By October of 1902, the 'believers' grew in numbers from over a thousand to seventeen hundred and these fanatics abandoned their homes and villages, and began a trek to Yorkton, trying to convert those they met along the way.
Once reaching Yorkton, the officials (who had trouble understanding this phenomena, or any of the fanatic's discontent), with the help of the police, rounded them up and within a week, transferred most of the zealots back towards their villages. Within this group of fanatics were a few who would later become known as the founders of the Sons of Freedom.
Throughout all this, the Doukhobors were increasingly pressured by the government to sign individually for their lands. As long as Clifford Sifton remained the Minister of the Interior, it appeared that he was their only ally however even Sifton was under pressure and had told the Doukhobors that although they could live and farm communally, they would inevitably have to register individual entries for their lands.