Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brane Hurtz!

bakugan, sorcery, halloween, christian,

I'd forgotten that Halloween freaks out a lot of fundys. I guess once you believe in the sky fairy and the Jewish zombie, believing in witches and magic is inevitable. But Japanese card games as instruments of the devil? That hurtz mai brane!

The main victims of this blindness are children. Unless we teach them to recognize and resist these dangers, many will welcome the darkness. So let's examine the nature and tactics of this very real spiritual war. Bakugan -- a popular game and online anime (Japanese animation) -- is a useful example.

"One day," so the Bakugan story goes, "cards began to fall from the sky and were picked up by kids all over the world. The cards featured different characters, different environments, and different powers. ...these cards actually corresponded to an alternate world called Vestroia."[4]

"...we invented a wicked new game we called Bakugan," explained the leader of Vestoria's young Battle Brawlers. "That's when the power of the cards was revealed. Each one held its own battling beast.... The battles were intense, and if you chose the wrong card, you lost it and the beast inside."[5]

"...the beast inside!" Those words brought to mind some troubling email letters I've received from embattled teens and young adults. Like the Canadian women, they actually felt as if they had uncontrollable beasts inside. Their descriptions of inner battles -- the nightmarish consequences of obsession with occult role-playing games -- were heartbreaking. They couldn't stop playing -- or block out the frightening images planted in their minds! Nor could they find faithful Christians in their communities who would guide them toward freedom!

First of all, the beast inside the card, not inner demons, or outer demons or whatever. Reading comprehension, try it. Secondly, I like a good rpg as much as the next person, but "obsession", "nightmarish consequences" and "uncontrollable beasts inside"? Srsly?

The weapons used by Bakugan warriors are totally contrary to God's ways. Based on the ancient Chinese force called Ch'i, they flow from the same source as every other occult weapon. Ch'i (or Ki, Prana, etc.) is merely the Eastern label for the spiritual forces once commanded by Canaanite sorcerers, Babylonian magicians, mediaeval alchemists, and secret societies throughout history.[7]

Total misunderstanding of Ch'i, and "Bakugan warriors"? It's a card game. I assume you've heard of them? Also, since the world is not ruled by Canaanite sorcerers, Babylonian magicians or alchemist, I think we can safely say that magic isn't nearly as useful as a sword or a tank.

Their magic is linked to the forcefulness of the human will. It involves mental concentration and firm commands that enable occultists to "cast spells" and "do magic" without hesitation or moral consideration.

Magic is easy, according to Wiccan author Starhawk, founder of the Covenant of the Goddess. All it takes is "four basic abilities: relaxation, concentration, visualization, and projection."[8] The last step means projecting energy by moving one's mental images with the human will and imagination.

That's what Bakugan's anime fans learn to do: concentrate, visualize, and then project the power through their beast-filled balls or playing cards. Starhawk described it well in her book on witchcraft: "To cast a spell is to project energy though a symbol."[8]

If spellcasting is so easy, and you can learn it through a card game, why aren't we all flying and rolling around in big piles of cash? I think the real problem here is somebody can't separate fantasy from reality, and it's not the children I'm talking about.


  1. Awww, it's just like when I played Magic back in the day. I gave it up because I thought it was a demonic influence.

    Then later I gave it up again because I realized that Magic players are largely weird, smelly nerds and I didn't want to be associated with them.

    Then later I gave it up again because it got boring.

  2. "and then project the power through their beast-filled balls...".

    I can't stop loling...

  3. Geds, I'll go you one better (or at least one older): it's like when I played D'n'D back in the day. You youngsters and yer newfangled Magic cards... in my day, we needed material components to cast spells! Verbal and somatic components, too! None of this namby-pamby "deck of cards" spellcasting...

    ExPatMatt, I hope someone around here has a good supply of brain bleach. I'll be needing at least a gallon...

    They have some very strange (and, frankly, ignorant) ideas about chi, too. But I suppose that's to be expected...

  4. They have some very strange (and, frankly, ignorant) ideas about chi, too.

    My SIL is a buddhist from China. She would spit up her skull if she read this description of chi.

  5. Dammit, does it make me a nerd that I still play Magic and Pen & Paper rpgs?

    Screw you guys, I am going home to sort my MTG cards...

  6. My perspective is strictly that of an amateur martial artist; I know next to nothing about Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, etc. Even so, I know enough to realize that they're using some strange, bizarro-world version of the term. ("You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.")

    Chi is an odd topic for me, precisely because of that context. I don't think it actually exists in any physical sense. On the other hand, I've felt it; and it allows you to describe (or rather, encapsulate) some very subtle body mechanics for which English doesn't have a very good vocabulary. (That said, I followed the link to the skeptic's dictionary, and that the video clip at the bottom is a great illustration of taking a good idea waaaaay too far.)

    Ah, here's the quote I was looking for:
    “Ki is, of course, mystical bullshit. That’s why it works so well, both as a teaching idiom and a tool of practice in martial arts. It’s as nonexistent as charm, leadership, or acting. Humans are all about bullshit.” (Andrew Plotkin)

  7. Speaking of Halloween freaking out the fundies, I just listened to segment on This American Life about hell houses. Now that's scary shit.

  8. I'm with Michael Mock on this one: Chi is a metaphor and a learning aid, and a very powerful one, but not a physical force by any means.

    Interestingly, the "energy within oneself" could just as easily be interpreted as daddy, babbie and holy casper, but I guess that doesn't fit because everyone knows chinese people are heretics.

    For the record: these people should really read a book other than the bible once in a while. They might come to realise that fiction is, by definition, fictional.

    Or even better, we should show them the SCP Foundation...

    - Quasar

  9. I've had parents come to pull their children out of the dojo when they learned we 'used chi'. If I explained it was really the Power of the Holy Spirit, they'd go home happy.

    Have also had them quit because they didn't want their kids 'bowing to Buddha' (srsly) or 'meditating'. On that last, they were ok once they 'learned' it wasn't 'meditation', it was 'concentration'.

    What's funniest is that a lot of the meditation techniques I used in our practice didn't come from any Buddhist or Taoist source, they came from the early Christian ascetics—and now these fundies were objecting that they were the work of Satan. LOL!

  10. ...


    that is *not* what it means!
    i just...

    i am going to get ready for the thursday D&D game now. sure, one of the players is Mormon, and two of the others are Christian, but at least they understand the difference between Real Life and a fucking GAME.

  11. Obviously they don't get it right, because they don't want to spend a pearl worth a hundred gold pieces on an Identify spell. Bloody expensive material components. Yeah, I'm a D&D player.

    I had a friend, who was deeply Christian (don't hold it against her), but who let her son play with Gormitis, Bakugan, Pokemon, etc you name it, he played it. She told me how some members of the congregation wanted her reported to the poice for bringing her children in such danger. Someone must have told them, that the general public as well as the courts do not consider toys a danger, ad so they wanted her excommunicated, because she let her children play with these things.

    It wasn't so much the cards, as I understood her explanation, it was all those little figurines that were the problem. See, at night when people are asleep, these little monster figurines come alive and crawl inside the children as well as the parents and POSSESS them! *gasp* Yes, that was seriously the explanation she'd gotten. Of course, being sensible she didn't heed the warnings and continued to allow her children to play with their favourite toys. This his brought her the immense 'grief' of having two wonderfully happy boys, who enjoy playing with their favourite toys.


    I can see how that's bad. No, wait. I can't.

    Fundies are lovely.

  12. Let me get this straight, "Bakugan"?

    -"Bleach" (which also has a card game) deals with, no, centers around a life after death that has no relations to Christianity what-so-ever
    -"Death Note" insists that there is no life after death, period
    -Countless anime's have people claiming that they are "God," and have god-like powers

    ...and they pick Bakugan to cry over?


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