Its chief doctrines were borrowed from the chlysty, with some modifications to suit the decadent atmosphere of the Russian Court. It taught that none could be saved without first having repented; and none could repent without first having sinned.
The chlysty were divided into sections, each having its angels, its prophets, and its Christ. They met in their "Jerusalem," which was usually a cellar, and their services took place at night, the participants all wearing white robes.
Ivan Grigorieff, founder of the Russian Mormons, began by preaching that God created the world in six days, but by degrees he came to attack established religion as well as the existing social order. According to him, the molokanes were "pestilent," the douchobortzi were "destroyers of the faith," and the chlysty were "mad cattle." There was only one truth, the truth of Grigorieff!
The Chlysty, from whom the religion of Rasputin was partly derived, show some resemblance to the "Shakers," and to the Christian Scientists, both of whom have evolved along lines diametrically opposed. The "Shakers," direct descendants of the Huguenots, teach that the end of the world is at hand, and that all men should repent in preparation for the coming of the heavenly kingdom.
According to him, Jesus Christ was only one of many Christs who have come to the succour of humanity during the course of ages. The divine spirit incarnates in men of high morality, so that Christs appear and disappear, living with and among us from time to time. The chlysty, therefore, might always have one or more Christs among them; but all were not of equal standing.