Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rasputin Rules Russia

Alexandra, wife of Tsar Nicholas Romanov, was convinced that Rasputin could save the life of her son. It did seem that the mad monk had amazing powers and one of the theories was that he was capable of hypnosis –  as he would stare into your eyes, you would fall under his spell.

When Alexei was bleeding internally, Rasputin would relax him so thoroughly that the bleeding would stop.

Alexandra had one goal and it had nothing to do with wanting the best for Russia. She wanted to keep her son alive.

And so she welcomed Rasputin, a peasant of dubious background, into the palace with open arms.

Now this might have worked out fine, if Rasputin had only minded his own business. Instead he weaseled himself into the inner circle and began to give advice to Nicholas on how to rule Russia.

The Russians could not imagine why this peculiar man had been given access to the palace. They did not know about Alexei and his illness or Rasputin’s alleged powers.

As they became hungrier, they became angrier and, as they became angrier, they became more dangerous.

So dangerous that they revolted and, on March 16, 1917, they arrested Tsar Nicholas and his entire family, deporting them to Siberia shortly afterwards.

The royal family, who had been living so royally, was now living in squalor and guarded night and day.

And as for Rasputin? He was murdered. But he did not go softly into the night. They couldn’t poison him, they couldn’t shoot him. They had to tie him up, throw his body into a trunk and then drown him.

After they were sure he was dead, they covered him with gasoline and lit him on fire.

Alas, the Romanovs met a similar fate. At midnight on July 17th, 1918, they were lined up and shot. But the four little girls did not die easily. The bullets ricocheted off of them. The imperial jewelry sewed to their corsets acted as bullet proof vests.

The story has always intrigued me and made me wonder– what if – what if Rasputin’s power did not come from God, as he claimed, but from a magical jewel?

And what if possession of that jewel meant you could live forever?

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