Even as a child, rumors among the local populace were that Rasputin had certain mystical gifts.
Meanwhile, with the Tsar away fighting, a vacuum of leadership was filled by the Tsarina.
After a heavy meal, complete with wine and dessert, all supposedly heavily laced with poison, the men looked on, as amazingly, Rasputin showed no symptoms that the poison was having an effect on him.
The gut-brain connection is well known, but correlation doesn't prove cause and effect, he said.
Each encounter ended with them joking and her spending the night, he said.
Occasionally, the monk did offer military advice as well as medical help, but his ideas never proved beneficial for the Russian army or Tsar Nicholas personally.
But the researchers said they must dig deeper to understand how and why.
It's like having a rewind button for your campaign.