Editor’s note: Last month, WorldNetDaily.com readers learned about the plight of Mylee, a Thai prostitute forced by circumstances into a sordid life. In this uplifting update, international correspondent Anthony C. LoBaido details Mylee’s redemption and escape from prostitution.
KO PHA NGAN, Thailand – Mylee Korn stood at the front of a speeding ferry heading for the island paradise of Ko Pha Ngan. The sun was warm and bright, shining down upon her gleaming, pretty face. Her long, jet-black hair was set off of her neck by the strong wing coming from the east. The sea was blue and clear as Mylee watched large fish swimming alongside the boat. She reached out and proudly touched the Thailand national flag that flew on a small pole at the foremost tip of the vessel.
“I am the queen of the world!” she shouted happily, recalling the memorable scene in the film “Titanic.” Then she added, “If I had a necklace, I might throw it into the water!”
Mylee, now an ex-prostitute, was at both the end and the beginning of her long, tortured journey toward personal freedom and redemption. What follows is a detailed account of her quest for freedom.
After WorldNetDaily published a story about Mylee’s plight in early February, letters offering help poured in immediately to this writer from all over the world.
One WND reader wrote, “I was deeply touched by your editorial about Mylee. Can you tell me more about her? Does she speak English, or did you have a translator available? It is so sad that women have to enter prostitution to survive the economic conditions in many parts of the world.”
Another reader wanted to open his wallet: “Thank you for your article. Do you know of any foundations that address the plight of these poor women and children in Southeast Asia? I was wondering if I might be able to donate some money.”
An American lawyer wrote, “I read your article on WorldNetDaily describing the sex-slave trade in Thailand and was moved to write you to ask if you have any way of getting in touch with the young woman of whom you wrote. I am a lawyer in Boston who has successfully obtained political asylum in the U.S. for those facing less, and believe it would be possible to bring Mylee and perhaps her family to the United States. At the very least, I should like to see if it would be possible to donate money to her and her family so that she will no longer be forced into prostitution. As a devout Anglican Christian, I would like to help her in some way.”
After hearing of Mylee’s plight, a well-to-do British gentleman contacted this writer and was put in touch with Mylee’s family in Chiang Rai, in northern Thailand. Almost immediately, 10,000 British pounds were wired to Mylee’s relatives, who then traveled down to Bangkok’s Pat Pong Road in an attempt to “purchase” her freedom. Accompanying Mylee’s Uncle Pung was her cousin Sit, who serves in an elite anti-drug special operations unit in the Thai army in the region of the Golden Triangle.
At first, Mylee’s pimp resisted any attempt at dialogue. The pimp’s name was Vikas, a 55-year-old Indian from Calcutta. Vikas was a balding man with fetid breath and shifty eyes. He featured the cunning and ruthlessness of a nomadic raider. Vikas claimed that Mylee had been “bought and sold” so many times (Mylee counted 13) that no one knew who the original owner was.
Pung pointed out that didn’t matter anymore. He wanted to “buy” Mylee back from him.
“Ji tang,” Vikas said in Thai. “You pay now!”
“Let me see the money,” Vikas added. Pung obliged, while Mylee sat by nervously in her cubicle, dressed in the manner of a prostitute with short hot pants, a tight tank top and so much makeup her cousin remarked that she “looked like she got too close to the Avon lady when she exploded.”
Vikas grabbed his cellphone and began to make a series of calls. Pung was polite but firm. Was Vikas serious about letting Mylee go? Mylee began to cry at several points during the “negotiations.”
“May-ow!” she said, sobbing again and again. “I don’t want …”
“Garoonah.” “Please let me go.”
“Sway, sway, Mylee,” Vikas told her at one point, while running his hand over her pinkish cheeks. Her tears fell across his thick fingers with dirty fingernails. “You are so beautiful, Mylee,” he said to her in Thai.
There were more phone calls and threats passed back and forth. At one point, Sit strongly urged Vikas to accept the money, for if he did not, his special forces unit would return to Pat Pong Road to “sort him (Vikas) out.”
The moment of decision finally came. Vikas agreed to let Mylee go. Pung handed over the money, and Vikas carefully counted the British pounds.
“Kup! Kup!” “Thank you! Thank you!” Mylee cried, this time with joy, as she ran into her uncle’s arm. He held her tightly. He was a short, strong man with pleasant brown eyes and a sincere smile. Mylee’s cup had indeed runneth over.
“Ob nam,” Mylee said to her cousin. “Nam rone!” She wanted a shower with lots of hot water.
Then the three of them left the whorehouse on Pat Pong Road. They stood outside the building hugging and crying while the teeming masses of humanity filed past them, in search of drugs, perverted sex and drink.
Vikas followed them outside. He wore the face of a man with bittersweet emotions. He had gained a suitcase full of money but lost one of his “girls.” Pung called it “blood money.” He promised that he would pray to the Buddha and try to be a better uncle. He cursed himself for not having done more to rescue his niece.
“Pope kan my,” Sit said to Vikas with a vicious smile. “See you again.” But his meaning could not be more clear: “Don’t make me have to come back here.”
And then the three of them, along with this writer, got into a taxi and sped off into the night. Just like that, Mylee was free. After years in bondage, she had been freed, at least physically. Her spiritual redemption would prove to be equally difficult, for it could not be bought. Yet, that would come in due course.
Mylee returned home to her village near Chiang Mai via train. She stayed with Pung for a while and toured the countryside, pausing at times to take photographs of wild animals and pet an elephant who had stepped on a land mine. The elephant was being fitted with a special metal shoe by a veterinarian.
“Do you remember what I told you about my ambitions for my life and my career?” Mylee asked WorldNetDaily. “I want to be a vet and devote my life to helping animals.”
Mylee spoke of applying to vet school at Texas A&M University in College Station. She said she’d heard it was the best vet school in the United States.
She also spoke of praying to the Buddha to help her “cleanse her mind” of her life as a prostitute. She claimed that she still felt dirty and unclean. Mylee confided that her British benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, had written her a letter. The letter, she said, had explained to her about the story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and how He had made her clean.
Mylee kept the handwritten letter in her handbag, which sported elaborately sewn elephants.
She picked up the letter and ran her fingers over the stamps on the envelope before reading the last line. It was a biblical passage from Psalm 103: “As far as the east is from the west, so far shall I remove your sins from you.”
Now, as the ferry approached the dock at Tong Sala on Ko Pha Ngan, Mylee smiled and then cried tears of joy. Ahead was the chance for her to work with the brand new Ko Pha Ngan animal rescue center. Beyond that, perhaps a degree at Texas A&M.
“Do you think I could be an Aggie?” she asked sincerely. In that singular moment, for Mylee, all good things in life seemed not only possible, but probable.