FALSE PROPHET: THE AUM CULT OF TERROR
When Sakamoto failed to arrive at his office the following week, his associates became worried. Anxious family members went to the apartment to check. The sight that greeted them caused confusion. The rooms showed clear signs of recent occupation with all the families personal items intact. The only things missing, apart from the Sakamotos, were items of bedding.
One curious item was found that seemed definitely out of place. On the floor beside a cupboard, Sakamotos mother found a badge inscribed with the insignia of Aum Supreme Truth. The police were called and made a rudimentary investigation, but seemed disinterested in the familys disappearance. When it was suggested that Aum was responsible, the police backed away from the suggestion, proposing that Sakamoto, who they saw as a trouble maker, had organized the whole thing to discredit Aum.
While Asahara and entourage toured Germany on a recruiting drive, the media interest in the Sakamoto case was increasing. The Sunday Mainichi, because of its previous exposure to Aums lunacy, believed them responsible and sent a reporter to Bonn to interview Asahara. He was refused entry to the Aum residence and dragged away by Asahara's men.
Soon after, a press conference was called by Asahara to deny any involvement in the alleged Sakamoto kidnapping. When one reporter raised the question of the badge found at the scene, Asahara answered that anyone could get one because over 40,000 had been distributed, when in fact less than a hundred had been made. The police lost interest in the case and, eventually, the media did as well. Seemingly, Aum had gotten away with murder, again.