The Fake Monk Mafia is back and Faneuil Hall Marketplace is not having it

Betware the Fake Monk Mafia

Flannfry braves the tourist warrens around Quincy Market to bring us this warning about the saffron-robed "monks" who are, once again, trawling for dollars.



    Free tagging: 


    What about real nuns though?

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    That's a real nun that's always walking her dogs around Roslindale, right?

    I've always been surprised by the number of abbeys/monastaries/convents still sprinkled around the city. I assume they'll be gone in 20 years or so through the twin pressures of real estate values and declining interest.

    Related - anyone know why is there a cross on the house across the street from the hardware store?

    Fake Nun

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    I doubt a real nun would just approach people and ask for money the way these charlatans do. For years there was a fake nun wearing a brown habit at DTX soliciting donations with some gibberish chant about "the sacred heart of Jee-suss (people who consider themselves more religious than you always use the "Jee-suss" pronunciation rather than the more colloquial "Jeeziz") and our Blessed Lady". She was around forever and had a makeshift shrine that seemed to get bigger with each passing month until it was enormous. Every once in a while she would get into a heated argument with a detractor. She and her giant shrine eventually ended up inside Government Center for a while on the green Line platform. I haven't seen her in ages now. Does anyone remember her?

    I remember her

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    I haven't seen her since the mid to late 1990s. She used to take the last Lowell Line train out of North Station on weeknights, getting off somewhere beyond Mishawum, which is where I disembarked .

    As for real nuns... Yes, I

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    As for real nuns... Yes, I think there are still a few (not many) legit groups whose fundraising includes direct appeals in the streets.

    Fair point

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    Roslindale Hardware

    the cross on the house (diagonally) across street from ...

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    I'm commenting anonymously because I own the house next door :)

    The house with the cross on the front door/awning diagonally across the street from the Roslindale Hardware store on Washington x Metropolitan is a religious property and zoned as such.

    I think it is explicitly set up to be a rectory/parsonage or whatever the proper name is for the house where the church leader lives.

    The owners are a small group of greek orthodox people who schism'd away from some larger greek orthodox church in the area. Whatever group bought and zoned this property is shrinking rapidly as the property is barely used.

    But yeah, it's a legit religious property and the city has zoned it as such. This is also likely the reason it has not been torn down or condo-converted yet.

    If you talk to business owners in the area they will tell you candidly that they expect it to suffer a mysterious fire at some point in the future in order to clear up the developer-obstruction that the religious nature places upon the property :)


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    So it's a rectory without a church building. Bizarre.

    Universal Hub is like Quora or Wikipedia for random local Boston info.

    I could be wrong ...

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    It could be an actual church or combo church+rectory, not sure. When we bought next door the seller and both realtors told us that it was a "religious property" with some sort of history involving a group that split away from a larger nearby church. It's never been occupied full time or used for a gathering more than a few times a year from what we've observed. Very rarely on Sundays you'll see a group of 6-8 people show up.

    The only other action that place gets is during the late summer when you'll occasionally see ladies in the back yard picking grape leaves off of the vines that are taking over the back fence.

    Here's a wild theory

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    anyone know why is there a cross on the house across the street from the hardware store?

    Maybe Christian people live in that house. Just a thought.


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    Isn't this the charm of Boston, where we welcome all walks of life..


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    I'd argue fake monks ripping off people are far less damaging to the public good than the concepts behind Christian Science although I do really like their big plaza and fountain.

    Who said they aren't welcome?

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    They're welcome to be here. People just need to be fully informed that they are scammers attempting to solicit money for themselves and not their temple. They use a very bait-and-switch type approach to panhandling which may even be illegal.

    So, monk it up...but don't give them money. I think you'll notice that if they don't think they can get any money, then they'll choose for themselves to leave even though they're still welcome to stay.

    Good Idea

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    These signs are actually a good idea so that tourists, always willing to give money to anybody and anything, don't get taken. The T should put up signs with a photo of Sob Story Guy saying "don't give him money. he isn't really trying to get to Worcester (or Lowell, or Springfield or Providence)". And how about signs around Downtown Crossing with photos of the Romany Gypsies saying "they aren't really collecting money 'for the Indian Children'".

    Safe Spaces

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    Much like what the City wants to set up for the drug addicts, the City should set up a safe space for the monks so they can ask people for money. We can have people there ready to help them reform when they decide they want to stop being crooks.......

    Sob Story Guy has got some

    Sob Story Guy has got some terrible luck. I've seen him on several occasions and each time he had just been diagnosed with HIV that day. What are the odds?!

    He's also late to meet with

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    He's also late to meet with his probation officer every day, and personally, I think it's really overzealous of his probation office to schedule that many meetings.


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    Guys I definitely gave that guy $5 when I was in high school. I'm so ashamed :-(

    I'll have to ask for it back when I inevitably see him again.

    You're the one!

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    You're the one!

    If you had just given him $8 he could've bought the round-trip ticket and we all would have been spared years of tsuris!

    (FYI, the term "Gypsy" is a

    (FYI, the term "Gypsy" is a racial slur, that connotes a bunch of damaging stereotypes against a long persecuted ethnicity. People of that ethnicity prefer to be called "Romany", which you have conveniently already done!")

    Thanks for the information

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    Thanks for the information. It is noted. would have thought saying "Romany Gypsy" was like saying "Eastern European" or "Western European" rather than slurring a whole people. However, as long as they continue to perpetrate the "for the Indian children" scam they have been running at DTX for many years, they are doing very little to improve upon any stereotype people may have of them. Especially since they themselves are falsely soliciting donations in the name of another ethnicity of people.

    However, as long as they

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    However, as long as they continue to perpetrate the "for the Indian children" scam they have been running at DTX for many years, they are doing very little to improve upon any stereotype people may have of them.

    lol you should probably learn what the point of the word stereotype is

    The ACLU is too busy

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    Way too busy protecting our republic from Fascism and profiteering that an oligarchy brings.

    You benefit from this darling - you should say thanks with a donation.

    With respect

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    you apparently need a refresher course in what the notation '/s' means in blog entries

    "once again"?

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    "once again"?


    They never left. I pass one of them almost daily on State St.

    They moved to DTX

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    They are also routinely in DTX. At this point I'm not sure who I'd rather see coming my way these folks or the green vest clipboard crew... Hey you look friendly.

    What do they want

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    I've never actually stopped. What do they want. I assumed they were after personal information for a marketing company.

    Professional Fundraisers

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    They are paid fundraisers, soliciting donations for whatever client has hired them at any given time. They work on a commission basis which is why they are so aggressive. The agencies ( ie Mass PIRG and others) that employ these people basically hire anyone with a pulse, Although they seem to be exclusively very young. The turnover is enormous. Very few last more than a week. It's kind of an in-person version of telemarketing. One thing is for sure, they are absolute pests.

    They could be working in the

    They could be working in the public outreach capacity for any number of organizations, soliciting donations or taking names for membership drives or campaigns. And for the record, as a matter of fact I do care about sea turtles, how dare people suggest otherwise.

    Not Friendly

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    For the record, I'm not friendly, especially after a full day of work and hustling to make the train.

    Not friendly either

    Especially when these same groups put new idealistic young college kids in the same spots every other week.

    Listen, kid, I care about the whales, but you're the 20th person to ask me about helping them in this same spot in the same year. So forgive me if I'm not all that polite when I say "no thank you" and walk by.

    Yeah, they are

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    in Kendall Square also. I usually walk away from them, if I can, but now they have three strung (one on each side of the street and if a pedestrian walk way, one in the middle) out soliciting. Some of the young men are really aggressive, I've had a few step in front of me and cut me off. At that point, I usually yell at them and they back away.

    What's the matter?

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    "You don't like kids?!"
    "You don't care about the environment?!"
    "It's okay, I voted for Trump too!"

    -- Green Vest Guys

    Most important

    4) If they are soliciting for an organization you normally support, write that organization a note explaining that you will be discontinuing your support until they quit harassing people.


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    "Until I get my own sh*t under control, I can't help ______."

    or - let me get my own oxygen mask on before I help you with yours.

    Who are they connected to???

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    Yes, they're annoying. No, i don't stop for them. But i'm really freaking curious as to where the money goes. There are no good articles on them, just the same "monk mafia don't give them money" piece. But like, are they really a mafia? Someone clearly is behind all this, and the yenta in me needs to know!!!

    Just leave packs of tissues laying around

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    It seems to work on the T so long s no one acts nasty when a person doens't buy.

    Or is that just another scam? Can't be. All these nice people doing the Lord's work to just support some worth cause.

    Perhaps the fake monks should start a television network promising God will enrich them and line their pockets with manna, gold and dehydrated holy water (to keep their pants dry) if they just make $5 donations every week.

    Oh darn there's already somebody doing that.