An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery: RAH-SPEW-TIN

Posted on October 20, 2014


Don’t look into his eyes.

I was a big fan of the British comedy show ‘Red Dwarf’ in my younger years. Heck, I still am. One of my favourite episodes centred around the crew finding themselves on a planet inhabited by wax works of famous figures throughout history. As human and human-like beings are wont to do, they ended up squabbling and branching off into two distinct sects. One of these included the most beloved people in history, Einstein, Pythagoras, Elvis and the like. The other, the dregs of history, those people we tell our children about at night. Hitler, Genghis Khan etc. One major figure on the side of the bastards was Rasputin. I’d heard this name bandied about a lot, in fact a particularly chatty cashier in a local convenience shop in my home village looks a little bit like a blond version of him, but I had no real idea who he was. Why did he have such a wretched reputation? What was he doing working in One Stop? All I really knew was that RASPUTIN is a lot of fun to say. Let’s find out more about the ‘Mad Monk’.

Things didn’t start off too well for ol’ Greggy, and this is before he even entered the earth. His Dad was a bit of a drunkard, and whilst working as a carter he got drunk and his horse ran off. Naturally suspicious of drunks, the government charged him with horse theft and he was sent off to Siberia to serve his sentence. Serve his sentence he did, and he eventually married and had some kiddies out in god-knows-where Siberia. One of these, he called Grigory. Or Greg, for the remainder of this. Things didn’t start too grand for Greg though, as his elder sister Maria drowned. His older brother Dmitri almost drowned, only surviving thanks to Greg’s dramatic save. Greg couldn’t save Dmitri from the inevitable pneumonia though, and he died soon after. Not much else is known about the early years of Rasputin. Most of what is assumed known is hearsay, legend and myth. Supposedly he loves horses, and squabbled with other kids but not to the point of trouble. He received very little education, and most historians agree that he was pretty much illiterate. As we all know however, you don’t need to be literate to drink and fuck, and drink and fuck Rasputin did. From the age of 15 onwards, this chap was promiscu-fucking-ous.

He followed his Papa into the carter world though, and it was whilst working that someone, some poor unfortunate soul convinced him to become a monk. Fuck it, Greggy thought, why not. So off he plodded, towards Verkhoture Monastery, somewhere in the Urals about 300km from Yekaterinburg. (300km! Russia is fucking big). His quest to become a monk didn’t last too long though, and within three months he buggered off to become a nomad, teaching the ancient Khlysty doctrines to the Russian peasants. Oh, and to get married. And have a shit ton of sex. He had three kiddies, but he buggered off nonetheless to continue growing his myth as a terrifying mystic. He roamed as a vagabond peasant for years, and rumour spread fast of his healing powers. He amassed a small army of female followers, who he may or may not have been sleeping with. I’m going to veer towards the ‘may’ part of that there equation. He soon made his way home though, but upon his return he emotionally abandoned his family and lived in the cellar, where he could be found on his knees praying for forgiveness. Word spread though, and people came to see this odd bastard who was kneeling in a damp cellar. They came in droves, entering with cynicism and leaving with various mixtures of terror and adoration. A cult began to grow, centred around his terrifying voice. Rasputin seemingly had a different way of interpreting the scriptures in good book, finding easy what many studied years to understand. He was visited by priests and monks the like, and each came away as terrified and confused as the peasants.

‘…take away your scriptures and your useless pondering over them. Accept life as it is, as God gave it to us’

One thing that is important to remember at this time is that Russia was in a political state. And by state, I mean it was knee-deep in a shitty puddle full of shitty shitting shit. Nicholas II was Tsar at the time, and he was a shit Tsar who had inherited a shit, dying state. The generation that he ruled over was the first generation that weren’t officially tied to the land as slaves, yet the monarchy still ruled with the most iron of fists. Russia was a nation of illiterate slaves, and tension was rising. To add to this, Nicholas’ recently born son, Alexei, was a serious hemophiliac, and the little bugger was on death’s door. Many had come to heal him, and all of that many had failed. With the timing of the greatest comedian, a oft-whispered about mystic healer had entered St Petersburg, the capital, at this time. His name was Rasputin, and he was called for. Believe it or not, but he managed to cure the heir to the throne of his wretched internal bleeding. From that moment on, Rasputin was beloved by the Tsar and, more importantly, his wife. His strange lifestyle that was half parts generosity, half parts mass orgies, was about to begin.

It was in St Petersburg that Greg’s reputation as being an unwashed sexual beast took over. Supposedly, his lack of hygiene lead to him having the most manly of smells, similar to that of a particularly confused goat, that women found impossible to resist. That or the hypnosis that he had mastered, led to a veritable buffet of sex and fucking and boning for the most peasant of peasants from Shitsville, Siberia. He rose to a position of almost unbelievable power in the Russian empire thanks to his mix of intense charisma, genuine kindness and the fact that was he practically impossible to kill. But more on that later. He became the Tsar’s wife’s most trusted advisor, and I don’t think I can truly appreciate how important of an individual in the Russian Empire that made Greg. He could make or break the careers and lives of any individual he cared for. It was this association with the Imperial family that would lead to his downfall though, as many others close to the family grew jealous of their trust in Rasputin, as well as constantly disapproving with the fact that he slept with anything that had a vertebrae.

One of these disapproving chaps, Prince Felix Yusupov, hatched a plan to do Greg in. Rasputin was invited round to Yusupov’s, ostensibly with the idea of banging his wife. Upon arrival, Greg was plied with cakes and wine. What a great host Felix was! Nope, they were plied with enough potassium cyanide to kill half a dozen men. It had little effect on ol’ Greg though, who merely drank more wine and insisted they play old folk songs on the guitar. Heading towards Plan B, Yusupov took a revolver and shot Rasputin from point-blank range. To the floor he fell, twitching as he went. He was bleeding profusely, so the perpetrators decided to head upstairs, listen to some records and wait for him to bleed to death. Yusupov grew nervous though, and decided to go down and check on the bleeding Rasputin. Bleeding he was, but dead he most certainly was not. His left eye opened, then his right, and before Felix could say FAILED ASSASINATION OF MENTAL STINKY SEX MAD MONK Rasputin was up and attacking Yusupov, hands around his throat and foam coming out of his mouth. His terrifying voice was in full flow now, and Yusupov ran for his mother fudging life. Into the courtyard they tumbled, and the agony was ended when another of the assassination squad shot Rasputin a couple more times. This wasn’t quite enough though, and it took a bludgeoning of the temple to end it. They then dismembered his body a little bit, and threw it into the Neva river. Rasputin’s corpse was found a few days later with water in his lungs, which suggest he may have even been alive when he was thrown into the river. This guy was as close to indestructible as it got.

Some thought he was the devil. Others, mostly the peasants of the country, thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, which hadn’t even been invented at the time, making sliced bread the best thing since Rasputin. He is certainly a character whose myths outweigh the truths, and maybe that is how it should be. It has come to light that his death wasn’t as dramatic as it sounds, more that the first bullet killed him but the killers were just useless at confirming the job was done. Heck, it might even have been the work of the British secret intelligence. A lot of stock is placed in quotes he made with regards to his prophet status as well. He famously told the Tsar that if the Russian government killed him, the people would kill the Russian government. 15 months after his own death he was proved right, but as Russia was sinking deeper and deeper into the shitty puddle of shitty shitting shit, this was almost an inevitability at the time. He was most certainly a man of complete contradictions and multiple personalities though. He involved himself in the most base of orgies, spending time at bath houses where he would force his female devotees to strip naked and to bathe him, a claim which sort of contradicts the whole not-washing thing. At the same time, he was a vegetarian because he claimed he’d already seen too much suffering, and he was the lead voice warning of the imminent destruction that World War One would bring. He was an utter peasant who went on to the live the most debauchery-filled life in the capital of a (once-great) empire. He was despised by the nobles, adored by the peasants, yet has carved a niche in history as a bad man. No one knows what kind of man Rasputin was.

All we know is that he loved to fuck, and his name is great fun to say. Rasputin. RAH-SPEW-TIN.