Rituals - E17 • The Mad Monk’s Mysticism


It’s safe to say having a healthy skepticism around spiritualism is a good thing.

Especially when you hear stories about people who are described as self-proclaimed fill in the blank.

So either a Healer, a fortune teller, a again fill in the blank, it’s safe to say you can enter with a little bit of caution.


Healthy caution is definitely the way to go.

Yeah, I agree.

So we’re talking about Rasputin today.

Who was a Of proclaimed, healer and fortune-teller mmm.

And his legacy is defined by a debatable.

Healing of a Royal heir.

Well, if it’s debatable.


I’m ready to debate.

Let’s go.

All right.


Hi everyone.

And welcome to rituals a Spotify.

A original from par cast.

I’m Christine Schieffer.

And I’m M Schultz and every week, we’ll explore the evolution of spiritualism and the Occult through stories practices and the impact on Modern culture.

So we’re talking about Rasputin today.

I’m pretty excited about this one.


He was, I know we say this a lot but he was a character.

He was a character.

I don’t know anything actually about rescued.

I can’t wait to tell you a secret in a couple minutes about my thoughts on Rasputin.

Oh okay.

Well that’s Crack into it.


All right, before we get into the whole Rasputin thing, I mean, I’m on the edge of my seat about this secret.

You allegedly have for me, but I do wonder and I know the answer.

Probably already.

Have you ever self-proclaimed yourself as anything that in a serious way?


I don’t answer has to be.

Yes, I feel like it has to be.

I mean, I do call myself many things, but That’s like, like, like a snack connoisseur or like like I mean like silly things about like champion of naps but when it comes to like a, a title of that could get me in trouble, I don’t know about that.


Unless you’re talking to a real snack connoisseur or a champion maps that I told what them do I call myself that a certified snack Champion.

Well, okay, there was a time when we first started recording the podcast that you kept referring to yourself as a priest.

And I remember being a little confused about this and ultimately, Ultimately, I discovered that you had gotten, what’s the word you’ve been ordained ordained as a reverend online, like who could wed people be call yourself a priest repeatedly?


And I remember thinking, I don’t think that’s right.

It’s because I was a bad.

Reverend I didn’t know the difference kind of still don’t, but like that wasn’t on the test.

So I fixed it.

They just said you can see, you could do this now and I went.


Okay, it’s that sounds like what a priest does so I’m going to just lean into that.

Yeah, I remember Because we have been talking about exorcisms and you were like, I guess that means I can do them and I was like, I don’t think we should go that extra step, you know, I don’t I could apparently do weddings and then at one point I think that the list that I could do funerals and baptisms and I was like, that sounds like a lot.


That sounds like, like high-stakes.

So I don’t know.

I’ve never done one of those only.

I’ve only done a few weddings.

Yeah, you know, a wedding can be reversed, a funeral and a baptism seem like pretty life-altering.

During Soul changing Stakes.


Also a baptism feels like specifically meant for like a religion that I don’t practice.

So it feels extra wishy-washy, I’m not sure that that yeah, I don’t know that that would really fly with most people but you did do my wedding.

So I feel like you are hopefully certified in that.


In that regard.

I can do Leona’s, baptism.

What do you think?

I think probably know.

Okay, that makes sense because I think probably there’s going to be no, but we could do like our own baptism.

She’s not really getting baptized.

I was going to say, If I’m allowed to do a Baptist I don’t think it’s a I don’t think I’m helping a child enter, the kingdom of God.


So we can just do whatever I guess and technically it’ll be official right?

Just get a kiddie pool, make it happen.


Just do a little Duncan you know, we’re good.

Well when you hear stories of healers, for example, self-proclaimed healers, where do you usually stand on how valid, unlike the validity of the healing that they do?


Mmm, Well I think it depends on the definition of healing but they’re doing.

Because if it’s like a spiritual healing, I’m definitely open minded to that.

Unlike spiritual healing as in like maybe doing Reiki or even I believe the like Taro or something as a form of healing of that fulfills, an intention you’re going for.


But if, when it comes to physical healing, I have yet to see anyone, convince me that that’s possible.

Because when I think of like a physical healer, I think of like, The whitelighters in Charmed and like just sticking their hands over you and just healing your body and I haven’t seen anyone be able to do that yet.


That is sort of what Reiki is though.

I mean, it is intended to healer can be intended to heal.

I think, for me like a whitelighter from Charmed is like, you have a massive gash in your arm and in 30 seconds, you’re fine and you know movie Magic healing and I don’t know if that’s true.


I feel like you’ve run come across those kind of people out because I feel like usually people do layer it as like, Spiritual /, physical healing in my personal life.

I think, you know, the answer to this because I would do, oh, wait, good point.


What am I talking about?

Of course, I’m not going to say who, but I will say, I know someone in my personal life, who I do, not agree with their beliefs, by the way, I just happen to know of them that they think they can cure people with their bare hands.


This person may or may not also be included on, but They think they are an actual physical instantaneous, healer, I see.

And I think just having someone like that in my space involuntarily, by the way, but like to know them at all immediately puts a bad taste in my mouth.


That there are people like that.

Yeah, I absolutely take back what I said because I was thinking, oh, people are usually really subtle about it and then I was like, wait a second.

No, no.

You has a person’s pretty direct.

Yeah, pretty direct.


So I was trying to dance around that earlier but let’s just say, I know someone who has only They showed me what I’m not a big fan of, which is the troubling side of a trouble.


What about yeah, healing.

I totally understand that I have relatives who are Less Direct I suppose, but they do kind of believe that and may or may not also be in the German q and on who believe that.


They can heal anything like any ailment with some sort of powder or Little Pill of who knows what herb.

So yeah, I’ve definitely been there too.

So I definitely have a skepticism that brings up a good point though.


Because I think like, based on different cultures, there’s different methods of healing that people really go by every now and then I only said it because you just mentioned that your relatives were from Germany.

But I feel like every culture has got there like own little like shortcuts to like take care of you if you’re sick or something like that.


So I think the word healing the definition is different for everybody but it’s a loaded topic, I think Ink.

But to answer your question, when I think of like a spiritual healer, who’s doing something outside of this world to help you, I don’t know.


I am very open-minded to it existing.

I’ve never seen it happen though.

Hmm, I’ve done several levels of Reiki training.

I’m not a Master Certified yet but my mother is do you think it works?

I do actually.

It would be wild if I thought it didn’t and I took like four courses in it but I would honestly that would be a ringing endorsement.


To not work though.

It’s true.

I just can’t convince me.

Is there like an element to it?

That feels really powerful.

Is it like a mind over matter thing or an intention thing?

Or, you know, I’ve thought about this a lot and I think what really was the most validating for me was when they partner you up with somebody else.


And this person doesn’t tell you, maybe what seems like all anybody over the age of like 25 has some sort of pain or ailment.

You’re sleepy.

That was the champion of maps talking to you actually.


So, you know, it’s the truth, I know.

And so you would be partnered with somebody different each time and you would do kind of, you know, the the ritual of it and and it would lose practice like we were beginners at this.

So it’s a safe place to kind of just guess and see and try it out and it was just kind of amazing.


I mean I’ve always had this where it’s a but he’s in pain.

Like, I feel it, physically myself and so, Like there’s something wrong with this lady’s.



And you just felt it.

I felt hot like not touching it, but, like above it.

I was like, this lady’s right ankle and it was really wild.


She was like, oh, I sprained it last week and it’s really hurting me.

And then somebody did mine and was like, oh, you have like a bowel disease?

And I was like, sure do.

So I don’t know.

There’s just things like that that are very validating, that something is happening if you’re in the right headspace.

Well, let’s just put it this way.


I believe you a lot more than I believe the other people in my life who are claiming things, I think they see themselves as like a demigod look with, all right.

And so, I think it’s harder to believe those people, but I am open to spiritual healing in general.

Yeah, I’m totally on the exact same page as you.


Well, Rasputin, our new friend, he always felt, he had a spiritual calling and, you know, speaking of like, having a calling, I know you are called to go to clown school at age, 14.

Oh, okay.

What a wild way to be able to insert that in wherever, And I love it.


Yes, I had a calling to go to clown school and the calling, by the way, was my mother saying you have to do something after school.

You can’t just go home and I was being spiteful and selected something.

I thought she couldn’t possibly enroll me in but she found a way joke’s on you her.


And I are really good at like being like, oh really well then why don’t you and then yeah, person doing like playing chicken like you’re just not going to give in.

Yeah, she’s very good.

Dat calling my bluff.

So I learned that early on, so that’s how I’m a.

I also am a self-proclaimed professional clown.

So that’s not so proclaimed.


You have the certificate to prove it.


Okay, that’s fair.

That’s fair.


Anyway, this story also deals with a little something different than what we’ve discussed so far, which is political power, mixing with spiritualism.

And as we know that is a dangerous game to mix politics and the spiritual, but we’ve seen that over and over again already so far doing this podcast and our other podcast So yeah, lo and behold I feel like any time we’ve mentioned like a skill in spiritualism or even not even a skill.


But something everyone’s being swindled into politics is like right around the corner and using this tactic.

I feel like between Ouija boards crystal balls seances.


I know there’s been more than that.

We’ve covered, maybe Taro spiritual photography or whatever it’s called Spirit Photography.


They have all found their way into politics, very quickly.

Kind of amazing how fast As people rise to the White House by doing some of this stuff.

So em, we’re going to get into Rasputin but you said you it a secret for me I do want to know what you know about him if anything.


So tell me it’s very embarrassing even better.

Well so I learned about Rasputin, I learned about the name.

It Rasputin at least at a very young age and I learned about a lot of people at a very young age and I think Rasputin was one of the people in my little kid brain.


Mix them up with other people.

I was learning about same time, so I never knew who rescued in was because I even to this day confuse him with Rumpelstiltskin.

I was trying with all my might to figure out where this was headed and that is now, I thought we were headed, I feel bad because one is like a legitimate person, but I could never remember which one it was and one’s a magical.


Little fairy elf.

I don’t know what he is.

I don’t know what to tell you.

And I’ve also now saying this out loud, I’m now paranoid that I’m confusing Rumpelstiltskin with a different person from fiction also.

But in my mind, Rasputin and Rumpelstiltskin.

They both sounded like a name.


I’ve never heard of before I learned about the around the same time and I also never think about either of them.

So any time one gets brought up, I have to go through that moment of like, oh no, which one is this?

Yeah, hopefully the context would help a little bit.

One is a fairy tale and one is I just knew both of them were stories from forever ago or had been.


I had heard about them for, I don’t know, leave me alone but that is a I knew going into this story like I hadn’t thought about Rasputin or Rumpelstiltskin and like 10 years and at that time to I was like oh which one am I am I thinking of right now then 10 years pass and then we find out that we’re going to be talking about recipes and on here and in my head I go.


Oh, which one is that again?

So I’m excited to officially finally Learn to Run not rumbles good.

Rasputin is and put it to bed.

Okay, well let’s get into Rasputin.

So Grigori, Rasputin was born in Siberia around 1869 and eventually he just went by Rasputin, which some historians.


Now, think meant where two, rivers.


What a beautiful, beautiful name.

So, a Confluence, a Confluence, Rasputin sounds better.



You’re right.

He wasn’t a very educated man, and he developed a strong belief in paganism, but he also developed into somewhat of an alcoholic.


So he Struggle with alcoholism.

At the same time was kind of delving into Pagan beliefs.

And when he was a kid, Rasputin had said he had these Divine visions and healing abilities.

So of course, already the town is talking and there are kind of not into it.


Because as you can imagine being quote, unquote, quirky back then got you called more of a devil child than ever race.



Quirky wasn’t the same thing.

It is today.

Yeah, quirky didn’t really have a place at the time.

I think people people in town tried to stay away from him.


He was not somebody people wanted their kids to hang out with but as he got older, he developed a sort of reputation that he was able to foresee the future.

Well okay.

Hey well I think it’s cool but I don’t know about the time.


Yeah he found his place eventually I think the devil child thing wore off after a while and he was able to make a name for himself, fair enough.


So he got married at 19 and had three children.

Unfortunately, two others died shortly after birth but not long after that.

He basically up and left his family to travel to Greece and to the Holy Land and there’s kind of a gray area here.

So the version I just said he, you know, travel to the Holy Land and left his family behind sounds almost spiritual like he was on a mission, but other stories say he was actually running from the law because he stole a horse.



So he fled a whole country not just like to the next town over.


Huh, for a horse.

No, like he still made a goal.

You believe he had stolen Horse and was running from the law because he was going to be arrested for stealing said horse.

And so instead he fled the country?


Oh, I’m saying, not like chasing the horse to Greece, but okay, fair enough.

Okay, okay, I got it.

So either way his interest in spiritualism did get stronger, he ended up at the st.

Nicholas Monastery, where he finally learned to read and write, and this is also where he said he got his calling to become a monk.


Interesting calling, we are going to address it.

More thoroughly later.

Let’s just say, it didn’t work out.

He ended up being nicknamed The Mad Monk so not necessarily a good look.

Oh, not the name.

You want to be called in public.

I don’t think I don’t think so breastfeeding.


Also made friends with a famous wandering.

Holy man named macari.

And in the past, this macari was a spiritual advisor to Tsar, Nicholas, the second and Empress Alexandra.

And this actually prove to be a pivotal moment in his life, which we’re going to get into, but before he’d be introduced to the tsar and his wife.


Rasputin did some wandering of his own.

He would take long walks in the woods and go on these long.

Pilgrimages, I don’t know to me this just is, I hesitated to use this word but it’s irritating because I’m like you abandoned your wife and three children and now you get to go on all these long walks and like discover spiritualism.


I’m like, that’s so selfish.

Anyway, that’s just my little my little side note.

That’s fair.

It sounds like he’s just kind of doing what I do.

Rasputin once and that’s enough for him that I guess if it’s a calling frequently.


Hey I guess if you have a gut feeling strong enough where you’re like, it’s time to leave everything.

I know.


Like okay, I wasn’t there.

I don’t know what you saw or what you felt but I don’t know how much gold that horse was made out of, but it’s time to go.


Well, I know.

Okay, good to him I guess.

So according to Sky history TV, Rasputin wandered for three years.

He didn’t bathe, he didn’t change his clothes or get this touch his own body.

He didn’t touch his own body at all.



Which is thinking, what if your forehead edges?

But I guess he just don’t, if you have to go potty, I guess you don’t touch anything.

He just kind of, he just no wiggle around until everything’s out of you.

Okay, that’s nice and wandering for three years.


Quite a long time too.

I mean again good for him.

I don’t know what he was going through of clearly something this something.

Yeah, yeah.

He even decided to wear iron, shackles to increase the hardship of suffrage.

Yeah, he was going through something.

I think he’s gone through its really.


Yeah, during his walks, he got involved with a secret spiritual group called The clift’s.


I don’t know how this happened during his walks, if he just bumped into them in the forest, doing some sort of ritual if he wandered into one of them.


I’m not really sure, but he got involved with these Cliffs, and I’m going to tell you about them.


Basically, they’re an underground offshoot of the Orthodox.

Russian church.

It was regarded as an anti Church cult, and there were no priests or leaders.

In this cult, they would dance frantically around to reach a trance-like state and then basically have sex.


So, basically have an orgy, whoa, well, they saw him wiggling around when he went potty.

He was a few know how to dance like you’re in.

Now, this is the thing, the Cliff’s belief was quote, sinning to drive outs in.


Oh, wrap your Noggin around that one.

I don’t know how to I’m gonna go have to ask the people.

I know who I heard like in Q naught and stuff, because that feels backwards, right?

Like we so basically, they’re saying, oh well, we sin to get it all out of our systems, basically, which is like, but then are you getting out of your system or next round?


Are you meeting again you’re just doing the thing over and over also It feels like the exact occult experience that like all the movies growing up warned me of of like they’re just in the woods dance again and having orgies.

Absolutely, absolutely 100%.


It’s like whatever epsa was warning us about as I said, Rasputin met folks who had advised Tsar, Nicholas the second and his wife, his spiritual work, got the attention of some Russian Orthodox clergymen and he was introduced to Nicholas.

And his wife Alexandra at a very crucial time in their lives.


So, talk about a Confluence or arrest?

Oh Christine.

Oh, I just got poetic Goosebumps.

I would that be okay.

Wow that really did it for me.

Good job.

Coming up, Rasputin’s work for the Imperial, family is where he’d get most of his notoriety from being a spiritual advisor, a possible healer, and his prophecies that can’t really be ignored.


All right.

Are you ready to meet the romanoff’s?


I feel like when I think of romanoff’s, I think of like Scarlet witch from The Avengers.

I’m not Scarlet Witch, the Black Widow.

Sorry, her last name is Roman often Comics.

Oh, okay.

Yeah, we have definitely a different.


We’re not talking about the Avengers.

We’re Doing that.

But we are talking about Rumplestiltskin so we sure is certainly our.

Yeah, I’m following.

Got it, got it.

So the romanovs, let’s meet the romanovs, Tsar, Nicholas the second and his wife Alexandra.

We’re going to talk about how the universe brought Rasputin into their lives.



So Nicholas.

The second was the last tsar of Russia.

He took over after his father in 1894, but the problem was he was very inexperienced with running a government even.

He knew this, he called himself out.

He told a close friend, quote, I am not prepared to be a Sr.


I never wanted to become one.

I know nothing of the business of ruling quite a thing to admit.

I love his honesty and also I feel like most leaders would not have that self-awareness to be like, hey, maybe I don’t fit the bill but no also I feel like that’s a lot of us mentally being like, I don’t know what I’m doing here I just so yeah we’re all pretending we know what we’re doing and we don’t I just got here one day so you know it makes him maybe not the world’s best leader, but I certainly find The most relatable.


Relatable The Imposter syndrome.

I get it.

Yeah, we’re all confused the same year.

He became the Tsar.

He married Alexandra.

One major goal.

Of course, was to have a son.

Take over the throne, but unfortunately, for them, they had four daughters in a row.


Always be the story.


With no sons and being very, obviously, not great at his job, the people turned against Nikolas as their ruler.

Who finally, Alexander gave birth to To a boy Alexi in 1904, but Alexei was born with hemophilia, which meant his blood was really slow to coagulate.


So, basically, if you even get a bruise, you could have prolonged, internal bleeding, very dangerously.

Oh, my gosh, okay.

And so in comes Rasputin, this new spiritual man who could foresee the future and had the ability to heal people.


Allegedly a powerful, man.

Powerful powerful man.

So now we’ve got the confluence.

Of the romanovs and Rasputin.

So Empress Alexandra was no, stranger to spiritualism herself.

She actually had gone to some seances and Clairvoyance.

And as a mother now, she was pretty desperate to find a cure for her.


Son for obvious reasons.

So, after Rasputin was introduced to her and Nicholas at a dinner in November of 1905, they asked him if he could help with their son.

Okay, I got it.

So one night, Rasputin spent some time with Alexi and afterward, the bleeding stopped for a minute.


Oh minute or two.

Brief time and there is a possible medical explanation to counter any mystical Powers.

So from a skeptic Viewpoint, some historians have said, Rasputin told them to stop using Aspirin because aspirin is a blood thinner, so if he had done that, then yes, it probably would have had the effect of slowing the bleeding, which is a good thing.


But when it happened, Alexander was so impressed that she named Rasputin as a close advisor to her and Nicholas.


Can you imagine just telling someone one day, don’t take a painkiller.

And now For like the hot oil course.

Yeah, I know.

You’re like the mystical leader of a Nation.


Yeah, I know.

He thought he was a Healer growing up.

He did think he had some sort of spiritual Powers, but I feel like even he was probably like, Whoa, We really climb the ranks very quickly.

I would think.

So, right now, you’re probably already impressed that you got a dinner invite and then all of a sudden you’re like on the board.


Yeah, I’d be like oh I need to keep it together all the sudden.

He’s probably just like Nicholas.

He’s probably like, I don’t know how I got here.

I have no idea what’s going on.

I don’t even know what aspirin is, but apparently I said it nearby.


And now that he was working with the Royal Court, the Rasputin gossip began, and as much gossip is it was a bit exaggerated.

So there were rumors of him sleeping around a lot.

And while he did visit brothels, and probably slept with some of his followers, there is no evidence.


That he was the sort of sex-crazed maniac.

People made him out to be.

Oh, I know in the Rasputin song I mentioned I think they even call him like Russia’s greatest lover.

Something or why I love her.

I don’t see between this and Rumpelstiltskin.

I hadn’t heard sex-crazed maniac, right?


That one wasn’t in the fairy books.

Fairytale books as a kid.


So this is new information like, eating right out of the case for me, okay?

So I didn’t even know that there was a reputation that he was A very wild child promiscuous.




People also talked about his heavy drinking that part.

I’m inclined to believe is true.


So I’m not going to say that was necessarily exaggerated but all of that went against the idea that he was this religious man which made the gossip that much more salacious AKA that much more fun because this is a spiritual religious man is allegedly out there.


Sleeping around drinking up a storm.


So Worries about Rasputin’s influence, spread outside of Russia itself and throughout Europe and people believed.

He lived with the Imperial family so they started sending mail addressed to him to the palace.

And whoa, surprise.


Oh my gosh.

Which is he’s getting fan mail, basically, which is wild.


All because he suggested not taking aspirin one time.

I wish my flip and suggestions led me to things like this but whatever, whatever.

I mean, they LED you to a trophy that says Champion a and I don’t have to say anything flippantly.


That was all intentional.

I was like, I think I’m gonna take a nap and then I’d wake up and be like, anyone take another nap?

I think I’m pretty good at this.

I said to yourself, that’s exactly what I said.

Those were purely intentional statements every time versus like I would just maybe not take an aspirin today.

Well between 1906 and 1914.


These rumors about Rasputin got weaponized by politicians and journalists, who wanted to criticize the Imperial family and destroy their credibility.

Mmm, the truth was That Rasputin really didn’t have any spiritual influence on the Tsar or his wife at the height of these rumors.


He was basically only looking after alexie’s Health, but then Russia entered World War one and a new slew of Rasputin stories began, especially after he predicted that, the war would not be good for the country of Russia.

Well, not to be that person, but I think if you were a fortune teller and you go war is bad, I’d be like, haha and really good, good.


Good job.


Apparently this is what kind of turned the tides but I’m also on the same page as you think and well, yeah, I mean like, maybe it was more devastating than normal but I can’t really think of a time where like war was only beneficial.



It was quite devastating for the country so maybe he had a more specific I don’t know Fortune being told but either way when Nicholas the second took command of the Russian army in 1915 oh and you got to remember Nicholas the second has already admitted He doesn’t know what he’s doing so.


Oh yeah.

That I could have probably predicted this pretty well myself.

But right, not to like, you know, hindsight’s 20/20 and all.

But I see where Rasputin got this one.


I feel like he that wasn’t really telling a fortune words like reading the room and he was like, reading the room precisely, I don’t know.


I live with the guy, get my mail sent to his house and like, it’s not looking like this is going to be good boy.

So when Nicholas, the second took command of the Russian army in 1959, Exam and Ray took over domestic policy, and she took a lot of heat from Russia’s ministers.


Who didn’t trust Rasputin, but she continued to defend him, and still made him out to be her close advisor.

So basically, this is during a war, right?

She has taken over domestic policy and she has this man who basically deals in spiritualism Clairvoyance, mystical acts and he’s openly advising.


The person who’s basically running all of domestic affairs.

So this is a scary thing for.

I think a lot of people to be is like them.

Service to be looking at even in today’s world.

If that were happening anywhere, we would all be like, um, I don’t know about that.

That feels really like what what Chokehold does this man have on?


You think you’re keeping him around?

Like, I don’t know much about will much at all, but I definitely don’t know much about Civics, but I do feel like checks and balances is the kind of thing.

The US has for exactly a situation like this.

Yes, this guy shows up says, yeah, I lived in the woods for Three years.


Anyway, I was part of a big orgy called, you know how it is?

Yeah, I think I know what to do now that we’re in a large large War.

So I understand the heat.

So she continued to defend them said, he’s my advisor, but I can see the doubt and I can see why they would be doubtful this led to soldiers in the war, basically insinuating or outright saying that Alexandra and Rasputin were having an affair.


I’m not really surprised though because I feel like that’s an easy rumor to fall into is.

So if he was already considered it, X crazed, you can’t whole again.

And on top of that, he’s staying in their house.

And the wife is like, allowing all of this criticism to come her way and still defends him even though he’s really not doing a whole lot.


Like but he’s, you know, it makes sense why you’d be like oh clearly they like each other or something for them to be putting up with all this.


It’s like the easiest.

Easiest rumor in the situation.

I think to start there was no evidence of this to be clear but I feel like a pretty obvious - Next step for people trying to Sully the name of the royal family.



So at one point Rasputin was accused of treason with Germany.

He was also said to have undermined the war effort by starting.

This is an interesting one, a cholera epidemic in st.

Petersburg with poisoned apples imported from Canada.

That was a lot of Buzz words that make no sense together.


Wait, I wonder if you actually did, I feel like someone was playing telephone and like by the end they were like, wait, what?

That’s not what I said.

He did it feel.

Like this story started in, like, People magazine about like, he might be sleeping with Alexandra.

And then like The Enquirer, The National Enquirer, picked it up and there were like cholera, and poisoned apples, and it’s Lana.


Does also involved.



So yeah.

That was another one of the rumors that he was trying to undermine the war effort by starting a cholera epidemic in st.

Petersburg with poison apples, imported from Canada.

If anyone needed to hear that sentence said one more time so The public opinion of Rasputin that these stores created were more impactful than his actual views, and actions, which understandable, these are some pretty to say, like he was in treason with Germany to say he was trying to poison the town.


I understand why people were skeptical or not fans of his if these were the things they were hearing and believing sure.

Yeah so all of that unsurprisingly led to people calling for him to be removed from his advisory position as we know from history, Russia had some major loss.


Is no war and live through extreme poverty and high inflation.

So, ultimately, whether this is a hindsight on 20/20 on our part, pretty obviously Rasputin’s prophecy was correct.

And he said, this will not be good for us and lo and behold it was quite quite bad.


Okay, so finally Russians blame Nicholas.

The second for his poor military decisions and Alexandra for mishandling the country’s government.


And that’s where we ended up.

They at least admitted it going.

Like they were like we know we’re not right for this, which I do appreciate.


But yeah, in hindsight to I’m like, they were right.

Like maybe this should have gone to someone else in charge of these situations.


Maybe someone not necessarily, just their friend.

Rasputin who came to dinner one time.


Maybe someone a little more professional.


But what do I know up next?

Despite all the wild rumors, the blame fine.

Only went to the Imperial family, but what became of Rasputin spoiler alert, it’s not a happy ending.


Oh well, thank you for warning me for not getting my hopes up.


The night of December 30th 1916 Rasputin was invited out to hang out with a group of Aristocats just, oh my God, I just thought it was the calf.

Okay, so keep that part in part.


So we’ve got Rumpelstiltskin, we’ve got the tomcat and they’re all dancing on a little piano in the alley.


I very intentionally told myself, don’t mess this up.

I’m gonna immediately said, said, the famous Disney movie, that is my favorite flick.

Of of chart might work.

How old are you old enough to be quoting?

The Aristocats.


Okay, I feel like at least you caught yourself because I would have just said Aristocats in my almost, what about it?

I have to go back and really like, repeat it in my head.

Anyway, that’s embarrassing.

Okay, let me try that again.

The night of December 30th 1916 Rasputin was invited to hang out with a group of aristocrats.


Unfortunately, these very much human aristocrats.

It’s were also conspiring against him.

So he thought this was just a fun night out on the town with the human Aristocrat, whose human Aristocrat got the feel hard ones, not the feline ones, which probably would have been a much better time.


But these very much human Aristocrats, unfortunately fed Rasputin wine and cakes laced with cyanide.

Oh, becoming a True Crime Story very quickly.

Yeah, for whatever reason, the poison didn’t affect him, which I find interesting considering he’s kind of a Healer and all that I wonder, you know, I just wonder I was going to say like that’s the power.


He should have been bragging about this whole time for a real.

He just ate.

He’s like thanks for the wine and cake.

You just downed completely faced Cyanide and went what else anyway?

What’s next?

All they did was get him drunk so they didn’t poison him.


They got him drunk.

He probably was having a great time.

But unfortunately, they were determined to finish the job.

So instead, they shot rescued and multiple times.


Before Yeah, they were like, we got to pull this off tonight.

They shot him multiple times, and then they wrapped his body in a carpet and threw it into the river.



Yeah, it was very dramatic and for Rasputin, his body was found three days later.

It makes me sad because well makes me sad because he was murdered.

But it also makes me sad thinking, you know, he used to just be kind of a spiritual dude.


Wandering, the woods talking to kind of people infringe believes talking to I don’t know, kind of common folk if you will and now that he’s been invited to help serve the the Imperial family.

He’s kind of yeah.


You know just had things gone differently.

Who when he ended up in the way he did.

Yeah, yeah.

It’s kind of a tragic story.

So he may have been killed but Rasputin got the last word because before he died em he gave one last prophecy who wore is still bad.


Go see the Aristocats, it will be an excellent movie in theaters, 1968 or whatever the hell that film came out.

He did, he gave one last prophecy.

He said that if he were killed by government officials, the entire Imperial family would be killed by the Russian people.


That’s a quite ominous statement.

I feel like the entire family heard that prophecy and they were like, like what did Taylor say?

That one time Taylor Swift.

I would like to be In from the narrative, like I feel like they were like, yeah, they’re like, way way, way, way way to keep my name out of your mouth, please don’t insert me into this weird prophecy where we all get murdered.


Thank you.

Yeah, we didn’t put you in a rug that was his.

Yeah, crazy Aristocats.

Okay, so he says, if he were killed by government officials, the entire Imperial family would be killed by the Russian people.

Well, lo and behold, we probably all know this but a year and a half later, this are his wife and all of their children were tragically murdered by assassins.


And during the Russian Revolution and so therefore basically Rasputin’s last I want to say threat almost but his last prophecy came true.

Wow, I did not know that that happened about the Russian Revolution.

Well, the Nicholas and his wife and two children were all assassinated during it.


I had no idea.

Haven’t you seen Anastasia?

I was too busy watching.

The Aristocats Anastasia was not my thing.

Oh no.

Also, I feel like I should have probably About it somewhere else and just a decision and that also to completely past me.


So yeah, that’s the story of Rasputin.

And what do you think it makes me think right away of like the fraudulent medium stories that we’ve covered and the past on and that’s why we drink but I don’t know.

I keep hoping that we’re going to cover somebody who actually has some like convincing trip for my own Fascination.


I want there to be like a really convincing story of someone who’s really healing people but I think this was just a guy who kind of wandered in one day A by accident, just kind of gave some good advice one time and it happened to be the Imperial like family.

Then yeah, he just kind of landed well.

And I’m inclined to believe also that he’s less scammy than some of the people we’ve read about.


Like I don’t think he was like, haha, I’m totally pulling one over on these people.

I think he probably believed he was doing what he said, he was doing.


At least he wasn’t like, grifting or anything like that.

It feels like even he the story I’ve come up with, in my head, at least the back story is That he feels like even he was kind of shocked that he ended up where he did.


I don’t know if his whole plan was to wander around for years by himself.

Like he didn’t I don’t think plan on staying with royal families eventually.

It’s just kind of happened.

It kind of just seemed like I mean you said wandered into and like in a quite literal way wandered into the situation.



Off the that was going to say the streets but more like the woods out of the woods.

So yeah I don’t know.

It’s pretty Pretty.

It’s pretty wild and like I knew that he was an adviser to the Imperial family, that’s about it.

I didn’t really know that he had kind of wandered around it in Chains.


Self-inflicted chains, I didn’t even know he was considered a sex-crazed maniac but then I wonder what the, how much of that has to do with the fact that he was involved in spirituality?

Because I feel like there is that Trope throughout time of if you’re in the occult you’re a sex-crazed.


You know dead.

Worship or something.

And it sounds like for a moment, he actually was actually dabbled for a minute.

He might be the first cautionary tale that makes sense.

But yeah, other than that just sounds like.

I don’t know if he was necessarily healer but you know, good story.


It was always a character.

Here’s a character we can definitely agree on that.

I also want to add that I find, I don’t know.

My gut is that he didn’t think he was being.

He was duping people.

Like, I don’t think, I mean, at least just from the very A limited knowledge I have I don’t think he thought he was grifting these people.


Like it seems almost like he really truly believed he wasn’t like necessarily the classic snake oil salesmen you see like coming into town all slick and like worming his way in.

Like it seems almost like he really believed what he was selling.

So to speak part of me, feels like he knew what he was doing.


Like once he found out he was like basically living with Royals.

He was like, all right, I might as well keep this going.

But another part of me thinks like if his Friend was the literal leader, who’s saying, yo, I don’t know what I’m doing.

I feel like at dinner, one time over drinks, he could have been, like, I don’t know what I’m doing, either.


And that way, I feel like maybe he wasn’t duping them because I feel like they both started off on a very honest foot of like we’re just guessing here.

I’m totally making it up but who knows?

And it sounds like the things that he was saying weren’t really wild.

Like he was like, oh, this war is not a good idea.


Yeah, and they did it anyway, so it’s not like he was Was controlling the puppet strings.

You know what I mean?

Yeah, that’s true.

I don’t know.

So I can see why he would get in the fight.

I’d like the point of fire.

What do you call it?

The, a Confluence, the confluent a Rasputin.

I can see why he would be in the line of fire.


It’s what I’m trying to say, oh, ministers, who were trying to steer the country in a certain way.

And this fella just kind of literally wanders in off the street, I can see why he would be kind of a not a hero of the German Russian people in that way.


Make sense.

Thanks so much for listening.

We’ll be back next week with another great episode information.


On today’s episode came from biography Sky history TV Smithsonian Magazine, Russia Beyond and Time Magazine remember to follow rituals on Spotify to get a brand new episode every week, and you can listen to this and all other episodes of rituals for free exclusively on Spotify.

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You can follow me at Eckstein Schieffer, and you can find me at VM Schultz.

Thanks again for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Rituals is executive produced by Max Cutler and is a Spotify original from par cast.

It was created by Max color, sound design by Kristen Acevedo with associate.


Sound design by Jamie Ryan research by Chelsea would fact-checking by Cheyenne Lopez.

It’s produced by Kristen Acevedo and Jonathan Ratliff with production assistants by Ron Shapiro.

We are your host, Christine Schieffer, and M Schultz

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