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Destroying the World to Save It

Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism

Robert Jay Lifton

Picador

Since earliest history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only the nuclear age has enabled a megalomaniac guru with an apocalyptic vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Robert Jay Lifton offers a case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.

With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru created a religion from a global stew of new age thinking, ancient rituals, and science fiction, then recruited scientists to produce weapons of mass destruction. Also discussing Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists are able to bring about their own holocausts.

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Praise for Destroying the World to Save It

"Disturbing...sounds somber warning bells." --Anthony Day, Los Angeles Times

"A fascinating (if frightening) investigation...valuable...ingenious." --Daniel Berger, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Robert Jay Lifton

  • A distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Jay Lifton is the author of many important works, including The Nazis' Doctors, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Death in Life, winner of the National Book Award.
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Destroying the World to Save It

Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism

Robert Jay Lifton

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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