A Prayer Before Dawn : A Nightmare in Thailand
by Billy Moore
Editor: Maverick House
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The first time Billy Moore entered his cell packed with seventy prisoners, the floor looked like a mass grave, interwoven with arms and legs, and the smell of human faeces was so strong that he almost vomited.Last night, he slept next to a dead man.It wouldn’t be the last timeBehind the walls of Klong Prem “Bangkok Hilton” prison, life has no value.Overpopulated cells are fertile ground for HIV, TUBERCULOSIS, dengue fever, fever, and hepatitis, and conditions are putrid and brutal.In an environment where drugs, murder, rape, and corruption are rampant, Moore fights to stay afloat above madness and his inner demons.A few years earlier, Moore had travelled to Thailand to escape a life of addiction to heroin and alcoholism in England.In an attempt to stay straight, he became a Muay Thai boxer professional, worked as an extra in Rambo alongside Sylvester Stallone, and even fell in love.However, in the miserable streets of Chiang Mai, Moore’s life quickly descended back into chaos when he relapsed after trying ya ba, the mortal crack of Southeast Asia.Moore was imprisoned first in Chiang Mai, in the Central Prison and later in Klong Prem prison, a hell of dirt and horror that very few will ever have the experience and that no one wants to see again.As a “farang” (foreign), Moore struggles to survive prison atrocities committed by strategic decisions, friends, fights in Muay Thai prison boxing team, and even convert to Islam and pray five times a day.However, what requires more energy and sand than any of his boxing matches is not only dealing with dangerous Thai criminals hiding behind the walls of the prison, but also resisting his addictions in an environment where drugs run a lot and battles with guilt.A Prayer Before Dawn is not ordinary from the prison of memory; it is a man’s story, survival in the midst of inhuman circumstances and, most importantly, his redemption in the most improbable of places.
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