If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that cults can take up various forms depending upon their ideologies despite the fact aspects of executive manipulation are always involved. This much has even been evidenced in Netflix’s ‘How to Become a Cult Leader,’ amongst which the most intriguing individual to be highlighted is arguably Aum Shinrikyo’s founder Shoko Asahara. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about one of this Japanese native’s most trusted disciples Hideo Murai as well as his ultimate unfortunate fate, we’ve got the crucial details for you.
How Did Hideo Murai Die?
It was reportedly back in the late 1980s-early 1990s when young astrophysicist Hideo Murai came across Shoko Asahara during a public speaking engagement, just to be completely entranced by his vision. He actually couldn’t help but be pulled towards the thought of gaining divine spiritual, supernatural powers under this guru’s guidance, leading him to join the relatively newfound Aum Shinrikyo. Yes, a couple of this organization’s core theologies were doomsday and millennialism, but the end goal of enlightenment soon had the scientist renouncing the outside world to prove his loyalty.
According to the original production, Hideo subsequently moved into a “tiny cell to focus on his meditation” before Shoko decided to take full advantage of his high-technological background. In other words, the leader had him “build shortcuts to enlightenment, including an electrode helmet that supposedly help[ed] Asahara transmit his [purely sacred] brain waves directly to followers.” The truth is these “scientific gifts” are what enabled the executive to dream of doomsday/World War II, resulting in him rising the ranks until he was ostensibly actually third in command for good.
The fact Hideo never really questioned Shoko or his ways also played an integral role in all of it. He further proved his loyalty by engaging in heinous criminal acts under the cult’s name, which comprised the November 5, 1989, Sakamoto Family Murder as well as the March 20, 1985, Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack, both of which he helped plan prior to denying so on television interviews.
But alas, on April 23, 1995, a mere month following the domestic terrorism dispersion, this Aum Ministry of Science and Technology Director was stabbed while entering his Tokyo headquarters. The 36-year-old was actually jumped in the presence of police, reporters, plus fellow cult members with a kitchen knife, and he died in the hospital from blood loss and circulatory failure 6 hours later.
Who Killed Hideo Murai?
Surprisingly, although Hideo’s assassination was a public spectacle, it did not really involve any chaos per se since the suspect didn’t even attempt to flee and just tossed the weapon onto the pavement. Hence, 29-year-old Hiroyuki Jo, of Korean descent, was immediately taken into custody, where he revealed he was a member of the largest right-wing organized crime group in Japan, Yamaguchi-Gumi.
As for his reason for stabbing Hideo, Hiroyuki claimed former leader Kenji Kamimine had ordered him to slay as many high-ranking Aum Shinrikyo leaders as he could due to their atrocious actions. Another theory is that the group feared their own connection with the cult would soon become public, and so they were trying to erase all possible evidence – but the truth is neither has entirely been confirmed.
Where is Hiroyuki Jo Now?
In the end, following proper legal reviews, while the charges against Kenji Kamimine were dropped for good by the Tokyo High Court owing to a lack of evidence, Hiroyuki was found guilty of murder. He was thus sentenced to 12 years in a correctional facility, meaning he has since positively been released and is now likely leading a rather quiet life well away from the limelight. We, unfortunately, don’t have any other information available on him or his current whereabouts at the moment.