Skip to comments.Russia sect holes up in cave to await end of world (threatening to blow themselves up)
Posted on 11/15/2007 3:11:23 PM PST by Stoat
MOSCOW (Reuters) - At least 30 members of a Russian doomsday cult have barricaded themselves in a remote cave to await the end of the world and are threatening to commit suicide if police intervene, officials and media said on Thursday.
"They have covered the entrance and refuse to come out and are threatening to blow themselves up," an official in the local prosecutor's office told Reuters by telephone. "They threaten to detonate a gas tank and blow themselves up."
The cult members, who include 29 adults and four children, are hidden inside a snow-covered hillside in the Penza region of central Russia. A Penza police spokeswoman said they had moved into the dug-out on November 7.
"No one wants to take on the responsibility of provoking them ... because our information is that there are children among them," said the official.
They are thought to have taken food and fuel supplies in with them and Russian television pictures from the scene showed smoke or steam coming out of a hole in the snow-covered ravine where it was built.
A police patrol was guarding the area to prevent anyone provoking them.
"They are simple Christians," a local priest, Father Georgy, told NTV television station. "They say: 'The church is doing a bad job, the end of the world is coming soon and we are all saving ourselves'."
Media reports said the cult members believed the world would end sometime in May next year. Police expected them to emerge when their supplies ran out.
Many Russians have refused new passports and taxpayers' personal identification numbers, saying the figures contained "satanic" combinations of numbers.
Izvestia newspaper said the leader of the cult, Pyotr Kuznetsov, had been detained by police. It said he was a 43-year-old who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that in the last few months he had been sleeping in a coffin.
Police took Kuznetsov to the cave to persuade his followers to come out but without success, said the newspaper.
(Reporting by Tatyana Ustinova; writing by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
Policemen stand guard on the hillside where cult members are hidden inside a snow-covered cave
The prayer hall in the Russian village of Nikolskoye where members of the doomsday sect met until their disappearance at the end of last month. Photograph: Komsomolskaya Pravda
Good a place as any. Wonder if Al Gore might join them?
Save the scrolls if possible!
Good a place as any. Wonder if Al Gore might join them?
I doubt that he could stand to be away from his huge mansions or giant private jet for more than a few hours.
Does Guinness book of world records have a category for mass human cannonball?
Al Gore would try to fill the cave with molten lead. Or else, drop some wood into a river to divert it into the cave.
This is already the middle of Nowhere. Now they are holed up in a cave in the middle of Nowhere. If Doomsday happens, when would they find out about it? Never?
The police shouldn’t intervene - I mean, what for, if the world is going to end?
Well, they're right about that!
Algore needs to send some global warming to these poor people.
I agree, although my guess is that in a few hours we'll be hearing about a "Geraldo! Special Report", beamed live and direct from inside the cave.
Shortly thereafter there will be reports of a massive explosion in Penza, which occurs after the sect members have an opportunity to speak with Geraldo and realize that the end of the world has indeed come.
You want reality TV, I gotcher reality TV rahtcheer...
Why can’t it ever be leftwing moonbats who do this kind of stuff? They won’t even leave the country when they say they will, much less blow themselves up.
I guess that when politics and a seething hatred of America “is” your religion, dying doesn’t serve any purpose.
I like the bomb idea. My grandmother used to go into the cellar whenever a serious cloud appeared on the horizon, she worried a lot about tornados. We kept her down there most of an afternoon one time by throwing rocks at the door. We caught some serious grief from my dad when we were discovered, but worth it from my current perspective.
Note to self.
NEVER NEVER sleep in a coffin.
|Friday, November 16, 2007 / Updated Moscow Time|
Thursday, November 15, 2007. Issue 3786. Page 1.By Kevin O'Flynn
Twenty-nine members of a religious doomsday sect, including a 16-month-old baby, are hiding in a snow-covered cave in the Penza region, refusing to come out as they wait for the end of the world next May, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The sect members, who liken tax identification numbers to the apocalyptic sign of the beast, are threatening to blow themselves up if authorities storm the cave, located near the village of Nikolskoye, 100 kilometers southeast of Penza, regional prosecutor's office spokeswoman Tatyana Ostrovskaya said by telephone.
The leader of the sect was not in the cave, national media reported.
Steam could be seen rising from a hole in thick snow in footage shown Wednesday on NTV television. Police are guarding the cave to prevent anyone else from joining them, Ostrovskaya said.
Authorities estimate that the zealots have been in the cave for two weeks, prompting concerns for the health of the four children hiding out. Attempts to coax them out of the cave or at least to release the children have been unsuccessful as the sect members have taken a vow of silence, Ostrovskaya said.
"They are ordinary Christians," Father Georgy, a local priest, told NTV while standing near the cave. "They just don't accept [tax identification numbers] and passports. They say the church did this and that wrong and that the end of the world is near."
Gunshots were fired into the air from the cave when Father Georgy and police tried to approach, NTV reported.
The government and the Russian Orthodox Church have complained repeatedly about the rise of sects since the fall of the Soviet Union. The opening of the Iron Curtain provided a hospitable climate for religious movements such as the Moonies and the Scientologists.
The messianic Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, which released anthrax in Tokyo in 1993 and Sarin gas on the Tokyo subway in 1995, recruited hundreds of people across Russia and sought to acquire various weapons in Russia. The cult actively recruited top Russian scientists and technical experts in order to develop weapons of mass destruction, according to a 1995 U.S. Senate report.
A former traffic cop who claims he is Jesus is the spiritual leader of some 5,000 disciples in Siberia.
The sect members in the Penza cave are followers of 43-year-old Pyotr Kuznetsov, who moved to Nikolskoye last year claiming to head up the true Russian Orthodox Church, said Alevtina Volchkova, chief prosecutor of the region's Bekovsky district, where the village is located, the Regnum news agency reported.
"They say the current Russian Orthodox Church is commercialized," Volchkova was quoted as saying. "The church has its own tax code and carries out commercial activities, so [the sect claims to] represent the real Russian Orthodox Church."
Dozens of people from across the nation and from former Soviet republics came to the village to join the group, Ostrovskaya said.
"They came, they came, they came," elderly Nikolskoye resident Galina Chepurnova told Rossia television Wednesday. "They sang, they sang, they sang."
Last year the group built a prayer house in Nikolskoye, and several months ago members began preparing the cave 500 meters outside the village, national media reported. Members began storing enough petrol, kerosene and food to last until May, and before moving in, they expanded the cave and reinforced the roof, she said.
"Their leader -- or Father Pyotr, as they call him -- says their supplies include a half a ton of honey and a lot of jam," Volchkova told Regnum.
Followers did not work, children in the sect were not allowed to go to school, and members were banned from speaking to their relatives, NTV reported.
When the group disappeared from the area, "we thought they had gone away. But it seems they didn't," Volchkova said in televised comments.
Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation in connection with the formation of an illegal sect, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
The hideaway was only discovered when the daughter of one of the sect members turned up in Nikolskoye, and Kuznetsov -- who did not go into the cave himself -- squealed under pressure from investigators, Izvestia reported Wednesday.
"He said they should not be disturbed, that they are chosen ones and nobody else is allowed to get in the cave," a law enforcement source told Izvestia.
Kuznetsov's whereabouts were unknown as of Wednesday, NTV reported.
Archbishop Filaret of the Penza and Kuznetsk dioceses said in a statement published on the regional government's web site that he was "deeply grieved" to hear that "a group of people who are outside the church of God ... are preparing themselves for the second coming of Christ."
Ostrovskaya refused to say if there was any plan to storm the cave, and the Interior Ministry's Penza region branch referred all questions to prosecutors.
"Three shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor shalt count thou two, unless thou then precedest immediately to three. Five is right out."
You are wierd! But my visual imagination is making me chuckle, anyway...
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