While it is possible to make a group in Atlassian Crowd active or passive, they are still synchronized with the connected Confluence instance. In Confluence there is no option for a state like active or passive, so I assume it is active there anyway. So what is the point of setting the status in Crowd?
It seems to have turned out that although it is possible to set permissions for groups within the Confluence application, the groups are only a summary for the users and the permissions are not set at group level but are forwarded to the user level. I think Atlassian has created a workaround for enabling and disabling groups by simply hiding the group name when setting permissions. In reality, the group still exists and forwards permissions to the group members.