Sumpah Pocong is often referred to as the ultimate oath. However, it is more like an oath of innocence. Sumpah pocong involves the oath taker being wrapped in white cloth and then swearing an oath to their innocence. The white cloth that the oath taker is wrapped in resembles the death robes or shroud that Muslims are buried in. Therefore, the sumpah pocong is considered to be the ultimate oath because one is said to risk death or chronic illness if they lie about their innocence while wrapped up.
The sumpah pocong has always been a part of the Indonesian cultural landscape, and there is many a horror film that uses the pocong as a means of instilling fear. However, the sumpah pocong is coming back to the fore as a means of attempting to clear one's name in legal disputes. Prita Mulyasari, who has been battling the state and public prosecutors in a defamation matter has recently offered to take one, a sumpah pocong that is, as a means of declaring her innocence of a defamation charge.
I am not sure how the sumpah pocong would do this other than perhaps to indicate that Prita did not intend to defame Omni International Hospital. But, a more pertinent question would be, "how long should the courts wait to see whether Prita has told the truth?" This is important because the risk of lying while doing the sumpah pocong is death or chronic illness. It is my understanding that death and chronic illness may not necessarily be instantaneous if the oath taker tells a little fib about their innocence.
In any event, in a case from Banyuwangi in East Java, Rahmatulloh has offered to take a sumpah pocong to prove that he is innocent of charges that he is a shaman (dukun) and that he did not kill his nephew, Hamid, by using black magic on him. Hamid's father, Pon, claimed that Rahmatulloh used black magic to kill his son as his son was healthy one day and then died after suffering from some bizarre symptoms. This presupposes that bizarre symptoms are indicative of black magic. Maybe, the villagers need to sit down and watch a few episodes of House to see that bizarre and weird symptoms are not always indicative of black magic.
TV One carried some coverage of the sumpah pocong being performed. The sumpah pocong oath is usually done in a local mosque under the guidance of an agreed religious leader of the relevant community.
The video is in Indonesian and is embedded below.