AUM SHINRI KYO
by Kristy Shigemoto, David Muñoz, Andre'a Millon
for THST 398: "The Book of Revelation and Apocalyptic Literature"
with Felix Just, S.J. - Loyola Marymount University


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Aum Shinri Kyo is a cult led by Shoko Asahara.  It was founded in Tokyo, Japan.
Authorities have placed many of the cult members in prison or they are still awaiting trial.
These pages describe some of the destruction caused by Aum Shinri Kyo, and what motivated them.




WHAT "AUM SHINRI KYO" MEANS:

Aum is a sacred Hindu syllable used for meditation, and Shinri Kyo means "Supreme Truth."
 

WHO OR WHAT STARTED AUM SHINRI KYO:
 
Shoko2 Chizuo Matsumoto was the son of a tatami (mat) maker. He was born partially blind at birth.  As an adult he tried to get into Tokyo University, the most prestigious University in Japan, but was rejected numerous times. After his failure to get into college he became an acupuncturist, married his classmate Tomoko, and they opened a pharmacy.  At this pharmacy he was fined for selling an herbal medicine known as the Almighty Medicine which was not medically proven to work. Shoko1 Two years later he and his wife began teaching yoga with elements of Buddhist, Hindu and Christian beliefs. He traveled to the Himalayas and became the only Japanese person to ever receive enlightenment, or so he claimed.  At this time he changed his sect's name from "Aum Association of Mountain Wizards" to "Aum Shinri Kyo." While changing the group title Chizuo decided to change his name to Shoko Asahara. The group became an official religion in 1989.

PRACTICES OF AUM SHINRI KYO:
 
The members of Aum Shinri Kyo would wear clothing in order of rank.  Any members of the lowest rank would be treated harshly and confined to their own area.  Children in the group were allowed little food and if they disobeyed they were placed in a seperate area and disciplined cruelly.  The members of the group were only allowed to drink Shoko Asahara's used bathwater.  If they paid a price they could also drink his blood or semen.  His semen sold for $10,000 per member.

 

WHAT AUM SHINRI KYO HAS DONE:



WHAT MOTIVATED THE GROUP TO VIOLENCE:

The group believed in the Hindu deity Shiva, the deity of destruction, which promoted a more violent nature to members of Aum Shinri Kyo. The end of the world is not a prominent theme in any major Eastern religions, but Asahara warned his members that he foresaw great violent destruction to come upon Japan until the year 2000. He believed Japan would be attacked by nuclear bombs between the years 1996 to 1998. Asahara even believed that an alliance formed in the United States would attack Japan, and only one out of ten people would survive. Aum Shinri Kyo believed that everyone was the enemy. At that point they decided that their only way to survive was to kill everyone else.
 

Consequences Following the Destruction:


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