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I’m dining with Mr. Neurotic, on the cliff-side of his mountaintop mansion, I tell him, “I had a million-dollar offer from the Middle East to control oil money in private games.” 

Mr. Neurotic impulsively says, “Don’t take it!” He says strongly, “In a situation like that you’ll be one hundred percent used.” He leans close and adds, “Richard, do you understand what I am saying to you? One hundred percent used means they kill you when they are done with you!”  

I tell him firmly, “I know what that means…that I’d be used…That’s why I turned them down.”  

He casually says, “Those Middle East oil men own half the world,” and, for emphasis, he taps his finger on the glass covered patio table and says smugly, “and we own the other half.” He leans back in his chair and says confidently, “We can arrange to have these games take place in the States, and we’ll back you here!”  

Amused, I think to myself: “Wow, I’ll be one hundred percent used in my own country. I’ll die here!” 

Respectfully I say, “Mr. Neurotic, sir, I thank you for the many dinners, offers, and your friendship. But I am a Christian, and for me cheating is stealing, and stealing is wrong.”

“That’s no real problem,” he says, “I’m also a Christian. I’m Catholic. Just go to confession and you’re good for a week.”  

“That’s okay,” I say, shocked at the rationalization. “My home is nothing like yours, but I have a house and make enough to cover expenses with some cash left over.” 

His next words sadly sum things up. He says softly and wistfully, “At least you can sleep at night…at least you can sleep.” 

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