This week we’re beginning the darkest story we’ve ever told here on The Nonsense Bazaar,, that of legendary Japanese death cult Aum Shinrikyo. But don’t worry because it’s as absurd as it is harrowing. And it is both to an extreme degree. Between 1987 and 1995, “blind” yoga instructor and quack medicine salesman Shoko Asahara did the hard work of turning a yoga school franchise into full-on sci-fi death cult that manufactured drugs, chemical and biological weapons, completely brainwashed and tortured their members resulting in many, many deaths, straight up murdered people, and culminated in the 1995 Tokyo Subway Sarin gas attack. In part one we take a look at how Shoko Asahara blended Buddhism, Tantra, and apocalyptic Christianity with sci-fi and anime and captured the hearts and minds of thousands of Japan’s disaffected youth.
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