Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

Post Japan Executes Doomsday Cult Leader, 6 Others (from Noah Rich)
Created by John Eipper on 07/09/18 9:20 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:


Japan Executes Doomsday Cult Leader, 6 Others (from Noah Rich) (John Eipper, USA, 07/09/18 9:20 am)

Noah Rich writes:

Dear John (and rest of WAISworld),

Hello! It's been a while! I've been doing more lurking as of late, so I haven't sent a WAIS post in a while, but on this topic I was too curious to get some comments on.

This past weekend in Japan all the major newspapers had the same headline, "Aum Cult Leader behind Sarin Gas Attacks Executed."

This past weekend Chizuo Matsumoto, also known as Shoko Asahara, and six other top members of the Aum Supreme Truth cult in Japan were executed. It came after about 20 years since their capture and 5-12 years since their sentences were given.

The most shocking news facts to me, and to many of my friends, as foreign residents in Japan, were not the executions themselves, but rather the means of execution. All seven of them were hanged to death. Brutal.

I read 13(!) different articles this past weekend, a mix of both the papers printed for English readers and Japanese natives, none of which mentioned even a sentence about the fact they were hanged. I am sure that in the United States there would be (at least a little) backlash to the prospect of hanging someone as a means of capital punishment. If I remember correctly, the last person hanged in the USA was in 1994, the year I was born!

As of now, only Washington and New Hampshire even permit hanging as a means of execution. It is highly unlikely they would ever return to it, though.

So what does the WAISWorld think? Is this as big of a shock to others as it was for me to hear? Or is there a reason anybody knows why there is basically no dialogue going on about hanging here?

JE comments: The sarin gas attacks in Tokyo happened in 1995--the same year as the Oklahoma City bombing. This is a lifetime ago for our youthful friend in Japan, Noah Rich. What surprises me about the executions is not that they were carried out by hanging, but that they would put all seven to death at the same time. Even though I knew Japan still practices capital punishment, en masse executions don't seem fitting for such an advanced and polite society.

Hanging is certainly barbaric--but are the "humane" execution methods any less so?

[A memory overload this morning shut down the WAIS website, hence today's late start.  My apologies.]

Rate this post
Informational value 
Reader Ratings (1)
Informational value60%

Visits: 151


Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

  • "Hurrying the Apocalypse": Aum Shinrikyo Doomsday Cult (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA 07/09/18 3:52 PM)

    Gary Moore writes:

    Thanks to Noah Rich (9 July) for reminding of Japan's execution July 6 of the 7 leaders of
    Aum Shinrikyo, the Tokyo subway terrorists far back in 1995.

    The 28 people they
    killed in two separate sarin attacks, plus other murders, should not overshadow
    the thousands they injured, in cases gravely, and the fact that they hoped to kill
    and injure tens of thousands or millions. The Aum Shinrikyo "doomsday cult,"
    as the headlines put it, enshrined a persistent riddle in millenarian or lapsarian
    collectives that turn violent, a riddle sometimes called "hurrying the apocalypse."

    The full lapsarian archetype (without the additional hurrying) is that our present moment
    in history is a corrupted exception (the Lapse, however long), caused by the demonic
    intervention of overwhelming evil, which has whisked away our former, natural state
    of peace and plenty--though ahead is the third stage or dialectical synthesis, when good
    will return with irresistible force, smash evil, and once more bring peace and plenty,
    this time forever. Sarcastically referenced as this might sound, the riddle is why some
    groups aren't content to wait for the promised apocalypse, but think they will lend a hand
    to divine power by jumping the gun, and wreaking the kinds of havoc that divine retribution
    is going to be doing soon anyway. This would surely seem a veil for hatred or rage in certain
    kinds of groups (On October 22, 1844. for example, when the Millerites gathered nationwide
    for The End, they never dreamed of hurting anybody--even when it all fell flat).

    By contrast,
    Charles Manson's followers wrote "Pigs" on a wall above their carnage because they were seeking
    to look as if they were murderous black radicals, in hopes of starting a global race war that would
    leave Charlie as default king. Japan's version, Aum Shinrikyo, had similar hopes to consume the
    world entire in chaos, whereupon leader Shoko Asahara (and thanks to Noah for including his real
    name) would also be the default survivor-king. The religious component is optional. Many anarchists
    and nihilists of the Haymarket and bomb-throwing days were consumed with a will to destroy,
    which they glossed under concern for the working class and promises of return to ancient lost grace, if the corrupt capitalist lapse could just be cleared away. This scarcely meant the capitalists were angels,
    but that delusion was not likely to provide much alternative.

    And as to the final act on July 6, if Jim Jones of Jonestown had been caught after everybody else was dead,
    would there be discussion about whether he should be hanged?

    JE comments:  If we speak in purely theological terms, aren't most religions of the "lapsarian" type?  Look no further than the foundational narrative of Christianity, The Fall.  If so, the Japanese committed a blunder by executing the Aum Shinrikyo clan.  Permanent imprisonment doesn't create martyrs.  Nor does killing millenarians work as a deterrent.

    Please login/register to reply or comment:

Trending Now

All Forums with Published Content (44453 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications


Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy


Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series


Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust


Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire


Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US


Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)


Geography Maps Tourism Transportation


1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who