9½ UGLY RUMOURS ABOUT RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK

Anastasia, Rasputin, RomanovsIf 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

Anastasia, Rasputin, Romanovs

Rasputin with some of the women he saved

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

Anastasia, Rasputin, RomanovsThe czarevitch suffered terribly from hemophilia, a disease not uncommon among European royalty because of centuries of inbreeding. Rasputin was credited with relieving some of the agonizing symptoms

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?

Anastasia, Rasputin, Romanovs

this is what a sea cucumber looks like

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

True.

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

Anastasia, Rasputin, RomanovsBy 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

Anastasia, Rasputin, RomanovsTrue.

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

Anastasia, Rasputin, RomanovsBefore he left Siberia to become rich and famous, he joined a group of Christian flagellants, the Khlsty.

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:

HouseofSpecialIf you are fascinated with the Romanov story, here is my novel of Anastasia:

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Holy Week, Easter, Spain

COLIN FALCONER

About colinfalconer

author of bestselling historical novels like Anastasia, When We Were Gods, Aztec and Harem. My books have been published in the UK, US and ANZ and translated into seventeen languages.
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7 Responses to 9½ UGLY RUMOURS ABOUT RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK

  1. Julia Robb says:

    You’re a funny guy, Colin.

  2. marrymeknot says:

    Intetesting read. I never knew of Rasputin. I wonder what his character was really like? It sounds like he did some pretty wild things. And when you go against the grain like that, your reputation starts to have a whole life of its own. So, perhaps we’ll never know what is true and what is made up or assumed, as a result of being seen as a threat.

    • I suspect that much was exaggerated, some of it for political gain, but even if half of what he was accused of was true it would make for a very depraved man. Also a very clever and manipulative one. His influence at the Russian court had become so profound that it is now believed the fatal bullet was delivered by a member of the British secret service.

  3. I don’t know which is weirder, that the woman were worshiping a penis, or that they were tricked and were actually worshiping a sea cucumber. I guess Rasputin lived a life where truth really was stranger than fiction!

  4. prudencemacleod says:

    Great as usual, Colin. Rasputin was always one of my favorites as a history student. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  5. filbio says:

    Another cool feature on an historic figure, even though this was a weird one. He was almost Charles Manson -like for that era.

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