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Doomsday cult’s evils were not so far removed from society

16 9 7

In the year following the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult’s sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subway system in 1995, Japanese philosopher Masahiro Morioka confessed that he might have joined the group.

“I shudder at the possibility that I could have made the mistake of joining Aum Shinrikyo,” he wrote in his book.

Morioka said he had felt excited when he found a book at a bookstore that included a picture that claimed to show the cult’s founder, Chizuo Matsumoto, a.k.a. Shoko Asahara, performing “levitation” in a Zen meditation posture.

The line between him and the cult’s followers was that he stopped short of buying the book while the followers actually bought and carefully read it, the author wrote.

He asked himself how........

© The Asahi Shimbun