August 19, 2018

Me and Grigori

Grigori Rasputin…correctly pronounced Ra-sputin was born around 1869 to a peasant family...I should know, we grew up as friends...this was in one of my previous lives that I don’t like to talk about often for I still fear their might be some Bolsheviks running around...one day he told me he decided to become a monk which we both laughed about as we both knew he didn’t have the self-control to abstain from heavy drinking, and sex...and who could blame him?...at least I wasn’t a hypocrite about it...the church soon realized the sham of it all and Rasputin was banished...I had no prospects in Pokrovskoye either so we gathered up a couple of rucksacks and we wandered the countryside of Russia together... dreaming of better days and we eventually drifted towards the western part of Russia...past golden fields of wheat that had a heavenly glow in the midday sun and too many farms to count...we even met a few farmer’s daughters...even those who despised Rasputin admitted that he had enormous charisma, and through that charisma, he could gain control over a countless number of people...but not me...I saw through him and his tricks...maybe that’s why he liked me...he couldn’t put it over on me...his eyes were said to be captivating, something like those of Dracula...he could sure cast a spell on people...I found it funny…Father Grigori...Rasputin...’our friend’ as he was called by the Tsarina...at least in his early days was known by some as a ‘man of God’...at least some people considered him that...others...well, they knew better...even in recent times, certain ‘men of God’ have been proven to be nothing but frauds, hucksters, and charlatans...all while posing as ‘men of God’...and what’s worse is that the good and holy church has stood by sometimes and hushed up allegations, covered up transgressions...sending the offenders to other sites once rumors had started up about them...a.k.a. hiding them from the press, the public, the accusers, the police...Rasputin didn’t try to hide things, I’ll say that for him...he said something like you have to sin for God to forgive your sins...or something like that to justify his sinning of course...so of course, he did...anyway, through some shady connections, we met the family of Czar Nicholas II who had the backbone of an invertebrate...he became a favorite of Nicholas’s wife, Alexandra...he knew he was being watched with suspicious eyes...the Okhrana (secret police) made various reports about him which were forwarded to the Tsar...stories about his drinking, going with women, other outrageous behavior were all documented by the little men with their little black notebooks...but the Tsarina was one to dismiss all these accounts...she was under the spell that Rasputin was indeed a ‘man of God’...she firmly believed that Father Grigori kept the young Alexei alive through his powers and relationship with God...of course Father Grigori was always humble and well behaved when he met with the Tsarina or anyone in their ‘court’...I think the Okhrana followed me for a while, but got tired of hanging around the bars of St. Petersburg and moved on...for all the condemnation of Rasputin throughout the course of history, were his acts really any worse than what the modern day tricksters have done?...but, there is no denying that he correctly predicted the future several times...when the Tsarevich Alexei was deeply ill and the doctors had all but given up, it was Rasputin who said that “the little one will not die”, and what the hell...he miraculously recovered...hypnosis some say...he also warned that if a Romanov relative was involved in his killing, no member of the inner Romanov circle would survive...they would all be killed by the Russian people...and that’s the way it went down...were these visions from God or another source?...who knows...he never told me, but there’s no arguing that a lot of the things he predicted came true...the real story has been repeated again and again with an exaggeration here, there, or almost everywhere that it’s difficult to know what the truth is...some say he had incredible healing powers but I’ll just say his ‘powers’ were questionable...I kept my distance...I didn’t like the Czar or his wife but we thought a couple of the princesses were really cute, but we didn’t dare...Grand Duke Nikolasha was a good guy, but a friend of mine who was a Cossack told me the Czar was going to get overthrown...and he was right...it has been widely circulated that Rasputin was able to exert some political influence over the Czar through Alexandra, but Rasputin was always stretching the truth...but who knows, maybe he did...as with most of us Russians, he became swept up in the events of the Russian Revolution...it was a time of great upheaval and some people changed sides frequently depending on who they thought might win...my friend the Cossack later wound up as a personal bodyguard of Lenin...I stayed out of it...I met Lenin once and I never cared for him either...Rasputin by all accounts was an uncouth and obnoxious man, and I would argue those were his good points ...however, at least when I went to his house, there was always plenty of liquor and women so what was not to like?...his time at the top however was short lived...he met a gruesome death at the hands of assassins in 1916...contempt for Rasputin had grown among the political rivals of Czar Nicholas, and Rasputin and his ways had made him his fair share of enemies...december 29, 1916 was a fateful day for my friend Grigori...that’s the day when a group of conspirators, including some guy named Prince Yusupov, invited Rasputin to his palace for a supposed feast...I had a funny feeling about that and told Grigori, but he laughed it off...once there, Rasputin was fed wine and cakes that had been laced with cyanide...but the poison seemed to have no effect on the ‘holy’ man...as time passed, the conspirators grew desperate and resorted to repeatedly beating and then finally shooting him several times...he was wrapped in a carpet and thrown into the beautiful Neva River...his body was not discovered until three days later...an autopsy on the body showed that there was water in his lungs at the time of his death...thus, it was concluded that the hard to kill Rasputin was miraculously still alive when thrown in the river, and that he had died by not by arsenic poisoning, or by stabbing, or even by shooting...he always was a stubborn SOB. He had died by drowning...at last, the enemies of Rasputin had gotten rid of him...I quietly drifted away and slipped over the border like a late winter sunset and lived a quiet life, but I thought of my friend often and even missed him, imperfections and all.