Posts in Category: Ageless lives

Diane de Poitiers

I saw the Duchess of Valentinois at the age of seventy as fresh and attractive as when she was thirty…she was greatly loved and attended by one of the greatest, most valiant kings in the world…. I saw this lady six months before she died, still so beautiful that even the hardest heart, as far as I could tell, could not remained unmoved. Her beauty, her grace, her majesty and attractive appearance were the same as ever, and she had a pale complexion without using powder…..I believe that if this lady had lived another hundred years she would never have aged.”

Diane 2Thus spoke Brantôme, a contemporary chronicler, of Diane de Poitiers, the great love of King Henry II in 16th century France.

Diane was a noblewoman at the court of King Francis. She was known for her great beauty and became the hated target of the King’s mistress and favourite, Anne d’Heilly. The fact that it was the king’s son Henri who fell in love with her and remained devoted to her till his death, though he was 18 years her junior, makes her unusual. Diane de Poitiers succeeded in overcoming ageing at a time when people were often worn out by thirty.

She was not just beautiful; there were psychological reasons for their liaison. Henri had a difficult childhood, having lost his mother as a little boy and remaining unloved by King Francis. Diane had been married at 15 to a man 39 years her senior. Despite this fact, and although he was also a hunchback, she gave her husband two daughters and remained faithful to him until his death But from a mother figure who educated Henri as a boy she became his mistress, somehow managing to remain beautiful until her death at 66.

Diane 4Henri married Catherine de Medici. It was a political move and he probably had very little say in the matter. But the relationship with Diane continued (despite the fact Catherine was 19 years younger than Diane) and Catherine produced no heirs for nine years. When Henri became king in 1547 he was 30 and Diane was 47. Diane became the most powerful woman in the kingdom. It was only when Catherine was about to be sent back to Italy because of sterility that Diane insisted that Henri visit her in her chambers to produce heirs. She probably did this because Catherine could be controlled, and any other future queen was an unknown quantity. Curiously there is a lot of evidence that Catherine and Diane were close, spending a lot of time together; Diane nursed her back to health when she was ill with scarlet fever for example. Nevertheless, together Henri and Diane created a love symbol that was engraved over all Paris – two interwoven D’s with a line through the middle forming an H. All state documents were signed HenriDiane.

She was an intelligent businesswoman and managed her money so well she acquired great wealth – making her daughters rich when she died at Anet, the château where Catherine had banished her after Henri’s death at 40 from a lance through the eye during a tournament. Catherine de Medici was known for saying of Diane’s undying youthfulness, “Is it a potion of youth or some mysterious magic?”.

Diane 8What did Diane do to stay so ageless?

• She bathed regularly – at a time when doctors thought water was harmful. Her doctor was Ambroise Paré, a famous surgeon, who encouraged her to wash (in cold water) every morning. In this way she protected herself from disease and boosted her immune system – she was known for never being ill.
• She used her intelligence to survive at court, not only overcoming the negative emotions of jealousy towards the queen by encouraging Henri to give Catherine children and thus secure her own place of influence, but also by using her influence with his father, sidestepping the very real threat from Anne d’Heilly who accused her of using witchcraft to stay young. She could have been burnt at the stake – but instead of succumbing to the incredible stress of such a threat, thought her way through it. She also used her influence with King Francis to obtain a pardon for her father who was about to be executed for his alleged involvement in a plot.
• She practised calorie restriction. Balzac mentions in La Comédie Humaine that she always ate sparingly.
• She maintained her mental agility, being highly cultured and a lover of the arts.
• She exercised regularly – highly unusual for the time and a woman of her status. Every morning at 6am she would go for a swim in the river close to the château, and she rode and hunted regularly. Modern forensic scientists who examined her bones testified to the fact she had led an athletic life.
• She relaxed every day. Immediately after her swim she would retire to her chambers for a massage with perfumed oils, a siesta or to read – thus triggering the relaxation response. Short-term stress followed by relaxation can trigger the body’s repair mechanisms (see blog post When Stress is Good..).
• She had a stable personality – she had been kind to her husband to whom she had been faithful, and good towards her daughters whom she made rich on her death. In her will she expressed the desire there should be no conflict between her children. She knew how to control negative emotions.
• She had a very strong motive for staying young – preserving her youth to remain attractive to the king. This may have enabled her to overcome social cues that cause ageing.
Diane 7• She may have practised tantric sex. Her fascination with alchemy, the mystical version of which teaches that the font of eternal youth is found in “sexual transmutation” involving controlling orgasm, is well-documented. She always wore black and white – colours of mourning for her first husband perhaps, but curiously also the colours of the Yin-Yang circle representing the combination of male and female energy. She did not become pregnant even though her affair with Henri is thought to have begun when she was in her thirties. The alchemist Nostradamus was around, consulted regularly by Catherine de Medici. He became famous when the following verse seemed to come true when Henri was killed :

The young lion shall overcome the older one,
on the field of combat in single battle,
He shall pierce his eyes in a golden cage,
Two forces one, then he shall die a cruel death.

Diane 6It seems unlikely that Diane did not speak to Nostradamus; she may have consulted him on the secret of eternal youth. Nostradamus was a master of the Jewish Kabbalah, an initiatic system of ten levels of consciousness akin to Hindu Kundalini Yoga (tantra). Catherine de Medici treated him as her personal “psychic” and received many beauty potions from him.

Diane made one fatal mistake : she did not rely exclusively on her own spirit to overcome ageing. From somewhere – an alchemist, an apothecary – she obtained liquid gold. Gold, the inalterable metal, was believed to make the body inalterable too and was used as an elixir of youth. Even today some luxury anti-wrinkle creams contain gold. ‘Gold water’ varied in concentration – many alchemists simply poured water over gold to obtain “spirit of gold” – but Diane’s wealth enabled her to obtain a yellow solution containing real gold. When her bones were examined in 2009, along with a lock of hair snatched during the French revolution from her desecrated tomb, toxicological examinations carried out at the Raymond-Poincaré de Garches Hospital in Paris and published in the British Medical Journal found concentrations of gold 500 times higher than normal. This would have led to chronic intoxication, causing nausea, anaemia and brittle bones and hair. She also had no teeth left – but her doctor Ambroise Paré was a pioneer in dental prostheses and probably provided her with a set towards the end of her life, thus allowing her to continue to look stunning.

Failing to trust herself and the three rules of agelessness – calorie restriction, stress management and belief – proved fatal. She died of gold intoxication at the age of 66, still as beautiful as a young girl.

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Charles Aznavour

Aznavour 2Charles Aznavour, who has just turned 90, has an ambition: it is to live until he is 120.
Proving that there is no reason why 90 should mean being wheeled around an assisted living centre, he still gives concerts and wows audiences with his ballads such as Dance in the old fashioned way and She which made him a household name in the English-speaking world, as well as the many songs in French which made him famous from a young age when he lived in Paris. Of Armenian parents, he was brought up a poor immigrant in a one bedroom flat with his parents, sister and grandmother in the Latin Quarter.
His insuppressible sense of humour has made him a popular interviewee, particularly because of his self-deprecating tendencies regarding his diminutive height (5ft3).
Aznavour not only writes and performs his own songs but has also acted in more than 60 films, and despite once bemoaning that he was “too small, too ugly” to make it in movies, he starred in François Truffaut’s film Tirez sur le pianiste which proved a box office smash in the States, catapulting him to fame, after which he Aznavour 3performed in New York at Carnegie Hall.
The success of She in Great Britain led to him being the butt of jokes from comedy troupe The Goodies who dubbed him Charles Aznovoice.
He has been married three times and had an affair with Lisa Minelli. His popularity with the ladies earnt him the nickname Love Pixie.
He used to smoke four packs of cigarettes a day, and also was by his own admission “a good drinker”, but mellowed after his third marriage to Swedish-born Ulla in 1968.
He is still performing over 100 concerts a year around the world. Aznavour recently said he still “writes every day, often a song a day”, and shows no sign of retiring.

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How you get to be the oldest man

The oldest man in the world in 2014 was Alexander Imich, a Polish immigrant to the US, living in New York. He was born in Poland on Feb. 4, 1903. Imich was old enough to remember the first aeroplanes which were a novelty and flown at shows for entertainment, and the first car in his hometown. He was an educated man, with a doctorate from Krakow university, well-travelled, despite the fact he encountered resistance to his career ambitions as he was a Jew. This opposition forced him to abandon his dreams of being first a navy captain and then a zoologist and travelling through Africa. Blocked from advancement he did not give up but took up chemistry instead. He continued to educate himself throughout life, publishing a book at the age of 92 called Incredible Tales of the Paranormal published by Bramble Books in 1995, and instituting the Imich prize for paranormal activity. He wrote numerous papers for journals in the field and started the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center in 1999, trying to find a way to produce “The Crucial Demonstration”, the goal of which is to demonstrate the reality of paranormal phenomena to mainstream scientists and the general public. “I have a great hunger for knowledge,” he said. Dr. Imich had a small telescope in his home and avidly followed what he called the “sensational developments” in this field.
Imich 4He married a childhood sweetheart who a few years later left him for another man, whereupon he married her friend, Wela. When the Nazis overran Poland in 1939, they fled east to Soviet-occupied Bialystok. Refusing to accept Soviet nationality, they were shipped to a labour camp. They were told, “Here you will work and here you will die, because you are enemies of our government,” and endured three years of temperatures as low as -50 ˚C, small portions of often inedible food, and constant physical toil. At the end of the war he discovered many relatives had perished in the holocaust.
His survival bears witness to his ability to manage external hardship and stressful thoughts.
Imich 3He enjoyed athletics. “I was a gymnast,” he says. “Good runner, a good springer. Good javelin, and I was a good swimmer.”
He and his wife never had children. That might have helped, he suggests (his closest relative is an 84-year-old nephew.)
His savings vanished in dubious investments, and he was assisted by The New York Times Neediest Cases campaign.
He always ate sparingly, inspired by Eastern mystics who disdain food. In fact since early childhood, Dr. Imich followed many practices now known to prolong human life: exercise, calorie restriction, healthy diet, supplementation, meditation and staying mentally active, continuing to educate himself throughout life. He drank wine but avoided the following : strong spirits, red meat, cheese, eggs, white flour baked goods, potatoes, sugar, fried foods, cow’s milk and coffee. He also did not drink tap water or smoke – having stopped over 50 years before his death.
What can we learn from Dr Imich?
1. The earlier we start practising staying ageless, the longer the effect.
2. He had a sense of humour. When told he was the world’s oldest man he quipped, “Not like it’s the Nobel Prize”, and his hearing aid popped out, whereupon he laughed.
3. He endured at times extreme stress (being left for someone else by his first wife, the Gulag, losing all his savings) but he carried on with sport and education regardless. Stress can trigger repair mechanisms if we manage it correctly.
4. He practised calorie restriction and ate a healthy diet.
5. He was physically (swimming is practised by many centenarians) and mentally active, and continued to have life goals into great old age.
6. He gave up smoking.
7. He had good genes – other people in his family were long-lived.
8. Spirituality – Imich was fascinated by the paranormal and practised meditation.
9. Loving support from his second wife.

Imich 2

So, even if we can only manage half of the above, we’re on the right track.

Alexander Imich died in June 2014 at the age of 111.

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The Immortal (Power of the Archetype II)

Marjorie is 92. She is on the church council, and does the flowers and coffee rota. She is a counsellor at a Christian centre for pregnant women with few resources, and gets around town on her bike. She still lives in the terraced house she moved into shortly after she married 65 years ago, and twice a year goes on a holiday somewhere in Europe. Once a week she visits her former neighbour Dorothy in a care home, and they talk about old times, or rather she does. Dorothy, who is eight years younger than Marjorie, doesn’t really know who she is.

Immortal 2We can divide archetypes into two categories – mythological and societal. In the first post about the power of the archetype, we talked about the warrior/tyrant and priestess/witch archetypes, which have their origins in mythology. In this post we will discuss societal archetypes, images fed to us by our peers and by the media in modern times, but which are just as influential in the way we perceive the world and, more importantly, ourselves.
The societal archetype of the Elder can be subdivided into two further groups : the frail and demented elder, and the wise and vigorous one. The former is the denizen of assisted living facilities, stricken by Alzheimer’s, wheelchair-bound, a shadow of their former selves. It is the spectre of old age we all fear, and we are surrounded by evidence of its power. If members of our own family correspond to this image, we approach our later years with dread. The latter archetype can be found running voluntary associations in cities, teaching in educational institutes or in rural areas striding up the mountain with a gnarled baton – hundreds of these individuals are to be seen in the Alps for example.
There is a third category of archetype however, one we rarely hear about these days: that of the Immortal. It is a relatively rare archetype, usually appearing only in fairy tales or mystical legends. Examples are the founders of most religions, Babaji the deathless Indian avatar, vampires and the Count of St Germain or “immortal count”, who is said to appear during times of crisis, always looking around 45 years old.

The Immortal never dies, retaining both mental and physical vigour indefinitely. Sometimes he/she is a shape shifter, being able to adopt the appearance of a wise elder or beautiful youth as the circumstances require. Until now firmly rooted in the mythological category, occasionally someone will nudge the symbol of the Immortal into the societal category by suggesting that one day man will live forever. Techniques such as cryogenics, nanotechnology and organ replacement often accompany this narrative. It is only loosely rooted in the collective consciousness, and usually conjures up emotions of derision, or disdain of its narcissistic connotations. It is therefore immediately rejected. The other reason why this archetype only makes a rare appearance in our minds is because it is generally believed to be fictional. Few people would question this conclusion: the archetype of the Immortal is a fantasy – it does not exist in reality, whereas the mythical and societal archetypes clearly do. Anyone can point to examples of people with the traits of witches, tyrants, warriors, Alzheimer’s victims and older people still sharp as a knife. But there is no evidence of anyone ever having lived forever, and if the Count of St Germain were to appear today on the news and make that claim, the usual reactions of derision and disdain would immediately surface.
We need to coax the archetype of the Immortal out of the mists of fantasy. This is not an invitation to lunacy, it is a carefully calculated attempt to exorcise the archetype of the frail and demented old man or woman. By espousing the image of the Immortal, we extract from our subconscious the idea that life can be no longer than the three score years and ten mentioned in the Psalms and suggest to it instead the longevity of the patriarchs of Genesis.
Do we have proof the Immortals belong in the real-life category? No, none at all. This is not the point. The question is, what image do we wish to imprint upon our subconscious, which stores information and produces it to manifest events and states when confronted with triggers such as age or retirement?

Immortal 3So, what is it to be? The batty old curmudgeon who doesn’t know what day it is, or the ageless wise and physically active individual who has preserved and enhanced their physical and mental appeal?
If embracing the Immortal doesn’t work, we will have lost nothing except our fear. But it might.

Just a hunch.

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The man who hid from death.

When nine doctors tell you you are going to die, most people would say you are in denial if you refuse to believe them. But the case of Stamatis Moraidis is proof that terminal cancer need not be fatal. When he was diagnosed in 1976 he was living in the US where he had originally gone on the Queen Elizabeth to treat the arm injury sustained during combat in WW2. He ended up staying, moving from New York to Florida and marrying a Greek-American woman. They had three children, owned a three-bedroomed home and a 1951 Chevrolet. Then in his mid-60s he began having trouble climbing the stairs, and was diagnosed with lung cancer. When he was told he only had nine months to live, instead of undergoing the aggressive chemotherapy that would have given him a few more months before dying anyway, he decided it would be nicer to die under the olive trees of Ikaria, the Greek island where he grew up.
Stamatis 2“At the time it was very expensive to have a funeral in the US,” he remembered. “So I said to my wife ‘I’m going home to Ikaria to be buried with my parents.'”
His parents were, however, still alive, and his father lived until he was reportedly 117. Once back in Ikaria, Stamatis spent most of his day in bed and his old friends started coming to see him, chatting and drinking wine together. After a while he felt a bit better. He started going to his old church, planted vegetables and worked in the vineyards and olive groves, played backgammon and dominos in the evenings and savoured the good life of the countryside, preparing to live his last months with his beloved wife Alice.
Stamatis 3Ikaria is one of the world’s blue zones. Its inhabitants live on average 10 years longer than other Westerners. 2.5 times as many people reach the age of 90 as in the US. Six out of 10 of people aged over 90 are still physically active including, they claim, sexually active compared with about 20% elsewhere. Science is trying to work out why. The island has fresh air, a slow pace of life, fresh food, goat’s milk, mountainous terrain to keep you fit and natural radiation in the rock, all of which have been suggested as the island’s own elixirs. The islanders eat fish and vegetables and not much meat.
“It’s the wine,” Stamatis would say over a mid-morning glass at his kitchen table. “It’s pure, nothing added. The wine they make commercially has preservatives. That’s no good. But this wine we make ourselves is pure. I found my friends in the village where I was born, and we started drinking. I thought, at least I’ll die happy. Every day we got together, we drank wine, and I waited. Time passed by and I felt stronger. Nine months came – I felt good. Eleven months came – I felt better. And now, 45 years later, I’m still here! A few years ago I went back to the US and tried to find my doctors. But I couldn’t find them. They were all dead.”
Many older people make a daily brew of mountain tea from dried herbs such as sage, thyme, mint and chamomile, and sweeten it with honey from local bees. Stamatis 4“It cures everything,” claimed Stamatis. Many of the wild herbs are used by people all over the world as traditional remedies. They are rich in antioxidants and also contain diuretics which can lower blood pressure.
So what did Stamatis do to cure himself of a fatal disease?
1. He stayed positive. Instead of giving up, he decided to do something he really wanted – go back to Ikaria, away from the people who were telling him he was doomed.
2. He met up with old friends and spent much of his day socialising. He said this made him happy. On Ikaria, levels of depression and dementia are low and older people have a role in society.
3. He took mid-day naps. For the workers among us this means making sure we relax at regular intervals. Driving ourselves constantly will wear out our bodies and minds. Meditation as often as we can do it is best, but also massage, walks, gentle exercise, swimming etc.
4. He ate fresh food.
5. He gave up heavy smoking.
6. He worked on the farm, making himself useful. In fact, studies have linked early retirement to reduced life expectancy. In Okinawa, another community where many people live to be older than 100, people embrace the notion of ikigai — “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.”
7. He believed that the wine and the local herbal tea were doing him good – belief is a strong factor in life extension and good health. Spiritually minded people think this is because the mind affects the body; practical people believe the placebo effect induces the all-important stress-relieving relaxation response.
8. He attended church again. Spirituality and a belief in the transcendent have been linked to long life.
9. He exercised regularly – working in the fields and walking up and down the steep paths of the island.
10. He felt he had come home and fitted in. Research has proved that being part of a nurturing community, especially one with a healthy lifestyle, is more important to good health than quitting smoking or starting to exercise.

Stamatis 5Stamatis finally died on 3 Feb 2013 officially aged 98. His documents put his date of birth as 1 January 1915; however, even relatively recently in Greece rural births were not registered until well afterwards. It depended when the parents could get to the town hall. The fact his birthday is recorded as 1 January is strong evidence he was right in claiming this was not his real birth date and that he was older, especially in a culture where name days rather than birthdays have significance. Even today countless third world immigrants to the developed world give their birthday as 1 January, since they do not know their real one.

It is our conviction that there are hundreds of stories like this one around the world. The body has an incredible capacity to heal itself. Ageing can be reversed, and so can terminal disease.
(see also The other’ C’ word)

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The Woman God Forgot

Jeanne Calment holds the world record for the longest confirmed lifespan. She lived in Arles, France, and claimed to have met Vincent van Gogh at the age of 13 when he came into her father’s shop in 1888 to buy coloured pencils. She found him to be, “Dirty, badly dressed and disagreeable.” She outlived her daughter and grandson by several decades. In 1965 she signed a deal to sell her apartment to lawyer André-François Raffray on a contingency contract. Then aged 47, he agreed to pay her 2,500 francs a month until she died. However, he died before she did, at 77 from cancer, and his widow was obliged to continue the payments – which ended up far exceeding the value of the apartment. Calment used to say to them that she was competing with Methuselah.
She was 94 when man first walked on the moon, and lived on her own until the age of 110, when she moved into a nursing home having become blind and nearly deaf. Her mind was however still intact – until her death at the age of 122 she was sharp as a knife.
Jeanne Calment 2The assumption of the medics was that she benefitted from extraordinary genes. Her father lived until six days shy of 93 and her brother François lived to the age of 97. Although genes probably played a part, there were also other aspects to her long life we can learn from.
Her husband’s wealth made it possible for her not to have to work; instead she lived a leisured lifestyle playing tennis, cycling, swimming, roller-skating, piano and going to the opera. Swimming in particular is a sport practised by many centenarians. At the age of 85 she took up fencing, proving that not sitting around waiting for death but developing new interests irrespective of age is a factor in life extension. The fact she continued to cycle until the age of 100 indicates regular exercise contributed to her longevity. It is also likely she suffered from very little stress. Not working is not an option for most of us, but it is nonetheless significant that she avoided all the diseases of later life while having a lot of fun. Managing stress through thought selection and intelligent use of music, massage/meditation and leisure is crucial to staying ageless.
Jeanne Calment 5She ascribed her long life to a diet rich in olive oil and garlic, which has been shown to help prevent arthritis, heart disease, hypertension and lung cancer among other things. She ate chocolate every day – today chocolate is lauded for its tremendous antioxidant potential. It lowers cholesterol, prevents cognitive decline and reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems. She also had a minor vice – a pêché mignon as the French say – port and a cigarette after her meal. Allowing oneself pleasurable things in moderation releases endorphins – or in lay terms, makes life worth living, proving the old adage that a little bit of what you fancy does you good. These days smokers can use e-cigarettes and enjoy the pleasure of nicotine without the risks of tobacco. As she reached her 110th birthday she took to saying, “God has forgotten me”. Her recipe for long life is telling – fun and laughter, or put another way, a positive outlook and developing the ability to avoiding casting oneself in the role of victim. When asked how she saw the future she replied with her famous sense of humour, “Short”.
Jeanne Calment 3On her 122nd birthday on 21 February 1997 she decided not to make any more public appearances as her health had deteriorated. The French gerontologist Jean-Marie Robine said this “allowed her to die as the attention had kept her alive”. He also said perhaps in a century everyone will live to 100.
Attitudes to ageing continue to change and medical research is unstoppable. Jeanne Calment died with a sound mind, but no one could claim she did not look her age. She was blind and almost deaf. Our goal is not to extend life to live it in feeble old age, but to live an active, healthy life to 100 and beyond.
After four and a half billion heart beats, her heart stopped on August 4th of the same year.


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Rasputin

Rasputin is one of the handful of historical figures who seemingly possessed a superhuman life force. He is famous for having been particularly difficult to kill, and his unusual gifts as a mystic and healer are often cited as the reason why he came close to achieving immortality.
He was not an educated man but he underwent a religious transformation during a three month stay in a monastery at the age of 18, and although he married and had children, he began a life as a wandering holy man. He was notorious for having a magnetic effect on women. Boney M’s classic song has made him go down in history as a sleaze ball of gargantuan proportions, given to drunkenness and orgies, the lover of the Russian queen, a goatish conman with an enormous wart on his penis that made women pass out cold during orgasm. Others claim he was a victim of anti-tsarist propaganda spread by the communists, and that he was genuinely saintly and a mystic with phenomenal powers. Many Russians think he should be canonised.
Rasputin 1He survived the first attempt on his life in 1914 when a woman attacked him with a knife crying, “I have killed the antichrist”, causing his entrails to spill out. She was imprisoned and diagnosed as insane, but following surgery he survived. His healing powers came to the attention of the tsars, and unlike any of the medical men who had tried to treat the young prince Alexei‘s hemophilia, Rasputin was able to help the boy.
Felix Yusupov, a Russian prince and friend of the Romanov tsars, wrote a book from exile in Paris in the 1920s in which he described the events of the 29th December 1916. Exasperated at Rasputin’s influence over the emperor and his wife, a plot was hatched by courtiers to assassinate Rasputin. In the book Felix Yusupov claims Rasputin was invited to his palace on the pretext of healing his wife Irina. He was instructed to wait in a lounge, where pastries and wine laced with cyanide awaited him. Rasputin seemed to hesitate before eating them, but although the cyanide was enough to kill five men, his only reaction on swallowing them was salivation and burping. Rasputin asked Yusupov to play the guitar and sing. For two hours this “nightmare” continued. When Yusupov checked in with his co-conspirators he was pale with despair, saying that Rasputin had eaten and drunk the poisoned food and nothing had happened. Yusupov records that when the cyanide failed to kill Rasputin, he decided to end it and shoot him in the back while Rasputin was admiring a decorative cross. At first Rasputin fell to the floor, but when Yusupov returned Rasputin revived, grabbed him by the neck and fled into the snow. Yusupov shot him again, missed, and bit himself in the wrist to make himself concentrate, then shot Rasputin again in the head. He then beat him repeatedly with a dumbbell, and Yusupov and his co-conspirators tied him up with rope and dumped the body in the river. At some point they also castrated him. When the body was found floating downstream, his hands were in a raised position, causing speculation he was still alive under the ice and was trying to get the rope off his hands.
Rasputin 2Modern-day mystics ask:
Could Rasputin, as a mystic, have been told the secrets of tantra at the monastery, channelling the energy of his many lovers to build an extremely powerful life force (see Tantra) ?
Could Rasputin have exercised some control over his reality, as manifest in his healing powers? In the movie The Matrix, when Neo realises his mind and his thoughts are creating the world around him, the bullets have no power to kill him.
Rasputin was buried in secret to avoid desecration, but some have claimed Rasputin was the legendary Count of St Germain, the immortal who appears periodically at times of crisis in earth’s history.
The sceptics claim :
1. Yusupov deliberately missed because the transvestite prince was in love with the monk.
2. The autopsy showed no cyanide in the body, only alcohol. Rasputin did not touch the poisoned food and drink.
3. Historians have suggested Yusupov’s version is grossly exaggerated or falsified.
4. Rasputin was buried in Imperial Park, but dug up by revolutionaries in 1917 and burnt in a forest.

Whatever the truth, Rasputin has gone down in history as a “mad monk” who was almost indestructible. Before he died, if indeed he did die, he was poisoned, shot four times, clubbed, castrated, exposed to freezing conditions and drowned. On his last day on earth he was 47. It is interesting to speculate how long he would have lived if he had not made so many enemies.
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