How much did Freemasonry influence Doukhobor theology?
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, on the Doukhobor Genealogy Website?
It is possible that Doukhobors could have been influenced a little by Russian Freemasons, very little.
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. As of now, I do not know of anything more than what was presented in 1999.
After the Russian scholar Dr. A. I. Klibanov — 'the elder of Soviet sectarianism' — died in 1994, Inikova was appointed to his position at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and continued his research of folk-Protestantism. In 1990, Inikova and I toured communities of Spiritual Christians in North America and produced 2 books about Doukhobors, both published in 1999. She never mentioned anything more about Masons that I recall.
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.
It was speculated that Russian Freemasons did influence some of the most zealous Spiritual Christian
Pryguny (Jumpers), and their offshoot tribes of Dukh-i-zhizniki in America. At least one Prygun immigrated to California as a Mason, and in the 1980s his grandson, John Spoldsoff continued the family tradition by being elected to Head Mason A link to that research conducted in the 1980s by Phillip and Ludmilla Efseaff, Oregon, USA, will be posted later.