Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism

Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism

by Robert Jay Lifton

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Overview

National Book Award winner and renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton reveals a world at risk from millennial cults intent on ending it all.

Since the earliest moments of recorded history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only in the nuclear age has it been possible for a megalomaniac guru with a world-ending vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Now Robert Jay Lifton offers a vivid and disturbing case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.

With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a modern millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru Shoko Asahara (charismatic spiritual leader, con man, madman) created a religion from a global stew of New Age thinking, ancient rituals, and apocalyptic science fiction, then recruited scientists as disciples and set them to producing weapons of mass destruction. Taking stock as well of Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists may be able to bring about their own holocausts.

Bold and compelling, Destroying the World to Save It charts the emergence of a new global threat of urgent concern to us all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805065114
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 09/01/2000
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

A distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Jay Lifton is the author of many important works, including The Nazis' Doctors, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Death in Life, winner of the National Book Award.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Ends and Beginnings3
1.The Guru and His Cult11
2.Imagining the End44
3.Forcing the End59
4.Clones of the Guru89
5.The Ecstatic Science115
6.Killing to Heal136
7.Megalomania164
8.Ultimate Weapons, Ultimate Attraction179
9.Crossing the Threshold202
10.Surviving Aum214
11.A Japanese Phenomenon?232
12.Forcing the End, American Style271
13.Inward Aum?303
14.American Apocalypse326
Afterword341
Notes347
Acknowledgments361
Index362

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Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And Shikage are searching for the rare hidden leaf. They know its got mysterious powers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago