SOMALY MAM — Prostitute Turned Saint


September 8, 2008: This is the date of publication given by Amazon for the hardback edition of THE ROAD OF LOST INNOCENCE: The True Story Of A Cambodian Heroine, the highly imaginative autobiography of Somaly Mam; it was co-written by Ruth Marshall.

I should point out that the dates herein are not important. Somaly Mam met her gullible future husband Pierre Legros in 1991, and almost certainly began feeding him her fantasies from the word go.

Mam’s story was eventually exposed as a tissue of lies; she claimed to have been sold into sex slavery and raped repeatedly. Later she concocted a similar if less tortuous tale about her own daughter! Finally the penny dropped, but not before she had conned Michelle Obama (then First Lady of the United States) and even Hillary Clinton.

Mam’s book was published originally in 2005 as Le Silence De L’innocence; here are two pages from the 2007 reprint by Virago of London, translated from the French by Lisa Appignanesi. These pages relate to her daughter.

Her star catch was the tragic Long Pros (also translated as Long Pro or Long Pross). Here is a slightly edited video of her released January 4, 2009 by The New York Times. The story related herein is as sickening a tale of man’s inhumanity to woman as one could imagine short of actual sadistic murder, although the bad guy in this story is a female brothel owner. Before you grow angry though, watch the second clip (by 101 East) which tells the true story, and you will realise that rather than being about inhumanity, the treatment of Long Pros was precisely the opposite.

Finally, I don’t blame this poor creature for going along with this story, and neither should you. She suffered a shocking disability for a young girl in a culture where her future depends in great measure on her looks. But this should not blind us to the fact that her story as related by both Mam and herself is demonstrably untrue.

The exposure of especially Somaly Mam undermines many of the horror stories told by and about trafficked women and girls whether they are peddled by man-hating harridans like Harriet Wistrich and Julie Bindle or gullible humanitarians.

Finally, here are a couple of articles about Somaly Mam and her foundation from The Cambodian Daily, April 26, 2012 and November 7, 2013 respectively.

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