A breakaway Buddhist sect in Thailand has been accused of preying on the poor.
Critics of the Wat Dhammakaya temple, one of the largest and busiest Buddhist shrines in Thailand, say monks have been pressuring poor villagers to donate money to build a gigantic pagoda and meditation centre.
The controversy has sparked a tense stand-off between supporters and opponents of the temple.
Each weekend thousands of followers of the Wat Dhammakaya gather at the temple on the outskirts of Bangkok to mediate and pray.
But they have another task too - to protect the abbot from detractors who have threatened to carry out an order by Thailand's Supreme Patriarch - Thailand's most senior Monk - to defrock him.
Wat Dhammakaya loyalists says money from donations will be used for the greater good of the people - not for the glory of the temple itself or the monks who live there.
"If you ask where the money comes from the answer is it comes from all of you. And who will benefit from the construction that money is used for? The answer is all of you. We monks can live in a small house and this big building is for all of you to use as a meditation centre."
SUPER CAPTION: Phra Somchai Kalayano, monk
Adepts claim to have seen miracles after meditating on sermons delivered at Wat Dhammakaya.
Monks have allegedly promised that pilgrims can achieve a more favourable reincarnation, or even speak with the Buddha in person if they donate enough money.
The resulting controversy culminated in the Supreme Patriarch's order that the temple's abbot be defrocked - an order which so far has not been carried out.
In the meantime many mainstream Buddhists have signed a petition to be handed to the Sangha council, a group of high ranking monks who act as the governing body of Buddhism in Thailand, to close down the temple.
"When there's something wrong in the teaching of Buddhism we need to go back and study the teaching again. We need to maintain the pureness of Lord Buddha's teaching. That is why we are calling people out to demand the council to spell out what is the standard teaching for Buddhism."
SUPER CAPTION: Preecha Anusathron, anti-Dhammakaya group
What started as a religious disagreement has degraded into open conflict.
Both sides have received death threats and there are fears of violent clashes.
At least 200 police have been stationed at the gates to the temple to keep the rival factions apart.
But Dhammakaya Wat temple continues to command the respect of many.
"No, they say nothing. I donate only 20 baht today (50 U-S cents). That less 200 baht for a car ride to here."
SUPER CAPTION: follower
"The temple does some good for society. At least it teaches us to be a good person."
SUPER CAPTION: follower
Buddhists of all persuasions have been dismayed by the strong emotions unleashed by a dispute which threatens to do irreparable damage to their faith.