Poison Gas Terrorizes Tokyo Subway

Religious cultists release the toxic nerve gas sarin at multiple locations in the Tokyo subway. A dozen people will die, and thousands suffer injuries ranging from mild to severe.

Aum Shinrikyo was a Japanese cult combining bits of Buddhism, Hinduism, shamanism and end-of-days Christianity. The name combined the Buddhist mantra om with the Japanese for "supreme truth."

With a worldwide membership of 20,000 to 40,000, Aum had a net worth in 1995 of about $1.5 billion. It made money through standard religious techniques like donations, tithing and paraphernalia sales. It also employed the New Age technique of high-priced indoctrination seminars. In addition, it ran some businesses, including a restaurant chain and a computer factory that assembled Taiwanese electronic components into computers it sold at its own downtown Tokyo store.

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