Aum Shinrikyo

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Aum Shinrikyo (currently known as Aleph) is a Japanese "new religious movement". The group was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. The group gained international notoriety in 1995, when it carried out the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.

The name "Aum Shinrikyo" (オウム真理教 Ōmu Shinrikyō?) derives from the Sanskrit syllable Aum, which represents the universe, followed by Shinrikyo written in kanji, roughly meaning "religion of Truth". In English "Aum Shinrikyo" is usually translated as "Supreme Truth." In January 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph in reference to the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Phoenician alphabets. It changed its logo as well.

In 1995, the group claimed they had 9,000 members Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide[citation needed]. As of 2008, Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph membership is estimated at 1,650 people by the Japanese Government.


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