Southern Demonology Podcast
JJ Johnson is no ordinary web developer. The architect of cloud infrastructures has been working in this field since 2000, but outside of his day job, he hosts the Southern Demonology Podcast, writes books about his area of expertise, and is developing an automatic translator/transliterator for Ge'ez (Classical Ethiopian). He attended Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where he fell in love with ancient languages and studied Ge’ez, Biblical Hebrew, and was in the first U.S. class to teach the Dead Sea Scrolls after they were released to the public. He graduated from undergrad with a BA in both philosophy and religion, namely Postmodern Deconstructive philosophy, and systematic theology.
JJ Johnson grew up in Slayden, Tennessee, the smallest town in the state with a population size of one hundred and thirteen. As a child, he was always fascinated by ghost stories and was the designated storyteller amongst his peers, whether they wanted to listen or not. Because he was born with a flap of skin around his tongue making him unable to talk until the age of four, he was always driven to do public speaking. After graduating from Hampden-Sydney College, he went on to Harvard Divinity School where he focused in Semitic philology, Hebrew Bible, and the #Pseudepigrapha (the collection of writings between the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament). He focused primarily upon the angelology and demonology of the Second Temple Period in addition to expanding his ancient language repertoire to include #Aramaic, #Mandaic, Old South Arabian, Old Church Slavonic, #Syriac, and #Koine Greek. He graduated with a Master of Theological Studies. Ever since grad school, he has also been a dedicated student of Japanese language and culture and continues to study #yokai (monsters) and yurei (ghosts).
JJ's coworkers encouraged him to create the Southern Demonology Podcast in April of 2017 after he told them about some of the interesting things he studied while in school. The podcast examines the angelology and demonology of the Second Temple Judaism period and explains how the ideas and concepts of that era are still present in the Abrahamic faiths today. Moreover, the podcast demonstrates how Ancient Judaism, a religion that did not have dualism, changed, and developed an enemy for God. However, the podcast doesn't end there. It also examines modern day demonology and exorcism, covering demonic obsession, oppression, and possession in detail along with protection mechanisms one can utilize to protect oneself.
Other subject matters of the podcast are horror films, showing if they were properly researched and how they could be fixed if particular areas are lacking, in addition to Japanese monsters and spirits. JJ had a particularly frightening experience with a #yurei while living in Tokyo, and so the topic is very much near and dear to his heart.
The podcast has built up quite a community and following, the primary manifestation of which is the discord server. JJ often refers to it as the "nicest paranormal community on the internet." The members enjoy Wednesday movie night were anyone interested can join in and watch a horror film and participate in group discussion afterwards. A different genre is selected each week. To date, the Exorcist, Terrified, the Visage, Deliver Us, and Dead Alive have been screened (along with bonus episodes of the Creepshow TV series).
The podcast has also partnered with Galas.fm, a Ukrainian developed web application that allows anyone to comment on or react to episodes with either their voice or through normal typing. One of the major goals of the podcast is not just to produce well-researched content to combat misinformation, but also to interact with the audience and respond to questions and concerns.