Rasputin. aka The Mad Russian. Rasputin was born Grigori Yefimovich Novykh. He was born a peasant in the small village of Pokrovskoye in Siberia sometime in the 1870s, remember, paperwork for uneducated peasants wasn’t exactly high on the list back in those days. His childhood wasn’t very well documented either. But a better way to ssay that is, his childhood is cloaked in mystery…..OooOOooooOO. So spooky right? Little Gregory grew up to be a charismatic religious mystic. Rasputin’s life is hard to research, as his life is full of myth. Regardless, all the myth surrounding Rasputin just proves how taken people were with him.
Accounts differ about exactly when, but Rasputin was introduced to the Khlysts Sect, an underground sect of the Russian Orthodox Church that believed in the possibility of direct communication of the Holy Spirit. They also believed that each successive leader was the incarnation of Christ. At the age of 19 Rasputin returned to Pokrovskoe and married Praskovia Fyodorovna. They had three children: Dimitri in 1897, Maria in 1898, and Varvara in 1900. But this wasn’t enough for Rasputin. He left and traveled, proclaiming to be a holy man. He claimed to heal the sick and predict the future. Perhaps he truly could, or was charismatic enough to make others believe that he could, he wouldn’t be the first to pull off such a feat. Soon enough, his fame grew far and wide, and soon people traveled from long distances in search of his insight and healing powers. In return for his services, people brought presents of food and money.
One day, according to Rasputin, he had a revelation from the Virgin Mary herself, who told her about the young Prince, Aleksei, and told him that he could help him with his affliction. More likely, the desperate royals heard of Rasputin and called him to help. Naturally, they would not want word of the the young tsarevich’s hemophilia to spread, and they would have searched for a cure. Their desperation is evident in the very fact that they would bring in an outsider like Rasputin. Luckily for Rasputin, whatever he did, seemed to work for little Aleksei. Some say that Rasputin used hypnosis. Others that he used leeches…which, personally, does not make sense. There is a telegram sent from Rasputin to the royal family with the advice, “Don’t let the doctors bother him too much; let him rest.” So perhaps Rasputin helped the boy by leaving him be and not poking and prodding him as his various doctors would, thereby, giving the boy a chance to heal. He also stopped the administering of aspirin to the boy, whatever the reason behind the decision, it helped, as aspirin is an anticoagulant.
The secrecy of Aleksei’s illness helped prompt the scandal of an affair between the Tsaritsa Alexandra and Rasputin. It’s not as if the royals could explain away the real reason of Rasputin’s relationship with them. The rumors weren’t helped with his growing scandalous reputation. Rasputin indulged himself in many women, even going so far as to claim that sex with him was healing! Like I haven’t heard that one before! He was pretty vocal in his advice to the royals, who seemed to value his opinions, making Rasputin a very influential figure, though his military advice never proved fruitful.
The influence of Rasputin and rumor that the Tsarina was in the pay of the Germans (this was World War I),brought about the downfall of the Romanovs and Rasputin. John Scale, a British agent recorded: “German intrigue was becoming more intense daily. Enemy agents were busy whispering of peace and hinting how to get it by creating disorder, rioting, etc. Things looked very black. Romania was collapsing, and Russia herself seemed weakening. The failure in communications, the shortness of foods, the sinister influence which seemed to be clogging the war machine, Rasputin the drunken debaucher influencing Russia’s policy, what was to the be the end of it all.
THE DEATH OF RASPUTIN
Rasputin, in life, strove for the fame he achieved in death. Russian officials met for dinner and decided that Rasputin was a danger to the nation. Three men, Prince FelixYusupov (husband of the Tsar’s niece), Vladimir Mitrofanovich Purishkevich (a member of the duma) and the Grand Duke Dimitry Pavlovich (the Tsar’s cousin) took control of the situation. With an intricate plan, the three invited Rasputin over to the Yusupov Palace on December 30, 1916 to meet the Tsar’s beautiful niece. While waiting for her to appear, the men fed Rasputin poisoned wine and tea cakes. To their disappointment and surprise, nothing happened. So Felix shot him. An hour later, they noticed Rasputin was still alive, (these guys never heard of the double tap apparently). Rasputin ran away. Purishkevich chased after him, shooting and hitting him twice more, one of those times in the head. While he was down, Felix, in a rage, beat his face in with a two pound dumbbell. Amazingly, Rasputin was still alive! They weighed his body down and threw it over the side of a bridge. When the police found the corpse, they found Rasputin’s hands were frozen in a raised position, making everyone believe that he had still been alive under the water and had tried to untie the rope around his hands. Prince Felix was exiled. Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich was sent to Persia to fight in the war. Both survived the revolution and the war. Though Rasputin’s relations with the tsar and tsarina had weakened the monarchy, the killing of Rasputin came too late to reverse the damage. If anything, the murder of a peasant by aristocrats sealed the fate of the Russian monarchy. Within three months, Tsar Nicholas would abdicate and about a year later the entire Romanov family would also be murdered.
The Mad Monk makes it the list of the most evil men, simply because his need for power and fame ended the Romanov dynasty. And any man who could pull himself from such poverty to reach such social heights, even unto his will to live–this illiterate peasant had to have signed a deal with a devil. There are those that claim Rasputin wasn’t bad, just misunderstood. But the myth surrounding his persona, the unusual influence of Rasputin over the Romanov’s, plus the weird circumstances of his death, make Rasputin, The Mad Monk, one of the most evil and interesting men on the planet. Even in death, his influence was feared: He was buried in secret to avoid desecration. Thus ended Grigory Yefrimovich Rasputin. Besides, look at him, he’s Charles Manson creepy: