Brazilian police fear a mass suicide may take place later on Friday after more than 100 members of a doomsday cult barricaded themselves inside a house to await “the end of the world”, which they believe will happen at 4pm local time (3pm ET).
Authorities believe that the members are preparing to kill themselves by drinking soup laced with poison after the group’s leader, the “prophet” Luis Pereira dos Santos, convinced his followers that the Apocalypse would happen today.
Santos, 43, claims that an angel visited him four years ago and told him the exact time that the world was going to end.
Last month Santos convinced his 113 followers to leave their jobs, give away all their possessions, and take their children out of school.
Since then, the groto up has been holed up in a ten bedroom house that they call The Ark, which is located on the outskirts of Teresina, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Piaui.
On Thursday evening, 50 military policemen forced their way into the home and removed 19 babies and children after they received “credible” information that the group had planned to kill themselves by drinking poison. Police say that during the operation, a “significant quantity” of rat poison was found at the residence.
The Daily Mail reported that cult members questions why the children were taken but the judge was quoted as saying the adults were free to do what they wished but the children should be protected.
According to the local reports, the leader Luis Pereira dos Santos was arrested but subsequently released.
The “prophet” doomsday Luis Pereira dos Santos, who had predicted that the world would end at 16h of last Friday, Oct. 12, was released in the early hours of Sunday. He was arrested in Central Flagrant Teresina (PI).
Santos was arrested on Friday after trying to lynch him popular in his home in University Park, one of the slums of Teresina. When arrested, amid the turmoil, he claimed to be a servant of God and that he was delivering for security reasons.
The “prophet”, a 43-year-old former janitor and former Catholic, said that four years ago received message of an angel warning that the world would end on October 12. According to him, back and forth, got rid of the car, motorcycle, goods and hosted at his residence homeless, prostitutes, drug dealers and criminals. He advised people to leave the job and take their children out of school.
On Friday, people who were sheltered in the house named “Ark” were removed before nightfall and taken to the family residence. About 100 people followed the cult of saints. Children and adolescents in the group – about 20 – were taken to shelters and foster home.
Tip: Tim Farley WhatsTheHarm.net