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The Devil's Advertising - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

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Can you believe advertisers were foolish enough to run this ad in a “prestigious” magazine? Their stupidity knows no bounds.


Where are the songs about Satan? What happened to the dark hidden messages that command suburban teens to submit and perform his evil biddings? You can’t offend with songs about summer flings, “bling, bling,” or nookie. Rock, rap, pop – there really isn’t anything the dark lord doesn’t improve. The number of the beast has that special something that touches us all. A dark room, candles, and nineteen pentagrams scrawled onto a high school binder. Get friendly with the magic of the occult today before being nominated most likely to succeed. – Rolling Stone

The above was an advertisement in “Advertising Age” magazine last month (October, 2002). I copied it in a format that appears about the way the ad actually looked when it ran in the magazine. No doubt, as a full-page ad it cost a pretty penny to run for a month in it – and might I add, this magazine is one of the most prestigious publications for advertisers. The circulation is enormous.

What should we think about this advertisement? I have a number of things to mention, but I think it would be important to confront the Christian first. I ask you a question, “Does this shock you?” I suppose some would say “Yes” and enter into a kind of repulsive exclamation, explaining that the ad took them by surprise. Others may say “Not really” knowing full well that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and Rolling Stone simply wants the world to blatantly accept that fate. Others, like myself, may have sat in contemplation of this for a while. They may have let it sink in, and just stared at the page for a time. Maybe they reread the ad a few times, trying to consider whether it was just “hokey” or a “gag” of some sort. Was there an ulterior motive to it? And then, maybe they became outraged at its content, knowing full well, that after meditating on the atrocity of it, that they were disgusted that such a thing would take place. It’s a bit different when one attends a rock and roll concert where Marilyn Manson, the open-mouthed epitome of satanic rock expression comes to stage – at least there you expect Satan’s tools to express satanic ideologies. But why would a respectable magazine allow an advertisement of this capacity to appear in the hands of its readers?

We must first admit that “Advertising Age” magazine may have thought this just plain fun for Halloween. (That statement in an of itself should cause every Christian contemplating celebrating Halloween to throw out every trinket having to do with that unholy “holy day.”) Maybe instead of a picture of a zombie or corpse wishing everyone a safe and fun Halloween they decided to go with an ad from a popular industry magazine to suit the occasion. Maybe they thought it was all in good fun. No doubt they were going to make a buck on it. The ad itself was easily a few thousand dollars. They probably had no complaints about that at all. The message may have meant little to them, and maybe they just needed to fill some space in the magazine for that month, and Rolling Stone kindly submitted a Halloween ad. However, though we could admit all this, Christians know better. Imagine the number of people that handled putting this piece together. The idea sprung from Rolling Stone’s advertising campaign market. (It does have to do with singing right?) Then the ad is read by a few people in the marketing depart of Advertising Age for approval. (Certainly they wouldn’t allow a full-page nude man or woman in their magazine, right? At least not yet…) They approve the article and send it off to the various departments for production. Graphic artists, photographers, plate men, film men, press men, and a host of others both see and handle this piece to its final incorporation on the magazine. Then it’s distributed. In that distribution about 5 million people handle the magazine – that’s you and me. From that 5 million, 5% of the people will be affected by that ad – that means they will read it, understand it, and be affected by it in some manner. That means that roughly 25,000 people will see this – in dollars and cents that comes out to be about .33 cents a person. (Ads run anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 for a full-page ad in a magazine of this sort. Advertising Age made money on blatantly expressing satanic ideas to the public, and Rolling Stone spent .33 cents a person to be sure those 25,000 people read and were affected, in some manner, by the article. I would venture to say, at the very least, that people were affected in its ability to desensitize those reading it to occultic practices and satanic ideas.

Let’s break down the message. Who in their right mind would sit and contemplate this message in the manner its portrayed? I can picture Marilyn Manson or a Motley Crue representative sitting in their luxury apartment surrounded by young teenagers awaiting a bit of rock and roll wisdom to drip from their lips. Suddenly they spin off with this little bit of bewilderment. The ad certainly is coddled around the “I wonder where the good times have gone” sentiment. This is odd since Rolling Stone in and of itself is in the business of propagating satanic ideologies when they exalt musicians who’s main goal in life is to fill the world with music that glorifies the devil. Where can we find a song about Satan? Is that really what you are asking Rolling Stone? I would suggest simple browsing your own magazine for the last year and you would find much to satisfy the answer to that rhetoric.

Their irony takes shape when the second question is posed – what happened to the dark hidden sayings…? Yes, what happened to them? It used to be back in the 50’s that songs had to be back-masked to find those “hidden messages.” Now we simply have to turn on the radio to any station blaring music to find songs piercing with obvious allusions and statements concerning Satan, the devil, sex, drugs and everything else that Rolling Stone thinks makes the world go round through happy tunes.

Their obvious focus is the lord of darkness, the devil, in this piece. The good old days of hidden sayings which taught teens in subtle ways is gone. For rolling Stone, its just too easy now to subvert the minds of the masses. They just take it all in as if life was one big rock and roll compendium, and the devil is its ring master. Its just too easy to undermine morality today. Can you see the Devil sitting back in his $5000 leather chair, smoking a stogie, and reminiscing about the old days of the 17, 18, and early 1900’s where Satanism took a bit of work to make its way into the home? Now we can choose from 267 satellite stations that channel that garbage in every home in the US.

They then make a statement that songs alluding to “flings,” or sex, are not what they used to be. There is no need to allude to such things nowadays. Female pop stars rip off their clothes the moment they think it will boost sales. Many now are even beginning that way – sex appeal sells records and makes people rich. They attract the masses by sex. They utilize sex as the focal tool to allure people to come to the concert. Why does the music industry believe that Madonna is the sexist woman in the history of music? The reason is clear – she is the most blatant about sex. She has no shame. That makes her “sexy.” Why is Elvis seen as the sexist man ever to grace the rock and roll stage? Its rests in his stage presence – the gyration of hips and legs as he sings – it was taboo in those days to do what he did in that manner. He was just as bad in those days as his predecessors in today’s meat market wear tight spandex to impress the audience.

Then they state that the “dark lord” has improved all of music. There is nothing he has not touched. They’re right. Country, rock, rap, pop – its makes no difference. He has corrupted all of it. Each style panders to the varied cultural differences people have. No, Country is not as blatantly devilish as gangster rap, but its message is the same. Think through Country’s messages – sex, love, one night stands are predominately their topic. Yes, sometimes they sing about their “guitars” or their “supped up trucks”, but let’s face it, Country is just as touched by the devil in its own way as the rest of music in their own ways. Pop strives on sex, rap strives on vulgar, rock strives on…well, you get the point. They are right – the dark lord has not left music unto itself. The 1960’s Ed Sullivan show would not focus the camera on Elvis below the waist because of his movements. Today’s concerts are much different; the camera focuses in on those parts immediately because if they didn’t, viewers would not watch.

The reality of the extent of music’s influence by the dark lord is suggested to be complete by their next statement – “the number of the beast has that something special that touches us all.” True again. Secular music is embedded with Satanism in all its forms of rebellion against the one true Living God. Have sex, take drugs, kill your parents, kill yourself, have affairs, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, and rebel even more, every chance you have. Rolling Stone, though, does not want the reader to think that this is something that does not affect them – it certainly does – and Rolling Stone knows it. It is a “special something” which does affect the minds of all those listen to the garbage which today’s music industry propagates. That “special something” is the desensitization of the American mind to the occultic massages of the unsaved musicians who glorify the name of Satan in their music. It’s the fingerprint of the fall of men on the depravity of their hearts excited about the rancid music they listen to which hardens them against God further with each song. Don’t’ you want that special something enlarged?

So what’s the conclusion of the matter for Rolling Stone? It’s getting back in touch with your inner satanic child. Its breeding Satanism in the schools. Before you think about being president of your class, you should be sure to have down the occultic practices that will really shape your life. American leadership and shaping the nation through honor and virtue is a far second to understanding first that Satan is your “dark lord” and he should have the primary rule in your life. Get in a dark room, pull out the séance candles and the pentagrams, invite your friends, and honor the lord of the dead before you think about being popular at school. Without setting your priorities, how could you possibly succeed?

“Now, now, – its all in good fun,” says Rolling Stone. “We were just playing; just having a good time at Halloween.” Really? Let’s break it down again. What does God say about all this? What does God say about those who promote evil and mock His Law?

Proverbs 14:9 states, “Fools mock at sin.” This verse came to mind and struck me powerfully in reaction to this ad. Advertising Age as a company are fools for allowing themselves to be deceived enough to take money for this ad and promote it’s wicked message. Rolling Stone is a company of fools who thrive off their main stay of promoting wickedness. And the readers who agree with them are fools as well. The actual idea here for “fool” is from the Hebrew meaning of being “perverse.” (lywIa/ ‘eviyl {ev-eel’}) The Arabic meaning can have connotations of being “thick headed”, but I think that is an understatement. The idea generates around those who are morally deficient. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament renders this as those who are “lacking in sense and generally corrupt.” These are fools. We should pity the weak-minded. They are deluded victims of the devil. They are fools who know what they are saying, but think its trite and fun to say it. And it is not that they say it once, but that they continue to say it. The tense of this first part of the sentence (which is chiastic) is in the Hiphil and the imperfect tense. This means the mocking or scorning is not enacted, but continues on. It is as if they are fools, and continue to be fools. This fits well with the ad and those who think highly, or lightly, of it. These fools “mock” at sin. The Hebrew “loots” (#Wl) may connote the idea of being an “ambassador” for sin in this way.

The word “sin” is a bit more interesting it is translation. It is not necessarily the word for “sin” but rather the whole idea of offering up a sacrifice for sin. Fools mock the redemptive purposes of God and pull sin as if with a cart or rope before people (Isa. 5:18). They do not think about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sin, rather they blaspheme it and promote wickedness in its place. They place ads about the blatant manner in which the devil is praised today instead of exposing the wickedness of devil, human depravity and sin, and turning to Christ. That just does not sell in the market of human wickedness.

There are other New Testament passages dealing with mockers and scorners. One is Jude 1:18 which says, “how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.” These false teachers, as Jude explains, are those who seem to deny the Lord’s return, and in doing so, believing that Jesus Christ is not coming again, they remain as Libertines who satisfy the flesh of their own lusts day to day. This creates a picture which perfectly captures the individualistic American public – self-deluded wicked and ungodly people promoting individual rebellion against all authority except the satisfaction of “self” in any form that pleases “self.” (The Greek phrase here is potent – it is used all through the Gospels to refer to the “mockers” of the cross.)

And who can forget the passage in Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Fit into the context of spiritual achievements and bearing one another’s burdens as the church should do, Paul conveniently fits in a spiritual principle of sowing to the godliness of the spirit or to the wickedness of the flesh. The Greek here is a bit different than in Jude 1:18. The idea here surrounds mockers, but to those who sneer or turn up their nose at God. God does not stand for such. He allows men to build up a deposit of wrath for themselves in continually “turning up the nose” or “deriding” Him, but in the end, swift judgment shall come upon them. Though some say with Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice…” (Exodus 5:2), God says, “He that sits in heaven shall laugh, and hold them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” (Psalm 2:4-5) And yet they do not heed his voice. Rather, they publish garbage like this ad, and promote wickedness. They remain unashamed.

Isaiah 5:18-19 states, “Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope…Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” This is the very nature of the ad Rolling Stone propagated. This is what they were doing. They were parading sin for all to see. They made light of wickedness – made light of the devil himself – to desensitize those during the festive holiday of “Halloween” to think light of things. What was their real intent? What was their real intent even if it was not their blatant intent? What was the devil saying through them?


Dear Rolling Stone,

I give you my thanks. And Oh yes, and to you too Advertising Age – thanks. The press was great for my image. I just wanted to thank you for making me look so appealing in that ad. I mean, though I am the Deceiver of men, and the destroyer of souls, though I am set against the holiness of the Lord God and do all I can to cause men to hate Him and his only son Jesus Christ, though I continually drag people into sin and into hell, you made me look like I should simply be standing in the middle of the road saying “take my number won’t you please?” It was as if the only thing you lacked in it was a line that said “Get a tattoo on your arm of the number of the beast that you can be proud of, and show your mom.” I love that stuff.

You’re right – there is no need anymore to chant my name quietly behind closed doors. Not at all. I’m not just interested in 10 year olds having sex, taking drugs, and listening to rock and roll anymore. No, I want you to say my name and mean it. I want you to say it sweetly. Like in the ad. I want you to think I’m “all that” and more. I want you to believe that paying homage to me first is the what life is all about. Don’t worry; I’ll help you out in this campaign. I mean, you are my companies. I own you. I direct you. I lead you. Why do you think you wrote that ad in the first place? Did you really think it was just in jest?

Life revolves around me. I know you know it. You put it in print in not so many words. One day it will be “in so many words.” I am at least glad you acknowledged my hand in improving music. I must say, the rock, pop and rap stars of today, are not my finest works. My finest work is yet to come. And isn’t it a privilege that I decided to use companies like yours to get the message out? I know you count it so. I could have used a host of other magazines or periodicals. But I chose yours this last time.

One day you will all feel that “special something” you spoke of in the ad. Trust me, you’ll feel it in full. I’ll be sure to personally give you that special something when we’re together in hell. It’s that “warm fuzzy” “high five” I love to give everyone of my children. Oh, but don’t fret. All those rumors about hell being a place of eternal torment for sin is a bunch of hogwash. Remember, hell is a party.

Feel free to advertise for me as much as you like. Be sure to expand your target to those beyond young teenagers and children. I mean, you only have short time here on earth to do the job I need you to do. Be diligent. Get radical for me.

Oh, and don’t worry about the religious fanatics. What can they do? What have they done?

Hey, see you all soon.

Your Friend,

The Devil

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