Harry Potter faces the Beast of Terror tonight at 12:01 a.m.
Will he win? Millions of readers in 200 countries will
devour J.K. Rowling's newest book in 55 languages.
But, will the Beast of Terror be driven away as a result?
Only Harry Potter knows.
20, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 646
Harry Potter vs. The Beast of Terror
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June
20, 2003--Bespeckled Harry Potter is preparing for Round
Five with the Beast of Terror. The bout begins at
12:01 a.m. tonight, the eve of the shortest day of the year.
Harry Potter book goes on sale at 12:01
Millions of children
in more than 200 countries, plus an army of parents, friends
and loved ones, are poised to rush their local bookstores
as the bewitching hour unfolds. Their mission: to
buy the 896 page opus, in which Harry Potter and his friends
battle the Beast of Terror's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
in the magical and mythical lands of J. K. Rowling's imagination.
In this book, rumors rage that
one of the characters will die. If it is true, it
will be a reminder to dragon slayers that, "sometimes
the dragon wins." But, like life, it also means
we have to go on.
According to record-setting pre-sales,
even death won't stop the rich and poor children worldwide
from reading Harry's latest adventure, Harry Potter and
the Order of the Phoenix, in 55 different languages
This fifth installment of Harry
Potter's adventures sets a new first-printing record, with
8.5 million copies flooding bookstores worldwide.
The new book will join the already 200 million copies of
previous Harry Potter titles that have captured the
imagination of a global generation, and sparked the reality
that the Beast of Terror's Triad--Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency--can be driven from a child's world with the
magic and wizardry of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions.
The Harry Potter series proves
it doesn't take a superhero to achieve this goal.
Harry, an orphan, looks like
a nerd and is riddled with the defects of character all
13-year-olds burden, but he battles his Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency with the power tools of any Sentinel-of-Vigilance-in-training.
Harry attends wizard school with other children, learning
how to battle the demons of imagination with magic and witchcraft.
looks like a nerd yet fights his battles using the
Tools of Vigilance
Rowling deftly carves the issue of Vigilance and Terrorism
into a distinct world of black and white. "You
either walk into the woods full of giant spiders, or you
don't. Stand up to bullies, or hide from them.
Hang on to hope, or surrender to fear."
The choice isn't always
Harry and his friends
face common challenges any child or adult faces in life.
How do you muster at least One Percent more Courage than
Fear to face the giant spiders? How do you handle
the Intimidation of a bully threatening you with Conviction
when he's ten feet taller than you and as frightening as
running into Saddam Hussein, accompanied by Osama bin Laden,
in a dark alley? And, how do you shun Complacency
when all around you others are ducking and running the other
way, leaving you to either run with them or take the Right
Actions not just for yourself, but for your helpless friend
caught in the Beast of Terror's jaws?
School is the training academy for young wizards
School, the training academy for young wizards, doesn't
provide Harry Potter or his loyal readers any easy solutions.
Facing the Beast of Terror both from within and without,
requires mistakes, fumbles, patience.
Harry and his friends aren't perfect, but they keep trying.
Despite every reason to throw up their hands and duck the
responsibility of becoming time-tested wizards, they
band together to support one another when an ally stumbles
or falters. It is as if they know that
to give up is "death," and that the difference
between a rut and a grave is only the depth. Despite
all logic, they face the demons.
importance is the fact the children reading the books learn
that adults aren't their enemies.
young-adult books, authors cleave the relationship between
the child and adult, stranding the child and making the
adult appear cold, indifferent--a shadowy extension of the
Beast of Terror's efforts to chase down and eat the Children
of Vigilance. In most camps, adults become the enemy
of the child.
gamekeeper, is "the best friend imaginable."
But J.K. Rowling weaves a blanket of Vigilance over her
children and parental-like characters. The adults protecting
them with positive, strong, loving characters such as gamekeeper
Hagrid, termed "the best friend imaginable."
today is rife with the negative spin. The real world
is riddled with Beasts of Terror ranging from Saddam Hussein
to King Jon Il who loom on the horizon as real-time monsters.
Then, there is the constant Fear many children have of not
being loved by their parents, or accepted by their peers,
or not having the right clothes, or being smart enough or
popular enough, or being too fat, too thin.
Many children blame their parents for their shortcomings.
But Harry Potter's theme lifts a child's spirits into believing
that Vigilance can and will overpower Terror. It makes
a distinction between the "good parent" and "evil
force," and puts the duty to evolve square on the shoulders
of the youth.
stitch sutures into the often wounded hearts of many children.
They help heal a child's sense of alienation and disenfranchisement
by showing them there is hope, that David can beat Goliath,
and that the world offers more sunlight than dank, dismal
forests of Fear.
pain she assuages in her readers comes from her own toils
with life, from her own countless battles with her Beasts
of Terror. Not too many years ago, the 37-year-old
author, currently estimated to be worth $450 million--$50
million more than the Queen of England--was a single mom
on welfare struggling to make a living. Now, she lives
in a castle, but continues to reach out to touch the hearts
and imaginations of global children that they are the Sentinels
of Future Vigilance, that they are the true Terror Hunters
who are charged to keep Terrorism, both within themselves
and without, from spreading.
June 23 issue reports how she read from her new book to
a young girl dying of cancer. She called the American
girl from England and shared her newly finished book with
her in private readings. When the girl passed, Rowling
helped support a cancer foundation in the young girl's name.
Fame and fortune have not dislodged her roots as a Mother
is not perfect for Rowling.
critics who appear to live in Slyutherin, the home of the
evil Voldemort--the symbol of the Beast of Terror.
These critics look upon her as a Mother of Terrorism, rather
than a Teacher of Vigilance.
Potter book-burning in New Mexico
Detractors accuse Rowling of promoting witchcraft.
Jack Brock, pastor of the Christ Community Church in Alamogordo,
N.M., made headlines in 2001 when he held a "holy bonfire"
and burned Harry Potter books along with others deemed "evil."
On the opposite
end of the religious pole, Harry Potter books are used to
teach Sunday School. Instructors dress up in
costume and relate scenes in the book to Biblical scriptures.
fans roar their approval over the radical dissidents who
attack her intent to teach children the timeless values
of life--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future
I believe, is teaching children how to battle the Beast
of Terror in a world that offers few solutions to the endless
dilemma of "good" vs. "evil."
The world is
full of real Voldemorts; it is riddled with forests of giant
spiders. How does a child strengthen his or
her moral muscles to stand up to the snarling fangs of Terrorism's
monsters who hiss and growl?
often uses a sword to battle his Terrors
undercurrent in Rowling's books is a force within us all,
a power greater than our defects of Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency, that comes to fruition when we decide to face-off
Harry often uses a
sword to battle such demons. Under the guise
of magic and witchcraft, he is actually employing faith
and his belief that there are powers of "greater good"
than defeat all evil if one is brave enough to stand up
to his or her demons.
A Sword of Vigilance
was used by Harry in the second book, Chambers of Secrets.
In it, Harry battled a serpent with the Sword of Gryffindor.
he was fighting Fear with Courage, Intimidation with Conviction,
and Complacency with Right Actions for future generations,
in behalf of the Children's Children's Children. He
proved once more the power of Vigilance over Terrorism.
adults who read the Harry Potter books are learning the
messages of Vigilance--that Terrorism can be driven off,
banished, but also that, once banished, it will reappear
again if one is Complacent, unprepared, unwary.
When I was at
the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the horror
of the people leaping from the buildings embossed itself
on my mind, and was followed by the great explosions as
the structure collapsed and the nearness of death speared
into my being, I realized that Terrorism was no farther
than an arm's length away.
is no farther than an arm's length away
Harry Potter's message is a reminder that the madness of
a Terrorist driving a plane into a building filled with
thousands of people is not the only form of demons one must
be alert to drive off. Terror monsters also
lurk under a child's bed in the dark, or in the crushing
emptiness when the child seeks to have his or her parents
wrap him or her in loving arms only to be told: "I'm
too busy, don't bother me!"
through their own Terror-filled emotional worlds are as
precarious and fragile as a warrior tip-toeing through a
mine field. The crushing Fear of feeling unwanted,
unloved, not good enough is as devastating to an ossifying
a child's psyche as the conflagration of a World Trade Center,
or the bombed out innards of one's former home in an Iraqi
Without a good mentor
to guide one through the maze of Emotional Terrorism, without
a Nimbus 2001, children end up hiding under the covers,
becoming Emotional recluses or recalcitrant bullies to hide
the pain, to protect themselves from senseless harm.
J. K. Rowling
is changing all that, book by book, reader by reader.
who bury their minds into the characters she has carved
relate to their reality, to their fears and foibles, and,
to the adventures they face when challenging their own demons.
They learn that if one is Vigilant, if one believes that
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions overcome Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency, then there is hope for them despite their
seeming plight. They learn they must become Sentinels
of Vigilance to evolve rather than Victims of Terrorism.
K. Rowling is a Sentinel of Vigilance
is, in my opinion, more than a mother and an author.
She is truly a Sentinel of Vigilance.
She offers the Sword of Vigilance
to children. She presents them the Shield of Vigilance
to ward off the demons of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
She spells out the Principles
of Vigilance in engaging, fascinating ways that remind children,
and their parents, that a child needs to believe in himself
or herself--despite his or her flaws--and if one believes
that facing one's Terror results in sunlight on the other
side, then the battle with all the demons is worth the effort.
For all these reasons, she
symbolizes that Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for
future generations is the core of all hope, and that these
qualities belong to all the children. Her books
unlock that secret.
But if I were
a wizard, and I had a magic wand as Harry Potter, I would
wave it over J.K. Rowling and wish I only wish that
she would include a Pledge of Vigilance in every copy she
would be one Pledge for the Parent and Loved One of the
child, and one for the child.
that Harry Potter would be the first to sign it.
June 19--The Jesus Hoax--Terrorizing
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