Asia: Dukuns, Bomohs and Gurus

Before Indonesia's President Suharto departed on a foreign tour this fall, he paused for a special ceremony. One of Indonesia's dukuns (soothsayers) had predicted a possible disaster for the country in late 1970, and sacrificial rites were duly scheduled. Several water buffalo were rounded up and slaughtered. The head of one was buried on the eastern tip of Java, and the head of another on the western edge. With Indonesia's most populous island thus bracketed, Suharto embarked on his journey. So far, no disaster.

One Step Beyond. Most Asian leaders are sophisticated, well-educated...

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