Posts Tagged ‘educated-fools’

"Waco sect survives, waits"

June 18, 2004

I saw this article about the Koresh cult a couple of days ago and was not surprised.

Some highlights from the article:

Koresh, whose real name was Vernon Howell, arrived in Waco in 1981 as a 22-year-old high school dropout, drawn to a small community of Seventh-day Adventist believers who called themselves Branch Davidians. It wasn’t long before the smooth-talking Bible expert seduced the group’s 60-year-old leader and displaced her as the group’s reigning prophet.

Eventually he asserted the God-given right to take the underage teenage daughters of his followers as wives, while commanding everyone else in the commune to remain celibate. He justified his licentiousness by explaining that God had directed him to embody the most devilish human behavior as a test of his followers’ faith.

“According to man’s law today, what David did was statutory rape,” said Tom Cook, a Waco hairstylist who joined the Davidians after Koresh died and who maintains the group’s Web site. “But as God states in the Bible, a woman is of marrying age at her first blood issue. It’s all in your frame of mind. People can say it’s illegal, but it’s God’s word.

But far more of the Branch Davidians were like Doyle, who had joined the group in 1957 and became convinced that Koresh was the messiah.

“The people who were here were not hicks, they were not stupid,” said Doyle, 63. “Some of them had letters after their names, graduate degrees.

Despite the terrible price he and his family paid, Doyle says he refuses to entertain any doubts about Koresh or the certainty of his resurrection.

“If it was all a deception, and yet we were convinced it was right, then how can we ever know the difference between good and evil, and right and wrong?” Doyle asked. “If I was misled by God, then how would I ever believe anything ever again?”

Leader of Japan nerve gas attack sentenced

March 7, 2004

Some highlights (if you can call them that) from an article about an infamous Japanese cult leader, many of whose followers were highly educated scientists:

Leader of Japan Nerve Gas Attack Sentenced

By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO – Former doomsday cult guru Shoko Asahara was convicted Friday and sentenced to hang for masterminding the deadly 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway and other crimes that killed 27 people and alerted the world to the danger of high-tech terrorism.

The prosecution, however, depended on testimony from former followers who said Asahara planned and ordered their murderous deeds.

Asahara also was convicted of masterminding a June 1994 sarin gas attack in the central city of Matsumoto, the murder of anti-Aum lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family, and the killings of wayward followers and people helping members leave the cult.

At its height, Aum claimed 10,000 [!] followers in Japan and 30,000 [!] in Russia. The guru used a mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and yoga to entice his devotees, who engaged in bizarre rituals such as drinking his blood and wearing electrical caps that they believed kept their brain waves in tune with his.

Some said they were saddened that Asahara never acknowledged responsibility for the crimes or apologized to victims. He rarely spoke during the trial, only occasionally babbling incoherently in broken English.

Aum’s weapons program was carried out by highly educated scientists from Japan’s best schools. Asahara’s flock was bewitched by his predictions of an Armageddon that only cult members would survive.

Police say the cult’s remnants — renamed Aleph since 2000 — show signs of greater allegiance to Asahara. Agents this month raided the offices of the group, which still claims 1,650 members in Japan and 300 in Russia.

The group released a statement after the verdict, apologizing to the families of victims of Aum’s crimes and vowing to compensate them.