Why Japan's Terror Cult Still Has Appeal

For a cadre of loyalists, the group that released poison gas fills a spiritual void

Shoko Asahara shuffles, handcuffed, into a Tokyo courtroom. His hair, once wild and frizzy, is now cut short. Accused of masterminding the poisoning of Tokyo's subway system with the deadly nerve gas sarin seven years ago, Asahara, 47, has spent the past seven years stewing in a jail cell. In court, he bobs his head up and down, looking tired and confused. He scrunches up his face and occasionally emits a grunt. Every move he makes is closely watched by his disciples, wide-eyed men and women who flock to the courtroom because it's the only chance they have to bask in...

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