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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
niall
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the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,110
Views: 585,174

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In Miscellaneous cult Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #121 New 06-08-2012 11:37 AM
cult
Aum by Abel Pardo López



A few days ago I wrote a casual post called the fugitive about a cool escaped penguin. I talked about the The Fugitive and Blade Runner.

Then real life caught up. Aum is a Japanese cult. Aum members committed terrorist attacks in Japan in the 1990s including a sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Three Aum members have been on the most wanted list in Japan since they fled 16 years ago. Their photos are posted outside police boxes all across Japan.

Then one of them Makoto Hirata suddenly and unexpectedly gave himself up on 31 December 2011. Perhaps in a deliberate move to force a delay in the execution of Shoko Asahara the leader of Aum. Next the police caught Naoko Kikuchi on Sunday 4 June in Kanagawa. Then the third member Katsuya Takahashi panicked when he heard the news of Kikuchi's arrest and was caught on video making several large cash withdrawals. It was the first time he had been spotted in the 16 years. The police rushed to arrest him but missed him by one hour. I hope they catch him very soon.

The story of Aum was like many cults that become twisted and deformed by personal greed and pride. Hundreds of young people drifting in Japanese society were attracted to its simplistic pseudo-Buddhist answers. The cult used mind control techniques and resorted to extortion. Gradually the cult leadership came to believe that they were above the law. It was almost impossible for members to leave. A young lawyer called Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family were kidnapped and murdered by Aum members because he was working on a class-action lawsuit against the cult. So the family just disappeared off the face of the earth. There was a serious clue - an Aum button was found in the Sakamotos' apartment - but the cult claimed that it had been planted by enemies and the police did not have enough evidence.

Then an attack by Aum on the brother of a member who succeeded in escaping resulted in police raids on Aum. It was an important step in the dismantling of the cult.

As the police investigation tightened around Aum it lashed out with the terror attacks.

So they tried to hijack the spiritual word Om. But I refuse to let them.

My friend Del Dennis died in 2010. I wrote about him here. One day he was walking to Shinjuku on his way home after aikido practice at the Aikikai hombu dojo. He walked past a public hall and some young women in the street outside invited him in to see a dance and song performance. Del went in. He was a musician so he was interested. He told me about the strange bearded man who was sitting in the lotus position on the stage during the whole performance. It was only later he realized he had seen a performance by Aum Shinrikyo. And the man on the stage was Shoko Asahara. Del was a good person. He always felt very uncomfortable that he had been at that performance. Close to evil.

Niall


Om by John Coltrane
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEXNV6PX2MA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undergr...aruki Murakami
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Om

photo: Aum by Abel Pardo López


my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff: mooninthewater.net/aikido


my columns on aikiweb



© niall matthews 2012
Views: 1181 | Comments: 6


RSS Feed 6 Responses to "cult"
#6 06-11-2012 09:22 AM
niall Says:
Thanks David. A close friend of mine used that subway line that morning. Niall
#5 06-11-2012 09:15 AM
niall Says:
Hi Peter. Thanks for commenting. Yes you are right about cults in Japan. I don't know what group it was - maybe even Aum - but years ago a couple of times young women started talking to me in the Kinokuniya bookstore in Shinjuku asking me if I had time to go to a meeting. Best regards, Niall
#4 06-11-2012 09:06 AM
niall Says:
Hey thanks Billy. Yeah Del was a warm sincere man. Niall
#3 06-10-2012 04:41 PM
David Orange Says:
Yes, those memories. I was on the train that was gassed about a week before the gassing, on my way to the embassy. My wife and daughters were on that train four days before the attacks. The Christmas before the attacks, we spent at a little ranch in Fujinomiya. I later read that Aum had a very big gas factory about a mile from that little ranch. He recruited highly educated people from the best universities in Japan. So did TEPCO. If they let Shoko see the news, he envies TEPCO.
#2 06-10-2012 03:49 AM
Hello Niall, I was very surprised that some very bright students joined the cult. Perhaps 'drifting' is an appropriate word, but it did not seem so to me at the time. There have been many cult-like organizations in Japan since the end of the Tokugawa era. Best wishes, PAG
#1 06-10-2012 01:42 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall; A very nice blog that brought back some bad memories, good memories, sad memories and some disappointment. I remember very clearly the Aum cult and the investigation around them and the properties and businesses they were connected to, printing I think. I was reminded again about Del, I am one of the people that he kindly greeted, I was sad to think of his passing and I am disappointed with myself that I did not get to know him better, I should have been more open. Best, Billy
 




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