Grigori Rasputin is one of the most intriguing characters of the 20th century. Some considered him as a madman and a swindler; others as a holy man, a prophet. But he was, first and foremost, a very enigmatic figure – that arousescountless stories and legends about him.
It is known his dedication to the religion, some people believes that he had a vision of the Virgin Mary, encouraging him to a spiritual life. Rasputin was a charismatic man and his reputation spread very quickly in Siberia and consequently in the rest of Russia. That expansion allowed him to create bonds with powerful people and soon he became very close to the czar and the royal family, working as a healer for the Czar’s son, Alexei.
Alexei suffered from hemophilia and everybody believed in the healing powers of Rasputin, easing the pain and stopping the bleeding.
With so huge popularity in Imperial Russia, he turned into a very controversial figure in both political and religious fields. There are many stories relating him to alternative spiritual movements, occult practices and supernatural curiosity. He was also known to practice and promote sexual promiscuity, including orgy- “(…)a ritual which sought to overcome human sexual urges by engaging in group sexual activities so that, in consciously sinning together, the sin’s power over the human was nullified”.
The power and influence over the royal family scared both nobility and clergy. In 1916 a group of nobles planned to kill him. But Rasputin was hard to kill, he was shot four times to fell on the ground. The murderers wrapped him in a carpet, and tossed him into the icy waters of the River Neva. It was later claimed that he managed to break free of his bonds inside the rolled up carpet, but was not strong enough to fend off death by drowning….