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How Did Rasputin Die ? Who Was He And What Did He Do Wrong ?


On December 16, 1916, Prince Yusupov and a few other aristocrats decided to put an end to the life of Grigori Rasputin, debauched monk, drunkard muzhik, entered into the favors of the imperial family because of his healing powers.

From the depths of Siberia

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin comes from a small Siberian village that he abandoned one day to devote himself to religion, meditation and wandering. After a few years of these mystical wanderings, he acquired in his native region the reputation of a starets, that is to say of a holy man. In 1904, he left Siberia for Saint Petersburg and sought hospitality at the Academy of Theology, where he was introduced to Bishop Hermogenes and the great preacher Iliodorus. These, immediately seduced by his faith, promote his entry into the society of the capital. From then on, he began to be talked about, both through the miracles he performed and through his life of debauchery.

Conquering the Court

The court of Tsar Nicholas II saw a tragedy. Tsarevich Alexei, the sole heir to the crown, suffers from an incurable disease, hemophilia, which makes him suffer excruciatingly. The reputation of Rasputin having reached the ears of the Tsarina Alexandra, the “miracle worker” was summoned to the Court. On several occasions, he alleviates the suffering of the young patient or manages to stop hemorrhages which are in principle fatal. Can we speak of pure coincidences between Rasputin's visits and the obvious improvement in the child's health? It is impossible to answer with certainty. Yet the apparently positive influence the man exerted on little Alexei' illness explains the source of his hold over the Tsarina, the Court and the aristocratic world of St. Petersburg.

The "Tsar above the Tsars"

The imperial family has such a friendship that he is beginning to be referred to as the "tsar above the tsars". Rasputin benefits greatly from the fascination he exerts, especially with women. When a young girl comes to him for advice, he does not hesitate to abuse her while talking to her about God and redemption. His life of debauchery known to have no limits does not prevent him from having a feminine court to his devotion, ready to do anything for him. Rasputin's apartment soon becomes the place of passage for all possible petitioners and important figures. In 1916, Council Chairman Sturmer and Minister of Interior Protopopov participated in the turntable sessions he organized at his home. This role arouses so much hatred and jealousy in influential circles that he ends up being attributed a political activity and responsibility which he may not in reality have, even if the Tsarina seems to be at his command.

Insensitive to cyanide!

In 1916, Russia's military defeats at the front and the breakdown of the state sparked outrage across the country. For Russian opinion, if all goes wrong, it is necessarily because of the bad influence that Rasputin exerts on the Tsar, and the disappointments of the army are explained because the starets are sold to German espionage.

In this atmosphere of suspicion, a number of aristocrats, including the Tsar’s related Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, believe that the only way to help the country is to get rid of Grigori Rasputin. A young 19-year-old prince, Felix Yusupov, feels invested with this mission. On December 29, 1916, he invited Rasputin to his home, to the Moika palace, under the pretext of introducing his wife to him. Along with his accomplices, the prince had cakes made impregnated with a dose of cyanide capable of killing twenty people and also poured this poison into the glass intended for Rasputin. When the monk arrives at Yusupov’s, the starets sit down, eat the various dishes offered to him and, while the cyanide normally acts in only a few minutes, two hours later Rasputin is doing like a charm.

Rasputin refuses to die

The prince is exhausted and Rasputin asks for more to drink! Determined to end it, Yusupov takes his revolver and shoots point blank. At this noise, the accomplices emerge from their hiding places; a doctor, who examines Rasputin, concludes that he is still alive. However, soon the breathing ceases and his assassins descend the body to the basement of the palace. A few minutes later, Rasputin gets up, tries to strangle Yusupov, rushes outside: it takes four bullets for him to fall and blows from a baton to smash his head. The conspirators envelop the body and throw it into the Neva.

When the monk’s corpse is found in the water, it is noted that he was still alive when he was thrown into the river: Rasputin drowned! This truly exceptional endurance contributes to the legend of Rasputin as "superhuman". Was he insensitive to poison? It remains a mystery. He was, in any case, what we call a force of nature and had an extraordinary temperament.

Mysticism in Russia

After the 17th century and until the Revolution of 1917, a large number of sects arose in Russia.

"Spirit fighters"

They regard the Orthodox religion as a form of idolatry; they reject baptism, do not sign each other before praying as tradition dictates, and refuse the institution of marriage, considering that mutual consent is sufficient. For them, the main source of faith is not the Bible but the living oral tradition, which the faithful pass on from generation to generation.

"Milk drinkers"

Members of this sect, founded by Simion Oukléïne, are at odds with "spirit fighters" and the Orthodox Church. They destroy all the icons or turn them into firewood; they do not drink alcoholic beverages (hence their name "milk drinkers"); their children do not have toys, are not allowed to hang out in the streets or eat sweets, but they are never punished by their parents. Women do not wear jewelry, but are treated the same as men.

"Flagellants" or "khlysty" ("whipped")

They whip each other with branches or twisted fabrics during their assemblies to mortify their flesh. According to their doctrine, Christ is periodically reincarnated in human beings whom they call "christ." We know of cases where the participants take communion by drinking the urine of their "christ" and enter into communication with the Lord during "revolving dances", kinds of sessions of collective ecstasy and frenzy, from which they leave purified.

"The castrati"

A branch of the group of flagellants which appears in the 18th century, they practice the same "rotating dances" but add compulsory castration. For them, it is necessary to escape the bodily envelope, symbolized by sex, to achieve absolute purity.