Inside the mind of a doomsday cultist

More than a month ago about 30 members of a doomsday cult barricaded themselves into an underground tunnel in Russia’s Penza region. They’re waiting for the end of the world. They refuse ID numbers of any kind, saying they conceal satanic meanings. RT takes a look at the cult’s beliefs.

Surviving separation

Earlier this month some of the cult members were deported from Russia. They’re now back in the village of Matsyasy in Belarus However, separation from their colleagues in Penza has not shaken their faith.

Back in Belarus, they are reluctant to communicate with the outside world. After hours of waiting, an RT reporter finally managed to speak to cult member Valentina Ponedelnik. She says the authorities will pay the price for forcing her to leave Penza region, the home of the cult.

“You’ll see€¦ The government’s actions will be accounted for. And if the authorities try to evict the people underground, then God will punish them. The biblical prophesy is coming true. The world will soon end,” Valentina said.

The religious fanatics remain the talk of the town. Locals say they fell under the spell of cult leader Pyotr Kuznetsov, but arrived in Nikolskoye in Penza region too late to hide underground.

Instead, the family from Belarus took residence at the cult’s prayer house, until they were forced to leave.

Pilgrimage to Nikolskoye

While many remain bewildered by the Doomsday beliefs, one man claims he understands it.

Valery Mechiev showed RT his old passport. He says he’s refused a new micro-chipped version, in the fear his Christianity will be threatened by the digital technology.

He’s come to Nikolskoye on a pilgrimage. He pay his respects, wishing he also had joined the group underground.

“To find God down there means they’ve completed their mission in life. Those people understand the importance of seeking the spiritual truth. They may be underground but they’re saving themselves from the underworld. I admire them”, Mechiev said.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday December 10, 2007.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at