Three boys become apprentices of a famous magician. One boy becomes a successful and famous magician in his own right, succeeding his master, bringing joy to a world in need of it. One boy becomes a master criminal, using his skills to swindle fortunes from the gullible and buy protection from the authorities by swindling their secrets. One boy becomes a master inquisitor, using his skills to expose fraud and heresy, destroying their names before ending their lives.
What is common between them? All of them learned, at an early age, on the truth about the truth and how Mankind deals with it- in short, on what perception is, and how "magic" is really the manipulation of perception to create illusions and enchant others in order to pursue your goals. Why? Because Mankind is not a rational species, just a rationalizing one, and as such showmanship as part of a larger array of Rhetorical techniques is reliably effective.
The world that is, like it or not, is a world that is run by the management of perception. This is not new; it's ancient, and as such a lot of the "secret societies" teachings revolve around using ritual and word-salad to obfuscate their knowledge of perception to only those they find sufficiently trustworthy to be taught that knowledge. The masters of perception sometimes become the ones on the thrones of the earth, but often are just one or two steps removed; the powers behind the thrones.
The change between then and now is the Internet. For the first time, the knowledge once hidden from the masses is freely available; men like Mark Passio give away the secret knowledge, de-occuling that known as "the occult", and more prosaically you have videos of people teaching magic tricks on YouTube. The knowledge of practical techniques using perception to deceive, such as card tricks, sleight-of-hand tricks, etc. now make viable wider expansion of the principles and philosophy that make them work and give people motive to learn and master them.
I'm going to put it simply: you are wise to learn both the techniques and the means by which they work because this is how the most dangerous predators within Mankind identify prey, assess ease of predation, and go about executing their kills. Deception is key to successful predation, so knowing their ways means defending against them. Empire is the supreme predator on Mankind, so to defend against it you must know its ways; true freedom cannot come to sheep.