He adds that Abbot Dhammajayo has evaded capture because “he has plenty of money and in this country money can buy anything”. Dhammakaya abbot 'free to spend donations on land' ... A religious regulator said that the Dhammakaya scandal, fuelled by its unorthodox teaching and the controversial solicitations, is a sensitive issue, needing cautious handling to avoid splits among followers as the temple continues to attract huge numbers of worshippers. The former chemical engineer, now 65, owned his own company and was comfortably off before his wife donated £300,000 without his knowledge. Wat Phra Dhammakaya, a colossal 1,000 acre temple in Thailand, is still much of an enigma to most people in the world.Most outsiders who have heard of the temple hardly know anything about it, except that it is massive in size and often associated with controversy. “They never declare [their accounts],” he says. The source of the allegedly illicit money came from Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), in the form of a public donation. By subscribing, you accept the terms and conditions in our, ©2020 Bangkok Post Public Company Limited. About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features When the ceremony is over the devotees form a huge queue at a cashpoint to take out thousands of pounds for donations - as tannoy messages tell them handing over cash is the way to “Nirvana”. Its founder, Abbot Dhammajayo, has been in hiding since evading arrest in 2017 over allegations the sect had laundered £25m of stolen money. PHRA DHAMMACHAYO, the controversial abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, has been officially blacklisted by the Immigration Bureau, effectively blocking him from leaving the country. Back in 2002, the Dhammakaya scandal also prompted a draft bill to reform the clergy. Phra Mahatheerachan, also abbot of Chanasongkhram Temple and supervisor of monastic Region 1, reportedly told his followers that the Dhammakaya case needed to be resolved shortly otherwise monastic credibility would suffer even greater damage. Scandal-hit Dhammakaya temple takes its controversial message to Mandalay in Myanmar, where it helps stage a mass alms-giving event on an abandoned runway. Thai abbot's scandal poses moral dilemma: The Nation columnist Over 100,000 Buddhist monks and novices gather to receive alms at Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple on April 22, 2016. Thai police began sweeping the scandal-hit Buddhist temple today to search for a wanted monk who has evaded arrest for months in a saga highlighting a split … Dhammakaya acting abbot faces charges. Cops search scandal-hit Wat Dhammakaya for wanted abbot. “I have even donated my husband,” she adds, explaining the couple separated so that he could become a resident monk to bring them both “spiritual benefits”. The incredible scenes, in a stunning spaceship-like temple in Bangkok, were filmed by Channel 4’s Unreported World at the 50th birthday celebrations of the controversial Dhammakaya movement. BANGKOK — Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said Thursday he believes the fugitive abbot of Dhammakaya was still in the country a day … Thailand’s police and military have been leading operations against the controversial Dhammakaya Buddhist temple complex in the search for a wanted monk. He claims not all the money has gone into the pristine buildings on the compound and, sensationally, claims the sect’s leader was obsessed with Adolf Hitler. His temple, Dhammakaya, has grown rapidly in wealth, influence, popularity and religious clout. But she is the prey of the temple.”. “I don’t think this is fair,” he said. The biggest scandal has been the charges against its abbot, Phra Chaiboon Dhammajayo or Phra Racchabhavanavisuth, for pubic fraud and embezzlement. I joined the collegiate branch in college on a friend's invite, and was intrigued to see how much respect the members had for their master. Dressmaker Joom - who has donated over £1million from her modest shop’s earnings - drives past one illustrious building and boasts: “I contributed 7m baht (£150,000) for that building. 25; Thailand. The abbot is accused by the Thai Department of Special Investigations (DSI) of money laundering and receiving stolen goods after he received donations that were later linked to an embezzlement scandal. Under that draft bill, the Sangha Council became an advisory board with a new executive body called Maha Kanissorn. “Brainwashed by an evil cult.”. Dhammakaya followers have launched a social media campaign in support of the embattled monk, Venerable Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. ON a huge compound in the heart of Thailand, thousands of white-robed men, women and children unite in a chant as Buddhist monks collect food offerings from the crowd. The source of the allegedly illicit money came from Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), in the form of a public donation. Dhammachayo, 55, has a huge following, attracting as many as 100,000 people to his temple for mass meditation. Wat Phra Dhammakaya (Thai: ว ดพระธรรมกาย) is a Buddhist temple in Thailand.It was founded in 1970 by the maechi (nun) Chandra Khonnokyoong and Luang Por Dhammajayo.The temple's founding has roots in the Dhammakaya tradition founded by Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen in the early 20th century. He has been missing ever since, despite frequent calls for him to be arrested, and former sect member Dr Mano Laohavonich insists he is hiding in a house less than a mile from the compound. We call this day Dhammachai Day . The Anti-Money Laundering Office has frozen about 135 million baht seized from defrocked senior monks suspected of temple fund embezzlement and a … MANDALAY: Thousands of Buddhist monks gathered in Myanmar's second largest city on Sunday for an event partly organised by the scandal-hit Dhammakaya temple whose abbot is … There is even a special office for megadonors - where huge cheques are handed over to administrators in secret. But the raids are a mere dash for cash by the country’s ruling junta, writes James L Taylor. News that Dhammachayo, abbot of Dhammakaya, ... which was embroiled in a massive embezzlement scandal running in the billions of baht. Most Venerable Dhammajayo is the Honorary Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Dr. Mano called the abbot a flight risk on Thai television, claiming that the abbot had a “lifetime visa” to the United States. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material, visit our Syndication site. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says that the order to put controversial Dhammakaya Temple under military control will not be revoked until the fugitive ex-abbot … “The Abbot says people who are born poor have ‘stingy karma’ from a previous life,” says Joom. The same holds for the large Taiwanese Buddhist organization, Tzu Chi. Help is at hand × “He’s his icon. Temple spokesman Phra Sanitwong Wutthiwangso said the abbot is still in the temple, receiving treatment from a team of doctors. The monk who almost became Supreme Patriarch demands a formal apology from the DSI over last year's allegation of involvement in a car-tax avoidance scandal. In 2017, a scandal broke when a sect devotee, who ran a bank, was accused of embezzling £25million of customers’ money and giving it directly to Abbot Dhammajayo, with victims losing between £50k to £250k each. “I had already written to the monastic chief of Pathum Thani province on Monday that the new abbot of the scandal-hit Dhammakaya Temple should be an outsider,” he said. Another famous Dhammakaya critic, Thai university professor Dr. Mano Laohavanich, who is known for his provocative remarks about the temple, has also gone public about the case. Its founder, Abbot Dhammajayo, has been in hiding since evading arrest in 2017 over allegations the sect had laundered £25m of stolen money. The Sun website is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. General. He is under investigation by Thailand's Department of Special Investigation for money laundering and accepting stolen property. Police wanted to question the abbot, Phra Dhammachayo, about alleged money-laundering and building violations, but gave up after protests by monks and … May 2, 2016 . When Thai soldiers arrived at the Temple compound to arrest the founder, they were beaten back by monks, giving him time to flee. He claims his wife was manipulated into handing over cash. It got cabinet approval but it did not make it to parliament because of mass protests by monks. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says that the order to put controversial Dhammakaya Temple under military control will not be revoked until the fugitive ex-abbot … Stacey Solomon engaged to Joe Swash after he proposed with HUGE diamond in woods, Horrifying moment teen is shot in the neck outside deli in broad daylight, Brexit’s done - fasten your seat belts as the UK economy goes gangbusters, Love Island's Georgia Harrison rushed to hospital telling fans 'I'm scared', Nigel Farage announces Britain has WON Brexit & declares the 'war is over', ©News Group Newspapers Limited in England No. It makes me happy.”. For over a year, the Thai Department of Special investigation (DSI) has pursued the Honorary abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya on numerous charges, the most severe of which being alleged “money laundering”. 2,200 Thai police and soldiers may storm temple to arrest scandal-hit abbot Dhammachayo More than 2,200 police and military personnel will be deployed to … A tsunami of public anger has arisen over the controversial Dhammakaya abbot and his empire and its grand-scale commercialisation of Buddhism. Noppakow, the online dissident, said the public is free to doubt Dhammakaya and its abbot, but should not mix it up with the secular political divide. Mano Laohavanich, 60, once called Phra Mettanando, is a defector from the beleaguered Dhammakaya temple, where the head abbot, Dhammajayo, is wanted for questioning by the DSI in relation to the Klongchan Credit Union scandal.Mano has not only been a vocal critic of Dhammakaya since breaking his connections with the temple in 1995, but has also known Dhammajayo personally since the 1970s. Wat Phra Dhammakaya's assistant-abbot Luang phi Thanavuddho wrote a book about the topic in response to critics. Abbot Phra Dhammachayo (C) arrives for a ceremony at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok on Makha … Unreported World: Nirvana For Sale airs on Channel 4 at 7.30pm. Updated February 24, 2017. Dhammakaya Temple abbot Dhammachayo shows his hand-written statement faking he is too sick to address his followers after he surrendered to face embezzlement charges at the Crime Suppression Division on October 27. Buddhist monks face the police in front of Wat Dhammakaya temple, February 16, 2017. When Thai soldiers arrived at the Temple compound to arrest the founder, they were beaten back by monks, giving him time to flee. THE NATIONAL Office of Buddhism (NOB) is pushing for the appointment of an outsider as Dhammakaya Temple’s new abbot. “They keep secrets all the time from the beginning until now.”. Read the news, reports, and opinions on topics relating to the allegations DSI is trying to pin on to the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The Anti-Money Laundering Office has frozen about 135 million baht seized from defrocked senior monks suspected of temple fund embezzlement and a 1.46-billion-baht building at Wat Phra Dhammakaya. BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's government is trying to get a new abbot appointed to head the country's biggest Buddhist temple, whose former leader is … The source said Phra Mahatheerachan was fed up with the Dhammakaya scandal and could no longer tolerate the Sangha Supreme Council's waffling … NOB director Pol Lt-Colonel Pongporn Parmsneh said that the appointment of an outsider would ensure transparency in the monastic investigation into the temple’s senior monks. May 2, 2016. For this occasion, the Dhammakaya Meditation Centre, Albury will be providing a free meditation class for a whole day, every one hour starting from 10am till 7pm. Hitler started with zero and he created three steps to become the leader, the dictator of Germany. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. The elderly Honorary Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya now suffers from several illnesses, including deep vein thrombosis and a chronic leg ulcer. Dhammakaya monks await … He has devoted about 50 years of his life to the propagation of Buddhism and Dhammakaya Meditation, which has attracted millions of devotees in Thailand and in over 80 branches in 33 countries around the world. Chairwoman of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya foundation charged with laundering money stolen from the Klongchan Credit Union by the co-operative's former chairman. Venerable Dhammajayo, the current abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. In a case opened in 2016, the honorary abbot* of Wat Phra Dhammakaya (WPD), Phrathepyanmahamuni (Most Venerable Dhammajayo), has been accused of crimes he did not commit—money laundering and receiving stolen money— by Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI). Prosecutors said on Monday they would decide later this month whether to indict a key disciple of Wat Phra Dhammakaya accused of instigating public disorder during the authorities' futile attempts to arrest former abbot Phra Dhammajayo last year. By Reuters 22 January 2018 MANDALAY — Thousands of Buddhist monks gathered in Myanmar’s second largest city on Sunday for an event partly organized by a scandal-hit Thai temple whose abbot is wanted for This coming Thursday, 27 th August marked the 47 th anniversary of The Most Venerable Phra Thepyanmahamuni’s (the Dhammakaya Temple’s Abbot) ordination. Wat Phra Dhammakaya is part of the Dhammakaya Tradition-related larger doctrinal controversy in Thai Buddhism. Mano Laohavanich, 60, once called Phra Mettanando, is a defector from the beleaguered Dhammakaya temple, where the head abbot, Dhammajayo, is wanted for questioning by the DSI in relation to the Klongchan Credit Union scandal. Emma Lee. Catchai stares sadly at a table full of wedding pictures, each one with the bride cut out of the photo. Dhammakaya acting abbot faces charges published : 3 Dec 2016 at 14:18 writer: Pongpat Wongyala. Emma Lee. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Ex-senior monks' B135m, Dhammakaya's building frozen, Ong-art to hear indictment decision Sept 27. He denies the charges and his followers claim the sect is an international force for good that’s updating Buddhism for the modern world. His mother was so angry when his wife gave all their money to the Dhammakaya movement that she cut up the photos, he explains. Need someone to talk to? Article 44 . Unlike other Buddhist movements, the Dhammakaya teaches that generous donations will bring wealth in this life as well as in a future life. Abbot Phra Dhammachayo (C) arrives for a ceremony at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok on Makha … This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. July 5, 2016. Joom was born into a poor family and came to Bangkok at 14 with nothing, but says her fortunes changed when she began donating to the sect. By Coconuts Bangkok Feb 16, 2017 | 3:15pm Bangkok time. In 2017, a scandal broke when a sect devotee, who ran a bank, was accused of embezzling £25million of customers’ money and giving it directly to Abbot Dhammajayo, with victims losing between £50k to £250k each. After Show of Yielding, Powerful Dhammakaya Abbot Defies Authorities Again By Teeranai Charuvastra, News Chief - May 26, 2016 2:52 pm Facebook Twitter LINE WhatsApp Pinterest ReddIt VK … Photo: Lilian Suwanrumpha/ AFP. Although the Abbot and the sect deny his allegations, the scenes at the Temple of a Thousand Buddhas point to the reason for the Dhammakaya’s immense wealth. Although the sect claims it is modernising Buddhism through meditation and prayer, Professor Sulak Sivaraksa, who has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, believes its focus on money threatens the religion. Mano Laohavanich, 60, once called Phra Mettanando, is a defector from the beleaguered Dhammakaya temple, where the head abbot, Dhammajayo, is wanted for questioning by the DSI in relation to the Klongchan Credit Union scandal. Luang Por Dhammajayo Stands Wrongly Accused Khaosod News: Yellow and Red Seen in Orange folds of Dhammakaya Scandal, June 12th, 2016 "That’s why there’s an operation to destroy Dhammakaya." The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is verifying an unconfirmed report that fugitive monk Phra Dhammajayo was helped by a group of his disciples to sneak out of Thailand to a European country. Thai abbot's scandal poses moral dilemma: The Nation columnist Over 100,000 Buddhist monks and novices gather to receive alms at Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple on … “Dhamakaya is promoting capitalism, consumerism and people love to be rich,” he says. At least 14 people face legal action for trying to shield the abbot from authorities’ attempts to arrest him on Thursday. Dr Mano was a leading member of the sect and one of the Abbot’s closest disciples before leaving after 20 years, believing it had become a money-making cult with a delusional leader. Thank you for subscribing our enewsletter. Inside the compound, ten times the size of the Vatican, every building is evidence of the millions of pounds that flowed into the sect’s coffers. Dhammakaya Uncovered. Luang Por Dhammajayo (Thai: ธมฺมชโย, RTGS: Thammachayo, Luang Por being a deferential title), also known by the lay name Chaiyabun Suddhipol, is a Thai Buddhist monk.He was the abbot of the Buddhist temple Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the post he held until 1999 and again from 2006 to December 2011.In December 2016, he was given the post of honorary abbot of the temple. Illegal title deed issued for mountaintop mansions thought to harbour Dhammajayo; photos show "orchard" was actually pristine forest. “He tried to reveal to me he is God with a capital G,” he says. Although he admits that the followers “are good people, moral-minded” he insists that they are unaware of “how the Abbot has spent the money”. Families suffered and a lot of families were broken.”. Home Crime Police Move to Arrest Dhammakaya Abbot Crime, Courts, Calamity Crime Politics Police Move to Arrest Dhammakaya Abbot By Teeranai Charuvastra, News Chief - … The Honorary Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The Attorney-General's Office charges money-laundering of billions of baht should lead to termination of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Foundation - and the temple. Mano has not only been a vocal critic of Dhammakaya since breaking his connections with the temple in 1995, but has also known Dhammajayo personally Dhammakaya scandal may pose security threat ... INTELLIGENCE and security officials yesterday voiced concerns that the Dhammakaya scandal could pose a security threat if abbot Luang Phor Dhammachayo chose to turn his popularity into an unsanctioned mass cult. The Buddhist sect, which has millions of followers around the world, including in the UK, has been criticised as a money-obsessed “cult” which has fleeced its devotees. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is pressing the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) to take action against Wat Phra Dhammakaya's controversial abbot, Phra … “If in this life you are tight-fisted and not making donations, then in the next life you’ll be even poorer.”. “I don’t think this is fair,” he said. dhammakaya scandal. PHOTO: REUTERS Thai authorities seek to defrock scandal-hit Buddhist abbot This article is more than 3 years old. Articles have written in foreign publications about the temple in both supportive and critical ways. Are you in Thailand and feeling low? Where did these funds come from? View our online Press Pack. Some of the beliefs and practices of the Dhammakaya tradition – such as about nirvana , "true self" and meditation – have been criticized as allegedly opposing or rejecting the mainstream Theravada teachings and practices by traditional Thai Buddhist institutions. “She is addicted to the way of blessing in the Dhammakaya Temple. Addicted to blessing and also addicted to donations,” he says. You will get the updates within 24 hours. For further details of our complaints policy and to make a complaint please click this link: thesun.co.uk/editorial-complaints/, Comments are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed, Devotees of the Dhammakaya meet at the Temple of a Thousand Buddhas, The stunning temple was built with millions donated by followers, The sect's leader Abbot Dhammajayo has been on the run for three years, Buddhist monks worship at the Temple of a Thousand Buddhas, Marcel Theroux was given access to the 50th birthday celebrations, Thai police outside the compound in 2017, during attempted arrest of the Abbot, The sect's founder hands out religious gifts to his monks, Victims of the alleged embezzlement leave posters calling for justice outside the temple gates, Devotees are encouraged to be generous in their donations, Dr Mano Laohavonich is a former member of the sect who believes it is too money orientated, Marcel with Dhammakaya devotee Joom, who has handed over £1m for new buildings, First look at Netflix’s The Vow documents real life sex slave cult NXIVM that sent shockwaves through Hollywood, Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). Emma Lee. Ruling junta has kept Dhammakaya temple under … In the documentary Nirvana for Sale, which airs at 7.30 tonight, Marcel Theroux hears from past members of the sect who claim the Abbot worships Adolf Hitler and believes he’s God, as well as a broken businessman who says his wife was “brainwashed” into donating their life savings. … Luang Por Dhammajayo (Thai: ธม มชโย, RTGS: Thammachayo, Luang Por being a deferential title), also known by the lay name Chaiyabun Suddhipol, is a Thai Buddhist monk.He was the abbot of the Buddhist temple Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the post he held until 1999 and again from 2006 to December 2011. Chatchai is not the only one who claims to have lost their savings to the Temple. “It made me suffer a lot in life because I found out too late,” he tells the show. To see all content on The Sun, please use the Site Map. Outsider abbot sought for Dhammakaya By THE NATION ‘evil plot’ as senior monks at temple probed after row BANGKOK: -- THE NATIONAL Office of Buddhism (NOB) is pushing for the appointment of an outsider as Dhammakaya Temple’s new abbot. Authorities will charge Wat Phra Dhammakaya foundations and monks with money laundering to reclaim billions for victims of Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative. In 2017, a scandal broke when a sect devotee, who ran a bank, was accused of embezzling £25million of customers’ money and giving it directly to Abbot Dhammajayo, with victims losing between £50k to £250k each. Noppakow, the online dissident, said the public is free to doubt Dhammakaya and its abbot, but should not mix it up with the secular political divide. Families, urban professionals and wealthy business owners mill about the vast space, stuffing envelopes packed with cash into the wooden donation boxes which line the pathways. The KCUC has been having some financial troubles since the embezzlement scandal that crippled its balance sheet, but contrary to what DSI has been reporting, it is not because of the "money laundering" scheme DSI is accusing Wat Phra Dhammakaya's honorary abbot, Luang Por Dhammajayo, of that the credit union is in trouble. Meanwhile, Pongporn has pledged to take action against people involved in a social … As this case continues to evolve, this document will be updated with events and facts as they become available. For over a year, the Thai Department of Special investigation (DSI) has pursued the Honorary abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya on numerous charges, the most severe of which being alleged “money laundering”. The Guardian : Thai authorities seek to defrock scandal-hit Buddhist abbot, March 10th, 2017 Klongchan Credit Union withdraws lawsuits against Wat Phra Dhammakaya. “The Abbot was very fond of Adolf Hitler,” he says. The current impasse regarding the appointment of a new Supreme Patriarch concerns the temple’s alleged connections with a candidate. Phra Buddha Isara has claimed that some senior members with ties to Wat Phra Dhammakaya are lobbying for a DSI official to become the new National Office of Buddhism chief. A massive queue forms beside the two cashpoints where people can get their money out to donate and the booming tannoy encourages devotees to dig deep, with messages like: “The millionaire’s wife says put all your energy into getting people to be part of building the temple.”. Everything you need to know about the Dhammakaya Scandal: A Short Fact Sheet. Scandals involving Phra Dhammajayo of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. "The Sun", "Sun", "Sun Online" are registered trademarks or trade names of News Group Newspapers Limited. “The Dhammakaya temple has allowed police and DSI officials to carry out a search inside the temple for the suspect,” the head of the DSI told reporters after an hours-long standoff. . This fact sheet is meant to provide the reader with the most crucial information. For other inquiries, Contact Us. Phra Dhammachayo, the temple former abbot, and Phra Thattacheevo, the temple’s former acting abbot, are to face monastic investigations and both monks are facing legal charges. The abbot admits receiving the … The Dhammakaya complex in northern Bangkok has been under siege for nearly three weeks, with more than 4,000 police officers failing to find … When Thai soldiers arrived at the Temple compound to arrest the founder, they were beaten back by monks, giving him time to flee. “I feel upset because I actually still love my wife. 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