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Aum Shinrikyo

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its say in the curent Ft that the group responsible for Japans Sarin attack make money from computer componant sales... anyone what they make?
 
A

Anonymous

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hummm..... interesting... u wouldnt expect then to advertise their other activities would u...
 

Mighty_Emperor

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There doesn't seem a specific thread on them so I thought I'd start one:

Death for Japan cult chemist

A Japanese chemist who oversaw the development of nerve gas used in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway has been sentenced to death.

Masami Tsuchiya, 39, became the 11th member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out the attack to be sentenced to death.

Prosecutors said he was the second most important person behind the attack, after the cult's leader Shoko Asahara.

The verdict on Mr Asahara's seven-year trial is expected next month.

Tsuchiya was enrolled on a doctorate programme in chemistry at Tsukuba University when he became involved with Aum, according to Kyodo news agency.

He was charged with murder and attempted murder in the subway gassing and other attacks.

He was accused of heading the cult's drive to develop chemical weapons including VX, mustard and sarin gases.

Aum Shinrikyo
Renamed Aleph and claims it is now benign
Has about 1,000 lay followers and 650 followers in cult communes
Predicted an apocalypse that only cult members would survive
Sarin was used in the March 1995 attack, which killed 12 people and left 5,000 people injured.

Tsuchiya also produced sarin gas for a July 1994 attack on a residential area in the central Japanese city of Matsumoto which killed seven people and injured 144 others, presiding judge Satoru Hattori said.

He had pleaded not guilty to all charges. It is not yet clear whether he plans to appeal. Ten other members of the cult who have already been sentenced to death have done so, and as such, have not yet been executed.

A feature of the Aum Shinrikyo case has been its marathon length. Tsuchiya's own trial has lasted more than eight years, in part because he dismissed his lawyers twice.

The hearings have involved 189 people, and will climax with the verdict on Mr Asahara, due on 27 February.

The cult leader has remained silent throughout most of his trial.

As well as the deaths caused by the subway gas attack in 1995, Mr Asahara is also charged with the 15 other killings alleged to have been carried out by the cult.

They include ordering the 1994 attack on Matsumoto.

Police raids and cult member confessions have revealed that Aum had numerous plans to overthrow the government.

The group has now renounced violence, and renamed itself Aleph, but the Japanese authorities still operate tight surveillance over it.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3443857.stm

Published: 2004/01/30 09:47:04 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 

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Police raid Japan's doomsday sect

Japanese police have raided offices of a doomsday cult that attacked the Tokyo subway with deadly sarin gas in 1995.
Some 200 police officers stormed into the main office of the former Aum Shinrikyo cult in Tokyo, while smaller units checked 10 other locations.

The local media said the raids were the biggest since the cult reorganised and renamed itself the Aleph sect in 2000.

The raids came just days before the expected court verdict on the cult leader, Shoko Asahara.


The Kyodo news agency said the raids, which involved the scrutiny of documents and computer disks, were aimed at preventing the group from taking any action related to the verdict on Mr Asahara.

An official at the Public Security Intelligence Agency told the Associated Press that members had shown greater devotion to Mr Asahara in recent months, raising fears of a possible terror attack to coincide with his ruling.

No immediate arrests were reported in the raids.

Mr Asahara - whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto - is expected to face the death penalty if found guilty of murder for masterminding the sarin attack in which 12 people died and about 5,000 others were injured.

Eleven other members of the cult have already been sentenced to death, but have appealed, and as such, have not yet been executed.

A feature of the Aum Shinrikyo case has been its marathon length.

The hearings have involved 189 people, and will climax with the verdict on Mr Asahara, due on 27 February.

The cult leader has remained silent throughout most of his trial.

As well as the deaths caused by the subway gas attack in 1995, Mr Asahara is also charged with the 15 other killings alleged to have been carried out by the cult.

They include ordering a 1994 attack in the central Japanese city of Matsumoto in which seven people were killed and 144 injured.

The group has now renounced violence, but the Japanese authorities still operate tight surveillance over it.


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Mighty_Emperor

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Tokyo Doomsday Cult Leader to Face Trial


By JOSEPH COLEMAN
Associated Press Writer

February 22, 2004, 12:20 PM EST


TOKYO -- As guru of a doomsday cult, Shoko Asahara looked and sounded the part. Almost blind, his black beard flowing onto his chest, he claimed he could levitate, see into people's past lives and foretell the apocalypse.

On Friday, a Japanese court will decide whether he also commanded his disciples to murder, most terrifyingly in the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway that killed 12 people, sickened thousands and alerted the world to the threat of terrorism by mass slaughter.

Asahara faces the gallows if convicted of masterminding the subway deaths and 15 others, though he has the right to appeal. He also faces charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and illegal weapons production.

The closing of his trial is forcing Japan to revisit a horrifying moment in its modern history.

The shock of the attack and the Aum Shinrikyo cult behind it has been profound and long-lasting. A nation proud of its affluence and stability was confronted with the grisly spectacle of its brightest young minds bewitched into committing crimes of stunning savagery.

"The sarin attack shattered the image of Japan as a peaceful utopia," said Masaki Kito, a lawyer who has battled several cults in Japan. "This crime greatly increased the sense of crisis among the people."

It also had global ramifications: The cult's explosive alchemy of money, technical know-how and religious zeal flashed an early warning of the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the murderous potential of fanaticism.

Defense lawyers say Asahara -- whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto -- had lost control over his violent flock by the time of the attack, but many of his top lieutenants have testified to his puppet-master role.

In a country with a 99 percent conviction rate, his guilty verdict and death sentence are widely expected. Eleven of his disciples are already on death row, though none has been hanged yet.

"He's the most responsible for what happened," said Hiroyuki Nagaoka, the father of a former cult member. "Without Asahara's orders, cult members would not have become capable of killing."

Nagaoka, the head of an anti-Aum support group, was also a victim of the cult. An Asahara disciple sprayed him with VX nerve gas outside his home in January 1995, just two months before the subway attack.

Topping the list of Aum's chillingly calculated killings was the subway attack. On March 20, 1995, five cultists boarded morning rush-hour trains headed toward the government ministry district in central Tokyo.

At the appointed time, they pierced bags of sarin -- a nerve gas developed by the Nazis -- and let the deadly fumes spread in an assault meant as a pre-emptive strike against Japanese police planning raids on the cult.

Pandemonium struck. Panicked, sickened passengers stumbled from the cars, blood streaming from their noses, their vision darkened, their heads throbbing in excruciating pain.

For some, the convulsions were followed by death. Many survivors still suffer from headaches, breathing troubles and dizziness. The cult was ordered in separate court proceedings to pay 3.8 billion yen, or million, in damages to the victims.

The guru is also accused of plotting a sarin gas attack the previous year in Matsumoto, central Japan, that killed seven people; ordering the murder of an anti-Aum lawyer and his family; and exterminating errant cult members.

The crackdown on the group opened a window to its bizarre rituals. Initiates paid hefty sums to drink Asahara's dirty bathwater, sip his blood and wear electric caps to keep their brain waves in sync with their master's.

He used a long list of drugs to sedate his abused acolytes into submission or dazzle them with hallucinatory visions. A huge microwave oven at the cult's Mount Fuji headquarters was used to incinerate the bodies of victims.

Flush with millions of dollars from members' savings, fees and businesses, the cult shopped around the world for technology, components and machinery to amass an arsenal of chemical, biological and conventional weapons. Some cultists dreamed of a nuclear bomb.

David E. Kaplan, co-author of "The Cult and the End of the World: The Incredible Story of Aum," considers the cult to be "the blueprint" for subsequent terrorist groups like Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

"If you look at the firsts that they did, the first mass attack with a chemical weapon on a civilian population, the ability for a group -- not a nation -- to operate viable programs for weapons of mass destruction, it really is extraordinary," Kaplan said. "They were multinational, they were high-tech and they were incredibly destructive."

Aum counted on a core of driven, highly educated scientists from the country's finest universities for brains. Asahara provided the inspiration, concocting a mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and yoga and promising his cowed flock Armageddon followed by paradise on Earth.

The trial has taken nearly eight years, lengthened by Japan's chronic shortage of lawyers and judges, the complexity of the case and a six-month delay caused by Asahara's firing of his first attorney.

The verdict also comes amid fears that although Aum has renounced its violent past and renamed itself Aleph, its remnants show signs of greater allegiance to Asahara. Agents this month raided the offices of the group, which still claims 1,650 members in Japan and 300 in Russia -- a shadow of the 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in Russia the group claimed at its height, but still a concern.

The sarin attack has had a long-lasting effect on Japan. Coming two months after a killer earthquake in the port city of Kobe and in the midst of an economic slump, it vanquished Japan's self-confidence of the 1980s and ushered in a lengthy bout of soul-searching over the country's troubled youth and moral decay.

The failure of law enforcement to stop the cult before the subway gassing triggered a push for greater police powers such as wiretapping. Some say the shock over the crimes has also encouraged Japan's drift toward conservatism over the past decade.

Despite the horrors of Aum, Japan remains a ripe breeding ground for eccentric religious groups. Police last year raided the headquarters of the Pana Wave Laboratory group, for example, on suspicion that members beat a fellow cultist to death. Five cultists were arrested in December.

Experts attribute the prevalence of cults in Japan to many causes: the country's strictly conformist culture, a pressure-cooker education system, the lack of spiritual awareness in a materialistic society.

For the victims of the subway attack and their families, however, the myriad causes are embodied in Asahara.

Their anger has only been inflamed by the guru's failure to do what's often expected of criminals in Japan: confess and apologize. Asahara has stayed mostly silent in court, save for occasional, incoherent rants in broken English.

"He hasn't given up his beliefs. He didn't say anything in the trial. He didn't apologize to the victims," said Shizue Takahashi, whose husband, a subway worker, died trying to help passengers reach safety above ground.

"So there's only the death penalty," she said. "I can't even think of any other sentence."
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Japan Cult Guru Sentenced to Death for Sarin Attack

Fri Feb 27, 2004 01:28 AM ET



TOKYO (Reuters) - A former Japanese cult guru who ordered a 1995 gas attack on Tokyo subway trains that killed 12, sickened thousands and shattered Japan's myth of public safety was found guilty and sentenced to death Friday after an eight-year trial.

Prosecutors had demanded that Shoko Asahara, 48, the former leader of Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth Sect), be hanged for masterminding the subway attack and separate crimes that killed another 15 people.

The sight of bodies lying across platforms and soldiers in gas masks sealing off Tokyo subway stations stunned the Japanese public, long accustomed to crime-free streets, and raised concern worldwide about the ease of making weapons of mass destruction.

Japan's fears of terror attacks have mounted since the September 2001 attacks in the United States and the controversial dispatch this month of Japanese troops to help rebuild Iraq.

Defense lawyers for Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, are expected to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, starting another lengthy legal process that could take another decade.

Asahara's sect combined supernatural forecasts of a coming apocalypse -- it predicted the United States would attack Japan and turn it into a nuclear wasteland -- with a frightening ability to produce high-tech modes of mass destruction.
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4451781

[edit: ANother report:

Death penalty for Japan cult guru

Shoko Asahara, the leader of a Japanese doomsday cult which gassed the Tokyo subway in 1995, has been sentenced to death for ordering the attack.

The sarin gas attack, which killed 12 people and injured thousands more, shocked Japan and shed light on the fanatical Aum Shinrikyo group.

Eleven other Aum members have received death sentences, though none have been executed pending appeals.

Asahara's lawyers said he would appeal too, a process which could take years.

Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, stood passively and said nothing as he was found guilty of all 13 charges of murder and attempted murder.

SHOKO ASAHARA
1955 - Born in Yatsushiro, real name Chizuo Matsumoto
1987 - Starts Aum Shinrikyo
1994 - First sarin attack
1995 - Tokyo subway attack
1996 - Goes on trial
2004 - Trial ends
Thousands of people arrived to try to get a courtside seat; spectators were reportedly chosen by lottery.

The judges in the Tokyo District Court rejected defence arguments that Asahara had lost control of his followers by the time of the 1995 attack.

His crimes included ordering another sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in 1994, which killed seven people, and the killing of several wayward cult members or their relatives.

But it was the Tokyo subway attack at the height of the city's rush hour, which most shocked Japan. Survivors still suffer from headaches, breathing troubles and dizziness.

"I can't think of any other sentence but death for Asahara," said Yasutomo Kusakai, a 22-year-old college student outside the court.

"Many people were killed, and he's supposed to be the mastermind of the crimes that affected the society in a big way."

The verdict is the culmination of a nearly eight-year trial, during which Asahara has remained largely silent.

It is still not clear exactly why Asahara ordered the Tokyo attack. The group mixed Buddhist, Hindu and Christian tenets and believed some kind of Armageddon was imminent.

The group had also begun to feel threatened by the police at the time of the subway strike and some analysts believe it was in part designed to delay and confuse the authorities.

Aum is still operating, albeit under the new name of Aleph and with a supposedly benign new remit. However, the Japanese police still monitor it closely and believe it is still dangerous.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3491488.stm

Published: 2004/02/27 13:44:04 GMT

© BBC MMIV
]
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Guru's bizarre dream

28feb04

CULT guru Asahara used a mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and yoga to entice his devotees, bewitching them with predictions of an Armageddon only they would survive.

Members engaged in bizarre rituals such as drinking his blood and wearing electrical caps they believed kept their brain waves in tune with his.

He recruited highly educated scientists from the best schools to run a weapons program so he could destroy Tokyo and create his own kingdom.

Asahara never confessed or apologised, barely speaking during the trial except to occasionally babble incoherently in broken English.

He grinned as he was brought into court yesterday, and made bizarre, comic faces.

In his most horrific crime, five cult members pierced bags of sarin on separate trains, sending sickened, bleeding passengers stumbling from subway stations.

Survivors still suffer headaches, breathing troubles and dizziness.

The cult, which still has almost 2000 members, was ordered to pay million to its victims.
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,8809103%5E663,00.html
 

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Japan Cult Guru Daughter's College Place Revoked

1 hour, 46 minutes ago



TOKYO (Reuters) - A Tokyo university has revoked its acceptance of a 20-year-old woman after discovering she is the daughter of a former cult guru convicted of masterminding the 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 12 people.

Wako University said it had told the daughter of Shoko Asahara, founder of the Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth Sect), that she could not attend the university, despite passing an entrance exam, because her presence could be disruptive.

"Because of who she is, she is likely to prompt uneasiness within and without the school," the university's president, Osamu Mihashi, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement did not name the woman, but newspapers described her as Asahara's third daughter.

One paper also said she had been rejected by another university last year, also after passing an entrance test.

Mihashi said the decision had been difficult. "Even though it is not her fault, the possibility is high that the calm learning environment of the school would be disturbed," he said.

The woman was initially admitted based on her results on a national entrance exam but the university decided to reconsider after documents she submitted revealed her to be Asahara's daughter. A university official declined to comment further.

Asahara, 48, was sentenced last month to hang for masterminding the sarin gas attack that shattered Japan's myth of public safety. He has appealed.
Source
 
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Bill Bryson's In A Sunburnt Country begins with a disturbing speculation about the cult, its acquisition of property in the Australian outback and a subsequent seismic event thought by some to have been the detonation of a low yield nuke they had gotten somewhere.
 

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Japan cult members arrested

From correspondents in Tokyo
07jul04

FOUR members of the doomsday cult responsible for the deadly Tokyo subway gassing were arrested today over the shooting of Japan's national police chief nine years ago, reports said.

Takaji Kunimatsu was shot and seriously wounded while investigating Aum Shinrikyo, the cult later held responsible for the nerve gas attack that killed 12 people, injured thousands and crushed Japan's sense of safety. He was shot 10 days after the subway attack in March 1995.

Tokyo police today arrested three cult members - Toshiyuki Kosugi, 39, Tetsuya Kibe, 49, and Mitsuo Sunaoshi - on allegations of attempted murder, Japan's public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News reported.

They arrested a fourth cultist for allegedly trying to set explosives at home of one of the group's critics and for possible involvement in the shooting, NHK said.

Kosugi, who was a policeman at the time of the attack, confessed to the shooting over a year later, in an embarrassment for the police force. But prosecutors later dropped the case, saying they had no evidence to back it up.

Police declined to immediately confirm today's reports.

The National Police Agency chief nearly died after sustaining three bullet wounds on March 30, 1995, when he left his downtown Tokyo apartment for work.

Kunimatsu was leading a nationwide investigation of the Tokyo subway gassing, and the shooting apparently was aimed at thwarting a police crackdown on the cult.

Aum founder Shoko Asahara was sentenced to hang in April for masterminding the subway attack and about a dozen other cult crimes. Eleven other cult members also have been sentenced to death for the subway attack.
Source
 

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Gas attack cult still inspires fear and loathing

greets

news update:

Gas attack cult still inspires fear and loathing

Ten years after Japan's worst terrorist atrocity, the apocalyptic group responsible has rebranded itself but has failed to allay popular doubts

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Friday March 18, 2005
The Guardian

At around 8am on March 20 1995 commuters on packed subway trains in central Tokyo sensed something was wrong. They started to cough and struggle for breath. Some of those who made it on to platforms and upstairs to street level collapsed, foaming at the mouth and coughing up blood.

Minutes earlier, using the sharpened tips of their umbrellas, five of their fellow passengers - members of what was then a little-known apocalyptic cult called Aum Supreme Truth - had punctured plastic bags containing the deadly nerve gas sarin before fleeing.

The 12 people who died that day, and the 5,500 others who were injured, had just become the victims of the worst terrorist atrocity on Japanese soil; an act of violence that shattered Japan's image as the safest country on earth.

This Sunday 10 years will have passed since that sunny morning, yet the occasion will be less one of closure and healing than of nagging fear and resentment.

Shoko Asahara, the cult's bearded, nearly-blind former guru, who masterminded the attacks on Tokyo and, in 1994, on the city of Matsumoto, killing seven people, sits in a cell awaiting the start of his appeal against the death sentence, a process that could last another 10 years. The cult Asahara left behind has tried to rebrand itself as harmless, but continues to provoke widespread anger and suspicion.

At its height it boasted more than 10,000 followers in Japan and an estimated 30,000 in Russia. Among its senior members were graduates of Japan's best universities, drawn to the cult's bizarre mix of Buddhism and Christianity, yoga and the occult, and by promises that they would survive the coming Armageddon - a nuclear attack by the US - by developing sarin and other deadly gases at the cult's compound in the foothills of Mount Fuji.

In 2000 it renamed itself Aleph, admitted its role in the gas attacks, and agreed to pay compensation to the victims. So far it has paid out 540m yen (£2.7m), but attempts under its new leader, Fumihiro Joyu, to convince the public that it has renounced Asahara's violent extremism have failed.

Now membership stands at about 1,600, according to the national police agency. Groups of followers are routinely refused permission to rent properties, and those they do occupy are the targets of eviction campaigns by other residents and attacks by right-wing extremists.

The 120 or so members who live at Aleph's headquarters, spread between three ageing apartment blocks in suburban Tokyo, are under 24-hour surveillance by armed police and worried neighbours.

"People are still anxious that something bad might happen involving the cult," said Shoko Egawa, an award-winning journalist who was almost killed by cultists angered by her criticisms of Aum.

Although deprived of their chemical weapons, Aleph's followers, she said, "are not safe in the psychological sense. Even if they'd had tonnes of sarin gas, people who have a sense of right and wrong, who could think for themselves, would not have released it.

"They have not changed at all. They still believe the doctrine Asahara taught them, a doctrine that justified even murder."

Aleph's members disagree. One follower, who asked not to be identified, told the Guardian that society has nothing to fear from the group. "We believe it is wrong to take life," he said. "Our living quarters are crawling with cockroaches because we don't even kill them."

Doubts
But doubt has been cast on the sincerity of those claims by allegations that its members fatally beat a female member to death with bamboo sticks last autumn. Earlier this year a man died while undergoing "thermal therapy," which involved sitting in scalding hot water of up to 50C for long periods, although the group says it has since banned the practice.

Aleph's devotees say they would refuse orders to carry out violent acts, even if they came from Asahara. But they are not prepared to abandon him altogether.

"It depends on the definition of guru," the follower said. "We consider a guru to be the interpreter of the sutras, and now, yes, we practice religious teachings based on the interpretations of Shoko Asahara."

He said that Asahara was in "no practical or mental position to issue orders. He can't even speak, or so I've heard. People think Shoko Asahara is a terrorist and they can't understand why some members still have his photograph. We think the (gassing) incidents and his religious teachings are completely different. That is why we can still admire Shoko Asahara."

For Egawa, the author of several books on Aum, that admission alone is proof that the cult is a threat, and that the authorities must remain wary of another murderous act led by people who, she said, prey on the insecurities of young people.

"The problem is that Japanese society has not learned any lessons," she said. "I have repeatedly urged the Japanese government to teach high school students about cults, about how dangerous they are and how they can protect themselves from them. But the government has totally ignored me."

Abandoned

Meanwhile the survivors and the relatives of those who died say they have been abandoned by their government, whose machinery was the cult's prime target, but which has refused to pay a single yen in compensation.

Every Sunday Shizue Takahashi visits the grave of her husband, Kazumasa, an assistant stationmaster at Kasumigaseki station who died after removing sarin-filled bags from a train carriage.

She says the government has "barely lifted a finger" to help the relatives of the dead and those who survived.

"Anyone could have been a victim," she said in an interview with Kyodo News. "Is it right for the government just to pity us, to think that we were just unlucky at that moment and then do nothing?"

Hundreds of people who were caught up in the attack still suffer from visual disorders, headaches, extreme fatigue and psychological complaints, but most depend on free medical check-ups offered by volunteers in Tokyo.

Egawa says the families have a strong case for compensation.

"Aum was targeting government people and policemen when they released the sarin, so the families and survivors' request for compensation is not unreasonable."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/japan/story/0,7369,1440634,00.html

mal
 

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Ahh, spring membership drives, gotta love 'em. One wonders if they offer discounts on your next Sarin purchase as an incentive for joining :eek:

'Aum' doomsday cult wants to double membership

03jun05

THE doomsday cult notorious for a fatal gas attack on the Tokyo subway 10 years ago is on a drive to double its membership and earn more money through new businesses such as selling used cars, an expert has said.

A senior member of the Aum sect told believers in a seminar earlier this year that "the number of followers would be twice as large if each one of you wins one new member," said the government expert involved in the investigation of the cult.

The doomsday sect holds three seminars a year in Japan for "lay followers" who do not live on an Aum commune, the government source said on condition of anonymity.

About 270 members attended the latest seminar held during the Golden Week of holidays from April 29 to May 5, bringing more than Y30 million ($278,000) in donations to the sect, the source said.


The group is also diversifying its business into operations such as selling used automobiles in addition to its mainstay computer business which includes software development and hardware sales under a disguised name, the source said.

"As they know we are keeping an eye on them, they are trying to enter various other businesses," the source said.

The number of Aum believers in Japan has been staying flat at around 1650 for the past five years, down from the peak 11,400 before the March 1995 gas attack on the subway, according to the Public Security Intelligence Agency.

It also has some 300 followers in Russia, the agency says.

Aum founder Shoko Asahara, a bearded former acupuncturist, was last year sentenced to death for crimes including the rush-hour subway attack that killed 12 people and injured 5500 others.

The sect changed its name in early 2000 to Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, deposed Asahara as its leader and apologized for past wrongdoing, saying it had abandoned violent and risky rites.

But the government agency says cult members still follow the teachings of the jailed Asahara, who preached a peculiar apocalyptic mix of Hinduism and Buddhism.


His daughters say he is no longer able to recognize what is going on around him in detention and mumbles incomprehensibly.
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common ... 01,00.html
 

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Japanese alleged cult members arrested under work laws


Last Updated 16/06/2005, 13:02:00

Police in Japan are believed to have arrested three senior members of the doomsday cult that carried out a deadly 1995 gas attack on the subway in the capital, Tokyo.

Japan's Jiji Press Agency is reporting the three have been arrested for alleged violation of employment law.

Among those arrested was Shigeru Sugiura, 46, a founding member of the Aum Supreme Truth sect that killed 12 people and injured thousands in the subway gassing.

Mr Sugiura allegedly conspired with other cult members to send followers to work at computer software and other firms.

Japan's labour laws require labour ministry permission for anyone functioning as an agent who goes between employers.
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1393632.htm
 

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Japan cult boss 'can face trial'
A former cult leader sentenced to death over gas attacks on the Tokyo subway has been judged mentally fit to continue his appeal, media reports say.
Shoko Asahara, the former head of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, was found guilty of organising the sarin attacks in 1995 in which 12 people died.

He was sentenced to death by a Japanese court in February 2004.

Asahara's lawyers had asked that the case against him should be suspended until his condition improved.

But now a court-appointed psychiatrist has ruled that the case can be reviewed by the Tokyo High Court, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo and broadcaster NHK.

Fanatical cult

The gas attack on Tokyo's subway shocked Japan and shed light on the fanatical Aum Shinrikyo group.


SHOKO ASAHARA
1955 - Born in Yatsushiro, real name Chizuo Matsumoto
1987 - Starts Aum Shinrikyo
1994 - First sarin attack
1995 - Tokyo subway attack
1996 - Goes on trial
2004 - Trial ends


As leader of the group, Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was sentenced to death after being found guilty of 13 charges of murder and attempted murder.

He was also convicted of other offences, including plotting a 1994 gas attack in the central Japanese city of Matsumoto that killed seven people.

During his first trial, which took eight years, Asahara mumbled incoherently and made unexplained gestures.

After the verdict, his lawyers claimed he had a brain disorder or mental stress caused by confinement, and called for the court to suspend the appeals trial until his condition improved.

Monday's news means that the appeal hearing can now go ahead.

Eleven other Aum members have received death sentences, though none have been executed, pending appeals.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 731108.stm

Published: 2006/02/20 05:50:25 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

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:shock:

Asahara attempts to pull the nasty over shrinks

Asahara takes a 'hands on' approach to his defense.

Death cult guru Shoko Asahara is merely trying to pull the wool over authorities' eyes to avoid the death sentence against him from being carried out, psychiatrists claimed in a report filed to the Tokyo High Court last month to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial. Friday (3/17), however, says what the swami's actually pulling is something entirely different.

Akira Nishiyama headed the team of shrinks who examined the former cult leader, who ordered his AUM Shinrikyo believers unleash toxic sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 and injuring thousands more. He said in the Nishiyama Report that Asahara was "pretending to be senile," but capable of standing trial. The deadly guru has remained silent throughout his court proceedings in recent years, as well as in his solitary confinement cell, the common place of incarceration for death row prisoners like Asahara.

Media outlets across Japan quickly reported how Asahara had been deemed competent, but failed, the weekly notes, to pick up on some episodes recounted in the Nishiyama file about Asahara's behavior in his solitary confinement cell. It's these incidents, according to the weekly, that Asahara showed he was pulling more than other people's legs.

"He took off his trousers and diapers, exposed his genitalia and masturbated. He repeated the same action frequently. Whenever he acts like that, he drops his trousers, his diaper and diaper cover to his knees, finishes the act, then raises his trousers up to his waist again,"
Friday quotes the Nishiyama Report as saying.

The weekly goes on to note that Asahara does not restrain his self-ministrations to times when he's alone in his cell at the Tokyo Detention Center.

"In April 2005, just before the accused's lawyer entered a visiting room, the accused exposed his penis and began masturbating, continuing until he had finished while the lawyer stood before him the entire time. He has repeated this act of masturbation in the visiting room, as well as in his solitary confinement cell since being placed under observation in May. He also performed the act in front of his daughters when they came to visit him in August of the same year," the Nishiyama Report says.

Despite acknowledging acts such as the shameless masturbation in front of his adult daughters, the Nishiyama Report ruled that Asahara had not lost his faculties to the extent that it should stop him from going into court.

However, Otohiko Kaga, a former Tokyo Detention Center psychiatrist and now novelist, has slammed the Nishiyama Report after visiting Asahara at the behest of the swami's lawyers a couple of days after the document had been publicly released.

"As far as the false dementia goes, he understands language and can communicate verbally. False dementia really only should be used when there is absolutely no verbal communication evident. The thing I thought weirdest about the Nishiyama Report was that it didn't mention a single thing about what kind of person Asahara is, nor anything about his character. They knew without doubt that he was susceptible to going stir crazy. I really get the impression they were looking to get a result out quickly," Kaga tells Friday.

Kaga says that the current, shaven-headed Asahara bears little resemblance to the hirsute guru arrested over a decade ago.

"I told him that a religious figure such as himself couldn't possibly be considering leaving this world without leaving a message behind for his followers, but he didn't react in the slightest. He just sat down with his legs crossed and stared upward, shifting his gaze from left to right. He giggled twice, but on neither occasion did it have anything to do with what I'd been saying," Kaga says.

Kaga goes on to say that while talking to Asahara, he suddenly gave a loud clap that reverberated around the visiting room, scaring the wits out of those close by and eliciting some sort of reaction from all who heard it -- except Asahara. Kaga says Asahara appears to be in a catatonic stupor, a condition one step away from coma.

"It's impossible for him to continue with his trial," Kaga tells Friday. "One of my catatonic stupor patients always throws up whatever they eat. Sometimes, their vomit is unleashed so violently it hits the ceiling. They unconsciously carry out acts that make others feel unpleasant. It's the same with Asahara brazenly masturbating in front of people, but it can be cured. They did it once at the Osaka Detention Center. They made all the death row prisoners take meals together, and wiped out stir craziness pretty quickly. They need to change his circumstances, his environment, even just a little. I really think they should stop his trial temporarily and concentrate on his treatment." (By Ryann Connell)

-------------
March 10, 2006
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/fa ... 3000c.html
 

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Death Upheld in Japan Cult Case

From the Associated Press
March, 15 2006

TOKYO — A Japanese court today rejected a former doomsday cult member's appeal of his death sentence for crimes that included the 1995 Tokyo nerve gas attack, which killed 12 people.

Tomomitsu Niimi, former "home affairs minister" of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, was sentenced to hang in 2002 for killing 26 people in seven attacks.

Niimi gained notoriety at the start of his trial in 1996 by refusing to enter pleas and pledging eternal loyalty to the cult leader, Shoko Asahara, who was sentenced to die in 2004.

Niimi has since reportedly admitted all charges brought against him except involvement in the subway attack. But he said he was following Asahara's orders and shouldn't be subject to the death penalty.
Source
 

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Japan cult boss petition rejected
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo



Lawyers for Asahara say he is mentally unfit to stand trial
The Japanese cult leader who masterminded the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway 11 years ago is a step closer to being executed.

Shoko Asahara's lawyers had attempted to overturn a High Court decision to reject their appeal against his death sentence.

Their petition has been dismissed, leaving them few other options to prevent Asahara being put to death.

Twelve people died and more than 5,500 others were hurt in the sarin attack.

The Aum Shinrikyo cult was found to be responsible.

After a trial lasting many years, the cult's leader, Shoko Asahara, was found guilty for his role in the attack and sentenced to death.

Asahara never gave evidence in court. His defence team and his family say his mental state has declined after years of incarceration in solitary confinement.

They believe he has no idea what is going on.

Supreme Court decision

In March, his lawyers missed a deadline to file an appeal on their client's behalf because they said it was impossible to communicate with him.

The High Court rejected their explanations for the delay. A court-appointed doctor believes Asahara does understand what is happening.

The defence filed an objection. That objection has now been rejected.

The defence now has five days to attempt to get the Supreme Court to hear the case.

If those efforts are rejected, Asahara could be put to death without delay.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-p ... 028916.stm
 

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Japan cult boss loses last appeal

Asahara's trial took eight years
Japan's Supreme Court has rejected a final appeal by Aum Shinrikyo cult leader Shoko Asahara, paving the way for his execution, local media said.

Asahara was convicted in 2004 of masterminding a 1995 attack to release sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo subway during the morning rush-hour.

Twelve people died and more than 5,500 others were hurt in the attack.

Lawyers had appealed on the grounds that Asahara was mentally ill, asking for the case to be suspended.

The cult leader, a former acupuncturist, was sentenced to death in February 2004 after a trial lasting eight years.

He was also found guilty of other charges including plotting a 1994 gas attack in the central Japanese city of Matsumoto that killed seven people.

'Unfit'

During his trial, he mumbled incoherently and made unexplained gestures.

SHOKO ASAHARA

1955 - Born in Yatsushiro, real name Chizuo Matsumoto
1987 - Starts Aum Shinrikyo
1994 - First sarin attack
1995 - Tokyo subway attack
1996 - Goes on trial
2004 - Trial ends


Profile of Shoko Asahara
A commute like no other

His lawyers say he has become mentally ill as a result of his detention and have tried to have legal proceedings against him suspended.

But in March a Tokyo court rejected an appeal, filed on mental health grounds, after Asahara's lawyers missed an application deadline.

This most recent action, a special motion, had challenged the March decision.

"Effective today, the court dismisses the special appeal of this case," a Supreme Court spokeswoman said.

Local media said that the final appeal avenue against Asahara's sentence, execution by hanging, was now closed.

Renounced

Altogether, 12 cult members have been sentenced to death, but none of the sentences have yet been carried out.

Last month, a court upheld the death sentence for the cult's alleged second in command, a chemist who oversaw the development of the nerve gas.

Before the attacks, Aum Shinrikyo had thousands of members, many of them educated and wealthy, who embraced Asahara's violent apocalyptic teachings.

The cult changed its name to Aleph in 2000 and has renounced violence, but is still heavily monitored by police.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5348160.stm
 

ramonmercado

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Japan 'doomsday cult member' held
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18316592

Japanese police have been looking for Naoko Kikuchi for 17 years

Related Stories

Japanese cult fugitive surrenders
Tokyo sarin gas attack trials end
Japan cult boss loses last appeal

A woman who may be a Japanese cult member wanted over the deadly 1995 gas attacks on the Tokyo subway has been arrested, Japanese media say.

They say Naoko Kikuchi, a 40-year-old ex-member of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, was picked up in Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, on Sunday.

Police said they could not confirm the reports.

Ms Kikuchi is one of two Aum Shinrikyo members still at large. Twelve people died in the 1995 Tokyo attacks.

Hundreds of others were injured when the cult released sarin nerve gas on several trains during rush hour.

On New Year's Eve another former member of Aum Shinrikyo, Makoto Hirata, turned himself in to police after nearly 17 years on the run.

Nearly 200 Aum Shinrikyo members have been convicted in connection with the sarin attack and other crimes. Thirteen are awaiting execution.

Aum Shinrikyo began as a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs in the 1980s, but developed into a paranoid cult obsessed with Armageddon.

Cult leader Shoko Asahara is among those on death row.

Aum Shinrikyo reinvented itself as the Aleph group, which continues to operate as a spiritual group.
 

ramonmercado

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Last Aum cult fugitive Katsuya Takahashi arrested in Japan
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18453996

The BBC's Roland Buerk says Mr Takahashi was spotted at an internet cafe

Related Stories

Death for Japan cult chemist
Japanese cult fugitive surrenders
Tokyo sarin gas attack trials end

Police in Japan have arrested the last fugitive of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, ending a 17-year manhunt.

Katsuya Takahashi is suspected of involvement in the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 13 people.

The police have verified his identity after detaining him near a cafe in Tokyo.

A manhunt involving thousands of officers began last week after the suspect fled his home.

Mr Takahashi has been on the run since the attacks, which also injured 6,000.

On Friday, police took him into custody near a comic book cafe in Tokyo, local media reported.

The 54-year-old is suspected of driving a fellow cult-member to a station to release the gas during the morning rush hour.

Massive manhunt

Archive: The BBC's Katty Kay reported on the attack in March 1995
Another suspect, Naoko Kikuchi, was reportedly arrested two weeks ago.

Information from her led the police to a construction firm in Kawasaki where Mr Takahashi had worked under an assumed name, says the BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo.

He had already fled his room in the company's dormitory, but the police found a recent photograph of him.

It was released, along with CCTV footage of Takahashi withdrawing money from his bank account.

A massive manhunt was deployed across Tokyo last week. The man suspected of being Mr Takahashi was detained after a tip-off from a member of the public.

On New Year's Eve another former member of Aum Shinrikyo, Makoto Hirata, turned himself in to police after nearly 17 years on the run.

Nearly 200 Aum Shinrikyo members have been convicted in connection with the sarin attack and other crimes. Thirteen are awaiting execution.

Aum Shinrikyo began as a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs in the 1980s, but developed into a paranoid cult obsessed with Armageddon.

Cult leader Shoko Asahara is among those on death row.

Aum Shinrikyo reinvented itself as the Aleph group, which continues to operate as a spiritual group.
 

ramonmercado

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Japan trial of Tokyo sarin attack cult member begins
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25754988

File photo: Makoto Hirata

Mr Hirata was part of the cult which carried out the Tokyo subway sarin attack

The trial of a former member of Japan's Aum Shinrikyo cult has begun, nearly 20 years after the group carried out a deadly sarin gas attack in Tokyo.

Makoto Hirata is being tried over the abduction and death of a 68-year-old man, notary Kiyoshi Kariya.

He is not facing charges in connection with the subway attack in 1995, which killed 13 people.

Mr Hirata walked into a police station and gave himself up two years ago, after being on the run.

Thirteen other members of the cult have been sentenced to death.

Mr Hirata, 48, is accused of abducting a man whose sister was trying to leave the cult.

The man later died after being given an injection at Aum's main commune at the foot of Mount Fuji.

He said he did not intend to abduct the lawyer, Kyodo news agency reports.

"It took a long time for this day to come, and I apologise for causing great trouble to the victim, his family and society," Mr Hirata was quoted as saying by Kyodo.

Aum Shinrikyo began as a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, but became a paranoid doomsday cult obsessed with Armageddon.

Some 189 Aum cultists have been put on trial over the various attacks carried out by the cult, and 13 members, including leader Shoko Asahara, have been sentenced to death.

If convicted, Mr Hirata could face the death penalty, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo.

Some of the cult members sentenced to death will be appearing as witnesses at Mr Hirata's trial, reports say.

For that reason, the Japanese authorities have delayed carrying out any death sentences until all the trials are over, our correspondent adds.
 

ramonmercado

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Japan jails Aum Shinrikyo cult member Makoto Hirata
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26478923

File photo: Makoto Hirata, 6 January 2012

Hirata was a member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult which carried out a deadly sarin gas attack in Tokyo

A former member of Japan's Aum Shinrikyo cult has been jailed for nine years, Japanese media report.

Makoto Hirata was jailed for the abduction of a 68-year-old man and his involvement in two bombing attacks, Kyodo news agency reported.

He handed himself in two years ago, after nearly two decades on the run.

The cult was responsible for a deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, which killed 13. Several cult members have been sentenced to death.

However, Hirata was not charged in relation to the subway attack.

Hirata was found guilty of abducting notary Kiyoshi Kariya in February 1995, as well as involvement in the bombing of a Tokyo property and the firebombing of an Aum facility in March 1995, Kyodo news agency reported.

The two bombing attacks were an attempt to obstruct the police investigation, Kyodo added.

Mr Kariya was abducted when his sister attempted to leave the cult, reports said. He died after he was given an injection by the cult.

Aum Shinrikyo began as a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, but became a paranoid doomsday cult obsessed with Armageddon.

Some 189 Aum cultists have been put on trial over the various attacks carried out by the cult, and 13 members, including leader Shoko Asahara, have been sentenced to death.
 

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Russian police have raided 25 premises in Moscow and St Petersburg linked to the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo cult.

The banned cult was responsible for a deadly sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, which killed 13 people and injured 5,000.

Ten people were detained in the St Petersburg raids, Itar-Tass news agency says. And 44 Russians expelled from Montenegro are under investigation.

Aum leader Shoko Asahara and 12 other cultists got death sentences in Japan.

The Russian raids targeted the homes and places of worship of suspected Aum cultists. ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35970300
 

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Anniversary of attack, convicted cult members may face execution.

JAPAN TODAY MARKED the 23rd anniversary of a deadly sarin attack on the Tokyo metro, as speculation grows that members of the cult behind it could soon be executed.

At a solemn ceremony at Kasumigaseki station, one of the targets of the 1995 attacks which is surrounded by key government buildings, Tokyo subway staff gathered to observe a moment of silence and offer flowers.

Thirteen people were killed and thousands more injured when members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult dumped bags of sarin on packed rush hour trains, piercing the pouches with sharpened umbrella tips before fleeing.

The nerve agent caused horrendous deaths and injuries, and prompted mass panic, turning Japan’s busy capital city into something resembling a war zone.

Passengers streamed out of stations vomiting, coughing and struggling to breathe, with emergency services administering life-saving treatment by the side of the road. ...

http://www.thejournal.ie/japan-sarin-executions-3914062-Mar2018/?utm_source=twitter_short
 

Xanatic*

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Is it true that their membership consisted of a lot of people with PhD in sciency things?
 

Mythopoeika

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To this day, nobody knows why they did it. The cult leader is still alive. Maybe he'll confess all before they hang him?
 

EnolaGaia

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... The cult leader is still alive. Maybe he'll confess all before they hang him?
Not any more, he's not ... No mention so far as to whether he confessed anything beforehand ... The way is now clear for execution of the other 12 sentenced to death.

Aum Shinrikyo: Japan executes cult leader Shoko Asahara
The leader of Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult which carried out a deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995 has been executed, Japanese media report.

The sarin attack, Japan's worst terror incident, killed 13 people and injured thousands more.

Another 12 Aum Shinrikyo members are awaiting execution.

The executions had been postponed until all those convicted had completed their final appeals.

That happened in January. ...


Scores of Aum members have faced trial over the attack - 13 were sentenced to death, including Asahara.

Another six are serving life sentences. ...

In Japan, death sentences are not carried out until the verdict against all accused and accomplices are final, with no pending appeals left against any of the group.

The trials against the cult members only wrapped up in January this year after the supreme court upheld the verdict against one member sentenced to life in prison. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43395483
 

James_H

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Is it true that their membership consisted of a lot of people with PhD in sciency things?
Not sure. I had heard from this podcast that their 'minister for science' actually had a background as something like a chemistry teacher or medical technician, i.e. he was in the science field but had not had a stellar career before taking his illustrious post. This was used to explain why they were so bad at making the biological and nerve agents (it was a tragedy that eight people died from their sarin attack: however, if the sarin had been well-made, hundreds would have perished).

On the other hand, this Wired article from 1996 describes Hideo Murai, their science minister at the time (who was later murdered) as a 'brilliant' astrophysicist.

The article also goes into some alleged inspiration from Asimov's Foundation series, which (also allegedly) inspired the name of one of the more famous cults of recent years, Al Qaeda. 'Al Qaeda' being one way to translate 'the foundation' into Arabic.

As for why Aum did what they did, I don't think that was a secret. They wanted to bring about armageddon and extinct the human race. Luckily for us (spoiler warning), they didn't manage it.
 

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I think I read somewhere where they had created their own lab facilities that looked impressive but like James H says above they were pretty poor gas makers or else the effects of the attack would have been vastly different.
 
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