Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Shocking, Subtle, Secret Story

No doubt you've seen the adds for the movie. It's reminiscent of the Narnia movie, but looks can be deceiving, just as the tip of the iceberg was to the Titanic--by the time anyone saw it, it was too late.

We had seen the trailer for The Golden Compass over the summer which looked like a fun, cute movie to take the kids to see. Fortunately, I recognized the storyline, and when I heard the name "Lyra", immediately scratched it off my list.

Lyra is the main character in the first of a trilogy of books put out by Phillip Pullman, and is the secondary character in the second book, The Subtle Knife. My son had innocently brought home this book from his elementary school's library when I picked it up and started reading it.

The reason I'm so fervent, for those of you just hearing this from me for the first time, is because I read the entire second book in the series called The Subtle Knife and was quiet disturbed by its content very early on.

The media is defending this movie, making it look like only "kooky Christians" are concerned. I'm here to tell you that while I am indeed a born-again Christian, I was disturbed about its content long before I ever learned of this book's plot at the very end when "killing the Authoriy" is revealed.

How many of us would be indifferent upon learning of a book that talks about castrating young boys and girls? Shocking? Just wait, there's more!

It also paints evil as good and good as evil, revenge and murder as justifiable and worthy, among many other things.

In a very short amount of time, our town received
over 400 signatures from concerned citizens who signed petitions when a murderer moved into one of our neighborhoods. They were neighbors. I doubt very many, if any at all, would call this man, or any other murderer a "worthy companion" like Lyra does in the second book!

These books are vile even if they did not attack God or Christianity. They are surprisingly found in many elementary schools for the advanced readers. I strongly believe they should be removed. All books influence people,
especially young, impressionable minds, even in the name of "fantasy".

Pullman writes very compellingly, and Hollywood is out for the big bucks. Mega efforts are going toward promoting not only the more benign film, but the wicked trilogy itself.

Does the below sound like a book you'd like your kids to read? They are taken from
The Subtle Knife: --LKR

He (Will) couldn't get out of his mind the crack as the man's head struck the table, and the way his neck was bent so far and in such a wrong way, and the dreadful twitching of his limbs. The man was dead. He'd killed him.

And now he'd killed one of them.

So the police would be after him too.

Well, he was good at not being noticed. He'd have to not be noticed harder than he'd ever done in his life before, and keep it up as long as he could, till either he found his father or they found him. And if they found him first, he didn't care how many more of them he killed.

She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy?

The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer.

When she (Lyra) saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion.

54 "I know the man Stanislaus Grumman. I used to love him. But I hate him now with such a fervor that if I see him, I shall kill him... .."--a young witch named Juta Kamainen 322-323 ...Something shot down from the turbid sky, and he John Perry) fell back dead before he could say a word, an arrow on his failing heart. "No! No!" Cried witch Juta K., and fell down after him, clutching her own heart. ... "Why did you do that?" he [Will] shouted. "Why did you kill him?" Because I loved him and he scorned me! I am a witch! I don't forgive!" "What did he ever do to you that you needed to kill him?" he cried. ... And she looked at the dead man. ... "No, I can't explain," she said. "You are too young. It wouldn't make sense to you. I loved him. That's all. That's enough." And before Will could stop her, she fell softly sideways, her hand on the hilt of the knife she had just taken from her own belt and pushed beteewn her ribs.


261 talking about his mother: "They were tormenting her just like those kids at the tower with the cat.... They thought she was mad and they wanted to hurt her, maybe kill her, I wouldn't be surprised. She was just different and they hated her. Anyway, I found her [his mom] and I got her home. And the next day in school I fought the boy who was leading them. I fought him and I broke his arm and I think I broke some of his teeth--I don't know. And I was going to fight the rest of them, too, but I got in trouble and I realized I better stop... so I just pretended to be sorry and told the teachers I wouldn't do it again, and they punished me for fighting and I still said nothing. But I kept her safe, see. No one knew [about his mother's problems--being afraid of things she couldn't see, but he didn't want people to think she was crazy and get separated from his mom] apart from those boys, and they knew what I'd do if they said anything; they knew I'd kill them another time. Not just hurt them. ..."

264 "What about the man you killed?" Lyra said, her heart beating hard. "Who was he?" "I don't know. If I killed him, I don't care. He deserved it. ... And I ran away. That's all that happened. So I didn't mean to kill him, but I don't care if I did. ..."

talking of killing the Authority pages 45-47

46-47 "...I think he's aiming a rebellion against the highest power of all. He's gone a-searching for the dwelling place of the Authority Himself, and he's a-going to destroy Him. ... I'd be afraid to speak it aloud to you if you weren't a witch and beyond the power of the church; but that makes sense. and nothing else does.He's a-going to find the Authority and kill Him. ... The Church teaches that some of the angels rebelled before the world was created, and got flung into hell. They failed, you see, that's the point. They couldn't do it. And they had the power of angels. Lord Asriel is just a man, with human power, no more than that. But his ambition is limitless. He dares to do what men and women don't even dare to think. And look what he's done already... ." --Thorold

50 "...There is a war coming. I don't know who will join with us, but I know whom we must fight. It's the Magisterium, the Church. ...For all history,'s tried to surpress and control every natural impuse. And when it can't control them, it cuts them out. ... They cut their sexual organs, yes, boys and girls; they cut them with knives so that they shan't feel. That is what the Church does, and every church (c) is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling. So if a war comes, and the Church is on one side of it, we must be on the other, no matter what strange allies we find ourselves bound to. ..." --witches speaking???

319-320 "...If you're the bearer of the knife, you have a task that's greater than you can imagine. ... There's a war coming, boy [Will]. The greatest war there ever was. Something like it happened before, and this time the right side must win. ... The knife,...they never knew what they were making, those philossophers. They invented a device that could split open the very smallest particles of matter... .. They had no idea that they'd made the one weapon in all the universes that could defeat the tyrant. The Authority. God. The rebel angels fell because they didn't have anything like the knife; but now... " Will's father, John Perry, aka Stanislaus Grumman


Mrs. Nicklebee said...

Yikes! Other than to say that, I am speechless!

Leza said...

You're honestly not alone.

I've had phone calls and personal emails from friends expressing the same thing as you. I should post some of what they said, because it's insightful and from different perspectives.

You know, you'd think that someone writing children's books wouldn't say such things. At least those with a conscience and half a brain wouldn't even *dream* of such a thing.

Well, I guess it's like what Pullman has said: he writes like no one else will read it, and doesn't care about criticism.

Anonymous said...


Thank you SO much for this. Johanna has been wanting to see this movie and I finally saw the trailer to it on TV and it looked innocent enough so I said yes. Thankfully, we haven't seen it yet (hadn't even gotten to the point of seeing if it was out yet), but now they will NEVER see it. I will not pay money to have my children's minds warped in such a horrible manner. I will make sure she doesn't read the books either. Wow, what a brazen and bold attempt to brainwash the kids. Very, very scary.


Leza said...

I'm so glad this has helped--I've been *so* burdened about this since I first read "The Subtle Knife", about a year ago.

The "Golden Compass" movie is supposed to be watered down, trying to suck kids into getting the books and the parents thinking it's an okay, safe series.

As a parent, I see it all as *very* evil, and, yes, as *hugely* scary--if my son had never brought that book home, we wouldn't have known, either. I kept telling him that I really felt the Lord allowed him to check it out of the school's library so I could find out about it and help warn others.

The real danger is in these books. Not necessarily the first book in the trilogy, but definitely in the second and third.

While reading the second book in the series, "The Subtle Knife", I had wondered how a book which is so violent and defiant in nature could translate into a movie. There would have to be a *lot* of modifying.

Some defiant messages it sends--"it's okay if you do something bad (like beat people up *really* badly if you think they deserve it) as long as you don't get caught"; or "you can pretend to be sorry and still plan on doing something violent, again"; or, as a witch implied, "if you were older, you'd understand and accept why I killed my lover and am killing myself"; etc.--are all awful teachings.

When someone in our society does something like any of these, we either seek counseling for them, have them put behind bars, or have them placed in a mental institution.

In these books, good is evil, and evil is good, in spite of Pullman denying this and criticizing journalists for coming to this same conclusion.

As for anyone who questions who the Authority is in the books, also referred to as Yahweh (YHWH--a sacred name for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) in the third book, it's quite clear. And with Pullman's own admission that his books are about killing God, there is no question. Anyone can have their own opinion, but if the author says he's killing God, in reality, that's what he's doing.

Pullman is also working on a book he says is about Jesus. In an interview with Christianity Today, he stated that he has plenty to say about Him. I doubt it is anything reverent.

Carol said...

If he's really an "atheist" like he says he is, he wouldn't feel the need to "kill God", would he, now? He wouldn't feel so threatened or so vehement as he is about the Church, Christianity, or Judaism--YHWH like you pointed out and I've read elsewhere.

This author is either a sicko to put such filth about violence toward others for CHILDREN to read about, or possessed by the devil himself!

Only satan has this kind of hatred as a fallen angel who wanted to be worshiped and above God. The end times are near, truly, I believe. Your post is a good one.

Leza said...

Thanks, Carol. :-)