During Stalinism, it happened several times that a command was given: hound artists, or hound engineers. Immediately, a huge campaign against the offending group would be unleashed. Crowds of earnest, overheated Joy Read and Rachel Maddow types would start foaming at the mouth, demanding that the artists or the engineers or the teachers of German should be imprisoned, destroyed, wiped off the face of the earth, etc. because they were evil Nazis.
And then. . . It would be announced that the campaign was a plot hatched up against innocent artists or German teachers by the real Nazis. The Joy Reads and the Rachel Maddows would be revealed as the Nazis and sent to the camps. The formerly condemned artists and engineers would be dragged back home from the camps and given promotions and prizes.
The point of the exercise was to identify those who were too eager to support the ideology. The too-eager types were considered as dangerous as open enemies. They were too stupid to be allowed to exist, and the sincerity of their belief was proof of their stupidity.