1. Harry Potter Is a Metaphor for 9/11
Source: This psycho Hollywood Reporter article
This published rant is enough evidence to convince us that The Hollywood Reporter is trying to tank. Maybe the owners are running an insurance scandal like in The Producers. Whatever the reason, it's impossible to believe that they unknowingly allowed a piece that associates a beloved children's franchise with one of the most horrific moments in recent world history. Not to mention that Rowling wrote most of the books, and the entire outline, before 9/11.
The article then uses all of two reasons to show the comparison: Both had antagonists who were emotionally torn, and both have a leader known as "the Anointed One." But, wait, that phrase is used to refer to Barack Obama. What does he have to do with 9/11? How could someone conclude that J.K. Rowling has a future portal and is commenting on future political leaders using some wizards and some broomsticks? Why isn't it simply that Barack's nickname came from the Harry Potter books? All it needs is an alien conspiracy rant, and The Hollywood Reporter could've gotten this story from a mentally ill homeless person.
How to Spot These People in Line: Look for them to be holding a sign. Something crazy, like "Voldemort made Hitler start the American Revolution!"
2. Dumbledore Turned Gay after Witnessing a Sex Crime against His Sister
Source: This crazy post
There is a classic legend about Ernest Hemingway that begins, as most Hemingway anecdotes do, with drinking in a bar. After getting in an argument, Hemingway was challenged to write a story with only one sentence. The next day, Hemingway entered the bar and proudly told his sentence-long tale, "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn." No doubt everyone in the bar resolved to stop asking Hemingway to write stuff, lest they be subjected to more wit about dead infants.
The point of this anecdote is that we're pretty sure whoever wrote this Dumbledore nonsense was attempting the same thing: A one-sentence erotic sex crime fanfiction, gone brutally wrong. That's the only explanation, frankly, that doesn't make us want to barf. The author of this theory postulates that Dumbledore, who was revealed by J.K. Rowling to be gay in an interview, "became" that way because of a horrific childhood incident between his sister and some less-than-savory Muggles. See, that's the part of A Clockwork Orange they never show: how Alex and similar thugs "turned" the entire country gay.
How to Spot these People in Line: They will be staring at someone cosplaying Dumbledore, muttering, "I bet you squeal like a pig!"
3. The magic in Harry Potter Is Controlled by Physics
Source: This lengthy paper
This isn't that nutty by itself: Math dorks like Harry Potter. What pushes this over the edge into the realm of "we are genuinely concerned for the well-being of this person" is that they explain their point using a 7,000-word document. We must mention that this theory makes the same mistake almost all crazy theories tend to make: assuming the subject matter is meant directly for the theorist. In this case, the theorist is obviously someone well versed in physics.
Harry Potter is a children's book. Its primary target audience is children. While a child might get upset about the physics not working right in Halo 3, they're not going to care about the physics of a story. We are certain that J.K. Rowling didn't sit down and say, "I'm going to develop those cool characters this afternoon. But first, I need to sit down and work out exactly how a broom flies around without propulsion." This physics nut then makes an abomination out of the real theory that everything in the universe is made up of 10 tiny vibrating strings. That's silly enough, but the author goes a step further into the zany zone by adding an 11th string. That's right, the theory that we're all made up of the insides of a piano was too unimaginative to explain this author's theory.
How to Spot These People in Line: We're not exactly sure that these people ever leave their house. But you can spot them, because they'll probably be carrying a calculator (to heighten their enjoyment of the movie).
4. Harry Potter Contains Mystical Symbols of Alchemy
Source: This blog. This deranged, deranged blog
Just in case we were missing something, we decided to look up "alchemy." Yep, it still means "turning stuff into gold." So, just based on the title of the blog entry, we really don't know what's going to happen. The opening paragraph doesn't help much either, containing such gems as "Harry Potter Septology contains the most fundamental and powerful message imaginable for humanity: liberation from evil, from suffering, and from death. In one word: Alchemy!"
So, apparently Harry Potter is Fenchurch from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Reading on, a picture of this person's madness takes shape. "This universe is not the real universe." At first, we thought they were setting us up for an exciting position as an Amway distributor. They go on to explain that the real cause of war and suffering on Earth is because millions of people were created by Voldemort. They all produce evil energy which radiates throughout the world. That's too complicated: Why isn't the cause of the suffering simply that the millions created by Voldemort cause war and suffering? Also, if this poster is radiating anything, they should go see a doctor immediately.
How to Spot These People in Line: We're just guessing, but we'd bet these people wear a lot of freaking crystals.
5. Lady Claims Harry Is a Christian, Builds Entire Career
Source: This bizarre interview
For Christians, there is a famous book that guides them, using parables to help them discern the difference between right and wrong. That book is called Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. At least it is according to Rev. Danielle Tumminio. She has taught college courses at Yale, published a book and landed a speaking tour based solely on the notion that Harry Potter is a collage of subtle Christian nuances.
People who read Harry Potter and people who are Christian tend to buy a lot of books, so hers should be a solid moneymaker. We wanted to capitalize on this formula, so we're publishing the tome "Edward Cullen and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
How to Spot these People in Line: We suppose these people will approach you, hand you a J.K. Rowling informational pamphlet, and ask if you've accepted Harry Potter as savior. Oh, no, it's Dianetics all over again!
6. Harry Potter Is King Arthur
Source: This unsettling reposting
Note: If your Harry Potter theory is almost long enough to be its own book, it's probably not right. The poster mixes brilliant metaphor with foreshadowing and states, "Then Harry pulled the sword of Godric Gryffindor from a hat (pulling the sword from the stone [Arthur] combined with pulling a rabbit from a hat [magic])". Why is it that, when fans are predicting how a show or book series will play out, they often just take another famous story and cram everything into that framework? Can't they see that their own lack of imagination does not apply in the slightest to J.K. Rowling?
How to Spot These People in Line: They'll carry a sword. In case no one ever told you: Don't talk to strangers carrying swords.
7. Harry Potter Books Are Written in the Same Manner That Python Is Written
Source: This nerd blog
Python is a computer programming language. This blogger thinks about it a lot, especially when he's not busy reading Harry Potter books. The author begins by explaining how J.K. Rowling goes back over her books to find little things to make significant in her next book. First, although the author doesn't know it, this is an old writing trick. When you're writing an anthology, throw in a whole bunch of out-of-place knickknacks. If you reference one of them much later, people will proclaim you a genius. If you don't reference some small thing ever again, people will only be mildly annoyed, that's good odds.
After spending three paragraphs explaining what we just did in three sentences, the blogger gets to the heart of the matter: "Just like the successive Harry Potter books are required to have continuity (we can't have Dumbledore's taste in sweets change drastically in book 3), successive versions of Python are constrained by pretty serious backwards compatibility requirements." There you have it: Each book in the Harry Potter series has to pay attention to the events of the previous books, so it's just like a computer programming language! It's also just like a sports playoff game, or being on a diet, or watching paint dry so you can add another coat.
How to Spot These People in Line: Well, they've obviously never read any book series besides Harry Potter. But that's not something that one can spot. Look for a laptop being used by someone who looks like they've never seen sunlight.
8. Psychologist-Designed Test Divides Personalities Into One of the Hogwarts Houses
Source: This creepily in-depth online test.
This lengthy test has a whopping 122 questions, each one which must be answered on a scale of 1 through 9. For instance, one question asks us to rate the statement "I am eager to please." A 1 means you're a jerk, while a 9 probably means you should get an S.T.D. test.
We took the test. We answered every statement with "1," because general apathy is our job. The personality quiz told us we were in the power-hungry "Slytherin" House. This is only because there's no house for slackers and stoner wizards who just want to magically turn stuff into drugs.
As thorough as the questionnaire was, we feel that there were still some questions that got omitted. For instance, an easy way to tell what house you belong in is to rate your agreement with the following statement: "I like to play sports where the rules don't make mathematical sense."
How to Spot These People in Line: These people will usually have a crazed look in their eyes, and will be administering personality tests. In these ways, it can be quite difficult to tell them apart from Scientologists.
Harry Potter is truly an amazing and wondrous world. But it should be enjoyed responsibly: Don't let the line between Hogwarts and reality get blurry. That's like getting stuck in the wall at Platform 9 3/4. Except it's nothing like that, because we're talking about real life.