Lead:  Having insinuated himself into the trust of the royal couple, Father Gregori Rasputin offended nearly everyone else in the pre-World War I Russian government and imperial family.

Intro: A Moment In Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Rasputin, whose name in Russian described his voracious sexual appetite, was a starets, a holy man who supposedly possessed the power to heal and predict the future.  Because he seemed able to cure Alexis the Tsarevich, heir to the throne of Russia, the boy’s parents were devoted to Rasputin, trusting his advice on matters of policy and personnel.  When the prime minister brought evidence of the man’s character and sexual escapades to the Tsar the information was ignored.  After 1910 Rasputin for a price began to act a spokesman for business interests seeking influence with Nicholas and the German born Tsarina.  Rasputin also gained a measure of power in the church as he received promotions and as those who dared to criticize him were demoted or banished.

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