Defending the Game
The arguments I get from those defending D&D (Christians or otherwise) are similar to those from people defending their favorite cult (Mormons, Masons, etc.). That, in itself, is interesting. These would include:
The author (me) is an idiot who knows nothing about the occult or D&D. This is the most common defense and the laziest. It is the old ad hominem argument.
D&D materials do not really say the things which the older article says they say.
It is only a game. It is not real.
There is no danger in playing D&D because its rituals are NOT based on real magic.
The suicide/homicide/mental illness issues are grossly overplayed and part of a hysteria, which swept through evangelical Christianity in the 1980's. This last is based primarily on an article by a Jeff Freeman27.
The STRAIGHT TALK is old and out of date.
When we (the emailer and friends) play D&D, we do not do those nasty things.
The game offers positive skill development.
Examining the Issues
Two of these can be dismissed quickly. The first is obviously a personal attack, which is baseless. My occult credentials are well established and my IQ is comfortably above idiocy.
I have played D&D a few times and spent dozens of hours talking with players and Dungeon Masters (DMs). Admittedly, my first hand experienced with D&D is from the 1970's-80's, but I would think it still counts for something. Has the game changed that much?
As to the age of the article, yes - that is why this article now exists. But most of the spiritual material in the article is as valid and relevant today as it was in 1989. Some of the material in the article may need revisiting, and that is the purpose of this article.
Whether or not the D&D materials still say what they said in the mid eighties is a project beyond the scope of this Straight Talk. I covet your prayers that the Lord would give me the time and funds to thoroughly research the contemporary FRPG scene, which if anything appears to be more appalling than it was 20 years ago. A walk through any gaming store can prove that. For example, there is now a whole line of materials based on the hellish H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos, a form of magic that we practiced in the darkest days of our satanic career - a system of magic prominently featured in THE SATANIC RITUALS by Anton LaVey!28 Contrary to the ramblings of D&D defenders like Michael Stackpole,29 the Necronomicon and the Cthulhu mythos are quite real. We will talk more about Mr. Stackpole later.