In 1981 I hired an art director from the Philippines to work under me

in an advertising agency in Jakarta. To protect his real identity,

I will just refer to him as Mike.


One night Mike confided in me that his wife, who was supposed to

follow him in Jakarta after a month’s time, was becoming totally

blind. Mike suspected that his wife had been a victim of witchcraft

and asked for my help, knowing that I was well-versed in occult matters

ever since he witnessed me performing psychic healing when we were

still working together in a big advertising agency in Manila.


I told Mike that it would best to consult Pak Warto, the Sufi master.

According to Pak Warto if Mike’s wife was really the victim of witchcraft,

distant healing might work subject to certain conditions. Pak Warto was

very pleased to meet Mike. I noticed that Pak Warto’s altar was

bedecked with more flowers than usual, and that there were two

peculiar cotton objects propped up in the center of the altar. One was

shaped like a woman’s figure and the other was like that of a snake.

Also in front of the altar was a bowl of water, the purpose of which

was later revealed in the ritual proper.


Pak Warto asked for the photograph of Mike’s wife which he placed

on the altar and instructed Mike to remove his shirt and sit cross-legged

in the center of the room facing him. Similar to the ritual I had  participated 

in the past, the pair tied a red band across their heads and tucked a kris

sword in their waist. Pak Warto began the ritual by lighting some incense

and candles on the altar. Then he showed us the two cotton figures

whose significance he subsequently explained.


“This cotton figure of a woman represents the victim–Mike’s wife.

  On the other hand, this cotton snake stands for the sorcerer

  or witch who hexed her,” Pak Warto said.


After putting the cotton woman beside the photograph of Mike’s

wife on the altar, Pak Warto placed the cotton snake in the bowl

of water which he handed over to me for inspection. I dipped my

right forefinger in the bowl and smelled it–the clear liquid was

plain water. Satisfied with my reaction, Pak Warto placed the bowl

of water with the cotton snake between Mike and himself, while I sat

in a corner of the room as a mere observer.


The Sufi master opened his Koran on a designated page and read

a verse in Arabic. Then he told Mike to recite some mantras.

Suddenly the bowl of water containing the cotton snake burst

into flames all by itself. Mike and I were shocked. The flaming

bowl produced a thick cloud of grayish smoke that filled the room,

causing the three of us to choke and cough. With stoic detachment,

Pak Warto started sheathing and unsheathing his kris and motioned

Mike to do the same. After a while the flames were automatically



Pak Warto turned around and faced the altar. Mike and I looked

in the same direction. To our amazement, we saw fresh blood oozing

out of the woman’s eyes in the photograph. Shaking his head

in disappointment, Pak Warto declared that Mike’s wife was beyond

help. The psychic attack had already done irreparable damage to

the victim’s eyes. Pak Warto also said that a doctor had already

operated on the eyes of Mike’s wife and some of the parts

permanently removed. Mike gazed at Pak Warto open-mouthed

and confirmed the fact that three years back his wife had truly

undergone eye surgery in Manila.


How the bowl of water caught fire was beyond me. How the

photograph on the altar bled with real blood was equally

mind-boggling. How was Pak Warto was able to guess about the

eye operation added to the mystery. After personally

experiencing the magical ritual, Mike, just like me, became

a firm believer in the powers of Pak Warto, the Indonesian Sufi