Thursday, 7 February 2019

Anyone can donate a kidney for
Jonathan Kalmakoff

Our very productive, passionate, award winning, genealogist-historian Jonathan Kalmakoff needs a working kidney.

In 2002 he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), an inherited disease. In 2015 he began to cut back on activities, and by 2018 required dialysis which he is doing daily at home.

He also needs our financial support to raise his 3 kids and to continue to add to the thousands of articles, names, locations, ancestries and records posted on his Doukhobor Genealogy Website and Doukhobor Message Board since 1999. Jon is still young and only about half done with his research. Don't let him stop.

The USCC announced Jon's dilemma during the 2018 Christmas Eve program, also on live stream video December 24, with other announcements projected on the large screen using images from his websites. See the video segment at time 57:21 to 58:35. A month later his former home town newspaper published an article. Jon lives and works in Regina.
Though several of his friends and family members offered to be living donors and were disqualified, anyone can donate a kidney for Jonathan.

The Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) Program of Canada allows anyone to donate a kidney to any recipient, whether or not their kidneys match, and from anyplace in the world.

The KPD Program increases the probability for people in need of a kidney transplant, like Jon, to be restored to better health, and saved from death.

If your kidney is incompatible (not a match) for Jon, your kidney data goes into the Canadian Transplant Registry (CTR), a database that matches your kidney to the best recipient (not Jon), and a different kidney from the registry goes to Jon. It's like if one puts money in a bank in BC to give to someone who takes the money out in SK. We know it's not exactly the same money, but the value is the same. Meanwhile, the money you deposited in BC gets circulated to other people.


On the average, 4 to 5 people get a kidney due to the chain of transplants from 1 donated kidney.

People who donate a kidney can live normal lives with only one kidney because "...the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney." Recovery after surgery varies. See What to Expect After Donation. To donate a kidney, contact your provincial organ donor office. More than 99% do not regret donating their kidney. Best of all, Jon will be your buddy for life.

If you cannot donate your kidney, please donate a few dollars to support his research costs.


Details

Note: Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in economic science for developing the algorithms that are required to match large numbers of donors and recipients in KPD. See their math: Massó, Jordi. The theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design. The Nobel Prize in Economics 2012 for Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley, Contributions to Science 11:103-112 (2015)

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Q82 — Does Our Civilization Have a Future?

From a Russian scholar, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Дорогой Кузьма!
Вот и еще один год прошел, пролетел, подхваченный ветром времён. И наступает новый 2019 год - таинственный и немного страшный, потому что жить в этом мире становится всё страшнее и страшнее. Ощущение приближающейся 3 Мировой войны становится всё более явственным. Мне кажется, что мы все никогда не были от нее так близко. Это ощущение постоянно рождает в голове мысль: а надо ли вообще что-то делать, к чему-то стремиться и чего-то добиваться, если все в один момент может исчезнуть, и тогда ничего и никому будет уже не нужно. На меня эта мысль действует очень плохо, хотя вопреки ей я стараюсь продолжать работать.

My Translation:

Dear Koozma!
So another year has passed, it flew by, caught up by the wind of times. And the new year 2019 is coming — mysterious and a bit scary, because living in this world is getting more and more dangerous. The feeling of the approaching World War 3 is becoming more pronounced. It seems to me that we have never been so close to this. This feeling constantly gives birth to the idea: is it necessary to do something at all, to strive for something and to achieve something, if everything can disappear in one moment and then nothing will be necessary for anyone. This thought has a very bad effect on me, although in spite of it I try to keep working.


In 2019, The Doomsday Clock reaffirmed
the "two minutes to midnight" time.
Koozma’s Answer

I agree and have extensively written about our future (list below).

A similar view was expressed in (‘We’re Headed To War With Russia, and No One Seems to Care’, Russia Insider, March 26, 2018).

How can I give hope and optimism to my Russian friend in 2019 when The Doomsday Clock by concerned scientists warn us of eminent danger of nuclear weapons to our civilization, when many politicians continue to rely on NATO to protect their empires, and when the US threatens world peace with its rage for endless wars? With the New Cold War in process, fueled by the military industrial complex and elites drunk with making money from the killing field, what hope can we provide to ensure a real future for humanity? Let’s remember that the former Soviet Union lost over 27 million citizens in fighting the Nazi invaders. We need to respect Russia because it won the war at great cost to protect our world from destruction.

We all need to WAKE UP,  BECOME EDUCATED, AND ACT  HUMANLY to save our beautiful world from catastrophe.

2018 October 13 — World Beyond War Conference 2018, Toronto, Ontario, September 21-22.
2018 May 9 — Celebrating a World Without Wars : Russian Victory Day
2018 April 4 — Issues for the World Peace Forum
2018 March 17 — Peace Networking with Professor Beissel
2017 November 13 — Remember peace and nuclear disarmament on ‘Remembrance Day’
2017 August 9 — Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembered — What are we waiting for?
2017 May-August — What I Have Learned From Peace Activism in the World

Monday, 21 January 2019

4 gods-within us — continued

For the past 6 years, 3 friends and myself occasionally meet for coffee in downtown Ottawa . We first met at local peace events and discovered we shared a common humanity of ‘the god-within’. We enjoyed meeting for coffee, and soon called ourselves the ‘4 gods-within’.

This is my third report about our meetings which began in December 2013.


We are: Bill, a retired political scientist, author and Gandhian fellow; Mony, MBA, author and television producer and her artist husband Alberto; and me.

On January 16 we began our 2019 meeting with a flood of new ideas heralding a new era of nonkilling, love and joy.

Koozma presented two ethical stories from Jon-Lee.

Story One was about a group of alumni who got together for a visit with their wise professor. When the conversation soon turned to complaints about endless stress of work and life, the professor offered his guests coffee. He returned from the kitchen with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups: ‘porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite.’ Quietly he invited them to help themselves to some fresh coffee.
As his former student had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor quietly cleared his throat and began to patiently address the small gathering. ‘You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourself yet that is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems.’
He continued. ‘Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups. Then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
‘Now consider this: Life is coffee. Jobs, money and position in society are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not truly define nor change the quality of the life we live. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee….’
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything. So please remember: Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply .Speak Kindly.
And remember — the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.
Story Two was about a 92-year-old wise man, whose wife just died. He was waiting patiently in the lobby of a nursing home, ready to move in himself. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, the nurse provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
‘I love it,’ he stated with enthusiasm.
‘Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.
‘Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged....it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty
'I have with parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
‘Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Just for this time in my life.
‘Wise age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.
‘So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.’
Remember the simple rules to be happy:
    1. Free your heart from hatred.
    2. Free your mind from worries.
    3. Live simply.
    4. Give more.
    5. Expect less.

We discussed 5 films
  1. The Good Place ’ is a fantasy comedy series on Netflix on common grounds of morals and ethics. It reminded me of my University of Saskatchewan days where I took a fascinating philosophy course on Morals and Ethics from the memorable Dr. Robert Paton.
  2. The Reluctant Saint ’ is a 1962 film about Joseph of Cupertino, a 17th-century Italian Franciscan friar and mystic, who did not seem to fit in anywhere, but found a solid place in society with simple actions of love.
  3. Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds ’ is a 5-part series on YouTube, which explores the inner and outer worlds via different philosophies. It provides us with a wider perspective in seeing ourselves as part of nature.
  4. Brother, Son, Sister, Moon’ is another classic film, an examination of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. This man spoke to the poor in France and other parts of Europe by denouncing the wealth of the Catholic Church, while rejecting many Catholic dogmas and doctrines, especially the need for ordained priesthood, and working towards a world without wars.
  5. Roma’ is a 2018 film about life of a housemaid in a Mexican neighbourhood Colonia Roma — highly recommended! It is said to be an antidote to our highly fast-paced Smartphone society. We need to stop, look and listen to life in our environment, and enjoy its existence.
We talked briefly about the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain, founded in 1956 by graduates of the local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. By 2014, it employed 74,117 people in 257 companies and organizations in four business divisions: finance, industry, retail and knowledge. Today, they have over 100,000 members, all owners of their workplaces with votes in their businesses.

What is the essence of the god-within?

We ended with this question. Invoking ‘the higher God’ was creatively refrained towards the ‘inner god-within’ as a way to get to the core of humanity. Instead of invoking Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, etc., why don’t we simply invoke ourselves by our actions as showing the way of love, beauty, compassion, and nonkilling? Is that not the essence of truth into the mysterious realm of spirituality? After all, are we not real energy-driven instruments of these practical qualities that make us human?

The story of the Greek Gods and Godesses is history. Most people today would acknowledge that ancient story of divine and semi-divine figures as mythology and religion.

In the 21st century, can we now acknowledge that man is connected to divine energy? Can we now publicly proclaim ‘I am an instrument of love and compassion?’ Or ‘I am an instrument of peace?’ When congruent, our intent and our actions of the gods-within form the strategic map of reality as part of one common humanity of brothers and sisters in spirit. The old ethical maxim (‘Do unto others as you wish them to do onto you’) has been enriched. The traditional wisdom masters of the past (Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, Lev N. Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.) would be pleased.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy

Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy” (Лев Толстой и американская философия), including Canadian Doukhobors, was an open lecture with a Microsoft PowerPoint slide presentation given in Russia on October 11, 2018, at 5 pm by Dr. Irina A. Anosova.

This lecture stems from her 1995 PhD dissertation: "American Philosophy in the Context of Leo Tolstoy’s Spiritual Legacy." While researching Tolstoy, she became interested in Doukhobors, contacted Koozma, and came to Canada in 2005 and 2010 for field research. This short lecture was an overview of her message to appreciate Tolstoy and Doukhobors.

She was the second speaker for the event “Tolstoy Library: a century-long project” (Библиотека Толстого: проект длиною в век) celebrating the 190th birthday of Lev Tolstoy and the 100th anniversary of the Lev Tolstoy Library (No 2) on Vasilievsky Island, a bourough in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tolstoy Library and event poster.

The library was founded in 1918 and named in 1920 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of L.N. Tolstoy. The library displays history, art, film and video, has meeting rooms and about 89,000 books.

Anosova's 23-slide presentation was in Russian, which she sent to Koozma to post online. We translated, edited, and added links. Slide #18 (Doukhobor meetings) was added because she mislabeled slide #17 (USCC dove formation, 1999) as a “regular Doukhobor meeting.”

Download the enhanced Microsoft PowerPoint slide file (PPT 5,436 KB). <2018_Anosova_Tolstoy_American_Philosophy.ppt>

Dr. Anosova (centre) showing title slide in the library "green room".

Dr. Anosova reviewed the many American philosophers who influenced Tolstoy, and explained Tolstoy's connection with Canadian Doukhobors. She began with American transcendentalism from the 1700s through the mid 1800s (Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, Channing, Emerson, Thoreau); progressed to nonresisters (Mennonites, Quakers, Ballou, Garrison); then introduced Doukhobors.

Several photos gathered during her 2010 trip across Canada were used — women pulling plow, painting of a village in Saskatchewan, USCC centennial, USCC human dove formation, staff of the Doukhobor Discovery Centre, and ending with a tribute to Koozma J. Tarasoff for all his help.

Other speakers presented the website “All of Tolstoy in one click” (Весь Толстой в один клик), readings from Tolstoy's three novels, the exhibit “Discovering Tolstoy again” (Открывая Толстого заново), and a Tolstoy family tree poster.

The event was announced in a poster (above), formal press release (below), then reported on a news blog with 6 photos (bwlow) taken at the event attended by about 15 people. We hope many will see this story and the slides.

More by Dr. Irina Anosova,
Dept.of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts, Russian Federation.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Gubanov, Russian Doukhobor Artist Dies

Губанов Владимир Петрович (1951-2018)

Vladimir (‘Volodia’) Petrovich Gubanov will long be remembered as an outstanding talented Russian Doukhobor sculptor and artist. He died December 17, 2018 at his home in the town of Nebug, Tuapsinsky district, Krasnodar krai, on the Black Sea, 130 km. (80 mi.) north of Sochi. He was 67 years old.

Gubanov 1995, Canada (left and centre) and 2014 Georgia (right).

Canadian Doukhobors met him in 1995 during his 4-month expedition across Canada. He produced nearly 40 portrait sketches of Doukhobors, many of which were published in Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002).

In an August 1995 interview, Volodia said:
I believe the Doukhobor movement has a future. As a Doukhobor I believe that people must preserve planet earth. If people are quiet about wars, then there is no future for our civilization. (Spirit Wrestlers ..., page 223).
Vladimir was invited to Canada to commemorate the 1995 Centennial of the 1895 arms burning by Doukhobors in Russia. He came with sketches of Russian Doukhobors, several oil paintings, and a huge mural: "The Doukhobors' Destruction of Weapons", oil on canvas, 100 x 200 cm. The mural was promoted on this poster-calendar 'Spirit of '95'.

Click here to enlarge poster.

Vladimir Gubanov was born in the Doukhobor village of Orlovka (map by Johnathan Kalmakoff), Bogdanovskoy district, Georgian S.S.R. — near the site of the 1895 arms burning. His father herded cattle on the kolhoz (collective farm), but later in the 1970s left for Nalchik, in northern Caucasus. The Gubanovs resided across the entire former Soviet Union and Vladimir’s grandfather was exiled to a Koylma gulag labor camp in Siberia for 10 years because he owned 11 cows instead of the allotted one per family and was charged under Stalin with the crime of being a kulak.

In 1974 Vladimir left home to study art in Rostov-on-Don, Moscow and the Far East. In 1989 he completed studies at the Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Arts and Industry. He eventually landed a job at the large health-spa hotel resort "Molniya Yamal" in Nebug, where he continued to paint, do interior design and sculptures on commission.

He soon acquired a plot of land less than a kilometer uphill from the resort to build his own art studio and home. Slowly it became a modern three-story motel apartment designed in the shape of a ship (from above), with studio (muzei-masterskaya) and gallery (kartinnaya galereya) where he made and displayed his art. In 1993 he dedicated part of the gallery as a Doukhobor Cultural Centre to promote the world-wide Doukhobor movement, where he hoped to host international conferences. The Gallery was incorporated in 2006.


For the Doukhobors, Vladimir had planned a renaissance in the development of culture with a balance between individual and social needs. He said: ‘If we lose our culture and our social charter, we will lose our soul.’ In his studies, he discovered that the first Doukhobors were not vegetarians, they were not against dancing and song, and bowing to the ground was not essential. He urged Canadian Doukhobors to embrace the use of all the creative resources to attract youth to their social movement. Vladimir Gubanov was indeed a renaissance man with deep respect for culture and the future of humanity.


More
  1. ‘A Russian Artist’s Odyssey to Preserve the Future’. In Koozma J. Tarasoff, Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002), pages 223-225.
  2. Koozma J. Tarasoff. ‘The Events that Shook the World in 1895’. In Ahimsa Nonviolence, Vol. II, No 3, May-June 2006: 244-246.
  3. Tolstoy & Doukhobors — 42 image CD’. Spirit Wrestlers Blog, Sept. 8, 2011.
  4. Владимир Губанов (Vladimir Gubanov), Odnoklasniki, last updated 31 May 2014. — Similar to U.S.A. Facebook.
  5. International Doukhobor Meeting-Exhibit. Proposal to Build Bridges between East and West'. November 11, 2016.
  6. Koozma J. Tarasoff and Andrei Conovaloff. Images — paintings and drawings depicting the event (see image 6) in ‘Historic 1895 Burning of Guns: descriptions, selections and translations’. See image 6. Updated May 21, 2018.
  7. Leo Tolstoy and the Doukhobors: Conscientious Objection’. Gandhi Information Centre, 2019.
  8. Visual Arts and Nonkilling. A mural commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Arms Burning in Russia.’ #3 in Nonkilling Arts Research Committee Letter: Vol. 3, N. 1 (January - February 2019).

Thursday, 20 December 2018

2018 Christmas Meeting in Saskatoon

Girls sang, and Mae Popoff eating with college students.
Mae Popoff reports 57 attended the Doukhobor Society of Saskatoon Christmas program and potluck lunch on December 16. David Meakin came with his young children and Grandma Polly Meakin; and John Atamanenko and Joe Kasahoff. During the potluck lunch I sat with 2 students attending the University of SK — Ryan Dutchak (above right), working on a masters degree about Doukhobors, and freshman Austin Sherstobitoff. Visiting was amazing! More on Facebook.

Guests: Linda Osachoff, Canora; John Atamanenko, Saskatoon; and Fred Konkin, Pelly.

Message to Christmas sobranie at Saskatoon Doukhobor Home 
December 16, 2018

From: Koozma J. Tarasoff of Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Spirit,

Christmas is a not only a time of praying, singing, eating and celebrating,
but a time to reflect on the gems of wisdom of the season.
It is a time to look at our values at home and abroad.

Let's recall the universal human value of
‘Doing unto others what we wish to be done unto us’.
For Doukhobors who believe in the Spirit Within,
this translates into love, compassion, beauty, and truth.

Because there is an element of god within us,
we proclaim to the world that it is wrong
to kill another human being.
It is wrong to demonize other people because of their colour or their country.

We need to tell our government that love and friendship are guideposts for our survival.
It is wrong to poke our noses into other people's business:

Let’s get out of NATO.
Let’s stop sending military aid to other countries.
Yes, let’s bring our troops home.

That my friends is the message for Christmas 2018 and beyond.

Best wishes from a fellow Spirit Wrestler,

Koozma J. Tarasoff

See the DSS 2017 Christmas video Мы Окончили Собрание / We've Concluded Our Assembly

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Q81: How much did Freemasonry influence Doukhobor theology?

Yuri Zbitnoff of Boston, Massachusetts, USA explains:

I was doing a little digging to better acquaint myself with the spiritual origins of the Doukhobor world-view.

Can you confirm or elaborate on the claims from this piece: 'Spiritual Origins and the Beginnings of Doukhobor History', by Svetlana Inikova, on the Doukhobor Genealogy Website?


Answer by Koozma J. Tarasoff and Andrei Conovaloff

We know that Freemasons affected Doukhobor history, but we do not know 'how much' they influenced Doukhobor theology or beliefs.

The documentation of the spiritual history of our Doukhobor ancestors in Russia is sparse, scattered and complex. Much more research is needed to fully answer this question.

Freemasons selected, altered and transmitted ideas gathered from various sources, and interpreted and translated them into local languages. Many books and articles have been published about their influence in Russia.

A key figure in the history of Freemasonry in Russia was Ivan. P. Lopukhin, an aristocrat, attorney, judge, and senator, who was interested in Pietism, the doctrine of the 'inner light'. In 1801 he ‘masterminded’ a plan to protect and reform Doukhobors by gathering them from scattered exiles (maps below) and concentrating them into their own ‘self-contained community’ along the west bank of the Molochna River in Tauride Governate (now south Ukraine).

Click on maps to enlarge. Maps by Johnathan Kalmakoff.

Several historical tracts were attributed (not proved) to Ivan Lopukhin. One of these was the ‘Note of 1791’, which contains one of the earliest descriptions of Doukhobor beliefs. A prominent theme was the ‘inner church’ which later was considered to have been adopted by Lev N. Tolstoy in his ‘Kingdom of God is Within You’ — a conversion to a new non-doctoral Christianity that rejected violence and taught the ‘Spirit Within’.

The Note of 1791 (the original was never found) resembles Freemason ideas, with reference to the ‘inner church’, ‘spiritual knights’, and ‘hidden saints’, but the form of language with the use of ‘church’, ‘knights’ and ‘saints’ is foreign to Doukhobors. Doukhobors broke away from this usage in their formative development while searching for the evolutionary God/ Love Within.

The 'piece' you read was a paper presented in 1999 by Svetlana A. Inikova in Ottawa, at our conference: 'The Doukhobor Centenary in Canada, A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective on their Unity and Diversity’. Because 'Masons' are mentioned 8 times in her paper, you probably became curious for more.

There are 4 articles on the Doukhobor Genealogy Website by Jonathan Kalmakoff, about Freemasons and Doukhobors. Also study references cited.
More:
Tarasoff: In my opinion Lev. N. Tolstoy is the major origin of the world-view of Canadian Doukhobors. Many other European Protestant influences on Russia can be speculated about, some of which are listed in my 2013 lecture: ‘Evolution of the Doukhobor Movement’, see slides 5 and 7. The Masons could be added to these incomplete lists. We know that the Doukhobor movement evolved from centuries of acts of survival and adaptation by preceding human populations and societies, and more research can be done.

In the meantime, I view the Canadian Doukhobors as a type of 'Tolstoyan social movement' with a focus on creating a compassionate and caring world based on love and nonkilling. Lev Tolstoy is indeed an inspiration for the Doukhobors.

Conovaloff: Both Tolstoy and Gandhi were influenced by Freemasons, and Masons may have impacted the non-Doukhobor sectarians more than the Doukhobors.

Lopukhin’s policy of concentrating Spiritual Christians in New Russia probably caused the formation in 1833 of a zealous movement of religious ecstasy and enthusiasm, that was labeled in 1856 as Pryguny due to their jumping with the Holy Spirit. Doukhobors moving to Canada led to some neighboring non-Doukhobor ecstatic tribes of Spiritual Christians scattered in the Caucasus to concentrate in Southern California and create a new family of faiths called Dukh-i-zhizniki. Research conducted in the 1980s by Phillip and Ludmilla Efseaff (Oregon, USA.) speculated that Russian Freemasons influenced some of the most zealous Spiritual Christian Pryguny (Jumpers), which was transmitted to their offshoot tribes of Dukh-i-zhizniki. The links above and below support their speculation.
The Freemason translations to Russian of selections from Jung-Stilling sparked a ‘Great Trek’ by some Mennonites to the ‘East’ to meet Jesus during his Second Coming. Similar treks, or pokhod (flight to refuge), have been conducted by Dukh-i-zhizniki several times, and are still active in their prophecies and oral history.

At least one Spiritual Christian immigrated to California as a Mason, and in the 1980s his grandson, John Spoldsoff continued the family Mason tradition by joining and being elected to Head Mason in Fresno, California.

Many groups have different terms for these overlapping theological concepts, for example:

Saturday, 13 October 2018

World Beyond War Conference 2018

Toronto, Ontario September 21 - 22, 2018.



Brief report from Greta Zarro, Organizing Director of World Beyond War:
  • #NoWar2018 was a huge success.
  • More than 200 attended.
  • See the conference on our video channel — youtube.com/worldbeyondwar
  • The theme of replacing war with the rule of law was well explored by activists and experts who formed new alliances, strategic plans for future work on education, closing bases, and divestment, and developed possible ideas for creative actions.
  • Our small budget and 3 half-time staff impressed several who thought we were a large well funded organization. Please donate.
  • Patricia Kambitsch of Playthink did some amazing illustrations to capture the vibe of the conference plenaries. See her work and more in our Facebook photo album.
  • Website updates will be posted as time permits.

Koozma J. Tarasoff’s Comments

On June 24 2018, I posted: Suggestions for 'World Beyond War' Conference in Toronto Sept. 21 - 22, 2018.

After watching the conference video Highlights of #NoWar2018, here are some of my quick impressions, questions and answers:
  • How can we persuade the world powers to get rid of nuclear weapons? Today the stockpile of nuclear weapons is 14,575. They are a serious threat to our civilization. Making money from killing is evil!
  • Canadian military heads are not too interested in peace because they look to the USA as a favourite country with their many dangerous toys of war. (William Geimer).
  • Canada’s Foreign Affairs Dept. claims it needs ‘hard power’ instead of peacekeeping resulting in increasing the military budget to $22 billion, the highest ever. Only 173 Canadian soldiers are in peacekeeping today. And we have Canadian soldiers in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland provoking Russia. (Tamara Lorincz).
  • Many or most soldiers returning home from the field suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. War is evil. Let’s stop it and begin the process of living as civilized homo sapiens.
  • We are facing nuclear war, dying oceans, decaying cities, water shortage, growth inequality, etc., all adding to a breakdown of civil society. We need peace urgently so that we can work together to deal with the looming ecological global crisis. (Kent Shifferd).
  • We need to find alternatives to war with compulsory international mechanisms for nonviolent dispute resolution. (James Ranney).
  • Departments and other infrastructures for peace to promote legal frameworks for conflict resolution by peaceful means at home and abroad. (Saul Arbess).
  • Misinformation technologies are challenging the role of diplomacy in society. We need to persuade FaceBook to be accountable for its actions. (Branka Marijan).
  • The United Nations charter states that war is illegal, ‘with exceptions’. But the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact had no exceptions; it was an international agreement in which signator states promised not to use war ‘to resolve disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they might be, which may arise among them’. (David Swanson).
  • Humans have the ability to choose not to go to war. We can, for example, create Departments of Peace in our governments. Where there is a will, there is a way. (Karen Johnson).
  • Americans have over 1.3 million military personnel in about 5,000 bases around the world requiring a $610 billion budget to service them. Yet only 5% of this budget ($30 billion) could solve starvation in our world. Where is our wisdom?
  • Peace education should apply to all levels in our education system, beginning with Grade one. Peace is everybody's business. (Rose).
  • There is a nationalist myth that Canada is a peaceful country that does not believe in wars. Advancing empire support and businesses abroad contradict this myth. (Yves Engler).
  • Colonial domination of indigenous peoples was an act of genocide and war. (Azeezah Kanji).
  • Mass movements win, while fringe movements don’t. We need to mobilize minorities for national consensus by resisting wars and building peace. (Kevin Zeese).

Saturday, 6 October 2018

I Love Therefore I Am!

Koozma J. Tarasoff, 2018.
I read this poem at an Open Mic session Sept. 28, 2018 during Peace Arts Night at the First Unitarian Congregation in Ottawa as part of the 12th Annual Ottawa Peace Festival. It was inspired by Henry Beissel during a conversation about the Ottawa Peace Festival 2018 as we pondered whether our intervention made any difference on the journey for a peaceful world. Henry suggested that we need to change the paradigm of René Descartes First Principle to 'I love therefore I am.'

I Love Therefore I Am!
The Evolution of Homo Sapiens

In evolutionary history
we know that continuity and change are constant.
Darwin discovered this on his research ship Beagle.

We also know that during the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century
René Descartes proclaimed the First Principle of Certainty, saying
‘I think therefore I am.’
Meaning—‘I am, I exist’.

As well, we know that wisdom people for centuries
have sought to create a world without wars.
We’ve seen futile attempts by politicians of all stripes
proclaim ‘this war is the end of all wars’.

Yet violence and wars — corporate murder —
continue to cause havoc with
the use of weapons of mass destruction, regime change,
and all kinds of human indignities. Countless victims suffer.

Today we need a new discussion on human development —
a discussion that would lead to humane behaviour,
such as envisaged by the late Glenn D. Paige of Hawaii
on the nonkilling society — the responsibility not to kill and the right not to be killed.

We need to talk about something simple, yet profound —
the power of love comes to mind
as penned in the 1800s by Tolstoy, author of War and Peace.
We need to discover the merits
of the Inner Spirit
and apply it to our Charter of Love and Compassion for the living.

Friends, my fellow homo sapiens,
it’s time to build a new world order
that will save us from the scourge of wars and
give a supportive structure to us, to our children and to future generations.
It is time to upgrade Descartes’ maxim to a new authentic identity:
I LOVE THEREFORE I AM!

The Inner Spirit of love opens the way
to a new world of common humanity.
So let’s embrace the new charter of life:
I love therefore I am’!

Posted on the Transcend Media website.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Ron Kalmakoff's New Recording

Ron Kalmakoff writes:

Some of you may remember me from my appearances starting at age 15 in Canora, Saskatchewan, or on radio and TV. Others may remember me living in Maple Ridge, BC, where I owned the Little Cricket Gift Gallery for 14 years.

More recently some of you may have seen me walking on one of the beaches of the Sunshine Coast, BC, searching for my latest inspiration.

Hopefully most of you will remember me as singer~songwriter Ron Kalmakoff. That is where my heart is today.

After 7 years since my last album, Turn Around in 2010, I am back with a new recording project: ‘Long, Long Time’, YouTube.


Send me email or buy my music at Bandcamp. I’d also like to hear from you via Facebook or Instagram.

Ron Kalmakoff is an accomplished recording artist who for a short time used the English stage-name “Ron Sommerfeld” (1974), but returned to his identity as a Doukhobor. His concerts and 1982 demo led to an appearance on the Tommy Hunter TV show, then CBC's Search For the Stars where he placed 45 among 700 performers. His music was played and sold in Europe. Ron now lives in Sunshine Coast, BC. His original website RonKalmakoff.com was online from 2011 to 2015. Songs and videos online:

Suggestions for 'World Beyond War' Conference in Toronto Sept. 21 - 22, 2018

The forthcoming peace conference in Toronto, Canada in September 2018 appears like the ultimate in world peace conferences. Its organizer is David Swanson, founder and Director of World BEYOND War.


The confirmed speakers are impressive, including retired Canadian anthropologist Dr. Saul Arbess, who is currently the Director of the Canadian Peace Initiative (formerly known as the Canadian Dept. of Peace Initiative) that I have been associated with since its birth in 2006.

The conference shows much promise, and these additions would make it more effective.

The Doukhobors should be included under 'War Abolishers' (right column). In 1895, 7,000 Russian pacifists in Russia burned their guns — a public declaration to the world that violence and wars are wrong and that non killing is the way of the future. As a Doukhobor, I have been taught that it is wrong to kill another human being because there is a spark of god/love/beauty in each of us, and war is a crime.

At least three speakers from important organizations should be included in the Speaker's List:
  • Prof. Johan Galtung, Transcend Media Service, a peace journalist for over 65 years. He is founder of Transcend International and rector of Transcend Peace University.
  • A representative for The Center for Global Nonkilling founded in 2007 by the late Dr. Glenn D. Paige in Hawaii. Its goal: 'to promote change toward the measurable goal of a killing-free world'.
  • Sharon Tennison of The Center For Citizen Initiatives, California, builds bridges of peace through citizen diplomacy between Russia and the USA.
World BEYOND War is a global network of volunteers, activists, and allied organizations advocating for the abolition of the very institution of war. Its success is described as being driven by a people-powered movement. Support their work for a culture of peace. World BEYOND War PO Box 1484 Charlottesville, VA 22902 USA

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Peace Billboard in Saskatchewan

Messages from Ed Lehman, President Regina Peace Council, Saskatchewan:
  • Photo of our peace billboard, erected May 25, 2018, outside of Qu'Appelle, SK, on the Trans Canada Highway (SK-1), about 55 km (35 miles) east of Regina.
  • Unveiling ceremony to be held at the billboard on Saturday June 16 at 2 p.m.
  • We paid for the east-facing side for one year, seen by west bound traffic.
  • Please forward this news.
Unveiling Ceremony, 16 June 2018
Canada - Act for Peace Not War.
  • Sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • No Participation in Ballistic Missile Defense
  • Stop Exporting Weapons of War
  • Oppose Regime Change Militarism
Regina Peace Council
in memory of Peter E. Gehl.


Peter Eric Gehl, 2008
Regina area resident and pacifist Peter Eric Gehl (1952 - 2016) was active in the Regina Peace Council, Regina Peace Quest (co-founder), the Canadian Peace Congress, and Canadians for Peace and Socialism.

PQ Regina Mourns Loss of Peter Gehl, by Ed Lehman, Peace Quest, October 25, 2016.

Lehman wrote: 'The Billboard was done in memory of Peter E. Gehl, a past president of the Regina Peace Council, a national board member of the Canadian Peace Congress, and a co-founder of PeaceQuest Regina. Peter was a life-long worker for peace and social justice.'

When Ed Lehman was asked by phone (June 6) "Why a billboard?", he explained: "To do something different. To get our message to more people. ... To do it more broadly. ... We are normally talking to small groups of people, when when we need to be talking to tens of thousands of people. ... That highway has lots of traffic."

When asked how they chose the message, Lehman said that they deliberated to be as brief as possible, to only post what was important and could be read by a passing vehicle. He added that it was expensive for them, so they paid for only one side, seen by west-bound traffic, for one year from May 25, 2018. They hope to get more exposure during the unveiling on June 16.

Contact Ed Lehman, President Regina Peace Council, 306-718-8010 or edrae1133@gmail.com.


Media Event on Saturday June 16 at 2 p.m.

To get more press coverage, the Regina Peace Council will host an unveiling ceremony next week, on June 16, 2018, at 2 p.m. on the east side of the billboard. Invite yourself and your friends.

From Regina, SK, take SK-1 east about 55 km (35 miles). U-turn back at Highway 35 (not to Qu'Appelle). Go west on SK-1 about 600 metres. It is the only billboard.


In the News

'Peace Billboard Unveiled outside of Ou'appelle, Saskatchewan on June 16, 2018', Saskatchewan Peace News, vol. 25, No. 3, Regina Peace Council, 13 September 2018, pages 2-4.

'Regina Peace Council ... put up a billboard ... ', Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity, Twitter.com, 1 September, 2018.

Scott Neigh, 'The Regina Peace Council - Working to reinvigorate Canada's peace movement', Talking Radical Radio, SK, July 24, 2018 — Article about billboard, and audio podcast (28.5 minutes) interview with Ed Lehman and David Gehl. Billboard history begins at podcast minute 20.

Peace Billboard Celebrated in Saskatchewan, by Ed Lehman, Peace Quest, June 19, 2018 — The peace dove (1961) art was one of several by Pablo Picasso, who was a 1950s promotor of the World Peace Council.

Peace Billboard in Saskatchewan, Spirit-Wrestlers Blog, June 6, 2018.

'Peace Billboard on the Trans Canada Highway', Peoples Voice, June 1 - 15, 2018, page 11.

Billboard for Peace, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Saskatchwan, May 27, 2018.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Are Doukhobors
    “people of the 25th century”?

By Andrei Conovaloff

What did Lev Tolstoy mean in 1898 when he wrote Doukhobors were “people of the 25th century”? And, in 1899 he wrote that in “500 years ... the majority of Christian[s]” will adopt Doukhobor beliefs. Was this a compliment, or a prophesy? Both?

I have seen the quote about Doukhobors being “people of the 25th century” by Lev Tolstoy several times in the past. Though it appears odd, I never bothered to question its source until this week.



The “25th century” phrase got my attention because it appeared 4 times on one page, in the promotion for this week’s USCC conference (May 18-19, 2018): “Spirit Wrestlers 2050: Call for Proposals” (link from: Iskra, issue 2125, April 2018, page 7):
  • At the end of the 19th century, author Lev Tolstoy called the Doukhobors “people of the 25th century”.
  • Today, more than ever, the world needs this 25th century thinking and action.
  • What are your ideas for action today that exemplify 25th century thinking?
  • … proposals are expected to be in alignment of the ideals and values that prompted Lev Tolstoy to call the Doukhobors “people of the 25th century”.
Are Doukhobors really “people of the 25th century”? Are they an advanced society, 400 years into the future? Hmm-m-m…. Star Trek people more than a 100 years ago? What did Tolstoy really mean?

A Google search finds more than a dozen requotes, but only one book cites the source — Andrew Donskov, Leo Tolstoy And the Canadian Doukhobors: An Historic Relationship, CRCRR, Jan 1, 2005, pages 30 and 168.
1898 December 5, letter from Lev N. Tolstoy to 2 of his daughters (Tat'yana and Mariya), Polnoe sobranie sochinenie (Complete collected works) volume 71, page 497.
I am glad that in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the death of Tolstoy in 2010, thousands volunteered from 49 countries to digitize most of Tolstoy’s work now online, with annotations, and page number anchor tags. 90 volumes of his complete works can be searched in Russian, and linked to by page number.

Here is a translated excerpt from that 1898 December 5 letter in context.

* 331. Т. Л. Толстой и М. Л. Оболенской.
1898 г. Декабря 5. Москва.
* 331. T. L. Tolstoy and M. L. Obolenskaya.
1898 December 5. Moscow.
Милые Таня и Маша.Dear Tanya and Masha.
... Нынче приехал Чернов (духобор). Вы, верно, мало говорили с ним. Я его очень люблю: такой же твердый, ясный, кроткий, как и все они, эти люди 25 столетия.… Today Chernov (a Doukhobor) came. You, of course, did not talk to him much. I love him very much. He is as solid, clear, and meek as all of them, these people of the 25th century.
В сравнении с ними особенно тяжелы те люди 15 столетия, среди которых живешь. In comparison with them, the people of the 15th century, among whom you live, are especially difficult.
Ужасно был дорогой спутник 11-го столетия. (7: Толстой, вероятно, имеет в виду какого-нибудь спутника по пути из Ясной Поляны в Москву.) My 11th-century travel companion was an awful person. (Note 7: Tolstoy probably had in mind some traveler en route from Yasnaya Polyana to Moscow.)
Миша ни то, ни се, всё в пьянстве эгоизма, но дурного пока ничего нет. ...
Л. Т.
Misha is neither here nor there, all in a drunken egoism, but there is nothing bad yet.
L. T. (Lev Tolstoy)

To paraphrase Uncle Lev in my words, he is saying that Doukhobors in December 1898 are “people of the future,” different from the backward (medieval) people of Russia, and especially ancient is Misha the drunk.

It appears to me that Tolstoy was having fun with words, antics with semantics, and “25th century” is used as a hyperbole, an exaggeration, along with the other numbered centuries.
  • 25th century = progressive, advanced — Doukhobors
  • 15th century = backward, medieval — Typical Russian peasants
  • 11th century = very undeveloped — Drunks
This is similar to the common Russian expression: “I haven’t seen you in a 100 years” — which can mean from “a while” to “a long time,” a few months to a year. Tolstoy appears to use "25th century" and "500 years" to mean a longer time, several years to several decades.

From Hyperbole to Metaphor to Slogan to Prophesy

BUT, for Canadian Doukhobors who commented on drafts of this article, Tolstoy's original hyperbole “people of the 25th century” has been expanded and transformed into a Doukhobor metaphor for people “ahead of their time,” embracing all the compliments and praise Tolstoy wrote and said about their ancestors and more. The phrase is now repeated like a slogan which combines and includes all their nonkilling legacies, and some interpret it as a prophesy to be fulfilled.
  • 1895Doukhobors burning their guns as a manifestation against militarism and wars, and obeying the 6th Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not murder’ — a brave historic action expressed by no other group.
  • 1897Tolstoy suggested giving Nobel Peace Prize money to "suffering and deserving" Doukhobors.
  • 1899 — Tolstoy wrote: "The Doukhobors’ faith approaches most closely the moral stature of people seeking God. Around 500 years from now the beliefs which made it necessary for the Doukhobors to resettle in [Canada, North] America will prevail among the majority of Christian peoples.” (Translation by Jack MacIntosh)
  • 1909 — In contrast: "Doukhobors ... are actually some seven hundred years behind the times.  Their customs, their mode of thought, their whole spirit is that of the thirteenth century rather than the twentieth." (Woodsworth,  James Shaver. Strangers Within our Gates : or, Coming Canadians, Toronto : F.C. Stephenson , 1909, page 116.)
  • 2005 — Tolstoy "... indeed saw the Doukhobors as "people of the 25th century" — far ahead of their time." (Donskov 2005, page 168)
  • 2007 — "... the Doukhobor people were the people of the 25th century. That means it will be a long time before the rest of civilization catches up. When the first airplanes were invented many people thought they were evil ... against the spirit of God — he would have given us wings if he wanted us to fly ... You never hear them say if God had wanted us to be peaceful he would have made us that way ..." (Stenson 2007, page 150)
  • Much more .... Tolstoy and Doukhobors: A list of many online references.
Tolstoy died in 1910, long enough to learn that much of the social advantage Doukhobors had in the 1800s was lost in Canada, and elsewhere. The devastating economic setbacks due to protests by Freedomites, discrimination and repression by Canada, and mismanagement by two Verigin leaders, has been well documented, as was brutality of the two-thirds of Doukhobors remaining in the Soviet Union, and after perestroika The opportunity for a [post Soviet] revival ... has been squandered.” But the moral advantage remained mostly intact as many Doukhobors of all divisions continued the social movement of military resistance, spiritual Christianity, and promoting world peace in their own ways.

The task of defining and expanding 25th century thinking and action” around the world will be discussed this week at “Spirit Wrestlers 2050.” And, participants will submit “ideas for the future.

Lucky, Tolstoy literally gave Doukhobors 4 more centuries to become “people of the 25th century.”

I hope the USCC will post videos of the 2 meetings.

Enter your comment below.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Q80: What is the Origin of ‘borshch’?

During Orthodox Easter dinner on April 9th here in Ottawa, I served my traditional Doukhobor vegetable soup — borshch — which I cooked using my mother’s recipe.

My guests asked a question that never occurred to me:
'What is the Origin of borshch'

Tarasoff Doukhobor borshch.
Answer

In the past I was more concerned about the English transliteration of the Russian spelling which does not have a ‘t’ at the end. Q76: Correct Spelling of borshch?

Historically this was a staple Slavic poor peoples’ peasant soup, made year-round with local ingredients.

A Google search for ‘origins of borshch, borshcht, borsch, borscht’ returns what appear to be well researched histories with similar information. Russian and English Wikipedia histories differ. Here is a summary with 'Sources Online' listed below:
  • The origin of borsch is unknown, most likely, it appeared on the territory formerly occupied by Kievan Rus. Apparently, the widespread opinion that "borsch" [brshch] is an Old [East] Slavic name for beets, should be attributed to folk etymology .. [the word] ... is not … in dictionaries of ancient Slavic dialects, ....(2) (Russian Wikipedia)
  • ... [a soup like] borshch used to be the national food in Ancient Rome (8th century BC), where cabbages and beets were specifically cultivated for that purpose. … the modern version of borshch appeared around the 15th century. … the name came ... from the plant borshchevik (hogweed, cow parsnip) – one of the key ingredients … [and] or, from the word brshch, which meant beet in Old Slavonic. (1,4,5)
  • In the beginning, borscht was made with brsh root [Old East Slavonic term], not red beet root. Brsh, common hogweed ... was ... fed to swine ... also human food ... in the spring peasant would gather tender brsh leaves to cook as green and store the ... roots for winter soup. ... borshch ... originated in Ukraine. (page 5) (1)
  • Variations are widely distributed by migrating Slavs and peoples who carried and modified their borshch recipes around the world, including China. (3)
  • Variations are dictated by the land, weather, and local traditions, but also by circumstance: people from different cultures intermarry; families are both willingly and forcibly moved. (6)
  • Part of the family of sour soups, borscht is originally Ukrainian, … the beetroot-centered crimson version being the best-known. … white borscht, also called sour rye soup ... green borscht, packed with sorrel leaves [Щавель кислый, sour shavel’ ]. The consistent theme is that the soup has a sour taste, and that is can be eaten warm or cold (8)
  • “There are literally hundreds of recipes,” explained Halyna Klid, of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. “In Chernihiv province, a handful of buckwheat is added. In Lviv province, people use hunter's sausage.” …. There is also such a thing as bad borscht. (5)
  • borsch, borscht, … was not originally cooked with beets … the first experiment in transmitting the human voice from orbital flight involved the broadcasting of a borsch recipe ? (Burlakoff 1)
  • With nearly 200 fasting days per year, the Christian Orthodox Church had a profound influence on dietary habits of the faithful ... the most important of the prolonged fasts were the weeks before Christmas and Easter. Without meat, borscht got it's flavor from vegetables, ... (page 8) ... even a watermelon soup, ... in Paraguay, is called borscht. (page 9) (1)
  • Borscht belt is a "region of predominantly Jewish resorts in and around the Catskill Mountains of New York" (9)
Sources Online
  1. Gueldner, Rose Marie. A Taste of Tradition: Borscht, Glückstal Colonies Research Association Newsletter, November 2016, pages 5-9.
  2. Борщ, Wikipedia (Russian).
  3. Borscht, Wikipedia (English).
  4. Skorchenko, Evgenia. Of Russian origin: Borshch, RT Russiapedia.
  5. Schaap, Rosie. How borscht crosses the border between Ukraine and Russia: Can a pot of soup contain clues to the character of a country and its crisis?, Al Jazeera America, April 10, 2014.
  6. Hercules, Olia. Let Me Count the Ways of Making Borscht, The New Yorker, December 7, 2017.
  7. Meek, James. The story of borshch, The Guardian, March 15, 2008.
  8. Charney, Noah. Cooking the Classics: Borscht, Fine Dining Lovers, July 11, 2017.
  9. borscht (n.), Online Etymology Dictionary.
Books by Burlakoff
  1. Burlakoff, Nikolai. The World of Russian Borsch, Aelita Press, 2013, 240 pages.
  2. Burlakoff, Nikolai. Erol Beet and the Borsch Angel: How the Borsch Angel Got Her Name, Aelita Press, June 28, 2012. 32 pages.

What borshch means to me

As a comfort dish of many local culinary Slavic peoples, this soup dish is commonly made in a big pot to feed everybody for several days, and is often more delicious the next day.


Many Doukhobor and Mennonite websites talk about borshch (borsht, borshcht) as a popular dish amongst their population.

As I see it, borshch has become a world wide common dish with almost institutional qualities.

Because of their pacifist nonkilling stance, Doukhobor borshch was traditionally vegetarian, with dill, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, beets and butter being its most prominent ingredients. Today, 2018, only a small minority of Doukhobors are vegetarian, although those who make borshch make it without meat.

Most other non-Doukhobor borshch recipes often include meat as part of it although in the pioneering era, less than 10 percent of the population ate meat because it was largely not available and was expensive.

Borshch is utilitarian in that you could include almost any available vegetable that you have around and add meat if that is your preference. It’s cheap, available, communal and healthy. A universal dish! A similar soup was made in Roman times.

During the Soviet Union, borshch was the most common dish enjoyed at home and in restaurants. It was even used by Russian cosmonauts in freeze-dried form.

Borshch is a ritual dish for Orthodox, Greek, Roman Catholic and Jewish peoples in Eastern Europe. For Doukhobors, it is the first food served (without meat) at funerals.

In brief, for Doukhobors, borshch is a universal dish with Slavic heritage and communal roots, and is largely known for its association with hospitality, nonkilling and good health.

Thanks to our Russian ancestors who have for centuries made this delicacy a contribution to world culture, these are outstanding human qualities that society dearly needs today. Enjoy!

Bolshoe spasibo! [A Big thank you!]