Sunday, August 31, 2014

Strange transformation of Thai Buddhist DMC satellite channel to Ukraine Today TV

A screen shot of the mysterious DMC Thai Buddhist Evangelical Channel, the channel does a lot of sound frequency "toning" on viewers...  Most of the summer the channel was recruiting monks to be ordained in an almost Christian evangelical style campaign that seemed very untypical to the Buddhist traditions found around the world.

This is one of the typical kitchey cartoons that ran on the channel. Reminds me a bit of "The Fruity Oatey Bar" sequence in the movie Serenity where River Tam gets programmed by a subliminal advertising cartoon...

Strange transformation of Thai Buddhist  DMC satellite channel to Ukraine Today TV
By American Kabuki

There's a strange change in the last couple of weeks on a satellite TV channel called DMC, run by the Dhammakaya (pronounced tah-mah-guy) Buddhist sect.  Gone are the monks and priests and in its place is Ukraine's answer to Russia Today, Ukraine Today.  Hmmmmmm.... WTF???

What I found curious about this channel was its approach, heavily modeled after American Christian fundamentalist evangelism, especially in the way it recruits new monks and the way it raises money. I have never encountered Thai Buddhist of this genre of Buddhist when I lived in California, and there are a lot of Thai temples in California.  Its definitely outside the main stream of Thai Buddhism.

What's really strange is the transformation of this satellite channel to a Ukrainian Today propaganda network which begs the question of what is the link between the Thai DMC channel and the Ukraine?

So I decided to do a little digging on Dhammakaya and Ukraine Today...

AK Note: Just to be clear I abhor "cult watch" groups. I was once in a small American christian sect and spent the good part of 15 years attempting to transform that group. I walked a good many people through the process of leaving the mind control of that religion. And mostly all it took was a listening ear and letting people tell their story.
There is no standard definition of sect or cult, and it usually means a religion smaller than your own because nobody considers their flavor of religion to be a cult. Its always someone else's religion or spiritual practice.  I had first hand encounters with "cult watchers" in 1995 and they only showed up after we had already began the Internet based reformation of the sect I was in, and they took credit for changes they had nothing to do with.  More often they were a hindrance to change demanding adherence their own set of beliefs rather than the consciousness and heart each individual.   
They are a form of thought police, and most of them exist solely to make money writing books on cults.  Its a racket, and seems to appeal to the most judgmental of people.  I was quoted in one book in 1995 as to my opinion of the sincerity of the leaders of the organization I was in, by Rev. George Mather, author of the book "The Kingdom of the Cults". George Mather is scion of Cotton Mather, the man who led the Salem Witch trials. Seems cult watching ran in his family, and in his grandfather's case led to the death of innocent people.
Its not a new thing... its a form of inquisition in drag...or at best control through peer pressure.  When people begin to stray from one holding pen of thought, somebody is sure to come along and try to bring them into another. Nothing is more feared than open and honest inquiry of beliefs by the religious establishments. 
So when you read "dangerous new sect" below, take it with a grain of salt.  Buddhists are more prone to self-immolate, and that is usually a political protest against oppression, they never strap on a suicide belt of C4. 
There is interesting information in the article below, but keep in the mind the judgement factor.    I do wonder at what the link is between this Buddhist sect and Ukraine Today.  I suspect its a CIA link....and somebody needed a satellite channel in a hurry.
August 13, 1999
Most Serene of Sects Creates Uproar in Buddhism

PATHUM THANI, Thailand -- The sheer psychic power of 30,000 people meditating together can make miracles happen, say the monks here at the headquarters of Thailand's biggest, richest and -- to the established priesthood -- most dangerous new Buddhist sect. Last Oct. 5, for example. 
In the harsh heat of the afternoon, worshipers say, the sun seemed to soften above them into a cool crystal ball. Then the vivid image of the sect's founder materialized within the ball, deep in meditation along with his followers. "Tens of thousands of people saw it," said Chuleeporn Chungrangsee, a witness. "Some saw only a halo effect. Some saw the sun spinning in rainbow colors."

The spectacle was reported widely in Thai newspapers, along with pictures of the sect's newly constructed temple, a vast, low-slung building that sits in the dry fields, 30 miles north of Bangkok, looking like a slightly menacing flying saucer. People suddenly became aware that a huge and unsettling religious movement had been growing in their midst and had put up by far the largest temple in the land.
The movement calls itself Dhammakaya (pronounced tah-mah-guy), and the circular shape of its main temple is meant to represent the universe, a fitting symbol: Its leaders intend it to become the central landmark of world Buddhism, a sort of Vatican or Mecca for their faith, whether the established hierarchy likes it or not. Already the movement claims to have more than 100,000 followers who gather in temples around Thailand and 10 foreign countries, including the United States. 
Religious scholars and commentators say this is a movement for its time -- a sign of the failure of the established priesthood in Thailand to minister to a changing, modernizing nation. Dhammakaya, they say, offers solace to Thailand's newly affluent middle class -- with its newly acquired middle-class angst -- left reeling and rootless by two decades of heady economic growth followed two years ago by a sudden and dislocating crash. "We forgot where we were going," said Manit Rattanasuwan, an advertising executive who worships in Pathum Thani. "Our youngsters want to be like Westerners, with their music and clothes and outgoing style, not so serious about life. And the old traditions cannot deal with that." 
Another worshiper, Penchara Asavasopon, managing director of an executive-search company, offered a familiar middle-class complaint. "These days we hardly find time for the children, for the family," she said. "We have all these problems with teen-agers, with drugs, so many things. So we are looking for some activities that the whole family can do together, like meditation." 
And then there is making money. Over the last two decades, many here say, it has become a national pursuit, as much a part of today's Thai culture as its Buddhist traditions. That's fine with Dhammakaya. "The audience is the globalizing middle class, and Dhammakaya is telling people they can have it both ways," said Suwanna Satha-Anand, a professor of philosophy at Chulalongkorn University. "It is trying to transform Buddhism to make it comfortable with both capitalism and consumer culture." For example, she said: "One teaching is, you make money Monday to Friday, then on Saturday and Sunday you come to the temple and meditate and your mind will be more supple and clear so that on Monday you can make more money."
[Oh doesn't that sound a lot like the prosperity theology of various American Fundamentalist sects??? -AK] 
All of this has thrown Thai Buddhism into an uproar. The sect's leader, Phra Dhammachayo, 55, has been accused of fraud and embezzlement as well as religious heresy. Newspapers are filled with demands that he be tried or defrocked or both. The top body of Thai Buddhism, the Sangha, has demanded the abbot's removal and has summoned him for questioning -- all of which he has ignored, only deepening the public's sense that the traditional religious structure has become weak and irrelevant.
The controversy strikes at the cultural heart of Thailand, where Buddhism is a state religion in all but name and most of the country's 60 million people follow the established religion. There are 40,000 temples in Thailand and 300,000 full-time monks, whose numbers are augmented each year by tens of thousands of young men who enter the monkhood for a short stay. 
But respect for the monkhood has been shaken in recent years by scandals involving corruption and criminality. Monks frequently attract followers and make money by telling fortunes and suggesting lucky lottery numbers. "To put it in a nutshell, traditional Buddhism does not cater for modern Thai people, only for those who go to temples for superstitions or astrologers or fortune telling," said Sulak Sivaraksa, a Buddhist scholar and social critic. "Otherwise people only care about the temples for funeral services and car parking." Many temples make extra money by letting out their grounds for parking.
Or in other words, said Kavi Chongkitavarn, a columnist for the Nation, an English-language daily: "It is Jurassic Park." 
Ms. Suwanna offered a telling detail. "Over 95 percent of all the textbooks the monks read today were either written, revised or supervised by one monk, and that monk lived almost one century ago," she said. By contrast, Wat Dhammakaya, the main temple, is modern: clean, efficient, quiet, with a huge underground garage and ample bathroom facilities. Almost all its monks have college degrees, while most other monks have only minimal education. 
Unlike most temples, this one is a place where people come to spend the day, eating and meditating together. Dressed mostly in white -- a sign of purity -- they sit cross-legged in a huge open-sided hangar, with the distant abbot cloned conveniently on hundreds of television monitors. Insulated from the traffic, the pollution and the abandoned, half-built office buildings of Bangkok, the giant temple offers its adherents a vague, one-world utopianism that has as much in common with New Age optimism as with Buddhism. "World peace through inner peace," proclaims the temple's literature. 
"Maybe the new religion is peacefulness," Manit said. "Maybe we can share that. Share the similarities, avoid the differences; that is what we always say." He added: "We are at the forefront. Maybe that is why we are being attacked."
Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company


Dhammakaya Foundation
The Dhammakāya Foundation was founded in 1916 in Thailand by Phramongkolthepmuni, the abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. Following the death of Phra Monkolthepmuni, the Foundation's work was continued by his disciple, Khun Yay Mahā Ratana Upāsikā Chandra Khonnokyoong, a Buddhist mae chi. In 1970, a temple, called Wat Phra Dhammakaya, was constructed as a home for the movement. Located in Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani Province, the temple was intended to become an international center for the study of meditation.

Wat Phra Dhammakaya[edit]

Main article: Wat Phra Dhammakaya

The Memorial Hall of Phramonkolthepmuni

Ordination ceremony for new monks at Wat Phra Dhammakaya
Wat Phra Dhammakaya is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani Province north of Bangkok, Thailand. It was established on Magha Puja Day, 20 February 1970, on an eighty-acre (320,000 m²) plot of land donated by Lady Prayat Phaetayapongsa-visudhathibodi. The site, sixteen kilometres north of Bangkok International Airport, was originally called 'Soon Buddacakk-patipatthamm'. From acidic paddy fields, a woodland was created: a parkland for meditators. The foundation stone for the main chapel laid by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of H.M. the King in December 1977 marked the official foundation of the centre as a temple—Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The movement produced a CDROM[11] of the Pali Buddhist Scriptures in cooperation with the Pali Text Society in 1995 and by the year 2000 its monastic students were the most successful Pali students in Thailand.[12]

Public accusations of 1999–2002[edit]

The Dhammakāya Foundation has been subject to its share of controversy. In 1999[13][14] and again in 2002,[15][16] leaders of the organization were accused of charges ranging from fraud and embezzlement to corruption. At that time social critic Sulak Sivaraksa criticized the Dhammakaya Movement for promoting greed by emphasizing donations to the temple as a way to make merit. Widespread negative media coverage a this time was symptomatic of the movement being made the scapegoat for commercial malpractice in the Thai Buddhist temple community[17][18] in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.[19][20]
In 2006 the Thai National Office for Buddhism cleared the Dhammakaya Foundation and Phrathepyanmahamuni of all accusations[21] when Phrarajbhavanavisudh agreed to return all the allegedly embezzled funds to name of his temple. Phrarajbhavanavisudh was subsequently restored to the position of abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.[22]


Under the leadership of president Phrathepyanmahamuni (Luang Phaw Dhammajayo, b.1944), the image of the Dhammakāya Foundation has made a recovery, and in 2004-5 had received further recognition for its contribution to world peace from organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Thai Senate, and several peoples' associations in the South of Thailand. The Dhammakaya Movement continues to influence millions of people in Thailand and worldwide to practice Dhammakaya meditation. The movement has set up Dhammakaya Open University in Azusa, California in 2003 to offer degree courses in Buddhist studies. It has also encouraged Thais to quit drinking and smoking through the activities of anti-drinking and anti-smoking programs. World Health Organization (WHO) presented the 2004 World No Tobacco Day Award for this work on 31 May 2004[23] [5]
The movement has expanded branches to over eighteen countries worldwide and is promoted via a Buddhist satellite network or Dhamma Media Channel (DMC.TV) with 24 hour-a-day Dharma and meditation teachings broadcast to worldwide.
Accusations that the Thai Government had financed the activities at Wat Phra Dhammakaya were made in a letter by Sulak Sivalaksa on 10 May 2010[24] but the government issued a press release on 12 May to deny the accusations.[25]
On March 31, 2014, Dhammayaka Foundation held alms offering to the abbots or the representatives of 323 temples in the four sountern provinces of Thailand. This kind of event has constantly been held for 10 years. And this is the 100th alms offering to the temples in the four southern provinces.[26]

Wikipedia says this about the channel:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dhamma Media Channel
Logo dmc2.png
Type Satellite network, Cable network
Country Thailand Thailand
Availability worldwide via internet stream
Slogan The secrets of life revealed;
The only one channel
Launch date
October 7, 2001
Official website
DMC.TV is a Thai cable television channel concerned with Buddhism. Its main taglines are "the secrets of life revealed" and "the only one channel" (sic).
The channel is owned by the Dhamma Education for Environment Foundation. DMC stands for the Dhamma Media Channel. It uses content from real life, and advertises itself as being suitable for people of all ages and religious persuasions. It broadcasts songs, documentaries, and cartoons 24 hours a day.
The channel frequently discusses the "Eternal Questions", such as the meaning of life, afterlife destinations, whether life is predestined, whether heaven and hell exist, how the Law of Karma works and the existence of black magic and the supernatural. The dangers of drugs and alcohol are often mentioned.
Thaicom5 Frequency 3600/H/SR-26667 V0525/A5644/PCR0525


In July 2007 DMC.TV was awarded twelve Telly Awards for the following programmes: Dasa Jata Jataka (Religion/Spirituality & Edutainment awards), No Tobacco No Alcohol (Social Issues, Health & Wellness, Motivation and Religion/Spirituality awards), The Fifth Major Hell (Use of Animation and Religion/Spirituality awards), The Song of Lord Buddha (Edutainment award), Inner Dream Kindergarten (Religion/Spirituality and Children's audience award) andCase Study: The Law of Karma (Religion/Spirituality award).[1]


  1. Jump up^ award made in the name 'Dhammakaya Foundation' at the following website
The Organization
Major Teachers
Meditation Practice
Media Channel
  • DMC.TV
Head Office
Overseas Missiology
Stub icon This article about a television station is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

This channel is now mysteriously displaying on satellite as UKRAINE TODAY... a Ukraine's answer to Russia Today it seems....


Ukraine Today television goes on air
World  August 24, 5:30 UTC+4
“The broadcast is 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the English language,” the report reads 
August 24, 4:44 /ITAR-TASS/. 
International news television channel Ukraine Today goes on air on Sunday, Ukraine’s 1+1 Media reported on its website. 
“The broadcast is 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the English language,” the report reads. “The information is updated permanently.” 
UNIAN TV is licensed to broadcast Ukraine Today, UNIAN agency said earlier.
Ukraine Today programmes will be broadcasted to Ukraine, most Europe and Russia, UNIAN said. 
From 2015, the programmes will be available in the U.S. territory. Later on, the channel will produce programmes in the Russian language. 
Ukraine’s national council on television and radio says Ukraine Today invites cable operators in Europe to re-broadcast its programmes. Priority directions are the UK, Germany and France. Ukraine Today employs foreign reporters [from the accents I've heard on it they are American reporters -AK], who have been working in Ukraine for long times.

Found this here:

Newly added TV channels
Dusk International (undefined, Various): Eutelsat 16A (2014-08-15)
A1 HD TV (Bosnia and Herzegovina, General): Eutelsat 16A (2014-08-15)
Ukraine Today Ukraine Today (Ukraine, News): Hot Bird 13D (2014-08-12)
Sky Sport Plus (Italy, Sport): Hot Bird 13B (2014-08-12)
Home Store (United Kingdom, Teleshopping): Eutelsat 28A (2014-08-10)
JML Store (United Kingdom, Teleshopping): Astra 2E (2014-08-10)
MTV Summer (United Kingdom, Music): Astra 2A (2014-08-10)
Tru TV (United Kingdom, Entertainment): Astra 2F (2014-08-10)
Food Russia HD (Russia, Cooking): Telstar 12 (2014-08-09)
Daloaa TV (undefined, Various): Eutelsat 7 West A (2014-08-09)
ORF Sport+ HD (Austria, Sport): Astra 1KR (2014-08-06)
ORF III HD (Austria, General): Astra 1KR (2014-08-06)
Aum TV (undefined, Various): Eutelsat 9A (2014-08-06)
Al Sharqiya HD (undefined, Various): Eutelsat 7 West A (2014-08-06)
Rabinovich TV (Russia, Various): Astra 4A (2014-08-06)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ukrainian Media Group Launches 24-Hour English TV Channel

A screengrab of Ukraine Today's YouTube channel

August 24, 2014

A new 24-hour English-language television channel called "Ukraine Today" began satellite and internet broadcasting from Kyiv on August 24 with news stories about developments in Ukraine.

The channel uses a "UT" logo and is part of Ukraine's 1+1 Media Group – which includes eight Ukrainian television channels and five online news platforms.

Oleksandr Tkachenko, the general director of the 1+1 Media Group, says Ukraine Today is challenging "a large-scale information war" by Russian state media, which he accuses of broadcasting "lies and distortions" about Ukraine to support of the agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The new channel is headed Ukrainian journalist Tetyana Pushnova, a former editor for the 1+1 Media Group's TSN website.

The channel reportedly plans to start satellite broadcasts to the United States in the future and to eventually broadcast in the Russian language.

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