Jul 14, 2018

Aleph members instructed to follow Asahara

Aum Shinrikyo cult
July 13, 2018

Teaching materials obtained by NHK show that Aleph, a renamed successor to the Aum Shinrikyo cult, is trying to make its members faithfully follow the teachings of executed leader Shoko Asahara. His real name was Chizuo Matsumoto.

NHK acquired copies of 3 books and 2 CDs distributed by Aleph to its members several years ago.

One of the books is titled "Precious words that make the wishes of new members come true." It begins with the written passage "I'm Shoko Asahara. You have finally joined us."

Another passage reads "Great demons, primarily media outlets, control the world. I will confront the demons and crush them, and I will never fail to attain my ultimate enlightenment and nirvana."

The book calls for reciting mantras at least 300,000 times. It repeatedly refers to such words as "practice" and "salvation."

A former member of Aum Shinrikyo claims to be in contact with a follower of Aleph. He left the cult after it committed criminal acts.

The man says Aleph members still follow Matsumoto's teachings and that the basic tenets they believe in have not changed.

A professor of psychology at Rissho University has been researching the cult.

Kimiaki Nishida says Aleph is evidently using the materials to make its members deify Matsumoto. The professor says it is tantamount to ordering them to follow the former leader's teachings.

Nishida says the teachings of the two groups are identical. He adds that Aleph shows no sign of remorse for the crimes and apparently has no intention to apologize to the victims.

Aleph has not responded to NHK's request for comments on the teaching materials.

Matsumoto was executed along with 6 of his former disciples last week. Aum Shinrikyo engaged in acts of terror, including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency says it believes Aleph is the same sort of threat as Aum Shinrikyo owing to its reverence for Matsumoto. The agency has been inspecting Aleph's facilities as part of its effort to monitor the group.


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