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  1. #1
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    Buddhists behaving badly

    I thought we already had a thread covering Buddhist monk scandals here already. Perhaps they are just a lot of loose threads. Maybe in the future, I'll start collating them here. But for now, this is making my local news.

    Monk charged with trying to kill superior in Oakland
    By Henry K. Lee Updated 5:35 pm, Tuesday, June 23, 2015


    A woman walks on the grounds of an East Oakland monastery where police say a Buddhist monk stabbed the head monk before fleeing. Photo: Henry K. Lee

    A Buddhist monk has been charged with attempted murder for stabbing a fellow monk in the face at an East Oakland monastery, authorities said Tuesday.

    Phen Sokphanna, 30, grabbed two knives from the kitchen and slashed the face of head monk Mahamonirath Pinn, 66, at the Branch of International Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks Center at 624 Douglas Ave. on the evening of June 16, authorities said.

    A third monk heard the commotion and helped pull the alleged attacker off the victim. Witnesses told police Pinn’s face was “split open” and that Sokphanna fled the monastery, which is brightly painted in horizontal red, blue and orange stripes.

    Sokphanna, who had recently joined the monastery, was arrested Thursday at a home in Castro Valley. He is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

    Alameda County prosecutors have charged Sokphanna with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and enhancements accusing him of causing great bodily injury and using knives in the attack.

    Pinn was being treated at Highland Hospital in Oakland.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    He find out everyone must do kp?

    Sorry that is horrible. "Why?" would have been good to know, since they had him.
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  3. #3
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    Dude that committed the assault was a newbie at the place.

    There are weirdos within and weirdos without. Act accordingly.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  4. #4
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    This has been happening for over 500 tears and more The only difference is that it is now documented/documentable with the social media display.
    There were various Japanese and Chinese sources about monks eating pork, getting drunk and consorting with women of the night (Japan had the mizu shobai, if I recall correctly) and then entertainment district(s) willingness to accept money from all who could pay.

  5. #5
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    ....monks stabbing the abbot in the face a couple times. Oh yeah constantly.....
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  6. #6
    That's a very sad and shocking incident. I hope that the venerable abbot recovers quickly.

    If more comes up about the background I hope someone will post it. Was this something that could have been prevented if the person were vetted more carefully before ordaining? It is also a personal tragedy for the perpetrator, though I don’t mean to trivialize it by saying so.

    About bad conduct happening "for over 500 years" in Japanese and Chinese sources – if a Buddhist monk has sexual relations he is no longer a Buddhist monk and cannot reordain for the rest of his life. This applies regardless of whether he was ever found out or was disciplined. From then on, even if he keeps wearing the robes, he is only faking. The monastic code is very explicit about this. Such a person can continue to practise as a layperson, but must get a job or survive some other way than on alms food.

    I believe many Japanese and Chinese sources are either biased, coming from a point of view that wants to discredit the Path, or are referring to what actually were fake monks who, perhaps because they never received proper guidance, failed to live according to even the most fundamental precepts. They may also come from reformers who wanted to create communities of sincere practitioners.
    Last edited by rett2; 06-28-2015 at 01:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Wu Zeheng gets life

    China Court Jails Religious 'Cult' Leader for Life
    World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: October 31, 2015 12:07 IST


    Representational Image.

    SHANGHAI: A Chinese court has sentenced the leader of a religious sect labelled a cult by authorities to life in prison on several charges, according to an official statement, with three of his followers also jailed.

    A court in the southern city of Zhuhai on Friday also fined Wu Zeheng, head of the "Huazang Zongmen" sect, more than 7.0 million yuan ($1.1 million), it said. The charges included organising a cult, rape, fraud and selling harmful food products.

    Wu seduced dozens of women by telling them sex with him could give them "supernatural power", state media has said. He also operated a restaurant which claimed the food was cooked with "precious" ingredients.

    A police investigation showed Wu had amassed an illegal fortune of more than 6.9 million yuan through his activities, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

    The court also sentenced three of his followers to jail terms of one to four years, but one of those tried escaped punishment, the statement said.

    The group, which operates under multiple names, claims links to Buddhism.

    Analysts say China has tightened control over religious worship, among other areas, under the administration of President Xi Jinping, who took office in 2013.

    Authorities have targeted cults after members of one group beat a woman whom they were trying to recruit to death in a McDonald's restaurant in May last year.

    In February, authorities executed a father and daughter, who belonged to the Quannengshen group, for the murder. Another 14 members of the sect, whose name can be translated as Church of Almighty God, were jailed for up to three years in July.

    In another case, a celebrity Chinese "qigong master", Wang Lin, who claimed to conjure snakes from thin air and cure the sick, was held by police on suspicion of kidnapping and murder in July, according to media reports.

    In a bizarre twist to the case, his ex-wife and mistress offered 2.0 million yuan in bribes to a policeman investigating the matter in exchange for information to help Wang seek a lighter sentence, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

    Story First Published: October 31, 2015 12:07 IST
    Copied from the Busted-Qigong-Masters thread.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #8
    The thread title has been quietly changed from "Buddhist monks behaving badly" to "Buddhist behaving badly" undercutting the point of several posts. Not a big deal, but worth noting. Even with this widening of scope, the latest article above seems to state that this isn't a recognized Buddhist organization, but a sect that "claims links to Buddhism".

  9. #9
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    Good catch, rett2

    I usually state when I change thread titles, but I was in a rush yesterday and there was a lot of news. Besides, I launched this thread so I figured no harm done. But in future, I'll endeavor to state thread title changes. Honestly, I didn't think anyone was watching our forum quite that carefully. Good on you!

    You have a fair point about widening the scope here, which is exactly what I intended because this didn't really seem worthy of two independent threads. But if it seems to be an issue, I'll split them later. For now, let's just watch to see how this thread progresses over time.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Beat me to the punch, PalmStriker

    Forgive the merge, but we do already have this thread going. I'm copying this to our WildAid-Tiger-Claw-Champion thread too, just to ttt that one.

    Thu Jun 2, 2016 6:35am EDT Related: ENVIRONMENT, THAILAND
    Three monks charged in Thailand as tiger potions, charms point to illicit trade
    BANGKOK | BY PATPICHA TANAKASEMPIPAT


    A Buddhist monk walks past a tiger before officials start moving them from Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple, a popular tourist destination which has come under fire in recent years over the welfare of its big cats in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok, Thailand, May...
    REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

    Thai authorities charged three Buddhist monks on Thursday after they were caught trying to smuggle tiger skins and charms made from tiger parts out a temple which monks said was a tiger sanctuary but critics said was a money-spinning tourist trap.

    The Buddhist temple west of Bangkok has long been popular with tourists who paid about $20 each to get in and pose for pictures with its tigers, and to feed cubs and walk among them.

    But the temple had come under mounting allegations of abuse and illicit wildlife trafficking and authorities armed with a court order raided it on Monday to confiscate the 137 tigers found there and take them to a government wildlife sanctuary.

    The discovery on Thursday of the tiger skins and charms, or amulets, made from skins in a pick-up truck, and jars containing the bodies of tiger cubs in the temple, pointed to an even more lucrative business than thought.

    "The jars have labels, so I think they've made medicine here," said Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, who has been overseeing the raid to remove the temple's tigers and search its premises.

    Authorities found 20 glass jars containing baby tigers and tiger organs in a "laboratory" in the temple, reinforcing suspicion it was making folk medicine, he said.

    Tiger parts are used in traditional Chinese medicine, a multi-million dollar business that has driven tigers in the wild to the brink of extinction and fueled the rearing of tigers in parts of Asia, especially in China.

    "We will discover more as we search on," Adisorn told Reuters.

    Two temple devotees and a monk found in the pick-up truck, and two monks who helped load it, were charged under wildlife laws, Adisorn said.

    Representatives of the temple were not available for comment.

    The confiscation of the tiger products followed the discovery on Wednesday of 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer.

    Wildlife officials suspect the cubs were being preserved for use in potions.

    Thailand is well known as a hub for illicit trafficking of wildlife products, including ivory.

    Activists had for years criticized the temple and urged tourists to shun it, and complained that wildlife protection laws were poorly enforced.

    The Department of National Parks had removed 84 out of the 137 tigers found at the temple by Thursday.

    Workers have been using tranquilizer darts to sedate the animals before lifting them into cages and on to trucks for the journey to the government sanctuary.

    (Additional reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Robert Birsel)
    Wonder what our freelance contributor Dax Howard has to say about this. He wrote Hit Tiger: No really, go hit that tiger in our MAY+JUNE 2015 issue which discussed when he worked at the Tiger Temple.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #12
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    Dax commented on his facebook feed

    Dax also posted this...and more.

    Forty dead tiger cubs found in freezer at Thai temple
    Officials have removed 61 live tigers from Tiger Temple in ongoing operation after allegations of wildlife trafficking


    Adisorn Noochdumrong, the deputy director general of the Department of National Parks, stands by the carcasses of 40 tiger cubs and a bearcat found at the Tiger Temple. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Getty Images

    Oliver Holmes in Bangkok and John Vidal
    Wednesday 1 June 2016 08.36 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 1 June 2016 17.00 EDT

    Wildlife authorities in Thailand have found 40 tiger cubs in a freezer during a police raid on Tiger Temple, a tourist attraction that has faced repeated allegations of animal trafficking.

    The discovery occurred after officials from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), backed by police, closed the temple this week to relocate 137 tigers to government-run sanctuaries.

    “International pressure concerning illegal wildlife trafficking is also part of why we’re acting now,” said Adisorn Noochdumrong, DNP deputy director general, who said that the cubs’ carcasses were found in a kitchen area.

    “They must be of some value for the temple to keep them. But for what is beyond me,” he told Reuters.

    The cubs, some of them bloodied and mangled, were laid out on the floor along with other animals, including a binturong, a small rare species also known as a bearcat.

    Promoting itself as a spiritual sanctuary for humans and animals, Tiger Temple has been keeping the big cats and other animals for 15 years. It charges tourists to take photos of themselves stroking adult tigers and bottle-feeding cubs.

    The tigers are cared for by staff and volunteers. Monks reside at the Buddhist temple, west of Bangkok in Kanchanaburi province.

    Wildlife authorities have removed 61 animals so far and vowed to close the temple for good. The site has been accused of illegally breeding tigers and some visitors say the animals appear to be drugged. A handler was recently filmed smacking a tiger on the head.

    The temple denies accusations of abuse and trafficking and other visitors have lauded the conditions and the care taken over the animals.

    The raid is the culmination of a battle that has been going on for years between the government and the temple, which says the tigers will be worse off in the care of the DNP.

    Responding to requests for comment, the temple said on its Facebook page that a vet had requested the cubs be frozen and preserved six years ago. “He made that decision probably to keep as proof against the allegations of selling cubs,” the temple said.

    It added that Thai authorities were “fully aware” the cubs were being kept frozen. The temple pointed to a post dated 4 March that directly referred to the preserved cubs.

    “In 2010, the ex-vet of Tiger Temple changed [the] policy. Instead of cremation, the deceased cubs were preserved in jars or kept frozen. We have documented all the deaths from 2010 and have photographic evidence of them still being within the temple,” it added.

    Thailand is a central route for illicit wildlife trade through south-east Asia, including ivory and rhino horn. Tiger parts, including bone and *****, are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Raids often find the tigers cut in half with their organs preserved on ice.

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned the trade in tiger parts and products in 2007.

    Two weeks ago, a 26-year-old man from the central province of Ha Tinh in Vietnam was found with four frozen tiger cubs at the border of Laos. He said he had bought the carcasses from a Laotian at a border market for 2 million Vietnamese Dong (£62). He was caught while delivering them to the buyer.

    The move to shut down the temple has been widely praised by animal rights groups.

    “The Tiger Temple has been involved in the illegal trade for years and animal and conservation groups have long tried to have it closed,” said Debbie Banks, campaigner on tigers and wildlife crime at the Environmental Investigation Agency in London.

    The charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said this week that the temple was “hell for animals” and called on tourists to stop visiting any animal attractions.

    The WWF (formerly the World Wide Fund For Nature) also commended the DNP for the raid.

    “This week’s actions to remove the tigers from the Tiger Temple are long overdue and we strongly encourage the Department of National Parks to make the removal of the tigers permanent,” said Yowalak Thiarachow, country director of WWF-Thailand.

    “The Tiger Temple has been posing as a sanctuary for tigers while secretly acting as a tiger farm and selling tigers and tiger parts on the black market for an enormous profit,” he added.

    Thailand has an estimated 1,200-1,300 captive tigers in at least 33 facilities, he said.
    Gene Ching
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    Thanks, Gene ! I couldn't locate this thread but now I know it's in the Shaolin forum.

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    Killer taking refuge

    This reminds me of the old Shaolin creation myths, how criminals, warlords and political refugees allegedly took refuge at Shaolin and added their martial skills to the curriculum. Of course, in this modern-day context, it's totally different. I doubt Zhang contributed his stabbing method to the monks of Longxing (if they even have a martial tradition there).

    Monk on the run: Chinese 'killer' becomes temple abbot
    AFP 8h


    A Chinese man who lived on the run as a monk for 16 years after allegedly killing three people was discovered when he applied for a passport to travel and submitted his fingerprints © AFP/File Manan Vatsyayana

    Beijing (AFP) - A suspected murderer on the run for 16 years in China found refuge in Buddhist temples, eventually rising to become an abbot, state media said Wednesday.

    Zhang Liwei was detained by police earlier this month on suspicion of stabbing three people to death with accomplices in 2000, the Beijing News reported.

    After the killings in his home province of Heilongjiang, deep in northeastern China, Zhang fled nearly 2,000 kilometres (more than 1,000 miles) south to Anhui, changing his name and finding work as a temple cook and ticket-seller, it said.

    Later he moved to the Longxing temple in Fengyang county, shaving his own head and proclaiming himself a monk.

    He became a member of a local political consultative congress -- an organ of the county government -- and two years ago the monks elected him abbot on the recommendation of his predecessor, according to the report.

    He was only unmasked when he applied for a passport to travel abroad and submitted his fingerprints -- which allegedly matched those of the wanted man.

    The monks appreciated his efforts to improve their living conditions and buildings, the report said, adding that the temple had donated around a million yuan ($150,000) to charitable causes in recent years and Zhang was supporting two rural orphans financially.

    But a neighbourhood nun was unmoved.

    "The Buddha tells us to be contrite," the report quoted her as saying. "He should have turned himself in if he sincerely repented of what he did."
    Gene Ching
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    Slightly OT

    Not sure if this is 'Buddhists behaving badly' because their soundsystem was so loud of if the tourist deserves 3 months hard labor for pulling the plug - talk about your draconian karma.

    Myanmar Gives Tourist Who Pulled Plug on Buddhist Chants 3 Months in Prison
    By SAW NANGOCT. 6, 2016


    Klaas Haijtema, a 30-year-old from the Netherlands, said that an amplifier broadcasting the chants had disrupted his sleep. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    MANDALAY, Myanmar — A Dutch tourist who unplugged an amplifier that was broadcasting Buddhist chants, which he said disrupted his sleep, was sentenced to three months of hard labor in prison by a court here on Thursday.

    The tourist, Klaas Haijtema, 30, was found guilty of causing a disturbance to an assembly engaged in religious worship. He had been staying at a hostel in Mandalay on Sept. 23 when a nearby Buddhist center began broadcasting the recitations of religious devotees.

    “I was really tired that night and woke up to the noise,” Mr. Haijtema told the court during a hearing last week. “I was very angry and assumed that children were playing music. I told them to lower the volume of the loudspeakers before I unplugged the amplifier, and they didn’t understand me. That’s why I unplugged it.”

    Mr. Haijtema wept after the prison sentence was announced. He was also fined the equivalent of $80 for violating the terms of his entry visa, which require visitors to obey Myanmar’s laws and customs. Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country, and Mandalay is a relatively conservative city.

    Mr. Haijtema’s lawyer, U Hla Ko, said that he would file an appeal and that the Dutch Embassy should ask for Mr. Haijtema’s release. Attempts to contact an embassy representative on Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.

    Buddhist organizations in Myanmar often use loudspeakers at high volume to broadcast sermons, perform rituals or solicit donations, and many social media users took Mr. Haijtema’s side after his arrest was reported.

    Two lawyers not involved with the case said the Buddhist center, or dharma community hall, that woke Mr. Haijtema appeared to have violated the law by using loudspeakers after 9 p.m. The law also bans their use before 6 a.m. and requires a permit.

    “The one that broke the law is the dharma community hall, not the Dutch man,” said one lawyer, U Zaw Win.

    The leader of the Buddhist center, U Kyaw San, said in court last week that Mr. Haijtema had worn his shoes into the center, which Buddhists consider an offense in a sacred place. Mr. Haijtema said that he was unaware that the building had a religious purpose and that he had seen no signs telling people to remove their shoes.

    A resident who lives near the center, Ko Hla Myo Aung, said that there were six others in his ward and that all of them broadcast chants at high volume late at night and early in the morning.

    “If the Buddha were still alive, he would go deaf from the noise from the loudspeakers,” Mr. Hla Myo Aung said.

    Other Westerners have recently run afoul of laws against insulting religion in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Last year, a bar manager from New Zealand was sentenced to two years in prison for posting an image of the Buddha wearing headphones on Facebook. He was granted amnesty and released this year.

    A version of this article appears in print on October 7, 2016, on page A12 of the New York edition with the headline: Jailed for Pulling Plug on Buddhist Chants.
    Gene Ching
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