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The message of the Doukhobors Evalenko, Alexander M. 1913

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^oUec^em/ye^^an^uei^m^^
tjne' ^^^^i^^^^^^^f^^l^^!^^^   THE MESSAGE OF
THE DOUKHOBORS
A   Statement   of   True  Facts   by   "Christians
of the Universal Brotherhood"  and
by  Prominent  Champions
of    their Cause
COMPILED BY
ALEXANDER M. EVALENKO
THE INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY PUBLISHING CO.
NEW YORK
1913  INDEX
PAGE
The Why and Wherefore of This Book.   By
A. M. Evalenko        9
I. The Message of the Doukhobors.   Transl,
by Leonard Lewery     17
II. They Plan Moving On      66
III. Their Martyrdom in Russia.  By Vladi-
myr Tchertkoff     84
Appeal to Reason.   By Leo Tolstoi     93
IV. Their Origin and Doctrine. An Old Paper    101
V. The Story of the Deliverance   115
«£  One of the crudest superstitions known is that
of the scientific men—that man can exist without
faith.
If we lack the power to burn and to diffuse the
light, then, at least, let us not stand in its way.
Christianity is so simple, that children understand it in its direct meaning. Only men who
pretend to be and to call themselves Christians,
will misinterpret it.
Leo Tolstoi.
Not every one, that said unto Me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he
that doeth the will of my Father.
Matthew, vii, 21.  THE WHY AND WHEREFORE OF
THIS BOOK
BY A.  M. EVALENKO
A ROYAL DOUKHOBOR COMMISSION is at
present sitting at Nelson, British Columbia, investigating the causes and chief factors of the
trouble which has been fuming "threateningly
for  some tiime  past between the local government
authorities on one side and the Russian Doukhobor settlements on the other.
Recently, with the officials resorting to drastic
measures in their wrathful eagerness to compel the
submission to if not recognition of their authority by
the Doukhobors and the latters' quiet but adamant resistance, the trouble assumed such ominous proportions
that the central authorities could no longer leave the
situation entirely in the hands of the narrow-minded
and over-zealous local minions of the law, whose only
arguments in bringing the obdurate Doukhobors to
reason consisted in handcuffs and the lockup. So far as
that goes, the Doukhobors have already tested and tempered the steel of their convictions in the fires of Government persecution in Russia.
Before the fierce intensity of those inquisition fires
the reprisals of local Canadian authorities dwindled to
(9) — 10
the mild impressiveness of Fourth of July firecrackers.
It was ridiculous to imagine, of course, that by such
petty means of coercion could the indomitable spirit of
the Doukhobors ("Spirit-Wrestlers") be broken.
Nevertheless I was set aghast at the lengths of savage repression that can be reached by infuriated officials, even in our enlightened times, and right in our
midst, under the humane and noble regime of the Canadian Commonwealth. The Russian Cossacks are cruel,
no doubt, brutally and blindly; but somehow their atrocities, in all their hair-raising horror, inspired less sickening disgust and mortification in me than the devilish
ingenuity of "humanitarian" torture practiced in some
up-to-date prisons and insane asylums of Canada over
meek, defenceless and absolutely non-resisting followers of Christ.
But is such a thing possible? Is this not in reality
a distorted upshoot of aroused passions? Flights of
wrath-inflamed imagination? No, the facts related by
the Doukhobors in their slimple and artless narrative
have been proven to be just plain and unvarnished
truth. Then how could all this happen, and nobody
seemed to have heard or read anything about it? In
these days of glaring publicity penetrating every nook
and cranny of public life ?
The explanation is siimple. I could not have couched
it in terms more admirably and forcibly chosen than the
words of Mr. John C. Kenworthy prefacing an old
publication about the Doukhobors. (Christian Martyrdom in Russia, London, 1897). — lilt will seem incredible to many of us that
the things here recorded can by any possibility
be true, in this the nineteenth Christian century. ... It is true that the Doukhobors are,
or until recently have been, quite obscure, an
unknown peasant sect from Russia. But why
have they been obscure ? For the same reason
that the present life and past history of all
such people is made obscure; because they are
men of sincere religion, who esteem it their
duty to live by those Christian principles
which the most of us profess with our lips and
entirely violate in our lives.
They are a light shining in darkness—in
darkness zvhich moves actively to hide and
smother the light."
It so happened that the Doukhobors fixed their
choice on me as a champion of their cause and appealed
to me to come over and plead their case before the
Commission. I heeded the summons and betook me
to the charming wilds of the Grand Forks Valley in the
Kootenay District. I spent quite some time in going
over all the settlements of the Doukhobors, with their
remarkable leader, Peter Verigin. Later I appeared as
witness before the Doukhobor Inquiry Commission at
Nelson.
By that time the chief cause of the trouble was perfectly clear to me. The people do not understand the
Doukhobors and the Doukhobors cannot make themselves understood in the manner followed by them, that 12
is by merely going their own way and justifying their
doctrine by living it, and nothing else. Most fortunately for the cause of the Doukhobors the investigation
of the Doukhobor Commission was presided over by a
man of deep human insight, sterling integrity and nobility of heart, before whom neither the Doukhobors
themselves, nor their antagonists, nor myself could
help but bow in profound respect. If more men of
the stamp of William Blakemore could be had in our
public offices, this would be a different world for us to
live in.
And even as I was answering to his questions on the
witness stand I conceived the necessity of this book.
The following is a fair sample of how much information about the epoch making drama now being unfolded
in British Columbia can be derived from the daily
press. It lis an item gleaned on the editorial page of
the highly respectable New York Tribune:
Russian Socialists, variously called Doukhobors, Dukabors and Duke Hoboes, are trying to persuade the Manitoban authorities to
release some of their comrades from a madhouse by going on the asylum grounds and
stripping off their clothes. The chances are
about ten to one that they will get themselves
locked up before they get their fellow madmen
released.
And this is what the Doukhobors had to relate on
this subject and that only in answer to my direct questioning.   Note the tone of their statement. — 13 —
The Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood
Doukhobor Settlements in Canada,
Brilliant, British Columbia,
September 20, 1912.
Regarding those torturerd to death:
"In 1903 over forty men were put into the
prison at Regina, men and women. They
were held in confinement for three months.
The "fasting" Doukhobors were beaten and
tormented a great deal for abstaining from
meat and for declining obedience to special
humiliating orders of the prison authorities,
such as cleaning out the privy, hauling water
instead of beasts of burden and >in other ways
making themselves objects of mockery. The
doctors were forcibly injecting medical mixtures through their mouths', which led to excruciating stomach-pains and diarrhea, resulting in
utter exhaustion and feebleness. All were
forcibly fed by meat soups, scalding hot,
whereby tongues and lips were burned black.
All this bodily torture was mostly carried on
during the night. As to beating, this was done
in broad daylight as well as at night time, using
rolling pins, lashes; trampling underfoot both
men and women. The men Alexay Makasayev
and Nicholas Antiphayev were starved and had
their arms twisted backwards. They were suspended by their feet with the head stuck in a — 14 —
barrel of water until rendered unconscious and
then thrown on the ground as good as dead.
"In the same year, 1903, Prokoph Pogojeff
was tortured to death in the Brandon Insane
Asylum for his convictions in refusing all
cooked food, and taking naught but fruit and
vegetables for nourishment. The authorities
considered this abstention a grave menace,
which should not be tolerated: even by way of
experiments over one's own self. So they
starved him to death. Firm to the end, he expired of sheer exhaustion, whilst placed in a
bathtub. He was taking baths very frequently
towards the end and sustained his life on grass,
which he gathered in the courtyard during the
common exercise of the inmates.
"In 1904 Alexay Ponomareff was tortured
to death in the prison of Prince-Alberta by
having hot meat soups injected into his stom- ,
ach through rubber tubing. Ponomareff died
during one of such operations with heart rending crying and praying for mercy.
"In the same manner and in the same prison
Alexay Alexievitch Ozeroff was tortured to
death towards the end of 1910 or the first part
of 1911, as nearly as could be learned.
Out of six men put into the cold room at the
prison of Winnepeg, Coozma Novokshonov
and Vassil Makassayev were tortured to death
by being chained to the walls, hands and feet — 15 —
stretched stiff and held in this position for
three days in the midst oi winter. Both have
swollen up beyond recognition through the cold
and expired in great suffering. Two of the
others died upon reaching their homes."
This will do for a sample.
The facts related are in themselves awful. But hundredfold more terrible is the consciousness that this
is plain and naked truth and that this could have happened in a most advanced Christian country in our
days.
The victims are people whose sole fault is the practice of the Christian virtues of a pure worship of God,
communism of goods, and peace—"non-resistance to
evil." All these circumstances are attested in this book,
by the direct and indirect evidence of men whose hon^
esty of purpose and scrupulous exactitude are shown
by the very manner of their speaking.
Surely the modern State condemns itself immediately and completely, When it thus brings itself into
direct and destructive enmity with people whose beliefs
and lives are precisely calculated to promote the ends
which the State so hypocritically assumes to serve—
the ends of social justice and well-being.
This book should be received by us as a record of
the deeds and suffering of people, who are casting their
lives against common enemy, the rule of brute force
in society.
"The Message of the Doukhobors" has been written
by the Doukhobors themselves at my request when I — 16 —
realized during my sojourn with them, how cruelly they
are misunderstood and how perilously inadequate in
these modern days their own way of spreading their
message would be—just by living it. A popular Russian proverb runs: "Before the sun comes out the dew
may blind the eyes."
I feel that the first mission o>f this book is to let the
world know how the life of truth is growing by suffering in its midst.
A. M. Evalenko,
New York, October 5, 1912. THE MESSAGE OF THE
DOUKHOBORS
(Translated by Leonard Lewery)
An Answer to the writings of unscrupulous persons,
Russians as well as English, who are meddling with
things which are out of tlveir line, by writing what
they ought not to say and condemning that which is
not for them to criticize.
Not that things of this nature may disturb us as
Christians, as such should not rejoice, in praise, nor
be vexed by slander. Because we shape the course
of our earthly life, as far as our reaosn conceives and
our physical powers enable us, after God, through
Jesus Christ, His true Son and Heir, who proclaimed:
"Praised be our Lord in Heaven, Peace on earth and
Goodwill to all men." Whose name is recalled, at
least once every year, by all nations alike: "Christ has
arisen." And the answer thereto is this: "In all true
men hath Christ arisen."
(17) — 18
ccThou art Peter, said Christ, and upon this rock I
zvill build my church and the gates of Hell shall not
prevail against it." Those were the words of Christ.
He lived nineteen centuries ago and preached by His
life to all mankind, that the Kingdom of God might
be installed on earth.
In our time a great man had lived and died as a
follower of Christ—Lyof Nicolayevitch Tolstoi, who
unto his very physical death extolled and practiced
His life. Therefore, having set as our example men
of so great and indomitable a spirit, we should really
go on undisturbed, yea, even heedless of such trivialities, as petty calumnious attacks of both those
Russians and the Englishmen. In our estimation such
personalities are not even worthy of being mentioned
by name in this statement of ours, which is neither
intended for, nor issued on account of them, but for
the benefit of all those in sympathy with the Christ-
true life we are dwelling in.
It is a matter of universal knowledge, the suffering
that we have been subjected to, back in Russia; but
for those unfamiliar with our previous history, we
would here briefly delve into our records and also
outline, if very broadly, our position in this Land of
Freedom, amidst the civilized world.
When, back in our home country we refused to take
the oath of allegiance to Nicolas Romanoff, at the same
time destroying by fire all arms and weapons in our
possession, have given up the use of meat, intoxicating liquors and smoking tobacco; declared our protest — 19 —
against military service, according to the doctrine of
Christ—we were subjected to relentless persecutions
and torture, were arrested and thrown into prisons.
Altogether about five hundred men were arrested in
the two governments of Elizabethpol and Karsk. After
two years' confinement in jail, they were all exiled;
two hundred men or thereabouts to Siberia—the
Yakootsk Province—where they were ensconced
amongst native tribes on the shores of the river
Notora, three hundred and thrity-five miles distance
from Yakootsk. The others were dispersed in the
Trans-Caucasian provinces, no more than twoi men per
Aoul, or a Tartar village. And the Doukhobors of the
Tiflis Government, district of Akhalcalack, known as
the Kholodinskis, were all exiled, men, women and
children, and likewise scattered throughout the Government of Tiflis, amongst Georgians, Imeretians and
Ossetes, at the same rate of two families per Aoul.
We will not expatiate here in a detailed narrative of
all the sufferings undergone by us, for this will make
the subject of a whole book, which will go down to
^posterity as the history of our days. In this, our general spiritual revival Peter Vassilyevitch Verigin also
took part, who is now wantonly condemned by men
ignorant of the ways of the world, each according to
his fancy. At that particular time he was in exile at
Obdorsk, of the Tobolsk Government, District of
Berezov, Siberia. And in connection with these trying hardships of ours he has sent to all of us the following  letter  of   instruction,   headed  as   follows:— — 20
"My Beloved Brother in Our Lord Jesus Christ, I
wish to discuss with thee, wherein lies thy faith. I
am following the law of My Lord Jesus Christ and my
conception of it is inward and not outward. When we
abide in the Will of our God-Father, then God abides
fin U9, too, and inspires our lives, and radiant light
descends onto our reason. Those wishing to fulfill the
Will of our Father in Heaven- should bend their hearts
to His command. God enjoins upon us "ye have been
paid for dearly, do ye not become enslaved of men.
And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make
you free.
In starting upon this great work of ours, we must be
prepared in full consciousness, that our sincerity is
liable to be subjected to severe tests. This task of ours
may inflict upon us insults and injuries, suffering, yea,
even death. We are bound to contend with misunderstanding, misinterpretation, slander; we are to face a
storm—vanity, pharisaism, ambitions, cruel rulers,
powers-that-be—all this joining forces in order to annihilate us. Even so Our Lord Jesus Christ was dealt
with, Whom we are striving to emulate in the measure of our strength. But we should not be baffled by
these terrors, our hope lies not with men, but with the
Almighty God.   If we renounce all human assistance, — 21 —
what then is to tide us over, but faith alone, which conquers the world ?
And then we shall not be wondering at the dire trials
we went through, but will rejoice in having been chosen
to share in the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In consequence of all this we entrust our souls to
God and pin our faith to the Saying, that whosoever
relinquisheth his house, or his brothers and sisters, his
parents or his children, or his hoard, for the sake of the
Lord, he will be rewarded hundredfold and will inherit
eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. And so,
armed with firm belief in the ultimate triumph of
Truth, despite everything that may arise against us, we
trust in the reason and conscience of mankind, and
above all, in God's power, in which we should take our
resort. The Christian is urged to show obedience to
men and to the laws of men, just as if a hired man
could pledge himself to take all the orders of strange
men, as well, besides those of his master. One cannot serve two masters. A Christian is released from
human powers by recognizing the power of God alone
over himself; and the law which is revealed to him by
Our Lord Jesus Christ—he is imbued with the consciousness of it within himself and obeys but its commands.
The life of man consists not in satisfying one's own — 22 —
desires, but the will of God. A Christian may be subjected to external violence and may be deprived of
personal bodily freedom, yet withal be free of his passions. Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
A Christian is resigned and meek, does not contradict
anybody, nor attack anybody, uses no coercion against
anybody, but on the contrary, endures violence unflinchingly and thereby vanquishes evil.
P. V. Verigin.
This instruction may be said to be embodying the
Divine Spirit, which manifested itself in Jesus Christ
as the Son of Our Lord. All those who were due to
come up for military conscription tried to learn it by
heart, in order with its aid to subdue the passions,
which might be aroused in the stress of one's trial.
And Peter Vassilyevich, he enjoined upon us, that whoever was sincere in regard to this, should have this light
penetrate and permeate his reason and to keep the same
not in mind only but deep in one's heart, to be able to
withstand all tests. This refusal on our part to take the
oath of allegiance and to submit to military conscription wa9 the original cause of our migration here, to
Canada, as the Land of Freedom. Peter Vassilyevich
addressed a letter to the Empress Alexandra Theo-
dorovna Romanov, in consequence whereof we have
been released for migration here. Here below follows
the said letter, word for word:— — 23 —
"May God Almighty preserve thy soul in this life as
zvell as in the future age, sister Alexandra. I am a
servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, dwelling in the testimony and glad tidings of His Truth. Have been in
exile since 1886, and hail from the Trans-Caucasian
Doukhobor settlement. The word "Doukhobor"
should be understood in this sense, that we profess God
in the spirit and with our soul. (See—the Gospel; the
meeting of Christ with the Samaritan woman at the
well.) I beseech thee, sister in Christ Alexandra, pray
thy husband Nicolas to spare the Christians in the
Caucasus from persecutions. It is to thee I appeal, because I think thy heart is more turned towards God.
And in those places women and children are now suffering the hardest. Hundreds of men, husbands and
parents, are confined in jails, while thousands of families are dispersed among the native mountain villages
where the population is incited by the authorities to
treat the Douchobors roughly, and this tells especially
cruelly upon the Christian women! And lately they
started imprisoning women and children as well. Our
guilt lies in our endeavoring to become Christians as
best we can; possibly we fail short of true conception
in some of our actions. Thou art probably acquainted
with the teaching of Vegetarianism. We are followers
of these humanitarian views. Lately we gave up using
flesh as food, to drink wine and have forsaken much of
that which is conducive to loose living and befogs the
radiance of human soul. And since we do not kill animals, we in no case regard it as possible to deprive men — 24 —
of life. If we were to deliberately kill an ordinary
man, be he a robber even, we would feel like resolving
to assassinate Christ,
And therein lies the chief cause of the trouble.
The State requires our brethren to be trained in the
use of firearms, in order to become proficient in manslaughter. Christians will not consent to this. They
are put into prisons, beaten and starved; while their
sisters and mothers are savagely outraged, frequently
with profane raillery. "And where is your God,
Why does he not help you?" (Our Lord is in Heaven
and on earth, and fulfills His will. See Psalms of
David 113 and 114.)
And this is all the more painful because it is all perpetrated in a Christian country. Our community in
the Caucasus consists of about twenty thousand souls.
Can it be possible that such a handful of people could
injure the organism of the State, if soldiers were not
recruited from among them? Although soldiers ARE
recruited now, but uselessly. Thirty men are held in
the fortress of Ekatherinograd in the penal battalion,
where the authorities are only tormenting themselves
by torturing them. We regard man as the temple of
the living God and will on no account prepare ourselves for killing him, though for this we ourselves
were to be threatened by death. The best way of dealing with us would be to let us settle in some little
corner of the country, where we might dwell in peace,
engaged in pursuit of our toil. We will discharge all
the State obligations in the form of faxes, only we can- 25
not serve as soldiers. Should the Government deem it
impossible to consent to this, then let them give us the
freedom to migrate into one of the foreign countries.
We would willingly go to England, or the most convenient resort for us would be America, where we
have a multitude of brethren in our Lord Jesus Christ.
From the fullness of my heart I pray the Lord for
the welfare of thy family—Christ's servant Peter
(living in exile in the Government of Tobolsk.)
The Government did not consent to our first suggestion but released us to forsake the country. Whereupon, with God'9 blessing and the assistance of good
men like Lyov Nicolayevitch Tolstoi, Vladimyr and
Anne Chertkovs, Demetri Alexandrovitch Hilkov, and
others, we started our migration to Canada. What
with the great distance we had to travel to our new
abode and the utter and wholesale plundering of our
earthly goods by the Russian government authorities
prior to our leaving the country, we were not even in
a position to pay for our transportation to Canada.
But here, tool, good men came to our succour, not only
Russians), but Englishmen as well.
Upon migrating here, to Saskatchevan, Canada, we
lived here for three years without claiming the land.
We did not accept the land because we could not get
the substance of the fundamental law and order of
this country. Some men declared that full liberty
reigns supreme here, others asserted that here, as in
Russia, as soon as the Doukhobors would accept their
titles to the land alotted to them, they would have to 26 —
swear allegiance to King Edward as well. And to submit to all demands imposed by his government.
In view of all this, fearful least they should once
again entagle themselves with government bodies, the
majority of our brethren' and sisters set free all the
cattle in their possession and set forth at random, at
the mercy of Providence, to instil new life into the
teachings of Christ and to preach annunciation, peace,
fraternity, equality and liberty to mankind. Liberty—
not as license to do evil things, but in the sense of one's
own liberation from sin, that there should be no more
sanguinary wars, where human beings are destroyed
the same as locusts. And that men should understand that they are all children of one Father, and
should live among themselves like brothers in Christ.
And that men should give up eating flesh, as a diet improper for men. Smoking tobacco is likewise alien to
human nature, for even all animals shun this pernicious weed, and its only use lies1 in the treatment of certain itching, scurfy sores, or rashes, which are healed
by this poison, tobacco. Likewise it is utterly unnecessary for men to imbide intoxicating liquors, because
they lead directly to lust and perverse living.
Many of the English people sympathised with their
mission, while others scoffed. And the Government
had great trouble in bringing them back to their settlements. The trouble was due to the fact that the crusaders refused to go back to the place they set forth
from, but were bent on pressing onward, regardless of
all obstacles and dangers and even fearless of death. — 27 —
Whereupon the government officials adopted measures
of violence, trampling them under the hoofs of horses,
rapping them on the hands with hammers, whenever
they gripped hold of anything, squeezing their bodies
by means of iron tongs and by such drastic measures
crowding them into railroad cars in order to ship them
back to their settlements.
It cannot be said, that the Government was harming
them deliberately, for the time was well on towards
winter and frosts were setting in already, while all
of them were insufficiently clad and many were quite
barefooted. And most naturally they would be catching their death of colds, and find their graves anywhere and anyhow. In this respect the government
can be said to have acted humanely. But they did not
follow up this act of humanity in any consistent action,
as will be explained in the following.
When finally Peter Vassilyevitch came to us from
his Siberian exile—this was on December 24, 1902—
the first convention of the Doukhobor Communities
took place, in April, 1903, two delegates attending
from each settlement. The object of this conference
was the discussion of the land question. Two Government land-agents were invited to assist in the discussion, and we asked them to elucidate for us the law and
order of this country, but all they could do for us was
to explain the formalities connected with' the allotment of land to settlers, namely that any man, from
the age of eighteen and up to considerable old age, can
be allotted a homestead—160 acres.    The applicant 28
should register his full name and surname on1 a special
form issued for this purpose by the Government, pay
the fee of ten dollars and that was the end of it. The
ten dollars is charged for surveying.
The land was accordingly accepted on the above
understanding, over two thousand homesteads in all.
And we bent to our task as one man, clearing the waste
land, ploughing it and sowing grain. In the meanr
while Peter Vassilyevitch made the acquaintance of
the official who held charge of the post of Governor,
Spears by name, with whom the question of allegiance
was taken up. The official explained that all the inhabitants of this land assume allegiance, but that this
is not obligatory. If you do not wish to, you don't
have to do it. And furthermore, all the immigrants to
this country are anxious about being adopted as
citizens, for the reason that after assuming allegiance
the land becomes their property and they become entitled to a vote in the elections of new administrations
and other affairs of this nature.
Spears believed naturally that his explanations would
tend to make us anxious, too, to become subjects. But,
when after three years'' possession of the land, the pro-
Vision of the law about assuming political allegiance
was raised before us, all of us rejected this demand.
In the course of these three years we built up fifty
large Russian settlements, with substantial houses,
barns and stables, and have tilled a considerable
expanse of land. Formerly we used to buy our grain,
now we sell it in great quantities. — 29 —
Accordingly, when the official arrived in our midst,
who was commissioned to distribute among the
Doukhobors the legal forms for swearing allegiance,
every one of the said settlements refused to accept
these forms from his hands. The official then left in
each of the settlements three legal forms and a Government circular declaration and departed. Following is the text of the Government declaration:—■
(translated from the Russian.)
"The Government is pleased to observe that some
of the Doukhobors are tilling their own soil and
have become, or are becoming Canadian citizens
and British subjects. But at the same time the
Government greatly regrets to perceive the majority
of the Doukhobors, after seven years' residence in
Canada, still continuing to till their land communally and declining to acquire the citizenship of
this country. They have left large tracts of land,
which the Government let them reserve for themselves, without tilling or cultivating anything. The
law ordains, that the settler should be tilling his
own land, otherwise he is liable to forfeit his reservation. Men born outside of the Doukhobor
persuasion demand that the Doukhobors should not
be allowed to go on holding their land without
cultivating the same and without adopting the
citizenship of the country.
"The Government of Canada represents the majority of the Canadian people and if the majority
of the people prescribe that the Doukhobors should — 30
not be allowed to retain in their possession the
land which is left without cultivation, then the
Government is in duty bound to obey, and must
cancel the reservations for homesteads improperly
held by present owners, in order that the same
could be reserved for other people, who might
claim possession in accordance with the law. Only
those Doukhobor claims will remain valid in the
eyes of the law, where the land is owned by a
man, either living on his farm, or in a village removed no further than three miles from the said
tract of land, and who cultivates this land for
himself, and who either already adopted Canadian
citizenship, or intends to do so. Any man living
in a village and tilling his farm more than three
miles distant from the place of his residence, will
have his title guaranteed for the period of six
months, with the view of enabling him to build
and settle on his farm. In default of his building
a farmhouse for his individual dwelling and moving to his own farm within the space of time
allowed, his title will be cancelled.
"Although it is desirable for the Government that
each man should till his own soil and become a
citizen of the country, it is far, however, from any
intentions of theirs to compel the Doukhobors in
one way or another. The Government will protect
them, as heretofore, in their liberty and in unhampered religious worship, but it cannot any longer
extend to them such privileges in landownership,
as are never granted to other persons.   In the case ■ — 31 —
of the land, occupied by a village settlement, or a
part thereof, being claimed for settlement by another party, such occupied land or part thereof
would be withheld from such party, so that the
households of the Doukhobors could be safeguarded
by the Government.
"Henceforward the titles belonging to members
of the community for land reservations situated in
the vicinity of the various village settlements, allotted
to the settlers at the rate of fifteen acres per soul
and the lots having been surveyed in such a manner
as to comprise as much as possible of communal
plough-land in one tract, will be invalidated and
all such communal land will be witheld in the
hands of the Government, for the protection of
the interests of the Doukhobor community, so long
as the Government will see fit to hold it. All the
titles issued in the names of communal Doukhobors
will be invalid. All those Doukhobors, from whom
their titles are to be withdrawn, will be allowed to
claim afresh all and any unoccupied farmlands within
three months' time from receipt of this declaration.
Farms will be established in their possession immediately upon application and no charges made
for the second time. All those Doukhobors who
will register their claims for farms within three
months, either with the Commission, which will
visit your settlements, or through the Government.
Agent, must state whether they have decided living
on their farms, or in the village, and must at the — 32 —
same time declare their intention to become British
subjects. If the land in question be located within
three miles from the village where such claimants
have chosen their residence, then they will be entitled to the ownership of the farmland, to cultivate
the same for any produce required, while living in
the village. But should the farmland be located
at a distance greater than three miles from the
precincts of the village, then they must live on their
farm and furthermore should take up their residence
there within six months from the date of the
registration of their respective claims. Claims will
be invalid, if any one desirous of retaining his
land and registering his claim for a new farm will
not comply with the above requirements of the
law. Should any communal tilth be found under
cultivation on any of the farmland claimed by any
person in accordance with the above requirements,
such tilth is to remain in communal exploitation in
the course of the year 1907, whereupon the land
will become absolute property of the title-holder."'
In consequence of this a convention was called to
discuss the situation, two delegates from each village.
At that particular time Peter Vassilyevitch was absent
on a trip to Russia. It was resolved at the convention
to dispatch a deputation of three on behalf of the
entire community to the Premier of Canada and the
Minister of the Interior in order to explain our utter
beliefs and convictions to them in a face-to-face talk.
A written statement to the same effect was also issued, — 33 —
which was translated into English, and was handed to
the Premier, the Minister of the Interior and published
in three English newspapers for the people at large.
The letter is here quoted verbatim:
The Christian Community of  Universal Brotherhood.    The Doukhobors in Canada.
APPEAL to the Government and the People of
Canada,
"On January 28, 1907, our villages were
visited by John MacDougal who was com-
mandered by the Government to declare to all
the Doukhobors that the land1 accepted and
owned by them for three years was not considered theirs any longer, but was reclaimed by the
crown; he left some . special circular statements in each village, wherein the Doukhobors
are given the reasons' for taking their land
away from them. Although there was nothing
substantial in these statements in the way of
explanation, but John MacDougal summarily
declared: I will be passing here again in three
months' time and the land will be redistributed
on new terms altogether, viz.: 1. Those of the
Doukhobors who will declare their intention
to swear allegiance to Great Britain, will be
granted 160 acres per adult. 2. Those declining to swear allegiance to Great Britain,
and to relinquish their convictions and cultivation of the soil upon> the communal order, will 34 —
be cut down to a reservation of 15 acres for
each person. The whole remainder of the
land will be declared vacant, free to anybody
to take possession of for the asking.' The circular goes on to say: The Government of
Canada represents the majority of the Canadian people and if the majority of the people
prescribe that the Doukhobors should not be
allowed to retain in their possession the land
which is not cultivated by them, then the Government is in duty bound to obey and must
cancel the reservations in order that the same
might be turned over to other people who
would claim possession in accordance with the
law.
"The principal cause of the trouble in the
opinions of the Government and the majority
of the people, according to the statements by
John MacDougal, lies in our failing to cultivate our land. Although we are inclined to
doubt that he represents the authority of the
Government, still we are anxious to give correct information on this subject both to the
Government authorities and to the people at
large. As regards the statement in the printed
circular that we do not till our land, this is
utterly without foundation and the unfairness
of this allegation can be confirmed by the Commission, which visited our settlements last year
and surveyed all the tilth and stated in its — 35 —
findings that we have more land under cultivation, in proportion to the total number of the
homesteads, than is the requisite in accordance
with the provisions of your law.
"Another thing which can bear obvious testimony to the fact that we are tilling our land is
our output of grain on the market. This year
the sales of our community aggregated 250,000
bushels of wheat, 500,000 bushels of oats and
with plenty to spare for our own needs for the
summer and next winter. If we do not cultivate our land, Where does all this grain come
from then?
"And furthermore we will venture to declare to the Government and to the people of
Canada, that as agriculturists, we prefer this
occupation to all the others, considering it the
most proper, honest, lawful and fundamental
work of our life. And as far as possible, we
have always endeavored and always will devote all our strength and abilities to the tilling of the land.
"When we first came here, in this country of
yours, haVing neither horses, nor oxen, our
women used to hitch themselves to the plows
and till the land. We believe this is still fresh
in your memories, for there was much gossip
about it even in the papers. We will admit,
looking from the outside this might strike people as funny; but for us there was no way out — 36 —
of its since, at the same time, we considered
this work honest and lawful. And stop ye and
think—not men only but women as well!
Were there no sincere devotion to the agricultural work, is there a woman that could be induced to hitch herself to a plow ? This kind
of work was not meant for human beings, and
more particularly for women. All this we
understand perfectly well, but as stated before,
we had no alternative at that time. And our
eagerness to the toil of the land urged us to
do it. And if any reports to the contrary will
be made instrumental in forcing us off our
land, this will be unlawful and unhuman.
"True it is, the people in our vicinity-—not
those engaged in agriculture, but petty tradespeople of the township of Yorkton, of whom
Beekyanen and Makenzie could be mentioned,
regard our existence with hatred and are
surely trying hard by all means in their power
to undermine it as well as to instill this hatred
in others. But any man of plain common
sense and unbiassed in this matter, who is not
personally familiar with our life, should not
place his faith in their statements. For such
beliefs cannot be inspired otherwise than
through an evil spirit, which abhors the idea
of reunion and close community of people,
regardless of the fact, that therein lies the law
of God and the doctrine of Christ. — 37 —
"Is it not acknowledged by all that Christ
summoned and is summoning in his teaching
all men to such reunion, as children of one
Father? And this manner of life was carried in effect in Christ's time, as recorded in
the New Testament; nineteen centuries since.
In those days men who professed their faith
in the teaching of Christ, showed this faith in
their actions, not in words only; their property
and hoards they brought toi the Apostles and
called them the common wealth. On this very
and sole basis our communal life here is
arranged.
"And it is about time men admittedly professing the doctrine of Christ should come to
this manner of life. But so far from coming
to it, they are trying their hardest to break it
up among other men; and what defence can
these men plead before that very Christ on the
day of His second advent? And what living
man can assert on his positive knowledge that
that day is not near as yet? For all we mortals know, that that day may not be far distant,
yet men still got on living in carelessness; like,
for instance the tradesmen afore mentioned,
are they consciously expecting that day or are
they bent on hoarding up wealth by any truth,
hook or crook?
"And what is more, when the Doukhobors
had to come to them for every little thing they 38 —
were in need of, then the Doukhobors were
all right, and good fellows, but now that they
have built their own stores for themselves and
are ordering all their supplies, as far as possible, from wholesale houses or even from the
factories direct, now the Doukhobors became
very bad men. And these untruthful men are
now longing and even fighting for having the
land being taken away from the Doukhobors.
As if that would ease their feelings- any. But
we sincerely hope that the majority of people
with the Government on their side will not
stand for that. And will consider that the
earth, this wonderful creation of the Lord,
was created for mankind and all the beings
dwelling on it. The earth is our common
mother; it nourishes us, shelters us, brings us
joy and the warmth of love from the moment
of our birth and until we repose in eternal
sleep on its maternal bosom.
"So long as men have not arrived at a common understanding that the earth can be lived
on and utilized without any divisions or boundaries, they found it most convenient to divide
it up in lots and allot, let us say, 160 acres per
each adult. To some extent, this is just and
lawful. But should the population multiply so
that there would not be enough land to go
around, then a redistribution would be necessary, and maybe instead of 160 acres, a body — 39 —
would be entitled to but 100 acres; this, too,
would be just and lawful. But in our time,
Canada abounds in vast expanses of waste
land, yet of two neighbors one would occupy
160 acres, another but 15 acres. Would this,
too, be just and lawful?
"John MacDougal, he assured us that the
Government would protect us, as stated in the
printed circular. 'The Government will protect them, as heretofore, in their liberty and in
the unhampered practice of their religion.' But
he added definitely: 'it is necessary to take the
oath of allegiance.' We asked John MacDougal to explain, if he believed in Christ, and he
said, he did. Then we asked him again: 'do
you know the teaching of Christ?' He said,
'yes, I do.' 'Does Christ forbid in his teaching
to swear, that is to utter oaths?' and he said
'no, He does not.' Then we told him, through
the interpreter, 'tell him, he does not know the
teaching of Christ.' He became plainly disconcerted at that, and said, with the color rising in his face: 'it is said in the Gospel:' Yea,
yea; nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than
these cometh of evil/ So we said: 'On the
strength of this only we cannot give any oaths.
And furthermore, if as stated in your paper,
the Government of the people is intent on protecting us in the unhampered practice of our
religion; well our religion consists in living — 40 —.
according to the teaching of Christ, pure and
simple. We cannot understand faith in any
other way. To believe and esteem Christ as the
Son of God, and yet to live and act in opposition to His teaching, question is, what sort of
a faith is that ?'
"To end this conversation, MacDougal expressed1 himself as follows: T don't know anything, I will leave you these circulars and you
will find everything explained in them; you are
given the choice of two alternatives there and
you may do as you please about it.' And he put
in again, that the majority of the people demanded it. If what he said is true, then either
the people do not understand what we mean
and fail to get the substance of our position as
regards our religion; or else, we cannot understand what the people's position is in this matter.
"If the land is taken away from us because
we neglect cultivating the same, then we have
dispensed with this accusation in the foregoing.
And if the land is taken away from1 us because
we decline to take the oath of allegiance, we
will say that this question was conisdered settled by us even as we were forsaking Russia
to migrate into this country. We pray that
these words of ours should not be taken for
rudeness, but in the spirit of brotherly explanation.    Is it possible that you should not be — 41 —
aware of the cause of all the complications between the Russian Government and ourselves ?
And why it was we forsook our native land
and took our abode with you in Canada?
There was no other reason, but that we declined to swear allegiance to Nicolas Alex-
androvitch. We had our grounds for this refusal, and have still—Christ forbids to swear.
And we believe in Christ. The Russian Government ignored the teaching of Christ altogether and treated us very cruelly. We will
not go into details of their cruelties; suffice it
to say that at the very least two hundred of our
brethren found their untimely graves in these
events. Whereupon we prevailed upon the
Russian Government to let us go.
"And if now it is to be the Canadian Government and their people to bethink themselves of
raising this issue and forcing it by driving us
off the land, it will be the same thing as if one
ox, after being skinned once, were to be
skinned again, this time by other men. But
will not these latter stop and look, that the ox
had been skinned already and that a new hide
has not grown yet? And if the land is taken
away from us, even not all of it, this speaks
louder than words that the word of Christ is in
reality disregarded here, as well. And whatever is heard of it, is but in pretty words. And
as for ourselves, this means that we have to 42
brace ourselves to face the same trials, which
we underwent in Russia for this very same
cause.
"In all sincerity we say, that all of us are
deeply grateful to the Government and to the
entire people of Canada for having extended
their hospitality to us, and made us exempt
from certain requirements of the laws, which
we deemed obnoxious to our convictions, such
as military service, and allowed us to settle in
villages and to till our land communally, for
which we have official proofs in the shape of
Government warrants.
"Were it not for these concessions, we
would not have remained here for good, nor
would we have put in such heavy labors in this
place; and especially in these last three or four
years since we were forcibly returned to our
dwellings, we have put in a great deal of constructive work. We have built houses, cleared
up and cultivated the land; and not men only
we had toiling at these labors, as more congenial for them, but women and children as
well helped along in everything to the verge
of exhaustion. We started steam grain-mills,
purchased steam tractors with threshing machines, put up brick works, driven by steam
power. A great elevator grain-mill is
approaching completion which will cost about
fifty thousand dollars even with our own labor — 43 —
and materials. So that although we have spent
seven years now in this country, we have not
yet seen any joy in life, not a moment of it.
For we were not even given a chance of respite. Because we did not have anything at
all to start with and were forced to toil ever
so hard and heavy—frequently beyond the
measure of human endurance. Now, thanks
the Lord, that we have, if but a little of everything, now we might draw an easy breath and
unbend our aching backs and settle down to
enjoy some comforts, as everybody wants
naturally, is it not so ? But quite unexpectedly
clouds gather and misunderstandings crop up
like thunderbolts from the blue, as for instance this same declaration of John Mac-
Dougal's, which is liable to start trouble for
us, with more persecution and suffering following in its wake. In these enlightened days
men should feel more compassion in their
hearts, than to inflict suffering upon their fellow men.
"But this we pray of you, think it over seriously and act as your heart will dictate to you.
If you take this brotherly remonstrance of
ours into consideration and try to get the right
view of our religion, then we may rest assured
that the land will not be taken away from us,
and the declaration of the man MacDougal.
will remain void and without  consequences. — 44 —
For which, we will say here in conclusion, we
will be everlastingly grateful to you."
February 10th, 1907.
But it was all of no avail—all our remonstrances and
matter-of-fact proofs that we do cultivate our land
fell on deaf ears and all of the land was taken away
from us. But then this pretext about our failing to till
our land was nothing but a counterpart of those
clerical frauds, like communion of the body of Christ
in the shape of bread and wine. The whole substance
of it lay in the oath of allegiance. And some time
later the same official passed again through our settlements and interrogated the people, stating that all those
consenting to assume allegiance under oath would be
given the full share of land, 160 acres, and those declining to do so would only get 15 acres per soul. And
the land will not be regarded as theirs but as crown
land, pending special dispositions of the Government.
And when this redistribution was effected the lion's
share of the land was taken away from us and forthwith distributed to all comers.
We were not dismayed by this, only at the same time
we put our heads together and held counsel as to what
was to be done lest the Government should bethink
themselves to deprive us of the remainder of the land,
and leave us all with the little children without even the
bare pittance of life. And so for two different reasons
we are now migrating, that is this particular settlement
of ours, to British Columbia.   One and the most im-  46
portant is the unjust cancellation of our reservation by
the Government. And the second is that we as vegetarians are in quest of a milder climate, the climate in
Saskatchevan being rather too severe. This untimely
migration causes a lot of trouble and inconvenience to
us, since as stated above we have put in considerable
labor in building and tilling the land. It must be borne
in mind that the land we settled upon was virgin land,
where no foot of man trod before we came there. The
only living creatures were wild bucks and moose and
suck like animals. And therefore each burrow of tilth
required much struggling and pains. And no sooner
were we through with this arduous job than the new
move came about. In this connection we petitioned
the Minister of the Interior he should look into our
plight and see to it that some reimbursement was made
for our labors in breaking in the waste land. Since
the price of cleared and tilled land ranges up to thirty
dollars per acre, that at least five or six dollars per
acre should be reimbursed to us and this would help
us along some in settling in the new country, where
we are purchasing land at the rate of 50 to 500 dollars
per acre. But Will the Government heed our lawful
request or not this is still to be seen.
In migrating here to British Columbia, we assumed
that the Government would not disturb us any more
with their different regulations, since we declined
swearing allegiance on the strength of the teaching of
Christ and bore the severe punishment therefor. Moreover we are buying our land for ready money here, 47
which we obtain by dint of strenuous physical toil. But
the authorities seem to disregard this, too. Possibly
the supreme authorities know nothing about it, but the
local petty officials treat us in this manner. We have
settled in this section on two tracts, within seventy
miles' distance from one another. The first one we
gave the name of the Valley of Consolation, village of
Brilliant, from a brilliant diamond of first water, on
account of the great river Columbia flowing through
the land, the water in that river Columbia being wonderfully clear and of ideal purity. The second tract
we called the Fruit Valley, so named on account of the
land being orchard-land and for the time being the
Valley of Consolation is supplied with fruit from there. 48
Here in Columbia we are even saddled with English government schools, as well as with registration of
all our births, marriages an deaths. We have succeeded in removing the English school from the Valley of Consolation and installing our own school,
where an English lady teacher instructs the children
in the English language. In January inst. we were
tendered printed forms from the Government for the
purpose of registering all our births, marriages and
deaths. We have declined the acceptance of these
forms and have written a statement in explanation of
our action, which we are citing here below:—
Brilliant, B. C, January 25, 1912.
To Stephen Haskin, State Commissioner in Nelson.
On the 25th of this month we were delivered by our
Sherbinin the registration forms sent by you in connection with records of births, marriages and deaths in
our community. We do not denounce such registrations and ordinances of the laws established by you,
only such regulations should be the concern of the
voluntary subjects, who are themselves desirous of
such regulations for themselves. But as you know full
well, we have not assumed allegiance, and this latter
fact should be predominant over this matter of registration. And therefore we beg to request you not to
force this on us.   We do not believe that this matter 49
should be of such import and ambition to you to warrant your going to the trouble of harassing us for it.
Pray understand that we are not doing so through
some whims or caprices of ours, but in accordance
with our religious views of the law of God, through
which we could not get together with the Russian Government and forsook our native country, Russia, and
migrated hither, as the Land of Freedom.
The inhabitants of the town of Grand Forks treated
their neighbors unconscientiously and grudgingly simply because they had the power on their side. And so
it comes out again that the weaker will always be
guilty before the strong. This sort of thing is perpetrated in Russia. But then Russia is rightly considered behind the times as a nation. The English consider themselves advanced people, ahead of all other
nations and this country therefore bears the proud
name of the Land of Freedom. But is this the way of
effectuating liberty? A man dies in their neighborhood; this death is known to everybody and brings
grief and sorrow into the bereaved family, but these
outside men, so far from showing any sympathy and
condolence with their affliction, on the contrary proceed piling trouble and torments on top of their suffering. They grab the son of the deceased like a thief
and clap him in jail, just because he did not call a doc- — 50 —
tor to the dead body.    Is this reasonable and how
will God look down upon such doings?
We beg to remain yours respectfully, the Christian
Community of Universal Brotherhood of Brilliant.
This statement of ours elicited no reply so. far. And
in the Fruit Valley children do frequent the Government English school, but people are tried in court for
deaths among them. The first two cases led to the
imprisonment of two men for a month each. In the
following two cases two men were arrested in each and
put away for three months. In this affair the wives
and children of those arrested signed an appeal to the
Justice who caused their arrest. We cite this appeal
verbatim:
JUSTICE UNJUST AND CRUEL
In pursuance to thy order prompted by the
license of violence vested in thyself, a policeman
took our husbands and parents and put them in
jail for three months, on the ground of the first
two, Nicolas Zybin and his son, failing to call a
doctor to the dead body of his brother; the second
two, Ivan and Vassil Dymovski's, likewise omitted
to call a doctor to the dead body of their mother;
and all the four of them were for this crime taken
by force and thrown into jail. And we have now
been left to the mercy of fates. And we presume
on the right of self-preservation to express to thee
the feelings of our soul. — 51 —
Thou art acting as stated allegedly on the strength
of laws established since ancient times, which might
have been right in their place in those days when
these laws were enacted. But in our days if not
all men, at least those who adopted the law of
Christ, based on love, mercy and compassion to all
living creatures of the earth, can perfectly well
dispense with these laws.
And now thou hast been and deprived us by
force of these toilers and supporters of ours. Now
tell us, what are we to do, we powerless in every
respect? Thou wouldst say, perhaps, that since
we are living in a commune, let the commune take
care of that. But this commune of ours, is it not
composed of all like individuals, each one making
their living and support by dint of heavy exertion
in hard and honest toil? And if thou wilst keep
on snatching by force this thew and sinew of ours
and putting them into jail for no earthly reason,
we ask thee again, what are we, the weak ones, to
do? Can this be called fair, and not cruel, on thy
part? And canst thou not feel the disgrace of it
—not for thyself only but for this whole country
of thine, famed throughout the world, as the "Land
of Liberty/'
The following are our losses incurred through
thee, which thou must consider in all seriousness.
Nicolas Zybine, besides being the head of his family,
also is the chief vegetable gardener of the entire
community.    His services and work are paid  for — 52 —
at the rate of ten dollars per work-day of ten
hours. And the three others are plain able bodied
strong laborers, who maintain and support their
families, wives and children—twelve souls in all.
And at the lowest estimation their work is valued
at five dollars per day of ten hours.
These are our lawful demands for the bare pittance of our lives, which thou art bound to satisfy
without delay. We appeal to thee directly, for
thou art the direct cause of our utter ruination.
And should this matter depend on somebody else
for settlement, then thou must also without delay
lay the same before that party who would have
the authority in this case. Because life emanating
from our Father in Heaven cannot be held back
by mere man. And life was not granted for suffering and misery, but for joy. But we have to
suffer and to endure misery. And the suffering
is solely due to thy whimsicalities.
Consider this earnestly, how canst thou inflict
such pain and misery on men, who strive wholeheartedly and without reserve to fulfil the law of
the Father,, that is in Heaven, as elucidated to us
by Jesus Christ, His Son.
We remain awaiting thy decision. And if thou
heedest not our lawful demand we will plead our
injury before the entire world.
Wives and children of the imprisoned
men—their  husbands  and  parents,   of
the settlement of Grand-Forks. 53
In the matter of rejecting the Government schools
we reject this kind of  education  for a number of
reasons
First. The way school is taught to children of the
present generation, with boy-scouting and military
drill and rifle-practice, we consider all this the most
pernicious and malicious invention of this age. The
manner of educating the childish mind renounces the
teaching of Jesus Christ, who brought peace, love and
equality to this earth, which should be instrumental in
bringing about the Kingdom of God. Look where we
may, we find that it is those very educated men are the
strongest adversaries of the realization of the Kingdom of God on earth and who are enslaving the plain
and working classes of the people. The highly educated and much read capitalists sit tight on the neck of
the common people, and like parasites keep draining
their blood in the most efficient manner.
Second. The school-teaching is primarily a matter
of easy lucre, from the Emperor and down to all
officials, lawyers, doctors and all manner and species
of commercial buy-and-sell men, who have a great
need of arithmetics and rapid reckoning, in their insatiable greed for easy money and luxury. All these
ardent advocates of the light of knowledge are striving to acquire the knowledge for their own gain, in
order to have a soft time of it without doing a stroke
of anything good and worth while, and of any real
work, in all their lifetime on earth, which earth they
have grabbed up all over the surface thereof. — 54 —
We have cast all this aside, and instead of it we consider indispensable spiritual regeneration, which Christ
summoned and is summoning us to by the means of his
doctrine. This we consider obligatory for each and
every believer in Christ, and this would be directly instrumental in bringing about the Kingdom of God on
earth, as stated before, for spiritual regeneration leads
to reuniting all mankind, as children of one Father
God. Whereas school teaching leads in precisely the
opposite direction, disintegrating men into endless
grades and divisions, vying with each other in seeking
quick and easy gain and all ready, for the greed of
their mammon, to shed the blood of innocent strange
men in warfare.
And if there are advanced men to be found among
the educated people, like for instance Lyov Nicolaye-
vitch Tolstoi, Henry George, and others like them,
those men have communed themselves of spiritual regeneration, heeding the voice of Christ. And if such
great men are to be given the honor, it was not attained
by them through college education, but through spiritual regeneration, which of its own accord subjugated
the college-teaching. Lyov Nicolayevitch, too, was
trained to become a great commander of troops, and
did, and covered himself with glory in wars, but subsequently rejected all this. Who has not heard of the
words of Tolstoi that all universities are just so many
insane asylums?
In the life-story of Christ nothing is mentioned anywhere about His being of scholarly education.   Like- wise in His teachings. He never enjoined upon men
to build such schools and so educate the children as to
divert them, from the tenderest youth, from Nature,
which created them and brought them into the world.
Take the Apostles, too—every one of them were
either fishermen, or toilers of the land, plain common
people all, and yet the glorious record of their sublime
lives has been passing from generation to generation
reaching to these very days.
Third. Being of Russian birth, we yet dwell in our
own community and consider ourselves citizens of the
entire earthly globe and therefore we cannot regard
our residence in British Columbia as fixed for all times.
To-day we happen to be here, after some time we may
find ourselves in another country altogether. Not because we are fond of wandering from place to place
but for reasons similar to those which prompted us in
our migrations from Russia or from Saskatchevan.
Well then, the conclusion therefrom is that all the time
we have nothing else to do but educate ourselves—
here in English ways and manners and in some other
country after their ideas. And how about something
of our inner own, of the fundamental Christian, shall
we attend to acquiring this, or not? What will you
answer to this question you all who are anxious to
force the recognition of your concocted laws and regulations down our throats?
Concerning our declining to comply with the
simple demands of registering all our births, marriages and deaths, we fail to see any necessity of that. 56
We have been entered in the general registration, as
the popular census. And now, when one dies in our
midst, somebody's father or mother, as it happened
already, what do we have to call a doctor for to the
dead body? Or is the object of the doctor's visit to
charge a poor farmer five dollars for his uncalled for
services?   We cannot see the justice of this.
If men are bent on repeating the outrage perpetrated
on the Saviour, they can of course practice it on us to
their hearts' content. But it will be of no avail to
them, and will bring naught but ill-fame and disgrace
upon their heads throughout the world, for their cruel
mockery over bodily unprotected men, who exercise
but spiritual arms in their defence.
As a protest against such unlawful and coarse action
of civilized men in the land of liberty, as throwing upright and innocent men in jails, all the children have
declared their repugnance of frequenting the English
school. Because these cruelties over their kith and kin
are perpetrated by men brought up in those very
schools. So being loth to attain such enlightened education themselves they have declared their protest in
this form. And the outcome of this whole affair is
still uncertain for all concerned. But we bring this
whole affair to the universal knowledge and judgment
and pray to approach our stand in the matter from the
Godly aspect of it, and not from the viewpoint taken
in their writings by base and unfair men, both Russian
and English, if such men will persist in their shameless and brazen attitude towards the work of God for — 57 —
which we are bearing our cross. Such base persons are
like the drift of clouds, driven by the wind. Not one
of them has ever cropped up amongst the people, but
vanished into nothingness before that wind. Such persons consider themselves highly educated and throw
their conceited brows up in the air and go so far as to
devise their own cunning schemes of reform and seeking publicity in newspaper columns, like that impudent
ignoramus did, the self-styled "Doctor" Shorin, in the
paper "Russkoye Slovo." This man Shorin is greatly
offended because Peter Vassilyevitch summarily bade
him to clear out of our community and had him sign
an acknowledgment that he had no claims against the
community for the three months he spent among us
in the capacity of "doctor." This good-for-nothing
Shorin importuned himself into our midst on the pretence of being an experienced physician and at the
same time as a follower of the teaching of Christ, very
devout and humble. But it did not take long before
he showed himself in true colors, Peter Vassilyevitch
being then absent, and spread himself to the full swing
of the medical faculty, turning perfectly sound and
healthy men into invalids.
The Doukhobors were regarding these performances
of his with great disfavor, but had to put up with him
pending the return of Peter Vassilyevitch, in whom
Shorin found his guileless dhampion, because Shorin
kept ingratiating himself in his eyes by writing numerous artless and ingenuous letters. And all those who
know Peter Vassilyevitch personally will fully endorse 58
his action in regard to Shorin and for the benefit of
those who are not acquainted with him, we will vouchsafe that Shorin fully deserved the treatment meted
out to him.
The fact of the matter is that Shorin wedged himself in uninvited into our life. And his motives in get-
ing in with us was by no means the Christian-like
spirit prompting him as he stated in his letters, but
his cunning calculations that the Doukhobors must be
a collection of poor, artless simpletons and that for
this reason he .would be able to feather his bed very
softly among them. But his calculations turned out
to be very wide amiss and now after his ignominious
discomfiture he takes out his revenge in scurrilous
writings without knowing whom to sail into in particular and what for.
Among other things he grossly overrated the number of those segregating themselves from our community and knowingly misrepresented the facts in his
statement in that they are being thrown out naked and
without any means of subsistence. This is a deliberate
falsehood. All such individuals without exception receive their full share of the communal property in
Saskatchevan. Some of the secessors, for instance,
might only have been working with us for a year or
two, yet they are doled out just the same proportionate
part of all communal acquisitions made without them
and this by way of compensation of labor by labor.
That they are not given any land, this could not be
done anyhow, since the land is not. our property, not 59
being paid for as yet, and such dispositions might
even jeopardize the position of the actual occupants.
For the terms of purchase are such that should we be
unable to make even our final payment for the
land then all of it may be forfeited by us, for which
those very backsliders from our community would be
to blame. As a matter of fact they are just apostates
from their word of honor in our purchasing the land
conjointly. And they are all so fully conscious of their
backing out of their obligations that never is this
question of land mentioned by them at all, but without more ado they set to making their pile, and some
of them are already proud possessors of fat bank-
accounts.
Those individuals have brushed aside all that was
spiritual in them, for which they suffered long and
heavily in Russia and now they have set as their aim in
life hoarding up wealth by all means fair and unfair;
and living solely in gratifying their mammon, that is
the whole amount of their ambition. There are some .
of them in Prince-Alberta owning considerable property and as much as ten to twenty thousand dollars in
capital. They lived back in Russia and did not have a
cent. And are those the men to find fault with Veri-
gin? With him, who entertains none but the kindest
feelings for anybody and everybody. It was due to his
endeavors, was it not, that they migrated here to
Canada? And so far as the matter of communal
ownership is concerned, it is just a matter of free will
and choice for those participating.    And those who — 60 —,
object to it, why, there are never any obstacles or restrictions set in their way—all roads open to the four
points of the compass.
There are of course bad cases amongst these
secessors, like for instance that of Savka Hoodakoff,
who even write to the newspapers and condemn an
upright man, whose bounties they are even then living
off. There are even worse ones still, those who not
only turn back on us, but rob us by brute force to boot.
Thus the now well known ex-member of our Community Vassili Potapoff, who held charge, during the
whole time of our communal life in Saskatchevan, of
our co-operative stores at the Station Verigin, those of
textile goods and agricultural implements. He enjoyed the greatest confidence of the community and
was the purchasing agent for all of our supplies in the
above lines. In this manner he contracted numerous
acquaintances with the native people of Canada, and
the ways and customs of their life. Whilst continuing
his residence in the community he secretly negotiated,
through his handy men, for the purchase from the
Government of some of the land, which was part of
the then planned township-site of Verigin. He owns
this land now and has a big and wealthy store built
on it . . . Potapoff managed to wheedle out twice his
lawful share from the community and signed a legal
release to the effect that his claim was satisfied in full
and that he was quits with the community. Right
after this he drove into the village of Rodeonovo with
a Sheriff, who called out three Rodeonovo men and 61
covered them with his revolver, whilst declaring that
Potapoff came there to take possession of anything he
chose fit to take. "And I warn you men, at the first
attempt to interfere with his work or holding
anything back from him I shall shoot to kill, and will
keep on firing so long as my cartridges hold out."
Most naturally, none of us were anxious toi part with
our lives for the sake of our lawful goods whereupon
Potapoff with his henchmen, ten men in all, proceeded
to the barn where we had stored up oats picked and
prepared for sowing-seed of the entire village of
Rodeonovo, 1844 bushels; along with 171 bushels of
barley, 100 bushels of wheat and 4 bushels of peas, all
intended for sowing by the 200 souls of the village
Rodeonovo, and appropriated by this one man Potapoff
backed by a sheriff with a gun.
This is a sample of the "justice and protection" we
are given here, and of how these officials handle our
people. We have made our complaint about this, too,
to the higher Canadian authorites, although we are not
over optimistic about results, since there have been a
number of similar outrages connived at, and all of
them were passed up by the Government without as
much as investigating the matter.
New brethren and sisters all, inhabiting this earth,
no matter What your nationality and religion may be,
but so long as you believe in God, Whose testimony
Christ bore and is bearing to us, we appeal to all of
you as brothers and sisters in the spirit of Christ, Who
was the first in this world to bear testimony of the 62
Father in Heaven and ordained to us all to do not the
bidding of our own will, but the Will of Him who
sent us into the world. And if one believes in God,
one should profess also the faith of Christ, because
Christ explained to us that "I open the gates to the
Kingdom of Heaven to all believers" and that "I and
the Father, we are One." So those denying Christ
have no faith in God, either, because we as believers
have only conceived and can be conceiving God
through Christ. And our faith should be manifested
in our actions, else, according to Christ "Faith is dead
without deeds." And vice-versa, "deeds without faith
are dead." Nevertheless there are a great many men,
who profess their faith in Christ, but renounce those
very deeds which He even went to meet His Death on
the Cross for. And what is more, they do not even
consider such deeds necessary to believers, under that
excuse that the faith in God as well as in Christ should
be professed spiritually. Faith in God can be professed spiritually as the Divine Force Ubiquitous. But
Christ should be professed bodily and in actual deeds,
for Christ was born carnally, as is well known to
everybody, and furthermore He was the one to set the
example in proving faith in the Divine Power by
bodily suffering. We would be just demonstrating
our faith to be without void and empty, if we were to
renounce the work he bequeathed to us in order to uphold our misconceptions or to satisfy our carnal existence. ''Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall
lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall — 63 —
find it." Those were the true words of Christ.
Again there are great numbers of men professing their
faith in God, but denying Christ. They suffer in body
and even lay down their lives. These are men of deeds
but without faith. They seem to be bent on forestalling and rushing God's work on earth. But if there be
no foundation to build on, how can a building be carried out ? The cornerstone in God's works is the faith in
Christ. Therefore it is only through the medium of
His teaching the edifice can be reared up to come
nearer to our Father that is in Heaven.
Christ makes it clear to us: "if one smites thee on
the cheek, offer the other one." uBut all they that
take the sword shall perish with the sword." Therefore these two texts of the great doctrine elucidate the
true conception of life to us. The faithful must carry
into effect all that is ordained by Christ. This will
bear out the testimony of Christ before the people.
He told us that whoever professed Him before the
people would be pleaded for by Him before the Father
in Heaven. And for His pleading the faithful will not
only face suffering, but are made fearless of carnal
death, for in this manner is immortality attained, even
as Christ attained it. In this sense He summons everyone to spiritual immortality. One cannot serve two
masters, God and mammon both. One cannot swear
allegiance, i.e., utter oaths, but your word shall be yes
or no. One cannot avenge evil doing by evil doing,
one should not take human life, for man is destined to
be the temple of the Divine Spirit.    One should not 64
take life, whichever being it might be in, to satisfy
one's mammon, for Christ has made it clear to us that
life is God. And being endowed with reason man does
not belong to wild and blood-thirsty creatures and in
him should be manifested love and compassion to all
the creatures of God's, which have been created for
the common happiness. Love thy enemies, this should
refer to the whole of mankind and the word love
should be interpreted as not to inflict pain or injury
upon anybody, to bear no ill feelings to anybody and
in any circumstances. This is all that would be necessary.
Christ says who is not with Me is against Me, whoever does not gather, squanders. Christ warned His
Apostles, in sending them to annunciate peace to all
men." And when ye come into a house, salute it
and let your peace come upon it; and whosoever shall
not receive you nor hear your words, when ye depart
out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your
feet. Verily I say unto you it shall be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorra in the day of
judgment than for that city." Thereby He renounced
all communion with men denying the Truth and gives
all the faithful the right to shun them. We reiterate
in the face of all the peoples of the earth that the hosts
of Christ consist of those facing suffering and sacrificing their very carnal lives in His name, and the
memory of such men passes from generation to generation, and spiritually they merge into eternity and
into the Unoriginated Father.   While those who dis- — 65 —
regard the teaching and the summons of Christ to
spiritual regeneration, and meet suffering, and sacrifice
their carnal lives in warfare and in such like pursuits,
be it husband or wife, old or young, chief or subordinate, or thy very self bearer of the Caesarian toga—
they all are apostates from Christ and perish on the
battlefield like children of the contemporary age.
With the cessation of their carnal life their memory
ceases for ever. And as per saying of Christ's "good
were it for those men if they had never been born."
We desire peace of the soul, and love, fraternity and
equality for everybody on earth. Our Lord^God
Christ summoned all to this and is summoning still.
Blessed be His Name for ever and amen. May the
consciousness be unravelled in our hearts and may we
take the outstretched hand of Christ with love, which
he extends to us in order to jointly approach the Creator of the Universe. Glory be to the Most-High God
and Peace on Earth.
In all sincerity we request all good men to appeal
personally to the Canadian Government, in defence of
humanity and God's truth, that they should leave us be
in peace and would not stand in the way of our endeavors to live as Christians.
Herewith is appended our petition to> the Minister
of the Interior of Canada.
Delegated by the Doukhobor Community Nicholas
Antifayev,  Grigori  Verigin and Ivan Kon-Kin.
Valleys of Consolation, Fruit and others, British
Columbia. II
THEY PLAN MOVING ON
(From the New York Sun, Sept. 1, 1912.)
It is ten years now since the Canadian Government
gave the Doukhobors their land in western Canada—
320,000 acres of land, which at the very lowest valuation must be worth 30 an acre now.
True to their co-operative principles, the Doukhobors cultivated one great tract at the center of the
land allotted to them, 2,000 homesteads of 160 acres
each, equal to fifteen acres for each settler. When
they came to ask for their title they did not ask for
individual patents, but for the whole piece. They
surely met the spirit and the object of the law, but
there was no provision made in the law, the authorities said, for the communal method of cultivation,
combining so many quarter sections into one huge tract
of property. So the authorities held up their title, and
finally came forward with a thinly veiled ultimatum to
either become British subjects or else forfeit the land.
The Doukhobors gave up the land without a moment's
hesitation.
The Doukhobors retained their freedom and fifteen
acres a homestead. It was nothing new for them to
contend with official coercion.   And they are not afraid
(66) — 67 —
of work. Their name implies that their religion lies in
struggling—"spirit wrestlers" would be a literal translation, albeit somewhat bemuddling their meaning.
About 2,000 of them remained on what was left of
their land, and the others went far off into British
Columbia, where they purchased 10,000 acres at the
junction of the Columbia and Kootenay rivers.
THRESHING  AS  IT  WAS  DONE  THREE YEARS   AGO
The land is now all but completely paid for and the
accumulated wealth of the new settlement mounts well
up into the second million—in houses, factories, live
stock, sawmills, grain mills, agricultural machinery,
all of which is assessed and taxed to the full value.
But this is as far as the Doukhobors will go in their
recognition of political authorities. 68 —
They will have no police—for there is no crime
among them, while theft is out of the question. They
will not apply for any certificates for interment, nor
birth certificates; in fact, they will not have anything
to do with officials except pay their taxes. And this is
by no means on account of any nihilistic propensities
of their doctrine.
Their cult is Christianity pure and simple, simple
as can be, adhering to the dogma or Christ as closely
as possible to human endeavor. In his book on the
history of the Doukhobors' migration from Russia,
Joseph Elkington, the noted Philadelphia Quaker, says
on this subject:
"Whatever may be the opinions of those who do not
know the virtues of these Russians by actual acquaintance, we have had the privilege of learning of their
personal experience from their own lips and have been
witnesses of their self-sacrificing devotion to a high
principle and their affection for one another, must believe in them and in their future. * * * A people who
will not fight, or steal, or drink anything intoxicating,
or smoke, or use profane language, or lie have a character which will bring forth the best qualities of
Christian citizenship."
All was going well in British Columbia for four
years. With the infinite patience and perseverance,
verging on obstinacy, characterizing the Russian
peasant, the Doukhobors have cleared1 hundreds of
acres of their new land of the dense timber and have
planted it with fruit trees.   There is mapped out and s& i^f&vfB ■MSI $11SSB&E^-': ;': < *" c
>
^•^s^^l^^^H            pH^li im '^^sM^mm^m'     '^
cn
a
o
%
w
o
3 — 70
in part operation an irrigation system covering the entire territory, and already a domestic water supply
system fed by springs in the mountains connects all of
the dwellings in the settlements of Grand Forks, Brilliant, Glade, Pass Creek and others. The calm of the
mountain fastness is pierced by the shrill whistles of
steam tractors hauling modern ploughing and threshing machinery, by the noisy bustle of gigantic sawmills,
by brick and concrete steam works, grain elevators and
mills and foundries.
In connection with the sawmills, where also all
lumber needed for the buildings in turned out, there is
a planing mill. Finished lumber is made there, and
mouldings, undistinguishable from the product of a
big factory, are manufactured. All furniture, tables
and chairs used in the Doukhobors' houses are made
by Doukhobor labor.
An enormous pumping plant is now nearing completion on- 1he high embankment of the Kootenay river—
the largest in the whole of Canada, as the president of
the company, Peter Verigin, pointed out to me with the
nearest approach to pride I ever witnessed in a Doukhobor. When this plant is in working order the fields
will be covered by a network of pipes. In connection
with the pumping plant a generating station will be
built to supply light and power to the whole colony. At
least this and many other enterprises were being
planned by the executive of the community but a few
weeks ago, at the time of my visit to the chief, Peter
Verigin.    But storm clouds were already gathering 71
then about the heads of the peaceful and prosperous
settlers.
On June 13th last year four Doukhobors were seized
and clapped in jail. Later an officer of the law visited
the house and was received by women, who threw him
out bodily. The infuriated minion of the law raved
and threatened dire reprisals. The women faced him
time and again with grim resolution. Finally the officer
flung the royal warrant into the house. The women
tore the paper into two little pieces and threw them
after him.
Thus a regular war was started between the Doukhobors and the rural police. Policemen would come
day after day prying among the graves of the Doukhobors on the lookout for any fresh interments. The
Doukhobors of the Grand Forkes settlement got together one day and ploughed up the whole graveyard
and then harrowed the land level. Following their line
of passive resistance the settlers refused to talk to the
police or answer any questions at all; the children were
kept away from the English school. The following
telegram was sent to the State Secretary of the Interior
at Ottawa:
"On the 13th of June last two men were seized from
our midst and imprisoned because they did not make
out declarations about the death of their mother and
brother respectively; and two others likewise for preparing coffins for the interment of the deceased. They
are to be confined in jail for three months in the very
heat of such a busy season, when no hands can be 72 —
spared us at all. All of us, the Grand Forks Doukhobor Community of 400 men, consider such treatment
cruel and unjust and request you, as Minister of the
Land, to immediately order the release of our
brethren."
No reply was vouchsafed to this appeal.
A letter was also directed to the chief constable,
Dinsmore, at Greenwood,. B.C., which elicited a very
curt reply to the effect that compliance with the laws
of British Columbia will be strictly enforced' by all
means in his power.
All of which bade ill for the Doukhobors. It
means, so far as they can make it out, that before long
they will have to gird their loins once more and start
out, for the fifth time since their persecutions began
back in Russia, in quest of some other haven of peace,
so long and patiently sought.
Fortunately for the heart heavy toilers Uncle Sam
is coming to their rescue, proffering the hand of cordial
welcome and the assurance of peace and freedom from
political and religious interference. The following letter was directed through me to the Colorado State Immigration Commissioner:
"Kindly advise us whether the State of Colorado
could accept us as aliens, or rather sell land to us as
such. In view of the fact that in pursuit of their religious beliefs the Doukhobors are not inclined to adopt
the citizenship of any country they wish to live free
from any interference on the part of local authorities.
For instance, they wish to be excused from the obliga- — 73 —
tory registrations of any kind—of their births, deaths
or marriages. They want full religious freedom, exemption' from military service and from war taxation.
"We can manage our own affairs within our settlements, and if we should have any surplus of fruit and
vegetable crops at our disposal, the same would be willingly turned over to the State in some indirect manner.
Now if all this should not be at issue with the laws of
your State and in case the land would be suitable for
us, we can at once purchase land to the amount of one
million dollars and devote same to horticulture and
vegetable farming.
"Peter Verigin."
Commissioner L. C. Paddock replied that the Doukhobors cannot be compelled to become citizens of the
United States, that as aliens they may own property,
are exempt from compulsory military service and free
to regulate their own domestic affairs and will not be
hindered in religious worship.
In the early fall the leader of the Doukhobors will
take a trip to Colorado, where a huge tract of irrigated
farm and orchard land has already been earmarked,
upon careful selection, with the view of making the
necessary provisory arrangements. Upon his return a
delegation of 100 Doukhobors will be detailed, like
spies into Canaan, to go out and investigate the land
from every viewpoint; also to put up the first necessary
buildings; next the married couples and the families
will be sent over, and finally the single men.  — 75 —
There is a system in all this. System and co-ordination of effort permeate the whole existence of the
Doukhobor communities; everything is done upon joint
consideration; no labor is wasted in single handed effort and none is undertaken' unless the requisite number of hands can be put on the job to effect the maximum saving of time coupled with highest efficiency.
No one is every left idle, except upon reaching the age
of sixty, when men settle down to enjoy their well-
earned rest. In summer time all work is suspended
between the hours of 11 to 3 in the afternoon. All
work stops at noon on Saturdays.
The tilling of the land is all done in one piece. There
are no hedges nor divisions of the whole 2,900 acres,
as far as ownership is concerned. Men are put to work
on whatever task they are best suited for, and may be
changed to another, more congenial to them, if it means
greater efficiency. Some are at work in the fields, while
others are engaged in machine shops, others in gardening and others again at carpenter work. And everybody being thus interested in his particular line of
work, laziness is very seldom met with.
Mr. James Lightbody, who also visited the Doukhobors at the same time with me, was greatly impressed by the harmony and contentment reigning in
this community, whose motto is "The Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood." Analyzing his impressions in a communication to the Victoria Daily
Times, he says:
"It is the socialist Utopia, the realization of equality, 76
which is being advocated for the rest of the world
to-day."
At Brilliant, unlike the modern city, there are no
cares as to where the next day's meals are to come
from. There is no stinting or grudging to provide sustenance when one's strength has ebbed in declining
years. There are no divisions between "mine" and
"thine," no man is richer than his fellow—therefore
there are no jealousies or envies as to the possessions
of another-
Cares as to money are totally absent, for there is no
money in circulation. One member of the executive
does all the outside selling and purchasing for the community. Any money received by individual members
from outside sources is turned over into the terasury.
It would have no purchasing value within the community, nor is there any need for it, for food and
clothing and all necessities of life are doled out from
the various departments in charge of these matters.
The government is in the hands of the people, effectively and simply, although with no machinery of
government whatever. Once a week all persons, both
men and women, who have reached years of mature understanding crowd into the large assembly house, which
has a capacity of 2,000, and discuss the affairs of the
community. At these meetings, held every Sunday
afternoon, the managers of each department are given
their instructions, according to the popular sentiment.
No definite time is specified at the appointment of an
officer, but he holds office as long as he does his work 77
well. This is the initiative, referendum and recall system without the cumbersome machinery in use at the
present day.
All the houses are built pretty much after the same
plan. Like everything built or used or worn by the
Doukhobors their residences are devoid of all elabor-
A  PRAYER   MEETING
ateness or ornamentation of any kind, but eminently
substantial and practical for all intents and purposes.
They are always built in pairs, and at a respectful distance from other buildings for sanitary reasons and
fire isolation. There is an abundance of air and light.
Each dwelling accommodates no less than thirty peo- 78 —
pie. Married folk have double bedrooms. All beds
are taken out of doors every morning and given a thorough sunning and airing. At the rear of each pair of
buildings there is a bath house, with a boiler in the
centre, supplying steam for the hot room and hot water
for the numerous baths around.
All the women of each household take turns at cooking and baking the bread for all the inmates. The
food is very appetizing and well cooked. Needless to
say the Doukhobors eat no meat or eggs. The first
impression which strikes a stranger entering a Doukhobor settlement at night, as I did, is the absolute stillness of the place, which at first seems almost uncanny.
One realizes before long that this is due to the absence
of either dogs or poultry in the place. The Doukhobors
have no use for either, since chickens cannot be raised
or sold for any other purpose than eating, and dogs
would have nothing to watch.
The men look hale and sturdy and the children are
almost without exception pictures of blossoming health.
In your walk, if school be not in session, you will be
passed by numbers of them, the girls picturesque in
bright colors and the boys—well, as growing mischief
loving boys always dress. All have an inquiring, inquisitive look, for strangers are not seen every day,
yet disrespect is totally absent, and they call to you
"Hello!" their first word of English probably, and
the boys doff their hats and the girls nod their heads.
The top floor of the great assembly house contains
several big class rooms.   The school has recently been — 79 —
put in commission by the provincial Government, with
an English speaking schoolma'am in it, and the children, so they say, follow their studies with such an
avidity that playing truant is practically an unheard of
offence. In fact they come around to the school before
their teacher rises in the morning, and she is an early
riser.
Sure enough they have a large and well appointed
hospital at Brilliant, and they have everything there except doctors, nurses or inmates. The building is inhabited by a superannuated and very affable janitor.
Each dwelling comprises two special emergency rooms
—one of them adapted for women in confinement.
The Doukhobors show great consideration and solicitude for their women. As a general rule no family
is encumbered with more than two or three children,
and this by no means for reasons of economy. In fact
equality of sexes has reached its highest expression in
their social life. Women are recognized as being competent to judge upon all of the affairs of their community. Not only do they share in all administrative
work and take part in all the counsels, but they also
perform all the religious rites and conduct divine services on the same footing with men, as can be seen from
accompanying photographs taken by me.
Prayers are always held in the open air, weather
permitting. The congregation always stand, and not
only bareheaded but in their bare feet as well, in summer.    Prayer books they have none, neither is there  — 81 —
a place of worship in the direct sense. In nasty
weather prayer meetings are held in the great assembly hall, but the place bears not a trace of any religious emblems1—anything to impart any sacred significance to itself. God is within men, they hold, so the
place of worship is where the congregation happens to
meet. They have no written laws or rules, and no
written prayers. There is nothing fixed or moulded
in their worship—it is a live and spontaneous religion.
The hymns which they sing pass from generation to
generation by oral tradition-—modified and added to.
The figure of Peter Verigin, the leader of the entire
Doukhobor sect, now in America, is indeed one of almost awe-inspiring personality. If ever there was a
born leader of men Peter Verigin is one. He is the
seventh leader of ihe Doukhobor sect, which has been
in existence for 200 years. The one preceding him
was a woman. Lookeria Vassilevna, who succeeded her
husband in this capacity. She found and marked
Verigin for leadership when he was a mere boy. He
belonged to a very wealthy family of the Doukhobor
persuasion and he followed her implicitly.
He was given a thorough education and prepared
very painstakingly to assume this important post,
which she passed on to him on her deathbed. No
sooner had he assumed the leadership than he started a
movement of passive resistance to the Russian Government's system of compulsory military service. He was
soon seized by the authorities and exiled to Siberia.
He was kept in exile for sixteen years—long after the 82
last of the Doukhobors migrated from Russia—but he
never relinquished leadership over his herd.
He maintained   a   constant   correspondence   with
Count Leo Tolstoy, who was an ardent champion of
PETER VERIGIN IN HIS GARDEN
the Doukhobor cause. Tolstoy never sold the copyright for his books or accepted any royalties from the
publishers, but he made an exception in the case of — 83
the famous novel "Resurrection," the proceeds of
which went to assist the Doukhobors in migrating from
Russia.
Peter Verigin is now 55 years old. He is possessed
of a powerful constitution and a quiet energy, which
knows no obstacles and no defeat. Yet he, is simple,
affable and good natured in the extreme. He is constantly oscillating among all the Doukhobor settlements
attending to all matters accumulating during his absence.
There is no doubt that the migration of the Doukhobors into the United States could only be welcomed
by this country. With the more propitious climate and
the freedom of which they are assured, they are certain to prosper and help to develop the natural wealth
of the State. Ill
THEIR MARTYRDOM IN RUSSIA
BY VLADIMIR TCHERTKOFF
The Doukhobors first appeared in the middle of the
18th century. By the end of the last century or the
beginning of the present, their doctrine had become
so clearly defined, and the number of their followers
had so greatly increased, that the Government and the
Church, considering this sect to be peculiarly obnoxious, started a cruel persecution.
The foundation of the Doukhobors' teaching consists in the belief that the Spirit of God is present in
the soul of man, and directs him by its word within
him.
They understand the coming of Christ in the flesh,
His works, teaching, and sufferings, in a spiritual sense.
The object of the sufferings of Christ, in their view,
was to give us an example of suffering for truth.
Christ continues to suffer in us even now, when we
do not live in accordance with the behests and spirit
of His teaching. The whole teaching of the Doukhobors is penetrated with the gospel spirit of love.
Worshipping God in the spirit, the Doukhobors affirm that the outward Church and all that is performed
in it and concerns it has no importance for them.   The
(84) — 85 —
Church is where two or three are gathered together,
i.e. united, in the name of Christ.
They pray inwardly at all times; while, on fixed days
(corresponding for convenience to the orthodox holy-
days), they assemble for prayer-meetings, at which
they read prayers and sing hymns, or psakns as they
call them, and greet each other fraternally with low
bows, thereby acknowledging every man as a bearer of
the Divine Spirit.
The teaching of the Doukhobors is founded on tradition. This tradition is called among them the "Book
of Life," because it lives in their memory and hearts.
It consists of psalms, partly formed out of the contents of the Old and New Testaments, partly composed independently.
The Doukhobors found alike their mutual relations
and their relations to other people—and not only to
people, but to all living creatures—exclusively on love;
and, therefore, they hold all people equal, brethren.
They extend this idea of equality also to the Government authorities1; obedience to whom they do not consider binding upon them in those cases when the demands of these authorities are in conflict with their
conscience; while, in all that does not infringe what
they rgeard as the will of God, they willingly fulfil the
desire of the authorities.
They consider murder, violence, and in general all
relations to living beings not based on love, as opposed
to their conscience, and to the will of God.
The Doukhobors are industrious and abstemious in 86
their lives, and always truthful in their speech, accounting all lying a great sin.
Such, in their most general character, are the beliefs
for which the Doukhobors have long endured cruel
persecution.
The Emperor Alexander I., in one of his rescripts
concerning the Doukhobors, dated the 9th December,
1816, expressed himself as follows :—"All the measures
of severity exhausted upon the Spirit-Wrestlers during
the thirty years up to 1801, not only did not destroy
this sect, but more and more multiplied the number of
its adherents." And therefore he proposed more humane treatment of them. But, notwithstanding this
desire of the Emperor, the persecutions did not cease.
Under Nicholas I, they were particularly enforced, and
by his command, in the years '40 and '50 the Doukhobors were all banished from the government of
Tauris, where they were formerly settled, to Transcaucasia, near the Turkish frontier. "The utility of this
measure is evident," says a previous resolution of the
Committee of Ministers of the 6th February, 1826,
"they (the Doukhobors) being transported to the extreme borders of the Caucasus, and being always confronted by the hillsmen, must of necessity protect their
property and families by force of arms," i.e., they
would have to renounce their convictions. Moreover
the place appointed for their settlement, the so-called
Wet Hills, was one (situated in what is now the Ahal-
kalaky district of the Tiflis government) having a severe climate, standing 5,000 feet above the sea-level, 87
in which barley grows with difficulty, and where the
crops are often destroyed by frost. Others of the
Doukhobors were planted in the present government
of Elisavetpol.
But neither the severe climate nor the neighbourhood of wild and warlike hillsmen shook the faith of
the Doukhobors, who, in the course of the half-century
they passed in the Wet Hills, transformed this wilderness into flourishing colonies, and continued to live the
same Christian and laborious life they had lived before.
But, as nearly always happens with people, the temptation of the wealth which they attained to in the
Caucasus weakened their moral force, and little by little they began to depart somewhat from the requirements of their belief.
But, while temporarily departing, in the external relations of life, from the claims of their conscience, they
did not, in their inner consciousness, renounce the basis
of their beliefs; and, therefore, as soon as events happened among them which disturbed their outward tranquility, the religious spirit which had guided their
fathers immediately revived within them.
In 1887, universal military service was introduced
in the Caucasus; and even those for whom it was
formerly (in consideration of their religous convictions) replaced by other service or by banishment, were
called upon to serve. This measure took the Doukhobors unawares, and at first they outwardly submitted to
it; but they never in their consciences renounced the
belief that war is a great sin, and they extorted their sons taken as recruits, though they submitted to the
various regulations of the service, never to make actual
use of their arms. Nevertheless, the introduction of
the conscription among people who considered every
murder and act of violence against their fellow-men
to be a sin, greatly alarmed them, and caused them to
think over the degree to which they had departed from
•their belief.
At the same time, in consequence of an illegal decision of the Government departments and officials, the
right to the possession of the public property of the
Doukhobors (valued at half a million roubles) passed
from the community to one of their members, who,
for his own personal advantage, had betrayed the public
interest. This called forth the protest of the majority
of the Doukhobors against this individual and his
party, who had thus become possessed of the public
property, and against the corrupt local administration,
which had been bribed to give an unjust decision in the
case.
When, besides this, several representatives of the
majority, and amogn them the manager elected to administrate the communal property, were banished to
the government of Archangel, this awakening assumed
a very definite character.
The majority of the Doukhobors (about twelve
thousand in number) resolved to hold fast to the traditions left them by their fathers. They renounced
life, they also renounced all participation in acts of violence, and therefore refused military service. — 89 —
In confirmation of the sincerity of their decision not
to use violence even for their own defence, in the summer of 1895, the Doukhobors of the "Great Party,"
as they were called, burnt all their arms which they,
tobacco, wine, meat, and every kind of excess, divided
up all their property (thus supplying the needs of those
who were then in want), and they collected a new public fund.
In connection with this return to a strictly Christian
like all the inhabitants of the Caucasus, kept for their
protection, and those who were in the army refused to
continue service. By general resolution they fixed on
the night of 28th June fo rthe purpose of burning their
arms, which were their own property and therefore at
their absolute disposal. This holocaust was accompanied by the singing of psalms, and was carried out
simultaneously in three places, namely, in the governments of Tiflis and Elisavetpol and in the territory of
Kars. In the latter district it passed off without interference; in the government of Elisavetpol it resulted in
the imprisonment of forty Doukhobors, who are still
in confinement; while in the government of Tiflis the
action taken by the local administration resulted in
the perpetration by the troops of a senseless, unprovoked, and incredibly savage attack on these defenceless people, and in their cruel ill-treatment.
The burning of arms in the Tiflis government was
appointed to take place near the village of Goreloe, in-
habited by Doukhobors belonging to the "Small Party,"
in whose hands was the public property they had ap- 90 —
propriated. This party having learnt the intention of
the "Great Party" were devising a rising and preparing
to make an armed attack upon the village of Goreloe.
and informed the authorities that the Doukhobors of
the "Great Party" were devising a rising and preparing
to make an armed attack upon the village of Gorloe.
The local authorities, then, without verifying the truth
of this information, ordered out the Cossacks and infantry to the place of the imaginary riot. The Cossacks arrived at the place of assembly of the Doukhobors in the morning, when the bonfire, which had
destroyed their arms, was already burning out, and
they made two cavalry attacks upon these men and
women, who had voluntarily disarmed themselves and
were singing hymns, and the troops beat them with
their whips in the most inhuman manner.
After this a whole series of persecutions was commenced against all the Doukhobors belonging to the
"Great Party." First of all, the troops called out were
quartered "in execution" on the Doukhobors' settlements, i.e., the property and the inhabitants themselves
of these settlements were placed at the disposal of the
officers, soldiers, and Cossacks quartered in these villages. Their property was plundered, and the inhabitants themselves were insulted and maltreated in every
way, while the women were flogged with whips and
some of them violated. The men, numbering about
three hundred, who had refused to continue in the army
service, and about thirty who had refused active service, were imprisoned or sent to a penal battalion. 91
Afterwards more than four hundred families of
Doukhobors in Ahalkalaky were torn from their prosperous holdings and splendidly cultivated land, and
after the forced sale, for a mere trifle, of their property, they were banished from the Ahalkalaky district
to four other districts of the Tiflis government, and
scattered among the Georgian villages, from one to five
families to each village, and there abandoned to their
fate.
Before long, epidemics, such as fevers, typhus, diphtheria, and dysentery, appeared among the Doukhobors
(scattered as above stated), with the result that the
mortality increased largely especially among the children. The Doukhobors had been exiled from a cold
mountain climate and settled in the hot Caucasian valleys, where even the natives suffered from fevers.
In one place of exile situated in the Signak district,
106 deaths occurred among 100 families (about 1,000
people) settled there. In the Gory district, 147 deaths
occurred among 190 families. In the Tionet district, 83
deaths occurred among 100 families. In the Dushet
district, 20 deaths occurred among 72 families. Al-
mist all were suffering from diseases.
Besides these deaths there have been others (due to
actual violence) among 1he Doukhobors in prison and
in the penal battalion.
The first to die in this way, in July 1895, was Kirill
Konkin, the cause of death being blows received as
corporal punishment. He died on the road, before
reaching the place of his exile, in a state of hallucina- 92
tion, which commenced while he was being flogged.
Next, in August 1896, died Michael Scherbinin in the
Ekaterinograd penal battalion, tortured to death by
flogging, and by being thrown with violence over the
wooden horse in the gymnasium. Among those confined in the prisons many have already died. Some
of them, wfeile dying, were locked up in separate rooms,
and neither their fellow-prisoners, nor parents, wives,
and children who had come to bid them farewell, were
allowed even to enter the room where the dying lay,
alone and helpless. APPEAL TO REASON
BY  LEO  TOLSTOI
The facts related in this Appeal, gathered by three
of my friends, have been repeatedly verified, revised,
and sifted; the Appeal itself has. been several times
recast and corrected; everything has been rejected from
it which, although true, might seem an exaggeration;
so that all that is now stated in this Appeal is the real,
indubitable truth, as far as the truth is accessible to
men guided only by the religious desire, in this publication of the truth, to serve God and their neighbors,
both the persecuted and the persecutors.
But, however striking the facts here related, their
importance depends, not on the facts themselves, but on
the way in which' those who hear them will regard
them. And I fear that the majority of those who read
this Appeal will not understand all its importance.
"Why, these fellows are a set of rioters; coarse, illiterate peasants; fanatics who have fallen under evil
influence. They are a noxious, anti-governmental sect,
which the Government cannot put up with, but evidently must suppress, as it suppresses every movement
injurious to the general welfare. If at the same time
women and children, innocent children, innocent people have to suffer, well, what is to be done?"
This is what, with a shrug of the shoulders, people
(93) — 94 —
who have not fathomed the importance of the matter
will say.
On the whole, these occurrences will, to most people, seem devoid of interest, like all occurrences whose
places are strongly and clearly defined. Smugglers appear—they must be caught; anarchists, terrorists—society must get rid of them; fanatics, self-mutilators—
they must be shut up, transported; infringers of public
order appear—they must be suppressed. All this seems
indisputable, evident, decisive, and therefore uninteresting.
And yet such an attitude towards what is related in
this Appeal is a great error.
As in the life of each separate individual (I know
this in my own life, and everyone will find similar cases
in his own), so also in the life of nations and humanity, events occur which constitute turning-<points in
their whole existence; and these events, like the "still
small voice" (not the "great and strong wind") in
which Elijah heard God, are neither loud, nor striking,
hardly even perceptible; and in one's personal life one
always afterwards regrets that at the time one neither
know nor guessed the importance of what was taking
place.
"If I had known it was such an important moment in
my life," one afterwards thinks, "I would not have
acted so."
It is the same in the land of mankind. A Roman
Emperor enters Rome in noisy, pompous triumph'—
how important this seems; and how insignificant it then — 95 —
seemed that a Galilean was preaching a new doctrine,
and was executed therefore, just as hundreds of others
were executed for apparently similar crimes.
And so now, too, how important, in the eyes of refined members of rival parties of the English, French
and Italian Parliaments, or of the Austrian and German Diets, and in the eyes of all the business men in
the city, and of the bankers of the whole world, and
their press organs, are the questions as to who shall
occupy the Bosphorus, who shall seize some patch of
land in Africa or Asia, who shall triumph in the question of bimetalism, and so on;, and how, not only unimportant, but even so insignificant that they are not
worth speaking about, seem the stories which tell that
somewhere in the Caucasus, the Russian Government
has taken measures to crush certain semi-savage fanatics, who deny that it is their duty to obey the authorities.
And yet, in reality, how not merely insignificant, but
comic, beside events of such immense importance as
are now taking place in the Caucasus, is the strange
anxiety of full grown people, educated and illuminated
by the teaching of Christ (or at least acquainted with
this teaching, and capable of being illuminated by it),
as to which country shall have this patch of land,
and what words were uttered by this or that erring,
stumbling mortal, who is merely a product of surrounding conditions.
Pilate and Herod, indeed, might not understand the
importance of that for which the Galilean, who had 96
disturbed their province, was brought before them for
judgment. They did not even think it worth while
learning what his teaching meant, and even had they
known it, they might have been excused for thinking
that it would disappear (as Gamaliel said) : but we—
we cannot but know the teaching itself, as well as the
fact that it has not disappeared in the course of
eighteen hundred years, and will not disappear until it
is realised. And if we know this, then, notwithstanding the insignificance, illiterateness, and obscurity of
the Doukhobors, we cannot but see the vast importance
of that which is taking place among them. Christ's
disciples were just such insignificant, unrefined, unknown people, and other than such the followers of
Christ cannot be. Among the Doukhobors, or rather,
"Christians of the Universal Brotherhood," as they
now call ^themselves, nothng new is taking place, but
merely the germinating of that seed Which was sown
by Christ eighteen hundred years ago:—the resurrection of Christ himself.
This resurrection must take place, cannot but take
place, and it is impossible,—merely because it is occurring without the firing of guns, parade of troops, planting of flags, illuminated fountains, music, electric
lights, bell-ringing, and the solemn speeches and the
cries of the people decorated with gold-lace and ribbons—it is impossible to shut one's eyes to the fact that
it is taking place. Only savages judge of the importance of events by the outward splendour that accompanies them. 97
Whether we wish to see it or not, there has now been
shown in the Caucasus, in the life of the "Christians
of the Universal Brotherhood," especially during their
persecution, an example of that Christian life towards
which all that is good and reasonable in the world is
striving. For all our State institutions, our Parliaments, societies, sciences, arts,—all this only exists and
operates in order to realise that life which all of us,
thinking men, see before us as the highest ideal of
perfection. And here we have people who have realised this ideal, no doubt only in part and not completely, but have realised it in a way we did not dream
of doing with our complex State institutions. How,
then, can we avoid acknowledging the importance of
this event? For that is being accomplished towards
which we are all striving, towards which all our complex activity is leading.
It is generally said that such attempts at the realisation of the Christian life have been made more than
once before; there have been' the Quakers, the Mennon-
ites, and others, all of whom have weakend and degenerated into ordinary people, living the usual political life. And, therefore, it is said, such attempts to
realise a Christian life are important.
To say so is like saying that the pains of labour
which have not yet ended in a birth, or the warm rains
and sun-rays which have not as yet brought spring,
are of no importance.
What, then, is important for the realisation of the
Christian life?   It is surely not by diplomatic nego- 98 —
tiations about Abyssinia and Constantinople, papal encyclicals, socialistic congresses, and so on, that man will
advance to that for which the world endures. For,
if the Kingdom of God, i.e., the kingdom on earth of
truth and good, is to be realised, it can only be by such
attempts as were made by the first disciples of Christ,
afterwards by the Paulicians, Albigenses, Quakers,
Moravian Brethren, Mennonites, all the true Christians of the world, and now by the "Christians of the
Universal Brotherhood."
The fact that these birth pangs continue and increase
does not prove that there will be no birth, but, on the
contrary, that the birth is near at hand. People say
it will come about, but not in this way,—in some other
way, by books, newspapers, universities, theatres,
speeches, meetings, congresses. But even if it be admitted that all these newspapers and books and meetings and universities help to the realisation of the
Christian life, yet, after all, the realisation must be accomplished by living men, good men, with a Christian
spirit, ready for righteous common life. Therefore,
the main condition of the realisation is the existence
and gathering together of people who shall even now
realise that towards which we are all striving. And
behold, such people exist!
It may be, though I doubt it, that the movement of
the "Christian Universal Bortherhood" will also be
stamped out, especially if society itself does not understand the importance of what is taking place, and does
not render brotherly aid; but that which this movement — 99
represents, that which has been expressed in it, will
certainly not die, cannot die, and sooner or later will
burst forth to the light, will destroy all that is now
crushing it, and will overcome the world. It is but a
question of time.
True, there are people, and, unfortunately there are
many, who hope and say, "But not in our time," and
therefore strive to arrest the movement. Yet, their
efforts are useless, and they do not arrest the movement, but by their efforts only destroy in themselves
the life which is given them. For life is life only when
it is the carrying out of God's purpose. By opposing
Him, people deprive themselves of life, yet neither
for a year, nor for an hour, can they delay the accomplishment of God's purpose.
And it is impossible not to see that, with the outward connection now established among all the inhabitants of the earth, with the awakening of the
Christian spirit which is now appearing in all corners
of the earth, tiiis accomplishment is near at hand.
And the obduracy and blindness of the Russian Government, in directing against the "Christians of the
Universal Brotherhood" a persecution like those of
pagan times, and the wonderful meekness and firmness
with which the new Christian martyrs endure these
persecutions—all these things are undoubted signs of
the nearness of this accomplishment.
And therefore, having understood the great importance of the events that are taking place, both for the
life of humanity in general and for the life of each — 100.—
of us, remembering that the opportunity to act which is
now presented will never return, let us do that which
the merchant in the Gospel parable did, selling all he
possessed that he might obtain the priceless pearl; let
us disdain all mean, selfish considerations, and let each
of us, in whatever position he be, do all which is in
his power, in order,—if not directly to help those
through whom the work of God is being done, if not
to share in this work,—at least not to oppose God's
work which is being accomplished for our good. IV
THE ORIGIN OF THE DOUKHOBORS
AND  THEIR  DOCTRINE
A Paper Written in 1805
The name "Doukhobors" or "Spirit Wrestlers" was
given as far back as 1785, probably by the then Bishop
of Ekaterinoslaff. It was at the time evidently intended to distinguish, by this name, those holding this
teaching, just as the repudiation of ikons (images) was
in its time called "Ikon-Wrestling." But the Doukhobors themselves, giving their derivation of the name
from "spirit," say that they in the spirit strenuously
serve God. Thus, following their explanation, the
term ought to be understood1.
As to themselves, they awlays called, and call, themselves merely "Christians," whilst others they call "men
of the world."
Their origin is unknown, even to themselves; for,
being common people and illiterate, they have no written history; neither has tradition preserved amongst
them any information upon the subject.
Communication among the Russian Doukhobors
takes place when occasion offers, for example, when
the brethren have to travel upon business; but, when
necessary, special messengers are sent.
(101) — 102 —
Their Mode of Life and Organization
Apart from the question of the peculiarities of their
religious faith, the Doukhobors may be regarded as
affording the model of well-organised family and social
peasant life. In 1792, Kohovsky, the governor of Ekaterinoslaff, in his report to the higher authorities, said,
amongst other things, that the Doukhobors are of ex-
emplarily good conduct, and, avoiding drunkenness and
idleness, are continually occupied with the welfare of
their homes, leading a moral life. They have always
regularly paid the State taxes, and fulfilled their other
social duties, often even to excess, as compared with
the other peasants, owing to the oppression to which
they are always subject from the local authorities.
But as soon as question is raised as to principles and
actions of theirs which in any way touch their religious
faith, there is immediately disclosed a complete difference from, and even opposition to, other peasantry.
The Doukhobors never frequent the churches; they
do not worship images; during prayer they do not
make the sign' of the cross; they do not keep the ordinary fasts; and they take no part in the recreations
and loose pleasures of worldly people. There are
many such circumstances which completely separate
them from all ordinary society of peasants, and which
have always been a cause of unceasing persecution
against them.
The Doukhobors deem that all externalism in the
work of salvation is utterly useless, and that the external Church, owing to the lapse of true Christianity, — 103 —
has become a den of robbers; and they therefore acknowledge one sacred, universal, and apostolic Church,
which the Lord by His coming has assembled, consecrated, and replenished by the gifts of the Holy Ghost,
and which is, of course, the union of all faithful and
true Christians.
In this persuasion, they often have meetings of the
brethren; yet they have not for this purpose any
specially appointed place, as they do not see any sanctity in locality; but they meet at each other's houses
without any distinction. They do not even fix any
special days for their meetings, deeming all days equal,
and having no holy-days: any free day is a day for
their meetings. These meetings, however, in most
cases, for convenience sake, take place during the ordinary Church or national holyjdays. Thus, any of
them may arrange a meeting at his house by inviting all the brethren. If such a meeting is held at the
house of a poor brother who cannot provide food for
those who have assembled, then the others previously
contribute the necessary food, or else bring it with
them; for at these meetings they have supper. Entering the meeting, the men greet the men, the women
the women, by grasping each other's right hands, bowing three times, and kissing each other. At the commencement, each one says a prayer. The three bows
and kisses are intended to signify the cleansing of the
body and the repulsion of pride; they take each other's
hands as a sign of union and love, mutual understanding, the sense of a God revered in their souls. — 104
During the meetings, one after another recites the
prayers he knows; they together sing psalms and explain to each other the Word of God. As almost all
are illiterate, and therefore without books, all this is
done from memory. They have no priests in the ordinary sense of the word; they acknowledge as priest
the one just holy, true Christ, uplighted above sinners,
higher than the heavens; He is their sole teacher.
Thus at their meetings they hear the word of God form
each other; each one may express What he knows or
feels for the benefit of his brethren; the women are
not excluded from this, for, as they say, women also
have understanding, and light is in understanding.
They pray either standing or sitting, as the case may
be.
At the end of the meeting they again kiss each other
thrice as at the beginning, and then the brethren return
home
The virtue most highly respected among the Doukhobors is mutual love. They have no personal property; but each regards his property as belonging to
all. After emigrating to the Milky-Waters they
proved this in practice; for there they stored up all
their property in one place, so that at present they have
one common treasury, one common flock or herd, and
in each of their villages is a common granary. Each
brother takes from the common property that which
he needs. Hospitality also is not the least virtue
among them, for they take nothing from travellers
who stop at their houses, either for lodging or food. — 105 —
The Doukhobors are compassionate towards their
fellow-men. The local authorities themselves, notwithstanding all the calumny they spread against these people, have more than once witnessed before the higher
Government to the fact that the Doukhobors give help
and do acts of great charity to their fellow-men in
need. They are compassionate.even to household animals, and almost entirely refrain from killing them.
Respect from children to their parents is also strictly
observed, and in general from younger men to those
older; though the latter, and even parents, do not appropriate to themselves any ascendency over the
younger ones, regarding themselves as spiritually their
equals.
There exist no punishments among the brethren.
As soon as any brother thinks another has behaved
improperly, he, according to the precise gospel instruction, reminds him that he is acting wrongly; if the one
in fault will not take consideration, he is admonished
in the presence of two or three of the brethren; if he
does not take heed of them, he is invitd to appear before the general assembly.
There have been cases, though very seldom, in which
some of the brethren have left ihe Society, doubtless
in order to live at liberty according to their own unrestricted desire. It has even sometimes happened that
wives have deserted their husbands. The husbands, in
such cases, do not detain their wives, but give them
liberty, at the same time giving them means to live
upon as far as possible. 106
Deserters may, however, be again accepted into the
Society if they completely repent and leave their immoral life; of which there have also been examples.
The general round of occupations is filled by each
taking a calling. Thus the tradesman does the commercial business, and the agriculturist works on the
land. But the majority of them are agriculturists, as
they give preference to this noble occupation.
In their Society there are no elders who rule or
administrate, but rule and administration are by all
and each. Written regulations or rules they also have
none, and one might suppose that there ought therefore to be disagreement and disorder amongst them.
Yet no such disorder has ever been noticed. In the
Milky-Waters, three, and even five, families live peacefully together in one large cottage
As to the management of the families separately,
the weakness and dependence of the female sex, the
inexperience of youth, and the education of the children naturally require another system. In every family there must of necessity be an elder one, and the
father in the flesh is this elder one. His duty is to
care for the needs of his family, to watch the conduct
of the children, correct their faults, and teach them the
law of God. When the father dies his place is taken
by the elder of the brothers and in the case of incapacity of the latter, his place is taken by the one most
capable.
The system of education among the Doukhobors is
most simple and uniform.   As soon as the child begins — 107 —
to speak and understand, his parents commence verbally
to teach him prayers and psalms, and to tell him something out of the Holy Writings; and they thus continue
to instruct him in the Christian doctrine. When the
children have learnt a few prayers and psalms they
accompany the elders to the meetings, recite in their
turn the prayers they have learnt, and sing psalms
together with the others. Not only the parents, but
every Doukhobor regards it as his duty to teach every
child something useful whenever he has the opportunity to do so and to keep him from evil whenever he
has occasion.
Owing to such education, the spirit of the parents
by degrees passes into the children; their ways of
thinking take deep root, and the tendency towards
good is most strongly encouraged by good examples.
It is said, and indeed seems quite natural, that amongst
a number of children one can distinguish Doukhobors'
children from the rest like ears of corn among oats.
Their Teaching
1. The chief article in the Doukhobors' profession
of faith is the service and worship of God in the spirit
and in the truth.
2. They know no creed, and only say of themselves
that they are of the faith of Jesus. The creed which
is recognised in our Church they accept as true in
everything, but they regard it as one of the ordinary
psalms. 108 —
3. They acknowledge God as being in three personifications of the One and Unutterable. They believe
that through the memory we assimilate ourselves with
God the Father, through the understanding with God
the Son, through the will with God the Holy Ghost;
also that the first person of the Trinity is the light—
the Lord our Father; the second person is the life—
the Son our Lord; and the third person is peace—the
Holy Spirit our God.
4. The conception they have of Christ is based
on the teaching of the gospel; they acknowledge His
coming in the flesh, His works, teaching, and suffering; but chiefly they accept all this in the spiritual
sense, and affirm that all contained in the gospel should
be accomplished in ourselves. Thus Christ must in us
be begotten, born, grow up, teach, suffer, die, revive,
and ascend; and it is thus that they understand the
process of the new birth, or renovation of man. They
say that Jesus Himself was and is the Gospel of eternal
and living, and has sent it forth, preached in the Word.
He Himself is the Word, and can be written only on
our hearts.
5. They believe that, except through God and His
Christ, there is no salvation; but if God is invoked
without a pure heart, He Himself cannot save man.
6. For the salvation of man, indubitable faith in
Christ is necessary; but faith without works is dead,
as also are works without faith. The only living faith
is the hearty acceptance of the gospel.
7. Concerning Baptism, they say that they are bap- — 109 —
tized into the Word through the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, as Christ taught the apostles, saying: Go forth
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This baptism takes
place When a man repents with a pure and willing
heart, and calls upon God, and then his sins are remitted, and he turns to God, and not to the world.
This is the only baptism for the remission of sins which
they profess.
The new birth and baptism, according to their understanding, are one and the same. The means of attaining the new birth are living faith in God and
prayer. The signs of the newly born, or baptized, are
the works of the new man.
The consummation of baptism or new birth, they
say, a man attains when he is united to God; and such
a man may see God with his spiritual eyes. External
baptism they regard as useless, saying that water only
washes off uncleanness of the external body.
8. They confess their sins in prayer to the heavenly
God, good and merciful, who forgives all our sins. If
they sin against their brethren, they confess before
all, and ask their brethren to forgive them.
To deny one's sins when others remark them is
regarded by the Doukhobors as a great wrong. They
also condemn the practice of calling oneself a sinner,
and making this a kind of boast, a sham meekness,
to excuse one from trying to correct one's errors.
When a man has fallen, he should immediately recover himself, ask God's forgiveness with humbled 110 —
heart, and with all his might strive not to fall again
into a similar sin.
9. As to the Communion, they partake at all times
of the sacred, life-giving, eternal sacraments, in the
forgiveness of their sins spiritually, through the inward acceptance of the Word of God, which is Christ;
and such a communion, they say, penetrates the understanding of man, as it were,, to the marrow of the
bones.
The communion of the body and blood of Christ
in the form of bread and wine they do not accept;
saying that bread and wine enter the mouth like ordinary food, and are of no avail to the soul.
10. Fasting they regard as a matter not of kind
or quality of food, but of abstinence from gluttony
and other vices, of purity, meekness, and humility of
the spirit. Mere outward abstinence from food does
not, according to them, yield any good to the soul.
11. They respect the saints, but do not call for
their help, saying that they—the saints—have pleased
God on their own behalf, and that we must simply
imitate them.
They do not, however, indiscriminately count as
good all the deeds of the so-called saints; thus they
deem that when St. Nicholas, during a Church Council, hit Arius on the cheek, the Word of God had then
deserted him.
12. Marriage amongst them is not regarded as a
holy sacrament, and is accomplished merely by the
mutual consent of the young couple.   As among the — Ill —
Doukhobors no preference is given to wealth or rank,
the parents do not at all interfere with the marriages
of their children. There are also no marriage rites
or ceremonies; the mere consent of the two, and a
promise to live together, suffices.
Abstinence from marriage for the sake of purity
is regarded amongst them as a high virtue.
13. The dead they commemorate by good deeds,
and in no other way. God Himself, they say, will
remember the righteous in His kingdom. Therefore
they do not pray for the dead, deeming it useless. The
death of a Christian they do not call death, but change;
therefore they do not say "our brother has died," but
"our brother has changed."
14. Concerning the state of the righteous in heaven,
they say that the kingdom is in man's will, and that
heaven is in the soul; that the souls of the righteous
are in the hands of God, and, therefore, no torments
of hell can touch them. As to the torments of the
unrighteous and hell, they believe that unrighteous
souls walk in the dark, expecting soon to perish, and
that hell consists in evil feeling.
As to the transformation of souls after death, they
believe that man is either justified by deeds, or by
deeds condemned; that the deeds of each man take him
to his true place, and that after death there is no
repentance.
15. As to the general resurrection of the righteouj
and unrighteous, the Doukhobors do not enter into
discussion, leaving this in the care of God. — 112 —
16. For a man to save his soul, they do not think it
necessary for him to belong to their Society. They say
that conduct brings a man salvation, and that for this
it is only necessary to understand the way of God,
and to follow it.
17. The Doukhobors are careful as to the neatness
of their houses, and say that for a Christian it is
proper to live cleanly and tidily (in this they have
always been distinguished from the other peasants in
the same village), and that it is only necessary to take
care that the spirit be not set upon these things.
They think in the same way about pictures in their
rooms, portraits of remarkable men, and even of
saints. They say that such pictures serve to ornament
the house, and are pleasant for the eye; but they
should in no case be worshipped, for that is a deadiy
sin.
18. The Doukhobors like to express their religious
thoughts and feelings in the form of allegories. Thus,
for example, they speak of seven heavens, the first
being humility; the second, understanding; the third,
abstinence; the fourth, brotherly love; the fifth, compassion; the sixth, good counsel; the seventh, love,
where God lives.
In a similar way they denote twelve Christian virtues, under the guise of twelve friends, thus—
1. Truth: which delivers man from death.
2. Purity: which brings man to God.
3. Love: where love is, there God is also. — 113 —
4. Labour: honourable for the body and helpful
for the soul.
5. Obedience: a quick way to salvation.
6. Not judging: salvation without labour.
7. Reasonableness: the highest of virtues.
8. Mercy: of which Satan himself is afraid.
Self-Control: the work of Christ our God Himself.
10. Prayer and fasting: unite man with God.
11. Repentance: there is no higher law or commandment.
12. Thanksgiving: gladsome to God and His higher
angels.
We will give as examples, two of the prayers which
are recited at the Doukhobors' meetings—
To Whom shall I go from Thee, my God; from
Thy face to whom shall I run? If I were to ascend
to heaven, Thou art there; if I descend into hell, Thou
art there; if I had wings to fly to the farthest seas,
there would Thy arm reach me, and Thy right hand
hold me. To whom shall I go, and where shall I find
eternal life, if it be not in Thee, my Creator? To
whom shall I go, and where, to find consolation, joy,
a home, peace for my soul ? To whom shall I go from
Thee, my Lord God, for Thou hast in Thee the words
of life?   Thou art the source of life, the giver of all — 114 —
blessings. My soul is thirsting after Thee, my heart
is thirsting after Thee, the God- of my life! Let us
rejoice in Thy sacred name, O Lord Jesus, full of
blessing; let my soul be pierced by it, let my heart
be penetrated by it, so that nothing in all my life be
dearer to me than Thy sacred Spirit. Let Thy words
be sweeter to me than honey, let Thy ways of salvation be dearer to me than gold.
ii
How shouldst Thou be loved, O God? For Thou
art my salvation, glory, and praise; for Thou
art my wealth, my eternal treasure; for Thou art my
hope and my trust; for Thou art my joy, my eternal
peace. Is it better for me to love emptiness, or the
unknown, or that which is perverse, perishable, or untrue, more than Thee, my true life ? Thou art my life,
my salvation; and therefore in Thee alone do I place
all my hope, my faith, my desire. To Thee, Lord, will
I call with all my heart, all my soul, all my thoughts;
deep into Thee shall I penetrate; to Thee alone shall
I pour forth my soul; I shall wholly be in Thee, and
Thou in me. I shall see and know in Thee the true
and only Lord God, Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast
sent. In Thy light shall we see light, by the grace of
Thy Holy Spirit. V
THE STORY OF THE DELIVERANCE
As a result of the publicity given to the sufferings
of the Doukhobors by the press, the activity of the
Society of Friends, a considerable sum of money for
the relief of these Christian Martyrs of the Nineteenth
Century was subscribed, chiefly by "Friends." This
was conveyed to the Doukhobors by the hands of Arthur St. John, an ex-captain of the British Army,
who took out with him also letters of introduction and
sympathy; but after a short stay among the sufferers
St. John was arrested and forced to leave Russia. In
their own country sympathisers had not been idle, although in nearly every case the sentence of exile was
meted out to the helpers. From their letters we take
the following passages :—
"The great heat, and the unaccustomed climate are
doing their work," wrote a Russian officer from the
Caucasus. "There is not a single healthy looking face.
As these people are, by nature, of a strong constitution,
this feverish yellowness and paleness is the more striking. Some of them are so exhausted by the fever as
to lose all strength and consciousness.    It is clear to
(US) t- 116 —
everyone that they are dying out. The surest way for
the Government to get rid of them !"*
Arthur St. John summed up his general impressions
of the Doukhobors thus:—"What do other people
think of these outlaws, whom the authorities have been
driving about? How do they impress those around
them? It appears that the universal opinion of them,
as regards practical life, such as people are ordinarily
capable of appreciating, is one of respect. The police
officers themselves speak well of them, say they are
good people. I was told that the Georgian nobles,
when they want work done, compete with each other
for the service of these Doukhobors. As for the impression they made on me, I wish I could in some way
describe it. The brotherly way of them—Freemasonry is nothing to it. The interest they took in one.
The intense feeling of a mutual tie. There is a sure-
ness, a safety about them of something human realised, something of which we have dreamed. They
move and have their being in an air of human brotherhood. It is evident what is their 'God,' their main
principle of life. Their life is a song of days to come.
But the theme of it—surely it is not new, surely we
have heard it long ago, for it tells of 'Peace on earth;
good-will towards men.'"
Another sympathiser, who accompanied St. John
from Moscow gave a description of the meeting, which
he attended in company with Arthur St. John. He
said:—
*As a matter of fact, more than 1,000 perished from fevers
and semi-starvation. 117
"All those who had come over for the meeting assembled in one hut; altogether there were about 150
persons. It was so crowded that all had to stand. The
door was open and the passage also was crowded.
St. John and myself and a friend from Tiflis were
seated round the table. Notwithstanding the crowd
there reigned complete silence. Altogether I must
say that not in any cultivated society, or circle of
either young or old people have I ever met with such
good behaviour at large gatherings, with sudh tact and
tolerance during debate, as I noticed among these people. One at a time speaks, calmly, not hurrying, knowing beforehand that nobody will interfere until he has
finished what he had to say. If it happens that several
persons begin to talk at once, precedence is given—
without unnecessary persuasion or displeasure—to one
of them. When anyone leaves off speaking, the next
one, before beginning, generally asks: 'Well, Vanya,
have you finished?' There is in all this such respect
for the personality of one another and such love.
From this results an order such as it is impossible to
keep in an ordinary company by any number of chairman's bells.
"First of all I gave them the greetings of all their
friends—Russian as well as foreign, also from Leo
Tolstoy. I told them I had to hand over some money
and letters. The letters I proposed to read aloud. In
a few words I related how and where the money was
collected, then it was counted and handed over. One
of the Doukhobors then said that all who were pres- — 118 —
ent wished to express their thanks in their own way,
and the whole crowd began to move and made—a
very low—bow. A general sigh stifled with emotion
was uttered, and one could hear sobbing. Seeing before me the backs and heads of the bowing people—
people whom I respect so highly, and who have suffered so much for the truth—expressing this murmur
of gratitude, and seeing also their deeply moved faces,
I was touched to the soul.
"After this, I read the letter from V. Tchertkoff
(containing messages from English sympathisers) ; it
made a deep impression. All the time one could hear
sighs and words of gratitude; 'Save them, oh Lord!'—
'Grant them eternal life!'—'Help them on their righteous path!'—and so forth. More than once we were
obliged to interrupt the reading, in order to allow them
to express themselves. They were especially affected
by the conclusion of the letter; they saw in it a complete understanding of their life, and deep sympathy
with it. After the reading was over one of them
said: 'We thanked you for the charity you bestowed
upon us for the body, and although it is very dear to
us—this charity, being spiritual, which nourishes the
soul, is much dearer to us; how are we to thank you
for it? Let us once more bow to our brethren, let
us thank them for their love and remembrance.' And
again all made a low bow, and again, like a wave, arose
a murmur of gratitude and love.
"Then I read a letter from the Colonists at Purleigh.
They asked a great deal about them, and how each 119
one came to this comprehension of life. I regretted
that I could not answer all their questions. They also
told me how formerly—in moments of weakness—
they felt lonely, and how they were rejoicing to learn
that not only in Russia, but abroad, all over the world
'the flame of love is kindled.' "
"Contrary to my expectations I saw that they do not
subject themselves to any oppressive principles which
limit the freedom of their individuality. Each one
when considering any question is guided exclusively by
his own spiritual understanding. That is why they
are so energetic, joyful and free, more so than it is
possible for any of us to be. And all their actions
which to us seem extraordinary are to them quite
usual. This results from the fact that their conduct
is looked upon by them only as the outward manifestation, as the result of continual inward spiritual force.
And out of this conception arises the fact that there is
no need for people to carry out this act or that,
prompted by any other motive than the impossibility to
act otherwise.
"Therefore there are no vain actions, as nobody will
praise them; there are no actions from fear of censure
on the part of the brethren, as no one will blame them;
there are no actions out of blind submission to the majority, as none either expects or demands anything
from another. Moreover, if there be anyone whose
inner consciousness does not strongly exhort him to
live this life, he always has the possibility of joining
the Small Party. ■— 120
"In my presence the news came that one of the
Doukhobors, who was kept in a penal battalion, not
having strength to bear the tortures, consented to
serve. All who were present in the hut had only just
heard about it, and I was able to observe their immediate attitude towards this matter. Nearly all of them
spoke with sorrow about him, and pitied him: 'Dear
lad, he had to bear much pain; and now it will be
still harder for him, poor fellow.' All spoke of him
with such affection, such grief; they feared that he
would find it still harder to live after his consent to
serve in the army. They spoke of his youthfulness, of
the sensitiveness of his nature, and of his severe suffering.
"Their relations to their neighbours, who have never
shared their faith, are equally kind. Soon after the
settlement of the Doukhobors its the Government of
Tiflis a Georgian in one of the villages fell ill. It
happened to be in autumn, and the corn gathered in
by him was not yet removed, and was lying in sheaves
in the yard. The corn would have spoiled as the rain
was pouring down. The Doukhobors got to know of
this, went to his place, thrashed the corn, put it in its
place, and went away, almost without seeing the
owner.
"In another village one of the Doukhobors once
heard during the night some noise going on near the
horses. He went out to see what was the matter, and
saw that a Georgian had led his horse out, and, mounting on it, was about ready to gallop away.   The Douk- 121 —
hobor began to shout: "Stop, stop!' so persistently,
that the Georgian—though he was already some distance away—stood still. The Doukhobor said: T only
wanted to tell you that you need not be afraid, and
that you should not consider this horse as a stolen
one; if you want to take it.' The Georigan stood still
for awhile, reflected, came back and returned the
horse."
In spite of all help, however, it became evident that
the Doukhobors would eventually, at no distant date,
die out. And this would have happened but for one
thing unforseen by the Russian officials, who were
steadily pressing on the extermination. In the autumn
of 1897 the Dowager Empress of Russia visited the
Caucasus to see her son, and while there the Doukhobors managed to submit to her a petition, explaining
their sufferings and requesting that they might be allowed to settle somewhere all together, and failing that
to emigrate.
In March, 1898, the leaders .pi the Caucasus Doukhobors wired their friends in England the joyful news,
"Permission has been given for our emigration at our
own expense. We ask for help and guidance." In
England and America the work of raising an emigration fund (rendered necessary by their impoverishment during exile), of procuring land and organising
the journey, was at once undertaken by the Society of
Friends, the signatories to the original appeal, and
other friends. Three appeals for funds and other
help—by Leo Tolstoy, by the Society of Friends, and 122 —
by V. Tchertkoff, were issued and much Christian
liberality was shown. The Doukhobors themselves
wished to go to America, or failing that to Cyprus, or
some other place nearer the Caucasus, their one desire
being to get out of the precincts of Russia, whatever
fate might await them after that. Nothing worse
could happen they felt than they were then undergoing, and by migrating the weaker ones might be
saved from the temptation to renounce their faith.
Under the circumstances it was felt that the selection of Cyprus, at any rate for the exiled Doukhobors who were in the last extremities, would afford
the best solution, as the matter was too urgent to
allow waiting until the large sum necessary to convey
seven or eight thousand people to America could be
collected; and learning that the sufferers had made
up their minds at any cost to leave Russia, even if it
entailed walking all the way to Batoum, the nearest
seaport, the Committee of the Society of Friends
pressed forward their arrangements and began negotiating with the Cyprus Government as to the conditions under which the first party might be permitted
to settle on that island; while two of the Doukhobor
delegates, accompanied by Aylmer Maude, an English
sympathiser, who had lived many years in Russia, and
Prince Hilkoff, proceeded to Canada to make arrangements for the larger party. It was found that a much
larger guarantee would be required for Cyprus than
had been expected. So the Committee was brought
face to face with a serious crisis.   No other land was 123 —
available without considerable delay in preparation,
and a telegram came from the Caucasus announcing
that 1,100 Doukhobors were on their way to Batoum
ready to embark. They had previously undertaken
to engage their own steamer as being most convenient,
paying for it out of the' sum of £4,700 which they had
collected for the purpose of emigration at the beginning of the persecutions, and which they could not
use for any other purpose.
So there was nothing to be done but satisfy the demands of the British Government as regards Cyprus.
In this crisis two circumstances saved the situation.
Thanks to the sympathy and energetic action of the
Friends, they, in three days, insured a sum of
£11,500, which together with the £5,000 already
collected by subscriptions, was just sufficient to
make up the £15 per head required by the Government; and secondly, the Soriety of Friends
inspired the Colonial Office with confidence, so that
they were willing to accept the guarantee without the
money being actually paid down, insuring the support
of the emigrants for two years from the time of their
landing in Cyprus.
On August 26, the first party of Doukhobor immigrants, 1,126 in number, for Whom the guarantee
was raised, landed in Cyprus. They were welcomed
by Arthur St. John, who has been for some time in
the island to make ready for the immigration. On
August 29, Wilson Sturge (a "Friend" from England
representing the Friends' Committee, and who passed — 124
away from this life on his return journey to England),
and Paul Birukoff (exiled in their cause), arrived in
Cyprus to assist in the settlement of these people.
News of arrival in Cyprus came first by telegram.
Then on September 5th came a letter from Arthur
St. John, posted on the evening of August 26th. He
says :
"You people at home seem to have been very energetic in very perplexing circumstances lately, and
I now have to thank you for the joy of the arrival of
this large number of sisters and brothers. The goodwill called forth in so many all round is also a joy,
the appreciative remarks of people and the meeting
with the dear ones themselves. We have them all
enclosed in the quarantine here at Larnaca, and everything is being done to help me, and everyone seems
to want to help me. Now I have revived* hopes of
their staying in Cyprus for good, and being a blessing
to the island and an instrument of the manifestation
of good-will, God's kingdom on earth, here in the
Old World, between Europe and Asia. Who knows?
It will be manifested somehow."
About the same time the Friends' Committee sent
a letter to the Doukhobors immigrants in Cyprus, as
follows:
"Dear Friends,—We are rejoiced to learn that after
many hindrances and difficulties you have safely
reached Cyprus.
"We earnestly desire that under the Divine blessing you may be enabled to make homes for yourselves 125
and your children in the island, which we cannot doubt
will be the case, as you will there be able to reap the
fruit of that patient endurance and industry which has
distinguished you in the past, free from all attempt
on the part of the rulers to force you to do what your
consciences forbid.
"May you be enabled, in your new homes, to keep a
conscience void of offense towards God and toward
man.
"It has been cause for satisfaction and thankfulness to us to be permitted to share in the work of your
deliverance, and to hold out to you the hand of
brotherly assistance.
"Strangers as we are in language and race, we are
brought very near to you in the testimony which we
both bear against all war as contrary to the teaching
and example of the Prince of Peace.
"We have heard, from those who are acquainted
with your history in the past, of your God-fearing
lives, your honest industry, and your brotherly sympathy for one another, so that we have felt we might
safely give to the government of the island the heavy
pecuniary guarantees they have, not unreasonably, demanded before permitting your settlement in Cyprus,
lest you might become chargeable to, and a burden
upon, the other inhabitants.
"We feel that we can depend upon you doing your
part and making the best of the circumstances In
which, as we believe by the will of God, you are now
placed. l88f| — 126
"We have desired in all the steps we have taken on
your behalf to be guided by the Spirit of Truth, the
standard to which, we are assured, you also desire to
bring all your actions; we may therefore, both you and
we, trust that your removal to Cyprus is in the Divine
ordering, and will be blessed to you.
"We greatly desire to see all your brethren who
remain in Russia, enabled to leave it, and with others
of your friends we are labouring to this end.
"Your example, and the encouragement which you
will be able to give by your endeavours to make the
best of your new surroundings, will greatly help our
efforts  in  this  direction.
"We send this letter by the hand of our friend and
brother, Wilton Sturge, who is now among you, and
for whom we ask brotherly consideration and help.
"With the salutation of Christian love,
"We are your friends,
(Signed by several members of
the Friends' Committee.)"
On first arriving in Cyprus, the Doukhobors were
full of joy at being at last free, and at having before
them the prospect of reviving their Communal life.
Letters were received from Paul Birukoff, Arthur St.
John, Wilson Sturge, an agent of the Eastern and
Colonial Company, and others, expressing their admiration of the character and conduct of the immigrants. A lady in Cyprus wrote: "I hear from various
acquaintances in the island the highest opinions of 127 —
these people, and I must say that no peasantry ever
produced the same impression upon me as they have
done. The fine dignity of their bearing and expression, the clear, kindly acuteness of their eyes, the
steadiness of their questioning look, the marvellous
activity of their work—all are deeply striking. The
contrast of their sturdy, quick walk, when you meet
them on the road, with the lazy gait of the Cypriate
men is also noticeable.
"At Pergamo, the 500 Russians settled there were
building their mud-brick houses, and swarming at the
work like boys playing football. And for force and
strength, and regularity like a steam engine, I never
saw anything to equal a middle-aged woman who,
with garments kilted up to her thighs, was kneading
the earth for brick-making by treading it. Such
mighty limbs were a revelation to me.
"And on every face was a brightness and cheerfulness that amazed me when I considered their story and
circumstances.
"At Kuklia the houses were all built and the roofs
were being finished by a young giant who was pitching spadefuls of earth from the ground level to the
tops of one-storied houses. The roofs are of timber
and reeds, covered with thick earth to keep out the
heat.   Well beaten they resist the rain also."
But afterwards the Doukhobors found the climate
trying, illness appeared among them, which carried off
over 90 of their number, and the conditions of life
'were so unfamiliar that they despaired of being able 128 —
to adapt themselves to them. They felt, finally, that
Cyprus could only be a rest-place, and not a permanent settlement. All this they expressed in a letter to
the Doukhobor Committee of the Society of Friends,
dated September 20th, from which we take two extracts :—
"Brethren,—In the first place we transmit to you
our deep gratitude—such as we are even unable to express to you—for your brotherly care about us and
the help you extend to us.
"Secondly, we desire to explain to you the position
of our affairs, and we once more appeal to you not
to withdraw your kind assistance from us.
"As our brethren Ivin and Mahortoff (who had previously been sent by us) have already explained to
you, life here is very difficult for us, and it will hardly
be possible for us to stay here a long time.
"What we are chiefly anxious for is to settle down
altogether, the whole community, and this is impossible here, as there is very little convenient and cheap
land to be got here, and rather than buy expensive
land, one could use this money for our transportation to America, to Canada, which land is attracting
us, both by its spaciousness as well as by its climate,
which resembles that of the Caucasus, where we have
been living for 50 years.
"Even if it were possible for all our brethren to
settle down here, even then we dread the extremely
hot climate here, which resembles that from which 129
we suffered in exile, where, out of 4,000 of our people, about 1,000 have already died.
"We fervently appeal to you not to enter into great
expense in establishing us here, but in as much as will
be possible to transport us into a place more suitable
for us to live in. From what we hear, Canada is such
a place, and we will patiently and in obedience to God's
will, await our turn when, with the assistance of our
friends, it will be possible for us to join our brethren.
We are well aware that a great number of our brothers
have yet remained in the Caucasus, amid great oppressions and without any means of subsistence, and
we beg you first to think of them. And we hope that
our friends will also not forget about us here either,
and will relieve our position.
"We are greatly in fear of grieving you by this our
letter, but we wish to tell you the whole truth, and to
openly express to you our opinion, in order that we
might afterwards not have to be responsible before
you and before God.
"We are also thanking you, from our hearts, for
your letter, which we received and read. May the
Lord save you!
"Signed' for the whole community by seven representatives."
In the meanwhile, active steps were being taken in
England for the deliverance of the remaining 6,000
Doukhobors who wished to emigrate. On September
1, 1898, the two Doukhobor delegate families, accompanied by Aylmer Maude, started for Canada with 130 —
Prince Hilkoff. (The latter was specially qualified
by his practical knowledge of agriculture to advise in
the selection of land, and he remained in Canada, assisting in this and other ways, till the whole migration
was completed.) The object of the journey was twofold; (1) to select suitable land for the permanent
settlement of the Doukhobors, and (2) to endeavour
to enlist the sympathy and support of the Government
and negotiate with the railway company, etc.
They duly arrived at Quebec on September 10th,
and on September 29th a long letter was received from
them.
On arrival at Quebec, on Saturday, September 10th,
the Doukhobors and Hilkoff remained in the clean and
comfortable Immigrants' Rooms provided by the Government, while Maude went on to Montreal and interviewed various officials of the C.P.R. (Canadian
Pacific Railway). The following Monday, Maude
went on to Ottawa, and there met Professor Mavor,
who had taken much interest in the Doukhobors, and
had prepared the way for negotiations in connection with their emigration to Canada. The following
extract is from Maude's letter :—
"He (Prof. Mavor) had succeeded in interesting a
number of officials, and did not doubt but that the
Doukhobors would be looked after and helped when
they were once here, but no money would be given
to bring them here. Money-collecting, in Canada/for
such an object was no use. — 131 —
"Marriages must be registered, i.e., the Government
wants to know who is married, to whom and when.
"As to military service, the law is satisfactory. The
following is an extract from Militia Act, secton 21:—
"Every person bearing a certificate from the Society
of Quakers, Mennonites, or Tunkers, and every inhabitant of Canada of any religious denomination,
otherwise subject to military duty, who, from the
doctrines of his religion, is averse to bearing arms
and refuses personal military service, shall be exempt from such service when ballotted in time of
peace or war, upon such conditions and under such
regulations as the Governor in Council, from time to
time, prescribes.'
"Education relates not to the Dominion Government, but to the State Governments. Till we know in
which State they want to settle, nothing can be said
about it, except that education is not compulsory in
the outlying districts, and no religious instructon is
forced on anyone.
"The case seems to be that Canada is as free as
any country in the world."
The interview with the Deputy Minister of the
Interior was very satisfactory. Land would be allotted as nearly in one place as possible; free shelter in
the Immigration Halls during the winter would probably be granted for those who were obliged to leave
the Caucasus before the spring; employment could be
found on the railway, or at lumbering; vegetarian food
was very cheap; and the Government would be recom- — 132
mended to pay to us (the promoters of the migration)
the usual bonus of £1 on every adult landed.
In a letter dated September 17th, Maude said:—
"To sum up the whole case:—
"Canada is a most satisfactory country for the
Doukhobors.
"There is plenty of good, free land. There is as
much freedom as in any country. Immigrants are
wanted. Wages are good: from 3s. to 8s. a day for a
labourer.
"Every good workman who is here in March or
April may reasonably expect to earn, even by wage-
labour, more than enough to keep him and his family
through the coming winter.
"Those who have even a little money to start on
the land can do far better than by wage-labour .
"The winter is the worst time of year for employment."
These letters and a cable (in answer to our enquiry), "Let exiles come. Land ready. Arrangements progressing favourably," were cheering in the
extreme. We had received from Rusisa accounts of
the condition of the 2,100 exiles still near Batoum, and
of the Elizavetpol Doukhobors. Leo Tolstoy wrote
strongly urging their speedy emigration, and his eldest
son, Sergius Tolstoy, came over to England specially
to see if something could not be done at onee. We
counted our funds and estimated the cost of emigrating the 2,100 exiles. (The Kars and Elizavetpol
Doukhobors,   numbering together  over  4,000  souls, 133
were able to pay the greater cost of transportation
themselves, not having been reduced to the extremities of their exiled brethren, whom they had all the
time been assisting.) Leo Tolstoy hoped to obtain
£3,000 by the sale of his novel, "Resurrection," which
he wrote for the purpose; the Purleigh Colony, Essex,
held nearly £1,000 at the disposal of the Doukhobors
(the balance of the colony funds, after allowing for
six months' mauntenance of the colonists), and the
exiles themselves had about £4,500. This made a
total of £8,500. But on estimating the necessary expenditure it was felt no movement could be made
under £11,000 (about 5 per head). On laying the
facts before the Friends' Doukhobor Committee they
guaranteed the £2,500 balance from their funds on
condition that they were understood to take no responsibility for the organization of the emigration;
their hands being already full with the Cyprus settlement. L. Soulergitsky was therefore wired to at
Batoum to engage a steamer and arrange for the
emigration of the 2,100 exiles to start in December;
and a second party, consisting of about 2,000 Elizavetpol and1 Kars Doukhobors, who were better off, commenced their preparations to leave before the end of
the year.
Regarding the results of the negotiations with the
Cannadian Government, etc., the following is a summary of the Official notification from the Minister of
the Interior, dated October 5th, as modified by his letter of December 1st, 1898:— — 134
"1. Those responsible for the organization of the
emigration to receive a bonus of £1 for each immigrant, man, woman, or child, who reached Winnipeg.
"2. The use of the Immigration Halls in Manitoba
and the Northwest Territories granted* during the
winter months.
"3. One hundred and sixty acres of gool fertile
land to be granted to each male over 18, in township
blocks in the Northwest districts."
Beyond this, the agents of the Government in various ways faciltated the arrangements by purchasing
supplies on our account, etc. From all the Government representatives Maude met with courteous consideration and sympathetic assistance.
The Canadan Pacific Railway also met us in a generous spirit. They assisted the emigration of the
parties to be moved in the winter, and agreed to exchange land with the Government, and thus enable
the settlement to be compact. (N.B.—The C.P.R.
own alternate blocks with the Government, and thus,
unless an exchange were effected, the Doukhobors
would not have been able to be altogether as they
wish, but separatel by the intervening divisions belonging to the C.P.R.)
The reception accorded to the immigrants by Canadian public opinion was mixed. Some papers attacked
them, accusing them of fanaticism, etc., and reproached the Government for aiding the immigration.
Other papers were well-disposed, published accounts 135 —
of their sufferings, and welcomed them as desirable
settlers on the vacant land in the Northwest.
But the adverse public opinion seemed solely represented by the newspapers. If we come to the personal effect of the Doukhobors, the opinion of those
who came into contact with the two families there,
there seemed only one verdict, for, to quote Maude
again:—
"All who have come in contact with the Doukhobors
speak well of them. In the Immigration Hall at
Winnipeg they were allowed to cook their meals in
their rooms (which is against the usual rules), and the
woman in charge reported that they made less mess
in their rooms with cooking than other people who
cooked elsewhere.
"The general verdict of those who have seen them
is: 'If the bulk is equal in quality to the sample shown,
send on as many as you have got.'"
Maude, in another letter, bore personal witness to
the reasonableness of the Doukhobors in the following remarks:—
"Ivin and Mahortoff are really very good fellows,
and I found them, on the whole, remarkably amenable
to reason, considering how very difficult and confusing
everything must seem to them in such novel surroundings. Still they are men with human limitations and
deficiencies, and not the plaster saints that I had supposed, after reading the literature published about
them. Being men, they are much more interesting
and better worth helping.    Had they been saints, it  — 137
would have seemed almost a pity to prevent their being martyrs also." And again, after the women and
cildren had left Winnipeg to join their husbands in
the North-West:—"Their memory and much that was
charming about them—especially the expression in the
eyes of the children—dwells with me, and I am sorry
to think I may not see them again."
On January 23, 1899, the steamer Lake Huron, of
the Beaver Line, arrived at the port of Halifax, Nova
Scotia, bearing the first p'arty of 2,100 Doukhobors.
On the 27th the second party, numbering 1,974, arrived in the Lake Superior. The greater number were
housed in the various immigration halls at Winnipeg,
Brandon, and Yorkton. A large party of the men proceeded at once to the settlements to cut timber for
storehouses and dwellings, and generally to prepare
the way for the occupation of the land in the spring,
and as soon as the weather broke a great many found
work on the railways. The money thus earned, together with gifts and the Government bonus granted
to Maude as acting agent for the migration, and at
his desire handed over for the use of the new settlers,
sufficed, not only for the summer and autumn, but,
with some further aid from the Government and the
"Friends" in England and Philadelphia, to carry the
settlers through their first winter, and to do something
towards furnishing them with the stock, implements,
and seeds necessary to work their land.
In order to give an idea of how the first parties
of Doukhobor refugees were received in Canada, and 138
what impression they produced upon the inhabitants
of that country, we cannot do better than reprint the
following extracts from some of the local papers as
representing an impartial expression of opinion.
The reporter of the Halifax Morning Chronicle
wrote:—
"Singing psalms of thanksgiving to Almighty God
over two thousand souls freed from Russian tyranny
and oppression sailed into Ilalifax harbour under the
folds of the British flag yesterday afternoon. Their
hymns of thanksgiving ascended1 for a double reason.
They were thankful for their safe transportation over
the mighty waters of the Atlantic,, and thankful because they were far removed from the land in which
civil and religious freedom are unknown, where they
are at liberty to practice the tenets of their faith, in
perfect freedom. One reason why they left their own
country was because they refused to take up arms, yet
they received a warm welcome in a harbour studded
with forts.
"Those who were privileged to go down in the
tug-boat to the quarantine quarters to meet the steamer
Lake Huron witnessed a scene never to be forgotten.
The Doukhobors, crowded on the upper decks,
watched the approaching boat with intense interest.
Few, if any, had ever laid eyes on anyone except a
Russian, and it was only natural they should feel
some degree of curiosity to see what the people with
whom they had decided to cast in their lot looked
litee.   When the boat drew near the strain of voices 139
blended in song floated over the waters. They were
singing psalms of praise. The music was like that of
a mighty choir chanting a solemn Te Deum. Only
those who understood the language could catch the
words: 'God is with us and will carry us through'—
appropriate words after a passage attended with no
disaster to speak of, when other steamers were tossed
and buffeted by the hurricanes which swept the Atlantic."
It was indeed a picturesque sight. There was not
a ripple on the water, the sun was shining brightly,
and as the two thousand strangers crowded the decks
the steamer presented the appearance of a huge excursion boat. The immigrants were well clad1—that is,
warmly clad. The men and boys wore goatskin coats
and caps, while the women wore skirts of bright red
or blue, heavy black jackets and coloured shawls as
head-dress. As the tow-boat containing the Dominion
railway and steamboat officials, pressmen and others
drew up to the gangway, the Doukhobors watched the
proceedings with interest. The singing continued all
the time.
When within hailing distance Mr. De Wolf (agent
of the steamship line) hailed' Captain Evans and the
reply dispelled all misgiving. "All's well," was the
welcome reply which came from the bridge of the
big Beaver liner and permission was given by the health
officer to come alongside. In a short time there was a
general scramble up the gangway. The health officer
announced that only Mr. Smart and staff and Prince 140
Hilkoff and staff would be allowed on board, but somehow or other the pressmen got there all the same,
and the others followed.
The Doukhobors were the great objects of interest.
They excited the admiration of all. They are a fine
looking lot of people, with honest faces and stalwart
VERIGIN S ELDER BROTHERS
frames. Even the children—and there are many, from
the little tot of a couple of years up—looked the perfect picture of health. Young people seemed to predominate. One old gentleman, with flowing beard,
commanded the attention of all. He was as active as
a boy and as happy as a bridegroom, though he had — 141 —
passed his 85th year. His history is the history of
Russian tyranny. It, in a measure, told the story of
why those people felt happy in coming to live under
the Union Jack. Nine years ago his property was
confiscated and he was sent into- penal servitude, in
the Russian galleys. One year ago he was allowed to
return to Russia proper, but not to his friends, with
the understanding that he would leave the country
at the first opportunity. The opportunity came, and
the old man is now in a land of freedom with his
frienls. The immigrants are in charge of Leopold
Soulerjitsky.
Friend Elkinton (of the Philadelphia Society of
Friends) was soon on board and surrounded by the
Doukhobors. He offered up a prayer of thanksgiving
for them and invoked a blessing on the future of the
immigrants.
J. T. Bulmer was soon mingling with the immigrants. He adlressel the Doukhobors as follows,
Prince Hilkoff acting as interpreter:—
"I have been appointed by a society of working-
men to welcome you to Canada, which I do most
heartily. Not only are you a great accession of emigrants of a most desirable class, but more, you bring
to Canada something more needed in this country
than even immigrants—men who would stand by their
principles, no matter how much suffering it cost them.
Your noble stand in refusing to bear arms, and becoming exiles from your native land for the sake of
principle, will strengthen every good cause in Canada. 142
I have never witnessed so touching a spectacle in my
life as to see 2,000 people driven from Russia—over
half of them woman and children—and entering the
new world through a port, every point of prominence
of which contained a frowning fort or bastion. Nevertheless peace will have her victories, and the same
gentle force which caused you to throw your guns
down in Europe will dismantle even the forts of Halifax. I have only had a few minutes on the steamer,
but in that time I have seen enough of the 2,000 people
on deck to convince me that the Dominion Government made no mistake in bringing you to Canada.
You belong to the races which we want in this country
—the great northern races of Europe—like the Russian, Which in its commercial organisation and corporation has a lesson for even as advanced a country
as Canada. I do not know the name of your emperor, but the name of your patron and friend, Count
Tolstoy, is as, well known in Canada as in Russia, and
I hope that one of the 'boys now listening to me fifty
years hence, will fill like him, with honour to his
country, the literary throne of the world. On behalf
of the working-men of this country I welcome you
to Canada and bid you God-speed."
Captain Evans came down from the bridge and
readily answered the many questions put to him concerning the voyage. Fine weather was experienced
from Batoum to Gibraltar, but a succession of gales
was encountered crossing the Atlantic. Heavy seas
came  on  board  on  several occasions,   and  one sea — 143 —
smashed in a door of one of the deck-houses. That
was all the damage. The foretopmast was lowered
to steady the ship.
I will now say a few words about the impression
produced upon me by the Doukhobors.
The Doukhobors are people of the purest Russian
Type, large and strong, men and women both being
THE BEE  MASTER AND HIS ASSISTANT
of magnificent physique. They are characterizel by
broad, square shoulders and heavy limbs and a massive
build generally. Their features are prominent, but
refined, and bear the marks of a life that is free from
vice of any kind. The men wear moustaches but do
not let a beard grow. Their hair is usually quite
short, with the exception of a little tuft which they
allow to grow over the forehead, which is broad and 144 —
open. The most striking characteristic of all is the
bright, kindly sparkle of their eyes which gives a winning expression to the whole face and quickly wins
confidence in their character. All their habits demonstrate that they are possessed of keen minds, which,
however by reason of their persecutions and the nature of their occupation, they have not been able to
develop in a way that gives a proper idea of their
mental ability. They are, however, a class of people
that is rarely found among immigrants—industrious,
frugal, clean and moral in a high degree, and eminently desirable in every way."
Another writer, in the "St. John Daily Star," January 24th, 1889, wrote:
"The Doukhobors are a simple and for the most
part illiterate people. They are reputed to be good
agriculturists and skilful people at various kinds of
village handicrafts. That they are willing to work was
amply proven by those who came out on the 'Lake
Huron.' From the time the steamer reached Batoum,
where the party embarked for Canada, till she docked
at St. John, men, women, and children, 2,000 in all,
showed a willingness to do anything and everything
that had to be done on board the ship, in order to make
the passage as pleasant as possible for all on board. It
was a holiday trip for the ship's crew, for the immigrants did the greater part of the work. All that
was required was that some one in authority should
indicate that a certain thing should be done, and immediately a swarm of Doukhobors were at the spot — 146 —
any kind among them, and he believed they would
make a superior class of immigrants. "You will
scarcely believe it," said Captain Evans, "but I am
honestly sorry to see them leave the ship. I do not
know when I have been so much interested in any
class of people as in these Doukhobors."
The Doukhobors are the finest agriculturists in Russia: wherever they have been left alone for a short
time they have prospered, making the wilderness smile
with cultivation. This, and the moral character of
a people who have so steadfastly adhered to their
principles through the cruellest persecution of recent
times, "should," as a writer in a Canalian paper says,
"be sufficient to inspire every confidence for their
future." _ ,_
The boys have learned a lot; the
girls as much as could have been
expected, an." the elders, who precipitated all the disturbances, a
little.
The boys and girls, after nearly
a year in detention, are being sent
back to live with their uncles, or ]
their   cousins,    or   their
By JAMES McCREDIE BROWJT
(Vancouver).
WHEN a little Doukhobor boy
punched another little Doukhobor in the right eye at the
Boys' Industrial School, Port Co-
quitlam, a forward step in civilization was taken.
When a Doukhobor girl, newly-
freed from incarceration, informed
other Doukhobor girls at Thrums,
B. C, on May 6, 1933, that they
must go home and wash before
she would play with them, the
melting-pot functioned.
When a Doukhobor man, resid
ing in the Nelson dirtri^bSeed       •    °n   P/i     J™.1?   thS   isiand
authorities late in Am?]t. 19s1Pta   ESSfe "^J^* ft"? *" _b«e»
w~~ »v*«yu uwwici, ueggea
authorities late in April, 1933, to
please not release his sometime
nude-parading wife from penitentiary, the true light shone.
>And, when all the. 600-odd Doukhobors, men and women, are turned
loose from Piers Island Penitentiary, near Sidney, Vancouver
Island, B. C, there is likely to be
trouble in the interior of the province.
Which proves that once upon a
time a Canadian Government made
mistake and today there are de-
»lppments therefrom.
^ilmiiiii —-r «A wieir grandparents, or their friends. By May
27 there was not a Doukhobor child
(except a few infants with their
imprisoned mothers) in official
custody in the province. All 368
were back in the Nelson-Grand
Forks district.
A few of the elders are already
out   on   parole   from   the   island
trouble, for they have returned
with nothing, to nothing—and the
others will go back as time goes
on with nothing, to nothing . . .
But this is a story of the children. . . .
Last spring the Doukhobor troubles became acute—because of the
depression—and the Federal Government passed a law making nude
parading punishable on summary
conviction with three years' imprisonment. Nude parading thereafter became a nude roundup, and
men and women by the hundred
were  jtrucked   into   Nelson   jail from Thrums and other Sons ot
Freedom strongholds. The Douks
took arrest as a challenge, and it
| was thought ^ossible anything up
I to 20,000 of them would be eventu-
I ally in official custoajfj but enthusiasm waned after some 600-odd
were in the compound. They were
monotonously sentenced to three
years. Their children could not be
abandoned, and those found or
handed over as neglected juveniles
I were taken too. These were placed
in the Girls' Home in Vancouver,
the Boys' industrial School at Port
iCoquitlam and a few in foster
homes.
And now it is the depression that
has sent the children back to the
j district of their , birth. Not the
; same depression effect that led to
their parents' going on parade-^-
that was due to various grievances,
the outstanding one being poor re-
jturn on their foodstuffs, economic
|troubles because of wider economic
troubles. The depression angle
that is sending the children home
is that the government had to curtail the expense involved in maintaining them.
The government is not disclosing
how much it cost to keep those
children, but it is estimated for the
period of nearly a year they have
been wards that the outlay has
been nearly $100,000. This spring
Hon. J. W. Jones, provincial
finance minister, was faced with an
estimate of $86,000 for straight
maintenance of the children for
this fiscal year. Mr. Jones was
tearing. his hair and burning the
all-night tungstens over a lot of
things. When he saw this figure
he immediately whittled $40,000
from it.
That plac-d the Doukhobor offspring problem squarely up to Mr.
William Manson, supervisor of
neglected children. He could either
let the children starve or get rid
of them. There was^nothing else
to it.
Contrary to rumor in the Doukhobor settlements, the children
have not been perishing in swarms
at the hands of cruel and brutal
guards. The Douk Community
members were sure from what they i
had heard — or dreamed — that
dozens had died. There have been
only two deaths, infants whose
mothers went on hunger strike at
Oakalla prison, and all the others
remained to be fed, housed and
clothed at a cost varying from 57
to 80 cents per day, 365 1-4 days
a   year.     Mr.   Manson's   $46,000
wasn't likely to go tar witn a zero
mortality rate, so he called David
B. Brankin to Victoria. Mr.
Brankin is superintendent of the
Boys' Industrial School at Port Co-
quitlam, where, with the capable
help of his wife, much progress is
made in turning flaming youth into
stody, Iaw-abidinc ciMzens.
Mr. Manson and Mr. Brankin
hatched a plot. They decided the
children could hot be retained in
custody for the three years their
parents or guardians had been
sentenced1—couldn't even be kept
another half year on the money
available. They simply had to get
out from under. Mr. Brankin went
to Nelson, .jg*^
In Nelson in April of this year
Mr.   Brankin   gave   out   that   he
would be glad to meet relatives or
friends of the Doukhobor children.
He asked if they would take the
children Lack—it wasn't as simple
as   that,   for   there   was   much
diplomacy before negotiations were
started.     And    at   Thrums   Mr.
Brankin  had  to  deliver  an  ultimatum and set a time limit' of five
minutes on acceptance or rejection
of   his    offer.     The   Doukhobors
capitulated, signed agreements to
take the children.
The    word   Ooukhobor    means
"spirit wrestler:*'   The Douks still
spirit wrestle;  a woman dreamed
her son (the father in penitentiary)
had gone crazy in the industrial
school; that he was climbing the
walls,     screaming—horror     upon
horror—and the woman had everybody in that particular neighborhood worked up to a fine frenzy
of   grief,   sorrow   and   whatever
other emotions they give way to.
Mr. Brankin was told of the dream.
"Dreams go by contraries," he
said.   "If the woman had dreamed
the  boy  was   intelligent,  making
fine progress in his studies, capable
of graduating from university with
honors,    she    would    have    been
right."   The agitated mother was
told the truth, and now the boy is
j safely  back  with  her—but  likely
she'll believe her next dream, any-
The Sons of Freedom are rabidly. •
against, our form of education. Tbe
boys in detention have taken a
great interest in school work, and
most of those of school age promised Mr. Brankin that they would
continue. And this they are doing;
some of them back in their home
district are walking as far as two
jmlesjto^s^hooL^ Onejjpeol, ck>sed ast spring after the roundup, had j
be reopened on the insistence of '
the returning youngsters.   .
The girls are not so interested;*
they are quickly reverting to type,
their type, with home-making their
only joy, wifehood and motherhood
their hope of happiness on this
globe. They have no other ambitions; even their knowledge of
English they are prone to conceal.
Yet even they have, some of them,
learned some things—perhaps all
of them have. Cleanliness, hygiene
—little things that mean a lot. And
lit is a fact that one ot the Doukhobor girls, back on the home lot,
told several others they were dirty ■
and she would not play with them
until they washed. Which they
did.
With the boys, their period of
rubbing shoulders with other manners, other methods, has gone deep.
Most of them discovered the pleasures of reading-—and, strange to
relate, it was adventure stories and
war stories in the school library
that they enjoyed most. War
stories, when one of the foundation stones of their religion and
upbringing is opposition to war in
any form, to killing of anything
animate.
The. game of football proved a
civilizer at the industrial school;
the Douk youngsters enjoyed it.
Though brought up with a persecution complex and trained to submit to abuse passively, in accordance with religious teaching,Hhere
were instances of a breaking away.
The case of the black eye, for one.
One morning a lad appeared
with a fine black- eye. He was
asked how he got it, but would
say nothing—the Douks do not
give one another away. Then another lad piped up that he was
responsible. It had happened the
afternoon before at football. The
victim, he said, had pushed him
around and "acted mean," so he
had poked him. Which was not in
accordance with Doukhobor traditions or training, but it was regular small boy. Ttfbugh officially
the lad was admonished, the admonishing official had a twinkle in
his eyes for a long period thereafter. So much for one lost persecution xomplex.
The regular inmates of the in- j
dustrial school looked with marked
disfavor upon the Doukhobor boys
when first they arrived.   They, the
incorrigible   or   neglected   young-
iSwenFIiom all parts of the prov- i
ince, felt it was an outrage that !
I "crazy   fanatics"   should   be  bil-*
leted. upon their institution, a place
established for regular boys who
had overdone their regularity. But,
in time, the football games changed
that; Douk teams played the other
boys, and feelings of hostility
evaporated in the healthy atmosphere of red-blooded rivalryvojn the
sporting field.—     	
.Those who have been officially
connected with the maintenance of
the Doukhobor children are convinced the girls will become devoted wives, mothers and housekeepers, and the boys will never I
be so foolish- as to parade naked, j
| As for the parents, those who are
still on Piers Island and the few
who have been released, that is
something else again. They are
; the extremists of the 'Doukhobor
clan; men and women with grievances, seeing visions, protesting
against this and that-~adults with
set minds, fixed ideas. They may
parade or they may conclude prison
life with its deprivations is too
tough. But they will continue to
find grievances, act fanatically, express their wrongs in some way.
A score or more have been released   already,   more   are   being
j paroled as thought worthy.   They
are   heartily  sick  of  confinement
tar from their wives or husbands
and  children.    As  they   comport
them^lves and seem to have re-
t pented*  their   unseemly   conduct,
they are recommended for parole,
and when parole comes from Ottawa, they are sent back to  the
district from whence they came.
The only dread officials have now
| is what will they do when tjiey are
all released?    They are outcasts
from  the  organized  Doukhobors,
the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood.   The Community members have paid the Sons'
back taxes.   The Sons of Freedom
refused to pay taxes, would not
pay the rent asked of them by the
Community   for   the   Community
land they used.   Now the land has
been taken back by the C. C. U. B.
\  It  is  again in  cultivation.   'The
C. C. U. B. are thumbs down on the
Sons of Freedom.   Where will the
Sons go?   They will have freedom,
too much by far.   Freed from land,
homes, opportunity to earn their
living. K|l    '     f
| .m Already  there have been incidents.   Doukhobors_ient back from
-^1 Piers Island with a new suit of
clothes, a railway ticket and $10
in their pockets have found themselves strangers in a hostile country. The homes they rented (without paying rent) from the Community are occupied by others; ^jjfR
lands they tilled (without paying
taxes) are tilled by others.
Not all the Sons of .Freedom
were arrested. Many of those who |
remained have since been dispossessed of their lands for non-payment and are on the federal relief list. Unless another way is
found out of it, relief faces the
Doukhobors now in prison when '
they are liberated. And for home-
lovers such as they, lovers of the
soil such as they, this is a sad
prospect and one that may rekindle their fanaticism against
their wrongs, even though their
troubles be wholly the retribution
of their own acts. So, if no solution is reached, and if the Community Doukhobors continue to regard the prison sojourners as outcasts, trouble-making fanatics who
can not mix. in the Community
scheme, there may be other Doukhobor troubles in the fair interior
of British Columbia^^ —=-r-—\
"Officials suggest it is something
for the Federal Government to act
on. Something, they believe, must
be done to re-establish them.
Otherwise what will their children
say if they see their parents suffering? Will the children forget what
they learned in schools and foster-
homes at acost of some $100,000?
Will tii« expenditure on Piers
Island be proven jailing
through the rekindling of the tires
of fanaticism in minds not too well
balanced even now? •
The Nelson district police have
had a foretaste of what may comer
Doukhobors have landed there
fresh from the "cure" at Piers,
wanting to know where they are
to go, how they are to live, demanding this and that. And the
Nelson district police don't kwro,
either._ .>     MPfoFfoff  	
There will be some, no doubt,
who will make their peace with
the Community Doukhobors, promise to pay taxes and rent, recover
their lands. But the hardest of
the extremists are death or glory
men and women; no taxes, no war,
no meat.   They are pests to gov
ernment officials and th* Community Douks alike. The order issued
by Peter Veregin is that the Community is to>.liave nothing to do
with the Sons* It took some negotiating to have this ban softened
for the benefit of their children-^
but the Community has hopes fof
the children*
The Sons of Freedom brand of
fanaticism is far from general.
There are many cases of wives
being fanatics and husbands abiding by Community laws; some
cases of the husbands having gone
wild and the wives remaining sane.
One husband of 64, whose wife is
at Piers, heard of the first paroles.
He became very excited and headed
for Nelson hot foot.
"Don't let my wife out," he
shouted at the police. "Keep her
there. *I donJt want her back. I
have peace now. If she comes back
I will,not have peace. Don't lei
her out" until she serve's her sentence and I'll have two years more
peace."
On the other hand, some erring
wives have been tamed by confinement, have repented, gained
parole and returned to their quiet
husbands in the peaceful Nelson
valleys.
But the problem of the Sons of
Freedom is far from solved. They
dote on grieyances, and when they
go back to ipttd neither acres to till
nor roofs :'over their Heads, they
will have grievance enough.
Officials favor their re-establishment under paternal governmental
Supervision, with the necessary expenditure to get them back at work
in the fields. The alternative must
; be further trouble, they believe.
Perhaps even new nude parades
: despite the penalties—new parades
which will keep Piers Island on the
list of government penitentiaries.
It can not,go on forever. It is
possible thafe the elders will never,
be changed, tybt in twenty or thirty
years thej^ will have died off and
the usefulness of Piers Island
ended.
i And by then those who are boys
"said girls today may resent as an
j insult any^referjenfce to the  Sons^
of Freedom or tSt^Piers Island. ^rvtfv-vm^.
"D0UK
THE   Doukhobor   problem   is
much more complicated than
the  majority  of  people  believe it to be. Let me attempt
to interpret only its most important features. The myriad
details   are   entirely   disregarded. The historical background   of  the  Doukhobors,
which is very important, is only outlined.
At present there are four distinct groups
of the Doukhobors.
1. Sons of Freedom.
2. Community Doukhobors.
3. Individualistic Doukhobors, and,
4. Independent Doukhobors.
The first three groups are members of
the religious sect of the Doukhobors which
originated in the middle of the eighteenth
century. The Sons of Freedom are the extreme radical side of this religious sect. The
individualistic Doukhobors are the nearest
to the Independents. The Independents are
Doukhobors only by their origin. They have ■
lost the traditional beliefs and customs of
the rest.
The Sons of Freedom stress the religious side of life to the extent that they
are no longer interested in material well-
being* For the sake of their convictions
they are willing to suffer separation from
their relatives, torture and even death.
Because they believe that Peter P. Veregin
jr. has proved a traitor to the Doukhobor
cause (he is not sufficiently religious in the
sense they understand it, and they claim
he does not lead a clean Christian life), the
Sons of Freedom do not recognize his
authority. Some of them, on several occasions, openly and publicly opposed his
orders, defying him in front of the loyal
Community Doukhobors. The Sons of Freedom live in communes.
The Community Doukhobors are also re-,
ligious sectarians, but they devote most of
their time to the acquisition of material
possessions. They are loyal to their leader,
P. P. Veregin jr., and implicitly obey his
orders. They live in communes and form
the Christian Community of Universal
Brotherhood Limited.
The individualistic Doukhobors are more
or less loyal to the leader, and they still
maintain the Doukhobor customs and traditions. But they live on individually-owned
forms and do not surrender their earnings
tt> the community.
This class has appeared only since thj|'
arrival of P.'lPVeregin jr. to Canada; the
latter did his best to bring back under his
influence  those   who   had   left  the   community, j Peter   V.   Veregin   sr.   did   not
recognize a person as a Doukhobor unless
that person belonged to the community and
lived according to its standards.
The independents are those who have
forgotton their traditional beliefs and who
do not recognize the authority of the
leader. In most cases they are hostile to the
community and to its leaders.
It is impossible to state the exact number in these groups. They are shifting
bodies. An independent today may become
an individualist in a month. A community
Doukhobor may join the Sons of Freedom,
or an individual may become a community
Doukhobor. And movements in the opposite
direction may take place.
Roughly there are now about 700 Sons
of Freedom* 5300 community, 4000 individualistic and 5000 independent Doukhobors.
It is most important to know the trends
of the movements of one class into another.
Let it be well remembered that the Doukhobors are essentially ignorant people, who
themselves are very vague about their
religion. :j|he writer does not presume that
his description of the Doukhobors' religion
would be acknowledged by the% fOn the
contrary, I am almost positive that mj
.version would be considered a slander.
There have been many chivalrous attempts to describe thijb Doukhobor religior
without hurting the Doiikno|tors' feelings
Of this type, that of Miss PhylHs Gregor:
is the best, "The DoukhoborsSr^esis sub.
mitted to the University of .British; Cc^
lumbia: '2
"The Doukhobors  possess^ nigh  Chris^
tian ideals," she writes. "Tl&y jshnplifie
complex human existence to 3>ne standar
that of 'perfect man,' and claim that if ea<
one bases his own life in very truth on t)
life of Christ so that his heart and inte
are pure, it does away with the need
usual safeguards of society. The base>of t j
"poukhobqrs' creed is their conception Of t \
Deity wSfoe soul of the world. They 1
lieve that Qod does not exist as* a sepan
personalbeing.   The  Deity,; according
them, dwells; in soul of man* "and dire J
him by its word within him. Hence the sj
of man is a faithful image > of God
Christ continues to suffer in'us now wl
we do not live in accordance with the
hests and the spirit of his teachings.
"According to the Doukhobors, tHj
whole of the Old and New Testament
merely prefigure in some spiritual way tl
mysteries which are accomplished in eveif
faithful man. The purity of the Doukhobori
teaching is remarkable because they do nc
study religious books, not even the Bibjj
but the sayings of Christ and the teaching
based upon them, are  passed down fro* one generation to another by word of
mouth. It is astonishing that in such a,
manner they should have acquired a ^perfect knowledge of the Scriptures, especially of the New Testament.
"The Doukhobors proudly consider them?
selves as the only true worshippers of God,
and deem that the rest of mankind is wal-'
[lowing in superstition and idolatry. The
(Doukhobors, in their own fashion, believe
[in the immortality of the soul. God, who
dwells in the souls of men, is immortal,
[therefore the souls must be immortal; butj
they entirely reject the Christian conception of immortality.
"They believe that the individual im-
imortality of a man consists in the memory
which the deceased leaves behind him
among his fellowmen. They do not believe
:n either hell or paradise. The promise of
future life that we find in the Scriptures
refers to the future destinies of mankind on
fearth, and not to a life beyond the tomb
In another world.
"There will be no resurrection and
f;here will be no destruction of the visible
vorld. Physical nature as the abode of an
bternal God will last for ever. The difference between the present life and the future
s this: Now the faithful have to live
^mong sinners, whilst in the future they
rill overcome the sinners and will inherit
he earth alone, though people will be born,
■vill work and,4|$, just as they do now.'&
It ii would be incorrect to form a con-
jption about the Doukhobors by adopting
Iiss Gregory's definition of their religious
eliefs. Yet it would be vain to criticize the
efmition. Probably«jit some time of the
doukhobors' history the leaders of that
*ct actually had that version.
The writer will try to explain their beefs in the way he understands them:
The sect of the Dou&hobors sprang into
dstenee as a revolt against the glaring
lequalities of the Russian social and
;onomic life of the eighteenth century. It
as a protest against the practices of the
reek orthodox priests and against the
?uses of the government officials and
itocratic landlords.
The foundation of their religion was
rmed by the following doctrines:
1. All people are children of God, and
erefore are equals.
2. God dwells in the souls of man and
2 is the only proper guide to action. Be-
g the embodiment of God every human
ing is entitled to the greatest degree of
spect.
3. In different pefsons are manifest
ried shares of divine revelation. The
eater share of this divine revelation gives
the possessor authority over the people
th a smaller share of it.  _
Si %. Christ  possessed  the  greatest  shart
of the divine revelation. He was only a perfect man through whom God fully revealec * I
himself.
5. After Christ, God revealed himseti M&
through other human beings who were ^ys
Christ's successors and equals. Those pt
people, the Doukhobors' leaders, could interpret Christ's teachings, develop them 'er
land, even improve upon them. The detailscer
of the DoukhoDors' doctrine varied greatly ia*"
I from time to time, depending on the con-8r"
temporary leader. The members of the sect™1?
jwere very sincere and ardent in their beliefs* °*
and they were ready to undergo any priva- to
tion and persecution for, the sake of what?*1*
taey considered to be the "truth." In thejrs*
'actual life their "truth" amounted to rejec-aw
jtion of the authority of church, government3-*1"
and other person or organization unless111"
favored by the leader. They proclaimed"6"
the Russian Czar, all governments and all
churches as ungodly and refused to61**
recognize their rights to demand compli-J6?
ance with their regulations. 3»
The Doukhobors would have no priests8*^
nor temples.   They stressed the point that
the temple is any place where two or xnorc-thf
persons meet in the name of God. m_^|
the
iiar
The Doukhobors always have been expecting the downfall of the government and,
of the  existing  churches  in a very near*^6^
future. They expect this now. \M
In the beginning of the history of the;
■sect the Doukhobors' activity was limitedb|
to mutilation of icons of the Russian ortho- .e
dox church. They did that because they^p
considered the practice of worshiping icons >Jto
as being idolatry. This practice of mutila-1**
tion of icons gave them their first name,1^
"Iconbortzy" (Iconoclasts) or "Iconobro-jib
stzy*" The former meaning "the one who£"
struggles against icons," the latter means
"the one who throws icons about," J?5*
The church  started  its  persecution of' ?^,
the Iconoclasts, but this only added to the ime
zeal of ^the newly organized sect. The Icono-
bortzy Jbegan an open propaganda against:no"
the
?er.
the Russian orthodox church in general.
They condemned its priests, its ceremonies qqj[
and even its fundamental doctrines. The erjr
Doukhobors rejected the doctrine of Trinity, ren
they proclaimed their conviction that .jjM
Christ was not of a divine origin; they r€-|ZJjT
fused to worship Madonna and saints, they*^!
maintained that Scriptures were not in- jmt
spired by God. tl0%
When the Doukhobors' rejection of the . 9
doctrine of Trinity became known by the *>*
high priests of the orthodox church theie
name "Iconobortzy" was changed into the 'en*
name of "Doukhobortzy" (the very end of 1I68r
the eighteenth century). LJlj
Tins  name  originally meant  "the  one ieJ||
who wrestles against the Holy Spirit." The J$|
^ tl
Doukhobors themselves mean by it an entirely different thing. According to their
own interpretation, the name means "the*
f one who wrestles (against evil) by spiritual!
means and not with carnal weapons."
Severe persecution followed. The stubborn sectarians were sentenced simply oh!'
their assertion that they belonged to the
sect of the Doukhobors.
But intensified persecution only inflamed the sectarians. They began to oppose openly all government demands and
regulations which contradicted    their con-;
science.
The Doukhobors'^doctrine at that time
(1800)   crystalized  into four very definite
I  rules:
1. Do not practice idolatry.
2. Do not recognize any authority ex-.
I cept the divine authority of Christ and his
C successors.
c 3. Do not kill and do not oppose evil
? by violence (the refusal to participate in
M military service).
I 4. Consider each human being as your
!• equal.
The persecution at the end of the
eighteenth century prompted the govern-
li ment to appoint Senator Lojmrhin as a
a commissioner for investigation. His re-
b port was favorable for the Doukhobors. He
t blamed the priests for the inability to main-
M tain the high moral standard of behavior
?■ appropriate to their position. Senator
J Lojmrhin recommended the emigration of
8l the   Doukhobors  from   the  densely  popu-
S lated provinces into a district Where they
$• would not be able to carry their propaganda
J and to convert new members.
s        In 1801 the persecution ended and the
c Doukhobors  emigrated to Faorida, where
C they stayed for about forty years.
<j       During   the   years   1841-42-43-44,   the
Doukhobors were transferred to Transcau-
1 casia, then wilderness. This was done with
t] the hope that the perpetual attacks of the
p savage and militant hillsmen would force
J the Doukhobors to abandon their doctrine
p of non-resistance to evil by physical means,
t That hope was partly justified.
j       The economic structure of those settled
in Transcaucasia was based on the principle
c of private property ownership. They pros-
D pered and increased in number. The tempta-
$ tion of material  well-being following  the
2 compulsory abandonment of the principle
y of   non-resistance   to   evil   weakened   the
■ Doukhobors' moral force. Most of the mem-
l bers  of  the  sect; .departed,  more  or less,
;j3 from the requirements of their beliefs. They
i1 were willing ;%fekiir;hillsmen who bothered
||them; many, or^the Doukhobors found it
very difficult to defy the government by
refusing to obey its orders and regulations. All this meant a degradation and
even treason in, the- eyes of those who still
remained faithful; to their traditions and
convictions.
The character of^ia^ leader who always
played a prominent paft in the history of
the sect became of the utmost significance
at that time.
In 1886 two persons became competitive
heirs to the post of the leadership of the
sect: Loyal to the government, Mr. You-
banoff, and Mr. P. V. Veregin, whose
policy was extreme religious exultation
and adherence to the ideals of the Doukhobors of old.
P. VTveregin would not consider any
compliant with the government demands,
but prompted his people to return to the
practices a,nd customs of their ancestors.
About 8000 recognized Mr. Youbanof
as their leader and became loyal to th
government. jy|jy|
About 12,00Oh, recognized Mr. P. V
Veregin, and this", sect split also when Mr
Veregin introduced into their life thre
novel   (for them)   principles, which were
1. Principle of absolute economic equal
ity.
2. Vegetarianism, and,    M .
3. Principle of internationa&fti.
The    principle    of    economic   equality
meant redivisidn of 'the separate properties
of the Doukhobors and life on the basis oi
j communism.
The principle of internationalism em
phasized the idea of the brotherhood of ai
human beings. For the Doukhobors this
meant a forfeiture of the belief that they
are a chosen people. This last innovation
resulted only in the adoption of the new
name. Veregin's Doukhobors began calling
themselves "The Christian Community of
Universal Brotherhood." The idea of being
chosen people still persists in the minds
of the orthodox Doukhobors.
About 5000 out of 12,000 of Veregin's
Doukhobors in Russia refused to rediviie
! their   possessions.    They   formed   a  thi£d |
party, not exactly loyal to the government
inor to Veregin, but who were not in opposi-
'tion to either.
Only about 7000 of the Doukhobors re-
I mained  loyal  to  P. V. Veregin  and com-
j plied with the additional principles introduced by liim; These emigrated to Canada
in    1899". ""Their   religious   characteristics i
were:
1. Abhorrence of the practice of idolatry
as understood by themselves.
2. Refusal to recognize any authority
except that bestowed by God and revealed
through a man -ftvho'm they proclaimed as
IHeir leader. 3. Living up to the doctrine of non-|
resistance to evil by violence.
4. Belief in the perfect equality of men.
o. Adoption of the social and economic
structure of their colony to that belief.
6. Vegetarianism.
The details of the tenet were and still
are not well established; The Doukhobors
themselves are very* vague about them.
Different Doukhobors had, and have, different ideas about God, future life, resurrection, immortality and paradise. The
elders and, generally, the most ardent
members of the colony adopted the ideas
of P. V. Veregin. They will be described by
the writer.
The 7363 Doukhobors who came td
Canada in 1899 and 1900 varied in their
degrees of loyalty to these six religious
principles to ■ which they were supposed to
adhere. In due time the least ardent ones
were seduced by the opportunities offered
by Canada and became independents. The
average orthodox Doukhobors lived up to
the professed standards of Christian life.:
They formed a commune and named it the
Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Limited.
The most ardent members of the Canadian Doukhobors not only lived up to the
established Russian standards but improved
upon them, progressed in their spiritual
development, proclaiming that the time has
come when they were expected by the
Divine power to show humanity that its
civilization is that of the evil one. According to them the duty of every Doukhobor
became the rejection of almost everything
that has anything to do with existing
civilization. Some of them would burn
money, machinery, things of luxury. Such,
religious zealots became the originators of
the Sons of Freedom (1901). Many still
belong to this type of people.
Till the arrival of P. J& veregm w
Canada even the most radical Sons of Freedom lived together with the community
Doukhobors and-carried on their antisocial propaganda.
P. V. Veregin drove them out of the(
community and proclaimed them enemies.
In their own minds the Sons of Free*
dom never separated themselves from thej
Community Doukhobors.
It is said there are many among the
Community Doukhobors who more or less,
sympathize with the Sons of Freedom. ■
Whenever friction arose between thej
Canadian Government and the Doukhobors,
the Sons of Freedom were the first to,
remonstrate.
The principal causes for such frictions
were:
1. Refusal to register deaths.
2. Refusal to send children to school.
3. Refusal to become naturalized.
In every instance the Sons of Freedom
played a prominent part, ^hey were always
ready to protest and .to suffer for what
they considered to be the truth*
The reason for the refusal to register
deaths and, as a matter of fact, to register
births and marriages also, was the resentment by the Doukhobors at the interference of the government in what they considered their private affairs. The elders of
the colony were afraid- that by yielding to
this demand of the government they might
lose the hold on their separate members*
Moreover, obedience to the registration law
would mean the provision of the government with more information about the'ah
ternal life of the community than was desired. |?#-v$
Those are the objections of the elders
of the colony in general and of the leader
in particular. The common members of the
sect, if properly handled, could be persuaded to obey the registration law.
Peter Veregin stated the reason for the
refusal to send children to school in 1914.
He said officially, "we learned that the
schools are very ^harmful1 because they,
teach the children the art of murder (referring probably to the fact that the children were subjected to the drilling, similar
to that practiced in the army* and to 'tlB
fact that in some of the text books certain
famous personage^ were glorified, in spite
lof the fact that m$$ participated in military
jactivities). Moreover, the education received at school has a detrimental influence on the whole life of an individual. Ail"
educated people endeavor to earn their living in as easy a way as they possibly can.
;They even try to live by exploiting otheif
people. Besides this, after having spent
I some time in school our children became
disobedient to their parents."
I ; In the case of the Community Doukho-
jborsfcvand the independent Doukhobors, the
[scKjpirproblem does not,exist any longer,
■^•nftost all send their children to school.
The present leader, P. ,P. Veregin, is very
definite in his desire to see the children
educated in Canadian schools.
If, in the future, the Community Doute*
hobors should refuse to send their children
to school, it will be a demonstration organized as a protest against some action
of the government.
The Sons of Freedom never were in^
duced to send their children to school. Their
reasons, of course, have already been given.
The refusal to become naturalized lies
in the fact that the Doukhobors refuse te;
take oath. They quote the New Testament
and  express their  sorrow that  other  so-^ called Christians disregard this instruction
of Christ.
It would be unwise to coerce the Community Doukhobors and the Sons of Freedom to take oath.
The fear that by becoming naturalized
they will forfeit their immunity from military service has kept many of the independent Doukhobors from applying for citizenship papers. m
PURCHASED...*?/. .^jCXAA^ {^
From .vliti-a*^^
Place of Purchase. 1lA*j»A
Price i/6~	
Later Catalogued Prices 

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