The Mystical Science of the Golden Compass

By Berit Kjos - December 10, 2007

The Upside-Down World of Pullman's Golden Compass:

Where Bad is Good, and God is Banned




"The Magisterium [the Church] wants to control every world…"[1] The Golden Compass Press Screening Transcript


"The North is full of witches and armored bears. And a twisted church and its allies have gotten into the business of separating children from their soul-mate daemons, for reasons fraught with deeper metaphysics than Hollywood can typically digest.... Mr. Pullman... has publicly declared that his own books were intended to undermine Christian belief."[2] Fate of the Cosmos (and of a Studio) Hangs in the Balance

" shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination... and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 13:23

The movie, "The Golden Compass," heralds a mysterious “compass,” but this is no ordinary navigational guide. Instead, it's a divination device -- an alethiometer -- energized by tiny, conscious "Dust" particles. Though usually invisible, these Dust particles can be sensed by the story's more psychically attuned characters. So when 12-year-old heroine Lyra seeks guidance through her treasured "truth measure," she invokes swirling masses of shimmering Dust that communicate the "true" answers needed for the battles ahead.

Naturally, those answers affirm the occult worldview that author Philip Pullman promotes. And unlike most of the mystical thrills that children learn to crave these days, this complex Gnostic tale incorporates an enticing form of pseudo-science that has already been introduced in public schools around the world.[3]  

But why worry? Everyone knows it's just fantasy, don't they?

It doesn't matter. While they may know the difference between fact and fantasy, they are likely to respond to the message with feelings rather than intellect. Most viewers simply let their minds flow with the story. Bypassing any discernment, the movie then plants unforgettable images and suggestion in their hearts and minds.

The results are devastating to Christian faith. Captivating glimpses of divination, magic, wise witches, and cute talking daemons (pronounced demons) make the occult world seem increasingly familiar and normal -- even acceptable and good. But God warns us:

" not be conformed to this world.... Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." Rom. 12:2, 9

Classroom Curriculum reinforces Movie


It's hard for children not to conform these days! The new Golden Compass Curriculum helps break down any resistance. Using the dialectic process to encourage conformity, it's designed to build group consensus and imbed the story's occult themes into "open" minds. Ponder these discussion topics:

Notice how its Teacher's Guide distorts Biblical truth and invites collective opposition to God's ways:

"NOTE TO TEACHERS. ... Themes of good vs. evil, betrayal, courage, fear, trust, and love raise important questions, offering students a wonderful opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue. This guide offers questions for discussion and includes activities that connect the language arts, social studies, science....


"Ask students to use the Bible, a storybook, or an encyclopedia to read about the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2, 3). Have students discuss original sin, why God forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and how Adam and Eve’s lives changed once they gained knowledge...."


"Art–Masks have been used through the ages to represent animals, monsters, supernatural spirits, dream creatures, etc. Ask students to think about which animal would most likely be their dæmon and create a mask to represent that animal. Allow students time to share their masks and to explain why they chose that particular animal as their dæmon.....


"How is Lyra’s storytelling different from Mrs. Coulter’s lying?"[5]

This mental exercise makes lying either good or bad, depending on the circumstance. In light of the movie's context, Mrs. Coulter lies to accomplish her evil purposes, while Lyra lies to entertain, deceive, or accomplish her "good" purposes. Any facilitated classroom dialogue would have to replace the Biblical standard for amoral, subjective opinion.

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness..." Isaiah 5:21

Lyra's metaphysical world

From the movie's occult perspective, the self-willed Lyra fights on the "good" side -- against the evil "Church" and Biblical authority. That authority fades by the end of the trilogy, for its dying "God" has lost his power. The actual regent of this "Church" -- a loveless Gnostic archangel -- is also destined for destruction. In the end, humanity is left with an evolutionary belief system that puts self-willed man in the place of God.

In this pagan/humanistic context, there is plenty of room for the psychic and demonic forces behind animism, witchcraft, and other forms of Eastern and Western occultism. Forget history's testimony of the cruel existence of terrifying superstitions in pagan cultures around the world. Such politically incorrect information is rarely mentioned in today's social study classes. The illusion of peace and the quest for multicultural oneness is fast replacing any attempt at historical accuracy.

All this is driving the world deeper into ignorance, myth and pseudo-science where the notion of multiple universes and conscious evolution is no longer confined to popular fantasy. As Pullman told an interviewer:

"There are quite solid theoretical foundations to the idea of parallel worlds that would allow a multiplicity of universes differing in some slight degree: something falls down heads instead of tails. The guru of this idea, David Deutsch, argues that the existence of parallel universes explains certain puzzling phenomena, such as the wave/particle effect..."[6] 

A quantum physicist at Oxford, Professor Deutsch is indeed exploring the possibility of parallel universes and "conscious evolution." In fact, some of his writings sound a lot like those of Dr. Willis Harman, who -- like global education leaders at UNESCO -- was inspired by Pierre Teilhard deChardin [See Al Gore's Vision of Global Salvation].

In his 1988 book Global Mind Change, Harman introduces three steps that have helped pave the way to this "creative" way of thinking. Notice that the third stage totally rejects the fact-based "scientific method" required by last century's true scientists:

"We who have been educated in modern society naturally assume that our scientific view of reality is essentially correct and other 'pre-scientific' or “primitive” views are wrong. But we have to consider the possibility that some of those other views ... are not so much wrong as complementary....

"...let us think in terms of three basically different kinds of implicit metaphysic."

• "M-1.[The standard scientific method] In the first of these, the basic stuff of the universe is matter-energy. We learn about reality from studying the measurable world."

• "M-2. [The transition stage] An alternate metaphysic is dualistic. There are two fundamentally different kinds of basic stuff in the universe: matter-energy stuff and mind-spirit stuff.... Thus there develop, in essence, two complementary kinds of knowledge; presumably there are areas of overlap (such as the field of psychic phenomena)."

• "M-3.[The final stage: trades factual certainty for fantasy and intuition] Mind or consciousness is primary, and matter-energy arises in some sense out of mind.... Ultimately the reality behind the phenomenal world is contacted, not through the physical senses, but through the deep intuition."[7]

Harman admits that the third stage "seems quite foreign to the Western mind, or certainly would have a generation ago." But then he reminds us that our Western culture has changed:

"It is not nearly so alien as it was even a quarter of a century ago, if we may judge from increased overt interest in the Eastern philosophical religions; purchases of books based around some sort of transcendental theme; appearances of 'metaphysical' and Eastern transcendental concepts, such as reincarnation, karma... participation in meditative practices... interest in the phenomenon of 'channeling'."[7] 

In other words, the third step brings us right back to ancient paganism, medieval occultism, and Eastern mysticism. We see them all around us. Both in and outside churches, people are fast turning away from the moral boundaries of the Biblical God. Determined to write their own rules, they drift toward what seems to be a more liberating spirituality.

The tyranny of the new "freedom"

So, while some fields of "science" are "freed" from factual accountability, our culture demands "freedom" from Biblical accountability. No wonder the movie's witch queen Serafina and the cunning Ms.Coulter speak freely and shamelessly about their respective lovers. (And this is supposed to be a family movie!) Morality is out! Instinct and feelings reign. But there's a price to pay! We see it all around us: moral corruption, broken families, chronic depression, and social decay! (See Chart: Total transformation)

Yet we still have a choice. 1. We can follow the world's way -- which actually means increasing bondage, not freedom. As God warns us:

"...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.... Professing to be wise, they became fools....
         "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves....
         "God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men... men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 
         "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased [depraved] mind... being filled with...
sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness." Romans 1:18-29

2.  We can choose God's way and find freedom in Christ:

"Jesus said... 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-36

A book by Phillip Keller, author of A Shepherd looks at the 23rd Psalm, summarizes the challenge:

"Often, young people boast of being free to do as they wish, to go wherever they will, or become whatever they choose. This is only partially true. For though they may not realize it, their decisions, their behavior, their lifestyles are not those of their own free will.... Jesus stated categorically: 'Every one who commits sin is a slave to sin' (John 8:24).

"Those who brag about being free seldom realize they are inexorably bound by their own destructive lifestyles. They are trapped in the toils of their own destructive decisions and desires. Nor can they be loosed except by the loving hands of the Good Shepherd."

"Few of us think seriously about the sinister and subversive character of Satan.... The terrible truth is he is very real, very active, and exceedingly deceptive. While appearing to give us liberty by allowing us to do whatever we wish in response to our own inherent selfishness or sin, he watches us enslave and destroy ourselves."

"... it is only the hand of God that sets us free. It is His strong hands that can train us to move in new directions. It is His gentle, yet strong, hands which can handle us with skill and love and strength...."[8]

The words of the faithful Old Testament leader Joshua are becoming increasingly relevant once again:

“Now therefore, fear the Lord [His judgment on sin, not His loving presence]... and put away the [pagan] gods.... Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ” Joshua 24:14

See The upside-down world of Pullman's "Golden Compass"

Mysticism & Global Mind Change, Brainwashing & how to resist it, The Armor of God

and Two Roads: Didactic or Dialectic and their praxis by Dean Gotcher

1. The Golden Compass Press Screening Transcript, 5-20-07,

2. Fate of the Cosmos (and of a Studio) Hangs in the Balance at


Templeton: Merging Religion & Science

4. Golden Compass Curriculum at

5. Random House Children's Teacher's Guide,

6. Jennie Renton interviews Philip Pullman,

7. Willis Harman, Global Mind Change (Warner Books, 1988), pps. 33-35.

8. Phillip Keller, Lessons from a Sheep Dog (W Publishing Group, 1983), pps. 5-7.

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