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Living In Fear: Destructive Power of Extremist Groups and Doomsday Cults is Explored

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Living In Fear: Destructive Power of Extremist Groups and Doomsday Cults is Explored

Posted October 27, 1999

After cult members of Aum Shinrikyo attacked passengers on a Tokyo subway with the deadly release of sarin gas, the world stood at attention, wondering what kind of destructive power extremist groups held and to what lengths they would go to get their message across.

The emergence of these doomsday cults is the topic of Robert Lifton's new book, "Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence and the New Global Terrorism." Lifton will be on campus Tuesday, Nov. 2 ,at 4 p.m., in 220 Stephens Hall to discuss this frightening phenomena.

In his lecture, Lifton will explore the U.S. terrorist landscape, comparing the sharp psychological parallels between Aum Shinrikyo and American extremist groups, such as Heaven's Gate and the Oklahoma City bombers. He will also evaluate the possible dangers societies face as homegrown terrorists and global cults attempt to orchestrate their own holocausts.

Lifton is the distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at John Jay College. His writings have earned him a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a National Book Award.

The lecture is sponsored by the Institute of International Studies, the Human Rights Center and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.


October 27 - November 2, 1999 (Volume 28, Number 12)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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