Corrupt YouTubers Profit Off Tinh That Bong Lai Temple

“And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”  – Mathew 24:11-13

This is a follow up story to our previous story about a YouTube activist being harrassed (click here for to see it) . We have uncovered new details regarding the “profiteering” of several YouTubers who claim that they are raising money for the orphans and practitioners of the Tinh That Bong Lai temple

Charity organizations are littered with corruption.  For example, The American Red Cross only spends about 9% of what it actually raises to those in direct need.  It seems that everyday people have caught on to this trend and use it to their own advantage.  This is no more glaring than in the world of YouTube and YouTube influencers.  These influencers will attach their name to a cause, and then exploit that cause for monetary gain, whether from donations, super chats, clicks or YouTube ad revenue.  These YouTube influencers will even go so far as to dispariage the reputations of legitimate YouTubers just to further enhance their own cause.

While investigating the Tinh That Bong Lai temple, we came across several YouTubers using this story for questionable reasons.

The Bad YouTubers…

Nguyen Hong Son and Tran Thi Hong Thanh – These two individuals were brought on as legal advisors (laywers) to represent the Tinh That Bong Lai Temple.  It was soon realized that Nguyen Hong Son, had lost his license to practice law in 2019.  This was discovered by Minh Tu, who traveled to Hanoi to lookup Nguyen’s legal status as a lawyer.  Minh Tu, discovered that Nguyen Hong Son had lost his license to practice law in 2019.  In an apparent retaliation, Nguyen Hong Son, and Tran Thi Hong Thanh, posted several videos about Minh Tu, accusing Minh Tu of taking money for himself that was supposed to be for the temple and orphanage.  These videos, approximately 750 of them, have been deleted from the Tran Thi Hong Thanh Youtube channel.  But the damage was done. Minh Tu’s name and reputation were completely destroyed based on factless claims by these individual from the videos they posted.

Nguyen Tien Dung (Daniel Tran) – Daniel Tran is an American based YouTuber in support of the Tinh That Bong Lai Temple.  However, it looks like this support is not exactly how he portrays it.  From Inside Asia has learned through sources that Mr. Tran, has run several schemes to collect money on behalf of Tinh That Bong Lai temple.  One of these schemes, indicates they he raised close to $50,000.00. However, From Inside Asia, cannot find any documentation or receipts showing that any money collected by Mr. Tran has ever made it to the temple, or orphanage.   Among one of his claims is that he is raising money in order to relocate the members of the Tinh That Bong Lai temple to the U.S. We remain highly suspicious of this claim, as FIA could not find any visa applications for any Tinh That Bong Lai temple members to the U.S.

The Good YouTuber…

Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (Mother Mushroom) – Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh appears to be the one person who is the most credible in the pursuit of justice for the members of Tinh That Bong Lai.  After the defamatory remarks made against Minh Tu by the Vietnamese YouTube community, she assisted (and is currently assisting) Minh Tu in his defamation case.  From Inside Asia learned that she retained the law firm of Meade Neese & Barr, and opened the case with a $50,000.00 retainer from donations received by her followers as well as friends who believe in justice for Minh Tu.  From Inside Asia verified this amount with the law firm, and that they did in fact receive the retainer.

Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh has been a long time human rights activist.  Many of her followers do not know that whe was imprisoned by the  Vietnamese government for speaking out against the human rights violations by the government. 

On 29 June 2017, she was sentenced to 10 years of jail by a court in Khánh Hòa Province after being found guilty of publishing propaganda against the state.

On 17 October 2018, she was released from prison and exiled. She and her family have been granted political asylum in the United States.

If it appears we are biased towards Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, it’s because we are.  Any woman who goes to prison for standing up for what she believes in, is our definition… a hero.  We don’t need fly by night YouTubers “pretending” to stand for justice and taking money for their own material gain.  No… what the world needs is more heros!

The Defamation Lawsuit

In October of 2023, the lawfirm of Meade Neese & Barr began investigating the defamation claim made by Minh Tu.  Speaking anonymously, a source close to the firm said that Tu’s case was extremely strong.  The source also said to us “Once it’s on the internet, it’s out there, even if the original is delete”. He said that they were pouring over hundreds of hours of YouTube video clips where Tu’s name was defamed.  He indicated that many claims against Tu were simply “fake news” made up by followers of YouTubers.  This fake news was spread to other YouTube channels, and soon everyone was believing the lies.  Our source indicated that indictments against the “bad actors” would be coming “very soon”. 

FIA will continue to follow this lawsuit as it unfolds.

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