Bangkalan Police detectives on the Indonesian island of Madura are interrogating a shaman who allegedly used his cellphone to take video footage of his patients in the nude after convincing them that they needed to strip completely and follow his instructions if they wanted to solve all their marital problems.
“We have arrested a man, [identified only by his initials] ZL. He is 35, and claims to be a dukun [shaman]. He has admitted making nude videos of his clients or patients with his mobile phone,” said Adj. Sr. Comr. Suwarno, Bangkalan Police’s chief detective on Monday, adding that the footage had circulated widely among the people of Bangkalan shortly after ZL claimed he took his broken mobile phone to a repair shop to get it fixed.
“We are trying to find out whether or not ZL had any hand in the distribution of the cellphone videos,” Suwarno said. “The person who did so, as well as ZL, might be in violation of the  Anti-Pornography Law. None of the girls were hypnotized into unclothing themselves. They were simply convinced by ZL,” he said, adding that there was footage of at least three girls, one of them underage.
Suwarno said that the case began when one of the victims, identified only by her initials MW, 20, came to ZL hoping that he could fix the troubles in her marriage.
“After her sixth treatment, she informed the shaman that her marriage was still in trouble and that the therapy had failed to work,” Suwarno said, adding that ZL then reportedly instructed MW that she must take all her clothes off. He then allegedly proceeded to take nude video footage of her with his mobile phone.
ZL, according to Suwarno, also allegedly touched MW on certain parts of her body as part of the treatment.
Suwarno added that the videos were soon in circulation in Bangkalan and that one of MW’s relatives, who viewed the footage, informed her about them.
“ZL was then arrested. He admitted that he had abused his profession as a shaman to make videos of the bodies of the patients because he himself was sexually frustrated. He said his wife was disabled and that he had only made the videos for private consumption,” Suwarno said.
Yuniar Soenarko, a Surabaya-based psychiatrist, said that conservative cultural beliefs meant it was quite common for those living in rural regions to turn to traditional shamans to solve their private problems.
“Some people with low IQ levels can become very dependent on a shaman. They trust might him to solve their problems and they are willing to do whatever the shaman instructs them to do,” Yuniar said.