Open Letter of Vladimir Megre
Keep hold of the vision!
I believe it is necessary to discuss whether settlements consisting of kin domains (family homesteads) can be termed "eco-settlements"? We return to this question because to continue the continuous actions of certain forces resolve at all costs to rename Kin Domain Settlements "eco-settlements". This occurs partly from misunderstandings about the people who initiate Kin Domain (Family Homestead) settlements, and a lack of awareness that the collocation "Kin Domain settlement" (or "Family Homestead settlement") refers to something else completely, with an independent, self-contained meaning. I use the phrase 'certain forces', but I will also specify what these forces are when it is appropriate. It is also important to understand why it is necessary to do so. Kin Domain settlements and eco-settlements are two different things which have nothing in common with one another.
Let us start by examining the features of what is known as an "eco-settlement". We can do this by looking at how Russian and English language websites describe eco-settlements. Take this excerpt, for example: "It is believed that eco-settlements were started by hippies in the early 60s. They moved away from populated areas, meditated, sang songs and planted carrots"¹. Therefore, by calling eco-settlements 'Kin Domain (Family Homestead) settlements', we are agreeing that they have their roots in the 60s hippy movement.
Let us look further.
Here's another internet article which cites the 10 most influential eco-settlements in the world. At number one is Auroville². I discuss this eco-settlement n my fifth book, "Who are We?" in the chapter entitled "The Auroville Dream". I will recap the main points here.
The founder of the eco-settlement, Miira Alfassa (commonly known as "The Mother"), was alloted land and money for the project by the Indian Government (although members of the eco-settlement were not given land or property.) The land was alloted in 1968 with the intention of amassing up to 50 thousand settlers, however, at the time of writing the population of the settlement is about 2000. As we can see, the eco-settlement never successfully developed, despite the many advertisements and speeches about the spirituality of the place. Because Auroville failed to develop effectively, it failed to amass followers. By contrast, in 2001 over 400 settlements approaching 37,000 family residents came into being in Russia. See the difference? And yet the leader of Auroville was handed free money and land (as were, incidentally, several other so-called eco-settlements). What is more, Auroville had been established for considerably longer than the Russian settlements. In other words, the eco-settlement movements of the world do not develop. If we start calling the founders of Kin Domain settlements in Russia and other countries founders of eco-settlements, we can imagine getting reports of the same unstable developments in these settlements as is experienced by eco-settlements around the globe. And, as you can probably imagine, this initiative didn't come from Russia, but the west. You can read more on the topic in a pretty good article called "What to initiate - a Kin Domain (Family Homestead) Settlement or an Eco-settlement?"³.
Many readers of the "Ringing Cedars" book series understand the difference between the phenomenon known as an eco-settlement and that which is depicted by the phrase "Kin Domain (Family Homestead) settlement". Sadly, not everyone does. Let's imagine a situation: What happens when someone who hasn't read Megre's books says something like, "Around 400 eco-settlements have already been established in Russia!" That person then searches the word 'eco-settlement' on the internet and finds the top-10, with Auroville in first place. And if she wants to know more about the eco-settlement movement, where does she turn? Exactly. She goes to Auroville. And so, if we call our Kin Domain setllements 'eco-settlements', we'll have to start emulating the Auroville experience, seeing as it's the number one eco-settlement in the world.
Now let us return to the framework of the Kin Domain settlement as described by Anastasia. At the heart of it is the word "rodovoe" ("kin" or "patrimonial") itself, with the root: rod
Rod (species/ race/ family).
Rodoslovnaya (ancestry/ family tree)
Rodnoe (home/ native).
It was precisely these connotations that inspired people to initiate Kin Domain settlements. It gave them the strength to imagine a beautiful future and bring it to life. It depicts an energy that raises us up on the spiritual plane. Man depends on that energy as a fundamental part of his being. Anyone is free to deny themselves this vision. However, if they do this, the energy will quietly depart from their lives. When a person finds herself without a spiritual core, she will fall apart, unless the vision for the future that she rejected is exchanged for another that is equal in strength. However, we don't witness this downfall in our Kin Domain settlements. Perhaps we are more aware of that energy that raised us up, and continues to raise us spiritually?
So, how to respond to the question "Are you an eco-settlement?" Let's resolve this together. I think you can say something like this: "We attentively and thoughtfully take care of the nature around us and, furthermore, we strive to improve the environment. However, we are not an eco-settlement, but a settlement that consists of family homesteads."
On the official Kin Domain settlement sites, it doesn't say anything about eco-settlements but, nevertheless, this term is used all over the internet to describe even my Kin Domain settlements. There's even a film with that title that thanks Anastasia and I in the credits: "warm thanks to Anastasia and Vladimir Megrе”.
In recent times, official sites have started to recognise the strength in the Russian settlement movement. For example, in one program about the development of the far East which was endorsed by the president of the Russian Federation, there is a section on 'Kin Domain (Family Homestead) settlements"⁴.
The "People's Front" launched a contest for the best ivision for the future of Russia.⁵ People talked about Kin Domain settlements in some of the clips⁶ filmed for the contest. Teachers and settlement founders held a conference at MSU (Moscow State University) titled: "International Scientific and Practical Conference on the 'Role and Conditions for the Development of "Kin Domain Settlements'".
We must understand and protect our vision. Not merely protect but understand its foundations!
View Kin Domain Settlements list https://vmegre.com/en/kin-domain/