Ra Ra Rasputin
Gregory Efimovich Rasputin.
Gregories aren’t usually associated with notoriety, but there you go.
Gregarious means sociable I guess. The root of the name Rasputin however in Russian is debauchery!
Mad monk. Siberian mystic and healer. Advisor to the Tsar and Tsarina and healer of their son.
But also a womaniser generally seen in an alcoholic haze?
Even from childhood he was believed to have mystical gifts and do miracles.
Strong vodka soon took over, Rasputin sounds as if he was rather bedraggled in those days, but his hypnotic eyes were always striking, nobody could tell what colour they were. Just like mine. Well, mine are the colour of the sea, that is all I can say. Look into them, if you dare.
He became more wildly dishevelled after a beating from a neighbour he was stealing a fence from, possibly growing his hair to hide a scar like a little horn. Like an Antichrist, huh, Bible bashers?
He was the sort of guy who got himself exiled to worse parts of Siberia, from within Siberia.
When he became religious, it was not so much in an official church way, but more as a wanderer beloved of the underground Khlyst sects, who were rather fond of “group sinning”, present across Russia. He began to become famed for his prophecies.
His seeming or genuine healing of Alexei, the haemophiliac son of the Tsar and Tsarina, and of the latter’s headaches and nervous troubles helped him to stay close to the throne.
His powers of seduction were notorious, he assembled quite a gaggle of young (and old) female groupies.
One buddy of Rasputin was Pyotr Badmaev, the doctor of Tibetan medicine, whom Rasputin named “The Cunning Chinaman” and said of him “He has two infusions: you drink a little glass of one, and your cock gets hard; but there’s still the other: you drink a really tiny glass of it, and it makes you good-natured and kind of stupid, and you don’t care about anything.”. It is thought Rasputin may have regularly drugged the Tsar with the latter.
They may have also collaborated to bump off a Prime minister…
Bad Badmaev then seemed to start playing everyone off against each other. You gotta love the guy though.
All were fascinated with Rasputin at the time. “Spending time with senior ladies, he nevertheless does not stop visiting prostitutes.”
Once police agents were able to “spy” on how he dealt with them. From the agent’s note: “Rasputin bought her two bottles of wine, but did not drink … asked her to undress, examined the body and left” It is also known that after visiting prostitutes he “walked down the street, waving his hands, slapping his body and talking to himself”, –that is clearly, being not himself. Naturally, any man after such “exercises” can ” go to the roof”
Perhaps he could not always withstand the temptation. But he tried … One of educated friends Rasputin (Filippov) told in 1917 about one of the rare conversations with him about women (actually Rasputin avoided talking about women with the “uninitiated”).
Here is what he said:
“Rasputin believed that women have little” spiritual burning”. Meanwhile, according Rasputin, one must always be “thinning” and even in relationships with women one should not only enjoy them physically, as to feel the subtle feelings of closeness to a woman -but this -added Rasputin, the women do not understand … -Saints (as Serafim Sarovsky),.. those could see stripped women (harlots), could look at them, -but they flated out, and did not allow phisical convergence … And Rasputin himself believed that through thinning nerves and testing the platonic highest state, he can, for example, rise into the air … ”
It was his arguments with the devil after his visits to the prostitutes that the agent had observed.
Another lady of the night gave an account:-
“I was picked up by a peasant in a tight-fitting coat. He immediately promised her such good money that she began to wonder where a peasant would get such a sum —maybe he had killed somebody. But as if reading her thoughts, he said to her, ‘Little fool! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Grigory Efimovich Rasputin.’ He took her to the same cheap hotel where they all took her and ordered her to undress. He sat down across from her. And sat and watched in silence. His face suddenly turned very, very pale, as if all the blood had left it. She even got scared. Then he gave her the money and left. On his way out he said, ‘Your kidneys are bad.’ He took her to the same hotel another time. And even lay down with her but did not touch her. And she was a ‘real peach’. Which is what everybody called her. She saw him again, but he picked others. She was glad, since she was afraid of him —it was as if he was crazy —she was afraid he would stab her. Such things had happened. He said something else to her that first time, but she was not paying attention, since ‘it was cold in the room —it was winter —and I was sitting naked and all hunched up.’ In 1940 she had a kidney removed.”
A total perv at other times, Rasputin seemed to be working to a principle of oscillation:-
“A strong will gave him the possibility of abruptly turning away from the life of the rake to feats of fasting and prayer. First by those feats, and then by extreme sexual debauchery, he refined his flesh and took his nerves to the highest degree of oscillation … In general, this may be achieved by feats, sexual depravity, or, finally, as the result of any debilitating disease, of consumption, for example. In all these instances, people are very nervous, impressionable, feel deeply, and can penetrate the soul of another, read the thoughts of strangers, and even predict the future.”
He purported to believe he was helping unloved and unsatisfied women, including unhappily married ones, purge the demon of lechery through his kind of sexual activity with them, helping them to travel through the circuit of sin to repentance to joy. Repeatedly. Thanks, Rasputin, you are so kind!
If only a great book like this had been available to him:-
The entourage themselves seemed to be quite ecstatically addicted to him, he was the charismatic rock star of his time, many felt as if they were being intimate with a saint, and so still felt holy being… very unholy indeed…
Rasputin was illiterate, thought paintings were boring, always ate with his fingers, yet attracted an endless aristocratic entourage. He was observed to be pathologically jealous if attention was shown to those suspected of physical or even platonic relationships with him.
Rasputin’s diet. It turns out that it was not merely a diet but also a path to the ‘divine in oneself’. ‘Rasputin did not merely avoid eating meat … He ate fish, as Christ and the apostles had done. And by apostolic rule, he ate with his hands…breaking his bread and never slicing it … Moreover, he found that meat blackens man, whereas fish lightens him. Therefore, both from the apostles and from those people who eat fish there always emanate beams of light like a halo, albeit an imperceptible one.’
A nosy friend would sneak a peek at the bathhouse to investigate the possible physical attributes behind Rasputin’s success but could only conclude “Nothing unusual, no enormous sexual organ of the sort already created or soon afterwards to be created by legend. A neat, clean peasant with a young-looking body, and that is all.”
In case you were wondering.
Things took a turn for the worst with the first attempt to kill Rasputin, stabbed in the stomach by a female would-be assassin.
On recovery, Rasputin rediscovered a love of wine and spent a considerable amount of time drunk and spending his supporters’ donations.
His prophecies however were always to support peace, being a lover, not a fighter, but even he couldn’t influence the Tsar enough to prevent the escalation of the First World War, and his was the main voice insisting it must cease as soon as possible. The Tsarina remained obsessed with him.
The next assassination attempt was an automobile collision, which were extremely rare in those days. Rasputin had been followed by the secret Police for a long time, he now accepted two accompanying him for protection, realising they were spying on him and just as likely to kill him themselves!
Rasputin still found time to be kind to the Jewish people who were otherwise being persecuted and exiled. He had cured by touch the son of one of such friends of St. Vitus’ Dance. His hypnotic powers have been vividly described, although he denied having such.
It was then said “A dangerous, mysterious visionary force suddenly revived in him. And his rolling eyes and wheeze and the deathly pale white face during those visions have been described by witnesses. And sometimes the visions were remarkable.”
With the help of his Brains Trust, Rasputin was for a long time the mover and shaker in Russian politics.
And that’s why his enemies, a band of conservative noblemen, perhaps with the help of British Intelligence, had to get rid of him. He was to bring about the end of the war, which they didn’t want. And they just didn’t like him all that much.
According to later accounts from the murderers, the final assassination was to take place through luring Rasputin to meet a young woman to “heal” leading to poisoning with potassium cyanide of his wine and pastries, “little pink and brown petits fours chosen to complement the colour of the wall”, the doctor putting “enough poison to kill an ox” into the pink cream filled ones only, and to two of four wine glasses.
Looks like Rasputin’s intuition had deserted him that evening. The gramophone was playing Yankee Doodle.
The poison only caused belching, and one of the conspirators ended up playing him guitar ballads and singing to him. In another room he then asked the others “Do you mind if I shoot him?”. Which he then did, several times.
Rasputin was assumed dead for hours, but then dramatically James Bond/Terminator villain style revived to grab the doctor who had provided the poison, before running off and eventually having to be shot twice again, before being kicked in the temple and beaten with a rubber coated two pound dumbbell handle. But he was still alive… and alive he was eventually dumped through an ice hole into a river.
On surfacing with arms outstretched and air in the lungs, he was buried in the construction site of a chapel, then dug up by soldiers, disguised as a musical instrument in a piano case, driven off and then burnt on a bonfire, during which his body spookily sat up, and his ashes were scattered to the winds- so going through water, earth, fire and air.
One of his daughters survived until the 1970s, where she ended up in the USA working as a lion tamer.
Otherwise the Tsar and his family were of course famously executed in the basement soon afterwards, and their bodies followed a similar journey through the elements. Not too long after that the Bolsheviks liquidated so many others from the story.
In popular culture, needless to say, many films have been made of his crazy life, most recently with Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as popping up, generally as a bad guy, in fiction such as Hellboy, Buffy, Angel, Animaniacs, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Red Dwarf, Seinfeld, Top Cat, Dr Who…
Richard Herring (an ex-Internet nemesis of mine in a previous life) played Rasputin in his 1993 comedy show.
Musicals, operas, an X-Men predecessor, Dilbert, novels, music such as supergroup Electronic, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan, The Scissor Sisters…
Back to Boney M, singer of “Ra Ra Rasputin Bobby Farrell had dressed up as Rasputin in some band performances of the song, and his death occurred on the anniversary of, and in the same city as, the death of Rasputin. Say whaaat?
Rasputin shows up in myriad computer and console games, including for my beloved 80s ZX Spectrum.
Alexander Dugin is now known as Putin’s Rasputin… does history repeat?