cult takes refuge in cave

Published November 16th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson


CNN reports that a Russian doomsday cult has barricaded themselves in a cave and are waiting for the end of the world.

It’s strange to me that they believe the earth is coming to an end in May 2008, but they’re already in the cave. Six months in a cave is a long time. The move seems a little premature to me, that’s all I’m saying. Why the rush? I feel like I’m missing something. And why would you choose to spend your last days there instead of a nice hotel or something?

Russian anti-cult authorities have determined that up to 29 members, including 4 children, are taking hold in the cave.

I say leave them alone, as long as the children are in no imminent danger. Who cares? What’s the worst that will happen? They’re waiting for the end of the world – they’re not going to mass-suicide. It seems to me that most of the cult disasters have been triggered by authorities trying to intervene. So what if they’re in cave? Leave them alone. If you try to force them out, they very well might mass-suicide.

By far, the scariest thing about this situation is the response from the mainstream church:

“It is obviously some kind of insanity,” Mitropolitan Kirill, a high-ranking Russian Orthodox Church official, told Russian television. “It is perhaps even a medical case. A very dangerous phenomena is happening in Russia’s religious life.”

He added, “What we’re seeing in Penza right now is a most vivid example of what could happen to a country, to a society, if this society is deprived of proper religious education.”

(I added the bold.)

To Mr. Kirill: What is “proper religious education”, and who do you propose decide the curriculum? What makes your cult more legitimate than theirs? You believe the earth is 5000 years old and we rode around on dinosaurs, they’re just living in a cave.

You can read the CNN article here.

196 Responses to “cult takes refuge in cave”

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  1. ۞ says:


  2. ۞ says:

    How do know the children are in no immediate danger?
    A mass “suicide” is real possibility.
    I am certainly concerned for their well-being. I also don’t think you should just leave adults to it.
    Cults addle vulnerable minds and control people. We should protect people who are not making free and informed decisions with a competent mind.

  3. Pasta Dutchie says:

    Perhaps we could send some pasta….

    Pasta Dutchie
    From the lef’ han’ side


  4. Scuba Steve says:

    I think a doomsday cult makes a bit more sense than waving rattlesnakes around. With nuclear weapons and whatnot, a real life Dr. Strangelove is possible, if not totally reasonable. And maybe they are boarding up early just in case they got the date wrong.

  5. Pasta Dutchie says:

    Do you think there’s a bar in the cave?
    Or a big-screen TV?
    From the lef’ han’ side

  6. ۞ says:

    I think Terry Pratchett made the point that attempting to escape death by sealing yourself up somewhere is actually more likely to have the opposite effect.

  7. Bascule says:

    If the earth is coming to an end, would not the cave also come to an end? Or is it just the earth above ground, which is coming to an end? So underground service is ensured?

  8. Scuba Steve says:

    Even if only the above ground ended, they wouldn’t have any food or fuel for warmth, so it doesn’t make sense either way.

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