Monks in private jets pass test

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gavesako
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by gavesako » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:42 am

forestmat wrote:
gavesako wrote:Interesting to follow the legal side of this case and study the way in which the Thai monastic law operates abroad:

Thai 'missionary' (dhammaduta) monks going abroad carry a special diplomatic passport, not an ordinary Thai passport, so they enjoy a different status ... as long as it lasts.
Nammasakarn Tahn Ajahn Gavesako,

I don't believe Mr. Wirapol Sukphol (formerly known as Luang Pu Nen Kham) was ever granted the status of being a dhammaduta monk was he?

If one is an ordinary Thai monk wishing to go abroad, one has to go through a Dhammaduta exam and study some course and supposedly also be able to communicate in English. However, while this is true on paper, one Ajahn (Dhammayut) who was helping with the exams told me that from a class of about 80 monks, only 3 barely managed to answer a question in English...
If one already has some title or rank, however, one will be able to get permission to travel abroad quite easily because the civil and monastic authorities very much go by ranks. Monks from well-known and wealthy temples in Bangkok can tour the world supposedly on a 'religious mission' but doing nothing more than perhaps presiding over some ceremonies or house blessings.
There seems to be an exception made for certain forest monks who are seen as a special sub-group of the Thai Sangha (araññavasi) and are expected to be well-trained and have knowledge gained from meditation rather than from the classroom. LP Nenkham styled himself in this light, claiming to be part of the Ajahn Mun/Ajahn Sao lineage, while at the same time bribing (if that is the right word) the important monks who would be granting him permissions.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:32 am

gavesako wrote:
forestmat wrote:
gavesako wrote:Interesting to follow the legal side of this case and study the way in which the Thai monastic law operates abroad:

Thai 'missionary' (dhammaduta) monks going abroad carry a special diplomatic passport, not an ordinary Thai passport, so they enjoy a different status ... as long as it lasts.
Nammasakarn Tahn Ajahn Gavesako,

I don't believe Mr. Wirapol Sukphol (formerly known as Luang Pu Nen Kham) was ever granted the status of being a dhammaduta monk was he?

If one is an ordinary Thai monk wishing to go abroad, one has to go through a Dhammaduta exam and study some course and supposedly also be able to communicate in English. However, while this is true on paper, one Ajahn (Dhammayut) who was helping with the exams told me that from a class of about 80 monks, only 3 barely managed to answer a question in English...
If one already has some title or rank, however, one will be able to get permission to travel abroad quite easily because the civil and monastic authorities very much go by ranks. Monks from well-known and wealthy temples in Bangkok can tour the world supposedly on a 'religious mission' but doing nothing more than perhaps presiding over some ceremonies or house blessings.
There seems to be an exception made for certain forest monks who are seen as a special sub-group of the Thai Sangha (araññavasi) and are expected to be well-trained and have knowledge gained from meditation rather than from the classroom. LP Nenkham styled himself in this light, claiming to be part of the Ajahn Mun/Ajahn Sao lineage, while at the same time bribing (if that is the right word) the important monks who would be granting him permissions.
Nammasakarn Tahn Ajahn,

I had sight of what were alleged/reported to be copies of Wirapol Sukphol's passport and Visa after they were put briefly online - neither appeared to indicate any form of special status.

This former monk's website still carries one of his quotes that he perhaps failed to heed himself:
(spelling errors are from the original translation)

“Foolishness from being deceived by others is nothing compare with foolishness from allowing defilements (impurities) to lead your minds into wrong directions." -- Luang Pu Nenkham Chattigo

binocular
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:14 am

forestmat wrote:This former monk's website still carries one of his quotes that he perhaps failed to heed himself:
(spelling errors are from the original translation)

“Foolishness from being deceived by others is nothing compare with foolishness from allowing defilements (impurities) to lead your minds into wrong directions." -- Luang Pu Nenkham Chattigo
Heh. Some of his critics fail to heed it too.
:shock:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:20 pm

binocular wrote:
forestmat wrote:This former monk's website still carries one of his quotes that he perhaps failed to heed himself:
(spelling errors are from the original translation)

“Foolishness from being deceived by others is nothing compare with foolishness from allowing defilements (impurities) to lead your minds into wrong directions." -- Luang Pu Nenkham Chattigo
Heh. Some of his critics fail to heed it too.
:shock:
No doubts there at all...

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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:25 pm

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will apply to the court on Wednesday for an arrest warrant in the case of disgraced former monk Wirapol Sukphol, previously known as Luang Pu Nen Kham.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/3 ... nk-wirapol

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gavesako
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by gavesako » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:47 pm

Controversial monk stripped of his robes

...The ruling was made in absentia as the former monk (Nenkham) is believed to be in the United States after leaving France. He has ignored orders to return to defend himself after a string of accusations were levelled against him.

...The former monk was implicated on eight criminal counts by the DSI. They are false advertising by claiming that he had an audience with the deity Indra; rape of a minor; tax avoidance on luxury cars; illicit drug taking; using fake educational certification; reckless driving; money laundering; and claims about supernatural powers.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/3 ... -his-robes
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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binocular
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:31 pm

Things like these are not that rare in other Buddhist traditions, and in other spiritual / religious schools, right?

I guess part of the shock around the jet-setting monks etc. is that so far, Theravada has had the reputation of being relatively free of scandals, the most un-problematic tradition of Buddhism. As far as I know, scandals used to be the domain of Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. My first mental association to "scandal in Buddhist sangha" is a Tibetan or Zen teacher having sex with students or using drugs or murky financial schemes.

Oh ...
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by chownah » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:36 am

binocular wrote:Things like these are not that rare in other Buddhist traditions, and in other spiritual / religious schools, right?

I guess part of the shock around the jet-setting monks etc. is that so far, Theravada has had the reputation of being relatively free of scandals, the most un-problematic tradition of Buddhism. As far as I know, scandals used to be the domain of Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. My first mental association to "scandal in Buddhist sangha" is a Tibetan or Zen teacher having sex with students or using drugs or murky financial schemes.

Oh ...
Things like this happen all the time in Thailand but usually not on such a grand scale...it is in the newspapers and on TV from time to time....the bulk of it is not interesting enough or unusual enough to even warrant mentioning in the news....

I think it is mostly people who have never lived in a country with a large monkhood who are so taken by this scandal...although it certainly is an extensive list of accusations and so is being featured in the news everyday here in Thailand but this has a lot to do with Thai people liking to talk about a good scandal of any kind so it makes good copy.
chownah

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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:52 am

chownah wrote: Things like this happen all the time in Thailand but usually not on such a grand scale...it is in the newspapers and on TV from time to time....the bulk of it is not interesting enough or unusual enough to even warrant mentioning in the news....

I think it is mostly people who have never lived in a country with a large monkhood who are so taken by this scandal...although it certainly is an extensive list of accusations and so is being featured in the news everyday here in Thailand but this has a lot to do with Thai people liking to talk about a good scandal of any kind so it makes good copy.
chownah
Yep it's the scale of the accusations that is staggering:

The amount of money alone is incredible!

"Wirapol Sukpol, better known as Luang Pu Nenkham, has reportedly almost emptied his 41 bank accounts by withdrawing up to Bt300 million. He has allegedly only left a total of about Bt3 million in his accounts."

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/nationa ... 10522.html

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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:06 am

Perhaps Thais will finally begin to realize that it's inappropriate to be putting money into almsbowls and that donations should be made to the temple, provided there is a proper committee overseeing the running of any bank accounts/donations - which there clearly were not with Mr Wirapol who appears to have had the accounts in his own name when he was a 'monk':

http://en.luangpunenkham.com/about/cont ... -charity/#

Stopping serving monks from buying things in shops might also be another way too! I mean after all, they are supposed not to be handling money...

Bankei
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by Bankei » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:50 am

binocular wrote:Things like these are not that rare in other Buddhist traditions, and in other spiritual / religious schools, right?

I guess part of the shock around the jet-setting monks etc. is that so far, Theravada has had the reputation of being relatively free of scandals, the most un-problematic tradition of Buddhism. As far as I know, scandals used to be the domain of Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. My first mental association to "scandal in Buddhist sangha" is a Tibetan or Zen teacher having sex with students or using drugs or murky financial schemes.

Oh ...
I agree with Chownah,

In Thailand there is a major scandal every few years involving senior monks. A few years ago there was a famous abbot arrested for raping children. He was sentanced to around 30 years in prison. Also maybe 10 years ago there was a famous monk called Ajahn Yantra who was alleged to have fathered a child - he escaped over the board to Cambodia and ended up in USA on a false passport. He was granted some sort of asylum in USA and still lives there as a 'monk' of some sort. He was also involved in a car accident in which someone was killed and he was the one that was at fault (as driver) - but he escaped prison. Wonder what has happened to him.

Bankei
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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:53 am

@Bankei - Aj Yantra as he was known is still around - in fact saw him on a video clip just the other day sporting a long beard and wearing dull orange/brown robes. Somewhere in Florida I believe?

I remember the fuss in the newspapers back in 1994/1995 when the stories of his sexual exploits came to light.

binocular
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by binocular » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:03 am

chownah wrote:Things like this happen all the time in Thailand but usually not on such a grand scale...it is in the newspapers and on TV from time to time....the bulk of it is not interesting enough or unusual enough to even warrant mentioning in the news....

I think it is mostly people who have never lived in a country with a large monkhood who are so taken by this scandal...although it certainly is an extensive list of accusations and so is being featured in the news everyday here in Thailand but this has a lot to do with Thai people liking to talk about a good scandal of any kind so it makes good copy.
I've just discovered that even though I know of the kind of crap that so often goes on in spiritual/religious circles, and have witnessed some of it myself, I am nevertheless more affected by the news of these recent scandals than I'd thought I would be ...
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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forestmat
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by forestmat » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:01 am

From an article just posted:

"The woman who claims defrocked monk Wirapol Sukphol, formerly known as Luang Pu Nen Kham, fathered her 11-year-old son on Tuesday filed suit in the Si Sa Ket Youth and Family Court, asking that the disgraced monk be acknowleged as the boy's father and that he be ordered to pay 40 million baht in back-dated child maintenance..."

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews ... -backdated

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BlackBird
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Post by BlackBird » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:38 am

'defrocked' I wonder if he indeed is defrocked or whether he is still wearing the robes despite ecclesiastical expulsion. Furthermore it might pay for the authorities to remember that under the Vinaya he needs no official expulsion, for committing a parajika offense he is automatically no longer a monk.
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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