Was Rasputin Actually The Sanest Man In Pre-Revolution Russia?

Grigori Rasputin Was A Hard Man To Live With

Rasputin With Family

Wikimedia CommonsGrigori Rasputin with his family.

Grigori Rasputin didn’t drop the act when he returned home, which over the years grew increasingly rare. Every time he came through the door to his family’s house, he insisted on mandatory prayer and religious services that could last hours. Every day was potentially an ordeal when Rasputin was home.

He “celebrated” every holiday, saint’s day, birthday, anniversary, and special occasion by forcing everybody to fast and kneel in prayer all evening. He forbade any work on the sabbath, and instead of doing any work on the farm himself he often convened religious meetings in the village square and preached for hours.

His nonreligious activities were getting strange. Sometime during his career as a hermit, Rasputin had developed the habit of talking to himself, though genuine religious hermits usually took vows of silence.

He also had a number of disturbing facial and body tics that kept people around him nervous. While distracted or talking, his arms would jerk and his hands fluttered wildly. Sometimes his whole torso would seize momentarily while he made a particularly emphatic point.

After the first few marathon preaching sessions, the men of Pokrovskoe learned to live with his eccentricities – when Grigori Rasputin felt he was being mocked, he had a reputation for plunging into the crowd and pummeling as many men as he could catch while screaming damnation at them.

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton is a freelance science and technology writer from Sacramento, California.
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