Final Doomsday Cultists Exit Russian Cave

Stench of corpses trumped need to await apocolypse
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2008 10:15 AM CDT
Women, members of a Russian cult, who left a cave after waiting the end of the world, together with their leader, self-declared prophet Pyotr Kuznetsov, right, on March 28.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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.