The number of Aum Shinrikyo members living in the cult’s facilities nationwide increased by about 150 to around 650 in the year 2000, Justice Minister Masahiko Komura said during a Cabinet meeting Friday.
The number of the cult members who periodically attend meetings or other events by the cult, which now calls itself Aleph, also increased to more than 1,000 as of the end of last year, Komura reported. The cult has 29 facilities in 13 prefectures, and has obtained revenues from 13 affiliated corporations and contributions from followers living outside the Aum facilities, he said.
Several dozens members who had been imprisoned for their involvement in crimes allegedly committed by the cult returned to the group, according to the minister.
Under the law to regulate the cult’s activities, established in 1999, the cult is required to periodically report its activities and the number of its members to the Public Security Investigation Agency
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