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The Svengali

Through-out the ages there have been psychics, clairvoyants, and mystics some of whom have even helped shape events that defined history. Individuals who come into this world with abilities beyond the normal bounds of logic have captivated us all through-out history. They are very rare individuals indeed. History tells of one such clairvoyant and mystic healer who came on to the worlds stage in the first decade of the 20th century that really helped alter the destiny of a nation. With good intentions with bad behavior Grigori Rasputin was profoundly influential in securing his place in history. Born to a Siberian peasant family around 1869, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin from the start stood our in many ways. Some of the people in his village said he possessed supernatural powers all the while he continued to be a very rambunctious child that continued even as he grew older.

So little of his early life is known but this much is certain he had an uncanny ability to heal animals. He also possessed physic powers that many could not even understand. It can be said that Rasputin had two awakenings in his life. One occurred during his teen years. Like Giacomo Casanova a sexual appetite that could never be satisfied. It was this lust for life that eventually led to his downfall. The other awakening occurred during his twenties. How this happened really underscores the true nature of the man. All through his adolescence he managed to always get in trouble. It is told that Rasputin while trying to steal a horse got caught. To escape the wrath of the villagers he fled and ended up in a monastery. It was there some would say Rasputin experienced an epiphany. An experience so profound that only added to the intensity of his sexual escapades. With this spiritual revival along with his physic healing powers he then left the life he had known and embarked on a path that took him to the heights of power.

In 1903 after some years of wanderings he ended up in St. Petersburg. A reputation of a gifted wandering monk had proceeded him on his arrival. We must remember that in 1903 Russia was ruled by Tsar Nicholas II. A family dynasty that had lasted for over three hundred years. All that though was about to come to a very tragic violent end for both the Romanoff's and Rasputin. In the first years of the 20th century was a gilded age for the ruling class of Russians. Much like the years preceding the demise of Louis XVI and Marine Antoinette. Out of touch with the common citizen. The fault for the fall of the Romanoff's lies pretty much with the Tsar himself for his failure to understand the scope of the realities of the times. Had he understood the harsh realities of the Russian people and heeded the advise of Rasputin before the onset of World War I history would have been much different. The prophecies of Rasputin was an uncanny foretelling of the tragedy of the Russian people during the years of World War I and the tragic demise of the Last Tsar of Russia and of himself.

When Rasputin arrived in St. Petersburg the reputation as a mystic and faith healer opened up many doors of opportunity. In just a short while that door of opportunity led straight to the inner sanctum of the Tsar and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna. While on a visit Rasputin was asked to come to the aid of Alexis who was afflicted with hemophilia. It was Rasputin who quickly gained their confidence by curing Alexis of this deadly disease. It was these incidences when Alexis became ill that Rasputin became an indispensable confidant to Alexandra not to mention saving the life of the Tsar's son. But the times were changing as more people became aware of Rasputin who couldn't contain his ravenous sexual appetite. Rasputin survived one savage assassination attack and while recuperating is where he cautioned the Tsar in his first prophecy only to find out that the Tsar ignored his warnings sending millions of Russians to their deaths in a war that Russia was so unprepared to fight.

As Russia entered the First World War it was Rasputin who predicted that calamity would befall a nation and it did. When Nicholas II took over command of the Russian Army in 1915 proved to be a dismal failure because he was so inept at military matters but opened up another door of opportunity for Rasputin to expand his influence. Wary of Rasputin's influence on Alexandria government officials began to conspire to get rid of the now so called "Mad Monk." Rasputin knew that he was a target for assassination. His prophecy pinpointing his demise and the foretelling of the eventual deaths of the whole Romanoff family was a reality that soon would be fulfilled. On December 29 1916 a group of conspirators, including the czar's first cousin carried out the murder of Rasputin.

Just maybe had Rasputin been able to curtail his ravenous sexual escapades and the Tsar actually listened to Rasputin's warnings the dynasty of the Romanoff's might have just survived and a great tragedy would have been avoided. In the end though the Russian revolution brought in a whole new way of life for the Russian people and an end to the longest ruling dynasty in Russian history. The legacy of Rasputin as the "Mad Monk" lives on today.