Madness, Mysticism and Murder: The Mad Monk, Rasputin

By | November 7, 2018

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Grigori Rasputin, the Mad Monk

The meteoric rise of Grigori Rasputin from a peasant farm in Siberia to the most trusted confidant of the Czarina of Russia and the mystic healer of her son is a lesson in the power of charisma and the willingness of people to believe a charlatan. From his humble beginnings, Rasputin, the Mad Monk, experienced a bizarre religious conversion, became a holy man and spiritual healer and ingratiated himself into the Romanov family by offering false hope. The life of the Mad Monk is one of mysticism, madness and murder. 

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Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin 1869-1916. Russian priest and mystic became a private adviser to the Romanovs and an influential figure in the later years of Czar Nicholas. (Photo by: World History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

Rasputin Left His Pregnant Wife and Infant Son to go on a Religious Quest

Grigori Rasputin married a fellow peasant, Praskovya Dubrovina, in February of 1887. Ten years later, Rasputin suddenly announced he was leaving to go on a religious pilgrimage. This move raised some eyebrows. Rasputin planned to leave his pregnant wife and infant child behind to go on his pilgrimage, leading some to wonder if he had ulterior motives for fleeing. Some experts claim Rasputin was involved in a horse theft operation and was, perhaps, skipping town to avoid prosecution. Others claim that the pilgrimage was inspired after Rasputin had a vision. Whichever the reason, Rasputin’s departure from his Siberian village started him on a path that led him to St. Petersburg and the royal family.