Aum Shinrikyo

Episode 3 · November 15th, 2017 · 58 mins 32 secs

About this Episode

Twenty years ago this year, Japan was to become a nuclear wasteland, according to the leader of a sect who claimed that the only survivors would be his followers and 10% of the major cities. It was in the lead up to this year of the predicted apocalypse, 1997, that he ordered shocking acts that would eventually result in his group being labelled a terrorist organisation, and himself and 12 other sect members being sentenced to death.

CW: references to physical and emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, references to suicide, murder, and psychological trauma associated with being in a cult. Please consider whether you would like to listen on this basis. Content is not suitable for children.

UPDATE: An Aum Shinrikyo update episode was released on 21 March 2018. It includes a small correction from this episode.

Research sources listed on each episode page at

If you have been personally affected by involvement in a cult, or would like to support those who have been, you can find support or donate to Cult Information and Family Support if you’re in Australia (via, and you can find resources outside of Australia with the International Cultic Studies Association (via and the Freedom of Mind Resource Center (via

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia, or find your local crisis centre via the International Association for Suicide Prevention website at

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