I've ordered the book "Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism" by Robert Jay Lifton, because even listening to a 5 hour podcast on these loons only scratches the surface.
One of my best friends in high school moved to Japan shortly after college to teach English, common enough story. He wound up deeply in love with a local girl and they got married, and everything seemed rosy, until 9/11. Turned out, his wife's father was in Aum Shinrikyo, and it was a massive family secret that was never, ever discussed, and when he tried to bring his newborn son home to America, his wife was arrested at the airport for being on the terrorist watchlist. After some investigation, he learned how deep his new family's ties were, and he quite tragically divorced her and now is not permitted due to quirks in Japanese domestic law cannot legally bring his son to America.
Last I heard, he was a major league drunk in my hometown, of the depressing, life-is-over variety. I haven't talked to him.
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