Police seize statements of isolated Aum members

Yomiuri Shimbun, October 18, 1999

The Metropolitan Police Department has confiscated dozens of written statements of intent by Aum Supreme Truth cult followers to voluntarily live in the cults isolation cells in Kisofukushimamachi, Nagano Prefecture, it was learned Monday.

According to the Public Security Division of the MPD, the documents emphasize that the followers volunteered to live in the cells. Scenes of followers writing the applications were videotaped by the cult. The MPD searched the cult's Renge facility on Sept. 29 in connection with the alleged confinement of a cult member in one of the isolation cells. The officials said that they suspect the cult prepared the documents, preempting possible confinement charges.

According to MPD investigators, the applications were written laterally on A4 paper. The applications were submitted to the "official in charge of caring for the residents of the isolated sanctuaries."

They said that the content of all of the confiscated documents is almost identical. They state, "I would like to live in the training sanctuary for one year. I would also like you to lock the cell's door from outside so that I can concentrate on my training even if I change my mind in the middle of the period." The documents were written and signed in the applicants' own handwriting and their personal seals were stamped on them.

The date on which the applications were signed was also stated. The MPD confiscated documents from the summer of 1997 when training at the Renge facility started up until this year, the officials said.

The MPD also confiscated a typed copy of a similar document with the title "sample."

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