Sect prepares for a baptism of fire

Sunday Mail (Brisbane)/January 10,1999
By Geoff Stead

A doomsday millennium cult linked to the terrorists who killed 12 people in a sarin gas attack in Japan is believed to have set up a base in London. London's Sunday Times claims the Sukyo Mahikari cult propagate neo-Nazi and anti-Jewish propaganda - has recruited scores of members in Britain. Police have linked some members of the cult to Aum Shinri Kyo, the terrorist sect whose leaders are facing charges of mass murder after the sarin attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.

Former members of Sukyo Mahikari,, which has successfully applied for charitable status in Britain, say it is preparing for a "baptism of fire" that could end the world next year. The cult's Japanese supremacist leadership says only its members will survive.

A prediction that governments might be destroyed by using the subway appears in textbooks published by the organisation. Some members in Britain are stockpiling food in the event of a social upheaval or disaster.

An undercover reporter from The Sunday Times spent a month at the group's base in south London.

Cult leaders claim they have recruited more than 300 members in Britain and have established a presence in Manchester, Leeds, North-east England and Wales.

Members also said they expected the end of the world as early as next year. Former members interpret this as meaning they are planning some sort of action as the millennium approaches.

The cult's literature, handed out at the cult's London base, states: "Under the present circumstances there is the terrible possibility that mankind might be annihilated by the baptism of fire."

Former members say this is the same language used by other cults such as the Solar Temple, where members committed mass suicide three years ago, and Aum Shinri Kyo.

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