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May 17, 2008

Cult Members Give Up On End Of Days Theory

The Russian Orthodox Church has gone through many changes over the past couple of years. One of the major changes was the reconnection of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad and the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia. Of course, under Communism there was technically no Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, although of course there was. It was just underground. Anyhow the reconnection of the two entities has caused a slight schism between the church and some of it’s members.

Religion should be a beautiful thing and whatever you believe should be a peaceful undertaking. However, when people are searching for direction and something to hold on to, just about anything that calls itself a religion will fly. A doomsday cult in Russia decided to hold up in cave and wait for the end of the world to come. 35 women, men and children piled into cave in the Volga region in November. Police tried to get them to come out but could not intervene because they threatened to blow themselves up.

Pyotr Kuznetsov is the prophet this time around, but we all know that prophets are plentiful these days. Kuznetsov started the True Russian Orthodox Church a couple of years ago and found recruits in both Belarus and Russia. The best part of this story is that the prophet was not living in the cave. Instead he was housed by a family nearby where he bashed himself over the head with a stick last month to the point of hospitalization. Police say that the head bashing was a suicide attempt.

It is always surprising to me how people can latch on to an extreme religious practice and follow the supposed prophet in his every action. Are people so disconnected with spirituality and religion that they are just waiting for someone to guide them into a cave, literally and spiritually. Two women died in the cave, one of exhaustion and one of cancer and their bodies were allowed to rot while the other members of the cult slept and lived in the cave. I guess they were not instructed by their leader to carry out the dead bodies.

Kuznetsov may face charges and will probably serve some jail time. What I wonder is what will the remaining believers of his cult go on to do now? Will they continue to carry on his believes and wait for the next prophet or will they come to see the error in their ways?

No matter what religion you choose to follow, it is important to realize that you have a connection to whatever spiritual beliefs you may have. I believe that this is the reason why people join cults. If people felt like they had some access to spirituality they would not be so easily led down these dangerous paths. This is why is it some important to be in touch with your inner most spiritual self. If you are comfortable and knowledgeable about yourself and your spirit you will be able to distinguish between right and wrong and what is best. In my eyes, God is love and love does not ask you to destroy yourself or allow others to destroy themselves.

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