7 Russian Cultists Quit Cave
Melting snow dooms end-of-the-world cult's hideout
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 5:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – Seven members of a Russian doomsday cult, all women, have emerged from the cave where they have been holed up since November, awaiting the end of the world (note: in May), Itar-Tass reports. Twenty-eight more remain in the cave southeast of Moscow—but they are expected to come out soon, as melting snow has caused part of the cave to collapse.

Holdouts have threatened to explode gas canisters if anybody tries to remove them by force, but  rescue workers and Russian Orthodox priests have been negotiating through a chimney. The cult's leader was brought from a psychiatric hospital to help with talks. Authorities have agreed to let the women take refuge elsewhere to wait for the apocalypse.