Buckle up, things are gonna get weird.
Picture it. Siberia. Middle of winter. 1869. Nothing good can come from this scene, right? Well, yeah kind of. Grigori Rasputin was born on 21 January 1869 in the tiny village of Pokrovskoye (which I can spell but not pronounce) If you are familiar with Russian geography, and all good History buffs really should start making an effort at this point, this is in the modern Tyumen Oblast region. A happy little corner of the world where it rains or snows every day and everyone is a potato farmer.
We don’t know too much about Grigori’s early life aside from when he was born and who his parents were (Surprise! They were peasant farmers).
Some sources describe him as an unruly child who fought, swore, drank, and stole his neighbors horses. I like to imagine him as the Bart Simpson of Pokrovskoye. Anyway Grigori goes to church and gets himself saved in 1897 and is a new man! That is until he catches a whiff of theosophy: basically a combo of Christianity and the occult. So basically Grigori blacks out, sees a vision of the Virgin Mary, and wakes up having Jesus powers. Most impressive of all, he gets a reputation for being able to heal with his touch. He lives in a monastery for a while but decides to leave because of all the homosexuality that is happening (no, seriously). He wanders the countryside eventually making it back home to Pokrovskoye and moves back into his parents’ basement.
People notice a slight change in Grigori’s appearance. All of a sudden he’s grown a Gandalf beard and developed a thousand yard stare that would make Chuck Norris shit his pants. He starts leading prayer circles in his parents’ basement but has to do it on the downlow because Rasputin isn’t exactly in good standing with the church after sounding the alarm on all the forbidden sex that was going on.
Anyway, some of the townsfolk start getting pissed because Grigori was having the women “ceremonially” wash him before all their Bible study classes and gets run out of town by some angry husbands that weren’t too happy about Grigori giving their wives a come to Jesus moment.
It’s around this time that he gets the nickname “Rasputin,” or “the debaucher.”
Rasputin goes from town to town leading prayers and railing housewives for a few years until he finally makes it to St. Petersburg sometime around 1905. He falls into favor with some of the female members of the aristocracy (go figure) and that’s when the Tsar first hears about the Ol’ Mad Monk.
Ya see, Tsar Nicholas II’s family had been cousin consummating for so long that their kids were coming out with problems you and I couldn’t dream of in our worst nightmares.
He’s got one kid named Alexei whose suffering from hemophilia; basically your blood can’t clot and you die of a paper cut. It being 1905 and all, he figures it's worth the gamble to let some ghoulish freak near his kid on the off-chance that he h