Q&A: Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative

1. Does Wat Phra Dhammakaya have any complicity in Mr. Supachai Srisupa-aksorn’s alleged embezzlement of Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) funds?

A:  Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Ven. Phrathepyanmahamuni have zero involvement in the alleged embezzlement. After the allegations were made, the Temple asked Mr. Supachai regarding the source of the funds, and he disclosed that he had taken out a loan from KCUC and repaid it.

2.  Were any suspicions raised when donations in the amount of hundreds of millions of baht were being offered?

A:  Mr. Supachai is not the biggest donor at Wat Phra Dhammakaya; there are other generous donors who donate greater sums. When he came to offer these large donations he indicated a few business and mining investments of his were highly profitable, thus giving the Temple no reason to be suspicious.  

3.  What did Ven. Phrathepyanmahamuni and Wat Phra Dhammakaya do with the donations?

A:  The entire donation was allocated toward the construction of religious facilities according to the donor’s wishes. Since a great number of people participate in mass meditation at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, up to a million on special events, it was necessary to have facilities that can accommodate those in attendance.

4.  Why did Wat Phra Dhammakaya return the donation, in the amount of 684 million baht, to Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative?

A:  Wat Phra Dhammakaya received these donations with transparency and in good faith, and subsequently allocated all the funds toward the construction of religious facilities in accordance with the donors’ wishes. When the lawsuit was filed, supporters of Wat Phra Dhammakaya realized if the case were to go to court, the trial would be exhaustive, affecting the reputation of the Temple and Ven. Phrathepyanmahamuni, and bringing hardship to credit union members of the credit union. Therefore, funds to compensate the credit union members in the full amount that Mr. Supachai donated to the Temple and Ven. Phrathepyanmahamuni was established by the Temple supporters.

5.  What is the Temple’s current relationship with KCUC?

A:  The credit union issued a letter of appreciation to the supporters of Wat Phra Dhammakaya for their compassion in raising the funds to aid the credit union and its members. The supporters did not have any legal obligations to return any of the funds since the donations were received with transparency and allocated toward religious structures as the donors had intended.

Mr. Supachai had also offered donations to other temples, schools, and many other organizations; they have yet to return their donation to the credit union in any way.

6.  The general public believes that donations made to temples should be more transparent and include the source of each donation. Does Wat Phra Dhammakaya agree with this view?

A: Temples, organizations, or various foundations rely on donations to operate. Therefore, questioning the donors about the origin of their donations would be extremely impolite and inappropriate. In practice, this idea would be quite difficult to implement. However, the Temple agrees with having as much transparency as possible and invites every sector to propose a solution that is practical that benefits all parties involved.