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Korean Buddhist Monks Caught Drinking and Smoking in High Stakes Poker Game

What you’re about to read is not a recreation of an article from The Onion. This really happened.

A group of Korean Buddhist monks have been caught on video participating in a high stakes poker game. The men are depicted in the video sitting in the meditative lotus position while playing cards, drinking and smoking. Allegedly, more than ₩1,000,000,000 ($865,000) changed hands in the game. (Editor’s note: holy crap!)

Former chief-priest of the Jogye Order, Seong-ho, is said to have received a USB drive containing the video. It is unknown who recorded the footage and if that person was in the room at the time of the poker game or planted the camera in anticipation of the events that would transpire.

Seong-ho has had a history of hostility with the monk order after discovering a 2009 incident in which two members hired female prostitutes. The monk protested in front of their temple for more than three months after learning of the incident and alleges he was beaten by other members of the order during his protest. (Another editor’s note: holy crap! Is this real?!)

Six high ranking officials of the order, including the director of the administration and the director of finance, have stepped down in the wake of this poker scandal. Footage of the men gambling was leaked to South Korean media and was broadcast to the entire nation. The footage can be seen below:


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