Aum Shinrikyo: The intersection of Cult, Bio-Terror, PSI and Madness

"Asahara recruited scientists more actively than he did any other group. His enthousiasm about science undoubtedly was connected with his lust for murderous weapons. But the guru also wished to consider himself a scientist and once declared, "A religion which cannot be scientifically proven is fake." He was especially interested in brainwaves and claimed that by studying them Aum could establish a scientific basis for the stages of spiritual attainment described by past Buddhist saints. With the help of Hideo Murai, his chief scientist, Aum introduced the use of a headset that purportedly contained the guru's brainwaves, which it transmitted to the disciple in a procedure known as the "perfect salvation initiation" (or PSI). The PSI, much revered in Aum, was meant to bring about the desired "cloning" of the guru by means of technology and science. There was also a strong element of science fiction in the PSI and other Aum projects, much of it actively fed by television. What took shape in Aum was a blending of science, occultism, and science fiction, with little distinction between the fictional and the actual." (via)

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