Jet-setting monk at centre of religious scandal in Thailand

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posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 01:18 AM
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BANGKOK – He’s known as Thailand’s jet-setting fugitive monk, and his story has riveted the country with daily headlines of lavish excess, promiscuity and alleged crimes ranging from statutory rape to manslaughter.

Until a month ago, 33-year-old Wirapol Sukphol was relatively unknown in Thailand. Now he is at the centre of the biggest religious scandal the predominantly Buddhist country has seen in years....a long list of darker secrets has emerged – including his accumulated assets of an estimated 1bn baht ($32m). This week, authorities issued an arrest warrant for the disgraced monk after having him defrocked in absentia.

Mr Wirapol was in France when the scandal surfaced after leading a meditation retreat at a monastery near Provence. He is believed to have then fled to the US but his current whereabouts is unknown.

The arrest warrant implicates him on three charges including statutory rape, embezzlement and online fraud to seek donations.... Authorities are struggling to figure out how he amassed so much money.


Source: Financial Times




Let this serve as a reminder that corruption is everywhere. Many Westerners are quick to look at Buddhism through rose-colored glasses, and believe that the kind of corruption we have seen in other religions simply can't happen in such a supposedly "pure" faith.

Please note that I have nothing in particular against Buddhism or Thailand. The majority of Thai Buddhists, like other Buddhists and people of faith worldwide, are decent people who follow a valid spiritual path. This is not meant to be an inctment against Thailand, Theravada, or Buddhism in any way.

But when corruption rears it ugly head in any endevor, it deserves to be pointed out and noted, so that it can be halted.





posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 01:32 AM
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Every time I think I've met and exceeded my outrage quota for the year, along comes someone like this.

Just looking at him makes me want to take him into a dark alley for a few minutes of intense "conversation." Broke as I am, I wouldn't even rob him of that wad of cash--although I would find it satisfying to stuff it up his worthless butt (and consider it well-spent)....

edit on 7/20/2013 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 01:45 AM
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reply to post by Ex_CT2
 


It's all in the name of religion right? He's a holy man.

Seems to me he's the same as all these televangelists in the US, The Vatican, ...and well, just all of them.

How can it possibly be wrong when so many support it?

BTW, that's your money he's flashing on his Jet. Personally, I hope he gets away with it all because the idiots that gave it to him deserve it.



Peace


edit on 20-7-2013 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 04:27 AM
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It's not a buddism problem, it's a Thai problem. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Corruption there is not only a problem with monks. Police, army, education, health, immigration, planning. I've had to pay tea money to people in all those fields.

To all those Thais moaning about this monk I'd say "people in glass houses etc,,,,,, They're all at it!!!!!

My Thai, devoutly buddhist sister in law thinks it's hilarious. "TiT" those of us that have lived there all say... Get over it or move along.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by jude11
reply to post by Ex_CT2
 


It's all in the name of religion right? He's a holy man.

Seems to me he's the same as all these televangelists in the US, The Vatican, ...and well, just all of them.

How can it possibly be wrong when so many support it?

BTW, that's your money he's flashing on his Jet. Personally, I hope he gets away with it all because the idiots that gave it to him deserve it.



Peace


edit on 20-7-2013 by jude11 because: (no reason given)


Yeah, when you put it that way. Nothing new here. Not worth the energy of getting worked-up over....



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 11:07 AM
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umm guys...

as the SilentThunder points out it's a Human problem
and indeed, naive westerners see buddhist monks through rosey colored glasses

asians are under no such delusions
it's actually a long running joke
edit on 20-7-2013 by TheMagus because: added comment



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 11:13 AM
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This is enough to make David Carradine hang himself in a fit of sordid ecstasy..

I remember when he was a monk.
I could never reconcile the fact that his brother was a nerd in that movie tho. How can a shaolin monk have an American nerd brother, who seeks revenge on the jocks.

Never mind, wax on wax off..



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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Religion goes two ways typically the spiritual power material-free kind and the earth power material grabbing kind. It happens in all religions. The Hindus divide like that too, of the celebrity figures that go for power in the world not liberation from the world. That is where the idea of holy means separate, that just because that buddhist over there went that way doesn't mean that it's for everybody. There is a certain concept of being holy despite being surrounded in material wealth, regardless of how people judge because then it's on their karma account to work out getting it one day. It's a test for Buddhists, what would a real one do, but let the guy go?

But hey if he broke some laws he's got terrestrial problems. Maybe he picked up his business model from the Catholics.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


He wanted to build a big golden Buddha so he asked the people to donate small amounts of gold for it's construction. It was found out later the Golden Buddha was made out of plaster with a Gold leaf covering. That was the first indication not all was right with his idea of Buddhism.

Every village has a WAT (Temple) where everyone goes (some every day) where food is brought to the monks and prayers are made to the Buddha. For the country folk it is a way of staying connected to their neighbors while asking for a blessing or 'good luck'........ kinda like a community center only good luck can be had for the devout ..

Big cities have several Wats and some are absolutely beautiful and really big. The Monks I know (and there are a few) take their position as a serious matter and strive to not bring shame to their temple or the religion.

That does not mean there are a few every year who do something and end up in a Thai jail.....However considering how many Monks there are it does not surprise me if a few who lose their way to enlightenment .

I am surprised after the Golden Buddha thing went down he was not captured and thrown in jail but evidently he is fleet of foot and hard to catch. He owns a couple of houses in the states one in Los Angeles if I remember correctly and his car collection is unbelievable (was, think the Thais confiscated them?) As other posters said there are crooks in every field and every religion so buyer or worshiper be aware of where your hard earned shekels end up.

The Hindu miracle workers who went from village to village claiming great powers of healing and magic (for a price) Witch doctors, Christian televangelist etc etc....... you do not have to look too far to find people or institutions who have a scheme to separate you from your money and the cause is always...because they say so; and some truly believe..... But hey if it makes you happy then give for their (in their minds) worthy cause.

Like Carlin said; "Why does God always need money"?
God doesn't but the places of worship and their sign post certainly do, IMO.





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