Buddhism beliefs

Thai ghost-hunting show accused of exploiting beliefs

Creators of popular Thai TV show, whose purported mission is to uncover a myriad of supernatural forces around Thailand, face backlash from local Buddhists over their “ahistoric” portrayal of a famous local heroine .

In a recent episode, the creators of a TV show called “Chong Song Phee” (“The Real Ghosts”) claimed to have revealed new information about Thao Suranari (1771-1852), the wife of a vice governor. from the provinces at the beginning of the 19th century. , a figure revered in part of northeastern Thailand. Legend has it that Lady Mo, as she is popularly called, played a crucial role in helping to repel an invading Lao army in 1826 by staging a revolt among captive Siamese soldiers. His monument in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima is an object of devotion, with many locals flocking daily to pay homage and ask for favors. The creators of the ghost-hunting show, who visited the shrine where Lady Mo remains, suggested that her adopted daughter was her husband’s mistress. They based this claim on an alleged revelation from the show’s internal media, a Thai woman, who claims to reveal information about people’s past lives and communicate messages from the dead. Many local Buddhists found the idea very offensive to Lady Mo’s memory, taking to social media en masse to castigate the creators of the TV show. [local] people are angry, “said Tewan Liptapallop, who heads the National Office of Buddhism.” The authorities are going to prosecute them.

Samarn Thitipongtub, chairman of the Lady Mo Conservation Group, confirmed that the TV show’s allegation damaged the reputation of Lady Mo and her family.“The show disrespects Lady Mo and destroys her and [her adopted daughter’s] virtue, ”Samarn said.

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In response to the controversy, the long-running television station behind the show announced that it had stopped broadcasting “Chong Song Phee”.

Exploitation of beliefs

Yet many locals see the affair as more than a simple subversion of history.

They see it as yet another glaring example of some unscrupulous people exploiting widespread beliefs in the supernatural to their advantage in the predominantly Buddhist nation where fear of ghosts persists. of the province of Nakhon Ratchasima. “They can’t make a claim by contacting ghosts. It’s not science,” Wichien said. “Everything they said contradicts Thai history and what we have learned all our lives [about Lady Mo]“Recently, a Thai woman was reported to police for photographing her face on the bronze statue of Lady Mo and posting the image on Facebook. In the end, the police decided not to charge her with accusing her of Lady Mo. No crime. This is not the first time that the creators of “Chong Song Phee” have landed in hot water for making questionable claims on the air based on alleged revelations communicated by supernatural entities. in another recent episode, which featured them visiting a school, the show’s media claimed that the late principal of the institution remained a tormented ghost in the school, distressed by his corrupt and immoral conduct of his The principal’s family have filed a libel claim against the show’s creators.

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