Yesterday was supposedly slated as the “end of the world.” That is, according to Yuko Chino and her Pana Wave followers in Japan.

But the planet’s destruction has been postponed, reports Mainichi Daily News.

Likewise, Chino’s claim that she is “dying of cancer” seems to be a bit exaggerated. The “cult leader” has reportedly been on the brink of death for at least a decade.

Chino likes to indulge in drama regarding her health as well as the fate of humanity.

Expect the “coming end” to be an ongoing saga in installments. And it looks like media coverage may turn Pana Wave into a mini-series.

All this keeps Chino’s followers preoccupied and attentive.

Preeminent cult expert Margaret Singer has said, “Cult leaders are like con men, only the con never ends.”

Pana Wave seems to be a never-ending story.

What alarms the Japanese is that Chino’s hype about Armageddon reminds them of Aum cult leader Shoko Asahara. He decided to personally fulfill his doomsday predictions.

A former member says Chino is an unstable and delusion ridden woman, which certainly isn’t reassuring. And she loves some type of type of green tea pudding.

Marshall Applewhite, the leader of the suicide cult “Heaven’s Gate,” had a penchant for pudding too. The San Diego UFO group ingested a lethal concoction of vodka and barbiturates mixed into pudding.

But police apparently found nothing to worry about in a recent search of Pana Wave facilities, reports The Strait Times.

It seems that Chino’s delusions revolve around lost seals, dressing everyone in white and television spots.

Hopefully it will stay that way.

Tomorrow the world may end, or so says Yuko Chino, the 69-year-old leader of the bizarre wandering “Japanese cult” clad in white called Pana Wave, reports England’s The Independent .

However, a purported “cult” making doomsday predictions is nothing new.

Many groups before the turn of the century seemed enveloped in a kind of “millennial madness,” making dire predictions of coming catastrophe and calamity.

If it were not quite planetary extinction, then at least there would be a kind of technological meltdown due to the “Y2K” computer glitch.

Nothing happened.

Never mind. Cult leaders and/or prophets of doom simply came up with some savvy spin to satisfy their followers and moved on, with the tragic exception of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments in Uganda.

Historically long-established groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses have learned that failed end times dates don’t mean “The End” for them and actually may increase baptisms, essentially becoming a useful recruitment tool.

People join up as if membership is the equivalent of an insurance policy against the event of Armageddon.

Yuko Chino seems to be carefully hedging her bets, by alternating between the claim that a lost seal in the news will somehow save humanity and/or that changes in outer space have already provided for a postponement, reports the New York Times.

One Pana Wave follower said, “I think it will be delayed till around May 22.”

But Japan’s Prime Minister just doesn’t get “why people believe in things said by such a group,” he asked plaintively.

After cult tragedies like “Heaven’s Gate,” the Solar Temple and most notably for the Japanese the doomsday cult called Aum, authorities in Japan are not taking any chances.

This week police raided Pana Wave locations just to make sure the group wasn’t concealing anything dangerous, like Aum once did, reports Mainichi Daily News.

However, one Japanese resident observed, “They’re not dangerous.” And added his main worry was “their…cars blocking…traffic.”

Yuko Chino has become a familiar figure in Japan through a series of such traffic jams. Perhaps that is what she always wanted.

Many cult leaders do seem to crave attention.

Despite Chino’s claims that she is suffering from terminal cancer and at death’s door, it appears the woman in white will be around for the foreseeable future.

Though judging from the reactions reported from several Japanese towns, Pana Wave is not a popular potential neighbor.

The Japanese “cult” Pana Wave is now encamped within a mountain region of Japan, reports Mainichi News.

But area residents are not happy and hope the group will move back to its own property soon.

Police continue to watch Pana Wave closely.

Next week on Thursday, according to Pana Wave’s leader Yuko Chino, the world will end.

Hopefully, this date may mark the return of group members to their compound to ponder a failed prophecy.

Japanese citizens appear weary of the wandering “cult” caravan of white vans rolling around the country.

A team of 100 Japanese riot police is presently tracking the “cult” Pana Wave, reports The Guardian.

Village after village has protested the group and made it clear they are unwelcome.

But Pana Wave has not been connected to any crime.

However, the ominous predictions of coming doom made by its leader Yuko Chino, deeply disturb many Japanese who remember the cult Aum.

An editorial in Asahi News noted, “In hindsight…Aum became increasingly bloody-minded, the police were late in taking appropriate action” and warned they should now “be prepared to move swift and sure if [Pana Wave] breaks any laws.”

However, that same editorial said, “Police need to keep in mind the possibility that groups of this sort, when pressed too hard, can sometimes lash out dangerously.”

So Japanese authorities are engaged in a precarious balancing act, between protecting the public from a potentially unsafe group, while being sensitive to the group itself.

Even the Prime Minister of Japan weighed in and said, “I would like groups, whatever kind, not to cause inconvenience to local areas and other people,” reported Japan Today.

Of course the crucial ingredient in all this remains Yuko Chino.

Much like Aum leader Shoko Asahara, Chino is the impetus behind her group and she largely defines it. The 69-year-old woman has the power to keep Pana Wave peaceful, or act as its ignition point.

Asahi lamented the intense nonstop TV coverage of the “cult” citing this as “One of the main reasons so much attention is being drawn to this group.”

However, Chino seems to be directing her followers in a series of sensational stunts that have garnered the group increasing attention.

Maybe with so many news cameras now focused on her group, 100 police engaged in ongoing surveillance and the Japanese Prime Minister commenting about Pana Wave, Chino is satisfied and has finally received all the attention she wants.

“Tama-chan the “little seal with a lousy sense of direction” became a TV star in Japan. A whole series titled “The World According to Tama-chan,” chronicled the life of this ocean orphan lost in the Tama River.

The adorable mammal became a “national sweetheart” as his exploits were watched in a series of episodes on Japanese national television. He even had a fan club, reports Daily Yomiuri.

But by Episode 4, Tama-chan had some trouble from strange new fans that wanted to “rescue” him. And that “fan club” is now known as the “cult” called Pana Wave.

“Cult leader” Yuko Chino and her devoted cohorts tried to kidnap little Tama-chan. Later she would claim that the seal’s “rescue” would somehow “save humanity.”

But perhaps all Chino really had in mind was moving into the limelight generated by darling seal, rather than rescuing either Tama-chan or the human race.

Eventually the media dug a little too deep and made Chino unhappy. She then had her followers chase them off with a bulldozer.

So is Yuko Chino a dangerous doomsday cult leader, or a manipulative media hound?

Maybe she is both rolled up into one odd combination?

It wasn’t that long ago that another “cult” known as the “Raelians” burst into prime time, claiming they had produced the “first human clone.”

However, all they really ever produced was an orchestrated media blitz.

Perhaps then Chino’s fascination with Tama-chan is telling. It does seem to mirror a Raelian-like publicity stunt.

Raelian leader Claude Vorilhon (“Rael”) seems to feed his voracious ego on such self-indulgent fare. Is Chino cut from the same cloth? They are both “cult leaders,” do they have more in common?

Everything has now seemingly come around full circle. Yuko Chino and Pana Wave are now the stars of their very own media series, seen through daily news coverage.

If the cult leader craved attention, she has certainly fulfilled her dream.

But it may turn out that the odd woman in the white van, will once again not like her close up.

It should come as no surprise that Yuko Chino has almost as strange a history as the cult she created.

The leader of Pana Wave, was known as a “kook” and “weirdo” growing up, reports Mainichi Daily News.

Chino alternated between isolating herself and dressing or undressing to gain attention. This included everything from “hot pants” to “streaking” naked through her neighborhood.

A love affair gone sour led the young Chino to attempt suicide once.

Later there was an arranged marriage with a Pana Wave follower, apparently linked to an immigration plan to enter the United States.

The reclusive “cult leader” now migrates around Japan within a white van, supposedly the repeated target of death rays transmitted by enemies intent upon killing her.

Repeated claims that Chino is dying from cancer remain essentially unproven.

She has predicted that the world will end next week on May 15th.

But when this prophecy fails don’t expect the group to end.

Historically, cult leaders can usually find some excuse to explain away a failed prediction. And cult followers, deeply invested and dependent upon the leader, typically accept what they are told.

Japanese authorities continue to closely monitor a strange “cult” called “Pana Wave.”

The nomadic group’s eerie caravan of white vans continues to roam across Japan, reports The Japan Times.

Pana Wave’s leader Yuko Chino makes increasingly strange pronouncements and proclamations.

In one statement the 69-year-old woman said, “approach of the Nibiru star will be delayed nearly a week from Monday, and those who do not listen to this message will face death.”

This may mean her previous prophecy that the world would end May 15th has been “delayed.”

Chino claims she is dying from cancer, which her followers attribute to a conspiracy by “extremists” and “radicals” bombarding her with “harmful electromagnetic transmissions.”

Pana Wave members wear white to protect themselves from these alleged death rays.

In one recent interview the cult’s leader said that a baby seal “would spare mankind from certain destruction,” reports Mainichi Daily News.

It must be understood that the Japanese have good reason to be disturbed by doomsday cults. After all, in 1995 the city of Tokyo endured a poison gas attack launched by the doomsday cult called Aum.

Aum’s leader Shoko Asahara, much like Yuko Chino, fed his followers with constant prophecies of coming catastrophe.

Eventually, this madman personally fulfilled his dark visions by creating a catastrophe himself that sent thousands of Japanese to hospitals and killed twelve.

Asahara’s long trial only recently ended and he is likely to be sentenced to death by hanging.

However, it is also possible that Chino and her cult following are simply publicity seekers. After all, most cult leaders are ego-driven and appear to need and feed upon attention.

Despite reports that the Pana Wave leader will die in days, it seems Ms. Chino is well enough to do demanding interviews and prepare public statements, reports BBC.

It may be that Pana Wave has more in common with a “cult” called the Raelians than it does with Aum.

The Raelians and their leader “Rael” (Claude Vorilhon) became known through a series of publicity stunts. The most recent was the claim that they had produced the “first human clone,” which now appears to have been a deliberate hoax.

Perhaps Chino like Rael craves the media spotlight. And the strange activities of Pana Wave are cynically calculated to garner as much attention for the cult and its leader as possible.

Let’s hope so.

After the horrors of Aum the Japanese could use a good laugh.

A strange cult called Pana Wave ceased blocking a road in Japan and moved on, but only after Japanese police searched the group’s vans and insisted they leave, reports the Herald Sun.

An apparently terminally ill woman named Yuko Chino 69 leads the group. The self-proclaimed “prophet” is reportedly dying from cancer.

Literature produced by the cult focuses on disturbing doomsday scenarios, with Chino as the exclusive savior of humanity, reports Associated Press.

Many Pana Wave members now live nomadically in tents and wander about Japan in a van caravan, most likely this has been directed by their “prophet” and motivated by her delusions.

One Japanese cult watcher said, “This is a cult in its terminal phase.”

Cults can be extremely volatile under such circumstances.

After the horrific attack of Tokyo’s subway system by another doomsday cult Aum in 1995, the Japanese are not taking any chances with another potentially dangerous group.

Authorities in Japan seem to be closely monitoring Pana Wave.

A bizarre cult has recently drawn heightened media attention in Japan through its strange behavior, reports BBC.

The group is called “Pana Wave,” led by 69-year old Hiroko Chino, a woman who began drawing a cult following during the 1970s.

Pana Wave overwhelmed and temporarily obstructed an isolated roadway near Giffo, Japan.

Their actions were prompted by a paranoid conspiracy theory, which claims there is an ongoing plot to kill their leader with a “weapon using electromagnetic waves.”

It appears Chino is dying from terminal cancer. And rather than accept that illness, she has spun a paranoid world of lurking enemies to maintain control and manipulate her followers further through fear.

Members of the group wore all white, including facemasks, to protect themselves from “harmful electromagnetic waves.” Even their vehicles were covered with white cloth.

Pana Wave members believe that white cloth blocks out the suspected destructive transmissions.

Chino has predicted the earth’s end is near. And Pana Wave reportedly has about 1,200 adherents.

One pamphlet states that if the leader dies cult members should “exterminate all humankind at once,” reports Reuters.

After the devastating gas attack of Tokyo’s subways in 1995 by another doomsday cult called Aum, the Japanese view such cult threats very seriously.

Police surrounded, questioned and eventually dispersed Chino’s followers. But the group remains under investigation.

Doomsday groups like Pana Wave are relatively common within the world of cults. And their leaders often manipulate members through fear of annihilation.

Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh and Jim Jones all used such dire predictions of coming catastrophe to draw their followers into compound life, within an insulated and isolated world of dread.

Rather than seeking to block out “electromagnetic waves,” Chino actually seems to be engaged in an ongoing process of blocking an outside frame of reference, which might provide her disciples with accurate feedback.

But historically as such a leader’s physical and/or mental well being unravels, a situation of high risk may develop.

Cult followers are often deeply dependent upon their leader to determine and/or define reality. They also typically allow that leader to do much of their thinking for them.

Given the history of destructive cults and Chino’s reported deteriorating health, the Japanese authorities have good reason to be concerned and monitor Pana Wave closely.