Why the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult is one of the weirdest

Cults Unpacked Episode Nine: In March 1995, twelve people died and thousands more suffered illness and injury in Tokyo because members of Aum Shinrikyo poisoned them on a train. Five devotees of Aum Shinrikyo leader Shoko Asahara had travelled on the Tokyo subway system that morning, each carrying newspaper-wrapped plastic packages full of lethal sarin gas and an umbrella with a sharpened point. At a pre-agreed time, all five cult members dropped the packages onto the floor of the trains they were on, stabbed into them with their pointy umbrellas, releasing the gas, and then promptly skedaddled.

Aum Shinrikyo is also one of the strangest cults, featuring manga-style recruitment animations, LSD initiation, the bizarre ‘Hat of Happiness’ and biological merch.

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