From H.P.Blavatsky - Teopedia
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Curetes. The Priest-Initiates of ancient Crete, in the service of Cybele. Initiation in their temples was very severe ; it lasted twenty-seven days, during which time the aspirant was left by himself in a crypt, undergoing terrible trials. Pythagoras was initiated into these rites and came out victorious.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary