Thursday, April 12, 2007

History's Evil - Rasputin

The ‘Mad Monk’ who brought down a dynasty

On April 4th of this year, I submitted a post regarding a book I was reading titled “The Most Evil Men and Women in History” by Miranda Twiss. I promised that, as I make my way through this book, I would report to you what I had learned about the some of the individuals covered. I have not made much headway into this book but I have completed a few chapters on a number of individuals. I must admit that, though I thought I knew all about the one’s I have covered so far, I was soon to learn how wrong I was.

The first “evil individual” that I read about was Rasputin.

Rasputin was born around the year of 1869 in Serbia Russia. Not much is recorded about his early life other than some trivia regarding his family and childhood. He was born into a peasant family in Pokrovskoe.

As he reached adulthood, he made his way up from the lowest rung of society to become one of the most hated men in Russia. Prior to his death, he was instrumental in setting in motion the annihilation of the 300 year old Romanov dynasty and thereby changing the future of the Russian citizens in ways that have adversely affected them even to this day.

To many Russians, he was considered to be a holy man. He was uneducated as he never attended school. He was also virtually illiterate, a heavy drinker, a brawler and a thief. He was regarded a saint, a sinner and a devil by all those who knew him.

His influence upon many powerful people in Russia was cause for grave concern. Even Nicholas II and his wife Alexandria were taken in by his influence to the point that many decisions made by the Monarchy, were directly influenced by this so called “holy man” who advocated religious beliefs that promoted murder, corruption, extortion and debauchery. His influence upon them caused thousands of Russian soldiers to perish in wars against countries such as Germany. His advice caused the citizens of Russia to lose confidence in their Monarchy as well as their government.

Over the years when Rasputin was on a wave of control over much of the country's leaders, people tried to unsuccessfully “dethrone” his influence but failed resulting in thier death. No matter what, he was kept in the highest regards and thereby protected by the members of the Romanov Dynasty.

In December 1916, his bloated and castrated body was dragged from the freezing waters of the River Neva in St. Petersburg. Upon the notice of his death, millions of Russians celebrated the death of this ‘mad monk.’

In a letter written before his death, he predicted demise of the Tsar and his family. 74 days after his death, on July 18, 1918 the prediction came true as the Tsar’s entire family was assassinated in the basement of an isolated farmhouse. Since then, Rasputin’s name has been associated with disaster of an empire.

So, there you go… a mad monk who destroyed a nation. I cannot help but wonder how the history of Russia would have been different had Rasputin not had so much influence in that country. It is my opinion that nothing good can come from when a person is given so much power and influence upon those in leadership. There is something to be said of “for the people…by the people.”


Hammer said...

Thankfully we don't have any modern day comparisons..or do we?

Becky Wolfe said...

Yes, Rasputin does have a rather foul history with the russian monarchy. I too, wonder who they will be writing about of our modern "evil men & women" 100 years from now.

Rasputin the SONG however, is a great dance song at weddings. "Ra, ra rasputin, lover of the russian queen..." ;)

Anonymous said...

When I read this post of Rasputin it made me think of Ira Eihorn (aka "The Unicorn Killer"). Though obviously not as bad as Rasputin, he was a loon that was able to carry a certain about of influence from people who should have avoided him. Is he in your book?

Hope you are well! :>

Josie said...

He has sort of a Charles Manson quality about him, doesn't he? And Manson seemed to have the same sort of influence over people. They're almost hypnotic.

Janice Thomson said...

There will always be lunatics around that cause tension in the Idi Amin and Gadaffi and Jim Jones to name a few altho Amin and Jones are now dead and all is quiet for the moment in Lybia.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Isn't it strange how we can confuse evil with holy?