Mars Hill Forum #11: Witchcraft at Smith College
John C. Rankin
In Mars Hill Forum #11, November, 1994, I addressed the question of feminism and the Bible with then president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) – Patricia Ireland. The setting was Smith College, the most lesbian college in the nation, in Northampton, Massachusetts, the acknowledged witchcraft capital of the nation. This is a reversal, as Northampton is where the First Great Awakening began under the preaching of Jonathan Edwards in the 18th century.
Prior to the forum, we had about 150 people in committed intercessory prayer for an event that drew about 500-550 people, some 60-80 of whom we knew to be biblically rooted Christians. As I write elsewhere, the fruit of the evening was great.
During the Q & A, a woman who went by the name “Newtopia” asked the first question. She was reputed, at the time, to head up the world’s largest cyberspace coven. In her question she became confused, also asking if I had read her unpublished manuscript, in which she challenged my theological assumptions… Her confusion was apparent to all.
I am convinced that the power of intercessory prayer had prohibited a demonic presence there, and thus Newtopia had no crutch to lean on. The Christians who sponsored the forum were amazed at how closely known pagans, lesbians, pro-abortion activists and other skeptics listened to the presentation of the Gospel. No demonic interference…
I learned after the forum about the goings on in the balcony – which I could not see due to the bright television lights. An hour or so before, three members of the Smith Christian Fellowship went up into its highest corner, to pray over the whole of Sage Concert Hall. Later several dozen avowed witches come up to the balcony, set up their occultic paraphernalia, and sought to work curses on me the whole evening.
Also before the witches arrived, the video team set some lights in the balcony. During the forum, one member of the team went up to adjust one of them, and the pervading power of evil was so great that he fled back downstairs. All the blood had drained from his face, in a true sense of being “white as a ghost.” The people around him saw it and reacted to it.
After the forum, as I left, I was aware that the intercessory prayer had driven out the demonic power, but once the prayer was no longer in place, the demons were beginning to rush back in. The Light had pierced the darkness, if but briefly. If only the whole church knew its authority in the Gospel, in the face of the ancient serpent…