Group members, however, then set up 50 white reflective boards as a substitute for the cloth, which they say is intended to protect the life of their female leader.
In June, the group ignored two requests from the Fukui Prefectural Government to remove the cloth from the riverside in the town of Gotashi, where Pana Wave is headquartered.
In July, the government threatened to forcibly remove the cloth if the group did not comply by the end of August.
Pana Wave Laboratory was the focus of media hype earlier this year as their eccentric behavior — dressing in white from head to toe and wrapping white cloth around their vehicles — was compared to early Aum Shinrikyo activities.
The group says its members are being attacked by electromagnetic waves and that the white cloth is their only means of protection.
“It almost broke our hearts to have to get rid of the cloth,” one member said. “We are thinking of setting up more reflective boards while finding other substitutes.”
Sep. 1, 2003