Boonyong Luangjumpol, also known as Ajarn Ton, was recently arrested in Thailand’s Yanglad district after he allegedly gave local teens magic tattoos and told them they made them invincible. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to try out their ink armor and engaged in a series of brawls.
Sak Yant is an ancient type of Thai tattoo said to bestow the bearer with mystical powers. It incorporates Buddhist prayers called Mantras or Katas that will invoke supernatural powers. These magic spells were originally inscribed on pieces of cloth, and centuries ago, Thai soldiers would wear Yant-printed jackets to offer them extra protection in battle. After Budhism was adopted as a religion in Thailand, it became common for devotees to have Sak Yant tattoos etched into their skin. Even today, many Thai men believe in their mystical powers, and have one or more tattoos inscribed on their bodies. There are also lots of stories of people sporting Sak Yant tattoos who were shot at close range without even having their skin pierced, or horrific car accidents from which tattoo bearers emerged unscathed. But as recent events have proven, they don’t always work.
Sorcerer tattooist Boonyong Luangjumpol has been giving people in northern Thailand magic-infused tattoos for about 10 years, according to the Bangkok Post. But it was just recently that he got into trouble with the police over it, after reports of local teens trying out his mystical armor in frequent brawls. Large groups of teens, claiming to be followers of Ajarn Ton, would gather in crowded areas like markets or at carnivals to see if anyone wielding a weapon could hurt them. They truly believed his tattoos would protect them against gunshots, knifes, or whatever anyone attacked them with, but as Major General Kanisorn Noinard from the local police told AFP, “every single one of them was injured”.
Instead of Buddhist statues and talismans, policemen who raided Ajarn Ton’s home found 9 guns, 121 bullets, 18 swords and a number of fake guns. He admitted many poor teens gave him weapons instead of money for his tattoos, and he just took them. He also added he told kids to wear his invincible tattoos responsibly. Yeah, that’s like telling someone they can fly and asking them not to leap off of tall buildings.
Photos via Tiger Muay Thai