Recently someone who attended a Buddhist ceremony at a Thai Wat (temple) in a northern state of Malaysia told me about his experience there. First he saw prominently placed posters of the super-rich: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. Later, a young monk gave a talk, asking the audience why these people are so rich. He then answered himself that it's because they have done a lot of dana (giving). After that, he began to introduce Dhammakaya with a computer presentation, showing impressive photos, etc.
This may not mean much to many of you here, but for the gullible, materialistic Buddhists (which there are many in Malaysia), I can see how it would work.
This reminds me of an article in Times magazine on Scientology: "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power: Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but is really a ruthless global scam — and aiming for the mainstream"
In full: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/time-behar.html
Summary and issues around it: Scientology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thrivi ... _and_Power
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika