Malaysian police uncovered a stockpile of weaponry including swords, gunpowder and camouflage clothing on Friday belonging to an Islamist sect that had been preparing for December’s Mayan apocalypse.
“They were preparing for the Mayan doomsday,” Malacca police chief Chuah Ghee Lye told Agence-France Presse. “It was a survivalist thing. I think the weapons were for protection or hunting.”
The items were found when police raided the home of the leader of the sect, which called itself Sky Banner. Some of the group’s 30 to 40 members had left after the world did not end in chaos on Dec. 21, the last day of the Mayan “long-count” calendar.
The sect leader, a 46-year-old whom police had yet to identify, had apparently convinced his followers that “holy weapons” would fly through the air at his will to “fight the enemies of mankind.” Malacca’s Islamic authorities had alerted the police of the sect’s “deviant” activities a year ago.
All over the world, believers prepared themselves for the end of the world as we know it in the run-up to Dec. 21. Tourists flocked to a tiny mountain town in rural France under the belief that it would be safe from Armageddon. In China, a farmer built capsules to survive the inevitable floods and authorities arrested more than a hundred followers of a Christian fringe group that warned people of the apocalypse that didn’t happen. In Michigan 33 schools closed early.