Talk:Aum Shinrikyo/Archive 1

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Arabic alphabet

In English, "Aum Shinrikyo" is usually translated as "Supreme Truth." In January 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph in reference to the first letter of the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets

Removed 'arabic'. Reason: in Aleph's press release it was stated that the new name was after the Hebrew letter. Therefore, while in Arabic 'aleph' is also the first, this information is not relevant in our case. Readers may learn about the letter more if they follow the link. That's it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.78.103.166 (talk) 18:27, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Theory about why a group of Aum members perpetrated the sarin attack

Asahara's characterization of America as the harbinger of Armageddon led to his decision to use Sarin gas in his attack on the Tokyo Subway. As the predicted Armageddon came closer and closer Asahara and his followers became more concerned with proving his prophecies to be true. Through the Sarin gas attack Asahara hoped to initiate World War III and Armageddon

Well, to start with, there is no prove that some characterisation in a sermon or a late-period book has led to such decision and indeed that this was a decision, not a conspiracy by a group of members, but according to Asahara himself he was concerned about PREVENTING this Armageddon and saving Aum members and ideally the world - and there are no sources indicating the opposite. Followers were not concerned about prophecies coming true and didn't plan to initiate Armageddon. They were shocked to learn Aum was involved in the attack, didn't know anything about it and many were even refusing to believe Aum's involvement for years. Removed. Interesting theory, very old and very widespread, unfortunately not supported by sources or the facts. Publication containing this theory is not a source (except for the article where it is quoted; by source I mean: Asahara lectures, Asahara books, court transcripts, not science fiction novels as Kaplans'). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.78.103.166 (talk) 18:37, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

"Declaring Myself the Christ" and bullshit I will remove

Asahara incessantly attacked the Jews and even the British Royal Family as principals in conspiracies. He named the United States as the Beast from the Book of Revelation predicting America would eventually attack Japan. Asahara's characterization of America as the harbinger of Armageddon led to his decision to use Sarin gas in his attack on the Tokyo Subway. As the predicted Armageddon came closer and closer Asahara and his followers became more concerned with proving his prophecies to be true. Through the Sarin gas attack Asahara hoped to initiate World War III and Armageddon.[2]

Two things. First, there are no facts corroborating that some 'characterisation of America' has led to 'decision to use Sarin gas' to intiate the World War. No facts=not true. Second, according to the book, to put is in very simple terms, there was a chain of events that led to World War and that could not be stopped, so 'Armageddon will surely happen', therefore Aum's mission is to save as much people as possible. Not 'start Armageddon' but 'minimize the damage'. Not 9/10 of the world population dead, but less. The ideal was to prevent Armageddon from happening, but 'that was not feasible'.

I didn't edit this article for years, so now I see many idiotic passages. It doesn't matter that we have a footnote, just read that book and you will see that something very different is said. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.76.173.183 (talk) 16:48, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

==Other bullshit=

Asahara, while on the run, issued statements, one claiming that the Tokyo attacks were a ploy by the US military to implicate the cult, and another threatening a disaster that "would make the Kobe earthquake seem as minor as a fly landing on one's cheek." to occur on 15 April. <-- not 'threatened', warned. No dates for this event as well. It could be 1995, it could be 2008. "The economy will suffocate and the world war will start', he said in one of the sermons.

On the evening of 5 May, a burning paper bag was discovered in a toilet in Shinjuku station in Tokyo, the busiest station in the world. Upon examination it was revealed that it was a hydrogen cyanide device which, had it not been extinguished in time, would have released enough gas into the ventilation system to potentially kill 20,000 commuters. Several undetonated cyanide devices were found at other locations in the Tokyo subway. <-- not related to Aum. Newspapers panicked, saying that this 'maybe' was Aum's revenge or something, but no facts that there is any to this day. After all, Aum was under surveilance, each member followed by the the police or secret agent.

Developing nuclear weapons

The group had access to a uranium mine and tried to develop nuclear weapons.

Sounds a little far fetched to me Jackliddle 12:38, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Removed this part again. Argumentation: theories and assumptions must not be part of encyclopedia articles (i.e. even if a reputable newspaper such as New York Times speaks of something as of a fact, we still need to check the source). Another unconfirmed fiction are that Aum "may have attempted" to purchase uranium in Africa and Russia. That's what immediately comes to mind. In my humble opinion, if any traces of uranium extraction at the "uranium mine" (=Australian farm) were found, the goverment of Australia would not hesitate inform the public. Same as with bio-weapons (i.e. alleged testing of them in Australia).
Removed the slightly rephrased passage one more time (this brings total removal attempts to over 5). Those trying to restore this information, please kindly discuss your efforts here before editing, provide source. One little hint: as we know, Saddam Hussein also reportedly developed WMD to attack US, where are these weapons? No government has ever officially confirmed any nuclear weapon development by Aum on its territory (and Australian government even disproved the media reports on this matter officially, if I remember correctly). Georgetown University Paper (which the author of this edit posted as his source to justify the change) specifically says that "it is not clear if Aum considered radiological weapons", so I assume the author misunderstood the meaning. For this reason I removed the passage. [User:ExitControl|ExitControl]

Re your comment: "Georgetown University Paper (which the author of this edit posted as his source to justify the change) specifically says that "it is not clear if Aum considered radiological weapons", so I assume the author misunderstood the meaning. For this reason I removed the passage."

You are mistaken. Read the Georgetown paper carefully and you will note this passage refers to purchasing a nuclear weapon, like a suitcase nuclear bomb, as opposed to building one out of uranium.

See the below passage about Aum's attempts to build a bomb out of uranium.

Re “In my humble opinion, if any traces of uranium extraction at the "uranium mine" (=Australian farm) were found, the government of Australia would not hesitate inform the public”. IMO, the opposite is true. Why alarm the populace? And perhaps there was and is an ongoing investigation by Aussie FBI. No need to panic the media; just play dumb.

But I propose we leave this issue in this "Talk" Section, rather than battle over revisions in the "Article" section.
BTW, anybody who definitively knows whether Aum tried to build nuclear weapons is probably either dead or not talking. The same criticism of "lack of evidence" was used to shield Joseph "Uncle Joe" Stalin, who nobody could 'prove' ever knew about Kirov's assassination or the other monstrosities in the Soviet Union. It was his standard ploy. Also poison was never found in the Jonestown (Jim Jones) massacre. And there are those who would argue that since no single document signed by Hitler outlining the "Final Solution" was ever found, perhaps the Nazi death camps were a rogue operation. We could go on (Iran/Contra affair and Reagan comes to mind). By contrast, your analogy about WMD and Iraq is not apropos, IMO, since there are swarms of reporters in Iraq who have proved that indeed no weapons exist to date, as opposed to inside Aum, where we have to go by circumstantial evidence. Ask yourself: what was Aum doing describing uranium and buying a uranium mine? Perhaps they were planning a picnic? Or wanted to resell the uranium at a profit (actually a good investment, now that oil is more expensive--nuclear is coming back!). No, they were trying to build a A-bomb, found that too difficult, and settled on a nerve gas bomb. But let's not upset the zanies that might be their fans--I don't need some cultist tracking me down, which, given their technical expertise, they could probably do.

http://www.georgetown.edu/sfs/programs/stia/students/vol.02/chiricom.htm

Aum undertook extensive operations to secure a sizeable uranium supply. In 1993, the group's Minister of Construction began making frequent trips to Australia in search of a suitable mining site. In his notebook, he devoted ten pages to descriptions of the quality of the uranium at various properties. With the help of electrodes, laptops and other testing equipment, Aum finally decided on Banjawarn, a 500,000-acre sheep farm remotely located 375 miles northeast of Perth. The group purchased the property for $400,000 along with eight mining leases for $4,700 each. Aum later requested a ship and 44-gallon drums in order to export the uranium presumably back to Japan to attempt enrichment. On 28 May 1993, Australian observers noted a seismic explosion that sent shockwaves through the area for hundreds of miles.10 Witnesses in the vicinity of the Aum property reported a bright blush flash at the time of the explosion. The event was explained as a meteor impact but no crater was found in the area.

I've heard that the shockwave could have corresponded with either a meteor impact, or a small nuclear explosion. This needs to be looked into further, and at least the possibility that Aum may have detonated a nuclear weapon in the Australian Outback should at least be mentioned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.171.154.33 (talk) 03:54, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Frontispiece

I suggest removing the Crime Library link. Reason: this article is written in a journalistic style, not academic. It is does not have much facts in it, but it is extremely biased. To add some balance, I suggest putting a link to some book or article by some scholar.

Also: no need to repeat twice in one paragraph that Asahara was sentenced to death, this is excessive.ExitControl

I restored the link to the Crime Library. Is another source of information, and even if it is a "journalistic article" it contains a bibliography that readers can refer to. We do not need to eliminate it, but to add more links with different viewpoints.




Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese: オウム真理教) ("The True Doctrine of Aum") is the former name of a controversial Buddhist religious group based in Japan. The group gained notoriety when its founder and a number of senior members were convicted of masterminding the 1995 poison gas attack on a Tokyo subway.

Well, it gained notoriety in Japan somewhere around 1989, when its members ran for municipal elections (they lost). The negative image comes from these times. International notoriety it gained in 1995, right after the attack. Convictions came years later. I will try to rephrase this.
Added: Buddhist, controversial. As to 'Buddhist', I think it is important to state this. It is also a controversial group: labeled 'foreign terrorist group' by the State Dept in the US, was not disbanded in Japan; public image is very bad, but the documentary by Mori gets the Berlin Festival award etc. Also: Aum Shinrikyo better translates as 'Aum. The teaching of truth', though the "true doctrine" is technically accurate.

(ExitControl)

Frankly, I'm not sure why it is important to state this. Whether or not Aum is legitimately Buddhist is a controversial topic. For comparison, we don't begin the articles on Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witnesses by saying, "they are Christians". - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I have very limited knowledge about these two groups. But they are not very knew, are relatively large and more or less known, so probably it is not necessary to point to their connections with Christianity.

Translation of Aum

I highly doubt the translation of "aum" as powers of destruction and creation in the universe. In Hinduism it is the perfect syllable that allows one to concentrate in meditation. If no one can provide a cide for this definition, I'll remove the phrase. Kricxjo 10:44, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

ExitControl The quote is from Aum books, that's how Shoko Asahara explained the meaning. I suggest restoring to the original state as I see no sense to say smth like 'aum defines such and such, but others say this is a Hindu syllable'. I erred, sorry: not 'in the universe', but 'of the universe'.

Critique from June

The above article seems to be based on the book by David Kaplan, criticized by some scholars of new religions for lack of factual evidence in many of his assertions. For lack of time I will not be able to improve the article in the nearest future, but would like to point out at some incostincencies.

Firstly, terms like 'terrorist cult' are criticized by scholars of new religious movements, who advocate more neutral labels, such as 'new religous movement' (NRM). The said scholars, of which Prof. Massimo Introvigne could be a good example, are labeled 'cult apologists' as a result (among their misdeeds are critique of 'anti-cultists' and references to human rights abuses committed by the parties oposing 'the cults').

'Activities' fiels needs improvement, it is strange that only crimes are listed. AUM Shinrikyo, to my knowledge, was heavily involved in religious activities. For example, AUM was the first religios group in Japan to translate the ancient Buddhist sutras from Pali to modern Japanese (the said sutras, which are a core teachings of Buddhism, came to Japan from China in distorted and abbreviated form and obviously cannot be understood by modern Japanese for they are written in Ancient Chinese). Shoko Asahara himself met with H.H. Dalai Lama (though there is controversy over the meeting), was awarding the Buddhist holy relics by the minister in Sri-Lanka (he financially supported the Sri-Lankan Buddhist Sangha and lectured there on several occasions), has met with the King of Bhutan, etc etc.

'Teaching' field does not appear to be based on serious research. Despite the popular belief, AUM's teaching is based on original Buddhist Sutras (texts), which were not yet translated in full even to English (but were translated to Japanese by AUM, together with some important Tibetan sutras). This is clear from the court materials of Shoko Asahara's trial (available in Japanese, I have read some of the transcripts related to the subject). Besides the original Buddhist sutras, AUM's teaching also incorporates some Yogic concepts (Hinduism), as well as Taoist concepts. It can't be said that Christian doctrines are incorporated, though they were mentioned in some of the sermons by Shoko Asahara. In other words, it is not a mixture of something. It is Modern Japanese Buddhism, if we look at the facts and follow the author's logic that can be named 'a mixture' (i.e. abbreviated mixture of Chinese Buddhism with native Japanese Shinto tradition). Full collection of AUM teachings is about 7 bookshelves, there is a special 'system' of learning it, when basic teachings are learned first and more profound things, based on the elementary classes, are studied later.

The references to Christianity should be understood in context: they are present only in sermons related to the future, i.e. so-called prophecies. Shoko Asahara has never said anything like 'America will start Armageddon by attacking Japan'. But he warned against Japan joining the coalition forces lead by America in attacking some 'small asian country' (note for Americans: Afghanistan is located at the Asian continent). Though the victory against this poor country would seem simple, he warned, it will result in long and dangerous war with Islamic world and will likely bring destruction to Japan as a result. Not saying a word about war between Japan and America, he said that 'the third world war will be fought between the Cristian and Islamic world'. He said that in 1994, 1995.

Armageddon stands for a city located somewhere in the Middle East (Meggido), the common meaning (i.e. 'the final war' etc.) has little relevance to AUM's usage of this world. Therefore the 'mission of AUM' with regard to anticipated wars is to stop the wars (see the book 'Mahayana Sutra' by Shoko Asahara for reference) by means of religious activity.

I would like not to comment on crimes and incidents for lack of data. The 'residual Russian branch' was established about 1993 (several branches, in fact). They ceased to exist in 1995 by court ruling that found that 'AUM religious practices damages human health' (other new religions were attacked as well by Russian courts: Scientology, Jehowwah's Witnesses, various Christian communities with foreign headquarters, Krishna's Consciousness etc., to varying success). Fumihiro Joyu was the head of Russian branches (summoned to Japan immediately after the incidents), currently head of Aleph, AUM's successor.

I hope that the article's author will forgive me for this remark, but the article seems not to be based on any direct research, including reading anything written by Shoko Asahara. This is explained by lack of primary data translated into English and abundance of books written by some dishonest academics, full of distortions, factual errors and fantasies. I am in real doubt that the United States of America has not a single researcher capable of studying the AUM (supposedly the Anti-US terrorist group) and produced anything realistic and fact-based. Probably there is real deficiency in professionals (Note: I am talking about the scholars, not this article's authour who merely bases his text on their 'researches'), which is really dangerous in view of modern events. Or the general public has no access to real research, for reasons I can only guess.

None. [1]

Hello, anonymous reader, I tend to believe that your criticism is correct although I have not checked it and can not check it. Scholarship on new religious movements is often of very bad quality. Wikipedia is allows no original research so there is nothing we can do. You sound like someone who is knowledgeable to publish some scholarly research about Aum Shinrikyo. Then we can improve the article. Andries 22:01, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I believe that the problem is not with whether the research was performed by academics, rather with availability of information on new religions and quality of this research. I myself will try to improve the article somewhat step by step, when time allows. I see that other community members reworked my text, which is good. But I see several gross mistakes right now. Example: Aum was not 'disbanded' in 1995, it has never been disbanded. Japanese Diet (Parliament) failed to pass the law to disband the group, although the Public Safety Comittee (Japanese CIA) advocated strongly, please see the CESNUR newspaper article collection for reference. I suggest deleting the 'crime library' external link for such lame statements, jointly with material pulled from the 'library'.
we know where afghanistan is, you douchebag apologist. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.19.14.44 (talk) 07:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC).

Pali Canon

There appear to be some factual inaccuracy about Aleph being the first to publish the complete Japanese translation of Pali Cannons. The title of the translation was done way before. Here is the title in Japanese "南伝大蔵経". It is usually in 60 to 80 volumes. FWBOarticle 06:12, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This is really interesting and I did not know that. I will check. Is that possible that this translation relies on Chinese texts as its source? Otherwise I don't see the reason for Aum to invest such enormous efforts in traslation.
By the way, the website www.accesstoinsight.com says that the Pali Canon has been published in English, "except for a few obscure books". It does not say whether those books have been translated and just not published. - Nat Krause 09:36, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
True, I also checked a couple of links, also found that "almost all" was translated. Well, if so much has been translated anyway, it's not probably not very important if Aum became translation pioneer. So I suggest just adding info that Aum did its own translations, efforts are enormous.ExitControl

Please sign edits

Please make sign your edits on the talk page otherwise it is difficult to following the discussion. Signed Andries 21:19, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Further comments on the "During its most successful period" passage

I restored the deleted paragraph. Some comments:

During its most successful period, Aum Shinrikyo was a new religious group (did it ceased to be new or religios since then?)

No, it is still religious and still fairly new. But it is important to note that it is part of the phenomenon of post-WWII Japanese religious groups.

, often described as a cult (true, but a repetition),

How is that a repitition, given that it is not mentioned elsewhere in the article?

I thought it was mentioned, sorry. Can we add a separate chapter about how Aum is often described (a doomesday cult, a dangerous sect, terrorist group etc.)? I suggest someting like 'Relations with Japanese society'. Cult is not a neutral label, so I suggest to refer to Aum as to a 'group' or 'organization'. (there is controversy over labels among academics, many prefer labeling new religins 'NRMs' - new religiuos movements, otherwise there is some apparent bias). Post-WWII religions phenomena is important and related indeed and I suggest adding more under a separate title.
If you want to add that as a chapter, sure, go ahead and write it. But I think that noting that people think they are a cult is one of the most salient facts about Aum. If we say "described as a cult", I think that will actually put the group in a more favorable light for some people, because 90% of the people who start reading this article will come into with the idea "Aum Shinrikyo? That's that demmed terrorist cult!" so, when they read "described as", maybe they will get the idea that was is described is not necessarily so. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
True, but don't you think it would make sense just to state the facts. If it is describe as 'cult', then we can say so below in the article. Actually, I added a passage about this (in the 'doctrine'), please check. If we write about Dalai Lama, for example, and note that he is a religious leader, we wouldn't immediately say how Chinese government labels him, though we could add something below about how his activities are regarded in China "by some". - ExitControl
centered on the charismatic leader Shoko Asahara (debatable and not very informative).

How can it be not very informative to mention the founder, leader, and primary teacher of the group during it's most successful period?

I believe in structure, so let's just state who is a founder (Asahara), briefly outline his biography, and not mention this again thruout the text where not absolutely necessary. I suggest adding a part specifically about the founder and put it there.
I have nothing against structure, either, but I'm not sure why we should try to avoid mentioning Shoko Asahara in this article. His influence seems to have been predominant. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
True, but there is no need to avoid mentioning. He is mentioned in 'doctrine' (books he authored, his views on vehicles) and below in 'Activities' (though briefly), also in 'incidents'. I think it probably makes sense to expand the 'activities' field, adding things that Asahara directed. As to more biographical info, I suggest putting it to a separate article.ExitControl
Asahara's teachings (incorrect label, Asahara did not write the Pali Canon, so we cannot say the Canon is his teachings)

The text is not referring to the Pali Canon, it is referring to Asahara.

It said that Asahara's teachings are such and such. Asahara's own text is perhaps 30% of Aleph's doctrine, other 70% Asahara did not write though they are part of a doctrine. So, instead of saying 'Asahara's teachings' we need to say 'Aum's doctrine', of which Asahara's lectures are a part, but not the only part. That's because we talk about religious doctrine of Aum as a whole.
I disagree with this wording. If you teach Buddhism, then Buddhism becomes your teaching, if you teach fishing, then how to fish becomes your teaching. If the Pali Canon is just available, with people learning about it on their own, without anyone's guidance, then Asahara can't really be said to be a teacher of it, and it can't really be said to constitute part of Aum's doctrine. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
There is no contradiction here. Asahara himself said that what he teaches is 'buddhism' and he wrote comments to the Canon. Sutras are studied together with comments, i.e. under his guidance and then are supposed to practiced, also with his guidance. So, we may say that 'Asahara teaches Buddhism' (meaning that he is a Budhist teacher), but if we talk about doctrine, it is founded on Pali Canon. I find it difficult to follow your logic. If you doubt whether he is qualified to teach Buddhism, that's another topic as we then need to establish an autority to recognize his teachings as Buddhist or non-Buddhist.

ExitControl

combined elements of Buddhism and Hinduism (simplistic and not accurate)

A casual look at Aleph's website indicates that it is quite accurate.

Aleph's site is very brief anyway. The statement is true, but I would still change the wording, so that it don't give an impression that Aum combines almost every world religion: Buddhism is a core, there is some Yoga and Taoism, basically that's it. Connections to Christianity are peripheral. The group therefore is a Buddhist one.
We should probably say that Aum started with a base of Buddhism, added a fair amount of Hinduism and Taoism, and then had minor influences from other religions. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, in fact Aum started from Yoga. But it already has it already, doesn't it? Well, a lot can be said about how Aum developed and its doctrine evolved. Only the article would become a novel then. I suggest to probably make a separate article on Aum's religious doctrine and practices (not organization) and then present all this, including traditional academic points of view like yours.
as well as millenarian Christianity (wrong), including yoga (yoga was already mentioned - Hinduism, why repeat), meditation (meditation is a technique, not a religion),

The article does not claim that meditation is a religion, but it is certainly something that Asahara taught.

Sure. But I still suggest to differentiate between the 'doctrine' (essentially a collection of books) and religious practices (meditations, chanting, ceremonies etc). Let us add another section, I suggest "religious practices" and put meditations there.
Feel free to work on this, but I'm not sure how well the new version would flow, information-wise. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Probably it makes sense do make a separate article on Aum as religion (as opposed to organization). What you think? I added a paragraph on practices and ranks, but it looks somewhat bulky now.ExitControl
Central to the group's teachings was that the apocalypse is near (popular belief, but wrong. Central to the teachings are original buddhist sutras, the Pali Canon)

I took out the claim that the apocalypse was central.

Ex-members

Also, I took out the line about the "ex-members" not being members of the successor group, Aleph, on the basis of anonymous above's statement "Aum was not 'disbanded' in 1995, it has never been disbanded," i.e. Aleph is not a successor group, it is the same group. - Nat Krause 08:15, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Technically these 'ex-members' are not members of the 'same group'. To my knowledge, they were members of Aum Shinrikyo, but did not join or were not permitted to join the successor organization, Aleph. As these people cannot be a member of a group that no longer exist (although existed previously), I suggest calling them 'ex-members' anyway. There are also Aum members who were not involved in any crimes, but did not join Aleph for some reason, Aleph calls them 'ex-members' too. (ExitControl).
We should make up our minds one way or the other on whether Aleph is the same organization as Aum Shinrikyo or a different group that was formed to replace it. If it is the same group, then existing members would have to be expelled, rather than simply not allowed to join. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Not expelled, they were not allowed to join Aleph (expelled) or they themselves did not join for some reason. Aleph is Aum Shinrikyo that has changed its name and policies. I am not sure whether they asked members to confirm membership or re-join, but this is probable. Do you see any point in this membership issue? It is believed that the move is an attempt to soften the social tensions: new name, peaceful logo (pigeon), compensation fund etc. We may add that.

Comments on the "Aleph claims to base its doctrine" passage

Aleph claims to base its doctrine on the ancient Buddhist Pali Canon, although they also venerate the Hindu god Shiva. Along with the Pali Canon, Aleph uses other religious texts, including a number of Tibetan Buddhist sutras and Hindu yogic sutras, and Taoist scriptures.

I will rewrite this part. It reads as if Aum claims it is Buddhist, while in fact it's not as it venerates some non-Buddhist deity. In fact, Aum's Shiva is not a Hindu Shiva, these are different deities. Aum's Shiva (they call it 'the Great Lord Shiva' to not confuse with Hindu Shiva) is supreme to the three Hindu deities, including that Shiva. That's actually a common mistake on part of scholars. See Massimo Introvigne, he bothered to study the doctrine. (ExitControl)
I'm not familiar with any other Buddhist groups that worship any god called Shiva, or any personified god at all on the same level as the Buddha. So I'm not sure how it is relevant whether or not this Shiva is supremier than the Hindu version.
Lord Shiva=Samantabhadra=Kuntu-Zangpo=Adi-Buddha. Adi-Buddha means 'the first Buddha', 'the first savior'. That's why I think it is relevant to know that since Lord Shiva is another name to Adi-Buddha, Aum's Lord Shiva ("The Great Lord Shiva") is not Hindu Shiva. Adi-Buddha is central deity in Nyingmapa. I wouldn't like to speculate on levels and personification, though. Buddhas and Boddhisattvas are not exactly gods, to be precise. (ExitControl)
By the way, it appears that, just as Massimo Introvigne criticizes the anti-cult movement as propaganda, he in turn is criticized by the anti-cult and countercult people as a serial propagandist and his organization is charged with distorting the facts. So it's hard for someone on the outside to know which to take as a credible source. The fact Introvigne and his associates apparently have had ties to the Scientologist Cult Awareness Network doesn't reflect well on them. - Nat Krause 09:28, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Sure. I even remember reading somewhere that Introvigne worships Satan (really). But I thought Cult Awareness Network is an anti-cult group? Anyway, he maintains the page with newspaper articles. He is not a big expert on Aum, to my knowledge. Introvigne is not the only one criticizing the cult-bashing movement, so we need to admit that there is either a debate going on among scholars or some sinister Satanic plot by some corrupted cult-sympathizers to promote cults and distort the scientific truth :-) (ExitControl)
"But I thought Cult Awareness Network is an anti-cult group?" Please read article to clear up the confusion. 67.113.3.186 22:00, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Crimes again

I believe that we should restore the in-depth paragraph about the Sakamoto deaths, though I'll put it in a new article. WhisperToMe 19:11, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
No objections. (ExitControl)

Page move

(shoot, I forgot to continuing discussing this page. we hadn't really settled some stuff) I do want to say that I am opposed to the page move. Aum Shinrikyo is by far the most commonly known name for this group. Arguably, Aleph should have its own separate page. But there should definitely be a page for Aum. - Nat Krause 06:40, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, we need to consider it. I wouldn't like to have information duplicated and if we are to start a separate Aleph page, 90% of its info will be pulled from Aum Shinrikyo page anyway. Probably we could split the history to "Aum" phase and "Aleph" phase? That's because doctrine and other things didn't change (except for a couple of books that were removed). - ExitControl
I really dispute whether they can be called a Buddhist group at all. The Aum Shinrikyo page should probably just redirect to Aleph. Exploding Boy 15:59, Sep 29, 2004 (UTC)
I have my doubts too. Aleph/Aum Shinrikyo sounds very syncretistic and should be forward to e.g. Aleph (religious group).Andries 16:20, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, I partially third those opinions, but I don't see the point of not having the article at Aum Shinrikyo in the first place. A lot of this article is about the group's history before the name change. - Nat Krause 16:26, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I agree, especially given that most people know them as Aum, and they are still referred to as such in the Japanese media. Exploding Boy 16:28, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)
Didn't check the page for some time. Well, my opinion is that currently it is texhnically accurate (as there is no such legal body as Aum Shinrikyo). But I am also sure that outside Japan few would know it changed name. So probably a redirect would be OK. But I am against a split into 2 separate articles, makes no sense. - ExitControl
For me, its either a split or a move to Aum Shinrikyo. WhisperToMe 00:24, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Is it ok for me to move this page back to Aum Shinrikyo now? WhisperToMe 02:38, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Done. - Nat Krause 04:58, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Moved from page: Nuclear capability?

At 11:03 p.m. local time on May 28, 1993, seismic monitors detected a massive disturbance in the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia. Truckers and prospectors reported seeing a bright flash, followed by the sound of an explosion. The disturbance produced seismic results 170 times more powerful than any mining explosion ever recorded. It is suspected that Aum Shinrikyo was involved, and that they may have detonated a nuclear weapon, since a) they had bought 500,000 acres of land in the area concerned, b) they were later known to be mining uranium, and c) they had recently recruited two nuclear engineers from the former Soviet Union. If this is the case, Aum Shinrikyo is the first non-governmental organisation in history to detonate a nuclear weapon.

This response is from The Straight Dope: Did the Aum Shinrikyo cult detonate an atom bomb in Australia?:

Nicely put, but of course we can't leave it at that. On further investigation, it appears that the Aum Shinrikyo connection was publicized through the efforts of one Harry Mason, an Australian mining geologist and sometime UFO investigator. Having heard about the 1993 event a couple years after the fact, Mason interviewed every observer he could find within a 300-kilometer radius of Banjawarn. Several reported seeing a large fireball streak across the sky and disappear beyond the horizon, followed by a near-blinding burst of light accompanied by a loud blast, a massive seismic ground wave, and a huge red flare that shot into the sky. This in turn was followed by "a deep red-orange coloured hemisphere of opaque light" that hovered above the apparent explosion site for hours, then suddenly disappeared; another fireball an hour after the first one; and possibly a third one still later (or earlier--the observers didn't remember). Numerous other fireballs have supposedly been spotted in western Australia in the years before and since.
Mason wrote up a report describing all this and pointing out the Aum Shinrikyo link. His report found its way into the hands of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations headed by U.S. senator Sam Nunn, which asked Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a university research consortium based in Washington, D.C., to look into the possibility that the cultists had somehow detonated an atom bomb. On the basis of the sketchy seismic data available, IRIS concluded that an explosion was unlikely and found that "the observations are consistent with a meteorite scenario," notwithstanding the lack of a crater or other physical evidence.

There we go: one crackpot convinced a couple of people to look into it, who decided that it was just a meteor. – ClockworkSoul 13:54, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Amazingly, but this "nuclear testing/uranium enrichment" story made its way to all the scholarly books on Aum, as well as numerous articles and reports (which says something about their credibility). We better check thing like this up before posting, no matter how authoritative the source may seem at first (think US State Dept and the like...)
Isn't it still worth mentioning in the article that Aum mines uranium and recruits nuclear specialists? Personally I find that frightening whether or not they tested a bomb already! - Cathal
Sure, but there are no information that Aum sought nuclear scientists more than 60-yeas-old grandmas as potential recruits. It may be said that Aum had unusually high percentage of top university graduates, that is because Shoko Asahara personally agitated during the lecture tours. Not sure if they somehow preferred nuclear scientists.

ExitControl

Passage on doctrine removed

Other beliefs include the yogic practice of shaktipat, which is the direct transmission of spiritual energy, or mingling of spiritual bodies on the subtle plane, between guru and student. This is a belief of guru-based yoga systems, where the guru has divine or semi-divine status. Aum also had a number of beliefs from the modern world, such as the belief the practicality of death-ray type weapons written about by Nikola Tesla (see Senate Hearing reference), and influence by Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of novels as a model for Aum, "depicting as it does an elite group of spiritually evolved scientists forced to go underground during an age of barbarism so as to prepare themselves for the moment ... when they will emerge to rebuild civilization" (Lifton, p258). Also, experience of the science fiction movies that grew out of Japan's cultural response to the Hiroshima - Nagasaki bombings was a commonality within the group.

Reasons for removal: Yes, Aum/Aleph previously had the shaktipat tradition and yes, it is OK to say that it came from Indian Yoga tradition. What the author wanted to imply saying specifically about the divine status of a guru is unclear. As to everything else, the author seems to misunderstand the information completely. Asimov, Tesla and everything else mentioned in the passage ware mentioned in publications used as means to attract the Japan’s potential followers who are very interested in politics and everything high-tech and para-normal (this is apparent judging on where and for what audience the material was published), and these publications did not constitute the doctrine of the group, that is clear. Yes, references to Tesla or Asimov did appear in Shoko Asahara’s speeches to disciples and thus later published, but judging on the context they did not play the assumed role (i.e. these are not beliefs at all).

It seems that the passage in question originated from the book by Robert J. Lifton. Left the reference to the said book in 'further readings'.

ExitControl

Hi ExitControl, I just reverted, but you where adding the above at the same moment , so I hadn't seen your comments before I did. I would have responded to them first if I had. (Please sign your comments with 4 tildes, that way the date will be automatically included; makes it easier to keep track of things.) I think our dispute is about offical doctrines versus beliefs. My point is that the group (that is , the people in the group) has common beliefs that are not part of the official doctrine, but those beliefs do influence what the group does and what happens. As for shatkipat, the belief is that the guru must be at some advanced level for the process to occur; some groups hold to guru to be at the divine (hishest) level. In the case of AumSR, the group definitely projected the idea that the guru was at some rare high level. For instance, the photo of S.A.. levitating in their book. Numerous other ways they convey the idea that S.A. is special, and thus capable of spiritual miracles like shaktipat. As for Asimov and Tesla beliefs, you are right I guess that they are not part of the OFFICIAL DOCTRINE, but they are part of the belief structure of the group members, as you admit. Those beliefs will still have their effect on the believers, regardless of whether they are official dogma. It is this background of beliefs that the paragraph attempst to convey. GangofOne 00:04, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Yes, you basically understand correctly. The shaktipat was indeed one of the core elements during certain period of time (I wouldn't call it a belief though). As to other things: to be precise, information on Tesla, x-ray weapons, articles on Asimov's Foundation series etc. was published in magazines aimed for outside observers interested in Aum and vice versa, to interest those who are not interested in Aum the religion in the slightest, but keep some interest in these unusual subjects i.e. it was used as part of recruitment efforts. As such, followers were actually discouraged from reading them, let alone thinking they are somehow part of the doctrine (that would be nonsense). The author who "documented" something you are referring to (I believe it was R.J.Lifton) probably misunderstood. If you maintain that this information is important, let us include it, but with proper explanations, otherwise Aum will just look weird and irrational. Please share you opinion. Back to shaktipat: yes, you're right when you say that a guru must be perceived as some higher being in traditions with shaktipat practice (Kundalini-yoga, Tibetan tradition) and while this point is not unique to Aum, that's 100% correct. Divine status of the founder is among the reasons the Japan's PSIA still maintains Aleph remains a threat. I will get back to it later and try to rephrase the passage, will leave as it is for a while. The matter is related to wording alone basically. ExitControl

Aum Shinrikyo vs. Aleph

I'm wondering about the naming present in the article. There are significant differences between the names Aum Shinrikyo and Aleph, or so it seems to me. Referring to the group as Aleph throughout the articule blurs the distinctions between Aum Shinrikyo as the old group, and Aleph as the new group. Therefore I propose that instances of the name Aleph be changed to Aum Shinrikyo, and a new section should be created, dealing with the activities of the group after it changed its name to Aleph. Gaius Octavius Atellus

Thank you. As the most active contributor I thought about this several times, but other editors then insisted on mixing the two articles - one on Aum and other on Aleph into one - reasons being to avoid confusion and (I suspect) preventing the reader from reading the material on mostly peaceful Aleph from background info on its predecessor Aum which is far more violent. I then chose not to argue to avoid edit wars. IMO the best way to deal with this is chronologically arranging information, so that the link was still apparent but changes that took place with time were clear as well. If you have any ideas on how to accomplish this, please write suggestions here or edit the article text. I would vote for 2 linked separate articles, one dealing with Aum and the other with more recent Aleph, but I do agree that this might confuse the reader.ExitControl
There's also a gross mistake - pre-1995 is 100% not Aleph, it's Aum Shinrikyo. Will adhust the name in accordance with this to avoid reader's confusion. ExitControl

This is ABSOLUTELY essential. At present, the names are totally muddled-up throughout the article. The Aleph name is from 2000, according to the article. A clear distinction between the two names is especially important given the controversy surrounding the question of how much Aleph has in common with Aum. John Lunney 19:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Popular culture references

Can somebody explain why Takeshi Kitano's film Zatoichi is listed among popular culture references? I feel this is totally out of place here. Or am I wrong?213.172.246.57 22:34, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

yes, i agree, the blind swordsman genre has been around for a lot longer than Aum Shinrikyo and has nothing to do with it. I'm going to remove it.... 18:02, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

SHAMELESS MARKETING OF KAPLAN's BOOK

Removed the following:

Various authorities have cited non-Buddhist influences also, but the accuracy of these inferences about the internal philosophy of the group as distinct from its public statements has been questioned. For example, in an article about the influence that Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Series may have had on the Arabic Al-Qaeda and other organizations, the UK The Guardian newspaper wrote on 24 August 2002, "'Aum's bible was, believe it or not, the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov,' says David Kaplan, author of The Cult at the End of the World [ISBN 0517705435], a book on the sect, or 'guild' as it styled itself." [1]

Reason: a left-wing British paper article discussing 'hints', 'clues' and 'possibilities' as wild as 2-nd wing of Aum members working undercover in Japan's best nuclear facilities. While this might be an intellectually stimulating material, significance of it is doubtful. Asimov's novel is mentioned in the text already; as well as Kaplan's book; links that the author of this edit seems to perceive as justification for inclusion of this passage already present in the article text (except to the Guardian Unlimited). David Kaplan clearly has a lot to say, but I am not sure it is OK to quote his ideas when not a trace of hard facts support them. Not worth a standalone link to the article IMO.
You're welcome to your opinion here, but (1) the citation to a recognized authority and book author is valid, (2) the text notes that the matter concerns a disputed inference, and (3) the credibility of The Guardian, although it is a generally accepted journalistic source even if you don't like it, is irrelevant. It's up to Kaplan to defend his ideas, not anyone else, but it is the responsibility of Wikipedia to note them. The prior reference to Asimov in the article is not specific and is not being duplicated by the Kaplan quote, since one talks about Asimov being cited in Aum's own public relations material and the other talks about Asimov having been an influence on the ideas within Aum itself, and that is significant because of Aum's interest in publishing its own sci-fi and fantasy material. If nothing else, you really should become a registered user on Wikipedia and sign your edits and comments rather than leaving them anonymous.
Zigamorph 18:50, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Zigamorph, let me be extremely straightforward to make my reasons for removal very clear: while Wikipedia has its rules to make the experience as productive and conflict-free as possible, we need to excercise common sense and not to fight over technicalities. All of your arguments are valid, there's not debate. But I could easily find 10-20 valid referenced quoted by a recognized authorities pulled from generally accepted sources and then spam the articles YOU contributed to saying that it is up to the author to defend the ideas. Pointless. ----ExitControl
Then please do. We need more references in most articles. --Constantine Evans 17:34, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
In case it isn't easy to follow enough: it's great to have references, but the article has referenced a lot already, including works of Kaplan David. Since this no doubt interesting article deserves a link at 'see also' section AT MOST I'll put it there; corresponding addition to the 'doctrine' text I will delete. i.e. STOP MARKETING DAVID KAPLAN. Thanks. --ExitControl

Links

Does anyone know of any websites which deal with the beliefs of the group, prefferably non-biased? What was their website, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find an archived version. And, where is most of the doctrine section sourced from? --Daniel Tanevski talk 13:01, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Copyediting, clarity, and rewording for neutrality

I saw the notice for copyediting on the to-do list, and having studied Aum in Japan, I couldn't resist trying my hand. Mostly I'm trying to edit- cut repetitive statements (such as when the group changed its name to Aleph- this was mentioned in both the first and second paragraphs with very little change), smoothing over grammar and editing mistakes, etc. Though while reading it over, I've been noticing some parts which are not really neutral, such as this sentence - "The 'true religion' in his view shouldn't only offer the path but to be actually able to lead to the final destination - Final Realization. On this path, a multitude of small enlightenments elevate the consciousness of a practitioner to a higher level, this making him smarter and better person."

Thanks a lot, improvements good and visible. However I will clear out all these 'supposedly', 'claimed', 'borrow', 'mixed' et cetera. I don't undertand how we can make the sentence quoted above 'really neutral' and why we need to do it. Actually very funny, please think: this is Asahara's theory, this was properly attributed, all this very clear, there is NO NEED to include 'supposedly' or something to 'make it neutral' because there is no need to make ANYTHING neutral. Was it properly attributed? Yes. Did it correctly express what Asahara said? Yes. No problems then.

I made a few small edits, both to clarify the language and to put the beliefs in more neutral terms. "The 'true religion' in his view shouldn't only offer the path but should also lead to the final destination (what the religion terms 'Final Realization'). According to Aum, this path entails a multitude of small enlightenments that elevate the consciousness of a practitioner to a higher level, thus making him or her a more intelligent and 'better' person."

Thanks, I am currently working on this as well. As to the quoted passage - ? What is wrong with it? Not great in literary sense maybe, but I didn't realize how this is not neutral. This is "according to Aum" - hopefully it is clear so no changes needed. Clearing out multiple minor changes is a tedious task...

Also, I really don't understand this statement - "He also translated much of traditional Buddhist terminology to modern Japanese and later changed the wording to make the terms easier to understand, pointing to Shakyamuni who chose Pali instead of Sanskrit in order to make sermons accessible for ordinary population, who couldn't understand the language of ancient Indian educated elite." Does this mean Asahara is mimicking somebody who performed a similar translation, or is this something else? It seems a bit clunky to me. LilTigre 22:16, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Very simple; Asahara tried to make the terminology as easy to get as realistically possible, here is what I attempted to say. He avoided using Sanskrit or Pali terms where not necessary and instead used modern Japanese words to express the meaning attributed to Sanskrit or Pali terms, here is what he did. This it like saying 'the firm' instead of 'kaisya' - same meaning, but English word is easier to use than Japanese, except of course Japanese is your native language.

Hi, I am also doing a copy-edit of the article and found a few problems listed below. Other than that the article reads fine in terms of grammar and spelling, so I have removed the copy-edit tag. JenLouise 06:42, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Fumihiro Joyu also performed a shaktipat-like ceremony in the beginning of XXI century. Which century does this mean? Obviously not the 21st century (the present century). Could someone who knows fix this please?

-Around 2001 I think, so yes, this century, anyone please feel free to rephrase. - [ExitControl|ExitControl]

  • Science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov "depicting as it does an elite group of spiritually evolved scientists forced to go underground during an age of barbarism so as to prepare themselves for the moment ... when they will emerge to rebuild civilization" were referenced as widely as basic Buddhist ideas to impress the shrewd and picky educated Japanese not attracted to boring, purely traditional sermons. (Lifton, p258). "referenced as widely as basic Buddhist ideas" does not make sense and the reference is not consistent. Is the reference for the quote? If so it should go as <ref>Lifton, p258</ref> at the close of the quote.

-Done.

Cleanup tag

I can see that a ton of work has gone into this article and that the hard work is ongoing.

I am placing a CLEANUP tag at the top of the article to see if we can't rope an editor in who isn't so close to the material so that they might tune-up a few things we've been missing (like the fact that Asahara isn't "introduced" in the beginning, rather he is simply referred to in the text.)

If anyone who is actively working on the article objects to the CLEANUP tag, go ahead and delete it. Otherwise, let's leave it on for awhile and see what happens --AStanhope 16:29, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Unclear

Shortly after his arrest, Asahara abandoned the post of organization's leader and since then has maintained silence, refusing to communicate even to lawyers and family members. Many believe the trials failed to establish truth behind the events.

The second sentence is unclear. Many who? Many Aum members? Many Japanese? Many people in this world? Many cats? What? It also needs a cite of course if it asserts many something believe something Nil Einne 13:28, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

- This actually is a common theme in most of Aum-related news articles in Japanese media since 1995 i.e. that since Asahara did not speak and Murai was murdered, a lot of strange developments of that period remain unexplained. Two of Aharara's attorneys, including Yosihiro Yasuda published books detailing these unexplained events and the manner in which the trials were conducted (in Japanese, recently partly translated into Russian by I suppose some Russian former members).

Terrorist organisation

Overseas presence
Aum Shinrikyo has had several overseas branches: a Sri Lanka branch, small branches in New York City, United States and Bonn, Germany. The group also had several centers in Moscow, Russia.
International opposition
The EU has designated Aum Shinrikyo as a terrorist organisation. United States maintain Aum on its list of foreign terrorist groups as well.

Is it really possible for a 'terrorist organisation' to maintain branches in Germany and US? Nil Einne 13:31, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

  • They weren't designated as terrorists until after the 1995 attacks. Phonemonkey 07:11, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Aum apologists? Not quite

Aum Shinrikyo is one of the most notorious terrorist groups in the world. This article is heavily slanted in favor of the group, and tries divert attention from their terrorist activities.

  • Regardless of whether what you say is true or not, Aum Shinrikyo is still at its core a religious group, as are many so-called "terrorist" groups. If you wish to add that some people see them as a terrorist group, that's fine. However, calling them a terrorist group is an opinion, not a fact. Reverted. HoCkEy PUCK 02:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

The EU, Canada and the U.S. consider them a terrorist group. They know their stuff. - 219.194.176.98 12:39, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

  • And Iranian Ayatollahs consider U.S. the Satan. Not an argument at all. Besides, the definition of a 'terrorist group' is a problem in itself. There was a numerically small number of people involved in crimes (20 at max), it would be strange to consider the whole group criminals. The list of terrorist groups serves political aims and political decisions are a different thing. Actually, it's not even worthy of debate, so self-evident it seems. We obviously can't rely on US State Dept on information what is religion, same for Canada and EU.

Perhaps a few things can be settled by checking if the translations made from pali qualify , wether he translated the whole matter, or an already translated and or an obscure part. Most significant is he reworded what he translated, well so did he reword opportunistic? Did he after that and perhaps without including *his* original(..) translation pose his product as the one and only true/best interpretation of these pali sutras? My overall guess is he made quitte some sense, but otoh involves populist elements or techniques. I can however also interprete it in a more contempory context, personally i think it is better to settle these discussions informingly then to hide away the questions, because then the questions , (who would really not all be behind such a tricky thing as a sarin attack eg., get more creepy). I notice we can expect the whole spectrum of opinions about the value of his translation but assume at least the japanese can that way cope better with the impact of his thinking on their society.(on a sidenote you might think of aum as a political person , that felt repressed, at least in 1995) 80.57.242.54 05:08, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Let me give you an example of translation to demonstrate how it differs from traditional one. In Tibetan tradition there is a word 'Kamadhatu' which means 'dhatu of Kama' and 'kama' means 'passion' or 'desire' and 'dhatu' means 'the world'. Therefore, Kamadhatu translates as 'the world of desires'. This is how translations were performed and I just did for you what Asahara did for Buddhist sutras translated by Aum. Technically speaking it was not him who conducted the translation (as Asahara is blind and not familiar with those languages). In Japanese traditional Buddhism there is also a problem of undertanding since the terms are in old Chinese and Japanese simply don't know the meanings of the hierogliphs. Chinese scriptures were translated from sanskrit and pali. So Aum tried to use the most old copy it could find (and conducted expeditions to obtain the texts) as it would be more accurate. Translated terminology was then used in all the sutras for consistency and Asahara also used it in his separate sermons on Buddhist dharma. This way the learning process was facilitated considerably. As to what he 'added' for interpretation: as you can see, the resulting text was the most accurate translation into modern Japanese. Asahara indeed added his comments to many sutras, i.e. while reading the book you first read a portion of a sutra and then Asahara's comments, then again the sutra and again Asahara's comments. Conclusion: no, he did not alter anything in the sutras and yes, he added comments to them. ExitControl

I feel that the current picture on the main article (the cult of doom picture) does not accurately depict the views of Aum Shinrikyo. Perhaps someone could find a more neutral picture?

Russian page has this: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D1%91%D0%BA%D0%BE_%D0%90%D1%81%D0%B0%D1%85%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B0
As a completely neutral observer I would weigh in by saying that I thought the article was rather even handed and, if anything a bit slanted against this group. I did see the organization's website and found a great deal of information refuting the charges by the Japanese government regarding this case. I think perhaps someone could add a bit of counterballance to this article regarding the 1996 Tokyo Subway incident. Finally, as far as the US and EU "knowing their stuff" there has been much dispute about this. Remember that it the CIA and other agencies also tried to justify the invasion of Iraq by claiming that that nation possessed weapons of mass destruction. Piercetp 02:59, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Anti-Semitic Remarks ?

I am not sure about the point of this paragraph. For one thing, I fail to see how the quoted paragraph is anti-semitic (it seems to me that Jews are considered positively), and why this particular point of ideology should be pointed. If it was in the middle of a discution concerning the "end of time" vision of Aum Shinrikyo, why not. But I don't know why their opinion on Jews has to be highlighted this way. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 137.226.53.99 (talk) 16:08, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

Breakup

FNN reported that the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult filed papers with the government office in charge of monitoring religious cults saying that he has left Aum Shinrikyo and started a new group. A heading on the English version of the FNN website (www.FNN-News.com) now says that "The new leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult suggested in an interview with FNN that the group might be headed for a further breakup." I have no interest in the cult, and don't know anything about it, so I'll leave it to another editor to add this news to the article. --70.142.55.71 13:47, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

so why did they want to kill people?

I'd like to see some sort of explanation for why they murdered so many people. how did they justify it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.19.14.44 (talk) 07:14, 17 March 2007 (UTC).

The thing is there is no 'explanation' to why those 15 people were murdered. This remains a mystery, although according to the media that was to create some panic and then overthrow the government, but there is not explanation on how that was supposed to be done. Sarin gas attack in subway created a huge shock, but only several people have died. And the members had no idea at all about anything like this, so it came as a shock to them also. Perhaps there was some reason for such an extraordiary act but I don't know what it is. To read about how saring attack victims themselves were influenced psychologically by the attack please read Haruki Murakami's excellent book, Underground.

The cult was killing people in an attempt to start a civil war in Japan, during which they could seize Japan's nuclear weapons and begin an apocalyptic war with the USA, the cult members believed that as they were "enlightened" (or at least following some one who was), they would emerge from the apocalypse as god-like "super humans". Shadoom 01:42, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

This is highly unlikely. To start with, it is unclear how this civil war was supposed to start i.e. who will be fighting whom and with what weapon. As to starting a war on the US, this is totally unrealistic. Actually, AUM has produced weapons (one rifle), but this is not enough to start any war. Asahara has talked about policics a lot from 1993 to 2005 and said many things like 'if US to declare war on Japan, Japan is going to be defeated very fast', but this may be interpret wery widely and he certainly never said that AUM is going to seize political power or attack the US. He also said many things about 'AUM mission' and the Apocalipse, but again this could have many meanings and certainly it is unlikely that it was implied that AUM was planning to start a civil war or even military conflict with the United States. I believed he used examples clear enough to ordinary Japanese (such as possibility of war with the US) in order to persuade the followers to practice the religion more seriously. In the relevant lectures freightening predictions are always followed by advertizement of religious practice, like 'but for AUM followers this doesn't matter, since we could create the plasma shields in our bodies' and future plasma weapons will do no harm. He also said during the lecture tours at Japan's universities that AUM plans to build a huge underwater shelter where AUM followers could hide from the 'final battle' of Armageddon. He was saying that he is 'so 100% sure that the Armageddon will take place that he sets his reputation in religion at stake'.
Shoko Asahara actually said many, many things. He once said that by 1997 Japan will be reminiscent of wartime era Japan with nonfunctioning economy and miserable live ('you wont recognize our beloved Japan if you live to that days'). Again, the only choice is religion, don't wait, anything else will not help, you couldn't use your money when the cash machine doesn't dispence cash and if you have cash you can't buy goods when they are scarce and if you made a career it will mean nothing. And so forth, and so forth. Don't waste your time, become a monk now. These passages from his speeches are usually explained that Asahara agitates for war or seizing the power, but if you look in the source it is quite easy to see that he actually advertizes the religion this way. If you look in his less political sermons, he uses the same method saying about how love feels great, but sooner or later your lover gets old and dies and you suffer and this is fundamental suffering called 'death' and the only way to overcome it is to attain 'enlightenment'.

According to a Library of Congress report on the Sociology and psychology of terrorism: "Aum Shinrikyo is a group whose delusional leader is genuinely paranoid about the United States and is known to have plotted to assassinate Japan’s emperor. Shoko Asahara’s cult is already on record for having made an assassination threat against President Clinton." ----> Shouldn't this information be added to the article? Thinkgood (talk) 01:28, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of "Shinrikyo"

The current intro paragraph has a pretty lengthy explanation of the name "Shinrikyo", separating and giving multiple meanings of each word. As far as I can tell, though, Shinri simply means "Truth" (though literally True Doctrine, it does correspond with the western concept of Truth and is often used to translate it), and kyo means religion (or religious teaching to be precise). Granted, the precise wording of the name may have more esoteric meaning within their teachings but is it really necesssary to have such a convoluted explanation in the intro?Uly 05:44, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Changes made. Uly 19:07, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Bad article

such a long article, with so little relevant information. Why are they a doomsday cult? what was the rational for it? why hasten the end? why bring down the goverment?

beseides, I realyl belive that this article shoudl be using either "Aum shinrikyo" or "Aleph" as the group's name instaed of "Aum", which means something else totally. --Procrastinating@talk2me 16:26, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Sentenced death execution date and time?

It says "So far, 11 cult members have been sentenced to death, although none of the sentences have been carried out upon any of the members, nor have the time and date for the executions to take effect been publicly established". In regard of the Japanese legislation, it sounds weird. Since no execution of death is announced before it's carried out. It is only announced after the execution always. I think it is misleading as if it implied it is an exceptional situation in Japan. In this point they are just treated as well as the other death sentenced people. --Aphaia (talk) 06:46, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

"True Principle Teachings"

I've removed a dubious gloss of 真理教 as "True Principle Teachings" -- 真理 shinri "truth" is a single word, and I can't find any hits for that on Google. Jpatokal (talk) 15:54, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Article neutrality

There was a POV template at the top of this article stating that this article had a non-neutral point-of-view, and to reference the talk page for more information. However, so far as I can tell, there is no section on this page detailing the tagger's perceived POV problems with the article. Without knowing what is wrong, it's impossible to fix it. I am, therefore, removing the template. If somebody still believes there is a POV problem with the article, re-add the template but be sure to details what the specific problem is on this page. You can't just tag-and-run. Matt T. (talk) 09:51, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

I also removed a "weasel words" template from the section "1995 Tokyo sarin gas attacks and related incidents." I found absolutely no weasel words and the section seemed to be at least moderately well-cited (unlike large sections of the rest of the article.) Again, I did not find any discussion on this page relating to the claim and thus can not address any specific concerns the tagger may have. Unlike the removal of the POV template, though, I actively feel that the "weasel words" template was incorrect, whereas I removed the POV template mainly because no evidence had been posted to support, not because I believed it to be wrong. In other words, please don't add it back without discussing it here first. Thank you. Matt T. (talk) 10:03, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Name of this article should remain Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Shinrikyo is much more well known by this name. This should remain the name of this article. Cirt (talk) 07:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Unsourced, moved from article to talk page

Basics

Some scholars of new religious movements[who?] view Aum's doctrine as a pastiche of various traditions, citing various reasons to justify their viewpoints. Perhaps the most widespread of the arguments is a notion that the primary deity revered by Aum followers is Shiva, the Hindu deity symbolizing the power of destruction. The Aleph's Lord Shiva (also known as Samantabhadra, Kuntu-Zangpo, or Adi-Buddha) derives from Tibetan Vajrayana tradition and has no connection to the Hindu Shiva.

There is also controversy as to what role Asahara himself referred to Aum's doctrine as 'truth', arguing that 'while various Buddhist and yogic schools lead to the same goal by different routes, the goal remains the same' and insisting that the world's major religions are closely related. The 'true religion' in his view shouldn't only offer the path but should also lead to the final destination by its own specific 'route' which may differ considerably due to differences in those who follow it (what the religion terms 'Final Realization'). This way, a religion for modern Japanese or Americans will be different from a religion for ancient Indians. The more custom-tailored to the audience the religion is, the more effective it becomes, Asahara argued. His other conviction was that once a disciple chose whom to learn from, he should maintain focus in order not to add confusion arising from contradictions between different 'routes' to the ultimate goal, the Enlightenment. Asahara quoted Indian and Tibetan religious figures in support of these viewpoints.

Influence of Buddhism

According to Aum, the route to Final Realization (in Shakyamuni Buddha's words, 'the state where everything is achieved and there is nothing else worth achieving') entails a multitude of small enlightenments each elevating the consciousness of a practitioner to a higher level, thus making him or her a more intelligent and 'better', more developed person by getting closer to its 'true self' (or 'atman'). As Asahara believed the Buddhist path to be the most effective, he selected original Shakyamuni Buddha sermons as a foundation for Aum doctrine; however, he also added various elements from other traditions, such as Chinese gymnastics (said to improve overall bodily health) or yogic asanas (to prepare for keeping a meditation posture). He also translated much of traditional Buddhist terminology into modern Japanese, and later changed the wording to make the terms less confusing and easier to memorize and understand. He defended his innovations by referring to Shakyamuni who chose Pali instead of Sanskrit in order to make sermons accessible for the ordinary population, who couldn't understand the language of ancient Indian educated elite.

In Asahara's view, Aum's doctrine encompassed all three major Buddhist schools: Theravada (aimed at personal enlightenment), Mahayana (the "great vehicle," aimed at helping others), and tantric Vajrayana (the "diamond vehicle," which involves secret initiations, secret mantras, and advanced esoteric meditations). In his own book Initiation he compares the stages of enlightenment according to the famous Yoga Sutra by Patanjali with the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path, arguing that these two traditions discuss exactly the same experiences although in different words. Asahara has also authored a number of other books, among which the best known are Beyond Life and Death and Mahayana-Sutra. The books explain the process of attaining various stages of enlightenment provided in ancient scriptures and compares it with the experiences of Asahara and his followers. He also published commentaries to ancient scriptures. On top of these, Asahara's sermons dedicated to specific themes (from ways to keep the proper meditation posture to methods of raising a healthy child) are studied by Aum followers. Some of the sermons seem quite simple in terms of wording and deal with everyday matters such as unhappiness arising from problems in human relationships. Others use sophisticated language and discuss matters more interesting for an educated elite. Full-time renunciates mostly study the sermons dealing with aspects considered 'advanced' while lay followers concentrate more on dealing with common hardships. Some of the sermons, considered 'pre-entry level' are not being studied (a good example of these are television interviews or recorded brief broadcasts of Aum's radio station, 'Evangelion Tes Basileias', or 'The Gospel of the Kingdom'). To maintain and improve thinking abilities, Asahara suggested that his followers refrain from consuming 'low-quality' and 'degrading' information from sources such as entertainment magazines and comic shows and advised them to read scientific literature instead. This approach which was dubbed 'information intake control' became a source of media criticism.

Influence of Hinduism

Aum applied specific methodologies and arranged the doctrine studies in accordance with a special kogaku (Japanese: learning) system. In kogaku, each new stage is reached only after examinations are passed successfully, imitating the familiar Japanese entrance exam paradigm. Meditation practice is combined with and based upon theoretical study. Such theoretical studies, Asahara maintained, serve no purpose if 'practical experience' is not achieved. He therefore advised not to explain anything which was not actually experienced on one's own and to suggest reading Aum's books instead.

Followers are divided into two groups: lay practitioners and "samana" (a Pali word for monks but also used to include "nuns"), which comprise a "sangha" (monastic order). The former live with their families; the latter lead ascetic lifestyles, usually in groups.

According to Aum's classification, a follower can attain the following invented stages by religious practice: Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mahamudra (sometimes called Jnana Yoga), Mahayana Yoga, Astral Yoga, Causal Yoga and the ultimate stage, the Ultimate Realization. The overwhelming majority of such alleged attainers were monks, though there were some lay Raja Yoga and Kundalini Yoga attainers. For a follower to be considered an attainer, specific conditions had to be met before senior sangha members would recognize them as such. For instance, the "Kundalini Yoga" stage requires demonstration of reduction in oxygen consumption, changes in electromagnetic brain activity, and reduction of heart rate (measured by corresponding equipment). A follower who demonstrates such changes is considered to have entered the "samādhi" state and thus deserved the title and permission to teach others. Each stage has its own requirements. Advancements in theoretical studies did not give followers the right to teach others anything except the basic doctrine. According to Asahara, real meditation experience could be the only criterion for deciding the actual ability to coach.

Aum also inherited the Indian esoteric yoga tradition of Shaktipat, also mentioned in Mahayana Buddhist texts. The Shaktipat, which is believed to allow a direct transmission of spiritual energy from a teacher to a disciple, was practiced by Asahara himself and several of his top disciples, including Fumihiro Joyu and Hisako Ishii. Fumihiro Joyu also performed a shaktipat-like ceremony at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Following the formal closure of Aum Shinrikyo, a number of steps were undertaken that changed some of the aspects that concerned both the society and authorities. Some of the most controversial parts of the doctrine (see below for details) were removed, while the basic, general aspects remained intact. For this reason, the information on religious doctrine provided in this article remains largely relevant to the new organization Aleph as well.

Disagreements within Aum Shinrikyo

According to the Public Security Investigation Agency, as of December 2005 the group is split over a dispute over its future; a large number of members, including senior members would like to keep the organization as close to pre-1995 structure as realistically possible. Previously, the group was led by six senior executives (the so-called Chorobu), who transferred the decision-making power to Joyu. Joyu and his numerically larger faction advocate a milder course aimed at re-integration to society. Matters such as whether Asahara's portraits should be retained or abandoned remain the cornerstone of disagreements. The fundamentalist faction reportedly refuses to comply with Joyu's decisions, and they are reportedly attempting to influence the sympathizers not to communicate at all with Joyu, who still remains the official leader of the group.

In 2006, Joyu and a number of supporters split from Aleph followers and occupied another building where they currently reside. According to Joyu, most of the higher-rank followers supported him, while 'many others cannot announce [their agreement with Joyu's ideas] at this moment'. A number of essays by Joyu explain the basis for disagreement. The appeal to abandon the viewpoint that 'Aum people are chosen people' and the society that opposes it is 'evil' with determination to 'hold on' and endure persecution (which Joyu considers 'fundamentalist ideas') is facing fierce opposition from more dogmatic followers while Joyu's tolerance to Aum followers who travel to India or Tibet to learn from meditation masters other than Asahara attract accusations of disloyalty. Joyu is nevertheless optimistic. 'This is a process and at the circumstances it cannot be accomplished by some order from above,' he explains. He criticizes the 'loyalty' argument saying that 'reintegrating into society' is not 'abandoning the faith' but rather elevating it to the next level and quotes Asahara's sermons where he speaks about 'egoistic desire to get separated from others by way of monkhood'.

Overseas presence

Aum Shinrikyo has had several overseas branches: in Sri Lanka, the German city of Bonn, and small ones in Diamond Bar, California, U.S., and Moscow. It was also claimed in Richard Clarke's book 'Against All Enemies' that a branch of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in New York City fled their headquarters immediately after the attack in Tokyo, but weren't carrying anything dangerous, only boxes full of books.

References in popular culture

Books, documentaries, and fiction attempting to explain the Aum phenomena became best-sellers not only in Japan, but overseas as well. Below are characteristic examples:

  • 'A' and 'A2', documentary movies by filmmaker Tatsuya Mori that demonstrate day-to-day ordinary lives of Aleph members, reportedly caused disbelief with many of the Japanese attending the limited screenings: unwilling to believe what they were seeing, some even accused him in using professional actors to 'make everything up'.
  • Underground, a documentary book by popular author Haruki Murakami consisting mainly of interviews with victims of the gas attacks. Murakami later apologized to its Japanese readers who 'misunderstood' his intentions and published a sequel containing interviews with Aum members. Both sets of interviews are included in the English translation.
  • Aum Shinrikyo's 1995 Sarin gas attack is briefly mentioned on the videogame Trauma Center: Under the Knife
  • The Matthew Reilly novel, Temple, includes Aum Shinirikyo members involved in an attempt to destroy the world with an advanced nuclear weapon
  • In the book Rain fall by Barry Eisler the book's main character is being followed and shouts Aum Shinrikyo to tip the situation in his favor.
  • Aum Shinrikyo are featured in The Invisibles, the graphic novel series by Grant Morrison.
  • Bill Bryson mentions Aum Shinrikyo several times in his book "Down Under". The group had a retreat in Australia and there was speculation that they tested an atomic bomb there.
  • Agoraphobic Nosebleed's album Altered States of America contains songs referencing the cult, mainly focusing on the Tokyo subway gassing and LSD use.
  • Integrity's album Seasons In The Size of Days contains a song about the Tokyo subway gassing, entitled "Sarin".
  • In Saw II, Jigsaw mentions the 1995 gas attacks when describing the effects of the nerve gas filling the house.
Comments on other faiths

In several of his lectures more related to economy and politics than religion itself, Asahara also made comments about Jewish people, such as: According to Asahara's prophecies, 'the future Buddha Maitreya' (the Buddhist 'Savior' who comes at the End of Times to save the humankind by spiritual guidance) 'will come surrounded by asuras' (while he also has said that 'Jewish people have a very strong asura factor'). It is also 'unclear yet if the Jews will ultimately come to my side'. Jewish people, in Asahara's judgment have a 'strong desire to achieve happiness not in material, but in a spiritual sense' and their ancestry is 'divine' (another quotation: '[..]therefore they are demi-gods'). He also noted that the Kabbalah teaches 'the secret science' (previously kept secret) that will surface from within Jewish nation at the End of Times. (from book 'Vajrayana Sutra', which was removed from circulation by the group's leadership in 1999 as Japan's PSIA agency criticized the book as 'justifying violence').

Speaking of more traditional religious groups, on a number of occasions Asahara criticized them for 'degrading into traditionalism and losing the essence' [i.e. evolutionary path to Enlightenment]. 'What was left are just religious ceremonies and things necessary in order to make you become a religious robot and that's all'. He spoke highly however of Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism in general. (lectures, 1990-1993)

Aum Shinrikyo has criticized the Soka Gakkai, Japan's largest new religious group. Asahara accused Soka Gakkai of malicious interference in its affairs and provocations aimed at creating difficulties to its activities.


Unsourced, moved from article to talk page. Per WP:BURDEN, do not add back unless properly sourced. Cirt (talk) 08:04, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

West Victoria Desert Incident

Get rid of this, it's bullshit. The citation is for Bill Bryson's "In A Sunburnt Country," where he relates this totally baseless anecdote that you will never read about anywhere else, online or in print. 58.161.196.194 (talk) 16:14, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Bryson cites The New York Times, and here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/21/science/seismic-mystery-in-australia-quake-meteor-or-nuclear-blast.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. True or not, it is reported elsewhere. 86.182.237.140 (talk) 23:09, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

No Evidence of Successfully Cultured Ebola Virus

There is no conclusive citation showing Ebola cultures were actually uncovered. Most sources indicate that Aum Shinrikyo attempted to culture ebola from the 1994 outbreak in Zaire. One article appear in JAMA points out that their attempt was unsuccessful. [1] Evidence that a successful Ebola culture should be removed until an appropriate citation can be provided proving otherwise or the line should be changed to read that evidence is inconclusive over whether Aum Shinrikyo has successfully cultured the virus.

141.161.133.154 (talk) 18:43, 5 April 2011 (UTC)Baumann


Jama article sites a US hearing saying an attempt was made although it does not say it was successful or not. However, no evidence exists that an Ebola culture was found. It should be taken out of the article.[2] 18:57, 5 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by RolandGS19 (talkcontribs)

This article is trash

Do not cite this article for anything whatsoever. It's a bunch of trash and should be stubbed and rewritten with Japanese sources. Shii (tock) 10:38, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Radio broadcasts

Some time before the sarin attack, I remember listening to shortwave radio, and happened to hear something called "Radio Aum Shinrikyo" on what was otherwise the Radio Moscow World Service frequency. They talked about "master Shoko Asahara" and about books they were selling. Having no idea what it was about, I just thought it was weird that they were using the Russian frequency, and I wrote down the name of the station. When I heard about the attack shortly afterwards, and heard the name Aum Shinrikyo in the news, I recognized the name. I do not know if this is of any importance, but it was not found in the main article, so I thought I should mention it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.216.131.100 (talk) 00:59, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

ASrk and Unification

Can someone verify the cult's connection to the Unification Church? -- Zoe

Re: connection to Unification Church. To the best of my knowledge, there is no connection of Aum Shinrikyo to the UC, apart from the fact that some of Aum followers may have had some previous experience with it (UC is quite active in Japan). (ExitControl)
My understanding is that the main connection is indirect. Some lawyers who had successfully sued the UC tried the same thing with Aum Shinrikyo. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:51, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Arthur Goldwag's book

Apparantly, Arthur Goldwag states on p. 15 of his book that "He [Asahara] also saw dark conspiracies everywhere promulgated by the Jews, Freemasons, the Dutch, the British Royal Family, and rival Japanese religions". Is the part where he mentions "the Dutch" a joke? I can understand Jews seeing their historical role as a scapegoat, but the Dutch? I can't verify p. 15 of Goldwag's book, can someone else? Can't find any academic sources on Goldwag. He's a freelance writer, but also into conspiracies etc., so yeah. 81.68.255.36 (talk) 09:11, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Cult or not ?

An IP editor 108.83.242.71 (talk · contribs) has gone through the article and changed nearly all references (about 30) to "cult" to "Aum" /"group" / "organisation" or similar in this edit. However thay have given no edit summary to say what their rationale is. This is very NPOV, but was there a consensus to use/not use 'cult'? I am unsure of the exact policy on this.

My own feeling is that Aum is/was a cult and it is referred to as such by reliable sources such as Australias' ABC Radio News (ref #14)[1], Britains BBC (ref #13)[2] and The Japan Times (Online) (ref #25)[3]. A mass change like this should be by consensus, especially if done without an explanatory edit summary.

Therefore I intend to revert. Comments please! - 220 of Borg 01:22, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I have also mentioned this matter at "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard" or this diff. - 220 of Borg 04:29, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Monitoring and passages about Vajrayana texts?

In January 2006, the Public Security Investigation Agency was able to extend the surveillance for another three years. Despite the doctrinal changes and banning of Vajrayana texts, the PSIA advocates an increase of surveillance and increases in funding of the agency itself; periodically, the group airs concerns that texts are still in place and that danger remains while Asahara remains leader. Aleph leaders carefully insert passages into almost everything they say or write to prevent misinterpretation, including karaoke songs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.150.235.107 (talk) 23:32, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

This seems vague to me so I will edit it, but I am not confident my edit is accurate. Please help me improve this paragraph if you are familiar with the content.

Also, this leaves things hanging with regard to events more recent than 2009. The article would be improved if this could be clarified, but I am not able to do so.

Conflict with some sources

There is a conflict with the sources here with the sources in the Buddhism and violence's page, here says it's a syncretic belief system that incorporates facets of Christianity with idiosyncratic interpretations of Yoga, and the writings of Nostradamus but there the sources say that the cult is based upon Buddhist ideas and scriptures. So, who is correct? Rupert loup (talk) 00:24, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

The Christain ideas they took were from the Book of Revelation , the Apocalypse, end of the world ideas. That got mixed in with Hindu and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist ideas that they misunderstood and misappropriated (in my opinion). The references in the first paragraph are from Western sources, (The RAND Corporation) I suspect they were less familiar with the Buddhist/Hindu concepts, so they emphasized the sources they were familar with, and would be familiar to their intended Western readers. The first paragraph should be changed to add more of the Eastern elements. GangofOne (talk) 03:02, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Rupert loup (talk) 16:36, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Dmitry Sigachev

Original: In July 2000, Russian police arrested Dmitri Sigachev, an ex-KGB and former Shinrikyo member, along with four other former Russian Aum members, for stockpiling weapons in preparation for attacking Japanese cities in a bid to free Asahara. Aleph issued a statement saying they "do not regard Sigachev as one of its members".[43]

Will edit out the 'ex-KGB'. KGB connection is speculative, in fact Sigachev was arrested by a KGB successor organisation, the FSB. Sigachev, then young man, was romantically attached to Asahara and dreamed of freeing him from prison, his fantastic plan is said was about threatening the Japanese government. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 11:35, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Dubious speculation on how Aum believed the Dutch (?) and the Jews are somehow world conspirators

First, on the Jews. In Japan this is a popular conspirological motive, the Jewish business and educational success and this theme of many popular books somehow is interlinked with Japan's defeat in WWII. Aum seem to adopt this theme, adding that there were some 'spiritual' reasons for Jewish success and that this success serves as good example to follow. Second, on the Dutch, this is a speculation, IMO related to some Dutch royalty or something unclear. The Dutch has colonies in the pacific ocean... Never seen mentions of Dutch in the texts. Freemasons - yes, it was believed the world is somehow shadowly run by hidden powerful decision-makers ('the people behind' Russia, China, and the United States) and that somehow Freemasons societies are related to this hidden game of world's powers, serve as some club for the elites or something. Will think and edit text accordingly. Otherwise it is weird, like Aum had unexplainably weird beliefs. Which is not quite so, these themes are very pupular in Japanese conspirology, and conspirological and alternative history books are wildly popular in Japan, this must be reflected, not perceived as some fringe opinios as in say the US. Yuri Kozharov (talk) 12:02, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

For removal: ignoramuses passage describing people 'hanged upside down' and taking LSD as requirement

Original: Its practices remained secret. Initiation rituals often involved the use of hallucinogens, such as LSD. Religious practices often involved extremely ascetic practices claimed to be "yoga". These included everything from renunciants being hung upside down to being given shock therapy.[26]

Comments: Practices are seen on video, get and see, there is no secrecy in yoga exercises and reading texts aloud. No, hallucinogens were not involved, at least to the best of my knowledge, in most cases, therefore 'often' is unjustified. Extremely ascetic 'claimed to be yoga' is a POV. Fact is what is in yoga is in Aum, by yoga I mean serious indian variety, such as when people are trained to become instructors, not some light sports in a gym in America. As to 'being hung upside down' there is no such thing in yoga, although in some schools bands are used to help keeping postures, in medical yoga. There is viparita karani asana, when a yogi 'stands' on his back with legs in the air, that must be it. In yoga there is also literal 'standing on one's head' posture, not practiced in Aum. As to 'electroshock therapy' it is practiced by psychiatrists in psychiatric asylyms on patients committed there against their will, that must be the base of this particular fantasy. In Aum, there is a 'helmet of salvation' which is a regular electro-magnetic sensor used to examine the brain electric activity, yet with it the *recorded* brain activity (brain waves, such as alpha, beta, gamma waves etc) are being transmitted which may cause mild electic irritation of the head. This is not in any way an electroshock. Electroshock is drugging, tying and shocking with high voltage electricity, to somehow 'restart' the brain and is believed by psychiatrists from the 40-50s of XX to be helpful for combating schizophrenia and psychoses (at our age they say only the 'treatment-resistant'). Will delete the entire passage, debates welcome (see above). As to how Marhall and Kaplan made up stuff like this, IMO read about in in psychiatry-related materials, such as MK-Ultra program (used LSD) and forced electroshocks common at the 60s in psychiatry, 'brain washing' of captured troops with propaganda by Viet Kong communists during Viet Nam war etc. Lifton, a Jewish activist and anti-cultist, himself a psychiatrist, may have contributed to their fantasies, his book on Aum was published around the time as Markall and Kapplans. This all smells foul as very far from reality. Per WP:NOR, attributable to a *reliable*, published source and it conforms merely formally, as it is a thick book full of unverified 'research' which looks scientific but is actually a fiction novel based mostly on low quality journalism on this subject of that time— Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 12:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

"Aum prisoners": no such

Original: containing millions of U.S. dollars in cash and gold, and cells, many still containing prisoners. In Aum, they has 'solitary practice rooms'. Unlike in prison, where you are locked against your will, a solotary practice could be ended at will. These rooms are not prison 'cells'. Again, as with many contercultists, tabloid journalists and activist 'researchers', the fact they were published does not make them credible. The 'cells with prisoners' can be seen on multiple videos, including made by Aum itself. There were even underground ones. Will further examine the source and report on credibility here, because maybe we should delete.Yuri Kozharov (talk) 13:09, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

How signals purchased were (not) used on insisting on innocence

Original:The group never confessed. Those who carried out attacks did so secretly, without being known to ordinary believers. Asahara broadcast his singing, insisting on his innocence through a radio broadcast on a signal they purchased in Russia and directed toward Japan.[2]

The signals were used until 1995, they are unrelated to the group's legal position. It was the 'Radio Evangelion Tes Basileyas' (greek: Evangelion of the Holy Heavens) which consisted of very basic introductory-level sermons, advertisment of sorts. Again, sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 14:52, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Wording.

Original: n October 1989, the group's negotiations with Tsutsumi Sakamoto, an anti-cult lawyer threatening a lawsuit against them which could potentially bankrupt the group

Sakamoto was not 'threatening', he was not an extortionist, he was a class action lawsuit lawyer who already bankrupted the San Myong Moon's group in Japan and who was proceeding with full speed with Aum, who murdered him to stop him. Again, journalism. White innocent Sakamoto and sinister illogical cultists. Will remove. Journalism. There are established sources on the matter, for example, Mourakami's intervies of Sakamoto's office co-workers. That he was into girls and cash, not at all any do-goodieYuri Kozharov (talk) 14:57, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

2016 resolution to work on the article

Well, now when I remembered that the ExitControl guy who made many edits (most by now lost already) in 00s, and as I noticed a lot of made-up stuff later disproved or not confirmed, though of course properly linked and all, I will attempt to investigate what is written and step-by-step, by one edit at a time, so that not to appear vandalistic, to remove that all entirely. Here I will publish explanations, let it be a fact checking exercise.

1) Hijacked a plane: hijacker denied being Aum member, denies anything attributed to him by the media. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Cult-link-unclear-in-hijack-of-Japan-plane-3143553.php

For this reason, passage removed entirely. And what lengthy, so much detail, and all made up. Sorced properly however. Done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 19:51, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

2) Next. Hayakava buying firearms, helicopter, battle tank, nuclear technologies, whatever else sinister in Russia. To begin with, except the helicopter, which never flew (was not assembled), but this is from memory, I will now fact check prior to removal... Would be easier4 to remove like 70% of the text as a start, but again people would be insisting these was all valuable proper info, so let us see what it is and why to remove.

The very start results: Japanese police sours also allege that Hayakawa brought pistol models to Japan from Russia in the Spring of 1994 in order to produce // http://fas.org/irp/congress/1995_rpt/aum/part06.htm

Unconfirmed. See, this is credible. Now, the New York Times, just compare: had tried to buy Russian nuclear warheads

Uhum, warheads, OK, NYT is a good brand, but it is not a credible source. You check and could not verify, as I said before, it traces to police claims, usually said by someone who 'refused to be identified', and so a journalist in this manner may make up whatever. No Pulitzers for that, but ... people earn their bread this way, but of course article should not rely on sources like these. Note, this is not what normally is understood as a tabloid. Yet, you see, with rare subjects like this, standards are pretty low. I am reading thru other similar pages, titles like Doom Weapons, Tesla weapons, conspiracies in Australia to test weapons etc. Australians denied such media reports as speculation, Russians (just checked) did not say anything on it, but stories like this pop up in tabloid archives of that time and even major papers. No, really, a major nuclear power to sell warheads to some tourist, who does not represent any state or whoever. Then why Iran or North Korea didn't just buy those warheads, if there is a black market really in Russia for them. Ok, enough for this, here is a prooflink in Russian: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/176840 (FSB, the Russian internal security service and Japanese-Russian University both denied allegations on purchase of any weapons by Aum in Russia in 1997). Today as I write this is 2016. You see, this is not just my private POV or prejudice, this is a real problem with this article - credibility of sources and wording. Like a snowball, kept accumulating self-repeating made-up stuff, now a layman thinks that must be all true as so many sources uniformly repeat basically the same stuff. Yet credible sources do not confirm. In another case, where the event (weapons purchase) did take place, measures were taken, people got imprisoned, but this one is not.

Deleted Hayakawa passage. He has been in Russia, we may leave this as this is true, but what importance does it have. Hayakava is said to be involved in construction, not any weapons, by the way, but whatever, his occupation is not that important. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 20:12, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

3) As this is straight in the eye, although of course would be more PC to start with outright lies, but: "is a Japanese doomsday cult".

Japanese - true. But doomesday cult is basically when a religion says an end of times will come and then either we must bring it close or survive it... I thought it was really a Buddhist new religious group in Japan. How is that: a cult, and a doomesday cult. Let's keep it so for some time. This is a derogatory term and not very factual, but many commentators, scholars and the like, especially media, adopted and used this definition. Does it tell much on the phenomena of Aum? I mean, that it is a Japanese cult - what comes to mind that they must be worshipping the Emperor and await some... I'm baffled. This really is about the wording. I dislike it. Its calling names. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 20:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

4) Removed for some time passage on Sigachev, as it contains libelous claims and one more small one as incomplete. Explanation follows: Text: In July 2000, Russian police arrested Dmitri Sigachev, an ex-KGB and former Shinrikyo member, along with four other former Russian Aum members, for stockpiling weapons in preparation for attacking Japanese cities in a bid to free Asahara. Aleph issued a statement saying they "do not regard Sigachev as one of its members".[42]

First, the KGB was dissolved and reformed into three separate bodies after the dissolution of Soviet Union, so suppose its 1992-1993, Sigachev did not approach a legal age at the time, in Russia it is 18, for this reason he could't be employed by the KGB, one need to finish university and then start training with the KGB, again if it is not later period, but that period Sigachev was already with Aum, see. Later he was involved in his romantically influenced activisms and was sent to prisons for weapons possession and preparation of a terrorist act. Next, along with four. No, with three, he is the forth one. Then, the Japanese woman who sought asylum in North Korea did really do so, to evade harassment by Japanese security police, but did not like it there and returned back to Japan. Since Sigachev affair took place in Russia, there are sources, even a documentary with interviews with Sigachev and his friends. For this reason will reword more appropriately and put a corresponding like to Russian-language media (Sigachev did not dispute basic facts on the crimes attributed to him, so I assume in this case sources are OK).

Text:In August 2003, a woman believed to be an ex-Aum Shinrikyo member took refuge in North Korea via China.[43] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 20:40, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

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