Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: ‘President's Crown of Thorns’ - All our defeats and victories are all illusions created by mankind

I was a sure candidate for the gold medal. In these circumstances to have provoked the teachers would have been suicidal. l couldn't rid myself of a vile and cowardly thought: "why should I stick my neck out when the others keep silent?.."

Russians love  abusive  hand-signs.  There's  the collectivist upbringing for you! You are  nothing,  a  nobody , while your collective is the important force. So don't stick your neck out, be like everybody else, a small cog in the wheel. And if baseness is universal then it cannot be called base at all, and you're better off not worrying about it. I,  like  everyone  else, have no mind of my own; ours are collective brains, the brains of a herd. And indeed, why should I behave  in  a  responsible manner? If you are caught in a gang fight you will be jai led for ten years, but if you act like a coward along with everyone else then it is no big deal! No one will arrest you because you have broken no law. Even if you have held your tongue, what does i t matter? The whole country has been  silent  for  seventy  yea rs and it still manages to survive.
It is true, that these cowardly thoughts did occur to me. But then one day my true, inner self suddenly  awoke, rose up and rebelled . To hell with the gold medal! Damn these people! Enough is enough! I am sick and tired of it all!
I spoke out at a class meeting. I exposed the whole corrupt system, revealing bow the teachers systematically doctored our results, improving the grades of the children of prominent local Party officials. The senior school teachers immediately ganged together in defense of their "honor". Immediately me and my family came under heavy artillery fire; there was friction at my father's workplace, and my mother's bosses began to quibble with her work. And my fellow-pupils were summoned to the teachers' room, one by one, where they were brain washed.

"...This is a conspiracy against our school. Ilyumzhinov has spat in our faces. A monstrous accusation!.. The outrageous behavior of Kirsan ... And to think that he is a member of the Komsomol..." All this was uttered in a high-flown style, in quivering tones and with noble indignation. The boys  were reminded of the upcoming exams and they were asked to defend the school's honor.

I could sense the imminent danger of a storm brewing over my head. I was branded a "libelous liar... a renegade ... man-hater, mud -thrower in public. They  threw words at me as though they were stones. They were trying to crush me, to trample on my  reputation,  but,  curiously  enough,  I  felt  a profound  sense  of  inner  calm  and  my  soul  was  tranquil. Listening to a boy who was beside himself with indignation I though t to myself sad l y: "well, it looks as though our paths are going to part. I wonder how  many  silver coins you  think you are  worth?"
After his exercise in scathing criticism, this student began getting only good or excellent marks in  school. Two days later, when we were alone, he spoke to me, averting his eyes: "all that doesn't mean a thing to you, Kirsan . After all, you are an excellent student. But I've got to do something so as not to wind up on my ass. The end justifies the means, you know. Living with wolves makes you howl like one."
Where is he now? Maybe he is still howling  like  a wolf? I must give credit to many of my class-mates, however, who spoke out in my favor at that meeting. The flame of this scandal was soon put out by the teachers. They pulled the necessary strings to prevent gossip penetrating the  school walls, but I had achieved my goal. They stopped picking on those kids who did not have influential parents.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
The President's Crown of Thorns 1995