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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:21 am    Post subject: Cult news Reply with quote


Conductor on trial over cult killings in France, Switzerland and Canada
Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Wednesday October 25, 2006
The Guardian

A Swiss orchestra conductor went on trial for the second time yesterday for his alleged role in a doomsday cult which lost dozens of members in ritual killings in Canada and Europe. Michel Tabachnik, 61, a composer who has led major orchestras in Canada, Portugal and France, is accused of criminal association and contributing to the deaths of members of the Order of the Solar Temple - 14 of whom were found burnt and lying in a star formation in a clearing in the French Alps in 1995. Mr Tabachnik was acquitted of the same charges in 2001, but French prosecutors appealed and a new trial began in Grenoble yesterday. The conductor, whose first wife died in one of the cult's ritual mass suicides, denies the charges and wept during his court appearance.

The apocalyptic cult was founded in the 1980s by a French Canadian, Joseph di Mambro, based on a mixture of medieval Templar beliefs and new age fantasy. Di Mambro courted wealthy followers, persuading them to give up large sums of money in the belief that they would become part of a small elite destined to be reborn on a star called Sirius.

Members were told they could only reach Sirius by "death voyages" or ritualised suicide. In 1994 and 1995, 68 were found dead in Switzerland, Canada and France in apparent mass suicides. Most of the bodies were found gassed or shot in two villages in Switzerland. One group was arranged in a star formation in a concealed chamber beneath a remote farmhouse in the village of Cheiry.

Later 16 bodies, including three children, were found in a clearing in the French Alps known as the Well of Hell. Fourteen had been shot in the head, laid out in a star and burnt. An investigating judge decided two cult leaders had killed the others and then themselves, but some relatives believe the perpetrators fled and were never caught.

Mr Tabachnik is accused of writing and distributed esoteric texts intended to incite members to believe their death would lead to redemption, so creating "a dynamic towards murder".

During his first trial, prosecutors said Mr Tabachnik had taken part in crucial meetings discussing the end of the cult's mission. Months later, the mass suicides took place. Mr Tabachnik denied culpability, saying he had "done nothing wrong" and had been manipulated by the cult's leaders. His lawyers said he was being used as a scapegoat by the justice system. Judges were unable to prove a link between the texts and the suicides.

This trial is expected to last two weeks.

------------

I do like a good mass suicide/cult killing story... Confused
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Skylace
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's been a while since I've seen one of these.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:33 pm    Post subject: Cult holed up in Russian cave threaten suicide Reply with quote


Russian doomsday cult holed up in a cave issues threat of mass suicide
15th November 2007

At least 30 members of a Russian doomsday cult have barricaded themselves in a remote cave to await the imminent end of the world. They have threatened to use a gas tank to blow themselves up if police try to intervene. The cult members, who include at least 29 adults and four children, are thought to have taken food and fuel supplies into the cave.

Russian TV showed smoke or steam coming from a hole in the snow-covered hillside in the Penza region of central Russia. The newspaper Izvestia said the cult members were among the followers of 43-year-old Pyotr Kuznetsov, a schizophrenic who sleeps in a coffin. Police took him to the cave but the group refused his pleas to come out.

After decades of stateenforced atheism under Communist rule, many Russians and other ex-Soviet nationals have come under the influence of homegrown and foreign sects. Some Russians have refused new passports and taxpayers' personal identification numbers, saying they contained ' satanic' combinations of numbers. Russian media reported that the cave cult members believe the world would end in May next year. Police said they expect them to emerge when their supplies run out.

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call me old-fashioned, but if I joined a cult I'd not be following someone who sleeps in a coffin!
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Lostinthestates



Joined: 28 Feb 2007
Location: Bethlehem, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this sounds mean - but I would say just leave them waiting in the cave!!! At least the world will be less of these nutters. The only thing that makes me sick is that they get their children involved too!
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Mandy



Joined: 07 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree .. though echos of Wacko here -- though from the photo, they don't seem to be up against SWAT teams
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

but if the cult leader is asking them to come out then what's going on? There must have been some kind of SPLITTERS involved!
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luke



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Location: by the sea

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i hope they've taken enough food!

i don't think ( from memory ) waco was anything like this, they weren't threatening suicide or anything like that. the way they dealt with that whole thing was shocking
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Mandy



Joined: 07 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May next year ? About the time of the attack on Iran?

luke wrote:
i hope they've taken enough food!


V. incompetent if they didn't. As long as they have water {e.g. from a stream}, they could survive.

luke wrote:
i don't think ( from memory ) waco was anything like this, they weren't threatening suicide or anything like that. the way they dealt with that whole thing was shocking


That makes what happened at Wako even more shocking.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Russian sect continues underground wait for May apocalypse
20/ 11/ 2007

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, November 20 (RIA Novosti) - Members of an apocalyptic Russian sect in the country's central Penza Region remain underground as efforts continue to persuade them to come to the surface, a local MP said. "There has been no change in the situation," said Gennady Eroshin, adding that the children involved were in good health. "We have offered to exchange the children for a member of the rescue team, yet the sect has not responded," he went on.

The sect, which calls itself "The True Russian Orthodox Church," was formed by one Father Pyotr, a 43-year-old diagnosed schizophrenic. He is believed to have ordered his followers underground last week, declining, however, to join them in the snow-covered cave. Father Pyotr is currently in police custody.

The sect's underground shelter is thought to be well-stocked with food and other supplies. The group's members have also taken petrol and other explosive materials underground, and are threatening to set fire to themselves if any attempt is made to force them out. "Any intervention on our behalf could lead to harm being caused to the people [sect members]. They are psychologically disturbed and we can't predict what might happen. We have to continue negotiations," Eroshin added.

Alexander Dvorkin, a Russian religious expert, said that totalitarian sects were common in Russia, and that "control over their members is absolute, and anything that comes into the heads of their leaders has a direct effect on the entire group." He also added that the group in the Penza Region was similar in outlook to those pseudo-Russian Orthodox groups calling for the canonization of Stalin and Ivan the Terrible. Meanwhile, a Russian tabloid, Tvoi Den, earlier cited a police source as saying, "If talks don't work, we will fire sleeping gas into the tunnel. The gas is not harmful for human health."

It was not immediately clear why the group decided to go underground this month if they are not expecting the apocalypse to arrive until May of next year. One of the most well-known sects in Russia has its base near the southern Siberian town of Abakan, where thousands of people, both Russian and foreign, worship a former Russian provincial traffic policeman, Sergei Torop, as the second coming of Christ.

------------------

That line from the cop about sleeping gas not being harmful is some going eh? Tell that to the people in the theatre siege a few years back... then again, I looked at the website for the paper that alleges it and it seems just a typical red-top tabloid, so it was probably never said at all.
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Mandy



Joined: 07 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This could be considered extreme camping / or extreme caving. Why not just let them stay down there ?

They clearly do NOT want to commit suicide. The whole thing is about them wanting to survive.

Frankly, if they have nothing better to do in the meanwhile between now & May, then fine with me that they are underground.
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luke



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Location: by the sea

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they're still there!

Quote:
Hope for end to Russia cave siege

Cult leader Pyotr Kuznetsov was brought in to negotiate

Fresh talks are under way to persuade 28 doomsday cult members in Russia to end a five-month cave siege after seven sect women came to the surface.

The women were allowed to leave with cult leader Pyotr Kuznetsov after he was brought to the scene to negotiate.

The True Russian Orthodox Church members barricaded themselves into the cave in the Penza region, about 650km (400 miles) south-east of Moscow.

They are waiting for doomsday, which they believe will occur in May.

The members entered the cave in October and have refused to come out.

They threatened to detonate gas canisters if attempts were made to remove them and this week reportedly shot at police to drive them off.

However, there are reports of a split in the cult after a number of cave-ins due to prolonged rainfall. There are fears the cave could collapse completely.

'Prophet'

Mr Kuznetsov, who is undergoing court-ordered psychiatric treatment, was brought to the scene and after negotiations was allowed to take the seven women to his home in a nearby village to await the May doomsday date there.



The vice governor of the Penza region, Oleg Melnichenko, said the women were in good health and did not need medical help.

"The women who have come out will continue their isolation until May, when supposedly the end of the world will happen. That was their condition, which we promised to respect," Mr Melnichenko said.

The governor's office said it hoped the remaining members would come out soon, possibly as early as Saturday.

Four children are among those still in the cave.

Mr Kuznetsov, who calls himself Father Pyotr, declared himself a prophet a number of years ago and has attracted followers in Russia and Belarus.

He is thought to have ordered his followers into the cave but did not join them.


from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7320086.stm
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Last doomsday cult members abandon cave in Russia
May 16 2008
The Associated Press


MOSCOW -- The nine remaining members of a Russian doomsday cult holed up underground for months awaiting the end of the world abandoned it Friday after authorities removed two rotting corpses from their cave. The nine were the last of a group of 35 men, women and children that had dug into a hillside near the Volga region town of Penza in November and threatened to blow themselves up with gas canisters if authorities tried to remove them.

The elaborate structure -- complete with sleeping rooms, a makeshift kitchen and religious altars -- suffered a series of partial cave-ins earlier this year caused by melting snows. The cave-ins prompted most of the group, including self-declared prophet Pyotr Kuznetsov, to leave.

The last nine inhabitants emerged Friday after the bodies of two women who died in the cave were removed, a local police officer said. He did not give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The officer did not say why the group left, but Russian news agencies cited authorities as saying they left after being warned they could be poisoned by fumes from the rotting corpses.

"We could smell the stench through ventilation holes," a local official involved in the negotiations, Vladimir Provotorov, was quoted by RIA-Novosti as saying. "As we pulled out the dead bodies, we suggested the others leave. They agreed."

Cult members who left the cave earlier told local media that the women had died from cancer and exhaustion. The police officer said the bodies would be examined at a local morgue. Kuznetsov has been charged with setting up a religious organization associated with violence. Last month, he was hospitalized after authorities said he tried to kill himself.

An engineer from a devout family, Kuznetsov -- who goes by the title Father Pyotr -- declared himself a prophet several years ago. He left his family and established the True Russian Orthodox Church and recruited followers in Russia and Belarus. He reportedly told followers that in the afterlife, they would be judging whether others deserved heaven or hell. Followers were not allowed to watch television, listen to the radio or handle money, Russian media reported.

------------------

So that's that then - apart from the years of wondering what the hell they were doing...
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: 'Christian' cult leader raided for child-porn Reply with quote


Authorities Raid Evangelist's Compound on Suspicion of Child Porn, Abuse
September 21, 2008
Texarkana Gazette, Tanner Spendley

FOUKE, Arkansas Federal authorities conducting a child-porn investigation raided the headquarters Saturday of a ministry run by a convicted tax evader once labeled by prosecutors as a polygamist who preys on girls and women.

Social workers interviewed children who live at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries complex, which critics call a cult, to find out whether they were abused. The two-year investigation involves a law that prohibits the transportation of children across state lines for criminal activity, said Tom Browne, who runs the FBI office in Little Rock. "Children living at the facility may have been sexually and physically abused," Browne said.

The raid, conducted by state and federal authorities, started an hour before sunset at the complex in tiny Fouke, in southwestern Arkansas. Armed guards regularly patrol the headquarters, but there was no resistance as agents moved in, state police said. No one was arrested, but U.S. Attorney Bob Balfe said before the raid that he expected an arrest warrant for Alamo to be issued later. The federal investigation centered on the production of child pornography, while state police were looking into allegations of other child abuse, he said.

In a phone call to The Associated Press from a friend's house in the Los Angeles area, Tony Alamo who was also once accused of child abuse denied involvement in pornography. "We don't go into pornography; nobody in the church is into that," Alamo said. "Where do these allegations stem from? The anti-Christ government. The Catholics don't like me because I have cut their congregation in half. They hate true Christianity."

About 100 state and federal law officers raided the 15-acre compound housing the ministry, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a cult that opposes homosexuality, Catholicism and the government. The law center monitors the activities of extremist groups in the U.S. The ministry's Web site says it is "dedicated to spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the winning of souls worldwide."

John Selig, head of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, said state workers were talking to children. A passenger van with about 12 people inside left the compound heading for Texarkana with a police escort shortly after 8 p.m. It appeared some of those inside were children, but Selig said he didn't know whether any children would be taken into state custody.

Police said the Alamo church complex would be allowed to open for Sunday services, although officers did not indicate when the search would end. Alamo's church is in a single-story building that used to be a convenience store. A white cross stands atop the structure, with a small steeple to the right side.

Alamo and his wife Susan were street preachers along Hollywood's Sunset Strip in 1966 before forming a commune near Saugus, Calif. Susan Alamo died of cancer in 1982 and Alamo claimed she would be resurrected and kept her body on display for six months while their followers prayed. In 1988, following a raid near Santa Ana, Calif., three boys whose mothers were Alamo followers were placed in the custody of their fathers. Justin Miller, then 11, told police that Alamo directed four men to strike him 140 times with a wooden paddle as punishment for minor offenses. Alamo was charged with child abuse. The California Attorney General's office eventually cleared Alamo and his followers of the accusations.

In 1991, federal agents raided Alamo's complex near Alma and seized designer jackets the ministry sold to raise money; former Alamo followers had won a $1.8 million judgment against him. At the same time, the IRS said Alamo owed the government $7.9 million and later won the evangelist's conviction in federal court. The judge in the tax case ordered him held pending sentencing after prosecutors argued that the evangelist was a flight risk and a polygamist who preyed on married women and girls in his congregation. U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla said he was concerned over "the very great control Mr. Alamo has over a number of people."

Alamo told the AP on Saturday that he believed the raid was part of a push by the federal government to make same-sex marriage legal while outlawing polygamy. Alamo said he thought polygamy was allowed in the Bible but said he did not practice it himself. He also said that "consent is puberty" when it comes to sex.

There had been complaints about the ministry since Alamo arrived in Fouke in the late 1990s, said Terry Purvis, mayor of the town of about 850 residents. He has gotten calls from former ministry members with allegations of child abuse, polygamy and underage marriage, he said. Purvis said he turned over all the complaints to the FBI.

---------------------

Consent is puberty? Surely that statement alone is enough to have him blocked from access?
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eefanincan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Consent is puberty? Surely that statement alone is enough to have him blocked from access?


You would think!
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Police hunt religious leaders over weapon stash
By Jason Om
20th May 2010
abc.net.au

Police are hunting three leaders of an international religious group after raids in Adelaide uncovered a stash of guns, detonators and ammunition. South Australian fraud investigators are also examining payments from members who gave money to Agape Ministries International. Police say there is no evidence the group is a Doomsday cult but allege the group was amassing weapons and planning to move to a Pacific island.

Twelve properties linked to the group have been raided, including one at Mount Magnificent south of Adelaide. Four men from South Australia have been charged with firearms offences and will appear in court at a later date.

Detective Superintendent Jim Jeffrey from the South Australia Police's Commercial and Electronic Crime Branch says it is unknown why the group was stockpiling weapons. "We know that there's suggestions and by the looks of the shipping container they were having plans to relocate overseas, but of course we don't know the reasons for stockpiling weapons or why they were secreting ammunition inside those containers," he said. "Located within a shipping container on that property was prohibited weapons - extendable batons, slow burning fuses, detonators and detonator cords. There was also about 20,000 rounds of ammunition, some of which is high-powered and that ammunition was hidden within the steel frames of some bed heads."

Police say the group was also amassing money, collected from more than 50 of its members. "The ministry's built up a substantial amount of funds and those funds have been obviously provided by its membership or by its followers by selling up their properties or by pledging funds to that church," Detective Superintendent Jeffrey said. "Obviously the aspect of the inquiry now is to ascertain whether those funds have been used by the ministry as per the expectations of the people who have given them the money."

George Kruszewski runs a student hostel opposite the Agape headquarters and has watched people gathering for regular Sunday services over the past nine years. He says he used to talk to the group's leader, Rocco Leo, and has attended one of Mr Leo's services. "He was putting himself up as being a person who's a great healer and a person who's got authority and all that sort of thing," he said. "It didn't attract me. It was all sort of getting people in there and making them feel like as if this guy's got all the answers."

There has been strong speculation about the nature of the group. At a media conference this afternoon, Detective Superintendent Jeffery was asked if the group was a cult preparing for the end of the world. "That would be more speculative. As I said, we've got no concrete evidence of that," he said. "Yes, we've located the ammunition, we've located some breaches of the firearms act with some of the firearms that were in existence, we're still looking for some other firearms. But there's no direct proof or direct links to say that they are going along the lines [of world domination]."

Police are now looking for the group's key leadership group, which they say could be interstate or overseas. Agape Ministries International is listed on the Australian Business Register as a charitable institution. The ABC has tried to call the Agape Ministries centres listed in South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia but was unable to contact anyone.

-------------------------
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