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  • (somber music)

  • - [Man] Lenin's goal was to create a communist utopia.

  • Gulags, famine, religion.

  • (somber music)

  • Education.

  • (somber music)

  • The October revolution is considered the most violent

  • Communist movement of the 20th century worldwide.

  • It was the precursor for the international rise

  • in communism and all the countless catastrophes

  • that followed.

  • Today, we'll go back in time and take a look

  • at the history leading up to communism's inception

  • but it wouldn't be Edge of Wonder if we didn't tie it

  • all together to the Illumi-donkey.

  • (somber music)

  • Episode four, the Russian Red Revolution.

  • (electronic music)

  • - [Woman] Edge of Wonder.

  • - Welcome to Edge of Wonder, with our fourth episode

  • on the dark history of communism.

  • - Well, and we've got quite the episode for you today.

  • Leading up to now, we've showed you exactly

  • what communism is, where it came from,

  • what secret forces have been behind it

  • and we've also attempted to clear up a lot

  • of misunderstandings about just what socialism is.

  • - Today we're gonna talk to you about one of the worst

  • examples when communism gets implemented, Russia.

  • We'll share with you stats and facts and even the strategies

  • of how it all works.

  • - We'll also share with you some of the necessary history

  • leading up to communism's inception

  • and try to hit on some of the strange occurrences

  • that you probably won't hear anywhere else.

  • So without further ado.

  • (somber music)

  • - Much like during the French Revolution.

  • It was a time of turmoil for Russia

  • at the start of the 20th century.

  • Russia and Japan were at war which severely impacted

  • every aspect of life for the Russian people.

  • - Many people started to demand

  • a reform over their discontent

  • of Russia's political system and in 1905,

  • more than 110,000 workers in St. Petersburg,

  • the Russian capitol at the time, went on strike.

  • - They soon formed a peaceful demonstration

  • led by Father George Capon to appeal

  • to Czar Nicholas II for improved working conditions

  • and other complaints and desired reforms.

  • - What happened next was known in history

  • as the first or one of the first Bloody Sundays.

  • There were others called Bloody Sunday in Ireland,

  • but this was before that.

  • What took place was the chief of security of police

  • who also happened to be Czar Nicholas's uncle,

  • Grand Duke Vladimir, gave the order to his troops

  • to fire upon the demonstrators.

  • - More than 200 protestors were killed

  • and over 500 were injured from the attack.

  • Revolt is also known as the 1905 Revolution.

  • Czar Nicholas wasn't in St. Petersburg when this happened,

  • however, but everyone blamed him

  • and definitely lost faith in his leadership

  • because of this.

  • - So for those of you that don't know,

  • there was a shadowy figure influencing the royal family

  • at the time.

  • His name was Rasputin and many historians suspect

  • that he was secretly destroying the royal family

  • through manipulation, deceit and corruption

  • and maybe even black magic.

  • You can imagine this dude kinda like Grima Wormtongue

  • from Lord of the Rings and how they portrayed him

  • in Anastasia was, you know, the Broadway musical,

  • not really accurate.

  • - There are many articles out there that call him

  • the devil in disguise.

  • - Yeah, I mean, just look at the guy. (laughs)

  • I mean, this photo says more than 1000 words.

  • - He claimed to be a holy man and in a set

  • of strange circumstances due to hemophilia,

  • stepped in to stop Nicholas's son from bleeding out.

  • Because of this, he became very close with Nicholas

  • and the royal family.

  • - There are some stories out there claiming

  • he schemed the circumstances revolved around

  • the boy's sickness in order to become closer

  • to the royal family.

  • Unfortunately, we didn't see much evidence

  • to support this other than speculations

  • based off of his reputation.

  • - Now Rasputin was part of a secret cult called Khylysty,

  • which believed that to feel the full grace of God,

  • one would take part in sexual exhaustion

  • that would turn into these massive orgies.

  • They would also flog themselves with a whip

  • to pay back their sins. (laughs)

  • - Right, I mean, man, this is sounding more and more

  • like the Alistair Crowley of Russia.

  • Anyway, why are we bringing him up?

  • Because he pretty much singlehandledly paved the way

  • for Lenin to start his Red Revolution

  • to bring communism to Russia.

  • Hefty claim but keep listening.

  • - We don't know for sure if this was his plan all along,

  • but there wasn't a single positive thing he did

  • aside from opposing the war that just broke out

  • at this point in 1914.

  • Germany declared war on Russia

  • following the assassination of the Austrio Hungarian

  • empire, Franz Ferdinand and his wife,

  • which began the start of World War I.

  • - Right, in 1916, Vladimir Purishkevich

  • who was known for his anti communist views,

  • made a speech at the duma which is the Russian

  • legislative assembly in which he said

  • that the czar and his ministers

  • were puppets on a string with Rasputin being the puppeteer.

  • - Purishkevich and some other nobles

  • basically plotted in secret to kill Rasputin.

  • - Puriskevich along with other nobles

  • invited Rasputin to the palace.

  • They proceeded to attempt to poison him with cakes

  • because I mean, really, who doesn't like cakes?

  • - I'd eat 'em.

  • The men were pretty surprised when Rasputin seemed

  • impervious to the cakes.

  • When they ran out of patience waiting

  • for Rasputin to keel over,

  • one of the men said ah, screw it

  • and shot him right in the chest.

  • - I don't know if they used that exact phrase,

  • but you guys get the idea.

  • - I'm telling a story here.

  • - But get this, instead of dying,

  • Rasputin leapt up like a wild raging gorilla

  • and went straight after the guy who shot him

  • in a violent fury.

  • - Well, apparently, the magic lucky charms

  • that Rasputin must have eaten that morning

  • finally wore off and when the fight continued outside

  • it finally concluded by Purishkevich shooting Rasputin

  • in the head and that ends the life and the times

  • of the wild gorilla magician that was Rasputin.

  • - But this effect had already had a huge impact

  • and unfortunately instead of things getting better

  • for Russia, it only got worse.

  • - Yeah, the Russian army lost all faith in Nicholas

  • and the military leaders agreed to support the duma

  • if it took control over the country from the czar

  • and let's conclude this part with an important question.

  • Why is it that every point in this series,

  • we've come across shady men involved in these

  • occult practices and they always seem

  • to be paving the way for communism?

  • - But let's get into the rest of this massive story.

  • It wouldn't be right if we didn't backtrack

  • for a moment and talk about one of the most devious

  • individuals in recent history, Vladimir Lenin.

  • - Lenin was born in 1870 and was exceptional in school.

  • He finished first in his class

  • and was a very diligent reader.

  • After his father died of a brain hemorrhage,

  • Lenin started to become troubled

  • and when his brother was arrested and executed

  • for plotting to assassinate Czar Alexander III,

  • it sent him over the edge, you know,

  • psychopathic family stuff.

  • - Lenin vowed to get revenge over his brother

  • and soon started to join protests over government orders

  • to ban student societies.

  • He was expelled from his university and exiled.

  • - Lenin soon started to become fascinated

  • by radical extremist works.

  • Once he read Karl Marx's Das Kapital,

  • it basically consumed his thoughts

  • so much that by 1892, he declared himself a Marxist.

  • He then joined the Marxist group called

  • the Social Democrats, hmm, I've heard that term

  • somewhere before, oh wait, that's what some people

  • active in politics in the US call themselves.

  • If you didn't see our last episode on socialism,

  • we highly recommend you to do that.

  • - Influenced by all of these things in 1895,

  • Lenin went to St. Petersburg, the goal,

  • to start a revolution.

  • However, he was arrested and charged with sedition

  • and was exiled to Siberia for three years.

  • - Coming back to 1914, World War I just broke out

  • and Lenin went into exile once again

  • but before he left, he already started

  • his Bolsheviks to prepare for a massive revolution

  • with Joseph Stalin being third in command

  • after Gregory Zinoviev.

  • - Around this time, the European Workers Movement

  • established itself, taking root in communism and theology

  • and using slogans such as liberate humanity

  • and abolish social classes.

  • - The European Workers Movement established itself rapidly

  • based on Lenin's ideology.

  • Lenin even said.

  • - [Man] The services rendered by Marx and Engels

  • to the working class may be expressed in a few words, thus.

  • They taught the working class to know itself

  • and be conscious of itself and they substituted science

  • for dreams.

  • - People shouldn't be allowed to think outside

  • of their controlled commy thinking, apparently,

  • so dreams were out.

  • - By now, there were already close to 30

  • global socialist organizations and countless more

  • trade unions and cooperatives.

  • It also had more than 10 million union members

  • and more than seven million cooperative members.

  • - Historian Eric Hobsbawn wrote in his book

  • in How to Change the World, Reflections on Marx and Marxism.

  • - [Man] In these European countries,

  • virtually all social thought, whether or not politically

  • motivated like the socialist movement or labor movement,

  • are visibly influenced by Marx.

  • - So why are we bringing up Lenin?

  • He was a Marxist and his strategy based off of Marx

  • revolved around revolution.

  • - Lenin knew that to maintain power and eventually

  • destroy classes and every kind of thing

  • civilization had to offer, he had to keep

  • the revolution going by any means, Lenin said.

  • - [Man] A lie told enough becomes the truth.

  • - Revolution is a word that keeps getting passed around

  • in this series.

  • Lenin's role was to solidify these concepts

  • and push them through lies and deceit, forced agitation.

  • - He also saw the importance of educating children

  • and maintaining control, he said.

  • - [Man] Give me four years to teach the children

  • and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

  • Give me just one generation of youth

  • and I'll transform the whole world.

  • - And his revolutions did lead to something.

  • They led to Stalin eventually taking over,

  • but we'll be getting to that soon.

  • (dramatic music)

  • - Now coming back to 1917, things couldn't

  • have gotten any worse for Russia.

  • Hundreds of thousands of people were on strike,

  • food shortages was a major issue,

  • poor living conditions and Russia's economy

  • was badly hit due to participation in the war.

  • - [Rob] Millions of people started to protest

  • and Nicholas II ordered his troops to stop the protestors

  • and keep them off the