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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Supreme Truth About The Aum Shinrikyo - Part 2

This blog has it all: Nazis! Dead Dogs! Q Fever! Twitching!

Okay, we've looked at the origins of the Japanese cult, the Aum Shinrikyo (HERE), and we've seen how they've gone from a yoga class in a guy's apartment to a legitimate religion to one that is bent on taking over the world, to testing their weapon of choice on a flock of sheep in Australia.

So... how do you do that? Let's take a look at the series of events that brought the Aum Shinrikyo to the forefront of the media for all the wrong reasons.

The image above... that's taken from the Business Insider Australia website (HERE)... it shows Japanese officials removing sacks of ingredients from the Aun Shinrikyo facility that could be used to manufacture sarin nerve gas.

Now… most people first became aware of the Aum Shinrikyo when it was discovered they were responsible for a nerve gas attack on a subway back in 1995 - and we'll get to that momentarily - but few seem aware that the group actually began its terrorist activities five years earlier... in 1990.

Swell... just when I was in Japan... but… I'm pretty damn sure I had an alibi.

According to testimony given in the trial of Aum Shinrikyo members in 1998, back in 1990 the cult had made plans to kill Japanese citizens by spraying people with toxic chemicals from the tops of buildings or from moving vans.

The confessing members said that the cult's science people cultivated and experimented with such toxins as botulinum (a form of botulism), anthrax, cholera, and something called Q Fever. These, as you may or may not know, are all biological weapons. I have never even heard of Q Fever.

Now.. for some reason, these planned attacks never truly materialized, or if they did occur, it did not cause the expected panic and death toll... perhaps we did get sprayed... perhaps we didn't.
Aerial view of the Matsumoto area attacked with sarin gas exposure. 
Testing One-Two-Tree
Still… it wasn't until June of 1993, when the Aum Shinrikyo began to amp up its terrorist activities, releasing Anthrax spores in an apartment building in Tokyo.

Luckily no people died as they noticed a strong and nasty odor and eventually evacuated the building… but not soon enough, as many pets and houseplants did die.

Reports abound that the Aum Shinrikyo sent a team of scientists/researchers out to study and collect the Ebola virus in 1993. Did they succeed? I'm not sure. I doubt it. If they had, we would have seen an outbreak of Ebola in Japan… and we did not.

I don't know about you, but I always marvel about how things are illegally transported/shipped from one place to another. How does anything get past customs? Well… you could just mail it to a preferred destination. Simpler times, my friends... simpler times. I used to mail ivory netsuke (mini carvings) from Japan to Toronto… and I even know someone who actually mailed marijuana from the U.S. to Japan (or so they said)... it arrived with some coffee beans to mask the skunky smell of the sweet leaf. So... I suppose the Aum Shinrikyo could have brought stuff back in illegally to Japan... I mean... they could also have just bribed someone in customs...

In other terrorist attempts, the Aum Shinrikyo reportedly sprayed some of the failed batches of biological weapons in the areas surrounding U.S.military bases in the early attempts involving botulin, according to the New York Times. If anyone became ill, that data has not been released… at the time, not suspecting a terrorist attack, illnesses could have been sloughed off as something expected, rather than unexpected… like the flu.

These facts are reported as true, as much later on after sh!t happened (we'll get to that soon enough), Japanese authorities re-investigated and found that the cult was indeed responsible for a mysterious sarin gas attack on a residential Japanese neighborhood in 1994 that killed seven and injured over 100 people.
Kono Sumiko (right) at a charity concert with husband Kono Yoshiyuki, who was accused of the Matsumoto terrorist attack.
Nagano Goner
In Matsumoto-shi (Matsumoto City), Nagano-ken (Nagano Prefecture), on June 27, 1994 emergency crews were called to a quiet residential neighborhood… many people had numbness in their hands and pain in their eyes.

Five people died in their apartments, and two others at the hospital… with a total of 274 people treated.

You may recall that the nearby city of Nagano was chosen to host the 1998 Winter Olympic Games... perhaps this was a message to the world. 

Police found dead fish and crayfish in a nearby pond, dead dogs, birds, insects… in fact… all casualties were in about a 150 meter radius of that pond.

From what has been revealed, the Aum Shinrikyo sprayed the area near the pond at 10:40PM… and the police responded to the emergency at 11:30PM…

Days later, sarin was found in the pond water was confirmed…

An anonymous tip was given to the police after the attack, blaming the Aum Shinrikyo.

Unfortunately, the police focused their investigation on Kono Yoshiyuki (surname first), a resident whose wife was put in a coma by the gas… because he large amounts of pesticide at his place… but not sarin. He was eventually cleared of suspicion.

Holy crap. With that attack, the viability of using chemical warfare on Japan was proven... and further plots were conceived by the Aum Shinrikyo.

They were still upset that their attacks did not cause the panic they expected... perhaps because at the time no one knew that it was a terrorist attack... or even that sarin nerve gas was being used.
Sarin-dippity
So... what is sarin gas? Well... the liquid form of sarin is a colorless, odorless nerve toxin and chemical weapon - which makes one wonder why such a chemical would ever be created.

Here's why: Just before World War II during the 1930s, Nazi German scientists developed the highly toxic nerve agent sarin - which comes in both liquid and gas forms.

Sarin, when manufactured - it does not occur naturally - is a liquid… but when it evaporates in to a gaseous vapor, it easily spreads into the air. But… sarin is actually heavier than air, so it will sink low to the ground—which was why that initial June 1993 attack on the Tokyo apartment building took out plants and pets.

Still… victims are affected when skin (and eye) contact occurs, not to mention breathing it in to the lungs.

Here… this will scare you: sarin mixes easily with water… so it could get you that way, too.

But wait… there's more… let's suppose you get the sarin vapor on you… and you now get sick… but you can pass it on, as the vapor holds onto clothing and can then infect others.

Unlike ebola - once exposed, uh-oh… the sarin nerve gas potency can be affected by the amount and quantity exposed to… so you could see symptoms in seconds or hours.

Sarin acts like any nerve agent… it prevents an enzyme from turning off glands and muscles… which means the glands and muscles are always being stimulated… which makes you tired… and difficult to breath.  If an area is exposed to sarin… you will see that muscle area begin to twitch.

Sarin is 500x more toxic than cyanide gas and nowadays, if you were a chemist, you could probably synthesize sarin with publicly available chemicals. Doesn't that make you feel even more uneasy?

Still… it does evaporate quickly, so in an open environment, wide-spread destruction will be limited… but in a closed environment…

And here's a final thought for you all to consider: Even though sarin gas was developed by Nazi scientists looking for better pesticide to kill things with... even they did not use it during World War II. I should note that after WWII, both the USSR and the US had huge stockpiles of sarin gas they each manufactured... but also chose not to use it. There have been a few instances where the nerve gas has been used, not including the one we are reading about now: Saddam Hussein in 1988 in Iraq was the first to use it to kill; attacks in Syria in 2013 possibly by Bashar al Assad on his own people.

Okay… that's enough for today simply because there is a lot of data on the actual Tokyo Subway attack.

Cheers,
Andrew Joseph

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