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  Columnist: Richard Wing

Image credit: Alan Wood

Rasputin - the mystical monk

Posted on Sunday, 20 May, 2012 | 0 comments
Columnist: Richard Wing

Grigori Rasputin born at the turn of eighteen-seventy as a peasant from Pokrovskoe, Russia. As a young man, Rasputin had a disposition and propensity for wild behavior - consuming copious amounts of wine, celebrating wild parties some characterize as debaucherous and definitely considered a lady's man of mysterious powers. At eighteen years of age, he spent several months at the Verkhoturye monastery studying meditation, prayer and became obsessed with religion.

After returning home, Rasputin married at age twenty to Praskovia Fedorovna Dubrovina. They had two children named after Rasputin's dead brother and sister, Dimitri and Maria. In their youth, Rasputin's sister, Maria, was diagnosed as an epileptic and somehow drown in a nearby river. Not long after, his brother Dimitri fell into a small lake while playing and Grigori jumped in to save his brother. Both were rescued by another villager but Dimitri died of pneumonia several weeks later. It was said that this event had a profound affect on Rasputin and to memorialize his siblings, he named his children after them. Many were aware that Rasputin possessed the gift of 'second sight', as in his childhood he went into a semi-trance like state and revealed the identity of another peasant within the village that had stolen a horse from his father and hid the horse in a barn. The horse was found and the peasant was appropriately punished.

Rasputin felt a divine calling to travel and left his family as a wondering monk and mystic. After a short time, he returned home as a completely changed man even more enlightened wielding the power of personal magnetism. The younger villagers, especially young women, were enthralled with his presence, as he then converted a room in his house as a place of worship or church. His mystique and personal magnetism attracted many villagers and his house was always filled with visitors wanting to be close to this magical monk of fascinating powers. Apparently, being so favorable among the villagers now, the other local priest became envious, as his church parishioners were dwindling and had Rasputin banished from the village. Once again, Rasputin wandered the region as a religious pilgrim and the name was coined, the "Mad Monk". In his travels as a monk he developed extraordinary healing powers. While visiting hospitals and homes of the sick and dieing, he would kneel over the bodies of the ill and pray while laying his hands on them and cure a great percentage of these very sick people.

When he came to be what is now known as Leningrad, his reputation as a miracle worker and mystic was well known far and wide and he was soon accepted within the aristocratic society in spite of his coarse and peasant-like mannerisms. History will reflect it was in nineteen-hundred and seven that some believe he suddenly became the power behind the throne of Russia. Czarina Alexandra gave birth to a long-for-heir to the throne, Prince Alexei. Medical doctors soon realized that Prince Alexei had inherited hemophilia. When the young Prince was three, he apparently tripped and had fallen so badly that the bruising and bleeding was almost unstoppable as he lay in painful fevers for several days while family and doctors anticipated the thought-to-be inevitable demise of the young boy Prince. Czarina Alexandra remembered an encounter with this so-called man of god who possessed great mystical powers two years earlier and summoned for the "Mad Monk", Rasputin.

Her wishes were granted by this miracle worker. As soon as Rasputin entered the palace he calmly said, "Do not worry the child. He will be all right." They immediately led Rasputin to Prince Alexei and he laid his hands on the Prince's forehead and prayed in a trance like state. He then sat down and quietly spoke to the Prince in a whisper to soothe and heal young Alexei and then prayed again with greater intensity as the young Prince fell off to sleep. Others observed Rasputin to be overwhelmed and exhausted, but the young Prince was now healed and safe. It was interpreted as a miracle and truly divine by Czarina Alexandra as she now felt a powerful emotional attachment and almost deep dependence on Rasputin's magical abilities.

This relationship also manifested into a dependence cultivated by a thinly veiled abhorrence with which, Czarina Alexandra, a German and thought to be spy, was treated at court during that revolutionary time period. As Rasputin gave Czarina Alexandra some sense of security, Czar Nicholas II also started to confide with Rasputin, who was now percieved to wield an influence at the court. During this tumultuous time period the Czars opposition began to think that Rasputin was responsible for the Czar's implementation of reactionary policies and now a huge mass of powerful enemies began to emerge. Czar Nicholas II was not a great ruler, nor ruthless, just very indeterminate and characterized as weak, therefore, also stemming to the rising tide of social discontent within Russia.

As the pressure mounted to rid a process that was assumed to be influenced by Rasputin, the Czar had to bow down and order Rasputin to leave the city. Rasputin was banished once again. Unfortunately, some time after, Prince Alexei fell gravely sick again and Rasputin was summoned by the Czarina. Rasputin wrote back this time and stated, "The illness is not as dangerous as it seems." From the instant the letter was received, the boy Prince began to immediately recover.

As World War I ushered in the political and military revolution within Russia, a very strange coincidence occurred. As Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Sarajevo was assassinated by a gunshot, Rasputin was stabbed by an insane prostitute at precisely the same moment. Historians speculate if Rasputin had not been beddridden recovering from that stab wound injury, he could have been able to dissuade Czar Nicholas II from marching Russia into war as Rasputin despised war.

In the last days of 1916 a conspiracy had been put into effect to kill Rasputin by the nobles Prince Felix Yusupov (a trusted associate of Rasputin), the Grand Duke, Dimitri Pavlovich and Vladimir Purishkevich. The plan was to lure Rasputin to Yusopov's Moika Palace by which they poisoned him with high doses of cyanide laced cake pastries over a few bottles of wine in the palace cellar. Over time they realized the poison was either not taking affect or just not metabolizing quick enough to kill him until the morning. Anxious and angry, they also feared his mystical powers. Although, Rasputin was never known to be sinister and wield his powers in a detrimental canon as legend may reflect, the murdering conspirators grew more worried and dismayed.

Confused but determined, Prince Yusupov discreetly went upstairs and spoke with other conspirators involved and it was decided to just shoot Rasputin. As Prince Yusupov returned to the cellar he immediately shot Rasputin in the back with a revolver and Rasputin fell to the floor now assumed to be dead. As all the conspirators left the cellar to converse about the next step within the plan to remove Rasputin's body, Prince Yusupov went back down to the cellar and was eerily surprised. Rasputin was still alive and lunged at Prince Yusupov and attempted to strangle him while whispering into his ear, "you bad boy". While the struggle ensued and the others hurriedly ran back down to the cellar, three more shots rang out hitting Rasputin in the back again. As Rasputin fell to the floor, his murderers hovered over only to realize Rasputin was still not dead. He struggled to get up and attempted to fight them off once again, but his murderers then viciously beat him with iron bars until he reached unconsciousness and thought to be now, definitely dead.

With all parties involved in the plot to kill Rasputin, they strangely castrated him and quickly tied him up with ropes bound tightly and rolled him up into an area carpet then dragged him off to be shoved in a hole into the icy waters of the Neva River. Several days later, Rasputin's body was found with his arms unbound in a self attempt to escape the icy waters, clawing up at the thick and frigid ice but unable to emerge. The coroners official cause of death was drowning which indicates he was still very much alive when submerged into the icy Neva River. Among some of the few papers found of Rasputin's was a strange testament addressed to Czar Nicholas II. It stated by Rasputin that he had a very strong suspicion that the Czar would die by violence before January first in nineteen-seventeen and that if he was murdered by peasants the Czar's would reign for many years to come. But, if he were killed by the aristocracy-as he was-then "none of your children or relations will remain alive for more than two years." Again, Rasputin was precisely right. The Czar and his family were all murdered in July of nineteen-eighteen by the aristocracy and this last prediction was an amazing revelation of Rasputin's magical proficiency of precognition and mystical powers.

Article Copyright© Richard Wing - reproduced with permission.

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