DUNGEONS, DRAGONS, AND ALTAIR IV by James Lewis IV The Temple of Set A recent radio broadc

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DUNGEONS, DRAGONS, AND ALTAIR IV by James Lewis IV* The Temple of Set A recent radio broadcast devoted a bit of its time to some rather hysterical allegations of the anti- Dungeons and Dragons crowd. Everyone knows D&D players use the services of wizards and demons, right? It must be a tool of the Devil! My, my, not another one... On the other hand, there have been any number of murders and suicides by D&D players, so what is going on? Somehow it is difficult for Setians to accept the proposition that Set may have been pulling a fast one on us for yea many years. [Just itching to cast us into the fiery pit, 'eh?] For some reason that doesn't quite ring true. The other possibility is that of human error. Religious leaders over the centuries have found it easy enough to put words in the mouths of their gods -- take a look at Christian evangelists of today -- to explain away events and capitalize on them on the side. The D&D adverse publicity is another example of the same; while deploring the unfortunate children who have fallen prey to this instrument of Satan, those lucky enough not to have gotten into the same trap are encouraged to contribute financially to the minister's own organization (ie, his personal bank account) so this oh-ccult danger c'n be fought, breathern an' sistern. [In plain English the evangelist's spiel translates to ''I'd rather see that money come to me than go to the D&D company!''] Oh well, we all know the syndrome, right? Of course. Back when the EXORCIST hit the theatres, the rash of possessions came to the attention of everyone not a hermit. I think then-Magister Michael Aquino best summed up the whole thing when he wrote, ''What is the REAL reason behind the popularity of THE EXORCIST? Is it only that people are morbid and like to see a little girl subjected to various sorts of abuse? No doubt this is a factor. But I rather suspect a certain wishful thinking on their part - that they too could indulge in, rather than abstain from their hidden compulsions.'' [01.22.09, Exorcism Fact Sheet for the Priesthood and Regional Agents of the Church of Satan] Now we're getting somewhere! It's all too easy to blame having boiled sweet old Aunt Lucy in oil on the supernatural force of the Devil & Co. than to admit you just couldn't stand the old broad's bossy airs one second longer. People who take seriously the Devil-Made-Me-Do-It philosophy aren't saying too much for themselves. I do not deny the enormous power residing in Set, but I do think it foolish to feel he devotes all his time and energy to making life difficult for humanity. And if the Devil-Made-Me- etc doctrine is right, we have no freedom of Will and find ourselves mere pawns in the hands of Good and Evil. [Yawn, not again...] The truth of the matter is that any little nasties people do come from within, not outside. There is no Ministry of Lust demon forcing you to take a second look at that knockout of a woman or hunk of a man walking down the street. Admit it: that woman or man is pleasing to the eye. And just as your superego can appreciate the finer points of view, your id can make any number of recommendations of its own. Speaking of superegos, mine just told my id to shut up and let's get back to the main theme: D&D and Altair IV. For those of you who may not immediately place Altair IV, it is the home planet of the Krel from the movie FORBIDDEN PLANET. It is a film Setians and aspiring magicians should watch a minimum of one time. Not only are the special effects good ones and the overall show interesting, but the magical implications of the doom of the Krel are worth consideration. The main problem of the Krel was of having overlooked the ever present inner forces while in the pursuit of accentuating the powers of creation. The Krel stood at the height of their powers and forgot that the baser parts of their beings could and did have access to their ultimate machine. Thus the Krel died, victims of their own id monsters; Morbius (what a nice name!) suffered the same fate at the movie's end and the viewers are left to ponder, if they will, what CAN happen from within. And from within is the home of the Dungeons and Dragons demons. Players of the game are no Krel and it is somewhat sad to see minds so delude themselves as to think the awakened creative powers come from elsewhere. The id monsters from D&D are simply that: facets of the personality. They are like the FORBIDDEN PLANET's script description of the late inhabitants of Altair IV: ''After a million years of shining sanity, the Krel could hardly understand the power which was destroying them.'' Setian Magicians have the jump on kids who get carried away with D&D because we KNOW where the demons come from and just as importantly, how to deal with them. So enjoy your D&D game, dust off the OUIJA board, and have yourself some fun. Any demons you meet are of your own creation. ...probably. ------------------------------------ 'Dungeons, Dragons, and Altair IV' originally appeared in Vol II, No 3 of THE TRAIL OF THE SERPENT, March of XX A.S. ----------------------------------


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