Is J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter trying to convert children to Satanism?
An email message has been sent from computer to computer the past several days. It is usually entitled "FYI Harry Potter Books?" and opens with the dire statement, "This is the most evil thing I have laid my eyes ... and no one seems to understand its threat."
Just what is this threat? It is an article stating that j.k. rowling is promoting Satanism, sorcery, and corrupting the minds and souls of young children. Quotes from young children are offered as proof. A website is given as a source for the article.
The article and website are used to back up the claims of interviewees such as:
"The Harry Potter books are cool, 'cause they teach you all about magic and how you can use it to control people and get revenge on your enemies," said Hartland, WI, 10-year-old Craig Nowell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle. "I want to learn the Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving me a D."
This sounds scary. This sounds as if it is properly researched. This sounds as if we should start a bonfire of books large enough to scorch the turrets of Hogwarts. There is only one little problem. IT'S NOT TRUE.
The site provided as the source of the article is www.theonion.com. For those unfamiliar with, The Onion it is a satirical website. The copyright page of The Onion states:
The Onion® is a satirical newspaper published by Onion, Inc.
The Onion® uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.
The content of this web-site--graphics, text and other elements--is © Copyright 2000 by Onion, Inc., and may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of the publisher.
The Onion® is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.
It seems that in a quest to sensationalize the truth has been lost. It seems that in an age when we are afraid of hurting another's feelings our sense of humor has been lost. The sad part of this is that with the speed of email the fiction will spread faster than the truth. In the name of truth the lie will be seen as reality.
What are we to do? Make a pre-emptive strike. Before people have a chance to send you the lie, send the truth. Send an email of this page. Remind them that satire is an art form respected for hundreds of years. Remind your friends, family, and co-workers that just because something is in print doesn't make it true.