Admittedly, I have only read through a few papers on the subject, but let's see if I can't mash it all together.
The Sarin gas attack in Japan was perpetrated by the Aum Shinrikyo (the Supreme Truth, オウム真理教 Ōmu Shinrikyō) (and hence the title of this blog is revealed), a group that can only be described as a cult… and not the good one where you just sit around smoking dope and screwing your brains out… no, the Aum Shinrikyo was one set on causing death and destruction, and they didn't give a crap who got in their way.
This was a terrorist organization whose goal was to first take over Japan and then the world. Oh, and get this, the Aum Shinrikyo was based on a religion created in 1987 that was a mishmash of Buddhism and Christianity.
Say whaaaaat? Honest religions being used by unscrupulous individuals to further their own political goals?
Although globally common, it certainly wasn't a new occurrence even in Japan, who have had its fair share of strange cults in the past… some violent and others just plain weird to the average Joe Suzuki like you and I…
The Aum Shinrikyo was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984… as a yoga and meditation class that he held in his one-bedroom apartment in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo.
And… it began to grow in popularity… so much so, that by 1989 it gained the official status of a religious institution.
Anyhow, as a religion, up until 1992, it didn't seem to be violent, and for some reason it attracted a lot of graduates from elite Japanese universities… not students… but graduates.
So… what's it all about Asahara?
It's about Christianity… but Asahara's version of it… with Asahara's interpretations of Buddhism and yoga (I suppose this is a philosophy) … and the future-looking writings of Nostradamus.
Nostradamus? Fascinating... but hardly scientific... or even religious.
In 1992 Asahara somehow got a book he wrote published. It's called Supreme Initiation and you can buy it on Amazon.com for anywhere between $25.95 to $94.26.
Anyhow… in the book, he called himself "Christ", as well as "Japan's only fully enlightened master" and put himself on par with the "Lamb of God" (Jesus Christ).
|Shoko Asahara, the 'divine' leader of the Aum Shinrikyo.|
Well, Asahara, in his book says that his mission was to 'take upon himself the sins of the world'.
To do this, he says he could transfer spiritual powers to his followers and, eventually, take away their sins.
Just like in the Old Testament's Book of Revelations (written by people of Jewish faith - this is important a few paragraphs down) our profit prophet created a doomsday prophecy which was the United States beginning World War III.
Well, this is a possibility. Still… he says that the US would actually attack Japan.
Asahara even called the US the 'unholy Satan'. What? The United States as the unholy Satan? Where have I heard that rhetoric before?
Asahara said that humanity would end, except for the elite one who joined the Aum Shinrikyo.
The mission of Aum Shinrikyo and its members was to spread the word of salvation… and to survive.
Asahara also told his followers all about the conspiracy theories that would lead to the downfall of Earth, unless they acted… actions that were being promoted by the Jews, Freemasons, the Dutch, the British Royal family and even other rival Japanese religions.
|The 'bible of the Aum Shinrikyo--The Supreme Initiation, written by Shoko Asahara.|
Oh yeah… the Dutch helped the Tokugawa shogun Ieyasu in the 1600s realize that he didn't need to have the Portuguese in Japan to trade with, who were also spreading Christianity… he liked the Dutch who just came in, did their trading and didn't try and influence anyone's religious believed.
It was why, the shogun thought: "Hey! While I don't mind the Dutch, I might have to sacrifice them to get rid of those sanctimonious Portuguese Christianity spreaders… yes.. I shall close Japan's borders to everyone… no one gets in… and no one gets out. No… that's not fair to the Dutch… we should continue to trade with them. But that's it!
So... the Dutch accidentally helped keep foreigners out of Japan. Wouldn't that be a good thing for this cult?
And the Jews? Again with the poor Jews… or rather people of Jewish faith. I wonder if Asahara actually read the Holy Bible… because if he did, he would know that Jesus Christ was actually Jewish… and then to base a portion of your own cult on Christianity (the key word in there is 'Christ') and then slam the Jews is just plain… well, not Kosher.
Whether this is simply someone who was tooting his own horn or whether it was the Gospel truth, Asahara's Aum Shinrikyo claimed in 1995 to have over 9,000 members in Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide.
Were there really 40,000 people who had the money to buy such an expensive book? And then who actually believed all of what was touted? Did that many people really want to rule the world?
I mean, sure, everyone wants to rule the world (no need to have a Tears For Fears joke here) … but not really. I think we all just want our fair share piece of the pie. And a monkey butler. And a maybe a jetpack. In the 1960s, promises were made that we would all have jetpacks by now! I guess you can't believe everything you hear.
But… what's the best part about Asahara's predictions of Armageddon? He said it would all come to fruition in 1997.
Now… lest you think this is such a fugged up cult and how could anyone in their right mind believe such crap, let me tell you about one of my first ever girlfriends.One back in Toronto in the late 1980s.
Her name is not important, but we met during a summer time university course involving astronomy, of all things. We used to race our Mazda's home on the highway… me in my 323, and she in her 626. It was love at first gear. Her car was more powerful, but I was less afraid of speed. I asked her out on a date, and after dinner she invited me out to visit her church. I knew I wasn't going to get laid that night.
Also… if I used the word damnation, she would look at me like I just killed her cat… which was another clue that I wasn't going to pet her cat or get laid that night.
If you know me, you know I could out-swear a sailor or a Catholic school girl... both mighty accomplishments.
She was/is a member of the Pentecostal branch of the Christian religion… and maybe there are segments within those branches - I don't know - but Marnie, okay I just remembered her name - she told me that they believed that the world was going to end in a few years (it might have been 1997… it might not have been… I can't recall).
I scoffed and argued, but she made me come to her church - it was all right as far as churches and church services go… very lively, which was a nice change of pace from the death march antics of my own Catholic upbringing - but damn it, I could not get my head around that whole 'world ending' thing.
Armageddon it? No... God knows there was a reason I was still a virgin until I became made in Japan.
As we broke up and I was engulfed in hellfire, I told her that I would like to find her in a few years after the so-called Armageddon and tell her "I told you so". She said I would be welcome to do that, because if we met after the so-called end of the world, it would only be because she and the rest of the believers had prayed hard enough for our immoral souls.
How do you argue with that? Maybe she and the rest of her church did save us all. We'll never know. But they will.
As for me? Nawwwww. I'm a cynic, pessimist and an optimist. I want to believe, but I'm not sure I do.
So… let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Burning bush speaking. Virgin birth… a woman plucking a fruit and ruining paradise… every religion (and I'm only providing from my own) has areas where a leap of faith is required.
But… maybe I just wanted to tell that story about Marnie, not quite my Ms. Right.
In October of 1989, Sakamoto Tsutsumi, an anti-cult lawyer threatened the Aum Shinrikyo with a lawsuit and then recorded a TBS television interview. Why TBS did this, I'll never know, but they showed the interview to Aum Shinrikyo members without telling Sakamoto, breaching a rule about protecting sources. Bad TBS.
Aum Shinrikyo then pressured TBS to not broadcast the interview.
One month later, Sakamoto, his wife and child went missing from their home in Yokohama.
Suspicious? Yes… in 1995, their bodies were found… and apparently cult members admitted to the crime of murder and dumping.
The cult was also accused of taking sick patients to their own private hospitals, and then charging then an arm and a leg (a lot of money) for services rendered, with threats being part of the bill payment.
In 1990, 25 members of the cult, including Asahara ran in the General Elections for the House of Representatives, but apparently they could not get into enough people's head and were not elected.
By 1992 after trying to subvert the government from within failed, the Aum Shinrikyo started assembling an arsenal. The so-called Construction Minister of the cult, Hayakawa Kiyohide (surname first) visited Russia (the USSR had fallen in 1991 and the whole area was in complete disarray) and purchased weapons, including AK-47's machine guns, a MIL Mi-17 military helicopter, and apparently tries to buy components to build a nuclear bomb.
I learned how to build an atomic weapon in Grade 11 physics class, and know that the only thing stopping anyone from building a bomb are the fissionable materials. I no longer recall how to build one, but I did get 100% on the project… which is good, because anything less than that - Kaboom!
|The Aum Shinrikyo logo.|
Testing the Sarin Gas in Australia… okay… how did they get the gas to Australia?… they killed 29 sheep.
Okay… that's enough for today… we'll continue tomorrow.
At least now you have the background, and by this time tomorrow, you'll have the facts of the actual crime - at least the facts as much as they are known.
Hold your breath folks… not that it will help...
PS: Not quite in the same vein, but:
Punchline: Sis. Boom. Bah.
Question: Describe the sound a sheep makes when it explodes.
Try the veal. Don't eat the lamb and be sure to tip your waitress heavily.