The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

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The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is a faked booklet written by Mathieu Golovinski, a French-Russian Okhrana operative. It purports to detail the agenda for a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, including how to control the media, the banks, and the government. The Protocols have been the basis for innumerable anti-Semitic tracts throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, most notably Henry Ford's The International Jew and Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. The Nazis heavily promoted the booklet to justify oppression of the Jews and the Holocaust.

Contents

[edit] Hoax

Despite being shown to be a hoax as far back as 1921,[1] it is still distributed and believed by people who swallow whatever fiction fits with their racist views.[2] In addition to its exposure as a forgery (by journalist Robert Graves of The Times) in 1921, a pamphlet containing three essays by Lucien Wolf called The Myth of the Jewish Menace in World Affairs debunking the Protocols was released in the same year.[3] A Swiss judge ruled the pamphlet to be a forgery in a 1935 decision in a case known as the Berne trial.[4]

[edit] Origin

The origin of the Protocols can possibly be traced back to the time of the French Revolution; in 1797, a French Jesuit, Abbe Barruel, published a treatise blaming the Revolution on a Masonic conspiracy. He was influenced in this by an anti-Masonic mathematician. Barruel did not himself blame the Jews. However, in 1806, Barruel circulated a forged letter, probably sent to him by anti-Semitic members of the state police, claiming a Jewish role in the supposed conspiracy.[5]

The main text of the Protocols was created by Golovinski in 1897, at the request of Piotr Rakhkovsky, head of the Okhrana's French section. Rakhkovsky, jealous of Sergei Witte, a (relatively) liberal policy-maker who had the Czar's ear, wanted to gain his attention by somehow proving that liberalism and modernism were Jewish plots. After hitting on the idea of writing a fake "transcript" of the events at the First Zionist Congress at Basel, he contacted Golovinski, then living in exile in Paris, and asked him to write this "transcript".

The document was shown to the Czar by Sergius Nilius, a Rasputin-type "mystic" (self-proclaimed). The document formed of a section of his magnum opus, a fantastically insane work titled The Great Within the Small and Antichrist, an Imminent Political Possibility. Notes of an Orthodox Believer. The Czar swallowed the manuscript, Witte fell out of favour, and the rest is history.

N.B: Much of the material for the Protocols was lifted from Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, a French satirical pamphlet, written by Maurice Joly, in 1864. This work was intended as a satire and protest of Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon) and his regime, and had no racial or religious theme. Dialogue itself may have plagiarized an even earlier work attacking the Jesuits. The plagiarism, as well as historical background on the Protocols and its influence, is described in detail in Will Eisner's graphic novel The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

[edit] Current use

Anti-Semitic groups have been pushing the book, and it is still in print, even promoted by such conspiracy-minded folks like Texe Marrs,[6] and (until his imprisonment) Kent Hovind.[7] On his album Extremist Won, Carl Klang, self-described as "America’s #1 Patriotic Singer", recorded the song "The News Behind the News" which deals with the Protocols, calling them "the blueprint to the downfall of our nation". [8][9]

The Protocols are also regularly used as evidence of a Jewish conspiracy in parts of the Islamic world: Hamas, for example, cites the text in its charter.[10]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  • Cohn, Norman. Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. London: Serif, 1996.

[edit] Footnotes

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