Lenin’s wife, Krupskaya, was very much against Joseph Stalin being around Lenin, but she was helpless; she could not do anything. All orders were going through the general secretary: the doctors, the nurses, the medicines – everything was decided by him. And Lenin was poisoned very slowly, very slowly, over a two-year period. So slowly slowly, as Lenin became more and more close to death, power started moving into the hands of Joseph Stalin. Whatever he wanted to be signed, he managed to have signed by Lenin.
Lenin, in the last stages, was not even fully conscious – just conscious enough to sign, to say yes or no; otherwise he was in a cloudy state of consciousness, paralyzed. And in two years of continuous poisoning, his brain must have dwindled down. And he had to depend on Joseph Stalin because Stalin had broken all the bridges between Lenin and the other nine great leaders of the communist party. He was the only bridge.
The reason was given that Lenin needed absolute rest; no crowd, no problems. And he had the signed paper from Lenin that “all authority is given to Joseph Stalin to decide on my behalf” As Lenin died, Joseph Stalin started throwing out important figures one by one.
He was really clever. To fight with nine important leaders of the revolution would have been difficult. He tried a simple political method; he would manage to set eight against one. He would create, invent situations in which that one man was caught. And the other eight were great leaders. They were not interested in that one man, but they never knew that this was the way that it was going to happen to all of them.
Within five years almost all the most important people – Zinovyev, Kamenev – were killed, murdered. A few escaped from the country just out of fear. Those who remained understood perfectly well that they had to be supporters of Joseph Stalin if they wanted to live. They supported him, they lived – but they lived as nobodies. Joseph Stalin became sole and whole dictator of the great land, one-sixth of the whole world.
But one violence leads to another violence, there is no end to it – just as one lie leads to another lie and there is no end to it. This is one of the indications of evil. One evil always leads to another evil, then another evil, and you are caught in a vicious circle. If you don’t create another evil your first evil will be exposed. Just to keep it hidden you have to go on continually creating more clouds of evil around it.
Stalin slaughtered almost one million people in Soviet Russia – because these nine leaders were not all, there were also provincial leaders. Russia is a big country, spreading from one corner of Europe to almost the other corner of Asia; it is a vast continent. He had to kill thousands of provincial leaders.
This was called purification of the party. He said that these people were really of the bourgeoisie, their minds were capitalistic: “And unless they are finished the country is not safe. The enemy is within – we can fight with the enemy outside, but if the enemy is within, then it will become impossible to fight with the outside enemy.”