We rightly connect Goebbels with the strategy of ‘the big lie’: repeat it enough and people accept it as truth.

However, the Third Reich did not have a monopoly on this dishonesty, which still exists today, particularly with regard to dubious ‘experts’ (e.g. social scientists posing as medical researchers) opining on ‘public health’ issues in western nations. We also see it in the Church when priests, ministers and bishops call for ‘unity’ and ‘tolerance’ which go against the New Testament when theological error is involved.

In Young Stalin, historian Simon Sebag Montefiore tells us that when Stalin founded PravdaTruth (!) — in 1912, he wasted no time in displaying what, interestingly, we consider Goebbelsesque and Orwellian uses of ideas and words (p. 265). Stalin was at least two decades ahead of either.

Stalin observed that when diplomats prepare for war they shout about peace. He explained that a good diplomat’s words contradict his actions:

Fine words are a mask to conceal shady deeds.

In 1915, he and a handful of Bolsheviks gathered for dinner (p. 309). After everyone was comfortably fed and watered, the conversation turned to life’s greatest pleasures. Not surprisingly, a few of the men present mentioned women. The others mentioned making Marxism a reality in Russia.

When Stalin had his turn, he said that his greatest pleasure was plotting revenge down to the last detail followed by a good night’s sleep. For him, there was ‘nothing sweeter’.