Thai monks' gold facial scheme foiled

Thai monks' gold facial scheme foiled

A group of monks in a well-known temple in Thailand's Petchabun province has been performing a ritual "to enhance women's charms". And this strange ritual could land them in trouble.

The monks, it is claimed, have been charging between 5,000 and 10,000 baht (S$195 and S$390) for pasting a mask of sandalwood oil and gold foil on women's faces.

The charges vary depending on the size of the face, the Bangkok Post reported.

Photos of the monks performing the ritual in what appears similar to the facial mask treatment done by beauty clinics have been circulated online and have drawn criticism from netizens.

Mr Songkran Achariyasap, who chairs a network that monitors activities considered detrimental to Thailand, religion or the monarchy, told the Bangkok newspaper that they have received complaints about these monks.

He said a woman who underwent this ritual told the network that the monks claimed it will enhance her charm and her husband would fall in love with her again.

"During the ritual, the monks told the victim to lie on her back and pasted sandalwood oil and gold foil on her face," Mr Songkran said. "After a while, the monks chanted a spell to make the golden foil 'disappear'."

He said there were six or seven monks involved in the scheme and they were exploiting people's beliefs.

The gold foil did not disappear because of the chanting. A chemical reaction between the gold foil and sandalwood oil is what makes it vanish, he said.

Mr Songkran said the network had received further information that monks in eight other temples were performing similar rituals.

The network will coordinate with the police to take legal action against them, he said.


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