Re: Rasputin, a revolver and Oswald Rayner
- It seems now that Rasputin was the victim of a British Secret Service
hit. Rasputin was attempting to convince the Tsar to pull out of the
war with Germany, which would have resulted in Germany being able to
re-direct those forces against Britain. Additionally Rasputin was
frustrating efforts to get pro-British agents in high places.
Ironically, if the Tsar had listened to Rasputin, the Russian economy
would not have been so bad, and, perhaps, the Revolution would never
have happened and the Tsar and family would have lived. Rasputin was
killed, not for his diabolical influences, as propaganda would have
it, but because he was trying to foment a peace Britain didn't want.
--- In Rasputine@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Criss" <roncriss@...> wrote:
> Rasputin, a revolver and Oswald Rayner
> Julie Webb uncovers a new theory which ties the assassination of
> Grigori Rasputin to an Oxford graduate
> A hefty dose of cyanide in your late-night snack, a couple of pops
> with a revolver to your vital organs, and a quick dunk in an icy
> river: enough, surely, to finish off the toughest of Russian
> It turns out, if a new theory is to be believed, that Grigori
> Rasputin was indeed already dead when he took his early bath,
> fatally injured by a third gunshot, not from the weapon of a
> aristocrat but of an Oxford graduate, Oswald Rayner.
> The stories that the `mad monk' had miraculously risen from the
> after the first shooting to grab his assailant by the throat, and
> that his lungs, post-mortem, were found to be full of water,
> indicating that he eventually died by drowning, were part of an
> exaggerated account published in 1927 by Prince Felix Yusupov.
> Yusupov, scion of the second richest family in Russia, was a fellow
> student of Rayner's at Oxford, and one of the main protagonists in
> the plot to kill Rasputin.
> His motivation was personal as well as political, since Rasputin
> taken it upon himself to tell the Tsar about the prince's less-than-
> conventional taste in dress and sexual partners. As Yusupov was
> married to the Tsar's niece Irina, we can assume this information
> was not well received.
> Exiled afterwards by Nicholas because of his part in the death of
> the Tsarina's favourite, Yusupov "was down to his last few roubles
> when he wrote his book" according to intelligence historian Andrew
> Cook, author of the hypothesis proposing British involvement.
> "It had to be souped-up with all sorts of Gothic horrors so that it
> would sell, Cook said. "In the original edition Rayner's name
> appears on the front page he helped him write it."
> Cook's view of what happened presented in a new book (To Kill
> Rasputin: The life and death of Grigori Rasputin, Tempus 2005, £20)
> is founded partly on research into the links between the Yusupov
> family and three British intelligence officers stationed in
> StPetersburg in 1916."
> Cook also had access to the unpublished autopsy report at the
> Russian National Archives in Moscow, which revealed that a third
> bullet had been fired into the centre of Rasputin's forehead.
> "Modern forensic techniques applied to photographs of the wounds
> demonstrated that this last shot, unmentioned by Yusupov, had come
> from a distinctive type of revolver a .455 inch Webley which
> was issued to British officers. It wasn't the sort of thing you
> could buy in a shop," Cook said.
> In photographs taken outside the palace a straight line in the snow
> can be seen, leading to a large pool of blood at the gate. This
> would be consistent with the body being carried through the
> courtyard (rather than staggering under its own volition, as
> reported) and then being shot again this time by the
> Rayner in response, perhaps, to a twitch or spasm?
> "Within 24 hours of the assassination" says Cook, "the Tsar had
> heard rumours of British complicity, and called in the British
> ambassador. When I went to see Rasputin's great-granddaughter in
> Paris with the new evidence, she said that the family had always
> thought the five aristocrats were not acting alone."
> Rayner himself told his cousin Rose Jones, on his return to
> that he had been present at the killing.
> An investigation of Rayner's early career showed Cook how contacts
> helpful to Britain's supposed part in the plot had been
> Born in Birmingham in 1888, he read Modern Languages at Oriel from
> 1907-1910 and, in his second year, shared lodgings with his new
> friend Yusupov, who was studying the same subject at University
> College. The friendship clearly meant a great deal: he called his
> only son `John Felix'.
> Rayner's first job after graduation was as junior correspondent
> The Times in Paris. The next year, 1911, he became Private
> to Herbert Samuel, a cabinet minister in the Liberal government. In
> this post he got to know Lloyd George, who became Secretary of
> for War in the summer of 1916, and so, was responsible for the
> intelligence services. By this time, Rayner was in Petersburg. He
> had joined up in 1914, worked for some time in the London War
> as a language specialist, and was sent out to Russia the next year,
> where he remained until 1918.
> Cook suggests that it was Lloyd George who instigated the plan to
> kill Rasputin using a third party, Yusupov, who was associated not
> only with Rayner but with his intelligence colleagues John Scale
> (some of whose descendants are alive and well and living in
> Norton) and Stephen Alley, who had actually been born in the
> palace while his parents were staying with the prince's family.
> Britain had two good reasons for wanting Rasputin dead. First, he
> was suspected of trying to persuade the Tsar to pull out of the
> which would focus more of Germany's energy onto the British.
> Secondly, he was thought to be behind the systematic replacement of
> pro-British Russian cabinet ministers by pro-German ones.
> However great the true extent of his participation in the events of
> December 16, Rayner's relationship with the Russian royals, or what
> was left of them after the Revolution, continued to flourish. "He
> was sent to Siberia by British Intelligence to see if they were all
> really dead" says Cook, "and in March 1919 he was present when the
> Russian Imperial version of Noah's Ark took place. HMS Marlborough
> sailed to the Crimea to pick up the Yusupovs, the Tsar's mother,
> various other folk they were shipped out clutching a couple of
> Rembrandts and as much other stuff as they could carry between
> Rayner was there with the Yusupovs, to help them out.
> "After 1919 he went back to Moscow until 1922 or 1923. Then he went
> under the radar and re-appeared at the start of World War Two as a
> British Purchasing Officer
> in Canada. He went to Spain in 1943, where there was a lot of
> activity though it was officially neutral, and he was de-mobbed in
> 1946. He retired some time in the 50s. Personal documents give his
> occupation as `barrister', but he doesn't seem ever to have
> practised it was just good cover."
> After his undergraduate days in the city, Rayner never broke his
> connection with Oxford, using it as a base in the intervals between
> foreign excursions. He died at his home in Botley in 1961, taking
> with him to the grave the secret of his exact role in one of the
> most mythologised murders of the century.