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English>>China Society

Sex claims hit Shaolin abbot

(Global Times)    07:42, July 28, 2015
Shi Yongxin

Temple calls former follower’s claims ‘groundless’

The Shaolin Temple in Central China's Henan Province Monday has denied rumors that its abbot is allegedly involved in sex scandals and has illegitimate children, after a self-proclaimed former follower's claims spread online.

Shi Zhengyi, who claims to be a former follower at the temple, posted an article on various online forums on Saturday, saying that the abbot, Shi Yongxin, maintains sexual relations with several women, including two nuns.

Shi Zhengyi also claims that the abbot used the temple's income to support his alleged mistresses.

The temple said in a statement that the "groundless" and "maliciously false" rumor has damaged the abbot's and temple's reputation.

"According to Criminal Law and other regulations, Shi Zhengyi's behavior should be regarded as defamation and we urge authorities to deal with the case as soon as possible," the statement said.

Shi Yongxin, one of the first Chinese monks to hold an MBA, is refererd to by media as the "CEO monk." He courted controversy for overly commercializing the Shaolin Temple by promoting lucrative kung fu shows and expanding the temple globally.

More than 40 Shaolin cultural centers have been built overseas and a new temple is reportedly being planned in Australia.

A police officer from the public security bureau of Dengfeng, Henan, surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Monday that they have received the Shaolin Temple's report and are investigating the case.

Shi Zhengyi said the abbot's daughters and grandchildren live with his mother in Anhui Province. Shi also allegedly solicited a prostitute in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. He added that the abbot has taken on two identities.

Shi Zhengyi named the abbot as a "tiger" in his article, a word which often implies a corrupt senior official.

Shi Zhengyi claims that he left the temple in 2002 but refused to reveal why he left as well as his current identity when reached by the Global Times on Monday.

"Many of the temple's followers provided evidence to me," Shi said.

The Guangzhou-based Nandu Daily Monday quoted the Shaolin Temple as saying that Shi Zhengyi has never been a monk or temple follower.

Shi Zhengyi said he has submitted his report to local authorities but declined which government department. He said that he "would soon release more evidence to prove his accusation."

This is not the first time that the abbot has been linked to scandals.

A Spanish Newspaper, El Periodico, reported in July 2013 that the abbot had a mistress who was a university student in Beijing and a son living in Germany. It also said that he had $3 billion in his overseas bank account. The temple likewise has denied that report.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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