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Extra info for A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies: Volume 1 of A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice, and the Believer
Bonch-Bruevich, that the education of the new Soviet man cannot be a spontaneous process. 'Propaganda "in the ranks of broad masses of all sorts of cultural, scientific, antireligious ... ' 5 Towards the end ofthis period it was decided to consolidate atheistic work centrally under the Agitation and Propaganda Department of the CP Central Committee (Agitprop for short, established in 1920), using the guidelines of Article 13 of the Russian Communist Party Programme, as it was then called (RCP for short), adopted by the 8th Party Congress, which stated: As far as religion is concerned, the RCP will not be satisfied by the decreed separation of Church and State [alone] ....
As always with Soviet official campaigns, first reports from the provinces were enthusiastic about the success of these parades with allegedly thousands of participants. But soon the truth emerged that they were a failure, that people were not eager to join cells of atheist activists attached to the Komsomol; for example, in the city of Smolensk with a population of 173 000 only 35 people joined them. At the same time they rallied the believers around the Church. The Church, not deprived of the right to organize Christian youth groups until the legislation of 1929, responded by organizing religious study circles, as well as women's church societies, choral societies, religious retreats, and other religious activities.
The vested interest of the rulers, spread in the form of different ideologies, serves to reinforce and gloss over the existing order of inequality and injustice. Religion, which according to Feuerbach and Marx emerged initially as an illusory escape from daily tragedies and frustrations, is to be treated, according to Marx, as a Utopian form of compensation and consolidation for the disappointments of life. It had been taken over, however, by the ruling classes, says Marx, and gradually turned into a tool for the intellectual and emotional control of the masses.