The Pilgrimage of Malcolm Muggeridgernby Sally S. WrightrnIn the second segment of the several-part BBC documentaryrnon his life, Malcolm Muggeridge smoothed his white featheryrnhair away from his cherubic face, smiled cryptically, andrnsaid in his deep, rolling, gentle English voice, “There’s nothingrnin this world more instinctively abhorrent to me than findingrnmyself in agreement with my fellow humans.” And certainly,rnfor 65 years, he prodded, provoked, amused, and altered Britishrnconsciousness as a journalist, author, and television commentatorrnwho mocked the posturings of modern life. From therntime he was a little child, he wanted to work with words, andrnhe was best known for his wit and satire, for lines like, “IfrnHitler had treated dogs the way he treated the Jews, the Britishrnpeople would have clamored for war two years earlier.” Yet hernwas more than a social critic and irreverent humorist who pinpointedrnthe pitfalls of human institutions. By the time herndied in November 1990, Malcolm Muggeridge had becomernthe most widely read Christian apologist since C. S. Lewis—rnmuch to the disgust of his peers in the press, who had been irritatedrnwith him since he first rejected his family faith.rnFor Malcolm had been raised to be a Socialist activist by arnquixotic father he dearly loved. And as a fourteen-year-oldrnboy, in 1917, Malcolm was so taken with the Russian Revolutionrnhe decided he would one day move to Russia. In 1932, hernwas sent there as a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian,rnand there he and his wife, Kitty, planned to renounce theirrnBritish citizenship and to take up residence in the “peoples’rnparadise.”rnWhat he saw of censorship and oppression in Stalin’srnregime, however, depressed him. And he grew to hate thernSoviet system, especially after slipping Moscow security (unlikernSally S. Wright writes from Bowling Green, Ohio.rnany other Western correspondent at the time) and traveling byrntrain through the Ukraine and the Caucasus. There, whilernAmerican and British journalists in and out of Russia wroternabout the startling agricultural success of Soviet communism,rnMuggeridge saw the barren land, the deserted villages, thernpeasants with hollow eyes and emaciated bodies, “their handsrntied behind their backs, being driven into cattle trucks at gunrnpoint,” as forced collectivization (using the Red Army backedrnby air cover) slaughtered ten million Ukrainians and destroyedrnthe breadbasket of Russia. There Muggeridge also saw religiousrnpersecution (orders disbanded, their possessions stolen,rnmany of their priests shot). He wrote about such things inrnthree articles on the Ukraine and the Caucasus, which hernsmuggled out in diplomatic pouches. The leftist Guardianrnreluctantly printed them, though they censored the articlesrnand criticized Muggeridge, prompting him to resign. Whenrnhe returned to England, he found himself attacked in one periodicalrnafter another for “lying” about Stalinist Russia. Inrnthe next few years, he could hardly find a publisher for hisrnwork.rnAdversity is usually the way spiritual lessons are taught, andrnMuggeridge was paying attention. He had learned in the SovietrnUnion that heaven will never be built on earth, that no humanrnsystem can provide justice and peace and plenty, andrnthat mankind will not grow better and finer on its own. Muggeridgernsaw that it is our values, not our production processesrnand social arrangements, that make life bearable or worth living.rnFor he had watched his wife on the verge of death by typhoidrnin the Soviet Union, and he had seen starving peasantsrnin a church in Kiev worshiping with faces “transformed byrnsuffering,” which spoke to him of something greater thanrnbread or starvation. He had also seen, by 1936, the in-rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn