Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin better known as “Rasputin” was allegedly a religious individual from the Orthodox Christina fait that live during the late 19th and early 20th century. Rasputin’s relationship with the Russian imperial family the Romanovs it is surrounded with controversy and mystery. As an individual that considerably influenced the royal family, Rasputin gain the affection of the Czar and his family by “healing” or improving the Russian emperor’s younger son (Alexei) condition who suffered from a blood illness Hemophilia. This illness cause Alexei to bleed uncontrollably and since the doctors at the time did have an actual explanation about the condition, the Romanovs had to rely on “The Mad Monk’s” (Rasputin) mystical abilities as healer.
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was born in a small town in the coldest region in Russia on January 22nd 1869 (*all dates are in the new style format). As a child coming from a peasant family, Rasputin had little or no education, nevertheless his abilities as healer as well as his religious views allowed him to play an important roll in Russian history. Sometimes historians refer to Rasputin as “one of the most polemic figures in Russia”. His involvement with the Romanovs and Russian nobility played an important roll in the events that took place about a year after Rasputin’s murder. Some said that Rasputin’s main intention was to make the Russian people change their perception about the imperial government.
Even though Rasputin is quite famous in Russia and in the western world, little is known about his early life and although he died almost a century ago, there are still some unsolved mysteries about his life as a persuasive individual. Opinions about Rasputin fall into 2 categories, those ones who think that he was a really good person and that his actions were some how beneficial for the nation and those who believe that his involvement with the Romanovs was the worst thing that could have happened to the Empire and the Royal family.
Nick name: “the Mad Monk”, “the Siberian mystic healer”, “the Black Monk”, Strannik
Born: (new style format) January 22nd, 1869
Place of birth: Pokrovskoye, Siberia
Died: December 29th 1916 at the Moika Palace
Profession: Monk from the Russian Orthodox faith, Poet, Magician, Prophet
Known for: Negatively influencing the Czar’s wife Alexandra who was taking care of the nation while the Czar focused on the Great War, Having some kind of supernatural healing abilities, helping in the downfall of the Romanov dynasty
Childhood and growing years
Not that long ago, official Russian records were found and the exact date when Grigori was born was finally determined. Prior to this discovery historians thought that he was born anywhere between 1863 and 1873. Nowadays as the records revealed, Grigori’s (Rasputin) birthday was on January 22nd 1869. Grigori was born in a poor family in a small town in Siberia name Pokrovskoye. Even though that there is not enough information about Rasputin’s early life, the little information available has been obtained by some family members’ testimonies which can be a little inaccurate for obvious reasons.
As a child Grigori had a brother and a sister whose lives ended tragically. Maria considering the way her family members describe her death, it can be determined that there’s a strong possibility that she had epilepsy. As a result from this condition she accidentally fell in a river dying minutes after. Grigori’s brother Dimitri fell into really cold water when he was playing with Grigori but even though he didn’t drowned, Dimitri died soon after as result of respiratory problems.
In regards to Rasputin allege supernatural powers there is a story, whose origins are unknown, that says that Rasputin using his powers identified the man who stole a horse from his dad. As this may be just a simply coincidence or true to some extend, there is no evidence that can proof or deny this story.
During his late teens, Grigori began a journey to several holly places for the Orthodox Christina faith. He first spent around 3 months in a monastery located right at the heart of the Ural Mountains, also known as the Siberian Gateway. During this time of seclusion at the monastery, Grigori says that the Virgin Mary herself appeared right before his eyes an experience which in combination with 3 months of total seclusion turned him into a man of strong religious believes and mysticism. It is also believed that during this time of seclusion Rasputin came into contact with an extremist Christian sect known as Flagellants whose rituals allegedly involved in self infliction of pain and sexual pleasure.
After this time of seclusion ended, Rasputin returned home where he married Praskovia Fyodorovna Dubrovina when he was 19 years of age. Rasputin had three children with his wife plus one more “illegitimate” child with another woman. 2 of Rasputin sons were named after his death siblings Vladimir and Maria. His other child was named Varvara. By 1901, Grigori continued his Religious pilgrimage as Strannik. He visited Greece and the holly Christian city of Jerusalem. 2 years after he began his journey he came back to Russia to the city of Petrograd, nowadays ST Petersburg. In this city throughout the years he became pretty popular because of his healing powers and ability to foreseen the future.
Before arriving to Petrograd, Rasputin was touring around Siberia when suddenly he heard that the Czar’s son had a weird condition that made him bled uncontrollably. This rare condition was unknown by doctors at the time and were unable to control Alexei’s excessive bleeding. This rare condition name Hemophilia is an illness that was inherited by Alexei and several other European nobles from the Queen Victoria from England who was Alexei’s grand mother. Desperately trying to control their son’s rare disease, the Czar Nicholas and his wife Alexandra began to look for anyone who could stop their son’s uncontrollable condition. When the royal family learned about Rasputin’s great abilities as a religious healer, he was quickly brought to the royal palace in an attempt to stop Alexei’s unstoppable bleeding. The royal family doctors advised Alexei’s parents that if he wasn’t treated by professionals his son could die. Ignoring the doctors’ advices Rasputin was brought to the palace and miraculously Alexei got better after being healed by Rasputin. For obvious reasons Rasputin got instant affection from the royal family and as sudden as he appear Rasputin became an inseparable member of the Romanov family.
Skeptics argued that Rasputin could’ve used the power of hypnosis in a way that the boy would relax causing him to have a wicker pulse resulting in less blood coming out from an injury. Even though that this supernatural healing powers can be explained by science, there is one occasion in which Rasputin wasn’t near the boy and simply by sending a telegram from far away the boy got virtually better. Regarding other methods used by Rasputin to help the boy’s condition, skeptics believe that Rasputin’s advices that allow Alexei to rest instead of being constantly disturbed by doctors could have played an important roll in Alexei’s body to heal itself. Although there could be hundreds of different explanations, the fact is that Rasputin managed to improve Alexei’s health resulting in the unconditional admiration from the Czar and his wife that refer to Rasputin as a friend and as a blessing.
In the years that followed Rasputin’s reputation as the healer who had improved the Czar’s son grew considerably allowing him to be involved in political matters as his advices were extremely important to Alexandra. The Russian empress strongly believed that “God” was communicating with her through Rasputin, “the holy man”. This inexplicable behavior from the empress that listen to everything what Rasputin had to say, cause a lot of discontent and suspicion towards the mysterious healer. In addition to political unconformity, there were people that accused Rasputin of several unmoral acts that did not reflect the life of a religious person as Rasputin preached. He was accused by important members of the Orthodox church of being some kind of a sex addict whose religious attitude was only a way to cover up his real behavior as a degenerate. Rasputin was even accused of raping a nun, however this hasn’t been proven.
These public accusations towards Rasputin were not accepted by him but also were not denied, instead, he strongly believed that sin and penitence were totally linked to each other, therefore he believed that by sinning (meaning to have lots of sex and plenty of alcohol) he would some how prepared to differentiate between good and evil. And that is exactly what he did with his followers, a group of ladies from Russian high society that constantly followed Rasputin ideas. In the other hand, Rasputin was totally against the Great War, he argue that war would bring chaos to the nation and because it wasn’t morally appropriated. As the WWI continued, Rasputin was constantly accused by Russian nationalist (together with the Russian Empress who had German origins), who believed that he was helping the Germans as some kind of spy.
Then after an unsuccessful attempt to bless the Russian army, the “Mad Monk” had a vision in which he saw that the only possible way in which Russia could win the war was if the Czar took control of the army. Following Rasputin “Vision”, Nicholas assumed control of the Russian army resulting in terrible consequences for himself, his family and for the Russian Empire. As Nicholas’ attention focused on the war, the empress became responsible of domestic affairs. She was constantly influenced by his advisor (Rasputin), every decision taken by her was a result of Rasputin ideas. The empress removed several government officials and in their place she filled the positions with people that were approved by Rasputin. The Empress erratic behavior influenced by Rasputin doomed the faith of the Romanov dynasty. This escalated in such way that the Czar was forced to surrender his absolute power as emperor and perform several reforms in Russia. The events that followed known as the October Revolution by the Bolsheviks tragically ended the Romanov dynasty. Before these revolutionary events took place, Rasputin’s fait had already been decided as somebody was planning to murder him.
As information from another rasputin biography reveal, Rasputin suffered a murder attempt when he visited his hometown, nevertheless Rasputin manage to survive despite the fact that the perpetrator severely injured him on the abdomen. Referring to Rasputin’s actual murder, there are that many variations from the persons that actually killed him that Rasputin’s murder has become a very controversial story
The story behind Rasputin’s death is linked to the fact that his influence over the Russian empress was compromising the Russian empire. As a result a group of aristocrats (Felix Yusupov, Dmitri Pavlovich and Vladimir Purishkevichi) devised a plan to stop once and for all the negative influence of Rasputin over the empress. As they knew that Rasputin couldn’t refuse to have women as company, these men lure Rasputin to the Moika Palace by telling him that Princess Irina would have a get together at the palace with her friends. Rasputin unaware of these men real intentions he was taken to the cellar where the group of aristocrats fed them with poisoned food. To their surprise, Rasputin didn’t show any signs of intoxication despite the fact that the food had lots of cyanide. As the plotters could killed Rasputin with the high dosage of cyanide they simply shot at him several times and wrapped his body in a carpet before throwing him into the nearby river. 3 days after his body was found and as the autopsy revealed the cyanide would’ve have been enough to kill him and because of water was found in Rasputin lungs doctors believe that he was still breathing at the time he was tossed into the river even though that he was shot in 4 occasions.
The murder as it is explain above is the way that the perpetrators allegedly murdered Rasputin; nonetheless, his daughter Maria in made an important point that changes everything. Maria argues that after his dad suffered a killing attempt prior to his death, is less likely that he would’ve been poisoned by eating cake or wine as the side effects of Rasputin’s injury months prior his death cause him to avoid food containing sugar. This is why Maria does not believe that the story of his dad getting poisoned with food is true. There are suggestions that explain that the reason why Rasputin did not die after eating poisoned food due to the fact that he was some how immune to poison because of periodic poison consumption throughout the years. A hypothesis that can explain the autopsy results that Rasputin died drowned instead of poisoned.
There are also other stories that contribute to the idea that Rasputin was some kind of evil sorcerer. One of them says that when Rasputin’s body was dug out from his grave by some Petrograd workers during the October Revolution, his body was burning when suddenly it appear as if Rasputin was trying to sit. Skeptics say that this is due to an incorrect cremation of the body. When bodies are cremated (burned), tendons must be cut off before the body catches on fire otherwise the tendons will shrink and the lifeless body would appear as if it move by itself. Even though that most of the evidence from Rasputin murdered disappeared during the Russian civil war, in very recent years some documents were found which totally prove that Rasputin’s accusations of being a sexual pervert are totally false. Raising even more questions about Rasputin’s true nature as an evil sorcerer or perhaps, a holy man?