The Pokemon Phenomenon

Today’s adults recall playing board games and trading baseball cards when they were young. So, it would not seem unusual when their children play what appear to be similarly innocent games. Unfortunately, the Pokemon fad is far from being an innocent game. Rather, it is a serious spiritual threat to children. The actual goal of Pokemon is to introduce unsuspecting children to concepts and terminology of the New Age religious philosophy by emphasizing pantheism, reincarnation, occultism, and Eastern religion.

Although the Pokemon phenomenon encompasses trading cards, a board game, toys, videos and feature-length films, it is the television cartoon series that is the cornerstone used to introduce Pokemon to children. The hero of the series, Ash Catchem, is clearly pledging himself to a spiritual quest at the opening of the series, as he lifts his eyes to heaven. His goal is to become a Pokemon Master. He accomplishes this by acquiring as many Pokemon as possible through battling with others who also have their Pokemon. The winner of the battle keeps the captured Pokemon in balls which they save in their pockets.(Pokemon is short for “pocket monster”) Then Ash strives to master the Pokemon by training them to become more highly efficient at battling.

Ash strives to earns badges as his proficiency improves. These nature-centered (pantheistic) badges are: boulder, water, thunder, rainbow, marsh, soul, volcano, and earth. Ash earns these badges through helping his Pokemon improve in its battle skills until it is ready to “evolve,” that is, it reincarnates into a higher life-form. For example, “Gastly” becomes “Haunter,” and then moves on transforming into “Gangar.” Additionally, as these Pokemon characters reincarnate, they may change sex, going from male to female, or vice-versa, as a matter of course.

Pokemon also has seven “energy centers,” just as the New Age philosophy has seven “chakra” energy centers.” These energy centers (earth, fire, water, psychic, lightening, fighting, and star) are used by the Pokemon as they need a surge of energy in order to reincarnate. Earth, fire and water especially identified as primary elements in Eastern religions. And “psychic energy” is a term known well in New Age circles.

The trading cards also illustrate New Age and occult concepts. These are direct quotes from some of the cards:

  • “Abra”—“Using it’s ability to read minds, it will identify impending danger and transport to safety”
  • “Haunter”—“Because of its ability to slip through block walls, it is said to be “from another dimension”
  • “Jynx”—“Merely by meditating, this Pokemon launches a powerful psychic energy attack”
  • “Psyduck”—“While lulling its enemies with its vacant look, this wily Pokemon will use psychokinetic powers”

Another aspect of Pokemon is similar to pantheistic and pagan religions; that is, having a female diety. The Pokemon all descended from a single female diety named Mew. Just as troubling are the board game, trading cards, paraphernalia, videos and feature-length movies, all of which are designed to reinforce the New Age terms and concepts.

There is no question that the children have been targeted. What might appear to be an innocuous cartoon series is a carefully orchestrated exercise in New Age activity directed against the innocence of children and their unsuspecting parents.

Pokemon is produced in Japan, and is imported by Coastal Wizards. The Pokemon movies are produced by Time-Warner under 4 Kids Productions.

This article was written by Ann Hill in 2000