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THE AMER GUIDE TO...

PARENT/TEEN CONFLICTS ABOUT
"THE OCCULT"

TO PARENTS CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR TEENS AND "THE OCCULT"

The time to make sure that your children grow up with decent moral and ethical standards is "all their lives;" not when they become teenagers.

Regardless of your religion or theirs, we hope that long ago you taught your children that there are some things that civilized people don't do, like murder, assault, theft, vandalism, animal abuse, rape, have sex with children, or use dangerous and illegal drugs.

But the, even if you're sure that you can trust your children not to torture animals or kill their playmates, that doesn't mean that they're mature and ready to handle all of life's questions on their own. When your children start studying the occult (or more importantly, when the intend to join a magical or Earth-centered religous group) and they want you to have no say in it, what your children are saying is, "We want the freedom to go wherever we want, with whomever we want, without ever tell you where we are, who we're with, or what we do while we're there." That's an awful lot of freedom to grant a child.

MYTHS ABOUT THE OCCULT:

Contrary to some myths, the vast majoirty of "occult" religions are opposed to recreational use of illegal drugs. Also, no matter where you heard otherwise, occult rituals aren't giant sex orgies. All of the current popular myths about the occult and "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" date from when the Hippies had a "fad" of occlt interest, and brought their sex-and-drugs lifestyle with them. Just as "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" has mostly gone away in the public lifestyle, it's mostly gone away in the magical and Earth-centered religious cultures.

Also, no matter what the anti-occult "occult experts" tell you , almost nobody in the occult wants to recruit your child. Most groups are serious religious groups for scholarship and spiritual exploration; only the most mature minors would fit in. Even if many minors were capable of fitting into such groups, their relative immaturity and lack of education makes them such a drain on the group that very, very few groups would admit them (certainly no more than one or two at a time).

Even if "occult" groups did recruit, they wouldn't be recruiting via:

  • Dungeons and Dragons: Magic in "occult" groups is nothing at al llke magic as its portrayed in fantasy novels or fantasy role-playing games. In fact, if your children are hoping that joining some coven or grove will turn them into a "third-level-magic-user," then you have nothing to worry about. If they don't get disillusioned in the first few visits, the group will proably throw them out for being so clueless.


  • Heavy Metal Music: Most of the heavy metal bands that have included occult symbolism from Ozzy Osbourne to Slayer, do it because it sells. Like the "dabblers" that we'll warn you about later, they don't know anythng about magic or Earth-centered relgion that they didn't get from horror films. And the fans are interested for the excitement, to get a little "distance" from their parents, or for the shock value. If a kid who thinks this finds a real "occult" religious group, he or she will soon bail out of it in boredom. (In fact, we've met very few ocultists who even like heavy metal music.)


  • The Society for Creative Anachronism or the Renaissance Faire: There are people traveling the country warning that their kids were "recruited" into the occult through medieval reenactment societies. And there are occultists who are members of such groups, but then, there are occultists in just about every hobby or interest. There are more Christians in the SCA than occultists. To protect them from each other, the SCA explicitly prohibits both religious and magical rituals as SCA events.


  • WHY ARE YOUR CHILDREN INTERESTED IN THE OCCULT?

    As many right-wing and fundamentalist Christian groups have learned, a letter-writing campaign is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to attract attention. Since our organization is in its infancy, we aren't well known, and therefore not as effective, as we would like to be. We would like you to help spread our message by writing to a local or national newspaper or magazine.

    WOULD YOU STILL BE WORRIED IF THIS WEREN'T ABOUT RELIGION?

    As may right-wing and fundamentalist Christian groups have learned, a letter-writing campaign is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to attract attention. Since our organization is in its infancy, we aren't well known, and therefore not as effective, as we would like to be. We would like you to help spread our message by writing to a local or national newspaper or magazine.

    RELIGOUS ASPECT THAT (MAYBE) YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT:

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