The well-known South Korean Seon (Zen) monk and best-selling author, Venerable Haemin Sunim, 46, has stated that he will step back from public life after his appearance on a reality TV program led to a public outcry. The strongest criticism of Haemin came from Krocadile Choi, singer for a South Korean heavy metal band: “He is the greediest person that I’ve ever known,” said Choi.
“His meditation app requires in-app purchases. He is making money by ripping off those who are emotionally hurt with sugarcoated words that are far from supportive. All the content in the app is very low quality.” Haemin’s mobile app, Kokkiri, was launched in August 2019 and quickly gained more than 330,000 subscribers.
Hyon Gak, an American monk who lived and studied in South Korea for a number of years before returning to the United States, said of Haemin that “He is merely an actor . . . a parasite who will end up in hell for selling Buddha’s teachings for profits.”