Influential Abbot Resigns Over Sex Tape

Phra Kru Boonyapinan in an amulet blessing ceremony

(18 September) The abbot
of a famous temple in Phang Nga Province has been forced to resign by a clip video showing him
fondling naked with a woman.

The 2-part video, apparently shot from a hidden camera in a
room, showed the monk, Phra Kru (teacher monk) Boonyapinan entering the room, where he was
welcomed by the woman who obviously owned the place.

The pair sat at the dining table and
talked for a while, before the woman led the monk to another room where they were presumed to be
engaged in sexual acts.

The second part of the video, shot from a nearby angle, showed Phra
Kru Boonyapinan and the woman taking off their clothes, fondling each other, and walking around with
their genitals exposed. Again, the pair disappeared into a nearby room, before emerging later to put
on their clothes.

The woman was also seen offering cash to the monk.

Thai Buddhist
doctrines dictate that the monks could not touch women, let alone caress or have sex with
one.

After the video has been circulated, staff at Pa Moke Temple in Phang Nga
Province, where Phra Kru Boonyapinan is stationed as its head abbot, contacted a number of news
agencies, explaining that the monk in the video clip is not Phra Kru Boonyapinan.

The video
had been doctored, the temple parishioners insisted, in order to discredit the abbot. They also
warned that any media outlet that reported about the video would be met with defamation lawsuits.

However, Phra Kru Boonyapinan had met with the Prelate of Phan Nga Province at 04.00 this
morning for defrocking from the monkhood. His wishes were granted immediately.

The Prelate,
Phra Thep Panyamolee, told the reporters he was shocked by the incident. I suppose there is more to
the monk than we saw, Phra Thep Panyamolee said, referring to the now-defrocked Phra Kru
Boonyapinan.

Before his sudden downfall, Phra Kru Boonyapinan has been in the monkhood since
1981. He has gained much influence and many supporters as he ascends in the hierarchy, having served
with many famous elder monks and commissioned many successful amulet productions, including the
famous Jatukarm Rama Thep amulet class.

Although religious misconducts and even criminal
acts committed by monks have regularly made it to the news, the Thai Buddhist authorities have been
particularly rocked by a few high-profile controversies this year
.

The most closely-watched incident is Luang Puu Nen Kham, the
self-proclaimed reincarnated embodiment of an elder monk′s spirit who has been exposed for amassing a 
vast amount of wealth and luxurious assets, including a private jet plane.

Luang Puu Nen
Kham, now known as Mr. Wirapol Sukphol, is also facing charges of fraud and statutory rape of an
underaged woman. He has not been in Thailand since the controversy began.

Equally mesmerising
to the Thai public is the case of
Phra Mitsuo
Gavesako, the Japanese-born abbot of a famous forest monastery, who shocked the nation by quitting the
monkhood without any explanation and flying back to Japan.

Few weeks later, it emerged that
Phra Mitsuo had registered his marriage with a businesswoman who had frequented his monastery during
his tenure there.

Although it is not clear whether their relationship had developed as he
was still the abbot, Phra Mitsuo′s marriage had come as a shock to many because he had preached
about the benefits of a solitary and unmarried life. 

As for the video that announced
Phra Kru Boonyapinan′s sexual affairs to the world, it is believed that the woman′s husband had
installed the camera because he was upset by her affairs with the monk.

However, other
reports suggest the married couple is pitched in a legal battle over a divorce, and the husband has
released the video in order to blackmail her into a certain negotiation.