November 27, 2012

Japan - Aum Supreme Truth Cult

Wikipedia for Aum Shinrikyo:
Aum Shinrikyo (currently known as Aleph) is a Japanese cult, listed as a terrorist organization by several countries. The group was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. The group gained international notoriety in 1995, when it carried out the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.

The name "Aum Shinrikyo" (オウム真理教 Ōmu Shinrikyō?) derives from the Sanskrit syllable Aum, which represents the universe, followed by Shinrikyo written in kanji, roughly meaning "religion of Truth". In English "Aum Shinrikyo" is usually translated as "Supreme Truth". In January 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph in reference to the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet and Phoenician alphabets. It changed its logo as well.

In 1995, the group claimed they had over 9,000 members in Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide. Police consider the existing groups Aleph and Hikari no Wa to be branches of the "dangerous religion".

Wikipedia for Shoko Asahara:
The doctrine of Aum Shinrikyo is based on the Bible and others. In 1992 Asahara published a landmark book,[clarification needed] and declared himself "Christ", Japan's only fully enlightened master and identified with the "Lamb of God". His purported mission was to take upon himself the sins of the world. He outlined a doomsday prophecy, which included a Third World War, and described a final conflict culminating in a nuclear "Armageddon", borrowing the term from the Book of Revelation 16:16. His purported mission was to take upon himself the sins of the world, and he claimed he could transfer to his followers spiritual power and ultimately take away their sins and bad works. He also saw dark conspiracies everywhere promulgated by Jews, Freemasons, the Dutch, the British Royal Family, and rival Japanese religions.

Shoko Asahara has written many religious books. The best known are Beyond Life and Death, Mahayana Sutra and Initiation.
Masami Tsuchiya, chemist and member of the cult Aum Shinrikyo, said before his arrest:
I felt a sense of impending crisis in modern civilization. I was very interested in combining modern science with spirituality: a union for science and religion. I was looking to join this kind of group. (10:15 -11:00 in the video below).
YouTube video description [Channel - Journeyman Pictures]:
We lift the lid on the monstrous activities and thwarted plans of the Aum Supreme Truth cult and show how its apocalyptic rhetoric and plans to kill the Emperor and overthrow the Japanese state were backed with deadly and detailed planning. From military training for cult members in Russia to a secret chemical factory in Australia the cult was preparing for doomsday. Members were immersed in hot water and imprisoned underground to ready them for war. It all began in 1990, when a former university student and 24 of his followers ran for Japanese Parliament. The voters snubbed their party. Five years later, leader Shoko Asahara extracted a terrible revenge as 5,500 people were left choking and blinded in Tokyo's city subways.

Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

CFR - Lessons Learned: Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack