E. Telegraph: Israel fears pilgrim group is Millennium suicide cult--threatens deportationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
From tomorrow's Telegraph:
ISRAEL threatened to deport 26 pilgrims - mainly Irish - yesterday on the grounds that they are in an "extreme Christian cult" who might commit mass suicide at the Millennium.
The pilgrims were refused entry at Haifa and are expected to leave in the ship that carried them from Cyprus. Brendan Scannell, Irish ambassador to Israel, said he had expressed concern to the Israelis at the treatment of the pilgrims. Some had said they were assaulted when they tried to disembark and were forced back on board ship.
The Israeli authorities initially accused the pilgrims of being members of the American Concerned Christians cult, based in Denver, Colorado, whose leader, Monte Kim Miller, sees himself as one of the two witnesses to the end of the world.
Fourteen members of the cult were deported in January, accused of plotting violent acts on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to bring about the Second Coming, but no evidence against them was made public.
Linda Menuhin, a police spokesman, said the pilgrims had no connection with Concerned Christians. She called them members of an extreme cult, although the only accusations against them are that they look scruffy and apparently have some handicapped children with them.
They were tracked by a police intelligence unit set up to spot dangerous cults among the three million tourists expected to visit the Holy Land next year.
In Ireland, a spokesman at the Department of Foreign Affairs said: "There have been reports of them being members of a cult of some sort but our understanding is that they're quite well-meaning. They are not cited as a security risk, although unfortunately the authorities in Israel may have misread their intentions."
The tour was organised by the Pilgrim House Foundation, of Inch, Co Wexford. The pilgrims, 16 Irish and 10 Romanians, had four vehicles and $300,000 with them when they arrived.
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 1999
26 scruffy Irish Romanian religious extremists.
The mind boggles.
-- Sam (Gunmkr52@aol.com), October 11, 1999.
Do these millennium christian suicidal people know the start of the Millennium is not Jan 1, 2000, but Jan 1 2001? If they commit sucide this year, they really screwed up. Lots of stupid people in this world.
-- Carol (email@example.com), October 12, 1999.