Arama They Didn't

11:38 am - 06/04/2012

'Doomsday Cult Member' Held

Undated photo of, Naoko Kikuchi, a former senior member of Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult wanted in the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack.

A woman who may be a Japanese cult member wanted over the deadly 1995 gas attacks on the Tokyo subway has been arrested, Japanese media say.

They say Naoko Kikuchi, a 40-year-old ex-member of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, was picked up in Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, on Sunday.


Police said they could not confirm the reports.

Ms Kikuchi is one of two Aum Shinrikyo members still at large. Twelve people died in the 1995 Tokyo attacks.

Hundreds of others were injured when the cult released sarin nerve gas on several trains during rush hour.

On New Year's Eve another former member of Aum Shinrikyo, Makoto Hirata, turned himself in to police after nearly 17 years on the run.

Former cult leader Shoko Asahara, accused of masterminding the 1995 sarin gas attack on Tokyo's subway
Cult leader Shoko Asahara

Nearly 200 Aum Shinrikyo members have been convicted in connection with the sarin attack and other crimes. Thirteen are awaiting execution.

Aum Shinrikyo began as a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs in the 1980s, but developed into a paranoid cult obsessed with Armageddon.

Cult leader Shoko Asahara is among those on death row.

Aum Shinrikyo reinvented itself as the Aleph group, which continues to operate as a spiritual group.



Totally ignorant of me not to know this was still going on.

Source: BBC
More about the other member who turned himself in here
iusta_rum 4th-Jun-2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
i didnt know either that they were still around!!!.

O.o
shinsnowprince 4th-Jun-2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
There's actually a documentary out about the cult that was done not long after the sarin attacks. I watched it for a Japanese film class, which is why I know anything about the group honestly.
iusta_rum 4th-Jun-2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
is in youtube? I would like to wacth it ^^
cyberdudey 4th-Jun-2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
same here... were could we watch it? hehe ^^
nyavenue 4th-Jun-2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
I only knew about them after Murakami's Underground. Scares me a bit though
koichiko 4th-Jun-2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, if you are ignorant so am I.
Had no idea that so many people were convicted, I'm not used to so many people being on trial for one crime. Would they usually just blame everything on the leader?
mikilove13 4th-Jun-2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
I suppose they could, but if there is evidence others were involved, it wouldn't be easy for either side to say it's the leaders fault. Unless they strike some sort of deal, and I'm not to sure how common that is in Japan, they'll most likely get sentences reflecting their part in it like with the Manson Family in America.
kokoro_umisea 5th-Jun-2012 11:57 am (UTC)
I'm not an expert but I know they had a strict system in which everyone involved at different levels. Some claimed they only did what they're told, and didn't know there'd be an attack to innocent people. But certain people at management level had clearly planned it so they couldn't blame it all on the leader. People who involved in the process of planning, producing and spreading the sarin gas were convicted with harder punishments of course.
If you're interested, I suggest Haruki Murakami's Underground. It's a good read IMO.
chibisilent16 10th-Jun-2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for recommending another Murakami book for me to read. :)
inachan89 4th-Jun-2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
U re not the only one,didn't know either!!that's creepy..

Edited at 2012-06-04 06:14 pm (UTC)
spatza_camino 4th-Jun-2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
I thought the two photos are of the first person mentioned. XD
hpswf1 4th-Jun-2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
It's good!
ragevalley 4th-Jun-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
whoaaa this is really creepy...i've never heard about it before until now
exdream1999 4th-Jun-2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
Actually, it is her, they've pretty much refered to her by her real name (she was of course living under an assumed identity) since around the weekend.

I think they also took into custody the man she was living with since he's known of her real identity for a long time now.

Also, there were three people in total that have been on the run since the attack and she's the second one they've managed to find.

Lastly, Sagamihara is more south than weset of Tokyo, unless you're looking at from whole Tokyo=city instead of Tokyo=prefecture, which I'm pretty sure that's what this article is doing. (I know this because I live south of Sagamihara.)
yume_no_yousei 4th-Jun-2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
Watched a documentary about this cult in Sociology class, but I never knew that the cult was still operating either. D:
senshicalico 5th-Jun-2012 02:21 am (UTC)
well shit, saw her and the others' pictures at every single station on my local line on wanted signs. Never thought I'd see the day one of them got picked up.
squallina 5th-Jun-2012 09:01 am (UTC)
Yep they got her now, and she looks nothing like her picture anymore (she lost so much weight and completely changed the way she looks.)

This is some seriously twisted, scary stuff. Go and have armageddon on your own turf and leave other people out of your batshit crazy ways. >:(
vampyrrep 5th-Jun-2012 09:06 am (UTC)
scary O_O
mjspice 5th-Jun-2012 11:46 am (UTC)
I heard about this. This is all just so upsetting really.
wayof_life 5th-Jun-2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
Read about this some years ago, it's really sick, not just this incident but the murders the cult carried out to silence those who wanted to leave etc. I think there's still 1 or 2 more involved person for the sarin gas attacks still out at large? Already lost track on the case :\

I don't even understand why the government allow Aum to revamp itself as Aleph and continue on as a religion/spiritual organisation. Many Japanese still show distrust to Aum/Aleph members, and they're still quite active in recruiting more members? Why take the risk, I can't comprehend...
crystalluvshun 6th-Jun-2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
Personally I see the remaining members of the cult who had nothing to do with the sarin gas attacks & other known attacks conducted by certain members of the cult, as victims too, they were merely brainwashed by their psycho leader, feeding them with all these false & insane beliefs.
And I think the Japanese government felt the same way...sure they were disgusted by all those ruthless acts conducted by certain members of the cult, but all those other members who had no connections with those attacks should not be punished for what those who were actually responsible had done. And I think that's why the government had let the group continue operation as long as the group promised to change its beliefs & ways. And they did, Aleph went back to being merely a "spiritual group" and all along the government has been keeping close tabs on the group.

But shortly after the sarin gas attacks, the amount of members of the cult decreased drastically, many of the former followers managed to escape the cult. Back in the height of the cult's "success", they had hundreds of thousands of members worldwide, but naturally those numbers rapidly decreased after the sarin gas attacks. And as of 2011, Aleph reportedly only has about 1030 members left.
And I'm not surprised by just how significantly small the group has shrunk to...like you mentioned, the vast majority of the Japanese public still very much detests & distrusts the cult/group. Aleph members have been treated with a lot of discrimination & alienation from the rest of Japanese society. Anyone who knows about the group's disgraceful past or have heard of them, would not want to join the group...so even if the group tries to recruit new members, their attempts have really been futile.

These days, Aleph is very much a secluded group, isolated from the rest of society, and condemned by the general public, but more or less deemed "harmless".
But of course there's always that possibility of the group rebounding to its old insane & barbaric cult ways, and that's why the Japanese government has been keeping a very close eye on the group all this time...in case the dreaded were to happen.
shixon 5th-Jun-2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Wow what a coincidence, I first knew of Aum Shinrikyo just several days ago and the sarin gas attack when I was studying Japanese ideology for class.

Glad whoever responsible is arrested. Can't imagine the horror that spread after the incident.
helios_blue 5th-Jun-2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Didn't know some of them are still at large.
Last week I just watched a documentary on NHK about the cult.
The police had felt something suspicious about the cult before the 1995 attack but failed to gather enough evidence to apprehend anyone until it's too late.
It's such a horrible incident.
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