It was the year 2000 and a secret, supernatural war was being waged against the youth of America. A single brave evangelist was all that stood in the way of your children and a thing called “Pokemon,” a boy named “Harry Potter,” and a best friend named “Screampopper the Counting Anal Beads.” He was only able to defeat one of them, but Phil Arms left behind a handbook for anyone else to give it a shot against the other two.
You might have seen a book like this before. Sometimes Christians are so Christian they think toys and fiction have to follow the same rules as the Bible or it makes them wrong, which makes them evil, which makes them an elaborate scheme of the Devil, which makes them your responsibility to defeat. Phil Arms is an apex Devil hunter. He can generate four pages of panic from a single keyword on a Pokemon card. He generated eight gallons of fear diarrhea before Harry Potter even left for wizard school. No one is more sure we are all going to die and less certain Pokemon are fictional than Phil Arms.
The introduction lays out Phil Arms’ mission: some non-Christian things don’t follow strict Christian rules and you need to know several incorrect details of how this makes them dangerous. It’s too stupid to try to explain. It’s like he wrote a manual for owners of a Charbroil Performance 475 Four Burner Grill to help them identify which pancakes aren’t their Chocolate Parformance 476 Five Burner Girl.
My copy of Pokemon & Harry Potter: A Fatal Attraction is used, and the previous owner was gung ho about joining God’s army against the forces of evil. They highlighted several sentences in the introduction about the scourge of New Age symbolism in kid’s shows. Then, like all people who don’t care if their children go to Heaven, they gave up after two pages. Even the kind of person who brings a highlighter to a book about the hidden Satanism of Pokemon couldn’t bring themselves to read this stupid shit.
To give you a sense of Phil’s urgency in this battle for the very souls of our children, the first four pages are about how he’s not much of a morning person. Boy does he need his coffee! His wife, on the other hand, she’s a real morning person. Not him, though. Don’t even talk to him until he’s had his second cup of joe! Anyway, demons are clawing at your sons and daughters from Pokemon cards and it’s far too late for most of them. Also, did you know “Pokemon” is short for “Pocket Monsters?” Fucking monsters! Monsters. Maybe you’re not hearing me. These cartoons are not human, or even puppies. “Satan tricked me,” said anyone who thought Pokemon were puppies. You’re still not getting it. Here, let Phil explain some more:
Sometimes I look through a book like this hoping to find some kind of hilarious irony or embarrassing lack of self-awareness, and I’m sorry to tell you I couldn’t. This is just some guy who God put in charge of fighting against the demonic witch powers of Pokemon complaining about all the dumb assholes who can’t tell real from make-believe.
Anyway, after Phil explains to his son how Pokemon are actually monsters, and monsters are actually real, the boy gets to work throwing all his toys and books away.
After all the unlikely stories of monster powers, it’s nice to read about something that really happened, like Phil’s son putting all his belongings into a trash bag, then pulling each of them out to explain how they violate God’s truth, then putting them back in, and then dragging the bag to the dump.
What I love most about this made up story is that in order to tell it, Phil Arms, a man who has literally been going on TV to complain about the evils of dancing since the ’80s, has to admit he pays so little attention to his own boy that he collected an entire garbage bag full of secular videos and occult books. It’s like inventing a story about how you won a roller skating race because your dick is too small to have weight.
Besides Harry Potter and Pokemon, Phil also covers some other occult threats like Magic: The Gathering, which through rigorous study, he has made himself an expert in.
Most of Phil’s understanding of Magic:The Gathering and Pokemon comes from taking gameplay terms, mistaking them for one of the mystic folklores feared by his religion, and letting his imagination do the rest. So he thinks kids summon Magic cards by holding up a wand and calling upon the playground’s dead to inhabit their body. Also? He thinks you have to sacrifice a white creature to power Soul Exchange when in fact you can sacrifice any creature. Ha ha, can you imagine how underpowered that card would be if it cost two black mana but your target creature had to be white!? Ha ha ha ridiculous. I mean, does God not fact check?
Speaking of facts, let’s look into the facts about Pokemon:
Phil received a letter from a Houston mother whose son enjoys Pokemon. She explained, “Something is going on.” This woman saw her kid watch cartoons and simply couldn’t describe it. And more shocking, this woman saw Phil Arms on TV and didn’t know he was fucking stupid. This woman has poorer judgement than a man entering a roller skating race with a 60 pound penis. And I’ll tell you the same thing I told that man: “Congratulations on getting first place, me.”
Look, we’re all having fun, but this is serious. Phil works hard to help idiots protect their children from threats that don’t exist by figuring out which fictional creatures are Buddhists.
Phil is at his best when he thinks he’s cracked the code of the secretly non-Christian cartoon characters. These pocket monsters almost got away with their secular behavior except they use the term “master,” a term Phil’s keen eye noticed and cross-referenced with the goals of Buddhism. “H-how did you know?” pleaded the Pokemon, its deceit laid bare. “Because no Christian Jigglypuff would let his wife transgress upon him without stoning her until death,” said Phil, pulling the trigger on another of Buddha’s secret agents.
“This is what happens when you forget your training,” says Buddha from the media room of his spy training center. “And fellow Pokemon, there’s no reincarnation if you’re shot with a Christian gun. Now let’s pair up and work on our HOA complaints and gay wedding disapprovals.”
You barely have to look at these creatures to know they have sweet powers and aren’t Christian ministers. And pocket monsters, don’t even pretend you’re fulfilling the divine mission of a holy God. How are you supposed to tell people about Jesus Christ if your half squirrel/half turtle mouth is blasting a Machamp’s rippling chest with water? Oh, are you just now realizing Squirtle isn’t an ordained minister? Fucking wake up!
It’s unfortunate, but in order to protect us from secular culture, Phil has had to make himself an expert on it, even the lyrics to the Pokemon theme song, famously of the “rap” genre. Keep in mind he was this ignorant in an era where every pizza chain, breakfast cereal, and local library advertised only in rap. I’m choosing my words carefully here to represent Phil Arms with maximum precision: to miss this wildly with a “rap song” identification is exactly -in every way- like calling the police on a tanning salon for creating black people. It’s wrong in a way too stupid for anyone to be sure it’s racist.
I’m sure you get Phil Arms by now. He’s Pussy Hitler in a world war against toys. But maybe there’s a part of you curious about what would really happen if Pokemon values became widespread. Let’s look!
Wait, holy shit, he’s upset about Pokemon’s dark path of mutual understanding and empathy!? I-is Phil sure he’s supposed to spell out his evil fascism this clearly? It’s like he stopped his book about the dangers of saying “evolution” out loud to level with the reader, “Look, Christian brother, we are unequivocally the bad guys. We will piss on the graves of the kind and tear the love from the teeth of their orphans. In Jesus’ name, White Power.”
Phil doesn’t limit his research to which Pokemon care about others. He also thumbed through the Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook for sex words and found one. He also found a news article about a cop’s son who read the same book and killed himself only two years later. No further proof was needed, and so none was given. I think we can safely move on from this related, but far less dangerous sexual perversion and discuss the sinister teachings of Harry Potter.
Phil mentions eight times in his book how children (and some adults) don’t know the difference between real and fiction. Yet in the 147 pages he typed about the evil powers of witchcraft and Buddha, he never once admits they are make-believe. He genuinely thinks wizards exist and they are our enemy. So his take on Harry Potter is understandably, “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE SATAN IS TRAINING SORCERERS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!?”
Phil suffers from a common nutcase symptom of thinking everyone is into everything as much as he is into the Bible. He can’t picture a child simply enjoying a book, ranting about how they can’t “serve two masters!” He can’t understand how you can be in a religion and then also read a non-Bible, and this line of thinking means he spends dozens of pages accidentally establishing Harry Potter as something as powerful as the God he worships. It’s the kind of crazy most of us are used to, so it probably seems normal to you, but if this was the first you’re hearing about Him, you’d be wondering how this God asshole manages to lose a fight to every random storybook or toy-branded fruit snack.
Let’s get back to Pokemon concerns.
The great thing about being religious is you make a final decision and then figure out why you made it later. It’s like a puzzle game you can’t lose, and all it costs you is your dignity, which means nothing when you can decide you’re dignified using the same process I recently described. The point is, if you’re a Christian and want to prove Pokemon is a threat you can cite a Fox News report of an anti-crystal cleric from North Carolina who said it’s sort of the same thing as the kind of stuff the Columbine shooters dabbled in. I honestly think a researcher would punch you in your stupid goddamn face if you said this string of words in front of them, but to Phil Arms, this babbling nothingness is better than proof– it’s something you dedicate years of your life to.
In video games, which are a type of “computer,” players are often encouraged to use “items” which are similar to what you and I know as “things.” Based on shaky logic alone, these items are similar to ones used by occultists to protect themselves against the supernatural, and I feel very confident saying this knowledge will be of no use to anyone even if they stumbled through a portal into a world where it’s real. Phil is upset because items in video games protect from evil, and I’m paraphrasing here, “but I mean come on.”
Now that we know the basics, let’s find out how specific Pokemon are killing God.
Phil continues his deep research by going through a video game manual looking for words liberals and scientists use in other contexts and begging you to get upset. He cites the words “confuse” and “shock into submission” as two of the Pokemon crimes, and accuses Nidoran of anti-Christ behavior for having two genders, which he definitely mistook for some kind of trans thing. For the record, Phil Arms is so transphobic he heard a little bunny creature might be a boy or a girl and he declared, “In Jesus Christ’s name, not on my watch.”
Let’s stop playing around for a second. If there’s some kind of war being waged for our souls and you’re over here complaining about Psyduck “resorting to the use of the paranormal to accomplish his will,” fuck you. It’s over, and you lost. Satan is five million steps ahead of you. You’re so goddamn slow there’s no field of education to help you catch up with the rest of us. You’re dumb beyond a normal person’s ability to conceive of dumb. And what I mean by that is that it wouldn’t occur to the most patient special needs educator on the planet to ever say, “I’m not sure why you’re not getting i– wait, hold on. Phil, you know Psyduck isn’t real, right?”
Ken Sugimori: “Hypno is a Pokémon who uses hypnosis to put his enemies to sleep.”
Phil Arms: “Oh, like Indians!? Robbing their dreams!?”
Ken Sugimori: “How did you get in here? Why are you so upset?”
Phil Arms: “This is how the savages healed the sick! How they helped people!”
Ken Sugimori: “America must be a wonderful place to become so furious over such a small and objectively nice thing.”
Phil Arms: “It fucking sucks! Your evil Godless monsters made our sons gay and kind!”
This one is majestic. Phil Arms filled half a page on Zobat, which isn’t how you spell Zubat, and the way it steals its opponent’s energy. Phil seems to think it’s because it uses psychic powers on its enemy’s chakras, but to be clear, Zubat is a bat. It is stealing energy from its enemies because it’s drinking their blood. Like a bat. This ordinary thing bats are known to do has nothing to do with Eastern religions, and after hundreds of pages of this shit I’m still amazed this goddamn agent of Christ saw a vampire bat sucking monster blood and he’s only mad because it’s maybe Hindu. Seriously, if you’re making jokes, what analogy do you build from that? It’s like getting mad at the man stabbing your wife because he seems like the kind of guy who’d have a tattoo that insults Frasier. I have no idea. Phil Arms is crazy in directions my fingers can’t point to.
We should try to wrap this up. Let’s talk about the five fundamental truths.
Phil teaches parents five truths, and they’re all based on utter insanity. The first one is how you need to beat your kids when they look upon secular toys. The second is how you need to stand up against evil, but the only example he gives is his son telling his classmates their books are evil and then getting mocked by his entire school. The third truth is self-explanatory. “Teach your child that Satan controls this world’s systems.” The fourth is the first one again, and the fifth truth is to explain to your child how everyone is going to hate their annoying ass. I swear on the sick-healing third eye of Hypno I’m not misrepresenting any of these. If you told me I had to sum up this summary of his philosophy in ten words, I’d say, “No problem. Satan is everywhere, so beat your confused kids.”
You need to educate yourself and stay alert! For instance, did you know the Pokemon creators released another occult game called Digimon, which is both not an occult game or from the makers of Pokémon? That’s how treacherous these Satanists can be. And keep an eye out for “telemedicine.” Doctors who use the phone are probably hiding goat legs.
I’m going to leave you now with one of my favorite parts of the book: Responding to Critics.
Phil got a letter from a cranky kid who told him to get a life and then defended Dungeons and Dragons with the kind of even-handed pedantry you’d expect from an indoor teen looking down the barrel of three decades of virginity. And Phil’s response was glorious.
He wrote a two page response to this child and printed it here where everyone could look at it. It’s the most emotionally raw self-own an angry hate mail could ever hope for. Phil splits hairs over every single one of this kid’s points. He says word-for-word, “And Angry, I do have a life.” And Phil regrets to inform you that, um, he is “not ‘worried’ as you called it, over Pokemon.” So at the end of Phil’s very stupid book about making the children of helplessly stupid fundamentalists worse people, some nerdy kid told him to fuck himself and he did. It’s the perfect ending, unlike this one where I just say Pikachu tits.