The Hwaeomsa Temple, which recently came under fire for leaking BTS RM‘s private conversation with its chief monk, has denied any involvement with the leak to Korean media.
On January 5, KST, multiple Korean media outlets started reporting about RM’s visit to the temple at Mount Jirisan right before the new year. Though the BTS leader himself had shared pictures from his visit on his Instagram, what took fans aback was that the chief monk of the temple, Venerable Deokmun, had revealed parts of his conversation with RM to the media.
Apart from sharing that the star had been donating to a children’s foundation led by monk Deokmun for years, the articles also quoted the monk on his conversation with RM about BTS’s conscription issue. Fans felt that it was a deliberate attempt to bait him into saying something controversial since the monk specifically asked him if he was sad about not getting an exemption.
That question about exemption sounded way too direct, shady, and baiting and I was right! That monk was just waiting to dish out something “juicy” but didn’t expect such an eloquent answer from joon
— V (@dalgonamjune) January 4, 2023
NO BECAUSE THE CRAZIEST THING.. these monks BAITED HIM into giving this info abt exemption for knowing they were gna sell it but joon thought it was a priv convo.. sick pic.twitter.com/toG5I7QGbU
— amb ★ (@cheeksmygi) January 4, 2023
While ARMYs were debating whether the articles should be given attention, RM called out the invasion of his privacy through his Instagram. In a series of stories, he mentioned that he didn’t expect articles to be written about his stay at the temple and even said that next time he would go to some other temple to make his visitations quietly. He also deleted his posts that included pictures from his stay at Hwaeomsa Temple.
I was grateful for the time spent there, but didn’t expect an article about it…😂
— RM via Instagram
Next time I’ll make a quiet visit to a different temple…
— RM via Instagram
RM’s polite yet firm stand against the violation of his privacy made fans call out the media outlets and monk Deokmun for crossing the line. Though most were mindful of not to misdirect their anger towards the temple or the religion itself, it turns out the Hwaeomsa Temple has given out a statement to a Korean media outlet regardless.
According to the report of YTN Star, the temple denied any knowledge of how the conversation got leaked to the media.
We don’t know how RM’s visit was reported.
—Hwaeomsa Temple, YTN Star
The vague statement has enraged fans even more. Many take it as an excuse given instead of an apology. Some fans also feel it is an attempt to shift the blame on RM without directly saying it since a one-on-one conversation like that could be leaked by either of the parties and denying responsibility on their end only leaves the person on the other side to be questioned.
They didn't know how it was reported the articles? Um, cause they gave a detailed interview? 🙄 https://t.co/95AbggVdAy
— 사랑하는그대여⁷ (@yourlove_army) January 6, 2023
Monk goes to media (again) and tells media that they didn’t know that doing an interview with a reporter would result in the interview being reported https://t.co/jtM8Zw6hEg
— and I’m so serious⁷ (@TheBTSJourney) January 6, 2023
His conversation with the chief monk which included a very direct question about enlistment was put on blast but y’all suddenly don’t know how it was reported? 🤨
— tam ❤️🔥 (@withlovetam) January 6, 2023