Fall 2022 ︎︎︎ SUNY Purchase College ︎︎︎ (DES4100) Community Design 

What is Community? Video Series: Aum Shinrikyo: from Cult to Domestic TErrorists


For what it is worth this is one of the more interesting cults to me for both their place in Japanese culture and their ability to attract people we typically perceive as successful. This goes against the idea that groups like this attempt to target folks that are weak psychically or physically. 

Context and Points to Consider

This is another progression in our discussions as the David Dobrik video compared the group to actual cults; and now we are talking about an actual cult. 

  • This is mainly for me, but is this video entertaining for you? In the past I’ve linked videos that appear to be recorded from “legacy media” and I’ve found this channel’s content interesting and well done.
  • Are cults/true crime interesting to you? What do you think the magnetism is, or is not? 
  • What aspects of Japanese culture do you think lead to cults like Aum Shinrikyo flourishing? How were they similar or different than conditions that lead to Heaven’s Gate in the US?
  • What is the line betwixt cult and community? How do they overlap? 

The Required Viewing

This video is ~40 minutes long. The usual content warnings around the gravity of this content apply (domestic terrorism)

Be ready to discuss this and upload notes by 11/30