The Spiritual Cinema Alliance is Dedicated to the Development & Promotion of Spiritually Exalting Movies & Media Programs

Director Frank Capra's advice to young film-makers, "Don't follow trends. Start them!"

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is not a spiritually exalting film. It models the misuse of "magic" for selfish purposes and revenge. Because it is so much a part of the poplular culture, children will want to see it, so I suggest that parents view the film with their children and use it as a tool to help them discriminate between good and evil. Any movie delving into magic, especially a movie that is so influential with children, should be a guide to a higher spiritual and moral path. This movie seductively guides its viewers down the wrong road and is especially dangerous to children.

It is a film that uplifts and inspires, that explores higher realities and the spiritual potential of man and woman.

It is a film that exalts the worth of the individual and shows the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. It is a film that differentiates between light and darkness and affirms light as the essential nature of all things spiritual.

It is a film that leads people, through images, music and messages, to create inner and outer worlds of beauty, truth, love, harmony and happiness.

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It's A Wonderful Life
Directed by legendary Frank Capra - one of the most inspiring spiritual films ever produced powerfully illustrating the value of a single human life and the importance of community. Capra said, "There are no rules in filmmaking, only sins. And the Cardinal sin is dullness." Spiritual exalting films do not have to be dull!

Lost Horizon
Another Frank Capra masterpiece-- showing the dream of Shangri-La, a Utopian society, and the love of "Twin Souls"

Somewhere in Time
Produced by Stephen Simon starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, a love story that transcends time

Illustrates the continuity of the life of the soul

Starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald with a beautiful story of the enduring love of "Twin Souls" that surpasses time and place

A look into the world of fairies and magic - produced by Wendy Finerman who also produced "Forrest Gump," and by Mel Gibson's production company Icon Productions. Look for a cameo by Mel.

Star Wars
George Lucas's first Star Wars film is the classic story of the Hero's Journey, a spiritual journey we are called to take to reach our spiritual potential. "The Power of Myth" as taught by Joseph Campbell was foundational to Lucas's creation of this masterpiece that deals with universal themes and archetypes

My Life
starring Michael Keaton, a tremendous story of personal growth and transcendence

Joan Holman with Dean Mitchell who is recognized as one of the finest painters in America. Coming from poverty and raised by his grandmother, Dean has risen to the heights of the art world. His work, which deals with the universal themes of life, death, family and psychological and spiritual revelations, has appeared in numerous publications and can be found in private, corporate and museum collections across the United States.

New York Time bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, popular business speaker and a syndicated columnist Harvey Mackay and Joan Holman
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by Joan Holman

copyright 2004 Joan Holman

The Prisoner of Azkaban, although entertaining, is a powerful and seductive tool to give children the wrong message and lead children in the wrong direction.

In the first two films Harry was a good guy. A real hero, with positive traits. He demonstrated high moral standards.

HARRY ACTS OUT OF REVENGE AND RECEIVES NO REPRIMAND-- But in the Prisoner of Azkaban, the movie opens with Harry breaking the rules and doing great harm to someone. He acts out of revenge, out of anger, out of a loss of control. Now, if this had been a Jedi knight like Luke Skywalker, he would have been reprimanded and punished. However, not only did Harry not get punished by his superiors, the superiors actually tell him what he did was no big deal!!!

OUR HERO HAS FALLEN AND HAS NO REGRETS-- Well, it was a big deal! Our hero has fallen and has no regrets about it at all.

SHOWING CHILDREN THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR BREAKING THE RULES-- What kind of a message is this to give to children!! That there are no consequences for them breaking the rules, and that, in fact, it is no big deal to break the rules.

THE RULES: MAGIC MUST NOT BE PRACTICED FOR SELFISH PURPOSES AND MUST NOT BE USED TO HARM OTHERS-- And what are the rules? The rules are that we do not act out of hatred, out of revenge, out of anger, to harm people. The rules are that we do not practice magic just for selfish purposes, but for the Greater Good. The rules are that we adhere to a high moral and spiritual code. The rules are that we keep our emotional harmony, that we master our lower nature and that we engage in noble acts of compassion, heroism, and honor.

MAGIC IS A DEVICE TO CONTROL SUBTLE INVISIBLE FORCES-- Some people criticize the focus on magic in the Harry Potter stories. I have no problem with magic when it is used with the right motive and in the right way. Magic is, in fact, a device to control subtle invisible forces. Magic can be used for good or for evil. The path of ritual magic is part of the great esoteric tradition of the West, just as meditation, ascetism and yoga has been a part of the esoteric tradiiton of the East. In both traditions, discipline precedes dominion.

THE RIGHT HANDED PATH VERSUS THE LEFT HANDED PATH-- Magic should only be used to relation to spiritual values. The person practicing White Magic surrenders to a Higher Law and the Supreme Good. This has been called the Right Handed Path. Then there is the Left Handed Path, which involves the nonsurrender of the ego and the lower nature and the nonadherance to the Higher Law. Going on the Left Handed Path begins with breaking the rules, like Harry has done in this movie, and like Darth Vadar did in Star Wars. In Star Wars, we see the consequences for Darth Vadar. In The Prisoner of Azkaban, we do not see the consequences for Harry Potter.

NEED TO GUIDE CHILDREN TO A HIGHER SPIRITUAL AND MORAL PATH-- Any movie delving into magic, especially a movie that is so influential with children, should guide individuals to a higher spiritual and moral path.

Unfortunately, The Prisoner of Azkaban does not do this.

So parents, beware!

A VERY SEDUCTIVE FILM-- The Harry Potter franchise is so powerful and pervasive, and the film is so well-executed and seductive that it can do great harm if you do not educate your children about what is really going on in this film.

AN ALLEGIANCE TO BLACK MAGIC?-- Now, there are many other disturbing things in the film, including the use of the Horned Hand Salute by sympathetic character Professor Lupin. Many may miss this in the film, but it is there and it is deeply disturbing. It is a sign of recognition between those who hold allegiance to Black Magic and the Left Handed Path. What is this image doing in this film coming from Professor Lupin, who is supposed to be a good guy?

DEEPLY DISTURBING IMAGES-- Parents, you need to think about this and think about many other images in this film, which will be deeply disturbing to your children.

PARENTS NEED TO SEE THE FILM AND DISCUSS IT WITH THEIR CHILDREN -- I would not recommend any child under the age of 12 see this film, and quite frankly, I think that parents need to see the film as well and discuss it with their children.

POPULAR CULTURE FRENZY FOR HARRY POTTER-- Since there is a frenzy in the popular culture about Harry Potter, it will be difficult to keep your children from wanting to see this film.

So parents, you must be prepared to discuss this with your children and use it as a teaching tool. They may not like what you have to say about their idol Harry Potter, but you need to point out what is happening.

-- PLEASE HELP THE CAUSE!-- Please help the cause by donating funding and support and advice to the Spiritual Cinema Alliance! Let's get some big name movie stars behind this. Let's get philanthropists who care about our declining culture to put up the kind of money we really need to make a difference! The media is the key to changing the downward direction of our society. Please call Joan Holman at 763-551-3969 or send an e-mail to

Every donation, big or small, will be greatly appreciated!

Other Commentaries

The film Solaris starring George Clooney

Violence in video games

Harmony, unity and vibration

The Spiritual Cinema Alliance serves under the umbrella of the National Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., which has been helping individuals, corporations and communities express themselves in the charitable, educational, scientific and religious sector since 1968. The National Heritage Foundation has 7,000 foundations under its umbrella.

To make your tax-deductible contribution or for more information, contact Joan Holman at 763-551-3969.

"Joan Holman has a relentless focus to produce something positive to lift the human spirit. I can't say enough to describe the GREATNESS of Joan Holman other than she is in in simple terms a GREAT HUMAN BEING and for that she will always have my friendship and support."

Dean L. Mitchell, acclaimed artist

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