Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hexing on Facebook

The chairman of Malaysia's Islamic Medicine Association recently warned people not to post their pictures online at social media sites like Facebook, because those photographs could allow unscrupulous magicians to cast spells upon them.

Users of social media sites should not post their pictures online as they could be used for witchcraft, said Kelantan Darussyifa' Islamic Medicine Association chairman Zaki Ya.

He said that djin (spirits) are able to “connect” with humans through the Internet, including Facebook, Sinar Harian reported.

While this is technically accurate whenever photos are involved, in my experience there aren't that many capable magicians out there casting spells on random Facebook users. Even if there were, digital photographs are pretty weak as magical links go. A regular photograph that has captured waves of light bouncing off a subject can act as both a similarity link and a contagion link, while a digital photograph has to operate on similarity alone because there's no direct connection when the image consists of pure information.

“Once, I treated someone who became delirious because a spell had been cast on him while he was surfing the Internet,” said Zaki.

“A few days ago, I received an SMS from a father asking me to help his son who refused to go to school.

“The father suspected that his son had been influenced by a djin over the Internet,” he said when met at the USM Traditional Islamic Medicine Clinic in Penang.

He said the boy would create a fuss every time his parents forbade him from using the Internet and would even threaten to kill himself.

See, to me this last case doesn't sound like possession or anything remotely similar. It sounds like the kid is just a brat, and the fact is that children are perfectly capable of behaving badly even when they're not being attacked by spirits. My three-year-old sometimes throws tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants, but I expect her to grow out of it soon. If this boy is using the Internet I'm guessing that he's substantially older and never did.

UPDATE: Jack has more on digital links, and how you can go about blocking or shielding yourself from them. Jason has a related post up as well.

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John said...

And, it needs to be asked but are there ways to increase the strength of a link without it being exposed to a target?

J.C. said...

Wow. I'll have to find a reason to use that excuse. Maybe if I ever get pulled over for and the cop asks me why I did such and such I could respond that I was possessed by a malevolent Jinn while using Facebook.

My goodness the fear tactics.

Ananael Qaa said...

@John: Similarity links operate on the morphic resonance principle. Probably the top expert in that area is British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, who came out with a new book on the phenomenon in 2009. It hasn't made it to the top of my reading list yet, but I would guess there would be some possible methods you could deduce from his research.

In my own experience as a magician, the key is to use an image that looks as much like the target as possible at the moment you are trying to influence them. So, for example, more recent photos are almost always going to work better than older ones. You can also take the brute force approach and do more "energy raising" type work, since that can help overcome a weak link.

@J.C.: Tell me about it. "Hey man, back off! I was possessed by a Djinn on Facebook! That's why I did it!" Silliness abounds there.

Mister Li Liu said...

Actually, only a Polaroid photograph (do they even make those anymore?) has an image made by direct contact between photo paper and the photons bouncing off the subject of the image. Other film-type cameras create a negative, from which the actual photo is made. The negative was in direct contact, but the photo is once removed. (I guess tintypes would also be the result of direct contact, but how often do you encounter those?)

Ananael Qaa said...

Yes, and Polaroids are the best and strongest photographic links in the world because of that. Polaroid cameras are fundamentally awesome in this way, and every magician should own one for the express purpose of creating strong magical links.

However, even using a negative you still have a contagion link that you lack with a digital photo. Contagion links operate by the principle of particle entanglement, which can be initiated by means of photon interaction. So the negative has a 1-step entangled link to the subject, and the photo itself has another 1-step entangled link to the negative.

That means it's two steps to the target where you only have one with a Polaroid. However, because light beams are involved in both the taking and printing of standard photos the entanglement can nonetheless be maintained throughout the process in a meaningful magical sense.

Gorizza said...

I would imagine that anybody who has achieved that level (to be able to influence someone through digital pics) would not be wasting his energy on random Facebook users.
I wouldn't worry about any djin... What concerns me more is the web's addictive quality. And the fact that I read fewer books now than I used to - before I got my internet connection... as if my brain's been rewired. :(

Ananael Qaa said...

Yeah, I also would imagine that there aren't a lot of accomplished magicians out there casting at Facebook. I mean, what would be the point? Just the fact that something is possible doesn't make it common.

I've never found the web all that "addictive" personally (which, I know, sounds funny coming from a blogger who's been doing it for five years) but I know that my experience is far from universal. I'm rather skeptical of the whole "behavioral addiction" idea, but it is true that the instantaneous nature of online media can be quite reinforcing from a behaviorist standpoint.

For me, computers have been part of my life since I was a small child. I first learned to program when I was 8 years old and spent my teen years on computer bulletin boards before the commercial Internet even existed. So any brain wiring I have as far as the digital world goes was organized pretty early in my life. As a result, it's hard for me to say what those changes might have been.

John said...

@Augoeides. Ok thanks, last question how about voices recorded? Are they weak because they are merely similarity links?

Ananael Qaa said...

@John: I've never tried that myself, but that's what I would expect. A voice would not be entangled with its source. On the other hand, it might be a good similarity link because generally peoples' voices change a lot less in their day-to-day lives than their appearances do.

Also, keep in mind that not every magician agrees with my assessments of the relative strengths of various links. Peter Carroll, for example, once wrote that he would much rather use a strong visualization of a target rather than more traditional links like hair or fingernail clippings. A visualization is a similarity link, while hair or clippings are contagion links. The nice thing about a link like a Polaroid is that it combines both.