The nation is still reeling from the horrific shooting at the midnight premier of the Batman movie, Dark Knight Rises at the theater in Aurora, Colorado in which 12 people died and 59 people were wounded. Holmes was such a cold-hearted killer that he even shot a 4-month old baby at point-blank range. According to reports from the police, the shooter, James Holmes a 24-year old former PhD candidate in neuroscience, had dyed his hair red and told police officers that he was “the Joker” a reference to the villain played by deceased actor Heath Ledger in the prior Dark Knight film. The character, who has a very satanic nature, has captivated the minds of many in society and inspired other acts of violence in the past. As a sinful rebellion against God grows it is time to be more guarded with the constant exposure to violence, murder and depravity through entertainment.
Ledger, who died of a drug overdose shortly after the filming of the Dark Knight gave a haunting performance that many feel contributed to his death that has inspired copycat criminals with Holmes just being the latest. As Beginning and End has reported in many articles, the influence of movies that promote death, the occult and sinful rebellion are a danger to the heart and mind and in some people can push them to actually carry out violence in society.
“He was literally shooting everyone”
The shooting unfolded inside a darkened theater packed with Batman fans, some in costume for the premiere of the movie.
Screaming, panicked moviegoers scrambled to escape from the black-clad gunman, who shot at random as he walked up the theater’s steps, witnesses said.
It was a scene “straight out of a horror film,” said Chris Ramos, who was inside the theater. “He was just literally shooting everyone, like hunting season.” (source)
Witnesses described James Holmes as completely cold and calculated in his murderous attack at the Cinema 16 movie theater. After announcing himself as “The Joker” he proceeded to shoot indiscriminately in the theater. And from all early reports his intention was to murder, destroy and cause chaos in the manner of the movie character and planned the attacks months in advance. Could someone really be so cold, calculating and bloodthirsty? Well certainly Holme’s inspiration, the Joker, was just that.
The Joker: Satanic to the Core
“He’s a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” — Heath Ledger on his portrayal of the Joker in the Dark Knight film. (source)
“Well,” Nicholson told reporters in London early Wednesday, “I warned him.” — Jack Nicholson, who had played the Joker in an earlier Batman movie series, commenting on the dangers of playing the Joker after Heath Ledger’s death. (source)
The Dark Knight, which is the No. 4 grossing film of all time, was a huge success that rode the stunning performance and pre-release death of Heath Ledger. The iconic performance by Ledger, which won an Oscar, was chilling for its mesmerizing, demonic nature. Ledger played the Joker as a complete psychopath and was so consumed with the character’s portrayal that many scenes were directed by Ledger himself (including some where director Chris Nolan left the room altogether). In order to prepare for the role Ledger stated:
“It’s a combination of reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it,” he says. “I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts” — Heath Ledger, (source).
The Bible says: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. We are to protect and guard are heart and mind from evil thoughts and sinful rebellion. Most people are unaware of the spiritual war taking place around us. Staying away from occult/sinful activities helps to combat the demonic forces at work in the world that seek to influence us. Ledger locked himself up in a room and focused solely on the being a psychopathic serial killer for a month. Ledger was consumed by the Joker character, he told the New York Times that he could not sleep “more than two hours a night during filming”
“I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” He went on to state that he took drugs, which would quell the unrest for only an hour.” (source)
Ledger continued in a cycle of insomnia, depression and anxiety that led him to take a cocktail of antidepressants as well as heroin which he did a stint in rehab for. And those drugs eventually led to his tragic death. All of this is not good behavior in general and is certainly extremely dangerous from a spiritual standpoint as the combination of focusing on becoming an evil psychopath combined with psychotropic drugs can open someone up to demonic influence.
The particular comic that inspired Ledger’s portrayal the most was a Batman comic called “The Killing Joke” written by comic writer and magic practitioner Alan Moore, who has written comics such as The Watchmen and V for Vendetta which are full of Illuminati and satanic symbolism. V for Vendetta in particular not only quotes Satanist Aleister Crowley in several portions but mentions him by name.
Ledger played the character with such demonic flair, he even flicked his tongue constantly like a serpent during his scenes. The Joker’s character in the Dark Knight is a self-proclaimed ‘agent of chaos’ who seeks to destroy the city and prove that all people can be turned just as evil and murderous as he is.
“See, their morals, their code: it’s a bad joke. They’re dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. You’ll see, when the chips are down these civilized people will eat each other.” – The Joker, Dark Knight
The scary truth is that, the Joker has a point.
In the book of Job, Satan outlines the exact same outlook on humanity. In Chapter 1, Satan is in heaven speaking to God before His throne and God asks the Devil if he had considered trying to corrupt the God-fearing Job. To which Satan responds:
“Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.11 But put forth thine hand now, and [take away] all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” — Job 1:8-11.
Job, who at that time, the Bible declared was the most righteous, God-fearing faithful man on Earth, was just “one bad day away” from turning into a sinful rebel in Satan’s mind. The Devil challenged God by saying if Job did not have all the land and wealth God had blessed him and ran into a little crisis, Job would soon be cursing God just like any old unbeliever. This is exactly what the Joker’s agenda is in the Dark Knight. And the card he uses as his trademark reinforces this:
Job was indeed tested, as he lost everything dear to him in life. But he still chose not to curse God, but instead worship. This type of faith only comes from a close relationship with God. In our natural state, people are just as the Joker describes — “this close” to acting out all sorts of evil. The Bible says: ” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). No matter how much we may try to convince ourselves that “Hey, I’m a good person” it is a delusion.
“The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules…” — The Joker, Dark Knight.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7).
In our natural state, we are at odds and hostile to God. And we are at war with “the rules.” All people sin, choose to sin and continue to sin all throughout their lives. All people have “fallen short of the glory of God.” And the more sinful, satanic influence that enters one life, the more prone someone is to commit evil. It just takes moving away from God and letting the right amount of sinful triggers in. And in some case, Heath Ledger’s Joker helped with the inspiration for evil.
Satanic Influence: Copycats of the Joker
The audiences across the world that saw Ledger’s performance were so overwhelmed that soon scores of people were donning the purple and scarlet suit and green shirt and face make up of the Joker to wear in real life. In a almost cult-like fashion, the Joker became a cultural phenomenon. And soon some were inspired to commit crime in the Joker’s name. In Dendermonde, Belgium, a 20 year old named Kim De Gelder, dressed as the Joker, conned his way into a day care center and attacked babies and infants with a knife, stabbing them repeatedly in their heads and neck, killing 2 babies and a daycare provider and leaving numerous infants injured:
The 20-year-old assailant had a painted white face, eye shadow and ginger hair, and was wearing a bullet proof vest, witnesses said. He tricked his way into the Fabeltjesland day care centre at 10am by claiming to have a meeting with one of the members of staff. He then drew a 12 inch knife and began to slash at children aged between a few months and two years old.
There were 21 infants in the crèche and six supervisors. All of the victims were stabbed in the throat or head. Parents gathered in the Dendermonde town hall and, with psychologists in support, identified the victims using photographs.
Nine children escaped unharmed. Three of the crèche’s child care workers were injured as they tried to fend off the attacker. Theo Janssens, Dendermonde’s deputy mayor, said that the man “just went crazy”. “There was blood everywhere, it was unbelievable, real carnage. He went straight for the babies and attacked them. The smallest ones were in their beds, they were probably asleep.” Marita Blindeman, the adult who was killed, raised the alarm. (source)
When arrested De Gelder laughed at his police interrogators, refusing to answer questions with real information, in the same manner of the Joker in Dark Knight:
Upon his arrest, the suspect has been apparently “playing with the police,” Paijmans mentions in translated media accounts. “The man does not want to divulge his identity to the police. He had no identity papers on him during his arrest. He gave the police various false names and addresses,” says one of the latest dispatches. (source)
It was later learned that De Gelder was planning on attacking a second day care center and that he plotted the attacks to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death.
High School Student Attacks Teacher as The Joker
A South Vermillion High School student who appeared to have everything going for her, attacked out against her teacher. However, it’s the details of how she snapped that are sending shock waves.
“The teachers and the school staff and the student body, I think is really kind of in awe that a student of this nature did these types of actions,” Vermillion County Sheriff Robert Spence said. The South Vermillion junior had been a model student. That all quickly changed.
Police said it started when she went into the bathroom. There, she put on white make up, red lipstick, and took out a razor. She then cut her face, some say to resemble the Joker from the movie “The Dark Knight.” After that she knocked on the classroom door. No one in the class will forget what happened next.
“She pulls the knife and begins to make actions toward the teacher, like she was going to cut her, slice her, or stab her,” Spence said. That’s when the teacher had to act fast. She was able to keep the girl at bay by blocking her with a desk. She even used a chair to hold her back until more help arrived. (source)
Wisconsin Break In And Strangulation
According to online court records, Cole Vetterkind pleaded not guilty Monday to burglary, battery and strangulation during a court appearance in Clark County. Authorities say the 26-year old Thorp man dressed as “The Joker’ during a home invasion. The criminal complaint says Vetterkind painted his face like Batman’s enemy in the movie “The Dark Knight” and broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in the town of Reeseburg in January. Authorities say he choked her new boyfriend, who then shot Vetterkind in the leg. (source)
Death Culture: A Societal Obsession
“To me he’s demonic – he has this incredible rage. His parents were killed when he was young, and these are the things that are in his head. To me, Batman is all about rage, anger and revenge.'”- Christian Bale on Batman in the Dark Knight (source).
The copycat fascination with Ledger’s Joker reached its worst consequence in Aurora. Fans were so anxious to get into the theaters to see the new Batman film that babies, and elementary school age children were brought to a midnight showing (of a movie that is almost 3 hours in length) to see a movie that features graphic violence, terrorist attacks, torture, mass killings and large-scale destruction. Why did parents even bring 4-year olds and 6-year olds to see this film? What kind of effect does this movie have on their psyche? What spiritual influence are they exposing them to?
Why was the world so captivated by a character that was so evil? Why has there been such an obsession over a character who only seeks to harm, kill and destroy and takes pleasure in it with absolutely no remorse? Again, it comes back to the soul and lack of Godly influence. As society rejects the Bible and seeks to erase any mention of Jesus Christ in public, normal common sense discernment about morals and values go out of the window. Society becomes so fascinated with death entertainment whether it be Dark Knight, shooter video games or the hundreds of murder documentaries on television, that bringing a 4-year old child to see the Joker gouge people’s eyes out and slash throats seems like a good decision.
Movies provide the type of stimulation to the psyche and subconscious that can satisfy this thrill-desire. In fact, even though Holmes, who is 6 foot 3, entered wearing body armor and firing an assault rifle, many people in the theater were so captivated by the film they thought his initial shots fired were part of the movie and were not scared. The Bible says:
Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death — Proverbs 8:34-36.
By reports Dark Knight shooter James Holmes attended church as a child and possibly visited nearby Elevation Church weeks before the shooting. Clearly he was still looking for something spiritually but was very involved in death culture by his obvious obsession with the Joker and weapons he was purchasing as he plotted this murder spree. We may never get all the answers for why he chose to do this but we know he was clearly given over to depravity. Again, the heart, when left unchecked is capable of all manner of evil.
The Answer: Draw Closer to God
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. – James 4:8
There will be many questions about this tragedy and why this young man, who seemed to have a promising future, committed one of the worst mass murders in American history. The answers may or may not come. But what can help others in this time is prayer. Praying for the victims and families. Prayer for the city of Aurora. And prayer to help the hearts of all people. If you want to see less evil, pray. If you want healing in the hearts and souls of those young people who are contemplating hurting others at this very moment, pray. Pray against evil spiritual forces in your home, in your life and in your nation. Violence is a consequence of a sinful heart and God can provide the change in heart and spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). By seeking forgiveness for sins and believing in Jesus as Savior who died for the sins of humanity a new believe receives a new born Spirit from God. It is a new nature that seeks to please God rather than rebel. It welcomes righteousness and goodness rather than craving evil and death. The Book of Ephesians states:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. — Ephesians 4:22-24.
Christians have not hesitate to reach out to the victims of this tragedy and give support through compassion and most importantly prayer. Evangelist Arthur Blessitt went to the victim staging area after hearing about the tragedy to assist those in need, saying: “I’ve been in war zones all over the world and it hurts to have this happen here at home. This is where I need to be.”
Despite what James Holmes believes or what the Joker says in a movie, there is love and goodness in people. Matt McQuinn gave his life to save his girlfriend, shielding her body from bullets. His girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, 26, survived with a gunshot wound to the leg and is in fair condition after undergoing surgery.
“Jon just took a bullet for me,” Young, 21, told the Today show. “He knew and threw me on the ground, and was like, ‘We have to get down and stay down,'” she said. “Every gunshot, I was like, ‘This is it … I’m done for.'”
Young said that Blunk had previously been in the military and was planning to enlist again. She said she tried to rouse him when the shooting was over, but he didn’t move. “He is the guy that would take a bullet for you. He did the right thing all the time,” she told Today. “I know I would not be here today if Jon had not been next to me in that movie theater.” (source)
It is time to turn away from “the agent of chaos” and turn back to God. Jesus Christ refused sin for His entire life on Earth just to take the God’s wrath so that those who believe in Him no longer have to. And in believing in Him and building a relationship will leads to the fruits of the spirit which grow in the hearts of a born again believer: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance..” (Galatians 5:22-23). Continue to pray for the victims of this tragedy, their families and for the city of Aurora for their healing, peace and God’s grace.