GRIGORY YEFIMOVICH NONYKH RASPUTIN (1869-1916)
A Russian Orthodox Priest of the early 20th century who has been falsely accused of being an occultist by later writers. In his youth, Rasputin had been a sinner. Some writers have said his name means “debauched one”, but this isn’t so, and actually means “crossroads” (honestly, who would name their kid “debauched one”, anyway?) As an adult, Rasputin had a dramatic religious conversion while visiting a monastery and became a Priest. After a pilgrimage to Jerusalem that he made entirely on foot, Rasputin returned to Russia and settled in St. Petersburg. The “mad monk” Rasputin was very popular at the court of the last Czar of Russia, because he healed the Czar’s hemophiliac son through prayer.
In 1905, the Czar’s son Nicholas (a hemophiliac), was bleeding internally and was feared to be dying. When Rasputin began praying for the Czar’s son, he (or perhaps someone else) insisted the attending physician discontinue his treatments. This alone probably saved the child’s life, because the doctor was giving the child aspirin, which unbeknownst to him was compounding his hemophilia. No one at that time knew aspirin was a blood thinner.
Many nefarious claims have been made about Rasputin, and perhaps not all of them are undeserved, but he was not the monster with a hypnotic gaze later hack writers tried to turn him into. There were many temptations that came with his success, including alcohol and adultery, and if the Czar’s secret police can be believed (and that’s certainly a big “if”), he succumbed to them. His daughter Maria, wrote a biography of her father years after his death, and claims he was a pious man and dismisses the stories about him. Rasputin got involved in political intrigue and was in over his head. He was assassinated in 1916.
Occultists are fascinated by Rasputin, because of his alleged healing powers, and because he managed to become a favorite of the Romanov’s. Several theories have been made as to the source of his “powers”. One theory is that Rasputin belonged to a religious sect called the Khylsty, which practiced sex rituals, but historians conclude there is no evidence to support this idea. His daughter Maria also denied her father that he was a member of the sect in her biography of her father.
Occultists seem to think Rasputin had occult powers such as being able to read minds, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of this. Sophie Buxhoeveden, a friend of the Czarina, recounts how these stories came about:
“I believe that at this time the Empress saw Rasputin occasionally, but he was chiefly to be found in the company of the two Grand Duchesses who had ‘discovered’ him, and who now reported that Rasputin was undoubtedly a “seer.” This annoyed the Emperor, and, the next time he saw Rasputin, he asked him to tell him how he “saw ” . “Your Majesty, I know nothing of clairvoyancy,” said Rasputin.
“Then why have the Grand Duchesses asserted that you possess clairvoyant gifts?” replied the Emperor, crossly; and, when the Empress put the same question to Rasputin, she received the same reply” Buxhoeveden seemed to think the accusation of being a “seer” was done out of political reasons to discredit Rasputin. She also noted that “The commencement of endless intrigues dates from this period, as Elidor and Germogen were afraid that Rasputin would become more important than themselves.” ( from The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna by Sophie Buxhoeveden, Chapter V)
Occultists like Anton LaVey have tried to re-write history and make Rasputin into an occultist too…and even a Satanist no less. This is because they wish they could get close to people in power as Rasputin did with the Czar. But Rasputin was not an occultist, and all the wishful thinking will not change the past and make him into one. He didn’t have occult powers, and even if he lived sinfully, he still wasn’t a Satanist or occultist of any kind. The occult won’t give you sort of political power…or any power. Period.