SHOKO ASAHARA: THE MAKING OF A MESSIAH

SHOKO ASAHARA, THE FOUNDER OF AUM SHINRIKYO (AUM Supreme Truth), may be the man of whom all Japan is terrified right now, but not so many years ago he was simply a failed purveyor of health tonics. Bushy-bearded and usually pictured wearing satiny pajamas, Asahara, 40, admires Hitler, boasts that he can levitate and offers to bestow superhuman powers on his disciples. Yet a look at his life reveals a rather pathetic figure at war with the world because he could not find an easy place in it.

Most of what is known about Asahara was uncovered by Shoko Egawa, a...

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