TThe beautiful Buddhist monk had a huge following on social media, a great gift for fundraising and a clear path to becoming Thailand’s youngest abbot.
But he also had a fateful secret plan to take on stargazing with a beautiful older woman.
The ensuing implosion of Pongsakorn Chankaew’s spiritual career amid gruesome reports of sex attempts and embezzled silent money is now a national scandal.
It has this month spawned calls for reform of the country’s “rotten” clerical system, as Thais flocked to temples to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha on one of the holiest days of their religion. The newly undressed monk has tried to make ends meet by promoting traditional snacks online and hoping for a record deal.