Monday, December 15, 2008

Rasputin Book Two

"The Rasputin File" by Edvard Radzinsky
A file was bought at a 1995 Sotheby's auction, it is a gold mine of information on Rasputin. The file contains interviews from those who were his friends, and those that were his enemies. The file was bought by a friend of the Russian author Edvard Radzinsky, the author traveled to Paris to see this file that he had heard about, but had never been able to locate. Rasputin has after perestroika become a curiosity to the Russian people, there is a renewed interest in him, many do not believe what had been said about him, believing that these stories are myths. The file is proof, from the investigation that was done after Rasputin's death, that attest to his true character, his true life. I had written in an earlier post entitled Rasputin Book One, about many of his dalliances with numerous women, women that were wives of state officials, actresses, prostitutes, and servants. He had an enormous sexual appetite, and he justified it by saying he was purifying women. I had also written that the tsar and his family believed that Rasputin was their true and faithful friend, they refused to believe any bad reports about him. This second book that I have read on him also attests to all of these stories, but it tells the stories from the testimonies of many of the people involved. Not all of the women that Rasputin was sexually assertive to reciprocated his advances, The Grand Duchess Olga, the sister of the tsar, was very cautious of Rasputin and kept her distance. She is quoted as saying that "he was as changeable as a chameleon." This ideology of believing that he was purifying women, is from a group of believers that called themselves Khlysty, meaning living god's. They believed that in order to supress the flesh and purify it, they needed to drive out sin with sin, then afterwards the Holy Spirit can then descend on their body. In the beginning it was the peasants that believed in this, later by the 19Th Century it was court officials and nobility, of course all of this was in secret. Rasputin was a known follower of the Khlysty group.
I found this book to be exceptionally spellbinding, I loved reading the very words that the witnesses interviewed in the file gave on Rasputin.

1 comment:

Delin said...

These were not simply "interviews" of his friends and enemies. These were interrogations under duress by the new regime after the Bolshevik Revolution. You must keep this in mind when reading this book. The people questioned were in fear for their very lives and most answered what they thought their interrogators wanted to hear. Rasputin's association with the Khlysty only lasted a very short time, long before he came to Petersburg, when he was on his spiritual search. According to both his daughter's and his secretary's biographies, he actually worked hard for the equality of Jews and Peasants in Russia, for which he was greatly maligned and many rumors spread about him.