Answer to Ron Criss comment on “Tolstoyans” Facebook page regarding Leo Tolstoy’s mistakes and admirations

Ron Criss wrote on 2017-07-25 on the “Tolstoyans” Facebook page:

“I should clarify that, as much as I admire Tolstoy, and as wise as he often was, he was just a man and often made mistakes. I don’t adhere to his ideas dogmatically. My own religion is a combination of Catholicism and Orthodoxy with hints of Tolstoyism and New Thought. For example his admiration of Lincoln and Muhammad overlooked their violent traits. Lincoln got more Americans killed in the Civil War than any other American war. It should have been solved diplomatically rather than imposing govrenment by force”.

Ron Criss – you are lying. With the false leadership over Leo Tolstoy’s “disciples”, you’re swinging people away from Tolstoy’s writings – bringing about the agenda that was run for hundred years already. But with this all-unstoppable awaking, you can’t win this battle anymore.

First of all, we’d appreciate your being specific – while claiming something like this, you need to provide the exact source (book name) and a page or chapter number so we all can make sure this is the truth and the words are not ripped out of context. Sounds fair enough?

Secondly, I’m stunned about what you were counting on while spreading the lies which are easy to disprove? In this computer age, having all works of Tolstoy at hand, do you think it’s difficult to make a full-text search to check your claims in few seconds?

Now let’s address each of your claim separately.

You said, “Tolstoy, and as wise as he often was, he was just a man and often made mistakes. I don’t adhere to his ideas dogmatically.”

With this statement, you’re exalting yourself and your opinion higher than Tolstoy. Explain, what makes your opinion more educated or more valid or trustworthy than of Tolstoy’s? Why exactly people should believe you instead?

To charge Tolstoy with “making mistakes“, and especially making mistakes “often” is equal to say he was ignorant egomaniac who would rush into forcing his opinions on others without checking out facts – just like you did in your statement above (although we know in your case you did the false allegations deliberately, of course).

To judge if these “making mistakes often” was indeed a malicious trend worth warning public about – let’s just recall time Tolstoy took to understand the Bible and translate the Four Gospels. By then he knew at least 15 languages. To get full objective understanding of the scripture, he read it in Greek while cross-checking with existing translations in English and German. Tolstoy found this wasn’t enough for him – and to make sure he doesn’t make ANY MISTAKES in understanding of the original, Tolstoy learnt Hebrew just over a winter for this purpose only.

I often find in his diaries, that before affirming his opinion, Tolstoy re-read sources several times.

In his Response to the Synod in Regards to Their Edict, Tolstoy wrote that,
before renouncing the Church, he devoted several years to the investigation of its theoretic and practical teachings. “For the theory, I read all I could about Church doctrine, and studied and critically analyzed dogmatic theology“.

There are many more example of how amazingly scrupulously Tolstoy approached any subject he put his mind to. We all may take example from him in this! So much for your “often made mistakes” allegation!

Now, Mr. Criss, what can YOU bring about from your background that would show your audience that your opinion is more worthy? As you pose yourself as an expert in Tolstoy’s works, tell everybody:

  • Which books of Tolstoy have you read? and
  • Did you read Tolstoy in the original, Russian, language? – so essential for perfect understanding of the works to a public person representing Tolstoy’s writing to others.

You said, “My own religion is a combination of Catholicism and Orthodoxy with hints of Tolstoyism and New Thought.”

Wow – what an explosive mix of religions you’ve got here – for every taste, for every human division! Do you really think by bringing up this extended list you’ve outsmarted all?

Let’s look at your ingredients:

  • “Catholicism and Orthodoxy”
    As these two brainwashing establishments that have completely discredited themselves by now, so I’ll be brief here and only want to ask you – instead of sprinkling out the names, better explain what morals you hold on to!
  • “with hints of Tolstoyism”
    Oh, here’s something new to me – what kind of thing the “Tolstoyism” is? I am only aware of this describing the process of shielding Tolstoy’s writings from all people.

    Tolstoy has never created a “Tolstoyism”. On the contrary, he has brought to the awareness of all people that understanding of Universal Truth which was communicated by many greatest people throughout the history, including Socrates, Christ, which we ourselves felt as well.

    In his diary on November 23 1888, Tolstoy wrote: “A young lady came asking what she should do to be worthy… What a false question. The great tragedy from which millions of people suffer is not that they live wrongfully but that they live not according to their conscious but instead according to conscious of somebody else. They adopt somebody else’s system of beliefs as “higher” conscious. And, not being able to live according to the conscious alien to them, they live neither according somebody’s morals, nor their own morals, but instead without morals at all.” – I think this speak for itself about Tolstoy not enforcing his beliefs on others and certainly not creating any “Tolstoyism”.

  • “and New Thought.”
    So you’re directing those who are not persuaded by the above to the New Age Mysticism with their mass-hypnosis-oriented strategy via their audio tapes etc. and misleading people again from true God and morality?

    Richard Watring, in describing New Age mysticism used in training sessions for business, wrote: “very few people know that the use of affirmation, suggestology, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), some forms of guided imagery, est and est-type human potential seminars employ the same dynamics as hypnosis.” See more on the topic of Mass Hypnosis, applied nowadays every day, in our post with video “Trancework 3 – Hypnosis in Unexpected Places“.

You wrote, “For example his admiration of Lincoln and Muhammad overlooked their violent traits. Lincoln got more Americans killed in the Civil War than any other American war. It should have been solved diplomatically rather than imposing government by force”

I’m reading Tolstoy every day and by now have completed 127 books on my Kindle. I’m also half way through his diaries. Not only I’ve never encountered Tolstoy’s “admiration” or even mentioning of Lincoln so far, but my full-text search through Full Collection of Tolstoy’s works have returned no instances of Lincoln mentioning there at all.

Even logically, anyone familiar with Tolstoy writing understands that Tolstoy has strongly adhered to non-resistance principles and opposed any wars (including the one Lincoln has made).

What I do remember though is Tolstoy’s high approval for William Lloyd Garrison’s life mission, the Great Liberator, primarily thanks to whom the slavery in USA was ended, – Garrison who dedicated his life propagating world-wide ideas of equality of all people and fighting atrocities using Christ’s teaching of nonresistance. There’s an excellent thought-provoking book “A short biography of William Lloyd Garrison” by Chertkov with an introduction by Lev Tolstoy – a must-read for Americans to remember their real hero (memory of whom is sadly fading – due to special efforts of Elites to make sure Garrison is not popular, just like they did with Tolstoy) – this book can be downloaded from our blog.

Finally, your claim about Tolstoy’s “admiration of Muhammad”

This is easy to debunk with the following facts speaking volumes about Tolstoy’s educated opinion in regards to all world religions.

In his diary on January 13, 1889, Tolstoy wrote: “The deliberate deception, which is a part of every popular religion, miracles, is in Mohammad and Paul. It wasn’t in Christ – it was lied upon him – starting from Pharisee Paul (Saul) came up with this idea of Christ’s resurrection as God, – without this story it wouldn’t make it into the religion…”

To know more about Tolstoy and what religion/spiritual values he held, it’s enough to read his famous “Letter to Synod“. In 1897, Leo Tolstoy summarized
Five Tricks of Religious Deception, which is the Chapter 35 of his wonderful book “The Christian Teaching“.

In his diary in 1909, Tolstoy wrote: “I don’t want to be a Christian, just as I wouldn’t advise to join anybody and wouldn’t want the existence itself of Brahmanists, Buddhists, Confucians, Taoists, Mohammedanists, and other religions. Each of us, in our own faiths, must find what’s common for all. So that, by refusing to believe in that exclusive what separates us, hold on to what we have in common.” And “Truth is the only that which is the same for all people.

And just like Lev Tolstoy, we love TRUTH more than anything in the world!

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