Saturday, 23 May 2020

1933 Crossword: 'Doukhobor'

By 1933, so many newspaper reports about 'Doukhobors' had been published in California that one crossword creator decided to use this new word in a puzzle.

Daily crossword puzzle "Largest Deer", Santa Cruz Evening News, 31 March 1933, page 7

Answer next day

The word also appeared in educational newsprint 'fillers', to fill a small gap in text.

In most of North America (Canada, USA, Mexico), a new generation of readers was exposed to this 'strange' new word mistakenly and confusingly describing all kinds of 'Doukhobors' as one group with one 'king'.


Sometimes reporters confused the Canadian and American groups. Compare the news reports about 'Doukhobors' in Canada (above) to simultaneous news (below) of the mixed Spiritual Christians tribes from Russia in Los Angeles, all mislabeled 'Molokan'.

  • Kniga solnste, dukh i zhizn' (Book of the Sun, Spirit and Life) published. A preface was contributed by Dr. Young falsely claiming they were "Molokane" to hide their mystical ecstatic spiritual zealotry which has no origin in Molokan history.
  • A spiritual zealot places the new book on the altar tables of several congregations in Los Angeles as a 3rd Testament to the Russian Bible.
  • Most of the Spiritual Christian congregations from Russia in Southern California are coerced into using this new book, changing their rites, holidays, songs, prayers to those printed in the Dukh i zhizn', thus forming a new family of faiths best called Dukh-i-zhizniki.
  • Lover's suicide, Anna Prohoff, 18, and Pete Makshanoff, 21, drank insecticide.