Dressing up as Fake Monks

I read on the CCBA bulletin board that there are a bunch of fake monks in Chinatown begging for money.
By Fake, I guess it is that they are just people who are dressed as monks trying to get you to give them money but they don't belong to any Buddhist organization per se.

I am sort of a Buddhist, and a Christian and other stuff and an atheist.

But I kind of want to ask...what is a fake monk versus a real monk?

Today is a holiday where we all dress up and ask for candy.

Okay Candy is not the same as money but what can a real monk offer me?

In the end it's still begging right?

I guess a real monk devotes his life to reading scripture and prayer and meditating.
So A monk that doesn't and is just after your money is somehow cheating you.

But if you think about it, the dude still had to buy the uniform right?

Also I think Fake monks in Chinatown is probably a good thing for tourism.

I mean you don't give over money to some guy in Santa suit and take a picture with him because you think he is actually Odin incarnate or St. Nicholas come back from the dead right?

If a guy dresses like a monk and does some O Mi tofu but he doesn't read his scriptures or keep to a vegetarian lifestyle... does that make him fake? Or just lazy.

Wu Song was a murderer who disguised himself as a monk... but in the end he joined a temple and died there.

As for me, I do like to follow some of the Buddhist Precepts, and though I have pondered really devoting my life to these ideals, through Kung Fu, and being sort of a "non quitting monk" (But Gai Wo Serng)

I think the outfit is the last thing I would start donning. The reason is, the point of the outfit is simplicity.  And in this day and age... the uniform actually sticks out.

Maybe I should interview some of these fake monks.

What's their story? Why do they do it? How much money have they gotten?

Well today (Halloween) if they go out, they will actually look quite normal, since everyone is playing dress up tonight.  Maybe they could get a buck or two for an exorcism fake or not.
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