It’s laughable, really. The very idea that a common, harmless hobby like Dungeons and Dragons is a front for organized Satanic witchcraft and demonology is absurd. Probably the only thing crazier would be the idea that the Shriners — yeah, the guys with the funny hats and the children’s hospitals and the silly little cars in your hometown parade — are a front for the same mysterious and apparently wide-reaching Babylonian witchcraft/devil cult. And let’s not forget the Catholic Church, too, up to and including the Pope. And Jehovah’s Witnesses. And Mormons. And anyone who uses a Bible that’s not the King James Version.
Odds are (especially if you’re reading this article), you know at least one person who plays Dungeons and Dragons, and the statistical probability that you know a Shriner and/or a Catholic is pretty high, as well. Honestly, it’s very likely that you *are* one of those people, and I’m willing to bet your local Dungeon Master never invited you to a room full mysterious hooded figures arrayed around a pentagram in order to ask you to summon a demon lord. Most of the gamers I know are more concerned about snacks than arranging sacrifices to the Devil, but then again, maybe you live a more interesting life than I do.
But I bet you also know at least one person who sincerely, genuinely believes that these hobbies and organizations are merely fronts for a true and insidious evil….and at least some of them believe it because of a man named Jack Chick.
The Road to Hell…
According to his website, Chick is a 91-year-old born again fundamentalist Christian who uses cartoon leaflets (“Chick Tracts”) to spread the message of the Gospel. These leaflets warn devout Christians to avoid, well, basically everything and everyone. Chick warns of cults to ancient Pagan gods and Demon worshippers hiding in nearly every facet of every day life, sketching the outlines of the discredited (but once widely believed) Satanic Ritual Abuse scandals and fueling whatever remains of the 1980s’ Satanic Panic. Chick’s comics are pretty detailed in their accusations, and frequently state these bizarre allegations as unalloyed facts.
It’s easy to imagine this as a sincere if perhaps over-inflated warning…but perhaps Mr. Chick has had something else in mind all along. When you look…really look…the clues are all around.
…is Paved with Chick Tracts
Chick never really intended to warn against the subtle machinations of a global Satanic cult. He was trying to create it. Again, according to his own biography, “While in high school, none of the Christians would have anything to do with [Chick]….convinced that he was the last guy on earth who would ever accept Jesus Christ.” It goes on, of course, to suggest that he had a change of heart in early adulthood, but what if that was all a ruse?
All that careful attention to detail, lining out the paths from harmless hobbies and apron-wearing social clubs to gnostic sorcery and demonology was less a warning and more a map? What if it was an attempt at Inception on a grand-scale, to create the very connection to the forces of Hell that he wanted others to fear. Is it possible that Chick’s efforts created (or at least reawakened) a new layer of the collective unconscious? That the sheer force of the fear he fostered created a universe in which those connections did exist…a universe in which there is a global social and political organization dedicated to the practice and promotion of sinister witchcraft?
Of course Gary Gygax never intended his game to be a thin front for an organized army of occult “dungeon masters” in Satan’s service. But once Chick put the idea out there, isn’t it possible that one or two weak willed and impressionable youths began to think that they really could get mystic power from the game? Isn’t it possible that the spiritual warfare waged against men like late-night radio darling and heroic anti-Satanist Russ Dizdar are the result of Chick’s reality warping plan? It’s an idea that would work particularly well with The Esoterrorists: the exact kind of plan the villains would employ to open a gate to the Outer Dark.
Or maybe it’s something altogether more alarming: even assuming that Chick is not engaged in a mystical working on a global scale to create a massive Luciferian conspiracy, he may still be a servant of it. What if Chick’s mission is merely to pave the way for the ultimate supernatural disclosure, revealing the world’s secret Satanic rulers, slowly familiarizing a naturally doubtful public with the horrifying truth. According to one of Dizdar’s recent interviews on the conspiratorial trend-setting late night radio show Coast to Coast AM, this may be precisely what they intend:
…[Dizdar] discussed Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) and how many cases of multiple personality disorder are the results of occult programming. Estimates suggest that up to 4-10 million people may have been harmed by this type of abuse. While there are different brands of Satanism, such as “psycho-Satanism” (practiced by people such as Richard Ramirez), and organizations like the Church of Satan, Dizdar has focused his efforts against an “Underground” cult that is trans-generational and multi-continental. Through bloodlines they might be traced as far back as the Nephilim, but in the modern era, they came out of “the Black Flame” brotherhood/Nazi connection and have many wealthy and elite members, he claimed.
Dizdar said he’s spent 25 years tracking SRA victims both on the spiritual and law enforcement side. The Underground typically starts abusing victims when they are still a child, inflicting them with various traumas, sexual and otherwise, which cause them to disassociate and split into different personalities, he explained, adding that each of these personalities can then be programmed for specific tasks, such as becoming an assassin. By the age of 13, a victim may have gone through up to a 1,000 different types of rituals, and could have as many as 70-80 sub-personalities programmed into them, speaking 4-5 different languages, he noted.
While the main personality is supposed to be amnesiac to the other identities, when they receive a specific trigger this can set off one of the programmed personas, he continued. Regarding the ritual aspect, “the reason they use the demonic energizing is for the power…and supernatural strength behind it,” he remarked. The Underground’s endgame is for globalist rule, and the rise of the Antichrist, said Dizdar. “In the future, there’s going to be the largest supernaturally-charged transmuted empowered military system ever. There will be a planetary ritualistic release of demonic presence to gather them for the great day,” he warned.
Would any of this be possible without Chick and his agents?
Satanic Conspiracy at the Table
If indeed your PCs are agents of Ordo Veritatis, Chick is indeed an aspiring Esoterrorist. Perhaps a poor and misguided group of Freemasons, subconsciously redirected by one of Chick’s screeds, actually summons a demon from the Outer Dark.
If you don’t like the flavor but want to keep it in Gumshoe, stick with the disclosure model, but put Vampires at the top of the conspyramid and run it in Night’s Black Agents….but perhaps instead of burned spies, your PCs are cops on the front line of Dizdar’s secret holy war. Maybe the same one being waged against Santa Muerte?
Give the whole thing a fantasy twist and drop it into D&D. Your faux Chick can be any old sort of demagogue, and it’s all the more likely that the Abyss is playing this kind of elaborate double game in a setting where Demons are unambiguously real and constantly striving to enter the material plane.
Make your demons Reckoners instead, with this Chick a firebrand circuit ridin’ preacher, and you’ve got the seed for at least a short Deadlands campaign.
Or something else I haven’t thought of. Just what evil is your Jack Chick up to? The world needs to know.