Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Confusing Doukhobors And Nudists

Dear Editor:

I am responding to correct the  reference to the Doukhobors in Meghan Murphy's article 'The Naked Protestor (or How to get the Media to Pay Attention to Women)' (, January 21, 2012).

Nudity was first used at the beginning of the 1900s in Canada as a form of protest against injustice or perceived injustice. When the public was shocked, nudity became a quick and easy tool of embarrassing the 'guilty one'. The nudist soon learned that the quick way to get public attention, especially through the media, was to strategically strip naked at moments of disadvantage.

It was the extremist zealots or Sons of Freedom, so named in the early part of the 1900s who earliler split from Doukhobors to form a different group, used nudity as a form of protest along with destruction (fire, dynamite). The press and Ms. Murphy continue to mislabel the extremist Sons of Freedom as Doukhobors, though they are not the same.

Please understand that nudity was NOT a genetic part of the Doukhobor social movement. Nudity was used by a relatively few people, whom I have called 'zealots'. In quick time, these zealots (men and women) quickly got addicted to this tool and in a real sense hijacked the mainstream Doukhobor Movement. The media also followed suit as did many scholars who failed to distinguish zealotry from the main group.

See my book Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategy for Living (2002) for many insights into the Doukhobors. Also read my website

Yesterday I was reminded by a psychology professor from California that 'culture must be handled with great delicacy and sensitivity' because it is easy to make an offense. Let's use this reminder when dealing with Doukhobors or any other group.


  1. Reading this post reminds me of an old dictum that you would be wise to follow: "Physician, heal thyself."

    Indeed, "'culture must be handled with great delicacy and sensitivity' because it is easy to make an offense."

    The group to which you refer as "extremist zealots" were/are Doukhobors, or at the very least, Sons of Freedom Doukhobors. Your attempt to rewrite history is futile - the evidence is vast and available to all.

    In the meantime, all your effort serves to accomplish is fulminating hate and offending sensibilities. In the name of decency and accuracy, you would be wise to look within.

  2. "Physician, heal thyself" indeed. The Sons of Freedom, through notoriety and publicity, presented a separate set of values than the original Doukhobor movement. The gullible press guided the more gullible public into a state of confusion regarding these two groups, painting the entire movement with the broad brush of nudism, terrorism and anarchy. This was a disservice to the law abiding Doukhobors who suffered unwarranted prejudice and led to discrimination by the Canadian public, which had originally greeted them with open arms.
    These actions were unjustifiable and indefensible, in view of Doukhobor pacifist doctrine.

  3. The factually correct and morally inoffensive term is Sons of Freedom Douhobors.

    Judging from your comments, you're either gullible or nefarious in your discriminatory revising of history.