From the book cited above:
After the dramatic Twentieth Congress, when Khrushchev courageously stripped the cloak of secrecy off the crimes of the special services, there came a new era in the life of the ‘Leninist’ Politburo. Its tactics changed: only Stalin, Beria and the NKVD had been guilty of ‘violating revolutionary legality’, while the Party, and still more the Politburo, were blameless. Any attempt to examine the origins of the terroristic regime was severely curtailed.
Khrushchev himself felt the effects. When he was removed from power in a palace coup in 1964, he was, perhaps without realizing it, a beneficiary of his courage in 1956, for he was not arrested, shot or exiled, but was left to live out his days in peaceful retirement. But once the former First Secretary of the Central Committee—the post of General Secretary was renamed in 1953 and revived again in 1966—had drawn a bracing breath of freedom, he abandoned any intention he may have had of fading out gracefully. Like many old men who have led a stormy life, he decided to write his memoirs. With little schooling or culture, but much native wit and no little courage, he set about dictating his reminiscences.
This soon became known to the Politburo, of course. On 25 March 1970, KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov reported to the Central Committee in a top secret note:
N.S. Khrushchev has recently started work on memoirs of the period of his life when he occupied senior Party and state posts. These dictated memoirs contain detailed information constituting exclusive Party and state secrets on such specific questions as the defence capability of the Soviet state, the development of industry, agriculture, the economy in general, scientific and technical achievements, the security organs, foreign policy, relations between the CPSU and the fraternal parties of socialist and capitalist countries, and so on. He reveals discussions at closed meetings of the Politburo … Under these circumstances, it is imperative that urgent operational measures be taken to permit the monitoring of Khrushchev’s work on his memoirs, and to prevent the entirely likely leak of Party and state secrets abroad. With this aim in view, it seems sensible to establish operational secret surveillance of Khrushchev and his son, Sergei … We also think it would be desirable to summon N.S. Khrushchev to the Central Committee again and to warn him of his responsibility for the publication and leak of Party and state secrets and to demand that he draw the necessary conclusions.212
The Politburo was worried. Khrushchev had presented them with an unprecedented situation. On 27 March I.V. Kapitonov and Andropov were deputed to inform Khrushchev about the ‘exchange of opinions at the Politburo’.213 This had little effect, except to make Khrushchev and his son Sergei act with greater caution. Nevertheless, the KGB managed to get hold of more than 2000 pages of transcribed dictation. It was, however, only a copy, the original having been spirited out to the West by Sergei and another relation, without even Khrushchev himself realizing it. When it became clear that it was going to be impossible to prevent publication, it was decided to put pressure on the old ‘Leninist’ publicly to denounce the material as a forgery.
This time the Chairman of the Party Control Commission, A.Y. Pelshe, and two other members, S.O. Postovalov and R.E. Melnikov, confronted their recalcitrant ex-comrade. The hour-long conversation, scrupulously taken down by two stenographers, reads like a film script, and although it is far too long to reproduce in full here, it is worth quoting extensively as evidence of Communist morality, the climate of political investigation cultivated by the Politburo, and Khrushchev’s independent and bold behaviour.
PELSHE: According to Ambassador Comrade Dobrynin, on 6 November  representatives of the American Time publishing house officially announced that they were in possession of the ‘memoirs of N.S. Khrushchev’. Perhaps you would tell us straight to whom this material was handed over for publication abroad.
KHRUSHCHEV: I protest, Comrade Pelshe. I have my human dignity and I protest. I gave material to no one. I am no less a Communist than you.
PELSHE: I have to tell you that the material is there.
KHRUSHCHEV: You tell me how it got there. I don’t think it has. I think it’s a provocation.
PELSHE: You are in a Party building …
KHRUSHCHEV: I have never given any memoirs to anyone and would never have permitted it. As for what I dictated, I regard it as the right of every citizen and Party member.
PELSHE: We already said in a conversation with you that this method, this writing of memoirs which a wide circle of people are attracted to do, is not appropriate …
KHRUSHCHEV: Go ahead, arrest me, shoot me. I’m fed up with life. When people ask me, I say that I’m not happy to be alive. I heard today on the radio that de Gaulle died. I envy him …
PELSHE: Tell us how we can get out of the situation.
KHRUSHCHEV: I don’t know. It’s your fault, not yours personally, but the whole leadership’s … I know that before I was summoned, they despatched agents …
PELSHE: A lot of people in Moscow know you’re dictating.
KHRUSHCHEV: I’m seventy-seven. I still think clearly and I answer for all my words and actions …
PELSHE: How are we going to get out of this?
KHRUSHCHEV: I don’t know. I’m totally isolated, virtually under house arrest. Both gates are watched. It’s very shaming. I’m fed up. Relieve my suffering.
PELSHE: No one is trying to hurt you.
KHRUSHCHEV: Moral torture is the worst kind.
PELSHE: You said when you had finished you’d hand it over to the Central Committee.
KHRUSHCHEV: I didn’t say that. Comrade Kirilenko suggested I stop writing. I said I couldn’t do that, it was my right.
PELSHE: We don’t want you to die.
KHRUSHCHEV: I want death.
MELNIKOV: Maybe someone has let you down?
KHRUSHCHEV: Dear comrade, I answer for my words and I’m not mad.I gave no one any material, nor could I have.
MELNIKOV: Your son wasn’t the only one to handle the material, there was also the typist, whom you don’t know, and the writer, who isn’t a Party member, and whom you also don’t know, and others.
KHRUSHCHEV: These are all Soviet people, trusted people.
MELNIKOV: No need to stamp and shout. You’re in the CPC [Party Control Commission] now and you should behave accordingly …
KHRUSHCHEV: It’s my nerves, I’m not shouting. I’m in a different situation and a different age.
PELSHE: Never mind about age and nerves, every Party member has to answer for his actions.
KHRUSHCHEV: You’re absolutely right, Comrade Pelshe, and I do. I’m ready to take my punishment, even the death sentence.
PELSHE: The CPC doesn’t sentence to death.
KHRUSHCHEV: It used to be the practice. How many thousands of people perished? How many were shot? And now they’re putting up monuments to ‘enemies of the people’…
PELSHE: On 23 November, that’s in thirteen days, [the memoirs] will be published, they’re with the printer now …
KHRUSHCHEV: I’m willing to declare that I have given no memoirs either to any Soviet or Western publisher and have no such intention. Please write that down.
POSTOVALOV: We have to think, and you above all, of what kind of announcement you should make, and to make them …
KHRUSHCHEV: I will say only one thing, and that is that everything I dictated is the truth. Nothing made-up, nothing amplified, if anything the opposite, it’s rather toned down. I expected to be asked to write. They published Zhukov’s memoirs, after all. His wife rang me and said: ‘[Zhukov] is ill and can’t talk to you himself, but he wants to know your opinion of his book …’ I told her I hadn’t read it, but people had told me about it. I said what he had written about Stalin was disgusting and I wouldn’t read it. Zhukov is an honest man, a military man, but he’s a hothead …
POSTOVALOV: But you said you hadn’t read his book.
KHRUSHCHEV: People told me about it.
POSTOVALOV: We’re not talking about Zhukov.
KHRUSHCHEV: Comrade Pelshe didn’t let me finish what I was saying It’s Stalinist style to interrupt.
PELSHE: That’s your habit.
KHRUSHCHEV: I was also infected by Stalin, but I liberated myself, whereas you …
MELNIKOV: Comrade Khrushchev, you may make a protest if you’re offended.
KHRUSHCHEV: I’m telling you, don’t push me into lying in my old age.
PELSHE: We heard today that the American Time publishing house has the memoirs of Khrushchev which will be published there. That’s a fact. We would like you to define your attitude to this affair, without talking about the substance of the memoirs, by saying you’re indignant and that you gave nothing to anyone …
KHRUSHCHEV: Let the stenographer take down my statement. From reports in the foreign press, chiefly in the United States of America and other bourgeois countries, it has become known that the memoirs or reminiscences of Khrushchev are to be published. I am indignant at this fabrication because I have given no memoirs to anyone, neither Time nor any other publisher, not even Soviet publishers. Therefore I regard this as lies, a forgery which the bourgeois press is capable of publishing…214
To his credit, Khrushchev would only admit, despite the arm-twisting, that he had not given his memoirs to anyone. He did not disavow the contents of the memoirs. The long dialogue between the disgraced ‘Leninist’ and the Party inquisitors highlights the way Party morality had been intensively cultivated by the Politburo. Since the time of Lenin, falsehood had become one of the Party’s chief political assets. Khrushchev’s words, ‘don’t push me into lying in my old age’, reflect on the individual level the rule of untruth, falsification and lying that were the Communist Party’s stock-in-trade. It has to be said, however, that the vast majority of the people believed the lies, and helped to spread them.