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Ann Massey

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Member Since: Jan, 2011

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Eric and the Enchanted Leaf: A Night with Echo
by Deborah Frontiera

The third book of the Eric and the Enchanted Leaf series takes Eric to Austin, TX to watch the bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. The printed version..  
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Blogs by Ann Massey

Does anything supernatural actually exist
3/9/2011 5:29:43 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

A former ex-pat reminisces about life in Miri

At around fourteen years of age, like most teens, I started to question the beliefs and values that I had swallowed without chewing. Blind faith was the first casualty. Now, over fifty years on, though I endorse Christian ethics and morality, I remain a committed atheist and so I was skeptical when Joyce, an ex-pat from the UK whom I got to know when I was living in Borneo, told me that she was living in fear of a malevolent bomah. A bomah is the Malaysian term for a medicine man or witch doctor, the equivalent of a tribal shaman. Like shamans, bomahs are supposedly blessed with the gift to communicate with the spirits of the deceased and to intercede on behalf of the living.

In times gone by Dayaks, the Indigenous tribes of Borneo were ancestor worshipers who lived in fear of offending the vengeful spirits that surrounded them. Headhunting, the taking a human head, was the chief way of appeasing and gaining the goodwill of ancient spirits but they also consulted bomahs when their gifts failed to satisfy their ancestors' insatiable appetite for human sacrifice.

Today, while many Dayaks have abandoned their longhouses in favour of city life, they continue to consult Bomahs. Revered because of their affiliation with the supernatural and the occult, bomahs allegedly possess the gifts of prophecy and healing but are feared because, sometimes they use their supernatural powers to harm individuals who have injured or offended them.

I was absolutely certain that paranormal or supernatural phenomena didn't exist and said as much when Joyce told me that a bomah had warned her that if she didn't give him a thousand ringgit, (a ringgit is a Malaysian dollar), he would put an evil spell on her. I couldn't believe that she could take such rubbish seriously. "Tell him that you'll curse him back," I told her jokingly, like Roger, one of the characters in 'The White Amah' who refused to give his amah, Rubiah, money to pay a bomah to release her from a spell. Mocking her beliefs, he called her 'an ignorant little jungle bunny'. His arrogant response mirrored my own dismissive attitude to spiritual doctrine.

Writing gives one the opportunity to reflect on personal experiences and when I constructed Roger as indifferent and unresponsive to unfamiliar ideas, I was having a dig at my own closed attitude. Maybe ... just maybe, there's more in heaven and on earth than we can ever know, as someone considerably wiser than I remarked around five hundred years ago.

Ann Massey
Author of:
The White Amah, a mystery set against the backdrop of the timber logging industry in Malaysia. Sample or purchase:
The Biocide Conspiracy, a Young Adult thriller that sweeps readers into the world of biowarfare. Sample or purchase;

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More Blogs by Ann Massey
• Free Kindle eBook: SALVATION JANE by Ann Massey - a Christmas Gift of hope and goodwill to all men - Thursday, December 04, 2014
• Special Announcement - Monday, August 25, 2014
• Salvation Jane Reviewed By Janet Walker of - Wednesday, August 28, 2013
• What's the single biggest influence on contemporary literature? - Saturday, August 17, 2013
• Pest Control- different pest, same solution - Friday, August 16, 2013
• Random Reviews - Wednesday, August 14, 2013
• Book Review: Salvation Jane - Tuesday, August 06, 2013
• Cultivation of micro-organisms on the International Space Station - Thursday, August 01, 2013
• Books That Defy Genre Labels - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
• The Author As Social Commentator - Sunday, July 28, 2013
• Ban the beggars: Tough strategies proposed in Miami and Melbourne - Thursday, July 18, 2013
• NEW RELEASE - Tuesday, July 16, 2013
• The most remarkable woman I ever met - Sunday, July 14, 2013
• Mental Illness - the link between schizophrenia and homelessness - Wednesday, July 10, 2013
• Con-men & Cheats: Men who Prey on Vulnerable Women - Sunday, July 07, 2013
• Serious commentary on Social Conditions Disguised as Chick-Lit - Tuesday, July 02, 2013
• Human rights abuse inspired Ann Massey to write Salvation Jane - Saturday, June 15, 2013
• Australia's new homeless: the working poor - Saturday, May 25, 2013
• Plants light up on the International Space Station - Tuesday, May 07, 2013
• Biocide Conspiracy in Syria - Monday, May 06, 2013
• My Success Story - Saturday, April 27, 2013
• Going for Gold - Saturday, April 27, 2013
• Bingo: Thirteen Lucky for Some - Saturday, April 27, 2013
• Hacked - Monday, April 15, 2013
• UK- style riots in Australia - not so far-fetched - Wednesday, August 10, 2011
•  Does anything supernatural actually exist - Wednesday, March 09, 2011  
• Nothing's so much fun as simply messing about in boats but ... - Friday, March 04, 2011
• Tattoos more than a fashion statement - Tuesday, February 22, 2011
• Shopping Can Be perilous: shopoholics in need of a fix put their lives in danger - Saturday, February 05, 2011
• The Strangest and Most Interest Person I Met on Public Transport - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
• The strange and amazing people you meet on public transport. - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
• Bioliogical Weapons Convention Ignored - Thursday, January 27, 2011
• And the Winner is - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
• Bilogical Warfare : Is it ever justified? - Saturday, January 22, 2011
• Multiple Births: a blessing or a blight? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• Thou shall not wash dishes - Saturday, January 15, 2011
• Enter Miss Miri - Thursday, January 13, 2011
• Click to Save the Rain Forest - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
• Borneo's Tropical Rainforest is Disappearing Fast ... So What! - Saturday, January 08, 2011
• Sweetest Things Turn Sourest By Their Deeds - Wednesday, January 05, 2011

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