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You are a member of a group of magic users in a modern-day Earth. Your group has some significant number of people, but is still a stark minority of the world's population (there are about 6 million people, generally scattered throughout the world). Anybody could be born with the ability for magic; it is completely random (i.e. having two wizards for parents in no way changes the odds having a child with magical abilities). The magic you can perform is "Harry Potter"-esque.

Magic users have been around for centuries, but have had tenuous relationships with non-magic users. Indeed, in the past, whenever they've tried to reveal themselves to the general population, they've been branded heretics, hunted and killed.

However, generally speaking, there aren't really any evil magic users. Sure, you get the occasional megalomaniac, but in this magic system, any extended use of destructive magic, or magic that causes harm or pain to others, greatly weakens that person's power, and they are easily subdued. E.g., you could use magic to kill someone else, but after doing so, you lose all magical abilities for a period of time. Suffice it to say, magic users today are generally a peaceful, productive bunch.

Concerned with all the turmoil around them, your group of wizards decides it is time to reveal themselves to the world. They are convinced that their powers can be put to much greater good if they can wield them openly. However, based on historical precedence, you are also concerned by the fear and backlash that might ensue from the rest of the world.

How do you reveal yourselves in such a way that the world openly accepts your group of magic users?

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  • $\begingroup$ How convinced are they that they can do more good if the rest of the world gets out of their way? That wording is both the startings of the greatest innovators of all time, and the worst religious wars of all time. It is often hard to tell the two apart until it is quite too late. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Sep 16 '15 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ You meant 6 billion people, right? (btw the correct number is 7 anyway) $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 18 '15 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ Be aware that saying that your magic is "Harry Potter"-esque basically means that there are no laws, no predictability, anything at all can happen save a very few things. It's not a good magic system. Actually, I mean, it's not a magic system at all, it's a clueless author erupting random stuff without caring at all about any vague resemblance of sense. If there's one saga who completely lacks reality checks, it's Harry Potter itself. (it's still good for many reasons, mind!! Just, don't take it as a template for, well, anything) $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 18 '15 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ I think this depends (a lot) on how the wizards are hidden in the first place. You're talking about 1/1000th of the population, completely randomly selected. What prevents all these fledgling wizards from revealing themselves? At least in HP, it was a smaller percentage , and more likely to pass on magic within the family, so you didn't have to cover up as many Muggle-borns. $\endgroup$ – Geobits Sep 18 '15 at 16:24
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Use a stage show.

There are plenty of modern magicians on Earth today. We typically call them illusionists, since they practice illusions through the use of sleight of hand tricks. We don't consider these endeavors real magic because we've long been told they aren't magic -- and there have been plenty of anti-magicians who enjoy or make a living debunking the tricks of the illusionists.

I would suggest doing something similar to the reverse of what happened in Now You See Me. Use a magic act as a vaulting point for budding magicians. But, instead of illusions done through sleight of hand, performers use real magic. After some time has passed, debunkers are stumped, and the people have gotten used to the magic being performed, reveal that some (all?) of what they have seen is real, and not the product of sleight of hand tricks.

Play your cards right and people will flock to the show to see the new magicians coming onto the world stage, as well as for the entertainment value. At the same time, the show gives new magicians the chance to practice their trade openly.

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  • $\begingroup$ How would you convince the audience that what they had seen was real magic and not just a really, really clever trick? If you present it as part of an illusion won't they just think that the "it's real magic!" reveal is showbiz misdirection? $\endgroup$ – KillingTime Sep 16 '15 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ Show up at skepticon.org . There you will find an audience that is very difficult to convince, but if you are doing real magic, you will find most of them will be great supporters. $\endgroup$ – user3294068 Sep 16 '15 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ @KillingTime If it were possible to definitively answer that question, we wouldn't still have people who disbelieve the moon landing. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 16 '15 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Million_Dollar_Paranormal_Challenge There'sa huge organ in the world of skeptics that are waiting for someone to prove the supernatural. Depending on how hard-science or not OP says his magic is, the people ready to believe him is really in the skeptics crowd $\endgroup$ – NachoDawg Sep 18 '15 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @KillingTime that's the point: you don't! They will do it themselves. You just do magic, people will make their own calculations. Of course, it will take some time. $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 18 '15 at 10:19
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The methods recommended by Frostfyre (revealing by performing magic with actual magic) and Michael are very workable solutions.

But can we say that any solution will work considering that for centuries (and probably since wizards existed), wizards were branded heretics and killed whenever they've tried to reveal themselves to the general population? There is often reason in why wizards have not revealed their powers; wizards can continue to live together with others without openly revealing their powers and if necessary, they can use it to improve the world without openly showing it to others.

Still, since we are adamant on revealing ourselves...

Other feasible solutions / methods / approaches (in order of possible effectiveness)

Run for parliament

Considering the manipulative powers that wizards have, it is not difficult for a group of wizards to run for parliament and win the elections without openly revealing their powers. From their seat of power, they can slowly introduce acceptance of wizards into the country. Considering that wizardry and magic can confer a significant competitive advantage in any field, the country itself will also benefit (so this is not a completely malicious strategy) and as a result, other countries may be enticed to follow suit (and encourage more wizardry).

Set by example

If manipulating others isn't your cup of tea, it is still possible to build the wizards' influence and clout from small villages and cities. If successful, you will have an example to boast of: "wizards are peaceful and helpful to their communities". If unsuccessful, the fallout is easier to manage.

Memory changing: False Memory charms

False memory charms can be used to erase wizard prejudice, stigma and hatred and implant acceptance of wizards. Of course, this is unethical but hey, you're a wizard. You're not killing anyone and you get to make yourself (and others) happy with your magic. It's a win-win.

By pretending to save the world

Although unethical, wizards can attempt to win the trust of non-magic users by introducing monsters/demons, diseases, natural disasters etc and then proceeding to solve them when the muggles don't have any solution to them. This doesn't break the rule of "destructive magic" so long as they do not directly lead to the harm of others (I'll assume other humans).

Precautions & Fail safes

Pilot Project

As there are currently no successfully revealed wizards, it is hard to tell whether a particular strategy would work, especially considering the 100% fail rate (for centuries) up to now.

Memory Charms / False Memory Charms

Since the magic we are talking about is based on the magic in Harry Potter, if a particular method (in revealing wizards) doesn't work, memory charms can be used to make the muggles forget that the wizards even revealed themselves in such a way.

Study History and Demographics

There are centuries of data and knowledge to tell the wizards what not to do to reveal themselves.

Also, studying which communities are more likely to accept wizards before embarking on any great wizard reveal scheme will improve chances of success. For example, revealing themselves to a group of muggles that are superstitious to begin with (those that believe in the supernatural) is probably considerably safer.

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  1. Build a Hospital: Curing the incurable, regrowing lost body parts, and speeding general recovery.
  2. Build a weather control center. Hurricanes are lessened in power. Heavy rains are diverted to drought stricken areas.
  3. Make yourself invaluable to the government(s). Clairvoyance and Precognition are great resources.

All of these will have instant social capital to help offset any negative backlash.

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