Whatever Happened to Rasputin's Schlong - authorPalessa.com blog post

Whatever Happened to Rasputin’s Schlong?

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Photo of Rasputin by Karl Bulla [Public domain], 1910,Unless you’ve been living a Happy Feet existence somewhere with polar bears, you’ll have heard of Grigori Rasputin. He was a trusted advisor to Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra after “treating” their son Alexei. He’s a mysterious figure, the holy lothario who’s the subject of much speculation, which makes him ripe for authors and writers.

But, did you know that his hefty schlong has its own story?

Pull up a chair and let’s take a trip back in time.

History has a lot to say about the supposedly hard-to-kill mystic Grigori Rasputin, but the stories about his schlong, however, seem to have a life of their own. While he was alive, the Holy Devil, as he was called, was known for his sexual escapades with plenty of willing partners, thanks to the favor of the Romanovs.

Then came his murder, their murder, the Revolution and a whole bunch of other historical events that would reshape Russia and the world. Rasputin’s name polarized many as some saw him as either a peasant who “made it,” or a curse on the aristocracy. Either way, his name was more of a whisper until the roaring twenties. There was a salacious rumor about Rasputin’s penis that his daughter couldn’t ignore.

It could have died there but in 1994, an American collector claimed to have found Rasputin’s dismembered member among auction winnings. From then on, the mystery deepened until Professor Igor Knyazkin made Rasputin’s dismembered member the centerpiece of his Museum of Russian Erotica in St. Petersburg.

From Russia to Paris to LA and then back to Russia, Rasputin’s schlong certainly has been around!

Or has it?

The Faux Monk’s Brush with Royalty

As a teenager, Rasputin led a somewhat monastic life, living at the Verkhoturye monastery for three months but never taking the holy vows to become a full-fledged monk.

During the years that followed, he became aware of the Khristovchina, also called the Khlysty, a sect that eschewed the traditional religious practices of the Russian Orthodox Church. Instead of venerating saints and studying a holy book, they sought to achieve divine grace by engaging in sinful acts, such as sexual orgies and debauchery.

How else could you achieve God’s favor but by getting drunk regularly and having as much sex as possible, in no particular order?

By 1889, he married a fellow peasant, a servant girl named Praskovya Fyodorovna Dubrovina, with whom he would have three children: Dmitri, Matryona (known as Maria), and Varvara. More than a decade later, he left his family to become a pilgrim, traveling to the Mediterranean, particularly Greece and Jerusalem.

When he returned to Russia, he had the opportunity to share his mystic healing ways and means with the aristocracy. In 1905, he crossed paths with Tsarina Alexandra, who sought medical help for her hemophiliac son, Tsarevich Alexei. Rasputin filled that void and would become the trusted advisor to the Romanovs, giving him access power, influence, and women.

The Death of Rasputin

While there was never any formal acknowledgement of his membership to the Khlysty, his behavior outside of court left few doubts. His debauchery and womanizing raised eyebrows among the elite, who thought it wasn’t the way for a holy man to behave. Of his infidelities, his wife reported commented that her husband “…has enough for all.”

For some, it was too much.

Prince Felix Yusupov, nephew-in-law to the Romanovs, and other high society co-conspirators, including Dr. Stanislaus Lazovert, hatched a plot that would go down in history for being ambitious.

In December 1916, they lured Rasputin to Yusupov’s Moika Palace. There they fed him poisoned cakes and wine, shot him multiple times, and dumped his body in the frigid Malaya Nevka River.

However, this account of his murder isn’t completely accurate.

In his book , Yusupov recounted how Dr. Lazovert administered the poison:

“Dr. Lazovert put on rubber gloves and took out the crystals of cyanide of potassium. He crushed them, and, having removed the upper layers from the chocolate cakes, sprinkled. each of them with a strong dose of poison, afterwards replacing the tops.” 

By his account, Rasputin seemed unaffected by the cyanide, despite the heavy dosage. This observation raised eyebrows of Frederick Dillon, who posted his postulation in the British Journal of Medicine in June 1934.

We are given to understand that the poison used was cyanide of potassium, and the problem of particular medical interest arises when we consider how it can have happened in this case that the attempt was ineffective, as it is a well-known fact that potassium cyanide is one of the deadliest of poisons, and is stated to have been administered to Rasputin in doses many times exceeding the fatal dose, both through the medium of chocolate cakes and in wine.”

Cyanide is considered a fast-acting poison. It works by preventing cells from using oxygen properly, which leads to cell death. Enough of these important cells die and the human dies in a matter of minutes.

Rasputin’s supposed immunity to potassium cyanide is extremely unlikely, which led the medic to a simple conclusion:

“Probably, however, the real explanation is that Rasputin never received the poison at all. There seems to be no doubt that he swallowed some substance assumed to be cyanide of potassium, but by far the most likely solution of the mystery is that the powder, whatever its nature, was not what it purported to be.”

In his autopsy notes, Professor Kossorotov indicated that no poison was present in Rasputin’s stomach contents. In response, some speculated that the poison was neutralized by the baking process. Okay, but what about the wine?

When all other paths fail, look towards a simpler answer, Watson.

Stanislaus Lazovert escaped from Russia, settling in the UK and US. Before dying in 1976, he admitted that his conscience and the Hippocratic oath got the better of him. He didn’t poison Rasputin as planned, but laced the food and drink with some other non-lethal substance.

Rasputin’s cause of death was a single shot to the head and the autopsy showed no other anomalies with his body. Yusupov was arrested for the murder and the mystic was given a funeral by the Tsarina, who, with her family, would face a similar fate the in 1918.

The Legend of Rasputin’s Schlong

Nothing gives a story a fast rep that the mention of genitalia, especially if it belongs to one of the most villainized figures in human history. You know what’s even more scandalous? If the supposed ‘member’ winds up in the hands of his daughter.

Maria Rasputin, the second of his children with wife Praskovya, has quite a history herself. She escaped the unrest that followed her father’s death. She became a lion tamer for a circus, which played up her family name and history.

In an effort to show the world that her father wasn’t the devil everyone thought he was, she authored a few books and even openly disputed Yusupov’s claims about the circumstances of Rasputin’s murder.

In 1920’s Paris, a rumor bubbled. Russian émigrées—aristocratic Russian women who fled to many parts of Europe to escape the Bolshevik Revolution—claimed to have acquired Rasputin’s penis. Their cult venerated it, breaking off pieces to give to disciples. In an effort to preserve the dear memory of her father, Maria found these women and confiscated the so-called relic.

Eventually, she made it to the US, finally settling down in a part of Los Angeles known for a lot of Russian émigrés.

More than 15 years after her death, a American collector named Michael Augustine bought a storage locker that contained items that once belonged to Maria Rasputin, such as her manuscripts as well as the once-venerated penis of Rasputin.

However, tests of the object later revealed that the object wasn’t a phallus, but a desiccated sea cucumber.

Fast forward a dozen years later. Dr. Igor Knyazkin, chief of prostate research at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, opened his Museum of Russian Erotica. One of its major attractions: A room dedicated to the legend of Rasputin and a jar with his foot-long penis.

So, is it real?

That depends on what you mean by real.

Is it a real penis? As a physician, it can be assumed that Dr. Knyazkin would not only know what a penis looks like, but would have enough pride and common sense to not fake that. The answer to this would be close to yes.

Is it human? That’s fuzzier because while it’s could be a real penis, it could belong to different man or an animal. The answer to this would be a definite maybe.

Is it Rasputin’s? Feet are skidding towards a definite no.

Which isn’t surprising, if you think about it.

Remember, Rasputin’s autopsy showed nothing unusual. If the rumor that he was dismembered by his murderers was true, surely the coroner would have noted a missing penis in his reports.

Additionally, the circumstances of his death were more about dispatching of the threat quickly rather than taking the time to mutilate and dismember him.

It was cold.

He was dead.

There was a river.

There you go!

Could someone else have made that cut after the autopsy? It’s possible but, again, when, where, how, why…there are just too many questions, too many variables, too many reasons to make this theory likely.

The only way this part of the mystery will be solved is if there were some DNA results as part of the provenance of the piece. But, if you remember your history, Rasputin’s body was disinterred, cremated via bonfire, and his ashes scattered in an unknown location.

Final Thoughts

Who doesn’t love a titillating mystery, even if its more miss than history? The story of Rasputin and his schlong is both and then some. But one thing it proved was that the he was just a charismatic man who had a Svengali-like hold on one of the most powerful monarchies in history.

Whether he was well-endowed or was as shriveled as a dried sea cucumber can’t be answered because those who know aren’t telling those takes. He was more than likely buried whole. Beaten and shot, but whole.

The myth of his member will live on thanks to a little museum in St. Petersburg who knew how to play up a dead man’s package.

Now, that’s marketing!

Sources:

The Autopsy of Russia’s Holy Devil. (2017, December 14). Retrieved from https://www.forensicmag.com/article/2017/12/autopsy-russias-holy-devil
The First Russian Sex Museum will Exhibit Rasputin’s Penis. (2009, August 07). Retrieved from https://waytorussia.net/news/2004-04/russian-sex-museum.html
The National Archives. (2016, December 30). The murder of Rasputin. Retrieved from https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/murder-rasputin/
Winet, K. (2016, April 14). Rasputin Was Poisoned, Shot, Beaten, and Drowned. But Did His Penis Survive? Retrieved from https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/rasputin-was-poisoned-shot-beaten-and-drowned-but-did-his-penis-survive


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