Who said religion is the only thing that can motivate or brainwash people?
In order to brainwash people, what you need is a dogma. A Marxist dogma, a fascist dogma... or any manifestation of the oldest, most powerful and most widespread kind of dogma humankind ever knew: religious dogma.
Lol, not really. Often it's enough to give them a bit of power, like a few people under them, a bit of money, no need for fancy words and big talks