Blithering Halloween

We expose the Church of England's Anti-Pagan Axis and reveal how hard-line  Puritans have hi-jacked those very nice Anglican people. 

This is a detective story of astonishing revelations of how the Church of England is being infiltrated by hard-line fanatics and how you may have already been fooled by their mind-control methods . 

It all starts with a Review of  a crucial tract titled:
'Better' Than Halloween 

'Better' Than Halloween  isn't a book, it's the kind of Propaganda Comic which usually emanates from religious fanatics from the U.S.A., therefore it was a shock to discover that it was written by Nick Harding, Children's Ministry Adviser to the Church of England and a Trustee of Scripture Union.  Even worse, it is published by Church House Publishing (with the agreement of  the Bishops Council of the Church of England).

Although ostensibly a publication intent on 'saving children' from imagined dangers at Halloween, this entire publication is really an attempt to besmirch, discredit and misrepresent the religion of Paganism and its ancient festival of Halloween. It is clever religious-hatred, posing as social conscience but it is also something else, it is the next big stage in the Puritanisation of Britan.


Picture of Nick Harding Harding, pictured left, repeats Ancient Lies and untruths about Paganism which only a decade ago were used to fire up a similar witch-hunt which resulted in the destruction of the lives of 86 children and their families in the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth.   Remember that?   Remember the claims of babies being eaten by Witches after being cooked in microwave ovens?  All utter nonsense of course; but nonsense which caused a great deal of social harm and even two deaths - not to mention the waste of millions of pounds of taxpayers money.

Harding will presumably deny that this is his intention, but a look at the resources list for readers of his book shows that he is clearly promoting the infamous tract Doorways To Danger , an evil piece of sectarian propaganda containing abject lies which was crucial in mobilising fundamentalists during the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth in the early 1990s.   'Better' Than Halloween , is in fact a kind of  reworking of the lies in Doorways to Danger , with an additional emphasis on Halloween.

Not only does the Church of England condone this dangerous link but astonishingly, Harding also puts his readers into contact with The Reachout Trust, the non-Church of England Christian fundamentalist organisation which was exposed in the British Press as the one which did  most to import and promote the Satanic Ritual Child Abuse Scare from the U.S.A.   Reachout provided prejudiced and dubious sectarian research for the media on many occasions during the Satan Myth.  Their members even took part in the discredited Cook Report, The Devil's Work , in 1989 - the TV programme which infamously floated the idea of Satanic Ritual Child Abuse to the British Public and set the press and police on a wild-goose chase for years afterwards. This is what one of the Director's of Reachout had to say during that shameful period....

It goes without saying that every single one of those '15 situations of Satanic Abuse'  were nothing of the kind and all the cases Reachout were involved with failed in the course of time yet Davies attended many of the infamous Satan Seminars giving talks and workshops on how to 'detect' Satanic Child Abuse to police, doctors and social workers.  Davies, a hard-line Baptist, is pictured (right) holding a copy of  Doorways to Danger. This is  taken from a front page article for the Evening Leader (28 November 1988)  headed:
By March 1991 The Rhyl Visitor was confident enough to profile Davies and her husband  on their front page under the headline:
and said:
'A couple from Rhyl  are emerging as the primemovers behind allegations of Satanic abuse of children in various parts of the country'
Davies herself was later exposed as a propagator of the hysteria in the Sunday Times (7th April 1991) and quickly excused herself by declaring that she had never dealt with any cases involving children.  Victoria MacDonald who wrote that article stated that Davies'
'had been accused by parents at the centre of the Orkney abuse allegations of stirring up social workers and of promoting the fever  that then gripped the public imagination.'   
  The documentary programme Week in Week Out did an hour long special on the trouble her allegations had caused and 'doorstepped' her at her Rhyl home where she refused to be interviewed.  A sharp contrast to her many previous interviews with the media.  Davies complained to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission but the decision went against her and on  20 October 1992 the BCC said:
 ' we have not found any of the complaints of unfairness justified, nor do we find that there was an unwarranted infringement of Mrs. Davies's privacy.'
 The government's own 1994 report officially concluded that the involvement of British evangelical activists importing untrue allegations and dangerous methodology from the U.S.A. was a prime cause of the Satan Scare .  But now here today Reachout are again being recommended by the Church of England itself !   What short memories for the sufferings of those 86 children and their innocent parents the people at Lambeth Palace must have if they are willing to allow their spiritual storm-troopers to use these evil accusations again.  And what will be their guilt if similar tragedies ocur?

Yes dear reader - when Nick Harding says: 'Halloween is a danger to children' and that children will 'come under evil influences' of satan , is he talking metaphysically, or does he mean they are at risk from being cooked in a microwave oven and eaten?  If we can't tell, and Harding doesn't make it clear, then his book may turn out to be another recipe for a dawn lift of innocent children by social work gestapo snatching terrified kids from their beds whilst their innocent parents are restrained by police and face a ten year fight to get them back?  ......

Doorways to Danger's Legacy of Lies

 The publication and promotion of Doorways to Danger was organised by the Evangelical Alliance and first announced on Radio 4's Sunday programme on 25 October 1987. The contents were an intolerant polemic against every type of New Age activity including Astrology, Horoscopes, Tarot Cards, Spiritualism,  the existence of Demons, Posession and Halloween.  It contained a whole section of anti-Halloween slander including inciting and disingenuous allegations by Audrey Harper and Kevin Logan, both of which were key activists in the Reachout Trust

According to Christian News World The Evangelical Alliance Coalition was

'formed a year ago following reports of child abuse, rape, animal and human sarifice in satanic rituals.'

If this is report is correct, and there is no reason to suggest it is not, then Doorways to Danger is the crucial device used to coalesce anti-pagan anti-occult action across denominational boundaries. In short, it was developed by religious fundamentalists using the established Methodist Evangelical Alliance to get the bigger orthodoxies on board the Satanic Bandwagon. Indeed the 1992 edition of the Christian Handbook clearly states under 'Work and Income' that  the Alliance's  intent is to ' stimulate and resource evangelism on an interchurch basis'.  Thus knowingly or unknowingly the Church of England has been manipulated by non-Anglican fundamentalist activists in a campaign to suppress Paganism and other non-Christian beliefs using lies, dissimulation, misrepresentation, and scare tactics to win over the minds of  moderate Anglicans. Has it won over yours?    You may think not, but check out what really happened below.....

  Audrey Harper has a long track record of making unsubstantiated claims and allegations about paganism, including insisting she was present when a baby was sacrificed. (The police investigated this accusation TWICE and said it was abject nonsense on both occasions).  Harper was a key victim-impostor who wailed about  Satanic Child Abuse to many journalists, TV documentary makers and various government agencies but her stories were thoroughly discredited by the British Press when she was found making even more exaggerated and untenable claims in a documentary made for the U.S. market by off-the-wall fundamentalist far-right production company in which she again made the 'sacrificed baby' claim adding extra details - that after it's throat was cut she was raped on a Satanic altar and had the blood of the baby smeared over her naked body.  Later She appeared in another US fundamentalist video titled 'Halloween: Trick or Treat". Her credentials as a Victim Impostor are the best in the business.  Originally a Barnado's Girl, she claims to have sunk to prostitution and mainlining Heroin before being saved by Jesus in a deliverance Ceremony.

Harper  is shown, left, holding a copy of Doorways To Danger in an 'exclusive' article on the front page of the Western Daily Press (17 May 1989) headlined:


where she repeats her story about seeing a baby sacrificed.  The article says:

 ' Reachout dealt with  300 cases last year alone'

and the reader is left with the idea that 300 kids were killed by Satanists when of course, as the governments own inquiry reported in 1994, there were actually no cases of that at all and the instances referred to in the article were probably just examples of  worried parents contacting Reachout for a copy of Doorways to Danger after being stampeded by Reachout's irresponsible allegations. 

Maureen Davies is also interviewed in this article and joins in with

'she (Davies) has dealt with 18 cases of sexual and mental torture against children which involve perverse sex acts and cannibalism' 

Readers should compare this statement with the one she gave to the Sunday Telegraphn later in 1991, where she said she had not dealt with any children.

In 1993 Audrey Harper was listed as a member of the 'Investigation Committee' of the Evangelical Alliance.  So although claiming to be a victim of satanic abuse and murder when a story was required for the press, she was actually a fully paid up fundamentalist agent-provocateur and her testimony suspect.

Another member of what in those days became known as The Gang of Five, was Kevin Logan a fundamentalist CofE Vicar who has spent much of his life writing books  to desparage Paganism,Witchcraft and the Occult - when he wasn't rustling up PR by threatening to sell off his stained glass windows, or being arrested for destroying Sunday Opening banners at the local supermarket.  Logan is a leading member of  the Reachout Trust  and Evangelical Alliance.  He contributed anecdotal allegations to the late Geoffrey Dicken's MP's attempt to establish a private members' bill to outlaw witchcraft.  The bill was thrown out.  He is shown right, pushing his anti-pagan book Paganism and the Occult. The picture comes from an article in the Manchester Evening News (April 4th 1990 note this date ) with the provocative headline.


The article goes on to say that

'  Children as young as three are being vileley abused in Satan's name in Salford, Rochdale and Bolton. Vicar Kevin Logan is collating the statements of survivors of the black arts and hopes to persuade the government to set up a judicial inquiry into the devilish abuse of children' 

Of course there never were ANY cases where Satanists had abused children of any age as the government's 1994 report made clear, but it is interesting to note that the manic dawn lift of 21 youngsters from a sink estate in Rochdale which created Britain's first big Satanic Ritual Abuse case occurred six months later in September 1990.  It turned out in the course of time and a couple of public enquiries that there was not one shred of proper evidence to substantiate these Gestapo-like actions at Rochdale which subsequently had the country in uproar.   We are not for one minute suggesting that Logan was referring to those Rochdale children when he said   ' Children as young as three are being vileley abused in Satan's name in Salford, Rochdale and Bolton, but we can find no other cases that fit that statement and the nexus of Christian fundamentalists linked to Reachout and Doorways to Danger  who were pushing the Satan Scare were almost exclusively based in the North East and very active there - witness the special seminar 'The Effect of The Occult On Society' held to 'educate' 'Teachers, Police, Probation, Social Services, NSPCC officers, Magistrates, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Childrens Socities and Church Leaders of all denominations'  at Birkenhead in December 1989 in which the key speakers were Kevin Logan and Maureen Davies.    I wonder if  Reachout's continual activity in the North-West of England has anything perchance to do with the Bishop of Bolton's current anti-Halloween Stance?

Logan also appeared in many articles and TV programmes pushing the idea of an occult or satanic threat. He was actually shown on the Cook Report 'exorcising' toddlers (it was called  'purifying them' in the press) because their mother had claimed they had been affected by witchcraft.  

During 1990 when the Satan Hysteria was in full swing  Logan was looking after a dysfunctional young woman by the name of Caroline Marchant. She had been in and out of care homes all her life and had a history of making insupportable allegations about Satanic Ritual Abuse. She killed herself whilst staying at his vicarage.  Logan inferred that she comitted suicide because Satanists were after her and as he had been pumping her for weeks over her mania about Satanic Abuse he could now tell the full story.  That's not the way that others saw it when investigative journalists Nick Anning and David Hebditch explained it in a major article in the Independent On Sunday .

Another contributor making unbelievable claims  in  Doorways to Danger was Stuart Checkley, a consultant psychiatrist and evangelical Christian who was connected with the Maudsley Hospital in London. Kher Cuhulain, an investigator of the Satan Myth, claimed that Checkley had in fact co-authored  Doorways to Danger . Whether he had or not he was certainly heavily involved in it.  In Jan 1988 Checkley was pictured at a promotional stunt for Doorways to Danger  in front of a giant illustration of the book itself (pictured left, the man standing on the right ). The photograph appeared in Redemption Christian magazine where he is interviewed alongside Clive Calver (center) the director of the Evangelical Alliance.  In the article Checkley reportedly said

'I have seen someone who as a result of one experiment with an ouija board, suffered frightening experiences outside his control'.   

 In Doorways to Danger  Checkley waxes to this theme by saying 

'I have seen patients whose involvement with relatively minor forms of the occult has caused them to suffer mental illness'. 

How this man, working at the Institute of Psychiatry at the time, got away without criticism for this statement we are at a loss to understand.  Any psychologist knows that mental illness is not something that comes on and off like a switch - it is the combined result of years of previous dysfunctionality and is caused by multifarious situations, combined stresses and experiences. Psychologists will also tell you that it is impossible for any doctor to analyse a patient's psychology based on a single act and confirm categorically that this was the single experience which caused their present illness. Yet this is the impression given to readers of  Doorways to Danger

This is a very important point because the idea that people can be harmed by exposure to mystical or magical experiences (as opposed to NOT being harmed by the same experiences within the mystical traditions of Christianity) in many instances stems from uncorroborated statements like these.  Checkley's stature as a Consultant psychiatrist must have convinced many people who came afterwards that inherent dangers within occultism were scientifically proven when they are not.  If they were the same rule would also apply to Christianity!    The idea that psychic experimentation is a one-way door to the devil  is repeated in Harding's 'Better' Than Halloween and is the sub-text of the Church of England's own campaign against Halloween.  That exposure to horror masks and costumes is psychologically damaging because it is a fast-track to involvement in Satanism and evil.  

In this interview in Redemption Clive Calver specifically singles out Halloween for censure

 'As well as astrology and ouija-boards the Doorways to Danger report investigates the witchcraft that glorifies Halloween, concluding that it is potentially dangerous. The book labels witchcraft as a 'satanic' religion of lies, fear and death'.    

 In September 2006 Stuart Checkley and his wife retired from their psychiatric work to 'give more time to their Christian ministry' and now conduct 'inner healing'  .

When one takes a copy of Doorways to Danger and compares it with 'Better' Than Halloween, the influence of the former on the latter can indisputably be seen. All the major motifs, claims and discredited allegations and even some of the same phrases are repeated from one to the other. It appears that Harding based his 'Better' Than Halloween squarely on the disproved and dubious claims of  Doorways to Danger  but in an idiom which sanitises the latter's extreme language to make it acceptable for general Anglican consumption.   It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that run-of-the-mill Anglicans are being conned - but not everyone suckers in.   In October 1990 the video version of Doorways to Danger was sent out to schools throughout the U.K. by the Evangelical Alliance with additional on screen allegations stating that Halloween was

 'the highest satanic festival of the year - the night when all the forces of darkness and power,Satanism and Witches come in the air'

Of course this was a complete untruth because Satanism has nothing whatsoever to do with Halloween. As both Harding and the Bishop of Bolton readily admit, the origin of Halloween lies in  PRE-CHRISTIAN celtic paganism.  As The Christians invented the idea of the devil as an opposing force to excuse their own God for allowing so much human suffering, and as Christianity did not come to Britain until a thousand years after Samhain was first celebrated, it is not logically possible for Halloween / Samhain to be 'the highest Satanic festival of the year'.  Actually if you look at the Books by Satanists which explain Satanic beliefs it is clear that the 'highest' satanic festival is in fact Walpurgisnicht, (May 1st). This is a typical sample of the careless and prejudiced claims made in Doorways To Danger.We will not even enter into an analysis of  the statement 'when all the forces of darkness, satanism and witches come in the air'.  It appears to promote the mediaeval superstitions about Witches flying to the Sabbath on broomsticks! 

But the Evangelical Alliance Coalition had miscalculated with their lies. The video was not well received, was pilloried in the national press and  was promptly banned by some schools. Parents at Ruschliffe Comprehensive school in Nottingham complained that it was

'offensive and nasty... insidious and rather sinister' and that the campaign 'smacks of a modern day witch-hunt'.

So why is the Church of England now recommending it to it's members?

The Anglican Conspiracy Grows

Yes that's right folks,  the people who now lead the previously equitable, fair, liberal and culturally sensitive Anglicans have changed tack and are now in bed with the religious extremists!  Harding may indeed sincerely believe that Halloween is somehow dangerous to children (despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to prove it) but the colleagues he has chosen to join with are the troublemakers who told the British public that there was a world-wide conspiracy of Satanists who were abducting, torturing, abusing and even killing children in their rites - when there was nothing of the sort happening!  

Twenty years later we know that those claims and allegations were dissimulations of evil - and the same could be said of the accusations in 'Better Than Halloween'.  Why should we allow these lies to become currency again.  There is a fine line between presenting a person's worst fears and the facts of the matter.  In his self-righteousness I believe Harding has crossed that line.

It will be of no surprise to anyone who has read it that Harding's book is full of snide and sneaky inferences, untrue allegations, the rewriting of history, the besmirching of the sincere beliefs of others and the constant manipulation of the reader's conclusions with Tabloidesque emotional images that can only terrify the less well informed.  In my opinion it is an arrogant and weasely attack upon not only Paganism, but the putty-like minds of dozing Anglicans who are unready for this radicalisation and will have the pants frightened off them.

Apart from the section of  'Better' Than Halloween which uses the usual emotional blackmail to persuade  do-gooders to use ready-made methods and resources to inaugurate counter-part Halloween celebrations 'of light', the major part of the book comprises the old blood libels and lies which the Church has consistently aimed at Paganism and other beliefs over the centuries.  Hard facts, but facts we must consider nevertheless. Unless we face them innocents may suffer.

Firstly , why is it that in their arrogance these people assume they can put on the mantle of telling other parents what is best for their children?  There are plenty of cases of  priests and vicars sexually abusing, physically abusing and yes, even killing children in their care  (see   for  hundreds of true cases of evil Christians harming children).  Christianity certainly does not have a monopoly on caring for children. It is arrogance of the highest order for them to assume that they make better parents because of their beliefs, than Hindus, Moslems, Jews and Pagans. Yet this is what they always do.  Unlike Harding we have no need to recourse to smarmy inuendo. We can state our case clearly and it is thus:    Statistics in SAFF research show that every single week three children will be sexually or physically abused by Christians ( vicars, priests and lay-preachers). Week in, Week Out, three new child victims will suffer horribly because the attention of  the self-righteous has been drawn away from a real and certain risk and projected onto a completely imaginary one.  One's patience gets rather short when one hears these old lies being told yet again by an ill informed sectarian propagandist - particularly one who has been rubber stamped by the Church of England!

Secondly, what gives the Church of England the right to complain about how people celebrate Halloween?

I'll tell you what it is;  it is the overweening idea that any child not brought up in strict accordance with Holy Writ is somehow doomed. The idea that it is okay to spiritually hi-jack Children from their parents if they aren't Christian enough. To punish agnostic, atheist, ungodly parents and 'save the child' for Jesus.  The evangelists' approach is a remnant of that outdated form of imperialist patriarchal arrogance which says

'we know what's best for you because we know the right way to live and you had better conform to our way of thinking' .

Now the problem here is that most readers of this review are likely to be nominal Christians, That is, people who have been baptised when a baby and who therefore consider themselves Christians but who do not really attend church on a regular basis. Your view of eminent activist Christians, particularly those who have their work published by the Church of England, is likely to be that they are doing a good job and sincererly believe in Jesus. So what's wrong with them giving their personal opinions?  I agree!  If this book was just Harding's personal opinions I would be the first one to defend his right to utter them but what you miss is that Harding's book is part of an orchestrated campaign as the research above clearly shows.

Some people high-up in the Church of England have breached their established principles of fair play and given tacit approval for their activists to adopt sensationalist fundamentalist tactics to disparage and dishonour another belief.   'Better' Than Halloween ' is a missionary device to frighten nominal Christians back into line.    We have already pointed out the clear links between 'Better' Than Halloween and Reachout , the non-denominational Christian activist group which as well as campaigning against Satanists, also ridicules, insults and attacks Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and many other Christian groups which in their died-in-the-wool prejudices Reachout doesn't think are Christian enough.  Is the Church of England now going to desparage and besmirch JWs and Mormons too?   But look now at this: The most prominent recommendation on the cover of   'Better' Than Halloween  is from David Gillet, pictured right, The Church of England's Bishop of Bolton.  A man with a history of evangelical activism, Gillet has attacked Halloween before and been criticised for it  ( see ).   David Gillet even wrote the foreward for Harding's book and made it absolutely clear that he saw it as a move to 'reclaim' Halloween.   

The general stereotype of  the Bumptious Anglican Bishop doesn't quite fit with David Gillet. In 1993 he was the principle of the Trinity Theological College near Bristol, so he knows a thing or two about church history and how it suppressed paganism.   By it's own admission the Anglican based TTC was created in 1972 from three other evangelical groups and its purpose is clearly stated :

We are more than just an academic community. We are a community that seeks to live under the authority of the Word of God and to grow corporately and individually in our Christian discipleship. We are here to equip men and women for Christian ministry and mission in the power of the Spirit.

And that's exactly what it appears David Gillet progressed when he was in control of it before he became Bishop of Bolton and part of the Mancheser Diocese of the Church of England.  One of the main purposes of the TCC is to bridge denominational boundaries and it works closely with Bristol Baptists and even Catholic groups.  Amongst the allumni of fundamentalist missionaries that TCC has prepared and sent out over the years is  Revd Robin Gamble, now  Canon Evangelist in the Diocese of Manchester.  His job is to regularly get involved in lecturing and equipping others in many aspects of evangelisation.    Additionally, 'Better' Than Halloween  is a crucial part of  a recent Church of England Website which was set up by the Manchester Diocese of the Church of England specifically to coordinate a long-term attack on the celebration of Halloween.

So you can see, dear reader, that what we appear to have here is a calculated long-term attack by one religion on another religion by the discrediting of it's most important and persistent religious festival.  Exactly what the early Christian missionaries did in the Middle Ages when they tried to suppress Samhain/Halloween the first time in Britain and failed.

Can you imagine what would happen if the CofE tried the same tactics against the Moslems' Ramadan or the Hindus'  Diwali? How far do you think they would get with the Islamic community if they said that making children fast during Ramadan was dangerous and should be banned?  Or that Hindu children should not be allowed to paint-up, dress-up or wear masks of Hindu deities because it psychologically harmed them and scared other kids?   You will readily agree that such incitement would lead to a great negative social conflict within our society and to valid upsets within the Islamic community. The Church of England would not DARE do it, yet think they are free to attack Paganism in the same way and not worry about repercussions. 

The Bogus Halloween Poll

60% of Cats Prefer Vicars

During the Halloween 'push' of 2008 the Manchester Diocese of the Church of England, in conjunction with the Children's Society made extensive use of a much-vaunted poll by Opportunity Research Business  (ORB) to convince the British media that most parents thought that Halloween was psychologically damaging to children and that 'costumes for children representing monsters, witches and ghouls should be replaced with apple-bobbing kits, nice costumes, face-paints etc. '

 The CofE claimed that 60% of  'young parents  wanted, or would be open to' a change to the traditional harum-scarum Halloween costumes.  The findings nicely dovetaled into the Church's campaign to press shopkeepers into censoring the choice of costumes and masks, particularly in the big supermarkets. The poll was used as justification when writing to Tescos, Sainsbury's, Asda etc.   

Well, that's the impression the Manchester Diocese gave the public but in fact the poll  was far less decisive. Firstly the Church of England will not release the method and how the sample which gave these statistics was obtained.  We have asked them officially FOUR times for it and they have now refused to answer us and actually declilned to enter into any further discussion about it. Not only are the Manchester Diocese refusing to talk, but when we appealed to Lambeth Palace for them to intervene to provide us with the published report of this poll they claimed they could not force the Manchester Diocese to give us it and limply said they couldn't help!  The Archbishop of Canterbury is apparently unable to even raise his voice to request fundamentalist activists who are perpetrating sectarian persecution in the Manchester Diocese to back up their own outrageous claims!  So much for Jack Straw's initiative on interfaith! 

This all  felt very much like a cover up to us. These facts coupled with our own statistical research very strongly leads us to suspect the validity and impartiality of this CofE 'survey'.   From what we do know it appears that the statistics have been 'aggregated' in order to persuade the onlooker that more people preferred a change than did.  Watch this quote:

 ' Almost half (45 per cent) of the parents polled for the campaign felt strongly that there should be a choice of alternative Halloween goods for children, while among the youngest people interviewed (aged 18-24) the figure rose to nearly six in ten (58 per cent)'  

Check that again folks.  Although giving people only one choice out of six options it appears that the organisers of the poll chose to amalgamate several of the blocks to their own purposes and conclude a higher rate of dissatisfaction than the public may have intended.    Statistical manipulation of the worst kind.  This 58% figure, which distorts the reader's idea of how many people actually supported the Church's view, then gets 'rounded up' into the statement that 60% (untrue) of most parents (untrue) would prefer supermarkets not to stock traditional Halloween goods.   This trick lead to the following provocative headline on the www.halloweenchoice.orgwebsite.

Not all parents want to see their kids dressed
as monsters or murderers at Halloween

Nice. The sneaky moral implication of this statement will be clear to all.  If you allow your kids to dress-up for enjoyment at Halloween you are  either a 'bad parent' or a bad Christian!.  Of course the crucial point is that parents don't allow their kids to BECOME monsters or murderers, they just help them dress-up in scary costumes because kids absolutely love it.  The appellation 'Monsters or Murderers' is, in later church propaganda, replaced with the even more wicked term  'serial killers'!  It appears that The Manchester Diocese will go beyond bad taste to accomplish their missionary work. At this juncture I think it appropriate to quote from C.E.M. Joad's groundbeaking analysis of psycho-analysis 'Guide To Modern Thought':

'Nobody has shown more conclusively than Freud how much of the hysteria, the neurosis and the vague self-dissatisfaction of modern life is due to the repression of natural desires in youth. And not only hysteria  and neurosis but the Puritanism which sees in prohibition the whole duty of man, and equates virtue with self-denial. Such morality he has shown is  a rationalisation of the envy of those who, themselves starved of pleasure, cannot tolerate the enjoyment of others. '

Harding and Gillet insist that they are not 'Killjoys' but psychoanalysis reveals they are .  And their approach is worse than that, because their Halloween Campaign is not simply about stopping young children from enjoying themselves,  it is apparently about twisting facts to blame another religion for their own shortcomings .  

But the people connected with Doorways to Danger and, (through 'Better' Than Halloween), the Church of England, are no strangers to the misrepresentation of  polls because  In Doorways to Danger Kevin Logan works his own poll up very well indeed. He is reported as saying:

' I fear that young people are making the journey from the classroom fun of Halloween on to direct involvement in occult practices.  I have conducted a survey indicating that several hundred young people in the area may be caught up through ouija-boards, tarot cards, occult books and videos.'

In fact this survey made big headlines for Logan in the local press at the time,  and on  the radio, when on June 21st (The Summer Solstice) he walked up Pendle Hill in Lancashire to 'reclaim' it for Christianity on Radio 4's Sunday programme. Logan told the interviewer that his survey showed that 90% of  the children in his poll were involved in the occult.   Ninety Percent? Shome mishtake Shurely?   What Logan omitted to mention was that his survey was actually made up of 300 sixteen year olds from a local school and that in Logan's questionnaire he had classed everything from playing fantasy games, watching horror videos and listening to rock music as 'occult'.   I ask you!  What teenager has NOT played loud music and played electronic games?   The poll was basically flawed because its originator read his own prejudices into it.

A few hundred against 150,000

Because the Church of England have categorically refused to let us have sight of the published report of their Halloween poll we have no way of knowing how valid it is, but one would have thought that, had it been valid and proved the contentions they were claiming , they would have been eager to show it to us.    We question it.  And you will question it when you see other, publicly available statistical data which utterly contradicts their findings.

For instance,  the recent survey of more than 150,000 teens and young adults who stated that Halloween was, hands down, the favourite holiday, with 87 percent of the votes. Respondents loved Halloween so much, more than 80 percent wish it lasted for more than one night : (Link to full story here)   )   So.  87% of one hundred and fifty thousand teens and young adults voted positively for Halloween.   A sample of 150,000 gave a decisive vote in favour of having a good time at Halloween.    Looks to me like the Church of England's 'mandate' for trying to force supermarkets to stop selling Halloween costumes and masks is rather thin don't you?

And whilst we are testing the credibility of the assumed claims which Anglican activists have glibly accused Halloween of here's a couple of other bits of information which will help you get a PROPER persepective.

(1)  The Bishop of Bolton has said that:

 "those who sell traditional Halloween merchandise, such as scary masks, are creating a 'climate of fear'." 

Yet it appears clear to any independent onlooker that the only people creating a climate of fear over Halloween are the Bishop and his missionary team.  Their prejudicial assumption that they know what's best for kids is deflated utterly by  Susan Leib, Phd, a paediatric psychologist at Akron Children's hospital who, like many child psychologists says :

'Halloween can be a fun and healthy experience for children as long as parents ensure the stories, movies, costumes and festivities are age appropriate.'.  

David Gillet may think otherwise but that's because he doesn't know what he is talking about and journalists should bear this in mind when listening to his sectarian diatribes. Or as C E M Joad puts it:

'We might obey the priest when we thought his authority backed by the power and informed by the wisdom of God; but the obligation to obedience is undermined when it is exhibited to us as a sublimated desire to control men's minds by deterring them from using their reason.

(2) Then there's the usual lies about people's worst fears.  The fundies are hopping mad about Trick or Treat.  They are trying to liken it to extortion; in fact Harding just jumps on this bandwagon with no clear perception of the implications. He states:

 ' there is potential  for anti-social behaviour and criminal activity under the cloak of trick-or-treat... Trick or Treat is Demanding Money with Menaces. At worst it becomes Criminal Harrassment and Extortion'

These are very serious allegations and the inferrence is that any child out innocently trick-or-treating is committing a felony for which they can be prosecuted - but Harding has not one shred of evidence to make these claims and his interpretation of the law is utterly wrong.  Even so, in 2007  the Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Rev David Gillett, said:

 'the night was being used by yobs as an excuse for bad behaviour and was becoming the "anti-social night of the year"'.  

Yet is this the truth?  Not according to the people who know.  The Police in Slough recorded more than 50% fewer 'anti-social crimes' linked to Halloween in 2008 when compared to 2007 even though the celebration was increasing in popularity.  They inferred that the small amount of bad behaviour was actually diminishing year on year.  This goes directly against what the Bishop of Bolton is telling his parishoners and the British public. The Slough police were not alone. Police in Sidmouth have praised children who took part in trick or treating on Halloween for their "good behaviour". 'Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police, said that, apart from one isolated incident, Halloween was a quiet night for them. Sergeant Turner said:

"Halloween this year was relatively quiet and trouble-free for us. Children who took part in trick or treating were very well behaved. It was extremely good natured apart from  two boys who we dealt with at the time. [source North Devon Gazette 10/11/2008]

So Harding and Gillet's accusations about the long slippery slope to spiritual destruction at Halloween are complete nonsense. Did you believe their faulty human opinions just because one happens to be a Bishop and the other is a Trustee of  the Scripture Union?


We are all used to the yearly kerfuffle from self-declared 'ministers' and inter-denominational 'evangelists' who grab their 'fifteen minutes of fame' at Halloween, but this is something different.  This is not the usual 'no-account' bletherings from people who have no influence or power. It becomes clear that the Church of England has begun to revive its Puritanical past and its main intention is to exercise its prejudices on what it sees as its most ancient and most persistent 'enemy' - Paganism.

Paganism has done nothing to provoke this. Paganism does not seek converts from Christianity - there is no such concept as missionaryism in paganism. Pagans are not in contest with Christians. They live and let live.  It is the Christian agent- provocateurs who seem to go out of their way to insult, decry and besmirch Pagans to try to scare people back into their churches.

Throughout history it is the evangelists who are the ones who have always prodded and poked, slandered and lied, discriminated against, persecuted and yes even burned-alive those of  different beliefs. If history teaches us anything it is that seemingly innocuous initiatives like this can be the precursor to genocide and are absolutely out of step with 21st century life. 

Do you think this is an exaggeration?  Then think again. Think of the 20,000 Christians slaughtered by other Christians in the St Bartholomew Day Massacre of 1572.  Consider the 1209 massacre of the Albigensians when 30,000 Christians, supposed heretics, were slain by other Christians.  Think of the persecution by Christians of dissenters like the Walloons, and the Mennonites where tens of thousands of Christians were killed by other Christians over such small differences in religious observance as would go unnoticed today. Want more?  How about the expulsion and ritual killing of  tens of thousands of Jews in Spain under Torquemada's Christian Inquisition!  The slaughtering of tens of thousands of innocent men women and children in the Middle East during the various Crusades by pious Christian crusaders.  On one occasion, in a historic fit of self-righteous blood-lust those pious Crusaders actually captured a fortified town and visciously slaughtered ten thousand people (men, women and children) who were taking refuge in it.  It took them two days to kill everyone, then afterwards they discovered it was a Christian outpost! They had unnecessarily and bloodily put thousands of their own kind to the sword in the outpourring of their hate for another belief.  And Harding has the audacity to complain about Halloween damaging children!

 Whenever internal stresses in the orthodoxies threaten the cohesion of Christianity history shows that it expresses itself in the victimisation of imagined opponents. The Church of England is losing converts not only to it's own evangelical church groups but more importantly, is losing it's eminance within the seats of power as key Establishment figures also convert - Tony Blair becoming Catholic is a prime example but there are many others.   The Church of England's attack on Halloween may be passed off as 'caring for children at risk', but what it really is is a re-ignition of sectarian hatred which has hallmarked the relationship between Paganism and Christianity for two thousand years. In fact ever since The Roman Emperor Julian tried to overturn the impositions of Constantine in 2312 BP. 

'Better' Than Halloween is in our eyes an instrument of oppression because it is the thin-end of the wedge. We expect this kind of provocation from half-literate bible-thumpers but not from the Children's Ministry Advisor for the CofE. The hellfire and damnation brigade have the excuse of their ignorance, Harding and the Cof E have no such defence and their attacks on Paganism can be seen as nothing else but religious hatred.   This publication and the authorised attack on Halloween by the Church of England gives the green light to religious provocation and conflict. The people who run the CofE aught to be eternally ashamed of themselves for stooping to it.

For the benefit of people who might read this appalling book we have compared Hardings statements with the real facts and positioned these alongside so you can make up your own mind!


John Freedom, Mortlake Winter Solstice 2008ev


The Book Tells You

The truth is:

Eight hundred years ago the pagan autumn festival in Britain was Christened Halloween - the High night of blessing before All Saint's Day. I believe it is high time we reclaimed a Christian stake in this night. Better Than Halloween will help us to do just that.

Here the book admits that The Vigil of Saman is the Anglicised interpretation of the Celtic festival 'Samhain' pronounced 'Zoween' . It is also termed Festival of Light or Fire. The Vigil of Saman or Samhain occurs on October 31st and was observed for at least a thousand years before Britain was Christianised. Saman is the Celtic lord of Death and Transformation. Samhain was the Festival for remembering Ancestors and renewing fire for the hard cold months of winter. Samhain was the Celts' most important festival because it was the beginning of their year; their New Year's Day. All Souls' Day is the Christian church festival observed on November 2nd. Hallowtide is the Christian title for the period covering October 31st to November 2nd. In order to supplant the ancientand much-loved festival of Samhain the Christian Church moved its own All Saints Festival from February to November 1st. However, you need to know also that All Saints Day was itself a spurious invention by the church which was originally imposed to overlay and absorb the ancient Roman pagan festival of Parentalia which, although occurring during mid-February was very similar in content to the Celts' Samhain. Parentalia was the Roman festival of honouring their ancestors and family dead and was over the years subtly changed to honouring the Christian Martyrs.    '(Extracts from  OEXP044  True Facts, Lore and History of Halloween by Frater Marabas.) downloadable this invaluable sourcework here

Harding States:  1st November was the celebration of Samhain Lord of the Dead. It was thought that on the evening before this celebration the barriers between life and death came down and evil spirits roamed free. Celts lit bonfires, sang and danced in order to keep those souls away.  Untrue.  Samhain was not Lord of the Dead he was Lord of Light, the attempt by Harding to associate Samhain only with darkness and evil is dishonourable.  Pagans do indeed believe that 'barriers between life and death 'come down' but the spirits are simply deceased relatives and ancestors.  The Celts DO NOT sing and dance in order to keep evil souls away - they sing and dance to celebrate and welcome  loved ones who are now living in the world of spirit  A BIG difference.
Harding States:  Christian All Saint's Day on November 1 was and is a celebration of life. Well no it's not actually. ' It is a festival originally celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church on behalf of the souls in purgatory for whose release the prayers of the faithful are this day offered up and masses performed. It is said to have been first introduced in the ninth century by Odlion abbot of Cluny; but was not generally established till towards the end of the tenth century. Its observance was esteemed of such importance that in the event of its falling on a Sunday it was ordered not to be postponed till the Monday as in the case of other celebrations, but to take place on the previous Saturday, that the souls of the departed might suffer no detriment from the want of the prayers of the church. It was customary in former times on this day, for persons dressed in black to traverse the streets ringing a dismal toned bell at every corner, and calling on the inhabitants to remember the souls suffering penance in purgatory, and to join in prayer for their liberation and repose.'  extracted from Chambers Book of Days. 1865.  Hallowtide was and is a Christian festival of the dead. Harding doesn't appear to  know his own theology!  Maybe he should don a black robe, get a bell and join in with the Halloween revelries instead of making this impropaganda up?   Harding is free to celebrate Halloween in any why he wishes but he is not free to besmirch the original festival with mistruths and portray the traditional Christian observations as superior, against all the facts.
Harding states:  Hallows means ' All Holy People' Codswallop! Any dictionary will tell you that Hallows means REVERED and thus was equally as apropos for use by Celts who still believed in Samhain (Zoween) { Hallowed Zoween = Halloween} and who first used the celebration to REVERE their ancestors.  Again Harding uses word-play to infer that Christians have the monopoly on reverence and holiness.
Harding states: Witches' Masks and costumes are all linked with witchcraft, the occult and Druid Worship. Untrue.  Pagan witches do not wear masks, only head-dresses and circlets. and a plain robe similar to that worn by priests.  The Druids never wore masks but they did wear plain robes, just like Christian priests, but white for purity, not black.
Harding States:  Halloween is based on various pagan rituals, some of which can be traced far back into the past. Misrepresentation.  Commercial Halloween festivities for non-pagans incorporates 'Addam Family' type costumes worn for harum-scarum fun.  This has very little to do with the GENUINE pagan Samhain celebration . Pagans do not wear or use anything like this - their beliefs are as serious to them as Christianity is to Christians.   However we pagans like to see others enjoying themselves so don't make a big deal out of non-pagans getting fun out of Halloween and don't mind what they wear to do it. 
Harding States:  Under the cloak of the 'fun aspects' promoted to children the ' forces of darkness' are at work. Sectarian Lie. Harding has now stepped over the line. It is one thing to campaign to remind other Christians of the fundamentalist notions of their belief about Halloween but it is quite another to say that the original pagan celebration is a source of evil. Even worse is the inferrence that pagans are in some way using the popularity of Halloween as a front to somehow  harm children.  Firstly there are no 'forces of Darkness' on Halloween. Secondly who would want to promote them even if there were?
Harding States:  Ghosts and monsters may also have pagan origins. It made sense to some people to dress up as ghosts or monsters themselves. The ghosts and monsters would think they were some of their own! Mis-truth.  In general the majority of the public who happily celebrate Halloween do not believe in the existence of Ghosts or Monsters and would likely think Harding an extremist for suggesting they did.  Spirits of deceased relatives are believed in by Pagans but these are not 'ghosts' in the generally accepted definition of that word (i.e. lost souls locked in a no-man's land between life and death who cannot resolve their spirit). Pagans believe that family spirits live in the 'Summerlands' (the counterpart to the Christian Heaven) and revisit their families at Halloween / Samhain to bring joy and merriment.  Pagans do not associate with or believe in 'monsters' (whatever they are!)  Certainly they are not dim enough to assume that dressing up as a ghost would make ghosts think they were ghosts!  How stupid is that?  Here the idea Harding seems to be  trying to fix in the minds of his Anglican brothers is that Pagans traffick with demons on Halloween.  A typical sectarian lie.
Harding States:  Pumpkins may be linked with witchcraft through the tradition of putting a candle in a skull to light the way to witchcraft meetings. Yeah, right, that's what witches did!  After hundreds of years of being driven underground by viscious unyeilding sectarian hate from the Clergy witches would trot off to their meetings carrying a skull with a candle in it, just to make it easier for priests out hunting for them at Halloween to burn them at the stake!  Grow up Harding - what an ignoramus this man is.  The skull connection at Halloween is in the revering of the relics of ancestors - just in the same way that Saint's relics are revered in many Catholic countries in Christian festivals of the dead.  Pagans respect the beliefs of other religions, what a pity this Christian fundamentalist isn't as honourable as the people he is besmirching.  
Harding States:  People lit fires to scare away the evil spirits  No they didn't you nincompoop.  People lit need-fires because Samhain / Halloween is the most important fire-festival of the year being the preparation for a hard winter ahead.  Embers from the need-fire would be taken back to re-ignite the hearth in every person's home and assure their family of life-giving warmth throughout the cold winter months ahead. The fire was sacred and had nothing to do with 'evil spirits' but Harding appears to have an obsession with them!  I wonder if the Bishop of Bolton believes in evil spirits too?
Harding States:  The trick or treat idea may go back to 'souling' a Christian tradition when people would visit homes and offer to pray for the souls of those who had died and in return would be given a cake. In the USA it goes back to a large group of Irish labourers who threatened people on Halloween night in order to obtain money.  Convenient Supposition. It would be nice if fundamentalists like Harding actually did some research before inventing ideas to foist onto their readers which suited their sectarian purposes. Trick or Treat stems from the ancient Celtic (Irish) custom of members of the community going from house-to-house to collect bread, cake, butter, cheese, eggs and other fare TO BE USED IN THE COMMUNAL NEIGHBOURHOOD HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION WHICH FOLLOWED. In otherwords it was a whip-round for the festivities.  When the early priests Christianised the Samhain / Halloween festival in Ireland they supplanted Saman with St Columb but continued with the, quite necessary, whip-round without which the festivities could not go ahead. This bonded the community and shared out the harvest so everyone got their fare share.  These traditions were carried over into the U.S.A. by Irish immigrants and became known as Trick or Treat. (source: Fosbroke's Encyclopaedia of Antiquities (1840))  There was no threat or impress involved and the contribution of food and gifts for communal use is exactly the same as the Christians'  Harvest Festival. 
Harding States:  Halloween is growing and is no longer a Christian Festival. It never was mate!  We were here first and you copied us, the pagans. 
Harding States:  As Christians we have a challenge in communicating our concerns to a world that does not take matters of spirituality seriously. But that's exactly what Samhain / Halloween does. That is it's purpose. It encourages people to consider life and death, their own mortality and matters of spirituality.  But Harding's inference here is meant for other ears than ours - it is fundie-speak to other activists that there are 'spiritual concerns' about Satan using Halloween to trick the unwary away from god.   He is basically saying that the masses are in the thrall of satan and cannot see it. Fundamentalist activists may need to be devious when dealing with 'The Devious One'.......  It is a nod and a wink to the extremists.   
Harding States:  It was the Christians who adopted the celebration of All Saints based on the fact that through Jesus, the light of the world, all darkness is banished. Misrepresentation:  That is not what All Saints was invented for.  The Christian Church moved its own All Saints Festival from February to November 1st. However,  All Saints Day was itself a spurious invention by the church which was originally used to commandeer the ancient Roman pagan festival of Parentalia which, although occurring during mid-February was very similar in content to the Celts' Samhain. Parentalia was the Roman festival of honouring their ancestors and family dead and was subtly changed to honouring the Christian Martyrs.  The inception of All-Saints at Samhain was a subterfuge by the Church to take control of the existing pagan celebration and suppress its ancient customs. Just as they are trying to do today. 

Harding States:  We no longer live in a pagan age when occult and druidic practices dominate and have a place - we have been introduced to Christ and our society should therefore be different. Does that also apply to the Jews and the Moslems also?   Or how about the Hindus and the Buddhists - they were about long before Christianity was in the ascendent.   This is just another example of Harding's arrogant absolutism and a prime indicator of fundamentalism.   What Harding is basically saying is that there is no room in 'our' society for Paganism, atheism or any non-Christian beliefs because only Christianity is genuine and the rest are counterfeit.
Harding states:  Children are best served by having the realities of life and death carefully explained to them when the opportunity arises, rather than by trivialising the power or strength of evil. And whose version of the reality of life and death is that then Harding?  The reality which says that if they are naughty and don't do what YOU say they will burn in Hell? Again the arrogance of Harding's ignorance shows through.  There may be some religious and philosophical beliefs which can ameliorate the fear of death but in my view Harding's version would probably terrify children far more than having fun dressing up at Halloween.
Harding states:  Halloween does not remember and celebrate those who have brought the love of Christ to the world in the past, but revels in fear and horror. Misdirection.  Samhain has nothing to do with Jesus and it does not 'revel in fear and horror'. Though that image of a near-naked emaciated man nailed to a cross with his guts hanging out and blood running down his face might concievably be seen as fearful and horrific by children if we reflected Harding's sectarian hypocrisy back on to him .
Harding states:  There is the potential for anti-social behaviour and criminal activity under the cloak of Trick-or-Treat.... Trick or Treat is demanding money with menaces. At worst it becomes Criminal Harrassment and extortion Misdirection.  There is also the potential for criminal activity (fraud ) under the cloak of  do-gooders and church voluntary workers begging from door to door and in the street every day of the week but why  make a fuss out of it?  Apart from bogus collectors even the genuine ones could easily be seen as morally blackmailing old people who cannot really afford to give to charity but feel obligated to; sort of 'demanding money with very subtle menaces' !   Of course the organisation which is working as a partner in this anti-pagan propganda, The Children's Society, is a 100% Christian charity linked firmly to the Church of England and it behoves us to point out that there are many links on the www.HalloweenChoice.Org website which invite people to donate money to the Children's Society using allegations about Halloween regarding the supposed danger to children which we have proven to be untrue.    The words Pot, Kettle and Black come to mind. 
Harding states:  Each year there are many anecdotal accounts of windows , doors and cars being damaged and people being put in fear. Dissimulation. Police statistics do not show crime on Halloween as being a problem and their statistics show a reduction in claimed cases. In one area (Buckinghamshire) there was a 50% reduction from last year. The impression that vandalism is escalating at Halloween is not true. 
Harding states:  Parents allow children to wander around the streets, calling at strangers' homes and asking for things. Misdirection. If parents of small children cannot go with them at Halloween they are usually cared for by older siblings.  Children only call at houses in their neighbourhood and usually do so with groups of friends who also live nearby thus everyone is known. Halloween is a communal neighbourhood celebration and always has been   The inference that children are at risk from 'strangers' at Halloween is simply the antipode of the point above where Harding claimed that it was Children themselves who were terrorising neighbours with trick or treat!  He can't have it both ways - but he will try.... 
Harding states:  Elderley persons are terrified by people dressed in frightening and bizarre costumes who demand that they hand things over or face a shocking trick. Dissimulation.  Most elderly people enjoy Halloween as well as giving kids small gifts to celebrate. They remember doing it themselves when they were young. The minority who do not want to need only avoid answering the door.  That's what I do every year when Carol Singers come round cadging money for the local church.  I've heard that some sensitive elderly people are frightened by  the bizarre clothes of Carol Singers but one has to live and let live.
Harding states:  There seems to be a decrease in families remembering the Gunpowder Plot on November 5th by burning an effigy of Guido Fawkes. People are being drawn away from this celebration and drawn in by the commercial pressure of Halloween. And what a good job too, seeing as how 'burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes' is actually an anti-Catholic sectarian insult. Bonfire night celebrates the final subjugation of Catholics into second class citizens in the U.K.  Compared with burning an effigy of a real person (Fawkes) who was terribly tortured and then had his body drawn and quartered and the bits displayed as a public warning, Halloween seems rather tame. If Harding wants  to celebrate the persecution of Catholics then that is up to him. It has nothing to do with Halloween or Pagans but I suggest it is better to teach children religious tolerance rather than indoctrinate them with sectarian hate.
Harding states:  There is something attractive to children about wiches' costumes and devil outfits. Sinister and worrying aspects of Halloween are trivialized and hidden under cheap plastic horns and tacky outfits. There is certainly a morbid fascination in darkness, death and fear that is attractive to children. .  We keep hearing about these 'sinister and worrying' aspects of Halloween but are never told what things those might be.  Personally I think allowing snipe-nosed bigots to put the fear of god into children is probably far more sinister and worrying than them enjoying the wearing of plastic horns and fangs for an evening.  Harding sees darkness, death and fear, but when I look out at all the laughing kids enjoying themselves with their friends each year at Halloween I just see them having FUN.  And it's been like that for CENTURIES.  I did it, and millions of others have done it before me and since. And you know what Harding?  I never met anyone that didn't have a really good time.  Look Harding, I think you aught to face the fact that maybe it is YOU who is morbidly fascinated with darkness and death because you were deprived of celebrating Halloween yourself,  ever considered that?  That it is YOUR psychology which is the abnormal one and not the millions who enjoy Halloween every year? 
Harding states:  It could not be argued from any viewpoint that Halloween does not have origins in pre-Christian worship linked with the occult And double-negatives in grammar has just went. Misrepresentation! Firstly Paganism is not 'occult' in the sense that Christianity is not 'occult'.  That is; both have mystical aspects and it is beneath the dignity of one religion to try to represent the mystical aspects of another as 'occult' when everyone knows that the word 'occult' just means 'hidden from view'.  What Harding is making a dog's dinner of saying here is that he thinks the pre-Christian religion of Paganism is evil.  It's not but the Christians always seem to know most about evil don't ya think?
Harding states:  Halloween has become a major issue in the church and in society. No it hasn't.  It's only a major issue with people like you Harding because Samhain / Halloween is the only pagan festival you haven't been able to steal, corrupt or suppress.  You succeeded in hi-jacking Christmas (when everyone knows Jesus was born in September) but you couldn't stop people enjoying themselves at Yule (21st December) so switched everything around to confuse it with Christmas). Even now the fundamentalists never desist from complaining about the 'commercialisation' of  Christmas, but that's because everything enjoyable in it is Pagan! (Christmas Trees, Father Christmas (spirit of Christmas), Baubles, Feasting, Drinking,  Christmas Cake, Flaming Yule Log, Christmas Faeries, pantomimes, Christmas pud, the giving of presents, holly wreaths, mince pies,  etc. ) Why even the Christmas Carols were originally ribaldly pagan and were censored to conform with Christian piety! You name it and if it's full of fun it's PAGAN.  The Christians tried to monopolise Easter too;  which was the ancient pagan spring festival of the Goddess Eostre. So I could start another list here with Easter Eggs etc.but I won't as I have clearly made the point.  So don't get on your high-horse Harding.  The people are just fine with Halloween / Samhain as it is and your campaign will be seen by them for what it is. Censorship.  I'm writing this to make sure you don't get away with all this flim-flam.
Harding states:  What does the bible say? The bible has plenty to say about many of the activities and images associated with Halloween. Astrology and Spiritualism have been around at least since biblical times.  The Bible is clear about many areas of activity associated with the origins of Halloween such as sorcery, witches, witchcraft, incantations and spells and condemns those who underestimate or follow the evil one, Satan. Our concern is not only for those of us who live in the light of Christ but for everyone who may come under evil influences, particulary children and the young. More lies.  The Old Testament is a product of the Middle East and there were no Jews in Celtic Britain. Halloween /Samhain had already been celebrated  for at least a thousand years prior to the importation of Christianity into Britain.   There is no mention in the bible of the Celtic festival of Samhain / Halloween because its compilers probably didn't even know Britain existed.  What Harding is trying to say is that things which HE thinks are attached to Halloween are proscribed by Holy Writ, but Halloween / Samhain is one of the oldest extant religious festivals of the British Isles and should be treasured by all Britions. There is no sorcery, incantations, witchcraft or spells attached to it.  Harding is trying to flummox his readers into thinking that pagans are evil Satanists and that Satan lies in wait to capture the souls of young children who put on plastic capes and masks.  What an idiot. He says the bible condemns things at Halloween and then goes on to talk about Astrology and Spiritualism which have no place whatsoever in Halloween / Samhain!   Notice the sleight of hand where although at first addressing his Christian readers Harding suddenly makes a pitch to become responsible for the souls of ALL children.  Very Scary. Particulary for atheists or Jews or Moslems, or Shintoists, or Hindus, or Buddhists, or Bahaiists, or .......... 
Harding states:  Halloween is in essence a celebration of evil over good; it can cause children to develop fears and become over-sensitive to the strength and influence of evil. This distortion can manifest itself in fears of the dark, nightmares, and horrific dreams and a negative sense of their own vulnerability in a dangerous and dark world.. Any historian will tell you that Halloween is a Celtic new-year festival which celebrates the bonds of the family and reveres ancestors and departed relatives.  There is ABSOLUTLY NOTHING EVIL ANYWHERE IN IT .   How then can it cause children to become 'over-sensitive to the influence of evil'  It can't, but in order to prove it can fundamentalists will continue to recreate their imagined 'dangerous and dark world' by scaring children witless with terrifying tales from the dregs of their own pitiful subconscious. 
Harding states:  The use of ouija boards and tarot cards is commonplace in many schools. Yeah sure. And which Schools would those be Harding?  Where teachers are ready to stand-by whilst kids play on ouija boards?  They can't even wear head-scarves or jewellery for goodness sake - how would they get away with a ouija board?   There aren't 'many' cases of this - in our research over twenty years we only came up with Three - that's one every 7 years but Harding exaggerates an occasional incident and presents this as a countrywide threat.  This is the kind of exaggeration which caused so much pain and suffering during the 1990s Satan Scare. Taking isolated incidents and working them up to make all-encompassing allegations which have little or no basis in fact. It is a vile thing for irresponsible people like Harding to adopt this tactic now, as though we had all forgotten what went before.   In any case -  as Ouija Boards and Tarot Cards have nothing to do with Halloween it is a complete irrelevancy to the book's main thrust. Note well however that Ouija Boards and Tarot cards in schools was a main feature of Doorways to Danger, indicating once again that Harding is toeing the historical SRA line.   
Harding states:  There is an increasing  interest in the occult , demonstrated by the popularity of books, films and computer games with storylines and examples of occult worship and practice. Through the internet information and help in learing about the occult is much more readily available, posing dangers similar to those we are more aware of concerning child abuse and grooming.   So here we have it at last. Harding has finally got around to the The Big Lie. Having assaulted the reader's consciousness with half-truths, innuendo, dissimulations, exaggerations, misdirections and emotional turmoil, Harding warms to his task. Under the heading ' Celebrating the Occult, Satan and Evil'  he begins to bring in the old Satanic Ritual Child Abuse allegations and motifs to allege and infer that Halloween is being used by Satanists to groom children for Satanic Ritual Child Abuse .   This is perhaps what he has wanted to say all along;  because that's what was between the lines in Doorways To Danger , and that's what the Gang of Five tried to float in 1989. But it is all complete and utter rot now just as it was then.   There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Satanists are 'grooming' children at Halloween or indeed at any other time of the year - and how impractical would that be when the very word 'grooming' infers the manipulation of a person's mind over a long period of time.  It would presumably be impossible to do it in a day.   As a matter of fact, the only long-term 'grooming' I can see is the constant vile imprecations of the minds of other bigots by self-righteous intollerati. 
Lastly Harding states:  If we even condone halloween we will end up with nothing. This is the usual veiled threat from fundamentalists. People who do not do what they say will burn in hell for their disobedience.  If that's the case,  I'll meet up with him there.
Research Provided by the S.A.F.F. World Copyright 2008 The Sub-culture Alternatives Freedom Foundation

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