By Sharon Buchbinder
March 17, 2011
It is my great pleasure to have Rosemary Ellen Guiley here with us today to chat about her work and great range of nonfiction writing in the realm of the paranormal. One of the leading experts on the paranormal with more than 45 published books on a wide range of paranormal, spiritual and mystical topics, including nine single-volume encyclopedias, Rosemary’s work has been translated into 14 languages and has approximately one million copies in print. She has worked full-time in the paranormal since 1983, researching, investigating, writing and presenting at conferences and seminars. Her work focuses on history, psychical research, folklore, metaphysics and anecdotal experiences of interdimensional entity contact.
In addition to her books, she is the consulting editor for Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena, a line of nonfiction books for the young adult market (Chelsea House/Facts On File), and is a consulting editor of FATE Magazine. Formerly, she wrote a column for TAPS Paramagazine and was a blogger for the Arts & Entertainment website Paranormal Insider. She makes numerous media appearances, and has been featured on the History, A&E, SyFy, Discovery and Travel channels. She is a frequent guest with George Noory on Coast to Coast AM, and makes regular appearances on a wide variety of paranormal and metaphysical radio shows. She is featured in documentaries and docu-dramas, and is a popular college and university campus speaker.
Rosemary also is a board director of the Paranormal Source, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization, and is a past board of director of International Association for the Study of Dreams, and a past member of the board of trustees of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research (now the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies). She consults for numerous paranormal organizations. Her website is www.visionaryliving.com. Her most recent publication with co-author Philip J. Imbrogno is The Vengeful Djinn: Unveiling the Hidden Agenda of Genies.
Out of all things paranormal, how did you become interested in the Djinn?
I became intrigued by the Djinn (“The Hidden Ones”) in the late 1980s, when I was researching angels, demons, and Solomonic magic. I came across material from “The Testament of Solomon” that described the entities enslaved by King Solomon as Djinn rather than demons. This made them key figures in the roots of the Western magical tradition, and it was clear that there was a lot more going on with them than Arabian folk tale genies. I consulted the Qur’an about them. Over the course of time, the Djinn kept crossing my research radar. The more I learned about them and their ongoing presence in the modern world, the more I saw them as fitting covertly into at least some of our paranormal activity.
When I joined research forces with ufologist and scientist Philip Imbrogno in 2008, I discovered he also had a strong interest in the Djinn, and thought the same about them as I did. We both had cases that were “unexplained” – until we fit Djinn into the equation. That’s how our book “The Vengeful Djinn” was born. The Djinn are virtually unknown to people in the West, and our book not only explains them as a complex supernatural race with an ancient history, but also demonstrates how they engage us in paranormal experiences while remaining hidden.
The Djinn figure prominently in desert lore and Arabian stories, such as “The Book of 1001 Nights.” How would you compare the Djinn with other cultural icons? Are they demons, evil ghosts or their own entities?
The Djinn are often compared to demons, because they can act in demonic ways. In Islam, their leader, Iblis, is often equated with the Devil, and his followers are called “devils.” However, they are not demons. They are their own race, and according to lore, they were created before humans and occupied the earth. The Qur’an tells that Allah told the angels to bow before Adam when he was created, and they did so, but Iblis– who was a Djinni but was in heaven among the angels – refused, claiming humans were unworthy and inferior. Iblis and the Djinn were cast out, but were granted until Judgment Day to prove their case. They live in what we would call a parallel dimension to this world. Some of them torment humans for revenge, and would like to reclaim this world as their own.
But not all Djinn are bad. We tend to assign uniformity to spirits and other beings – all angels are good, all demons are bad, etc. – but that is far from the case, and that applies to Djinn, too. Some Djinn bear us no ill will and want nothing to do with us. Some are fascinated by us and want to hang around for vicarious thrills. Some do not like us and act out against us.
There is a significant body of literature that speaks to Djinn-induced illnesses and the casting out of deviant Djinn. How does that compare to other cultures’ ideas of possession and exorcisms?
The concepts of possession and entity-caused illness are universal, and every culture has its own methods for remedies. Long before the Djinn were absorbed into Islam, they existed in ancient Persian, Arabian and Middle Eastern lore as beings who were feared, and who could possess humans and bring illness and bad luck. Exorcism techniques were developed; however, Qur’anic commentaries note that the Djinn do what they want if they are powerful enough, and can resist attempts to get rid of them. Sometimes it takes a Djinni to get rid of a Djinni. There are exorcisms for summoning heavy duty Djinn to dismiss lower level Djinn. Sometimes the Djinn are bargained out of possession and sometimes they are physically beaten out. Western exorcism techniques developed in Christianity assume that invoking the power of God and the name of Jesus Christ are sufficient to overcome all evil or unwanted spirits.
When you were researching this book, was there ever a time when you were afraid of the Djinn? If yes, what did you do?
I’ve had encounters with Djinn in investigations, and also as a result of writing the book. On one investigation in a remote area with no phone service, the Djinni manifested as a shadow person, and threw off a great deal of hostile energy. The unpredictability of such situations can be alarming, but it is important not to cave in to fear. Once aggressive entities know they’ve scared you, they have the upper hand. So, I told it to back off, and it did – but I had a bleeding cut on my arm that I could not explain. It was about two inches long and looked like a superficial razor slice. Did the Djinni do it or was it a by-product of transdimensional shift? I do not know. The whole evening was permeated with intense, hostile energy, and I decided to end things early. Sometimes you just have to pack up and get out.
You have to have a lot of fortitude to pursue work like this, as well as a hefty amount of respect for the entities you are dealing with. Every now and then I have dream invasion – nightmares that are entity-perpetrated, and probably an intimidation tactic. At first they were scary, but now they are annoying.
On the more benign side, I have had communications from Djinn via radio sweep real-time EVP (using a Frank’s box or ghost box as they are known), in which the Djinn simply wanted to identify themselves, and sometimes to pass warnings to beware of hostile Djinn.
What’s next on your to-do list of paranormal phenomena?
I always have multiple projects going on at once. I am finishing a book on the Ouija (I think it gets a bad and undeserved rap), and have in development new projects on the Djinn, angels, and spirit communications. I am revising my Encyclopedia of Saints. And Phil Imbrogno and I are continuing our research of dimensional portals and entity contact experiences of a wide variety.
I have a new website, Djinn Universe, www.djinnuniverse.com, a site for information and discussion about the Djinn and how they interact with us. My main website is www.visionaryliving.com. I have a blog on that site, and a place where you can sign up for my free monthly newsletter of my activities and research. Thank you Sharon!
Rosemary, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.