Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The True History of Pokemon

I'm surprised how much interest there still is for this article, six years after I wrote it. The company that was hosting it has gone out of business so here it is.
This article is intended to show the Good Christians of the world that the Pokemon phenomenon is nothing more than a message from the Devil, an oracle of Satanic influences designed to destroy the Youth of America.
Table of Contents
  1. The Word "Pokemon"
  2. Pokemon and Gambling:
  3. Pokemon, Burger King and Gluttony:
  4. Pokemon Characters.Censored
  5. Pokemon and the New World Order
  6. Replies to this essay
The Word "Pokemon"
First, let us examine the word Pokemon itself. Common wisdom says Pokemon is an abbreviation for Pocket Monsters, but this is not true. Pokemon is in actuality a corruption of two Latin words, Pokos and Mono. Mono, is of course the origin of an identical English prefix indicating “one” or “single.” Pokos is a significantly more complex term. There is a joke circulating the Internet claiming that Pokemon actually means, "Buy all this Junk." while I have been unable to trace the source of this rumor, it has a foundation in truth that I doubt the original humorist intended.
Pokos itself is one of the older, and more obscure words in Latin. As far as can be determined, it originated in Northern Italy as the name for a local deity, also known as Pikat-shoo. The Italians who worshiped this god were polytheistic, and Pokos was their god of thunder and lightning. Most of this sect's gods were bestial in origin.
Little is known about this religion's place during the early days of the Roman Empire, but there is incidental evidence that most of the Emperors from Nero on worshiped Pokos. It wasn't until Constantine became a Christian that the Roman Empire began drifting from Pokos and his associated mythology.
As is the case with many Polytheistic religions, the gods were in constant battle, each one leveraging their unique abilities to defeat the weaker gods. The accounts of these battles consist of the gods forming complex alliances, attempting to line up the strengths of one side with the weaknesses of the other. There was no definitive "Good" or "Bad" gods engaged in the actual battles. It was believed that the high priests of this religion were the ones who convinced the gods to battle, orchestrating the alliances and swaying the favor of these deities with gifts and bribery. Pokos was considered one of the most powerful gods, because few could withstand a lightning based assault. The oldest authentic scroll containing information about this religion dates from the third century AD, and states that Pokos formed a permanent alliance with the Roman emperors, declaring them their favored "priests."
During the eighth century AD the mysterious underground religion that had influenced Roman Emperors since the dawn of the empire began to be called the "Cult of Pokos," as a reference to the close ties between Pokos and the Emperor.
The Pokos cult continued as a sub layer to the Roman empire until Constantine became the first Christian Emperor. It is commonly known that Conatantine received a vision of the cross, and ordered a white cross painted on the shields of his soldiers before he marched into a key battle. The 14th century Scroll of Pokos makes the claim that the opposing army had an image of Pokos himself on their battle flags, hoping to win the god's favor. While the legend certain supports a pagan connection with Pokemon, I must admit that there is only one source that makes this claim, and therefore must be taken as unsubstantiated.
There are scattered references to the Cult of Pokos. While I am working on a definitive history of the religion, for the purposes of this discussion I will just list the most significant events. Mind you, what I'm about to do is tantamount to summarizing all of American History in half a dozen bullet points, but this is an essay regarding Pokemon, not a full account of the history of Pokos.

  • 1345 - Over 1,000 members of the Cult of Pokos are massacred by Christian Soldiers. This is the first known incident of discrimination against the cult since 23BC.

  • 1357 - A massive migration of Pokos worshipers begins. Over the next 200 years most of the religion's practitioners move East. They believe they are following a millennia old pilgrim trail into what is now Modern Day India, where many remain to this day.

  • 1699 - The Cult of Pokos enters Fudual Japan as an underground religion. An effort is made to bring the religion to the Emperor, but the "missionaries" are executed.

  • 1734 - The 35 year old law banning the worship of Pokos is lifted. Rumors abound as to the reasoning behind this unexpected move, but there is no definitive answer.

  • 1735 to 1900 - The Cult of Pokos experiences halting spurts of growth. By the mid 1800s, most of the Japan's intellectual and social upper tiers practice a hybrid form of Pokos/Emperor worship, where the Emperor is seen as a final arbitrator of all battles, and is even granted the ability to alter the lesser god's powers. This hybrid religion is believed to have died out after World War Two, while the Cult of Pokos continues to this day.
  • Please forgive me for completely ignoring the Western and Northern migrations that took place during the Medieval Era, but I think you can see the means by which the Pokos religion worked its way into a consumer product being sold by Japanese game makers.
    The question I'm struggling to answer is this: Was Pokemon created as a tribute to Pokos, a means of bringing new worshipers into the fold? It's entirely possible Pokos was nothing more than a quaint old religion someone's grandmother was practicing when her grandson needed a product idea. On the other hand, the game could have been created by an actual member of the Cult of Pokos. I find the latter to be the more likely possibility, simply because of the startling and unsettling similarities between the way the Pokemon game is played, and the way Pokos was worshiped. If there is sufficient interest, I will write more on that connection.
    Pokemon and Gambling:
    The Pokemon-Gambling connection is a well known and heavily documented one. Pokemon is a "Magic" style card game. At it's simplest, each card is endowed with certain powers and weaknesses. Each player "attacks" the other by playing the card, and that player's card is either defeated or counters. Points are tallied, battles are played out and a victor emerges. The victor usually gets to keep some portion of the loser's cards. I do not intend to spend much time discussing this aspect of the Pokemon addiction. Instead I will refer you to the links below for a further look.
    Pokemon Cards are a Big Rip-Off! This page is one child's effort to spread the word about Pokemon. The page includes a series of quotes from Pokemon-Addicted gamblers. Some of the comments are very heart wrenching.
    Pokemon, Burger King and Gluttony:
    While I am not Catholic, I must admit there Seven Deadly sins are an excellent way to highlight the different kinds of temptation people face every day. Satan uses many things to control us, gambling and gluttony are two of them. The Pokemon Web site lists the details of an alliance between Burger King and Pokemon's supporters to turn the fast food restaurant into a gambling den, where Pokemon cards can be traded, bartered, won and lost like money in a Casino. It is a transparent effort to lure parents into thinking that there is nothing wrong with Pokemon gambling. They even encourage parents to take their children into a den of thieves so they can essentially be trained to drink their lives away while playing cards and other games of chance.
    In the years to come, these Burger King Pokemon Sharks will replace the Topps cards with a deck of gambling cards. They will discard the Pepsi for Martinis and replace the Burger King grill smoke with the cigarette smoke from the thousand wasted lives that will surround them. Thank you Burger King. I am so grateful for this Card Shark Gaming room that I will be taking all my business to McDonnald's. I encourage all parents and civic minded citizens to similarly ban Burger King for their efforts in destroying the moral fiber of America's Youth.
    Let us examine some of the individual Pokemon characters.
    I am afraid the grim forces behind Pokemon have forced me to remove this section of my essay. I had originally used scanned images of the Pokemon cards as examples, but was promptly contacted by Nintendo lawyers and told that I would be subject to legal action if I did not remove the offending material. I sent back a letter pointing out that most of the pokemon characters were based (abet some of them very loosely) on gods from three separate pagan religions, and were as such not subject to modern copyright laws. "It would be like Nintendo trying to copyright images of Zeus or Saturn," I said. I received a second letter reminding me that Marvel currently held a copyright on a god patterned after the Norse god Thor. As there are no lawyers in my parish, I decided it best to concede the legal battle until I had time to rewrite this section to be less dependent on graphical imagery.
    Pokemon and the New World Order:
    Many of you have probably read my previous articles on the New World Order. No, I am not talking about the professional wrestling media blitz being used by the Trilateral Comission to desensitize us to the terminology. Pat Robertson has much more to say about the real new world order than I, and is significantly more eloquent than myself in discussing it, but for those of you unfamiliar with the concepts I will give a thumbnail outline of the points relevant to Pokemon, as I discuss the subject.
    Most of you are no doubt aware of the influx of Eastern ideas and thinking into Western Culture. Part of this influx of religions ideas have been collectively referred to as "New Age" thinking. New Age thinking is stereotypically associated with burned out left wing former hippies who smoke Marijuana and wander around with pony tails. Sadly, this is not the case. Eastern Meditation for example, is being used in a number of settings to lure people into the kinds of mental states usually used to contact spirit guides and familiars, AKA Demons.
    The New World Order is a collective term that refers to several movements with common goals and common players. Essentially, China and Japan are the ideological center of a movement towards a one-world government. This movement is supported by the Trilateral Commission, collection of financial and political world leaders dedicated to the construction of this one-world government. All of the USA's presidents since Roosevelt have been members of this commission, as are the controlling parties behind Disney, Viacom and even Microsoft.
    Moving in parallel to the one-world government is a cultural migration away from Western Civilization towards Eastern ideas. Judao - Christian concepts of God are being replaced with nature centered religions based on the occult. A more complete discussion of these topics can be found in the book Like Lambs to the Slaughter.
    Sadly, few people know about these insidious plans. Outside of the average Right Wing Conservative Christian and the Christian Coalition, few people really know anything about it. One interesting book on the religious aspects of this New World Order can be found by clicking here.
    In the larger scheme of things, Pokemon is actually a small portion of this New World Order. Look back at this article. What do you see? Pokemon uses imagery and ideas from a 3,000 year old pagan religion to teach America's youth to gamble, be greedy and loose contact with reality. It replaces everyday interaction with a surreal world of fanciful characters with magical powers. It is weakening the minds of America's youth, draining away time that would otherwise be spent in activities like football, baseball or Bible Study. In sort, it is weakening the Christian backbone of America. In the end, our children are left with a weakened grasp on reality, and have been conditioned to see things of a supernatural nature as a game. Just as Marijuana is often a "Gateway Drug" leading children to harder substances, so is Pokemon a Gateway paganism, leading children into, at best Agnosticism and at worst Satanism.

    Replies to this essay I would like to thank everyone who replied to my origional article. I was very gratified with all of the replies. Below you will find the replies received, followed by my commentary. I have omitted people said about Pokos addresses and names to protect people who would otherwise prefer to remain anonymous.
    I want to warn my readers that the following text contains vulgarity and profanity. I did not censor any of the replies that were posted in response to my essay. I felt it was too important for people to know the kinds of emotions Pokemon aroused.
    One final note: I would like to apologize to Matthew for using his e-mail address when I posted the URL for the essay to several Usenet groups. As Matt noted on his homepage my Internet access has been spotty at best, and I wanted to use an e-mail address I could be sure of.
    First, a post from Matthew's Web Board:
    December 21, 1999 at 07:21:04:
    This is a joke, right?
    PokeMon does indeed stand for Pocket Monsters in Japan, where it originated. It is Japanese. Have you been there? I would say
    that you haven't, simply because you missed so obvious a point.

    The Japanese aren't out to get you. They don't care. They don't care what you believe. They made a stupid cartoon for kids. Like
    everything else, it eventually made it to America.

    It is a stupid cartoon, and not satan.
    To believe that some Japanese cartoonists would do research into ancient roman/latin lingustics to come up with an cute name is
    one of the funniest things I have ever heard. Why? To corrupt American children?

    Dude: There are more Japanese cartoons _not_ sent to America than you have ever heard of. They don't market them toward
    American kids. They don't even do them in english (the over-dubs are done later). Here are a few examples:
    The Power Rangers
    Sailor Moon
    Speed Racer
    Most arcade games debut in Japan. Very few Japanese arcade games are violent, but those are the only ones that sell over here...

    Get a clue.
    According to large quantities of advertizing copy, Pokemon is short for Pocket Monster. The above poster's insistence that this is an accurate statement displays the degree to which our society is governed by the media. Most people's perceptions of the world are shaped by what they see on Television. It never occurs to someone that things might be more than they seem. The media has even managed to convince most people that trying to extend one's understanding beyond the "lowest common denominator" media images is a sign of mental and physical weakness.
    The truth is, Pokemon originates from the name of the ancient god Pokos. Advertizers decided to claim otherwise, and made up the clever idea of "Pocket Monsters" to cover up the true origins of the game. Since "Pokemon" is itself a corruption of the origional name, it's even more likely that the work "pokemon" was crafted to be both a reference to an ancient diety, AND a clever product name.
    In essence, "Pokemon" is both "Pocket Monsters" and Pokos."
    I'm afraid the rest of the poster's comments are somewhat less worthy of reply. The Japanese people are not out to get American children. Japanese cartoonists are not out to get American children. I never claimed that the entire nation of Japan was involved in a complex conspiracy to overthrow Christianity. I'd thought my origional article had made it clear that Pokemon and the religion to which it is bound are the motives of a small minority. It is estimated that less than one tenth of one percent of Japanese citizens worship Pokos.
    Pokemon was created by a small core of religions zealots in an attempt to bring glory to their beliefs.
    I have friends who are cartoonists, and I I don't appreciate your claim that they would somehow be less likely to research a topic than anyone else. Japanese Anime is a complex art form, and while some of it is vulgar and carnal, there is a great deal of research and artistic genius involved in the better works. Please don't insult an entire art form in an attempt to support your claim that a cartoonist wouldn't bother to research a topic.
    Also notice how the above poster keeps talking about the cartoon, even though my essay was about the card game, and the religion behind the Pokemon mythology. I couldn't care less about the cartoon. As far as I'm concerened it's just another piece of badly animated fluff that gives Anime a bad name. It rots children';s brains about as much as any other cartoon on telivision today, and claiming it damages children is like saying Superbook converted sinners to Christianity. My essay was about the dangers of the card game, not the cartoon.
    Before I address the next comment, I would like to point out the above poster's tendancy to group the entire nation of Japan into a homogeneous mass, whose actions are, in his mind at least, undertaken with unanimous consent. Not all Germans during World War Two were Nazi's. Those responsible for Pokemon are a tiny, but vocal minority, muck like members of the National Organization for Women.
    December 21, 1999 at 11:16:40:
    With reguards to your Pokémon article you have written (or is that someone else's, please confirm it.) I would like to see the bibliography of all that information or mis-information that I have seen, since in my experience, Pokémon rather has been quite more positive. Such as this is a friend of mine, which goes by the handle of "Xavier V Mewtwo" in one of the Pokémon newsgroups.
    He was quite angry by your post (besides the usual crossposting and all.), bringing up the stock market and abuse of Christianity to fit ones interests. I would tend to agree with Xavier there with much of his points. I've seen kids that knew nothing of the stock market about a year ago, now telling ME what stocks to buy and sell. They know what seperates small-cap from big-cap stocks, how the Federal Interest rates work, and even some know how to get into an IPO. Heck, I don't even know how to get to one. They all can tell me that Pokémon has brought the investor into the world, as I believe that is quite positive. Some of these to-be-investors are baptized Christians and have their own beliefs of who God is.
    As for abuse of Christianity, I'm as well quite peeved at how it is used, as it is futily tried to point to the devil in a way. Hey, I can link just about anything to the devil, so I know this is not new.
    This "New World Order".. I believe will not last too long, due to the visions of Daniel in the book of Daniel, Chapter 2 (The whole thing). The belief is that the nations of the world will NEVER unite as clay will not mix with iron, NEVER.
    And to finally finish this saying, I can quote from a Christian rock group, Petra. "Why are you looking for the devil for, when you ought' to be looking for the Lord?" You cannot force people to take your belief over others. Everyone has a personalized relationship with God. No one's is the same.
    (Unrelated information -- but I have to question this, since not many people WON'T ANSWER THIS.) Being one of the few Seventh Day Adventists of the world, I'm still quite dumbfounded at why people go to church and have their day of rest on Sunday instead of Saturday. ANY compitient person would say that the Seventh Day is Saturday, and yet, many believe the Seventh Day is Sunday. Please explain.
    First of all, I have no idea why this poster keeps mentioning the stock market. His insistence that Pokemon somehow encourages gambling in stock is a somewhat logical extension of Pokemon's general tendancy to encourage gambling. Of course there have not been any lawsuits about this! If you read my article you will find a link to one of the court cases that have been filed regarding Pokemon's addictive, gambling based obsession.
    I will post my sources at a later date. Most of the materials I drew from are 300 plus year old illuminated manuscripts. I'm afraid you can't just go to your local library and check out a copy, but I have contacted the owners asking if there are any slides, reproductions or translations available for web publication.
    I would like to ask the above poster a question. Why are your quoting Petra of all things? If you're going to toss out quotes please stick to the Bible, or someone like C. S. Lewis or Tolkin. If you must quote musical groups other than the Beatles or REM, please pick a group that has at lease a LITTLE talent.
    Petra. What is the world coming to?
    That said, I would like to thank you for that Daniel quote. I will take a closer look into the context of the passages.
    Below is a post from Matthew's Guestbook:
    We are all given a choice of who to follow. It is by belief that following Christianity leads to Heaven, and all other paths lead to Hell. I must break ranks with my peers and say I'm confident that members of the Jewish Faith are going to Heaven as well. It's not a popular view, but I must stick by it.
    That said, I would like to say that the only time I have any sort of a problem with Pagans is when they try and convert Christian children. To be fair, I understand why Pagans would be upset if someone started trying to evangelize their children!
    Pokemon is an attempt on the part of a small clutch of wealthy zealots to undermine existing religious structures. That is why I have a problem with it.
    By the way, the term is Bible Thumping. Please proofread your posts a little better! Children are reading this!
    The message below was e-mailed to Matthew. It's more typical of the kind of replies my essay got. I'm including it here because it's the most mild example of the hate motivated messages that were sent.
    Your Mother is the devil. You fucking church do gooders always have to find something negative about any and everything new that comes out. *Get a fucking life* You Inbred hicks.
    I don't think I need to reply to this, except to point out that this is the kind of mentality that's fueling the Pokemon sales, and it's the kind of thinking that's typical of most the replies I've received. The words above are the typical Pokemon booster.
    Sad, isn't it?