PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some in the Buddhist community are alleging fake monks in Center City are overly aggressive, panhandling and giving real monks a bad name.
CBS 3 saw a man dressed in an orange robe moving up and down city streets offering people bracelets and gold colored medallions. Then he would ask for money, taking the trinkets back if people could not pay.READ MORE: Taste With Tori: Huda In Rittenhouse Merging Standout Sandwiches And Fine Dining
Chief Monk Muni Ratana with the Preah Buddha Rangsey Temple of Philadelphia and New Jersey has seen the monks.
He said these alleged fake monks give real monks a bad name.
“Monks practice love and kindness and teach people to live a good life, not to take something from people or sell something,” Ratana said.
Ratana said any real monk has given up everything in the name of making the world a better place, and should never beg for money or sell something.READ MORE: Bucks County Police Chiefs Detail How George Floyd's Murder Changes How They Work
CBS 3 confronted the man in robes along Chestnut Street. He repeatedly hid his face from the camera.
Later CBS 3 found another alleged monk taking a smoke break on Walnut Street. Ratana said most American Buddhists frown on smoking.
After a few minutes, he tried to give out medallions.
He also refused to answer questions.
Alleged fake monks have been seen in other cities, including New York and Seattle.MORE NEWS: Body Of Missing Amish Teen Linda Stoltzfoos Found In Ronks, Lancaster District Attorney's Office Confirms
Philadelphia police said they know about the situation but cannot do much as far as enforcement under the law.