Christ the Magician
A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that, according to an expert epigrapher, could be engraved with the world's first known reference to Christ.
If the word "Christ" refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.
The full engraving on the bowl reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted by French epigrapher and professor emeritus Andre Bernand as meaning either, "by Christ the magician" or "the magician by Christ."
"It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic," Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology, said.
Many religious figures started out in magic, sales, illusionism and probably prostitution.
Success -- demographically -- in religion is about offering people several things:
(a) A reason not to change basic behaviors
(b) An excuse for failings
(c) An invisible enemy
(d) A reason to consider themselves morally superior
It's pure animal dynamics. You are giving them tools so they can get ahead, and disguising these tools as altruism.