Tush-tattooed teens end clerical career

NAKHON SAWAN: A monk at a local temple in this central Thailand province has been defrocked after tattooing the buttocks of two 15-year-old schoolgirls.

In a single session, Phra Theera Chaya Chansophana tattooed the two girls and nine male students, all of whom were wearing school uniforms when they arrived to see him.

Parents and teachers of the teens claim the tattoos made the children aggressive and unable to concentrate in class.

Phra Theera’s antics first came to light when the girls’ furious mothers, joined by the deputy superintendent of Nakhon Sawan Police and the director of the girls’ school, went to complain to Phra Thep Pariyatmethi, head of Nakhon Sawan provincial clergy.

Phra Theera had broken regulations of Buddhist monkhood by taking money in exchange for performing magic, as well as experimented with magical symbols, they charged.

Siwarom Siriphap, director of Photisarasueksa School, said the two girls were persuaded by a gang of nine boys in their class to skip school and go visit Phra Theera.

The wayward monk collected 124 baht from each of the children, performed a khuen khru ceremony and set about tattooing them.

The boys received tattoos on the middle of their backs. The two girls received tattoos extending from their hips to their bottoms.

After the children were tattooed, they became more aggressive, challenging teachers and refusing to listen to them, Ms Siwarom said.

Some writhed around on the classroom floor.

The mother of one of the girls said she had no idea her daughter had been to see the cleric.

Then she began to notice some strange behavior in her daughter, such as violent shaking.

She also started to spend long periods of time alone in her room. Every night she would lie on her bed talking on the phone, calls often lasting hours.

The truth finally came out when another woman visited her house with her daughter and told her that the girl had been tattooed on her bottom. At that point, the two girls revealed the whole story.

Phra Thep Pariyatmethi summoned Phra Theera to demand an explanation. In his defence the accused monk said the kids had come for the tattoos of their own accord. He claimed he donated all the money they paid him to pay for temple upkeep.

When one of the furious mothers asked why he had to tattoo the girls on their bottoms, Phra Theera went pale and could not answer.

Phra Thep Pariyatmethi accused the monk of abusing his position and ordered him to be defrocked.

Thailand News
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