A French cult called the “New Lighthouse” expected the end of the world to come this Thursday, but its leader Arnaud Mussy has now bumped the date, reports VOA News.

Well what do you expect from a man who says he’s Jesus reincarnated?

Mussy has proven to be somewhat feckless in his previous prophecies. There have been two other failed predictions. However, in the cult business three strikes doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out.

An Apocalyptic prophecy can be a useful device for cult leaders. Such predictions create a sense of urgency to gather the faithful together. And of course the leader promises safety for his or her chosen.

One example was Elizabeth Claire Prophet, who even built bomb shelters in Montana to protect her group the “Church Universal and Triumphant.”

And once within this crisis mode members are frequently easier to manipulate.

Mussy also eerily follows in the footsteps of Luc Joret, the former leader of the Solar Temple. Perhaps that’s why French authorities continue to have his house staked out. Joret ultimately created his own self-styled Armageddon through a group mass suicide in Switzerland during 1994. Many of Joret’s followers were French-speaking.

Now Mussy and his group are holed up in a house waiting for the end, which he says will come “very soon.” The supposed “Jesus” insists that they have no intention of killing themselves.

Again, that’s what another cult “Heaven’s Gate” said too. They even published an official statement against suicide on the Internet. However, they later all committed mass suicide outside of San Diego in 1997.

French authorities seem to feel it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Mussy claims he will drop the cult and resume a regular job if things fall through. But can he so easily stop being a “savior”? If history is any guide, probably not.

A cult in France called “New Lighthouse” believes that the world will end next month. So far, one member has committed suicide and two others apparently made a serious attempt, reports Reuters. French authorities fear the implications of such a doomsday date and how it may affect the cult members.

Much like “Heaven’s Gate” whose 39 members died through a mass suicide in 1997, New Lighthouse members believe they too will be saved by a spaceship. Their leader Arnaud Mussy. says he will reign as the new Christ, when he and his followers are brought to Venus. Mussy has declared his brother the Pope.

Never mind that this all sounds ridiculous. The point is that those involved believe it and may end their lives as a direct result of that belief. Cult members are often subjected to a type of coercive persuasion within a group environment that produces undue influence and dependence upon a leader for crucial decision-making and value judgements. Historically, cult leaders have often become deeply delusional and then led their followers to tragedy.

After the Swiss cult mass suicide of the Solar Temple in 1994, which claimed 48 lives initially and many more later, French authorities are taking no chances. The police now have the New Lighthouse under close surveillance.

In recent years the European response to destructive cults has been more forthcoming, consistent and ongoing than within the United States.