Twenty years ago this year, Japan was to become a nuclear wasteland, according to the leader of a sect who claimed that the only survivors would be his followers and 10% of the major cities. It was in the lead up to this year of the predicted apocalypse, 1997, that he ordered shocking acts that would eventually result in his group being labelled a terrorist organisation, and himself and 12 other sect members being sentenced to death.
CW: references to physical and emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, references to suicide, murder, and psychological trauma associated with being in a cult. Please consider whether you would like to listen on this basis. Content is not suitable for children.
UPDATE 2: The death penalty was carried out in Japan in July of 2018. Aum sympathizer Kazuhiro Kusakabe left 8 injured on 1 January 2019 when he drove into a crowd of people in the Harajuku district of Tokyo.
UPDATE: An Aum Shinrikyo update episode was released on 21 March 2018. It includes a small correction from this episode.
Full research sources listed on each episode page at www.ltaspod.com.
If you have been personally affected by involvement in a cult, or would like to support those who have been, you can find support or donate to Cult Information and Family Support if you’re in Australia (via www.cifs.org.au), and you can find resources outside of Australia with the International Cultic Studies Association (via www.icsahome.com).
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia, or find your local crisis centre via the International Association for Suicide Prevention website at www.iasp.info.
- Profile: Shoko Asahara — BBC News, 27 February 2004
- A Guru's Journey – A special report. The Seer Among the Blind: Japanese Sect Leader's Rise — by Nicholas D. Kristof with Sheryl WuDunn, The New York Times, 26 March 1995
- Daughters of doomsday cult leader fight to save their 'loving' father — by Justin McCurry, The Guardian, 19 April 2006
- How a Religious Sect Rooted in Yoga Became a Terrorist Group — by Jennifer Latson, TIME, 20 March 2015
- Asahara’s No. 3 daughter writes on life during, after cult — by Keiji Hirano, Japan Times, 26 March 2015
- Former Aum cultist publishes memoir on gas attacks, Asahara — by Eiji Shimura, The Asahi Shimbun, 10 January 2017
- Sarin gas attack survivor recalls near miss on Tokyo subway — by Julian Ryall, South China Post, 19 March 2015
- Why Japan's Terror Cult Still Has Appeal — by Tim Larimer, TIME, 10 June 2002
- 20 Years Ago, A Shadowy Cult Poisoned The Tokyo Subway — by Charlotte Alfred, Huffpost, 20 March 2015
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.