Buddhist office to seize sex scandal monk’s 100 million baht assets

Photo via Facebook/ ข่าวท้องถิ่นเพชรบูรณ์

The National Office of Buddhism plans to confiscate assets worth over 100 million baht from the former monk involved in a group sex scandal case.

A Thai couple accused the monk, later identified as Phra Ajarn O, of manipulating them and other followers into having group sex. The monk allegedly tricked them into sexual activity by claiming it would give him the energy to live and free participants from all suffering.

The couple sought help from non-profit organisation Saimai Survive, as they were suffering from mental health issues and feared the monk would blackmail them with explicit videos and pictures.

Phra Ajarn O subsequently left the monkhood and closed his monastery in the northern province of Phetchabun claiming his innocence and vowing to fight for justice.

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Some locals living near the monastery supported Phra Ajarn O, saying he was kind and always provided support to the community.

Ekkaphop Luaengprasert, founder of Saimai Survive, reported to Channel 7 today that he already submitted the issue to the National Office of Buddhism for further investigation.

According to Ekkaphop, the authorities plan to seize the former monk’s assets while the investigation is ongoing. These assets, estimated to be worth over 100 million baht, were amassed through the sale of numerous amulets and talismans by the monk and his followers.

Ekkaphop added that more men and women have contacted Saimai Survive, claiming they were also victims of this former monk.

Ekkaphop anticipates that the former monk will initially be charged under Section 276 of the Criminal Law: gang rape. The penalty for this offence is imprisonment between 15 and 20 years, life imprisonment, or a fine ranging from 300,000 to 400,000 baht.

 

UPDATE 1: Former monk in Phetchabun accused of sexual misconduct

Investigations led reporters to the monastery in Lom Sak District, Phetchabun. The location, led by a monk referred to as Phra Ajarn O, was tightly secured with large guard dogs and a warning sign on the gate. The monastery resembled a residential house with a dome used for ceremonies, obscured by trees, making it difficult to observe outside. Fresh tyre tracks suggested recent activity.

A 56 year old resident named Da shared that the community generally did not interact with the monastery, which mainly attracted visitors from other provinces during festivals like Teacher’s Day, Songkran, and New Year’s Day. She mentioned that the monk created sacred items for rent but did not participate in alms rounds or invitations, though he consistently supported local events.

“I don’t believe the allegations at all. He has always been a strict and kind monk.”

Pom, another local and a 65 year old worker at the monastery, echoed this sentiment. Having been there for six years, Pom stated the monastery housed four monks and a few laypeople, including himself. He was responsible for maintaining cleanliness and preparing ceremonial items.

“I don’t observe the ceremonies, I only prepare the items. The monk is kind and helpful.”

Pom recalled a past incident where a woman took sacred items worth over 20 million baht from the monk without returning the money, leading to ongoing legal disputes.

The monastery’s Facebook page recently posted images of the monk in question disrobing at a temple in Lom Sak District, Phetchabun. The post declared the cessation of the monastery’s activities and informed followers that the monk had disrobed to avoid burdening the monastic community and prevent further turmoil, reported KhaoSod.

“This place will now be known as the Baramee Phuttho Raksa Monastery, continuing the teachings of our mentors. Thank you to all the supporters.”

Numerous disciples expressed their sorrow and support for the former monk in the comments, reflecting the deep impact of these revelations on the community.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: Thai couple accuses monk of manipulating them into group sex

A Thai couple are seeking justice from non-profit organisation Saimai Survive after a monk in the northern province of Phetchabun allegedly manipulated them into having group sex, leaving them deeply traumatised. The incident has caused such severe distress that both are now receiving treatment in a hospital for mental health issues.

The couple revealed their story to Saimai Survive and Thai news outlets at a press conference today, June 11. The woman, whose identity remains undisclosed, explained that she and her husband had been practising Dhamma at a monastery in Phetchabun for more than 10 years.

According to the couple, the monk, who is about 40 years old, provided Dhamma teachings, exorcised evil spirits from them and their families, and improved their lives. They genuinely believed in his power and respected him.

The couple admitted that some of the monk’s teachings were explicit and related to sex. He also shared explicit pictures, a talisman resembling genitals, and sexual content in a Line app group, but they continued to respect him, believing this was simply his teaching style.

In 2021, the monk invited them to the highest level of Dhamma practice by offering their bodies to the monk. The monk claimed that they had to have sex with him to offer energy to his life, reach the highest level of Dhamma and become free from all suffering.

The monk added that he was sick and would soon die if he did not have enough energy to live. As the monk improved their lives in many ways, the couple wanted to express their gratitude to the monk and agreed to the monk’s condition.

The monk first had sex with the two of them separately. He then ordered them to have group sex with him and several other followers.

Blackmail fears

The monk closed their eyes during the sex and also asked his followers to record the sex, saying he would show the videos and pictures to a Vajrayana deity as a way of showing respect to the deity.

The couple followed the monk’s practices until 2022. They began to feel that what was happening was wrong and not in accordance with the Buddhist religion they had learned.

They stopped the practice and broke off contact with the monk. They decided to seek mental health treatment for their confusion before seeking justice through Saimai Survive. They wanted their case to be an example to others.

The man said he was also worried that the monk and his followers would blackmail him and his wife by sharing their explicit pictures and videos, so he came forward to seek help.

The founder of Saimai Survive, Ekkaphop Lueangprasert, said he would report the matter to the Phetchabun Provincial Buddhism Office and relevant authorities to investigate the case further and raid the monastery.

Vajrayana Buddhism involves symbolic and actual sexual practices aimed at spiritual transformation and enlightenment under strict guidance.

A writer for the Kom Chad Luek news agency, Traithep Krai-ngu, wrote an article on Vajrayana Buddhism in 2012 and mentioned the Yab-Yum, a statue of Buddha making a sexual gesture with a naked woman sitting on his lap. This is one of the statues known as part of Vajrayana Buddhism.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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