Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Vicious cruelty hiding beneath sangha robes

Jun 02. 2016
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As someone raised in a nominally Christian society, I long ago became aware of the heinous sins, crimes and malpractice committed by men hiding under priestly cassocks, cardinals’ scarlet robes and, indeed, the man right at the top dressed in white and ad
It was not until recently that I realised the same venality applies in the case of many who wear saffron and parade as the holiest of the holy in Thailand.
Your recent coverage of a temple abbot who has amassed billions of dollars is an ongoing soap opera that will play out for at least a few more episodes. We can only guess the outcome.
But this week came reports that wildlife authorities had found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer in Kanchanaburi’s infamous “Tiger Temple” during an operation to remove tigers after international pressure over suspected trafficking and abuse.
These cubs were apparently part of an illicit trade to meet Chinese demand for animal parts as ingredients in traditional (but scientifically bogus) aphrodisiacs and rejuvenation tonics. 
The whole thing is disgusting beyond my power to describe it.
I would add one postscript: I sincerely believe that most Buddhist monks are sincere in their beliefs, and I impute no slight against them.
David Brown

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