HISTORY CHANNEL PRES. THE MOST EVIL MEN IN HISTORY: RASPUTIN PART 2 OF 2
Rasputin had often been called the "Holy Devil" or "Mad Monk", although he was never a monk and made no secret of being married. Some considered him to be a "strannik" (religious pilgrim) or even a starets ("elder", a title usually reserved for monk-confessors) and believed him to be a psychic and faith healer.
With good reason it has been argued that Rasputin, an unordained Russian mystic and holy man, helped discredit the tsarist government, leading to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917. Contemporary opinions variously saw Rasputin as a saintly mystic, visionary, healer, and prophet, or as a debauched religious charlatan. Historians can find both to be true, but there is much uncertainty: accounts of his life have often been based on dubious memoirs, hearsay, and legend.
For a great while, Rasputin's birth date remained questionable. "It is still not known with any certainty when Rasputin was born, and all the books which deal with him and his career give differing dates; not even his biographers — and there have been many — have been able to agree. The closest one can come with certainty is sometime between the years 1863 and 1873." (Heinz Liepman, Rasputin and the Fall of Imperial Russia, 21). It was not until recently that new documents surfaced revealing Rasputin's birth date as January 10, 1869