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From information contained in Antireligioznik, official organ of the Union of Militant Godless of the U.S.S.R., there is now no doubt of the close relations between the forthcoming Anti God Congress in London, in September, the World Union of Freethinkers, and the Moscow Union of Militant Godless.
The following facts are admitted by Antireligioznik: I. The Moscow Union is an organisation for anti-religious propaganda which educates its members in the spirit of Communism, and is active in the building up of a Communist society.
2. The Moscow Union is a section of the World Union of Freethinkers though political neutrality is said to be one of the conditions of association with the latter.
3. The World Union of Freethinkers are organising the London Congress, on the initiative of the British societies which are members of that Union.
Speaking of the Godless Congress at the Annual Conference of the Catholic Truth Society. Cardinal Hinsley, Archbishop of Westminster, made the following points:
1. " I do not believe that this Congress is simply an ordinary meeting of bourgeois Freethinkers."
2. The middle class Freethinkers and the proletarian Freethinkers, or militant Godless are now one.
3. The militant atheists are using the bourgeois Freethinkers in this country as a stalking horse, in order not to raise an alarm.
4. We Catholics are not going to give the Congress more importance than it deserves by too serious public opposition.
5. Many find their religious convictions outraged by the holding of this Congress. Religious leaders cannot be held responsible if opposition to the Congress should lead to civil disorder.
PURPOSE OF THE GODLESS UNION
From Our Russian Correspondent
Recently. Mr. Bradlaugh Bonner, Honorary Secretary of the Organising Committee of the World Union of Freethinkers' International Congress, wrote to the CA MOLIC HERALD (February 25) that the Congress to be held in London in September was proposed by four British societies and that " the principle of political neutrality, which is one of the conditions of association of the World Union (of Freethinkers) is strictly adhered to."
In a subsequent letter of Apnil 1, Mr. Bradlaugh Bonner denied that this World Union is " the product of the work of Russian militant Atheism."
These statements have been answered by Pere Aymon Van Rooy, 0.P., who has made a special study of atheist propaganda in Belgium.
Your correspondent is now able to supplement his statements by data published in Antireligioznik, official organ of the Union of Militant Godless of the Not Anxious for a Show-down
As is the case with all organisations working under Moscow's control, the Union of Militant Godless is not anxious to show its cards.
However, there is no question as to the close relations between the forthcoming London Congress, the World Union of Freethinkers. and the Moscow Union of Militant Godless.
The relation of the World Union of Freethinkers to the Moscow Union of Militant Godless is explained by Antireligioznik in its issue of March, 1938.
11 publishes a draft of the new Statute of the Union of Godless approved by the IVth plenary meeting of the central bureau of the Union. Here is paragraph 1 in full:
" The Fitton of Militant Godless of the U.S.S.R. is a voluntary social mass-organisation actively availing itself of the freedom of anti-religions propaganda guaranteed by Article 1!4 of the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. in order completely ID f■tuancipate believers from the reactionary influence of religion and religious organisations.
" The 'Union of Militant Godless educates its members in the spirit of CO2.11YOUllisttl, patiently' explaining to such workers, as have not yet severed their ties with religion, the harm of religious prejudice. and helps them to elaborate a Marxist-Leninist materialist outlook. Together with other social organisations of the Soviet -Union this union of Militant Godless actively participates in the building up of a Communist society.
" Th, nion of Militavt Godiess of the r.S.S.R, represents a serthrn of the World nt Freethinkers."
The Tail Wags the Dog
This plain declaration reveals the true relation between the Moscow Godless and the organisers of the London Congress. As the Moscow Union is a " section " of the World Union of Freethinkers, so the Communist Party of the US.S.R., like all other national parties, is but a "section " of the Komintern, this however, does not prevent the tail from wagging the dog. It is a feature of all organisations in relation with Moscow that the part is bigger than the whole. and there is not the slightest doubt that in the World Union of Freethinkers the Moscow " section " will play the first fiddle.
Preparation for the London Congress
But it is also the World Union of Freethinkers which is organising the London Congress.
Antireligioznik for February, 1938, reports the meeting of the executive committee of the World Union of Freethinkers in Brussels (January 15-16), the object of which was to make the final preparations for the forthcoming Congress.
It was stated at the meeting that the Soviet Union is sending a delegation with some " eminent scientists."
Finally the paper declares that " in answer to slanderous attacks in the Fascist and clerical press against the London Congress, the executive committee unanimously decided to issue a declaration to the press showing that the Congress is being convened in London upon the initiative of certain British organisations of freethinkers and works on a basis of strict neutrality in respect of political parties." Thus it is clear that the Congress is being organised by the World Union of Freethinkers, the only international organisation in touch with the Moscow Union of Militant Godless.
The latter, which educates its members in the spirit of Communism, and " actively participates in the building up of a Cornmunist society," are sending a delegation to London.
The Congress is being convened in London on the initiative of four British societies which are affiliated to the World Union of Freethinkers, of which the Moscow Communistic Militant Godless is one section.