Buddhism in crisis?

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Former Monk Wanted On Child Sex Charges To Return To Thailand

Post by hhfarang » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:37 pm

"Wirapol Sukphol fled to the U.S. after being expelled from the monkhood in 2013.

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The former monk, wanted on criminal charges, is seen riding in a private airplane in a video released in 2013.

BANGKOK - A former Thai Buddhist monk wanted on child sex charges will be sent home from the United States to face trial, Thai police said on Tuesday, the latest scandal to raise questions about the state of Buddhism in a fast-changing society.

Wirapol Sukphol, formerly known by his monastic name Luang Pu Nenkham, sparked an uproar in 2013 when a YouTube video appeared showing the then-monk on a private jet with a Louis Vuitton bag, behavior deemed contrary to Buddhist teachings and a monk’s vow to shun material goods.

Later that year, he was expelled from the monkhood after being accused of having sexual intercourse - a grave offense for monks - with an underage girl. He then fled to the United States.

Investigations led to the filing of charges of child molestation, child abduction, public fraud, money laundering and computer crime against him, police said.

“Authorities in the United States will send him back to Thailand tomorrow night,” Paisit Wongmuang, director of the special investigation police division, told reporters. ..."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ex- ... 5f893e4d3f
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Re: Former Monk Wanted On Child Sex Charges To Return To Thailand

Post by PeteC » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:42 am

He's already back arriving around 2200 last night. Pete
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Buddhism in crisis?

Post by caller » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:27 am

Good article from the beeb's Jonathan Head - for which he'll probably be in trouble again - lol!

Mumbo jumbo, crooked monks and lucky amulets seems to sum it up nicely.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40678511
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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by hhinner » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:40 am

I remember a time when monks wouldn't touch money. But I'll bet that you could go along to market village almost any afternoon and see monks perusing smart phones and paying with cash. It's rains retreat now, but you can still see monks shopping during the afternoons when they're supposed to be in the temple.

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Re: Former Monk Wanted On Child Sex Charges To Return To Thailand

Post by hhfarang » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:23 pm

"Thailand monks: Wirapol Sukphol case highlights country's Buddhism crisis"

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40678511
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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by kendo » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:46 pm

Another thing to consider is that a lot of bad men become monks at some points in their lives.
Murderers rapists and Pedro's often become monks to say sorry and reset their lives or to stay under the radar for awhile.
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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by Spitfire » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:19 pm

Very true Kendo, there seems to be little control over who is actually allowed to become a monk in the first place and many are totally unsuitable. And as you rightly say, many become a monk in a hood-winking attempt to show public contrition for bad actions so as to escape answering fully for their deeds.

Also, a lot of the monks here seem simply here now to provide a "service" which appears to the casual observer to minus any meaningful guidance for the average Thai. Not to mention that the locals seem to think that by throwing money at the temple they can buy a 'stairway to heaven' and face...this all seems to create an environment of temptation for cash and worldly possessions these generally below par "monks" find hard to resist.

Aren't monks actually not even supposed to touch money? Temple finances should be managed by a board of civilian professionals on behalf of the abbot and temple...OK, a lot of these types can't be trusted either but it would avoid the uncomfortable situation of the authorities having to publicly go after the higher ranking clergy in criminal investigations.

Guess it's got like this as until recently the clergy here have not been accountable to anyone and self-regulation obviously seems (as usual) to have failed quite astonishingly.

Money & power corrupts. The image of Thai Buddhism has taken a pounding both internally and internationally and I guess that is one of the reasons why the military are belatedly clamping down on it. Perhaps also that sections of it having become politically active recently may also have something to do with it to.

A lot of this sort of stuff seems very shallow now to how seriously it was taken by the previous generations. Guess that the hopeless state and proliferation of excessive superstition everywhere doesn't help either.
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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by kendo » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Going back about ten years ago i was sat in a bar down Binta on a rainy afternoon the mrs had gone off for somtam.

I had a monk come into the bar and he started to show me a photo album of decomposing body's on a beach after the tsunami and some script about making donations.

Just as I was going to hand over a couple of hundred baht my wife returned and was quite hostile towards him much to my surprise.

She explained to me that he wasn't Thai and also a monk would never go into a bar asking for money as it's a de-robeable offence.

I had purchased one of those maps that are covered in plastic of a vendor that had walked by so I asked this so called monk to show me on the map where the tsunami happened guest what he didn't know.

My wife sent him on his way with a few choice words.
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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by handdrummer » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:04 am

hhinner wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:40 am
I remember a time when monks wouldn't touch money. But I'll bet that you could go along to market village almost any afternoon and see monks perusing smart phones and paying with cash. It's rains retreat now, but you can still see monks shopping during the afternoons when they're supposed to be in the temple.
the monks have to be the temple only during times of chanting. the rainy season retreat was started because the roads turned to mud and the monks couldn't walk to the villages for food. I suppose it was ok for the villagers to walk through the mud to feed the monks but that's another subject.

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Re: RE: Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by hhinner » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:59 am

handdrummer wrote:
hhinner wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:40 am
I remember a time when monks wouldn't touch money. But I'll bet that you could go along to market village almost any afternoon and see monks perusing smart phones and paying with cash. It's rains retreat now, but you can still see monks shopping during the afternoons when they're supposed to be in the temple.
the monks have to be the temple only during times of chanting. the rainy season retreat was started because the roads turned to mud and the monks couldn't walk to the villages for food. I suppose it was ok for the villagers to walk through the mud to feed the monks but that's another subject.
Never heard that before. Many web sites about monks' duties during Buddhist Lent are similar to this:

" Traditionally, on the first day of Vassa, each monk formally declares he will remain in residence in the temple for the three-month period.  A monk may engage in regular temple duties that take him outside its walls, but he must return by nightfall. If an unforeseen circumstance requires a monk to travel he may be allowed to do so, but he must return within seven days." https://www.thoughtco.com/vassa-450114. Times change, I suppose, and maybe browsing for a new smartphone falls under regular temple duties.

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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by STEVE G » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:58 am

I remember a time when monks wouldn't touch money.
Those times are gone, I was with my partner in one of the Wats in Hua Hin last year, I sat politely aside during chanting etc. and then when trying to leave, was assailed by a salesman monk who tried to get me to buy, amongst other things, a stuffed baby tiger!

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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by europtimiste » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:23 pm

All religions are shit, all is about money, prestige, oppression.

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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by HHTel » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:08 pm

So you don't respect any religions! Not surprising that nobody respects you then.

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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by europtimiste » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:19 pm

HHTel wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:08 pm
So you don't respect any religions! Not surprising that nobody respects you then.
I am a non believer and knowing about religions, I cannot respect. I respect Bouddah teaching, but not the behavior of those fat monks not different than religious of other religions as catholic pedophiles.

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Re: Buddhism in crisis?

Post by StevePIraq » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:02 pm

europtimiste wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:23 pm
All religions are shit, all is about money, prestige, oppression.
I wouldn't agree with oppression but would say they are all about control of the people. But then again it could be seen as the same.

Certainly Buddhism in Thailand is a sham these days. To most Thais it is only about good luck.
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