Worried that a Secret Jewish Conspiracy Runs the World???

Hidden Mysteries Hogwash Debunker #4

adapted from
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.

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