Thursday, August 6, 2015

Money, lust and kung fu: Shaolin temple’s ‘C.E.O. monk’ is under fire

By Andrew Jacob
A monk selling souvenirs and religious trinkets at the Shaolin Temple. The temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, has helped transform Shaolin into a global commercial empire.
CHINA---Over the past week, much of the nation has been transfixed by salacious allegations that the famed abbot, Shi Yongxin, known as China’s C.E.O. Monk for transforming Shaolin into a global commercial empire, is a swindler and serial philanderer who secretly fathered children with two of his lovers, vows of celibacy notwithstanding. Critics have complained for years that Shi Yongxin has overcommercialized Shaolin through product licensing and overseas franchises, including plans for a $300 million luxury Shaolin kung fu resort and golf course in southeastern Australia. [link]
Students practicing kung fu at the Shaolin Tagou School, one of the private academies near the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China, in November 2014. Credit Adam Dean for The New York Times