by Sergei Michailovich Trufanov
Sergei Michailovich Trufanov, also known as Hieromonk Iliodor, was born on October 19, 1880 in a small village near the Don River. Despite crushing poverty, which claimed several of his siblings, Trufanov was able to attend several years of school and then entered the local seminary. He went on to attend and graduate the St. Petersburg Theological Academy in 1905. Shortly after, he gave several sermons that attacked a variety of people and organizations, including politicians, aristocrats, revolutionaries, Jews, nationalists, and more. Soon after he apparently blackmailed Rasputin. He later apologized for his slander of Jewish people, then renounced the Russian Orthodox Church, and ultimately was defrocked.
After being banned from several monasteries, he fled to what is currently Norway. He continued to plot against Rasputin, starred as himself in a silent film, The Fall of the Romanovs in 1917, and then returned to Russia in 1918. A few years later, he moved to New York City and lived a relatively quiet life with his family while working as a janitor until his death on January 28, 1952. This story focuses on his earlier life, a time when one critic deemed him, “extravagantly psychopathic.”