Textbook Notes (362,882)
Canada (158,081)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCB51H3 (15)
Joe Hermer (15)

The despicable crime of nudity.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Joe Hermer

The despicable crime of nudity  The sons of freedom sect represent the traditional ascetic wing of the Doukobor community in Canada who rejected accommodation with the state and sought to live according to the old ways in isolation from the rest of the Canadian society.  May 1 1932 arrested nude paraders from the sons of freedom sect of the doukbor community in BC and subsequent arrests later. By mid June, 600 adult protesters had been arrested charged with and convicted of public nudity and sentenced to the maximum penalty of three years in jail  The freedomite children many of whom had been taken into custody were removed from their homes and put into orphanages industrial school or fosterage at the coast and wanted to resocialize them to Canadian ways.  Nudity is an old form of both religious expression and protest against civic authority.  Ranters systematically proclaimed the right of natural man to behave naturally. In word and deed some of them deliberately flouted the inhibitions which the Puritan ethic was imposing. Millenarian groups from Ranter and quaker meets practiced nudity for theological conviction and community solidarity.  Doukhobors came to Canada in 1899 descendents of a group that had broken away from the Russian orthodox church in the 17 century and practiced pacifism and having little or no respect for ecclesiastic or secular authority and consequently had perseculars and exile into new frontiers.  Doukobor theology because god is immanent in every human being mutual respect and cooperation should be the guide principle of life. They developed a tradition of strong authoritarian and hereditary leadership and invested the leader with semidevine qualities. This was to provide the group with the direction to resist pressure from external forces.  In the early summer of 1903 a group of radicals marched in the nude on a proselytizing mission among the doukhobor villages in the vicinity of Yorkton Saskatchewan. One of them alex makhortov described their nakedness as a return to the simplicity. Some community members including verigin were irked by this behavior and chastised the marchers. On verigin’s orders they seized the women and children but failed to induce the male marchers to call of their pilgrimage. As the men approached the outshiks of Yorkton at this point fully clothes the rcmp stopped them and ordered them back to their villages. They stripped and proceeded into the town where several residents forcibly sought to dress them. For their pains the pilgrims were arrested and spent three months in the regina jail. The experience of being arrested and confined fed into the persecution complex that most doukhobors felt and that the radicals thrived on.  The pilgrims marching in the nude was a way of symbolizing humankind’s community with nature and the animals and a return to the simplicity of traditional doukhobor life. When the zealots began to appreciate the extreme reaction their conduct caused among the police and non-doukhobor residents realized this challenged authorities (ongoing for 2 decades). Authorities halted occasional prosecutions or committal of the individual to lunatic asylums.  In the 1920s charging doukhobor parents with breaches of the school act in early in 1923 upon their failure to pay fines enforcing the community regulations act by sending squads of BC provincial police onto doukhobor land to seize goods. In april resulting tension the zealots re-emerged and showed their resentment by displays of public nudity an attempted school burning and intrusion into school classes in the grand forks region.  Thus when Verigin advocated compliance with school attendance laws they understood his real desire was that children should be kept at home and educational institutions destroyed. Dur
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