A twenty-first-century version of an old character is coming back to television. Netflix is about to release their series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
The Sabrina character has a long history. Understanding the implications of that history provides insight for those baffled by Satanism’s increasing popularity among young people. It helps people understand how normal young girls might easily become the Satanists next door.
Sabrina’s Long Career
Sabrina the witch started off in 1962 as a character in the sixties-era “Archie” series of comic books. When those characters came to television in 1969, Sabrina proved to be popular. CBS “spun off” a separate series based on the character, which ran from 1970 to 1974.
Eventually, Sabrina appeared on all three major television networks and then made the transition to cable TV. In 1996, the character was revived in the live action series, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. The popular show ran for seven seasons. The animated Sabrina was again trotted out as a made-for-TV movie in 2002 and another series in 2003-2004. In 2013, the animation became computerized for a last run under the title Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch.
Gradualism – A Way to Make Witchcraft Acceptable
Sabrina brought a positive idea of witchcraft to the general public by a gradualistic approach. Each new presentation brought the mainstream ever deeper to that dark world. Perhaps a useful analogy would be the erosion of a rock placed under a continuing drip of water.
In this way, a radical goal can be accomplished in steps. Consider the social metamorphosis of the idea of divorce. The destruction of the family has always been a goal of the revolutionary left, and easy access to divorce is a part of that agenda. However, that goal could not have been accomplished in one step. It was simply too radical to be accepted by the general population.
However, the culture gradually changed over the course of a century, and Hollywood had much to do with deadening society’s reaction to divorce. By 1960, divorce was still frowned upon, but it had become a common feature in film (Disney’s 1959 film The Parent Trap comes to mind). By the end of the twentieth century, most media promoted it and “no-fault divorce” was a part of virtually every state’s legal code.
In 1890, the Ouija board was introduced to the market. Many people rejected it. Others were fascinated by its dark attractions and engaged in this dangerous portal to the occult. It was but one more manner in which the occult found its ways into the mainstream.
Appeal to an Impressionable Audience
When the Sabrina character entered the scene, there was nothing overtly threatening about this witch. The magic throughout the various series was depicted in a light-hearted manner. Sabrina’s fellow students, not knowing of her powers, related to her as one of a circle of friends. Her supernatural powers were presented as the ability to do things that many tweens and teens wish that they could do, ranging from getting a snack to completing homework.
Sabrina’s primary audience was adolescent girls. All adolescents find themselves in situations that are new and bewildering. For those who often believe that their lives are out of control, Sabrina’s special ability to deal with the problems – or make them go away – had an appeal.
However, all this only prepared for the current Sabrina who degenerates into a far darker character. An early review of the new series says the new Sabrina has to deal with her, “potential to be one of the most powerful witches ever if she signs Satan’s “Book of the Beast.” However, in doing so, she would be committing to serve Satan’s desires for the rest of her life.”
Thus, the show moves Satanism from society’s fringes to the mainstream. Some of the show’s features include (using phrases from the above-mentioned review) a “witch coven … rooted in female power,” and “nonbinary characters” combining male and female traits.
The Opening to the Works of Satan
The real harm in such programming comes from in the desire to emulate the characters. Some Sabrina fans will decide to investigate further, in hopes of gaining such supernatural powers for themselves.
Satan is ready for them. He will eagerly claw his way into their psyches. Those who accept his false promises of supernatural ability will willingly forfeit their souls. Believing that they can manipulate demons, they will become the servants of those demons.