Russians seek out Sattahip monk for exorcisms

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A Sattahip monk has gained a small following of Russians, who’ve begun traveling from Moscow to undergo exorcisms and holy baths at Thepprasit Temple.

Assistant Abbott Bunsong Jantimo performed exorcisms on a Russian businessman Feb. 20 and for two Moscow women Feb. 22, reciting incantations to turn bad luck to good and bathing them in holy water.

Thepprasit Temple’s Assistant Abbott Bunsong Jantimo pours holy water over Kristina to turn bad luck to good. Thepprasit Temple’s Assistant Abbott Bunsong Jantimo pours holy water over Kristina to turn bad luck to good.

Businessman Anton Avdanin said he’s been observing Bunsong for four years, but only recently decided to undergo the rites himself. A practicing Buddhist, the Russian claims to have had dreams of monks bringing him herbal medicine that cured him of illnesses and had premonitions that led him into successful business ventures.

With his tendency to dress in all-white and chant, the Russian has gained a following of his own, who he says come to him for fortune telling and healing.

Two of them – Kristina, 28, and Alexandra, 24, underwent their own exorcisms two days later. They said they’re careers were on a downward spiral and were looking to change their luck.

Alexandra, wearing both a Buddhist amulet and Christian cross, said she heard of Bunsong in Russia. She said she believed he could change her fortunes and that Buddhist traditions brought out goodness in people.

Bunsong said he never sought out the Russians nor does he try to portray himself as having magical abilities. He said he simply relied on Buddhist teachings to ease their suffering.

He added that he believes his exposure in Russia can be good for tourism between Thailand and Sattahip, generating income from everything from hotels to white robes. Of course, he noted, it also could help spread Buddhism.