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June 11, 2021 39 min

In this episode, you’ll meet Jennis, a young American woman who grew up in Middle America.

She chose to challenge the conventions of the 1940s by holding a sit-in to protest her university’s policy of not allowing women to study Japanese. WW 2 was underway and she wanted to help the war effort in a way that would maximise her contributions. She won her fight and learned Japanese.

After being vetted, she was recruited and trained by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to become an espionage agent in India, Burma and Ceylon.

Episodes include war-related content that some listeners may find disturbing and/or traumatizing. This content includes graphic references to sexual assault and suicide.

Episode Details

Episode Name
Podcast Episode #08
Created by: Diane Greig
Produced by: Robert Ouimet
Runs: 39:45


Host and Writer: Diane Greig
Edie: Tanja Dixon-Warren
Casting Director: Eileen Barrett
Producer: Robert Ouimet
Sound engineer: Matt James and Scott Whittaker

Show Notes

  • Visiting temples in India
  • How Jennis’s espionage experience was so different than the other women
  • How Diane’s journey unfolded after doing the research
  • Jennis: Growing up in Kansas
  • Two degrees, but still not allowed to study Japanese at university because she was a woman
  • A one-person sit-in at the classroom finally wins the day
  • Recruited by the OSS after learning Japanese
  • Translating Japanese documents, newspapers and confiscated articles
  • Sent to India, doing research and analysis
  • Travelling and learning Hindi, moving in with an Indian family
  • Meeting Gandhi
  • Fascinated by Satyagraha, becoming “violently non-violent”
  • Using Satyagraha to diffuse a dangerous personal situation
  • Back in the US after the war, a PhD and a life long love and study of India
  • Links and Resources

    Jung psychology
    Review: The Evolutionary Journey of Woman: From the Goddess to Integral Feminism by Sarah Nicholson
    The Heroine Journeys Project

    A Largely Indian Victory in World War II, Mostly Forgotten in India (NY Times article, pay wall)
    Strategic Operations Executive in India
    Secret Agents, Secret Armies: The Short Happy Life of the OSS
    The Burma Campaign
    The Bizarre Ways America’s First Spy Agency Tried to Overthrow Hitler
    The Women Whose Secret Work Helped Win World War II (NY Times article, pay wall)

    All Episodes in this Series

    Episode 8: Heroine’s Journey

    Episode 7: Embodiment

    Episode 6: Madonnas

    Episode 5: Sisterhood

    Episode 4: Shadow Projections

    Episode 3: Propaganda

    Episode 2: Spy Craft

    Episode 1: Service Zero


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