Cats, Warriors, Penguins and Kids
Changing beliefs through myth and magic
by Berit Kjos - March 2007
For background information, see The Power of Suggestion
Emphasis added in bold letters
"Kate and Cherith [the co-authors of the Warriors series who share the pen name Erin Hunter] have always loved cats and writing fantasy stories! ... They are both very interested in ancient forms of worship, such as astrology and stone circles, and use their knowledge to give depth and richness to the cats' own mythology."
"All Clan leaders have to spend one night at the Moonstone when they are first chosen. There, the spirits of StarClan [cats that died] share with them.... [N]ew leaders have to sleep near the stone, and as they sleep, they have special dreams."[2-page 161] Warriors, Book 1
"...you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices witchcraft... interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead." Deuteronomy 18:9-12
In the wake of Harry Potter's popularity, a tidal wave of dark, mystical children's books has arisen. Led by Scholastic, publishers across the country have adapted all kinds of occult beliefs and magical rituals to the tastes of young readers. Now, a decade later, children everywhere are learning to see paganism and syncretism (spiritual blends) as more "real" and "normal" than true Christianity.
Scary stories and mystical forces excite human nature. They always have! So have the corrupting social values that follow those beliefs. But unlike the mind-changing revolutions of the past, the current changes are driven by worldwide social engineering. In other words, the tempting new values planted in unguarded minds through tantalizing tales fit the goals articulated by UN leaders more than half a century ago. [SeeUNESCO and World Health Organization] Their plan for early indoctrination involves classroom myths and shocking stories that...
(1) stir the imagination
(2) evoke strong feelings
(3) challenge traditional values
(4) produce cognitive dissonance, a form of mental, moral or spiritual confusion in people who face enticing but contrary values. Often unconscious, such "dissonance" prompts readers to replace home-taught values with new, evolving values.
Pushing this agenda (with Hillary Clinton's support), education leader Marc Tucker declared that the new educational objective "will require a change in the prevailing culture -- the attitudes, values, norms and accepted ways of doing things."
Europe follows the same global track. "Homosexual kings, lesbian mothers and gay penguins -- these are the protagonists of a new type of schoolbook for British children," according to the article, "Gay Fairy Tales for British Pupils." Promoting their message through cute, humanized animals rather than people, this plan to "raise sexually-tolerant students" will probably succeed. As UK's project director Elizabeth Atkinson explains:
"'And Tango Makes Three' features a baby penguin with two fathers.... 'The most important thing these books do is reflect the reality for young children.... My background is in children's literature and I know how powerful it is in shaping social values...."
Of course, the "reality" the books "reflect" is not real reality, but a preferred reality -- a persuasive vision of the social goal these educators are pursuing. That goal demands a new spirituality. For the biggest obstacle to mass acceptance of the new "attitudes, values and norms" are the timeless "certainties" of Biblical Truth.
Contemporary change agents know that nothing undermines faith in those trusted truths faster than today's tempting alternatives. So they train our children to love evil and despise His Word." But God tells us the exact opposite: "Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good!"(Romans 12:9)
As the boundaries erode between truth and myths, children are increasingly being exposed to the blatant promotion of paganism. The "new stories" become even more irresistible when cloaked in language that sounds Christian.
Cats that worship stars
Erin Hunter, official author of the Warrior books, actually represents two women: Cherith Baldry and Kate Gary. To popularize their love for cats, myths, astrology, and sacred sites, they have endowed their furry warriors with human minds and personalities. Cat lovers as young as six and seven can hardly wait for the next series of books to arrive.
The first book, Into the Wild, introduces the main hero of the first series: A former "kittypet" named Rusty, who becomes Firepaw when he joins the warriors of the Thunderclan. As he rises within their ranks, Firepaw's name is changed to Fireheart, and finally to Firestar. His tribal religion looks much like the astrology and ancestral worship of ancient human tribes:
"Graypaw didn't take his eyes off the dead cat as he replied, 'His spirit may have left to join Star Clan, but the clan will share tongues [verbal fellowship] with Redtail one last time.'
"'Star Clan?' Firepaw echoed.
"'It's the tribe of heavenly warriors that watch over all the clan cats. You can see them in Silverpelt.... Silverpelt is that thick band of stars you see each night stretching across the sky. Each star is a StarClan warrior. Redtail will be among them tonight.'"[2-page 45]
The all-powerful deity in these stories is StarClan, a growing community of departed warrior cats whose spirits are revived as stars. This collective deity hears their prayers of living cats, strengthens the faithful in their battles, guides them with omens and prophecies, and welcomes them to their starry heights when they die. Notice that the words used to describe the tribe's relationship with StarClan sound much like the Biblical words used to describe our relationship with God:
Faith in StarClan: "'You'll need the whole of StarClan on your side for this one,' answered Graypaw. 'Call out if you need a hand.'"[2-page 102]
Thanks to StarClan: "But first, let us give thanks to StarClan for the life of Redtail. Tonight he sits with his fellow warriors among the stars."[2-page 51]
Prophecy from StarClan: "The Thunderclan leader fixed her clear blue eyes on the medicine cat. 'You have never been wrong before, Spottedleaf,' she meowed. 'If StarClan has spoken, then it must be so.'"[2-pages 4-5]
Safe with StarClan: "Bluestar is injured!... Is there anything we can do?" Firepaw asked. "She is in the hands of StarClan now," meowed Tigerclaw."[2-page 187]
Prayer answered by StarClan: "Firepaw found himself wordlessly begging Star Clan to protect his leader, to send her back to them. Then Bluestar stirred...."[2-page 187]
Authority through StarClan: "...by the powers of StarClan I give you your warrior names.... "Firepaw, from this moment you will be known as Fireheart. StarClan honors your bravery...." [2-page 270]
Prayer to StarClan: "Fireheart prayed silently to StarClan."[7 - page 33]
StarClan will go with you: "...the spirits of StarClan will go with you."[7 - page 305]
The similarities make the pagan suggestions all more deceptive. This collective "god" offers the cats a similar kind of relationship that God offers His people. We know that this idol can't deliver, but few children know the Bible well enough to discern the deception. Instead, those who identify with the cat warriors will love the forces that guide them. Those forces are designed to seem as real and exciting -- if not more so -- than the actual power of God.
In contrast to these "personal" gods, the forces behind Harry Potter, Pokemon and Star Wars are impersonal. They seem less like our God. Children don't pray to them; they just manipulate them using magic formulas. In the Warrior books (and corresponding games), children meet deities that resemble the tempting idols of Old Testament days. So remember God's warning:
"Take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them...." Deuteronomy 4:19
Re-imagining ancient rituals
Long ago, stone monuments to the "host of heaven" were raised in many parts of the world. Most familiar is Stonehenge -- an ancient mystical stone circle in England. A blend of myth, astrology, geometric measurements and shapes (triangles, rectangles, etc.) determined the placement of its massive "Bluestone" pillars. Moving shadows and rays of light would then guide its pagan celebrations: an ancient form of occult worship that God has forbidden.
The Warrior cats worship StarClan at a similar ceremonial site called Moonstone. Ponder this dialogue from Book 1:
"I shall travel to the Moonstone tomorrow," Bluestar (the clan's female leader) announced. "The warriors of Star Clan will give me the strength I need to lead ThunderClan through this dark time."[2-page 160-161]
"What's the Moonstone?" Firepaw asked Graypaw.
"It's a rock deep underground that shines in the dark," whispered Graypaw. His voice was hoarse with awe. "All Clan leaders have to spend one night at the Moonstone when they are first chosen. There, the spirits of StarClan share with them."[2-page 161]
A few pages later, Clan leader Bluestar brings Firepaw to the Moonstone:
"We have entered the cavern of the Moonstone" came Bluestar's soft reply. 'Wait here. It will be moonhigh soon.'... Suddenly, in a flash more blinding than the setting sun, the cave was lit up. Firepaw... saw a gleaming rock, which glittered as if it were made from countless dewdrops. The Moonstone!... High in the roof was an opening that revealed a narrow triangle of night sky. The moon was casting a beam of light through the hole, down onto the Moonstone, making it sparkle like a star."
Five books later, Firepaw, now a great warrior leader named Firestar, returns to the Moonstone:
"Cinderpelt [a medicine cat] stepped forward confidently.... 'Follow my scent,' she told him. 'I will lead you to the Moonstone. And from now on, until the ritual is over, neither of us must speak.'... When we reach the Moonstone, lie down and press your nose to it.... StarClan will send you sleep so you may meet with them in dreams."
"He closed his eyes, and waited for Star Clan to send him to sleep."
"The stars were moving. They...began to spiral downward toward the forest...toward him. And the cats [who had died] of Star Clan came stalking down the sky.... All around Fireheart the hollow of Fourtrees was lined with their shimmering bodies and blazing eyes. . [S]ome of the starry cats, those sitting closest to him, were achingly familiar. Bluestar!.... Spottedleaf--oh, Spottedleaf! His beloved medicine cat had come back....
"A golden tabby cat rose to his paws and strode toward him.... Lionheart...had been an old cat when Fireheart knew him, but now he looked young and strong again.... When he was close enough, he stopped and touched his nose to Fireheart's head. It burned against him like the hottest flame....'With this life I give you courage,' Lionheart murmured. 'Use it well in defense of your Clan.' At once a bolt of energy seared through Fireheart like lightning."[7 - page 39, 43-47]
Divination, Omens and Full Moon Worship
[medicine cat who had died and joined the stars] was facing him from across the stream.... 'Take heed of what you have seen, Firestar,' she told him.... Learn what you must be.'... Spottedleaf began to fade... and her body paled until Firstar could see the bank of the stream through it."[6 - page 149-150]
"As Firestar bent his head to lap from the stream [which reflected his own image] ... for a moment the image of his head disappeared to be replaced by that of a roaring lion. It was the beast Firestar had heard described in so many elders' tales, his flame-colored pelt blazing into a luxuriant mane, his eyes shining with unlimited strength and power.... When he looked up, Spottedleaf
As in witchcraft and sorcery, "magical work" requires faith in the power of ritual words or affirmations and in the spiritual significance of ritual settings such as a full moon and other traditional "sacred sites."
"Firestar had begun to wonder if the StarClan was going to the hide the moon to show that it was not their will for the Gathering to take place. But for now the moon rose high."[7 - page 131]
"He imagined the spirits of StarClan all around him, sharing the leadership of his Clan. They would be beside him every pawstep until he gave us his last life and went to join them. 'Thank you StarClan,' he murmured. 'Thank you for staying with us.... How could I ever have thought that I faced this battle alone?"
"Suddenly he... felt the soft touch of Spottedleaf's pelt brushing against his fur.... 'You are never alone, Firestar. Your Clan will live on, and I will watch over you forever."[7 - page 341]
Concentration and visualization are key to all magical practices, explained Wiccan leader Starhawk in her occult manual, The Spiral Dance. They always have been, for Satan's tricks don't change through the centuries. They are merely masked behind the alluring words of changing cultures.
Ancient Israel had seen the wisdom and might of our God in amazing ways, yet they were seduced by the magic and mysteries of their pagan neighbors. So they shut their hearts to the God who loved them and soon succumbed to the tempting lures of Canaanite idolatry. Forgetting God's warnings, they did exactly what they were told not do. They would trust in trust omens, "call up the dead," and worship "the host of heaven." Now, in our post-Christian culture, all those practices are fast returning to the public consciousness. And, as in those dark days, many still claim to follow God.
Much of what seems innocent and safe enough to our media-bound minds is abominable to God! Remember, He said, "There shall not be found among you ... a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer... 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." Deuteronomy 18:10-14
But, you might argue, it's just imaginary fun and fantasy!
No, it's not! Jesus warned us that imagining an evil is as bad actually doing that evil.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." Matthew 5:27-29
When we follow Him, he gives us the strength to resist evil -- and to stand firm in Him no matter how great the pressure. "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 1 Corinthians 15:56
For a simpler version of these warnings to share with your children, please read The Invisible War, The Armor of God and Missionary Stories
1.Official website: http://www.warriorcats.com/content.html. Click on "Meet Erin Hunter" then FAQ.
2. Erin Hunter, Warriors 1 - Into the Wild (Avon Books, imprint of HarperCollins, 2004)
3.Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools, (Harvest House Publishers, 1995), page 57. /www.crossroad.to/text/1-books.htm
4. Marc Tucker, "How We Plan to Do It," Proposal to the New American School Development Corporation: National Center for Education and the Economy, July 9, 1992.
5. Gay Fairy Tales for British Pupils at www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,471424,00.html
6. The Re-establishment of Peacetime Society at www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/chisholm.htm
7. Erin Hunter, Warriors 6 - The Darkest Hour (Avon Books, 2004)
8. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance (New York: Harper & Row, 1979), p. 62.
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