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Buddhist Monks' Louis Vuittons and Aviators Spark Outrage

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Scandal is afoot among Buddhist monks: In a video uploaded to YouTube on May 22, three monks flying in a private jet have Louis Vuitton bags, headphones, and sunglasses. The Office of National Buddhism director-general Nopparat Benjawatananun told the Associate Press that the monks, who are from a monastery in Thailand's northeast, have been told "not to repeat the lavish behavior."

Nopparat also explains how the 2,600-year-old religion based largely on principles of asceticism clashes with modernity, saying, "When Lord Buddha was alive, there wasn't anything like this. There were no cars, smartphones or cameras, so the rules were much simpler. While the monks need to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge, current events and technology, they are restrained to choose the appropriate tools." He also noted that "[i]n many cases, it was the followers who gave the monks the luxury. Some bought them sports cars. This is by no means necessary." Now we know who is buying all those Louis.

· Thai Monks' Lavish Behaviour Sparks Criticism [CBC]
· Marc Jacobs to Leave Louis Vuitton for Coach? [Racked]
· Louis Vuitton Is Still 'Most Valuable' Luxury Brand By a Long Shot [Racked]