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.

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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. (Read more Russia stories.)

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