Spirited differences: Doukhobor sectarianism, Freedomite terrorism and government policy.




Bondoreff, Andrei

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This thesis braids ethnography with political analysis to explore the nature, scope and breadth of Doukhobor sectarianism in order to illuminate the nuances of difference within the Doukhobor community. A major focus of this study is the development and functioning of the Sons of Freedom (Freedomite) branch's terrorism and its effects on the Orthodox and Independent branches as well as majoritarian society, particularly in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Another important area of discussion concerns the formulation and application of government policy to Freedomite violence and its effects. Finally, the thesis seeks to isolate the complex factors that brought the violence to an end by focusing on three significant historical events: the violent Freedomite attack on a Saskatchewan Independent leader's home in 1936; the BC government's New Denver forced schooling program (1953-1959); and finally, the trial of Orthodox Doukhobor leader John Verigin in 1979. Ultimately, this work offers ideas and approaches for understanding other sectarian conflicts defined by terrorism.



Dukhobors, Sons of Freedom