12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About

Khalid Elhassan - December 2, 2017

Rasputin can be defined as many things. He was an illiterate Siberian peasant, charlatan, mystic, holy wanderer, faith healer, blasphemer, and notorious lecher. Effectively, Rasputin led an extraordinary and controversial life. His greatest achievement came in winning favor with the final royal family in Imperial Russia, the Romanovs. His inexplicable ability to soothe the suffering of their hemophiliac child and heir, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolayevich, quickly won him favor with Tsarina Alexandra. The resulting proximity to the throne made him an incongruously powerful and influential figure in the Russian Empire’s final years.

After gaining the confidence of Russia’s rulers with his holy act of saving their child, many believed Rasputin transformed them – particularly the Tsarina Alexandra – into virtual puppets. He was careful to keep up the pretense of being a humble and holy peasant while in the royal presence. Outside the court, he was rumored to be a drunken and licentious womanizer, who claimed that his body had holy powers. Many also believe he led a sexo-religious Christian sect whose adherents engaged in wild orgies. This and other debaucherous lifestyle habits led the Russian public to resent Rasputin. They believed he offered Russia’s rulers disastrously bad advice, which they would take, in the mistaken belief that Rasputin was a holy man blessed by God, and so would not steer them wrong.

Unfortunately, he steered them catastrophically wrong – using his favor with the royals for personal gain. In the final years of the Romanov Dynasty, Rasputin exerted such a malign influence in court that he became one of the most powerful figures in the Russian Empire. Cabinet ministers, generals, and high-ranking government officials were appointed and dismissed based on his whims, religious visions, and dreams.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Contemporary propaganda poster depicting Rasputin as puppet master of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. Pinterest

Following are twelve of the most fascinating things about the extraordinary life and career of Rasputin, one of history’s greatest charlatans.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Rasputin surrounded by aristocratic and high society female followers. The Daily Mail

He Had One of History’s Most Adventurous Biography

Rasputin’s most prominent feature was the penetrating stare of his blue eyes – which was consistently described by many who experienced it as magnetic and hypnotic. As one noblewoman put it: “What eyes he has! You cannot endure his gaze for long. There is something difficult in him, it is like you can feel the physical pressure, even though his eyes sometimes glow with kindness, but how cruel can they be and how frightful in anger…

Rumors followed him from an early age. At the age of 10, it was said he could read minds and heal the sick. Growing up, he developed a taste for thieving, drinking, and sex. He joined a heretical sect that had splintered off from the Russian Orthodox Church. He then sought to form his own cult, whose members needed to “experience sin” to become one with the Divine. He made it to the Russian capital of Saint Petersburg as a wandering hermit, where his weird ideas and magnetic personality attracted the attention of high society. High society women particularly paid Rasputin attention; they flocked to offer themselves to him and his doctrine of religious redemption through sin.

Eventually, he met Russian Empress Alexandra who – being so distraught over her hemophiliac sons suffering – was willing to try anything to help her boy. Afterword of his powers reached Alexandra, she decided to take a plunge. Much to the public’s surprise, Rasputin succeeded where doctors had failed in relieving the young heir’s suffering. She came to believe him holy, showered him with favors, and refused to hear any criticism of the sundry ways in which he abused his sudden elevation and access to power. It became widely reported that he was cuckolding the Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, and that he had become not only the Empress’ lover but was ravishing her daughters as well. Reports which Rasputin himself lent credence by boasting when drunk of his sexual escapades with the imperial family. That brought the imperial family into disrepute, and undermined the prestige upon which the very concept of Russian autocracy rested.

Exasperated by Rasputin’s abuses and the Empress’ refusal to banish him, one of the Emperor’s cousins lured him to his palace. There, Rasputin was murdered in a wild assassination that required poison, bullets, beating, bludgeoning, strangulation, and finally drowning, before he gave up the ghost and died. To cap off his extraordinary life, he had prophesied that if he was killed, the Russian people would tear down Russian Tsardom, and that the imperial family would not live more than two years after his. A prophecy which proved eerily prescient.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Rasputin was at home with his children, at start of his career. Wikimedia

Rasputin Was a Sex Maniac Since Puberty

Rasputin was born Grigory Yefimovich Novykh in humble circumstances to a peasant family in a small village near Tyumen, Siberia, on January 21st, 1869. His father was a farmer who supplemented his income by working as a government courier, ferrying people and goods across and along the Tura river between nearby settlements. Of his childhood, little is known, except that he was not formally educated.

He remained functionally illiterate until he reached adulthood, and was barely literate thereafter. By the time he reached his teens, he had become somewhat of a delinquent, into heavy drinking, disrespecting the local authorities, and was involved in petty crimes such as minor thefts. He was also accused of blasphemy and bearing false witness during this period.

However, what really stood out – and what he was most notorious for in youth – was his licentiousness and passionate pursuit of the opposite sex. And many of whom were quite receptive and welcoming of his advances. Rasputin started racking up sexual conquests, and the first reports of the sexual magnetism for which he became famous date to his teens.

In his late teens, he met, courted, and married a peasant girl from a nearby village, but marriage did nothing to slow down his seemingly uncontrollable womanizing. He became so infamous in his village and the surrounding district for licentiousness that he earned the nickname Rasputin, meaning “the depraved”, or “the debauched one”, in Russian.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
A starets, or holy church elder. Oel Bilde

He Underwent a Radical Religious Transformation

In his late twenties, Rasputin had a religious conversion experience and left his village to go on a pilgrimage after seeing a vision of either the Virgin Mary or the Russian Saint Simeon of Verkhotyure, patron saint of the Urals. Other sources have it that Rasputin actually went on the lam, and had left to escape arrest and criminal prosecution for horse theft.

Whether his motives were sincere or cynical, at around age 28, Rasputin had some crisis, and whether driven by spiritual or more earthly causes, he made drastic life changes. In 1897, after ten years of marriage, he left home and went on a pilgrimage to the St. Nicholas Monastery at Verkhotyure, leaving behind an infant son and a pregnant wife heavy with another child.

He stayed at the monastery for months, during which he learned the basics of reading and writing. During that period, he also met and was strongly influenced by a local starets – an elder of the Russian Orthodox Church, venerated as a religious teacher and advisor. However, he would later criticize monastic life as too strict, and complained of rampant homosexuality between the monks.

Be that as it may, by the time he returned home, Rasputin was a changed man. He stopped drinking and turned teetotaler, became a vegetarian, and engaged in passionate displays of religiosity such as fervent praying and singing. He also took on the disheveled appearance of a strannik – a Russian holy wanderer or pilgrim, which is what Rasputin became.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Khlysty sect ecstatic prayer ritual. Wikimedia

He Founded a Sexo-Religious Cult

Rasputin became a full-blown strannik, and took to leaving home for months or years at a time to visit holy sites. During those travels, he would sometimes walk for days on end without stopping or eating. He also stopped bathing or washing himself for months at a time, and to increase the hardship of his pilgrimage and bring himself nearer to God, he took to wearing heavy shackles.

Back in his home village, when he was not on the road and traveling to and between holy sites as far away as Greece, Syria, and Jerusalem, Rasputin invented and led a religious cult. His sect combined some tenets of Orthodox Christianity with sexual practices and some odd, or flat-out bizarre rituals, that were considered heretical and blasphemous.

It began after Rasputin encountered and joined a flagellant sect known as the Khlysts – an underground breakaway splinter of the Russian Orthodox Church, which throve between the seventeenth and early twentieth centuries. However, it was not long before he perverted the Khlystys’ beliefs that nearness to God is best achieved by a state described as “holy passionlessness”.

According to the Khlysts, the way to reach “holy passionless” was via exhaustion, which they achieved with rituals that combined fervent prayer with even more fervent dancing and spinning until the congregation was worn out. Rasputin decided to do them one better by inventing a religious doctrine he would describe as “driving out sin with sin“.

To drive out sin with sin, Rasputin reasoned that the requisite exhaustion to attain a state of holy passionlessness should be total – not only physical but sexual as well. That being the case, Rasputin led his cult into reaching sexual exhaustion via orgies – prolonged bouts of debauchery by the entire congregation in order to get all the base passions out of their system. That way, they could get nearer to and focus on God without distractions of the flesh.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Seven Lakes Monastery in Kazan. Kazan Diocese

He Cunningly Exploited Russia’s Religious Hierarchy

When he was not at home, leading his congregation in wild orgies to bring them closer to God, Rasputin was on the road, touring Orthodox Christianity’s holiest sites. His fame grew as he roamed the Russian Empire and beyond, to Greece and Jerusalem, living off donations. He gradually began building up a reputation as a strannik, or a holy wanderer, who could predict the future and heal the sick.

His first big break came in the early 1900s when he arrived at the city of Kazan on the Volga river. Within a short time of his arrival, word spread throughout the region of the arrival of a special strannik with piercing blue eyes, who could soothe spiritual anxieties. Simultaneously, word also spread that the new arrival was having copious amounts of sex with his female followers.

Notwithstanding the sexual escapades, Rasputin quickly charmed and won over the local religious authorities, especially an influential father superior of a famous institution and pilgrimage site, the Seven Lakes Monastery. After gaining the locals’ confidence, Rasputin used them as stepping stones to bigger and better things. He finagled from them a letter of introduction and recommendation to Bishop Sergei, rector of a seminary at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in the Russian capital of Saint Petersburg.

In 1904, the Kazan authorities paid Rasputin’s travel expenses to St. Petersburg, where he met and impressed Bishop Sergei. The bishop in turn introduced the strannik to other influential figures of Russia’s religious hierarchy. They included an Archimandrite (head of a group of a monastery) Theofan, who was well connected in Russian high society, and who became the confessor of the Tsar and Tsarina. The influential Archimandrite was so impressed by Rasputin that he invited him to live in his home, and became one of his greatest boosters.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Empress Alexandra Feodorovna with Rasputin, her children and a governess. Wikimedia

He Won the Empress’ Favor by “Healing” Her Son

Rasputin ended up in Saint Petersburg at a time when Slavism and a conservative yearning for a return to Russia’s ancient roots were in vogue, and when mysticism and the occult were becoming fashionable with its decadent court and high society. Rasputin, the dirty, smelly, holy peasant with captivating eyes and a reputation for faith healing, was a living embodiment of Russia’s roots and Russian mysticism, and became an instant hit.

By 1905, his path paved with introductions and recommendations from prominent Russian religious figures, Rasputin had won over and befriended numerous influential aristocrats. His new friends and patrons included not only prominent members from Saint Petersburg’s high society, but also grand dukes and grand duchesses from the Emperor’s family.

He was introduced to Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra and their children, including the heir to the Russian throne, the young Tsarevich Alexei. Alexei was a hemophiliac – a disease whose sufferers bleed uncontrollably from even minor cuts – and had arrived at death’s door as a result on various occasions. Doctors could offer no cure, and were often unable to even alleviate the symptoms or ease the poor child’s suffering.

Rasputin arrived in the midst of that family tragedy at a time when his parents, particularly his mother, were driven to desperation by their only son’s ailment. Rasputin had developed a reputation as a faith healer by then, so when Tsarevich Alexei suffered a severe bout of internal bleeding in 1907 and the doctors could offer no relief, Empress Alexandra asked him to pray for her son. He arrived at the palace at night and began praying, and the following morning, the child had stopped bleeding. Rasputin’s standing with the Empress rose dramatically.

That standing reached stratospheric levels following an even more severe bout in 1912, when the young Tsarevich suffered internal hemorrhage following a bumpy carriage ride. Alexei became delirious with fever and pain, and seemed on the verge of death, with doctors helpless to cure or soothe him. Rasputin was back in Siberia, and the desperate Empress sent him a telegram asking him to pray for her son. He wrote her back that “God has seen your tears and heard your prayers. Do not grieve. The Little One will not die. Do not allow the doctors to bother him too much“. The following day, the bleeding stopped.

It was purely coincidental – most bouts of hemophilia eventually do stop on their own, and it just so happened that these particular bouts’ ending coincided with Rasputin’s arrival and prayers. Nobody could explain that however to Alexandra, who convinced herself that Rasputin had performed miracles. Here, at long last and in the person of the strannik, was the answer to her fervent prayers. From then on, nothing could shake her firm belief that Rasputin was blessed by God, and that his presence was vital to her family and for the survival of her son.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Rasputin. Wiki Commons

He Parlayed Access to the Throne Into Influence

Having impressed the imperial family with his “healing” abilities, Rasputin began offering advice to Russia’s royal couple, and exerting influence on matters that were trivial and benign at first. With the passage of time, however, his influence would grow increasingly malign, and negatively impact both the imperial family and the Russian Empire as a whole.

Rasputin became a regular visitor to the imperial palace, during which visits the Tsarina Alexandra would spend hours talking with him about religion and other matters. He flattered the Empress by telling her what she wanted to hear. Specifically, that she and the Emperor were beloved by the Russian masses, and needed to be seen more by their adoring subjects.

Additionally, he told her that she and her husband should see him more often and place their absolute trust in him. He also told her that to him, the imperial couple were the equivalent of God, and so he would never lie to them and always tell them the truth. He contrasted that self-declared honesty with the supposed dishonesty of the Emperor’s ministers, who, according to Rasputin, were dishonest and did not care about the people or their tears.

Rasputin’s words moved the Empress, and she came to believe that he had been sent by God to help her family and protect the imperial dynasty. At the time, Tsarist rule was coming under increasing pressure as the imperial system started crumbling because of structural flaws and incompetent governance. Emperor and Empress began turning to Rasputin, confiding in him and seeking the comfort of his assurances that God was watching over them.

Regardless of the subject of the conversation, however, the fact remained that the peasant strannik did have a notorious reputation for lechery and a unique brand of religious practices with his female followers. Between that backdrop and the stories of the wild orgies he had engaged in with his congregation, it was not long before rumors began flying that Rasputin was sleeping with the Empress and cuckolding the Emperor.

It was commendable of the Emperor that he was secure enough in his wife’s fidelity and honesty to dismiss the rumors. However, he failed to realize that regardless of the rumors’ veracity, perception mattered. Rasputin’s proximity to the Emperor’s family, particularly his wife and teenage daughters, brought the imperial family into disrepute. It also opened the Emperor to mockery and ridicule as a cuckold, thus damaging his dignity and prestige. That undermining of imperial dignity would prove fatal.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Russian Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. Bibo

The Imperial Family Ignored His Depravities

Whether or not Rasputin had actually seduced the Russian Empress – and he did boast of having done so – there was no doubt that he had seduced dozens of aristocratic women while in St. Petersburg. In the presence of the imperial family, he kept up the act of a humble and holy peasant. Beyond the royal gaze, however, he soon fell back into his lecherous habits, preaching that physical contact with his person had holy healing powers. The strannik exerted a powerful animal magnetism, which many found inexplicable, upon the women of high society. Before long, the licentious healer had a cult following of wealthy and aristocratic women, young and old, maidens and matrons, throwing themselves at him like modern groupies at a rock star.

Rasputin set himself up in an apartment where people from all classes, but especially aristocratic women, flocked to visit him. Many of the lower classes virtually worshipped Rasputin, believed him to be a holy man, and frequently asked him for help or money. Many of Russia’s high society and aristocrats, aware that Rasputin had the ear of the Emperor and Empress and wielded influence at court, sought to gain his favor. Some even sent their wives or daughters to seduce him into putting in a good word for them at court, or their female kin did so on their own initiative to help their male relative.

And many admiring women visited him simply for sex. Lots and lots of sex. Rasputin was, by all accounts, what would be considered today a sex addict, with enviable stamina and staying power. Saint Petersburg’s authorities posted plainclothes policemen at Rasputin’s building, and their reports frequently described dozens of women, from prostitutes to high ranking aristocrats, visiting his apartment. The police reports then went on to describe loud noises of drunken revelry, partying, beatings, violent sex, and orgies that lasted until sunrise and beyond.

Although many reports of Rasputin’s unruly and unholy conduct – including the rape of a nun – reached Tsar Nicholas’ ears, he either dismissed them out of hand, or laughed them off with comments such as “the holy are always slandered“. The Tsar’s confessor investigated the reports of Rasputin’s misconduct, concluded there was truth in them, and advised Nicholas to distance himself from the strannik. The Tsar, at the behest of his wife who was fiercely protective of Rasputin, sided with the strannik and banished his confessor from Saint Petersburg, instead.

By 1911, Rasputin’s notorious misconduct had become a national scandal and turned the imperial family into a laughingstock. The Russian prime minister, P.A. Stolypin, sent the Tsar a detailed report of Rasputin’s misdeeds, which compelled Nicholas to banish him back to his village in Siberia. Within a few months, however, the Tsarevich Alexei suffered a severe bout of hemophilia. After his desperate mother telegrammed Rasputin asking him to pray for her son, who got better soon after Rasputin wrote back, the Empress forced her husband to bring the strannik back to Saint Petersburg. From then on the Tsar, anxious for peace at home, and convinced that Rasputin had a beneficial impact on his son, chose to ignore all future allegations of wrongdoing.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Tsar Nicholas II. The Famous People

He Directly Influenced Russia’s Conduct of WWI

Rasputin was strongly opposed to Russia’s entry into World War I, and to its continued participation in the conflict. He was convinced that the war would prove disastrous both for Russia and for his patrons, Russia’s ruling family. There were powerful motives driving Russia’s participation in the war, however, and it was one of the few instances when his recommendations to the Tsar and Tsarina carried little weight. As it turned out, his predictions of catastrophe for Russia and Russia’s rulers came true.

The Russian Empire was unprepared for war. It started off bad, with a humiliating defeat in the first month at Tannenberg, and things only got worse from there. When Rasputin expressed a desire to go to the front to bless the troops, Russia’s Commander-in-Chief, who was not taken in by Rasputin and viewed him as a loathsome charlatan, vowed to hang him if he came anywhere near the front.

Rasputin responded by bad-mouthing him to the Tsar, and claimed that he had a religious revelation that Russia’s armies would not be successful unless the Tsar went to the front and took personal command of his troops. In 1915, after a string of disasters, Tsar Nicholas relocated from Saint Petersburg to the front, appointed himself commander of the armed forces, and announced that he would hitherto assume personal command of the war.

It was a foolish decision: until then, Tsardom’s absolutist rule was made psychologically palatable to the Russian masses with the myth that whatever was going wrong in the Empire, the Tsar was not to blame. Bad or corrupt ministers and advisors were responsible, and they kept the Russia’s Holy Father, the Tsar, ignorant of what was going on. Once Nicholas announced that he was taking personal command of conducting the war, however, that myth became untenable. From then on, responsibility for defeat, mismanagement, and incompetence in conducting the war would be laid directly at the Tsar’s feet. As things turned out, there would be plenty of defeat, mismanagement, and incompetence in running the war, since the ill-prepared and untrained Nicholas was no general, and knew next to nothing about leading troops or running a war.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Contemporary anti-Rasputin poster, depicting him sharing the Russian crown with the Tsar and Tsarina. Pinterest

He Became the Power Behind the Throne

Nicholas’ decision to heed Rasputin’s advice and take direct control of Russia’s armies during WWI was made worse by the Tsar’s choice for running the Russian home front in his absence from the capital: his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra. The one good thing she had going for her from the Tsar’s perspective was loyalty to him and to the interests of the imperial family, comprised of her own children. The many bad things going against her included incompetence, compounded by stupidity of the worst kind: the type in which a stupid person, too stupid to grasp the extent of his or her stupidity, is deluded into believing that he or she is intelligent and cunning.

Left to run things in Saint Petersburg while her husband went off to war, it was not long before the royal airhead, convinced that Rasputin was guided by God, started soliciting the barely literate charlatan’s advice on matters of state and government. She then heeded his advice, or badgered her weak-minded husband into carrying out Rasputin’s recommendations.

Before long, government ministers and high officials were being appointed and dismissed based on what Rasputin thought of them. Those seeking to advance or secure their positions were soon flocking to offer him lavish bribes. Alternatively, ambitious officials and ladder climbers sent their wives and daughters to sexually seduce the strannik into putting in a good word for them with the Tsar and Tsarina.

By then, Rasputin was acting openly as Tsarina Alexandra’s confidant and personal advisor. He had no particular political platform and supported no specific political group. The one political constant was that Rasputin was a staunch opponent of anybody opposing the Tsar’s absolutist rule, or who ranged himself against or criticized Rasputin.

His influence during this period ranged from appointing high-ranking members of the church hierarchy, to selecting cabinet members and high-ranking government officials, many of whom proved incompetent opportunists. On occasion, he intervened in the conduct of the war by writing the Tsar, offering him advice on this or that general or this or that plan, based on religious visions and holy dreams.

Rasputin’s influence was exploited by opponents of the Tsar to challenge his competence, the integrity of the imperial dynasty, and the very concept of absolutist rule. The strannik helped his enemies and those of his imperial patrons with scandalous and notorious misconduct visible for all to see. In addition to his dissolute and licentious lifestyle, Rasputin engaged in drunken public brawls with church officials, bragged about his influence over the Tsar and Tsarina, and when in his cups, boasted of having slept with Tsarina Alexandra. Notwithstanding a mounting public clamor for his removal, Alexandra continued to fiercely defend Rasputin, insisted that he remain by her side, and compelled her husband to resist all calls for his banishment.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Prince Felix Yusupov, who organized the assassination of Rasputin. Wikimedia

He Was Extremely Difficult to Kill

The scandalous state of affairs made the Tsarist government a laughingstock and brought it into low repute. The seriousness was exacerbated by the hardships of WWI, in which Tsarist armies suffered a series of humiliating defeats. After Tsar Nicolas took personal command of the armies, the responsibility for military reversals could no longer be shunted from the crown, but was laid directly at the Tsar’s feet.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the Tsarina remained protective of Rasputin, refusing to hear any criticism of the faith healer, let alone heed advice to banish him. Against that backdrop, a group of aristocrats, led by Prince Feliks Yusupov, husband of the Tsar’s niece, decided to assassinate Rasputin in order to rid Russia of his malign influence. His death was to prove as dramatically bizarre as his life had been.

Rasputin was lured to Yusupov’s palace on the night of December 30th, 1916, on the pretext of meeting Yusupov’s wife, who was interested in “knowing” him. Many nobles had offered their wives and daughters to Rasputin before, so the invitation was not suspicious. At the palace, while waiting for Yusupov’s wife to “freshen up”, Rasputin was offered cakes and tea laced with cyanide.

He ate and drank with no ill effects. He was then offered wine, which was also poisoned. He quaffed it down without a problem, asked for another glass, then one more after that, with no ill effects. Exasperated, Yusupov then retrieved a pistol and shot Rasputin in the chest. Believing him dead, the conspirators then went about tidying up the scene of the crime and covering their tracks. They were shocked when Rasputin rose hours later and attacked Yusupov, who managed to free himself and flee up the palace stairs.

Rasputin then left via the palace courtyard, where the panicked conspirators caught up with him and shot him again. They then wrapped his body in a rug, cut a hole in a frozen river’s surface, and shoved him inside. When his body was eventually recovered, it was reported that it had not been the bullets or poison that had killed him, but drowning – he was presumably still alive when thrown into the river.

12 Details About Rasputin’s Controversial Life Not Many People Know About
Vladimir Lenin rallying the crowds during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Jacobin Magazine

He Was Eerily Prescient About His Murder’s Aftermath

In December of 1916, shortly before his murder, Rasputin sent Tsar Nicholas a message that proved eerily prescient: “I feel that I shall leave life before January 1st. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa (the Tsar), to the Russian Mother (the Tsarina) and to the Children what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, the Tsar of Russia, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years.

But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood for twenty-five years and they will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no peace in the country. The Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigory has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then none of your children will remain alive for more than two years. And if they do, they will beg for death as they will see the defeat of Russia, see the Antichrist coming, plague, poverty, destroyed churches, and desecrated sanctuaries where everyone is dead. The Russian Tsar, you will be killed by the Russian people and the people will be cursed and will serve as the devil’s weapon killing each other everywhere. Three times for 25 years they will destroy the Russian people and the orthodox faith and the Russian land will die. I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, and think of your blessed family

Rasputin was killed at the end of 1916 by boyars and nobles, and the murderers’ ranks included relatives of the Tsar’s own family. True to Rasputin’s prediction, less than three months after his murder, the Russian Revolution began in Saint Petersburg on March 8th, 1917. Troops sent to quell the revolt rebelled, turned their rifles on their own officers and joined the revolutionaries. Within a week, the Russian Empire and the rule of Romanov Dynasty, which had lasted for three centuries, collapsed with the abdication of Nicholas II.

Tsar, Tsarina, and the imperial family were imprisoned by the new Russian Provisional Government in a palace on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg, but within a few months were evacuated to the Urals for their own protection. In October of 1917, however, the Bolsheviks seized power, and the imperial family’s hitherto decent treatment came to an end. Under the Bolsheviks, conditions of imprisonment became more strict. As the Russian Civil War raged, the imperial family were put on soldiers’ rations and deprived of the loyal servants who had followed them into confinement.

On July 17th, 1918, with anti-Bolshevik armies nearing the town in which the imperial family was imprisoned, the Bolsheviks decided to eliminate the possibility of a rescue, and had the former Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and all their children, executed. As Rasputin had predicted, their murders came less than two years after his own at the hands of boyars and nobles.


Sources For Further Reading:

Time Magazine – 5 Myths and Truths About Rasputin

History of Yesterday – The Mystery of Rasputin

Good Housekeeping – Rasputin and Alexandra’s Relationship in ‘The Last Czars’ Isn’t What You Think It Is

Russia Beyond – No, Rasputin Wasn’t The Russian Queen’s Lover

Buffalo News – Beware Of Everything You Think You Know About Rasputin

Express UK – The Last Czars: How Did Alexandra Feel About Rasputin – Did They Have Sexual Relationship?

War History Online – Mysterious Death Of Rasputin, The Siberian Monk Who Brought Down The Tsar Of Russia

Owlcation – Rasputin: Satanic Interpretations Versus Modern Interpretations

History of Yesterday – How Blind Faith and a Mother’s Love Destroyed an Empire