Modern day magicians are a common thing here in America. They even get their own TV programs and multi-million dollar Las Vegas shows like Criss Angel where they can display their magic tricks to the people who flock to these performances just to see if they can be fooled. Most of them get their money's worth.
Today in America, magic is the preferred method to manage our whole society. I guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander. A big magic trick, that works best at fooling people into government submission, rather than forcing them by burning them alive or cutting their heads off.
This current atmosphere of acceptance in the U.S. for magicians is actually a new phase in human history, because there was a time not long ago where anyone accused of practicing magic would be persecuted, tortured and killed. Many people do not know that there was a period in time where witch hunts in Europe and North America were a common practice during the 17th and 18th centuries and especially in American colonies such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Haven. About eighty people were accused of practising witchcraft in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1648-1663. Thirteen women and two men were executed. The Salem witch trials followed in 1692–3, culminating in the executions of 19 people. It is said that tens of thousands of suspected magicians and or witches were killed during these dark times. (Wikipedia)
Fortunately, since we live in a society now operated by the Rule of Law and not the rule of the jungle or the mad mob with torches, these killings simply do not happen here in the states anymore. But let me please warn you, that if you plan to visit other countries and you are somewhat of a backyard magician, you better not bring your deck of magic cards or that lucky rabbit's foot, because these same items will get you beheaded in countries like Saudi Arabia and burned by your fellow villagers in Africa.
In Kenya, the burning of magicians is a common occurrence. There are several viral videos on Youtube, of villagers burning people alive in front of the whole village as these killings are captured on a modern cell phone video camera. Here are a couple videos below that show this capital punishment. If you have a weak stomach or do not wish to see this horrific act, then I suggest you skip these videos and just take my word.
In this video below, 11 people were attacked and burned alive for being accused of witchcraft. Please keep in mind there are no judges or juries here. Just accusations and religious emotional fervor backed by very little evidence.
This video is also from Kenya, and it doesn't look like these unfortunate people got a fair trial or one at all.
In the Atlantic today, there was a story about this very subject titled, "Saudi Arabia's War on Witchcraft: A special unit of the religious police pursues magical crime aggressively, and the convicted face death sentences."
The Saudi government's obsession with the criminalization of the dark arts reached a new level in 2009, when it created and formalized a special "Anti-Witchcraft Unit" to educate the public about the evils of sorcery, investigate alleged witches, neutralize their cursed paraphernalia, and disarm their spells. Saudi citizens are also urged to use a hotline on the CPVPV website to report any magical misdeeds to local officials, according to the Jerusalem Post.
According to a director of the religious police's witchcraft division in Riyadh, the unit provides confidentiality to informants. "We deal with sorcerers in a special way. No one should think that we mention the name of whomever files a report about sorcery," Sheikh Adel Faqih told the Saudi Gazette. In 2009 alone, at least 118 people were charged with "practicing magic" or "using the book of Allah in a derogatory manner" in the province of Makkah, the country's most populous region.
Faqih also claimed that the process of arresting someone for crimes of magic involved more than just receiving a tip from a neighbor or employer. A formal investigation would be pursued, and "information must be collected before an arrest can be made." What sort of information do they need? The answer was unsurprisingly vague and innocuous: if the suspect sought to purchase "an animal with certain features." For example, "he asks for a sheep to be killed without mentioning Allah's name and asks to stain the body with the animal's blood or if he asks for similar unusual things."
By 2011, the unit had created a total of nine witchcraft-fighting bureaus in cities across the country, according to Arab News, and had "achieved remarkable success" in processing 586 cases of magical crime, the majority of which were foreign domestic workers from Africa and Indonesia. Then, last year, the government announced that it was expanding its battle against magic further, scapegoating witches as the source of both religious and social instability in the country. The move would mean new training courses for its agents, a more powerful infrastructural backbone capable of passing intelligence across provinces, and more raids. The force booked 215 sorcerers in 2012.
There are many countries such as Saudi Arabia and villages that still maintain draconian measures against any and all magicians or witch craft. Just imagine how this was a common practice not so long ago in Europe and America. Sometimes, George Bush's New World Order under the Rule of Law doesn't sound like too bad of an idea at all. Especially when much of the world operates under the rule of the jungle.
Fortunately here in the U.S., no one can top the hat of the king magicians behind the strings of the powers that be, which in turn makes our country one big magic trick from 1776 to only God knows when, or maybe just until the fat lady sings as she pulls down her veil from the eyes of the people who all seem to love a good magic show.