Former follower recalls his “riches to rags” story after being inducted to Dhammakaya sect


A former follower of the Dhammakaya sect who claimed that his family went broke and broke up after they donated all their wealth to the temple showed up in front of the temple on Monday to support the planned arrest of the former abbot.

With a note hung from his neck which reads “Thammachayo is the sweetest, cruelest, cold-blooded hypocrite’, the 62-year old Mr Chartchai Bamrungsunthorn, a former chemical engineer at a private company, told reporters of his family’s riches to rags story after they were inducted to the Dhammakaya sect 31 years ago.

Mr Chartchai recalled that he had a happy family like many other families until 1985 when a cousin of his wife persuaded his family to make merits at Dhammakaya temple.

Ever since, he said his family, his wife in particular, regularly made donations to the temple to the extent that all their properties such as a gift shop opposite Don Meuang airport, their house in Laemthong Nives housing estate, a land plot near Don Meuang, 20 baht wright of gold bullion, bank deposits and stocks were sold out and the money raised were all donated to the temple.

Mr Chartchai said he bought by instalments a condominium unit on the compound of Wat Dhammakaya and has been living on food provided by the temple.

The former follower disclosed that he also tendered a petition to the Palace about his hardship after he learned that the temple petitioned to the Palace against police action against its former abbot.

He said he was glad that the DSI and the police would raid the temple to look for Dhammachayo.