Saturday, September 21, 2013

The West has no monopoly on Buddhist scandals

From Thailand comes this story:

Thailand has seized nearly $800,000 worth of assets, including a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz, from a monk who was disrobed for a controversial trip in a private jet, authorities said Friday.
Thailand's Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said Wiraphon Sukphon was suspected of deceiving people to give him donations.
"Monks can receive donations and must use them for the benefit of the public, not for private use and their own personal comforts," Police Colonel Seehanat Prayoonrat, secretary of the AMLO, told AFP.
Wiraphon went by the name Luang Pu Nen Kham to bolster his claims to be the reincarnation of a famous miracle-performing monk.
The disgraced cleric, who is believed to be abroad, is also being sought in Thailand on suspicion of having sex with an underage girl around a decade ago while he was a monk, and of fathering a child with her.

See also here. Apparently this guy milked something like $0.77 million which probably goes a lot farther in Thailand than it does here. 

The fact is, humans will have scandals.  If someone is a kind of Buddhist service provider, choose one that not only adheres to a code of ethics with which you feel is ethical. 


Buddhist_philosopher said...


I'm quite sure there were many Buddhist scandals even during the lifetime of the Buddha. It's interesting that people want to 'project' a pristine Buddhism in the East and then wonder what has gone wrong with 'us' in the West.

I covered some similar ground last year in a post on Eccentric Buddhist Masters:

Mumon K said...

Yeah, BTW, in the same vein, if you haven't read Tokyo Vice, I'd recommend it (by Jake Adelstein).

It's eventually about Jake's early career as reporter for the Yomiuri Shimbun, and his relationship with Goto Tadamasa, a yakuza boss turned Buddhist priest.

zen of the black holes said...

Ok, to liven the spirits...

Let's all have a little laugh at ourselves, shall we? (by the way obviously Chick Tracts is not aware that reincarnation doctrine is established in the bible).