Joseph Stalin is among the most reviled men in history. He was responsible for the deaths of countless Russians. The Great Purges, collectivization, the Gulags, the Show Trials…the list goes on and on forever. Stalin was also a master of manipulation. He successfully shifted the blame for all of his horrible atrocities to the men around him, and he never had to take responsibility for any of it while living.
Now…I’ve said all of that to get to this: Joseph Stalin had a secret laboratory that he used to study people’s shit. Yup…their shit. Their actual shit.
In a fairly recent revelation, former Soviet agent Igor Atamenenko shared evidence that not only did Joseph Stalin spy on Chinese Communist Premier Mao Zedong and other world leaders (as is traditional), but he also had a super secret shit shack where Soviet scientists would analyze the acquired fecal specimens of the aforementioned leaders to try an learn more about their personalities. Excremental Espionage.
The poor sap tasked with overseeing this shitty situation was Stalin’s minister of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. Stalin regularly used his secret police chiefs to carry out the most heinous of his atrocities. He would then proceed to isolate and blame them through a series of strategic political moves. His first half-dozen police chiefs, the ones who helped him acquire truly massive power, didn’t last more than 1 or 2 years a piece. Beria, however, served the longest tenure of any of Stalin’s police chiefs…15 years. I wonder if Beria used this info as ‘brown’-mail to secure his position?
Anyhoo, Stalin collected these stool samples to learn more about the personalities of his enemy-leaders. If there was an increased amount of tryptophan, then Stalin viewed them as calm and approachable. If they were low on potassium, he determined they had a nervous condition and probably had insomnia.
The most famous of all these poopoo platters was that of Mao Zedong, and the story that accompanies it is absolutely epic. In December 1949, Stalin ordered his agents to collect samples from Mao during his only visit to Moscow. They installed special toilets in Mao’s room which were not connected to the sewers…but to secret boxes that agents would retrieve when Mao left the room.
Stalin basically bombarded Mao with food and drink for 10 days straight while his agents frantically studied his turds to determine if he was a good dude or not. In historian David Halberstam’s book ‘The Coldest Winter‘ he details a particularly notable event during Mao’s visit:
When Mao first arrived in Moscow, he announced that China looked forward to a partnership with Russia, but he emphasised as well that he wanted to be treated as an equal.
Instead he was being taught a lesson each day. He had become, in Ulam’s words, ”as much captive as guest”.
As such, he shouted at the walls, convinced that Stalin had bugged the house: “I am here to do more than eat and shit.”
Stalin eventually determined that Mao’s shit didn’t meet the mark, and bailed on the idea of signing an agreement with him.
Given that the Soviets didn’t have the luxury of our modern espionage technology, this was probably pretty advanced opposition study for the time. I mean, there are actually toilets in Japan today that will analyze your deuce and send you a url with whatever information that it finds (body fat, bacteria, etc.)
Isn’t that shit crazy?
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