FALSE PROPHET: THE AUM CULT OF TERROR
On October 8th 1998, the Tokyo district court sentenced Aum leader Kazuaki Okazaki to death for the murder of four people: Tsutsumi Sakamoto, his wife and son on November 4th 1989 and a cult member who tried to leave the cult in February 1989. More leaders, including Asahara, are expected to receive similar sentences. As the original members of Aum face the courts on an almost daily basis, the remnants of the sect are showing signs of rebirth. While the authorities procrastinate over their decision to totally ban the cult, Aum continues to recruit new members. As recently as March 1999, the cult had been buying up real estate and opening new offices in many of Japans major cities.
Even though Aum has officially been stripped of its religious status and tax concessions, its computer stores continue to generate impressive revenues, sufficient to fund new growth. Still adhering to Asaharas original prophecies, loyal cult members are making preparations for the Judgment Day. They believe that when that day comes, the entire population of the world will be annihilated. The only survivors will be those who have adhered to the gurus teachings.
Japans Public Security Protection Agency reported that Aum has purchased premises in close proximity to the detention center where Shoko Asahara is housed while on trial. The report further stated that the jail is considered by cult members to be "a holy place."
Even though the media has lost interest in the cult, the police have instigated a crackdown on its activities. Several Aum members have been evicted from their new premises following complaints from adjoining tenants. Also, the Japanese tax office, who is well known for its persistence, has been rigorously reviewing Aums business activities. In a more recent occurrence, two knife-wielding Aum members were arrested for unlawful entry when they broke into the grounds of an apartment complex to distribute leaflets.
Asaharas daughter, Rika Matsumoto, has taken over from her father as leader of Aum Supreme Truth. The group considers her to be the natural successor as she was born after her father found "enlightenment" in 1982.
The final word comes from Asahara himself in a message posted on the cult's website:-
My disciples from my past lives who used to live in worldly desires; the time has come when you wake up and help me. You should never regret at the moment of your death. If you make misdicision, (sic) you will have to completely lose the meaning of the reason why you were born in this human realm. It is true that you became dirty in this life by information and worldly desires. But your essence can never become dirty, because you are my disciples from the past lives, and eccencially, (sic) unlikely to other souls, you are born to help the salvation. I am waiting for you to help the salvation activity as my hands, as my legs, or as my head.
Now lets do the salvation activity together! And lets die without any regret.
- Shoko Asahara