Years ago, some friends invited my wife and I to the Magic Castle in Hollywood. We declined. I'm pretty sure we stayed home to snake the toilets that night. Much more pleasurable.
You know who else doesn't like magic? The entire country of Saudi Arabia. They've outlawed it. Which means Saudi Arabia could be the perfect place for me to live. Except, that in addition to witchcraft, they have an aversion to Judaism. They outlawed that too.
I ran across an article in The Atlantic, about the Saudi's fascination with witchcraft and their aggressive crackdown on Crimes of Magic. You read that correctly, Crimes of Magic, a distinctively 7th Century phrase right there on your 21st century computer, laptop or smartphone.
In fact, The Saudi's, displaying incredible enlightenment, have literally funded -- presumably with revenue from our oil purchases -- a special division of the police dedicated to eradicating magic and hunting down witches.
Don't think for a moment that I am exaggerating.
You see "practicing magic and sorcery is a desecration of the Holy Quran." And I think we all know how important that Quran book is.
One crazy Florida preacher burns a Quran and millions of its followers take to the streets. Of course when the Syrian government, supposedly a Quran-loving people kills 100,000 other Quran-loving people, we don't hear a peep.
But how can I make sense of Islamic logic when one senior cleric, working hand in hand with the Magic Police states, "some magicians may ride a broom and fly in the air with the help of supernatural beings."
It's a remarkable article. And I urge you to read it. It will give you a better understanding of Saudi Arabia and it will shed light on why peace in that area of the world is so elusive.
That aside, we all know journalism today is not what journalism used to be.
So I dug deeper into this story and found what the reporters at The Atlantic didn't.
An actual training film used by Saudi Law Enforcement: