Sergei Kourdakov wrote down in his autobiography that in the beginning of his book The Persecutor, he jumped off of a Russian boat into the ocean off the coast of Canada during a storm. How did he get into this situation and why would he ever jump off of a boat into the ocean? Here are some of the choices that led him to this failed assignment. He chose whether to join the Army or Navy, joining a crime syndicate or staying clean, and telling the truth about suicide or telling a lie. We will look at each of these in turn.

Kourdakov’s father and grandfather were both in the army, until they were worked to death at an enemy camp. Later in Sergei’s life, he wanted to go to either the army, or the navy. He talked it over with some other people. He asked them if he should go to the army. They all said no. They told him to stay away from the army. “It’s a hard life ” they said. “You come out of the army and you start as a factory worker. What kind of future is that?” Then he decided to talk with people who were actually in the navy at one point. He talked with them, and after hearing of their experiences in the navy, he decided to join the navy.

When Kourdakov was a teenager, he joined a crime syndicate. According to the dictionary, a crime syndicate is a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities. A crime syndicate is another word for mob or mobsters. A crime syndicate makes money by drug trafficking, arms smuggling, extortion (threatening people to get what you want), theft, and financial crime. Because of this joining of a crime syndicate, he did very well at being a KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti) agent (which he received the honor of later in his life).

When Kourdakov was in the military a fellow officer jumped off a three story building and died. Kordakov’s boss told him and other officers to spread the word that the officer who had just died was drunk and did not know what he was doing. Kourdakov knew him better. Kordakov tried to help the officer who had died, but instead of accepting Kourdakov’s help, he committed suicide (the act of killing oneself). Suicide is such a terrible thing. Instead of telling the truth and coming clean about the officer, he did what his boss told him and lied.

There were many turning points in Kourdakov’s life, including these, that led to him jumping off of a Russian boat in the ocean off the coast of Canada in the middle of a storm. I have not finished his autobiography, but I am interested in other turning points in his life, and where they will eventually lead him. So far, Kourdakov’s life decisions have led him down bad roads, but jumping off the Russian ship is a huge turning point, maybe his largest. Maybe this turning point will not only change his life, but also his decision making.