The final nine members of a Russian doomsday cult holed up in a cave to await the apocalypse (coming this month) have abandoned ship, unable to stand the stench of two people who had died. Thirty-five followers of a self-declared prophet calling himself Father Pyotr climbed into the cave in November and threatened to blow themselves up if police tried to remove them, the BBC reports.
A local official said the end of the siege was prompted by the “threat of poisoning from toxic corpse fumes.” One cult member had died from fasting and a second from cancer. The other cultists had left over several months. Pyotr himself, who never entered the cave, is receiving treatment at a psychiatric clinic—and has been charged with founding a violent religion.