A government watchdog, which monitors cults and suspicious spiritual activities, is keeping an eye on the hamlet of Bugarach in the south of France, which is said to be the only place in the world that will survive an Apocalypse next year.
The remote hilltop villages have had an influx of New Age visitors in recent months.
Comment: We, here at SOTT, do not think that the "End of the World" is coming - and certainly not in 2012 (remember all the hoopla about the year 2000?), though we do regularly assess the scientific evidence that the Earth is in for a rough ride for a few years. We further do not assess the signs as indicating any special dispensation falling on Bugarach - or anywhere, for that matter. What is coming is global climate change for sure, and possibly localized cometary bombardment. No one is going to escape the former and the latter is a crapshoot - a matter of luck.
We naturally abhor the frenzied speculations based mostly on ignorance and pathology that have taken the field in such venues as "Project Camelot" and elsewhere, including ridiculous ideas such as Richard Hoaxland's about Comet Elenin. It is just that sort of wild rumor-mongering and craziness that led to the deaths of many gullible people belonging to the Heaven's Gate group back during the Hale-Bopp fiasco. So, certainly, there is some concern about this sort of thing, and rightly so.
However, for a government to step in as the French government has, and to authorize a group of people belonging to a real cult, (Miviludes) to decide who is or is not a cult, is taking the thing a bit too far. It amounts to establishing a Theocracy where one religion has the right to declare all other beliefs heretical. More than that, it is a government that has abdicated its responsibility in terms of making the facts - the Scientific Truths - available.
That is the gap that we, here at SOTT.NET, try to fill.