Originally posted May 20, 2015
Today in 1995, the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo launched their terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway to attempt to bring about the end of the world sooner.
Started by Shoko Asahara, the Aum Shinsen no Kai (club of gods and hermits) is an organization whose religious ideas come from many other religions and science fiction stories. Like other similar religions, they looked for daily signs of the end times, hoping for the life to come next.
As the world events failed to appear the way they hoped, they turned to assassination, crime, and terrorism to help move things along.
Finally, on March 20, 1995, several members launched an organized attack on the Tokyo subway system using sarin gas. The extremely packed in commuters actually worked against their plans, because all of the people blocked the sarin from spreading throughout the train cars. 13 people died, 54 were seriously hurt, and 980 more were treated.
The police raided the cult’s headquarters and found weapons, explosives, a chemical weapons factory, and biological weapons in production including anthrax and Ebola.
In a country so against the death penalty, Shoko Asahara was sentenced to death by hanging. However, due to various legal issues, he sits in prison today.
Strangely enough, Aum Shinrikyo still exists today with around 1000 members. They continue to look for signs, dreaming of the death of the world and the life they will enjoy later as the most elite in Heaven.
Although Muslim terrorism is the big thing in the news for the past15 years, those of us who have actually worked with this field are not distracted by all of the white noise. There are plenty of other folks out there looking for signs of the end of the world, in the total knowledge that they will hold some place of power in the afterlife. And they are so certain that they are right, they are willing to do ANYTHING to help make it come true.