Thank you for following this thread into previously uncharted territory.
I personally lean more toward those more strict that the Spasovtsy, the Stanniki. I certainly am not interested in living life as the "mainstream" Bespopovtsy, as they compromise left and right.
I say that your use of the word "jaded" does not really address the issues.
The fact that Spasovtsy declined to engage in theological discussion (as you claim) shows that it would be very difficult to make such categorical conclusions as that of their not even re-baptising or their beliefs of salvation dependence.
Your comment shows an interest in the more strict Old Believers, something we both share, something which I hope others will share as well.
But it is not easy to really understand such people unless we live like them, something I am sure that both you and I are far from.
I am curious though, if you would take this conversation off this forum?
It might be helpful, as I am once again one step closer to being banned from yet another Internet forum.
I am asking you to email me privately, if you do not understand, it is in my profile here?
I'm a bit at a loss as to the need to take the discussion off the forum for a couple of reasons. It seems to me that the issue regarding you being warned, from what I read above, was in regard to interjecting discussion regarding the Old Believers into an unrelated thread and derailing the discussion there or, at least, taking it into a tangential direction (I also sense that this is not the first time it has happened).
It seems to me that the quick and easy solution to this is initiating a thread or threads particular to Old Believer bodies, beliefs, praxis, whatever, in an appropriate forum here (which has been done for you in the case at hand). At the same time, desisting from labeling our hosts here as "ungodly" or otherwise hurling anathemas at them would likewise go a long way toward avoiding rancorous exchanges that serve no valid purpose of discussion and would offer you the opportunity to dialogue, discuss, debate, and even educate others regarding Old Believer theology, praxis, etc. Doing so would seem more spiritually productive, all around, than engaging in argumentation for its own sake.
Back to the points you raised in your reply:
My use of "jaded" was not intended to be derogatory and was, perhaps, not the best choice of terms - it might have been more appropos to have phrased it "They considered liturgical ritual to be so inefficacious that they did not even re-baptize converts to their ranks (an almost universal practice among Old Believers - even many of the priestless bodies)."
My statement that the Spasovtsy declined to engage in theological discussion or disputation does not contradict my assertion that they declined to re-baptize or that they held salvation to be solely dependent on Christ's benevolence. It's a rare religious body, organized or unorganized, which is able to maintain ignorance outside its ranks of its theology or praxis, no matter how insular. So, concluding that such views would go unknown because they declined to discuss/dispute, etc., is not an inevitably valid conclusion. There are relatively few bodies among the multitude of Old Believer groups (or the even more numerous sects that broke from them or arose contemporaneously with them, but have no real relationship to them) of which "nothing" is known - despite the insularity and secretiveness of many such.
Frankly, the only ones that come immediately to my mind are the Mormonstvo (the - erroneously named - so-called "Russian Mormons"). A truly amusing illustration of their secretiveness arose from early encounters between representatives of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (the American Mormons) and the Mormonstvo. There was curiosity on both sides and Mormonstvo were interested in learning about the Americans’ beliefs and praxis; the curiousity was mutual, as the Americans were, at the time, convinced that they might have discovered long-lost brethren. A roadblock was encountered when CoJCoLDS members declined to share details of secret Temple ceremonies with their Russian "counterparts". The Russian response was to immediately invoke corresponding secrecy as to their own praxis - although, in fairness, it isn’t clear that such would have been revealed anyway, given that little to nothing was publicly known about them prior to this (as, for instance, in Russian literature on the body) - nor is much known to this day.
I do share an interest with you in the Old Believers, but mine is not limited to the "more strict" among them (as you term some). I am interested in the Popovtsy, the Begolopopovtsy, and the Bespopovtsy, as well as the Sekstanstvo (both the Dukhovnye Khristiane and Eretiki) and the unrelated contemporaneous movements that I've referenced. I do agree that there are limits to how well one can understand their beliefs without living among them, being one with them - something that I myself am probably further from than you could ever imagine - being a Byzantine Catholic of a Middle-Eastern Church. However, that does not mean that one cannot learn about them and achieve some level of understanding (or, in other cases, of absolute puzzlement) as to what they believed, why they believed it, and how they put those beliefs into praxis. To consider otherwise effectively denies man's ability to study, analyze, and draw conclusions - traits of intellect with which God has seen fit to endow us and, therefore, presumably wishes us to make use of, albeit some things will remain "mysteries" to us unless and until we attain a place in His Presence - and, perhaps, even then.
You indicate that your real interest lies in those "more strict" than the Spasovtsy, and specifically refer to the Stranniki. There are a dozen or so bodies that I would, collectively, term Beguni-Stranniki, but I'm not certain that all could be seen as "strict". In common, all were either itinerant and/or isolationist but, beyond that, there were significant differences in many regards.
A recurring phenomenon observed among many, but not all, Beguni-Stranniki were Domo Khristiane (House Christians), as differentiated from Doroga Khristiane (Road Christians). The former could be compared in some respects to the conductors who facilitated the Underground Railroad during the time of slavery in America. Certainly, there are some who would argue that the "comforts" these provided would detract from considering the Doroga Khristiane to be all that "strict".
Others engaged in such bizarre praxis that it is difficult to give serious consideration to their theology. The Dyrniki (Hole-Worshipers) and Gorizontski (Horizonists) both fall into this category, as do the Hlystohotniky (Christ-Hunters) and Pustinja Zhiteli (Desert-Dwellers).
I would offer that the likelihood for you to live the life of the Stranniki is not going to be a readily achieveable goal. While some few solitary itinerants are still out there, they are few and far between (there was a link several months back to one such holy man) and "organized bodies" of such are even harder to find, given mankind's seemingly insatiable need to push beyond known borders of civilization. The Lykov family, encountered by geologists in the taiga a quarter century ago, and three elderly women in an otherwise abandoned remote village in the Komi Republic in the Urals, found by census-takers some seven or eight years ago, gave proof to the continued existence of some remnant Skritniki (Hiders) - but reality is that such folk are almost extinct - the isolation alone will ultimately assure that.
Finally, I'd note that there is difficulty assessing the "strictness" of all such bodies, simply because the nature of their existence did not lend itself to a cohesive belief and praxis system. Many - the majority, from most accounts - undertook their religious "journies" (no pun intended) as solitaries. Frequently (and understandably), therefore, their beliefs and praxis were highly individualized - lacking a centralized, defining theology other than an underlying expectation that separation from things worldly was necessary to salvation.
While I do not mean to denigrate your beliefs and the expectations that you have of committing yourself to a "strictness" of Orthodoxy that you perceive necessary to your salvation, I think you must give consideration to the fact that pursuit of such as an individual is both difficult and perhaps even unattainable outside the confines of an organized belief system, whether it be "mainstream" Orthodoxy, Popovtsy, or Bespopovtsy.