Showing posts with label satanic panic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label satanic panic. Show all posts

Sunday, October 24, 2021

She Kills Monsters or "Is it 1982 again?"

It is not often that I bring my Atheism into my posts over here.  I mean in D&D my preferred classes to play are clerics, druids, paladins, and witches; all pretty much the exact opposite of my own beliefs (or lack thereof).   So my blog reading is fairly split between RPG blogs and Science and Atheism blogs. 

It's nice when they combine. 

Case in point with the latest "scandal" with the play "She Kills Monsters."

She Kills Monsters

Briefly, the play, written by award-winning Qui Nguyen,  centers around a recently orphaned girl, Agnes, who wants to learn more about her younger sister Tilly by playing the D&D adventure Tilly had written.  In the process, she learns more about her sister and Tilly's struggles with being bullied for being gay.  The play happens both in the real world of Agnes and the game world where Tilly was Tillius the Paladin.  People from the real world are also represented in the game world. For example, Tilly's girlfriend Elizabeth "Lili" becomes "Lilith" in the game. Cheerleaders are Succubi, and so on.

She Kills Monsters

This in and of itself is worth talking about.  A well-received play featuring how a young woman comes to know her late sister a little more and her friends from playing Dungeons & Dragons. It is sweet and actually wholesome.

So, of course, some religious asshole is going to have a problem with it.

Enter said asshole, Jeff Lyle, and his cult at Good News Gathering

I found out about his fuckery from Hemant Mehta over at The Friendly Atheist. I guess for "God" reasons, Jeff Lyle wanted the play canceled. Because that is what religion does.  And he succeeded.  Sot of.

Here is a local news report discussing it

It is 2021. Why are LGBT issues still being censored?  Why are Dungeons & Dragons-themed media still being attacked by the right-wing members of the religious community?  

When I say "politics" are an important facet of my gaming THIS is what I mean.  The optics here are...well EXACTLY what we have been seeing forever.  Some white, hetero male sees something HE doesn't like, especially since it is a.) female focused, b.) has magic /occultism/demons involved, and SHOCK c.) might have a LGBT character in it HE decides that NO ONE ELSE can see it either.

That's original fucking cancel culture right there.  

But, just like all great D&D games, when our hero is down the party comes in to save the day!

In this case, the "party" is a Go Fund Me page set up to take the play off-campus so they can still perform it.   As of this writing, it has raised $13,762 of its original $5,000 goal! That is great!

So yeah. If you have a couple of bucks and want to send the message that this is not the Dark Ages, nor the 17th Century nor even 1982 anymore, then give it to these kids.

The Go Fund Me is here:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tim Kask on Witches

Tim Kask, who goes back in TSR as long as there was such a thing has been online ruminating about the history of TSR, D&D, and related topics.

He has a YouTube channel, called appropriately enough, Curmudgeon in the Cellar.  Though I think he missed an opportunity to call it Curmudgeon in the Dungeon.

In this video, he talks about a lot of things going on in social media this week.  First is the issue of gatekeeping at GaryCon.  I didn't see or feel any myself so I am not sure where this is coming from.

The big one for me, of course, starts at 6:13, where Tim talks about why there was not a witch class in 1st Ed AD&D.  A lot of this we have heard before and tracks with the history of the game.  Here he is in his own words.

Frankly, I am glad they didn't include witches.  If they had I might not have ever made my own which led to my own publications and my current career/hobby.  I likely would have refocused back on writing vampire stuff.

Tim also goes into how he runs his games.

I like Tim, even when he is cantankerous (he is a self-professed curmudgeon after all) or maybe even more so.  He is also a fellow Saluki, so he always gets a pass in my book for that alone.

I am looking forward to watching some his other videos.  Should be fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

12 Nutty Dungeons & Dragons Media Mentions From the 1980s

This was making the rounds on social media last week.

My favorite is #4 which happened in the same neck of the woods where I grew up.

While it is fun to laugh at these now people took this stuff very seriously in the 80s.  I am not sure if anyone still thinks like this, but then again old Pat Robertson of the 700 club is still around.

Not for the first or the last time I wish I had documented this time and the Satanic Panic a little better. I know there were these things going on in my home town, a small town in Central Illinois, but I managed to avoid it for the most part.

I just need 3 more souls and then the Dungeon Master will make me 10th level!

And in what can be described a wonderful irony...the 4th Edition D&D Demonicon was released on PDF just a bit ago.  One of my favorite 4e books.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Satanic Panic!

I am fascinated with with the Satanic Panic of the early 80s.  Partially because I lived through it but also as someone who isn't religious I found the whole "panic" to be very confusing.
Here is an article that covers part of it.  D&D makes brief cameo.

A Brief History Of "Satanic Panic" In The 1980s

To get an idea of how serious people took this stuff here are a few other posts I made with links to articles and videos.,  Turmoil in the Toybox videos.
Here is a direct link to the D&D video (starting around 3:30)

And a few other videos I have watched, but not otherwise shared.

I LOVE that he used my Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the cover of Dark Dungeons track.  It is too bad that no more of this series was produced.  I also got a kick out some of the picture of old D&D stuff.  He had another series on his older account.
The first one is here: (the production values are a bit low).
There is a playlist by another user of all these videos, warning there is a lot of crazy here.

I have to admit my own (at the time) anti-theism influenced my early D&D games.  So lots of undead, demons and (you guessed it) witches.  An immature reaction? Yeah. of course! But I was a teen at the time; by definition, immature.

It has though been fruitful in one respect, I have a ton of material that I wrote back then that I'd love to pull out sometime.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A to Z of Witches. O

O is for Occult Panic and Obeah

I picked Obeah for a very snarky reason.  It goes back to this terrible Christian video "Turmoil in the Toybox" based on the book of the same name.  It was your typical 80s Satanic Panic nonsense that talked about how evil Dungeons & Dragons and cartoons are for kids.
The host, Gary Greenwald,  and his guest, Phil Philips, think the devil is hiding in every toybox.

You can watch it and have a laugh like I did.  The jumps in logic are insane.

Turmoil in the Toybox
Part 1 - Introduction.  With Scooby Doo and the 13 Ghosts.
Part 2 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. "He-Man is more powerful than Jesus!"
Part 3 - They talk about evil vs. evil...or so they think.  Again, everything they mention is wrong.
Part 4 - Commercials. I seriously doubt either of these guys have even had a class in Child Psychology.
Part 5 - ThunderCats. Evil or gateway drug to Furries?
Part 6 - Next Episode.  Ken and Barbie. But at 3:30 we get Dungeons & Dragons!
Part 7 - Insectars are featured in the Book of Revelations! Vader looks like Odin! Obi witchcraft!
Part 8 - Violence and the Occult influence of G.I. Joe and Smurfs. Though they won't say they are evil.
Part 9 - Care Bears. Littles and My Little Pony. Rainbow Brite is also evil. Voltoron and Transformers.
Part 10 - More Voltron and Transformers. Buy Gary's stuff!

I love how they pretty much get every detail wrong.

Of course in the 80s I loved all this stuff and if it looked evil I wanted it in my games.  Coming off of the 70s Occult Revival I always felt Witches needed to be a part of the game.  Was there some snarkiness on my part? Of course there was.  If you read my Atheism blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief, you know that this was the same time I was "coming out" as an Atheist.  So if I got to piss off some uptight Christians, all the better!

Of course what does this have to do with "O"?
Well Part 7 discusses, briefly, "Obi Witchcraft". Where witches chant Obi-Obi-Obi all the time.
Pure nonsense and like everything else in this they are as so far off base that they are not even in the same ballpark.

But there is Obeah.
Obeah is a folk tradition that is similar in origin to voodoo.
In my 3rd Edition book, Liber Mysterium, I described it as a form of the voodoo tradition.

I will talk abit more about this when I discuss Voodoo later one, but representing Obeah in a game is not as easy as first seems.  Though if the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies are any indication, then I could combine bits of Obeah with the archetype of the Sea Witch to create something that could be rather fun.

I have a witch, Sycorax, that is a prototype of this sort of witchcraft.  She is something of a witch, a little bit of a hag and lives on an island.  Yes, she does have a monstrous son named Caliban.  You can do worse than imitating the Bard.

There is something here I think. Something that could be cool.  So I supposed in a way I should thank those two idiots for putting me on the path to getting my Sea Witch figured out.

Supernatural AtoZ

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Video: Satanism Unmasked Dungeons & Dragons

I am obsessed with the 80s Satanic Panic.  Here is another little turd from that time.

Christians talking about how morally deficient and evil D&D is.


Why is that these people get their facts so wrong?
Not just the really wrong shit of satanism in a game, but they can't even get the basic facts right.

...Satanism is not part of Witchcraft and visa versa.
...Those are not the words from "Shout at the Devil"
...NecroNOMicon, not Necro"NOME"icon. suicides due to D&D.
...what the hell is a "training 'prim-er'"?
...interviewing prisoners. Always a good source of "credible" information.

I could go on. But what is the point.  Here is a great podcast from "The Thinking Atheist".


And this gem,

Ok. How about this.

Shield of Faith
(Basic Era/Labyrinth Lord/Basic Fantasy/S&W)
Level: Cleric 1 to 7
Range: 5' in front of the Cleric
Duration: 1 round per level
By means of this spell the cleric focuses their faith into a tangible shield that will protect them from harm from creatures the cleric can consider "Evil".  Typically this is a creature of Chaotic alignment (or Lawful for a Chaotic cleric) and an "outsider" or supernatural creature. This includes (but not limited to) undead, djinn, effrit, demons, devils and any type of spirit. Sometimes even faerie creatures.
The spell reduces the attacks of these creatures at a number of hp per the spell level.  So a 5th level cleric using a 2nd level Shield of Faith would be able reduce 2 points per attack for 5 rounds.
The cleric must present their holy symbol when casting and they cannot attack.
Material Components: The clerics holy symbol.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wait? Is it 1982 again? More anti-D&D crap.

So the old "Dungeons and Dragons causes violence" meme has reared it's ugly head again.  This time from the particularly lazy journalism of Ms. Laurel J. Sweet and the Boston Herald.  Ms. Sweet put forth that golden chestnut that somehow playing the game Dungeons and Dragons is somehow linked to violent murder. In particular the ones Amy Bishop is accused of.

Now let me be clear here.  What ever Amy Bishop did or didn't do in her personal life is unimportant when dealing with the fact that she murdered three people, supposedly because she didn't get tenure.  We could just as easily blame the University tenure track or the pressures of a publish or perish environment.  I am sure people will blame the gun companies too.
Here is a novel idea.  Let's blame Amy Bishop.  She is the one that pulled the trigger after all.  Apparently she kept pulling till the gun jammed.

But my ire is not directed at Amy Bishop.  We have a court system, juries and a judge for her.  No mine is on the lazy, so called journalism of  Laurel J. Sweet.  Yeah I linked her name again.  Wonder why.

To make the claims or even allusions she is making are either laziness, a misguided attempt to push copy or a hidden conservative agenda.   She published not just one, but two articles on this.  At the risk of giving her exactly what she wants here are the links.  Use a browser that blocks ads if you wish to make a statement:

So. why do I get so worked up about these things?  Well frankly stupid people piss me off, but smart people enabling stupid people to do more stupid things is worse.

See here is how it works.  Lazy journalist looking for a good byline writes fluff piece about D&D leading to murder.  Next thing you know some shit-for-brains religious fuck-wit then quotes the article as "expert testimony", then that person gets quoted as "reading up on all the latest literature", then it is used as "evidence" in a Wikipedia article and you get a snowball of stupid rolling down hill.

Next thing you know someone is digging up old Pat Pulling again and TLN is showing "Mazes & Monsters" in heavy rotation.

Ok to be fair I have no idea if TLN has ever shown "Mazes & Monsters".

It irritates me because it is lazy, and stupid.  Obviously the Boston Herald is trying to push copy and Ms. Sweet is only too happy to help.  But it is bad journalism.

I had my run ins with the D&D Satanic Panic of the 80's.  I was lucky to have had parents that were smart enough to know better than to listen to fundies and to trust their children.  Later on I dealt with Jack Chick personally and, if I may be so bold, came out the winner in that one.

The time I now spend playing D&D with my own children has been fantastic.  I have met some of the coolest people through this game and others like it.  It is a great past time full of great people who deserve better than being painted by the sloppy brush of Laurel J. Sweet.

Agree with me?  Why not let Laurel J. Sweet know yourself.  Reasonable, intelligent emails only.  Or even just something to convey your disappointment in a polite manner.

Don't give her anything else to write about.