When Kourdakov was writing his book he used many contrasts to show the differences in his life and in his work. One of the contrasts we see in his book is between his communist meetings and Sunday afternoons. At communist meetings they made plans about their next raid of the Christians that were living in the Soviet Union. They really hated the Christians and believed that they were the enemies of the Communist party. They called the Christians “believers”. They enjoyed persecuting the believers and would sometimes celebrate after a successful raid by spending all their money on vodka. These meetings happened extremely often. They did not really have any days off of work being a part of the KGB. Sundays were the exception. Most Sundays were free days and Kourdakov enjoyed those off days. One specific Sunday, Kourdakov’s boss told him about a raid that was going to be happening in the woods. Kourdakov took his men and went early to try to enjoy what was left of their usual off day. They hung out in the woods until it was time to begin the raid.
Another contrast Kourdakov discussed in his book was his public and private life. His private life involved his work with the secret police or KGB. Kourdakov’s boss told him to keep the police work that they do (specifically persecuting the Believers) secret because if the public knew what they were doing, than the public might revolt against them. In contrast to his private life was his public life. His public life mostly involved drinking vodka with his friends. As I mentioned before, he drank vodka with his cadets every time they completed a raid, but this was not the only time he enjoyed drinking. His cadets were his family because his father and mother died, his brother left him, and he was raised in several different orphanages. He did mostly everything with his cadets. No one else knew of his secret job and no one suspected him of any wrongdoing. But we would not have known this if he had not contrasted his public and private life.
Another thing he contrasted was the leaders of the USSR and the leaders of the Believers. The men and women who worked in the USSR were evil! They enjoyed hurting people. It did not matter if the person was a Believer, or a Russian, or anyone else. They were extremely ruthless and showed absolutely no mercy. The leaders of the KGB or the USSR were liars and were quite deceptive. They cared more about controlling religion than about actual crime that was going on in their country. The leaders of the Believers were the opposite of the KGB in almost every way possible. They showed love to anyone who came through their door, even if it was a KGB agent. One even tried to preach to Kourdakov’s boss when he was being interrogated by the KGB! Contrasts make reading and writing more interesting because it shows both extremes in a story.