Outrage As Witches Ritual Scheduled For Knights Of Columbus Hall In Salem
by Michael Brown
Outrage of the week: On Saturday November 1 at 8:30 p.m., witches in Salem, Massachusetts will be holding an event called "Death and Rebirth: Ritual Transformation."
"Draw on the magick of Salem, the power of Witchcraft, the strength in numbers, and take action to create the life you have dreamed of having," says their website. "You will undergo a transformative 'death' in ritual where you will surrender that which you choose to eliminate for your greater good, followed by an awakening of your new self and a celebration of your new life."
We expect that in Salem, which has hundreds of witches and each year has a weeklong "Festival of the Dead." What we didn't expect is that this year it will be held at a Knights of Columbus Hall -- "conveniently located downtown at 94 Washington Square, the Hall overlooks historic Salem Common. The evening’s events begin promptly at 8:30pm. Please plan to arrive 20 minutes early due to traffic and parking considerations."
Satanic Ritual Cancelled By Salem Knights of Columbus
Follow up from
the Spiritdaily Mailbag
State Deputy Thomas Ledbetter and the State Board of Officers of the Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus and the Salem Knights of Columbus have announced that the 'Festival Of The Dead' Death and Rebirth Ritual Transformation scheduled to be hosted
by Salem Witch Elder, High Priestess Sandra Mariah Power at the Salem Council Knights of Columbus hasbeen moved from the Knights of Columbus hall.
After researching the many complaints received about the 'Festival Of The Dead' scheduled for November 1st, the Massachusetts State Board of Officers determined that the event should not proceed in a Knights of Columbus facility and after discussion with the organizers they agreed to cancel the contract.
As Knights of Columbus, the Massachusetts State Board of Officers of the Knights of Columbus states that nothing relating to witchcraft should ever be presented in a Knights of Columbus venue.
Spiritdaily makes the difference http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/oct/03102407.html
Knights of Columbus Hall Nixes Witchcraft Event
SALEM, MA, October 24, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Scratch up
one for SpiritDaily.com, which first broke the story that the Salem, Mass.
Knights of Columbus hall was to be used for a witchcraft ceremony. The
SpiritDaily notice which was picked up by LifeSiteNews.com and several other
websites created a new awareness of the event for those involved and led to its
cancellation after "many complaints."
SpiritDaily reports today that Massachusetts Knights of Columbus "State Deputy Thomas Ledbetter and the State Board of Officers of the Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus and the Salem Knights of Columbus have announced that the 'Festival Of The Dead' Death and Rebirth Ritual Transformation, scheduled to be hosted by Salem Witch Elder, High Priestess Sandra Mariah Power at the Salem Council Knights of Columbus, has been moved from the Knights of Columbus hall.
See SpiritDaily for the full letter"
After Outcry, Knights Of Columbus Halt Salem Witch Event But Questions Remain
By Michael H. Brown
We were gratified to see the announcement a few days ago that the State Board for the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus had influenced the local chapter in Salem (yes, that Salem) to cancel use of its hall by local witches. The hall is located near the commons, on Washington Square, and we were relieved because the event is part of an annual "Festival of the Dead." It was to be held at the hall on November 1 (promptly at 8:30 p.m.) and is called "Death and Rebirth: Ritual Transformation."
This was problematic because the Knights are a Catholic organization and witchcraft is powerfully contrary to the very foundation of Christianity, involving, as it does, the conjuring of spells, worshipping nature gods, and raising spirits that hearken back to ancient paganism. For a glimpse of what these "gods" look like, we need only to look at the masks on Halloween.
This is not to despise those who practice the "craft." It is to hate the sin. We are called to love everyone (everyone is made in God's image), and many who practice witchcraft are not intentionally meddling with evil. In fact, most believe they are doing good, that they are "white" witches. We are not interested in harassing them, nor in chasing them from one venue to the next. But we do have serious concern for them. Witches are severely blinded. They are misguided. So are many who are even in the Christian faith. We have only to look at the way certain Catholic writers, theologians, and even bishops and priests have embraced Harry Potter (a male witch) to gauge the extent of the current myopia.
Those who believe that such fairytales are harmless (exposing our youth to witchcraft as a good, and even using actual spells) have never investigated the paranormal. If they did, if they fathomed it from other than a distant vantage point, they would see, upon personal examination, especially of those who have required deliverance (and even formal exorcism), that "harmless" dabblings in the occult invite the presence of evil spirits, whether via a book or a Ouija board and certainly through witchcraft. In our time it is incredible that so many have compromised the very admonitions in the Bible which explicitly warn against wizardry and necromancy.
Does not Acts 8:9 show the disciples confronting this kind of thing, when Philip runs into an enchanter? Does not Galatians 5:20 say that "the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies"?
Thus, to grant the stamp of approval to a fictional hero who is a witch is comparable to granting a stamp of approval to a fictional character who is an adulterer (or according to the Old Testament even a prostitute). "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch," warns Deuteronomy 18:10.
In our time, even Barbie is turning to witchcraft. "Riding the commercial wave of Harry Potter, Buffy and Sabrina, Mattel has launched Secret Spells Barbie, just in time for Halloween," says a news report. "Appropriately adorned in a pink brocade cape-gown, the all-American schoolgirl figurine is now empowered with a wand, cauldron, spell book and 'magic' potions."
But back to Salem: That the local Knights of Columbus could ever believe hobnobbing with witchcraft is harmless shows the degree to which the Church has failed to educate. Here, with the Knights, we had a very serious contradiction. The grand knight there, Ray Marchand, tells us that the hall has previously been rented to witches, although not for actual rituals (as was to be the case November 1). "They had another event there, but never any ceremonial issues," he says.
That was going to change this year, before it was stopped. "After researching the many complaints received about the 'Festival Of The Dead' scheduled for November 1st, the Massachusetts State Board of Officers determined that the event should not proceed in a Knights of Columbus facility and after discussion with the organizers they agreed to cancel the contract," said a formal statement (above).
"As Knights of Columbus, the Massachusetts State Board of Officers of the Knights of Columbus states that nothing relating to witchcraft should ever be presented in a Knights of Columbus venue." Said the local newspaper: "The Knights of Columbus has stepped in to tell its Salem chapter not to rent as scheduled a witch-run event that promises ticket-holders a night of ritual death and resurrection."
We laud the Knights for taking swift, candid action. We are not interested in stirring matters up just to stir them up, nor will we judge anyone's soul. What we can say is that like anyone immersed in the occult, they are in danger, and we have concern for them -- especially those who wander into what is really invocation of dark forces. "Draw on the magick of Salem, the power of Witchcraft, the strength in numbers, and take action to create the life you have dreamed of having," said the website promoting this event. "You will undergo a transformative 'death' in ritual where you will surrender that which you choose to eliminate for your greater good, followed by an awakening of your new self and a celebration of your new life."
Quite the deception, this. There is no "good" witchcraft. It is all from a dark force.
Grand Knight Marchand, who sounds like a good man, made a mistake in a town that is filled with witches. "They're not a small group," he says. "There are 800 of them registered in the city, and we've had times where they did rent the hall for birthday celebrations or something like that but there were no ceremonial events. The event for November 1 was rented eight months ago but what they listed was a transformation seminar. Because [later] they listed it as magic and the power of witchcraft, then I got a courtesy call on that and we took action to move the event out of the hall."
Questions remain. We are concerned, for example, that after the cancellation, the local Knights helped the witches find another place. Marchand explains it this way: "Because of the fact that a lot of the witches in Salem are business owners, so as not to create stir within the Chamber of Commerce, because the witches are a broad-based group in the city, and the city embraces these people, because it brings in millions of dollars in tourist money, they did get relocated to another business within the city."
One can see the predicament. But even in Salem, the Knights must part company with the occult.
We are a people of life -- not death. Let us extend our love and prayers to those who are involved. Witches are hardly alone. We are in a society that has lost its spiritual compass. There are priests allowing Halloween Liturgies (with no apparent restriction on costumes), and each year October 31 edges closer to rivaling Christmas. We seem to have forgotten that Christ came, in large part, to draw the world away from precisely this kind of idolatry.
Now, in our time, we even have a priest who has worked at the Vatican and who publicly endorsed Harry Potter (leading the media to claim the Vatican had okayed the books) -- at the same time that the official Rome exorcist expressed concerns that it was demonic. Exorcists qualify as the experts to us, and the official one for the Archdiocese of New York recently told us that many of those who are possessed got that way through the occult and such enchantments.
There are unconfirmed reports that a reunion of witches is scheduled for the Knights hall later in November, on the 22nd. The Knights' State Deputy, Thomas Ledbetter, informs us (10/29) that "regarding November 22, as far as we know this is just a rumor, but I am making inquiries about this. If there is any truth to it I should know by tomorrow night." Marchand says he too is checking into that. The hall coordinator declined comment.
We look forward to finding out. According to Robert Shone, executive secretary for the jurisdiction, there have been no repercussions from the witches. "I know they've relocated, and the council, because they had signed the original contract, was instrumental in finding them a place," he says. "But I know they weren't happy to relocate."
Actually, we saw communication between the parties that seemed a bit vitriolic, but witches must realize that their religion is completely against the very mission of Christianity. There is no need to condemn or hate witches; there is the need to pray that their spiritual blinders -- and those of the rest of our society (and our own) -- soon lift.
Help these witches, not to find another hall, but to conversion. And as far as incantations, forget all those lengthy spells. The ultimate power is reached by one simple word, and that word is "Jesus."
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