When you think of religious people behaving badly you probably conjure images of televangelists stealing millions from old ladies or Catholic priests diddling altar boys. But what if I told you that a Buddhist monk in Thailand may be the worst religious criminal since the Borgias did there…er…Borgiaing? Wirapol Sukphol has made a huge mess in his native Thailand by basically being a criminal mastermind. Wirapol used his charming ways and monk schtick to raise millions of dollars from suckers for various Buddhist charities and projects. Instead of building Buddha statues or whatever, he pocketed the money and lived a very non-monastic lifestyle. He traveled all over the world in private jets, ate at nice restaurants, and complemented his orange robes with Louis Vuitton and Prada. Wirapol would carry stacks of hundreds in his monk’s sack and be seen at casinos and night clubs. He’s also been accused of taking part in orgies, statutory rape, and having killed a guy in a hit and run. Not very Zen, dude.
Wirapol is on the run after the Thai authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. No one knows where he is and he may be here in the U.S. So, if you see a Buddhist monk acting like a baller you could probably turn him in for some reward money. The Buddhist authorities in Thailand have defrocked him in absentia as this looks pretty bad given the whole poverty and chastity thing. It just goes to show you that no matter where you go or what God you worship, greedy bastards exist everywhere. In a way it’s sort of refreshing. Isn’t the basic sliminess of humanity as unifying a principle as our capacity for good? We can build on this.