The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

They Refuse Electricity and Pensions

On page 234, ff., the book linked below says that the Fugitives (Stranniki) refuse electricity, and it says that these stern Old Believers also refuse pensions.

Excerpts below are from this linked online preview:

Siberia, Siberia - 1997

Chapter 5 - The Gorno-Altay Region

Nikolay Karamzin, one of Russia’s most remarkable penetrators, demanded, “Give us feelings, not theory.”

Speaking of the Altay Mountains Aleksandr Novosyolov wrote, “I feel like praying to this grandeur, to this genuine beauty... The very best description would be nothing but lifeless words.”

...we can either add fire to our language or close our eyes.

...hydroelectric plants should not be built...they would do irreparable harm to the river and the region. Not that this required any special proof: wherever dams are put up and reservoirs swell, a river ceases to be a river and becomes a disfigured beast of burden with the life squeezed out of it. After that, the river contains no fish, no water, no beauty. Energy will begin to draw industry, industry will demand new energy, then more industry will move in, and so on until... its banks, and the land far around will simply vanish into thin air.

In 1791 the Fugitives were granted exemption from military service by Catherine.

Altaian Old Believers stood by their rules like rocks... They do not acknowledge radio or television, and with respect to television they certainly aren’t far from the truth in believing that the devil is the guiding force behind it... There are homes that refuse electricity and old folks who refuse pensions... Everything that exists in the common people, even in a portion of them, exists in us, too; we are the repositories of all their synods and schisms...

...One legend has it that a shepherd found a nugget of gold during a lean and difficult year and tried to trade it for food. But he couldn’t; such poverty prevailed that gold was viewed as an ordinary stone incapable of satisfying hunger...