February 6, 2018
Now that all of the procedures of the court cases regarding Aum have finished, I again feel so sorry about what we have done, and how much pain we have caused for the victims and the people around.
I have constantly been thinkingwhy we did such a thing. At the time, we truly believed that we were rescuing the people from Armageddon. That, of course, was an imaginary scenario that Asahara made up. But we believed that Asahara was the only person who could possibly know Gods’ will.
I was 18 years old when I ran away from my family and started to live in the sect, where is remote and totally closed from the society. Since then, I have abandoned to think for myself and given up all of my responsibilities as a grown up person. This is the scariest thing that Aum has done to me.
Asahara used everything from classical yoga, buddhism to drugs in order to destroy the individuality of the believers manipulated us into being his tools. We stopped thinking about social norms, became numb to conscience and lost our senses of judgements. This was how our minds became controlled by Asahara. The harder we followed Asahara’s practices,the more we were controlled, losing ourselves, our humanities and emotions.
All of us, including Asahara lost the sense of responsibilities we hold within the society. We all felt superior, that somehow, our action was the definite justice beyond common sense. This mindset led us to committing horrible crimes.
Our lack of responsibilities reflected on the court cases.
Asahara just shut his mouth and kept quiet. Ex-believers, including me explained and apologized for what happened. But I regret to this day that I could have talked more about individual responsibilities by reflecting what I was thinking inside.
I wonder; how did I lose my sense of responsibility?
This question reminds me of the time when I started to adore Asahara.During my summer break, the third year of high school, I went to one of his lectures. He said to the audience “Salvation is to be a drop of water. Stay clear and dive into the bigriver”. I remember thinking strongly; “I want to be like that!”. I learned it much later that this thought is called the totalitarianism and that the Japanese military during the war acted upon this idea. I now realize that I had the tendency to appreciate such an idea - to deny individuality in order to serve the public. That was my problem. But being under the influence of totalitarianism doesn't excuse any of us from our own responsibilities, no matter how heavily or lightly we were involved. After all, it was my choice to believe in Asahara, which was the start to all of the crimes.
Now, I am awaiting my death penalty, facing guilt and death.
Facing guilt, I realize the victims’ sadness, pain, sorrow, but it is never enough. Facing death, I realize how meaningful our lives are. Taking away somebody’s life is unforgivable and I know I have no way to compensate for what I have done. I am constantly in search for what I can do. This has made me feel incomparable desperation over and over again. There were times where I thought I cannot stand it anymore and that I will go crazy.
In Japan after world war two, as the economy grew, we were going more and more materialistic. On the other hand, many people lost their mental footing, and Aum attracted those, especially young people.Aum was supposed to rescue people, however, what we did was totally the opposite.I don’t know how to express how sorry I am.
Since then, an organization called Aleph has succeeded Aum without knowing how awful and dangerous their thoughts are. They are using yoga and Buddhism as before, which attract young people who are lost in their lives, enlarging their organization. They do not realize how responsible we are for the case - they even argue that Asahara is not guilty. Now Aleph is under government observation, however, this does not mean this stops them from brainwashing their believers. I am so afraid that they will repeat the crime sooner or later.
As long as I have my life, I will think of the victims and my responsibilities. I will also try to find what I can do, even if it is a tiny thing to prevent this crime from repeating itself.