Examples of Halloween Nonsense From Jack Chick

Was doing some research to prove a few of my points for my Halloween articles. Here’s one of the worst offenders for the demonization of all things entertaining and fun. Good old Jack Chick. I used to love this guy’s stuff, but it’s so full of misinformation, fabrication and outright lies you can’t really see the truth when it’s there anymore. The Muslim stuff is so bad that even when missionaries and Christian scholars on Islam gave him stuff that he actually agreed with, and proved the stance he wanted to take, he still went with the “Allah is a moon god” nonsense just because it was more dramatic.

Update 1: Jack Chick’s website chick.com has been updated to a newer, more modern site. I updated the link to the article to reflect its new location, it wasn’t terribly obvious how to find it and the old link redirected to a store page to buy tracts.

Update 2: I was saddened to hear that Jack Chick passed away in 2016. While I disagree with a lot of his views and opinions, I have to acknowledge how brilliant he was as a comics illustrator and his effect on American culture, for good or ill.

Update 3: Received an article from Gerard Paul over at ManyEats.com about the pumpkin. It’s very informative. I wasn’t aware it was indigenous to Central and South America, not North America. I assumed they were from the northeastern part of what’s now the US, not Peru. I put the link in the appropriate section. Here it is for your enjoyment now: https://manyeats.com/history-of-the-pumpkin/

Anyway, back to the point. Here’s a link to the article. I’ll see if I can’t break down what’s wrong with it and why you shouldn’t pay any attention to stuff like this.

Many Christians celebrate holidays, such as Halloween, without thinking about their origins or true meaning. It is impossible to separate Halloween from the Druids because they originated the “holiday.”

For several hundred years before Christ, the Celts inhabited what is now France, Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland. Celtic priests were called Druids. These people were eventually conquered by the Romans.

Information about the Celts and Druids comes from Caesar and the Roman historians, Greek writings from about 200 B.C., and very early records found in Ireland. Greek and Roman writings about the Druids dwell heavily on their frequent and barbaric human sacrifices. The ancient Irish texts say little about human sacrifices, but detail the Druids’ use of magic to raise storms, lay curses on places, kill by the use of spells, and create magical obstacles.

The last paragraph here is what bothers me. We do have some writings from the Greeks describing the Celts vaguely that far back. Mostly we have Roman writings, the most extensive are from Julius Caesar as I’ve mentioned repeatedly from his Gaulish wars. The Druids were what their priests were called, and yes the Roman writings did talk a lot about human sacrifice.

There’s a reason the Irish writings don’t say anything about it and the Roman ones do. There weren’t any human sacrifices, Julius Caesar made this up to shock the Roman Senate to get his war. This has been tacked on to the Halloween celebrations unfairly to shock people into thinking this was part of harvest celebrations.

Human Sacrifices

Davies, however, a 16th century writer who traced his family lineage directly back to Druid priests who fought against Caesar, clearly describes the human sacrifices of his ancestors and the secret sacrifices still performed regularly by the Druids of his time.

By 47 A.D., Rome finally defeated the Druids in Britain and outlawed human sacrifices. The few remaining Druids went underground.

Today a growing group of people claiming to be of direct Druid descent, still practice their religion, including human sacrifice. Those in England still perform ceremonies at Stonehenge.

I couldn’t figure out which Davies the writer meant. I think they are referring to Edward Davies. He’s the only Davies I can find that did anything that had anything to do with Druids. He wasn’t a 16th century scholar. I can forgive them the slip, I get confused when numbering centuries too. He was a 18th-19th century scholar and wrote “The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids” which looks utterly fascinating. What I found interesting about Davies is that while his work is horribly inaccurate, and he wasn’t fluent in Welsh so there was a lot of guesswork done, he wasn’t guilty of fraud according to Wikipedia, he just fell for the fraud of some contemporary scholars. He was working with the best he had.

How he was able to trace his lineage back to “druids who fought Caesar” I have no idea. They didn’t have a written language. Most of the stuff the Celts wrote down was in Latin so far as I can find. They passed their knowledge down orally until they were Romanized, and with Rome came the end of the Druids.

As for the druids now still practicing human sacrifice at Stonehenge, they didn’t practice human sacrifice in the Iron Age, that was made up. The neo-pagan druids don’t practice human sacrifice. Stonehenge is a national monument in England, I highly doubt anything like that goes on what with the security cameras and tourism. They sell plastic garbage at the gift shop nearby. Also stonehenge pre-dates the druids by thousands of years, neither they nor their ancestors built it. It was another group of people. We have no clue what it was for then or now. So any claims about it other than the best guesses of modern archaeology are highly suspect.

November 1st was the Celtic new year. October 31st was celebrated by the Druids with many human sacrifices and a festival honoring their sun god and Samhain, the lord of the dead. They believed that the sinful souls of those who died during the year were in a place of torment, and would be released only if Samhain was pleased with their sacrifices.

Which Celts? Using which calendar? What does that have to do with Halloween? The festival of Samhain was the new year for the Irish Celts. It seems the Gauls might have celebrated their new year in the summer around May or June. I won’t even rehash all the calendar changes that have happened in the last 2000 years, or how this becomes even more nonsensical.

More human sacrifices that the Irish Celts, don’t even mention. Where are they getting this? Well I looked at the sources and they mention “The Two Babylons” by Reverend Alexander Hislop. This book is entirely debunked as Anti-Catholic propaganda, It was written back in 1853 as a way to convert people away from Catholicism. It was criticized by other protestants back in the day for being, “Poorly researched at best.” It’s terrible. Even more contemporary people who’ve praised this book have written entire volumes picking it apart once they began to understand its sources. Their other sources are dated as well, none of the rest are dated after 1972. So it’s a dated article? From Jack Chick publications?

Monks Fascinated By Druids

Irish records tell of the fascination the Catholic monks had with the powerful Druids, and Druids soon became important members of their monasteries. Pope Gregory the Great decided to incorporate the Druids’ holiday into the church. He made the proclamation, “They are no longer to sacrifice beasts to the devil, but they may kill them for food to the praise of God, and give thanks to the giver of all gifts for His bounty.” Pope Gregory III moved the church festival of October 31st to November 1st and called it All Hallows or All Saints’ Day. Pope Gregory IV decreed that the day was to be a universal church observance. The term Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve.

They’d already just stated here that the Romans had all but eradicated the “Powerful Druids”. So pagan Rome basically annihilated the pagan druids, but then the powerful world shattering sorcerous druids that we totally believe could change the weather and kill people with spells were still hanging about in Ireland and Scotland? Even though the legions of Rome hated them WORSE then they initially hated the Christians. These evil, human sacrificing wizards fascinated the highly educated, Irish and English monks so much that they just said, “Hey bro, come in and corrupt us with your magicks. We got us some virgins out back. Pentagram and everything is ready.” And Pope Gregory was just cool with this? His only mandate was, “Yeah quit sacrificing perfectly good cows to the devil, virgins are ok though.”

Actually, as you can imagine, no it wasn’t. If there were any druids around, they probably wouldn’t have been real enthusiastic about talking to priests who had a reputation for burning people alive for worshiping the devil. Also, anything not Christian is worshiping the devil. Also anything not specifically Catholic Christian at the time, was possibly worshiping the devil. You see the problem. Though the latter might just get you beat in the Dark Ages instead of burned like it would in the Renaissance.

As for the fascination with druids, I think I can answer what that was about. During the time period they’re talking about. Somewhere between the 4th and 8th centuries I’m guessing. I may be giving Chick publications too much credit here. The Irish seem to be very proud of their literacy and writing. Their monks recorded their mythologies, poetry, and all sorts of other stuff, that’s why we know so much about their ancient culture. We’ve got Irish inscriptions going back to the 4th century according to Wikipedia. In fact, according to Wikipedia, early Irish literature is the “oldest vernacular literature” in western Europe. What that means is, as soon as the Irish were given pens, they were writing their stories down in their own language. Since the story telling was a big deal, and the druids were a part of their culture, it was only natural that they were included in these stories. In fact basically all we know about druids at all is legendary stuff from these Irish stories.

So what was Gregory I’s letter about? It had nothing to do with Samhain. He was writing to St. Augustine of Canterbury about the pagan temples in England. Gregory was telling him not to burn them down or destroy the buildings. He just said to quit sacrificing animals, destroy the idols, turn the temples into churches and get the people to quit worshiping the devil. The letter, which you can find here, is saying that you can’t really change a people overnight. Basically they should stop worshiping pagan gods, stop killing animals if you aren’t going to eat them, and don’t let perfectly fine buildings go to waste. This was fairly normal procedure at the time. One of Gregory’s successor’s Boniface IV, did this with the Pantheon in Rome just a few years later. The article does not mention this fact at all.

The founding fathers of America refused to permit the holiday to be observed because they knew it was a pagan holiday. Halloween was not widely celebrated in the U.S. until about 1900. In the 1840’s there was a terrible potato famine in Ireland which sent thousands of Catholic Irish to America. They brought Halloween with them.

Early Americans in general typically didn’t celebrate a lot of holidays, mostly because they were too “English”. In fact, to this day the only religious federal holiday in the US is Christmas, and that wasn’t made official until 1968.  The reason it wasn’t celebrated in post-revolutionary America was that it was seen as an “English holiday”, not because it was ‘pagan’. Washington Irving helped bring back a lot of those celebrations. The founding fathers didn’t put a ban on holidays to protect us from “pagan evil”, or at all. There were no bans from founding fathers. Pretty sure they were trying really hard not to let politics and religion mix at the time. There was a lot of widespread cultural Puritanical thought about such matters, and certainly there weren’t a lot of public holidays to start with but that is a different matter. The part about Irish and Scottish immigrants bringing their traditions with them is true. This is true about any culture immigrating to the US. In the case of Halloween those traditions are pretty specific to the Irish and Scottish so even if Americans were celebrating English holidays and such, they probably wouldn’t have celebrated Halloween like we do now anyway just because those particular traditions are from a different culture.

The modern custom of going from door to door asking for food and candy goes back to the time of the Druids. They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment. They were thought to throng about the houses of the living and were greeted with banquet-laden tables. People greatly feared these spirits and thought that the spirits would harm and even kill them if the sacrifices they gave did not appease Samhain. They carved demonic faces into pumpkins or large turnips, placing a candle in them to keep the evil spirits away from their homes.

Maybe it’s ancient, maybe it isn’t. The custom of sending your children door to door asking for stuff seems to be as old as mankind, and not terribly specific to any season. This line is pretty hilarious to me, “They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment.” Does this not sound like the most Christian way to word this imaginable? Would a pagan religion would have the concept of ‘sin’, and ‘awaiting judgement’? Does this not sound much more like standard Christianity? Or maybe some form of Buddhism? For some reason I doubt this was what they were doing. My research indicates they might have been asking for firewood in most places.

Then it gets into the realm of the stupid pretty quick here. They carve the pumpkins on their door step to frighten away said spirits? How did they do this in the time of the druids? The druids carved a plant native to Central America and set this on their doorstep? I’m sure this is a mistake. I know the first jack-o-lanterns were turnips, and really don’t date back to the time of druids, I’m sure that the author knows this to and is trying to be dramatic, but don’t lie about it and say this is a druid era tradition. Also some more recent scholarship indicates that Jack-O-Lanterns might be an entirely Christian tradition, not adopted from pagans.

The tradition of bobbing for apples and giving out nuts came from a Roman addition to the Druidic New Year’s eve. The Romans worshiped Pomona who was the goddess of the harvest. They combined their harvest festival to Pomona with Halloween.

Hey they got one right. Holy crap. I guess even a blind, retarded, half frozen squirrel occasionally finds a nut in the winter sometimes.

Very little archeological evidence of the Druids has been found, but there is excellent agreement between the Roman and Irish documents. Both clearly state that the knowledge of the Druids was never committed to writing but passed from generation to generation by oral teaching. This was to protect their secrets. In his writings, Davies indicates that he came under much persecution by his family for putting in writing his information about Druids. The same is true today. Nothing is put into writing. The Druids continue on secretly with much the same traditions.

The druids didn’t write anything down because they had no written language. Not to preserve secrets. They were illiterate. They didn’t write anything down for the same reason a lot of Native Americans didn’t write anything down, they had no alphabet, pictographs or other symbols with which to document their spoken communication. A foreign culture came in and taught them their method of writing to enable them to do that. Once that happened they wrote all kinds of stuff down. I’m sure if they’d had a written language, we’d be far less confused about them. Too bad Julius Caesar was wiping them off the map when that happened.

The reason there’s no archaeological evidence backing up Caesar and the other Roman propagandists is because they made all the human sacrifice stuff up to get a war. You can look back at history and see this happen, a lot.

Davies may or may not have been persecuted. This sounds kind of like a conspiracy theory to me, or just made up. “I’m revealing the dread secrets of a certain group and the people in this shadowy group are trying to kill me.” Sound familiar? Either way the extensive evil druidic network of the 1800s was pretty crappy because Davies died at the age of 75 in 1831 so this persecution must not have been too bad. Considering some of the neo-druidic orders today have this evil sacrificial rite that involves passing the ‘water of life’ around (Jameson whisky), I’m sure things were pretty bad.

The widespread problem of harmful substances such as razor blades, drugs, poisons, needles, etc. being placed in the Halloween treats here in America is no accident. Testimonies of several ex-Satanists show that these children killed and injured by the “treats” are sacrifices to Satan (or Samhain). Satanists throughout the world continue to perform human sacrifices on Halloween.

Is this something you want YOUR child to participate in?

This actually doesn’t really happen. At least it happens extremely rarely.

As this Snopes article points out, as while the razor blades, pins, and needles does happen it’s almost always a hoax. Almost never does anyone get hurt. There’s been eighty cases since 1959, and only ten of them were not hoaxes. That’s an eighth of the time in over fifty years. Most of the time it’s one kid trying to freak out another kid. So yeah, not Satanists at all. It’s other kids. Kids are evil is what you should learn here.

The rare cases it does happen, it seems no one has died. Satanists apparently really suck at the whole human sacrifice and ritual murder thing. So no one really has to worry about their kids getting sacrificed to Satan.

Also Samhain is just the month of November, sort of, in Irish Gaelic. It’s not another word for Satan.

I hope you can see from this how this particular piece of information from Chick Publications is at best misleading. They may not be knowingly deceptive, but their sources have been shown to be inaccurate, and in the case of Julius Caesar, knowingly fraudulent with intent to murder hundreds of thousands of people. Why they keep tying that to what’s obviously a Christian holiday is beyond me.

There may be plenty of reasons not to celebrate Halloween, but connections to human sacrificing and devil worship aren’t it. Don’t buy into this nonsense. It’s not right to tell lies to bring someone around to your notion of the truth or to keep someone safe.

If anyone has anything to say about any of this I would be glad to discuss it either in comments, or in a Google Hangout. Please be prepared to back anything you have to say up with sources that are not the Two Babylons or Jack Chick though.

Footnote/Copyright Notices: I didn’t get any particular permission from Jack Chick Publications to comment on the article above. Anything I took from them is probably copyrighted to them, but I couldn’t find a copyright notice anywhere on their site and everyone across the internet seems to rip them off and not even give them credit so at least I’m doing that.

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