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Japan cults target lonely college students isolated by pandemic

Former Aum Shinrikyo groups exploit social media to recruit new members

Chiba University has put up signs warning students to watch for cult recruiters. The sign reads: "Chiba University does not accept disguised religious recruiting."

TOKYO -- Cults and other dubious groups are approaching university students who feel lonely and isolated by the ongoing closure of classrooms as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into a second year.

These groups include Aleph, the main successor to the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, which staged the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway 26 years ago Saturday, killing 14 people and injuring more than 6,000.

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