The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

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It's a genuine first edition of a genuine fake document.
Hate for hate's sake
Perpetuating prejudice
Hate mongers

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is a fabricated 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, and paradoxically acted much like the Jews depicted in Protocols in plotting and enacting the exploitation and abuse of nearly anyone not a German in good standing -- except with even more brutality.


Despite being shown to be a hoax as far back as 1921,[1][2] it is still distributed and believed by people who swallow whatever fiction fits with their racist views.[3] In addition to its exposure as a fabrication (by journalist Philip Perceval 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.[4] A Swiss judge ruled the pamphlet to be a forgery in a 1935 decision in a case known as the Berne trial.[5]


The origin of the Protocols may trace back to the time of the French Revolution; in 1797, a French Jesuit, Abbé Barruel (Augustin BarruelWikipedia), 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.[6]

The main text of the Protocols was put together by Golovinski in 1897 at the request of Piotr Rakhkovsky, head of the Okhrana's French section. Rakhkovsky, jealous of Sergei Witte,[7] a (relatively) liberal policymaker who had the Emperor's ear, wanted to gain Nicholas II's 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 1897 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 Emperor by Sergius Nilus,[8] a Rasputin-type "mystic" (self-proclaimed). The document formed 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 Emperor swallowed the manuscript, Witte fell out of favour (he resigned as Prime Minister of Russia in 1906), and the rest is history.

N.B: Golovinski lifted much of the material for the Protocols from Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, a French satirical pamphlet, written by Maurice Joly in 1864. This work satirized and protested against Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon) and his regime, and had no racial or religious theme. Joly's 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.

Current use[edit]

Anti-Semitic groups have been pushing the book, and it is still in print, even promoted by such conspiracy-minded folks as Texe Marrs,[9] and (until his imprisonment) Kent Hovind.[10]

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".[note 1]

David "Thelizardsdidit" Icke (described as a "fucking loon" by Cracked)[11] "declared that the Protocols of Zion is evidence not of a Jewish plot, but of a reptilian plot of Illuminati lizards", according to Jon Ronson, writing in The Grauniad.[12]

The Protocols are also regularly used as evidence of a Jewish conspiracy in the Islamic world: Hamas, for example, cites the text in its charter.[13]

It has three and a half out of five stars on Amazon,[14] which all most sane people would regard as 3.5 stars too many.[note 2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


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


  1. If you really want to read the lyrics, they're here. You can also hear the song on YouTube, if you're truly curious, here.
  2. But it's not like sane people are the ones reading this book anyway.