Missing cult boy rescued at inn after tip-off


South China Morning Post, January 24, 2000

The seven-year-old son of doomsday cult founder Shoko Asahara was rescued unhurt from an inn yesterday, two days after he was abducted from a cult facility 100km northeast of the capital.

Police said the boy was well after being found at the inn in the resort of Hakone, 90km southwest of Tokyo.

Police arrested a 29-year-old member of the Aleph cult, formerly Aum Shinri Koy, who they identified as Akira Tone, at the inn.

An employee contacted police to say a boy staying at the inn resembled the missing child of the former cult leader.

Tone is thought to have have been a babysitter for Asahara's children and until recently was at an Aleph facility in Otawara, police sources said. Police believe six people, including two of Asahara's daughters, kidnapped the boy in the village of Asahi at dawn on Friday.

Police obtained arrest warrants on Saturday for the two daughters, aged 18 and 16, and another Aleph member in connection with the abduction. Two male followers have been arrested in connection with the case.

Asahara is on trial for his alleged role in at least 17 major crimes, including masterminding the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, which killed 12 people and injured more than 5,000.

The cult announced last week it was changing its name to Aleph, the first character of the Hebrew alphabet, and said Asahara had been formally deposed as leader.

The seven-year-old boy and his five-year-old brother had been living with Asahara's 21-year-old eldest daughter in Asahi.

The 16-year-old daughter has a strong influence within the cult, as she was Asahara's first child after his supposed "enlightenment".

The two young boys have become revered as spiritual leaders since Asahara stepped down as guru in 1996.

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper quoted security sources as saying the children in Otawara wanted their brother to live with them to "strengthen their position after their father was deposed".


To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.


Educational DVDs and Videos