White cult awaits 'postponed' doomsday at Fukui HQ

Mainichi Shimbun, Japan/May 16, 2003

Fukui -- The motorcade of the all-white Panawave cult returned to its Fukui headquarters Friday, a day after their predicted -- then postponed -- doomsday passed without incident.

Cult members moved into their "laboratory" in the city's Gotaishi district in early hours of Friday following the completion of works to pave a large tract of land it is located with asphalt, which is reportedly designed to "protect the facility from electromagnetic waves."

Kiyoshi Maeda, head of the Gotaishi neighborhood association, had sympathetic words for the cultists.

"I am relieved. They have been persecuted so we accepted them (in our neighborhood) on humanitarian grounds," Maeda said. "We'll maintain a dialogue with them. I'll ask them to keep the peace for everyone in this area."

Guru Yuko Chino and her followers, who attracted nationwide attention as they wandered around the mountainous area of the central Japan in a fleet of white vehicles, have been camping at the ground of a disused school in the city since May 9.

The Panawave Laboratory cult predicted that that a major disaster would devastate the Earth on Thursday. However, as doomsday approached, a senior member of the cult hinted that it would be "delayed" until around May 22.

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