry I just think that is purely ridiculous! “After hearing God's warning and praying for His wisdom, nine-year-old Alan Brannan decided to throw away all his Pokemon cards. "My friend did the same," said his mother. "Her twelve year old son had been having nightmares. But after a discussion with his parents about the game and its symbols, he was convicted to burn his cards and return his Gameboy game. That night slept well for the first time in a month."

Last I think if you should be against evil be against movies such as the 18th Angel where Satan defeats God and rules the world and man creates his own life and then making God nothing. Compare that with Pokémon: The First Movie and Barney's Great adventure.

From Julie Greenfield: I have read your article on the Dangers of Role Playing Games.  When the Pokemon craze first came out, I too, felt that there was something wrong with them but could not quite figure out what.  I am also a divorced mother of 2 young boys, 10 & 4 and have an ex-husband who does not agree with the ways I am trying to bring up the boys.  I was not aware of your website until I E-mailed John Ankerberg on information about Pokemon.  He referred me to your web site.  I also read the comments from some of the people and came across one from a Mom that seems like she is up against the same thing as me.  I know thru my on life that if she stands up for the ways of the Lord, He will continue to give her the wisdom to know how to handle any situation that may come up. 

When my kids get things from other people that I feel is wrong or evil of just checks in with my spirit the wrong way, it goes directly into the garbage. We don't give it away to another child, it goes out with the trash.   They are starting to know now on their own what I will accept and won't accept.  It has come to the point that they won't even complain to me about usually.  There are times when I still have to explain to them that if it is not of Gods way for our life we can't have it.  It will only be an opening for Satan to come in.  

From a concerned mother: I have been blessed to have kids who are not influenced by every whim and wave that comes by them.  My son has been recently conflicting with a friend of his about this Pokemon stuff and he wanted to know why it was "so evil". 

I have never liked the media and toy industry preying upon children. Children's minds are so pliable.  We are instructed in the Bible to "train up a child in the way he should go so that when he grows old he will not depart from it".  If we allow outside influences to ply and mold our children’s thinking, it warps them or distorts the real images.  A child has plenty of imagination without TV or movie makers or toy makers trying to ploy them into their schemes.

Children should be encouraged to use their imaginations and develop them to good. Many people in our society use the TV and popular toys as babysitters taking away valuable time that their kids need from THEM!  Kids do not need all this stuff our society and media throws in their faces to be happy.  If kids had Quality time with their parents and families they would not be as apt to be drawn into such demises. 

I have been told I am sheltering my children.  But I disagree with them.  I have an open communication with my kids who are now 10 and 13 and we can discuss anything they encounter from their friends.  I tell them why I feel the way I feel and ask them their opinion on the issue.  I would say sheltering would be like going to some remote mountain with NO outside contact.  I am merely channeling what comes to our household.  "Running waters becomes a stagnant swamp of mire without boundaries."

All parents, whether they are Christian or not, need to be aware of what is influencing your kids….  Even if there were no evil influences to the Pokemon thing, is it healthy for children to spend so much time on one thing?  Think about it.

From J. Carney: I admire the fervor with which you stand up for your beliefs.  I am not about to claim that a person who researches things which they truly believe are harmful in order to help people are sick as some of your more unsavory letters suggest.  However, I do disagree with your stance on some issues.

I don't think Pokemon is the work of the devil.  Of course, I'm being slightly facetious, because I don't believe you think Pokemon is satan either.  As I understand your articles, you look at Pokemon as a sort of gateway to possible occult things that one might believe are the work of satan.  I don't really agree with this point. 

As I see it, Pokemon comes from a very different culture with a greater focus on a mystical spiritualism.  The creators might have based ideas for some of the Pokemon on concepts that originate in that mystical spiritualism, but I don't think the purpose is to promote it.  Children that are interested in Pokemon are interested in just that, Pokemon. 

The card game although strikingly similar to Magic: The Gathering, does not make kids want to play Magic: The Gathering.  They play the card game because it's Pokemon, not because of how the game is played.  The only evil at work here, is the evil of Commercialism, which exploits the children, especially through the constant repetition of the catch phrase, "Gotta catch 'em all!" which reinforces their minds towards buying pokemon affiliated paraphernalia.  The only demon I see, is profit.

From LRS: We minister to several "street kids" at our church.  Pokemon is not the seductive danger in these kids' lives.  We are fighting the influences of abject poverty, abusive parents, drugs and alcohol, open sexual perversion in the home, and violence.  Some of these kids are really into television (possibly to escape?)...they watch everything from R-rated movies, "Professional" wrestling, worldly sitcoms (of course, they are ALL worldly, aren't they?), Jerry Springer, South Park, MTV, and...yes, even Pokemon.  These kids watch the cartoon regularly.  They even own some cards.  However, none of them have shown any occultic behaviors.  The only demonic manifestations we have noticed have been results of the other "mess" going on AT HOME...not Pokemon.

We also have many typical "church kids" who watch the cartoon.  What spiritual problems do we see active in THEIR lives?  For some, it's racism.  Others have a holier-than-thou attitude towards the "street kids."  Unfaithfulness in giving seems to be a recurring battle front.  Did the kids get this "mess" from TV or FROM HOME?  To date, I have not been able to discern, deduce, or detect a connection between these spiritual problems and Pokemon.  So, who CAN we blame for this?  What common influence can we find?  Is there ONE thing in the lives of these kids that we can remove to change it all?  Is Pokemon the cause for all of these problems, or could the answer lay somewhere else?

Years ago, I remember the debate about Smurfs when they were popular...later it was HeMan & Thundercats... Every one of these toy-ads...oops, I mean "cartoons"... was believed to be controlling kids and leading them to hell.  Those "crazes" came and went.  One of the "eternal verities" of life is that KIDS GROW UP...they GROW OUT of listening to the same music, watching the same shows, and reading the same comics.  Many fans of the popular worldly cartoons (as well as fans of any worldly entertainment) of the past are now saved and committed to Christ...some are NOT. What made the difference? A cartoon? A game? A toy?

No, the difference usually is the PARENTS, the CHURCH, and (dare I say it) the KIDS THEMSELVES. Why do some of the most dispicable and degenerate folks turn their lives over to Christ while many "church folks" remain hell-bound in apathy, hypocrisy, and lukewarmness? Why do some kids get saved and stay committed to Christ for the rest of their lives and some do not? The responsibility lay NOT with the entertainment industry...NOTHING HOLY HAS EVER COME OUT OF HELLIWOOD! (e.g. Mickey Mouse was a WIZARD'S APPRENTICE and a HUGE DEMON emerged from the mountain in Fantasia back in the 50's). If kids are involved in sin, if they are heading to hell, if they are involved in the occult, or if they are exhibiting demonic manifestations...the blame lay NOT at the doorstep of the entertainment industry, but rather with the parents, the church, and the kids themselves.

We teach ALL of our Children's Church kids that Jesus and His Word are the only REALLY important influences in life.  We continually drill into them that Jesus loves them (and that you can't get LOVE from TV);  that He is ready, willing, and ABLE to deliver them from ANY problem (something else TV can't offer); and that His Word has REAL LIFE power (TV can only offer fiction and fantasy...nothing that REALLY WORKS).  We avoid the debate about which TV shows are "good" and which are "evil."  With Jesus as our standard, I don't see ANYTHING on TV that is spiritually edifying.  My opinion of TV is that it will ALWAYS cater to the lowest common denominator...SIN.  Our goal is to lead these kids into the presence of Almighty God and fill them so full of God's Word that they will fall head over heels in love with Jesus...once this happens, all the "other" stuff loses its attraction and influence.  Christianity is not mainly about not doing the "don't's" but about doing the "do's." THANKS FOR READING, AND PRAY FOR US!

From Tom W., card gamer, role player, and full time Priest of the Lord, follower of Jesus Christ: I have been an avid role-player for 15 years, a Magic player (as well as most other CCGs), and I enjoy sci-fi/fantasy. I am also an ordained Priest ( for 10 years), and have an extremely close relationship with God. While reading your web site, I was disappointed with the use of God to twist everything that you have mentioned. Have you bothered to talk at any length with Wizards of the Coast, any hobby stores, or players of any of these games (re. Pokemon or Magic the Gathering)?

Berit: Yes I have, Tom

1: Magic is a collectable card game. Lets break these words down. Collectable refers to the fact that some of the cards are not as easy to get as others. Card refers to the fact that these are made of cardboard stock. Game refers to the fact that you should use some imagination. How can you realistically vilify cardboard? Using God in this respect is wrong. The only magic in these pieces of cardboard is in the name.

Berit: This "cardboard," like the pages of a book, carry messages. Some edify. Others corrupt.

2: Pokemon, like Magic is also a CCG. I noticed your twisting of the quotes in the article. If you would take your quoted sections as the way that they we written instead of trying to read what is not really there, you might realize there was really nothing to find in the first place. The real reason that Pokemon cards were band at most schools is because kids were having their cards stolen. Also, these cards, like anything not related to learning, are a distraction.

Children have a short attention span anyway, so how do you justify designating something you have no interest in as evil? "Gotta Catch Em' All" is a catch phrase ( like " You Got The Right Stuff Baby") and refers to the fact that there ar many different types of Pokemon to try to catch. This game is one of the few where you do not kill your opponents pokemon. The defeated pokemon is knocked out, and is recalled to its trainers' poke'-ball. Nowhere in any information that I have ever seen does it offer mystical powers to the owner of a card, a digital image, a stuffed/ plastic TOY, or comic book....

If you have read the comic books, you should know that isn't true.

3: Role playing is just that- ROLE PLAYING. I don't believe for one minute that you have never pretended you were someone or something you aren't.  I am sure that you have seen the numerous articles detailing the deaths attributed to RPGs. Try to research these articles a little more. While I am aware there are mentally deficient individuals who get lost in their own drug soaked minds, most gamers are nice, law abiding citizens, and although not all believe in God (as is their right here in the USA) they respect our beliefs. People like you do not respect any who don't follow along with your ideals. Most role playing is a harmless diversion that requires intelligence, imagination, and quick thinking. It stimulates the mind and sharpens the wit.  

Since reading your articles, I will ad your web site, along with The 700 Club as a bunch of hack reporters who don't check the source (or even go to the source). Good journalists at least talk to people involved in the thing they are writing about. I don't mind people using God to define everyday life, but at least find out something about what you want to define. May God be in your hearts and minds always.  

I am a Christian 19 years old and I think someone is on crack or some other….  Pokemon should to pose an issue to you over-zealous people. Most of you, I'm sure,  have no clue what the origins of Pokemon even are.  If you have seen the movie you will know that the main character is trying to defeat the evil creature in the movie.  The  original  story is actually close to this.  Back in the day (long ago I'm sure) a man in  Japan wrote a story something like this. 

There once lived a boy who live peacefully in  a beautiful town.  One day the town was attacked by a large monster who was very powerful. The boy intent on restoring the honor and piece to his village tried to save the town by  fighting the monster on his own. He did this to no evil.  The monster kicked him out of  the town and into the forest close by.  The Boy then saw a monster in the forest and  thought If I could defeat this small monster and use him to get me a bigger monster  and then that one a bigger monster yet then I could get a big enough monster to defeat  the monster that has taken my town. He then proceeded to capture 6 monsters and when he got back to his town to fight off the big monster he found that he loved his 6 new friends  so much that he would not let them fight the monster.  He also new that he was stronger now and tried to fight the monster again.  In the end the 6 Monsters helped him defeat the large monster and save his town. 

Now that you see that Pokemon is nothing more then a children's foke tail I will continue. I have played video games in the Role playing genre since I was 8 ish I also have played  Magic the gathering, star trek, star wars, pokemon, and euchre card games. I play Role  playing games like Vampire masquerade and play Warhammer 40,000 a turn based war  strategy game with little models that are painted by my self (taking hours at a time) and  have never un intentionaly lost a game. (I let people win sometimes so that they don't hate playing  with me)  

If you were to meat me you would believe me to be a normal Christian youth. I enjoy music and youth retreats, I love to hang out with my friends and I enjoy doing things for  others.  I have the occasional drink as drinking age is 19 were I am from but I maintain control  over my self and always have a designated driver.  I think I have turned out just fine and I know my parents and God would agree with me.  So I see no problems with the cute little pokemon  game or role playing in general.  (The people I play with are all very normal too and about 2/3's  of them are Christian)  I would also like to mention that From most of your points of view you should  also be condemning dress up and playing house, Oh and no more Bible skits at church.  You don't want kids growing up believing they are Judas or Zachary's,  oh no we don't need children pretending to clean  up their pretend house and take care of their pretend children.

 So to conclude I leave you with this thought: If you can escape the restrictions of this word for a short time by imagining another place or  playing as a different personality then you have the ability to succeed in any your dreams and all of God's endeavors to you"  Reinhardt The Author of This Letter.  (If you took the time to read this letter  then I wish a blessing from God to you and his love endures forever. Amen)  

From Phoen Dusk: I am trying to keep myself as calm as I can after reading your diatribe called "Pokemon - The Dangers of Role-Playing Games." I don't play that particular CCG, but I am a former Magic and AD&D player (not to mention former Catholic), and am currently studying the Wiccan Path.

Are you sincerely that zealous and steadfast in your beliefs that anything that might remotely be interpreted as something other than the "chiseled-in-stone Word of God" is inherently "evil and demonic?" Please, tell me I'm imagining that you are actually too blind to take the time to look around and see that so many inanimate objects can be blamed for lack of parental concern and interest?

From Dennis Ward:  Many people will try to justify what they want to practice. The obvious will be changed to the not so obvious, etc. So it is with Pokemon. The obvious mystical undertones, and obvious 'evil' ( for the lack of a better word) influences of this 'cartoon' will be changed to what ever the victim needs in order to continue in its grasp.

There is an old adage "you are what you eat". This can be extended to "you are what you put into your mind." The responses given by those who think this 'game' is OK only shows how far they will go to justify their position. 

Simply put, evil is evil, no one has to make it that way, it just is.

From Jacob Pisano: I really want to know where I can post my opinion to your subjects in this website. Obviously it is hard for me to find, because stiff-necked Christians like you hide it! Cos you don't want to hear the truth, all you want to do is flame that which you don't understand, and you don't want to accept change, for you feel it is part of the occult or some c...! 

Maybe if you could pay attention to what you say and see how d... hypocritical you  sound, you'll realize that you aren't doing what's best, and you aren't teaching God's word, because He specifically says that one should follow one's heart and conscience. Everyone knows that God is the human conscience, and He wouldn't allow anyone, especially children brought up in His care, to follow something evil! 

As parents, it's their responsibility to monitor the things their children do, of course, but taking it into the spiritual world and believing that their children are going to be possessed by demons is a bit farfetch'd! That shows that they really have no idea how things work and they just want to puff their chests out and act like they're all big and bad, and they know what's up! 

The point is that people should think before they speak! Can you contemplate how lame it sounds to anyone that Pokemon is really a part of Satin's work? If you do, then you must truly be on crack, cos only a delusional person, or a paranoid schizophrenic would believe something as hyped up as that! You're fanatics, and that kind of thinking isn't what God looks for, because you're singling out things, and being discriminatory without knowing all the facts.

Jahim Sawun: role playing games are merely games that help others to become someone else.  It is similar to an interactive story. I play video games. And one day I was shocked to learn that my nephews had more commen sense than adults.

They knew reality from fantasy. One of them likes to blow up stuff but only video games. He knows never to do that in real life. I have taught them so. I use to play magic the gathering but no more cause I had momentarly lost interest in it. And yes i have heard that many people say it leads to those satanic cults. But they are all LIARS!!! It is just a game people. I played it because it was fun and it also allowed one to think about there next move. It is a strategy game. As for pokemon it was never ment for little kids. If one takes such interests in a card then it is fine, but if they take to extremes and say they lead cults then it's absolutly idiotic.

In conclusion it is never the game themselves. No one has the right to take away anothers right to play the game. But if another hurts others just to play the game. then they do not deserve it. I ask they you please give role playing games and others a chance. You would be able to notice that people have fun while playing these games.

Anonymous: What have you religious zealots been smoking? Pokemon may be the biggest way for corporations to rob little kids money but it doesn't cause devil worshiping. Sure you can take any little text from the bible,twist it around, and use it all to your advantage. Also you are looking at the pokemon monsters themselves and saying thy promote hinduism!?? I don't think that pokemon will convert your christian children into hinduism by the way you've been brainwashing them.

From Robyn Neubaum: I am so glad to have found your website.  The Lord has instructed me to research Pokemon so I can teach at our church and in our community what is really behind it.  I have been researching and putting all of my information into a format that will be easy to understand. 

My children did not know that I was going to be digging so deep.  My oldest daughter and I were praying for one of her friends and she stopped and said, "Mom, the Lord just showed me that every card, character, toy has a spirit (demon) attached to it."  The Lord had already shown this to me, so it was definitely a confirmation when she shared.  I am going through and praying over each Pokemon and asking the Lord for discernment to identify which demon is attached.  He is also showing me how there structure is established.  I believe demons are structured much like the military with Principalities being the highest then princes, strongman, demons, minions. I believe that He is having me put all of this together so we can fight the enemy with a  greater knowledge of his tactics.  

   Please read this warning from Bryan, a 13-year-old student:

From Bryan F.: First of all, I want to state that I am a Christian, not the best, but  thankfully, Jesus died for my sins, and I have been saved by his blood, and  redeemed. Second, I would like to say your articles on pokemon were very  informative. Let me start at the beginning though,

It all started back in the spring of 1998, my family had just gotten the  internet, and I thought it was wonderful. Soon I got into role-playing  online, and it was SO addictive. Those who say that RPGs are harmless and  helpful have NO idea what they are talking about. My "character" got "killed"  and I was very upset. It was as if a part of me had died. Soon I had a new  character, and I was hooked on it more so than ever.

In the fall of '98  though, I got TOSed by AOL for bad language in a RP chat, and I lost ALL of  my privelages except for website visiting, and e-mail. At first I thought it was terrible, but I gradually adjusted, and used the internet for reference.  Then, after three months, my mother gave my chat privelages, etc back. I was fine for a little while, but I got re-ensnared in RPGs, and it was terrible, by now it was early spring of 1999.

I became ever more obsessed with RPGs, I spent almost all of my free time online Role-Playing. I soon began to spiral downward. Soon, In the real world, I made some new friends. We would sit outside into the late hours, talking about various topics, swords, bugs, animals, school, everything.

When summer rolled around, I had even more free time, so I spent most of my time either RPing(during the day), or talking to  my "friends" (at night). Soon, they offered me marijuana. They said it would be a few days, because they had to buy the pot. I willingly agreed.(The RPGs  had so lowered my resistance to bad ideas, etc, I agreed, Willingly too!).  They offered me a cigarette, and told me if I was gonna smoke pot, I had to smoke a cigarette. I took it, and smoked it. I got a buzz off of it, that felt good. A few days later, one of my friends took me to a nearby lake, and offered me a pipe full of smoking marijuana. I took it, and smoked it, I got VERY high, he walked me home, and we sat outside talking for hours. Soon, I was smoking it regularly (By the way, I am an asthmatic). They immersed me in drugs, and total rebellion toward my mom. 

Then, they rejected me, and I felt terrible. It filled me with hate and anger towards them. I was plotting the death of the one who had rejected me. They moved about a month after that.  By this time, school had started back up, and I was discussing drug use, etc. with the burnouts at my school. It didn't work too well though. I went to church, etc, so I had to keep a double life going. At the youth group, we went on a youth trip over the weekend, and it was wonderful! I've never had so much fun in my life. When we got back, I got saved, repented, and I'm now devoted to trying to save others.  I was also into pokemon, when I saw your website, and read your essay on pokemon, I quickly tore up my $50 deck of pokemon cards. Thanks for the informative site.

Love in Christ, Bryan F. Ephesians 2:8-9  

From jpm: I read your article called ''Pokemon-Danger'', and I tottally disagree! The card game Magic, which is also a hot craze right now, has absolutly nothing to do with Pokemon except that the same people make them. Some little kids get so obbsessed with Pokemon that they start to believe it, but just because some kids are too immature to understand that Pokemon is fake and that no one has psychic powers doesn't mean that Pokemon is a bad influence to all kids. Some just want to play cards and try to beat the Game Boy game. Pokemon is a REALLY hot craze jist like yo-yos were and beanie babies and Furbies. After a while people just stop liking them and don't play with them any more. Soon these parents with younger kids will have to start worring about other things like the kind of music that their kids listen to, peer preasure, and language. Pokemon is not going to affect their lives and how Godly they are when they get older as much as these things will. 

Trust me, Pokemon is really not that bad. I should know since I am twelve years old, in the sixth grade, love Pokemon, and still go to church and believe in God just as much as I did before I got into Pokemon. Thank you very much for reading this letter and God bless you.

I'm sorry, I can't really trust your opinion -- old as you are. Pokemon and other forms of Japanese Anime drum into a child's mind images and beliefs that clash with Christianity. It happens to adults as well.  People may continue to go to church and believe in [a] God, but their discernment weakens as they compromise God's Word.  If you don't believe Pokemon and other fantasy worlds can change your thinking, please read these summaries of studies that help us understand the effect of fantasy and imaginary experiences:

“The world of imagination and fantasy can help pass on to the child cultural and social messages, as well as function as ways to experience vicariously things an individual could not do first-hand.”

Aminadav, C. Fantasies and imagination in mildly and moderately retarded young people. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine & Health. 1995 Apr-Jun. 8 (2): p.103-106 

“When adults vividly imagine the occurrence of events that took place in their childhood, they become increasingly confident that these incidents actually happened to them. This phenomenon has been called imagination inflation. This study assessed the imagination-inflation effect in 94 college students (mean age 21 yrs).”

Paddock, John R.; Noel, Mark; Terranova, Sophia; Eber, Herbert W.; Manning, Charles; Loftus, Elizabeth F. Imagination inflation and the perils of guided visualization. Journal of Psychology. 1999 Nov. 133 (6): p.581-595  

From Joe: I found the [above] comment left on your Pokemon page interesting. It sounds like the boy got mixed up with the wrong group of people. I know several roleplayers who don't use drugs of any kind and only roleplay for recreation. Most of these people are also graduates of Cornell University. They are also rather disturbed by people who claim that all roleplaying leads to the "devil". Some of them don't even acknowledge the existance of said entity. Which is fine for we are all entitled to our beliefs. I believe that in all things there are good people and there are bad people. You just have to use your head and find who and what are the good and who and what are the bad, which can be the hardest part.

From Robyn Neubaum: I am so glad to have found your website. The Lord has instructed me to research Pokemon so I can teach at our church and in our community what is really behind it. I have been researching and putting all of my information into a format that will be easy to understand. 

 My children did not know that I was going to be digging so deep. My oldest daughter and I were praying for one of her friends and she stopped and said, "Mom, the Lord just showed me that every card, character, toy has a spirit (demon) attached to it." The Lord had already shown this to me, so it was definitely a confirmation when she shared. I am going through and praying over each Pokemon and asking the Lord for discernment to identify which demon is attached. He is also showing me how there structure is established. I believe demons are structured much like the military with Principalities being the highest then princes, strongman, demons, minions. I believe that He is having me put all of this together so we can fight the enemy with a greater knowledge of his tactics.

Here is a scripture that validates your last two sentences (click here for the rest of the passage on The Armor of God):

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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." Ephesians 6:10-12

From Wes: In regards to your pokemon responses from the readers, i  would just like to say that in most of the responses from the christian  families a common theme is asserted. i noticed while reading the responses on  the page that almost all of the christian peoples responses told something of  not allowing there child to view these shows. well i would just like to state  my opinion on this;  firstly if you dont allow your child to view certien  things or to do certien things you are not letting your child test his or  hers faith. now i understand that a good parent would want to protect their  children from things that they find immoral and wrong. yet if you do net let a  child test and find out what he or she finds wrong to themselves how is a child supposed to grow up and develope a mature mind or have a feeling of  knowing what they want, not what a god or parent feels they should feel?


now i  know that i am going to get a biblical response to at least a few of my  points on this so i want to come right out and say that i am not a christian  and i do not really feel that there is a god but i may change my opinion as i  grow older. My opinion on there being a god has nothing to do with my parenting but rather with how i feel. i was never told as a child that i cant do or see something because it was agianst god. i was informed if it was  agianst god but it was up to me to make the decission, so by doing this i was  making the decission to follow god or do what i want not whether or not my  parents felt i should be a christian or someone who follows god in any way.


i  personaly feel that a child that is not allowed to make his/her on decissions  on life or religon is un-fair and injust. well i must be off if you havent  pre-paired a response to my other letter yet it would be fine to add a  response to this one in it or in a seperate one if you even have time to  respond. Thank you for listening to my opinion yet agian and i would like to  say that i enjoy your site.

peace punk and anarchy

love wes


Berit's response: Thank you, Wes. But I have to disagree with you.  You are parroting the humanistic philosophy behind today’s “progressive” education, including Waldorf and Montessori  Schools and all kinds of other “learning” and child-raising practices. Your methods would be great if your goal is to trade the old Biblical values for a politically correct set of values chosen by people who hate our God. But if you want to raise children to love God and know His Word, you don’t send them out to discover truth for themselves in the midst of all the lies and counterfeits. They don't know yet how to filter the information according to God's standards. Instead, God tells us to “train up your child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), and that means teaching truth, correcting error and modeling His way daily until the child is established as a mature, discerning adult.

Anonymous: I am here to criticize on your article about the supposed danger that Pokemon is to children. Pokemon  isn't bad at all. My children practically devour pokemon. But it doesn't affect  them psycologically at all. I would know, I'm a psychiatrist.

And as I am a  psychiatrist, my diagnosis for your hate of pokemon is this: If you think that about pokemon, then your mind must function that way. For your information, children still believe in God, they know noone comes before  God, and they know that pokemon is just a television show. As for you claim that children believe they need pokemon for protection, that's their parents fault.

What I mean by that is this: The parent should let the child know that they would never let anyone hurt them, and that nothing will happen. Pokemon is just the oridinary passing fad. It's just as evil as Disco, or Pooh. I think you people need to get a grip on yourselves, you loosing it. As far as I'm concerned, if you have any children, don't let THEM play with anything pokemon. Why should you spoil it for everyone else? I also object to you  peoples' hate for Harry Potter. Harry Potter isn't part of the occult, he's just an ordinary character. If you object to Harry Potter, why not object to Charlotte's Web, or Alice In Wonderland? Because they were made in America. You know, it's ironic, Pokemon was created in Japan, and Harry Potter was written in Europe, is it just me, or do I notice a pattern? I'll leave you to ponder that enigma...........

You say "... nothing will ever happen?" Are you kidding?  Are you really a psychiatrist?

From Salkaner il Nero:   Let me introduce myself, first  I am an Italian young man, Catholic, also in my free  time I am a roleplayer and I used to be (for about a  year) a Magic t.G. player.

    As you can figure, I don't agree on your opinion on roleplaying, but anyway I respect it. What I think you should know, to avoid easy  misunderstanding, is that neither Magic, nor Pokemon are roleplaying games. They're fantasy "Collectable  Card Game", a type of game which is really much  different from a RPG (as, for instance, Dungeons &  Dragons).

    I am sure you believe in what you're doing, so a bit more of precision is due.

    Once admitted that this is just YOUR vision of Christianity, it's accettable and also interesting. If you pretend this is the THRUTH, your words are absolutely more dangerous than any game. Bye

Berit's response: You are given a double message, Salkaner. If you "respect" my opinion on roleplaying, how can you say it's "more dangerous than any game?"  I'm hearing an increasing number of young people -- well-trained in political correctness -- declare their personal tolerance, yet their words and attitudes demonstrate total intolerance for those with contrary opinions. 

There is obviously a lot of disagreement on what is a role-playing game. Many other visitors have shared their love for Magic the Gathering RPGs and the latest Pokemon game is advertised as a "game that allows children to use their creativity to help develop a story of their adventures in becoming the world's greatest Pokémon trainer."  Sounds like they are playing a role to me!  

May I suggest you read my incomplete article, Guiding the Imagination- A Major Tactic for Social Change.  When finished, it will help explain why, as a Christian, I am concerned about roleplaying and various fantasies that guide a child's imagination and fill it with images that conflict with Biblical values.  Actually, the most popular scenes and images in anime and comic books conflict with the values of almost any society that seeks peace and order for its people.  (I will finish the article the week of May 24, when I return from a trip.) 

From Stacey Nordwall (a.k.a. "Shadowcat"): Hello there. I came to your ministry site through a link from a site I got a link to on a message-board. I read your article on "The Dangers of role-playing Games" and am intrigued about the Christian opposition to the "Pokemon" phenomenon.

I will give you a little background on myself. I am nearly 21 years old and have known the Lord Jesus since the tender age of 14 (thanks actually to television ministry, of all things). I am also a fan of "Pokemon". I play neither the Gameboy game nor the Card Game, but I am a major fan of the cartoon. (Yes, I am almost 21 and a cartoon fanatic).

I read your article and browsed over some of the letters. I will readily admit that, I too, disagree with the "Gotta Catch 'Em All" slogan, I do not believe that it is in any way occultic, but it is all about profit and while I like Pokemon, I believe that it is marketed way too much.

As for distinguishing fantasy from reality. You can say that ANYTHING can blur the lines. From TV shows, books, to playing "Princesses" with friends in the backyard like I did as a child. Imagination is a good thing for kids, parents should teach kids to distinguish fantasy from reality in general in all things, Pokemon and non...As for Pokemon, I take the things in it in the context of it being fantasy. I believe many Christians really read too much into the show and the phenomenon, trying to find things that were not in the minds of its creators.

I, myself see Pokemon not as something evil, but as an abstract allegory of nature, of God's creation and how it works. I have lived in a rural area all of my life and have always had an avid interest in the natural world around me. In addition to that, I currently work at a zoo. The types and attacks of pokemon merely represent aspects of nature, where animals do have specialized ways to hunt food and to avoid becoming food. In the Pokemon world, instead of killing and eating each other, the creatures merely "battle" and faint each other.

As for comments relating to some of the pokemon resembling ugly creatures and dragons, I will point out (from my experience at the zoo) that not all of God’s creations are "cute" or "pretty". Does that make them evil? Consider alligators, snakes, lizards, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.... the list goes on. I believe, that while the Bible uses certain animals to represent things (i.e. Lion=Kinglyness/Majesty, Snake=Evil/Satan/Sin) that individual flesh-and-blood animals and species are not evil in themselves. The goats I take care of at the zoo's petting-area do not worship Satan...though goats are Biblically symbolic of evil. They are just goats, that's it. I think of the pokemon creatures in the same way. They are merely abstract versions of familiar animals, based upon the divirse beauty of nature.

As for the Psychic and Ghost types, I really do see your points. I never liked them much, either, but again, I take them in the context of the fantasy. I met a fellow Christian Pokemon fan online who had some very good explanations of them. I liked one line that he said (paraphrased) "You will never see Pokemon playing with Tarot Cards". Meaning: The Psychic types are not meant to portray "true" psychic powers as they are in the real world, with the astrology, Tarot, psychic hotlines, etc. that their powers more accurately represent the manipulation of physical forces, such as magnetic fields. I will not, however, go out of my way to defend the Psychic-type pokemon, I only say that they should be taken in the context of fantasy.

I believe that Christians need not to focus on such things as trivial as "Pokemon". It is entertainment, not the meaning of life, and, in fact, one of the most innocent forms of entertainment I have found. I will readily endorse it over say..."South Park" or "The Simpsons".

I strongly believe in seeking out the good in things rather than nitpicking and trying to find evil in everything. I am dismayed at the numbers of my fellow believers in Christ who are intent on finding evil everywhere that they look. "Pokemon" actually has some very good values in it if you look at it closely. Themes appearing in the cartoon include being kind to animals (the trainers' friend/partnerships with their pokemon, the heroes giving abandoned pokemon a good home with them), sticking by your friends, helping people in need, even strangers (see episode "Bad to the Bone" where Ash Ketchum goes out of the way to help a young trainer who was wronged), and loving your enemies (Ash, Misty, and Brock have saved the lives of Team Rocket on more than one occasion).

I am heavily involved in the "Pokemon" Internet fanfciton community and I tell you by experience, that Pokemon is what an individual viewer makes of it. It is a phenomenon that can be molded into whatever a serious fan wishes, really. I very often insert mild CHRISTIAN themes into my stories. I am mainly a fan of Pokemon's villains, Team Rocket (I find them to be funny and surprisingly complex characters) and one of the most constant themes in my fanfiction is them finding redemption in some way, Jessie, James, and Meowth frequently "go good" in my stories. I even have a scene in one of my Series works where a minor character quotes part of John 3:16. Furthermore, the above-mentioned fellow Christian Pokemon fan I met (the one that I quoted from about the Psychic-types) writes some fanfiction with very OVERT Christian themes. Also, I am involved in some online Pokemon fandom message-boards upon which I have been a witness for Christ. In short, Pokemon can, (while not originally intended to be by its original creators) in fact, become a medium to bring glory to Jesus, as I feel most things can be.

I will conclude by saying that we believers need to stop looking for the "bad" in everything and instead, should focus on finding the good in things. Some people read WAY too much into something meant to be innocent entertainment (as well as a way to sell toys, but hey, the world is greedy, get over it. Parents do not need to buy their children everything that they whine for. My parents taught me self-control that way). I understand your points and your fears, but Pokemon is not nearly as "evil" as some would make it out to be and much more innocent than many other forms of entertainment out there.

Berit's response: I agree that Pokemon appears far less "evil" than "other forms of entertainment out there." That's why is has far more appeal to Christian children who would avoid the darker forms of occult entertainment. But remember, while we measure the darkness and consider how far we can stretch God's boundaries, God calls us to obedience. Please read Answers to Pokemon mail. It explains a different way of looking at this issue.

From Jon Smith: Reading through your letters about Pokemon, I noticed some things you said, first off, you mention that people don't think of Pokemon or anime as just a game, or show, that they have a true love, or passion for it. You also hint that this is a bad thing. Well, in my experience, I have learned that an obbsession can be a great thing. 

A few years back, when I first got into anime, my life was very very troubled. My father was a pastor in an unloving, dying church, my sister was in one of the worst states I have ever seen her in, and my life at home was something I truly hated. Well, I got into anime, and yes, it became a true passion, I love this, it is an obsession, but when I watched it, it took away from the pain of my life for a short while. It didn't make me want to commit suicide, I didn't even think of it. It simply created a place where I could get away from my life, sort of like a vacation. It got me through some terrible times, and now, my life is fine except for the regular family problems and occasional arguments, and I still am obsessed with anime. This is not a bad thing. I still know it is JUST a show, but I also have a passion for it. 

Next, you claim these shows are Occult (I'm not sure if I used that in context) which is true, but only people like you (not pointing fingers or trying to be rude) really think of it like that, and as being a sin. In truth these things won't hurt anyone, parents could let the children watch anime, but keep them from trying to do anything of the occult (hardly any try to anyhow, a few exceptions apear, for instance a teacher of mine who could actually use telekinisis, I experienced this first hand, it is possible.

Next, yes, I am addicted to anime, I couldn't stop watching if I wanted to, but thats the great thing, I wouldn't ever want to stop. My parents don't mind it either (but my fathers a pastor, gasp, how could he let his own son do something so evil?!?!?!?!? just goes to show, Anime is NOT the devils work as many would think). However, I am a normal teenager, I do not do drugs, even though I have been offered, I do not think about ever hurting anyone (I have never been in a fight, and I watch that oh so violent anime, gee, guess thats another miracle, sorry for the sarcasim). 

Many of my friends watch anime, one even hates to hurt any animals, and he watches Dragon Ball Z?!?!? impossible you say, but in truth, these shows do not affect us, we simply watch them, love them, sometimes obsess over them, but this never removes god from our minds, the only thing that does this, is the lack of ability to go to church, or upbringing (if you live in an unloving, uncaring family, you are naturally less likely to believe in god). I have a friend who has to get up[ on his own accord, and walk to church, but he does it, and he watches anime. I could mention a million other people, but, that isn't the point.

Now then, Pokemon isn't going to make kids turn into Pagan hate mongers, it is simply a form of entertainment, like any other TV show, why is it you seem to attack the shows from other cultures, instead of things like South Park, and the WWF, instead you decide to close your minds, and simply bash the japanese way of life. You mention that Pokemon gives people charge over the animals, like they are God, well many people have a dog, and most people have total control over the animal (they do disobey sometimes but I quote, "The Pokemon may not always obey its trainer, but the humans are in charge."

Finally, if I had to choose between God, and anime, I would pick God, and I'm sure many other anime fans are with me. So please, quit judging us so harshly....

From Berit: Jon, I am not judging you or any other person -- nor telling you what to do. I am trying to use Biblical principles to evaluate a form of entertainment.  I'm doing this, not because I'm upset with anime fans, but because I care about kids and have been asked by children and parents to write these evaluations. To understand my concerns, please read our Answers to Pokemon mail, mentioned below.   


Click here for Answers to the questions raised by the above letters.

Click here for Index and recent Pokemon Comments

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