The highly destructive ‘doomsday’ Japanese cult – Aum Shinrikyo (オウム真理教) – was formally founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. This cult followed a mixture of Eastern and Western religious teachings that made no logical sense, but operated through a Judeo-Christian ‘end of days’ mentality. As the world was about to end, Shoko Asahara taught that people must be physically and psychologically ‘punished’ as a means to achieve spiritual emancipation. This cult at its peak attracted hundreds of thousands of followers, and even permeated Japanese law enforcement and the Japanese judiciary. This is why Aum Shinrikyo crimes went unacknowledged and unpunished for any years. In reality, Shoko Asahara was a ruthless psychopath who drew hundreds of thousands of gullible people into his psychosis, whilst controlling the organisation he built around him with an intense and brutal efficiency. The cult developed its own para-military police and built its own prison complex – where members were sentenced to terms of torture and incarceration outside of Japan’s official State apparatus. When individuals refused to pay ‘protection’ money to Shoko Asahara, he would send punishment squads to their homes and inflict physical and sexual abuse, a process which ended in a number of high-profile murders throughout the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Aum Shinrikyo was popular (or at least ‘tolerated’) by Western governments due to Shoko Asahara’s personal friendship with the 14th Dalai Lama – who personally supported the destructive cult activities of Aum Shinrikyo, and under the auspices of the notion of ‘freedom of religion’, encouraged the spread of Shoko Asahara’s insane ramblings.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the capitalist West, dedicated as it was to destroying all Socialist regimes around the world for being a ‘threat’ to unbridled profit-making, ordered the Russian authorities to import religious groups of all kinds into the formerly atheistic Soviet society (which was motivated only by progressive science). This policy essentially disabled the spark of Soviet scientific genius that had dominated the 20th century, and re-imported the previously banished ‘inverted’ mind-set of the bourgeoisie. This was a profound shock to the Russian people that had lost all State protection against exploitative religious cults such as Aum Shinrikyo. This importation of Aum Shinrikyo (which exploited tens of thousands of Russians in the early days), was personally backed by the 14th Dalai Lama, and viewed by the USA as part of its continuous attack on Communist China (with the hope that Aum Shinrikyo would permeate into China and bring-down the Chinese Communist government – a policy very similar in function to that pursued by the Western-generated cults of the Pro-Tibetan Movement and the Falun Gong). As Soviet society collapses, Aum Shinrikyo started to fill-in the gaps with programmes of indoctrination and social organisation. This involved Aum Shinrikyo taking over a Russian TV channel, and acquiring military vehicles and arms from the disintegrating Soviet Red Army. Aum Shinrikyo criminality in post-Soviet Russia is one of those stories that is seldom told, and which caused untold misery amongst the Russian people. When Russian groups (and individuals) complained, the 14th Dalai Lama joined with Western governments in condemning these complaints as ‘religious intolerance’.
This all changed on May 20th, 1995, when Aum Shinrikyo successfully carried-out its terrorist Tokyo Subway sarin gas attack. This attack killed thirteen people, seriously injured fifty, and caused other injuries in another five thousand. It was only after this attack that the Japanese State moved against Shoko Asahara, arresting him and his henchmen, and breaking the cult’s substantial power-base. As the centre of this cult broke in Japan, the various Aum Shinrikyo branches around the world faced official closure and disbandment – although the cult still operates with a very diminished membership in the world today. In the meantime, Shoko Asahara sits on Death-row in a Japanese prison waiting to be hanged for his crimes – with his friend – the 14th Dalai Lama – continuously agitating for his sentence to be commuted.
In 1989, Shoko Asahara gave the Dalai Lama one hundred thousand US dollars (gathered from Aum Shinrikyo Supporters), in return, the Dalai Lama gave the Shoko Asahara a ‘diploma’ and a letter of recommendation. In this letter, addressed to the competent authorities of Tokyo, the Dalai Lama called Shoko Asahara ‘a very capable spiritual mentor’ and defined the sect ‘Aum Shinrikyo’ as ‘a legitimate distributor of Mahayana Buddhism and a sect that can push the public toward kindness.’ The Dalai Lama in the letter even asked the relevant Tokyo authorities ‘to release the Aum Shinrikyo sect from taxation.’ This is not surprising, as Shoko Asahara had made a number of visits to India, and each time had met with the Dalai Lama. During one particular meeting, the Dalai Lama told Shoko Asahara the following: ‘Dear friend, Buddhism in Japan has fallen into decay, if this continues, Buddhism will disappear from the land of Japan. You have to spread real Buddhism in your homeland, you are the most suitable person to do this, because you understand the idea of being a Buddha. I’m glad that you are responsible for this work, because by carrying-out this vital task, you are directly representing me.’
Shoko Asahara is partially sighted, and made a career for himself by persuading others that he possessed unusual spiritual powers. This included telepathy, remembering past lives, telekinesis, controlling others thoughts and behaviour, and healing. To date, none of these powers have been proven as existing in any other form than the imagination of Shoko Asahara’s corrupted mind. However, as the Dalai Lama also believes that he possesses similar (imagined) powers, a friendship grew between the two spiritual leaders, both of whom actively sought political gain from their religious beliefs. The Dalai Lama believed that Shoko Asahara was a reincarnated ‘Buddha’ in Japan who possessed other-worldly powers. Just as the Dalai Lama has stated numerous times that his intention is to bring-down the sovereign government of China, Shoko Asahara pursued nothing less than world domination through committing endless atrocities which he saw as incidents of ‘purification’. Whereas the Dalai Lama still incites young people to set fire to themselves, Shoko Asahara gave orders for endless tortures and murders. This occurred in Japan, but the extent of this activity in post-Soviet Russia remains a sensitive issue. The speculation is that many naïve Russians walked blindly into the embrace of Shoko Asahara – and paid dearly for their abandonment of Socialism. It has only been with the rise of President Putin that the Russian people have once again become legally protected from the activities of bizarre and highly dangerous religious cults.
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