August 1991, Putsch-time. Mikhail and Galina Rusinov
stand defiantly with thousands of other Russians in St. Petersburg and prepare
to die under the tracks of tanks. In Moscow, Boris Yeltsin stand defiantly
before the tanks as well, and in a great overturning of Russian authority, ousts
the “vacationing” Mikhail Gorbachev and with him seventy years of Communist
tyranny. “Thank God the
tanks did not advance,” Mikhail Rusinov remarks, “But, we had to do it.
We could not let totalitarian rule return.”
Such resolve speaks to the central message of this book.
Mikhail Rusinov is a co-founder of The Free Body Culture Society, a
remarkable social project with far-reaching implications for the “new”
Russia. Aligned with the
Green Party, they call themselves Holy Nature, and they have begun to gain
international recognition for their efforts to re-integrate the values and mores
of an ancient Russian culture (the Rus) into modern life.
Based in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), and long considered the
intellectual and cultural capital of Russia, the Free Body Culture Society has
grown to well over 700 members, with hundreds more joining in spontaneously on
sunny days at the clothes-optional beaches.
The Free Body Culture Society began quietly and secretly
among 20 or so people, including the current president, Kirill Vasiliev, in the
1970’s during the heart of government repression. Despite continuous government harassment, the group expanded
dramatically and, by 1983, formally elected Vasiliev. For eight more years, the group continued to attract new
members and to expand its activities, all the while under constant surveillance
and restraint by the police and the KGB.
In 1991, after the putsch, they were granted
official recognition by the newly liberalized regional government. With the
support of the local media, word spread and membership grew to the point now, on
a sunny June day at Finnish Beach, over 2,000 nude sun bathers can be found
participating with the “official” members of the society.
With growing numbers at the beaches and a rejuvenated connection St.
Petersburg naturists felt with their beaches, lakes and woods, an organized
effort to preserve their natural surroundings began and, in 1991, Kiril Vasiliev
and Mikhail Rusinov formed the St. Petersburg Green Party, known as Holy Nature.
Through his ability to translate Russian and English, along with his
extraordinary skills in internet communications, Rusinov and his associates have
created an international voice for this burgeoning new group.
Alerted to the Holy Nature website by an article written in
a U.S. naturist publication, I visited their remarkable homepage and immediately
contacted Mikhail. The result is
As modern communications create a world community, we have the exciting and critical ability to utilize the best in our diverse cultures and unload the unhealthy burdens from our stagnate closed community past. This book is our first publication toward achieving this goal. To Mikhail, Kiril, Uliana and all their colleagues and friends we say, Bnarogapio Bac !!
--Joshua Davidson, Publisher
Foreward Holy Nature Manifesto Introduction
A Day in the Russian Countryside A Naturist Wedding and Feast Children's Day Celebration
The Eve of Ivana Kupala Interview: M. Rusinov Interview: Alla
Suggested Reading Purchase the Book e-mail
Copyright© 1998 by Body & Mind Publications
Design: George Mattingly Design
Body & Mind Publications
Post Office Box 15701
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406