Amazing! Rich Russians Gave up Money and Moved to Siberia to Live Like Their Ancestors!

I. Wealthy Russians Gave Up Money;
II. Living Without Money All Around the Planet;

I.1. Thousands of rich Russians gave up their wealth and moved to Siberia

Scared of mankind’s dependence for money, they closed their accounts and chose living without currency, just like our ancestors used to.

There are hundreds of villages in Russia where people chose living without money, far away from what we call ‘modern civilization’. One of these villages is called Aleksandrovka. A team of Romanian journalists spent several days with the former rich people, in the Aleksandrovka village.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything about this in the US media, so I will translate the important parts of this small video report:

(Video now missing)

00:37 – David is 12 years old and his sister, Danila, is 7. They don’t go to school and probably they never will. Twice a year they go to the neighboring village to take their exams. (…) Their parents chose this life 1 year ago, when they moved to Siberia. Here, the time ‘flows’ endlessly.

01:00 – One needs luck to find the road towards Aleksandrovka. For our journalists, the road leads to an unpredictable adventure, but for Konstantin (one of the passengers) is the road to a future routine. In a few months he will also be a ‘man of the deserts’. Ironically, he chose to come here because he felt deserted inside.

01:49 – Konstantin: “This is the road to my happiness. I want to change the world for the better. I do this for myself, in the first place, but I also want to show to the others that something like this is possible.”

He is just one of the thousands intellectuals and rich Russians who chose this life. Tired of crowded cities, a constant struggle for more money, pollution and the false wealth of the world, they sold their homes, closed their bank accounts and moved into the wilderness to live like their ancestors. There are over 200 villages in Russia, built by people like them. They are convinced that progress will soon turn against us and we will loose the battle.

02:35 – Konstantin: “Civilization, based on the current technological progress, will eventually destroy mankind.”

02:53 – This is the Aleksandrovka village, suddenly reborn after 50 years. Another irony … in the past people used to live here, but moved to the major cities lured by the mirage of ‘civilization’. Misha Funici remembers those times very well…he never left.

Reporter: “Is it a good thing that new people came to live here?”
Misha F.: “I think it’s very hard for them. They came down from the top floors, emerging from their concrete dens, and now they are trying to assimilate the infinite.”

03:49 – “Thinking how should I begin my new life here (laughing), the first thing that came into my mind was the yurt (a tent with wooden floor). When we were living in the apartment, each child had his own room, building his own world. But only after living in the same, round, space one begins to understand what it really means to be a family.”

He could have built for his family a bigger, stronger house. But he chose a yurt, considering that only this way he can become what he always wanted: a man perfected by the earth and the nature. He is half German and half Russian. He worked as an international manager. He was rich and lived many years in the West (USA maybe?) before moving here, in Siberia.

– “I was earning a lot. So much that I could afford charity. Of course, I also had a big bank account. But, what for?”

He took his wife and two children, and together they moved away from everything that was standing in the way of their happiness. Now, all four of them are living in a single room and for them, it is a beautiful dream.

Even though David and Danila don’t go to school, they receive plenty education. In Aleksandrovka everyone received higher education.

David: “Other children envy us. They say: ‘How fortunate of you! You don’t have to go to school and you can stay home all day long! This means you have a permanent vacation.’

Father: “A lot of people don’t understand us and that’s why they fear us. Some think we are a religious cult, but they don’t know what god we worship. (smiling) Others think we may be a terrorist organisation. (smiling) That’s how far their imagination reaches. But we learned to detach from all this. (smiling)”

06:13 – They eat simple Russian recipes, made only from their own grown food: carrots, cabbages, potatoes, cooked on wooden fire.

Father: “Eating is already a ritual to us.”

They don’t have electricity but they have installed a small electrical panel that is helpful in the evenings. They also don’t have running water. They bath in river, both during summer and winter. They strengthen their bodies just like their ancestors used to, by pouring buckets of freezing-cold water on their naked bodies.

06:43 – Iulia (another villager): “Good health!”

Iulia’s husband was the first villager to come here. They moved here 5 years ago because he could no longer handle the stress of his job.

Serghei: “I had a common life in a big city. I was working all day long. Then I’ve heard of this phenomenon, that people choose to live far from civilization with their families. I begun searching for people who think the same as I do and I’ve discovered that they are a lot.”

He never regretted the choice to move here.

08:20 – Iulia gave birth at home to Iaroslav. He is a very healthy 1,5 years old boy and never had or will have a jjab. Iulia and Serghei have their own way of keeping their child healthy.

Serghei: “We are hardening the child every morning with cold water.”
Iulia :”When he was younger, he always went outside with his bare little feet. It was hard to make him accept the boots. (laughing)”

Their biggest dream is for humanity never to need money again. They call money a ‘pagan idol’ and advise everyone to deny them.

Alexei (‘outsider’): “Half of the houses you see here, were not here last summer. In one year, I think, this area will be filled with houses.”

09:16 – Simeon is now building his own yurt. He was the sales manager in Russia for two of the biggest companies in the world, specialized in Coffee and Beer. He had enough!

Simeon: “Every company’s policy (Russian or Western) is specially designed so that the employees fully commit themselves to the job and not having time for their personal lives. Actually, they are not even allowed to dream anymore.”

He comes here more and more often, ‘to become one with the land’, he says. He is getting ready for a new life: without money, without a career and without technology. Only him and his family, living in absolute freedom.

Simeon: “I want to educate my children, alone. I want them to grow healthy and happy. Of course, I also want to be happy myself and to make happy only one woman, my wife. (smiling)”

10:15 – For Konstantin, also known as “The Shaman”, living in the wilderness is not only a lifestyle, but a way to spirituality as well.

The Shaman: “We are heading back to the source. We are studying all the natural phenomenons and trying to reconnect to our ancestors. We have to respect the planet and then no more negative things will happen to humans.”

He is also the ‘medicine man’ of the community, healing the few patients he has with prayers and herbs. This is the only medical treatment that the people accept and Konstantin is good at it.

In the sauna they are healing the old spiritual traumas. This is a spiritual and physical cleansing.

The Shaman: “You felt the extreme heat, now you must feel the extreme cold. This ‘contrast’ keeps you healthy.”

12:20 – Their lifestyle is impressive and we become ‘contaminated’ by it in the few days spent with them.

12:25Crew Member: “Wow! That was so cool!”

It’s a lifestyle that they wish for all of us to experience. Even though it will be a long road for some, I strongly believe that one day all of us will decide to… shut the door in civilization’s face! [1]

2. The Russian oligarch who gave it all up

A man who became Russia’s second official millionaire following the collapse of communism has abandoned his wealth to live as a peasant in a remote part of the country.

German Sterligov was only 24 when he founded the company in his own name, and, taking advantage of a lack of regulation, swiftly built a financial empire with offices in London and New York.

He later attempted to run for the Russian presidency, but lost to Vladimir Putin.

Sterligov and his family had to move 23 times in their first two years together, and his family was protected by an army of bodyguards.

“I used to have at least two bodyguards permanently protecting me and my children, but at one time their number reached 60,” Sterligov’s wife said in an interview. [3]

But now, 15 years after he made his first million, he has quit and opted to live a traditional peasant lifestyle deep in the Russian countryside with his wife and five children.

“My life has never been better – I still can’t believe I have such a full and interesting life,” he told BBC World.

I can hardly describe the state of mind we’re in, any more than you can describe the taste of ice cream. You have to taste it to know it.

The turkey chicks have just hatched – that’s our exciting bit of news right now. We have found happiness as a family – and I can still hardly believe we managed to escape Moscow, with all of its mercenary atmosphere, the envy and the hustle.

New capitalist

Mr Sterligov now lives in a small cottage, which he describes as “a Russian stove, windows, walls and a ceiling”.

In winter, the farm is only accessible by horse-drawn cart. The nearest house is 11km (seven miles) away. There is no electricity, and he is now trying to wean himself off the mobile phone.

“It was hard for my wife, she wasn’t used to the life of the peasant, she was used to the life of the millionaire. Now she is grateful, because my kids live a normal, real life. My family is definitely happier.”

Mr Sterligov’s children are educated at home, as he believes that allowing them to go to school would “just corrupt them”. They will not be allowed to attend university for the same reason.

“Universities are full of depravity – they would just pick up moral corruption there. So it’s out of the question,” he said.

“I don’t have any money left – all I have is the money in my pocket. And I have geese, some cattle, a ram, and now, my turkeys. We are almost totally self-sufficient.” [2 BBC News]

II. Living Without Money All Over the Planet

Can we do the same all over the planet? Actually, people are already doing it!

1. Mark Boyle: “I live without cash and I manage just fine.”

‘Armed’ with a caravan, solar laptop and toothpaste made from washed-up cuttlefish bones, Mark Boyle gave up using cash.

In six years of studying economics, not once did I hear the word “ecology”. So if it hadn’t have been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi in the final term of my degree, I’d probably have ended up earning a fine living in a very respectable job persuading Indian farmers to go GM, or something useful like that. The little chap in the loincloth taught me one huge lesson – to be the change I wanted to see in the world. Trouble was, I had no idea back then what that change was.

After managing a couple of organic food companies made me realise that even “ethical business” would never be quite enough, an afternoon’s philosophising with a mate changed everything. We were looking at the world’s issues – environmental destruction, sweatshops, factory farms, wars over resources – and wondering which of them we should dedicate our lives to. 

But I realised that I was looking at the world in the same way a western medical practitioner looks at a patient, seeing symptoms and wondering how to firefight them, without any thought for their root cause. So I decided instead to become a social homeopath, a pro-activist, and to investigate the root cause of these symptoms.

One of the critical causes of those symptoms is the fact we no longer have to see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect. The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the stuff we buy. The tool that has enabled this separation is money.

If we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t contaminate it.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up cash, which I initially decided to do for a year. I got myself a caravan, parked it up on an organic farm where I was volunteering and kitted it out to be off-grid. Cooking would now be outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove; mobile and laptop would be run off solar; I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode, and a compost loo for humanure.

Food was the next essential. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering, and using waste grub, of which there is loads. On my first day, I fed 150 people a three-course meal with waste and foraged food. Most of the year, though, I ate my own crops.

To get around, I had a bike and trailer, and the 34-mile commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it’s not double-quilted, but I quickly got used to it. For toothpaste I used washed-up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan.

What have I learned? That friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is of the spiritual kind. That independence is really interdependence. And that if you don’t own a plasma screen TV, people think you’re an extremist.

People often ask me what I miss about my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic jams. Bank statements. Utility bills.

Well, there was the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.

• Mark Boyle is the founder of The Freeconomy Community (www.JustForTheLoveOfIt.org). In a subsequent blog he responds to the comments below.

Mark’s Forum is also a pretty interesting to browse and if you want to start living without money, here should be your first stop: http://forum.justfortheloveofit.org

Since Mark’s lifestyle was first presented in the main stream media, the community around his trailer grew bigger and bigger each year.

Another interesting website about the possibility of living without being enslaved money: http://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney

Article from Guardian.co.uk, October 28, 2009 [5]

2. In fact, people are so attracted by the idea of living without money, that brought it to another level. They made a movie about it.

I had everything I needed, I had a house and I had raised two children. I gave it all away.”

The documentary “Living Without Money” portraits the life of 68 year old Heidemarie Schwermer, a German woman who made a deliberate choice to stop using money 14 years ago. She cancelled her apartment, gave away all of her belongings and kept nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. This was a decision that changed the entire outlook on her life dramatically.

Today, after 14 years, she is still living almost without money and claims she is feeling more free and independent than ever.  The film follows Heidemarie in her day to day life and shows the challenges she meets by living an alternative lifestyle. 

Living Without Money – trailer from Without Money on Vimeo.

For more information please visit the official website: http://livingwithoutmoney.org [4]

3. But if you are not ready for the big step just yet, then you may try living in a smaller home at first:

He can also do it just fine:

4. From the day we are born, until the day we die, humans accept money without asking once: 

What gives value to money and how are they created? If you want to understand how money are created, please watch this short video:

5. Can this be achieved on a global scale?

Jacque Fresco says YES! He spent his entire life designing the cities of the future, a new type of society and a money-less economy that he calls ‘resource based economy’.

If you want to know everything about this, please visit: http://www.thevenusproject.com

Regardless of what you or I think, the human specie is indeed going through significant changes that modify our perception about life. Our values are being constantly improved and people all over the planet understand that money are in fact nonexistent and we are the ones giving them value. 

Now it’s only up to us to take the right decision and embrace the awakening.

By Alexander Light, HumansAreFree.com; | Sources: [1] Antena 3; [2] BBC News; [3] WOW Biz; [4] Living Without Money; [5] Guardian UK;