Search Results for: michael o'brien

Michael O’Brien Thinks Potter is Bad News!

No surprise there. Read about his new book here.

Harry Potter and “the Death of God” – by Michael D. O’Brien

The last I heard, Michael O’Brien, artist, novelist, and Harry Hater, was not doing interviews about the Harry Potter books. I hoped that this meant he had reflected on his bizarre crusade contra Ms. Rowling’s novels and decided he was in the wrong. A legion of Catholic readers that includes Stratford Caldecott and Fr. Peter Fleetwood recognizes the genius and value of Ms. Rowling’s work (Fr. Peter is the priest Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict asked Ms. Kuby to correspond with about her Potter concerns). Maybe, I thought, Mr. O’Brien had read insightful reviews or someone had contacted him that had been able to help him overcome his “Harry problem.” Mr. O’Brien is, after all, a novelist of some distinction and an artist whose paintings enjoy an excellent reputation.

On 20 August, unfortunately, the self-proclaimed “combat soldier in the culture war” returned to the battle to save Western Civilization from Harry Potter and free the imprisoned slaves of their delusions. The article, Harry Potter and “the Death of God, appeared on the Life Site News website that also posted the infamous Kuby Letters with the Skeeter-esque headline, “Pope Opposes Harry Potter” in July, 2005, days before the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Michael O’Brien and the zealots at Life Site News live in the village of Combermere, Ontario, and their joint efforts to create the illusion of Papal displeasure with Harry was discussed at length in an article here at Hogwarts Professor at that time. Mr. O’Brien and Life Site News teamed up again last week to say what others are afraid to say. To their delight, Harry Potter readers have responded by reviling them, even cursing them, and saying all manner of evil against them, falsely, for Harry’s sake. [Read more…]

Is Sybill Trelawney Really J. K. Rowling? The Case for an Embedded Author

In yesterday’s post I wrote about J. K. Rowling’s lists of correspondences between the four Hogwarts Houses and the traditional four Elements — fire, air, earth, and water — as well as with the four playing card suits – diamonds, hearts, clubs, and spades — and how the two lists each make sense intuitively but do not line up with one another. I shared there something I had learned about Rowling from Eglantine Pillet’s Chestnut Hill talk, ‘Harry Potter: A Fool and a King,’ in which she quoted this paragraph from an unauthorized biography of The Presence:

One [of her friends from school] recalls, ‘Jo would entertain us with her brilliant wit and colorful stories. She was very inventive and clever at reading tarot cards and palms and weaving a story around it which was pure make believe but had us alternately gripped and then laughing’ (Sean Smith, J. K. Rowling: A Biography, p 62).

Just think what Richard Abanes and Michael O’Brien, leaders of the ‘Harry is the Gateway to the Occult’ brigade in the fin de siecle years of this century, would have made of that. I shudder to think.

What it made me realize, though, is that Rowling’s simultaneously hilarious and pathetic Professor of Divinations may be her embedded character, a snapshot of herself placed inside the story as a bit of comic metafiction. I think the character Rowling played in her Comprehensive School cafeteria, the gypsy figure doing funny readings of tarot cards and palms that had her friends “alternately gripped and then laughing,” i.e., readings that were close enough to the truth to fascinate but done in camp, mock New Age fashion to make fun of those credulous enough to believe in such things.

And we know Rowling is not afraid to put images of her self into her books. Not only is Lula Landry’s rags-to-riches and struggles with celebrity in Cuckoo’s Calling a shadow-play of Rowling’s experience but Kathryn Kent, the wannabe writer in The Silkworm, seems a there-but-for-the-sake-of-chance-discovery-went-I character. And most of the characters in Casual Vacancy seem to have been drawn to varying degrees from Rowling’s personal experience.

How is Sybill Trelawney, though, a picture of J. K. Rowling? Rowling writes about her seeming doppelganger at some length on PotterMore with some especially interesting notes about why her first name is ‘Sybill’ rather than the expected ‘Sibyl.’ But she neglects to mention the Squire Trelawney connection from Stevenson’s Treasure Island, the financier and clueles wonder that sails in search of treasure with a ship load of pirates, a man who could be said to play a similar role to Sybill Trelawney in his story. First, though, some lower hanging fruit for establishing Sybill Trelawney as Rowling’s embedded image in the Harry Potter novels —

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Time for a Catholic Dumbledore’s Army!

Brandon Vogt is a full-time evangelist and apologist for the Roman Catholic Church in AmericaYesterday at 10:30 AM

Watch Video #1 in my new 5-part series, “Why it’s Time for a Catholic Dumbledore’s Army (and Why You Need to Join)” (And get the rest of the videos at

Sadly, I’ve come to realize most Catholics are in the same situation as Harry Potter and friends in the bestselling books:

They face massive challenges and pressures but their institutions just aren’t preparing them. They’re not getting the practical skills they need.


…..they must do something about it themselves.

Harry and his friends created Dumbledore’s Army.

But today, we need a **Catholic** Dumbledore’s Army.

To see why, just click watch this first video.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this new series:

– Harry Potter’s brilliant strategy for saving Hogwarts (and why Catholics must copy it today!)

– The critical skills our parishes are NOT teaching us, and where to learn them instead

– The simple 3-step process used by Harry Potter and St. Thomas Aquinas to become masters

– How to learn the practical conversation skills all Catholics need in just 15 minutes per week

PS. Be sure to visit to get the other videos!

Three quick notes before I head out the door to Orthodox Nativity services this weekend and Monday:

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Deathly Hallows’ Tenth Anniversary (1)

Where was I ten years ago — July 2007 — when Deathly Hallows was published?

I was living in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, just outside Allentown, in a farmhouse adjacent to the Glasbern Inn farm and property. Six of the seven Granger children were still with us, then aged six to seventeen, the oldest daughter having just left to start college at the Virginia Military Institute.

My plan was to be in London, England, on the day of publication. I’d been invited to speak at a big deal conference as a Featured Speaker with air fare and a room at the Savoy. I had been giving interviews to The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I did a gig on MSNBC, the A&E channel was playing The Secrets of Harry Potter that eventually became a part of the Phoenix DVD extras and I was featured, and two of my books, Unlocking Harry Potter and Looking for God in Harry Potter (now How Harry Cast His Spell), and one that I edited, Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?, were in the Amazon Top 100. had become the weblog you know today in late December, 2016, and was hitting unprecedented and ten-times-normal traffic levels as media sources linked to the several-times-daily posts I was putting up.

I was pretty excited and wearing full Gilderoy plumage. I spoke to my daughter Hannah one weekend, the first phone call home she was allowed as a ‘Rat’ in VMI’s spartan immersion in cadre discipline. I told her my plans for London and my secret wish to meet The Presence Herself. Isn’t it possible that JKR will stop by the biggest fan conference in the same city as the book release?

My oldest daughter, a champion athlete and as deft rhetorically, decided that sarcasm was the pin she needed to burst my balloon.

“That’s great, Dad. You can read the book to your younger children the next time the seventh book in the series comes out.”

What she was talking about was my break with a family tradition. I guess to her, as an Orthodox Christian being initiated into the military caste culture, my desertion of post for individual advantage contra convention and expectation was about as low as I could go. [Read more…]