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What Do Witches Have To Do With Terrorists?

Americans have had a long fascination with witches. Popular television shows like Bewitched, Charmed, and Witches of East End (to name just a few of the many shows out there) often provide us with an enchanting escape from the mundane.

However, our fascination with witches may stem from a deeper emotional level, a feeling of powerlessness in the face of unknown threats. Emerson Baker is a history professor at Salem State University and author of “A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience.” He suggests that the current interest in witches may have been born in the aftermath of 9/11, in which Americans came to fear both an invisible, horrifying threat (unidentified terrorists on American soil) as well as the political leadership’s invasion of their rights in the name of fighting that threat.

People who hate Americans, Israelis, and all free people seem to follow no rules of human decency. They have no compunction about using terrorism against innocent civilians to make us feel powerless. I can see how many of us would “act out” these feelings in other ways, such as fixating on exotic threats like witches.

Many Americans who were not even in New York on 9/11 nonetheless were traumatized by that attack. They have pursued various courses of both medical treatment and natural healing to deal with their anxiety and find ways to cope. These conditions and treatment modalities are, of course, disclosed on life insurance applications. Interestingly, “trauma from the 9/11 attack” has become an acceptable explanation for the cause of the condition from an underwriting point of you.