CULT: Aum Shinrikyo/Shoko Asahara
cw: abuse, terrorism, sexual violence, death
Our fifth and final segment of our Psychedelic Nightmare series examines the story of a lesser-known Japanese cult that was responsible for the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in March 1995 that killed 14 and injured over 5,000 innocent civilians. Aum Shinrikyo was a cult led by - you guessed it - a malignant narcissist, Shoko Asahara. This episode, we explore Shoko's childhood, the development of his cult while also delving deep into its doomsday philosophies that combined a hodge-podge of religious philosophies with Nostradamus-esque beliefs. This story is a wild one with lots of twists and turns tied to religion, Japanese culture, chemical weapons development and more. We touch upon concepts of Shiva, Shakti, & karma in Hinduism, malignant narcissism in cult leaders, and highlight survivor stories and PTSD from the subway attack. You'll see how this story links back to all four others, creating an unlikely and disturbing tie that spans four decades, three cults and three countries while involving multiple government agencies and of course Albert Hoffman's Problem Child -- LSD.
Outro last updated April 2023
FYI: we've recently unpublished older episodes as we are in process of re-editing for a smoother flow & audio experience. they will be available again as we finish.
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