Harry Potter to the Rescue!

Gather ye wizards and witches! We’ve got a world to save!



You read that right.  Harry Potter fans are trying to help the world under the organization known as ‘Harry Potter Alliance’.  Andrew Slack started the Harry Potter Alliance in order to get people to become activists and help out with various problems and issues in the world especially in the Sudan.  This organization was examined by Henry Jenkins in his book Designing for Spreadability.  In his chapter on “Avatar Activism”, Jenkins notes that Slack argues

“Young Harry Potter…realized that the government and the media were lying to the public in order to mask evil in their midst. Potter thus organized his classmates to form Dumbledore’s Army and went out to change the world.”

It’s somewhat humorous to look at how the mission of Harry Potter Alliance is loosely related to charitable works in the world today.  I seriously doubt that Andrew Slack’s reasoning behind establishing this organization was rooted in Harry Potter.  I’m not saying that he’s not a fan of Harry Potter, but I am saying that when I watched the Harry Potter movies, I did not suddenly feel that I should solve the world’s problems, and I’m sure that everyone else who watched those movies (or read the books lol) felt the same way.  So why was it created then?

Slack obviously wanted to help solve many world’s problems but realized that he could not do it alone.  He needed to get people excited and passionate about giving their money and free time to a charitable organization.  This is a very difficult and daunting task to undertake.  So, he decided to enlist the help of Harry Potter fans.  To think that this came to him the other way around is absurd.

The organization is very successful in helping solving many different world problems.  This is a testament to the fact that getting people to become activists requires more than just good moral fiber.  You’ve got to sell something to the potential activists.  As said before, no one watching or reading Harry Potter closed the book or left the movie theater thinking about how they were gonna solve the world’s problems.  Slack sold them on the belief that Harry Potter would want them to do this, and, as his followers, they should accept the challenge.  What would Harry do?

This whole organization bears striking resemblance to Christianity.  What would Jesus do?  Slack saw someone with many followers, Harry Potter, and attached his agenda to him.  People do this to Jesus all the time.

Now while this clip is more of a satirical and comedic way to look at this issue, it is true that people often align themselves with Jesus (whether those be for good or bad reasons) to get people to agree with them.

How do you feel about the Harry Potter Alliance?  Are there similar organizations that you know which loosely relate their cause and effect?  Do you believe politicians refer to Jesus for genuine purposes or for their own personal gain?  Comment below.


6 thoughts on “Harry Potter to the Rescue!

  1. gehrondj November 5, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    I do think politicians do use religion for their own personal gain. A religion makes someone feel connected to others and that person is one of their own. The Harry Potter Alliance is very interesting. I almost think of it like a cult or something of that sort. This man is tapping into the common thing people share and taking advantage of it. But isn’t that how religions and charities kind of work too? What makes the difference between a cult, religion and charities?


  2. perkints November 5, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    I think the Harry Potter Alliance is really interesting, mostly because of the way it uses audience to enact social change. Who you target as followers for a social change is critical to the effectiveness of the social change. If you can tap into a group of people that are passionate about something and willing to be active, the movement becomes much stronger. I don’t think it should matter how people align themselves (Harry Potter, Jesus, etc.), as long as they are trying to make a positive impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Running Engineer November 5, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    The theory behind the Harry Potter Alliance is great because it is trying to bring people together to solve the world’s problems. I also agree that politicians use religion to further their own career’s because it makes them look like an honest and trustworthy person.


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