If you believe Rasputin was changed for the better after his time in a monastery or some place monks hang around doing nothing but pious prayer - I have some swamp land in a nice place with no crocs or alligators. I believe he was taught by these monks or others to accentuate his natural talents. His behaviour they describe before and after is not very pious at all.
"Grigory Rasputin, a wondering peasant who eventually exerted a powerful influence over Nicholas II and Aleksandra, the last Tsar and Tsarina of Imperial Russia, is one of the most mysterious and dark individuals of Russian history.
Grigory Rasputin was born 10 January 1869 in the small and remote Siberian village of Pokrovskoe. Even as a young man he astonished people; there was talk about him having visions and the ability to heal. According to one legend, one day Rasputin was lying in bed sick when a group of peasants walked in to find out who had stolen a horse. Grigory rose from his bed and pointed at the thief among them. The insulted peasant denied it, and Grigory was beaten. That night, two wary peasants followed the suspect and saw him leading the horse out of his shed and into the forest. Rasputin gained a reputation as a visionary, although some were scared of the boy and thought he was possessed by the devil. It was a time and place where all possible magic and heeling powers were a way of life. Grigory himself thought that he was taken over by a higher force. He was also a drunk, got into fights and harassed women. He got married when he was around twenty and had four children.
A visit to a monastery in Verhoturye changed him; it was his first encounter with a ritual form of religion. He ended up staying there for months. Rasputin then left his home to become a ‘strannik,’ a pilgrim or wonderer. His journey took him as far as Greece and Jerusalem. He sometimes walked for days without eating or stopping; he didn’t wash or even touch his body for months and wore shackles to increase the hardship of his journey. It is believed that during his travels he may have encountered a secret sect called the ‘hlysty.’ They organized a particular kind of worship in which there were no priests; in one part of the service they sang and prayed and became almost drunk by spinning; in the other part they indulged in flagellation and orgiastic sex. This type of worship, they thought, would bring them closer to God. ‘Driving out sin with sin’ was the concept that Rasputin later adopted. After his travels of more than two years he returned to his village of Pokrovskoe. The locals saw a change in him; he was perceived by some to have a luminescent religious essence and was even called a ‘staryets’, a wondering holy man, by others.
Even before his arrival in St. Petersburg in 1903, the city was agog with mysticism and aristocrats were obsessed with anything occult. Rasputin met Bishop Theophan, who was at first shocked by Rasputin’s dirty look and strong smell, but he was nonetheless mesmerized by the ‘holy’ man and shortly introduced him to the Montenegrin princesses, Militsa and Anastasia, who also fell under his spell. He was then introduced by the sisters to Nicholas II and Aleksandra (the Tsar and Tsarina). Aleksandra was impressed by him straight away and he became a regular visitor to the palace; she spent hours talking to him about religion. Rasputin would tell her that she and the Tsar needed to be closer to their people, that they should see him more often and trust him, because he would not betray them, to him they were equal to God, and he would always tell them the truth, not like the ministers, who don’t care about people and their tears. These kinds of words touched Aleksandra deeply; she absolutely believed that he was sent to the royal family by God, to protect the dynasty. To her, Rasputin was the answer to their hopes and prayers. The Tsar and Tsarina shared with him their concerns and worries, most importantly, over their son Aleksey’s (the only male heir to the throne) health. He suffered from hemophilia. Rasputin was the only one who was able to actually help their son, how he did it will always remain a mystery, but Aleksey got better. The palace governor wrote in his memoirs: “From the first time that Rasputin appeared at the heir’s bed, he got better. Everybody at court remembers the episode in Spala, when no doctor could help the suffering and moaning child, but as soon as a telegram was sent to Rasputin, and they received an answer that the boy would not die, his pain eased straight away.” Everyone who met Rasputin remarked on his eyes and how hypnotic they were. Elena Dzhanumova wrote in her diary: “What eyes he has! You cannot endure his gaze for long. There is something difficult in him, it is like you can feel the physical pressure, even though his eyes sometimes glow with kindness, but how cruel can they be and how frightful in anger…”
Nicholas also trusted Rasputin. He became his advisor whose one word was enough to place an unknown person as a minister at court. But Nicholas sometimes decided government questions of a higher scale by himself. Rasputin was strongly against the First World War (1914 - 1918) and tried to convince the Tsar to make peace with Germany, but Nicholas held his ground and took Russia to war, which was a disaster for his country, with more than four million Russians loosing their lives."
What is the mesmerism or influence he was taught? Gurdjieff developed a simple breathing technique to send a similar sexual energy without even using his voice. I have read everything I could find about him for at least 50 years. I think he was taken into a group of shamans like Temujin and the only way to get out before completing the study is to kill the teacher. One of the courses was on Mithridatism or a homeopathic inoculation into poisons which could kill, Thus when he drank the strychnine laced wine which would have killed a horse (in each bottle he drank) his murderers cringed in fright. They then shot him after beating him with bats, rolled him into a carpet and cut a hole in the ice. When he was found downstream days later he was tested by a coroner who said he had water in his lungs and died of drowning.
The body control and energy to self heal himself from the poisons may have added to his power to heal others. I think Bruce Lee may have attempted to add this siddhi and he failed.
His daughter recounts how he knew he was invited to be murdered and yet went anyway - he was clairvoyant according to many including her.