FALSE PROPHET: THE AUM CULT OF TERROR
While the scientists worked to perfect their chemical weapons, Asahara embarked on the biggest evolution of Aum since its conception.
Aum made generous donations of computers, medical supplies and $14 million in cash. The Russian leaders were impressed and opened their doors to the cult. The largest of their venues were made available for Aums rallies. A regular weekly television program extolling the virtues of Aum followed. By the time Asahara and his entourage had returned to Japan, thousands of Russians had joined the sect swelling, Aums coffers to record levels.
To oversee the procurement of weapons of mass destruction from the Soviets, Asahara appointed one of his trusted lieutenants, Kiyohide Hayakawa, to stay in Russia. His task was to gather as much information as he could about chemical weapons and other devices, including nuclear warheads. Hayakawa, an engineer by profession, made many contacts with leading scientists, physicists and engineers who possessed the knowledge that Aum sought. As well as the more "official" contacts he made, Hayakawa was also instrumental in setting up "a line of supply" with several black market operations that dealt in military hardware.