“...Former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld acted as a modern day Rasputin by manipulating the adolescent emotions and exploiting the evangelical beliefs of George W. Bush. Rumsfeld utilized some Rasputin-like techniques to manipulate Bush’s more mystic beliefs. That includes delivering highly classified intelligence briefings to Bush that featured, “triumphant, color images from the previous days’ war efforts” and “a quote...from the Bible, from the book of Psalms: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him...To deliver their soul from death.” ~Allison Kilkenny, The Huffington Post May 17, 2009
Writers like Kilkenny frequently use Rasputin as an archetype to describe controlling and venomous politicians. But who was Rasputin and how did he become the posterboy for political manipulation?
Rasputin spend his earlier years extorting money from Russian Orthodox priests who did not want him to disturb their services.
Rasputin convinced hundreds of girls to sleep with him by convincing them that he was a vehicle for salvation.
At the time, the Russian royal family was very intrigued by mysticism. This left them susceptible to Rasputin.
Priests and monks had a good deal of power in the court.
Rasputin arrived in the capital of St. Petersburg after years as a wandering holy man. He smelled terrible.
He treated the hemophilia of the empress' son, instantly gaining him favor and respect.
Rasputin became ubiquitous around the royal palace and in high society. He also spent a lot of time at the brothels, drunk.
Pyotr Stolypin became prime minister and tried to rid the court of Rasputin's corrupt influences. He failed and was assassinated.
WWI erupted and Russia crumbled...
Prince Felix Yusupov assassinated Rasputin, though it wasn't easy. He had to poison, shoot, beat, castrate, and drown Rasputin to finally make him stay dead.
Shortly after Rasputin's death, Russians rose up in the Communist Revolution.
A crowd convened to burn the body of Rasputin - a body that stood for great evil and the failures of tsarist Russia. During the burning, Rasputin's body sat up as a result of his tendons not being properly severed beforehand. Everybody freaked out.
Rumsfeld was a terrible Secretary of Defense. Like Rasputin, he manipulated Bush with faulty intelligence reports skewed with religious imagery. He was also a huge jerk.
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