The March 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subway system killed 12 people and injured thousands. Massive police raids and the subsequent investigation linked this attack to Aum Shinrikyo, a small religious movement whose leader, Asahara Shoko had prophesied that Armageddon was at hand. Ian Reader describes Aum's history, examines the various conflicts it was involved in, and discusses the contents of Asahara's sermons and prophecies. In so doing, he points to a combination of factors which together took Aum down a path of violence. Suggesting that the Aum case is not unique, he shows how it displays similarities with other cases of violence and conflict amongst religious and political movements in Japan and elsewhere.
A Poisonous Cocktail? Aum Shinrikyo's Path to Violence
PublisherNordic Institute of Asian Studies