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What type of country do we live in where Buddhist monks can’t play a bit of poker in luxury hotels?

I read about this in the JoongAng Ilbo last night, and was surprised this morning to see it went global:

Six leaders from South Korea’s biggest Buddhist order have quit after secret video footage showed some supposedly serene monks raising hell, playing high-stakes poker, drinking and smoking.

From The Telegraph.

Now, I can’t excuse the smoking, but the poker, well, like Go-stop, I’m sure that’s just a form of mental training. And the booze ain’t booze—no doubt it’s just gokcha, which we all know is a form of medicine.

Would love to know who placed the secret camera in the room, though.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Creo69

    Religious moralists gambling, smoking and drinking? I guess as long as it keeps them away from alter boys it is OK with me.

  • http://f5waeg.blogspot.com/ F5Waeg

    And here I was surprised to see three of them in a Cafe Benne today slurping back lattes

  • CactusMcHarris

    Come now, the tales/truths of monks wenching, buggering, gambling, drinking and gorging has been going on for as long as there have been monks. Nothing new here, folks.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #3 Addendum

    Canterbury Tales was full of them, was it not? Maybe in the monks’ desire to learn more about Olde English literature they never got past this volume?

  • iMe

    not to pit one occult against another but what’s worse: drinking, smoking and gambling or raping/molesting little boys?

    the lesson here is, don’t fucking believe another human being (or any institution) who tells you he knows what happens after death.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    So immediately we have the “Creo69″ and “iMe” telling us we can judge ALL religions by the actions of a few “sinners” but not to judge them at all, ever…

    How quaint.

  • jk6411

    Marmots are not a particularly religious lot..

  • Anonymous_Joe

    “not to pit one occult against another but what’s worse: drinking, smoking and gambling or raping/molesting little boys?”

    Do you think before you post?

    Allow me to answer the obvious because it clearly eludes you: “raping/molesting little boys” is clearly worse. “Drinking, smoking, gambling” might reveal the hypocracy of those monks, but those vices hurt no one but themselves.

    To juxtapose the moral, ethical, or legal equivalence of bad personal habits and rape denigrates the seriousness and victims of rape.

  • YangachiBastardo

    These 깡패 monks are officially my idols !!!

  • http://coryinkorea.wordpress.com/ 코리아

    “Would love to know who placed the secret camera in the room, though.”
    That’s the really interesting thing about this story. It was likely a mole working with Ven. Seongho, a former member of the executive committee who was kicked out for causing disruptions, who claims he just happened to find the USB placed in front of a Buddha statue in his temple. The gambling monks were attending the last rites of the Ven. Su-san, former chief priest of the important Baekyang Temple. One of the events that lead to Seongho’s ousting from the executive committee is that he stood against the appointment of Ven. Jinwoo as successor to Su-san. A letter supposedly written by Su-san was found naming Jinwoo as successor, but Seongho and others believe that he couldn’t have possibly written it due to his health, so it must have been faked. Other, smaller credibility attacks have been happening for a couple weeks until this bomb got dropped.

    Fun stuff, like Game of Thrones, but with less murder.

  • PineForest

    Dear, Ime,

    Always remember dear, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Love,

    Your Grandma

  • iMe

    thanks grandma. i miss you!!!

  • CactusMcHarris

    #9,

    That’s a band you would totally listen to, isn’t it – the Ggangpeh Sunims.

  • Creo69

    “So immediately we have the “Creo69″ and “iMe” telling us we can judge ALL religions by the actions of a few “sinners” but not to judge them at all, ever…”

    Actions of a few? This was a gathering of this religion’s highest leaders in South Korea. Something tells me if this how the leaders behave the lower level minions are probably on board too. For christ sake, they were gambling with a million dollars of their follower’s money.

  • Creo69

    “So immediately we have the “Creo69″ and “iMe” telling us we can judge ALL religions by the actions of a few “sinners” but not to judge them at all, ever…”

    Actions of a few? This was a gathering of this religion’s highest leaders in South Korea. Something tells me if this how the leaders behave the lower level minions are probably doing similar. For christ sake, they were gambling with a million dollars of their follower’s money.

  • Q

    You would not want to miss many other interesting stories at the Telegraph: London’s High Court approved an insurance settlement in March 2007 for £ 1.465 million for motorcyclist Kunal Lindsay, who was struck by an automobile in 2002. After extensive physical therapy, Lindsay noted that he had become uncontrollably and chronically horny and had acquired an unhealthy attraction to cell phones. The Telegraph reported on March 2, 2007, that the court was convinced that the accident had caused these conditions, which, because of Lindsay’s constant nagging of his wife for sex, led to the breakup of Lindsay’s marriage.

  • bibimbong

    somebody has got it in for monks this month. this one’s accused of axing puppies.
    http://news.hankooki.com/lpage/society/201205/h2012051220593321980.htm

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    Creo69: “Actions of a few? This was a gathering of this religion’s highest leaders in South Korea. Something tells me if this how the leaders behave the lower level minions are probably doing similar. For christ sake, they were gambling with a million dollars of their follower’s money.”

    They were gambling for Christ’s sake?

    Maybe you don’t remember the riot with firebombs and etc. at Buddhist HQ? The other faction placed the camera.

    And when did Buddhists ever start using altar boys? But it’s okay to trash what others believe if you disagree, right? As long as they don’t criticize you? That’s the point here, eh? Use the actions of Buddhists to trash Catholics who tell you your actions are “sin”?

    Shame on you.

  • yuna

    http://media.daum.net/society/others/newsview?newsid=20120512210108429&cateid=1067
    This story’s been going viral in Korea – a “buddhist monk” climbs over into the back garden to beat and then subsequently axe to death the jindo dog because it was barking (and has gone missing). The jindo dog “Jangun” (shown in the photo) belonged to a 70 year old grandpa who lives alone and had Jangun as his only family for over 10 years, – understandably he has gone into depression.
    Koreans have an apt expression for these renegade “buddhist monks” – 땡중 (Ddengjoong)..

  • bibimbong

    @19 i thought you’d be interested in that one. from what i can tell though this incident actually happened last year. it’s horrendous obviously but what are the chances its getting play now cuz the gambling monks?

  • 깊은 구멍 속에

    For anyone who is interested, the Korean expression for monks doing what monks shouldn’t is 땡중.

    The more interesting story this week I thought I was the attempted flight of the head of 미래저축은행 after it was discovered he had spent more than 10 million dollars “treating” (potential) clients. He paid gangsters and his driver hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and smuggle him into China.

    http://www.kwangju.co.kr/read.php3?aid=1336893799467746001

    http://joongang.joinsmsn.com/article/aid/2012/05/14/7797967.html?cloc=olink|article|default

  • yuna

    Sorry bibimbong, I didn’t actually see your previous comment at #17 before posting my comment. I only just read the comments above my comments because I read #21 and I thought it was strange that 깊은 구멍 속에 had repeated what I’d written in #19.

    No, I think the axe-wielding monk story was viral a day (or two) before I read about the gambling monks. Maybe it’s now that the owner of the puppy or the Animal Protection society that the owner’s enlisted the help from is bringing the case to chase the guy down. The police had ruled it too insubstantial or something.

  • yuna

    Also, I notice a lot more animal issues making headlines in Korea nowadays.
    I’d like to think it’s not just because the Animal Rights society people are becoming more active, or that there is an increase of these cases of cruelty, but that people in general are becoming more aware and less accepting of the crimes.

  • 깊은 구멍 속에

    @ Yuna – That’s because I hadn’t read any of the comments when I left my own. Apologies for repeating what had already been said.

  • R. Elgin

    What I liked was Reuters/Hopfner’s edit on this: “Gambling, drinking monks raise hell in South Korea”. I had to laugh.

  • dinkus maximus

    Moral of the story – ALL religion is BS. Sure, we can take the good with the bad, and no matter what organization it is – those at the top will almost indefinitely succumb to human nature (i.e. greed, power); but even Buddhism??? Definitely. When I toured Tibet, I felt as much. The Dalai Lamma has a Rolls.

  • cwright

    Jesus is Buddha.

    http://www.jesusisbuddha.com/

    The 27 books of the New Testament, as known, constitute the fundamental holy scripture of Christianity. Without the four Gospels according to Matthew, to Mark, to Luke and to John, Christianity is virtually null and void.

    Recent epoch-making discoveries of old Sanskrit manuscripts in Central Asia and Kashmir provide decisive proof that the four Greek Gospels have been translated directly from the Sanskrit. A careful comparison, word by word, sentence by sentence, shows that the Christian Gospels are Pirate-copies of the Buddhist Gospels (combined, of course, with words from the OT). God’s word, therefore, is originally Buddha’s word.

    Comparison reveals that there is no person, no event, no locality mentioned in the four Christian Gospels not already present in the Buddhist Gospels that are, for sure, far earlier in time than their Christian copies.

  • ihavenomouthandimustscream

    @dinkus maximus
    “When I toured Tibet, I felt as much. The Dalai Lamma has a Rolls.”
    You mean you toured early 50′s Tibet? What was it like? Or do you mean you saw a display of a Rolls by the Chinese gov. showing the excesses of the Dalai Lama?
    I myself tend to see religion as a social rorschach that is affected/interpreted by the people in and around it and seeks to attract for better or worse. Just as there are many versions/sects of christianity there are many versions/sects of Buddhism and they and we are all human beings for better or worse.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    The lotus blossoms in muddy water

  • Anonymous_Joe

    So, they weren’t playing Go Stop, which the Korean Supreme Court has determined is not gambling, but they were playing high stakes poker. Why aren’t these monks charged with crimes?

    Which brings me back to the Poker 8. Whatever happened to those 8 poker playing/casino running/drug dealing rapscallions?

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  • Eegori Ku

    My comment is for ”Creo69” and ”iMe”.

    It is a fact that since people are not allowed to do gambling, which means it is illegal, they (the monks) have to be punished by law.

    In my humble opinion, however, I think that just because some people of a group committed a sin does not mean the other people of the group would also commit sins. I think that we cannot criticize and judge the all Buddhists and Buddhism itself by the improper actions of a few (in this case, the monks – the highest leaders in South Korea)

    The reason for my argument is that there are far more people having strong and pure belief in Buddhism. For instance, some people go to temple everyday for their family’s health and the peace of their home. Furthermore, there are many people pursuing their personal goals and doing their mental training with the help of their religion. There is no action being against the law, and they do not commit a sin. They just try to rely on the religion with their belief.

    For this reason, I think that we cannot criticize and judge all religion by the action of a few, but the monks or other people being against the law and committing sins have to be strictly punished and criticized.

    I hope that you would not get mad at me. Thank you.