In 1990, a Canadian man named Peter Lalonde released a VHS tape about the dangers of sorcery in fiction. It was embarrassing. Not in hindsight, but very much at the time. It was a stunningly credulous, frightened man with no research skills shouting his hilarious fears into a camera for an hour and he called it THE GAMES CHILDREN PLAY.
Peter was only 29 when he filmed this, but he had the media literacy and misplaced resentment of a man four times his age. He was furious, horrified at the world for changing, and he would never figure out why or how to explain it. Watch him try here, on the back of the box:
I know that’s a wall of madman text, so I’ll try to walk you through his reasoning. Peter noticed the world was producing new cartoons, and they were different. He hated and feared this. He also hated wizards, but that’s not related. Or was it? Maybe the reason he didn’t like modern cartoons is because they were causing all these wizards? Peter decided that must be it, because God can’t be wrong. It sounds like I’m making fun of him, and I am, but I watched him try to explain this forty times during the course of this video and that’s as coherent as I can make it. This man was not aware things could be something other than Christian, and he points them out like a grandmother guessing the killer in an episode of Cupcake Wars. Something at this level of Satanic Panic is not safe to look at with naked secular eyes, so cut out and use your PoxcOzzy Occult Decoder now:
The video opens with a group of children being led through guided meditation, a demonic New Age ritual where someone says soothing things to help you relax…
It’s terrifying stuff. And this is not footage found in a mysterious sinkhole where a kindergarten once stood. Peter Lalonde heard about meditation, genuinely thought it summoned demons, imagined what that would look like, and then filmed it himself with eleven innocent children. To you and me this is nothing, but by his own words, Peter literally thought they were calling The Devil. This is like making a video about the dangers of pornography by hiring a full crew to film your wife fart on cake. As a viewer you are given no explanation. Peter is just hoping the viewer shares his irrational fear of meditation. And after a few minutes of watching kids almost nap, it finally cuts to him at a playground, with perfect comic timing, shouting this:
Peter has the rage of a thousand white victims, but the personality of a twice-farted cake. He lists outrage after outrage. There is “incredible mind manipulation that is taking place in the public schools,” he whines. There is “no more kick the can,” he includes for some reason. He complains about all the channel options, Hinduism, The Simpsons, and unharmful trends of no significance. He is furious at how children only want to stay home and watch TV, a point slightly undercut by the childhood joy behind him. This man has to yell about how kids no longer play outside because he’s next to so many kids playing outside. It’s like filming yourself in front of twenty sailors spitting on each other for a video called Sex Today: Too Dry, Too Polite. Peter has the brain of a man who has spent at least 4 hours of his life being found dead at the bottom of lakes. But one thing his misfiring neurons have decided on is that what they hate most of all is The National Education Association.
I’m not kidding when I say Peter lists suicide prevention, sex education, and AIDS awareness among the NEA’s unthinkable crimes. And as with most things, he doesn’t explain why. As far as I can tell, his God wants more people dead, no further questions. I wasn’t expecting this video to be convincing, but I did expect it to try. This is a man with no charisma standing outside a grade school with a microphone to demand more evil for no coherent reason. I’m starting to think this might not even be a Christian video. This might be a bodyswap comedy where a Fox News anchor and his daughter trade places and she had to take his body to work. “I hate school, education, and these stinky hairy armpits. And remember older stuff? It was better and kids today are the wrong religion. Um, this is my dad, signing off. W-white power.”
Peter isn’t only angry at good things. He’s also mad at fake things. For instance, this Buffalo school teacher who used mind powers to meet Abraham Lincoln’s ghost, and I fucking love that I’m not kidding:
This motherfucker is citing Abraham Lincoln ghosts as a reason to destroy the educational system. I barely understand 15% of what he’s mad about and I’m a man with a Crazy Christian section of his library containing eleven subsections. At one point he scoffs that schools are “even teaching tolerance and understanding” like the basic idea of caring about others is witchcraft. His hate is almost cute, like we caught a little boy on his first day of fascism. But this next example is anything but cute:
This really happened. It’s the origin story of how Round Rock, Texas became the site for the Palace of the Earth King. Back to Peter, though. A lot of his fussing is about “globalists,” and if you’re familiar at all with nutbag media, you recognize this as a code word for THE JEW. But Peter, sweet Peter, is so adorably pure in his ignorance that he thinks globalists are people who literally worship “the globe.” It’s like forming an anti-kidnapping group because you heard about a child who died from sleep. It’s like calling the police on “catsup” because it’s made out of cats. This magnificent idiot is willing to tear down every public school in order to prevent a third hand story about 9-year-old wizards from ever happening again. He made an anti-semetic propaganda movie through sheer confusion. And as if I couldn’t be more amazed at his stupidity, the next thing he does is this:
I sped that up 15x because Peter fucking started an episode of Thundercats and let it play, without saying a word, for a minute and a half. Awesome middle-aged people might recognize this as “watching Thundercats,” but Peter thinks he has proven the death of God. He doesn’t even begin to explain it. You learn the Thundercats’ backstory and he’s like, “Wow. That says it all, doesn’t it?” He then babbles about the occult while the TV behind him kicks ass.
Don’t worry, I speak Christian Wordsoup well enough to decode what he’s getting at. He thinks this proves an occult conspiracy because Lion-O’s sword has an eyeball on it, like the third eye representing enlightenment in Hinduism. I promise there’s nothing more to it than that. It is a cartoon adaptation of a false interpretation of an abstraction of something extremely harmless, and he is fucking livid. I can’t imagine what he’s going to do when he realizes there are actual, non-secret human Hindus. Or that the space cat with the eyeball sword is only twelve years old.
“Children should not be beautiful hunks with three foot knives!” would have been an actual point, but instead Peter is upset that the famous intolerance of Jesus Christ never found its way to Thundera. Mostly because his research into the occult took place during a single trip to the mall. He bought an official Sword of Omens with the Light Up Eye of Thundera:
I can’t conceive of a better prop. When you pull out the goddamn Sword of Omens during a speech, you have my attention. But all he does is hold it up, eyeball side-in, to prove it really does have an eye. Hindu wizards or not, that’s not fucking anything. He calls this a war against Christianity, but it seems to be taking place entirely in his imagination where he is losing. Peter might as well hold up a fully clothed Ken doll and accuse Mattel of wanting to remove all penises. He’d be right, of course, but only by coincidence and not the way he thinks.
Peter is also campaigning against Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for shaky reasons. In a moment that made me literally say “no way,” he starts describing an entire episode of the show. As he recounts, there’s one where an alien tells the turtles about a crystal broken into three pieces that will become the “Eye of Zarnod” when reassembled. This infuriates him because it’s an eye, one of the most important symbols of the occult, and it grants wishes. “We know they’re talking about the power of positive thinking we hear so much about today,” he scolds. It’s breathtaking. He’s mad at optimism. He’s mad at the most generic macguffin quest. Like, nothing can be less than this. If you can get angry at the occult for this, you can hate anyone for anything. This is like strangling your cat because it was near a TV where the Superfriends took a meteor distress call from a sikh.
What this also reveals is that Peter only watched the one episode of Ninja Turtles. Christians don’t complain about season 2 episode 2 if they’ve done their turtle research. There’s an episode where Donatello and Raphael disprove God with a sex act. Peter is not a witch scientist who did peer reviewed studies on the amount of He-Man it takes to summon Tri-Klops. He’s a bumbling second grader giving a book report on a bird he didn’t see.
And Peter Lalonde is losing more of his goddamn mind by the second. He calls the generic idea of cartoons “emotional and spiritual child molestation” which isn’t the kind of judgment you want from a man going to elementary schools alone to scream. He seems to think magic in cartoons is harmful because when kids run into problems, such as playground maniacs, they will try to solve them by calling on mystic powers, not God. Which isn’t as outlandish as it sounds, Peter’s wife explains:
Patti Lalonde rocks uncomfortably from their dining room’s tax receipt nook as she tries to help you understand the dangers of sorcery. See, it’s like a volleyball serve. You practice it thousands of times until you master it. Just like after enough Dungeons & Dragons practice, you master casting spells. I’m not leaving anything out. She’s hiding out from hypothetical people who are too good at RPGs. I feel like enough indoor kids saw Empire Strikes Back that we have the data on whether or not “trying it a lot” lets someone really use The Force. If this hoof-headed dingbat was right, one out of four of us would be a Jedi. Anyway, all these words are making it sound like Patti had a bigger part in the video than she did. She’s done. Comparing RPG spells to volleyball serves was everything she had to say. She is the Malcolm Gladwell of Cure Light Wounds and nothing else. Good riddance, Patti.
Back to Peter, he starts doing some classic Satanic Panic around Dungeons and Dragons. He quotes Dr. Thomas Radecki, M.D., who cited his gut on how he’s definitely sure the game causes young men to kill. Peter calls him “Dr.,” but Dr. Thomas Radecki got caught trading painkillers to patients for sex and lost his license 8 years before Peter made this tape. I’m not calling Peter a hypocrite. His ideology isn’t coherent enough for words like that. I actually think he’s a good partner for taking on Dungeons & Dragons. Because when you’re at war against make-believe virgin heroes, who better to team up with than an actual sex villain? In your face, everyone involved.
Next Peter uses a quote from an academic who “must assume” Dungeons & Dragons is harmful. I found no evidence of him saying this or anything ever about Dungeons & Dragons. I’m not calling Peter a liar. His thoughts aren’t coherent enough for words like that. I’m just saying the guy who watched most of a Ninja Turtles episode to uncover an occult conspiracy might have poor research skills. It’s hard to argue with his next source, though; some anonymous kid who died in Dungeons & Dragons:
If this person, “Ex – D & D Player,” is real, can you imagine their thrill when they found Peter Lalonde? People were probably ignoring him for months going on and on about how hard D & D is for low level magic users, and then one day a strange man at the playground with a microphone overheard him and screamed, “Did you say you died in Dumbos and Draculas!? My God, my dear sweet Lord, tell me everything.”
I’m obviously having a great time watching the dumbest fuck and his wife get more and more confused about cartoons and toys, but what happens next is almost too wonderful to believe. Peter shares a story of his recent research trip into the secular world where he asked a toy store clerk what was popular. He said, “Nintendo,” so Peter bought one and the three least Christian games they had. He pulls out a game manual and says, quote, “They are sitting in front of their video boards and they are entranced in a world that we know nothing about.” Peter couldn’t figure out how to set up his new Nintendo Entertainment System and did what anyone would do: blame Satan and vow to defeat him.
The best part of being a Christian has got to be the neverending thrills. Peter starts thumbing through the manual for Wizardry and every page is a new enemy in the saga of Peter Saves Jesus. He calls each of them out as he sees them– pictures of dragons, acclimating kids to dragons like those in the Bible! Cleric spells! Spells. Let me just quote his exact words. He says, “And you go to the pages it’s listed on, in this case page 41… and they have complete descriptions on how to cast spells. And how to contact powerful spirits. And how to use this powers and spirits to overcome, obviously, um… evil. Or GOOD. Because there’s both white and black magic in these books.”
He thinks NES manuals work on reality? Like, out loud, where people can hear him? Okay, Peter. Page Page 41 of Wizardry for the NES… let me dig a box out of my basement and see what you’re so worried about:
Peter, come on. Peter, one of these forbidden rituals is for solving mazes. This is boilerplate RPG manual. This is like getting mad at a lawn mower warranty for not honoring the sacrament of Christ. Oh, you’re going to do another one? Yes, please.
Opening the manual for Dungeon Magic, Peter announces, “We picked up another one to see if that was just a coincidence.” Fucking what? A coincidence of what, Peter? I am stunned by his comedic delivery. He is checking to see if a second RPG has magic in it like he’s tracking a serial killer. Something inside chills him. He says, “And it’s Dungeon Magic here. And we look through again and we see in here, ‘casting magic spells, page 22.’ The complete description, and it says here ‘each wizard has mastered a certain type of magic. If you meet a wizard he will give you four basic elements of his mystic studies.’ So we have a wizard now teaching the children of his magical studies.” I also looked this one up, and he stopped right before it became truly terrifying.
Spend Health Points to symbol mix in order to pass the scrutiny of wizards? What the hell is Dungeon Magic for the Nintendo talking about? I agree with Peter– the devil wrote this. Okay, you’re never going to believe me, but next Peter says, “I look at another one here just to show you this is not an isolated example,” and reads page 72 and 76 of the Final Fantasy instruction book. He discovers there are 8 levels of magic!? Both white and black? This goes deeper than Peter thought. And then, this man who just skimmed three video game manuals to count the ways they violate his church’s HOA rules… this confused ape weeping about misremembered Thundercat lore… this man looks right to camera and says:
He thinks they’ve made the point! I’m being serious here: In all my years of watching deranged idiots say deranged things, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make less of a point. This playground stranger set out to destroy the public school system and he accidentally learned how to cast DUMAPIC in Wizardry. By his own admission, he has no idea what is going on, doesn’t want to, and hasn’t looked into it much. Maybe his brother Paul can help?
Paul was a counselor for “drug addicts, prostitutes, and gang members,” and he’s here as an expert because all of those people love the occult. Paul explains, “They listen to heavy metal artists like Ozzy Osbourne, or groups like AC/DC and Black Sabbath.” He sounds well-informed on the subject to me, but I only listen to Bon Jovi, or the bands Jon Bon Jovi.
I’ve spent most of the video worried this was a parody, but Paul has me very suspicious. While interviewing a Canadian kid who tried to kill his stepfather, Paul asked him why he liked Ozzy Osbourne so much. The kid said, “Everybody likes Ozzy Osbourne! Man, he tried to kill a chicken on stage once!” This is a confused mashup of two very different Ozzy Osbourne stories– a weird mistake for such a notable Ozzy fan to make. I mean, when people ask me about my attempted murders and they bring up my love of Bon Jovi, I don’t say, “Jake Bovi is the best! He gave HPV to Courtney Thorne-Smith!” Anyway, Paul declares that D&D eases you into Satanic rituals and his proof is how one time he heard black cat owners in this one town were told to keep them inside because D&D groups love to sacrifice them. I THINK WE’VE MADE THE POINT: Peter Lalonde’s family attends a church with no carbon monoxide detectors.
Peter cuts to footage of children in the clutches of secular relaxation. He can’t contain his disgust. He calls it textbook hinduism. “This is YOGA,” he hisses. “It’s religion! In public schools!!” Peter claims meditating children are taught to imagine a wise person and demands to know who this man is. Is it an inner voice? Because these wise men could be spirit guides, or “someone the child has contacted from the demonic realm!” Some of this might seem familiar because it’s the same kids from earlier and he’s flubbing the same talking points. I THINK WE’VE MADE THE POINT: Peter is going to keep making these child actors call to the darkness until something tears into our realm through them.
“Well, how do we summarize it all,” asks the man who has said zero things over the course of an hour. He reminds us about the Hindu stuff, how computer games have made our children “proficient at magic,” and goes over each of these hard facts several more times. Then it seems like Peter can suddenly hear himself and he gets defensive. He blurts out, “We’re not talking about backmasking here! We’re not talking about being paranoid!” He challenges any educators who think this is ridiculous to “go back and look at the textbooks of shamans and witch doctors from hundreds of thousands of years ago” and see these preschool relaxation sessions use the same techniques. He’s not crazy, he insists! The environmentalists tried to control our minds with “We Are The World” he also insists!
Peter Lalonde hasn’t consulted witch doctor textbooks from thousands of years ago, and I know this because I watched him read three Nintendo manuals. If he was sitting on an ancient tome of actual spells, he had time to bring it up. The video comes to an end with a plug for his next video about how credit cards are a little bit like the Mark of the Beast, and at this point I’m certain this is a prank.
So I Googled Peter Lalonde and learned that his next project ended up being a film adaptation of a Christian novel, and he did such a bad job he was literally sued for doing a bad job. It was meant to be a $40,000,000 blockbuster, and he said fuck it– get me Kirk Cameron and the cheapest Missouri film crew you can find. That’s right, this article has a dark twist. Peter Lalonde, the dumbest son of a bitch I have ever seen, went on to make Left Behind, failed so badly it was illegal, and it still spawned four sequels and a reboot. With all his heart he was sure Nintendo mazes were proof of wizards, but instead of dying in a sock swallowing accident he became one of the wealthiest filmmakers in Canada. Sometimes a story gives you no lesson! I THINK WE’VE MADE THE POINT: Sometimes things are just broken! Bye!
This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Rain Vargas, who rolled a Bard one time and long story short, is now the actual devil. Hail Rain Vargas.