BANGKOK — The leader of a group of outspoken online skeptics which has campaigned against superstition left many of his fans confused yesterday by a publicized call for police to crack down on criticism of the monarchy.
The administrator of the Fuck Ghost Facebook page, which has won a following by ridiculing superstitious beliefs such as ghosts and magic monks, called Wednesday for prosecution of more than 20 Facebook and YouTube accounts deemed libelous toward the Royal Family, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
“I am here to call for severe handling of these defamations, which are illegal,” said the page’s admin, who identified himself only as Kiattisak.
Kiattisak and his lawyer, an ultraroyalist activist, also submitted screenshots they said were evidence of the crime to the police. According to the pair, “more than 20” users on Facebook and YouTube were named in the documents, which they did not share publicly.
“These people on YouTube and Facebook publicized their remarks. I saw them and they made me uncomfortable,” Kiattisak said in a livestream video of the news conference. “So I forwarded them to attorney Songkran [Atchariyasap].”
Many fans of the Fuck Ghost page have criticized Kiattisak for applying a double-standard when it comes to challenging the sacred.
"This is disgusting. You're a loudmouth and critical when villagers do this and do that. You call them stupid and superstitious. But why don't you say anything about your superstition about the monarchy?" Facebook user Terapunt Sresuwan wrote on Fuck Ghost page.
Kiattisak’s attorney Songkran is the president and sole member of an ultraconservative group called the Network Against Acts that Destroy Kingdom, Religion and Monarchy, which has campaigned in the past against shamanism, ostentatiously wealthy monks and female university students dancing sexually in video clips he watched online.
He urged police to investigate other cases of royal defamation not mentioned in his complaint.
“I’d like the inquiry officers to use their judgment and prosecute them, in order to deter others from imitating them,” Songkran said.
Police said they are investigating the complaints.
With more than 480,000 fans on Facebook, Fuck Ghost is well known for its its fierce criticism of superstition in Thai society, where ghosts, fortune telling, feng shui, black magic, Naga sightings and other myths are part of everyday life and taken seriously by national media.
The group has made news by going a step further and actually vandalizing superstitious sites by desecrating objects and locations that have acquired mystical associations in Bangkok.