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Thread: Shaolin busts fake monks in CA

  1. #1
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    Shaolin busts fake monks in CA

    Hang on, Shaoliners, this is a complicated one. It starts with my report in our Shaolin special 2004 in the article Shaolin Temple in San Francisco: Venerable Abbot Shi Yongxin, California’s “Songshan Shaolin Temple Day,” UNESCO and a Buddhist Music Concert. You all read that, right? It was one of the most between-the-lines articles I wrote for that issue - those who follow Shaolin politics know. If you can, reread it now, so you're familiar with the 'players'. It documented Abbot Yongxin's second trip to the USA.

    Yesterday, World Journal (the largest Chinese newspaper) ran a big expose on the Shaolin monk tour that will be at the Masonic Auditorium this weekend (March 5th). This tour, promoted by Stephan Ho, (same as last year) has been advertising that the Abbot will attend again, with a contingent of Shaolin wuseng. If you caught the SF Chinese New Years Parade, there was a group of Shaolin monks which I beleive were part of this group.

    March is the People's Congress, right after Chinese New Years. There is no way the abbot would leave China during this time. He sent a rep to investigate - Shi Yanfeng - who visited us a few weeks ago to discuss the situation, as well as others (our official report on him and his visit will be in our next issue May June 2005). Yesterday, I received an email from Shaolin's attorney, Huang Kun, concerning this matter.

    The Abbot made a statement about this performance for the newspapers. He specified five points about thsis performance, which I'll paraphrase here:

    1. Since January 2005, Shaolin Temple has not sent any official groups to America. Any performance groups are not from Shaolin Temple itself; they are from local schools.
    2. Ho said there was a new abbot in his tour, Shi Yongyao. There is no Shaolin monk named Yongyao. (note: the sure way to **** off the Abbot is to impersonate him)
    3. Shaolin Wheel of Life and Shaolin Warriors are the only real tours from Shaolin Temple and both performance troupes are still in China. He has no plan to come for this March "charity" performance.
    4. Fake Shaolin groups have already jeopardized Abbot name and Shaolin's repuation.
    5. Because they are using Shaolin's name to deceive people in the name of charity, we hope public can investigate to not be cheated.

    We've heard, but been unable to verify that Stephan Ho never paid the promised 50K to Abbot Yongxin or HK film star Simon Yam, who also appeared at that event.

    Shaolin's Attorney Huang Kun states that there are three ways to tell if a show is from Shaolin Temple.
    1. Go to official website www.shaolin.org.cn where the important offical activities are listed. Also there is a telephone number there to contact the temple directly.
    2. Major performances are led by Abbot Yongxin personally.
    3. If monks go abroad to perform, they need government official approval from both religious and cultural departments.

    This gets very political because of California Speaker Pro Tempore Leland Yee's involvement. (See Yee with the Shaolin monks - photo #1 & photo #2 ) Yee asked Yongxin to come to his inauguration last year. When the Abbot couldn't come, another monk was arranged, apparently through Stephan Ho. That was Shi Guosong and it was reported in the Chinese media. According to our sources, Guosong has left the temple in disgrace. Yee stated for the World Journal that he hopes he can meet with Abbot Yongxin to sort this all out.

    Ho still claims he has the real monks and the performance this weekend is still go. Ho fudged a bit when interviewed by stating that the monks belong to the Shaolin Chanshu Xueyuan, not the temple necessarily, but Abbot Yongxin is the honorable president of that school (note: Abbot Yongxin is the honorable president of almost every school in Dengfeng). He claims this school is directly under Shaolin, but funded by private investment. And the president of the school is Guosong. Ho says that many have learned Shaolin martial arts, but it's quite different from the students of this school. He says he's losing money on this show because he's giving away so many tickets. He hopes through this event, America knows the real Shaolin Kung Fu.

    Ho claims to be the Northern American Director of China Songshan Shaolin Temple. Apparently Ho has legally established the Shaolin Temple American Branch, already registered in California. Under the authority of the bylaws of this organization, Ho claims the power to use 25 wuseng for any activities. He says that the Abbot was notified, and questions the attorney's email since it lacks a signature, so he questions if it is really official.

    Attorney Huang beleives that Ho's organization is established as the Shaolin Temple San Francisco Inc. He states that it is NOT Shaolin Temple American branch. There is no relationship. Any usage of Shaolin Temple without Abbot's permission cannot say it represents Shaolin Temple. If someone registered Shaolin Temple's name, such as a Shaolin restaurent or Shaolin department store, it is protected by American law, but there's no recourse or connection for Shaolin Temple. But if they claim Shaolin Temple's name, then they will take action.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    THIS JUST IN!!!!

    Pot calls kettle "black"

    More details to follow

    Sorry Gene, really, but this sort of stuff always strikes me as absurd
    Chan Tai San Book at https://www.createspace.com/4891253

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  3. #3
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    It's quite absurd

    But just because something is absurd, it doesn't mean that it lacks merit. Or interest. No need to apologize.

    Except my self-laudatory plugs for my past research and a few parenthesized comments, all I did was a rough translation of what appeared in World Journal yesterday. As you know, the news in Chinese-language American newspapers is quite different than what runs in our English language papers. My intention was to translate this for the benefit of our non-Chinese speaking members. This expose was pretty big, although it ran in the local section so I don't know if it went nationwide. Can you check the Chinese papers over there? I'd be very curious.

    Accusations of non-endorsed Shaolin monk tours have been with us for some time. There was that big conroversy in Hong Kong many years ago, which pretty much set the precedent (although I'd venture to say that most people don't even realize that they're echoing it). There's actually a lot more back story about this that I'm not at liberty reveal yet.

    Ironically, I remember the Shaolin restaurant in San Francisco. I ate there a few times. I think it was on Polk, but I can't remember for sure. I'll have to dig around because I'm sure I kept a menu. And no - it was not vegetarian. It was a very typical Chinese restaurant. The only thing 'shaolin' about it was the name.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
    shi yan feng..hey dat my master name!!...lolz...i guess monks have the same names too huh?

    may/june 2005 issue..when will that hit the stands?
    tink i ama go pick me up a copy
    =)

  5. #5
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    That's right

    There's two Shi Yanfengs. Confusing, eh? The issue should hit newsstands in the beginning of April and you won't want to miss it. It's the Shaolin Special 2005. It's a good time to subscribe
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
    oooooooo shaolin special 2005..wont miss it for sure then
    subscribe??na....im never really interested in any of the articles...only the one bout shaolins..=)
    hehehe
    sorry

  7. #7
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    LOL, I think they should have there name, then who they are a deciple of so you could tell.
    practice wu de


    Actually I bored everyone to death. Even Buddhist and Taoist monks fell asleep.....SPJ

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  8. #8
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    Attorney Huang Kun is blowing smoke. The fact is, the PRC, Shaolin Temple, nor does Abbot Shi Yongxin, have any legal claim to exclusive use of" Shaolin", or even "Shaolin Temple" for martial arts training, martial arts exhibitions or martial arts performances in the USA. Their USA trademarks #2882759, # 2882776 and their pending marks #76168740, #76171758 do not include martial arts training, martial arts exhibitions or martial arts performances.

    r.

  9. #9
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    Haha, wow.

    I see the point though. Claiming you will perform shaolin martial arts is one thing, but claiming affiliation to a certain group without their consent is something else.

  10. #10
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    Claiming you have the abbot is the key

    I think Attorney Huang Kun has a point when it comes to false advertising. All of the posters and ads promoting this show say that its a group of Shaolin monks brought over by the abbot himself and that the abbot will be present. That's a rather blatent offense, I would think. Shi Yanfeng (the abbot's rep monk, not the one in Houston) is even in the poster. He wasn't too happy about that. I've always been a bit appalled by the whole 'any picture of a bald Chinese monk' will do attitude of Shaolin tour promoters. I remember when the 1500th tour came to SF, they used my masters image on their posters, so naturally I was really excited, but he wasn't there. All the others were though - Deshan, Xinghao, Xingwei and Yanfeng (Houston).

    The show is still scheduled and I know some people who are going. I'm not, just because I already have tickets to a different show that day.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  11. #11
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    well, I think there should definitely be a killing here.

    It is clear that killing needs to be done.

    get to the killing!

    seriously though, this is more of a problem of greed and deception.

    why not use the grooviness of your magazine to out em G~?
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  12. #12
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    grooviness

    By the time we went to press, it would be yesterday's news. That's the great thing about this forum. I can post it here.

    It only really afffects this area (SF Bay area) and the Chinese community. It's had plenty of coverage in the Chinese newspapers here. I just thought that other Shaoliners would be interested.

    As for killing, I'm only authorized to kill the Buddha, and I have to see him on the road first.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing
    There's two Shi Yanfengs. Confusing, eh? The issue should hit newsstands in the beginning of April and you won't want to miss it. It's the Shaolin Special 2005. It's a good time to subscribe
    gene:

    do you think we can sponsor a Shaolin China v. Shaolin California/America temple destruction tournament? or battle for the budda?

  14. #14
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    I thought you had been authorized to kill your parents too?

    And you can't have any Kungfu until you kill your master too.

    all this killing, makes me thirsty!
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  15. #15
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    sponsoring temple destruction

    Y'all can sponsor what you like. Sponsorship ain't my department. If there's one thing I've learned from studying Songshan Shaolin Temple, it's to sit back and watch the action play out. I report on it too - that's basically what I'm doing here with this thread - because reporters get better seats, closer to the action. This one is great because it's so political, not in a commie sort of way, but in a completely American way. Good ol' American politics at play - money, power, posturing and showmanship. Plus it's right in my backyard.

    As I hear more, I'll let you know.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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