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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Black Magic Telephony Red Alert

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Something kinda funny happened this past week that Walski wants to share with y'all.

Image hosting by PhotobucketYou've probably heard about the SMS and e-mail hoax that's been going around lately. This time it's truly Nusantara, as it is supposed to have originated in Indonesia. Somewhere in the Riau Islands, if not mistaken. In any case, it was reported in yesterday's Harian Metro. No... Walski doesn't read that NaSTy Pee crappy by-product... only that he found references to the article. In any case, Walski's PDF'd it and you can read it here, if you've got nothing better to do.

In any case, yesterday, Walski's boss must've received a copy of the e-mail, and proceeded to forward it to our entire corporation via that dreaded Send-All address. Yeah, yeah... the boss is gullible when it comes to these types of supernatural scares.

Walski wonders how many people in the corporation bought it, though. Silly fools...
(how can one verify deadly SMS details, and more, in the full post)

Be that as it may, this is what the e-mail said (translation by myAsylum).

Kepada semua sahabat yang dikasihi.. jikalau anda mendapat panggilan telefon yang bernombor panjang cth:
To all my beloved friends, if you get a phone call with a long number, for example:


dan nombor itu berwarna merah.
and the number is red in color.

Diharap sangat janganlah anda menjawab panggilan itu. Ini kerana di Indonesia sekumpulan penuntut ilmu hitam sedang menguji ilmu hitam mereka melalui telefon.
It is very much hoped that you do not answer the call. This is because in Indonesia, a group of black magic students are testing their black arts thru the telephone.

Jika sesiapa yang menjawab panggilan itu, akan berbuih dan akan mati selepas itu. Di Indonesia sudah 9 orang mati dan mlm td di puchong seorang telah mati.
If anyone answers the call, they will "bubble" (note: presumably, their mouths with foam) and will die after that. In Indonesia 9 people have already died, and in Puchong one person has died.

This really happened. Please forward this message. OH GOD, SAVE US... KEEP US FAR AWAY FROM ANY DISASTER AND DEMONIC DISTURBANCE... AMEN.

*betul atau tidak, itu tidak pasti, tetapi beringat2 lah sebelum terkena
*true or not, it's not certain, but better to be safe than sorry

Love the disclaimer right at the end.

Here's what Walski thought when he first read the e-mail message: if these people had mysteriously and suddenly died, how did the cause, and evil phone number become known? Sort of like another story Walski once heard about - this ghostly car on the Elite Highway, which if followed, will lead the driver off the road, down into a ravine to certain tragic death. But without survivors, who could have told the tale?

Apparently, this message, sent either via sms or e-mail, has caused more than a few people a good deal of anxiety. Another side effect is that it's given Harian Metro a whole lot of fodder to report and follow up on.

There are a few variants to this hoax, which apparently started as a prank, according to news reports Walski's read (via HM). The anxiety hasn't only been felt here, but back in Indonesia, where it originated, too. But it does show you how these things easily spread. Technology and gullibility - great mix for full viral effect...

According to one HM follow up, an Islamic treatment "expert" (read: faith healer) has rebuffed the claims by saying that santau (black magic spells) cannot be transfered via the phone, because certain "conditions" have to be met. What conditions are not mentioned. One of those deep dark secrets that one has to blindly accept as fact from an expert, Walski supposes. The PFD-ized follow-up article can be read here.

Even to the "experts", technology and black magic seem to be unlikely bedfellows...

Funny... as Muslim Malays advance into the 21st century, it seems like their collective common sense has somehow missed the last bus, but their superstitions made it across the millenial divide, instead. You somehow hear about all kinds of magical misery horrors happen mostly to Malay Muslims, but very seldom to their other-culture counterparts... Walski really wonders why, sometimes.

But hey... it's not all bad, if you think about it. It's exactly this sort of gullibility and sheer absence of critical thinking that keeps shock-publications like Harian Metro and Mastika selling. Fuck the real news... giving 'em black magic telephony (and other equally phoney stories) keeps the silly masses happy...

Walski's "not to over-generalize, but" footnote: Okay, admittedly saying that this gullibility thing is endemic with the Malays is probably a grossly over-reaching generalization. But there are a number of people out there (of various cultures and beliefs) who are extremely gullible - the "if it's printed somewhere, it must be true" folks. And Walski's personally acquainted with more than a few...