Former Aum Shinrikyo cult spokesman sets up new group

Kyodo — Followers of former AUM Shinrikyo spokesman Fumihiro Joyu reported to the Public Security Intelligence Agency on Monday that they have officially organized themselves into a new group consisting of 163 members, the agency said.

The group, called “Hikari no Wa” (Circle of Light), comprises 57 live-in followers, including Joyu and nine other executives, and 106 lay members, according to the agency.

The new group will also be subject to surveillance under the law just like AUM, which renamed itself Aleph in 2000, the agency said.

The group endorsed its rules at a meeting of executives Saturday and plans to hold a conference of all members on Tuesday, followed by a press conference by Joyu to explain the background and aims of the new group, it said.

Joyu, 44, said in March that he has left AUM along with members close to him to set up a new organization to signal his intention of completely discarding the influence of AUM founder Shoko Asahara.

AUM has been divided between Joyu’s group which is critical of Asahara and another group supportive of him.

Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, is on death row for a series of crimes committed by AUM, including the 1995 sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system that left 12 people dead.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday May 7, 2007.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at