Night Fright God Squad, Part Two
• Nikko New Century Hotel
• Shangri-La Hotel Beijing
• Xiyuan Hotel Beijing
• Exhibition Centre Hotel
Night Fright God Squad, Part Two of Two (final installment)
It's another day in Bangkok, and the would-be journalists and bible thumpers are hunkered down in their secure bunker on Sukhumvit Soi 4.
Following the debacle of last Friday night, when the God Squad failed to convince Police Lt. Booncoon that the flower girls were really child prostitutes, the do-gooders are desperate. If they can’t find a sleazy and tawdry story in Bangkok, then by God, they will create one. They are all in a secret meeting in the Soi 4 Church, and a heated argument is developing. Let’s listen in, shall we?
“Look, the BBC has hired me to find a really dirty, sensational story here”, said Katie. “You guys just aren’t coming through for me, and I don’t know what to do.”
“The Good Lord works his wonders in mysterious ways”, said Bob. “He will provide.”
“Yeah, well, that’s great for you snake-handlers, but what the BBC and CNN provide for me is a fat salary, big perks, first class travel and five-star hotels”, shouted Katie. “If you don’t come through for me, I lose all of that.”
“You could stay we me”, whispered Ellen.
“Well, you do seem to be having a good time here”, noted Bob. “What are those bruises on your wrists?” “Looks like handcuff marks to me, heh-heh”.
“Uh, well…”, stammered Katie “I was, err, doing some investigative journalism at that bondage dungeon on Soi 33…”
“But my personal life is not the point”, countered Katie. “We have to sell a hot story to the mindless and gullible public, and only sensationalism sells, and nothing sells better than stories of sex slavery and child prostitution”. Katie continued “and if you can’t find it, then my editors have authorized me to pay you to manufacture the story, understand?”
“But, that would be unethical”, replied Bob, in mocking sarcastic tones. “You know that I can’t do anything like that.” Bob smelled money, he knew that much.
“Besides, why do you have to do your story here, in Bangkok?”, queried Bob. “Why not go to Indonesia, where real sex slavery exists, or go to India, where there is real child prostitution?”.
“You know why we can’t do that”, answered Katie. “The Muslims in Indonesia routinely throw out journalists and NGO’s that interfere with their culture and traditions, and India is just impossible, they are no longer a third-world country. The Indians have money, power, and a growing economy. They don’t have to put up with our feminist agenda”.
“Furthermore, you know why we are really here in Bangkok”, added Katie. “Western men come here to have fun, they escape from bad marriages with western women and they find paradise here in Thailand. We have got to put an end to that. I represent all western women that want to free these poor little Asian women from a life of servitude and sex”.
“We actually kinda like the sex”, quipped Noi.
“Shut-up, you traitor ! !”, shouted Ellen and Katie in one voice.
“Look, ‘Reverend’, will you be man enough to help me create a story?”, Katie added sarcastically.
“Really, I just can’t do that”, replied Bob. “You know that I can’t do anything unethical like that.”
“Fine”, said Katie. “You leave me with no choice except one – I can run an equally chilling story on you and your missionary work; I have you on film touching that little Thai flower girl in very, shall we say, ‘inappropriate’ ways; Also, I know where the money goes from the bead and jewelry manufacturing. I know that you and Ellen have skimmed a fair bit of it from your PayPal account. Further, I know about your prison record for child molestation and lewd and lascivious conduct. Now, that would make one hell of a story, now wouldn’t it?”
“No, No, please, I beg of you”, whined Reverend Bob. “You don’t understand. I love children. I am a man of the cloth, I am washed in the blood of Christ, those children are God’s children, and therefore they are my children also. I sinned once, but I am forgiven, my past sins are washed away.”
“Give me my story, give me child prostitutes held as sex slaves, or I swear that I will expose you”, said Katie.
“Well, uh, I will see what we can do”, mumbled Bob. “Perhaps this is the will of the Good Lord, perhaps you are his messenger, I must pray on this for a while, God will tell me what to do”.
“Don’t pray too long, you old faker”, quipped Katie. “I want action within 48 hours”.
Reverend Bob considered his dilemma. Of course, he only had one choice, he had to cooperate. There was a lot more at stake here than just working girls, sex tourists, and beadwork. All of that was really just the cover that Bob and Ellen used so that they could make some really serious money, in ways that no one had guessed…
Katie left, and Bob, Ellen and Noi huddled in the church, and formulated a plan. Noi was given her instructions, and she set out to do her part.
Noi found her boss and friend, Bill Johnson, at one of his bars in Nana Plaza, re-labeling some freshly minted 80 proof Jack Daniels Green Label, converting the bottles in appearance to the older and much more valuable 86 proof Black Label. “Noi”, said Bill, “Good to see you, baby doll. Boy howdy, that printer buddy of yours really gouged me on these labels, it’s costing me nearly 20 Baht per bottle to convert the cheap stuff to the premium blend, heh-heh”.
“Yeah, good job for you boss”, laughed Noi. Suddenly more serious, Noi hugged close to Bill, and told him everything, all the secrets that she was discovering while working on the inside with the church people.
“No kidding”, said Bill. “Well, maybe we can find a way to rid ourselves of these parasites once and for all”. They talked more. “Hey, Noi”, said Bill, “Remember ten or fifteen years ago, when young girls were really available here in Bangkok, what were the words that Thai men would say, ‘Dek Ban Moi’, or something?” Noi almost doubled up laughing at Bill’s terrible Thai skills. “Boss, you trying to say the special house for the small-small girl?” asked Noi, stilling laughing. They both had a good laugh at the futility and the farcical nature of the whole thing. The religious fanatics, who clearly didn’t have a clue, were trying to help a second-string reporter commit journalistic fraud by creating something that had not been available in Bangkok for almost fifteen years. It would have been funny if it were not so sad.
“So, let me make sure that I understand this”, said Bill. “The journalist wants the God Squad to find a little girl, and put her in a sexual situation with a Falang man, and then the cameraman will capture it all for television, right?”
“Well, how about this…”, mused Bill. “What if you can pretend to give them what they want, but what if we can somehow catch them doing something really bad, how about that?”
“Oh, Mister Bob he do the bad thing all the time with all the LadyBoys that he find; You mean like that?”, said Noi.
Bill sat alone thinking before giving more directions to Noi. Sure, he was no angel, and he had seen it all. He had been underneath the Banyan Trees in Svay Pak. Everybody had to see it at least once. And he knew that every news service had fallen victim to the journalistic hyperbole. Stories about do-gooders rescuing the little kids that were supposedly being sold to sex tourists. The newspapers and the TV documentaries had beaten that story to death, long after the underage sex trade had ceased to exist. Hell, you couldn’t even find that in Cambodia any more, yet these crazed zealots wanted to find it here in Bangkok, 15 years after it had been eradicated.
Bill took another sip of Makers Mark, the high end American bourbon that he kept just for himself. Finally, he told Noi, “OK, go tell the ‘Reverend’ that you have a friend that may be able to find some small-small for him, but that you need more time. Try to stall him while I think about this some more”.
With that, Noi left NEP, and headed back to Soi 4.
Bill just sat thinking. He had seen the reality of what ‘freedom’ at the hands of the NGO’s really meant to young girls that had worked in the Cambodian brothels. They often found themselves “liberated” from high-wage sex work, only to be literally locked into Chinese-owned sweatshop textile factories in Phnom Penh.
The Cambodian textile factories specialized in piecework. The knock-off designer clothing was shipped back to China, where it was assembled and labeled “Made in China” and then exported to Europe and to the USA. Yeah, Bill thought, if these do-gooders shop at WalMart, and if their clothes say “Made in China”, the piecework may have been performed in Cambodia by former prostitutes that now earn approximately 2-percent of what they used to earn. What a screwed up world, Bill thought, as he shook his head silently to himself.
It dawned on Bill that the Cambodian example was a direct analogy for what the God Squad wanted to accomplish here in Bangkok. The do-gooders were luring away sex workers, and forcing the Thai girls into a life of menial servitude, making beads and cheap costume jewelry. The Thai working girls were losing both their freedom and their income.
Bill pondered the dangling questions – what were the real motives of these so-called Christians, and how could they fund all they were doing from small donations and the sale of handicrafts and trinkets? Bill was becoming more relaxed from the whisky, and his mind drifted a little, listening to the lyrics of an old Grateful Dead tune playing in the bar, “…living on reds, vitamin ‘C’ and cocaine…” A fairly lucid thought suddenly popped into the shattered remains of Bill’s mind, and on a hunch, Bill found an old telephone number, and called an American DEA agent that he knew that was working the Burmese border area near Chiang Mai. They had a long and interesting discussion…
Noi met later with the Reverend Bob, lied to him, and told him that a friend of hers could set-up something. Bob was elated, and he immediately called Katie and told her the good news.
Katie immediately filed a written report and fax’d it to London, telling her boss at the BBC what was in the making. He fired a letter back, essentially telling Katie that this was her last chance, deliver the hot story, or loose her job.
Later that night, Bob made his nightly visit to the cruisy toilet at the Ambassador Hotel. Not for a quickie, but for business.
Bob went into the men's room and waited. Meanwhile, unbeknown to Bob, a Crime Suppression team was assembling in the parking lot.
Bob took his appointed place in the third stall. His target showed up a few moments later, and sat in the fourth stall. Bob whistled "Glory to God", the call sign for his partner. An Arabic accented voice of a young man returned the code answer, “Allah be praised”.
There was movement in the other stall, but instead of some guy’s cock appearing in the glory hole, a small hand-written note was passed through, that simply said: “500 grams, Burmese, pure, $50,000-USD”.
Bob: (taps his foot) “Well, Boy, show me yours, and I’ll show you mine”.
The young Pakistani man slid a small backpack part way under the stall partition. Bob peeked into the bag, and was satisfied with the familiar appearance of the white powder, neatly divided into small plastic bags.
Bob pulled a large manila envelope containing U.S. currency out of his own backpack, and slid it under the stall.
Each man was preparing to leave, when suddenly there was a commotion at the men’s room door, and Bob was knocked back against the toilet by the concussion of flash-bangs and stun grenades.
Bob heard the Pakistani man screaming in the next stall, and thinking fast, he shoved the backpack of heroin back under the stall divider.
The takedown team, armed with Glocks and tasers, searched each stall. Bob looked like a deer caught in the headlights, and started screaming, “Hey, I wasn’t doing nothing, I just come here to meet young boys for sex, I don’t know nothing about no drugs ! !”
Flash forward a few months – –
Bill has just signed a deal to buy his third bar;
Noi has opened her own Internet café that features proprietary software for auto-generating sick-water-buffalo emails;
Katie is panhandling around the Nana sky train station, unable to sell her fake news stories, or otherwise make a living;
Reverend Bob is now resident at Samut Prakan Central Prison in Bangkok, where he will enjoy the affections of numerous young Thai men for 30 to life.
Sometimes, things just naturally work out for the best.
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