Wat Thamkrabok in the News

Wat Thamkrabok in the News

Whenever possible the linked stories, essays and newspaper articles have been reproduced in full as originally published.

HEY! – Some Thoughts about Substance Abuse (Phra Hans Piyathammo Ulrich Kämpfer)

ABSTRACT: Here in Thamkrabok, like in life, you are totally on your own, and you are totally responsible for what you are doing and experiencing.

In The Ring (Phra Hans Piyathammo Ulrich Kämpfer)

ABSTRACT:  Don’t forget one thing: the hero is not made in those proud hours after victory, but in those long, desperate and hellish hours while he passes through darkness without giving up!

A Review on the Buddhist Temple Drug Dependence Treatment in Thailand

ABSTRACT:  To apply this valuable treasure probably need sophisticated and understanding hands unlike other scientific knowledge that could be applied and transferred systematically in large scale. Inappropriate application of religious institution in the worldly welfare service could render highly damaging long term impact difficult to justified by the immediate and limited benefits of transient behavioural modification.

A Thamkrabok Diary

ABSTRACT:  Danny was far from happy and in between pukes he demanded that we give him back his ‘f**king stuff and get him the f**k out of here’. In between vomits we tried to let him know that it wasn’t really up to us. I started to break into hysterical laughter as the ridiculousness of our situation hit me.  As John Lennon famously said; ‘nobody told me there would be days like these…strange days indeed’.

Wat Thamkrabok: The Last Stop on Earth

ABSTRACT: The journey needs to be taken alone but Thamkrabok equips addicts with a sacred survival kit, which acts as a spiritual compass. The Sajja — a vow in the form of a “solemn declaration of what one can do to put into practice” and the Kahtah, a Sanskrit word that one can recite secretly to fight off encroaching darkness.

Buddhist Monks Help UK Addicts Kick The Habit

ABSTRACT: Thamkrabok has treated more than 100,000 addicts since its abbot was instructed in a dream to cure opium smokers with a foul-tasting brown fluid that would force them to expel their body’s poisons in dramatic style.

Service today for Novato man who became monk (Marin Independent Journal 19 March 2006)

ABSTRACT: A memorial service is today in San Francisco for a Novato man afforded the status of Buddhist monk just as illness cut his life short.

Letters (Drink and Drugs News 30 January 2006)

ABSTRACT: Although it might not be advisable in every case, it is possible for addicts to travel to Thailand independently. The Thamkrabok Monastery gives its services free.

Letters (Drink and Drugs News 16 January 2006)

ABSTRACT: For most of them this is a journey through unchartered territory and requires of them total commitment to change and a sincere wish to ‘let go’ to the process, and move forward to a life clean of drugs or other substances, to freedom.

The Truth Behind Bars (The Sydney Morning Herald 9 October 2005)

ABSTRACT: “There is no better teacher in the enormous dangers of drugs than a reformed drug addict,” Thamkrabok’s abbot Luangpaw Charoen wrote to the king in support.

Where Stars Go For Rough Treatment (The Telegraph 3 October 2005)

ABSTRACT: Tham Krabok is loosely translated as “cave of the teaching”, but “cave of projectile vomiting” better sums up the rigorous herbal medicinal detoxification process.

Article (Marie Clare – July 2005)

ABSTRACT: 126,000 addicts in the UK are currently in rehab, but their chances of success are notoriously low. Now Brits are turning to a tough Thai clinic that was made famous by singer and heroin user Pete Doherty.

Letters (Drink and Drugs News 7 March 2005)

ABSTRACT: ‘I would just like to know if Dr Ford would like to go to Thamkrabok to do the detox for her nicotine addiction… I would be only too willing to support her through this.’

Letters (Drink and Drugs News 20 February 2005)

ABSTRACT: ‘People who have degraded their home communities by stealing, begging, even attacking for money to feed a habit give up their Western “rights” in order to take a vow. The declaration of faith is in effect to themselves and to retrieving their own healing powers.’

Letters (Drink and Drugs News 7 February 2005)

ABSTRACT: ‘Buddhism, at the moment, is quite fashionable and I daresay many of those who work in the field would be quite receptive to this form of detox. However, I have found a high level of discrimination by workers towards programmes (such as 12 step) that include spirituality as an essential element of overcoming addiction.’

Extreme Measures (Drink and Drugs News 24 January 2005)

ABSTRACT: From the minute they enter the community and change into the regulation pyjamas, the guests are signing up to an agreement to purge their bodies of drugs and their minds of addiction.

Grieving parents warn of drug danger (Newbury Weekly News – October 2004)

ABSTRACT: A NEWBURY man died from a drug overdose on the evening’ he returned home from a Thai monastery where he had hoped to kick his habit.

Spiritual highs (The Age 8 October 2004)

ABSTRACT:  At about the fifth or sixth projectile heave, I say a silent, little prayer of thanks that I’m not really a drug addict in search of redemption. To my left and right, tortured souls hooked on everything from heroin to crack to methamphetamines are vomiting geysers, their gaunt frames wracked with each choking eruption.

Get Thee To A Monastery (The Observer 19 September 2004)

ABSTRACT:  But looking back on that time now, there were signs that he had a drug problem. His skin wasn’t very good, his teeth became discoloured and, of course, his nature changed. He became deceitful, because he was always lying, trying to get money to feed his habit.

My Drugs Hell By Tragic Libertines Star (Sunday Mirror 4 July 2004)

COMMENT: “Here all the patients wear red; each patient is a star in his struggle, and each star is just a patient… some of them make it, some of them don’t.”

The Last Resort (Independent 30 June 2004)

ABSTRACT: “No second chances at detox are possible. Thamkrabok is not a clinic with a revolving door.”

Thai Torture Helped Me End My 25-Year Drug Hell (Daily Record 14 November 2002)

ABSTRACT: THAI MONKS HELP SCOTS JUNKIE KICK HIS HABIT. He said: “If you come through, there’s a gift at the end of it. That gift is your life.”

Scoured To The Soul (Guardian 9 November 2002)

ABSTRACT: We arrive at Tham Krabok, Thailand’s monastic answer to the Betty Ford clinic; the door of our minibus is slammed back to reveal a 6ft 2in tall Buddhist monk, a Vietnam vet. “OK,” he rasps. “Who’s fucked up?”

My Life At Thamkrabok: Terence’s Story

ABSTRACT: My first impression when we were driving up the road was what have I let myself in for but it was too late to turn back now.

Dying To The Old (Han M.Stiekema, M.D. “FLOW SYSTEM THERAPY” 1999)

ABSTRACT:   Many years ago I got acquainted to the work of the Buddhist abbot Pra Jamroon Panjan of Tamkrabok monastery near Bangkok in Thailand. For many years he and his monks are successfully managing a drug rehabilitation center for (heroine) addicts. As methadon-distribution in Thailand is scoring not even a 1% success, his approach is said to cure around 60%.

Religious Devotion To Double Stadards (Bangkok Post 7 May 1999)

ABSTRACT: Phra Chamroon, on the other hand, turned his temple in provincial Saraburi into a drug rehabilitation centre, extending a lifeline to addicts, the social outcasts who no one would care for. He also took in a large number of Hmong hilltribe people, a minority group who, again, no one wanted to concern themselves with, especially as many were addicted to the end-product of the poppy they grew.

Drug Therapy Will Resume, Says Late Abbot’s Brother (Bangkok Post 6 May 1999)

ABSTRACT: Wat Tham Krabok will continue to treat and rehabilitate drug addicts, the brother of Phra Chamroon Panchan, the late abbot, said yesterday.  The death of Phra Chamroon, who died on Tuesday, aged 73, did not mean the mission to help addicts would end, said Phra Charoen Panchan, 70.

The Former Policeman Who Opened His Doors To The Desparate (Bangkok Post 5 May 1999)

ABSTRACT: Phra Chamroon Panchan, abbot of Wat Tham Krabok in Saraburi province, died yesterday at Bamrungrad hospital. He was 73. The Magsaysay laureate, who was admitted 10 days ago with lung and liver trouble, ran the country’s largest drug rehabilitation centre at the temple, which became a shelter for 30,000 Hmong people.

Presentation To Angulimala (the United Kingdom Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation)

ABSTRACT:  Salient points from presentations given to ANGULIMALA, at The Forest Hermitage, Lower Fulbrook, Warwickshire 13th March 1999, and a Public Lecture at Sharpham College, Totnes, Devon on 18th May 1999.

Drug Centre To Face Closure (Bangkok Post 23 August 1998)

ABSTRACT: The Public Health Ministry will shut down the drug detoxification and rehabilitation centre at Wat Tham Krabok in Saraburi, Deputy Public Health Minister Kamron na Lamphun said yesterday.  He said that although the facilities were useful in treating drug addicts, they were not properly registered with the ministry and the treatment methods were improper because torture was also practised.

Helping Others Has Its Rewards, But It Also Has Its Oppenents (Bangkok Post 17 August 1998)

ABSTRACT: The Saraburi monk has been accused of all manner of things over the decades, with the latest being that he is providing refuge to drug-dealing, illegal immigrants with violent anti-Vientiane sympathies.

Abbot Accuses Narcotics Gangs (Bangkok Post 6August 1998)

ABSTRACT: Influential figures have launched a campaign to force the closure of Wat Tham Krabok, according to the abbot. Drugs traffickers would have a bigger market if the temple, which treats addicts, was forced to close, said Phra Chamroon Panchan.

Abbot Set To Face Charges Over Statue Of His Majesty (Bangkok Post 6 August 1998)

ABSTRACT: Phra Chamroon Panchan could be the first monk to be prosecuted under the Building Control Act after the Royal Bureau Household denied involvement in the construction of a statue of His Majesty the King, the source said.

Buddhist Basics: The Buddhist Religious Path by Phra Hans

ABSTRACT: “In between is the abyss, the dark swamp, hell…”

The ‘Thamkrabok Experience’: A Philosophical Perspective by Simon de Lancey

ABSTRACT:  For a great majority of British people a clear line can be drawn between the functions of a priest and those of a doctor.

The Earth Music of Thamkrabok

ABSTRACT: Since 1981, Luang Paw Charoen Panchard, Second Abbot of Thamkrabok Monastery in the Lopburi province of Thailand, has created music based on shapes found in nature. Cracks in walls, stones or the soil are traced onto transparent plastic sheets and transformed into musical notes. Luang Paw believes that the process of making this earth music results in spiritual healing and growth.

The Secrets of Tham Krabok (Travellers’ Tales Thailand)

ABSTRACT: Travel can be a form of escapism as addictive as drugs. The monks at Wat Tham Krabok seem to have an answer for both.

Citation: The 1975 Raman Magsaysay Award For Public Service

ABSTRACT:  In respect for the abbot’s vow not to travel in any type of vehicle, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, for the first time in the 17 years of its history, saw fit to hold a second presentation outside the Philippines. In a formal ceremony at Wat Tham Krabok on September 5, 1975 the Award was presented to Phra CHAMROON by the Philippine Ambassador, the Honourable Manuel T. Yan, with opening remarks by Dr. Dioscoro Umali, former chairman of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, and reading of the citation by Dr. Jose B. Abueva, a former trustee.

Twelve Meditations from the late Luangpor Chamroon Parnchan. First Abbot of Thamkrabok Monastery (April 1, 1926 – May 4,1999)

ABSTRACT:  Do not let anything affect your emotions.  Learn to let go of any discursive thoughts or ideas you may have, see them for what they are and let them go.


Where possible I have sought permission to reproduce articles (and images) from the authors or copyright holders.  Vince Cullen (vince.cullen@tara-detox.org)

Errors and Omissions Excepted


Related Page:  Reasons NOT to go to Wat Thamkrabok

Related Page:  Reasons to go to Wat Thamkrabok

Related Page:  Detoxification at Wat Thamkrabok

Related Page:  General Information about Wat Thamkrabok

Related Page:  The Way of the Vow: Sajja

>>>  Alternative view of  Sajja : Truth of Addiction & Commitment to Recovery

Related Page:  Directions to Wat Thamkrabok

Related Page:  Suggested Packing List for Wat Thamkrabok

Related Page:  Thamkrabok in Videos

Related Page:  After Detox – New Life Foundation

Related Page:  Wat Thamkrabok Tudong


The official Monastery website is at:  Wat-Thamkrabok.org


Clean Body With Herbs… Clean Mind With Sajja