Why Stalin had Mao’s excrement examined

At the end of December 1949, Mao Zedong went to Moscow to meet Stalin. Suspicious, the “little father of the peoples” asked his secret services to have the Chinese leader’s feces examined.

Nothing scatological about it, just an archaic spying technique. 1949, Mao Zedong defeated the nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek and proclaimed the People’s Republic of China. At the end of December, the Communist leader went to the USSR to meet Stalin. Suspicious, the “little father of the people” was distant, even haughty. He went so far as to ask his secret service to examine the excrement of the Chinese leader without his knowledge.

It was the former Soviet agent Igor Atamanenko who, in 2016, claimed in the Russian press to have found evidence of this curious practice. The BBC reported: “At the time, the USSR did not have the type of listening devices that the secret services have today. That is why our specialists were able to deduce the most wasteful way to extract information about a person. ”

For example, if they detected high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, they could conclude that the person was “calm and friendly.” While potassium deficiency indicates nervous disorders and that the person also suffers from insomnia.

The fecal point, or spying through excrement
To achieve their ends, the Soviet hosts tampered with Mao’s toilet. Agent Igor Atamanenko assures us that they were connected not to the sewers, but to secret sample boxes, sent directly to a secret laboratory run by Stalin’s henchman Lavrenti Beria. What did the analyses reveal? History does not say.

Although this stay left a bitter taste to the Chinese communist leader, vexed that he was abandoned and outraged that he was force-fed, the talks eventually led, on February 14, to the signing of a “treaty of friendship and mutual assistance including military clauses,” wrote in 2011 the researcher Céline Marangé, specialist in Russia and military history, in the journal Relations internationales.

Forgotten are the fecal obsessions. In the years of Sino-Soviet understanding that followed this visit, “Moscow and Beijing cooperated closely to ensure the success of the Korean and Vietnamese communists,” she continued. The secret laboratory, on the other hand, was long gone. Nikita Khrushchev had it closed after Stalin’s death.