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. Catchai stares sadly at a table full of wedding pictures, each one with the bride cut out of the photo. 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. Help is at hand × 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. 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. This fact sheet is meant to provide the reader with the most crucial information. THE NATIONAL Office of Buddhism (NOB) is pushing for the appointment of an outsider as Dhammakaya Temple’s new abbot. Emma Lee. Article 44 . . Dr. Mano called the abbot a flight risk on Thai television, claiming that the abbot had a “lifetime visa” to the United States. 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. 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. The former chemical engineer, now 65, owned his own company and was comfortably off before his wife donated £300,000 without his knowledge. Temple spokesman Phra Sanitwong Wutthiwangso said the abbot is still in the temple, receiving treatment from a team of doctors. … You will get the updates within 24 hours. 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. The Honorary Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Updated February 24, 2017. “They never declare [their accounts],” he says. As this case continues to evolve, this document will be updated with events and facts as they become available. 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. Unlike other Buddhist movements, the Dhammakaya teaches that generous donations will bring wealth in this life as well as in a future life. 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. “They keep secrets all the time from the beginning until now.”. 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. News that Dhammachayo, abbot of Dhammakaya, ... which was embroiled in a massive embezzlement scandal running in the billions of baht. 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. “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. The current impasse regarding the appointment of a new Supreme Patriarch concerns the temple’s alleged connections with a candidate. He claims his wife was manipulated into handing over cash. When Thai soldiers arrived at the Temple compound to arrest the founder, they were beaten back by monks, giving him time to flee. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. A tsunami of public anger has arisen over the controversial Dhammakaya abbot and his empire and its grand-scale commercialisation of Buddhism. 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. 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). 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. 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. The Guardian : Thai authorities seek to defrock scandal-hit Buddhist abbot, March 10th, 2017 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 … Dhammachayo, 55, has a huge following, attracting as many as 100,000 people to his temple for mass meditation. “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”. This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. 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. 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. To see all content on The Sun, please use the Site Map. 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. His temple, Dhammakaya, has grown rapidly in wealth, influence, popularity and religious clout. When Thai soldiers arrived at the Temple compound to arrest the founder, they were beaten back by monks, giving him time to flee. Where did these funds come from? “If (the abbot) thinks he is innocent he should surrender and enter the judicial process,” said Col. Paisit Wongmuang. Dhammakaya monks await … The abbot admits receiving the … News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. BANGKOK — Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said Thursday he believes the fugitive abbot of Dhammakaya was still in the country a day … At least 14 people face legal action for trying to shield the abbot from authorities’ attempts to arrest him on Thursday. 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. Wat Phra Dhammakaya is part of the Dhammakaya Tradition-related larger doctrinal controversy in Thai Buddhism. 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. Klongchan Credit Union withdraws lawsuits against Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Venerable Dhammajayo, the current abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. 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. Everything you need to know about the Dhammakaya Scandal: A Short Fact Sheet. 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 … It got cabinet approval but it did not make it to parliament because of mass protests by monks. 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. “Brainwashed by an evil cult.”. 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. 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. 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. 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. EXCLUSIVE: Dhammakaya defector slams scandal-hit abbot. But the raids are a mere dash for cash by the country’s ruling junta, writes James L Taylor. Thailand’s police and military have been leading operations against the controversial Dhammakaya Buddhist temple complex in the search for a wanted monk. 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. “The followers, many of them are good people but they have been fooled and blindly they gave everything away. 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 … 725 likes. 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). Families suffered and a lot of families were broken.”. He is under investigation by Thailand's Department of Special Investigation for money laundering and accepting stolen property. “It made me suffer a lot in life because I found out too late,” he tells the show. Emma Lee. July 5, 2016. 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. “He’s his icon. 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”. Ex-senior monks' B135m, Dhammakaya's building frozen, Ong-art to hear indictment decision Sept 27. Ruling junta has kept Dhammakaya temple under … Photo: Lilian Suwanrumpha/ AFP. 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 Its founder, Abbot Dhammajayo, has been in hiding since evading arrest in 2017 over allegations the sect had laundered £25m of stolen money. Luang Por Dhammajayo Stands Wrongly Accused Dhammakaya followers have launched a social media campaign in support of the embattled monk, Venerable Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The elderly Honorary Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya now suffers from several illnesses, including deep vein thrombosis and a chronic leg ulcer. “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. dhammakaya scandal. The biggest scandal has been the charges against its abbot, Phra Chaiboon Dhammajayo or Phra Racchabhavanavisuth, for pubic fraud and embezzlement. “I don’t think this is fair,” he said. Unreported World: Nirvana For Sale airs on Channel 4 at 7.30pm. He adds that Abbot Dhammajayo has evaded capture because “he has plenty of money and in this country money can buy anything”. 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. 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 … Articles have written in foreign publications about the temple in both supportive and critical ways. The Sun website is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. Addicted to blessing and also addicted to donations,” he says. Home Crime Police Move to Arrest Dhammakaya Abbot Crime, Courts, Calamity Crime Politics Police Move to Arrest Dhammakaya Abbot By Teeranai Charuvastra, News Chief - … Scandals involving Phra Dhammajayo 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. 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. 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. “I feel upset because I actually still love my wife. Buddhist monks face the police in front of Wat Dhammakaya temple, February 16, 2017. Dhammakaya acting abbot faces charges published : 3 Dec 2016 at 14:18 writer: Pongpat Wongyala. “I don’t think this is fair,” he said. Thank you for subscribing our enewsletter. 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. Dhammakaya acting abbot faces charges. Dhammakaya Uncovered. 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. 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 … 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. This coming Thursday, 27 th August marked the 47 th anniversary of The Most Venerable Phra Thepyanmahamuni’s (the Dhammakaya Temple’s Abbot) ordination. 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. 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 … Need someone to talk to? 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." Abbot Phra Dhammachayo (C) arrives for a ceremony at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok on Makha … “He tried to reveal to me he is God with a capital G,” he says. 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”. General. Are you in Thailand and feeling low?