Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Appendix A

Written by Anna AlexandrovnaVyrubova in 1923



Statement of Vladimir Mikhailovich Rudnev, appointed by Minister of Justice Kerensky Special High Commissioner for Revision and Investigation of the actions of Ministers and other High Personages of the Imperial Government.

"I was acting as Procureur of the Court of Assizes of Ekaterinoslav when I received orders from Minister of Justice Kerensky to become a member of the High Commission of Inquiry charged with an examination of the acts and abuses of ministers and other high personages of the former Government. While working with this Commission in St. Petersburg I was especially assigned to examination of sources of secret influences at Court which were known as Dark Forces. My work with the Commission lasted until August, 1917, when I was forced to leave because the President, Murvaviev, insisted upon my making reports of a plainly prejudicial character.

"As an Attorney General (judge d instruction) I had access to all documents, and the right to be present at the examination of all witnesses, with the view of establishing impartially the part played by persons accused by society and the public press of exerting influence on foreign and domestic politics. I was assigned to read all the papers and letters found in the Winter Palace, the palace at Tsarskoe Selo, and at Peterhof, especially the personal correspondence of the Emperor and Empress, certain of the Grand Dukes, and also the correspondence seized in the course of examination of the house of Archbishop Varnava, also of Countess S. S. Ignatiev, Dr. Badmaev, Voyeikov, and Anna Vyroubova, and also to the relations existing between the Imperial family and the German Imperial family. Being aware of the importance of my inquiry in throwing light on historical events preceding and following the Revolution, I made copies of all documents and letters, dossiers, and statements of witnesses. In leaving St. Petersburg I took with me all these copies, concealing them in my home in Ekaterinoslav, but it is probable that these documents were destroyed when the Bolsheviki raided my house. If by happy chance I find that they still exist I shall certainly publish them in full, without any comments of my own.

"In the meantime I consider it my duty to write a short account of the principal persons who were accused of being Dark Forces. I must, however, warn the reader that as I write from memory some details may escape my mind. When I went to St. Petersburg to begin my work with the High Commission I admit that I was influenced by all the pamphlets and newspaper articles on the subject of the Rasputin influence, and other rumors and gossip, and I began my work tinder the domination of preconceived prejudices. But careful and impartial investigation soon forced me to the opinion that these rumors and newspaper accounts were based on slender foundations.

"The most interesting person charged with exercising a malign influence on political affairs was Gregori Rasputin, therefore this person was the central figure of my investigations. The account of the surveillance under which he lived, up to the very day of his death, is of great importance. This surveillance was exercised by the ordinary as well as the secret police, special agents noting all his goings and comings, some of these agents being disguised as policemen or as servants. Everything concerning the movements of Rasputin was carefully recorded every day. If he left his house, even for an hour or two, the moment of his departure and his return was noted, and also every person he met on the road.

"The secret agents kept strict account of all people he met and of all who visited him. In cases where the names of these persons were not known their full descriptions were taken. After having read all papers and examined many witnesses I reached the conclusion that Rasputin was a person more complex and less comprehensible than had been previously represented. In studying his personality I naturally paid attention to the chronological order of circumstances which finally opened to the man the doors of the Tsar's palace, and I discovered that the first preliminary was his acquaintance with the well known, pious, and learned churchmen Bishops Theofan and Hermogen. I noted also that it was afterwards due to the influence of Rasputin that these two great pillars of the Orthodox Church fell into disfavor. He was the cause of the relegation of Hermogen to the Monastery of Saratov, and of the disgrace (demotion) of Theofan, after these two archbishops, discovering Rasputin's low instincts, openly turned against him. All the evidence pointed to the conclusion that in the inner life of Rasputin, a simple peasant of the Government of Tobolsk, there occurred suddenly a complete change transforming him and turning him toward Christ. Only in this way can I explain to myself his intimacy with these two remarkable bishops. This hypothesis is moreover confirmed by Rasputin's story of his journey to the Holy Land. This book is marked by extreme naivete, simplicity, and sincerity. On the recommendation of the exalted churchmen mentioned Rasputin was received by the Grand Duchesses Anastasia Nickolaevna and Melitza Nickolaevna, and it was through them that he made the acquaintance of Mme. Vyroubova, nee Tanayev, then maid of honor. She made a deep impression on this very religiously inclined woman, and gained at last an entry to the Imperial Palace. It was then that awoke in him his worst instincts, hitherto repressed, and it was then that he began adroitly to exploit the religious fervor possessed by very high personages. It must be admitted that he played his part with astonishing cleverness. Correspondence bearing on the subject and the testimony of various witnesses prove that Rasputin refused all subsidies, gratuities, and even honors which were freely offered him by their Majesties, indicating thus his integrity, his disinterestedness, and his profound devotion to the Throne, insisting that he was an intercessor for the Imperial family before God's throne. He alleged that everyone envied him his position, that he was surrounded by intriguers and slanderers, and that therefore evil reports concerning him were unworthy of belief. The only favor he accepted was the rental of his lodgings, paid by the personal Chancellor of his Majesty. He also accepted presents made by the hands of the Imperial family, such as shirts, waist-bands, etc.

"Rasputin had free entry to the apartments of the Emperor, saying prayers, addressing the Emperor and Empress with the familiar 'thou,' and greeting them in the Siberian peasant manner (with a kiss). It is known that be warned the Emperor, 'My death shall be thine also,' and that at Court he was regarded as a man gifted with the power of forecasting events. His predictions were couched in mysterious phrases like those of the Pythons of antiquity.

"Rasputin's income was derived from numerous persons who desired positions and money, and used Rasputin as their intermediary with the Emperor. Rasputin asked favors for his clients, promising, if these were granted, all kinds of blessings to the Imperial family and to Russia. "To this must be added that Rasputin possessed within himself a strange power by which he was able to exercise hypnotic suggestion. I have been able to establish the fact that he cured by hypnotism the disease of St. Vitus Dance which afflicted the son of one of his friends, Simanovitch. The young man was a student in the College of Commerce, and his malady completely disappeared after two seances in which Rasputin plunged the patient into hypnotic slumbers.

"Another case establishing the hypnotic power of Rasputin may be noted. During the winter of 1914-15 he was called to the house of the superintendent of railways in Tsarskoe Selo where lay, entirely unconscious, Anna Alexandrovna Vyroubova, who had been seriously injured in a railroad accident. She was suffering from broken legs and a fracture of the skull. Their Majesties were in the room when Rasputin arrived, and he, simply raising hi arms, said to the unconscious woman: 'Anushka, open your eyes,' which she instantly did, looking intelligently around her. This naturally made a deep impression on everyone present, including their Majesties, and it served to increase the prestige of Rasputin. Although Rasputin could barely read and write, he was far from being an inferior person. He had a keen and observant intellect, and a rare faculty of reading the character of any person with whom he came in contact. The rudeness and exaggerated simplicity of his bearing, which lent him the appearance of a common peasant, served to remind observers of his humble origin and his lack of culture.

"As so much was bruited in the public press about the immorality of Rasputin, the closest attention was given to this phase of his question. From the reports of the secret police it was proved that his love affairs consisted solely in night orgies with music-hall singers and an occasional petitioner. It is on record that when he was drunk he sometimes hinted of intimacies in higher circles, especially in those circles through which he had risen to power, but of his relations with women of high society nothing was established, either by police records or by information acquired by the commission. In the papers of the Bishop Varnava was found a telegram from Rasputin as follows: 'My dear, I cannot come, my silly women are shedding tears and won't let me go.' As for the accusation that in Siberia Rasputin was accustomed to bathe in company with women, and that lie was affiliated with the 'Khlysty' sect, the Extraordinary Commission referred these charges to Grarnoglassoff, professor in the Ecclesiastical Academy (of Moscow), who after examination of all the evidence, testified that among peasants of many parts of Siberia the common bath was a usual custom, and that he found no evidence in the writings or preachings of Rasputin of any affiliation with the 'Khlysty' doctrines.

"Rasputin was a man of large heart. He kept open house, and his lodgings were always crowded with a curiously mixed company living at his expense. To acquire.the aureole of a benefactor, to follow the precepts of the Gospels according to which the generous hand is always filled, Rasputin took the money offered by his petitioners, but he gave generously to the poor and to people of the lower classes who begged his assistance. Thus he built up a reputation of being at once a generous and a disinterested man. Besides these alms Rasputin spent large sums in restaurants, cafes, music halls, and in the streets, so that when he died he left practically nothing. The investigation disclosed an immense amount of evidence concerning the petitions carried by Rasputin to Court, but all these, as has been said, referred merely to applications for positions, favors, railway concessions, and the like. Notwithstanding his great influence at Court not a single indication of Rasputin's political activity was disclosed.

"Many proofs of his influence were found in the papers of General Voyeikov, Commandant of the Palace, as for example the following: 'My dear, Arrange this affair. Gregori.' These letters were annoted by Voyeikov, with the names and addresses of the petitioners, the nature of their demands, the results of their applications, and the date of the replies. Many letters of the same kind were found among the papers of President of the Council of Ministers, Sturmer, and of other high personages. All the letters concerned themselves exclusively with favors and protection for the people in whom Rasputin interested himself. He had special names for various persons with whom he was in frequent contact, Sturmer was called 'The Old Man,' Archbishop Varnava 'Butterfly,' the Emperor Papa,' and the Empress 'Mama.' The nickname of Varnava, 'Butterfly,' was found in a letter to Mme. Vyroubova.

"The inquiry into the influence of Rasputin on the Imperial family was intensive, but it was definitely established that influence had its source in the profound religious sentiments of their Majesties, joined to their conviction that Rasputin was a saint, and was the sole intermediary between God and the Emperor, as well as of all Russia. The Imperial family believed that they saw proofs of his sanctity in his psychic power over certain persons of the Court, such as bringing back to life and consciousness the desperately injured Mme. Vyroubova, whose case has been described; also in his undoubtedly benign influence on the health of the heir, and on a whole series of fulfilled forecasting of events.

"It is evident that sly and unscrupulous people did everything in their power to profit by Rasputin's influence on the Imperial family, thus waking up in the man his worst instincts. This is particularly true of the former Minister of the Interior, A. N. Khvostov and of Belezky, Director of the Police Department. To consolidate their position at Court they came to an understanding with Rasputin whereby they agreed to pay him, out of the private funds of the Police Department, the sum of three thousand rubles monthly, besides other sums, that he might require, provided he helped them to place candidates agreeable to them. Rasputin accepted these conditions, and for three months filled his engagements, but finding that the arrangement was not advantageous to himself, returned to his independent manner of work. Khvostov, fearing that Rasputin would betray him, began openly to oppose him. He knew that he stood well with the Imperial family, and he counted also on the cooperation of the Duma, of which he was a member, and in which Rasputin was cordially hated. This put Belezky in a difficult position, because he doubted Khvostoff's power at Court, and he had no doubt at all concerning Rasputin's power. Belezky decided therefore to betray his chief, and range himself on the side of Rasputin. His object was, to use the words of Rasputin himself, to throw down the Khvostov ministry. The struggle between these two officials culminated in the famous plot against the life of Rasputin, which created such a sensation in the press during the year 1916. The plot was laid by Belezky in the following manner. An engineer named Heine, owner of several private gambling houses in St. Petersburg, was hired to go to Christiania to meet the unfrocked monk Illiador Troufanov, a former friend of Rasputin. The result of this journey was a series of telegrams addressed to Heine and signed by Illiador covertly alluding to a conspiracy against the life of Rasputin. In one of these telegrams it was stated that the forty men engaged in the conspiracy were dissatisfied to wait longer, and it was necessary to send them immediately thirty thousand rubles. These telegrams, coming in war time from a neutral country, were delivered to the police, only after having been read being passed on to the person addressed. Finally, after receiving all the telegrams, Heine presented himself to Rasputin in the guise of a repentant sinner, giving him full details of the plot, in which he owned himself concerned, but which he vowed Khvostov to be the leading spirit. The result was that Rasputin took the story to the Imperial family, and the dismissal of Khvostov quickly followed. It is an interesting fact that Heine's telegrams from Christiania mentioned a number of names of persons living in Tsaritzin, former friends of Illiador, who were supposed to be in Christiania busy with the details of the plot. The evidence given at the inquiry proved beyond doubt that the persons concerned bad never left their homes.

"Personally the official Khvostov was highly esteemed by both the Emperor and the Empress, they believing him to be sincerely religious, and devoted to the interests of the Imperial family and to Russia, but the evidence shows that he was really devoted only to his personal interests. He once invited the head of the Gendarmerie, General Komissarov, to go with him in civilian dress, and to introduce Rasputin to the Metropolitan Pitirim. They were received by a novice who went to the Metropolitan's study to announce them. When the Metropolitan appeared Rasputin introduced General Komissarov, and disagreeable as it was to see a gendarme officer in his house, his Eminence invited the men to follow him into his study. There they discovered Khvostov sitting on a sofa. Seeing Rasputin Khvostov laughed rather nervously, but continued his conversation with the Metropolitan, then, rising to take his departure, asked General Komissarov to drive home with him. Komissarov found himself in an awkward position, and when Khvostov suddenly asked him if he understood the affair he answered in the negative. 'Well,' said Khvostov, 'it is now clear in what relation Pitirim stands with Rasputin. When you were announced he was just telling me that he had nothing in common with Rasputin, and that the person who was waiting to see him was an eminent Georgian. "Permit me," he said, "to leave you for a few minutes." Now we see who the "eminent Georgian" really was.' This was testified to by Komissarov himself.

"Of all the ministers Khvostov was the closest to Rasputin. Rumors of the intimate relations between Sturmer and Rasputin were found to be without foundation. There was between them, it is true, a friendship. Sturmer understood Rasputin's great influence, and did what he could to advance the interests of -his clients. He sent fruit, wine, and delicacies to Rasputin, but there is no evidence that he allowed him to influence political affairs. The relations between Rasputin and Protopopov, who, for some reason, Rasputin called 'Kalinin' were no more intimate, although Protopopov liked Rasputin, and it is certain that Rasputin defended Protopopov when the position of the latter was menaced. This was done usually in the absence of the Sovereigns, Rasputin addressing himself to the Empress, at the same time uttering predictions.

"Protopopov distinguished himself by an extraordinary lack of will power, representing at different times quite opposing organizations. He was even at one time elected vice-president of the Duma. Protopopov has publicly been accused of initiating and carrying out an attempt to put down the popular uprising of the first days of the Revolution. He is accused of having placed machine guns on the roofs of houses to shoot down the armed insurgents. However, the judged instruction Yusvik Kompaneitz, after having interrogated many witnesses, and examining all the machine guns found in the streets of St. Petersburg in the first days of the Revolution, has testified that all the machine guns belonged to different regiments, and none, not even those found on the roofs of houses, to the police. Generally speaking, there were no machine guns on roofs, except those placed there at the beginning of the war as a defense against airplane attacks. It must be said that during the critical days of February, 1917, Protopopov showed a complete incapacity, and from the legal point of view, his absolutely criminal weakness. Among his papers were found intimate and even affectionate letters from Rasputin, but not one letter contained anything more than recommendations in favor of his proteges. Nor in the papers of any other high personages were found letters of different tenor signed by Rasputin. Both press and public seem to have been persuaded that Rasputin was very intimate with two political adventurers, Dr. Badmaev and Prince Andronnikov, and that through him these men were able to exercise wide political influence. Evidence has established, however, that these rumors were without any foundation. The two adventurers were, in fact, nothing more than the hangers-on of Rasputin, glad to gather up the crumbs from his table, and falsely representing to their clients that they had influence over Rasputin, and through him influence at Court."

(Here follows at some length the result of the High Commission's inquiry into the activities of Dr. Badmaev and Prince Andronnikov, but as they have nothing whatever to do with this history they are omitted. A. V.)

"Badmaev was the physician of Minister Protopopov, but the Imperial family had no confidence in his methods any more than had Rasputin and in an examination of the servants of the Imperial household, it was demonstrated clearly that the Tibetan doctor had never been called in his professional capacity to the apartments of the Emperor's children.

"General Voyeikov, Commandant of the Palace, I examined many times in the Fortress of Petropavlosk where he was imprisoned. He did not play a very powerful role at Court, but according to letters from his wife, daughter of Court Minister Fredericks, covering the years 1914-15, and found in his house, he was esteemed by the Imperial family as a man devoted to the throne, an impression which 1, after several interviews with him, did not share. From letters of Voyeikov to his wife it is plain that he was hostile to Rasputin. In certain of the letters he calls Rasputin the evil genius of the Imperial family and of Russia, and he believed that his intimacy at Court discredited the throne and gave strength to humors and opinions and slanderous stories by which the anti-Government party profited. Nevertheless he took full advantage of the influence of Rasputin. He had not the courage to reject his petitions, which is proved by the annotations in his handwriting on the letters of Rasputin."

(High Commissioner Rudnev adds that, in his opinion, Voyeikov thought badly of Rasputin, and that his wife hated the man, but that neither of them communicated their views to the Imperial family. A. V.)

"Having heard a great deal of the exceptional influence at Court of Mme. Vyroubova, and of her relations with Rasputin, and having read and believed what was said about her in society and the press, I must admit that when I went to examine her in the Fortress of Petropavlosk I was frankly prejudiced against her. This hostility remained with me up to the moment of her entrance into the office of the Fortress under the escort of two soldiers. As she entered the room I was struck with the expression of her eyes, an expression of more than earthly gentleness and meekness. This first impression was confirmed in all my subsequent interviews with her. From the first conversation which I had with her I became convinced that, given her individuality and her character, she could never have had any influence on politics either foreign or domestic. I believe this in the first place because of the essentially feminine point of view shown by her on all political matters of which we talked, and in the second place because of her loquacity and her complete incapacity to keep secret even facts which might reflect on herself. I became convinced that to ask Mme. Vyroubova to keep anything a secret was equivalent to proclaiming it from the housetops, because anything that she thought important she felt impelled to communicate, not only to friends but to possible foes. Noting these two characteristics of Mme. Vyroubova, I asked myself two questions--why she stood in close relations with Rasputin, and what was the secret of her intimacy with the Imperial family.

"I found the answer to the first question in conversations with the parents of Mme. Vyroubova, M. Tanieff, chief of the private Chancellory of his Majesty, and his wife, nee Countess Tolstoy. From them I learned of an episode in the life of their daughter which, in my opinion, explained why Rasputin obtained later such an influence over the will of the young woman. At the age of thirteen Mme. Vyroubova fell gravely ill of typhus, the illness being complicated with peritonitis, and her condition, according to the physicians, was desperate. Her parents called to her bedside the famous priest, Father John of Kronstadt. Following his prayers the illness took a favorable turn, and the young girl was soon pronounced out of danger. This made a deep impression on her mind, and thereafter strongly inclined her to a religious life.

"Mme. Vyroubova first met Rasputin in the house of the Grand Duchess Melitza Nicholaevna (wife of Grand Duke Peter), and that meeting was not a happy event. The Grand Duchess had prepared Mme. Vyroubova for the meeting by conversations on the subject of religion, and had given her certain French books on occult subjects. Later the Grand Duchess invited Mme. Vyroubova to her house, promising to introduce her to a great intercessor before God in favor of Russia, a man who possessed gifts of prophecy, and the faculty of curing the sick. This interview by Mme. Vyroubova, then Mlle. Tanieff, made a great impression on the young woman who was then on the eve of marriage with Lieutenant Vyroubova. Rasputin spoke only on religious subjects, and when the young girl asked him if he approved her marriage he answered allegorically saying that the pathway of life was strewn not only with roses but with thorns, and that man progressed towards perfection only through sufferings and trials.

"The marriage of Mme. Vyroubova was from the first unhappy. According to the testimony of Mme. Tanayev, the man was completely impotent, addicted to perverted practices and sadistic habits, causing her daughter the most frightful moral sufferings and physical disgust. Nevertheless, believing in the Biblical injunction 'Whom God hath joined let no man put asunder,' Mme. Vyroubova for a time kept her sufferings a secret even from her parents, and only after she had been nearly killed by her husband did she reveal to them the tragedy of her marriage. The result was, of course, a divorce. The testimony of Mme. Tanieff concerning the moral character of her son-inlaw was confirmed by a medical examination of Mme. Vyroubova, ordered by the Commission of Inquiry, and by which was established the virginity of the young woman. This examination was held in May, 1917. In consequence of her shocking marital experience the religious inclinations of Mme. Vyroubova were increased and were developed into something approaching religious mania. She became the purest and most sincere admirer of Rasputin, who, up to the last day of his life, she considered a holy man, and one completely disinterested from every worldly point of view.

"In regard to the question of the intimacy of Mme. Vyroubova with the Imperial family, I concluded that it had its roots in the wholly different mentalities of the Empress and Mme. Vyroubova, that attraction of opposites which so often seems necessary to complete a balance. The two women were entirely different, and yet they had many things in common. Both, for example, were devotedly fond of music, and as the Empress possessed an agreeable contralto voice and Mme. Vyroubova a good soprano, they occupied many leisure hours singing ducts.

"Such were the conditions which produced in the minds of persons ignorant of the nature of the intimacy between the Empress and Mme. Vyroubova, belief in the exceptional influence of Mme. Vyroubova on Court affairs. As has been said, Mme. Vyroubova possessed no such influence, nor could she have possessed it. The Empress dominated the intelligence and the will of Mme. Vyroubova, but the attachment between the two women was very strong. The religious instincts deeply rooted in their two natures explains the tragedy of their veneration of Rasputin. The relations between the Empress and Mme. Vyroubova could be likened to those of a mother and daughter, nothing more.

"My opinions regarding the moral qualities of Mme. Vyroubova, resulting from interviews with her in the Fortress of Petropavlosk and in the Winter Palace were entirely confirmed by the forgiving and Christian spirit displayed by her towards those who had caused her, in the course of her imprisonment, the most horrible suffering. Of the insults and tortures to which she was subjected in the Fortress I did not learn, in the first instance, from Mme. Vyroubova herself, but from her mother. Only on direct examination did Mme. Vyroubova confirm her mother's testimony, and even then she spoke calmly and with astonishing meekness, saying that her persecutors should not be blamed too severely because they did not realize what they were doing. These tortures of the prison guards, such as spitting in her face, dealing her blows on the head and body, accusing her of being the mistress of the Emperor and of Rasputin, tearing off her clothes and threatening to murder a sick woman who could walk only with the aid of crutches, caused the Commission of Inquiry to transfer the prisoner to a house formerly occupied by the Director of the Gendarmerie (House of Detention). The testimony of Mme. Vyroubova presented -a complete contrast to that of Prince Andronnikov. Her statements were all candid and sincere, and their truth was subsequently established beyond doubt by documentary evidence. The only fault I found with Mme. Vyroubova was her tendency to wordiness, and her amazing habit of skipping from one subject to another, without regard to the fact that she might be hurting her own cause. Mme. Vyroubova appears to have interceded at Court for various persons, but her petitions were received with a certain distrust because of her known goodness and her simplicity of mind.

"The character of the Empress Alexandra was shown dearly in her correspondence with the Emperor and with Mme. Vyroubova. This correspondence, in French and English, is filled with sentiments of affection for her husband and children. The Empress occupied herself personally with the education of her children, and she often indicates in her letters that it is desirable not to spoil them or to give them habits of luxury. The correspondence reveals also the deep piety of the Empress. In her letters to her husband she often describes her emotions .during religious services, and speaks of the peace and tranquillity of her soul after prayer. Hardly ever, in the course of this long correspondence, are any allusions made to politics. The letters concern intimate and family affairs only. In passages in which Rasputin is mentioned she speaks of him as 'that holy man,' and shows that she considers him one sent of God, a prophet, and a man who prays sincerely for the Imperial family. Through the whole correspondence, which covers a period of ten years, I found not one single letter written in German. According to the testimony of Court adherents I have proof that before the War German was never spoken at Court. Because of public rumors of the sympathy of the Empress for Germany and of the existence in the Palace at Tsarskoe Selo of private wires to Berlin, I made a careful examination of the apartments of the Imperial family, and I found no indications at all of communications between the Imperial household of Russia and the Imperial household of Germany. I also examined the rumors concerning the beneficence of the Empress towards the German wounded and prisoners of War, and I found that the Empress showed compassion for the sufferings of Germans and Russians alike, without distinction, desiring to fulfill the injunction of Christ who said that whoever visited the sick and suffering also visited Himself.

"For these reasons, and above all on account of the frail health of the Empress, who suffered from a disease of the heart, the Imperial family led a very retired life, which favored the development, especially in the Empress, of extreme piety. Inspired by her devotion the Empress introduced into certain churches attached to the Court a regime of monastic services, and followed with delight, in spite of her ill health, up to the very end, masses which lasted for hours on end. This same excessive religious zeal was the foundation for her admiration for Gregori Rasputin, who, possessing an extraordinary power of suggestion, exercised an undeniably salutary effect on the invalid Tsarevich. Because of her extreme piety the Empress was in no proper state of mind to understand the real source of the amazing influence of Rasputin on the health of the Heir, and she believed the explanation to be due, not at all to hypnotism, but to the celestial gifts which Rasputin owed to the sanctity of his life.

"A year and a half before the Revolution of 1917, the former monk, Illiador Troufanov, sent his wife from Christiania to St. Petersburg with the proposal that the Imperial family purchase the manuscript of his book, which later appeared under the title of 'The Holy Devil,' in which the relations of the Imperial family with Rasputin were scandalously represented. The Police Department interested itself in the matter, and at its own imminent risk entered into negotiations with the wife of Illiador concerning the purchase of the manuscript for which Illiador demanded, I am assured, sixty thousand rubles. The affair was finally submitted to the Empress Alexandra who repudiated with indignation the vile proposition of Illiador, saying that 'white could never be made black, and that an innocent person could never be assoiled.'

"In terminating this inquiry I believe it necessary to repeat that Bishops Theofan and Hermogen contributed importantly to the introduction of Rasputin at Court. It was because of their recommendations that the Empress, in the beginning, received Rasputin cordially and confidently. Her sentiments towards him were fortified only by the reasons indicated in the course of this document."

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