|Born||in Pokrovskoye, Tobolsk Governorate, Russian Empire [now Tyumen Oblast, Russia]|
|Died||in Petrograd, Russian Empire [now St. Petersburg, Russia] (assassination)|
|Birth Name||Grigori Yefimovich Novykh|
The Mad Monk|
|Height||6' 4" (1.93 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Gregory Rasputin was one of Russia's most controversial and mysterious figures who posed as a "holy man" and destroyed the political image and reputation of Russia's Emperor Tsar Nicholas II and his family through a series of political manipulations, disgusting scandals and treachery, provoking a huge wave of public anger and helping the communists to prepare the disastrous Russian revolution. His mysterious activity is still disputed by historians and religious authors, mostly because he left no papers or documents with the exception of a few messages, while acting behind-the-scenes inside the Palaces of the Russian Tsars, and he remained inaccessible to public because of the heavy security that surrounded the Russian Imperial family.
He was born Gregory Efimovich Rasputin in 1869 into a Russian peasant family in Pokrovskoye village, Tobolsk province in Siberia. He was the only surviving child of Efim Yakovlevich Rasputin and Anna Vasilevna Rasputina--their four previous children died before he was born. The family name, Rasputin, has a negative connotation, similar to "ill-behaved" or "ill-aimed". His mother died when Rasputin was young and his father was imprisoned for some time. Gregory had very little schooling and was unable to read or write. At age 16 he was arrested for theft, and the citizens of Pokrovskoe appealed to the authorities to excommunicate and exile him. Rasputin was sentenced to three months in prison, which was later commuted to serving his term at Verkhoturye Monastery in Siberia. Rasputin settled with the lonely monk Makariy, who lived in a rugged hut and practiced rituals akin to ancient shamanic and tribal traditions of the Siberian people. Rasputin mentioned that Makariy had cured him of a severe sleep disorder and trained him to practice hypnotism and a vegetarian lifestyle, which included some alcohol and also the use of various weeds and drugs for "spiritual transformation" according to ancient shamanic rituals.
Rasputin stated later that he modeled himself after Makariy. At that time he became interested in manipulating people through their weaknesses and beliefs, including use of their personal and social habits as well as their politics and religion. He was also introduced to the banned mystical sect of Khlysty (flagellants), whose had a strong sexual content among other exotic practices. Rasputin evolved into a cynical and ruthless manipulator who practiced his principle that "any sin shall make me a holy man" and was spreading his beliefs around. In 1889 Rasputin married Praskovia Feodorovna and had three children, but left his family in Siberia and became a wanderer. He walked across Russia on foot from Siberia to Kiev and back several times during the 1890s, then made a pilgrimage on foot to Greece and Jerusalem during 1901, walking back to Russia and staying in Kazan with a local priest who gave him a letter of recommendation to St. Peterburg, the Russian capital. He arrived in the city in 1903, and solicited money to build a church in his home village of Pokrovskoe. In St. Petersburg Rasputin was accommodated by none other than Father Sergiy (who later, in 1942, was appointed by Joseph Stalin the Head of Orthodox Christianity in the Soviet Union), who was at that time Director of St. Petersburg Holy Academy and Seminary and also was a clandestine political opponent of Tsar Nicholas II. At several reception parties staged by Father Sergiy, Rasputin stunned St. Petersburg society by his forecasts that Russia would be defeated in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904, and that the Russian navy "would sink down", which was exactly what happened next.
Soon the Ober-Procurator of Russia, Pobedonostsev, issued a ban on public appearances of Father Sergiy and Rasputin, declaring that Rasputin was hiding his manipulative traits under the cover of "holyness" and illegally declared himself an Orthodox Christian mystic. Rasputin, however, ignored that ban and continued posing as a "prophet" and healer. He continued his wanderings as a self-proclaimed "holy man", often using lies and hypnotism to intimidate people into submission and then used them for his own goals. He made loose affiliations with various monasteries, then appointed himself a religious "elder" in St. Petersburg. At that time mystical interpretations of Christianity were in vogue, and official Orthodox Christianity was losing its control over people amidst the proliferation of disastrous wars and civil unrest, including revolutions. After the failure of several "religious advisers" to bring peace into the seriously dysfunctional Russian royal family of Tsar Nicholas II, Rasputin was summoned by Anna Vyrubova and the famous ascetic mystic, Father Theofan, the religious adviser to the royal family. In October of 1905 Father Sergiy and Father Theofan arranged Rasputin's introduction to the royal household through some relatives of reigning Romanov family. Rasputin instantly found a way to use the weaknesses and insecurities of Crown Prince Aleksey Nikolaeyvitch Romanov, whose incurable illness--he was a hemophiliac, having inherited the disease from his grandmother, Britain's Queen Victoria--was the main concern of the royal family. Rasputin convinced the Empress, Tsarina Alexandra, that he could improve the health of young Crown Prince Aleksey. Both Tsar Nicholas II and his wife were devastated and demoralized by their son's illness, and their anxiety and desperation was used by Rasputin, and the people behind him, in a crafty way to achieve goals that suited their political agenda.
At the same time Tsar Nicholas was warned by his loyal prime minister, Count Stolypin, that Rasputin was a dangerous fraud who could become a threat to the royal family and to Russia. However, at Tsar Nicholas' insistence, Stolypin had a private meeting with Rasputin. Not long afterward Stolypin was assassinated by a hired terrorist, and the resulting investigation by the authorities was stopped order of the Emperor. Stolypin's records revealed that he had an argument with Rasputin, but he was stopped and intimidated by the hypnotic stare of Rasputin's piercing eyes. Stolypin and many other political figures of that time had documented that Rasputin had "satanic eyes" and he was possessed of a powerful and hypnotic glare that he used to intimidate and cow his enemies. Rasputin also often used verbal abuse and intimidation, including the most foul profanities--a practice considered shocking in the rarefied air of the Russian court--to intimidate and manipulate people into submission. At the height of his political influence, Rasputin was constantly guarded by six agents provided by the Russian security service by order of Tsarina Alexandra. Also by the Imperial order Rasputin was given a new name, Novykh, meaning the "new man", an exclamation attributed to the suffering boy, Crown Prince Aleksey.
Rasputin apparently persuaded both the Empress and her ailing son to ensure that he kept a permanent presence in the tsar's palaces, and he was appointed to an official court position as "personal healer" to Crown Prince Aleksey Nikolaeyvitch Romanov. Rasputin may had some limited beneficial effect on Prince Aleksey's condition through hypnotism, but it apparently was enough to convince both the Empress and the Prince to depend more and more on Rasputin's presence and his hypnotic abilities. Rasputin also insisted that real medical doctors should be kept away from Alexey, constantly telling the family, "Don't let the doctors bother him, let him rest." On the occasions when Aleksey's health had actually improved, Rasputin used the opportunity to take personal credit for the Prince's "improvement", thereby solidifying his control over access to the royal family.
The Empress became a patron of Rasputin, who soon established himself as an extremely powerful figure within the Russian court. The Emperor was calling Rasputin a "holy man" and referred to him as "our friend". Rasputin referred to the Emperor and the Empress only as "papa" and "mama" and always used a frank and "sincere" tone in conversations with the royal family. Meanwhile, government security sources reported about wild orgies at the many parties and gatherings at Rasputin's residence, located just a few blocks away from the Tsar's palace and paid for out of the Russian Treasury. Rasputin's drinking binges were reported as "massive and wild" that often degenerated into drunken and violent sex orgies, designed to entangle politicians and other guests who could prove useful to Rasputin's ambitions. He aggressively indoctrinated his victims by using, among other methods, his motto "Sin that you may obtain forgiveness!", which was in line with the views he learned from the sect of Khlysty.
Soon Rasputin and people behind him succeeded in using his influence to entangle many politicians in scandals, including dirty manipulations involving their wives, drinking parties, promiscuity, and massive embezzlement of the government funds during the First World War, by diverting money to special interests through insiders within the Treasury of Russia. Rasputin also manipulated the Empress Tsarina Alexandra to make controversial political appointments, which led to a bitter divide within all classes of the Russian society, causing a blow to the public image of the Imperial House of the Romanovs. Rasputin's manipulative activities provoked many conflicts within the Russian government and the Russian military command during the First World War. Rasputin was using his position inside the Tsar's Palace to directly interfere with Tsar's communications with the government and media, thus undermining the Tsar's public image. At several times Rasputin was able to interfere with the Tsar's schedule of meetings with political figures as well as military commanders during the war.
In 1914, while visiting a church in Siberian city of Tobolsk, Rasputin was attacked by his former prostitute-friend, Khionia Guseva, who then turned a religious disciple of monk Iliodor. Ms. Guseva approached Rasputin with a knife and wounded him in the stomach, but he recovered from the wound and soon gained an even stronger influence on the Empress Tsarina Alexandra. Later Ms. Guseva said to the Grand Jury that she acted in clear mind and full understanding that "Rasputin is the Antichrist harmful to the people of Russia." However she was declared insane and was forcefully placed in an asylum in Siberia. Rasputin's most destructive actions were committed in 1916, when he convinced the Tsar Nicholas II to move from the Russian capital, St. Petersburg, to the front-lines in Belarus, leaving the Empress Alexandra alone under his influence and in charge of internal politics of the country. In absence of the Tsar, St. Petersburg was surreptitiously over-taken by the revolutionary communists, who penetrated into many regiments of the Army, the Navy, as well as into the local political circles in the capital of Russia, thus preparing for the Communist Revolution of 1917. The decade of Rasputin's destructive manipulations led to irreparable political and economic damage and caused a bitter divide within the government and military command, as well as within all social layers of Russia. At that time the French ambassador Maurice Paléologue made a record that the "Russian Empress is mystically devoted to Rasputin."
Communist leader V.I. Lenin wrote, "monstrous Rasputin is pushing the Tsar's regime to a disaster", which was helping the communist revolution. According to historians Rasputin was used by a secret group behind the communist revolutionaries, which acted to destroy the Romanov dynasty and the monarchy, and eventually fulfilled their plans and came to power through revolution. That explained how and why Rasputin was manipulated to discredit the royal family and personally the Tsar Nicholas II. Rasputin's main handler was a St. Petersburg's underworld drug lord, named Dr. Badmayev, who controlled Rasputin through his drug addiction and often instructed Rasputin about his political moves. Rasputin often stayed overnight after having a fix at Dr. Badmayev's home in St. Petersburg. At the same time, Rasputin's hypnotic influence over the Empress Alexandra and the Crown Prince Alexey remained very strong, allowing him to make political, ecclesiastical and military appointments for those who served his interests. Rasputin created and used public scandals and rumors about his sexual and alcoholic excesses, and designed crafty entrapments for many members of the Russian political establishment into orgies and scandals for immediate blackmail and exploitation. He polarized the society by using his political influence in securing the appointments and dismissals of several military commanders and government ministers during the First World War. Rasputin's abuse of power and his notorious debauchery was used by the communist propaganda to depict Rasputin with the Empress Alexandra in numerous pornographic comics, drawings and provocative publications as part of a massive negative publicity campaign against the House of Romanovs and the Russian monarchy. In the communist propaganda Rasputin was shown as a peasant who turned the Russian Tsar into a wimp, so the country was in "bad hands" and "proletarians must join with peasants to overthrow the monarchy and take power", so declared the communist leader V.I. Lenin, who in turn was secretly financed by the German military.
In 1916, during the most difficult time in the First World War, brothers of Tsar Nicholas II obtained evidence that Rasputin was secretly negotiating a peace treaty with Germany while Russia's position in the war was not good. Rasputin said on record that "too many peasants were dead because of the war", indicating his agenda to settle "peace at any cost" which was also in line with the communist propaganda, and helped the German Armies. Peasants deserted from the Russian Army by hundreds of thousands, then armed peasants came to St. Petersburg and joined the communist revolutionary brigades. Rasputin's secret activity and his contacts with the Germans became a political scandal. Tsar's cousin, Grand Prince Nicholas, announced that he wants to hang Rasputin for treachery as a spy in German employ, albeit Rasputin was under the protection of the Empress Tsarina Alexandra, who herself was German. That led to a plot by a group of aristocrats, led by Prince Feliks Yusupov, a relative of the Tsar, to assassinate him, but Rasputin was officially guarded by six agents from the Russian Imperial Security under constant supervision of specially assigned officers who lived in Rasputin's house in St. Petersburg.
In November of 1916, Prince Yusupov pretended that he had chest pains and obtained a high recommendation to become a patient of Rasputin. Prince Feliks Yusupov made several visits to Rasputin as a patient and soon he made friends with Rasputin and presented him a picture of his wife, beautiful Princess Irene Yusupov, niece of the Emperor Tsar Nicholas II. Rasputin immediately became horny and expressed his desire to meet the beauty. On December 16, 1916, Prince Yusupov and his fellow officers designed a plan centered on using the beautiful Princess Irina Yusupov, as a bait. On December 29, 1916, Prince Feliks Yusupov personally invited Rasputin to a dinner and drove him to Yusupov's Moika Palace in St. Petersburg. There Rasputin was waiting for the appearance of the Princess Irina Yusupov, but she never showed up. Meanwhile, Rasputin was plied with wine and food that had been laced with cyanide, albeit the plotters were oblivious to the fact of chemistry that cyanide is often neutralized by some ingredients in food, as it turns into a harmless salt in most desserts and wines. Rasputin also had a condition with hyper-acidity and post-surgical stomach problems which caused him to minimize his intake of sugar and alcohol. When the poison had no apparent effect on Rasputin, Prince Feliks Yusupov pulled out his gun and fired, but Rasputin's life was saved because the first bullet was reflected by the hard metal button on his coat, he was wounded, but still managed to jump up and tried to escape out of the Moika Palace. Then Prince Yusupov and Count Vladimir Purishkevich together with their friend, British intelligence officer Oswald Rayner, pulled out their guns and fired at Rasputin, then, noticing that he was still trying to get up, they clubbed him into submission. In the early morning of December 30, 1916, members of the plot wrapped Rasputin and dragged him into the icy waters until he finally drowned in the Neva River.
Even after his death, Rasputin still remained dangerous and could be used as a destructive and divisive tool, because he left a wild and threatening message to Emperor Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra, predicting their death and disaster for Russia. Crown Prince Alexey remained gravely ill and was heavily dependent and conditioned to Rasputin's hypnotic influence. Rasputin's body was buried upon Empress Alexandra's and Prince Alexey's request at the location in the park of Tsarkoe Selo, near the Summer Palace of the Russian Tsars. Two months after Rasputin's assassination, Emperor Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, then was arrested as citizen Romanov who was obediently sweeping snow from roads while waiting for his sentence under supervision of communist revolutionaries. Soon both Nicholas and Alexandra became increasingly paranoid about having Rasputin's grave next to his Summer Palace. Ironically, Tsar Nicholas II was under the house arrest in that same palace during the year of 1917, and both Empress Alexandra and Prince Alexey were not allowed to make visits to Rasputin's grave, which was vandalized by revolutionaries in search for valuables. By that time, Rasputin's body was removed upon the order from Aleksandr Kerensky, the head of the Russian provisional government, who previously was a student at the same school and at the same time with the future communist leader V.I. Lenin. Initially Kerensky ordered to remove Rasputin's body to a remote cemetery, but during the move, Rasputin's body, masked as a piano in a wooden box, was destroyed in the fire started by a group of revolutionaries. Shortly after the Communist Revolution, the entire family of Tsar Tsar Nicholas II with his wife and five children were executed, then Tsar's Palaces were vandalized by the revolutionary communists and Rasputin's grave was again burglarized by poor proletarians in search for jewelery.
Later, while in emigration outside of the Communist Russia (then Soviet Union), both accounts by Prince Feliks Yusupov (who lived through the 1960s) and Count Vladimir Purishkevich (who died in the 1920s) were published in their respectful books of memoirs about their plot and assassination of Rasputin in the context of their participation in the historic events. Prince Yusupov compared Rasputin's cynical and manipulative treatment of the Tsar's family to the Communist Party's ruthless methods of control over innocent people of Russia. Rasputin's own "religious" speeches were interpreted and recorded by his enchanted admirers and titled "holy wanderings" and "holy thoughts" when first published in Russia in 1907 and in 1915. In 1942, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin appointed the notorious St. Petersburg Bishop Sergiy the Patriarch of Orthodix Christianity in the Soviet Union. Then Patriarch Sergiy brought back the name of Gregory Rasputin from oblivion. At the same time some sectarian monks organized rumors about possible canonization of Gregory Rasputin as a "martyr and saint" who was assassinated by the family of the "bad" tsar.
Rasputin's daughter, Matrena Solovyova-Rasputina, and her husband, Boris Solovyov, who secretly collaborated with the Communist regime, took money and jewelery from Empress Tsarina Alexandra in exchange for a promise of assist the Tsar Nicholas II and his family to escape from the Communist regime. They betrayed the Tsar and his family and left them to be killed by the communists, while themselves escaped to France. There Rasputin's daughter, who was money hungry, read the memoirs of Prince Feliks Yusupov, and filed several law suits against Prince Yusupov, who gave accounts of Rasputin's death under oath in 1934 and 1965. Eventually Rasputin's daughter ended up working for a circus as a tiger tamer, then she moved to Los Angeles, and died there in 1977.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov
|Praskovia Fyodorovna||(1890 - 16 December 1916) ( his death) ( 4 children)|