Mr. Foong, welcome back. Since this is an autobiography rather than a work of fiction, I’m going to let you pick and choose which questions you wish to answer.
What do you like to be called?
- Bernard Foong
You mentioned you are sometimes called “Young”. How did you come by that name?
- My classmates in my UK boarding school couldn’t pronounce my Chinese name Yoong, so I became Young.
Can you tells us where you were born?
- I was born in 1953 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Malaya at the time of my birth. Now it is Malaysia after it obtained its independence from the British Empire).
By your own definitions, can you classify your self as a good or bad person?
- Not definable.
How would you describe your personality?
- Inquisitive, smart, intelligent, creative and full of vigor/vitality.
I’m sure, since you have kept your secret for so long, you are a person who handles pressure well. Is there a good example of the pressures you were under?
- When I was being summoned into the headmaster’s office to be told that I’m 5 boys (from a school of approximately 200) that I’ve been specially selected to enter a sexual secret society – The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society (E.R.O.S.) to be further educated in a more exclusive boarding school in the United Arad Emirates to be groomed to enter several Arab Household harems.
From your own book, is there something good you would like to see come out of your efforts?
- That A harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young series will shed a positive and an enlightening light on main-stream society (worldwide).
If you could become anything in the world, would you do so?
- I wouldn’t want to be any creature but myself because I had such a positive experience during my young years in harem services.
- I love and embrace who I am. I’m a perfect me, I don’t need to change and be somebody I’m not.
From your viewpoint, if someone were to insult you, or give you an undeserved complement, how would you react?
- Love him/her unconditionally.
- At our unique education, we are specially selected by the secret society because of our positive and loving traits. Therefore, students and “big-brothers/Valets would treat insults with a grain of salt and us our positivity to dissipate the negativity.
Can you tell us about where you grew up, or does that give away parts of your book?
- My childhood until 13 years of age was spend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From late 13 to 26 I was educated in the United Kingdom. From 14 years on, I’ve been travelling, studying, teaching all over Europe and Asia.
What is your immediate family like?
- Love my nurturing mother. Did not get along with my tyrannical dad. They are both deceased.
- 2 blood brothers, one half-brother and a half-sister.
- I’m in a long-term relation. My life-partner and I have been together for 19 years.
When you are not writing, what do you do in life?
- I’m a semi-retired fashion designer. I’m also an established artist.
Living in the US, you have seen some of the monumental challenges faced by the gay/lesbian community. Do you have any hopes or dreams as acceptance grows for this group?
- In my memoirs, I’ve recently reconnected with my ex-big-brother/Valet/lover. If and when we do meet up and if the circumstances and situations permit, we (my life-partner, Walter, Andy – my ex-lover “big-brother”/Valet and I may decide to have a triplet relationship.
I do have to ask this one, just because of the synopsis you’ve provided. Do you have any big secrets you can tell us?
- I had kept my E.R.O.S. and harem experiences a secret close to 40 odd years. Now, I’m ready to tell my story. Therefore my biggest secret (that is no longer a secret anymore). I’ve included a synopsis below of what my secret was.Synopsis: A Harem Boy’s Saga – I – Initiation; a memoir by Young.
This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.
I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia. Following in my brothers’ footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine organization, E.R.O.S. The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society. For four years, unbeknown to my family, I was willingly and happily part of a Harem.
My story has been kept under wraps for close to 45 years. The correct moment has arrived for me to make known my unique education.
With writing your memoir, do you have any fear of reprisals?
- One of the reason I’ve changed the actual names of people and places in my memoirs is to protect their identities so I will not be sued or have a ‘Fahwah’ put on my life because of my controversial experiences. This is not so much fear but a precaution I took to protect all the people and institutions involved. You don’t have to answer this one if you don’t want to.
One last question for you today. What was the proudest moment for you in your life so far?
- To be given this enlightened educational opportunity within such an opulently, wealthy and unique setting, to grow into a responsible citizen of the world. This, I’m grateful and truly proud of.
That is indeed a wonderful achievement. Thank you for coming by today, Mr. Foong, and I wish you many years of continued happiness. Perhaps, your example will inspire others to take a similarly brave step into exploring other cultures and learning about themselves. I have enjoyed talking with you, and am grateful that you have allowed me to host your interviews.