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Welcome to The Hidden Gem, a production of I Heart Radio and Grim Greyman Mild from Aaron Manque. Some of you may know that I am an attorney by profession and spent most of my legal career doing immigration and civil rights work, well, you may not know is that my legal work eventually led to working briefly for about six years in national security policy. Now, that's another story to tell. But suffice it to say that work connected me to experts across the field, military and defense folks, policy wonks and government and think tanks, homeland security officials, diplomats, social media executives, researchers, academics, community and social workers.
Let's just say it was a broad reaching and deeply interesting work. Now, many of these connections were virtual, which is pretty common these days. So I was excited at one point to be invited to present at a conference where I would meet some of these folks in person finally. And one of those people I was looking forward to meeting was a national security expert and former intelligence operative from another country, someone who was pretty well respected in industry circles.
By all indications online. He was a fairly serious guy with some intense experience in the field, and he was often called upon to testify in high level hearings on national security matters.
I have been following him online for a few years and vice versa. And I was pleased when we met to find him to be pretty laid back and friendly. And on the first evening of the conference, as we mingled after dinner, I began gently asking this gentleman about something I had been curious about for a while. Years earlier, he had been involved in a controversy that involved a criminal proceeding and it seemed to still haunt his social media mentions. Every so often I remember I was holding a soda, taking sips as he began telling me about what had happened and how he and his family had gotten through it.
But nothing could have prepared me for what he was going to say. She told me that for a very long time. For years he had a group of gin, his own gin, that protected him. The details on how he got a hold of these gin and got them to do his bidding is fuzzy now, probably because I was trying to process a whole lot going on in my head. As I listened. He explained that on the day he was to testify in this highly publicized and controversial case, he was sequestered in a witness waiting room, but his jinn were able to show him what was happening in the courtroom, almost as if the walls between him and the room were the judge.
Jury and lawyers were doing their duties had disappeared. The gin had lifted the veils of the material world in order to calm him down, to reassure him that they were with him. And so he sat in the witness room, down multiple halls, able to see the proceedings before he was even called. And when the bailiff came to get him, he didn't need to be guided into the courtroom. He knew every turn down the hallway and he knew who was who before he stepped in front of the judge.
These Djenne, he said, had been with him for a few years before all of this had gone down. And they protected his life after the trial, too.
But eventually he had dismissed them, no longer needing the services.
Now, as I was standing there taking the saying, you have to understand, I had no reason not to believe this man first. Why would he, a professional with a solid reputation, share a story that could so undermine him? Second, I had seen or heard nothing about him or from him otherwise. That would make me wonder about the state of his mind or his credibility. And believe me, I had asked around finally.
I know I have my own inexplicable experiences and which I've been convinced Ajin was at the root of my troubles. So if I believe that, why wouldn't I believe this guy? Where exactly do you draw the line on what Ginne stories are too fantastical to be true? I mean, really, it's like being a little bit pregnant. You're either all in or not.
Anyhow, it did get me thinking, though, about the very nature of gin up until that point, most of the first hand stories I'd heard from people who had gin experiences were either outright frightening or at least kind of spooky. Even the stories of the far, far past, like the gin that Bill Solomon's first temple were only helpful to humans when they were being controlled against their will.
With this man, story shifted my perception a little bit about the djinn, putting aside the fact that it was a little problematic as a lawyer that they rendered the sequestration of a witness completely meaningless. These Ginne were protective of their human. They were not just there to guard him physically, but to calm him down, to take care of his emotional and mental state. The question then becomes what to make of the jinn?
What we know is that while they may be everywhere surrounding us at this very moment and that they're powerful and able to wreak all kinds of havoc on us if they want to, they mostly don't. They just go about their business while doing their best to steer clear of humans. And they don't even like human beings entering their space. So are they good? Are they able are they our friends or our foes? If you recall the legend of King Solomon's Gin's when they were eventually released from their bondage, they vow to be an enemy to mankind forever.
But most scholars and experts say that you can't broadly label the jinn as good or bad any more than you can with people, according to a scholar of Arabic literature. So Nilla may be Orthodox traditionalists say that people cannot understand Ajin. We're either not capable of it or we're not meant to. But why not? It would seem there not too much different than us. They feel anger, rage, happiness, lust, love. They have free will.
They marry and have children. And there are countless stories of Jinn studying alongside humans and earthly educational institutes. So it seems like they like to learn and grow just like us too. They live in families and tribes and societies, and their leaders govern peacefully but will also wage war when necessary.
The Jinn characters found an old Arab folklore are almost unnervingly human, facing the same kinds of troubles and issues we all do. I imagine Ginne spouses arguing over the bills and Djenne kids pouting over bedtime and gin, grandparents spoiling their gin grandbaby's. I think that just like people, we tend not to hear about the silent majority of the gin just living their lives.
The stories we know about the gin come from the opposite ends of the spectrum, the good ones, the helpers or the very, very bad ones. My name is Robert Chaudhury and I'll be your guide into the world of the Hidden Jinn. Welcome. While the universe may be full of gin, most of them will live their lives completely unknown to us. Some, however, we know by name because of their power or their stature in the general or their impact on human lives, and one of the most famous of the ones that are named is a jinn whose life story reflects the complicated nature of these creatures.
That gin is king somehow both a demon and st feared and loved.
The story of some haroche is thousands of years old, he's one of the seven gen kings who originally ruled the gen kingdoms called Altieri, the flyer King Shome Haroche was known to be the fastest Ginne, able to fly between physical places and dimensions faster than any unit of measurement our feeble mortal minds could ever come up with.
But there may be another reason he's called the flyer. It could be because of the speed of his vast communications network. King Schulmerich was way ahead of the social media and messaging game with a network that's been compared to a river with thousands of tributaries and each tributary branching into tens of thousands of smaller ones.
The river itself, a legion of jinn that report back to him and each of these Ginne with a legion of their own and those Ginne with a legion of their own, all set up so that somehow ruched not only knows what is happening in every part of the world, his world and ours, but he knows it virtually instantly. How's that for a grapevine? The name Shubha itself means the usher, a moniker he may have gotten because it's believed that while he might have been a king, he still did serve more powerful masters.
And so the Usher King Shome Haroche stood guard at one of the entrances to Satan's Palace and was directly in the service of the son of Satan, Prince Mora. Clearly, this king had allegiances to dark forces, I mean, like he was tight with the worst of them, but it seems like he eventually saw the light. His legend predates Islam and Christianity, but it said that once Jesus came along, somehow Rush apparently became a Christian. And six centuries later, he met the Prophet Muhammad, prompting him to then become a Muslim.
Not only did he become a Muslim, though, he became a God, a judge of Islamic law, presumably presiding over matters of religion in the Jinn world. That's what ultimately landed him the reputation of being a saint. Long before he became a Christian or a Muslim, even before these religions existed, actually some haroche was revered. We know this because almost 2400 metres high up in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, there stands a massive rock painted white with a green and white flag flying from its summit.
It's not just any old rock. It's a shrine to King Shubha dating back thousands of years. And throughout the history of that shrine, seekers in need of help have flocked to it, making pilgrimages to ask the gin's favor and granting their wishes. And they still do, by the way.
Eventually, though, when Islam did spread to the region about thirteen hundred years ago, a mosque was installed next to the shrine. But the rock that forms the shrine is so big that it dwarfs the humble little mosque. The earth itself is hollowed out beneath the rock, and some say it's a mausoleum that once held the remains of the great John King himself. Now, it's not clear when or how somehow Russia went from guarding Satan's Palace to being venerated at a shrine, and it's also not clear if he's dead or alive.
As I mentioned, some think the shrine is where the king is laid to rest, but others believe he's still very much alive and takes care of those who seek him out. One of the signs that he's still around is that food and water magically appear to pilgrims as they journey to his shrine, as befits his reputation for hospitality and benevolence somehow. His story is remarkable and that it means a jinn, very much like humans, have a capacity for new beginnings.
Even the most evil of them can turn their lives around. It's quite a redemption story if you ask me, and it confirms the theory that Jinn aren't fundamentally good or bad. Most, as I said earlier, just quietly stay in their lanes, living their lives and leaving us alone. But there are many stories of djinn entering our world when they want something from it, and no, I don't mean to hunt and possess and torture us. In fact, you'd be surprised at how ordinary their interests are.
If you've loved listening to the Hidden Gem podcast, you will love welcoming Halloween this year with the very first The Hidden in Live show, a virtual event hosted by me, Rabia Chaudry, on Friday, October 30th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
That night, you can turn down the lights, get cozy with your favorite blanket and join me for fascinating and hair raising. New Djenne stories, a surprise guest and the opportunity to ask the questions you've been dying to, all while connecting with hundreds of other fans and listeners.
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Who says Halloween will be no fun this year. This is the year the gin joined the festivities.
So get your tickets at new media touring dotcom and check out the hidden gems. Social media accounts for more information and links to purchase. In the book, Legends of the Fire Spirits, author Robert Liebling relays a contemporary story from a young Bangladeshi woman about her time as a college student at the University of TACA. The woman isn't named, but for the sake of the story, will call her Maria.
In the fall of 1995, Maria had moved onto the campus and into a dorm where she was assigned a roommate named Lucy. There was something, however, about Lucy that wasn't quite right.
Lucy was beautiful in an extraordinary way. She had exceedingly bright eyes, a big welcoming smile, a dimple and a mole on her left cheek. And she was tall with long, dark hair. Her beauty said Maria, was unparallelled. She wasn't just lovely on the outside, though, she was incredibly kind, loving, amiable and simply good. The two young women quickly became close friends, sharing secrets and confiding in each other and said, Maria, I could not but love her, and I'm sure that she loved me the same over the course of the next few months.
Maria noticed that Lucy would do inexplicable things like finish tasks and work faster than humanly possible. One night, Lucy went to visit another student and Maria waited up for her, knowing that she didn't have a key to the room. But eventually Maria got sleepy, so she decided she would just lock the dorm door and get up to open it. When Lucy returned and knocked, so she fell asleep. But when she woke up a few hours later, she found Lucy in the room with her.
Maria demanded to know how she got into the room because she knew without a doubt that she had locked it, Pelusi assured her that, no, the door was open when she got back. Maybe she said Maria was so drowsy that she imagined she had locked the door. Maria was sure that was not possible, and yet she had no other explanation for what had happened. The next day, though, everything became clear. It was Lucy's birthday on December 13th, so on the night of December 12th, Maria wanted to surprise her exactly at midnight with a necklace she had bought for her friend.
As the clock approached 12 a.m., Lucy sat down in front of the shared dresser, brushing her hair, preparing for bed. Maria pulled out the gift and stood behind her roommate, wishing her a happy birthday as she latched the necklace around Lucy's neck. Maria looked up into the mirror to see how the necklace looked on her friend and to her shock and horror, the mirror held no reflection of Lucy at all. There was just a necklace suspended by itself, an air.
Maria screamed and fainted, and when she came to, she was surrounded by other girls living in the dormitory who had heard the scream. Lucy, however, was nowhere to be seen, and in fact, she would never be seen again. Maria was so shaken by all of this that she left school and returned home for a few months not wanting to return to the university. Over time, though, she felt guilt and regret, she remembered how wonderful Lucy was and what a great friend she had been and realized that her terrified reaction had driven Lucy away because others told her that Lucy was probably a jinn who had taken human form to study at the university.
And it could have been that after a few months with Maria, Lucy thought they were close enough to reveal her secret to her roommate, but instead it had backfired and Lucy had to quickly disappear. Maria eventually returned to the campus and was assigned a new roommate, a girl named many, many was like Lucy, beautiful, although she didn't exactly look like her until she smiled, a smile that seemed oddly familiar. And that's when Maria noticed on Minnie's left cheek a dimple and a mole.
Lucy story doesn't come as much of a surprise to me, I've actually heard firsthand accounts by people, people I trust who are certain that some student or another they studied with years earlier was Ajin. It seems to be a rather common theme. The Gend entering the human realm to study, though to be honest, I do have questions about their registration process, transcripts and finances, parent teacher conferences and all, but maybe I'm thinking too much into it.
It may seem odd that the Djinn would want to go to human schools, but it said that one of the ways a gene could increase their rank or power is through more knowledge. I mean, even we know that knowledge is power and gaining knowledge is so important to someone. They not only enter our worlds to study alongside us, they also study the ancient texts of the past to grow ever more powerful. A legend relaid with a 19th century mystic, Madame Helena Blavatsky and her occult classic ISIS unveiled tells of an ancient, petrified and buried city where the jinn pursue their studies.
The city referred to is the three thousand five hundred year old Echemendia, today known as Alush Mundane, located in middle Egypt and rumored to once be filled with the petrified bodies of men, women and children. Echemendia is found near the ruins of a vast and well-known necropolis. This city of the dead is Herma Palace, which was once the opulent centre of the cult of the pagan deity of learning and scribes both known to the Greeks as Ermes. Archaeologists have uncovered a labyrinth of streets and catacombs and ruins related to the Temple of Thode.
But here, the ground underneath your feet contains not only thousands of catacombs holding the mummified bodies of people and animals. According to Madame Blavatsky, there are also vast subterranean galleries filled with millions of manuscripts and scrolls, hidden archives holding the ancient writings of the God believed to be the inventor of writing itself. And while the ruins stand lonely and unoccupied during the day, according to Madame Blavatsky, everything changes at night for no amount of money with the Arabs go near it at night, they say.
From the crevices of the desolate ruins sunk deep in the unwatered sands of the desert stream, the rays of lights carried to and fro in the galleries by no human hands. The Ifrit did study the literature of the Andalusian ages, and the jinn learned from the magic rolls the lesson of the following day.
So yeah, the jinn definitely know the value of education and knowledge. These tales also provide us with a different and fascinating insight when it comes to how the agency themselves in relation to humans. And that's this. They may be so much more powerful than us in many ways with supernatural abilities we don't have, but we know things they don't. They may live thousands of years more than us and witness events that we never could. And yet they lack something we have and they know it, which might be why, according to all the Abrahamic faith traditions, at least mankind made of mere flesh and blood is God's most superior creation.
And that's not just me saying that's according to God himself. Human beings are superior to the angels and yes to the jinn for sure. That could rub someone the wrong way. And then, of course, remember, the jinn were here before us thousands of years, at least before then we came along and took over the Earth Gods new favorite children early on, though, it might not have bothered them too much because well before the advent of the Abrahamic religions, people not only believed in the jinn, but they worshipped them in ancient times.
Scholars believe that the early divinities worshipped by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Acadians thousands of years ago were Djenne deities. But the advent of monotheism turn people away from Ginne idolatry, further enraging them. Tolerating humans wasn't so bad as long as Ajin felt in some way superior to them. And then even that was taken away from them. According to the authors of the book, The Vengeful Gene, there's a long history of perceived indignities and injustices the jinn have had to bear because of humans, and many of them have felt deeply wronged ever since we arrived on the scene and took it over.
The jinn who once occupied this world now seek to reclaim it back from us. And if they can't have it back, they'll at least make our lives miserable for it. Some men get their kicks by playing harmless pranks on people, disappearing objects, moving things around, playing with our heads, nothing malicious, but sometimes a way to let a person know that they're around. But one of the ways they exert actual power over people power that can be used to harm is through shapeshifting, continuously deceiving our eyes while at the same time enticing us to them.
It was a fascinating ancient story relayed by the scholar Ameerah Olson in her book Islam, Arabs and the Intelligent World of the Djinn that illustrates how the jinn go about their vengeance. In the story, a jinn named Abu Faraj recounts his days on Earth to a man who was interrogating him about his life. Hadra to begins by explaining how the gin and mankind have been gifted different things, man, he says, has the gift of Strategem and the gin have the gift of power.
I have suffered evil from men and they from me, the children of Adam, were able to me and I likewise treated them once I entered into their world wanting to sleep with one of their maids. And I changed my shape into the form of a field rat. And the cats chased me. And when they got me, a shape shifted into a striped serpent and slink into a tree stump. But they uncovered me. I followed along the timber's plank, and while they were wondering where I was, I went to the Virgin who was under a mosquito net.
And when she saw me, the fear hit her that her family gathered around her from all sides and brought exorcists and called doctors. And they made every effort to revive her. But I did not respond. I clutched to her tightly, and when death hit her, I sought to replace her by another. Then another, then another. I Raj killed the woman that he saw the Virgin. Yes, I know it's always a virgin somehow, but he wasn't satisfied.
His rage against mankind was so deep that he killed another and another and another.
The story ends an interesting way, though, the djinn confesses that he stopped killing young women when he saw the light of God and repented, his sins, he says, were now forgiven. This story was originally penned by the blind 10th century Syrian poet and philosopher Abu al-Masri, who wrote it in response to a topic of hot debate in that era, whether Djenne were good or evil and whether they could make it to paradise after dying.
The way that al-Marri wrote it, the djinn, Abu Faraj was telling his story from where he sat for eternity at the mouth of a cave in paradise.
So it seems the jinn like man can find their way to heaven, a rather powerful redemption story, given the many lives this gin had taken lives of young women that apparently had done nothing to deserve the ire of this gin.
But that's not always the case, though, while there are times Ajin may choose their victim arbitrarily, more often than not there is some specific reason A will attack a person.
Provoking them on purpose or not is one sure way to draw their vengeance.
In traditional Arab culture, it was forbidden to casually cast a stone or a fruit pit into the open or throw water out of a window or drive stakes into the ground for fear of hurting a jinn without meaning to and particular care should be taken not to harm or encroach on places that the jinn might live, like forests and caves and lakes. Premodern Persian TECs warned not to set wildfires or to throw waste into bodies of water or trash in the desert because you might inadvertently be destroying a gin's home.
And I can't help but note it's also some great advice to keep the planet green and clean. So the next time you find yourself about to chuck some trash in the woods, you might want to rethink it. Just because you think no one can see you and no one lives there anyway doesn't mean it's true.
And that's as good as any reason not to litter. You also never want to strike an animal, especially a black one first, because it's simply a terrible thing to do, but also because that could very well be agent in disguise. And doing something like that could very well turn an otherwise neutral gene into your enemy, an enemy that is able to mentally and physically torment you, make you sick, possess you, even kill you, although it's said that only the most evil of them go to those lengths.
But perhaps one of the most frightening things that Gin can do to humans is abduct them and carry them off into their own world. Stories of gin abductions stretched back to the Middle Ages. And there are a number of reasons people believe the abductions take place. Sometimes a jinn will kidnap someone they've become obsessed with.
Sometimes a person is dragged into their world to stand trial for an offense they committed against a gin and sometimes the gin snatch of young children or babies never to be seen again. Unless, of course, they leave a changeling, a gin baby in exchange for a human baby. Not everyone disappears forever, though, some return, and interestingly, the accounts of those who claim to have been kidnapped by Djinn in the centuries past are often very similar to modern accounts of those claiming to have been abducted by aliens.
The reason I think this is the most frightening possibility of all and the worst thing a gene could do to a human is because, well, no one will ever know what happened to their loved one. A missing person, a missing child leaves open a gaping wound forever, a black hole of uncertainty and fear for those left behind.
Death in many ways is much easier to cope with. Now, the most common in human relationship that most of us have heard about is the classic genie that grants three wishes scenario. Someone finds an object imprisoning a gin and the gin bargain's for their freedom or sometimes rewards it by granting a series of wishes. It might seem like a pretty innocuous setup, a straight deal, something that seems pretty appealing. In fact, I mean, I know as a kid I rub plenty of old bottles hoping to gin would pop out and be under my command and control.
What I didn't know is that in most cases, the gin are never under your command and control. Not completely. Remember, they have free will and they use that will to outwit even their liberators. No story about a gin granting wishes ever ends happily in the book The Vengeful Gin, the author's note that when asked to grant a wish, the gin themselves will often warn the unsuspecting human that they may not be happy with the consequences of their wish.
First of all, say the writers, the gin might be emerging from their captivity after thousands of years bitter, resentful, full of rage, rage against mankind for imprisoning them. And while they may or may not be essentially evil, their experience has made them so. That's why, no matter how carefully a wish is worded, a gin will find a way to outwit their liberator by granting the wish in a way that brings the person a lot of harm or pain.
Oftentimes in these stories, the person will regret their wishes and try to use the last of them to undo the earlier ones. Interestingly, a similar dynamic exists in Irish folklore with fairies. And as I've noted previously, many people consider fairies to be a kind of gin. A common theme in these stories is fairy brides who grant their human husbands all sorts of wishes, but with conditions. If any of these conditions are broken, even if it's years and decades later, everything will disappear into fairyland.
The husband will not just lose everything he gained through his wishes, but he'll lose his fairy bride to. Another common theme in fairy stories is that they'll put arbitrary conditions on someone they've granted a wish to. For example, telling the human not to look back as they walk away or not to look at whatever object they were granted until they get home. Of course, there's nothing like a restrictive condition that compels a human being to do exactly what they were told not to.
And as soon as they break the condition, poof, the prize disappears. Which brings us back to our original question. What to make of the djinn? Are they our friends or our foes? Suffice it to say that according to the experts, including the famed 13th century theologian Ibn Tamiya, the Jinn are generally, quote, ignorant, untruthful, oppressive and treacherous. They're never, ever to be trusted. They lie, make false promises. They break, are vindictive and they are master deceivers.
Their power may have limits, but in many ways we are no match for them. Even when we think we can control them. It's only for a matter of time. And remember, time is on their side, not ours. If everything has its yáng, then the jinn are ours. Their fire to our earth, fighting for the same space on this planet. It seems in many ways we are and will forever be pitted against each other. Both creatures wielding the most dangerous weapon of them all free will.
Thanks for joining us this week. Next week, we'll be back to take you into another step into the world of the jinn. Until then, remember, we are not alone. If you loved today's episode, I'm going to ask you a big favor, please stop by iTunes and leave me a rating and a review, even if it's just one short sentence.
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And remember, Gin is spelled DJI and that's where you go to find an amazing series of interviews between me scholars, experts, art historians and everyday lay people who have had extraordinary experiences with Gine. And everybody can check out the first episode absolutely free. It's me and my husband sharing our stories and it was a lot of fun. And if you have any Djenne stories, well, I'd love to hear from you. Email me at the hidden Ginne at Gmail dot com.
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The Hidden Gem is a production of I Heart Radio and Greyman mile from Aaron Manque. The podcast is written and hosted by Robert Choudhry and produced by Miranda Hawkins and Trevor Young with executive producers Aaron Manque, Alex Williams and Matt Frederich. Music for the show was provided by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Our theme song was created by Patrick Cortez. For more podcast from My Heart Radio, visit the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.