Seems like an unlikely headline, right? Almost like a setup to some joke, only it’s true.
Only, it’s not quite true. Yes, Anni-Frid Reuss, a member of the once-giant Swedish musical group ABBA, lent a ton of money to the purveyor of a qigong retreat locale. But to call a qigong retreat locale a “Buddhist temple”– as the Telegraph does, here — seems like a stretch, just like calling that retreat locale’s owner, Marcus Bongart (pictured here), a Buddhist monk — as the Telegraph does, here — seems to be. Yes, Bongart apparently was “accepted into” the famed Shaolin Monastery in 2001, but he has been running “his Yangtorp Qigong Resort in southern Sweden since 2000. Offering a hotel, restaurant and exercise space the resort, according to Swedish radio, had a turnover last year of £3.14 million.”
This isn’t the first time this story has been reported this way. (See here.) I think what might have happened is that Bongart is a Buddhist who runs a qigong resort, and so the two ideas have been mashed together by the press; but I’m not sure. The truth is, the more I looked into the story, the more boring it became. So I understand why no one’s followed up more on it.
I’m sure not gonna. Perhaps I can hold out for Jeff Bridges to play Bongart in the bio-pic or something.
Thanks to the great Bodhipaksa for the heads-up.