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Nation/World

Sect Sold Blood, Bath Water

Wed., March 29, 1995

Members of the apocalyptic cult suspected in the Tokyo subway attack could rent a headset for $10,000 a month that would supposedly synchronize their brain waves with those of their leader.

Or they could drink Shoko Asahara’s blood for $10,000.

New details emerged in press reports Tuesday about how the Aum Shinri Kyo cult demanded cash from members to pay for bizarre items and services.

The group is the prime suspect in the March 20 nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subways, which killed 10 people and sickened around 5,000. The cult has denied involvement, and no arrests have been made in connection with the attack.

According to the national newspaper Asahi, a “Blood Initiation” - in which members drink blood said to have come from Asahara - costs $10,000. A “Bardo’s Enlightenment,” involving an intravenous injection of an unknown substance, cost $3,000.

A small pin with the sect’s logo engraved is less pricey at $1,000.

For $2,000, members could buy a 7-ounce bottle of “Miracle Pond,” the leader’s used bath water, said to have curative powers.

A ritual meant to enable a member to gain spiritual energy by touching the forehead of another member with a higher spiritual level cost $500.

Ex-members told the Asahi that initiates who could not pay for the services they received were encouraged to take more and then forced to join the cult.


 

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