Thaksin’s Temple: Dhammakaya

Dhammakaya Temple: Making money over merit Bangkok Post, August 17, 2014

TRT and Dhammakaya Temple – perfect matchThe Nation, September 27, 2006
…The former abbot of Phra Dhammakaya Temple was the first one to initiate contact with members of Thai Rak Thai. It was decided that the Thai Rak Thai Party would have Dhammakaya’s backing. Thai Rak Thai representatives were given the opportunity to speak to the temple’s followers, who were urged to cast their votes for the party, as it would naturally be beneficial for their master and temple.
According to the law of karma as promoted by the temple, Thaksin Shinawatra was hailed as the ideal lay Buddhist, who had been blessed by the merit of his past lives and was endowed with a great many virtues. The temple played a song praising Thaksin composed by the Phra Dhammajayo himself on its Dow Tham satellite television channel – broadcasting 24 hours a day. However, the gathering clouds of controversies and criminal investigations surrounding him prevented Thaksin from visiting the temple. Nevertheless, senior Thai Rak Thai leaders, such as Sudarat Keyuraphan and Suriya Jungrungreangkit, began regularly attending the monastery…

Dhammakaya reports on Steve Jobs’ new life

Sangha feudal hierarchy has to go for good – Bangkok Post, October 30, 2013
…Wat Paknam, you see, is closely linked to the all-powerful Wat Phra Dhammakaya and its highly controversial abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who basically teaches you can buy “boon” or merit _ and even a place in nirvana, which he describes as a celestial abode.
…Interestingly, Phra Dhammachayo’s capitalistic version of Buddhism meshes well with the rich and powerful, and others who think it is simply great to be able to buy a place in heaven.
At the height of the controversy in 1999, the late Supreme Patriarch issued an ordinance declaring that Phra Dhammachayo must be defrocked for distorting the Buddhist canon, dividing the Sangha, and for fraud and embezzlement.
It is no secret that the Pheu Thai-led government supports the Dhammakaya abbot. And it came as no surprise that the public prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against him in 2006…

Dhammakaya saves Bangkok from bombing during World War II
They saved Bangkok from an atomic bomb, nuns flew up and harmlessly captured falling bombs during World War II…

March 2010: 100,000 Dhammakaya monks to protect the marching Red Shirts?
Thaksin has had a close relationship with Dharmakaya…
So when the above banners when up throughout the country in recent weeks, rumors began circulating that these novice monks would be used as human shields in the Red Shirt march on Bangkok…

Thousands of chairs for ThaksinThe Nation, July 17, 2006

Dhammakaya denies helping TRT friendsBangkok Post, July 14, 2006
Wat Dhammakaya yesterday denied that a gathering of local administration bodies from across the country at its temple was intended to muster support for embattled caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra…
Close relations between government leaders and the temple played no part in the decision to hold the event, he said.
A former member of the House committee on religious affairs said Wat Dhammakaya has close ties with leading Thai Rak Thai party figures such as party secretary-general and caretaker Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and caretaker Labour Minister Somsak Thepsuthin. Mr Suriya’s wife, Surisa, once donated 40 million baht to the temple.
The temple has been criticised for its fund-raising and teaching methods. Its former abbot, Phra Dhammachayo is being investigated over land embezzlement…

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