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Conflict And Struggle

The Doukhobors Again
Borden Correspondent Says
They Threaten To Steal Flax Crop

Saskatoon Phoenix
August 22, 1906. p.5

Borden, Aug. 16. Squatters on Doukhobor land in this neighborhood are receiving a new object lesson in ethics by King Doukhobor. Whatever may be the moral offence of squatting on unimproved land that though the occupier neglects or refuses to cultivate, no one can question the validity of the old fashioned doctrine that "He who sows shall reap."

According to the Doukhobor theory, however, this doctrine needs revising to read "He who reaps need not sow;" that all a Doukhobor needs do is to wait until a man more industrious than himself has prepared and seeded the land, and then when the harvest comes along, walk coolly in, cut the crop and take it away.

This revelation of the true character of the Doukhobors must do much to dispel the widespread illusion that the Doukhobors are actuated by a higher moral principle and have a more delicate nature than most people.

The squatter in question had put in a crop of wheat, oats, flax and potatoes. When the wheat was ready for cutting two Doukhobors ... put in and cut a round.

Of course, this led to an altercation in which they were ordered to stop, but as they insisted on cutting they were warned that if they cut the wheat the squatter would take it away.

As nightfall approached there was a scene of unusual activity around that farm for neighbors and friends with their teams crowded into load up the grain and removed it to safer quarters, and when early next day the Doukobors came down to complete their work of robbery, they found the field was bare. In their chagrin and rage the Doukhobors now declare their intention of bringing the North West Mounted Police on to the scene to enable them to thresh the grain and take it away.

Fancy a man being charged with stealing his own crop and being compelled to hand it over to the scrupulously virtuous Doukhobors.

The flax of which there was some twenty odd acres is not yet quite ready but the Doukhobors are watching the crop daily with hungry eyes, resolved that no amount of opposition arrayed against them shall prevent them stealing a $300 crop.

As they are too conscientious to do anything without religious sanction, no doubt St. Peter has for their special purpose suspended for the time being the operation of the sixth commandment. Other people of a more profane, worldly - minded character may perhaps be excused if they look upon such action with abhorance and insist upon the authorities the necessity of impressing upon these people that they cannot be allowed to violate the claims of the moral law as easily as they resisted the obligations of Canadian citizenship.