By Aramie Louisville Vas
“I can tell you this I’ve seen some creepy things and felt creepy things,
In those scenes … it’s never good.” – Ian Pallak
Ian Pallak lives in Saugerties, NY and began his crime scene clean-up business, Ulster Bio-Recovery, at the behest of his wife in 2007. Crime scene clean-up is a shadowy world. Professional clean-up crews are called in by authorities, businesses or even families where messy, distressing crime has occurred: murder, suicide, and violence. He never intended to set forth on this path. Ian’s wife had seen an unusual niche for businesses whose sole function was to be called in to provide clean-up at crime scenes. Ian himself was about to join a monastery.
He wound up in a different sort of spiritual pursuit. A grisly and shamanic one; he became a holy line death walker.
Ian is a master of the organic thought-form. From him, you do not receive completely straight, head-on answers. The conversation flows like water through the rocks. Each pause is a journey that leads to a waterfall and down to another stream. His responses are more poetry, less bullet-point. I found myself wanting to jot down individual fragments so as to write creatively about them, later. I didn’t know what to expect from a man who made his living cleaning up pieces of people both living and dead, but Ian was a pleasant and mystical surprise in a bloodied, cruel world.
Aramie Louisville Vas: Your wife, why did she suggest the crime scene clean-up business? And you were about to enter a monastery at the time she made the suggestion: would entering the monastery have meant a renunciation of marriage and “traditional” Western lifestyle (if there is such a thing)?
Ian Pallak: She had Seen a CSI in Miami and she noticed there was a need for it, and yes I would have renounced a lot of things possibly.
ALV: Do you still work in the business?
Ian: Kinda … I take calls … I may do an estimate here or there but I’m not too enthusiastic about it anymore.
ALV: What about in the beginning, what were your feelings about getting started?
Ian: It was a spiritual thing and exciting, now it’s just pathetic and disgusting and spiritual but not ‘good’ spiritual. More like demonic.
ALV: Tell me more about the spiritual aspect for you.
Ian: I think it’s more important people study NLP and Derren Brown before we start talking about that.
ALV: NLP – neuro-linguistic programming? And Derren Brown – are you referring to the illusionist?
Ian: Yes. But he is more than that. There are many videos explaining how we might be perceiving things differently than they are. I’m just not going to share those stories and be perceived … about spiritual things, they are very experiential to the individual.
I can tell you this I’ve seen some creepy things and felt creepy things in those scenes … it’s never good. Despair, insanity, confusion, anger, hate, you name it … the room tells a story. I also believe our emotions are like gods and have the capability of changing the perception of reality.
ALV: Did they tell you what the situation had been before your arrival on the scene? Or were the instructions just to “clean it up”? More importantly, did you WANT to know what happened?
Ian: They tell us or the family depending on the situation. I need to know blood splatter patterns … and depending with what and where … what’s the temp? It all comes into play. What floor? Who’s got the key? What diseases to be careful for.
ALV: And who might show up afterwards.
Ian: Right. When is mom showing up to collect Jr’s things? We are private contractors of death.
ALV: My god, you walked the line between life and death at a very private moment with complete and total strangers.
Ian: It’s the most intimate thing you can do. In Israel we are considered holy.
ALV: Really? The death cleaners in Israel are considered holy work?
Ian: It’s not the images, it’s the feelings of despair of these people and their loved ones … and just when you think you know crazy … bullshit there is another level … people can be so insane, I can’t tell you. And yes … they are called something, I forget … but they are supposed to get all the blood. It is considered sacred. You see them at bomb sites.
ALV: Were you scared? Ever?
Ian: Every time. If you’re not you’re stupid. I don’t want to get sick.
ALV: You said people can be so insane, and I certainly agree. But did you actually have to deal with the family, friends or loved ones who maybe showed up at unexpected times as you were trying to work?
Ian: Yes. I had a family that was into Santeria show up after their mother’s head was cut off and her heart taken out. [They were] trying to get into the house to remove her things, but the place was just covered in blood in every room … the daughter was yelling at me saying “they cut her head off.” Meanwhile the scumbag Haitian landlord wanted her stuff out so he could rent the place. He showed up drunk and in a tank top with some other scumbag. Also one of the killers was not caught so they might have been creeping around.
ALV: Christ. Did you call the police? Or was there even any point? Was is just “get it done and go”, and pray for the best?
Ian: Honestly the last thing I would ever do is call the police. I handle my own problems.
We left. It turns out one of the family members went to crime victims [Crime Victim Compensation] and got $4500 and kept the money and didn’t tell the rest of the family so I left. There was no money to clean it up.
The victim whose head was cut off, the mother, she was a domestic violence cop. And the killer was her girlfriend, and there was another lover as well. They killed her while on a cocaine paranoid induced psychosis. They cut her heart out too and put it in a pot on the stove, then took blood and spattered it on the statues in the alter room which they had turned around to face the wall as well. That apartment felt like something was breathing on your neck, not good.
I also had a guy try and cut his pacemaker out of his chest, that’s pretty nuts. Then all the nasty hoarder cat people. The worst are the cat people. We say “light a match and run”. That Voodoo thing was in the Bronx. It made the paper.
ALV: When was that? The Santeria thing?
Ian: Eight years ago.
ALV: The guy who tried to cut his pacemaker out: was he the one you arrived to clean up? I guess the clean up wasn’t always because of death. I never thought about it til now.
Ian: He lived. They took him away. His apt was covered in blood and filth. Section 8 wacko. I get a lot of those Section 8 crazy people.
ALV: Mental health issues run rampant when no money or insurance to help treat.
Ian: There is no cure for mental illness other than Ayahuasca or Ibogaine, and those must be coupled with meditation time and lifestyle changes to be effective.
They also wanted me to clean up all the evidence in NYC effected by Hurricane Irene … [but we] didn’t get the job. Damnit … [it was] estimated at $15.5 million. They never did it officially.
ALV: Sad, but unsurprising. Have you tried either Ayahuasca or Ibogaine? How did you cope with all this death and destruction and other people’s level of crazy?
Ian: I became detached and eventually I burned out. The darkness seeped into me slowly. I also was a firefighter for a number of years and I’m a veteran so I’ve seen my share of death. And yes I did both and now my plan is to treat Veterans with PTSD at Ibogalife in Costa Rica with my friends Michael, Bobby and Raffa.
I also wrote a program to de-program people and I did it to myself and it worked.
ALV: Does Ibogaine hold a spiritual significance as much as Ayahuasca?
Ian: Ibogaine is like a stern father and Ayahuasca is like your grandmother giving you a spank. I’m going to the Veteran’s Administration soon. I have already spoke to names I won’t mention high up in the Government.
ALV: Will the government be supportive of your mission in Costa Rica?
Ian: They seem to be, but officially it may have to go into the black area or grey.
ALV: Changing subjects, may I ask a trite question?
Ian: Trite, sure.
ALV: Ok. Do you believe in ghosts?
Ian: Yes. I’ve been seeing them since I was a kid my father was Special Forces in Vietnam, 101st Airborne Army Rangers, and he had killed a lot of people and I saw them around him. But at the crime scenes I did not just because … it was as if they called me to help in a way and were not there to scare me. But I could feel the evil, and I caught a picture of a demonic entity in a scene once but I won’t show the public. All those pictures are classified as medical documents protected by HIPPA laws and I must respect the dead and the families – that’s part of what I get paid for: discretion.
ALV: Understood. Was the energy always evil at crime scenes? Demonic?
Ian: Depends on what happened. I felt suicide and murder had a specific frequency energetic in the room … and the person’s philosophy as well. A lot of suicides are over a cheating spouse.
ALV: We’re attached to our earthly loves, so attached it can kill us.
Ian: Emotions are the gods. I’ve seen where he would call the spouse to come over and do it in the doorway so that’s the first thing she sees. Emotions are based on all ancient knowledge mixed with astrology. That’s what the Kabbalah – Crowley – masonic crap, blah blah blah. They figured it out. That’s the MK -Ultra brainwashing shit with TV.
ALV: Were the dead watching you as you went about your work? I know you didn’t see them at the scenes, but did they know what was going on in the realm they left behind?
Ian: When the soul leaves the body it takes its emotions and philosophical ideas with it so it really depends on each individual’s idea of where they are going … some don’t know so they stay … some are just demonic looking for another person to possess and others have a solid idea and love in their heart and in that case I imagine they went on a journey – and yes – a lot of times I could tell they were there. That’s why I always paid careful attention of what I was thinking and tried to remain neutral or just light … to me it is armor. And I was doing a holy service for myself and the family … basically cleaning karma.
ALV: Not many people have to remain so mentally armored on a daily basis at work. Cleaning karma! I like that, a holy service.