Interesting article here at by Marie Peeters-Ney, MD and Philip G. Ney, M.D.
Can the current craze be only due to good marketing skills? Does this book have exceptional literary value? Could the book be an indicator of a deeper cultural trend? We wish to hypothesize that the popularity of the Harry Potter series is due to the fact that the themes and the main character strike deep chords in the minds of our younger generation because they are abortion survivors.
They identify with them, because Harry Potter appears to hold the key to unlock the deep, unresolved conflicts which the young generation has buried in its unconscious. We write this short article after reading the first book of the series,Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. We will not expand on the progressive downward spiral commented on by numerous other authors.
In 1979, Dr. Philip Ney discovered and described people with a unique constellation of signs and symptoms, whom he called “abortion survivors.” The malaise they suffer from is called the post-abortion survivor syndrome (PASS). Post-abortion survivors are all those individuals who could have been aborted, but mere chance or the fact that they were wanted saved them from termination.
Examples are: people who were born in a family where a sibling was aborted; people whose parents told them they should have been aborted; or people born in a country where the majority of children are aborted. This applies to at least 50 percent of the people born since the 1970s. Thus, being an abortion survivor affects millions of young people and unquestionably, popular literature is bound to reflect the thinking of those hurt by having an abortion and/or being an abortion survivor.
With few exceptions, the rest of the young population wonders if they were allowed to be born because they were wanted. The world is thus filled with people who have an anxious fascination about issues that the Harry Potter series broadly hints at.
A brief description of the psychopathology associated with being an abortion survivor is necessary to understand the attractiveness of the Harry Potter books.
Children born in families where there has been an abortion live with a mother who is struggling with her own guilt and grief. They also often have a father who is alienated. Having parents who are prepared to exercise the power of life and death over their children, these children grow up with very ambivalent relationships with their parents – wanting desperately to be close to them, but knowing that it is too dangerous, and wanting to flee, but caught by their emotional and material dependency on them. Deep anger, violence or passivity, intergenerational communication designed to avoid confronting harsh truths and secretiveness are some of the conflicts that are then expressed.
Given the fact that they cannot ask their parents about the real causes of their fears, they grow up in an atmosphere of pseudo-secrets. There are important events and problems they sense their parents or any parental figure will not talk about. Abortion survivors live in a closed, unreal, dehumanized world, communicating with code words and through cyberspace. Communication is mainly between peers, but rivalry, competition and lack of commitment interfere with their relationships.
Abortion survivors have cut themselves off from all their emotions, except fear and anger. They feel they have no intrinsic right to be. Their right to exist depends on their being wanted. Having made it into the world, they survive by gaining power, by trickery and seduction. They must “have” to be: money, good looks, sports prowess, magic powers, etc. Only by having can they continue to be wantable and thus to continue to exist. Unable to trust, they live in a world of fear, with nobody to turn to. They suffer from nightmares in which their aborted sibling (who is not always identified as such) is seeking revenge, full of rage for her wrongful death and full of anger against the sibling who is alive. The surviving siblings feel like a weight on their shoulders and a permanent curse from the aborted sibling. They are, therefore, threatened in their very existence, both from the seen and unseen world.
Abortion survivors flirt with death and seek control. They often seek answers and power in the occult.
The genius of Ms Rowling is to have consciously or unconsciously tapped into the secret world of abortion survivors. Her first book described the world of abortion survivors: a world where all is “unreal,” dominated by primary relationships with peers, absent parents, a dread of being used, abused or killed by caretakers who have no love or understanding. Ms Rowling describes people who have everything, but live in fear that their “secret” will be discovered (the Dursleys). The real world is so awful that Harry Potter thought, “He did not know where he was going (to witchcraft school), but it had to be better than what he was leaving behind …”
Presents an interesting perspective that I’ve not seen before. Makes a lot of sense. This may be a key reason for the success of the Harry Potter books.
Makes me recall a 20-something man I saw in the airport not long ago… he wore a t-shirt that said on the front: “Abortion is Mean” – and on the back “You will not silence my message – You will not mock my God – You will stop killing my generation.”
He was silently getting a lot of attention. The reality that he lived I suspect is very different from us late-baby-boomers. A third of his generation – and all generations following – are not around. It really must have a powerful impact on how one lives their life. Why am I around when my siblings, friends are not?
Sounds like something Harry Potter might say.
The “downward spiral” the authors mention in the above quote is interesting too. Some years ago my father and I attended a pro-life event in Washington during the annual march for life. Speakers included prolife leaders, congressmen and senators. The most powerful though was a very quiet, soft spoken woman – Jane Roe. She told the story of her years of struggle with alcoholism and drugs after the Supreme Court ruling. This was the result of her feeling that she had somehow been responsible for the deaths of millions of children.