Introduction: . The following is an essay written by Darren Molitor, a former D+D player.
. The following is an essay written by Darren Molitor, a former D&D
player. Darren was a very devout D&D player who sometimes played
marathon games that lasted for days.
. The friends with whom this young man often played D&D, began
"horsing around" in a game of their own while preparing for a "Friday
the 13th party" on March 13, 1984. The "horsing around" went too far,
and a young girl named Mary Towey (18 yrs old) became the victim of a
"mind game." She was strangled to death by Darren Molitor.
. Darren stated repeatedly in his trial that when he and another
boy tied Mary up, they were just "messing with her mind." By the
physical evidence in the case, a coroner testified that the death did
appear accidental; however, a jury found Darren guilty of murder in
the first degree.
. The prosecution sought the death penalty, but Darren received a
life sentence instead. D&D was a major influence in Darren's behavior
at the time of the incident, but because of a lack of knowledge on the
part of the police regarding D&D, this area of influence was not
explored until it was too late to be considered "relevant."
. Darren, in his own defense, never tried to excuse his actions.
The essay that he has written on D&D was done after his trial, and he
initially sent this essay to an elementary school in the hopes of
helping young children.
. Prior to his involvement with D&D, this young man had never been
in any trouble.
Dungeons and Dragons
March 22, 1985 by Darren Molitor
. I'm sure many, if not all, of you have heard about or played the
very popular game of "Dungeons and Dragons". Now I'm not speaking of
the board game of which there is one, I'm speaking of the game that is
played in your minds.
. To give some background of the game for those of you that haven't
had the "so-called" privilege of experiencing the game let me tell you
. The game is called "Dungeons and Dragons" and it is a fantasy
role-playing game. As you can probably assume from the title it is
set in the medieval era of our time of history. Because it is a game
of "fantasy" anything is possible and being a "role-playing" game
means you act as a character of that time as if you were on stage.
But there is no physical action on the players part. Everything is
played or imagined in the mind. And you as a player, are the sole
person responsible for the actions of your character or characters.
You control them totally. His/her actions, words, feelings, thoughts.
Everything about this character you control.
. To obtain a "character", a player must first roll three six-sided
dice. Add up the numbers rolled and write it down. A player does
this six times and then he must organize the numbers he has rolled to
the six characteristics of his character. The six characteristics are
strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity and charisma.
These six characteristics are the "heart" of your character. After
this, the player may roll to obtain the height and weight or he/she
may choose it. The player assigns a race to the character, a class,
which is his/her occupation and the alignment. An alignment is the
character's attitude or outlook on life. The different classes are
many and each class has a sub-class. They are the following: cleric,
(druid); fighter, (paladin, ranger); magic-user, (illusionist); thief,
(assassin); monk and bard. The different alignments are: lawful good,
lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral, chaotic good, chaotic neutral
and chaotic evil. Now the player rolls a particular die or dice, of
which are many to obtain a character's hit points. The "hit points"
are the amount of stamina or damage the character can sustain before
going into a coma or even dying. You then give him/her some money, by
rolling the dice, and equipping him with supplies, weapons and armor.
From here there is only two more steps. The first is to roll and
obtain the spells a character has if he/she is able to use them. Some
classes use spells and others don't. The final stage is picking a
name for your newborn character. He/she is now a true and real person
in the player's mind.
. There is also a player called the dungeon master or DM, for
short. This player is usually more familiar and experienced in the
game. The DM is a VERY important part of the game. Also a very
powerful part. He/she plays the sole role of being "god" of the game.
The DM controls everything that happens within the game. The only
part of the game he does not control entirely is the actions of your
character. But he/she may constrict them if he/she chooses. He/she
is also in control of that player's character's life. The DM may
decide to destroy the character for some reason, but it should not be
for any personal reason and the DM should refrain from doing such
actions unless the player of that character has become uncontrollable
and has changed the fun of the game.
. The DM has a lot of responsibility, as you can imagine. For
example, the DM must create an adventure or dungeon. There are many
books called modules with "dungeons" already prepared, but for the
most part the DM creates them himself/herself. He/she must create the
scenery (indoor, outdoor, underground), the various and numerable
characters a player may encounter, the temperature, the smell, the
monsters and the treasure. It is a very long and tedious process and
the average dungeon takes anywhere from 36-48 hours of work. There is
one case of the game being followed, that the DM, a lady, has quit her
job and does nothing except create and prepare a dungeon for her
players. She has created an entire country. The players of the group
support her living necessities. They pay for her home, her groceries,
her bills, etc.
. The game is played with two or more people with the average group
consisting of 5, including the DM. The DM, as I have explained, runs
the show. He/she will describe, in detail, what is around you. What
action is taking place, what sounds you may hear, what smells you may
notice, etc., etc. From here it is the player's option of what to do.
The player must decide what his/her character is going to do. In
response the DM tells the players of the result of their actions. As
I've said before, a character may do anything, I emphasize anything,
that a player wants him/her to do. For example; the DM has just told
you that you have come up a cave entrance. It is midday, warm, you
hear what appears as water running from inside, but you can't see
anything. The players now decide if they wish to enter the cave,
throw a stone in to try and locate the water, yell something in to try
and get a response or just ignore it completely.
. Another example is; you are in a room or chamber underground that
you have discovered. There is a table, some chairs, a desk with
numerous jars on it. There is a lot of dust covering everything. And
in the corner a chest sits. As a player your first instinct is to
search the chest for some treasure. During the process of checking
for any traps and trying to unlock it a few orcs (a type of human-like
monster, resembling a pig) sneak up from behind. They are very angry
and have their weapons drawn and are about to attack. What do you do
now? If you are a spell user you attempt to cast a spell. You may
try and bargain with them. Or, and most likely, you may fight them.
You draw your weapon and charge. Now the dice come in. The DM rolls
a six-sided, eight-sided, ten-sided or twelve-sided, depending on the
weapon and the result is the amount of damage to the orc. Now the orc
or orcs swing. The same process is used. And this continues until
you or they are dead.
. Remember now, all of this is imagined in the mind. You can
actually see this. What they look like, how you're swinging, the
damage given and obtained. It all appears in the mind.
. The reason for explaining so much is so you may understand how
the game is played. It may seem to be harmless and very entertaining
and it is entertaining, but far from harmless. I have had the
experience of the game for more than 3 years now and I know the
effects of the game. For the majority of those that play it becomes a
way to escape reality. It is a way of letting tension and anxieties
loose. And that is good. But subjecting the mind to the amounts of
violence involved isn't. It is far more bad than it is good.
Especially to a young mind. And an 18 or 20 year old still has a
young mind. Its effects are both mental and physical. It is in
comparison to drugs, alcohol or tobacco. It is very possessive,
addictive and evil. Evil may sound wrong or peculiar to explain a
game, but there is no other way to describe it. It is a device of
Satan to lure us away from God. It is an occult.
. An occult you say? What is an occult? Defined in American Family
and School Dictionary, a publication based on the American College
Dictionary, prepared by Random House, Inc., it is: "beyond the bounds
of ordinary knowledge; magical; supernatural; mystical." Staying on
the same subject let's define occultism: the doctrine or study of the
supernatural, magical, imaginary, etc. Stated concisely it is the
participation or involvement in ANYWAY with fortune telling, magic
practices, spiritism, or false religions cults and teachings. Within
that category is using a ouija board, ESP, telepathy, horoscope, a
seance, yoga, remote influence of the subconscious mind of others,
self-hypnosis, following astrology and Dungeons and Dragons(R). They
are all connected with an occult or are considered occultism practice.
All such occults are condemned by God in the Scriptures, being an
abomination unto Him and are under His curse. To quote a passage from
an article written by Dr. Hobart E. Freeman, I write the following:
. "The Scriptures condemn all forms of occultism as sorcery and
warn that.... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom
of God" (Gal. 5:19-21), but ".....are an abomination unto the Lord"
(Deut. 18:12), and ".... shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8).
. From earliest times God forbade occultism as spiritually defiling
(Lev. 19:31), and made participation in it punishable by death (Ex.
22:18; Lev. 20:27), and cause for rejection of that soul by God (Lev.
. Dungeons and Dragons(R) is based on magic and the supernatural.
There is, in fact, a hard bound book entitled "Deities and DemiGods"
for the sole purpose of informing you of the "gods" that are involved
in the game. It gives complete details of the "gods" and it expects
you as a player character to pick a "god" to worship him/her. To pray
to, to sacrifice to, to obey. And to die for if necessary.
. Not only is the game based on the supernatural and magic it
involves violence. Serious violence! The type of violence not
allowed on TV. There is hack and slash murder, rape, thievery,
pillaging and terrorism. And in the game it is natural and expected
for a character to do those things. A character must, at least,
murder and rob in order to survive. And it is the object of the game
to survive. To do whatever you must, to anybody or anything, in order
to survive and become more powerful and wealthy. The more you do
those things the longer you live. The longer you live the more
powerful you become and usually with power comes wealth.
. You may be saying, "All of that may be true, but what does that
have to do with me (or my children)? It has everything to do with you
(or your children) if you (or they) are involved in the game. As I
have repeated several times the game is played or imagined entirely in
the mind. Totally and only in the mind. The conscious mind
experiences these visions as reality while playing. And if it is
played, let's say, 3-5 times a week, 4-8 hours each time, the
conscious mind becomes accustomed to such acts of violence. Then when
the person is finished playing for that day, it is all pushed back to
the subconscious supposedly. But it is known that the mind is very
powerful and unexplainable. It is very possible for the sub-conscious
mind to "overpower" the conscious mind. Suddenly you are no longer in
total control of your mind. The "fantasy game" becomes a "reality
game". You begin to live it for real. Everything you do, or say,
involves or associates to the game itself. You no longer play the
game for enjoyment, you play it because you feel you have to. You
must have it (play it) just like a person on drugs, alcohol or tobacco
must have them. It is an addiction. And your mind is under the
control of the game. It is possessed by the game.
. Now, you're probably saying that won't happen to me (or my
children) because I won't let it happen or I'm too smart for that to
happen. Believe me, it happens! And it happens to anyone. It has
happened to me. It has happened to many college students that have
committed suicide or have done some serious bodily harm to themselves
and or others. It has happened to many younger teen-agers, 13 and 14.
The destruction it can cause to the mind and soul is incredible. It's
rather unexplainable. I and many others have had some very bad
experiences because of the game and I am writing too, on their behalf
to warn or make you aware of the game. It is dangerous and against
. There are as I've said numerous recorded accounts of teenagers 13
to 19 and some older persons that have had some troublesome
experiences. Many have committed suicide due to the game. Another
good many have either caused serious harm to themselves or other
individuals. And some have caused the death of a friend or family
member by accident, but because of the "game", they took the "game"
one step too far. "Playing" it for real one time too many. For some
it was the last time they played it or any other game. Many were
lucky, but you may not be.
. And the fact is, that you don't even have to be playing the game
at the time. The mind is continuously "playing" the game. You could
have played it 2 or 3 days prior, but your mind is still playing.
. So, please for your own safety and salvation and the safety of
others don't play the game anymore. If you don't play it now, don't
even start. It is more dangerous than I can fully explain. Don't
play with your physical life that way and don't condemn your soul to
hell by participating in the game.
A very concerned ex-player, Darren Molitor
. If you would like to write to Darren Molitor or his parents the
mailing address is:
. Darren Molitor
. C/O Mr. & Mrs. Louis Molitor
. 2303 Sublette
. St. Louis, MO 63110
Or you may decide to send a word of encouragement to Darren's parents.
. There is another young man who is in a similar situation and he
is 16 years old. He is guilty of murder in the first degree. He
never had a trial (plea bargaining was involved). His parents feel
that D & D was responsible for his bizarre behavior in the murder of a
next door neighbor. His address is:
. Paul Sargent
. C/O Mr. & Mrs. Robert Sargent
. 6545 Tauronee
. Kansas City, Kansas 66102
His parents certainly need a word of encouragement.
Reprinted with permission from:
. B.A.D.D. Inc.
. P.O. Box 5513
. Richmond, VA 23220
(B.A.D.D. stands for Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons - a national
organization concerned about the widespread playing of D & D and its
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank