Saturday, May 28, 2016

Post about Aum Shinrikyo

Today I want to post about the infamous religious cult Aum Shinrikyo that was responsible for the sarin gas attacks in the early 90's.

Their leader (guru/sonshi) was Shoko Asahara (Chizuo Matsumoto), he has been sentenced to death.

Their criminal activities have already been written about in the Wikipedia article above, so I won't bother going into them here. Here are some lesser known facts about them.

They ran a low-cost computer shop called Mayaposya (マハーポーシャ) in Akihabara.

They operated a bunch of restaurants around Tokyo, such as Umakarou Yasukarou Tei (うまかろう安かろう亭) and Aum no Obento Yasan (オウムのお弁当屋さん).

These shops were staffed by Aum followers and they worked without pay as part of they 'training'. This is why the prices were cheaper than other shops (the profits went to the cult).

Asahara himself was a keen singer, being the vocalist in a band when he was attending blind school. Therefore he sang many Aum songs. This website has has a quite a few of them. Another site in English. YouTube video of him singing.

Aum had a private orchestra called Chyren (pronounced 'key rain') which Asahara would conduct. They paid a lot of money to musicians to perform wearing Aum's religious dresses. YouTube video.

They even had a (short-lived) rock band called Kanzen Gedatsu (完全解脱). YouTube video.

They made a lot of anime movies about Asahara performing miracles (flying, telepathy, out-of-body experiences etc). Here's one series called Chouetsu Sekai (超越世界). YouTube video.

Aum had a relationship with famous religious leaders, such as the Dalai Lama and Kalu Rinpoche. Here are Aum-produced videos of them being boasting about it [part 1] [part 2].

Aum would donate large sums of money to these people to befriend them.

Even now, Aum's ideologies are carried on by their successor group, Aleph. To them Asahara is is still their founder. Some members still believe the sarin incident was a conspiracy against them.

More info (Japanese):

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