Thursday, January 28, 2016

[evjorzrk] Japan

What is going on in Japanese society such that a cult, Aum Shinrikyo, can recruit intelligent, highly educated individuals and brainwash them into carrying out mass murder?

Usually, terrorists are recruited from the bottom of society, people who have no hopes for success or upward mobility in regular society.  In contrast, the intelligent and highly educated in first-world countries can typically apply their skills and talents elsewhere than terrorism, for better personal gain.

Furthermore, usually terrorism is a manifestation of conflicts between easily visible groups in society, most famously race and religion, but Japan seems mostly homogenous in those regards.

Possibly related is the curious phenomenon of the explosion of many new religions (e.g., Soka Gakkai) in Japan.  What sociological conditions are necessary for religion to be successful?  Typically religion loses influence in first-world countries.  What sociological conditions are necessary for new religions to be successful?

Speculate that Japanese society still invisibly retains many social structures -- boundaries -- left over from its feudal past, and these rigid social structures are causing the unrest and disillusionment leading to popularity of cults and new religions.

It could be that cult members were recruited first, then their higher education paid for by the cult, which would be consistent with how the Japanese higher education system is structured (requiring money). There still remains the problem of, once education is completed, a person could take his skills and run.

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