Peter Hammond on ‘Mass Marketing the Mandela Myth’
Peter Hammond, conservative Christian missionary and director of Frontline Fellowship (associated with African Christian Action), has published his personal review of the recently released film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom entitled ‘Mass Marketing the Mandela Myth‘. In his badly constructed polemic Hammond does what he does best – he projects his own internal racist cognitive dissonance about a man the world has come to know and love as ‘Madiba’ through “hyperbole, hysteria and deception” (to quote Jacques Rousseau).
Pagans know Peter Hammond for his often repeated hate speech against Paganism and Witchcraft in South Africa, and more importantly, for his deliberate incitement to violence against children celebrating Halloween in Cape Town in 2005 when he was charged with assault after four children were hit by paint-balls in Rosebank and Pinelands on the evening of October 31. The Cape Argus reported “Many fundamentalist Christians believe Halloween, with its pagan origins, is a celebration of the “powers of darkness”. Some describe it as “an evil day of Satan”, and say participation sends a message to children that witchcraft, demonism, Satanism, and the occult are fun, entertaining and harmless.” According to news reports, “Private detectives of PM Reynolds and Associates, hired by the father of one victim to probe the attacks, have taken statements from boys aged between 10 and 12, who were apparently lured to Hammond’s car that night and shot with a paint gun.”
Hammond’s prejudice against Witchcraft has focused on the celebration of Halloween, a commercial celebration that Hammond and African Christian Action completely fails to represent with any accuracy or understanding. In ‘The Bible and Halloween‘, African Christian Action states “Halloween is a religious day, but it is not Christian. Tom Sanguinet, a former high priest in Wicca has said: “The modern holiday that we call Halloween has its origins in the full moon closest to November 1, the witches’ new year. It is a time when the spirits (demons) are supposed to be at their peak power and revisiting planet earth… Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have, or will do, that would make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus.” […] Instead of participating in paganism, walking with Wicca, being in harmony with Halloween, having our children celebrate cruelty, and dabbling in a day of death, we should focus our family and congregation on celebrating Reformation Day this 31 October. […] Every Bible believing Christian should celebrate the Reformation. No Christian should have part in celebrating the occultic Halloween. We are in a spiritual world war. Cruelty to animals, vandalism and even murders occur with far greater frequency during Halloween. Every Halloween many thousands of animals, and even people, are sacrificed in satanic rituals worldwide, while millions of other people, including well meaning Christians, participate in Halloween celebrations. Halloween is a prime recruiting time for witches and Satanists. Many people have testified that they were introduced to the occult at a Halloween party. Halloween is very religious, but it is not Christian.”
Halloween finds its Celtic origins in the pagan Irish festival of Samhain. It is prudent to note here that South African Pagans do not celebrate Samhain in October but rather at the start of May, the start of the season of Winter in the southern hemisphere. Pagan Witches neither proselytize nor practice blood sacrifice. Allegations of mass human sacrifice during Halloween is an unprovable lie. Animal protection agencies confirm that more animals are abused during Christmas than at any other time of the year in South Africa. Samhain is the time during which modern Pagans honour their ancestors – there is nothing evil in honouring our forefathers and -mothers. The celebration of Halloween as a commercial festivity has nothing at all to do with the neo-Pagan Wiccan religion, and evolved in the U.S. as a strictly commercial holiday strongly influenced by modern film genre. It’s closest historical origin is the Christian observation of All Hallow Mass and All Hallow’s Eve, which in turn finds its roots in both Celtic Samhain and pagan harvest beliefs.
Of course, what Hammond actually refers to when he uses the terms Paganism and Witchcraft beggars some closer scrutiny and criticism, as his perception of both fictional Harry Potter fantasy and traditional African religion and traditional African religious practices amounts to nothing more than prejudicial and racist rhetoric, so clearly manifest in his review of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
In ‘Through the Wardrobe’ Hammond writes “Unfortunately, because of the success of the “Harry Potter” series, many have assumed that the “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” is something similar. However, while Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” have a Christian worldview, the “Harry Potter” books and films are occultic. C.S. Lewis made clear in his writings that it is wrong to use magic. Magic is forbidden in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:8-13; Leviticus 19:31; Revelation 21:8). However, in the “Chronicles of Narnia,” Lewis uses the word “Magic” as a synonym for the unchangeable Laws that God has written into the universe. […] In contrast, the “Harry Potter” books are thoroughly occultic. In their ontology, the world can be manipulated through magic. Things change shape. Nothing is really real. There is no need for a Saviour. One merely has to have the right incantations and formulas to manipulate reality for one’s own selfish ends. While Christians should avoid the occultic “Harry Potter” series, both the books and the films; Christians can enthusiastically support “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” film, and the book on which it is based.”
In an article published in Christian Action Magazine in 2004 entitled ‘The Paganisation of South Africa’, Peter Hammond attempted to draw cause and consequence between pre-Christian animistic paganism, human sacrifice and slavery.
“When the President of South Africa calls for “an African Renaissance”, what exactly does he mean? Is he calling us to the humanism of the European Renaissance that culminated in the French Revolution and the Soviet Gulags? Or is he merely desiring a return to the pre-Christian Paganism and Animism that afflicted Africa prior to the spread of the Gospel? […] We want God to bless South Africa. However, we cannot expect God to bless a nation which is in rebellion to His Laws. Consider how we have broken the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). Our leaders are too proud to bow before God in prayer at the beginning of Parliament. At state events, our leaders have committed idolatry, worshiping other gods who are not God at all. God’s Name is routinely taken in vain on national television and at cinemas, and this blasphemy is constitutionally protected and regarded as “entertainment”.”
In ‘Mass Marketing the Mandela Myth‘ Hammond once again relies on hyperbole, hysteria and deception to rubbish a film that obviously leaves him feeling uncomfortable and spiritually insecure. African “occultism” scares him, and African paganism is, for him, an abomination and affront to the Christian spirit which he claims to represent as a white missionary in Africa.
Hammond has frequently been invited to engage in dialogue with Pagans but has consistently declined to even respond to requests for an interview. After all, who needs the facts when the truth would so easily dispel the mass marketing of fictitious myths woven by Peter Hammond the Great, Dr. Saint and valiant Christian knight of conservative propaganda and Frontline Fellowship.