RasputinYou really have to make an effort to get your name thoroughly synonymous with evil and debauchery. It doesn't just happen spontaneously. It takes a special kind of person to be a Vlad the Impaler, or a Pope Innocent III, or a Rasputin.
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was born a Siberian peasant in 1872, which is not the kind of background that usually lends itself to great success in life.
Despite the fact that he could barely read, Rasputin managed to rise to a position of nearly unprecedented power on the basis of personal charisma, evil genius, body odor, sexual profligacy and being hard to kill. Nice work if you can get it.
The young Rasputin did a brief stint in a Siberian monastery, but wisely determined that he could do better making up his own religion. Early in life, he established a name for himself by employing an apparent power to heal the sick and see the future.
Rasputin was well on track to a life of obscurity as the big fish in an exceedingly small pond, when the Virgin Mary intervened. According to his daughter, the Black Virgin of Kazan (a purportedly miraculous Russian icon) appeared to Rasputin and inspired him to make the move from rural witch doctor to power behind the throne.
It was the last time the words "Rasputin" and "virgin" would appear in the same sentence without the word "defile" in there somewhere.
Rasputin traveled to St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia, and set up shop as a healer.
At the time, Tsar Nicholas II was afflicted with a sickly heir, a hemophiliac subject to uncontrollable bleeding named Alexis. Uncontrollable bleeding was not generally considered a good quality in Russian royalty at the time, so the Tsar had two major priorities as far as his only heir was concerned: First, stop the bleeding, and second, keep it quiet.
The answer to both these problems came in the form of the "mad monk," the only person to successfully treat the bleeding. Rasputin pulled off this feat using his "healing powers," which many attributed to hypnosis.
There's nothing that wins you political favor like holding the life of the royal offspring in your hands, especially when the family wants to hush it up. By 1908, Rasputin had firmly won himself a place in the royal palace of the Romanovs. At the same time, he won a place in the bed of Tsarina Alexandra.
While it would be easy to dismiss the long-rumored affair as a matter of expediency between a mother and the only man able to treat her dying son, there's some evidence to the contrary. Recently uncovered documents revealed intimate correspondence between the mad monk and the Tsarina, full of endearments which seemed to speak of true love.
Unfortunately for the Tsarina, the fire that Rasputin ignited in her heart and/or loins would not be her exclusive royal property.
Between his renowned personal magnetism and his reputed 13-inch penis, Rasputin was a much sought-after sexual commodity. Fortunately for the ladies of Russia, he was also a readily accessible commodity. Perhaps foreshadowing the rise of Communism in his native land, Rasputin made a point of distributing the wealth.
Rumors of Rasputin's orgies date back as early as 1900, when he was still living in Siberia.
According to some historians, he belonged to an obscure religious sect known as Khlysty, or possibly to an even more obscure and extreme movement. He preached the quite sensible notion that in order to be properly saved one first had to sin prodigiously.
Rasputin reportedly entertained somewhere between hundreds and thousands of women, from all walks of life. In addition to the Tsarina, Rasputin was said to be screwing the Tsar's four young daughters as well. He reportedly had his way with the Tsar's chambermaids too.
None of this seemed to trouble the Tsar inordinately, presuming he knew about it. Rasputin became a valued political adviser to the throne. His power and his sexual antics provoked great jealousy among other members of the Romanov's court, which set the stage for his downfall.
Apparently if you're a crazy monk with intense B.O. who's fucking everyone in sight while becoming one of the most powerful people in the country, people will talk. Between the scandal and the power-mongering, it was inevitable that the Mad Monk would piss off the Russian nobility.
Many of Rasputin's enemies suspected that his powerful position had been won through some mysterious power of hypnotism. The hypnotic power was supposedly at the root of his apparent healing ability, in addition to its clear utility in wowing the ladies.
In 1915, the Tsar traipsed off to command Russian troops fighting in World War I, leaving Tsarina Alexandra "in charge" with Rasputin as her primary adviser. The virtual abdication to Rasputin was the final straw for a cabal of Russian nobles, who decided to take matters into their own hands and assassinate the Mad Monk.
You would think that Rasputin's enemies would come from the highest and noblest strata of Russian society, but most of the upright Russians were off at war, leaving the task to gay transvestite Prince Felix Yusupov (who some claimed was himself fucking Rasputin), his fag-hag best buddy Duke Dmitri, a loud-mouthed member of the Parliament, an injured soldier and a doctor (whose primary utility to the plot was that he was the only one who could drive).
The plot itself was fairly simple. Its execution, however, would be legendary in its difficulty. If you thought the Terminator was hard to kill... well, granted, the Terminator was pretty hard to kill. But so was Rasputin, which is my point.
It seemed so easy. Felix would invite Rasputin to his house on the pretext of letting the Mad Monk have his Mad Way with the Prince's wife. Then, Felix would poison Rasputin.
What could possibly go wrong?
The trouble began right off the bat when Mrs. Felix, perhaps not enamored of her life as the spouse of a gay transvestite, refused to assist in the pretext part. The plotters decided they would just pretend she was there instead.
Rasputin and Felix made their rendezvous on the evening of December 16, 1916. Felix offered Rasputin a selection of poisoned pastries. Rasputin declined, saying they were too sweet. Whoops! Then, Felix offered him some poisoned wine. Rasputin refused that as well. Piqued, Felix excused himself and left the room, to consult with his co-conspirators.
When he came back, much to his relief, Rasputin was eating the poison pastries and decided to wash them down with the poison wine. Felix sat back gleefully and waited for the poison to kick in. And he waited. And waited.
The evening stretched on and on, with no sign of the fast-acting poison's effects. Incapable of making a decision on his own, Felix again left the room to consult with his cronies. Since the subtle approach didn't appear to be working, Felix scored a gun from one of his friends and returned to Rasputin, and BANG! Point blank, one shot, and Rasputin hit the ground. After checking to be sure the monk was dead, Felix and his cohort celebrated with a few rounds of non-poisoned wine, then returned to fetch the body for disposal.
Alas, this just wasn't Felix's night.
The dead Rasputin sprang up from the floor when his body was disturbed and attempted to strangle the prince, who FREAKED OUT, MAN! Felix fled, while one of his co-conspirators (the loud-mouthed member of parliament) took off after Rasputin, who was dashing out of the building screaming that he would tell the Tsarina about this atrocity.
Loud-mouth emptied his entire pistol in Rasputin, missing the first few shots before scoring a hit in the back. Rasputin stopped running, but didn't fall. Loud-moth shot him in the head. This time, he actually fell, but he kept crawling away. The legislator kicked Rasputin in the head. Still no luck.
The conspirators pulled the monk's body inside to avoid the scrutiny of a policeman who had heard the shots. Once inside, the newly encouraged Felix beat Rasputin's head to pieces with a barbell. After wrapping his body in canvas, the plotters were dismayed to discover that Rasputin was STILL breathing. At this point, the plotters apparently decided to hack off the Mad Monk's 13-inch love tool, although this may be apocryphal.
Finally, they tied him up and threw him in the river. When his body was found a few days later, he appeared to have been STILL alive underwater and clawing to get out of the ropes. There was also enough water in his lungs to support this premise, and three bullets lodged in various regions of the body.
Within a year of the murder, the entire Romanov family had joined Rasputin in the great beyond, a development that some attributed to a dying curse while others chalked it up to the political ramifications of a bunch of royal fuckers murdering a peasant (albeit a powerful and freaky one). It didn't help that the killers were punished only with exile.
All these stories beg the obvious question: What the fuck? When one looks at the actual murder plot, two words come to mind: "needlessly elaborate."
Why the elaborate charade of offering up Felix's wife? Why not just invite him over, since Felix and Rasputin were purportedly friends. Why not just poison him at the court, or in his own home? Why did the autopsy reveal there was no poison in Rasputin's blood when he died? Why not just shoot him in the first place? Why not just drown him in the first place? And what's up with the severing of his manly attribute? The stack of improbabilities and non sequiturs might lead some people to think that the story has been hideously overblown. There's a reasonable amount of historical backup for a lot of it, but the actual events of the murder itself are largely extracted from the accounts of the perpetrators, who may have sought a supernatural explanation for their own blatant incompetence.
Short of setting the Wayback Machine for 1916, there isn't much chance of getting a more complete account. The primary physical evidence, Rasputin's dismembered penis, has proven as elusive as the man himself.
According to his daughter, Rasputin's maid was present at the murder (a fact omitted from the historical accounts) and retrieved the organ in question (which the autopsy report did not list as missing) after the deed was done.
Like the Shroud of Turin, Rasputin's cock then appears to have traveled the world as the subject of some sort of weird veneration, only instead of the Knights Templar, this relic was guarded by a group of French ladies of leisure, who were presumably possessed of entirely too much time on their hands.
Marie Rasputin, the monk's daughter, apparently caught wind of these odd rituals and took possession of the, ah, let's call it a memento of her father. It then disappeared, only to resurface in 1994 with a few of Marie's manuscripts which were picked up by a California man at a sale of abandoned property.
The object was resold at auction for several hundred dollars, and resurfaced the next year in the possession of a British woman who gave it up for scientific testing. It turned out to be a sea cucumber. Ah well, it was a nice story anyway...