Lenin is referring to the conference of the extended Editorial Board of "Proletary" held in Paris on June 8-17 (21-30), 1909, and attended by nine members of the Bolshevik Centre (elected by the Bolshevik group of the Fifth [London] Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1907), headed by Lenin, and by representatives of the St. Petersburg, Moscow regional and Urals organisations.
The meeting was called to discuss the conduct of the otzovists and ultimatumists. It dealt with the following questions: (1) otzovism and ultimatumism; (2) god-building tendencies among the Social-Democrats; (3) the attitude to Duma activities among other fields of Party work; (4) the tasks of the Bolsheviks in the Party; (5) the Party school being set up abroad (on Capri); (6) agitation for a Bolshevik congress or Bolshevik conference separate from the Party; (7) the breakaway of Comrade Maximov, and other questions.
In the chair was Lenin, who spoke on the main items of the agenda. Otzovism and ultimatumism at the meeting were represented and defended by A. Bogdanov (Maximov) and V. Shantser (Marat). Kamenev, Zinoviev, Rykov and Tomsky took a conciliatory stand.
The meeting condemned otzovism and ultimatumism as being "liquidationism inside out". The Capri "Party" school organised by the otzovists was declared to be "the centre of the breakaway faction". A. Bogdanov refused to accept the rulings of the extended editorial board of Proletary and was expelled from the Bolshevik organisation.
The meeting also condemned god-building and resolved to wage a determined struggle against it by exposing its anti-Marxist character. (See present edition, Vol. 15 "Conference of the Extended Editorial Board of Proletary".)
Ilyin -- a pseudonym of Lenin. His book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism. Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy appeared in 1909 under the pseudonym of VI. Ilyin.
God-builders -- a religious-philosophical trend hostile to Marxism, which arose during the period of Stolypin reaction among a section of the Party intellectuals who had broken with Marxism after the defeat of the 1905-07 Revolution. The "god-builders" (A. V. Lunacharsky, V. Bazarov, and others) advocated the creation of a new "socialist" religion, attempting to reconcile Marxism with religion. At one time Maxim Gorky was associated with them.
The reactionary character of god-building was exposed by Lenin in his book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, and in letters to Gorky during February-April 1908 [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's letters of February 7, 13, 25, March 24, April 16 and 19. -- DJR] and November-December 1913 [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's letter of November 13 as well as the undated letter written later that month. -- DJR].