Sunday, November 18, 2007

Doomsday cult: A Russian version

Yes, the End is near again. This time the prediction is coming from a Russian cult, whose 30 members have barricaded themselves in a cave 400 miles south-east of Moscow, and are threatening to blow it up if approached by the police.
The group calls itself the "True Russian Orthodox Church". Members are waiting for the end of the world, which they are expecting to happen next May.

They say they have enough food and water to last out the winter, as well as large quantities of petrol.
The problem is that this group also includes four small children. But the cult leader did not join them (yes, he was indeed the smart one).
The group was founded by a former engineer, Pyotr Kuznetsov, who had fallen out with the Russian Orthodox Church.

He is thought to have ordered his followers into the cave but did not join them. He is now in custody and is undergoing psychiatric examinations.
Read the full story here. And while at it, here is a brief description of the classic text, When Prophecy Fails, by Leon Festinger about a social and psychological study of a doomsday cult and here is wiki-description of his theory of Cognitive Dissonance.