Generation Hex: Understanding the Subtle Dangers of Wicca
by Marla Alupoaicei and Dillon Burroughs
Wicca is America’s fastest growing religion. By the year 2012, it’s projected to be the third largest religion in the United States.
In Generation Hex, Marla Alupoaicei and Dillon Burroughs explore the history, culture, and practices of Wicca. As part of their research, they interviewed travelers to historic Salem, Massachusetts, consulted practitioners of leading neopagan conferences in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and dialogued with several current and former adherents of Wicca and other forms of witchcraft to evaluate the past and present of this growing spiritual tradition.
The result is a compelling account that will inform and equip Christians (especially parents) to understand Wiccan and New Age teachings. Readers will have confidence to explain this belief system to others and to communicate the gospel to those caught up in this practice.
Generation Hex identifies with the spiritual hunger of a generation seeking truth, authenticity, and hope in a fragmented world. It’s perfect for personal study or as a gift for anyone interested or involved in Wicca.
About the Authors:
Marla Alupoaicei has authored several books and Bible study guides and serves as a writer for East-West Ministries. Alupoaicei has fifteen-plus years of ministry, teaching, and missions experience. She also enjoys writing poetry and has garnered several literary awards for her work.
For five years, Alupoaicei worked as a writer for Insight for Living, where she wrote and/or edited numerous workbooks and Bible study guides. Her forthcoming books include Flow: Inspiring Devos for the Creative Soul and Taking the Intercultural Leap.
Alupoaicei holds a BA in English and communications from Purdue University and a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.
You can read more about Marla at her website: http://marriageleap.com.
Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of fifteen books, including What Can Be Found in LOST?; What’s the Big Deal About Other Religions?; and the revised Facts On series (with John Ankerberg and John Weldon).
He also serves as a staff writer and research associate for the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Indiana State University and a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He also serves as a professor of youth and culture at Tennessee Temple University.
He, his wife, and their two children live in Tennessee.
You can learn more about Dillon on his website: http://readDB.com.
Marla: I was born in Dixon, Illinois (birthplace of Ronald Reagan) and lived most of my life in Terre Haute, Indiana, which is where my parents live. I’m 34 and have an amazing husband, Catalin, who hails from the beautiful country of Romania. He and I met when I went to Romania on a mission trip in 1998. We were working for an orphan ministry there. We now live in Frisco, Texas. Several years ago, we started an intercultural marriage ministry called Leap of Faith. I post articles about intercultural marriage on my website (www.marriageleap.com), and we also mentor other intercultural couples.
I worked from home as a full-time author for almost two years, but recently started working part-time as a writer for a missions organization called East-West Ministries in Addison, Texas. I love it!
Dillon: I’m 32, married to Deborah (10 years and growing), have two awesome kids (Ben and Natalie), and number three on the way. Originally from Indiana, I’ve also lived in Texas, and now live in Chattanooga, Tennessee where I serve as a staff writer for The John Ankerberg Show and teach part-time at TN Temple University.
What has God been teaching you lately?
Marla: He’s been teaching me that I have to do my part, but then I must let go and trust Him for the results. I can’t control what happens! Also, I’m learning that as my opportunities grow and my workload multiplies, I have to work harder to continue to invest in my marriage and my personal relationships. I’m a person who wants to say “yes” to every opportunity, and I am having to learn to be more strategic and consider what God’s call really is for my life. I also need to ask for help sometimes or find other ways to reduce my workload and stress level.
Dillon: God’s latest lesson is that I have exactly enough time to do what he wants me to do each day; no more, no less.
Where are you headed next?
Marla: I just submitted the final manuscript for my next book, Flow: Inspiring Devos for the Creative Soul (Regal Books, 2009). I am working with the president of East-West Ministries to get one of his books, The Call for Courage, written/edited and ready for publication, and I also am going to be starting on a new book on intercultural marriage called Taking the Intercultural Leap for Moody Publishing that is due on January 15, 2009. So I’ve got lots of books in the pipeline!
Dillon: In 2005, I had zero books in print. In January 2009, my 20th book will be released. People ask me how I do it. All I can say is that I do the book that’s due next. It’s all God.
How did you get involved in writing?
Marla: I’ve loved writing since I was a young girl. I used to make up stories and poems and tell them to my parents. I wrote throughout high school and college, and I worked for the Purdue Exponent newspaper for a period of time. I took writing courses at Purdue, including several with Marianne Boruch, a poet. Her encouragement led me to believe that I might be able to pursue a career in writing. Then I went to seminary and began working as a writer for Insight for Living in 2001. In 2006, I began working from home as a full-time author.
Dillon: I wrote letters to Deborah when I was in high school (pre-text messaging). We are now happily married. My senior year of high school we had to write an essay for a contest in English class. I won. In college, I majored in Communications and then in studied Theology in Seminary. I started writing for Christian magazines to get started that later opened a door for freelance work with a Christian publisher.
What did you enjoy most about writing a book with someone else?
Marla: Dillon is so much fun to work with. He’s a fast writer, so he pulls me along in that regard. He’s also a very low-maintenance co-author. On this book, he wrote his portion of the book while I wrote my part, and then I combined them and edited the book afterward to check for consistency, make some additions, and so on. The process went so smoothly! Dillon has lots of ideas, and he’s a great encourager. He always calls me with exciting news about a press release, something new in the media related to our topic, or updates on the book and marketing strategies. His enthusiasm is fantastic!
Dillon: I love team-writing and highly encourage it to aspiring writers. When I can lay down my ego and say it’s about the project rather than about me, I think people are much more open to what I have to say. We can also simply cover more ground, with some interviews done separately and others together. Marla is an amazing editor and writer on her own. Together, we’ve been able to focus on our strengths and make a much better book and get the word out to far more people.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing a book with someone else?
Marla: The process with Generation Hex was so smooth and seamless. However, I have worked on other collaborative projects that were more challenging. The most difficult aspects are working with someone whose schedule is SO busy that he/she really doesn’t have time to write a book, and trying to take two people’s viewpoints and combine them into one book without compromising either.
Dillon: The most difficult part is the give and take of my own perspective. On controversial aspects, I can’t just say, “That’s what I think.” It’s more like, “What’s going to help people the most on this particular issue?”
What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?
Marla: Go for it! There’s always room for one more. If you need help, please ask me and I will be happy to help. Author Mary DeMuth also has a great blog called So You Wanna Be Published? that can help you in that regard.
Dillon: Start small and don’t quit. I was 0 for 10 on my first 10 magazine queries. Later it was 1 for 10, then 2 for 10, until editors eventually asked me if I had something to meet their deadline.
The second piece of advice is to write with an attitude of servanthood. Most of my writing has been helping other established authors produce better books. In the process, I gain writing experience and credits that have helped me write books like Generation Hex down the road.
Finally, it’s all God. I can’t give a “how to get published” talk. I don’t completely understand it myself. God wants me to write and has opened the doors. I can’t take any of the credit.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
Dillon: I had already worked on three world religion books where I had included some material on Wicca. However, most of my research showed most people were either unaware of Wicca or were misinformed. I thought a book that included talking with Wiccans and sharing what they had to say before comparing it to my faith made the most sense. Our publisher, located in Eugene, Oregon, is in a very strong Wiccan community and saw the need for the project. We did our homework on the proposal and after sharing our passion for it at a meeting during ICRS in 2007, were offered a contract in less than 30 days.
Marla: Dillon asked me to partner with him on the book to provide the female perspective on Wicca and to interview women who are involved in the practice.
What are the major themes of the book?
Dillon: It’s simply one, two: “What is Wicca?” and “What Should I Do about Wicca?” In 176 pages, we cover the basic of what Wicca is, why it matters, and how to influence those involved in it with the love of Christ. I guess you could say it’s part awareness, part outreach.
Marla: Each chapter addresses a different element of Wicca or witchcraft. We talk about Harry Potter and other media and their influence, the history of Wicca and witchcraft in America (including the Salem witch trials), the practices of Wicca, what Wiccans believe, how you can share the gospel with a Wiccan, how Wicca is spreading on college campuses, what Wiccans believe about the God and the Goddess, and much more.
What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
Dillon: Marla and I stopped by Barnes and Noble one day and took notes from every Wicca book on the shelf. We got a lot of weird looks! We read hundreds of pages of online content and magazines. We interviewed over 20 people involved or formerly involved in Wicca. I read every conceivable publication on Wicca, both by Christians and Wiccans. It has been my toughest book to write so far because I became part-researcher and part-journalist in seeking out personal stories from people on the inside.
Marla: We did quite a bit of research at libraries, on the Internet, at bookstores, and personally. We interviewed many Wiccans personally and read at least 20-30 books on the subject.
How did you decide to co-author a book together?
Dillon: Marla and I have known each other for years (since she’s my sister-in-law). We are both from Indiana and both attended Dallas Seminary. Both writers, we’ve spoken often about trying to do a book together at some point. Generation Hex provided a need in which I required a female voice to really relate with and understand the females involved in Wicca. Marla’s theological skills and writing abilities were a perfect fit.
Marla: Dillon asked me to co-author the book. We’ve talked about writing a book together for some time, and this one turned out to be a natural fit.
What do you hope to accomplish with this book?
Dillon: My overarching goal is that people who practice Wicca will experience the love of Jesus. This requires helping Christians understand the point of view of Wiccans, promote positive friendships between Christians and Wiccans, and provide examples and ideas of how to share Christ with those involved with Wicca. We’ve already seen some Wiccans turn to faith in Christ through our book, which lets us know God is already at work in accomplishing this goal.
Marla: The ultimate goal is to magnify Jesus Christ and to give people involved in Wicca/witchcraft the opportunity to come to a saving faith in Jesus. Secondly, we want to educate and equip Christians to know what Wicca is and what it is NOT so that we can teach our children about it, be aware of this powerful spiritual trend, and share God’s truth in a gracious way with those caught up in the practice of witchcraft.
Here are the blogs featuring Marla and Dillon:
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Be My Guest
Blog Tour Spot
Book Room Reviews
Christy’s Book Blog
Footprints in the Sand
From the desk of Flutecrafter
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Good Word Editing
His Reading List
i don’t believe in grammar
In the Dailies
Leap of Faith
Lift My Noise
Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My!
One Voice in a Big World
Portrait of a Writer . . . Interrupted
Refresh My Soul
The Friendly Book Nook
The Reel Katie Morgan
The Sosbee Story
Wide Eyed Fiction
Windows to my Soul
Write by Faith
Writing on the Edge