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RCMP Report on Doukhobor Conditions, April 11, 1925

“E” Division.
H.Q. Ref:
D. 1 J-2.
B.C. District
Ref. No.
25-100 P-2.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

West Kootenay
Sub-District Office.
Penticton, B.C., March 17th, 1925


Acting on instructions received from the Officer Commanding West Kootenay Sub-District I left Penticton on the morning of the 11th instant and proceeded to Grand Forks, B.C., to investigate the conditions in the Doukhobor community there, and beg to submit the following report.

The Community of Doukhobors, as a whole, are not law abiding, they refuse to register deaths, births, and marriages as required by the Vital Statistics Atc; they also refuse to send their children to school, and if any of the Colony are arrested for breaking the Law, they resort to parades and demonstrations. As a class the Doukhobors are petty thieves and to a certain degree immortal. They have made threats to continue burning schols with the result that the City of Grand Forks has been compelled to place night watchmen on their Public and High School Buildings.

At Brilliant, B.C., the next largest Community in British Columbia, the same conditions exist, as also in the Trail and Crescent Valley Districts.

There has been a division of the Community lately, one going under the name of “Peter Lordly’s Community of Universal Brotherhood” - this faction at the present is about 500 strong, the leaders being, Anastasia Holubova, (woman) Larion W. Verigin and W.W. Lazaroff - these latter two are known to have been grafters when holding positions of authority in the Community under Peter Verigin, and were rank violaters of the Doukhobor laws i.e. towards eating meat, drinking intoxicants and smoking. At present they give this as their reason for separating from the Community, claiming that the new leader Peter Verigin, Junior, does not keep these laws. Anastasia Holubova is quite disappointed at not being elected to the leadership of the Community at the death of Peter Verigin and this, no doubt, accounts for her attitute in the matter.

The old Community are carrying on under the same name i.e. The Christian Community Of Universal Brotherhood, with J.P.Shukin as leader at present. According to their statements they have 825 men, from 18 to 55 years of age, and they propose to send these men out to work outside of the Community in order to earn money to pay debts, such as taxes, etc. - while 400 older men and boys, from 15 to 18 years of age, stay home and do the Colony work - the women and girls to pick fruit and work the Jam Factory at Brilliant.

From my knowledge of the Doukhobors, while living at Grand Forks for 5 years and travelling regularly through the settlements at Brilliant, Trail and Crescent Valley, I am of the opinion that the death of Peter Verigin, late leader, has been a severe blow to them and they seem to be lost in trying to carry on their own business; if some strong man in their midst does not soon get them under constrol their will be more divisons, with several faction leaders, which will, no doubt, result in serious trouble regarding the division of the various properties.


From my observations on this trip I would say that there is more trouble and discontent at Grand Forks than at the other places, owing to the fact that the Authorities are insiting that all the chidlren be sent to school.

Inspector Dunwoody, Provincial Police, who was at Grand Forks while I was there, had several officers with him; he informed me that he was awaiting instructions from Victoria as to what action was to be taken to compell the Doukhobors to obey the Laws.

(signed) G.O. Reid
Reg. No. 6556.

The Officier COmmanding R.C.M.Police,B.C. District,
Vancouver, B.C.
Sir :- Forwarded, with reference to your instructions of the 7th instant.

(signed) R.L. CADIZ. Insp. Commdg. West Kootenay Sub-District.

Penticton, B.C.

Ottawa, Ont.

Sir: - Fowarded.

Vide my forwarding minute of the 7th. instant. The pamphlet which I attach has not been translated but is, doubtless, a religious tract as No. 605 Province Building, Vancouver, is occupied by the Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.

Since I instructed the Officer Commanding West Kootenay Sub/District to investigate conditions amongst the Doukhobors in British Columbia, there has appeared in the “Vancouver Sunday Province:” a series of articles on the situation; two of these articles are attached hereto - the third and concluding one will be forwarded to you when published.

(signed) R.S. Knight)
Assistant Commissioner
Commanding B.C. District.

Vancouver :
19-3-25. (Attachments)

Source: Library and Archives Canada, Doukhobors Conditions General British Columbia, RG 18 Vol 3313 File 1925 - 1131 - E - 1, G.O. Reid., R.L. Cadiz., R.S. Knight, RCMP Report on Doukhobor Conditions, March 17, 1925, March 17, 1925.

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