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Doomsday Cult: Countdown to May • Monday May 5, 2003

Mainichi Daily News Photo Journal (Japan), May 5, 2003

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    Panawave group members wrap a tree in white cloth near their camp to deflect electromagnetic waves that they say have made their founder gravely ill.
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    The white-clad cult members, who were forced by police to leave Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture, where they had occupied a section of road for a week since April 25, made a short journey in their fleet of white vehicles and arrived at a neighboring village of Kiyomi in the predawn hours of Friday May 2.
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    The Panawave caravan stretches along a road in Gifu Prefecture. The central van is where they’re 69-year-old leader lies terminally ill with cancer. The group claims electromagnetic waves have been the cause of her illness.

    “A senior member suffers from terminal cancer after she came under a microwave attack from communist guerrillas,” a cult spokesman said at a news conference on April 28. They added that they are wandering around Japan in search of a place without electric pylons, which emit electromagnetic waves and badly affect the woman’s health.

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    In Oizumi, Gifu Prefecture, Panawave Laboratory members are constructing dome-shaped structures, which they claim to be resistant to any kind of natural disasters. The cult’s publications indicated that its members are convinced that the human race will be destroyed on May 15 this year because of a dramatic change in the angles of the Earth’s axis.

    People wishing to enter the domes and be saved from Armageddon are rumored to be asked to pay one million yen. They claim the domes can withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 15 on the Richter scale.

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    Panawave doomsday cult members cover crash barriers and trees alongside the road with white cloths which they believe will protect them and their ailing guru from “harmful electromagnetic waves.”

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