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Quakers:  Evil Spirits
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Liberty Advocate





Evil Spirits in Colonial America




Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.



Is The Witch of Blackbird Pond just innocent children’s literature? Or, is it malicious anti-Christian propaganda? 


Did this book help sow the seeds of the hippie rebellion in the 1960s?


Elizabeth George Speare’s book is highly acclaimed and required reading in public, private and Christian schools across America.   Was it written with a poisoned pen to corrupt youth with contempt for Puritans...and contempt for all Bible-believing Christians?


The Witch of Blackbird Pond is set in 1687 and tells the story of a young girl, Kit, who leaves Barbados for a colony in Connecticut. There in Wethersfield - a Puritan community - Kit rebels against all the Puritan beliefs and customs. She befriends an old Quaker woman known as the witch of Blackbird Pond and, as a result, is accused of witchcraft.


Secular and Christian publishers sell this book.  Some of the suggested themes for the book are forgiveness, tolerance, and independence. 


Printed inside the front cover of the Yearling edition is praise for the book:


Strong plot, fully realized characters, and convincing atmosphere distinguish this historical narrative of a girl whose rebellion against bigotry and her Puritan surroundings culminates in a witch hunt and trial.                                                                     



Before even reading the first page of the story, this “praise” should alert Christians: “rebellion against bigotry and her Puritan surroundings.” 


But it’s praised by Christians…so let’s examine it for ourselves.





The heroine of the story is Katherine (Kit) Tyler who travels from her home of Barbados to America.  Puritan John Holbrook questions Kit about Barbados:


  “Barbados!” He stared.  “The heathen island in the West Indies?”

  “ ‘Tis no heathen island.  ‘Tis as civilized as England, with a famous town and fine streets and shops.  My grandfather was one of the first plantation owners, with a grant from the King.”

  “You are not a Puritan then?”

  “Puritan?  You mean a Roundhead?  One of those traitors who murdered King Charles?” (page 11)


We are not going to discuss the political history in the book.  But notice Kit’s defense of the heathen island of Barbados.  Admittedly, the island may have had a famous town and fine streets and shops, but many of the islanders practiced black magic. That’s heathen. In fact, many black slaves from Barbados brought their black magic - witchcraft - to colonial New England.


Next, Kit calls the Puritans “those traitors who murdered King Charles.”  So, she slanders the Puritans as murderers.


In Chapter 1 there are too many malicious remarks about the Puritans to quote and comment on all of them.  But from the beginning of her story, Speare vilifies the Puritans.


So, before the end of the first chapter, the author has already planted in the young readers' minds that Puritans were narrow-minded, hateful bigots and murderers.


And Chapter 2 contains more venomous contempt for the Puritans. 


And how could she force herself to endure another meal at the same board with Goodwife Cruff and her cowed shadow of a husband?  Never a civil word had been spoken by either one of them.  Plainly they considered the becalmed ship all her doing.  And it spoiled her appetite just to watch that miserable little wraith of a child Prudence, not even allowed to sit at board with them, but kept behind her mother where she had to eat standing up the stingy portion they handed back to her.  Once or twice she had seen the father furtively slip the child an extra morsel from his plate, but he was plainly too spineless to stand up for her against his shrew of a wife. (page 16)


The Puritan father is presented as cowed and spineless. The Puritan mother is presented as stingy and unloving.  In fact, many school curriculum guides for this book suggest the Puritans abused their children.  There is no historical evidence of child abuse. But Speare’s vicious accusations cause young readers to believe her black lies.


Imagine the impact of these poisonous words left on impressionable minds of young readers.


And page after page drips with poisoned words against the Puritans…and against all Bible-believing Christians: 


To further illustrate, Puritan John Holbrook, expresses surprise that Kit was allowed to read history, plays and poetry:


  John’s pale cheeks reddened.  “There are no such books in Saybrook.  In Boston, perhaps. But the proper use of reading is to improve our sinful nature, and to fill our minds with God’s holy word.”

  Kit stared at him.  She pictured Grandfather, the blue-veined hands caressing the leather bindings, and she knew that he had not cherished his books with any thought of improving his sinful nature. She could imagine the twinkle that would have danced in his eyes at those solemn words. (page 25)


The heroine openly ridicules the doctrine of sin.  And the heroine ridicules the perfecting of our character – to be Christ-like. 


On page 27, Goodwife Cruffe tells Kit to leave her child alone.  “We do not welcome strangers in this town, and you be the kind we like least.”  So, the author paints a dark picture of the Puritans as hateful toward strangers. 


Of course, the early Puritan colonies were exclusive because they wanted a wholly Puritan settlement.  That’s why they separated from the rest of the world!  And would a reasonable person expect the Puritans to welcome Kit?   Kit is an impudent, haughty youth who despises the Puritans and the Bible. She expresses open contempt for the Puritans.


In fact, the more you read the book, the more astounding it becomes that professing Christians lack the discernment to see the Christian hate-speech that Speare spews forth.  And I’m only on Chapter 2!


And Chapter 3 is no better!  When Kit arrives unannounced at her aunt’s house, her uncle is grim:


  “You are welcome. Katherine,” he said gravely, and took her hand in his bony fingers.  She could not read the faintest sign of welcome in his thin stern lips or in the dark eyes that glowered fiercely at her from under heavy grizzled eyebrows. (page 32)


If you are a true Christian, you will be troubled!  This book is written with a poisoned pen against the Puritans and all Bible-believing Christians!  Christians are portrayed as stern, fierce, terrifying, uncaring folks.  They are portrayed as abusive parents.  And their lives are painted as dark and dreary. 


The only caring Puritan adult is Aunt Rachel, Kit’s mother’s sister. And in Chapter 4 Aunt Rachel is portrayed as a saint caring for the sick and poor and widows; all the other Puritans are presented as uncaring: “She wears herself out over people like Widow Brown, and honestly, Mercy, if Mother were ill how many of them do you think would lift a finger to help?” (page 39)


And later in the chapter, Uncle Matthew is portrayed as hard and cruel for refusing to allow his daughters to accept Kit’s gifts of extravagant, flashy clothing. 


Of course, the Puritans were known for their simple dress.  Extravagant dress was considered ungodly.


Let’s further examine Kit’s contempt for the Puritans…


Uncle Matthew is angry at Kit’s extravagant dress for the Sabbath Meeting:


  “You will mock the Lord’s assembly with such frippery,” he roared.

  This was the second time this morning that her uncle’s wrath had descended on her head.  An hour ago she had declined to go to Meeting, saying airily that she and her grandfather had seldom attended divine service, except for the Christmas Mass.  What an uproar she had caused!  There was no Church of England in Wethersfield, her uncle had informed her, and furthermore, since she was now a member of his household she would forget her popish ideas and attend Meeting like a God-fearing woman. (page 51)


  The Puritan service seemed to her as plain and unlovely as the bare board walls of the Meeting House. (page 53)  


John Holbrook speaks to Kit after the Meeting:


  “I was glad to see you in Meeting,” he said gravely, “you must have found the sermon uplifting.”

  Kit was nonplussed….

  Kit stared at him.  Yes, actually, he was serious. (page 56)


  “Did you say – between services?” Kit inquired fearfully.

  “Didn’t you know there’s a second service in the afternoon?”

  Kit was appalled.  “Do you mean we have to go?”

  “Of course we go,” snapped Judith.  That is what the Sabbath is for.

  Kit came to a halt, and suddenly she stamped her foot in the dusty road.  “I won’t do it!” she declared.  “I absolutely won’t endure that all over again!” (page 59)


Do you hear Kit's rage and rebellion against observing the Sabbath with reverent services? 


Do you see how this anti-establishment book written in 1958 possibly helped foster the anti-establishment and anti-Christian hippie movement of the 1960s?  And can you see how this anti-establishment book fosters the rebellion of youth today against Christianity? Secularists love this book because it indoctrinates youth with anti-Christian propaganda. 


Again, these are only a handful of subtle and open malicious comments about Christianity. 


Rebellion…rebellion…rebellion…echoes from page to page. 



Praising Quakers…More Contempt for Bible-believing Christians  


Frankly, up to this point the book is dull and tedious reading.  And there are too many references to political history that go over children's heads.  


In Chapter 8, Kit meets the widow Hannah Tupper, a Quaker, who lives by Blackbird Pond in the Great Meadow.  Kit’s cousin Judith explains that people says she’s a witch.  Cousin Mercy informs Kit that she has been selected to help her teach summer school.


In Chapter 9, Kit expresses disgust for the school’s primer: 


Of all the dreary monotonous sermons!  Grandfather would never have allowed her to learn from such a book. (page 83)


The “dreary monotonous sermons” are on page 82:


“Good children must,

Fear God all day,

Parents obey,

No false thing say,

By no sin stray.”


“Love Christ alway,

In secret pray,

Mind little play,

Make no delay,

In doing good.”


Then Kit decides to entertain the students by having them act out Bible stories. Schoolmaster Kimberley and Rev. Woodbridge are outraged that Kit took the sacred Bible and turned it into play-acting to amuse herself and the students.


At the end of Chapter 9, Kit runs to the Great Meadow and encounters Hannah.  Of course, Speare presents the Quaker as a kind and caring person in sharp contrast to the stern and cruel Puritans.  And in later chapters Hannah is presented as wise and philosophical.  Notice how Speare cunningly endears Hannah to the hearts of her young readers. 


In Chapter 10, Kit praises Hannah Tupper:  “She’s the gentlest little person you ever saw.  You’d love her, Mercy.” (page 99) 


Aunt Rachel then explains why no one in Wethersfield has anything to do with Hannah.


  “Why on earth not?’

  “She is a Quaker.”

  “Why is that so dreadful?”

  Rachel hesitated.  “I can’t tell you exactly.  The Quakers are queer stubborn people.  They don’t believe in the Sacraments.”

  “What difference does that make?  She is as kind and good as- as you are, Aunt Rachel.  I could swear to it.”

  Rachel looked genuinely distressed.  “How can you be sure? Quakers cause trouble wherever they go.  They speak out against our faith.  Of course, we don’t torment them here in Connecticut.  In Boston I’ve heard they even hanged some Quakers.  This Hannah Tupper and her husband were branded and driven out of Massachusetts.  They were thankful enough just to be let alone here in Wethersfield.”

  “Has she ever done any harm?”

  “No-- perhaps not, though there’s been talk.  Kit, I know your uncle would be very angry about this.  Promise me you won’t go there again.”

(page 99-100)


Well, Kit refuses to promise her Aunt Rachel.  “Hannah was good to me…”


Speare does not tell all the facts about Connecticut’s treatment of witches.


Witches and Witchcraft
The First Person Executed in the Colonies

First Person Executed in the ColoniesIn 1642 witchcraft was punishable by death in Connecticut. This capital offense was backed by references to the Bible, i.e., Ex: 22, 18; Lev: 20, 27; Deu: 18, 10, 11. Alse Young (sometimes also referred to as Achsah or Alice) of Windsor, Connecticut was the first person executed for witchcraft in America. Alse was hanged at Meeting House Square in Hartford on what is now the site of the Old State House. A journal of then Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop states that "One of Windsor was hanged." The second town clerk of Windsor, Matthew Grant also confirms the execution with the May 26, 1647 diary entry, "Alse Young was hanged."

Although Connecticut may not have experienced the same level of hysteria as Salem Massachusetts, Alse Young was not the last person hanged for witchcraft. Mary Johnson of Wethersfield was executed in 1648 after having confessed to entering into a compact with the devil. Joan and John Carrington also of Wethersfield were executed in 1651. Rebecca and Nathaniel Greensmith and Mary Barnes were found guilty of witchcraft and were hanged in Hartford on January 25, 1663. Ann Cole had accused Rebecca Greensmith of making her have strange fits. Witchcraft was last listed as a capital crime in 1715. The crime of witchcraft disappeared from the list of capital crimes when the laws were next printed in 1750.   http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/History/witches.htm


The Witch of Blackbird Pond is set in 1687 in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  Notice that Mary Johnson was executed in Wethersfield in 1648 after confessing entering into a compact with the devil.  And the Carringtons of Wethersfield were executed in 1651.  But Speare fails to present these facts.


Getting back to the story…


Aunt Rachel then explains to Kit that she is very young and doesn’t understand how sometimes evil can seem innocent and harmless. 


Surely, Elizabeth Speare must have laughed out loud as she delighted in writing Rachel’s explanation.  For she knew that her readers are very young and don’t understand how sometimes evil books can seem innocent and harmless – like her book.


Kit determines to go back to Hannah’s: 


Only one thing was sure.  She had found a secret place, a place of freedom and clear sunlight and peace.  Nothing, nothing that anyone could say would prevent her from going back to that place again.” (page 100)


Notice Speare uses the words "a place of freedom and clear sunlight and peace."  Clear sunlight?  What does this mean?  Is she referring to the Quakers demonic doctrine of "inner light"?




She felt completely justified in deceiving her aunt and uncle; they were narrow-minded and mistaken. (page 118)


Speare portrays Kit as a rebellious heroine.  And Kit’s spirit of rebellion permeates the book. 



Quakers and Hippies


Now before going on with Chapter 10, an issue brought up on page 99-100 must be discussed:  Speare purposely hides the truth why the Puritans shunned the Quakers.  She just makes it sound as if the only point of contention was the Sacraments.


  “She is a Quaker.”

  “Why is that so dreadful?”

  Rachel hesitated.  I can’t tell you exactly.  The Quakers are queer stubborn people.  They don’t believe in the Sacraments.”


Speare deliberately fails to explain why the Quakers were not welcome in Puritan communities. 


The Student’s American History (D.H. Montgomery, Ginn & Company, 1905) explains in 1643 the four colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven formed a political and religious federation.  One of the objects was to maintain the purity of the orthodox faith.  Shortly after the New England confederation went into operation, George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers), began to preach in England. He declared that God makes himself known directly to the human heart, and that whoever follows this “inner light” is sure of salvation.  The Puritans regarded the Bible as the supreme rule of life.  In their eyes George Fox was a revolutionist, striking at the very foundations of both Church and Scripture.  But more than this, he seemed to most men of that age to threaten to destroy the bonds that hold society together.  They accused him of “troubling the world by preaching peace to it."


In their meetings for worship, the Quakers would sit together in quiet until the spirit within moved some one.  They felt no need for ceremony in their religion, and considered the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper unnecessary.


The Quakers despised authority and showed open contempt for it. They preached defiance of man’s law and God’s Law.


1)     Quakers refused to take any form of oath. They would not give evidence in a court of justice or swear allegiance to any form of government.


2)     Quakers refused to bear arms in defense of the state or of their homes, believing that war was wrong.


3)     Quakers refused to pay taxes for the support of any ministry or church. They believed it was unnecessary to have trained ministers because the “inner light” guides each person. Of course, this is contrary to Scripture.


4)     Quakers refused to address any one, no matter what his rank, by any other title than “Friend”; they spoke rudely to magistrates; they insisted on keeping their hats on in courts, and they would not take them off to the king himself.


Irrefutably, the Quakers were anti-establishment.  They wanted to overthrow the established church and the established government.  And, like the 60s hippies, in the name of peace, they determined to destroy society. 


In 1656 the General Court of Massachusetts, hearing of the these troubling things about the Quakers, ordered a day of fasting and prayer for fear that the false teachings of the English Quakers should spread abroad.  However, two weeks after the fast, two Quakers arrived in Boston to spread their occult teachings.


It was said that they were turning the world upside down with their preaching, and that if they were not stopped, they would destroy all churches and all modes of government.  A fortnight after that fast day (1656) the inhabitants of Boston heard to their horror that two women, who were Quaker missionaries, had actually landed in their town.


The authorities at once thrust them into jail, and as soon as possible sent them out of the colony.  But others came, and soon all Massachusetts was in a fever of excitement.

Page 77

The Leading Facts of American History, D.H. Montgomery, Ginn and Company, 1917


Undeniably, the early Quakers were not quiet and peaceful folks. They may have called themselves "Friends," but they were certainly not friendly toward the Puritans.  Like the hypocritical 60s hippies who preached peace, Quakers were hypocritical rowdy protesters determined to destroy society. They were anti-establishment. They stood in decided opposition to the ideas of the great majority of sober and discreet citizens; and they loudly and actively vocalized their opposition. Because Quakers rejected both the Church and the Bible they often interrupted church services.  In several cases in Boston they forced their way into Puritan meetings on Sunday and cried out that the ministers were hypocrites and deceivers of the people.


The Puritans arrested the disturbers of their peace, whipped some through the towns, cut off the ears of others, and drove them out into the wilderness.  But the Quakers were determined to undermine the Puritan holy experiment.  They persisted in returning and preaching in the loudest manner.  Under the guise of peace, they refused to strike back when persecuted. But they had a more powerful weapon; they used their tongues as a two-edged sword. 


The Quakers were colonial hippies preaching peace and inner light. 


Naturally, the Puritans were protective of their Christian colonies.  They founded their own colonies so they could live in peace and protect their children from wicked influences.  More important, they founded their own colonies as a government based on the Bible.  In other words, they wanted to live with other Puritans who sought to live in a Bible commonwealth.  They wanted an orderly society obedient to God’s will.  So, when Quakers infiltrated and actively tried to destroy their peaceful communities, they sought to drive them out because Puritans came to Massachusetts and other New England colonies to establish religious liberty for themselves, not to establish an ideal of toleration for all religions. 


For Winthrop [John] and many other Puritans salvation lay in America:  there they could set up a model church and state which by its very perfection would serve as example and inspiration to those who remained in England.  The Bible would regain its divinely intended role, and an orderly society would observe God’s will – both in the structure and spirit of its religious services and in the organization and behavior of its citizens.

The Columbia History of the World, Harper & Row, 1972, p. 666


Thus the Bay Colony represented – outwardly at least – a true Bible commonwealth, governed by men who tried to live in accordance with holy injunctions and to make sure that the ungodly did not undermine the experiment.  During most of the 1630’s and 1640’s the governor was John Winthrop, a former attorney and lord of the Manor of Groton, who combined brilliantly the religious fervor of the Puritan movement with administrative talent and common sense.  Largely as a result of his moderate leadership, Massachusetts survived internal dissensions and external threats, the former taking its most serious forms in the religious heterodoxies of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, the latter appearing most critically in the efforts of some Englishmen to revoke the Bay Colony charter. 


In order to prevent what they feared would be the subversion of their “errand in the Wilderness,” the Puritans banished Williams and Mrs. Hutchinson.

The Columbia History of the World, p. 668


The avowed purpose of the settlers of Massachusetts was to establish an independent Puritan state composed of those, and those only, who professed their faith.  They believed themselves to be a divinely chosen people.  “God sifted a whole nation,” said Governor Stoughton, “that he might send choice grain over into this wilderness.”  Their intention, Governor Winthrop declared, was “to square all their proceedings by the rule of God’s word” as they understood it.  They contended that their charter gave them the exclusive ownership and control of Massachusetts (subject of course to the king), and in that charter they believed they found authority to expel any one who should attempt “annoyance to said colony.

The Student’s American History, p. 79


But the Quakers were determined to disrupt quiet Puritan colonies, and they persisted in returning and preaching in the loudest manner.  They alleged they were missionaries:  they had a mission to the Puritans.  Clearly, they had a mission…a devilish mission…to destroy the Church and discredit the Bible. After repeated warnings, the Massachusetts authorities hanged four of these Quaker “missionaries” – the Devil's disciples.


Finally, the King ordered the Governor of the colony to cease punishing the Quakers, and the excitement gradually died out.  Unfortunately, Quaker ideas were allowed to spread and poison the colonies. 


Do you see how quickly Satan sent forth his disciples into the New World to preach rebellion against God and the Bible?


Alas, Quaker persistence won the victory.


And do you see how hippie persistence has won the victory in America?  Their wicked lies took root in America and are choking out true Christianity. 



Quakers and the Occult


In their meetings for worship, the Quakers would sit together in quiet until the "inner spirit" within moved some one.  This would often result in trances, convulsions and other demonic manifestations.  


To understand the Satanic roots of Quakerism, the beliefs of founder George Fox must be examined. Fox believed that there is “that of God in every man,” and that by following this divine spirit, the inner light, we can discover true belief and righteous conduct without the help of any minister; and without the help of the Bible.


The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology enlightens us about Fox’s “inner light”:  


George Fox (1624-1691)

Mystic and founder of The Society of Friends (Quakers). In his Journal (1694), one of the great religious autobiographies, he testifies to many extraordinary psychic experiences. In the 1920s Walter Prince cited him as one of the "noted witnesses for psychic occurrences." Once he lay in trance for 14 days, had great spiritual struggles and ecstasies, heard voices that he believed to be of the Lord, and proclaimed by direct revelation the doctrine of the Inner Light: "I saw that Christ enlightened all men and women with his divine and saving light, and I saw that the manifestation of the spirit of God was given to every man to profit withal."  


It was said that there was a wonderful magnetism and power about the eyes of George Fox. He had gifts of healing and himself made many wonderful recoveries. He foretold the fall of the Rump Parliament; he had a striking presentiment of the approaching death of Cromwell; he had a vision of the fire of London years before it happened; and he had a foreshadowing of the coming revolution of 1689. He reportedly had so much psychic power that during some of the meetings at which he was present the house was shaken, and on one occasion a clergyman ran out of the church fearing it would fall on his head.  

When experiencing an inward light from God, Quaker personal struggles were sometimes so intense that they led to physical convulsions, and from these movements came the name "Quaker."


Do you see why the Puritans drove Quakers out of their colonies?  Clearly, George Fox’s psychic experiences were occult. 


Yes, Fox had power! Demonic power!  


George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Society of Friends (popularly known as the Quakers) created a culturally Protestant mystical sect. Fox believed that each person has an “inner light,” which Fox interpreted as Christ dwelling within us. Like almost all mystics, Fox believed and taught that Scripture was not always infallible and could be overruled by the “inner light.” Quaker worship consists of silent meditation; sometimes, a speaker will be led to speak audibly to the congregation, but often the entire hour will pass in silence. The purpose of sitting is silence is to wait for God to speak directly to the individual, i.e., to wait for a mystical experience. Like many other mystics, Quakers tend to subscribe to pantheism (the belief that God is in everything and everyone) and universalism (the belief that everyone will eventually be saved).



Quakers and 60s hippies shared the quest for altered states of consciousness - the “inner light.”  Hippies often sought the “inner light” using techniques intended to achieve altered states of consciousness: drugs, color lights, and music…including dance.  Quakers and hippies were led into trances and other demonic manifestations.


Unquestionably, the Quakers were a demonic cult determined to disrupt and destroy Puritan colonies seeking to establish a Bible commonwealth.  



Undermining the Biblical Work Ethic


Now, getting back to the book…


From Chapter 10 to the end, Speare continues to belittle the Puritans:


But most of these children would never even imagine the adventure that words could mean.  Here in New England books contained only a dreary collection of sermons, or at most some pious religious poetry.  (page 112)


Of course, Puritans were well educated; they were intellectuals.  Puritans founded Harvard as a seminary for the training of their ministers. But Speare despises the Puritans’ scholastic endeavors and achievements, and passes her contempt on to young readers.


For example:


  "It’s these Puritans,” Kit sighed. “I’ll never understand them.  Why do they want life to be so solemn?  I believe they actually enjoy it more that way.”

  Nat stretched flat on his back on the thatch.  “If you ask me, it’s all that schooling.  It takes the fun out of life, being cooped up like that day after day.  And the Latin they cram down your throat!  Do you realize, Kit, there are twenty-five different kinds of nouns alone in the Accidence?  I couldn’t stomach it.” (page 128)


Can’t you hear young readers applauding Nat’s rebellion against schooling?  Can’t you hear students agreeing that serious study takes all the fun out of life?


And when John Holbrook tells her about his failed intentions to go to Harvard,


  Slowly Kit pieced together the details of what seemed to her an appallingly dull history…."You mean you worked all day and studied at night?  Was it worth it?” (page 18)


And Kit boasts about her lack of formal education…


  “Do you call reading work?  I don’t even remember how I learned.  When it was too hot to play, Grandfather would take me into his library where it was dark and cool, and read to me out loud from his books, and later I would sit beside him and read to myself while he studied.” (page 24,25)


In other words, play came first.  When it was too hot to play, then came reading.  But she alleges she learned to read without formal learning.  And she read history, poetry, and plays.  Of course, no religious primers.   And nothing that trains the mind in serious thinking.  Only stories; history is just the story of man. Anything that appealed to her fanciful and willful imagination.


Throughout the book, Kit shows contempt for any kind of work – physical or intellectual.  This was in direct opposition to the Puritan work ethic. The object of the Puritan colony was to build up a strong, free, religious, and intelligent commonwealth. The Puritans had a strong work ethic, including intellectual work. But Speare undermines the Biblical work ethic by making her young readers desire a work free, carefree life.


And to capture the hearts and interests of young girls, Speare introduces romance into the story. 


There is so much more to comment on that an entire book could be written about the anti-Christian message in Speare’s book.



Quakers and Witches


No acts of witchcraft are ever mentioned in The Witch of Blackbird Pond.  But toward the end of the book, sixteen children and young people are stricken with a mysterious fever; and three die. Quaker Hannah is publicly accused of being a witch and putting a curse on the children.  They decide to arrest her.  Kit sneaks away and helps Hannah escape on Nat’s ship, the Dolphin.  Nat is also friends with Hannah and Kit. Then Kit is also accused of being a witch.  No evidence is presented and Kit is cleared and even lauded as a heroine.  Nat returns with a new ship, the Witch.   


First: Is Hannah a witch?  Well, Quakers were occultists.  Speare intentionally leaves out the Quaker occult experiences, but she mentions Hannah talks to her dead husband.  For example, Nat explains to Kit on pages 130-131:  “From what I hear, Thomas Tupper was a sort of hero.  If he still seems close enough to Hannah so she can talk to him after all these years, you wouldn’t take that away from her, would you?”  Early Quakers were mediums.  And this is an abomination…


Thou shall not be found among you any one

that maketh his son or his daughter

to pass through the fire,

or that useth divination,

or an observer of times,

or an enchanter,

or a witch,


Or a charmer,

or a consulter with familiar spirits,

or a wizard,

or a necromancer.


For all that do these things are

an abomination

unto the Lord:

and because of these abominations

the Lord thy God doth

drive them out from before thee.


Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

Deuteronomy 18: 10-13


When Quakers sought the inner light through altered states of consciousness, they became possessed by evil spirits. 


Christ warns us:


Take heed therefore that the light

which is in thee

be not darkness.

Luke 11:35


Second: Is Kit a witch?  Let’s examine the end of the book (pages 248-249) when Nat shows off his new ship, the Witch. Remember Nat is friends with Kit and Hannah, and helps Hannah escape.


  Kit leaned sideways to see the letters painted jauntily on the transom. “The WITCH! How did you dare? Does Hannah know?”

  “Oh, she’s not named after Hannah. I hadn’t gone ten miles down the river that day before I knew I’d left the real witch behind.”

  She did not dare to look up at him….


Kit did not laugh because Nat was not joking.


And later, Nat says:


  "That ketch has a mind of her own. She’s contrary as a very witch herself.  All the way up the river she’s been holding back somehow, waiting.


What is Speare saying?   


Needless to say, it was bold rebellion for Nat to name his ship the Witch. With this act of wicked defiance and contempt for Christianity, Speare honors Nat as a hero.


Is Kit a witch?


Unquestionably, she is a young, rebellious girl from Barbados, an island known for voodoo and witchcraft.


Irrefutably, Kit is wickedly determined to undermine Puritan beliefs by encouraging youth to adopt her rebellious spirit.


Undeniably, Kit spews forth hateful comments about the Puritans and their Bible-based beliefs.


And Kit rebels against formal education, including Bible education.


Maybe Speare gives us a clue in Nat’s closing words about his ship the Witch, 


  “She’s contrary as a very witch herself.  All the way up the river she’s been holding back somehow, waiting.”


Holding back…?




So, is the rebellious Kit holding back from using her witchcraft?


Is she just waiting to unleash her witchcraft?  Waiting for what?


The truth is…  


Hannah is a medium...and...


Kit is the real witch of Blackbird Pond.   




Both are possessed by evil spirits, or demon-possessed. 


The Witch of Blackbird Pond is malicious anti-Christian propaganda. It is written with open contempt for God-fearing Christians.  It is the spirit of anti-Christ.  


Elizabeth George Speare wrote with a poisoned pen to corrupt youth with contempt for the early God-fearing Puritans...and contempt for all Bible-believing Christians.




February 2015   

Liberty Advocate