Patriarch Aleksi rebuked believers "who take it upon themselves to judge their appointed shepherds". Such churches and priests were in various degrees of rebellion against the patriarchal church and the communist state, but they existed overtly and were not a "catacomb" church in any real sense. Between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s, considerable numbers of lay intellectuals participated in religious discussion groups, seminars, and prayer circles. Some of these were informal, spontaneous meetings. The experience also taught interconfessional cooperation in conditions of common adversity. There is some evidence that the inmates from the western lands - Poles, Ukrainians, and those from the Baltic states - were "more bold" than prisoners from the Soviet heartland in organizing worship. The True Orthodox Christians turned to lay pastors when the supply of underground priests dwindled, both in the 1930s and as the Khrushchev drive gained force in the late 1950s.