Doomsday cult link

The Mercury, Australia/January 20, 2012

Roger Nutting readily recalls his encounter with Martin Polin in 1991 when the American tried to recruit him to a bizarre cause.

The Reedy Marsh maintenance electrician had travelled to Hobart to talk to Mr Polin about Gordon Vale one of 23 Tasmanian wilderness properties Mr Polin's estate put on the market on Wednesday.

Mr Nutting, who had researched the property for 25 years, met Mr Polin in his Sandy Bay home where they talked about the property.

"Everything went swimmingly for about half an hour and then my meeting with him took a very strange turn," Mr Nutting said.

"He looked at me and he asked me if I was married and did I have children and I said 'yes I had four children'.

"Then all of a sudden the strangest question of all 'Do they go to Sunday School?' and as a matter of fact they did."

Mr Nutting said Mr Polin was looking for him to tick the right boxes.

"He was on a recruiting drive for young couples with young families to perpetuate the human race after a nuclear holocaust," he said.

"He even named the time of day and day when it would happen. He said that the Russians would press all the buttons it was the Cold War time, of course and they were the ones provoking the rest of the world and he told me they had warheads pointing all over the world.

"It was going to become a global catastrophe in terms of a nuclear holocaust."

Mr Nutting said Mr Polin told him he had travelled around the world and decided Tasmania was the safest place.

"Of all the Tasmanian properties he chose Circular Marsh, which is near Bronte Park," Mr Nutting said.

"He told me he was building a nuclear-proof bunker there. He also said he was constructing a shelter in a [separate] Sandy Bay home capable of withstanding a nuclear war in case he could not make it to Circular Marsh in time.

"But he told me he had had a lot of problems getting it through the council."

Gordon Vale is part of 18,000ha of Tasmanian wilderness put on the market by the estate of Mr Polin, a former Utah lawyer who died in 2007.

Mr Nutting said Mr Polin talked in their two-hour meeting as if he was responsible for the survival of the human race.

"He was right in my face and every time I made remarks about having to go he almost blocked my path to the door," Mr Nutting said.

He said Mr Polin had wanted him to take away a lot of literature about the nuclear threat and read about it and get back to him.

"He never got the phone call," he said.

Mr Nutting said that when he got into his car he looked back up the stairs to his house to make sure Mr Polin had not followed him out.

"Quite frankly, it was frightening because there had been no indication in my phone calls till then that he was so fanatical," he said.

Mr Nutting said in recent months he had gone to look at the bunker.

He said it had concrete walls and enormous steel doors and a filtration system for water.

There had been shipping containers full of white goods and furniture and about 5000 plastic bottles for water storage.

Mr Nutting said Mr Polin indicated to him he already had some followers.

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