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article imagePink Ouija Board game aimed at young girls prompts boycott

By Chris Dade     Feb 6, 2010 in Lifestyle
A pink version of the Ouija Board game, made by Hasbro and sold at Toys R Us locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, has been targeted by Christian groups concerned that it is encouraging young girls to communicate with the spirits of the dead.
Living His Life Abundantly and LifeSiteNews are two of the websites encouraging people to sign up to a boycott intended to force Hasbro and Toys R Us to stop making and selling a relatively new version of the Ouija Board game, which Fox News says first came on to the market in 1967, designed to appeal to girls as young as eight.
Available also on Amazon.com, the Ouija Board has been condemned as "a dangerous spiritual game" by Stephen Phelan, communications director for the Pro-Life Catholic missionary organization Human Life International, Mr Phelan stating that the Bible warns people "not to mess with spirits", adding:All Christians should know, well everyone should, that it's opening up a person to attack, spiritually. Christians shouldn't use it
Critics have pointed to the words of a former New York City police officer, Ralph Sarchie, said to be an expert in demonology - Mr Sarchie claims to have investigated witches and Satanists and attended exorcisms while working in the South Bronx - as evidence of the dangers posed by games such as Ouija Board.
It is reported that Mr Sarchie wrote in his book Beware the Night:There ought to be a law against these evil, occult `toys. I can hear some of you out there saying, ‘Hey, I used a Ouija board and nothing happened.’ Consider yourself lucky, then. It’s like playing Russian roulette. When you put the gun to your head, if you don’t hear a loud noise, you made it. Same thing with the board: The more times you pull the trigger, the more likely that on the next shot, your entire world will go black
A Canadian man, John Cain, supposedly once involved in the Occult and responsible for launching the boycott which hopes to force the game's withdrawal, noted too:This is the mainstreaming of the occult.
I’m a Catholic and I know it’s stated in the Catechism and the Bible that divination and necromancy are off-limits. But the middle-of-the-road group, people who have either fallen away from the Church or don’t have any religious affiliation, they think that when a big corporation like Hasbro and Toys R Us makes it appear so innocuous, it makes them wonder ‘how bad can this be?’ So they buy it and introduce it to their children
Hasbro has defended Ouija Board as " simply a game" which is "intended purely for fun and entertainment", and the Rhode Island-based manufacturer has found support from Chris Byrne, director of content for TimetoPlayMag.com.
Fox News quotes Mr Byrne as saying of Ouija Board:There's absolutely nothing remotely Christian or un-Christian about it. I think people are projecting their belief system on it
Refuting the idea that Ouija boards are a means to communicate with the dead Mr Byrne added:That is something that people have made up and it became part of our culture. It's always been entertainment. What I remember is trying to brain my younger brother with the board because he kept moving it. It's just funny that people make up this stuff
The website Bright Hub recently posed the questions "Do Ouija boards work?" and "Are these so-called spiritual tools effective enough to communicate with the dead?".
Stating that the Ouija board has its origins in China approximately 3,110 years ago, indicating too that the Greek philosopher Pythagoras may have used a board during seances 2,550 years ago, Bright Hub concluded that the "automatic, mysterious motion of the Ouija board pointer" is in reality "manipulated by the users".
It also makes reference to the pointer, often known as the planchette, moving as a result of the ideomotor effect.
Nevertheless, denying that criticism of the game had played its part in the decision, Toys R Us spokesman Bob Friedland has told LifeSiteNews that his chain has stopped stocking Ouija Board "because we're making way for newer products".
The pink version of Ouija Board was first sold by Toys R Us in 2008 and following its withdrawal a glow-in-the dark version of Ouija Board designed for eight- to 14-year olds will remain on sale.
Ouija Board had allegedly been the subject of a complaint to Toys R Us by Human Life International some years ago. However the matter went no further than a call to the toy store chain because Toys R Us denied the game was on sale and Human Life International could find no evidence of it being sold.
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