Wat Dhammakaya

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:35 am

As I learnt, effort has already been made to target children directly through TV shows. The strategy seems to be to create a mental association of "good" and "fun" with Dhammakaya. There may be other intended subliminal messages, such as Dhammakaya monks can read minds, etc. Ignorant parents have their children watch them thinking that it's just about morality.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:16 am

A page of the Thai blogger Richard Barrow that was respectfully talking about the fact that one picture of the dhanmmakai was photoshoped has ben banned by the Thai Government. It is a pity to see how the government is protecting a brainwashing cult conducted by megalomaniacs.

http://www.richardbarrow.com/2013/07/my-blog-the-thai-government-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

BTW. The photoshoped picture can be seen here: http://2bangkok.com/forum/showthread.php?1784-Thammakai-investigation/page8
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:53 am

So the picture was photoshoped to discredit Dhammakaya. Richard exposed this and subsequently the page, where Richard exposed the discrediting, was blocked from being viewed in Thailand?

That doesn't seem like the government protecting Dhammakaya to me.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:30 am

Mr Man wrote:So the picture was photoshoped to discredit Dhammakaya. Richard exposed this and subsequently the page, where Richard exposed the discrediting, was blocked from being viewed in Thailand?

That doesn't seem like the government protecting Dhammakaya to me.

I wondered about that photo too when I saw it, though I must say that it's so well photoshopped that I didn't suspect it a fake.

Like it's said in the post and comments, the person/people who decided to blocked probably didn't read the post.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby dagon » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:05 am

Mr Man wrote:So the picture was photoshoped to discredit Dhammakaya. Richard exposed this and subsequently the page, where Richard exposed the discrediting, was blocked from being viewed in Thailand?

That doesn't seem like the government protecting Dhammakaya to me.


The department of education may well be working with them – but many in Thailand would tell you that may not be very helpful. That does not mean that the rest of the public service is on the same agenda. Some may oppose them other may not want to see a situation where any Buddhist monks are degraded. If the establishment starts to see Dhammakaya as a threat then I suspect they will act.

I am not that worried for my adopted kids cause they get taught Dhamma by their uncle – a monk in the forest tradition.

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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Viscid » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:57 pm

This is a very interesting thread, and I'm grateful for the Thais that have had direct experiences with Dhammakaya for posting about them.

Though I am fairly ignorant of Dhammakaya myself, from what I've read it seems as though they're being portrayed as a cult a little too viciously. As of yet, I've yet to read of much demonstrable harm caused by the organization... Yes, their teachings seem to be ridiculous, and the organization more focused on fundraising than wisdom-- but to label it a 'dangerous cult' belittles the risk of becoming involved with truly dangerous, manipulative cults. Dhammakaya seems to be on par with a lot of other large, zealous religious organizations in their exploitiveness.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:03 am

Viscid wrote:Though I am fairly ignorant of Dhammakaya myself, from what I've read it seems as though they're being portrayed as a cult a little too viciously. As of yet, I've yet to read of much demonstrable harm caused by the organization... Yes, their teachings seem to be ridiculous, and the organization more focused on fundraising than wisdom-- but to label it a 'dangerous cult' belittles the risk of becoming involved with truly dangerous, manipulative cults. Dhammakaya seems to be on par with a lot of other large, zealous religious organizations in their exploitiveness.

For many years, I didn't think much of it too, except for the fact of its founder's rather queer idea of meditation and (Dhammakaya) attainments. Since some months ago, I realise that I had underestimated its harm.

For a group to qualify as a destructive cult, Robert Jay Lifton listed 3 criteria:
  1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship
  2. A process of "coercive persuasion"
  3. Exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie (economic, sexual, etc)
As I understand its working now, I regard Dhammakaya as fulfilling all of the above. I suppose unless you hear about the manipulation that goes on there from people who was involved enough with it (and of course had come out of it), you're not likely to comprehend its harmfulness, and its potential for future harm.
Last edited by Kumara on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:04 am

Fascinating subject! With all the wealth they are harvesting from followers, what do you all thing they are trying to achieve?
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:08 am

jameswang wrote:Fascinating subject! With all the wealth they are harvesting from followers, what do you all thing they are trying to achieve?

Want to join the group and find out?
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby bazzaman » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:14 am

Present-day Western seekers will probably not find much of interest in the DMC... being put off by the regimented “group-think” aspects, as well as the bizarre, and suspect, meditation claims.
But, in the middle of the last century, when farangs were first venturing to Thailand in search of teaching, there was, as yet, no mega-church-like organisation to put them off. There was just Wat Paknam and its abbot, Chao Khum Mongkol Thepmuni, who had a good reputation.
In this history ot The English Sangha Trust:
http://www.buddhanet.net/filelib/pdf/honourfathers.zip
there are records of some such encounters.
The Venerable Kapilavaddho became the first European to be ordained as a bhikkhu in Thailand (page 34), and, according to the written testimonial of the famous abbot, “... completing his training on attaining the highest ‘Dhammakaya’ state in nine months. The only national other than a Thai ever to have accomplished this.”(page 36). He then returned to the U.K. to aid in the establishment of the English Sangha Trust. He taught the “Wat Paknam” method of meditation at first, but later seemed to abandon it for the Mahasi method. There follows (page 38) a brief description of the method, and some speculation (page 43) as to the reason for the switch of methods.
In any case, there are no further reports of the method being taken up and developed to a noticeable extent in the U.K.
Bhikkhu Kapilavakkho retired from the Sangha in 1957, his position taken over by Ven. Pannavadho, who, in turn, was replaced by Ven. Anandabodhi (page 52), who had also studied at Wat Paknam.
Ven. Anandabodhi later became Namgyal Rinpoche, and did teach the method, amongst others. It was referred to as the “16 Buddha body” meditation, probably derived from the book published in English by Wat Paknam “Samma Samadhi”, which contained illustrations of the 16 bodies to be visualised. But after circa 1973, there was not much mention of the method in his group.
Around that time, Tibetan Buddhism was gaining popularity in the West; and it might be possible that the Wat Paknam method, which combines mantra and visualisation, suffered by comparison to the vast array of Vajrayana methods utilising the same two tools. But that’s just speculation on my part.
I hope the pdf might be of historical interest to some.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:53 am

Kumara wrote:
jameswang wrote:Fascinating subject! With all the wealth they are harvesting from followers, what do you all thing they are trying to achieve?

Want to join the group and find out?

Err... I'll pass. Thanks for the offer. :-)

Anyway, it looks like a religious cult with commercial elements: paying for gain in the next life. But maybe the real worry is its political element.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:26 am

The pope is offering indulgences for following his speech on twitter, does that make catholicism a cult, seems one of the main reasons these folk are being called a cult is because some of their beliefs and meditation practices differ from "standard" Therevada" this same logic would instantly label Mahayana, and even all other religions a cult. Do people coming out of Dhammakaya label it a cult, or is it people that have never attended a dhammakaya temple calling it a cult, its quite one thing to disagree with an order, even label it heretical, but calling it a cult needs some serious evidence, and I've heard a lot of stories about actual cults, and I'm not hearing those same stories here, not to say it isn't a cult, I'm just not hearing enough evidence.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby suriyopama » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:07 pm

lyndon taylor wrote: I'm just not hearing enough evidence.


For a substantial donation, they offer a guided trip to the Crystal Palace in the heaven where Steve Jobs is reincarnated as a mid-level angel


http://www.dmc.tv/pages/en/Where-is-Ste ... art-1.html

http://asiancorrespondent.com/87995/tha ... teve-jobs/

Image

:jumping: :rofl:
Last edited by suriyopama on Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:55 pm

An ex friend of mine, very poor friend, not entirely honest claimed on facebook he scored Ecstasy for Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs provided the cocaine, somehow I don't think this Jobs guy is an angel, his business practices certainly involved breaking the 2nd and 5th precepts IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby dagon » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:42 pm

interesting article offered without additional comments
http://blog.scientologyrecovery.com/how ... ys-itself/

Metta
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby suriyopama » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:39 pm

dagon wrote:interesting article offered without additional comments
http://blog.scientologyrecovery.com/how ... ys-itself/


Very interesting article. Thank you Paul.

One of the factors that the article mentions is violence and abuse. For those who believe that there is no abuse on Dhammakaya, just watch how they do a kind of initiation ceremony of returning a child from the death to be reborn on the superior realm of DMC:

Image

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=460872270628583&set=a.391641334218344.85098.155320694517077&type=1&ref=nf
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:45 am

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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:02 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Do people coming out of Dhammakaya label it a cult, or is it people that have never attended a dhammakaya temple calling it a cult, its quite one thing to disagree with an order, even label it heretical, but calling it a cult needs some serious evidence, and I've heard a lot of stories about actual cults, and I'm not hearing those same stories here, not to say it isn't a cult, I'm just not hearing enough evidence.

Actually, I do know someone who left (by a enormous dose of good kamma). She then read up a lot about cults and is certain that Dhammakaya is one. When I asked if I can share the info with others, she's quite concern. I asked, "What's the worse that can happen?" She said, "Have you met fanatics?" OK.... So, I'm sorry I can't tell you more.

If you want to know more, Google is your friend.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:28 pm

New Buddhist Movements In Thailand: Towards an Understanding of Wat Phra Dhammakāya and Santi Asoke, by Rory Mackenzie

    NEW BUDDHIST MOVEMENTS IN THAILAND

    This book examines two new Buddhist movements in Thailand, namely the Wat Phra Dhammakāya and Santi Asoke. These movements represent two distinctive trends within contemporary Buddhism in Thailand. Vastly different in belief and practice, they emerged in Thailand in the 1970s at a time of political uncertainty, social change and increasing dissatisfaction with the Thai Saṅgha and its leadership.

    Rory Mackenzie explains why these movements have come into being, what they have reacted against and what they offer to their members. The Wat Phra Dhammakāya tradition views itself as a large, modern movement structured for growth, convenience and efficiency. It has spread to eleven different countries and Westerners are increasingly being attracted to the movement through the practice of Dhammakāya meditation. The author argues that there is some justification in describing this highly progressive movement as fundamentalist and millenarian due to their strong focus on meditation, and the belief that some members have in their leader a saviour figure. Santi Asoke members view the communities in which they live as places where they experience justice and support for living morally upright lives. They also view their communities as a locus for their liberation from suffering. The author suggests that Santi Asoke may best be described as an ascetic/prophetic, utopian movement with legalistic tendencies.

    This book should appeal to those interested in Buddhism’s confrontation with modernity, and its responses to evolving social issues in Thailand, as well as to those interested in new religions in the broader context of religious studies.

    Rory Mackenzie teaches Buddhism and Practical Theology at the International Christian College, Glasgow. He has lived in Thailand for eleven years, is involved in the Thai community in Edinburgh and makes regular visits back to Thailand.

A .pdf can be found in the Indigenous Buddhism section in the Library.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kamran » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:27 am

I see lots of new books at the above Linked Library. Thanks!
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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