The head of the Jogye order, South Korea’s largest Buddhist order, was under fire today as it emerged that 6 monks from the order were secretly videotaped playing a marathon poker session for stakes in excess of £500,000.
According to an article on the Guardian website, the head of the order, Jaseung, today made a public apology to its 10 million followers, in which he vowed “self-repentance”.
South Korean TV networks were awash with the poker playing monks today, as the video showed the monks drinking, smoking and playing high stakes poker – presumably with money donated to the order from the public.
The fate of the poker playing monks is unclear, although it’s a certainty that they will be banished from the Buddhist order to which they belong, for contravening the ideals of the order and committing a crime – gambling in South Korea is illegal outside of a licensed casino.
Seongho, a senior monk, who shopped his poker playing colleagues after obtaining a memory stick containing the video, said:
Buddhist rules say don’t steal. Look at what they did, they abused money from Buddhists for gambling