Warning: A Popular Social Media Platform Is 'Drawing Young People Into the Occult'


What are your kids or grandkids watching on TikTok?

You might want to find out.

According to a report yesterday from Newsweek — attempting to capitalize on the Halloween weekend, no doubt — the popular short-form video hosting service TikTok “is drawing young people into the occult.”

Despite the somewhat ominous headline cited above, Newsweek’s story essentially offered occult practices as a legitimate answer in an “age of uncertainty, loss and economic turmoil.”

I certainly won’t argue that we don’t live in an “age of uncertainly, loss and economic turmoil,” but I’d like to ask Pandora Dewan, who wrote the piece, exactly what age lacked uncertainly, loss or economic turmoil.

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At any rate, trying to solve problems by invoking more problems is rarely a recipe for success. By whatever name you call them — occultism, spiritualism, witchcraft, astrology — occult practices aren’t fun and games. They’re dangerous.

They’re especially dangerous for the impressionable “young people” Dewan said were being lured into them on social media.

And the extent of the problem is ginormous, as some of those young people might say. As of this month, the #WitchTok hashtag had engendered over 33 billion views among TikTok’s global user base. That’s over four views for every person on earth — and I’m not even on TikTok, so someone out there is doubling up.

“I debunk a lot of fear-based beliefs regarding spirits and hopefully remove stigma and fear around the work as I do so,” Megan Alisa, a self-professed medium with more than 234,000 followers on TikTok, told Newsweek. “There is nothing to be afraid of. The spirit world consists of love and it is this world here where we need to be more wary.”


That statement uses what I call the “Great Lie” formation: It’s a false claim with a kernel of truth that makes the whole thing seem credible. The truth is that we do need to be wary in this world, which Scripture tells us is fallen and full of dangers. That’s why Jesus told His followers to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

But it’s not just the physical world that’s full of sin — that idea of the duality of creation, the separation of the universe into the physical and the spiritual, is much more a product of pagan Greek philosophers than biblical teaching. The fact that this world is evil does not mean that the “spirit world consists of love.” That’s the lie.

It’s a lie that Alisa probably believes, actually, though I have a feeling that Dewan has her doubts. She is, after all, a science and technology writer for Newsweek (and a surprisingly good singer, though that’s beside the point).

In fact, Paul explained that, apart from Christ, both “the course of this world” and “the spirit” of man lead to death and wrath: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:1-5)

Those passages are not direct scriptural warnings about occultism, but God’s word is replete with them. Here’s just a sample (all from the English Standard Version) from both the Old and New Testaments:

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“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:31)

“For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.” (1 Sam. 15:23)

“And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.” (2 Kings 21:6)

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21)

“Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Rev. 22:15)

When people talk about the dangers of social media in general, and TikTok in particular, they’re generally talking about scams, pornography, online predators and other dangers that anyone living in the physical world has to face from time to time.

The threat of a little dabbling with occultism may seem benign in comparison. In truth, the first steps toward rebellion are rarely very harmful in-and-of themselves. The danger lies in where they lead.

I’ve quoted a pastor friend of mine in these pages before: Sin will take you farther off course than you want to stray, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. (Actually, that’s not a quote; I’m paraphrasing. I’m old enough that I have to make things rhyme if I want to remember them.) I don’t know that he’s ever said this about occultism, so I don’t want to put words in his mouth — but I’m pretty sure he’d agree, at least in principle.

That’s why it’s important to know what your kids are doing on TikTok — maybe everything they’re seeing and doing is harmless, or even edifying. But if it’s not, a good parent will try to catch it before the bill comes due.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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