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Abba star loses Buddhist temple loan dispute

The Local/dl · 26 Nov 2010, 09:46

Published: 26 Nov 2010 09:46 GMT+01:00

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The district court in Malmö on Thursday rejected a request by Reuss (nee Lyngstad) and her partner Henry Smith, to impose a bankruptcy order on Swedish Medical Qiqong Investment AB, which operates the Yangtorp Qigong Resort, the Expressen newspaper reported.

The former Abba star sought the order after the resort, located near Hörby in southern Sweden, recently missed a payment on her loan.

In denying Reuss' request, the court also ordered her and her partner to pay 170,000 kronor to Qigong Resort operator Master Marcus Bongart in order to cover his court costs.

Bongart has always viewed the money was a gift to help fund the building of the temple. But the former Abba-singer claims the money was a loan that should be re-paid.

Upon learning of Reuss’s lawsuit, Bongart, who founded and built up the temple and healing centre on the site of the old village school house in Jönstorp, told The Local he was "in shock".

He claimed the money given by the former Abba star was a gesture of "commitment to the operation" and was meant as a donation and not as a loan.

“We have been friends for a long time. We have had disagreements over how to develop the temple, but that is all that has happened. The money is not there to be paid back, it is invested in the buildings, in the Buddhist temple,” he said at the time.

The court ruled, however, that the claim on the 46.2 million kronor is in dispute, writing that “the circumstances around the signing of the promissory note are unclear in several respects”.

During the proceedings, a lawyer for the ex-Abba singer’s partner Henry Smith was unable to present written evidence that he had “rightfully acquired” three unpaid bills from local contractors working on the temple.

Smith had also claimed previously that the temple was in dire financial straits. While that may have been the case a month ago, donations to the temple have spiked since Reuss and Smith filed their claims.

“We have many friends,” Bongart said during the proceedings on Monday, according to Expressen.

Story continues below…

Despite the setback, Abba-Frida plans to pursue her quest to get her money back.

“Today it looks like there will be a trial to show that Bongart did indeed borrow the money. We’ll have to call witnesses,” Reuss’s attorney, Carl-Gustaf Söder, told the TT Spektra news agency.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:43 November 26, 2010 by Keith #5083
In all matters spiritual, no matter the 'religion', the mantra is - "follow the money". There is no finer way of discerning just how 'other-worldly' a so-called spiritual org actually is.

Now this may sound like a very stupid question, but, the article says "recently missed a payment on her loan". Why is it a dispute about gift or loan when they were making regular repayments of the loan?? Do you make repayments if it were a gift?
11:43 November 26, 2010 by prince T
it could be Keith. It might have been a gift in the begining. It might be that the temple decided to pay her back her money because she demanded for it. This might be due to dissagreement which is obvious in this case.

In law however the temple is not obligated to pay back if it was a gift but for integrity reasons might have decided to do so.

I am not a buddist and I will never be in Jesus Name, but rules are rules.
13:13 November 26, 2010 by Keith #5083
#prince T

What you suggest is perfectly possible. The article suggests/implies that repayments were being made on a regular basis. Clearly there is a dispute as to whether it was a loan or a gift.

On the issue of integrity it is certainly not unreasonable to question the receipt of 46.2

million Kronor (as a gift) under this heading.
14:42 November 26, 2010 by wolverine2k
Or get it from Electrolux's American CEO. That fat B)(/()/ is getting 74.5Million SEK in the first year itself!
17:25 November 26, 2010 by Nemesis
Money from one idiot to a bunch of idiots.

If I was a judge on this I would declare they both deserve each other.

PS: I have been past that place. It is well fitted out and a lot of expensive cars are around it.
18:17 November 26, 2010 by prince T
I agree with Nemesis. How could she loan out 46.2 million without doing necessary documentation and clarification. Where does she expect them to give her money back in the first place.
19:24 November 26, 2010 by Keith #5083
On the question of idiocy, both parties here have managed to obtain 46 million kronor - which is a bit more than I have managed most of my working life.

Are they the idiots or am I ?
20:58 November 26, 2010 by Observing Consciousness

Beware of Organised Religion!

21:24 November 26, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
How disconnected of reality must one be to throw money at something like that?

C´mon. No one in ones right mind do that.

Was it taxfree, by the way?
00:12 November 27, 2010 by Keith #5083

Which brings us back to the point about integrity. Wouldn't any reasonable person, especially a 'spiritual leader', question the state of mind of another who wishes to 'give' 46 million Kronor? Bear in mind this is not for medical research. It is not to feed starving children or educate children in poor areas of the world who get no education.

This is 'given' for a temple........

And who said faith couldn't move mountains, it sure as hell moved mountains of cash!!!
01:49 November 27, 2010 by Emmaboda
Leave it up to a Judge, that way we don't have to pre judge.
09:35 November 27, 2010 by bhiksuni Ratana
Qigong was invented by Chinese Buddhist monks, but there's nothing Buddhist about Qigong. This would be the first Qigong-Buddhist temple in the world. You're led by the nose by a businessman-cum-spiritual I don't know what.
00:30 November 28, 2010 by Keith #5083
With respect I would suggest that a Judge's duty is to interpret the law. In spiritual/religious matters we are invited to apply a higher standard. As one quite famous religious leader once said "by their fruits you will know them".
20:03 November 28, 2010 by DAVID T
Reminds me of the Abba song - Money Money Money
18:49 November 29, 2010 by wenddiver
Shaking you down for milions of dollars??? Sounds more like the devil than spiritual. Whose life ever got better, because they were ripped off by a cult?????
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