How did the author of My Life In a Harem get her passport back?

I was listening to a show on NPR in which a woman recounted her time as a member of a harem for a prince in Brunei. Towards the beginning of her story, she recounted how on arrival in Brunei the secret service men asked for her passport and never gave it back. At the end of her story, she casually recounts in summary that she decided to leave Brunei after certain events and went back home to the US. A couple of times throughout the story she mentioned the taking of the passport, but then at the end, she did not bring up any challenges encountered in trying to get it back.

Has anyone read the book she wrote on the experience? Does she say any more about it there? Maybe they just handed it right over to her on request, but I don’t know.

Haven’t read the book, but seems to me that a US Citizen in Brunei could just go to the nearest embassy (almost 100% sure there’s one in Brunei) and tell them she needs a new passport. They’d help her get on a plane home, at the very least.

I came home from Europe without a passport (lost or stolen in the airport) and had no problem getting into the US. It was harder to get on the plane from Frankfurt but Homeland Security made that happen for me.

You don’t need a passport to return to the United States, you just need to be an American citizen, and a passport is a very easy way to establish in a few seconds that you are, indeed, an American citizen. Of course an airline won’t let you board a flight to a country that you don’t have a legal right to be in, because they’d be on the hook to ship you back where you came from, and what if you didn’t have the right to be where you came from?

So you need some method of establishing your identity before you can get on a plane. And so you go to the US embassy or consulate nearest to you, tell them you’re an American citizen but you’ve lost your passport, you want to go home and could they please help you?

People get their passports stolen or lost all the time, so one of the standard functions of these places is to re-issue travel documents to people who have lost their papers.

So yeah, I guess what I really meant was just, did she have any trouble getting back or did they just say “okay, no problem, here’s your severance pay.”

I know that’s not what I asked. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, but it’s one thing to go to the embassy and say “I lost my passport”, quite another to say “the secret service took my passport and put me in the prince’s harem”.

Or not. Maybe that sort of thing happens a lot in Brunei.

Generally, when you goes to places like that, you have two passports. You’ll need two passports if you visit Israel as some countries - including Brunei - won’t let you enter if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport.

Israel didn’t stamp my passport. They just gave a temporary ID.

If you are a billionaire, you don’t need to force women to have sex with you. You will need to hire guards to kick away the hordes of women throwing themselves on you.

IIRC in the book she noted that she was in fact paid quite well for her time,as were all the women there. Nor was there any compulsion to stay on.

(We are talkinga bout Jillian Laurenright?

It’s not a well-written book. I imagine some details have been enhanced for publication.

It was also written about 20 years after the fact.

A friend of mine was a servant of the royal family of Brunei. They own the whole country; they don’t rule it, they own it. My friend’s driving licence was a note hand-written by her employer saying she was allowed to drive.

As noted above, they don’t need to kidnap white women. They’re billionaires; scoring chicks is never an issue.