If you Google ‘world’s most evil men’, chances are that – after Osama bin Laden and Donald Trump – the name Rasputin will come up.
Rasputin was a Russian mystic who became a close adviser to the Romanovs.
It was said he subverted the government, used his position as a religious leader to seduce women and caused the Russian Revolution.
But the worst thing he ever did was … no we’ll save that for the end.
How much was rumor and how much was fact?
RUMOUR# 1: HE WAS A DEBAUCHED CHARLATAN ONLY INTERESTED IN GROOMING HIS FOLLOWERS FOR SEX
Rasputin was the Jimmy Swaggart of his day, a religious nut notorious for attracting scandal.
He was accused of drunkenness, sexual promiscuity and political corruption. He told his followers that sex and alcohol should not be resisted as once you had overindulged in both you had cause to repent – and repentance led to salvation.
It does have a kind of twisted logic to it.
The Czar himself suppressed investigations into reports of Rasputin’s outings to bathhouses and his violent sex with society women. It will probably never be known how much was true, what was slander and what was myth.
RUMOUR #2: HE CURED THE CZAR’S SON OF HEMOPHILIA
Hoping for a miraculous cure the royal family turned to the mystic, who had a reputation as a healer. He said he could cure him through prayer, though it is now thought he provided relief with the use of hypnosis.
He also took away his aspirin, at the time the ‘new wonder drug’ the doctors had prescribed for the boy’s pain. It’s an anticoagulant and would have been making his condition much worse.
RUMOUR #3: HE HAD A THIRTEEN INCH PENIS
Which was believed to have parted ways with its owner during his assassination. A maid found it at the crime scene and saved it. You never know when you’ll need a thirteen inch penis, right?
During the twenties a group of Russian women living in Paris acquired it and worshiped it as a holy relic, keeping it inside a wooden casket until Rasputin’s daughter, Marie, demanded it back.
After she died in California in 1977 it was found with some of her manuscripts at a lot sale.
It was then sold to an auction house who discovered it was actually a sea cucumber.
RUMOUR #4 HIS DAUGHTER LATER BECAME A VENTROLIQUIST AND TIGER TRAINER IN BUENOS AIRES
RUMOUR #5 HE STARTED THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
No he didn’t, but his influence thoroughly discredited the Romanovs. The Czarina thought the man with the burning eyes and piquant body odor was a prophet sent to the royal family by God himself and so she made him her personal adviser and allowed him to fill governmental offices with his own handpicked candidates.
RUMOR #6 HE WAS SHOT, STABBED, STRANGLED, BEATEN, POISONED AND CASTRATED BUT DIED OF DROWNING WHEN THEY THREW HIM IN THE RIVER
By 1916 Rasputin had become such a pernicious influence with the royal family that several noblemen- Prince Felix Yusupov, Grand Duke Dmitiri Pavlovich and politician Vladimir Purishkevich – decided it was time for him to go.
They lured him to Yusupovs’ Moika Palace and served him poisoned cakes and wine, laced with enough cyanide to kill five men.
When that didn’t work they shot him; but that only annoyed him and he tried to strangle Yusupov. So they shot him three more times. He was still alive so they clubbed him into submission, wrapped him in a carpet and threw him in the icy river where he finally drowned.
In fact, photographs of his corpse show a bullet hole in the forehead that would have killed him instantly. However the official report of his autopsy disappeared during the Stalin era, as did several research assistants who had seen it.
RUMOUR #7 HE WAS A HARD MAN TO KILL
While visiting his wife and children in Pokrovskoye in 1914 a rival mystic’s disciple had stabbed him in the stomach, eviscerating him.
She then yelled: “I have killed the Antichrist.’
Nearly, but not quite.
The Tsar sent his own physician to operate on him and after several weeks in hospital he recovered from what in most men would have certainly been a mortal wound.
RUMOUR #8 WHEN THEY DUG HIM UP HE CAME BACK TO LIFE
After the revolution his remains were exhumed and burned by Members of the Downtrodden Masses. As the flames took hold his corpse sat up in the fire, zombie-like, sending the proletariat screaming for their mothers. In fact this story is very likely true, as the heat from the fire would have shrunk the tendons and forced the body to bend at the waist.
RUMOUR #9 HE WAS A MEMBER OF AN ORGIASTIC SECT
They were a little like the dervishes, they sang and prayed and became ecstatic through spinning.
It was also claimed that they indulged in orgiastic sex as part of their religious rites.
As well as self flagellation critics also accused them of bestiality and necrophilia, but I think they were flogging a dead horse.
RUMOUR 9½ THE WORST THING HE EVER DID WAS INSPIRE A SONG BY BONEY M
True. For this he is condemned by history. Damn you, Rasputin! Here’s the proof:
And here is what happened to the Romanovs at the end: