Panawave on the move

Mainichi Daily News (Japan), May 5, 2003

GIFU — White-clad members of the mysterious cult Panawave Laboratory were on the move Monday evening after local officials ordered them to leave a mountainous road they had been camping on since early May.

The members of the cult were heading eastward from Kiyomi, Gifu Prefecture, toward Mase in the same prefecture, officials said, but their exact destination remains unknown.

Police are keeping a close eye on the procession of white cars.

Dozens of Panawave Laboratory members arrived in Kiyomi early May 2, after camping for days on a road on the border of the Hachiman and Yamato areas in Gifu Prefecture.

After arriving in Kiyomi, members of the cult had promised to leave the area before 5 p.m., Monday, but didn’t start moving out until 7:30 p.m.

The national government has ordered members to remove stickers placed on their car windscreens designed to “deflect electromagnetic waves,” on the grounds that such seals infringed upon traffic laws.

The cult has reportedly admitted involvement in sponsoring a group that tried to net Tama-chan the bearded seal who was living in a Yokohama river in March.

But the head of the animal rights’ group, the Tama-chan Nokotowo Omou Kai (Consideration for Tama-chan Society) denied any relationship with the cult.

The cult claims a massive earthquake will occur on May 15, destroying humanity. Sources said members also claimed that rescuing Tama-chan would lead to the rescuing of mankind.

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