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The Nihilist Organisation.

letter from St. Petersburg says that people in Europe have no idea of the development and power of ihe Nihilist organisation. For instance, it is a mistake to believe it is a superficial movement, and that it has not taken deep root in the Russian nation. It is true that the chiefs come from the middle classes, and it is a significant fact that these men should discover no other means of obtaining liberty than that of force. A plan has been hit upon and already applied for a long time of propagating their doctrines among the masses, and more especially among the peasantry, under the very eyes of the police, without awakening suspicions. Their system is this : —None of their proselytising agents are allowed at first either to show that that they are skilled workmen or to profess to understand agricultural matters. Poorly clad, these men are sent to settle in out-of-the-way villages, to work away at their trade for years without giving the least hint as to what is the bent of their political principles. They are extremely diligent at work, and preach by word and example the greatest moderation, especially in respect to the use of intoxicating liquors, and usually marry in the place. It it only when they have thoroughly established their position, and gained a certain amount of influence over their neighbors that they begin slowly and unostentatiously to promulgate their doctrines. It is asserted that in this manner a net has been spread over the whole of the Russian Empire, the meshes of which are ever thickening, so that it is even now impossible to say how deeply this Nihilist organisation has taken root in the land, and how widespread is its development. Naturally the preference is given to those places far from any of the great thoroughfares and railways. The Nihilists, with prudent foresight, have chosen for their principal field of action those places which are the least liable to the supervision of the political agents of the Government. It is thus that silently this active revolutionary party proceeds with its development, wl ich sooner or later must end in an irresistible erruption. For the present it only produces spasmodic outbreaks, ending in high-handed and arbitrary repression, which only increases the evil instead of exterminating it. The Nihilists arrested already number tens of thousands.

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The Nihilist Organisation. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 19, 8 November 1879

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