Worried that a Secret Jewish Conspiracy Runs the World???
Hidden Mysteries Hogwash Debunker #4
Right-Wing Populism in America
by Chip Berlet & Matthew N. Lyons
Guilford Press, 2000
The Protocols and Antisemitic Conspiracism
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a hoax document fabricated by the
Czarist secret police in the early 1900s to divert grievances caused by
an oppressive monarchy toward the scapegoat of Jews.
The text purports to be secret minutes of meetings of a nonexistent
Jewish ruling clique conspiring to take over the world. The Protocols
incorporate many of the core conspiracist themes outline in the Robison
and Barruel attacks on the Freemasons, and overlay them with antisemitic
allegations about anti-Czarist movements in Russia. This highlights the
similarity to more general critiques of enlightenment liberalism by those
supporting church/state oligarchies and other anti-democratic and theocratic
forms of government.
The Protocols themselves are plagiarized from and inspired by
earlier works that allege conspiracies, especially a satiric French work Dialogue
in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu by Maurice Joly published
in 1865; and a German novel Biarritz by Hermann Goedsche published
in 1868. Equally dubious documents purporting to reveal secret conspiracies
have circulated for centuries.
After the Russian revolution, Czarist loyalists emigrated to countries
in Europe and to the US, and brought copies of the Protocols claiming
they were the plans used by the Judeo-Bolsheviks to seize power. The Protocols became
a core source of allegations by Hitler and his allies in the German Nazi
movement of a Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevik conspiracy. In early 1920 a private
english translation was printed in Britain, and that summer, London's Sunday
Post published a series of "eighteen articles expounding the full
myth of the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy, with of course due reference to
the Protocols." The newspaper's correspondent in Russia, Victor
Marsden, had produced a new english translation of the Protocols, that
is still sold today.
The Protocols are circulated in the US by antisemitic conspiracists
across the political spectrum, and are posted on the Internet. Walter
Laqueur reports that the Protocols are still circulated by contemporary
antisemitic Russian nationalists.
Not all antisemitic versions of the alleged conspiracy are rooted in
Christian theology. LaRouche staff collaborate with Nation of Islam staff
to promote the claim of a Judeo-freemasonry conspiracy involving Weishaupt
of the Illuminati, Civil War General Albert Pike, the Ku Klux Klan, and
the B'nai B'rith, an eclectic allegation that nonetheless mirrors allegations
from the book Freemasonry first published in Arabic in 1980 by
the Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia, and later in an English translation.
The English edition is available in the US from the Muslim World League
offices in New York City or from commercial vendors including some Islamic
and Afrocentric bookstores.