Saturday, June 16, 2012


The My Lai massacre, which took place on the morning of March 16, 1968, was a watershed in the history of modern American combat, and a turning point in the public perception of the Vietnam War.

In the course of three hours more than 500 Vietnamese civilians were killed in cold blood at the hands of US troops. The soldiers had been on a "search and destroy" mission to root out communist fighters in what was fertile Viet Cong territory.

Yet there had been no firefight with the enemy - not a single shot was fired at the soldiers of Charlie Company, a unit of the Americal Division's 11th Infantry Brigade.

The 48th Viet Cong Battalion - the intended target of the mission - was nowhere to be seen.

When the story of My Lai was exposed, more than a year later, it tarnished the name of the US army. Most Americans did not want to believe that their revered GI Joe could be a wanton murderer.

My Lai was the sort of atrocity American patriots preferred to associate with the Nazis.

Charlie Company

Charlie Company had arrived in Vietnam three months before the My Lai massacre.

By then the US - fighting alongside the South Vietnamese army - was deeply entrenched in war against North Vietnam's communist forces. The United States's had deployed nearly 500,000 soldiers in Vietnam, a commitment which cost it $2 bn every month.

In January 1968 the Viet Cong guerrillas and the regular North Vietnamese Army launched a joint attack on US positions, known as the Tet Offensive. Washington maintained it could win the war, but on the ground morale among its troops was low.

Charlie Company was down to 105 men by mid-March of that year. It had suffered 28 casualties, including five dead. Some of its soldiers had already begun to drift towards brutal tactics for which they appeared to enjoy impunity.

My Lai

The brief for its March 16 mission was to prise out the Viet Cong, whose elusive troops were thought to be hiding in My Lai - a hamlet of the Son My village.

Two platoons moved in shortly after 8pm in the morning, while a third held back for "mopping up" duties. Both platoons soon splintered and once the shooting started it seemed to spark a chain reaction.

Soldiers went berserk, gunning down unarmed men, women, children and babies. Families which huddled together for safety in huts or bunkers were shown no mercy. Those who emerged with hands held high were murdered.

Children survivors

Some lucky villagers survived the massacre

Some of the 120 or so soldiers opted out of the killing spree, but troop commander Lt William Calley was not one of them. In one incident, Lt Calley ordered two of his men to fire on a group of 60 civilians they had rounded up. When one refused, Calley took over and, standing 10 feet from the crowd, blazed his gun at them.

Elsewhere in the village, other atrocities were in progress. Women were gang raped; Vietnamese who had bowed to greet the Americans were beaten with fists and tortured, clubbed with rifle butts and stabbed with bayonets. Some victims were mutilated with the signature "C Company" carved into the chest.

By late morning word had got back to higher authorities and a cease-fire was ordered. My Lai was in a state of carnage. Bodies were strewn through the village. The death toll totalled 504.

Only one American was injured - a GI who had shot himself in the foot while clearing his pistol.

The Cover Up

It took more than a year for the shocking story of the My Lai massacre to reach the news stands.

Efforts had been made to cover up the atrocity from day one. Charlie Company's Captain Ernest Medina, who was on the ground at My Lai, realised that news of the events could cause trouble.

Despite witnessing at least 100 bodies, when questioned by a superior close to the scene, he maintained that between 20 and 28 civilians had been killed by gunship and artillery fire.

That was also the essence of a report submitted a month later by the commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade, Col Oran K Henderson. 20 civilians had been killed inadvertently, he claimed.

But the rumour mill, that had began turning within days of the My Lai massacre, told a very different story.

Soldier Paul Meadle

One of the soldiers in C company, Paul Meadle, admitted his part in the massacre on television
It took a combination of loose talk and a conscientious GI who harboured ambitions to become a journalist, for the allegations to reach the corridors of power back in Washington.

Ridenhour made it his mission to find out

Ronald Ridenhour, a soldier with the 11th Brigade soldier and also serving in Quang Ngai Province, was sharing a beer with members of Charlie Company when one of them started to boast of their exploits in My Lai.

Ridenhour was revolted but, from then on, made it his mission to substantiate the claims by speaking to other members of the squad.

Back in the US, he set down the allegations in a story which he posted to 30 top names in Washington. General William Westmoreland, who was in overall command of the Vietnamese operation, could not believe his men would engage in mass murder and ordered an immediate inquiry.

Evidence was amassed and the inquiry became a criminal investigation. Lt Calley, commander of the 1st platoon at My Lai, was called back to the US as a potential suspect and in September of 1969 he was charged with 109 murders.

The whitewash was about to begin.

The Whitewash

In late 1969 the grisly details of My Lai were unleashed on the public, following a report by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

Around the same time the army commissioned an investigation into the cover-up, which became known as the Peers inquiry.

More than 400 witnesses were questioned and 20,000 pages of testimony taken before the inquiry reported its findings in March 1970. Meanwhile an investigation by the army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) was also conducted into the crimes committed at My Lai.

Lt Calley

The Peers report told a comprehensive story of what had happened on March 16, 1968. The crimes had included murders by individuals and groups, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault of civilians.

The report concluded that both Col Henderson, the brigade commander, and Lt Col Frank Barker, the commanding officer of the task force, had substantial knowledge of the war crime, but did nothing about it.

The Peers inquiry recommended that charges should be brought against 28 officers and two non-commissioned officers involved in the concealment of the massacre.

Charges dismissed and accused found not guilty

But the prospect of prosecutions crumbled . Army lawyers decided only 14 officers should be charged. Only one came to court, and he was acquitted.

A similar pattern emerged in the prosecution of the ground troops who had done the killing at My Lai.

The CID report said there was evidence to charge 30 soldiers with major crimes. 17 had left the army and charges against them were quietly dropped. Elsewhere charges were dismissed or the accused found 'not guilty'.

Fort Benning

The judicial process was labelled a whitewash by those who had fought to bring the soldiers of Charlie Company to book.

In the end, Charlie company's commanding officer, Lt Calley, was the only one to be convicted. He was sentenced to life in jail but released three years later after intervention by President Richard Nixon.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Chapter 11 is now complete. Chapter 12 next month lah!

NOTE: unlike the previous chapters, this chapter is entirely fictional.

Author: AfterDark
Many thanks to: Akkuzio & energykuda

Mr.Lam got involved with the Pangs by coincidence. His son was working as junior legal assistant for a firm who assisted the Pangs to acquire a 5 acre land in Jerejak Island. Mr.Lam on the other hand was running a modest construction company. For many years before knowing the Pangs, Mr.Lam was able to secure several deals to build mainly shop lots for several development companies.

Being a good son as he was, Mr.Lam’s son informed him about the Pangs’ intention to develop the land into a resort to compete against a four star resort which had already been operating there since 2003. Mr.Lam saw this as an opportunity to expand his résumé beyond building shop lots. He was planning to impress the Pangs and hopefully at least be contracted as one of many sub-contractors that will be involved in the project.

In preparation to impress the Pangs, Mr.Lam decided to learn a little bit about the site. Since part of the land was a shore of the island, Mr.Lam figured that he and his son can take a quick look at the shore while going night fishing during the weekend.

So one Saturday night after 11.00 pm, Mr.Lam and his son were on their fishing boat moving slowly towards the shore.

Since this part of the island was totally unoccupied, the surrounding area was pitch black. It was also a bit windy that night and the moon was not in sight. At first Mr.Lam planned to go very near to the shore, but it did not take long for him to abort his plan after hearing a voice coming from the shore.

"I shouldn't have been there that night.." Mr.Lam said and then sighing in regret.

"What did you hear that night?" asked Syafiqah impatiently. I listened as Mr Lam’s story further unfold as he continued.

Mr.Lam told Syafiqah that as he was maneuvering the boat about 100 meters from the area, his son told him he had heard a sound which sounded as though someone was talking.

"What the hell was it?" Syafiqah's eyes was wide as she was waiting the reply from Mr.Lam.

"I'm not sure. At one time it sounded like some sort of animal but before that it sounded like a whisper of a woman" replied Mr.Lam as he shook his head.

Being curious as a suicidal cat, the father and son decided to move in closer to shore to investigate. All in all it was as though that part of the island was swallowed by the the dead of the night and Mr.Lam then told his son to aim their 6 volt flashlight to the bushes near the shore.

"Did you see a ghost?" Mr.Lam was opening his mouth to continue his story when Syafiqah cut in with another question again.

"Hey! Don't interrupt him!?" I scolded her.

The girl gave me the 'eyebrow' as Mr.Lam took a deep breath and continued his story.

As they flashed their flashlights towards the bushes, the darkness prevented them from seeing anything behind the bushes. So Mr.Lam decided to be pro-active.

"Is anybody there? Hulooooo.." Mr.Lam's voice boomed throughout the darkness.

Silence followed.

"Hulloooooooooo.." This time it was his son greeting the darkness.

"Shhh.. Be quiet..." Suddenly, out of nowhere there was a voice of a lady whispering in Mandarin barely loud enough for them to hear.

Mr.Lam took another sip of his tea before telling us "To be honest, I didn't expect that you know. I was shocked that I almost fall to the water. I had goose bumps. And the hair at the back of the neck felt the same."

"Was that a Chinese ghost or something?" asked Syafiqah. There was excitement all over her voice.

"I don't know"

"What do you mean you don't know? Of course it was?" Syafiqah and showing her disappointment to hear Mr.Lam's verdict on the situation.

"Well, to be honest, I haven't seen one before that so I can't tell for sure. I did eventually hear a man possessed by ghost in a later event but that one sounded a lot different".

"Uh uh.. Tell me about that one" Syafiqah was bouncing up and down the sofa, pleading excitedly now.

"No. Tell us about the lady's voice in the bushes first" I immediately sank her suggestion with my veto power. Mr.Lam seems to agree with me as Syafiqah stuck out her tongue at me.

"Well, this one actually didn't sound creepy. There was nothing like the one in the movie with echoes and stuffs. It sounded like there was a living person hiding in the bushes instead. However, I do agree with my son's suggestion that no living human would be hiding in the bushes in places like that in that hour. So it's most likely something unnatural. But I didn't think it that way that time." Mr.Lam further explained that for him she sounded scared, as though the woman was hiding in fear. But at the same time it felt as though someone was hiding behind the bushes and peeping at him.

Mr.Lam paused for a second before continuing. "The lady was speaking to her child…”

“There’s a child there?” Syafiqah interrupted again

"I didn’t really heard any sound of a child but I heard the lady telling a child in Mandarin to hide in the bushes. She kept saying ‘Ling Ling.. do not be afraid of them.. mother is here’ again and again. At first I thought she wanted to hide the child from me and my son and I thought that was strange because why would she speak if she didn't want to be discovered. So I spoke to the voice telling her I meant no harm. But she keep telling her little girl to hide and I began to realize that she wasn’t talking to us in the first place. It was like a tape recording actually because it was like she did not notice of our presence at all."

Mr.Lam repeatedly aimed his flashlight to the place where he thought where the voices came from. However, he still could not see anything at all. He looked at his son and he can see fear in his son's face. That was understandable, anyone who had encountered a disembodied voices like that would no doubt be afraid.

"Father.. I don't think that's human.. We must leave this place" said his son to him and at this point Mr.Lam began to agree with his son.

Mr.Lam was steering away from the shore with a pedal when the wind suddenly blew like it was going to rain. The bushes were moving right and left following the direction of the wind. Then the voice of the woman grew louder, crying and sobbing this time. Worsening the already tense situation, the father and son began to hear a distant voice that sounded like an animal grunt.

"You know what.. You're right.. Let's get out from this place now!" Mr.Lam raising his voice as he started to kickstart the engine. His son was still standing facing towards the shore and still listening to the grunting sound that was getting louder with each second passing by.

However, the engine could not start.

Then the bushes started to rattle as the shrill of the woman’s voice was interwined with the sound of an animal grunting.

"HAM KA CHAN!" The man was now cursing the engine and delivered one good kick to it. Strangely, the engine of the boat suddenly started.

"What are you doing still standing there? Sit down or you'll fall into the water!" Yelled Mr.Lam as the boat began to built its speed away from the shore.

But his son ignored him. It seems like the son was either too stupid or too panic to do anything else. So Mr.Lam forcefully pulled his son's hand until he fall to the floor landing on his arse .

"What are you doing still standing there? Sit down or you'll fall to the water!" Yelled Mr.Lam as the boat began to built its speed away from the shore.

But his son ignored him. It looked like the son was either to mesmerized or to panic to make a move. So Mr.Lam forcefully pulled his son's hand until he falls on the floor landing on his arse.

As their boat speeding away from the shore, Mr.Lam can still hear an eerie sound of animal grunting followed by a scream of a female. His son was still looking towards the shore, his white pale face with the expression of shock.

"Hmmm.. Interesting" I was sipping my tea, still thinking on the short story.

"What do you mean with interesting?" Syafiqah asked me with a puzzled tone.

"It sounds very interesting because it seems to be a paranormal event associated with spiritual haunting and demonic manifestations. But rarely do two types of haunting co-exist together on the same space like that"

"What do you mean there are two types of haunting.. A ghost is a ghost, right?"

I smiled at her as I was explaining. “Not exactly, haunting by spirits of dead people are far different from paranormal disturbances caused by the presence of demons. That voice of a lady Mr.Lam heard sounded like a residual haunting of a deceased person whereas the grunt of an animal sounded like a demon.”

Syafiqah and Mr.Lam were now staring at me.

“What?” Asked Mr.Lam.

Syafiqah too displayed a puzzled look at me, so I decided this is not the time to make things complicated because I have yet to listen to the rest of the story Mr.Lam was about to tell me.

“Sorry, I just watched too many Discovery Channel’s stuff. I think I hear that one from a documentary sometime ago” I lied. “There’s this documentary I saw that said residual haunting are repeated playbacks of sensory phenomena of traumatic event a person or place, like an echo or a replay of a videotape of past events. When you said that the woman’s voice keep repeating the same thing as though it was a tape recorder, that remind me of what I saw in television.”

“You think that’s the case with what I saw?” asked Mr.Lam, now seems very interested on the explanation.

“I don’t know” I lied. “That’s the westerner’s way to explain certain supernatural cases and it may not be suitable by our Asian culture. There may be another explanation to it which is why I need to hear your story on how you got involved with the restoration of the old house on that land”

“Oh that…” Mr.Lam laid his back against the sofa and for a moment tried to recollect.

The next day after their ‘fishing’ expedition, Mr.Lam – being a superstitious person as he was – told his son to report to the Pangs of what they have seen and heard the night before. The Chinese generally believe that in cases of haunted places or building, a ceremony to appease the spirit is necessary or otherwise any business carried out at that place won’t prosper.

This belief has been rooted for hundreds of years amongst the Chinese. It is widely believed that a place infested by ghosts will only bring bad luck to its tenants. People will either be hurt or simply died in what seems to be a freak accident. In 2011 in Guangzhou, China, a group of feng shui masters were called to perform exorcism on a primary school after two of its students died in accidents in 2009 and 2010. Distraught at the deaths, Lu Ziqu, then headmaster of the school, came to believe that the cause of the school's misfortunes were bad feng shui and invite the local feng shui master Liang Shiming to the school in August 2010. The feng shui master blamed the misfortunes on ghosts and the presence of an ancestral shrine which commemorated a family named Li (ehem!).

The senior Pang was quite surprised and troubled to hear the story (from a junior legal assistant nonetheless). However, perhaps because the senior Pang was as much as superstitious like his father, the senior Pang agreed with his suggestion. In fact, he offered money to Mr.Lam's son to carry out the job of finding a medium to performed the cleansing process. Mr.Lam told his son to accept the job because it would be a good business decision to do a favor for one of the most richest and influential Chinese family in this country. It was then agreed that Mr.Lam will be the one to organize the whole ceremony.

To comply with the Pang’s wishes to kept everything under wrap, Mr.Lam flown to Hong Kong and bring back with him a ‘professional Taoism Exorcist’ with self proclaimed 15 years of experience. Master Mak as he was fondly known (his real name is actually Mark), came to Jerejak Island one fine afternoon in his impressive colorful wardrobe – a red robe, a black hat and holding a seven stars peach wooden sword in his left hand.

The exorcism started out at 5.30 o’clock in the afternoon and Mr.Lam hired two of his workers to ferry a wooden table to the site. On the table they prepared a number of burning incenses, several rice bowls, oranges and other exotic foods to ‘appease’ spirits that haunted the place. Master Mak also brought several stone tablets that are shaped like the mountain forming the 5 fingers shape. He claimed that these tablets are the most powerful of the stone tablets made from stones coming from Mount Tai.. wherever that is.

With the exception of Master Mak being knocked unconsciously by one of his stones 25 minutes later, the ritual that afternoon went very smooth in its first 24 minutes. In fact Mr.Lam’s workers were beginning to yawn in boredom. Mr.Lam himself was beginning to think that he might have to refund some of the money already paid by the Pangs if he has nothing interesting to report. One of his worker was recording the whole ritual with a PVR to be shown to the Pangs and so far there was nothing out of ordinary to be shown other than a guy in red robe who was chanting and running around waving his sword all over the place.

“God dammit ghosts! Do something!” Mr.Lam was cursing silently in a whisper that only he can hear.

As though as answering Mr.Lam’s prayer, at the minute 25th one of the tablet stone placed on the ground suddenly flown at great speed hitting the monk’s forehead. Fortunately for Master Mak his black hat protected his forehead or otherwise there could be a bloody cut. However, the impact was so hard that the monk fell on his back with all his hands and legs stretched outward creating big ‘X’ on the ground.

Everyone was shocked at that moment. For the next minute no one moves to assist the semi-conscious monk on the ground. It was Mr.Lam who first came to help Master Mak by calling his name and later sprinkled water on his face (it was actually the ‘holy’ water brought by Master Mak in a small plastic bottle). Mr.Lam can clearly see the nasty bump on Master Mak’s forehead where the stone had hit.

Asked whether he was alright, Master Mak told Mr.Lam that as the sun goes down nearing dusk, there were more spirits that were presence than what he had expected. Some of the spirits he said were angry because not enough foods were put on the table to appease them which led to one benevolent spirit complaining by throwing stone to him.

As ridiculous as that may sound, the monk managed to convince Mr.Lam to abort the ritual that afternoon. Master Mak said that he needed to bring in a few more helps from Hong Kong to perform a more powerful ritual. Mr.Lam was not happy of this because it means more money but promise to update the matter to the senior Pang.

Suprisingly - after seeing the video of the flying stone – the senior Pang did not object. The senior Pang even insisted of sending some of his own ‘people’ to witness the second ritual that was to take place. A date is fixed 21 days later for the second attempt of exorcism. Mr.Lam was told to arrange the flight ticket of another two monks that would be flown over from Hong Kong.

“Let me guess.. Senior Pang sent some Christian Priests as a ‘backup’, right?” I make my own guess on how the story will unfold next.

Mr.Lam who was in the midst of telling his story was clearly caught by surprise.

“How do you know that, young man?”

I did not answered but merely smiled at him. It was not that hard to make such guess. The Pangs were Jesuits so it make sense why the head of the family would have the access and authority to send some of catholic priest to perform exorcism too.

‘A Chinese medium and several Jesuits against demonic forces, this is certainly interesting to hear’ I thought.

It turned out that senior Pang only sent one Caucasian man as a backup plan. At first Mr.Lam did not know that the man sent by the senior Pang was priest because he neither act nor wear anything that may indicated his religious background. He was quiet most of the time even though he did show great interest to the ritual preparation that took place that night.

The second ceremony took place at night nearing 7.30 o clock in the evening. In the effort to conceal the ceremony from public knowledge, the senior Pang paid more money to Mr.Lam to construct at great speed a small wooden house in the wood where the ritual will take place. However, it was also the senior Pang's wishes that all paperwork's trails should disguise the whole job as restoration project. Mr.Lam still has no idea why the senior Pang insisted for that.

The house has neither room nor kitchen and with the exception of the toilet attached at the back, it was just an empty space wide enough for the battle against malicious spirits to take place. Admittedly twenty one days were quite a stretch to build a house even a wooden one, but with unlimited budget and manpower at disposal Mr.Lam was eventually able to meet the deadline.

“Oh.. so that was how you got the job to build the house there?” Asked Syafiqah.

Mr.Lam merely sipped his tea as he nodded.

“I bet what happened later that night must be a life changing experience for you” I said to Mr.Lam.

“Oh, you bet it was” answered Mr.Lam, looking amused.

The wooden house was quite impressive nonetheless. Despite a hasty construction in just 21 days, Mr.Lam was able to build a house with a floor as wide as 650 square feet to accommodate 3 Taoist monks, a catholic priest and Mr.Lam himself in it. Then there were two loyal workers of Mr.Lam outside the house waiting in two boats. Mr.Lam instructed them to keep the engine running just in case there was ever a need to make a quick dash.

At 7.30 pm the second round of the exorcism began and Master Mak is now joined by two of his friends from Hong Kong namely Master Ong and Master Lau. This time they prepared an altar for the deities they are about to seek help from. Master Mak was now donning a very creepy mask and armed with his wooden sword. The other two monks were also donning masks and equipped with cymbals and a small bronze urn filled with burning charcoal.

The ritual started with Master Mak wearing his spooky bronze mask with ox horns and protruding teeth. All three of them kneeled in front of the altar with their forehead touching the floor for the Taoist worship rituals. Then Master Ong and Lau began to chant prayer and throw salt and onion skins into the burning charcoal to produce an acrid burst of smoke. Master Mak on the other hand began to chant his prayer to seek helps from the deity in his battle against the malevolent spirits.

It was at this time that bad odor began to consume the whole house. Noticing that the odor smelled sulfuric, the Caucasian guy expression looked alarmed. Master Ong began to throw more salt and onion skins into the fire while Master Lau began to clang his cymbals.

5 minutes into his seance, Master Mak was trembling and swinging his body left and right – an indication that a possession was taking place. He was closing his eyes and mumbling something unintelligible. His two assistants continues throwing salt into the fire and chanting prayer. Finally, as the sulfuric smell became stronger, Master Mak opened his eyes and to the delight of both his assistants, stared at them.

They began to kneel in front of the 'possessed' Master Mak and prayed. "Ooo saviour and ruler of heaven and earth. Please come to our rescue and.."


Suddenly one of Master Mak's assistant flung across the room and landed unconscious on the floor after being slapped silly by the possessed man. That unlucky dude was Master Lau.

The other monk was clearly stunned to see what had just happened to his colleague. His eyes were wide as he turned his head towards the possessed monk.

"Watch out!"


Mr.Lam tried to warn him but it was too late. Another slap had landed on the left cheek of Master Ong with the same force applied as the first slap. This time the burly Master Ong fall on his back holding his cheek. Luckily, unlike his sprawling friend Master Lau he did not pass out. Instead he hastily retreated to one corner of the room. His face was an expression of fear as he tries to wipe blood that escaped from his injured lips.

"I guess the exorcism didn't went well for the Taoist monks?" I asked. That was a dumb question really.

"No, I guess not.." Mr.Lam nodded.

"And did the Jesuit performed better?"

"Jesuit?" Mr.Lam was clearly puzzled with my questions. Apparently like most Malaysian this was the first time he ever heard the word 'Jesuit'.

"I'm sorry.. The Jesuit is just another slang for some Christian priests" I sort of lied again. I also figured that may made it easier for him to understand.

Mr.Lam nodded and continues his story.

3 minutes after the slapping that defeated two Taoist monks, it seems that the gate of hell was opening in the house. Pandemonium ensued as the wind suddenly blew into the house and the possessed Master Mak was now standing on the altar of Gods laughing like a monster in Ultraman movies. According to Mr.Lam, Master Mak’s voice changed and his laughter sounded deep and creepy. Before jumping unto the altar he first destroyed the urn by kicking it to the wall. He had also broken his wooden sword into several pieces.

The still conscious Master Ong yelled to Mr.Lam in Cantonese telling him that things had awry gone all wrong. Apparently when Master Mak had opened himself for possession, it was not the deities from heaven that had taken over him. Instead it was the demon of Jerejak Island that had accepted the invitation.

“I keep hearing Master Ong shouting a prayer calling twelve ghost servants to help him repel the Fangliang and Wangxiang but apparently his incantation didn’t work. Instead, Master Mak leaped down from the altar towards him and started beating him. It was like those scenes in the gangster movie, you know. Master Mak was punching and kicking while Master Ong was screaming for help. That was when the Caucasian guy starts showing his cross”.

I thought this story is getting better and better. Mr.Lam was certainly lucky audience to witness a true event which was somewhat a comedy mix of a Chinese ghost story and an American horror movie.

“The white man, do you still remember his name?” I asked Mr.Lam.

Mr.Lam forehead creased for a moment trying hard to remember the name. Then he nodded.

“He introduced his name as William Blatty. But I could be mistaken. There’s too many white people in Penang that I have met and used used not to think differently of any of them too. I actually thought he was just a company guy sent by the senior Pang because he did said he is a consultant from oversea. He’s not young.. like 40’s something”

A’hah.. Good lead! I thought as I took a mental note on the name.

“Did he told you the name of the firm he’s working for?” I asked again. I prayed Mr.Lam's memory was still good for the guy his age.

“Yes he did.. Let me think.. I have never heard about the company before but I believe it was Ickstat Private Limited or something sounded like that.. I’m not sure if there’s company sounded like that in Penang”

Even better! I thought. I was quite sure that there was only a 50% possibility that the company may or may not exist. But I know that more than 200 years ago there was a Baron by the name Johann Adam Ickstatt who become a Godfather for the Iluminati’s founder Adam Weishaupt and the name ‘Ickstatt’ may means something.

(Adam Weishaupt, who was born on February 6, 1748 was the son of a Jewish rabbi. When his father died in 1753, he was converted to Catholicism by Baron Johann Adam Ickstatt, who turned the early training of the boy over to the Jesuits. Although Weishaupt later became a priest, he developed a distinct hatred for the Jesuits, and became an atheist. On May 1, 1776, under the direction of the newly formed House of Rothschild who instigated the American Revolution to weaken Great Britain, Weishaupt founded the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria, which became known as the Order of the Illuminati.)

Approximately one and a half hour after the ritual begin, the Taoists were defeated and it was the time for the Catholic to join the party. Now, to be honest after listening to Mr.Lam story, I did not think the Taoists were less powerful than the Catholic. The monks were simply handicapped by the lack of knowledge of what they were dealing with that night, that was all. The three Taoist monks were imported from Hong Kong and hence were not familiar with the history of Jerejak Island. Should they at least do a little bit of research via the internet, they should at least make a proper guess of what they were up against.

What the monks did were actually quite powerful. For the first time in many years Master Mak had donned the creepy mask and opened himself for possession by Chinese deities. The whole idea was for the deities to turn him into what is known as ‘fangxiang shi’ or the ‘the great exorcist’. By turning himself into ‘fanxiang shi’, he expected to perform what was known as ‘the great exorcism’. Traditionally in homeland China, in the great exorcism the fangxiang was assisted by not less than 24 dancers in animal masks and costumes. During the ritualistic dance the fangxiang will invokes an incantation to summons 12 demon animal servants to assist him battling the bad spirits. Unfortunately being far from home, he was only able to fly in his two friends from Hong Kong. By protocol alone that did not complied the minimum 24 dancers needed to summons the 12 demons and that perhaps significantly reduce his power. Secondly, the monks thought they were battling the earth and water demons known as Fangliang and Wangxiang. In truth, something more sinister was lurking in Jerejak Island.

William Blatty was not handicapped by the same lack of knowledge as the Taoists. William Blatty was both a Jesuit priest and a Freemason and he knew what he was up against. However, even he almost got killed that night.

-- continue below --

“Wow, that was a very powerful ghost indeed..” said Syafiqah. She was too absorbed into the story that she had yet to take a sip of the tea she has been holding all this while. Then she asked “Did you eventually found out what ghost it was?”

“No, I never did” Mr.Lam shook his head before continuing. “Later Blatty did mention something about it being an old age demon. I could never understand what that meant. I too wish someone could tell me what it was.”

Syafiqah turned her head towards me. “Do you have any idea what it was?”

Hmmm.. Let see the clues.. an old demon, a ghost of a woman and child, a sound of animal, the jesuits buying the land, a freemason priest performing exorcism on Jerejak Island. I think I have a several good clues to make a proper guess.

However, there was one name started with `I’ that had yet to enter the story. If I ever heard that name being mentioned, then the circles of clues are completed.

“No..” I lied in a single word as I tried to straighten my face as much as I can.

Syafiqah didn’t move her eyes from me. Clearly there was something on my face or my voice that had given away something. From my mom I learnt that the female species are quite good in detecting perjury in progress. I tried not to roll my eyes away in my attempt to act innocent.

Luckily her stares did not take long. Mr.Lam continued his story and Syafiqah shifted her focus back to Mr.Lam.

“Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. See this cross of the Lord; begone, you hostile powers!”

William Blatty was now holding a wooden cross with his left hand as he began his prayer. At this point Mr.Lam tried to stop Master Mak from kicking Master Ong’s head.

“Stop him.. Stop Him.. Oh my God, it hurts” Master Ong on the other hand was crying loud for help as he tried to protect his head with his both hands.

Mr.Lam tried to overcome Master Mak by hugging him from behind. That proved pointless as Master Mak easily let himself free before turning toward Mr.Lam and punched him in the face.

“Ouuuuu!… Ou!… Ou!” Mr.Lam screamed in pain and immediately backed off after receiving a right hook from the possessed monk.

“I command you, unclean spirit, whoever you are, along with all your minions now attacking this servant of God, by the mysteries of the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the descent of the Holy Spirit, by the coming of our Lord for judgment, that you tell me by some signs your name, and the day and hour of your departure.”

William Blatty's voice boomed through the house as he gave his command to the devil. However, Master Mak acted as though he did not even heard anything . Instead he turned his attention to the other monk - Master Lau whom was still lying on the floor after being the first to be slapped. He moved slowly and closer to Master Lau.

“I command you, moreover, to obey me to the letter, I who am a minister of God despite my unworthiness; nor shall you be emboldened to harm in any way this creature of God, or the bystanders, or any of their possessions.” The voice of William Blatty grew louder yet desperate, trying to make the Demon obeyed him.

Master Mak was now standing towering over Master Lau and speak in Mandarin to the unconscious man.

“Wake up fatso! Don’t give me that crap! I know you can hear me!”

Then something extra ordinary happened – trickling water can be seen between Master Lau’s parting legs. The ‘unconscious man’ was peeing in his pant!

“Please.. please don’t hurt me….”

Mr.Lam was stunned to hear Master Lau pleading for mercy. It turned out that Master Lau has regained consciousness during the beating of Master Ong but upon seeing what was happening to his colleague, he decided the best survival strategy was to play possum. Now, upon realizing that the demon had known about his deceit, he was so terrified that he no longer can kept his bladder.

The possessed Master Mak smiles broadly showing all his teeth. It was the most terrifying smile Mr.Lam had ever seen in his life.

Master Mak was lifting his right leg as he was about to start kicking his next victim when suddenly he was sprinkled with water. As if being sprayed with fires emptied his lungs with a horrifying growl outburst, immediately lowered his leg and turned to see the source of the sprinkle.

“Who did that?” asked the demon with lurking eyes and vengeance looking face.

It was William Blatty of course. Holding a small shiny flask in his right hand and was praying as he continuously sprinkled water from it towards Master Mak.

“Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from the side of Christ, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me;..”

“You !!!” said Master Mak as he now tried to hide the excruciating pain stared menacingly at Blatty. “How dare you used that filthy water on me!”

“Spirit of our God, Father, Son , and Holy Spirit, Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Virgin Mary, angels, archangels, and Saints of Heaven, descend upon me!”

“Haargghhhhhhh ! Stop it priest!” Master Mak screaming in pain.

“Burn all these evils in hell, that they may never again touch me or any other creature in the entire world..”

“Nooo.. I beg you.. Stop it priest..” The possessed monk now displayed an expression of agony seeking for mercy as the water touches him.

The priest was now, smiling. Knowing he was the victor tonight.

“By the power of God all powerful, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary! Demon, be crushed under the heel of the Immaculate Virgin Mary!”

Suddenly Master Mak roared in laughter…with devilish grinning face totally outfoxed earlier believers he was in pain.

“Ha ha ha ha…… You’re so full of yourself, Blatty boy!”

“What the fuck!?” This sudden change of behaviour clearly caught the priest by surprise that he could not stop himself from swearing. Hoping that this is just a deceiving act by the devil, he continued to sprinkle the monk with holy water.

“I cast you out, unclean spirit, along with every satanic power of the enemy, every spectre from hell, and all your fell companions; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be gone!”

“Yes! Yes! Ha ha ha.. Keep on going Blatty! Make me wet with that water of yours! There’s nothing better than a helping hand during a shower! Ha ha ha ha...” The monk keep laughing as the Jesuit priest continued to drench him.

“For it is He who commands you, He who flung you headlong from the heights of heaven into the depths of hell. It is He who commands you, He who once stilled the sea and the wind and the storm.” William Blatty was still sprinkling.

"Ha ha.. Ho Ho.. He he"

“Hearken, therefore, and tremble in fear, Satan, you enemy of the faith...” William Blattys’s tone and expression now beginning to show weaken.

“Yeah right.. I take that as compliment coming from people like you..”

From the look of his face, Mr.Lam could tell that the priest lost his confidence. The priest stopped using holy water and instead using both his hands to hold a wooden cross towards Master Mak.

“Begone Devil! in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Begone! Give place to the Holy Spirit by this sign of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!”

“Stupid Jesuit.. Give me that!!”

The monk grabbed the cross with one hand and forcefully took it from Blatty. Like a scene from a magic show, he then started chewing the wooden cross and swallowed it one piece after another. All people in the room were stunned to witness the possessed monk consumed the cross in less than two minutes. Thereafter all was left was a splinter of wood he was using to pick his teeth as he winked at them.

Now, the hunter become hunted.

Taking this as a cue to stepped up his efforts, the priest decided to open his bible and read the passage of Luke.

“At that time Jesus was driving out a demon, and this particular demon was dumb. The demon was driven out, the dumb man spoke, and the crowds were enraptured. But some among the people remarked he is a tool of Beelzebul, and that is how he drives out demons!..”

“Forget it priest, I am not Beelzebub! Ha ha ha ha” The demon inside the monk started laughing again.

The priest temporarily stopped reading his bible after hearing this.

Then hastily through a swift maneuver putting the bible on top of Master Mok’s forehead.
“So what’s your name, demon?” asked the priest.

“That work only in movie, priest.. You don’t have authority over me.. ” answered the demon, snickering.

“No I don’t but Jesus Christ has authority over you. So by the name of Jesus Christ I command you.. Tell me your name!” commanded Blatty.

“You? Never!” Master Mak now stop laughing as his eyes turned bloody red. Reflecting the demon anger. The priest warned others in the house not to stare into the monk’s eyes. The priest then makes the sign of the cross over himself and putting his right hand on the monk's head.

“God is the Father and He commands you! God the Son commands you! God the Holy Spirit commands you! Tell me your name!” Yelled the priest.


“I command you, tell me your name!”

“Fuck yourself, priest.. Still a nope from me!”
Gone the snickering smile now replacing with a devilish grin.

“As you wish demon!” replied the angry priest as he then lifted his right hand from the monk’s head. He then picked up a large plastic container used by Master Ong in the earlier ritual. It contained a large amount of salt which Master Ong had previously thrown into the burning charcoal.

“I know why your kinds are here in this island. I know the things that happened here before. So in the name of Jesus Christ, I blessed this salt and with it you shall confess as I call your name.”

Master Mak expression turns fiery as he watched a pinch of salt now in Blatty’s right hand.

“Don’t you dare use that salt on me..” warned the demon sternly. His eyes now turns black.

“In the name of God, confess me your name!” shouted Blatty as he began throwing the salt on Master Mak. Amazingly, Master Mak howled as though the salt did hurt him. But the demon still refused to confess his name.

“Baal, that’s your name!” Another pinch of salt thrown.


“Agares, that’s your name!” and again another pinch of salt thrown.





“WRONG! YOU FUCKINGGGG SON OF A BITCHHHHH!!!” the monk shouted but this time in a volatile scream.

Suddenly, Mr.Lam watched in horror as Blatty’s hands were now choking his own neck. Seven seconds into the cuckold and the the priest’s face went red and blue as he was gasping for air.

Syafiqah and I were both stunned with our mouth hanging as we too were now witnessing Mr.Lam kneeling on the floor choking his neck. He was gasping for air like a dying fish and his eyes were rolling up.

“Pleaasee.. Help me.. Help..” murmured Mr.Lam as he looked at me begging for help.

“Hmmm.. So that’s how it happened that night, Mr.Lam?” I asked him.

Mr.Lam nodded as he stood up, went back to the sofa and took another sip of tea while Syafiqah was laughing and clapping her hand.

“Yes, that’s exactly how it went with Mr. Blatty, It was horrifying I tell you! By the way, what do you think of my acting? Can win Academy Award meh?”

“Errr.. Not bad.. I guess” I smiled and politely gave him a thumb up. Honestly speaking though, I thought his re-enaction of Blatty’s ordeal sucks. Acting is definitely not his forte and his persistence to perform the re-enaction was totally unnecessary for a guy of his age.

“I think it’s absolutely awesome!!” delirious Syafiqah still clapping excitedly. “Now, if you can do it again but this time with your mouth foaming, the score would be a perfect ten with standing ovation from me!”

I stared at Syafiqah with my eyes almost popped out from their socket. The chick must be crazy asking for an encore.

Unfortunately, I did endure another 6 minutes watching the second worst performance I have ever seen (the most grossest performance I was unfortunate to see was that video clip in the internet famously known as “2 Girls 1 Cup”.. Eeeewww..)

The only good thing I can say on the performance was that it enabled Mr.Lam to tell of every details of the crucial five minutes when Blatty almost died that night. Now I think about it, I have to admit that it was actually a good idea or Mr.Lam to act out the ordeal or otherwise I could have missed some of the most crucial and tense moments. As Blatty started choking himself, Mr.Lam came to his rescue by trying to seperate the hands from the throat. He was not able to do that because the demon possessing Blatty was too strong for a middle aged Chinese man like him to overcome. However, he did manage to loosen the hands a bit and that undoubtedly gave Blatty six minutes worth of extended life. Without Mr.Lam’s efforts, Blatty would undoubtedly killed in less than a minute and for that Blatty was forever grateful.

Due of his close proximity with Blatty, Mr.Lam was able to hear every words and sentences that were exchanged between the demon and the priest during the ordeal. According to Mr.Lam, Blatty was still trying to perform exorcism as he whispered his prayer in between breath.

“You shouldn’t have called our names, Blatty. We listened, we are many and we are legions. You of all people should have known that..” Master Mak was now speaking in a different voice. Mr.Lam swore to us that it sounded like several voices came out together from his mouth.

“God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I appeal to your holy name, humbly begging your kindness, that you graciously grant me help against this and every unclean spirit now tormenting this creature of yours; through Christ our Lord...” whispered the dying priest, in agony and still gasping for breath.

“Where’s your God, your Christ and your Holy spirit now, eh Blatty?” asked Master Mak loudly as he stood watching Mr.Lam and the priest whom are now struggling on the floor just a meter away.

“Hearken and tremble in fear Satan, you enemy of the faith and foe of the human race. Begetter of death, robber of life, corrupter of justice, betrayer of the nations..”

“What did you say? We corrupter of justice? We betrayer of nations? Ha ha ha ha ha..” Master Mak laughed hysterically upon hearing the catholic priest’s incantation.

“Yes we are! How proud we are to admit that! But how about you Blatty? You who have sworn as Jesuit to plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities and states that were at peace? You and your friends who vows to incite people to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other? You who have sworn to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous? I asked you now Blatty.. do you know who you are?”

For some reason Blatty suddenly stopped his prayer, his eyes were now wide open in shock upon hearing what the demon had said to him. Master Mak smiled from ear to ear as he continues to ‘educate’ the dying man.

“Oh yes, Blatty.. I can hear your thought now.. and yes I was there.. as we were there in legion.. Remember the day when you first become Jesuit, Blatty? As you and your friends stood before your false God, swearing your allegiance to the Pope? Ha ha ha.. I watched you as you took your oath, and I read your mind when you thought how proud your mom and dad would be if they knew their son has signed up to be the soldier of Christ..”

As Mr.Lam was still struggling to save him, the priest slowly sinking into unconsciousness. His own hands still grabbing his own throat, choking himself as he tried to remember where he was and what had brought him there.

The demon slowly walk and kneel beside the priest. He looked at the desperate Mr.Lam and flicked his fingers.

“Away!” he said and suddenly Mr.Lam was thrown away by an unseen force. He tried to stand up but unable to do so. All he can do by then was to watch Master Mak putting his right hand on Blatty’s neck as as he continues to whisper.

“Remember when you vow to rip up the stomachs and wombs of women, and crush their infants' heads against the walls in order to annihilate their execrable race, my Blatty? You have done that in Iraq, right? Remember Indonesia, Blatty? Remember what you and your people had done to that country?.. You make me so proud Blatty..”

Finally conceding defeat, Blatty in hesitation slowly closed his eyes and wait for death to come. He can feel the demon applying double the force on his windpipes and he no longer able to take a breath…awaiting for the moment, savoring his last precious breath.

“Shhhh... Just let it be, Blatty….sleep.. and be mine forever...” the demon breath mixed with deadly whisper close to Blatty’s ear.

The room was silent as Syafiqah and I were listening to the story of how the catholic priest were defeated.

After 5 seconds passed, Syafiqah broke the silence.

“But he’s not dead, right?”

Another sip of coffee and Mr.Lam shook his head, confirming that Blatty indeed survived that night.

“But, how?” It was now me who could not caged my curiosity.

Mr.Lam just nodded at me, still not giving the answer.

“What time it is now?” Mr.Lam suddenly throw me an irrelevant question.

I looked at my watch and was surprised to see it was already past noon.

“Oh I am so sorry.. It didn’t realize we have taken so much of your time, Mr.Lam” I was overwhelmed with embarrassment as I said that. Syafiqah and I have unreasonably extended our welcome for a couple of hours.

“No, it’s not that.. Just tell me what time is it?” asked Mr.Lam without responding to my apology.

Puzzled with his repeatedly questions , I told him it was 1.30 at noon.

“I believe in a couple of second I can show you what had saved Blatty’s life”

Syafiqah and I were looking at each other as we tried to make sense out of Mr.Lam’s words. How possible that he can show us what had saved the priest’s life? I was quite sure our visit to his house today was not anticipated by him.

Then, suddenly I can hear the sound of Adzan in the air. The voice sounded distant but it must have came from a mosque quite near to his housing estate. Mr.Lam smiled brilliantly at me as he pointed his right thumb up.

Syafiqah did not get it, but I immediately understood.

“He was saved by an Adzan? But who amongst you could possibly performed Adzan?” I asked. Syafiqah on the other hand was stunned to hear the revelation.

“Remember my two loyal workers by the boat?”

“Oooooooooo.... ” I slapped my forehead as I said that.

Syafiqah was still stunned to hear how the story finally unfolded but all and all, I was glad to know that the suspense for today has ended. With no more surprise for today, I was looking forward to hear how Mr.Lam’s workers unexpectedly became the savior of the day.

“I will continue the story during lunch. My treat. I’m going to perform Zuhr prayer now. Would you both like to join me?”


“You have to be the imam of course, I have yet to memorize the doa after solat. I’m still in learning process” Mr Lam was pointing his finger at me.


Syafiqah and I still sitting on the sofa with our jaw dropped.

Mr.Lam then laughed and said “Oh…I forgot to tell you both that I embraced Islam not long after that night. But I didn’t changed my name in my Mycard because that would lead to many paperworks. The Imam who converted me had advised that it’s okay for me to retain my Chinese name..”

“But what about Blatty?” Syafiqah finally moved her lips.

Mr.Lam paused for a moment as sadness appeared on his face.

“I heard that he converted too but died two months later.. I was told it was a car accident”

Today was definitely a day of many surprises!